Creative expression through the written word

Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

An Exercise in Self-Discovery

I want to tell you a story. A story about self-discovery. Probably 15 years ago I met a woman who challenged me to be a better person in so many ways. For several years before she passed away she fulfilled the role of spiritual guru for me and I count my life blessed beyond measure to have known her. 

So many significant exchanges happened between us but the one I want to share happened when my close group of women friends first met her and we spent a girls weekend in a hotel room immersing ourselves in spiritual conversation.  Through the course of conversation, I’m not really even sure what brought it about but, lets call her grammie greywolf, decided I needed to own myself.

She asked me to stand in front of the group and say, “I Am Trina. I am strong, wise and powerful and I Am the best Trina I can be.” Sounds simple enough, right? Only I couldn’t do it. Sure I could stand there in front of those women I loved and who I knew loved me back but I simply couldn’t make those words come out of my mouth. 

There is so much power behind those words: I AM. She was asking me to make a statement of self-claiming. She was asking me to own up to my own power and to lay claim to being the best I could be. Not just once but as a whole- forever and I simply couldn’t do it. 

I stood there crying. Wanting to say the words and be done but my heart and mind were not in alignment with the physical act of speaking. We all knew I had to come into alignment with those words on every level first. She stood in front of me, he’s my eyes with her own, her hand resting over my heart and I felt her love for me as a human being, as a spiritual sister flow into me. 

In a whisper the words slowly came out. That wasn’t good enough. She had me repeat that statement over and over, louder and louder until there was power behind my words. Truth reverberating in the simple words for everyone present to hear. 

That moment set me on a personal journey to claim who I truly am. To walk in my personal power and to really try to be the best version of myself that I can be. It set me on a journey of self-discovery For which I have been forever grateful. 

Maybe you don’t have a grammie greywolf that can create a space for openness and healing and stand in front of you patiently until you reach your a-ha moment but you can do this for yourself. Stand in front of a mirror, look into your own eyes and make your own I Am statements. 

Don’t stop until you actually feel and hear the power in your words, until you see the shift of confidence come over your body. 

When you do this, every morning if necessary, you will find that you start to express that truth in the world. You start to learn how to be the best version of yourself and believe me, the world will be a better place for it. 

Try it. You can only grow from it. Aren’t you with it?

Can you host/hostess well?

August is our last month of full summer and then we begin the slow transition into the fall and winter. From the first weekend in September when we celebrate Labor Day to the last week of December when we welcome in the New Year we are on a roller coaster of holidays and celebrations. Outside of summer it is often the busiest time of year for people to host parties and get-togethers. It’s a time to celebrate and create great memories that will last a lifetime. So, what happens if you do not feel comfortable hosting a party but you want to? Well, we have a few tips for you on how to be the “Hostess with the Mostess”. There are a few simple things to think about when planning a party that will make things go smoother and easier for you.
Step One: Give yourself plenty of time to organize the event. We often underestimate the amount of work it takes to throw a “simple” party together. Not giving yourself enough time puts stress on you right from the start that is not needed. Give yourself more time that you think you need. Seriously!

Step Two: We like to think we are Superman/woman but the truth is we can only do so much and a big mistake in party planning that people make is not asking for help. We often have a bigger support network than we think we do and people really don’t mind being asked to assist. Especially when they get to participate in the fun afterwards.

Step Three: Food can make or break a party. You can do everything else right but if the food is bad or mediocre it’s all your guests will talk about so keep your food choices simple. Parties are not the time to try out new recipes. Stick with favorites that are tried and true and easy to make. Better yet, find recipes that you can make ahead so you have less to do the day of the event.

Step Four: Set the tone for your party before your guests arrive. Turn on music that creates the environment that you want. Light those scented candles that invoke smells you want to linger in your guest’s mind. Post a little sign by the door if you want guests to take off their shoes. Open the patio door if you want guests to head out to your backyard. All these little things will set the tone and you will relax knowing that the feel for your party is set and ready to roll.

Step Five: Once the party starts – relax and enjoy your own party. People do not expect you to be perfect and in fact, relax more if they feel like you are just like everyone else. Watch the flow of the party and the guests. Keep conversation going, make sure people’s glasses are full and that they have eaten enough but don’t forget that the whole point of having people over is to enjoy their company. To have good conversations and make memories. You don’t want to be so busy “hosting” that you don’t even enjoy your own get-together.

Step Six: Say Thank You! It only takes a minute in our day of technology to drop a quick thank you for attending. Choose your most convenient way of contacting people but be sure to say thank you. Especially to the friends that helped you out or stayed late to help you clean up. Everyone likes a little recognition.

With a little bit of pre-planning and learning how to keep it simple you can have a great party. You may even decide that you are quite good at hosting parties. Before you know it, you might be “THE” hostess of all your friends.
 

Get over yourself 


This more true than people want to admit. No one wants to think about when they are gone but the reality is no one is getting out of this alive. 

Pictures, video, voicemail….these things that capture the essence of a person are the treasured memories of those that come after us. The reminders that we existed, that we mattered and that we left an imprint on someone and something in his world. 

Get over yourself and your self-judgment and simply be there, be present, and shoot the video, take the picture, leave the loving voicemails….we are not guaranteed even one more minute of life. Don’t leave a blank space, a void, where proof of your love can exist.  

When you are gone, your loved ones will treasure the memories and that’s way more important than whether or not you had your makeup on or were overweight. Trust me on this one. 

Can you say No?

Silly question – I know but indulge me a bit.  Truthfully now, can you say no?

A lot of people struggle with saying no. They don’t want to disappoint people so they agree to things and then later they are eaten up with anger, guilt and remorse. Worse yet, they over-promise and under-deliver. Then the very thing they were afraid of, disappointing or letting people down is exactly what happens.

Saying no, even when it a reasonable request can make you feel guilty and like a bad person but in truth saying no can be a healthy life decision. So how do you learn to say no? Well, you start by realizing that you can’t say yes to everything because then you end up saying no to yourself.

Get over the idea that you are being selfish by protecting your own time. You aren’t going to lose someone’s respect because you are honoring your own boundaries. You’re saying “yes” to spending more quality time with your friends, loved ones, and family. You’re saying “yes” to maintaining your sanity because we all know how insane we can get by saying yes too much.

You’re saying “yes” to living a more relaxed, evenly-paced life that is centered around the things that having meaning for you and not killing yourself to do things for someone else. You’re saying “yes” to having a reasonable workload instead of burying yourself in hours of extra work because you simply couldn’t say no.

You may want to ask yourself why you are having trouble saying no. There is probably a lesson about yourself or your relationships in the answer. The more you ask yourself why you feel you can’t say no the more you will learn about yourself and those you surround yourself with.

All that being said, I firmly believe that you should say yes if feel that the task is  manageable, within your responsibility to do, or even when you owe someone a favor. Just be wise in what you say yes to and feel free to say no. It can be life changing.

 

The Gift of Art

Have you ever looked at a piece of art and felt it call to something deep inside you? The longer you look at it the more you feel it belongs to you? That it has a special message just for you? 

I’ve never considered myself an art expert and I am certainly no artist but I do own a few pieces of art that have touched my soul and bring out this vibrational energy within me, every time I look at them. 

One of the pieces that I love the most was one of the last pieces of art created by my friend and mentor Megan “Greywolf” Garcia. She told me it was her depiction of stepping from this life into the radiance of spirit. She transitioned from this world not long after she gave me this piece of art from the sacred space she called home. 

Every time I see it I think of her. I connect with her spirit and all the lessons she taught me come rushing back but more than that, it has the power to move me “forward”, to empower me. As a mentor to me it was her last gift of wisdom although it contains no words. 

It is priceless.


So as I sit here, looking at it, I wonder….. do you have a piece of art that has touched you? Changed you? Continues to inspire and speak to you? I would love to know what it is and why it means so much to you. 

Average of Five

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” A mathematical way to work that out is to take the income of your five closest friends and then divide by 5. It usually comes out to or close to your yearly income. The theory is that if you want to increase your wealth start to move in a circle of people that challenge you to “rise” to their level. 

On the flip side of that, if you aren’t strong in who you are and where you are going, your friends have he ability to “lower” you to their level even if you are the biggest earner in the group. All in all it’s a conversation about these theee things:

  1. Don’t let who you associate with being you down to their level. 
  2. Are you content being the average of your friends?
  3. If you want to grow and increase then find a group of mentors who are living   In the lifestyle and financial bracket you desire and spend the majority of your time with them. 

That doesn’t mean if you are on welfare and barely making ends meet that you try and hang out with Richard Branson. There are a lot of steps between where you are and where you want to be. 

I didn’t believe this theory when I first heard it it I did the math and it was almost spot on. I also have checked when my finances are ebbing to see who I am spending time with, and yes, it was proven again. I’ve surrounded myslelf with people I would class as doing better than me and realized that they motivate me to be better, do better, stretch and grow. 

It’s an interesting concept to ponder. Try it out and see what you think. You might be surprised by what experience in the process. 

Happy discovery!

Disconnect to really connect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were blessed with an opportunity to spend Friday night – Monday morning at a friend’s property up in the mountains in Darrington. It was an opportunity to completely disconnect from our busy lives and just be. It was awesome.

Our biggest question over the weekend was wether to get in the pool or air by the bonfire. It was delightful. There was the beauty of nature all around us and the joy of good friends. We ate, we drank, we took mid-day naps, we laughed, we met new people, we swam, we loved on dogs, a cat and several kids.

The best part, which I wasn’t sure about, was our phones not working. I’ve become quite accustomed to being connected to the world through my little hand held device. However, after the first hour, I didn’t miss the outside world. I didn’t miss checking my emails, following all my WhatsApp posts, all my social media stuff. I actually went an entire day not even knowing where my husband had plugged my phone in to recharge for when we left.

Giving ourselves time to disconnect actually allowed us to connect with our friends and with each other. It was the best Memorial Day weekend I’ve spent in years. The best part of it is we have been invited to come back any weekend we want through the summer and early fall. Just the thought of all that relaxation has brightened my world.

If given a chance to disconnect from the world for awhile, do it. You will be happy you did.

The Counterpoint Brigade

Life is crazy. Hectic. Chaotic. You can have absolutely perfect days and days you barely make it through. All in the same day even. A good friends brother had a saying that I’ve adopted…. “This is life and I’m living it.” It is not good or bad. It simply is what is. For every breath, the Now in front of us is life. 

I try to remember that but I am as susceptible as every other person in this world to the experiences of life.  I fall into the whirlwind that is my life and get sucked along, trying to keep my mind focused on Truth while feeling totally out of control to the craziness that is my life. 

But I have a secret…..

Drum roll please…… enter the Counterpoint Brigade. Uh, what? I have collected into my life these amazing men and women who are by description:  wild, crazy, zany, fearless, strong-willed, opinionated, over-the-top, and experts at life experience. They are the people I go spend time with when I need to “get my head straight ” and “my heart figured out”.  

They don’t even understand how much they effect me. Spending a hour with any one of them transforms my outlook on life- every single time. No kidding! Spending time with one or more together is like bathing in a pool of sanity when everything else in my world is insane. 

Want to know the funny part? I think we laugh more and can be the weirdest  around each other. Most people would think we were crazy people but I guess that’s why I call them the Counterpoint Brigade. What seems one way from the outside is really the complete opposite.

Some of them might know they fall into this group but I’ve never openly acknowledged it. I just know when I need them and i know it was right when I walk away from an encounter with them focused, happy, and ready to tackle “life” again with all its crazy aspects. 

These people are the unsung heroes of my life but I literally wouldn’t be who I am without them and I hope that to someone out there that I fill this role in their life too. I hope that people are the better for knowing me and that when people walk away from an encounter with me that their life is touched, refocused, balanced, energized. 

May we all touch each other’s lives in such a meaningful way. 

The Moment of Change

We all have those moments where we are forever changed. From one breath to the next we are different people. The change can be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual but the moment still transpires. If we are lucky we are fully aware of the transition as it is happening. Often times, we are caught in the drama of the moment and don’t realize the change has occurred until after the fact.

I have had many moments where I know for a fact that I was changed. I think big moments are easier to recognize, like when I graduated from school, became a wife, and became a mother. Those are huge life changes and once you step over the threshold you literally cannot go back to being who you once were. But what about those moments that do not get such huge recognition and fanfare? Are they any less significant? I don’t think so.

Here is an example – Back in 1996 I went to work in a sales office in Denver, Colorado and on my first day one of the sales team walked into my office to greet me and this amazing thing happened. She took a seat next to my desk and we both just looked at each other with this awareness. Two souls recognizing each other. Literally I believe that is what one of us said to other, something like “there you are.” It was an acknowledgement of what was undiscovered but known between us.

We became fast and deep friends. The lessons she taught me about myself, my mindset, my spirituality, my finances and my business acumen are invaluable to me. She awakened me to truths about myself and in exchange I did the same for her. It was like being two sides of the same coin. Over time, life happened and we went our separate ways but this woman still remains, to this day, a milestone in my life. There is before I met her and after I met her. That may sound crazy to some of you but it is what it is.

Even to this day, I will wake up and have this sense that she is having a bad day, an emotional day, an extremely happy day. I feel connected to her even with thousands of miles between us and many years of minimal communication. The interesting thing is she inevitably reaches out to me when I need to hear from her the most. Again, two sides of the same coin.

This is just once instance that I can think of where these moments of change just occurred and I am a better person because of it. I must say, not all of my moments of change were inspired by happy things. Some of them have been sad, traumatic and emotionally devastating but I have come to realize that these moment of change are what make life such an interesting journey.

Compliments 101

I used to be really bad at accepting a compliment until I went to a Women in Leadership Conference and one of the exercises they made us do was stand up and compliment the person to our right. They were complete strangers and to say the least it was awkward. The instructor asked us a bunch of questions about how we felt giving the compliment versus receiving it.

People actually enjoyed complimenting others way better then being complimented. Why is that? If we are all truly amazing, unique and special individuals and we all are talented in different ways why wouldn’t we want someone to recognize our gifts and talents? Why would that make us uncomfortable?

The instructor talked a lot about how bad it reflects on a person as a leader if they do not know both how to give complements and how to receive compliments appropriately. It has been years since that conference and I still think about the things they said and I really try to give compliments to people regularly.

At the conference one of the things they had us do was have another person compliments us and then before we respond to say in our head, “Yes I know” and then verbally to say thank you. Believe it or not, as funny as it sounds, it actually works. When you say, “Yes I know” inside your head it brings a smile to your face and a confidence that can be heard in your voice when you say thank you.

The key is to stop speaking as soon as you say Thank you because everything that comes after that is usually just running our mouths with all the reasons why the compliment isn’t valid. Quit denying your greatness. It starts with accepting compliments. When you begin to accept what other people see in you then it easier for you to take chances to step out of your comfort zone and do even more great things.

Life tip: Learn to give and receive compliments. The world needs more of the positive and so do you. Don’t discount it when it comes your direction.

Tag Cloud