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Peace

Posted on March 16th, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you
kindly and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

I Can See Clearly Now

Posted on March 11th, 2012 by & filed under A Year With Myself, Everything Miz Meliz

This blog post, originally published on March 11, 2012 is in my book, This is the Sound of My Soul in a section called Gaining Clarity on page 130.

Thank you for coming to this link. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on the empowering freedom having a vision statement and vision board has given me.

As a special treat, if you haven’t noticed the note on my blog’s side bar – Firmoo.com has offered FIVE of my readers a great discount on frames. So, get a new pair of glasses and see clearly. There is a lot of beautiful smiles happening all around you since you decided to be positive and take control of your life.

Now that you have a great VISION – see it CLEARLY

Here is a special offer from Firmoo.com: Use this discount code for 15% off on frames: MIZMELIZBLOGS4 – Limited time only, restrictions apply, single use per purchase, this code is only good for five users, so act fast. Offer expires on Feb. 18, 2015

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Recently I noticed my vision had declined. I was getting headaches with or without my glasses. At first I attributed this to the fact that I was reading more and I was either looking at a computer screen or my cell phone practically non-stop. The eyestrain was really getting to me and I realized it was time for a stronger prescription. I tried using reading glasses until I could get an appointment to see my optometrist. But that only helped with the reading. My distance vision was worse as well. I wear bifocals because I have four different perspectives. It’s ironic because I always say I look at things from all angles!

After seeing my eye doctor and finding out that I did need stronger lenses, I had to go a week without my glasses. I used the reading glasses, but I was troubled that I couldn’t see well at all. Once confirmed by the doctor, I felt as though I had lost an ability that I relied on and it felt inadequate to me. Everything seemed out of place. I couldn’t wait to get my new glasses!

Here is a picture of me in my "non-glare" Firmoo.com glasses

Here is a picture of me in my “non-glare” Firmoo.com glasses

When I finally did get them and put them on for the first time, I was so excited! Everything seemed bigger and brighter! I was amazed at the difference. How did I function that way for so long? Why did I put myself through that? The solution was so simple. It was literally right before my very eyes. Having a vision is quite literally like seeing with clarity. It is a bigger and brighter view of the future.

My life’s vision is to live freely, enjoying the special moments that mean the most to me and to see my children, husband, family and friends living their lives to their full potential, happily and peacefully. To live a successful life is to realize one’s hopes and dreams. It is my hope to live a long and healthy life, peacefully and joyfully, and inspiring others to do the same.

Well, that sounds so nice doesn’t it? All packaged up and tied with a pretty satin bow. But that is what I do. It is what I want. But how do I get there? What specifically does it mean? What tangible and concrete things do I see when I look ahead at how I want my life to be? What do I see myself accomplishing in my lifetime, what do I see myself achieving, what do I aim to do with my life? (Yes, I hear Twisted Sister in my head, too!)

If it is about what I feel and what my heart needs to be fulfilled, then the above vision statement sums it up. I can and will strive for peace and joy because I honestly believe that is what will satisfy me and sustain me for the rest of my life. But if you ask my brain what do I envision, I have goals and things that I want as well. There are things that I would like to “get out of life.” I have made a vision board for those things. I believe that if I see those things and put it “out there” then they will happen. I will do what needs to be done to obtain them. I will always be working towards those dreams to make them a reality.

2013-08-18 14.31.22There are many things that I have wanted in life that I have already achieved. I used to make lists and set goals for the things I wanted. My goals were like many young Americans; buy a car, go to college, have a career, get married, buy a home, have children. I also wanted to travel, go to concerts and plays, have friends and entertain. When my children were young, I hoped to be able to send them to a private school like the one I attended and I wanted them to be active, involved and for them to have a relationship with their grandparents I made those things happen. All of it. My husband and I shared those dreams and together we worked towards them and achieved them.

In my late thirties and early forties, I went through a period of “now what?” I felt this way especially after both of my parents passed away. A part of me always worked towards those goals to gain their approval, to please them, and for them to be proud of me. After they passed away, I realized that I only have myself to please. To do that I needed to build my self-confidence, my self-esteem, and gain a sense of self-pride. I shifted my focus to my husband and children. Not only in getting their approval and praise for the things I wanted to accomplish myself, but primarily to help them achieve their goals and to help them enjoy their lives with grace and happiness. This became my purpose. This is where I believe I am meant to be. This is what I love most about my life right now.

To me, getting the most out of life means to accept all things as they are and make the most out of whatever life deals you. Knowing that I cannot control everything (I know, shocking isn’t it?) I must accept the things that “happen to me.” But that doesn’t mean sitting around waiting for the next thing to happen. Good or bad, I know I will deal with it. My experience tells me that. I must work to make some things happen. Just hoping and dreaming is not enough. This is where having a clear vision comes into play. Envisioning myself doing the things that I am passionate about, whether that means achieving certain goals or enjoying the experiences that life has to offer, is like having the tools I need to navigate through life. Having a vision is like having a gauge, compass and a map. (And the right glasses, of course!) Am I on the right track? Am I doing enough? What more can I do? What direction should I choose?

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I love the feeling of flying, of freedom, of being light-hearted and exuberant. Nothing feels better than gliding along happily. At some point I will need to land. I must have a firm foundation on which to grasp when I do come in for a landing. That is when having a map comes in handy!

A Clear Day

You Can Do It If You Can See It

So far in completing the journal prompts from A Year with Myself I have explored and identified my values, my strengths, my passion, my personality type, and what makes me different and authentic. All that inner work has prepared me for creating a vision for my life. Having a vision is important to me. Having a vision is synonymous with having clarity about the rest of my life and what I want to do with it.

“Aiming for a target you can see is wiser than taking blind shots into a pitch-black terrain. Hence, you can do it if you can see it!” ~C.A. Kobu

By creating my vision, I hope to be not only inspired but also empowered because vision means intent. And intent is quite powerful in making our dreams come true.

“Vision, the way I see it, is the ability or capacity to apprehend what you really want and believe you can do. After all, if you can envision it, on some level you must believe it’s possible, right?” “You’re the only one who can fulfill it, after all, and it can’t play out without you. You can’t miss it or mess it up. You can only unfold it choice by choice, reiterating as necessary, and staying in the moment with it.” ~Abby Kerr

C.A. Kobu suggests thinking about what you would do If you had only 37 days to live as in Patti Digh’s book Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally.

If I had 37 days left to live, what would I do?

  1. plan a party and celebrate with all my family and friends
  2. go to the beach
  3. see as many sunsets and sunrises as possible
  4. go for long drives
  5. not wear a bra
  6. eat my favorite foods – Numero Uno pizza, fresh Maine lobster, red chile and sopapillas, chocolate mousse pie, cheesecake, ice cream, bacon, cheese blintzes with strawberry preserves, pancake sandwich with eggs over easy, bacon and maple syrup, steamed artichokes with mayo
  7. drink a lot of alcohol
  8. write letters to my boys
  9. finish a scrap book for each of my boys
  10. visit New York City
  11. go sailing
  12. make love like there is no tomorrow
  13. make love outdoors
  14. go barefoot
  15. post all my pictures online
  16. keep the kids out of school
  17. eat out and not cook, no laundry or cleaning
  18. read my poetry at an open mic night
  19. smoke indoors
  20. call all my friends and tell them I love them
  21. give away my things – pictures and jewelry and anything I have that anyone wants or needs
  22. camp by a lake
  23. eat ice cream for breakfast and cereal for dessert
  24. rent a convertible sports car
  25. listen to my favorite music loud all day
  26. sing whenever I feel like it
  27. watch my husband and kids perform their music
  28. watch my kids play sports
  29. do anything my kids and husband want to do like race go carts or sky diving
  30. grant wishes – even if it means cooking my family’s favorite meals
  31. get a puppy
  32. I won’t say no to anything, I will accept all invitations
  33. buy a really nice dress suit for my funeral
  34. shop for others and give gifts to people like it’s Christmas
  35. get a massage as often as possible
  36. have a mani-pedi every week
  37. get my hair done and have a facial at a swanky salon

I think all of the things on my list point to living my life freely and enjoying the things that come my way. As for the more concrete things that I hope to achieve, I have created a vision board. Providing I live longer than 37 days, which I fully intend to do, I think it will be amazing to see all of the things on my board become reality. I can’t wait for the day it becomes necessary to make a new one! (I’ll need another new pair of glasses by then for sure!)

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Note: I added photos and the notes at the top of this post on February 2, 2015.

I was not asked by Firmoo.com to put their discount offer on my blog, I do not represent them in any way. This was a gift for attendees for the Getting Your Rear in Gear Workshop. Read my Disclosure for details on why I share information about brands in my blog posts.

Read more about Vision Boards HERE.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Posted on March 8th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Somethin' Different

Dear Friends,

Happy International Women’s Day!

My friend, Joy, asked me to participate in a collaboration of women writers for International Women’s Day. The result is this beautiful ebook which was produced in one week’s time. I am proud to be a part of it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

With love,

Melis

Here is my gift to you in celebration of women . . .

http://facetsofjoy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ebook-cultivating-your-voice.pdf

http://facetsofjoy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ebook-cultivating-your-voice.pdf

(My contribution is on page 28)

To find out more about International Women’s Day and its origin, start here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women’s_Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women’s_Day

My Authentic “Bad Ass” Self

Posted on March 5th, 2012 by & filed under A Year With Myself, Everything Miz Meliz

“Authenticity: Emphasizing What Makes You Different”

In the past few weeks I have evaluated my strengths and looked at the things that I am passionate about. This week I am thinking about what it means to be authentic and what makes me different.

I agree with C.A. Kabu who says that authenticity is a funny thing. She says, “You know it if it’s there, and you definitely know when it’s not. Defining authenticity requires much introspection. You have to think about your character, your values, your strengths, and their intersections. Eventually, you realize that the definition of authenticity is perhaps simpler than you expected. You can, for instance, reach the conclusion that being authentic is actually related to having a sense of who you are and sharing it with the world without reservations.”

Considering this helped me to determine why I should care about being authentic, how I can fully embrace my uniqueness, and how my life can change when I remain true to myself.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a kinda “been here, done this” feeling as I go through these exercises. I have been enjoying going through old journals and comparing my perceptions of my life from ten years ago to now. Some of the questions I asked myself back in 2001 are very similar to the introspective I am working on now. What fascinates me most is that even though I am most definitely in a different place now than I was back then, and I have changed and matured in many ways, the core of my being, my beliefs and values are very much the same. I do live an authentic life. It is when I lose sight of who I am and who I strive to be, that things get difficult.

In 2001, I asked myself the following questions at the beginning of a journal that I called. “I Love My Life.”  By answering these questions, I was able to determine who I was and who I wanted to be.  I believe this is when I embraced authenticity and learned to love myself.

  • Is my overall outlook on life marked by hope and optimism?
  • Are there things in my life that I am passionate about?
  • At the conclusion of a day or week, do I often have a warm sense of satisfaction about my accomplishments and contributions?
  • Can I become very still and experience a sense of peace?
  • Do some parts of my life bring me a healthy sense of pride? 

    What makes me different from all the rest? I see beauty in everyTHING!


You Are a Snowflake, Right?

By Karen Caterson

Hi, Snowflake. You are a snowflake, right?

We all are! I mean, we’re all unique, beautiful, one-of-a-kind—just like snowflakes.

Of course, all of us gorgeous, individual snowflakes are also part of our culture, our society—our SNOW.

And there are a lot of wonderful things about SNOW. Joining with other snowflakes can be fun (think snow forts, snow fights, snow angels, and snowmen).

Purposely looking for how we think and feel differently can seem very odd, but continued mindfulness and curious reflection about our differences (our uniqueness) will grow into being more comfortable with our snowflake-ness… and that will grow into our snowflake beauty being emphasized naturally.

There is no one in this world that is exactly like me. My thoughts and feelings are entirely my own. Sometimes I feel like there are no original ideas. I strive to be different. I want to stand out. I want to shine. If I have an idea, I Google it. I am always disappointed, but not surprised, that someone somewhere has already thought of it. As a young person, I thought I was a trend-setter. Truthfully, I was trendy. But I spent a lot of time with people who weren’t so they thought I was the fashion-forward person. Did that make me a poser? No way! I always knew what I liked and I was not afraid to be me. I think that is what being authentic means. Not being afraid to stand up for oneself and being courageous enough to show your true colors.

I would say that I am off the charts when it comes to living my life authentically. Do I sound conceited? Why shouldn’t I have a sense of self-pride? I just did some serious soul-searching about what makes me unique and special. I can’t get over my bad self right now! I am on this! Right? Well, okay. The truth is sometimes, it fluctuates. I feel that lost feeling, like I am feeling my way through a forest. Things don’t always go my way. I resist or try to control things. I fall short of my potential. I start to listen to that critical inner voice. When I remember how good things truly are and I remember my focus, I can find my path fairly easily.

Right now the path is illuminated with those new bulbs that are supposed to last six times as long as the old kind and be more energy-efficient. . . and I see where I am going. It’s a lovely road that includes a lot of fun stops along the way. In six months from now I would like to be writing regularly and maintaining my blog while maintaining the balance of managing a home with three teen boys and working full-time. My goal for this period of time is to give each area of my life my all. Mostly, I want to be happy, keep up the energy that I am experiencing now, and stay true to myself. And as C.A. Kobu says, “When you are in touch with who you really are and welcome your authentic self with open arms, your life acquires a different and marvelous flow, and you feel oh so good!” Oh yeah! I sure do!

Visit Karen Caterson at Square-Peg People

See C.A. Kobu flourish at http://wakeupandflourish.com/

 

Spring Cleaning or March Madness?

Posted on March 4th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

The birds are singing, it is a beautiful sunny day!

Is that Spring on the way?

As Spring approaches the idea of “Spring Cleaning” comes to mind. Unfortunately, my home is always in need of a good cleaning, and a complete overhaul sounds daunting. The thought is somewhat stressful even. Where should I begin? I look around and everything I look at needs to be cleaned, repaired, removed or replaced. It is overwhelming. I can’t get away from it. I don’t want to be around it. I try to find a clean space to work, to read, to write, to think. Anything and everything I do is haunted by the thought, “I should clean up first,” or “I don’t deserve to spend so much time writing and doing my own things – I can’t even keep a clean house.” Even my kids know that they can’t have a friend over until the house is cleaned up. Cleaning for company is the best motivator. One of the reasons I enjoy having parties at my house is getting everything spic and span. That thought excites me. Why can’t I plan on the unexpected company? Why can’t I always be ready for a party? The guilt sets in.

I grew up in a clean and orderly home.

My childhood home was not obsessively clean or spotless, but well-kept. I do not remember there being clutter all around, or piles of clothing or dishes. My mother kept a good routine of weekly cleaning and a daily up keep. My father was what we called a “pack rat” and liked to keep things that he could use again someday. Now they call that “re-purpose.” He was ahead of his time. My mother did not hold on to things very long. She kept things that were important to her like a wedding invitation or a photograph, but she tossed out cards and letters and movie tickets and junk. She liked things clean and presentable.

Why Do We Have So Much Junk?

By today’s standards, some would say that my Dad was a hoarder. I don’t agree. He honestly kept things that he thought were still useful. He was using jelly jars to hold nails, nuts and bolts long before anyone would think it clever to do so. He nailed the lids to the bottom of a shelf above his work bench in our garage, so the jars could hang from it. He could clearly see what was inside. Mom would say, “That’s tacky!” “Get rid of that junk!” We can afford to buy something nice.”

I save things. It is a big thrill when someone says, I wish I had a string or a tiny cup or a matchbox and I can provide that thing for them. I am always prepared. Need a key chain? No problem. A magnet? Got that. Envelope? Of course! Nothing comes close to the excitement of finding that thing and being able to use it again. Thinking, “A-ha! I knew it! I am glad I held on to that.” Here in lies the problem, the worst is when I know I have it . . . somewhere. I just saw it. I can never find things when I need them. Where is that. . .? Things are getting out of control. Now it is hoarding. Now it’s junk. There is clutter everywhere. It started in the junk drawer and closet, now it has taken over the whole house and is moving outside. It’s in my car, in my purse, in my head.

The good news is, I can take care of this. It’s just a bunch of junk. It does not define me. It does not control me. Spring is approaching. I am going to declare a mutiny on clutter this month. My March Madness begins today. I am going to make this a challenge.

The mission, should you choose to accept it. . . clear the clutter, clear the mind.

Company is Coming!

I am going to take on the mindset that “Company is coming.” I want to live my best life. I aim to bring my best self in all areas of my life. I am a good mom. I am a good wife. I give my best at work. I have discovered my passion. I am writing and I am helping others. It is time to clean up the cobwebs. . . and the sorrows.

There is significance in everything.

When I was a girl, my mom would have me help her clean the sofa every Spring. We would actually bring it outside on the patio. We would take off all the cushions. She would sweep the sofa with a broom, wipe it down with a damp cloth dipped in a mixture of water and Ivory dish soap, and let it dry in the sun. Our sofa had about twenty cushions. She would take each one and beat it with the broom. Dust would fly out everywhere. I was always amazed at how much dust there was! I would think, “Why are we doing this? It looks clean to me. She cleans it every week.” Then I would see that dust and besides being grossed out (I really hate dust!) I would be amazed at how dirty the sofa had become. That dirt and dust was there the whole time. It made the sofa look dingy and dull. All the dust accumulated and was stuck below the surface, in the creases and crevices and spaces in between the cushions. This was not a slip cover couch like we have today. There was no easy way to clean it. It was a messy and tedious job. I think my mother liked cleaning it. At least she liked having it clean. She may not have thought about it in a romantic way as I do. But it was the source of comfort and a symbol of stability in our family.

The sofa was the center of our home. Literally at the center of our home, it was also the heart of our home. We used our living room. It was our family room, formal sitting room, and guest room. It was a big sectional sofa. We had a big family and it was a term of endearment for one to say, “I have slept on that couch.” Those words meant so much to my parents. They welcomed everyone. If you needed a place to stay, you could always sleep on our couch. It was big enough for three people to sleep comfortably. And many families have used it.

I believe that objects absorb thoughts and feelings as well as hold memories.

I’m Not Just Talking About the Dust

My mother cleaning off the sofa and beating the dust and dirt out of it holds a deeper meaning. During the year many times that couch was a place where tears were shed, hearts were broken, arguments were held, dreams were shattered. There were happy moments as well. But in beating out the dust and grime, we are able to recall the goodness and joyful moments with clarity. The surfaces are prepared to receive more and there is space for more things to happen.

But what happens to all the dust? Where does all the dirt and grime go? I would watch it fly around in the air. When you look at a beam of sunlight you can see it floating around. Sometimes it is quite dense. Particles of who knows what are always floating around us. Molecules of debris, pollen, tiny bits and pieces just floating in the air. We breathe it. It settles on shelves and tables and counter tops. It is everywhere, always. When we clean it up, we are just moving it around. It won’t ever go away. We can sweep it up, put it in a dust pan, and throw it in the trash. But it is now in a bigger pile in the trashcan. And more will accumulate. It will never go away.

If you think about your life as a sofa like the one in my childhood home, realize that you can clean it, dust it, wipe it down with soap and water, even beat it with a broom and there will always be some tiny particles of the crap left behind. Even if it is bleached and purified or even if a brand new one replaces it, the crap always comes back. If we let it accumulate it gets dingy and heavy with the pain, the hurt, the losses, the anger, the confusion, the guilt and all that stuff that we carry. It doesn’t have to be a deep seeded problem or issue. It can be all the little things piled up that get overwhelming. Pile a couple of the big things on top of that and it can crush you. There is a reason my mom enjoyed cleaning that sofa.

I believe I can enjoy cleaning up the clutter in my life. I need to take this final step in order to truly enjoy the good things in life. I look forward to beating the cushions. I can beat this. In fact, I imagine I will get a lot of aggression out when I do! I will beat that crap down! I know it will keep coming back, it always does. But I will accept the mission, take on the challenge, and I will be ready for company. Let the March Madness begin!

Now What?

Great ideas, huh? But I come back to the question, how do I get started? Somewhere I have a book about cleaning up the clutter and getting organized. I am sure I clipped an article about it. I remember watching an episode of Oprah on the subject. What was that? Damned if I can find any of that now! I am defeated before I even begin. Okay brain. Think, think, think. Maybe I can Google it. Oh, I better not! I’ll end up looking at Facebook, Tweeting and Pinning all day! Please, Lord, let this be one of those times where I can find what I need when I actually need it. . . I’ve got this.

I will use these steps that I have filed in my brain to clean up and get my act together. I don’t need a book or a guru – I know what needs to be done. I know what works for me. If you want to take the challenge, you can use my list, or make a plan of your own. But there must be a plan.

HERE IS THE PLAN:

Step One: Survey the Damage

I am going to really look at my surroundings and decide what I want to accomplish. I know I can’t remove, repair and replace everything now. I can start small. When I look at it objectively, I will not let the shame and guilt get the best of me. I will take on the attitude that I am preparing for a very special visitor. That person is me. I will do this for myself. I will start by removing the obvious trash and put things away. There is a place for everything. I will return things to their proper place and get things in order. I will make that my focus for this week. Nothing else. This week I will straighten up. That is a good start.

Step Two: Make a Clean Sweep

Once everything is in its place and the general clutter is thrown out or put away, I will sweep off the dust and polish it all up. I will focus on that for the second week. Everyday I will concentrate on a different room. One room at a time. I have to keep up throwing out the trash and putting things away as I do this or I will have to go back to Step One. I can deploy the troops. I will delegate the trash duty to my husband and keep reminding the kids to put their stuff where it belongs. I will do the dusting myself. As I do, I will think about the layers that I am revealing. I will get myself and my surroundings spic and span. I look forward to returning to a place where I am brightly shining. I may even give myself a facial and wear a mud mask as I clean my bathroom! Even my face will glow anew.

Step Three: Beat it Down

Now for the deep cleanse. During week three, I will take the big step and really tackle the cobwebs in the corners of my life and my house. I think I will book a massage or take a yoga class at the end of this week! I will deserve it and need it. Each day, I will take on a different project. Small things that won’t overwhelm me. I will organize my closet one evening. Clean out the refrigerator the next. I will go through the pile of mail and only keep the pertinent items and actually follow through on the pressing things. If I can’t pay a bill, I will at least make an arrangement to pay it. One evening I will devote myself to cleaning my desk and organize my file drawer. I resolve to use my desk for my work, not a place to put my jewelry and nick-nacks! On the weekend, I will ask my husband to move the sofa outside and I will get the kids to help me beat those cushions. I can’t wait to beat something!

Step Four: Company is Coming

During the final week of my March Madness, I will proceed as if I am getting ready for a party. I will make everything spic and span. I will put the spit and polish on it all. I have been wanting to get rid of all the mismatched stuff and start using the good stuff I am hoarding. Why not? I will get boxes and start in the kitchen. I will donate the dishes, glasses and pots and pans that I do not need. I will keep one set of everything. My aunt once told me I wouldn’t have so much laundry to do if I had less clothes. True. We tend to use all the dishes and every pot and pan, every spoon and fork, before we do the dishes. I am sick and tired of the pile up it causes. If we had one set, we would have to wash them every night. It will take some getting used to, but we can do it. I think I will just tackle the kitchen this week. For me, it is the main source of my disgust and disdain. I will pack up the mismatched dishes and utensils one night. I will organize the pantry the next. I will replace the shelve paper another evening. I will get the kids to clean out that junk drawer. I will clean the oven, the cabinets and counter tops and really put a shine to it. Lastly, I will fill the fridge with food for the week and get back into meal planning.

I may need some encouragement to keep it up. Can I count on you? Will you take that challenge?  Maybe we can learn something about ourselves.  If not, at least the house will be clean!

To learn more about me and how I can help you with your life’s challenges see more posts under Everything Miz Meliz. I look forward to hearing from you!

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