Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts - They mold and shift the landscapes of our lives ...

I was thinking about the power of thoughts today and bumped into the below quote:

"Do not underestimate the Power of Thoughts. Just as water has the power to shift and mold earths landscape,your thoughts have the power to shift and mold the landscapes of your life" -Chuck Danes

Beautiful huh?

Friday, June 26, 2009

In Memory of Michael Jackson -

From the 80's - Michael Jackson pins

Why is it that the death of the King of Pop – Michael Jackson shocked the world? I thought about this yesterday as people around the globe voiced their sympathies and condolences. And thought I’d add my thoughts …

His death (like anyone who is dear to us) reminds us that life is fragile and that even the ‘superstars’ at some point must fall for good. I was sitting in the car yesterday with my kids after swimming at the pool. The bag of goggles was left on the table with the big umbrella – We waited while Kaleb ran back to grab them. We turned on the radio as we waited for him to make the goggle grab dash! To my surprise, every station was playing a Michael Jackson song. I stopped on “Bad” and started to tell my kids about what an influence his music had during my childhood years. They laughed as I told them about the moonwalk dance move, the flashy glove and the importance of owning a Michael Jackson button (pin on kind) in the 5th grade. The badge gave you status – everyone wanted one! I think the badge during those years would be equal with the need for an ipod or cell phone? Times have changed! My memories were jolted by a voice on that radio that simply said: “Michael Jackson - Dead at age 50.” I never knew him personally and yet, that news hit me. I turned to my kids and said: “Wow! I can’t believe it. “

His music (like all music from my past) always transports me back to times and places that have come and gone. Music has such a powerful way of taking us back and reminding us of certain moments in our lives. When I heard the news of his death, I realized that his voice and music will always be a part of my life! It’s etched in my memories of growing up. His death (on a global scale) makes us realize that our days are truly gifts and reminds us that we are mortal.

Oh sure, we’ll still have all his old stuff and the memories of where we were when we first heard the song “Thriller” or had the guts to get on the gym dance floor in Jr. high and try the ‘moonwalk’ – those memories stay with us as long as we choose to let them. What we don’t have are new songs to fill with new memories. And that is the part that we tend to dwell on when someone leaves us. We wonder – what if …

What if he lived another 10 years…
What songs would he write and sing?
What dance move would new generations have to try on the hardwood floor of the school gym?

These are questions we’ll never have answered. But what we do have is the realization that life is a precious gift. And we get to choose what we’ll do with every single moment of it.

So today in honor of Michael Jackson and his musical influence – I say to you:

Dance the ‘moonwalk’, sing “Bad” as loud as you can in the shower and if you happen to see an old pin on button of Michael Jackson – remember that at one time in history … those made a person cool!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Everything has a voice ... (except for worms) ~ Kaleb age 5

Photo Moment: Kaleb (age 5) 2003

Back in 2003, my sister Erica had me conduct a little survey with my son, Kaleb who was 5 at the time. The survey was part of an assignment from her Child Development class in college. She sent me the questions and asked me to have him answer them. Easy enough right? I still remember how fun it was to see his little mind work and feel his excitement over each new question.

His answer to question #4 stays with me to this day: Why do birds sing?
Hummmmm - Because they have a voice. Everything has a voice - except for worms.
Birds like to sing - I've been thinking about that.

I was reminded of my son’s response today as I read a blog post by Stephen R.Covey -

(Below is an excerpt)
“I wrote in the 8th Habit that the crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. On page 104 I specifically wrote about the effects of the internet in the democratization (finding voice) of our world.

"The Democratization of Information/Expectations
No one manages the internet. It is a sea change of global proportion. For the first time in history the pure voice of the human spirit rings out in millions of unedited conversations unfettered by borders. Real-time information drives expectations and social will, which ultimately drive the political will that impacts every person."

His insights about the value and importance of finding our voice and inspiring others to find theirs really hit a spot with me. So true -Everything has a voice. And every one of us has the right and honor to use it!

So my question to you is …
Do you realize the importance of your voice?
Have you found it? Are you using it? Do you inspire others to find theirs?

Below is the complete survey by my son Kaleb at age 5 in 2003:

1. Where does the sun go at night? In outer space. I know b/c I've seen it in a book. The sun likes it there.

2. Why is the grass green? Because Heavenly Father made it that way. He can turn the grass green. I've thought a lot about that!

3. Why do we have snow? Because when it's winter and it's raining the raindrops of the rain turn into snow.

4. Why do birds sing? Hummmmm - Because they have a voice. Everything has a voice - except for worms. Birds like to sing - I've been thinking about that.

5. How do flies walk on the ceiling? They have sticky feet and they stick to everything.

6. Why do you have freckles? Because angels are kissing me.

7. How did you learn to talk? My Dad taught me - Actually, I don't know.

8. Why do you have a belly button? Because I grew that way. All of us have a belly button.

9. Why are you ticklish? Because I just am.

10. Why do the stars shine? Because the sun is reflecting on them.

11. Where do babies come from? From Mommy's stomach.
PS: No matter your age or station…Your voice matters – Let it be heard!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


{Flashback} It was the summer before my sophomore year in high school when this famous phrase hit the t-shirts and enthusiastic Nike fans of the world. JUST DO IT seemed to ignite the entire planet with passion, determination and enthusiasm!

Brief history of the empowering Nike phrase -
According to Nike company lore, one of the most famous and easily recognized slogans in advertising history was coined at a 1988 meeting of Nike’s ad agency Wieden and Kennedy and a group of Nike employees. Dan Weiden, speaking admiringly of Nike’s can-do attitude, reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as they say, is (advertising) history. (Read more)

Go ahead, feel the power … say these 3 words out loud (right now) – JUST DO IT! How did that feel? Did you feel the surge of energy sweep through your veins? Me too!

I find many people are happy and excited to wear the t-shirts and say the words but few actually get to the REAL doing! Why is that? Let’s explore for a moment:

First, in order to just do something you have to have a plan of what it is you just want to do!
Second, the plan needs to motivate and excite you. Otherwise, you won’t do anything.
Third, the fear of failing must not stop you!
Fourth, you need a deep belief that what you are doing matters (to you)!
Fifth, you need to BEGIN – Just do it.
Sixth – Every step of the journey is the journey. Believe in the process and who you will become because you dared to DO IT!

Personal CHALK story:
Every year in June, the Uptown Shopping Center holds a Chalk Art Festival in our city. People register and pay for a square/space to draw on the sidewalk. Each participant is entered into their age category and is handed a box of chalk to create their masterpiece. For the past 3 years, I have registered my children and happily sit back and enjoy their art. This year, I decided to JUST DO IT! Why not? Oh it felt good. Something wonderful happens inside of us when we JUST DO IT and LIVE….

The rose. By Wendy :) Chalk Art Festival, 2009

PS: The chalk art story is a simple example but I keep finding that the more we ACT and DO the more we grow and become. Start simple – then keep doing! Each act of action helps us build confidence and momentum to JUST DO the stuff inside of us that is screaming for attention and a chance to THRIVE!

Art by the Christensen Family: Top: Lauren, Rose: Wendy, Panda: Kade

This little moment matters: Write down one thing you will JUST DO today. Now write down why it matters to you. Next, write down what your life would be like if you did it. And finally, JUST DO IT! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Keep Moving Forward ... :) One step at a time!

It was late last night and I was doing dishes … Flipped on the radio in the kitchen and found myself tuned into the Delilah Show. I have not listened to her show for years! The voice on her program grabbed my attention. This lady called in to request that Delilah play a song from her wedding day. Apparently, it was her 5 year anniversary and she needed to hear that song! She went on to explain that life had been challenging over the past 5 years on the relationship and from what I could gather – chronically ill children, lack of work and everyday problems had taken their toll. Delilah wished her luck and played the song.

This little ‘radio moment’ left an impression on my heart. I don’t personally know that lady but I was so glad she decided to call in and ask for a song to help her remember the good times. The words of the song went:

I guess the time was right for us to say We'd take our time and live our lives together day by day We'll make a wish and send it on a prayer We know our dreams can all come trueWith love that we can share ~ Firehouse “Love of a Lifetime”

Don’t you find it amazing how certain checkpoints in life can help us re-focus, re-commit and REMIND us of the amazing journey of life?

You might we asking – what is a checkpoint? A checkpoint to me is anything (moment, person, song, or thing) that reminds us of who we are where we are and the path we’re on. Checkpoints come to us in a variety of ways. They could be from a stranger, an email, a quote, a card, a photo, a smile, a song, a book, answers to a prayer, a plant growing in the garden, or a blog post. The list goes on and on!

Checkpoints are like road signs. Some of them say: Detour, STOP, Food next right, Caution, Slow down, GO, Rest area, and so forth. These checkpoints are available at any point in our journey of life. We just have to pay attention.

Today, pay attention to the checkpoints around you – they are there to help you one moment at a time! Keep a checkpoint journal and jot down the times you bump into something that speaks to your heart. Then take action on the prompting! The checkpoints are there for a reason! Tune in and LIVE …

PS: To the lady from the Delilah show last night … Here’s your song one more time! Happy Anniversary …. Make a wish and send it on a prayer :)!!


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dream BIG!

I bumped into this quote earlier this week and just love it! :) Thought you might too ...

If there were ever a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing, it is now.

Not for any grand cause, necessarily-but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your aspiration,
something that's your dream.

You owe it to yourself to make your days here count.
Have fun.
Dig deep.
Dream big.
~From a Macintosh computer ad, 1991

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pay attention to life and it will pay attention to YOU!

When we pay attention - Life is beautiful.
And when we choose to enjoy the beauty and share it ... Happiness abounds!
(Share it well)
Short story: A couple of months ago, I was outside working in the yard. There was this strange green plant growing happily in the dirt. The vine was fuzzy and looked like a big, overgrown weed. For some reason, I didn't pull it out during my 'weeding rampage'! I remember going in later that night and thinking: I wonder what that plant is - Fiddle-dee-dee weeds weeds weeds ... tomorrow is another day - I'll yank it out in the morning.

In all honesty, I forgot about the funky growing madness in the backyard. And I'm so glad I did because just last weekend (while working out in the yard), this crazy looking yard critter turned into a gorgeous flower!

I looked at it and said (out loud) - "Well, look what you've become! Something amazing indeed ..." And it talked back saying: "Thank you for giving me the time and chance to become something wonderful!"

Moral of the story: Pay attention to the people, the plants, and the moments that make up our days - and give it/them a chance to grow and become their greatest possibility! Often times, at first glance, we judge and 'cut things down' before they ever get a chance to grow and flourish! (Ourselves included) ...

PS: Live THIS moment and the next and the next - choose to become! Pay attention to life and it will pay attention to YOU!