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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Change something for just one week, and see how you feel.


1 week. Do something new for 1 week. Stick to it, and don’t give up. It may be hard. Do it anyway. Have discipline for 1 week. See what happens.

Notice carefully each day how you feel and how you’re changing as you try this new thing. Does it add to your life or subtract? What other things are changing as you do this 1 new thing?

Is it causing 10 times the reactive positive change in your life? You may find it will. Sometimes if we do 1 thing differently, we can see an uplift in multiple areas of our lives if that new 1 thing is positive for us.

Remember for the weeks following what you felt and how it’s improved your life… Use this memory to fuel you forward to new horizons in your life.

Friday, October 4, 2019

My belief in the purpose of work.


It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write. And as I write this… I feel so many emotions. I could nearly shed tears.

It’s been a really, really, really rough time for me for the past year and even more so the past 4 months and then really hitting a wall for the past month. I haven’t felt an ounce of inspiration and care to write for a few months now.

I lost my job earlier last month and I kinda thought it would happen, but I kept hoping and believing it wouldn’t so I didn’t put in the work to prepare myself a plan. With this huge fork in the road, my life stopped for a while. I didn’t know what to do with myself besides obsess over jobs and text and call people in my life excessively over my overthinking and worrying. It definitely made me focused though… focused to find a job. That’s about all though. My care for anything else slipped. I know what it’s like again to feel in a poverty state (even though yes, I have money and I’m not in poverty; it’s still a similar experience to the state of emergency and urgency that people in poverty often feel). At first, it was sorta like vacation… then the 3rd week of unemployment hit and I’d had enough. I’ve found out through this that will officially NEVER retire. I’ll always work.

Work for me adds structure, purpose, ability to help others, it’s also a piece of my social life that I never knew held such a huge piece to me feeling at home, and it’s also a source of connection. It makes my life a whole lot more meaningful.

I had been used to working at an already established place of work, and I do think this allowed me to be in a baby blanket if you will. Because there are people around, a structure created already, rules, and it was just easy for me to take those things for granted and I’ve even rebelled against them in my past at times. However, I realize now that those things helped me to feel secure, safe, and connected. Unfortunately, I hadn’t built the skills and platform that an organized, established workplace gives me for my own life absent of this workplace. I lacked the proper structure in my life. I’ve done stuff so freely, unbound, and so wrapped around my work that without work, I didn’t know how to be full and feel in place and put together. It’s sad, really. I never knew.

I can’t say I’m a mess; I’m not. I am being overly harsh (as that’s just how I am…. and well, that makes me a better human in the process too I think even though I need to learn where to stop and balance my self-criticism). I have learned through my dark times recently my belief in the purpose of work for my life. I want to serve, I want to work, I want to feel connected, and have structure. I’ve learned that I must create these things for myself though and that I shouldn’t just rely on my work to hold me together like glue. I’ve got to do a better job of building my own foundation absent of work. Work will always be in my life though, until the day I die.

I believe the purpose of work in my life is to help and serve others, create and find meaning and connection, and have something to get completely lost in doing that sets me into a flow state giving me the much-needed reprieve from the world and into my greatest efficiency and craft.

Without work, whether in an organized, established workplace or not, my life isn’t entirely complete. Work can be many things… it can be things we don’t normally think of as work too. It’s simply whatever I'm doing that allows me to 1) help and serve others 2) create and find meaning and connection and 3) gets me into a flow state to produce my greatest efficiency and craft. As you can see… these are very general beliefs of my purpose of work in life, but they’re meaningful to me and that’s what matters. It makes even when I can’t formally work one day when I get old still meaningful work. Helping to care for my future grandkids when/if I get the privilege, for example, this could be my work. My work is what I make it and think of it in my mindset and through how I do and be.

I’m back, everyone! Back to work! 🙂

P.S. — I have found a full-time job again recently. My darkness is starting to disappear. I’m happy and can think of various things (like normal) again. 🙂

Saturday, August 17, 2019

You Can!


You can.

You can be.

You can be what you want to be.

You are more than you have been thinking of yourself.

You’re capable.

You’re driven.

You’re worthy.

You WILL do a good job.

You are enough.

You need NOT worry or fear… Just BE and DO.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Kensington Metropark, Night of the Michigan Philharmonic 2019


Lay down.

Dip your toes in the sand and water.

Walk freely… So unbound by life’s busyness… Let it go.

Walk slowly.

See beauty. Listen & watch… Feel.

Let the headaches of yesterday be let go… Renew

See the simpleness, uniqueness of a weed… Left swaying in the gentle breeze.

The stillness. The liveliness.

Weeds, flowers, green grass, and rippled waters.

Peace, quiet…. Life. No judgment.

All to be there is there.

The bee, he seems so content. The fly as well.

The dogs all happy wagging their tails.

And people doing, being… There.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tips to get an idea AND fruit action and success

                           Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

How to get an idea?

  • Don’t tell yourself you can’t come up with an idea. Do you think ideas are only to be made by someone else? If so, please visit this thought you have and change it into one that tells yourself you’re fully capable of coming up with an idea and 100% on your own if you choose. You’re smart. You’re worthy. And you’ve got what it takes to come up with an amazing idea. Don’t second-guess yourself or think you can’t… EVER.
  • Be curious. Learn as much as you can. The world and our lives are our artist’s pallet and playground for our idea formation.
  • What are you doing and seeing right now or hear others doing or seeing? — how does this relate in similarity or differences to something you or they have done before or are doing? Getting an idea is grounded in being able to notice things and relate those things to ours or someone we know’s past, something they or you said, and/or things we’ve learned.
  • Think. Plain and simple. Take time to yourself to think. Step away from people or yourself talking or doing things, and sit down and think about the world and yours and others lives. If you never give yourself a single second or minute or hour to yourself, and you’ve allowed yourself to be in constant action, you may not be able to think clearly or easily. Idea formation comes from 1) Doing, seeing, and noticing things & 2) Giving ourselves time to process things and think.

Have your idea, now what?…. How to fruit action and success.

  • Write it down. Get it on paper. I do think the act of writing something down on physical paper does something that electronic devices or methods can’t. I think it embeds it in your mind in a beautiful way that no other method can and allows it to bloom easier and quicker. I don’t care how pretty it reads or looks. Write it down. However, if you can’t write it down on paper or would rather not for any reason, still get it out of your head someplace whether you do this electrically, on paper, or record yourself saying your idea.
  • Protect it. Don’t dismiss it by telling yourself now that you have it that it’s awful and waste of time and space. DO NOT just toss it like garbage. You came up with an idea for a reason, usually. If you’re a person that would toss your idea or down-it in any way, shape, or form from telling other people and hearing their reactions or criticism, then keep it to yourself. I don’t recommend telling anyone or possibly just a few people you trust is ok, but I wouldn’t tell a bunch of people. This can easily cloud our positive state we’re in when we first get an idea.
  • Give yourself time to think about your idea more. Make a schedule for yourself to sit and think. Whether that’s just 5 minutes a week or an hour or more a week, set time aside to think about your idea more. This is the difference between getting an idea and then it dying from not going further and fruiting action and success. This is crucial. You need an action plan and time to think to move the needle with your idea.

Do and ask yourself the following (Again, I recommend you write these down on paper.):

  • Think of 1 thing to do to take action on your idea and do it immediately (or at least within the 1st week of getting your idea). Wait no longer on this. You need to do at least 1 thing. Get something rolling. This is the difference between people who come up with ideas and those who come up with ideas AND fruit action and success. They don’t wait. They don’t think about things for too long before they make an action. They think about 1 thing they can do first and they do it (within the first week). The rest can come later after you do this one thing. I promise you, this is one of the keys to fruit action and success.

Do 1 thing to take action now!

Now that you’ve done your 1 thing to take action on your idea… (Please, don’t skip this before you do the steps below!)

Ok, you’re ready now that you’ve done your 1 thing…

  • What are 3 other things I can do to take action on my idea this week?
  • What people do I need to help me with taking action?
  • What things or resources do I need to help me with taking action?
  • Collect all of these thoughts and action steps from above onto paper or electronically if you haven’t already and revisit them often. Don’t just think or do these things and toss it into the closet after a week or weeks or never revisit them. Keep going back to your thoughts and action plans and refine them, add to them, and keep this process going each and every week until you’ve fruited action and success. Do this for yourself.

Remember:

You’re smart. You’re worthy. And you’ve got what it takes. Don’t second-guess yourself or think you can’t… EVER. You need this mentality, positive thought, and belief about yourself to get an idea AND fruit action and success. Don’t lose this, or you likely will not succeed. Ideas and fruiting action and success with them is a mental process as much as it is anything else. This part of it is sooooo easy to not do and get yourself off course or stop you from success. You need to keep telling yourself this and believe it. Believe your idea is good and visualize yourself fruiting action and being successful with your idea. It does so much to help you. Believe me, you got this!




Be the “Plain Jane” You… Because She’s Beautiful!

Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

Forget what you’ve been told or think about Plain Janes. Let’s re-write what this means in a positive way. Being the “Plain Jane” you is being your most natural, authentic self. It’s understanding yourself. It’s letting go of what other people expect of you or think of you and embracing who you are in the most natural way possible.

Why is the “Plain Jane” me beautiful?:


Doing things because of or being a particular way because of other people or trends isn’t being your authentic self and therefore, while you may “feel beautiful”, this could be short-lived and is not grounded in understanding your authentic, natural self. It’s acting through other’s approval and it is a short-term, unstable way to be.

By being the “Plain Jane” you, you not only feel beautiful, but you are also truly yourself and that’s a beauty that is sooo deep and so needed. You radiate with authenticity and shine in a way that everyone notices (whether they want to admit or not). You don’t worry about what others think about you now that you’re “Plain Jane” you. You are you; because she’s beautiful.

You want to learn who you are, embrace who you are, and continue to learn who you are. Yes, people of all ages are learning more and more about their natural, authentic “Plain Jane” selves. Continue to explore and become more and more of who you naturally are. By being your “Plain Jane” self, you accept that you will not just “go with the crowd” or live through other’s approval of who they think you should be.

If you’re not completely sure yet who you are to a T… don’t worry — we’re all working on our Plain Jane self and this journey never ends. Don’t get discouraged that you will always need to learn about yourself in this life if you are. Don’t panic or overwhelm yourself over this in any way. Start with some tips below to be your Plain Jane self and continue to be her.

How do I be my “Plain Jane” self?:

  • Don’t enjoy wearing make-up but everyone around you and with you says you have to or might think you look ugly if you don’t have it on.
      • Don’t wear it now. Or do it a little more natural if you want to. It’s now about how YOU want to be. You don’t have to wear make-up or a lot of it to be beautiful. You do things now being your “Plain Jane” self only because you want to and it makes you feel good. Not because of others telling you that you need to do something or because you think you will not be accepted if you don’t.
  • You feel terrible in those skinny-jeans or “insert any other clothing item here”, but your friends all wear them so you have to.
      • No, you don’t have to wear what you feel terrible wearing. Doing something even though you feel terrible about it is not being your “Plain Jane” self. So, ditch those skinny jeans. Wear what you feel comfortable and yourself in.
  • You absolutely hate yoga (or any other exercise and/or relaxation method), but “yoga” is the IT thing… So, you know: I yoga.
      • No, you don’t yoga now, my beautiful Plain Jane. You find an exercise and/or relaxation method that YOU LOVE. Be yourself; don’t yoga or do things when you hate them. Now, if you hate them only because it’s hard but you kinda like them, that’s a different story. Sometimes things are tough, and that’s ok. But, if you’ve found or are finding that you don’t like something… move on and find new.
  • I’m a vegan or vegetarian, but it’s only because I want to be “part of that community”… I secretly hate it, hate my life, and want to eat that meat, soooooooo bad. 
      • You eat that meat now… Go out and eat it — right now! Because you’re living something you’re not. You’re not being your natural, authentic self. You’re doing things because you want to fit in or be something you’re not.
  • I’m a republican. I’m a democrat. I’m a libertarian. I’m “insert any other political party on earth here”. BUT, I don’t know what that is even. Or/and — I’m only this because my best friend, family, boyfriend, or the person down the road is.
      • Ok, stop labeling yourself or being something because others are or that’s the cool thing to be. Don’t be something you don't even know what is either. You figure out and study the political parties (and there are many… not just republican or democrats — research them all.) and you figure out what one is best suited for your own natural, authentic Plain Jane self. You are and be what is YOU… don’t be something because everyone thinks that’s what you should be or you feel you’d be less than if you weren’t something. Now, this can be tough in this day and age and political environment. It is hard. However, sometimes being our “Plain Jane” selves isn’t easy and we shouldn’t just give up on being her.

YOU STAND STRONG AND BE WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR, IN YOUR HEART.


Summary of, How do I be my “Plain Jane” self:

Don’t do things that aren’t your natural, authentic self. Don’t do things you hate, don’t wear things you feel terrible in, don’t do things you don’t enjoy, don’t be something you don’t even know what is — find out first if it’s something that’s for you, don’t label yourself something or be something because others are or that’s the “it” thing to be.

My beautiful, Plain Janes… Remember this, ALWAYS:

You’re smart. You’re worthy. You’re beautiful. And you’ve got what it takes. Don’t second-guess yourself or think you can’t be the “Plain Jane” you… EVER. You need to keep telling yourself this and believe it.

Believe in who your natural, authentic self is and visualize yourself being her — now be her through that vision. Believe me, you got this! You’re beautiful! 🙂

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Favorite Sites


Dear Readers,

I used to have these sites in a list on the right side of my blog. However, I recently reorganized and remodeled the Life Has Beautiful Learning Blog site. So, I'm sharing all my most favorite sites in this post and I’ll continue to update this post with more sites with time.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Each one has given me endless inspiration for the blog and in many other life pursuits.

I invite you to share your favorite sites that may not be listed in this post in the comments. This will create great information sharing for all readers.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Aleesa

A Healthy Slice of Life

Becoming Minimalist

Candice Kumai

Christopher Conners

Darius Foroux

Extra Petite

Felines of New York

Frugalwoods

Healthy Glow

How to be Chic

Humans of New York

Inspired By Charm

Introvert, Dear

Little Black Journal

Live Simply

Medium.com

Minimal Wellness

My French Country Home

Niklas Goeke

No Side Bar

Pretty, Young & Motivated

Rae Dunn

The Art of Simple

The Minimalists

The Simply Luxurious Life

Tim Denning

Wendy Mak

With Love From Kat

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Fix the Broken Things in Our Lives…


I have an awful habit of not staying on top of fixing things that are broken in my house and car. I guess it’s because I think I have a higher tolerance for chaos in my life than average (because it doesn’t seem to bother me to leave things but hey maybe it is bothering me in ways I didn’t realize!) and well… I’m lazy. I’ll admit it, I’m so lazy when it comes to some things in my life. I have no care at times for some things.

Last weekend, I took it upon myself to go around my home and car and fix anything I could. Just one day out of the weekend, actually. I did this after months and months of letting things go broken by doing the following steps:
  1. I told myself… no more. I will not live like this.
  2. I put it on my Google calendar that I’d fix things.
  3. I followed through even though I didn’t want to do ANY OF IT. It was a chore. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t grand. It felt like the worst work on the planet. ha!
HOWEVER, AFTER I fixed those broken things last weekend…. I felt accomplishment, I felt joy, and I felt happiness in a way I hadn’t felt for a long time. AND, something else happened…

My other problems in my life that were not physically broken things seemed to feel less like problems and seemed totally more manageable or less of an issue than they were before.

So, I share this because if this can have that kind of power for me, then I think it may for you too.

Maybe we start out small (I love my own advice!…. I totally need to practice what I’m preaching here too. ha!), and we fix just one little broken thing in our lives right away or even better… the minute it’s broken — don’t even let it sit. The effects of fixing that one little thing could quadruple and spill over into fixing more than you’d ever imagined.

Let’s fix the broken things in our lives.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Lessons from my MBA… the kind that are personal and are not taught from a book.


My MBA taught me that I need an outlet such as writing or communication with someone I trust (often that’s myself or my good friends) to get the best understanding of myself and the situations I’m presented with. The team-focus in my MBA and all the writing I did for it helped me to see this about myself. I never knew it until my MBA.

It taught me also that I absolutely love reading. I never read for fun until my MBA… it was reading those Harvard Business Review cases that I grew a fond love for reading, ironically. A lot of people laugh at this when I tell them…

They say, “You grew a passion for reading from HBR Articles? — You’re nuts! haha!”

My classes showed me that I am smarter and more reflective than I ever imagined. My self-confidence grew, and I now understand a lot more about myself than I did with my undergraduate degree alone.

I also noticed that I had a lot to contribute to my MBA teams and classes because I typically have ideas and/or input that is different from maybe what everyone else thinks. Or, maybe I am brave enough to say my thoughts whereas others hold in what they feel if it opposes the mainstream thought.

My MBA helped me to find my own voice. Overall, my MBA helped me dramatically with my own personal growth.

And it’s still and will always be a work-in-progress. This I learned from my MBA too… I thought I knew so much more before my MBA.

My MBA humbled me — it taught me to see the endless things that I didn’t know, and that there are infinite things to learn in this world. It was far more than the lessons you learn from a book or being in class. It was a very personal journey.

The Time I was Trying to be and do Everything with Everyone… And Power of Saying “No”.


It was my junior year of college and I was involved in everything, working a lot, had my first upper-level business classes, and decided to live in the freshman dorm hall because it was cheaper. I found I ended up with horrible grades, and I nearly failed one of my classes.

I had a roommate that took over the whole entire room with the never-ending things she had and upstairs neighbors that played music so loud that my dorm room shook. The next semester of my junior year I realized I needed to make some significant changes otherwise I was going to not do so hot in my college career and might go insane!

So, I took away all of the commitments that were serving me no true value or purpose by taking a closer look at what I really wanted and needed. I moved to another dorm room where I had my own room that enforced quiet hours in an upperclassmen residence hall.

I could breathe again, and soon my sanity came back. I realized from all of this that I needed to learn to be more selective with what I did with my time, who I was around, and again that my environment I was in either was demotivating or motivating. Everything seemed to go to heck that first semester, but it all fell into place again once I made some hard decisions to get back to what I needed.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The High-School Awards Ceremony I never forgot…


…… It was at an end of the year awards ceremony in high school that I realized I was at the top of my class and I was different.

That year each teacher gave out the top three students in their class awards as well as the top 10 for each subject. I found out that I was in the top 3 for every one of my classes and top 3 in my entire class. This was in about 9th grade this occurred. I
found that I was 3rd performing in my class at that point.

I didn’t know this until that exact point. I just simply did my work and didn’t care that I was performing well.

It started with a few awards, and then after about 4 trips up to the podium in front of the entire high school I started to realize that this was both eye-opening, but also I felt sad. My classmates soon realized that I was standing up for nearly every award there was given to be a recipient, and they all started guessing that I was going to be called ahead of time. They did this with all of the 3 of us or so that had numerous awards. They seemed upset that we kept getting the awards and they didn’t.

I was picked on afterward about the awards. They said I didn’t deserve them and that I was just “Miss Smartypants” and that I needed to help them cheat on their homework because I had all of the right answers. Some of the people in my class actually did help them to cheat and they played up the attention while I again got frustrated by everyone and I thought of myself as different for not allowing myself to help my classmates cheat. I offered them the chance for me to teach them, but they didn’t want it. They went to those that would simply give them the answers.

It wasn’t until this awards ceremony and the aftermath that I realized I felt and was different from my classmates in many regards. I went home that night of the awards ceremony with about 10 awards total. I felt sad because I wanted everyone else to be able to feel a sense of achievement and recognition like I had at the ceremony. I felt sad for them that they had to watch me come to the podium again and again and I felt their pain.

I felt so many emotions for the people out in the crowd watching me again get an award, and what was worse was that to me the awards really didn’t mean anything. To me,
they were paper and I didn’t like the attention that came with getting an award.

I didn’t want everyone to think of me as “Miss Smartypants”. I wanted them to see past this and look at me as a good friend or a caring person.

The Change of Friends in 7th Grade…


I mostly have been a person to stick with a close set of friends valuing quality over quantity of friendships. When I find someone that I really like to spend time with and talk to, I really hone in a lot of what makes them unique and yet I am able to see their weaknesses.

I had a friend from 3rd grade till 7th grade that was my sole friend. I didn’t see any need to make more friends; she was all I needed for socialization. I did everything with her and I really put a lot of value on our friendship. We were two peas in a pod.

It was great, but over the years as we got older I realized more and more that while she was a great friend she also was discouraging to me and almost held me back from being my best self. I noticed weaknesses in her that I hated over time.

In about the 6th grade, we started to really like the boys…. We would talk about the different men we liked and about our classmates. What I found was that I was actually very brave and curious about everyone while she was shy and talked as though she was afraid of everyone and everything. I was still her friend, but I would suggest we sit with other people at lunch or maybe we could do something that was kind of crazy but could be fun! She resisted. She didn’t want to do anything out of fear for what people would think and she didn’t want to eat lunch with anyone else.

Eventually, I started to feel trapped being her friend even though I clearly could have just went and did the things alone without her. One day it all came to an end, but by my actions. I told her that I was going to eat lunch with my friend I was making in my band class and she was free to come, but I wasn’t going to sit with her anymore and maybe even be her friend. I told her what I thought about her, and she was upset.

We grew apart and I made new friends. Of course, I noticed the same things with my new friends. They were fearful of others and never were curious about other people who they had their negative views of. I wanted to talk to everyone and get to know everyone. I soon felt different and as though my thoughts weren’t appropriate because nobody seemed to be like me.

I showed my bravery and curiosity in other ways though. Sports was one. In sports, I was able to play with multiple of people instead of sticking to the group of friends I was around all of the time. I talked to anyone when I would talk, but I didn’t talk too much in high school. Band was also my outlet. There were in my opinion no social norms in band, I could talk with everyone there about band because we shared that interest. So, I did. I tried to not be distant from anyone in band and I was most myself there than any other place.

Therefore, I found from this experience that I need to feel free and allow my bravery and curiosity to show. I also learned that the environment and again people I’m around has an influence on how I allow myself to be. I find that I cannot be around closed-minded people for too long, otherwise, it internally bothers me or I begin to inhibit their characteristics instead of acting as my true self.

Near Failure of First Grade…


… And the importance of learning that who I am around will either destroy or help me. Realizing how to find a way to create an equilibrium. This was a reflection exercise I did for one of my MBA Leadership Classes.

This class was so profound for me in my MBA. It helped me to learn sooo much about myself and how my life experiences have affected me and thus in-turn as a leader.

My first-grade teacher noticed that I was different from the rest in the class. I either wanted to be extremely close with everyone or extremely distant, self-absorbed in my own thoughts sitting alone.

My teacher had hair that extended to the bottom of her behind. When she would circle us all up for storytime, she took her hair down from a bun and allowed it to be extended in its full capacity. Most of the classmates would play with her hair while she read. They would awe over her long, beautiful hair.

I sat alone away from everyone and watched them. I didn’t say a word. I did touch her hair, but I didn’t want to play with it nor sit with the kids that did. She pointed out that I wasn’t sitting with the rest of the kids and told me I needed to come close with the rest of the kids and partake in story-time. I listened, but I hated every minute of it to the point that I couldn’t focus on the story being told but rather just the situation at hand. I thought the rest of the kids were weird! Ha!

I grew distant from my teacher and the kids in my class so much that I stopped caring about the lessons being taught by my teacher in class. My teacher, of course, told my mom about my behavior and my teacher suggested I see a physiologist and be enrolled in the special education for my school because maybe my behaviors had something to do with my parent's recent divorce or maybe I had a learning disorder.

My behavior just wasn’t appropriate for a 1st grader and I wasn’t doing well in class. My teacher wanted to hold me back a grade because she said I didn’t belong in 2nd grade yet. My mom took my teacher’s advice about having me see a psychologist and I was enrolled in special education.

It was found that I did have a harder time than others with learning, but that with hard work and motivation I learned well with time and actually I picked up on things that other kids didn’t. I wanted to understand, and I was curious about everything. I often asked my special education teacher about how everything worked and I talked about how I felt the rest of the kids were acting weird.

My teacher still wanted to hold me back to repeat 1st grade though. My mom told her and also fought the school principal to negotiate that I be put into 2nd grade still with the stipulation that I show a good performance within so much time and if I didn’t show good performance in 2nd grade then the school could move me back into 1st grade.

Surprisingly, I did outstanding in 2nd grade and continued to be a straight-A student from thereon. I did so well that they took me out of special education after a while in 2nd grade.

However, there was one difference and my mom noticed it too….. my 2nd-grade teacher was a lovely woman that encouraged me to do well and was very nice to me. I still think extremely highly of my 2nd-grade teacher.

The impact of this event on my values and direction in life…

I learned that I had large control over my success or failure. I can either fail or succeed depending on the environment and my awareness and control of the situations at hand. I can also let things bother me to a point that I become extremely distant and essentially fail if I allow myself. I learned to point out my frustrations with people and situations and distance myself from them or take care of them in a way that can be useful and to my advantage.

Inner Harmony — I learned that I must value inner harmony.

I must have time to reflect and a place to voice or get rid of my frustrations. Otherwise, I may not succeed and I may start to think about things other than what I need to be at that moment to achieve success.

I have to be able to have my own thoughts under control about “things going on that I cannot control”, otherwise I cannot do well.

Affiliation — I learned that I need to feel somewhat a part of the group. Respected at the very least.

My 1st-grade teacher focused on my weird behavior and always pointed out my weaknesses. Whereas my 2nd-grade teacher showed a sincere appreciation for me as an individual absent of my flaws and when she did talk about my flaws she always talked about what I did that was also good and made me feel very special.

I’ve noticed this even as an adult, and it has been somewhat of an inner battle with my value for independence because I sometimes view the need to be affiliated as a weakness instead of something that helps me find inner peace.

I need to feel a sense of belonging.

I secretly hated that special education took me away from the rest of the class. I wanted to be in the class with everyone else enjoying the Spanish lessons! I always had my special education time when everyone else studied fun Spanish in 2nd grade. I felt awful about it that I never got to learn Spanish like the rest of the kids. Haha.

Instead, I felt like an outsider and a freak.

However, I enjoyed my 2nd-grade teacher pointing out what made me an asset making me feel like I belonged in my class and I made a contribution.

I still struggle with this one, I feel as though that I shouldn’t require to feel belonging. That independence and self-control should take more precedent. So, this is something I’ll need to continue to work on to be an effective leader.


The Mom Files…

My Mom and I.

My mom’s birthday would have been last Tuesday, May 21st if she were still alive.

I pulled a few old pieces of writing I did about her and us in honor of her.

Hope you enjoy it.

Old Writing #1: My mother’s death and the value of living life to the fullest and showing a sincere sense of respect and happiness for those who are meaningful in my life. “Life is short, live it to the fullest.”


My mom died when I was in my freshman year of college. We didn’t have the best of relationship and we never hugged or showed affection for each other.

She made me hug her before I left for college, and it was the last hug I ever got from my mom while she was in good health. It was a very emotional yet eye-opening experience that has shaped my thoughts about life and showing affection/sharing what someone truly means to you in your life. I never did really until after my mom’s death show affection to anyone nor let them know what they meant to me.

After my mom’s death and to this day, I make it a point to let my friends and those I value know that they mean something to me if they do. I enjoy showing affection to those I most care about.

I also learned that you have to forgive people and move on from things in life a lot more than what I did previous to this life event. I learned that life is short and you must live life the best way possible being appreciative and showing others what they mean to you because they may never know without you saying or showing how you feel.

Old Writing #2: My Hero — My Mom


My mom is my hero. While we didn’t have a good relationship for many years, now thinking back to how she raised me, never failed to share her harsh opinions and observations, and put up with my bullheaded nature growing up which wouldn’t be easy for nearly anyone — she’s my hero.

She taught me many lessons in life and I still live by many of them. She had the perseverance to put up with a child-like me that questioned everything and was extremely curious and always standing my ground with my opinions on a wide-range of things that may or may not have been grounded.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wouldn’t be the person I am without her personality of speaking back to me in opposition to what I thought, making me question my thoughts and beliefs even though I became frustrated many of times.

All along she believed in me and the success I could have in life. She was the one that motivated me and pushed me to get things done and never give up when I wanted to stop.

She was my punching bag but also my rock. I needed her more than I ever wanted to let onto, and when I lost her in my freshman year of college I realized so much. My mom is my hero.

However, it’s too bad I never realized this until she died because I would have liked to have seen her in this light while she was alive and I could tell her.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The turtle wins… Do something, not nothing.


Last Sunday, I did a 5k run/walk for the first time in over 6 years. I was the turtle…. Slow. I walked a few times but I mostly tried to jog it however slow I was. And… I did it.

Now, you don’t have to do a 5k like I did. We all have our own races we choose or challenges that we face. Our own goals. Our own lives. We can do nothing or we can do something. The choice is ours. No matter how slow or how small, if we do something then we’re ahead of choosing nothing.

It’s easy and can feel comfortable to do nothing, but we don’t overcome, challenge ourselves, or change if we don’t do something. Don’t choose nothing.

The turtle wins. Do something, not nothing. Live by the famous line by Nike… Just do it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Stay

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash
Note: This is not a picture of the actual room from the stay. I didn’t take any pictures to keep, unfortunately. This was the best I could do to portray the comfort, simplicity, and vintage-like style of the stay based on my memories. Oh, it was divine!

  • The smells of old wood and an old home are the first I notice.
  • A family keepsake and strong heritage.
  • A family tree in the hall hung with pride.
  • Beautiful memories and strong, close-knit loved ones.
  • A beautiful bedspread, so soft and fluffed… Then I get in and the sheets feel so crisp and clean… Flowered and old feeling… so refreshing and calming. So nice for a nap. They smell like the outdoors with fresh flowers just picked. Sheets were hung on a line outdoors to dry, I’ll bet.
  • Beautiful lamp — Very classic yet minimal.
  • The pillows feel amazing & divine. Feathered.
  • The walls wallpapered.
  • The bathroom is even more beautiful. White porcelain sink with hot & cold water that comes out at the most extremes in temperatures on either end. Can’t keep the hot on too long. Love the mix of temperatures… refreshing to feel.
  • The soap — so luxurious and feels and smells divine.
  • The bathroom walls are covered in pretty floral old style wallpaper.
  • Metal baskets & decor.
  • A perfect lotion and soap of the bar type that smells so refreshing in a basket on top of the metal toilet stand.
  • Q-tips in a glass jar.
  • A white framed mirror.
  • Old style windows with white blinds.
  • White cotton sheets… white, thick, comforting cotton towels.
  • The meal in the morning was crafted and delicious, served on the very best china.
Memories from my overnight stay at Peaches Bed And Breakfast — http://peachesinn.com/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Time to smell the reality flowers and stop smelling the turds of imperfections… my people.


For many years now, when it came to starting a business of my own and creating action towards the entrepreneurial passion I’ve had since high school, I have sat in my own head creating endless loops of thinking and overthinking. Downing myself and putting away this passion as something that’s just not for me. Literally any excuse I can create for myself or hear from others, I’ve allowed it to dictate my movement forward. I’ve finally decided…. I can do this and be this and I don’t care what my former self told me as true or anyone else for that matter, and I need to get out of my own head and move forward.

For years, I have sat around and thought and thought and thought and thought and thought about business ideas and written endless business plans and gotten excited and then, sadly, torched my own beautiful fires.

Mostly, it’s been me entirely… my own insecurities not allowing myself to move forward with my own thoughts of myself. But, it has also been the people I’ve told my thoughts to over the years who have helped me to add to my list of endless excuses and crutches with moving forward.

There have been VERY FEW people in my life that have encouraged me and I mean really encouraged me to go after my entrepreneurial passions. They say, “Take the safe road, you’re not ready, you don’t understand the work involved, you’re an accountant — you aren’t going to be good at sales & marketing — why do you think you’d make it? just wait — you’re young, laughing at me for my creativity for my business ideas because apparently, they think this is just some funny shit to add to their entertainment and not something serious, that’s not good enough of a career for you, etc, etc, etc. Mostly, I haven’t thought I actually WAS listening to them and taking those things to heart, but I was indirectly as much as I wanted to think I wasn’t. I figured, hey great they want to say what they think and offer me little golden nuggets that I can choose or not choose to use in my life. (Yea, I still think that’s true…. but what the bad part is about it is coming…)

What listening to everyone with all these crutches concerning moving forward did to me was that it slowly crept into accepting those truths about myself and they gave me endless excuses for myself even in ways my own mind couldn’t….. it just added to all the misery that kept me away from passionately and positively pursuing my own gems in my life.

I’ve been stuck in my own head… examining those worries or allowing them to be truths for too long. So, recently I decided…. you know, nobody — including myself — can stop me. I don’t care if I fail at this or not — I’m doing it. And I don’t care about perfection anymore.

People, including myself if I let myself, can hold onto every imperfection they see or think, or even smell from afar as a turd even if it truly smells like a beautiful flower in reality. Time to smell the reality flowers and stop smelling the turds of imperfections… my people. Go forth and get out of that head and everyone else's head too!… GO FORTH!

(Yeppp… Got into my real crazy, nutty writer’s head here on that last paragraph! LOL!!)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sitting Beside the River in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fishermen are the first I see.

Then a runner, then more…

A homeless man walks with his cans hoping for a little more.

He sits dead center the bridge…praying.

The river, so calming.

The birds… they’re flying.

Two dogs walking… all magnificent as they seem.

A man in transit, with his lunch in a tote carried beside him.

Canoes floating… on a river so calming.

The bridges, they’re beautiful…

And this peaceful rest…

Wonderful.

Monday, January 14, 2019

We are great. I’ll say that again… WE ARE GREAT. ❤


Oftentimes, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the very person we are that makes us amazing. We’re more than the amazing parts though… our good, our bad, our beautiful, our ugly, our worst and best habits and self…it’s all us. And well, that’s all fine! Every part of us. Stop the comparing. Stop the trash-talking about ourselves. Stop thinking we are no good and putting ourselves deeper and deeper into a pit of awfulness that leads nowhere. We only hurt ourselves. We are great and beautiful in every way we are and aren’t.

Instead of comparing, look at all those things you love about someone and be so happy and thankful for them for all their grandness. Love them to death. And the parts you don’t like about yourself or others… Have patience, stop being so harsh, and find relief and joy in the fact that we don’t and will NOT have everything perfect in life. This is life. We all have things to work on.

Be grateful and thankful for all you’ve done and became given the circumstances you were dealt in life. Nobody’s history is the same. We’ve had to do and become things through our lives, not just all because we wanted to, but because sometimes we had to. And those traits and skills we’ve developed and/or some of the downfalls we have collected in ourselves over the years are the remnants of history and battle wounds of our lives. Stop putting yourself down for things that were out of your control.

We are great. Don’t compare. Don’t trash talk anyone including yourself. Love yourself and love others to death too.