Remembering Peace

As I sat in my bed this morning scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw more and more outrage towards the massacre that occurred in Florida this week. A heated debate rages over whether Americans should have more gun control or keep things the way they are. My initial reaction was to go trigger happy, spouting that maybe more people should have guns so we can protect ourselves from this violent world.

But I want to take a step back.

I have a picture hanging up on my wall in my room. It’s one of a girl leaning her head against a wolf. I don’t know why, but that painting means a lot to me. While looking at that image it made me think of what all religious and spiritual leaders have spoken about violence and peace.

So, I decided to make a list of quotes promoting peace to remind myself of its importance. I believe that what we focus on will pervade the world around us. Maybe if we have more reminders of peace, we’ll create a better and lasting unity with each other. So, here goes 🙂

“An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunset at sea

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mother Teresa

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus Christ (John 14:27 King James Version)

“The best among you is the one who doesn’t harm others with his tongue and hands.” Prophet Muhammad


“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace” Buddha. 

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict through peaceful means.”  Ronald Reagan

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” Henri Nouwen


“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” Menachem Begin

“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” Christie Brinkley

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” Jalaluddin Mevalana Rumi

Open Field

For some reason, that last quote really struck me. All of us in this world are people, truly the same, connected, trying to figure out what’s right in the world. There are those who are corrupt, yes, but there is still goodness in this world. Peace can be created in a world full of darkness.

My heart goes to those who are suffering in Florida. I ache for those poor families. I pray that all of us may find more ways to seek out peace and love. That we may lift up those who are broken and hurting. That we may smile and hug the lonely. I want to finish with a quote from one of my new favorite musicals Dear Evan Hansen.

“No one deserves to be forgotten

No one deserves to fade away

No one should come and go

And have no one know he was ever even here

No one deserves to disappear

Even if you’ve always been that

Barely-in-the background kind of guy

You still matter

And even if you’re somebody who can’t escape the feeling

that the world’s passed you by

You still matter

If you never get around to doing some remarkable thing

that doesn’t mean that you’re not worth remembering

No one should flicker out or have any doubt

That it matters that they are here

No one deserves to disappear.”


Truly, all lives matter. Yours and mine. Let’s seek for peace and helping those in need.









5 Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Life

I want to tell you something that was a slap in the face for me a few years ago. The only person keeping you from doing what you want to do in your life is yourself.

That’s it.

Kind of stinks huh? That person staring at you every day in the mirror is the only one stopping you. All of your dreams could be your reality if you get up, dust yourself off, and go for it.

So, today I wanted to talk about some ways that you can take responsibility for your life and go for your goals.

 Recognize That This Is Your Life

My Life

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ~ Bob Moawad

In order to take responsibility for your life you have to realize that this IS your life and that you have control over your actions. I can tell you right now, nature has the last laugh. Life can and will rock you to the core and you won’t have any control of the situation.

However, you do have control over how you handle the situation. And that can change everything.

Stop Making Excuses and Start Finding Solutions

Think of Solutions

“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.” ~ Dale Carnegie.

I could probably think of a thousand excuses why I can’t go to Hawaii. Oh, it’s expensive. I don’t want to go by myself. Who would want to save up to go with me? I can’t take off from work. And on and on the excuse reel goes.

But you know what? There are plenty of women who travel solo these days. Yep, it’s true. Also, I bet I could find someone to go with me. It would take planning sure, but I bet someone would! And my job has always been pretty chill about vacation time.

It’s that easy.

All you gotta do, is flip your excuses on the head and start imagining solutions.

Okay, so I guess it’s not that easy. However, it is possible. It just takes practice and a willingness to try something new, maybe even a little scary, but it’s SO worth it if you can really start living the life you want.

Educate Yourself


“An Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

In your quest of taking responsibility for your life, you’re going to have to learn some things. And that doesn’t always mean going to college. (I could list a lot of positives for going to college and a lot of negatives. It really blows down to what’s right for you.)

Get some books. Read history. Study people who are successful and are living their dreams right now. Emulate them. Reading this blog is a good start, but there are TONS of resources out there that can help you on your way.

 Develop Good Habits

Build Good Habits

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford.

When I say habits, I don’t just mean physical actions. What you allow yourself to think about is a habit.

When I was growing up, I developed a nasty talent for blaming myself for inconsequential things. It got to the point where if I couldn’t figure something out, I just figured I was an idiot.

When my quest for a different life began, I started to see myself in a new way.

I remember once being backstage with my stage crew working on lights and not being able to open one of the back fixtures. I kept trying and trying, but the dumb thing wouldn’t cooperate! As I worked, I grew angrier at myself. I must be an idiot. Any person could open this!

My stage manager comes up to me and asks if he can try. I give it to him and he tries to twist it off.

It doesn’t work.

It was like a lightbulb flashed above my head. Just because I can’t figure something out doesn’t mean I’m stupid!

Eventually we did manage to get it off, but the point I want to make is, what are you allowing yourself to think about? How do you see yourself? Are you your own best friend? Or worst enemy?

It makes a huge difference. Changing your perception of yourself will change your world.

Love and Forgive


“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

This is something that I struggle with. It’s so easy to get caught up in our problems that we forget the people around us who are fighting and trying every day like us. And it’s easy to forget that you, yourself are also doing the best that you can.

If you do the same thing I do and tend to blame yourself for things, it’s okay. Learn to recognize that pattern and flip those thoughts on their head.

When you feel that negativity coming, stop.

Imagine what you would say to your best friend. And say those words to yourself.

Keep Trying

“He couldn’t win, but he kept running. And when the storm caught him, it didn’t matter that he’d died, because he’d run for all he had… We all die in the end, you see… So I guess what truly matters is just how well you’ve run.” (Sanderson 1202)

It’s your life. Make it the best life you can 🙂

If you’d like to read more, here are a few other articles I found on this topic. I highly recommend the series that Forbes did, it’s really good!

How to Take Responsibility for Your Life Without Blaming Yourself

Forbes 5 Steps to Transform Your Life

Where Should I Start With My Personal Development



Sanderson, Brandon. Words of Radiance. Tor Fantasy, 2014.


Five Ways to Cope with Change

I hate change.

I’ve always hated it.

Change means saying goodbye to something I’ve grown comfortable with. It means I have to be tossed back into the frying pan of uncertainty bringing on a whole mess of anxiety and sorrow.

…Have I said I hate change? 😛

Yet, change seems to find itself in every aspect of our lives. (Whether we like it or not.)

I felt like change would be a good topic for this week because I’m in the midst of a huge change in my job. With the turning of seasons, many of my co-workers are now moving on with their lives and going to school and elsewhere. It makes me feel like the last little puppy left in the cardboard box who has to wait just a little while longer to find her place. :/

After spending so much time with these amazing people in the wilderness, laughing together, singing together, suffering together, and crying together, they’ve become like family to me. I don’t want to let that connection go.

It’s hard. It’s hard to be grateful when I may never see them again.

So… for my wounded and crying heart, I wanted to address change and how we can embrace and welcome it, instead of fight it back tooth and nail.

Enjoy Every Moment of Every Day

Best Friends

Things are constantly in motion. Death, job loss, debt, moving… life is constantly changing for better or worse. Worrying and stressing about those problems only makes them become mountains impossible to climb.

So, take a step back.

Change your train of thought to something different. Find something small that you can smile about. Something like a child’s laugh or spending time with an old friend. Find joy and gratitude in the present.

Laugh despite your hardships.

Listen to Music


“Where words fail, music speaks” ~Hans Christian Anderson.

Music has always played a vital role in my life. Having a song in my heart gives me the courage to do difficult things.

According to Psychology Today, “music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression, anxiety and chronic pain.”  Music has a way of lifting up the soul when all else fails. It can be a powerful tool to help you go through your change.

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.


I don’t know your personal beliefs or religious viewpoints, but the idea that even if I may never see these people again in this life, perhaps I may see them again in another life.

That gives me hope.

Believing that this goodbye is only temporary brings me excitement for the wonderful reunion in the future.

Change Your Perspective


I believe that everything happens for a reason and the experiences that we go through are meant to teach us important lessons.

Try asking yourself what you’re supposed to learn from this experience. Maybe this hard change is leading you to a once locked door that’s opening up to new and wonderful opportunities.

You never know 🙂

Treat Yourself

The perfect treat


Make a list of 20 things you can do to treat yourself and then do 3 of those things each week or month. It could be anything from getting a massage or buying ice cream and watching your favorite movie. Doing something that brings you joy helps to cope with the pain of changes that can and will happen in your life.

In summary, change can be hard and painful, but there are things that we can do to cope. Instead of letting life slap us around, we can take the reigns and move forward, letting the change be our strength.

I’m sad to say goodbye to so many remarkable people who have changed my life. But I’m so grateful for all of the memories I made with them. I know that no matter where they go, their lessons will always be in my heart.

I want to wish you all the best in the changes that are happening in your own life. I hope that some of these tips may help you transition through successfully and that you can find joy in every day of living.

if you have any other tips for dealing with change please mention them in the comments. What has helped you in the past? I’d love to hear!

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

(Edit: I wrote this post over a year ago and it never saw the light of day. Even though I’m not in the same place I was, I still think these principles are useful and I hope they help you with whatever changes you’re going through.)

Three Ways To Get What You Want Out Of Life

“You are the only problem you will ever have and you are the only solution. Change is inevitable, personal growth is always a personal decision.” ~Bob Proctor


What do you want the most out of life? Is it recognition? Wealth? Peace? Connection? Family? What’s something that you daydream about every single day?

For me, I remember the exact moment I realized I wanted something different for my life. I was sixteen years old, driving home from my part time job and I felt utter disgust. Is this really what working feels like? I hated it.

I hated being cursed out by my boss. I hated having to wait on impatient customers, cleaning up messes, and staying locked up in a tiny box staring at the same old walls day in and day out.

This can’t be all there is.

That night when I got home, I pulled out my computer and did a search. I hate my job. And my journey for a new purpose began.

Decide Now What You Want

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” ~ Napoleon Hill


Have you ever experienced that? That slap in the face where you recognize, Oh… this is NOT where I want to be! It’s not pleasant. In fact, it’s terrifying, but also enlightening.

When you recognize that you’re not where you want to be, you can start making the changes to get where you want to go. But… where’s that?

Well, what do you want? 🙂

I certainly can’t tell you. You’re gonna to have to figure out for yourself my friend. Do you want to be a pilot? Do you want to be a chemical engineer, artist, therapist, musician, athlete? What is it that you day dream about?

You might be thinking, yeah well, that’s great and all but there are so many things that I want, how do I choose? What’s right?

Good questions. I’ve wondered the same thing. In fact, it left me blundering around for many years after my sixteen year old crisis. And you know what?

It was a complete waste of my time.

Granted, I learned a lot, but here’s the biggest lesson I wished I would have learned and applied sooner.

Get Up And DO Something

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” ~ Lao Tzu

The First Step

Stressing and worrying over your choices causes only anxiety and depression. I finally figured out that if I wanted to get what I wanted, I had to start doing something. Even if it took me in the wrong direction. For the time being, it was something. And that’s key.

Find that first step into the life that you’re seeking and take it.

If you want to date more people, join an online dating site. There’s tons of them out there! Want to be a musician? Take a class. Practice.

If you don’t know where to go, don’t wait around. Get up and Do Something! You have to act.

Get Results

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~ Helen Keller

Get Results

When you’re up and moving in the right direction, you’re going to be tempted to stop. Things will block your path. You Must Keep Moving Forward.

Nothing will happen in your life until you start getting results. People won’t notice you until you give them something to see. Now what do I mean by that?

An artist can’t enter a gallery without paintings. A musician can’t perform until they have a repertoire of music. A mechanic can’t work without experience and knowledge. A writer can’t sell their work until they write. And on and on.

It takes practice and determination. It takes a drive to get the results that you want. It’s how Thomas Edison managed to invent the light-bulb. How Henry Ford built his automobile. They couldn’t have done that without starting their journey and seeing it through to the end.

If you’re concerned about getting on the wrong path, don’t worry. Keep your heart open to insight and impressions. If it feels wrong, then adjust your course.

Don’t let your fears keep you from taking that first step.

And once you’ve found that path, have the courage to see your journey through to the end.

You can do it 🙂

While working on this article, I found a bunch of other resources that had more insight into this topic. If you’d like to learn more, please check them out, they have some really insightful tips.

Also, if you have any book suggestions or articles on the topic I’d love to hear it! As always, thanks for reading!


Attitude is Everything

Hey y’all! Just wanted to post a short little blurb today. Someone showed me this poem a little while ago and I wanted to share it all with you. You’ve got to make sure to read it like normal first, and then read it from the bottom to the top 🙂


Life is what you make it.

I love that. You can choose whether to see the good or evil in this world. You can choose to believe that there’s no hope, or believe that there are opportunities right within your grasp.

It’s your choice.

You always have a choice to make your life what you will.

My goal for this new year is to learn new things and go on some adventures! There are so many things that life has to offer and I want to experience it to the fullest!I0CDZXUIR0

For those of you who want to make this year your best yet, here are some thoughts that one of my friends shared on Facebook that I’m sharing to you with his permission:

-Dont set goals, generate systems.
-Receive a calling not a job or task.
-No such thing as time management, there’s only management of activities.
-Next year might have new interesting combos like your old self and new self becoming one, or like Fiber-one Poptarts and cargo pocket suit pants.
-Identify that other people’s worries usually surface before your own. They’re not always yours.
-Train the brain for action, count down 3,2,1…then act.
-Invite your sub-concious tones to a party and make new friends with your authentic self.
-Walk like an Egyptian (just because)
-Fear setting, helps challenge and exercise your faith.
-Memories are medicine.
– “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one,” – Doc Brown from Back to the Future.

Choose this Year to Be Your Year


So, cheers to making this year your best yet! I hope that you will be able to accomplish the goals that you set out to do and become the person that you’ve always wanted to be.

It’s never too late to apologize and do the right thing. It’s never too late to be the change you want to see in the world. It’s never too late to go out there and experience life.

It’s your life. Make the most of it 🙂



In the Hands of the Maker

A few days ago, I had the wonderful experience of learning how to turn a small block of wood into a beautiful pen by using a wooden lathe.

In a word, it was awesome!

I’ve never made something like this before and I had a blast! It also made me think of the symbolism of the master carpenter. I hope you don’t mind if I share my rambling thoughts with you 🙂

Making a Pen

In order to make a proper pen, there are several steps involved. First, you need the proper materials, tools, and environment in which to work. All of your tools must be sharpened, wood properly measured, and location appropriately placed.


Next, the wood is cut, drilled, and glued in order to fit the proper equipment inside. From there, you place the piece on the lathe, turn on the machine, and gently use your cutting tools to round out the rough edges. It takes a soft but firm hand in order to smooth out all of the corners. If you jab too hard the wood can catch and potentially force your chisel to slap back at you. Too soft and you won’t be able to carve away the pieces that aren’t needed. Also, you must keep your chisels straight, or else you can gouge and ruin your work.

This whole process goes from a blank piece of wood into a beautiful piece of equipment.


Shaping my own piece revealed to me the time and care a master carpenter must put into their work. Once they have their craft mastered, they can create amazing works of art in a short amount of time that will stun potential customers. It’s crazy to think that a little piece of wood can be carved into something so unique and useful.

And that reminds me of life.

Each of us starts off as a blank slate.


We have our own personalities, features, and characteristics that make us who we are (just as wood has different textures, hardness, grains, and colors). Throughout life we go through challenges that slowly shape us into the people we become. Oftentimes life is fun like being polished, but other times, challenges are like blades that chip away at our character and teach us powerful lessons.


In the end, the hope is that we’ll become the incredible beings we were always meant to be. It’s not easy. And it’s not always fun, but with a gentle and firm hand the creator shapes us into powerful influences. Whether for good or ill per our choice, he is always shaping us.


It’s easy to forget that. I know I do. But no matter how long we’ve lived and what we’ve experienced, the master carpenter always has his hand on us.


Why You Matter

It’s true. In your tiny spot of the trillions of galaxies surrounding us, you matter.


Here’s why.

Out of the billions of people who exist on this planet, there’s no one like you. No one’s lived in your circumstances or been through the same stuff. No one thinks like you, not in the same way.

Do You Know How Incredible You Are?


Everything you do influences the people around you. A simple touch, look, smile, may transform someone you’d never suspect. You have the power to shape the lives of millions of people.

You might think that’s crazy. I know it’s hard to believe. How can you affect that many people? You’re just one person.

Well, think about this. What if a smile you gave someone helped them choose to live another day? What if, because of your smile, they decided to push themselves and become the scientist who discovers the cure for cancer?

What if your hug today, saved someone’s life?

You’re probably thinking, yeah right. That might be true for some people, but not me. That’s impossible.

Impossible? How many times have we proved the impossible, possible? That someone from Canada can communicate with an Australian in seconds by the flip of a switch should be impossible. That hundreds of thousands of pages of information are uploaded into this huge system known as the internet should be impossible. That you’re reading this right now should be impossible.

But it’s not. And neither is it impossible that you have the power to inspire the people around you.

You’re never gonna meet anyone like you. That should be impossible. Even if you have a twin, they’re not completely like you. No one is. And amazingly enough, no one ever will be.

Time always ticks forward, and no one’s gonna occupy your space in it.

No one has your smile, your touch, your influence. No one’s gonna transform the world like you. Think about that.

You’re Irreplaceable.


Your best friend won’t find someone like you again. Your parents aren’t gonna have a child like you twice. And even if you don’t have any friends or family, that doesn’t matter. No one’s got your eyes, your smile, your heart. No one’s gonna touch the world like you.

They can’t. They’re not you.

It’s hard to know if our lives mean anything. Trust me, I know. But no one can take away your influence.

No One Will Ever Be Like You.


Even if you don’t believe me, I want you to try something. Close your eyes and breathe in deep. Shut out the sound and look inside. Do you hear that? It’s your heart. And there’s nobody on this planet who’s got one like it.

So get out there. Be you. And transform the world.