Monday, October 9, 2017

Where dreams come true? The power of choice

Brett and I at Disneyland 
for my 40th Birthday Celebration

I love the magic of Disneyland.  The sights, smells, laughter, music and the happy people bring a smile to my face.  Brett and I were like a couple of kids when we would go to Disneyland.  We loved to take photo's with the characters and you would see us waiting for our turn alongside all the children and their parents.  I love that Brett helped bring the kid out in me.  Brett loved to play and found joy in the simplest of things.  Brett loved to laugh and being around him when he laughed lifted your spirits up.  You couldn't help but smile even when the joke wasn't that funny or he had told it to you before.  The world got a little quieter when Brett returned to his heavenly home but I am sure the angels are enjoying having him there.

Next, Monday night October 16th it will be eight months since Brett passed through the veil and returned to a joyous reunion with family, friends and the Savior Jesus Christ.  I believe that Brett was shown the growth I would have in my life if he was willing to go home early.  I believe that Brett went willingly because he loved me so much.  I believe that Brett knew that the experience of being a widow would help me to serve others, grow closer to my Savior and apply the Atonement in my life, and allow me to accomplish my mission here on Earth

I know part of my mission here on Earth is to serve others by sharing my story. I know that part of my story really affected Brett emotionally and changed our relationship.  Brett was fearful of the experience happening again and was just starting to open up and share with me about six months before he died. We had a lot of talks, shared our emotions, cried, held each other, cried some more and were learning to communicate better.

I decided I didn't want to live my life with regrets after Brett died.  The problem with this thinking for me was I do have regrets.  I heard a woman tell a story about regret today and I want to share what I learned.  The woman was telling a story about a daughter who was sitting with her mother at the end of her life.  The daughter asked her mother if she would change anything in her life so she wouldn't feel any regret.  The mother replied, "No, I treasure my regrets because my regrets show my growth".

I am at a pivotal point in my journey on earth.  I can go into scarcity thinking and blame others, be angry, play the victim, and spiral downward and beat myself up and stay stuck.  Or I could choose to live in abundance and express gratitude, love, trust, forgive and celebrate the ways I have changed and grown.  I have a choice to make.  I am the only person that can pick up the puzzle piece and place it into my abundance picture.  No one can do that for me. 

I feel a need to write and share what I have learned from the growth experiences I have had through out my life. This blog is where I choose to write my stories and allow myself the opportunity to change the way I feel, think and talk about my life. I am picking up the puzzle piece that I have power over and taking action steps to move me into living an abundant life. 

As a daughter of God I am learning to have compassion for others that are grieving the loss of a spouse, parent or loved one. I feel empathy and love for those of us that feel depressed, experience anxiety or have spent time in a hospital learning the skills to help manage a mental illness. I am learning to forgive by asking for a portion of my Heavenly Father's love for myself and others.  I am learning that I get to choose how my story ends.

 Love, Karalee

It is safe to be me.  It is safe to be seen. I love me.
I am a daughter of God. He loves me and I am one of his precious creations.

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Ocean Therapy" - October 2010
 "We can't stop the waves but we can learn to surf"
"Life is better at the Beach"

About fifteen years ago Brett and I were seeing a marriage counselor as we tried to sort through some challenges we were facing in our lives.  My first assignment was to go and do something fun. I couldn't think of anything, so we went home.  As soon as we arrived home, I started balancing the checkbook.  It took me two days to think of a fun activity for Brett and I to do together. 

I am working on a goal right now to choose daily self care to replenish my mind, body and spirit to heal my relationship with myself.  I have a group of friends that help to encourage me on my goals and they gave me a list of ideas for self care.  At the top of their list was PLAY with the idea to schedule time for play. As you read above, this has not come naturally to me in the past. 

One of my favorite places to play is at the beach!  I love to feel the sand in between my toes and hear the water as it crashes around me feet.  I love to build sandcastles and look for sea shells.  I love to feel the warm sun on my face and watch the waves rise and fall.  Some of my happiest memories with Brett have been at the beach.  

This past week on September 28th I played on the beach for my daily self care.. My sister went to California with me to attend my nieces wedding and I booked a hotel right on the beach.  We arrived around 7:30 pm and the sun was setting but I was determined to play on the beach.  Laralynn and I put on our water shoes and started down the stairs to the beach.  We made the trek to the ocean and stood as the waves crashed against the sand and moved over our feet. 

We started taking pictures of each others feet to document our "ocean therapy". We laughed and "played" in the moment.  When we decide to head back to the boardwalk it was dark outside. We used my phone's flashlight to light the way back as we tried not to fall.  The journey was not easy and we were grateful it was dark outside as we fumbled our way back. We were able to avoid the rocks, seaweed and other obstacles in our way.  

Afterwards, we sat on a bench overlooking the ocean and beach.  We laughed, talked and posted pictures for family and friends to see. I felt young, alive and at peace.

As I reflect back to the day fifteen years ago when our counselor gave me the assignment to have fun. It was a hard assignment.  I was overwhelmed with so much sadness, grief, anger and negative thoughts that my mind and heart were not open to changing or having fun. 

I want to heal my mind, body, spirit and heart.  I know that daily self care is essential to my ability to find peace, joy and happiness in the chaos of my life.  I must rest, relax and replenish each day.  I must schedule time to play and have fun. I choose to change. I choose to "surf" the waves of life and get back up each time I fall.  I choose to think differently.  I choose to remember to PLAY!  

Love, Karalee




Saturday, April 1, 2017

Creating a vision board with a new perspective...

Looking out my window today this is what I see.

A new perspective.

It's been a little over a month since Brett got called on a new assignment.
Our vision for the short term future had to be adjusted and changed but I felt peace, loved and ready to face this new adventure.  I am strong, capable and a daughter of God and I knew I would never be alone even while Brett was off serving. I knew this was part of the vision for our long term future. 

Then I started feeling lonely, sad and I cried.  I had so many unfinished projects that Brett was going to teach me how to finish.  The chaos and clutter were overtaking my living space.  I knew that others would be willing to assist me and when I asked they were quick to respond with offers to come and help me finish.  The problem was that my vision was covered and I could only see through a tiny hole and it looked dark and scary. 

I knew that I needed to clean off my glasses and look at the chaos and clutter differently so I packed a suitcase.  The suitcase had all the necessary tools I would need to change my vision.  I packed notebooks (black and colored), pens, my laptop, a shredder, some clothes, my wallet and my phone.  It took me awhile to make a decision on where to go.  A hotel kept popping up on my phone when I was trying to pick a place to stay. It was like the hotel whispered, "PICK ME"!  I kept looking because I didn't want to chose the wrong place.

I was recently taught by a mentor about making decisions.  Sometimes the decision is between good vs good.  We have to make a choice, weigh the tradeoff and then move forward.  So I decided to head north to the hotel that had kept popping up on my phone.  The hotel was in a place I had never been before and I had to trust the GPS to get me there.  I had to be BRAVE and move forward. 

When I arrived and checked into my room I felt at peace. I looked out the window then turned back to look at the bed. My mind returned to a story I had recorded on Brett's phone in January as if it were December 31, 2017.  I described in detail the changes that we made in our bedroom.  I listened to this story before I went to bed at night and could see it clearly in my mind.  When Brett got called to his new assignment I gave up on this dream.

As I looked at the bedroom layout at the hotel I saw some of the items from the story I created in January.  I felt my heart and mind open to creating a new story.  I will include the colors, nightstand and purple pillow from the old story and add some more feminine touches to make it my story. 

I am going to unpack my suitcase and get busy creating my new perspective by releasing and shredding my old stories that don't serve me anymore.  I will heed some great counsel I received a few years ago.  It is important to Rest, Relax and Replenish and keep moving forward.

Love, Karalee