Change, No Coins.

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2014.

Inevitability. My hands are up, embracing the one thing I can’t control. Change. Along with it comes opportunity for unlimited growth. As much as I’d like to prepare for growth, it’s not as effective as it is to simply go through the changes. There’s not much power in preparing for it, because I have no idea what it will do to me. All I can do is pay close attention to what evolves and dissolves as it’s happening.

I go with the flow. I don’t try to force anything. It’s a feeling of empowerment to embrace change entirely. The experience of growing as changes naturally occur can be compared to a raw, unfiltered immersion that produces a sometimes painful beauty. It’s all about perspective. Something within myself changes with every experience. Change lies within all of the little tiny intricate things. I love how it’s not always recognizable right away. Change is the planting of seeds.

I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was last year, last month or even yesterday. There are many things and people I care about, and different levels to which I care. There are levels to everything. I’m all for the significance of balance. If I’m feeling off, then I have some shifting to do. One of the four agreements shared with us by Don Miguel Ruiz tells us to not take anything personally. I’m embracing that. My flow through this world has everything to do with what moves my spirit. If I am not moved, then I will not move. I am my first priority, so I have to pay my attention to what has the potential to affect a change in me. Change is a currency. Change is a reaction. Change can be a choice. Change has inspired me to no longer take anything anyone does personally. There was a time I did, and I’m a greater person for now knowing better. To take things personally is sort of like taking a drug. That feeling would metaphorically place me “under the influence” causing a delusional belief that I could have influential powers over other people’s actions. I do not take what you do personally.

My change is reflected through my actions. My change is expressed through love. My change is presented through words and colors. I love and appreciate the universal law of change; a promise to the living that nothing is forever.

I will practice congratulating others when I notice their growth. It’s worth celebrating. It means we’re awake. Listening and learning. Sometimes when I write, I feel as though I’m rambling. What I appreciate most about my blog posts is the fact that they change over time. My mission to share my opinion about this life on earth doesn’t change, but my delivery does. There’s more value in personal change, than the kind I use to exchange currency for product. If I were to strip naked of material possessions, what do I really have. A woman evolving. Change, no coins.

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2018. 

Due Time

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Singapore, Singapore. 2018.

When we know our gifts, and our purpose, and aren’t afraid of presenting them to the world, then we also know when it’s our turn to shine. We’re aware of everyone being on a different mission and having varied goals. Knowing this, we understand that we’re not here to run a race, perhaps we are here to run, just not all at the same time.

Sharon bakes really well, and her specialty is dessert. Marian also bakes really well, but she specializes in savory foods. Simply because they both bake well doesn’t mean that Marian should bring baked macaroni and cheese to the dessert party.  The idea of passing the baton, stepping aside, and supporting others during their moment makes complete sense.

We are not in competition, and if we were, we’d at least stick to our lanes or categories. Let’s not exhaust our energy unnecessarily. The fitness trainer should never worry about the dance instructor taking their clients. The author does not have to worry about the illustrator outshining them. The lights on the trees serve a greater purpose when they are turned on during the night. No matter the person, the talent, the gift, it can never compare to that of another – because we’re all so different, and we’re all so necessary – just not all at the same time.

As we understand our roles, our lanes, and our purpose, we understand when it’s our time to shine. We are well aware that the light we possess and express would never threaten that of another. It just doesn’t work that way. “Life is a journey, not a competition.” So please, let’s not be stingy with our gifts, they’re meant to be shared with others.

“I am not competing with anyone but myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.”       – Dr. Maya Angelou (remembering you on your birthday, and always).

“I’m not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.”

“…because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.”

“Successful people never worry about what others are doing.”
“They’re not your competition if you don’t even compete.”

“When you’re in your own lane, there is no traffic.”

“Comparison kills joy.”

“You don’t compete, where you don’t compare.”

“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.”

“Stay in your magic.”

…and for those who are afraid to find their magic or share their magic, this one’s for you:

“Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it, the time will pass anyway.”

“Let your fear of failure be your motivation to succeed.”

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

When we know our gifts, and our purpose, and aren’t afraid of presenting them to the world, then we also know when it’s our turn to shine.

Hello Again, Goodbye.

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Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2018

Saying “hello” to goodbye is a constant in life. We always find ourselves meeting people for the first time, sometimes for a short period. We visit some places temporarily. Feelings come and go. Hello again, goodbye. You have the same consistency of time. The flow of your appearance is sometimes premeditated, but more often spontaneously consistent. You’re always around, sometimes lurking. You appear when you want, when you know it’s best. We are forced to acknowledge you. Sometimes we’re stubborn, but you are well aware of those moments. Yet, you don’t budge. With you, it is what it is. You’re blunt, yet sweet. You’re precious, because you introduce us to “new,” often. You prepare us and remind us that nothing is forever. You provide a dose of reality as often as possible, as often as necessary. You keep us awake, reminding us to savor moments. We love “hello,” but goodbye – you’re the one we appreciate most. Hello prepares us to enter and experience something new, and with you comes deep reflection. We are encouraged to practice gratitude. We need that. It’s critical to our growth that we’re reminded to be grateful for all things – the people we meet, the places we go, the things we do. We need you to paint a picture for us to see what was, and imagine what could have been. We anticipate you most when we’re experiencing things that are painful, failing to realize that you’re always right on time. We must go through all that we do, because we need those experiences to nurture our growth in preparation for what’s to come. Goodbye, you’re a genius.  If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have the emotional intelligence to depict our feelings that exist in this moment in time. The right here, and right now. We’d just take it all for granted. We’d express our feelings less. We’d never know what it’s like to savor something. We wouldn’t think critically. We’d fail to grasp time. We’d lose our sense of imagination. We’d be stagnant. Growth would mean nothing to us. Hello, goodbye – thanks for joining us, and for giving us hope.

We say “hello” to goodbye every single day, with each passing minute. Each tingle that flows through time, each thought bouncing through our minds. There’s much good in goodbye. There’s much power in the drama of closure: the end of a chapter, the credits of the movie; the exit sign, the period at the end of a sentence, the last minute of the day, a graduation, the arrival at the departure gate.

Hello again, goodbye. Nice to see you. Thanks for showing up, reminding us to practice gratitude and appreciation. Thanks for reminding us that nothing lasts forever. When given deep thought, you are the force behind the courage we’ve gained to do our best at living this human life.

There will always be unforgettable memories behind each goodbye, and we’re some of the lucky ones if we find it difficult to leave…

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Angkor Wat Temple Complex – Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2018

 

 

 

Bloom.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand. 2018. 

“Life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. Lay down your regrets, cause all we have is now. Wake up in the morning, and get out of bed. Start making a mental list in my head of all of the things that I am grateful for…Early in the morning, it’s the dawn of a new day. New hopes, new dreams, new ways. I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and I wonder how life will surprise me today.” -India Arie

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is hosted every year during the first weekend of February, displaying colorful chrysanthemums, damask roses, and so much more. Just near the city center, the streets are filled with vendors of plants, flowers, orchids and garden decorations. Overall, the city is beautiful, and has the rich vibe that speaks to my soul. The flowers that fill the streets is life’s way of reminding me to laugh, smile, and keep things simple.

Nature in general, always finds a way to gently tap me on the shoulder and whisper how magical it is to carry on organically. In translation, I typically hear a drawn out whimsical tone, with the following words recited, “Just be yourself.” Whenever I hear that, a weight is lifted, and there becomes less pressure in understanding the particular reason of why I’m here. Just a soul aware of the possibility in having a spiritually satisfying human experience. The idea is to gracefully learn from all that enters and exits my life, and see how those things contribute to my wild growth. For that reason, I’m grateful for the variations of my surroundings. With each clarifying day, I’m inspired to remove anything that I  consider “clutter,” by focusing on what is essential to my growth.

“She is like a wildflower, beautiful, fierce and free.”

Often enough, there’s so much that distracts us from keeping life simple, and I find the presence of flowers to be one of many stimulating experiences that gracefully gestures organic beauty.

The next time you stop to smell the roses (when you look at yourself in the mirror), remember:

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

“Happiness blooms from within.”

“She sprouted love like flowers, grew a garden in her mind, and even on the darkest days, from her smile the sun still shined.”

“Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.”

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

“You are not your roots, you are a flower grown from them.”

“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary.”

“Like flowers, we can also choose to bloom.”

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

“Advice from a sunflower: ‘Be bright, sunny and positive. Spread seeds of happiness. Rise, shine, and hold your head high.”

“Live wild, flower child.”

… and most importantly, “Bloom baby, bloom!”

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Flow

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Split, Croatia. 2017. 

This is a collection of poems I wrote, all inspired by the spirit of water.

As we embark on this new year, may we cleanse our spirits, may we be unpredictable, may we be immeasurable, may we be a source of power, may we be the flow, may we ride the wave, may we be simple, may we be divine, may we be peaceful.

May we too, be as new, as the day, as the year, as the stars and the moon.

Happy New Year!

BLUE
Blue, the way you mend
The way you heal
The way you send signals
Signs of protection in your reflection
Thanks for teaching me how to be
How to flow
How to see
How to blend, freely
Thank you, blue
BIRDS OVER WATER
Bird’s eye view
You see me
I see you
Near or far
Wherever you are
Over the blue sea, under the blue sky
Low to the ground, or up real high
Flowing with grace
Soaring with gratitude
Peace, you see me? I see you
With my bird’s eye view
HOLY
Baptize me in the deep blue
I want to become the closest thing to you
Take me to your nature
Give me the characteristics of its beauty
Allow me to flow with grace, everyday
The ripples will carry throughout time, effortlessly
Questions will dissolve
Life will be magnified
Baptize me in your blue sea
When I am brought up, I will be cleansed, free, flowing through time as you, because you are me
NATURE FLOW
I’m sensitive
After her water broke, I sensed the ifs
I was alert, aware, and know only to ever go with the flow
I sense the vibes and know that all things in the moment is just exactly the way it’s supposed to be
Just carry on with the steam young grass hopper, and you’ll have all that you’ll ever need
SPLASH BLUE
Cleanse me of anything that is not true
Free me of my burdens
Bring all things to the surface
Good, bad, bubbly blue
I like the way you look, I admire you
I like the way you sound, your vibrations are sweet, nothing new
You are the purest of pure, the surest of sure, the most gorgeous without ever trying
Everything that meets you, complements your flow
So much peace, so much beauty, you don’t even know
There’s envy in your presence
Others want your grace
But you are just as unique as all the others, yet you’re smart enough to know your place – and with just that, you’re more than ok.
Splash me with your blue
WHEN IT RAINS
Pour down
Be so strong, so magnificent, so raw
Rinse worries free of time
To no longer exist
The curiosity of the what-ifs
Don’t change your mind
When nature calls, and the winds flow, the trees grow, don’t question the blue waters that show their true colors
LIGHT UNDER  WATER
I can see through you
My flesh is the same, only buried in your grace
You simply move around me
There are subtle bubbles
Huddles of puddles
Yet, no one complains
There’s a light under you, confirming that you are indeed real and true
There’s no super light needed to change your hue
Just a sparkle, a twinkle, and little star in your waters, reminding me of how simple and special you certainly are
STILL
Still like you
Easy, like you
Beautiful, like you
Simple and true
Light without and within
Illuminating all the same
Wavy, like you
Deep and shallow mysteries, like you
Troubled and unbothered, like you

Grapes to Wine

 

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Portugal. 2017.

Go outside. Find a wide open space. Imagine there are no people around. Everything in sight is a part of nature. The colors are rich, and beautiful. It’s quiet. Clutter-free. This space you are in, becomes your state of mind.

Listen to your heart, and pay attention to your body. How are you really feeling? Emotionally. How are you really feeling? Physically. What are your thoughts? You’re alone, so it’s okay to be vulnerable with yourself. It’s okay to take out a pen and notebook and write down whatever it is that you need to release. Sometimes, there are feelings that can’t even be expressed or processed in thought, but once the writing flows, surprisingly, words form to help make sense of all that is happening. Sometimes, these feelings are dormant burdens. They’ve been asleep for so long, you forgot about them, but they didn’t forget about you. Figure out what they are, acknowledge them, and drop them off in this space. These are burdens that cannot continue on with you in your life journey. They must evacuate the premises. As these feelings are released into the universe, you are then engulfed by a sense of liberation. Something amazing is about to happen.

Okay, so you’re outside in nature, writing, reflecting, and lightening your load. Now what? Well, what are your desires? You got rid of something, so now what would you like to attain? Write that down. The best part about the things in life that you may want, is that it’s either already lined up for you to have it, or there’s something better waiting. Sometimes, you may not allow yourself to want certain things because you’re too busy looking at all that you already have going on. There’s beauty in that. It’s not that the life you currently have doesn’t matter, it’s changing the perspective and realizing that you, as the sculptor, can shape your peace.

You are in this world, as one tiny person, out of billons. You can live very simply, and yet still make a major contribution to life on earth. You can make an impact. You can do this by tapping into your personal dreams, goals, and desires. You can become inspired by the peace and beauty found in nature, allow it to seep into your soul, and reap what you sow.

You’re outside, in this wide open space, in the middle of nature, surrounded by a clutter-free and quiet beauty. This has become your state of mind. Therefore, this will become your life. It doesn’t have to remain in this phase, but the transition is necessary for you to gain perspective on what in your life will change. This is the space where you become focused on unity, clarity and manifestation.

Taking time in this space is about the break. It’s the matrix. You’re watching your life play on an imaginary screen, in slow motion. The plot is either thickening or twisting. The shift is coming. In this moment, in this space, during this transition period, you have the power to reach in and change directions, or to simply say, “I am okay with this. I approve. I am ready for what’s next.” Taking time, in this space, is about returning to your roots. It’s about remembering where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you are going.

The way grapes travel through various stages to become wine, discover your life’s main ingredient and create something special, something only YOU can offer. It can be anything! It can be many things!

While you’re outside, in this open space, embracing all the things you need it to be, pour yourself a glass of wine. Think about the grapes, and the journey they took to get to you. Think about the process; the steps they had to go through to end up in your glass. Think about how the wine makes you feel, the impact it has on your life, in that moment. Reflect on the journey of the grapes. Then transition those thoughts, and reflect on your own journey… It’s not necessarily about the grapes, or the wine, it’s not necessarily about where you were and where you are now, it’s simply about the possibilities.

Cheers.

 

 

 

Hold On, Let Go, Be Free.

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Porto, Portugal. 2017

It’s December, the month that ends off the year. December is when many of us take a look back at all that has taken place, and we ask ourselves, “what are my goals for next year?” 

Let’s go back to January, a flashback to our “fresh start.” What new things did we get ourselves into, and what bad habits did we work on shaking? Are with you with me, are you reflecting? Okay, remember the things and the people that seemed to have vanished, and the things and the people that have mysteriously and miraculously appeared? What about the ones who have been around forever, but somehow they became more alive, shedding more light on our lives, this year in particular? There are no coincidences. There’s something special about the people who decided to exit stage left, and the ones who, surprisingly, became center stage. People were shifting roles in our lives, and we may not have noticed when it was happening, but now we can see that they created some of the most effective changes, placing us where we are today. Their roles don’t always last long, but hopefully we paid close attention to what they had to say, while they had the stage. 

As we reflect, we read some interesting books. We wrote some interesting things. We watched new shows and movies. Our topics of discussion changed. Our reasons for anger and frustration changed. Our reasons for smiles and laughter changed. When it came to decision making, we seemed to have changed our minds a lot, never being quite sure, but our actions turned out to be bold anyway. We spent more time with ourselves, making sure that we experienced self love. We were more honest. We hustled hard. We decluttered our spaces, and our minds. We shifted our eating habits and our exercise routines, and we were so excited to share our newfound lifestyles with our loved ones. 

As we reflect, we think about how we spent our time, and noticed that not every moment was valuable. We probably didn’t like the work we were doing, and we may have had epiphanies to shift gears and focus more on our passions. This relates quite heavily to how we evaluated our mental health. We had a lot of depressing thoughts, but when we were joyful – everything seemed great! We’re not sure if we’ve earned enough money doing the things we did, but it seems like we certainly spent a lot. We’re remembering some of our “storms” and our “sunny days.” We’re thinking about our stubborn patterns, and more importantly about the lessons we’ve learned.  

Looking back on the last year, we gathered some strength, and decided it was time to take off the bandages. It was our time to focus on dealing with our “wounds,” and seeing them for what they were. We decided to stop referring to the “quick fixes,” and take the time necessary to pay attention to ourselves, and do what was best for us to improve our states of health. Eventually, we’ll take the time to pay attention to the ones around us, making sure they too, are doing okay. 

In the last 11 months, some of us struggled with holding onto “things” that were old. We knew that if some of those “things” had legs, they would have left us a long time ago. And, some of us were really good at letting go. We became eager to create space for new things, new thoughts, new people, and new memories, because we understood and respected change. We were the ones who welcomed change, because we wanted growth. We were the ones who took risks. We didn’t all have it figured out, but because we had people we could count on, that gave us balance. 

It’s December, the time of year when many of us look back on all that has taken place, and we ask ourselves, “what are my goals for next year?” 

I have one goal of obtaining great health. If the main states of health are in great condition, I feel confident in knowing that I can reach any other goal, because:

Physically, I’ll be able to “get there, and hold on”

Mentally, I’ll be able to “comfortably let go”

Emotionally, I’ll be able to feel a sense of harmony

Spiritually, I’ll know that anything is possible. 

 

 

Customized Happiness

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Prague, Czech Republic. 2017.

I’m sitting in my temporary apartment in Prague, and I’m meditating on all the things that make me happy. Did I just say that I’m in my apartment, in Prague? Being able to say things like that is amazing! I then channel having thoughts of how people customize experiences, to bring them happiness, emphasizing on the fact that yours and mine may look nothing alike. I find there to be so much beauty in that. No judgements, and no comparisons, just happy in our own ways.

I’ve cried many tears, and if I’ve learned anything from those purifying experiences, it’s that I look and feel so much better when I’m smiling. In addition to that, those silent cries have led me to realizations of the exact things and experiences that would make me want to do the opposite of crying…

Right now, my happiness is not rushing through life working a 9-5 to survive, but developing a plan to start a business that aligns with my passions. It’s recognizing opportunities, and taking risks. It’s understanding and appreciating divine timing. It’s traveling the world, becoming well-rounded, and knowing that home is where my heart is. It’s seeking clarity. It’s being spontaneous, and seeking adventure. It’s finding peace in the moments I choose to spend in solitude. It’s shopping for groceries and spending time in the kitchen, listening to music for my soul while preparing a healthy meal. It’s planning ahead and giving myself enough time to walk most places, for my double dose of exercise and mediation. It’s actually seeing and doing. It’s expressing myself by being creative. It’s keeping things short and sweet. It’s having my greatly desired morning cup of coffee! It’s spending time to think of ways I can help other people. It’s being present, having little to zero doubts and regrets. It’s about less being so much more. It’s taking ownership of where I am in my life, and acknowledging the work I’ve done to get to this place. It’s about customizing my happiness, and knowing that yours and mine do not look alike. What makes you smile, and what makes me smile are so different, and even that makes me happy! It’s about seeing people in pure states of joy, for different reasons. It’s about finding balance.

This smile is bright for many reasons, and when I’m not smiling, it’s because I’m giving my life a wash, shedding all of what has become unnecessary.  I’m smiling because, it’s important to me to remain true to myself, and keeping things simple. I’m directing my energy toward living a life of fulfilling dreams. My travels have plenty to do with each of these blog posts, in my own way. I may not elaborate on my “touristic” experiences within each city, but know that traveling, alone, contributes to the happiness I possess. That, for me, is enough. My intentions are to capture the changes I’m going through, and potentially provoke you to ponder your experiences in life, how they made you feel, how they made you change, and what you find yourself intentionally doing to fulfill your own sense of happiness.

I’m writing this blogpost from my temporary apartment, in Prague. I am where I am, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The same goes for you.

Next month, I’ll be living in Lisbon, Portugal, and I look forward to that experience adding to the customization of my happiness.

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Beauty Mark

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Kerid Crater, Iceland. 2017

We all remember the day of the incident that scarred us, and changed our lives forever. Some of us remember the exact time, the scent, the words, the sounds. We remember every tingle and every tear. In the moment, the unexplainable was happening, the unimaginable, the unattainable, the inevitable. Not only was it happening, not only was it real, but it was present with a force, assuring we felt every ounce of pain, and it wasn’t leaving quietly. It was preparing to leave a mark. It was forcing a dent, a scar, a blemish, a distinguished feature, a crater, and ultimately, a distinct memory. Selfishly, this experience becomes the center of attention, and maybe not necessarily the preferred topic of discussion, but most certainly the elephant in the room. This new scar is uncomfortable, because it’s impossible to hide. It’s too large, too foreign, too complicated to explain. Yet, in nature, when we come across a crater of some sort, we find these “scars” to be “beauty marks.”

Nature’s scars become National Parks and World Wonders. We write articles and books about them, we rave on social media, we spend lots of money to see them in person, we travel the distance and make sacrifices, we take lots of pictures, tell our family and friends, we promote and advocate, and we become their biggest fans. At what point, after observing and obsessing, do we self-reflect? At what point after exercising all of those activities do we stop, sit, and have compassion for ourselves?

Similar to Earth, we too have experienced some shakes, quakes, rumbles, punctures, and blemishes; pain that has created scars, but aren’t they beauty marks as well? Why aren’t we turning our craters into wonders of our own worlds? Why are we not viewing them as art, taking photos, writing articles and books, telling our family and friends? The pain becomes beautiful, because it’s a part of us. It becomes something to talk about, study, discuss, observe, document, appreciate, share, and maybe even something we turn into profit, but let’s not keep our craters to ourselves. Similar to Earth’s natural wonders, we too, have scars, that become beauty marks.

After the storm – the sun shined, the rainbow appreared, the clouds were like candy, the flowers blossomed, and everyone thought you were so beautiful, but you thought it was only because of the sun.

 

Like a Bird

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Rome, Italy. 2017.

Every morning, when I wake up, I am reminded that I am magic. I am powerful, over my thoughts, my words and my reality. I’d like to think that my sense of freedom has elevated in the last few weeks. I am soaring to new heights, and this feeling is extremely liberating. I’m not questioning the wind. It’s guiding me, and I know for sure that my wings were made for this!

We all know many who are afraid to leave the nest, afraid to spread their wings, afraid to soar. The view from the nest is just not good enough for me. There are some things I want to see up close and personal. I’ll never forget home, but I’m also not obligated to stay there. My spirit is pulling me to fly and experience life around the world. My spirit is pulling me to become immersed in the possibilities of a new life each day.

From the skylines of Croatia, to Montenegro, to Italy in the last week, I am feeling free, and embracing the dream. The added beauty that comes along with this experience is the pleasure of being surrounded by others with the same intentions, the same ideas, the same outlooks, the same dreams, and the same visions. We are out here in the world, flying together – because it’s possible.

Each day, I further understand Maya Angelou’s eloquence and sentiments. I too, know why the caged bird sings…I’m remembering the moments of feeling stuck, and my subconscious whispers of  songs, wishes, hopes and prayers, and then realizing that the locked cage was an illusion. How many years of life does one lose, as they trick themselves into believing they are supposed to live with limitations? The limits of the home, the job, the family… we are not obligated to these things. These are circumstances placed to help shape us. As we develop from them, it’s wise to know and understand that the circumstances will shift. My circumstances are shifting!

Fear is nothing. The locked cage is an illusion. The wings are too. But, the dreams, the visions, the passions, those are real! When you realize you’re as free as a bird, you walk, run, fly, soar, and float. The perspectives are limitless, the views leave you speechless, and your soul is grateful because it has become even more alive. Let’s be as birds.