A truth that will help you reach your dreams

You are greater than you know. You are more than you believe.

No matter what credentials, diplomas, status, or net worth you have (or don’t have), you possess the power to change your surroundings, your habits, your career, your life. You are more powerful than you know. What you say, think, and do impacts those around you. You create ripples in the pool of life. You have power. Use it. Bless others. Do good.

You are more beautiful than you feel. Although you long for beauty, to be it, to have it, to hold it, to be united with it, you are glorious just as you are. Yes. Don’t believe the lies of the media, our culture, glossy magazine covers, or social media posts. They are fantasy, untrue. There is a beauty that lays hidden from plain sight; it’s more profound, more vibrant, more authentic than what we see. It can be cultivated and grown in anyone, in you. The real beauty is the person you are, your kindness, gentleness, integrity, justice, love. By those, anyone can beam with blazing splendor.

You are more capable than you think. Don’t let the voices inside you, around you, the mistakes from the past, the fears of the future, sway you from seeing what you can do. You can learn new skills, start a venture, pursue a dream. It’s not beyond you. Every day is an opportunity to try. It’s before you always, beckoning. The only person holding you back is you. Go.

You are more competent than you think. Maybe you’ve failed here and there. But don’t count them as signs of incompetence. See them as opportunities to learn. You aren’t a failure; you’re experienced, seasoned. You’ve been around the block and got mugged and lived to tell the tale. You’re a survivor. Now it’s your chance to thrive. And you have enough smarts and skills to do more than you can imagine. Take your experience, interests, and effort and create something. It’s in you. You can. Try.

Cast off the negativity, naysayers, self-criticism, hate. There’s too much of that already.

See your capacity to achieve, change, grow.

You are more than you think.

Believe.

I want you to be blessed

Peace. Let it wash over you, soothing you like an embrace of a loved one, as you ease yourself into this vision.

You are in a beautiful garden, surrounded by blooming flowers, red, orange, violet, indigo, yellow. The green is greener than you’ve ever seen it, covering rolling hills, treetops, bushes. It’s vibrant and rich. The sky is deep blue, and the sun is bright. A warm breeze caresses your skin like a lover. You release.

A stroll among the foliage along a stone path looks delightful, so your feet whisk you there. Then you slow your pace to drink the moment in. It’s intoxicating. Your fingers are outstretched, brushing the blooms around you, and you hear birds chirping songs of joy. The path softly curves this way and that, drenched in colors, leaves, shafts of light, and beauty.

You see a grassy knoll, and you decide to lie down and bathe in the sun’s luminous embrace. You can’t help but smile because it’s too wonderful, too glorious, too good. You’re soaking in all of it, absorbed in glory, basking in the bounty.

And memories begin to visit you like old friends you’ve missed and longed to see, and there you are reunited. You’re a child playing gleefully, freely, unencumbered, without a care. You remember the happiest moment of your life and relive it and relish in it.

Then, you journey into the present, and you see objects, people, and opportunities for which you are grateful, and it reminds you of how richly adorned you. And you can see clearly.

You are blessed.

An important thing I learned from being laughed at

Everyone laughed, and I was the butt of the joke. I hated it. But I realized something about life. 

A group of us sat around a large circular dining table, and a newly married couple started talking about how they met. It was a great story with surprising twists and turns. And then a guy shared about him and his girlfriend and how he wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. So I said something from my story to comfort him. It was revealing and somewhat vulnerable. But I thought it would help him, so I put myself out there. Then he turned it around and made it into a joke about me–and everyone laughed heartily.

It felt like being kids on the playground, except we were in our thirties and forties. It was silly, but real.  

It’s most introverts nightmare—to be outed, and publicly, and I’m an introvert. The embarrassment didn’t show on my face. But it was there, along with disappointment and disdain.

Afterward, as I played the moment over in my head more times than I’d like to admit, I was tempted to stop opening myself up to others. It seemed futile, useless. But truth be told, the utility had nothing to do with my reaction; I just wanted to protect myself. 

And I realized that I shouldn’t let any person stop me from giving of myself, being vulnerable, sharing my story—even the revealing parts—and living as I ought. Brené Brown, in her book Daring Greatly (affiliate), writes that vulnerability is fundamental to our being.

“Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”

Brené Brown

We shouldn’t let others stop us from sharing our lives, opening our hearts, living with purpose. The cost is too high: we would lose you.

You have ideas, insights, knowledge, feelings, stories that can impact those around you for good. They are the inner workings you’ve been ruminating on over the years. Share them. Yes, someone may make you the butt of their joke; they may transport you back to middle school. But that doesn’t diminish the great value you can give to the world. Give generously.

Be vulnerable.

Sometimes to forget is the most powerful thing you can do

Sometimes forgetting is the best thing you can do to become who you were meant to be.

Forget that you feel like a failure and that you can’t do this or that and the mistake you made back then.

Forget thinking that you’re not enough, that you don’t look a certain way, have the credentials, talent, network, or the perfect quaff of hair.

Forget comparing yourself to others who have more of more—more money, friends, cars, sex, lovers, homes, children, followers, beauty.

Forget the shame and guilt that you carry around you like lead weights; you aren’t what you think you are; you are far greater, more magnificent and beautiful than you can imagine.

Forget the anxiety, the negative stories, the imperfection, the stress, the haters and the hate. Forget all that hinders you from reaching your potential.

And remember this.

You are enough.

This book will blow your mind

If you haven’t read Range, by David Epstein (affiliate), you need to. It will change the way you think about thinking.

Most of the world holds the notion that experts are what we need, people who are hyper specialized. Ten thousand hours are what it takes to succeed, is the belief (it’s what I believed). They are the authorities; they are the ones who will change the world, cure cancer, untangle the perplexing complexities of the universe, push us into the future. But that often isn’t true. 

Range delves into that. It is an amazing exploration and explanation of how you can become great at something, and it’s surprising. 

The anecdotes he uses are compelling. Some of the most accomplished people in the world became great in unexpected ways. They started their craft, sport, education, much later than you think was possible to rise to the level they did. They will inspire you.

For those of you who are in midlife like me, life isn’t over. Some have recreated themselves, learned a musical instrument well enough to play professionally, started high growth businesses, lived a whole new life later in life. It’s possible. It’s in the book. 

When I read it, I felt like I had new life breathed into me, allowing me to see my potential, abilities, and future anew. It gave me hope. 

You see, I’ve had a windy and strange career. I hopped and bopped around: ministry, data-entry, banking, business, entrepreneur, creative strategist are the positions I’ve held. Now I blog, too. Yes, strange, I know. 

And I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that I was insufficient because I was the farthest thing from a specialist. If I had ten thousand hours in anything, it was changing course, which I believed couldn’t be valuable. 

But Epstein helped me see that I was wrong. He made me realize that my disparate experiences are a virtue, not a vice. 

They are what help me add value because I can borrow from one experience and provide a fresh view in a completely different area. That’s what has helped me survive, even thrive. It’s what helps me ideate for my clients, start a business, think. 

However, Range isn’t just for generalists. If you are a specialist who wants to find new, fresh ways of thinking, read this book. 

Or if you are a person who wants to make a change or has changed a lot and wonder what good you can create in the world, Range will open your eyes. 

Parents, if you’re wondering how to help your children succeed, this is incredibly insightful. It’s helping me reframe how I deal with my kids. 

If nothing else, this book (affiliate) will stretch the way you think. 

It will give you range.

The truth you need to know about your pain

Pain. It marks and makes us.

The death of a loved one, the breaking of love, the broken promises, the promising future never realized, the realization that your body won’t stop aching…causes us great grief; but they often act as the compass of life, directing us to our true north.

Who would we be without it? We are marked, like babes at birth.

We yearn for it to disappear, though. How could we not? It’s pain. If we could rid ourselves of it, we would in a moment, a breath. Instead, we lie awake, swallowed in darkness—pining—dreaming of healing, sustained relief, a whole wholeness, love.

It’s there. We can feel it, sensing that relief is near, and sometimes we find it. But some pains are beyond the healing found in this world, now. That adds to our suffering; it’s the pain of pain.

But it’s that ache that grows us, molds us, deepens us, enrich us. It’s our seasoning. By it, our life’s song is more sonorous—richer. It lets us resonate and connect with others, so we can weep when they weep and rejoice when they rejoice. Our pain unites us.

Nevertheless, I believe there is a place where whole wholeness comes, washing over us like the inevitable tide washes the shore. And we will bathe in it like a hot bath in winter, relief, but not temporary—eternal.

For now, we must move forward through the pain, forsaking bitterness, jealousy, hopelessness. Forsake them. Choose to grow. Ask for help. Pray. Seek, and you shall find. And, in the process, you will be surprised.

Our pain is like the pangs of childbirth, throbbing, ornery, agonizing. But it births something, no, someone amazing.

You.


Book Recommendations:
Here are some books that I found very helpful in dealing with and thinking about pain. Now, to be upfront, these are coming from a Christian framework. Nonetheless, they are immensely beneficial.


1) Problem of Pain, by C. S. Lewis (affiliate): This is a philosophical look into the subject and answers the big questions about pain that we all have.
2) A Grief Observed, by C. S. Lewis (affiliate): After Lewis’s wife died, he wrote this book. It’s raw and beautiful.


This post is dedicated to Michelle and Matt, college friends who just lost their 19 year old son. My heart breaks.

One of the most important people we forget to be kind to

Be kind to yourself today. 

You might have screwed up, but you’re not a screwup. 

You might have made a mistake, but you aren’t a mistake. 

You are worthy. You are lovable. You are beautiful. 

Punishing yourself will not right the wrong. That would only add to it. 

Forgive yourself. Let it go. Move forward. 

Love yourself.


The pic below made my day when I saw it. So I thought it might brighten up yours and help you get on the path of self-compassion.


If you want to read a book to help you with this, I recommend Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (affiliate link).

It’s a fantastic read, what helped me see my need for self-compassion.

The one thing you need to make more of to grow: mistakes

Perfectionism doesn’t help us progress; mistakes do. 

With the right mindset, they push us forward. We need to know that succeeding isn’t neat and tidy; it’s sloppy and messy. It’s mistake-ridden. 

When you make a mistake, it lays the groundwork for improvement. Every failure is an attempt to do something. And in those attempts, you experience this and that. You test a hypothesis; you discover. You see what works and what doesn’t work, and you can understand something new about yourself. 

Sure, making a mistake is painful, and it’s tempting to want to ignore the failure, avoid it. But that would be a waste. That would be a bigger mistake than the mistake you’re trying to forget. 

Mistakes are a goldmine for growth and learning. But you can’t learn and grow from them if you ignore them. 

If Steve Jobs didn’t get fired from Apple, he wouldn’t have learned what he needed to learn to come back and become its successful CEO. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, said that he’s made billions of dollars of failures. And without those costly mistakes, his company wouldn’t have grown, making him the wealthiest person in the world. 

One of my biggest mistakes was taking on some wrong business partners. I was the one who pushed for partnering and got it. In the end, it got me. And it almost broke me. 

But as I healed and recovered, I changed. I got stronger, smarter. And I am much more careful when it comes to partnerships. I learned. 

And this blog post is a product of my mistake. If I would have never failed at those partnerships, I don’t think I would have ever tried blogging. I grew. 

You see, we are mistaken about mistakes.

They hurt like hell at the moment, but they are blessings. If you understand them aright and try to learn from them, things won’t just get back to normal; they often get better. 

So make more mistakes. Take risks. Try new things. Put yourself out there. Learn.

And you will find that a mistake can become a marvel.

You need to know that you really are enough

No matter how many likes, hearts, or comments you get, you are enough. Yes. You are. 

We’ve always lived in a world where we’ve compared ourselves with others; the problem is now we have ample data to measure our comparisons. 

If we get less engagement than we want on a post, we feel like we are less, somehow subhuman. 

But you aren’t; you are enough. 

You are a son, a daughter, a friend, a colleague, a human. 

You love and are loved. You create, contribute, make. But you don’t just do; you are. 

You are a person, not just a profile. 

You are a living being. 

Remember that. 

Remember that engagement doesn’t make you enough. 

Being who you are does.