At the beginning of 2014, I publicly stated that I was going to post, on my blog, at least once per week. And… I never posted again. How embarrassing, right?

At that time, I attributed my lack of posting to FEAR… mostly fear of the ugliness that comes out of some people, as they hide behind their keyboard and spew out the first hateful thing that comes to their mind on another person’s life-event or posting (even a positive one)!

Almost one year later, I now believe the lack of posting, on my part, is not because of fear. It is because my time and energy have been consumed with the simplification process I’ve been experiencing…

Approximately 4 years ago, I was (finally) hit by one of the best, bright ideas I’ve ever had… I needed to downsize!

SimplifyBrightIdea In a BIG way!

After 12 years of living in a 3-story, 3,000 square-foot townhome filled to the brim with furniture, clothes/shoes, paperwork, and toys (since having a baby 5 years prior), it finally dawned on me to make a much-needed change. No more stuffocation!

I had no idea what a process that decision would turn into. Six garage sales, two storage units, and three moves later, the bright idea to declutter has turned into the awesome goal of simplifying my entire life!

Not only am I (still) getting rid of stuff, I’m taking steps to eliminate drama, negativity, and stress from my life; even if that means no longer associating with some people or being in/around certain situations. Simplifying has helped me grow. I’m no longer fearful about what someone may say about anything I do or post. I’ve learned it’s their issue, not mine (and I have the power to hit the delete button).

So, I’ll continue to talk about the power of gratitude, dream of peace on earth, and do my best to promote positivity… come what may!

I’ll write about the awesome journey I’m taking towards total (or at least near-total) simplification, but will no longer make promises of how often. After all, that would invite fear (of embarrassment/disappointment) and stress back into my life. And, I simply ain’t got no time for that!

GoodBye2013The days of 2013
Seemed to pass by too fast.
But, in the midst of day-to-day living
We were blessed to make memories that will last.

My little man grew even taller
Jake is thriving in the first grade now
His teacher’s great — he loves math & reading
And, he proudly became a Cub Scout.

The year brought several visits with Stephanie
She and Barry traveled to Florida a lot.
We’re counting down the time til they live here
They’re ready to live where it’s hot.

Hailey spent time with us in the summer
Then, we drove her back to Ohio.
I can’t believe she’s in high school already
Where or where did the time go?

My family welcomed three new babies…
Ella Rose, Hayden, and Sage.
It’s a joy to see my nieces & nephews as parents
And watch them embrace this new stage.

I was blessed with great real estate customers
They made buying and selling homes fun.
I’m looking forward to helping more people
Find their place in the sun.

The biggest excitement for me this year
Was the “Artsy Ant Alphabet Art Adventures” book release.
To see the stories I wrote come to life and touch others
Has sure made my happiness increase.

There is so much I want to accomplish
As 2014 brings a fresh start.
I send you wishes of love, peace, prosperity, and happiness
From the very bottom of my heart.

Happy New Year!

                                                                                       

Lately, I have really been working on my own personal self-development.  I’ve been blessed with the responsibility of raising a child and I am on a new journey of coaching others, so I have to hold myself to a higher standard.

One very important attribute I’ve been concentrating on is the act of forgiveness.  One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who has caused you pain.  However, as I’ve recently discovered, it is extremely liberating to “get over it.” When you do, the hurt no longer dominates your mind.  When someone hurts me, I generally become consumed with thinking about it over and over and over.  Therefore, I would never forget the incident! How exhausting!

Recently, I was feeling very hurt by someone who I am close to.  As the incident started playing over and over again in my head, I realized I had to stop and forgive … truly forgive.  That decision allowed me to stop and look at things from their perspective.  It was amazing how I could physically feel the hurt going out of me and how I was crystal clear on the fact that I did not want to lose or mess up this valuable friendship.  I shudder to think of what might have happened if I were not in this period of working on myself!  Things are back to normal and, when we discussed the topic again, it was in a really casual & relaxing way. And, I’ve not thought of it since. This forgiveness stuff really works!

Sadly, there are sometimes instances where someone hurts you to the point where you know the relationship has to be over.  But, you still must practice forgiveness of that person. Otherwise, the incident/action continues to cause you pain and discomfort — even after the person is out of your life.

Even if you do not contact that person, because you simply cannot invite them back into your life, it is still crucial that you forgive them. That’s the only way you’ll be able to move on from the negative thoughts.  And, it actually makes you feel at peace whenever you ask God to bless the person who was hurtful.  It also helps to realize that some people are put into your life for a reason, but were not meant to stay in it forever.  As you reflect back on your relationship with that person, in a relaxed state, you will find there were lessons to be learned. You may even find yourself feeling gratitude towards that person for giving you those lessons.

It’s also important to forgive yourself.  That has been a bit of a struggle for me lately.  My whole life I have lived with the motto that “regret is a wasted emotion.” But, this year, I have been kicking myself for some of the mistakes I have made.  I finally realized that the time & energy I’m spending on beating myself up could be spent on taking positive steps toward a bright, new future.

Now, if something hurtful happens or I make a mistake, I strive to work on the forgiveness aspect of it as quickly as possible.  That way, I can move on toward my bright future.  And, I always stop to count my blessings, which helps me truly forgive so I can finally forget!

Gratitude Peace Marble

Gratitude Peace Marble

I am always amazed whenever The Universe brings people together at the precise moment when they are on the same exact path!  I recently had this wonderful phenomenon happen to me and, I not only acquired an amazing new friend, it solidified that my new business/mission is meant to be!

While attending Mega Book ’09, I was very fortunate to meet some remarkable people, including a gorgeous lady with a beautiful soul named Elizabeth Zachariah.  Elizabeth, along with her friends Cherie Duncan, Kim Roman Corle, and Jan Avant, made me feel completely welcome and I knew they were women that I wanted to get to know better.  After the event, we all connected on, and have stayed in touch through, Facebook.

During the week I decided to create Gratitude Boot Camp, I received a message from Elizabeth — the founder of Blue Marble 4 Life, Inc.  She wanted to ask me a question.  At that point, I had not shared my thoughts about Gratitude Boot Camp with anyone.  When I returned her call, she informed me that she was putting together a project that would send four Gratitude Marbles (to represent the four corners of the earth), along with a Peace Marble (inscribed with the word Peace in 37 languages), on a world-wide mission for peace.  Her plan was to appoint Blue Angel Ambassadors, throughout the world, which would host The Marbles and help spread a message of Gratitude, Peace, and Love.  She said that she immediately thought of me (even though she had no idea that I had just decided to devote my life to promoting the power of Gratitude) when she was thinking of Ambassadors.  It was serendipitous and I felt very honored!

As a Blue Angel Ambassador, it is my duty to host a Gratitude Gathering. This gathering will bring people together — to count their blessings and to take part in this special Global Celebration of Peace —  as we send The Marbles to the next destination on their incredible journey.

So, it is with great pleasure that I am hosting an event named “Walk in Gratitue — Live in Peace” in my hometown – Celebration, Florida.  At 4:00 p.m. on 9/26/09, we will gather on the front lawn of Celebration’s Heritage Hall at Spring Park. I encourage everyone to wear blue and to carry or wear a peace sign.

We will view The Marbles (which are arriving in Celebration after their trip to Hale Barns, Cheshire in The United Kingdom), sign the Gratitude Journal (which is accompanying The Marbles throughout their worldy journey), and record their visit to our great community.  Then, we will bid The Marbles a fond farewell as they leave Celebration and travel to Australia. Afterwards, we will continue our celebration of peace with a “Happiness Hour” at The Mona Lisa in Celebration.

You can visit www.BlueMarble4Life.com to watch the inspirational kick-off video, track The Marbles’ travels, and to register/join The Blue Marble Tribe, if you choose.  If you join, you will receive your very own Gratitude Blue Marble and The Gratitude Pledge.

If you cannot attend the Gratitude Gathering in Celebration, visit http://BlueMarble4Life.com to see if The Marbles are coming to your area!

You can also follow this exciting Global Celebration of Peace at www.YouTube.com/BlueMarble4Life, at www.Twitter.com/BlueMarble4Life, and at The Blue Marble 4 Life Fan Page on Facebook (http://bit.ly/pLPf3).

I believe that living a gratitude-filled life can change the world and promote peace amongst all of God’s children.

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