"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Forgiveness and Grace

In recent years I've becoming very anti-judgement. I used to think that it was the way to hold people to a set of values that I felt was important. If I didn't judge someone, maybe I was in danger of doing the same thing. Or maybe it was more like it made me FEEL good that I didn't sin like the other guy. I could boost myself up.

It's so easy to point a finger at someone else but it has absolutely no value. Love what Robert Downey Jr. says in this clip.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Artist's Tale...

I love a good Ted talk - they always make me feel so smart... or inspired.... or something. I especially enjoyed this one, not only because he is from my current neck of the woods originally, but because it shows the value of art in a child's life and also is a clear story of success that a boy and then man had from following his dreams and being true to himself.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banish Negativity.... Feed the Positive

I've hit you pretty hard the past few days with positive thinking. The truth is that many of us are pretty negative.... at least I have been. Here are a few reasons we may tend toward the negative.

Our society if fueled by FEAR. The news reports all the BAD things going on. We learn about people who kill, fires, wars, natural disasters and disease. Speaking of disease... how many of you have watched the reports over and over and over again about needing to get a flu shot because the flu is killing people! But then they tell us that the flu shots aren't effective against the current flu but get it anyway. Fear....

We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Live can seem out of our control. Jobs seem less secure than they did in former days. The economy is shaky and it is increasingly harder to make a buck. We recently witnessed innocent children and teachers getting gunned down while minding their own business doing what they were supposed to be doing. In the light of these atrocities... it's easy to get negative.

Then there is the political climate. No matter which way you lean it can be scary and there are plenty of "reports" out there and media to hype you up one way or another. If you aren't careful, you become a mouthpiece for their filth and you continue the negativity.

Then there is personal negativity. Maybe you are discouraged, deeply disturbed by the way your life has turned out. You have a job that leaves you wanting, your marriage is troubled or didn't turn out at all and you are divorced. Maybe you have a child with disabilities or are worried about the health of a family member. Maybe you or someone you love suffers with a chronic condition. Maybe your finances are in the dumpster and every time you take a step to correct it, you are set back. We ALL have these areas of our lives that just don't seem to work for us. So what do we do.... complain... grumble and reinforce what we perceive as our reality that God has it in for us.... we are cursed... we have bad luck.... life sucks.... Oh to be us, the pathetic souls that we are and live our pathetic lifestyles.

Unfortunately, we get no relief when we are negative do we? It may feel good to cry and express our emotions, but moving past it seems to elude us. We continue to rehearse the unfairness of life in our minds and if we aren't careful it can become our identities. We all know those people don't we? The poor souls that call you up to complain about their lives for hours on end who don't ever seem to do something to change and move on. The negativity slimes us and soon we are drained in their presence. Imagine what it would be like to BE them.

The truth is that even if we think negativity is our reality and that we are speaking the truth... IT STILL DOESN'T SERVE US! Negativity does not serve you. It is needless and destructive and worse than that.... if you are at all spiritual you will understand that negativity is the opposite of gratitude. We cannot live in both thanksgiving and whining. One makes us feel good and edifies others around us, the other makes us want to crawl into a hole and die. One glorifies God by acknowledging His blessings in your life and the other raises its fist at the Most Holy One in defiance and rebellion. One is a mature expression of acceptance and love and the other is an immature pity party.

"Well... I only grumble about how rotten I am" you say. "When I forget my keys I tell myself what a stupid idiot I am." So, maybe your negativity is more a form of self-punishment? If you punish yourself then no one else will have to. You think that God will know that you are truly sorry for being so pathetic and will back off?

I have news for you.... God already knows you are dust but he certainly doesn't want you punishing something that he has made beautiful. Embrace your mistakes as part of your humanity. Laugh at your foibles and move on. A healthy person can laugh at themselves. You are no more or less perfect than anyone else. It's called being flesh and blood. Life is really like an obstacle course or that show "Knock out" where you run through your course and then out of the blue a big shoe comes out and knocks you off course. Laugh, brush off the dirt or soap suds and get back up and go again. Don't sit and cry about it or belittle yourself because you got broadsided. Half the time it might not even be your fault - you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's alright....

I can't think of ONE thing that a negative attitude is good for... not one. General negativity should just be struck off our list of life options. It's an exaggeration of a decisive action. For instance.... sometimes we feel a "no" to proceed on something. That's not negativity, that's making an informed decision. Negativity takes it to the next level by brooding and focusing on it. Negativity takes all our pain, misery and fear and magnifies it to the point that it can be nearly impossible to see around it.

So today.... make a promise to yourself to strike out negativity from your life. When you catch yourself saying and thinking negative things.... stop yourself mid track and turn every thought into a positive. Forgive yourself for being human and rejoice that there are always options for joy. The good news is that it's a learned behavior and the more you do it, the easier it will become (just like eating vegan style). Soon your natural attitude will be one of being happy and light. This will make you and your family happier and the world will enjoy your presence a bit more. Best of all.... you are bringing sunshine into your world all the time... even on the cloudy days and that my dear... is good for the soul!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is Your Belief System Sabotaging your Life?

Have your examined your beliefs lately?

I don't mean your religious beliefs.... I mean your personal beliefs.

For example, what do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your job? Your friends? The world? The government? Politics?

Our belief system can become very entrenched in our hearts but sometimes it is not based on fact or reality, however given time our belief system will BECOME our reality.

Let me say that again.... OUR BELIEF SYSTEM BECOMES OUR REALITY. Unless you examine your beliefs they will run your life and may ruin it too depending on what you believe.

Let me give you an example. A single woman dates three duds in a row. Her belief is now... "There are no good single guys out there... all the good ones are married". Now she sets out to make her belief system accurate... she meets more creeps.

Here's another example... politics. If you believe a certain politician is a horrible person, you will look for evidence to back it up and no doubt you will find it in your own mind. Truth is, he or she may not be as bad as you are perceiving. It works in reverse too.... If you believe someone is wonderful, you may be blind to their faults.

Ok, let's try it a bit closer to home. Did you know that most of your beliefs are formed between the ages of 1-6? Your parents play a huge part in this. If your parents believe a certain way, you are most likely going to adopt the same way of believing. For instance, if you dad comes home from work very tired every day, grumbling about his job you may adopt the belief that "work is hard and no one really likes their job". This will set you up to choose a job that you don't like because that's what jobs are. However, if your parent gleans great satisfaction and meaning from their job, you will be more prone to pursue employment that suits you.

Here's another one. "Money doesn't grow on trees. Money is hard to come by". If this is your belief system you are subconsciously going to back it up with your reality. It will be hard to make money. Or "There's never enough money to do what I want". Again, you will make your belief system your reality.

The truth is that in life we don't get what we deserve... we get what we BELIEVE we deserve. We will only allow good things in our life in as much as we believe that we should get them. If you have a poor self esteem you will not pursue that person that you REALLY want to marry because you don't think you can get them. You will not go after the job or degree you REALLY want because you won't believe you deserve it. It's a great recipe for living below your potential AND a good set up for an unhappy life! Unfortunately then your bad life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as you spiral down to emotionally dark places where you would rather not be.

This can be a tricky business. Perhaps in church you have learned that we are SINNERS saved by grace however the emphasis was that we are sinners. We will tend in life to focus on our sins, instead of the grace part of the equation. We may get consumed with our wickedness and our humanity and despise those parts of ourselves. We will clearly see evidence every day that we are the worst of the worst and we will live in shame and distain.

Do you think that a mighty God that paid with his life for those sins would really want you to be focusing on what he already defeated? I don't think so! God wants you to live by the grace that has saved you, understanding that even though you are "fallen" you are now redeemed. He wants you to live in a "justification" mode.... just as if you never sinned because as far as He is concerned - it's covered... you are free to THRIVE and ENJOY life! We are sinners SAVED by GRACE. Oh... it's SOOO much better that way. Focus on Heaven instead of Hell. Focus on FREEDOM instead of slavery. Those who sow in tears... shall reap in JOY. There's your focus.... abundant life!

Today it snowed. Some people are happy. It is beautiful. It covers the ground and the trees. It nourishes the earth. Schools were cancelled which make children bubble over with glee. There are opportunities to sled or ski. OTHER people are grumbling. "Now I have to shovel. What a mess! I can't go out or I'll break my neck". It's all how you look at things.

So today.... and every day to come.... examine your hearts. What beliefs are you putting stock in that do not serve you anymore.  The truth is that we will find evidence to support anything we believe. Start looking at the bright side of life instead of the darkness. Start being the head and not the tail of a coin. They are BOTH there, but wouldn't you rather focus on the beauty in the world? It's your choice.... one will let you skip and one will make you trip. I'd rather dance through my journey than do a face plant on my path.... how about you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Breaking Ungodly Soul Ties

Just stumbled across this powerful video of youth standing against temptation and leading others to victory.

Positive self-talk that blesses your life....

You wake up in the morning, and your first thought is "ugh... another day. I feel like crap. I wish I didn't have to get up so early all the time. Oh, it's so hard to get old, my bones are aching. Ouch, my feet....."

As you make your way toward the bathroom you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. "Oh, aren't you just beautiful, you say sarcastically. Could you be any uglier? Look at that blotchy skin and your hair... ugh."

You shower and head down to breakfast, grabbing coffee and a bowl of dry sugary cereal with milk. "I've got to stop drinking this coffee. I'm so pathetic. Why do I eat this crap anyway? Why can't I learn to like fruit?"

You get in your car and think..."What a piece of junk. It's falling apart right around me. Too bad I'm so poor that I can't get a better car."

As you drive out of your driveway, another car almost broadsides you. "Stupid idiot! How did you get your license anyway? Who taught you to drive! There are so many crazy drivers out here on the road. Hope I don't get hit. I can't afford to have my insurance go up. Why do I have to make this stupid commute anyway?"

As you pull into work. "Figures, I always have to park on the far side of the parking lot and of course it's raining. I will look like a drowned rat when I get in there and my new shoes will be ruined."

The air is heavy in your office. As you look around people are crabby and tense as they think about the new "reorg" policy that is coming out. "I'll never get that promotion now. Probably just lose my job. Then I'll be out on the streets. My kids will have to quit college and what will become of them?"

You get the message. Whether or not these are the things that you say to yourself it may be time to monitor your own self-talk. Most of us are guilty of negative internal dialogue. From the time we were young, we learned to monitor ourselves. "Don't eat that, it will rot your teeth." "That color does not look good on you". "If you get fat, no one will like you". "When you say those things, you make people angry". 

These messages are given to us to train us, however we incorporate them into our lives and learn to discipline and punish ourselves with our own conversation. My question is, does focusing on the negative or what needs to change help you to be a better person? Does beating yourself up give you the results that you want?

If I eat a slice of cake, does it help for me to say "You stupid jerk, why did you eat that again? You have NO willpower whatsoever!" 

Here is the thought that you are reinforcing... I HAVE NO WILLPOWER WHATSOEVER. hmmm, I'm thinking that isn't what you want to go for. How about this.... I HAVE GREAT WILLPOWER AND AM KIND TO MY BODY WITH MY FOOD CHOICES. There, that sounds better. Even if you eat the cake, you are now reprogramming your subconscious to make better food choices at another time.

Louise Hay is the queen mother of positive affirmations and self talk. She has many wonderful books and resources to help you build a better life through thinking and speaking positively.  Here's a little snippet from a movie that she made a few years ago that I found very uplifting. You can watch it on youtube.

There is no benefit to saying negative things about yourself. "I'm stupid. I'm fat. I'm sick. I have emotional issues. I'm pathetic. I'm a failure. I'm worthless."

God made each of you beautiful. You are filled with talents and have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You are one of a kind. You are special. You matter and without you, this world would not be as rich and lovely. 

Believe these things and tell them to yourself every day, many times. Speak positive things into your life. 

Let's try it again. You get up in the morning.....

"Thank you God for this wonderful day. Many new, amazing opportunities are coming my way today and I can't wait to embrace all that God has for me".
"Thank you God for wonderful food that will nourish my body"
"Thank you Lord that I drive safely to work everyday in this car that you have provided for me. Thank you that I have a fulfilling job that more pays me well."
"Thank you for the rain which nourishes the earth and the great food which blesses my body. I'm thankful for a healthy body that enjoys exercise".
"I am grateful that I have many friends in this great employment opportunity. I am deeply enriched and fulfilled and I know that all things work together for my good in this job and in future opportunities. I am grateful that I earn all the money that I need for my life".

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bringing out the TRUE you....

Do you know who you are? Do you embrace the real you? Are you confident that you present your true self to the world? Do you even know what that is?

I've got a great free tool for you today! dressingyourtruth.com. Go ahead and sign up for the FREE video mailings that you will receive every day. In them, you will learn about four dominant personality types and will figure out how you fit into them. Your job is to identify yourself and then run with it!

Women will LOVE this program.... but it works for men too!

Why bother? Well, here's why... because it helps you. It will help you know how to dress to bring your personality out. It will help you to "brand" yourself in your business. The more people understand and know who you are, the more they will be able to trust you. The more definable your business is, the more you will know who your ideal client is too.

Understanding your personality helps in a positive self-image because you no longer have to apologize for what others feel is a character flaw. You conflicts might just be a result of different personality styles! You can learn to accept others and yourself.

Loving yourself and others is our primary mission in life.

Celebrate yourself today and present a clearer image to the world! It's good for the soul!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weight Loss Inspiration

Eating unhealthy foods leads to my unhappiness. Eating unhealthy foods leads to my unhappiness. Eating unhealthy foods leads to my unhappiness. EATING UNHEALTHY FOODS LEADS TO MY UNHAPPINESS.
It feels better to choose to avoid it and be healthy as I truly deserve!!!!

Here's the truth of the matter. By eating a clean, healthy diet you are treating yourself very well. You are respecting your body as the temple of God. You are nourishing it with all manner of love.

By eating unhealthy foods you are committing an act of self-hate and murder. Sounds extreme - I know... but we all hear the news. Type 2 diabetes in on the rise due to the growing obesity in America. Many children will die before their parents. Cancers continue to take the lives of many, and if not take their lives, force people to go into surgery and horrible treatments. Heart disease continues to be the number 1 killer. And where does heart disease come from, blocked arteries due to our poor diets of animal proteins. Cheeseburgers and pizza are the staple of our diets. Add to it chinese food and ice cream and we feel plenty happy and fulfilled and we are eating ourselves into the grave!

You may tell yourself... well, my parents ate those foods and they are healthy or lived into their 90's so I think that I may be immune from these problems. The truth is that until the 1950's, no one ate quite this badly. After WWII convenience foods were on the rise. In the 1970's fast food became more prevalent and as we get busier, more families are running out for a burger, fries and a shake more often.  We can't count on our genetic pool to save us and thinking that it just won't happen to us is sheer self-denial.

The whole truth.....Eating unhealthy foods leads to our unhappiness! If we trace it down this is what it looks like:

You eat a food that you're craving....  it tastes VERY good. Now let me just say that those foods are EVERYWHERE. It's hard to eat out without getting something smothered with cheese and grease. A salad doesn't look good compared to the plate of ribs and mashed potatoes. TV commercials, billboards, smells barrage you all day long and entice you to pleasure your ego with yummy tastes. You have been conditioned to eat like this. You may even be addicted to different foods. It's all you know, it's all you want and it may even consume you. Even if you have a bit of resolve, peer pressure will talk you out of it very quickly for we figure if we all do it, it can't be that bad. We are in good company.
So you eat it.... and it's everything you dreamed it would be and more. It's really good.
So good in fact that You would like some MORE....
You eat it....
You feel guilty because you know it's really not good for you.
     or you don't feel guilty and don't care because you figure TOMORROW you'll eat right....
           like tomorrow you will feel like eating the spinach instead of the wet bean burrito... right
If you ate too much of a tasty food you may feel guilty for over eating.....
Self-punishment comes in for not having will power....
      or to avoid that feeling of self-distain we eat to cover up the emotion thus starting the cycle again.
You gain weight.... There's a recipe for real unhappiness. Clothing doesn't fit, you are forced to buy a larger size thus costing you money that you wouldn't have had to spend. You are no longer able to find clothing easily that expresses your true nature. You feel ugly. Your self esteem plummets. You can't walk by a mirror without feeling terrible about yourself. You avoid photographs striking yourself from the family record books. You do worse on your career or at your job because you are self-conscious. If you are single, you doubt you will ever attract someone of the opposite sex that you would be interested in. It's hard to walk across a room or up the stairs without getting winded. You have trouble sleeping because you can't get comfortable. You develop things like sleep apnea and other health issues. Your blood pressure rises. Your pantyhose split. Your shoes are uncomfortable. When you sit on a plane you are squished right into a complete stranger and God forbid, they are heavy too. And the worse problem is that you can't get away from the fat... it goes with you wherever you go! Pretty soon it shows up in your face. You feel it when you put your arms down. You fold your arms around your waste as if to hide it. You are a wardrobe of black, black and more black and people accuse you of being 'goth'. You break toilet seats, rub against glass items in the store where you may break them and have to pay for them. You are self-conscious during sex. Need I go on?

You undercut my personal growth because you don't listen to my soul when it gives me a message of what needs to change in my life to make it more effective. Instead, I pop something in my mouth and ignore the messages, thus continuing in painful life situations that could be improved.

You hide from others, thus isolating ourselves from friends.

So, here's the question.... is that dish of ice cream worth ALL of that? Does that yummy girly drink or 3rd glass of wine going to make up for the misery that is now upon you.

Yes, we say.... just this once. OR, I'll start on Monday or when I get back from this trip. Famous last words.... TOMORROW I will take care of business and do it.

And we know that TOMORROW never comes.

The good news is this: Once you develop healthy eating habits, it is really not hard to continue them! Yes, 9 weeks as a Vegan - and it's become so easy I almost think that I'm cheating - but I'm not. I'm very happy with my menu these days and I don't have all the side effects that I used to have from eating. In fact, this week I had a cold. It was very mild. Today I woke up with kind of an upset stomach... again, very mild. I wonder what I would have felt like this week had I been in poor shape.

Do yourself a favor. Raise your happiness quota. It really is within your power to do. If you are not overweight, you still raise your joy by eating right because you are doing something good for your body. You are raising the chances of a long and healthy life. You are honoring God with your body and you will feel really good about yourself for it.

I find that if we can fix just ONE area of our life, we can directly affect all areas of our lives in a positive manner. It's like pick up sticks or a domino effect. The areas of our lives intersect like lace. If you heal your body, you can heal your relationships. If your relationships are going well, then you are better able to put yourself into work and be effective. If your body is functioning well, you will be sharper and more productive at work and kinder to your loved ones. If your job is going well, you will have a better outlook on other areas of life. It all goes together. One little part becoming unravelled can affect the other parts.

So here's my little tip for today - another Daily OM course called...Heal your Body Image, Lose the Weight by Max Highstein. It consists of two days with recordings that you can play over and over again of meditations and affirmations. It's a pay what you can afford course as the others and I'm really enjoying it.

So, do something today to MAKE you happy - not lead to your unhappiness! Yes, it will take time to establish good habits and feel good about it... but aren't you worth it?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More weight loss tips...

Hi everyone.... thought I'd give you a little update on my progress.

It's been 8 1/2 weeks since I started my little vegan challenge. As you know I chose not to weight myself because I felt it would be too crushing for me to see the number so I can't tell you how much weight I have lost. I also didn't want to be obsessive about weight, feeling discouraged by plateaus or low numbers since weight has such a tendency to fluctuate. Even though I started this with the goal of getting into my little black dress, I jumped back on the health bandwagon pretty quickly and it now becomes about living a long and healthy life.

Years ago I was very educated on proper nutrition and I lived by what I knew. Sometime about 12 years ago I fell off the wagon being overwhelmed with feeding my little children, one who refused anything of "healthy" nature and still does. Because of her physical disability even getting exercise became difficult and I joined the ranks of the rest of the americans on the SAD diet. In addition, I used the struggles that I was experiencing in life to "justify" my poor eating habits. But let's face it, life is full of struggles, if you are going to wait to eat right till things are working for you, you might as well give it up now. It had disastrous consequences as I packed on 100 pounds, increased my cholesterol and blood pressure and who knows what it did to my blood sugar levels. As the years increased, so did my chances of adding some serious health issues to my already compromised immune system. Struggles abound in life, but now I added a whole heap of new trials to my mountain!

So, here I am. I made it through the holidays, not perfect, but pretty darn good! I was very afraid that I wouldn't be able to get back to my resolve but that little black dress affair in just 2 weeks time kept me VERY honest and I am proud to report that I zipped it up the other night - yippee. Happy dance....

In addition, my wedding rings are comfortable on my fingers and I wear my blue jeans all the time. They are even starting to become a tad looser and more comfortable. Things are definitely heading in the right direction.

To keep myself motivated over the holidays I spent a good deal of time in my favorite clothing stores, trying on items. 50% off sales made it even more exciting and I was able to purchase a few of my favorites.  It's all going very well and I am able to devote more of my mental resources to other avenues now as eating right has become second nature to me.

Today my husband and I watched two movies on Netflix instant since we are all down for the count with a pesky little cold. Nothing serious, but enough to make us not want to venture out into the chilly New England air. For me it was my second time of viewing them and I was glad to be able to share my vision with my husband who has been cooking for the rest of the family while I prepare my healthy food. If you haven't seen these movies already, watch them for some good motivation. "Fat, sick and Nearly Dead" by Joe Cross is a fantastic documentary on how he went on a 60 day juice fast and rebooted his life and inspired many others along the way. "Knife over Fork" is a documentary about the connection between heart disease, cancers and diabetes and our diets. These are two that you won't want to miss if you are at all concerned about your health or those of your loved ones. I noticed that there are more on the list of Netflix so soon I will take in a few more as the need for determination arises.

I have another resource for you. "Skinny Thinking" by Laura Katleman-Prue. Right now you can purchase a Kindle copy for only 99 cents! In addition, she is offering a course in DailyOM again for as little as $1.00 that will give you some more motivation. I find that it helps to continue to add new support as I head on this journey. One method may work more for some than others so it's great to try and see what shoe fits but you can't go wrong for 99 cents.

I spent last week working on my business and personal goals with the assistance of the goddess Leona guides. They were fantastic! They helped me look at last year and define so much more about what I wanted from this year. It was a great use of $17.99 and will pay off great dividends this year so if you haven't purchased them yet, click on the link to the right on the side of my blog and pick up copies for yourself. 

There are so many things in life that we just can't control! We can't control others and how they will treat us or how their behavior will affect us. We can't control natural disasters or accidents. In one way we can't control our health, sometimes bodies fail no matter what we do however,  we CAN control what we eat and how we keep our body fit, thus pushing our health in a positive direction. We can also control our personal lives and business in the way of goal setting and intentions. The truth is that when we take just ONE positive step, many of the other parts of life fall in order too! I'm looking forward to this year and watching some things really come together. Join me this year in working to make this the best year yet - it's good for the soul!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Prayer and Possibility

A new year is upon us. A chance for change. A chance to right the wrongs of the past and not to repeat them anymore. A fresh start with new possibilities.

I've taken a little break from my blog the past week or two. Truth is, I decided to practice what I preach and engage in all of life. That meant that I took time to shop for my loved ones and spent time visiting with the people that I cherish the most. I gave them the most valuable gift that I can give, time, listening ears, laughter and smiles. Finally, I took a good amount of time as of late to pray.

Perhaps it was the tragedy in Newtown that drew me in to the throne room of God. The need to hold up those who were grieving so deeply with a hole that would change their lives forever and severely mar their joy. But my praying continued on into the days and into the nights.

I prayed for wisdom and guidance on how to parent my children. I lifted up people that I knew and their needs but mostly I prayed for myself. Yep, it's true.... I asked for God to guide my path with a clarity and passion that I have not prayed with for many years.

There was a time that I heeded the call to pray for hours on end each day. After many disappointments and watching the answers to my prayers head in different directions, I became discouraged and let it all go. But alas, there comes a time when one must go back to their roots, to their firm belief that God does indeed care about us and does hear our prayers.

And in the small little moments of the place between breathing and praying I sent up a little wish and God heard....

The holiday season has been hard on my veganic intentions. Holiday parties filled with delicious smells and abundance in food weakened my resolve. After eating raw veggies for 8 weeks, chinese food had a special allure as did the variety of delicious soups that my sister and her husband put out every New Year's Day. And the coffee punch.... ugh!!!  I didn't get carried away in my eating, but at the same time, I didn't deprive myself either. With each event, it became harder to be satisfied with my vegan ways. My healthful meals soon started to feel like a drudgery that I could not continue. The weight loss wasn't enough to spur me on in the good way. And yet... there's that little black cocktail dress just 3 weeks away....

So while I was contemplating this, I resolved to purchase a juicer to jumpstart and detox myself after the holidays and get me back in the swing of things. I was not able however to go for a juicer that I really wanted and as I looked at the cheap substitutes something held me back from purchasing it. So I sent a little wish up to God for a particular juicer.

Two days ago I went to visit my dear cousin and friend. And do you know what she had on her basement stairs suffering from lack of use??? You guessed it.... the very juicer that I so desired!!! She offered to let me borrow it and it sits now proudly on my kitchen counter waiting to work it's magic.

It may seem like a small thing... but it was large to me. It reminded me of the time many years ago that I wished for music to a particular song that spoke to my heart. Five minutes later the postman was at my door with a package addressed to me with THAT very song in the mix! Do things like this happen everyday when we pray? No, but it's great to take notice that a great and powerful God takes pleasure in giving us what we need and desire.

So this year for me in addition to living passionately, I'm going to once again start each day with some extravagant, intense prayer. Prayer that will change the world. Prayer that will change my life. Prayer that will allow just a smidgen of Heaven into the air around me and those I love. Expectantly I will pray and look for those little answers to my silent wishes.... How about you?

It's not about resolutions really.... it's about the power of possibility and who makes the impossible possible but an almighty God! Let's face it, we can strive all we want to accomplish goals and make our world a better place, but there is so much that is NOT in our power. So here's my recipe for a good mix of success in life.... firm goals, surrender and release mixed in with the presence of a loving God. It sounds like something that's good for the soul!