Day 212: Be a dreamer.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

All weekend I have willingly invested hours and hours of work to make one of my long time dreams come true. I took the first step and I am very excited about what is going to happen next…but my dream is my little secret right now and I will talk more about it when the ball starts rolling further down the road…

I’m a dreamer and a believer.

I have literally got everything I've ever wanted in life by simply dreaming and taking action. I believe you can get everything and anything you want during your life time if your try hard enough. The reason why most people don’t get what they want is because they expect things to fall into their lap. Well stop expecting because unless you act upon something you will never achieve it.

Dreams are very important to have because if you can’t imagine your dream or goal you will never be able to achieve it. It doesn’t matter what people say about your dream because it’s up to you to make it come true. Keep in mind a teeny tiny dream always has the ability to generate enthusiasm and turn into something bigger and better than it initially was in the first place.

To be a true dreamer you must take the word “realistic” out of your vocabulary. You can’t accomplish a dream if you believe it when someone says “come one, be realistic”, there’s no such thing!

I was thinking about this the other day. When I was told I would never walk again I dreamed and told myself over and over “Yes Cat you will walk again”. Every single day I dreamed about taking my first steps again. When people told me I would never walk again they were being “realistic”, the moment I heard that I stopped believing in reality. Instead, I followed my heart. And look where it got me…it got me back onto my feet! No one can tell you what you need to do in order to accomplish your dream, you know what you have to do because your heart will tell you. You just have to take the time, slow your roll, and listen to it!

I think everyone has at least one dream but the reason why it has not come true just yet is because they’re not listening to their heart and giving their dream enough attention. If you don’t listen to your heart then your dreams will never come true. You have to give your dream undivided attention and focus in order for it to turn out the way you want it to.

My theory on successful outcomes of dreams:  Those who become HAPPY and rich in life are the ones who are willing to pay the price to make their dreams come true. I believe if you work your butt off to be successful you will take pride in your accomplishment and be grateful for every penny that ends up in your bank account. I always wondered why not all rich people are happy and I think the answer is because most of them just ended up with money in their lap by doing absolutely nothing, maybe they are trust fund babies or lottery winners. I would rather bust my butt, make my dream come true on my own, become successful and take pride in what I made for myself, then marry someone who is already rich and share their wealth. That doesn’t sound very fulfilling to me…it actually sounds pretty dang depressing! I want to say to my future husband, “look what I did honey I accomplished my dream and now we have all of this!” instead of saying “honey can I have some money ”.

Anyway, no dream is ever too mediocre and no dream is ever too extraordinary, your heart tells you what you were made to do but it’s up to you to willingly get up off your butt and do something about it!  

"The key to happiness is having dreams. The key to success is making your dreams come true." -Anonymous 

"Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world."-Joel Barker 

"When your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme." -Jiminy Cricket 

Day 211: Brought to you by Lady Gaga

Saturday, July 30, 2011

God makes no mistakes.

Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set.
Happy Saturday! 

Day 210: Never give up.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where there is LOVE and inspiration you can NEVER go wrong.

Be persistent in what you love and what you want to do. No matter how big or how small, never give up on your dreams. .

Being persistent doesn’t involve using the same strategy over and over again, it means heading towards the same goal over and over but using a different route.

During times of discouragement keep faith because faith and hope is all you have to hang on to. Keep the hopeful energy flowing and your positivity will let you conquer whatever your heart desires, whether it's now, tomorrow, next month or in 20 years time. 

God created humans to be persistent, this is the only way we will discover who we are and who we want to become.

Most importantly if you give the world the best you have, when you least expect it, the best will come right back to you. 

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:36 

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. Proverbs 24:16

Happy Friday! Have a safe & wonderful  weekend! 

Day 209: Good people checklist

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I just got off the phone with my fabulous therapist and he is one the most genuine doctors I have ever met, he always says, "My patients are not just patients, they are my friends" and that's what makes him an amazing doctor. He doesn't treat people like numbers, he treats people as if they were his best friend and he WANTS to see them get better sooner rather than later.

Talking to him makes me think about how you should only surround yourself with people that want to see you do better and live better. 

So here's the check list:

I  only hang out with good people because they are a reflection of myself.
I only hang out with good people that I would introduce to my parents.
I only hang out with good people that bring out the best in me.
I only hang out with good people that will take care of and cherish the core of who I am.
I only hang out with good people who believe in me.
I only hang out with good people that reciprocate the love I have for them.
I only hang out with good people that respect me.
I only hang out with good people that will lift my spirits when I’m down.
I only hang out with good people who make me happy.
I only hang out with good people who are positive.
I only hang out with good people who share similar morals and values.
I only hang out with people who are trustworthy.
I only hang out with people who reciprocate a good friendship.
And most importantly, I only hang out with good people that will make me laugh until I cry! 
From this day forward I will only invest my time in good people. Life is too short to fix “bad” people. Let “bad” people fix themselves on their watch, not yours!

Day 208: What's your mission today?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good morning!
I'm writing bright and early today just before I drive an hour out to the east side for some serious physical therapy, so please disregard any nonsense I put together.
What’s your mission today?  
Let me answer that for you. Your mission is to pick up all the pieces that fell apart yesterday, the day before, a week ago or even a month ago and start fresh today. Maybe no one saw your pieces fall apart and even if they did forget about it. No is watching you. Only you can watch you and the daunting part about that is that you are your worst critic.
Yep, you WILL run into moments that will leave you feeling hopeless. Don’t think you’re the only one in this world because, who hasn't felt hopeless? Every remarkable leader and successful scientist has hit the barricade of what are you doing with your life? where are you trying to go?  Don’t worry, you are in great company with billions of others.
All you have to do is put your right foot first. No matter how long your next journey is, the first step is by far the hardest. Whether it’s chicken scratching up some goals in a used college notebook or picking up the phone or sending an e-mail or walking out the door or simply saying I love you for the first time—these are the things you might need to do in order to get the blood circulating in the first step of your long journey.
 Remember actions speak louder than words. The only person who can steer the ship and move forward is you. You are your own Capitan!
 You were born with something brilliant and unique to bring to the table of life. With every step you take life will move forward with you. Recognize that you have the strength within to overcome any challenges…isn’t that the reason you're still here?

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
HaPpY HuMp DaY!

Day 207: Life isn't tied with a ribbon but it's still a gift

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life gives you the gift of breathing. It gives you the gift of daily opportunity, it gives you the gift of many privileges and all those gifts entail responsibility. It only takes one wrong move to suspend your life forever.

The only way to give a gift back to life is to become more than just a breathing body. You must learn, explore, grow, soak up all the daily opportunities that you can and take responsibility while doing so.

I found this great little piece of writing. Soak it up and think differently today:

Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

Happy Tuesday! 

Day 206: Live simply

Monday, July 25, 2011

On Saturday night I stayed up until about 4 in the morning and no, I wasn't partying or playing, I was laying in bed writing and thinking about the previous week’s events that went down in my life. Yesterday morning I woke up in a funk most likely because of lack of sleep mixed with over thinking the previous weeks dilemmas.

Luckily, I have been blessed with one of the best man friends anyone could ever ask for. Mr. Ryan came to the rescue.

I’ll go ahead and share a brief history about Ryan and I:
Ryan, he’s the happiest go-lucky guy you will ever meet. We met in college and one day we grabbed coffee together at a local coffee shop. Our personalities just clicked right off the bat we could chat for hours and hours. We decided to make coffee time a weekly tradition so we started coffee shop hopping. Our second coffee time meeting was at Cabin Coffee, the next week we hopped over to The Coffee Bean, the week after we hopped over to Starbucks and then the fifth week we finally landed in our current favorite coffee shop Next Coffee. When we were students we would have coffee time at least once a week…but then the moment we graduated our lives became hectic and now we try to slip in some coffee time at least twice a month. It’s amazing how much of a tight bond our friendship has evolved into, he knows pretty much everything about me and I know pretty much everything about him. We have each other’s backs and would do anything for each other. Ryan is the definition of true and faithful friend. We have never fought, we are pretty much Ying and Yang.I am high strung and he is mellow and brings me back down to earth when need be. 

Anyhoo, Ryan and I went swimming yesterday. The moment he arrived at my househe pulled me out of my funk with one point of his finger. And what did he point his finger at you might ask? His hat! He walked in wearing his favorite hat that spoke many words by only using two magical ones: “Live Simply”. We had an awesome heart to heart. He saw that I was upset and stressing about the little things in life and so he spilled his words of wisdom.

He said a little something like this. There’s no reason to be down, there’s no reason to stress because life is simple until you decide to complicate it by over thinking things, letting people get to you and push your buttons. All these things that put you in a funk only take away seconds of your precious life. The moment you let someone get to you is the moment you give up your happy, simple and beautiful life.

There is no time to be in a funk. Go outside, let the sunshine soak into your mind and brighten your thoughts because there isn’t anything that should get in the way of your happiness. Instead of dwelling on life—CELEBRATE IT!

LIVE SIMPLY: Smile, be happy, have fun, surround yourselves with ones your love, be kind, be respectful, work hard, be honest, live every day with integrity and make every second count. 

Treat today like there is no tomorrow. Wake up everyday ready to celebrate the fact that life is awesome and you are still breathing! 

Happy Monday! 

Day 205: Imagination and its dirty tricks

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Many of us ponder our future and work our imagination to the fullest to create an image in our minds in regards to what we want for ourselves and what we don’t want for ourselves. But the scary thing about your imagination is the fact that it can nonchalantly play tricks on you. 

When you think about something over and over your imagination can make up some of the most elaborate and appalling ways that situations/circumstances can go wrong.

It all started when we were little. We hid under the covers in the dark hyperventilating because in our minds we created nonsense like the boogy man in the closet. We imagined the worst of the worst and in the end we stressed over nothing because there is NO boogy man in the closet. 

Today the boogy man has turned into problems we face or future problems we think we will face and all these problematic monsters we craft in our minds rarely ever come to life.

Life isn't a smooth ride, and there are scary situations we encounter that create tons of stress and pressure within but I've found that if you imagine the worst you only build more stress. That’s why instead of wasting time imaging the worst scenario STAY or RECONNECT with the present. Don’t think about tomorrow, don’t think about what if’s, just focus on what’s happening right now.

 Sometimes our imagination plays dirty tricks on us but as soon as you suspend those thoughts of the worst you will no longer be lost in the future because you will be focusing on the present.

Day 204: Look at the brightside

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Things you are facing today are only temporary. Look beyond your circumstances, don’t get lost in the negative. Instead set your focus in the right direction.

Don’t spend waste your time focusing on what’s wrong. Spend your time focusing on what’s right and you will see the day in a better light. 

Day 203: Get lost

Friday, July 22, 2011

The moment you walk away from what you know is the moment you can start being creative in search of new possibilities. The beginning of a journey is the time you can use your creativity to the fullest. There are no rules or instructions and there are no proven solutions because the new chapter of your journey has not yet been explored by anyone.

Embrace the feeling of being lost, we all get to that point in our lives, it’s human nature. 

I love feeling lost at times. Sounds strange right? Well think about the last time you felt lost in life…now think again and realize that during the lost times you had to create new solutions, you had to observe new options, you came up with new innovations and you reinvented and created new dreams and possibilities for yourself. See? Being lost isn’t so bad after all.

Take a new path, switch up your life, do something you’ve never done before or go somewhere nobody has gone before—think of things others have never dared to even think of. Getting lost will help you see and discover things you would not have thought of even if they were right in front of your face.

Sometimes you just have to lose yourself in order to inspire yourself.

Have a great weekend! 

Day 202: The giver & the taker

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It should be part of human nature to treat people in the way you would like to be treated yourself. Many of us put ourselves forward to help our friends, significant others and family, but at the same time many of us don’t put ourselves forward to help our friends, significant others and family.

There are two types of people in this world.
1.)   The giver
2.)   The taker.

Usually the giver is the nice person who would bend over backwards for anyone just to make them happy, and the taker is the person who will never bend over backwards for the giver because they just expect them to do everything for them/ their way.

For those of you who know you are takers, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Everyone deserves to be treated as if they have value and worth, especially when they would give the world to you on a silver platter if you asked. Takers think givers won’t stand up for themselves and that’s when the taker will start to manipulate the giver into doing things they wouldn’t normally do.  So, for the givers, if you feel like the taker is taking too much and not giving you enough in return, what’s the point of associating yourselves with them? They aren’t doing anything in your life to make it convenient for you.

How often have you done something for someone else only to be greeted by someone who is not one ounce grateful?

Don’t think you always have to bend over backwards for people. Recognize that in some situations you will never be appreciated. In the long run bending over backwards for others will cost you your time and maybe even your money.

Re-evaluate who you want to extend your kindness to.

It comes down to the way you treat people. When you treat people with dignity and respect all the time, you can work through anything.
— John Bacon

Day 201: A man facing a life threatening struggle…is now getting a chance to walk down the aisle!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I’m probably the only one at work who enjoys digging up stories that actually leave people warm and fuzzy inside…last night I came across this beautiful and pure hearted story…

It’s a picture perfect wedding for a couple that exemplifies loyalty and love.

25 year old Jonathan Scarnecchia and 20 year old Alyssa leathers have weathered the good times and the bad. In 2009, Jon was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Two years later he's still fighting cancer and there's no money for a wedding. Faced with mounting medical bills, the couple contacted “Wish Upon A Wedding”, a national non-profit organization that grants weddings to those with terminal or life threatening illnesses. A volunteer coordinator for the organization says this couple is the poster child for why the organization exists so nearly 30 vendors donated anything and everything they could to make this wedding a success.

While most girls Alyssa's age would be turning around and running for the hills saying I don’t want to deal with this sick guy, she didn’t stop any illness from interfering with the love she has for Jonathan.

So, with family and friends at their side, on Monday night Jon and Alyssa exchanged vows at the Glidden House in Cleveland.

Take a glimpse of the wedding here

Through sickness and in health I wish them to live happily ever after for many many many years to come! 

Happy Hump Day! 

Day 200: Surround yourself with remarkable people

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The world is like a buffet style smorgasbord full of a variety of people. Finding a good friend is just like walking down the line of a buffet. You browse dozens of trays until a piece of high-quality food catches your eye. But, little do you know on this inside of that high quality piece of food it may be spoiled. You walk further down the buffet and something else catches your eye, it may look like its low-quality and unappetizing but once you bite into it, it could be the best thing you ever tasted.

Judging food by its cover is just like judging a friend by its cover. People may come across as high-quality, loving and caring but once you bite into their personality they may not be what you initially thought. We all come in different shapes and sizes and in order to find a remarkable friend you must forget about who they are on the outside and focus on what’s on the inside.

The people you choose to be your friends have a big impact on your life, they impact how you think and act. Therefore, choose your friends wisely. Surround yourselves with people you want to be and people who bring out the best in you. A real friend would never do anything to bring you down or make you look bad.

When you meet people forget about how they look like, treat everyone like a blank page and let them paint their looks with their personalities. After all, all the blank pages we meet along life’s path help us appreciate and see the journey for what it really is. 

You will never know what life is truly about until you see the blank pages come alive.  

Day 199: Embrace changes and challenges

Monday, July 18, 2011

Most people fear change and avoid challenges because they view them as “problems”. The word “problem” has a negative connotation so don’t associate it with challenge or change because change is good for the soul.

What would life be without changes and challenges? I know! Exceedingly boring. We would never grow (at least not at a fast pace) and everything would be pancakes and roses all the time.

We all need a little drama and excitement to spice up our lives, this is what keeps our blood pumping and brain growing. 

In order to find strength and over come adversity we need to challenge our minds with the unknown.Challenge yourself and change your life! 

Happy Monday!

The greatest rewards in life go to the risk takers. -Jim McCormick

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. -Helen Keller

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.-Gail Sheehy

Day 198: Do less and live more.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One thing I've noticed since I graduated college is the more money I have the more problems I have.

The more money I have to spend, the more I WANT to spend. I think the majority of us have this problem and that's why our country is in major debt. We get blinded by advertisements and sucked into thinking we need the newest and latest stuff and at times we forget that in reality all we need in order to survive is food, water, shelter and lovin'. You don't need more "stuff"!  

Release your cravings for materialism. Buy less and live more. Shop less and do something outside the box! 

I love this article by Leo Babauta:

Do Less Of Everything

But Do Less means much more than being productive. It goes to the heart of everything we do, of our society. Do Less is nothing less than a two-word manifesto for living.

Here’s how the two-word manifesto of “Do Less” can change everything:
1. Do Less buying. If you spend less, shop less, acquire less, then you will own less, need less, get into less debt, be in better financial shape, have less clutter, and have more time for things that are truly important.

2. Do Less busy-work. Instead of running around doing lots of little things, slow down. Do Less. Live a calmer, more peaceful life. Be content to sit, to do nothing. Relax a little. Smile and be happy.

3. Do Less managing. If you are in a position of authority over others, whether it’s as a manager, executive, or parent … the less you do the better. Many people over-manage, or over-parent. This gives their employees, or children, very little freedom, room for creativity, room to learn on their own, to succeed and fail. The less you do, the more others will figure out how to do things. Do little things to guide and teach, but for the most part, back off and let them be.

4. Do Less communicating. Less talking, less yelling, less arguing, less emails and IM and Twittering, less phone calling. While I think communication is extremely important, and should be one of the keys to any relationship, I also think we do it too much. Especially as most of it becomes nothing but jabbering at each other, with very little actual listening. It is noise. Let silence into your life. Let stillness pervade our minds. When you do communicate, make it count, make it sincere, and more than you talk, listen. Make every email count. Only IM when it’s necessary. Spend less time on the phone and Twitter and Blackberry and iPhone, and more time with humans, more time with yourself, more time in the present.

5. Do Less complaining and criticizing. I won’t rant about how these two things can drag down you and those around you … but instead will say that if you did less of these two things, your life would be better. And we all do them — fess up! I do, and I try to do less of it. Instead, do more kindness, compassion, understanding, accepting, loving.

6. Do Less planning and worrying and future thinking. Spend more time in the moment. We worry too much, and it does us no good. We think about things that haven’t happened, instead of what’s happening now (and yes, I know that’s the name of an old sitcom). And while some planning is necessary, too much of it is a waste of time — there’s no way to predict the future, and trying to control every little thing that’s going to happen is futile. Learn to go with the flow, look for opportunities, find the natural path of things, and do what is needed in the moment. You can’t control outcomes, but if you learn to work more fluidly (instead of rigidly following plans), you can get to outcomes that are good.

7. Do Less judging and expecting. Acceptance is something I’m trying to learn to do more. And that means I need to be less judgmental, and stop having expectations from everything and everybody. If you have no expectations, and don’t judge things, you can accept them. And acceptance leads to peace, leads to happiness. So when you find yourself judging, think “Do Less Judging”. When you find yourself expecting someone to be a certain way, think “Do Less Expectations”. People won’t disappoint you that way, because you’ll learn to accept them as they are, and learn that they are already perfect, as they are.

Happy Sunday! 

Day 197: Happy Saturday!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oh boy! I have been so busy today I almost thought I would never get to the computer!

That's all :)

Happy Saturday! 

Day 196: Picture's only prove you can’t convince.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I love photographs.

I’m the girl who will shove a big Nikon camera in her purse and lag it around JUST INCASE something remarkable or even unremarkable happens.

When extraordinary things happen in life we all have the right to steal those moments in time with one simple click and shutter.

What’s in a photograph anyway?

It’s not just an object. A photograph is worth more than a thousand words. It’s a piece of photo paper that stopped a moment from running away.

Photographs have the power to do noteworthy things to your mind and body.
They can make you smile until your cheeks hurt, laugh until you have a six-pack, cry until you run out of tears, gasp until remind yourself to breathe or know, even do things you wouldn't want anyone else to know about!

I've been transferring photos from one computer to another and I came across photos from when I was 18 years old.

When I was 18 I had the perfect balance between college and work, I never experienced amplified stress, I was carefree and most importantly I was in LOVE…puppy love. 

Meet Hensley Evergreen Hanten. My heart can't help but melt when I see this little puppy. 
When I was almost 17 I met my ex-boyfriend Brett. We were together for 2 years, and we thought it would stay that way forever. With that in mind we purchased Hens! He was just a tiny ball of fur when we picked him out of the litter. As you can see in the background of this photograph we were definitely in college, hence the keg sprawled out on the lawn. Actually to tell you the truth Hensley was even named after beer, the distributors of Budweiser...Hensley (the ex's idea of course) and his middle name Evergreen was the street that my ex lived on back in college...the infamous party house (also the ex's idea).

This photograph makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I was Hensley's mama. I remember waking up at to puppy pee wake up calls at 5:00am I would get out of bed and drag my feet across the lawn with my eyes barley open and watch him do his business and drag my feet back into bed.

Having something to take care of other than yourself is quite a selfless task.
A puppy is just like a child. You have to love it, feed it, give it affection,
take it to the doctor ect. This photo reminds me of when I had more to take care of other than just myself...until mine and Brett's relationship began to dwindle.

I lost custody of Hens when I broke up with Brett.

Hensley still lives with my ex and I haven't seen the lil guy for about a year now...but I do know
Hensley is a BIG boy now full of energy and packed with FUR...and not to mention super cool.

Moral of the story-- Don't purchase a living thing with your significant other unless you know
you will be committed to each other for years and years to come...because you may or may not face a custody battle!
Don't commit to an animal if you don't have time or patience...remember animals are JUST LIKE BABIES, you can't just neglect them!

Have a safe weekend and capture as many memories as you can!

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.-Diane Arbus