This Is Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It

 

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It’s my firm belief that our society could use a lot more attention. Not the “hey, look at me” kind of attention, but the kind that notices others. Attention to others: kindness, caring, listening, looking, touching, smiling, and sharing.

 

Of course, in order for this to happen we’d need to lift our faces from our device screens. If you know that I am someone who sits in front of a computer many hours a day, this statement could seem hypocritical. However, I make my beyond-the-screen moments really count. Balance. That is what’s needed. I’m a relationship-builder and I notice people. It’s not that hard, really, to actually look at folks. Study them. Listen. But also, respond.

 

It seems that so much of our society has “acquired self-centeredness”, to coin a phrase for my purposes here. Though most of us are not typically wired from birth to be self-absorbed for all of our lives (usually humans reach an age where they outgrow this for the most part), it seems to have become an increasingly consistent trait through adulthood.

 

Which is truly sad. Think back. I know you can remember a time when someone’s smile, touch on the arm, or hug reached your hurting heart for a moment. You were strengthened by having someone connect with you and share your burden.

 

Why is it often the norm to step back from other’s emotional journeys, whether good or bad?  Is it because we feel that our own journey stinks so badly that we want no part of more emotionality? But isn’t it possible that when we reach out to someone they could actually help share our journey too? Ahhh, but we must become vulnerable and make the first move. Whew, not many of us like that word! Nope, not us. We want our backs covered. Better yet, let’s stand in a corner with our shield in front of us and our helmet on so no one can penetrate.

 

But this is not living fully! And how, may I ask, are we going to have a fulfilling job with people, satisfying relationships with loved ones, or success in building a life if we choose not to relate wholeheartedly with others? How, if instead we cocoon ourselves away from interactions, connections, and reaching out with our hearts in compassion? Because, remember, we need that just as badly.

 

“No man is an island, entire of itself.” John Donne

 

If you spend some time becoming acquainted with people who have long-term, successful marriages/relationships, or who are making an impact on their world, or are top entrepreneurs, or leaders in their companies, you will most likely find they have two common characteristics:

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Brenѐ Brown, in her book Rising Strong, says that

“hiding out, pretending, and armoring up against vulnerability are killing us: killing our spirits, our hopes, our potential, our creativity, our ability to lead, our love, our faith, and our joy.”

And then what is left of our lives?

 

 When we brace ourselves against reaching out to fellow humans, or fail to look into people’s eyes and actually talk with them, we are killing our own spirits. By our actions, or lack thereof, we are sending the message that other people are not worthy of our time or valuable enough to be noticed and we are way more important than anyone else in our sphere. Is this the impression we want to give? Is that really how we want to live our lives?

 

Every time I choose to become vulnerable and speak with people—online, in person, or to a group—and share the stories of my personal experiences of loss and then living, of how I broke free of a life driven by other people’s opinions and expectations, of my own rising above setbacks and circumstances, I am amazed. I am encouraged and heartened by the lives touched, hope that is received and embraced, and the new paths chosen. That is what happens when we connect, when we tell our stories in order to lift another, when we reach out with our hearts to let someone know that we see their pain, understand a little, or share how we survived. And every time I do, my own life gets stronger through lifting their burden during that poignant encounter.

 

We are placed on earth for others—to share journeys side by side. We are not created to be self-contained, excluding others. Thus, when we extend beyond ourselves, touching hearts and sharing burdens, our own hearts grow stronger.

 

“Go out and make a difference in your community. You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.” Barbara Sher

 

Hopefully my own bold choices will affect and inspire others to step out, risk, and make brave choices too. But what about the ways YOU have been courageous? The fact you are human means you have survived difficult circumstances, walked through grief and loss, suffered betrayal, endured your share of heartbreak, and yet have been brave, valiant, and bold (if not you wouldn’t be reading this). So tell your story, and shine your light for others.

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Do you realize that you already make a difference in the lives of people every single day? It’s your choice whether you are adding value or not.

Will you smile and warm the eyes of that person you squeeze past in your rush to accomplish your errand?

Will you hug, hold, or touch the person who is alone and hasn’t felt human warmth in many weeks?

Will you visit the one who is physically trapped inside a home, longing to see the sunshine and feel the breeze, and to hear another person’s voice?

Will you listen with stillness, full intention, and focus as someone, with stuttering breath, reveals their story of need?

Will you sit, in the moment, with grief and pain, and breathe alongside another to divide the burden?

Will you whirl and dance in steps of celebration of another’s blessing without asking “why not me, when’s my turn”?

Will you hold the young child of a friend who needs to go, do, be “not-a-mommy” for a bit?

Will you take the time to write and mail a note expressing gratitude toward someone who has given their time and heart? There are many, many unsung heroes in our lives.

Will you share from your bounty, or maybe from your just-enough, to lighten the despair of another who is hungry and afraid, unable to feed her child?

Will you share from your buy-a-coffee-on-the-way stash in order to diminish the lack of another?

Will you call someone and personally voice your desire to help, so they hear the warmth of your humanness instead of just reading a text?

Add value to other’s lives.

 

“The question is not ‘Can you make a difference?’ You already do make a difference. It’s just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make during your life on this planet.” Julia Butterfly Hill

 

As mentioned, the word “WHOLEHEARTED” has gained attention because of Brenѐ Brown’s books The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. She so wonderfully voices for us the need to live with our whole hearts in a sincere, unreserved, and unconditional way. Why? Because those who do choose to live wholeheartedly experience longer-lasting relationships, more success in their work, and the highest satisfaction with their lives.

 

When we connect with another person through acts that add value to their lives, we live wholeheartedly. You do become vulnerable when you live like that, and must be brave to choose it. However,

It’s impossible to add value to someone’s life without also adding value to your own.

 

This is your mission. Will you choose to accept it?

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And more power to you!!

Love and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

Update: the above quote is by Ram Dass not Rumi. I did research it but somehow got misleading information. I apologize for posting the wrong credit.

All We Need Is Love

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LOVE

Women need a tribe because we crave those who will listen to, support, and encourage us. We do those things for many other people, and sometimes we become resentful if we aren’t allowed the same privilege.

 

There’s freedom and strength in having friends who listen to you, allow you to voice your dreams without stifling them, and encourage you to be your best–whatever that looks like. If you don’t have a group of friends, or at least one special friend, I encourage you to seek out people you relate to, who share your spark and interests, and who will honor and treasure you. Perhaps you will find these friends in an online group, a club friendship, or co-workers. I found a tribe like this in an online group called Women On Fire. I also love the Women 2 Women community and have found my tribe here. Finding your tribe takes being open to making friends, cultivating relationships, and seeking ways to meet other women of like mind and heart. If you are determined to find your tribe, you will.

 

A TIARA

You are fabulous!! Don’t believe it? Maybe you should change your self-view.  For you to be your most authentic and confident self, you need to love and value the person you are. Take inventory of and celebrate your strengths and skills (ask a friend for help if needed). Declare yourself amazing and delightful and strong! Make life happen for you. Remember, although you are a queen worthy of a crown, you are also a warrior woman with killer stompin’ boots.

 

and  A COOKIE…

So eat the cookie, already. Buy those flowers, soak in the tub, and take a nap! Women are characteristically nurturing souls. But who nurtures us? Most likely no one. It’s up to us to nurture ourselves and that means self-care; giving yourself permission to do the little things that restore your joy, your health, and your energy.

Here’s to living your life so that your sparkle shines for the entire world to see.

 

 

As a contributing writer to the Women 2 Women Michigan magazine, I wrote this for my “Sparkle & Shine” column in their first 2017 issue. You can read the whole issue for free here. You will most likely enjoy the magazine because it’s full of great articles and information for, about, and by women. 

You can buy the “Tiara” card shown above here. I enjoy giving it as a neat gift for a friend. Here’s how:
In a cute gift bag place the card, a Dollar Store tiara (from the kids’ party section), and a shrink-wrapped cookie (the kind you find at Starbucks).

Here’s what you say on the card:

“You’ll always have my love, you were born to wear a tiara, and here’s your cookie.”

Or something like that. This gift has made many women smile!

 

Enjoy your week, my friends!

Love and sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi

Summer Delights

Happy July! This summer is going so quickly that I make certain to enjoy the little things that fill it up. 

I posted these on my Instagram, so this may be a repeat to some of you. 

These beautiful, dark red cherries in the little pink vintage bowl on this old wooden stool……

summer delights

This amazingly large strawberry heart…..

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This incredible display of violet on my Lacecap Hydrangea…..

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These “yard gatherings” bouquets….
Every day I go out to gather new blossoms from my beautiful yard. I am so blessed! 

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These lacy, white beauties in a vintage vase….

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and a heart message from my sister who’s in heaven, appearing on a fresh nectarine….

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By taking the time to enjoy the small, special gifts of summer, I am able to slow it down a little bit. 

I hope yours is full of delights also!

Love and hugs, 
Passionista Mimi

Self-love and Creativity

 

My precious friend, Amy Marzluff, wrote these words after viewing my InstaGram post on Self-love. (She actually wrote them about me—blush.) I’ll be writing about the selflovebeauty.com photo shoot soon, but here’s the IG photo I posted.


I believe what Amy wrote applies to each of us, since:

1) I truly believe that each of us holds creative power,

2) we ALL have the ability to encourage and lighten someone’s day!

3) we all have a unique voice, a story that needs to be heard.

All that is lacking in many of us is the courage and/or finding a platform.

 

 

Telling our story means becoming vulnerable.

But oh the feeling when our story touches someone’s heart and helps them!!

Don’t let fear or believing lies keep you from sharing your gifts with the world.

 

 

To read more about these things, scroll through previous posts. I talk about them a lot. 🙂

 

 

Have a wonderful day!

Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

Comparison Is A Thief!

“It’s none of your business what other people are doing. All that matters is that you’re enjoying yourself and pleased with what you’re creating. It’s precisely your uniqueness that makes you awesome.” Jen Sincero from “You Are A Badass

  • WHY do we all struggle with this? As an artist, even though I believe my cards and designs are wonderful and fun and have words that people need, I see other artists whose work is recognized (or sells) better, and always, always, there is this little pang of comparison. I’m getting real here. Vulnerable. I want you to know that even an amazing, confident, sparkly woman like me does the dirty “C” thing that takes the fun out of my art and my life. It’s so useless. And inhibiting of my creativity.
    There is always someone who is more ____(fill in the blank) than we are. Who gives a rip? We are more ____(fill in the blank) than someone else. So what? All we need to do is be better than we were yesterday. And, rest assured, there is enough for all of us.

So just fergit about it already!

Love and hugs,

Passionista

 

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

Does It Seem Impossible?

Fear can keep you

from attaining something you want.

 

Whether you think it’s possible or not

depends on the way you see yourself.

 

Believe that you are capable of anything

and you will be.

 

Some days it feels like just getting through the day is impossible!

But don’t ya know? I make it every time, and then ta daaaa!!

It WAS possible.

 

Whatever hard task lies before you, take it one step at a time, and you will make it.

 

You can DO it!!

 

I believe in you, because I know you have the good stuff in you. You are glorious.

 

Here’s to moving forward.

Love and sparkle hugs, Mimi

 

 

I’m An Overcomer

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Having children with special needs is such a challenge! But one thing I’ve learned….it keeps us TOTALLY dependent on God. No way can I be “in control” because in the blink of an eye, our life could be in shambles.

 

There are days my prayer has been, “Oh God, oh God, oh God” because I just didn’t have words. Didn’t have energy to formulate words. It was all I could do to breathe and take care of my children (I am their only parent). Some weeks (months) every.single.day is a challenge. Like pushing a locomotive up a steep mountain.

Motherhood

And then, thank God, we will get a reprieve and I can at last take a deep breath. And I just sit. And sit. And let God fill my mind, body, and breath. And He brings healing to my emotions.

 

Because there is no doubt about how emotionally draining it is to watch your child hurt, or be disappointed because of physical limitations, or become emotionally so out-of-sorts that all day is a battle.

 

Or how physically and emotionally exhausting it is to be making hard, frustrating, impossible decisions for the duration of several days.

 

Sleep-deprived, worry-filled, and constantly searching for solutions can totally wring a person out!

I can rack

But oh, God is able! The video below is amazing and so uplifting. 

 

Mandisa sings her song Overcomer with clips of people who have overcome some extreme physical challenges.

 

I equate the physical with our mental and emotional challenges. It’s not an easy journey (Wait, what? It’s gonna be hard? Hey, I didn’t sign up for that!!!) But a journey that I hope will bring God glory. Because the glory is all His.

 

Anything that I’ve accomplished with my children has been while He was holding my hand, speaking into my spirit (sometimes I didn’t want to hear Him–la la la la la!), and guiding my every move. Because I was useless. Incapacitated.

In spite of that, and because of Him, my children are amazing miracles. But that’s a story for another time. Enjoy the video. You will be hooked!

Thank you so much for stopping by. YOU are the reason I write. 

Be kind and share with someone who could use this.  🙂

Love and sparkly hugs,

Mimi

I’ll Love You Forever

One year.

One year since I kissed you goodbye

and watched you leave us.

My heart hurts in missing you.

My arms long to hug you.

My soul needs to talk with you.

I love you with all my heart, sweet sister.

mindy-and-me2

 

Your leaving taught me two very important things:
1) To celebrate myself.

To wear the crazy tiara, or as you did, hot pink leathers, and be a biker babe–or whatever I want to.

To have fun, party now,

and do not worry about what others think.

To enjoy that I am just a bit different

from most people.

Life is very, very short,

and it really doesn’t matter what others think.

It’s MY life, and I’m going to live it to the fullest!

mindy-and-me-christmas-2014


2) To love even more fiercely than I do.

To speak even more truthfully.

To stand firm and not waver in the face of obstacles.

Because, I only have a short time to make an impact on people’s lives.

I’ve gotta get my truth out there!

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Thank you for being an example and teaching me important things. 

I’ll miss you until the day I see you again, little sis.

You have my heart. Your big sister.

Our Eyes Need Beauty

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Where do you create or write or work or dream or plan?

Do you have spots of beauty in your home or workplace?

We are created in God’s image and I know He loves beauty. 

Just look at His creations!

Our eyes and spirits need beauty because we are created to appreciate it.

 

 

I believe we are wired to desire beauty around us.

(Perhaps that is why so much emphasis is placed on how people look,

when what we need is to get out into the gorgeous world!)

In Genesis, after God created the world and it’s creatures, He declared it “good”.

And then He created His most amazing and wonderful masterpieces when He created humans.

And declared them “very good”!

 

God has given us such beautiful colors, shapes, textures, paintings, composites, structures, and bounty in the world and people He created.

And we are like Him. We all have the ability to create.

We create every single day.

We create with our words, our facial expressions, our touch, our work, our problem solving, our love, our art….

we can make places more beautiful.

Give yourself spots of beauty around your home and place of work.

Make your environment beautiful. It doesn’t take much!

Sometimes a plant, a picture, and something that reminds you of a precious time or memory or person is all you need. 

beautiful-place

Let’s all agree to bring beauty into our world wherever we go. 

Because our world needs it.  

 

Love and big hugs, Passionista Mimi

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