Poem: How Others See Me


If you asked a relative/friend/acquaintance about me, they may not say it, but inside they’d think it. To them, I am a failure because…

I am not a lawyer,

a doctor,

a primary income provider.

I talk LOUDLY when I should be soft

and TOO softly when I should be loud.

I’m rude

and inappropriate

I don’t ask

but I ask too much.

I give when I feel like it

I take unnecessarily.

But inwardly and quietly

my soul sits knowingly.

For all they see is the external me,

and that’s unfortunate

because though I may burp aloud,

curse under my breath

sing and shout


I feel wholeheartedly

I hurt exquisitely

I give sincerely

And I am me,

flawed, untraditional, impolite, but

authentically me.

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It’s Not About Finding Your Purpose

Accepting who you are warts and all

When I started this blogging journey, it was all about my writing. I wanted a place to pursue my passion. I wanted an arena to showcase my work and a venting spot to unleash my unexpressed writing dream. Since then, I’ve moved to Hawaii, bought a house, suffered from a few chronic illnesses and had a baby. Through it all, I realized the journey has molded my intention rather than the other way around. Instead of a place to inspire creativity and to get more writing gigs, it opened up my soul. It’s not just about finding our purpose or living our dreams. It’s about loving your life and finding a way to accept wherever we are in the process. It’s about self-acceptance. Patience. Faith. And courage.

I realized this because I found myself getting too attached to external circumstances. How many people were viewing my blog? How many freelance writing jobs was I getting? Was my work good enough?

Understandable questions to ask when striving for freelance writing success. But it was the meaning I placed on professional achievement and positive feedback that was wonky. Success, attention, like Lady Gaga’s new song, Applause, should not equal self-worth.

Doing well in your profession is important. Never giving up on your dreams is important. But more than anything else, our goal in life should be to find ways to love our self.

Basing who you are and your value on feedback from others or from success will inevitably deplete you. What nourishes our soul, what we’re really looking for, isn’t temporary validation through external sources. What lasts longer than a complement is the belief that regardless of what we accomplish, our lives mean something.

And that doesn’t have to mean BIG, grand, dramatic things. Just because your neighbor, a Facebook friend or a relative has done something so fabulous it leaves your life seem boring and worthless in comparison, doesn’t mean your less valuable than them. Just because you haven’t found “it” yet (great job, relationship, etc.), doesn’t mean you should walk around with your head down and your voice squelched.

It’s not about what you do that matters. You matter because you are here.

The secret is not in uncovering what will make us shine. The secret is that we don’t know we’re worthy of shining.

If we could all take that in on a deep level, the world would be a kinder, more loving, compassionate place to live. When we’re not trying to convince others of our worthiness, we’re ourselves. Being authentically you and feeling good in your own skin are the ways to happiness.

And your true calling?

It will find you on that path.

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Finding Your Way

Life begins when you accept who you are
Bumps and lumps and all

When where you are isn’t where you would have chosen
Nor is it where you might expect to be

But in that puddle you splash and observe
You see WONDER where a mess could be

Because deep down low or way high above
Is a bigger picture of patience, faith, courage and most of all


And you’ll get there soon

just where you’ve been dreaming of:

By finding the flower amongst the weeds

Riding the wave
Not fighting the sea

Embracing the moment

Choosing joy, HoPe and love

And someday soon, when the toughest of the storms

recedes into the past,

(and it shall pass)

you’ll m-a-r-v-e-l at how far you’ve come.

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Transformation is one of those words that sounds easier and loftier than change. The latter often beckons its listeners to hide, avoid or escape. Why is change so scary, but transformation seem as elegant as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly?

I think because all of us innately know transformation is necessary in order to truly live. Change sounds force upon us by something beyond our control. One is our humanely right. The other something to fear.

Truthfully, however, we need both to wake up to our lives.

Change can inspire transformation. An external event, an illness, a loss, even a positive experience like marriage or a new baby can force our hand. What we thought we knew no longer applies. Some people embrace this change. Others fear it.

I tend to fall into both categories. Initially I go into panic mode when change arrives. But by quickly submerging myself into whatever newness is taking place, I find peace in acceptance and surrendering. Through life’s greatest challenges, I realized I can either resist and cause myself more suffering or I can learn how to ride the wave of unexpectedness and allow whatever is happening to transform me. Doing so has always given me the greatest lessons.

Recently, for example, I kept running into an annoying problem without any solution in site. How do you resolve a reoccurring conflict? One way to automatically fail is to continue to do what you have been doing and expect a different scenario.

In order to change the situation and break free from it, you need to reach in deep and do something that makes you a bit uncomfortable, sweat a little and do what doesn’t always feel natural. I learned I can either take this challenge as an annoyance that is “happening to me” or I can think of it as a lesson “happening for me.” That tiny shift in perspective ended up being a HUGE insight to me! I quickly learned the lesson wasn’t to feed my ego, defend myself, or manipulate the situation. What I needed to do was be vulnerable, be honest, and communicate in a way that was 1) respectful 2) genuine 3) filled with integrity.

Sometimes we get bogged down in proving ourselves because of low self-esteem, a critical environment or a traumatic childhood. Automatically we feel the need to justify and defend every decision we make. But if we step out of that and trust our true selves we remember that nothing other people say or think matters as much as how we view and think about ourselves.

How to Transform Your Life

Transformation takes courage, discipline and a lot of patience. But it can start out small. Interestingly, you can start by changing your external circumstances. For example, start noticing your home, your workplace, your physical environment. Is there anything you can do to make things more pleasant for yourself? Decluttering, organizing, donating items that no longer serve their purpose. These things seem superficial. But look at something that bothers you every day is like a paper cut. Seemingly benign, but it cuts at you over time.

Life coach Martha Beck says she notices when clients change their outward appearance, there’s often an internal change. I think you can also begin to start small by changing your physical environment or appearance to initiate change in your life.

Eventually you will gain the confidence to create consistent change in your life and that will begin the journey toward life-long transformation…

Kitchen Reno

Our kitchen before.

{Our kitchen in process...}

{Our kitchen in process…}

{Almost there.}
{Almost there.}

{Nearly done.}

{Nearly done.}

white cabinets with chicken wire

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Put to Bed the Fighter

{Etsy decal by 60SecondMakeover}

{Etsy decal by 60SecondMakeover}

why it’s good to be a fighter…

I was born a fighter. I think I must have came out of the womb with gloves on. Well except that I was delivered via C-section so maybe I wasn’t quite ready.

I carried this mindset my entire life. It dictated my academics and shot me up from a C-average student to a straight-A’s one.

What that’s led to is a lot of great opportunities and surprising successes. And just as surprising failures.

What I’ve learned in looking back is that it’s not always the fight that wins the battle, but the letting go, surrendering and accepting what is. It’s a great thing to be a fighter. You need someone in your corner to fight for your dreams, to stand up for what’s right, to make a difference. But you need a listener to propel you into the life you were meant to live.

leaning into what is…

When you have an innately fighting personality, you believe with 100% certainty that you can control everything. Your body may be tired. Your soul may be fatigued. But your mind says, “Keep going!” And you listen. What happens over time is that you stop communicating with your intuitive voice. You live on adrenaline to keep going. Eventually, you run on empty and get sick.

It’s the same thing with living your life. I think being a straight A-student gave me the false impression that if I only work really hard, I could get everything I wanted right away. I forgot about ambiguity, faith, the unknown. I forgot about trust.

When you fill up every single space of “what if,” you leave little room for things like magic, mystery, serendipity.

It’s not wrong to go for what you believe in. But you won’t get to your dreams by going on your own. Don’t let your mind drive you all the time. Sharpen your intuition by trusting your instincts and allow your soul to guide you.

The struggle isn’t always the fight. Sometimes it’s about settling in softly into the present moment of the unknown and having the courage to walk patiently without answers, without solutions to your current problem and just be.


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Keep Hope In Your Pocket

{Etsy print by JCSpock}

{Etsy print by JCSpock}

I admit I spend too much time worrying about the things that don’t end up even happening in my life. I worry about wasting time, but much of it is spent obsessing over the illnesses I have and the opportunities I don’t have.

Last night, however, I dreamed about possibility, hope and miracles. In it, I was told that everything we think we know about life is just the surface of what’s true. We grieve and bemoan our situation, for example, because we think it’s permanent. We allow logic to override miracle. We’ve grown too accustomed to computers and smartphones that tell us what is true instead of figuring it out for ourselves. And the weather? Trust your forecaster or Siri instead of just popping your head out the window.

As a result, intuition falls to the wayside. Hope no longer exists unless we have evidence to prove it.

Because something seems impossible or improbable we give up. But the whole notion of faith and miracle is dreaming up the impossible. If so, what we believe can be true is delivered to us on a platter.

Sounds easy, but the real struggle is challenging our old and jaded minds. We have to fight the fear of being vulnerable, being wrong, being disappointed.

We knew this as children. Every thing we absorbed then was magical. Do you remember it? But we let the pain and suffering of growing up wound us. Some allow it to wound them permanently.

If we can strip away the negativity, the paranoia, the obsessive need to know in this moment, we might return to that place of innocence, hope and joy. Instead of searching intently for a way to rid of your current ailment, let’s spend a moment in prayer and acceptance for what is so that we may lay open a door to possibility that everything. is. okay.

You won’t get that from the internet, a friend, your spouse, a sibling, or even a doctor. When you sit quietly or stand in the middle of nature, however, you will know it.

Do what you can with what you have and then surrender it and let it be. Life will happen regardless of how much you try to control it. But within those seemingly confining boundaries, there is and always will be hope. Trust in it. Hope is the armor of courage best used in battle. It will carry you through sleepless nights of worry, distrust, and panic. It is the only thing besides love that will help you through the unknown. And when you’ve landed safely on the other side, remember it. Remember that there is always a ray of light upon you just as you look back toward the shadows. It matters not what you go through, but where you’re focusing.

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