family

If It Ain't Broke...

Hi there, Last night my dear friend David Zarza had a book reading.  His book, When Spirits Call tells his story as a psychic medium.  In his book he recalls readings he has given, including one I initiated to connect my sister and her son Miles.  My sister was at the reading as well so we were able to talk about our experience and give tidbits that weren't in the book to the audience.  She and I are good at telling stories together, we have chemistry when it comes to relaying information.  A talk show may need to happen, you never know. At any rate, there came a place in my retelling where I was immediately flooded with emotion.  I am brought to the very moment again and again every time I tell the story of seeing my sister for the first time after I found out that my nephew has died.  Hmm, before we go there, I want to give you some background.

I am a fixer.  I fix broken faucets, garbage cans, pens, furniture, people :)  Though I don't consider people broken, fractured maybe, but not broken.  In my home, growing up, I was the translator between my mom and my sister.  They didn't communicate very well with one another.  Their's was a volatile relationship in so many ways.  I, being pretty different from them both, was able to understand what they were both seeking so I did my best to communicate for them to one another.  It helped on one level and on another it kept them from figuring it out for themselves.  I am appreciative of all of my years of training because that work I did as a child to young adult is a part of the framework of what I do now for a living.  However, before I understood that what I did was a career I practiced coaching everyone I ever dated.  Everyone that I was romantically linked to left the relationship fitter, more aware and with more love for themselves than when they entered.  I cannot help but improve my surroundings, it is what I do and for a long time it is what I thought I was supposed to do.  If I could make it better then I would.  Well, not everything and everyone is here for me to fix…and not everyone or everything can be.  I learned this truth because there was one time that I wasn't able to fix anything.

I walked into the dark motel room where my sister was sitting on the far side of the bed, it had been about 24 hours since Miles had died.  Her first words to me were, "I'm sorry."  It was then that I knew there was nothing about this experience that would be fixable.  I was devastated to hear her take responsibility for his soul's journey.  I was horrified to see that a large part of her had gone under with him that day.  I was not going to be able to fix it… there was nothing I could do to get her to feel differently than she did, think differently, speak differently.  I could not, for the life of me, take her feelings away.  Sowande was on this journey and all I could truly do was watch.  This for me, was/is the hardest part, so far of my nephew dying: my sister's pain.  

I learned, quickly, that a part of my living through losing my nephew was about letting people be where they are.  My sister was in a place that I had no access to, after MIles died, so I wasn't going to be able to talk her through and back to anything.  I was certain of that.  I have never really taken responsibility for others.  I know that we feel what we feel based on our own discernments and judgments.  You cannot make someone feel differently than they do, though I am sure you, as most do, try your damnedest to do so.  

You may not even realize you are doing it when you do, but I am sure you have a hard time letting someone be in pain when they are in it; and I don't mean pain like getting hit by a car, but pain that is emotional.  You may not hear yourself actually tell someone to not feel a certain way.  Hugging someone can actually be a way for us to stop someone from feeling what they are feeling.  When you reach out and pull someone in, they are no longer in the place they were in.  To both of you this may seem like the point, but for learning and self-soothing, crying or being where you are can be beneficial to moving through it.  I never want to be hugged or touched when I am in the middle of strong emotional feeling.  I want to feel it.  Within the intensity there is information.  I want to access it so that I can move the hell on.  :)   We judge pain as bad.  We want only happy feelings and none that are sad.  This is crazy talk and I knew that the pain my sister was in would remain until it was gone, or shifted in some way… I also knew that I was and am not responsible for it.

Where are you trying to take responsibility for another in your life?  How is that helping to keep you from taking responsibility for yourself and your treatment of you?  The first step is waking up… becoming aware… noticing how you are.  Try to let others be where they are.  You can love and support them without trying to take their feelings away.  

xo

a

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What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.

This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Family.

Friends.

Planes.

Weddings.

Melodie Nicole's voice (and her being, her everything).  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Effort matters in everything that you do.  It matters that you care about anything you are putting your energy into.  School, work, cleaning the yard, straightening up the house you live in, cooking, caring for animals, love.  We tend to believe that things should be easy and not require a lot of work.  Well, if you put very little into something you will get very little out of it.  See how it works.  What you put in you get out.  

Relationships are all about learning and growth, whether they be in the workplace or in the bedroom.  Relationships take effort.  Even when you are perfectly matched, there will be some things you have to put forth energy to receive the blessings from.  If you were to look back over your life you would see how things that took energy to accomplish tend to be valued at a higher level than those things that did not.  When something matters, time and energy spent on it is less work and more joy.  

Have you tried to impress yourself recently?  Have you efforted in that way at all?  How have you shown you that you care, that you are invaluable to yourself?  When was the last time you poured energy into your well-being with joy, knowing that it would make you feel great?  You are with yourself every step of the way.  How have you tried to make those steps lighter, lovelier and joy filled?  What are the blessings you could receive from yourself if you put time and effort into making sure you were happy, healthy and wise?  

Take the time to nurture your most important connection.  The only connection you cannot make externally.  What is inside of you is the heart of all, the beginning and the infinite.  Your relationship with yourself will not always be easy but it will always be worth it.

xo

a

To Oba With Love

Howdy, I love my life.  I love my family and like them most of the time.  I value my relationships but haven't always shown that to each person in my family directly.  I come from a very unique family… don't we all?  Among the 7 children there are two fathers and 6 mothers.  Despite the number of adults in the family, the children have never questioned their belonging to one another.  We are brothers and sisters period.  I have never understood what being a half this or half that meant.  We have a lot of cousins a lot of extended family that may or may not be blood related to everyone… but we are family and we love each other without reservation.

Tomorrow, one of my brothers is about to be married.  Oba is 10 months younger and a touch shorter ;) hehe.  He and I, at the moment, are the same age.  There was a time when he told all of his friends that we were twins… that stopped when we turned 30… he was happy for me to be older at that point.  We have always been close as brothers and sisters go.  There have been times in my life where I wanted to be closer.  Times where I longed for a bit more info on what his life was like.  He is a boy and as such doesn't spend a ton of time chatting on the phone about his life with his sister, yet.  I have a feeling that is gonna change as we grow and I am looking forward to that.  He is one of my favorite people and just a super sweet human being.  Everyone loves him, seriously.  You can't not.  He is just worth it.  There has always been love, lots of love between us and mutual respect.

I remember when Oba and I were young and he would follow me around annoying the sh*t out of me.  I would run down a hallway and he would race me in a race I didn't know I had started.  He wanted to be better in some ways than me and I didn't understand what the deal was.  My father told me that it was a form of flattery, a looking up to of sorts.  I quickly began to appreciate his annoyance as admiration and love, thank goodness, otherwise I would have wanted to beat him up.  Our family expects wonderful things from all of the children.  Our being smart isn't amazing but it is appreciated.  Oba knew all the capitals to all of the states and square roots when he was around 6 or younger.  He was always ahead in school but clueless in the details of things.  I could visit after an absence of a year and he would ask me where his socks were.  His singing voice, though much better now, was unbelievably flat when we were kids, yet we belted out Sade like we were stars, any chance we got.  We had fun growing up, hanging out, being together.  Summer days in New York were sometimes spent lounging all over one another and watching TV.  We are all very loving and tactile.  It is something I appreciate more and more as I grow up.  We touch and hug and show affection.  So many people are out of touch, so to speak.  

Now, he is getting married.  He waited until he fell in love, truly, and that waiting did him well.  His bride-to-be is everything I could have wanted in a sister-in-law and her mother is amazing too (love you Toni).  I am excited to see him grow our family and grow as a person in this love.  He is more open, more communicative and smarter for it.  He is truly someone I adore.  We have a lot more years to be in this life as brother and sister and I am excited to see where it takes us.

We don't always realize how important people in our lives are, especially those who have been around for the majority of it.  We wait until something pulls us apart to recognize the value in it being held together.  I have been that person too.  Everyday is a new opportunity to value the relationships in my life, whether they are new or forever.  Who in your world would smile if you let them know, without expectation, that you loved them absolutely?

xo

a