Sunday, November 5, 2017


It's the middle of the night and I am still up. I had a wonderful presentation at Pinner's Conference yesterday. I was given an hour to speak to over 200 attendees. We had more people than expected and I asked them to let anyone in who wanted to come. I left feeling just so grateful that my message was helpful. I had many women come up to me after telling me that they had come from other states just to listen to me speak... or a beautiful lady who recently lost her son in a tragic accident. I was overcome with tears and felt her pain. It was something I will never forget. I was talking to two women who said that I had been inspired to share my "pie" story. I talk about how YOUR biggest competition is YOU. Don't worry what others are doing. There is enough PIE for everyone.

UPDATE- I lost 70 lbs since last January and have kept it off for months now. WOO HOO! I work out at Orange Theory and if you leave a comment and want to know more how I am maintaining... I'll post if people are interested. I am having vein surgery on Wednesday and I knew I needed to get my "new found" love & life diet in check.


I could share so many messages that were given BACK to me. I sometimes feel VULNERABLE sharing my "real." I do it because PEOPLE MATTER. We are here to share and help others. I know I am so passionate about life and about sharing my message of GOING on after huge life trials, setbacks, heartbreak and wanting to give up. I am humbled that my mess has become my message. I am so in love with life and the trials have made me REFINED and a better me. 

It was only FIVE minutes before I was going to start. I was already deep in thought and I had just said a silent prayer. On the overhead speakers they were playing music. The song... oh the song... YOU SHOULD BE HERE by Cole Swindell came on. 

 My heart was instantly taken to Tyler. I thought how in just 10 days it will be three years since he died. I held back the tears. Oh my... he would be so proud of me. I made him a promise and I didn't think I could do it. I promised him I would GO ON. I would share my message, my faith and my story in hopes that it would help others. He knew I was ready to quit my business and just let my company go. He made me promise (because he KNEW it was my heart and passion) to NOT stop. He knew it would be my focus and help in my grieving. I want you to know that there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Tyler. He helped me in so many ways to be the strong determined and appreciative person that I need and hope to be more of. I am grateful for our hard times. I am grateful I learned so much about myself often during harder times. I know he is watching over our beautiful children, grandbabies and me. I have ZERO doubt in some way he lead Brian into my life. I seriously could write another book on this miracle. I find myself so THANKFUL that I was able to find LOVE again. My sweet husband understands me and that marrying a widow is so different than marrying someone who was divorced. YOU never stop loving. Death does not stop love. 

After I spoke at Pinner's, my husband and I were starving. We left the show and drove to a nearby restaurant to eat and talk. We were talking about how the wonderful people who came to listen to me. I saw many tears, smiles, nods and there was many connections. Brian then told me that a lady had come up to him and was buying my book. She asked him if I had talked in my book about Tyler and how I dealt with being married to someone who was very type A and controlling. As we talked, I told him I wish I had the chance to talk to her. I knew she must be in a marriage with control because she mentioned if there was like "advice" on controlling husbands.

It breaks my heart. I understand this and lived this. My children lived this... it's a hard journey to be on. I STILL loved Tyler very much. It would be such a long post and just isn't possible to do online. I will say... I had to learn to stand up for my freedom to choose. I was losing myself. It was a battle every single day. If you are married to someone who is controlling- YOU understand. It's quite painful. I was always walking on eggshells and I had to learn to pick my battles. I learned that "People will treat you the way you ALLOW them to treat you." Dr. Phil.  

I want you to know that it's a vicious head game and I often thought at times I was LOSING my mind. Tyler was "obsessed" with me. It was in my mind... due to his LOVE for me and not wanting to lose me. I was his third wife and he let me know that "divorce" was never an option. It was crazy in that I was and am so fiesty that I would do what he told me not to and tried to hide it. I would hide diet mtn dew and diet coke. I had stashes in my girls bedroom closet and my crafting closets. It was such a HUGE fight if he knew I was drinking soda. He would sometimes come home and find a drink on the counter. My heart would race to get to the soda before he saw it. It was NO way to live. I don't want to  go into more stories because IF you are living this... YOU know it. As strong as I was... I was weak. I gave in often to simply have peace. I still loved him. I wanted him to change. I prayed for years.... I just wanted him to wake up one day and not be so controlling with us. Then about 4 or 5 years before he died... I realized I could not change anyone. I could only change me and my outlook. I could love him but I had to choose ME again. I started to slowly take baby steps. I was in therapy alone. My therapist gave me this book to read- When being in CONTROL is out of CONTROL. I am not sure who wrote it. It was my life. Tyler found me reading it and tore the book up. I STILL found joy, love and happiness. I looked for peace in my own way and I truly think my friends and my children and my therapist helped me be strong. There is SO much more I could say... but I know it may sound crazy but I am a better person from being married to Tyler. In spite of his extreme control issues, he was a great person who struggled with that demon. I know that cute girl from Pinner's is going to read this... I hope I have helped YOU in some small way. I hope my book helps you too. 

So I made an announement at PINNER'S CONFERENCE. I am not sharing the details but you can sign up for the NEWSLETTER and get information if you are interested. I have created and planned a new EVENT for WOMEN only. It is going to be amazing and it's for you to be inspired, motivated, pampered and RENEWED. 

This motivational retreat will be in PARK CITY Utah. I want to SHARE more now... but I intend to share MORE with you with the debut of ALL the details on the my website in the next week. I just want you to know that for years I knew this event was to take place. It will be unlike any retreat that you have went to. It will be very small in nature and very personalized. PLEASE go to my newly debured website now (just went live less than 24 hours ago) and sign up for updates and information. 

I am headed to Park City in about 5 hours. I will be filming videos (just like the B JOURNAL ones I did for JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts) for both the new websites.... this NEW retreat and for my other event. 

I could not believe how fast the CREATE YOUR STORY event sold out. You can go to the website and get on the newsletter and waiting list. I would LOVE to have you join us in Park City at one of my upcoming events.

I cannot believe it's 3:50 am and I'm still awake. Brian is sleeping beside me and my heart and mind are just RACING with gratitude and exploding from all the good things happening in my life. I am loving my new little grandsons- Tanner and Cannon. I am loving being a mother, wife, grandmother ( I highly recommend this one!) and LOVE passionately the path and journey my company is at. 

After I got home from Pinner's I knew I needed to get all my projects, decor and such ready for my filming. I felt on FIRE again. Oh my friends... I had LOST my fire after Tyler died. I just didn't want to go on for a long time. I made some great decisions that have brought me profound PEACE (like moving my event to Park City) and deciding to GO BIG with my empowerment event for women. I have something else... very exciting that I am back doing again. I plan to share that very soon. I just want you to know that I love you all so much for being there for me... I had a harder 4.5 years... Tyler's cancer diagnosis, his death, remarriage etc. so life kind of kicked my butt. I can't help but be grateful for the bad times and the hard times because it makes me appreciate the good even more.


Saturday, November 4, 2017


I am headed to speak this morning at Pinner's Conference. I am thrilled to speak to the 200 people who got into my presentation. I am so passionate about spreading SELF LOVE. I am also announcing the newest passion event today that I am hosting for WOMEN. I promise to come back on my blog and share the details after I announce it but I wanted to share some things that I have been thinking about lately. 

The true BEAUTY of a WOMAN does not come from looking at oneself in the mirror. I have been thinking a lot about REAL BEAUTY and what makes each of beautiful. I don't believe that anyone is ugly. I do think that society wants to make us feel like we need to be perfect. I talk to thousands of women each year at events or during my speaking engagements. I have noticed some HARSH realities. TOO many of us don't feel like we are good enough, pretty enough, cool enough, and that we are beautiful. 

 listentng to my own voice. loving myself TODAY just the way that I am.
How many of you have told me that you don't want your photo taken? You don't like the way you look? You feel excluded, left out or not "in" the popular crowd- you can't compete with social media. YOU feel like every single ONE of us at some time or another. 

I have battled my whole life to love myself. I still am actually a shy person. It's so easy to compare yourself with "her."  I have had to put myself "out" there my whole life. I had at times ALLOWED myself to feel "less than" by other women. I don't do it anymore because I choose to look for "my" real beauty. 
I started looking deep inside myself to see what makes up my heart because it is the heart that determines a woman's true beauty. 

How many of you HIDE from showing the REAL you? 
Are you SCARED like me at times and in photos stand behind things to COVER up your body? Maybe you put a purse in front of your body to hide more. 
I am as guilty as anyone else. 
Do you shy away from being in a photo?
I was at ROSS last year and hide behind my new TC Magnetic Canvas Art boards. I do it...
maybe we all do it at times. I had gained some weight and I was the heaviest I had ever been. I caught myself "hiding" in photos.

I hope the real beauty of being me is seen from my eyes, because that is the doorway to my soul & heart. This is where love resides within me. This photo is after Tyler passed away at his grave. I believe that LOVE for you and for others brings out the beauty in a woman. It really does not have everything to do with society's view that is all based on being physically beautiful. If we compare with the social media "girl" we will never feel or know our own beauty.

I promise you that you do not need a perfect figure to be beautiful. I am grateful I have to watch my weight and that I am not naturally thin. I have to work hard and watch what I eat. It has often humbled me in many ways. 

I often find people will tell me that my smile is real and can be felt from the depths of my heart. I love to smile and say hello to strangers.  I smile because I was so picked on in elementary and jr. high school. I was a cheerleader but never felt like I fit in and that it must have been a mistake I was made the squad. 

I never want anyone to feel "less than" because of me or my actions. I know a sincere smile can make others feel completely loved and accepted. I steer away from MEAN GIRLS. I would rather be alone than surround myself with mean people.
I think that REAL BEAUTY comes from really caring about others. I recently spoke to a group of women at the Enlightened Retreat and I told them-

"I am still the same little girl from NC. I am no better than anyone else regardless of any amount of success that I have had in this life. I tell myself all the time- Get over yourself! You have worked hard, you are blessed- but you are here to love and help others. Comparison is the thief of JOY. I want others to know that I am sincere in my kindness and desire to make friends."
I have tried to focus on my joy in life and encourage others find their own passion and job. It has made me so happy, that I want to sparkle and radiate a LIGHT of love and positive energy to others. KINDNESS matters.  I want others to feel their own beauty and be a KINDER person in a world of 

I was heavier in this photo from early Spring. I was presenting home decor at the HOME + GARDEN SHOW and I was at heavier  than I normally am- but I still LOVE me... THEN and NOW. 
mean girls and societal judgments.

REAL BEAUTY is not fake or two faced
or when you "have" to be nice.
My mother raised me so "southern." Thank you mama. (oh how I miss her!)  I am no better than anyone else and I can BUILD instead of BREAK.

I look back on my early childhood that was brutal from my father and from the children at school. I was so young and it devastated me.
I was made fun of because my mother smoked and they called me horrible names.
I remember being told that I "stank."
I was excluded and felt I was not worthy to have friends. We moved a lot when I was younger and I just "NEVER" felt like I belonged. I was struggling with the shame of my home life and abuse from my father. 
It didn't help that my mother decided to cut my long pretty blond hair to SHORT like a boy in 5th grade. Ha!

So at a young age, I decided to focus on my REAL BEAUTY. This is what I hope you will find in me if you meet me, or know me. 
I hope you will share this with your own self, your daughter, granddaughter... 
I know that SOCIAL MEDIA and feeling "like you don't fit in" can deeply scar and hurt us from finding our own real beauty.  
Again, COMPARISON is the thief of JOY.

These are the things that I CHOOSE-

I choose to speak words of kindness- this makes my lips and mouth beautiful. 

I choose to look for the good in others- this makes my eyes beautiful. 

I choose to know that I am a daughter of God and that I will never WALK alone. I can use my legs to go to those in need and help them.

I choose to LOVE myself and others. I won't allow anyone to make me feel less than. I go to so many shows and events and I see first hand how people are excluded, the cliques, and the "popular" crowd.
True story= I had someone say to me last month at another speaking engagement. "You look so great! You have lost a lot of weight. I saw a photo of you at the trade show in January and you had gotten really big." I know that this person did not intend to hurt my feelings. It was her observation. I actually did not let it hurt me in any way. I loved myself then and I love myself now

We can choose to be offended or we can "let it go."

 I will not base my worth on my weight or on what others may say about my
physical appearance. YOU should not either. REAL BEAUTY is within your heart!

Don't be afraid to leave your friend group and reach out with your HANDS to lift someone else.

Be more observant and make a difference.
REAL beauty is within you...your soul, your heart and your intentions. I felt so strongly that I needed to SHARE this message. I know it will be hard for me to push publish. WHY? 

I don't profess to be perfect or any better than anyone else. I just want to make a difference. I want to remind others to speak kindlessly to and about others and about YOURSELF.

 Remember to BUILD and not BREAK others. 

I hope to
"SEE" others and be more aware of their struggles and insecurities and help build myself and others.

Let's make a difference. It begins from within.

I have never felt more BEAUTIFUL in my entire life. It took me into my forties to STOP listening VOICES of unkind and judgment. 

I hope I see many of you at Pinner's Conference today. I am thrilled to announce some news and following my passion. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


I did it.... I followed my heart and I have moved my yearly event to Park City for 2018. I can't say it was an easy decision. I became a creature of habit. However, I knew I wanted to rebrand, personalize and move my event to closer to my home and business. So I thought I would SHARE a little about what I am doing. 
I am so truly excited to announce the rebranding of this event and the new location of my CREATE YOUR STORY Teresa Collins event.

When I decided to move the event from Vegas to Park City, Utah- I knew I wanted to create a event where you not only left with amazing crafting and meaningful projects, but also had a trip you would remember. My events are more than a project... they are all about creating with heart, passion and coming together to document our life moments.  It is my hope that those coming will see old friends and make new friends. All of us are on our own wonderful life journey and I hope by attending my events, it will not only inspire but inspire those coming to LIVE life and create memories. Create Your Story is a labor of true passion from my heart.

The 2018 event will be held at the beautiful Hotel Park City on September 21-22 2018. This has been the same weekend for many years, so we decided to keep the dates the same for this next year. It was time to find a new location that would reflect a more intimate setting.

                                                   HOTEL PARK CITY

So it’s no wonder that PARK CITY- a mountain town is known for The Greatest Snow on Earth® and the world’s best mountain biking is just the start! 

Each of the 100 luxury suites features a cozy fireplace, King-size beds, jetted tubs and a private balcony or patio with gorgeous views of the mountains, rolling golf course fairways and outdoor pool.

In the summer, mountain bike tours and rentals are available in the lobby. You will enjoy their heated mountain-view pool, full-service  spa, complimentary fitness classes and two signature restaurants – the #1 rated Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the western U.S. and Bandannas Bar & Grill.

HOTEL PARK CITY LOBBY- offers complimentary water, hot chocolate and Starbucks coffee.

Every room has free internet in guest suites and in the conference rooms. All rooms can sleep at least four or more people.

 Each and every room has a balcony to enjoy. This attention to detail was just what I wanted for those coming to my event.
 This is the cottage suites. They offer your own private hot tub and fireplace on your deck. Each room has the same beautiful view of the mountains and the water. You can fish here if you like.

 Each guest suite offers a kitchen or kitchenette so that those coming can make themselves truly at home and if they want to make their own food. We are even offering complimentary transportation to the local grocery store. 

                                            DOWNTOWN PARK CITY

 I wanted it to be an experience so I have added optional day activities on the 19th and 20th for those interested in coming early.  I offer additional Ala Carte workshops taught by creative industry designers on Thursday the 20th. 

 In addition, for anyone who would like to see and shop scrapbooking warehouses and stores around Utah we will arrange for this to happen. For anyone who will be coming in early we have arranged for trips to come explore Park City with me and my family. I will go shopping on Main Street and have a group dinner at my favorite pizza parlor with anyone who wants to join me prior to the event starting. 

I am also so excited to announce my teachers for this year.
Teresa Collins with Teresa Collins Studio & Designs, 
Margie Romney-Aslett of Spark Events
Jodi Sanford Founder & Designer of Fancy Pants Designs
Christy Tomlinson of The Planner Society & Scarlet Lime

They are truly some of the TOP leaders in the creative industry for inspiration. I am honored they said yes to come teach along me.

  Please follow my event on our official Instagram page for more information. Please come follow us even if you are not attending the event so you can see what my CREATE YOUR STORY EVENTS  is all about.

Instagram - @CreateYourStoryEvent

I am so excited for this new location, the fabulous teachers and to invite you to sign up for my company newsletter to attend this or my future Create Your Story events.  

Feel free to ask Taylor or Elsha any questions you may have. They are my two event coordinators and I could not do this without them.

Monday, October 9, 2017


I am so beyond full of joy and thankfulness. My beautiful daughter Gentry, and her amazing husband Devan delivered a darling little baby boy this morning. Cooper is now a big brother.

I was so thrilled to be able to go to the hospital with them. This meant the world to me to get to go and be there as she was having a c-section. She has had the hardest time getting to this point. We are so thankful that the MIRACLE of Tanner's birth has happened.

Gentry was calm and was just so happy to be welcoming her much wanted baby boy. She has endured three miscarriages and now has sweet Cooper and Tanner.

As we got to the hospital at 6:40 am, Zach was emailing us right then from his mission in Brazil. He was surprised and so happy to hear that we were at the hospital and that the baby was coming today.

This photo taken by Devan was my favorite. They were actually  stitchiing her closed after her c-section. The look on her face. I was immediately taken back. I have always told her she looks so much like my mother. This photo could be my mother.  Gentry looks so much like her Grandma Beal and it makes my heart happy. I loved that he captured this moment in time. 

                         October 9th 2017 
                                 9:07 am
                               19.5" long

The best part is that TODAY is Zach's 20th birthday too. He is on his mission in Brazil and I'm sure he is over the moon excited to share this special day with his cute nephew. (Little Ty and Devan share a birthday too) We made birthday video's for him to view today. I posted them on facebook and instagram if you want to see them. They are quite silly, but so me... as MOM me.


I love you both so very much.

TODAY is the BEST and I'm so thankful for this DAY...

It has been the most rewarding experience to watch my girls be mother's. I know that pregnancy and raising children is not easy.  Today in the hospital we talked about how FAMILY is the most important thing we will ever have. It's WORTH it!

COOPER turned TWO years old in May.
He is not quite so sure about the baby when he came to the hospital today. He had just wanted a puppy when told his mom was having a baby.
(family photos: HILARY HAMILTON) 

They call me grandma.
I honestly have no reservation to being called this. I decided many years ago that I wanted to be a very hands on grandmother. I want them to know me.  Cooper is home with me now and we are having a sleepover, watching Lego Batman and he's enjoying popcorn after a hour long bath (swim) in my tub. He kept saying FUN. I know he will warm up to his baby brother.f

Cooper has the little puppy I got him.  He  did his own thing and didn't want to interact too much with his baby brother.

He is perfectly healthy and doing well. 
Gentry is doing well too.
It has been an amazing day. 

Tanner you are so loved...
welcome to the world little one.
You are a dream come true. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

STRONG ENOUGH ... time to share

Oh my friends… let it all go… let it all out now. 

I am going to be honest and real and hope you see YOUR own STRONG in what I want to share today. So this last weekend I spoke at the Enlightened Retreat in Midway Utah.  I got home yesterday and I had so many moments of "awareness." My heart was so open and I had prepared for a year to share my message. I had prayed for many months to have the RIGHT message for those I would talk to. I knew I would have lots of time in the four days there to share and to receive. I get so emotional preparing for my speaking engagements. I have come to realize that speaking is a passion for me.

I love sharing my passion and appreciation for life. I know that the broken me that is so imperfect has so much happiness to share. I do love myself in the most real and honest way RIGHT now in my imperfect "self". I see my weaknesses as my greatest lessons that HUMBLE me. 

I have picked up the broken pieces of me OVER and OVER again in my life… to put my pieces back together.   I am stronger from going through EACH experience. 

So are you my friends.  This song is where I am at. It speaks to me... about me and my ongoing journey. It is so beautiful.

We are each beautiful with our chips, cracks,  lines, flaws, we make think that our scars make us UGLY. They do not! They are there to remind of each of us of how STRONG we are. After difficult times that we all have in life we can be broken with the experiences of life. I decided to start blogging again in ways to share more of my personal life and how I am allowing ME to be ME. 

I gained a lot of insight at the retreat from the yoga classes. I am still the wounded shy little girl from Hickory NC at times.  I still need to "let it all go" in a beautiful, kind and loving way to myself. 

"The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward." Quote unknown. 

Oh my ... did my soul need this message right now. As the room was quiet at 6:30 am and the sun was still down. In the darkness and in the stillness, I laid on my mat in the midst of the beautiful dark room.

 I allowed the message to sink into my inner being. It hit my heart and soul in a PROFOUND way. I saw the beauty within ME and in others MORE clearly. I saw my personal journey in its realness RIGHT now.

 I did the real ugly cry as I ALLOWED myself to mourn my pain, loss and moving on daily in my imperfect life and with my imperfect me. I realized often I keep my pain inside because I want to be STRONG for everyone around me. I run away from those feelings and I push anyone anyway that I feel will leave me. I still am scared of loss and being abandoned. 

 I was instantly taken back to the night prior to Tyler's death. He knew the time was nearing and he was in so much pain. Yet he did not want to take any pain medication so he would be awake. I could tell that as his fragile body was getting ready to go HOME to God and  he was scared to leave me. He did not want to say goodbye to "us" or our children.

 In that tender moment, he asked me to get in the bed beside him and simply hold him. As he was preparing to leave this mortal life, he cried as he let me hold him. I told him it was okay for him to GO. I told him he had done everything he needed to do. I promised he that I would be okay and that I would take care of our kids. I was strong. I even said this without crying. I needed him to think that I was strong enough.

As I was on the mat, I remembered that moment, the memory of laying in the hospital bed at Huntsmen with Tyler. It rushed into my mind and I was crippled. I cried nonstop and let my tears freely flow. I didn't believe I was strong enough then. I was so scared. I felt he was abandoning me. I I felt so alone and I felt a helpless. I realized that I was crying with so much gratitude, in that tender moment. I  heard Sadie instruct us in the yoga session to ALLOW ourselves to FEEL and accept and let anything go that we needed to.

 I cried so much that I could not open my eyes and even though most would think it was SAD tears it was actually tears of acceptance. I had to let the tears GO. I am so thankful for what and who has come into my life. It's okay to be sad over pain. It's okay to feel sad over our HARD. The song she played was the song...."let it all go" and it SPOKE to my heart in a new way.  

I had new awareness of the PAIN and the HARD I have endured. I love my broken me, my "countless" flaws, my legs with horrible veins, my stretch marks, my insecurities, my happiness in loving my insecure shy little girl from Hickory. 

I hope you will read my blog and know I am sharing because I know my TRUTH can be a way for you to see ME but see YOU in my story. We are all broken at times. We all have our HARD. We simply can't compare our MESS or HARD with that of others. We are all BEAUTIFUL in ways we don’t see and often it is allowing us to see the REALNESS in ourselves and in others.
I believe that we ALL must LET IT ALL GO... at times. I believe our hard times are actually PROOF of our fragility and that we are so much "MORE" resilient than we realize. This makes our experiences both good and the bad- beautiful. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Are you looking for the GOLD or the GARBAGE in others?

We are all doing the BEST that we CAN. Are we looking for the GARBAGE or the GOLD in others or ourself???????

Okay, I know Taylor is the one who just had the baby... Sweet Cannon Brooks Card. I have struggled for the past few WEEKS with some things that I am going to share. It's like POST feelings/ emotional/ and no I did not just have a baby... but I do have the sweetest grandson CANNON that I am missing right now. This baby boy is my GOLD. I will post all about his birth in my next blog post.

I live 20 minutes away from them and yes, I would just hold him 24/7 if I could. It's amazing how much love you can possess for your grandchildren. Okay... so here is some of my thoughts and I hope someone else can benefit from some of my REALity and feelings.

I have struggled with things that I never struggled with. I have experienced things that I did not think I would. I have felt really broken in some areas of my life. I have failed at a lot of things that I used to EXCEL at. I have also been GREAT at things lately that I really struggled with in the past. So I felt this feeling for some time. I saw a lot of people I know and love SUFFER too. They felt their GOOD was just not good enough.

Are there things weighing on your heart and in your mind? I know for me I have to say YES. The past two days Brian and I decided to "Get AWAY" and we did the Parade of Homes in Utah. We went to about 18 houses and we drove from house to house and talked for countless hours. We ended the days with late dinners for the end of our date day/nights. It was just US and we talked about things and shared things with each other. It was our TRUTHS and we are two broken/wounded people who got married and had to work on figuring out the new US. So many people look at other couples or other people and automatically make assumptions.

If you are still reading this... WOW... I will be posting this on my blog because I felt so prompted to SHARE the REALity today. I will have a hard time pressing this POST button. First, we just don't KNOW each others journey and WE share so little of our TRUTH. I am all for keeping your private private... and yet because we do, often others SEE us or our life, our situation, our marriages, our jobs, our children, etc. maybe differently.

Brian and I have struggled with our new blended relationship. It has not been easy and I realized so many people that I am close to and know and love would say things like I thought you two have the PERFECT marriage. Wow, is this even possible?

I mean, I am a hot mess at times. I have weaknesses and faults like everyone else and so does Brian. Oh no.... don't tell him I said this. ha! However, this is so much more than our marriage or our journey. I talk to thousands of women a year in my travels. events and speaking appearances. I realized that I can and be loved and LOVE others and myself by just realizing we are ALL doing the BEST that we can. It's when we STOP trying when we have a problem.

I stop myself all the time and remind myself that I am only HUMAN. We all are and we have issues. We can face them and work on them or we can be filled with depression and judgment for US and others.

I never thought about the issues Brian Webber and I would each would bring and have in a new marriage. There has been times when I thought I was too broken and everything was my fault. Then I thought the same of him. I realized I blamed and was upset over the constant toxic chaos that started at the beginning from an outside source. I have seen some of "OUR" children hurt because of this and blending US became very hard. I would say to myself... I did not ask for this.

I realized we had to have a solid US. We were focused on THEM and we had to go back to us. We had to focus on the miracle and how much we love each other and how much we believe we were meant to be together.

I just wanted peace and wanted to feel safe. I did not imagine how much craziness could come into my life unwillingly. Well we have options- we can face the HARD or we can GIVE up. We can allow or not allow the patterns to continue. So this article is one that SPOKE to me so much and I knew I had to share it. I could have written it. I realized I will be looking more for the GOLD instead of the GARBAGE in my imperfect marriage and world.

I’m sometimes amazed and embarrassed by how critical I can be — both of other people and of myself. Even though I both teach and practice the power of appreciation (as well as acceptance, compassion and more) when I find myself feeling scared, threatened or insecure (which happens more often than I’d like it to), I notice that I can be quite judgmental. Sadly, as I’ve learned throughout my life, being critical and judgmental never works, feels good or leads me to what I truly want in my relationships and in my life. 
Can you relate to this?

I’ve recently been challenged by a few situations and relationships that have triggered an intense critical response — both toward myself and some of the people around me. As I’ve been noticing this, working through it and looking for alternative ways to respond, I’m reminded of something I heard Louise Hay say a number of years ago. She said, “It’s important to remember that people are always doing the best they can, including you.”

The power of this statement resonated with me deeply when I heard it and continues to have an impact on me to this day. And although I sometimes forget this, when I do remember that we’re all doing the best we can given whatever tools and resources we have, and the circumstances and situations we’re experiencing, it usually calms me down and creates a sense of empathy and compassion for the people I’m dealing with and for myself.

Unfortunately, we tend to take things personally that aren’t, look for what’s wrong, and critically judge the people around us and ourselves, instead of bringing a sense of love, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and appreciation to the most important (and often most challenging) situations and relationships in our lives.

When we take a step back and remember that most of the time people aren’t “out to get us,” purposefully doing things to upset or annoy us, or consciously trying to make mistakes, disappoint us or create difficulty (they’re most likely just doing the best they can and doing what they think makes the most sense) — we can save ourselves from unnecessary overreactions and stress. And when we’re able to have this same awareness and compassion in how we relate to ourselves, we can dramatically alter our lives and relationships in a positive way.

Here are some things you can do and remember in this regard:

1.) Give people the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, people have good intentions. Many of us, myself included, have been trained to be cautious and suspicious of others, even seeing this as an important and effective skill in life and business. However, we almost always get what we expect from people, so the more often we give people the benefit of the doubt, the more often they will prove us “right,” and the less often we will waste our precious time and energy on being cynical, suspicious and judgmental.

2. Don’t take things personally. One of my favorite sayings is, “You wouldn’t worry about what other people think about you so much if you realized how little they actually did.” The truth is that most people are focused on themselves much more than on us. Too often in life we take things personally that have nothing to do with us. This doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us or treat us in disrespectful or hurtful ways. (It can be important for us to speak up and push back at times in life.) However, when we stop taking things so personally, we liberate ourselves from needless worry, defensiveness and conflict.

3.) Look for the good. Another way to say what I mentioned above about getting what we expect from other people, is that we almost always find what we look for. If you want to find some things about me that you don’t like, consider obnoxious or get on your nerves — just look for them, I’m sure you’ll come up with some. On the flip side, if you want to find some of my best qualities and things you appreciate about me, just look for those — they are there too. As Werner Erhard said, “In every human being there is both garbage and gold, it’s up to us to choose what we pay attention to.” Looking for the good in others (as well as in life and in ourselves), is one of the best ways to find things to appreciate and be grateful for and we remember that not everything is about us all the time.

4.) Seek first to understand. Often when we’re frustrated, annoyed or in a conflict with another person (or group of people), we don’t feel seen, heard or understood. As challenging and painful as this can be, one of the best things we can do is to shift our attention from trying to get other people to understand us (or being irritated that it seems like they don’t), is to seek to understand the other person (or people) involved in an authentic way. This can be difficult, especially when the situation or conflict is very personal and emotional to us, however it is one of the best ways for us to liberate ourselves from the grip of criticism and judgment, and often helps shift the dynamic of the entire thing. Being curious, understanding and even empathetic of another person and their perspective or feelings doesn’t mean being in agreement with them, it simply allows us to get into their world and see where they’re coming from — which is essential to letting go of judgment, connecting with them and ultimately resolving the conflict.

5.) Be gentle with others (and especially with yourself). Being gentle is the opposite of being critical. When we’re gentle we’re compassionate, kind and loving. We may not like, agree with or totally understand what someone has done (or why), but we can be gentle in how we approach it, talk about it and engage with them. Being gentle isn’t about condoning or appeasing anyone or anything, it’s about having a true sense of empathy and perspective. And, the most important place for us to bring a sense of gentleness is to ourselves. Many of us have a tendency to be super judgmental of ourselves. Sadly, some of the harshest criticism we dole out in life is aimed right at us. Another great saying I love is, “We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are.” As we alter how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to everyone else and to the world around us is altered in a fundamental way.

As the Dalai Lama so brilliantly says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Everyone around us — our friends, co-workers, significant other, family members, children, service people, clients and even the people we don’t know or care for — is doing the best they can, given the resources they have. When we remember this and come from a truly compassionate perspective (with others and with ourselves), we’re able to tap into a deeper level of peace, appreciation and fulfillment.-
written by: MIKE ROBBINS