Tag Archives: Life

Your Masterpiece is YOU (and the New WOW)

For our entire lives, we’ve been working on a masterpiece.

We may not call ourselves creative and a paintbrush may never have graced our hands – still, we are artists.

On my 4+ hour drive to Jacksonville to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Anita and her family, I had good company.  Joining me on the open road was the audio book of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Voice of Knowledge.”  A new friend had shared with me that Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” deeply affected his life for good. He highly recommended the trilogy of Toltec Wisdom Books.

The word “Toltec” means “artist of the spirit.” In the Toltec tradition, every human is an artist, and the supreme art is the expression of the beauty of our spirit. To consider that we are artists (rather than mere humans), makes us creators – just like the One Who created us.

From page 47 of The Voice of Knowledge:

How do we live our life? This is our art; the art of living.

There are two kinds of artists.  Those who create their story without awareness, and those recover awareness and create their story with truth and with love.

To think that I – that WE – hold the paintbrush to our lives is an awesome realization.  Is there something that doesn’t fit into our vision of truth and love?  Paint over it.  Create something new.  We have the power to do this.

We were BORN to write our own story and have everything we need to make it a work of art.  Yes, people will come along who will try to impose on us what THEY think our lives should look like.

When I handed over the paintbrush to other people, I became something other than the authentic Brenda.

It has taken many years to get her back.  As the song goes, “Reunited and It feels SO good!

This passage from page 68 excited my spirit so much I wanted to share it with you:

You are the only one who can change your story, and you do this by changing your relationship with yourself.

Every time you change the main character in your story, just like magic the whole story starts to change in order to adapt to the new main character.

I think of one of my favorite movies of all time, Frequency, in which the main character is able to connect to his long-deceased Father through a miraculous ham radio.  At one point he mentions that “cigarettes will kill, you Dad…” as an off-handed comment.

Long story short, that suggestion led to a decision by his Father that resulted in him changing the course of his life…and his death.  The script was rewritten.

I consider my decision four years ago to stop drinking.  After years of wrestling with, “Do I have a problem?” I heard clearly in my spirit that if I kept it up, I would die prematurely.  When tempted to sip a Cosmopolitan, I have reminded myself of that revelation to keep me from turning back.

The clarity of sobriety has graced me with so many gifts; most importantly, a clearness about what I want my life to be and who I want Brenda to be.  It has afforded me a newfound ability to call a lie a lie and step away from pretense and performance.  Being clear gave me the courage to walk away from those things that no longer “fit” the true me…and the health in mind, body and spirit to enjoy a new way of living.

It was the first domino in a series that led to removing Zoloft from my life, journeying to Costa Rica to get back in touch with my wounded soul and begin this journey to wholeness.

What a ripple effect!

I’m sure there will yet be many more changes to the main character of my story, but my point in writing is to encourage YOU to take that paintbrush and adjust your masterpiece accordingly.

Paint your beautiful life with broad strokes of love and truth, my friends.

And what a great word to follow up these thoughts on CREATIVITY:

What a wonderful assignment for all of us!  It is NEVER too late to be who you “might have been.”

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.  It’s a holiday to be celebrated year-round…and my heart is overflowing with gratitude for this life I get to live (and create!).  I’m so blessed to share it with you.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

Share This:

Yippee – It’s Mine! Now, Let it Go (and the New WOW)

For many years I struggled with the concept of success and “getting what’s mine.”

For much of my 20’s and 30’s, I enviously observed other people achieving results, living exciting lives full of travel and material wealth and I longed for the same.

It seemed that there was a glass partition that I just couldn’t break through, keeping me from accessing life from the driver’s seat of the limo. This wasn’t a question in the back of my mind – it was in the FOREFRONT:  “Why can’t I connect the dots?  What am I missing?”

For as long as I’ve been me, I’ve wanted to live life to the fullest.  Along the way, I got sidetracked and convinced myself that I could settle into mediocrity and still be happy.

Here’s the thing: the definition of mediocre is different for everyone.  My idea of living high might be settling for you (and vice versa).

At our core, though, we know what we are capable of and what will make us fulfilled.  If we fall short, the question “Why?” is a worthy one.

One day I had my breakthrough.  The time I actually got an ANSWER to the question was on an ordinary day as I was driving home from work.

In my spirit, I heard, “You don’t really believe that there’s plenty to go around.  You believe in the idea of abundance, but not as a reality for YOU.  Do you truly believe that there is unlimited success, wealth, potential, blessing, resources available to you?  Then start acting like it.”

It clicked.

My prayer life changed.  I started THANKING God for provision.  I started EXPECTING favor.  

And my life took a major shift from scarcity to abundance – not just materially, but mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Louis Vuitton handbags showed up in the mail (thank you, Shirlee.) I became an occasional guest at the Ritz-Carlton (thanks to my fairy godmother and father – you know who you are).

Yes, kindness and generosity flowed to me from amazing people.

And I even started to manifest some of my own miracles.  Speaking engagements and freelance gigs flowed to me, including travel to places I’d always dreamed of going.

But the shining example of my new way of living life abundantly was my beautiful home in Sarasota.  I’ve told you the story before, but it always held up as a high-water mark of proof that God loved me and wanted to give me the desires of my heart.

I wanted to live there forever.  I would proclaim to anyone, “This is my dream house.  I’ll spend the rest of my life here.”

Until faced with the decision to surrender it.

There was a critical point where I had to choose:  Should I stay in the house of my dreams…or start living the LIFE of my dreams?

At my core I know that no matter how beautiful the home or breathtaking the pool and jacuzzi, I had no peace.

I once read a quote (paraphrased), “Your net worth will never be greater than your self-worth.” – Robin Sharma

Here’s a good one, too:

Once I “got” the lesson about abundance, the second round of revelation was wrapped around the question, “Would my STUFF define me?”

What we have can have US; it can lock us up in a prison (a very comfortable one, mind you), but it can suppress what should be an irrepressible spirit.

This is not to say that I have since renounced abundance.  Hell no!  Remember, I’m the girl who wore her false eyelashes to a spartan retreat in Costa Rica and who goes to the lobby of the RItz Carlton just to sniff it.  (Really, it smells divine.)

But Brenda 2.0 is not beholden to any of the trappings of this life. Yes, they can be fun and the icing on the cake…but the cake is the peace in my heart, the love I have for myself and the respect I now give my tender soul.

I speak more about this in my closing thoughts on SURRENDER:

Here is what is so amazing and cool and miraculous about our new, never before received WOW, release:  When I stood in those rushing waters in Costa Rica, I asked for a RELEASE of creativity.  I asked for my laughter to be unleashed.  (And a few other private things that also go along with this wonderful word.)

My friends, perhaps the universe is saying that on the other side of our surrender; if we’re willing to let go of what has held us captive; if we relinquish your fears and let the white flag wave on the life we THOUGHT was our dream come true – what awaits us all is RELEASE.

Woo-hoo!  I’m doing a happy dance for all of us.

So now that I’ve told you mine, please tell me about your surrenders and releases. It makes this journey together all the more wonderful to share them.

Much love,

Brenda

Share This:

Risk and the Flow of Life (and the New WOW)

This week I pondered the flow of life.

Sometimes it is a gentle canoe ride on a placid lake.

Other times it seems you’re attempting to surf a tsunami.

This video cracks me up, perfectly characterizing my life these last couple of weeks:

Leaked footage of me going with the flow

Just gotta roll with it

Posted by Viral Thread on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Life is replete with rather dull moments; the comfortable hum-drum of morning coffee, work, gym, food –  rinse and repeat.

Suddenly, epic moments arise when a portal opens in the universe. You can either muster up the courage to walk through or stand by, indecisively…and watch the window of opportunity close.

These moments are not so gentle, yet are still a part of the flow of life.

So how do you know if you should go with the flow and take the risk?

There’s an uncanny peace to the flow of life.

You’re not trying to make it happen; you aren’t freaked out or driven by it; yes, there are butterflies associated with the risk, but they are not born of desperation.

There is a quiet knowing within you that urges you forward.

Someday soon I will share what is happening in my own life; it’s still too fresh and raw to comment on because it doesn’t just involve me and I respect the privacy of those who are also involved.

But I liken it to the parting of the Red Sea.

It has been said that the waters didn’t part for Moses and the children of Israel to walk through until Moses took that first step of faith into the water.

The flow of life and the promise of his God was that he would lead the children of Israel into the promised land. He didn’t know how they would cross that sea, but he knew deep inside that the One who had promised would make a way.

So, risky as it was, he took that first step.

Swoosh! (Have you ever seen the movie that shows how the sea divided into water walls on the left and right?  Powerful stuff.)

I wonder if some of the crew marveled at this wonder but said, “No way.  I’m not walking through that!”

And who could blame them?

On the other hand, Pharaoh was checking out Moses and those who fled with a huge, “How DARE they!”

They dared, because they knew a better life awaited them – and the risk to remain was more painful than the risk to go.

Going with the flow of life is an act of obedience.  It’s a decision to stop trying to shove a square peg in a round hole.

And it is entirely personal.

What is unconscionable to you may be someone else’s passport to freedom.

Judge not, lest you be judged.

If you can imagine your life happy WITHOUT going for it, don’t.

If you can only imagine yourself tormented by “What ifs” if you don’t take that step, please, take the path of peace and that first step.  Watch the waters miraculously part.

Here’s my pre-recorded recollection of a professional risk that landed me in the emergency room and the new Word of the Week:

I sent this card recently to some key people:

There’s nothing like the people who rise up and support you when you need it most.  Let love in this week – and if tempted to judge, consider that supporting a friend doesn’t have to mean you agree with them.

Love is the constant.

xoxoxoxox

Brenda

Share This:

Therapeutic Writing on a Devastating Day

Every few months I treat myself to a little help collecting Shasta’s furballs and removing toothpaste splatters from the bathroom mirror.

It’s a splurge, but so helpful – and along the way, I met Ashley.

I don’t know her last name; she’s in my phone as “Ashley Cleaner” and I found her on Thumbtack.com when I moved to Florida. Her ratings were high, her prices were low and from the minute I met her, I liked her.

A twenty-something with the kind of natural beauty that doesn’t require makeup, she was here the day before we moved in to get us ready for the arrival of boxes and furniture.   Sweet and kind (and boy, did she get that stainless steel to shine!)

As the months went on and my house became more of a home, we’d chat about life – and mostly, she talked about her little girl. We trusted Ashley and felt comfortable giving her free reign of the house, knowing she was a good person and would do right by us.

She was scheduled to come on Friday morning at 8:30 AM.  When 9:00 came and went, I called. Her little girl was under the weather; she had tried to contact me…and asked if she could reschedule for the following week.

No problem! Hey, the important thing was being there for her little girl. We set a date for Monday (it is Monday as I write this) and went about our respective weekends.

When 8:30 became 9:30 today, I texted her, “Hey, are you coming?”

What I received back has left me numb yet brokenhearted; stunned and heartsick. Her mother texted me back: “Ashley was killed by a drunk driver this weekend…”

Her little girl was still under the weather, or she would likely have been in the car with her. The kids were home with dad while Ashley went out to the grocery store. And she never made it home.

A lovely life, snuffed out because someone felt invincible after some cocktails. A little girl, left to grow up without her Mommy…and a Dad, left to raise babies while dealing with his own devastating grief.

Life is precious. Life is precious. Life is precious.

Our tomorrows are not promised.

On Sunday after Duane and I went to our favorite diner, we stopped to pick up ink cartridges at Staples. The light turned green and, thankfully, Duane looked left before putting his foot on the gas. A car careened through the red light; had he not looked, it would surely have been the end of us.

My heart pounded out of my chest. Close calls are frightening…but the text I received today was even more jolting.

Hug your babies; kiss your husband; call your best friend; snuggle with your pet. Look both ways. Don’t drink and drive. Say “I love you.”

I resolve, yet again, not to sweat the small stuff.  I have breath, I have life , I have love to give and receive – THAT is what matters.

Thank you for listening; it has helped me to write this.

When I find out any more details, I will pass them along to you in the hope that there is some small way to help this grieving family.

Much love,

Brenda

Share This: