Wholehearted Living

Can’t, Won’t, and Not Willing

Can’t, Won’t, and Not Willing

She wanted to quit her job. The work was ok she guessed, but the management was oppressive, and she wasn’t getting the opportunities and benefits she deserved. She was worth more, and if they couldn’t see it, then she would find a place that could.

I’m in Las Vegas this weekend. I’m here quite a bit lately, and as a girl who gave up drinking and doesn’t gamble, this is not necessarily an ideal destination. I am a seeker of peace and tranquility, it’s a stretch for me to hang here; but this season has served as a great place to watch and to observe some of my fellow humans. Plus, being here has given me the opportunity to nurture a budding relationship that has more merit than anything since my divorce. So, it’s what I’ve chosen right now.

Confessions from a Privileged White Chick

Confessions from a Privileged White Chick

I have a confession. I used to think I was better than other people. I don’t want to say I was ever a racist, but I might have been. It’s hard not to be when you grow up under the guise of white privilege in the United States.  My confession: I had little understanding for those who were different from me. And I didn’t need to – I never stepped out of my realm of convenience (my bubble).  My life was good. I attributed that goodness to something I had done; but the truth is there is nothing I could have ever done that would explain the level of status to which I was born.

This is a fact of being a white person in America. You believe you’re just a little bit better than everyone else.

The 5 Most Powerful Words in Any Relationship

The 5 Most Powerful Words in Any Relationship

There was a knock at the door.

 ‘Um, Sara. What is going on?’ – I am making a shift in my life and I hadn’t discussed it with him yet.  If I’m being honest, I’ve been avoiding discussing it with him. Avoiding is my thing and it’s easy to justify when you have kids and a life and a big shift that steals your attention.

My dad likes to tell me what to do and I’m not the kind of person who particularly likes being told what to do. We’re both stubborn that way. When he is unsure of the soundness of my decisions, he’s been known to invite me for a friendly lunch or dinner, ‘let’s have dinner at the club tonight…’ where half way through the meal he’ll gently mention, ‘well, you know I’m a little concerned….’  Ah, there it is…

Space to Change

Space to Change

It was a night of intimate gathering. The holidays are filled with nights of intimate gatherings. Within the span of my 90-minute appearance the group had made fun of handicapped people, questioned Obama’s birth heritage and ridiculed and minimized a community member on the autism spectrum. I stood as an outsider in the conversation, simply watching. Nervous laughter came and went as we waited for the buzz of the second, third, fourth (?) drink to kick in and take the sting off the social anxiety hovering slightly above eye level. It seems we all need a drink to take the edge off – I stopped drinking a long time ago.
 

Silencing the Inner Critic

Silencing the Inner Critic

It was a leap and I knew it. But any great thing – any bold move begins with a risk.  If your choice is to live a full life, to be fully ALIVE, risk is inevitable.

Our hearts, our ideas, our money – sometimes you must ask, ‘am I willing to risk something important to have an opportunity to gain something great?’
 

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places

Ah – the holidays are upon us; and on the heels of a nerve-wrecking and completely divisive election non-the-less… should make for interesting fodder over the next several weeks as we come together to celebrate our respective faiths and each other. Oh, the stories we will tell…

Reader Q&A: What Happens When you Change?

Reader Q&A: What Happens When you Change?

Last week I received a message via Twitter asking two questions:
Will you share where you are now on this journey? What happened as a result of your willingness to embrace change?

I agreed to answer via blog post. I addressed the first question last week – here.  Below is an attempt on the second.  Thanks, @BeingKwa for the ask!
 

Reader Q&A: Where Am I on the Journey?

Reader Q&A: Where Am I on the Journey?

This week I received a message via Twitter asking two questions:

Will you share where you are now on this journey? What happened as a result of your willingness to embrace change?

It seemed interesting, so I agreed to answer via blog post. Only, it proved to be more challenging than I expected. Consequently, I’ve decided to answer the first question here and the second in my next post, so check back for that one. Thanks, @BeingKwa for the ask!

Living the Brave Life

Living the Brave Life

There’s a new girl at the gym. I’ve known her for years really, but she’s new to that space in my life. She’s what I’d call a loose acquaintance. The other day, I noticed she stopped talking to me – saying hello and the like – the times I’ve approached her, she seems distant, like I’m bothering her. We’ve all been there. Is it me? Is it her? What is going on here?

Rediscovering You

Rediscovering You

I told him it always felt like I was disappointing someone; my employer, my kids, my family, my friends. There just never seemed to be enough of me to go around. He had asked me to describe the most difficult thing about being a single mom. At the time, I thought that answer was true – but looking back,  I think maybe the hardest part about being a single mom – or a mom in general is that it’s easy to lose yourself a little bit. He told me he wished I needed him more. A lot of people in my life say this.

Changing Your Story

 Changing Your Story

I love hearing people’s stories. For whatever reason, people seem to open up to me – from the girl in the check-out lane to strangers in airports, I’ve come to accept this as part of my life - listening to people’s stories.  I can affirm fact is stranger than fiction. There is a beauty in the human condition as it shows its resilience.

We long for connection – with ourselves, with the world around us, with those we love.  As connection doesn’t happen, we begin to contrive a story to help make sense of it all. This story creates our grid for understanding. The story represents our reality, but not necessarily the truth.  

The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time

Would you rather have an infinite amount of money or an infinite amount of time? This question was posed to me by my 14 year- old son earlier this month. Without hesitation I knew the answer, he knew my answer – it was time.

For whatever reason, money has never been all that important to me, but I love time - time to myself, time to contemplate, time to sit and be still, time with no agenda. I breathe it in like some sort of hyper-charged oxygen.
 

When Life Gets Messy

When Life Gets Messy

This is a picture of my actual kitchen. My house and my life are a little messy right now. I hadn’t noticed the state of the cluttered sink area really until I rounded the corner in my attempt to retire for the evening last night. And though I’ll be the first to admit  I’m not the world’s most fastidious housekeeper, the image of dinner remnants and a week’s worth of unwashed coffee mugs brought in from my car (don’t judge) jarred me a little.  I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten. The messes in our lives can pile up quickly if we’re not paying attention.

Knowing Who You Are

We were all created for greatness; each of us having a kernel, a nugget inside that brings a piece of the puzzle together in this crazy mixed-up world. The problem is from the minute we’re born, life begins kicking the sh*t out of us and that ‘thing’ that is so good can get lost in the shuffle. Most of us fail to circle back and rediscover our greatness. Usually we get caught up in the status quo or the drama of our lives –  always knowing deep inside that something is missing but not fully understanding what that something is and having no idea of how to go about getting it.

For me, the journey of rediscovery started about 10 years ago when I came to the realization that my pain was preventing me from living the life I wanted to live. I didn’t understand this at the time, but it was preventing me from being the person I was created to be.

The process began slowly, but methodically, piece by piece I began to uncover Sara again and discover new and exciting things about her that I never knew existed. That discovery continues to happen today.

Everybody has stuff to work through, to deal with.  And if you think you don’t, then your ‘stuff’ is that you’re a liar. The only difference between me and (most of) the rest of the world is that I’m not afraid to talk about it. Well, I am actually but for whatever reason, I have never been afraid of being afraid.

Because here’s the deal...
The world will try to tell you who you are. The people around you will try and tell you who you should be. A lot of the time, most of the time really, I’ve found people need you to be a certain way so that they can feel better about them. The noise can be deafening, especially if those people are people you love. But who you are – the real you- can only be decided between you and your maker.

In a few days I will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of my birth.

This is cause for reflection of course – on the past 45 years and what I’d like the next 45 to entail. When I look back and reflect on the past, mostly I am filled with gratitude; grateful for where I’ve been and how far I’ve come in so many areas of my life. Grateful that each instance of joy and hurt; success and failure has helped to mold me into the person I am today.  I am especially grateful for those who came before me and have come up beside me along my journey. And I am grateful for those in my family who have done so as well, for they have helped to directly make a way for me to be where I am today.

And as for where I’m going… I can say with total and complete honesty, I’ve never been happier and healthier - and this amazing adventure of my life just keeps getting better and better.  I cannot wait to discover what the next 45 years bring. Thanks to each of you for being a part of it.

Here’s to making it great!

When Your Greatest Enemy Is You

When Your Greatest Enemy Is You

I can’t move my right arm – which is a problem because as it turns out, having mobility in both arms is very useful. A trip to the doctor confirmed a frozen shoulder they say is a result of an overly ambitious gym routine combined with natural wear and tear on my 44 - year - old body.  Or maybe there is no real reason, no one can tell me for sure.
 

The Choice Between Life and Death

The Choice Between Life and Death

There is only one real rule in my house. ‘Don’t get dead.’  I stole the line from the movie UP, where the dog talks about the squirrel getting dead. (We think the use of poor grammar is hilarious – we are geeks).  The idea is, God gave you an amazing brain - you are old enough to know right from wrong. Don’t make choices that are going to bring you physical, emotional, or spiritual death. I want my kids to find their sweet spots in life – to become who they were created to be and I want to teach them to choose life – choose to really live – every single day.
 

The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty

It was just another ordinary day when I decided to begin living the rest of my life - one day, and a choice that would change me forever.  It was a choice to live in authenticity; to live in boldness; to be genuine and get real.  Real with myself- and the rest of the world.  It was the day I stopped denying the past and refused to continue as a member of the walking dead into my future.

Airport Guy and the Everyday Miracle…

Airport Guy and the Everyday Miracle…

I believe in everyday miracles – and the truth that we are all connected.  Alive, awake, and aware -I sit in wonder as the adventures of life unfold and God weaves a tapestry in and out of my life.

This is one of those stories…

How to Live Life With No Regrets

 How to Live Life With No Regrets

I live a wholehearted life– a life of openness and vulnerability. This means I take chances and calculated risks and when there’s a choice between playing it safe and going for it, I go for it.  Because here’s the thing – you will hardly ever regret trying but you will always regret never knowing. 

Here are 5 things that help me experience this amazing journey called life without regretting a single minute…