On Purpose

Do you think we have a life’s purpose? Or is it all just random chance? Perhaps we just muddle through life the best we can and then that’s it. Other than love, the rest is just extra. Extra stuff, emails, business, setting up shop, moving, going to work, maintenance; the monotony of life. Think about what you remember from 10 or even 20 years ago? Do you remember the day-to-day stuff? No. More likely, we remember impressions and feelings, the fun we had, and we remember how we felt.

If our main purpose is simply to make a pile of cash, spend it on being comfortable and (momentarily) happy then there will never be enough. There will always be something ‘better’ to buy, someplace ‘better’ to travel, some grass always greener.

Really? Buying, selling and maintaining is all there is? No, I believe our purpose in life is to love. To show love, receive love, to demonstrate grace regardless of negativity and darkness. As 1 Corinthians states, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (For the record, I think dogs have this love thing down. They live in the moment. They are so happy to be – right where they are.) But we need to live in the world that requires money, food, shelter, etc., so how do we go about living life on purpose?

Those things that wake you up at night, the dreams that won’t go away no matter how much you shove them aside and say, “someday”? Those are the vehicles to your purpose. When people are intensely passionate about their craft, others cannot help but be compelled and inspired. When people are living out their passions, love flows out naturally.



Without love, however, all of this is just a job. It’s something we do to fill the void of time. If our purpose is love, then it is our job to figure out what sets our hearts on fire. That, then, becomes our vehicle to the love highway!

What about you, have you discovered your vehicle? What are you passionate about?


On Confidence

In the latest WordPress prompt, they ask us if we are good at what we do, and what would we like to be better at. I find it coincidental* that this subject pops up right when I’ve been discussing the subject of fear and confidence with a few different friends lately. Usually when things like this pop up in various areas, it’s time to write about it!

*Note: I do not believe in coincidences in general. Most of the time, I think circumstances can come together to either push us into where we need to be going, or pull us out of where we have no business being!

Confidence. Ugh. Even the word tends to illicit the response of “fake it ’till you make it!” As I have been reflecting on my last experiences in teaching fitness classes, I definitely lacked confidence. I was trying to fake it, but I was intimidated. Intimidated by the instructor I was taking over for, as well as the experienced gym members who let me know they had “been through a few instructors and weeded out the ones they didn’t like”. Yeah. Awesome. While that class wasn’t necessarily what anyone would call successful, there were lessons o’plenty! Even hard, gut-wrenching experiences shape us for other opportunities down the road, despite our inability to foresee them. (My current gig has been the exact opposite, wonderfully!)

When we are young, everyone asks us “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Who the heck knows? When you have no life experience – how are you supposed to know what you’d like to do or try? I think better questions would be:

“What lights your fire?”
“What do you think you are good at?”
“What can you contribute to your community?”

When I was 5 I wanted to be a performer. An actress, a dancer, a singer – give me a stage! Unfortunately, anyone who has heard me knows I am unable to carry a tune. Growing older, other talents and passions came and went. As a teenager and young adult, the common thread in every job/career I have worked is teaching. I am a teacher by nature. My mother is a teacher by nature. As parents, we are teachers. I love it. I loved that lightbulb moment when while peer-tutoring math in high school, the student lit up when she finally grasped that algebra concept. Easing a new hire into the ropes of her new job – when it was plain she was nervous, then years later offers thanks for making her look up answers herself, so she now knows how to manage and lead her own staff. It’s magic when that happens. Helping other people learn to help themselves. Enter the vehicle of fitness and getting my own health on track – and voila!

Discussing the possibility of running a marathon, a friend recently expressed the desire, but lacks the guarantee of possibility. I know she can. I have no doubt. But, like many of us before any new distance or challenge, we doubt ourselves. We get in our heads about whether it’s possible, instead of making plans to succeed. Why do we do that? We ALL do it. The thought of running another one scares me, too. What if I do worse? Or don’t finish? What if….what if….what if…..?

But what if you kill it?! Wouldn’t it be better to try and stumble, then to always wonder what if? Who might you inspire in the process?

While I would like to say that confidence has come with the knowledge of knowing my skill set, and just like that – life is suddenly perfect. it’s just not the case. It doesn’t work that way. I was TERRIFIED of leading my own bootcamp. Would I be any good? Would anyone show up? Would they do the work? Some dear friends who were more than supportive of my efforts and gave me a little confidence to try. And a little more confidence came. Some set backs, some getting in my own way, distractions, and life. Two steps forward, 1 step back, but persisting anyway. What I’ve found through the process is 2 things:

1.) Confidence comes only when I take a scary first step.

2.) Slow and steady wins the race. I may not have hit all the goals in the time frames I wanted to, but it is coming together, just as it should. Sometimes patience really is a virtue, dang it!

2015 in our world is the year of scary. Scary, exhilarating, confidence-enducing – ACTION. Instead of saying, “I’m planning on…” or “I’m going to….” or “Someday….” It’s now.

Right now.

What scares you, but secretly excites you?!

Go do it!

(Even if you’re terrified!)

Big Dreams


Dreams are scary.

Especially the big ones.

The ones you know in your gut are the right ones, but the how-to seems just out of reach. Or really far out of reach. I’ve heard it said that you have to figure out what you love to do, then figure out how to make a living at it. Then it will never seem like work. I know I never want to punch a clock and do a j.o.b. that I’m not passionate about.

I became a stay at home parent so I could parent my children, be here for all the littles and bigs, and do the whole mom thing the way I wanted. As I look out over the next 10 years, I am asking myself what it is I want to do and how to lay that foundation now. Plus, my husband keeps threatening to “put me back to work” when he retires, so I better get busy planning!

It’s a big dream that a few short years ago, I would have laughed at as it wouldn’t have even been on my radar at the time. Sometimes I think dreams work like that.

I’m dreaming big, and it’s exciting.

And absolutely terrifying!

What are your big-sort-of-scary-dreams?

Wonder Full Wednesday: Perspiration to Inspiration

I am never more alive then when I’ve just completed a workout, I’m sweaty and what I like to call “all wrung out”. For some reason, I’m never more clear, more focused and more sure of myself as I am when I am doing something physically strenuous. More often than not, much of my writing inspiration comes from random thoughts while running.

I distinctly remember on more than one occasion standing in line with other recruits at bootcamp class waiting nervously in line for our turn at the agility course. Mind you, the instructor has just walked through and explained (yelled) what to do, but for some reason – I always doubted. I doubted I could do it, I doubted I could do it right, I doubted I could even remember what she wanted us to do.

Being followed
Agility (Photo credit: John Carleton)

Every time as I stepped up to my turn, on the balls of my feet anticipating my start, my mind would go blank and I would just GO. (Now this isn’t to say that I always did it all perfect, but the level of doubt I had was not proportionate to my skill.) That “blankness” that “just-stop-getting-in-your-own-way-and-do-it” thing happens all the time when I do something and show myself that yes, I CAN. I am much stronger than I think. I just have to stop thinking about it.

When we get to the end of ourselves physically, when we are completely spent, that’s the moment we tap into clarity. We go beyond our bodies and tap into the spiritual. Perhaps that’s why it makes me smile a bit when people ask either how I lost weight (if I have a magic pill or the latest fad diet) or how I have the motivation to keep working out. It makes me smile because if I’ve learned anything over the last two years, it is this: it is really not about the physical. Yes, it’s part of the process, yes, it’s exercise and eating clean and all of that, but the majority of it for me has been my personal growth; my growth in creativity, as a parent, as a friend, as a wife, and as a person.

Perspiration leads to inspiration. I love being inspired! That “not regretting a workout” platitude is cute, true, but definitely not the whole story. Smaller jeans are nice, but it’s not the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is taking what you’ve learned, passion and inspiration, and passing it on and sharing it with others. When its true passion, it can’t help but be shared.

For this passion, this being inspired while perspiring; I am grateful.

So This is What Schizophrenia Feels Like

I love to write. While I doubt I’ll be selling the next New York Times best seller anytime soon, (at least while the littles are still little), I do enjoy having a creative outlet and and entertaining the 3 people (including my parents) who think I’m “just the best”.

Recently, I was contacted to write for another blog. Words that I put into sentences, for people to read. For compensation. Really!? I think my head might just pop right off my neck. Excited doesn’t even begin to express how I am feeling. More like pee-my-pants-while-simultaneously-doing-in-the-air-heel-clicks!

Jump^ 13,435 ft
Jump^ 13,435 ft (Photo credit: CK Wong)

Part of me is feeling very Sally Field-esque  (“You like me!? You really like me!?”) The other part of me is flipping out furiously jotting notes and mumbling while not letting a pen and pad escape my grasp. This must be what it’s like to have schizophrenia. Or at the very least A.D.D.

I am humbled, excited, nervous, excited, scared, excited, and petrified. Through the excitement, however, there is a nagging question in the back of my mind. It’s the question we all have from time to time. (C’mon – you know the voices talk to you, too!) The question is simply this:

“Am I good enough? Can I really do this?”

Recently I discovered Brene Brown on Ted Talks and was very moved by her talk on vulnerability. You can watch the talk here:

She discusses how innovation and creativity are born from a place of vulnerability. Dan Rather was quoted as saying that “courage is being afraid but going on anyhow”. These two ideas precisely demonstrate how I feel about this new endeavor. How does anyone know if they are “good enough” if they aren’t willing to exert some risk?

Here’s to taking a risk, learning new things, accepting new challenges while accepting myself in the process!

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