Category Archives: Inspiration

Beach Therapy

IMG_6360We are just returning from a much-needed family vacation. The last one was 9 years ago. We weren’t in the door 12 hours before I received a call that my brother has passed away. That kinda left a mark.

After the past 10 months, all I can say is “IT WAS TIME”.

the-hillbilliesThe destination of choice, the Jersey Shore. Why? When we could have been on an island in the Caribbean for what this cost. Well, because this is where our happiest family memories were made and that is priceless. 

So, on August 12th, we loaded up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed to Ocean
City, NJ for 7 glorious days of fun in the sun. 5 adults, 2 dogs, 2 vehicles, and everything but the kitchen sink hit the road.

Day 1:  IMG_6350

Honestly, does it get better? I spent EVERY morning walking the beach without a single care or concept of time or distance. A bathroom for this middle aged bladder would have made it perfect.

It’s safe to say that I could live happily ever after just watching a mother seagull looking over her tribe as they ate breakfast. If only it paid well.

Lisa G., S.O. (Seagull Observer) Has a ring to it doesn’t it?

Quiet mornings on the beach are also made for surf fishing. According to my IMG_6426fish loving son anyway.

He caught the surf fishing bug 17 years ago when he was just 5 years old. I’ll never forget the image of him heading to the water like a boss with his Lion King fishing rod in hand and a lollipop in his mouth. Today it’s high-end gear in one hand and his beautiful girlfriend on the other.

Of course, we were reminiscing about that day because it was indeed memorable. For many reasons.

What happens when a 5-year-old somehow reels in 6 King fish in a row with his $5.00 fishing rod? Other than crowds forming, people cheering, paparazzi and giving high-fives to the happiest 5-year-old on the planet of course. Well, I’ll tell you.

20914453_1784753428204828_273169236215177351_nA grown man who was fishing about 10 ft away, with 6 ocean rods lined up like soldiers came marching over to fill my son in on the amount of money he had tied up in his rods and the unfairness of him catching all the fish. Remember, my son was FIVE.

Up until that moment, I had never been in such close proximity to a giant man baby. This “man” actually walked back to his “million dollar” rods, smacked them all to the ground while my 5-year-old looked on and stated, “He’s stupid!” Out of the mouth of babes. 

Hmm, where have I witnessed that type of behavior recently? Bye bye reality back to my happy place. 

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Another joy was sipping a cup of coffee with my toes in the sand. A little sand between my toes was just what the doctor ordered.

As a child, my mother always told us “the salt water heals everything”, and I must admit she was 100% right.

The healing powers of living the salt life surpassed months of doctor appointments and medications. Mother Nature does not accept insurance … it’s free.

A little beach therapy is just what we all needed.

Enjoy! This Ride Will Be Continued.

 

 

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

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If this gem doesn’t just scream my name I don’t know what does. That’s right folks, I’m officially hanging with the pigeon squad. 

I am EXHAUSTED!

Not by the hamster wheel of life, but by the behavior of my co-humans.

By the increased hatred and decrease in common decency.

By the lack of truth and over indulgence of misinformation and lies.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the loss of common ground and the divided beliefs.

By the daily negativity of, he said she said while important issues sit silently.

By the rise in civil obedience and the lack of active participation in the process.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By being told who to hate by our televisions, while books collect dust.

By judgments, labels & stereotypes in one hand and Bibles, flags & hypocrisy in the other.

By the absence of faith, hope & charity and the escalation of greed.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the Social Media scholars and their ignorant followers.

By the callous treatment of the less fortunate and the misguided definition of fame. 

By fear dictating our decisions, while common sense faces extinction.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the abuse of our first amendment and the overextended defense of our second.

By selfishness leading the way, while collaboration sits on the sidelines.

By the misconception that strength is loud and quietness is weak.

I am EXHAUSTED! 

By the thought of war being the answer and not giving peace a chance.

By the short memories and selective truths.

By the thought that I’m too optimistic, while others have surrendered hope.

Let’s TRY to celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears, and differences. These are the freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. These are the freedoms that unite. These are the freedoms that will thrive. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember all of this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…anything worthwhile rarely is easy.

We’re all in this together, so hop in and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Just Float

bull-dog-slobber-sleeping-surrender-letting-go-cute-animalsAs you know from my previous post I recently experienced the art of Floating. What is it you ask? Well, it can be described as the best freaking thing since sliced bread by me.

In the beginning, it took me awhile to get comfortable. Naked and alone in pitch black room takes a minute to absorb. 

I closed the door but left the low light and music on at first. The water was body temperature warm and soothing. Eventually, I did turn the lights and music off as I slipped into the quiet, peaceful zen. It didn’t take long before I was able to completely let go. Free at last.

The coolest part for me was having no concept of time whatsoever, and not caring about it at all. It feels so good.

Float Spas are popping up in my area, but from what I understand floating is nothing new, however, the experience has certainly changed. Once you add the word Spa it becomes sexy. 

Apparently, floating also went by the name Isolation Tank, and are you ready … Sensory Deprivation Tank, as far back as 1954. This sounds scientific, not sexy so there were no appointments needed.

Today isolation tanks are located in beautiful rooms with inviting names like “Oasis” or “Grotto” that are chock full of amenities like fluffy towels, robes, scented soap, and shampoo. Anything to divert you away from the fact that you will soon be naked as a jaybird.

My room was spectacular with its private shower, candles, and a hint of lavender. This is imageshow you get your zen on. The room my husband experienced is best described as a Pink Floyd lap of luxury fusion. Trippy with a dash of zen.

The idea behind the floatation therapy is to provide you with a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. It takes you away from the endless sensory experiences that seem to consume us these days. It should be mandatory for teenagers and college students. 

Just imagine if you could go into your head and give it a good Spring cleaning, leaving not a  single dust bunny to clutter your thoughts, allowing you to focus on whatever you please. It basically brings out the best in your brain. My mind left fresh s a daisy.

img-thingAs for the physical benefits, whew there is something to be said about feeling like a noodle. My muscles take a beating at the gym at least 4 times a week, so they were very grateful for this treat.

The magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water brings your muscles back to life. It relieves tension and makes your skin incredible.  I left looking like a smooth glow-worm.

All in all, it was peaceful, relaxing, invigorating, enlightening all rolled up into one amazing 90 minutes. This was a first for me and my husband, and we would both do it again, and again, and again. As they say, whatever makes your boat float, or in this case, booty. 

Enjoy the Ride!

The Blessed Project

The Blessed Project  hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.

It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel. 

This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.

BLESSINGS:

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90 Years Young

 

Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.

If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

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#oncloudcullen

 

In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!

The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration. 

It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen. 

 

 

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Santa, we have officially replaced the kids. Bring bones.

 

Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes. 

No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world. 

 

 

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Outgrowing the table

 

On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier. 

 

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Mangia!

Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)

 

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The ladies

 

 

I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed. 

I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry. 

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My version of Blogosphere

I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.

I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.

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My Family Squad

I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.

Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t forget to pack your blessings!

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

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If this gem doesn’t just scream my name I don’t know what does. That’s right folks, I’m officially hanging with the pigeon squad. 

I am EXHAUSTED!

Not by the hamster wheel of life, but by the behavior of my co-humans.

By the increased hatred and decrease in common decency.

By the lack of truth and over indulgence of misinformation and lies.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the loss of common ground and the divided beliefs.

By the daily negativity of he said she said while important issues sit silently.

By the rise in civil obedience and the lack of active participation in the process.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By being told who to hate by our televisions, while books collect dust.

By judgments, labels & stereotypes in one hand and bibles, flags & hypocrisy in the other.

By the absence of faith, hope & charity and the escalation of greed.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the Social Media scholars and their ignorant followers.

By the callous treatment of the less fortunate and the misguided definition of fame. 

By fear dictating our decisions, while common sense faces extinction.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the abuse of our first amendment and the over extended defense of the our second.

By selfishness leading the way, while collaboration sits on the sidelines.

By the misconception that strength is loud and quietness is weak.

I am EXHAUSTED! 

By the thought of war being the answer and not giving peace a chance.

By the short memories and selective truths.

By the thought that I’m too optimistic, while others have surrendered hope.

Let’s TRY to celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. These are the freedoms that unite. These are the freedoms that will thrive. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember all of this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…anything worthwhile rarely is easy.

We’re all in this together, so hop in and Enjoy the Ride!

 

How Low Can You Go?

Tell us about the most exciting big night out you had recently.

Imagine sitting in your kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, just 2 days after Christmas, trying to muster up the incentive clean-up the holiday aftermath, and go food shopping. The struggle was real.

In the distance, I heard a faint ding a/k/a as the diversion. 

I reacted like the trained lab rat I am and sprinted to find my phone.

Hmm, a private message from my BFF on Facebook, always intriguing, this time, it was like hitting a lottery.

Low and behold an old friend of hers, and a new friend of mine invited us to her East Coast wedding celebration.

The ding was received at 12:59 and the party started at 3:00.

While part of me was starting the car, the other part was anchored down with all she had to do. Celebrating love or food shopping? Once I said that out loud it was a no brainer.

Guess what? Milk can be purchased any ole time, but these friends were only here from California for the holidays. They came to celebrate their fabulous union with their East Coast peeps, and we were fortunate enough to be included in the festivities.

Needless to say, by some sort of miracle, we were both gussied up and drinking a cocktail by 3:30!! I even did my nails … it’s still a mystery.

When you say yes the universe helps you.  Dan Brule

Did I mention this was a gay wedding? Well, it was. Let me just say to the heterosexual crowd … THE BAR HAS BEEN RISEN. Game on people, game on.

We ate, danced, laughed, danced, laughed, danced, laughed …. you get the picture.

Here are a few photos of the shenanigans  fabulous time that I wanted to last all night long.

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Cheers!

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Selfie Station Shenanigans With the BFF

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The Happiness With One Of The Brides

 

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This Is What Fun Looks Like

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The Photo That Keeps On Giving

After the glitter settled I was suddenly crippled. Apparently I sprained my gluteus medius. How did this happen you ask? Well, that was determined through a conversation with the bestie and confirmed by an Orthopedic doctor.

Me: I’m crippled! I can just about walk. I think it’s from dancing.

Bestie: Did you go too low?

Me: Laughter! What?

Bestie: When the DJ said, “How low can you go?” Did you go too low?

Me:  Laughter! It was at the seriousness of the question.

Bestie:  Joined in on the laughter and added: “you go low all of the time at the gym.”

Me:  Well, If I’m a cripple, I’m glad it’s from something as fun as going too low.

Me & Bestie:  Laughter!

0856954c92e33680ca1bbc0235a04e50The lesson here folks is to make sure you say YES more often. Saying NO is safe, but lord knows it’s dull. Challenge yourself! Easier said than done, but necessary.

Say “yes” to new experiences, new people and new adventures. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about yourself just by agreeing to learn about someone or something else. Learning is good.

If I played it safe with this invitation, sure I might have had milk for my cereal in the morning, but I would never have these amazing memories, not to mention this meme. Milk is highly overrated anyway.

Say YES and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Peace Ride

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Originally Posted On: Uncle Spike’s Adventures

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Here’s how to add your support to our message of peace:
1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter (#BloggersUniteForPeace) and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing uncle.spikes.adventures1@gmail.com
5) Add an image Widget using this image URL and link to this post

12049679_10205727794898815_2434700194727613292_nOut in the real world I try my best to spread this message everywhere I go via my license plate. Some days are easier than others. 

Driving around with this message on a daily basis carries a huge responsibility. It forces me to control my urge to get angry at other drivers, even when they deserve it. It reminds me to be courteous; mindful and respectful of those around me.

Believe me when I tell you these are not easy tasks to accomplish!  Living in a world where everything is moving at the speed of light, patience are sparse and tempers run high make it challenging at best, but I try and that is a start. Trying and succeeding are not the same.

“True peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples. None of us, no nation, no citizen, is free from some responsibility for this.” Quakers in Britain in 1943

So fellow bloggers stand together for Peace and … Enjoy the Ride! 

Pet Power!

Immediate Smile

Immediate Smile

This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!

As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.

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Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.

Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet? 

Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm. 

What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

 

Yo! Adrian

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Rocky Run 2014

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with  nothing more than determination.

My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.

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What Not To Wear … Ever

All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line. 

We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.

I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit!  I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!

We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!

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Crack Kills

The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us!  Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.

You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy  for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long! 

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.

This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the pastAnother reminder that change is everywhere.

Lucy & Ethel

Lucy & Ethel

We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.

We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome …. 

 

It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.

  • Belly laughter with a friend
  • Ralking among the beauty of my city
  • 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
  • Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride! 
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Whoot!

 

 

 

 

 

Doubt or Do It’s Up To You

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G.I. Joe? Chuck Norris? or Jesus?

If you’ve been reading me for some time, you already know I admit to being the Mayor of Scardy Cat Town. I’m not embarrassed by this at all, it’s who I am. Lord knows I have entertained many with my fearful experiences.

Over the weekend, as I was casually walking my little lamb chop a/k/a my dog Peanut, I noticed this fucker creeping from under the bushes. Seriously! I’m not even sure what my reaction was other than a slew of obscenities with a side of what might be considered some sort of prayer. That is if repeatedly yelling “Jesus Christ!” “Jesus!” “For good sakes!” and “Holy shit!” are considered prayers.

Random mannequin heads lurking under bushes are just one kind of fear we have to deal with in our lives. These fears are sudden and usually provide a good bit of laughter in the end. Especially when you patiently wait for the next person to walk by.

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Sing off key and live!

Then there are those fears that get to us via the media. They just love to plant those hearty doom and gloom seeds in our heads about planes that have plummeted into the ocean or just vanish or engulf into flames or ALL OF THE ABOVE! As if my own imaginary scenarios aren’t enough to keep me grounded!   

I won’t even tread into the murky waters of the World News, that shit is just too real. Information overload can consume even the strongest of minds. Thank goodness we control the “off” switch is all I can say. 

Last, but certainly not least are those fears that run deep. Those lovely little gems from our childhood or traumatic events that we just love to keep close. No, not the boogieman or clowns.

b183397faab0430ea8b56cde8efa4576I’m talking about those haunting fears of not being good enough, rejection, failure and the rest of the negative posse. We tend to keep these close like some sort of security blanket, just in case we need another excuse to move forward or perhaps when we need to point some blame in a direction other than the mirror. Safe, easy and paralyzing.

Why the hell are there so many fears in the first place? Well, I can answer that in one word … DOUBT. You know the sudden loud voice in your head that asks all sorts of negative questions just before you are about to embark on something wonderful. Guess what people? Doubt is an asshole! 

At 50 years young I am finally realizing just how much of an asshole Doubt can really be. It a2ec50f46abbf671c202b28284008b5889470a9998aa958f53939935a6502bfbshows up at the worst time; stays way too long and seems to ruin everything in its path. Just think of a drunk party goer who won’t take the hint that the party is over … yep that’s what Doubt is like. 

It has stopped me in my tracks, whispered “what ifs”  in my ear and managed to make mountains out of too many molehills. I’m not solving world peace for god sakes!

I vaguely remember my childhood aspirations to be a teacher, a judge, or a rodeo bull rider. I know a judge of all things right? What happened to those dreams along my road to adulthood? Doubt is what happened! You’re not smart enough. You’re not decisive enough. You’re not good enough.

Of course I could drive myself crazy wondering what my life would be like living on a ranch with the Marlboro Man or blaming my parents for not recognizing my passion for the Rodeo segments of the Wide World of Sports, but what would that solve? Zip.  

21919a5445b98e7745a02d887721b241.jpgInstead, I have chosen to little by little muster up the courage to punch fear in the face and bitch slap doubt every time they start talking shit about my fabulousness. It’s not really that easy, but it felt good writing it.

It takes time to put our fears in their place. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you so have some patience.

 It’s up to you to get in the driver’s seat. 

When you do decide to head down your road to happiness, make sure you buckle up right next to fear. Look back at all your accomplishments. Pick up some positive reinforcements on the way. Let the accomplishments of others blow through your hair and don’t stop until you reach your destination … the corner of Awesome & Bombdiggity sounds like a good start. 

 Enjoy the Ride!

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