Friday’s Focus—A Page Is Worth a Thousand Memories

Still deep in the process of cleaning up and boxing for our move, I came across a stack of journals I wrote many years ago while in my late teens, through college, and into the end of my first marriage. The notebooks were squirreled away in a corner of the garage interspersed with high school and college yearbooks. A cardboard box of memories now wrapped in spiderwebs and reeking of mold.

I knew I couldn’t keep them smelling the way they did but I couldn’t bring myself to just toss them either. So I blew off the dust, found myself a seat and flipped through them one last time before they were forever history. I was feeling an odd mixture of curiosity and trepidation—heck, I remember those years. Did I really want to go back there? But instead I found reading the entries again to be revelatory. It’s amazing how our memories gloss over seemingly innocuous details that feel as big as the sun when they first happen. And yes, there were some of those dreams in there that I haven’t achieved but it was okay because I can still say not achieved yet.

There were names and events that I barely remembered, if at all, but the key players were there still as sharply in focus as yesterday. It was fascinating to look back and see how my experiences and feelings shaped me into who I am today. But the most surprising reveal was seeing patters of thinking and beliefs from back then and (deep breath here), seeing and admitting I still have them today.

The patterns of thinking and believing wouldn’t have been so obvious had I not read these journals. Admittedly, it was a little disconcerting to discover how feelings of insecurity, shame, and fear had their seeds in those pages and how they’ve remained as unconscious patterns now. But I also saw patterns of strength, fight, resolve, and determination that also had its seeds back then, and which have also remained to this day, far outweighing the insecurities and fears thanks to experiences and time.

There were some hurtful events that came back in vivid detail, and as they did, I almost felt like a mother to myself, sending the younger me love and understanding back through time. It provided an unexpected opportunity for the healing of my younger self, which in turn, heals my current self.

There were good memories of sun, friends, going down the shore, and countdowns to last days of classrooms and some not so good memories. These were snapshots of daily life and growing up in the typical highs and lows of a Jersey girl moving from her adolescence through her first marriage.

I saw myself from the inside out because it was me but also from the outside in, reading about my feelings and experiences as if they happened to someone else. I didn’t expect this as I started to flip through the earliest book, but before I knew it, I caught myself searching for the girl I knew I was and connecting with her as the woman I grew up to be.

By the time I read my way through to the last journal, I was ready to let them go, but I wanted to do so with some sort of dignity rather then tossing them into the trash, so I let my inner artist come through. I filled the kitchen sink with water and bunch by bunch, tore the pages from the notebooks and soaked them in the water. I watched my handwriting disappear as the ink washed away.

After a few hours, the water now looked like a mini-lake with its blue water and the paper pulped back to its beginnings. I grabbed handfuls of the mush and squeezed them into small balls of paper—no hint or evidence of the words they once contained. As I worked the paper in my hands, I once again took on the role of Mother to the younger me and consciously connected the disconnects. I wasn’t sad about giving up the pages and notebooks now. As a mater of fact, I felt it was a gift to go through them again and cathartic to wash the pages away.

I’m glad I kept them all these years. I don’t think I ever intended to re-read them. Once the last page was filled, up it went on a shelf until I didn’t know when. But now, I do. I’m interested to see what will reveal itself when I read my current writings 30 years from now.

A written page is worth a thousand memories and staying open to what was can only lead to a better way of what will be.

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—Life Could Be a Dream (Sh-boom, Sh-boom)

I’ve been a dreamer all my life—literally and in the sixth-sense sort of way. As far back as I can remember, I’d get messages and information in my dreams; sometimes precognitive, and other times more personal “psst—pay attention to this” communique.

I’ve learned to work with and listen to my dreams and the information they provide. Waking this morning, I just knew that a dream I had during the night carried a strong message and feeling, but I wasn’t sure yet what it was. Usually I dream in vivid colors and scenarios, but this dream was simply staged in a fog of grey and black and over and over, as if on a loop, I heard the song “Life Could Be a Dream” (the version that was sung by The Chords).

I knew the song, but I couldn’t even tell you the last time I heard it. I’ve always liked it but it held no specific significance for me and I didn’t even know all the words! My interest was definitely piqued by the insistence of this song being played as a soundtrack in my dream so I found a video on YouTube, and while it played, looked up the lyrics, hoping this would also get the ear worm out of my head.

Once I read the words, I chuckled at the message that was now impossible to miss. It’s uncanny how we are all led to things we need to see and learn but until we can understand the signposts along the way, nothing will mean anything and will only solicit a “Well, that was weird,” response. Sure, some dreams may be just a regurgitation of a day’s input and mean nothing more than GIGO, but dreams have traditionally been a way to convey information, and if you’re a dreamer like me, you know what I mean.

My post today for Friday’s Focus is reminder to take each day and laugh a little, love a lot, and always remember that:

Life is but a dream
It’s what you make it
Always try to give
Don’t ever take it
Life has it’s music
Life has it’s songs of love

Lyrics, Writer(s): Raoul J. Cita, Hy Weiss, Copyright: Emi Longitude Music, Embassy Music Corp. O/B/o Maureen Music, Embassy Music Corp.

#takingitdeeper

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.

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Friday’s Focus—It’s More Than Just Making a Wish

As children, we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up and as we grow older, the question broadens into What do we want out of life? For some, the answer comes easier than others and sometimes the answer changes depending on what stage we’re in with our life.

We’re so busy thinking about the end result of who we want to be and where we want to be and what we’re going to do or buy or have once we reach our goal that oftentimes we overlook the path it takes to get us there.

For example, if you what you want is to be wealthy and have abundant amounts of money, you may end up in a business or banking career where you’ll have the money but you’re working all the time and don’t have the freedom to enjoy your wealth. You got the money you wanted but you’re not happy and you spend each day with the nagging feeling that there’s got to be more than this. The energy that was behind that end desire created a path that wasn’t exactly what you envisioned. There are many paths to get what you want out of life. The Universe has a funny way of giving us exactly what we ask for but not so much in the way we imagined it sometimes.

Right now, take a moment and think of the path you want to take to get what want out of life.  Taste it, smell it, hear it, feel it; envision each day down to the mundane tasks of the everyday minutiae down to what bank will you have your accounts in? How does your day begin and end? What kind of food will be in your refrigerator? What type of friends will you have? What does your home look like? Your office/studio?

Really put yourself into the life you want and feel yourself going through the activities. Shakti Gawain talks about creative visualization and using all of your senses to picture what it is you want, putting it into a pink bubble and releasing it into the Universe. There is energy behind our thoughts and intentions that are powerful enough to  create what we desire. Even our fears can draw what we don’t want to us by the sheer energy of the emotions behind them.

With today’s Focus, I want you to really picture what you want your path to look like. Sitting quietly or in mediation will free up your imagination and intuition and you may even discover paths you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. It’s important to sit quietly and put real energy into how you want to get to what you want out of life. Don’t just picture where you want to live but feel what’s like to walk across the room—is there carpet or hard flooring? What kind of couch are you sitting on?

You don’t need to know exactly how each step will unfold but steep yourself in the intention and the emotions behind the steps on the path and the energies will find their way to provide you with what you want. Practice already putting yourself into the life you want rather than just making a wish.

If if helps, use tools such as scrapbooking, Pinterest, or even creating a vision board and keeping it someplace where you’ll see it often. Let yourself step out of your own way and be open to possibilities you might not even be aware of yet that can turn up in a moment’s notice.

Envisioning what we wish for just a little but deeper.

Friday Focus’s—Getting Out of Our Own Way

So often our we let our insecurities and fears hold us back from things we want to do. Or maybe it’s thoughts about what he said/she said that replay in our mind. Each one of us has two choices: Rest in the comfort but constraining mindset eventually giving birth to regrets or change the subject in your head and not care so much about what other people say or think. In other words, change your focus.

It’s up to you, but if you really want to get juicy about life and turn those, “Oh, but I can’t” into “Let’s go!” we first have to start with getting out of our own way  by getting past old fears, habits, voices, and thinking. What’s been holding you back?

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

It’s Never Too Late

It’s that time of year when we all wax poetic and look over the past 12 months, taking stock of what we did or rather didn’t do and draw up yet a brand-new list with a January 1 headline and the subject is Resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions are the grande dame of the To-Do List, and too often we hold ourselves dutifully accountable until either our enthusiasm runs out or things get in the way and the exuberance of the YES! I WILL becomes, TOMORROW! I WILL and on it goes in its decent toward NEXT Week I will,  Next month I will, next year I will.… and before we know it, it’s Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year (again) and we start over.

Why not let each day be a New Year and go forward to start (or finish) whatever that something is? It’s never too late. Let what you want to do go beyond New Year’s resolutions and don’t let the calendar dictate the absolute end date for accomplishing what you set out to do. Yes, it’s good to have goals (which is what resolutions really are) set within a timeframe but it is so easy to become discouraged and give up if we don’t meet the goals we set for ourselves by the particular date we think we should have.

This doesn’t mean you should let things go until whenever, either, but if you find things are getting in the way of accomplishing what you want whether it’s life happenings or your own procrastination, break down that capital “G” Goal into smaller, lowercase “g” goals. This can help in making them more attainable and easier to meet. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment, which may make your original end Goal easier to see and reach.

Envision it. See it. You don’t have to know how you’ll get there only that you will.  Let your resolutions be the beginning to something you’ve always wanted to do; be; experience, but instead of treating it like a chore of something you feel you should do (losing weight, give up smoking, spend less time at the office, eat better, etc.)  put things on that list that you’ve always wanted to do and up until now didn’t. Even go so far as thinking back to when you were a kid—what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you like to do? Why not pick those things up again? You’re never too old and it’s never too late.

Setting New Year’s resolutions are a great place to start and reboot yourself to the place you may have always wanted to be mentally, physically, and emotionally and when June rolls around and you find yourself with that list still untouched, no one can say you can’t reboot and re-start your resolution then. You’re in control.  Too often we procrastinate by saying One Day, so why not let that “One Day” start this January 1 and if need be, then February 1, March 1 and so on. No matter what you want to do, don’t believe it’s too late—in the calendar or in your life. Your dreams and resolutions may have changed as you got older, I know mine have, but I don’t believe that dreams and goals have an expiration date just because they weren’t fulfilled by a certain age or time.

May each day of this new year inspire you instead of it being the tick-tock of things undone and goals unmet.