Becoming the best version of yourself

Eyes Wide Open –

Do you watch “The Voice”?  I stumbled upon it at the beginning of it’s second season and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I never watched “Idol” or “America’s Got Talent” but something about the combination and chemistry of the judges on this show just speaks to me.  I have a fairly strong musical background and have always had the “suppressed” desire to sing in a microphone.  That doesn’t count the singing and dancing that I sometimes do around my house, much to my dog’s chagrin!

For some reason, last Fall I had so much going on that I got way behind in watching the fifth installment of “The Voice” and I am just now catching up.  I have to brag – I did pick the winners of Season’s Two through Four, and not just because I’m a big Blake Shelton fan – but just because I loved the artists.  So . . . back to the DVR and Season Five!

During one of the Knockout Rounds, Judge Ceelo Green is commenting on a particular artist’s performance.  He said that her singing made him “dream with my eyes open”.   I do that all the time, mostly when I probably should be accomplishing something else – something concrete.  Whether or not you daydream, or dream to sounds of music, or dream of inserting yourself into a good novel you’re reading, or when you are spaced out on the couch, I believe dreaming is a vital part of our daily lives.

Dreaming fosters hope, dreaming with your eyes open lets you envision the possibilities that lay ahead of you and keeps you in the present and moving into the future – not looking backward.   The past shapes us, of that I have no doubt.  But the ability to move forward and make positive things happen in your life is enhanced when you let yourself have a dream – eyes open.

As I write this, I gaze out my window at beautiful snow on the ground and wonder where my dreams will take me?   I’m no longer afraid to dream BIG.  Big dreams cannot hurt you, and they may not always happen as you hope or expect, but they surely might get you moving in the right direction.

So open your eyes and dream . . .


Memories – Holding On To The Positives Of The Past

I don’t know about you, but I’m really loving the Downton Abbey series on PBS, also known as Masterpiece Classic (as I found out when attempting to set a DVR to record!).  We here in the States just started Season Four.

Whether or not you have a fascination with the past, it is fun for me to see how it was to live in “another time.”   And admitting to it, yes, I like many others have a curiosity about that “upper crust” lifestyle and how semi-royalty wiled away their days and evenings.  For those of you watching, you’ll know Carson, who “runs” the household behind the scenes for the family of the manor.  A rather stoic fellow, who shows very little feeling or heart on most days.

We found out recently that as a younger man, he had a “love interest” who had broken his heart when she picked his best friend over himself.   One assumes he’s never loved again.  Last night one of his staff members surprises him with a gift, a framed photo of his lost love.  She suggests he display it on his desk so the whole staff will see a softer side to Carson.  His next comment had me running for a pen and paper – to share here.

Carson says, “The business of life is the acquisition of memories, in the end that’s all there is.”  It got my attention because as someone who sometimes wastes too much time “reliving the past” in my mind I am full of memories both good and bad.  While I may try very hard to forget the bad memories, and only think about the happy memories, in “the end” – that IS all we have.

Our lives are always going to be a full combination of the sum of those memories, both happy and sad and the key I suppose is knowing how to go forward with those same memories?  Trying not to be bogged down with the unhappy ones – a challenge to be sure.  However we can all try to be happy with the positive ones and living with the hope that on balance, there will be more of those in our future.

Here’s to many more happy ones for all of us in 2014.


Negative Thoughts, We All Have Them – – –

Negative thoughts, how they seep into your consciousness and never let go.  Happens to me all the time and I hate it.  It’s like my mind is trying to run away from them and they keep following.

Kinda like when my very large dog (therefore a large collar and tags ring) leans over the pulled out bottom tray of the dishwasher, stacked full of heavy dishes, sniffs those dishes then backs up quickly when I fuss at him.  Of course his collar’s tag ring has now hooked on that lower tray, and as he backs up it follows him.  His response to the frightening thing following him????  Of course the response is to back away even faster – not realizing of course that he’s hooked to it and it’s GOING to follow him.  Chaos and flying dishes everywhere.

I’ve wondered for years how you get those negative thoughts to quit following you like they are hooked to your brain.  Everywhere you go, they go.  The faster I try to escape them, the faster they follow me – in my head, swirling around in that fog that is my brain.  Like the dog pulling away and the dishes flying and breaking he doesn’t understand that if he would just STOP, and chill – I could unhook him and stop the carnage.  But how do we stop – and chill?

Some chill with medications, as the author said in the above link – he tried it then decided to go a different direction.  I’ve also tried the anti-anxiety med route, but it’s a mask and your situation hasn’t changed – it’s just been dulled.  Many chill with alcohol – again, just a bandaid that eventually is going to pull off and you’re still faced with the same issues, they don’t disappear with a good (or bad) bottle of wine.  People will compensate for the pain by over working, working their bodies to exhaustion, anything but coming to terms with the negative.

I hope and pray that in the New Year, we can find a way to let GO of those negative and fearful thoughts.  Not by masking them but by finding a way to let them go.  Like a winter snow melts away in the warmth and sunshine of a new spring, may we all find a way to let the negativity in our minds and in our hearts release it’s hold on us . . . and just melt away.


2013 In Review – – – Here’s To More Readers In 2014!! Share!!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.  I’m sharing because it was so interesting seeing that it’s being followed not only around the U.S. but also in other countries!  I can’t thank you all enough for following, commenting, and sharing with me our journey to better days!!  Wishing you all the best in 2014 and many smiles in our futures . . .

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 610 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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