Monthly Archives: November 2011

11/21/11 – Different Roads

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“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.”

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11/18/11 – Patience

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“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

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 “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!)

11/16/11 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

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“Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

– Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Just like I will use John Lennon and Gandhi quotes all the time, I will also quote Don Miguel Ruiz. His books are BRILLIANT, this one in particular. I have to recite this quote to myself a lot and I find that I say it a lot to friends as well. It is so important to remember this “agreement.”

If someone says or does  something hurtful to you, remember that this is a projection of what’s going on in their life and it has NOTHING to do with you. Don’t internalize what other people say unless you know it is warranted.  There is nothing worse than trying to figure out what you did wrong when you actually didn’t do anything wrong, apologizing for something you didn’t do or judging yourself based on someone else’s words and opinion.

We all succumb to unneeded suffering and a skewed sense of oneself based on the harmful words and actions of others. If we can remind ourselves daily that we have control over only one person in this life, we can avoid this needless pain and distress and spend more time focusing on being the best person we can be.

Really, if you haven’t read this book, click below and buy it, borrow it, get it somehow.

11/15/11 – Start Creating

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“Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.” – A sentence from The Holstee Manifesto

I LOVE to meet new people. Literally, it’s like a hobby of mine. It’s amazing what you can learn from other people and about yourself. I’m going to keep this one short today because I think it is simple. Cherish your friendships! I know that every relationship I have, no matter how big or small, means the world to me; each of them in a different way than the next.

Like the Holstee Manifesto says: Open your mind, arms and heart to new people, share your passions and unite in your differences.  Make the best of every relationship and situation you have.  Start creating, it’s what this life is all about 🙂

The picture below will take you to the page where you can order the Manifesto. I think EVERYONE should have it! I just got mine for my birthday. Thanks, Stacy!

11/14/11 – Excuses

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“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

There are some things in life that I just WON’T miss, I REFUSE!  No matter what I have to do to make it work, I will. This actually happened a few times this year. Two of my bestest friends in this world got married (for which I couldn’t be happier by the way) and I wasn’t going to miss the bachelorette parties or weddings. No way, not an option! They mean too much to me not to be a part of their special days, so I found a way. Maybe money was tight, maybe my bosses got a little upset (sorry about that guys) but those reasons weren’t going to keep me from being there.

But it’s not just events like this that this quote refers to. There are some things I shouldn’t allow myself to miss other than weddings and parties, like THE GYM! My trainer actually posted this quote on Facebook this weekend and i couldn’t relate more when it comes to fitness. There were so many times the past few years when my health, for who knows what reason, wasn’t as important to me and I found excuses not to work out, I think we all do this. But then I had to take a step back and think to myself, “Wow, that is an AWFUL excuse and really only an excuse. Do I want to be healthy? Do I want to feel good about myself? Well then I have to find a way to make it happen because I know that it is truly important to me.”

So glad he posted this. It applies to ALL areas of life: Personal, Financial, Professional, etc. Thanks for the reminder, Cody!

The picture below links to one of the songs that motivates me the most…”Pump It.” Go ahead, give it a listen and get motivated!

11/12/11 – Perspective

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“It’s brainless to assume that making changes to your window’s view will give a new perspective.” – Death Cab for Cutie

I get an email everyday from http://www.moodscope.com. You really should check it out. The quote above reminded me a lot of what was in one of the emails from last week:

“Generally things look different when you look at them, well, differently.

You’ve arranged to meet up with a friend but he has to cancel. You’re disappointed. So do you get angry that he’s let you down? Or do you stop and think that one reason for your disappointment could be that he actually means something to you?

Whatever’s going on in your life, there’s often more than one way of viewing it. But I often forget this, losing sight of the fact that it can make sense to take a step back so you can see the wood from the trees.

So the next time something untoward happens, walk round it as if it was a sculpture in an art gallery. Nine times out of ten it will look different from another angle.”

Don’t be so quick to react, try and look at every situation from a different angle, someone else’s perspective.