I Dare You to Test Your Beliefs

This post is intended for you, if you have a little girl or were a little girl once upon a time.  And for you, if you have a little boy or were a little boy at one time.  In short, this post is for You.

Let’s test your beliefs.

Last weekend I was having a serious conversation with my 9-year old niece about…dragons.  As we thumbed through her beautifully illustrated dragon book, I asked her something I have wondered for years:  If dragons aren’t real, then why do you think they appear in so many stories?  Could they have been real at one point, or have they been completely mythical since the beginning of time?

With her perfectly soulful, earnest brown eyes, she looked squarely into mine and said, “But Aunt Leslie, they are real.  You can even buy dragon eggs on the internet.  I’ve seen them.”

Be honest, did you laugh when you read my niece’s response?  Or did you think, “Aww, how cute,” or maybe, “Huh?  She believes in dragons at age 9?”  I did not laugh.  I couldn’t;  she was serious.  Very serious.

Besides, I was fascinated by her matter-of-fact response.  So I asked her more about dragons.  Then about elves, and later unicorns, and eventually about mermaids.  Continue Reading

How to Defeat the Storms of Life

Three years ago, shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer, a friend sent me a story I’d like to share with you today:

“A Child’s View of Thunderstorms”

There once was a little girl who walked to and from school each day.  Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were beginning to form, she made her daily trek to school.  As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with lightning.

The little girl’s mother was concerned that her daughter would be frightened as the little girl walked home from school.  The girl’s mother also feared the electrical storm might injure her child.  Full of concern, the mother got into her car and quickly drove along the route to her daughter’s school.  As she did, she saw her little girl walking alongside the road.

At each flash of lightning, the child would abruptly stop, look up at the ominous sky, and smile her most radiant smile.  A few moments later, more lightning flashed, and again, the little girl tilted her head upwards and smiled—all teeth and grins.  

When the mother drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called, “What are you doing?”

Without hesitation the little girl answered, “I am trying to look pretty…God keeps taking my picture.”

storms of lifeDefeating Your Storms of Life

Can you bring to mind previous storms of life that have showered down on you?  Or perhaps a life-storm is in the midst of soaking you right now as you read these words.  At least it feels like a life-storm.   And let’s be honest, if it feels like one, then it is one.  You are the only one who can feel the emotions within your situation—and your feelings dictate how you perceive what is happening.  It’s where we get the phrase: Perception is reality.

If your perception is you are in the middle of a storm, then that’s your reality.  It’s not my place, or anyone else’s place to tell you otherwise.  Only you can decide how long your storm will last.

Here’s the good news:  Your storm can end today.  In fact, you can end it right now.  Continue Reading

My Dad Said I Had Angel Wings

They say things happen in threes.  Sixteen years ago, within a three-month time span:  I began a new job I loved in corporate America, I became pregnant with our first child, and I lost my dad to cancer.

Happy, happy, sad.

With the new job I began to grow in ways I hadn’t anticipated.  I managed a group of highly motivated associates and over the course of the next decade with that company, I grew new wings.

As much as I loved my work-role, my mother-role has been enormously rewarding.  Today, between being a mother and a writer, my wings have grown from those of a sparrow’s to those of an eagle’s.  Many days, as I sit back and watch my boys or ponder a new piece I’m writing, I feel as if I’m soaring with the wings of an eagle.

But my dad always told me I had angel wings.  Continue Reading

How to Love Yourself, Straight From You

For the past month we’ve been talking about Self-Love…what it means, what it looks like, and how we express it in our lives (or not).

Summary of Previous Articles:

“How to Love Yourself First”— The series kicked off with a story about dating the “wrong guy” for way too long.  Why did I stick around for so long?  Bottom-line: because I didn’t love myself enough.  Three important questions were posed in order to help you determine how (if) you love yourself.

“Are You Constantly Searching for Love? Here’s One Sure Step to Finding Love”— In this post, you will clearly see what it means to love yourself…what it actually looks like in concrete terms.

“She Learned to Love Herself…And So Can You”— Using the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to introduce self-love, we quickly shift to the HOW TO of self-love in this post.

“French Fries and Fingernails”— Last week we looked at how self-love comes in all shapes and sizes. How sometimes it’s the small, random acts of kindness we offer ourselves that speak the loudest.  We also heard from two readers who shared how they struggle with self-love and the tactics they use to overcome their struggles.

Topic with No End

This has been a huge topic.  One I’ll never really be “done” writing about or exploring its importance in our daily lives.  But for today, I will wrap up this series on self-love by sharing the candid, and sometimes extremely raw insights that you shared with me.  And finally ending this post with a list of your self-love practices.  Continue Reading