6 July 2020 – Wash Your Spirit Clean

Weekly YES Quote!

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

John Muir

(Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir’s Best Writings (California Legacy Book) is an affiliate link)

Weekly Reflection

The Fourth of July has always been a massive party for me and my friends. Besides my birthday, which usually falls on Memorial Day Weekend, the Fourth of July is by far my favorite holiday.

We plan a beach day, BBQ, or hangout session of some sort to spend the day without a care in the world, enjoying each other’s company while celebrating America’s Birthday.

Hello red, white, and blue everywhere!

But this year, with obvious reason… not so much.

Stress and anxiety had been mounting for me as the holiday weekend approached.

Would there be fireworks? Would I see my friends? If we could get a small group together, would we be able to chill on the beach and finish the day with a bonfire? Would anyone even want to get together? Would we be able to celebrate America’s birthday with some semblance of our stereotypical SoCal style?

So, rather than stay in San Diego, California, over the holiday weekend wondering what would and would not be available or happen, my close girlfriends and I loaded the car and hit the road for Durango, Colorado.

We planned a weekend to yoga, hike, river raft, lie in the hammock to enjoy a good book, paddle board… any activity that would get us outside and out of our negative head space.

And I will tell you, we have done just that: yoga, hike, river raft, read, and paddle board.

As John Muir says in this week’s yes quote:

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

Sometimes we need to immerse ourselves in nature to properly cleanse the spirit.

For me that meant leaving Southern California for Colorado.

For you it may mean something different.

What’s important is taking the time to get out of our regular routine to transport ourselves into Mother Nature’s loving embrace.

Weekly Challenge

When was the last time you stepped out into nature?

I’m not saying go surround yourself by trees to the point where no light pollution from town is visible (unless that’s your jam).

Maybe there’s a park you’ve been wanting to picnic at.

Maybe there’s a beach you’ve been wanting to walk to feel the light ocean breeze, sand between your toes, and salt water misting on your face.

Maybe there’s a grove of trees you’ve been wanting to take a casual stroll through.

Maybe there’s a river, creek, lake, or other body of water you’ve been wanting to dip your feet in while letting your mind wander.

Maybe there’s an outdoor walking path you’ve been wanting to walk or run.

Whatever your nature spot is, go there.

Take the time to sit in nature and release the worries that have been mounting.

Maybe the Fourth of July holiday doesn’t matter to you – that’s fine. The Fourth of July holiday is only one occasion we haven’t been able to fully partake in.

We’ve missed birthdays, other holidays, regular gatherings… shoot, basic hugging and handshakes have been discarded by the wayside.

We’ve all been halted from making or having plans for various reasons due to this global pandemic.

So take the time to go out into your happy place in nature.

Take the time to breathe in the fresh air to put life back into your amazing body.

Take the time to cleanse your spirit.

Challenge yourself to go do something in nature this week.

And when you’re in nature, take the time to let go of what you don’t have control over and simply appreciate that you’re here.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more Weekly Yes Quotes to help set your intention to kick start your week.

The link to Fred D White’s, Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir’s Best Writings (California Legacy Book), is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book following my link I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection! 

I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and how stepping out into nature has affected your life.

 

 

 

29 June 2020 – From Ashes We Rise

Weekly YES Quote!

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

(Do Something Beautiful for God: The Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa 365 Daily Reflections is an affiliate link)

Weekly Reflection

One year and one week ago marks the anniversary of my brother taking his life.

One year ago today marks the anniversary of his cremation.

I remember taking shots of Maker’s Mark 46 while we inevitably waited to approach the cremation chamber.

Then, after a couple of shots and some nice and snarky words (sappiness would’ve made my brother pop the casket top to give us the finger one last time), we watched the casket enter the chamber, door shut, and hello reality again.

I sometimes let myself feel sadness, but I also remember that each of us has a choice. We choose how we want to walk through this life or if we don’t. No one else, unless we relinquish control over the greatest gift bestowed onto us, can live this life for us.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

Everything that has life will one day come to an end.

What’s important is that – for no matter how long we’re here – we make every moment count. 

We’re each unique, beautiful, strong, motivated, conscientious, willed, important, determined… in our own way or for something or someone we care deeply about. There are a million + adjectives I could list.

Something sparks life in each of us. Something gives us a reason to exist. Something drives us forward. Something makes us yearn for me. You have to define your something.

So, if you’re holding yourself back for any reason, please, tell that reason to F*** off. 

Tell the thing, person, place, mentality to take a hike.

Remove the boulder blocking your path towards a full and happy life.

My brother wasn’t able to defeat his demons in his human form. Even when he sought help from professionals he wasn’t able to overcome his issues. He would jokingly (and sometimes not) stick up his middle finger to life with a fatty grin on his quirky face… but it was all just a facade.

Don’t let this be your fate. This is your life.

You are the play maker. You can overcome any obstacle you face. You are the captain of your destiny. You are the only person who can hold you down. And you deserve to live the best, most full life you can imagine.

You will rise if you want to badly enough.

Weekly Challenge

Every day is a choice.

Every day we choose to open our eyes and say, “hell world,” even if it’s through half-open eyes with the knowledge that the coffee maker is exactly 21 steps from the side of the bed you choose to sleep on (yes, I know the exact step count to my coffee maker).

So tell me, what makes you tick?

What gets your blood pumping, heart racing, and mouth widening smile to beam across your lovely face? 

The challenge for this week will sound simple, but as you get to the activity you may find yourself racking your brain for more answers. I know the first time I did this activity – and it’s been many times since – that I still run into a typical hmmm… what else? scenario.

This week, write down 21 reasons why you exist. 

I want you to keep this list close to you – in a journal/planner, on a piece of paper folded in your wallet/purse, on a napkin next to your bedside table, in a Google Doc… whatever medium makes sense for you so that can easily reference the list.

The list doesn’t need to be fancy or beautifully written (oof, if you could see my penmanship you’d cringe).

But the list needs to be nearby so that you can reference it often – especially whenever you’re not feeling like your best and brightest you.

This activity may seem silly or like a waste of your time, but I promise you it is not.

For one, it gives you the opportunity to see exactly how badass you are! Gloat a bit! Feel awesome and indulge in your awesomeness! This is between you and you.

The list gives you something to reflect on when you’re not feeling up to par. That moment something just doesn’t quite go your way… pull that list out, read it over, and feel empowered by the reasons you know you’re here.

We’re each here for unique reasons.

Only you can define what those reasons are.

Even if you survey and seek advice from others, at the end of the day those answers need to resonate with you.

So list them out. List at least 21 reasons why you’re here. And, if you can (and I know you can!), go beyond 21 reasons.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more Weekly Yes Quotes to help set your intention to kick start your week.

The link to the daily meditations book, Do Something Beautiful for God: The Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa 365 Daily Reflections, is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book following my link I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection! I wake up every morning, crack open my meditations book, and reflect before beginning my day.

I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and what some of the responses are on your 21 reasons list!

 

 

 

22 June 2020 – Let it Wash Away

Weekly YES Quote!

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

(The Penelopiad is an affiliate link)

Weekly Reflection

When you look at water, what do you see? What do you feel?

For me there’s something soothing about being by the water.

Ocean, lake, river, creek, pond, fountain. Hell, sometimes just being in my bathtub.

The sight alone brings a sense of calming, release, and peace.

Water represents life. It represents rebirth.

(Makes sense why religions use water to baptize their new followers.)

That feeling when you jump in, just completely immersing yourself in water, there is an instant release. All the negative energy flooding your insides creating dissonance within your beautiful self. Drifting away, dissipating around you.   

When you immerse yourself in water you feel cleaner, purer. You feel yourself releasing the negative energy that may have clung to your external features or is flooding your insides creating dissonance within your beautiful self.

When I’m most distraught, feeling overly anxious, or just need time to clear my head, I gravitate towards the water.

Today is an especially emotional day for me and my close friends. Today marks the one year anniversary of one of my brothers taking his life.

Life was painful for him. Despite the front he put up of a larger-than-life wild child, he had a deep rooted depression growing inside of him. Ultimately, he didn’t choose life. The suffering was too great and won out.

So here I sit at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego looking out at the harbor with tears streaming down my face remembering him.

The things I remember the most about my brother include his obnoxiously contagious laughter and crooked smile. He could fashion a delicious cocktail out of anything (seriously, he would put MacGyver to shame in a cocktail making competition). Our mutual love for pugs, we had matching pug sock and pug Christmas sweaters. His inability to lie to me when I sought his opinion on something, even when I wanted him to just agree with me. I still appreciated him standing his ground and telling me what he truly thought even if it was brutally opposite of what I wanted to hear.

Last year I was by his casket’s side mourning, laughing, hysterically crying and and then more laughing… the full spectrum of emotions. He took his life in his home country of The Netherlands and this year, one year later, because of the COVID-19 travel bans (which I do not disagree with), I am in my home of San Diego thousands of miles away from family on this horrific anniversary.

So while the sight of the harbor is helping to sooth my sorrows by reminding me that I’m alive, well, and happy. I wish I was boating at the lake behind my parent’s house in the Netherlands being blanketed by that body of water. But knowing they are there by the water and I am here by the water brings me some sense of comfort. 

Life isn’t always fair, just, or what we want. Sometimes life just outright sucks. But if anything I’ve learned this year is that…(Life isn’t this continuous grandiose party, extravaganza, or festival.) Life isn’t anything other than what we make of it.

Last year I was biking through the town near home after we had picked up the ashes just taking in the beauty of it. He hated this place, he didn’t feel like he belonged here. It was not a place of comfort. And from that moment on I made a promise to myself that I would challenge myself to find beauty in everything. Even moments and places I didn’t feel comfortable in, I would find a way to find something. For him. 

So, while I know tomorrow will be a better day, and the day after that I’ll push to make even better, make today great.

Make today so great that you’ll want to wake up again tomorrow.

Through the loss of my brother I’ve learned many things, but one in particular I will never decide otherwise on: I choose life.

I want to live. I want to be surrounded by others who want to live. And  I never want to take life for granted.

Even though I would give anything to be with my family today, I am grateful that I have access to the water. I can be on the ocean shores of San Diego, and they can be on the lake shore of Noordlaren, and we are connected. 

Even when life seems to suck the most I’d rather be alive dealing with the suckiness than not be here at all.

Weekly Challenge

We all have either lost someone or will lose someone dear to us, and we each have a way of dealing with that loss.

Dealing with loss always leads me to water.

I need to hear the waves crashing against the shoreline, pier, or rocky embankment.

I need to feel the cool air as it glides over the water’s surface towards me.

I need to see the life below the surface thriving in its ecosystem.

I need to be reborn into the feeling that life goes on despite the heartache.

We’re all strong, but sometimes we need an extra boost. We need a hand to hold. We need a body of water to soothe us.

So whatever you’re facing today, know that I stand with you. I support you. I want you to feel and be alive despite the internal turmoil you may be facing.

If sitting next to a body of water relieves you as it does me, then please do it.

Do it. Whatever that “it” is is entirely yours. Only you can fulfill it.

Take this week to think about what brings you life.

Take this week to think about what makes your life worth living.

Take this week to enhance the world with your presence.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more Weekly Yes Quotes to help set your intention to kick start your week.

The link to Margaret Atwood’s novella, The Penelopiad, is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book following my link I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection! 

I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and why you choose life.

 

 

 

15 June 2020 – Unleash Yourself

Weekly YES Quote!

“Each of us was born to bring forth something that has never existed: a way of being, a family, an idea, art, a community – something brand-new. We are here to fully introduce ourselves, to impose ourselves and ideas and thoughts and dreams onto the world, leaving it changed forever by who we are and what we bring forth from our depths. So we cannot contort ourselves to fit into the visible order. We must unleash ourselves and watch the world reorder itself in front of our eyes.

Glennon Doyle from her amazingly empowering book, Untamed

 (Untamed is an affiliate link)

Weekly Reflection

The past two weeks have been a lot to say the least.

They’ve made me question whether or not I’m doing enough for my community and others around the world. They’ve made me question whether or not I’m being a strong enough woman when I cannot humor with the pain others are unfairly enduring. They’ve made me question whether or not I’m enough as I am to help move our society forward.

I’ve been so wrapped up in how others must be feeling that I started to lose sight of how I feel.

As such, I decided I needed to refocus.

I spent a lot of time at the beach over the course of the past week.

The sight of the ocean, the warmth of the sun on my skin, and the sound of the waves crashing against the shoreline help me to recenter and reset my intentions.

I set my phone aside (no music thank you while Mother Nature is graciously singing to me), crack open my book (I’m currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle thanks to a beautiful friend gifting it to me as a birthday present), and set to relaxing while nourishing my mind.

I let go of the tension in my face, neck, shoulders, chest, back, and legs.

I allowed myself to inhale deeply and exhale even more deeply.

With each breath I felt the tension further release from every part of my being.

We each have a lot to offer. Of this fact I have zero doubt. But we cannot present the world with that offer unless we’re fully centered and restored as ourselves. We have to be at our strongest, most committed to self in order to make waves of change for others.

We are each here for a reason. 

As Glennon Doyle says in this week’s yes quote,

“Each of us was born to bring forth something that has never existed: a way of being, a family, an idea, art, a community – something brand-new. We are here to fully introduce ourselves, to impose ourselves and ideas and thoughts and dreams onto the world, leaving it changed forever by who we are and what we bring forth from our depths.”

The world is waiting for you!

The world wants to see what you can do!

The world is yearning for the unique contribution that only you can bring to it!

Whether you needed to recenter in the midst of all this chaos and forward progression as I did (for amazing change, just like I said in last week’s yes post, “Use Your Voice,” is coming and will inspire change for other areas where the system isn’t working for us), or you’re feeling grand as you are (and darn tootin’ I think you’re grand even if you needed to recenter as I did!), think about what you have to bring forth.

Weekly Challenge

I cannot say it better than Glennon Doyle does in the latter portion of today’s yes quote,

“So we cannot contort ourselves to fit into the visible order. We must unleash ourselves and watch the world reorder itself in front of our eyes.”

Glennon held herself back from unleashing her true potential.

She wrote Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life and then Love Warrior: A Memoir before truly opening herself up to the world in her book, which brings us this week’s yes quote, Untamed.

She now has a beautiful wife, and three lovely children with her ex-husband. But, had she embraced her love for women over men despite societal pressure to be a good mother, wife… you name it, she wouldn’t have started to truly live and embrace her existence at age 40.

Here she is now truly living as herself.

So I challenge you this week to embrace your unique self and determine why you exist.

What sparks joy into your life?

What makes you feel whole?

What brings a massive smile to your beautiful face?

Don’t wait until you’re 40 to determine why you exist. Don’t wait another minute!

Unleash yourself upon the world this week by embracing the reason you’re here, and showing it what you have to offer.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more Weekly Yes Quotes to help set your intention to kick start your week.

The links to Glennon Doyle’s books, Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, Love Warrior: A Memoir, and Untamed, are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books following my links I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection! Although I’m in the middle of her book, Untamed, it is already among my favorites.
Glennon Doyle struggled to fit into society all the while defying who she was as a woman. She hid her true self, her amazingly beautiful self, from the world until one day she said to herself, “No more.”
I cannot recommend the book, Untamed, enough to those of you who are yearning for some empowerment to shine in today’s society or if you’re simply in the mood to continue your awesome journey.

I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and what you think your unique purpose is.

8 June 2020 – Use Your Voice

Weekly YES Quote!

“We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, ‘We, the people.’

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

(Pocket RBG Wisdom: Supreme Quotes and Inspired Musings from Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

 (Pocket RBG Wisdom: Supreme Quotes and Inspired Musings from Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an affiliate link)

Weekly Reflection

This past Saturday marked one full week of consistent protests since Sunday, May 31.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week since posting last week’s weekly Yes quote (if you haven’t read last week’s yes post, please do so by following this link: Power and Unity in Numbers).

Our world and the systems we’ve setup to support it aren’t perfect by any means. There are flaws left and right that are becoming more and more apparent.

The death of George Floyd is only one of many tragic events that have horribly taken place.

Three officers stood by and watched as Mr Floyd begged for his life until he took his last breath. THREE!

I won’t dwell on the facts of what happened because you can research them on your own and you should if you haven’t already.

I will focus on the fact that it took a man dying before his time to bring attention to a major flaw in our law enforcement system.

This system as well as many others deserve our attention, and we should rise up, use our voices, and stand for what we believe in before the system we’re passionate about fixing takes another life. 

No one deserves to die like Mr Floyd did.

No family deserves to lose a loved one as Mr Floyd’s family has had to struggle with.

No person should ever have to walk in fear of succumbing to the same fate.

We are a beautiful group of people.

We can make a change. We can make a difference. 

But we can only move mountains if we use our voices.

I’m not saying you should join the protests, rallies, or marches.

I’m not saying you should post to your social media accounts, call/text people, or go door to door verbally expressing your opinions.

I’m not saying you should post signage in your windows for all your neighbors to see.

We each have a unique voice, and we should use it for the betterment of our society.

So whatever that voice is for you… please, use it.

This afternoon I walked around downtown San Diego with a friend to see how the area was reacting to all of the protests, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way the community was handling businesses boarding up their doors and windows: with art.

Beautiful people were expressing their feelings towards the horrific event through art via painting murals on the boards.

Better yet, when I stopped to applaud them, the first ladies I spoke with, Alex and Mo, welcomed me to pick up a brush and join them. Ladies, I will be joining you again later on this week as we make these boards a canvas towards systemic change (I’ll also post pictures down below that I snapped while on my walk for reference).

These people, who care immensely about a topic dear to them, are using their voices to drive systemic change.

Don’t let fear or laziness or any other procrastination adjective get in the way of you using your voice. And remember, a voice isn’t necessarily a sound your mouth makes. Your voice is a form of communication.

As the notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been quoted saying,

We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, ‘We, the people.’

Together we can do anything we set our minds to.

Weekly Challenge

What causes have you been wanting to support, but have been dragging your feet to finally pull the trigger and take part?

Think on it.

There’s always something dear to our hearts no matter our race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, backgrounds, cultures…

Maybe Black Lives Matter is your passion, and you’re barreling in head first to drive systemic change! Good for you if so! Your hard work is paying off: the world is seeing the numbers of people coming together over this shared passion and change is coming.

Maybe animal cruelty is your passion, and the thought of laboratories using them for science experiments or butcher shops chopping away without a second thought regarding that creature’s life really gets under your skin.

Maybe gay rights is your passion, and seeing people you love or being unable yourself to legally wed a member of the same sex is infuriating to you. Love is love! I’m an advocate for that, and anyone who loves someone should be able to express their love however he or she wants.

I could list off so many more maybes, and it ails me at how long that list is.

We are a society that should be accepting and not repressing.

We are a society that should be forward not backward thinking.

We are a society that should be represented by a stronger system than we’ve proven it to be.

So do something about it before more lives suffer.

Your voice needs to be heard however you’re comfortable expressing your voice.

It’s your voice! It’s your society! It’s your time to use your voice to improve your society.

Without expressing your voice nothing will change and the status quo will remain the same. Of this I sadly have no doubt.

But, if we band together over issues that require attention, I know we can make positive change happen.

I challenge you to dig deep this week and think about what your passions in life are.

I challenge you to use your voice to address positive change for your passions.

You can make a difference if you believe in something strongly enough. You just have to use your voice.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more Weekly Yes Quotes to help set your intention to kick start your week.

The link to where I grabbed this week’s yes quote from, Pocket RBG Wisdom: Supreme Quotes and Inspired Musings from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is an affiliate link. If you purchase the book following my link I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection! This book is among my favorites – RBG is an amazing woman making huge leaps for our society, and having her book in my collection has helped to inspired me in my daily tasks.

I’d love it if you shared some of your passions with me and ways you’ve made advancements towards furthering your passions by commenting below!

Or, if you’re stuck with a huge heart ready to give, I’d love it if you commented below to reach out to myself and other readers to help you further your journey! 

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