Who Wants To Be On The Meredith Vieira Show?

One of the bonuses of being a writer and blogger is the fun and random opportunities that come along when you least expect them! 

Are you interested in being on the The Meredith Vieira Show??? If so, you are cordially invited to leave a comment and/or email below. Also, you are welcome to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. for updates. Please see the email I received below for more information. Feel free to message me with questions. 
My name is Taylor Shelly and I am a Studio Production Assistant at “The Meredith Vieira Show”! I found your blog through the "9 Worst Halloween Costumes" article on Care.com and would love to be able to work with you to help find our crazy, over-the-top mom and dad candidates for an upcoming segment on our show! We’re looking to tape this long before Halloween (tentative date 9/16), so it might be a little difficult, but I would appreciate any help that you can give us by posting it on your blog or reaching out to your family and friends!

The premise of the segment is a kind of “Halloween makeover” for moms and dads. We’re looking for kids to nominate their parents for a costume makeover because their parents go way over-the-top every year (think: over-the-top sexy, over-the-top nerdy, over-the-top scary, etc.). We want to bring the kids and parents on and have the parents walk out in their crazy costumes and then have our style experts do a “makeover” on them.

The concept is fun, wacky and most importantly, we want to celebrate the Halloween spirit! Do you have any couples in mind that would be great for this kind of segment? Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or for additional information on the segment via phone at .... I look forward to hearing from you and have a great rest of your day!

Best,
Taylor

So. Would you like to participate??? Leave a comment or message me and I'll hook you up!  I hope we can hang on the airwaves soon! xoxoxo Lucy

A Spark

So. My attention span is super short because SQUIRREL and also, I should be doing almost anything and everything, sans what I am ACTUALLY doing right now.

The short version.

I still have unending optimism. I see the true and real potential that most people cannot see in themselves...

Yes. That is actually, grammatically correct.

Go check it. I'll wait.

So... welcome back.

Also. I told you.

So. Here it is. Do with this story, what you will. I hope you grow.

Loves.
TOTALLY. XOXOXO
Lucy






Be Brave

"I wish we were on vacation in New York."

Those were the first words out of my father's mouth after I returned home from the conference I had been anxiously anticipating for an entire year. Not, "How was your conference?" Not, "We're proud of you." Not even, "How was New York?"

His words stung. They often do.

Writing and being published in print were life-long dreams I had and achieved through blogging. And yet, I struggled internally. The stories I wrote often hinted at tragic truths, satirizing painful memories. But most of these stories were merely choreographed dances, carefully composed so I could deny them if I was ever exposed as the author of them in real life.

I was fearful my family would be angry with me. I worried you would loathe me if I revealed too many of the hideous scars I carry. To write openly and honestly about growing up with alcoholism and abuse and about living with anxiety and depression required courage and strength. It required the kind of bravery the VOTY's and guest speakers who spoke from the stage had. I simply did not possess it. And so, the internal struggle became paralyzing.

I arrived at #BlogHer15 with a heavy heart, prepared to say my final farewells, delete my blog, and stop writing. Forever. That was my plan.

I sat with my peers and brain crushes each day of the conference soaking in the profound and moving messages. There were many more young writers and bloggers this year than I remembered in past years. The young people on the stage and in the videos were so incredibly self-assured and courageous, so certain of their purposes. They were so very proud and confident. They were proud of their voices.

As the conference progressed, a growing voice inside of my own head began with a whisper. This time, it wasn't accusing me of being an impostor as it often did by asking, "Who do you think you are??? You're not writer. You don't belong here. HOW IS YOUR VACATION?" Instead, it encouraged my growing sense of courage and bravery about what my purpose truly was and what my legacy messages ought to be. The voice reminded me that I am a writer and this is exactly where I belong. No apologies.

#DefiningMoment

I knew that I wanted to be somewhere brave. I knew I wanted to share my stories honestly and unfiltered. I wanted to tell the ugly truths about alcoholism, abuse, and the tolls they take on our hearts and minds.

Suffocating depression. Self-doubt. Anxiety attacks. Incredible strain and damage to relationships.

 I wanted to tell every single person suffering in silence, "Me too."

Attending BlogHer and being a part of its amazing community gave me the courage and clarity to understand what I need to do. Four years after beginning my blog, I finally understand my purpose.

I want to be able to look my daughters in the eyes and tell them about how my vacation in New York was no vacation at all. It was a pilgrimage.

"Every one of our voices matters. It is our right and our responsibility to tell our stories, especially when it helps others find courage. I'm going to be brave for those people. And there are people out there who need YOU to be brave too."

You can be brave. You ARE brave.

Love, Lucy

xoxoxoxo

To Simply Give Is Not Enough - #1000Speak

I am filled with immeasurable gratitude and honor to be a part of #1000Speak For Compassion, a demonstration of bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers, tweeters, musicians, poets, artists... human beings in common today, February 20th.

I hope my words will resonate with you in a meaningful way.

Compassion.

I have been contemplating the meaning, a tangible definition of compassion over and over for the past 51 days.

The word compassion is a lot like the word, love. We recognize the presence of love and the act of love when we experience it. But the truest definition of love articulated in each of our hearts differs from one another. Like love, compassion is personal. The essence of compassion in our hearts and in our minds is defined by who we are and where we've traveled in life.

For fifty one days, I have attempted to define the essence of compassion with examples that are meaningful to me. And for fifty one days, I have struggled, dissatisfied with the bland, ordinary descriptions and everyday examples I came up with.

For fifty one days, I would stare at my screen through the sterile words I had composed feeling that they were only half true.

For fifty one days, these words stared back at me in defiance as if to say, "Who are YOU to speak of compassion?"

Everything I had written was simply the process of writing down what I suspected people wanted to read. You might expect me to write about how wonderful and generous we are and can be to other countries and peoples. You might expect me to write about service to others and volunteer hours. You might expect me to write about how amazing and beautiful and perfect every single human being on earth is and how you should all rush out and wrap your arms around those in need. You might even expect me to write about how every single human being on earth is equally deserving of compassion. And those things are true enough.

During these awkward struggles with my conscience, I examined everything I knew and believed about compassion and what it means. What exactly is an act of compassion? What does it look like? Feel like? What is not compassion and what is simply an act of charity clothed in a robe of compassion?

Fifty one days came and went. My attempts to compose an authentic, meaningful, purposeful message about #compassion were futile. The day to collectively publish and be a part of an amazing movement, #1000Speak For Compassion had arrived. February 20, 2015. And I had absolutely nothing to share.

I could have written for hours about the charities I've volunteered for and causes I have supported over the past decades. I could go on and on about ALL of the nice things I have done for others. Look how compassionate I am! Look at me! I help those in need! I support those who are less fortunate! I am a good person!

I. Am. COMPASSIONATE.
But to simply GIVE, is not enough.

I have volunteered and given my time and service to others, while my own children sat at home without me. I have given comfort to a child I do not know, and yet I have impatiently scolded my own child for the exact same behavior.

I have looked with eyes of pity upon complete and total strangers who I don't know a thing about. And yet, I have also cast judgmental observations of my own family aloud. How is it that I can so easily and abundantly offer my sympathies to random individuals, yet deprive those very sentiments to the people I love the most?

I volunteer my time and services tirelessly. I give money to charity. I collect jars of peanut butter. I rescue homeless and even disabled pets from impending doom. I collect box tops, soup labels, and printer cartridges. I peddle cookies, jump rope for heart, and race for the cure.

I give to others until sometimes, there's nothing left for those I hold dearest in my heart.

For the past 50 days before today, I have attempted to write about compassion. And each and every time I have tried to write about compassion, I have become paralyzed. Everything I had written felt  slightly insincere.  And I couldn't seem to understand why. Until today.

February 20, Day 51

On the drive home from the store just a few hours ago, I explained to my twelve year old daughter how I had been struggling with something. I described how I had been trying to write about compassion and participate in a massive movement that went live today. "The more I thought about it, the less certain I became about the true meaning of compassion," I told her. "Could I ask for your help?"

"What does compassion mean to you, Evalynn? What does it truly mean to be compassionate?"

She turned her kind and gentle eyes toward me and softly replied to me. 
"I think it means to help others. And to be patient with them. Even when it's really hard to." 
At that moment, I had a sense of clarity that brought me true understanding, an understanding of compassion far deeper than I have ever known.

51 days ago, I received a phone call.

My sister is dying. She has permanent, irreversible, and terminal liver disease.

And I am very, very angry. I am angry with her for being sick. My heart is filled with anxiety and grief and resentment. I am wracked with sorrow to the core of my soul. The thought of losing my sister, and my friend, was to admit I would lose a part of my heart that can never be replaced. And I have been silently judging her for her choices every single day.

Evalynn's wisdom and honesty permeated my heart on a level far beyond her years. The simplicity of a child's perception of the world is often overlooked. We simply do not listen. Yet her words were the catalyst that brought clarity and peace to my heart. I couldn't possibly write about compassion while I held on to feelings of anger or resentment.

I think of the people in my life who have forgiven ME when I was least deserving, not because they approved of my actions or behaviors. They offered me the gift of forgiveness out of love for me as a friend and as a human being. Those were acts of true compassion.

Sometimes those who appear most undeserving are in most desperate need of compassion.
FORGIVE.
"Even when it's really hard to."
Forgive those who have acted in anger toward you. Forgive one another for your disagreements. Forgive your loved ones who choose their own path, whether or not it is a path you would choose for them. Set down the burdens of resentment and bitterness you have carried with you for so long.

Forgive the murderer. The pedophile, and the bigot. Forgive the hypocrite and the ignorant. Every single human being is equally deserving of love and compassion. Offer help. Offer direction. Help.

GIVE.

FORGIVE.

Let the anger and blame and resentment go. Give the gift of true compassion to
yourself and to others. To simply GIVE, is not enough. 

Please follow #1000speak on social media to join the movement and help spreading compassion with the world.



Lucy is a writer, educator, and artist/business owner who lives in the frigid Midwest. Please see About Lucy for more and be sure to follow her lessons shared here and via your favorite social media channels.

Ash Wednesday Wonderings

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian season of Lent.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Ash Wednesday and its customs, please make a very strong mental note of my handy tip at the bottom of this post. 

So tonight, as usual, my social anxiety was in high gear. As the priest put it recently, some of us haven't exactly been racking up the Frequent Faith Flyer miles as far as attendance goes. He's hilarious.

In one of my typical caffeine-fueled rants, I was interrogating my oldest daughter, Evelynn on the rules and rationale of eternal etiquette. This was mostly for the benefit of the younger child since it's people like her I'm sure the priest was referring to.

#ROW80 Update 2/18/15


Hello there! If you're visiting from ROW80, today's post is an update of my goals and progress. If you're here for some funny or one of my regularly published pieces of prose, feel free to look around. And don't forget to subscribe on your socials. My #1000speak post on compassion goes live later today. 

Round 1 ROW80 Goal:


Write 30 minutes, 3 times a week for a minimum of 90 minutes per week. So how did I do in the first week?

My Life As Lucille - Finding Joy In The Writer's Journey

I started the #ROW80 writing challenge with a modest goal. Unlike other writing challenges I've attempted, ROW80 isn't a pass/fail type of challenge. In case you're wondering what the ROW80 challenge is, click on the icon at the bottom of this post for more on what it is and how you can join us.



If you are new here, welcome! I’m so glad you came! Read more about me and what I write about HERE.

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