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By Lauri Mackey — 4 years agoI was asked to speak at a small women’s event and thought I would share my thoughts on this most important subject. Start by watching this amazing YouTube video about The Jewel by clicking on this link:My birthday is right close to Valentine’s Day. What that means is as I was growing up my seven brothers and one sister would be taken to the store to buy gifts for me and that the selection at Thrifty’s was mostly focused around the this holiday. I would receive an extra large Hershey Kiss, teddy bears with hearts on them, heart-shaped pillows, you get the idea. Some brothers would go in and buy something together, but one particular year, my older brother bought me something just from him. He then proceeded to wrap that gift in a brown paper grocery bag. No wrapping paper, no ribbon or bows, no card, a brown paper bag.At first I was disappointed at the lack of time taken for my special day and was even a bit taken aback by this notion of not having my present wrapped properly. This thought quickly left as I opened the gift to see what was inside. The moment I removed the “wrapping paper”, I was blessed with a beautiful gift and promptly forgot about the ugly brown paper bag it had come in.Why are we so critical of the gift wrap when we know that something beautiful is inside?I have seen even little girls be critical of each other. As teenagers it’s worse. You might have a great sense of self and high self-esteem and then someone says something critical to you and the doubt easily sets in. We then move into our 20’s and 30’s and for some of us that means child-bearing years. Bearing a child is a beautiful endeavor, but it can leave rips and tears in our gift wrap that we forget to see as beautiful battle scars of the least selfish act in the universe. If we are lucky enough to live through our 40’s and longer, gravity becomes your enemy and your metabolism goes in the toilet. A bitter pill to swallow.My gift wrap has changed over the years. I came into this world with the biggest chubby cheeks you can imagine. I didn’t like the dirt and when I crawled would literally stop and brush my hand off each “step”, which is ironic considering I mountain bike in the dirt all the time now. I’ve broken bones, had a million different haircuts and lots of crazy clothes as I was a product of the 80’s. I have given birth to three kids, been overweight and underweight, been in shape and out of shape, have worn make-up and haven’t worn make-up, got a tattoo, and have finally embraced my gray as I’m now a full-fledged Gram with 2 beautiful grandkids. My gift wrap has seen some serious travels.I recently have been studying and pondering women and positivity. I’m so dedicated to this cause that I quit my full time position in a business my husband and I own to pursue a way to help women be more positive by taking practical steps in their lives. I created a this blog to put my thoughts out into the world. I created Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, A Positivity Podcast for Women to bring help into the women adventuring into the next chapter of their lives. I wrote a book last year called Positivity Happens – all in the name of trying to uplift, inspire and bring hope to women. I sometimes just look for things to laugh about because a good belly laugh is always a good thing. In this pursuit I have learned a few things about myself.Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
We are all in a different stage of life and have diverse types and colors and patterns of gift wrap. It would be rather dull and boring if all of our gift wrap was the same, wouldn’t it? Let me propose that whatever gift wrap you are currently wearing that it is perfect and unique to you. Wherever you are is exactly where we are supposed to be. What if you don’t like the situation you are currently in? I give you the words ofJeffrey R Holland:Don’t give up, don’t you quit.You keep walking, you keep trying.There is help and happiness ahead.It will all be all right in the end.Trust God and believe in good things to come.There is a jewel in each of you. Jewels are only made through some sort of adversity. Did you know that diamonds are formed at a crazy high temperature and pressure 87 to 118 miles down in the earth’s mantle? The growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3 billion years! Amethyst is formed in gas cavities of lava! Lava! Rubies are formed only when there is a small impurity of chemicals in just the right atmosphere. Emeralds are created when exposed to extreme hot water, cooled down and then passed through hot water again. LAVA HOT WATER from what my studies found. Pearls are formed only when a grain of sand is embedded into a mollusk. Then in self defense, the mollusk creates layer after layer of mother-of-pearl until the iridescent gem is formed.Now I am not suggesting that we need to seek out tough times to cultivate our jewel within. What I am saying is that nobody’s life or gift wrap is perfect, but that our jewel within is being created for the eternities. We are not earthly beings have a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Be proud of your gift wrap, be patient with your adversities and challenges, be happy knowing that God knows you personally and has always seen the jewel within. Cultivate your jewel by seeing the good in yourself. Try to be more cheerful and positive. Have hope that things will be all right in the end because they will. Trust in God and in the good things to come. Be happy and then share your happiness with others so that their jewels can also be cultivated.Would love to hear from you about this article! Please leave a comment – I read every single one!
- My soul is young and eternal. My inside doesn’t feel old. I feel young as a puppy playing with a new toy.
- I am the only one who can do my job here on earth. There is no one else like me. I am as unique as a snowflake and the world needs me.
- My experiences have refined who I am. I have laughed, cried, been vexed in love, worried, fretted, been cheerful and full of happiness. Not all of my choices have been good ones, but even the poor choices have helped mold me into who I am today.
- I can change my attitude and outlook on life. I can gain new perspectives, learn new tricks, and change the things I want to change to create a better me. Being happy is a learned trait.
- If I am ever in doubt of my divine nature, I simply need to say a prayer and my Heavenly Father assures me of my infinite worth with his sweet spirit. He knows my fears, he knows my dreams, he knows who I am and who I am becoming. He has been forced to be a patient teacher with me as his student.
By Lauri Mackey — 1 month ago
One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down was reflect on my past years of goal-setting. I have been printing out and posting my yearly goals on my bulletin board since 2010. I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year.
Not this time.
It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time. How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes. Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals. How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!
From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book. From spiritual goals that were met to eating right. It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 8 years while navigating my 40’s. A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.
Now it’s your turn:
- What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
- What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t? Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
- Accomplished any bucket list items lately? Can you add one this year?
- Are your goals attainable within a specific time frame?
Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain your goals by getting them into Bite-Size Chunks.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you.
Love hearing from you!
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
“Life is busy.” It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”. Is your response different? A “fine, how are you?” perhaps? I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”. And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.
Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha! I can honestly answer that my life has been busy. You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week. Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window. Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of time available.
After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring. Not bad boring, but routine boring. The same old things week after week. The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work. Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it! And then I remember my younger adult self. Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage. When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.
I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings. I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils. I love writing my morning pages, saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes. I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the weekly blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Bookworm Report every Tuesday (See the latest one HERE). I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch documentaries on Monday nights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…I highly recommend it!).
In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine. I absolutely love it. I love the busy moments and the quiet moments. I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new. I love the boring bliss of my routine! The next time someone asks “how are you?” what will you say?