If I Could Share a Thing or Two with the World

If I could share a thing or two to the world I’d share 
That a smile is worth more than gold
A soul should be treated with utmost care
We should love one another as though we are each precious treasures
Life can be lived in the present
(That’s where true happiness is found)
The heart is fragile
Our barometer for what is
Good, right and true.

If I could stand on the top of a mountain and shout a message out to the world,
I would invite everyone to live
Out their dreams
To treat each moment with respect
To stop pretending to be who they aren’t
To invest in positive thought
And courage
And hope.

I’d suggest that we stop focusing on drama
And start focusing on possibility
To pour ourselves into projects
A better world
I’d encourage others to leave the places
They visit in better condition than
When they first arrived.
(picking up a bit of litter may be a start,
Rather than walking over it and pretending it
isn’t there.)
To invest in better behavior
Rather than investing in the idea
that we are a doomed, sinful race.
Taking responsibility should be our
goal – rather than blaming it on
the devil or some other “sinner.”
Don’t you think if there is a God,
He'd would want for his children
to transform the world rather than
wait by aimlessly for a magical solution?

If there were religious groups standing by,
I’d want to remind them that
above all things LOVE is the most
important virtue
And gift that they can give the world
(Judgment isn’t going help their cause…
it will alienate those who need their message most)

If there are doubters out there –
Those who think there is nothing to live for
That there is no hope…
I’d like to invite them to
look around and see the simple beauties
that the world has to offer –
Blue skies
And so much more…
The way to move away from a funk
Is to dive in
and dare to look beyond one's self
know that you aren’t alone.
There may even be someone out there
Hurting more than you.
You can make a difference in his or her life
and then you will have sublime purpose.

Happiness comes from our ability
To move beyond ourselves
And into a pursuit for some sort of

If I could teach the world a thing or two,
I’d  share that
living from the soul is most important -
from the soul there springs,
Everything that we
will ever need.
No matter how much we think
Things and attainment will bring us joy
without tapping into the soul
everything is meaningless,
And false.
Within the soul resides
And hope.

To tap in into its deep well
Find moments of silence
and contemplate
on the truth it reveals.
Then live from it…
Energy will fill your bones
as you begin to live with

By Jen Engevik

Ideas for Discovering Your True Calling in Life

We wouldn't be human if we didn't question from time to time why we are floating around on planet earth. Are we here to simply survive? To have fun? To work until our bones are weary? The answer to these questions most likely varies from person to person. We each have a different beat to which we groove...and that is what makes the world go round.

What happens when you reach a crossroads that finds you searching high and low for your purpose? When you find yourself at work blankly staring at your computer screen thinking "I can't do this anymore. This is simply not me..."? You know that if you were to follow your passion and leave your current job behind, it would cost you financially. People close to you may think you mad. You may fail and this scares you to the core.

If you've reached this point in life, you may want to give the following a try:

1. Begin journaling. Keep a daily journal of your thoughts. Share your passions, fears, hopes and dreams. Writing clears the cobwebs from the mind and helps you to think constructively.

2. Get a therapist or life coach. Finding someone impartial to talk to helps beyond all belief. A good one will help you dig into the core of your being and develop solutions to take you to the next level.

3. Invest in a large drawing tablet.  Go to your nearest office supply or crafts store and buy a large tablet on which you can map your dreams out. Make lists of pros and cons. Set goals. Develop timelines. Draw. Scribble down affirmations. Make to do lists. Wildly enough, your dream/goal/inspiration tablets will help make your most inner thoughts concrete. Don't be surprised if one day you pull your tablets out of the closets or from underneath your couch and discover that you accomplished many of your goals and dreams.

4. Get working out. By getting in shape, you will have more stamina to make wise decisions and enable yourself to take a giant leap of faith. The mind/body connection can't be overlooked.

5. Realize that Reality is what you make it. It is all too easy to let everyone else set the rules for your life. You have been conditioned by your parents, relatives, friends, church, government, politicians, and more as to how life should be viewed. If you were taught from the time you were a child that the world is a big, scary place and people are freaky -- you probably have accepted this as fact. On the contrary, if you were told that the world is your oyster and is full of opportunity -- you most likely believe the world is a magical and amazing place.

It takes a mental 360 and a bit of faith to move from a fearful & limiting perspective to one of possibility.

I have often thought it fascinating that once I am made aware of something new in my world - I begin to realize that I have been surrounded by it all along. I was just blind to it. An example is the geocaching phenomena. I had no idea that all around us are hidden treasures placed throughout the world by geocachers, a group of people who hide treasures and then input the latitude and longitude coordinates into the Website. The first time I gave this a try, I was thrilled and amazed that all along there are been adventurers playing the game and having a ball.

Opportunity is all around us -- we just have to channel into it. As a journalism student in my college days at USC, we were taught how network news identifies breaking news, and if the story was shocking enough, producers look for other similar stories. Once identified, they reveal the most shocking breaking news such as a horrific shooting in downtown LA. Then they bring to light other shootings in nearby areas. Pretty soon, newswatchers are thinking there are shootings everywhere....when in reality most neighborhoods are safe and sound. My question remains - what if they were to point out the positive? We just may begin to see the good that surrounds us.

It is one thing to discover what  your calling is in life - but if you have a possibility problem. You may not get very far.

I'm going to be blunt now - so please forgive me if I make you squirm...

You are going to die. I am going to die. We are all going to die. So what the heck are we trying to live so carefully for? So that we can be 99 after living a safe and boring life? No thank you.

I took a huge chance to leave a well paying job and work as a freelance writer. Has it always been easy? Definitely not. Have I had fun? Yes. Without a doubt. The benefits have been that I am now writing from Scandinavia - I can work from anywhere I choose. I can study people and enjoy new cultures.

But are you rich? may be asking. My answer is Yes & No. My life is soul is amazed...I am damn happy to not be stuck. I'm not rich like Paris Hilton...I don't own a large home. I have worked to pair down my life -- no storage unit, no boxes stacked high in a garage. After a recent move, I got rid of nearly everything I didn't need. Who knows what the future holds financially...but I really do have faith that with hard work it will be amazing.

You create your reality and are only as stuck as you allow yourself to be. To truly discover our callings in life...we have take giant leaps and know that we will find wings with which to fly...

- Jen Engevik

Project BE Bold

The Reset Button - Moving to New Places Cooking in Life

I have officially begun life at a new address within the same small town in Southern Orange County. The moving process has made me reflect on life -- just like our homes that become cluttered and overpopulated with stuff/junk, our minds, bodies and souls become the same.

The moving process was wild for me. I began the process by taking my huge library of books down from their shelves and didn't realize how many I possessed until half of one room was filled with boxes reserved for them. Also, I was amazed that I had either half-read - or not read at all - at least half of my inventory. I wondered to myself -- how did I become the owner of such an unread library? Why didn't I take time to savor each book before buying the next?

Next, I went through drawers and shelves and was overwhelmed by the many things I had forgotten I own and would never buy in the near future.  As this process unfolded, a wise man's words rang through my mind - "You only really need 20% of what you own." I giggled at first as I started to strategically place like items together so that I could make sense of it all. But as time went on, I found myself wanting to bring in a huge garbage bag, heap everything within them, go down to a deserted beach and hold a huge bonfire.

Today, I am sitting on my balcony overlooking the Saddleback Valley. The sun shines above and I'm finally feeling like things are coming together. As I've unpacked, I have tried to stick to the 20% rule -- what do I really need??? I'm trying to stick the the essentials...and am leaving various knickknacks and duplicate items packed in boxes. And I've vowed not to buy more until I've gotten rid of as much as I can.

Before leaving my home for near four years, I stood within its four walls surveying. All furniture was emptied -- appliances gone (replaced by the dust that had collected underneath them). - pets moved over to our new was just me and 1000 memories. I sat down in my old bedroom and tried to own a moment in which I could reflect on how my little home (surrounded by green trees that were inhabited by birds of all shapes and sizes) had been my friend and protector for almost a half-decade. I recalled the many special moments that it was host to - pictured my cats sunning in the balcony - thought of my neighbors and friends that I wouldn't see quite as often & gave thanks for the growth that I experienced while living there. Finally, I walked around and told my old friend that it had been nice and said a silent prayer for good times to come. A few tears fell from my eyes as I locked the front door and looked back one last time.

Life is bittersweet - a mix of the fantastic...clutter...newness...oldness...memories...future hopes...tears of joy...tears of sadness...and elation when you wake up in your new home and brew a fresh pot of coffee in a brand new kitchen while looking out of the window and seeing your beloved cat sunning on a new patio (upon his favorite couch).

I hit the reset button and it feels right. My thoughts are that I need to do it more often -- in small ways. To declutter more regularly -- both mentally and with the things/junk that I own. I need to loosen my grip on the things and become more focused on grasping the moment -- the people in my life -- the sunshine -- a good book (Just pick one of the hundred that I own and have forgotten about!!)

Where are you at in your own life? What are you gripping onto? In what areas do you need to hit the reset button?

My favorite yoga teacher would always say - "It's time for new places cooking." When he said this...he was referring to pushing yourself a bit harder when engaging in a yoga pose and in life...because what is life without a little growth? Stagnation. And stagnation breeds discontent.

Here's to new places cooking! And a new outlook - every morning of our lives.

- Post by Jen Engevik

So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

Life is What We Make it By Edgar A. Guest

Life is a jest;
Take the delight of it.
Laughter is best;
Sing through the night of it.
Swiftly the tear
And the hurt and the ache of it
Find us down here;
Life must be what we make of it.

Life is a song;
Dance to the thrill of it.
Grief's hours are long,
And cold is the chill of it.
Joy is man's need;
Let us smile for the sake of it.
This be our creed:
Life must be what we make of it.

Life is a soul;
The virtue and vice of it,
Strife for a goal,
And man's strength is the price of it.
Your life and mine,
The bare bread and the cake of it
End in this line:
Life must be what we make of it.

By Edgar A. Guest