Inspired.

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A door was opened a few days ago that could potentially change things for the better! Now for the task of walking through the damn door (always easier said, than done). The caveat I’m realizing as I think about this new possible opportunity in my life, is not only being mindful to get very clear about what I want and to stand firm in that truth, but to manage my expectations. There’s only so much you can do before you have to simply let go and let the chips fall where they may, but not before you put up a good fight…and I intend to.

Almost as if the universe were speaking directly to me, not long after that door opened, I came across the quote above on Instagram and instantly felt more energized about this new venture.

It’s been awhile since my last Inspired post. It’s time. A few other words of wisdom keeping things in perspective as of late. Perhaps something will resonate with you, too. x

Inspired_March 2015_ATG FINAL (2){Click image to enlarge.}

Have a lovely rest of the week and weekend ahead!

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Image credit: The Old Door” by byronv2 used under CC BY 2.0 | Modifications: text added to original.
Collage: created by blogger via various images sourced from Pinterest.com.

“To You, From You”

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Happy Christmas Eve! If you’re anything like me at the moment, you’re relishing the sensation of what this time of year is all about: good company, good food, and a much-needed change of pace. It’s been nice to sleep in a bit, get through back issues of magazines, catch a film in the middle of the day, and to generally leave the routine of what a normal week might look like behind. And yet, in some ways, I haven’t. Admittedly, it’s been a struggle to really decompress and stay present. It’s showing me just how much pent-up exhaustion I’ve been carrying around with me for quite some time. Perhaps it’s because it takes some time to re-train your brain on how to not think about whatever problems that typically distract the mind day-to-day. Perhaps it’s because prepping for the holidays comes with its own set of things to add to yet another “to-do” list that still has your brain on the go, effectively preventing it from really unwinding.

I often find my mind slipping toward work or some issue that I promised myself I would step away from for the next 3 weeks to relax and enjoy the holidays, and I get really frustrated with myself. I then get frustrated with myself that I’m frustrated with myself and it’s a bit of a vicious cycle, which completely defeats the purpose of why I made myself take an extended holiday vacation this year. I need the rest. I need some space to breathe and think about what I really want. I’ve already decided that I’ll have to make some pretty big changes in 2015 and I can’t get there if I’m constantly in the middle of a vicious cycle, not taking the time to stop.

I was reading December’s issue of O Magazine on the drive up to Santa Cruz yesterday to spend Christmas with boyfriend’s family, and came across a timely article from Martha Beck, aptly titled “To You, From You.” Her thought process was that for every gift you give someone, you should give something to yourself. She wasn’t talking about expensive physical gifts either. Essentially, she was making the point to not get so lost in the craze of the holidays that you forget to replenish and think about yourself. I realized immediately what I needed to give myself: a break.

I can be pretty hard on myself, be in my head too much, and rehash or analyze a situation so much that it becomes anything but productive.

So, while yes this time of year is for being with loved ones, sharing gifts, and eating to your heart’s desire, I thought I’d take a different approach this Christmas Eve and remind you, as Martha Beck did for me just in the nick of time so as to not miss it altogether, to remember to give something to yourself.

I’m decidedly giving myself a break. If I start thinking about work, about what a bad blogger I am for missing a post date, or complaining about “x, y, or z;” instead of getting frustrated or disappointed in myself, I’ll simply tell myself, “give something to you, Candice. Let it go. Give yourself a break.”

This is my gift to you (through Martha, of course), which sums up my opinion on how to really enjoy and stay present this holiday season.

And speaking of being present…I’m off to rejoin my holiday vacation, now in-progress.

Merry Christmas to you! x

 

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*Image sourced from Pinterest.

Inspired.

Where is the time going? How is it already Wednesday? October is half-way over? Why am I starting my post with so many questions?

This week has been hectic so far, to say the least. I can’t seem to catch my breath long enough to feel totally grounded. My Monday night yoga class zen is already gone (and mind you, that was only the day before yesterday!). And though I think I work well and even thrive under pressure (I love a challenge!), I try to remember that it’s important not to get too caught up in the chaos – it’s how life passes you by and how you lose perspective. Since I can’t get to another yoga class to re-capture that zen feeling at the moment, I’m going to my next best resource – the words of wisdom I’ve been collecting as of late on Pinterest.

It’s funny, while I don’t necessarily get the same feeling as I might after an hour and a half of an invigorating yoga class, I do find stillness and inspiration in reading the right words. I have entire notebooks just filled with quotes I’ve collected since I was a teenager. Now in the digital age, I’m finding Pinterest is my new notebook. In the spirit of turning to good advice, I’m taking a mid-week pause to share words that are keeping me inspired and in perspective. I hope they remind you, too, to take a moment to just breathe, keep going, and keep your focus.

“Make today count, you’ll never get it back.” Find your zen within the chaos. x

Inspired ATG FINAL October 2014

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Peace, Peace, Peace.

May Peace Prevail on Earth ATG FINAL


Where: Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens
Location: 3500 West Adams Boulevard, Mid-City
Cost: Free


Peace Awareness Labyrinth Exterior ATG FINAL


“Peace, peace, peace.”

David, my yoga instructor, always closes with these three simple, yet powerful words at the end of every practice. I always catch this slight difference from the more commonly used “namaste” that’s traditionally expressed in my experience at the end of a class. And while “namaste” has an equally powerful connotation by giving the deepest levels of respect when greeting or parting from a person – there’s something about being told to leave in “peace” that decidedly has me going out into the world a little more calmer, perhaps awakened…but almost always in a more harmonious, focused space than when I arrived 90 minutes prior.

How long that feeling lasts before the chaos of the world starts to seep into my peace bubble varies from practice to practice.

I’ve heard more than once that it’s a life-long journey toward cultivating and maintaining an unshakable sense of peace as we maneuver through our days. I like to think of it as exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it. It’s something that must be a priority and sought consistently to reap the rewards. And like weight training, if you stop too long, you may have to start from square one to build that muscle again.

How you go about your peace exercises differs. Perhaps it’s through a sitting meditation, yoga, or going for walk. For some, peace comes from treating yourself to a massage or facial, going to see a movie alone, reading a good book, or journaling. The point is, on some level, it’s something that we as human beings are seeking constantly – a space or a moment in time where you feel grounded in an ever-changing, uncontrollable world.

Much to my surprise, right in the middle of Los Angeles in the most unsuspecting of places lies an entire sanctuary to assist in the journey. A few weeks ago, I learned of the The Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens and instantly was on-board to check it out. Their mission: to provide an oasis for anyone looking to reconnect with themselves, to take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and just breathe.

Peace Awareness Property

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Set on the estate of a restored mansion along the busy Adams Boulevard, the stunning property welcomes you just beyond wrought iron gates. Behind the historic manor boasts a labyrinth and exquisitely designed meditation garden, the entire space fabricated with the goal to envelop all things beauty and peace.

The labyrinth might find you in the midst of a calming walking meditation as the wind chimes that hang on the trees nearby gently sing. No matter where you sit in the neighboring mediation garden, the soothing sounds of water surround you as you gaze at the endless greenery, the bamboo particularly prevalent, and the lily pond complete with fish.

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Lily Pond ATG FINAL

I’ve sat in many beautiful gardens in my time. I’ve experienced many attempts (and admitted failures) at learning the art of meditation. And yet, there was something about this place in particular that takes the experience of peace to another realm by simply inviting yourself there and being present to the gifts around you. You find that you don’t need to work so hard at quieting the mind, the setting does it for you.

Peace Awareness Fountain

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Interestingly, I lived a few blocks away from the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens for a year after college and never knew about such a special place less than 5 minutes away from my duplex. What I think is unique about retreats such as these when thinking about those aforementioned “peace exercises” is using it as a resource in a manner that feels right for you, no pressure involved.

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Mediation Garden View ATG FINAL

In fact, it’s best said by directly quoting from their website,”PAL&G is here to promote peace and help you reconnect and renew spiritually in your own way.” I suppose all I needed in that moment on that beautiful Sunday was a space to kick my feet up, sit still, and just breathe – the perfect supplement toward strengthening that muscle and building a stronger peace bubble.

“Peace, peace, peace” be to you as well. x

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Inspired.

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A mid-week pause for some soul encouragement.

But first, a word.

I came across the quote above yesterday. Reading it immediately solidified something for me when thinking about labels, paths, and women.

It’s no secret that women are more likely to encounter the struggle of walking the fine line between the perception of assertiveness and bitchiness, something most men presumably don’t think about (or defend) when maneuvering through life; and if they do, “bitch” (or the male equivalent) is not always the first thing that comes to mind.

Now before I offend anybody, naturally it depends on the person (irregardless of gender), the situation, and how a specific person interprets another, but for devil’s advocate sake, let’s focus on that fine line and what I think makes all the difference.

Obviously, I’ve never met Madonna, and I certainly don’t know the complete circumstances of how she was quoted here, but on some level I think she’s commenting on that aforementioned fine line, following her path anyway, and accepting whatever label comes with it. I can respect that. However, this post really isn’t about her or a comment on her as a human being, so much as the train of thought that her words provoked, inspiring me to write this post. So bear with me.

Let me preface that I’m not at all advocating that women should say, “ok, fine then” and be as much of a total battle-ax as necessary to get where they need to in life, or that we need to start more openly imparting such labels on men to stick it to them in the name of equality. While there’s certainly a vital conversation that could take place regarding the blatant gender hypocrisy at play, that’s not the aim of this post. Instead, what I am advocating is being who you are, despite perception, as long as there is a level of grace to it.

Be assertive, yes. Speak your mind. If you need to raise your voice a little higher so that people can clearly hear you after you’ve already repeated yourself twice? Perhaps that’s necessary. But with anything in life, there should always be grace present. How you’re perceived from there is really out of your hands.

I would describe myself as an independent, assertive woman. I was raised by a single mom so it’s what I witnessed and absorbed firsthand during my childhood. As I’ve gotten older, I think the most delicious thing is learning to take my own path, but on an even deeper level. I’ve become much more selective about how and with whom I spend my time. I don’t have time for disrespect, games or drama. I pick my battles (though this one’s hard!).  If I don’t want to do something (within reason, obviously) I don’t. And typically, when I have something to say, I mean something to really say, I think about the best approach and then go for it. Sometimes it goes just fine, others…well…

The more I think I about it at this moment, I’ve always had these attributes. I think they are simply becoming more defined as I age, and are a work in-progress. I’m still a work in-progress, by no means perfect.

The challenge is that many things in life require a compromise so you don’t always get your way 100% of the time (unless you’re someone like Madonna); however, the beauty is learning what those areas are and should be, while also keeping in alignment with your chosen path. You may have to walk the curb for a while in the name of compromise, but at least you’re still going in the right direction.

It’s even more complicated when taking into account that most of us still want to be liked and loved and respected as a person, while on said path. After all, you can’t do everything on your own.

Clearly, not everyone you meet is going to gravitate toward you or like you. And this is why I use the word “grace” when advocating being who you are. I think the best way to meet like-minded people stems from that. Grace is subjective, like beauty. You’re bound to meet people who gravitate toward your grace and those who don’t. When the “those who don’t people” arise, remain cordial, but keep pushing forward.

Unfortunately, I’m starting to understand that women typically have to accept labels if they want to want to make a mark in the world or stay on their chosen path. I think what makes all the difference is in how you go about maneuvering it. Essentially, it really comes down to being who you are, staying on the path that works for you, while still being able to live in the world with all kinds of personalities and situations that are inevitably out of your control. As I write this and wrap up my thoughts, I see the intricacies involved in that fine line. Grace is your guide. The pendulum of that fine line. It doesn’t necessarily prevent the more harsh perception, I’d say, so much as keeps you grounded and your intention pure, coming from a good place.

While this post has officially become more than “a word” (sorry!) this quote and those below are keeping me inspired at the moment.

Happy hump day. See you Friday!

Blend

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100 Happy Days: The 1st 50

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I’m nearing the end of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, with 9 days left to go! By nature, I always try to find gratitude in my life and in every situation, even when things aren’t going so well. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever sulk because I certainly can, and do. But even during those times, I make it a point to always find a piece of joy in the day and be grateful for it. (Then I might feel better and move on, or continue to sulk – it just depends). 🙂

So the challenge for me wasn’t so much in finding something to smile about everyday, but remembering to document it and keep track of what day I was on! And even though I’ve spent much of my time over the last few years really being mindful about finding the joy in the little things, this was still different. Over the last 91 days, I’ve had to consciously stop at least once in the day to think about what I wanted my 100 Happy Days post to be, while also being completely accountable at consistency. And that’s where the challenge lies, to keep going no matter what type of day (or series of days) you’re having. You’re still looking for that moment that brought even the tiniest sprinkle of happiness, snapping a picture, and posting it. Every. Single. Day. For 100 days.

Admittedly, there was one day where I took the picture, but forgot to post it. (Doh!) I simply put it up on Twitter first thing the next morning when I realized I’d forgotten, found a new post for that day later in the afternoon, and kept going.

I thought it would be fun to look back at the 1st 50 days on the challenge and reminisce. Interestingly (though not surprisingly), it seems many of my days find that moment of joy when there’s good food or iced vanilla lattes involved (don’t judge!). But, I also adore the simplicity of many of the posts – I’m not necessarily out doing anything big or special. I can clearly see that joy did and does come in the small things most days. It’s in looking up at the sky admiring that trademark LA sunshine through the trees and clouds, it’s starting a new book on my kindle, smelling a beautiful bouquet of roses that my boyfriend gave me, drinking a cup of tea, or watching an old movie.

I’m proud to say, I can see the finish line just a few more days ahead. I look forward to sharing the last 50 days with you when I complete the challenge in early July.

This has truly been a great exercise in finding happiness in my day, every day. Here are the moments from Day #1 to Day #50 that made me smile!

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Inspired. Again.

There are those days where things just don’t seem to fall into place from the moment you step out of bed. You woke up late, stubbed your toe, the coffee machine breaks, you can’t find your favorite shirt, every other car on the road feels the need to cut you off for some reason (and then give you “the bird”), your computer greets you with tons of emails (some less than pleasant in tone), and when lunchtime rolls around – only then do you realize that you forgot your wallet at home. “Ugh. It’s going to be one of those days,” you think.

Then are those days where everything is just fine on the surface, you can’t complain – you have a roof over your head and food in the fridge. You’re working toward something, dreaming, and believing in whatever aspirations are important to you. And yet somehow you still feel like you’re going in one big circle in life, while others seemingly run laps around you, moving faster, sweating less (those bastards!). 🙂

I’ve come to learn that there are all kinds of days. Some good, some not so good, some life altering, but many in the middle. What has always helped guide my perspective, despite the type of day that I’m having, is collecting quotes. For half my life now I’ve always kept a collection containing advice that I’ve heard or read and written down; but in more recent times, an image with just the right words that I came across that resonated with me and started collecting them online. (Thank god for Pinterest.)

I wrote a post like this last summer and thought today is a good day to share more of my favorite quotes with you, perhaps turning “Inspired” into a new series for the blog. What I always (ALWAYS) appreciate no matter what mood I’m in: is good life advice, words of encouragement, and wisdom from others that uplift and motivate you to live better and be better.

Considering these words even exist to share, is a gentle reminder that we’re all in the same battle if you think about it – perhaps at different rankings, fighting on different fronts for different causes, but ultimately for the same end-goal. I think that goal is to have lived life to the fullest in whatever capacity that means to the individual.

So if any, or all, of these bring a smile to your face, or give you an ounce of encouragement and motivation to see the beauty in whatever is going on in your world – no matter how you started or ended the day  – then I’ve used my blog and done good.

Here’s to inspiration…

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With Gratitude…

with gratitude - atg

{Saturday mornings.}

You couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous LA weekend! We just might skip spring altogether and head straight into summer at the rate that we’re going. No kidding boys and girls, my air-conditioning was on most of the day on Sunday to combat 90° temperatures just outside my door.

While it turned out be a rather lazy weekend as to be expected, I did manage to get out and have one of the best deep tissue massages I’ve EVER had (I’m still slightly sore from the “work-out” Pietro gave me, but I literally floated through the rest of the day I was so relaxed). After a successful stop at Trader Joe’s (meaning I actually found a parking space without having to growl at anyone), then an all too successful stop at Target for the essentials (and those not so much, because, hey – it’s Target)! I was on track for an amazing weekend.

And yet, though the sun was shining and I had everything I needed around me, I couldn’t shake this small funk I found myself in on Sunday for reasons I won’t bore you with. Nothing in particular happened (though as I write this, I can pinpoint where things took a turn Saturday afternoon). I suppose it’s just the ebb and flow of being human. We must embrace the highs with the lows and not beat ourselves up over it.

I know the best thing to do when you feel yourself slipping into a pity party for one, is to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on the good. It’s not exactly helping that it’s also Monday – you know, my favorite day of the week (enter sarcasm). I thought I would start the week with 10 things (large and small and in random order) that I’m grateful for at the moment to shake things up, lift this nasty funk, and get me back to the light.

With gratitude for…

  1. Everything about the picture above from Saturday morning. French toast with fresh-cut strawberries, eggs with avocado, and an iced coffee I made for breakfast. Add in my kindle on “Chapter One” of a new read I’ve been waiting over a month to start (because I was #22 in line on the holds list at the library forever) and I couldn’t have been happier.
  2. The universe put a sweet guy in my life (and he made me dinner on Saturday AND Sunday AND brought me macaroons for dessert).
  3. Steady employment (always a good thing and in the industry I actually studied in college – go figure!).
  4. Essie’s “Watermelon” nail polish. My at home mani/pedi over the weekend have my nails ready for spring.
  5. My health! Duh. (This should probably have come up sooner on the list).
  6. My “little” brother. He’s not exactly little anymore (though he always will be to me). Who knew the little guy following me around bugging me all day, everyday, incessantly as a kid would turn out to be a best friend?
  7. All I have to do is think back to the days when all I wanted was a car to go anywhere my heart desired. I watched with much envy in high school as friends of mine got that freedom much sooner than I did because I couldn’t afford a car. Hands down, this is STILL one of the best parts about being an adult: having a car I LOVE to drive with a full tank of gas to go anywhere I want…and I don’t even have to ask.
  8. Hot Tamales (yes, you read that right).
  9. The art of cinema, my obsession.
  10. Blogging. At this moment, that funk that I was in when I started this post has somehow, someway…just evaporated.

Let’s not forget the small things and live in gratitude. It’s the only way. Have a great week!

Love & Light,

Candi

Highlights

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We made it to Friday. And that’s my highlight. (Scrooge, much?)

I can’t say that February has been particularly kind so far. Things have been rather chaotic on all fronts to say the least, and because of that I find myself off balance and not feeling quite like myself. Always the one to stop and ask myself, “what is the lesson here?” – I’ve spent the last few days processing the answer. Consciously, I know that anytime something isn’t going the way I’d like it to (or how I think it’s supposed to) it’s because I need to change my perspective or how I choose to react to the situation first and foremost. Given that I’m completely aware of this, I still have a hard time executing it at times. And this is because I get stuck on the “why?” and the injustice of it all, when ultimately the answer is that there are things that are just out of my control. This I know: address what you can and let go of what you can’t. What’s frustrating is that if I know this, why is it so hard to actually do sometimes?

On an especially lousy morning 2 days ago, my week saw an improvement in the simplicity of unexpected kindness. A colleague of mine walked over and asked me to join her for a coffee (let’s overlook the fact that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee right now recovering from a really nasty stomach virus). This is not too unusual – some of the gals and I grab coffee in the morning together a few times a week. What was kind about this particular excursion, was that she not only treated me to coffee, but asked me to sit outside and just talk for a while.

It’s pretty amazing how stepping away from my crappy morning, and indulging in one of my favorite addictions (iced vanilla lattes) over conversation about some of the things that had been bothering me lately and hearing about what’s going on in her life instantly improved my mood. The dialogue was at once helping me release a little pent-up frustration while removing the cloud over my head as I listened to her share her thoughts as well. In talking to her, it seemed like both of our spirits needed to take a deep breath and refocus. I could literally feel my perspective changing: Seethings aren’t so bad, you’re sitting outside on a gorgeous day sipping one of your favorite things, enjoying someone’s kindness and company. Smile, everything will be okay!

What I’ve come to learn about myself when I get riled up over something is that it oftentimes helps to just vent like crazy talk, to have my voice heard, even if I cannot change the situation. There seems to be some satisfaction in that for me. The funny thing is that this is not easy. I consider myself to be a pretty outgoing, opinionated, friendly person, but I’m not your classic open book that readily opens up to many people, and if I do – I do so very carefully.

So, again what’s the lesson here? You cannot change your perspective, if you can’t let go of what you can’t control anyway. (That’s a mouthful!)

It seems I found a way (out of thousands, I’m sure) to get the ball rolling on changing my perspective when things get sticky. Just taking a step back and intentionally doing something to alter my state of mind (i.e. joining a friend for coffee) released my attachment the “why?’ and the injustice of it all that I was re-hashing at the time. It even helped to constructively talk about some of the annoyances that had been bothering me that particular morning. It was through our conversation that I was reminded we all have “sticky” situations.

I’m not all suggesting that you find the next person available and verbally throw-up all over them, hashing and re-hashing things that happened weeks ago – but there really is something to that whole notion of enjoying someone’s company or talking about what’s on your mind if you feel comfortable to do so. Feeding off another person’s energy, advice, sympathetic ear, and kindness took me out of my self-induced funk. I found myself more present than I had been all morning.

The funny thing is that while I expressed my gratitude for the coffee and conversation, she’ll never know how that small act of kindness and simple invitation was the highlight of my week. I can’t say that the rest of that day or this even week went off without a hitch from there, because it didn’t. However, those 45 minutes was a lesson learned in the power of perspective. And I suspect, it will be one that I’ll spend this lifetime perfecting.

I love this simple, yet dynamic question above as I wrap up this post that I came across on Pinterest last night. Will most of what has made this week less than stellar matter in a year? The answer is no. Somehow outside of an iced latte and a good chat with a friend, my perspective just became all the more sharper.

Have a great weekend, guys! xx

Happy 2014! Inspiration to Get You Started.

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Back to life. Back to reality. Back to work. Today.

2014 has been off to a rough start largely because I got sick with a really bad stomach bug/flu/poisoning/I-don’t-exactly-know-what-the-heck-happened that had me resting for much of my holiday vacation once I got back to LA. Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve didn’t find me in a sparkly party dress sipping champagne over a delicious meal while conversing deeply about how 2014 will be best year yet. It actually found me in bed around 9:00pm – where I woke up just before midnight and heard my neighbors downstairs yelling the countdown to midnight. I smiled to myself, said “Happy New Year” to my boyfriend lying next to me, and went back to sleep. How exciting, I know.

Despite a not so ideal start to the year, I’m comforted that I was able to spend a bulk of my holiday vacation exploring the charms of Northern California; and when I was feeling better, to get organized at home with a little New Year’s purge and cleaning of drawers and cabinets in my bathroom. I got an incredible new jewelry box for Christmas and it spawned a need to go through years of jewelry to clean out the less nostalgic treasures I bought on a whim at Forever 21 that’s essentially tarnished crap now. The purge sessions and spending that time at home made me feel productive, as if clearing the way for better things to come.

Speaking of better things to come, I came across this incredible message from Aaron Paquette that I saw yesterday in my Facebook feed that a friend shared. It literally talks about the power of our words. I can’t think of more compelling language to inspire a new beginning for an extraordinary new year. I’m looking forward to sharing it on All That Glitters with you. Happy 2014! Here’s a little inspiration to get you started…

Your Words Create Worlds

We wait.  We say we aren’t ready. We say it’s not yet time. We say “One Day.” And all of it is true. Because what we say is what we create. Our words form our fate.

I am guilty of this. I have held myself back from where I know I should be in life. I have always said that I am working toward the man I want to be, and this is true.

But you know what I have never said?

I’ll tell you in a moment.

First let me share my challenge…OUR challenge.

We have this incredible light inside of us. We have all this strength and goodness and fire. But we don’t know what to do with it, we don’t know how to use it.

Sometimes we’re not even sure it’s even there.

When we are young it almost tortures us with its presence but because we have no idea what this thing is we get angry. We label it pain and because of all the pain we’ve already experienced we use that power to lash out. At ourselves, our own bodies, our own thinking, telling ourselves terrible things. And we lash out at others. We hurt and hurt and hurt.

We carry it into adulthood and stop believing we can make the world a better place. We start believing the world has dealt us a bad hand, that it’s dangerous and so we get frustrated easily. We get mad at other drivers, we stress out about time, money and relationships.

But that’s not who we are. That’s who we become when the setting is on autopilot. Our light is so buried under all the garbage that we mistake as life that when it does shine it’s shocking! And embarrassing because it makes us different.

Others would tear you down because of your light.

How dare you shine!?

Our words are so powerful it’s almost a magic. Maybe it is some kind of magic. I prefer to see it as a gift we have all been given. A piece of the Creator in each of us.

Our Words Create Our Worlds.

We bring something out of nothing. We say we are going to do something, we take action and the thing exists!

I am an artist. I love to paint. My paintings are just imagination, but with my hard work, with my effort and with my love they form and become real. If they speak to others, then I get energy back, sometimes as money and I can buy more paint!

It took me many years to realize I could paint my life into existence. The kind of life that would be meaningful to me and provide value and service for others.

You have the same power.

And it starts with the things you think and the words you speak. You are singing your reality with every breath, with every firing of your synapses.

We are free to make choices. We are free to decide what our lives will be. You may have heard that before and not believed it.

Believe it now.

You are stronger than you can ever imagine. You are more beautiful than any society can define.

But you have to believe. You have to act. You have to become aware of your own truth.

The truth is you can change the world. No matter who you are, what you are doing, how old or young…you can change this world!

You can become the greatest leader for good in our time. Nothing can stop you, Everything is pushing you forward.

But there are some things you have to leave behind.

Self Judgement. You are only as good or bad as you think. If you are defining yourself right now on past actions then you are deluded. You don’t exist in the past. You only exist RIGHT NOW. Whatever you did means nothing. What matters is what you choose to do NOW.

Judgement of Others. You don’t get to judge. And no one gets to judge you. Other people are just as lost and scared and angry and troubled and awesome and beautiful as you!

Nothing is Good or Bad. This is a higher form of non judgement. Only the Creator gets to decide what’s good and bad and even then, the jury is still out. There is fear and there is love, that’s all.

Stop trying to judge and just start walking the path of love. That’s the path of a true being. Fear is the path of a person who can’t see their own light.

If you are judging these words as bad right now, you are afraid. If you are judging them as good, you are seeing light…but now be the light. Then the words will simply BE.

That last part is a big thing to ask. For now just smile.

And trust that G-d, whoever that is for you, whatever form, whatever expression, from faith to science, trust that all things are working the way they are supposed to.

Trust that you are here for a reason. Be it some cellular connection that woke you into awareness or that a higher power has a plan for you – you are here for a purpose.

That purpose is to serve. Serve with all your heart, mind and strength. Serve your fellow being, serve the planet, serve the universe.

Serve by being authentic. Serve by being joyful. Serve by being YOU.

Which brings me to my earlier thread.

Here is what I never said to myself, and today is the day. Now is the time.

I am no longer working toward the man I want to be:

Today I am that man. Today I will be the person I was always meant to be.

Mom, today I move past the clipped wings, the manatee, and the dolphin.

Today I embrace the White Buffalo.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like, I know there will be stumbles and falls, but I am taking on the responsibility and the burden and transforming it with light.

Maybe one day I will walk with the others in your dream, I don’t know yet. Time will tell.

And my prayer is that others are inspired to speak the words that make their worlds.

If we give voice together we transform this humanity, we start the process of taking away the stuff that binds us and instead reveal our true light.

The light we would shine if we had no fear.

As angels sang to poor shepherds:

Be not afraid

I say to you: shine.

Your light isn’t little, so don’t shine a little.

Your light is brighter than the sun, it’s bigger than you dream, it’s an extension of the Creator and all creation.

So Shine. Glow. Explode with light!

Speak the words that your soul has been longing for.

Say that you are awesome and feel the liberating humbleness that accompanies it.

Be your best self. Speak your truth but care for your words so that they don’t harm others. Your best self is ready.

You are just waiting for you.

And not only is it time, but you really are ready.

Speak your Words. Create your World.

And be the light you were always meant to be.

By Aaron Paquette

Source: https://www.facebook.com/AaronPaquetteArt


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