Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trust Your Heart

Sometimes I look in my children's eyes and I wonder if I am doing it right.

Am I teaching them the essential things?  Am I giving them enough attention and time?  Am I creating within them a desire to rely on and love each other, to want to be a part of each others lives?  Do they know I love them most, even when I struggle to find the energy, power, and light in myself and my own motherhood?

If you are like me, you have - at least once in your life - been on the receiving end of untimely criticism.  Perhaps you have even been on the receiving end of harsh judgments passed by other people - or even society at large - that left you wondering what you were doing, about the choices you were making, and if you were giving the best to the things that matter most.

Perhaps you have even fallen into the comparison trap at times - looking through rose-colored glasses at the "does everything perfectly" family/marriage/home/parent/child.  And in the face of that perfection, you have felt even more keenly your imperfection.  You have tried to implement all of the good advice, duplicate all of the great traditions, discipline like all of the great parents, make your children follow the perfect goal chart, stick to the perfect housekeeping plan, practice all of the perfect relationship counsels, and in the end felt completely overwhelmed by it all and even more like a failure than you ever felt before.

That is why I love this advice from Onyx Coale: "Trust your heart and what is right for YOU.  And when it all looks like a mess, and nothing makes ANY sense, keep your eye fixed on the GOAL . . . and just keep going!"

There are a lot of people who have learned great things while walking a road similar to yours. And learning those things can definitely empower and be a beautiful help in becoming better.

HOWEVER, no one - no matter how long they have lived or what experiences they have had - has walked YOUR road!  No one has ever raised YOUR children.  No one has ever been in YOUR marriage.  No one has ever organized YOUR home.  No one has ever lived in YOUR head and heart.  No one has ever had your delicate balance of challenges, strengths, weaknesses, dreams, talents, abilities, fears, struggles, experiences, failures, and successes.  Only YOUR HEART knows what is best for YOU.  Only YOUR HEART knows how to delicately maneuver - and at times even just survive - YOUR life!  And for the moments when you feel even you don't know, no one else has the stewardship or right to receive answers and find out like YOU do.

So take a minute - or a few every day - to sift through all the voices in your head, to find YOUR voice - your TRUE voice!  Determine your top goals in each aspect of your life.  Jack Canfield said, "If you could teach your children just 10 things - no more - what would they be?"  Identify what the MOST important things are in each area of your life.  And then CREATE the life of YOUR dreams, within the context of YOUR reality. 

Identifying will empower you to make it through the voices of others.  You won't rely on THEIR approval or experience with THEIR lives and goals.  Nor will you judge them for what they have done differently than you choose to.  And it won't destroy you if they don't give that approval to you for yours.  You will be able to take the BEST of what they offer and leave the rest behind because you will know WHERE you are going and WHY.  You will know WHO and WHAT are leading you, and you will get strength in knowing you are following YOUR compass and YOUR path. And that knowledge will give you confidence and empowerment to get through the hard times.

When things get hard, when it all looks like a mess and makes NO SENSE AT ALL - even to you, let alone to anyone else - go back to that list, go back to the Source, keep your eye fixed on what matters the most to you and where you are headed, and block out all the other voices until only YOURS is guiding you how to just . . . keep . . . going.

Will you make mistakes?  Definitely.  But they will be YOUR mistakes; and when you look back on your life, they will dim in the face of the JOY you feel at having realized YOUR goals.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Healthy Halloween Treats

I thought it would be fun to feature a few "healthy" choices to put out for Halloween parties!

Like these scary deviled spiders:

Or check out this tutorial for making some pretty frightening Monster Teeth:

Or some Pizza Mummies (you could also use cream cheese and berries for the eyes to make a "breakfast" mummy instead):

What about this healthy sweet alternative - an orange cut into a jack-o-lantern and stuffed with diced fruit (I also saw it with a really yummy looking shredded salad that kind of looked like the pumpkin had been planted and grown through for a while.):

And last but not least, this happy, healthy skeleton (with some hummus - YUMMY!):
What are you making for your kids for Halloween to balance out the sugar-high? :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Everyone Knows Something

I recently attended a meeting with some pretty amazing, inspirational women presenting on how to succeed in achieving your goals.  One lady - a woman from Florida named Onyx Coale - blew me away!  She got up on stage and shared a few nuggets I will share with you in future posts - mostly about life and happiness and success.

She then picked up this huge box from Amazon and took out 5 copies of a book.  She told us what it was that she had gleaned from it, why it was so important, and then asked who wanted a copy.  Bummed that I didn't get one, I was surprised to see her run up to the box and take out 10 copies of another book.  She told us what it was about, what she had learned from it, and asked who wanted a copy.  She continued to repeat this process six or seven times, with different books each time.

Then she told us her secret to success: LEARN all you can!  Every time she meets someone who impacts her in some way -- or even has a chance to sit and visit with someone new for an extended period of time -- she always asks them what book has had the greatest influence on them in their lives.  Or what book has shaped them in some way.  And whatever their answer, she writes it down and buys the book.  She has, in her office, an entire shelf of the books that have been suggested to her - some she has read already and passed along to us, some she has yet to read.

This experience reminded me of something my mom once wrote me. "Everyone you meet today knows something you do not, but need to."

You are surrounded by opportunities to learn and grow!  From each of your children - yes, they really do teach you the biggest lessons, don't they? - to your spouse to your neighbors to your coworkers to the lady ringing you up in the checkout line at the grocery store.  Each one of them can TEACH you something!

You don't have to step out of your world OR your comfort zone to expand your mind and learn something new.  You just need to have "ears to hear."  So go do it!  Do it TODAY!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Waiting for PERFECT?

What do you WANT from your life?  Have you sat down and created a VISION for where you are headed, what you want to have, what you want to do, what you want to create?  Do you have a savings plan, a retirement plan, a budget to pay off your debt?  Do you have family vacations you are definitely going to take, physical aspirations you are definitely going to accomplish, or maybe even on a smaller note you have a room in the house you are going to reorganize or paint or decorate a certain way?  Are you stuck in today . . . waiting for PERFECT?

Guess what?  PERFECT is probably not coming the way you think.

I know for me, there are so many things that I DON'T DO because I want them to be PERFECT!  I'm the "all or nothing", "success or bust" girl.  The QUEEN of it, actually!  For example:
  • I miss dating my husband!  I know it would be SO GOOD for us to get out once a week and have a fantastic date night.  But it's so hard (and so expensive) to plan something every week.  And then we have to find a babysitter, and make sure the kids are in bed.  And then I have to think of something besides dinner and a movie that I can afford.  Hmmm . . . maybe this is why we don't date?  Perfect is Good; But DONE is Better!
  • I have a friend who sent me an e-mail weeks ago.  I keep meaning to reply to her - because she is SUCH a great friend that I don't want her to think I don't have time for her.  But I don't ever have time to write ALL that I want to write - or all that she asked me about - so instead of "jipping" her on a so-so reply, I wait until I can write the reply she deserves . . . . until it drifts to the bottom of my e-mail list and I forget it's even there.  Perfect is Good; But DONE is Better!
  • I want to eat organically across the board!  I want the BEST nutrition for me and for my kids!  I want to get a PERFECT workout in every single day - exercise 45 minutes, make sure I have the right mix of cardio and weights in my week.  I want to be sure I incorporate ALL of Bob Harper's rules . . . and everyone else's who has had success, for that matter.  And today - I just don't have the energy for a 45 minute workout, so I'll be sure to wake up tomorrow and get that workout in.  Because I really want it - I KNOW it matters!  Tomorrow . . . I'll eat better, follow all the rules, have the PERFECT exercise routine . . . order ALL of the supplements I need to enjoy optimal health and make sure I am going to be healthy and happy for years to come . . . tomorrow . . . . Perfect is Good; But DONE is Better!
  • I want to keep a family journal.  The kids say so many cute things every day.  They are growing so fast!  I don't want to miss ONE THING while we are living it.  And pictures - you HAVE to have pictures to go with it.  I need to be better about taking pictures and posting them on my blog and sharing them with other people.  I am going to do ALL of that . . . for each child . . . . PERFECT is Good; But DONE is Better!
What PERFECT are you waiting for?  Stop waiting.  And LIVE whatever part of your dream/desire you can TODAY!  Start where you are and DO SOMETHING.  Then tomorrow, do something more.  Then the next day, a little bit more.  Because as AMAZING as perfect is . . . DONE, even a fraction of done, really IS perfect!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Peanut Butter made with Coconut Oil?

I don't know about you, but I have heard and read and seen ALL OVER THE INTERNET that people are using COCONUT OIL now in place of other oils because of its amazing nutritional benefits (and it helps with weight loss - so even if it wasn't more nutritious, lets be honest, MORE PEOPLE would still be using it! LOL!)

So I got curious about what it does for the body.  I found an article on the benefits of using coconut oil on Dr. Oz's website (  According to that article, Coconut Oil helps regulate blood sugar, thus lessening the effects of diabetes. It assists the body in losing weight. And it improves calcium and magnesium absorption in the body, which benefits dental and bone health. AWESOME, right?

Then my friend Carrie - from All That is Sweet in Life - shared her recipe with me for making PEANUT BUTTER with Coconut Oil!  Today I am so excited to share that with you (and even more excited to try it).  She says that her kids even love the taste of it so much that they can't eat regular peanut butter any more!  Healthy AND so delicious that kids LOVE it?  Double/triple/quadruple WINNER!  (Maybe next week I can get her to share some of her secret facial masks!  Thanks, Carrie!)

Homemade Peanut Butter Using Coconut Oil
So here's how I make homemade peanut butter if you love having 1-2 Tbsp as a snack with celery like I do! Made with coconut oil, this is so dang delish and healthy. You will need a high powered blender (we have a Blendtec).

Dry roasted/non-salted peanuts
Unrefined/cold pressed coconut oil

How to Make:
Melt about 1/2 cup of coconut oil in the microwave and pour a tiny bit into the blender. Add about 1 cup of peanuts and gradually go back and forth with small amounts of coconut oil/1 cup peanuts until a smooth consistency. Don't pour tons of peanuts in there at once because it won't blend! You can add salt in the end, but we like it without since it has such a nice flavor. I use about 4-5 cups peanuts to 1/2 cup coconut oil--it just depends, so go with the flow! :-)

P.S. - I also asked her to share with me the best places to get Coconut Oil, because I am CERTAIN that not all Coconut Oils are created equal. She isn't getting paid to share and neither am I - this is just some expert advice from the source to make our lives easier!  She says that she usually buys a gallon of it, which lasts their family of four about a year. Make sure you buy UNREFINED!

1) Nutiva (Her local Costco is also carrying this brand - so price it and check it out!)
2) Tropical Traditions
3) Mountain Rose Herbs

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Help with the Dishes?

My sister tells me all the time that her kitchen in the heart of her home.  If it is clean, she has peace and balance. If it is messy, she can't focus or get anything else done - it drives her CRAZY!

I think I've become a bit desensitized over the years.  Sometimes you get to a point where you are just TIRED of cleaning.  It's SO MUCH work and lasts such a short time when you have small children.  But then I dig up pictures of the ONE HOME I have loved more than any other - and the cleanliness and order and peace I feel when I just LOOK AT and remember through pictures reminds me that I really FEEL better and function better when my home is, in fact, clean and organized.  The rest is just me being lazy!  LOL! (And, seriously, it really DOES last only a FEW minutes most days, right?)

How do you do it without going crazy? What can you do to keep it where it needs to be for there to be peace and balance in your home?  Today I am going to pass along ONE idea I received from my good friend Jade: How to keep up with the dishes!

Jade shared a few years ago that every night after dinner, she would clean the kitchen, load the dishwasher, and then go on with their family's nightly routine.  Then she would turn the dishwasher on as they went to bed and start the next day with clean dishes. 

But every morning, she felt like she was starting the day behind already!  And she couldn't figure out why, with all the preparation she had put into the night before.

Want to know how she fixed it?  She started the dishwasher after she loaded it, went about her nightly routine, and then EMPTIED the dishwasher BEFORE she went to bed!

BAM!  Just like that, it was ready to load with the breakfast dishes and she stayed ON TOP of the workload day after day after day.

Now isn't that too easy for words?  I LOVE it!  I haven't done it for a while, but I am going to start again! 

What do YOU do to keep on top of the messes and keep the balance and peace of a clean/organized home?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RAID the Clutter Bug

I HATE SPIDERS.  Bugs of all types, really.  We used to live in sunny southern California -- with cockroaches and fairly large black widow spiders.  Not even exaggerating, I didn't sleep with the lights off for the first few months we lived there! LOL!  You cannot imagine how draining it was for me to live - essentially for two years - looking at the floor every time I stepped out into my garage, having a cockroach fall off the door frame onto my hand or into my laundry basket, walking around my car before I let my kids go out there to make sure there wasn't a black widow spider they were going to find intriguing and try to grab.  Seriously - my kids went through a stage of swatting bugs with their hands and thinking it was pretty darn cool!

What a draining time!  Imagine how much energy that took from me, living in that kind of fear at every turn, waking up before my kids to make sure I killed or got rid of any roaches that had found their way into our house in the middle of the night.  Wow is right!

But here's the "So What" and how that almost therapy-inducing irrationality can benefit BOTH of us now that I'm no longer living there.  WHAT IS YOUR BUG?  What is your cockroach, your black widow spider? 

Is there a corner (or a table) that you walk past every single day that drives you CRAZY every time you do?  How much time, energy, and thoughts do you give to that silly table/corner?  CLEAN it and be done with it. Redirect that energy to something that is going to DO something for you and HELP you create the life of your dreams.

Is there a person in your life who always drains you and pulls you down? That person that every time they come over or call, you just get tied in knots inside and then feel all sorts of guilty afterwards?  Take care of that. Take control of that relationship and fix whatever is off . . . or simply get rid of it all together . . . so you can give all that NEGATIVE energy to yourself, your children, your spouse, your home, etc.

Is there one thing you think every single day, "Oh, man! I still didn't get around to _______ today"? Do it FIRST today!  If it's exercising, calling someone you have been thinking about, taking time out for yourself to build your relationship with your Maker, or even just sit down on the sofa and do nothing with your spouse after a busy week.  DO IT today!  Don't let it be your negative energy any longer.  When you end a day strong, you start the next day even stronger.

Today is about YOU!  It's about deliberately CREATING the life and the person and the family of your dreams.  Get rid of the CLUTTER BUGS of your life, and fill your life with the positive energy that you'll have when you feel EMPOWERED by the control you have over them!!! And then turn around and use that energy to CREATE something WORTH holding a place in your life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Have You REALLY Got a Dream?

I just had the amazing opportunity of attending a weekend conference that was ALL ABOUT empowering the Woman Entrepreneur.  There were so many amazingly inspirational people there - people who were donating their precious time and talents to devote themselves to us - women with a dream that this world can be a better place for ourselves, for our families, for our neighbors, for everyone.  And women who turn that dream into a passion with a plan of action. Well, spending a lot of time with such women is a very moving, very powerful thing!

But as the event drew to a close, I suddenly had that feeling that I had about two seconds before I was going to burst into tears and had better head for a sanctuary FAST!  So I did - I hid myself in a bathroom stall and cried silently for quite some time.  Then I left the room, fully composed (or so I thought), walked right up to a presenter's table, and broke down again!  It was a GREAT first impression moment, let me tell you! LOL! :-)

But really, it wasn't.  It made me feel so uncomfortable to be the center of attention in a moment of weakness and vulnerability; a moment when - to this particular person - I would have defined myself as confident, composed, a leader, even an equal; a moment that was so full of so many thoughts and feelings that I couldn't even identify or articulate what was going on with me.  Can you relate?  Have you ever been there?

As I have taken time to reflect on that these last few hours, I have realized a few things:
1) Nothing happened at that Conference to CREATE those feelings that moved me to tears.  It was all stuff I was already carrying around inside of me, things that I had not had enough exclusive time by myself to think about or even realize were lurking in the shadows. We NEED that reflection time on a consistent basis!  It's how we are wired, really, as women!  And it isn't something that anyone is going to GIVE us - we literally have to CREATE it for ourselves.

2) I. Am. Vulnerable.  And I do not like to be vulnerable.  But as I learned from Tiffany Peterson (The Lighthouse Principles) this weekend, being vulnerable - being UNCOMFORTABLE - in the pursuit of your dreams is part of the process that will lead you to be unstoppable and successful!  I need to be okay with uncomfortable to get to MY real power!  Vulnerable is not always bad.

3) I still don't know exactly what was wrong with me, but I do know that it left me feeling this overwhelming sense of being incredibly directed and incredibly lost at the same time. And now I need to clear the lost and get to the directed to find what God was trying to teach me with it all.

"So, what?" you might ask yourself if you were me and were the kind that believed all lessons are only as valuable as the action they move you to make.  "So, what?"  To be honest, I don't know yet.  But I DO know that this is a step that is going to have a very real role in helping me define, create, and LIVE my dreams!  And whatever it is that is pulling my heartstrings is a very REAL and POWERFUL part of that.  Definitely a step to lead me to defining, internalizing, and creating those dreams.

What do I hope YOU will take from this? As Rapunzel said, "Haven't any of you ever had a dream?"  I think at times as mothers, the answer is "No" far too often.  The dream is lost in the process of living -- even living IT through motherhood.  But you have to HAVE the dream before you can go and LIVE the dream!  You have to DEFINE the dream before you can go and CREATE the dream.  And you have to EMBRACE the struggles that lead up to you having it before you can go and OVERCOME the struggles and turn them to empowerment in your pursuit.  Even if your dream IS motherhood and you are already LIVING it, you have to KNOW that it is your dream to fully LIVE it as such.

Go. DEFINE your dreams!  And then definitely, definitely - Go. Live (create) your dreams!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Embracing The University of Life

I remember attending a devotional my first year of college.  I don't remember who the Keynote speaker was, but I do remember that they invited his wife to speak right before him.
She was a tall, thin, very elegant, well-put-together lady.  As she spoke, she shared what she had studied in college, how they had met, that she had stayed home with their children, and then moved onto things she admired and appreciated in the man we were about to hear from.

One thing really impressed me . . . and stayed with me for years.  She said that she appreciated that "Bob" would come home at night and take the time to sit and visit with her about the news, what was happening in the world, what he had seen or learned that day, etc.  Because in her world, she had one channel and one language: Kid Speak.  She didn't have time to open the paper or turn on the news.  And she hated not being informed and having more intelligent thoughts and conversations each day that revolved around topics other than laundry, meals, daily arguments and disagreements, and whether or not her child would allow her to change his diaper.  I took a mental note that I would marry a man who would do the same for me. 

HOWEVER, I have since learned that it isn't enough for me to rely on what he brings home to me.  Our interests are so different that we both grow so much when we are both "bringing home" something interesting to talk about.  And no matter how hard he tries, I will never be interested in the intricacies of electronic warfare.  And no matter how hard I try, he will never embrace with childish delight any and all information on nutrition and health that I try to get him excited about.

But I also get that it isn't easy!  My life really does revolve in so many ways around "Kid Speak."  I served a mission in Chile. For years after I came home, I often spoke and interacted with Spanish-speakers and even taught in the Spanish language.  Then I had my twins.  And people with whom I had previously been able to converse with ease in the Spanish language started to tell me that I needed to keep up with it.  I needed to do this or say this or try to practice in this way.  And though I graciously thanked them, what I was really thinking inside was, "Friend - I appreciate the suggestion. But today I am feeling lucky to think and speak coherent thoughts in ENGLISH.  Keeping up my Spanish is the LEAST of my worries!"  And since I have an M.A. in English, that realization alone is also a punch in the stomach at times!  LOL!

Still, we HAVE to remember that our minds are incredible things!  But they are not stagnant things and can so easily turn to mush if we let them.  We CANNOT let them.

A great man once said that he would rather educate a daughter than a son.  Women, mothers, are the heart of the home, the Angels of the Hearth.  And what we have within us is what our children will glean from us.  We may get Kid Speak from them, but they are getting the words, the ideas, the attitudes, and the character BEHIND that Kid Speak from US!

My challenge to us all this week is to tap into that intelligence that is uniquely ours - to wake up our perhaps mushy brains and find something we are passionate about, something that puts the sparkle back in our eyes to talk about, and learn something about it that we didn't know before (or knew and have since forgotten).

In college, we were blessed to have a focused topic, degree, course of study, etc.  But this - THIS more important and much larger university we are studying in now - is the University of Life.  And it holds no bounds on us to restrict what we can learn, study, perfect, perform, and achieve!

So let's embrace and celebrate the revised school of learning ahead of us!  And lets make it a focused part of our lives TODAY!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Are you stressed? Yes, yes, DESSERTS spelled backwards?  SILLY QUESTION!!! Who isn't? So what do you do about it? Well, we know that it helps tremendously to take time each day to meditate, to refocus on the things that matter the most. And for me, it helps when I am most stressed to get on my knees and offer thanks for all of the blessings I have received.

But other than that, give yourself a BIT of a break because stress is much more than a mental/spiritual/emotional reaction to life. It is also a very PHYSICAL reaction to your adrenal glands not being able to manage and function appropriately.

What do the adrenal glands do? In addition to helping you handle stress by helping manage your cortisol levels, these glands help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other metabolic functions. 
So, how do you know if your body is suffering from an OVERLOAD of stress?  Well, if any of the above are off, that's a pretty good indicator.  But to be a little more specific, check out this list of adrenal insufficiency symptoms: 

  • weakness, 
  • lack of libido, 
  • allergies, 
  • dark circles under the eyes, 
  • muscle and joint pain, 
  • dizziness, 
  • low blood pressure, 
  • low blood sugar, 
  • food and salt cravings, 
  • poor sleep, 
  • dry skin, 
  • cystic breasts, 
  • lines of dark pigment in nails, 
  • difficulty recuperating from stresses like colds or jet lag,
  • no stamina for confrontation, 
  • tendency to startle easily, 
  • lowered immune function, 
  • anxiety, 
  • depression, 
  • premature aging.
HOLY COW!!! Maybe you noticed they are very similar to thyroid insufficiency symptoms.  I sure did!

BUT before you run to the doctor, here is a great article about Adaptogens: nature's way to help manage stress. Pre- and post-pregnancy, I drink them in a mineral drink I have every morning and/or night when I need it (contact me if you want to know more about it). Adaptogens are helpful for EVERYONE!  Nature has a way of blessing us like that.

In the meantime - DEFINITELY teach your children NOW to plan in some down time to de-stress!  You could save them YEARS of health problems in the future!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For Every Stop . . . There IS a GO!

LIFE IS BUSY!  Isn't it?  It's like you set out to really accomplish a certain goal, and either that goal takes over and you find yourself overwhelmingly busy in the pursuit of it -- OR -- life takes over and you find yourself never quite getting around to it.

The answer is in my favorite word on this blog: DELIBERATE!  Take control of your life so it doesn't take control of you. Easier said than done at times, I know.  But as long as you consistently get back to it, you will achieve it!

Even so, there are times that life just does take over.  And it is just going to.  The stroller wheel is going to snap off while you're out on a family walk to get your daily exercise in.  The kids are going to experience new highs in independence that are going to leave your house (and world) turned upside down for a stage.  You spouse will have days (or weeks) at work that make it so he gets home an hour - or two or three - later than anticipated, thus throwing off all of your "plans" and "goals" to accomplish things for the day.  The perfect diet that you know is best for your body and makes you the absolute happiest - body and spirit - is going to fly out the window in the face of double-stuffed Oreos and ice cold milk.

And, let's face it, YOU are going to have times when you just SHUT DOWN because that is all you CAN do!

That is why I LOVE the simple promise of this priceless quote.  Because it is true!  Change is constant!  If you love where you are, realize that things can and probably WILL change . . . and it can and will only get better even than it is right now!  If you are struggling just getting through each day and appreciating and enjoying where you are, realize that things WILL change . . . this is only temporary.  Every stop is followed by a go.  And, if you are like me, the go will feel like a newfound freedom, and you will RUN, unstoppable, when you can again.  However long temporary may last, it will not last forever!

So how do you get through the hard times?
1) Keep your chin up.  This too shall pass and, though it will be a part of who you are, in most cases it will not DEFINE who you are.
2) Keep focused on your goals and vision of the joyous things in your life and the glorious dreams ahead of you.
3) Offer gratitude every day so you don't get lost in it.
4) Ask for help where you can.  Don't try to tackle everything on your own, particularly when you are already struggling.
5) Learn to identify and let go of the things that really don't matter - no matter what anyone ELSE may say.
6) Even in the craziest moments, find someone else who needs you and do something for them . . . even if it's something that you cannot make happen for yourself but desperately want to have (perhaps ESPECIALLY if it's something you cannot make happen for yourself but desperately want to have).
7) Force yourself to keep moving in the direction you want to go - even if it is just with ONE thing. Don't let hard times become quicksand.  Pull yourself out and keep moving FORWARD!