Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure Link-Up: Adventure #1

This might be the coolest thing I’ve read all day. I’m feeling inspired! Why shouldn’t we live life to the fullest?

Such Small Hands

Over the weekend I discovered Brenda’s blog Embark: Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure. Brenda invites readers to join her on fifty-two weeks of adventures for 2015.

Embark with me as I take fifty-two adventures and re-discover the joy of ordinary life being lived to its fullest.

I challenge you to find a way to learn, to grow, to care and to breathe, each day, for fifty-two weeks. Nourish your mind, soul, heart and body. And each week, go on an adventure. “

Seriously?! An adventure EVERY WEEK FOR A YEAR?! How will I contain the awesome?!?! I don’t think I have the words for how excited this made me. Maybe this picture will help explain it:

IMG_20150106_125602

Needless to say, challenge accepted, Brenda. Challenge Accepted!

I will be posting here once a week (probably on Mondays or Tuesdays) about that week’s adventure. The cool thing about this challenge is that nobody decides what counts as…

View original post 517 more words

Advertisements

Hello 2015, Let Me Reintroduce Myself

A wise man once told me that we live two lives; the life we had before and the life we started living once we realized we only live once.  I believe this to be true.  In my previous life, I was stressed out, self absorbed, overworked, underpaid, addicted to caffeine and nicotine, and my entire world revolved around dance. My life didn’t revolve around anything that actually mattered.  Now that I’ve had an awakening, my life is so much better.  I no longer ignore my body when it tells me I need a break,I listen to my husband,  I pay attention to things that matter, and surprise!  My entire world doesn’t revolve around dance.  Whew, feels good to say that out loud!  Yes, my name is April and I am a former danceaholic.  I still love dance and I always will, but it doesn’t consume my entire existence anymore.  I make time for things that actually matter.  I listen and communicate more effectively.  I do things that I love to do, but I wasn’t making time for.  I take the time to cook our meals instead of getting fast food.  I spend quality time with my husband and our fur babies.  I take the time to take care of my health.  I meditate.  I pray.  I work on my relationship with God.  I appreciate what I have and life is amazing!  IMG_0402 boys1 DSC_0665 IMG_0552 IMG_0378 IMG_0839 DSC_1032 gussy11

take a deep breathe…and exhale

I want to let go and not stress over every detail.  I have been saying my daily affirmation.  “I will not stress over things I  can not control.” We are five days into 2015 and I can already feel myself clinching up and stressing.  I’m not proud of it.  I am trying.  Today I caught myself stressing.  I could feel the stress radiating off my body.  So how do you channel that negative stress into positive energy?  You take a deep breathe, say a prayer, and exhale.  This is easier said than done, but it’s worth it.  I promise, it’s not just hot air that I am releasing.  I’m releasing negative energy.  I’m letting go of things that I can not control.

Every day it gets a little easier for me and I hope for someone out there it will for them too.  My friend today reminded me that we aren’t in control of anything except our actions.  That’s a great reminder that I think everyone needs to be reminded of.  We have to let things go and just exhale.  If we don’t, the negative will eat us alive. For those that of that are weak, we will not get stronger.  For those of us that are sick, we will not get well.  Let it go!

Forgive yourself for your mistakes, let go of things you can’t control, and take things one step at a time.

Have a blessed day,

April
10394814_882365378464802_1811531359130347621_n

Who Are You?

Happy Sunday, Y’all!  Today in church we talked about being truthful to ourselves and our personal relationships with God.  Our pastor keeps it real and I love it.  Today we talked about how going to church doesn’t necessarily mean you have a one way ticket to Heaven and how to truly understand your path with God.  Church is a wonderful thing and it’s meant to bring a sense of community and family to one another.  Church is awesome and I look forward to Sundays, but I don’t look forward to Sundays because it’s the only time I praise him.  I look forward to Sundays to learn new things, rejoice with others, and I can share my story with the lord .  The most important part of anyone’s journey with God occurs outside the walls of where you worship.  It occurs when no one else is around.  Your relationship with God is just that.  YOURS.  Do you know what the best part of that is?  No one can take that from you.  Ever!

Over the years, I have found God, lost my way on the path, and that was a vicious cycle.  I thought we had found our home with a wonderful church congregation in New Albany, Indiana a few years ago, but life happens and we decided it was time to move to Paducah, KY to be closer to family.  When we moved, we were so sad about moving away from our church and so biased that we didn’t even attend another one.  We reverted back to our old selves and old ways of thinking we knew what was right for us, instead of listening to God. It took almost three years and countless sob stories before we knew that it was time to change our focus and really listen to God.  After almost a year of excuses on reasons why we couldn’t attend church with one of our dear friends, we went with her last week for the first time.  It was amazing.  I feel so ashamed that it took this long for us to find our way, but I know that God loves us and he died for our sins.  He died so we could breathe and live through him.

Our phone rings a lot less these days and not nearly as many visitors as we used to have, but I’m not upset.  I know I speak for both my husband and I when I say that we were ready to ready for our awakening with God and it is already amazing.  We take time each and every day to communicate our problems, pray, and meditate on the Lord’s word.  We may not be the life of the party any more in others’ eyes, but we could not be happier.  We are stronger in each and every way knowing that we are on the right path.  I hope this inspires someone to stop making excuses and really listen to what God is saying to you.  I know I know wake up each day and can’t wait to see what God has in store for us, rather than carefully walking on eggshells to avoid the personal explosions of everyday life.

Have a blessed Sunday,

April
85daf6a4840bfc5f837a9435862d4524

Change of Focus

5386d0ffb4dbb71556ef2195d9e45f43What a dreary afternoon this Saturday is.  It’s raining, it’s gloomy, and my only plan for the rest of the day is to spend it at home.  When I find yourself at home with no plans, my brain starts to wonder.  I have had a bad habit in the past that I’m trying to shake this year.  It’s called being stressed.  Heard of it?  I’m sure you have been there.  My horrible habit is that I tend to stay that way.  I stress about every little detail of every possible situation. Now, what I’m about to tell you has changed my entire thought process and when you say it, you must say it out loud.  Are you ready?  Ok, now repeat after me, “I can not stress about things that I can not control.”  Since I’m on a different path these days, I have to repeat this affirmation to myself about a hundred times a day.  I have learned to change my focus. Even though it’s a daily struggle, I stopped focusing on how stressed I am and I remember how blessed I am. I’m blessed that I have a loving husband because I am not in this battle alone. I am blessed that I am full because it means I have food in my fridge.  I am blessed that I have dirty laundry, because it means I have clothes on my back. I am blessed that I have aches and pains because it means I am alive.  I am blessed that I have bills to pay because it means I have a roof over my head.  Change your focus.  Change your perception. Remember that nothing is permanent and everything can change in the blink of an eye. Be blessed and not stressed.

Have a great afternoon,

April

Dance-Solutions?

My shimmy sister (who shall remain nameless) and I have made a “dance-solution” to each other every year since we’ve met.  Last year our “dance-solution” was to “go big or go home”.  Well, we went big.  Real big.  So big that it was like an atomic bomb when our dreams came crashing down and we both went into seclusion.  Thank goodness our atomic bombs were not simultaneous and when the other was down, we were able to pick each other up.  We both had a pretty strange dance year.  Our dance-solutions ended with a bang on both ends.  We can honestly say that we accomplished our goals no matter how we felt after it was over.  We went big AND went home.  I always encourage dancers to go out while they are on top.  You should leave your mark at the highlight of your career.  I can say that. I will always choreograph for the kids and continue to make their dance experience unique, but I took my final performance curtain call on Dec 15, 2014 and I have no intention on performing again.  My shimmy sister went the other direction and performed more.  She’s discovering dance outside of our little town and I couldn’t be more proud.  For someone who is so quiet and reserved, on stage you would never know that.

So what did we promise to encourage each other this year?  Our 2015 Dance-solution is understanding that “we are enough”.  How to be content with the person inside and truly believe that the grass isn’t always greener.  We both have very special qualities, especially as choreographers, and we have something to say. We have a voice deep inside no matter what others might think.

So, my shimmy sister, I promise you that this year I will look deep inside and see that I am enough.  I love you, Doll!  Let’s make our 2015 “dance-solution” the best one ever!

10915201_10152470019951637_2815966320845432791_n

The day I never thought would come

Happy 2015 Everyone!  As a former bartender, I really enjoy watching the ball drop on tv these days rather than getting dolled up to go out on NYE.  Something about New Year’s Eve that brings out the people who NEVER go out in public and probably shouldn’t.  So many things to be thankful for right here in my living room.  I no longer feel the need to go out and validate myself by putting on a cocktail dress, attending some party that my husband nor myself really want to be at, and then coming home and plastering it all over social media.  What’s the point?  I’ve never understood how that is so important to some.  Personally, I’ve never been so happy to ring in a new year and I can admit that I actually shed a tear when the clock turned to the stroke of midnight.  I kissed my husband, we toasted our mimosas in our pajamas, and I had a sigh of relief. I felt at peace knowing that 2014 was finally over.  616a843fa0  A brand new chapter.  People make all sorts of resolutions for a new year. Do you want a new job?  Do you want to lose weight?  Maybe you want to move half way across the world?  I have one solution.  Just do it!  Whether it’s a right or wrong decision, at least you decided to do something with your life.  This is your chance to begin again.  Now, I need to clarify this affirmation.  You can “begin again” any minute of any day of the year.  The moment you chose to start living your life, is the moment that you begin again.  My personal journey actually began weeks before 2014 ended.  Ringing in the new year was just a sign of relief that my horrible year was finally over.  So what are my plans as I begin again? 10406439_902753569736860_2793804192892992939_nI think Tony Gaskins really nailed it on the head with these goals. My husband and I really sat down before the year ended and really talked about what we wanted for our new year.  We decided that 2015 for us is all about growth and new opportunities.   We know that coming out of 2014 that life can change in an instant and how we are not prepared for those situations.  So we sat down and made a plan.  A plan that includes us reconnecting with God, furthering our educations, strict financial guidelines, and really making a life for ourselves.  By really communicating with each other, there is no guessing game.  We really know what the other one wants and needs. This is 2015, my friends.  Bad situations are going to happen,  the unexpected will present it self, the devil will try to persuade you in the wrong direction, but if you put your faith in the Lord there is no possible way you can go wrong.   If you are stuck on things from your past, there is no possible way your future is going in the right direction.  We need to strive each and everyday to make our lives better than the day before.  Rid yourself of the hatred and negativity.  ALWAYS BE POSITIVE.  Stay humble, stay grateful, and stay grounded.  I’ve made way for the new in 2015 and look forward to each and every moment of it. Any given moment can be your moment to make way for the new, you just have to seize it.

God Bless,

April