“Once upon a time…..” This phrase has been the starting line for so many fairy tales, showcasing heroes, villains, love, tragedy, and fame. The purpose of this opening line is to show the reader a space in time that is past. This type of story is meant to inspire, warn, or entertain and we are left with the tale (usually) wrapped up neatly with a “happily ever after” or at least a unforgettable ending.  Is that how I want my life to be told? Is that how you want your story to be recorded?

How do you want to be remembered? 

As a young girl I loved to read, I read everything I could get my hands on from chapter books to encyclopedias to the shampoo bottle. I LOVED TO READ. This great love of reading brought me on many adventures, allowed me to learn about history as well as the great men and women who inhabited both. I remember sitting on my Strawberry Shortcake bedspread with my letter “D” Encyclopedia Britannica open, skimming through and stopping at the entry about Leonardo Da Vinci. Reading about him became a pivotal point, and it set a path for my life.

Leonardo Da Vinci was an illegitimate child with no rank or favor in a very backwards time in history and he still managed all these accomplishments and had a variety of knowledge.  If you don’t know much about him please look up his amazing life and work. ( Side note: I’ve always had  a soft spot for children born in unlikely circumstances because of my own adoption story)

Leonardo Da Vinci – The complete works by <a href=””>Leonardo Da Vinci</a> Biography, more than 280 images of paintings, slideshow, user comments, eCards and more!leonardo-da-vinci-165410_1920

He was called a “Renaissance Man“. He was remembered not like a fairy tale or a happily ever after but as an “In the now” sort, with an eye on the future. I was awed and inspired to say the least. I remember thinking “I want to try to capture his spirit in my own life and be a Renaissance Woman!” Since making that statement years ago,  I haven’t come close to the vast accomplishments of Da Vinci but I have never let go of that drive. I want to keep pressing forward in my journey, do the best I can, be the best I can, and get back up when I stumble.


Where is your journey taking you?

My journey has taken me on so many interesting and winding paths and sometimes I’ve felt lost with all my wanderings. However, every path has led me back toward the same direction. I’ve learned another lesson, achieved another skill, and made more connections; all these being integral pieces I needed to grow and step forward into the next great adventure. I look at Da Vinci and how all his knowledge and experiments led to another or helped him in a later endeavor. Our lives are great journeys, we have so much potential for greatness and failure but never let either stop you. Keep going, keep learning, keep growing, and connecting to others because your journey may one day be the inspiration to a little girl sitting on her Strawberry Shortcake bedspread reading an encyclopedia entry about you and your adventures, achievements, and…..journey.







Living River Wellness

Wellness and loving the life we have.

How many times do we compare our life with someone else’s  DREAM life? Better yet, how do we stop comparing and start living out our dreams and purpose regardless of the seemingly pristine or rose-colored lives to which we are comparing ourselves and our families?

We (humans) all have this ridiculous notion that if “this” or “that” changes, improves or goes away, we will have the most wonderful life. Ha, ha, we are such optimistically, arrogant hypocrites. Our acceptance of the caricature of how life should be has crippled our ability to let go and let be. The sooner we learn to let go and let be the more rapidly wellness and contentment will start to mesh and weave, creating the love for life many of us are envy.

Start with the dream(s) you have and then, “let it go” and “let it be”.  What? Let go of my dream? Nope, can’t. What would I have left to motivate me and inspire me? 

Hold up, I’m not telling you to “let go of your dreams” from a more common understanding of that phrase. For example, I am a 5′ person and slightly more coordinated than a fawn on ice. I think it would be wise to tell me to let go of my dream of being a jet pilot or an NBA player, or anything that requires some height and agility to achieve success. Don’t get me wrong, many people succeed at the impossible but this is not what I’m referring to. I am talking about another type of “letting go” and it involves removing restraint and impatience (mostly).

Before you can let go of your dream(s) you must understand it/them.  What are your dreams? Write them down, vision board them, talk about them, and meditate on them. Do you have a desire to create, be of service, manage, protect, care for, teach, inspire, or….? Now that you have (for the most part) allowed this dream to be a part of your life, let it go. Do not hold it too tight, but set it loose and see where it goes. Follow it, don’t make it follow you (within reason, of course). Most of all give it freedom to evolve and change, don’t box it up and only take it out to show people when you want them to see you through rose-colored glasses.

Let it be. What? Don’t do anything with it? Why have a dream in the first place? Wouldn’t that be depressing to realize your dream and then not pursue it?

Have you heard there is a song with the title, “Let it be”? It is a fairly well-known song and such a comfort (in my opinion) because it talks about grace and allowance. When you let something be, you are letting it settle, be OK no matter what, or just go on without you. Let your dream flow from a place of understanding and peace that it will work out, maybe not exactly like you planned but “it will be” at the right time. Your dream, this dream (not all) may dissolve or be given to someone else; so learn to give your dream wings “to be” even if it is without you. Most of all “let it be” by employing grace that allows consideration for criticisms or challenges you or your dream may face (still maintaining faith in it). There is something to be said for a good counsel/critics.

Wellness and contentment is a product of purpose, inspired by dreams, and driven by hard work. Because you were able to let your dream go and let it be, now, you can follow through with hard work. A clear picture of hard work is framed by effort and determination, however, the dream is realized through the lens of freedom. Contentment comes from the creation and display or use of that portrait so you and anyone you choose to share it with can enjoy it. Wellness of the heart, mind and body flows from the process of letting go and letting it be while the journey takes you and your dream to their destination. Loving the life you have.

“The day I understood everything, was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.”  ~C. JoyBell C.