Tag Archive | youth

Today is one of those days…..<3

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I woke up after a night of restless sleep. I have been struggling with a bad flare up of my chronic facial pain disorder. I haven’t slept much in over a week and haven’t consumed much other than water in four days. I try to eat something everyday and can’t. The pain is just too much. Even soft things are hard to chew.

People think I’m losing weight because I want to. That’s not the case at all. I don’t want to, I just can’t eat. I’m kind of sick looking. My face is swelled slightly and my eyes are pink looking and puffed underneath because of the pain and lack of sleep. My skin is pale looking.

I’m exhausted and fatigued. Today I decided to walk to a store and buy mashed potatoes with beef flavored gravy! Yum, right?! I came home, put it on the kitchen table and my dog had to go in the backyard and doesn’t like the yard door being closed with no one out there with her. So I went out with her and came back in and guess what?! My cats ate my potatoes! And they were kind of on the expensive side for someone like me with very little money! Can you say, disappointed?! Lol oh well there goes that.

So what kind of day is today?

 I woke up fatigued, restless, hungry, in pain, exhausted, and achy and I feel nothing but…..pure joy! That’s right, sheer joy! 

I’m generally very happy but the joy I feel all day today isn’t a regular, general happy.

You know that joy you experience when you hit the lottery, buy a new car, meet a new friend, a new romantic love interest, get a job offer…it’s kind of like that! But none of that happened to me today or recently!

I can often tap into that kind of joy when I try but today it’s just here unexpectedly but definitely welcome!     😀

I had a flashback memory today of when I was a little girl and my mom and dad would take me to Center City Philadelphia at night and we would buy hot chocolate chip cookies and lay out on the grass under the black or navy starlit sky and eat them. There were so many fireflies lighting up green and all people would just lay out and look at the stars and stuff and one night a man said to the fireflies “Hey turn out the lights!” lol it was so funny and we all just laughed.

There’s a kind of childlike joy that we often don’t feel as adults. Things that were so amazing and thrilling back then just often don’t have that feel anymore. We may still love them but they don’t as frequently provoke that deep joy. I love when I can tap into that now. And I believe we all can more often with mindfulness.

Today

Music sounds so great, the air is sweet and caressed by a sweet floral fragrance. Outside is bursting with green, flowers, sunshine. There’s a sweet breeze in the air.And my long hair got stuck in a tree walking to work today! Lol 😀 It’s always fun when that happens! ;-p

It’s a beautiful Spring day. Except today is the first day of Summer here in Philadelphia! My least favorite season! 

But it feels more like Spring.

I love the wonder all around.

This just goes to show that someone CAN be happy even when things aren’t perfect or there’s problems and lots of pain.

And when I say pain, I’m talking about bone deep pain, soul shattering pain, like it’s gripping my very essence. But you know what else is gripping my very essence? Love. Deep love. Not just the the love directed at certain people and objects, and things but just deep all encompassing Love.

My pain disorder can leave me feeling and being so broken. I’m not referring to depression. But the broken-ness that comes along with having a chronic physical illness or pain disorder. I’m broken but I’m so beautifully whole. There’s a kind of irony to that but it’s beautiful.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joywill burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell

It doesn’t completely burn out the pain but it does lessen the power of it, it breaks the bondage.

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” ~ Kevyn Aucoin

I hope you are well wherever you are and experiencing bone deep joy and love.

Xoxo Kim

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Life Lessons to my five year old self & every girl <3

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(me – about three years old)

This One’s For The Girls 
Who’ve ever had a broken heart 
Who’ve wished upon a shooting star 
Your beautiful the way you are 
This One’s For The Girls 
Who love without holding back 
Who dream with everything they have 
All around the world 
This One’s For The Girls” ~ Martina McBride

What advice would you give the ‘5 year old you’?

“I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud” ~ Jim Croce

I saw this question and think it’s fascinating and here are twenty-one little gems my adult self would love to tell my little self all those years ago. I would love to equip my little self and any little baby girl & every woman at any age with these life lessons. (And some of these are good for men too)

1.) always keep your sense of self – flawlessness. Little girls often have no sense of imperfection when they look at themselves. They’re proud & want to show off everything they are and know. They like to jump in pictures, be the center of attention.   They KNOW they’re beautiful & not afraid to flaunt it. They don’t deny compliments; they proudly accept.   They’re confident & comfortable in their own skin.  Sadly, probably for almost every girl, this sense of self imperfection gets buried, tattered, kicked to pieces, shattered to seemingly no repair the older they get. And it appears to happen younger and younger. We have 9 year olds obsessed with their own body weight, 5 year olds afraid of what other kids will think of their scars, their looks, their body weight. Look at some old little kid pictures of you. Weren’t you so cute? So perfect? So gorgeous? So un-tainted, a clean blank slate with endless possibilities & new beginnings. Feel the love & warmth for that innocent, sweet, beautiful child in that picture.   Now look at yourself as you are right this moment. That’s still you. And now you have even more experience, knowledge, & wisdom.  I want every little girl & every woman to always feel beautiful.

2.) Get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger – As LeeAnn Womack says in her song, “I Hope You Dance”. Be grateful for all you currently have & are but never settle and became stagnant. Always find motivation & inspiration to learn, explore, experience, love, & grow, and keep on going.

3.) Build and maintain an unwavering, strong, solid foundation of unconditional self love to always fall back on. Through the years you will encounter heartache, heartbreak, rejection & abandonment, loss & grief, pain, a sense of failure & falling.   You will be criticized by people with good intentions & people with malicious intentions. You’ll lose friends, be gossiped about, experience betrayal by people you never imagined could do this to you but as painful as it will be, you will be strong enough to rise above, to bounce back, to use these painful experiences to your advantage, to learn & to grow. And as long as you keep your sense of love for yourself alive, you will always feel loved. Always be loved.

4.) You don’t need everyone to love & accept you. Whenever you feel lonely remember there will always be someone somewhere who can love you. You may not know these people yet but they exist.  The way that you are, there are people who can love someone just like you.  Also, love yourself.  

5.) build others up, don’t ever drag them down – no one is better than anyone else. We all have good things & bad things. Tearing others down will never bring you up, it only serves to show more about you than the one you’re trying to destroy.

6.) always strive to see the good in people – even the kindest people may not always be kind. the most loving people still get angry sometimes. When people are hurt or numb they may act in ways that aren’t truly who they are.   Bless others by acknowledging the goodness in them and not just seeing or magnifying the bad. 

7.) Accept/tolerate people for who they are. You may have opposing views, different color skin, religions, opinions, ways of thinking, different appearances, cultures, or customs, sexual orientation, gender…but we are all equal, no one is less valuable. 

8.) always know your worth. You are more than a size on your clothing, a number on a scale, the image you see in a mirror…These things say nothing about who you truly are or how beautiful you really are. You can work to make healthy changes for yourself but you are already worth so much.

9.) Know that you are and always will be “good enough”. No matter what mistakes you make, what things you don’t succeed at, no matter what anyone tells you or says about you. You are good enough just the way you are. And if someone cannot see that, that person doesn’t belong in your life.

10.) always be honest, at least with yourself, about who you are. Don’t change for people who won’t accept the real you. Know your deep inner self, your needs, your desires, your loves, your longings, what you don’t like, what you never want to be…

11.) at one point you may feel that your life has not turned out to look exactly like your peers’ lives. It may seem like everyone around you has it good, better than you do. Maybe they’re independent with their own house, job, money, maybe they’re married with kids or in a happy romantic relationship, maybe they have lots of friends and seem to have it all. Don’t compare yourself to them. Everyone lives at their own pace, their own way. Your life doesn’t have to look like theirs to be just as beautiful. And as long as you are alive & still going, you can accomplish things & realize your dreams. You may not do everything you thought you would do by now or at all in this life but you can do other things and still be happy.  Just being you is a great accomplishment.

12.) always celebrate life. Don’t wait for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, promotions or any other “reasons “. Life itself is reason enough to celebrate. Wear your favorite earrings, that pretty lipstick, that sexy dress that shows off your lovely curves, buy yourself flowers, take yourself to see a movie, SMILE! :-D. Keep that sense of wonder & awe. Bask in the beauty surrounding you. Be mindful of your senses and body & all they allow you to experience. Whatever you’re putting off doing until that “perfect ” occasion to celebrate, whatever you’re putting your happiness on hold for, let go & do that now, be happy now.  Cherish the simple joys of living. 

13.) follow your own dreams, plans, and goals and at your own pace. Don’t succumb to the demands or expectations or desires of family, friends, society, or others who try to get in your way. Many may have good intentions for you.   Kindly listen to what they have to say, thank them for their input, and then go on your own way, following your own path.

14.) Be happy anyway. 😀

15.) Always keep your hope alive. No matter what pain you are currently experiencing and how difficult it seems, as long as you have hope, you will feel the will to keep going.

16.) Whenever you do not succeed how you wanted or planned, even if you feel like you failed, still be proud that you had the motivation to try, be proud that you ever had a dream. Take Jim Croce’s message: “I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud” ~ Jim Croce 

17. ) always acknowledge the true gift you are – you are a true & rare gift to this world. You, just like every other person, have something positive to contribute to the world around you. You can fill a space no one else can. Again as LeeAnn Womack says, “When you come close to selling out, reconsider.”. Never give up on yourself. There will always be people better at things than you and worse at things than you, people will have more & people will have less but there will never, ever be another you. Never forget that.

18.) “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” ~ James M. Barrie  <3. To yourself & others.   Treat yourself how you would treat your best friend or someone else you love. Remember you are just as much of a person as all those people you love. Go easy on yourself, forgive yourself, be gentle with you, set realistic goals for yourself, don't hold yourself to impossible standards and then feel low for not achieving them. Let yourself feel happy and allow yourself to feel sad when you do & express it in healthy ways. Nurture yourself. 
 

19.) Always know that you have choices, the choice to practice controlling your own attitude & that your attitude about something and how you react are important for how happy & peaceful you feel and think of yourself as a strong survivor,not a helpless victim.

20.) Be all that you can be. Always be the best you that you can be. This doesn’t mean trying to achieve perfection in everything you do, it means being as loving, as happy, as kind, as joyous, as forgiving, as caring about yourself and others, as compassionate as you can be.

21.) Love & laugh without holding back. Laugh out loud! Love with everything you are. You may be hurt but it’s a chance worth taking.   Bless everyone with your smile. 😀

So here are some of my lessons to myself, and every girl & woman. Of course if I was talking to an actual five year old I would say these things in more age-appropriate ways but I seriously doubt there are any five year olds reading this and older people probably don’t want to read something here written in a language for a five year old! Lol ;-D

These, I believe, are valuable lessons for everyone. Maybe we haven’t all learned all of these lessons growing up. Maybe we learned them the hard way, as adults, maybe we have yet to learn & really truly  apply & live some of these but it’s never too late as long as we’re living.

You may know these things intellectually but do you really truly feel them with your emotion, deep in the heart of your heart?

Whether you’re 5 years old, 10 years old, 16 years, 28 years, 35 years, 40..50..60..70..80..90..100 & beyond…

Always remember, you’re good enough as you are. You’re more than a number & an appearance and so much more than the painful words & concepts people, society, & the media throw at you.

You don’t ever have to be anyone else’s definition of beautiful, successful, perfect, or happy.
Be your own kind of beautiful.
Your own kind of successful.
Your own kind of perfect.
Do what makes YOU truly happy.

Don’t let anyone but YOU define you. Not your lover, your friends, your family, your society, your peers, your media.   You define you. 

Focus on your own strengths, your interests, your dreams/goals your unique beauty, your interesting and difficult challenges, look at the ways in which you have grown so much and acknowledge your potential and all of your opportunities to grow some more. Nourish yourself & cherish every moment you have been given.

This is what I want for you. 
For me.
For all of us.

I absolutely loved thinking about & writing this blog post. I put everything I have into it and it felt so weird but amazing writing these things to/about myself. And like I said this is to everyone who can benefit,not just me. I encourage anyone to write a post like this. I find it to be a beautiful experience.  I would love to read other people’s life lessons to their young selves. If you write a post like this, I would love to know!

Blessings & love & hope & laughter to you all!

“To be one woman, truly, wholly, is to be all women.” ~ Kate Braverman

Xoxo Kim 😀

“All around the world
This one’s for the girls

Yeah, we’re all the same inside (same inside)
From 1 to 99″ ~ Martina McBridE

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(me – four or five years old)

Beauty in Unlikely Places (updated) <3

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I have been thinking about things that I find to be beautiful which many people do not. Things which many see as ugly, mundane, inappropriate, disturbing, less than lovely.

Here, I have comprised a list of some of those things:
 
❤ weeds- I can't count the
moments I have stopped to snap a gorgeous photo of some "plant/flower" I have found to be beautiful, only for my mom or sister to inform me I'm taking pictures of ugly. Dead. Weeds. But I continue on because to me, weeds, are just beautiful.

❤ Rain/snow/sleet – just about everyone around me complains about "miserable" weather. Rain. Lightening. Thunder storms. Snow. Blizzards. But I love it.

❤ Muddy puddles – yup. I take countless pictures of puddles. With mud. And dirt. And stuff. Sometimes they have oil rainbows. I guess car oil does that.  I find wonder in the unlikeliest of places.

❤ Signs of aging – Wrinkles, Gray hair, Laugh lines.. getting older is a true blessing. It brings more experience. More lessons to learn & to teach. More wisdom. Many people die tragically young. We are blessed to be whatever age we are. If we live to be old, gray, wrinkled, it means we had more days to live & to love. To bless & be blessed. To see things, to know things, we could have never imagined. Embrace your age. Embrace the signs of aging! Scream your age off the rooftops. Be proud you survived and are still going. ❤

❤ Body fat – yes I'm a girl who loves body fat! It's a sign of health. It has a function. It's not ugly. It's beautiful.  

❤ The female physique – I am a girl who really loves checking out other girls. I'm not romantically attracted to them but I find them to be very aesthetically pleasing. Not in a sexist way, I know a woman is much more than just looks! And I am interested in personality, thoughts, views more than anything! But I love girls' curves, clothes, Boobs, nails, hair. I even call girls sexy. Hott. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I have been told "girls aren't supposed to check out other girls or call them hott. ". And I say whatever to that! I like tight, revealing clothing for myself and other girls. I don't see it as disrespectful or degrading.   It's great to be confident and love our bodies. If you got it, flaunt it! And if you don't, flaunt it anyway! Lol ❤ ;-D

❤ Dark poetry/songs – I like poetry that can beautifully capture the dark side. Sad songs & poems can be inspiring & comforting. I love happy ones as well! I like how pain can be made into beauty. Poetic, lyrical,musical, educational….beauty

❤ Monday Mornings – not that I'm usually awake on Monday mornings. Lol ;-). So maybe that's why I love them so much! But Monday mornings are, to me, symbolic of new beginnings. New hope.  Mornings are always beautiful 

❤ Public displays of affection – some people find this inappropriate but I love to see lovers holding hands, kissing, embracing. ❤

❤ Babies with food on their faces, snotty noses, messes on the carpet: I love babies/kids and I think it's cute when they make messes. I would never mind having my carpet or furniture splashed in paint by little creative hands exploring & creating. Just beautiful. 

❤ cars screeching, people laughing late into the night , the sounds of the city, music through the walls, the sounds of people partying all night- this annoys a lot of people. Someone being loud late at night. But I have always found it so comforting.   I like knowing someone somewhere is up & alive while I'm laying in bed.

❤ pineapple pizza – delicious. But people tell me it's just wrong. Lol

 ❤ the scent of dogs. Lol I think dogs smell good, their fur, it's just a cute Lil scent.

❤ the feel of dogs licking my ears. Lol. It feels funny & it's cute! 😉

❤ Insects/bugs/snakes/rodents – I like creepy crawlers & not just the "pretty" ones. I also like centipedes, millipedes, sewer rats….

 

What unlikely things do you find beautiful? Is there anything “weird”, “bizarre “, “ugly”, “plain ” , “unusual” that you somehow find incredible wonder in? If not, take a look. Maybe you can develop a positive habit of seeing beauty where it at first seems there is none.
As I have previously mentioned if we look hard enough, we can find beauty even when it’s hard. Even through the tears, glittering amidst the pain & heartache.

Wonder what it would be like to have a journal of Beauty? Maybe like a gratitude journal but slightly different? You can use it every day or especially when you can’t seem to find beauty anywhere. I never tried it but I will! We can list things we find to be beautiful, any kind of beautiful.   They can be things commonly thought of as beautiful or things usually viewed as not so pretty. They can be things seen or things felt. Heard or tasted, smelled.
.anything. If it’s beautiful to you,it matters.

May you all find something lovely to experience whether it’s auditory, visual, tactile, or anything….

Xoxo Kim

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i stumbled upon this beauty on the counter at work one night. She’s not dead and that thing is not her leg off. It’s a scratch in the counter. My sister thought she was dead and that her leg was off. She may have been slightly injured but still beautiful. Still alive & well. I picked her up with my hands, gently and put her in the tree outside work so no one would freak out and kill her. 😀

And the picture all the way at the top is in fact a puddle of mud that happened to have a heart thing in it.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are 7 million.