Lead By Example

Please ignore the mess in the background. This is real life, not a stock photo.

At my age, I expected that I would be pretty settled down. When I was a kid, 44 seemed soooo old. I never considered the fact that, no matter what age I was, it would still be a brand-new time for me, a time I hadn’t experienced before. I never imagined that I would still be learning and changing all the time.

But it’s true! No matter where you are at in your life, you are learning and discovering new things about the world and about yourself. If this isn’t true for you, we need to have a whole different conversation, so you go ahead and email me and we’ll talk.

Here I am, solidly middle-aged, and feeling more excited about the possibilities unfolding before me than ever. Gathering up new information all the time, understanding things I somehow missed before. Like today’s topic- leading by example. It’s not exactly a phrase I haven’t heard before. But the past few days have shown me a few things to drive home the point that what I do, and the way I behave, matter a whole lot…for better or for worse.

I’ve been on a mission to recreate our bedtime routine around here. Cam has been having some trouble at school, and I realized that perhaps our habits at home are affecting her time at school. So, I did something I haven’t done before. I changed OUR routine- not just hers, but both of ours. When I stop work in the early evening, all devices get put away (Okay, this part is mostly just her, but don’t tell her that.). We make dinner together. We do homework. We read. And we are trying really hard to sleep without the TV on. When you have always gone to bed with the TV on, this is harder than you think. But the other night, I did it. I lay down in my bed, and I fell asleep with no TV. The next morning, Cam said “Tonight, I want to try sleeping without the TV.” Hmm…

Last night, I was feeling grouchy, and decided to meditate before bed. I asked Camryn if she wanted to do it with me, and to my surprise she was eager to. So, I lit candles and incense, and let her pick her favorite crystals from the bowl. We sat together and meditated for a short time. She made it all the way through, though she seemed a little restless at the end. But right afterwards, she said- “I liked that!”

Here’s the thing- she sees me doing these good, healthy things that make me happy, and she wants to be a part of that. When I get off work, flop on the couch, and watch TV all night, not only does she think that’s just a normal thing, but I am losing a valuable opportunity to teach her all these amazing things. The value of cooking and eating a meal together. The joy of a good book. The beauty in a small ritual- lighting candles, saying a prayer, sitting quietly and listening to your own breath. The benefit of lulling yourself to sleep without the glare and noise of a television.

I am not forcing any of these things on her. I am simply doing what I enjoy doing, and she is catching on. The good this is doing both of us, because I am getting so much out of seeing her fall into it beside me, is immeasurable.

It does not have to be a child you are raising. Trust me on this. Although they are, of course, the easiest and most impressionable people in our lives, you can inspire change in anyone when you are living a happy, healthy, full life. People love to see this- they are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Think back to times when you have seen someone whom you admired, or whose life you admired. It’s human nature to want to emulate that behavior.

Today, I encourage you to think about what your best life would look like, and what things you can do now to create that vibe for yourself. Because someone is watching you (that sounds unnecessarily creepy, but you know what I mean) and your example matters. And even if you live in a shanty on an icy tundra somewhere, you are watching you! You owe it to yourself to create a life that makes you happy at the very least. If you can’t be an example to others, be the best possible one for yourself. Your happiness will increase tenfold. Just watch.

Divine Inspiration, Translated by me…Lucky you.

Let’s Talk!

Always Listen To Your Inner Voice

Oprah Winfrey

It’s been quite a while since I’ve set up a new blog, and I am feeling like an old woman right about now. Which is a good thing, maybe, since this new blog is going to be all about me giving you unsolicited advice. Although, if you come back more than once (which I really hope you do) I suppose it then becomes solicited, so now it’s on you.

On a more serious note, let me explain where the idea for this blog came from. Every day, I sit down on my red cushion in my living room and I meditate. Without fail, I emerge with some little bit of wisdom- sometimes no more than a fragment of an idea- that I then feel compelled to examine and…sort of “fill in”, if you will. As if I were handed a page from a coloring book- I’ve been given the outline, and then I fill it in.

I’ve been writing these little messages every day, and saving them in a long, long Word document. I feel like maybe I should share them. I hope you get something out of them. So, please- enjoy and share, if you feel called to. And I’ll just keep writing down whatever happens to come to me each day.

Hi, It’s Me! Courtney!

Some of you guys know me already…if you aren’t one of them, this little thing I’m about to write is for you.

Well, hello there! So…welcome to my new blog. This is going to be a whole new thing for me, and I’m pretty excited to get started, but I guess WordPress wants me to do a bunch of other little things before I get to the good part.

So- things you might be interested to know about me:

  • I am a single mother of two gorgeous daughters. One of them is 22 and the other one is 8. I am not here to write about them, although for sure they will come up from time to time, as so much of my life revolves around my little family.
  • I have had an interesting life…by that I mean it was a train wreck, for many, many years. There was a lot of drugs, a lot of dysfunction, a lot of needless suffering. I learned a lot from all of it.
  • I have ADHD. If I can find a matching pair of socks in the morning, I feel like a small miracle has occurred. My house is often messier than I would prefer (always. It’s always messier than I would prefer.) Nevertheless, I manage to cheerfully soldier on. I am learning to accept my imperfections and try to work with them.
  • Spirituality is the foundation of my life. I start each day with prayer and meditation, and when I let my practice lag, I feel the effects deeply. The things that come to me, that I am going to share here, are a direct result of this practice…just translated, badly, by me.
  • I’m not some kind of guru, nor am I pretending or trying to be. I just get these little flashes of insight and they make me so happy…I thought maybe they could make someone else happier or more focused or help them see the silver lining, too. That’s all this is.
  • I am not religious. If I were forced to pick a belief system that resonated with me, it wouldn’t even be a religion, really. It would probably be witchcraft. And if that freaks you out, then you probably don’t know much about witchcraft, because honestly? It’s awesome. But I do believe in God. And angels. And spirit guides, reincarnation, divine intervention, manifestation, energy, crystals, chakras, prayer, intention, astrology (sort of), tarot, psychics, spirits, and possibly cryptids, if I’ve been watching too much “Paranormal Caught on Camera”, or basically anything on Travel Channel.

So, that’s about it. I hope you find something in what I’ve written to interest you enough that you will follow along. And I hope I can write something captivating, honest, resonant or beautiful enough to keep you coming back.