Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When you can't do anything right...

Do you ever feel like everything you do just doesn't feel right? Even the way you feel doesn't feel right?

I've started 3 separate posts today. Begun 4 or 5 different tasks that I haven't completed and have, in the non-literal sense of the word, been walking in circles.

Sometimes when I'm walking in circles I sit at my computer and stumble onto random websites and blogs just to see what gets sparked by them. is a great website because it will take you to sites you would otherwise never find. And often I find myself staring at exactly what I need just to get going.

Here is what I found on a really cool site called Artist. Mother. Teacher (
The writer on this blog/website is really insightful and I enjoyed looking through her posts. This one in particular was exactly what I needed today:

Picture 5
As an artist, a writer, and a creator in general, I have bad days! The worst days are the ones like today when all I want to do is create and be inspired and everything that comes out feels wrong and contrived. This happens to me with art but even more it happens when I'm writing. But just as this quote says you just have to push through and accept that not everything is going to be your best. It's ok that not every post is perfect. That not every post has the right piece of art and that not every post sheds light on some sort of epiphany. 

My epiphany today is that I don't need one in order to write! I can be happy just writing, connecting with readers and sharing some thoughts. Is it better to wait a week for the perfect post or share some love in between? 

This post is to take the pressure off. By being honest with you all and saying "today...I'm in a funk!" I feel this immense load lifted off my chest. I hope this little tid bit helps anyone else who is feeling pressure to be a little more than who they are. We are who we are.  We do what we can do. Some outcomes will be great and extraordinary. Others will be just whatever they are in that moment, maybe even what one would consider to be ordinary. But it all ultimately comes from our hearts and that's what matters in the end.

I promise you that my words come from a place of love today even if there's not a whole lot to say. I hope Ira Glass's quote helps someone else today the way that it helped me. Feel free to pass it along to whomever you choose!

BPositive and BOk with What Your Have to Offer Today!

Love always,

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I often don't speak of the day to day goings on of life for me. Honestly, I find them not as fun to write about. My "dear diary" moments are often more about emotions, relationships, and growth. But today I find that something is happening in my life is important and worth sharing.

As I often find myself after finally getting comfortable in a new place...we are moving. The reason is not the significance but the move itself is. I have been finding myself with mixed emotions. Mainly a little numb to the fact that it is happening. But sad and anxious and unsure of what lies ahead. There is excitement there as well with an impending adventure around the corner.

But packing up my apartment has been harder than anticipated. I've essentially cleaned out every drawer, closet, and cupboard...everything piled high in one spot to make the move less complicated. But I've been struggling to take down my art work.

This blog, all that art, all this writing, was born right here in this apartment. Random 6 am art sessions on a weekday morning before work, or admittedly not working in order to make something special. It all happened right here and part of me struggles with leaving it behind.

But most of me knows that I'm not leaving it behind. I'm taking it with me. I'm packing it up only to bring it with me wherever I go. Had I not been in these exact situations perhaps I wouldn't be writing and creating like I am. And perhaps if this move wasn't happening my writing and art would not get another chance to grow again.

As I sit here, there are new people starting their next chapter in the apartment above me. They are excited and enthusiastically bumping there things around. I'm happy for them as they talk about taking a group photo on their porch. And I am suddenly really excited for myself and A as we move out into a new chapter of our own.

So I'd like to leave you all with this. Change can be hard, but change is good. And essential for growth. I created a tree in my living room for fun but I realize how much it represents my growth in my time here. And every tree that I make or grow down the line will be different in some way showing just how much we change all the time.

So I leave you with my tree. I will certainly still have a few more posts from Springfield, MO before we head out of town on the 30th of the month, but this will be the last one from Marion Avenue, the first apartment I had with my husband. I'm glad to have lived here and I'm excited for what's to come.

BPositive and BFree to Change and Grow!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Mish Mash of Thoughts

I am happy to be growing and learning today... that's what I live for, that's why I am here.

Do you ever get really overwhelmed and not realize it is happening? Like suddenly there are too many thoughts in your head and emotions welling up inside. They're not bad ones necessarily but overwhelming none the less.

I woke up this morning so tired. I got a normal amount of sleep and have been feeling pretty good. But today I just felt "sleepy." I wanted to say in bed all day and be cozy and indulge in the sleepiness. I think so many things are happening (even the exciting things) that it's hard to process and suddenly I'm feeling bogged down. Hence the sleepiness :)

The blog for example, has been such an exciting part of life lately. A place where I can create, write, share, and let loose a little. But at the same time, I have so much I want to write about, so many ideas, I just feel like I'm going to explode today! I don't know where to start or what the right words are...

So today I will take a step back, fill you in, and recoup so I can get my bearings back again :)

I'll start with why it is we sometimes decide not to move forward with something that is important or even exciting. I'm experiencing this today because I want badly to move forward with my post about Afghanistan, but the puzzle pieces weren't coming together as I expected.

If I'm very very honest with you all, I'm feeling a little embarrassed and uncomfortable at the moment. I read an article last week that really moved me and decided to write to the author to get his help with the blog. I think in my haste and excitement I jumped to many conclusions and realized that it was not what I expected. I asked all the wrong questions and just ended up feeling embarrassed and scared to propel forward.

So last night, A and I are watching a movie and I just couldn't get into it. This was bothering me so much. I felt like I was ignorant for asking the wrong questions and jumping to conclusions before even getting to know this author. In my discussion with A, I realized a few things:

1. This is a learning process. I am trying this out for the first time and it's important that it doesn't always go as planned because then how would I change and grow and become a better writer?

2. Even though I asked questions that were not pertinent to the author of the article, it still sparked a conversation with him and I now know more about him as a person (even the way he deals with questions that don't even apply to him!!)

3. Most importantly, I've realized that maybe there isn't a formula to all of this. There are no right words. Even if the author couldn't help me on my journey to learning about Afghanistan, he sure can be the expert on where he comes from and what he knows! And isn't that the point? To learn about people? All people?

So R... I hope very much that you don't mind being my first try at something new.

I'm also realizing that even though I am excited about all of this, I am also scared. Scared to ask the wrong questions. Scared I might offend someone. Scared that people won't want to talk to me. Scared that the intentions of this blog will not always come off as positive. My fears were confirmed by my reaction to R's e mail. It made me want to crawl in a hole with embarrassment. But it's those moments where we have to stand strong and go back out there and figure out why we feel that way. I plan on writing back to R's just to keep our conversation going. He's a really amazing person.

My fear is what could ultimately stop me from learning about people.  Fear is what lies deep beneath the hate and anger we see in the world. I don't accept fear because I think there are ways to change it. I don't plan on letting fear stop me from learning about the world. In fact it's learning about the world that will essentially eliminate the fear. And without fear there is not need to hate and judge. It's a pretty cool circle.

One last anecdote for the morning... I had an interesting experience this morning on my run. As I was running along, almost home, a pick up truck turned a corner just as I crossed the street. And the man in the driver seat was yelling at someone, cursing loudly. It really caught me off guard and startled me some. What amazed me the most was my reaction. I isolated his anger and reminded myself that the anger was his, and his only. It had nothing to do with me and therefore there was no reason to be angry back. Instead I decided to smile and wave at the next cars that came my way. And sure enough two of them smiled and waved at me before I could even get my hand up! It was a cool experience because I felt like the positivity that I was putting out was having an effect and hopefully the man who was angry got a dose of it as well. It was interesting to see how easily I brushed that moment off. Even just a few months ago, when people would honk at me and startle me while I was running, I would get very angry and hold on to that anger even for several minutes afterward. I remember wanting to blog about! I'm so glad I didn't! Why put that out there for more people to have to deal with.

I feel as though this blog has gone all over the place today. But I am really thankful for this space to write and free my mind. It's been so full lately and as soon as I let off the pressure to be perfect and write exactly what I thought the next post should be, I felt this huge weight lifted. I feel quite peaceful right now and ready to start my day.

The reality is that even if things don't go exactly the way they are supposed to, there is always a new direction and possibly even a more positive outcome.

Stay tuned....

BPositive and BFree!


Sunday, May 15, 2011


DSCN9781 by springknitter

As always, I very much enjoy the things that happen in life that are a surprise or a "coincidence" or things that happen in threes, or things that seem to happen just at the right time... After writing my last post about learning about other cultures, hearing their views on life topics, and loving them for who they are, I got a last minute invite to go see the Dalai Lama speak at the University of Arkansas. Coincidence??? No way!

As expected, he shared many enlightening words. Words that were already inside of me but I was unable to formulate on my own. When he spoke them aloud, I smiled with the obvious yet insightful nature of his thought process. I smiled at the irony of the simplicity of what he was saying, yet the difficulty in which we practice these concepts. It is this basic: 'If we just take the time to listen,' he said cupping his hand to his ear 'and really talk to one another we will have more peace and love in the world.' Why is this so hard to follow sometimes? Why are we so angry with each other over silly things? The Dalai Lama suggested that it is based on fear and a lack of understanding of what seems different from us. Because ultimately who we are fear, are not our friends.

I suggest it's time to make some new friends. 

While sitting in that auditorium it sort of felt like I had hundreds of new friends. I hadn't taken the time to meet everyone or even speak to them. But we were all in there, albeit very different, spending time together on a similar mission. And isn't that a form of friendship? Coming together in some way to promote something positive?

My eyes were suddenly open to the fact that there is a whole movement out there devoted to promoting a non-violent world. A place where people aren't murdered even for murdering others as their crime. A world where we don't continue to plant seeds of hate that spiral and self perpetuate. A world where everyone is friends. 

With this new inspiration from such incredible people from all walks of life, I was inspired again to start communicating with people from different backgrounds. I've been continuing my search for artists, writers and bloggers from Afghanistan. I was finding incredible stories, groups of peacemakers, bloggers who have opinions and people to feel connected to. But until now I hadn't gotten any written responses back from anyone. I didn't want to just read what they wrote and paraphrase/quote/reference the articles on my blog, I wanted to connect with someone!!

Finally, this weekend I had some luck! I was connected with a woman who works for the blog Our Journey to a Smile ( and ultimately she connected me with a writer who wrote an article about violence in Afghanistan. We have had some e mail contact now and he is willing to take part in the blog! He's going to be answering some questions for me so my next post will be focused on that.

I got a little anxious today and wanted to post some of what has been on my mind since my experience seeing the Dalai Lama. Friends have been an incredible blessing in my life and as I understand a deeper meaning behind the words, I realize that we are never alone. Lets take the time to learn about someone new today and make a friend. This week I will introduce you to my new friend R in my interview. 

Thanks for staying tuned on this journey with me. I'm more excited than I have been in a long time and I'm really happy to take my readers with me. 

BPositive BAFriend!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


DSCN9717 by springknitter

Sometimes I am just in awe of the places life takes us. Our path sometimes seeming so certain and then a sudden jog in the trail. Or when suddenly an idea pops into your head that just feels so right and sends you shooting into another dimension of thought!

I've talked about negativity before. And sadly we get doses of it everyday whether we want to or not. I got a hefty dose this morning that knocked a little of the wind out of my sail. But as you might be able to see, instead of moping about or taking it out on other people, I decided to write this post.

An iea struck me last night while I was driving home from Kansas City with A. It was the most inspirational time of day in the Midwest. The time where the sun is very low in the sky and the farm land is golden and beautiful. It reminds me that there is beauty everywhere we go and at certain moments, God likes to put those places in the spot light.

Driving is one of my favorite things to do when I need to think. A was on the phone with an old friend and their excitement just got my energy going. I started thinking about the blog and the purpose and why it's so important that I keep writing. It occurred to me that my "You Be the Judge" post felt a little incomplete. I started wondering why we judge people and criticize and what might help us feel more comfortable around people that are new to us or even people we've known forever. It dawned on me that it's quite simple. We must learn about them. Learn the ins and outs of their culture and why they live the way that they live. Learn about their personal situation and not judge their behavior based on character. Isn't this basic? Didn't we learn this stuff on Sesame Street?

So why did it take me so long to get these exact words out? I always knew this deep in my heart but as I thought back to all the people in my life that are so different from me yet I love so very much, I realized that I learned so much about their differences from me that they no longer even seem that different.

M grew up in a faith that is very different from my own. Her beliefs were so foreign to me that I wasn't sure what to think about all of it when we first met. But M was so open with me. She was willing to teach me and answer the questions that I had. M let me ask hard questions that might have been taken as ignorant to someone else. Those questions were hard and scary, but I knew they were important to fully understand. Now it feels like we were never even different from the start.

Learning about someones personal circumstance is also been a key way to find love and acceptance when people are behaving in a negative/hurtful way. I've recently encountered many hateful words and behavior that I find to be hurtful toward others and what do I do? I just get angry with the people who behaved that way and the hate cycle spirals! It's important to take the time to learn about the person, their situation, what might have driven them and so on. It may not be appropriate to approach them directly and ask them about this, but if you play out some scenarios in your head and use common sense about human nature and why we do certain things (the psychologist in all of us!) then it's much easier to move on instead of throwing hate back in their direction. Even if it's just mental hate inside your own head. And then ultimately we learn from their mistakes and learn how we would rather behave based on their behavior.

I think there is a lot of anger and judgement in the world because we have a lack of understanding of our differences. But as I said in the previous post, at our very core we are all the same. We are all human beings and we all have our own purpose.

So with all that in mind, I want to learn!! I want to learn about everything. I want to learn about food culture, language, religion, ceremony, relationships, clothing, and dialect. Most importantly I want to learn about people and who they are within their culture. I want to learn about how they perceive the things I'm writing about within their country and culture. There is a whole world out there of things to learn and people to love and I think this blog is a perfect place to do that. So starting today I will pick a country. I will do my best to learn about something very specific in that countries culture. And I want to share it with all of you. I want us all to learn about things together in hopes that we are creating a more loving environment in this world.

As you know each post has something to do with a topic that is currently happening in my life or in the lives of many around me. I don't typically address politics or religion but more human interaction, emotion and spirituality. As I continue to write I am going to begin corressponding with bloggers, writers, artists, and others from countries from all over the world. I'd like to begin learning about their cultures, not just on a surface level, but gain some perspective about the topics I write about from their side of things where they come from.

To update you on my status, I have sent out e mails to several bloggers from Afghanistan (why not start aplphabetically with countries around the world!) as well as bloggers from other parts of the world who have spent significant amounts of time in Afghanistan. I am going to continue with this topic of embracing others and get perspective from people in Afghanistan about how they feel about being judged by others within and outside of their culture. And how they combat those judgments and learn to embrace one another.

Maybe we are all more similar than we think... we shall see :)

Wish me luck on my correspndance! Hopefully I get some responses back soon!

BPositive and as Mahatma Gandhi said "BThe Change You Want to See in the World!"


Monday, May 2, 2011

You be the Judge

Embrace by springknitter
It feels so natural to be sitting down to my laptop to start writing again. On my week and a half long hiatus, although I was not writing, it felt as though I was blogging all week, in my head. I've been so excited to write again and anxious to get my thoughts out. A lot happens in a week and a half. Especially when you're by nature an analytical person.

I have a very specific topic in mind for my first post back. It is one that I feel is of incredible importance and each day that I sit on it without typing a word, I feel as though I am creating fear in myself to write about it.

Have you ever discussed the distinction between hearing and listening? Hearing essentially allows us to bring in sounds through our ears. We hear sounds or words but they have little meaning until we listen. Listening involves consciously taking in the sounds, processing their meaning and deciding what to do with the information. Pretty standard.

I'd like to go further and say that "seeing" and "judging" take on a similar co-existence. We see things around us all the time. We are constantly processing and deciding how to deal with what we see. But I'm realizing that part of that process is "judging." Judging is not always a bad thing, but in many scenarios we judge people. And that is where it gets a bit sticky.

Recently I've encountered a lot of criticism of other people. And what makes it so sad is that the criticism is not constructive nor does it have anything to do with someones performance. The criticism has to do with someones lifestyle, personality, or choices. These are the most painful criticisms because they attack who we are at our core and they attack our freedom to make choices in our life.

It's ok not to want to live your life exactly the same as someone else. It's also ok to not agree with someone else's choices, meaning you would not choose them for you. But why do we waste our time, energy, and happiness dwelling or even just commenting on what you don't agree with if ultimately it does nothing positive for us and certainly nothing positive for them? Why don't we just look at other people and smile and feel glad that we have so many different faces in the world? Why can't we accept people for who they are and ultimately embrace and love them for who they are?

For some reason it's in our nature to devote a lot of time into wondering why other people do what they do, act how they act or live how they live. Why does she wear that? Why do they live in that town? If they drive that car they must be of a certain ethnicity.

Why is it that these are the things we focus our energy on instead of just seeing that there is another person wearing that outfit, another person living in that town, and another person coming out of that car.

I struggle as well with criticism. If I'm very honest, this world has taught me to judge first by the package that the person comes in (even if I'm not judging in a negative way) and then decide how I feel about it. And I'm realizing that even though I dedicate my time to not openly or outwardly judge others with my words, it still happens in my head. And I believe that is just as bad.

I do not accept that this is the way my mind has to be. That's not what my heart wants, it's only what my mind has been trained to do.

I'll tell you about my personal struggle with being critical. I think the people I have had the hardest time embracing recently, are people who outwardly judge other people. When I am sitting with someone who is very openly making judgemental statements about a person of any kind, I sit there feeling incredibly uncomfortable and unsure of how to react. In a strange chain reaction, I begin judging this person for being so judgemental, which is exactly what they are doing. And now here I am feeling conflicted and hypocritical. This person and I am exactly the same. We are both judging, both being critical...

Something that really helped me to get a grasp on this and begin to combat my own criticism of others was to remember that we are all put on this earth for different reasons. I feel that part of my purpose here is to love people and embrace them for who they are and then further to encourage and support people in any way that I can. I know this to be true in my heart. But not everyone is on this specific mission. Nor are their missions any more or less important. And therefore it is not my place to judge them for not being conscious of their critical behavior. They are focused on their life mission. And combating criticism takes a lot of energy!

Ultimately, it is not my job to judge people, change people, coach people, tell people what is right and what is wrong.... because who really knows! It is my job to embrace and love people. All people.

To paraphrase my friend K who is such a driving positive force in this world: I wonder how different the world would be if we put all that effort into loving and uplifting people. K is so pure in her heart about loving other people. I'm glad she is in the world doing what she does best, being herself. 

heart by springknitter

To dive just a little further into this topic before signing off for the day,  I feel it is really important to remember that when we strip everyone down to their very core, we are all human beings. We are all people. We are not jobs. We are not clothes. We are not even nationalities and ethnicities at that level. We are not our sexual preference. We are not our hometown. We are who we are. We are people. And everyone is beautiful in the same way. Everyone is the same at that level. No one has the power to build themselves up by knocking other people down. No one can judge any of those external things. It is so critical that we understand this concept and love each other because we are people. 

I'm not here to judge you.  I am here for the exact opposite actually. I am making it my personal mission not to judge you.  These topics are uncomfortable to talk about. These words are hard to write. But they have to be said. I don't judge you for your outward appearance.  I don't judge you if you feel uncomfortable with other people's lifestyles. I don't judge you if you feel awkward in a foreign country. I don't judge you if you think in some ways you are better than others. We all naturally go through these thoughts. ALL OF US! Even when we have the best intentions. But I do ask you to consider this topic with great importance. The quiet criticism in your head can be just as damaging to the world as the loud criticism. And maybe we can all be a little more aware and positive to those around us even quietly in our own thoughts. 

I think you are beautiful the way you are. I think whatever mission you are on this world, it is the right one from you. You are exactly where you are meant to be right now. I know that we are all different from one another in many ways but at our very core we are all the same and we all deserve the same love and respect. 

Lets embrace one another today, tomorrow and beyond. 

I have made an embrace sign as a reminder and often where my necklace from B with a note inside. You can make your own reminder! But I think the best reminder is to go out there and just be yourself and allow others to do the same :)

embrace 2 by springknitter

BPositive and BLoving to Others!

Love always,