Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Rebecoming https://anchor.fm/melissa-reyes/episodes/Rebecoming-e34k1u
I love my life right now! Said no one ever, right? Well, I did. And I do. Seriously, no matter how difficult things get, I am grateful for my life. I love it!
I started writing a post called, Living the Life I Want, in April 2013. Looking back at my drafts I found these quotes that apply perfectly to what I’m going through now.
Jean Shinoda Bolen says, “As soon as you recover or discover something that nourishes you and brings you joy, resolve to care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
Alice Walker says, “Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.”
“The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Your own positive future begins in this moment. Every goal is possible from here.” – Lai Tzu
In my post, “Peace of Mind, Imagine the Possibilities “ 3-7-13, I said, “Knowing that stress causes ailments to manifest and weaken me, I recall the goodness that surrounds me and I regain my strength. It is almost instant. My head lifts. I feel light. When I walk, I walk tall. When I speak, I speak with love.“
It has to do with following through. I honor the practices of self-care. I honor my core values.
“When your values are the source of your actions, even the lows become a positive experience.” –Sandi Amorin, Life Coach
So, how did I go from hard times to living my best life and loving it? It has to do with staying true to myself and to my ideals.
It’s 2019 and my theme for this year is Simple Joys. My plan is to really take it easy. It’s the no plan plan.
Of course, things are starting to come together and some events are in the works in the coming months. I’m traveling a bit here and there and my husband’s 50th birthday is happening soon. I also made a commitment to teach an art camp this summer. But these things are spread out throughout the year and I will try to remain true to my theme and allow the simple joys to be my focus.
This comes after a very difficult couple of years. I pushed myself to new limits and I was tested in unexpected ways. I spent my 49th year convinced that if I set my intention on action and activating my best self that I would be more successful than ever before and be able to reach new heights.
Ironically, one of the most symbolic things I could use to describe how that plan worked out is so cliche it’s a little embarrassing- – I actually got a treadmill and made videos on You Tube and Instagram hoping to inspire myself and others with my “take action” attitude. When in fact I spent all year literally running in place and not getting anywhere.
See one of my treadmill videos here:
To my defense, I weathered through some really tough crises with the help of my husband, family, and dearest friends and learned a lot about myself in the process. I gained a deeper perspective and I am at peace with it. I still love my treadmill as much as I love all the things I attempted during the past few years that didn’t take me as far as I had hoped.
I might not have successfully gotten a new business off the ground, made any money selling books, card decks, jewelry, or anything else, or become the superstar of my dreams – but I did take action. I tried. I worked my butt off and made the effort. Which is more than I ever did before. Doing that lead me to meeting people and going places that I otherwise never would have. More importantly, I went outside of my comfort zone and saw myself rise up and develop my abilities, hone my talents, and excel in unexpected ways.
All of it was extremely satisfying, just like knowing that I have walked the entire length of Italy (736 miles) and climbed over 2000 floors (which is the equivalent of the height of a hot air balloon in flight) during 2018 without even leaving California or being lifted off the ground.
So here it is, a new year, a new intention, a new focus. I like to take what I have learned and move forward in my life mindful that each moment has its own merit. I am a new person in many ways. I am also the best at being the me I like being too. I am going to relish that this year. I consider that the simple joy of living life.
I am the best at being the me I like.
As a life coach I often use “re-” words to help in the moving on or moving forward process. Review, recharge, refresh, renew. I heard a phrase today that really encompassed what I have been feeling. Re-become. I am so ready for that. I became who I want to be. I am fully vested. I tried a few things and that was good. Now I can re-become me. It’s that simple.
“True Values: Exploring and Connecting with Your True Values.”
[It has taken me awhile to decide how to approach writing about this. It hasn’t helped that I have been a little busier than usual this week. When I get a prompt, I take it as seriously as homework. Knowing that just completing it is passing, and putting my best effort into it gets me an A. The ideal of values is so important to me, I wanted to hit a home run on this one, I am shooting for an A+. I started where I always start. Answering the questions from http://ayearwithmyself.com/ and doing the exercise. Sometimes that is enough, the result is publishable and I am pleased with it. I often read more on the subject and do a little more research. I have gone back into my archives or handwritten journals and found relative material to use. This time, I did it all. I explored and connected with my true values over the past week and I am feeling really good about this! ]
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
My true colors are shining through and I bring you news from the MY side of the rainbow!
JOHN: “Can you really fly?”
PETER: “I’ll teach you.”
I took a look at “my values” . . .
I asked my husband what his values are. He said, “Integrity.”
I said, “. . . and?”
He paused, thought for a moment, and he said, “Family, taking care of you and the kids.”
I told him I needed to know what he thought our relationship values are and I explained that I was doing an exercise for my journal prompt. He said, “Honey, you know I don’t do this kind of thing.”
I said, “I know, I know! Humor me!”
It turns out that our youngest son gave a presentation on core values at Legoland the day before at his robotics tournament. I asked him to tell me about it. He spoke about his values: fun, teamwork, knowledge, respect, graciousness, professionalism, preparation, being considerate, being thoughtful, helping others, and leadership. He is twelve. He is pretty amazing!
Afterwards, my husband and I came up with this:
“Our Relationship Values”. . .
Family, Integrity, and Love are the commonalities. Lito’s values are based in providing for his family and mine are based in keeping harmony within the family. Lito expects respect and loyalty. I expect truth and commitment.
What did I learn from doing this exercise? I know my values, Lito knows his, we know each other’s and we share common values in our relationship and for our family. But I already knew all that! I had that “been there-done that” feeling.
Okay, so I have done the exploring part. It was good to revisit it. It’s always nice to talk about how much we love each other and our kids and how we live for our family and we are together on that. Yay us! Now on to the connecting part.
Oh, teach us Peter, please, teach us!
First I must blow the fairy dust on you!
Now think lovely thoughts
I thought about a period in my life when I felt truly happy, when I felt aligned with my values and in my creative zone. I thought about when we first bought our house in October, 1998. I was a stay-at-home mom back then. I had two small children and baby #3 was on the way. We had been through some hard times; the ’94 earthquake, my postpartum depression, vertigo, and cervical cancer. Buying a home and deciding to have a third child was a sign that we could move forward and that Lito and I were achieving what we had hoped for in our lives and in our relationship. Family, Love, Stability, were at the core of our existence.
At this point in my life, I was truly happy and able to be compassionate, giving and creative. I spent time with friends and family. I stayed home with my kids. I learned new things and I applied my knowledge and creativity to all areas of my life. I nurtured my relationships. I realized that my parents and aunts and uncles were getting older and I made spending time with them a priority.
I took my children to visit my dear Auntie Bessie in Torrance, where she moved after the earthquake. In time she wanted to move back to the valley and we opened our home to her. She lived with us until she required assisted living and moved into a facility near us. When I was pregnant with my third baby, I visited her at least once a week and took her out to lunch. She loved going to IHOP. My boys still remember those visits. It was a joy spending time with her! She was my best friend and confidant. After she passed on, I focused more on spending time with my parents. It was a good time in my life. I enjoyed seeing the relationship with my parents and my kids grow.
During this seven-year period of my life, I was the most creative, free and happy. Even though it is marked by tragedy, loss, and misfortune – I clung to my values and they pulled me through. They motivated me to do something. I wrote poetry, prose, a diet book, a self discovery journal, a gratitude journal, children’s stories, and how-to books. I published nothing, but I researched and taught myself how to do it. I read a lot of books back then. I took my kids on adventures and went on nature hikes and picnics. We explored parks, malls, beaches, mountains, and museums. I made crafts, costumes, scrapbooks, and gifts. I took mommy & me classes, yoga, kick boxing, karate, and photography. I joined the YMCA and went swimming and took the kids to classes. The boys were in everything, you name it – tumbling, karate, soccer, and t-ball. I put my creativity into making banners for teams and being the team mom. I hosted theme parties, for the kids and the adults. I volunteered at church, I became a certified catechist, taught religion classes, and organized retreats. All of these things made me happy! I had a clear focus back then.
My values were my guiding light. Looking back at my journals and reading some of my poetry, I realized that “being true to myself” was something I gave a lot of attention to. I was going through a period of my life when I felt I was coming in to my own. I was emerging as a young woman, a wife, a mother. I was surpassing the point where I needed my parents’ approval or direction. (I still accepted it and asked for it, of course. But it was up to me to decide for myself what I wanted to do and how I would act and react.)
During that period of my life I was going through something else. It was very dark and difficult. As I found myself being a person that others depended on, I was going through an inner turmoil of dissatisfaction with myself. I had not finished college. I did not have a career. I did not have a career goal. I was “knee-deep in diapers and baby food” and I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I was writing but I didn’t have the confidence to even try to get published. No one I knew blogged back then. I didn’t even have MySpace or Facebook yet!
I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to be something. I really had no idea what! Or rather, I had lots of ideas but no firm plans. I spent a lot of time soul-searching, developing my self-confidence and discovering my self-worth. I nurtured and used my creativity to express myself. I read all the Oprah books. Some of them really helped. I took notes from the Oprah Winfrey Show. I learned to “Love What I Have” and to “Soar with the Wind.”
(Flying, flying, flying)
Nothing will stop me now:
Higher still look at how
I can zoom around,
‘Way up off the ground
I made something of myself by “Being my Best Self.” I made a difference by volunteering and helping others. I believed him when my husband said that I was something, something extremely important, he said, “You are a mother.”
That may not have seemed like enough at the time (to me), but truthfully as it turns out, it was! I set my sights on being the best mother I could be and by making my children my focus. I was making a difference every day by doing everything within my power to raise three wonderful citizens of the world. I set my mind to guide them not only to be good, responsible, healthy children – but to be the best friend they could be, the most valuable player on the team, the best boyfriend a girl could want, and much more. No – not perfect, not correct or by the book by any standards . . . just my best. I am giving it my all and it is important! It is what I was made to do. And I will continue to do this for the rest of my life.
Sounds great, huh? Well, I’ve been driving in neutral ever since I went back to work. The freedom of not working became boring when my kids went to school. I needed to return to work for many reasons. Besides needing the money, I needed to be around adults to use my talents and acquire more skills. The loss of my close and dear relatives was heartbreaking and has taken a toll on me. After my Auntie Bessie died, my mom took ill. My dad cared for her until he had a fall and broke his hip. He went into rehabilitation for his hip surgery and mom came to live with us. She lived with us until she passed away on February 10, 2005. My father then became the focus of my life, until he passed, unexpectedly, on May 5, 2007. It was around that time that my sister became ill and our family focus shifted to concern for her health until she passed on July 5, 2011. Heavy stuff.
When the topic of what my New Year’s Resolution is, I would think, “To get through a whole year without illness or a death in the family.” Bitter, and childish, I know! I can’t control those things. Or even wish for them. I felt myself falling into that pit of despair again. I had been asking myself, “What am I doing?” I want more from my work. I still have not pursued writing, teaching, photography or counseling as a profession. All of these things still interest me and I could still pursue them. Why don’t I? It’s complicated. I realized how connecting with my true values at this time in my life is just what I needed to get motivated again.
Watch me everyone
Take a look at me
And see how easily it’s done
Can I duplicate the experience I had when I was my happiest, even when I wasn’t making an income and I was knee-deep in diapers? I can! I am happiest when I am using my creative abilities. I restarted my blog, writing regularly by joining A Year with Myself, The Happiness Project, and committing to transferring and revising my poetry and publishing my writing. I joined blogger groups like So Cal Lady Bloggers and The SITS Girls ( http://socalladybloggers.wordpress.com/ and http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ ) to get support, share my writing, and learn from the best. I am going to write a guest post on Stuff Parents Need in May. http://stuffparentsneed.com/ I want to add a page to my blog for crafts and take step by step pictures and how to videos of various arts and crafts projects and jewelry making. I want to continue my photography, editing and posting my pictures. I want to publish my diet book and short stories. I want to expand my consulting business, helping others to optimize their business opportunities using my knowledge of social networks and marketing skills. I want to design websites for small businesses and write text for their business optimization. I want to coach others to live a positive, stress free and peaceful life.
SANDI AMORIM is a coach and instigator at http://www.devacoaching.com/ and https://twitter.com/#!/SandiAmorim she has a passionate and slightly mad twist on personal development. Sandi is the instigator for this prompt from A Year with Myself. http://ayearwithmyself.com/ I went to her website when I was considering how I would approach this entry. Thanks to her, I wrote my ending first! I can totally relate to her and I was inspired by her. Reading her webpage really lit the fire in my soul to achieve my goals and to set my sights on what I value most. Some of the following is taken directly from DevaCoaching:
I was born to shine! Not someday. NOW! Yesterday I stayed home and wrote and created all day. I enjoyed being at home with my husband and I said, “This is what it will be like when the kids are gone and I can work from home, someday.”
No response, just a glance as if to say, “Right, like that is going to happen.”
Think lovely thoughts
Think lovely thoughts
He may think that the idea is unreasonable. Not logical. Not possible. He is in for a surprise, because “I may be ready to live an unreasonable life.”I can finally own who I really am. If I want to, I can fly. I can work my full-time job and do the things I have always loved doing, too! It’s no different from when I was a stay-at-home-mom with three little kids in tow. Hello! That was a full-time job! And I was at my happiest, even going through all the hardships and heartbreak that I went through back then. Wow! I am free again! Like Peter Pan, I’m flying! Look at me, fit and free, I’m flying!
It’s so satisfying!
Through a cloud
Past the star
I’m so proud
Look how far I breeze in
High over the moon
I know my husband, friends and family will be happy for me. Because what I want is important. They want me to have what I want in life. It’s not altruistic – it’s me following my bliss, a total win/win. Here are my true colors – coming directly to you from atop of my rainbow. You are invited to come on up for a visit, anytime! All you have to do is fly!
I AM A CHAMPION
I AM A TEACHER
I AM A CONSULTANT
I AM A COACH
I AM HERE TO HELP
I AM A FRIEND
I am the same as the people I admire and respect. It’s easy to forget that I am a part of something bigger than myself. I am something as big as the ocean. At times I am afraid to believe that I am that big. But believe it or not. . . I am that big. And so are you! I’ll teach you.
Heading far out of sight
Second star to the right
Now the way is clear
Never Land is near
Follow all the air
Cause I’m about to disappear
always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul,
this is the sound
I bought a ticket to the world,
but now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line
Oh I want the truth to be said