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Take a look in the Mirror.....

You have 3 choices every single day in every single minute.

1. You can sit on the sidelines of your life. You can complain and be part of the problem. You can grow all the negativity about what is wrong in this world. Just a thought....It's easy to be another voice in the crowd complaining.

2. You can focus on what is good in this world and think positive thoughts. Share positive thoughts. Focus on what is right and keep your eyes on the prize of living a happy fullfilling life.

3. You can go and be that change that you think should happen. Don't complain if you don't like how something is done. Simply Get up and DO SOMETHING about it.

You have 24 hours each day while this planet we live on does a full spin. How do you want to fill your time? I think about that a lot. I think about how blessed each day is that we "GET" to be alive in our working bodies on earth with people we care about. How do I want to spend those gifted hours? I'm going to dive into those three principles above in greater detail further down in this blog but first let's back track a little.

Why am I describing our time here as gifted? I'm going to explain. I have a lot of thoughts on this topic.

I'll start with this. Why are our days here gifts?

Go to your local hospital. Go down a hallway with people who are too sick to leave the hospital. People no longer have a full day to be doing what they want with their bodies. Their brain might be alive and well but if their body can not leave the room they are in then they are trapped and limited to what their life can be. In a way they are in a jail of their health failing them. Even if that is you today, right now. Let's talk about finding that silver lining while you are there. What can you focus on. Maybe you can set a small goal for yourself, that when you get out of the hospital you want to take more advantage the days you feel well and fill them with more positive energy. Enjoying things you find fulfilling instead of waiting for some other day.

That being said, it doesn't matter if you have a lot of money in the bank or none at all. If your body is sick and not working then you have nothing but the conversation in your brain.... if it's well enough to do that.

What does this mean to me. Well, I witnessed this first hand as an observer in my mother's decline as cancer raged war on her body. I witnessed the chemo killing all the bad cancer cells and in the process killing the cells that kept her healthy and strong. I witnessed the radiation's side effects and the devastating decline in her health when today's modern medicine was not enough to destroy the cancer that was spreading throughout her body. I witnessed this as a kid, I witnessed her battle, I witnessed the pain. I witnessed what it means to fight for one more day to breath air on our earth.

Where did this leave me at 22 years of age and 4 month from my college graduation when the cancer eventually won and took my mom's body (I will say it took her body but never her soul, that is a different blog check out "Souls, WTF). It left me terrified. What would I do in a world without my biggest fan, my backbone? I'm going to tell you right now what I did. First I fell the f*ck apart. I felt broken, exhausted, lost. I guess I had been feeling that way while the cancer was ravaging her body too but after her funeral the exhaustion of what was the last 6 years of my life and her life really sunk in. Again, I hid this as you have read in my other blogs like "This is me". But I was lost. I didn't know what the heck I wanted to do with my life. I didn't know who to turn to help me. I did what I always did. I just kept on walking and moving in a direction of trying to figure it out. Failure was not an option and it has never been for me. I guess that part comes from within. I knew I had to look out for myself even at times when I wondered "why am I even here?" "why should I ever care about somebody, they are eventually just going to leave me just like my mom did?" "Nobody is safe, this world is blind to who it attacks". The thoughts they came in at all hours. I would be sitting at my desk at work in Chicago months after I graduated at my first job in the city thinking what if today is my last on this planet. Do I want to be at this desk?" It was confusing because I needed to pay for my apartment and food but did I need to do it at a desk. I had no clue. I just kept trying different jobs. Exploring. Not sure of many things like.....who I was, what I was, and if I was even meant for this world. I was jaded, clouded, lost. Those were most of my 20's.

Then I started hanging out with my now husband as he had moved to Chicago from Michigan like me after graduation. He and I had known each other back at Michigan State University. We were buddies for years there. We had classes together, study hall. He knew my story. He knew my pain. At this point we had known each other for 6 years. He knew me before my mom died. He knew me when we were both kids hanging out and trying to play a division one sport for MSU and go to school. He made me smile. Things just were easy. I was distracted from my sadness and grief from my mom's death. He lit up my world. We wouldn't do anything really special. Just hang out. Watch TV. He was in outside sales at the times. He felt like home. He felt like the safe place I had lost when my mom died. He felt like unconditional love. All I knew is I never wanted to leave the warmth of my new "home" within him.

We dated for 2 years, got engaged for a year then married. I was happy but its interesting what happened next.... when you have lived through my experiences with my mom. I was so happy to have love and then a dark cloud started to move into life. The distraction of my new love and safety started getting poisoned by my fear of now losing this new happiness. It started to drip into my thoughts that something could happen and take this away from me. Fear that sickness would enter my life like it did my mom's. Fear that I wouldn't be good enough, fear that something would happen and I would be alone and lost again. My brain couldn't stop this storm from taking over my thoughts. Fear....absolute terror can into my mind. An obsession with what if I get cancer like my mom. I couldn't stop it. Then the infertility came into my life. I was overwhelmed. I no longer could think about what do I want to do with my life because I now felt like I was drowning. This was all in my head. My head only saw the glass half empty. My eyes couldn't find the light of day. I was sinking in an ocean of my fears gasping for breath.

What happened next. First I suggest you read my other blogs because that explains a lot about what happened next. The Fertility blog, This is me blog, the anxiety, the monsters in my head, the filling the void, the losing my mother. To summarize in as few words as possible.....I struggled trying to get pregnant, I developed bacteria resistant cdiff, I had that misdiagnosed cyst that was really an abscess, I had post part depression, I had severe anxiety, I had a stool transplant, I had doctors telling me it was all in my head until the evidence was in their hands in the operating room. All things that I go into detail about in my other blogs. I went to therapy 3 days a week every week with a psychiatrist for 10 YEARS. I felt like a drowning failure. I couldn't have kids, I was motherless, I couldn't get better from being sick, I didn't have a strong friend support group back then. I was in a dark place. All my eyes could see is the storm and the waves crashing on me. I couldn't take a breath and couldn't catch a break.

What did I do, I kept trying to find my way out. I kept moving. Like Dory says in "Finding Nemo" I just kept swimming. I didn't know how to get out of this mind space. I wrote about this in my blog titled "ANXIETY". To summarize that quickly: I saw a better place in my husbands eyes. How he viewed life. There was a place better than where my brain lived. A place of hope and possibilities. I didn't know how to find it but I knew it was there. I knew he had 2 parents that looked out for him and talked to him daily. I didn't have that but I knew that was ok. It was ok, we don't all get all the things that everyone else gets. I was at peace with that. I just believed with all my heart that things could get better and so I kept treading and swimming even on my darkest days.

Therapy, acupuncture, yoga therapy, Zoloft, exercise. You name it and I did it. I talked till I had nothing left to talk about. I cried until I had no tears left and then cried some more. I fought for a new perspective. I practiced everyday training my mind to think about the light of possibility. I trained myself to stop the negative voice in my head. To keep my eyes on the light of day and on the good in this world. I'm going to tell you the truth the Zoloft really helped me quieting those negatives. It kept those fears smaller and slowed them from circling my brain as aggressively. I was finally able to classify these scary thoughts for what they were. Just thoughts. I was able to see them. I was able to stare them in the face and say I know you are there and that is ok. I can be live with you in my mind but you aren't going to win my attention everyday anymore.

Steps I took.

I focus on the silver lining of everything. Even the worst things I focus on the positive. What can come from this? Who can learn? Who can grow? One thing I know for sure. Negativity spreads like a contagious cancer. Not only taking over your thoughts but the thoughts of those around you. Go ahead, give it try. Start talking to a friend or coworker complaining about something that you feel negative about. Talk about your kids teacher, something that happened in the mall or work. You will see, it spreads. The negative attitude is not only destroying your outlook but also now those around you. So stop it! You heard me, STOP IT! You don't like the way your kids teacher is teaching something. Don't complain to everyone on earth. Call up the teacher or email them and go talk to them about ideas of how to make the situation better. Give positive possible solutions. Don't add to the problem.

The number one thing I learned is "you don't have a vote on so many things in life". So better start living and doing things the way you want when you can because you don't know when something could happen that could take life as you know it completely away from you.

I've mentioned this before in my blog "Do you watch the news?" I watch and talk about things that are good in this world. I focus on the positive in people. I do my best to keep my mind set focused on 2 things: what I do have and what I can control. I can spend my time thinking and complaining or I can spend it seeing what is right. I chose the second. Try it for a day. I dare you. When "this seems so unfair" comes into your brain. Stop and think about how fair it is that you get to be there and not stuck in a hospital bed. Think about that you get to be part of that awful meeting at work instead of not having a job and having no meeting to go to. When your kids are driving you nuts think about how lucky you are to have kids. How lucky you are to get this opportunity to mold your future best friend into the considerate friend you want them to be. I'm tell you I am not an expert at this. There are days when I want to rip my hair out but I always come back to this mindset. I try every single day to do my best. I'm NOT perfect and I will NOT let being perfect get in the way of being good enough. Honestly I should repeat that sentence: "DO NOT LET PERFECT GET IN THE WAY OF BEING GOOD ENOUGH!"

I'm telling you doing this has changed my life. Try it. I'm seriously a million times happier in my day to day life because of it. That is what it is all about. Enjoying your time here on this earth. Not being miserable, anxious, or stressed out. I got stuck in a doctor's office waiting room longer than expected. Like much longer. I could b*tch and complain or I could find the silver lining. I picked my the silver lining. Do you know why? Because it will make me happier in the moment. Complaining will only create more anger. So I told myself find the happy in this. I thought great, I can edit a ton of photos and work on getting some contacts for companies I want to model for. You have a choice.....focus on what is wrong and complain or do something about it. I pick to do something about it. It can be as simple as just changing your mind about how to process the experience you are in.

Getting back to where we started. You have a 3 choices every single day in every single minute.

1. You can sit on the sidelines of your life and complain and be part of the problem. You can add to all the negativity about what is wrong in this world. Its easy to be another voice in the crowd complaining.

2. You can focus on what is good in this world and think positive thoughts. Focus on what is right and keep your eyes on the prize of living a happy fulfilling life.

3. You can go and be that change that you think should happen. Don't complain if you don't like how something is done. Simply Get up and DO SOMETHING about it.

I make the choice every single day to do options 2 and 3. I lived in option #1. I drowned in option #1. Option #1 SUCKS. If you are in option #1, I am telling you to find your F*CKING WAY OUT. It is not a good place for your brain to live. Did you have bad sh*t in your past? Guess what, just about everybody has suffered and struggled to some level in their life. Don't sit there in a pool of sorrow. Get out before it drowns you. I'm not telling you to ignore its existence. Recognize it as being part of what has made you the awesome person you are today. Know that part of your life was there, real, and it flat out sucked but don't live in that sadness. Find a therapist, find a friend, read blogs, and read book about people who moved on from it. See what sounds appealing and give it a try.

I love music and I hear it often in my head when I'm going through something whether good or bad. Right now, a song I absolutely love by Michael Jackson pops into my mind. I'm sure you know it. "Man in the Mirror". It is so obvious. After writing this blog today this is the soundtrack of my mind. Here are the lyrics:

"I'm gonna make a change, for once in my life

It's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference

Gonna make it right...

As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat

This wind is blowing' my mind

I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat

Who am I, to be blind? Pretening not to see their needs

A summer's disregard, a broken bottle top

And a one man's soul

They follow each other on the wind ya' know

'cause they got nowhere to go

That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror

I'm asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place?

if you wanna make the world a better place?

Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love

It's time that I realize

That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan

Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart

And a wash-out dream

They follow the pattern of the wind, ya' see

'Cause they got no place to be

That's why I'm starting with me

Starting with me

I'm starting with the man in the mirror

I'm asking him to change his ways

An no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change"

My advice:

1. Quoted by Dory from Finding Nemo, "just keep swimming"

2. focus on what is good in your world.

3. If you don't like something than as one of my favorite pop star's song goes "look in the mirror and make a change."

Incase you want to know how this effects me. I want to model. I want to be happy. I want to play with my kids and be happy when I'm with them. I want to talk about what I like about my home town. So I am out there doing just that. Focusing on what is right and good in my community. Talking about good people who are doing good things. Talking about possibilities and doing something about it. Helping people. Even people I barely know. Why because it feels good and I'm swimming in the direction to feel good with the 24 hours I get each day on this earth.

I wish you luck in your journey to feel good and do good!

I love you texts and emails so keep them coming! They inspire me everyday that I'm on the right path!

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