Archive | August 2016

Choose to be Inspired!

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This blog is all about a mind shift. Living life to the fullest by tapping into our talents, developing those gifts, and going after them with a determination for success.

The series I’ve been presenting, Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose, is all about self-discovery and purpose. Even though the circumstances may have been such to beat us down, tell us we’re failures or our lives are pointless, we still have to believe in ourselves, pursue enlightenment to advance our abilities and how we can contribute to society.

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I recall a talk I had years ago with my son. In this discussion, I asked him how do you want to use your talents, for the good of society or without thought simply throw them away? The choice is yours. Be conscious of your effect on the world and the legacy you want to leave.

These are the questions that lift us up to our highest potential and become a decisive factor in our happiness on this journey called life.

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I came across this video on YouTube and it resonated with me. Give a listen and then ask yourself how you choose to live. How you choose to be inspired.

 

 

Life Reimagined Series: What Now? Part II

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Welcome to Part 2 of Life Reimagined: What Now? 

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In this Lesson: Trigger Moments (periods of uncertainty), we’re checking in on our mindfulness practices. Trigger Moments are those events (good or bad) that come along when our lives are on a plateau (a state of little or no change) and knocks us into limbo (an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution). It’s in these moments that lessons are learned. These are the opportunities to reflect on how we engage in the world around us.

Evaluation is a big part of this series. Exploring the concept of introspection as it applies to your daily life. My goal for this blog and sharing this course, Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose, is to serve as a conduit to begin the journey. Sharing my beliefs in faith and positive energy is a daily goal of my Purpose, which is to bring others along on the road to self-discovery.

 

Third Trigger Moment

 After Cancer Treatment. What Now?

With my decision to choose Mindfulness in my cancer treatment and not assuming what that would entail, I had an incredible and empowering experience. Because being Mindfull means living in the moment, I didn’t think into the future about what would happen after treatment ended. I wanted to live each and every moment as if it were my last because I understood tomorrow is not promised.

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Now that I’m a survivor and my life is settling back into a non-treatment day to day routine, I continue my efforts into self-discovery that I started before the colon and breast cancer diagnosis. Hence this course, Discover What’s Next: Living Life on PurposeThrough this work, I further understand my Purpose is to share my testimony of faith by authoring this blog and reaching out to others.

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Reflecting back on those early decisions on how to approach life, I guess I’ve always had a risk-taking personality and a belief system to take on doubt and fear and go for it. 

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In Part 1 of this Lesson, I described my first Trigger Moment, being cast in the theater production of “Bye, Bye Birdie” scenario. In that Trigger Moment, I made the choice to turn uncertainty on its ear by bringing my own accompanist to the audition to increase my odds of an exceptional performance and getting the part.

In the second Trigger Moment, I described the move from Chicago to Minneapolis example, in which I pushed my relocation assumptions aside by deciding to reach out to the acting community to negotiate my way back into an acting career in community theater. Letting go of assumption taught me I’m capable of anything if I really want it and there is no obstacle that can stand in my way. Those experiences brought growth and faith in the possibilities.

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I continually discover that all things are possible when living a Mindful life. I cherish every moment by moment so that when my physical existence in this world is over, I can say – I didn’t just live, I was alive!

Life Reimagined Series: What Now?

As you follow this series, hopefully, you’re starting to explore the concept of introspection as it applies to your daily life by using this blog and the course Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose as a starting point. Sharing my personal development with the blogging community is an effort I take seriously and honestly because my revelation led to my Purpose, which is to bring others along on the road to self-discovery.

The overarching theme of this project is to focus on our humanity; being reflective and motivated by our Purpose. The force that energizes us to greet the day guided by our goals. Even if this is your first time joining us, don’t worry, feel free to jump in and start to assess where you are on your life’s journey.

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In this Lesson: Trigger Moments (periods of uncertainty), we’re checking in on our mindfulness practices. Trigger Moments are those events (good or bad) that come along when our lives are on a plateau (a state of little or no change) and knocks us into limbo (an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution). It’s in these moments that lessons are learned. These are the opportunities to reflect on how we engage in the world around us.

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My assignment was to reflect on 3 Trigger Moments in my life and what got me through. What were my practices? 

Part One

I had to walk around and really think about those moments. The first to come to mind was being diagnosed with Cancer but I thought I’ve discussed my reactions in previous posts plus, I wanted to dig deeper. Not just immediate moments but taking an assessment of my life as a whole.

These are 2 of my 3 Trigger Moments. I’ll share my 3rd in Part 2 of What Now?

 

1. Acting role in “Bye, Bye Birdie”.

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This moment takes me way back to the 80’s. I’ve written about the movie “Fame” on my blog iheartfilmblog.com and how it changed my life by reminding me that I love performing and expressing myself creatively is at the core of who I am. Being a wife and mom shouldn’t be an excuse for not realizing my dreams.

So, after a small role in my park district’s theater production of “Pal Joey”, it felt like the acting God’s were calling my name when an opportunity presented itself to audition for a role in one of my favorite shows, “Bye, Bye, Birdie” at Music on Stage, a major and long respected community theater group in the Chicago area.

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I worked through the anxiety of auditioning with a levelheaded approach. Even though I wasn’t a girl scout, I did understanding the importance of being prepared.

So, I devised a plan enlisting the support of the music director at my children’s school to be my accompanist, as a song was required for the audition. I didn’t want to chance an unknown pianist messing with my nerves or screwing up my arrangement. When my name was called, I felt confident and proceeded to belt out a number from the show, “A Lot of Livin’ to Do”.

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Impressing the director, I was hired for a specialty role and took on the challenge of learning to tap dance. I had the time of my life performing the “Ed Sullivan” song and wowing with my tap dance routine in tandem with the main character, Albert in “Put on a Happy Face”.

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2. Transfer move from Chicago to Minneapolis.

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My Number 2 moment is directly influenced by the events of Number 1. After my performance in “Bye, Bye Birdie”, seems like I was either in a show, auditioning for a show, or rehearsing for a show. My acting career really took off and by the time my husband was transferred from his position in Chicago to Minneapolis, I had built up a body a work so that directors were calling me for specific roles in shows they were casting.

Suffice it to say, I was not happy with the announcement of the relocation and found myself crying like a baby driving down Michigan Ave. lamenting what this move was going to mean to my accomplishments in Chicago. Even though my husband kept reassuring me that Minneapolis had theater as well, in my head I kept thinking – “but it’s not Chicago!”.

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After the initial poor me “pity party”, I decided to use my resourcefulness and experience to sign-up for an acting class to get in with the local acting community and learn about upcoming auditions. My networking paid off as I ended up scoring one of the best and most memorable roles of my community theater life – starring in the Neil Simon play “Proposals”.

I had made the move work for me by shifting my mindset and choosing a positive attitude. Because of accepting the circumstances instead of fighting it, I was able to recreate myself in a new city and take my passion of acting to a whole other level.

        

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I’ve discovered all things are possible when we live a Mindful life. I believe in cherishing every moment by moment so that when my physical existence in this world is over, I can say – I didn’t just live, I was alive!

 

 

 

 

 

Baby, You’re a Firework!

 

On my daily walk, I decided to try out a new playlist I downloaded from Apple Music – “Kings, Queens, and Princesses of Pop”. Great lineup of tunes from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston to name just a few.

Half way through my walk I heard the opening notes to “Firework”, the Katy Perry song I fell in love with from the very first time hearing it. The tune immediately resonated with me because of its message of belief in oneself.

Katy Perry “Firework” video shoot

“Firework” was just the inspiration I needed to hear following my family’s life event of job loss and starting all over again. The lyrics tap into the truth of having everything we need inside of us, we just have to embrace that truth and trust that we are “fireworks” and have the ability to shine if we so choose.

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This is one of my favorite lyrics:

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it’s time, you’ll know

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Sometimes we have to trust and believe that God has a plan for us bigger than the one we have for ourselves. Just because the road we’re walking has changed and it seems all our efforts are failing doesn’t mean something wonderful isn’t up ahead.

Having faith and confidence in yourself no matter the circumstances is vital to living a joyful life. Never give up! Know that your light can shine bright because it’s always been inside of you!

 

I’ll let Katy put it in her own words.

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Life Reimagined: Up for the Ride?

Journeys

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In this lesson of Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose, I was asked to describe my personal life spiral of plateaus, triggers, limbo, and new plateaus. How has my journey shaped who I am and where I am right now?

 

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Wow, that’s a lot of digging into my eternal self, but I’m up for the effort.

I first started blogging back in 2009 when my husband was laid off from his position of 20 years as a result of the “downturn” and thus, our lives became redefined. I figured what the heck, let’s make lemonade so I began planning the adventure to relocate and start all over again. I viewed the job loss as a sign for change.

 

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I decided if I was going to embrace this gear change and be honest with the world, I’d blog about this process not only for myself but for others who might be going through some of the same upheavals. It felt cathartic putting my life out there for others to consume. I further discovered that people were reading about my trials and expressed respect for my honesty.

Don’t get me wrong, moving to a new state and starting over continues to be a challenge of identity and faith in one’s self, but I don’t regret the opportunity to stretch and find out what I’m made of.

 

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Just when it seemed life was settling down, I was diagnosed with both Colon and Breast Cancer last year and another log was thrown on the fire. I decided straight off that I was not going to assume the outcome but travel with faith and believe that I could meet this challenge with the support of God, family, and friends. 

The medical care I have received and continue to benefit from is amazing! I truly believe God sent me to Charlotte because he knew these trials were ahead and wanted to make sure I could avail myself of the best treatment possible.

 

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Livinginthemoment2015 is a result of my desire to chronicle my experience so my family and friends would know how I was doing on a regular basis. I’ve said this before and continue to believe that facing my mortality happened because God loves me so much he wanted me to grow into a stronger, more spiritual person. It worked! I’ve had the time of my life and met some incredible people so I don’t see my diagnosis as a negative, but rather a remarkable chapter in my life’s story. I quoted this in my previous post but it bears repeating:

 

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I’m exclamation pointing it all the way as I evolve in my pursuit of continued enlightenment. So much happier than ever because of this glimpse of the other side. With boundless energy and curiosity, I’m determined to make the most of my life because tomorrow is certainly not promised.

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I invite you to join me on the road to discovery with the online course: Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose.

 

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Living Life on Purpose Today

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If you’ve been following this series, (which hopefully you have been) you’re familiar with the introspection course Discover What’s Next: Living Life on Purpose that I’m undertaking and sharing with the blogging community. The theme of the project is focusing on our humanity; being reflective and motivated by Purpose. The mission that drives us to get up in the morning and greet the day. If this is your first time, not to worry, there’s still time to join in the discussion.

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As I’ve talked about before, being a colon and breast cancer survivor I’ve had to embrace my faith and continued belief that anything is possible like never before. Coming face to face with the reality that tomorrow is not promised, and to further my personal growth, I’m diving headlong into the investigation of the possibilities of what my life may hold.

Trying on a Purpose – Lesson Activity

For lesson 3, we’re going to “try on” our Purpose by defining exactly what that is. It’s okay if you haven’t ascertained what your Purpose is yet, feel free to use this – “to grow and give” as a start.

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Example Purpose Statement -“To Grow and Give.”

Think about your gifts and what you can offer that would be of value to others. What can I do to contribute to society in a positive way? This turns your idea of purpose into an actionable step.

  • Write down your Purpose Statement on a post-it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of what you’re about.

  • Every morning ask yourself – “How am I going to live this Purpose today?”

  • Every night, ask yourself – “How did I do? Did I grow today? Did I live my Purpose today?”

  • Look at your Purpose Statement for the next week.

  • Choose Purpose moments throughout the day.

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For me, understanding my Purpose feels freeing and light. It reminds me in day to day encounters that my mission is to be a conduit to positive energy. There is no mountain too high to tackle and there is no valley low enough that I can’t rise above.

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My Purpose Statement – “To share my observations on living a joyful life by writing about faith and positive energy”.

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Always Remember! 

Purpose is: “A practice to be lived every day”

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Follow the link below to begin the journey of living your life on purpose:

https://www.thebigknow.com/course/discover-purpose/session/lr-purpose?utm_source=lr&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=purpose&utm_campaign=general&cmp=EMC-LR-ECP-20160503-NE

The Power of a Positive Mind

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The power of a positive mind will carry you through life’s challenges, good times and bad. It opens the door to the power of miracles. Choose to see the light against the darkness. Envision your life as you would have it to be. Write your own story. Determine your life’s path. In the end, it’s up to you. Believe that you can, then do it.

In the words of Budda, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”