Tag Archives: transform

The Year to Engage

February 28, 2014

Each year, my bestie Sherri (a.k.a. S.M. Hutchins) spends an intense amount of pondering and brainstorming in December to figure out her word for the year to come. Read what she chose this year—it’s bold and may inspire you.

In true sisterhood, I also get roped into (kidding) a lot of pondering and brainstorming. In fact, I have happily “played along” the last few years and selected a word of my own. 2012 was (wait for it) hope, hence the unveiling of “The World Needs Hope” in print and this blog. If you have been part of this journey since the beginning, you know that hope is also my life word.

In 2013, I chose transform. And I lived up to it in a big way, transforming my living situation by selling my home of seven years, dispersing virtually all of my worldly possessions, venturing to several countries abroad and truly owning my space as a freelance writer. I manifested amazing things in my life, my consciousness and my social circles.

This year, I could have posted my word and my intentions in January. However, that was a time of reflection related to my father, as you likely know. So, I “kicked the tires” on my word through February and can emerge on the other side totally committed to it. Drum roll . . . my word for 2014 is engage.

This is the year to engage. I want to do so in at least the following ways:

  • Engage in optimal physical conditioning, so that my body reflects my strong spirit
  • Engage in mindful nutrition that honors my being, especially with sensitivities in mind
  • Engage in closer friendships in an intimate circle, making time for meaningful connection
  • Engage in further developing my empathy and intuition, which serve me and others well
  • Engage in greater service to my fellow human beings, from church to grief to mentoring
  • Engage in opening fully and freely to the possibility of love, and the reality of a true partner
  • Engage in new adventures locally, nationally and globally, focusing on experiential presence
  • Engage in more consistent family time, especially with my adorable niece and nephews
  • Engage in writing that inspires, challenges and guides me and you to higher wisdom
  • Engage in giving spontaneously without expectation, so that I may spark others by example

Of course, I also intend to engage in quality ways with my clients, engage in enhancing money management skills and, most importantly, engage in noticing life in more detail (see photo below taken outside one of my favorite healthy restaurants . . . I paused and saw so much vibrance, clarity and balance that it made me smile). The key is to pick a word that you can truly embrace, one that you can use to gauge progress and push you to break boundaries.

So, what word will you choose? I would love to know and “engage” with you in discussion.


Just Keep Chuckling

December 17, 2013

Hope is laughter. I say it often, even to my reflection in the mirror when I’m scowling over a chaotic day or realizing that the white hair sticking straight up off my head is not just bleached by the sun . . . or that it has friends hiding elsewhere in my locks. Yep, hardy har nature.

So, for sanity and humility, I have been keeping track of silly moments and how they can be transformed into fuel for hope. Here is the most recent highlight reel:

  • Pulling my laptop case out of my luggage and realizing that it freed every scrap of note paper I used on the plane, which all go sailing into the chilly wind . . . Hopeful part: seeing my dear friend (preggers, mind you) was swift enough to catch them with her foot. Brava!
  • Calling my bestie out of habit one night and remembering that it’s two hours ahead there . . . Hopeful part: she picked up anyway and had great news to share. Yeah synchronicity!
  • Reaching up to click the garage door opener on my car visor and remembering I don’t have one . . . Hopeful part: my old house has a new family celebrating their first Christmas in it.
  • Typing my password into WordPress to write this blog and realizing I was using credentials for another site entirely . . . Hopeful part: it reminded me to be present in the moment.
  • Writing a Madlib for my niece while explaining that “pink,” “princess” and “fly” can only be used once for each story . . . Hopeful part: she knew how to play with language well enough to make me giggle with “purply pink,” “prince” and “flying.” I can’t argue with creativity.
  • For the thousandth time, mistakenly telling the theatre ticket taker, “You too” after he said, “Enjoy the show” . . . Hopeful part: He said, “I absolutely will but you let me know how it is.”
  • Entering a conference call number and wondering why no one was calling in, only to recall that I was the host . . . Hopeful part: Technology allows for a speedy recovery.
  • Zipping to the coffee shop a few miles north of me without checking directions for my meeting, only to realize it was a mile south of my casa . . . Hopeful part: I got to hear my fave song on the radio.
  • Putting on a shirt inside out and walking out the door . . . Hopeful part: apparently I’m so out of touch with teen fashion that I’m, like, way trendy (purely by accident).

Pretty much, every day presents a chance to laugh at yourself, roll your eyes playfully at life or stop taking the little bumps too seriously. I welcome comments on your moments of laughter that inspired hope.

And, in honor of my wee nephew’s first birthday, here is a funny stache his sister “helped” him with that I pray makes him laugh . . . hopefully, someday.

Hope is Laughter - Stache

Transforming Trial into Triumph

March 25, 2013

You will face trials in your life. Notice I didn’t say “may” or “could,” but “will.” You will be tested, emotionally and spiritually. You will question the world, your choices and yourself. Whether you are ready to believe it or not, these things are all gifts.

Like the brightest metals and gems, you will discover your radiant light by polishing your perseverance. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Trials are part of living in this world and, I believe, sometimes just the nudge we need to grow in character. For it is through trials that we test, define and expand our character. Like a muscle, perseverance takes flexing.

Now, knowing there will be trials does not mean that we have to apathetically face illness, loss or change. Constructive trials, while they may not appear so at the time, provide a “moment of impact” when we are acutely awake to what we want, deserve and desire to be. That’s where the gifts come in—clarity of values, shaking off complacency and a deep passion to discover your true purpose, to name a few.

At first, you may see a trial as a hurdle, a wall or a fog. That’s alright. Here are a few suggestions for transforming trial into triumph:

  1. Lean into the emotion, journal about it, and look to friends or a group for support (there is no shame in needing help . . . we all do)
  2. Shift your focus toward all that you have to offer this world (your talents, your dreams, your spiritual gifts and your light)
  3. Any time a negative, bitter or doubting thought enters, swap it for gratitude (you have the ability to steer your perspective from degrading to upgrading)
  4. Stay active in productive tasks, like resume updates, networking, reading about new opportunities, working out (even the smallest steps can be celebrated)
  5. Give to others (volunteering and acts of kindness enrich your confidence, sense of worth and optimism as much as they do the people you help)
  6. As the emotion settles, revisit the trial to recognize the blessings in it (list the ways it frees you and motivates you)
  7. Share your story of triumph with others, using positive language and values that reflect your new outlook (it will solidify it in your mind and, perhaps, spark others)

If you just thought to yourself, “That sounds great for someone else, but I can’t just let go of my trial.” then it’s time to have a tough conversation with yourself. It may feel easier to secretly hold onto the trial than to work at transforming your life from within. It’s actually not. Imagine trying to hold back the flood of a waterfall with a sieve.

Taken while hiking just outside Portland, OR

When you surrender to that which you cannot change and let the positive transformation wash over you, it can be as refreshing and invigorating as this waterfall. Having hope and embracing change can move you from self-pity to self-confidence and your journey from worry to wonder. A fresh start awaits you.