How Do You Heal A Broken Heart?

For what it is worth…

Over a year ago I realized that I had fallen in love with a friend of mine. It just sort of happened on it’s own, I didn’t plan it, one day it hit me like “Wow, I didn’t see the ‘L’ word coming.” It’s easy for us to ‘like’ people in our lives but to love someone is more complicated than that.

You know, the kind of moments where you do something and wonder if that someone else would enjoy it as well. Or connecting on a crazy level because you understand what they heck they are going through. Yep, sounds odd for 2018 but it still happens people. We’re still out there!

So what do you do? You do the right thing, go for broke risk it all, risk looking foolish, risk loosing the friendship and you tell them exactly how you feel. Hey, tomorrow could be your last day and you don’t want any regrets, NONE!

I took that risk and and discovered the feeling was not mutual. Now I didn’t completely ruin the friendship but found that area where you say, “Ok, God, how do you turn this thing off?”

For a while I was embarrassed.

You see for three years I have been changing everything about me. It is on that process that is supposed to be all positive that I created something negative. For me to be happy, I developed a belief that love was a force to be avoided, that I had hurt long enough in my lifetime that the reason I felt great now was because I focused on a me that became incapable of love.

For seven days I have been overcome with the feeling I have avoided for several years now. It has been some of the hardest days of my life. That’s the thing about life, it will throw a wrench into your gears just to see if your paying attention.

Today, I realized that I have nothing to be embarrassed about. Yes, I’m in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same. Are they still my friend, YES THEY ARE!

You see, life is so short, tomorrow it could be over and who wants to die with a heart full of love? Love is a beautiful thing and if you feel it, for the love of Pete don’t hold it in! Someone may say no but enjoy the feeling of being in love, you know, that feeling when hearing their voice makes you tremble. That’s right this ‘old school’ guys is going ‘old school’ here.

The reality is, yes I am in love with a friend but I would rather love a friend then hate an enemy for the rest of my life!! Can I be a friend? Another way of asking that is “Do I want this person in my life?” Yes I do!

Someday someone is going to come along and do what I have failed to so and sweep them off their feet. But the test of any love for someone is wanting them to find love, even if it is not with you.

I’m likely in trouble once this is posted but that’s ok, because at this moment I have no regrets. Take today to live and love like there is no tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come!

The world could use more love!!

First Meeting!

 

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So with tomorrow (Wednesday) approaching, I am super excited to be climbing on my first call with my interior designer for my new book, WHEN THE STORM RUNS OUT OF RAIN. Mrs. Jennifer Deese did an amazing job on my friend, Dr. Coyte G. Cooper’s bestselling, MAKE YOUR MARK and I could not be any more pumped to watch as she works her extraordinary magic on my book which has a release date set for Sept. 1st!

I admit I have no idea what we will cover in our first call but I am positive that it will be nothing less than epic talking points that will help move the needle of this earth! I will be back on tomorrow to let you know exactly how our call shapes up. Until then, have a great middle of the week and make your dreams happen!

 

Make A ‘Run’ For It!!

So here is the story…

For over a year and a half, I have been running around a lake (suburbanites will call it a pond) in effort to improve my health, lose weight and work towards a goal of competing in a 5K. I remember the first time I ran (more like walked) it for the first time. I huffed and puffed and while I didn’t blow any house in, I almost did myself in!

 

Over time, things began to change. I began to walk faster, building up steam and soon began to run sections of the lake. Earlier this year, I extended the distances I ran considerably and felt the pain for pushing myself further than ‘normal’. For several months, I pushed through this resistance and found myself getting stronger and more durable.

With this durability, I ran my first 5K this past Spring and had passed yet another milestone that I set for myself. I also had the blessing of doing this with my oldest son, Lynden, which made the icing on my cake!

With my first 5K complete, I continued to run and growth myself. It was always my goal to get my physical stamina to the level that one day I would be able to run, not just parts of the lake, but ALL OF IT!!!

Well…..

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Last Wednesday was upon me and I was gearing up for my second 5K. I drove out to Red Hill State Park and began my distance walk to warm up before my run. I took off like normal, planning nothing out the ordinary. But as I came to the point on my coarse that I would stop and walk, something impacted me to push forward! I just kept going!!!

I reached the top of the first steep incline and it was here that my mind began working to make me stop. It began saying things like, “You can’t run all of this!” “Your not strong enough!” I began to see images in my head of catching my breath, walking and pushing myself too hard. I even, for one second began to slow down to stop.

Then I thought of running the entire lake and how great it would feel to reach my car after I was finished! I saw how good it would feel and that was all I needed to keep going. You know what? My mind began saying things like, “Well, you can go halfway but that’s all you can handle!” Would you believe me when I tell you that I blew right past the halfway marker and just kept going? Because that is exactly what I did!

Before I knew it, I realized that I was feeling overworked, I was feeling inspired. The truth is, I realized that I was enjoying this and while my body felt the resistance, it felt NO pain! Now I was back to the first steep incline and coming down it with joy. I continued across the straightaway that covered the damn and it was here that my mind made one last ditch effort to stop me, saying I had gone far enough to be happy. Ha! Far from it!

Then I saw my SUV, BOOM, I was driving to the finish (no pun intended)! I reached my car and the moment I touched the fender I jumped for joy with excitement. The reward felt just like I imaged it would and I notched off a achievement months before I thought I could have done it, proving we all have more inside us then we realize and it is only upon pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone that we actually discover what we are made of.

Now two days later, I was at the lake again. A day before my second 5K, I thought of an old saying that says, “You did it once, not let’s see you do it again!” Challenge excepted! I not only ran the entire lake again but in a minute faster than two days earlier! I was ready for this 5K!

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The following day Lynden and I woke up and drove down to Mt. Carmel, Illinois. We parked just down the street from the library where the race began and signed in. We pinned our numbers and awaited the time to begin. Soon we lined up and as the shot fired, our second 5K was underway!

With the first 5K I walked a short distance twice so I could catch my breath and came in ahead of my son. This time we both improved as I ran the entire coarse and Lynden finished two minutes ahead of me! That’s growth and improvement in its truest form!

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I could not be more excited with this achievement and want you to know that there is no difference between my possibilities and yours! Get out there today and make a run for it! You’ll be glad you did!

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Ending The School Year With A Bang!

With the school year now to an end, I could not have had a better finish to the month of May than I did this year!

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I returned to St. Joseph Catholic School in Olney, Illinois and delivered every copy of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville to the students who did not get their’s at my presentation. We actually ran out, a first for me!!

I was surprised with a handmade card that looked just like the cover of Barney & Lexi and I always say this but it means the world to me, these gifts are priceless! I handed out the books to the students and fulfilled my promise. I always make a promise to myself before leaving a school that I keep my word, give value and inspire as many as possible. For the students of St. Joseph, I know I did just that!!

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I left Olney, Illinois and headed south for Mt. Carmel, Illinois where I was returning to one of my first schools! Formerly known as N.I.C.E, now known as Mt. Carmel Elementary School has so much character within its walls and still holds a dear place in my heart!

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The students packed in and away we went. I always feel incredible as I watch the kids laugh and excited over Barney & Lexi! They follow every word I say and at times become so silent you could hear a pin drop. I love the participation we share with one another and feel a great sense of pride in knowing that I help make a child’s life for creative by showing them that an adult does not have to settle for a boring life!

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I signed over thirty copies of B&L after the presentation and made the students day by making sure that every one of them got a bookmark regardless if they purchased a book. Sells are great and in the end we have to make income from our efforts but when you can give value to someone, you will always find things to come back around!

I said farewell to Mt.  Carmel Middle School and was asked to return for a third year! Boom! I LOVE IT!! And so I end an extraordinary school year schedule, pushing my comfort zone and impacting lives! If I died right now, I would die knowing I was making a difference! Wishing you a great day ahead.       Levi 🙂

Going Where You’ve Never Gone Before!

The year was 1996 and I was in high school. A former pro football player (now, as to what his name was, I can not remember) came to out school and spoke to us all about making good choices in life. It was during his speech that I began to think about what he was doing and thought to myself,

“There is NO way I could ever come into my school and do what he is doing!”

And for over two decades that would follow, I thought about how it must have felt to stand before my peers and deliver an impacting speech. I often pretended in the privacy of my own home, that I was giving that speech and that others applauded it.

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Speaking however, was something that for years I believed I could never physically do. It was a long and difficult road to overcome 36 years of shyness and even when I first began speaking just over a year ago, I often became nervous to return to my old school and deliver the same type of speech to the students that I was doing very well at everywhere else.

The reality is that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change, and boy did they! This last two years has changed my life forever and because of that, this year I not only reached for the highest bar in my life, but I reached it, took a hold of it and now it is behind me!

On May 14th, I took the stage of Lawrenceville High School and delivered a 20 minute speech that  my son Lynden, (who was out of school and helping me) said was my best ever! I spoke with the graduates about not allowing your past to hinder you and knowing the entire world was open and ready for their determination and drive. In the end, the weight of 20 years fell off of my shoulders and onto the stage floor. The feeling left behind is one of joy that I can yet begin to explain. I finished right on time and had a handful of students approach me for my card, which was my personal reward for my work.

I walked out of the school that day more certain of my future and felt my life go to the next level. Always remember that no bar is too high if you keep working day after day to achieve it, once you do, there is not limit to what you will discover!

 

 

May Roll!

As the school year winds down, I am so honored to be impacting students at three school before summer vacation! On May 11th we take Barney & Lexi to St. Joseph Catholic School, on the 21st we go into Mt. Carmel Grade School!

Between those dates I will be returning to my Alma-mater and speaking with the graduating class of Lawrenceville High School!

This moment is super special because it was 21 years ago that I was in high school and watched a speaker come to our school and I sat in the auditorium and thought to myself, “No way I could EVER do that!”

When I began to radically change my life I thought back to that moment and told myself that as I grew, to go back to my school, look the students in the eyes and tell my story meant that I was reaching back in time and telling the old me, “Sit back, I GOT THIS!”

If not you, then who, if not now, then when?

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Ft. Wayne

What an incredible trip to Ft. Wayne, Indiana this week!

I arrived on Monday evening and spend time visiting with old friends from high school and catching up on current life events. I was staying just done the interstate from their home at a very comfortable Extended Stay America hotel. With a kind staff, clean room and comfortable bed, I had a great nights sleep before my presentations.

I arrived at Canterbury School and from the moment I entered the building, I knew that this school was unique. Colorful, cheerful and mindful of every student in it’s Pre-K thru 12 curriculum. This school did not feel like a school but rather a magical destination for higher learning. (Yes I do feel there is a difference between the two.)

The staff was some of the kindest I have ever been blessed to engage with! It would be impossible not to feel the love and care for not only the students but for everyone at the book fair.

When the time came to present my back-to-back presentations, I went all in and hooked the students in the amazing world of creativity and left them even more excited to peruse all of the titles on hand for purchase and reading. I was asked to bring twelve copies of Barney & Lexi and only two remained as I prepared to leave.

As I left I was asked if I could return today and do an impromptu presentation and I would have been all over this opportunity had it not been that I had to return to work today! The event organizer, Beth, who is amazing, requested my work for next years book fair and I am most grateful to return for that!

A bonus was meeting a district representative for Barnes & Noble who asked if I ever did book tours before taking a bookmark and business card and asking if he could pass my information along to a few others withing the company.

As I am now back home in southern Illinois, I am so very grateful for the opportunity to bring value to others, engage with some incredible people and discover gifts and blessing all along the way. What ever you are dreaming about, STOP DREAMING AND GO DO IT! You will be so glad you did!!

Next Presentation!

In 16 hours I will be heading to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for my second author event within a week! I will be traveling to Canterbury School for a back-to-back set for the Canterbury Book Fair. This is going to be an amazing event and photos will follow the days events!

Until then, allow me to share the amazing time spent in Flora, Illinois at Flora Elementary School! This was a great day spent with some amazing students and super staff! The day was all about value!

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