Connection

2021 Pay-It-Forward:
The first five people to connect with me will receive from me, sometime within the calendar year, a handwritten note, perhaps with a gift attached. There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me.
Let’s all pay it forward this year!
🖊
Pay it forward!!
Let’s connect!! Peace, #tutulady #forwardisapace

Hints

Holiday hints from Krissy Claus.
First the easy stuff….Do not count calories. Do not wear a watch. Try doing what other people feel like doing rather than being compelled to always make the plan. Stay in pj’s as long as possible each day. Getting coffee, bagels, donuts or tacos in pajamas is not only socially acceptable, it’s encouraged. Get down and look at your children when they talk to you. Or if they are getting taller than you these days, look up. Make eye contact. Cook someone’s favorite meal. Or cook your favorite and deliver to some friends. Sit by the fire and leave your cell phone in another room. Let the kids frost the cookies, trash the kitchen and get high on icing. Watch Christmas Vacation. Make pancakes with holiday M&M’s in them. If it’s not a hassle to make a fire in the fireplace, it’s an invitation. Pet your dog, especially right behind the ears the way they like it. When you grab your last minute stocking stuffers from the drugstore (admit it, I’ll see you there), pick up a couple scarves, socks, or fleece blankets to hand out to homeless people when you drive by – you can even let your kids do the honors and feel warm inside.
Now these are a bit more challenging but Krissy has faith in you! Put away your politics for a while and just love on people. Be kind …..especially to those “sandpaper people” in your life. The people who bug you are in your life for a reason, you may as well love them because they have something to teach you (as my friend says on the subject of judgment, “You spot it, you got it.” THAT makes you think twice). Don’t assume people know you love them, be clear. Ask questions and LISTEN to the responses. Active listening is a form of love. Accept people where THEY are right now…not where you want them to be or where you are in your comfort zone….you don’t have to step all the way out of your box but perhaps take down part of a wall. Think of someone you know (maybe not even very well) who has had a tough year this year and pick up the phone or put pen to paper and wish them a happier new year. Go for an evening walk and take in all the lights. Turn off all the lights in the house except the tree and sit there, at least once, late at night and recall what you are grateful for. Try to make peace with (instead of sense of) the things you don’t feel as grateful for. You are not too old or jaded to believe in magic. Everything you need is right here – every day, and especially at the holidays.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Confidence

Day 18 of 30 
Confidence
This photo (and TBH all photos of me) is hard for my to look at as I am hyper critical of myself. I usually see the flaws first but it is getting easier for me to see my strengths…. those parts of me I love. 
Over the years, I lost my way…I lost myself. It was a slow process over time.  I did not really even notice that I allowed others to abuse and deplete me.  When I did finally realize what happening, I was a mere shell of myself. 
Right then and there,  I made a promise to myself that I would put this girl back together again better than before. 
Rebuilding is not an easy process nor is it static but it is sooo worth it! 
Never again will I allow anyone to steal my Sparkle!
 I am stronger and more confident than ever!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace 

Addiction

Back in early March I was asked to speak to a group of women. All the women in the group were in addiction recovery. The women I met were so amazing and strong. They were real warriors who, after hitting rock bottom, were fighting to climb back up the mountain of sobriety. After I spoke to the group, I listened. I listened as they told me their stories and showed me photos of family. We each became social media friends and I prayed daily for them on their recovery journey. I drove home alone that night knowing the time I spent with them changed me for the better. For two of those women, the pull of addiction was too strong. Last week one of the women overdosed and died. For the rest of the women, I know that the fight and the climb is not over….and may never be over.
Addiction is a crisis. Mental Heath is a crisis. In the past month alone I have supported 3 friends entering mental health treatment facilities. I have witnessed 2 different women return to addiction and one overdose. I have read and seen so many people posting about coping with stress and anxiety using alcohol and other unhealthy methods. Fear, Pain, Inability to cope, societal expectations, and many other factors all play a part in this crisis.
I’m not going to claim to be an authority, spouting facts and figures on addiction and mental health. What I am is a woman who has struggled with her own demons. Fortunately, and with support, I have learned to manage my mental health.
Addiction and mental health struggles are horrible masters but there is always help. There are people and places that are professionals at battling these monsters. There are people and places that are willing and able to support your recovery journey. All you need to do is reach out. It is going to take a great deal of bravery and I can’t promise it will be easy but it is going to be worth it. You are worth it! I am always here to listen, to help, to support you and to walk you in if needed. You are stronger than you realize and loved more than you will ever know.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Criticism

There will always be critics, haters and difficult people in your life. Those people that judge you for so many reasons. No matter how sincere your intentions may be, no matter how positive your actions may be, there will be those who find a way to criticize you. For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, negativity, and fears onto you and your life, and you’ll have to deal with it. When that happens, keep in mind that the criticism is their problem, not yours.
I have learned to embrace the criticism and use it as fuel. It has much about myself and about my critics. I am grateful for those that want to judge and criticize me. Grateful for haters? YES! Without them I would never have known how much I can tolerate before I say “enough.” I would never have learned to create and hold boundaries. I would not have had the courage to stand on my own two feet and live my truth. I would never have realized that I only needed to fight for me to protect my heart. I am grateful that though their judgements I have learned what I stand for and what is important to me. Without those difficult “sandpaper” people in my like I never would have learned to love myself, becoming the woman I am today.
I occasionally look back to remember what I leave behind and to see how far I have come. I’m not upset or angry about the past, nor am I envious of the people and things I leave in the past. I leave behind people to deal with their own demons. I leave behind all the hate, anger, judgements, and criticism of others. I leave behind all that no longer serves me.
I look towards the future and move forward. Every day is a new day. I choose not to give power to the critics and the haters. I choose not to allow anyone but me control my destiny and my future. Those critics are afraid of a strong woman. They are afraid of a woman who has stepped into her own truth and light. A confident and courageous woman is intimidating to others. Why? She has nothing to fear, nothing to lose but everything to gain. She carries herself with pride and dignity. She might stumble here and there but that crown never wavers.
When you’re being criticized, it means you’re making a difference. So rather than allowing criticism to stop you, smile, straighten your crown and step forward into your greatness! Always look forward and keep moving forward!
Peace,
#tutulady
#forwardisapace