Give of Yourself

in the now

 

I was in a store right after work today. I needed to get a few things. A woman in the makeup section was frustrated. She was moving things from side to side. I was trying to get something for one of my little girl’s teachers. I looked up from the shelf and just stared at her. She looked as if the world was coming undone.

I took a step back and asked, “Oh sweetheart, are you okay?”

“This holiday shit has me so stressed out….” (she had a mini rant which needed to come out).

I took her hand, removed the soap in it and asked her to please breathe deeply with me. (I often wonder how folks don’t slap me). I asked if we could just stay present for a few seconds. We stood staring at each other. She actually took the deepest inhale and together we exhaled simultaneously. I asked for another. And another.

So we stood there…two middle aged women with odds and ends in carts understanding with little words that it’s okay to come undone. What’s not okay is for the reasons of the commercialized season. It’s not okay to feel like we have to give to everyone. It’s not okay to consume debt that needs to be paid off next year. It’s not okay to have to feel that giving symbolizes how we feel for another. It’s not okay to feel anxiety and frantic energy.

Her tears began to fall. I held my hands around her cheeks and kissed her. She hugged me as if we were each other’s lifeline. Her body felt as if it was finally collapsing from the stress.

Darlings, that’s more like what this season is for…reaching out to others. It’s about understanding that we are connected. Screw the shopping. Take someone for a cup of coffee. Hug a stranger. Give a freaking yummy compliment. Send a card with glitter. Leave some cookies at a neighbor.

The season of giving is about gratitude and sharing. It has nothing to do with consumerism.

We are all in this. I love you. Allow for the emotions to come up and out. And if some crazy woman with fairy tinsel in her hair comes up to you…allow her to hug and love you. I don’t want to get slapped.

A Date

I would like to make a date

to kiss you,

to inhale your smile,

and swallow your laughter.

I want an invitation

to travel from your head

down to your feet

in some utter delight

using you as

the vehicle

to come and go.

 

I wish for a rendezvous

to whisper

in the darkness

and the light

in those moments

when I stare into your eyes

as they flutter to my knowing.

 

I want a date to give

and take

and be again

in the euphoria

of our union

because true love stories

never end.

Collecting Memories

attentiveness

As I sat, listening

to your words,

following gestures –

            lines connecting,

       detaching, intersecting,

        circling all around you

passionately expressing

details of where you’ve been

in such joyous promptitude

                     I wondered how it felt

                              to be you.

 

How do the stories,

words, and thoughts

file inside the memory

of such a gentle soul?

How amazing to carry

those moments,

retracting them

at a push of a thought.

 

Each of us is connected

by an action,

a            lapse          in            time,

a twinkling…. pace

            causing a scene for

later viewing

alone in personal time

full of tears or giggles.

 

Your smile paused

the very thought of me

noticing the attentiveness.

In such erratic tone,

the seconds lasted an eternity

when you leaned in,

closed your eyes,

kissed me for the first time

and my moment

was quickly filed under “L o v e.”

A True “Love Warrior”

love-warrior

A dear friend recently gifted me the book Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I finished it last night, slowly savoring every word. It took me longer than most books because I would pause, spread the book across my chest like a shield, inhale and exhale with memories of what could have been my parallel life. It took me time, just like when I first read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, to understand how connected we really are with others. There are a million stories but somehow they can reflect right back to our own circumstances. Let’s face it, we all have stories. We are the sum of every single experience, interaction, and reaction. This book took me to some places I had forgotten. It also enlightened delicious moments that I love to revisit. I have doggie-eared the pages hoping to return once more at a later time. This little author has created a giant love story full of self-forgiveness, awareness, acceptance and compassion. It’s a memoir of self, relationships, marriage, addiction and how faith pulls us towards light.

Tell me what life doesn’t have some juicy substance that makes us gasp and smile and cry and love and forgive?

Tell me how we make it out of here without any experience that is worth sharing and learning from others?

Tell me how we can overcome obstacles without truly being aided by a Supreme Being and loved ones?

Tell me, just tell me how we can withhold truth from ourselves and others…and still make it an authentic life?

Tell me, because I don’t know any other way but to pour out my heart to others and allow others to pour their essence into me so I can drink from their knowledge.

I want to join the warriors of love and light to continue changing the world with spiritual vibes. This, I know, I want for the rest of my life.

Every single soul out there has a story. If you are willing to listen you will find yourself immerse in some of the experiences. This book is definitely worth exploring during the holidays. There is a reason why it’s a number one best seller! It will shake you, take you, and make you…want to continue sharing your own stories. Remember that every single thing you’ve experienced (bad or good, lovely or shameful) has brought you to this very moment. You get to decide what you do with your history to change your present and future self.

Glennon also has a wonderful blog: http://momastery.com/blog/about-glennon/

She’s a true inspiration. Go find her and follow her wisdom. Let’s all become Love Warriors as well…I love you!!!!

 

Sunday Love Story

love holding on

During my time as a hotel/retreat owner I met amazing people. Thousands walked through our doors. I heard stories of all types: challenges, sorrows, joys, marriages, divorces, illnesses, births, careers changes, like altering experiences, love stories and those of loss. Truth be told, I do not miss the responsibility of the business. It was a 365/24/7 job. I felt stuck and at a loss as time went on. But, what I miss are the connections I made on a daily basis. I was able to witness love and life through each person who entered our place. I could write a book about the souls who chose to share their stories, only because I was available to sit and witness them.

Several years ago Mickey and Dell visited. They would always stay in room 5. I used to refer to him as Santa Claus…his long white beard and smiles always brought about a childhood nostalgia. Mickey and Dell started dating in the10th grade and were married at 19 years old. They had two daughters, one who died a few years ago. I remember their love and union as if it was a fantasy fairy tale. Dell loved our place. She loved the pond. She was an extraordinary creature of poise and grace. Her beautiful white hair and fair skin was something out of a story book. She was intelligent, funny, and one of the most compassionate souls I’ve ever encountered.

One day I received a call from their daughter, Shannon, that Dell had passed on. I didn’t realized she had cancer the last time they stayed with us. My heart sunk and I asked myself, “How will Mickey survive this? How does a love that strong and beautiful survive loss? What happens to the one left behind when they have been together 40 something years?” But, all I could say to Shannon was that I was so sorry for her loss. I asked about her dad. Out of respect I held my questions. I could only imagine the inexplicable pain of losing your soul mate. I cried for a long while that afternoon. I didn’t get to say goodbye to one of my favorite guests.

Mickey continued to come every so often in Dell’s honor. She loved the place and he would stay one night here and there. He would come with his daughter and her family. But it wasn’t until one of the last weekends at our place that I got to know the real Mickey along with some of my friends. I had not realized the sense of loss he experienced until one-on-one he opened up about the love of his life. His sharing with us allowed the healing to begin. And, what I saw was deeper than his words. He’s a very reserved being. What I witnessed was the truth of grace and faith at the hands of separation.

See, that’s the thing about love: it doesn’t have to be gone to continue enduring its depth. He still feels married to his beautiful Dell. She was wise. She was angelic and now she’s his true guardian angel until the moment he joins her in that other realm.

Mickey has had losses. Shannon has had losses. Losing a daughter and then a wife within a short expand of years is inconceivable to me. It’s not something I ever want to experience. But, when you visit with my own Santa Claus you realize that we continue showing up and choosing our happiness. We are filled with other things during the day and at night we are touched by our loved ones in dreams.

Mickey still puts his darling wife and daughter to bed with his prayers. He still shares the day’s moments and tribulations. He still continues to walk among us, even when you see that there is someone always around him shining a bright light. I am also certain that there are dark moments of the soul that make him question the purpose for his walk here on earth. He is after all very human.

Love never dies. It evolves and continues to impact us in so many levels. Healing from any loss has no expiration date,or time of limitation. It’s all about honoring one moment at a time. When I think of his stories and the love that I witnessed when they would visit our center, I hold my heart tightly. I know love. I have been its student since very young. I know the way it moves, radiates, and transcends. I have witnessed love and lovers beyond time and space. Thank you, Mickey, for showing me once more what to aspire to be in this life. You are now, and forever will be, my Santa Claus bringing me joy through your texts every single day. I love YOU!

Walking me home

couple-holding-hands

Everything is nothing

until you glance over

and I smile at you,

giddiness follows

and your lips

whisper softly

through the mischievous

blue eyes

and a wrinkle of your nose,

“I love you, babe.”

Everything feels

alright

in the world

where

before you

I was just making heads

of my place

in this space

until my hands

finally allowed yours

to gather me,

walk us back home,

and showed me what was missing.

Traveling Memories

I lay scanning

through the hard drive

of memories

to find a moment

immersed in the bliss of love.

I don’t know why tonight

I’ve chosen to go

down this Memory Lane

when there are

other streets,

boulevards,

and ways

with far better photographs

in the corner of my mind.

 

I hear the sounds

of summer night:

crickets, bull frogs,

cicadas,

cascades of water

falling into the pond.

 

Sleep got lost down the parkway

and I can no longer

fight with the pillows,

the blanket, a cold bed,

for comfort

while choosing to ignore

the thoughts arriving quickly.

 

I lay trying to find

the rhythm of night

breathing the tight humid air

of the room

imagining and reliving,

changing and adding,

to the stories from long ago.

 

There is loss

in my timeline

that never coincides

with some major events.

The memories replay

movies of youth,

sadness and joy,

antagonists and heroes.

I smile at the darkness

as I journey back

through the lighted path

of Memory Lane –

returning to this place

where life is sweeter;

where peace puts the pieces of me

in perfect order.

 

I close my eyes

to.

find.

sleep.

at last.

in Destiny Way….