Monday, May 1, 2017

Signs of Growth....

With spring here, we started our vegetable and herb gardens again. I love having fresh veggies and herbs all summer to enjoy! Each year, the gardens start with either seeds or baby plants, and it seems like days on end before any real growth is noticeable, and almost overnight, everything takes off. For a seed to burst through the soil or a plant to grow just a bit taller, they have to stretch out of their comfort zones and break in order to develop. And so do we.

I can think of so many occasions when I had to step out of my comfort zone and allow myself to be uncomfortable for an uncertain amount of time in order to grow. During that time of being uncomfortable, it wasn't always fun. Sometimes it was frustrating, especially when it seemed to take longer than what I wanted. When that happens, it can be really easy to talk yourself out of it, too. Discomfort isn't something we typically see as moving forward, but when it happens because you are doing the right things for you to grow, then it's part of the process to make you stronger, better and ready for that next level. You may have to dig a little deeper so that you keep going, but eventually you will make progress. So, how do you embrace the discomfort during growth?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Follow the Curvy Brick Road...

As I think about my life and the path I've taken, I realize that it was more of a journey with turns and bends than a straight line. For instance, I went to undergraduate school not knowing what I was going to major in until the end of the fall semester sophomore year. I declared my major about fifteen times to my parents - affectionally called MOM or Major of the Month - but only once to the school. When I declared my major, it was because I liked to write and thought Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations would be interesting. To get to that point, though, I used my electives to figure out what I did want to do. I tried a variety of courses that I was interested in learning more about and considering as a major. As I slowly ruled out some, I started to see a possible path. It took a lot of figuring out what I didn't want to do to get to what I did want to do.  Sometimes going from point a to point b isn't a straight line, but it may have been the best way for you to arrive where you were supposed to be.  Can you think of a time when you achieved a goal through a curvy path instead of straight one?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

35 Things That Bring Me Joy...

In no particular order, I was inspired to share some things that bring me joy :)

1. a genuine compliment
2. date night with my hubby
3. the smell of the ocean
4. chocolate
5. encouraging others
6. belting out my favorite songs with the radio, especially in the car
7. daisies + sunflowers + tulips
8. quality time with my stepdaughter
9. a gorgeous outfit
10. kitties
11. hope
12. a beautiful pair of heels
13. following my passions
14. a child's laugh
15. the silver lining
16. sitting around the kitchen table after a meal and talking with family or friends for hours
17. out of the blue texts or phone calls that are "just because"
18. a well-written book
19. an inspirational movie
20. spending time at the beach
21. a rainy Sunday afternoon watching movies in pjs
22. sunrises
23. a genuine smile
24. sharing stories
25. visiting an art museum
26. a heart felt hug
27. live concerts with my favorite bands
28. animations
29. attending a stage performance
30. baking + cooking
31. a warm throw
32. the sun
33. a clean house
34. hearing a beautiful voice sing
35. starry nights

Your turn! :) Comment below and share with me something that brings you joy!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Are you asking...

Although our three kitties have very different personalities, they all communicate clearly what they want. Let's take attention as an example. When Einstein needs some attention, he carts around a toy in his mouth, making some kind of muffled sound until he finds you. The toy is a gift that he drops for us to acknowledge, rub his head and tell him he's a good boy. He looks so proud and purrs the whole time. Moo will get beside you and stand on her back legs while squeaking and tapping you with her paw. She's determined to get your attention because your lap is her destination. As soon as you move so she can jump, she's in your lap and making biscuits, purring as loudly as she can :) Cap'n Jack sits right at your feet and leans into your body. Sometimes he seems like he's reaching up so you will pick him up and rub his back. Purring the whole time.

Each kitty has their own way of asking for what they want. And each one is willing to ask.  Most of the time sweetly, but some times they can be insistent, especially when they think you are taking too long. As I observed their behaviors, I realized I was learning from them. Knowing what you want. Asking for what you want. Sometimes asking for what you want or need is exactly what needs to happen to help you feel refreshed or move to another level. So are you clearly asking for what you want or need? 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Getting Out of Our Own Way...

Over the weekend, I was at a craft fair and had such a wonderful time! I love meeting people and hearing their stories. As I thought about this event and previous ones, I realized there are a few themes that I tend to talk about every time. One of them is staying true to yourself.  If you've read any of the stories in the Einstein and Moo series, you know that Einstein's a sassy little boy and Moo is a sweet and curious little girl. They have different personalities, but I love them just the way they are. For kitties, it's easy for them to stay true to themselves, but do we?  Sometimes we might think we should change or hide our differences or else we won't be accepted. That is limiting, and it's a limit we are placing on ourselves. It's not being the best that you can be.  It's letting outside opinions matter more than your own. If you like you, and I hope you do, then embrace everything about you and share who you are, as you are. :) There's a lot more good things about each one of us than there are flaws. So how do you get out of your own way and embrace who you are, even those attributes that you think make you different?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Being True To You...

Cap'n Jack, Moo, Einstein (c) 2017 Jennifer Milius
So after posting last week's blog, I realized another perspective on the same activity and wanted to share with you :) If you didn't catch that post, here's a link.

What I noticed was how each kitty uses their strengths and doesn't worry about the opinions of others. Cap'n Jack uses his front paws to climb and lets his back leg be more of an anchor as he gets on top of a kitty stand. He uses what he has to the best of his abilities. He's not worried about what's missing or what someone might say.  Moo is a snugglebug, and when she's in her groove, she's not concerned if her purrs are too loud or too soft. To her, they are just right. Einstein is excellent at staying on top of feeding times. He does this by being chatty and offering head butts starting an hour before the actual feeding time. Einstein is persistent because he thinks it's the right thing to do. And when his meal happens, Einstein seems satisfied that he was heard.

As I watched them, I wondered how often we let outside opinions cloud our own thoughts, cause us to second guess ourselves, or unfairly compare ourselves. To me, each of us have a couple of talents, strengths, passions, skill-sets, and abilities that makes us unique. It's important to figure out what we have and own it. Embracing our strengths and what makes us different takes courage to share them. One of my passions is encouraging people. I was a cheerleader in high school and that same spirit carried throughout my corporate career. I even had some work mates refer to me as cheerleader. At first it would get under my skin, but after a while, I realized that I couldn't help it. Showing my enthusiasm for something I was passion about was me being true to me, so if it looked like a cheerleader to someone else, so be it. When have you had to overcome outside opinions in order to share your passion or talent?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Master and student...

Cap'n Jack and Einstein (c) 2017 Jennifer Milius
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about our newest kitty Cap'n Jack, who will be one in May. We found him as a three week old kitten with a severely injured back paw. The vet recommended amputation as the best solution for him. He doesn't miss that foot at all. In fact, he runs circles around his older siblings, Einstein and Moo, who will be eight in April.

As a little guy, he would watch his older siblings leap effortlessly from the floor to the couch in one jump, and although he tried, he did not have the same propulsion with his remaining back leg. Very quickly, Cap'n Jack figured out a different way to join his siblings by pulling himself up using his front paws to climb. Kind of like a rock climber.

What was an interesting twist was watching Einstein watch Cap'n Jack. Although Einstein can jump, he still wanted to imitate his little brother and climb the same way. Although he's not as smooth as Cap'n Jack, Einstein is learning and trying something new.  So, who is the student and who is the master? Have you had a case where you were the master and learned from the student?