Facing the inner pulls without fear

My sister’s house is quiet. She’s gone the week, dogs are boarded, no workmen tinkering. It’s just me, Berkeley, (my bichon) and a whole lotta space. Well, that’s easily filled up with the beckoning of my mental to do list. You know? The stuff that never leaves and just gets buried deeper in the day to day doings until there’s a moment to really sit down?

Welll, hello, here am I really ‘sitting down’. But, there’s an ache in my heart…this feeling like “ugh…back to my life again” with intimidation of the unknown, some overwhelmedness about all there is to do and some angst over how I’m gonna get it all done. And in the quiet of sitting down to look at these inner yearnings, the pull to run help another is huge.

It’s something I’m an expert at actually. And year after year of taking on ‘other’ –well, while it feeds my sense of purpose and desire for creating community with whomever it is I’m helping, it doesn’t help me fulfil my own yearnings…the stuff I need to do that no one really can help me with–my orphaned dreams.

Of late they’ve been beckoning: adopt me now! I’m only kidding myself as I go from day to day assuming new projects and engaging in that which would help another—that I’m somehow forwarding these orphaned endeavors.

So today, this morning, it’s more than the high ceilings and sprawling square footage that looms large. The finest of quality craftsmanship simply reminds me to scoop up those orphaned dreams and start caring for them with serious intent to parent. ☺ But I’m nervous. Very, actually.

So I’m writing today about how to maintain peace when the angst to ‘get it all done’ weighs as heavily as the fear of the unknown of unchartered waters: the commitment, the time, the next steps, the how to’s.

Pulling at thought much is the actual sculpting. The model’s in view, at least a great sense of it, but the details are blurry, the next steps feel scattered and the destination unmappable.

So here’s what I’m doing to move forward—through—the unknowns and squelch the fear that would further stagnate my efforts.

First, I get still. I find anywhere that’s a nurturing quiet space, close my eyes and shut out all that murmurs in thought. And then, I take a deep breath and begin to climb the mental stairs to that attic storing my innermost yearnings….and open the door, and walk in.

If you don’t know where that storage place is, just still your thoughts and listen. And ask yourself:
What keeps nudging me? What’s my innermost desire? When I honestly strip my ego and self justification from these pulls, what remains?
What are my ultimate desires?

Whatever they are, however many or few they are, after I do this sifting, I listen. I listen to what they’re pulling and nudging. And I write them down.
Listen, look, write down.

This way, I’m giving form to the ideas without which they’ll tend to wander around in thought and seem more huge to address than they really are.
That simple act of creating a symbolic expression for an idea—in this case giving it a word, a phrase or a sentence—births the idea in a tangible way.

So you can do the same thing…Listen to these pulls, strip them of all ego and self justification…see what remains….Look at them and write them down—even if it’s just one thing. Just that 3 step process: hear the idea, look at it, write it down—engages thought in the moment and all murmurings about how the heck am I gonna accomplish this…all that huggabaloo is silenced…at least for a time.

I wrote down 3 things:
a. establish a virtual office/ongoing online presence
b. research the writings of Mary Baker Eddy
c. share those ideas online somehow

The next step in handling my fears of feeling overwhelmed is to jot down a few next steps for accomplishing each one of these goals.
Even if I don’t know.
Maybe it’s to ask for help.
Maybe it’s to ask someone I know who has one what she did to create it.
Maybe it’s to search the web for blogs about it or video tutorials.

Again, listen for the next step, look at it, write it down.
By writing it down or typing it in a word doc, the ideas that were once looming take further shape as you give them a tangible form you can put your arms/eyes around. This mental sculpture transforms your goal from a looming overwhelming idea to now a potential list of next steps you can can manage.

Concurrent to my writing these ideas down, I affirm or meditate this way:
“The divine Mind that is my creator is expressing my individuality uniquely. I know now what I need to be doing and any idea that I should consider or dwell upon I will know. Nothing I am to do can overwhelm me. Any task, next step, or ultimate endeavor I seek to achieve are expressions of my individuality and are coming to thought to be birthed and outwardly expressed. I can trust that I am able to follow through with each task and I can know too that there’s no ugly accuser attacking these efforts and that I do not have to give an ounce of attention to any condemning thought or abusive shunning. That mental cloud only seems to emerge as I move forward and to the degree I stay focused and keep thought on the goal, these opposing influences will cease to have any effect. The divine Mind holds me and all in its grasp and I am safe.”

(for more on this line of spiritual reasoning, see the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, specifically her main work on practical spirituality: Science and Health—the ideas of which I use daily in my moment to moment journey).

In sum:
Dig deep and listen for those innermost pulls.
Look at them. Write them down.

Doesn’t matter if they are biggies like: get married, have a baby, start a soup kitchen, produce a film–or if the goal is a bit simpler: join a health club, visit the Caribbean, volunteer at a shelter.

Just write those orphaned ideas down. They deserve your focus.
Write them down. Just do that. And then give yourself permission to ponder a few next steps…even on the ones that seem out of your reach.
And for today, just sit with the fact that you gave breath to the idea and to some next steps for it. What matters is that you seized the inner pull, listened and looked at it, gave it expression, and have made a promise to yourself to keep listening, keep nurturing the idea, and keep pushing yourself to ponder some next steps.

Eddy writes: “Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer, and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds.” (Eddy, Science and Health, chapter 1: Prayer).

If you wanna chat more about any of this, my twitter handle is @tresha, my email: evolveserenity@gmail.com, or you can leave a comment right here on the blog.

Thanks for readin’…be well, Tre ~

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Reflections on my journey at blogher’s conference…

Just posted a summary of my ‘take homes’ from blogher 08….a conference for women bloggers held for 4 days in San Francisco….

I’m learning I can’t copy/paste from their site to this blog…so here’s the link of my post on their site….and next time I’ll write it here and then link it to blogher.

If you blog and wanna know more about this conference, feel free to email me.

More on the conference here on my blog in another little while….

Take care,

Tre ~

Steady on…

Steady On…it’s the name of a fave song of Shawn Colvin’s.

It’s also of late what I keep reminding myself to do…amidst helping out a relative and feeling at times more than ready to be done or at other times wondering why I always say yes to people when they need help.

Hear the ego? 🙂

Today I’m remembering that moment to moment and thought by thought, there’s value in the steady on…in the remembering why you are doing what you’re doing….in recalling your motive and standing by that in spite of tough circumstances or situations you wish were different.

In the end what matters most is the being present in the moment ….being present means you don’t think about what else you could be doing or what could be more beneficial to you and your life right now. Such thinking leads to second guessing your original decision to help a friend or loved one. Staying in the moment, in the right now, helps you thwart off all pulls to think some place would be better when you’ve committed to supporting a loved one through a tough time and helping him/her transition

So how do you stay ‘steady on?’ How do you thwart off all the pulls that say you should be doing something else or oughta be somewhere else, especially when you are feeling you’ve made a worthwhile commitment?

For me ‘steady on’ is remembering that no matter how tough the human condition, the substance of your initial motive–the unselved love and unconditional support that inspired your initial resolve–grounds and sustains. Nothing–no thought or feeling–can usurp the original intent and cause feelings of second guessing of motives. But when these come, and they seem to flood thought often in the midst of striving to do something unselved, you can trust that these thoughts are simply coming as distractors. Whatever impelled the honest, pure, unconditionally loving initial intent cannot do a 180 and make anyone feel their efforts are a waste of time or somehow postponing one’s own personal growth.

And this is important.

Sometimes we may have the best of intentions but half way amidst the doing good, we start to think that maybe this was a mistake. Or maybe we feel undervalued, insignificant or worse that sense of ‘why bother doing this?”

Try as ever once you’ve committed to helping a loved one or a friend, whether for an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year, to stay grounded in the original intent and motive. Your own life can not be somehow put on hold or stagnated because you’ve opted to give of yourself this way.

In her best selling work about practical spirituality, Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” I love this. I appreciate remembering this.

If honest and pure, unconditional and unselved, there’s no way you will somehow be wasting your moments.

Steady on…thought by thought.

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If you wanna chat about any of the ideas above, leave a comment or email me at evolveserenity@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading…be well, Tre ~

Seemless flow….

You get an inclination. You act on it. You make a decision. Whoosh. Cool. Big weight leaves thought. Freedom returns all but for one thing: the logistics that have to happen in order to allow you the ability to act on this decision….

Obstacle or opportunity?

Stumbling block or arena for proving patience and perserverance?

Well, talk to me last week and I woulda said OBSTACLE!!!! STUMBLING BLOCK!!!! and i woulda added a ton of exasperation as well.

A decision I’ve been putting off I finally committed to. Lock, stock, barrel ready to dive in.

I saw my way through all the necessaries to make the decision actualized except for some of the logisitics.

There’s been a lot of stumbling blocks and seeming obstacles to having those come together.

Concurrent to my own problematic situations, my sister’s taking on a move that’s come together seemlessly except for the cable /internet installation. The company goofed on her order, started service at the new location, cancelled it at the current one and she’s spent upwards of 10+ hours on the phone trying to square it all up.

Exasperated? Yup.

Sick of that cable company? Yup.

Despising the process of moving? Yup.

As she finagled her way through all the loopholes of the set up and installation of her new service I watched her joy and wonder over new beginnings get zapped by frustration with seeming incompetence and poor follow through.

And I watched how I absorbed that same reacting to my own stumbling blocks.

And I watched how I started sounding like a squawking peacock “nothing’s ever easy. this decision may be a good one but good luck having it unfold harmoniously.” I even watched myself bop myself over the head one time too many blaming myself for procrastinating…had I done this a year ago, things would have been different, blahdeeblah….

So what’s the deal? Do we always have to incur stumbling blocks with right decisions?

As we move forward with what best promotes our growth, are there always gonna be obstacles and mishaps?

Well, what if it’s not the obstacle that is the issue ?

What if the issue is how we respond?

If something is a right decision, why would we ever 2nd guess it or wonder about the timing?

And more, why would we ever fault ourselves or condemn ourselves if it’s not evolving harmoniously?

I’m no expert yet, and often find myself whining and wailing before I hush up long enough to regroup, check out my reacting wallowings, and take a deep breath to remember: at each and every moment, my life and everyone’s, is governed and sustained by Divine Love’s nudge. What typically reacts in disappointment or frustration is the human ego, the pull to be weighed down in self-justification and human will, especially out of a sense of control or power.

You and I do not need to exert power or will. We have only to walk forward and move forward with the conviction that each and every aspect of our lives is ordered and governed, sustained and supplied.

It’s not about controlling the outcome or orchestrating it. It’s about moving forward responding to those inner yearnings and then defending the right steps to shepherd the outcome are ocurring, again, in divine Love’s timing.

So in moments of angst, frustration or impatience, I’m reminded yet again that no barking at a flower made it bloom faster, no shouting at the oven made the cookies cook more rapidly, and no insisting willfully or arrogantly at our own lives will ever make them evolve more readily.

I’m humbled as I remember all is a moment to moment, thought by thought journey.

So if you’ve just made a decision that feels right for you, celebrate it and pause. And let the next days of living with this decision take shape naturally. You don’t have to steer it’s unfoldment or charge full steam ahead and dictate how it has to come together.

Pause and defend. Be still and know. Exude joy and feel loved….moment to moment and thought by thought. Good IS occurring and you are living it wholely and fully.

Enjoy your journey. 🙂

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If you wanna touch base about any of these ideas, email me: evolveserenity@gmail.com or leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond asap. 🙂 Be well and much joy to you, Tre ~

Simple thoughts for the day

Make friends with the day. (See “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle).

Dig deeper: make friends with the moments actually….especially at night when the darkness looms.

Find the peace and embrace the beauty therein. (listen to/watch Dar Williams’ song “Beauty of the Rain”).

Walk the moment in awareness.

Feel connected to all.

Wonder at the awe of being. (listen to/watch The Wailin Jenny’s ‘Beautiful Dawn’).

Let go resentment.

Squelch fear.

Hush the ‘how comes’ and ‘whys’ the ‘pangs’ and ‘regrets’ over missing someone.

Silence the remorse over so much I didn’t say… so much I wanted to say….so much I didn’t know how to say.

Know he knows, she knows, they know.

Defend that the one Mind informs all of what they need to know — to live lives in peace.

Defend that divine Love embraces each heart and is right now fulfilling all with hope and love.

And when the day finds thought squirming about in confusion, unable to focus on truth, getting caught up in condemning and hurtful attacking thoughts or anger or worse, feeling anger toward all the injustice around us globally, REMEMBER to take moments to get still and know that one thought is all that is needed to bring peace.

Pause in gratitude for the glory that you are able to think and be that love you wish to see in the world…..and let that love mobilize into action with every conversation and interaction you share.

These will continue to be my goals for the moments….

What are yours?

Leave a comment and/or share how you carve out peace moment to moment…

Thanks for reading…Tre 🙂

Undisturbed by f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real)

Ask yourself: no holds barred, what would it take to move forward in spite of collective opinion that declares you’ll fail?

To me, it would take, and does take, the determination and courage to mentally carve out what are your innermost desires, chart out some kind of path to follow that forwards your pursuit of them, and then press on.

In spite of collective opinion.

David Cook’s winning of American Idol is a fresh example of the value of doing so.

In spite of even the judges’ opinions on the night of the finals, he triumphed and won.

I’m thrilled for him. Beyond just loving rock and appreciating the uniqueness of his talents as a singer and guitar player, his win is a symbol for me in my current day to day and moment to moment o press on….

I’m not going for a win on American Idol.

I’m going for moment to moment sculpting my thought, carving enduring serenity, a life of consistent joy and peace, love and fulfillment.

But even though I know these goals embody the hunk of marble that is our true life’s substance, we gotta chisel thought to really reflect their depth and to reflect it consistently. Against opinion that often laughs at the attempt, says it’s not doable, or sways you to think any effort thereto is pointless.

In Science and Health’s 14th chapter Recapitulation, which formed the basis of her early instruction on the Science of Being Mary Baker Eddy taught at the college she founded–the Massachussetts Metaphysical College, she defines the nature of substance as “that which is incapable of discord and decay” (p. 468).

Her entire answer is here:

“Answer.–Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit. ” (p. 468)

I’ve come to see time and again that anything causing fear or intimidation is usually based on false evidence seeming or appearing real…and you can think of f.e.a.r abbreviated that way. Minimally, much that scares or intimidates, much that wants to thwart your innocence or stunt your progress is fear based and not ever that of substance.

The way to work through it thought by thought is to refuse to be misinfluenced by such suggestions. This is all they will ever be. Simply suggestions. Even if coming from a respected friend or relative. Even if coming from an admired celebrity. Even if coming from a judge on American Idol (because clearly that opinion was proved wrong).

Check thought hourly, moment by moment. See if what’s stopping you from pursuing your innermost desire is fear. If so, don’t be impressed. Press on. You owe this to yourself.

Imagine a world of each one of us living our authentic selves, undisturbed by public opinion or our own fear.

Imagine living your own life being consistently true to your inner core.

Now pause…and realize you can stop imagining… just go live this….thought by thought.

Get in touch if you wanna chat about how (email: evolveserenity@gmail.com or 305.394.1070).

Be well…

Criticize and condemn or COOPERATE and have COMPASSION?…We can do better….

Most women I interact with will admit they’ve experienced competition moreso than cooperation, have felt the sting of criticism more than the warmth of compassion, and run around with far more condemnations murmuring in their minds than compliments.

This post takes a peek at something that occurred last week in the blogoshere and on national television that has me asking this question:

What more can we do so that we feel honored by ourselves and each other? So that we know the bliss of cooperation, the beauty of compliments, and the glory of compassion—from ourselves and from one another?

First I wanna offer how I became intertwined in the discussion thread about a missed opportunity when several successful bloggers who are mothers were interviewed and then aired on MSNBC’s Today Show.

Next I wanna offer my perspective on the whole shebang.

Finally I’ll offer the example of Mary Baker Eddy that pulls me up from my bootstraps day in/day out for the achievements she mastered more than a century ago.

First the background.

Daily I read from several blogs and comment on them.
Last week, I became intertwined in a pretty large discussion over the blogosphere:

First, I read this post from a site i read regularly, bitchphd.com.
—a statement of support defending the nature of content a lot of mothers blog about.
I liked what I read and did what I typically do, I commented and moved on to read other posts in my RSS Feed Reader (I use NetNewsWire for blogs and NewsFire for news feeds).

But I didn’t get too far. Her piece made me really pause and think about the value of the contributions of moms or any blogger, about the validity of self expression, about how women writers are surely helping pave the way for women globally to experience more freedoms. I could go on and on.

The point here: I started percolating my own perspective on what I’d read…typical of anyone who is actively blogging and commenting. I wondered what I could offer–if anything new–to the discussion.

So rather than move on to my next feeds, I googled who she referenced—Heather Armstrong—and her blog ‘Dooce.com” and read this piece she offers to celebrate an anniversary of writing about her daughter.
I was moved and felt a connection with a life…a mother’s…and a daughter’s. And was just about to send a comment when my good friend blogger –Elizabeth at table4Five.com — instant messaged me about something and I asked her if she knew of this blog.

Not only did she know of it, she told me further of her own perspective on the interview of several mom bloggers including Heather and that I should watch the video about it and tune into the discussion threads (this means basically see who’s saying what on blogs about a common topic).

She gave me a link to a piece about the whole interview experience by one of the mom’s interviewed—a woman named Mir who blogs regularly at WouldaCouldaShoulda.
So I read Mir’s piece on blogher.com.
And I read the comments Mir refers to in her piece.
And then I even googled and read the excerpts of all the other women bloggers who were interviewed:
Jill Asher at svmoms.com and motherhooduncensored.com.

So you get the gist…how reading one blog and talking about it with another blogger sends you all over the blogosphere to find others who are discussing a similar topic.

And with this Today Show interview, it was clear: most bloggers I read all felt the interview dropped the ball….bigtime.

And so I began thinking further. Like why was any of this bothering me too?

On one level I felt compassion—kudos to any and all that spend so much of their lives offering their perspective of what’s working for them and then blog about it. And more kudos to the honest portrayal of lives. It builds connection and community and brings us all that much closer.

On another level I felt anger. How in the world is it possible that women in broadcast media can fail to emphasize the goods of the women bloggers in a nationally televised interview? Why were the substance of their efforts relegated to simply inquiries about privacy issues and other negative slants?

But I know me. Anger doesn’t get me anywhere.

So I thought about a favorite author—Mary Baker Eddy–whose every endeavor it seems was in taking a stand for authentic communication that mattered. She spent the better part of 40 years editing one text, Science and Health and because of her life achievements was dubbed by the National Association of Women Writers as among women “whose words have changed the world.”

And because she was so intensely aware of the need for objective reporting in the media, she didn’t just contribute articles to a local newspaper. She created one, an international daily in fact, the Christian Science Monitor—at a time when she felt objective reporting was vital to leaven the quality of content in the media. And to this day the Monitor still lives and breathes her original intent for it’s purpose “to injure no man and to bless all mankind.”

Okay…so here I was feeling compassion about the women who blog, a bit of miff-dom toward the interviewers, and then I’m reminded of Eddy’s example…

And so it made me pause and think and pray.

It’s not enough to just dwell—to me—on what was missing from the interview. That’s been discussed enough. And you can surely read about it doing your own google searches.

What I wish to offer is my perspective on lessons I’ve discerned in thinking and rethinking all of these conversations through.

All of these discussion threads make me ask the questions:
Why wasn’t there a greater celebration of achievements?
And more to the point: what am I doing with my own life to honor examples of success I come in touch with?

To me, the real learning I’m doing in sifting through all this stuff is asking those questions.

As a new blogger, I would have loved to ask these women about their successes and more. I would have asked them what started them blogging, what keeps them going, and how they would define the impact of their blogging on their own lives and on the lives of their readers. Heck, I may have even asked how their blogging is –to them—helping to evolve human rights as they further the right of each one of us to take a stand for our voices.

But it wasn’t long ago when I might have been a bit jealous of their achievements or worse, a bit more dumping on myself that I haven’t gotten further along in my own writings.

Think about it. When you see someone who is successful–whether in appearance, in their career, in their health/physique, in their relationships, what is your first thought?

Do you judge them negatively? Are you suspicious, critical, or apathetic? Do you inwardly cave and wonder what the heck is wrong with you? Or do you acknowledge achievements and applaud their efforts?

I would like to think we each and all celebrate one another’s successes.

We should!!!!

We share a commonness with all others that each one of us is on a journey. And someone’s successes — in whatever way– should be encouragement to each one of us that breaking through limitations is possible, doable, and proveable…on any scale, in any circumstance.

As I’m honest with myself, while I know this is my goal, it is not all the time where my thoughts first go.
Me being completely honest, when I see a woman—be it a mom, a peer, a woman senior to me….in whatever capacity that person is successful….I tend to wonder first things like: “How did she get there? What is she doing right?” Part suspicion, part genuine, sometimes jealousy, often my inner wonder. But I’m a far cry from fully embracing and honoring. I need to do better. I want to do better.

Sometimes I think I know. I say to myself: “Well she’s mastered thought by thought living and maintains peace and can hear her goals and not the muck of self condemnation, carves out a path for herself and just goes nuts. You could be there but aren’t b/c you’re too caught up in feeling incapable yourself. ”

Other times I just pause and think “I wanna be more like that” ( a type of criticism) or “how come I’m not there yet?” (a type of complaining) or worse, dumping on myself (a type of condemnation).

My point here: until we can look out at anyone’s successes and objectively celebrate their victories, we may fall into the trap of criticism, complaining or condemnation (which may have been what happened to those who interviewed the bloggers).

So for me…as I’m thinking broadly about this topic–how to celebrate one another’s successes–how to learn from them and more how to celebrate my own and honestly assess what needs improving, I’m remembering this simple but oh so vitally important commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.’

Why?

Well, think about it. If you are striving to see yourself spiritually, as inherently good, than why would you settle for anything less when viewing ‘your neighbor’ even if that person is someone you’ve never met…even if that person is succeeding at his/her endeavor that you may not understand at all, why would you NOT ‘love him/her’ or rather see that individual wholely and purely?

We all have weaknesses. We all have those choices we made that we wished we hadn’t. We can all craft a laundry list of things we wanna be doing better. And everyone who’s achieved success in whatever way also has a laundry list that to him/her he/she could be doing better.

So why then–when we see someone who’s successful in whatever way–can’t we sit back and honor and celebrate it, compliment it, and even ask where/when appropriate for some help and guidance along the way?

What was lost from that interview can be found in our day to day: Each one of us can value the successes of another individual we admire while also honoring our own. We can learn from one another, honestly and gently self assess, and push ourselves to grow.

None of those mommy bloggers got where they are by believing that they would fail. None of them achieved readerships by writing about boring content and gossip. All of them got where they are because they were true to their innermost desire to give voice to their hearts. And they’ve helped several bloggers along the way.

And in the long run those examples are what to me will move society forward: people who succeed who are willing to cooperatively share what they’ve learned, compassionately offer help, and compliment others’ successes along the way.

All of us can right now think of 2 or 3 people who inspire us…and we can pick up the phone and / or shoot them an email and just ASK: hey, what’s making this work so well for you?

My friend Elizabeth at table4five.com has taught me so much about blogging. So have a bunch of writers I know over at spirit-on-the-job-dot-com (spotj.com) and still others at blogher.com. But I know I haven’t told them enough. Note to self: tell them!!!

To me it’s that simple. And what’s more, that person will know and feel that their efforts are appreciated.

Mary Baker Eddy writes this: “The good in human affection must have ascendency over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition.” (Science and Health, p. 61:4).

Cooperation, compliments, and compassion go such a long way. To me, those are the real lessons to learn from and live by.

What do you think?

Leave your comments or shoot me an email at evolveserenity@gmail.com. Be well and enjoy your journey thought by thought…..they matter much! Tre ~