Category Archives for "Karla’s Korner"

Karla’s Korner: The Promise of Spring

Karla’s Korner: The Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring…..

There’s something magical about the arrival of spring. The harshness of winter seems to wear on our emotions; quite often the “winter blues” set in and we buckle under the cold dismal heaviness of darker days, clouds and precipitation. And when we think we can’t bear it any longer the time changes (if you live in a state that participates in daylight saving time) and the sun begins to thaw the cold hard ground and often our winter hearts. Winter is long and cold, damp, and dark but I think it is also a time to go within ourselves, to be still, reflect, integrate and connect the puzzles pieces of our lives; the pieces we’ve been too busy to put together during the warmer months.

For the past three weeks my yard, like many others across the country, has been suffocated by a heavy blanket of snow and ice. Dagger like icicles hang from rooftops waiting to be warmed by the sun and fall to the ground. The squirrels stay tucked away in their treetop nests feasting on last fall’s harvest while they wait for the warmth of spring and the arrival of new babies. As for me, well much like the squirrels I have attempted to stay hidden out of the cold doing just what needed to be done and as a result have recognized a coldness in my heart. Feeling disconnected, out of sync with the world around me it seems that I, along with so many others have been in survival mode. Not to worry though, according to a few of my “advisors” (those who listen to me whine) this too shall pass and much like the winter it will fade away with the warmth of spring and the promise that better days are on the horizon.

It is Sunday afternoon and as I sit down to write this week the sun shines through my bedroom window bouncing sunbeams off of my coffee cup, the snow is melting, the icicles have disappeared and the dogwood trees are budding; springtime is so very close. Embracing the pending warmth of the new season I find myself thinking that the winter wasn’t really that bad; or was it? It seems that so much of what got me down or was worrisome appears to be much less problematic in the warmth of the pre-spring day. Is it because the promise of warmer weather, springtime flowers, short sleeves and flip flops cloud my memory? Or is it because I allowed myself to see things darker than they really were? Whatever the reason, I believe that the down time is necessary in order to recharge our vital energy and connect with the cycles of nature. Slowing down during winter helps rejuvenate our health and encourages rest; it prepares us for the newness and re-birth of spring and the excitement that builds as we anticipate summer.

As we endure the last few weeks and days of winter and as the snow melts away into the ground providing nourishment for those seeds that were blown around in fall breezes I encourage to breathe deep, look inside your soul and prepare yourself for the promise of spring and the newness that will spring forth and not only give us hope but proof that life does in deed move on. American journalist and author John Geddes wrote in his book A Familiar Rain “I hear the sounds of melting snow outside my window every night and with the first faint scent of spring, I remember life exists…” Embrace the remainder of winter for spring is on its way….

Peace,

Karla

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

Karla’s Korner: Write On

Karla encourages us to Write On. To write our thoughts and messages on letters and keep those we received. To hold onto your memories through written words.

Write On….

It was my husband’s birthday this week and a large envelope arrived in the mailbox; it was from his sister Diane. Intrigued he carefully opened it to discover four children’s birthday cards, one for each of a child’s first four birthdays. A bit confused he opened the first one and read the following words: “To our darling little David. From Mummy, Daddy & Diane. 28/2/64. With tears filling his eyes he shared these treasures with me; I choked back a flood of emotions knowing just what these cards represented to him and just how much he misses his parents every day. A call with his sister later that day revealed that she had opened a strong box belonging to their parents this week and discovered the cards among the important items carefully tucked away for safekeeping.

Holding the well preserved cards in my hands I imagined little David as he celebrated those sweet birthdays with his family and how special his momma made birthdays for him and his four siblings. She was a rather simple lady, quiet, faithful, gracious and giving and never asked much (if anything) for herself. I imagine a young mother brooding over her five children making sure each of their birthdays was special for them. Holding onto those cards to be discovered as an adult made this birthday extra-special for David. Although gone nearly two years she blessed him on his special day just like she did every year for 50 of his birthdays.

How often do we receive a card, letter or note in the mail read it set it aside and eventually throw it away? Do we even read the entire card, letter or note written inside? It seems that life requires so much time and energy that stopping to read even a small card takes too much time. What if instead of tossing out notes and cards we kept them, tucked them away to pull out at a later date and remember a special event, or the person who sent it?

When we sit down and share our thoughts, sympathies, love, gratitude and everyday life in a written letter we allow ourselves to share in an intimate powerful way; it’s the next best thing to showing up at someone’s door. Letter writing is very personal. It’s something tangible that comes from your hands, from your world and travels through the postal highway and is placed in someone’s mailbox. The recipient handles the paper that you handled and they see your personality and individuality expressed in your handwriting. It is a very intimate experience. One of my greatest treasures is a large box stored away in the closet in my basement. Inside that box are piles of old cards. Somewhere tucked away in somewhat chronological order are birthday cards (and other occasions) given to me by family and special friends since my first birthday. Once in a while I will sit on the floor with my box going through old graduation, wedding and sympathy cards mourning the loss of our precious baby are all tucked away in my box holding onto memories waiting for me to re-visit, remember and reflect.

I encourage you to save special cards, notes and letters you receive. Knowing that keeping everything is impossible it is important to hang on to the ones from those closest to our hearts and those that mark certain milestone events in your life. Even more I encourage you to write a letter to someone special; someone you may not see often. Each week I write a letter to a special friend. The joy I feel knowing on Monday mornings when I place her letter in my mailbox that she will find it tucked away in her mailbox 450 miles away in a few short days is wonderful. Hearing her tell me how special it is to receive those letters each week and how she carefully stores them away makes is even more wonderful.

Hold onto your memories, share yourself through written words to those you love and care for. Contemporary Japanese writer Haruki Murakami once wrote “How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.” Children’s author Susan Lendroth shared her thoughts on writing and receiving letters by saying “To write is human, to receive a letter: Devine!” The key is communicating with others, taking time to put a pen to paper and share our thoughts is a gift to both writer and recipient. Write on…..

Peace,
Karla

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

Karla’s Korner – Being Vulnerable: Living with Our Hearts Wide Open

Hearts Wide Open

Being Vulnerable: Living with our hearts wide open

This week it seemed as if my inbox, social media newsfeed and conversations were filled with the idea that vulnerability is a good thing. As much as I tried to shove this topic aside, I finally gave in and took a dive deep into thought, prayer, conversation and little online research. What I found was a wealth of information that not only clarified but solidified the idea that vulnerability, while complex is a necessary element of life. I believe that vulnerability is one of the richest, most deep rooted, soul awakening things we can embrace.

The word vulnerable is of Latin origin coming from the root word vulnus which means “wound”. According to several online dictionaries it is defined from its literal meaning and is more often used for someone who is easily hurt or likely to succumb to temptation. It’s also used to describe a person whose feelings are delicate that they cannot handle criticism or pressure. There is a sense of guilt, shame and fear associated with vulnerability.

American scholar, author, and public speaker Dr. Brené Brown has spent many years researching human connection and our ability to empathize, belong and love. In June 2010 Dr. Brown spoke in Houston at a TED Talk titled “The Power of Vulnerability” where she shared that “the core of vulnerability is shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it is also the birth place of joy and creativity.” With a deep desire to understand I found myself re-playing her talk several times, stopping to take notes, to think and let her ideas settle in my mind. Dr. Brown was conveying a message that up until now made no sense to me. Isn’t it better to build a wall around ourselves that doesn’t allow hurt, hate and heart ache in? Isn’t it wise to protect ourselves from those who inflict negativity and pain in our lives? Wouldn’t we be better off if we locked up our hearts and kept them safe and less vulnerable? For me the answer is “no” by hiding behind a wall, isolating ourselves in order to remain safe we will miss out on so much joy, love and happiness. We will miss out on the life we are intended to live.

According to Dr. Brown one of the most frequent methods of dealing with vulnerability is numbing ourselves; we build walls around our hearts to lock out the hurt. When we do this we also lock out joy, gratitude, happiness and love. Contemporary Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wrote “What happens when people open their hearts? “They get better.” Allowing ourselves complete vulnerability will I believe provide us with the opportunity to have a greater sense of joy, great happiness and a love so deep that it fills in the cracks caused by hurt and sadness. You see, by exposing ourselves to the tough stuff, the hurtful stuff we are able to appreciate the good stuff and develop a great sense of inner peace, a deeper love and gratitude. We will find ourselves grateful for the difficulties because we will learn from them.

Keeping in mind that there are no guarantees and that hurt, heart ache and disappointment are inevitable it is necessary to go through the storms of life in order to see the rainbow on the other side. I was once asked if I had any regrets about my past including relationships, jobs, life decisions. While I find myself wondering “what if” once in a while regarding the past I realize that in order for me to be the person I am today I had to go through the tough stuff. In order to have a heart that loves and accepts the indifferences in life it is necessary to face challenges that cause us to question our faith, beliefs and values. Because of those challenges and difficult decisions I experienced I am able to appreciate the journey, learn important life lessons and develop deep meaningful loving relationships that not only bring me great joy but gives joy to others as well. Embracing vulnerability requires faith that even though sometimes the results will be difficult to endure living our life with our hearts wide open will allow space for deep love, great joy and gratefulness for the experiences.

Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho wrote “The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.” To love and be loved completely requires a willingness to take chances, to give and not expect anything in return and to appreciate the vulnerability it requires to do it. I believe it is necessary to embrace vulnerability because it is where you will ultimately find your strength. Open yourself up to the scary stuff, the stuff that requires you to trust and be trusted. It’s difficult yet simple; be present, be brave, be joyful, be grateful and above all be vulnerable.

Peace,
Karla

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

Karla’s Korner: Picture Perfect Memories

Karla's Korner reminds us to take Picture Perfect Memories. To capture that life in pictures to carry your memories on forever.

Picture Perfect Memories…

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, I probably have several hundred thousand words stored on my computer. When my children were first born, I had the camera nearby all of the time. As they got older, it seemed that the camera stayed put more often and only came out on special occasions. As they approached adolescence I was not quite sure where the camera was. Now that they are practically grown, I find myself trying to capture their picture more often, something which they find totally annoying.

When I attended my 25th high school reunion I was asked to e-mail a picture of myself from my childhood to the coordinator of the reunion. I chose one from my third birthday. I do not remember this occasion but apparently I had a good time because I was smiling. That picture allowed me to see a piece of my past; and while I don’t remember it I have proof that that moment in time was special to me. And while thumbing through a box of old pictures at my church a while back I realized that something was missing. The box, filled with pictures from the past 25 plus years is full of un-labeled pictures. There were some familiar faces staring back at me, however, the majority of the pictures in that box are just that…pictures; nameless, unidentifiable pictures.

Why do we take pictures in the first place? For me, I take pictures to preserve a special time, event, milestone, etc. Pictures are a source of unwritten memories. We take pictures to remember a moment in time that we want others to know about. But what happens if we just throw all of our pictures into a box without taking the time to label them? The memory is still preserved, but cannot be recalled by anyone looking at it. Time passes by too quickly and those boxes of pictures tend to sit on a shelf until someone stumbles across them and discovers that those memories cannot be identified; they remain nameless.

In today’s world so many of our pictures are stored digitally, which means we do not even have paper copies to write on. When I was a little girl my grandparents had a Polaroid camera. You pushed the button, the picture slid out of the camera and within a few minutes it would “develop” right before your very eyes. Then we got some new fancy cameras that used 33 mm film. We would send the film off and a week or two later, the mailman would deliver an envelope with our pictures. Flash forward to the digital age where you can take a picture, send it via e-mail and within seconds share it with all of your friends and family. While the opportunity to have paper copies printed still exists, we find ourselves not going to the trouble of having it done. What happens if we have a technical difficulty and lose our digital images? What happens to the memories? The memories will remain in our minds and hearts, but we will not be able to share them with future generations.

My challenge for you this week is to return to a time where paper pictures are treasured. If you have a box of unidentified pictures, dig them out and label them. If you do not have a box full of pictures, get clicking and fill one up. As I sat staring at the image of three year old me, I realized that there are so many things from my childhood that I do not remember. Why? Because as we grow older we tend to forget the little things from our past, however, pictures are a way to either remind us of that special time or help us take a peek back in time and see what we were like. My children are pretty much grown and lately I have found myself staring at their photo albums remembering them as my little ones. My son, who at 16 is much taller than me stares back at me from the pages of his album and it is like I have been transported back in time. My daughter, now 21, stares at me from the photos of her life wearing her daddy’s sneakers and sheepish little grin. Oh the memories, oh the joy that these photos bring to me. Fill your life with pictures. We have but one life to live, so why not capture that life in pictures to carry your memories on forever.

For me, I will continue to snap away whether my children want me to or not. I am sure I will capture quite a few shots of the back of their heads or their hands in front of the lens while trying to escape, but once in a while I will capture a memory and place it in their photo journal in hopes that one day down their life road they, like me, will pull it out and recall a special moment in time and all the love that their daddy and I have for them then and now. Take a picture, label it and share a memory.

Peace,
Karla Robey

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

Karla’s Korner: Love Beyond the Valentine

love

Love Beyond the Valentine….

Love, defined by the Webster online dictionary is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person; an attraction that includes physical desire or the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship.” I’ve also heard love referred to as a verb, an action or way of behavior. It’s no secret that I am head over heels in love with my husband David. He is my heart, soul and the love of my life. Our love is just that, it’s ours and completely different from the love we have for other people. But our love is just one piece of our life’s puzzle. Love surrounds us in varying ways.

Believing that sharing our feelings for one another is important I often find myself embracing a friend with a hug and telling them that I love them. I love to love people. It is important to share your feelings and express our love for one another. By doing so it validates our relationships, and opens ourselves up not only to give but to receive the love we were created to share with one another.

American poet and greeting card producer Susan Polis Schutz wrote a poem entitled “Love is” where she explores the many facets of love including strength, reality, unity, the source of success, of the future, of passion, sharing, security and ultimately the source of life…” Reading through the entire poem I find myself thankful for the love in my life and the reality that love is exactly all of these things in various capacities and degrees of intensity with those I share various pieces of life with.

So why are we hesitant to express our love for one another? Is it because we fear the vulnerability we face when we open ourselves up to the intensity of love in a relationship? Is it because we believe love is only romantic? And what about the love we have for ourselves? Do we believe that we should love ourselves? The concept of self-love is a relatively new experience for me personally. Learning to love myself is a process; something that I continue to work on daily. The image in the mirror surprises me sometimes as I become used to the physical changes taking place, however it is the non-physical changes that I love most. Self-love I believe is an essential element to loving others.

American author Jack Kornfield wrote “At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” Living fully and loving well I believe go together like potato chips and dip, hot dogs and mustard, beer and pretzels, wine and cheese…you get the idea. As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure one can live fully without loving well or loving well without living fully. Life is meant to be lived in community, with others, for others and in relationships that bring about what my friend Carole would call “the good stuff”. It is important to experience the varying degrees (types) of love and be able to express that love freely and openly with others. Nike has a slogan “Just Do It” and quite often I think we should adopt that attitude when expressing our love for one another. Just say it. Tell those around you that you love them and actually love them. Show them you love them. Be present. Be open, honest and vulnerable allowing them to love you back.

As a parent the love we have for our children goes beyond anything we could ever have imagined. At times it’s like our heart is walking around outside our body and sometimes it’s wonderful and other times it hurts. Either way it’s one of the greatest loves we could ever know. The love we have for our spouse or partner is equally as wonderful but completely different; it’s still love. The love we have for our friends, those friends who in spite of our differences love us anyway is deep and precious and completely different for each one of them; and although it’s different it’s still love.

In trying to sum up the idea of love and what it means I believe that love is perfect. It’s perfect because it is the one thing that seems to cure so many things. It is what we crave as people. It is as essential as air, water, and food for our very existence. I would say many problems we face as human beings can be traced back to a lack of love. This week I encourage you to look beyond the Valentine and share the love you have for others openly and intentionally. Love is meant to be expressed, given and received. Author David Viscott wrote “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides”. Live fully. Love completely. Just do it!

Peace & love,
Karla

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

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Read my advice to have a successful relationship

valentine cards for adults

Free Printable Valentine Cards

Karla’s Korner: Oh Joy!

joy

Oh Joy!

On Thursday this week I sent a text to a friend (extended family member) wishing her a happy birthday. Her response left me a bit sad and humbled “Thanks! I have two funerals to go to today for young friends so I am very happy to be celebrating LIFE!” My heart grew heavy for her knowing that on a day of great celebration for her she would be remembering the life of two people who are special to her. As I checked in on another friend whose granddaughter awaits pathology reports from a tumor removed from his three year old granddaughter’s liver and who has battled cancer in the past year I am reminded just how fragile life is. In a split second it, this earthly life, can be taken away from us and the ones we love so much. Letting go, saying good-bye, and embracing a new normal is difficult at best. But as my friend shared with me life should be celebrated. Being grateful for our lives doesn’t negate what others have lost rather allows us to appreciate what we have at this very moment.

Quite often through the busy-ness of our days we feel bogged down, overwhelmed and unable to find joy. Ordinary days seem to run together and often leave us feeling as if nothing good has happened. Life I believe is supposed to contain ordinary days; lots and lots of ordinary days. As a matter of fact I think it is in those ordinary days that our greatest joys can be discovered. Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.” It is those ordinary things that often bring the most joy because those ordinary things are not forced, planned or filled with unattainable expectations; they are just ordinary.

Can ordinary be joyful? Yes. As a matter of fact ordinary joy is I believe better than the joy we get from those extra special over the top moments. As part of my New Year’s resolution to find joy in everyday life I started a joy box. Every night before I go to bed I write down something that brought me joy that day and place it in a small wooden box on my dresser. (The joy box sits next to my prayer box) Quite often the joy for the day stems from an ordinary event such as laughing in the kitchen with my husband while cooking dinner, holding a preschooler in my lap at nap time or an extra tough workout at the gym with friends. Whatever the day brings I believe joy can be found.

This week as you muddle through the ordinary take time to reflect and recognize a joy each day remembering that your joys are unique to you. Sister Melannie Svoboda of Notre Dame writes in her book Everyday Epiphanies “Happy are they who have a keen feel for everyday human life, whose ears are attuned to the roar of the ordinary. Happy are they who get a kick out of the commonplace, for they shall encounter joy and pleasure wherever they go!” Embrace the ordinary and find your joy.

Peace,
Karla

Karla

I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge!

Find out how Karla transformed her life and lost over 80 lbs.. it all started with Advocare!

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