Fear Can Kiss My Rear

no fear

I realize I’m a day late with my haiku this week.  Was a c-rAZY day yesterday!  2 interviews and they were back to back and I tend to get carried away when talking to people, so it went longer than 2 hours.  I’m just lucky I got home before 2pm.  Had a great time talking with these lovely people and looking forward to posting the new YouTube vid this weekend!  It’ll be a little different than the last one.  Learning as I go…

Anywho, without further ado…

I felt so much fear
God told me to get in gear
Fear can kiss my rear

Yup!  Fear can most definitely kiss my big ole rump!  I’m tired of giving him the upper hand.  It’s time to take my life back.  Whether I fear that thing or not, I’m gonna do that thing anyway!

If y’all have a haiku you’d like to share, please do!  It can be one reflecting your week or just about any old thing.  Excited to hear what you come with.

And if you happen to check out my YouTube video (1st ever), please give me some tips on how you think I can make it better.  I need all the help I can get.  Just Google “meaningoflifeinitiative youtube” or click here.

Thanks!  Love yooze guys!!  (smooches)

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

It is a Small World After All

world

So I’ve been thinking for a while now about how far we’ve fallen into the abyss of societal escapism.  I mean, we’ve become a selfie society.  It seems to be about “me, me, me.”  And it’s been bothering me for a while.  What could I do about it?  I’m just one person.  What can one person do?

Some time last year, I had a vision.  It seemed like a great idea but I had no time to work on it and I had to fill my hours with work so I could attempt to pay my bills and feed my child.  So I figured it was just another one of those pipe dreams, too far out of reach for me, and put it off.  We all have those, right?  Great ideas about making the world a little bit better than how we found it?  Finding a way to connect people?  Help the planet?  Help somebody?  We have the want but how do we put that into actionable steps and make it happen?

Then, I shared my idea with a client (now employer/magazine) and was given the go-ahead, so I put an ad on Facebook to my buds asking for video equipment if anyone wanted to donate to this cause.  I got an awesome offer from a longtime friend and VOILA! I got my video camera for the project I wanted to start.

Then the magazine explains they got ahead of themselves and decided it wasn’t in the budget, so this became my baby.  But I was confused.  Maybe I wasn’t supposed to do this?  How am I going to find the time to do this and not get paid?  I worked 46-56 hours a week.  I said a prayer.  Then POOF!  One of my clients dropped some hours due to their budget and I had the time.  Plus, I had the camera, which some dear trusted friends explained was as Mike said, “It’s the universe calibrating destiny.”  That’s the best thing I could have heard at that moment and I was off on a mission.

Don’t misunderstand.  I was scared as hell.  It’s so not me, going up to complete strangers and asking if I can interview them, asking them personal questions, digging into their private lives.  Of course, they could say no, and some did.  And they were given the option of skipping whatever questions they didn’t want to answer, which some did.  And the first day I was to go out and do these interviews?  Well, I nearly chickened out.  The things that stopped me from giving in?  Friends and family who believed me to be courageous, which I don’t recall ever being described as such, which gifted me with empowerment and confidence and a wee might of faith.  That wasn’t all.

The fact I received that camera was God telling me that he had something for me to do.  Be it scary, yes, I was full of fear and anxiety and then I thought of Henry Fonda.  He got sick before every stage performance and he got up and got out there anyway.  And he was bloody brilliant!  So, he gave me power and belief.  I will fear it and I will do it anyway.  My friend donated this camera.  I have to do it!  There’s no turning back now.

I mean, what if?  What if I am meant to do it and it turns out great and these people share their stories and it helps other people in the world?  I will have made a difference, along with a ton of awesome people helping me get it out there, since without them, there’d be no stories.

Once I listened to my first interview, I have to say, my knees were knocking and my teeth were chattering and my voice was shaking but I don’t even think she noticed.  She talked to me like we were good friends.  And we related.  And I nearly cried.  And we laughed.  And we shared.  And I made a great new friend that day.  After it was over, the camera was off and we kept talking, I realized about 90% of my fear was gone.

Now I knew what to expect.  The second interview?  Well, I don’t believe I was even 10% nervous about it.  And the second one went even better.  And another new friend.

Yes!  This life is about connections.  It’s about relating with people, helping them, listening to them, learning from them and yes, even teaching them.  We all have gifts and maybe we don’t even realize that we each have something special to offer these people out in the world.  We all have a story.  We all have life lessons and we can share with each other and become better for it.  And we can connect with these people.  We can see ourselves in them.

I say it’s time to stop hiding.  Put down the cell phone and the iPad, take off the bluetooth earpiece.  And start talking with those around you.  Connect.  It’s what life is about.  Think about it.  We are all family here.  We all are offspring from one family and we will go home to one family.

It’s not a huge contribution but I stepped outside my comfort zone and said, okay, I’ll try this.  I’ll listen and record their stories and get them out there for those of you who are ready to connect and to listen and to build family.  We are all one people.  Don’t you think it’s time we start acting like it?

Here’s my first documentary in a series, which is segments of two interviews bound into one video, I finally had the chance to upload late last night.  I hope you like it.  Please feel free to comment, tell me your thoughts on the YouTube video or here or on my Facebook page.  Like.  Subscribe.  Share.  Help us grow into one overgrown family.  Who knows?  Maybe one day I’ll have a chance to actually travel, go to other states, maybe even other countries.  You can help shrink the planet, ’cause it is a small world after all.

That was the link.  You can also find it by typing in meaningoflifeinitiative youtube – that’s what it’s called – Meaning of Life Initiative or “MOLI” (pronounced Molly).

Any questions?

Love y’all!!  xoxo

Flyin’ By the Seat o’ My Pants! Geez!

flying squirrel
Hey y’all! Happy Hump Day Haiku! Hope all of you cool peeps are doing well and have had an enjoyable and productive week, thus far. So, here’s my haiku. I will most likely have news to share on Friday (or before then) and a link for y’all to watch on YouTube, so hang on tight to your britches, kids, ’cause I’m flyin’ by the seat of mine!
 
Will be up this week
So all y’all can take a peek
Then for your critique
 
Whatcha got? 😉 xoxo

Happy for Answered Prayers & Showers of Blessings

 

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Good morning, sweeeeeeeeeet neighbors!!!!  Shweeeet friends!  Happy Thankful Thursday to you and I do hope you have much to be thankful for.

I will spare you the million and one things I usually name that I’m thankful for but I’ll always be adding family as that is my number 1, and my sweet friends out there like you, which are part of my number 1.  And God and Jesus that are not only part of my number 1, but part of everything I am and do.  I’m far from perfect, sooooo far, but I try hard every day to make them glad at me.  I use that phrase ‘glad at me’ as my daughter, Hallie, asked me that once when she was about 3 and I’ve never forgotten that sweet question from that precious baby, “Mama, are you glad at me?”  Oof, I’m missing her like crazy right now.  Wish I could squeeze her, but alas, she’s at school, so I have to wait till 3.  😉

Have you ever stepped waaaaay outside your comfort zone and tried something you could never see yourself doing?  Have I told y’all about my video project?  I have been a little hushed about details as I feel talking about it beforehand sort of jinxes myself.  Perhaps that sounds odd.  I just like to be taking action doing the thing and have some sort of flow going or even be finished with a certain amount of steps before I mention.  But since I did get my first major step completed, I’ll talk a little about it.

I had a vision last year for this project.  It just popped into my little imagination.  It was so clear.  Life gets in the way and all that and it got pushed to a back burner to simmer for a while.  Well, it’s been simmering for a year and certain things came into play within the last 2 months that told me I need to get my rear in gear on this project.

I asked God, “If you want me to do this thing, please show me the way.  I cannot work 46-56 hours a week and do the project, but I do need to pay my bills, so please don’t take away any clients.”

The very next week, my biggest client cut my hours, as she needed to stay closer to her budget.  Nothing too threatening but just enough to allow me to still pay my bills (barely) and have time to go out and engage with people.  A beloved friend donated an awesome video camera for the project – a very generous donation.  Other great friends were praying for me and the project, the questions I’d ask, the interviews, the confidence, calmness, soothing of my anxiety, ’cause I was so sure I was either gonna faint or get sick.  So many amazing people believe in me and this project and it made such a difference in my taking action.  I have to say, I got close to chickening out, because of my fear and lack of confidence but I asked myself, “Do you just want to stay shut up in that house every day?  I mean, writing is awesome and it’s one of your dreams and it’s fantastic but this is a great vision, too.  What if something comes of all this?  What if people actually like it?  What if you can relate to these people on a deeper level and really connect with people?  What if people watching and listening to their stories realize they’re not so alone? What if I can (only as a go between) actually shrink the planet through connections and stories?  How cool would that be?  You can always get back to writing after you have this project up and running smoothly.”

So after 1, 2, 3, 4 rejections, I finally got a yes, and while I was interviewing this sweet person, I received several lookers-on also express interest so I’ll be going back to get more interviews!  What a wonderful interview that was yesterday!  What a wonderful lady I talked with, so deep, so compassionate, so thoughtful.  I feel like I have a bit more faith in humanity.  I feel a bit more positive about people.  I had so many great conversations with these several people yesterday and my jitters were put to rest.  So crazy, right?  I made some new friends, and this project is starting to take flight!

Now to spend the time I need editing.  But at least I have done a bit and have my feet good and wet so I know better about what I’m doing.  I cannot wait to get the videos loaded so I can share them with you guys!!!  Won’t be long now!

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OH, and I’m thankful Hallie had a wonderful Sweet 16 in New Orleans.  I took her and Mama and one of Hallie’s best friends (which I also consider a daughter), Sierra, and we all had a fabulous time.  Hadn’t been in years and it’s only 2.5 hours away!  We walked and walked for miles, all day and night.  I cannot believe my baby is 16.  *sniff*

I love you guys!  xoxo

What are you thankful for today?  What great things have been going on in your life this week?

 

(Photos courtesy of ME – Haha! – http://www.instagram.com/carolblakesessums)

I did it!!! Thanks, God!!!

excited

I did it today

God said to go out and play

And new friends I made

 

It is a new bit

I thought I couldn’t do it

Out of the park hit

 

He’s making me see

To live you have to be free

Drop fears within me

__________

Hey y’all!  How ‘r’ you doin’?  I’m giddy!  Out of my mind crazy happy!  I started out excited, happy, scared to death and nervous as heck!  I have to tell you that God is so friggin’ awesome!  He filled me with the confidence and warmth I needed and soothed my nerves just enough to get through it.  And guess what?!  It was stinkin’ amazing and awesome in every way!  I found the most gracious, deep, warm, compassionate woman who agreed to interview with me and it went better than I could have ever imagined!  I also made several new friends and more people who’d like to interview when I go back next week!  How cool is that?

So, for all you out there who think you’re too old to try something new – for all those who are scared to death to face people, much less talk to them – for all those introverted people (like me) who prefer hiding rather than going out in the public and talking to perfect strangers, remember this – YOU are never too old to do something new, wild and different.  Fears are there to be faced and triumphed over.  Don’t let your fears hold you back from doing something you are drawn to do.

Now, there are healthy fears.  I mean, you will never see me jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  Nuh-uh.

But don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.  You might just meet some incredible new lifelong friend!  I cannot get over how much this woman and I had in common with each other.  After the interview, we talked for at least an hour.  Actually, longer.  I went in at 10:30 and left after 2pm.  I believe I just made a new lifelong friend.  And several other friends.  All because I was willing to put myself out there.  Now those of you who know me – you know that’s not my comfort zone AT ALL!  But I faced my fear.  I did something I never thought I’d do and it was amazing!  And I made new friends.  And I gained more confidence in myself – something I was severely lacking.  And God helped me every step of the way!

So is there something in your mind that holds great meaning for you?  What’s stopping you from going after it?  If it’s fear, you need to look at that monster straight in the eye and say, “You ain’t stoppin’ me!  I might feel fear but I’m gonna go and do that thing anyway!  Because I know I can do it!  God will help me do it!  And Fear, I will not let you get in my way!”

Now go and do that thing!  Rock it like a boss!  And let us know how it goes because I get so tickled cheering people on!!  Whoop!  Whoop!

 

(Photo courtesy of redefineyourfuturenow.com)

Stopping Waiting – Just Do It!

stop looking

To do or not to

Praying for signs to play thru

Stop waiting – just do

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Happy hump day haiku!  Do you have a habit of self-sabotage?  I do and I have all of my life.  Of course, I overcome it at different periods of my life, step outside my comfort zone a teensy bit and take a risk and it usually ends up with great results.  It’s scary, though, right?  Right.  But hey, what’s living really if you can’t be a little scared sometimes and take a risk?  I mean, isn’t it worth it once you’ve reached the other side and found some success?  You won’t ever know what’s waiting for you over there if you don’t at least try.  I’m talking to me here, too.

So, tomorrow is the day.  The first step toward a new dream of mine (actually it’s about a year old) and making what little impact I can with this cool idea.  I’ll keep you posted.  All prayers and positive vibes welcome in my tiny corner of the world.  Thanks guys!  Things are about to change!  YIKES!!!

_____

If you want to throw your haiku up and share, that would be awesome!  I know we’d love to read ’em!

xoxo

Fabulous Friday Eve!!

talk-to-strangers-waiting-in-line-at-disneyland

What a lovely, lovely day it has been so far.  Was hard to wake up this morning, due to hanging out late with awesome friends we can’t get enough of (you know – those friends that you just never run out of things to talk about with and things to laugh at?) and didn’t get to bed till after 11pm, so imagine how hard it was to get up and get ready for work and get the kiddo up for school.  Still, the sleepy/tired is worth it.  I spent the majority of my day running errands trying to get ready for the holiday weekend.  What holiday, you ask?  Hallie’s Sweet 16.  Perhaps it’s not a national holiday – YET, but it should be.  haha!  I’m sure you feel the same about your children or spouse or parent or someone in your life?  Some of you know her and some of you know of her as much as I talk about her on here.  That girl, oh!  She’s my heart.  So compassionate, mature, loving, forgiving, insightful, calm, level-headed, brilliant and hilarious.  Wise, even.  She’s always been wise. Just an all around great person.  She and Mama are my best friends in the world.  I know she’s changed me.  My whole life is better because of her.  She taught me how to forgive, you know?  Well, I’m gushing.  And I digress.  I was talking about my day…

I set out on this day to be positive.  I realize I don’t smile enough, so I was determined to smile more, to be and feel happy.  Excited even.  And I should be.  With all my projects going on, I should be excited!  So, I go to the post office and I don’t usually engage strangers in conversation, but figured well, that’s got to change with one of my upcoming projects, so I’ll just go ahead and start doing that right now.  This sweet lady had a Yorkie in her car and I started a conversation with her about her 15 year old sweet adorable dog, named Katie.  We must have talked for about 10 minutes.  Well, that made my day.

I set out to be positive and only believe in positivity and positive people today, because I was on a mission.  A mission to find more good people in a day than bad.  Don’t you get fed up by always being faced off with negative people?  They cut you off in traffic.  They flip you off, curse you, give you a go to you know where look, are in a hateful awful mood and it seems to be directed at you. Even when it isn’t.  I wanted different people today.  Happy people.  I wanted to see how much conversation and smiles I could get out of people.  It was a great experiment.

So then I went to repair a beloved piece of jewelry that’s just been sitting there for several months, broken, and this jeweler fixed it for me on the spot!  They told me it normally takes about a week but the lady asked the repair guy if he could solder it now since he was about to leave for the rest of the week AND HE DID!!  Less than $20 to fix it but I would have paid more, because of their generosity and Johnny-on-the-spot-ness!  While they were fixing it, I was talking with the two girls that were working and having told them where we were going this weekend, one lady told me about a special event that goes on there in October, so that was a nice tip and I came home to Google it to see if it’s going on this weekend.  It actually doesn’t begin till the end of November, but oh well, there are 100’s of awesome things to do there.

I went to Kohl’s to buy a new pair of shades as mine were all scratched up and have been for months.  I’m terrible when it comes to buying anything for myself but I finally broke down and bought this cute pair of sunglasses and they were ON SALE!  The clearance tag said $10.50 but they were actually $8.  Yes!  I used to buy Ray-Bans but after losing a pair after our canoe tipped over and sat on the second pair, no more spending big money for shades.  Nuh-uh.  The lady at the check-out was super sweet and we spoke while I was checking out.  I just love it when people are talkative. Don’t you?  I wonder if part of it was the positive energy I was putting off.  Maybe what we send out we really do get back?  Hmmm.  Something to think about.

Ran a couple of other errands and everyone was so helpful and kind, it actually blew my mind.  Is it because I focus so much of my energy toward the negative Nellies?  Those bad attitude dudes?  I let their negative energy affect my mood and then I get bratty (sounds nicer than the word I actually become).  Perhaps if I go out with the intention of smiling, talking to people, putting off good vibes, maybe, just maybe I’ll get them back.  It’s definitely worth a try.  Think I’ll try this again tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

So what am I thankful for today?  Everything.  Absolutely everything.  I guess I’ll go get the kiddo from school in 30 minutes and then I guess I need to get some actual work done.  Yeah, that would be good.

Y’all have an amazing fun and safe weekend.  Go out there and smile more, engage people with conversation, smile while you talk, make eye contact (believe me, I know how scary THAT can be – there are some real creepers out there).  I’ll bet you have more positive experiences than negative.  Try it and let me know how it works out for you.  You know what’s REALLY fun and fills you with immense satisfaction and joy?!  When you’re going through the window or line at the coffee shop or even Mickey D’s, give the cashier $5 or $10 if you have it to spare.  Tell the cashier you’d like to put that toward the next customer.  I can’t begin to tell you how magical it’ll make you feel.  We’ve been both on the receiving and giving ends of this ‘pay it forward’ fun-ness, and I think everyone should give it a try.  Especially if you need a huge pick-me-up.

Love y’all!  *big squishie hug*  xoxo

Carol

(Photo courtesy of disneyexaminer.com)