let’s get started!

 

 

hi friends! for the past few days i’ve been working on organizing my blog a little – making it more user-friendly and such for all of you faithful readers and all of your newbies, as well. hopefully, it makes the blog a little more interesting and pretty to look at too. of course, it’s possible that you may not notice any of the new designs/additions, so this post is designed to point them out to you. hehe.

it all started when i read this post over at gallivance.net, a couple’s blog that inspires me  with every post. they had decided to revamp their blog and add a “start here” page to their top menu. i commented on their post and the addition of that page, and as usual, they commented back, giving me a few tips & a little pep talk to do my own version here – such sweet bloggers they are!

so, this is my new “start here” page! welcome! it’s a place where you can begin and get a little snippet of what belovelive is all about.  i’m posting it as a blog post right now, but you’ll be able to find it in the top new menu from now on (look up there now. see it?).

i also created links over in my left sidebar to my three main categories (be, love, & live). just click on the photos to see the posts in each category. they are also in the top menu in word form. hopefully this streamlines everything and makes it even easier to navigate in the belovelive world.

so, here ya go! presenting my new “start here” page:

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hi! i’m liz. and welcome to belovelive!

i’m your host in this little corner of cyberspace. i started belovelive in the spring of 2011, soon after i married a swede and moved from the united states to sweden. since then, i have just recently moved back to the states (july 2013) and i brought this blog with me.

in the three years i lived in sweden, i hoped to keep in touch with family & friends and give them a glimpse of what life in northern europe was like. well, i did just that. however, i had no idea that i would be sitting in asheville, north carolina in 2014, 900 blog posts later, with so many new friends and connections from all around the world – all because of this little place where i write down my thoughts and share my photos as i process this amazing journey called life. this blog has opened up so many amazing opportunities and been such a gift to me. i hope it will be the same for you.

if you are new here, then take a peek at this page and click on any links you find interesting. these are the basics, or a little snippet of the kinds of things that i post.

here at belovelive, i share my philosophy of life and my adventures in life on an almost daily basis. i am simply a pilgrim on a never-ending, adventurous, blissful journey toward inner peace – and i choose to chronicle that journey through my writing and photos. for me, that journey toward inner peace is found through being, loving, & living. the real journey, though, is sharing that journey with you, here on the web, and with other family & friends in my daily life.

if you want, click on the “you’ve got mail” button on the left sidebar and get my posts in your email, or click here to follow me on my facebook page. of course, there is also instagram and twitter – i’m pretty active on (addicted to) social media. you can find links to everything just to the left in the sidebar.

so, let’s get started…

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LIZ AND BELOVELIVE

meet liz
word of the year
celebrating two years

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BELOVELIVE’S TOP POSTS  FROM 2013

skulls and flowers
open hearts? no. open minds? no. open doors? no. open wounds? yes!
what’s your motto?

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FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BEING

“there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be”
star-gazing
i’m rested & i’m ready
observe all that is around you
wednesday wisdom: how to live
different people, same spirit

finland lake

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LOVING

same love
the lost art of snail mail
her words
a closet is no place to live
the beauty of a woman blogfest

tattoo

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LIVING

how to have an adventure every day
i’m ok. even though i got an email
don’t get so busy
own your moments
a restaurant that feeds your soul
the top ten lessons i learned i 2013

mojito at pappa grappa

FIND OUT MORE ABOUTPASSPORTS & ROAD TRIPS

travel confessions from a pilgrim
dublin 2.0
a time to remember in berlin
sunrise over the mediterranean sea
a magical swiss-irish wedding
lindos, greece
when i said adventure, i didn’t mean this
rhodes city

lindos, greece

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHY I LOVE ASHEVILLE

nothing is weird in avl
who i am an north carolina girl
i left my heart in asheville
big big big news!

asheville alley

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SWEDISH WAY OF LIFE

pinch me, i’m an expat
just for you, mom & dad
i wanna graduate from high school in sweden
midsummer love
st. lucia day: the girl with the crown of candles
full of archipelago love
immigration said yes

skeppsgården swimming

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY OBSESSION WITH COFFEE

a girl and her fika
a cup of coffee cures everything
making dreams come true over a cuppa

coffee cup

i hope you’ve enjoyed this little introduction into the belovelive world. please hang out for a while and explore more deeply. or become a follower and receive emails whenever i post something new – which is pretty often. so, go ahead, make a pot of coffee or grab a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. curl up in your little corner of the world and spending some time… just being, loving, and living.

namaste.

seek and you will find.

it’s friday, my loves, and i just wanted to share a little thought with you as you begin your weekend…

seek

call it karma. call it the universe. call it whatever. but, seek and will you find. i truly believe that. when you seek with your heart, when you listen to your soul, when you are true to yourself, you will find that all the pieces fall into place. not in exactly the way you had planned or imagined necessarily, but in a way that ends up seeming like it was meant to be when you look back.

right now i am in the midst of a lot of processes. a lot of things that are outside of my control. there are things that i dream about, things i must do in order to make those dreams come true, and then i have to sit back and wait… for instance, my love is still fighting to work on living life and feeling better. we’re applying for an apartment that we loooove and waiting to hear if we get it. we’re waiting on the visa process. i’m looking for a job which pays the bills and satisfies my soul. i’m finishing up work here. there are so many things right now that i am not in complete control of. i do all i can, and then i release it to the universe. and wait. yeah, it’s not easy. not at all. but, i know, i feel, that i am following my soul and my dreams, and so i trust. i trust the universe. i trust the process. and i trust that things will, in the end, be better than i ever imagined. come what may.

so, sit back. breathe. seek with all your soul. and trust the universe. trust life to work out all things our for your good. it is a balance of being, trusting, and doing. in no way do i mean that we just sit back and wait for things to happen. we must be active, co-workers in our life. the sitting back part is how we get in touch with our soul, how we know what our dreams are. and then, we make things happen. we take steps. we make decisions. we put ourselves out there, try new things, take risks, leave our comfort zones. and we patiently (or not so patiently. hehe.) wait for our life, our journey to unfold before our eyes. we trust the journey. and we keep seeking, knowing that what we seek… peace, love, happiness, wholeness, whatever… is seeking us too.

love & peace, peeps.

the next chapter from my memoir: 33 changed everything.

canton home

the view from my front porch.

my husband closed the door behind him and i was standing in our, in my, home… alone.

it was the beginning of august in 2007, and it was as if the slate had been wiped completely clean. i was almost 33 years old and i felt brand new. perhaps i felt a little bit of fear, but mostly, i felt free. not free because my marriage was now over, but free because of what that symbolized.

i was me. only me. and all the dreams that i had dreamed, whatever they were, now seemed more possible than ever.

what had happened to me was that i had gotten to know myself. i had allowed myself to listen to my inner voice, to feel my own soul, to put away all of the thoughts and pressures of others’ expectations and just listen. i felt more me than i had ever felt before. ever.

now, what was i to do with my life? how was i going to go about making dreams come true? i most definitely would move from the small town in the mountains in north carolina where i had been living. and, if i could make it happen, i would move to denmark. after 12 years, perhaps my chance had come. i suppose i could have felt overwhelmed and confused, but i felt more calm than ever before.

on my first night alone, and for many nights thereafter for the next 4 months, i poured myself a glass of red wine, sat on my little front porch, stared into the starry night sky, and just let myself be me.

the next morning, i woke early, make a pot of coffee and snuggled into a big, round chair on my back porch to read, write, meditate, and pray. i repeated this morning ritual faithfully for the next year. almost every single day. i used these mornings to fill myself with inspiration and then to reflect on what i had read, what i had done, and where i was headed.  i wrote and wrote and wrote. i dreamed. i planned. i processed everything. my soul was my counselor. my guide.

max patch

i also headed back to work after the summer of 2007 with all it’s adventures and transformations.

i worked full time as a minister in a united methodist church. it was my seventh year there, surrounded by inspiring, amazing, mountain people from all walks of life. i loved my job. i loved my co-worker. i loved the youth. i had built strong, important relationships with some wonderful, inspiring people. i had created a position that allowed me to use my gifts & passions at the time.

but, how long would i remain there? that question rolled around in my mind daily. i began to realize that, as painful as it would be and as ridiculous & careless it may seem to others, it was time for me to move on.

central umc canton

at the same time i was working full-time, i was also beginning my final semester of seminary, my final four months of preparing to receive my master’s degree. the last few months of soaking up the information, knowledge, and spiritual development that was part of the process of becoming me in my professional role. however, throughout my entire seminary journey, i knew that it was not really a preparation for a job, but a preparation of who i am called to be… as an authentic, whole person, living out her dreams and using her gifts. seminary actually never was, for me, a professional endeavor, but a personal, spiritual one.

i recall the last assignment i had that semester. my final project was to write my spiritual autobiography. a look at my past, my present, and my future. what an appropriate assignment for this particular time in my life, i felt, as i began my life anew. i looked forward to getting my journey down on paper, in black and white.

but, we were also told that we would share our autobiographies with each other, and then take a day to discuss each person’s journey as a group. i was nervous. really nervous. i knew exactly who i was, who i felt i needed to be, but i did not know the answer to that age old question, “what are you going to do?” – an integral part of the last part of the assignment… to cast a vision for what we felt called to do after seminary, how and where we would work.

for me, that question was irrelevant. i had cast aside all pressure to answer that question in my life, after i had slowly come to understand that it is not about what i do, but about who i am. and if, and when, i am faithful to who i am, what i do will come directly from that.

nature and me

with that the guiding belief in this new life i was embarking on, i decided to mark myself. literally. i had a vine tattooed onto my right wrist as a reminder and a celebration of the knowledge that all i need to do is simply be. to simply stay connected to my soul, to the divine that is within. my job is to be. and just as a branch bears fruit simply because it connected to a vine, so will i bear fruit in my life, if i am connected to that which is true, light, love, and peace within me. my soul will lead me where i need to be. and what will i do? i will only focus on being me. and in being me, i will become someone who can be used wherever she is.

i wrote my spiritual autobiography for my seminary class. i illustrated with words the journey i had been on thus far, and the dreams i had for the future. and i did not list any plans. i did not say where i wanted to work, how i wanted to live out my ministry, like my classmates did. there were no specifics when it came to my future. there was only a certainly in my present, and the plan to seek to be true to myself, trusting that the details would come.

of course i was terrified at how my classmates and my professor would respond. but, it was a beautiful moment, filled acceptance and support, as they congratulated me on finding a level of peace within myself that some of them had not yet discovered.

me!

oh yes, the fall of 2007 changed me.

i was now legally separated from my husband. i was preparing to leave the church where i had been working for the past 7 years. and i was completing the last leg of my spiritual journey in seminary. it was a peaceful, slow, thoughtful, and inspiring four months. i felt safe. calm. hope. alive. peace.

it was during this time that i died to my old self. the final death came around my 33rd birthday in september. i sat one morning and literally said goodbye to my old way of life, to the old me. and yet, i appreciated all that the old me had given me. without those previous 33 years, would i have never celebrated the beginning of this new journey in life. though i let some things go, i held onto myself, because i had actually discovered that which had been within me all along.

and i was born again. life began again. i breathed deeper. laughed harder. sat in silence longer. wrote more. listened more intensely. communed with nature. lived more fully.

i had no idea what would come. but, come what may, all would be well.

*all photos taken in the fall of 2007

gettin’ down to business. belovelive is on facebook!

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image from here.

it’s time to get serious. and i have some pretty serious dreams. as i said before, it feels like 2013 is a year to embrace adventure all over the place and to embrace my free-spirited-ness. what that means is, it’s time to make more dreams come true! and to live it up. i feel like celebrating every day – even when there’s nothing to celebrate, or when i feel not-so-great. still, there is this excited, balanced, peaceful, carefree feeling inside me. i feel like stuff is gonna happen. or that it is happening.

if you know me (here or in the “real world”), then you know i love writing, photography, blogging, and travel. and you know that it is my biggest dream to make all of these into my career, my way of making money. well, it’s time to become that which i want. it’s just time. i feel it.

i have a friend who has asked if he can “feature” my blog at his restaurant, and if i can freelance/volunteer to be part of a visionary group for his business. he wants to have people with “deep souls” around him as he casts a new vision & mission for his restaurant, and since i have this blog, he thinks that it would be a great match. i don’t know much more about it, only that we’re gonna meet about once a week (and include other people too) and begin talking about our collaboration. so so so cool. and a beginning of something.

inspired by my friend & his suggestion to me, i decided it was time for my blog, belovelive, to have it’s own facebook page. on it, i want to connect with more people. post my blog posts. post photos i have taken for others, and make things a little bit more professional than my private facebook timeline. i am hoping to meet more people, get tons of likes, and work even harder to make this dream come true.

it’s just time, ya know? the stars are lining up, or something. the universe is opening up. and i am ready to grab hold of my dreams.

i love the quote in the image above because it says, “decide what to be” instead of “decide what to do”. ‘cuz it’s really about being who we are creatd to be… not just doing something. it’s about having a purpose, not just doing things. when there is purpose behind what we do = being who we are, then life has much more meaning. so, i’m not gonna worry about or decide what i want/need to do. i’m gonna focus on who i need/want to be. and when i am simply true to myself, then all that i do will be meaningful.

yep. i’m gonna get out there and be me. all over the place. i’m gonna make my dreams come true. it’s time, once again.

now, i ask you togo on over to my facebook page & “like” it. check it out, and hopefully you will feel a little inspiration and pass it along to people in your life.

like my page on Facebook by clicking the image.

like my page on Facebook by clicking the image.

 what are your dreams? who do you want to be? 

peace & love.