Living With Gusto

You Are MORE!

 

what-we-believe-about-ourselves

It doesn’t matter what is being said about you.

It doesn’t matter what others think of you.

What matters is what you think of yourself!

And if you believe lies about yourself, then you will act on those lies instead of the truth.

Any words that make you seem “less than” the amazing person you were created to be is a LIE!

Those words may come from the chatter in your brain, just regurgitating things you have heard.

They may come from actual people who are small-minded and have their own agenda.

But whatever the source, you need to STOP listening to the derogatory lies and begin to speak truth to yourself.

Because when you believe lies, you think small about yourself.

It’s pretty hard to launch out of your comfortable, ho-hum, dream-draining life by thinking small.

You can barely rise to doing those things the world needs from you–your purpose for being here.

 

the-only-thing-that-benefits-from-thinking-small-is-your-comfort-zone

“But I don’t WANT to leave my comfort zone! It’s comfortable.”

Ummm, yeah. And it’s restricting and limiting. (Redundant, I know, going for the effect.)

And leaving your comfort zone is like jumping off the high dive.

But don’t you want to be the best you can be?

Don’t you want to realize amazing and wonderful things about yourself–things you never knew?

When we rocket ourselves (because that’s what it takes!) outside of our comfort zone to do those things that our heart really, really longs to do, all kinds of new worlds and information opens up to us! It could become quite an adventure–mine has!

And the wonderful thing is that our hearts and spirits become more fulfilled as we begin to venture out and try things our heart is leading us to do.

**Things the lies make us afraid to do.**

Lies like:

“I am not smart enough for that.

I could never go in front of people.

I really do not have the “look” required for that.

I don’t have the time for that.

No one needs me.

I’m not qualified.

I’m just a ________.” Oh how I hate that word!

The lies (excuses) are limitless.

But so are YOU!!

Limitless.

The only thing holding you back is you.

Stop believing lies and restricting the amazing, capable, beautiful person you are!

You CAN do this! I know, because I did.

 

Love and big sparkly hugs!

Passionista

 

I speak from experience!! Seriously!

If you would like to read more, here are some older posts on the subject.

To Dream (when I jumped off the high dive myself!)

The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind Magazine Article (a much longer article in more detail)

Start Anew

 

 

 

 

Mimi's Messages

Why Write?

 

Gustave Flaubert said,

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. 

I have found this to be quite true!

In the early nineties I experienced one of the hardest periods of my life. During this time I wrote so much that my hand stayed in a perpetual cramp (no laptops back then!). I had a student teacher at that time who was wonderful with my class. She needed time without my supervision , so I would scoot out and take writing breaks. My brain was so full of turmoil, loss, grief, betrayal, and confusion that I don’t think I would have been an effective teacher. I know how blessed my class and I were to have her.

I filled several 1,000-page journals with my rampaging thoughts. There wasn’t anyone I could talk to. So my journal (and, inadvertently, God) became my listener.

Haven’t you found that if you can talk to a good friend who is a great listener, you usually talk out your real feelings about things? That’s what happened when I used a journal to pour my feelings into. I’d discover things about myself and allow God to give me wisdom and perspective.

Now, believe me, all of my writing wasn’t so lofty and full of good purpose! As a person who’d never  been allowed to voice anger, I finally did so in my journal. In fact, I uttered my first swear words on those pages! I wrote in big, scrawling letters, vocalizing on those safe pages all the anger and hurt I felt. I called people names. I even yelled at God!! And you know what? Lightning didn’t strike!

I needed a place to get through the layers that had built up in my life. And the walls that had enclosed my heart. I needed to understand my conditioned responses and their causes. I needed a place to cry and vent. I needed to record all the awful things that were happening so that later I could read them and know I wasn’t crazy!

Writing didn’t change my situation, but writing as I felt, instead of worrying about it being acceptable–to God or anyone–gave me a freedom I’d not had before.  My crying out to God and allowing Him to soften my heart brought healing. I felt extremely vulnerable, but bit by precious bit I was able to survive. I seriously believe I would have gone into a deep, deep depression or even a breakdown if I hadn’t been processing through writing during those months.

Because, you see, I need to vocalize in order to process. My brain gets so full and confusing that I can’t make sense of the things I need to. Are any of you this way? Not having a trustworthy friend to talk to (part of the loss) and not wanting to share what was going on with people outside of the situation (my sense of loyalty) caused me to be stuck.

Getting the swirling thoughts out of my head and onto paper gave me space to breathe, think, and live. Journaling helped me mentally, even though I was still broken emotionally, and allowed me to continue to function. And eventually, as I wrote, prayed, and studied, God was able to speak to me on those pages, and His healing came.

Does any of this resonate with you? Do any of you process through writing? I’d love to hear about it.

Stay tuned for part two of “Why Write?”

Much love and big hugs,

Passionista

Psalm 51:6 “You teach me wisdom in my inmost being.” 

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Songs That Speak To Me

The God Who Stays

My shame can’t separate,

my guilt can’t separate,

my past can’t separate,

I’m Yours forever.

My sin can’t separate,

my scars can’t separate,

my failures can’t separate,

I’m Yours forever.

You’re the God who stays.

You’re the One who runs in my direction when the whole world walks away.

You’re the God who stands with wide open arms.

And you tell me nothing I have ever done

can separate my heart

from the God who stays.

Matthew West

This is so reassuring! You may think that with my history I’m such a “good” person. Truth is, I have failed so many times. 

Maybe at some point I’ll reveal some of my sins here, but regardless of what they are, of what the “really big ones” were, just know that we all sin, even if just in our hearts.

How many times do you hate, or cheat, or lie, or lust after someone who isn’t your partner? Be honest. Our society does not openly speak about or label these as characteristics to avoid (except lately, there’s been a lot of talk about hate–with good reason). In fact, it seems at times that these things are actually revered. You know what I am talking about.

For those of us seeking to live a godly life that honors our Lord Most High, the scripture is very plain:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

See where I’m going with this? And here’s another truth:

Whatever we think or commit in our heart is the same as actually doing it! Whoa, what? Look at this:

Whoever looks upon a woman with lust has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28

Whatever a man thinks in his heart so he is. Prov. 23:7

I’m not singling out immorality. I’m just stating a truth. What we believe controls our behavior. It’s the core of who we are. So everything is about the heart of the matter. (This has nothing to do with positive thinking, but shows that our heart will reveal our true nature.)

Who we are is deep within our hearts, often only seen by God. We can present ourselves as one way to the public, but what lies buried within?

I could carry guilt, shame, and failure as a heavy burden. There is cause to do such, and believe me, the enemy tries to shove my past into my face. But, praise God we have a Redeemer who loves and forgives!

Instead, I can live as a forgiven child of God. I can live as one who is set free and healed from my past. Jesus paid the debt for my sin. And He has healed my wounds and set me free from the shame I carried.

No matter what I’ve done, He forgave me. That’s the power of His great love, my friends. He forgives, transforms our hearts, delivers us of our past, heals our scars, and makes us whole. No matter what we have done, no matter what we have been, no matter what we have said or thought, His love is unconditional.

Do you need Him? He is there. Period. Do you want to be delivered and healed? He is there. Plain and simple. No voice of the enemy condemning you. No matter what people have said about and to you. No matter if you have given up on yourself, God has not. He is calling you, seeking you because He longs for you to be whole, to belong to Him, to live fully.

He is your Savior too. All it takes is starting the conversation:

I’m sorry God.

Please forgive me.

Please cleanse and heal me.

I want to be Yours.

Thank you for your love.

 

He’s waiting for you with wide open arms.

What the enemy meant for evil, God turned it for good. Gen. 50:20

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

 

I am praying that the eyes of your heart may be opened to God’s great love. Talk to me!
Passionista Mimi

 

If you’d like to listen to the song that spoke to my heart this morning, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPwd_TQpsHY

You may want to look up the rest of the lyrics, too.

Inspiration, Words To Help

Numb Choices Aren’t Smart

Focus! It seems we are always hearing how important focus is to reaching our goals and bringing our desires to us. However, sometimes our focus is totally off. We work hard, do what we think we should, spin our wheels, and run faster on the hamster wheel, only to remain stagnant. Why do you suppose this is? Well, one possibility is that when we are determining our focus, our brains are actually numb.

To explain what I mean, here’s an illustrative story from my own archives of experience. Picture this: my husband is sleeping soundly, snoring a bit, only to be awakened by me, legs and arms jabbing him in uncomfortable places, doing the army crawl across his body. I was determined to get to the other side of the bed and out of there. And I was intently focused!

When my husband raised his head, protesting loudly at the irreverent way I was traipsing across his body, I patted his cheeks and said, “Sh, sh, sh, it’s okay,” and continued with determination on my way. But once my feet touched the floor on the other side of the bed, I promptly started my return back across him, telling him to shush, and that it was okay. Then I settled down into my spot and resumed my somewhat-normal sleep.

Was I focused? Very. Deeply asleep? Yes.

So, besides the humor in this story, why am I sharing it? Because it illustrates what many of us are doing. While somewhat “asleep” we are fully intent and focused on carrying out our daily lives, getting to the “other side”, even attempting to achieve goals or dreams.

Sometimes, our minds and hearts have become numb and we are making decisions based on survival, rather than fully living.

Perhaps you are living fully, with a clear brain, consciously aware of life and your choices. However, for those who think “living numb” might apply to you, here are a few of the many ways numbness can occur:

  • when we suppress our emotions and don’t allow ourselves to fully feel.

  • when our busyness keeps us from having precious time with family or close friends and our hearts become resentful and lonely.

  • if our over-spending has driven us to live until the next paycheck in worry or stress, causing our bodies to become overworked and our brains overloaded.

  • when we are trying to do it all, feel as if we are “not enough”, and suffer self-condemnation.

  • when there are so many difficult things that happen to us that we just can’t allow any more feelings in order to survive.

Many of you have no choice in some of this. Having limited resources or being without a job and just barely making your bills—or not being able to pay them at all—creates a horribly stressful situation. And I truly do understand how one could stuff emotions because of being so overwhelmed by the things that happen in our lives! Please do not feel pressure or criticism from me if you are a bit numb right now. I get it because I’ve lived it.

Another life-point: things hurt and it isn’t easy. Life is hard, contrary to how some people believe it should be. I hate to go all “old school” on you, but for 99% of us,

most of what we have gained in life has been through hard work, making correct choices, and learning from our mistakes!

I don’t really see any other way around it.

And if you are someone with the idea that you shouldn’t have to feel pain, disappointment, grief, loss, disillusionment, and other less-than-desirable emotions, then realizing these are all part of the fullness of life might help you. Otherwise, after experiencing all of these you could be setting goals and choosing your focus while angry, hurt, and numb.

So if being numb means being dazed, dead, senseless, or asleep, what is the opposite? Being alive, awake, responsive, sensitive, and compassionate.

Wouldn’t you rather live like that? But how?

For me, it meant taking care of some personal and emotional business. It was a process (oh how we hate that word) and took time (what? you mean it isn’t instant? I want INSTANT!). It also meant I had to deal with my tendency to believe lies and not let others influence how I felt about myself. You can read about that process in my post, Are You Believing Lies? 

Ways To Awaken

  • Contentment and gratitude. These are some of the most important ingredients to living fully! Simplistically, being grateful for what we have rather than lamenting what we don’t have can really change our lives. This is such an important element that many have adopted the habit of writing a list of things they are grateful for each day. Doing so directs our focus toward our abundance rather than our lack. (For starters, if you are able to read this you are more blessed than two billion people who cannot read at all.)

  • It takes time to rid ourselves of limiting lies and behaviors, but it’s so very worth it! We also need to take the time to sit quietly and reflect. I know that we are filled to overflowing with tasks and expectations and burdens, but might I suggest that you take even ten minutes a day to merely sit and reflect? Or meditate and let your mind rest. We all know that thirty minutes of daily exercise is benefiting to our physical health. Likewise, time to sit without distraction and turn inward to our feelings can bring us mental and emotional health.

  • Read. Research. Get outside of your own abilities and let others guide you. In my case, I had no idea my spirit was dying and my brain was numb. I knew I was miserable, but wasn’t conscious of why. There are many authors to help you.

Perhaps you have heard the illustrative story of the frog in boiling water. The story goes that if you put a frog in a pot of cold water it is perfectly content to hang out. Start heating up the water and the frog is still just fine. But eventually the boiling water will kill the frog, when it could have jumped out at any time to save its life.

How does this relate to us? Many of us don’t even realize that we are like that frog, in a pot of rapidly heating water. What we need is someone to alert us—to turn off the flame for us and help us save ourselves. And that is why I suggest that you seek out available resources or find a friend to help you.

4) Talk to someone. Find someone in your close circle of friends whom you trust and can confide in.

It wasn’t until my friend identified the abusive situation I was in that I realized my life was slowly killing my spirit.

And at that point, there wasn’t a whole lot of life left in me. I was performing all of the expected tasks—mom, wife, teacher, daughter—but my spirit and self-will were dying, and my shining light had become quite dim. I had become numb.

Give your friend permission to tell you what they see in your life and habits. Listen with your heart, not a self-condemning agenda. Love yourself. Give yourself grace. You are amazing, and the fact you have made it this far in your journey shows that you are a fighter!

Perhaps you want to do something different in your life. I realize my suggestions are minimal, but they are intended to be a launching pad for your actions to become more fully alive. Select some of the items listed to incorporate into your life and make the determination toward regaining consciousness instead of numbly living.  You are worth that, and the world needs your shining light.

Why is it so important to live fully alive, and not numb? Because we need to make choices as our true and authentic selves, rather than as a replication of others’ expectations and opinions of us.

To be emotionally healthy, we need to allow time for our emotions, and our brains, to settle and heal. Instead of being a shriveled up version of ourselves, we need to be the full, glorious person we are created to be. Then we can experience authentically and make sound choices. Then we are more able to direct our focus and reach the goals we desire.

We all have a unique light to shine, a place in our world that only we can fill.

Our wisdom, experiential knowledge, gifts, talents, and abilities are needed. But most of all, you deserve to live with a spirit that is fulfilled and alive, not one that is slowly dying and has become numb. That’s a waste of a very good, precious, and worthy life–yours.

So what about you? Have you ever experienced being numb? If so, will you please tell me about it?

 

You are so important! 

Love and big hugs, Mimi

 

Inspiration

Sing Your Heart’s Song!

“Be filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God

and your hearts will overflow with a joyful song to the Lord.

Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture,

singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Spirit!

Always give thanks to Father God for all things and every person he brings

into your life in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And out of your reverence for Christ, be supportive of each other in love.”

Ephesians 5:18-21 The Passion Translation

 

I’m here, sharing my heart with you, 

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

How? Speaking The Name of Jesus!

If you had known me for the last several decades, you would know that I’ve walked though some pretty deep valleys.

There has been an awful lot of loss in my life. Both my parents and both of my siblings died of cancer. So my whole immediate family is gone. I lost my beautiful home. I lost my twenty-eight-year marriage and all the dreams of growing old together and sharing sweet milestones with our late-in-life-adopted children. I’ve lost close friendships and I’ve lost relationships that devastated me. I became a single parent when my two special-needs children were only seven years old, creating huge demands on me, both physically and emotionally. I lost my ex-husband, the papa of our children, when they were only ten years old. I have suffered extreme heartache and been in deep depression. I’ve faced fear, anxiety, inadequacy, hopelessness, and still battle loneliness.

Do you ever wonder how I do it? How I live this life?

How have I made it through those hard times to where I can be full of faith, pray for others, remain positive, and fulfill my purpose in spite of setbacks?

Jesus.

 

There is a war for ownership of our hearts. Only Jesus can defeat–and HAS defeated–the enemy who bombards our wounded hearts with hopelessness, depression, anxiety, fear, abandonment, and many more debilitating emotions.

So I pray, in His name,–“Jesus!” There is power and peace in His name.

This, this song, expresses how I pray over people, my family, the babies, our future. I speak Jesus. Only Jesus.

 

“I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power,

made available to you through faith.

Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you.”

Ephesians 1:18

Oh yes, I want my life to advertise God’s power. In order for this to happen, I have to NEED His power, have to be desperate for Him. And that takes walking through some pretty tricky times, which others happen to witness. Being able to call on God and have Him rescue me has shown me His immeasurable greatness and given me much faith!

There is power in the name of Jesus!

 

“Your name is power, Your name is healing, Your name is life.

Break every stronghold, shine through the shadows, burn like the fire.”

 

Do yourself a favor and give this song a listen. It could change your life.

 

I’m so grateful there are people who write things I feel! That write music which allows me to worship. There are so many gifted writers and musicians! And I praise God for His creative power in them!

 

How about you? Have you ever heard this song? 

Did it speak to you? What do you think of it?

I’d love for you to comment so I know how you feel.

 

Until next time, may you be hugely blessed by the One who holds the world, and I hope, your heart–Jesus!

Passionista Mimi

 

 

Living With Gusto, Mimi's Messages

Promise…Potential…Profusion!

We are like this flower….

FULL of promise, potential, and profusion!

God created us to bloom!

To be full of life and color.

To spread His joy, love, and kindness.

Right where you are, right now.

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

You have a light in you!

See how gorgeous this flower is?

That’s you, my love, in all of your created beauty.

Just like you are.

We need your unique beauty.

Just bloom.

Show your color!

Shine your light in this world!

We need your touch.

 

And I’m rooting for you!

Love and hugs, Passionista

Inspiration, Raw Honest Brave

Are You Believing Lies?

So many of us hold as truth the myths, or lies, that govern our lives, our choices, and our behaviors! I know I did (still do, I’m sure). BUT…
Who taught us these lies/myths we believe are true? The old adage “If you tell a lie long enough it becomes truth to you” applies here! Unfortunately, we accept what society or even family has taught us, believe it as truth, act on it–without even considering whether it is true, much less determining whether it’s something we should embrace in OUR lives. (I’m SO guilty of that!)

“It’s the fact that this principle or value they hold onto so tightly is impeding their progress to move forward that should be alarming.”

Shari Goldsmith

One of the most dangerous results of believing lies is that we let them take control of us! Like when you think, “Oh but I couldn’t do THAT because… {insert lie here such as, I’m too fat, I’m too poor, I’m not smart enough, I’m ugly}” so you never do it, and the lie controls you. When we give lies credence and follow their direction, we delete our own authenticity. We deny who we were created to be. We are designed and created a specific and awesomely unique way by the Master Creator, and WHO should know better about what will please us and fill our soul?

If you would like to “check out” whether you are believing lies, there are many women you already know whom are filled with wisdom–from experience, reading, searching–who would be willing to talk with you. Perhaps some of them are older (thus the experience) but there are also young women who have already “lived” a lot. For me, talking to a friend who displays wisdom and logic (to counteract my sometimes-off-the-wall passion) has been helpful in determining what is actually truth and which lies I’m allowing to take control of my life. I’ve also had to spend time “going inside” (ugh, not always pretty!) to assess and determine my true character and those things I really hold important.

So, do you think it’s easy to avoid accepting lies about us as truth?  Ummm, no! To discern lies, we have to be militant snipers because of the subtle, yet pervasive, nature of them. And if you’re thinking that you are free from this plague, let me alert you to the nature of lies by giving you examples from my life (here I go, being all vulnerable and transparent again). Until recently, I have believed I was too loud, too big, too boisterous, not smart, not humorous, not fun.

WHAT? I know, right? How in the WORLD could I have possibly believed all those lies about me?

Well, it’s pretty easy, because, I assure you, people don’t say to you, “Now I’m going to lie to your face” before their opinions about you come gushing out! We actually begin believing lies from infancy (think of gender conditioning). Here are a few examples of how some of mine happened (in abbreviated narration).

Example: As a third grader I was told I was too big to be a ballerina. Translation: being big would keep me from my dreams. It was a curse. It was ugly.

Example: when I got very excited and “cheered” in support of something (yes, I was in church, but it was a military rally type thing, after all) I was told I’d had “too much coffee”. Translation: being spontaneous, loud, or passionate was a bad thing (especially in church!).

Example: when I’d laugh loudly I was told to shush. Translation: my laugh was bad. Hold it in. Being loud was not a good thing. (Problem is that I’m just a loud person naturally and I was always being told to be quiet).

Example: whenever I’d have an opinion that was different from the significant person in my life, I was told that I am too hard-headed, or that I wouldn’t ever listen to anyone, and why did I even bother to ask if I wasn’t going to listen. So I really began to doubt my own intelligence.

I don’t know if any of these made sense to you, but these are lies that I received whether they were intended or not.

Thank goodness for my friend who helped to identify my false belief system! And I began to read, discover, and analyze only to find that I was believing many lies that others had “said” about me. These people weren’t vicious or even intentional in their lying. In fact,  lies from those who loved me were the hardest to uncover, because they were usually “told” by people’s responses (comments or body language) to my life and actions .

We ALL have opinions. It just happens that the opinions of my family, teachers, and peers were more important to me than searching for truth. For many years, I believed those things about myself, but no more!

I’ve begun the habit of speaking truth to myself. It’s funny, I don’t even care if others believe what I say, I know these things to be true anyway. (I’ve come a long way, Baby!) Here we go–here’s MY truth:
“I am quite intelligent and a good problem-solver. I am lovely. I am creative. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a fun person. Actually, I’m an amazing person. I’m powerful and make good choices. I can accomplish a lot!”

Just a few of the things I now tell myself. First time I said them I was ready to jump back in case lightening struck!! Really. It was almost like blasphemy, or against the rules, to affirm myself. Don’t want to be egotistical, you know. But there is a huge difference between a dominant ego and a healthy self-esteem.

My parents loved me, without a doubt. However, they were short on the words that would have helped my tender ego believe truth. Not a criticism, just a fact. I am trying to be more conscious of the words I use with my children, but I’m not always successful with the positive. So, I make sure to give them tons of praise, love and mushy stuff from my heart. Just in case. In case they “hear” more than I’m saying. In case they ever have doubts about how much I love them. In case they wonder if they are the world to me. Just so they know, without a doubt, they are loved unconditionally, they are beautiful just the way they are, and that they are precious treasures who make my life complete. 🙂

And I deserve the same consideration. I deserve the same love from myself. I am worth believing the TRUTH. And so are you!

Does any of this resonate with you? If so, let me know how you do with your “Lie Busting!”

Hugs and love, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Inspiration

Overcomer

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.

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!

But oh, God is able! This video 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, 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!

Love and hugs, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Living With Gusto

Live Life With Eyes and Heart Wide Open!

It seems that many of us go through life flinching, with our arms flung out across our eyes, wary of what might be coming our way. We guard our hearts against deep, emotional interactions in order to stay safe. Because for us to embrace living with our eyes wide open and with our hearts made vulnerable might seem like a death wish.

In fact, it is a death.

A death to fear.

To living boxed in.

To feeling less-than.

In order to receive all this world holds for us, we need to partake of it to the fullest! And how can we possibly do that if we are shying away from experiences and emotional investment?

As long as we are afraid of feeling deeply–whether it be grief, remorse, loss, rejection, or joy, fulfillment, love, and excitement–we cannot reach our full potential in life. And I dare say that we won’t have the satisfaction of a truly fulfilled spirit.

Most people welcome the “positive” feelings, but really, really do NOT want to feel the “bad” ones. Perhaps as a child we were taught that feeling anger, sadness, disappointment, and depression was wrong and that we needed to “buck up Buttercup” or “act like a man”. Whatever our reason, beside the obvious one that they hurt, many of us do not welcome those less-than-desirable emotions. And this stifles us and our creative power.

Picture a bubbling brook gurgling its way through the countryside and liken our “bad” emotions to the sediment and rocks found in it. What is that stream without the rocks and sediment? Stagnant, because IF it is gurgling through the countryside, following the course as it’s meant to, there WILL be sediment and rocks in it! Same with us: living in our flow and to the fullest means “rocks and sediment” mixed in.

We, as humans, are designed to create. We are makers of a vast assortment of things, using words, art, wood, electronics, music, material, paint, and problem solving, to only list a few of the amazing ways humans create. Creativity flows from an open spirit, not a spirit that is fearful or stagnated by suppression. (Have you ever felt “stuck”?)

When we open our hearts to others and to feeling deeply, we will realize that even more passion and creativity flows. True, opening our hearts to feel emotions makes us vulnerable, and allows us to experience “bad” emotions too. So we have to be brave! We have to risk it. But that is what living an adventurous life is really about, isn’t it? Taking the risk and not living with regret.

Perhaps you have already heard that when you experience deep grief you are also able to experience an abounding joy. Something about how allowing that depth for the bad emotions creates space for the good, and I agree.  I’m no therapist, but I’m speaking from experience. Having been “wired” for feeling all emotions deeply, there were many times I was ravaged by them. But I must say, on the other end of the spectrum I also feel joy, excitement, and love very deeply. So much so that people are amazed by and drawn to my joyful energy (or so they say). So yes, I believe that when the well in our spirit is created by allowing even the undesirable emotions to be felt deeply, there is a larger space for all the wonderfully nourishing ones as well.

And really, why would you want to stifle yourself from feeling life? We have a depth of resources within us, usually just barely tapped by us. Working through difficult emotions to let our light shine can produce some of the most amazing pieces of our lives yet.

Our world is over-saturated with visual assault which can actually cause us to become numb. We have seen it all, bombarding our senses at a rapid-fire pace. A prime example is the weather channel’s flashing of the top stories. Or the movie theater’s practice of showing the loudest, fastest-moving clips during previews. It’s actually so bad that my special-needs son, who is fearful of something scary showing up unexpectedly on any screen, hides outside the theater until the previews are over. Perhaps we have all grown a bit too numb. That much visual impact on a daily (hourly) basis causes desensitization.

So how in the world do we return to seeing with “new” eyes? Eyes that are wide open?

Turn it off!!!  Seriously, stop bombarding your senses with so much visual garbage. Be brave enough to stand the silence. Be brave enough to spend time outside without ear buds in your ears. Take a chance on going to dinner with a friend and actually looking them in the eyes and talking! No telling what you will discover about each other. And while you are there, notice your surroundings and the people next to you (who each have a story, you know). How can we possibly have room in our creative spirits to create if it’s full of the garbage our world shoves in our faces and ears every day? Make room! (Oops, did I just raise my voice at you? Hmmm, guess I’m called “Passionista” for a reason).

There are many practices you can use to begin to experience life fully: meditating, visiting art galleries, camping, hiking, (without devices), even–daringly–taking a “vacation” from your electronics. Find what works for you. For me? I need lots of quiet. My brain runs at full tilt, and in order for me to harness the creative flow, I must have no other distractions. You will know what works when you do it–your spirit will be at rest and rejuvenated. Then

Once you begin to look around you in wide-eyed wonder, you will discover treasures, opportunities, and reasons to be awestruck, which will enhance your life and creativity. And let me remind you that “creativity” is not limited to artists, but to every human alive. We all possess the creative spirit within us.

It takes bravery to embrace living with your eyes and hearts wide open, but I would encourage you to choose it.

Be BRAVE!

You will find that a whole new world awaits you! And I’m rooting for you!

Big hugs, Passionista Mimi