Strong Mojo Tag

p(L)aying forward feels so good

It’s Thursday July 13th now, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what an incredibly powerful BLR Play It Forward weekend we had just a few days ago. It is always the most bittersweet day of my year.

I will have a full post coming soon with some of my favorite images, but in the meantime here are a couple that show what community and coming together to do something good looks like:

All hands in. BLR Play It Forward 2017

BLR Play It Forward Community Kick Wall Gift

Being a part of something bigger than myself that means something to so many people is by a landslide the best work I have ever done. Love, joy, and time together to celebrate memories is the most I could ever ask for in this life, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience that for 6 years in a row now. This is my team. The rest of the people who support us were all there too, just a few feet away. I’m always so honored to be in such wonderful company.

Thank you.

#RememberCelebrateLive #StrongMojo #PlayForwardGiveBack

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paying forward and getting so much back

I just returned from this amazing LeaderSurf program in Nicaragua where I learned a ton and was able to give back and share the blue lollipop Strong Mojo magic:

Blue Lollipop Road in Nicaragua

As I arrived home and plugged in, I discovered that Team Awesome (I just made that up) who includes my family, some alumni friends, and other perfect strangers from my hometown have been rocking and rolling with plans & construction on our community donation project for the 6th Annual BLR Play It Forward to be revealed on Saturday July 8th:

BLR construction project

People coming together, spending time doing good things for, or in honor of others feels incredible. My heart could explode!

I am 1,000 times more determined than ever to keep educating myself on everything I can, do work I’m passionate about, and to help lead others to do the same. This above is the stuff a full life is made of my friends! I am so thankful, inspired, and motivated by all this collaboration right now…happiness!

How are you sharing things that fire you up today?

#ServantLeadership #FollowYourPassion #RememberCelebrateLive

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the pivot of the strong mojo

Today is Monday which is technically a work day for all of us adults, but it also happens to be one of those work days I have done very little to make actual money. As much as money is a necessary thing, I realize once again on days like this, there is absolutely nothing that could ever make me feel richer than the time I have with all the amazing people in my life, and doing work that makes me proud. I’ve spent my entire day on a project that has meant more to me over the past several years, than I could ever put into words. A few photos from our 2016 summer event:

BLR Play It Forward 2016

BLR Play It Forward 2016

BLR Play It Forward 2016

BLR Play It Forward 2016

BLR Play It Forward 2016

BLR Play It Forward 2016

The original idea for BLR Play It Forward, was to have a travel scholarship that would be gifted each year during our alumni reunion event, to a deserving soccer playing student at my hometown high school in support of them participating in either a language exchange program, a Gap Year, or an adventure travel trip for personal development. The first few years we had great luck with finding deserving students and programs. I don’t think there are a lack of those anywhere. The adults are the problem. (Always:) Let’s just say after this amazing force of nature we created, happening year after year, with all it’s amazingness, we found out that if there are hundreds of people yelling, YEAH! over here, and one or two people pretending they don’t see you over there, you’re better off barking up the tree that wants to actually participate.

So this means a shift for our annual Play It Forward give back.

Starting this year instead of attempting to partner with the school, we are partnering with the community as a whole and we have plans for a VERY exciting gift that will be a permanent fixture in town. All is in the works and will be a big surprise revealed on event day, July 8th.

The point of this post is to say, when you find what you really love, that thing you feel in every ounce of your bones that means so much to so many people, don’t ever give up. The student travel scholarship portion of my perfect dream for BLR Play It Forward worked for a few years at first, and we have incredibly impressive students who were recipients. Raheema is one of them and she’s pictured above. I’m hugging her in the photo at the registration table last summer. She is now a college athlete and we could not be more proud! We’ve watched her grow up and become every bit of the awesome we knew she would be. Now my perfect dream has shifted for this event and where raised funds go, and that’s Ok. The most important goals will always remain the same. There will always be Strong Mojo. No one could ever stop that.

I hope you will mark your calendars for the weekend of July 7th, and join us in Southern Vermont for this weekend of all things old friends and neighbors coming together, with all the new people in our lives, too. We are an all-inclusive kind of crowd, because love rules on this Blue Lollipop Road. Everyone is welcome!

Here’s to the indefinable essence of something magical coming together. 

#RememeberCelebrateLive #PlayForwardGiveBack #DoGood

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the life unstuck

Hi there, I’m Diane.

Do you know me? If not, welcome to the world of blue lollipops and Strong Mojo where we don’t waste any time because we know better.

My work/business is the no judgement zone, the no bullshit zone, the running like hell with as many people as I can carry, fast and furious out of the drone…zone.

Why the bleep are any of us doing things we don’t want to do? The choice pool in this life is so big and beautiful it blows my mind…just as much as the fact so many of us don’t take a giant swim in it every day.

WAKE UP!

If I’m not already, I want to be your no judgies friend. The pal that lets you know you are in fact, “normal” and it’s Ok if simply because you feel it in your bones, you want to change your whole entire life so you can feel less stuck. I want to be the one that you call and say, “Um, Diane, I’m like totally drowning over here. I make a boatload of money but I’m miserable at my job and I have been for a long time now.”

So I can say…

Ugh! Sorry to hear! That stinks. Sounds like it’s time to quit and do something that doesn’t make you want to jump off a bridge/yell at your kids every minute/eat more Cheetos and sit on the couch every night.

“Yeah, but I have a mortgage and my husband is going to be so pissed at me and think I’m nuts!”

No kidding, Bueller, we’re adults, we all have bills to pay. Everything will be Ok. You can make a plan and execute it. And if the hubs isn’t on board after you share with him that you’d rather eat glass than go back to that job you’ve hated for so long, maybe it’s time to quit him right along with your soul-sucking gig, too.

Or:

“Hey Di, I was at a friends wedding and I looked down at my ring as I’m only a month away from my own wedding and I thought, oh my god, I don’t think I want to marry my guy after all.”

So I can say…

Holy moly! Ok then, just breathe, you don’t have to of course! Don’t do it!

“Yeah, but so much of the wedding is already paid for, my parents will lose their minds, everyone is going to think I’m a freak show and I don’t know what the hell to do to even begin to stop this freight train.”

Well first and most importantly you need to tell your guy, and like- right now. Then you tell everyone else the truth too, that the wedding is off and things simply did not work out for the two of you.

“Are you kidding? But I’m 35 and want to have babies! How the heck will I find someone else in time? Plus everyone will ask a million questions! My parents will be so embarrassed!”

Really? Do you actually believe your parents would be embarrassed that their daughter isn’t really in love with the guy she’s about to marry and she’s brave and fabulous enough to speak now or forever hold her peace about it? Highly doubtful. And if they are, they’re probably jerks who need to check themselves. You can join my f(r)amily if you need to.

I’ve actually already had these conversations though, and a ZILLION just like them. (Yes, seriously.) Nearly every day from the time I started really traveling around 20 years ago until now, a friend, stranger, or client shares, asks, or says things that make my head spin. I shake my fist in the air at the phantom entities (or worse, real humans?!) not being honest with each other. Those thoughts or people convincing us if we date so-and-so, we are weird, that if we have a house that’s more than sometimes a mess we’re a failure, or that we should stay hating our lives some where or with some one because we’re “supposed” to.

WTF.

Them: You must think I’m crazy!

Me: No, you are not crazy my friend. If you like boys, date boys. If you like girls, date girls. Hell…date them both for all we care. You are allowed to be HAPPY!

Them: This must be the worst house you’ve ever been in.

Me: Pshaw! Do you really think your neighbors have it all together in their neat-as-a-pin cottage? Think again my friend. Behind those doors looks EXACTLY like it looks in here. Trust me. I’ve seen it.

Them: But I can’t do that, I’m 50 years old! I’ve spent my entire life doing this!

Me: Why the hell not? Who says you can’t make a change after living half a century doing the same thing? “Aging out” is so last season, sister. 50 is the new 30. Go on whitchabadself.

Them: I hate it here, but everyone expects me to stay, so what am I supposed to do?

Me: The only thing you’re “supposed” to do, dude, is what you want. You make the rules. Get on your horse and ride. Your peeps that are worth it will follow.

Can we give ourselves a break, already? Like not beat the crap out of ourselves or each other thinking we should or shouldn’t this or that? Maybe we could share whatever heart break, hard day, or shit show is happening on our end of life a little more, so perhaps our friends, family, and neighbors finally find out (gasp!) that we are humans just like them. Clearly we haven’t thought enough about how short this life is, and how making it complicated with anything we don’t actually want is the ONLY definition of crazy.

Today is a gorgeous sunny 70 degree day where I am. It feels glorious for a winter day. It’s bittersweet as well because it also happens to be February 11th, which would’ve been my friend Maria’s birthday who I can’t see in person anymore. She and my other awesome fun, zany friend, Brandy are the original inspiration for everything I’ve done on this Blue Lollipop Road. Let me tell you who never wasted time; those girls. They also never asked for permission and that’s one of the things I loved so much about them. They danced when they wanted to, laughed too loud, and didn’t care if anyone joined them, because they were always having a blast.

I think we should all be having a blast, and worrying a lot less about what everyone else might think. 

In 1994 when we lost Maria & Brandy was the summer I decided to give myself forever permission to go, be, see, do, all I wanted to, and never apologize about anything I did if it felt right. I made lots of silent promises to my friends before saying goodbye. One big one, was that I would always laugh loud, dance a lot, and eat blue lollipops.

MAU Soccer

I’m still dancing…

Dancing in India

…eating blue lollipops:

Road Tripping

…and laughing of course. I hope this never changes.

Let’s all stop waiting for permission, shall we? The Life Unstuck is just around the corner. Everyone is welcome, and no, you’re not nuts. Come dance with us.

#TodayIsTheDay #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #HopToIt

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get your give on

Hello, Monday!

Today is May 9th. This means exactly 2 months until our 5th Annual BLR Play It Forward Event & BLR Memorial Travel Scholarship award, July 9 2016 weekend. (FIVE years!)

We’ve been doing good on our Remember, Celebrate, Live promise since 2012 and couldn’t be more proud. We love playing forward to give back.

Inspired by us? Well thank you…but we wouldn’t be able to do it without YOU! So how do you get involved?

1.) If you’re MAU Women’s Soccer Alumni, you can register here for just a $35 donation to play in the game, Saturday July 9th at Willow Park in Bennington, VT. 100% of registration fees go to the scholarship fund.

2.) Get an event shirt for yourself or your kiddos here. Shirts come in blue and pink, youth and adult sizes.  Just 20 buckaroos donation! 100% of that loot goes straight to the scholarship fund.

3.) Rally your friends, family, neighbors, former teachers, coaches, strangers on the street, or anyone else you like, to come join/hang out/socialize for our Friday night (July 8th) open Welcome Back Party, and Saturday day and night (July 9th) Alumni game, scholarship announcement, and Celebration Cocktails.

4.) Sponsor! We’d love any sponsorships, and promise if you do, we will give shout-outs and love on all print & social media, along with on the BLR website here and more. (We’d especially like to to find a jersey & t-shirt sponsor this year to cover that huge cost. Please call 804.339.6514 or Diane(@)BlueLollipopRoad.com if you’d like to sponsor.)

5.) Donate! 100% of all donations go straight to the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Travel Scholarship Fund. This fund supports deserving high school students to travel and do community service work. (Wha?! Yep, students doing good while getting a chance to see outside their everyday world. Exposure! Service! Character building! Building a badass next generation! Super awesomeness:)

If you’re a regular reader or BLR follower, you obviously know this Blue Lollipop Road is my life, my passion, my everything, and Play It Forward is by far the work I’m most proud of. I can’t do it alone, so I present a challenge to you readers who I know and strangers I don’t:

Donate $5 now! 

I figure $5  for 5 years of playing forward so we can give back is not too much to ask. Everyone can afford 5 big ones. Won’t you support what we are doing? Click here to donate through PayPal, it is secure, easy, (and dare I say, fun?), or send a check made payable to:
Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund
PO Box 34661
Charlotte, NC 28234

…or

…simply pass this post on! My Christmas wish is that some one, some where, some day, who’s big time, will notice what we are doing and say “Hey! You are spectacular BLR Play It Forward! Here’s some ginormous media and/or a million bucks for your scholarship fund! What you’re doing with your event & scholarship fund is like…totally awesome!”

(Hey- it could happen. It WILL happen.)

So won’t you send some love and spread the love? Oh how important it is, to…

Remember where you came from.

Celebrate the memories and time you have have together.

Live like today is the day.

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

Image

Boom-chicka-boom!

Together we can do so much good.

#RememberCelebrateLive #GetInspired #TodayIsTheDay

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a long winter’s nap?

Nah…I’m here!

I know It’s been a few weeks, so sorry to leave my blog followers hanging. You know I love to write and share here. I promise to post more regularly. 2015 felt like a whirlwind of what month is it? Then, boom! Here we are kicking off 2016.

Even though work has been very busy, we did manage to escape for a couple days, continuing to follow our “less stuff, more experiences” lifestyle, and opted to buy and spend 2 nights at a friends beach house in lieu of physical gifts for Christmas this year. Whaddya know, it ended up being near 80 degrees in North Carolina for a few days! Yeah!

Bike rides, beach time, and sand in toes was a very happy holiday time:

Beach time

Love at the beach

Beach time

Nerd pose! I was wearing one of my Play It Forward shirts, so wanted to try and make you laugh:)

Here’s to having more freedom in 2016! Dip your foot in the chilly beach water, then jump in, baby! This is our one life and the blue lollipops are all out there for the taking.

#LessStuffMoreExperiencesHappyLife #BeachChristmas #FindYourMojo

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rolling with the mojo

I should add “can take photos while driving” to my resume.

Ok- maybe not.

Wouldn’t you know it, right after I wrote this yesterday, about my Mojo Warrior friend, I pulled onto the street and right behind this license plate!

Street Mojo

If you’ve been around the land of Blue Lollipop Road, like- ever, you know that Mojo is is my jam, the magic, the bomb. It’s even tattooed on my body:

Blue Lollipop Tattoo

…so imagine my happy surprise to drive right behind that car. I never spotted a plate like that in all my years as a road warrior. (And I spent a lot of years on the road!)

Pure coincidence? Irony? Meant to be? Hmmm…

I’ve been talking a lot about Mojo flowing over the past month, for many reasons and especially after our awesomely successful 4th Annual BLR Play It Forward Event. Indeed it is my friends. Let it flow. Someone is buzzing around to remind us that Mojo always wins.

#StrongMojo #Signs #GameOn

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today is the day; play it forward 2015

Huge thanks to The Bennington Banner for this article about our event today!

Play It Forward is so much bigger than just a soccer game. It is about bringing people together, honoring loved ones no longer here, and celebrating memories and time together. It is a reminder about what’s important, where we came from, and is meant to inspire us all to truly live while we are living.

All hands in

This is year four, and I can’t believe it! Countless hours and efforts have been put in and I as I type this with a big smile I could not be more proud. I am humbled and honored to host this event, and so thankful for all the love, support & help from so many friends, family, alumni and community members.

BLR Play It Forward 2015…here we go!

Remember. Celebrate. Live.

#PlayForwardGiveBack #StrongMojo #Community

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