Living With Gusto

Yes I AM!!! (A Valentine to Myself)

Valentine’s can be a time that sends those of us whom are uncoupled (I just learned that word, convenient, huh?) into despondency and gloom. It kind of creates the Bah Humbug spirit in us when we see the hearts and flowers, the endless ads with couples looking adoringly into each other’s eyes, even the little kids being all gaga…

It’s enough to makes us want to cry.

Perhaps you would like to try something different this year? 

we are amazingly intricately different

 

Celebrate YOU!!

 

In my own journey, I have finally realized that I’m a pretty amazing person. (For more on that see https://particularpassions.me/2014/01/07/5430/).    It doesn’t matter what others think. It doesn’t depend on whether I have a significant other to tell me. It’s all about ME. 

Making the choice to celebrate ME. 

 

Seeing the good things in who I am. Finding joy in how I was created. Focusing on those things that help me contribute to others’ lives in a positive way. NOT apologizing for my kinks and uniqueness, but instead enjoying that I am different. 

Oh my goodness I'm incredible!

 

Easy? Nope, never said that. 

Possible? Yep, after a bit of work and choosing to do it.

 

So I made myself a Valentine this year. First time ever. And I’m sharing it with you. 

You may use it too! Read these wonderful words and claim them over your life.

Yes I am!

I am no better than you are….so you are every bit as wonderful as this says. Really.

I believe we each need to give a Valentine to ourselves. If you’d like, make it into your wallpaper, print it out and READ it daily!

YOU are amazing and wonderful and the best Valentine you will ever have!!

 

MUCH love and hugs to you, precious Valentine! 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

Sister Love

It’s my sister’s fault. I’ve got computer neck, squinty eyes, laundry piled up, books unread…yep, I’m going to blame her.

Here’s the deal. Mindy, my little sister, came to visit. She’s four years younger than I am, so even though she is almost 58 she will always be my “little” sister. And I miss her terribly. She lives a minimum of eleven hours away in Missouri (she and her husband drive it in one day–but it takes my kids and me two!) and that is just too far. So when she came to visit for a week (a WEEK, eeeeek!) I enjoyed and soaked up every minute of it.

One night she was crocheting, something she is a marvel at, and I sat by her on the couch, showing her the pictures–or graphics, or memes, or whatever a person calls these things I create and post on this blog– and she just loved them. A couple in particular she wanted to give to people as cards. She suggested I print them to sell.

This one is her favorite, and she wants to give it to her two daughters in a frame.
This one is her favorite, and she wants to give it to her two daughters in a frame.

Now, I have been telling Mindy that she should sell her amazing creations for a couple of years now, but for ME to sell stuff? What? Really? Do you think people would buy these cards? They are just my words (and sometimes others’) on pretty backgrounds.

She said that yes, she would, and she was sure others would too. Mindy is wonderful at mailing cards, something that many of us fail at. Maybe I can help to turn that around by providing nice, inexpensive cards so people WILL send them to their loved ones. 

Thus… “computer neck”. I thought I’d try a couple and see how they looked. Problem is that all of my memes have my “watermark” PassionistaAtLarge.org at the bottom to identify them as mine. Well, mostly it’s to direct people to my website, because I really don’t care if others use them. That’s what Pinterest and the internet is actually for, right? To borrow ideas from each other? And if someone can make money off of them, then good for them. There is enough to go around, for sure. Anyway, I digress, or chase rabbits, so hopefully I won’t lose you. (Ooooh LOOK! There’s a sparkly!)

all you need is love . tiara. cookie  border

Back to the watermark. I can’t have that on the front of the card, now can I? It kind of interferes with the design. So, I have to redesign them all. At least the ones I want to use. (Insert big sigh here). And then, because I am so new at this, I’m trying to find a place to print them that doesn’t cost a ton. Because if I’m going to sell these at my workshops, if I believe the words I put on them are important enough to “card” them (hahahaha), I want others to be able to afford them.

And then I have to make my designs work within the constraints of the company I’m using. (Insert another big sigh here.) Did I mention that I am new at this? Self-taught through the “search-and-find” method?

Anyway these two designs were her favorite, and I tried them first to see the quality of paper and how they actually look in person. I’ll be gifting them to my sister for her birthday next month, if they look nice.

And that, my dear readers, is why I claim it’s all my sister’s fault. 🙂

This is now my new
This is now my new “watermark” on the back of the card. What do you think?

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And let me know what you think. I know I have readers out there. How about letting me hear from you?

Have a wonderful, sparkly kind of day!

Passionista Mimi

Living With Gusto

To Love Even More~Is It Possible?

our children    Ohhhhh, yes. Sometimes our children are not as we expected–not as we dreamed and hoped. But in the midst of the grief (because yes, there is a grief process as we let go of those hopes and dreams for our children) we form new ideas, experience unplanned-for joys, celebrate the tiniest accomplishments-turned-into-milestones, sacrifice even more deeply thus are completely changed, and become so intricately in love with our children that their very breath becomes our own.

Living With Gusto

John Legend is All In On Love!

Image

“There’s an increasing body of research and knowledge that tells us that living a life of love and compassion is the true path to success and contentment.

So what’s going to stop you? What’s going to stand in your way? What’s going to keep you from achieving your success? What will prevent you from going all in on love?

We’re taught when we’re young that the opposite of love is hate. But it’s not. Hate is a byproduct. Hate is a result. Being a hater isn’t cool. Nobody wants that. But hate comes from one thing: fear. And fear is the opposite of love. It’s not a coincidence that when we talk about bigotry, we often talk in terms of fear: homophobia, xenophobia. Fear is what blinds us. Fear is corrosive. Fear makes us hold back. It whispers to us, tells us that we’ll fail. It tells us that our differences are too much to overcome. Fear locks us in place. It starts fights. It causes wars.

And fear keeps us from loving. Even though we’re made to love, we’re often afraid to love. We’re afraid of being hurt deeply. Afraid of feeling the pain I went through when my parents divorced. But you’re never going to really love something or someone unless you put those fears aside. Don’t hold back. Being in love means being ready to give freely and openly, and being ready to risk something. Risking pain and disappointment, conquering your fears, and becoming anew.

Love is all-consuming — it infiltrates your body, it’s what allows you to experience bliss, joy and true friendship. You’ll be more disappointed when something goes wrong. You might fall harder. But the only way you’ll reach any height in life and in love is by taking the chance that you might fall.

You have to give your all.”

The words above are from musician John Legend’s commencement speech, delivered on May 19, 2014 as part of the University of Pennsylvania’s commencement ceremonies. It’s an amazing speech–a “call to love” so to speak. I admire his willingness to become vulnerable with his audience. I admire his decision to live all in for love. And his statement that apathy just is not cutting it. For the rest of his speech go to
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-legend/penn-commencement-speech-2014_b_5358334.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Maybe you, too, will be encouraged to go all in for love. It’s not for sissies, but truly rewarding.

Big hugs and love to you this day!

Passionista Mimi

And just a reminder, if you would like my posts coming to you through your email, just subscribe in the box to the right. Feel free to share anything you like. 🙂

Inspiration, Living With Gusto

This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain in Love.

Can you imagine, and perhaps you really can, what it is like to experience that first, heart-blowing realization that someone actually loves you completely? Loves you without boundaries or restraint, regardless of your brokenness, emotional issues, and the truckloads of psychological stuff you carry with you? It is addictive to say the least. Your mind returns again and again to thoughts of that person who loves you so unconditionally. Why? Because it feels marvelous. The endorphin rush you feel each time you realize that someone can actually love YOU (and all your quirkiness, your faults, and your issues that seem to make you relationally dysfunctional) is likened to that of a chemical rush to your brain.

Unconditional love is just that, no conditions attached. You are loved just because you are YOU. Not what you do. Not because of how good you are or how you look or sound or smell. Just because you are that amazing and unique package of YOU. Someone finds delight in the person of you. That is heady stuff…and you want more.

I am blessed to have experienced this. For the first time in my life, no matter how weird I got, or dysfunctional, or disappointing I was, I was loved completely. This person didn’t see a need to change or reform me, to control my loud, hyper personality, my neediness, or insecurity. In fact, just the opposite happened. My new love actually celebrated and enjoyed the real me, told me wonderful things about myself I had not known. And so, I became……addicted.

We have heard the phrases “addicted to love” and “love addiction”, and come to find out there is scientific truth to them. According to results found in a study done in 2000,

” The f(functional)MRI study also discovered that the part of brain associated with addiction was activated when participants were viewing pictures of the people they were in love with. This area is comprised of a very high concentration of dopamine receptors, a neurotransmitter which, among other things, is related to addiction. And certainly it is true that love and addiction bear some important similarities.”
(The article goes on to speak about obsessive compulsion and acting a bit batty, but I’m trying to ignore those.)

This kind of love and acceptance brings a dopamine rush and can be full-out addicting! Love is indeed a wonderful “feel good” drug!

I’ve always been afraid to be completely real, somehow feeling that I wouldn’t be liked for who I really am. I’m pretty sure I became a people-pleaser while still in the womb, but that is a story for later. So when I was fully and completely accepted, with joy no less, it was a wonderful and beautiful balm to my wounded spirit. A balm that began to heal and nourish and “give my heart wings” enough to venture out of my self-imposed survival mode (which felt very much like a box). The fear of what others would think about me, how they would regard my true personality, began to fall away in the face of such acceptance and enjoyment of me.

We are told that God has this kind of love for us–actually because His is a sacrificial love, it’s way better–but it’s hard to even conceive. However, to experience unconditional love in a person, with skin on, someone we see, talk with and touch, gives us a much clearer picture.

I hope that if you haven’t yet, you will experience this kind of unconditional love. We all deserve it. I didn’t think I did. I settled for the other kind. It hurt. It stifled. It closed me up. But this kind of love? This love set me free.

An unconditional love can completely transform our hearts.  Read about it at

An unconditional love can completely transform our hearts.

 

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I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!