Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Tribute

In a post entitled "A Moment to Celebrate" I mentioned a book I had collaborated on was finally published and delivered. It was an awesome moment, one that I was fortunate enough to share with my colleagues, Renate, Kim & Deborah.

Renate was the main author of this book, an amazing, inspiring woman who shared her experiences and knowledge with others. Throughout her life she has worked with people, encouraging them, pushing them when they needed a push, to strive to be the best they could be ~ to reach their full potential, to be great rather than just average.

The book, Dying to Live Well, is about Renate's personal journey through crisis. Rather than giving up, she decided instead to move forward with life. She recognized that no matter what the crisis, there was always an opportunity somewhere in there, and that she had the power to choose what she did, how she felt, and how she was going to live.

It's the story about choice, about finding the opportunity in your crisis, about what you can learn if you choose to pay attention, how to transform the now into something better, how to create healthy self-esteem, and to recognize that sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we fail to see the bigger picture. That life doesn't begin with our first breath nor does it end with our last breath. We are so much more than that.

Sadly, Renate passed away on March 2nd. She touched literally hundreds of lives often inspiring people so much that they transformed their lives into the life they had always dreamed of. She was courageous, funny, smart, wise, encouraging, supportive, brilliant, strong, (stubborn too) in short, she was everything you ever wanted in a friend.

While I miss her, I know she's not too far away ~ I can see and hear her, and she's still pushing me, encouraging me to be the best I can be....and to make a difference in the lives of others.

My thoughts & prayers go to her hubby and her sons as they learn to live without her laughter, smile and love.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Better Days Ahead

I must admit the month of February and the beginning of March have been challenging for me. While I am generally an optimistic person by nature, there have been times over the last 6 weeks that have really tested my optimism and faith, not to mention drained my energy and left me feeling tired and worn out. I think we all have times like this, where it seems like anything that can go wrong does; that the only news we hear from family and friends is 'bad' news. It reminds me of what one of my grandmothers used to say "When trouble comes, open both doors because it never comes alone!"

Yet, it is in these times that we need to look to find the positive because there is always something positive if we look. Sometimes it's a lesson in boundaries; sometimes it's realizing that if you need help you just have to ask; sometimes it's finding out that there are those who love you and are there for you no matter what. In every crisis there is opportunity, but to find it you must first learn to step out of the emotional drama and see what is really going on. It's when you are able to do this that you find choices you never knew existed; and, when you see you have choice, suddenly things take on a whole new perspective.

There are always better days ahead ~ the key is to make 'today' that better day.