Tag Archives: #inspiration

Universal language

This is one of my favorite stories while vacationing in Europe. Early on, when we got to the Neteherlands, one of the lens in my glasses fell out. It fell on the floor of the car. The screw had come loose on the side. I had nothing to tighten it with and didn’t know if perhaps it was stripped. I use these glasses for near sightedness. Most of the time, I don’t need them except if I want to see a sign or read something far away while driving, so I use them for driving. I went a couple of days without driving so I didn’t really need them. When we got to Marseille, France from Utrecht, Netherlands, a few days later, I decided to go get them fixed.

I’m just going to admit it was a bit scary driving in France, especially at the roundabouts where it seemed to be a free for all. It’s hard enough driving in a foreign country, not knowing some of the signs, and not able to read or speak much French at all besides saying, bonjour, and merci! Anyway, I carefully drove myself to an eyeglass store. I made it through numerous roundabouts on the way!

When I got inside of the store, a young woman behind the counter said, “Bonjour! blah, blah, blah, blah.” She basically said, “Welcome, how can I help you?” I smiled and placed my hand on my upper chest near my throat and higher heart, and said, “English.” She said in broken English as best she could that it would be no problem. She was very eager to help me. I showed her my eyeglasses and told her I either need an eyeglass kit or I need someone to fix them for me. She took them to the side and looked at screwdrivers near her, trying to tighten it but none of them worked. Then she disappeared into the back of the store. She quickly came back and asked me to come with her. I went with her into the area where you order your glasses. She asked me to sit in one of the chairs and to wait five minutes. She assured me it would only be five minutes before she went to the back of the store.

I sat there wondering what she was doing with them. I knew I needed new glasses but this wasn’t the time for it. I wondered how I would tell her I couldn’t buy glasses just yet since I was just passing through town. I wondered if the lens was too scratched up. I wondered if the screw was stripped and couldn’t be used. I worried if it would be expensive to fix. As my mind was wondering and wandering all over the place, she soon came back. She was polishing the glasses as she was walking from the back of the store to me, smiling and very happy. Did I mention she was very happy to help me?

She came to me, and handed me the glasses, all smiles. I was smiling and grinning from ear to ear. I felt so silly for worrying about all that stuff. I asked her, how much did it cost. She pulled her jacket away from herself, and showed me her name tag. I looked at it, I smiled, and said, “oh, Lisa!” I asked her again, how much did it cost. She looked at me with a question on her face. Then, understanding, she excitedly said to me as best she could in English and hand gestures, “No charge!” I was so filled with relief and gratitude. I said, “Thank you. Merci! Thank you so much!” And then I reached out to hug her and she hugged me. It was so precious. Just the utmost tender moment with someone I could barely talk to or understand.

Smiles, hugging, and in general gestures of friendship, goodwill, and love is a universal language! I walked back to my car just feeling ten feet tall, feeling encouraged, feeling light, and yes I cried tears of joy! On my European trip, the most important thing I learned was to say hello and thank you in whatever was the spoken language in the country I was visiting. I am very happy to know that people are generous and kind people everywhere I go!

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Second Chance

One of my favorite pastime is self reflection, introspection, and gratitude for all I’ve been given through the years whether pain, sadness, loss, happiness, triumph, and gain. I spent a good amount of time in self contemplation on my birthday this last weekend. Self reflection is a great way to improve upon my life to learn and grow from missteps and to break cycles. During my 52 years of life, I have had many rebirths and restarts. My greatest rebirth, and truly second chance, was losing the label of mental illness. Now I wear the label of mental health and mental wellness.

Without looking back on what it meant to have mental illness, I want to share about being given a second chance at life on my terms, in my own unique style, in total consciousness, and knowing I get to choose each step of the way. Before, I used to live like a zombie, all of my emotions shut down, I felt so dead since I was heavily medicated because life felt so bad and painful. I couldn’t face the feelings of all the bad things that had happened to me. I was numb to life.

Now, post medication, I live with all the feelings and emotions I want to feel. It’s like a smorgasbord of feelings! Woohoo! It feels good to be alive, even when I cry, it feels good to cleanse my soul! I love a good cry. I don’t cry like I used to. I cried like it would never end (when the medication wasn’t working). I cried like my soul was eternally broken and fractured. Now I cry just because something is beautiful, happy, or sad. I’m a deep feeling soul in a human body that is touched by life as I allow it into my conscious awareness through daily experiences. I allow in as much as I want to, participate when I want to, and how I want to.

It’s never too late for a second chance. There are many opportunities for a do over, if you are willing to recognize it, willing to accept where you are then find a way to move forward. One of the most important lessons I learned in therapy is I always have choices. Wait, no the most important one is to love myself. I don’t know, those two are very big lessons for me! It’s hard to say which was the most important lesson. Lol.

I’m just saying life is full of second chances. There is always another choice, pathway or decision to make. Life is full of experiences and I don’t want to miss a second of it. I consciously choose where I’m going, who I’m going with, what I’ll be doing, and how I will interact with my environment. This is the ultimate power anyone can have over one’s life. To live life consciously and passionately and in love with every single moment whether it’s a positive one or challenging one. Everyday, every moment is an opportunity for a second chance to do life differently, and on your own terms. Let love lead the way. Listen to your heart.

Reading & Writing

From a very young age, I’ve always loved the written word. I loved to read and I could not get enough of it. No one had to tell me to read, in fact, no one did. I just enjoyed getting caught up in an adventure. I was a very lonely and shy child. We moved around, a lot. I rarely went to the same school each year. When I went to a new school, I had to take tests to see which grade to put me in since I didn’t have records. I also had to get new immune shots for every new school as we didn’t have those records either! I was a very sensitive child, and I hated those needles. I cried every single time. We were poor so I didn’t have very many of my own books other than what the school gave me. My life was very traumatic and so I just used reading to escape from it. For many years, I really didn’t talk a lot about the trauma because it made many people feel uncomfortable. I learned to keep my mouth shut which was not a very empowering choice.

I needed to tell my story. For the most part, I learned to talk about my trauma in therapy or with very close friends. My story really isn’t meant for everyone but I now know it was not good to shut down around people. I walked around with a general feeling of rejection and self loathing because I didn’t feel accepted. I didn’t realize this wasn’t true, I simply had shut down because some people didn’t like my stories. Not everyone would have rejected me telling the stories. Sometimes people didn’t want to hear them simply because they couldn’t accept another version of reality, they could not comprehend why I hurt so badly.

At some point, I learned to write my feelings down. I didn’t dare share the writings with anyone. What would happen if anyone knew what I was really thinking or feeling?? My thoughts were private and hidden. I felt better getting it out though. Writing is a very powerful tool for people who especially have a hard time expressing themselves. I didn’t talk much but I sure could write. Now that I’m on the other side of my healing, I did learn to effectively share my experiences in therapy, I am able to talk about whatever. I am able to share with others without breaking down in tears, severe anxiety or unable to function afterwards because the telling was so traumatic.

Writing has been very therapeutic for me. It has been an effective tool for my own healing. I feel like I’m writing a good friend, which is me. You can write yourself anything you want, exactly like in the reading where you can go on any adventure you choose. Hehe. I have not written much lately which I realize I was missing very much. I miss the daily visits with getting thoughts out of my head onto paper or the computer screen. It’s one of the ways I connect to myself like in meditation or going on a long walk.

I’m a very deep thinker and introspective. I think about life, people, and the state of the world. I think about heavy topics, my family, and how to make a difference in the world. I think about things that are important to me, but don’t we all? The most important thing I want to say in this post is that people want to be seen, they want to be witnessed and heard; it is a common trait in humanity, especially in children. If you don’t get this as a child, you grow up feeling invalidated and having an inferiority complex that needs years of therapy to heal! This is at the heart of why I learned to love myself. I learned to read, write, witness others and myself. I learned to give myself my own ear, my own heart and my own time. I learned to speak about it, write about it, and heal myself.

Today, I share my stories, not because I want to be witnessed but to uplift someone else. I share to bring light upon a subject or raise awareness. I share because it might help someone get a different perspective. I share to heal because I’ve been there. I share to let others know it’s okay to talk about it. I share to inspire and give hope. It’s okay to be open and vulnerable. I share because I can. I share because I care. Remember, love yourself always!

Peace, Love & Goodwill

It’s Christmas time! Miraculously, some people have all their shopping done, they have their presents wrapped and under the tree, the house is fully decorated inside and out! They know what they’re going to serve for the Christmas meal and already baked a gazillion dozen of cookies for friends, family, and neighbors! Me? Not be a long shot! I have much admiration for those people though and wish I could get my act together. For many, it’s chaos, worry, lack of money, resources, friends, family, and loneliness.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t even know about Santa except for the times we watched him on TV if we had a (we were very poor). We didn’t always have a TV. Santa was a made up character from cartoons, like Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, daffy duck, and others. I knew adults used him to get children to behave themselves or Santa wouldn’t bring them a present. I was always good so I knew he was fake! Lol. We didn’t always celebrate Christmas either. I didn’t understand what it was about. My earliest memory of Christmas, I might have been four years old. We might have had a tree, but I remember me and my 3 siblings, received one of those free little bibles. I didn’t know about toys, clothes, decorations, etc…I think people put too much pressure on themselves at Christmas time. My mother did the best she could with what she had for her children.

So many people out there saying, “I just want to give my kids a good Christmas!” What is a good Christmas? What does that look like for you? In my mind, a good Christmas is having a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and surrounded by the people you love. The message has been sorely lost. The message is peace, love, and goodwill towards all people! Yet we have divisions on this planet by color, race, religion, sex, politics, and all other manner of petty issues. We try to take care of me and mine, and blind to the needs of others. Peace, love, and goodwill towards all people! We try to get that one present we think will make someone happy or make ourselves happy, yet forget about peace, love, and goodwill towards all people.

I know Christmas time is a good time to be with friends and family. It’s a nice thing to share gifts with one another. I’m certainly not downing that part because I’ll be here with my own around my tree, sharing love, gifts, and a nice meal. It’s a perfect time to mend a wound. It’s a perfect time to say, “I love you.” It’s a perfect time to give from the heart. Of course, any time is a good time to do those things, I believe the message of peace, love, and goodwill towards all people should be 365 days of the year! This is the heart of my message, don’t let this perfect opportunity slip by you. Let Christmas be in our hearts year round. The gift of Christ was to remind each other that we are loved, that we can be peacemakers, we can spread goodwill towards ALL people.

Remember, let’s give the gift of a smile, a hug, forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, patience, kindness, time, merriment, and goodwill. Merry Christmas!

Photo credit:<a href="http://unsplash-logoAndreea Radu“>

Conscious Living

Years ago, I was in a support group for people who had suffered various childhood traumas.  I had severe depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder.   Frequently, we’d all share how we spiraled down due to the negative voices going on inside.  One woman, called the voices, “The committee.”  The committee would call her names.  The committee would say she’s ugly, not trying hard enough, a failure, dirty, embarrassing, unlovable, evil, unworthy, and so on.  We all were fighting our own negative messages.   To a certain extent, everyone has to fight negativity, even those who don’t have a mental illness or have not been abused.  We each have a shadow side to contend with.

Since I have healed from my mental illness, I have learned to live consciously, and  set up a new committee in my head.  This committee tells me to keep going when I feel like giving up.  This committee reminds me I am loved, I am beautiful, worthy, and I am strong when I start to feel otherwise or life is getting me down.  This is the beauty of living consciously, I set my own messages and I disregard any that do not agree with me nor serve my highest good.  Any messages now, that brings me down, they’re instantly tossed away.  In doing so, I don’t spiral down.  I use the positive committee, instead, to spiral up!

This is the essence of conscious living whether you are struggling with mental health issues, negative influences or messages from relationships and society in general.  There is negativity all around, but I don’t let it bring me down, instead I consciously choose where my thoughts will go, because thoughts direct our actions.    It means I’m choosing where I go, who I spend my time with, what programs on TV that lift me up and which ones take me down.  It’s choosing what I eat, where I live, and what I breathe!  There clearly are negative influences in this world and then there are the lifegiving ones.  I choose the lifegiving ones that support me, my lifestyle, my personality, and quirks.  Remember, there is always a choice to react to negativity or respond with grace and compassion.

So when the dark clouds come, and sometimes they do, I listen to my new committee, who I sometimes call my higher self, my inner self or soul.  I listen to the voices that give hope, life supporting and ultimately leads to my freedom from darkness, and into the light.  I spiral up, instead of down.    Another aspect of conscious living, is trusting in my heart.    When I’m sad and feeling unlovable and unloved, I place my hand on my heart.  I feel it beating, and tune into it  The heart knows a lot more than my mind.  My heart’s message is, “You are loved.” “You are worthy.” “ You are strong.”  “You are enough!”  “Love yourself!”  As I love myself, I spiral up even higher!  Live consciously by loving yourself, and trusting your heart.

Love for Every day

A lot people wait until they’re death bed to finally forgive and let go.   They wait until they’ve been given their last few months and go out to make amends with people, get their affairs in order, tell everyone who is important to them how much they love them.    I wonder what would I do if I was told that it was my last year, my last month, my last hour, or last minutes.  What would I do?  I’ve lived sort of a full life.  I don’t exactly recall anyone I need to go and forgive or someone to go love.  I have strived to live every day as if it were my last one.

So I’m going to ask you, what are you waiting for?  What did you always want to go do?  Who do you need to call?  Who do you want to reconcile with?  What was that argument you had which ripped your relationships apart?  Could you do it?  Is it important to you?  Do you absolutely love your life and the people who are in it?   Is there someone to invite over?

This is not a fearmongering or doomsday type message.  It’s simply your wake up call.  It’s your permission to go and do what is meaningful and important to you (so long as it doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s right to pursue love, liberty and happiness.)   I’m serious here!  It’s okay to call someone I hurt and say, “ I’m sorry for my actions or inaction.”  It’s really okay to take personal responsibility.  It’s okay to say, “Can we start over?  Can we try again?”  It’s okay to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me!”  It’s okay to say, “I forgive you, I love you, whatever it was doesn’t matter right now today!”   It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry for the words I spoke.  I’m sorry I judged you.  I’m sorry I let trivial things get in the way.”

See how easy it is?  See how easy it is to love your self and then love others?  See how simple the process could be?  Maybe the other person won’t be ready to forgive or move on, but that’s a reflection of them, and not on you.  We can all stop with the guilt and shaming of ourselves and others in the name of being right or whatever you want to call it.  I’m telling you, my dear, when the final curtain drops and the lights go out, some things in this life just won’t matter.  What are you making a big deal of right now that won’t matter when this life is done?  Go ahead and fix it now.  Fix it for love’s sake.  Fix it for compassion sake.  Fix it because you really want to.  Fix it because you are ready to move on to other things.  Fix it for no reason, but because you can!

Love is always ready to love again.  Love is always ready to forgive.  Love is compassion.  Love is forgiving.  Love is getting up and trying again.  Love patiently waits and willingly forgives.  Go ahead and give out that compassion, forgiveness and love like candy!  Just pass it out and give it away to those who matter to you.  Give it to the brokenhearted and those in need.  Give it freely from your heart.  Love is always standing by to love some more.  Love is the answer.  Love yourself.  Love your life.  Love is the most important thing.   In the end, only love remains.

Freedom from fear!

I’m lying down in bed, propped up by two pillows, as I write this blog post. Sometimes life is exhausting, and no matter how much I want to participate in it, I might shrink back out of fear! I have to consciously break through the fear barriers almost everyday. Every new day, is an invitation from life to come out and work, play, enjoy the world, be alive! Life is constantly presenting itself. Maybe there’s a moment of laughter when you see something funny. Or there’s grief and sadness due to the floods and devastation around the world. Maybe there’s comfort and warmth when you see someone helping another. This is the stuff of life!

I ask myself from my bed, what can I do? Well I can pray. I can write notes. I can post encouraging stuff on mass media. Yet sometimes it’s a challenge to roll out of bed. I can send money or encourage others to send money or goods. It’s all in perspective. Everyone can do something. If you smile at a neighbor, help a friend or take a nap because you’re tired, loving yourself, it’s enough. It’s more than enough! You are enough!

Too many days, I’ve had inspiration come to me and I didn’t act upon it because I was afraid. I wanted to speak up. I wanted to say something nice and helpful or I wanted to speak against something horrible but I told my voice to be quiet. I told myself, “no you don’t do that!!!” Yet today, I’m kicking my fear out! I’m telling it to shut the f**k up! I’m telling it, “you’re not welcome here!” I’m not going to allow it to paralyze me anymore. This is all part of my journey. I appreciate all my friends, family, and fans who are patient with me. Those who loudly or silently stand by and cheer me on! Thank you so much! I appreciate those who understand my secret struggle to come out of my shell and be all that I can be, which is enough!

Anytime you see me posting something, that’s me giving birth to a new version of myself who is not afraid. It’s me shedding layers of fear and and holding back from being my true self. It’s me bursting out of the shell that has kept me in constraints! Maybe this post sounds a bit like I’m self absorbed but I’m really thinking of others. I’m thinking of others who have fears or anxiety of putting yourself out there. I’m thinking of people who doubt themselves or have low confidence.

My writing is really to inspire others. I share about my overcoming just to inspire someone else to overcome, too! It’s because I love myself and I love the world. I want everyone to feel empowered and special. I want everyone to not be afraid to shine their light and offer the gift of themselves to the world. I want everyone to experience this freedom from fear! Loving and accepting others is the best gift to anyone, to release fears, and live in personal freedom and empowerment. I love myself, and release all fears that do not serve my highest good.

Zombie’s Hunger For Life!

I really try not to think about zombies but every now and then I see them on TV.  The zombie anomaly is very strange. Then one day I got to thinking deeply about it. I do think about things very deeply. Lol. It troubles me that this person who was dead not too long ago reanimates itself. In my opinion, it doesn’t come back to life. It simply muscle and tissues that have some knee jerk desire to seek out human flesh and blood. It has an insatiable appetite. It’s not really feeding itself, but what is it doing? I don’t think it’s really hungry. If it is hungry, it’s hungry for life! It’s hungry for what all of us who are living and breathing and have blood flowing through our veins, which has a consciousness. Zombies do not have a consciousness. They are not not deliberately
feeding on people. They’re not consciously choosing because if they were, they wouldn’t eat me and they’d go sit in a corner or something when done eating. No, instead, they just go look for their next live person or animal to eat.

This all got me thinking about my own life. Am I living consciously? Am I eating consciously? Do I live intentionally? What am I doing or not doing that I want to change? Am I happy with how my life has turned out? I think about these things but zombies don’t. These zombie creatures are hungry for the blood of life! What am I doing with my own blood? Am I experiencing life in all of it’s fullness, beauty, and glory? Or am I just following a knee jerk script that the world says I should be doing? I am a conscious person. I’m alive! I’m breathing! I can play! I can work! I can dance! I can eat when I want! I can sleep when I’m tired! I can daydream any time I want! I can love and be loved! I’m not a mindless machine, I have a soul, a heart and ability to choose. Today, my soul consciously choose love, peace, and harmony for myself and the world.

Seasons Change

I keep going back to the turning points in my life. I turn a corner and I realize there’s yet another corner to turn! I build my momentum and excitement to get to the next corner. Sometimes there’s a huge celebration, other times, I’m thinking, “why did I bother?” Every time I think I’m enlightened, I realize there’s more enlightenment or levels of awareness. Lol. Then I realize, I know nothing about enlightenment!

I’m just very excited. I’m excited about all the twists and turns my life has taken. I’m excited because I was stuck in a downward spiral and now I’m just constantly going upward and just when I think I can’t go any higher, I’m lifted even higher! I seem to be constantly gauging my reactions to the stimuli that life presents to me. I wonder if I’m over reacting, overly excitement, or if I’m not excited enough. I’m naturally analytical and introspective mostly towards myself and the things I’m engaging with in my life.

There have been some very defining moments in my life when everything changed. I’m talking about changing from someone who took numerous psychotropics to none; someone who was very depressed, psychotic, and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder. I have recently discovered that most of the changes in my life, although they came about from a specific catalyst, the biggest factor that took me to a mentally healthier version of me, was letting go of fears. I let go of the fears of the unknown. I stopped worrying about what others would think. I stopped worrying about being judged. I stopped wondering what if something went wrong and instead dreamed about things going right. I stopped the fearful thoughts that swirled around and around in my head. They certainly weren’t working for me!

I also decided to believe change is possible. I decided to bet on me. I decided to try anything and everything to radically switch the direction of my life instead of going with the same old status quo. There really are seasons of our lives. It’s important to recognize what season I’m in, in order to switch between seasons with grace and ease, and fearlessly. It’s nice to add a bit of inquisitiveness. What is around the corner? What is just around the river bend? Where is the bend in the road leading me to? Can I just peek a little bit as I hurry over there? I’m not afraid, simply because I’ve turned so many corners, despite sometimes not even knowing what to expect (although I did expect something good, at least).

The biggest factor which effected the direction I took, as the seasons changed, was questioning my fears, my self talk, and fear mongering. I especially like to question when someone else tries to tell me what is best for me. I definitely question prolific fear mongering in all of it’s forms. Pretty soon here, I’m going to start a rant about fear mongering. The biggest fear mongering that annoys me is the fear of judgement. I will be the first to admit that I used to be very fearful of judgement, especially judgment from God. However, I don’t live with this fear anymore. It was a very long season of my life, in which I feared judgement from God. However, the season has changed. I am happier and freer since I let go of this fear and many other fears. Every now and then, someone will do a little bit of fear mongering to suck me back into it, by telling me that God’s going to come judge me, but I don’t buy into it.

The final indication of the season changing is that I’m willing to write and talk about letting go of fears! I no longer fear what people will say about my changing my mind about fears. I changed my mind about God’s judgment. It’s a brand new season! This is a huge step because it’s sort of the precursor to another book I’ve been writing. The message here, right now, is that people change their minds about things, their beliefs and their ideas, and it’s totally okay! It’s okay to question my beliefs. It’s okay to say, “That sounds like bullshit!” I used to be afraid to question things, and I loathed myself.  Now, I love myself and I allow myself to have different beliefs than others. It’s about being true to me and what works for me. I live from the heart. I ask myself, “what would love to do?” I do this because I personally believe, love is the answer.   Seasons change.

Live, Breathe, & Laugh!

Opening up myself to spend time with other people, naturally, I learned of different practices to further grow myself. One person I met is a laughter leader, Joan. She talked about the benefits of laughter. I was immediately in love with the idea! I didn’t know how to laugh much, I was so serious all of the time. I was serious about improving my health, and overcoming my past, not realizing the seriousness was hindering the healing! Lol. I had been clinically depressed for so long, I had to learn a new way of being! I no longer identified as “mentally ill” and definitely didn’t like labels of any sort. Yet, I didn’t know another way.

So, I went to laughter club to check it out. At laughter club, we sit around and just laugh! Hahaha. We do fun stuff. One of the laughter leaders call it “kindergarten for adults!” We just learn to play and be lighthearted again like little children.  It really does cut down on the stress and helps to change my perspective. It’s just being in the moment. Does it solve all the issues I might be dealing with? No, but it helps to clear my mind and thoughts so I can make better decisions from an empowering position rather than fear or worry.   Laughter is a form of releasing like tears.  You release what is weighing you down.   It raises your energy!  Laughter is good medicine!

Shortly after I joined the laughter club, I heard about World Laughter Day. All the laughter clubs around the world do something to celebrate it. Ours rode the lite rail, sharing brochures, laughing with others and doing some of our laughter exercises. At the time, I was still very shy. I worried I wouldn’t be able to laugh or smile at others in the general public. However, I knew I would not be happy if I was not fully into it. So I decided I would be fully into it. I let go of my fear of people and let myself be happy around others. It was the most wonderful and fulfilling time of my life. Just sharing the gift of smile or laughter with others!

I was also in the process of publishing my first book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself! I had written it, had it professionally edited, formatted it and had the sample copy in hand. It was ready! But I was so afraid to press that button to go live! After my day of riding the lite rails, being open and free with the public, I had nothing left to fear! Nothing at all! I went home and courageously went live with my book. It was one of the most exhilarating and freeing moments of my life (next to giving birth to my children!) Hehehe. Ho ho ha ha ha!

There will be sad days days but I have learned to laugh at the absurdity of life. I don’t think it’s meant to be so serious. We are meant to play and have fun as we go about our days. Little moments of sadness, is just that, little moments and not meant to go on for years. It took me many years to learn to lighten up! I experience all the feelings and emotions of life with the understanding that, “this too shall pass.” It helps to let out a whopping belly laugh! Hehehe. No, I’m not positive all of the time, I just don’t let sad times define or color my whole life. Life has many arrangements of experiences.  Live, breathe, and laugh!!!  Boohoohahahaha!!!