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34 years…34 life-changing moments

34 life-changing moments

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
Aldous Huxley

There’s something about getting older that brings about reflection. Today I celebrate my 34th birthday and I decided to reflect on 34 life-changing moments that played a major role in my development and who I am. I firmly believe every experience whether good or bad molds us into our best selves. Everyday I’m learning to appreciate every moment.

1. The moment I was born.
2. The moments I didn’t have a care in the world.
3. The moment I was introduced to God.
4. The moment I knew I could have it all.
5. The moments I walked across those stages.
6. The moments I doubted my existence.
7. The moments I wanted to give up.
8. The moments I gave up, made me better.
9. The moments I thought I knew it all.
10. The moment I wanted to end it all.
11. The moment when I realized that God’s plans for me were bigger than I could ever imagine.
12. The moment when I decided to just be myself
13. The moment when I realized that no one could stop me but me.
14. The moment when what used to matter to me really didn’t matter anymore
15. The moment I stopped comparing myself to others because who they are isn’t what it’s cracked up to be anyway.
16. The moment I was heart broken.
17. The moment I embraced my individuality.
18. The moment I let go of my past hurts because it’s not worth holding on to.
19. The many moments I made mistakes.
20. The moment I embraced the process.
21. The moment I started praying extravagant prayers.
22. The moment God heard me.
23. The moment I got fired.
24. The moment I knew my worth.
25. The moment I felt good enough.
26. The moment I realized happiness was tied to people, but joy was found within myself.
27. The moment I experienced real love and said yes.
28. The moment I knew motherhood was one of the toughest yet rewarding jobs I will ever have.
29. The moment I started this blog.
30. The moment I walked in faith.
31. The moment I felt fulfilled.
32. The moment I discovered my purpose.
33. The moment I jumped.
34. The moment I started living my dreams.

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Don’t limit your exposure.

exposure

What is a Spark?

 A spark is your passion, something that excites or ignites you. A person’s spark can be a quality, career, or talent. Some people have the ability to find their spark early in life. For example, many singers when asked knew they wanted to be professional singers very early in life, and worked hard to perfect their craft for many years.

 My Spark

 Every Halloween for three years I wanted to be a doctor, when I was in high school I wanted to open a daycare center, as a freshman in college I started out as a Marketing major, and I ended my undergraduate career with a degree in Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising.

 One day I sat in a development meeting at work listening to a couple of guys discuss the type of work they did and suddenly I felt my spark. I was suddenly ignited with passion to pursue something I hadn’t thought about in years. I went around and around to end up right back to my original passion, which was marketing! I went back to school and received my MBA with a Marketing concentration…. Whew! If it wasn’t for exposure I might have missed it all together or delayed my passion even longer.

 For many of us such as myself our spark has to come through exposure. 

 “It is only when the mind and imagination are enriched from exposure to the world of beauty, that artistic creativity and inspiration truly becomes manifest.”

― Mark Woollacott

 Your Spark 

 To find your spark you have to expose the wire.

What’s your wire?

What would cause your life to spark if you exposed it?

Is there something inside of you in which you have forgotten about that could change your life?

 I realized that most people are underexposed. We tend to get into our circles and we stay right they’re nervous to branch out into the unknown.

I want to challenge you this week.

 The Challenge

 1. Follow 5 new people on Twitter that have interests similar to yours outside of your comfort zone or like 5 new pages on Facebook.

 2. Find one new musical artist outside of your normal genre to listen to.

 3. Read, Read, Read articles, blogs, newspapers, magazines etc.

 4. Sign up to attend a local conference or networking event.

 This is also a perfect time to assist our children in finding their sparks. Expose your child to multiple experiences and opportunities to widen their view.

How will you enhance your exposure and find your spark? If you’ve already found your spark, how did you do it? Leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you.

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The problem with being the perfect parent

photo(1)“Perfect people lead to having perfect kids which make the perfect people perfect parents with a perfect life but in reality it puts plenty of profuse pressure on people.” –LaChaya D. Terry

Who told me I had to be a perfect mother? Sure weren’t my two girls! Did my husband tell me? Nope! Did my mother tell me she was a perfect mother and I should be one too? Nope!

I have come to the realization that I have put unrealistic expectations on my children and myself to be perfect, and it’s pretty stressful. When you start out at perfect what else is there to strive for and how much further up can you go?

1. “You don’t have to be perfect to be “the” perfect parent for your kids.” Parents make mistakes, fly off the handle, lose their patience, forget about a school trip, or lose a favorite toy. Don’t beat yourself up! Start new and fresh, learn from each opportunity, and make the necessary changes.

2. “Perfect can be dangerous.” I want to raise well-rounded children that aren’t afraid to mess up or to fail, but can dust themselves off, get back up, and not be afraid to try again. I’ve witnessed too many adults who never experienced disappointment until adulthood and it rocked them to the core.

3. “Don’t have comparisonitis” Your parenting style might not be the same as your family member, co-worker, or friend. Do what works best for your household and family!

4. “Kids will be kids” They will fight, cry, kick, scream, embarrass you, make you late, sleep in your bed, lose things, forget things, forget to use the potty, make bad decisions, giggle too much in class, like the wrong boy, say they hate you. IT’S ALL RIGHT! Be “their” perfect parent and not “the” perfect parent…love, hug, kiss, and embrace them for who they are, cherish every moment you have. They love you and you love them and it’s all that matters.

Before you know it they will grow up and strive to be perfect people with perfect kids being the perfect parents having the perfect life putting plenty of profuse pressure on them. Don’t pass it on.

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What’s the lesson here? Finding hope in your journey.

photoFor me one of the most awkward things in life is to be driving in a car and I have no idea where I am going. The GPS has the directions but it has this awkward silence sort of thing going on, and I’m wondering where the heck am I and really hoping it says something soon, because I don’t know any who enjoys being lost. At every intersection I am looking at the signs to see if it’s my turn or thinking am I headed in the right direction?? Isn’t that sort of how following your dreams are, you go down different streets praying you are going in the right direction, at every point in your journey you are anticipating each turn, because the last thing you want to do is to have to turn around and start all over again.

As much as I would like to fast forward through life to experience success and realize my dreams, I have to learn to appreciate the ride. Enjoy each level, because each level comes with a lesson, and I will need those lessons later in my journey. It’s ok to anticipate, because anticipation can be an anecdote to fear. If you anticipate certain things that come along with chasing your dreams or success, there is no room for fear, and when you anticipate those things you can be prepared.

I don’t know one person that would say they enjoy pain, heartache, disappointment, rejection, haters, frustration, setbacks, and failure. Without these negative feelings, I wouldn’t have experienced positive ones like resiliency, appreciation, faith, trust, confirmation, and flexibility.  As I look back on different situations I have experienced throughout my life and in my career, I can honestly say I appreciate the journey and understand the lesson. If I could go back there would many things I would choose to change, but many I wouldn’t because the lessons have been so beneficial.

Life is a road trip not a one-stop destination. Take the trip and enjoy the journey.

What life lessons have your journey taught you?

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Thank you for telling me no

Whether you are 5 or 45, hearing no can be disappointing. As hard as some no’s can be, a no can also be a safety net. I have experienced many disappointments in relationships, my career, and through everyday life. Although disappointments can be hard, I can honestly say I am “thankful for the no’s”. 

Years ago, while working at my first job after college at a staffing agency, I experienced my first adult disappointment. This position wasn’t my ideal job, but I was content where I was. After working there for two years, I was let go, and boy was I disappointed. I hadn’t planned on retiring from the company, but I also didn’t plan on leaving so abruptly. I didn’t realize it at first, but that was a great place to insert a “thank you”. If I stayed in that position any longer I would have been off track from the larger plan set for me. Do you know how many passions or gifts were birthed out of disappointment? 

As an adult, here are three things “no” can mean: 

1. Not yet
2. Not for you
3. A safety net to save you from making a wrong move 

Parents hate telling their children no! We all like to see our children happy and satisfied, but unfortunately there are times we have to tell them no. Those reasons could be to protect them or to build character. 

Here are some healthy reasons for telling your child no: 

1. For their safety 
2. For their health 
3. For their behavior 
4. To teach them patience, boundaries, sacrifice, and discipline. 

Could those same reasons to protect or teach a child, be similar experiences to why an adult is told no in various areas of life? As adults let’s try not be like my two-year old and throw a tantrum when we experience being told no through closed doors or disappointment. Realize it’s an opportunity for building character and say “Thank you for telling me no!”

L.T.  

32 in 32: Be Yourself

The younger I get (in my mind) 🙂 the more reflective I become, and I thought what better way to kick off my birthday month than by dedicating my posts for the next few weeks to life lessons. The 32 in 32 series will focus on 32 lessons I have learned throughout my 32 years here on earth, some learned easily and others the hard way. I hope you will join me on this journey of reflection and are motivated, pushed, and changed.

Photo Credit: (keepcalmandposters.com)

Lesson #1: Be Yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was a kid I was always told “BE YOURSELF”, be a leaders and not follower”,” if your friend jumped off the bridge would you do it too?”.  It was the ultimate goal of my parents to raise a responsible child that would not be influenced by her surroundings. When I was 14, I had an adult family member tease me because I spoke properly and I remember from that day on trying to alter the way I spoke because I wanted to fit in and didn’t want to take the risk of high school friends teasing me also. As I look back, I’m not afraid to say “That was stupid!” talking proper has taken me further in life than speaking slang ever has! After observing many types of people and personalities , the ones that are most successful and free are those who aren’t afraid to be themselves.

At “almost” 32 “Be Yourself” has a totally different meaning to me. In order to be myself I have to first know:

Who I am?

Where I came from?

Where I’m going?

Whose I am?

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
― Aristotle

I don’t recall ever having to ask myself these questions in elementary school when I was thinking about whether or not to talk in class when I knew I shouldn’t. Once I understand these things I can truly be myself , choose my own path, raise my family with methods I am comfortable with, and live by the standards I accept. As an adult you grow up, but if you are not careful and don’t truly know yourself you will begin to either be jealous or follow someone else’s plan for your life.

Learning to be yourself isn’t just a lesson you learn as a child, but a lesson you must continuously learn throughout life.

How have you learned or are learning to be yourself? I would love to hear from you!