Wake Up, Show Up, and Grow Up with Gratitude.

My first Thanksgiving as Jeff’s wife could not have been more perfect.

(We had a few “disasters” during the process, but even the disasters were perfect.)

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday because it serves as a reminder of the importance of gratitude.

As I was preparing the meal for my family, I was literally overcome with this powerful sense of contentment and security.

Both of those emotions are pretty unfamiliar to me.

My adult life has been scarred by abuse, neglect, poverty, and betrayal.

As this feeling of contentment began to wash over me, I allowed the deliciousness of the emotion to envelope me, as I became aware of the reality of my life as it is RIGHT NOW, today, November 26,2015.

I no longer live in a world that is full of pain and disappointment.

I now live in a world filled with love, kindness, and security.

The tradition of “Giving Thanks” dates clear back to 1621.

Our ancestors in the United States have been celebrating Thanksgiving since that date.

Historically, throughout Europe, festivals were held after the harvest to give thanks and celebrate together as a community.

Native Americans also celebrated the harvest season.

We continue the tradition today nearly 400 years later.

And as I was cooking for my family…

I realized that for most of us, when we hear the word:

“Thanksgiving”

We usually think of turkey and stuffing,

the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade,

football

and gatherings with family and friends.

We all know that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks,

Yet many times in the hustle and bustle of everyday life,

We forget the importance of gratitude,

not just on Thanksgiving,

But every other day as well.

SO… as I was allowing the beauty of the moment surround me,

I had a really powerful realization about how I had learned through often painful “trial and error” to shift my attitude from:

Fear to Contentment.

From victim to survivor.

And from poverty to prosperity.

I remember reading an email about success and gratitude.
I COMMITTED that very day to list at least 5 things in my life that I could be grateful for.

When I began my “gratitude List” that first day, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to even find 5 things to be grateful for.
But to my surprise, on that first day,

I had 23 things on my list!

That was a HUGE wake up for me.

That one simple act of NOTICING, began to change everything for me.
I realized then just how blessed I actually was.
that was the beginning of the transformation from victim to survivor.

Since then, I have made gratitude a priority in my life.

 

I have been ferociously committed to seeing the beauty in the world NOT the pain.

So for me, it’s not surprising that the most successful and happiest people on the planet are also the ones who practice gratitude on a regular basis.

However, what might give one pause, is that the most grateful people are also the most successful and the happiest.

SO…
Which came first,
The gratitude or the success?

 

 

Are these people grateful because they’re successful…

OR

Successful because they’re grateful?

From firsthand experience in my very own life…

I am going to say that everything starts with gratitude.

Image result for gratitude

Gratitude can turn fear into trust and has the power to turn ordinary into extraordinary.

There is no better way to adjust our attitude than through the practice of gratitude.

We now Know that what we focus on today grows becomes our reality tomorrow.

So begin today to let your hearts and minds overflow with gratitude.

For no matter where you are in life, there is always a reason to be grateful.

Always.

And when we practice gratitude, everything else lines up for us almost magically.

Consider starting a new tradition in your family.

As you sit together with your loved ones, go around the table and share out loud something that you are profoundly grateful for in your life at this very moment.

Feel the joy that it brings to you in just thinking about it.

This practice alone will shift your energy from where you are to where you want to be.

I have found that this practice creates such a bond of love within my family.

People will often walk into our home and comment on how much love they can feel there. They will stay and visit for hours because they say they don’t want to leave and go back out into the world.

You can create this loving feeling for yourself, in your own home just by the simple act of expressing gratitude for each other.

There is nothing more powerful…

Or nothing more effective at bringing happiness into our world,

than to start by being thankful for where we are right now.

As we enter into this beautiful holiday season and into the new year, let us remember to practice gratitude every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

Let gratitude be the first thing on your mind when you wake in the morning, and the last thought you have as you drift off to sleep each night.

Talk about it,

share it with your loved ones,

celebrate it

And you will be blessed with even more good things in your life.

Make this the first day of a daily practice and watch what happens.

After all, we can all learn something from the most successful and happiest people in the world-

and that is to remember that it all starts with being grateful for the many blessings that we have right here, right now.

As you celebrate this beautiful day, may you remember that we have so very much to be grateful for and may your blessings be abundant throughout the coming year.

It all starts with simply taking the time to practice gratitude as a way of life.

 

My prayer for you today is that you can all use Gratitude as the powerful too that can and will WAKE YOU UP, so you can SHOW UP, and GROW into the beautiful life that you deserve.

 

 

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Someday is NOT a Day on the Calendar…

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

whatever your doing right now and really let that thought sink deeply into your consciousness.

Someday Will NEVER EVER arrive.

It is an illusion. 

Granted…

It is probably the most powerful,

destructive,

live altering

Illusion that has ever been created.

But it is still an illusion nonetheless. 

 

Since 2006, 

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

 

has become my motto.

 

I will never forget the day that I lost my son.

I can still tell you exactly what the temperature was that day.         I remember exactly what I ate,

and can still to this day recall with perfect clarity every single thing I did that day.

That moment in time is forever frozen in my mind.

For any of you who have experienced that death of a loved one, or our perhaps your own near-death,

You will know exactly what I mean when I say that,

“Those kind of experiences will always offer you a  new perspective on what truly matters… and what is simply irrelevant or insignificant.”

The death of my child has served as an acute reminder of both life’s fragility and unpredictability as well as a powerful note to self” that:

While our dreams have no expiration date…

Our physical time on this earth does!

I no longer wait for       to pursue what really matters.

Near-death experiences can be extreme wake up calls…
And…
I don’t want to sleep through the alarm.

The TIME,

to make TIME, 

For the people,

causes

or work you truly care about is always .

 

 

Here are 7 of my favorite ways to live fully:

1) Discover Divinity.

The day that I realized that I actually was loved and supported by God, was the same day that I truly began to heal from the pain and abuse of my past.

I knew in that moment of clarity that I would never have to walk alone on my journey through this life because I was supported and loved by the God of ALL creation.

And that one realization changed EVERYTHING in my life. 

 

 

2) Decide what’s most important to you and take action NOW.


Don’t wait for next month,

next year

or

the next decade.

Even small steps can lead to big changes… make a move toward greatness.

Your life’s work is waiting to be discovered.

So stop putting off those things that your heart is pulling you to try.

Your future happiness and fulfillment is lying dormant  inside those yearnings from your heart.

 

 

3) Schedule time for your dreams.

Book a date.

Set a deadline (even a tentative one) to meet your goal or promise.

The universe loves commitment; it implies that you are serious about taking action and then the universe will conspire to support you.

My favorite story of this practice is the one Jim Carey tells about writing a check for 10,000,000.00 to himself.

The story goes that before Jim Carrey was famous, he walked up to the Hollywood Hills and wrote a check to himself for ten million dollars. On the memo line, he wrote, “For Services Rendered.” For years he carried that check in his wallet, pulling it out occasionally to keep his dream clearly visible in his mind.

Now he’s one of the highest-paid entertainers in the industry, getting well over twenty million dollars for just one film.

 

4) Notice synchronicity and act on opportunities.


Once you move toward what you love and “follow your bliss”, as Joseph Campbell said, “doors will open to you where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

Check out what’s behind those doors!

Then ALWAYS take the time to stop and Thank God for the synchronicity in your life because that is proof of His existence in your life.

 

He loves it when we give Him thanks, so do it often!

 

5) Show up.


Be there for the people, projects and passions that count. 

Action begets action;

and that requires “showing up” to do the work.

If you want to publish a book, you must show up at your desk and write.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must show up and run your business.

If you want to have more love you must show up and give more love.

Life is a direct reflection of your commitment to the people and things in it.

If you are lacking in any area of your life, then KNOW that your not showing up for that area in the ways you need to be.

Don’t make excuses, or try to assign blame, just be radically honest about YOUR shortcomings and then re-dedicate yourself to SHOWING UP more fully…starting RIGHT NOW!

 

6) Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.


Since that life-changing year of 2006, I’ve changed so many things about myself, and my life.

I started my own business.

Become a published writer.

And have dedicated myself to creating unforgettable experiences with family and friends.

I have a deep and profound relationship with God.

And enjoy healthy, loving relationships in many areas of my life.

But before any of those dreams could become my reality…I had to CHOOSE to make them come alive through my own hard work and dedication to them.

So STOP waiting for your life to begin…Today is the BEST day to begin to fulfill your dreams!

 

7) Put your true desire(s) at the top of your To-Do list.


Your desires are yours for a reason!

And are very often (if not always) part of your purpose here.

PLUS: You need to remember, the journey (of life) should be as much fun as the destination.

So make sure that the things that are occupying most of your time…are the things that are speaking to your deepest desires in life.

Otherwise…

 

 

My crazy goals and wildest dreams have become a reality BECAUSE…
 I never for one instant allow myself to forget that:

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

My Bathroom Transformation for only $25.00

This weekend I wanted to add some character to our main bathroom.

As those of you who have been following me know, (and have seen the work I have been doing to our new home)

I am decorating our home to give it that old world charm.

One of my favorite things about old Spanish style homes that I absolutely LOVE is the old cracked plaster walls.

I love the old boards that they put behind the plaster for support.

I love all the textures and color of these old plaster walls.

So I wanted to make our bathroom look like an old home where the plaster had cracked and fallen off in places over the years.

I had so much fun with this room this weekend.

So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the pictures.

 

Here are the BEFORE pictures with the walls just plain white. They don’t look bad, they just lack that character that you would find in an older home.

 

The next step in this process was to trace out the design of the crack. Then I got a level and created the “Boards”, I left 1/4″ between each board for the grout line.

If you are new to this, you might want to tear pieces of painter tape and cover your grout lines when you are applying the joint compound to the wall to create your boards.

Here are the pictures of the “cracks” with the boards mudded into the wall.

 

 

The next step was to base coat the wood slats. I used a combination of three shades of brown for this. I wanted the wood to be different colors like they would be if they were actually old pieces of wood that had been there for a hundred years.

While the paint is still wet, I rubbed the slates with a slightly damp cotton rag to remove some of the paint and add age and character to the boards.

 

The next step in the process was to paint the walls a sandstone color. I will add extra details around the cracks to make them “POP” but first the walls needed to be painted.

Once the paint on the walls had dried, I was now ready for the fine details to be added.

This is always my favorite step in the process because this is when my murals COME ALIVE.

I used dark brown, black, white, and light beige paint colors to accent the cracks and boards.

 

And now the moment you have been waiting for….

The Finished bathroom pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my Bathroom Transformation.

 

 

 

 

I taught an art class with 16 kids…here is a peek at their work

Last Friday I had the best time teaching art to my son Russel’s class at school.

They have all been asking me to teach them how to

ZEN-TANGLE, so Friday I finally had some free time at school and took them in and we made some zen-tangle pumpkins.

I hope you enjoy their pumpkins as much as I enjoyed teaching them.

 

I can’t wait for the next class to begin.

I think I might have found a new passion… 🙂

The truth about our SCARS…

Today I want to talk about a very difficult subject.

This subject is particularly difficult for me to talk about because it is something that I have lived through.

Something I survived.

The thing that I want to talk about today is the  that comes from abuse.

serving-and-leading-through-brokenness-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to share with you all this amazing truth:

There is a beautiful life waiting for you on the other side of this pain you might be feeling right now.

There is someone out there who will love you so much that all the cracks you have on your heart, will be to them, just beautiful reminders of how strong and resilient you really are.

Because let’s face it:

There are days when the pain is a lot to carry.

When you honestly feel like you are literally going to break apart into a million little pieces.

And the ones who are the ones who are supposed to love you,  are the ones who end up hurting you the most.

When everything inside you wants to run
To hide
To escape.

 

And that is how you learn to cover up the pain.

But that’s not how scars work.

They run deep.

So how do you go about living a life that appears to be normal when your life is an utter mess?

For most abuse victims, we get really good at pretending that everything is okay.

But the pain doesn’t stop.

I have found out the hard way that pretending just makes it  worse.

When I was determined to “HIDE” my abuse, I was alone in every sense of the word.

I had nobody in my life that I could trust with my secret, so I carried the weight of it all by myself.

My husband just kept getting more and more cruel because there was never anyone who would question his actions.

I just suffered alone in silence…

So I thought!

But I was not the only one who was being affected by this abuse.

My children were also being hurt in ways that would forever change who and what they were.

It took the death of my sweet son to wake me up to this cold, hard truth.

Victor Miera

CLEVELAND- Victor Leon Miera, you left us too soon. But now you can be the “wizard” you were always meant to be.

Victor was very special with his unique dreams and on Sept. 18, 2006, he decided to reach for the stars and move on to a new life.

Victor was born May 27, 1992 in Payson, Utah to Samuel Victor and Rebecca Campbell Miera.

Survived by his parents, Sam (Melanie) Miera, Cleveland; mother, Rebecca Campbell, Spanish Fork; four sisters and two brothers, Carmen and Anna Miera, both of Spanish Fork; Tyler, Mina, Russel and Sarah Miera, all of Cleveland; grandparents, Sam (Mary) Miera, of St. George,
and Julia Campbell, of Salt Lake City.


I had to lose a child before I was able to see just how damaged my entire family was because of the abuse.

Ironically it was that very thing that finally gave me the courage to speak the truth about my life.

To ask for help.

To finally realize that I was not alone.

By opening up and talking to other women, I found that there were a lot of people who have been living in silence just like I was.

I discovered that other people are broken too.

And They need someone to help.

Someone who knows what it feels like

Someone who has walked through it to.

 

The pain can scar you.

But if  you let it, the pain can also change the way you look around the world.

The way you see yourself.

The way you look at other people.

Once I was finally able to speak openly about my abuse, I found that my scars were beginning to heal.

I discovered that nobody is too broken for grace.

Not even ME!

That’s what makes it GRACE!

It is a free gift that none of us earn or deserve.

It has the power to set things straight in your life.

It has the power to heal.

The power to transform.

I now know firsthand the power of community.

The blessings that can come from a friend who really cares.

And today, as we approach the holidays, I want to just let anyone out there who might need comfort know that you are NOT alone.

Take that first step outside of your comfort zone and speak to a stranger…

Or to that lady down the street or at work that you have been meaning to introduce yourself to.

Find a support group where you can let go of the pain in a supportive environment.

As I look back, I can see so clearly how it was the community that surrounded me during the time immediately following Victor’s suicide that allowed me to finally break free from the abuse, and start to live a life that was free.

A life where me and my children could begin the long and often difficult process of healing.

And as I sit here before you today, nine years later, I want to let you know that there is Hope.

There is love.

There is a beautiful life waiting for you to enjoy.

 

 

Stress….What Stress?

This past Monday as I drove into work at 5:00 am, it was snowing, the roads were slick and covered in ice, and there was a thick fog for most of my 20 minute commute.

I was stressed.

I could begin to feel the panic setting in.

I turned to my nine year old and said,
Sarah, God promises that when two or more are gathered in His name, He will be there. I NEED to know that God is in this car with us right now, so will you please say a prayer for our safety?”

She prayed aloud for me and her brother to hear.

I instantly felt a calm settle over my body.

I KNEW that God was in fact riding to work with us and no matter what the outcome, I knew we were in Good Hands.

 

This incident got me to thinking about the person I was in the past.
I wasted YEARS on worry and fear.
I felt so alone.
I believed that I had to “DO IT ALL MYSELF.”

The woman I am today, a woman who has dedicated her heart to the Lord, is a completely different creature than the woman I was in the past.

I now have the knowledge that I DON’T have to do it alone because I am supported by the God of ALL CREATION.

I am his child. He loves me and will answer my call when it is uttered in faith.

Today, I want to share with you the powerful changes that will come into your life when you soften your heart and surrender it to a higher power.

The peace that I enjoy in my life every day can be yours too.

The peace that you wish to experience in your life begins with you.

Once you have surrendered your life, and committed yourself to the idea of living with faith, trust, and peace, you then need to make a conscious effort to see through the eyes of others.

Don’t underestimate the importance of that little piece of advice.

It is truly transformative to learn to see through the eyes of another person.

Instead of judging people, try to fully understand what they are going through and why they do certain things.

While it may seem that the main purpose of seeing through the eyes of others is to please everyone else, it really is to obtain peace within yourself.

This one simple shift in my perception has allowed me to more fully understand the loving nature of God.

It has freed me from trying to save the world single-handedly, and it has given me a sense of compassion that has changed every single thing about the way I live my life.

When God tells you to stop judging, He is doing that for your benefit. It really does make life more peaceful.

The next thing that you should do to increase the peace and harmony in your life is to remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

Share with them the ways that your life is better because of them.

They may not know how you feel, and your words of loving kindness toward them will have made their day.

By making sure that the people in your life know how you feel, you are also increasing the love that they feel towards you. When your house is filled with love, it becomes a sanctuary from the world where you can go each day and just unwind and relax.

Forgive those who may have hurt you.

Even if you don’t want to do it for them, then do it for yourself.

As the saying goes, “It’s not the snake bite that kills you. It’s the venom that’s left behind!”

The best way I have found to deal with someone who has offended me is to pray for them each and every day.

I pray for their needs to be met, and their hearts to be softened.

This one simple thing has allowed me to find forgiveness for some people that I honestly thought I would NEVER be able to forgive.

The next thing you need to do is…

Remember to treat yourself with the respect that you deserve too – because you are just as important as everyone else.

Stand up for yourself, and don’t depend on someone else to do it for you.

As soon as you get up in the morning, ask how you can create the perfect day for yourself.

Then follow up with whatever needs to be done to make that happen.

Life is full of distractions that may shift your attention to what you don’t want instead of what you do want.

It will be during the most difficult times that you must try to stay focused on your peaceful intentions.

 

You may have to force yourself to see and feel beyond what is going on outside of yourself in order to feel the serenity within.

This is exactly what I did when I was driving to work on Monday.

I stepped outside of my circumstances, and allowed myself to observe the calming power of prayer.

 

But the most powerful tool you can have in your Arsenal of PEACE is by far…

The ability to see everything through loving eyes.

(This is a great prayer to utter daily)

Learn to do this and your whole life will change for the better.

You are the only one who can break away from bad thoughts and see the bright side of every situation.

Remember, the key is to focus more about what you do want,

which is love and peace,

instead of what you don’t want,

which is unhappiness and fear.

It will not always be easy, and at times you may feel that you won’t be able to continue to be kind and serene.

However, if your intention is pure, you should eventually figure out how to obtain peace in every situation.

You really can make a difference in your life and in the lives of others simply by viewing everything from this higher perspective.

When you remember to love yourself and others unconditionally, you will be vibrating at a much higher level.

It is at this point that you will be able to create peace in your life and in the world around you.

This will also begin the ripple effect that could actually make the whole world a better place!

And how wonderful is that?

Grace is a short word that carries a deep complexity of truth.

Like you, I was shocked and deeply heartbroken by the horrific events in Beirut and Paris last week.

The violence, inequality and injustice that exists right now can start to feel insurmountable.

One thing that gives me strength and hope is recognizing that amidst the pain and challenge of our times, there are legions of remarkable human beings who are actively working to create a better world.

Not only for themselves, or for a specific religious or political ideology, but for all of humanity.

Specifically, for the billions (yes, with a b) of overlooked, forgotten and often marginalized populations.

Their important stories rarely make headlines or garner the support of international leaders.

But you don’t have to accept the world for what it is,  you can mold it into what you think it could be.

Each of us has the power to use our lives to lift others up.

But how do you begin to make even a small difference in this world?

I understand how it can seem like such a pipe dream to believe that one person has any power what-so-ever to make even the smallest change in the world right now.

But I believe that there is a power that exists on this Earth that can literally transform lives from the inside out, and is even powerful enough to spread like wildfire.

 

It has happened in the past, and I believe it can happen right now in our lifetimes.

We just have to understand what it is and then adopt it into our lives and then share the truth of it’s power with as many people as possible.

So what is this POWER that I speak of?

Grace is a short word that carries a deep complexity of truth.

It can mean very different things to different people.

Some people understand grace as athletic.

For them it is the ability to stay balanced as you complete challenging tasks.

Dancers are graceful.

Skaters gliding across the ice are extremely graceful.

Grace can be referred to as an elegance of movement, the ability to transform everyday actions in to expressions of beauty.

We often link STYLE and Grace into almost a one word phrase.

 

But…

For other people, grace is more philosophical, even theological.

Grace is unmerited favor.

We are saved by grace, through the generosity of another.

We remember the sweet sound of amazing grace.

(But… As we all know too well,)

Giving, and receiving, grace can be very challenging for us.

For most of us, what unites the different truths of grace is that they take hard work.

No one skates gracefully the first time they try.

Very few of us respond gracefully the first time we feel wronged.

It takes a lot of practice to become graceful.

We learn grace by trying.

We find ourselves in situations that demand grace.

When we could easily fall down, easily become resentful, we are given the opportunity to learn grace.

So what does any of this have to do with a power that has the ability to change the world?

Let’s think back to the time when Christianity was in it’s infancy…

The thing that caused that particular philosophy to spread was the kindness that the Christians offered to their fellow humans.

They would go into villages that were being ravaged by sickness and minister to the sick when the rest of the world was running away from them.

The Christians often paid for this kindness with their very own lives.
But they willingly did this because they wanted to teach the world how to live differently.
AND…
That is what I am proposing that our world needs once again.
That radical kindness that is only possible in a heart that is filled with kindness and grace.

Think about it like this…
The leaders who inspire me lead with grace.

I have worked with people who lead with elegance, learning to control their movements to express deep truths.

Their leadership is a form of art.
They find the balance required to continue motivating others, and create beauty as they do.
I have worked with people who have shown me kindness I did not earn.
Their generosity helped bring out the best in me…
even when I did not know it was there.
The graceful leaders I have been blessed to know  have spent the deep time and effort necessary practicing daily to become more graceful.

They have changed the world I live in by their example.

They have shown me just how powerful GRACE actually is.

But the most powerful example of Grace in my life has been, and always will be Christ, himself.

He led us by example and taught us that once a person understands grace, he is no longer burdened by life.

Because along with grace comes some other pretty amazing gifts from God.

Here are just a few of those gifts and tools that you will discover in your quest to succeed and overcome the pain and suffering that is inevitable in this life:

• Grace—justification and forgiveness.

• Grace—God’s giving of mercy and favor.

• The faith of Christ will reside in you.

• God’s Spirit, through which we receive the willpower and motivation to forge ahead.

The message that I want to share today is that you, alone, CAN make a difference in this world.

God has freely extended His grace and help to His people.

He asks only that we use that Grace to grow ourselves in good works, walking in them as a way of life.

The law of God is the standard or benchmark that directs the paths of true Christians.

Keeping them develops character.

Doing these things shows God that the grace He has extended to us has not been in vain.

And by living as an example to the world and sharing this message of Hope through Grace, maybe we can start to heal the wounds that hate has created.