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Come What May

Moment2smile Surviving

Trees buried under Mt. Baldy sand dune. -Michigan City, In.

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
-William Barclay

“The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.”
-Charles Dickens

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”
-Virgil

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”
-Buddha

Voice

Moment2smile Frog

Frog- Hobart, In

The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.
Mahatma Gandhi

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Steve Jobs

Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.
Louise Brown

From First Glance

Moment2smile Love at first sight

Baha’i Temple- Wilmette, Illinois

In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.
-Maya Angelou

Do you believe in love at first sight? Personally, I am not sure what I believe but I know that I love hearing stories of love at first sight. I can remember tales from my best friend’s grandparents about the moment they first saw each other. I knew them for years and every time, her grandpa would say, he knew from the moment he laid eyes on grandma that she was going to be his wife. And he wasn’t all talk either, you could feel it when they looked at each other from across the kitchen. Even after 50 years, you could still feel it in their gaze. That gaze said it all. It is not just grandpas & grandmas either. My friend Christine has an amazing story that I have talked about before regarding finding true love with a handsome surgeon at an Indiana rest stop. I love meeting people like this, hearing their stories, believing their love for each other. They not only give me that warm & fuzzy feeling I have grown quite fond of, but they give me hope that AMAZING LOVE exists and is not some fable that should be filed away with unicorns and leprechauns.

I would like to tell you a little story, if you have the time. It starts of course, with a heroine. I am not going to name names (It’s me) but let’s make her unbelievably charming, adorable, curvy, brilliant, heart of gold and why not throw in humble? Now, our heroine has a challenge before her as most main characters do. She is working on a big school project. Now for multiple reasons, we find her down to the wire on this assignment. She needs to start kicking things into turbo mode and to do that, she needs a place of solace, a haven that includes some workspace, free wi-fi and why not throw in some baked goods? One day, our heroine stumbles upon one such utopia, you might call it Panera Bread in your neck of the woods. And eureka, our story begins.

Multiple times in a week, we find her typing away on her laptop, reading articles, typing some more and yes, if you must know, eating cookies. This goes on for a couple of months, day after day in the same corner, same table(It’s by the electrical outlet), until one Monday comes her way. She thinks it is any other Monday folks, but I will tell you a secret, it is not. Can you picture her? She is sitting at her computer, finishing a sandwich and a double chocolate duet cookie(Yumm). Her eyes move from the article that she is reading to her computer, focused with a sexy determination(author reserves the right to remember story as she sees fit), until someone comes over to her table and picks up her dishes. I look, uhh, I mean, she looks up from her work and sees the most adorable BIG BALD TEDDY BEAR (BBTB) of a man. (FREEZE FRAME: Do you know what a lazy second is? It is a second that seems to take a tad longer than the rest of its buddies. Time stops for a brief moment and then carries on as if nothing happened so that you wonder if it really happened or if it was just in your head. Understood? Good, lets insert one of those here. Carry on.) Now where were we? Ahh, yes, eyes meeting each other, time pauses, and the moment is passing, hurry,think of something to say! Thank goodness our heroine is quick on her feet and says something amazingly suave like, “Thank you”. He smiles, nods and walks away. BUTTERFLIES! People, am I right in saying that butterflies in your tummy are in the top five world’s best feelings? You know the feeling when you find someone you instantly like? Not sure what it is about them but there is just something, possibly but not necessarily including a bald head.

Now folks, I may not have mentioned this before but I have a soft spot for bald heads. I like them on babies and I like them on men. So much so, that all of my close friends are well aware of my feelings, and will tell me when a potential bald suitor has come into view. (Bald man at 12 o’clock). One such friend was phone called on this fateful day. It went something like this… “Christine, there is a bald man working at panera! We may have a new crush! ” “Ooooh tell me more” And so began the first of many conversations regarding BBTB.

It is funny to look back on that moment now. Remember the first moment I saw him. Remember how pleased I was that a cute bald man was carrying away my dirty dishes (a subject I like to remind him of as I persuasively build my case that dishes are his duty). Remember that in a moment, our heroine did not know what had hit her but she knew it was better than the double chocolate cookie and my friends, you know that is saying a lot. Maybe I do believe in love at first sight, I know for sure I felt that way about the double chocolate cookie when I laid eyes on it, why not a BBTB?

Much love until next time, Marjon

Moment2smile Set your standards high

St. Louis Arch

Today, I thought we might do a quick activity together. I promise, it will only take a few minutes and all you need is you. Ready? (if its ok with you, I am going to imagine a throng of cheering people right now (o;) Here we go.

Step 1:
Think about that type of person do you want to be: Adventurous? Successful? Kind? Funny? Intelligent? Healthy? Spiritual? There are countless choices available to you, just pick the ones that stand out the most to you and fill in the blank. Take a moment to picture your ideal self in your head right now, no pressure, I will wait…still waiting…(and now I have begun to hum patiently) Oh you got it? Good.

Step 2:
Take a look at the people in your life. Your crew. Your peeps. Your family. Your mentors. Your coworkers. Basically the people that you spend the majority of your time with and choose to give your energy to.

Step 3: Do they match up? Meaning do the people that you choose to give your energy to also have some of the characteristics on your super self list? They should. The people in our lives are our teachers. Sure sometimes you get the crabby teacher who should have retired 10 years ago but for the most part you want your teachers to challenge and inspire you. You want to learn from them so that you can grow and become the best you possible. It is doubly hard to fulfill your dreams if you are in an environment that is clouding your vision or even worse, draining your energy. If the crew you run with does not support, lovingly challenge, and excite you then it might be a good idea to examine those relationships a bit more closely.

If your environment does not match your dreams, start to seek out people who you can learn from, people who have achieved what you want to achieve. Read books, articles, attend lectures, join clubs, listen to podcasts, go wherever you would go if you had already achieved your goals, and your community will follow. The wonderful thing about the connectivity of our time is that almost everyone is in reach in some form or another, so go find people who are living the life you want to live.

The old adage that you become who you surround yourself with is one I believe in. You want to lose weight, start hanging out at the gym. You want to change the world, start learning from those who have made a difference in it. We do not make real change on our own. We get there with the help of others. If you do not see the change you would like to see in your life, then maybe looking at your present relationships is a good next step.

Hope you are well!

Much Love, Marjon

Game Changers

Moment2smile perfection

Deer on the shore of Lake Michigan- New Buffalo, Mi

You ever have a moment that you instinctively know is going to be one you will always remember? The picture above is one of those moments for me. It was about a month ago now. I had spent the night at my brother’s place on the beach and woke up with the sunrise. I decided to take myself for a walk by the lake that morning. Let me paint it for you: The water was calm enough that I could see the bottom, the sun was just peaking around the corner and cast this beautiful golden shade on everything it touched, and the best part? There was no one else on the beach but me! I love these moments when you can pretend that the world is yours. I sat down on the cold sand and listened to the water lick the beach rhythmically. I started taking pictures of the sand, the stones, the lake, the horizon. Time spent just me and my camera is one of my favorite simple pleasures. Eventually, I decided I had caught everything I was going to see and stood up to shake off the sand so that I could begin my day. I grabbed my camera and looked up to come eye to eye with a doe down the shoreline.

Now for those of you who have not spent the past 34 years in Michigan, you may not know that this was a special moment. I have always had a fondness for deer. They are peaceful creatures and I fancy myself a peaceful creature (well at least when I have been properly fed and rested) so I feel a kinship with them. Whenever I see one, it is an almost spiritual experience for me. So to see one is wonderful but to see one on the beach, and not just any beach, my favorite beach is a whole other story. It has never happened to me in all my years of beach walks. In the woods? Yes. On the golf course? Yes. In the backyard? Yes. On the beach???? NO. When I saw it, I just stood there watching, staring, trying to absorb every detail. It was at this point that I thankfully remembered that I had my camera and caught this shot. It felt like a gift, like something that was for my eyes only…well and now yours (o;

After a few moments of taking each other in, she took a sip from the lake and just as quickly as she had appeared, she was gone. I thought it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I sat there reveling in it and then I may or may not have cried on the beach. Ok, I did. In my defense though, it was not sobbing people, just a simple teary gratitude for the unexpectedness that life can offer you. From the moment I left the beach, I knew that it was going to be a special day. I knew amazing things lay before me but I did not know what they were. So around every corner I looked, fully expecting to see something else magical like maybe a unicorn or a free ice cream cone. But corner after corner, it just wasn’t there. I mean it was a great day. The weather was delightful. I had a nice talk with my Mu-Mu(grandma) and she gave the proper amazed response to my bambi sighting. I drove home and played with Myah. I had a nice dinner. It was a perfectly relaxing, lovely Sunday. It was not however out of the ordinary, except for that beautiful start to the day. I had just about given up. The sun was setting, the day was coming to an end and I decided to just be grateful for the moment and that I had gotten a picture to boot! That is until right before bed, when BBTB called for the first time. Who is BBTB? Oh peeps, I have so much to share in due time, until then though, I hope you are well. I hope you are more than well!

Much love, Marjon

Moment2smile Adventure Awaits

Rt. 66 in Mt. Olive, Il.

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This process we may call self actualization”
– Abraham Maslow

“Everyday spent not living your purpose is wasted.”

-T.D. Jakes

Now is a time of rebirth. This past weekend was Easter and Passover, both traditions having a focus on new life. I love this concept because it brings out the hope of possibilities. We see rebirth in nature too. Spring time is the environmental equivalent of New Year’s without the pressure of resolutions. Here in Indiana, the daffodils and lilacs are in bloom, the robins are chattering and the trees are getting dressed in green. Breath it in people, Ahhhh. Time to start again.

First, can we just have a moment to appreciate how lovely that is?

In the spirit of breaking through the past, and saying yes to new possibilities, today I want to talk to you about the call to adventure. I recently had a wonderful experience of attending an event where Oprah Winfrey spoke about LIVING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE. It was fantastic for so many reasons. To begin with, does anybody else love roadtrips like me? You just never know what you will experience. This adventure included but was not limited too: Rt. 66, a giant pink elephant(and not just any pink, Pepto bismol Pink, takes the awesomess up a notch, doesn’t it?), homemade cake batter ice cream, Native American holy ground, the St. Louis Arch, and oh yeah, did I mention Oprah?!

My favorite part was learning from someone who has dedicatred their life to improving the world. Oprah’s theme was all about expressing your gifts and using them to make contributions to the world. Each of us has been called to adventure, called to live our potential. Most of us say no to that call out of doubt and fear but no worries, a common MOMENT2SMILE theme is that you can say yes right now, or now, or how about now? It is never too late to start living your life more fully.

Plus, here is some good news, we have everything we need to get started within us. It goes something like this. Step one, get the hell out of your own way. Step two, Enjoy. You have been given gifts, start unwrapping baby! Knowing what your gifts are and making your contributions to the world can be some of the most joyous experiences of your life because you are perfectly authentic. It is all of the walls we have built up over the years that get in our way. Anyone out there afraid of failure? Do you have doubt in your dreams? Or the big one, unworthiness of love just as you are? All lies, excuses, B.S. What better time than now to breakthrough? Take action today, and everyday afterward to start LIVING YOUR PURPOSE. Believe in your abilities & your vision, have faith that the world wants you to make your contributions and say yes to opportunities that come your way.

Keep the faith and have a lovely day.

moment2smile goals

Leaves looking up to the trees.

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
-Frank A. Clark

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
– Edmund Hillary

“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
– Aristotle

Growing up, we would often go to the Indiana Dunes and climb Mt. Baldy. It is a fairly big sand dune which to a kid might as well have been Everest. It was always the same, a daunting look at what was ahead and the immense pride at my accomplishment at the top. Oh and the view from the top was always worth it, especially on a clear day when you could see the Chicago skyline. That is not what I am here to talk about today though. Today, I want to talk about the climb up. It was rough. It sucked. I was tired. Covered in a lovely mix of sweat and sand. Sure, You would always start out strong, almost leaping onto the sand hill, and easily take the first few steps up. Your feet would inevitably sink into the sand and slide down a foot or two. And then it would hit me, I forgot how hard this is. I would lift my feet and trudge upwards. Slide down a bit, Sigh. Up two feet, slide down one, up two feet slide down one. Why does my family enjoy this? Child torture really. It went this way all the way up the dune. I would persevere though, partly because I wanted to reach the top and partly because my family would not let me live it down if I gave up. Good old peer pressure. I thought about Mt. Baldy the other day when I was working on my thesis. The up down pattern is quite similar, I make progress forward, take a step back. Progress forward, take a step back. It can be quite frustrating because I want to just accomplish and be done. I want to just skip to the view. How silly it would be for me to expect this from the sand dune. There is no escalator to the top, well actually, there is an easier path that goes around the dune, but we will leave that alone for these purposes. My point is, we expect the ups and downs with the dune, it goes along with the territory. Literally. How about if we also expect the ups and downs any time we are trying to reach a higher position in our lives?

Whether it be exercising more, eating healthier, working towards a promotion, or just plain being a better person, we work towards goals in an up & down motion, sometimes even side to side and all around motion, but at any rate, it is not a straight shot to the top. We know this. Anything worth achieving is going to be a challenge but the adult mind set, the ability to see where we want to be, can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that we are able to picture our goals clearly and analyze our current position, formulate a plan and close that gap between the two. A curse if we beat ourselves up for not being what we wish to be, always keeping the focus on not being good enough and in the end, sliding back down, staying in the same position or giving up the goal all together. You will not be _______ overnight. It does not happen like the flip of a light switch, and that is a good thing. As Rev. Geraldine Colvin says, “You do not just go through challenges, you grow through them”. Expect the obstacles, be kind to yourself when you slide back down into footsteps you have already taken. You will achieve everything you KNOW you will in due time, and when you get to the top, the view will be worth it.

Much love