September 15, 2011

ABC of Life… Dream

My post for the ABC’s of life – Dream – is long over due. I could blame it on the amazing Portland weather or my friends or my family that I have been spending time with, but really I wasn’t sure where to start. I feel that I have too many dreams right now, I’m not sure where to begin, but the point is, I have to begin somewhere.

My favorite quote is by Anais Nin, “Dreams are necessary to life.” Dreams are what motivate us, they are what drive us.  Without them, our lives are almost purposeless and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have even a single dream. I know I have many dreams running through my head at any given time, but then there are always a million reasons why not to do them. This is why dreams don’t come true – we get in our own way sometimes. Dreams come true when we act in ways to make them come true, not when we don’t believe in ourselves.

I believe we get exactly what we ask for, both negative and positive, but I believe it’s because we act in ways to make it happen. Everything might not look exactly the way we planned it or last as long as we had hoped for, but if we try hard enough and work hard enough then we can have what we want. Some advice I will offer is, be careful what you ask for. Our minds are powerful forces and when used purposefully, positively we can create our lives to be what we want them to be, but when we allow those negative thoughts to intervene, our dreams can stagnate or go away all together.

Of all my childhood dreams, two have come true. I moved to the northwest and I am working in events. I still have some of my dreams, but many of them have changed. As a child I dreamed of becoming a mom and having 7 kids. That is sheer insanity, so am I thankful that this dream did not come true? Absolutely! 7 kids? Was I mad? Now, I have a reasonable dream of having one, possibly two, children with a wonderful man who I have yet to meet and don’t mind waiting, because I have a million other dreams to try to achieve right now. I put a few other dreams to rest from my childhood – I am not an astronaut and I have no intention of becoming the president of the United States anymore. But my dreams of owning my own business, writing a book, volunteering abroad, and traveling the world are all dreams that I still have, but my struggle is, where do I start? Which in reality is exactly why I’ve been avoiding this post.

The answer is, there is no one place to start, we just have to start and take it one step at a time. Here are important things I believer we should keep in mind to make our dreams come true:

  • Take a leap, a step, anything to get started – things in motion tend to stay in motion, it’s physics!
  • Be persistent, because there are always forces that can get in our way, life: friends, family, unforeseen events, ourselves
  • Be resilient, for when those life events happen or we aren’t successful at first, we get knocked down, but we need to pick ourselves up and keep going
  • Stay determined, dreams can die amazingly fast if we aren’t determined to make them happen
  • Believe in ourselves
  • Move through life courageously
  • Maintain flexibility, because sometimes our dreams are meant to shift and change (Otherwise, I’d have 7 kids and that’s just not even an option… ever)

I wish there was some magic formula that we just did x,y, and z and our dreams automatically came true, but our dreams aren’t always easy to make come true. The secret is to never stop having them and never stop working toward them.

September 10, 2011

What I Love.. Pike’s Place Market

I spent the last week in Seattle to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law welcoming a beautiful baby girl into the family and to celebrate another year of work with my co-workers. While there, I managed to make it to Pike’s Place Market, not once, but twice. The first time, I went with my mom and my nephew for fun and did the typical main market walk. The second excursion was with my co-workers through a Pike’s Place Market food tour. Not only did I get to sample amazing food, I learned that the market is much larger than I ever even anticipated. There were so many small nooks and cranny’s to explore and I hope to make it back there on my next visit to try out some of the finds that I discovered again or that were recommended. My favorite new find has to be The Crumpet Shop that serves tea and crumpets. I had never had a crumpet before, but found it quite delightful.

August 30, 2011

What I Love… My Laughing Buddha

For the last couple of years I have been in search of a small Buddha to put on my desk as a reminder to be compassionate,  to love, and to be happy. I haven’t been able to find any that I fell in love with or in the size I wanted, but on Sunday, I managed to find the perfect one that I related to what I wanted in my life. He isn’t a sitting meditating Buddha, but an active, laughing Buddha. His belly sticks out as he grabs a breath of air and his mouth is open wide, laughing full of joy. This is what I want for myself.

I read an article yesterday that was about how our spaces can be a reflection of our personalities. It said that our organization shows our conscientious side or that if we have unique art and a wide  variety of books in our library we tend to be more open. I was so intrigued by the article, I added the book it was based off of to my library queue. The personality trait that made me laugh the most though was that they said those of us who show sayings and quotes in our spaces are neurotic, anxious and that we show these quotes as a way to soothe and tell ourselves it’s all right. I’m not sure I agree with this completely, but to a small extent I will admit that I can be. I tend to be anxious sometimes and when I look at the quotes that I have surrounding my desk they do put me at ease, but I also believe what I think expands into my life. I don’t mind little reminders like a laughing Buddha to remind me to have more love, compassion and joy in my life.

I know I don’t need these  quotes and sayings or a laughing Buddha in my space to remind me of my goals and what I want in my life, but they do make me smile and I will let them reflect into my life.

August 27, 2011

What I Love… Creating Something

My mind has been going  non-stop lately.  It even wakes me up at 3:30 am and doesn’t allow me to fall back to sleep. Thankfully, I managed to sleep in past 8 this  morning. I feel more normal now, but in order to attempt to get my mind to be quiet, I sat and listened to a podcast and made jewelry this afternoon. It was great to just tune out for an hour and make something, instead of worrying about everything that I need to do today, tomorrow, next week, this year, next year. I was right here, right now making something. It was wonderful. I have more projects to do, but I keep putting them off because I run out of time, but I realize how important it is to stop for a moment and get lost in something, right here, right now.

August 25, 2011

What I Love… The Idea of Soulmates

I believe that we gravitate to like minded people or souls and that those people are messengers that challenge us, make us question our way of being and our beliefs in a way that we have no choice but to grow, transform, evolve. Although, I have previously struggled with the idea of soulmates, until recently. I thought of soulmates as being synonymous with “the one”, “the one” person we are supposed to marry and spend the rest of our lives with. How is it possible that there could only be “one” person out there for us when there are so many people in the world that we will never even meet? What if our one soulmate lived in another country and we never had the chance to meet. I always thought that would be tragic.  Although, I suppose the theory is that soulmates are meant to meet. My cousin challenged me recently by saying that it’s possible to have more than one soulmate in our lives. This opened up this whole new world of possibilities. I know I’ve had many soulmates in my life that got me to this moment here now.

Lately, I have been thinking about all my past relationships with friends, family, and ex-boyfriends. What kept me coming back to the idea of a soulmates was knowing I had grown in such a way that my life has changed forever because of the lessons I learned from those relationships. While I’m still me, I have changed, or should I say grown, in ways that it’s hard for me to even recognize myself from who I was six months ago after my last breakup. How could he not have been a soulmate?  I know I wanted to deny it for awhile, but the truth is any relationship I have in the future will be changed forever, from friends to family to lovers. There was a lot that I needed to learn, I hate to say that I was naive when it came to relationships, maybe even a little selfish, but I’m beginning to realize what’s important in a relationship for me and what’s not.

Thinking about this made me think of all the significant people in my life  that have challenged me, forced me to evolve, to open my eyes to new ways of living, being, existing. These really do encompass a broad range of people that are still in my life or once were in my life, my parents, my friends, my lovers. If we really do have many soulmates in our lives then it must also mean that some come and go quickly, while others stay in our lives year after year.

To all of those soulmates who have been there to help me grow, to all of those who have been on my journey with me, to all of those who have challenged me and forced me to grow, and to all of those that made me see my blind spots so that I could grow, thank you. To all of you in my life, thank you. I hope that I have helped you as much as you have helped me.

August 22, 2011

What I Love… Random Loves

It’s has been a random past couple of weeks and I have had many loves and no time to write about them, but here is a short synopsis of some of the things I have loved lately:

1. Listening to peoples’ conversations while out around town. The best line I heard was a domestic quarrel at the grocery store between two older gentlemen. I keep wondering if it was a father/son relationship, but will never know. The younger man asked about a bag of chips, “What kind do you like?” The older man’s response was, “Whatever kind you don’t like.” I couldn’t help but laugh a little and smile as I walked through the store.

2. Randomness. I had decided that I need more silly and random days in my life. Which has worked out in my favor. Lately, I have had to plan much of my life and weeks, because of all the traveling and family obligations in my life and I finally got a random weekend and it was everything that I had hoped for. I think changing our schedules and routines is healthy and eliminates monotony in our lives.

3. The sun. I just can’t get enough of it right now. I love summer and know I am pushing myself to my limits to enjoy it, but I also know that when it starts raining, I may not want to go outside nearly as much. Today, I managed to get to a park and lay in the sun for an hour. It was the best thing I did for myself all day.

4. Running. It has been great to get back and run after hurting my foot a few weeks ago. I realized today that I had missed being active when I went for a short run. It was fun to see all the neighbors out enjoying the weather.

5. Firemen. I really need to stop talking about how much I love them, but they are everywhere I go. I have even told my sister that when I go up to Seattle, I’m borrowing her 2 1/2 year old son to go do a firehouse tour. He is so stinking cute and personable, I know I will have a few opportunities to flirt with the firemen. I’ll just have to make sure they know he is my nephew.

6. Bubble tea. It is delicious and I can’t believe I have never tried it before.

7. Iced coffee. This is breaking my budget this summer! Thankfully my sister sent me a quick and easy way of making iced coffee in bulk, but I haven’t had time to actually make it. I should get on that.

8. Concerts at the Oregon Zoo. I had so much fun with my friends. I will be going back next year. Although, I will say I need to go back and see the animals, since I have not done that yet. Maybe in a few weeks when I finally have another day to myself.

9. Me time. I think we are all on the go and keep ourselves busy with friends and family, but it’s extremely important to take the time to take care of ourselves. Whether it’s taking an afternoon to do a spa day or read a good book, just remember to take care of yourself! You deserve it.

10. Beer Festivals in Portland. Enough said I think. Portland has a great variety.

11. Sitting on a patio with friends for happy hour after work.

12. Portland summers. While this has been a short one, it has been gorgeous and filled with great people.

13. Fedoras. Especially when it comes to hiding my big hair. I need a haircut.

14. BBQs

August 19, 2011

What I Love… The Happy Movie

I saw an incredible documentary this week which made me think a lot about my life, my relationships and my attitude.  This movie was called Happy. At the beginning it tells us that 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics and that only 10% comes from things like our job and material goods. But what about the other 40%? Well those are things which we choose to do to make ourselves happy. That is a lot of happiness we create! What sorts of things did they recommend: exercise, socializing, trying new things, helping others and collaboration. Apparently, we are hard wired to enjoy collaboration as it was essential to ensure survival thousands of years ago.

After hearing these things, I realized when I am the most unhappy I am doing the same things over and over again, not getting out and socializing with people, and not exercising. These are such easy, small fixes. It’s easy to pick up the phone and call a friend to grab coffee. It’s easy to get up an extra half hour early to go for a run (in my case, not so easy sometimes, but I’m really starting to love mornings and will be incorporating that into my life). Most of these things are even free or can be inexpensive.

I was not too surprised that change could actually increases happiness. I think many of us are change averse, including me, even though, change can bring new challenges, new opportunities for growth, and new found passions and even friends. Change is not bad, it is good for us. I do know that I love trying new things because I can’t help but smile when I do and usually can laugh at myself if I’m not that great. The hard part for me is getting motivated to get out and try new things. Why is that I wonder? I think sometimes I’m afraid of failure or not being good at something, but I’m going to commit to myself to not allow that to hold me back when I want to do something. Nobody is awesome when they try something new for the first time. It’s all a learning process. I know that when I try new things, I am happier and I end up enjoying it.

This movie even gave me ideas on how I want to build stronger, healthier, happier relationships with my family and someday, in the future, whoever I end up with. I think instead of just spending time with them, which is always nice, I’m going to ensure that there is a little change involved to our routines, a little more collaborative projects, a little more fun and play. I’m already thinking about starting a blog with my sisters, something they have agreed to but we haven’t done just yet. I think there is a lot to say about having individual success, but I find it very rewarding when that success includes more people.

With winter just around the corner, I have this fear that when I start hibernating, as I always do once the winter brings the cold, cloudy rainy days, that I’m going to become unhappy and moody again. One of the most important lessons I learned this year, is that I can’t rely on others to make me happy. I bring my own happiness and that is why I have had the summer of my life. Not only did I surround myself with people that I love and things that I love, but I made sure to do the little things like laying in the sun, writing, or meditating. I might have done some of those alone, but they made me much happier and pleasant to be around.

One of my favorite quotes is “Funny thing about joy, is that you only really find it when you are too busy having fun to go looking for it.” I don’t know who said it, but it was on a birthday card my mother gave to me and I proudly display that card as a reminder that I create my happiness.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone – even if you are already happy. For more information about this movie, check out their website at:

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August 17, 2011

What I Love…. Making Up Words

I have made up words since I can remember – mostly by accident. I always have two words in mind at the same time and when it finally comes out, it ends up becoming a single, spliced word. My newest creation was an accident of course. As I was staring at the ocean on my recent trip to the coast, it came to mind how massive and expansive the ocean was. I was in awe and wanted to express this thought with my road trip buddy, but instead of saying it was massive and expansive, I said instead, “It’s so mansive.”

I recently learned that there is a term for these types of words, thanks to my recent love of learning all about grammar. They are called pormanteaus words. The term is derived from a French word that refers to a suitcase that has two compartments. I can’t think of any other words that I’ve made up, but from now on instead of just laughing about them, I’m going to save them for later use.

Gold Dust Beach - The Ocean is Mansive

August 11, 2011

What I Love… My Retro Camera App

A few days ago I took a road trip to the Redwoods and it was amazing. While I will write another blog about it later, I do want to share what I loved down there was my camera phone. I’m not the best photographer by any means and I only had my phone to take pictures. I couldn’t capture the beauty of the Redwoods and the Oregon coast on our drive back, but I had fun letting my Retro Cam app on my phone try. I went a little wild, but I had so much fun playing with it. Here are some of my favorite images…

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August 4, 2011

What I Love… A Good Hug

I don’t think there is anything better than a great hug. I have met a few people who are amazing at hugging and I absolutely adore them for it! It occurred to me that I can be somewhat reserved, something I’m working on, but I think in the past it made it hard to hug people. I sometimes hold back, but I don’t want to! I think I’m afraid if I give a hug, it might be awkward for the other person.

Although, I will say I have come along way when it comes to hugging people. I remember my sophomore year in the dorms at the University of Utah, there were a couple guys who lived across the hall from us. One day, shortly after we had moved in, one of my roommates and I were talking to one of them. Before saying goodbye, he hugged us. At first my whole body tensed up – I was not used to hugging strangers or people I do not know very well. I wrapped my hands around him, and then I patted him on the back. He gave me a quizzical look and then proceeded to make fun of me – as he should have. He asked me if I had just patted his back and then said that wasn’t a real hug. I laugh about it now, because it’s true. That is not a real hug! Perhaps patting is okay, but combined with the awkward lean does not go very well. If that kind of a hug had words, I think it might scream “get me out of here.”

What is a real hug then? I give a lot of side hugs, I think because when I first greet people my hands are full. I think that’s a real hug though, but it’s not a great hug. I love the long hug with the little squeeze at the end; or the hug that, instead of a pat, has a loving, gentle back rub; or the hugs that last just a second or two longer than expected.  There is something about the unexpectedness of a long hug that catches me off guard. Sometimes I wonder if that person really needs a hug so at that point I know to throw in squeeze, just in case she does. Or perhaps they just really love hugging people and in that case, I love that about them.

To compare myself now to the girl I was in college is shocking, but now it is my goal to become a great hugger. It does seem silly, but a hug can change a person’s day.

This video makes my day brighter whenever I am sad, some of you may have already seen it, but it just goes to show how hugs connect people and can put a smile on someone’s face and I love it for those very reasons:

A hug can make a person’s heart grow bigger. I believe it with all mine.