Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Inspiration #285: when you're with the right person

Sometimes in a relationship, you can get that moment of clarity when you realize that the person you are is exactly who you always hoped you would be. If you're in a relationship, and you feel this way, then that is an excellent indicator of the fact that the person you are with brings out the best in you. Maybe he challenges you to raise your own bar. Maybe she doesn't let you slide on the promises you made to yourself about being your best possible version. Maybe the reflection that you see in his eyes, is one that finally makes you proud of all of the hard work you put into being the kind of person your grandmother knew you could be.

If you look at your life right now and the people who are in it, do you just smile? Do you look at that goofy/sleepy/imperfect/loving/perfect/ face of the person you are with and think "Yup, I chose well!"? Yes? No? Not sure? I think the not sure part can be the hardest to navigate. Nothing is really wrong but nothing is really right. You're fine (I dislike that word so much and have banned if from my vernacular) but not great and not awful. Life just unfolds every day like it has for every day since you can remember. You can't remember the last time you did something nice for someone or when someone did something nice for you. That's not the life you were meant to have.

Your goal in life should be that when you fall into bed at the end of the day, that someone else's life was better that day because you were in it. The great thing about that is that magically, it makes you feel good too and that just strengthens the desire to keep acting this way. We do things because they feel good. I don't know anything in my life that feels better than when I've acted lovingly towards someone (even an animal) and they look at me with that moment of love. It feels like all these little happy pink lights in my heart suddenly turn on.

Life is ridiculously short.  It is.

Life is about surrounding yourself with people who make you feel secure and and loved without bounds. When you are secure, you act in a way that is brave and strong and right.  You want people who make you feel good about yourself. I don't mean someone who is always complimenting you. (Ugh) What I mean is someone who makes you feel like the kind of person who would naturally feed a quarter in a stranger's expiring meter or holding the elevator door for someone who looks late for work (especially if you're in a rush yourself). When you're with the right person, it clicks in you. You don't have anything to prove to anyone. You just know that this is who you want to be.

If you don't have someone in your life who makes you feel like your best version, you can either accept that you don't feel like you deserve better or you change the situation. Talk to the person in your life. Work on it together. If that doesn't work, then sometimes it's better to be alone than to live an inauthentic life with someone who doesn't appreciate your gifts.

You have many gifts, sunshine. You are literally overflowing with gifts that are uniquely yours. You have no idea how incredible you are. Isn't it mind blowing when you realize that YOU are the only version of YOU and that YOU are the only person in this entire world who can make someone happy in your own unique way?

Today, go be brave. Go be you. Go be your best version. Know that someone's day is about to be made because of you.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Introducing the Littlest Happy Girl

And so on a very hot August night just after midnight, a new little sunshine joined this world.

She's here. Our daughter. Two weeks after her birth, it still seems so odd (and wonderful!) to say "I have a daughter. We have a daughter. My daughter. . ."

If you have followed my journey to motherhood, you know how difficult the last ten+ years have been. When I started writing this post, I poured forth everything L and I have gone through to get to this happy moment, but the thing is, her life, her being, her sweetness is just so lovely that it stands alone.

This is her moment.

There will be time to talk about how we got here. For now, there is just pure bliss and a little soul who finally found her way to us.

Welcome to the world, Waverly Emma.

Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Take Action When You're Scared

Sometimes after an explosive news event, the first reaction is to hunker down inside and hide from the bad stuff. The thing is, though, if you do that-if you decide to hide from life- those who incite the terror win. I have always believed light trumps the darkness. Good trumps evil.

When I think of how evil/terrorism tries to spread, I think of the game Red Rover, Red Rover that we played in grammar school. There are two teams. One team would link arms together while calling someone from the other team ("Red Rover Red Rover send ______ over") who would run full force at the weakest link and try to break the chain. If the runner didn't break the chain, the team he ran at would keep the runner. If he breaks the chain, he can claim one of the two people who couldn't hold the chain and take that player back with him to his team. The game ends when there is one person left on a team.

There will be folks who either have an extreme belief in something that can cause massive harm and they don't realize this or they do realize this and just hope to cause as much mayhem and hatred as possible. They try to build a momentum through terror, fear and pandemonium. You are not at their mercy. You are not. You can take action and hold strong the chain of good that evil forces are trying to hard to break down. You can build the team that is filled with light and goodness. The bigger we build this positive force, the more the sheer numbers will overshadow the darkness.

As I sit here, horrified by the latest terrorist violence in Barcelona and Charlottesville, I took a few moments to pray. In addition to prayer, however, (if that is part of your belief system), there are things we can do in these troubling times to keep the light burning strong, not just in yourself and your circle of family and friends but the stronger this light burns, the harder it is for evil to perpetuate itself in the shadows.

So, we can be angry, but we can also make a difference, like educating ourselves, donating to a cause or joining a community event. Here are some suggestions:

Read this outstanding, moving article about solidarity called "What to do About Charlottesville" by the brilliant Sara Benincasa.

Find an event in your community to rally against the Charlottesville hate groups.

Read this New York Times comprehensive guide to learn more about the events that happened in Charlottesville.

Donate to this medical fund for those injured in Charlottesville.

Follow Barack Obama,  The New York TimesNAACPSally KohnRachel Maddow and Cory Booker on Twitter. (There are hundreds, if not thousands of inspirational people. media groups and non-profits to follow on Twitter. Choose the ones that speak to your heart.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Inspiration #97: I Like Your Smile

One of my favorite things is to see the beginning of someone's smile. It's impossible not to smile yourself when you see it happen. 

It starts, I think, in their eyes and moves across their faces into big wide smiles, that if you're lucky turn into bubbling laughter. It's the best thing ever when it sneaks up on someone. Whether it's seeing someone smile as they watch a video of an otter stacking things on her belly or seeing two people greet each other at an airport, genuine smiles are a wonder to behold. 
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