Peace in the Rain

You can fake it through the night
set fire in the morn
dress it up with all your might
To hide the soul that’s torn

But there is no way to hide
from yourself at night so late
swallow all your pride
Just to pray they took they bait

But when you look into the mirror
You see it in your eyes
It couldn’t be any clearer
Because you see beyond the lies

And then you just break down
In the sacred of the dark
In the private of the all alone
Then wipe away their mark

but you cannot heal
even with your head held high
until your bear your heart
until you learn to cry

So put away your make up
You are safe in bed now
Know you’ve had enough
And make yourself this vow

To forgive yourself
You must have an open heart
So take it off the shelf
Because the sea is about to part

Let the floodgates open
let all the pain get out
Let the love soak in
And know without a doubt

That this to shall pass
And again you will be pretty
Mascara smudges fade fast
In the heat of the city

Let go of all the pain
the darkness runs from the light
There is peace in the rain
so let your soul take flight

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Flying Phoenix: Life Giving Life

Life is a series of changes, adaptations and goals.  We struggle, we strive, we thrive, we learn, we grow, we start the process over. We learn from failures and our success, and we only succeed because we have failed well in the past. And when hard times truly hit, we must reach deep down inside, where the soul meets the heart and the mind runs with the spirit.

And after the dust settles and the fire has burned, we rise like the Phoenix.  Because the fire within us burned brighter than the fire around  us.  Because there are no bounds to the Human Spirit. Because we have the Will and strength of those who came before us.

I was getting things together this week and realized, for the first time in a long time, that my life is exactly what I want it to be. Everything that I prayed for 6 months ago has come to fruition.  And it is by the Grace of God that it has all worked out.

In the past 6 months I have worked hard, cried hard, played hard, dreamt hard, lived hard, and mostly prayed hard. I moved to a wonderful area in a house that I love, created a home that feels good when you walk in. I have built a life with amazing friends who are my roots, my people, my heart and my love. Even the yard feels good because of all the flowers and plants that are in bloom. It is the perfect place to sit and c=have coffee with friends, talk and see the bird feeders and happy creatures. The deck is arranged and downstairs porch is in order with places to sit and relax. And soon there will be back yard grilling and wine tastings.

I will be volunteering with the Hospice that took such care of my father s means so much to be able to help others as this amazing organization that helped me in so many ways.  From being there for my father and making sure he did not suffer in any way, and that he passed peacefully, to all the counseling afterward.  They helped me realize how vulnerable I was when my ex was manipulating me and being cruel; they helped me see that and walk away.

My dreams are coming true work and career wise too.  I am writing more, the books are happening and I am part of an amazing opportunity doing creative writing for an incredible AI technology project.

My nephew moved in with me and in a few short months he is also thriving.  I have kept my promise to my mother and sure that he has what he needs.  I have watched him made huge strides in his life, and am so incredible proud.

My personal life is amazing. A man who is everything I never knew I wanted. A man who makes me laugh and has restored my faith in love. A man who is so much more than I ever thought was possible.Finally, my life is so full of love that it is tangible.  This life, gives life.  That  means that it is not only life sustaining, but that others thrive is the atmosphere of my life, because love is so integrated into every part of it.  And that love flows from God’s Grace and love, through me, on out to all those who are around.

Finally, FINALLY, my dreams are in front of me.  It has nothing to do with money, or fame, or anything remotely superficial.  It is deeply rooted in love, in faith, in friends and in hard work.  It has to do with keeping my circle tight and only letting those in who are capable of giving and accepting love.

And isn’t that part of learning how to live a great life and making your dreams come true?  When you set your intentions on love, and creating a life that originates from love, things easily line up.  But getting there takes work and dedication.  You must loose things, people, projects and actions that do not line up with your intentions. Doing that frees up your time, energy and focus on only what you want.

I am the Phoenix.  This is my life giving life. And I am humble and thankful for it, as by the Grace of God go I.

 

I Am Because of You

My parents are the reason why I am successful.

I remember growing up my mom reading to both me and my sister. And my sister is a pure genius and she was reading encyclopedias when she was in grade school. I was a little slower. So my mother would read the Little House on the Prairie books out loud. This had a dual purpose. Even though my sister was very gifted at reading, she’s very self-conscious about reading out loud, so much so that she would get nervous and stutter. My mother had mu sister read out loud in a relaxed setting to put her at ease, and it also fueled my passion for reading as well.

My mother wanted us to have a very extensive vocabulary, even as children. I remember being in the second or third grade and knowing the word oscillating. And knowing the difference between oscillating and osculating, which of course have two very different definitions. And I remember being taught that if you use foul language you suffer from “intellectual poverty.” And I remember learning the insult that if somebody keeps talking and saying ugly things, that they suffer from “uncontrollable defecation of the oral cavity.” This was all in the second grade or so.

And I remember my mom quizzing us on the definition of these words. Rita was 4 years older so she would also have to know the spelling. That fostered within me an eternal curiosity and Lust For Life, and yearning for words. I wanted to read and learn and see and stretch my imagination. I wanted to experience all the other worlds that were in all these books and I couldn’t wait.

After I started reading, I started writing on my own. The little gears were turning in my little brain and I couldn’t wait to create things just like I read. It never dawned on me that I couldn’t write a masterpiece Masterpiece just as amazing as Mark Twain. What a gift the naivete of being a child truly is.

My mother was also the grammar, punctuation natzi. Anything that I had to write in school, all the way up to up to my high school graduation, was checked by her. She would go through a meticulously check for grammar and sentence structure. While I never did get the spelling part of it, the writing part of it stuck with me. Because she was forever teaching us.

I remember her saying the reason why she was teaching us all of this was because no matter what we decided to we could go far if we knew how to speak and write well.

I credit my mother with the fact that I’m a writer.

My father taught me the importance of working hard, and having a good reputation. He taught me the importance of Integrity, honesty, morals, and character. These are words that are easy to find in the dictionary these days, but almost impossible to find in practice. Most people can tell you the definition of these words, but not many people know how to actually execute them.

My father also taught me that in order to build a business for yourself you have to work very hard at it. He taught me how to be passionate about what you do, and how to be truly dedicated to it. My father taught me that a man is only as good as his word, so if his word is no good then neither is he. My father taught me that a man’s handshake is his bond. He also taught me that actions speak louder than words, so don’t bother saying something until you’ve already done it.

I am everything I am because of my parents. They taught me about life, love, the pursuit of happiness, and how to live and function daily. I’m very blessed that the

The Joy of Falling

The sensation of falling can be quite terrifying, especially if no one is there to catch you.  But what if someone is there?  What if…

What if there was someone who would not only catch you, but hold you sacred? Hold what you had between you sacred? What if you could let go and be and trust and believe? Then would falling be so scary?

No, I think falling would then be fun and exhilarating and even joyful. Because we don’t fear the actual fall, we fear getting hurt.

It is the same with falling in love. It is not the falling, or even the being in love that we fear. It is getting hurt, getting rejected and getting our fragile hearts smashed to bits .That is what makes us so afraid to let go and trust that there is a safe place to land.

I have found my safe place.  And there is no fear, but there is joy. And laughter. And trust. And most of all, there is a peace and a sense of calm. I have always said, that which gives you peace will make you happy.

And therein lies the joy of falling.

 

The Pinktank does PiYo

Or maybe I should say attempts PiYo. As many of us do, I have decided to get back to working out.  I used to run and box. And somehow, with all the everything that has happened over the past two years, my workouts where thrown out of the window along  with my skinny jeans.

And so part of trying to have it all together is exercising and being healthy. Let me make a note that none of us have it all together. Even those who look like they have it all together – don’t.  And if anyone says they have it all together is lying. To your face.  The only difference between us and them is that they have managed to keep up that delicate, caffeine and or alcohol induced facade. Behind closed doors I guarantee they are stuffing their faces with Oreo, or have dust under the beds, laundry that isn’t folded or such.

So I want to have most of it together.  And I want to wear my skinny pants again. I want the ass to be spanktacular, and have shoulders to die for. Truth is I miss all those cute clothes that hang in my closet, laughing at me, silently judging me and my juicy thighs.

So I decided on PiYo to get me started back to the land of the healthy and firm. It is a cross between pilates and Yoga. And it is tough with a capital T.  especially if you are a clumsy klutz like me. Thank goodness I am doing this in the privacy of my own home an not the gym…no doubt there would be a very amused audience as they watched me trip, fall, wobble and shake as I try to do all the poses and moves.

I have flashbacks to the belly dancing classes, where they tried to teach me a routine – tried being the operative word.  Yes, I could do all the moves – the shimmies and the4 shakes – but to put them all together into one fluid, beautiful and sensual dance routine was just too much for my limited coordination.  And I fell on my bum more times than I could count.  I had flashbacks to the terrible Treadmill incident of 2007…when I fell on the treadmill and walked away with one solid bruise that started and my ankles and went all the way up to my chest – including the arms.

But I managed to get through the first workout of PiYo, after falling on the coffee table…and the chair that was used dying the workout.  And got twisted into some position I was briefly stuck in… and I thought, “This is it, this is how it ends…”

After some effort I was able to resume the workout. And have you ever tried to workout with cats?  If they are ot jumping on you, they are under you or close to your feet.  Again, not a good combination for a klutz.

And now, a few days and workouts later, I have some bruises, a scrape or two, and am a bit sore.  But I am getting the hang of it, I think.  And so it goes. Pray for me….

The Happy Calm

Peace

There comes a time in life where you have come to terms and made peace with yourself and your life.  A time when you have faced your demons and your fears, looked them straight in the eye and won. And when this happens there is a Peace that comes over you. It is not sudden, not an ah-ha moment.  There are no fireworks or fanfare.  It is quiet and slow and beautiful.

It dawns on you in a quiet space.  You look around and realize that you are happy.  I has this realization this week.  After all the hard work, heartache and struggle…the dust has settled, everything is calm. It is hard to describe, even for a writer.  But thoughts are clear, and motivation returns. It is like coming out of the dark or a dense, dense fog.

And you notice that laughter is deeper and felt all over the body.  And even the smallest things can have a great meaning and cause much appreciation.  And maybe that is the secret – that it is a vicious cycle.  Once you get to this place, you appreciate life more, people more, the love that is all around you more. And that causes more peace and happiness, which in turn causes more appreciation.

And there it is.

And I am in that happy calm. The acceptance of the new normal, after the decision to thrive.  Life is built in the calm. Life is the breath between heartbeats, the blink before the decision, and the time between the moments.

When you can concentrate on life, love and the pursuit of happiness in a calm setting, you can not only listen to your gut instincts, but you can also hear the voice of God. THis is because you are not distracted by extraneous minutiae and can truly take in what is meaningful. When life is chaotic it is easy to get side tracked others drama, wasting precious time and energy.

I have the life I wanted.  And I am building my dreams. One calm heartbeat at a time.

Making a Difference

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

At some point in our lives, we all want to know that we have made a difference. We want to know that what we have done meant something to someone, that WE mean something to someone.  To have a legacy of meaning.  And am not talking about money or a generous estate. I mean that we have made a different in some small way, to someone, to humanity, to a garden, just something in the world≥

I think this is part of what drives us as humans, other than the need to love and be loved.  It is a part of the human condition to want to leave behind some trace that you existed, and had a positive impact on life. We strive to help others – our family, our friends, lovers, co workers, even strangers on the street.  We want to help animals, help feed the poor, create garden, build buildings, improve ‘the process” so to speak. And when we do, it is truly amazing.

In this day and age of Snapchat filters, Tinder hookups being called dating, everything big being better, and politics being why families don’t talk, can we really make any kind of impact?  Yes, I think so.  But we have to do it with love, compassion, empathy and Grace. We have to start small, helping out friends and neighbors when we can, then slowly, let it grow from there.  And maybe helping those around us, going out of our way to be available, is how to do it.

We don’t need to do giant things, when we have a million smaller tasks with which we can help. And maybe the people around us are enough.  After all, if everyone started out small and took care of those around them, then it seems like almost everyone would be covered. We do have to pay attention though.  We have to take out our headphones, look up from our phones, and be willing to not mind our own business.  It means speaking up when something is wrong and being willing to defend others. It means actually caring enough for others to make them your business.  Step away from the social media, stop taking selfies and start looking around, noticing people. That is how you start to make a difference.

And when we find out that our loved ones have made a difference, even after they are gone, it is truly an incredible and moving moment.

My parents took foster children for a number of years. We had many come through our doors and my mother loved each and every one of them. She had a gift with people in general, but especially with children.  She had the empathy and compassion to truly be able to get into their little hearts and understand them. It was a s if she could not only could walk in their shoes, but see through their eyes.

We started out as emergency shelter – which is where the children go when they are picked up, in whatever condition they are in, before they have a foster home.  Then we became a foster home.  Then, because both Mom and Dad were so gifted with children, we became a therapeutic foster home.  Which meant we would get the worst cases of abuse.  And Mom would pour her heart and soul into working with with.  You see, when you came into Mom’s home, you became one of her children. And you would be until the day she died.  She would do for you what she would do for her natural children.  No difference.

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

One of the kids contacted me looking for her, my mother.  She wanted me tell my mother thank you for all she had done, because Mom had made a huge difference in her in life.  And I remembered this child, now a woman, and eagerly read what she wrote. She told me how my mother had bought her everything on her Christmas list, even though she left before Christmas.  How Mom picked her up at Easter for the day, and even how, after she had run away, my mother made sure she was brought back to us…and then my how my mother sat and held her, like a baby, while she cried and told Mom why she left.  This woman told me about how my father sat and listened when she told him everything she had gone through, And how he reassured her that she was just a child, and none of it was her fault. How Mom’s house was a place of love and Mom would care about her always.

And indeed Mom did.  Mom kept pictures of every child that  stayed on our home.  She knew all of their names, birthdays and stories.  And she would go through those pictures and smile as she remembered. And she remembered this lady. I remember too.

But to read everything my parents, especially my mother, did for her, was a very moving experience.  To find out that your parents made such a difference in a young life, that their love expanded so far and wide as to envelope others to such an extent, is incredible.

And I realize how blessed I was to have them as my parents, to have been taught by them, raised by them and loved by them. I can only pray that something I do will make that kind of difference in someone’s life.

We all want to know we have made a difference, contributed in some way to humanity.  And to know that our parents have is a legacy worth continuing.