Sharli wrote a beautiful and absolutely accurate blog post on Thursday about truly living life. It inspired me to write this one.

I have been influenced by so many amazing people in the past year to spread optimism and light wherever I go. As much dark spaces and sadness and anger and chaos we see in the world, it doesn't do any good to give into that darkness. It doesn't benefit yourself or others to sprinkle little bits of negativity like a trail. Energy is alive and multiplies. The more you spread it, the more it sticks to you and leaves residue behind you for others. Energy also has amazing strength. It will hold on to you as long and as tightly as possible. It's your job to be strong enough to push away the bad and squeeze the good. It is up to us to figure out how to give and receive the right energy in our lives. Of course, this is easier said than done.

My mother is the epitome of light and sunshine. Those dark spaces don't really exist when she is around. Every single person she speaks to instantly feels full. It took me years to notice that she was a soul that was created to make the world a better place. She would tell you that she wasn't always like this and sometimes still isn't. In fact, she would tell you that it took her entire life to build herself into the woman she is now. It took practice and effort to find that energy is powerful beyond what we know. She would tell you that it took many trips on the struggle bus that crashed and burned many times in order to find a place where she could become her best self.

One of the many lessons she taught me was to use my energy with care. She explained to me many times in various ways that the energy I have is passionate and deep and that it could take on many forms. She also told me I didn't have endless amounts of it. She called this my "energy pie" (keep in mind that I was about ten years old when this idea was introduced to me and pie was on the top of my priority list). Every morning, I would wake up with a brand new energy pie.

This pie was the best because it was ooey gooey with high impact life. It was hot out of the oven and ready to dish out to whoever and whatever I wanted. I could choose to give a slice to school and to basketball practice. I could break off a chunk of the crust to playing with my friends at recess. Maybe I would give a small bite to doing a few chores around the house before my mom got home from work. But I couldn't have two pies in a day. Once I gave all the pieces away, I couldn't ask for more. It would be gone until I woke up the next morning to receive a new pie.

The concept was simple enough to me at the time but as I grew up with the classic teen issues like teachers yelling, too much homework, friend drama, etc., I forgot all about how much energy pie I had and gave it all away to the things that I thought were important. Looking back, I think most high school girls gave their pies to the same things that I did. I would come home from school with a frown some days and I know my mom was thinking "Julia gave her energy pie to all the wrong things today". It continued into more serious issues like money, jobs, time management, college, finding out who I was... Still I gave my energy to these things that I thought mattered or, rather, the things I couldn't do much about.

I didn't take this whole "pie" thing seriously until about a year ago when I realized that all these amazing people in my life knew just where to give their pieces. I also saw those who threw their's in the garbage right when they woke up in the morning. I saw how my energy as well as other's energy influenced everything around them. Of course, everyone is different and wants to give their energy to different things, but that's half the journey. It takes practice to find balance. I don't think we ever stop learning and adapting. Life changes just as we do.

So what happens when our days don't go as planned and negativity comes lurking around every corner? What do we do when life starts to feel like a job and our pie is being given out to all the wrong people and all the wrong things? When rough circumstances start smashing into us like bricks and we have no choice but to pay attention to them, how do we portion our pie so we can get through the day without scraping the bottom of the pan?

Our energy pie is precious. Our pie shows us what is really important in life. It shows us exactly what we are passionate about and where our vigor for life is. Sure, we won't always have enough pie for the day, pumpkin or otherwise. There will be days when we run out and may have given it to the wrong things. Just remember you wake up with a fresh one every single morning. A fresh start. A new day. An opportunity to spread light and goodness wherever you go.

Go and give your energy pie to the best and most beautiful things in your life.

A special thank you to my beautiful momma and Sharli for being true inspirations in my life. I am beyond grateful to have souls like you to look up to.

With lots of love,