Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Take a Leap of Faith.

img_2078-2

Girl Warrior. Take a leap of faith. Especially in those pivotal moments that define the direction of your life, if not permanently, than for a colossal chunk of it. The make or break junctures. The pinpoint life-altering time that when you look back, you realize that, ‘this was when it all started.’

Don’t let this be the split-second that leaves you filled with an entire lifetime of regret.

Leaping can be scary. Fear of failure or change or the unknown can be overwhelming and shake your confidence. Rock your foundation. Make the earth move under your feet so badly that you’re knocked off-balance. Your equilibrium is quivering and quaking. That’s what fear does. But fear is only false evidence appearing real. Not real. Just pretending. A schoolyard bully that you need to show who’s the boss.

It’s paramount that you don’t allow doubt to seep into your thoughts, and then settle there like an ungracious house guest. Not even for a bit. Take a deep breath and jump in. Head-first. Feet-first. Nose-dive. Or ass-over-tea-kettle. It does not matter how, it just matters that you do.

If the faith in yourself is faltering, then jump with the faith that others have in you. Work with that. Seize their faith in you, embrace it and carry it in your heart and your mind until you see what everyone else sees.

You’ve got this Girl Warrior. You can do it. You know you can. Go ahead. Jump.

IMG_1867.jpg

sarah-feature

23514_416809500259_3543085_n-1

img_2093

1625719_10153886696705113_466597099_n-1

img_1870

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Walk Away or Turn Your Head.

img_4037

Girl Warrior. Don’t walk away or turn your head when you see someone you find displeasing, disdainful or off-putting. Or worse. Repugnant. Repulsive. Revolting. The homeless beggar, the panhandler, the vagrant or vagabond. And especially, the shabby-dirty-raggedy-ass-down-and-out-nasty derelict, bum or bag lady.

Don’t inflict an egregious unkindness by pretending you didn’t see or that they weren’t there. Don’t turn this Human Being into one of the Invisible Souls. By turning away you are actually saying, ‘you don’t matter. I am better than you.’

Instead, lean into compassion, empathy, and understanding. And know this: but for the grace of God goes all of us, including you Girl Warrior. You are not above the fray and beyond reproach.

Instead, love the unlovable Girl Warrior. Love those who the world has discarded. Love those who have been cast aside, tossed out, left abandoned. Or worst of all, the ones we have given up on: the hopeless cases and the unfixable.

Instead, open your loving divine heart and express your beautiful humanity. Allow your natural tenderness to well up and occupy your spirit until it is filled to the brim and overflowing. Then take all of this abundant goodness and give this very personal gift to the one standing on the street corner, hat in hand. Or the one slumped against a storefront holding a cardboard sign with a scribbled message that reads simply, but oh so elegantly, ‘please help.’

Say yes, yes, yes Girl Warrior. Say yes, I will help.

10347395_10152034438751266_783727041268460318_n-1

388454_10150403442026266_983322040_n-1

10479048_10154384006185526_9209457415563502288_n-1

285252_10150234203151266_3611396_n

10364124_10152034439176266_409644781824131730_n-1

This post is dedicated to my beautiful and tenderhearted daughter Aimee who has taught me the true meaning of compassion and kindness; and to not turn my head or walk away from those in need. Her natural instinct is to always extend a helping hand. She’s an extraordinary and rare Girl Warrior.

 

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Engage your Radical R Trifecta.

14311249_10153650994491266_937649198356122638_o-1

Girl Warrior. Engage your Radical R trifecta – Rebel, Revolutionary, and Renegade. Especially during make-or-break times and crucial circumstances, the cliff-edge life-changing moments. This is when you will be well served to marshal your passionate determined ass-kicking spirit. The one that knows intuitively when to break the rules, break through the barriers, break the code, break the habit, and yes, at times, break the hearts.

Throw off the cloak of convention. Step out of the box of ordinary. Walk away from the pedestrian. Steer clear of the middle-of-the-road. Bury the garden-variety. Remove all things plain-vanilla, milk-toast and bland from your physical and spiritual diet.

And most importantly, don’t live a life that isn’t worth writing home about.

Live a stranger than fiction life Girl Warrior. One you have exclusively authored. A life that no one else but you could possibly conceive much less, write. Live a life that you are so jazzed about, that is so juicy and spicy and ridiculously overflowing with everything good and bad, ugly and pretty, heartbreaking and joyous, messy and meticulous, bitter and sweet, wonderful and scary, unpredictable and unknown, exhausting and exhilarating, breathtaking and beyond.

Living a rich ample life like this necessitates that you go out on a limb; you make big disruptive waves; you take risks; and do things differently. You don’t go with the flow. Or do the logical, the predictable, the rational or sensible.

And above all else Girl Warrior, you walk the high wire without a safety net. And learn to love it.

14089134_10153650994646266_3728740031602517117_n-1

14232531_10153650994446266_1562889657647653853_n-1

14237723_10153650994221266_144863215376325112_n-1

abbyo

14265072_10153650994171266_1502107971214312287_n-1

 Photographs courtesy of Melissa Adams.

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Make it Awkward.

1912212_10152497383001266_3267769931685348372_n (1)

Girl Warrior: Make it awkward, especially in sticky difficult situations. Or during those times when your first inclination would be to cut your losses and walk away. Sometimes your first thought is the right thought. But there are times when you need to think again.

Stop, take a deep expansive breath and ask yourself this. How often have you let someone off the hook because you were too afraid?

Too afraid of confrontation. Too afraid of offending. Too afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Too afraid of speaking the truth. Too afraid of making a scene. Too afraid of embarrassing yourself. Too afraid of making someone angry. Too afraid of your own anger. Too afraid of what others might think. And ultimately, too afraid of losing someone’s love or affection. Inevitably it all comes down to that.

Now stop again, take another deep expansive breath and ask yourself this. Is the answer yes?

If the answer is yes to even one of these questions, then it’s time to take a risk. Time to take a stand. Time to gamble and put all your cards on the table. Time to do what you’ve always wanted to do in previous compromising circumstances. And if you’re truly gutting the truth Girl Warrior, you’ve been here far too many times. Far too many times.

This is your triumphant do-over. This is your opportunity to speak up and speak your truth. Once and for all. Succinctly. Emphatically. Definitively. You will need to summon all the courage you possess because making it awkward isn’t easy. Walking away without making a peep is easy. Being a good girl who doesn’t make waves is easy. Playing nice is easy.

But don’t be a good girl in this situation. Instead go for the squirm. Make it downright uncomfortable and bloody inconvenient. Remind yourself that you are a bold and brave Girl Warrior. And remember, you aren’t taking this stand on your own. You have an entire Tribe of Girl Warriors behind you. Supporting and cheering you on.

So this time Girl Warrior, make it awkward.

589_10153118953126266_1159807727400644801_n (1)

10942615_10152545147341266_5545079613107041809_n (1)

11010588_10152813631041266_3776660365968535722_n (1)

11146607_10152639694391266_4038937051650103014_n (1)

11377344_10152750021681266_5269447062193243896_n (1)

13015373_10153347632051266_9086187638905732956_n (1)

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Settle.

Ck8I-00UoAAK5xt (1)

Girl Warrior. Don’t settle. Go along with, resign or reconcile yourself, stomach, swallow or submit to anything that doesn’t ring true to the bright and shiny person you are.

Don’t live a default life. A ‘learn to live with’ life. An involuntary life. Or worse yet, one that belongs to someone else. And you’re just going along for the ride. Sitting complacently, but maybe not so comfortably, in the back seat or sidecar. You belong behind the wheel of your own life, the one of your own making. Steer your spaceship courageously in the direction of your dreams. Not someone else’s. That’s your mission, your primary assignment here.

You only get to do this present-life thing one time, and one time only, Girl Warrior. And it is oh so very brief. So fleeting. A flutter of the butterfly’s wing. Yes, some things are eternal. Our souls. The tender memories of us. But this here-and-now Earth Walk, and all the glorious people, places and things that are gifted to us are here for such a woefully brief time. So don’t squander any of it by settling.

Don’t settle in. Don’t settle down. Don’t settle for. Anything. And that goes for the people in your life, the work you do, the place where you live, the man or woman you’re involved with, and most importantly, the desires of your heart.

Girl Warrior, don’t be afraid that if you choose not to settle you’ll be all alone. You won’t. Quite the opposite is true. You’ll be surrounded by your loving and brave Tribe of kindred spirits who also refused to settle for anything less than an authentic life.

IMG_3260 (1)

Ck8MROfUkAE3YZ2 (1)

IMG_3228

IMG_3242.jpg

IMG_3247.jpg

IMG_3307 (1)

IMG_3341 (1).jpg

IMG_3350.jpg

13418730_10153452395241266_7598726110974222228_n (1)

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Define Your Own Success.

13332882_10153451131621086_4849381083793712506_n

Girl Warrior. Determine your own definition of what being successful means. Like many of the big things you’ll do, this is an inside job. Start there. Take a long hard close look inwards at the person you are today. The one you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, or as many years back as your memory will take you.

Then ask yourself this question. Who is this person?

Chances are, this person is somewhere on the growth chart between ‘not quite there yet’ and ‘done like dinner.’ Regardless of where you stand on the Spectrum of Light (SOL) you are incomparably perfect. Not flawless. Not without blemishes or warts. Not pristine. But perfect, not in spite of these things but because of them.

With this perspective in mind, and under your own personal magnifying glass, go in closer to see all the people, places and things that truly matter to you. What inspires your soul? Fills your mind with wonder and curiosity? Makes your heart flutter with happiness. Brings tears of joy to your eyes? Scares the shit right out of you? What drives and propels you forward? What makes you want to get up in the morning? What would you rather be doing more than anything else? What does an ideal day look like? Who do you like to be with? Who’s in your tribe and who’s missing that you wish was there? How do you find bliss? Where do you want to go? When do you start living your life? Why does it matter? And, the really great big huge colossal critical question, why are you here?

Once you have probed deeply and truthfully into the answers to these soul-searching questions, you can start to formulate a picture of what success means to you. Notice that these are questions you ask of yourself. This is a very personal quest and is nobody else’s business. Not your parents, friends, teachers, therapists, colleagues, pop icons, social media stars, fashion freaks, political leaders or anyone else that you may be under the influence. Not their life. Not their definition. Not this time.

Know this, being successful lies in your answers to these vital life-affirming questions. Only these. It’s not about wealth or power or influence or status or jobs or fame or fortune or getting ahead or climbing some corporate ladder. It’s about loving, honoring and respecting the person looking back at you in the mirror every day. It’s about knowing that your presence on Planet Earth matters.

Most importantly Girl Warrior, it’s about knowing that your life is a success because you live it fully and completely, with the utmost integrity and authenticity. And always, always, always according to your own definition. On your terms.

1329_37683354694_6152_n (1)

392603_10150449817369789_757042164_n

427175_10151867718545260_363985062_n

1381205_10151747238555918_1900063376_n

1381920_10152008195799026_514928853_n

1098174_10153341612780998_4090847435549089661_n copy

1384052_10152008197414026_302860069_n

1384209_10152008197744026_68099706_n

1507985_10152439492421223_7489185442017632190_n

10398817_15122175235_2704_n (1)

10606495_10153185453237274_2624971608740174689_n

10398932_28179950025_4554_n

13436137_10154160428350120_694407548_n

11130268_10152651090546846_8955153913238963842_n

11891103_10152973963051205_402709279555766727_n (1)

11986356_10155978543610591_1238016715934146612_n copy

1380491_10207272777124144_4148699925251215004_n

12417867_10153553409961220_5660077435803837287_n

11986582_1619437628308342_5433053464205721867_n

12088585_10153726835303653_4545743853820333615_n

13260091_1268617853168108_2638770735570534461_n

Photo Jul 17, 2 41 52 PM

 

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Spend Time with a Mentor.

253922_10150200566781266_2979132_n (1)

Abby with her mentors Rose and Robin.

Girl Warrior. Spend time with a mentor. If you don’t have one, find one. Chances are, this person is already in your life. Chances are, you’ve already engaged in a mentor-mentee relationship. Chances are, you may not recognize that you are connected in this way. Chances are, you are close to this person.

Take a look around you and ask yourself these questions.

Who is the person you admire most? Who is the person who teaches you things in a manner that feels natural rather than professorial, purposive or patronizing? Who is the person who leaves you feeling uplifted after spending time with them? Who is the person who challenges you to think beyond what you know now? Who is the person who encourages you to grow fully in every capacity – physically, spiritually, intellectually, emotionally? Who is the person who has your best interests at heart? Who is the person who tells you the truth in a way that doesn’t hurt or harm? Who is the person you want to be like when you grow up?

Girl Warrior, take a moment to write down the name of a person next to each of these questions. Chances are, this is your mentor. If you’re lucky, more than one name will crop up. But even if it is only one person, consider yourself blessed.

Now, go to that person and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life. If they aren’t physically close to them then pick up the phone, text them, email them, send them a letter or a “thank you” card. Do not put this off. It is imperative that you acknowledge whom your mentors are and that they know how much you value their presence in your life. Let them know now that the world is a better place because they are here. This is the very personal gift that you give back to them.

Once you have done this Girl Warrior, take a second look around and ask yourself this. Who can I mentor?

69787_472353396643_2979839_n (1)

Melissa with her mentor Boo.

1936282_10155014208233561_2809905647631256632_n (1)

Leslee with her mentors Kathleen and Char.

IMG_1620 (1)

Sher with her mentor Marion.

My Mentor (1)

Catherine holding the initials of her mentor BK.

IMG_1604

Jennie with her mentor Dave.

Aimee + Boo Mentors (1)

Aimee with her mentor Boo.

Boo + Silk Mentor

Boo with her mentor Silk.

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: This Too Shall Pass.

644138_10151082829511266_520022445_n (1)

Girl Warrior. This too shall pass. Impossible to believe when you’re in the heat of the battle or in the eye of the storm. In the hour of the wolf when only the devil knows your name. When you cry out into the darkness begging for mercy. You’re down on your knees praying for your misery to end. You’re heart is breaking and your body is aching. You hurt everywhere.

You are in agony. You feel alone. Lost. Abandoned. Hopeless.

The emotional or physical pain is so unbearable you wonder if you will ever feel normal again. You can’t see two inches in front of you, much less the light at the end of the tunnel. You are unable to feel the warmth of a sunny day. You wonder, will you ever laugh again? Will your spirit be carefree once more? Will your burden be lifted?

Yes, Girl Warrior. Yes.

Relief from your suffering will come. Be assured. But it will take time. It will also take patience, tenderness, gentleness and kindness. You will find these in the embrace of your Dear Ones, who will love you unconditionally in your vulnerability and brokenness. Bit-by-bit. Day-by-day. One foot in front of the other, you will get there. You will be whole.

Life will never be what it was Girl Warrior. It will be better. Because you not only survived, you thrived.

IMG_3609 (1)

558948_10150600091996266_1390636796_n (1)

13235849_10154088733095120_86163168_n (1)

IMG_3611 (1)

13237707_1012513458802527_849773894196757306_n (1)

10398815_11393516643_3329_n (1)

IMG_3615 (1)

IMG_3608 (1)

215498_10150962564476568_808532836_n (1)

13239929_1012512538802619_2326381147896943566_n (1).jpg

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Know When to Take Off the Kid Gloves.

556665_10150828319501266_962271158_n

Girl Warrior. Know when to take off the kid gloves. This comes with a warning, as it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when it comes to our beloved tribe. And ourselves.

Our natural instinct is to be kind, loving, supportive and magnanimous of spirit. Our innate tendency is towards being nice, polite, agreeable and well behaved. We want to be liked. We don’t want to offend. Hurt someone’s feelings. Make another angry. Or worse yet, abandon us.

But at what cost Girl Warrior?

What do we lose by handling each other like Delicate Flowers? Does walking on eggshells really resolve issues? Is our skin really that thin? Are we so fragile that hearing the truth, and nothing but the truth, will break us? Is the fear that our authentic and genuine-selves is so unlovable that we’ll scare everyone away even those nearest and dearest?

No. None of this is true. We are not Delicate Flowers. We are not fragile, frail or feeble. Fear not. Have faith in yourself to speak from the wise and higher place within. And trust that the one hearing your words is there with you. Know that you are both strong enough to give and take a little tough talk.

Girl Warrior sometimes the most sensitive, kind and caring messages are the ones delivered when the kid gloves are off.

38005_414443946265_3504200_n (1)

320853_10150315498099577_3243835_n (1)

374858_10150456557005918_1832897928_n (1)

377188_10151161370544577_2012275078_n (1)

536540_10151065649530895_1846504109_n (1)

557067_10151066163665236_1842259539_n (1)

1930492_29462371219_1068_n (1)

1931287_48072351265_5068_n (1)

img_0131-1 (1)

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Ask and You Shall Receive.

10430386_10152034439016266_9160673429000252042_n (1)

Girl Warrior. Ask and you shall receive. On the surface this is such a simple concept. Easy peasy pudding and pie. You know this. But do you really? Do you get it right down deep in your gut and marrow? The place where your truth lives, where the things that matter most take flight, where your greatness is born.

Understanding the brilliance and pixie dust of asking is a big game changer.

Take a moment Girl Warrior and imagine the life you want to manifest. Picture all the things you want to have or do or see – all the magnificent people you want to draw into your world, all the places your soul beckons, and all the personal and professional boundaries you want to bust through. Think about all those fantastical things you wish and hope for and go to sleep dreaming about.

Is the astonishing life you want achievable on your own? Probably not. We’re all on the Good Ship Lollipop together and we need each other. Big time. The help you seek may only be one question away.

What’s stopping you? Is it fear?

Are you fearful of your requests? Fearful of your desires, your needs and your intense yearnings. Fearful of your hunger and all the things in life that you crave, covet, lust and thirst for. Are you fearful that your requests will fall on mocking ears, scornful ears, or worse yet, deaf ears? That your impassioned appeals will go unanswered. Do you fear that your gorgeous tender heart will break from the silence, rage and fury that beats within?

Do you ask who is listening? Who will answer? You will never know Girl Warrior unless you have the courage to ask. And if you don’t ask, you won’t ever get.

482578_10151387614316266_957578473_n (1)

562938_10151582732331266_1892085317_n (1)

1176260_10151500965726266_2036590691_n (1)

1604699_10151821638186266_1596016136_n (1)

10382989_10152034439066266_5280417193249218367_n (1)

12670561_10153202552331266_3081640125326965388_n (1)

12670861_10153186088336266_8164534201236303934_n (1)

12705734_10153202552506266_610533155932258595_n (1)

12717220_10153202552576266_5430290544047642450_n (1)

All photographs courtesy of Melissa Adams.