Tag Archives: inspirational

Different is Definitely Beautiful

13 Jul


Ever seen something so unique that it just stops you in your tracks?

Happened to me today.

As we were hanging out at the aquarium celebrating my little ones 4th birthday we came across this beauty. I had no idea something like this existed. It was so amazing that we stood there in awe of this awesome creature … The Leafy Seadragon. Other than exploring Shark Lagoon, and being able to pet baby sharks as a celebration to the end of Shark Week, this was probably my favorite exhibit.

It reminded my that in the ocean world where all kinds of creatures can be found beautiful because of their colors, strength, size, intelligence, or power, uniqueness is still something that stands out. In the real world people don’t always seem to appreciate the essence of being different.

This was such a good reminder that even if you don’t fit the mold, even if you are different, even if you don’t fit the beauty norm, you’re extraordinary because you are different and that is captivating and that is beautiful. And the thing is the seadragon wasn’t even trying, it was just being itself.

I never forget to be myself, sometimes I get lost in parenthood but my essence is still there. It’s brought back to life with my triathlons, my Hour of Power morning routine, books, movies, races, kids, comadres, and meditation. I don’t forget who I am, I don’t forget why I’m different, but the Leafy Seadragon just reminded me to keep embracing it because that’s what makes me awesome. That’s what makes my kids awesome.

Don’t forget your own awesomeness.




6 Jul

Things just went up a notch.

Although there was nothing really wrong with my routine, I wasn’t slacking off or purposely missing opportunities. But it just so happens that I got one of the greatest reminders to just go for it. And let me tell as a mom, you sometimes forget to just go for it. Between being a referee, maid, dishwasher, clothes folder, taxi driver, Lego Master Builder, and tea party goer I tend to forget things. Lack of sleep does that. You need little reminders here or there.

I got a big one this week. A 20-foot one. A couple of 20-footers actually, courtesy of The Discovery Channel and Shark Week.


Shark Week is back! It’s back baby!

Image by Tony Sacco/Discovery Channel.

Image by Tony Sacco/Discovery Channel.

I can’t tell you how excited I am that the Great Whites, Megamouths, and Makos are back. Not that they ever left the coast or that I’d want to run into one at the beach, but just exploring the power, strength, and mystery of this beast is pretty amazing. All you ever wanted to know about sharks is brought to you with an amazing scare-the-crap-out-of-you soundtrack this week. It’s Discovery Channel’s SuperBowl and I’m watching. I love the fact that I can get so close to the shark and watch it attack and even though I’m not even in the water I’m still freaked out. Marine Biologist and abalone divers rock.

You know, I had no idea Mondays were gonna be this good

First it started off with the return of America Ninja Warrior, which got my entire family pumped up and creating obstacles and physical challenges every chance we got. It definitely boosted our fitness lifestyle.

Then I found out that AMC had created Mobster Mondays! I couldn’t believe it just when I thought that Mobster Week had ended, AMC came back with this amazing drama featuring Lucky Luciano.

But the awesomeness of Mondays didn’t stop there. Discovery Channel brought Shark Week back, and along with discoveries of this powerful beast, it also reminded me to live every week with Shark Week intensity, enthusiasm, fearlessness, and presence. I’ve got to bring it out in myself and not wait for something to make me feel that I way, because I’ve got this.

I’ve got this.

I am so grateful for the reminder.

It’s not like I’ve forgotten. I’ve had my seize-the-day moments and relax-and-enjoy-the moments last month, but what a way to continue that momentum into July.  The countdown is on to the big 4-0. Got twenty days before I hit that milestone and there were times this year where I’ve felt anxious, sad, and concerned about hitting that mark, worried about career goals and life expectations and where I should be with all that. But small victories, tiny happy moments, and small steps seem to help me flick the switch and get back on the positive track.

And Shark Week?

Dude that was a great reminder to keep the light on and keep going.



Post-It Note Worthy Kind of Moment

13 May

You know how you’re watching a T.V. show, movie, or an interview, maybe even reading a book, and someone says something or writes something that you instinctively know, but the fact that it’s voiced aloud makes an impact … it seems to turn up the volume to your consciousness.

You put down the chocolate and pay attention.

You think wait-a-minute-one-second … I know that. I know that!

And you have a this-is-a-life-post-it-kind-of-moment. This is the kind of advice that’s worthy of note-taking, the kind where you take out a BIC pen, write it down on that yellow note, and stick it on the fridge, or on your notebook. Could be advice on life, parenting, womanhood, or writing. All of these bare Post-It worthy kind of moments.

Today’s moment happened to be on writing.

I learned to accentuate my flaws … you have to be really okay with essentially just showing the worst parts of yourself to everybody because that’s what makes characters interesting  … and I think that’s what people respond to honesty … and I think the easiest way to connect with honesty is to have it be a part of who you are — Rashida Jones

Dude I was like who are you Rashida Jones … right on … I got this. I know this!

The quote hit me like a GPS, navigating me back on track. It was so simple, and something that I’ve always known, something that most writers know, but it was put right in front of me for a reason. And I was grateful for the sneaky ways of the universe conspiring to help me succeed in the writers’ realm, because you can get a little lost when you’re editing your book for the third time.

So I was thankful for the post-it note-worthy-kind-of-moment that gave me pause. So I thought I’d pass it along, just in case you needed a sneaky reminder to keep you on track … just in case you needed a push, thought I’d share.



Remembering Is Important

11 May




A-HA! … The Stumbler Blew Me Away

8 May

They sneak up on you when you’re not looking. They blow your mind. And I love that!

They’re like power surges that give you the extra boost to make that cosmic shift or they realign your perspective. And the moment stops you and you zone out the chaos of the Nickelodeon population you are in charge of and you sit there and go … A-ha!


I had me one of those today.

I had an A-ha moment.

Sometimes I find them in movies, television, books, Super Soul Sunday Moments with my girls or hanging with my kids. They’re random and never planned, but they hit me when I need it. And I share an unlimited amount of gratitude with the universe for placing it in my path.

Today’s mind-blowing thought came from my blogging buddy Jackie Cangro who posted one her awesome Friday Fives posts. Jackie does this from time to time … she puts something up there that’s of particular interest to her and just like that! There’s a power shift and I get all Zen.

Today Jackie introduced me to The Moral Bucket List by David Brooks and I rediscovered the concept of Eulogy Virtues and Resume Virtues. As Brooks explains, eulogy virtues are the qualities people talk about at your funeral, the resume ones are the skills you bring to the work force.

I’d been introduced to them before, but like everyone else things get put on hold while you’re trying to catch up with life. But I was reminded that while I’m chasing my dreams and “external achievements” I’ve got to remember to keep my sense of “unfakeable inner virtue” in this career-driven bubble. I may not be there yet in terms of achievement, but I’ve got “unfakeable inner virute” and that’s a big part of my character and a promising quality to keep cultivating with what Brooks calls moral and spiritual accomplishments … A.K.A. The Moral Bucket List, which he fully described and proceeded to wow me. It was a whole another level. My favorite point, the one that hit home the most, was the stumbler philosophy …

The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be …

Duuuuuuuuuude that’s when my mind was blown. The Stumbler.

Jackie you rock.



Coming Off The Bench

6 Apr

I forgot … I had completely forgot … but the Duke Freshmen made me remember.

After watching the intensity of the Duke Blue Devils and Wisconsin Badgers battle it out during the Championship Game I was reminded of something. I was reminded of The Madness!

Yes the Blue Devils were crowned kings of The Big Dance, yes they earned it, yes Coach K — a basketball genius — won his fifth title, yes that all happened. Yes. But there was something else.

The Blue Devils were in trouble, down by nine, their big man on the bench,the loss of momentum continuing to go down the drain, I had no idea if my team would make it. Didn’t know how it would turn out. Felt it slipping.

And then that’s when it happened.

Freshmen Allen and Jones, came off the bench and had Gatorade-Commercial worthy moments.

They didn’t come in just to fill time.

They came in to make a difference. They came in with hustle. They came in with heart. They came with guts. They came in  fearless. They came in to contribute and make things better. They came in with 100%.

And that’s what you do when you come off the bench.

And it hit me.

Dude I need to have some come-off-the-bench moments.

Sometimes during the month I let things get to me. I forget about my Deepak-Chopra-Zen-like status. I let the distance of my quest bog me down a bit. I let pint-size people affect my gallon-size heart. I let time escape me. I forget about the importance of it. I forget my place.

Sometimes I forget that I need to come off the bench.

So watching Duke’s Allen and Jones reminded me of that. March Madness gave me something a little extra this year.

Come off the bench people … the rewards are worth it.

I Knew There Was A Reason She Won All Those Oscars …

23 Mar


Merryl Streep rocks.

Meryl Streep rocks.



Me too!

I no longer.



40 Before 40 … 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40

19 Jan

I had never met him, but I saw him every Friday afternoon.

He was always alone.

I imagined it was too hard for anyone to see him.

He was only nine years old.

Heartbreaking, really.

Pablo. His name was Pablo.

I didn’t know how he had died, whether it was an accident or illness. I just knew that it must’ve been painful for his family. I hadn’t seen anyone in over three years. And the only time I had seen flowers at his side was in June, on his birthday. Other than that he seemed alone.

He was buried next to my Dad.

Being a mom I imagined it was the most painful thing in life, to bury her son. Soul crushing. Probably really difficult to come see him, which was why his grave marker was caked in dirt and deer hoof prints. The sun beating down on it didn’t seem to do it any favors either. Looked like he had been there ten years without a cleaning.

And I felt bad.

I imagine he was a free-spirited kid, just like the portrait on his marker, running away from the waves smiling. Looked like that would have been his favorite thing to do, considering they captured it in bronze.

But it wasn’t supposed to look old, weathered, and uncared for … just didn’t seem right.


40 before 40

40 before 40


I grabbed my soapy water and brush and began the process. I worked the corners, letters, and portrait, making sure the layers of dirt washed away. After rinsing and drying it, I rubbed mineral oil on it and sat down. The sun warmed my back and shone on his marker. I felt better about helping him out, even if he would never know, even his family would never know. My heart felt less heavy now.

The situation was still heartbreaking, but I felt like I did the only thing I could do. Tough thing losing a kid, beyond words really. But you can still spread a little kindness in hopes that the tiny ripples make a difference.

I said a little prayer and wished Pablo well.

Then, I sat next to my Dad and had a conversation about life.



Finding Your Turning Points

1 Jan

It was the only thing I really asked of myself.

My only aim last year was to have more Super Soul Sunday moments.

I knew for a fact that my environment wasn’t going to change and I knew the people around me were set in their ways as well, so I realized I had to do something different, something that would change the blueprints of my life, something that would keep my Happiness Project running, and more Super Soul Sunday Moments seemed like a pretty good idea.

I loved these moments. I felt re-energized after them. I felt more like myself. I felt unbroken.

So how could I keep them coming? How could I get this feeling?

By living with one mantra.

“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t Lose.”

I know you’ve heard me say it. After the monster binge watching session in December 2013, Friday Night Lights had changed my perspective. The characters, the story, and their future flipped the switch somewhere inside me. It’s helped me stay in that Thelma-&-Louise-this-is-going-to-change-my-life-today-kind-of phase.

That was the plan.

And somehow in between all the beaten down, weary, frustrated and lowly Ben & Jerry depressed days, I had made it.  Clear  Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose had made a shift in my morning, noon, and night. It had made it to my Hour-of-Power in the morning. And I was not just surviving despite the circumstances, I was thriving.

And one of the moments that just intensified that don’t-give-up attitude, was an amazing book I read.





I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this book was to experience. You’ve probably seen the movie posters all over your town publicizing the picture. But if you haven’t seen it I encourage you to read the book before watching the movie. If you absolutely cannot wait, I understand. I do. The fact that it’s a true story blows your mind, and the book gives you a deeper understanding and connection to him, what he went through, and how he survived it.

In short it’s the amazing story of Louis Zamperini, a troubled kid who turned his life around and found a way to make it to the Olympics, only to get drafted afterward and become a Japanese Prisoner of War. But what was most amazing was not the fact that he and fellow POW Russell Allen Phillips survived 47 days on a raft at sea, it was the fact that he endured unimaginable hardships at the POW camp and survived.

Somehow Louie found the strength and courage to endure the most horrific abuse of the body, human spirit, dignity, and mind at the hands of many Japanese guards. But he found a way to thrive. He found a turning point.

And when the war was over and he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, night terrors, and anxiety he found a turning point. Again.

It truly was a great story of “Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”

The very fact that he found turning points during the most difficult points in his life, was inspiring.

I rooted for his survival, I rooted for his spirit to remain in tact, I rooted for him after the war. I rooted for him to turn it around, and he did. I rooted for him to remain unbroken through it all. The most amazing parts were seeing how he turned it around.

I felt so happy for him in the end, and was extremely grateful for being able to read his story at this point in my life. It put my own journey in perspective and reminded me to remain unbroken, to never give up. Everybody has turning points, everyone. Just takes courage and strength to find them.  I was happy that Louie found his and grateful that he inspired me to find mine.

So that’s the goal this year … to find my turning points.






When People Can’t See Your Awesome … You Have To Give Them Perspective

12 Dec