Monday, December 31, 2012

God Chose Me

Thank you 2012

So here we are at the end of yet another year. 2012 was a strength builder for sure! This year in my own life I experienced incredible moments of self pride and self worth as well as moments of complete humility. My heart was filled with unbelievable pain and heartache as well as an overwhelming and abundant feeling of love. In the world people seemed to be pushed to to brink of strength and survival. From the natural disasters that destroyed people's way of living to unspeakable tragedies that tore apart families & communities. This world was pushed.

Throughout it all, I knew, I was blessed and loved and supported and no matter what, just fine.
What I also wad amazed to see in the world was the human spirit at work at the highest vibration. From 14 year old activist, Malala Yousufzai who was shot for wanting to learn to hurricane Sandy taking out whole communities, to the stupid amounts of people being killed on streets of Chicago and the tragic deaths of Newtown to the young girls being raped in India. People banded together to protest, rebuild, pray, cry, raise money, raise awareness, heal and so forth etc...

So as I am sitting in my home, I am
overwhelmed by the blessings the universe has heaped upon my whole life. God chose me to be born of parents who chose to leave their homes to raise me in a country filled with every kind of convenience and abundance. God blessed me with a mother that worked incredibly hard to give me a safe and enriched existence. God chose me to be healthy mind body and spirit. God chose me to survive all of my dangerous mistakes unscathed, God chose me to give birth to an amazing child who is healthy. God chose me live in a time and space where I can express myself freely, live my life how I see fit, love whom I choose to love. God chose me...so when I look back on 2012, thank you God for choosing me to not have to live through some of the atrocities that many of my fellow beings are surviving through now. Thank you for choosing me to live yet another year of such a blessed life. Cheers to 2013!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finding Peace



It's hard to see light with so much darkness! It's hard to find good in so much evil, yet time and time again we are forced to unearth the silver lining, the peace. Why? because our babies look to us as parents to explain and rationalize the acts of horror that they either directly or indirectly, have been forced to experience. Give it peace...make it ok...kiss the proverbial pain away.
Much like many parents, i am faced with this horrible dilemma and so much more horrifying because i've found myself here all too often in the recent years. "Mom why did that person decide to kill all those people he didn't know?" Am I safe? Mom, why did my really amazing Uncle with a heart of gold get shot in a drive by?" Am I safe? Mom, why did my that guy try to blow up the plane, should we really be traveling? Am I safe? Mom, mom, mom, I don't understand why someone would go into a school and...Unspeakable, Am I safe? I don't know why either son and you are safe with me.

What words can I give you son? I guess at this time we sit in thankfulness and the grace of God in our lives. We appreciate each minute, hour, day, month, year, lifetime for the lives we get to be blessed with knowing, loving and caring for. for those same lives that love and car so deeply for you and would do anything to protect you. You are loved. Let that give you peace. Help you feel safe.

For me, unlike so many this evening, I have my son at home in his bed fast asleep. He feels safe at home, in his neighborhood, at school, in his own skin. That is my peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 12 12 = ?

So here we go 12/12/12!!

We've all been anticipating this moment or at least some us are. I think for me it is about maximizing my spiritual connectedness. I feel like I've been a little off with my prayer and meditation so this is the perfect day to get back on it!

I think what I've been a little afraid of really is where my deeper prayer and meditation will take me. We are living in such extremely spiritual times. I can almost feel the energy coming from my fingertips and that is when when I'm not so connected. I can only imagine what I'd be feeling if I was on the spiritual deep.

According to my google search and multiple conversations with people, 12/12/12 is supposed to be a very incredibly powerful & spiritual day. It is supposed to be a day of not only spiritual connectivity, but "mathematical magic" (I read that somewhere), but I get it. From ancient and medieval weights and measurements to our 12 month calendar year to the divider of our days and nights to the dozen roses I've been waiting to show up for some time now

12 is no joke.

How about the fact that Jesus had 12 apostles, Judaism has the 12 tribes of Israel, and the followers of Shia Islam note that the prophet Muhammad has 12 successors called Imams? Amazing!

What does this day look like to you? Are you going to live it like every other day or maybe dive into something that you've putting off for this year. What will happen for you today? Will you make that life-changing decision? However your day presents itself to you, I implore you to take a moment to be still. Heighten your awareness about those things seen and unseen.

So as I prepare to go a little deeper today, I acknowledge the power in this day and take full advantage of this most excellent and spiritually palatable day, letting every minute of the day matter.

And so it is...



Saturday, December 1, 2012

WORLD AIDS DAY

On this day December 1st, every year since 1988, people around the world are encouraged to raise their  level of awareness by getting tested, donating to charities, reading, writing and listening to stories, basically encouraging the world to be united for this day to fight against this epidemic.

It's great to see such amazing response!  It has been great to see people get up and run/walk a variety of races around the world and donating their time & monies raised to fight against this disease.

On this day I choose to acknowledge and remember mothers.  Why mothers?  Because I am a mother.  I am a healthy mother with a healthy child and I couldn't imagine having go through what so many women who have been either infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS to have gone through or are currently going through.  Highlighting their strength and positive force is important because we know that is what is causing profound change.

According to The World Health Organization

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2011/hiv_20111130/en/index.html
"Global progress in both preventing and treating HIV emphasizes the benefits of sustaining investment in HIV/AIDS over the longer term. The latest report by the WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS Report on the global HIV/AIDS response indicates that increased access to HIV services resulted in a 15% reduction of new infections over the past decade and a 22% decline in AIDS-related deaths in the last five years.


"It has taken the world ten years to achieve this level of momentum," says Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO's HIV Department. "There is now a very real possibility of getting ahead of the epidemic. 
Their are so many women that I wanted to highlight here, but one that has stayed with me since the moment I heard her story and had the pleasure of finally meeting her.
This women/mother's name is Thembi.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at a local entertainment venue in Chicago.  She was traveling from South Africa with/for a public radio show called "Radio Diaries."  She was a young fashion forward powerhouse.  She had a smile that lit up the room and her laugh...so sweet.  You would never know this young woman had contracted the virus that eventually took her life.

Thembi was a fighter.  She was not afraid to let people know about her HIV positive status.  She did this so she could educate and empower and make a difference.  Her fight brought awareness.  Her story was like so many young girls, she contracted it from a boyfriend.  She found out that a boy she dated had died from the virus.  She started dating another young man who she unknowingly infected, but despite his diagnosis, he stayed with her and they had a child together.

In her short 24 years of life, she made sure that the virus that infected her did not defeat her.  She met with world leaders and fearlessly addressed South African Parliament to challenge their way of dealing with this epidemic that was crippling their country.


"Accept that AIDS is here," she told the country's leaders. The Sunday Independent reported that Thembi's presentation was "compelling" and a "step in the right direction" for a country that has been "grappling for years with institutional silence on AIDS." 


Her fight began the moment that she was infected, but her vision and momentum picked up when she became a mother.  She wanted her daughter to experience a different kind of world than the one she did.  She wanted to leave a legacy not of defeat, but triumph.

Please take some time out of your day to read a little more about this wonderful angel or listen to her radio diary.  Thembi will inspire you to be your best self and stand up for something you believe in.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SHARING THANKSGIVING

It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving and like most American's and people who have just simply adopted this wonderful holiday, i spent my Thanksgiving and actually days before planning what food i wanted to share with the people i would spend the day with.
I was excited to go to the grocery store and scour the shelves for the necessary ingredients needed to create my contribution to the table. As I walked down each aisle, I was greeted with knowing smiles, confident winks or the occassional "OMG WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO!"

This day is my most favorite holiday! Why? Because on this day everyone makes a concentrated, sometimes extremely planned effort to show up. People decide on this day to share, to forgive, to open up their homes to strangers or loved ones that they have not connected with in years. People show up!

I know some of you are thinking, " how about the people who show up and show out?", Well, all I can say to that is, that person is still showing up.

Thanksgiving is not only a day of being thankful for what you have or the people in your life. It is a day of sharing and not just space and food. So, as you open up your leftover filled Tupperware, think of what you shared and/or what was shared with you. How good did you feel after this day? Did you get to do something brave and bold? Did you get to bless somebody or were you blessed?

So I sit here on Sunday getting ready for the work week, I feel a little lighter for sharing and full for the blessing my life is. Oh, and YES, I am thankful for it all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trick or Treat



First I'd like to send all my prayers and energy to all the folks affected by the crazy storms that are making a GRAND statement. I pray that folks come out of this stronger and better.

Secondly and the focus of today's post is to ask the question...Inspired by the sights and sounds I've encountered this Halloween week; I'm fascinated with how people choose to express themselves on this day when all rules go out the window. Men dressed as women dressed as men dressed as animals dressed as dinosaurs dressed as celebrities dressed as hobos dressed as...I think for some people it's an opportunity to be someone/thing that would otherwise be unacceptable. I guess for others it's just fun an opportunity to show the world their creative genius with ideas or how they pulled off those ideas.

Oh yea, my question... If you could dress up your life, what would it be? What would it look like? Is there a person it would resemble? Don't hold back, fantasize! Visualize big!
I think Halloween could be a wonderful lesson for life. Don't be afraid to go for it! Dress your life up!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh Sandy...

How are you all feeling post Sandy? My heart is breaking for all the people whose lives have been so incredibly devastated by the Mother Nature.
Being on the opposite side of the country makes it hard for me to comprehend the devastation. I can't wrap my head around almost a thousand miles of destruction. Being on the other side of the country doesn't leave us unaffected, as I watch the waves crashing precariously close to the street. I am in awe of the power of your power.

I wake up the day after and the day after that appreciating each moment of my life. And not ever wanting to take anything for granted.

Peace, love, hope and strength to those who are having to rebuild, restructure, redo life as they know or knew it.

Ashe...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How Prosperous Are You?

Health - Wealth -Love
Thought for the week...
How prosperous do you feel?  
What does prosperiy look like for/to you?
One definition I found was - the condition of being successful or thriving.


So what part of your life needs a bit of a prosperity bootcamp?  A jumpstart and a deep dive clean up so you can create room for prosperity?  Do you know that prosperity is not only about your financial being?  


Prosperity is also your

Health/Wellness - Love/Relationships - and Finances


This week, sit down with yourself and write down what your ideal prosperous life looks like.  How would you like your life to play out from this point on?  Please don't limit yourself to being rational.  Be completely and defiantly irrational.  



The moon is not as out of reach as you think...





Monday, October 8, 2012

lf He Brought You To It..He'll Bring You Through It


But will I really be able to live up to your expectation God? The answer...Yes!   how is that possible God?  You are my mirror as I am yours...Completely made in my image.  You have always been destined to greatness, you just haven't realized it yet.

So now here you are looking down the barrel of your dream that you've deferred so many times.  Pushed it away because of fear of it blowing up in your face.  Feeling like God made a mistake in assigning you this particular dream.  To big and too lofty and too unattainable and i'm so not worthy.  Guess what?  This is YOUR dream!  This is YOUR assignment!  This is YOUR journey!  This is YOUR time!

I can tell you when I get stuck or afraid is usually when I am about to cross over the goal line.  I've gone through my check list and all systems go, then all of a sudden the doubt kicks in and then the self sabotage goes into full effect.  Sometimes just as a distraction someone in my life has some type of disaster.  I've done this enough over the years that I recognize the signs when they show up.  I stop what i'm doing...shut down for a bit...get really sad...hit my lowest point...then realize that I have moved so far beyond my center and have not meditated, prayed, taken care of myself in months.  A crazy yet common spiral that so many people I know experience because they are doing everything to avoid their greatness.    I recognize it and stop and pray.  Doing my best to not run and hide.  Doing my best to stand in my best light.


“Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now.” 
 Rick Warren 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What is Your Addiction?




Do you have any addictions?  What are they?   Food, drugs, people, TV, work, attention, a person, cigarettes, exercise, sex...this list could go on and on...What is/was that trigger in your life that flipped that switch on for this addiction?  Have/has your addiction(s) played a role throughout your life or have/has it just showed made a dramatic entrance into your life?

I believe that addictions are cravings that have gone completely HAYWIRE!   One day you have an innocent craving for some savory/sweet something and the next thing you know, you are going out of your way to sacrifice life and limb to satiate the insatiable.

Then when your craving has "mutated" into a full blown addiction you start to loose your spirital voice...so this now "mutated"addiction has now become a toxic aura that acts as a thick veil isolating you from the rest of the world.  How and why did you get here?

Triggers...Somthing that occurs and in a moments time causes you to flashback to a time in your life that was horribly painful.  An incredibly vulnerable time in your life that caused you to feel powerless, useless, unloved and not worth "it", whatever that "it" may have been.  You've managed for so long to keep those feelings at bay...Of course this pain coincidentally showed up when you were having one of those innocent cravings.  You mix your drink, call that stranger for a little romp in the hay, order that food,  pop that pill, deprive yourself of the meal...Anything that can anaesthetize the overwhelming feeling of pain that just showed up.

We are given a couple of options when it comes to pain...deal with it or not.

When we don't deal, we feed our cravings because they temporarily help us feel better, but the key word here is temporarily.  Feed your craving-feel better for a spell and repeat - feed your craving - feel better for a spell and repeat-feed your craving -feel better for a spell and repeat - feed your addiction - feel unsatiated and repeat - feed your addiction - feel unsatiated and repeat.

Dealing with the pain hurts and we want to avoid it, but we don't realize that not dealing with it perpetuates it.  Not dealing with pain forces us to avoid self.  The thought of having to remove the pain mask and be faced with yourself is terrifying.  So for me dealing with my pain and facing myself meant/means being connected with my spirit.  Being prayerful, being present and honest with myself.

Turning to God/Universe/Spirit has over the years has given me the power to detach from my pain and release it. A pattern or way that I was living needed to change and get out of the way so that my dharma could present itself to the world.











Monday, July 30, 2012

All Thing Are Possible









So how to start the week off in a great way?  How about with a plan that feeds mind, body, spirit and dreams...something I learned in church this weekend.

Affirmation:  I believe that life is for me

1. make a list of 10 things (or more) that you want

2. Give each thing a number from 1-10
    > 1 being the most attainable in the next 6 months
    > 10 not believing you can attain it in the next 6 months

All that God/Universe has to offer is available to you.  The challenge is getting past our limiting sensabilities.    What we need to do is to start each day with:

1. Acceptance - The answer to all my problems today (accept things for what they are and keep it moving)
2. Responsibility - Blaming no one (including myself) for what is occuring - Life happens!

3. Defenselessness -  Lean into everything with a spirit of love and your defenses automatically dissipate.

Here is your opportunity to manifest what you want or need in your life.

Meditate, Manifest and Grow on...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Community





Who/What makes up your community?  Family, friends, coworkers, regular strangers on your bus route, your cyberworld, or maybe your four legged or dare I say no legged creature named_____...Do your individual/collective commmunities emotionally, spiritually, physically feed you?   In a time of crisis, how would your community respond?  Over the last few weeks, i've experienced the loss of a loved one in two different communities.

The first, was the accidental death of a young fourteen year old boy who was so close to my nephew that they really saw each other as brothers, so needless to say this was a devastating blow.  What made it even more tragic was how Noah's life was taken away.  A good friend of his accidentally shot him as they played with this kid's grandfather's gun.  So now instead of having lost one 14 year old life, another 14 year old life was/is changed forever.  Unfathomable trauma and pain.  Something I couldn't or wouldn't wish on my very worst enemy.  I prayed hard for both of these families.  I didn't want to wrap my heart or head around getting through it all.  How would these families survive this tragedy?

Less then 24 hours after Noah's death, his mother took to face book to write about her son, share her sadness, thank the people who were being supportive and the most powerful line in her post was...(friend's name here), I forgive you...I know it was an accident.  Please talk to me...I forgive you. This extended olive branch opened the doors of community to not only support Noah's family, but support the friend who was left to live with this accident.  Community embraced this boy and protected him from any outside attacks, critcism or scrutiny.  People in the community have also vowed to support this child by showing up to his hearing(s).  Powerful...

The second, not because it was less important but because both of these tradegies just happened so close to each other and in this order, was my friend Sally.  Ovarian Cancer was what stole her life from us at the tender age of 39.  Sally battled this evil disease for around 4 years of her life.  Sally grew up in Michigan with a challenging past that she worked as hard as she could to leave that world behind.  She came to Chicago and worked hard to become a successful producer at a worldwide Ad Agency.  This career afforded her the opportunity to travel the world and see and experience life in a way that very few in this world will ever get to do. She was a coworker of mine for over six years.

I was a part of Sally's work community and later became a part of her girlfriend community which consisted of a variety of women whom, over the last few her life did their best to provide emotional, spiritual and physical nourishment for her and her family.  Over the last few years I watched these girlfriends collaborate on fundraisers and cleaning services and visiting schedules and food and shopping and so forth and so on.  Sally's husband has/had even made strong connections with some of these ladies allowing them into his pain which I believe might be helping him cope.  Sally's mother also has/had leaned on the girlfriends for support.  I believe he girlfriends gave her insight on her daughter that Sally might have only shared with her closests girls.  Sally's girlfriend community was strong and supportive, which I believe represented her character.

This brings me to the point of this blog entry.  If tragedy ever struck, have I built enough of a community that would/could support me or mine through it all?  What would that suppport look and feel like?  Am I creating enough Sat Karma ( the positive karma that one earns through words and deeds) to ensure the community support that I might need?   Over the years, I have needed to lean on family, friends and even work to get me through some of lifes traumas or challenges.  I've been blessed to be able to pick up the phone and easily find a shoulder to cry on or even a roof over my head if things got that bad.  I'm blessed.  


The other part is the community that is made up of people that I don't know, but because of who I am associated with, they step in.  I watched that happen over and over again with Noah & Sally.  People who didn't know them personally, but knew of them wanted to attach themselves to thier communities. They wanted to help.  They wanted to contribute to their legacy.


What are you doing to ensure that your full circle is made up of a community of people who are proud to be associated with you.  Would your community be proud to contribute to your legacy?


Rest In Peace Noah & Sally





















Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BACK

It's been a while, I know, but i'm back.  Is it silence or patience that claims to be virtuous?  Whatever the case, both my silence and patience have brought me to an unbelieveable space.    Just know that I will be sharing more and well...I'M BACK!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Caught Up In the Weeds

It's funny, one gets caught deep in the recesses of their emotions and tries desperately to find their way out only to beat themselves up for getting caught up...Well, I got caught up and beat myself up for being stuck...when everything else around me has been moving forward, emotionally I've been still...very, very still..Like nothing.  Feeling only the periphery of my joy, pain, sadness, pride, fulfillment...I have been my most stoic self.  The difference between the stoic and how I was feeling was the stoic self was/is the act of covering up the emotions verses my non emotions.  I've been asking myself WTF IS GOING? No answer, just silence and no real feelings...wanting desperately to cry...but nothing.

I think I've finally realized what has been going on, I've been caught up in the weeds of change.  LOTS AND LOTS of change and overwhelming feelings to boot.  At first I found myself desperately cutting through the tall weeds of change feeling like I was getting nowhere at all.  Just more and more weeds. What was I trying to cut through?  My decisions verses my heart verses the state of my emotional affairs verses the weeds that felt they were grabbing at me and chocking me.   I got tired of chopping through it all and just stopped.  Stopped feeling or at least really embracing my feelings because it was just too much.  I sat in the weeds and felt life blow by.  Just tired...very tired.

I have been slowly getting up and working my way through the weeds.  Why, because my life needs me to be fully present.  It keeps blessing me with an abundance of options that can potentially lead me to living my very best life...my purpose.  It feels good to be up again.  Glad to be making my way back through the weeds.

  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Good Bye 30s

Well, the time has come to say good bye to the sometimes cumbersome and many times rewarding layers of my 30s  and hello to finally embracing the layers of my 40s.  I know life isn't going to be suddenly a walk in the park, but I plan on implementing all those lessons that I've learned thus far and using them to create a flower lined path to and through the park. 

I'm starting to get it more now.  Layer 30 was cautiously optimistic while layer 35 was shock and awe as adulthood took on new levels of crazy.  Layers 36 - 38 we'll just call resolve.  It was just time to do Something/anything differently, and I did.  Then there was layer 39, well, it was tough and not until 39 and 1 day till 40 did I realize I was mourning the closing of this 30s section/chapter of my life.  It's a big change, one number which is supposed to represent how far I've come thus far, but it's over and I've come a long way baby, that is the conversation I had with myself.

So goodbye to that and let's move on to...Not always making an impression to the outside world first,  but about impressing the hell out of yourself causing the world to take notice of you through your own eyes. 

Cheers to a life that will be a walk in the park...