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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Being Grateful Regardless of Your Circumstance

Today is my birthday. Usually when it comes around to the day, I’m worrying and anxious about what I’ll do. How will I make it PERFECT? Who will remember? How will I spend it? Or I’ll grieve over another year lost. How much time has passed. How I haven’t yet accomplished all the things I wanted to do by this age.

But today I say, “To hell with that.”

Life is a privilege, not our right.

I’m grateful today that I made it to this age. I’m grateful for the heartbreak I experienced and the hope. I’m appreciative of both the love I lost and the ones that I’ve gained.

I can look at all the things I haven’t yet accomplished and all the reasons why I should mourn this year or I can stand in the light of love and see all the beauty I’ve been given. And I can be grateful. So I chose that. And so I am.

When you look at your own life, do you see the cracks in the concrete as well as the flowers making its way through them? How often do you say, “Thank you” for my life instead of resentful for the life you don’t have?

My birthday wish is that we all learn to stop standing in the way of our own happiness and allow the love and beauty to flow through.

Will you choose it for you?

{Taken in an art gallery in Kapaa, Kauai. The reflection inside of the photograph makes its own art.}

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Reframing Things

Every situation especially the despicable ones require a bit of readjusting if you want to get through it with as minimal damage as possible. There’s a) seeing the bright side b) seeing everything as half-empty.

Regardless of which one is true, know this: you’re life will always be happier if you embrace the first one.

It’s almost the weekend and I’m still settling my toes in the warm Hawaiian sand. But like the movie The Descendants suggests, no life is postcard perfect. Even people in Hawaii have problems too.

The choice, however is to continue facing the rainbows with the rain clouds on your back.

Sometimes reframing your perspective is the only way you can get through a difficult situation. Take exhibit A. Here’s a shimmery gold placemat, a $3 porcelain dish from Pier1 and a bowl of fresh tangerines. All pretty sweet.

But sometimes you have to change your perspective, zoom out of the situation you’re in, and open your eyes to the BIG picture. Only then you will you be able to grasp what you’re really grappling with. And thankfully, the situation often appears a lot less larger

than you imagined.

{by The Inspiring Bee}

Has reframing a situation ever helped you? How so?

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You Have Permission to Just Be

{flickr photo}

Like reptiles we shed our soft baby skins and soft, playful spirits when we leave childhood. We embrace a tougher skin and more brittle insides that we think come with adulthood.

“We’re grown-ups now,” we say to ourselves. That means no more lounging around, letting our souls dream, and watching the day roll on by the way we used to as kids.

We allow ourselves to harden the way flowers do when they’re on the their way to die. And we forget that life is about growing, not sinking into ourselves.

And why shouldn’t we?

Life gives us more than enough reason to. It takes away our loved ones, our dreams, our hope. And it does so in such an insidious, unexpected way, how can we not relinquish the playfulness and whimsy that characterized our youth, and grab onto what’s left: fear, discouragement, disappointment?

It is, but a choice.

{The rest of my post can be read on my Beliefnet Health column, “Happy Haven.”}


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How to Turn a Bad Day Into a Good One

via Pinterest

{Excuse me while I reminisce for a bit with an old SATC episode.}

Ever see the Sex and the City episode where Carrie celebrates her 35th birthday? Her friends want to throw her a small birthday bash. But they are either late or can’t find the restaurant. In the end, she’s the only bell at her ball and has to pay for her $60 b-day cake too.

Yet, at the end of the night when Mr. Big drives up with big red birthday balloons and asks how was her day, she says, “Fabulous!”

I always wondered about that scene.

That is, until now.

You see, I’ve had about 0 bad days recently.

And it’s not because I won the lottery or suddenly lost my sense of reality.

I’ve actually discovered a tool that may help you get out of the funk you’re in.

It’s all about attitude…

Attitude is a concept that parents talk to teens about.

Self-help books

and gurus too.

But I didn’t really “get” it until a few so-called “bad” days weaseled their way into my life recently.

A biopsy.

A missed doctor’s appointment I waited a month for.

But then I decided that like the white scrawls on a green chalkboard, I could

simply erase it

by changing my attitude.

I made a conscious decision.

I DECIDED that external events would not CONTROL my life.

I DECIDED that who I was was more powerful, more whole, much more significant than a few measly circumstances that would one day pass and be an unmentionable memory.

I DECIDED that I would no longer play victim.

I would be the victor.

And I would do it gloriously.

What I needed to do was


I let go of the guilt I felt for a late appointment.

I let go of the expectation I had to live a certain type of life.

I let go of the disappointment.

I instead did one thing with 3 words.

Let it be.

I gave up fueling the drama.

I gave up on the idea of perfection.

I gave up on the belief that I had control over every single aspect of my life.

And in giving up,

I gave a gift to myself.

We don’t have control over everything. Sometimes unexpected events shake us up to our very core. And we feel like we have no choices. But we do. Try telling yourself, “This doesn’t have to be a bad day. This can be the best day of my life. If I let it. If I let myself see past the inconceivable.”

It is possible.

Trust me.

What I got instead of guilt and disappointment was gratitude, laughter, connection and an opportunity to feel empowered instead of disempowered.

It was the best day I could ask for. Instead of being one of the hardest days of my life.

Can you change a bad day into a good one?

I say, “Most definitely yes!”

In fact, give me more days like that one.

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