Friday, October 19, 2012

My Message to a Little Cocoa Goddess in Training


A dear friend of mine recently requested that I write a letter to my three year old self.   I laughed and then cried at the prospect of completing such a task.  What are some of the things that I would want her to know?  I had to dive deeper than “look both ways before you cross the road” and “just say no to drugs”.  I wanted to honour what I’ve learned and offer the guidance that only my experience could provide.  This is a glimpse of what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy it.


1. Love will find you.  I promise. -  The “who, what, where, when and how” of it all won't be  necessary (at least not when you are dealing with the real, deep, inspiring, fulfilling and reciprocated kind of love that you are so deserving of.)
Don’t try to rush what promises to be good thing.
Anticipation can be like throwing away time better spent living.  Go ahead and travel, open up the doors to self-discovery, or simply enjoy moments with the people in your life who are committed to loving you right back just as you are. 
Forget what will be, what should be, and the “could be” contemplations running rampant in your mind.  Just explore what is for a while and all will be revealed in due time.

2. Some days your pants won’t fit and that’s alright - Don’t get bend out of shape about it because your true value and worth isn’t measured by the size of your jeans or the cups of your bra.  If you really want to quantify things, just ask yourself:
How full is your soul?
How many of your thoughts are positive?
How many times have you allowed faith and action to sustain you? 
How many dreams lie dormant within you and how many steps must be taken to awaken them?
Numbers like these embrace more of a one size fits all mentality.  Be cognizant of the importance to live from the inside out because later on it’s much more challenging to do things in reverse.

3. Always find time to play – Life will throw you some fast and hard curveballs. If you don’t know how to laugh and shake things off (and duck!) from time to time, you may just fall apart.  Get messy.  Giggle like a school girl.  Dance for the mirror and no one else.  Turn cartwheels if you feel so inclined.  There’s always time for recess (even a quick ten minute one) regardless of what grown-ups tell you. They could probably use a recess, too.

4. You’re enough – There will be times when you need to have a big ugly cry (that’s a guarantee) but please don’t shed a tear for what you perceive to be your own inadequacy.  I implore you!  You can’t be good at everything because everyone deserves a piece of the spotlight in this show we call "Life".
You (yes, you) are a star at so many things! 
I need you to find your niche and revel in it for a while.
Nurture your passions, grow with them and if there comes a time when it feels right to move on, heed the call with a heart of gratitude.  The world needs you, never doubt that (and ditch the naysayers that say otherwise.)  
5. Be conscious of your desires – The birthday candles that you’ll blow out and the stars that you’ll wish on from time to time hold a special kind of magic.  That magic is born from your sincere desire to make something happen.  For example, if you pray and pray for a day off from school,  you will probably get one….because you’ve contracted the flu. 
See, wishes don’t always come to fruition in the way that we expect them to, so be conscious of what you put out “there” because it’s quite plausible that you will get it.  Your beliefs will be the fuel that sets your dreams on fire. Trust me.

6. Communicate, communicate and communicate some more – Expression is your sweet spot and if you don’t share your voice, you’ll feel choked.  Later on in life it might seem like no one understands you and you may fall victim to your own pit of despair.  To avoid listening to ballads of angst and eating copious amounts of ice cream, please use your words and express your emotions clearly.  Doing so will benefit you and the people trying to decode you.  They’ll probably thank you for it.

7. Your heart will undoubtedly be broken.  Don't worry, you'll live. – It may seem like there’s not a Band-Aid big enough to protect all of the shattered pieces but you’ll recover.  I’m living proof.  I’m sitting here sending you this letter aren’t I?  Sometimes we think that our journey is meant to be shared with one specific person.  You may feel like he just “gets” you and you can’t picture your life with anyone else. 
While I hope this holds true for you, please know that you may have to kiss a few prince-like characters before you find your destined prince.  Each of them will have something to teach you about yourself.  While you learn, don't forget to stay true to yourself, respect your body and listen to your heart. (When in doubt, refer to #1 noted above!)

8. Forgive – 
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die” 
– Malachy McCourt

You may be hurt, wronged, lied to, stomped on, chewed up or spit out.  The question is where will you go from there?  Moving forward with one light overnight bag is a lot easier than moving backwards with cinderblocks in a knapsack.
If you choose to stay angry, you might be the only one suffering (especially if the source of your animosity has moved on to greener pastures).
Drop the baggage and the blame.  You’re better off without it.

9. Enrol in the School of Life – Some of your greatest lessons with come from life experience.  Not someone else’s per se, but yours.  Oh, you’ll love to read textbooks, manuals and stories but remember to step away from the pages and step into the world going on around you.  Travel to learn more about geography.  Interact with people to get a better grip on psychology.  Explore the mechanics of your body as an interactive biology lesson or just set an example you can be proud of in your quest for leadership.

You’re a beautiful little girl and a really big world awaits you.  You won’t remember everything that you accomplish, but always be mindful that you will leave an indelible mark on someone’s life and memories.  Try to make it a good one.

I love you,
Rosie.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Catch

You can go from rags to riches.
You can be the hottie that everyone wishes that they could be.
You can be the super mom that does it all, leaving everyone wondering, “How does she do it?”
You can be ANYTHING that you’re heart desires but here’s the catch….

It’s up to you to make it happen.

When it comes to bringing your ideal life into fruition, there’s no room for tales of woe-is-me or excuses stemming from your past.  
 
You own the policy on your life. 
 
We all have battle scars that we've acquired throughout our lives.  I used to look at mine as blemishes but now I treat them like badges of honour.  They prove that I’ve gone toe to toe with adversity and won.
 
Whatever hurt me didn’t break me and sometimes I need that reminder.

I recently found a list that I had written long ago of things that I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime.  After a quick scan, a smirk of satisfaction fell across my face because I could mentally check off several of the items I had noted.  As it turns out, I’ve kept my eyes on the prize (even on the most challenging of days) and because of that, I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labour.

I didn’t give up (despite the times that I wanted to).
I didn’t fall apart (even when I was walking on shaky ground).
I didn’t lose faith (even when I felt alone).

I chose to make things happen for myself and they did because I did the work, I shed the blood, I cried the tears, I whispered the prayers.  The work still continues and I'm grateful for the opportunity to dig in and exercise my free will as I see fit.

If you’re reading this and are mourning over lost opportunities, I have good news for you.  It’s not too late.

You’re not dead so there’s no reason to live a life that has no pulse.

There’s still time to make things happen for yourself.  The catch is that you have to commit to starting now.

Not tomorrow. 
Not next week. 
Not next year.  

Those timelines don't come with guarantees. What you have is now and I can’t think of a better time for any of us to start living fully, completely and with heartfelt intent.

The key to making this venture a success is to ensure that you’re doing it for you and you alone.
Living in accordance to someone else’s agenda will definitely extinguish any fire and passion that you generate along your journey.  Walking along someone else’s path only guarantees to get you lost.

 I came across a Nike ad that has helped to push me along the way and I want to share it with you:

The first step towards getting somewhere
is to decide that you are not going to stay
where you are.

 Everyone needs a reminder sometimes.  I hope that this post has been yours.

Until next time….