My 2020 Birthday Mantra

For my birthday, it’s become a tradition to write three statements of “I am…” as a way of noting growth and progress over the year.  I’ve been doing this instead of New Year’s resolutions.  The first year I did this (two years ago), my mantra was “I am worthy; I am good enough; I am unshamed” and by so doing, I noted more growth within a year’s time than ever before in my life.  I was able to step out of a harmful environment which challenged me to seriously look at myself and by so doing, I really started to claim ownership of my life.  I was astounded by the personal power I found within.  So last year I did it again.  My three statements were “I am present; I am at peace; and I am whole.” 

With these three statements (as well as the former three) burning in my soul, I accomplished more this last year than I can even believe.  I spoke at conferences; I traveled to Puerto Vallerto with my husband; I organized a meet-and-greet in SLC for my trauma group; I completed my master’s degree in pastoral counseling with the highest honors; I made several long road trips to help people in need; I went to Africa and started an organization; I developed another website (I have four now) and a Facebook page (I have four of these too); I began pursuing the job of my dreams; and I started teaching English online to Chinese students for two different companies.  It has been a busy year of growth and change—because seriously, I’m not getting any younger!

So this year, I add three more:

I took this picture of the Nile River when I was in Uganda in October.
The picture of me was also taken in Uganda.

I am important.

You would think that I would know this!  But sometimes I still forget that the most important person to take care of—and that I can really only find happiness through—is me!  Too often I put others way before myself.  When I get down, I don’t eat much and I don’t sleep well.  I need to take the time to eat healthy foods and treat myself right.  It has also taken me a long time to realize how to sleep well but I’ve found a really good meditation app called 1 Great Mind that relaxes me and helps me sleep when my mind gets too active (a constant problem).  When I do these self-care measures, I show myself that I am important.  When I am doing well, the world seems to be a much brighter place.  The key to this is to not just believe that I matter but to show that I am important to myself as well.

I am power.

And that is scary.  It is scary to realize I have the power to create and the power to destroy.  Because I am power (and you are too), I need to learn to hold and handle it carefully.  I need to use it to love and that means love what matters the most first.  The power I have can build dreams and improve lives.  I also realize that power does not always have to be exercised; power can and should also relax and appropriately allow life to happen, to trust life’s processes and not fight against it.  But this does not mean to accept the unacceptable or to close my eyes to injustices.  No, because I am power, I will fight for what I believe in.  I will seek to wisely make a difference; effecting change when and where I see there is a need for powerful revolution.

I am the solution.

This sounds arrogant but it’s not meant that way.  Because listen, life is hard.  And because life can be taxing, too often we try to find happiness or the answers outside of us. We think someone else will be our rescue or give us what we lack. But I have come to really see that the answers rest inside of me.  I have to learn to trust myself more.  Too often I find that talking it out with others only causes more confusion and distress but when I am still and centered—when I sleep, exercise, eat right, and practice other means of self-care—I find that the answers I am seeking come from within.  I hold the solution.  And because I hold the solution, I am in charge of my own happiness, my own decisions, my own life.  It’s me!—I am responsible.  No one else is to blame for my failures.  It all comes back to stare me in the face.  I am the owner of my destiny.  So I’m going to get on with life in a joyful way and keep on living, dreaming, and achieving so just watch and wait!

So there’s a big happy 45th birthday to me!  I’m looking and doing great and have a lot more giving and becoming ahead of me!

Here I am teaching Chinese students at the wee hours of the day! (I put stars on my forehead when the students do a good job–they love it!)

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