Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning Opportunity at the Poudre River

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence 
by every experience in which you
really stop to look fear in the face."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

I believe that some of the greatest life lessons with the most growth potential initially come wrapped in not so pretty and very messy packages that we would prefer not be gifted to us.  A few days ago, I was given one of these learning opportunities.  

Two of my children, Braden and Madison, were home for a few days' visit and Braden's fiancĂ©, Alyssa, was also here with him.  We thought it would be a fun adventure to buy some intertubes from Big O Tires and tube down the Poudre River in the Poudre Canyon.  My husband, Michael, and I had seen people doing this last summer and it looked like so much fun!  We even scoped out the river the day before to decide the furthest possible point of entry to avoid the spillways and take a look at the speed of the current.  At that time, I made mental notes that there were a couple of areas where the rocks were too abundant and jagged creating turbulent rapids, and that I preferred not to tube through those.  I also made a point to express to the family that we had to have good shoes on to protect our feet from the rocks.  My expressed concerns about the rapids and jagged rocks and the importance for shoes were a little poo pooed at first as if I was being overly cautious, but I paid no mind to the skeptical looks I received from some of my family members.  I'm a mom, and it's in my nature to protect those I love and to be wisely prepared for the unknown, especially because in the Poudre Canyon there is no cell phone service whatsoever (with any provider).  So unless you find that rare call box somewhere along the long stretch there is no ability to call for emergency personnel in case of an emergency.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Life Happens in the Now

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

Life happens in the now.  

Though we can find joy and sorrow and gain valuable wisdom from our memories, there is no active life in what has already passed.  That life has come and gone and cannot be undone.

Vibrant life cannot be found in daydreaming about or dreading the future.  We know nothing about that future, near or far, because it is not guaranteed and not yet a reality.  Dreams and ideas can be used to inspire our actions in the present, but that doesn't change the fact that the future is still simply a fantasy in our mind.  

Dynamic living occurs by engaging in this very moment, with this very breath, and in the current circumstances of life.   It is in how we wholeheartedly live this moment that redeems the past and in which the future is forged.

What will I make of my life right now?
© MaryAnn Broussard

Friday, April 28, 2017

Why Don't You Fly a Little Higher

This post is dedicated to and written for my beloved daughter. 

When the storms of life feel overwhelming and invincible, I am often reminded of these words of scripture and the ones at the end of this post:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The Everlasting God…the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired.  His understanding is inscrutable.  29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.  30 Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly,31 those who]wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will develop wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”  (Isaiah 40-28-31)

The eagle signifies power, freedom, and transcendence.  It freely soars high above valley lows, mountain highs, raging rivers, and peaceful lakes.  As it spreads its mighty wings and flies high, it has the ability to see the whole of the earth while also being able to focus on even the tiniest movement and shape of its necessary nourishment.  It prefers soaring with wings spread wide rather than exerting unnecessary energy flapping repeatedly.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Purpose Draws Us Upward and Onward

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds:  Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.  Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."  -- Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

Always having an inspiring and stimulating purpose in life draws us upward and onward and makes all the difference in how we view and embrace today.  As we pursue a greater purpose in the daily and in the long-term, not only do we grow and discover more of ourselves, we also discover more about the world and people around us.  The pursuit of something greater than “me” which pushes and challenges in multiple ways draws us out of our comfortably mundane and self-centered “me” mindset and into an awe-inspiring perspective.  

Human beings were not meant to be stagnant and unchallenged.  Stagnation breeds sorrow, discontent, and bitterness.  In order to be healthy, thriving people we must create, pursue, and achieve while standing firm on the foundations of love and goodness.

Why is it that so often when a dearly loved one dies we look for ways in which to honor their memory and fulfill something in our life that they stood for or that we think they would be proud of?  

I believe it is because at a moment of most intense grief not only are we jolted awake to the fact that life is a gift and can end unexpectedly, we also look for important reasons to go on with our lives in spite of that person’s absence.  We desperately long to continue to bring value to the life they lived and the one we still get to have.  

We all need something productive and stimulating to do!  We all crave something in which throw ourselves into in order to help us not only make it through the ups and downs of life but also in order to have personal, tangible proof that our presence on this earth matters greatly.  Without purpose, we wilt and wither and lose sight of the truth that life is a beautiful and amazing gift to be enjoyed and embraced wholeheartedly. 

Life is lived right now, not in what was and not in what may be in the future. 
Life is lived with this breath, in this very moment. 
Life is lived abundantly as we hold hands with passion and purpose.

The opportunities of today and tomorrow are endless and waiting for our pursuit and discovery.  

Upward and onward!

© MaryAnn Broussard

Friday, March 24, 2017

Letting Go of Judgment

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

Having a non-judgmental attitude is a perpetual work in progress.  Regardless of how far I think I have come in not falsely judging others based on what I see with my eyes, hear with my ears, or feel emotionally, I realize I have yet SO far to go! 

We make judgments in a split second while forgetting there is a story of a lifetime unknown to us.  We cannot possibly grasp the full extent of what has led someone to that moment on which we are placing our quick judgment.

I find myself regularly judging without even realizing I'm doing it!  When awareness kicks in, I understand that I'm making assumptions and judgments based on my personal perceptions, beliefs, ideas, and previous life experiences. In these moments, instead of being angry or disappointed with myself, I want to regularly act on something I've learned through my yoga practice: Acknowledge all thoughts of judgment and immediately let them go, without continuing to give them any more attention or energy. 

The more power we give to something, the more power it maintains over us.  Acknowledge, and let it go.

© MaryAnn Broussard

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Be Brave, Be You

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

Being authentic requires an immense amount of courage!  In this life, we must continually be brave, bold, and courageous in order to be real and true with who we are.  This is not because being who we are is so freaking outrageous, but because being real goes against the status quo, the mainstream, and the socially acceptable. 

Society screams: 

“Be like this to be accepted!”
“Be like this to fit in!”
“Be like this to land the right opportunity or job!” 
“Be like this to seem normal!”
“Be like this to be liked or loved!”

Are we too easily settling for living a pretend version of ourselves in order to fit in or be accepted or deemed as “normal”?  Or are we hiding in a personal prison of constantly feeling like an outcast thinking that who we were created to be can never be enough?

It may seem more acceptable or comfortable to hide behind different personality masks and our electronic devices, but that is not truly living the life we have been given.  That life is a rip off!  It is a life being the walking dead.

Break out of the mold.  
Be brave.  
Be you.  

I wanna see you and me be brave! 

Being authentic breathes life into us and into others.
© MaryAnn Broussard

There’s a beautiful song by Sara Bareilles called Brave.  This song has always touched my heart and inspired me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sorrow Knows No Bounds

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

There are sorrows in this life of which depths extend beyond any words that could possibly be used to describe them.  The death of a child is such a sorrow. 

My heart deeply aches for the mother and the father who face the death of their beloved son or daughterThough I’m extremely empathetic, I am very well aware what I feel doesn’t even come close to what they are enduring in this immensely painful season of life.  It is an action of my love and compassion to weep and grieve beside them.

With all my being I wish that I could somehow minimize their pain and suffering.  Yet, I know this is impossible.  Such a grief can only be supernaturally eased by God and time, in ways completely unique to each person’s needs

As I hurt and cry tears alongside these parents and their family and friends, I plead with God to bring them all abounding comfort and unexpected blessings

“Pain demands to be felt.”
--Fault in Our Stars by John Green

© MaryAnn Broussard

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We Are Vulnerable

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

Life is what it is.
It truly is so very fragile.
We have no guarantees except that we will face joys, sorrows, and death.

Every one of us is vulnerable; though, many of us would like to convince ourselves otherwise.  What we take for granted today could easily be gone tomorrow because practically every intricate detail occurring at any moment is completely out of our control.  We only have control over ourselves, our attitude, and our choices.  Each choice is like a drop of rain falling in a pool of water and creating a ripple effect.     

Knowing every choice I make matters, I desire to conscientiously choose to:

EMBRACE the NOW, this present moment where life is lived

SPEAK LIFE and of the value of it

LOVE without boundaries

CARRY GRATEFULNESS in my soul at all times

FORGIVE abundantly, myself and others

LISTEN more intently and to gain thorough understanding

SEEK WISDOM and let it guide my steps

BASK in LIGHT and share it with others

                                                                                                                                     © MaryAnn Broussard

Monday, March 20, 2017

We Are To Live By Our Own Strength

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

We have this one Life to live.
My life is meant to be lived by me.
Your life is meant to be lived by you.
No one else is responsible or in charge of what we decide to do with that.

I was given this one special life to live wholeheartedly and to embrace with gusto and passion.  I am to take responsibility for every choice I make and all the consequences that follow.

So are you.

We cannot rely on the strengths, the dreams, the desires, or the choices of other people to carry us through.  Those personal aspects are our responsibility alone.  We were never meant to go through life holding on to the coattails of successful people, or blaming others for our troubles, or allowing anyone to manipulate us when they attempt to hijack our lives.

Let us be courageous with ourselves and respectful of others as we travel this journey called Life.

© MaryAnn Broussard

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Day Without a Woman

It's really very simple...

A day without women would suck and bring disaster to humanity.

A day without men would equally suck and bring disaster to humanity.

We all matter. 

We're all valuable.

We're all needed.

The more we focus on the importance and equality of “me” while ignoring the importance and equality of “you”, the more divided we become.

The end.

Quotes - The Separation Between You and Me

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Quotes - If We Long to Ease the World's Suffering

Quotes - If You Do What You Did