Don’t Be Afraid To Live

Why is it we are programed to believe that what during the course of our lives that we are to strive toward a picture perfect life?  That we are to try and minimize our mistakes and try and come up with every possible solution before we make a decision?  But the truth is there is no such thing as a picture perfect life.  There is no such thing as perfection.  We all make mistakes, but its what we learn from these mistakes that truly makes us who we are.  It’s having to pick yourself up off the floor and dust yourself off that you really learn what you are made of, what you stand for and what matters to you most.  When we try to live our lives and not make waves - are we really living our lives or playing it safe?  We are all gonna love, disappoint and hurt people in our lives and the same is gonna be done to you.  Life is full of surprises and sometimes life just plain stinks cause it has been known to kick you when you are down and force you to hit rock bottom just to make sure you have learned your lesson.  But its when you have taken all the punches life has to give you - and you can look at life and smile and say “It’s gonna take a whole lot more than that to keep me down!!!”   

Sometimes we need to fall down to realize how high we can go, sometimes we need to sleep before we truly know what it is to be awake, sometimes we need to break before we can be grateful for being whole, sometimes we need to quit in order to find real victory, and sometimes we need to let go, in order for the pieces of your life to finally come together.  The only person who can change your life is you.  It took me a while before I really understood that I am responsible for me.  That my choices are my own and that as pathetic or as amazing as my life is - it is my own.  So I’m learning to live my life, and not sit on the sidelines.  How about you?  My new motto is live your life hard with no regrets.  And I’ve stopped trying to be perfect and not make mistakes cause I wouldn’t be half the person I am today had I not been knocked down as many times as I have.  So don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid to not live. 

Till next time,

Lisa

Eat, Pray and Love

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the movie Eat, Pray, Love again with some special girlfriends who I love dearly.  I love this movie and it holds a special place in my heart as the book inspired me to follow in Elizabeth Gilbert's footsteps.  I too had just gone through an ugly divorce and was struggling to feel something again and I decided to do something for me, something I had always wanted to do in an effort to somehow learn to forgive myself, to find myself and to feel something - anything but the deadness that had moved into my heart.

So I went to Italy, by myself for 3 weeks and I have to say that place is truly magical to me as well.  The people, the lifestyle, the passion for living and loving is just nothing I had ever come close to experiencing.  I truly believe they have found the secret to life - to live well, to love with all your heart and to treasure your family.  Somehow here in the US, we seem to loose sight of what is so clear to them over there.  I had spent my entire life building a life instead of living my life.  I was constantly at battle with myself over everything.  Always trying to find some imperfect perfection that could never be achieved. Perfection to the Italians is something they use to describe a meal not something they try to measure themselves by.  They don't live their lives trying to control things actual they seem to embrace even the simplest of things and they do it with flair and style.

I learned to surrender, to stop fighting, to stop pushing myself so damn hard.  I FINALLY realized that beating myself up my whole life had got me nowhere.... the only place it had brought me to was some serious unhappiness.  One small decision after another, more unhappiness and yet a little more. Italy showed me that you can find happiness in a strangers smile.  Happiness can be talking to your best friend, happiness can be in an embrace, happiness does not have to be complicated.  Happiness isn't perfect.  Happiness is a mindset.  You get to chose who you are.  You get to chose how you show up.  You get to chose who you love.  You get to chose how you live your live.  This actually reminds me of a quote from the book: "There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
— Elizabeth Gilbert

So I'm here to tell you first hand, nothing beats living your life full of passion, love and being the person you are.  Stop trying to be someone who you are not, stop trying to be someone who others expect you to be, stop trying to please everyone else, just be the you who you truly are and you will discover that life has some of the most incredible gifts if you are open to accepting them.

Till next time,

Lisa

Expectations - Theirs or Yours?

We all have expectations of how things should be.  We all have expectations of what we want out of life or even out of just today.  But the question than comes up when you let other people influence your expectations - who’s expectations are they theirs or yours?  When you fail to reach another’s expectations does it make it any easier or harder on you?  And then what happens to what you want, to your expectations?  Do they get lost? Pushed aside? Forgotten?  

All too often we get consumed with trying to please other people, that we forget to learn to please ourself.  If you are a people pleaser like me, I have a hard time remembering that I matter, that what I want counts more than another’s.  It took me a long, long time to realize that if I don’t take care of me first - than I won’t be around to take care of anyone else.  And truth is - its a lesson I seem to keep learning.  I have been last on my own list for so long, I was programed to believe that others wants, needs, desires and dreams meant somehow more than mine.  It wasn’t until my life came crumbling down that I realized that I didn’t even know what I wanted, or what was right for me, or what I needed to fill myself up - because I had been pushing aside me for such a long time.   I felt wrong and selfish for even saying that I wanted something more in my life.  But what I have learned through my life is that you can’t make another happy, until you are happy yourself.  You can’t love another, until you learn to love yourself.  And how can you possible do these things if you don’t even know what you really want because you are so use to pushing ”you” aside.  The answer is you can’t.  You have to learn to listen to your own heart, your own head, create your own life, and create your own expectations.  Stop trying to live someone else’s life.  We only get one life, we only get one shot at this and I know I sure as heck was tired of trying to please everyone else and never able to please myself.

Truly, now that I have but myself first, my life has been enriched a million times over because there is so much more of me to give to others and life is now a gift to me every day as opposed to something that I just had to survive and get through.  What do you think?  Are you living your life according to your expectations or another’s?  And how fulfilled are you?  

Till next time,

Lisa

Follow your heart

Why is it sometimes that we get something in our minds and we can’t let it go?  Is it that we sometimes try to hard, or is it that we are programed to not fight for what we want any more?  It sure is easier to say you changed your mind as opposed to not followed your dreams?  I have found myself lately revisiting several of these questions as things in my life have suddenly taken a turn and I have an opportunity to possibly rewrite a few regrets in life that I never followed through on.  And I find myself coming back to how I feel about me and how I feel about my body are really key factors in whether or not I face some of the demons or run from them again.

In the past, my insecurities took over and the not so magical voice inside my head would fill me with doubts of all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough, why I couldn’t possibly try something so crazy and why I would never be given a chance and I would cave.  I would suddenly decide that something wasn’t right for me even though in my heart I knew that it was.  Have you ever done that?   Have you ever given into your insecurities and then changed your mind?  Why is it so hard to admit what we truly want in life and go after it with all you have inside of you, cause at least if you don’t make it - you will have given it your best shot and not live with a lifetime of regrets of what if I only had tried?

I find myself in uncharted territories right now cause the voice inside my head has stopped harassing me and all that I am left is the question of why not?  Why couldn’t I do this?  Why can’t I face my fears and just get out of my own damn way?  And I realize that the reason the voice inside my head has stopped harassing me is because I have finally learned to accept myself for who I am today, not who I want to be, not who I could be when I’m a certain weight or dress size but who I am today - right where I am now.  Once you face that and learn to accept who you are and where you are in your life it is sooooo much easier to face your fears when you are not being bogged down with all this extra pressure that negative voice adds.  The negative voice only ever feeds your insecurities never helps calm them down.  So I’m finally learning that the key to any success in life is turn off the negative voice inside your head and follow your heart even if sometimes its scary and makes no sense even to yourself - you have to learn to trust yourself before you can truly go after your dreams.

So my tip for today is listen to your heart and get out of your own head.  What do you think good plan?  How about you start listening to your own heart and quieting down that voice in your own head?

Till next time,

Lisa