Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lesson 2 ~ Choose Your Influences

While in New York I had a delicious meal at Serendipity and ended it all with their world famous frozen hot chocolate. It was wonderful! The restaurant was small and had the quintessential New York feeling to it (at least to me!). I went there because a while back Oprah went there on her show. She said it was something everyone should have in their lifetime (and I agree!) So I had to go.

In case no one has noticed she (the Big O) is an influence of mine. This made me think a little about the other influences in my life and their importance. We all have influences in our lives whether it be where we live, the people we admire, friends, coworkers, music, literature, or religon. They all play a major part in who and what we are. It's easy to leave it at that and move on.... but yall know I'm on this kick of deciding who we are. One way that we do that is to decide what influences us. My Mom is the perfect example. She is a devout Christian and pretty much only exposes herself to things that fall in line with that. She only listens to Christian music, reads Christian books, Christian programming.... and the majority of her friends are...... yup.. Christians! I admire her for cultivating her life into exactly what she desires, I believe that she is who she wants to be. Each of us should be doing the exact same thing, we should build our lives up into what we want them to be ~ which includes our influences. If you want a postive life cut out the negative people, if you want a healthy life you might want to spend a little less time with your foody friends! and so on and so on.

So the question from here is who do you want to be? What influences are in your life and are they contributing to who you want to be. For me I'm trying to expose myself to as much as possible, and at the same time not expose myself to everything out there. I cut out tv almost completely ( I watch Charlie Rose, sometimes SNL, and very seldomly 90's sitcoms). I personally believe that entertainment breeds mediocrity (future post to come....sometime!), thats why I cut it out. I read now....I know it's still entertainment but it's active entertainment, and I tend to learn something about myself or the world around me from a good book. The point is that we should all make very deliberate decisions as to what and who our influences are. We only have this one life and this one moment at a time and I think we should make it exactly how we want it.

Better Me Epiphany ~ Part of who I am and am to become is influenced by what I expose myself to on a daily basis. I will make a conscious effort to keep an open mind but still take the responsibility to decide what exposure pushes me into my best self.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lesson #1 ~ Do What You Love

Alright here goes my first thought from my wonderful New York trip. I went with a few people to New York to give school supplies to a church in Hell's Kitchen NY and to help distribute them to some of the people in need last week. It's my second time doing it and a great oppurtunity to spread some salt and light (and see a wonderful city!). On the way there we stopped at one of my friends cousins houses. We'll call them the J's because i don't know if they want to be talked about on the internet! Ha!

  Anyways, the J's are amazing people! One is retired military and the other is a retired school teacher. They are retired but still involved in their fields in different capacities. They were very welcoming and had the type of home that is filled to the brim with memories, whether it was a collection antigue mirrors in all shapes and sizes, every teapot you can imagine, or dozens of postcards from good friends all around the world. I walked through their home and could tell that they lived full lives and knew how to enjoy the things they loved. They travel the world, enjoy opera, sing opera, cook decadent (and healthy) meals, and create (she makes wonderful glass collage window pieces! Awesome to look at). It was nice to see people living full lives and they really inspired me.

While i was on the trip i picked up the latest O Magazine (I love Oprah and no one will ever convince me otherwise!). This issue was the power issue, it was full of amazing people who have that sparkle that it takes to be a person of power ~ I think we all have it we just have to find it. In the magazine there was a section about the 6 rules to personal power. One of these rules is to live passionately. I don't think it's coincidence that i got this issue on this trip (it all ties together). The rule to live passionately is to find what inspires you and that your passionate about and work more and more of it into your life, just like the J's do. It's something that I already knew but it just kind of clicked on this trip when I really saw a bonafide example of it in practice.  So my decision today is to do just that, fill my life with the things( and people) that I'm passionate about. I hope you'll join me.

Better Me Epiphany ~ if you love it, do it. There is nothing more simple than that. I won't wait for it, I'll make it happen everyday and every moment.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Well as you can see from all the pictures i went to NYC! It was an amazing(and inspiring) trip!  Many posts to come about some of my thoughts along the way!  But all those pictures were a mistake!  I installed a program called pixelpipe on my phone and had no idea that every picture i took automaticly loaded to my blog and facebook!!  So these pictures may be deleted.... or some of them... like the one with my mouth hanging open(not a good look!)  

So enjoy my technological incompetance! Ha! And i can't wait to share what i learned on the trip!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


So i was gathering up some books to send off to one of my sister's friends for one of her classes. She has to read all of Toni Morrison's books for a lit class. (Side note~ Toni Morrison is my favorite author of all time~ please pick up one of her books! It won't be an easy read but i will stretch you in ways you never thought. I love her) anyways i came across her book called Paradise. One of the major themes of the book is that of exclusion. "Paradise is often defined by what is not allowed in". I think that is a pretty accurate view of how we define paradise. We often hear " the perfect place would be a place with no crime, no hatred, no hunger, no this or that". For some reason this all made me think about the mosque controversy. I won't say that ground zero is supposed to be anyone's paradise, but what i am saying is that it seems we are still defining what we think should be by trying to keep out what we think shouldn't be ( i may be rambling... i'm. Good at that!) The point is that is we spend all of our time trying to keep everything out what are we really cultivating? I think our daily lives are our paradise.  None of us know all the answers and none of know exactly what is the best way. Oftentimes we have no way of knowing what will enrich us until it does. So my question today is how do you define paradise? What are you keeping out? I think we need to pay attention to that and not be so quick to rule everything or everybody out. We have no idea how the person that we ruled out can affect us and make us grow. I'm not suggesting that anyone compromise their beliefs but evaluate some things and you may find that the paradise you have created for yourself is not the paradise that was intended for you. Walls may keep things out but they also keep you in.

Better Me Epiphany~ i will no longer define a good life by what can't be in it. I will no longer rule out those that don't fit into my view of what they should be. I will cultivate my life and try to take every experience and learn. Paradise will not be about exclusion, it will be defined but whats in it and not whats not allowed.


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