Tag Archives: connection

Thank You Veterans!

photo (28)

Every year our hometown has a Memorial Day parade.  This town, this place we have set down roots.  We all come together.  I love this parade.  All of the hometown pride lining up on the sides of the parade route.  I love seeing all the red, white and blue shirts.  The children waving their American Flags.  The families gathered together in tradition.  The men, women and children of my town marching to support our Veterans.  My heart swells with emotion every year as the older Vets from the VFW and American Legion make their way past us…

My heart is grateful to the men and women who have sacrificed for this beautiful country.  And for the men and women who continue to serve.  Thank you from the bottom of my pride filled heart.  May God Bless You All!

A Glimpse on Being Human: The Mom Edition

Being Human

Yesterday gave me the opportunity to reflect on my relationship with my mom. The majority of my life I viewed her as simply “my mom.” Not until I was married with a baby of my own did I finally get a glimpse into all the parts of my mom that I never really saw before.

I have realized over the years that my mom is very much human. She feels deeply. She’s sensitive. A trait that I have inherited 100%. She’s stronger than I ever believed, facing life’s hard truths and often putting on a very brave face. She’s faced an illness that has no cure with her chin up when I’m sure there are times she wants to give up instead. She loves my dad…a lot. She is as crafty as they come. She’ll kick your ass in a game of scrabble. She’ll give you her opinion whether you ask or not. If she doesn’t like you it’s obvious. If you cross her she has no problem kicking you out of her circle without a goodbye. She tries new things…climbing into a kayak for the first time at 64. Getting her first tattoo a few years ago. Sometimes she struggles with the past.

We fought a lot when I was a bratty teenager. We laugh about it now. I never realized that the sound of my hairspray and the sticky residue it left behind on the bathroom door drove her nearly insane by the time I moved out. Or how the spoons with remnants of peanut butter on them left in my room could have possibly invited a tribe of ants into our house. Wasn’t she just being dramatic? My head would surely turn 360 degrees on my neck if I found an old moldy hard roll under one of my kid’s beds which is exactly what my mom found in mine once.

Through all these ups and downs of our mother/daughter relationship I do know these things for sure: I know that she never stopped being my biggest cheerleader. I have saved texts that she sent me telling me how talented I am and how I deserve better then I got from people who didn’t appreciate my kindness. She saved my home made gifts. She still has the bean necklace I made her in kindergarten. And the note I wrote the tooth fairy in first grade when my tooth fell out of my lunch box on the way home from school. She loves my husband and my children with all of her heart. She drops everything when I need her – no matter the time or place.

I’m still bratty sometimes. Aren’t we all? I still get short with my mom on occasion. I don’t think that makes me a bad daughter. I think it makes me human. I try not to take for granted the fact that I have my mom by my side and unfortunately know that it won’t be forever. I’m thankful for growing up the way that I have with my mom only a phone call away. Not everyone is as fortunate.   I hope as my kids grow they realize that I too am human. And for the many faults that I do have – there are just as many good parts. I save the home made gifts. I fight because I love them. I drop everything when they need me. I love their dad…a lot. And truth be told – I’m pretty good at scrabble.

I’m still growing as a mom…and especially as a human. I don’t always do the right things. I don’t always earn the blue ribbon. Recognizing the good parts and the not so good parts in others but more importantly in ourselves is a positive step in growth. With growth comes understanding. I think that’s something we all need a little more of.

When Friendship Changes

sunrise

I have been so fortunate in all the phases of my life to be surrounded by wonderful friends.  They’re not always the same friends but every phase brought new people into my life.  Some of those friendships didn’t last long – a few months, maybe a year or so but I learned that the universe places people in your life at certain times because you need them.

Our bonds that connect us with other people are often immediate but not always meant for the long haul.  It has taken me a long time to not look at that as something negative.  Why doesn’t everyone stay forever?  In most instances for me we just grew in different directions.  More often than not there was never an unkind word – just time that nudged us slowly on to different paths.  I used to be sad about this.  My feelings genuinely hurt when new people took my space in someone else’s life – slowly edging me out.  Never acknowledging that over time I also have been that person who has taken up someone else’s space.

I am so grateful for the people who have come into my life.  They’ve shared experiences – the good and the not so good – with me.  They’ve helped me learn new things.  They’ve shared their knowledge, their support, and most importantly themselves.  Some have stayed and remain in my core group and some have drifted away.

I’m not sure if as I get older I am just more introspective or maybe with age finally comes a level of maturity when it comes to friendship but I am genuinely happy and thankful for the people who have come and gone in my life.  I don’t want to waste another minute feeling broken over lost ties.  Friendships change and sometimes fade away.  That doesn’t lessen the experiences and the growth that particular friendship brought to our lives. I feel richer for having had these experiences.

Our bonds with other human beings help us all feel connected to something that is bigger than ourselves. Keeping an open heart on the changes and growth in friendship for me has been the key to remaining positive.

 

One Little Word and Connection…It’s a Beautiful Thing.

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued – when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~Brene Brown, PHD, LMSW

I discovered the One Little Word online course created by Ali Edwards back in 2011.  In the memory preservation community Ali Edwards is a pioneer.  I remember Ali from years ago when I first began scrapbooking.  It was a blessing to reconnect with Ali via the One Little Word (OLW) course.

OLW is a year long prompt based course.  To describe this class in simple terms is difficult.  The basic concept is to choose a word (or often let the word choose you) and focus on that word for the entire year.  Through gentle guidance from Ali and her monthly prompts you will invite new experiences, emotions and light into your life while also making decisions on what’s not working and needs to be changed.  Talk about feeling the feels….this is it folks.

This course has been so much more for me.  First let’s discuss Ali.  Although we have never met in person she has a way of making you feel like you’ve been friends for years.  She is so genuine.  Her videos have such a down to earth vibe that you literally cannot wait until the next month.  She is your biggest cheerleader and a constant presence in the private Facebook Group.

Ah…the Facebook Group.  This is where a ton of connection magic happens.  Like                 Brene’ Brown’s quote states  “…give and receive without judgment.”  This group is the most supportive, positive bunch of ladies I have ever had the privilege to associate with.  I have never been surrounded by so many women who seriously just want you to succeed.  Having a bad day?  Someone will post a quote that you can surely relate to.  There are over 2500 members to this private group.  If you have a question, post it – you’ll have 25 answers in less then an hour.

Last year I had the pleasure of organizing a snail mail pen pal group.  We had over 200 ladies paired up to share the process of their OLW journeys.  I made wonderful connections with many of these ladies.  They were so happy to share themselves with each other through letters and small packages.

In addition to pen pals many of us follow each other on Instagram.  I have met amazing new friends through OLW and Instagram.  Many of these women are just like me – moms, wives, sisters, friends – but they are so open and willing to help you achieve your goals – it’s absolutely mind blowing.  Many of us joke that if we could just live in the OLW community how much easier life would be.  There is an ease to being brave, open and vulnerable in this environment of positivity.  The funny thing is that you take those vulnerabilities and you bring them back to your “real” life and you are braver.  You are fearless in achieving your goals because how can you fail with over 2500 ladies in your corner.

Snow Heart

Here’s the kicker…this community would not exist if Ali Edwards decided to keep her OLW project to herself.  She could have just chose her word each year and kept it to herself.  But she didn’t.  She was brave.  She was vulnerable.  She connected with women just like her.  And most important….she shared herself with all of us.  I will be forever grateful for this course.  It has truly changed my life for the better.  My heart has opened wider.  I am brave with a big ole’ capital B.  I’ve welcomed new friends from all over the world into my life.  But the best part of all is that I am a better me. I feel the feels on the daily.  I am strong in spirit and my soul is happy.

Connection is one of the most vital aspects to not only surviving but thriving in the sea of life’s ups and downs.  It is so very important to share and be open to one another.  I hope you feel a connection here at Soul-Positive.  I’m rooting for you!  I’m in your corner.

xoxo