DADDY’S GIRLS

Daddy_TiffNat_June2014[My sis Natalie, Dad, Mom & I on vacay in West Tx on the Frio River]

Daddy’s Girls.

But, it wasn’t always that way. I have mentioned on the blog that my relationship with my dad hasn’t always been healthy. My sister has also had her own journey with finding common ground and forgiveness in her relationship with him. Our dad became a father at the young age of 22. I can’t imagine having two daughters by the time I was 26! His generation did what they were taught and did the best they could. My dad was a great provider and a stern disciplinarian, but he was emotionally unavailable. Honestly, the poor guy was outnumbered and had to deal with three females in the house so if I put myself in his shoes – he really got the short end of the stick. I would have probably stayed out in the garage most of the time too! HaHa! 

This past week proves that people CAN change, evolve, grow and accept one another. We just took our first family vacay since I was in high school and stayed in a small cabin without wifi, cell reception or TV. Talk about connecting on a real and deep level. I highly recommend it! Add in my hubby and a total of 5 dogs and see how well you all get along. I am happy to report it was one of the best and most blessed times we’ve ever spent. What made our vacation even more special was that it fell over Father’s Day. 

My sis and I are both strong-willed, opinionated women (which we got from our parents) so when we are all together it can cause some head-butting. This vacay was the first time we each let go of ego and resonated in a pure place of love and open hearts. WooHoo!  We had several deep & meaningful conversations on topics ranging from marriage, war, Jesus and finances. My sis and I are both cerebral as well as spiritual so we aren’t much for ‘small talk’ and thrive on thought provoking discussions. Can you believe in the midst of those controversial topics – there was NO head-butting?  We respected one another’s opinions with total acceptance. What a beautiful thing! Better late than never, right? 

Family can be the most challenging and testing of all our relationships and mine has had it’s share of blaming, misunderstanding and some verbal abuse. I used to be first in line to blame all my issues on my parents especially my ‘daddy issues’. You give your parents so much freedom within the forgiveness when you release them from that burden. When I took responsibility for my issues and began appreciating my parents for ALL the things they did right – everything shifted in our relationship. 

Is there a family member or relationship you need to set free from the blame game? Do you struggle with forgiveness?

Webster’s definition of forgiveness: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) ; to stop blaming (someone) ; to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).

Forgiveness is really a gift you give yourself. 

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Turn off your mind.
Be silly. 
Eat nacho cheese Doritos. 
Listen to the trees rustle.
Dissect & discuss your favorite books. 
No makeup. No fixing the hair. 
Watch the rabbits & squirrels play.
Be present.

I did all these things on vacation with my sister and feel renewed.

Seek out moments like this all Summer Sistas!  

Love, Tiff

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3 Ways To Increase Your Happiness…NOW!

 

Happy Saturday Sistas,

Because our society has taught us an “I want this and I want that” mentality, our level of happiness can easily be destroyed. If you’ve been on this planet for very long, you have learned that the “getting” of these things is only a temporary thrill. So, why do we put ourselves through this happiness-depleting and joy-sucking misery of want, want, want. Is it because our friends have the latest handbag or because that commercial told us our lives would be better with that product or we are simply trying to fill a void in our life with “things”? Last year, I recommended a great documentary to help us put this in perspective called Happy on Netflix. It’s a great idea to watch this a few times a year. Just sayin’. 

A large aspect to my blog & webseries is helping/teaching women how to increase their joy by removing old ways of thinking that prevent them from living their most vibrant life. Hello, SOS! Wikipedia’s definition of SOS is “an international code signal of extreme distress or an urgent appeal for help”.

If you are in a state of “SOS” regarding your level of happiness, try these things NOW:

Unchain_my_heart_by_Cindaretta[Photo by Cinderatta]

I. OPEN YOUR HEART: I don’t think we realize how much we guard our heart or close it off because of past pains. You may have forgiven that person who hurt you, but you are still walking around with a closed heart. It could also be described as ‘living with walls up’. I did this for SO many years and I was miserable. Many of us starting living a guarded life as a young child. That was me and I can remember people saying, “you are such a pretty girl, you should smile more”. As I grew into a young woman, I just learned to wear a mask to appear happy. I could be whatever  you needed me to be. It took years to heal, but I am grateful to say — I live life much more open hearted now. If this is you, remove the armor around your heart by letting God’s love in. As His love floods your heart it will melt any armor, chains or walls. Then you are FREE to let love flow in and out of you. Talk about raising your level of happiness. Holla!  

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II. HANG OUT WITH SOMEONE WHO “GETS YOU”: Do you notice how crap you feel after hanging out with certain friends? You cant quite put your finger on it, but you leave their presence with a sense of unhappiness or unfulfillment. It’s that friend or family member who asks how you’re doing with that shallow and robotic vibe about them. When you answer, they have this glazed over look in their eyes.  They don’t “get” you, your lifestyle, mission or project. Go ahead and punch me in the gut why don’t you? Lord help me, I limit my time with these types of people now. If you are surrounded by dream crushers, seek out that friend or family member who embraces YOU just as you are with all your crazy passions and quirks. 

My sister just arrived to Texas and we will have our first family vacay in over 25 years next weekend. I am bursting with joy and happiness as I look forward to having quality time with her. She and I have had our years of squabbling, as most sisters do, but at the end of the day — we “get” each other. We both strut to the beat of our own drum, are pretty quirky and totally untraditional. I don’t have to guard my heart or wear a mask in her presence. WooHoo! 

thelma-and-louise

III. SING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS IN THE CAR: Have a “Thelma & Louise” moment minus the driving off the cliff scene! It is a scientific fact that singing loudly releases endorphins, our “feel good” chemicals. Singing on a regular basis could actually lengthen your life. One of my favorite things to do is drive fast down the freeway by myself with a great song (like anything by Miranda Lambert) cranked up and singing like a crazy lady — I don’t care how out of tune I am!

Feeling low today? Go jump in the car with your iPod or your fave CD and take a cruise by yourself or pick up your bestie who likes to be a crazy lady with you. I promise, you will feel happier sista! My longtime friend and soul sister, LeeAnne Locken, have been doing this for nearly 30 years. You should hear us sing Stone Temple Pilots…or maybe not. Hahaha! We’ve had many “Thelma & Louise” moments over the years. If you need daily inspiration, make sure to subscribe to her blog, Inspiration by LeeAnne Locken.

Join me in wishing LeeAnne a very happy & blessed birthday today! I’m grateful for the many years acting like crazy ladies together. She gets me! 

LeeAnne_madhatters[LeeAnne & I at this years Mad Hatter’s Luncheon]

What’s your go-to happy activity?

Open your heart, go grab a friend who you can be a crazy lady with and ya’ll sing Miranda Lambert at the top of your lungs. Just writing that out made me happier:-) 

Love, Tiff

A DAUGHTER REMEMBERS

On Father’s Day today, memories of my Daddy flood my mind.  He was a cool cat who drove a Corvette and sported 501’s, wire rimmed shades, funky belts and leather jackets…hmmm, my sister and I not only picked up style tips from our Mom, but it seems like our Dad had just as much to do with our eclectic personal styles.  I’m pretty sure my sister actually rocks some of Daddy’s old T-shirts and belts to this day!  Remember, he is half Japanese so his “Americana” fashion sense made him even more special.  Picture James Dean, but with jet black hair,  almond eyes and a strong Southern drawl.

Mama_Daddy_Prom{Parents at Prom}

 

Glen D. Bolton was born in Japan on April 4, 1949.  His Dad, Aubrey Dale Bolton, was an American Soldier in WWII and my beautiful Memaw, Hannah Hanazawa, became his war bride. They all moved to the states, to Texas, when my Dad was about 5.  Papaw was a car and motorcycle lover who played guitar in a country band.  He passed those passions down to his son.  My Dad would probably have been considered a “hipster” today.  I remember he was either outside tinkering on his motorcycles or he was in the game room  jammin’ to the Beach Boys, Elvis or the BeeGee’s with these massive white headphones on, no shirt and cut offs.  He loves music, he loves cars + motorcycles and still collects cool T-shirts.  It brings a smile to my face when I think how creative and passionate he was and still is.  He is a very talented artist and painter as well.  I’m grateful he passed his passionate spirit and creativity on to my sister and me. 

Memaw_Papa{Grandparents Wedding}

 

There were a lot of hard times with my Dad, but for the rest of my life– I choose to remember the wonderful times.  As I work with orphans now who have never even seen their Father’s face and never will, I am deeply grateful I had a Dad who was very present in my life. He was a super stern disciplinarian and I was often afraid of him, but at the end of the day, he was and is a great Father. He had a stellar work ethic and I never saw a drink in his hand. Daddy never hesitated to do fun things with us like sliding down the steepest slides at WaterWorld or taking us for Sunday drives in one of his cool cars. At Christmas, when I was 8– he stayed up all night on Christmas Eve to put together a massive new swingset complete with monkey bars and a slide.  As we were opening gifts that morning, he casually opened the drapes overlooking the backyard.  Talk about two little girls squealing at the top of their lungs!  

 

Daddy, thank you for the memories. I love you.

daddy_nat_myfoot{I’m on Daddy’s shoulders, my sis by the fence w/ our 1st fam dog- Scooter}

 

Daddy_toys{Boys and their Toys}