I've always found this very beautiful. 
 
 
It's time for...
 
 
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In dealing with chronic illness (and life in general), I like to collect as many resources as possible to have at my disposal when I start to feel bogged down in the mire. Allow me to introduce to you an amazing human being and kick ass resource, Allison Massari. She has an incredible story to tell, and a radical way to be happy in spite of what's going on around you. You know, stuff that you can't control. Like whether your new doc is going to be dismissive and impatient with you. Or when it stings because friends don't invite you places anymore because you've declined so often, even though you really wanted to go. Or when your child is having a melt down and you get THE LOOK for the millionth time from people that says: Sheesh, if that were MY kid... and you just want to cry or tell those judgy mc-judgersons where to go. Those times. When it's so easy to feel defeated or angry or hurt. 

Allison's TedX Talk is a wonder to behold for many reasons. It is funny, engaging, heartbreaking, and powerful, and I hope you'll take the time to watch the whole thing. One of the things she said that stuck with me most, and that I watched over and over to make sure I wrote it down correctly, was that when she is challenged with those very things that I mentioned above (those My Inner 2 Year Old things) she stops herself, and with a deep breath and closed eyes, repeats to herself:

I will forever be ready to be kind. 
I want to be a place of nourishment. 
Even if I'm in pain, I'm determined to forgive. 
Even if I feel betrayed 
I WILL LOVE
~Allison Massari

Love. One of the only ways we can find true happiness inside ourselves is when we make the decision to love. To BE love. Not to say that you should be dismissing that you may feel hurt. Feel the hurt and acknowledge it. Give it the space it needs. Then, make the decision to love anyway. 

It's something so simple, yet so hard at the same time. It feels good in the moment of our righteous indignation to lash out, or give the silent treatment, etc. But the more we exercise our LOVE muscle instead of our HATE muscle, the easier it becomes. The more natural it feels. And, the more you find that you have a still, quiet place inside you that can be happy in spite of circumstance. 

Thank you, Allison, for being you and sharing your story and love with the world. 

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None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
I've been wanting to write a blog for awhile now. What was stopping me? Oh, everything. It's like when you were in school and you had a paper due and all of a sudden you noticed your room really needed cleaning and deserved your absolute attention RIGHT NOW. But despite such distractions, my encouraging inner voice kept nagging me to write. I love to write, so it's not like twisting my arm to do so. However, my bully voice would drown the other one out, yelling that I wasn't ready. But when are we ever really "ready"? When did I get caught up in the lie (again) that I had to be perfect before I moved forward?

One morning when I got on the computer, I kept running across a consistent message:
M-kay, message received Universe. Thanks for the encouragement!

The last straw and key to unlocking my self imposed cage came from a blog I love to read. See that last picture there on the far right? That's from the website Momastery, written by Glennon Doyle Melton, who is all things awesome, funny, real, with a heart as big as all outdoors. I read this on her site that very day, and I decided I was putting one foot in front of the other to make things happen. Whenever I've done this in the past, good things happen.

The universe rewards action, not thought. I'm ready. Or maybe I'm not. So what? Here we go.