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Posts Tagged ‘life’

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:

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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:

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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