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It Sounds Like A Story To Tell It

If you knew our Mom, you would know that she was fiercely dedicated to making everything even. Growing up, our tradition was that when one of us had a birthday, the other one got a ‘little something’ too. Mom always made sure that we felt special, even when it wasn’t our day.

So it would perhaps come as no surprise that when my sister recently attended a breast cancer fundraiser, that she might win something because she put her raffle tickets into many buckets in the hopes of winning. But when she put her ticket in for number 92, without telling anyone, she said a little prayer and asked our Mom to let me (her sister) win something as I’ve had some health issues. My sister thought this basket looked like it belonged to me as it looked like our Mom. She scattered her other tickets in different baskets, including 95 as she’d always wanted a kindle…

As the gift basket tickets were being called, she was unaware that she won number 92. When her friend pointed out that she had the winning ticket, she went up to claim it and was startled to see that it was the exact basket she had asked our Mom to give to me. A few minutes later when 95 was called and it was her ticket that won, she began to cry and explained to her friend the story.

It was my sister’s birthday the other day. Hence the gifts, equally won, from our Mom to her girls. Even as I write this story to you, I know I am not giving it the justice it deserves because it’s so much more than just winning two baskets. It’s not even about the wins. It’s about the big picture in so many different ways.

It’s about my sister feeling our Mom heard her prayer. It’s about Mom showing that she’s listening. It’s about my sister thinking about me too when she’s at a fundraiser. It’s about the sharing of so many memories together that has so powerfully bonded us in times of strife. It’s about the tradition of giving, even when it’s not your birthday. It’s about inclusion, sisterhood, love and camaraderie. It’s about knowing that nobody else in the world has the childhood memories that we have, nor the silly stories, nor the experiences we’ve been through as we’ve traversed the adult journey into losing our loved ones.

It’s about believing that the veil is thin to the other side. It’s about everlasting, unconditional love which our Mom taught us. It’s about sharing. It’s about gratitude. It’s about kindness. It’s about so much more than I could ever have explained in a post.

So when we went out to lunch, after she shared the baskets with me and we opened them, each of us donned a necklace and smiling the whole afternoon, we enjoyed our time together as we do. As we waited for our table for lunch, we ducked into a small store and found a vase and flower to decorate our lunch table with Mom in mind.

A simple, yet elegant, white dahlia just like Mom. What a beautiful reminder of where we came from and how we’ve grown. Thanks for reading…

Shine On!

xo

Reason, Season and a Lifetime

A teacher is a candle who spends their whole life giving light to all of their students.

I never knew there was a World Teacher Day until I saw it on my calendar, so here I am. Because as a retired Spanish teacher, and a blogger who uses – SHINE ON – to end her posts, well, it was only fitting for me to write today.

Perhaps though I’ll go in a bit of a different direction. Because I think that the world is our classroom and all of her inhabitants are our teachers. Each relationship we have teaches us something else. We learn much from the people in our lives. That poem about reason, season or lifetime seems fitting at this juncture. We are blessed to learn something from each relationship we are in. I found this poem by Brian A. Chalker which I think explains it very well. Read on…

Reason, Season and a Lifetime


People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason, you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway), and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life…..

My heartfelt gratitude to all of you with whom I have been in contact, had a relationship, and learned from as my teachers. You have shaped my life in amazing ways and I am truly grateful for all of you.

Shine On!

xo

Spinner Blessed My Sunday

Hi! I’m Spinner!

Good morning and Happy Sunday! I’m excited to introduce you to my date this morning. This 28 year old bay named Spinner was my companion on my early horseback riding lesson today. It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden, so it was back to basics for me and Oh, how good it felt!

I was told that Spinner’s a bit of a grumpy old man so we fit together perfectly because I’ve got a soft spot for those and apparently he had a soft spot for a heart-monitor wearing open heart surgery survivor who’s trying to get back in the saddle slowly after a few years of being away…What a win win for me!

I have to tell you, I had butterflies this morning. It’s been a few years since I’d been back to the farm. But the smell of hay and horse felt like nostalgia to me and although a bit nervous, I was calm. Because it felt grounding and centering as horse healing does. I’d forgotten what magnificent creatures horses are and especially I’d forgotten how BIG! I couldn’t even brush the top of his back because I’m too short, but we did the best we could. He was pretty patient with me, only showing his grumpy side a few times and more to my teacher May, than to me. I think he instinctively knew I needed kid gloves today especially. They’re so intuitive! Who could blame him though because I’d interrupted his relaxing morning with a lesson?! Big smile..

It’s interesting to me because in my head, it’s all so natural to ride and yet, when I’m there, in reality, I’m nervous which is why I keep coming back to riding. Because I want my imagination and reality to merge, to blend, so that I am riding with more ease. Of course, I’m always looking to soak up that horse healing energy!

I’m so much more aware of my body when I’m on a horse. Aren’t you? That was another one of those revelations as May led us around the outdoor arena. I’d forgotten what it’s like to ride, to sit up tall, to hold the reins, butt in the saddle and feet angled in the stirrups (heels down). To be so high up off the ground is surprising too! (Maybe that’s a short girl thing?)

We worked on steering (not sure if that’s the right vocabulary word?) while in the outdoor ring. It’s been awhile so I was a little rusty. I remembered how to hold the reins, but the nuances were buried. They’re getting unearthed now though! After awhile, May took us on a riding tour of the farm which was awesome too. To be relaxed, on horseback, seeing the ponds, the deer, the other horses, the barns, the trails, to be outdoors on a cool day…just magical. Truly. Magical.

So, Happy Sunday everyone…mine started out beautifully and I had to share with you because, well, we have to count these small moments of triumph even if they don’t last long. They deserve to be heralded a little bit because they count.

We all count…Thanks to May and Sasha for their infinite patience with me as this next chapter unfolds. You’ve heard horses are healing, but to experience that healing is beyond words…I feel a lil’ teary as I write this (sorry for the long post), but I’m feeling very grateful and very blessed.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday too…

Shine On!

xo

Emergence

I want to introduce you to my dear friend Iris, by way of her blog which you can find here! While she’s not on WordPress like the rest of us, she’s got amazing insight to share and her post today had me immediately writing one to present her to you because I feel many of you will resonate with her messages.

The post I am referring to is titled On Loss, but after 9/11, perhaps it’s fitting that it should be now. (Fitting, the southern term – my Mom or her family must be around!) – because you know the veil is currently thin with the full moon in Pisces and six planets in retrograde etc. But alas, I get off subject…

What came to me after reading Iris’ post was: a deep harkening to the soul…be present it whispers…be grateful…take the time to listen, to hold sacred which is just what I’m planning to do today.

Many of us have suffered losses. I have many loved ones who have passed away and their love stays with me in the deepest part of my soul. Tucked away like a small reminder of what once was. A treasured memory now almost dusty, but still warmed by my soul’s affection for and with them.

Iris has another website as well so you can really get to know her which is thelightanddarkofday.com As someone who has benefited from her gifts, I can heartily recommend booking a session with her as she is warm, inviting and full of inner wisdom which radiates within us. Please tell her I sent you if you should decide to reach out to her. She can let you know what session would best benefit you. She’s been a dear friend to me, as well as an insightful companion and mentor. Her understanding of our world and its creatures as well as the humanity and heart of all that beats within is incredible. You will find yourself grateful for the gift of Iris as I do.

Shine On!

xo

Sunday Blessings

The Presents of Presence-6

Happy Sunday!  I hope your day was filled with love, peace and goodness!  I stopped by a local farmer’s stand today and purchased the flowers above.  Does anyone know what type they are?  Are they zinnias?  The pot contains light pink, dark pink and orange blooms which just looked so perky to me that I had to get them.  The best part?  They love full sun which is key for me and they were on sale!!  Don’t you love to help out the local Mom and Pop stores and get to bring home a pot of sunshine to your home?

Well, at least that’s how I feel!  But that wasn’t the only blessing I enjoyed today.  I braved going to the grocery store to pick up a few items and while I was there, I observed a man, probably in his early thirties, staring blankly at the feminine products on the shelf.  So I approached him because he looked befuddled.

“Do you need any help?” I asked as I walked up to him.

“Yes, please.  I need to buy unscented, heavy pads with no wings.”  He pointed to the array of products on the shelving, “But I am not sure what is what.  Can you help?”

“Of course,” I answered him and we began looking to find what he needed.

“My wife sent me.”

I smiled and told him what a good husband he was to go to the store for her.

“We found out she was pregnant on Friday at the doctor’s office, but now she’s bleeding.”  He looked at me with a forlorn look and I just wanted to reach out to hug him.

“Have you called the doctor?” I cautiously asked.

“Yes, but she can’t see him until tomorrow.  It’s our first and we’re a bit scared that she’s already losing the baby.  I mean, we’re not sure, but…”  His voice trailed off.

“Well, then let’s get these pads for her now so you can get home to be with her,” I answered and found exactly what he needed.  I took the package off the shelf and handed it to him.

“Here you go.”

“Thank you.  You are my angel.  I couldn’t find the pads that fit her description.”

“I’m glad to help.  I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through and I hope that all is ok for you both.  I will keep you in my prayers.”

“Would you really?” he asked as his eyes looked a bit teary.

“Yes I will.  I’d be happy to do whatever I can to help.  I wish you both all the best.”

“Thank you.  You were really nice.  I needed that today,” he said as. he looked straight at me.

“You know what?  So did I.”

As he turned to leave, I thought of the Sunday blessing we’d just had because two strangers bonded for a moment in a grocery store.  Life is full of little opportunities that drop in unexpectedly and we never quite know how a momentary kindness can help someone else.

So that’s why I called the post, Sunday Blessings because he made me feel good to help him and to add someone else to my prayer list.

Shine On!

xo

Angels Walk Among Us

Throughout my lifetime, I have been blessed. I know this and I don’t take it for granted. In fact, I want to celebrate it so that you can see it in your lives too! Because when we see with a grateful heart, we understand that we are never alone. God sends us angels in all different forms to help us along the way. Strangers who become friends. People who go out of their way for others whom they don’t know. Information and synchronicities that come out of nowhere that are the key to unlocking certain situations. Wisdom that’s shared simply because it will help someone else. Do you see what I mean?

These human angels walk among us. Have you ever wondered how you got the right person on the phone when you were trying to fix something? Or noticed a stranger in line at the grocery store doing something so kind and it makes your day? Have you ever been nudged to reach out to someone to help them? Why, that’s God’s way of expanding his angelic kindness through us!

If you’re not a believer in God, but perhaps in Mother Nature’s infinite wisdom or the Universal Laws or something else, I feel as if it is all similar when we connect with kindness with others. Can you feel it?

Since the start of this next chapter with my heart, I have met so many angels along the way that it’s been amazing. The Divine Timing of our meet cutes has been extraordinary. But I know (big inner smile) that there’s a soul plan here at work. It’s not by chance most likely. It’s got more of an angelic feel to it and I am relishing in all of it.

For when we are grateful, when we acknowledge the blessings, we open our hearts/minds/souls to more of the same. When we receive with grace, we can also give out and flow with the loving energies that are so healing.

Not just now, but throughout my life, angelic humans have made their presence known to me, helping me when needed in extraordinary ways. My sister and I have had many of these experiences and we are so grateful to continue to have them. We marvel at each encounter which solidifies our thinking.

So I hope that if you are nudged to get out of your comfort zone to connect with someone else that you will not hesitate. Sometimes we are the catalyst for joyfully changing someone else’s life and that’s the best feeling ever! For those of you, who like me, have been the recipient, let’s continue to pass it along, spreading kindness and love with each personal encounter.

Our world aches to grow in love so let’s feed it! Keep shining your heartlights for we can see them!

Shine On!

xo

Heart and Soul

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know I have written about the many life experiences I’ve had in order to connect with others. Making connections and helping others has always been the key to my writings. Well, that and talking about heartlights shining which at this point, I find even more curious since my heartlight is due for a shiny upgrade.

Being a breast cancer survivor, (now at the 20 year mark!), I thought that it would be smooth sailing from here on out. Apparently, my soul had signed up for a few more life experiences at earth school that I wasn’t aware I needed. So here I am, asking for your help, your prayers and your good thoughts, because open heart surgery is next on my schedule.

I know, shocking, right? It was to me, too. My entire life I’d known I had a heart murmur, low blood pressure and I would describe myself as a fainter (not often, but enough to not surprise myself that I faint at the sight of a needle etc.). It was my normal. However, it wasn’t normal. It was due to a genetically deformed aortic valve that I was born with – a bicuspid instead of a tricuspid valve that received more damage over the years by chemotherapy, radiation – and needs to be replaced now.

I’m not your typical heart patient. There are a multitude of complications to navigate for the cardiologists and luckily, they are prepping their strategies with the help from my previous doctors for hopefully the best outcome – a renewed heart.

So there it is – my latest news. I’ll admit that as the date gets closer, I get a bit more nervous. I’ve danced with the ‘what if I don’t make it’ through the surgery. I’ve battled the ‘I don’t want to have the surgery’ and I’ll take my chances. I’ve curled up in a ball and cried myself to sleep, feeling sorry for myself. I’ve had every emotion imaginable and ended up here.

Interestingly, here is where I am processing the letting go of fear. There’s something amazingly freeing at this point in my life to know that there’s a chance I will not make it through the surgery. It makes the last few days before it more meaningful, more urgent to share the truth of how I feel, most important to tell those whom I love and appreciate, how much they mean to me. I have nothing to lose.

Whether or not I make it through, I love that I am unafraid to speak my truth, finally…interestingly how the soul knows and I do not question life school anymore. I wanted to share this with you because you have all been on this blog journey with me over the years and I have appreciated your loving support, your help and your friendship. My life has been richer because of our connections. You have my sincerest love and gratitude for being you!

Keep shining your heartlights! I’ll be looking for them!

Shine On!

xo

Heart Of The Matter

Those ‘a-ha’ moments are fascinating when we realize the breadth and scope of the bigger picture, don’t you think? In the moment perhaps we are stunned by realizations, but afterwards, a few steps beyond the initial shock, we realize what we’ve known all along and chosen not to see. I often wonder if it is the heart or the mind which blocks the inner knowing until we are able to understand fully. Either way, I am now grateful.

The heart of the matter came unexpectedly as those types of realizations often do. Searching for answers, for reasons, the path became clear almost immediately when the realization was freed from prior naiveté. What I believed was normal for me was not at all. Believing that it was all in the brain was proven to be incorrect. It is in the heart, the soul’s residence, from which our heartlights emerge. It came as a huge surprise to me even though others did not have the same reaction. Perhaps it is in how I love that could be different, that makes no sense to those who find my thinking nonsensical, my forgiveness extraordinary and my silence merciful. But I am none of those as typified by normality. I’m an empath who has emerged from her cocoon without fear.

I imagine, after all is complete, I will emerge as a healed Phoenix from the ashes, ready to soar to the heavens with grace, strength and wisdom from the experience. There are so many cliches I want to input – my heart will go on – but it’s true. I am hoping I will go on as well and not leave this earthly plane before my allotted time. There is still much to do for me here.

Shine On!

xo

Celebrating Twenty Years

Flowers from CAngel

I am feeling so blessed today, more than usual, as I celebrate this special milestone in my life. I wanted to share it with you, my friends, since you have been with me for many years. Twenty years ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and, as you can imagine, I was devastated. My life turned upside down and I will admit, there have been many ups and downs over the last two decades. But I am still here and cancer free today.

I have learned so much over these past twenty years and I have so many loved ones, family and friends, doctors, nurses, lab techs, and even strangers to thank for helping me along the way. It took a village to get me to where I am and I am ever grateful to all of the angelic people who each made a positive difference in my life.

With a grateful heart, I have been blessed with this milestone. I learned so much from having breast cancer that I consider it a gift, for even though it took a lot from me, the life lessons I learned from it are priceless. Hence the name of my blog, The Presents of Presence.

For in being present with what is and what was, I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew I could be. I found inner strength and joy in the simplest moments which might have passed me by, if I didn’t learn to take each day as it comes. The color of a sunset, the warmth of a summer breeze, the amazing gifts from Mother Nature and the new beginning each dawn brings. Learning that life is short and love is the legacy I wish to leave behind when it is my turn to transition.

I learned that people may come and go, but I remain grateful for the good memories. I learned about forgiveness. I learned about healing, physical, mental, emotional, and how the body, mind, and soul work in conjunction. I discovered a deeper sense of spirituality, divinity, and the cultivating of inner peace.

I bonded with others who had cancer and found an incredible connection in helping them. I also lost a few friends I made through their untimely passing from the cancer we were fighting together. They inspired me to keep going even when they could no longer. I found a calling in helping others.

My rituals have evolved over the years to include prayers, quiet moments, a gratitude journal, and increasing my intuition and all of the precious gifts that I was too busy to explore. I have found me over the years, authentic me, the one with whom I am at peace.

I have scars from the many, many surgeries I have endured. I have health issues resulting from what I experienced and I am still checked often to make sure that the cancer remains at bay. Up until now, those check ups, twinges, strange lumps, etc. could put me into anxiety wondering if this were a dreaded reoccurrence come to pass. Perhaps now at twenty years, I will be able to ease that part of me, knowing that I have had this time to continue to heal myself.

The light of love never dims. Our heart lights shine on always and so tonight, as I raise a glass of champagne with my sons over dinner at home, I thank you all from my heart for your kindness, your support and your love. You are a blessing to me and I am so grateful for all of you.

Shine On!

xo

Christmas Will Never Be The Same Again

I realized today that Christmas will never be the same again after our new addition. Our house and all of its Christmas decorations are not in the same places anymore. As you can see above, the furry Christmas tree skirt continues to be askew because Buster loves to snuggle on it. So he does and I’m ok with it.

My sons and I are sitting and relaxing in the family room together while the puppy is in what we refer to as his corral (playpen) nearby. He’s relaxing after having gone outside for yet another romp in the grass, picking up sticks and leaves and carrying them around before we have to open his mouth to make sure he doesn’t choke. It’s like having a baby again, except this one eats things off the ground! LOL

This has been a long year, hasn’t it? Filled with many challenges, but on this day, I am feeling grateful that we are all still here, still healthy and happy. I hope that you are all doing well too. I was late designing the Christmas cards this year, so they are more like New Year’s cards, if in fact they arrive before the new year begins. A little nudge had me hesitant to choose a family photo for the card because I kept feeling as if a puppy were in our future, he’d arrive in time for his Christmas card debut. I am grateful to report that he did!

A golden retriever was not the breed we originally planned to get; as a black Labrador, like the one I had growing up, was our intent. Well, at first it was a husky which my older son had been begging to get for years, but even though I adore huskies too, I have heard they need a lot of exercise and we are not in the position for that at this time. So when we saw this little puppy locked eyes with us, touching our souls and letting us know that he was our new baby, there were no questions. I believe that we connect with our animals and bond through the love. They come to us when we are open and able to embrace what is meant to be.

I will tell you that occasionally I wonder what I was thinking as puppy training is a challenge at the moment. So if you have any tips and tricks, I’m listening and ready to learn!

Shine On!

xo