Insignificant….

You notice others

For those of you who feel like little people deep inside and can’t shake the feeling of being insignificant; you matter and I’ll tell you why. You see people. You see souls and can relate. You are the ones who stand out in your own way. It doesn’t matter what your station is in life because you are spread from top to bottom. We’ve all heard the compliment, “He (or she) was so great to meet! He is such a down-to-earth regular guy!” You see each other and you make each other feel it.

Not overlooked

No matter where, shine your light and those who are meant to notice you will. In the 3 pictures, there are 2 beautiful flowers that obviously didn’t care where they were, they shined their beauty. They were not planted and they were not given the best, but it didn’t take away from their beauty.

They are tiny and easy to overlook. But they were noticed, and now, 2 small flowers in the curb are being seen by many (hopefully). I believe that in itself makes them significant, simply by being what they are.

See the beauty in yourself

You need to believe it yourself, deep in your soul and grow beyond the limits of your environment. Find a way to become the you that you were meant to be. You have your own beauty, find a way to own it. You matter more than you know.

Written by Melody Belliveau

We Trust Together

An example of how we are all in this together:

Your family pet, otherwise called “a family member” gives love with no limitations. Sometimes something happens to them and you have to leave them at an animal hospital in the hands of others. What is on both your mind and theirs is simply – I don’t feel good and I can’t be with my Mom and family. It cuts you more than a physical wound. Are they spending their time with someone who sees how special they are? Will they comfort them while they are scared with no one they know?

Those in the field:

Thank you a million times for caring enough to be there for our Bane. Our trust is in you and your gentle, loving care. He is the personification of love and we reflect that back on him with how much he is loved. We trust that you will see it in him too because he is our sweet and lovable furry toddler, our child. When it counts the most, we are indeed, in this together.

Written By Melody Belliveau

Indigenous People’s Day

Today is the holiday that gifts the ability to learn the healing of shadow work. It’s a day to give reverence to the true people of the land and acknowledge the consequences of our ancestors limited views. Ironic that we teach some of it to our children in Disney’s movie Pocahontas, (although the story itself is filled with untruths), yet as adults we dismiss the very concepts they speak of in the movie.

Mother Nature

The earth is not something to be owned, but respected. We are all in this together and are connected to nature and each other. Oh how we could have learned so much from them! Did you know that nature has elements of healing for us? From Qi Energy, plant and herbal remedies, to their respect for the moon and the sun.

Did you know Columbus brought with him an imbalance to the land he wasn’t able to see? He didn’t realize coming to this land was an opportunity to learn a new perspective of life that he was missing. Instead his people began the force of his only view on others.

Today, see if you can learn something new about the natives of the land, that you wish your ancestors had learned. Dig deep and then share it. Show people the gold nuggets of wisdom they hold in their heritage.

What I see

For me, they believe in the herbs of the land. It is not the prescription medications that made a difference in my health. It was simply an herb. Why don’t we look there first, instead of when nothing else works? There is so much to learn of Mother Nature’s healing ability to heal us when we align with it.

Mother Nature and the respect for her have been the greatest message I have learned from our Indigenous People, our true Natives. We need that message desperately, as even the scientists are pointing out.

You matter

And today, on your day of reverence, I see you, and I honor you. You have so much to teach us, and I for one, want to learn from you. We all need you to teach us the wisdom our ancestors wouldn’t listen to. Some of us are ready to receive it.

Written By Melody Belliveau

The View From The Edge

Today is World Mental Health Day, where focus is brought to an important aspect of who we are. This is a message for those who have faced the edge of life and death and yet survived. Having gone through something like that can have the effects of Anxiety and PTSD and it can cripple who you are. So how do you find the light in that piece of darkness? It takes a multitude of tools. One is where you look, and where you focus.

The difference in it being traumas and miracles. The view is there if you have escaped death as a certainty. When you knew death was right there staring you in the face, and yet divine intervention stepped in and you survived.

So……If it’s there, why do we sit in the trauma of it feeling trapped?

Because for it to have been an escape, the intensity of it has to be on the unbelievable level. Sometimes we can’t get passed that. But when we do….Wow! It’s a whole different perspective and it becomes a Blessing. Confidence and courage work together with your new mindset because you forge a drive out of it. You need to find that belief in who you are, that you were saved for. You have a purpose.

If you’ve been there before, if you have received that miracle and cannot deny you’ve survived something, spend some time reflecting on the miracle of it, and try to imagine what you could do with it. How do you use it to see what it’s done for you that can help others? Who else is suffering from the same scars you carry? What would help them? Could that be what you’re meant for? Could it be the key to your healing?

Your Purpose

If you’re suffering from a trauma that almost ended your time here, stop and reflect on knowing that means you are meant for something. No one else can do the work for you, only you can take it to the depth you need to heal. You have to know deep down in your soul that you matter. You were meant for more and your best is yet to come. Use the tools that are out there to get you where you need to be. Counseling, music and art therapy, Tapping, Support groups, TRP, and the list goes on as far as you are willing to reach. The bigger the struggle, the greater the purpose. Find yours because the world needs you to.

“…Ladies and Gentlemen, you’ve got to understand that the reason that you are existing in this world right now is because you have things that must be done and only certain people are qualified to take it to the level that it needs to be taken to….” Coach Pain Never Give Up

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Lessons of Regret

Doing The Shadow Work

Healing from our past doesn’t just involve looking at the wrongs others have done to us, but the wrongs we have done to others as well. I knew I needed to write this, and even decided I would not share another until I did. That led to an absence of me sharing. But it’s a necessity to do the shadow work, it’s even in the AA 12-Step Program as a way to heal. It is something we all need, not just those in AA.

If we can’t go back and undo it, we must share what we’ve learned from it so others can see it from the inside. That means stepping into the uncomfort of our mistakes and regrets. People speak of regret because we cannot change what’s already happened. 20/20 vision of hindsight brings clarity to the why’s. We wish we had seen the insight before.

What if we could change the past? Would it truly make things better? The movie The Butterfly Effect challenges that concept (it’s graphic to watch). Those that have been through traumas and used them in their purpose, will tell you why it became a Blessing of their bigger picture. Sometimes we fail to see how our regrets could have possibly been a Blessing. This is the story of that one for me.

My Regret

I have one, a regret of my own words, that has stayed in my soul, from preteen years probably until the day I draw my last breath. It has haunted me since my view of 20/20 clarity kicked in. The day I let a good friend down, by my narrow perception and focus on myself.

It goes back to junior high school. I had a classmate in homeroom who worked with me to care for the small animals we had in the back room.. We talked often and I considered him a good friend. My ego killed our friendship and I hurt him. Let me offer, not an excuse, but simply the true explanation.

He came in one day and summoned up the courage to talk to me about his accusations against one of our male teachers. I had already heard and was both hurt and angry, shamefully, not for him, but rather for myself. You see, it was the very same teacher, I had a deep crush on. He even attended our church alone and I spent the Sunday service eagerly awaiting my chance to say hello to him on the way out. My friend’s accusation killed that for me.

I lashed out at that beautiful soul trying to tell me something so difficult, and making himself so vulnerable to me; and yet my reaction was all about me. I truly regret that. I wish I had listened as the friend he needed. I failed him as a support system when he trusted me enough to have the belief I was one. For that I am truly sorry, and have been for quite some time. Looking back from the lens I have now, what courage he had!! He spoke his truth with no guarantees of what he could be faced with, even from his peers.

I pray God has helped him with a quality life full of wondrous moments that take your breath away. If it has been the opposite, I pray for his strength to give him a 20/20 clarity of how he can become an inspiration to others.

Taking the lesson

We all read stories, reflecting back on our own. Where in your story, did your ego cause regrets? Can we ask ourselves, before we respond to the next situation, “How can I truly be there for them?” Don’t make it about you, and you may avoid regret later because of it.

For those who have been hurt by others in a moment of vulnerability, remind your soul, that their actions are from a lens of their own wounds. You may never know the impact it has when they finally see beyond it and look back. Don’t allow the hurt to create a limited lens for yourself.

Moving Forward

Any conversation with connection requires two things, alternately: vulnerability and compassion. If someone speaks to us with the courage to share their vulnerabilities with us, we need to have intentional compassion for where they are in their share. They have entrusted us with their soul. The have entrusted us with no guarantees that we will even hear them. But until we do, we cannot truly see them. We are all in this together, and we show each other just how much we understand that by how we treat each other.

Hopefully, sharing my story, my regret, will prevent someone else from being hurt, the way I hurt him. It is the only possible way it could be called a Blessing. For me, it is my truest regret.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Remembering With Cause

9/11 We will never forget

Twenty years ago, our country was thrown into a state of unity through shock, horror, sadness and grief. A day that started out as simply routine in our busy lives. Those who were here remember exactly where they were when the unimaginable became a reality. Many watched live in horror, while others watched from live TV breaking news.

We responded with compassion and vulnerability for each other, and American pride sprang up in an instant and a unity took place that is rarely seen. The tragedy was bitter but there was a light that came into view because of it.

The Heroes Journey

Our first responders, veterans, and even civilians dove into the role of the heroes journey in an instant, working beyond normal capabilities. Many gave their lives selflessly and other family generations grew as a result of those that had been saved.

Today

Videos and photographs have been shared through the day that brought tears to many eyes. The Grand Ole Opry did an Opry Livestream tribute in partnership with The Wounded Warriors Project. Songs were sung and words were spoken that could be felt in one’s soul. I Dare You To Love was one of those songs. I take up the challenge and ask you to do the same.

Can we make this remembrance a chance to put down our differences and feel our shared vulnerabilities that were once raw in our very beings? Can we stop seeing each other through the lens of divide and contempt for each other? Don’t look at each other as red or blue, black or white, native or immigrant to look down on.

The left out

We left out a group of Americans and visitors to our country following that event. We saw them , not by their soul or character, but by the resemblance to our enemy. We scorned them instead of embracing them with empathy for what they were also going through. Can we look at them now and see their soul? Can we use this reverence to welcome in the refugees we’ve taken in now? They feel the terror of war and are in need of making this their country and home.

Who we are

We are capable of it. We have seen what we are made of. We can make it even more powerful than it was 20 years ago. In the present climate, it’s a challenge that will take intention. Let us hold on to it for longer than a day, a week a month or even a year, or maybe even 20. Today showed us we can. I dare you to love, better than you ever have before.

Let’s let our military and first responders know how much we appreciate all that they do, because when we need them, they are there. Support our heroes……..

And never forget those we’ve lost. They matter and so do you.

Written by Melody Belliveau

The New Divide

Although the pandemic has shown us it’s a small world and we are all in this together, it also became a source of conspiracy theories and mandates as well. Not wearing masks became a political statement and lockdowns for safety were met with protests and even violence.

Now we have a new divide…

Those who are vaccinating, and those who won’t. Families are being torn and friendships are being lost, because personal beliefs are no longer a value to those vaccinated. They see the unvaccinated as a threat, pitting man against man and friend against friend. So who is in the right? Perhaps they both are right, and both are wrong. Let’s sit in the middle and see how…

The New Freedom

When our numbers started going down we had mask mandates and the new vaccines were being administered. But the mask mandate was lifted with an “honor system” and people started feeling the threat was over. We did not give the virus a chance to die out, but merely a chance to adapt. Going without masks gave it a chance to climb once more, and not only for those unvaccinated, but through those vaccinated who thought their risk was over as well.

So to those viewing the unvaccinated as a threat to society and willing to sacrifice family and friendships over it, consider this…..

If they are social distancing and wearing masks but you are not, you may be the bigger threat. It is a fact that you can catch and spread Delta fully vaccinated. Choosing not to wear a mask or social distance simply because you are not mandated to, does not keep you from catching and spreading it. You feeling the freedom of vaccination is an issue and does not lessen your ability to spread it.

Those who took the jab feel a sense of service to their community and loved ones. Are they being brave and selfless? Absolutely, but wearing masks and following guidelines for all makes them even more so.

Until next year rolls around, (and if they accurately keep track) we won’t know the true effective rate of the vaccines, just as the way we judge each seasons flu shot effectiveness when the season has faded out.

This is all still a new experience for us all, both with COVID as the world has struggled, so the vaccines are as well. There are plenty of uncertainties and questions to go around. What we don’t need is anger and feuding on either side about your choice. Just use the precautions that are becoming evident both sides need. Follow your belief, but always be open to learning more. We all need moral support at this time.

Will you be part of those that practice compassion freely, or will you be part of the fire that burns us down? Each and every one of us has a role to play. Make yours an intentional one. How you treat others doesn’t stop with the ones we agree with, it’s more importantly those we don’t.

This is another chance to show what we’re made of. Do we really want it to be hate? Each of us decides for ourselves, regardless of what we’ve heard or how we feel. Compassion not contempt.

Written by Melody Belliveau

A Lighthouse To Serve….

Sadies’s Purpose

“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren What a powerful testament to purpose of service. It makes you a lighthouse in the darkness for others. It becomes a bright soul light.

Amanda Knight is a shining example with a cause that comes from immeasurable pain into a purpose of light for others. Her wound and her daughter’s life created a lighthouse for others called Sadie’s Purpose. The water bottle in the picture above can be found on her website, along with many other options to help others who become way too familiar with the hallways and the nurses of the NIC units of hospitals. The mission is to provide support packs to NICU families that will help them focus less on essentials and more on what matters most – helping their baby get well! She has also created a blog, TheButterBeanLegacy.com to help support it with the beauty of nature filled with recipes, natural living tips, gardening, and so much more.

I’m asking you to look because we’re all in this together. Even if you have never experienced it, you may be connected to someone who has or is, even if you don’t realize it. A boss, a coworker, your cashier…. you never know sometimes.

Some feel alone and lost in the pain dealing with every part of the struggle. This is Amanda’s way of easing the burdens by just a bit and helping them know they are not alone…that someone does care. It needs awareness and support to reach and help more families. Your one action, a share, a like, or a purchase has the ability to spread this light further. On that I ask you to not simply scroll on by, but to check it out and share the light. It can create an impact.

Thank you Amanda, for your courage through incredible pain. For your efforts to be that light for others. For your ability to turn pain into beauty. Thank you for pairing with your daughter’s soul to create a light of helping others. May God Bless all you do.

http://SadiesPurpose.org

http://Thebutterbeanlegacy

And the Amazon wishlist, where you can order items for the support packs directly if you prefer:

http://a.co/8EHrULX

Independence Day

Yesterday was the 4th of July or Independence Day. I waited most of the day to write it. Why? I had to ask myself what the hesitation was about (there is a reason for everything – it’s not just about procrastination).

What does the holiday truly mean?

I am grateful – to live in a land where I can choose my career. I can pursue my purpose with many options to choose from to spread my gifts to serve others with. I have the freedom to bring my grandkids to the park or play kickball with them and to celebrate (or not) the holidays the way I choose. I have much to be thankful for.

I am happy – for the precious memories I have of family gatherings we enjoyed celebrating as I grew up. Family holidays were an important part of not just my life, but many others. Those memories can bring, not just a smile to the face, but to the heart and soul as well.

I am sad – for the meaning to others that suffered through the birth of our nation. Our history is not full of only prideful actions but shamefully cruel ones as well. Most Indigenous people do not see it as a celebration – but the beginning of the end of their freedoms. I am mindful of that. The fact is, we had to take time to distinguish who could be free in steps of civil rights that still need much more work. The facts of slavery that took until this present year to have Juneteenth declared, speaks volumes of how slow our speed of equality proceeds.

But mostly I am reflective –

Reflective of the words written on the Declaration to which we celebrate.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

They are words that when imbedded in our actions make us feel like Patriots that are proud to be Americans. As a nation, however, after more than two hundred years, we are not there yet. Sometimes, we are so divided, it seems we have abandoned the desire to even hold them as truths.

If other countries, anywhere, could see us stand out based on our example of those truths, then we would have arrived. But we are still far from reaching it. Anytime we look down on others, see them as less than ourselves, we are not holding up to our Patriotism no matter how much we wave our flag.

Your neighbor, your community, your state, along with others, are all equals, no matter what their skin color, gender, religious beliefs, or political views are and they are part of your pledge of Patriotism. To say you are an American, is to say they are entitled to be treated with respect, regardless of their differences. It means your rights are no more important than theirs. They matter as much as you do.

Consider this:

It isn’t the laws that make us matter, it’s how we treat each other that make up who we are. Each one of us collectively, with our individual actions, speaks to who we are as a country. What can you do as an individual, to show you care about others? Not just those you relate to, but those you don’t are just as important, maybe even more.

If you live in a community where people complain about those setting off fireworks and scaring pets as well as those suffering from PTSD and Anxiety such as Veterans, and you cross state lines to purchase them to set off despite this – you are going against the very truths you are celebrating. Consider the others. Perhaps an act of kindness – volunteer at a pet shelter to understand the impact with more clarity or mow that Veteran neighbor’s lawn (you get the point with these examples). This would go so much further to show your true colors of Patriotism. What a day of true celebration it would be if we all acted that way for Independence Day and beyond.

Sadly we’re not there yet. From the sounds in my neighborhood, and the social media complaints that have others saying, “what do you expect, it’s the 4th of July?!” This year’s Independence Day did not reflect the unity in compassion for each other. Maybe someday, somehow, perhaps we will start.

Compassion Not Contempt

Written by Melody Belliveau

A Matter of Growth

The pictures above are of the seedling of a mighty tree. It is growing in a hole in the sidewalk, and you can tell by the tattered leaves, it’s growth has caused it to be stepped upon. Have others noticed it? Perhaps, but for those stepping on it, probably not.

Its size potential I’m sure is mighty, but will it be able to survive in the hole and grow to what it was meant to be? It’s doubtful because of where it is located. I cannot help but feel sad for it. So what can I do to give it meaning (besides trying to transplant it)? I pondered that question (after all, it is my hashtag #MelodysEyes). What possible message can this tree have for others whether it survives or not?

How about this message perspective….

Most of us have heard the term “Glass Ceiling” in business. The phrase was meant to bring awareness to unfair practices of holding people down, denying them advancement. What is the true cost of the glass ceiling? It is the foot on the mighty. It prevents the beauty and magnificence they were born to be. Those under the “glass ceiling” have mighty potential or they wouldn’t be able to see the glass. Could there be a mighty tree in your company? We will never know the potential someone has until we stop limiting how they grow. Like the seedling in the picture, perhaps relocation is the only way it can grow.

Your environment

What is the environment you are a part of? Does everyone have room to grow or are there those putting their best efforts in to grow, but only being stepped upon in the pathway? Employer or employee, what are you a part of? Are you proud of what it stands for, not just for yourself, but for those around you?

That is the type of conversations that are needed and actions to observe. Do you see those working hard being passed over time and time again? We need to start to notice and question and be a part of that change. Is there a reflection in your business, at any time, “we all know (so & so) deserved that promotion. If It keeps happening they are going to leave.”? A thought, a water-cooler conversation, those are things we need to pay attention to. Not an easy thing to recognize – but important. Sooner or later you might need to react with your own role.

What’s your character?

What kind of character do you have? If that unexpected promotion is offered to you, and deep down, you who know who truly deserved it, what would you do? Would you reflect on the benefits of it to your family and accept it, or would you be able to speak out and tell them why you are turning it down? That could even cause them to see, and become aware of an issue they never recognized. You will never know if you accept it. You will have to choose whether to listen to your soul and see what’s right, or your ego that keeps you in the safety of your own outcome. After all, couldn’t the company get upset if you turn it down?

What about them?

What if that person (a mighty tree in their own) gets stepped on (by you) and they decide to leave because of it? What wound would their absence create in your work environment? Could it even hurt your work because they are gone? Maybe they felt no choice but to look elsewhere to provide the benefits that position offered.

When it comes down to it, does your character allow you to step on someone else’s growth when you know they are trying? That is all on you.

If we all look beyond our own spot and help each other, we become the business family that inspires others. Notice them. It’s the first step to change.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Memorial Day: Reflection of Respect

The meanings…

The meaning of Memorial Day has a tendency to mean a wide variety of things to different people, from a day off from school or work (sometimes with pay), or a family barb-a-cue planned with the symbol of the beginning of the Summer season. Although these things may very well be accurate, there is a meaning, the true meaning, that must never be forgotten. Sacrifices have been made by many that we seem to take for granted. They deserve our recognition and respect for all they gave up.

The souls…

It is the Military Soldiers that gave up their lives to serve. They are the true soul of our country. The biggest sacrifice one can give is their life for others and that is what they did. They must never be forgotten. May their souls soar high.

Who they were to others…

It is the spouses of those who’ve given all that are left behind with families to raise and nights alone without them, that now has no happy ending. They must go on with a hollow pain in their chest while they remain strong for their children. Their sacrifice is felt everyday, not just Memorial Day.

It is their service buddies that have managed to return only to find that life will never be the same. Many live with survivors guilt that tears away at the very fabric of their souls. Services they need to live on, of both physical and mental health, are a never-ending struggle to obtain. They are the forgotten and disrespected living among us, unable to understand why.

It is the parents of the fallen that feel the void with every breath they take. No matter what age they were, they were the child they loved. It is a scar on their soul that will be felt until their last breath. It is a pain that can only be accepted, but never erased.

It is the brothers and sisters who see them in the eyes of their children, wishing they could have been there to celebrate the milestones, to enjoy the get-togethers of family celebrations. The heartfelt conversations they now must have sitting by their gravesite instead.

It is the children who mourn the loss of their parent. Never able to seek their advice on life, especially during the difficult challenges they face. They will never see the nod of approval when they accomplish something that stirs feelings of pride. Those tears will remain with them through the many stages of their lives.

The friends who anxiously await their return to fill them in on things they used to chat about that will now only have a reflection of their memories and the last hugs they gave them before their departure.

Those are the ones who are the true meaning of Memorial Day and many will spend it with some time at the gravesite to pay their respects as a way to connect. Where they visit, coins are left on the headstones.

Penny – from those who stopped by to pay their respects

Nickle – from those who attended boot camp with them

Dime – from those who served in the Armed Forces with them

Quarter – from those who were with them when they were killed

So while you take the day to do your celebrating, please take some time reflecting on the Heroes of the true meaning and I urge you to take some time to visit a Soldiers grave and leave a penny and a prayer. Let’s show those left behind the respect of that reflection. My prayer is that every Soldier have a penny left behind on their stone. If you see other silver coins, don’t disturb them but rather say an added prayer for the one who left it.

They matter, every one of them. One of the worst sayings is a Soldier dies twice – one with their sacrifice, and again when they are forgotten. We must not forget them.

Celebrate today, but celebrate the life they gave for everyone. If you know someone who feels this day for who they lost, reach out to them, and let them know they matter.

Written by Melody Belliveau