Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Foster Wisdom.

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Girl Warrior. Foster Wisdom. Seek enlightenment, illumination and insight at every turn, every opportunity. Grow your intuition and awareness of the world around you and the one within. Fine-tune your instincts and your vital sixth sense. Follow your hunches and listen closely to your gut feelings. For these are the essential bits in the Sage’s toolkit.

First you will need to take a journey inward. You will also need to open your mind to all the possibilities that abide there. You will be opening the door to the unknown, the unexplored, the unfamiliar, and above all else, the uncertain. You will be knocking on the door of mystery and magic and all things mystical. The prospect of this may frighten you. Don’t let it. Open the door and walk unflinchingly through. This is a big step and a brave move on your part. But it is a prerequisite on the path to true understanding.

It is here that you will begin to know the difference between the accumulation of information and knowledge and that of wisdom, knowing and genuine insight. It is in this pilgrimage to the deepest corner of your soul that you will discover the Universal Truths, your highest self, your eternal being and your infinite connection to the Divine. It is from this vantage point that you will do your best work.

It is both exalting and humbling. And when you get there, Girl Warrior you will know.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Take Good Care of Your Skin.

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Girl Warrior. Take good care of your skin. You are never too young to begin a daily routine. This is the outer layer of your Earth Suit and it needs loving-kindness every bit as much as your heart and mind and spirit, your muscles and bones, your blood and sinew. It’s what you present to the world initially and it always makes a first impression whether you like it or not. But the beautiful thing is you have the power to make this perception good if you choose to.

This isn’t about looks or appearances – although if you do look after your epidermis you will definitely reap the benefits – it’s about health and wellbeing. It has absolutely nothing to do with vanity. Your skin is the largest organ and it has the very big job of protecting your inner being. Every second that you walk this good earth it is doing exactly what it needs to do to preserve, maintain and sustain you Girl Warrior. But it does need you to do your part.

It’s pretty simple really. You didn’t get this far without knowing the drill. The secret to achieving a Cleopatra-like complexion isn’t that complicated. There’s no mystery here. It’s all about habits. Good ones. Daily ones. Circadian ones. It’s about mindfulness and awareness, practice and routine.

And it’s about knowing and abiding by these basic rules.

Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Start your day with a clean palette and smear on your favorite face cream and body lotion. Don’t step out the door without protection. Take off all your makeup at the end of the day. No matter what. No exceptions to this rule. Then moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. And remember, while you’re in the Land of Nod your skin is exercising its super healing powers. So remove the residue and remnants of the day and get your beauty sleep.

Be good to your skin Girl Warrior. It needs to last a lifetime.

bonney collage

Aimee Collage

Corina Collage

Danielle Collage

Jacquie Collage

Melissa Collage

Miranda Collage

Linda Collage

Val 2 Collage

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Abby Collage

Tessa Rae Collage

 

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: 20 Things to Love About Yourself.

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At the end of November my beautiful daughter-in-law (DIL) sent an interesting Facebook message to my two daughters and me. This message was actually a challenge. It was something she herself had been challenged to do in her fitness class that week, and one that she found extremely difficult. When I read that, my first thought was that “if this incredible young women finds a “fitness” challenge difficult,” then I’m dead meat. No way Jose. Not going to happen for this Old Broad (OB). Then when I read “the challenge” I was even more convinced that this was something I could not do.

What was so challenging about “the challenge”?

Everything. Why? Because it requires that you take a long hard, uncompromising, honest, candid, truthful and LOVING look at yourself. Both physically and non-physically. And come up with ten things for each that you like about yourself. I’m not even talking love here. Just, like. A little nod to one of your more redeeming attributes, a mere mention of some cute little trait or charming characteristic. You know the thing I’m talking about. That endearing eccentricity that your family mutters under their collective-breath at family gatherings, “There it is.” We all have those, right. But as my DIL said in her note, “It’s amazing how in 2 seconds you can name a million things about family, friends and even people you’ve just met, but to name 20 things about yourself is HARD!”

She’s right. It’s easy-peasy to find 20 things about someone else that are admirable and praiseworthy, both physically and non-physically. But try pointing the lens back at yourself and it is damn near impossible. At least for me.

But this is a new year. And I’ve decided that this is the year that I will challenge myself more. Go out on that fragile limb and do things. Face uncertainty head-on. Take some risks. Do things a little, or a lot, differently than I have in the past. Some of these things I know are going to scare the shit right out of me. And at my age this could seriously happen.

Other things, I’m going to do because they’ll be good for me. Like eating more vegetables and less meat, especially the stuff that causes the unnecessary death of cute animals. This is a dilemma for me because I think all animals, and many plants, are cute. And if you think I’m being facetious, check out Marimos. They are freakin’ adorable. So are Baby Lichens. Then there’s Venus Flytraps. Not all that cute but extremely interesting. Like the dark-haired girl wearing uncool glasses in a roomful of Barbie’s with big boobs. I can relate to the V-Flies.

And then there are those things I’ve been putting off for years, decades even. You know the things, the “I’ll do that someday” stuff. All the stuff you make excuses for, that possibly involve some kind of weird time and space continuum. I have no idea what that is but it sounds like it may apply here, and very likely every aspect of my life to date. But I do plan to make a heroic attempt, and at the very least, confront some of these things that I’ve been putting off and maybe quite conceivably, should all the stars line up just right, get around to it. Perhaps.

As for the 10 physical things and the 10 non-physical things I like about myself? I haven’t a clue. I only know that it will require me to be as kind and loving with myself as I am with others. I will need to be as gentle and gracious, understanding and big-hearted, caring and compassionate, forgiving and magnanimous to me as I am to you and you and you, and the person I’ve just met. For this is all the great big important stuff that is at the very heart of “the challenge.” Maybe, just maybe, that’s why it’s so difficult.

And as my wise, witty and wonderful DIL said, it’s easier to come up with these things about someone else then it is about yourself. So I thought I’d do it for her.

10 Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Big beautiful smile
  2. Gorgeous hair
  3. Killer abs
  4. Cute freckles
  5. Dazzling blue eyes
  6. Tiny waist
  7. Artistic hands
  8. Infectious laugh
  9. Melodic voice
  10. Magnificent fit figure

10 Non-Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Loving-kindness
  2. Generosity
  3. Compassion
  4. Thoughtfulness
  5. Gentleness
  6. Intelligence
  7. Creativity
  8. Humor
  9. Courage
  10. Warmth and wonder

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

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Girl Warrior. Resist the urge to judge. Criticize. Condemn. Crucify. Cast aspersions or make snap decisions about the words or deeds of others. Not everything is as it appears on the surface. Nor at first blush. Outward appearances are often deceiving.

We all have a backstory that affects the present-day things that we do or think or say. And some backstories aren’t so rosy. Glowing halos do not hover above everyone’s head. For some, the crown of light has been dimmed or extinguished completely. And there is no glory. The reasons for this loss of luminosity matters not.

What matters Girl Warrior, is that you take a step back. And ditch any self-righteous attitude. Holier-than-thou posturing. False feelings of moral superiority. Shake loose the sanctimonious, smug and self-satisfied belief that you are better than the girl next to you, the one down the road, or across the world. Instead take a walk in another’s earth-worn shoes. You may find their pain unbearable. Enduring one single step impossible, much less going a mile.

For this, and only this, will allow you the grace to see things from a different perspective. To hear the true meaning in the silence between the words. To fully understand that there is usually more to the story.

And always remember this, kind and loving Girl Warrior, judgment is a door that swings both ways.

 

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Have a Grateful Heart.

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Girl Warrior. Have a grateful heart. Count your blessings. Each and every day. There are so many things to appreciate in your life. Right here and now. Take nothing for granted. Don’t squander your godsend.

Concern yourself with all the things you already have. Not with what’s missing or what you don’t have or wished you had. For if you aren’t grateful for what you already possess then getting more of anything else won’t change your heart or fill your soul. It will never be enough.

Know this Girl Warrior, it is imperative that you are first and foremost grateful for the life you have, the gorgeous gift that it is. Look around at the people who surround you and give thanks for their presence. See the heavenly divineness in all things. Big and small. It’s all so precious.

See your cup half full. Always. Express your thanks at every turn. Seek opportunities to acknowledge the lavishness of your life. Just as it is in this precise moment. Look around at the eternal abundance of the universe. And say thank you. Make this your mantra.

Send out Thank You cards to the world Girl Warrior.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Work Hard.

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Girl Warrior. Work hard. Especially if you want those big dreams to come true big time. Be willing to do whatever it takes. And I mean whatever.

This may not be easy. The road may be bumpy and jagged and full of hairpin curves, blind bends and tricky twists. There will be setbacks and disappointments. At times, it’ll feel like you’re taking two steps back for every step forward. Nothing wrong with that. Think of the two steps back as your opportunity to regroup, reset and reconsider where the next step forward will take you.

And ask yourself this question, “Am I still willing to do whatever it takes?”

If the answer is yes, then get your ass in gear. And get going once again. If the answer is yes, do not stall out. Rest on whatever laurels you’ve managed to acquire this far. Or deploy any delaying tactics. If the answer is yes, resist the urge to make excuses. Whine or hold a pity party for one. If the answer is yes, acknowledge where you’re at and how far you’ve come already. Give yourself a pat on the back for that Girl Warrior. Then examine your options and consider what the next step will be. But if the answer is yes, you really only have one option. Take the next step.

And know this. Other people, circumstances, situations, events, finances, or the state of your current affairs, do not crush dreams. The biggest destroyer of dreams is inertia. Doing nothing. That’s the enemy.

Do nothing Girl Warrior. And that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Mel on horse 1

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Mel on horse 3 1

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Mel on horse 4

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Dream Big.

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Girl Warrior. Dream big. In ultra-high-definition. Of epic proportions. Beyond the beyond of the beyond. Without brims, borders or boundaries.

The sky isn’t even the limit when it comes to your dreams Girl Warrior. That’s just for starters. Your little aspiration appetizer. Amuse-bouche. Take these dreams of yours to the moon and back, from here to infinity, and then some. See what happens.

And don’t stop at just one. Have so many dreams your heart and mind and spirit cannot contain them. Break all the rules here. There is no magic number. You are not born with a finite quantity. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Dreams are designed to be an embarrassment of riches.

These sweet dreams are the beautiful seeds that grow the beautiful you.

And always remember that you are the star of your dreams. They belong to you. They are the essential element of your blockbuster kick-ass tale. And absolutely crucial to your never-ending life story. These supernatural keys unlock every door of opportunity. Every possibility, promise and potential begins here. And the best thing is, they are yours to shape and mold and refine in any way that pleases you. Plus the bonus bit is, you can change your dreams at any time you choose. That’s the beauty of it. Nothing’s ever really locked in.

So start dreaming Girl Warrior. And blow the roof off this place.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Be Honest.

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Girl Warrior. Be honest. Speak up. Speak out. Speak your truth. Express yourself. Whatever that means to you. However that looks. Tell it like it is. Or how you wish it was. Be bold. Audacious in your speech. Intrepid with your message.

But don’t use your words to slaughter. Use your words to empower. Elucidate. Illuminate. Exalt. Demystify. Take ownership of what comes out of your mouth.

Make it good.

3 girls tattoos

mel's rings

Abby total fox

mel's storm tattoo

Aimee's breathe tattoo

mel's tattoo

danielle's crown tattoo

mel's love tattoo

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Snapshot of Mel at Four.

Mel Reading Cat in the Hat

Melissa sat in the brown Rubbermaid laundry hamper hugging her knees. She was wearing her over-sized blue sweatshirt with the Dalmatians on the front and purple leggings. Her feet were bare and pale.

She had pulled the hamper out of the closet and placed it in front of the television in my bedroom. Her petite body was fully contained with only her head peering out of the top like a sprung jack-in-the-box.

I don’t know if it was something she saw on TV, something someone said perhaps. I don’t recall. But she turned to me and said, with the simple unvarnished directness of a four-year old, “I believe in God.” In that moment, I saw her ancient soul. The one that had been around since the beginning of time.  The wise One.

And in that holy moment, for it truly was divine, I was envious of this sweet wide-eyed child of mine. Because at four, she was so resolute and confident in this elusive thing called faith.

And I was not.

mel on play tunnel

mel and dd

Mel hugging Teddy

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Be Generous.

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Girl Warrior. Be generous. In every way. With everything and everybody. Don’t be stingy. Don’t withhold. Don’t hang onto things. Never covet. Give of what you have. What you know. Give a little. Or give a lot. But give. And forgive. For that is the ultimate gift. To others. To yourself.

Give it all away without hesitation. And watch it all come back in miraculous ways. Go out there and be someone’s blessing. You will be blessed in return.

It’s the way of the Girl Warrior.

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