Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this…

As I was sitting here debating how to title what I was grateful for today, these lyrics popped into my head and seemed quite fitting.

Apparently I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately because now I’m throwing a little Kelly Clarkson into the mix… Continue reading

Are you FROZEN, or can you “Let it go?”

Oh the lyrics most of us have engrained in our minds…”Let it go, let it go.” If you’ve had a Frozen fan in your house within the past few years you’ve undoubtedly heard this one more than your fair share of times. If you haven’t had the chance to hear this one on repeat, just assume I’ve filled the void for you many times over 🙂

Why would I fill your inbox with Frozen memories you ask? Why would I bring it up?

First off, I thought it was quite a clever pun and I love a great pun!

Secondly, it goes perfect with what I’m grateful for.

Yes, I am grateful for the movie. I thought it had a great storyline and found it an exceptional movie to watch with my daughter, BUT that’s not what I’m choosing for Day 2 of my Gratitude Challenge.

I had the opportunity to go swimming yesterday evening. Technically I could’ve gone during the day, but then I would be typing disguised as a lobster. Fair skin and midday swims don’t go together all too well in my book.

Fun fact: Did you know lobsters aren’t actually red until they’re cooked? They’re actually shades of yellow, green, or even bright blue when found in the wild. I guess the lobsters and I have that in common…RED WHEN COOKED!

So…hence the reason it was evening.

Now, I was lucky enough to be outside of the city so there was very little light pollution when it got dark. And after swimming for a good bit I was pretty well beat so I decided to just free float on my back for a bit.

“In the end these things matter most:

How well did you love?

How fully did you live?

How deeply did you let go?”

-Buddha

Today I am grateful for the ability to let go. It’s definitely not the easiest thing for me to do, but it’s always well worth it. Last night I was able to float, weightlessly, and stare up at the stars. What a magnificent sight! It brought back memories of sleeping outside on the trampoline as a child.

It strikes me sometimes how we work so hard to create such big lives, but some of our fondest memories are from the simplest things in life.

The world is such a beautiful place when we stop and allow ourselves to let go of everything we are trying to do and really appreciate what is right in front of us.

What are you grateful for today?

Did you miss Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge? Check it out HERE. Stop by MyQ2Life.com to catch up on a few other great reads.

You got this!

-Amber

P.S. When was the last time you stopped and consciously spent time appreciating the simple things? Did you do it purposely or was it accidental? What was it that impacted you the most?

Are you up for the challenge?

I just finished a round of 7 Days 7 Smiles with some phenomenal people. It was so much fun! I enjoy seeing what makes you guys smile so much. It’s amazing to see what makes people smile. We are all grateful for so many different things, large and small. And thanks to a sweet reply from Jessica, I was reminded of something I do with my students in their journals each day. (If you haven’t jumped over to do 7 Days 7 Smiles, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s completely free and so much fun!)

This got me thinking…

I ask my students to tell me three things they are grateful for each day. I also ask them to tell me one thing they are grateful for that is fleeting, something that could be gone in 10 days, 10 minutes, or 10 seconds. This last one really makes you take a second look around you.

While many of them are consistently grateful for family, food, and shelter, there are always those that surprise me and make me smile. Grateful for forgiveness. Grateful for mercy. Grateful for the bird who sings so sweetly. Grateful for the clouds and being able to find pictures in the sky.

We all get in such a rush with our busy lives. When asked for something we are grateful for we can usually think of some of the bigger, and more consistent, parts of our lives. BUT, thinking of some of the simpler, more fleeting parts of our lives is sometimes more difficult. This really requires us to “stop and smell the roses.”

And to know me well…is to know the following :

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
― C. JoyBell C

I’m challenging myself to a week of sharing my gratitude for the simple things in life, 7 whole days. Will you join me? Add what you are grateful for in the comments below. Let’s have a week full of gratitude!

Today…

Today I am grateful for  technology, but not so much for work purposes today. Today I am grateful for technology to find out that sweet friends have returned safely home from travels in other parts of the world. I am grateful for the ability to see my dad smile by receiving a text from him with a picture of a beautiful butterfly first thing this morning. Technology has such a huge impact on what, and who, we are able to connect with.

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

What are you grateful for today? Is it something big or something small? Add a comment below to share what you are grateful for today.

You got this!

Amber

P.S. If you haven’t been over to the 7 Days 7 Smiles page, check it out HERE.

How I Became a Ninja…or so the story goes

Early Saturday morning…

D: “So mom, how’d your walk down the trail go?”

M: “I guess these yoga pants are officially out of commission.”

D: “Why, what happened? Did you fall down?”

M: “Well, I scaled a mesh fence with two top layers of barbed wire, trespassed on someone’s property and undid part of their fence.”

D: “Why?”

M: “There was a deer with its foot caught between two wires and it couldn’t get free. He’d been there for a good while. Luckily some people parked somewhat near where I was and happened to have a metal stake in their truck. I finally got the fence undone so it would loosen enough to get his foot free.”

D: “Oh, you’re serious. I thought you were just telling me the scaling the fence and trespassing parts instead of just admitting you fell down and ripped a hole in your pants.”

Note to self: Apparently I use too much sarcasm regularly. Even my ninja stories are questioned.

Now, to fully appreciate the fact that I scaled this fence in my favorite yoga pants is knowing that I made it over without a scratch or rip. I was pretty proud of the fact that I had managed to get myself into the pasture unscathed. Because you would know that the deer had to be about two feet inside of the pasture so I had no chance of reaching him unless I could get myself in there.

As I’m working to unfasten the fence with only my bare hands and my sweater to act as a “glove” in the situation I was making some headway. I don’t know what I was thinking leaving my house without my trusty screwdriver to undo fence ties. Oh the things you forget when you’re going out for a quick walk down the trail… But, luckily the kind people who parked nearby were able to help.

It was probably one of the oddest things I’ve ever yelled at someone I don’t know, but, “Hey, do you have a screwdriver in your truck?” was exactly what came out of my mouth. Luckily the people had been staring at me long enough to figure out what I was doing, or that could’ve been pretty awkward.

I’m not sure if the fact that he carried a metal stake in his truck instead of a screwdriver made me feel better or worse. It did the trick though. Fence tie pried off, fence loosened, deer gets freedom.

Simple.

So I put the fence back together and passed off the metal stake back to its owner. Then comes the easiest part of the whole process, getting back over. There is no mesh on the inside of the fence. So, all I have to do is climb up the gate and jump over, or that’s the plan.

What actually happens is me climbing up the gate, realizing there’s nothing to grab to hold onto at the top, and balancing myself to prepare for the jump down. And then there’s the jump. It was the most…well-planned moment, except for the part where I didn’t realize the mesh wire had small, sharp, knots at the top of the gate.

And small sharp things and yoga pants go together like peanut butter and jelly, my friends. My yoga pants magnetically (not really, but you get the drift) attracted to one of those little guys and hung on when I made my marvelous jump.

Yoga pants, my favorite yoga pants, now ripped right in the rear. The worst, unfixable possibility. So, what does a girl do? She takes that sweater off, wraps it around her waist and finishes her walk, head held high, proud of what she’s done (I’m speaking about getting the deer to safety, not the pants ripping thing.) So I thanked the nice people and went on my way.

What a beautiful morning to take a quick walk!

You got this!

-Amber

P.S. Sometimes in the midst of disaster (or in the event of an unfixable rip in a favorite pair of yoga pants), we have to hold our heads high and be proud ninjas! Life is short — focus on the positives 🙂

And so the journey begins…

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (ok, depends on where you’re reading this from) lived a fair maiden (me, of course) who followed all of the rules. She lived happily in the countryside (as far as she can remember), and she followed “The Book of Life,” precisely. But just as any good fairy tale goes…PLOT TWIST!

All of those stories she’d envisioned (hindsight is 20/20) turned out to be questionable. She followed the path…got good grades…went to college…got married…had a child—yet where were the rainbows and unicorns of happiness at the end of the day? She checked off every box on her to-do list in that widely distributed bestseller, “The Book of Life.” Yet, at the end of the day, she knew there was more to life than the checkboxes. She knew she wanted more out of life than to just be satisfied with where she was.

She wanted to see the world, explore uncharted territories (minus the snakes and creepy crawlies) and create memories with people who made her smile. She wanted the fullness of life she hadn’t allowed herself to reach for. She wanted to take risks (yes, including heights…ahhhh!) and have adrenaline rushes. She wanted to feel both the pounding of her heartbeat as well as the stillness of her own breath. She wanted to be fully present in this life we only get one chance at!

So the journey begins…

Journey, defined by Dictionary.com as:

  1. a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time; trip:
  2. passage or progress from one stage to another:

The title seems fitting, as this crazy girl is on a journey of discovery, both personally and professionally. She is not disgruntled about life, and doesn’t regret a single day she’s been through. All of those days made her the person she is today. All of those experiences have given her wisdom, insight and perspective.

Mission…Live

Challenge…Accepted

Want to follow along? Many trials and tribulations (presented in my fashionably dramatic representation) are sure to entertain you, and hopefully inspire you to take your own steps (baby or giant) towards living fully.

I’d love to hear what you have going on in your life. What adventures/steps do you want to embark on? What adventures have you taken? What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far? What has been your favorite memory is the past week, month, year?

You got this!

-Amber

P.S. Some of the most amazing adventures and learning lessons come from those times we think an experience was a failure. Let them be adventures! Let them be fantastic things learned! Have fun with it! Smile!