Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Cape Town, South Africa
Uncertainty can be frightening and at times, debilitating. Wanting direction and not having a clear answer is frustrating. It can make us question every previous decision, whether connected to current circumstances or not. It can lead us to believe that we can't trust our judgment. Yet it is during times of uncertainty that we need to exercise trust the most. Uncertainty ushers in the change that we need, but have been too comfortable, too complacent or too afraid to do on our own.

While unnerving, the uncertain times in our lives often lead us to greater. Eventually, we become open because we reach the end of needing to control and we surrender. It is in surrendering that we acknowledge that despite all of our plotting and planning, we do not have it all figured out so we might as well... Might as well what? Go for it. Try something different. Throw our hat in the ring. Take a risk. Fully live.

When we surrender we stop trying to protect and prevent ourselves from being greater. We transition from making excuses about why we cannot go, do, or become and we start to comprehend the magnitude of possibility. Imagine what our lives would be like if we reached this place of openness and surrender earlier instead of waiting until we are completely frustrated and at the end our understanding.

Some of your best decisions were made after you surrendered. Some of your greatest payoffs occurred when you were so unsure of your future that you threw caution to the wind and acted out of excitement instead of fear. Instead of viewing uncertainty as terrifying, learn to accept it as an opportunity to live life with your arms wide open and in a constant state of willingness and courage—willingness to try the improbable and courage to simply say yes. Instead of allowing the fear of uncertainty to grip you, attach yourself to the adventure and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Live in Real Life

After a particularly unsettling few weeks I scheduled an appointment for a massage. I ventured out on a frigid Saturday when I could have easily stayed bundled up on my couch or swinging from my hammock so a professional could work out the two knots in my back and the knots of worry taking up residence in my mind. As I shed myself of the layers of clothing that February in Michigan demands, I slid my cell phone into the pocket of my plush robe.

I walked over to the relaxation lounge, took a few sips of refreshingly cold water, and sat down. As I waited for the masseuse, I pulled out my phone to virtually check in to the salon. Before I could type anything I thought about the ridiculousness of the scene. I came to the spa to relax, to free myself and there I was, being captive to a small electronic device. It wasn't necessary for me to check in via my phone, I needed to check in by being present, in that moment. I slid my phone back in my pocket and took another sip of water. This time I noticed that the water had a faint strawberry flavor, something that hadn't previously registered because I was too busy fiddling with my phone.

I am the first to admit that I love the benefits offered by technology. I love that in seconds I can let someone know I am thinking of him/her by sending a quick text message. It is wonderful that I can snap a photo of an amazing sunset, beach scene, humorous sign, or fabulous meal and share it instantly. It is reassuring to know that if I need to call someone instantly I can. However, convenience has turned into unhealthy dependence.

Many times we are unable to disconnect, even if it's for limited amounts of time and this causes us to miss what is taking place right in front of our faces. We aren't fully receptive to the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes we could experience firsthand. We aren't fully engaged with those who are in our presence. We are so busy checking in via our phones that we have checked out of living. The same devices that were intended to help us increase contact and be more social have led us to be less personal and superficially social. We have become so fearful of missing something that we are missing everything.

Experience your life in real life. Fully engage in the presence of others. Appreciate the sensations of your senses as you go through your day. Imagine actually being social instead of feigning it through social media! Life is meant to be lived out loud and in full color, not muted through a screen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Moment

Birds are distinguishable to most by their ability to fly. When we see a feathered and beaked animal walking in the grass or swimming on a pond, it never crosses our minds that because it isn't flying at the time it isn't a bird. We accept that its behavior at any given moment does not change what it is. Unfortunately, we don't give ourselves the same courtesy. Instead, we convince ourselves that we are somehow less than because of an assessment made at a moment in time, a moment purposefully chosen to confirm what we believe.

We have certain characteristics that we accept as our own. For example, we may identify with being strong, kind, intelligent, and creative. Yet there are moments when we feel less than strong, unworthy of being considered kind, far from intelligent, and uninspired. Situations can temporarily deplete us so we have bouts with emotions that leave us to question if we are truly made up of the characteristics that we've attached ourselves to or have accepted. However, feeling anything temporarily—sadness, impatience, dependence, etc.—does not equate to permanence. Who are you is determined by more than your feelings and actions at a random moment in time, especially when the moment you have selected to assess yourself is one where you feel furthest from your center.

A moment of weakness does not make you weak. A creativity block does not make you unimaginative. A crack in your armor does not make you less of a fighter. Your feelings and how you express them at any given moment does not change who you are. Your thoughts and actions at any given moment do not change who you are. Even when you feel needy, cranky, selfish, whiny, or weak, you are made up of more. All moments, your best, your worst, and your everyday make you intricate and complex, always beautiful, always growing, and always evolving.