Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Anika, Dad and the Zombie Princess

This week marks the second anniversary of my Dad's death. I decided I wanted to note the event, but from an upbeat perspective in this week's blog.

“What could I say?” I wondered…then I remembered the sweet gift I received from a gorgeous four year old named Anika and decided to share it with you (with permission from her mom, Anja).

After Dad’s passing, I was given the beautiful drawing you see with this blog along with the following letter:

Dear Diane,

I wanted to send something special to you and your family to let you know we care about you so much and you are in our hearts. I thought Anika could help with this by drawing you a picture of your father in in heaven. I explained that a dear friend of mine’s father did not die (because no one ever does), but he decided to leave his body. I wanted to send you an explanation of the picture and everything that’s in heaven, from a four-year old’s perspective. She shared in detail with me as she drew this picture, as she knew we would be sending it to you.

Bottom left:  your dad, you (Diane), your mom, Anika (she didn’t want to be left out), part of a person she had to start over with, and Kitty (her toy kitty she takes with her everywhere). Next to the kitty are some letters she learned to write in daycare (also above the others are some more letters).

Bottom right:  a rainbow, a flower and above the flower a “rainbow car” with wheels (she said it started as a dolphin but morphed into a car at the end).

Above your dad:  two hearts – a baby heart and a mommy heart. To the right of the hearts is a fairy (green), an angel (pink) and a zombie princess with pearls and string in her hair (because what heaven would be complete without a zombie princess!). To the right of the zombie princess is a ring (pink circle) and to the left are more hearts that got colored in.

Top right: the star shaped figures are a mommy and baby crown with skirts and feet. You also have a sun, blue sky and clouds.

I don’t know about you, but I think heaven is sounding pretty cool. 

Sending you and your family much love, 
– Anja & Anika

I miss my dad. When I'm feeling particularly sad, I look at this beautiful picture and see Dad in heaven with Mom, a pink angel, green fairy, rainbow car, crowns with skirts and feet....and a zombie princess.

It always makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Love in Action

I’ve had a phrase running around my head for a while now and it’s “love in action.” What the heck does that mean? I decided it can take various forms for all of us.

You can:

Volunteer at a fundraising event.
Make dinner for a neighbor.
Give a donation to a cause you believe in.
Write a love note to your spouse.
Surprise a child with a special outing.
Take time to relax in a hot bath with healing oils.
Paint, write, sculpt, sing….create something from your soul that makes you happy.
Hold the door open for the person behind you as you leave a store.
Smile, make eye contact and say hello to a stranger.
Pick up trash in the park.
Patiently wait for an elderly person to safely cross the street in front of your car.
Donate to your community coat drive.
Share an inspiring story with a friend.
Send a private message to an old friend on Facebook just to “check in.”
Deliver gifts to a local animal shelter.
Share your unique talents with an organization that can use your expertise.
Donate books to your library.
Bring coffee or tea to an office mate.
Send a text to someone who’s grieving to let them know you care.
Spend a little extra time petting the cat.
Pray that we all find a way to live love, respect, kindness, truth and joy.
Shut your eyes and imagine a healthy planet. Hold that thought for several minutes.
Smile more.

While it’s tempting to think of this “love in action” as an exercise to help others, I think the real fun comes when we live our daily life from there.
Whoa. What would that look like?

Imagine paying bills, preparing dinner or delivering a talk for work all actions that are fueled by love. Grooming your dog, cutting the grass and yes – even laundry – could be examples of “love in action” if we looked at these actions not as chores, but as ways to consciously express love to ourselves, our families and the world. Think about that. I like it!

Love in action is simple. Fuel every action, deed and thought with love.

That’s my new intention. What about you? How could you live love in action?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Invest in Yourself!

I feel renewed. Energized. Fantastic! Why? I just invested in myself.

In late September, I traveled to Orlando to attend a signature event for Hay House Publishing called I CAN DO IT. The title says it all! In this three day event, many of the top Hay House authors host workshops on a variety of mind-body-spirit topics. An added perk for me was my book signing at the Balboa table, but my investment that weekend went well beyond any business opportunity.

I was not only introduced to new ideas I can immediately apply to my personal and professional life, but I also loved meeting people who share my interests and passion for learning! It’s invigorating.

I met total strangers who became new friends as we exchanged tips or recommended helpful books and blogs. We were all emotional at a star studded tribute to the recently deceased Dr. Wayne Dyer, who was a Hay House author for many years. We shared with each other in workshop exercises. Thousands of us meditated as a group. We danced with Dr. Robert Holden during his keynote speech. We had a blast.

We learned new ways to keep our body healthy, our mind clear and our spirit happy.

We invested time, money and focus on ourselves. It was glorious.

The experience reminded me just how important it is for each of us to invest in ourselves. I believe as we do so, we become happier, healthier and more creative benefitting everyone in our lives. It’s that important.

Yes, it’s smart to invest your money wisely, do those renovations on the house and buy a reliable car. You spend lots of time thinking about those investments. How much thought do you give to investing in your own mental, physical and spiritual health?

It may not always be possible to travel to an event. Bet there’s probably a few close to home you might enjoy. When’s the last time you checked? Have you ever tried an on-line class that interests you?

You could read a new book that stretches your understanding, explore a blog with a fresh perspective or have coffee with a friend and dig into an interesting topic. All great ways to invest in yourself!

You could walk in nature. Get a massage. Take a yoga class or follow along to a Tai Chi video on YouTube. Commit to a consistent meditation routine. Pick up the spiritual book you bought years ago and always meant to read. Take that relaxing bath you say you don’t have time for…do it.

When is the last time you invested in yourself? An even better question is, “what will you do now to invest in your mental, physical and spiritual health?”

I hope you answer this question and take action. Why? Because we all deserve to feel renewed, energized and fantastic!