Thursday, December 25, 2014

Find Your Passion, Find Your Love

I started this entry a few months back, but I'm finally finishing it... Enjoy.

I spent the afternoon grading and listening to inspirational speeches while I did so... I find that personal development during grading helps me focus in a weird way.  It helps the time pass with the possibility of maintaining sanity.  See, I don't love grading papers.... I love teaching - a lot.  However, very few teachers love grading papers.  I love grading scenes and theatre projects (thus, being a full-time theatre teacher next year (see I started this awhile back) is going to be heaven), but not papers... Eh.

The point of this entry, however, is not to discuss my like or dislike of grading.  This is about inspiration and motivation.  This is about finding time in your day, every day, to really give moments to personal development and inner-growth.  My life has dramatically changed over the past year as I have redirected and again redirected myself because of personal development in many areas.  One area, is the development of my mind and intellect.  I have found that as I read more, listen to speeches or talks, and study on words of motivational value, I am a more full and driven individual.

One speech I was recently listening to was a speech from a few years back, given by Steve Jobs at a college graduation ceremony.  I know Jobs can be hyped, but I really do love a lot of his advice and think his unique approach and path are emulatable - yes, I made up that word - in certain circumstances.  I love this advice he gives, which can apply to our lives in school, professions, friends, love, religion, and personal growth:

 "You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path." 
- Steve Jobs

He goes on to talk about truly loving what you do and in a way, who you are becoming and can become: 

"You've got to find what you love... Do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking... you'll know when you find it.  Keep looking - don't settle." 
- Steve Jobs

I love this.  Too often we find ourselves stuck in positions of life where we are unhappy or discontent.  These feelings can be a breeding means for two things --> complaint or change.  We can find ourselves growing more negative as we allow the discontent we feel and experience to overrun our lives and thoughts, or we can work to "change our stars."  We can notice these feelings or unhappiness as a call to move.  We are not meant to be stationary creatures, and we are given desires in our hearts to lead us where we need to go in life.  I truly believe we should not settle to settle.  

Now, I'm not saying allow discontent to run your life and never find your happiness so you're constantly running from opportunities or using this as an excuse.  You know, deep down, when you have found yourself in a place you're suppose to be.  You also know, deep down when you should be chasing a different dream or goal.  You know, deep down when a person isn't right for you or when being with someone is a good option to try and pursue.  Sometimes we walk a little more in faith than knowledge, but we feel promptings or even gut-guidance no matter what religious beliefs you harbor.  Don't settle - follow your heart till you arrive at the place YOU should be or with the person YOU should be with because love is present.  Start to genuinely trust yourself.

Here's some real advice to put into action... In the words of Robin Roberts, when fear knocks, let faith answer the door.  Find what you love, embrace that God puts passion into our lives for a reason, take a scary (but necessary) step in the direction of what you love, and have faith when that fear starts knocking... There is soon to be another blog entry on this very topic, so for now, I'll say, to be continued...

Ps Here is a site with some great speeches, some of which have the quotes I found for this article:

Song of the Day: In the spirit of Christmas, which it is, I recnetly recorded a cover of "Grown-up Christmas List," that I wouldlove you to check out! Enjoy and remember, reaching out to serve others is the greatest gift we can give this season... :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's a Love/Hate Relationship...

I love running.

I know. I never thought I would hear me say (or see my type) these words either.... ever. Must be a rather nippy day in hell.

All the same, I love running.

I love the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a mile, and even more so when you keep going past that first mile. I love the sense of clearing your mind and just listening to the music or your breathe as you run on back trails and side-pavement. I love the air chilling your face slightly, and the comradery you have with the other runners that pass you on the trail. I love that I feel better, healthier, and stronger with each run... and for that reason, this sticker sums it up.

Yep. I love running... when it's done. Hahaha! There are times, in fairness, that I genuinely love running while running and getting in the groove. However, I usually feel all these feelings of accomplishment and strength post-run. Let's face it - I'd much rather lift something heavy. I genuinely enjoy and crave lifting sessions. I WANT to run sometimes, but I don't crave getting a run in very often.

Sometimes in life, we have to find the joy in things that are hard for us, or the things we genuinely might not enjoy a ton. The key is gratitude. Perfect for Thanksgiving, right? :) As you look for the blessing of actually being ABLE to do those things, you realize the benefits and good behind them. You realize the crispness of the air and waves of encouragement from strangers with like-minded goals. You realize the way you feel and how your legs are literally getting stronger. You realize that you are blessed to be ABLE to run...

This Thanksgiving, my goal is to recognize something everyday of November that I usually dislike or "hate," are take time to recognize the blessing and benefits behind that thing. Today, I am grateful for a body that works and the ability to do hard things. Running is HARD for me sometimes, but I change my mindset, take the first quick step, and breathe deep as I go... Along the trail, I start to see the beauty around me and become more at one with the body I've been given. I have a body that is growing stronger, healthier, and "happier," and THAT is something to make me say, "Thank You."


Song of the Day: Let's start this off right with a "holiday" song about gratitude and recognizing the beauty around us. Here is JOsh Groban's song "Thankful." Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Passion: What Are You Living For?

As of late, the following statement has been said, texted to, sent to, or simply "found" me over again and again:

Find your passion and figure out how to get paid for it...

Passion.  I am an individual overflowing with passion, indulging in the taste of my passions.  I find joy in little things - joy in most things.  However, PASSION is different... Passion overcomes a person's being and there is almost a physical change when they speak with that passion.

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." - Oprah Winfrey

I want to experience MORE passion in my life... Sharing what I love brings out a side of me that makes me more fulfilled as a person.  There are a few places that I find passion in my life...

1. I find passion in teaching.  I find that when I am teaching someone else something new or further developing their minds/thought-process, I feel excited.  I feel that energy and want to keep going and going!  I love teaching and personal development.  I feel passionate when I HELP someone else... PEOPLE bring me a sense of passion and teaching allows me to tape into that passion to help others grow and develop.  Teaching THEATRE allows me to help others find passion within an arena I love and cherish... It's the biggest blessing that I'll be teaching full-time theatre next year.
2. I find passion in my Savior.  Above all, I know my Savior lives, and that He died for me because He loves me.  I know that I have a Heavenly Father who sent my Savior to this earth to live and die for me, then live again.  I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be the BEST version of myself and truly learn to live righteously.  I can truly be happy through living like Him and accepting His gift on my behalf... and that's beautiful.  What is there not to be passionate about in a man who loves me enough to DIE for me and take on all my imperfections, simply because He wants me to be ultimately happy?  I am passionate about Christ.
3.  I am passionate about music.  There is nothing I love to do more than singing... nothing.  I feel my happiest, healthiest, and most intelligent when singing and experiencing music.  I learn through song and from melodies... I teach through them as well.  I feel like everything I do in life is creating a personal soundtrack and I hear the melodies playing, feel the rhythms pumping, and see the pictures each lyric creates.  I live in song, and if you were inside my head you would probably think I was slightly crazy.  How many literally (and I'm not misusing the word here) think of parts in their day as actual music videos or think in song as response to others?  I do.  How many hear melodies and song in a walk outside, a car-ride home, or a typing keyboard late at night?  I do. Music makes me alive... music is true passion.  

"Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastination and weird clothes."  - Bill Crosby

I don't believe I have been giving my all to my passions... Some of them - here and there.  However, I feel like over the past few years I've become wrapped up in what the world or society thinks I should become, or what feels safe and easy.  I'm happy... but I truly believe I am happier when giving my all to my PASSIONS.  Is anything really worth doing if there isn't passion within the action?

“Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead.” - Joss Whedon

Passion IS Life.  Life IS NOT Passion... but a FULFILLED and FULL life IS Passion. 

I'm ready to step into a life only filled with passion.  If you want to do the same, you're more than welcome to walk beside me.  


Song of the Day:  I recently decided to start doing covers in an attempt to feel more confident in putting my voice out there again and just to sing more... I LOVE singing, in case you missed that, and so I'm going to make an effort each way to share that love and passion with others.  Thus, here is my first cover.  I sang Sara Bareilles's song, "Gravity."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lost N' Found: Snail Knowledge

There is beauty is becoming lost for awhile.

Have you ever gotten into your car just to drive until you aren't exactly sure where you are?  You might be able to get back to a place you recognize, but for a time, you're lost...

Have you ever wondered around a city, just exploring and taking in the culture, sights, smells, sounds, and people?  You find yourself in a part of town you're unfamiliar with, and aren't exactly sure how you got to this place.  

Have you ever been so in love with someone you find your will is almost lost?  Your will is almost taken from you in moments and replaced (sometimes misplaced) in another individual or their needs.  You may or may not have claimed yourself IN love with them, but you LOVED them... which causes one to lose sight at times and be blinded in love - for better or for worse.

Have you been lost in someone's eyes?  Lost in a moment - good or bad?  Lost in thought?

I have been lost in all these aspects of life.  I have found the beauty in being lost... in being swept away in a moment, in time, in an individual, in thought.  It's amazing to let go of care or worry and just BE LOST...

I have also been the victim of getting lost... I've felt fear at not knowing where I was, wandering down alleys to try and find my way back to a hostel as it's getting dark.  I've felt the embarrassment of losing myself in a moment when it was neither the time, nor the place.  I've felt the pain in losing my emotions to another individual who didn't have the same intention to return my affection.  I've felt the loneliness of losing my way spiritually and separating my will from the will of my Father in Heaven, and Savior.

There are times when a hyper-emotionally-aware individual, such as myself, just needs the emotional release of letting go and losing yourself for just a time.  Sometimes, getting LOST is beautiful and strengthening!  How is there genuine joy in losing yourself?

Because in those moments, I sincerely believe we find ourselves. 

I have discovered more of who I truly am and who I truly want to be in moments where I have just "let go" and spent time wandering... As I often do, I relate things to religious parallels.  In recent discussions had, I looked back at the story of Moses parting the red sea for the children of Israel.  After the mighty miracle of walking on dry (not even muddy!) ground across the span of the sea and being safe the entire time, they spent years "wandering" in process toward the promise land.  Although God was guiding them, they often found themselves in lost moments... and they felt all the feelings you have (good and bad) in being lost. They had miracles given to them left and right and still felt lost at moments... still had trouble with trust and faith. However, within being lost, many of them sincerely found a relationship with Christ and built their true character.

There is beauty in getting lost.

Over the past few years, I have had numerous moments of being "lost," as I searched for the right place for grad school, the right job post-Germany, the right job post-graduate school, and within many other points in my life.  I filled time and kept wandering and striving toward discovery.  Looking back, it is SO clear how LED I was in my LOST state.  Heavenly Father always had my best interest at heart.  Personally, I can look back and see the past SIX YEARS aligning for me to have the job of Theatre teacher at my specific High School.  My current job was literally six-years in the making.  I can see one thing happening because of my choices, then another, then another.... God has said "never will I lave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)  I was being LED while I felt slightly LOST in those moments.

My life right now is the same in certain aspects, and I just keep trusting that Heavenly Father is leading me on the path I need to be on... even if I seem a little bit "lost" right now, I feel like I am finding my true self, my true purpose, in the process of my wandering journey.... and it's worth the uncertainty and wait.  It's taught me to replace that uncertainty with FAITH.  Faith in my Savior, faith in myself, faith in others.... I am learning the true power and purpose of faith.

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." - Deuteronomy 31:6

One last thing this has all taught me.  The power of patience.

I am known to be very patient with children (thank you nannying and teaching), and almost nothing else... Haha!  I want to lose weight faster.  I want the driver in front of me to move over so I can kick it into high gear.  I want my braces to come off sooner, and my hair to grow longer quicker.  I want my knee to heal faster so I can run again and lift legs.  I want my voice to be perfectly in shape again by tomorrow. I want all my questions to be answered at the snap of my fingers.... These wants aren't necessarily "bad," but I am recognizing Heavenly Father's hand guiding my impatient desires to allow me to actually learn something from and within each experience.  This instant-gratification woman must learn the beauty in every inch - in every line drawn - and not always rush to the final picture.  There is joy in the journey.... That's where we grow.  We grow when we are lost.

And what's the sweetest part about being lost?  You won't stay lost for forever... 
and there is also beauty in being found.  

Song of the Day:  This is perfect... listen to the lyrics!  "Snails see the benefit, the beauty in every inch!" Here is "Snails" by The Format!  I loved this band... :)  To see what inspired this pick, see the pictures in THIS LINK. Enjoy!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dear YOU -

Dear YOU,

Do you know what you are worth?  I mean, do you really see yourself for all that you are and in the eyes that your Heavenly Father sees you?  In a non-religious sector, do you see yourself for the intelligence, kindness, beauty, talent, and humanity you have to offer?

YOU are worth EVERY happiness.

YOU are worth more than for what you give yourself credit.

You sell yourself short, and you have been selling yourself short.

YOU teach others to grow and see themselves for the beauty they are, and YOU make others believe in themselves.  This is no small feat....

YOU change lives and help others shape their passions and ambitions.  This is no minimal task...

YOU make others smile and believe in something because you believe in them.  THIS is love and compassion, and not all know how to show that to others the way you do.

This is not meant to brag about you or encourage conceit.  On the contrary, this is to help YOU humbly recognize the vast amount of amazingness you have and FINALLY embrace it.  You can move mountains for some, but mostly for yourself... Get rid of the mountains in your way.  Climb over them and learn along the way, or travel around them and discover new paths yet to be found.  Blast through them and tunnel through an exciting adventure... keep learning and growing, and making change happen... because YOU CAN do it.  YOU can make change happen for others AND for yourself.

YOU are just as important as others.  Others are important, but stop for a second and recognize the beauty that is in YOU.  YOU deserve every happiness... and therefore, sometimes you have to serve yourself.  It's okay - really.

I know your whole life you've felt like serving others is the only way to truly find yourself and be happy, but you have to serve YOU too... You have to make time for yourself, your dreams, your passions, your desires.  It's okay to push something else aside sometimes, or to say "no."

I'm going back to YOU deserve every happiness...

YOU cannot sit and play the waiting game with life, with jobs, with men or women, with friends, with decisions... You deserve to ACT and BECOME.  Don't wait on others to help you determine what you want or deserve.  You deserve it all, so go get it... Don't change your personality, interests, or standards for someone else. Don't wait on a man or woman to give you self-worth or validation.  If they don't see how amazing you are and take hold of that, walk.  Keep walking until someone starts to walk and talk beside you... Take THEIR hand because they'll make the effort to keep up with you and they'll recognize your worth.

Find someone who knows YOUR worth, but also know THEIR OWN worth.

Look to God and let Him tell you of your worth... Let Him help you discover what you deserve and be patient with Him.  Just because you're playing on His time-table at times, doesn't mean you can't actively be going for things and that you must forget your own worth.

You WILL fail at things... It does not denote your value.  "...Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble, but by the number of times we rise up..." (Uchtdorf)  Keep on rising up to the challenge because YOU can defeat every obstacle.

YOU are strong.  YOU are amazing.  YOU are worth all the desires your heart can create and muster...

... Believe that of yourself and always, always remember how incredible YOU are simply because YOU are YOU.


***This is my message to everyone.  Read it and internalize it for YOU.  Take what you need and pass it on to others so they can do the same.

Song of the Day:  This song sang to me today in light of this entry...  Here's an old one, but a good one - Jessica Andrews with "Who I Am."  Enjoy. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Emotion VS Logic

Life is interesting.

The places that we end up, the friendships and relationships we fall into or create, the experiences we have that allow growth from joy and pain... They make up the person that we are and design the chapters of our life.  There have been times I have chosen wisely, and times I have made some massive decisive errors.  Some of these epic failures have developed out of my knowingly moving forward with a stupid decision.  Some of these mistakes just fell upon me because one action demanded a reaction.  Either way, things happen for a reason.

I tend to make decent decisions and know what's best for me... sometimes I deny that internal knowledge for a contradictory desire, feelings of fear, or even slight confusion, often caused by my emotions.  See, I'm an emotional person.  SHOCKER?  I think not.  I may not be a massive "crier," but everyone who has met me could easily pin-point the bleeding heart on my sleeve and dripping emotion creeping from each pore.  Sorry for the visual, but it simply further illustrates my point.

My question is, WHY are some people designed that way?  Why are are some of us creatures of emotional design, while others are made with logic sequencing as their scepter? I think there is power in both avenues, and beauty within both as well.  This isn't a "grass is greener" moment.  It is simply the acknowledgement of these different individuals existing and the wonderment at WHY we are created the way we are.  If I was literally created with a more emotion-driven DNA strand (in body and spirit), that does not mean I can not learn and master skills on the logically-driven side.  It may be hard as hell, but it's possible.  However, what are I suppose to learn from the way I was created?  How can I help others with this way I was created?  These questions are some I have recently been pondering on as I attempt to reach out and serve others, and help those around me in the best way I know how to offer...

Being the emotional girl I am, I just need to take a second and say that the "blessing and curse" statement completely applies here... That being said, I am so grateful I am me.  I am so grateful I have been given my eyes to see the world and those individuals around me.  I am so grateful I was given my heart to feel others the way I can... The ability to feel someone's brightest smiles and hidden sorrows has always been something that allows me to show love, empathy, and understanding for others.  I'm not perfect at this, but I'm thankful for the moments it has helped me in aiding another find greater enlightenment or joy.

There is no real purpose for the entry, other than to record these thoughts... and this is just the venue I needed to do that today. 

Song of the Day:  I love this man's voice... I discovered him a few weeks back and have been obsessed since.  Here is Sam Smith with "Make It To Me."  I love the line, "you're the one designed for me."  Gorgeous - enjoy! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm Finally Saying I Love You To That Special Someone...

Dear Linze, 
Please bring more snacks with you to school.  I know you always think you bring enough food, but you should bring more... and more options.  I'm always hungry, and it's your responsibility to keep feeding me.

Your Body

Dear Body, 
I'm doing my best!  I have this reversal problem from most... My stomach is, in fact, bigger than my eyes.  I know - who'da thunk it?  It gets expensive feeding you and keeping you happy, bringing as many varying options as possible when I'm constantly on the run!  I'll make a mental and literal note to feed you more. 


Dear Linze, 
Be smart though.  Put those cheetos from the back closet down... NOW.  They're not helping me at all.

Your Thighs

P.S.  Your gallbladder is also whispering a thank you for not partaking in the junk food too.  
P.S.S.  Your abs say they're STARTING to feel the light... can't see it yet, but they'll keep pushing through.  

If I could show you the way I feel now compared to the past, you'd understand the choices I am making for my body.  If If I could show you the progress pictures I have already taken, you'd realize why I making the choices I am for my body.  Well, I COULD show you those pictures... yea, not happening yet.  I've made some VAST improvements on my body image, but I'm not yet where I feel comfortable showing past to present... and it's about more than those pictures.

I feel better.  I feel healthier.  I feel happier.  I know I am moving in a direction I want to stay living in for the rest of my life.  I am learning to love my body in full for the first time.  I am finally saying I love you to that special someone... and that someone is me.

Happy V-Day, you sexy beast, you.

Song of the Day:  I don't love the video.  I don't - sorry.  However, I love the song.  Here is Miley Cyrus with "I Adore You."  Enjoy and Happy V-Day to all you lovers out there - even if it's just loving who you are and who you are becoming! :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Heart of It All...

"The heart is not so easily changed, 
but the head can be persuaded..."

This is not an entry about Frozen, although that might not be so bad to read.  That was a pretty chill movie... get it?  Chill?  See what I did there?  Yea, apparently I'm not as funny as previously claimed.  I can't help it if I adore a good pun... a lot.

Sidenote:  I LOVED Frozen!  I know some did not, but I thought it was adorable, the music was fun, the voices were great, the themes were awesome, the I loved that they decided NOT to have two people get married in a week.  You can begin to really like someone in a day, I know form experience.... but enough to love them for all time?  Yea, there's a resounding, "use your brain, please!"

Anyway, I love this line from the film because I believe that it's one of the most poignant moments.  Someone's mind can be changed as we are wiling to think about things differently.  However, deep-seeded beliefs and feelings are not always as easily swayed when the heart is involved.  The heart is central to the body, and thus, central to how we function... to who we are.  The heart pumps blood through our ENTIRE BODIES - it allows us to live and effects EVERY part of us.  This is its literal function.  However, the heart is more than literal.... We talk about the feelings we have being deep, being central to our souls, and often controlling our mindset.  Again, we see the heart effects EVERY part of us.

We have been told that before the second coming of our Savior, "men's hearts shall fail them..."  What does this really mean than?  Well, if we look at the literal sense of the statement, heart diseases and attacks are growing more and more common.  Many illnesses are overtaking our bodies, and as the heart being the central controlling factor, is frequently involved.  In the less literal way, but still as vitally real, we see hearts failing everyday within society emotional spectrum.  People CARE LESS than previously seen.  People are increasingly apathetic and selfish.  People are giving up on kindness, charity, and sacrifice.  Ideas of divinity and God are pushed aside for more frivolous ventures... We forget what's important and often go for the easy route or instant gratification.

"Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." - Luke 21:26

We put our FEAR in men, in those around us or society's ideals, while we should instead be putting our FAITH in God. It really comes down to the fact that fear is a lack of faith.... in ourselves, in others, in our Heavenly Father.  We allow our fear to overcome and fail our faithful hearts.

"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, 
but in the power of God." - 1 Corinthians 2:5 

Now, I believe there is an importance in using your heart and minds together.  We were given our minds for a reason, but we were also given our hearts for a reason.  In the past few months, I have observed those who are too focused on their minds and not their hearts, and those who are so focused on feelings while they fail in using logic.  Both situations are negative.  In fact, I suppose one could argue in these final days people's minds are also failing them... However, the mind can be changed and brought to new knowledge and understanding.  The heart IS much harder to shape and rebuild.  The heart is the center to our being....

Why am I writing about this?  I'm been debating within myself what ways my heart has failed me.  When have I lacked kindness or charity?  When have I looked for what I want in the moment more than what is right?  When have I lacked FAITH?

I will not be one to let my heart fail me.  I will have more faith in myself.  I will not let my heart fail Him.  I will have more faith in my God and my Savior.  Simple put:

"Remove any of your fear with faith. 
Trust the power of God to guide you." - Elder M. Russell Ballard


Song of the Day:  I think in having faith, we should all be a bit more happy.... Thus, here is Pharrell Williams' song, "Happy."  Enjoy!