Just GO

Adventure…

Adventure….

The word alone stirs up feelings of wonder and beautiful moments to come.
In less than 5 days, my family will be heading out on an adventure…  Three weeks of exploring… Together.  All four of us…. Two teen girls and their parents!  And it’s going to be AWESOME!

View More: http://mercarty.pass.us/cox-family

We are taking a trip to Portugal…
Ah yes, blue skies… beautiful beaches…  cobblestone roads… castles…  the most delicious pastries….  AND most importantly, I get to visit with my darling, huge family!
We are  heading on an adventure…To breathe in deeply of a new place.
To make memories and spend quality time with those I love.

I travel because it wakes me up.
It’s a little scary… and a lot of joy…
It opens me up to see new things and I engage in a whole new way.
It’s a completely IMMERSIVE experience. Only that moment matters.
The busyness of everyday life is gently silenced and is quickly replaced by my desire to absorb all the beauty surrounding me. I feel like my body is suddenly more aware, and I don’t want to miss a moment.
Travel takes me where I need to be emotionally.
It reminds me of sacred moments and intentional living.
It speaks of freedom and purpose.
It shows me beauty in diversity and deepens my cultural experiences.
So here is the thing I am learning about ADVENTURE.  It doesn’t have to be about traveling to far-away places.  It’s about living with intention.  Adventure could be waiting right outside your door.  It’s about opening yourself to new new ideas and experiences.  It’s about taking a chance and living with no regrets.  Its about saying no to fear, and yes to enthusiasm and new things.

So, dear friends…
I invite you to ask yourself:  what’s next on your adventure list?
Go on, dream big, or small… Make that list.
and then… JUST GO!

Just GO

Deepen your intentional living spirit.
With Love,
Sharon

ADVENTURE. It doesn’t have to be about traveling to far-away places. It’s about living with intention.
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‘Live your Journey’ Retreat

March 15th, 2015

Roseville, California

9:30am

The sun was shining, the trees were swaying with a gentle breeze, and the birds were singing their hearts out.   What a beautiful beginning to a fabulous day. Each one of us on the Arise & Be team were beyond excited to meet each of the women who signed up for our ‘live your journey’ retreat.  Our hearts are so connected with what we get to offer, and we couldn’t wait to  meet the beautiful souls who bravely stepped out of their comfort zone to spend the day with us.  A day, not only relaxing, but a day filled with growth and vulnerability, intentionality and purpose.

We learnt all about honoring the whole self.  We got to listen to Heather talk about intuition and Left and Right brained activities.  We created masterpieces with oil pastels (use that right side of the brain, ladies!), discovered new terms like: space within and space between. We explored the words: Clarity, Kindness, Confidence, Growth, Receptivity, Vulnerability, Faith and Abundance…. and then used those words to create our ‘Life Map Cards’ for our journey. Deep conversations, sharing in our groups, beautiful questions being asked.  Playing with putty as Heather read us a story.  One of my favorite things was seeing all the blankets spread out under the trees as we all took time to rest after lunch. Oh, what a glorious day.

Thank you Michelle F, Shelley S, Rebecca, Shelley W, Cristal, Paige, Marjorie, Erika, Raley, Jennifer, Darlene, Amy, Jill, Jaime, Kacee, Michelle H, Lexi, Lisa W, Liana and Lisa H.

Each one of you inspired us.  We are so FOR you and we can’t wait to see each of you soar.

Live deeply and with freedom, dear friends.

Sharon

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Gratitude….

gratitude1

It’s a big word and there seems to be a lot of emphasis on it during this season.

I don’t just mean a little emphasis….

I mean a lot!

Facebook, Blogs, Instagram….  It’s everywhere!

People are writing about it.  Embracing it.  Choosing to live it.

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GRATITUDE.

This word has been a tough one for me this year.  And I will tell you why…  Every year, I intentionally choose a word for myself.  A word to focus on.  A word to grow my heart and feed my spirit.  A word to strengthen my voice and what I offer back to the world.

In past years, my words have been:   Freedom.  Intentional.  Clarity.

And, you guessed it.  My word for 2014 is GRATITUDE.

I thought it would be an easy one.  After all, I am a pretty positive person. I believe in living life to the fullest. I believe in finding the “thank you’s” in everyday living. I take deep breaths and truly engage with what life offers.  This word seemed like it would be an easy journey.  After all, it’s a natural response to a good life, and I definitely have a good life.  So I could easily cruise through this year and this word! Right?

Not exactly.

Instead, this word seemed to taunt me.  It served as a reminder of my humanness. I became acutely aware of my many broken places.   And I was reminded of my short comings.  It brought my biggest fears to the surface.  But Why?

Vulnerability.  That’s what I feel when I focus on gratitude.  Because I recognize how much I have to be grateful for, and that definitely touches on a deep part of my heart.  BUT with that awareness, I also recognize how much I have to lose.  That makes me feel vulnerable.

This is just me being completely transparent. Let me give you an example of what I mean:  When I think of my children, my heart explodes with love for them.  I feel emotional.  Just writing this, I feel teary.  Oh yes, my kids are such a beautiful part of my life. Of course I am grateful for them.  Their life is a gift to me.  But with that gratefulness comes the realization that I could lose them.  In a moment, something could happen, and I could lose one of them.  Isn’t this every parent’s worst nightmare?

HENCE: The vulnerability.

This is what I have come to recognize.  I am not afraid of vulnerability.  Vulnerability is such an authentic way to live my best life. So I choose to live from that vulnerable place, and embrace all that comes with it.  And part of living from that vulnerable place is exploring GRATITUDE.

brenebrown

Brené Brown said it perfectly… in order to experience joy, we should be practicing gratitude… Who doesn’t want more joy in their life?!!!

So I am embracing  gratitude.

Gratitude is a choice for me.   It’s a response to the beautiful life I have been given.  It is a declaration of today’s many gifts. It is about showing appreciation and returning kindness. It is what encourages the JOY in my life.

Oh Yes.

I’ve got this word.

Gratitude… choosing the risk of vulnerability… experiencing joy… bring it on! I want all that life has to offer through the gateway of authentic gratitude.

-Sharon

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Living Fully: Mind, Heart, Body & Spirit

Over the years I have worked as both a massage therapist, and as a chaplain. Can I just say:  I love my jobs!!! Both fields are so sacred and fill my heart with a  deep sense of purpose.

Massage  focuses more on the physical body. The releasing of tension in the muscles. But I have come to understand how intrinsically connected the physical body and the heart are. How the mind and spirit are also involved.  As my clients open up and share their stories, their struggles and their pain, something shifts in their body. Their muscles slowly begin to release and let go. Its a process. A beautiful process and it involves every part of who they are. With a little help from my fingers, they leave with less pain and more freedom to go about their everyday living.

In my chaplaincy work, I am honored to support people in very vulnerable moments of their lives. Some days its when a new baby is born into the world. Other days its through grief support. Sometimes decisions need to be made. Hard decisions. Heartbreaking decisions.  My work is all about  providing a safe place for people to express their pain or fears… their thoughts or expectations. They get to talk. I get to listen & hold their hand.  In those sacred moments I am once again reminded of the fact that the heart, mind, body and spirit all play a part in the journey they are on. Whether they are aware of it or not, all four quotients are involved.

This is what I have come to understand through my work:  To LIVE FULLY means to focus on all four aspects of what makes the WHOLE  person. The emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects. Its being intentional about caring for each of those parts that make up the whole.

live fullyMy friends often ask me: Are you well?  They are not just asking about my physical body.  They are asking something much deeper.  Hows your heart? Hows your mind and spirit? Are you in a good place?  They ask because they care about me as a whole.  Not just about a part of me, but the WHOLE me!

So shouldn’t I be intentional about nurturing the whole me? Life is to short to live any other way but FULLY!  Living fully means living to the deepest extent possible.  Living with my whole soul.  Honoring my mind, my heart, my body and my spirit. Growing those areas in my life.

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Today I invite you to join me in doing something for the neglected part of your whole self. What makes your heart sing?  What engages your mind? How do you care for your body? What inspires you?Find something on this list, or create your own list.

Talk a walk at sunset.

Do something you love.

Read an inspirational book.

Do a crossword puzzle.

Have coffee with a friend.

Pet your dog.

Star Gaze.

Listen to a Ted Talk.

Create something artistic.

Read the comics.

Call someone that makes you laugh.

Listen to music.

Its the little things.  Those intentional moments when we take time to fill our hearts, be kind to our bodies, grow our minds, and feed our spirits that will begin to transform everyday living into extraordinary living.

-Sharon

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Books

Life as a Journey – recognizing the value of both the process + the outcome

Books.

As a child, I couldn’t get enough of them
I read them cover to cover
I was drawn to the stories they held
to the beauty and heartache in the pages.
Those stories taught me about love and loss
hope and truth
courage and strength.

Today, I still love stories
but I have come to understand
that my love for books stemmed from a deeper desire to know people.
To see a glimpse of their heart through the vulnerability of those personal stories…

Everyone has a story,
it speaks to your life journey.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has a quote that reads:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you…”

Yes.
I have come to understand that this is so true.
13 years ago I kissed my son’s beautiful face for the first time,
and the last…
He was stillborn…
and it broke my heart wide open.
unimaginable grief and love poured out
and I felt this incredible need to share the story
of how his little life had so touched mine…

Sharing his story, is how I could authentically honor him,
and speak to the deep pain I felt with every breath.
The grief so raw.
The longing so deep.

Looking back now, I recognize that this journey was a process
A process of acknowledging deep loss,
of crying the tears that needed to be cried,
of asking questions,
and coming to peace with the unanswered questions.
Of acknowledging my son, who was not in my arms,
but will always be a part of our family, and of my heart.
I lived from a vulnerable, honest place
and that journey was oh so hard
and so very sacred.

The outcome of that process is: I changed
How could I not?
Today, I breath in deeply of what each day has to offer.
I smother my daughters with kisses
and remind them that they are loved.
I trust my intuition
and listen to my heart.
I choose to speak truth
and live from a deeper place of awareness.
I am kinder to myself.
I honor this journey of grief that I will forever be on
and I bravely share our story of loss with others,
not only to honor him,
but in the hope that it will encourage them
to step into their brave,
and live with vulnerability
and intentionality.

I believe that we were created to love and be loved.
To share our stories of life with each other.
These beautiful stories
help us understand that we are not alone…
not alone in our struggles,
and not alone in our hope.

Stories…
They speak to the journey of life.
They matter.
Your story matters.

– Sharon

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