Monthly Archives: November 2011

11/29/11 – Respect Yourself


“You teach people how to treat you.” – Phil McGraw

Not many truer words have been spoken in my opinion. This quote is so short and seems so simple but speaks volumes. Repeat it to yourself a few times, “You teach people how to treat you…you teach people how to treat you…you teach people how to treat you.” Does it make sense? In other words, RESPECT YOURSELF! That’s what this quote means to me.

If you don’t respect yourself, love yourself and take care of yourself why should anyone else? If you don’t think you are important enough to treat yourself right, no one else will see a reason to either. So, next time you call yourself fat, or stupid or put yourself on the back burner, remember that others view how you treat yourself and will follow your lead. Think back of all the people you have treated with the utmost respect, that you would never disrespect or speak a bad word about, someone that you would defend to the grave and never imagine harming. Why did you do that? Because they treated themselves with respect and loved themselves, you were just following their lead.

It’s funny, it reminds me of when I give friends dating advice and say, “Why do you put up with that?” Well, the answer is, because they have taught them to. By allowing someone to disrespect you, you are disrespecting yourself and letting them know that it’s ok. The saying says, treat others like you want to be treated. But I think it can go the other way around too, treat yourself how you want to be treated. Your actions towards yourself will be mirrored by those around you. Teach others to respect you and give them a reason to!

Get it Aretha….Click below for a reminder!


11/28/11 – Everything Happens for a Reason


“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe 

I have honestly hated the saying “Everything happens for a reason” for most of my life. I never really got it and you tend to only hear it when things are going terrible for you. I think, for that reason, it always angered me because when you are going through tough times, you don’t want to hear that they are happening for good reason.

Well, my thoughts changed when I read this quote by Marilyn Monroe. I just needed some clarification. Things don’t necessarily happen because of any fault of your own or to purposely teach you a lesson, like you’ve done something wrong, but they happen and then we learn from them in the process. Asking the question, ‘Why did that happen and what can I learn from it?” helps us to really dissect and understand a situation. From this analysis of every day occurences and experiences we can continue on in life without repeating our mistakes. If something was wrong, you’ll be able to truly appreciate when it’s right; being lied to really makes you start to trust your instincts and what you know to be true about yourself; and when good things come to end, you have the time and space to move on and begin something better. I truly believe this!

Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and always wondering, “Why me?” I think we need to use every experience as a text book and learn how to focus on what’s good and how to make it better, rather than focusing on the negative side of things and who was at fault, placing useless blame. LISTEN to what can be taught when you aren’t paying attention!

Just found out about the book: Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives by Mira Kirshenbaum. (Linked to the picture below.) May have to ask Santa for this for Christmas 😉

11/27/11 – Care for Your Soul as if it Was the Whole World


“In deep and lasting ways, when we heal ourselves, we heal the world. For as the body is only as healthy as its individual cells, the world is only as healthy as its individual souls…Live directly, wait, and care for your soul as if it was the whole world.” – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

I think that too many times we all try to fix and help others before actually doing the same for ourselves. For many of us it is natural, we can’t help it and we gravitate to people that need to be “fixed.”  I used to think that it was fulfilling to do this until I realized that the satisfaction of helping others fades and so do they once they’ve been helped. And, after all the work that goes into helping them, I’m left the same way I was when I started. The gratification slowly disappears, the need to feel needed comes back and I’m once again at step one: neglecting my own needs.

I think many of us are scared to fix our own problems and think that by fixing the problems of others ours will just go away. But it isn’t true. I think that the best way to help others is to fix yourself and become the most honest and healthy individual that you can become. What good are we to others if we aren’t emotionally and mentally stable? Because, as Mark Nepo reminds us, “The world is only as healthy as its individual souls.” Take care of YOUR soul and others will heal with you. Take care of yourself like you take care of others because no one in this world is more important that YOU!

There was a great article on today by Jeanne Ball:  “Occupy Consciousness: Healing the Collective Mind.” Read it from the picture below. (Sneak Peak: “The effectiveness of everything we do — for ourselves or others — depends on the clarity of our consciousness, how much of our individual creative potential is available.”)

11/25/11 – The Seeing of Sites


“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  

– Miriam Beard

In 2008, three friends and I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for a week. We had nice rooms in a nice resort hotel and it seemed like paradise. But on the second or third day Melissa and I decided to take a ride off of the resort with a trusted local of the hotel to see the “real,” everyday Ocho Rios. This day was probably one of the best days of my life. We learned more that day about life than we ever would have learned staying at our hotel.

The driver took us through the local town, to the shops and markets and then up to the top of a hill over-looking the touristic coastline full of expensive and glamorous hotels. We entered a rocky drive to an old beautiful home with a view I would have never gotten. This home was a rental property and friends of his worked there.


There were 2 young boys there that were precious and they wanted to show us everything: their kittens, the fruit trees, everything. They had NOTHING, not even shoes on their feet but they were so happy! The boys grabbed two long sticks and knocked fresh mangoes down from the trees above us, washed them off by the house and we ate them right on the spot. They were AMAZING! As we pulled away they waved at us from the gate, running after us with huge smiles on their faces. We then went to eat at a real Jamaican barbecue before we returned to the resort.


It was more than the view we saw from the hill, the seeing of sites, it was more than the beautiful palm trees and sunshine. Our “ideas of living” were forever changed. For those few hours, 2 young, poor Jamaican boys taught Melissa and I the true meaning of happiness and what’s important in life and for that I am truly grateful.

As they say in Jamaica, “Ire!” (Everything is gonna be alright!) Right, Bob Marley?

11/24/11 – Thanksgiving, Part 2, My Mom


Thanksgiving, Part 2, My Mom

I Have Learned From You

I have learned about love from you,
Watching your caring ways.
I have learned about joy from you
In fun-filled yesterdays.

From you I have learned forgiving
Of faults both big and small.
I learn what I know about living
From you, as you give life your all.

The example you set is with me
I’d never want any other.
I’m thankful for all that you’ve taught me,
And I’m blessed to call you “Mother.”

By Joanna Fuchs (with my edits)/

This list is only part of what my mother has taught me in life and, I know, will continue to teach me. I know very few people that give of themselves like my mother does and love beyond their means. I’m not at home this year, which is tough, SO, today, on Thanksgiving, Mom, I thank YOU; for always helping me when I need it, for listening and understanding, for feeling my pain and happiness WITH me and for instilling me with kindness and compassion since I was a child. I wouldn’t be the same woman without you.

Thanks for letting me be “a small town girl out here chasing rainbows. Doing what I can to stand up on my own. You taught me well, you raised me right, so Mama don’t cry…” This song seemed appropriate because I KNOW you are crying right now. So STOP! lol (Song by Julie Roberts linked to picture!)

11/23/11 – Thanksgiving, Part 1, My Dad


Thanksgiving, Part 1, My Dad:

Life Lessons

You may have thought I didn’t see,
Or that I hadn’t heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we’d grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It’s written on my heart.

Without you, Dad, I wouldn’t be
The woman I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.

I’ve grown up with your values,
And I’m very glad I did;
So here’s to you, dear father,
From your forever grateful kid.

By Joanna Fuchs/

I am so so so grateful and will forever be grateful for all my father taught me…SO much so that I wish I would have written this poem myself, but I would have never come close to saying it better than this woman has. So, if you can hear me, thank you for teaching me how to love, how to be humble, how to be selfless and how to care for others.

Never miss a chance to tell those you love how grateful you are to have them in your life…How I’d love to dance with my father again… (Song linked to the picture).

11/22/11 – We Become What We Think


“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Our thoughts are SO important, they become our reality. We are a product of what we think. When we start to think bad about ourselves or negative about situations we are in, in effects everything else in our lives. Our posture changes, our body language becomes negative and cold, we begin to believe the negative things we are thinking about ourselves or others and we exude negative energy.

Next time you are in a funk and are thinking or feeling bad, notice how even just your face changes. Imagine the impression you are giving to others of yourself  and how your negative energy is effecting them. The healthier and happier your thoughts, the more positive energy that surrounds you. Positive energy attracts other positive people. Who wants to be surrounded by a bunch of Negative Nancies?

Keep a joyful aura around you and remember, you will become that of which you believe to be true. Our thoughts are the most powerful things we have….and we have 100% control over them!

11/21/11 – Different Roads


“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” – H. Jackson Brown

I have to remind myself of this some days when I feel an unwarranted pressure from the expected “norms.” As a society and a culture we have placed norms and stereotypes on where and when our lives should lead us in terms of marriage, children, success, looks, wants, needs and in so many other areas. I find these extremely frustrating to be honest. Everyone is different and has a different plan. Not everyone’s keys to happiness and fulfillment are the same, as they shouldn’t be.

I don’t like feeling that I have to make X amount of money or be married by a certain age with kids by another. That’s the fun of being an individual and living my own life. I can do whatever I want 🙂 We all can! How boring life would be if we all took the same road. Be an individual, follow your own goals and dreams and remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. This quote reminds me of my favorite poem by him, “The Road Not Taken,” which ends with this:

“…Two roads diverged in a wood,

and I – I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.”

11/18/11 – Patience


“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” – Barbara Johnson

This was me last Saturday, LITERALLY! I wanted to smash my car into every person driving in Chicago. Crazy huh? I know! But it was one of those days when I needed to be reminded how important patience really is. Why such a rush in this life? It flies by as it is, why do I sometimes want it to go by so much quicker? I had to stop the car and just BREATH! Me freaking out and losing my cool was not going to take cars off the road and give me a free ride home.

When my heart starts racing, my blood starts to boil and I am so impatient I can’t think I HAVE to remind myself to breath, relax and just wait. I will get where I need to go, what will happen will happen in time and I will be the same person at the end of the day regardless. As Buddha said, a jug fills drop by drop. He’s right, as our jugs of life slowly fill up, let’s enjoy the waiting period!

11/17/11 – Understanding


 “Our most difficult task as a friend is to offer understanding when we don’t understand.”

– Robert Brault

After an almost 2 hour conversation with my best friend last night talking about everything under the sun, I find it only appropriate today to discuss her for a moment. Her name is Nicole Lee, better known as Niki (or Niki Doo).  We have been best friends for almost 16 years and I couldn’t ask for a better person to share those years and those to come with. This quote immediately made me think of her today and I wanted to share it with you.

Friendships can be tough. As with any relationship they need to be nurtured, communication needs to stay open and there is an amount of understanding that is expected.  We can’t always relate to or understand what someone is going through but, as friends, we have a duty to try our best. Nothing means more to me then getting to talk to my friends for hours about what’s going on in my life and them actually taking the time to listen and understand even when they don’t and offer amazing advice regardless.

I’m lucky to have many friends like this in my life: at home in Georgia, here in Chicago, across the country and around the world, actually. But today I want to thank Niki, for being who she is in my life for so long! We have truly been to hell and back together and have offered understanding when we haven’t understood. With her help and love I can honestly say I’m a stronger and better person today. Thank you, Nik, for always offering understanding and for being the constant in my life that I need to stay grounded.

The picture below makes this post less serious haha Clicking it takes ya to a special song if interested!

(She’s going to KILL me for this!)