Blooming Under Pressure

It’s been an interesting time… Well, that’s a sore understatement for many and a grateful statement for others. It hasn’t been a perfect time, that’s for sure.

Friends are losing friends, and not because of COVID, but because of ideologies that differ, and therefore they cannot come together in the same space.

It has been a sad time. A happy time. A time of growth and internal struggle. A time of counting your blessings in the midst of what appears to be, more and more, a designed chaos to prove a point rather than an organic outcome of unfortunate events.

Truth has become murky and trust has been an outdated commodity. Whom CAN YOU TRUST?

Churches are weak. Some are strong. Most are indifferent and impervious to change, ready to just quit on this Earth and move to Heaven pronto.

Look, this article of mine is not for the weakhearted. It is not for the one that cannot process and take time to learn… If you are reactionary and trigger happy, this article will not be pleasing to you at all. You may hate my guts, call me ignorant or a Bible thumper. Who knows? All I know is I can write. So, write, I must.

Somewhere in the last few years, a surprise to myself and perhaps the rest of my family, I have become a True Patriot of America. Now, I am not going to belabor you with my personal definition of a true patriot. To each his own, I am sure. There will always be someone else foaming at the mouth, ready to tear it to shreds. All I can say is that I love America, I love this land and even these people who may hate me because of preconceived notions they’ve eagerly swallowed by the polarized media.

Watch what feeds you. Perhaps disconnect yourself from the feeding tubes and see what opinions YOU may have. Trust me, they aren’t smarter than you are… YOU can make your OWN decisions.

I don’t want to be pigeonholed into a political stance. I am much more and much greater than either one of those parties. And so are you. How can two labels describe a myriad of positions and millions of people? Just because I regard some issues as truth does not mean that I want to tack on the full weight of a movement. For a moment here, allow me to call myself an independent.

Isn’t that true freedom? To be independent from other people’s agendas?

Blooming under pressure means something different to everyone under the sun. And that’s how it should be. We are all different. God never designed us to be all the same. He delights in our differences.

That does not mean we are to be a rambling mess without a course or a plan as a collective. We must travel in the same direction to achieve progress for the common good. What I mean by that is that we have to share the same values to get ahead. Right now, we have become a two-headed dragon, pulling itself into two altogether separate directions, straining at the seams to hold itself together, breathing fire at its very own body.

Useless. Waste of energy and resources at the expense of our own people.

I am sick of the lies that separate us. Let’s form a foundation on which we all can stand. If the head is rotten, let’s ourselves unite on common ground of what is good and what is necessary for our country to thrive. Forget the country, if that’s too much of a stretch for you. Let’s make it personal.

Let’s bring it home. What is necessary to make YOUR family thrive? Probably that’s exactly what everybody else’s family needs. How about we pursue those sentiments? Can we define the values that we share on this issue?

Hey, I am pretty sure, your family, as much as mine, needs stability, protection, peace, unity, provision, and acceptance. In pursuit of these, let us not fight. This is not a child’s sandbox at the playground. Can we treat each other kindly no matter our differences? Violence is not a long-term solution.

If you have something against another, be a grownup, confront them with decorum, don’t blast them online in front of others. You only make yourself look bad. Nope, you haven’t won. You’ve simply lost your dignity. Is that how you want to present yourself to your children? Out of control, weak and immature?

Where’s your wisdom?

And now, let’s dive into that a little bit…

Wisdom.

Lately I’ve seen children in grown up bodies ransacking their own villages and plundering their own homes. Silly. And I’m not talking about the violent BLM movement. I’m using a metaphor here to cover all sectors of life. Yep, most of them haven’t been potty trained at all. We cannot wear diapers forever, brothers and sisters.

It’s time to grow up. I understand, accidents will happen occasionally. But we cannot make it the new normal to just let the mess fester on our carpets.

It is time to clean up our own house.

Look past the deception that now this mess is a part of us and akin to something decorative.

And since this is MY written piece and ‘I can cry if I want to’ …

What happened to the basic values that everyone understood as good? Nowadays, if you are pro family, you are a conservative. Pro peace, yep, conservative. Pro constitution, jeez, total loony conservative.

The more I hear the noise against conservatism, the more I want to become one! The more they scream hate, the more I want to love. The more they say, don’t buy, the more I want to buy!

Goodness, must be that scary rebel in me. Thank God, I am not setting houses on fire, although I’ve got plenty of fire in me.

Folks, make up your own mind. Don’t let the fringes dictate and lie to you that there is no other way. There is always a way.

I think we are ready to uproot the notions and the lies that we cannot live together in harmony. We CAN be a part of a beautiful diverse fabric that loves and thrives together because we are all unique in our commonness.

The fools at the top, we see right through you. You are scared for the rights you stole from us and the privilege you’ve cloaked yourself with. You just want us to fight, fight, fight and make ourselves blind in our rage so we don’t notice what you’ve been doing to us and our families.

I am pro-America. Pro-family and pro-people. If the leaders cannot lead, we must be the leaders in our own communities. And if you have no more love nor the heart to lead with integrity-RESIGN.

Move on.

That will be the most Patriotic Act you ever do.

And now, thank you all for having read thus far.

I trust you are well. That you are good and kind.

Be nice.

I am a mother to small kids and that’s something I tell them constantly.

Let me remind you – you are a stunning human being – capable of so much goodness.

And let’s smile … Come on. It won’t hurt a bit.

What’s happening to you?

You are just blooming under pressure.

by Olga Pyshnyak- Lawrence

Ever so Humble, and ever so Proud- a current day Patriot.

I Will Never Quit. That Word Is Not In My Dictionary

At times, the frustration of getting nowhere is so absurdly strong that we cower at the intense feelings we may have. Rather than process those feelings, we quit, while we are still intact, not realizing that every process of shattering and rebuilding can only make us stronger, more resilient and more beautiful.

The process of growth is never easy and no one said it would ever be easy. Life may not be fair but what is fairly accurate is that a winner never quits and a quitter never wins.

Therefore, I’ve decided to eradicate the option to quit.

I will never quit. That word is not in my dictionary.

At the beginning of this year, a new phase has been unlocked for me. I’ve realized that I am no less than anyone else and having accepted this truth, I’ve concluded that if wonderful things happen to others, then they can also happen to me.

Each morning I would wake up determined to create change, to go after my dreams.

I knew that consistency would get me there. It wasn’t a question of will it, it was a question of when.  Being a mommy entrepreneur, author and motivator, it is never a breeze finding the time to do anything for myself, period. I had to make up my mind to use my time wisely. Whatever free time I had to myself would now have to be allocated to working on my dreams and goals, day in and day out.

Repetitive work but also fulfilling… The great secret about following your dreams is that you are going after something you are meant to do, meaning that most of your actions taken towards getting “there” will be a labor of love. You will enjoy your growing process, your newfound talents and expressive creativity.

The not so great truth is that your path will no doubt be littered with obstacles.

You will hear many Nos. You will hear gazillion excuses from others and yourself. Many will not understand why you do what you do, or set out to do.

Some will think you are too self-righteous, too intimidating, or just simply too much.

I’ve had all those thrown my way. That “too much” that they see in me is a vibrant flame of passion that fires me up and burns all opposition. It adds zest to my life and a pep to my step.

There is nothing wrong with caring too much, too deeply or too passionately. We all need people that can get the job done, that can shake up this world and change the spiritual trajectory of this planet.

The ordinary person will never be able to do that. But what is an ordinary person?

A person that forgot how extraordinary he or she is.  So not all is lost.

You are a person that has what it takes. How do I know that? Because you have passion.

Before you stop me right there, let me explain. Yes, we all have passion, be it dormant or expressed, we all have this mysterious ability. It’s just a question of waking it up!

Here are three tips that have worked for me. Once you accept them and make them your own, your life will have no choice but to adjust and steer its course in a more positive direction.

Dreams do come true. You CAN reach your goals.

Each time I hear a NO, I have learned to re-program my brain to receive it as a positive comment.  I’ve told myself that with every no, I will only grow stronger. The people that have overlooked me yesterday will no longer be able to overlook me tomorrow. The first tip is to frequently stir up this affirmation: With every NO I will only get stronger.

Here is the second precious tip. I see myself as the one that has already achieved her dreams and goals. I visualize myself as having already arrived. The ability to do that helps me to not be attached to people and circumstance as my way of “getting there”. I don’t take it personally when people say Yes, and then soon enough they say No. Trust me. I’ve had plenty of those.

And guess what? It’s not you. It really is them. It’s nothing personal.

The third tip is a fabulous lesson I’ve learned that set me free to be me and to keep me moving forward. This is the key lesson that completely eradicated my victim mentality and propensity to quit. I will be forever grateful to the challenges and emotional anguish that led me up to this moment of epiphany; behind every setback is a setup.

This understanding fuels you to use all of your remaining energy, not looking at the problem but looking at the solution. All of a sudden you are in charge, you are not a victim but a productively victorious creation.

This works for me every time. Maybe not exactly at the time of loss or something going far from the way I envisioned, but it will always come to pass. Trust me, you will look back and realize that most of your greatness and opportunities were a result of a mishap, or what you perceived as a mishap.

Now that you are no longer afraid of the dreaded NO, can see yourself as having achieved it all already and free to look for the setups in every setback, you no longer need the word quit.

Why? Because you will never use it. Therefore, just lose it.

 

~by Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence

It All Starts with a Small Step

It may be a shaky step, a step without fear or trepidation, an ordinary step, a step of joy, a step of indecision, but a step nevertheless.

A baby makes the first step and no matter how weak or strong that step is, the joy of empowerment is quite obvious!  They did it! If they can do this one step, where will two or three take them? What if we chain the steps together, what will happen then?

And off they go! And here is where the story takes another turn. The baby now can explore and enjoy the new freedom and learn what it means to have a place in the world on another level.  Soon enough, they will run and bike and drive a car, maybe fly a plane.

We all start off as babies, in life and in everything we do. And that’s absolutely normal, to be expected and not to be embarrassed about. Every successful person, believe it or not, had to start off as a baby in their field and then they took steps… And the steps took them everywhere!

There is nothing special about them in comparison to you. The only difference may be is that they took that first step and then continued to add on. Consistency is key.

Persistence in spite of opposing forces is the lifeblood of success.

Look, if they can do it, so can you.

Nothing is impossible.

Any promotion, any endeavor can be obtained and achieved, step at a time.

Before we go any further, I want you to internalize this truth though: Success at the expense of health and family is not real success.  As long as you have these parameters in line, you’ve got balance. Keep this truth in mind, often, and make sure that this part of the equation is always satisfied. If they fall short, you will never enjoy your success the way you hoped you would. Cars and bikes, travel and recognition will not keep you warm at night nor will it drive you crazy with crayon marks all over your walls.

If you have your health (physical, emotional, spiritual) and your family balanced, you are already wealthy and your steps may be less fickle, less wobbly because you have the self-confidence and the support of your family.

Why am I bringing this up in a piece that is meant to inspire you to achieve incredible success, be it financial, recognition or on a physical plane such as running marathons?

Because I so strongly believe that if you take the right steps, consistent and persistent steps, you will get there. Of that, I am certain.

Our dreams are there for a reason. Our talents are ours for a reason as well. Why?

Because they are meant to be ours, to be enjoyed, employed, and achieved.

It is very simple. Once we take the simplicity out of success, forget it. That’s when it gets complicated.

You are reading this piece and that tells me so much. Enough for me to believe in you and that is why I care enough to warn you.

So let’s go back to the small step that I take every single day that sets me up for grander steps. I make my coffee. Fuss around with my kiddos. Pray. Then I take my first sip. That’s the trigger point for me. I am settling down to business (as much as I possibly can in spite of controlled chaos around me).

My first step each day is my sip of coffee. Then I get out my laptop or phone, whichever is easier to use at that moment.

I know that once I take out my “power” tools, I better be getting my head in the game. And even if I don’t feel like it, I still do it. Because I believe that every step I take in the direction of my dreams, it counts.

What makes a person successful? Their ability to believe that every step they make will bring them closer to the culmination point, in spite of opposition, in spite of others’ disbelief, despite the lack of reward.

There is a quote that I read in school, many years ago, that will stay with me for life.

“Failure is 100% guaranteed if you do nothing.”   Then do something! Each step you take will increase your chance of success. I think it is worth trying at least!

But try it for a month. Make a game out of it. Each day, take small steps, or if you can, big steps when you feel comfortable. Visualize yourself moving closer and closer. Feel the destination. See it, taste it, enjoy it. It can surely be yours.

Nothing is out of your reach. Nothing is too high up, or too far out. If that was the case, we wouldn’t be flying today, or enjoying our sweet little laptops.

If it is out there, it can be yours. If it is just an idea, it can materialize. All that we see around us was once an idea and now, an idea manifested.

 

Go for that small step. Then take a next one.

You never know, you might just… like it.

 

by Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence

Living inPassion Series: Creativity, the Spark of Life

How are you feeling today? Fantastic or Blah? If the latter, please don’t feel helpless. There is an easy solution to this lifestyle dilemma: Creativity.

When have you indulged in this, to some-a casual pastime, to others-a reason for living, very basic activity based on our very inner, but universal need to create, to access something a bit greater than ourselves, to give life to something?

If it has been a while… let me tell you, the Blahs may be calling you out to notice this dry patch of desert in your soul. Mindless living is usually one of the best friends of the Blahs. The Blahs attract so many other frenemies as well… such as Carelessness, Frustration, Restlessness, and many more universal figures.

But enough focusing on the B-word. Let’s not allow it to grow in our consciousness!

Allow yourself to gently walk along the stream to Creativity, the Spark of Life. Visualize yourself strolling along one bank of this body of water… It is so peaceful. As you sit down on top of a massive rock, you proceed to throw a few rocks you’ve picked up along the way, into the stream…

Do you feel at peace?

What do you see? How many ripples? How small or great the diameter?

You look up, what do you see on the other side of the stream?

Now, begin to notice your breathing… Has it slowed down? Have you relaxed enough to notice what is nested within your heart? Your inner you?

If you could do anything right now, what would you do? What were your dreams as a child? What are your inner desires?

Receive everything that comes into your mind and heart, gently. Be kind to yourself.

You were created to be different. You are a unique expression of God’s own creativity. You are wonderful.

How do you feel now?

Write down the thoughts that come to mind and open-up your heart to a new beginning, to a new expression of creativity within you.

You are fearless. And if you are afraid, you are courageous enough to overcome what comes your way.

Express your creativity today, from one smallest act to the greatest.

Put up a vase on your table and create an arrangement of flowers from your garden or ask your child to pick you a bouquet of wildflowers. How precious.

Read a book on a topic you were always fascinated by, but were always too busy to indulge in, because it just didn’t seem to apply to your hasty day-to-day routine.

Show yourself enough respect to deem it worthy to treat your mind and heart a little.

Write a simple poem for your loved one. Tell them how sweet they are.

Bake a cake you’ve always thought was a bit too rich for your wallet. Treat yourself and your family.

Creativity doesn’t always mean; go out and buy yourself an easel and paints, grab a few baguettes with cheese, grapes and wine, and dress up like a Parisian.

No, creativity means allowing yourself to believe that you and your family, friends and the world in general, deserve a more expressive, livelier version of yourself and your touch.

You deserve to have a little bit of fun, to play like a child. To dream like it is all possible.

And if you dare, dare to dream big. Every mama has a hidden big dream. And no, our definitions may be different, but the results are extremely similar; a passionate life that is worth living and sharing.

Bring back the Life!

Now go and bake yourself a cookie, grab a book, dance a little, smell a flower or indulge in a bit of expensive coffee…

How creatively can YOU live?

 

Back to Basics: Life Begins with Life

Many people I’ve met have the wrong assumption, taking it at face value that their life will be over when they start having children. They see these little munchkins as the end of their career, their dreams and goals. What they worked so hard towards will now be threatened or dismantled by a little bundle of joy and thus, they secretly may resent this gift of life, never really facing this belief system because it is just too harsh and too scary to deal with.

Some people contemplate abortion because they feel so inconvenienced by this surprise, afraid that their climb up the ladder may be forever perched on that “neither here nor there” step. And so, they decide to eliminate the threat, as if a baby can be so easily dismissed.

But, don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge these women, or men. They are victims, too. Victims of choices made that are often brought out by wrong beliefs perpetuated by our society’s accepted norms.

Instead of sharing positive, life giving ideals, the society at large infects the lives and perceptions of every participant with the negativity that keeps on spreading.

What if I told you, that giving life, will only give back more to you and when we place the before and after on the scales, you would end up the winner, not a loser? More will be added rather than taken away?

That you don’t have to be stuck in the victim mentality, just because it is easier to do so?

What if I challenged you to fight this belief system?

How can I speak about this topic with such passion? Because it happened to me. I believed like most of the people that with bringing a child into this world would begin the gradual decline of my dreams and ambitions, that my talents would be buried in perpetuity under diapers and princess dresses, and later old age. Never getting anywhere, never known by anyone. So, I resigned myself and thought I was ok with giving it all up. I thought I could train myself to be a happy stay-at-home mama, and a dutiful, appreciative wife, with all the trappings of the 50’s.

That’s how I grew up. That’s what my momma did. Raising eight children left her nothing of herself. She never fought against her confinement, rather, she accepted her duty as something between birth and death, something she had to do until she could do it no more. She was taught to scratch off her dreams and wants in service to her husband and children.

I saw nothing in her that would give me hope regarding my own future, except for her strong faith, without which she would’ve been lost. It was her only hope, mechanism of survival.

So, that is how I grew up and that is what I thought would happen to me, even though I was always aware of that something special within me, that little bit of greatness that never dimmed even though I tried, hoping it would make it a bit easier for me to accept my path.

But it all changed one day, or rather, one night, when the light of my world shined even brighter than any previous perceived ambition or desire. My child, my daughter came into the world. I was forever changed. I was forever inspired and empowered. That most powerful and sacred moment of birth, filled with beauty and mystery, travail and immeasurable joy, birthed a new me.

I didn’t only give birth to my daughter, but a new version of me. I couldn’t sleep, all I did was stare at her peaceful face and hold her in my arms for hours on end. The content surpassed all of my exhaustion and I felt like a superhero. Nothing could stop me. No mountain could be too treacherous for me to climb.

maya owlette

Mama’s little superhero

 

It took me a bit of time to process the majesty of that moment, the power in me that I never knew I had. Months passed and with the transition becoming more manageable, that transformation once again caught up with me.

I lived now, a more vibrant, more transparent life. Everything I ever wanted to be, I wanted to be so even more. The passions I had were now even more pronounced as I discovered the confidence and fearlessness I never knew I possessed. Life became more meaningful.

I lived for my daughter. I didn’t want to sell myself short because I didn’t want her to settle in her own life. I wanted with all my heart to leave her a legacy of courage, strength, passion and joy. I wanted her to truly live. I couldn’t teach her with words that meant nothing, so I picked myself up, dusted off my own weakened misconceptions, examined them and threw them out of the nearest window.

I will now lead my daughter by example, not wishful thinking.

Did she take my life? Yes, she took my old life but gave me something so much more extraordinary. A new life filled with vibrancy, adventure and expectation.

She woke me up. And now that I am awake, nothing is impossible, too improbable. I live in the realm of possibility. Why? Because that is how I want her to live, no limitations!

And yes, you can, too, experience this transformation. Just change your thinking and believe in the possibility that only greater glory awaits you with each life that you bring into this world.

It will be harder to go after some of those goals with children, but knowing the value of every minute, you will now know the value of every moment, and you will know that little efforts add up to great things.

If you cannot do it for yourself, do it for the little ones around your knees.

Lead by example, show them a life well lived: passionate, fearless, authentic.

Be truly you. That is the greatest freedom you will give them in this world; freedom to be them.

Life is an adventure, explore it together.

So, yes, Life begins with Life. Or so it did in my case. If I stayed in my old ways of thinking, I wouldn’t have my books written. Scratch that, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

And with this second child, cocooned in my womb, I am excited to see what facets of me are still lying dormant. I cannot wait to awaken the power within me that will come through as I experience another magical moment of bringing a fresh-faced bundle of joy into this beautiful world.

I am not afraid to lose my life with this addition, as I know full well now, that it will be forever changed but so much richer, stronger, with new adventures and new mountains, new travails and joys.

It is up to you to define your success and your life. Don’t fall into the groupthink and accept the mediocrity, the false assumptions.

Open up your mind, hold your head high and redefine your life according to what is right for you and your family.

YOU are the Queen in your family. YOU make the rules alongside your King. Live a life well lived with your princes and princesses. It is a life worth living.

 

 

By Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence

Forever Hopeful, Always Believing, Perpetual Dreamer and Doer