Tag Archive | life

I Love Snow!

ilovesnow

It’s snowing here and in my excitement, even though I didn’t have to get up early, I was up early.  Silly I know for me to not sleep in, because going out today is not a viable option, but the child-like wonder in watching snow fall has never left me.  So here I sit, coffee in hand and snuggled under a blanket in our warm home, watching the snow fall outside in what is being called a blizzard.  Ah, the benefits of being a Jersey Girl!

Especially when snow is falling at night, I am entranced by the wonder of each individual snowflake being unique, much like human beings.  Collectively they fall from the sky to pile up together, nestled on the ground, and then blown by the winds to be swept up again into drifts.

I love snow like I love people – I love their uniqueness, their quirky ways and their ability to bond together to form a cohesive snowball!  LOL  I know I’m being silly here, but I can’t help it.  I’m giddy today.  I just can’t help myself from smiling.  I don’t even care that it will take me a long time and much effort to clear a path, clean off our cars and get out after the storm has ceased.  But for now, the winds are blowing, the snow is falling and since we have no place to go – so as the song goes – Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I am feeling innately sated today and I’m counting my blessings.  We have homemade chicken soup all ready for lunch (and maybe even dinner?) if the mood suits us.  Plenty of snacks and some movies to enjoy watching together.  There’s no school and no work to attend today so we will just enjoy being together, safe and sound, watching the outside world be covered in a mantle of white lace.

Life is good friends.  Shine your heartlights.

Shine On!

xo

 

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Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

Tapestry of You

tapestry

**Photo saved from Pinterest @owlhunt.com

We are layered beings, full of textures, emotions, experiences and hues that span the rainbow.  At any given moment, we are not just black and white, but every color in between as life swirls through us.

We are musical too – sometimes at an allegro speed, we pulse through the chords of life, rushing, fleeing, jumping through hoops enthusiastically.  At others, we are legato, smoothly playing without interruption, calm and happy.  Or at others, we are lento, slowly moving through life.

Our heartlights shine on throughout our life journey – blinking rhythmically in tandem with our musicality and hues, sometimes pulsing urgently like a beacon in need of help, at others, simply dimmed when we are weakened and sad.  But still, always, the effervescent heartlight remains glowing deep within us in a mass of light and love.

Humanity flows through us as we connect soul to soul with others.  Shedding the superficiality and growing deeply within us and filling the chasm that disappointments often rift in our minds.  We become more loving towards others and ourselves.  We rebuild the broken pieces of our lives with gold as the Japanese do when they  practice Kintsugi.  I find it a beautiful, healing notion of how to culminate our life experiences as we continually strive to live on Earth and recognize our divinity – our soul beauty!

Translated to “golden joinery,” Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”) is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic ware, giving a unique appearance to the piece.

This repair method celebrates each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with new life.

It’s the Tapestry of You, unique and beautiful you which I celebrate and salute today.  Please join me in celebrating each of our golden souls each and every day!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  My heartfelt gratitude to Joanna from whom I was inspired to write this post today. Please visit Joanna’s post here – The Patchwork Soul.

 

Dr. Proust Questionnaire – Join The Wave!

proust-questionnaire

This is all David Kanigan’s fault.  You know David, don’t you? Over at Live and Learn?  Well, if not, click right over there because when I read all the questions that he answered, I felt like I wanted to do the same.  Oh boy, it’s like one of those chain letters.  Remember those?  You liked the idea of getting them at first and then when you had to sit down to do them, it was harder than it seemed!  Well, this isn’t mandatory, but I will say, it sure was fun – fun to read other’s answers and to get to know them.  Then, I found it was insightful when it was my turn to sit down to answer the questionnaire myself.

So feel free to hop on the bandwagon and copy/paste/link.  David refers to it as being a part of the wave in a stadium – at least that’s how he got me to post it.  LOL  But please let me know if you join the wave because I’ll definitely want to stop over to see your answers!

  1. What is your current state of mind? Contemplative
  2. What is your favorite journey? To the beach.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Having my sons with me, no matter where we are, but home is perfect and Christmas morning is my favorite!
  4. What is your greatest fear? Death of loved ones. 
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? Every emotion shows on my face.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Unworthiness.
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.
  8. What is your greatest extravagance? Horseback riding lessons.
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Orderliness.
  10. On what occasion do you lie? When I’m talking with loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
  11. Dislike most about your appearance? Wish I were thinner, less wrinkles.
  12. Which living person do you most despise? Despise, no one.  Dislike sometimes, yes.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I’m sorry.
  14. What is your greatest regret? Being a ‘good girl’ instead of doing what I wanted.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My sons.
  16. When and where were you happiest? Jr. year abroad – Spain
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? Healer.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be healthy.
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Nothing.
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  My two sons.
  21. What is your most treasured possession? Our cats, if they can be called possessions.
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The hopeless.
  23. Where would you like to live? Not sure yet. Would like to try a few different places: a farm, on an island beach, Europe again. 
  24. What is your favorite occupation? Teacher.
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? Kind, loving and honest. – whoops, that’s three.  Sorry, I can’t choose just one.
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Grace.
  27. What do you most value in your friends? Truth.
  28. Who are your favorite writers? Too many to list – Kaitlin O’Riley, Jodi Picoult, etc.
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Scarlett O’Hara
  30. What is it that you most dislike? Liars.
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? People who have overcome the odds, no matter how big or small.  The ones who listen, who share, who accept and love with their whole hearts.
  32. How would you like to die? Fall asleep in my home, preferably in my favorite chair, reading a good  book.
  33. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? A cat.
  34. What is your motto? Find The Presents of Presence.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)

Thank you David!  I loved the questionnaire.  I’m always learning something over at your blog!  I hope others join the wave!  If not, then at least I got to know you better. 🙂

Shine On!

xo

When We See Our Lives As Elastic

whenweseeourlivesaselastic

I imagine our lives as elastic bands, stretching us to our limits at times, only to return to our original shapes.  Elastic bands can stretch longer than we can imagine upon first looking at them.  As humans, we can do the same.  We can endure hardships, and experiences that make us grow, but we return to our original shape with the knowledge of what we’ve learned.  Of course, one could remind me that when stretched beyond limitation, elastic bands snap and break as can happen with the human psyche.  That’s true.

So what’s my point?  You know what it is!

Stretch out beyond your comfort zone today.  Just a wee bit if you can’t do more than that!  Expand your horizons, try a different food, smile at a stranger, pass along a kindness, pick up litter, write a note to a friend, stop at a local market, take the long way home to see the scenery, take a walk, read a book – do something out of the ordinary today that makes you feel good!  Bring happiness to your life by doing something different!

Stretch your mind today!  Stretch your body!  Stretch the elasticity in your life!  Let’s see what happens when we get out of our comfort zones a bit!

Shine On!

xo

Compliments of the Daily Post!

 

It’s Just The Circle Of Life

itsjustthecircleoflife

I don’t mean any disrespect when I write – It’s just the circle of life.  It’s more of a factual statement than one which diminishes the emotion of birth to death.  As humans, we have experienced our own birth and someday we will experience our own death.  We may even experience by proxy, the death of friends, family and loved ones.  As women, we may even experience the gift of giving birth.

As a breast cancer survivor, I have experienced the thought of death as well.  Perhaps it’s not just those of us with illnesses that know the darkness that shrouds the fear at death’s door.  But it becomes a rite of passage when we are diagnosed with a disease which is a known killer.  It’s how we deal with that threat that the disease can take our lives which varies, person to person.

There’s no right way to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis and each of us who have heard those words, ‘you have cancer’ can attest to the fact that our lives completely change in a moment.  Forevermore we live with the threat that it won’t be cured or that it will return with a vengeance.  We fear the cancer, the treatment and the cloud that perpetually hangs back, in our peripheral view for the rest of our lives.  We mourn the loss of good health that we once had.  We crumble in the dark late at night fearing the worst, yet hoping for the best, making promises to the Universe or to God with pleas for strength, for one more day, for a cure, for peace.

We endure pain in order to be cured, yet the psyche many times does not ever find peace again to heal our spiritual self.  I have seen people who have become broken shells of their former selves after a diagnosis, never to fully regain the momentum of life afterwards for the fear of the cancer returning never leaves us.  Even if we put it in the back of our minds or try to totally erase it from our view, its specter awaits, lurking for the next lump’s arrival, the next battery of tests that are not within normal range, the next procedure to investigate some abnormality in the body.  It doesn’t really ever end.

I am coming up on 16 years since I was diagnosed and I can attest that it never ends.  Sure, we can go on merrily with our lives, hoping our happy-go-lucky charade continues to not provoke questions from others as to our health status.  We can cry at night when things aren’t good, but nobody understands this unless you have endured it.  We can be strong when needed and mask our fears to the masses.  After awhile, we even believe ourselves until something happens to knock us off-kilter and wham, we are back again in the throes of fear and wondering if the circle of life is at its end.

I understand dear friends.  I truly do.  Even the word remission is not a peaceful feeling as it only masks the tingling sensation of peace for the moment and the trembling fear of if/when the other shoe will drop again.

I don’t know why I am writing this post today.  It seems to be flowing out of me at a supersonic speed.  My fingers type so quickly and yet I am not sure if I am even making sense.  I’ve had many scares over the years.  Tumor markers which are higher than normal, lumps that have to be biopsied, scary tests to endure all while knowing that could be in store.  Crying in the night or during the day when nobody’s home.  Feeling the whoosh of relief when the doctor proclaims it’s ok for now.  Reliving the nightmares of past experiences knowing I’m on my own.  It’s hard, but we can live through the experience and keep going.  That’s the common denominator really.  Keep waking up to a new day.  Nightfall is hardest I know – that dead of night overwhelming feeling which is only diminished by sleep.  And the realization as dawn comes that we must face the reality in our situation.  I’m here for you.  I have been there and I feel blessed that I am still here to walk with you when you need a friend.

The circle of life begins and ends in a momentous way – birth and death – bringing the light of our souls into the world and then allowing the extinguishing of our soul light to be free.

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  I’m fine, so no worries.  I don’t know why this post wrote itself today, but it did. xo

 

via Daily Prompt: Circle

Universal Crumbs

universalcrumbs

Sometimes I think the Universe drops crumbs in order to help us through this lifetime.  Lately, much synchronicity has occurred in my life.  When I viewed the events as separate, there was no obvious correlation.   But when I strung them together in the path of my life in the last few days, they fit together like perfect puzzle pieces!

It’s a wonderful feeling to know that all we need to do is to be wide awake and aware of our days and nights.  To notice is to put together the puzzle pieces and watch as our lives unfold with support, positivity and love from God and the Universe.

Notice what happens all around you!  You think of someone and poof! they call you!  You go out of your routine and poof! you find out you missed an accident!  You know what I mean, don’t you?  The Universe simply drops breadcrumbs of experiences into your path to help you along the way.  It brings to mind the Law of Attraction at work!

There are many examples that illustrate the bread crumbs that we pick up to fortify ourselves along the path of our lifetimes.  For example, yesterday I had to pick up shampoo for the children, so instead of going to the grocery store, I stopped at Rite Aid.  While walking around, I saw a display for some new nail polish for Fall.  While it’s not my usual shade (I wear pink/red/wine), this one caught my eye.  It’s Essie Brand – name is As If!  Anyway, it’s a shade of blue that just made me happy, so I bought it!  As I was painting my nails last night, I watched a movie called The Last Keepers which you can watch for free with Amazon Prime (click here!)   I loved the fact that the characters’ story began in Fall with a celebration of the Autumn Solstice.  Watching the movie reminded me of a book I put down awhile ago that I was aching to pick up when I felt moved to read again and voila!  Last night before bed, I knew that I would be reading another chapter today – which I did!  Here’s the link to the book in case you are interested.

After reading the book this morning over coffee, I was thinking about a blogger friend of mine who would like the book.  Poof!  Out of the blue (pun intended), she called me and we were able to talk about it!  One thing led to another and we caught up on our lives and even had a little healing moment between us.  It was fabulous!  It even led to a mutual friend of ours getting a much needed message that helped her as well!

So what’s my point?  When I string together all the coincidences, I get a tapestry of life that leads me in the right direction.  Has this ever happened to you?

Do you want to share a few of yours?  Please do!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Crumb