Thursday, September 8, 2011

Appreciating "Now"

A calm ocean. Sitting in a boat soaking in the rays. Purely perfect. Waves start to come in. You see they are small. Just the right size to play in! Boogie boarding, surfing and all sorts of water fun. When you have exhausted yourself with playing you get back to the boat to go and peacefully lie in the sun once more. The smell and the sound of the water are so calming.

A bit of time passes you look off into the horizon and you see a storm. Knowing that you need to get to shore where it's safe you start your small boat up. What you didn't see was how fast the storm was coming. In no time it hits your little boat with vicious winds and crushing waves. You hold on and try to press through. But your visibility is poor and getting to shore seems nearly impossible with the boats small engine.

A huge wave hits your small boat and nearly throws you overboard. Choking on salt water and holding onto the rail you don't know what else to do but to pray. Down on your knees you pour out your heart in prayer and ask for help. You notice that even though the storm is still raging a large rescue boat has found you and is coming your way! You say a thankful prayer in your heart and wave your arms in the air. "Over here! Help me!" You welcome the safety of the large vessel. Once aboard the storm rages on, but you now have the help of many people. They have provided you with shelter and nourishment. Friendship and comfort. Peace of mind. Together, this large boat with many people are so much better equipped to handle a storm than you were all by yourself.

That's how life is. Ever notice that we most appreciate the calm waters only after  the storm has hit us? I think the biggest mistake we can make is to not bask in the sun when the waters are calm, but to think, "is this all that life is about? Floating here?"

Do you know what I miss? I miss being boring. I miss my old boring life. And by boring I mean wonderful!

If you are in a place right now where you feel stuck in a rut with things, maybe it's time to be grateful for it. Maybe you get up at the same time everyday, go to work at the same time everyday, eat lunch at the same time get the picture. Or maybe it's that you have young children and it's diapers and spit-up, crying and whining, owies and Elmo. Whatever your "rut" is, maybe it's time to see it as a blessing. Calling it a "rut" might not be the best thing to call it either. Sometimes it feels like that, but really it is just a consistency that you have in your life. Things that you know are there and need to get done for your and your families days to go well. Things that, although they may not be the most fun, are important. That means you are important! That means your so-called rut is a HUGE blessing in your life. It's the calm water!!! Love this phase, as it is sure to follow the cycle of life and someday it won't be so calm.

Life can offer different things that add a lot of excitement, different waves. Fun ones like a new jobs, new house, new baby. Those are great! Then there are the violent waves. Illness, loss of a loved one, car accidents and natural disasters. Those are the kind of excitement we don't want and don't ask for. Then when the waters get calm again, and they will, you can look beck on the storm and see all the things that you learned.

My goal is to more appreciate what I am experiencing now. Even though right now I kind of wish my life was a little more 'boring' (read calm), I can appreciate little moments. No matter if you are playing in the nice waves, enduring a storm or just floating along in the calm water, try to take a step back once in a while. It is easy to look back and appreciate something, but can we do it now? Is it possible? Hard sometimes?...Yes! But definitely possible.


  1. You have a beautiful way with words Val! I'm continually keeping you and your family in my prayers. We love you!

  2. Your story makes me feel and see the "storms" of life as well as the blessing of the calm days which I wish could last forever. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words:) You are loved and I will pray daily for your health to be renewed!

  3. So Beautiful Val. The spirit is working through you. Thank you for taking the time to share this. Love your heart.

  4. Hello Val,
    I saw an event posted from some friends on Face Book about an event being held in your honor. And reading up on that led me to your blogs. I am so impressed by the way you are handling your situation during this time. You have such faith, joy, and hope during a time that seems so dark. What a blessing Zumba must be for you during this time. I went through the tragic loss of my 7 year old daughter a year ago and my faith as well as Zumba held me together. All I know is that this world is temporary. The bigger picture is Heaven and if God has allowed you to endure this pain physically for His purpose then all I can say is you are doing a fabulous job being a light unto others who may need God. You are strong and I admire you! Zumba Love and Hugs, Rosie Herrera (Your fellow Zumba Instructor, Scottsdale AZ)

  5. Val, HI my name is Marietta Murphy and I live in Memphis, TN. My God Mother has told me all about you. Her name is Miriam and when she moved there she told me right away how much joy you brought to her with your Zumba classes. I have moved 6 times and it is hard to leave friends and to start over. I met some of my best friends where I worked out. It was those workouts that gave me a happy heart and allowed me to move forward in being positive in taking care of myself and my family. You have been a source of many smiles, peace of mind and comfort for my aunt and I thank you for that. She shared your sight with me and I am so glad that she did. We were happy to make a donation for someone with such strength and determination. Your compassion and FAITH will get you through..... You are blessed to be surrounded by so many who love you and look up to you. You are an inspiration and I look forward to following your journey. I teach yoga and love sharing my knowledge and my practice with others. I will keep you in my intentions with every class that I teach or take. May you keep and open heart filled with compassion towards yourself first. Wishing you back on that dance floor for many years to come to continue sharing your happy heart and passion for life with others!