Archive for May, 2013

May 30, 2013

Fueling Food For Flowers

It seems extremely easy to see someone else’s actions and have opinions about what they are doing wrong. It is even easier sometimes to tell them what it is you think they should be doing right. It’s not easy, however, to realize that what is right for you could be wrong for them and right for them can’t be defined by your wrongs. And the most difficult of it all, is pulling your energy inwards and focusing only on your rights, or your own wrongs.

Last week in business meetings, I had a powerful conversation with a lady I only just met. I happen to be excused from the advice ‘don’t talk politics in public’, since I work in the industry. We quickly buzzed passed our business talk, and found ourselves in a deep exchange of ideologies and experienced testimonials. And while she didn’t know it, she shared something with me I hope never to forget and needed to hear exactly at that moment.

Her story was personal, yet her analogy applicable: Food For Flowers

What feeds a rose, may not feed an orchid. The necessities, quantities, qualities, and space needed for individual growth not only depend on its flower type, but even of its particular taste. What a flower needs to reach its most beautiful capacity is determined by and limited to its surroundings and environment. If you treat a South African Protea like a Saguaro Cactus, it still doesn’t make it a cactus. Even more demonstrating, the beauty of any flower is only recognized and accredited by its viewer. My enduring love for sunflowers is certainly not a widespread agreement from women all over the world who long for red roses.

So maybe you’re not into gardening. If we take our talk to sports and training, the message is just as loud and clear. You won’t be ready for the Super Bowl if you’ve dedicated the last year to training for a marathon. A golfer may never be prepared for the Escape from Alcatraz, and the most athletic baseball player may never have the endurance to be on a soccer field. The skill training, diets, rest, and ability required are different for every sport, and for every athlete.

To be your personal best, you need to find your personal needs. What fits you perfectly will look different on your sister, your best friend, or your idol. You can’t find what speaks to you by listening through someone else’s ear. I sometimes struggle with accepting changes that need to be made, for me or for others. At times I think people are crazy for spending their time and energy on certain clothing, accessories, toys, activities, or unreciprocated love.  And I’m sure there are several people who wonder why I waste my time writing, sharing photos, buying even more boots, or working in politics. I recently met a man who has absolutely nothing, but doesn’t want anything. We each need to be fueled by a combination of balance, acceptance, forgiveness, support and distinction to help make this world go round. My faith might look different than yours. So may my goals, hobbies, strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. My past is undoubtedly not yours, and neither is my future.

Let’s not be minded by judgments but instead be moved by uniqueness.

The catch here, is that your surroundings help define your scale of personal best. The people in your life, the places you spend time, and the politics you find yourself in are catalysts, cryptic captivators, building the path you are walking on. And similarly at the exact moment, so are you serving to build another’s path. Have you helped or hindered in this process?

You may not appreciate the greatness and magnificence of a sunflower’s beauty to me, but all I ask is for your acceptance.


And remember to just, love life.


May 15, 2013

A Travel Bug Conundrum

It is no hidden secret that I love to travel. I’ve said time and time again that there isn’t a place in this world I wouldn’t go if I had the time or means to do so. To see the world is critical in my growth and understanding of life and humanity. I see beauty in new places, new experiences, and new people. I take advantage of any opportunity to see places I’ve never been, but also take time to return to the places I love –  to truly soak up its uniqueness and greatness. Many people like to travel or take a holiday to get a break from home. But for me, traveling the world is sometimes where I most feel at home.

Herein lies the travel bug conundrum: The constant feeling of places that can’t go unseen, the restlessness of needing an upcoming trip on the horizon, and an absolute peace with owning two of every toiletry to make packing that much easier. To make matters worse, I sometimes have a knot of confusion and guilt as I love where I live, my job, my day-to-day, my home. In fact, I am incredibly blessed with opportunity, friendship, family and place to live. So is it wrong that I’ve slept less nights in my apartment this year than elsewhere? Is it wrong to prioritize trips and travel over developing roots or routine? How can I love where I live, but also love to be gone?

Of course, my love for new adventure speaks up in my head and won’t really allow me to think traveling is wrong. In a perfect world I would travel, write, inspire people and make any dent in making a difference or a better place for all. Maybe I would even find the perfect soul mate with the same or similar passion and the adventure would never cease. And in this world, my feeling of a traveler’s conundrum would be replaced with the word home. Home would be fixed in my heart no matter where in the world I was, without guilt or rejection of social norms. I recognize that not everyone has this same appreciation and desire for traveling as I do – but perhaps you have your own conundrum about something you are passionate about too.

I just got back from one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever taken, serving others in the Czech Republic. While I’ve been on many mission trips in my life, this one seemed unlike any other and special for so many reasons. We looked after children whose parents have dedicated their lives to sharing God’s love, giving an opportunity for the adults to become revitalized and rejuvenated at a conference in beautiful Malenovice, Czech Republic. It has been a few years since I’ve been around this many kids, and certainly not for this length of time. Not only did I survive, but I wholeheartedly enjoyed my time. Through language barriers, coloring time, story time, craft time, potty time, crying time, screaming time, and nap time  – I learned so much about people who serve God on a daily basis, the world through the eyes of a 3 year old, and more importantly, about myself. I thank the team from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to be a part of this experience.

Not all those who wander are lost.
Not all those who wander are lost

I’ve certainly felt lost for many months now, but what has stayed central and crucial in my growth and sanity has been my adventures, traveling near and far. At times in the past few months, this travel bug has been most comfortable not at home in San Francisco. Perhaps that is alright, perhaps it is not. But I know I will always seek out adventure, new places, new people and new experiences so that I can end up exactly where I am supposed to be. In the meantime, I’ll just love life.