Friday, July 26, 2013

Here's A Challenge... Can you Handle It??

Are you up for it?  I DARE you to take the challenge and pass it along.  You won't regret it, and you'll bless and empower someone else to see the AMAZING in them!

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Like That About Me


My makeup settles in the lines around my eyes
But I like that about me.

My temples catch the light on glimmering gray,
But I like that about me.

My skin is no longer bronzed, taut and even,
But I like that about me.

My hands are calloused and my fingers are crooked,
But I like that about me.

My muscles are covered with fleshy softness,
But I like that about me.

My joints feel worked and sometimes ache,
But I like that about me.

My feet grow weary and weathered,
But I like that about me.

My movement is not as agile and swift,
But I like that about me.

My heart has broken into a million pieces- a thousand times,
But I like that about me.

My mind takes a bit longer to process things,
But I like that about me.

My eyes have seen the beauty of the world, squinted with the shine of the sun and crinkled in laughter.
And I like that about me.

The sun catches my locks, but reminds me that the silver on each strand is equal to the lining of the clouds that once seemed so dark.
And I like that about me.

Freckled and mottled, my skin has known the warmth of the sunshine, been stretched with the growing of babies, and chaffed but healed with the bumps of life.
And I like that about me.

These hands are no longer young, smooth and straight, but they have worked hard, are capable and creative, and have nurtured tenderly.
And I like that about me.

My body is not longer taut on the surface, but underneath lie muscles that have carried babies, moved households and carried the weight of the world.
And I like that about me.

Joints creek and moan, but they have climbed hills and mountains, and traveled hundreds of miles.
And I like that about me.

My feet are often weary, but they have stood strong and firm, run the race, and carried me across the finish line more times than can be counted.
And I like that about me.

Movement is slower these days, but I move with intentionality, with purpose and with commitment.
And I like that about me.

My broken heart has mended its million pieces a thousand times, each time bringing me greater understanding, compassion, and empathy.
And I like that about me.

My wit and response may be slower, but it is because I have absorbed more, gained wisdom, and learned to pause and think before acting and responding. 
And I like that about me.

Each line, ache, mark, break, and pause….each perceived imperfection is testament to the perfection of me; a carve in the clay of  great sculpture, a fine patina on the finest copper, or a light catching facet on a brilliant diamond.
I like that about me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Strength VS. Power


As a younger woman, I was hell bent in insisting that I was a strong.  Life had tossed me some pretty tough stuff, but I weathered it and came out intact on the other end.  I would declare that I could walk through anything now and be ok. Not much shocked me.  I was a strong woman.  I affixed my sight on that beacon.

Then, one day, I realized that this beacon was fading. And I was feeling lost. The strength that I had gained and claimed was beginning to suffocate me.  I’d call on it with my words and definition of myself, but I didn’t feel it.  I knew I could get through the things that life gave to me, but when it came to giving back to life, I felt insignificant and weak.  I felt powerless. That’s when I realized, that strength and power are two different things.  

Strength is what you can withstand. As you walk through life, life happens to you.  Some of it is good and uplifting, but some of it is just plain crappy.  Your will gets tested, you suffer loss and disappointment, and you encounter things and people that keep placing weight upon your shoulders.  But you carry on day to day, your load ever increasing.  You see how strong you are.  That is a good thing. It can be a bad thing too. Power is what you accomplish.  It is your impact on situations, things and people. It is the mark you leave, the movement, or the change you create.  It is the piece that you add that comes from your willful or inadvertent assertion of who you are and what you believe in. It is not what you can carry, but what you can do with the strength you have. Power is a good thing. It can be a bad thing too.

You can be strong, but not be powerful. You can be powerful and not strong. Too much of one without enough of the other becomes self defeating and counter productive.  If you continually pile on the weight of life, eventually it crushes you.  The hard work and building of your muscles, themselves become too much to bear. When you take the strength you have built and release some of the energy into accomplishing a goal or making a difference, setting an example, or even sharing your story, it gives your strength time to repair and restore.  You accomplish more, make an honest difference, and bring meaning and purpose to the things that you have endured. If you continually exert power but have not built the strength to back it, it is not truly power – it is manipulation and control.  

When you roll with instead of control the uncontrollable in life, you gain strength that backs your power and your credibility. There is no reward in simply building strength. The reward is in how you live with that strength.  Take the strength that living has given you and be powerful with it.

By the way, once I realized my strength really did nothing productive until I CHOSE to see the potential in it and act upon it, my life changed.  I was no longer hostage to the things that made me strong, I became the steward of them. What an empowering moment that was.