Tag Archive | goals

So THIS is happening💚

(Living kidney donor screening questionnaire)

You’ll never see exactly where the road will lead you, and when it comes to love, you gamble when you need to..
You’ll maybe break your heart on one unlucky throw… but then again, You’ll Never know…❤

You’ll Never Know – Ringo Starr

It’s happening.

I have been holding onto this big dream for many, many years. Since I was a young woman, I had this one big thing I knew I would grow up to do. But it is a dream that felt “too big.” Too scary. Too complicated. Out of my league. So I would put it off and say “some day.” It will happen. Some day. One day. Way into the future.
I had various excuses. I should be older first. I should graduate college first. I should have a place of my own first. I should have a “real job” first, Im probably not qualified because I have depression…..so many “shoulds.”
A year and a half ago, just out of the blue, this dream began to nag me day & night. I kept telling it to go away that I would get around to it. Some day. But it would not let up. It was on my mind day and night. It was in my dreams while I slept! It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning! It was the last thing falling asleep. It made no sense; it came out of nowhere like this. I thought about it for years off and on but then it just came to stay. And nag me every second.

So I gave in and said ok. I did research all day and night and prepared myself as best as I could to make the call. To answer the call.
I changed my diet and became a health nut. I stopped drinking soda and lots more water. I started walking even more than usual. I began consuming lots more fruits and vegetables. I talked to various people who already did what I will do, and others involved, about my plan and what it will be like. They were all positive and encouraging.

But still, I kept telling myself circumstances can be better. I have to wait. Wait for what? Who knows…but I have to wait. But it nagged me. The dream, it would not give up calling to me.

Finally I gave in. And one day, some day became today.

I answered the call and made the call.

I contacted the Kidney Transplant center and offered one of my kidneys to the next person on the wait list. Whoever it is, I do not know or care. All I know is, this is a person who has to live and wants to live. And that is enough for me.

So today. This is happening.

I am now beginning the process of donating one of my kidneys…..to a random stranger at a transplant center here in Philadelphia. Someone I have never met and probably will never meet because I am choosing the completely anonymous way.

What in the WHAT?!?!

Me? Just an average girl who lives at home with mom, sister, and dad. An average girl with an average job. No special talents or skills. I’m not adventurous and never travel anywhere, dont go on vacations, dont have lots of friends, always had average grades in school, I was never a fitness freak or health nut, havent run marathons, or won any awards, I go to work each day and then straight home, the simplest, most average life imaginable….so what business do I have taking a plunge like this, having my gut sliced open and a kidney cut off my bladder, possibly dying on the operating table(ok so that’s a bit dramatic and is rare), for a random person I do not know and probably never will?

Well, I have two healthy kidneys and a big ‘ole heart and just a little bit of courage….and that is just about all I need to embark on this incredible journey of love.

I am about to undergo a battery of extensive, extremely thourough medical & psychiatric testing. My entire body, inside and out, head to toe, will be examined and I will spend grueling hours with multiple mental health professionals for psychiatric testing to make sure I’m not batshit cray for volunteering to give my kidney to a total stranger. (I promise I’m not! I’m just a universal lover who strongly believes everyone is just as important as my own family/friends) and they want to make sure I’m emotionally strong enough to endure the entire process and that I am not being coerced into it. It’s not all pretty and not for the faint of heart. I will have to meet with a nutritionist or dietician and financial counselors (because I will be out of work for months recovering and have to show them that I will still be good financially.)

I have a history of major depressive disorder(im much much better and not depressed now at all & no longer treated), a kidney stone in 2007 that led to emergency surgery(I remember thinking “well damn I guess im not going to be allowed to donate a kidney one day now” and that is one of the first things I said to my mom upon waking).

These are known as relative disqualifiers, which means I can be rejected for them but will not necessarily be. The team has to know more about them. There are absolute disqualifiers that will render someone ineligible at every transplant center. These include HIV(I am a regular blood donor and do not have this), diabetes(hopefully don’t have this but don’t know – it’s the #1 thing leading to kidney disease), serious high blood pressure problems(dont have this), hep (no), cancer(hopefully not!)…

Currently, I’m in the screening process to see if I even stand a chance at all; some people are rejected right off before testing even begins. They are going to review my application at the center and if they believe it’s all good, they will contact me back and tell me to come on in for the official process to begin!

If they just toss it out, at least I tried! I reached out in love and that will have to be enough. But if they say no, I will move on to a different transplant center until one gives me a chance. It is extremely difficult to be accepted as a living donor. Most people are not healthy enough. And many are considered to be just not cut out for it emotionally. It’s no joke! It’s a very serious, serious matter that just is not for everyone.
The average person would be rejected because of physical health issues and then financial issues. We do not pay for the transplant or donor surgery but we do pay for any medical complications we may experience; there are traveling/hotel expenses, and we’re out of work for months and will not be getting paid. I live right here so no traveling expenses for me. If one transplant center rejects us for a relative disqualifier, another may accept us.

This one is a good choice because I read about some of the doctors and they are very warm and caring. There is an altruistic kidney donor here in Philadelphia who gave her kidney to a man also in Philadelphia and this is the center they had their transplant. The story is beautiful. He cried to be loved so much by a complete stranger. And she joked and said he’s crying because he has a woman’s kidney. They did theirs a different way. She chose him and happened to be a match and healthy enough. She chose to remain anonymous at first then revealed herself. Theirs is called altruistic directed. She heard his story about his need for a kidney and got tested for him specifically. I am doing non-directed where there is no specific person in mind. It will go to the sickest who I am a match for. This is always anonymous and I prefer this.

I hope this can inspire anyone else with a dream or goal to go on and take that very first step if it’s something that truly resonates with you. We all have fear in us and love in us. If something resonates with us and calls to us, and we say no or ignore it because we are afraid it wont work out, afraid of getting hurt, afraid it will not go as planned….afraid of anything, we are acting on the fear instead of the love. Is that any way to live? If something just is not worth it to us and we are afraid, that is one thing and is ok to say no to it. But if something is our passion and our calling and we say no out of fear, that sucks! Fear is not worthy of being the one that gets our attention. Love is.

So go ahead, reach out, take the plunge, whatever is calling to you, nagging you, resonating with you, go for it! Even if we are currently unsure about something, it certainly won’t hurt to find out more about it. And if all falls to pieces, at least we can be proud to say we tried and our action was aligned with our truth, life philosophy, passion. At least we can say we acted on love and kicked that fear to the curb.

People have asked me “What if you die?” And my response is, I would prefer to die a young woman on an operating table living my dream than die a healthy old woman, safe in my bed, never even trying because I listened to the fear in me and ignored the Love. What if I die? Then at least I will die living & loving. How does that old cliche go? Something like, what matters is not how long we live but how well we live, not the number of years in our life but the life in our years.

Isn’t that what life is all about? Taking chances, big or small, reaching out, being all that we can be, doing the best we can, then letting go and whatever will be will be. It’s not about cowering in a corner, shaking, living safely in a bubble, not doing what we dream of, just to die in the end anyway. Shake. Be terrified. Let your hands tremble and sweat and your mouth dry up in fear. Let your voice quiver and your legs turn to jelly. Push through that overwhelming “I can’t do this” and “I’m not cut out for it” feeling and try. Maybe we really can’t do this. We all have something that for whatever reason, we can’t do. Maybe we truly aren’t cut out for it. Maybe we don’t have the skills or the heath or the ability. And that is ok! But what isn’t good is not even trying because of fear.

Take that first step anyway and keep, keep going for as long as you can. Conquer that terror. Show it who is really the boss here. Welcome it, let it take up residence here in your world, embrace it as a companion but don’t let it win! Let the love ultimately win.

“Death is inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control.” ~ Claire Wineland
(Claire was a beautiful, bold, brave young woman who died of an unexpected complication during recovery following a successful lung transplant)

Does this dream of mine scare me? Oh yes! I am pissing my pants! There are so many ways to fail at this, so many chances for me to be rejected, so many things that can go wrong with my body during surgery and even during some of the medical tests and even years later even if all goes well. The remaining kidney can stop working after the other is removed and it may not happen til years later but that is rare. I hear there is ironically a mandatory test to check my kidneys to make sure they are healthy but this very test can make them fail?! The transplant team can decide that I am a total basket case during the evaluations. They can find cancer during all the scans I have to get. And the list goes on of all the things I have to fear.

But the love in me is what is winning. The love is what I will focus on all throughout this journey wherever it will lead me to and no matter how short or long lived it is. Fear will take the back burner where it belongs. And love will lead the way.

So yeah, this 💩 is finally happening!

Wish us luck!

Much love, light, & courage to you; be brave, be bold, be strong; keep going; whatever it is you got this!❤

Xoxo Kim

Today

(A pretty picture I took today – April 14th, 2018 but when I publish it, it will probably say April 15th because it’s nearly 10:00pm now)

“By effort and heedfulness, discipline, and self-mastery, let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”

Today, I got onto an elevator for work. I could have taken the stairs but chose the elevator. I was on the 4th floor of the apartment building. Going back down, I felt that the doors were taking longer than they’re supposed to to open and guess what?! I felt not one ounce of fear!! Not one little flash of fear, anxiety, panic, nothing!! And did not even feel a sense of panic coming on or anticipate it like I often do. This is incredible progress! This has to be my greatest accomplishment in this life, ever!

In case anyone reading this is confused or it seems like no big deal, here is some background info. about my experience with phobic fear:

F.E.A.R

It actually freaking happened

Welcome to rock bottom-the only way now is up

Serendipitous Strength

Phobia.

It’s a big, big thing! I suffered another terrible relapse recently and now I healed it again and can get on elevators myself with no fear! I have been working hard to heal this phobia. It doesn’t always take long to heal a relapse. Phobias are weak, even though they feel extremely powerful, and they lose their power very easily when properly faced again & again.

“Unlike many other mental health problems, phobias can be brought under manageable control or even totally destroyed, sometimes within hours. This is a far cry from some of the medium- to long-term work which is required for other mental health issues. So the good news is that phobias are relatively easy to deal with, providing you have the correct knowledge, support and treatment plan, along with a determined and proactive attitude. In life there are many REAL problems, which we all have to contend with, so my view is that we should conserve our energy to tackle those by ridding ourselves of the UNREAL threats, which are the hallmarks of a phobia.” ~Patricia Furness-Smith

The way I am recovering mostly, is exposure in combination with Buddhist philosophy (that can apply to anyone at all, not just Buddhist people – see Dhamma quote above). Even without the meditation part (which is also great!), I find Buddhist philosophy so very helpful in healing my fear (and in general!).

The reason that this is such a big accomplishment is not the amount of work it takes or the duration of treatment but the amount of courage & strength it takes to face it. It is hard!!

I am working on not just recovering but building my mindset in a way to see elevators as a safe place, a place of comfort, a space where I experience a feeling of being embraced in warmth & safety, security (i know security is an illusion but dont mind feeling secure in a place I once felt seemingly unbearable terror and panic). I don’t just want to tolerate them and don’t want them to just be a mundane thing or task I have to perform. I aspire to come to seeing them as an opportunity for a few moments of simple joy or pleasure.

I may not be recovered just yet or my recovery may be shaky and at risk for relapse again. It’s new and not quite ingrained yet. But it will be and then evolve into something more. I feel that Im already inclined to view elevators as a warm, cozy, safe place. Why not? They are safe for the most part. In there, alone, I am protected against the dangers of the world. I can feel that to some degree but not in great depth yet. Im working on it!

This is my goal!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Dear Future Me <3

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Since this is a post to me by me here is a pic of me! 😀

I have been nominated by the lovely Sonali at 

Howling With the Wolf:

https://howlingwiththewolf.wordpress.com/about/

To write a letter to me one year into the future! 

https://howlingwiththewolf.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/dear-future-me/

Please check out her blog! She is a very sweet girl and an amazing writer with a passionate spirit.

I love when I’m nominated for things like this! (even though it sometimes takes me forever to get around to posting it! :-)) 

It kind of doesn’t really make sense to me to provide wisdom to my future self because my future self will (hopefully) be just as wise, and hopefully even wiser than my current self. Lol I realize that’s one of the blessings of getting older, we have all the wisdom we previously have and even more realized. 

So I will just remind myself in the future to cherish the memories of all the beauty I have encountered previously, to intentionally recall and often record simple but profound moments I have experienced. Many moments are easy to forget even if they are beautiful, inspiring, amazing. The simple moments that aren’t part of a holiday or vacation or other socially important event. Just everyday, simple occasions. 

I want to remind my future self to savor each cool breeze upon my skin in the Summers, cherish the warmth of cozy pj’s in Winter and the heat that surges through me while holding a steaming hot cup of cocoa or tea, I want to encourage me in the future to keep on taking photos of all the colorful beauty in Fall & Spring but remember to also live in the moment and truly feel the beauty, not just try to capture it in photos. It’s more important to experience. 

I encourage me to write down simple but profound occasions on ordinary days to always look back on and remember. 

Like the things I mention here: 

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/best-days-3/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-simple-unidentified-moments-3/

reading a thrilling novel, drinking hot tea, basking in the beauty of the rain…

I want to inspire myself to keep letting go of old pain and creating more and more space for new beauty. 

I think the most important thing is to “remind” my future self to “live to the fullest” as the old cliche goes, making the most of each moment while holding onto all the pleasant memories and letting the not so pleasant ones inspire me to evolve and learn. In two, three, four, and more decades(i guess I’m planning to live a long while! Lol), I want to be able to think back to now and still remember some of the simple, beautiful moments I now experience. 

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I also want to remind myself that Life Is Beautiful

I often feel that way but when I get into severe depressed moods, I sometimes tend to forget it. And one thing that helps me keep hope alive is to remember that I once felt that way, that life is simply beautiful, and so have it in me to feel that way again.  

Sometimes the person who can inspire us the most is our own self! It’s great to be inspired by others, to be lifted and carried by their wisdom but sometimes it’s even greater to allow our own wisdom to inspire us. Always remember that if you once felt happy, alive, beautiful, peaceful, calm, even if only for a brief occasion, you CAN feel that way again. And even if you have never felt happy, you are alive and it’s never too late, there’s always hope as long as we are living and conscious or have the ability to be conscious if we aren’t currently.  

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My cover photo on Facebook says “Life is beautiful.” It’s the only cover photo I ever had and I intend to keep it that way. It’s true, life is beautiful. And when I seem to forget that, I look at my own cover photo (it’s not actually mine but one I found online) and remember that I felt that way when I set that photo as my cover photo and I am inspired to keep on living and loving. ❤

So, future self (and everyone else), always remember life is hope. If you felt it once, you can feel it again!  

And one last thing, Future Self, always remember to surrender to universal love, all encompassing love, love for everyone and everything, all sentient beings, life itself, the whole uni-verse…keep going, keep loving, always & forever!!

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I'm thankful to  be nominated for this and one reason is that it reminds me to better keep up with my one word journal. I have been doing great with my one word challenge, seeking and finding beauty and inspiration everywhere, sharing it with others, posting on the blog things that have to do with beauty…but I haven't been keeping up as much as I planned with the journal I have. But it's never too late to begin again! And this post is a great reminder! 

Here is my post on the one word challenge:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/one-word/

“This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days
To hold on to
Cause we won’t
Although we’ll want to
This is the time
But the time is gonna change”

These Are the Times to Remember – Billy Joel – mobile

These Are the Times – desktop

Thank you, Sonali!

I'm supposed to nominate a few people but instead I would like to just invite anyone reading this to give it a try! 😀

Much love & light to you always,

Xoxo Kim 

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

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“…Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
And offers comin’ over the phone
Well, I really don’t mind the rain
And a smile can hide all the pain
But you’re down when you’re ridin’ the train
That’s takin’ the long way
And I dream of the things I’ll do
With a subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe
There’ll be a load of compromisin’
On the road to my horizon
But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me”

One of the best songs ever! So sweet & 
inspiring. We can always find our way to the place where the lights are shining on us, whether it’s an outside place like a job or lifestyle we’re longing for or an inside place of joy, simplicity, & inner peace.  

Even if we have next to nothing now, whether materially/financially or are feeling emotionally bankrupt, depressed, hopeless, despairing….with fierce determination, we can eventually see those glittering lights…. And just like in this song, there’s people we don’t even know personally who are or will/would be sending us love & well wishes if they knew of us, our goals, dreams, struggles.

Just look at all the love on social media, the acts of kindness all around us, and all the Earth angels we meet each day. ❤ 

Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell – mobile

Rhinestone Cowboy – desktop

😀

Much love & light to you now & for always,

Xoxo Kim 

February Sunrise

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“It’s been a long dark night
And I’ve been a waitin’ for the morning
It’s been a long hard fight
But I see a brand new day a dawning
I’ve been looking for the sunshine
‘Cause I ain’t seen it in so long
But everything’s gonna work out just fine
Everything’s gonna be all right
That’s been all wrong”

Last night I remembered my goal to get at least one picture of the sun rising each month this year! I was startled because today is the last day in February and I was thinking if I blow it now, it will be too late!  

But I was determined! So I looked it up to see when the sun would be rising today. It’s 6:35AM so I got myself up at 6:12AM to wait! I went out into the backyard and listened to the birds chirping and watched them as they flew by. It is so magical just to sit outside and truly listen and watch the beauty of nature all around. 

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I took pictures but some moments I put my phone down and allowed my whole self to be engulfed in the beauty. Then I watched as the sun began to rise. It wasn’t a dramatic sunrise. Sometimes it’s really pink or orange and very noticeable. Today it was just a hint of orange that I was able to see but still beautiful and at least I accomplished my goal this month!

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And I got to see so much morning beauty! I’m usually not up this early. I also am delighted to see that the moon was still out! I saw it through the almost bare tree branches. 

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(this one has an effect on it)

When you see it you will shit bricks. lol 😉

The tree reminds me of an impending Spring! It has little things growing on it!

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This morning it feels like it’s about to be Spring!  

I was and still am in awe of the stunning beauty everywhere I look. I am plunged into the depths of it and feel it in my whole being. So much love! ❤

So much wonder!

“‘Cause I can see the light of a clear blue morning
I can see the light of a brand new day
I can see the light of a clear blue morning
And everything’s gonna be all right
It’s gonna be okay”

Light of a Clear Blue Morning – Dolly Parton – mobile

Light of a Clear Blue Morning – desktop

It’s just a mountain; I can move it. ❤

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(This one is not mine!)

😀

~Hugs~ ❤

Much love & light to you, now & forever!

Xoxo Kim 

One word.

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“…maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see.”
~Jewel

I’m Sensitive – Jewel – mobile

I’m Sensitive – desktop

This post is longer than I want it to be but I’m much better, in general, with keeping my posts, messages, comments to people….shorter. Who wants to read like 20 pages of a blog post or e-mail or comment?! Lol But I still tend to get carried away now & again!

;-D   

For the last few years I heard about the one word challenge where we choose one word for the new year and decide to live up to and honor it any way we can the whole year.

I never felt compelled to participate in this because I felt there’s too many words I want to live each day, not just one. It seemed uninteresting to choose one word to live & breathe each day for just one year. And many words or concepts are interconnected. So how do we choose which aspect to focus on? And I used to think, when the year ends, what happens to our word? It gets chucked out the window, kicked to the curb, forgotten, abandoned? 

I remember at the end of 2013, I was having a horrible cluster of severe headaches and it was terrible. The word I clung to is “hope.” Hope that my headaches would soon end or that I would learn to live with the blinding, burning, aching agony, somehow learn to live with it. I bought a few things including a candle holder and notebook with the word “hope” on it.  I was so hurt and the end of 2013 is one of the most desperate, agonizing, traumatic, but beautiful seasons of this life of mine. Even though I still feel the trauma of it while remembering, it really showed me my strength and how desperate but hopeful I can be. It showed me what I’m made of and how a single word can do so much, be so much, be so inspiring, so empowering. The memory, while painful, is also beautiful in my mind. It really tested my life philosophy that life is so beautiful and is worth holding onto, worth each battle, even with very severe pain, both emotional & physical.  

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My experience with headaches piqued my interest in the one word challenge but not too much. But I wrote here that if I were to choose a word for 2014, it would be “hope.” I wanted to go into 2014 with more hope and a conscious, intentional determination to find & feel hope. I still did not engage in the one word challenge very consciously but I did better keep hope alive. 

You can read my December 2013 post here:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/and-then-a-hero-comes-along-with-the-strength-to-carry-on/

This year though, I received an e-mail, a subscription e-mail, suggesting I try the one word thing as an alternative to new year resolutions and for some reason I felt so inspired and compelled to participate the moment I began reading the e-mail and the word “beauty” was already in my head. I did not even have to search for or contemplate my word; it was just here in my head. I think it’s because my wisdom is deeper now than it was every other year that this challenge now inspires me enough to participate. Not that those who aren’t interested in this challenge are not as wise or even more wise than I am! 

It’s just that I now see the wisdom of focusing on just one word. Or just one thing. It doesn’t mean we can’t also honor other words or incorporate them into our days. Or that once the year ends so does our focus on the concept of our chosen word. I won’t stop seeing beauty when it turns 2017.  It’s just that the simplicity of focusing more on just one word for this challenge is very effective and organized. And we can take the skills it equips us with into the new year while choosing a new word to put more focus on.

Sometimes if we have multiple things to give much attention to, it can be distracting or not as clear. 

For example, when I have multiple books out or multiple books on my Kindle’s home screen, I often don’t know where to start or start with one book then keep switching. I love reading two books or even three on the same days but having too many isn’t always good because I don’t focus on the couple I try to. It’s good to give attention to one or two then when they’re through, move on to the next. I have had good books I tossed aside and never read yet because I had too many out at once and kept getting distracted so gave up on them all for a while.

It can be the same with college classes or utility bills that we are in debt with, if there’s too many, we may not know where to begin or how to get organized. 

One word for this activity brings clarity and organization. 

My word is “beauty.” I vow to see and look for beauty in each day, every situation, every person, no matter what goes on. I see/feel beauty naturally and when it doesn’t come naturally some occasions, I make it a point to look & find. 

But this year, I will focus even more on the beauty of life each day. When I say “see” I’m not just referring to visual beauty but all forms of physical and non physical beauty. We can use all the senses we are blessed with, however many we have. It’s often said we have five senses. Some say we have more. And some people have less than five. But no matter how many we have, we can use them to bask in all the beauty they receive. Beauty of all forms can engage our senses.

But beauty isn’t just physical. Haven’t you ever just felt the beauty of something or someone or your own beauty or beautiful feelings? I can often feel beauty, not just with my senses but feel it deep within. It can’t even be explained in words. 

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ~ Markus Zusak

There are many practical steps we can take to participate in this activity. We can use journals, calendars, arts & crafts, social media, lists, various outlets….

I focus on and see and feel so much beauty but this year I want to make it more intentional and even more conscious. 

One of my first steps to living in beauty will be better organizing my room. I am horribly disorganized in a physical way. My room is always a mess. I live with my mom, dad, and sister and my sister said my room is like a teenage boy’s room. Lol

I have food and candy wrappers around, clothes and books scattered around, soda cans, stuff just out of place. I disagree with a lot of people who say the condition of our room or house says who we are or a lot about who we are. Sorry but no my messy room will not tell you too much of who I really am within. All my room says about me is that I’m disorganized. Someone may interpret it as me being careless or apathetic or emotionally imbalanced but I’m not, I’m just a slob is all. Lol 

In elementary school, I loved school and my schoolbooks and class but my desk was one of the worst! I crumpled up paper and folders and just shoved them in my desk. I had broken crayons and pencils scattered about. ( I miss those desks now that I think about it!)

In high school, which I also loved, in eleventh grade English class, my teacher held up my folder and notebook which were overstuffed, falling apart, crumpled up, to the class as an example of what not to do. Lol Awkward! 

I have a beautiful mind and am passionate about the beauty of life and I love my books and things even though they are thrown around.

But it’s definitely more pleasant to walk into a beautiful room. Especially if we are someone who struggles with depression. 

My disorganization doesn’t depress me but organization and a beautiful room can be uplifting to someone who is in an episode already. And when we’re already deeply depressed, I’m sure clutter and things out of place, can drag us down a bit more. 

So I plan on organizing and beautifying my room completely! Not just clearing the junk but setting out more pretty things that stimulate the senses and emotions in a positive way, candles, knick knacks, decorations, flowers, pretty colors….  There’s also things I want to get rid of because they contribute to not just taking up space they aren’t worth but they contribute to negative energy or are somewhat draining to me.  

One thing I have laying around my room are celebrity gossip magazines. Eww. I do not read those. EVER! But my sister and me sometimes cut stuff out of magazines to glue into notebooks and stuff and we have a bunch of various kinds or magazines laying around the house. The one magazine I cannot stand to have near me is the celebrity gossip magazine. No thank you. I don’t think it’s ok to trash talk celebrities or stalk them or harass them at every street corner or air out their dirty laundry without them wanting us to, or make up and perpetuate lies about them just because they chose a job that comes with fame and fortune. They are not different than I am. I would never want gossip magazines or blogs or things about me and people constantly on my ass watching my every move then reporting it to the media or others. That would suck! Also, I do not judge people who read them. When I was young I used to read them myself. I used to try to sneak around in stores reading them without getting caught because we’re not supposed to read without buying. Sometimes they still catch my eye, rarely but still happens. I wasn’t horrible for getting into celebrity gossip. My sister loves celebrity gossip and my grandmom does. It’s just not my cup of tea anymore. I like stuff that others think is terrible to love. (like fiction horror stuff! And some people can’t stand horror books and movies/dvds just being near them like me with the magazines. It doesn’t mean they think less of me for loving it.)  

But that’s beside the point here anyway. My point is those magazines do not aid in my Beauty/one word challenge. They actually go against it. They don’t take up much space but they contribute to unpleasant feelings when I glance at them. I usually throw something on top of them so I don’t have to see them. But soon I will get rid of them completely! Things have an effect on our energy whether or not we fully or consciously realize it. Something that affects my energy or vibration a certain way may not have the same effect on others. It’s important to tune in and see how things affect us. Something that I find exhilarating(like being around lots of people, for example) may be life draining to someone else. It’s important to go deep within the self, pay attention, and see how things affect our energy. 

http://oneword365.com/

On the website (above) for the one word challenge they give seven ideas to effectively integrate our word into our everyday using a calendar. I probably won’t be using a calendar but I will be using a journal and put the date on each page, hopefully at least once a day. My handwriting is terrible though and it so frequently contributes to me giving up on journaling. I write like a 1st grader but worse. But as part of my beauty challenge I know I will find beauty even through my horrific handwriting. 

On the website they suggest a paper calendar or planner but also mention that most tips will work with a digital one. They also suggest maybe dedicating a specific planner or journal to our word, which I will be doing. 

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Here are their seven tips and my thoughts about them.

“1. Make a list of actions you can do daily, weekly or monthly that focus on your word and help you integrate it into your life. Then schedule them into your calendar.”

This is really good for staying motivated. I’m horrible with keeping up with things. I get so wrapped up into doing other things and then my goals get kicked to the curb. By scheduling them into each day, incorporating our word into our life each day, not only are we more likely to not give up on it but it will be more threaded throughout life each day, maybe having a deeper effect. 

“2. Collect quotes and sayings about your word and write them down in the daily or weekly section of your planner.”

This is one of my favorite ones because I love quotes & sayings & clichés! They are so powerful, quick, and uplifting! They are brief but say so much in just a few breaths. I think I will try to find a quote or song each day or week about beauty of some sort and write it in my beauty/one word journal as well as share here sometimes. 

The song I shared above, I’m Sensitive by Jewel is a great song about inner beauty and surrounding our own selves and each other in beauty. It’s about being kind to each other. It’s a beautiful song.

“3. Create a simple bookmark with your word. Take a piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper and write your word onto it with a sharpie. Punch a hole at the top and attach a ribbon. Use the bookmark in your planner to mark the current day.”

This sounds really fun! I think I will!

Maybe I’ll use these!

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(the little nose is my dog, Woody’s. Lol He was interested in my circles.)

I got them at Target a couple years ago but never really used them much.

“4. Write, doodle, draw or paint your word on your daily or weekly pages, or assign a fixed spot to write it down in your monthly overview.”

This is really good for maintaining our focus on our chosen word. Allow it to seep into even our daydreams and lazy thoughts. 

“5. Keep a record of things that happened relating to your word. Did it teach you something? Did it surprise you? Write it down!”

Yes, our experiences each day can strengthen our focus on our word and our determination to honor that word can help us stay positive in situations that may tempt us to succumb to unhappiness or other unpleasant feelings. I have an example already. I had a psychiatric appointment recently that  I did not feel much like going to just because. Sometimes I have to wait hours in the waiting room when my appointment should have been over in fifteen minutes. The people there are not always pleasant to interact with. The workers often treat us like we’re nothing just because we are financially struggling and mentally ill(at least I suspect that’s why – they don’t treat each other or the doctors in this manner, that I know of). They act in a very condescending, rude, abrupt manner, sometimes. Not all of them but enough of them. Not the nurse I talk to, she’s sweet, or the peer specialists who are also mental patients but very advanced in recovery. They are very friendly.  It’s a free mental health clinic and I am very blessed and thankful I have access to it. It’s not always a walk in the park having to deal with it but there are so many opportunities to find beauty like on my walk there, the air on my skin, things I can take pictures of, even glimpses of beauty seen in the people who act in rude ways(they still have good things about them!)…., the other patients I sometimes talk to, the people I meet on the way sometimes. Broken people attract other broken people. We often just sense each other. So I’m always finding someone new to talk to whether another patient or someone hanging around the clinic or neighborhood or at the busstop. There’s a couple busstops near the clinic. I usually walk the half hour instead since I love walking. It’s good to keep a list or book of our inner experiences of how this activity goes for us. It helps organize our thoughts, see what’s working well, what isn’t, and we’ll always have it to look back on. 

“6. Take a look at your to-do list: can you use your word as a guide to tackle your tasks? If you for example chose “Simplify” and you have 35 items on today’s list, you know what to do… :)”

Yeah this is similar to the above answer. Just incorporating it into our everyday tasks. This will have more of an impact. Our everyday chores, tasks, encounters are great opportunities to get in the habit of living up to our chosen word. And it can make these tasks more interesting if we incorporate our word’s concept into them.  In my case, it will be more mindfully finding beauty in each mundane encounter or situation, even the more unpleasant ones. Finding beauty or creating beauty in ugliness or dullness. Using our word to tackle tasks can stimulate our creativity. We can find new ways to integrate our word in each day, thread it throughout our everyday. Maybe your word is even creativity or creative and this activity itself honors that word. If your word is “calm” or “peace,” you can make it a point to do mindful exercises while doing each mundane task you have to do. If you are often late for work or somewhere else important, you probably aren’t very calm on your way there almost being late! That’s so distressing! So you can either start leaving earlier to be more calm or still be late but focus on breathing (and driving! If you drive to work or wherever it is) to calm your nerves.  Those are just some examples. 

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“7. Cross off or circle the dates in the calendar to indicate that your word has been present that day. A year-at-a-glance calendar can serve as a tracker for the whole year.”

Yeah this is really good for getting us in the habit of actively “using” our word each day. If you are a calendar user already (I’m not) then it’s probably even more effective than a journal keeping you on track because you already use it. With the journal, it’s a new activity I have to remember and find motivation to keep up with, challenging but fun! Also, marking the days that our word is present, we can keep track of and look back on our progress and better maintain our one word goal. 

While this activity can be practical like with journals and physical actions taken, it can also be an experience in our heads, just to honor our chosen word in our inner world, summoning feelings and images that relate to it.

I want to find beauty everywhere and share it with others through photos, quotes, blog posts, Facebook posts, conversations on and offline….I do this anyway but this year, I will be even more mindful. 

I will also live in love, compassion, kindness, inspiration….and other lovely words…but beauty is my word for this challenge. And beauty includes love and inspiration and other concepts. Compassion, kindness, & love are beautiful and when I engage in or feel them, I will also be honoring my chosen word, “Beauty.”

If you are also doing this challenge, I would love to know your word and/or how you plan to honor it each day! So let me know! You can write it in the comments here, write me an e-mail @ kimberlyjm52@gmail.com or write your own post on it and send me the link! I hope to think of some more creative ways to live in Beauty! ❤ 😀

Got any ideas? If you have anything to add, like creative ways we can incorporate the concept of our word into our everyday, let me know! I love knowing people's ideas! 

Even if you haven't chosen your word yet, you can now! Or whenever you want! I just decided to engage in this fun & inspiring activity a couple days ago!  And my mind is already even more in the habit of seeing beauty in mundane and unpleasant situations. It's never too late as long as we're alive!

😀

Here are some ideas I thought of: serenity, inspiration, love, patience, gratitude, peace, kindness, creativity, light, motivation, astute, organization, beauty, alive, truth, acceptance, wonder, awe, confidence, clarity, discernment, tranquility, play, playful, , humor, laughter, lighthearted, health, enthusiasm, positivity, optimism, forbearance, magnanimity, humbleness, humility, independence, joy, openness, receptive, passion, tolerance, bold, assertiveness, fierce, gentleness, nurture, strength, wisdom, tact, spirit, attitude, persistence, compassion, hope, Earth, oneness, heart, sky, fun, mindfulness, music, song, minimalism, simplicity, growth, happiness, zen, balance…

Maybe you want to choose a word that already resonates with you in a deep way or maybe you want it to be a bit more challenging and choose a word or concept you struggle with. Either way is fantastic!  

When we choose a word, we can still live all these other words too but our focus for the challenge will most directly be on the one we chose for it. There are so many, many creative ways we can come up with to live the word we choose. 

Check this out for more fun & inspiring ideas for this new year! They are alternatives to the new year resolutions. 

10 Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions

Thank you!! 

Xoxo Kim 

My Grown Up Christmas List <3

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“Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well I’m all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need”

This is my grown up Christmas list! It’s a bit different than that materialistic one! Lol

I think it’s obvious what’s on this list. Most of us probably want the same thing, world peace, the end of wars, starvation, diseases, & everyone getting along well…..we don’t always agree on the best methods of achieving that though or every aspect of it and that’s often where hostile arguments occur, not usually because we disagree on the ultimate thing. 

So I’m not listing every single thing because that’s so much and so much is obvious. Who doesn’t want world peace?! (well except for terrorists and all maybe….?)

Here is my grown up Christmas list for 2013:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/my-grown-up-christmas-list/

And here is my newest one!

Dear Santa,

1.) One of the things I want to end is all forms of bullying in schools, workplaces, cyber-bullying.

This is a serious issue that frequently is overlooked by adults and those who work in schools. It’s not just “kids being kids” and it’s not something that happens to everyone and should be swept under the rug.
Many people say we are all bullied and to just suck it up. No, we are not all bullied. 
Most of us probably have had rude things said or done to us at some point or every now and then. But that is not the same as the kids who are the same targets day after day, being tortured emotionally and/or physically for whatever stupid reason.
And not everyone handles it the same.  
Not everyone can just “suck it up.” Some people have underlying depression or anxiety or psychotic disorders that are brought out by bullying.
And it’s not just an adolescent problem. It happens to adults in the workplace. Can you believe it?! Adults do this to other adults! And it can affect an adult in the same devastating ways it affects children in schools. 
Adults kill themselves too and dread going to work knowing what is coming.
My love & compassion goes to all affected by bullying. Bullies only do this because they are true cowards who feel powerless within themselves so try to make up for it by having power over someone else.  
They choose a target, someone they are jealous of or someone they think appears to be weaker in some way, someone who they feel can’t or won’t come back at them. They feel low about themselves even if they seem confident, so they find someone they see as an easy target. Then other people go along with them so they aren’t the next targets or to feel as part of the group of bullies. They want to fit in. Even adults. 
It’s nothing personal even though it really feels like it and they often say specific things, maybe even true things, about their targets, things they know will likely get to them. But any of us can say cruel things  to and about anyone. We can all have cruel things said to and about us, whether those things are true or not. None of us are perfect in everyone’s eyes.
We can all take any flaw or mistake someone has made and blow it out of proportion and taunt the person day and night, online and in person. It doesn’t mean the person deserves it. It can be done to anyone. I hope you won’t think it is really something about you personally even if what they say is true. 
For someone else, they can choose something else and blow that up, magnifying that person’s flaws like it’s the worst thing in the world. 
It’s not. 
No matter how “perfect” someone appears to be, someone can come along and tear that person to shreds saying true or untrue things. 
They take our weaknesses and flaws and use them against us.
It can happen to anyone. It says nothing about us and says something about how the instigator is choosing to be in that moment.
We can all choose to laugh and smirk and whisper about someone and get others to go along with us to try to make someone feel low. It shows how we are choosing to be, not how the person we are doing that to really is. 
We only lower ourselves when we do that.

Please hold on. You can overcome it even if you can’t feel that now.
And even if one person or many seem to not like you, many people do like you and love you or would if they knew you.
One day on a suicide memorial page for a teenage child who died by suicide instigated  by bullying, I read something I’ll never forget. His mom wrote to all people feeling suicidal and lonely, feeling unlovable, something like “Whoever you are, whatever you do, someone somewhere can love someone just like you.”
It’s so true. We are all desirable to some and not to others. One person or one group of people can make it feel as if the whole world is against us. But it’s never true. 
“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale ❤

And if you're the bully, please get help, it's not too late for you to turn your life around and get better and stop trying to destroy other people. 
Dragging others down will never bring you up. When we try to degrade someone else, we only degrade our own self. 
"We rise by lifting others."

2.) politicians to stop arguing in a negative way and slandering one another and instead attempt to work together whatever side they are on. We can disagree without being vicious. Politicians do a lot of hard work and it takes strength to have a job like that. I love our politicians irrespective of their views. It's not a job for the faint-hearted, for sure! Why not add compassion and wisdom to that strength and determination, even compassion for the "other side." We are One. We are all working or hoping for ultimately the same thing, a better world. We won't accomplish as much good with all the bickering and mocking and anger. Please take your skills and experience and use it for pure good! 😀

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3.) people to realize that while anger does fuel us and can give us a backbone, compassion fuels too in an even greater way. Anger can motivate us and anger isn't bad or wrong. When we feel angry about a certain issue we often move to help it, writing to politicians, sharing information, donating money, time,….and this is good. But often while having compassion for one, we have anger for another. For example, if we are for a certain political issue, we may have compassion for those on the side we support but anger and loathing for those on the opposing side and many people think that's a good thing because they say anger motivates us to act. But so does deep compassion. Some people say without anger, we won't act to make things better. Not true. Unless maybe if all someone has inside is anger and it's stripped away. But some anger arises because of the compassion we feel for those wronged. We can work hard for something or someone without anger. When someone hurts our friend or family member, we have compassion for the one hurt and anger for the one who inflicted the pain. But we don't need that anger. It doesn't make us any less passionate or caring if we aren't infuriated by the injustice in the world. We can have much compassion for the one hurt and tend to that person without seeking revenge. Anger can become destructive but compassion and wisdom never do. 
If we focus on our love for the people or the issue and focus on our deep desire to see good and see them free of suffering, we can allow the fury for the wrongdoers to melt away.
Feed the love and compassion, not the potentially destructive emotions. 
We all have love or the potential for love in us and all have anger or the potential for anger in us, all have positivity and negativity, the potential to hurt and the potential to heal. Which side will win? Like the old Cherokee legend says, “The one you feed.” Let’s feed the positive. 
“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

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4.) universal love – some people say this is not practical but that’s because they don’t understand what we mean by universal love.
In this sense, love means wishing everyone the best, wanting everyone to be happy.
But how can that be? What’s best for me may interfere with someone else’s “best.” 
Example: If two people go on a job interview for the same job and only one can get the job how can they both get the best? 
It may be “best” for a murderer to kill someone but that’s certainly not the best for the potential victim.
For political candidates who lose elections and things, they can’t all have the best in that sense of winning. 
But when I wish everyone the best, I’m not necessarily talking about external circumstances and getting everything we want, but inner peace which we can have no matter what goes on outside. I can not get the job but still be happy.
A murderer who experiences true inner peace and love won’t want to kill.
I wish everyone the best but not at the expense of others. 

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5.) I wish for all sentient beings including humans, animals, insects….to be free of suffering and full of love.

6.) I wish for homeless people & animals to stay safe & warm in the bitter cold Winters and cool in the scorching hot Summers. And shelter animals to all find their loving furever homes. ❤

7.) I wish for us to live in deep compassion & evolved empathy for each other and all living sentient beings.  

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8.) Us to take better care of our beautiful Earth and be more mindful of even just simple things we do. For example, using environmental friendly cleaning products more than damaging ones. Any little thing may help or at least just get our own minds in the habit of being more caring. ❤

9.) For all kids who celebrate or would celebrate holidays/birthdays to have toys and gifts. Some families don't celebrate with gifts or don't celebrate at all and that's ok, nothing wrong with that! But some kids have difficulty getting gifts because their families are financially struggling or they don't have a family. I think all kids who celebrate or would, with gifts, should have baby dolls and teddy bears and packages to open and whatever teenagers like these days. (I was a teenager once but it was ages ago and I don't think it's the same as now, we did not have smartphones and ipads and whatever else! Lol) This is more than just materialistic. Part of being a child is having fun, the joy of playing with toys and things. I used to love baby dolls and Barbies and frequently got them for holidays and birthdays. And I don't want any kids to be without the joy of things like that just because they don't have much money or don't have a family. We can help sometimes by donating toys to places collecting them and sending cards to hospitals collecting them for the children.

10.)  world peace. ❤ lol can't forget this one! It's a cliche but for good reason! 😀

“No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list”

“And right would always win”

This is a beautiful concept! Beautiful intention. But is it really practical? Is it really so simple? Is it even a possibility? It almost seems like a pompous claim or wish. But I know the people wishing it have great intentions. Some things may not be objectively right. What’s right to one may not be to another.

For example, capital punishment. To me, it doesn’t seem right that it’s up to the state or anyone to decide when someone must die, even a cold blooded murderer. Who are you and who am I or anyone to decide that someone else should die no matter what that person previously did? What gives us that kind of authority? It seems self-important, we think we are in a position to have someone die. But someone else’s conviction is just as strong that it’s wrong to NOT kill a cold blooded murderer. To allow a murderer to keep breathing after that person cruelly took someone else’s life? To protect and shelter and care for a murderer in prison when the poor victim never gets to see the light of day again? To give that person a chance to escape confinement and kill again? It’s unlikely but it has happened. Who is to say, in this case, which of us is really right? There are good arguments and well intentioned arguments on both sides. I don’t think we can come to an objective conclusion which is right. There are so many issues like this one where it’s just not clear and there are so many aspects.

To me “right” is choosing Love in every moment. Love even when we disagree. We can all stand up for the things we think are right while loving those who stand up for what they think is right even if we disagree with their concept of “right.”

My Grown Up Christmas List – Amy Grant – desktop

My Grown Up Christmas List – mobile

~ I’m not a child but my heart still can dream ~ ❤

So here it is! My grown up Christmas list!

What do you think? Anything you want to add? Let me know! 

😀

Hugs & love,

Kim