Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“…And tonight I thank the stars, as I count my lucky scars…”

But Honestly, The Foo Fighters

A friend of mine posted this quote as a Facebook status, it immediately stuck me. The song and these lyrics have been with me for the past couple weeks and I can’t keep it cooped up in my head any longer.

How often do we take a step outside, breathe in the crisp, cool air (some places more crisp and cool than others), and simply thank the universe for another day, another hour, another moment? We can look up and lose sight of the light things around us and remind ourselves how small we are in the middle of this enormous place. Our scars remind us of not just what we have experienced, but what we have survived. And in that moment, we get lost in that incredible feeling.

We should not only be grateful for our time on earth but our own strength, our spirit, our unfailing efforts to live the life we are given.

So tonight (and every night I can), I will look up at the stars, fill my lungs with the incredible energy and light that surrounds me daily, as I remind myself once more that every experience is one for growth and even the biggest problems are only a blip, a hiccup. Fill the universe with your optimism as the universe fills you with exactly what you need… a hefty helping of hope and a reminder that you are here and have made it through it all.

Have a wonderful week, friends. Breathe it all in and remind yourself, you’ve earned your spot here.

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“I made up my mind when I was a young girl. I’ve been given this one world. I won’t worry it away.”

— Sara Bareilles

Welcome back from hiatus. Now that school is out for summer and I am back from my family vacation, expect everyday motivation.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

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Brave

“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bowed down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is…”

New track by one of my favorite artists, Sara Bareilles. This song seemed to go along with our general theme of optimism and perseverance.

Everyone has felt like they were the opposite of brave. Everyone needs a reminder of just how brave they are.

Psst… yeah, you… You are BRAVE. Fight for yourself. You are all you need to be your best.

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“Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.”

-Eli Young Band, Even if it Breaks Your Heart

 

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“Drop your worries. You are gonna turn out fine, but you gotta keep your head up.”

Keep Your Head Up, Andy Grammer

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“I thank God for my life and for the Stars and Stripes. May freedom forever fly. Let it ring.”

Zac Brown, Chicken Fried 

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“If the rain’s comin’ down right now baby, go outside and dance.”

–Eli Young Band, Go Outside and Dance

I remember when I was in grade school, I used to hate when it rained during summer vacation.  I figured, if when snow inhibited my ability to go to school those days had to be made up, then I should get some bonus vacation days when rain inhibited my ability to enjoy vacation.  It was flawless deduction.  After all, if I couldn’t spend the day at the pool, and I was trapped inside with nothing to do but read, how was that any different than being in school?  At least in school I could raise some cane with my classmates.

But that’s the point of this weeks MMM: rain inhibited my ability to enjoy vacation only because I let it.  A familiar, yet unattributed, inspirational blog quote is “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain.”  I chose the lyrics over the quote, because the lyrics are instructive in how we should approach a storm.  The lyrics don’t say that we have to learn how to go out and dance in the midst of a storm, it instructs us to get our butts out there and dance.  Why is that important?

How many of us are good dancers?  And for those of us not raising our hands, how many of us are willing to go learn?  Yea, me either.  It’s not that I don’t like to dance, it’s just that I’m not good at it. Oh, I’ve got rhythm.  Heck, I can play  two against three! It’s just some lack of coordination, flexibility, and balance mixed with my dorky personality that make a total fool when I dance (unlike Gene Kelly in that clip).  On top of that, if I were to go outside in the rain and dance I’d be soakin’ wet, dripping, slipping, and a mess in general.  So am I telling you not to go dance in the rain unless you’re a good dancer who happens to have a change of clothes on hand?  Of course not.

There’s something liberating about dancing freely, even without music, and something almost rebellious about doing it in the rain.  It’s a strange juxtaposition of completely against our instincts yet primal and natural.  It feels fantastic to shirk expectations and norms and jump around like a kid in the rain.  Suddenly, the very cause of everyone else’s misery is your therapeutic medium, and you were able to embrace it simply by changing your attitude for it.  Your ruined day of summer vacation just turned into the best day of summer.    Forget learning how to dance in the rain; if the rains comin’ down right now, get out there and dance!  (Maybe just wipe your feet off before you come back inside…)

Post Script

Maybe you see a storm on the horizon, or you are in the middle of monsoon season.  Let us know about it, and we’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.  Maybe we can even be your encouragement to get out there and dance, your cyber precipitation dance partners, if you will.

Post Post Scriptum 

The photo on today’s post is taken from the show, The O.C.  I chose this picture, rather than all of the stock photos of people dancing in the rain, mostly because it gave me a chance to share this humorous line with you.  Cohen is hanging upside down from a rope, because he fell off the roof during a rainstorm in an attempt to fix his satellite dish.  He is dressed in a spiderman mask to protect his face from the elements.  Summer has just rushed from the airport, where she was about to embark on a trip with her new boyfriend, to confess her undying love for Cohen, who she discovers in the vulnerable state.  After recreating the iconic upside-down-in-the-rain-spiderman-kiss, the couple returns to their characteristic banter with the following lines:

Seth: Spiderman is really the only protective headgear I own.

Summer: Well, it’s too bad you weren’t wearing protective headgear when you were dropped on your head as a child.

Seth: Oh, zing!

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“Life is good today.”

Zac Brown Band, Toes

After final exams, my mind was shot.  I had to take a few days off from studying so that I could focus on preparing for preliminaries.  Not that I wanted to waste these valuable days, I simply had to.  On a Friday afternoon whim, I decided last minute to purchase tickets from Scorebig.com for the Zac Brown Band concert on Saturday night at the amphitheater .  I’m not really a big fan (of country in general), but I knew my girlfriend would enjoy the concert, and I love the scorebig system for bidding on tickets.  I have to admit, my expectations were low, especially given the dismal weather forecast.

We got rained on; yet the concert was wonderful.  I never expected this long lost relative of the Roberston clan to be so uplifting.  Not only did I leave the concert humming some of their faux-reggae-parrot-head tunes, but I felt rejuvenated.  And so I share this lyric with you, that your spirit might be uplifted by this bearded minstrel.

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“… I get a little bit stronger.”

I was driving to work this morning. It wasn’t particularly a terrific day… hell, it was 6:30.

I was flipping through my iTunes, looking for something to listen to. I just wanted something mellow playing to keep my eyes on the road and keep the stress level down. I pressed shuffle, still holding my phone in my hand, WAITING to press “next” as I knew there would be something like “Feel Good Drag” that set the wrong tone (although when you need it, it gets the adrenaline going.) And then it happened. “A Little Bit Stronger” crept in through my speakers.

It’s the kind of song that you have to be in the right mood for, and for me, it holds some pretty heavy meaning. However, it served as a great reminder. It is a reminder of all that I have overcome. My favorite line from the song? “Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.” Even when you are in a million pieces, feeling like you aren’t much of anything, you are a little bit stronger. After a few days like that, you are just plain stronger. Imagine where you will be after a month, a year, a lifetime like that.

You are as strong as you need to be. Each day, you get a little bit stronger.

Love and Light,

Carly

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