Welcome to Write Your Vision!

Deep down, most people have dreams - they may be forgotten, unspoken, or unrealized - but they are there. I want to help you remember and believe in them again...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day...

There's poems, country songs, rock songs, ballads, stories, mini-series, and simply personal testimonials echoing how we need to live for today... for NOW... to live like we were dying.  For anyone who has been through a health issue, car crash, accident or other traumatic event either personally or with someone you love -- the words of those stories and country songs mean something to you.

You can relate.

You remember the prayer just before the collision or how you sat at your loved one's bedside and begged for a miracle -- promising to go to church every Sunday, give 10% of your income to charity, and to never ever text and drive or tailgate again... no matter what.

But in time, we forget.  The MIRACLE that we were given becomes part of our past, our history... and the depth of emotion we felt, the humbling - bring you to your knees - experience sometimes becomes simple dinner conversation and a "remember when..." told more for entertainment than for the lesson learned.

How about a not-so-serious one??  Remember the last time you had too much to drink and you spent the night like a teenager on the bathroom floor with the Tidy-Bowl Man?... and here again, you SWORE on your life:   IF ONLY YOU COULD BE SPARED, YOU WOULD... (fill in the blanks).  You get the idea, right?  ;)

So how about that?

Why do we need that kind of Reality Check to change our lives?  to be better people?  to give to our local food or homeless shelter?  to tell our parents or kids how amazing they?  or to tell that ONE person you love, she's your Lobster (Remember ROSS & RACHEL? click the link...)

Today as you think about your tomorrow and dream about your vision for the future, take one risk to Live Now!  to LIVE like today was your last day -- 

What would you DO?  Whose eyes would you want to be staring into in those last moments?  Whose hand would you want to hold?  What would you want to be doing?

How would you spend today, if it was your last day?

Now... Do It!

       THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Hope You Dance!

We all have people in our lives who have truly embedded the best parts of themselves into our souls.  They are the ones who make such an imprint that we not only hear their words or their voice in our minds, they are present with us - even when they're not.

For some it's a parent, maybe a grandparent.
For others it may be your child or a sibling.
Still others it may be a professor, a boss, and yes - an old love.
(or a current one!!)

As I think about my future, I am drawn to those things so intrinsically tied from my past:  the mistakes, the failures, and of course - most importantly, the loves and the things that brought me joy.  These have all shaped who and what I am today. 

How I believe. 
How I live. 
How I love.

And what I want for my life - my vision for my future.  My dream is central for my life... being further refined every day.

One thing I've learned is that on the journey toward becoming, one of the fundamentals for getting there is to honor what you love.

So, take the time to THINK about who or what you love and make one choice today to honor them. 

This may mean simply making a phone call today to tell them what they mean... or if you can't do that, consider WRITING them a note - even if you can't deliver it.  If you've lost someone you love, remember them and embrace one thing about them that made you smile to carry their memory forward.  In that way, you can savor the memory without being overwhelmed by the hurt or the loss.

The thing about the past is that you can get lost in it. 
We have to each remind ourselves to live NOW!

Honor the people.  Honor the memories.  Learn what you need by embracing the lessons.
But Let Go of yesterday.

Write your Vision for the future you want - including how and who you want to be.  As we think of those who have left us, SMILE.  Even if it hurts.

Tomorrow is my grandfather's birthday:  Papaw, thanks for reminding me to DANCE!

As for me, I pray I am as blessed to walk this journey with the love of my life -
laughing and dancing as you did.

       THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

Life is comprised of triumphs and tragedies.  In our quest for our dreams, CIRCUMSTANCES can not only set us back but sometimes - if we're not careful - can derail us entirely.  It is fundamentally human to experience disappointment, fear of failure, and even the rollercoaster of negative emotions that come when things don't go as planned or worse.

The stress of this can often make us sit on our couch or in our beds and just cry... sometimes we develop elaborate and often destructive coping mechanisms in our attempt to dilute the pain we feel.

For me, I believe the key to rebounding is to REMEMBER your Dream... not to discount it nor to allow the circumstances that can sometimes cloud your vision to convince you they are bigger or more powerful than your dream itself.  That is the lie.  It's the lie that negative feelings introduce to our mind and attempt to consume our thoughts with  to distract us to the point that we forget or give up. 

Now we can all debate WHY this happens... talk spirituality, psychology, physiology, etc.  But the reality is that it DOES and we all need to find how to take control of our minds and reject those negative, destructive thoughts that hit us with tsunami-like force.

But HOW?

Here again is why I believe it is critically important to WRITE YOUR VISION!  Take the time to sit down, think through what you want for yourself - your life, your year, your day.  As you do that, write each thing down.  Focus on the words you use.  Are you writing positive, affirming adjectives or verbs? or are you fearful, passive saying things like "IF this..." or "hopefully that..."?

The words you use - will help you understand not only your thoughts but the curses we often speak over ourselves.  Imagine that!  We can condemn ourselves simply by what we say or how we say it.

For example:  Whenever you speak the words "I can't..." or "that won't happen" or "I don't know..." you are beginning with a NEGATIVE.  Even sometimes when we turn our words around, we miss it!  When we say things like "No Fear. No Doubt.  No Regrets." our minds only register the words not the meaning so we process the words:  FEAR, DOUBT, REGRET.  Instead, try saying "I'll be COURAGEOUS today!"  or "I BELIEVE"  or "I CHOOSE" -- these are empowering because they are positive reminding us that we do have some influence over our destiny.

When disappointments happen or negative circumstances errupt, reject the onslaught of negative thoughts LITERALLY:  I write things like "I reject these thoughts.  I CHOOSE to BELIEVE in my dream.  I see what is happening here and although I'm hurt, I will not give up or let go.  I am destined to have my dream realized."  And then I detail the specifics of my dream, my vision.  As I write, I speak those words out loud so my ears hear it and my mind registers it in multiple ways: reading/seeing, hearing, speaking.

You have to encourage yourself to have faith in your dream.  It doesn't just happen.  You have to actively engage.

And remember to give yourself a break!  It's human to get disappointed, feel down, be overwhelmed, and to experience failure or loss.  These things hurt.  Circumstances can hurt us.  Our friends, families - people can hurt us.  BUT you can choose to rebound. 

Embrace that hardship or setback.
Embrace the mistake or failure.
Embrace the circumstance.

...but Reject the negative feelings and thoughts.  Don't give them THAT power.  They provide absolutely no benefit.

Your dream is worth fighting for!
REMEMBER your Vision!

and DARE to boldly stare that disappointment squarely and say "No, you cannot steal my Dream!" STAND!

Choose to say:  "I Stand!"

       THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vision Alternatives?

Is it possible to have Vision Alternatives?  What are they?  Well, it's your back-up plan... the things you tell yourself you'll do if your REAL dream doesn't happen.  Plan B.


As a general rule, I almost always have a "Plan B."  I'm a planner after all.  I like lists.  I write a blog about writing things down... I prefer to be prepared; not crazy about surprises; and spend my work days always anticipating (the next step, next trend, next request) - so you'd think a Plan B makes sense.  Right?


For most daily life things - most definitely.  Contingencies are key... but NOT when it comes to your dreams.

Yep, let me repeat that one:  There's no such thing as a Vision Alternative.

There may be fear tickling your mind because there's something you want so badly, you're almost afraid to hope for it.  Conversely, if you haven't taken the time to go through the exercise of THINKING and WRITING down your thoughts about your dreams - you may simply still be unsure so you're choosing to "keep your options open, in case...!" and "let the universe guide you."  ;)

The Truth is though - when it comes to your dreams / your actual vision for your life - there's only One.

Now, I'm not talking about learning and growing or experiences that influence a change in your life's dream.  No, what I'm talking about here is the notion of a back-up plan... and it's THAT idea that I find to be fundamentally counter-productive and flawed.

Your dream is your dream.  It's what you want.  Your heart's desire.  The one concept or person, etc. that makes your eyes light up and your heart sing...

There's no back-up plan for that, whatever THAT is.  So why try?  Well, we're taught not to dream by hardships we face, circumstances that errupt, things we can't explain that go wrong... We think we'll look foolish if we put our heart on the line and speak our truth -- because GOOD GRIEF what will people think if/when that dream doesn't happen!  How will we rationalize that?

I believe if we spent even half the energy we put into rationalizing a back-up plan and worrying about all the negatives that could happen or the things we already perceive to be in our way, etc. into JUST BELIEVING... 

"Faith as a grain of a mustard seed... (but here's the kicker:) AND DO NOT DOUBT,
you can say to ANY mountain - MOVE!" [Matt 17:20].

Imagine the Possibilities!!

Radical thinking.

So remember, fear is a dream killer.  Don't give it that power.  You don't need a back-up plan for your vision.

You just gotta want it!  Dare to believe in it! 
and REFUSE to settle for anything less.

       THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Faith in Action

Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony last night reminded me of why I love the Olympics and most sports in general... those athletes represent a Vision.  A dream.

They devote themselves to the attainment of their goal. 
They work tirelessly toward what they believe is their destiny.

As children, most of them just knew what they loved.

What do you LOVE?
What do you have a passion to do?

The Olympics are the Ideal.  Watching the competition:  We cheer.  We cry.  We marvel at the skill, the passion.  We pray they all just do their best... and may the BEST win.

They become our heroes.

How can you become the hero of your life?

Think about what you want.
Write down that dream.
Believe in your vision.
...your Faith in Action will unleash the power of God and the universe to support your goal.  But it begins with You.

       THINK.     WRITE.     BELIEVE.     ACT.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

...because you loved me

How many of us when we were kids heard our parents say:  "Someday when you have kids, I hope they turn out just like you!?"  As I got older, one of my favorite retorts became:  "Your parents know just what buttons to push... after all, THEY installed them!"

We all laugh because both are true and typically both are relevant.  While this may be light-hearted, underneath those statements are layers of emotion that include frustration, hurt, pain and thankfully a little humor. 

In writing down my dreams for the future, I found I looked to the past A LOT.  There were several things from my childhood and even later on that made me who I am - and those good things, the positive memories and lessons - I wanted to keep.  Then in some cases, I wanted to learn from my past and do things completely differently going forward.  I had a few serious regrets that I want(ed) to gloss over, preferably forget and move forward.  For help with this I rely on some of my favorite spiritual verses:
  • Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
  • Hebrews 10:17, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
  • Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
  • Qur'an (39:53), "O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls: do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'
  • Rabbi Pinchas Lipner references:  Deut 29:9 - 31:30, Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9, "The theme is that of tshuvah, repentance. The ability to wipe the slate clean of previous wrongdoing is one of the greatest gifts that the Almighty has given us. Although a person who has sinned logically deserves punishment, our Heavenly Father encourages him only to acknowledge his error, confess it (to G-d) and sincerely resolve to improve himself to the extent that he will not repeat his offense in the future. This will lead to complete forgiveness."
  • Buddha: “To understand everything is to forgive everything” (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
  • “Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” (ref: unknown)
Too bad we ALL can't think and act this way.  Interesting that almost every major religion speaks about the need and power of forgiveness.  Wouldn't it be great to have the power to literally remove our guilt, our regrets, those things we wish we hadn't done and remember them no more?  or better yet, have those we hurt, remember them no more?  Imagine what it would be like to live freely from those hurts... to not see the anguish or distrust in the eyes of the people we love... hmmm.

It's funny how we all get spiritual when things go wrong and even moreso when WE do something wrong... I think this is because somewhere inside, we're all seeking.  Most of us are taught the basics of right and wrong from Mom and Dad early on.  Aside from the proverbial, "because I said so," there was usually a logic or reasoning behind these lessons.  So when we mess up (and yes we all do), we want some kind of absolution.  We want to be forgiven.  We want to be understood.

We want to be loved anyway.

Thing is, with everything, there's a price, right?  Consequences for our actions...  of course!  That's how we learn.  Generally speaking, most of us have to learn things the hard way.  Literally.

So, forgiveness usually involves some sort of Repentance.  There is a period where we each must endure the consequences or impact of our actions and subsequently work to rectify the havoc we unleashed.  This too is part of our human experience and I've found that it is a critically important step in achieving our dreams or realizing the vision for our lives.

The past is the past - but as you move forward day by day, take the time to do a few things that will help you obtain your vision:
  1. Allow for Real Forgiveness - this doesn't mean being a doormat or blindly falling for any "I'm sorry" but when a person has truly embraced their mistakes and changed, let them be who they've become.
  2. Don't confuse Accountability with Judgment - consider how you would want to be treated if ever you made an egregious mistake.  Most of us beat ourselves up far worse than anyone else ever could so consider your actions and your words.
  3. Reconciliation brings Peace - when you forgive someone who has wronged you, you free yourself from the pain they inflicted on you allowing both of you to move forward in freedom.
As you think through your dreams and write down your vision for yourself, consider what else in your life may be keeping you from your destiny.  For me, I want no barriers...

SO - Thanks Mom & Dad / Gram & Pap for installing all those buttons! for teaching me how to be resilient in the face of adversity, how to respect myself and learn every day, and how to love.

And thanks to the Love of My Life for 3 parts Love and 7 parts forgiveness - I'm everything I am (now) because you loved me.

       THINK.     WRITE.     BELIEVE.     ACT.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Truth shall make us Free?

Interestingly enough - the majority of the emails I get ask questions about love and relationships. Hmmm... while I'm not Dear Abby, I think the same rules for life apply to love.  [Oh and while I love the emails, it would be SUPER if you guys would post comments and follow the blog - hint hint]

How do you prevent change from hurting people?

I've talked a lot about first having to KNOW what you want before you can get it.  So what happens when you take all these steps and finally figure out what you want... but then you realize you are going to hurt some of the people you love because the changes you need to make may negatively affect them?

Let's break this down:

First:  Change is inevitable.  It happens no matter what you do - the question is do you want to positively have some influence over the change that happens in your life? or would you rather sit back passively, wait and see? 

     [I'm not the passive type so this doesn't work for me, but you're welcome to try!]

Next:  Ask yourself, what would hurt the people you love more? For you to live a lie? to live a partial life? or to take a risk, grasp your dream and LIVE?

The thing to remember here is that YOU only have ONE life (that we know of)... so it's up to you to live it to the fullest.  Now with everything, it's always going to be easier to stay put.  It's always going to be less painful on the surface to keep the status quo.  The problem is that you can't really escape your destiny, your dreams.  You can put them on a back-burner.  You can delay them.  But eventually, they come back up... and there's nothing that can turn a positive into a negative like unrealized dreams.

The frustration builds.  Little things that never bothered you suddenly do.  You might gloss over the impact it will have on you --- thinking you can just suck it up.  Be self sacrificing so not to hurt anyone else because of your needs / your dreams... that sounds noble doesn't it? Hmmm...

     [I would argue it take more courage and nobility to take the risk than to be self sacrificing]

Even still, this can work for a while.  For some, they can do it for a lifetime --- but before they die, I guarantee you they'll remember the love they walked away from; the dream they were too afraid to pursue.  It never goes away.  And if they're honest, it's always been there - always with them.

So what about those people you are trying not to hurt?  I would argue that you're doing more harm to them and to yourself than the impact of the change would ever do.

What do I mean?
If you have people in your life who love you - really love you - they will want you to be happy.

For me, I BELIEVE in soulmates.  The Ancient Greeks (Plato's Symposium) tell a mythical story where humans all had two heads, four arms, four legs originally... but they became too powerful wanting to take over heaven so Zeus decided to weaken them by splitting them apart.  So for the remainder of their lives, all humans would search for their "other half."  Now do I believe we all had two heads?  Sometimes, I meet people that make me think so................ (am kidding) but NO, I don't think that.  BUT I DO believe there is one person for each of us.  I personally believe, different people come into our lives through the course of our lives to teach us new things - but in the end, there is only One.

So in the love circumstance:  When you find your person and especially if the two of you agree, recognize the gift you've found.

Now suppose you both agree - but are with other people? 

[Note: if you are married, all bets are off.  The marriage commitment should not be disposable or taken lightly so that would be a separate discussion.  I am talking about unmarried people here regardless of 'commitment.']

If this is you, yes making the change will hurt.  BUT, if you really do belong together, by staying with the status quo - you're not only harming yourself and your soulmate, you're also depriving the person you're now with from meeting their perfect match as well.  So while you may be preventing them from being hurt in the short term, what are you really doing?  Are you really helping?  If your heart is torn or really belongs to someone else, aren't you hurting them anyway?

In this case, I believe the Truth will always make you Free.  So take the risk!  Make the choice to believe in your dream.  No matter what the fallout is, YOU will be better for having done it because you're being honest with yourself and those you love.

Think about it.
Write down what's on your mind.
Believe in your Truth.
Act accordingly.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Recognizing Your Power

For many of us, life is simple.  You get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, hang out with your spouse or kids, and live for the weekend.

If you're happy, celebrate that!  enjoy that!  live for that!  It's what we all want.

If there are things in your life you wish were different, then it's time to recognize your power.  You and only you have the power to change YOU and to change your circumstances.  If you have made poor decisions in the past, forgive yourself and change them / rectify them.

The fabulous thing about being alive is that you have the power to change every single minute of every day.  The goal here is to improve and to learn every day!  To get better... to become who and what you are meant to be.  To live your dream.

No one else can save you.  No one else can change you.  This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.  When things weren't going my way, I let myself get caught up in the circumstances.  I could only see what I didn't have.  I felt bad, like a failure, inadequate and lost.  I let the circumstances tell me who I was...

Finally, I woke up.  I realized all the negative thoughts I had running through my mind weren't coming from me.  They were coming from Fear, Doubt, Insecurity.  In my heart, this wasn't me.  Those thoughts weren't who I knew myself to be.

I had to change.
I had to change myself.  I had to change my own mind.  I had to stop entertaining those negative thoughts and speak what I knew to be true. 

So I started writing down that Truth.  Then I started speaking it.  It takes courage to change.  It takes conviction and humility to pick yourself up and to start again.  It defines your character and demands integrity and honesty with the people you love.

Don't be afraid of where you've been or what you've done.  Embrace your mistakes as strongly as your successes because you learn from both.

By getting REAL with yourself, you will FIND your power.

Recognize it!  Embrace it!  Once you do, you'll never go back again because you'll see each day truly is what you make it... so make it your best day.  When you do, God and the universe recognize this positive and will empower your dreams to come to you.

Have a Little Faith in Me

      THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free Will's Impact on Vision

I got an interesting email asking where other peoples' free will fits in to your vision?  The example my exuberant friend gave was that he was sure he was meant to spend his life with Megan Fox although she didn't know it yet (yes, I chuckled too).

It really is THE question, right?
  • What if you love someone and they don't love you?
  • What if you believe in your destiny - that you're meant to be a parent - but all circumstances say no?
  • What if you've blown it with the one you love and they've now moved on? Are you still meant to be?
Well........... there's a few answers and lessons here but the bottom line is you can only control you.
Your reactions.
Your choices.
Your words.

Let's start with the easiest and work our way through it:

If you believe you are meant to be a parent and thusfar you've been unsuccessful in that pursuit, decide what really matters to you:  If it is simply that you believe you are meant to be a mother or father of a child then either get more specific about that dream or expand your definitions.  What does that mean? 

If for example, you can't physically have a child you can consider alternatives:  Become a foster parent or adopt a child... if you've tried adoption, consider expanding your criteria:  If you only wanted a newborn, you could consider a child up to 5 years old, 10 years old?  What about International Adoption?  If none of that is working, you could volunteer.  Boys & Girls Clubs need mentors.  Teams need coaches.  Children all over the world need help. 

That said - IF you DO know in your heart you are meant to be the parent of a 2 year old boy with brown eyes and curly hair because you've wanted to be a parent and subsequently had a dream where you saw that child and now can't get that image out of your head, then start praying for/speaking to that child.  He is yours.  Believe in your vision...

When you meet 'your child' or 'children' you'll KNOW.  When you have a vision, get down to the lowest common denominator of that dream.  What is the thing that means the most to you?... whatever it is - trust in that destiny.

Now the Love Question:

Two rules:  1) You can only control you.  2) Every person, every situation is unique. 

While there may be similarities, no two people are the same.  No two dreams are the same.  The question you need to ask yourself is:  What do YOU want at the center of your being?  What is your truth? 

Now my friend said he believed Megan Fox was his soulmate at first when I asked him directly.  Then as the conversation continued, it was more about her blue eyes.  He loved blue eyes.  Then it was also a woman slightly shorter than him whose head would easily fit on his shoulder while they were dancing... soon he added: who loved to eat, because he loved to cook.  Eventually, we got down to what he truly wanted and he admitted, he hadn't met her yet.  (Nor had he even spoken that out loud before, let alone, written any of that down)...

So okay - What do you want?

If you believe you've met the woman you think is your soulmate / your person / the One but there are other real circumstances complicating things.  You need to go back and again ask yourself the details.  If you do that and get down to the core of what you want for your life and that is embodied in this single person (and that person loves you), then you are truly blessed!  Whatever the circumstances are can be worked out.  It may be difficult, even painful - but you will get there because that real connection / love between two people won't go away even over time when it's True. 

Keep in mind though - there is a difference between love/lust or simply wanting what you can't have.  This is again why it is SO important to get down to the Real Truth for yourself of what you want for your life.

Now, IF the person you love, simply doesn't feel the same way about you - that is a different matter.  Here too write down what it is about that person you love so much.  What is it?  Get down to the core.  Consider that if this person doesn't really love you in the same way then maybe those things you love are the indicators for what you want and nothing more.  Take hope in the reality that someone like what you actually want exists and recognize you haven't met your person yet.  Wouldn't you want the person you love to love you as much as you love them?  Hmmm - maybe write that one down!

IF you've gone through all that soul searching - really written down what you want - and it IS that one person in your life that you still come back to time and again regardless of the circumstances you face; AND that person truly loves you too but is either afraid or now with someone else or any number of other issues, then that person has the Free Will (and the right) to choose to stay in his/her circumstances and deny that Vision. 

IF you face this reality, then I believe you have two choices:

1.) Believe in your vision for the two of you regardless.  Speak your truth.  Act accordingly.  BUT give yourself a timeframe to witness a change.  Your actions and faith will be confirmed one way or the other:  Positive or Negative pointing you in another direction. 

NOTE:  This does not mean you become an obsessive stalker.  If your behavior is negative or in any way unwelcomed, then STOP!  That should be an indicator that something is OFF.


2.) Honor your Person's Choice (Free Will) and walk away right then.  Love them enough to respect their choice.  You may be absolutely right and that may be THE person you were meant to be with - but if she (or he) doesn't choose that Vision too - you need to ask yourself if you truly want them?

   - Your action will trigger a result:

Either that person will realize you are Worth changing their circumstances for and will come after you... OR, your heart toward them will change.

In either case - you win!  The message here is to get down to the CORE of what you want for yourself and then TRUST your Vision.  At the end of the day, the things at the heart of what you want and need for your life will be yours.

       THINK.       WRITE.       BELIEVE.       ACT.