Just a few thoughts…

Archive for the tag “God”



Fear can be crippling; Don’t let fear come between the physical you and the you that God foresaw when he created you. Don’t let fear of others, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown stop you from using your gift. You have it for a reason! When you start to feel insecure, think about what’s really going on. Are you thinking about who, what, how you’re going to be perceived in the eyes of another? If so, you’re fearing the wrong person. We have no reason to fear others unless we ultimately want favor in their eyes. Your effort here is irreplaceable. Your talent is unique. Start using it!


Note From the Author

I started blogging about a year ago, not really sure exactly the direction I was going with it. I was having a lot of those “ah-ha” moments, and I felt they needed to be shared. Maybe to see it on paper, maybe to inspire others…maybe just to say I have a blog. Either way, I love blogging! I love everything about it.

I have to come clean, though, and say I’ve been struggling for the past few months with writing new posts. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas to write about; it’s not that at all. I felt like my blog needed a new face. It needed a new look.  I may have accidentally pigeon holed my blog into a self-help-only type of read.

Not a big deal. I was writing what I felt to be true at the time. This isn’t bad, except for two things: 1) I want to write about other stuff, like mascara. 2) I don’t want to be identified by a self-help blog. This raises the question then…Why?

I’ve written previously about my dad passing away in 2009. After he passed, I naturally felt like I needed to be strong. I took off a week from school and work, and was back to business as usual. What would proceed over the next four years was something of a train wreck. Not realizing it at the time, but the biggest part of me had just exited the earth. The largest part of my identity had moved on. Issues. I had some issues. Not only that, the rest of my identity was wrapped up in things that were all temporary…and earthly.

Sometimes I ask myself if I’ll always be referring back to 2009….when my dad died….and my life changed…to that a sad story. Are my friends sick and tired of hearing about this sob dramatic event because I can’t seem to pin point why my life just doesn’t seem right? I don’t feel like myself? Like the person I see in my head? Here’s the thing-when I finally stopped talking, thinking, doing, running, panting, I listened. You know what I heard? God. This episode, this point in time was also a turning point, a climax, a change in direction, and a wake up call. Things don’t happen by accident! The earth, the people, our lives, our jobs are part of a design. Think about it.  No really, think about your life.

The biggest change in me, the writer of this previously known self-help blog, is that I don’t rely on myself anymore for help. Umm, ya I tried that for the past 4 ish years and I failed, miserably. You’d think after the whole restaurant scene (See Blog, “The Shack Place”) I would’ve realized that some stuff is just too big to handle. It. Is. Ok. We’re not intended to handle everything, and we’re not intended to stay the same. I didn’t take into consideration when I started blogging that I would grow as time went on, and I guess my writing would, too.

Those situations in life that make us look back and say, “How did we make it through that? How did we survive that? How crazy was that?” are not random events that randomly happen to random people. This world does seem crazy and out of control; we create that. There is order, there is sturdiness, and there is steadfastness. I found it…well, he found me. I’m telling you, it’s awesome.  So this is basically a note to let you know that I’ll be talking about a lot more stuff like food, and to let you know that God is great….all the time.




Childish Surrender


Hopefully I’m not alone when I say that I like to stay busy. I consider myself a detail-oriented person; I ask a lot of questions, I think about the ins & outs of events, and I (usually) do a lot of planning. Some would say that paying attention to detail is great because details are important, right?

Well, sometimes it takes away from the big picture. I’m not a big picture person because I’m wrapped up in the small stuff. When the big picture people start talking about big picture stuff, I’m say,”Wait, how’s that going to happen?” “Who is going to get us there to do that?” So I end up doing, doing, doing, and exhaust myself. I feel like I always have to be doing, never just let things happen, and be.

As a result, I’m always focused on the WHAT and never the WHY. This is ironic because when we’re young, we go through the “why” stage, asking “whhhhyyyy” about everything! What if we went back to our childlike mindset? Asking why things happen, having faith in things we don’t see, and believing answers we don’t really understand…?

Go back to being 5 years old. You were explorative, inquisitive, curious, but also faithful and trusting. You asked a lot of questions and believed the answers you were given. Is it possible to have that childlike spirit as an adult? In other words, is it possible to give up the control you insist on having all the time?

It’s hard being an adult! Life is heavy, and sometimes we just can’t carry it all on our own. We have responsibility and jobs and bills and relationships and consequences and meals and diets and STRESS. Yuk. Part of the reason we resist it is because we make the doing more important than being. It’s a cultural and human tendency to lose sight of the bigger picture.  We forget that we have the option to surrender. As a result, we lose faith.

Don’t lose faith. Everything happens for a reason, and all of us have a predestined plan that is already in place.  If we let things take course, sit back, relax, and believe that everything will be OK, imagine the peace we would feel.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t wrap my mind around this idea and relinquish control. Especially when ugly things happen, we go into fight mode and feel like the universal demons are out to get us. Well, good trumps evil. I love taking matters into my own hands and being the boss. Time and time again, I learn that it doesn’t make it any easier! I end up hurting myself more by ignoring God’s plan for me. It’s not easy, but keep your eye on the prize. Just BE. Have FAITHNo one said it would be easy…

Finding Your (My) Purpose: To Be Continued

No posts since October! Where does the time go? I think we can all agree that the holiday season gets downright ridiculously busy. November & December are basically gone before they even start. You’ll be happy to know, though, that I haven’t been ignoring my blog; I’ve just been very deep in thought about this post. Well, in between traveling, weddings, holidays, the flu (twice, I think), and a New Year.

I’ve been trying to figure out the most effective way to discuss “purpose” and I’ve written and re-written several times before finally realizing that maybe that’s the whole idea…to just throw some ideas around. I watched a video on http://www.positivelypositive.com a few months ago, and it resonated with me, so much that I haven’t been able to let it go. SO MUCH, that I haven’t really been able to write. I’ve been in my own head about what my purpose is to the point that no other topic has floated to the top of the blog pile.

The video by Brian Johnson discussed purpose in that it’s being the highest version of yourself possible. I literally stopped in my tracks and asked myself, “Are you being the best YOU that you’re capable of being?” The answer is no, which is why it’s January 22nd and I’m finally writing about it.

Needless to say, this topic had me wound up for a few months. After breathing into a brown paper bag to re-stabilize my breathing, I forgave myself for thinking I was perfect. What now after realizing this? Well, first I have to acknowledge the topic.  I got a little ahead of myself and forgot that the journey is what it’s all about; discovering our purpose is the whole idea. If we were born as the highest version of ourselves, then what? No falling down and getting back up? No drunken night stories to recite? I don’t know, but I have a feeling it’s all set up like this for a reason.

Spending time thinking about purpose has made me responsible for the areas of my life where I find excuses instead of rising to the occasion to be a higher version of myself. If we wait for the perfect time to better ourselves in our career, relationships, spirituality, or whatever, we may wake up one day and wonder where 40 years have gone…and we still feel like we haven’t shown the world who we really are. This includes making changes where necessary! You choose your path. You choose your time spent best.

There is only one you. You come with a very specific lineup of skills, personality, character, detail, description, and much much more. Sometimes those traits are suppressed for fear of judgement, or they may never even be tapped into. Are you capitalizing on the characteristics that make you the best you? If you’re waiting for the perfect day, that day is today. Today, be the highest YOU that you can imagine. Breathe. Believe me, it’s going to be great.


The Shack Place

I’m not really sure how to lead into this…I’m kind of stumped for clever intros. I’ve been stirring over this one for about 3 years now, but what I realized is that something had to happen to push me to finally blog about it. Just like they say, everything comes around full circle somehow? Well, here’s the story.

On February 2nd, 2009, I was sitting at lunch with my dad and his best lady friend when he suddenly stopped breathing. Just like that-blue in the face. It still kind of boggles my mind about the whole scenario, but by now we should all know that life is seriously nuts. As a 26 year-old grad student who thought her dad hung the moon, I gave him mouth-to-mouth without even really thinking about what I was actually doing. As fate would have it, that would be the last day that I saw my dad alive.

The next little while is somewhat of a blur…family, crying, disbelief. The reason that I’m talking about this, though, is not to tell the story of how my dad died; I remember sitting in my room with my cousin that night feeling very uneasy for my dad. I mean, was he scared? Did he know? Was there a dream the night before? Think of someone in your life that you talk about everything with. Nothing is off limits. That was me and my dad. So I wanted some answers.

I felt somewhat robbed. Afterall, he was my person, my friend, my dad, my rock. How could he just be taken from me like that, you know? I was battling some topics with myself that I had never even considered. People in my life had died before him, but no one that close to me. I was about to start a journey that at the time I didn’t even recognize.

My parents raised us Catholic so we would have a “backbone” in case we ever got lost and needed to come back to base (what?). I did as most other kids in my small town, and went through the motions of catechism, confirmation,  and church when we could make it. I appreciate the background, don’t get me wrong, but I was clueless for what I would embark on as an adult. So time went on after my dad died, and I didn’t really act on all my curiosity that I expressed that night with my cousin. My auntie was very helpful and generous, offering me books to read and emails. But nothing was sinking in yet. It wasn’t until a good friend from back home suggested I read “The Shack” that things started to change for me. I won’t give away what happens in the book, but I’ll tell you how it rocked my world.

As I said, I felt very possessive of my dad. I never blamed God for anything…but I didn’t know God either. Reading “The Shack” helped me realize that just because Ron Carrion was my dad here on earth doesn’t change the fact that both of us are God’s children, and we are on separate spiritual journeys. I can’t interfere, control, change, understand, comprehend anyone else’s journey with God…even his. I learned to let go a little bit, and trust in something bigger than I could ever imagine. It has to be! Look at what he gave me for a dad.

A dear friend recently committed suicide, Anthony Lostra. When I found out, I felt myself return back to that place, that place in my heart, with my cousin in my room. That place of fear, unknown, and inquisition. Only this time I had something to reference. I don’t think it ever gets easier, dealing with loss. I have dreams where I am on the phone with my dad in heaven. Like I just call him up and he answers. Crazy right?! But like I said before, relationships never end, they just change. I have to trust God and Anthony that they knew each other, and what was going on. He is on his own journey that maybe I’m not meant to understand, or anyone.

Maybe you don’t believe in God, which is totally OK. I’m not pushing my belief or religion here. All I’m sayin is some pretty big events had to happen in my life to make me take spiritual inventory. No matter how painful they have been, I am grateful that they happened. What I thought was a “backbone” was really just a wishbone, so I had to make some serious tweaks. For me, I find comfort in knowing that I can’t control anyone else’s path, especially someone as wild as Ron Carrion. I also find comfort in knowing that we will see each other again…Anthony and my dad, just to name a few.

Precious Cargo

I consider myself extremely lucky, and I probably don’t thank God enough for what and who he has blessed me with. There’s not very many people in the world who can count on both hands the people that would drop anything if needed, and I am one of those lucky ones. More importantly, the people closest to me are continuously teaching me something, and we are learning together. A topic that comes up quite often is that of physical appearance: weight, fitness, beauty, etc. The normalcy of this topic in everyday conversation is not what dawned on me, but the misplace of value at hand. The value is in the wrong spot.

My sister and I were recently in a daily chat, and “the scale” came up. It comes up quite often. She, among millions of other humans in the world, is a Scale Stepper. She gets on that thing everyday (errday). The problem is not that she is watching her weight, which is actually a very mindful activity for staying healthy. The problem is that one little number on the screen can determine her mood for whole day. Let’s explore this possible catastrophe.

Whether is conditioning, habit, media, society, or just control, there is an extremely high level of value placed on the number that people see on the scale. Obviously we face an obesity epidemic, which is not to be confused with this conversation. But even so, for those that are struggling with weight, it does not reflect the person that you are.  I’m talking about the value we place on tangible, material, superficial and unimportant facts that we let define us as people.

Unfortunately, most people do not value themselves. What’s even more unfortunate is how we usually are dishing out amazing advice to others about loving, befriending, and caring for themselves when we need to take the advice ourselves. If we valued ourselves as much as we value our most important people, then we wouldn’t fall into these viscous cycles of self-torment, self-loathing, and misplaced value, which just leads us into negative behavior.

Make it a priority to find value in who you are, not what you are. The type of friend you are, the special and unique talents that you have, the partner, parent, employee, and citizen all trump what you’re wearing and/or what you look like. Here’s a challenge: be nice to yourself! Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend or sibling. Don’t allow yourself to beat your own self up over something that has nothing to do with how God made you. If you’re not happy with something, then allow yourself time to change it. Place value on yourself. 

How do you value yourself? How do you value the person that you are? More so, what do you focus on to define you? Think about it or write some things down that you value in life and in yourself. Don’t let shallow, empty valued variables steer your actions and self-worth. You’re more than that. You’re precious cargo.

Leave Your Shoulds at the Door!

There’s someone very special that recently came into my life, and once a week, we have very a meaningful conversation. We really don’t have very much time to chat, so we squeeze a lot of information into a short amount of time. For sake of the story, let’s refer to this person as Jazz. Her name is Jazz.

Jazz and I talk a lot about what the word “should”. People throw “should” around like it’s already etched in stone what the guidelines are. I “should” do laundry; I “should” wash my car. What’s even worse are the “should not’s”. Here’s the perfect example: “I really “should not” be watching TV right now.” In other words, I’m tisk-tisking myself? How does that work? I thought I can make my own decisions?

The way that I envision what’s happening here is that we have developed an imaginary Rule Book that floats around with us. Think about all the decisions you beat yourself up over making. “I shouldn’t have eaten that piece of cake…” or “I should have spent more time working in the yard this week.”  Now you have to punish yourself even more by working out for an extra 30 minutes? That sounds awful! Who is actually telling you that you “should” do things?

Jazz says, “Don’t should all over yourself.” All this does is make us feel guilt, regret, and angst to make up for things we’ve done. It’s possible that having a piece of cake doesn’t make you feel very good afterwards. Take inventory of how you feel, log it in your brain, and move on. But no one else in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD cares about how many pieces of cake you eat.

Start making decisions based on what feels right. Take a second, turn off your head and heart, and listen to your gut. What does your gut tell you to do? Get rid of everyone else’s opinions, including your own! Your opinion is usually clouded by “shoulds” and advice you have seeked from others. Just because someone gave you their opinion does not mean they will judge you when you choose the opposite. I know we’re using cake as an example, but this could be much deeper.

What about when picking a partner? It’s common for people to say, “You should date so-and-so.” Or we tell ourselves, “I should like so-and-so because of A, B, and C reasons.” NO YOU SHOULDN’T! Don’t make decisions based on “shoulds”…all it will do is leave you resentful, lost, and mad at yourself. Find a quiet place, turn off the world, and listen to your inner voice from your gut. I’m a person who is extremely hard on myself in every aspect of life. I have trouble being nice to myself, and making friends with me. But Jazz’s advice has been extremely helpful. I catch myself using “should” when I’m talking, and it makes me stop and think, “Who says if I should or shouldn’t do this?” I’m the boss of me, and you’re the boss of you. That’s the way it IS.

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