“….The ocean never handed me the gift of swimming. I gave it to myself.”— Y.Z., what I forgot to remember

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

We have many teachers in our lives. Many who have taught us lessons on love, trust, and survival. We may think of these people fondly, or we may think of them with regret. Either way, these people have taught us.

As students of life, we may assume we do not have a choice in some of the experiences life navigates us through. We may assume we meet our teachers by chance. We may assume the lessons we learn are just the side effect of chance meetings and relationships. Although these assumptions may need validation, what is measurable, is our willingness anddesire to learn and add the lesson to our life book.

As students, we make a choice in the learning. We make a choice in our approach to each experience. We make a choice in cultivating relationships and practicing introspection. We give ourselves the opportunity to grow in life, to lead in it, or to be a victim to it and be led by it.

The gift of learning is there. Waiting to be unwrapped and applied. It’s ours. Pick it up and don’t forget to send a thank you note into the universe.

“True Love Is Not Found. It Is Built” – Unknown

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

In many fairy tales, the happily ever after love stories are ingrained in our perspective of how love should come into our lives. We will find true love when the dragon is slain, or when the glass slipper fits; maybe even when we are kissed by the right person. Or when we are no longer mermaids and grow legs? Most of us know some of those stories, but we also know (all too well), love does not find us and we do not find love in any of those ways.

Love is not playing hide and go seek with us. Love first exists inside of ourselves and is projected out into the world based on how we perceive it, how we speak it, how we act in the name of it. It is available to be ours and for us to give away when we choose to. It is a home we can build with the foundation and the bricks of our choosing.

The foundation can be made up of many things we find of importance when loving someone and being loved in return. Trust, loyalty, understanding, genuineness – can all be amongst the foundation on which love is built. The bricks we use can be made up of the memories shared, milestones, the acts of love we have given and received. These bricks can also be the arguments, the misunderstandings, and the growth love has given us the privilege of experiencing.

From time to time, step outside of the front door of this home and admire it. Admire the way it was built and ensure the foundation is still solid. There may be some wear and tear, but with continued maintenance and attention, this home will forever be a place where love continues to grow.

“Don’t Let People Pull You Into Their Storm. Pull Them Into Your Peace” – Kimberly Jones

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

Most of us are aware of the connection we have to one another. From the people we live with, to the people we work with, even to the people we engage with on social media.

This connection gives us the gift of empathy; to be able to relate and share one another’s feelings.  Feelings ranging from joy to pain; it allows us to participate in each other’s lives and gives us a sense of community.

Community is a beautiful thing, and although we are responsible for the energy we are contributing to this beautiful concept, we are also responsible in how we engage in the practice of empathy. How we react to the community’s climate and situations.

The splendor of empathy is sharing in the vulnerability someone is exposing. It is observing someone’s storm, but providing them with shelter. Not a compromising shelter, but a shelter in which they are introduced to an alternate view.

Maybe one from above their clouds – peace.

Maybe one from the front porch, where they are able to admire how the rains are providing their seeds with necessary life – peace.

Maybe one only made up of an umbrella, where dancing in these storms cleanses away all worries and is a melodic reminder that storms blow on by and soon will expose clear skies – peace.

Continue to engage. Continue the practice of empathy. Continue to pull a stormy climate into your peace. Community is a beautiful thing, and your contribution can make all of the difference. Contribute well.