One of the things I talk about pretty often is not believing in Happy Endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking and why I’ve chosen to be a Student 4 Life.
I don’t believe in happy endings.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle, after all.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might never come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?
If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that was a PollyAnna moment right there.)
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and have become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.
I want to add more color to my wings.
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By Lauri Mackey — 4 months ago
5 #Recess Ideas for Self-Dates!
It wasn’t until I read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that I truly embraced self-dates. And to tell you the honest truth, the first one stunk. It was supposed to be for 2 hours and I don’t know why, but I chose to go to the beach and people-watch. I don’t even like the beach. I live 15 minutes away, but I’m more of a mountain girl. I sat on that beach for 2 hours! Doing absolutely nothing! Lame, but lesson learned.
I was so mad about my first date going so horribly wrong that I was determined to make the 2nd one more fun. I planned a trip to Ojai which is about 30 minutes from my home. I went on line and picked two new stores to check out and then had lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant called Hip (highly recommend it!). The first store turned out to be closed, but the second one was an open air bookstore – really! An outdoor bookstore and I bought more Louis L’amour books – it was fabulous!
As of this writing, my 19-year old has now taken herself on her first self-date. She got treats for the movies at the Dollar Store and took herself! Go Mug! Dollar treats, bargain day at our local theater – perfect for the teenage budget!
I truly recommend self-dates! The ultimate would be once a week, but if you can pull off once every two weeks or even once a month consider it a huge accomplishment as you will have gone from zero to something! Here are 5 Self-Date Ideas to get you started. Re-instate #Recess for Adults!
5 #Recess Self-Dates
The 5 Senses Date
#1 One of my favorite self-dates was last month when I decided to enlist the 5 senses and create a date around it. Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, and Hearing. Start by making a list of your 3 favorite in each category and then pick your favorite from each one. Here is how mine played out: Touch – my favorite comfy afghan my oldest daughter made for me while dressed in my night shirt and slippers. Smell – wild orange essential oil in a diffuser to remind me of the orange blossoms in the local orange groves. Taste – what else? Sweet Potato Fries from Veggie Grill, of course! Sight – sat in my favorite room of the house and grabbed my favorite book by Josi S Kilpack, The Vicar’s Daughter. Hearing – gonna love this one…I ran the dishwasher. Weird? It is a childhood sound that I love because whenever we went to bed, my mom or dad would start the dishwasher – love that sound! Best date ever!
#2 This one was simple. I live on a University Campus with a beautiful library. There was a traveling exhibit featuring this area’s local agriculture history. Other than the one gentleman who talked my ear off for about 30 minutes, it was fascinating and I even toured the library for the first time after living here for the last 6 years! Check your local library or museums to see what’s on exhibit now or coming soon.
Something Old, Something New
#3 When I went up to Ojai, I picked my favorite restaurant Hip because I was familiar with it and then coupled it with something new in visiting the outdoor bookstore. The restaurant made me feel warm and comfy and the bookstore made me feel adventurous. Is there something you can couple with something old and familiar and still taste some adventure?
It’s Elementary, My Dear
#4 This one seems silly at first blush, but it is oh so fun once you’re into it. Collect at least 10 magazines and grab your scissors and a piece of poster paper from Michael’s or Target. Cut out anything that you like or strikes your fancy and then paste them with a glue stick on to the poster paper. Proudly hang it up in a prominent place in your home for as long as you can!
#5 Sometimes you just need a solid time-out #Recess. What is your sacred space? A temple, synagogue or church? Perhaps the library or a special place on your favorite hike? There is a choice of a couple of things you can do. One is that you just go sit and be. Take this time to simply be still, quiet, and savor the silence. Two is that before you head out to your sacred space, write down a burning question to take with you. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket. Once in your sacred space, open it up and lay it beside you. Don’t overthink this. Don’t make yourself think about it, just knowing it’s there will help. Is there a solution or at least a next step that comes to mind? I will tell you that the times I’ve done this, I either think of a solution or a next step OR I get a feeling of peace that I just need to be patient and that the answer will come in time. Either way, I feel immensely better for having taken this time for myself.
Pick a date, set the #Recess time on your calendar, fulfill the date, then come back here and comment to let me know what you’ve done. Others will appreciate hearing back from you and get more ideas – remember, we are all out to help each other!
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 — 4 years ago2013 FireOut of the Ashes We Can Find HopeThis story of hope begins in 2013, when our county experienced a terrible fire. We were evacuated from our homes on a moment’s notice. The picture you see below with billowing orange smoke bombs was taken from my friends camera as we stopped to look back, perhaps for the last time on our neighborhood. I remember calling my mom while sitting in the long line of cars trying to leave and telling her of the situation. She expressed concern and told me to stay safe, but when I sent her that picture, she freaked out! It’s a lesson learned on how pictures speak louder than words. My husband and I truly thought that our home would be gone and that we would be starting from scratch. At the time, it just didn’t matter. I had just driven out of there with flames on the side of the road consuming trees that were 100 feet tall. I was alive, he was alive, I had rescued our kitties and our daughter had been at school. All was well as far as I was concerned.This particular fire burned hot and fast. It consumed everything in its path and in the end burned over 24,000 acres from a little valley, crossing the mountain range and ending at the ocean. Everything was black, sad and black. The smell of smoke and ash would be our constant companion for weeks. Words could not describe what we saw. We had people come drive out to see us and not truly get what had happened until they saw it for themselves. It is now just over two years as I write this and our beautiful mountains still carry the scars of this fire.The firefighters were the true heroes of the day. They miraculously saved our entire housing community. They had used our hose as our house faces a hill that was burned. A tree was knocked down by a fire truck. Trees surrounding the outskirts of the neighborhood were singed and blackened from the fire, but every home was safe. How was that possible? I saw the fire as I left. I saw the crazy big flames and felt the heat so hot that I had to roll up my car windows to not feel like I was getting burned. I had zero hope.(Our housing surrounded by blackened hills)As I look back, I’ve likened this very physical and temporal experience to a spiritual battle I had in my own life. So much is the same. The darkness was real and hope was not on my radar. Not so much as a little blip on the screen. When I read the saying that someone had “temporarily turned the light off at the end of the tunnel”, I could completely relate. (Stay with me now, because I found that silly little light-switch to turn on my own light!)Now, unlike the fire, I have no one to blame but myself. I made choices that brought me to that tunnel without a supposed light and had removed myself so far out there that my radar was actually damaged and couldn’t see that blip that turns out, was just hiding, not gone. Part of my lesson was realizing that I didn’t know how dark things had become. When you make wrong choices, consistently over a long period of time, they become your reality. My tunnel light had not been turned off, but there was so much smoke I had created that it just wasn’t visible to me anymore.My dark choices will not be the same as yours. We all have our own enemies to fight so I won’t bore you with the details of my battles, but I did win this particular war. The only way to win the war is to do exactly the opposite of what got you there to begin with. In my case, that meant not making decisions on my own. If I had tried to battle our physical fire around our homes I would have lost! I did not have the skills or expertise in that field. Everyone would have suffered the loss of their homes. The firefighters were the experts. I needed an expert in life. That meant turning to my spiritual power of prayer and getting on my knees and begging God to help me. He was my firefighter and I needed all of his expertise and knowledge of life to help me fight. All of my choices had brought me to that place…dark, lonely, afraid, sorely sad, and just plain miserable. Surely God could help me make better decisions than the ones I had been making.And indeed he did. It took some time, but I am grateful for my experiences I have had in my life. They have made me who I am today. Just like our mountains, I carry the scars from those days, but I believe, “A mended heart is stronger”. They remind me see that if I can make it…anyone can! I truly mean that with all my heart and soul. Ladies, if I can make it…so can you!Some people see the fires that burn hot and fast, while others experience a slow burn, but my goal in writing this blog today is to give you hope. Hope that you can become a magical electrician and wire your own switch for a light at the end of your tunnel. Hope that you see the sun and feel the warmth on your skin and in your soul. Hope that you find a flashlight along the way. Hope that your friend can loan you a flashlight until you can locate yours. Hope that out of your darkness and ashes, you rise like the fabled Phoenix to start again, renewed and strengthened for your journey ahead. Because once you are on that path, you need to loan your flashlight to others who can’t see their light and help them on their journey.Yours in Hope and Positivity…#makelemonade