Who Do You Think You Are?

The other day I spent some quality time with a couple of my girlfriends. One of them shared an idea for a project she is pondering. It is a fantastic idea but she is afraid to move forward until she has conquered the issue herself. She didn’t feel worthy or accomplished enough to consider herself an expert or leader on the subject. In response, I jumped down her throat and passionately told her why she should do it anyway, even if she is in the middle of the process herself. Ready or not, others needed to hear her message.

Not much later in the conversation, I got it. It clicked and I knew exactly how she felt; Continue reading

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Your Story: Halsey Preston

Note from Alana: Halsey is a dear friend, my younger sister… and a great story teller.

Chicken Fear
shared by Halsey Preston

This past summer I was in between jobs and needed to make money fast to pay the bills. Several opportunities came up to house sit for various friends. Usually I’m asked to take care of dogs and water plants, but this summer there was an addition… Continue reading

Vodka on the Rocks, Please!

Okay, so Vodka on the Rocks is not my alcoholic beverage of choice, but I do enjoy a good Captain n’ Diet or a nice glass o’ wine. Anyway, after a rough day at work, some days all I can think of is how badly I want to go home and drown my frustrations in libations. I want to numb the anger and pain and avoid dealing with the discomfort of whatever happened that day. Continue reading

Your Story: Gary & Laurie Pokorny

Note from Alana: Laurie and I were coworkers prior to their big move. I remember hearing of their dream to pick up and start over in a new place. At the time, a small part of me thought, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” I am so inspired by their courage and faith, I wanted to share it with you!

We Sold Everything for the Dream
shared by Gary and Laurie Pokorny

The American Dream. How is it defined? Webster’s definition: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also: the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal. Some say it’s the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American; a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the United States. Well for us, the American Dream was pursuing a passion or calling that was haunting us for 10 years. It was going against the traditional path. It was taking a risk and a huge leap of faith. Continue reading

Your Story: Michael Good

How I Quit My Job
shared by Michael Good

On December 30, 2011, I went to my last day of work as I knew it. I was quitting my job to launch a business with my wife, Claudia. Just three months prior, our first child was born and Claudia had cut her hours way back to stay home with our son. Our total monthly business income at the time I quit: $140.

A little background

At the time I quit my job, we had been married for 8 years. I had recently turned 30. We had been living a pretty dull existence up to this point, a life scripted by society’s expectations.

Michael and Claudia

I was extremely unhappy at work, but felt trapped. I didn’t know what else to do, so indecision caused me to remain in my awful work environment for years.

However, a new wind was blowing much needed courage into the hearts of my wife and I with the fast approaching birth of our first child. Continue reading

Your Story: Kim Lincoln

I Can’t Give Up
shared by Kim Lincoln

per·se·ver·ance
1. Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Kim Lincoln

Hi! I am Kim, and I have been actively engaged in my journey toward holistic health for the past four years. Four years ago, I began to take a very assertive and conscious look at how my story and life circumstances contributed to my lifelong weight issue. More specifically, I had to acknowledge how sexual abuse played a part in how I perceived my body and in what I have done to protect myself at all costs, including how I have used food and my weight to both shield my emotions and keep people at bay.

Kim in her earlier days

When I decided to embark on this journey, I did not know what I was getting into. Not really. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be painful. I knew I would have to confront all of the ugliness within me. Although I “knew” this, I only knew it on a superficial level. I had no idea what this really meant. If I had, I am not sure I would have stepped into the journey. It is far easier to view your life from a victim perspective, where nothing is your fault, and you “can’t help” being 300+ lbs. If only those awful things had never happened to me. If only I had had a perfect childhood, where the heart was cared for in the best possible way, where divorce and anger were not present and where sexual abuse never happened.

If only.

Continue reading

Back to the Basics: Rediscovering My Loves

The backstory.
Josh was out of town this past weekend for a cycling event, so I had the house to myself. Being a person who loves to be surrounded by people, my original plans were to pack virtually every moment with hosting out-of-town guests, meeting up with others for coffee, and spa dates. As the time drew closer, a few of the plans fell through and I felt the increasing desire (or need) to spend a substantial amount of this time alone. This time would be used to re-group and focus on what the heck I am doing in life. Ha. One of the things I love about myself is that I always have ideas for projects, businesses and improvements. One of the things that frustrates me about myself is that I always have ideas for projects, businesses and improvements. My mind moves at 100 miles/hour and sometimes I cannot even keep up with myself. I feel like this weekend, I got a little taste for what this has been like for those around me. 🙂

My original intention for the weekend was to figure out which of my many projects I should pursue first. However, it took a completely different direction. Last Wednesday I met with my naturopath of whom I’ve been meeting with for at least three years now. That being said, he has had plenty of time to get to know me – my strengths, desires and struggles. The abbreviated conclusion of our conversation is that I do not love myself. Yikes. This is coming up, AGAIN?? This must be an underlying current because it pops up in various areas of my life and recently has been popping up more and more often.

The twist.
I left his office with a new focus for the weekend – one I was much less excited about: “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am.” Not so ironically, the thing I have been avoiding is what I needed most. And… ironically, the thing I wanted most for others is what I most needed.

The basics.
I have based my value strongly on what I can produce – how quickly I can turn projects at work, how much house cleaning I can complete, how many people I can help… It has been an exhausting life to say the least. In my mind, if I am not actively producing, then I do not have value. So to deal with this this weekend, I chose to eliminate distractions (facebook, e-mail, and tv) and all projects (no blogging, no housework, no finishing the basement project that I started and have left hanging for a week now). It was hard.
I then wrote on a few notecards, “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am” and placed these in each of the bathrooms. Throughout the weekend, if I found myself thinking critically of my physical appearance or spastic tendencies I would drop what I was doing and force myself to walk into the bathroom, look into the mirror and read out loud: “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am.” Admittedly, at first, I had a difficult time even looking myself in the eye. Throughout the weekend it became easier.

The love.
Despite all the “soul-searching” I have done over the past year, I have lost touch with the basics of what I love to do. I have been caught up in what everyone else thinks I am good at or what they think I should do. This week, when I met with my naturopath, he asked me “What do you love to do?” When I’m asked this, I always go back to the same staple answer: “Well, I love being with and interacting with people.” This weekend I forced myself to go deeper.

What do you love to do?

I selected a yellow index card, wrote the words, “What do you love to do?” and taped it on our living room wall. Throughout the weekend, as things came to mind that I truly enjoyed doing, I would write them down and tape them to the wall underneath the original card. I was surprised by my answers! I forgot how much I enjoyed dancing. At one point this weekend, I closed the living room curtains, moved the furniture and danced like a crazy woman – and had a BLAST!

The conclusion.
I realized a few things this weekend:
– I don’t need to have all life’s answers figured out RIGHT NOW.
– My value is not based on what I can produce (still grappling with this one).
– It’s okay to take time to do the things I love to do (dance like nobody is watching).

What is one thing you love to do but have put it on the back burner because “life happened”? Please share in the comment section.