Publisher - May 2024

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what the storm is all about.” —Haruki Murakami

People are exhausted by life right now. As I feel the heaviness pulling on my spirit, I am becoming more resolute about what I want, and even more so about what I don’t want.

I am beginning to deeply grasp the grave reality that life is short, which urges me to make the days of my life filled with meaning, joy, and happiness. If you feel the same way I do, we have to figure out what to incorporate into our daily living to feel alive and joyful. More importantly, and perhaps the first step, is to decipher what we need to eliminate from our daily living (or mindset) to lift the load?

Back when I had a life coach, she would drill me, staring me in the eyes, asking, “Who are you?” When I would answer, she would immediately counter with, “Who are you really?” This would go on for six or seven rounds until I was a puddle on the floor, stripped to my inner core, where fear, doubt, and sadness dwelled. It was difficult to peel back all those layers but so worth it to remember who I really am.

Believe me, there have been times I’ve had to reflect and write down what I like to do because I had lost myself and given of myself so much, I had forgotten.

Wouldn’t it be great to take the month of May to rediscover what brings you joy and makes your heart sing? If we did this, the exhaustion and heaviness would begin to lift. I often speak to groups, both large and small, which is something that brings me great joy. I have spoken on many topics, most of them inspirational in some way. Though I haven’t done it in years, there is a poem I used to read to the audience, if I felt the occasion called for it. This poem is a great reminder to remember who you are. I haven’t read it in six years, but it came into my heart for this article, and I’d like to share it with you.

The True Meaning of Life
Author Unknown

A time comes in your life when you finally get it…
When in the midst of all your fears and insanity
You stop dead in your tracks
And somewhere the voice inside your head cries out—ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on.
And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum,
Your sobs begin to subside,
You shutter once or twice,
You blink back your tears
And begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting
For something to change…
Or for happiness, safety and security
To come galloping over the next horizon.
You come to terms with the fact that
Any guarantee of “happily ever after”
Must begin with you…

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect
And that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve
Of who or what you are
And that is okay.

You stop complaining and blaming other people
For the things that they did to you (or didn’t do)
And you learn that the only thing you can really
Count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always

Say what they mean, or mean what they say
And that not everyone will always be there for you
And, that it’s not always about you.
So, you learn to stand on your own
And to take care of yourself.
You stop judging and pointing fingers,
and you begin to accept people as they are
and to overlook their short comings and human frailties.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself
And the world around you
is a result of all the messages and opinions that
Have been ingrained into your psyche.

And you begin to sift through all you’ve been fed
About how you should behave, how you should look,
How much you should weigh, what you should wear,
What you should do for a living, how much money you should make,
What you should drive, how and where you should live,
Who you should marry, the importance of children,
And what you owe your parents, family and friends.

You learn to open up to a new world
And different points of view,
And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are
And what you really stand for.
You begin to discard the values you’ve outgrown,
Or should never have bought into to begin with.
And in the process you learn to go with your intuition.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is
The greatest robber of all: Fear itself.
You learn to step right into and through your fears
Because you know whatever happens
you can handle it
And to give in to fear is to give away the right
To live life on your own terms.
And you learn to stand up for your life.

Slowly you begin to take responsibility for
yourself—by your SELF
And you make a promise to never betray yourself
And to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire.
And you hang a wind chime outside your window,
So you can listen to it in the wind.
And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting,
And to stay open to every possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart,
You take a stand.
You take a deep breath
And you begin to design the life you want to live—
as best you can.

Aren’t you ready to start living life on your own terms and stand up for your one precious life? I can already feel things shifting. Can you?

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen