I believe. . . that stories have the power to join us together in ways that few other things can. They allow us to see the humanity we share and to believe that we, at our core, are more alike than we are different. A truly great story makes me feel alive and hopeful and reborn.

>I will. . . continue telling the story of my life in real and loud ways without fear of judgment or failure.

I believe. . . in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Believing in the good intentions and good will of others makes a huge impact on how we see and treat each other. I believe in always coming from a place love (in the broadest sense of the word). I believe that an open heart goes all the way.

>I will . . . meet people where they are. I will always strive to  bring an open heart and mind to any encounter, relationship, meeting, conversation, or experience. I will try to assume that everyone else is doing the same (even when they don’t act like it).

I believe. . . learning is the key to a well lived life. That everyone should have the right to pursue knowledge.  That we are all teachers. That the greatest gift you can give is to share your knowledge, experience, insights, and beliefs with as many people as you can. That there is no single life curriculum, and so learning as many perspectives as possible is the key to a fuller perspective.

>I will. . . desperately and passionately pursue the unknown. I will not be afraid of things that seem too complicated, sophisticated or technical for my understanding. I will grab at the information that awaits me and devour it. I willlearn to know, to do, to make all the things that I dream of knowing, doing and making. I will always share the wealth of knowledge with anyone who is interested.

I believe. . .  that “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” (George Addair) I believe that the greatest fears that hold me back on an every day basis are my fears of failure, perfection, rightness, and sameness. I believe that these are all imaginary barriers that I can break down with a brave heart, a full imagination, and a good will.  I believe that the fear of the unknown is the silliest fear of all. You can’t love something or someone until you know it/them.

>I will . . . face the fear. Live with it. But not be deterred by it. I will doggedly pursue “the other side.”  I will never be afraid to jump in feet first into the deep end of the unknown, because let’s face it, that’s probably exactly where I’ll find buried treasure.

I believe . . . that we are how we are (as opposed to just what we do). I believe in prioritizing the feelings and happiness and peace of others. I believe we have the power to choose how we touch the lives around us. I believe that that choice makes all the difference.

>I will. . . make an active, daily choice to love, respect, and value the people in my life.

I believe . . . that I am not changed by peoples’ perceptions of me (for the better or the worse).  I believe that my choices should be based on what I want and need and not what I think that I should want and need.

>I will. . . stop and ask myself what I really want. I will listen to my inner voice. I will sing my own lyrics (even if they aren’t the right ones). I will dance at times that call for dancing (whether or not it’s appropriate).

I believe . . . that time and experiences are more valuable than things. I believe that memories are the only way to get time back, but even then you can’t relive it.Carpe Diem y’all.

>I will . . . strive to always be fully present in this moment and in this life. I will be grateful for the minutes, the hours, and the days—the exciting and the mundane—the celebrations and the sunsets. I will not take this one, precious life for granted.

I believe . . . that passion is as important as IQ, raw talent, skill, and/or experience. I believe that caring and showing you care and believing in something are the strongest ways to move the needle, change the dialogue, and/or make things better.

>I will . . . always live with passion. Always.