Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
- Robert Frost "The Road Less Traveled"

Live my life out loud? My life IS loud. It’s hectic. I have three kids, a stepson, and am a newlywed with a brand new house that we are actively renovating. I live exactly 1,361 miles from where I lived less than 11 months ago and for the majority of my life. I have an amazing job where I truly make a difference and make time to run the Volunteer Vixen Chapter here in Rhode Island. I also have MS - diagnosed less than 6 months ago.  I’d say I’m definitely living. But not “Out Loud...” not for a while.

In 2010, I embarked on a journey to say “Yes!” to anything new that came across my path. Coyote Ugly and Mechanical Bull Riding..Sure! Register with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society as a donor…check! Donate 11 inches to Locks of Love on a whim- why not?! I even met my now Husband as a result of my Challenge (Look out eHarmony!).  From the easiest new experiences to the most daunting; 2010 was the most exhilarating year of my life and the one that truly taught me to be open to anything that comes my way. You never know when saying "Yes!" to something you never expected will be just the thing you never knew you needed. 

With all the changes of the past year- I’m ready to challenge myself yet again; Meet new people, experience all that my new world has to offer and live life to the fullest- Live "Out Loud..." Again!

Friends for almost a decade, Christina has taken my unique journey alongside me, all the while traveling her own path. Although our lives have taken us in very different directions, we remain the closest of friends and have chosen to go on this adventure together from opposite ends of the east coast. We’re ready to face the unknown, challenge ourselves individually and as dear friends, all the while delighting in every step of the way! Enjoy the ride- We certainly will! *Jasmine

Tales of Mischief

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” –Steve Jobs

I truly believe we need to ask ourselves a few basic questions.  How do you feel about your life today? Are you living every day as full as possible? Do you feel joy in what you’re doing? Are you excited? Are you looking forward to what’s coming up next? Are you living your life out loud?
It's not a test... It's YOUR life after all.  Handed to you to live in any manner you choose.  But for ME.. when I answer "no" to any of the above questions, that means I'm not living my life to the fullest. And let's be honest... that really shouldn’t be the case, because my life experience is up to me to create. Why settle for anything less than what I can create? I deserve the best. Several years ago I embarked on a journey called "The 365 Challenge" where I challenged myself to experience 365 new things (experiences, foods, hobbies, etc.) within the 365 days of the year.  Whew!  Are you as exhausted as I am by just remembering it?!  That action packed year really shaped the mindset I've acquired where I now live every day to the fullest, filled with joy, passion and excitement. It's amazing the adventure you can have when your eyes and heart are open to just being lead.  
My dear friend Jasmine went on a similar journey that same year, chasing after new experiences and embracing all that life had to offer.  Since these personal "challenges", the streams of our lives have ebbed and flowed, evolving and taking on various shapes and forms.  She's moved to Rhode Island, gotten married and started a whole new path.  I'm still in Florida, but after leaving my role as a corporate executive, I've become an entrepreneur focused on growing a consulting business, adopted a homeless puppy, embraced and fully committed to a vegan lifestyle, while also pursing my passions as an artist and yogini.  
While our individual journeys are very different, they are also very much the same.  We both love to stare fear in the eyes and allow it to move past us.  We both enjoy throwing our arms out and spinning in circles while delighting in the moments spiraling around us.  Time is precious and so is friendship.  Why not celebrate both through this new adventure.  I'm looking forward to the coming year and all the excitement it promises.  Maybe you'll even get a little inspiration from some of our tales of mischief. :) - Christina