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The Crap I Think…..

Month

October 2014

More Than Enough!

We all want a slice of the pie, right? We all want the biggest slice, right?

What if I told you that there is no longer a need to fight for the biggest slice? What if I told you that there never was a need to fight for it in the first place?

I was completely inspired by Glenon Melton yesterday. She said something along the lines of, “We don’t have to fight for a bigger slice of the pie. What if we just got bigger pies?”

How incredible! We can stop the competition between each other in our professions. There is enough, more than enough, abundance in this world to go around for each and every single one of us to have our own HUGE pie. There is. This whole world is full of choices, abundant choices. The beauty is we get to choose. We have the freedom to choose.

Every day I am learning more and more about choices and abundance on this earth. Sometimes we may feel competition between each other but here’s the deal, there is only one YOU. There is only one you that can speak about what it is you want to speak about. There is only one YOU that has your specific style to show us what you love-what your passion it. There is only one YOU. And the truth is, we NEED YOU. The world absolutely NEEDS what you specifically have to share with this world. Share it. Don’t compare yourself to someone who is doing something similar to you. There are thousands of people doing the same thing you are doing but each one of them, if they are being authentic to themselves, are different. We are all different. And that difference is what we need to share with the world.

God made us all different so we could touch those that some of us can’t touch. Don’t compare yourself to others and share your story. Share your thing. The world NEEDS it. I promise.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

 

Stuck In The Don’t Wants To Unstuck

About four years ago when I was working in a prison and wasn’t too fond of it, I was asked by a co-worker, “What do you want?”

I was on break in a depressed mood about life and my career situation when this Officer came into the break room and we started to conversate. He asked me if I always wanted to stay working a prison. When you work in a male prison as a female this is one of the most common questions asked by inmates and staff. The other one for me was, “What is your ethnicity?”

Anyways, the Officer asked me, “Do you want to stay here working in a prison for the rest of your career?”

I looked at him and said, “No. At least not in the position I am in now.”

He followed up with, “What do you want?”

I thought about it for a moment and said, “I don’t really know. That’s a hard question. I don’t want to work in a prison anymore. I don’t want to work weekends anymore. I don’t want to work 2nd shift anymore. I don’t want to wear the same thing to work anymore. I don’t want to go back to school at this point. I don’t really want to eat Ramon Noodles for the rest of my life (as I looked down at my bowl of warmed up Ramon Noodles). I don’t know. I’m just not sure what I want.”

He then looked straight at me, “You know what you don’t want, so see there, you know what you want.” And then he left.

After he walked out I sat there quizzically deep in thought. He was right. I did know what I wanted.

This moment has stuck with me for years.

Sometimes we think we have no idea what we want in life. We feel kind of lost and have no idea where to even start to think about what we do want. My suggestion; think about what you don’t want. Start there. Then think about what your ideal day would consist of.

From these two points I think you can gather some pretty insightful information into the life that you do want.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

 

 

Right Here, Right Now

What if hope was something we could eat? Like a food. Whenever we were feeling down and out of hope we could just go out and buy hope and then eat it. That. Would. Be. Awesome.

What if we just did our best to reach out and make sure every person knew they mattered? What if every person turned to whoever was next to them and let them know they mattered? If we did this then every person would know they mattered! What a great matter we would make!

I have learned throughout the years I’ve lived on this earth that I don’t need to make a big grand slam known world wide difference to actually make a difference. No. I just need to do it right here, right now, in my own little community. This is how a ripple effect gets started and this is how it keeps going and keeps growing. I have learned one can never start out thinking, I’m going to make a huge difference, but rather one starts out by thinking, I am going to make a difference right now, right where I am.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to figure this out but it has. Right here. Right now. This is all we have anyways. I realize my blog may be read by only a few people but I have to believe that to those few people, it helps and it makes a difference for them. I have a few really great close friends that make a HUGE difference to me. Without them, I would be broke.

Right here, right now, we make a difference. On a large scale or on a small scale. The ripple effect that is created grows and grows. We make a difference. YOU make a difference. Right here. Right now.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Our Platforms In Life

I have this belief that God gives all of us platforms. Some seem very small to us and some seem very big to us….but for God, these platforms are HUGE.

I am an introvert. I am quiet by nature. I love learning and listening to others. Put me in a one on one conversation and I have a lot to say; as long as I am finding meaning in it. Quit the, “How are you’s” and the “weather” talk and let’s get straight to, “What is life” and the “What is your true passion” talk. THIS is what I love. Stick me in a group of people that I don’t know very well and I won’t say too much. I’ll listen at best though.

In order for me to speak up in a group of people, I need a platform to be able to speak from. This blog gives me the ability to do that. My role in my job gives me the ability to do that. My love for creating some fun fitness classes gives me the ability to do that. Social Media gives me the ability to do that. Being an Auntie who teaches and loves those little boogers unconditionally gives me the ability to do that. Being a wife gives me the ability to do that. My passions override my introversion at times. We all have so many platforms in our daily lives to speak from.

God gives us platforms-very small to very big-for some even bigger reasons.

I was reading this morning a story about a 9 year old girl who for her birthday, wanted to raise $300 for a charity called Charity: Water. On her birthday she found herself quite bummed because she hadn’t reached her goal. She was at $220. About 6 weeks after her birthday, her family as well as herself, were in a car accident. The little girl was in critical condition (the rest of her family fine). She was on life support. With the use of social media, donations started pouring in for her Charity: Water campaign. The little girl ended up passing away but the donations kept pouring in for her charity. People were donating $9 in remembrance of her. The donations went from $220 to over a million dollars raised!! Wow! She raised more than Justin Beiber had raised for this campaign. What!? Wow.

What happened to this little girl was a tragedy, yet at the same time, what an incredible blessing for hundreds-thousands of others.

Sometimes the platforms we are on seem very small, even insignificant to us. But, I can think of many others who have inspired thousands and millions of others by just doing what they find passion in.

God gives us platforms-very small to very big-for some even bigger reasons.

We are all changing and inspiring others in the seconds, minutes, and hours of our days. Or we are not.

We all have platforms. What are you using your platforms to do?

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Stripping Your Identity

We all identify ourselves by our roles. For example: I am a Mother, I am a Father, I am a Wife, I am a Social Worker, I am an Aunt, I am a Grandparent, I am a Home Owner, etc. At some point we lose who we really are because these roles become our identity……but are they?

What if you woke up tomorrow morning and everything you currently have and are today is no longer there when you wake up. You no longer work at your job. You no longer have children. You no longer are married. You no longer live in a home or an apartment. You no longer have anything you had before. It is only you, there.

What would you do? Where would you go? Would you find yourself trying to get a career in the same field you were in previously or would you try something completely different? Would you buy a house again or rent? Would you get a dog again? Would you still do all those activities you enjoy doing; reading, writing, running, working out, swimming, finishing school, becoming a wife again, becoming a Mother again, etc. What would you do?

If we were completely stripped tomorrow of all of the things that identify us today, who would we be?

Yes, external things do help identify who we are but I believe our true identity is found internally. So many of us find ourselves living a life that we never really wanted to live in the first place. Sure, we don’t think it’s a bad life BUT, it’s not the one we originally set out for. It might be a better life. It might be a worse life. It might just not be the one we imagined. It might be just average.

Let’s get back to our true identity and aim for more of that. There my friends, is where we will find who we really are, what we really enjoy, and what we really want.

Lose your current identity. Are you left with the same person you were before? Are some things the same? Or would you be completely different?

Losing your external identity helps you to gain your internal identity. Sometimes we are doing so much externally that we forget internally who we really are and what makes us really happy.

Just some good old food for thought today friends.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Your Pain Is Your Gain

Your pain is your gain.

You know that thing that happened to you? That thing that hurt you? That thing that you are ashamed of anyone even knowing about it? That thing that makes you feel like you are a failure? That thing that makes you feel like you are not competent?

Yes, that thing.

That is your gain. Use it. Share it.

When you feel that tug on your heart to share or use it, listen to that tug. Be it God or the Universe or Life or whatever you want to call it-listen to it.

Let this be your guide. Let this be your gain.

You will know when to use it. Use it every time you feel the tug.

Your pain is your gain.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Do Them!

I am crying about going back to school. I don’t want to do it. I am a firm believer in paying for school out of pocket and this alone is the reason I don’t want to do it. At 30 years old, I finally feel like I am making some decent money and now I have to spend it on another education program. Sucks! I already have my Bachelor of Art’s Degree so. Why. Do. I. Need. To. Do. THIS!!!

In order for me to keep my job, I have to do this. I don’t want to. I’m dragging my feet. I waited until I HAD to sign up. And now I am crying about it.

There are many things in life we simply do not want to do. Sure, the end result will be worth it. Right? Yes. It will be.

The distance between your dream and right now is all those things you have to do filled with some you don’t want to do. Do them. The hard work will pay off. Do them.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

 

Life & Racers

As I watched the wheelchair racers go by at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the racers with amputated legs, and those with cognitive disabilities, I kept hearing a phrase repeat to me over and over in my head. I am convinced that the majority of the world has no idea what true suffering really is.

As I watched this group of racers go by, I cried. The tears I could not hold back. The cheering I could not hold back. But it was more than just cheering the racers on in that moment that I was cheering about, it was cheering them on in the past, present and the future. Their future. The daily obstacles they have to overcome. Each day for them is a victory. To actually train for a 26.2 mile journey is absolutely extraordinary! To have that kind of mindset that those racers have is absolutely astonishing.

I have an older sister who is paralyzed from the chest down. She is a quadriplegic. Her name is Nichole. The daily struggles that come with living like this is not fair. The physical struggle is real and present in every single moment of her day. The mental struggle is real and present in every single moment of her day. The struggle doesn’t just stop with her. It continues to the family members as well. The lives that had to be changed and adjusted. The lives that had to be rerouted and remapped. The parents who would give anything to trade places with their daughter but can’t, these lives had to be reformed. Molded back into a different way. A different shape. A different form. The struggle is real. And it is a struggle that people wake up to every single day. A struggle that has no cure at this time. A struggle that is lived with for now. No chance of overcoming the struggle, just the chance of making the struggle more bearable and more doable.

This is why I tear up at the Chicago Marathon. This is why I go back every year. And this is why I support the charity I ran for called Spinal Cord Injury Sucks. For years after my sister’s accident, I felt trapped. I could only do so much to help her out. I could only do so much. But then I discovered running and I discovered SCIS. I signed up to run for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to raise money for Spinal Cord Injury Sucks. My life was changed.

I was finally doing something. I felt like I was finally making a mark in this arena. I was raising money. I was raising awareness. I was making a difference bigger than I could have imagined. I was contributing to thousands of others doing the same thing and together we were making a huge dent.

In large numbers you can make a huge dent. But doing it by yourself is hard and it is lonely. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. There are others out there in your boat, whatever boat you are in, wanting to do what you want to do. Find them. Hang on to the. And go make a huge dent with them.

When I stand as a spectator at the marathon or when I am an active participant in it, I am moved every time. ALL of the runners; ALL of the racers are doing this for a reason. Some reasons are just silly reasons and some reasons are great downright inspirational reasons. I stand in the race or on the sidelines and am inspired by every reason. I am inspired by every person. These people move me. And for this reason, I will keep coming back.

I am convinced that the majority of the world has no idea what true suffering really is.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Sizes & Shapes of Hope

What do you believe is the greatest gift you could ever offer someone?

I believe it is hope.

I believe hope to be the greatest all time gift you could ever offer someone.

Hope comes in all shapes and sizes. It comes in the form of stories. It comes in the form of people. It comes in the form of writing. It comes in the form of nature. It comes from a smile and a simple text message to a friend or lover. It comes in the form of children. It comes in a hug or a laugh. It comes in the form of understanding. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes hope comes floating in.

I named my blog Hope Sized Stories because to me, hope is the greatest gift you could ever give someone. Finding hope in the ordinary because hope is the one ingredient that makes a story extraordinary. And sometimes for people finding hope is hard. For some it’s like digging around like you are digging in your purse to find your keys or cellphone; digging around for hope like you are digging all over your yard for that misplaced treasure. Sometimes we try and try and try to find hope, to just catch a glimpse of it, a small sliver would do, but sadly for some of us at certain moments and times, we just can’t find it.

But hope is always there. And we as human beings need to remind others that it is there. In our laughs, in our smiles, in our hugs, in our words, in our eyes, in our love, in our lives…..it is there.

Let’s continue to remind others of hope and let’s continue to give out hope every day. Every single day.

We all have Hope Sized Stories.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

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