One day you will figure out what you really enjoy doing, and you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

Life is funny.  You grow up simply being drawn to what you enjoy and don’t think much of it.  You may do it every day all day and never tire of it.  Then you hit the point in age where you start caring too much about what others think of you, and you desparately try to fit in.  It’s during this time, that you forget who you really are and what the real you truly enjoys doing.  You bury inside, what you need to be happy.  You forget it, it gets lost… Then because we replaced who we really are with this false persona, we attract all the wrong people and can’t figure out how we ended down this road.Vanilla Clouds

One day, it hits you, that something is missing…and you find yourself craving the things you used to do, like reading romance novels, painting with gouache, playing volleyball, running, doing makeup, writing, photography, etc.  You find that when you are doing these things, you are intrinsically happy, hours go by and you haven’t noticed, you feel revived, worthy, you have a sense of purpose, even if you are not that good at it, you don’t care.Vanilla Clouds

The hardest part about this realization is, you think to yourself, if doing this makes me so happy and content, why didn’t I start sooner?I am not sure my younger self would have listened had someone shared this wisdom with me, but I certainly would have wished I had.
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We spend so much time chasing falsities in life when we could be living our truths.  So, if you are that person who buried your interests away and have now re-discovered them, bravo! better late than never.  But if you are that person trying really hard to fit in and compromising who you are and what you are, then wake up and smell the coffee because living this way will never truly deep down inside, lead you back to that path of happiness. xoVanilla Clouds

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Life happens in those in between moments….

I was listening to a lecture the other day and the speaker touched on how we all rush through things, multi task, whether it’s the smart phone, the tv, the radio, the computer.  It’s like we need a constant distraction in the in between moments.  We don’t realize that we are living our lives by simply rushing from one thing to another avoiding the present moment.  There is always a plan and a goal to get to, but we tend to forget that how we get there is probably the most important part of it.  Allowing ourselves to being present to the moment, whether that is enjoying dinner with a friend, a love or not needing to answer a million emails while you walk to the park.  Having that little quiet time, is so important to keeping our internal peace.In between moments Vanilla Clouds

It’s not the path, it’s the journey.

Now we have all heard this saying a million times, but do we really understand what it means.  It really is in the details.   While we are so anxious to get to our next meeting, class, or the supermarket, we sometimes rush through the most meaningful parts of our journey because we forget to be present in the moment.  Sometimes when I leave my apt to ride my bike to the supermarket, I see my favorite orange kitty strolling along the parking lot.  Whenever I see her, I stop and walk over and give her a little cuddle.  She graciously accepts it and I just feel so happy when I get on my way.  It can be as simple as that.  Animals of all things, teach us compassion.  If a little cuddle makes orange kitty happy, that’s such a little gesture with such a big reward, in my opinion.

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For you, it may be something else, perhaps you stop and grab a coffee and you overhear a conversation about someone who is going through a similar situation as you and it helps you carry on your day. Or you bump into someone, who really needed a friend to talk to, so, instead of rushing your hello’s, you stop and ask them, how they are doing. Sometimes, all someone needs is a kind gesture, a concern to help them get through something.  You may even overhear a job opportunity or a concert you have been wanting to see, while you sit and enjoy your coffee. Vanilla Clouds Vanilla Clouds Vanilla Clouds

When I remember, while I ride my bike,  I remind myself to be in the moment; notice the trees changing, the new buds, the new establishments, the wood burning smell :). You really do need to remind yourself, because it is very easy to get caught up in the “goal”. SONY DSC Vanilla Clouds

The images on this post are of the The Retreat Golf Course on St. Simons Island.  The beautiful colors made it super pleasant and easy to shoot 🙂

and here she is…could you resist her 🙂Orange Kitty

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Why sappy lyrics move me….

Anyone who knows me, will probably attest to the fact that a song will come into my head and I will sing it and play it until you either love it as much as I do, or hate it ferociously.  I am positive that I made my friend Melanie hate the cd Monster Ballads 1999 because I played it every time we took a ride in my truck the summer we worked together as camp counselors.  Leaving the camp was our escape, however for poor Melanie, there was a  rite of passage each time she entered my car and we left those gates. I also exhausted the highly addictive More Than Words track by Extreme because I was desperately trying to learn how to play it on my new guitar.  Poor Melanie again 🙁SONY DSC

Either way, I’m a total lyric and harmony person and I love ballads. Some people hate ballads because they tend to be sad but I feel the opposite way when I hear ballads. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Ballads remind you that you’re not alone.  They are the words that keep you company when you feel ashamed to admit what you’re feeling around others. You feel like crap, sometimes you know what you’re feeling makes no sense, but you feel it and you don’t want to appear weak.  Ballads have a way of pulling the emotion out of you and spelling it out in words, so that you can finally release the pain.

I remember the comforting feeling that I felt when I heard the song Cry, by Faith Hill.

…. Could you cry a little
Lie just a little
Pretend that you’re feeling a little more pain
I gave, now I ‘m wanting
Something in return
So cry just a little for me

When I heard these lyrics, I thought, yes…yes, .. I need him to cry a little, lie,..just something to tell me that what I thought we had wasn’t an illusion. Please give me a sign that tells me he feels some pain too. Only then, for some strange reason could all this be tolerable.SONY DSC SONY DSC

and sometimes, it’s just a lyric, one line in the song that gets to you. Ahem…for example, I just love that song by Bon Jovi, Thank you for Loving Me, and it’s probably that one line that gets to me but I find myself singing this verse a lot.

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn’t see
For parting my lips
When I couldn’t breathe
Thank you for loving me

It’s something that you hope one day, you get to say to someone. Not that you should be grateful that someone finally loved a sappy soul like you, but because it’s just a beautiful thing to humbly say to someone,…that you think so highly of them, and that you are so appreciative that you get to hang with them.  I won’t even get into my serious Sarah Mclachlan phase or coming into my sexy self, John Mayer phase.  Songs kind of carry you through a portion of your life, they motivate you when you need that “power song” as my ipod calls it when I’m trying to get through my last mile.  It helps you fall asleep sometimes.  Keeps you company on a bumpy plane ride or boring train ride.  Young gals are so lucky to have Taylor Swift these days, because I certainly would have rocked out or cried to a few of her tunes way back when.  Music rocks!SONY DSC SONY DSC
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So, fast forward to my obsession this month.  This song by the Irish Rock Pop band, The Script, called  It’s Not Right For You.  It makes me want to hold a “boom box” up in the air and blast this, for me, for you, for everyone to hear!  and in this case, it’s the entire song that I connect with, rather than one line, or a verse.

My head, my head is full of things I should’ve done
My heart, my heart is heavy, here it sinks like a stone
She said, is this the life you’ve been dreaming of
Spinning half through the way from the things you love

It’s not too late, to do something new
She said, it’s not enough trying to live your life
But not following your dreams makes you dead inside
If you don’t love what you do

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

My hands, my hands are scarred by things I should’ve done
My feet, my feet are weary from all the miles that I’ve run
She said, open your mind take a look within

Are you happy with the world that you’re living in

If not, you gotta change what you do
She said, and lately I don’t see you smiling love
Are you happy here with me and the things we’ve got
If you can’t say that it’s true

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

If we don’t do something now then
We’ll never know
If we stay here too long then we’ll, we’ll never grown old
So before it’s too late and it’s killing you yeah
We’ve only one life to live
So love what you do

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

I’m sure if you think about it, there is that special song that when you hear it, takes you to another place, another moment.    Images in this pictorial are of a day trip to Savannah, GA.  If you haven’t been, you must go check it out. There is a lot of rich history there and the streets are lined with tons of beautiful colonial homes.  Definitely wear comfy shoes though, because you will be walking a lot! xo

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The Power of Silence

Vanilla Clouds

The power of silence is priceless.  Over the past few weeks, I have been seeking inspiration and hope.  I was reading through my notes taken while listening to past lectures and books I’ve read and I came across a section called “the power of silence“.   I thought to myself, how can one find the strength to be silent when you are angry and have so much to say.  How can you hold your tongue when you hear someone speaking completely lacking empathy, compassion, kindness.  The truth is, sometimes, it is impossible to hold back your emotions but at times, being silent is the best response.

I love this quote by Ajahn Brahm, ” it’s the empty things that make noise, would you rather be a babbling brook or a great river that flows silently, majestically through your life? Vanilla Clouds

Sometimes the best, most powerful and peaceful answer is silence.  I would never wish anything bad on someone because I understand that people who are negative and express hateful and mean words are suffering and only projecting what is inside of them.  I feel pity for them because they have to live with themselves and their negative minds. So instead, it’s important for our own health and peace of mind to relinquish control and allow Karma to take it’s course.  Vanilla Clouds

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Getting through the chaos that is the holidays….

The holidays have always been super challenging for me.  While my normally positive disposition wanted to be happy and enjoy the excitement, this time of year usually brought up a lot of memories. Sometimes these memories were good and well, sometimes they were not so good.20141129_123655

It’s this time of year that we also think of old friends that we don’t speak with anymore and wonder where they are and hope that they are doing ok.VanillaClouds

In our lifetime, we share so many moments with different people at different points in our lives.  When I was younger, the thought that I would loose touch with someone that I loved or was super close with literally broke my heart and I just didn’t think it was possible.  Thus, it has happened.  I used to ponder, miss them, be sad about it but then one day I saw the movie, Eat Pray Love and I heard this quote and it has stayed with me and offered lots of comfort. If you have experienced this type of emotion as well, then I recommend you watch this movie.  Here is the quote and to explain the context, someone is explaining to the main character how she should move past a person she loved and missed 🙂

“Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. “But I love him.”  “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.”

and that is what I do now.  I silently wish them light and love..and I move on.  It’s worked for me and I hope it can work for you.VanillaClouds

How do you find peace, in a family of chaos?

A lot of my sadness came from  not having a significant other to share it with, but a significant amount of it came from within my own family.  I love my family very much, but I grew up in a family that was rarely at peace during the holidays.  I craved that loving environment that some of my friends talked about or what I had seen on TV.  There were years when I absolutely dreaded the end of the year because there I was alone in the same scenario reliving the same memories.  Gosh that sounds dreadful!!, but it’s true.

I finally got to the bottom of my well of despair and I literally got sick of feeling sad and hopeless.  I knew that I needed to change my mindset or I would never feel happy or find peace inside.VanillaClouds

“Just as the manure in your garden can enrich your plant, so, can the adversities of our lives make us wiser” -Ajahn Brahm

Getting through it was not easy but slowly and surely, I sought wisdom.  I read books, went to lectures, began mediating and emmersed myself in things that made me happy. For me, that was art and photography, for you it can be something else.  As long as the happiness it brings you is an awakening of something inside you, it will help you grow.  I tried to stay away from superficial things and distanced myself from superficial characters in my life.  Getting better takes courage and determination.VanillaClouds

When life hands you lemons…or shit, you need to learn to find its meaning and transform it! Because what is the alternative.

I can’t tell you that I understood the chaos in my life when it was happening, but as i grew more in tune with myself, and developed more compassion, some things I understood and other things, I was able to let go because they did not matter.  I embraced the adversities that happened in my life, tried to understand them, accepted them, did not judge them and slowly they dispersed.  It’s really quite amazing, once I acknowledged them, accepted it as part of my growth, these things no longer kept me up at night.  They no longer made me sad on long train rides, holding my gaze out the window thinking and staring at absolutely nothing.20141129_124245

You can’t change the world but you can change yourself…and the best part is, when you do, you have an affect on people.  You may not see it at first, but have faith that the little peace you bring into a situation is bigger than you realize.  After all, the true and most satisfying measure of ones life is in it’s ability to touch another’s.  Once you are in a better place, you are in a better position to support your family, your friends and anyone else you come into contact with.Vanilla Clouds

I hope this holiday beings you lots of blessings, I hope you find strength and courage to seek what you need to grow into a better human being inside and out. xoVanilla Clouds

This year was a blessing. It will be the first Christmas, B and  I will celebrate together in our own home.  It took many years for me to get here and I am super grateful I was ready to receive this beautiful blessing.  The photos above are of our trip to the Christmas Tree Farm 🙂 It was an amazing experience!

 

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