Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Embrace Your Courage and Be a Traveler

This is about having the courage in life to be authentic and create sustainability.

What does it mean to have courage?  To be truly courageous?  How can I step out of my comfort zone and make a difference in my life?  Can I make a difference in the lives of others?  I want to take the next step. And the next one after that.  Are you ready to really break free and do something with your life?  I am!  How do we start?

Allow me to introduce you to some inspiring people who have shown how a little courage can transform not only their own life, but by sharing their stories and experiences touches the lives of countless others along the way.  At some point while reading this – click on this link – and consider helping to ensure that these stories get told.

http://mizmeliz.com

Here is What I Believe
In my heart of hearts I am fearless.  I am an adventuress.  I love to experience new things.  In my mind I believe I can do it.  I can do anything I set my sights on.  I am bold.  I am free.  Reality sets in.  I have to buy groceries.  I should do some laundry.  I am getting behind on my bills.  I need to exercise.  I digress.  We tend to slip into old habits and just do what we can to finish the week.  Who has time to make a difference?  Madonna.  She can do it.  She has time. She has resources.  Not me.
http://www.rayoflight.org/
Madonna’s Ray of Light Foundation supports organizations around the world working to promote peace, equal rights and education for all.
But, there are normal people, like me, who do amazing things and manage to still get their laundry done.  There are courageous, adventurous people who make a difference in the lives of others and are facing the same daily challenges that I face,  some much more challenging than mine.  They inspire me.  (Madonna inspires me too, she always has!)
“Help Humaira build her school! Education is not a luxury ! It’s a basic human right” -Madonna said at the Sound of Change concert in London on Saturday, June 1, 2013.
I may never have the intrepid boldness to take a stand, drop everything, and leave the country to help others – but I can support those who do.
My friend (and fellow blogger) nomadic minimalist, Raam Dev, suggests that we all come into this world a tourist.  The challenge is to leave an explorer.  When my son’s friend from school announced that he was going on a trip around the world with his family junior year, I was amazed and intrigued. I can’t even imagine how a person would start planning a trip like that.  I could see myself and my family doing it, but I shake my head in disbelief because it would be so hard to execute such a plan.  And the expense.  The thought of it is overwhelming!  I can only imagine the wealth of life experience my family would gain if we could ever embark on such a journey.  Mark and Carrie Pullen had this pearl of wisdom for their children after broadening their horizons for nine months:
“You can live any life you choose.” ~ Carrie Pullen
http://pullensgortw.blogspot.com/
The Pullen Family Goes RTW

Meet Jody Temple White. Meet her and her courageous family. If you have ever wondered what an ordinary person can do to make a change in the world, here is your answer.  There is a documentary in the works about this bold family and their courageous travel adventure around the globe.  You can help get it seen and help to inspire others.  The Courage Vibe is a movement.  It is inspiration.  It is about transformation.  It is about having the courage in life to be authentic and create sustainability; for ourselves, for others, for the World.

“When a seed of inspiration strikes, believe it is possible. It may take years to grow and become real, but some form of it is meant for you.” ~Jody Temple White
http://thecouragevibe.com/#
The White Family is Committed to Living a Courageous Life

How can I find the meaning in my life?

Be a traveler. 

What is the difference between being a tourist and being a traveler?  Ask Jody, John, Riley and Allison White. They realized and lived the difference on their trip around the world when they were enriched as a family while helping others as they went.  I often say I am an adventuress.  I am an explorer.  For now on, I consider myself a traveler.  I am on a journey.  It is the journey of my life.  I am not just visiting.  I am taking an active role.  I am a traveler not a tourist.

For the White family being travelers means living simply in each place they visit, immersing themselves in the culture, and meeting and helping people and animals along the way.  This experience has brought them joy and enriched their relationships with each other and is shaping their lives in a way unimaginable for most families.

“Be brave and face your fears. ~ Allison White

How can we find joy in helping others?  Who can we help?

Keep it simple. Think about what is truly important to you. What gets your heart beating? Living simply means getting along with fewer complications. What are the top things you could not live without? Doesn’t everyone deserve to have these things? What can you do to help make that possible for others who are less fortunate than you?

Think about what you love doing and who you love being with. What better way to express your love than to share that joy with others? How lovely it would be to help someone else to experience that joy. What a beautiful gift it would be to care about someone else’s basic needs.

What are you good at?

Are you skilled at something that you might take for granted that someone else might benefit from learning? What do you want to learn about? Sharing knowledge and learning from our experiences is an invaluable step in life’s journey.

I hear my fears saying things to hold me back. . .  “How can I possibly help when I need help?  My family needs help.  My life is hard.  I have health challenges. I am in debt. I can barely make ends meet. My family is not that supportive. I care about the world and I want to make a difference, but I am struggling right now.”

Life is daunting at times. If you make a list of all the challenges you are facing it would be as long as the list of things you would do to change the world. Life is challenging. Getting along in this world is hard. It’s scary. That’s why it takes courage to tackle these issues. Facing our fears, dealing with the obstacles, and being willing to make a change despite the challenges is why it takes bravery and fortitude to embark on a journey like this. Giving of yourself in service to others is a sacrifice.

Why should you do it?

Going outside your comfort zone is not easy to do! It takes commitment. Breaking free and making a difference in your life involves spirit. If you strive for a better life, a better human condition, if you hope to make the world a better place for future generations, or if you just aren’t satisfied with the way things are then it is time for you to make a change. You might find that in helping others, you can help yourself. The very act of making a difference in the life of another person may be the very thing you need to make a positive impact in your own life.

Doing this takes faith. Faith in yourself and your abilities. It takes faith in humanity and in the human spirit. I am not just talking about big round the world trips and building schools and digging wells kind of commitments. Any change you are willing to take to make a positive difference in your life takes faith. Faith is the belief of the uncertain. It’s what you know in your heart.

Making a leap of faith to break your habits and face your fears takes hope. Hope for a better life. Hope for a positive outcome. Having a real desire in your heart to do something new and to make a difference is having hope. It’s the inspiration, the drive, the catalyst that will see you through. Never give up hope. Any little thing you do is important. Everything you do is valuable. Everything you do makes a difference.

Embracing the courage to make a change in your life takes love. If you start with love, the possibilities are endless. It starts with loving yourself. Believe in yourself. You can do this! Love grows and continues to grow forever. If you have love in your heart you can do anything.

Transforming your life takes perseverance. It may not happen overnight. If you were to take a trip around the world, putting your life on hold for a year, giving up all of life’s conveniences and comforts, it would take a tremendous amount of planning, time, money, and support. Any change takes time to happen.

“…courage as a muscle that you can begin exercising and slowly strengthen over time.” ~Marquita Herald

http://mizmeliz.com
My Family is Always Ready for an Adventure of the Heart!

Thank you Dona Donato, and the owners and founders of Giggling Gorilla Productions, Inc. GGP is a company dedicated to creating media and live events that support enhanced living, wildlife conservation, sustainability and a holistic way of life.  It is because of  their belief in the courage of families who can make a difference that this blog post and others like it are being written.  With their help, millions of people will be inspired and hopefully donate to the Living the Courage Vibe documentary project.

 

“I truly believe that we all have this kind of courage and bravery hiding somewhere inside us. And if you just take the time to look, you will find that you do too.” ~Chris Lemig

If you want to read more about my adventures, click here:  The Next Step

Be an explorer of life. Be a traveler on your journey. Don’t just observe the world around you like a tourist. Get active and engage yourself. Immerse yourself along the way. Life is an adventure!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

What would you hope to learn there?

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Limitless Potential, Starting with Saving Myself

In Memoriam of Sidney Patrick, Founder of So Cal Lady Bloggers

There is something I learned at my sister’s funeral last year that was evident at Sidney’s memorial as well. People don’t always share the full scope of who they are with everyone they know. A friend told me that sometimes the person wants it that way.  I respect private people.  I really do.  But what concerns me is people who aren’t being private on purpose, but are so giving of themselves that they focus on other people so much that we don’t get to know all the wonderful attributes they have or realize the many accomplishments that they have achieved.

A diamond in the rough.  A person with unlimited potential.  A humble person who does not need to or want to call attention to themself.  A caring person who makes the effort to get to know you and help you, asking for nothing in return.  I could be describing my sister, Karen,  or my friend, Sidney.

At my sister’s funeral in July of 2011, many people came to me and said they didn’t know Karen had started a group called Humanitarian Efforts and had sponsored an orphanage in Mexico. And people who worked with her on that didn’t know that she was a soccer mom and had volunteered at the local elementary school, and some people never even knew she had a sister!

I found out so much about Sid at her memorial. I missed out on getting to know her better. I am lucky to have known her at all. She was a remarkable woman! I was touched by the testimonial that was shared by her co-worker who described her many accomplishments with installing computer systems and her extensive expertise in technology.  I did not know that she worked in I.T., like my husband.  I was aware of how she loved her sorority sisters, but I did not know that she had a group of guy friends and was considered “one of the guys!”  Her close friends from high school and college suffered a huge loss with her passing.  I knew that she was a regular at Olive’s and Tallyrand, but I had no idea what a “family” and support system that community was for her!  I did not read all of the many posts on her blog and I knew very little about her relationship with her boyfriend of fourteen years, or with her beloved family.  I did not know that she had a sister, until I learned all of this after she passed.

What I did know about Sidney Patrick is that she was a lovely person with a beautiful smile.  She was the creator and a leader of the group that I am in on Facebook, the So Cal Lady Bloggers.  Sidney was welcoming and encouraging.  She read everything that I wrote and she was the person who commented the most on my blog.  She had a very sharp wit, excellent sense of humor and was a gifted writer.  Her blog, My Mother-in-Law Still Sits Between Us, is about hoarding and how it affects the adult children of hoarders.  She became an expert in that field and was interviewed on Huffington Post Live as such just a few weeks before she died.  She made an impact in the world of hoarding and was devoted to educating and helping people who were affected by it.  Sidney Patrick, like my sister, made a difference in our world.

Sidney Patrick

Besides significantly making a difference in the lives others, having an infectious smile and the ability to be a gracious hostess, Sidney and Karen had something else in common.  They both died too young, and they both died of complications due to Liver Disease.  Liver Disease and Diabetes run in my family.  I have Diabetes.  I have the pre-cursor to Liver Disease; high triglycerides and a border-line fatty liver.  My mother died of Cirrhosis of the Liver (NASH).  My aunt (my mother’s twin sister) died of it.  My sister died of it.  They all also had Diabetes.  There is something else that my sister and Sidney had in common, they did not talk about their disease. They down-played their own suffering.  They were martyrs in their own right.  They did not do for themselves that they would have done for countless others, what they would have done to help anyone else that they loved, they did what they always did when it came to something being about themselves, they selflessly kept it private.  If I learn nothing from their stellar examples as humanitarians, from the beauty and peace that they brought countless people as the angels that they were, if I am unable to live up to that potential, I must learn from their fatal flaw. . . I hope that I will not have that in common with them.

I realize now that this is why I started a journal blog. I am about lots of things and I want to be fully apparent to all who know me.  I am not private.  I want my friends to know what I am all about.  Who I am, completely.  I have not yet discussed my health issues on my blog because until now I wanted to share only the positive things that happen in my life.  I realize now that I must make this a positive.  I must share the things that I do to manage my health, to improve my health, to avoid an early death.  I must give it the same effort that I would give to anyone else that comes to me for help.  In helping myself live a healthier life, I can help others.

Limitless Potential

The potential to help others is limitless.  My sister can help others with Diabetes and Liver Disease through me.  After she died, I thought I would carry on with her humanitarian efforts.  I thought I could help children in Nigeria who had been orphaned and then sold into slavery.  I tried.  I am not sure if anything that I did made a difference for anyone.  But, I vow I will do my best to make a difference in my life.  I will help myself and my family to live longer, healthier lives.  I believe I can do that.  I can make a change, a difference.  I will commit myself to that.

Correction.  I will re-commit myself to that.  I must admit, that I fell silent.  I have even been ignoring my disease.  After my mother passed away in February 2005, and my sister was diagnosed, I was tested at Karen’s urging.  I found out that I too had the pre-disposition for Diabetes and Liver Disease.  I had high triglycerides and high blood sugar levels.  At that time I did tons of research to find out anything I could do to improve my health.  As it is for most health issues, a regiment of exercise and a specific diet is recommended.  I found out about every kind of food that is bad for the liver and pancreas and all the nutrients that are good for the digestive organs and the immune system.  I made a list of the foods I should eat and the foods I should avoid.  I followed the diet strictly and I improved my triglyceride level to better than normal and my liver did not appear enlarged when I had an ultrasound.  I maintained a healthy blood sugar level and I did not have to test my blood sugar.  I achieved something at that point that doctors rarely see, in fact they said it could not be done.

Saving Myself

And then, last year, my sister died after her long-awaited liver transplant fell through and her suffering came to an end.  For some reason, I lightened up on the regiment.  I gained weight.  I am now taking medicine to control the Diabetes.  I feel pain in my abdomen after large meals and I have been eating the dreaded meats and all the other things that are on my “no-no” list.  I am killing myself and I do not know why.  Sidney’s death shocked me into realityI can do something about this.  I will do something and I will be open and honest about it.  I will blog about it.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Hopefully, mostly good.

So, I start now.  With this ode to Sidney and Karen who inspire me in countless ways.  I start now with this blog post.  I start now, with enrolling in a nutrition class  lead by Carol Takakura of Creative Wellness with Carol that I will be writing about weekly.  I start now, by blogging 30 posts in 30 days for National Health Blog Post Month with @wegohealth.  I start now by using my list, following the regiment and living a healthy lifestyle.  I can’t go back.  I can’t change anything that happened or anything that I did or didn’t do.  I can’t help Sidney or Karen or my mom or my aunt.  But I can help myself and my kids.  I start now.

If you are interested in having a copy of my List of “Healthy Eating Choices” to promote a healthier lifestyle, Click Here: Healthy Eating Choices

After my parents and sister passed away, I wrote about the Seven Stages of Grief   It still helps me to review it, so if you are suffering from any loss and are not familiar with the stages or how they can come and go – please fee free to contact me and I will be here to listen and cry with you.