Sunday, June 23, 2019

Peace, Love & Joy

Couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful lunch with my uber talented sorority sister, Karyn, and the conversation turned to her art and some projects she is working on and who inspires her. And that lead to us talking about how some people generate an image that can transform their art or message to such a degree that they become known for it.

On my way home that day I wondered what image would I want to be known for πŸ€”

And as much as I adore the red smiley face which is the symbol of the Circle of Joy I feel we can't get to JOY without two other steps.

We need to:

BE at Peace with ourselves and the world... 
which leads to KNOWing Love... which leads to FEELing JOY.

When we are little we feel JOY all the time because it's our natural state until we get told we're doing life wrong- by our parents, teachers, lovers, society. And so it gets harder and harder to have raw moments of JOY. How do we get back there? I've found the simplest way for me to get more JOY in my life is to be at PEACE with myself and then with the world we are surrounded by. Mediation helps. So does compassion for knowing people are doing the best they can with where they are at the moment. And if we ourselves want to be less crazed we need to simply let them do them and focus on our inner PEACE so we can be as powerful as we can be in the world.

When we are at PEACE we then can learn or remember how lovable we are. How lovable others are. Knowing LOVE changes our energy, our tone, our experience of ourselves, others and our world. Unless we LOVE ourself we have a hard time loving our life or anyone in it. And it's almost impossible to feel the depth of LOVE when we hold back because we haven't received or learned to give the LOVE we are capable of knowing as a human in this world. 

Yet if we can quiet ourselves to be at PEACE, then open ourselves enough to know LOVE, then it's a way shorter journey to feel JOY. It flows to us when we get the two other elements in line.

So it might be greedy but I want to have three symbols I am known for. And not only are they symbolic, they are a formula and a practice I want to live my life by:

What word symbolizes the message you have for yourself and the world? What image visually summarizes what you are up to this year/decade/life? What do you want to be known for?
If nothing comes to mind... please ponder! We need you and me and all of us at our most inspired if we are going to fully live the lives we have been gifted.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Thank You for the Clarity

By nature I'm a fixer- I like to fix things: problems, people, situations. I've spent (read: wasted) a great deal of time in my life thinking everything had a solution and every story could have a happy ending. I blame growing up on 80's sitcoms and my love for romantic comedies. Roughly 30% of my delusion alone I've traced back to Hugh Grant- bad boys with good voices and sheepish grins were my kryptonite.

Anyway, now after a lot of disappointment and frustration I know that there is only so much you can do and when things don't work out after you've tried you darnedest- you have to realize: it is what it is. 

As a control freak it is super hard to accept: things don't always come together at the end of the half hour, or when you find a person that makes you melt, or when you work your butt off at a job.

Yet, there is some good news in seeing this: clarity!

When someone or some situation shows you what's what with them-- instead of fighting or denying it, it's much more empowering to be thankful for the clarity.

Thank the cheater for making it easier to move on to find a new love; thank the boss for not promoting you so you can go find your truer calling or better run company; thank the old friend for betraying you because now you have more time to devote to yourself instead of her.

Disappointment and heartbreak is a signpost that that is not where or with whom you belong. It stings- I know- trust me I know! But, Yay! Now there is clarity. Now you can be free to go find the person, friend or work that sparks joy in you ;)

Try suffering less next time you get hurt and instead thanking the universe for clarity so you can go find the joy you deserve in life. It is way better and more powerful to live with clarity then rose-colored glasses. Tip: Keep the frames, but get clear lenses. πŸ€“

Monday, February 25, 2019

Recharge Yourself

Do you get anxious when you see your phone is at 10%? Of course you do, it's the Pavlovian trigger of our time. Arianna Huffington often talks about how we check in more often on how our cell phone battery is doing during the day than we check in with ourselves.

A few years ago I was reading Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck, and in part of one of the exercises called Climbing Back Into Your Body she asks you to check in with your left big toe. Now this was a startling revelation for me- not that I have toes- but that I probably had not specifically checked in with each one individually since I was a child figuring out which one went to the market.  🐷

I had been really neglecting the vessel in which I live and only paying attention to my body when it's in pain πŸ˜–or in pleasure πŸ˜‰. Of course there was yearly maintenance but as long as I got a ✅ that nothing was wrong it was all good until next year. Even when I would be in workout mode I was mostly going through the motions- let's get this done. Not really connecting with my energy in a way that honored how I wanted to be in the world.

Our bodies are amazing! And we take them for granted because we think if our mind is still awake and functioning enough to get us to our next hour of the day we must be fine. Ridiculous!

Look around... how many of us our numb to how exhausted we are or how we are living on auto-pilot. We do no one any good living on empty.

So what's an exhausted but grateful body to do?
Practice being as connected to our toes as we are to our texts. For me, I'm practicing having quiet time at night before I go to bed so I can calm myself before sleep. Meditating. Stretching when I feel tense. And decluttering my space regularly so I don't have my energy zapped by things that don't spark JOY.

Every time you check your phone: check your mind for clarity... check your shoulders for tension... check your heart for peace... check your gut for direction. Our phones are our tool to be in communication with the world but let's also use that battery-deplete-panic as a reminder that the most important form of communication is with ourselves.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Theme 2019

2019's Theme :) 

FRESH: New, different, full of energy and vigor, bright and healthy in appearance, cool and fairly strong.... so I'm all about fresh starts, fresh air, fresh food, fresh experiences.

What are you up to in 2019?

If you haven't created your year yet--- come join in!

(past themes)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Creating YOUR Year ... πŸŽŠπŸ–Œ️

ME Mapping: Creating Your Year from Joy Meredith

Wishing YOU a fabulous 2019! 

Cheers to creating your most JOYfull Year Ever :)

And... if you're interested in mapping with ME please come join us for the next ME Workshop on the January 19th

*SlideShare doesn't allow editing or updating decks anymore so this version is through 2020 in case you're wondering πŸ˜‰

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The ME Workshop 2019

 The ME Workshop 

February 2, 2019
(rescheduled from 01.19.2019)

When:                    10am - 12:30pm

Where:                   Illinois Institute 
                               of Technology
                               201 E, Loop Rd
                               Wheaton, IL 60189          

Investment:           $100.00   

Take Aways: You’ll leave with a hard-cover 
No automatic alt text available.professional artist sketchpad, an easy-to-follow guide to the technique, and a tangible blueprint of what you’ll be working on to create the life you want.

Feel free to come solo, you'll meet some lovely folks... but it's always great if you can do something this fun and important with someone you care about so invite away :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The ThanksGiving List (πŸ¦ƒ + πŸ“ƒ)

It's THAT time of year again 🍁.... to create your grocery AND gratitude lists 

Happy Thanking! πŸ˜˜

FINDING JOY: The ThanksGiving List

Over a decade ago I started my favorite tradition ever: The ThanksGiving List. It is a list of my closest friends and why I am thankful for them that year. It's specific and heartfelt and I work on it the weekend before Thanksgiving (or earlier) and it is the best thing I do all year....

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Alternate Ending...

I was once in a seminar where the guy leading it, we'll call him Tom, was sharing how he came to be speaking in front of us. He spoke of the things he had screwed up in his life and how he found his path to the life he is currently living. The one story that really stuck with me is how on his quest to start a more authentic life he went back to repair his relationship with his ex-wife. He said her only question was: why did things end the way they did? 

His blunt answer was: I had made such a mess of things they didn't seem fixable so it was just easier to walk away.  

Not that he had stopped loving her, not that there was someone else- just that the mess seemed overwhelming to him so he ignored it and tried to be a better person without ever looking back. 

I thought of that story recently after seeing two movies - Juliet, Naked and A Star is Born- with characters who wanted to do the same thing: walk away. Close a chapter in their past and just try and start a new one. 

Not going to give away any endings but suffice it to say, it's harder to walk away from our lives then it is to just simply clean them up. Maybe not during to messiest of parts (clean-up sucks!) but for us to have a happy ending for sure. 

We are the authors of our lives and when one of the chapters of it goes awry we get to declare there is another chapter still to be written. It might be messy. It might need editing. But until we're dead, we have infinite options for rewrites & alternate endings. 
verb . /rΔ“ΛˆrΔ«t/
write (something) again so as to alter or improve it.
What is known by screenwriters- and romantics- is that the ultimate ending is not coasting to an inevitably smooth landing or a quick ride off into the sunset... it is the road to redemption. It's harder, and hillier, and a heck of a lot easier to quit on. But the road to redemption's where things get acknowledged and repaired and fought for-- it is the option few but the strongest attempt. And it brings epic endings!

Bill Cosby might not be morally (or even mentally) up for it but he could admit his sins/crimes and take this opportunity to champion prison reform and correctional education. For decades he was America's father and he's not going to ever get back there- but he could spend the remainder of his life in service being a better person or waste it being a bitter one. A really tragic ending for all involved!

The politicians that are currently using these political divides in our country to make a career and/or a profit could spend their days granted to them in office taking what they can get and go down in history -if at all- being enablers of these times. Or they can spend them bringing our country together, finding bi-partisan agreement, and putting country before party. True Patriotism!  πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Tom's ex forgave him for the hurt he inflicted into their marriage and they are both happily re-married, but she did say: it would have been great if you could have worked on yourself while I was there trying to get you to- it really would have been nice if we could have had our own happy ending. πŸ₯Ί

The hero's journey needs conflict to be overcome to allow for the story to be inspiring. It's part of the journey and only thing to be ashamed of is leaving our mess in someone else's path. 

πŸ€”Are we living as the hero in our own story? Are we the villain in someone else's? Are there messes to be cleaned up? Rewrites to be written? 

How do we get to our happily-ever-after?

Yours to say... ✍️