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Finish-Line Friday

10 Feb

Getting to the Finish Line on Friday …

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Priceless.

Definitely a high five moment for everyone. Glad everybody climbed their way through obstacles to make it this week. High five.

 

 

Daily Post Challenge: Ten

25 Jan

Ten.

Ten of my favorite memories from this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade.

Ten amazing works of arts.

Ten thousand volunteer hours dedicated to the beauty of flowers and creating amazing artistic visions floating down the boulevard.

Ten ways of feeling happiness while looking at this awe inspiring work.

At least ten snacks in my backpack for the kids.

Ten Echoes of Success being the theme this year.

Ten ways of feeling inspired when we left.

Ten hugs for this family adventure.

Ten minutes to the nearest Happy Meal for lunch

And … at least tens of hundreds of smiles remaining in my future when I continue this tradition with my kids.

Ten

 

 

 

Daily Post Challenge courtesy of the Daily Prompt: Ten

Motivation Mondays: The Upside To The Downside

23 Jan

I started off Saturday morning parking five long blocks away from the Metro station and putting my best parallel parking skills to the test — the kind where you have to turn down the music and high-five yourself when you finally turn the engine off.

As I got to the station the sight of the massive crowd made some people turn back, either changing their travel plans or just changing their plans for the day.

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🙂

 

But I saw an opportunity to move forward. Inch by inch onto the platform, linked arm in arm with women I had just met on my way to meet my Comadres of a lifetime. We started off as strangers on a train and but walked through the sliding doors knowing each other’s names and purpose, and wishing each other luck as we stepped forward into our future.

 

Civic engagement used to come every election, but now the grassroots movement on this side of town continues to be strong, especially around particular issues important to people, whether it be education, women’s rights, health care, or the environment. Everyone was speaking for something that mattered to them.

It  was moving to see so many women come together and peacefully unite for a cause. I was even prouder to be part of a country-wide effort that brought worldwide attention to this cause. Thousands upon thousands of people throughout the country … in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, multiple cities throughout the world engaged. Everyone is watching.

Those that were apathetic  became more vigilant of their future and the potential dangers out there, and those that are passionate find ways to engage more people and continue inspiring others.

Marching with 750,000 people in favor of women’s rights made me feel certain during uncertain times. I left knowing what Gloria Steinem called “The Upside to the Downside,” and this was just step one.

 

 

The Universe Conspires and Celebrates With Me

21 Nov

This is not a Manic Monday, but a I’m-bottling-it-up-today-Monday.

After a horrendous two weeks mourning the future of our nation, something great happened in my neck of the woods. And just when I thought I’d be the only one celebrating The Universe decided to join me by blasting four feel-good songs in a row. Even though my NanoWrimo efforts will not hit the 50,000 mark, I did hit my mark with a new project and it will be hitting the stage next year.

I was ecstatic to hear the news and pleased that November wouldn’t necessarily be a total writing failure. There is some success on the page, which I welcome with open arms. I was glad to hear that the universe was still “conspiring” with me.

It felt so great that I wanted to bottle it up. The Universe conspiring with me … sometimes I forget that happens because of all the crappy stuff. But things like today remind me of those wheels working.

You see, when I first heard that phrase about the universe, 15 years ago when I read Paolo Cohelo’s The Alchemsist, it definitely stuck with me. Back then I wasn’t a sign-looker, I wasn’t searching for confirmations that I was on the right path. I hadn’t looked for signs when it came to things like that. But I was so glad to have come across that phrase. It changed my trajectory, placing me in the reach-even-higher-for-your-dreams category. The No-Half Measures category.

And during this universe-conspiring process, I found out that if you’re honest, really honest, trimming away the bullshit from your story, whether it’s humor, drama, tragedy, sports, or coming-of-age, people respond. They connect with truth. Good things tend to happen on the page when you make this connection.

And they did happen and the universe decided to celebrate with me in the car.

It’s Monday people. Motivation Monday. I’m feeling it.

Hope these feel good songs help you feel it too.

Borderline — Madonna

 

 

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me — Billy Joel

 

 

Styain’ Alive — Bee Gees

 

 

 

 

Talking in Your Sleep — The Romantics

 

Don’t Stop — Fleetwood Mac

 

 

 

 

Not All Accidents Suck … Four Months Later, I Have Orange Gloves

19 Sep

There are a lot of things I would never call happy accidents. Accidents by definition usually suck. However sometimes there are exceptions …

I forgot my daughter’s water bottle in the car. That’s where it all started.

So after returning to the car to get it, going back into the classroom to give it to her and then heading back to my car I ran into this mom. She tells me about this thing called Muay Thai and I was like what?

I’m not of the Jean-Claude Van Damme fitness level, nor do I want to get punched in the face. She assured me it wasn’t that type of class. Intense and driven, but not at the Bloodsport level.

My other excuse was the fact that I was wearing my Big 5 Sweatpants with the hole in the right pocket that was expanding to the outer layers of my sweatpants. The kind of pants usually reserved for household cleaning when no one sees you, or running on the secluded track at the park where distance and a long t-shirt hides the hole. I wasn’t in the mood to be judged by people who wore matching stretchy outfits at a gym

She again assured me it wasn’t like that.

Just try it.

First class for free.

Well I had nothing to lose then.

Little did I know that four months later I’d be excited about Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. Muay Thai Mom Madness had slowly crept up and made it’s way into my inner circle. And that mom? I think she’s lost over 18 pounds and another mom lost like 36 pounds. Me? I gained two.

Funny.

It’s all good. I didn’t really join this Muay Thai Madness for weight loss, because I feel good in my skin. I joined for a different reason. One familiar to a lot of people in sports. So when the coach recently asked a few of us for references, I was more than happy to oblige. I was able to let others know about my reasons and hopefully convince them to pick up a set of gloves and have my coach introduce them to Thailand.

Here’s what I wrote …

 

mtb

I’m not in the picture, but it’s still a great shot of the class.

 

Dear Future Muay Thai Warrior,

I loooooooove my kids but there are some days when you wake up and motherhood beat you down by 9 a.m. You get lost and forget yourself. You forget you used to be badass. That’s where Coach Patrick comes in … I go in like Clark Kent and come out like Superman … Superman in Orange Venum Muay Thai gloves.

And when I walk in all I want to hear is … Esooooooooooo!

If Coach  says that, I smile because I know I’ve done a good job. I know my left hook made an impact. I know the right power punch found the sweet spot on the pad. I know he’s proud of his student.

Some people like to go to class as part of a training regimen for their next fight, others are looking for a new exercise routine to help them stay in shape. But what I look for is how it makes me feeeeeeeel and how it’s become part of my active lifestyle. I love triathlons and obstacle racing, but have also embraced Muay Thai as a way to turn the corner when I lose my balance in life. With his welcoming nature and powerful kicks, Coach infuses the class with technique, style, encouragement, and awareness. His contagious passion for Muay Thai creates an inspiring environment that helps students reach their personal goals.

But not only do you walk away from the class with great combinations, knowledge of Muay Thai, and the ability to knock out an unassuming attacker, you also walk away feeling empowered. That’s something I always look for in whatever I do. So whatever drama, or disaster, life, motherhood, or work awaits, I have this bring-it-on attitude, because I just walked out of Coach Patrick’s Muay Thai class, and I got this. Esoooooooo!

Feeling inspired?

Try something out. You never know. Not all accidents suck.

 

 

Writer Wednesdays: Making an Andre Agassi Comeback

7 Sep

You woke up in the morning before the kids did, ready to write. It’s the only pocket of time you could find in the 24 hour period. You were pumped up with the I got this attitude!

But then you made the mistake of checking your email and then you saw it …

Dear Applicant …

Right there, right off the bat you knew something was wrong. They didn’t even have your name there. You were just “applicant” and then they followed it up with …

We regretfully inform you …

As soon as you hear those words, you know. You feel the punch in your stomach and a pain in your temples that makes you wince. The air is knocked out of you and a wave of sadness, insecurity, and doubt comes crashing in knocking you over. You turned in something you thought was one of your best works, you knew it, you believed it and the “congratulations,” would have validated that thought. But instead all the voices that told you, “maybe you should get a real job,” come rushing in and it hurts a little more.

You break a little, and your shoulders slump as the weight of the “No,” bears down on you as the sun rises. You feel broken and wonder if you should even apply to the other job or agent that’s sitting on top of your to-do pile. You wonder if you should even continue writing the next chapter. You can’t seem to find the writer in you and you a need a moment with all this heaviness that hit you this morning.

You don’t want to wallow in it, but all you do is feel the pain of the no.

But then something gets to you during a deep breath moment. Someone says something on a podcast that reaches your inner Andre Agassi and pulls him out.

“Let your dream be more important than any situation you got going on …”

You realize that you’re discouraged but not defeated. You’re looking for a comeback … an Andre Agassi comeback and it’s in you.

You remember how to pick yourself up off the floor, because you’ve felt failure before. Instead of being stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of, you break free. You lace up your shoes and go running. You grab your gloves and go a couple of round on the bag. You stop thinking I’m-not-where-I’m-supposed-to-be-right-now thoughts, and replace them with how-far-have-I-gotten moments.

You begin to turn the corner in between breaths.

The Andre Agassi comeback is on the horizon.

You turn on the computer and begin to type again.

You got this.

 

 

 

22 … I’m Up For It, Are You?

2 Sep

Are you up for the challenge?

22 pushups a day. That’s all it takes. Sweating for a good cause to raise awareness about a topic that not many talk about but should.

Mental health. It effects every decision you make, from how you breathe, to whether you get out of bed in the morning and go outside, to handling business at work. Mental health issues effect us all, but today I’m talking about how they effect our veterans.

I learned about the challenge through one of the looooooooves of my life Jax Teller.

Sigh.

He rarely posts anything on social media, but had something to say about the suicide statistic regarding veterans. On average about 22 veterans are killed by suicide a day. When I heard that I couldn’t believe it! 22.

Raising awareness for mental health issues that lead to suicide is something I think is extremely important. Being able to educate ourselves, talk about it, and understand the problems and triggers that lead to thoughts of suicide can help someone change their course. Spreading awareness, education, and compassion can lead to change.

So are you up for it?

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🙂

I am.

This week I became part of the initiative trying to spread the word about #22Pushups and help the organization reach 22 million pushups. Every little bit helps. All of this in order to honor those who served and raise awareness for veteran suicide prevention.

22 pushups a day … for 22 consecutive days.

You got this.

 

 

I’m Usually Not a Diet Person But …

6 Jun

 

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Discover Challenge: Chance Encounter

11 May

I don’t run into anybody by chance, while clocking in at “the office,” because there is no office. I don’t run into anyone while I’m my lunch break, because I don’t get breaks. I’m not on a 9-5 schedule so most of my chance encounters happen with words.

I hear something that someone says in a movie, song,  book, lecture, Netflix, or in a documentary and it sticks.

It stays with me and changes something in me. It helps align things that are off-center, or gives me an A-Ha! Moment, or makes me feel like I’m on the right track. Sometimes it just opens my eyes when I had no idea they were closed. Sometimes it happens with people during unexpected moments in life, but most of the the time, it happens with words.

 

“The predicament that you are in right now does not define your destiny … You otta look at every negative situation in your house and say … you’re a liar! I don’t believe you.”

— TD Jakes

 

That was a good chance encounter.

 

 

Discover Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

Writer Wednesday’s 

6 Apr

I generally like to think of myself as a badass who flies her  freak flag and lets her awesome whenever possible.

Skydiving doesn’t scare me.

Bungyjumping doesn’t worry me.

Hitting the dance floor, no problem.

Karaoke, don’t sing like Adele, but don’t care.

The one thing that does worry me? Concerns me? Brings some insecurity bubbling to the surface?

Opening night coming up in ten days.

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Program for the play … no this is not me … it’s the star. of the play


Eight plays. One festival. People I know, people I don’t know. Words coming to life on stage. First time that’s happened since that girl scout talent show in elementary school.

I’m excited, but worried at the same time. The words are gone, now in the hands of the actors. How I said them in my head, the little idiosyncrasies I imagined, how I saw it playing out, that’s  all gone. The words are on their own and I have to hope they were strong enough to carry my vision, and the lives of the characters I created. Don’t know if people will laugh, or remain unmoved. Don’t know what the other writers created. All I know is that I’m last on the lineup.

Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Won’t be sure of much until afterwards. In 11 days I’ll be all right, but for ten … Ten days insecurity will strike.

But I imagine that’s what all writers go through even if you’re confident in your work, even if you think it’s awesome … a little insecurity before the big day, before the book debut, before the movie comes out and before your play hits the stage, it happens, right? Insecurity hits us all while we’re waiting. Thank God for chocolate.
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