Attaining different outcomes: how to navigate crossroads

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Photo by Martin Joos on Unsplash.

Since moving to Northern Arizona, my husband and I regularly explore a series of forest trails bordering our neighborhood—several of which are marked, as well as noted on our mobile apps. Others, however, reveal only worn-out grooves in the dirt, common at many of the…[read more]

I quit.

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One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I quit.” I quit the negative self-talk. I quit complaining. I quit obsessing (see “A time for everything…). I quit whatever no longer serves me—the toxic behaviors that harm vs. heal, the co-dependent relationships that eclipse vs. edify, saying “yes” when I mean “no.” I quit making excuses and, instead, take ownership of my decisions, my goals, my commitments, my successes—and my failures. I quit piling on the unrealistic expectations, and replace them with my victories, big and small. I quit dreaming new dreams without attaching wings: the tangible steps I must take to create the reality my heart envisions. One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I begin.” And embrace every thrill ride, every bump, bruise and disappointment because it means you’re alive and present in this moment. That you’re breathing and you were created for a purpose.

What do you need to quit in order to begin?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The #1 way to change your life

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decisions decisions
Following a recent set of immunotherapy injections I receive weekly, I experienced a minor adverse reaction. This involved lightheadedness and elevated blood pressure, which resulted in extra TLC from clinic staff and revised treatment plan. Afterward, I second-guessed my reaction and feared the emergency medical attention bordered on overkill. I’m sure we’ve all done it: second-guessed words spoken (which can’t be retracted), choices made that are irreversible. A post on social media reads: You’re always one decision away from a totally different life. Not that it matters if we choose vanilla over chocolate ice cream, but whether we respond in love rather than hate, fellowship versus isolation. Or we decide to ‘put up or shut up’ and accept the consequences. It’s easy to blame extenuating circumstances because it removes our own culpability, however, I think it’s time to quit dwelling on the what if’s and determine our own destiny. We still might second-guess ourselves, but we could also change our lives.

What life-changing decision will you make today?

It’s just the beginning


The beginning

At some point you need to take your life into your own hands. And make your own decisions. Start living the life you want now. Texted to me from a friend after listening to the broken record of my life again, I read these words nestled between a bit of well-deserved derision, and then returned to my safety net (see “Habits are choices…”). As expected, I woke up puffy and sad, no closer to any resolution. Except at some point I need to take my life into my own hands. And make my own decisions. And start living the life I want now. Not tomorrow. Not Someday. Today. This means committing to a few tough choices, making mistakes, disappointing people, feeling discomfort instead of stuffing it. And forgiving myself for waiting so long. Because my heart is heavy, burdened, by conforming to a life that no longer fits—the caterpillar who believes her world is over. Yet it’s only beginning.

Is this the life you want to live?

Image courtesy of mrpuen at

More of the same

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More of the same

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

My 30-day challenge has come and gone … the one where I committed to a month of Bikram Yoga without intermission, and also omitted alcohol, sweets, caffeine and anything non-Vegan from my diet.  As fabulous as I felt on my “final” day, I made the decision not to make a decision on how I’d spend day 31.  At one point, I thought I may be standing at the Keurig first thing.  Or be counting the minutes until I could mix my favorite aperitif.  But rather than craving old habits, I’m leaning toward the new.  So even though I don’t have to attend daily practice, I want to spend 90 minutes in my happy place.  A friend of mine said he simply gets sick of any given “preoccupation” — whether it’s a food or an activity.   But for me, what I focus on expands [see 9/18/2012 post].  Which means it’s time to get back to my writing.

Do you crave more of whatever you focus on, or prefer change instead?

You own your breath

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You own your breath

[Image credit: federico stevanin]

You have a lot of decisions that demand your attention, for every day and for your future.
There’s a lot of pressure for you to make the right decision.
Only one person has the right answer … you. Those decisions need to be made by your heart.
At some point no one will be pushing you.
You must take full responsibilities for the decisions in your life.
~ Garth Stein, at a high school commencement

One of my Facebook friends posted a quote on her status that says if you own your breath, you own your peace.  Similarly, you are the one person who owns the right to decide what is best for your life.  No one can tell you which path to take, which decision to make or if you will succeed or fail.  Because that is all a part of the journey.  So listen to your heart.  Take your time.  You only have one shot at Someday.

Have you made the best decisions for your life?

‘Tis the season

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[Image credit: tungphoto]

Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder.
~ Tia Mowry

This past week has been a particularly challenging one for my daughter.  She’s had to make some tough decisions and many days all I’ve been able to do is sit back and watch, listen and offer mama-sized hugs.  And although during the last couple of years the dynamics of our mother-daughter relationship have evolved (and I wouldn’t have it any other way), I can’t help but fight the regrets over years’ worth of selfish parenting rather than selfless parenting.  I mentioned my remorse to my best friend and she patted me on the back, then told me the timing is perfect for my daughter now.  Those words encouraged me to begin moving past the misgivings and dwell, instead, on the daily opportunities in front of me to do it right.  Or at least do it better this time around.  Second chances are a beautiful thing.

Have you discovered a new season of do-it-right opportunities?

Can I get a second opinion with that?

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[Image credit: Grant Cochrane]

This past week, I saw a GI specialist for my digestive issues.  Admittedly, I was disappointed that my doctor’s first line of attack was to prescribe medication.  For me, that has always been a last resort.  Granted, he also ordered a couple of diagnostic tests.  In the past, I wouldn’t have given his treatment a second thought; however, now that I’ve been trying to figure things out myself, I feel even more invested in my welfare.  I definitely believe medication is warranted in many situations, but sometimes I think it can be an “easy fix.”  So before I take anything, I’m considering obtaining a second opinion.  Never a bad idea when it comes to our health — and many other situations we’re faced with in life.  Whatever it is we’re dealing with at the time, an additional opinion (or three) may delay the answers.  But in the long run, more than one option allows us the opportunity to formulate more informed decisions.  I can’t think of a better reason than that.

Do you rely on one answer, or seek a second opinion when timing permits?