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Fairytales and Wishes

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see the lines around your eyes and mouth? Do you see the saggy skin around your neck where firm skin use to be? Do you ever wonder where the young girl went who use to look back at you in the mirror? The young girl who use to wish upon a star and believed that if she only wished hard enough the wish would come true. The little girl who imagined that someday a prince would swoop her into his arms and carry her to his castle.

Well, that young girl grew up and realized that life is not a fairytale and wishes don’t always come true. But that young girl also realized that life is a blessing not to be wasted. She learned that difficult times build character. She learned that not everyone can be trusted but there are a few people she could trust with her life. She learned about believing in the person God made her to be. A person with special qualities divinely designated just for her. Qualities that are meant for making a difference in the lives of others by exhibiting a life of compassion. She learned that being apart of this planet means caring about the world and the people she shares it with.

So don’t wish to be that young girl with her head in the clouds. Embrace the woman you are today. Be thankful for the wrinkles because each one represents maturity. Utilize the unique combination of qualities you have to leave an example for other young women to follow. Young women need to see women who are real not superheroes. Women who have faced adversity and didn’t give up or give in to self-destructive behavior. A woman who strives everyday to be a blessing.

Be the woman who the little girl you were would some day want to be.

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Being True to Yourself

Being true to yourself is defined as a matter of integrity and self-esteem. It means to not give into what other people believe and how they behave if it conflicts with your own values and beliefs.

Many women tend to be people-pleasers. I know I am. I avoid conflict as much as possible. The less I have to support my own beliefs and values the less conflict there is in my life but this behavior comes with a big price. I have realized by being a people-pleaser, I don’t stand up for who I am. I allow other people’s ways of thinking become my own and I bury the person I really am inside. Sometimes you can bury the” real you” so deep that you don’t even know who you are anymore. You take on the identities of the people around you. Whenever you are being someone God did not create you to be, you will feel discontented with your life. You will feel like something is missing.

Try to discover you again. Think back to when you allowed this gradual transformation to occur. Where did you compromise your beliefs? State those beliefs to yourself and write them down. Why do you believe what you believe? Does this belief still hold true in your heart? If not, discard this belief and fill it with one that is connected to who you are now. Now start living your beliefs and values. You will find, as I did, that people will respect you more for being you. There may be some conflict at first as you stand up in areas you never did before, but it will feel right. You will discover a contentment and a satisfaction with your life.

Guard your heart. Recognize the signs and the people who you allow influence over who you are. Stand strong. Be courageous and live a life of integrity and in the process you will find the real “you.”

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Strengthening Your Connection Ability

Have you ever met someone that you instantly felt a connection to? There is something almost magical about connecting mentally and emotionally with another person. Studies show that people who have strong and positive connections with other people are healthier and happier. It is easy to make a connection with people who have similar interests and personalities but what about the people you seem to have nothing in common with.

Building connections comes from positive communication between two people. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is important. Listening to what a person says and watching his or her body language can help you determine the appropriate response that will encourage more conversation and therefore a greater connection.

If you are the type of person who tends to monopolize a conversation, stop yourself and listen to the other person without responding right away. Listening shows you care. Consider a question you can ask the person about what he or she just said? Instead of trying to show how much you know about the subject, think about what you can learn through or about the person.

Don’t be afraid to make a connection with a stranger, you never know how that person can change your life.

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Disappointment Blues

As you change your life and try new things, disappointments come with the process. You may not succeed at everything you try. Sometimes the effort required to succeed is more than you are willing to commit to at this time in your life. Sometimes re-evaluation is required. You began changing in a certain way and in the process discover the change is not going to work for you. That is ok, keep trying until you find something that works.

Sometimes disappointment comes from inside you. I recently tried something and failed but it wasn’t because of the situation, it was because of me. I only put the minimal effort required and when it failed, I was disappointed. If I am completely honest, I am not disappointed because the situation did not turn out how I thought it should, I am disappointed in my lack of effort. So where do I go from here?

I am going to start over and try again. This time I am determined to complete the task wholeheartedly. I believe in the value of lists. Writing down every step needed and checking it off as I go. Every day reminding myself why this goal is important to me. Renewing the passion for making my life a life of no regrets.

Disappointment blues got you? Re-evaluate your reason for the change- Remind yourself of the purpose of the change- Renew your passion toward achieving the change

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Living a Resilient Life

When problems come along, do you crumble emotionally or do you stand up and fight? Maybe not literally fight but you get control of your emotions and look for solutions instead of allowing your emotions to handicap you. If falling apart at life’s changes, disappointments, and failures has become your default mode, you can change. Resilience is built from the inside out. Change your mindset. Resilient people think differently. If a trying situation comes along, resilient people have a optimistic perspective. They know that if a situation can change for the bad it can also change for the good. Sure, they may get angry, frustrated or sad but the key is they don’t stay in the emotion. Your emotions are only as powerful as you allow them to be. The more you stay in the emotion, the more power you give it over you.

Where to start if you want to change your resiliency level? First of all, realize that you are not a bad person because you struggle with being resilient. Like every skill, it takes practice. Talk to someone who is resilient? What characteristics does the person have? Read books. Amazon has some great books on building resiliency.

Once a person gains control in this area, she can live a happier life. The change may come from you having to take action where before you would of allowed the situation to paralyze you. Draw emotional strength from your support system, your family and friends. Do not isolate yourself. Pray and ask God for peace and wisdom. Take one step at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. If waiting is involved, then busy yourself with something that is productive and meaningful while you are waiting.

Be like the tree in the water. Instead of drowning it reached toward it’s life source and stood strong.

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Grieving the Lost Dream

Hi , my name is Diane and when I grow up I want to be…..

As a child we all had ideas of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Sometimes along the way though, life’s dreams are interrupted by unexpected realities. That life you pictured yourself living is far from the one you wake up to today. The crazy thing is that many times you don’t know how you got to where you are now. Once you became an adult, life has been a gradual process of survival. Over the years, life experiences have had a way of changing your desires, your ambitions, and even YOU.

This process is called maturity and its a natural part of life. The “You ” you are now is a culmination of your successes and mistakes, your relationships, and your own self-image. How you feel about yourself is the most important aspect of who you are. You shouldn’t beat yourself up for not achieving your dream. If that dream is no longer possible, it’s time to grieve that dream. Recognize your disappointment, cry if you need, and then give yourself time to say good-bye. The most important thing is to never stop dreaming. You are here in this place for a reason. God has a purpose for your life.

Take all those life experiences, even the bad, and build a new dream. Childhood dreams are built on fantasy but adult dreams are built on passion. A passion to do something meaningful, to make a difference, but most of all to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. True fulfillment comes from being who you were created to be.

Grieve a lost dream, find your passion and live a life of fulfillment and you will discover the “YOU” you were meant to be

Click on ” Power of Words” for an inspiring poem about trying to hold onto a broken dream

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Keeping the Tradition of Family Alive

This week I wanted to write about something dear to my heart. My family. Every year at the end of June my family gets together for a family reunion. Our main meeting spot for the last 40 years has been Leo Carrillo State Beach Campground in California. Some members come in for a week, some just for a few days and then there are those who come in only for the dinner on Saturday, No matter where family come from or how long they stay, the family reunion is always a time we all look forward to. Not just because we get to spend time at a beautiful spot along the coast, but because of the faces we see when we get there. These people are part of our history. A part of who we are. This family is built on love and support which is tried and true. This tradition of connection has deep roots and began way before the summer reunions by a little old lady, in her little old house with her collection of pies.

My great-grandmother believed in family. She knew the importance of keeping a family together so every year she would invite family to her house for Christmas Dinner. I don’t remember those get togethers very well, because I was young, but I heard it was a time for people to visit, play games, and eat pie. I’m sure there was other food but the main attraction were the pies. My great-grandmother would bake pies all year long and freeze them until the Christmas Dinner. Family from far a way would spend the night piled in where ever they could lay their head. Finally , the family became too large to fit into great-grandma’s one bedroom house. Other options were tried but nothing was quite the same. Sadly, great-grandma Pippenger passed away but from her commitment to family a new tradition was birthed, the summer family reunion.

The Pippenger Summer Family Reunion began over 40 years ago from our family’s need to continue to be a part of each other’s lives. I remember as a young child, I would go to sleep snuggled up in my sleeping bag listening to the popping of the campfire and the mummer of the adults talking as I lay in my tent wondering what exciting thing would happen the next day. I remember silly pranks, grunion hunting, days hanging out at the beach, and years later playing “spoons” after making smores by the fire with my own kids. Now as my own children have become adults, I look forward to seeing my grand children experience the same family togetherness.

This weekend we will greet each other with hugs and joy as we look upon the faces of those who are so dear to us. Yet there will be a certain longing as we think about those who are far away and remember the faces of the people who are no longer with us physically; nevertheless , we know they are all with us in spirit.

Although, this year we are at another location, our family knows that it is the people who make the “reunion magic”. Whether we are together in a small one bedroom house or on the coast of somewhere beautiful, the connection of love and support is what binds this family. Great-grandma Pippenger knew the importance of family and I know it is up to my generation to keep it going strong so that years from now another generation will experience the same family love that draws them back year after year.