Getting Out There!!!

FB_IMG_1498167652488My day begins at 4:30 a.m.  Yes, I know… way too early, but if you live in Arizona and the outdoors is calling you, you must get up before the sun.  Today, my good friend Liz Merritt at boombaby.me,  (check out her site) invited me to go paddle boarding.  Now, I love the outdoors, I kayak, hike etc…. but I have never paddled before.

As the birds began to chirp and sing their morning songs, I was out the door.  The board strapped to the top of my SUV…off to the lake I go.  A short 40 minute drive to one of the many lakes we have in Arizona.

I came prepared, my camelback loaded with water, sunscreen on, and my water shoes in hand.  I was a little worried I might fall off at first, but I surprised myself, the water did not get the pleasure of enveloping me with its wetness.  I could tell I was working my inner thighs, my core, and defiantly my arm muscles with all the paddling.  I was enjoying the outdoors which I call my playground as well as getting a great workout at the same time.

But…the best part, was the peacefulness of the calm, empty lake at 6:00 a.m.. The hawk flying overhead feeding her babies, and the beautiful canyons that surrounded us.  We paddled in silence and took it all in.

It was an amazing morning.   I tried something new on my bucket list, I got my workout in, and I wasn’t in an enclosed space with air conditioning.  I had a view, an  amazing view.

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I want you to see that choosing healthy doesn’t have to be boring.  Get out there and try something new.  It might not be easy at first, but don’t give up.  You just have to keep going….one step at a time, one day at a time.  We are all in a different place in our lives.  We have to do what fits our lifestyle.  Just… GET OUT THERE!!!

I choose healthy.  I choose to live my life…. you can too!!!!

Never Give up!

Kimberly Rae

 

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Say YES to Life!!!

My journey the past five years has taken me many places. But I find that the happiest of places is always on a trail somewhere in the beautiful outdoors in Arizona; or on a road trip to another state that has its own Beauty to share. 

For me the outdoors infuses me with the  energy and joy that keeps that smile on my face more times than not.  

When I step onto that trail, I am noticing the beauty in each step I take and all that surrounds me. 

My last adventure in northern Arizona took me to a few places of heavenly beauty. Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona is one of my favorite places.  It continually changes as the seasons  meld into each other . The beautiful fall colors, the water flowing through the streams and the canyon that surrounds you,  brings peace to anyones existence. 

I decided 5 years ago not to be that victim or to let what happened to me Define my life. The healing took place over a few years but I knew that if I didn’t start living my life and saying YES to life, that I would be stuck; stuck in a place that had no life, Joy, or happiness. I went out and found my own Adventures with friends or by myself. And I found myself continually drawn to God’s Beauty in the outdoors. For me, that’s my heaven here on Earth.

We all get up every day, go to our prospective jobs and do what we have to do to survive. But are we living? Are you living? 

Saying YES to life and going out there and living it may have to be a directional change for some. A change that could Empower your life and Propel it to the next level. How exciting is that?

So ask yourself, “Am I living my life, Or am I just existing?”

Think about what you’re passionate about, what puts a smile on your face, and joy in your heart. That will guide  you down the path of living, and saying YES to life.ūüėäūüėä

As always… keep hiking to the top!!

Kimberly Rae

On the Edge of Christmas

The pumpkins sitting outside my door found a new home today, in the huge dumpster that sits behind my house.  The fall colors still linger inside my carefully decorated home, but the red seems to be making a more positive statement in my decor as if to say, THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!!!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner; the holiday movies are already making their debut, and you can’t walk into a store without seeing decorated trees and every kind of decoration you can imagine.

Is it too soon????

Maybe all the hype and hoopla to get you to buy early, but the feeling I get from the holiday season is something I cannot explain. ¬†And maybe you feel the same way. ¬†I wish we could just bottle it up and spread it all over throughout the year. ¬†Why is it that people only feel like giving, helping, and being kind at this time of the year? ¬†Why can’t we be like this all year long? ¬†Just think what the world would be like if we did:)

I decided I’m ¬†going to be that kind, generous person all year long. ¬†It feels good to give and volunteer your time. ¬†I have already been doing that, and I love the feeling I get when I spread joy through my giving to others.

So… as we sit on the edge of Christmas, and all that comes with it, how will you spend the rest of the year? and the months after that?

The best way to live life is to take some risks.  So take a step out of your comfort zone; live a little and spread some joy!  It can only put a smile on your face:)

May the joy the holiday brings, smile upon you all year long:)

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

 

The End of a Season

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I sit quietly on the edge of the crystal clear spring watching the leaves who have lost their color, fall slowly onto the clear water below. ¬†They remind me of snowflakes drifting from above, not one, like the other. ¬†It’s God‘s way of saying it’s time to move on; Winter is coming. ¬†I take my hiking shoes off and dip my worn feet into it’s coolness. ¬†The leaves go floating by as if little boats on their way to another destination. ¬†It is peaceful; serene. ¬†If I knew no one would chance by, I would take my clothes off and be one with nature and float with the leaves. ¬†Sometimes it’s just fun not knowing where you are going:) ¬†I like that kind of spontaneity. ¬†Which is why I hiked all the way down to the natural springs to find it. ¬†Being in the outdoors always centers me and brings me closer to God. ¬†The beauty here is breathtaking. ¬†Some may not see it that way, as the trees are almost all brown. ¬†A little yellow and orange peak in every now and then, but the vibrant red is no longer. ¬†I see beauty all around me, as I sit here feeling okay, as I am about to embark on the holiday season without that someone special again. ¬†For a moment, I feel a little sad, but it goes away, because I have so much to be thankful for. God has put so much in my life and has allowed me to experience just as much. ¬†I have great family and a few good friends and of course, my undying love for those Hallmark Christmas movies. ¬†LOL ¬†I know, corny and unrealistic. ¬†But the hopeless romantic in me will always be there. ¬†I get joy out of seeing two people find each other in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. ¬†It all puts a smile on my face.

The leaves are moving on, the snow will begin to fall and new life will spring up all over again.  And I will be there to see it all unfold.

So… find your peace/joy/happiness this holiday season. ¬†The leaves have fallen, the turkey will show itself soon, and the evergreens will smell so amazing!!!

May you smile everyday this season:):)

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

What I learned on My Summer Vacation…

How clich√© right? ¬†Especially if you’re a teacher. ¬†I would never give my students a prompt like this or any prompt for that matter. ¬† They should write what they are passionate about not what I tell them to write about. ¬†So I’m writing about what I learned this summer, because it is important to me. ¬†We are always learning and growing as we move on in life. ¬†I’m still discovering who I am as we all should.

As a teacher, my 3 month summer vacation is really only 2 months and then when you take away the week of classes, taking down and setting up, I am left with 5 weeks. ¬†I can’t believe school will be starting in a week and a half. ¬†I have been in my classroom almost everyday since I got back from my travels. ¬†The overwhelmingness (OK, not a word) ¬†of it all is starting to hit me as it does every year.

Before I reflect, I want to preface my awareness’ by saying, I have moved on with my life. ¬†But as you know, I keep it real. ¬†And when you’re real, your true feelings and emotions come out. So many of us repress them and hide them from others. ¬†We are still allowed to remember the past even when we are moving toward the future.

I traveled on some familiar ground this summer; ground I shared with the person from my recent past. ¬†I could tell you every place we stepped foot in and on, what we were wearing, what we said; I felt the laughter and the good times we had in all those places. ¬†I miss that part of him; that easy-going, fun, spontaneous, adventurous person that he was. ¬†The way we were always in sync; the depths of our inner souls that we knew and shared with one another. That is a lot to have with someone else; maybe only a one time thing. ¬†But I also realized, when we came back from our travels that he wasn’t always there for me. ¬†I fought for his attention. ¬†He was in his own world; I was just someone to keep him company when he wanted it. ¬†He put me down more than I wanted to see. ¬†But he would encourage me at the same time. ¬†He didn’t know what he wanted; he still doesn’t, he just pretends. ¬†No matter now. ¬†I didn’t feel the hurt in my gut. ¬†What I felt was joy and peace. ¬†I know how far I have come. ¬†I was weak when I was with him. ¬†He left so I could become who I am. ¬†That I thank him for. ¬†I wish him enough.

 

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I know that my career in teaching elementary is almost over. ¬†I came to see how much I want to be in nature, so I can hike, kayak, write and just enjoy all the beauty that God has created. ¬†I find myself gravitating to those places. ¬†The same places he and I talked about settling in. ¬†I learned that I have always been an adventurer. ¬†I looked back on my life and realized I was always looking for that next adventure. ¬†I just wasn’t with the right person at the time; until I met the last person in my life. ¬†I am more like my dad than I thought. ¬†He always told me to live my life; even the night before he passed away he made me promise to keep exploring life. ¬†Well, I certainly have.

I have overcome fears that I had in the past. ¬†I find myself experiencing things I would have never tried before. (Outdoor adventures, that is:)) Because there is no one saying behind my back, “Oh, she won’t do that.” ¬†I can, I will, and I have:) ¬†So there!

I am finally at a place in my life where I like who I am. I don’t need a man to be happy or to define me. ¬†I have male friends and acquaintances that I value and respect. But I haven’t met the man who I’m going to share my life with; not yet. ¬†Notice I said, “I’m going to.” ¬†My thoughts are positive about where I am and where I’m going. I share my happiness in life by smiling everyday, hoping that it catches on to the next person that sees me:)

I learned that I had to lose a few good friends in order to move on with my life.  I cherish those relationships and will look back fondly on the time I had with them.  I let the negative things go and focus on the positive. Life is too short.

So… as the summer comes to an end for this teacher, I wish you all well enough; ¬†enough life and living to sustain you, enough to be happy.

Keep hiking to the top,

 

Kimberly Rae

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Are You Looking on the Bright Side of Life?

As a teacher, I like to share with my students lessons in life.¬† Lessons they can take with them and hopefully remember the rest of their life.¬† I have past students who have found me and brought up some of¬†those lessons¬†that I shared with them. They have thanked me for¬†the things I taught them and my positive outlook on life.¬† After 29¬† years in the classroom, I haven’t stopped sharing.

Let me share with you some of the lessons I have shared over time:

To stay positive¬†in life, you need to surround yourself with positive people.¬† Get rid of the toxic friends that only bring you down.¬†Sometimes “cleaning out your closet” so to speak, is the first step to¬†bringing on that daily smile. ¬†I always say, what you give you get, what you sow, you reap, and what goes around comes around.¬† My students understand what that means.¬† When you’re hurting, depressed, or just confused about life, I know this isn’t always easy.¬†The negativism coming forth verbally and non verbally from our pain¬†is enough to keep¬†people away.¬† ¬†Laughter is always the best medicine.¬† I use it in my classroom and with friends.¬† I love to laugh; it lifts the spirits and soothes the soul.¬† I even laugh at myself:)

Feeling Worthy.¬† We are all worthy of great things in our life; a great job, great friendships, great relationships, Joy, peace, ¬†and the list goes on.¬† We accept the things in life we feel we deserve.¬† If you feel you don’t deserve much then that is what you get.¬† Look at the path you are on now. Are you getting all you deserve?¬† Or are you stuck in a job, or a relationship that isn’t worthy of who you really are?¬† Again, don’t let those negative people in your life keep you from a positive self-worth.

Trying to be perfect:¬† Who is perfect?¬† If we continue to strive for that we lose sight of the journey and the great things that are happening along the way.¬† You don’t have to be perfect or anywhere near it to have any self-worth.¬† We are hard on ourselves.¬† But don’t judge.¬† Learn from your mistakes, your stumbles, and trips;¬† forgive yourself and forgive others and move on:)

Be thankful.¬† I say this many times in my classroom and with people I know and meet.¬† I look at what the Lord has given me and put in front of me and I am thankful everyday.¬† And yes, sometimes he has to hit me over the head with a brick to hear him and to learn from what is right in front of me, but I do get it.¬† Listen.¬† We don’t always appreciate what we have and just want more or something different.¬† Then, after it is too late, we realize we had the good thing all along.¬† Emotional greed and financial greed really don’t get us anywhere.¬† Be thankful for what you have.¬† The littlest things can bring you joy if you take the time to see it.

When I am having a day that isn’t so great, I have to ask myself, “What am I missing?¬† What am I not seeing?”¬† We can’t focus our energies on our pain or what someone said or didn’t say.¬† That is when the negativity creeps in and then it takes over and we are miserable.¬† Is it worth it?¬† Let it go.¬† Be happy; smile, laugh, and bring joy to others.¬† Pretty soon, you’ll be smiling on the inside:)

“The optimist already sees¬†the scar over the wound; the pessimist still sees the wound underneath the scar. ~Ernst Schroder

Stay positive and as always ~ Keep hiking to the top!

Kimberly Rae

Anxiety… A Faith Battle

We are all anxious from time to time. When something devastating happens we become worried about the outcome; those are situational moments and they do not consume our everyday existence.

When we let ANXIETY consume our daily lives, it has many effects on us that keep us from really living our lives. Let me share a few with you:
* It is a distraction
* You cannot focus
* It slows you down
* It affects your personal relationships
* It is a waste of time
* It leads to unwise decisions especially in relationships
* It takes away your joy and peace

I battled with anxiety over the past year and a half. I knew I hadn’t dealt with it because I kept talking about my situation over and over. I didn’t feel the joy and peace in my life on a daily basis. Although I didn’t rush into another relationship (like many do) I still wasn’t living my life fully.

Why do we give in to our Anxiety?

There are ways to deal with our anxiety. For some, taking a pill to make it all go away seems to be the answer; when in fact we are just masking the real problem. We make excuses and we continue to nurture the anxiety that has taken over our life. WHY?
Don’t deepin what your already into; don’t violate your conscience; don’t “what if” your past. Take the time to deal with your anxiety. It takes courage and faith.

I saw what it was doing to my life. I let certain people and situations affect me, which led to more anxiety. When it got down to the acid test of survival, I knew I had to bring it to God.

ANXIETY IS A FAITH BATTLE!

Since then, my decisions in dealing with life and what has been put in front of me are in God’s hands. My choices and the actions I have taken, especially in the past few weeks, have been at the hand of God. I have let go of all my anxiety. The action I took this week has brought only peace and joy to my life. That chapter in my life has now closed. I lost a few friends along the way, but I know in my heart my actions were genuine and guided by God.

We all have emotions. We can trigger the anger or the kindness. Which one do you choose?
If you want to start living in life, you need to let it go. It really does keep you from moving forward.

I leave you with 2 scriptures that have helped me: Philippians, 4:4-7, and Acts, 18:9-10

Keep hiking to the top!

Kimberly Rae