American Dream Remixed

12717638_10153899258238194_8338213129476856924_n

My birthday is just around the corner.  34 is looking quite different than I thought it would. I thought I’d have kids, a house and a thriving career by now.  Not that it’s looking bad these days. I’m happily married, live in sunny California and am the mom to one of the best dogs in the world (Okay, I’m a little biased here).  Life’s good.

I could compare myself to other people and think wow, I should be much farther in life. But COME ON, when has that ever made anyone happy?  I finally decided to stop the drama.  I turned that show off and began to write a new story for myself.

I’m lucky.  I’ve checked off a lot of things that were on my bucket list.  I’ve lived overseas, backpacked in Europe, sky dived, learned to play guitar, seen the Northern lights, started a business, sung open mic, volunteered for the homeless and the list goes on.  Like I’ve said I’ve lived a full life and there’s not much I regret. Although I love adventures let’s be honest, I was a little obsessed with checking things off the list. I forgot to soak up those experiences while I lived them. They passed me by so fast I barely remember. I was so young and in such a rush to conquer the world.  I wish I could re-experience those things now with the eyes that I have today.

This last year of my life taught me to love my life again! That is why 34 is extra special to me. It might not be the big 30 or 40, but it is the year I got my life back. I lost my child-like joy as I became an adult.  I was suffocated by what was expected of me. Now, I know those shackles no longer have power over me. I get to choose my life. Unconventional or not.  So, what if I don’t have kids yet?  So what’s if I’m not at the top of my industry?  So what if my life doesn’t look perfect from the outside?!  I’m true to myself and that’s all that really matters. I have found my inner peace and I think that’s better than just looking fancy.

I suffered from depression on and off most of my life and I’m finally free. I love myself just as God loves me without the shame, guilt, and without conditions.  I’m human, I know that I will struggle with ups and downs but I’m now rooted in my true identity.  It doesn’t revolve around the external world but rather my internal one.  I can experience life without fear of judgement. I am secure in the arms of God. Hallelujah!

I’d like to turn this blog into a conversation. Have any of you felt boxed in by the expectations of others? And if so what do you intend to do about it or what have you already done to break free?

Also, what brings you joy and inner peace? Please, do more of that! And to send you off I’d like to end on a quote by Nelson Mandela.  “As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

Love & Light, Lisa

P.S. Listen to the audio version HERE!

Daddy’s Little Girl

image

My father’s birthday is this Sunday. I haven’t seen him since Christmas and he lives just 15 minutes away.  I’ve never had the daddy-daughter relationship people have always talked about. Far from that, actually.  Most of my life I’ve feared him. Today, I’ve changed my perspective and I have compassion towards him.  I think of the relationship we could have had and maybe, still can have one day.

There’s many things I admire about my father. He is fun, passionate, and honest but it’s funny because I didn’t see these qualities about him growing up. In fact, he was a very angry man the way I knew him. This obviously put a damper on our relationship. I’ve come to realize that circumstances were the thief of our daddy-daughter dynamic.  It was especially difficult when my father lost his job for a couple of years when I was in high school.  The weight was on my mother’s shoulders while my father felt useless. And we know how unemployment can kill a man’s ego.   They both took their frustrations out on me. I know that now but back then I felt like my world was crashing down around me.  I didn’t know why my parents hated me so much.  I started to hate myself too.  Even today, it’s hard for me to exchange the words “I love you” with them because I don’t feel it’s coming from a genuine place.  I don’t remember many tender moments between us but I do remember a lot of pain.  Although they clothed and fed me, emotionally I was starved.

For years, I have wanted to forgive them but I didn’t know how. I was so angry, it consumed me. I hid it well from most people except myself. I could hear the negative things I would say in my head every single day. Eventually it became the norm and I barely noticed.  But after some of the two most challenging years of my life, meditation helped me discover self-love for the first time.  I no longer feel the need to gain their approval and love.  Yes, it would be nice and what daughter wouldn’t want that? However, I don’t expect it from them anymore.

I know only God’s love can truly fill that void in me.  I thought I knew God’s love before but I have recently discovered a whole other level.  A love that far exceeds my wildest dreams. Maybe only in my desperation could I have gone this deep with Him.  Because of that I think I’m finally ready to face my parents without fear of an anxiety attack, fear of their criticism, of their expectations and disappointments.  Maybe for the first time in my life.  Okay, I’m still a little hesitant. But scary can also be good, right?  So, wish me luck as I see him Sunday for his birthday. I hope I can give us both a real chance to have what we’ve never had before…

Now that I’ve shared my personal story with you. Can you relate? Are you secretly or openly angry with someone in your life and do you think it’s possible to replace that anger with compassion? Delve deep and give them the benefit of the doubt. Put your ego aside.  By doing so, can you change the old paradigm for a new one? I challenge you to think outside of the box.

Change starts here with you…Let me know your thoughts, frustrations, and stories. Dare to be vulnerably adventurous with me?! Post your comments below!

Hello World!

image

Why, hello there! My name is Lisa. What’s yours?!  I am what they call an INFJ, an extroverted introvert, apparently the rarest of the breeds (according to the Myers-Briggs personality test). Some say that the INFJ has supernormal intuition.  So, I guess I’m here to exercise and share this super power.

I want to give you my raw and honest truth on topics like relationships, personal growth, spirituality, health and wellness, the human experience and anything else that lights my heart on fire.  I hope my exploration inspires you to do the same or at least gets your juices flowing.  I’m here to chat, listen, and guide discussion as you follow me on my inward adventures. May I light the pathway as I learn from my mistakes and delve into my deepest and darkest secrets.  Just kidding, but not really.  Please feel free to share your questions, comments and stories here. I want to hear them. Thanks for sharing this experience with me!

Love & Light, Lisa