The Sage in Elders

Last night I dreamed with my maternal grandmother. She was born and immediately became an orphan. Her mother died while giving birth. Her dad left. Her older brother who was about 20 years her senior watched after her until he could send her to boarding school. My grandmother was a quiet woman. She never said much but observed the world around her. She was in her seventies when I came along. I would sit near her taking in her silence, watching her blue-green eyes that were overly magnified by her thick glasses. I would touch her thin-soft porcelain hands and hold them in my little chubby ones.

What I remember from her are snippets of stories that usually brought some sort of lesson. She only shared them with me because I enjoyed listening so attentively to her soft pace and rhythm. She was poise and graceful. There was so much silence in her world because my grandfather was a powerhouse of noise and attitude. Natalia was gentle that way. She seemed to bring his demeanor to a calming state. I never understood their dynamic. I never understood how they slept in two separate twin beds in a large home with so many other rooms to spare. I never understood how they never touched. I never understood how she lived painfully taking things in and keeping them secretive. But, that was the way things were done a hundred years ago.

My grandmother died on her 95 birthday. She left on the same day she came in. I sat by her that morning. She was incoherent. She opened her eyes, I squeezed her gentle hands, and she closed her eyes acknowledging that it was time. Her soul left so quickly that it felt as if someone had undressed her body and opened up space for nothingness. I remember being 21 years old and experiencing that first encounter of seeing life leave in an instance. It was magical. It was as if she finally didn’t need to keep all those secrets bottled up to herself. It was as if she finally had permission to be the angelic presence she had been on earth. She seemed to never fit…until that moment her soul flew to the heavens.

Last night in that dream she didn’t wear her thick glasses. She was younger. She sat next to me on my porch and, like when I was young, spoke softly while utilizing just enough words to get her message across. She had been an English teacher in Puerto Rico. She was raised in a nun’s convent in Ohio. Her stories were always missing something and last night she seemed to arrive with all those missing parts.

That’s the thing about stories, huh? They come at the precise time we need to hear them. Sometimes the same story can be retold or re-read a thousand times but with each word a new awareness arises to some other level. We are shaken to open. Her quietness and presence eventually shook me to awake. In a cold rainy night I could feel her presence, smell her fragrance, and taste her words. Today I am wearing her smile, her gentleness and I recognize it’s important to continue collecting those stories…especially from our elders who become sages of time. It’s imperative to listen. It’s crucial to be present with others who need us. I am grateful and blessed for each one of you who reaches out and asks for love. Love comes from different sources in this universe. Collect those hearts from all the places that are sent to you.

Thank you. Love is returned back with deep blessings! ~ Millie

Our Ability to Love


When I became a writer/blogger I made a mental note that some things weren’t up for discussion or sharing: serious things about my children (unless it was to help someone), hardships and disappointments with family and friends, and any discord with my mate. I wouldn’t put my dirty laundry out there for the world. When I’ve written about things, in regards to my children, I have tried to do it from a place of motherhood and the challenges the job entails, often times from a humorous point of view. Being a parent is never easy. Ever! In the moments when there is heartbreak you feel isolated. In moments of pure joy, you feel elated beyond whatever words can describe the event.

Yesterday it became official. Our (almost three year old) was officially adopted. We’ve been on this long process of making her ours since she was 5 months old. It’s a bitter sweet story. It’s one of complete joy in one hand and sadness in another. After raising 6 kids, one of my daughters from Romania had this baby girl. She is not mentally stable. She has serious mental health issues and lost this sweet addition to the family. Incredible how one moment of joy can transform into something so deeply heartbreaking within a short time.

Motherhood is who I am. I knew from early on in my childhood that I wanted a house full of children. My family was small. I wanted a big one. At the age of 10 I would say that I was going to have my own biological kids and lots of adopted ones. My mother frowned on this. I think she expected me to “outgrow” this notion.

When I was 18 years old the show 20/20 did a segment on Romanian orphanages. I had just gotten married and I made a comment of this to my then-husband. I was heartbroken, crying like a baby, watching the images of this segment. I told him that I had to help. He told me he didn’t agree with adoption. I was told that I could possibly never have children. I wanted to get on that quickly. I was born with some major issues in my female reproductive organs…but my tenacity and faith truly showed those ovaries who was in charged. By the time I was 22 I had two sweet boys, a divorce behind me, and the world ahead to possibly change the lives of one child. By the time I was 29 I knew I was ready to make that dream come true. My first little girl arrived on my 30th birthday (cause that’s the way God works with me). She was 2-1/2 y/o. The following year I adopted a little boy who was four and a few months later a little 9 year-old girl, and an 11-1/2 year-old young lady.

I will not share the struggles that arrive with caring for older children. I will not list the issues that came up with having that many kids under one roof. I believe that laughter and lots of prayers help us all cope with the wonderful experiences. But, I will share this: every single one of my kiddos has taught me some major powerful lessons. Each one has enriched me with love, patience, compassion and the understanding that we all have a purpose here. I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t a mother. I can’t imagine another career more soul-fully connected to growth, spiritual connections, and love.

When Kali arrived into our home, and hearts, my youngest was graduating high school. At the age of 45 I restarted my career of loving, patience, and compassion. I had to come to terms that my then-plans would be altered. My husband and I are truly blessed. He didn’t have children of his own. To witness the love between this child and her daddy…oh my gawd…makes your heart melt. I promise it’s sometimes Hallmark moments.

I woke today with gratitude. When her social worker informed me yesterday that she was finally ours, I sobbed at work. I was overcome with so many emotions. I felt the elation of finality and the sadness of completion for my daughter (Kali’s mother) who can’t be in her life at this moment. I have to continue being her mother and protecting this child as well. It’s not a fun balancing act. At times, in solitude, it tears me apart knowing I cannot be all to all of them. I cannot be Super Mom! But those are my lessons. They are there for the evolution and expansion of my soul.

I am no saint. I am often one giant hot mess. I make some amazing delicious over-the-top mistakes. I am as simple and common as they come. I am just trying to live the most beautiful lifetime while knowing that because of me, seven children, have experienced love and laughter.

We are all connected. May you find yourself reaching out to another who needs it. It’s in the small things. You don’t have to adopt a child or an animal or a family. You can just be there for another. You have the ability to be good, do good and create good. It’s all about humanity. We all have that extra oomph of DNA that expands with giving love. We have a tremendous ability to love one another. It’s called altruism.

It’s the holidays. Please gift yourself the most loving present of giving and seeing the world change one soul at a time because you were PRESENT in someone’s life. A cup of coffee, a gentle touch, a freaking delicious smile, a scarf and jacket, or anything that can give a stranger the ability to recognize they matter. It’s really THAT simple. You matter. I matter. We all matter on this melting pot of awesomeness we get to call home.

I don’t know another way to live. I don’t know another way to forgive. I don’t know another way to love. It might not be right, but it also isn’t wrong. So…join me, darlings, in the ability to give of yourself to those in need.  There are so many folks out there feeling the stings of loss and destitution.

I love you! Yes…you! Even if we aren’t friends anymore. Even if we are strangers. Even if we have had issues. Even if our time was short and sweet. We are in this together. Hugs!

Happy Holidays! We got an early Christmas present. And…nothing can beat these moments!

Cosmic Corners

I sit staring outside on this gorgeous cool mountain evening realizing this is just a tiny corner of the cosmos. Even while the fires continue to burn all around the area I feel at ease knowing I am home.  This is my universe at this moment..full bellied…content…relaxed…watching a movie with Kali and Matt. My youngest daughter left to her own space but spent a wonderful time with us.This is the universe of all there needs to be in calmness and gratitude at this moment in time. I have my eldest son arriving from New York this week. I have another who will be here in the holidays. I feel gratitude rise and fall with each breath of awareness. The only thing missing in this perfect time is the presence from the rest of my kiddos who are scattered throughout their own cosmos and edges of different worlds and lives. And…to hear from them at any given time makes me realize that no matter what corner of the world they live in we are united by the thread of love. May you all have a wonderful evening in your own piece of cosmic universe.

You Deserve Respect


I have a family member who loves to call me and gossip about people I don’t even know. Whenever I don’t answer the phone, because I am at work or busy with life, she leaves me these long nasty messages that sound like someone in an insane asylum. Most of the time, when I do speak with her, I let her go on her one-sided conversation. There have been times that I just want to say, “Hold please! Let me buckle up as we are about to get on the bipolar expressway.” I sit there with the phone glued to my ear listening to ramblings that create a sense of anxiety for me….until recently when I stopped all communication.

Let’s be f*cking honest here! If someone is not raising your vibes to a loving and healthy standard, they really don’t need to be entertained. You can, amicably, speak with them. You can be gracious in loving them from a distance, but by no means do you need to own their toxic energy because no matter how hard you try to break their cycle of negativity it isn’t going to happen. I am reminded that you have no say in what another person is thinking or feeling. They have to figure that out on their own.

We are so ingrained to HAVE to be part of everyone’s life when it comes to family. But, you don’t. You can sit with that person and truly entertain them to the best of your ability and they still will not see the goodness or the help you are providing. And, this isn’t about being acknowledged. This is merely about being respected for your worth. There will always be naysayers, victims, master manipulators and martyrs. Archetypes are there for a reason. We get to choose how we act and react to their stories.

In my case, with this particular family member, I had to just write a letter after her last voice mail (about me going to hell for not calling her back) that basically pinpointed that I would not tolerate the disrespect any longer. If she couldn’t be in my life with love and support then it was better that she wasn’t. End of conversation.

Sometimes we come across folks who need to be heard. I am great with that. Now, when the same conversation keeps coming up over and over and they want you to drop everything to listen, you have be honest with them and yourself. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. I am not a saint and my patience gets in the way of being generous with my time when it isn’t reciprocated.

I have been in the middle of conversations when I have said something lighthearted and it has been offensive to another. I get told off. I have to step back and say, “Oh, okay! So this is where we are going with this. Yay. I am ready for the ride. Let’s get on the f*cking wagon of self-hatred, criticism and self-pity.” I have to be careful to keep my facial expressions in tact cause I might say nothing but my face has its own language.

You don’t have to partake in every argument, judgment, and decision another human has…even when they are your grown children, parents, siblings, family or friends. You don’t have to sit and agree. “No!” is a complete sentence. And, there are many other ways of deviating from the drama. The moment you get sucked into negativity and toxic forums you are dedicated to make a decision to stay or leave. You get to decide.

Many years ago I had a spiritual mother/friend who was in the hospital having hip surgery. I happened to call at a moment that a nurse was checking on her and they were getting her out of bed. The hospital phone rang and I believe the nurse thought she would pass it to my friend. Her response before even seeing who was on the line was, “Just because it rings, doesn’t mean you have to pick it up.” Until that very moment it never occurred to me in my 30’s that if the phone rang I could just ignore it; that if the doorbell rang I did not have to answer; or if someone expected me to do something that I could say “no!” I was programmed to be overly responsible and that moment taught me that you have a choice in everything. She didn’t even know it was me and made the nurse hang up. It was a lesson about what is important and what isn’t. You don’t have to answer every single piece of nonsense out there. You are not responsible for listening to bullshit that has nothing to do with you. And, even if it was about you, and you aren’t in accordance with the criticism, you can always thank that person and walk away, hang up or let them know that you are to be respected. Arrogance and intolerance are characteristics that when fed grow into monsters.

Start to put yourself first. Respect your time, space and energy. When you do this those folks have no way to get to you. You can act and react however you want. The bullies and narcissist will disappear when they know that they can’t manipulate you. You aren’t going to fix the world unless you put yourself on the highest level of self-respect. You are worth so much and if you can’t see it they can’t either.

We absorb our surroundings. We are constantly being bombarded with crap from others. It’s your choice to stop the madness. You get to decide what and how you participate in this world. Shift your perception and recognize that the lessons come from people who rub us the most intense way through feelings. Learn from them about what and who you are…but don’t own their shit.  Forgive what you cannot change since you have a hard time letting go.

It’s not selfish to love yourself and demand respect. You are not anyone’s punching bag. You are required to stand and provide self-love. That’s compassionate. That’s kindness.

Sending love out to all!

We need tribes in our lives


There is an urgency for connection with each other. These are not easy times.  We are on the edge of greatness and chaos. It’s up to us to change how the journey will end.  We are the present and the future. There are folks losing their jobs, their homes, and families. There are others sitting alone in a hospital room watching a loved one fight for their lives. While some others are in the petty claws of political and religious arguments on social media…life is happening out there. Life is happening in here. Life is a series of ongoing movements and motions reminding us that we get to pick the perception and reaction. I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t know why anything happens. I would like to believe it’s for the evolution of our higher self. I would like to believe it’s part of a larger design. Who truly knows at this point? I have to be led by faith and that onset programming of a higher body of spirit guiding me. 

What I do know is that we need one another. We need tribes of people who raise and join us in our causes and dreams. We need love. We need to know that we aren’t alone in the path of obstacles and challenges. We need to get out of our own head space and truly feel the vibration of another who is part of the overall mass consciousness shifting for a better world. People enter your life for various reasons. They might not stay forever. They might just be passing by. But, their presence exists for a reason. Sometimes they appear to mirror the things you need to work on, and other times to enhance your greatness. When we hurt, we end up hurting another and vice versa. We are not perfect and tribes help us see this truth.

We are made to run in packs like wolves while watching each others’ backs. We need tribes and warriors in our lives to bare our vulnerability, hurts, and passions. We need to gather in moments of weakness and pain. We have to rejoice in moments of joy and love. When one person is in danger of overexposure and breakdowns we need someone to hold us up. If you don’t have this then you need to find your tribe because you aren’t meant to be alone carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We are all connected in this place by a thread of humanity through love. Do not let ego tell you that you do not need anyone. It’s magnificent to feel the sense of unity even from thousands of miles away. And, yes, it’s heartbreaking when the tribe challenges and changes over time. It feels like you won’t find another. You will. We are always learning who we are through the revolving door of people and relationships.

Those who say, “I don’t need anyone. I am okay alone. Having friends requires too much work.” These folks put up a wall around them and then wonder why they are unhappy, why they aren’t given intimate attention, and why they can’t connect? You will always get what you desire…especially if it’s negative. Whenever I hear these statements I am truly happy and sad for that person. I am happy that they feel content, but I am sad that they are missing out in the beauty of having others support and love them. We are the sum of our experiences. We are legends because of each triumph, failure, obstacle, success and connections with one another. We are not meant to be alone in our grief or losses. We hold communities, families and the world with connection. Humanity wants to be heard. We require the sharing of stories, the acknowledgment for our lives, and love without judgment through listening. This is who we are. There’s an urgency to be accepted, approved, and recognized. There’s an ache to be understood in a time that things are misinterpreted through the greatness of technology.

Hold a friend’s hand in need. Hug your lover as if it was the last time. Kiss those kids tightly. Smile at a stranger. Open doors for an elderly person. Compliment a cashier. Delete the toxic folks out of your life. If they don’t raise you then they have taught you something. It’s time to move on. You will hurt, break and then reconnect with those parts of yourself and others that need more growth. Use your energy wisely. Get out of your head and lovingly give to another who needs to feel that the illusion of loneliness is not drowning their existence. It matters. It all matters to that one human who is struggling with life. Stop the craziness of self doubt and anxiety because there is no way you leave this life alive. Find your tribe and be grateful for them. When we share among others we see that we are not alone in our stories. Everyone is experiencing something similar. Stopping ourselves from reaching out (because of fear, shame, and embarrassment) is an injustice to our spirits. Loneliness, sadness, despair, and so much more are compositions to our journeys but we can still reach out with our love and feel the comfort of another holding us up. We need strong tribes to keep moving through life. You are not alone unless you consciously choose to be. Open your heart…your tribe is waiting for you!

To find our tribe means finding people we can learn from, people who are better at some things than we are, people who have something to teach. We say we want it, but how many of us fear being a beginner more than loneliness and much more than being in the wrong crowd? There is a strange comfort, a sense of safety, to suffering and loneliness. To be happy, to find our family, we must be willing to let that go.” ~Vironika Tugaleva

When the insignificant becomes significant

forgiveSome holidays seem insignificant to me.  Mother’s Day is one such day.  I believe that when you are a mother you celebrate in that momentum every single day.  I usually skip over it.  I get cards and calls from my kids and friends are kind enough to remind me that I am, indeed, a mother of a LOT of children.  And, while it’s lovely to have a commercialized day to pamper your dear one, I think it creates a little stress in the back burner.  It emphasizes too much for others who are going through loss.

Yesterday I was super emotional and did everything possible not to let it overwhelm me.  I missed my mother who passed away a month before Mother’s Day on 2008.  She did make a huge stink about this day and expected it to be a day of celebration for her.  It was important to her. Perhaps that’s also why it’s not to me.  However, in the midst of six children in different cities and such, I miss them.  I miss having them all around the dinner table and not being a part of the seventh child. I missed having my mother and the glory of this special day to celebrate her greatest in having been guidance for 40 years.  So, yes, yesterday was a crappy day.  I worked the morning and then we took a Sunday drive with a baby who hates being strapped in her car seat.  We drove in silence while she screamed on an off.  We tried to keep her busy and finally we gave in.  It wasn’t going to work. It was better to be home and have her in her space while we played with her.  It was also better for me to allow the emotions to wander off while feeding the fish with her, or taking her to the swing.  It was better to get distracted while watching Barney for the 233rd time in a week.

The insignificant became rather significant and by 7PM I was exhausted.  I was mentally drained and didn’t even want to verbalize a single syllable.  Going to sleep that early allowed me to wake up even earlier than usual.  I was up at 1AM sitting in the dark living room.  I released it all.  I said my prayers.  I did a meditation that came out of nowhere showing me a path I had not even considered.  I began to think about friends who have lost their children, others who lost their mothers early on, and then I began to count my blessings.  There’s nothing like placing myself in another’s life for a few moments to snap me back to gratitude. And, just like that I was able to return to the light of day being the goofy me.

Why do we place so much emphasis on special days? As clueless as I am for certain things I am keen to others.  I try not to let these days that are marked on a store-bought calendar become my triggers.  But, I also know that Sadness arrives and sits whenever it is bringing along a friend…in this case Awareness.  I will never get to sit with my mother and share everything I have done in the past 7 years while she gives me approval or disapproval and a world of great advice.  I will most likely never sit with all my children in one space as some have decided not to be part of this family.  That’s the thing about moments: while you are going through them you don’t know that they will leave lasting impressions for later.  You don’t know that a specific event will be the best memory in a long time and it will become the mark of greatness to other similar moments.  They sit quietly in the back of the mind, tucked gently in a corner of the heart, and something will trigger them and you can’t see what’s really important anymore.  It’s our spiritual duty to find solace and comfort in understanding that they return for a lesson.  Sit with them and allow them to show you why they keep revisiting.  What’s missing in your life? Why was that so important and why can’t you have it again? Retrace those memories with openness and acceptance. Often times when we miss something it is because we are being guided to move through a major breakthrough.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t stay in the regrets or the resentments.  Forgive the path you took to get you here and all the choices you make every day.  That’s life! We are constantly evolving and hopefully in a manner guided by unconditional love, especially for the self.

In days like yesterday I always think of Rumi’s poem: The Guest House.  I allow those emotions to visit, and I decorate their room for the day while trying to make them comfortable.  Then I let them go off.  Each room is a new emotion.  It’s all good because I am aware of their visitation.  They clear out things that are often forgotten.  Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be a sad day.  It can be a purging day of emotions and laughter.  And just like that the laughter arrived in the darkness of my living room this morning.  I began to remember the moments most precious to me with my mother and my children.  I remembered things that made me chuckle and I tried to stay as quiet as possible not to wake anyone.  It’s all a matter of conscious shift.  I refuse to enter another day with a trickling of tears marking my cheeks.

There are more important things happening around us.  It isn’t my job to analyze or control those moments but I can choose when they need eviction from my mind.  Today is a gorgeous day.  As I write this I am watching the fish swimming in the pond as the light casts gently on the water.  I hear the birds singing their love songs.  And, today my heart is healing.  Whatever happened yesterday has allowed for me to re-enter my waking life with a light heart.  May you find peace in those moments of release and remember all that is you.  You are AWEsome.  You are Divine Love at its very best.

There’s no place like home

No place like home by Nelson

My son, his girlfriend, and a friend arrived from Florida yesterday. He turns 24 tomorrow. They will be here for a week. My sister, niece, her husband and daughter will arrive on Monday. Having my family home is always an adjustment for everyone on the first few days. But, family is always a loving dynamic and we find joy in sharing. Stories will be shared, moments will find new albums, and laughter will be contagious.

I last saw my son on my birthday in April. We had a marvelous afternoon walking on the beach in South Florida. It was a loving time full of adult conversations. I know how difficult it is for my oldest son to get used to his parent’s separation. He seems to take things much harder than the rest. When he comes to visit I am initially waiting for emotions to fly off the handle at some point. Usually my mind creates the worst.

He took the above picture as he got home. He showed it to me and said, “There is no place like Mom’s home.” Tears formed in my eyes. No matter how old they get they still find home where the heart resides. Entering the house he smelled the aromatherapy oils I always burn. “Ah, smells like home. Miss that smell.” He walked through the kitchen and living room breathing the eucalyptus and rosemary. His demeanor changed completely. His spirit let go and I could see it in his eyes. He was back in a place of stability and security.

There’s a grounding quality in the places we call “home.” There should always be a place that feels nurturing, loving, comfortable and healing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mansion or a shack. I try to create this sense of safety for my family. My home is my sanctuary and I am very conscious of treating it with love. There is no chair or space that can’t be used. There’s no discomfort or uneasiness. This home is a place to sit back and just relax. All my homes have welcomed family and friends to just chill. Home is that place of finding loving energies. Everyone should have a space that allows the spirit to let go and feel secure. I hope that my space can always provide that for others. This haven provides an on-going comfort for so many. Even whenever I leave for a few days, I re-enter my space and always thank God for what I have. I find myself like Dorothy whispering, “There’s no place like home!”

My last home was a massive house. I had a living room that I called “the red room” because the sofas were flushed and red. It seemed that anyone who sat there for more than 10 minutes began to share emotions. The room seemed to have a therapeutic effect. I am not a therapist and was always surprised at the things people would divulge. Even strangers would just break down and start sharing personal things. When I moved to North Carolina I sold everything. The time came to buy new sofas for my home and I purchased red sofas again. I’ve found that the color stirs up emotions in others, and also allows them to let go. Secrets, emotions, traumas, and stories are shared in this space. They provide a comfort area to watch television, share a glass of wine with friends, and a great nap time on a lazy day.

Is it the furniture? Is it the color? Is it the energy of this place in the mountains? Is it the lack of restrictions to what anyone can do? I really don’t know. What I do know for sure is that my son and others come home and I watch their spirits breathe and relax. I thank God for this sanctuary. I am grateful that the Divine provides them with this space to let go and rejuvenate.

I hope that no matter where you are that you can create paradise in your space. Whenever you spirit comes home it should be a place that feels the nurturing energies of the Divine. Home is the place where your stories never need an explanation and you can always feel loved. It is the place that allows the real you to rest, rejuvenate, and recreate.