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And Still I Celebrate – Wishes Fulfilled

And Still I Celebrate – Wishes Fulfilled

And so we celebrate the ups and downs, and twists and turns. The wishes fulfilled and the ones on the way. We celebrate the bad times because they prepare us for the good.  And through it all, I hope you dance in the sunlight.

I look back on the this year and I celebrate my losses and gains. The beginning of April, I lost my job and thought it was the worst thing that could happen at the moment. I had been working temp for three years and was finally getting hired permanent. I was getting the raise and benefits, I needed, and would be able to work flexible hours. I had filled out all the paperwork and took the drug test and was confident everything would work out. Then, I got an email saying I failed the drug test. How could this be? I had never taken an illegal drug in my life and the only meds I was on was allergy medicine; I did disclose this on the form. So, instead of celebrating my new “security” of having a permanent job, benefits, and amazing pay, I was packing up my desk and turning in my badge. For weeks, I wondered what happened and how could it all go wrong.  How could something I worked and planned so hard for just fall apart? How could I fix it?

I took my daughter out of daycare and became a full-time stay-at-home mom. I began to enjoy not getting up early, being stuck in traffic for up to three hours a day, and being stuck sitting in a cubicle for eight hours. Instead, I spent hours outside playing in the grass with my daughter.  We blew bubbles, went on great adventures, in the backyard, and had picnics under the trees. We went to museums, parks, and took multiple trips.  She was able to experience her first international trip and visit family she had never met. 

Yes, I did worry about money and how I would survive being and stay-at-home mom. I was so used to working and providing for her, and the thought of not having a steady paycheck scared me. But, I decided to put myself and her first. To go against everything I was thought was security and live in the moment. I decided to take a leap into the unknown, and you know what, it all worked out. 

As the days went by, I started realizing my dreams, the ones I really desired, were coming true. I wanted to take my daughter out of daycare and spend more time with her. I want to watch her grow up and enjoy her childhood. I wanted to not be stuck in traffic, three hours a day, and now, I was home waking up when I wanted.  I wished to travel more, and we were blessed to go on four vacations and my daughter got her first stamp on her passport.

For so long, I was concentrating on the things I thought I would be missing by not having a job,  I couldn’t see all the beautiful things I gained – time, love, peace, family, and life. I couldn’t see my wishes being granted. No, it hasn’t been perfect.  I’ve had breakdowns, doubts, and wished for things to be different, because of fear.  But, through it all, I learned to dance and celebrate the things I have, the bad times, and the good. I’ve learned to not be so caught up on how we want our wishes to manifest, because it may not be the pretty picture we’ve envisioned. It may involve losing everything you thought mattered to realize you’ve gained what’s really important. You may cry, scream, ask why, and doubt everything you’ve done, but in the stillness and loneliness, you will realize, it’s all a part of gaining everything you wished for. And while you wait for your wishes to manifest, I hope you dance, because it is when we dance and celebrate, we celebrate all we have now, and welcome all that is to come.

Facing My Shadow

This year is all about change and doing shadow work.  From being unemployed, becoming  a stay-at-home mom, and pursuing my love of art, my world is totally different from anything I could have imagined.  Even with all the new things happening, the biggest change I am embracing is facing my shadow side. 

When most people think of shadows, they think of danger, the unknown lurking in the dark, or fear and this is all true of shadows.  Then there’s the beautiful side of shadows.  The side that makes you face your life, self, beliefs, and fears to really uncover who you really are.  The side that makes you question everything you’ve been taught, makes your world crumble, and builds you back up.  The side we really don’t want to face,  but eventually, the Universe finds a way to slap us in the face with it. 

So, yeah… for the past months, I have been facing my shadow side and realizing who I am and what I really want in this life.  It has not always been easy.  I’ve cried many times.  I’ve broken down at times when I thought I was strong.  I’ve stood up when I thought I was weak.  I’m question every belief I hold to understand if these are really mine or have I taken on the identity of those around me.  Have I let others influence me to the point that I’ve become a clone of them?  Have I held on to fears because of how I was raised (ie.. religious upbringing, living in the south, or family guilt) and never really questioned how this applies to my life and who I am?   Are my current beliefs about my self and worth based on past relationships or lack of relationship with people who I thought I loved or thought should have loved me?  Am I scared to go after my dreams because of how many time I’ve perceived I’ve failed in the past?  Am I afraid to fall in love with my Self and be happy because others may see it as selfish?  Can I fully express who I am and live my truth without feeling I am letting down my family?  All these questions and so many more have come up in the journey of self love and living fearlessly in my truth.

As I move through the shadows and face my fears, I realize I have let the words, beliefs, and wants of others influence me than my own.  I realize, in not standing up for myself and speaking my truth, I have not lived MY life.  Now, as I embark on this unknown road ahead, I am being more selfish, outspoken, loving to myself, and embracing my truth.  

I encourage everyone to embrace their shadow side and really ask yourself, who are you living for, what are your true beliefs, and desires.  Face those questions that have held you in fear and embrace your true Self. 

 

 

 

Happy New Day!!

While many people are celebrating the new year, I am celebrating a new day.   A new day to work on making all my dreams, wishes, and desires come true.

Why spend months or days waiting for a new year to come to start working on your dreams?

Every day, you wake up, is an opportunity to start new and  make changes that will impact your life, for the better.  So in reality, every day is your “new year”.

Take this opportunity to treat yourself kinder, love yourself more, and get to know who you really are.  Remember the things you love to do and do them.  Each day, do something that makes you happy.  This could be listening to your favorite song, watching your favorite show, talking a picture, a long walk, or treating yourself to a wonderful dessert.

Also, learn to say “NO” more.  No to spending time with people who drain your energy.  No to lending money to irresponsible people.  No to putting other’s needs before your own.  In return, you will be saying “YES” to you.  Yes to the things you like, the life you want, and the people you love.  Yes to building the relationships you value.  Yes to creating the life that makes you feel safe, secure, and comfortable.  Yes to YOU!

So, HAPPY NEW DAY!  I look forward to spending more new days with you.

 

 

Reclaim Your Voice

It’s great to have friends, mentors, and people you can depend on.  It’s good to have someone to talk to, bounce ideas back and forth, or just converse with from time to time. That is the beauty of have wonderful people in your life.

One of the draw backs is you may start to lose your voice.  You start taking their advice so much that you no longer trust your instincts – your inner voice.  You start to repeat the things they say, act the same as them, and, in some cases, start to look like them. All of your ideas are what others told you they should be, and you no longer question what they say.  Even when having conversations with others, outside your circle, you find yourself repeating their ideas instead of your own.

It’s time to reclaim your voice.  Time to trust your intuition and ideas.  Time to be you.  This may take distancing yourself from these people, retreating into your safe place, and taking a deep look at what or who you have become and who you want to be.  Yes, I know it’s hard. I have been there before and it’s easy to let someone else make decisions for your life instead of voicing your opinion and following your instincts. But, it is so much more freeing and exciting to follow your inner voice and make your own decisions. It feels wonderful to know that you can make the right choices or wrong choice and still be you.  You don’t have to be a clone of your friends and mentors. Everything you need is inside you and once your realize it a whole new world awaits you. Own your life, own your decisions, and reclaim your voice.

Follow the Leader

Stop it!  Stop letting others lead you to a place where you don’t want to be.  Whether it is a lover, family, friend, or boss.   Stop letting people make decisions for your life.  If you don’t want to do something, DON’T DO IT.  If you would rather spend the weekend at home, in your pajamas, eating tacos in bed, instead of going out with friends or family, DO IT.   If you want to simply work 9-5 and not strive to be a manager, then DO IT.

You are the only person who knows your needs, heart, and goals.  You are the only person who has to answer for the choices you make in your life.  You are the person who has to live with your decisions.  Stop playing follow the leader and become the leader.  Take control of your life.

 

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Wrong Turn, Right Path

Just because you take a wrong turn doesn’t mean you’re not on the right path.  There are many side roads that take us to beautiful and scary places.  What you may feel is a wrong choice, in your path to growth, may just be what you need to understand your path more.

Nothing is always black and white or straight forward.  Side roads, mountains, oceans, and black holes are some of the “wrong turns” we encounter in life. Yes, they can be obstacles, but they are also lessons.  We encounter these things to make us stronger.  Take what you need, learn, process, and apply it to what you need to grow.  Leave what is not needed- you know the extra baggage.  Look for the beauty in these wrong turns and overcome your fears of the unknown.  The next part of your journey awaits you.

Stop Living through “Likes”

Don’t get so caught up in “liking” other’s experiences that you forget to create your own!

While you are spending hours on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter liking other’s memories, you could be out there creating your own.

Now, I am not saying don’t use  social media tools. I’m not saying don’t acknowledge or like something you find interesting.  What I am saying is, don’t  get so caught up in liking or living through other’s memories that you forget to make memories of your own.

It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive.  The little things are what make life enjoyable.  Those moments with family, friends, or ourselves that put a smile on our face.  Those are the moments we should be “liking”.

 

Pizza Perfect – NYC Vacation

I am currently on vacation, in NYC.  It’s great to have some time off to relax and regroup. While on a late night walk, my friend and I spotted a brick oven pizza place.  Ummm, pizza and a brick oven, count me in.

Paesano is a Italian restaurant, in Little Italy.  It’s small and quiet with romantic and cozy atmosphere.  We ordered the classic cheese pizza and it was so good.   The crust was thin and crispy, with just the right amount of sauce and cheese.  It was light and non-greasy.

While waiting for our pizza, I was able to get a look at some of the other dishes, being served to customers.  They looked wonderful as well.  After tasting the pizza, I will definitely go back and try more dishes.

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Going Home..Part 2

Gardening, feeding the chickens, playing with kittens, and sleepovers with cousins.  These are the memories of my childhood.  Spending, almost every day, with my grandparents.  Drinking coffee, at age 5, with my grandfather, before school.  Watching my grandmother cook dinner in the kitchen.

That is what I remember when I look at my grandparents’ home.  Spending summers with my cousins.  Cookouts or a fish fry.  Picking sunflower seeds and hiding in the corn fields.

The pictures below show what’s left.  A dilapidated house, no longer a home.  Remnants, of what used to be, a home filled with kids and family.  No longer is the yellow chicken coop filled with baby chicks.  No more gathering eggs, in the morning.  The grape vines and plum trees are barren. Weeds have taken over the garden.  Wild dogs now roam in the old house.

A sense of sadness surrounds the property.  The only signs of life are the wild mushrooms, growing on, what used to be, my Aunt’s mattress.  The laughter is gone, the kids are grow, and everyone has moved on.