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Moment2smile imperfections

Random Field in Dyer, In

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”                                            -Joseph Campbell

“The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere.”                                    -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“The authentic self is the soul made visible.”
-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sometimes I think we all need reminding that people are imperfect. We all make mistakes. We are not always going to say the right thing (In fact, if you are like me, I am more likely to say the wrong thing and then think about it later of how much better it would have been if I just would have phrased it differently like George Costanza’s jerk store). We are definitely not always going to be cool. In fact as I write that, I wonder if the word cool is still cool?  Sometimes you are going to say something that sounded hilarious in your head and it will be met with awkward reactions. It happens to all of us, whether we admit it or not. Point is: that is perfectly fine. I say let us embrace our awkwardness. Get out of your own head, stop putting energy into pleasing others and put it into doing what makes you truly happy.  Laugh at your own jokes even if no one else gets it. Dance awkwardly, most people do. At least you are dancing.

Taking the Long Way

A lone tree in the Painted Desert State Park. Somewhere on the scenic route in Arizona

A Lone tree in Painted Desert State Park. Somewhere on the scenic route in Arizona

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.              
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.
-Rosalia de Castro

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.        

-Marla Gibbs

When I was a kid, my Mu-Mu would ask if we wanted to take the long way home. It always meant taking the scenic route and we always said YES! We lived by Lake Michigan, and the long way included some truly gorgeous views of waves, dunes and sunsets. It was taking a moment to enjoy the surroundings. No rush. No where to be. No pressure. The sole purpose of the moment was to soak in the good stuff. 

I have been thinking about this lately. Somewhere a long the way, the definition of the long way has changed for me. It now means making mistakes, wrong turns, lost in a maze that I should have figured my way out of already. Should have done this, should have done that. It gets old should’n all over yourself.

So what happened to bring on such a drastic change? I think I got off track with the lil factor of intention. The long way is lovely if you choose that path. If you do not have the time, are feeling pressure to get somewhere and somehow find yourself on the long way home it does not have the same feel. Less “Oh look, that cloud is shaped like bunny!” and more “Where the hell am I?” Clearly, our Adventure/Responsibility ratio changes as we get older. This is inevitable. Cleaning our room just does not carry the same weight as the mortgage is due. However, that does not mean we just let responsibility squash our need for adventure.

Realistically, how often does life go just like you plan anyway? For me, it is pretty rare(admittedly this might have something to do with having two kiddos but a good portion of it is just life). My point is this, when the long way shows up, it is not necessarily a bad thing. It could be an adventure waiting to happen or yes, even a cloud waiting to be noticed(Psst…it is the one that looks like a bunny). Maybe the more we embrace the long way, the more we not only look for the good stuff but actually find it.

Have a nice day (o:

My To Do Lists

Moment2smile Ducks

3 Ducks enjoying the day during my bike ride.
Random Creek. -Munster, In

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Do something every day that is loving toward your body and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sensations of your body.”
-Golda Poretsky

“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”
-Deborah Day

You ever get to the grocery store and know that you are forgetting to pick up something. You cover every aisle from produce to toilet paper but that nagging voice is still saying you have forgotten a highly important item like hot dog buns. You drive home, put the groceries away, start on dinner and *&$*$& you realize that you have indeed forgotten the said item and try to decide if you can go without it for tonight.
This happens to me quite frequently. I personally blame sugar and ADD. No worries though, I have learned to conquer this challenge with my beloved lists. Thank God for lists. They organize my days and make me feel very accomplished. Oh the glorious goodness that I feel when I check something off my list. I try to be realistic with my lists, because I find if I have too many items still left on it at the end of the day, it pops my positive bubble. I learned to narrow it down to a few things and throw in a couple of things that I always get done, like brush my teeth or feed my child. That way I maximize my productivity aura.

I noticed the other day though that my lists were filling up with the day to day chores. I was talking to a close friend of mine who was speaking about how she had felt swallowed up by all of the things she had to do in a day. Her days had filled up with all of the to do’s that she felt like there was no time for her. In fact who was she anymore? She couldn’t remember. I thought you need to put your self on the list. And then that nagging voice who forgot the hot dog buns started saying to me that I should take my own advice. Damn voice.

I looked at my recent to do lists and noticed they had been filled up with taking care of a bunch of people/things, except me. I know this lesson. I talk about it a lot and yet, there I was doing the same thing. Where had my bike rides gone? I am sure I have talked before about my excessive love for my polk-a-dot bike(PolkySpot). It is one of my many favorite past times, one of those activities that clear my head and make me feel sane. And then the pedal broke. In my defense, I tried to fix it. In fact, it went on the list. I googled and watched youtube videos but none of it worked, and there Polkyspot sat. Then I had to move the bike out of the way to make room for the camping gear, and the pedal got thrown into the back of my car(A scary place where there maybe a secret society of gnomes living happily and I would never know about it. Shudder at the thought.). Long story short, Fixing the bike got put off the list and a shocking thing happened, the list filled up with other things. Oh there are always other things. If you let it happen, you can easily get swallowed up by the to do’s and forget the you’s. See what I did there? I rhymed, impressive…

I decided I needed to be put on the list. Here is the thing. If we do not make time for ourselves we start to feel run down, our energy is being used but not refilled. Eventually you collapse or walk around like a shell of yourself. Life seems that much more difficult when you are running on fumes. However, if you make the time for yourself, you not only work more efficiently, you teach others to respect your needs and their own.

So what did I do after thinking about all of this? I attached the new pedals to my bike and went for a ride. 30 Seconds into it, I was out of breath. I thought to myself, “I should not have had that last piece of birthday cake, and man I am out of shape!” I happened to look down and notice that polkyspot’s tires were in desperate need of air! Eureka! I rode to the gas station, filled the tires up and took off. It was amazing what a difference adding the air made. Not only was I able to breath but the bike ride was fun. Maybe that last piece of birthday cake wasn’t so bad. Taking time for yourself to reenergize is just like making it a priority to refill the tires. You may feel like you do not have time for a fill up because you have other things to do, but you will get much more done and more likely enjoy the process if you make sure you/your bike are properly taken care of. Imagine that. Going to add learning this lesson again to my to do list.

Enjoy your day (o:

Choose Wisely

Moment2smile Beauty is Everywhere

An Alligator following me as I walked a bridge in Palmdale, Florida.

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
-Wayne Dyer

“Every choice you make has an end result.”
-Zig Ziglar

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”
-Ayn Rand

“Choose your love, Love your choice.”
-Thomas S. Monson

Every day is filled with choices: Choices about how we view situations around us, choices about what actions we will take or not take, choices on how we view other people and more importantly how we view ourselves. Those choices are where our power lies. It is in this moment right now that we have the ability to decide our direction. It is in the consistent moments that defines who we are. If a path is chosen over and over again, we begin to identify with it.

Now We all struggle with this. We make choices that we know do not help us. We choose to stay in ____________(relationships, careers, habits, beliefs) that deplete us because settling feels less scary than growing. Then there are many aspects of life that are out of our control. Something will happen that throws us off our game and we feel knocked down. We put focus on that something and next thing you know it feels like we are getting hit from all sides. When it rains it pours, right? Well Yes, life can be chaotic. There is no getting around that. However, if we choose to put our focus on the chaos, than we are looking away from what we do have control of.

Here is the trick. Look around at your life and take responsibility. Look at the choices that have influenced your current situation. Even Look at the choices that influence how you view your current situation. If you are not satisfied with the way your life is right now, than it is time to make some different choices. Start with little steps at first. You might be surprised how a few steps away from or toward your path makes a tremendous difference in how you feel. The good news is we are never too far from our path to find it again. How could you lose something that lies in you? The happier you are with your choices, the more you will feel empowered to take on bigger goals. It is a matter of listening to that quiet voice inside and then aligning your choices in life so that who you dream to be coincides with who you are. It all starts with what you choose right now.

Much love (o:

Synchronicity

A glimpse from the mailroom in the As You Are exhibit. - Chicago, Il

A glimpse from the mailroom in the As You Are exhibit. – Chicago, Il

“There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
-Friedrich Schiller

If you have a moment, I want to talk a little about synchronicity. It is the natural flow of energy through our lives when things feel particularly connected. Examples: You have had a life long dream to skydive, and you hear an advertisement on the radio. Or You feel like having an apple, and your dad stops by with some extra groceries, including a 3 lb bag of apples. Or right now I am looking at a 3 legged pig figurine given to me by my dear friend Christine. I smile at it. It reminds me of her and makes me think I should give her a call. 5 minutes later, as I am still working on this post, Christine sends me a text. I love moments like this, don’t you?
moment2smile street art
Here is what I wanted to point out, synchronicity is the natural flow of energy, meaning this is the way life happens on its own. When things feel stressful or discombobulated, most of the time this is because we get in our own way, either not listening to our intuition or blocking the flow by focusing our energy on negative areas in our lives. When we are following our bliss as Joseph Campbell often talked about, things are more likely to fall into place
moment2smile you are beautiful bottle
The other day I was watching a report on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday about an artist named Matthew Hoffman and his You Are Beautiful project. Here is the basic idea, Matthew wanted to send a simple message to the world, You Are Beautiful just as you are. No need to pretend to be someone else. He wanted to spread the message by creating simple stickers with the message You Are Beautiful on it. First he gave them to friends, then more people started asking for them so he created a website where people could buy them. Guess what? It spread like wild flowers. People began taking pictures of the sticker with the simple message all of the world and sending them to Matthew. 10 years later the project has snowballed into much more than he imagined and the stickers have been everywhere from the Great Wall of China to Antarctica.
moment2smile speak positivity
I loved the thought behind this project and when I found out that an exhibit showcasing the decade of You Are Beautiful was being held in Chicago(Talk about Synchronicity!) I knew I had to go see it. The exhibit was fantastic! I loved it so much that I wanted to pass on the ideas to you guys.

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday and may you have a week full of synchronicity.

Much love, Marjon

The Thirsty Fish

Moment2smile thirsty fish

Koi at the Museum Of Contemporary Art – Chicago, Il.

“I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it’s thirsty for!”
– Rumi

“Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it.”
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Amongst the madness…Love does work. BELIEVE IN YOUR LOVE!”
-Anonymous

“Follow your bliss.”
-Joseph Campbell

I believe we live in an environment of inspiration all of the time. I think what I call LOVE/GOD is in everything including us if we just learn to see it. So many times though we get disconnected from that truth and see things through different eyes, the eyes that see the world around us as a challenging harsh scary place. Things happen that do not make sense, that rock our foundations of security and we are thrown off track. I see so much in our environment that steals our energy, negative story after negative story that is repeatedly teaching us to be afraid. So much pressure to be successful and achieve that we forget to ask why we want to do that in the first place. What is it I am supposed to be doing here? Today? Tomorrow? The rest of my life? And so we learn to feel stress, maybe a little at first and then over time, we learn to think that stress is normal and we should expect it. Let me let you in on a little secret, STRESS SUCKS. Ok, maybe not such a secret, but then why do we act as though it is a condition we should learn to put up with?

I will tell you that it is not. STRESS is a glaring sign that you are disconnected. Deep down you may know this already because we do not feel good when we are in distress and we in turn are drawn to ways to feel happy. Sometimes though, We look for the answers in all of the wrong places. We look for them in relationships, making someone else responsible for our joy or flip the coin and blame them for our suffering. We look for it in our jobs, so many of us focusing all of our energy in something we do not love or believe in and then feeling depleted at the end of the day. We look for it in addictions, from shopping to food to substances. We are looking to escape from the world that drains our energy and find some outlet to turn our light on. I know looking for the good in painful times can seem so absurdly illogical. However maybe it only seems absurd because the reality being presented to us is so skewed towards the negative. We all are in search of something to believe in, some hope that the reality we see is not the full truth.

A better way exists. I have not figured out most of the answers but there are some things I have learned and one of them is that feeling love trumps everything else. Sad? LOVE helps. Stressed? Booyah! Love eases that. Mad as hell? LOVE LOVE LOVE. Now before I lose you to the idea that I am on some Pollyanna high, life is not always easy/happy. For some reason, we need the harsh times to help break us down so we can be built back up to a truer version of ourselves. However that does not mean we need to be bombarded with harsh times and my friends does it not seem like that is the case sometimes? Who doesn’t want a bit more joy in their lives?

I for one want to see more love in this world and I will do my part to help change the tipping point. We need places to go to help rejuvenate our energy, to be reminded that we are surrounded by inspiration, in fact you are surrounded by inspiration right now wherever you are reading this. There is a quote by the poet Rumi that talks about the thirsty fish. I LOVE THIS THOUGHT! Not only would it make an awesome bar name, but it is a perfect metaphor for what I am trying to communicate. A fish is surrounded by water by its very nature. The thought of it swimming around(IN WATER!) breathing in yet again more water and then searching for something to drink is laughable. Open your eyes fishy (irony on top of irony it does not have eyelids), water surrounds you. It is in you as we speak! We are no different. We are thirsty, many of us desperately thirsty for passion, joy, purpose, inspiration, something more than what we currently see. Remember when I said I believe inspiration surrounds us? LOVE/GOD is in everything. IT IS IN US, we just need to take off the fish eyes and start to see the truth and I think having more places that show us that truth might help. Here is what I am going to do. I am going to work on making some adjustments to MOMENT2SMILE so it can better serve its purpose and will let you in on those changes as they come closer. In the mean time though, I am going to magnify the good that I see so you can see it too. Maybe if you see love and inspiration you could share it with me so I can pass it on? My intention is that if more people see the love, more people smile, then the more people will notice it in their own environment and we will have a few less thirsty fish in this world.

For now, I hope you have a fabulous day.

Much love, Marjon

moment2smile begin again

Sunrise- Munster, In

“Every day is a fresh beginning, Every morn is the world made new”
-Sarah Chauncey Woolsey

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
-Seneca

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are”.
– John Pierpont Morgan