Welcome to Bringing Back Awesome, where we hope to enrich your life every single day with a dash of excitement and a punch of awesomeness!

Fall in love with your life

fall in love with your life

One of the most important things that each of us can do for ourselves as individuals is to fall in love with our own life.

But how do you do that if you’re not really even happy with your life?

Seek it out.

A seemingly simple three-word sentence that in real life isn’t all that simple. Or is it?

This life is a journey. You can use that journey to seek out those things that are meaningful to you or you can spend your time in other ways. The choice is yours. Will it be easy? For some, perhaps, for others, perhaps not. But whether it is difficult or easy, we each have the same amount of time. Today. We all only have today. And some of us will be lucky enough to get tomorrow too.

We need to use that time wisely, because it surely is fleeting.

That being said, perhaps you’ve noticed that Denise and I haven’t been around here much lately. We’ve both been out there in the world creating lives worthy of falling in love with. Denise has been building Glow Health Coaching, and has been spending her time helping her clients to find wellness in their lives. And I have been spending time growing into my home styling and interior design business, Homage Style, so I can create beauty and serenity in clients’ homes.

We’ve let the things that are most important to us as individuals rise to the top. Not that Bringing Back Awesome isn’t important – it is and we both love it – rather that we’ve felt the siren call of other things in our lives, things that allow us to fall in love with our own lives.

So we won’t be around as much because we’re out in the world falling in love. Perhaps you should get out there and fall in love too!

 

 

Not everyone will understand

Cute-dolphins-dolphins-6939942-351-500Not everyone will understand your chosen path.

Not everyone will understand the burning urge within you to do what you feel needs to be done.

Sometimes not even those closest to you, even those who support you unconditionally, will understand what drives you.

And there comes a point at which you need to make it not matter to you any more. A point at which your burning desire – your passion or your desire to escape whatever chains are currently binding you – becomes the driving force in your life and you don’t feel the need to explain anymore, you just take action.

People aren’t going to understand how you could quit a good job like the one you have and the one they admire. But if it’s holding your back from your dreams, they may not get it – they’re not their dreams. So stop explaining and start doing.

Or how you could leave a marriage to such a wonderful spouse? Yes, they are wonderful, but are they the right person for you?

Or why you’re suddenly acting all irresponsible and hippy-like, when you’ve been perfectly compliant and complacent up to this point? They won’t understand that you haven’t been being authentic to yourself for years. They’re more concerned with how uncomfortable the change in you makes them feel. And that’s normal. Part of human nature to want things to stay the same.

Nor will they understand why you feel the need to travel the world when you have so much right in front of you. Because traveling the world is your dream, not theirs.

These are just a few examples of possible ways in which the dreamers and doers in this world may be misunderstood. But in that moment when you’re taking your last breath, the naysayers won’t be there with you to take away your regret. So be true to yourself and recognize that not everyone is going to see life through the same prism as you.

Not everyone will understand what drives you to be your most authentic self. And that’s OK. Just don’t expect them to.

 

Who would you be if?

mirror

Who would you be if something terrible hadn’t happened to you?

Who would you be if you hadn’t experienced that trauma?

Do you ever wonder what you would be like if that terrible thing hadn’t happened in your childhood or even something that happened as an adult?

Do you feel you can picture the person who you would be? Confident. Proud. Holding your head up high. Standing tall.

I know a lot of terrible things can happen to people – have happened to people – but the only way you’re going to get past it – and granted, you’ll never be that same person because you were affected by whatever happened to you – is to be that person whom you thought you might have been.

But how can you begin to really regain yourself, to recapture the person you might have been? Fake it ’til you make it. Stand tall. Live the life of that person. Grow into that person.

Think about who you might have been, who you want to be, and begin to live that life and make it yours.

Reclaim the life that might have been.

So your life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would

 
wrong way
OK, so your life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would.
 
Maybe you’re feeling bitter. Or disappointed. Or maybe even angry.
 
Well, you could keep on living your life like that, or you can decide to make a change. If you want to keep on living like that you should probably stop reading right now. If you want to make a change let’s talk about how.

 

Decide if your dreams are lost

First, you need to decide if your lost dreams are truly lost. Are they something that you could still pursue now? If so, read on. If not, it’s time to put the dream in the past. To release it. To send it out to sea.
 
Sure, you could always become a concert pianist at age 80. But perhaps you can’t become a rock ‘n roll drummer at age 45 when you have children to support and a lot of responsibilities. So decide if it’s time to let it go and move on.
 
They say that it’s better to be a has-been than never having been anything at all, but I disagree. It’s better to figure out your new dreams and pursue them than to live in the past, full of wishful thinking and regrets.
 
Identify if your bitterness and anger is holding you back or coloring your world. If it is, seek help to work through it. Perhaps you may need help letting go and in that case it may be helpful to talk with a professional.
 
Maybe the best thing to do is to figure out your next step. Figure out what your new dreams are and  pursue them. So how do we do that?
 
 

Identify a new dream you want to pursue

Think about that thing you’ve been wanting to do for a while now and decide if that’s one of the dreams you want to pursue. (Maybe it’s not that simple. Maybe you don’t know what you want to do now. I will address that in a future article.)

 

Create a plan

This is not anywhere near as simple as it sounds. It’s a simple three-word sentence – create a plan – but it is actually amazingly complex. Don’t let that deter you. Think about your end goal and then think about how to accomplish it. Mind you this step may take months or years especially if you are older with a lot of responsibilities.
 
It’s also important to recognize that everything has a season.
 
 

Take tiny steps

Finally, begin to take tiny steps toward your end goal. Set small, meaningful goals. Create assignments for yourself with timelines attached, because too often it’s easy to have big dreams but not actually take steps forward. So if you give yourself small assignments, you’ll get closer and closer to your end goal.
 
If you miss a deadline, don’t sweat it. Adjust your timelines and keep moving. This sounds amazingly easy, but honestly the most difficult part is holding yourself accountable for your own future. There are so many people in this world who have dreams and never follow through on them. Let’s not be those people. Let’s set goals and move forward in our lives to accomplish those things that we want to do, even if it takes months or years or even decades. Because if we don’t make a move and take steps to accomplish those goals, we will live our lives as bitter, regretful wishful thinkers who wish we had done something different, when in fact we could have.
 
Our time is limited so let’s use it wisely.

 

Stalled

stalled-outSometimes in life you get stalled.

Like a stalled car, your engine just won’t turn over.

Maybe you’re not inspired to eat healthy or maybe you’re just feeling too tired to go to the gym. Maybe it’s something bigger and more serious, like you’re bored at your job or you’re not feeling it in your relationship any more. Or perhaps something that was going so well and humming along has slowed to a crawl. (Like me writing on this blog…)

What to do?

There is a school of thought that’s going to tell you to work hard to infuse some electricity into the situation to give it a jump start. And keep on plugging away at it. Push harder and harder. Never give up.

That’s one way.

But what if you were to just let it ride for a while? Wait it out. Take a rest.

Sometimes the engine is flooded and it just needs time for the gas to dissipate and get back to normal. Maybe you just need a little time. Maybe you need to take some time to let your slump dissipate and get back to normal.

Or who knows…maybe this is the new normal.

Just remember, you don’t always have to approach the world or your own life circumstances at full tilt.

Because sometimes in life we just stall out for a bit and need a little time.

Don’t you think you owe that much to yourself?

The Power of Self Respect

self respectThere will be times in your life when you have to take the road less traveled. When you need to make a decision that even if it hurts, it’s the only option that will allow you to feel good about yourself and your choices. Knowing that even though you may be feeling sad about the outcome, there’s a part of you that feels so very empowered to know that you didn’t let yet another person walk all over you.

That is the power of self respect.

It’s not something that we all have, but it sure as hell is something that every single one of us can develop over time.

Even if all you have is a tiny seed of self respect and a tiny sliver of sunlight to nurture it, plant that seed. Water it with self love and by putting yourself first. It will begin to grow into a beautiful delicate seedling.

But like a seedling, it will need to be cared for. Nurture it by putting your needs and best interests above the whims of someone else, not in a selfish way, but in the most loving way possible. And soon that seedling will grow into a sapling, and before long it will become a tree with the strength of a giant redwood.

It is then that you will feel empowered when you have to make a tough decision. Even when it hurts.

That is the power of self respect. Go plant that seed.

Inspiration

14073_848746125183934_1809607389239112596_nIt’s been a while since I’ve been here. I haven’t felt inspired to write. Things weren’t happening naturally, so I laid low, and just let life kind of do its thing.

And T H E N…this weekend happened. Some background before we get to the weekend.

In December, a friend put a question out in a message if any of us would be interested in doing a Spartan Race with her. Now I had been receiving a lot of info from them on FB and researched it…and thought about doing the race…so I said I would do it with her. I signed up that day.

In January, I was sidelined for three (3) weeks with an upper respiratory infection that was on the verge of becoming pneumonia. So I was out of commission for that time. I was sleeping a lot, skipping the gym, and questioning whether or not I was going to be ready physically to do this race. I’m also not young anymore, and while many think I’m in great shape, I’m definitely not in my prime, and not quite as fit as even I think I am, but that I will always work on. Two weeks ago, I hit the gym, five (5) days a week, because I knew this race was coming up, and I couldn’t back out.

Now, if you don’t know anything about this race, I’m here to tell you, it’s intense. It’s scaling walls, climbing walls and crossing cargo nets mid-air to get to the other side of the wall in order to get down, 4.8 miles of running and hiking trails, pools of mud you have to climb out of, crawling under barbed wire, throwing spears. You get the idea.

So as Sunday approached (race day), I was getting more nervous. On Saturday, my oldest daughter had to attend an interview to attend a middle school. I was nervous for her. She was nervous, but I think I may have been more nervous. We practiced possible questions as well as nailing down her answers. At the time of the interview, we were all asked to come with her and much to my surprise, she nailed each question. I was so impressed with her poise and composure, and her compassion in some of her answers. It was a proud parenting moment.

But here’s the thing; she inspired me. She inspired me to work through all that fear, take a deep breath, and move through each question with precision and ease. She was my inspiration for getting through the Spartan Race yesterday.

I fought through my fears, I tackled every single obstacle with ease and strategy, many I was shocked I even accomplished! Some I could have finished but when I lost focus, I stumbled and had to do 30 burpees (google that if you don’t know what I’m talking about – then multiply that by 6. I probably did that many and more).

I didn’t finish with a great time, but that wasn’t important to me. It was important I looked fear in the face, tried every obstacle at least once, and then moved on…to the 30 burpees or the next obstacle. If my 12 year old daughter could do it, I HAD to do it.

It was a great weekend, for all of us. I am proud of my daughter! I’m proud of what I accomplished as well. I learned a lot about myself, tackled some fears, and realized I have really come a long way. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve come really, quite far.

So this week, look for inspiration in others, or be the inspiration that others are trying to find. Do something amazing, no matter how big or small.

1722922_848746268517253_3068701937191035861_n

What’s your story?

whats your story

We all have stories we tell ourselves and others about ourselves or about our lives. Sometimes they’re true, sometimes they’re plagues with half-truths, and sometimes they’re just outright lies.

I don’t mean that people are necessarily lying about who they are or about the context of their lives. What I mean is that we may be telling ourselves a story that is self-limiting or will create a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts. Creating negativity in our minds.

Need some examples to ponder?

I’m always broke.

I’m never going to be happy.

I’m always going to be alone.

I’m never going to get ahead.

Nobody ever cares about me.

Get where I’m going with this? Any of those sound familiar?

If we always say these types of negative things, over and over, even if we’re just “joking,” our minds begins to believe what they hear. And we begin to internalize the stories we’re telling ourselves and eventually we begin to believe. And when we believe it, we make it happen.

But what to do?

Change your story.

But how?

First, stop yourself from spouting the simple statements that are untrue and negative. Then begin to replace them with something better, something that you won’t mind if it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here are some good responses to the negative quotes above…

I’m working on improving my finances and responsibility with money.

I’m growing a little happier each day.

Soon I will find that special someone.

I’m working hard to make something good out of my life.

I will find caring people who love me for who I am.

Are all of these things going to magically happen today, just because you said so? Most likely not. But you will begin to change your story every day, little by little by allowing goodness to grow in your life and not expecting the worst and setting yourself up for the worst to happen.

And it doesn’t mean that you won’t have setbacks or just plain bad days when you’re feeling down in the dumps. But just because you’re on a downswing doesn’t mean that you should let the crappy talk back in. Continue to catch yourself and don’t let yourself go around telling stories. Except for the good ones. Because you deserve to tell the very best stories about yourself.

Now what’s your story?

 

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When anger flares

Spanish-bullfighterWe’ve all experienced anger from time to time.

But sometimes it takes us by surprise. And rarely is it considered socially acceptable to be angry, no matter how we express it.

Yet anger still happens. And each of us have different ways of expressing (or not expressing) our angry feelings.

Some of us are hot heads, who blast our anger the moment we feel it. How’s that working out for you? Well, you get it off your chest, but it’s not always productive in a relationship. In fact, it’s often very destructive and pushes people away.

Others of us let it simmer while resentment builds. Probably also not working out so well either, when we feel so much anger towards someone we can no longer even look them in the eye.

Still others offer up a delightful combo of resentment and blow up…letting the resentment and anger fester until they can no longer take it and then comes a volcanic eruption of anger completely out of left field – at least for the person on the receiving end. Also not doing wonders for your relationships, I’m guessing.

And then there are the passive aggressive types, who will just poke at you “jokingly” about issues that “don’t really bother them…no they’re just kidding” until you can no longer stand to be around them, eventually eroding at least the healthier relationships.

So what to do when anger flares? Especially when it’s directed at another person, perhaps someone we care a lot about?

Consider anger as a red flag. An indication that something is off balance in a relationship. A notification from your inner self that something needs to be looked at and addressed.

So for hotheads, rather than flying off the handle, what if you were to think about anger as an indicator that something needs to be addressed, but perhaps when you’ve cooled down a bit and can address it more rationally and less reactively?

Or if you’re a simmering type, why not think about what needs to be said and make an effort to say it with detachment and coolness, sharing your feelings so that you don’t let the resentment build over time?

And for you volcanic types, definitely think about your approach and address the matter before you get explosive.

Passive aggressive? Stop joking and poking about the things that irritate you. Find a way to express what’s really bothering you and stop pushing people away.

All new ways of doing things, but certainly much healthier for all types of anger.

Will it be easy? No, because a) it’s new territory and b) it’s never really easy to express angry feelings, especially if you’re trying to be mature and responsible. However, it will help you to feel better and will allow your relationships to grow and develop in a more healthy, meaningful way.

So next time anger flares, take a step back and think about your approach. You won’t regret it.

 

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Oh, the holidays

santa-kids-cryingOh, the holidays…

The holidays are upon us and everyone is cranking up the joy. Well, maybe not quite everyone.

Sometimes the holidays aren’t as easy as sitting on Santa’s lap. There are presents to buy, bills to pay, trees and homes to decorate, relatives to contend with, and for some, there’s the loneliness of spending the holidays solo.

So here’s what we’re going to do this year. Our best.

Yup, that’s it. We’re going to do our best and forgive and forget the rest.

Just get by.

Don’t try to be the most fantastical gift giver or the twinkliest decorator.

Just get by.

Have to deal with the realities of family? And the crush of certain questions?

When are you having a baby?

What? No boyfriend again this year?

Hmmm…put on a little weight?

Who just called you to wish you Happy New Year? Isn’t she married?

Why do you treat your dog like a child?

Do you actually enjoy being alone?

…just to mention a few. (Hopefully you at least chuckled a bit…)

Prepare yourself for the questions with a funny or short but sweet answer. Practice in advance if you need to. Also practice getting up from the couch immediately to go grab another drink or finger sandwich to extract yourself from the barrage of questions.

Oh dear, I think I hear the nacho cheese dip bubbling over in the fondue pot…

…and believe me, no one wants the cheese dip to go off the rails.

And if you’re lonely, well, honestly this one is a little harder. Try to make plans to be with people. Don’t just sit by yourself. Or do like I’m going to do and plan your own party. This year I’m holding the First Annual Christmas Open House for Lost Souls, Lonely Hearts, Those Far Away From Home, and Others Who are Generally Bored After the Presents are Opened. On Christmas evening.

Several people have already have given me a funny look and questioned the wisdom of having a party on Christmas — who will actually come? Won’t people be with their loved ones?

Well, yes, hopefully. And those who aren’t can swing by. Hopefully they’ll feel a little more joyful, and I know that I will too. And if three people show up, perfect. Or if 30 people show up, that’s fine too. I just want to share some joy with whomever may want or need a little.

So over the next couple of weeks, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Do your best to let yourself off the hook and have some fun.

Now go sit on Santa’s lap…

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