So, I collect a great deal of inspirational books. I’ve got quote books, I’ve got art books and I’ve got books on French living and culture. I’ve got memoirs, cookbooks and biographies. I’ve got inspirational books you read on daily basis on health, happiness, writing and a healthy body image. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of books I get ideas from, gather information from and draw inspiration and strength from. But, books aren’t the only place from which we can gain inspiration, illumination and education. Life is the greatest teacher there is. What we need to do is be open and willing to learn.
This week’s list is a pictorial dedication to some of the things I’ve learned in the last few weeks. Some are just fun little tidbits. Others are just plain funny. And then there are the amazingly emotional ones that are bound to touch the heart. All have brought me wisdom, happiness and enjoyment. I hope that they bring a smile to your face, put a spring in your step, or simply give you an affirmation as to what you already know.
Here we go:
1. Seek Out the Arts: Life without the arts is simply impossible to me. Whether it’s a play, a thought-provoking film, a concert, or an afternoon at a museum, we aren’t living fully unless we’re exposed to the arts on regular basis. Pick what you feel passion for and pursue it. Let it amaze you and enhance your life. I’m making my own plans to bring in more of what makes me live a full life.
2. “In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary”: Now, this one just blew my mind. And the more I think about it, the more I see its wisdom and genius. Let yourselves see the extraordinariness of things big and small. Be mindful of the significance of the seemingly insignificant things at unexpected times. Be open and notice the wonder that appears here and there when no one’s around.
3. Now Is the Time: This may sound like a cliché, but NOW is all we’ve got. NOW is all there is. NOW is the only time we have control over. Live in the NOW. Live for the NOW.
4. Live the Life You Love: My everlasting, ever-evolving, never-dull-minute quest for finding, making and striving to live a life I love.
5. Happiness = Balance + Order + Rhythm + Harmony
6. Live Life as a Formal Affair: Happiness might mean cut-off jeans and flip-flops to some, but not for me. I love to fuss and make a big deal out of life’s little events. Dressing for dinner? I’m there. Wearing a dress and a cute hat to go grocery shopping? I’ve done that. Dinning by the candlelight on a week night? Oh yeah! Life’s too short to live in sweats and ripped t-shirts. Break out the red lipstick and the pearls every once in a while.
7. No Skort!
8. Never Be Afraid to Break the Rules: Applying this advice not only to fashion, but to life in general as often as I can (and having fun doing it).
10. Hope, hope, hope. And hope some more: I recently received a letter from Resolve, a leading organization for advocacy and support for those facing infertility. The first line stuck with me: “We are happy to send you Hope…” I love that! While I live, I live in HOPE.
11. You are here, you are alive, and as long as you are, you have the right to a full life, to limitless growth and to full brilliance: This last photo is very special to me. I took it on a sidewalk, just across the street from where I go to work several times a month. I must have passed this corner hundreds of times in the last ten years of practicing law. And yet, I had never noticed this absolutely awe-inspiring tree until a couple of weeks ago. When I saw it, my eyes couldn’t believe it. I did a double take and then I just stood there, frozen in the middle of busy sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles, marveling at this little tree. Can you see why? It have literally grown out from a crack in a solid concrete wall! How amazing is this? This tree is not supposed to be. It’s not supposed to exist. And yet it does. Its will to live, grow and thrive has trumped the basic rules of physics. This miraculous tree had come into life, squeezing and tenaciously forcing the world around it to give it a chance to live. It’s made a place for itself where there was no space. Some days, I feel like this tree. I feel like I’m fighting the futile fight of infertility. I feel like I’m not supposed to be here, I’m not supposed to have a child. If it seems impossible, maybe it’s because it is impossible. But, at all times, I know inside me that I am meant to mother my child. I always know deep down that I am meant to be a mom. And I will squeeze my way into that existence, much like this tree have squeezed its way into being. And much like this tree, I know I will thrive and shine when I get there. Life’s hard, but each of us has an equal and fundamental right to live, to thrive and to shine brilliantly. Never forget that, even when going on feels impossible.