Category Archives: Blogs

Slipper to Shoes

 

Watercolor background

Many of us want to be more than just a parent, spouse, friend or family member. We all have dreams that we would like to see come true someday. The question is: what are you doing to make them happen?

When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a ballet dancer. I took dance classes and my favorite out of all of the classes was ballet. I would watch the older girls in their toe shoes and dream of being just like them. When it came time to advance from the ballet slipper to toe shoes I was told that this is hard work, that you will have to practice as much as you can or the shoes would be to hard for you to dance in.

I took that information to heart and when I got my first pair of toe shoes I was in those shoes as soon as I got home from school every day. I did not walk on my feet I walked on my toes. My mom had to insist that I stop wearing them at times when we were heading to school, church or to visit family. I worked hard to break in my shoes, to be able to walk on my toes as if that was how I was taught to walk. That year I had made it so that I could dance with the ‘big’ girls in class wearing those wonderful ballet shoes. I was only ten years old at that time.

That dream was crushed soon after for me. Not because of anything I had done but because of the financial situation in my life with my parents. They couldn’t afford to pay for my classes anymore and even though my dance teachers begged my mother to do things for them in trade for my tuition it never happened. I remember them telling her that I was the youngest student they had ever had that was really good on my ballet shoes and that I had great potential to be something if she could just keep me in the classes.

I have to say I was crushed. I didn’t want to believe it so I kept walking around in my toe shoes for many months after that. I even got a Ballerina Barbie doll for Christmas the prior year and the only two things I ever had with me were those toe shoes and that doll. Family life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in our house and eventually anger took hold and my ballet shoes and dance outfits were tossed out so that I would face the truth, then it was my doll that went. Parents mean well sometimes but they didn’t realize how they crushed my dream on those specific events in my childhood.

I turned into a child that was shy, quiet, did what I was told but didn’t ask for anything, didn’t dream of doing anything. When my parents divorced my mom got me a clarinet and put me in band classes at school. The music helped and I was good at that too but eventually I was reminded that it’s only a dream and wanting to play music for life wasn’t going to happen, just like being a ballet dancer.

When I grew up I realized that those that love you the most sometimes can’t handle the fact that you are chasing a dream and making it come true. They feel they should be chasing there own and when they aren’t and you remind them of what they would rather be doing they sabotage even those they love to keep from acknowledging the pain that comes with not chasing your dream.

So I ask again, what are you doing to make your dreams happen? Are you learning all you can about the subject in question? Are you surrounding yourself with others that are positive and go-getters, doers and dreamers? Are you taking steps even if small ones towards that goal around your life? We all have responsibilities and we have to have shelter, clothing and food for our family, and ourselves but what do you do on those off times? Do you sink into the couch watching TV and wishing for a different life? Do you pick up a book and read to get lost in those characters because your life isn’t going where you want? Or do you say I have far too much to do and am far to busy raising my children and keeping them going in all their activities? Are you using excuses like I fail at things when I try them so what’s the point?

No matter what your dreams are also important. Your dreams keep you going and alive in the grind of life. Those dreams give you a sense of accomplishment, confidence and pride in the ability to chase a dream, be an example to your family and know that anything is possible if you work hard and go after it. Do you watch a toddler go from crawling to walking without falling down? What dream are you chasing today and if you haven’t started then why? There is no better time than now. What are you waiting for?

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please share it with someone that you think it would help or touch. I’d like to hear what dreams you are chasing so leave a comment below. Have a blessed week!

Once Upon A Time

heart shaped book

As many of you know that read my blog or Face book each week I have been working on a book. It doesn’t start with Once Upon a Time but it is a book that I hope will inspire others and has a little romance in there too. This process all began when my husband, Milo, joined a mentorship program so that he could focus on what he wanted to do and at the time he thought that was art. The only problem with his decision was he wasn’t thinking about his Multiple Sclerosis affecting him at random times throughout this year commitment.

As he was having difficulties with remembering to do the weekly assignments of watching videos, doing homework, listening to conference calls and watching interviews with others that were successful he asked for my assistance. I put on my weekly calendar when he needed to schedule to watch or listen to these wonderful, positive insights. I found myself looking over his shoulder if you will to listen in on this information.

This mentorship program was asking all the right questions, making you think about what it was you truly wanted to do with your life and what vehicle you wanted to do it through. It didn’t matter if you wanted to be a chef, musician, artist, writer; screenwriter, photographer, sculpture, wood worker or what have you. It was all to encourage those that were creative to stop talking about what they wanted and start doing what they wanted.

At first I focused upon my photography as I truly enjoyed taking pictures and trying to capture the beauty around me when I went anywhere. Then I went to a conference with these enthusiastic, positive, encouraging people and decided that photography though I love it, wasn’t the true place I wanted to throw my creativity at this moment. Then writing began to be my focus.

I had already started this web page and began showing off some of my photographs, writing my weekly blog posts and finding that what I was writing was more important to me than even my photographs. It allowed me to feel I could make a difference in others lives by sharing hope and giving a voice to what I had to say, giving my thoughts, encouragement and inspirations from living my life.

With that I started writing a book and I though at times this process has been one of fear, I have overcome those fears to continue on this process and not quit. The rough draft of my first book is done and now I’m in the editing phase. I can honestly say that through this process I have grown as a person, have gained confidence in my talents, and myself and though I have much to learn still, I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Soon I will be setting up my author web page and hope that you will choose to join me there as I move my blog to that website. I will continue to share my photographs as it’s still something I love to do and write my weekly blog as it gives me joy to write them, I will just be moving to my Lisa Ballan author website. I have already created a Lisa Ballan Author page on Face Book and you can always follow me on that too.

My point for this blog is to let you know of some changes ahead as I transition to my new focus but that I hope you will join me too. I also want to encourage you that no matter your dream there is always a way to begin by taking one small step and focusing on that small step each day or each week. Eventually you will get to your destination if you don’t give up. Hard work isn’t easy, but it is rewarding and being diligent with your schedule to push forward is always key to achieving any dream. You can do it too.

Leave a comment below if you have pushed for a dream or goal and succeeded. I’d love to hear what it is you are doing and how you did it. Share this with anyone you feel could benefit from this post. Have a blessed day!

The Time is Now

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Do you have dreams you wish to achieve? Then the time is now to start working to get them. Time seems to move by so much faster now than I remember it doing when I was a child. I use to think school was going to take forever until summer break. Now, I’m trying to hold on to each day because it’s moving by so quickly.

We all have the same number of hours in a day, so what is holding you back from achieving those dreams you talk about or think about? If you work a job and come home each evening to prepare dinner and spend time with your family, what do you do with the few hours before you go to bed once the kids are put to bed? Do you watch the latest television show and just relax each evening?

What about your dream? Do you do anything towards it in the evenings? How about weekends? There is always an hour here or an hour there that you can eliminate one activity that doesn’t help you achieve your dreams for those that can. If you want to be a writer then start reading books about how to write if you aren’t sure where to start. If you want to learn to paint then take a class to learn some basics at the local college or from a local art teacher on weekends. If you want to take photographs then get out the manual to your camera and start learning what all the various knobs on the camera do and how they work together to create specific images. If you want to be a chef then practice some dishes on your family and have a little get together and see how they like them.

The only thing that is really stopping you is you. The time is the same for everyone and how you use it determines what you end up achieving in this life. Yes, things come up and you might have to skip that hour that one time but usually when something comes up its important like a sick child, a family vacation, overtime at work or even an illness you have to focus on. You can still do your dreams around the challenges.

You should start now while you can, because the next time you blink it may be five years later and you are wishing you had started because even if you did just a little bit towards that goal or dream you would have come far in five years. Let’s use weight loss as an example, you want to lose 100 pounds and it just seems so daunting of a goal, but if you focus on one to two pounds a week then that seems doable. If you don’t lose one or two pounds a week do you stop? No, of course not because even if you only lost two pounds a month it’s still 24 pounds in a year and 96 pounds in four years.

Writing a book can be the same way. You take the time to read how to get started and what you need to focus on and do. Then you sit down and take building a character as an example and doing a character sheet for the main character of a book idea that you have. Maybe next time you sit down you do another character perhaps the bad guy. Then the next time you sit down you might figure out what type of scene you want to start the book with or time period and do the research you need. Each time you sit down to work on it you get a little further and a little further. It might take you a couple years to complete the first book, but I assure you the second one won’t take nearly as long because now you know the process and you can utilize that time you have set aside better to achieve the next book.

So what is holding you back from achieving your dreams? The time is now to get started and make them a reality. You can do it!

If this post inspired you or you think would help someone else please share it or leave a comment below on how you are making the time you have now help you achieve your dreams. Have a blessed week!

Let it Rain

Rainy weather

Monsoon season is upon us here in the desert so let it rain it’s only temporary. It seems the last week it has decided to grace us with these thunderstorms at night and when it does the next day is just a little bit cooler, the sky bluer, the dust settled, the smog gone and that is refreshing. When temperatures hit 110 or higher here in the desert you just want to turn the AC as cold as possible and hide out from the sun and heat.

My life at times feels like monsoon season with so many challenges hitting me all at once. The thunderstorms and lightning shows from the drama in the family, the health issues in the family, job issues, financial issues, goals not being met, dreams not coming true can be overwhelming. I’ve learned that if I’m doing all the right things in my life, working towards my goals daily, taking time for my family, doing the best I can with my job, juggling the finances to stay within what we make, and the challenges keep piling up then I’m under attack because I am focused on the right things.

Some people make changes in there lives and when things start to get tough or more challenges are dumped upon them they give up and go back to what they were doing, which was nothing exciting to make it all stop so they can function each day with little or not challenges. What kind of life is that? I don’t care of you are broke or rich we all have challenges. Just how we can take care of them varies based on our faith and finances.

I say ‘Let it Rain’ in my life because it’s only temporary. I know there are good things that can happen to steer our journey a new direction when it rains. You can’t see it now but on the other side of it all you can and you are thankful you were able to get through it too. I look forward to seeing bluer skies, the dust settling and all that smog gone after each thunderstorm in my life.

As a mentor of mine says, “It’s only temporary”. As you face these challenges just tell yourself it’s only temporary and I can get through anything that’s temporary. That illness that has hit someone you love is only temporary, that challenge at your job that is making you work so many extra hours so you can’t see your family, it’s temporary. Those finances that seem to be larger than what you bring in right now it’s just temporary.

We can all face something temporary because we know it will go away soon enough or change. Let it Rain – it’s only temporary.

If the words to this blog have helped you in some way or would help someone else please share it or leave a comment below. Tell me about a situation in your life that you felt was overwhelming but was only temporary.

Cherish Those You Love

Two hearts on the branch of a tree, retro look

Time passes quickly and is short so cherish those you love. Make memories with your friends and family. Don’t say one of these days I’ll visit or do – whatever that may be. Find a way now to spend some quality time just loving your family and friends.

Dealing with loss is an emotional struggle that does not go away but does improve over time. I lost my mother five years ago and though I know in my heart that she is no longer in constant pain or struggling with life’s challenges, health wise or financial, it is difficult some days to not miss her like crazy. Certain holidays can be rather difficult to get through without shedding a tear for her since I miss her so very much.

No matter how much you prepare you still aren’t ready when the time comes to lose someone that has been sick for a long time. Currently in my life there are several individuals that I love that are having some health issues. The age range is from young adult to a senior adult. I don’t wish to lose these people that I love but I can’t do anything about it either.

Make the most out of your time with your loved ones. Create memories that you can look back on and that give you a smile or a sense of true unconditional love. Drop the small stuff that is causing conflict. Even big stuff when put in the right context isn’t all that important over time. What is important is letting others in your life know that you love them, are proud of them and want all their dreams to come true.

Never go to bed angry with someone if you can prevent it. Everyone wants to be loved, missed and to be important to someone else. What can you do today to make someone in your life feel loved and important? Can you make a phone call? Can you send and email? Could you send a text? Mail a letter or greeting card? How about go for a visit? These things only take a moment in the grand scheme of life.

Be sure to tell those important to you how you feel, how much they mean to you and how blessed you are to have them in your life. Time is precious and every moment counts.

Make some memories to cherish and have a blessed week!

Share with someone else or comment below if you have a special memory of someone you love and cherish.

Six Months

The months passing by this year rather quickly.

The months passing by this year rather quickly.

Can you believe it, it’s already been six months in 2015. Time sure is passing by quickly and seems to do so even more as you get older. This is a good time of year to look at the previous six months and analyze if you have made progress towards your goals and dreams. If not, why? What can you do differently so the next six months will move your forward with them?

Do you need to work on scheduling your time better? Do you need to say ‘no’ to people that want all your free time for other things? Do you need to learn something before you can move forward? Do you need to purchase something first? Do you need help with motivation or encouragement? Do you need to make smaller changes to reach your dreams?

Every one of those questions can be changed or dealt with so that you will move towards your goals and dreams instead of staying the same or going backwards. Making changes in your life so that you can move forward can be small changes. Some small changes could be setting up a family night or date night on your calendar each week so your family doesn’t think you are working all the time and ignoring them.

We all want to help others but sometimes we have to say ‘no’ in order to not put our own dreams and passions on the back burner. Volunteering for every little thing at church may not be the best solution for you. Taking on projects for your family may need to be spaced out and scheduled differently. Just remember you are the one in charge of your time.

Some things take more time than you want them too in order to be done right. Writing a book for example might only take you a month to write but then you have to edit the book and do some rewrites in order to polish it up so that it’s a great read. Artwork can take time as you plan out the piece you wish to do, do the sketch of the idea, work out the details, color palette you wish to use, then doing the work of the painting itself.

Evaluate your goals and see what you need to change in order to move them forward in the next six months of this year. Don’t get discouraged as you move forward. It’s like losing weight, when we start we have such a large goal and then we break that goal down into smaller sections in order to meet the goal. Even if you had a setback with losing weight you don’t just stop because you didn’t reach your goal, you adjust and keep going. Losing 20 pounds in a year is better than nothing if you were trying to lose 50 pounds. Now you only have to lose 30 and you can break that down into smaller amounts so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

Stay motivated, schedule your goals, focus on the small steps and the next six months will fly by and you will have accomplished more than you think. Have a blessed week.

Be sure to share this post or comment below on ways you stay on track to meeting your goals.

Imagine the Unimaginable

"Imagine Sign" in New York Central Park, John Lennon Memorial

“Imagine Sign” in New York Central Park, John Lennon Memorial

There are times when I sit and imagine things I wish to have happen in my life and sometimes those things seem so unimaginable or out of reach that I wonder why I want such big things. We are all able to dream and have vivid imaginations. Some of us use them for creating things others can enjoy or to help them and some of us use them to manipulate situations in our favor.

What do I mean by that? Well, there are always people in your life that live in what I call ‘excuse or victim land’. They spend there time dreaming up excuses as to why they can’t do something, have something or accomplish something. They have great imaginations and can conquer up all types of excuses. All that talent of creating excuses is going to waste. The same way you can create an excuse you can create a way to make it happen.

Here are some ways to realize you are preventing your own dreams from coming true or that you are using your dreams or imagination to manipulate others so you don’t have to pursue those dreams.

  • How often do you use the word “I”; I need, I want, I must have, I can’t do it, I don’t know how, I want you to…
  • Do you use the words “I’m to…”, I’m to old, I’m to sick, I’m to short, I’m to tall, I’m to lonely, I’m to busy…?
  • Do you use phrases like, “Someday I will, I probably should but, What if…?
  • Do you talk yourself out of things? I couldn’t possibly do that because, I’m sure if that was meant for me, I’m getting old and this is to much for me?

I can tell you from experience that it is easy to live in the excuse or victim land over stepping past the fear and objections and just start doing. Bad things can happen to anyone and if you play victim it’s a choice you made. If you keep making excuses as to why your dreams cannot be reached it’s also your choice. Some bad things take a bit to overcome, but know it’s still your choice if you don’t even try.

We as humans are not meant to hit some magical age and stop doing things we love to do. We aren’t meant to sit and stare at a TV watching other people make dreams happen and then say it’s to late for me now. We are also not meant to make others feel guilty for accomplishing their dreams when we gave up on our own.

Our imaginations can run away with us and can come up with some pretty awesome and unimaginable things we want to accomplish in our life. Tell fear to get out of the way and start working towards those dreams or goals. Those excuses you come up with are just fear talking and trying to keep you from doing what you truly wish in your life. So, why not, what do you have to lose? Step out in faith that your dream is possible and see what an amazing life you can create by going after it.

I hope you have a blessed week and will share this with anyone you feel could use it. Leave a comment below if you have overcome a fear or excuse and are working towards your unimaginable dream.

Birthdays and Time

My birthday Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory - Yum!

My birthday Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory – Yum!

I recently had my Birthday and spent it with my family where we had an amazing time together. I was blessed that my family went to the movies with me, we ate at an awesome restaurant that had some fabulous desserts and I received wonderful gifts and cards that expressed their love for me. It was a great day and even though I’m getting older I realized that the age doesn’t matter, it was being able to spend that day with people that love me and I love just creating some memories from our time.

When we are young we not only tell everyone our age but we even do it with ‘and a half’ added because we can’t wait to get to the next age. As we get a bit older it’s those milestone birthdays that we look forward to like 16, 18 and even 21. These are all great dates that we will remember the rest of our lives.

Then we hit the age of 30 and we say, whoa, wait a minute here, where did all these years go. I can’t possibly be 30 already. Before you know it you are saying that again at 40, perhaps even 50 and 60. I don’t know about you but even though I’m in my late 40’s now, I still feel like I’m in my 20’s. Life hasn’t gone by as fast as the numbers are telling me because I don’t feel that age yet.

It’s taken time to learn things and truly become ‘mature’ or ‘responsible’ other than the basics. We start families and add people to our lives that mean a great deal to us, yet it just all goes by so quickly. Before you know it your first-born child is 25 and facing all these things too. This cycle of life is amazing in how it works, but it also shows us that time is the same for us all and we need to make memories, work for our true dreams and passions and live life to the fullest each day.

My birthday made me realize how blessed I am, that I have a daughter that is an adult now, that I’ve been married to a wonderful man for over 30 years and that I have some amazing friends. Learn to live your life where you take advantage of every special moment. That first step or word, day of school, kiss, award, dance, birthdays, anniversaries, picnics, vacations, holidays, graduations, success, failure, weight loss, dream come true and more.

These moments are your life memories that bring you joy, comfort and love. Learn now that those breaths of time are what make you who you are and what give your life true meaning.

Leave a comment on how you are learning to capture these breaths of time and keep them close to your heart and share this so that others will do the same. Have a blessed week!

Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds

Do you remember as a child laying in the grass and staring up at the clouds, watching them move and trying to make shapes out of them? I did that a lot as a kid because I knew there was something magical about those fluffy white cotton balls in the sky. As you get older though you will hear the turn ‘get your head out of the clouds and pay attention’ by teachers, relatives, parents, friends when they are talking to you about something they feel is important.

When you were looking up at the clouds, everything was possible to you. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t do. Your dreams would be huge and it didn’t matter if there were things that realistically or logically got in the way of making them come true. Those moments of just dreaming, creating, making anything happen we should do as adults too.

As an adult I know that real life issues got in the way of those lofty dreams I had laying in the grass and looking up at those clouds. Now at this point in my life I’m asking myself why didn’t I still go after them? Once you get past all the junk that you have been through from manipulative, negative parents and family to jealous friends that attempt sabotage every time you started to become successful at your dreams it begins to seem possible again.

It’s time to journal out those negative feelings, the guilt pounded down on you, the thoughts of you don’t deserve it, you aren’t worthy enough, your not smart enough, the calculated manipulations others played on you or whatever else that is rolling around in your head causing you to not pursue the things you really want in your life.

I know in my own life I had to write letters to those that really pushed me down spilling out all that has hurt me and caused me to feel negatively toward them for doing such things and then I took those letters and burned them. I released myself from feeling the way that I had been so that I could move forward with what I wanted to become. I had to forgive them for how they treated me not for their benefit but for my heart and mine so I could move past these events and begin to soar with the clouds once more.

It’s okay to have your head in the clouds and to believe in anything you dream up. It’s possible and it only takes the willingness to step forward and start doing the things needed to make that dream come alive and be possible. I hope you will take the time to let your mind float into the clouds and open up to the possibilities that are before you. You just have to reach for them. Why reach for the eagle in the sky when you can reach for the stars themselves? Dream big, believe, start doing and you will see anything is within your grasp.

If you feel this blog post has helped you in some way or would encourage someone else please share it. Feel free to leave a comment below if you are inspired to reach for a big dream and let me know what it is.

Have a blessed day!

Feed the Birds

House of Blue

House of Blue

On my recent trip to see family I was told a story about feeding the local birds. My family has bird feeders out in several places in the yard that can be seen from the porch so they can enjoy the local birds chirping and enjoying the food they put out. Like with most families there is always a story of some kind that is told at least this one wasn’t embarrassing.

One of several bird feeders they have is like a house with windows on each side and the food falls down into the bin at the bottom and the sight of the food in the windows goes down as the birds eat the seed. As the food was enjoyed by the various birds the view of this food of course lowered in the windows of this feeder. When no seed could be seen by the birds even though there was a bit of food still in the bottom that they could eat, they began pecking on the windows to make noise and to remind my family that they needed to put more food in the feeder.

I tell you this story because it reminds me of current situations with people. Which situations do I refer to? Well, to those getting assistance in massive quantities throughout the U.S. You see when you offer free things to people they react just like the birds did, they are very happy to get whatever it is for free, but when things run low they complain and become very disgruntled that they are being put out because they no longer have the same amount of free items as before.

Before I continue there are those that truly need assistance and it’s those people I do not refer to here. Just like the birds though the more you give someone for free the more they expect to receive unless you require other actions to help them improve the situation they are in.

What about self respect? What about being independent and the feeling you get from earning your own way? What about knowing that what you have purchased you did with your own money? There is a whole level of self-respect, confidence, independence, and overall great feeling that you get when you accomplish something yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s working a job and earning your wages or creating a piece of art and making a sale to a customer.

Working for your dreams is something you do daily and with those steps you feel accomplished, satisfied, and grateful. Your life begins to feel good in more than just a financial way. There is nothing in this life worth accomplishing that you don’t have to work for and if someone tells you different then they aren’t telling you the truth. There is no magic pill to losing weight you have to put in the work to get it off. The same is true for your dreams.

Figuring out what makes you feel motivated and have passion is how you will get those dreams in your life. If there is something you want then set some goals and take baby steps to get it. A baby step is putting time in your week around everything you have to do towards your goal or dream. You may feel like you aren’t moving forward that much but in three months you will have accomplished far more than you think. Be satisfied each week with your efforts, failures, and overall journey to a better life.

Please leave a comment if you have a story to share that could help someone else with changing life for the better by going after their dreams and goals. Have a blessed day!