The Element of Magic

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Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live. – NORA ROBERTS, Charmed

On Sunday, June 7th, I officially released my book My Next Move. The atmosphere was incredible. I rented out The Bistro at Emma, an eclectic space and filled the place with food, games, music, and a delightful photo backdrop. I was surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones all there to celebrate my life-long dream of publishing a book. The day was absolutely magical.

I lived in that magical moment for a while, before I heard my body saying it needed to stop and rest for a while. The energy of working on a 5 year project was quite taxing. So, I took a much-needed break.

As the summer months began to pass, so did my need to create. My intentional pause turned into more of a hiatus. I found myself becoming complacent, a bit lazy. I began losing the desire and motivation to begin creating something new again.

I think I let society’s standards impact my desire as well. While my book was making an impact on others, it only made a ripple in society’s eyes. Society tells us that if we don’t have 1,000 + likes or followers, our words are not being re-tweeted, we are not headlining major conferences, or our books are not ranked high on the Amazon bestsellers list, that we are not living out and producing meaningful lives as creators.

No matter what society thinks, I know I am a creator. I am lost without it. I even get a little depressed and depressed is the place I found myself in. So, I made a decision, a decision to fight through the complacency that I created for myself. Each day, I began to realize that everyday life can be magical. We don’t have to wait for a big event to create magic. Moments can produce magic.

What if we are creating a nice home where friends and family can share a meal and laughter? Magic

What if we are creating art projects, writing a song, or a book to inspire and move others? Magic

What if we are helping someone during a time of need or lifting them up when they are down? Magic

What if we are living out who we were created to be making the world different and better? Magic

I believe that if we are engaged in life, in whatever capacity that may be, then we are creating an element of magic, or even better, leaving a trail :)

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The Bridge

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We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have ‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd. – Unknown

I recently got a new Cannondale bike. Since I am new to riding this type of bike, a road bike, I wanted to test it out in a safe environment that was not too congested and where I could land softly if I were to “crash and burn.” So, my new bike and I headed east to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. This beautiful greenway is tucked away along side the banks of the Cumberland River.

I set out to ride 10 miles, and was close to the half way point (3.75 miles to be exact) when I approached this very large bridge.

Bridge 2The Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge serves as a connection point, a thoroughfare that connects Shelby Bottoms Greenway to Two Rivers Park – a park off of Briley Parkway near Opryland Hotel. This public bridge links 22 miles of walking and bike trails. For without this bridge, people and neighborhoods could not “connect” and enjoy the trails as they were created for.

I made my way to the top of the bridge, which was a journey in itself, and stopped to take in the sights, and most importantly, catch my breath. The view was breathtaking and the wind blowing off the peaceful Cumberland River provided me relief from the heat. I wanted to stop time for a brief moment.

Bridge 4As I stood there, absorbing all the beauty surrounding me, I starting thinking about what qualities it would take for me to be more like a bridge. I want to be a vessel that helps people connect to new ideas, people, and experiences. I want to help people “cross over” into new territory such as healing, freedom, and love.

Bridge 5In order to be a bridge, I have to be transparent, real, and “open” to connect with others not quite like me. I also have to be firm and resilient. Those who cross paths with me may resist my ideas or actions. They may not freely engage with me.

I cannot be like others, either. I have to be my true authentic self. They may not share in the same experiences that have shaped and molded me into the person I am today and the experiences that are needed to help others. I need to stick true to my own path. Also, I need to find my voice and my platform. I can no longer sit back and bury my words out of fear of how others will perceive them.

Bridges are meant to be crossed and provide connection, no matter if others don’t walk similar paths.

I rode my bike again this past Saturday and actually rode the entire length of the bridge. I really had no idea where I was going, but I decided to trust the path that the bridge had given me. It turns out, I was on the other side of Briley Parkway, the place where the giant water parks sits on Exit 10. I know this place well. I’ve driven by it many, many times over the course of living in Nashville, Tennessee.

It turns out this place was not so scary. It was just another beautiful park filled with new trails to explore, new people to engage with, and new beauty to absorb. All that was needed to get to this new place and experience, was the courage and the desire to cross this one bridge.

Maybe your purpose is to not be a bridge, but to simply cross one. Maybe like me, you have stood on the banks admiring the view, but never found the guts to cross over. Connection is scary, it is risky, but it is vital for us to live enriched lives.

There is a great big world waiting to connect with you, your ideas, your experiences, and most importantly, your heart. Don’t let fear of the unknown stand in the way of you experiencing something truly amazing. Don’t deny yourself of what you were created for – connection.

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The Official Release of “My Next Move”

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Today marks 5 years in the making. My Next Move (paperback version) hits the literary stand today!!! The online version will be released very soon!!

Thank you (from the bottom of my heart) to those who have stood with me, believed in me and with me, and supported me and my dreams.

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.—Christian D. Larson

Here’s to dreams coming true!!
Stay tuned for my next move
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The Lessons of the Seasons

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I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better. – Steve Southerland

I love how the seasons tell us stories and teach us lessons all the same. They are constantly telling us the story of change and the story of process. They know their place in the story and respect the boundaries of their time given.

Summer teaches us patience. It is the season most of us look forward to the most. It is the time of the year when we can play outside, enjoy trips to the beach, and soak up the sun. It is during the summer that the days become both warmer and longer, and the sun shines more frequently.

Fall teaches us to let go. The leaves know their place in the seasons and the importance of timing. Change is in their nature and they embrace it with no complaints. It is during the fall that the days become shorter and the cooler temperatures appear.

Winter teaches us about death. For there is a time to be born, and there is a time to die. It is during this season that we tend to retract from the world and hide out for a while, while we wait for this season to pass. It is during the winter that the days are shorter and it is often very, very cold.

And now, spring is teaching us about growth. We survived the harshness of the winter, and something new is in the air. It is evident by the flowers that have started to appear and the sweet song the birds sing to us each morning. It is during this season that the sun rises a bit earlier and the days get warmer.

As I was driving home yesterday, I noticed this particular beautiful purple tree in the parking lot of Target. Where I live, I don’t see too many trees like this. Actually, the trees in my yard still reflect winter. So in order to frame this memory, I pulled over and took a picture.

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The tree, so vibrant in color, makes this season of spring look so easy, like it just “naturally” happened. However, for the tree to bloom, it had to undergo change. It had to endure the intense heat from the summer. It had to “let go” of its leaves when fall arrived. It had to die by the elements of the harsh winter, and then wait patiently for its chance to bloom again.

That is how I feel in the present moment. I am on the cusp of something great, something greater than myself, yet I can’t quite shake the remaining elements of winter. There is still a small piece that has yet to die, but as nature states, it has to in order for something new to be born.

Today, Momastery posted “Our Story of Easter” on her blog. She wrote about how her marriage was in the “Saturday” of Easter and that it had to experience a “death” first before it could grow into something new.

New life often requires a death first. And sometimes that means the death of a marriage. Some relationships are like perennials; they survive the winter and bloom again bigger and fuller than ever. And other loves are annuals. They last for a season and then winter comes and they die and they crumble into the soil making it richer for the next bush to bloom. Either way there is new life. Either way there is redemption and never before seen beauty.

Regardless if it is a marriage, a job, a dream, or any form of a relationship, it has to die eventually for something new to be resurrected. As I reflect this Good Friday on all that has changed recently in my life and all that still needs to change, I know that something needs to give up the fight and stop resisting change. It has to bury itself deep in the soil, die to what was, so that the new can spring forth.

Waiting is hard. And maybe I’m in my own “Saturday,” but fortunately Sunday is just moments away. A lot can happen in three days and spring will arrive exactly in the time that it was meant to.

Happy Easter!

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Through the Lens of Grace

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Maybe if we focused on being light & less on the dark, we might actually see things change.― Michael M. Rose

Here this week, I have been challenged each and every morning with a daily devotion titled, The Value of Knowing Jesus. After I read the lesson, I am left with these closing thoughts.

It’s easy to only think about things from our limited perspective. Jesus pushes us to see differently. Allow yourself to be challenged. Allow your eyes to be opened. Allow your life to be changed. Go now, and let the value of knowing Jesus change the lens which you see the world.

Throughout the day, I keep hearing these words play over in my mind. Allow yourself to be challenged. Allow your eyes to be opened. Allow your life to be changed. 

A recent unexpected turn of events is currently challenging me and my way of thinking. It was brought to my attention that I have several blind spots concerning beliefs and my way of thinking. A little time has passed and my mind has cleared itself of the thoughts and emotions that once caused me grief, and now I am starting to see his point of view.

This new-found knowledge did not come easy. I was truly not aware of my blind spots. I shed many, many tears over the last 24 hours. The truth hurts. I felt so bad that my limited way of thinking made a negative impact on someone very dear to my heart. The truth of the matter is that I do have some blind spots. I suffer from a black and white mentality, the left brain approach. How I see it is there is a problem and there is a solution. There is no gray area, no in-between.

I reason with logic, I focus on facts, I identify the problem, I find the solution, I am practical, and I am safe. I tend to side with the left side of the brain because I have been hurt very deeply by the world. This way of thinking protects me, keeps me safe, because I can define it and control it. I think this way personally, and I think this way professionally.

I would not say I am 100% left brained. Behind this curtain I have created for myself, lies a right brain girl. I am a believer. I am a dreamer with a wild imagination. I do at times find myself taking risks. Actually, I long to be more of right brain person which leads to a constant tug of war in my mind; which side of my brain gives in? Can’t I just live in both? Can’t I be logical, yet risk taking?

As I work through my questions and my hurts, I realize the answer lies in grace. Grace bridges the gap between the logical thinker and the risk taker. Grace gives an opportunity for the gray area. Grace opens itself up to imagination, possibilities, and belief. Grace leaves room to breathe, for the impossible, and the unknown. Grace gives you a way out.

Getting to this point, cost me a great deal. It cost me a precious relationship, one very dear to my heart. While I cannot change the past, I can only move forward in hopes there lies forgiveness and a little grace itself. And now that my eyes have been opened, I realize that I no longer want to live this way. I want to live in the gray, the unknown, the what-ifs. I don’t always want to know the answer or the outcome. I don’t want to define or control. I want to be impetuous, reckless, and I want to see the world through the lens of grace.

If my words resonate with you, may I leave you with this.

Allow yourself to be challenged. Allow your eyes to be opened. Allow your life to be changed.

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In the Gap

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If you cannot fill the gap and emptiness in your heart, don’t be disappointed. If you had already filled it, your life would have meant finished.
― M.F. Moonzajer

My one word resolution for 2014 was release so it should come to any surprise that I find myself having to let go of something again; something I was not quite ready to let go of. It was sudden, it was a shock. It still is a shock to my system.

Letting go did not come easy. It was everything I wanted, everything I dreamed about, hoped for, and waited for. Why would I let it go so easily? So I didn’t. For weeks I fought it. With every ounce of power I had, I did not loosen up on the grip. I reasoned with it. I questioned it. I got flat-out angry with it. I wrestled it down to the ground until there was absolutely nothing left, nothing left to feel. And in that moment, I let go of my grasp and fell letting the air below me break my fall.

After the release, I find myself caught somewhere in the gap, between the two trapeze, wondering where to go next. I don’t like this feeling, this feeling of uncertainty. I have nothing to hold on to and it terrifies me. I’m left with the questions of what now?, what if?, and will my heart completely heal?

This is the part that kills me the most, not knowing. It’s not in my genetic makeup not to know. I am always the one who has the answers, who knows what to say, who knows how to fix. I cannot fix my situation and I feel completely helpless and lost.

Through this process of the gap, I have my ups and downs, my good days and my bad days. There are days I find myself reaching back trying to grab a hold of what once was and then there are days I feel uplifted and hopeful for what lies ahead.

As I sit here in the mess, and begin the healing process, I am reminded that while I’m in a gap, I’m not at a complete stop. I’m somewhat like a comma and something new is in reach. I just have to wait, trust, and believe.

If your future seems uncertain, and you feel stuck inside the gap, may you be reassured that something new is on the horizon, and it will be even better than what you left behind. God said that He would not cause pain without something new to be born (Isaiah 66:9) and now it’s up to us to believe. Keep moving forward. Keep pressing on. Don’t ever give up. Your next place of promise is in reach :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyMhvkC3A84

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