Empowering Girls
Loving Horses
Sharing Life

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello, 2014!!! Glad to make your acquaintance. I have high hopes and big dreams that the two of us will get along smashingly.
Now that I've officially welcomed in the new year, and warmly embraced it, let me move on to other pressing matters...YOU! Yes, you, reading, my dear friend. I don't know exactly what 2013 held for you, but I'm hoping that 2014 will light your inner passions, stir your creativity and ignite new adventures that you didn't know interested you. Be blessed. Be well. Be happy. And for heaven's sake, be good to yourself.
I've gathered a few videos of NYE celebrations around the globe. ENJOY!

New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Malaysia

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

"Twas' the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." If I say it out loud five times, I'm hoping Santa will be satisfactorily lulled into a false sense of security. I will then confidently sit in front of my fireplace tonight and wait for him to shimmy on out, multiple presents in tow.

As I sit and ponder the magic of Christmas, I will be wondering about many things. Mainly, how to get people to be kinder to one another. How to convince people that texting on your cell phone during a movie constitutes annoying, unappreciated interruption for your seat neighbors. And finally, how to think up a whole new list of adventurous and exciting things to conquer in 2014.

Here's a few links to put a smile on your face while you patiently wait to get to tear open your loot:

Amazing Self-Sufficient Dogs
Dancing Christmas Tree
Wait for the Pig
Winter X Games Snowboard Action
Transiberian Orchestra

Merry Christmas!
May all your dreams be bright and your pathway to fulfillment well-lit.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Iconic. Beloved. Unforgettable. Missed. All words describing Jane Austen: the writer and her profound collection of work.
Flowery language, romantic notions and fancy, lavish clothes are just a few of the ingredients that make Jane Austen's fiction entertaining and compelling. Lively characters and complicated relationships which live in your mind and stay with your senses long past reading the last pages of Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey. 
I love spending the weekend reading her stories. Mulling over the musings and ideology, cultural customs and societal acceptances of her era and its people. What girl doesn’t love the idea of dressing up in pretty ruffles or silky material every once in a while? I’m not saying I’d want to be walking around in all that tight fitting stuff every day, but for a romantic meal or long walk with sweet talk? A guy who listens and wraps his arm around my shoulder when I need to be consoled or simply want to be comforted…those are all very good things, indeed.
Given that I’ve identified the things I most love about her work, now it’s time to check out the flip side of what accepting all that emotional, romantic stuff as necessary everyday reality brings you.
Believing that the best thing the world has to offer you is dating a cute or funny or sexy guy and hopefully, eventually working your way into a relationship with him, is settling for less than you deserve. It’s good and it’s fun and certainly deserves some of your attention, some of the time, when and if you feel like it. But figuring out who you are all by yourself, as a person with unique taste and ideas anchors you in your innate, much deserved fabulousness.
Engaging down a path of your own likes and dislikes, truths ingrained in the realities of who you naturally are (your instincts), helps you understand why you think the way you do. People like to say “follow your heart.” But then they fail to clarify that that doesn’t always mean letting your feelings completely dictate the way you behave or the choices you make.
Don’t get me wrong, interacting with boys is fun. I love it! But I love it, after I’ve focused on the stuff in my life that is important to me growing into the person I dream I can be. Whether that be school and college or sports or acting and dancing or any number of other cool hobbies that can easily turn into lifelong journeys that offer awesomeness and interesting experiences that allow you to keep growing until being who you are becomes something that you don’t have to think into happening. It becomes second nature. A daily subconscious habit.
Think of yourself, first. The same people who say, “follow your heart,” should follow that sentiment up with, “but don’t forget to consider your own well-being before fully immersing yourself in the decision or situation currently testing you.
I know that Jane Austen wrote about love and guys, like it and they were the best, most important thing in the world for girls to care about. Keep in mind though, that while Ms. Austen was writing about love and fancy dances and long, sumptuous meals, that what she was actually doing was WORK. Her work. Her career. Being a writer allowed her to support herself (financially and emotionally) and create a life that she personally wanted and thrived in.
I bet that if we were still lucky enough to have her around today, she’d say, going out into the world and taking care of yourself as much as you take care of other people, is a worthy life endeavor. A solid, thoughtful use of your time and energy. Love yourself first. Love boys and being in love second. As long as you live, you’ll never spend as much time with any other human being more than you do yourself.
          Guys do not define you. You define you. Who do you want to be?
Honor Jane’s birthday by showing reverence to her independence and fiery spirit.
Chart your own path. Make a plan to reach your goals and be as kind to yourself as you are to other people—guys—by “following your heart” to your own dreams.
          Destiny’s calling. Your fate wants you to be happy, successful and confident.
          

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Panda Cam, Panda Cam, Panda Cam!!!

The Smithsonian National Zoo's panda cam is my sweet, guilty secret. Many a day has gone by wherein my floors remained dirty, my clothes unlaundered and my bathrooms down-right icky, simply so I can savor a few extra moments watching THE PANDA CAM!
Inspiration comes in strange places. Empowerment often hides in odd corners or just off in the shadows. I'm not saying that I like ogling the empty corners of mama Mei and baby Bao Bao's den quarters; I much prefer live-feed panda interaction. But even those lifeless, hidden pockets (the areas not viewable through the camera's discerning lens) offer me small patches of solitude, peace and comfort. Three ingredients I find helpful in trying to rev-up my own engine and adjust my attitude on any given dank day.
Recharging and aligning yourself with empowering mental and emotional spaces need not be noisy or flashy. That's what I've learned. In all the tiny, seemingly insignificant moments that I've sat and waited, pondered and wondered where baby and mama have disappeared to off-camera, what they're doing? I also find my mind unfolding and roaming to far away places, a different time. China, the place...panda bear species inception, the time. What happened, besides a miracle, clearly, hello!
I realize in these moments of reflection that this is how a girl empowers herself, even when the odds are stacked against her. One moment at a time. One innocuous, seemingly unimportant piece of life passing by. Learning to hold onto the everyday moments, enables an understanding which perpetuates the strength to power through at difficult, unyielding, all-consuming times.
Animals teach people so much. Much more than any conversation propelled by human language can hear or discern. They teach us the importance of looking inward for answers. The significance of trusting your own instincts in spite of external chaos. The beauty of knowing that because you exist you deserve to be valued, loved and counted; regardless, of whether or not life's invisible, constant camera lens is pointed directly at you, revealing all your strengths and weaknesses.
Everybody deserves her own secret corner to collect herself and rejuvenate. If you need help jump-starting your daily dose of inspiration click here:

Smithsonian National Zoo Panda Cam

Tell Mei and Bao Bao, I said hello, and thank you!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson "Troublemaker" Mandela: July 1918-December 2013

Nelson Mandela's fight for equality exceeded race and sexual gender. At first glance, given his ethnic background, it would be easy to dismiss his efforts as particular to South Africans or individuals of African descent. But his passion for educating and empowering all girls transcended intimate personal experience.
Deservedly known as the father, mother and son of South Africa further underscores the significance of his importance to that particular region. But to neglect the authenticity of his far-reaching, world-wide embrace would diminish his legacy of profound humility, perpetual growth and forgiving compassion.
Mr. Mandela was a beloved, dedicated, hard-working man who allowed his own struggles to inform and dictate his public efforts, responsibilities, actions and life choices.
Upon his passing today, millions of people mourn, his family and friends grieve, and a nation reflects. On a personal note, his departure leaves me deeply saddened and wondering...how much hope has evaporated along with this beautiful man? And how does humanity sustain itself in the absence of its anchor?

http://www.nelsonmandela.org/