Free to Be

Many people reach a point in their lives when what others think just doesn’t matter. Some reach that point earlier; we call those people free thinkers. Those who achieve that freedom of thought later in life are deemed wise.

I’m working on my freedom.

“What other people think of you is not your business.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Others’ Opinions…
Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Constraints…
Inhale Purpose, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Long Distance

During my 27 years in the Air Force, I moved 16 times and lived in five different countries. I was stationed on the West Coast (Cali), on the East Coast (New Hampshire), in North Dakota and Texas and lived in or traveled to many places in between. I’ve kept in touch with many and lost touch with even more.

What I love about my most intimate circle of friends, who mostly live elsewhere, is the way I can pick up the phone and the conversation; no matter how long it’s been since we last talked, I never feel judged or like I have to apologize. I get to fully feel the love.

Inhale Openness, Exhale Expectations…
Inhale Receptivity, Exhale Recriminations…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

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Gone Too Soon

A new acquaintance actually reached out around noon on Father’s Day for the sole purpose of chastising me for not wishing him a Happy Father’s Day.

Seriously…!?

I guess he’s really going to be upset when he realizes I’m no longer responding to his texts and phone calls…

“Expectations are mans greatest source of frustration.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

Inhale Get Grown, Exhale Pouty…
Inhale Be Gone, Exhale Pushy…
Inhale Better Alone, Exhale Petty…
Just Breathe

#JustBreath

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Pursue Purpose

Last year, my entrepreneur, pastor, mother, activist and author friend warned me she was about to have less time, be less responsive and more focused because she had a lot going on (see the list!).

So I’ve tried to be the kind of friend that makes the most of the time she does have without berating her for not having more. ‘Cause we all have stuff to do…like a purpose to pursue!

Inhale On Purpose, Exhale Guilt…
Inhale Laser Focus, Exhale Distractions…
Inhale Hot Pursuit, Exhale Meandering…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Laser Focused

One of the exercises from my Leadership Equilibrium workshop is to have participants identify their Top 20-25 dreams, then prioritize the Top Five. THEN we talk about why they should stop any activities NOT in support of their Top Five. It’s an idea and exercise I got from business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffet.

I remember one participant immediately cancelled her plans for the weekend. But most of us struggle to separate the “should” obligations from the “I must do this or die” passions that point to our purpose.

So what we have to remember is that plans and people are either propelling us toward or preventing us from achieving our envisioned future. And prioritize accordingly…

Inhale Priorities, Exhale Shoulds…
Inhale Pertinence, Exhale Irrelevance…
Inhale Precedence, Exhale Unfocused…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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The Plank in My Eye

I couldn’t understand how my friend who had endured an egregious breach of trust in her relationship was considering reconciliation.

And then I remembered the arguments I had with my parents as I determined if I needed to end my abusive marriage. The decision seemed obvious to them but I had a lot that I needed to consider, most importantly, the welfare of my child. I needed time to reflect, not pressure from people who would not have to live with my decision.

And I apologized to my friend for questioning her process.

““Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Mathew 7: 3-4, NIV

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale My Own Business, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Self-Reflection, Exhale Oblivion…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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I Got Me

Growing up, I was frequently told I danced too much, cried too easily and laughed too loudly. I was admonished to be still, be stoic and be silent.

It took me until my 30s to regain my voice and reclaim my authentic self.

And I discovered it’s never too late to be who you authentically are.

Inhale Me, Exhale Stillness…
Inhale Myself, Exhale Stoicism…
Inhale My Voice, Exhale Silence…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Joy Story!

I heard a woman from Kenya describe her upbringing in truly terrible conditions. She had endured horror after horror: hunger, rape, kidnapping, prostitution and barely escaped being trafficked. But nothing in her voice or body language suggested anger at everything she had experienced or despair over the environment she grew up in. In fact, the joy she felt at having earned a degree and finding her way to Chicago emanated from her being.

It was a powerful reminder that we are not our circumstances, we are not what we’ve been through, and we don’t have to let our experiences define us.

“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9, MSG

Inhale Resilience, Exhale Resignation…
Inhale Persistence, Exhale Powerlessness…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Despair…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Stuck and Stagnant

We don’t have to stay stuck in the sadness of our story, mired in the misery of our mistakes or attached to the anxiety of our errors. We can focus on how we overcame the obstacles of our own making, how we persevered past our lapses to pass the test, and how we made our missteps our first steps in a new direction.

We can celebrate the results, we can be who we are meant to be and we can stay in the NOW.

“What we trample and leave behind fertilizes what feeds us.” ~ Mark Nepo

Inhale Overcome, Exhale Obstacles…
Inhale Persevere, Exhale Lapses…
Inhale Celebrate, Exhale Past…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Wrong vs. Right

No two people will experience the same thing at the same time in exactly the same way. The certainty you may feel about the truth of your memory of something may only be matched by how certain someone else is about the truth of THEIR recollections.

A difference in what is recalled doesn’t make you or the other person wrong, or a liar, or crazy. It just means the filters through which you experience life are different.

“You don’t have to make another person wrong to be right.” ~ Alexandra Tyler

Inhale Truth, Exhale Wrongs…
Inhale Truth, Exhale Lies…
Inhale Truth, Exhale Crazy…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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