Lennon’s story is really kind of crazy and maybe even in parts unbelievable except that it is as real as you and me.
You see when he was born, life was complete. I had 3 amazing boys and I was good with this decisions. Little did I know that having my tubes tied perhaps was my saving grace with the years that followed.
Here was this cute little boy (yes I am biased) but life wasn’t cute at all. I knew deep down that something was not right but for the life of me, I couldn’t put my finger on it.
All I knew is that I was losing my mind with days of screaming and unable to bring satisfaction to my little guy.
And little did I know that he would bring a tremendous amount of change to our family. There is no doubt that parts of me are filled with guilt because it caused me to neglect my other children throughout, but I am also so incredibly grateful for having such amazing boys.
There is a level of understanding that sacrifices needed to be made in order to save their brother.
When my prayers were finally were answered and we finally had a diagnosis, Lennon was 4 years old. And he (we) are so lucky that he is still here with us today.
Urea Cycle Disorder is no joke, it’s deadly. It has taken many lives before Lennon and continues to take lives to this day.
And as we ventured onto our journey of living in medical chaos and survival, I started writing. And as we were sitting in Pittsburgh Hospital in January of 2011 and the doctors gave him his third liver, I decided it was time to write a book.
His story needed to be shared because it brings to the forefront what mindset, faith, and hope really mean in this world.
And I know full well that it all could have gone so differently.
And I know full well that it still could but I keep the faith and the trust that all will work out with the best intentions.
And I live life with gratitude because if it has taught me one lesson, it is that life is too short and the time is now to take action on your dreams.
You can get the paperback or Kindle version here!
Yesterday I wrote about why gratitude matters, but today I am playing devil’s advocate – so much fun!
Because here is the thing, when you are down and out, hit rock bottom and don’t even know how to pay your rent, put food on the table or know how you are getting to work, it’s hard as shit to be grateful for anything.
And then, to top it of people around you tell you, you should be grateful you are alive, or be grateful for the things you do have. And therein lies the problem, it’s supported by a “Should”, and we never ought to do things that have that heavy feeling of should. And then, sure you can be grateful that you are life, but that doesn’t help if you have zero money to feed yourself or your kids. And yes, I have been there many moons ago.
And I am all about positivity and reframing thoughts and coming in from a different perspective, but fuck sometimes that shit is hard but no one wants to really talk about the hard stuff.
The stuff where you
- have a hard time getting out of bed
- where you are sobbing because you can’t see a way out
- putting on a face just so no one will bug you with “are you okay and be grateful”.
And in those moments when you are feeling all those feelings, gratitude doesn’t do a damn thing for you. Life is life and shit happens – the good, the bad and the ugly. And I am all about feeling your shit when you are in it. But I also know there is a way out.
A way out of
I know this because I have lived this – but let’s be honest gratitude alone didn’t get me out of this. Looking at where I am, where I want to go and what I can do about it, and then taking action got me out of this.
Because you do end up in the dump sometimes, and you do feel all the negativity and for heaven’s sake, feel that shit. Because only when you allow that feeling can you get clear on your vision. And while I do practice gratitude every single day, there are still days that are complete and utter shit. And all the gratitude in the world won’t change the feelings or thoughts around.
- Getting clear on your vision
- Mapping out a plan
- Letting go of the shit
- Taking Action
- Actively participate in your own change
That – that right there will change your life around.
All this week, I have talked about fear how it shows up, where it will stop us and how it is asking you to play bigger.
This is known to be true, if it scares you so much that you almost piss your pants, then you are called to step out.
Here are a few things that you can do to challenge your fear:
Start where you are in small and tiny steps
What really scares you is that your belief you should make big huge leaps and it’s more about taking tiny and consistent steps forward. What tiny thing can you do today to move forward?
Believe in yourself and trust that you know
Think back about a moment in your life where you believed in yourself. Now take this feeling and transfer it into the present moment and really feel it as you are visualizing your next steps. Trust that your intuition is guiding you and that you know what to do.
Challenge that fear by writing it down
This is perhaps one of my favorite journaling activities because I get to proof fear aka the ego wrong in many ways. Take your journal or a piece of paper and write down your fear. Now create a list of evidence to show whether it is true or false. If it’s true, journal what you can do about it.
Do something different from what you have always done
This will without question challenge you and push your comfort zone which is the point! You aren’t going to move forward and achieve your dreams by doing what you have always done. You will need to take it and just get over yourself.
Oh, you know it’s only those little nudges that tell you to take action. Intuition is different from your ego. Ego will try to talk you out of taking action. It will try to convince you that your dream and vision is just a silly notion and why bother.
Your intuition is your inner compass of moving forward, calling you into action. Go quietly for just a moment and listen to your intuition. Notice what it is telling you and the feeling that comes up. But let’ not overcomplicate things, which is something we all tend to do.
Most common response to vision is “I don’t know how to get there”. And that is scary but as brilliant as you are, you know there is away, and there is always a search engine with the answer. Saying you don’t know how to get there, disappoints you because you are backing out on the commitment you have made to your vision.
Intuition is also the voice that tells you, nope this doesn’t feel aligned with who you are. But how do you tell the difference between intuition and ego?
Journal it out. Write about it. Acknowledge any fears, resistance that may come up and see how you feel afterwards. If it’s still a nope and you are left with that uncomfortable feeling in your gut, then your intuition is telling you either that it’s not for you, or at least not right now.
Give yourself permission to change goals and revisit the list of your ideas. Remember not all your ideas are going to be great or awesome. I once decided that opening a retail store supporting artist would be exactly the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I closed the store a year later.
I stuck with it for a year but 6 months in, I hated it.
My intuition told me that this isn’t my thing. Being stuck in a store 5-7 days a week, not having the freedom that I wanted, just wasn’t my thing. I worked through the pain of it not being the success I had hoped for.
And then I wrote out my vision of what I wanted to achieve in life, and I realized that retail with a physical store front was and is not part of my vision. Be okay with your vision changing and trust your intuition. It is after all the best navigational system we have
For more on creating your vision, check out this blog post!
You can talk about the things in your life you want to change all day long, but they mean nothing if you don’t take action.
When you are making a commitment to be
- True to yourself
- Go after your dreams
- Change your life
You are making a commitment to showing up intentionally every single day.
Every morning as you awake, you have a choice to be miserable or be happy. Choosing happy is a commitment to yourself, knowing that your attitude about who you are is guiding you to how your day will unfold.
Not all moments are going to be happy, let’s not be living in a fairy tale, but when you make a commitment to be intentional, you decide how to react to any given situation.
And please do feel frustrated, get upset and sob as you need. This too can be intentional because you are committed to allowing yourself to feel, to be true to yourself.
Going after your dreams is no cake walk and yes there are plenty of moments, where you want to throw your hands into the air and walk away. But when you make a commitment to your dreams, you take the hard days with the easy days.
Making a commitment to yourself is knowing that there is the tide of rough storms and smooth sailing but that no matter how the ocean responds, you are willing to show up every single day.
This kind of a commitment to who you are will ultimately change your life.
Some people will weather the storm with you, hold the rope and throw out the anchor, while some people will jump ship.
Allow yourself to feel the sadness in it all but remember that you are committed to being who you are and that your dreams are bigger than bailing when all of it gets just a bit too difficult to manage.
This past year has been sailing the rough seas and bathing in the sun when thing went smoothly, that I was excited to sail around the world (not literally).
But I made a commitment to myself that my story mattered, that I mattered and that my dreams come to me specifically to guide the way for others, to get into their own boats and be committed to sailing around the world.
When you have this kind of a commitment, you show up every morning, intentionally and inspired. You know the actions to take, the words to say and know that every single moment is meaningful.
Making a commitment, means you are willing to infuse meaning into your life in every single moment.