Friday’s Focus—Our Teachers, Ourselves

Whether we recognize it or not, we have teachers all around us. They are our friends, our enemies, strangers, and our families. Every person we meet is a mirror to something inside of us and how we react to the person is an indicator of something that has a teaching moment. If there’s someone who particularly raises your hackles, that’s a hint that it’s a relationship you need to take a closer look at. Until you do, you will always come across someone with that same personality and issues. I promise.

So what do you do when it’s your own family member? What do you do when it’s your own parent? The relationship between mothers and daughters alone, is the subject of countless social studies and psychology books, and even being in it first-hand, sometimes can lead to more questions than answers on how to best navigate in that relationship!

This past week has been a flurry of phone calls and scheduling appointments looking for alternative care and living arrangements for my mother, who has been suffering from increasing confusion and cognitive impairment. The situation has escalated to a new level of alert and awareness for me and my family and we are beginning our travels down the next road. Just as sometimes it is challenging to see the changes in our own children as they grow up into their individual personalities, I think it is just as difficult for a child to watch their parent become a different person due to disease and illness. It’s the established personality of the elder being broken down into the child again, and which oftentimes is a new personality peppered with confusion, sensitivity, vulnerability, and a lot of frustration.

I think, for most people, regardless of how estranged a relationship may be, there is still some level of a bond they feel with their parents. And as families grow older and the roles shift from parent and child to parenting the parent, there are new experiences that come from parenting parents that are completely different from being a parent to your own children.

As scary as it can be, I have been consciously working at using this opportunity of seeing this new personality, this person who almost seems like a stranger from the person I once knew, as being brought face to face with yet another teacher.

Aside from patience, I’ve asked myself, what could I possibly learn from this situation, except how much I want to change the clock back so that they are their familiar selves again? The focus I’m learning is that the question should not be why is this happening but rather what can I learn from this turn in the relationship? A new teacher has shown herself to me as a different personality disguised as my elderly parent. This may be the toughest mirror yet! My husband keeps telling me to be sure to learn my lessons from this because if I don’t, it will just show up again as someone else in my life and I believe it. I’ve seen it!

This week’s Friday’s Focus is about teachers and how they can come into your life in all shapes and sizes and sometimes from the most unlikeliest places. Take a look at the people around you who are loving and friendly. They are just as much teachers as those who aggravate you, annoy you, and bring up friction. Remember that as much as one person is a teacher to you, you are as much of a teacher to someone else.



Friday’s Focus—Necessary Kindness

Writing today’s focus, I was struck by how it seems we need tragedy in order to remember to be kind to each other and treat each other as human beings. If it weren’t for today’s anniversary of 9/11, would the average person really stop and think about people who lost their lives in senseless violence? Would they say a prayer to the families and victims of hate crimes, injustices, and war if images of bloodshed weren’t streaming on our devices?

There are more acts of kindness today than ever before but not nearly enough so I’m dedicating today’s Friday’s Focus as a reminder to each one of us not to wait until there is war or violence or a catastrophic event to simply be kind to the next person, whether you know them or not.



Friday’s Focus—Don’t Stop Believing

Though the way may not be as clear as you would like, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a path, a way to get there. Don’t stop believing even though you see no reason to. Some call it trust, some call it blind faith. Does it really matter what label it gets? No. We think we’ve got all the answers and if we don’t see a way, then there is no way.

Deep inside of each of us is a trace of the stardust from when we were born and it’s this compass, this connection, that reaches beyond biology and logic and is the map to your possibilities.

Say yes to what is happening to you in the moment. Act as if you are already there without judgement and without trying to change anything. That is when things will begin to shift. So keep believing. It is really quite simple. Engage in any activity in the moment and the path will build itself. Notice where you are and don’t dwell on where you’re not. This is the beginning of the unveiling. Interact as if you are there.

Take each day and rope life like a cowboy and hashtag it with a #whynot.

There will always be a corner, there will always be a door, and there will always be a window. What you believe is on the other side is up to you.

On this Friday’s Focus, set your sights on a star and believe. When you do, it’s only then that true transformation and satisfaction will shift from your imagination and dreams to your reality.


Velvet Kisses

Your caresses hold me stronger than any words ever spoken,
And the warm breath from your kiss ripples across the goosebumps of my flesh.

The devotion and depthless love I feel from you
Sweeps over me and makes me want to cradle you
In my arms forever,
Blocking out the world
From anyone else ever touching you,
Never hurting you.

Electric uncertainty paints the next few hours
In a landscape borne of our imaginations and dreams.
Each stroke is a desire, a need, an urgent
Capturing of the wisps of the dandelion bloom as the seeds float away.

As I close my eyes and lay back in your fold,
I swim in the liquid silence that washes over us,
Threatening to drown us in our lover’s embrace.

I open my mouth to tell you I love you
But instead of words, thousands of butterflies
come out of me and are released upon the wind.