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Trying something new and letting my old habits go.
Mentioned in the video Your Courageous Life
(behind me is a rainbow blanket made by my amazing twin sister, artwork by my beautiful daughter)
… the excited face as she comes into the room
… the cat that follows in play, carried like an old sack
… seeing amazing people accomplish what they set out to do (and being a part of it!)
… silly clean up dancing
… never ending imagination
These are the moments we will remember – cherish them.
Joy was difficult today. The morning was a late start and my level started at a 2 while the around me were bumped up to 10.
The rest of the day did not progress much better. A brief repose was spent problem solving, email writing and typing away.
Some days I wonder where has this joy brought me.
These days are the hardest. Joy can always be found but it takes a little reminding. Listening to a love story that brings tears, turning on your favorite tunes – these are reminders of joy.
.. sometimes even when we don’t feel joyful we can just remember what joy feels like and let that be enough.
And it was. Today was a hard day, but I used my reminders as a warm cup of tea on a cold day. It’s still cold outside but for a moment there’s warmth.
Allow yourself that space – you don’t have to be joyful to be surrounded by joy.
The air was filled with the smell of grapes this morning. In Italy it’s harvest season and that means wine making. It is actually late this year and the grapes did not do as well as they have in the past. Nico explained this all to me, but it was a matter of numbers and being one less than before to me it does not seem that significant.
This year Isabella and I went along. And sure enough I cut grapes. Fat white grapes surrounded by wasps eating the juicy insides. Wasps that did not care if you swatted them away so long as you did not rile them up too much. But my aversion to being stung was much stronger than to try.
I watched Anna, my mother in law, brush them with her hands, shaking them free from the grapes that were still good. Non fa niente - essentially they do nothing. Mixed of course with Sardo as she speaks to Bis-Nonno, great grandpa.
So this morning as I smelled that sweet grape smell a feeling of owning this moment and accepting who I am washed through me. Here, the people are just as they are. They do not fight against their nature. My husbands best friend has a successful band and a J-O-B. He makes time for what matters. It’s just what you do. It does not mean that it defines you.
And yet we are so different. Our Western ways and thoughts. We are the job, the goals, the skill set. What we accomplish is our measure of worth.
I do not want to walk down that path anymore. I am shifting to feel that this moment is the most important. Not the future moments. Isabella has been saying for days “watch me, watch me mama!” and that is really all I want to do.
Watch my beautiful girl play, smell the wine making in the air. Listen to the fast speaking Italians around me and enjoy who I am in this moment. Feel this moment of gratitude and in that way help others feel it too.
Inspiring me today:
Tsh Reminding us to Dream Big (sounds contradictory but it’s not)
Kate Courageous who so eloquently says exactly what I am thinking.
Writing here, it’s awkward. “They” would tell me not to let you know that I think that. But I do.
I haven’t really found my voice yet. I know what I want to say. Feel it with every fiber of my being. I just don’t know how to say it…yet. There’s a slight disconnect between the words in my head, the thoughts in my heart and what comes out on the screen.
The speaking voice in my head, which is usually the ideas from my heart are spoken poetically. It normally sounds like Danielle LaPorte. What can I say she has a great speaking voice and a way with words.
But then there’s that other voice that says ‘Um, no. That last part there – it’s just no good. You should really delete that’
I try hard to not listen to that voice because
…as soon as I begin censoring myself, I close off my heart to what I think is the greatest gift we have to share with each other. The gift to tell our heart story.
So I push through that negative feeling of not being good enough and just allow it to be okay. This process is a gift and it is a joy to be in it.
Finding my way, finding the voice of this space and for myself – it’s a terrifying and joyful experience. I’ve wanted to step into this space but held myself back because I didn’t feel prepared. Here’s the truth:
You will never be prepared. You’ve got to just muddle your way through. Do (write) stuff that just okay and before you know it, its good and maybe even great. The old cliche is true – You’ve just got to enjoy the process.
There is a much cliched quote that is often used for joke fodder:
Be yourself, Everyone else is already taken
Spoken by Oscar Wilde this is actually a true testament to joy. Joy doesnt exist until we can truly embrace who we are and our role in this world. When we struggle against that which brings us the most happiness then we are fighting against joy.
I have a cat. She’s black and stealthy. We call her our panther. She loves to be outside, comes inside only to eat and occasionally take a nap. This drives my husband crazy. He wants her to stay inside, be around us a bit.
But I recognize something powerful in her actions. She loves being outside, its what brings her the most joy. She is truly just being herself.
Yes shes a cat, doesnt know any other way to be. But we have this same coding in ourselves.
What would your life be like if you embraced your truest self? Can you make a step in that direction?
My daughter is one of my favorite teachers. She’s 3 (will be 4 very soon!) and she is my daily reminder to slow down and PLAY!
We’ve been rainbow dragons, fairies, princesses of all kinds. She’s pushed my imagination and crafting skills to limits I never imagined.
I love every minute of it.
In this moment of joy ask yourself this:
Have you played today?
Yesterday I had the opportunity to chat with Jen Mazer, the manifestation queen. She has a beautiful site you can learn all about at The Queen of Manifestation.
The call was supposed to be a manifesting exercise, and if you dont know what that is – it’s huger than saying ‘Man I wish X would happen‘. And in a way it was. But really it was a lot more.
It was a short 15 minute call and I spent the majority of it in tears. Oh yes, big tears of despair, of feeling vulnerable to my own shortcomings. But in that vunerability I also found joy.
I found release. As Brenè Brown says:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
I’ve read her work and I know this, but its so easy to forget. But having that 15 minutes to be heard, recognized and reassured was transformative. My mood shifted and I felt wide open. I had to remember
That simple conversation was a reminder. And it was liberating. That release of all the fears and stuff that had built up to create a wall of fear inside me.
So part of choosing joy from that moment is giving it back. So I open this to you.
Do you need 15 minutes to spill your doubts, your insecurities, your fears? I will listen and hear you.
Something great just happened and you want to tell EVERYBODY who will listen – love it, share the details
The gift of being acknowledged is my deepest wish for myself, for you and for every soul that exists. I can do my part.
We can do this two ways:
A Skype call – Schedule it here (its free!)
Drop me an email, I love getting real email, not just newsletters. I love my newsletters too, but when was the last time you got an email that wasn’t something you subscribed to, signed up for or made a purchase that automatically put you on someone’s mailing list? Oh yes, email brings me joy.
I am so excited to connect with you.
Such a cheesy title!
I know but it fits.
It’s fall and October is known for taking its 30 days and focusing on a subject.
For me it’s joy. It’s what I need more of.
It’s on my mind and what I’ve been working on through September.
So this month is dedicated to joy.
Throughout this month I’ll be sharing ways to find more joy in the everyday.
Because that’s the truth – joy is not the big or amazing; it’s the simplest moments that make the biggest impact.
For me today joy is :
Sticking to my boundaries
Opening up and being vulnerable to a stranger
Lots and lots of craft glue
Take this moment to think about the moments that brought you joy.
Share them with the #joyis hashtag on Facebook or Twitter or leave a comment below.
Today I said yes
Yes to that which scares me.
Yes to exhilarating possibly
To a little bit of difficulty mixed in with some shrewd planning
I said yes to being a little greater then I am
And yes to being humbled by the universe
Today I say yes to what could be
Today I say yes to what will be
Today I say yes to my own inner self and feel powerful for what I am allowing into my life
By saying yes
What will your yes do?
When I was in high school or maybe it was middle school we sang a song based on a Langston Hughes poem:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
These lines have been stuck in my head lately. The song itself was dreadful – a mid 80s nightmare (but not the weirdest song I sang, that credit goes to one weird techno pop choral piece called Evergreen)
Recently I’ve been asked more or less what are my big dreams. The honest answer is I don’t know anymore. I achieved the one big dream I thought I wanted, living in Italy. Yes I still do want to live in Italy. It’s difficult, nothing like I imagined but I still see the beauty and the potential that drew me here.
My other dreams, a house on the beach, renovating the old burned out villa, writing a book or two – those are like quasi dreams. If they happen I would be thrilled, but I would not be unsatisfied with life if they never did. Does that mean they are not dreams?
My husband says that Americans are consumed with BIG dreams. That for him it’s hard to think that way. He might be right in some ways. For most of my life I felt like I was chasing something. Needing to have the prize, to do it all now. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Yes I dream about traveling, but we can do that it don’t have to happen tomorrow. Sure I dream about spending the entire month at the beach but maybe next year. Don’t get me wrong I still get impatient and want things done like yesterday, but something has shifted.
I do have one dream that I believe if it died I would regret it. It’s creating the soul community that I know can exist here. It has been a dream that I have been chasing for two years. Maybe I don’t want it bad enough? Honestly I am conflicted. I truly do wish to see it happen. To be a catalyst to help people accept how amazing they really are. To be able to impart that lesson to my daughter so she does not struggle with self-worth and doubt even if she doesn’t know what she wants out of life. That’s my big dream. To live in a world where we can acknowledge how powerful we are even when we don’t have all the answers. To relish in the fact that we have this amazing world to find ourselves in.
That we can turn to the people who love us and say, I don’t have the answers. I just don’t know yet what my purpose is on this planet but with your support,love and time I can find those answers without feeling guilty for doing so.
I want to help people learn how to acknowledge how no matter what their story it is a gift to be shared. That we need that simple form of connecting to say yes someone who understands. Themes I keep seeing from the online community around me is that we are more connected and more disconnected then ever. People are saying we crave community but in truth we do not know how to connect to each other anymore.
Globalization, the growth of technology has moved faster than the human heart can keep up with. We have to come up with new ways to deal with the changing landscape of community and friendship.
I met my husband, my soulmate online. Living thousands of miles away in a place I never would have heard of. He saved my heart and honestly my life. I was ready to just accept anything and instead I was given everything I ever dreamed of. So it’s hard for me to say I still have big dreams.
I chased my big dreams and I caught them. Now it’s about living it.
Something new for TWH that may or may not continue, but today it feels right : ) Not quite story telling but part of realizing my souls truth.
I have a confession to make. I am a Professional. For the past few months I have been trying to deny a part of who I am. I even tried excusing it by saying it was a safety mechanism, a type of security blanket that protected me. Partly that is true. I hid behind the guise of professionalism and didn’t open myself to others. When I was fired (ouch) back in February the reasons werent just because the team was being taken in another direction (although that was probably 90% of it) it was also said that he didnt feel like he knew me that well. Two years we worked together. And you know what he was probably right. He knew the basics – I lived in Italy, loved being a mom to my kid and passionately cared about the work we were doing. But about me – likely he had no clue.
Hearing that at first hurt – a lot. But I think it hurt because it was the truth. A truth I had been denying and hiding behind. I used my psuedo-professionalism as a shield. So after I was fired I wanted to get rid of that.
I wanted to be light, happy, that joy of the party person I knew I could be and have been. I would have visions of hippy skirts, long hair to my knees, dancing carelessly around the bonfire inviting others to join me. It was beautiful, it was magical. It was a fairy-tale.
Even though I want to be more open the person I described above is not me either. It would still be a fake, closed to the world me.
So today I am confessing for me, for you and for all the people who have a professional serious side to them – its okay. It’s okay to be the serious one, the one who can flip the professional switch on and get things done. I get commended for this all.the.time. I’m good at it. I solve problems and I am sometimes pretty good at making decisions, unless its about what’s for dinner.
What I needed to do is embrace my professional nature, fall in love with my serious side and say thank-you for what it has allowed me to accomplish. Yes let go of my protective coating and be open to those around me but allow myself to accept the me that I am. I dont need to always be light and rainbows to be happy. I have light and rainbows all around me every day in the form of my radiant daughter and often silly husband that can fill in those gaps for me. Just hearing her laughter is a source of light, watching them play brings the rainbows.
Joyously Professional. I can accept that.
What part of you do you need to accept. Have you been feeling like you need to change but maybe its really that you need to accept it as a part of your soul’s truth?