yu-nek’

We have ZERO competition in the entire universe of people who do what we can uniquely do because we are unique in all we do! Nobody can do it just like you do it – whatever your “it” is. That’s super great news! Some might copy you, heck, you might copy many in the effort to learn your thing, but no one can do it just like you can do it.

th-6I have fallen guilty of this doubt for so many years. I talk to so many who say and feel the same way when they stop themselves from creating that thing they want to create because it’s been done before. Does this sound familiar to you too? “Well, there are already so many in the market space, it’s flooded, so why bother.” Or, “how many (insert your thing here) are out there doing so much better than I can do this already, who’s going to listen or follow me?” Or, “That story has already been told before.” endless…..on and on….excuses here.

No one can do it like you can do it so why do we stop ourselves from saying it, being it, expressing it?  Not one person can do it like you can, so just do it already.  How many times has a love story or a song lyric been made from the beginning of time? And still, we dive deep into each one, even though they are all “love stories” and “songs” that have the same theme or musical beat, don’t we?  We love the creativity in a new way every time someone is brave enough to put it out there.  We don’t have to love it enough to buy it, but most respect of us in the world the effort of people at least trying.

I guess our only job is to just to ignore the world constant chatter and just create ithe damn thing.  Don’t be afraid to just put it out there, and just move on in your uniqueness to express something, your own way.  Those who love it will, those who don’t won’t … and none of that matters anyway.  It’s our connection to inner-love to express whatever we do that matters through our muse. Our fingerprint on the world saying, “I was here and I have something to say my way – here it is!”

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If I could tell my younger self to freely write without judgment, express, create without hesitation, putting out my imagination, my stories, my very random perspectives on life before I consider everything/everyone on the outside that would discourage me like, opinions, cultural norms & business logistics. The overwhelming distractions like how can I profit from this, branding, target markets, format, technique, logistics, formalities, I’d be a much happier creative genius by now. We were made to be free thinking creative geniuses. I wish we all felt free enough to do that and be that by now. I’m sure trying, and that feels good.

The good news is, no matter who we are, what we’ve been through, we can start again anytime we want to.  We can create what we love unapologetically.  No explanations, No excuses, No opinions welcomed. We will never know what will happen until we do.  Don’t hog your inner creative genius. Share it!  People like me will thank you for it!

Just Being Me, CathyV

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Courage

They say it takes courage to do the very thing you aim to achieve, regardless of what it might be. Meaning mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty to do that thing you want to do. My question is if it is in your heart, why is it dangerous, difficult or even hard? The word courage comes from the French meaning “from the heart” which is why it shouldn’t be scary at all.  But we do that to ourselves, don’t we?

We make things harder and scarier than they are for no reason.

Our critical thoughts create the illusion of danger, so we muster up the courage. For example, I have decided along the way I am deathly afraid of public speaking.  Many people claim the same fear with pride.  I am not sure when my brain told my body that it’s physically impossible to do that.  My body has learned to respond as if it’s literally going to endure a bloody murder.  But why?  I stand and talk all the time. Why is giving me a microphone and maybe even an elevated surface so life threatening to me?

As 2017 class president, my nephew recently gave an amazing commencement speech at his high scwith-courage-you-will-dare-to-take-risks-have-the-strength-to-be-compassionate-courage-quotehool graduation to about five thousand people in the audience and countless streaming live online.  I know he was nervous only because he told us he was.  On the outside his energy was beaming with love and confidence, his words were soaring with sincerity and service to his classmates, teachers, and parents. His delivery was that of a lifelong professional speaker – powerful.  The room was in awe of his graceful delivery from the heart.

At dinner afterward, he was getting countless congratulation messages. He said, “I wonder what people are saying about it?  Was it good?”  My heart dropped knowing what we do to ourselves in that exact defining moment when we care too much what other people think to determine our success or failure in efforts.  That is the moment when life requires real courage isn’t it?  The power we give/get to earn approval changes the fate of our future efforts.

What takes real courage?  Being okay with the outcome regardless.

Staying true to our hearts effort to create ‘our thing’ and give ourselves to the world takes real courage to keep going despite the outcomes. Being free from criticism and continuing to develop natural talents, gifts & skills “out loud” in public takes real courage to do it with or without applause. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all knew at a very young age the endless amount of creative power comes from within each of us and can never be taken away by external measurements we use to define success and failure?

I went on a positivity rant of honest feedback of how in awe I am of him, doing “that courageous” thing at his age. Then, like any fan crazy groupie in awe of a superstar th-4performance, I asked him how he does it so easily.  He gave me the most puzzled look of confusion the smiled and said, “It’s just like dancing. I go with the flow and have fun, like dancing.”   Stumped by his answer, I said: “Well, HUH.  That changes everything for me, I love dancing!”  My own self-taught fear filled limitations lifted in that instant because I love dancing.  So now I’ll just think about dancing in the things I have defined as scary with a new mindset.  It’s just that simple, isn’t it?  Again the ongoing theme of mastering my own Mindset, that sneaky little thought that changes everything.

Ryan Hurt’s 2017 speech at timestamp 111.20 seconds. You’ll see what inspired courage from the heart of a true leader look and sounds like! He makes it look easy.

My Lucy…

Do laptops go to heaven?  13335753_1070939782971093_4889983245794389179_nI think they do.
Lucy the laptop is close to crossing the rainbow bridge. Circa 2010 Lucy is my laptop MacPro that I got when I started this blog during a major life change, divorce, moving, job change, you name it/mid-life crisis HOT MESS goes here. Lucy called me to buy her, so I did. Who knew I made a new best friend and savior that day at the Apple store?  I did.
Circa 2010 Lucy is my laptop MacPro.  I got her when I started this blog during a major life change, divorce, sold house & moving on a whim, job change, you name it;  everything mid-life crisis goes in this spot here. I never go to the mall, but one day I did.  Apple Store lured me in. Then all of the sudden, Lucy called me to buy her, so I did. Who knew I made a new best friend and savior that day at the Apple store?  We didn’t speak the same language but she taught me how to be flexible, patient and think from a new part of my brain.
She named herself immediately, which is weird, I know. She came to me with a mission and she has more than fulfilled it. At first, Lucy’s purpose in my life was simply to make it easy to document and upload my 4-month solo cross-country road trip from TX out to the WILD, WILD WEST and up to Portland to capture life as it happened so my family knew I was alive on my trip.
In the meantime, she brought out my very colorfully and creative side (some love it and some hate it- I do not give a flying bleep either way) through this blog and I cannot thank her enough for allowing my creative mind to come alive.
Good or not, this blog and Lucy has been my best medicine through those dark days and even still today, she is my safe place to BE DIVINE and Unapologetic about LIVING OUT LOUD through life and all it has to surprise me with.  Is there a better gift in this world than that?  Not to me.  Just Lucy and Me…for work, play and everything along the way.
Sadly, Lucy is now officially on hospice. She is about to zap out any day now. She’s been loyally by my side capturing every crazy adventure of mine for the last 7 yrs which equivalent to a 70+ yrs human lifetime in Apple Yrs. She is a tough cookie, holding on to every last glitch as she makes the transition. Some days are more glitchy than others.
I am feverishly uploading her brain to dropbox because she’s so old she isn’t even compatible with iCloud if you can even imagine that!  We are going to the genius bar one last time to ask how we can capture what’s in iPhoto not so much for the pix but so she can flirt with the cute nerdy smart guys she loves so much and smell the new technology like the iCougar she is for one last time.  Will I get a new model?  It’s too soon to know.
What a weird feeling this is for me…my computer holds my entire last 7 years of my most creative work unreleased in practice of “what if’s”, she knows it all, my dreams, my heartbreaks, my efforts, my unrealized potential locked up in her memory. She holds it all secretly like a BFF would, the memories that I can’t even remember most days.
I’ll literally be in mourning when she zaps out for the last time. But until then, it is me and Lucy conquering the world together one day at a time on her soft rubbed out keys and heavy stature. She’s outlived all of Apple compatible devices that I’ve brought home so I am grateful for Lucy and all she’s added to my life.  She was the most expensive laptop I never thought I would buy, but now, looking back, she is priceless.
am not sure I’ll let her go to recycling after she zaps out, I just can’t do that immediately. In her memory, I might keep her around for a while like decoration, adorn her somehow in my office as a wall mount in a frame or something sentimental like that as a reminder of how far we’ve come together, knowing she’ll inspire me even more to how far I’m am still going to go!  Thank you for always bringing out my most creative self, Lucy!  
So. Much. Love.
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#YOLO!

What do you want to do with the rest of your life left over?  I want to experience more of it. I love exploring new places and experiencing new cultures.  This island seriously stole my heart.  I am working to LIVE, not living to work.  I travel as much as I can!

If you ever want to visit Bequia, SVG and need local connections to show you around, contact my friends @svgsothebysrealty – Peppy & Michelle can connect you with local private villa’s to rent (or homes to buy) and all sorts of insider local deals to scoop up while you’re there on vacation!  There are 32 islands to see and explore!  Pictures just don’t do it justice so I won’t try.  But if you want off the beaten path escape surrounded by kindness x infinity – this island pure perfection!

I made a quick video of my visit on #Bequia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines.  Here is my tiny slice of Eastern Caribbean Heaven on earth for just for a quick 2 minute water break escape from work if you need one like I always do.   https://youtu.be/uys5EEyCChI

I am going back in April 2017 to the world famous Regatta Sailing Competition and island celebration!  I’ll get better video and be more on purpose now that I am seasoned with the lay of the land and a friend among the wide range of cultures I cherish who all live in unity in one 7 mile stretch.

I am such a lucky girl to go twice in one year!  #YOLO!  My lesson from this trip is…

Always Do What Makes My Heart Happy & My Soul Soar!  

SAY YES!  More of that please!!!!  

What is it that you want to do?  What’s really stopping you from doing it?

Go & Do That, CathyV

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$ Per Hour x 8866

What is your relationship with Time Management and your $ own value per hour?  Let’s do the backwards math in real time, shall we?

I’ve said NO to a lot this week and it felt uncomfortable and pissed off quite a few people by taking a stand around doing this for a while now.  It’s not easy.  I chose ME and finally, I feel so happy and relieved – I DID IT – I CHOSE ME!  No guilt trips allowed. No excuses given. I just say NO and it’s okay.  Let the chips fall where they may.

If people fall away, they were not meant to stay anyway. It’s funny how when we stop doing what everyone else wants us to do, and be, how they instantly evaporate once you stop feeding the cycles. It feels AMAZING to take a stand for myself through the idea of “valuing my time and energy” knowing the 13901477_172878179789391_6991577274971821961_noutcome is for my greatest good.  But it’s still hard to do in a balanced way.  

Side Note: This custom made clock and much more cool wood art is for sale Joey Oso Designs 🙂 #supportsmallbiz

Do the backwards math. How much do you want to make this year in hourly terms?  Decide each day upon what gets your attention in dollars if there are 8766 hours in one year.  

Example: $20/hr x 8866 (1YR) = $177K USD (waiters make more than this per hour after tips).  $50/hr = 443K – WUT?!!!  How much time will you stop wasting now? Or, how much will you charge in your business differently, or spend your time in that cube making more hours count vs. playing pingpong and eating company free snacks chatting it up in the kitchen with your tribe who will forget all about you the minute you get a  new job?  Math doesn’t lie.  I seem to understand math MUCH better when it’s shown to me in this format, in real time and real dollars.  I could be spending mine WAY BETTER! So I will.  Do not get me started on mindless amazon prime & wine spending.  I am fixing that too!

How we use our Time is a curious thing and costs us money; maybe not in real money but in emotional money, spiritual money, mental money – it costs us all big time if not managed and guarded well (like Fidelity does it) on purpose. I even said NO to my dogs and very demanding innocent requests for “a quick thing”here and there – zap my day is gone!  I bet yours is too.  Where does the time go?  I’d rather be in Bequia figuring it out with much more cash flow honoring my time and/or charging for it much more mindfully.

As we all depend on social media to connect professionally/personally or use it on the unhealthy side to procrastinate/deflect reality (all SM platform including texts, phone calls, IM etc..) it’s worth examining in your usage in life, quite often. For me,  it’s a slow energy sucking leak taking over my time if I do not stay aware of my usages and why’s. I have been letting time online rule my day for too long. I feel bad if I don’t like and share all of my friends posts etc…

This week I declared = MY TIME IS WORTH MORE! I AM VALUED! I AM AN ASSETT!

I toiled over making this boundary going forward because I have a nervous twitch addiction like many of us do, that if I am not available 24/7 or on online constantly, somehow,  I’ll be letting everyone down, or I’ll somehow be a bad friend if I don’t reply with an instant SLA expectation that most billion dollar companies do not abide by.

If I am not constantly scrolling, validating, interacting than CLEARLY I am not doing my part to be a good global citizen and the world OBVIOUSLY will come crashing down like I have that much power. HA! I AM SO WRONG. We are valuable. Our time is too. VALUE IT.

I have been more productive in my business efforts and loving people before noon than most days working 12 hours by just logging off for a few hours at a time. I am calling 2017 the THE OFFLINE HEALTHY ZONE.  Doing my part to create an purpose, limited online/offline plan everyday is todays #Miracle #IAMProductive 

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#QualityVsQuanity

Expectations…

15941328_1365501553522840_3212721017848608770_nIf you are human, life will eventually disappoint you thanks to expectations.  

Whether its a lost love, a best friend lies to you, the boss steals your idea, that dream interview flops, or the business idea never takes off… Life is full of experiences that we set expectations around that define the level of our happiness in advance. It’s not fun. There is a much better way to live.

Regardless of my success and failures, and there are many, I SILLL keep trying this life experiment as if I can change its mind or outcome. So far this theory is sadly true for me and many I watch in the process.

Wisdom has taught me to own & create my own joy.

By taking positive actions for myself, that I never really focused on in early years; this naturally creates healthy boundaries with others that protects my heart, mind and spirit.

943942_10208642402046606_1469603517632753872_nWhen happiness does not depend on others actions or reactions, and is not dependent the the outcome of the situation either way it turns out you are FREE!

As always, I have learned the hard way that  no matter what the outcome is…it truly is always for the greatest good even if its disappointing in the moment is the magic of not having expectations.

Trust the how’s & why’s in life to the unknown in a kid-like magical wonderment!  Nothing has to make sense to make life more fun does it?  It’s actually really fun to be happily surprised with outcomes when you do more to create joy, and expect less from others to do it for you.  

Cheers to expecting nothing at all and being happy with it!  

Beautiful Bequia!

It’s Paradise. GO GO GO Visit Bequia, a beautiful 7 mile island in St. Vincent, The Grenadines!  I am a firm believer in setting goals, dreaming big, doing the work, and supporting like minded “doer’s” who take the risk of “owning” their own business and doing what it takes in making it happen to create multiple income streams!  I heard about Bequia from a previous co-worker and new business partner for life. Literally, for living life to it’s fullest and finding ways to make happen together in support of each others dreams!

That said, I reached out and was instantly gifted the most amazing trip over Christmas and New Years when I had two weeks of down time at work so I said YES!   I loved the experience so much I must shamelessly promote this hidden gem of an island in the Eastern Caribbean along with the owners of SVG Sotherbys Realty, my friends and hosts for the week.  They will be your friend for life too!

First of all, staying in a private villa is the way to go! There are not big resorts or many trendy touristy hotels to pick from, so it’s best to get to know the lay of the land before you go through locals via social media or people like me who have been before and can connect you.

I stayed at “The Villa Bellegarde Le Pompes By the Sea” in Friendship Bay which has a few available upcoming rental dates if you’re interested PM for details.  I’d be happy to connect you with the owners Pierre & Michelle Bellegarde!  Always ask about Budget Friendly Rates & Tailored Packages, it’s a very negotiable kind of culture eager to create a great experience for guests on a budget and host new visitors very generously.

Very affordable for an all Inclusive Amenities that included everything from private driver (highly suggested), private island tours (highly suggested), full kitchen/meals (YUM, try the bread fruit, goat cheese, fresh butter on fresh bread ommgeeee, and of course the local favorite Salt Fish, King fish, fresh Lobster & Berracuda – it’s a party in yo mouth good!).  I had a stocked frig/bar (highly suggested), introductions to highly connected people of influence.  I don’t care about that part, but it’s an option if networking is your thing – there are HUGE business opportunities on the island for entrepreneurs to bring their skills and ideas to grow the economy which is very welcomed by the locals and appreciated.

There is just about everything you could want for a red carpet ready vacation experience and then some!  All you have to do is ask and be kind in doing so.  The people of Bequia create a true Heaven on Earth through their smiles and kindness – its magical.  I really felt this difference in culture especially coming from the US during turbulent political times infused with so much hateraide and divisiveness.  

Human kindness was a special gift I found in Bequia over the holidays. So Warm, So Generous! So Perfect! 

Neighboring islands by ferry or boat taxi are, Mustique is known for its celebrity millionaires and Canuaun known or its billionaires – both are very secluded and not much to do on those islands but stalk rich people’s highly secured and gated compounds. There are 32 islands to explore in the area – all very unique and friendly to visitors.

Bequia is really perfect for everyone of any status!  Its the favorite island in between both for the perfect mix of fun for everyone of every income level, very classy, yet casual simple living with over 32 restaurants, clean beaches, translucent crystal blue water, hiking, biking, mountain climbing if you are so brave, quaint shops, daily fresh organic farmers market, internet cafe’s & all kinds of  artsy local flare that everyone just comes together in Bequia for a genuine down to earth awesome time!

It’s a very eclectic mix of cultures, full of expats, locals, Europeans all there to live, work, play, sail, relax, give back through volunteer opportunities and if all goes right, they will retire  there living in the good ways of life – it simply feels like heaven.  But on earth.

Kingstown, on the main island of St. Vincent is a much more crowded bustling urban city where most of the natural farming and other resources to local islands is sent from by ferry. Visit Barbados for the hipsters city vibe & hot techno dance scene, and where most fly into before making their way to Bequia.

Every island has a different personality, so do your homework before you go and choose an island to play and stay on according to your preferences.  I actually landed on St. Lucia before I took a puddle jumper over and it was more resort tourist feeling but still very friendly, affordable and beautiful – they all are very beautiful islands so it’s hard to really compare.  Traveling solo to certain places can be weird, or harder than other places.  I loved every part of this trip.  I felt welcomed and free to be me, I made lots of friends and business connections so that’s always a win win for me!  I’ll be back very soon!

I stayed in a villa rental, most visitors do as it’s not a resort town with many hotels so you need to do the research ahead of time and talk to people “in voice” vs. email to find the best places that might not be advertised.  Locals will help connect you to other locals.

My rental was a large one bedroom Villa apartment that has 2 queen/2 single beds + luxury master bathroom perfect for an “oooh la la lovers escape”, a 4 person girl friend trip or small family get away!  It included WIFI/cable TV (which I never even turned on the TV), gorgeous open and very comfortable living space, private terrace perched right on the ocean, two levels of sun bathing lounge chairs to gaze under the moon light full of shooting stars beside a crackling fire pit and great conversation. And very cute dogs who keep watch over the place named Pablo Waldo and Snowey.  They sat by my side, they chased off enemy lizards, goats and roosters and were such a sweet addition to the essence of my time there.

Within 5 minute walking distance to crystal clear blue waters of everyone’s favorite Friendship Beach 5 STAR dining/dancing, listening to steel drums, snorkeling, kayaking, body surfing, if you would like to include a day pass to Bequia Beach Hotel gym/spa/pool can be arranged with ease!

I mostly sat by the ocean writing/reading a good book,  sipping rum punch relaxing to the sound of waves and cool breezes. You will love Bequia’s charm, tropical and majestic mountain top ocean views, amazingly fresh local foods, fun people, music & it’s truly the ultimate R & R retreat!  I am voting it the friendliest island on the planet! Be sure to book a day cruise on the famous Friendship Rose too – links below!! #IslandTime! #Bequia #SVG  #HeavenOnEarth

BEQUIA LINKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IF YOU GO:

http://bellegardeestates.com/  – (where I found my  amazing villa apartment rental)

https://www.facebook.com/peppy.lepieu?fref=ts – (owner and renter of villas)

http://www.svgsothebysrealty.com/eng – (where I found my dream home)

http://www.bequiatourism.com/ – (where I found local things to do and see)

http://www.friendshiprose.com/ – (a day cruise you must do if you visit)

https://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g147383-Bequia_St_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines-Hotel-Deals.html   – (just research)

http://www.svgair.com/  – (ISLAND HOPPING IS FAST & FUN!)

That’s all for this post friends.  Thank you for following and please PM me if you’d like me to connect you to the amazing people I met while I was there! They will love you too!

Loving Life, CathyV!

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Time To Emerge by Darling Castaneda

nomorehiding-1Hey you.

You’ve been sitting on the sidelines for way too long.

What ever excuse you decide to respond with the answer is and will always be,

So what?

You’ve failed. So what?

It’s too much of a mess. So what?

You don’t fit in. So the fuck what?

It’s not time to stay in the cave you’ve been hiding in.

The cave is comfortable, yes.

The cave knows your pain, absolutely.

The cave has helped you see things about yourself that you’ve never seen before. Right on.

The cave has served its purpose.

You’re done hiding in the cave.

It’s your time to come out and the cry of your audience says so.

Do the work.

Finish healing.

Stand on your truth.

Be brave.

Be courageous.

Believe in your magic.

What used to work no longer works.

You feel it. You know it.

The bullshit is over.

You’ve served your time.

It’s time to emerge.

 

Emerge.

Time To Emerge.

 

A Void Dance

What does your ‘A Void Dance’ look like? Mine is ever changing; a trickery of my own doing that I can’t seem to figure out until hindsight.  And then it’s still a mystery.

I enjoy spending time in solitude thinking about philosophies, reading and writing (not so popular).  I also enjoy spending time with friends at parties and celebrations. I really enjoy  the freedom of just dancing – just moving about and feeling the music as if I am really skilled and graceful like on cherish-the-dance-with-the-void-bigger1-1dancing with the stars!

I enjoy nature and traveling to places and cultures I have net yet seen or appreciated; ex. I enjoy Netflix documentaries like Anthony Bourdain’s, Parts Unknown until I can go in person to experience new lands myself!

I enjoy excelling in my career and seeing the fruits of my labor. I enjoy unconditional love of my dogs. I enjoy peace & harmony the most of all.  In my experience, peace and romantic love are not synnomous. ‘True Love’ is the ONLY void in my life.  Or is it?   I have zero hesitation; I choose peace, peace, peace and more peace, to me that IS true love.

I enjoy my simple life. I truly feel blessed and fulfilled. But still, I enjoy many things that also seem to encourage the act of avoidance in one form or fashion, like dating and dealing with the emotions of dating.  If we choose one path, are we avoiding another?  Finding a balance to experience it all is where I find the quandary. I believe what we avoid will find a way into balance in one way or another.

Even coupled, we still must dance SOLO for a fulfilled life. We come in alone, we leave alone. Finding ways to be happy alone is when life falls into place much easier in my opinion.  Is being alone avoidance, or unhealthy?  Society teaches us that choosing to be alone is not optimal.  I tend to disagree.  https://youtu.be/lUmN1GjTjvw 

Alone or not, we still tend to avoid intimacy & deep connections as a society.  We avoid healing hurts, injustice, hatred, illness, politics, fatty foods, booze whatever the media tells us we need to avoid we do it like robotic followers, etc. We can avoid our big dreams. We can avoid the truth. We can avoid sorrow. We can avoid happiness. We can avoid success/failure. We can avoid whatever we choose and make excuses for it quite easily.  In the end it’s a dance with the void that defines our life. What do you avoid?

Like music, its not the notes that make the music, but the quiet stops in between that make the song a complete story.  We all avoid something.  I am being encouraged to dance with it, befriend it, recognize when I am doing it and adjust to find Joy in the void.

Dance with your Void until life changes the song and gives you no other choice but to change and dance a new dance.

March Forth

 

You were born to march forth.
March forth because you can.
Because, You never give up.
You never quit.
You keep trying.
You walk your own path.
You succeed.
You deserve to.
You fail sometimes.
You keep trying new ways and new perspectives.
You keep going, no matter how dark the days get.
You continue on, no matter how bleak the outlook is.
You create the life you are living with your choices.
You keep your head up, even when others look down on you.
You are tough, You are strong, You are a survivor.
You thrive, and always will.
You will never stop reaching for your dreams.
You will never stop marching forward,
You were born to march forth.

March forth and create your own joy filled life.
March forth to create your perfect world.
March forth being the YOU'est of YOU.
March forth.

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