The Magic of These Times

This morning…sometime around 1:30AM the moon woke me. I stepped out of the room, tip toeing, as not to wake Matt or Kali going down the stairs. I went outside searching for what woke me, the giant eye in the sky. It was magical. I never ever get tired of sitting outside and watching the night sky and all the incredible mysticism it holds beyond our vision.

I stepped inside, cold, shaking and when I went to the bathroom I witnessed my daddy’s whiskey-color eyes staring back. I hadn’t thought about him in long time. This season always gets me nostalgic. But I also feel the magic in the air…in the sweetness of something I’ve missed for a long time.

My dad left to get a pack of cigarettes on December 23rd, when I was 9 years old. He promised that morning to take me to the store to help me make a list for Santa Claus. He left and never returned. It’s not a fairy tale story but when I look into my eyes now I see his eyes, with the lines of laughter and I have his smile.I also see the millions of reasons for the things he did…like running away when things got heavy, or avoiding dealing with craziness, or simple responsibilities. It was also what made him charming and the life of party. He didn’t have an ill bone to him. I have his crazy sarcastic wit and the ability to talk to an ant as if it was human.

He also taught me what not to become with his absence. The traits I may carry in my genetic pool aren’t for me to act on. I stay and raise my kids. I stay when it gets tough and rough. I stay when it’s way too much and my natural inkling is to run. I also stay because I love. And he taught me that. He missed out on so much. I would never want to experience his regrets and resentments. He died a painful death with cancer all throughout his body for years.

It’s taken many decades to make peace with Christmas. This time of the year sneaks up and pulls emotions out.

So, once I turned the light off I went outside again…said a few prayers to the heavens and I witnessed his response with a shooting star. Like a gorgeous flow of glitter….

That moon…those stars…that magic. Go explore it folks. It’s healing!

There is magic all around us. Do you feel it?

Fairyologist on Duty

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I just recently became a Certified Fairyologist. Yes, there is such a thing and for my birthday my hubby enrolled me on Doreen Virtues’ online class. Now you may ask, “What does a Fairyologist do?” This is a valid question. I don’t really know what they do except what was taught on the class: history of fairies and how to live among them.  I can only tell you what I do and who I am in regards to nature. I am a play-in-the-mud-jump-in-the-creeks-sing-silly-songs-wear-tutus-and-love-everyone eccentric type of gal. I don’t take myself seriously.  I have a quick wit and find entertainment just about everywhere I go. I respect Mother Earth. I feel grounded being outdoors. I love to get lost in hikes, travel to new places, talk to people, hear their stories, and enjoy the silliness that’s out in the world. I am not here to tell you how you should live, but I can surely provide some entertainment on what works for me. I am not much for adulting these days. I have little respect for the stressful life, and anything that helps me release burdens…I am on that path.

I have raised six children and now raising a 2 year old (number 7). Now in midlife, she’s teaching me to revert into childhood and take no crap from social programming. She keeps reminding me what it is to view the world from the simplicity of innocence. She is reminding me how we all come in with such incredible awareness and gifts. It’s in those moments that she has become my hero. Children have a magical way of focusing on this. They react to the world around them with curiosity. “Forget that over there!” They don’t worry about tomorrow. They are consumed with the over stimulation of play and what’s right in front of them. They change their minds one minute at a time. They celebrate life through the smallest of things, like picking up a rock. They can observe a worm moving for an hour. They don’t see fear. They accept what is right in their vision. They are the greatest source of spiritual connection available to us.

As I finished the course and got my “certification” things have shown up. The ideas have run overboard and I am trying to find a way to organize the things I can do with my Fairy Whispers and Play. I want to do workshops on how to live life guided by the joy from your inner child. Let’s face it, this “adulting” business is pretty intense! We have forgotten what it is that we wanted to become as children. We forget how to play because there is always a to-do list, a set of rules, work, schedules, children, parents, spouses and the constant derailing of responsibilities. We forget that art, writing, music, and all sorts of creating weren’t gifts for childhood. They are gifts for our entire lives. We didn’t come into this life to spend the first 13 years, or so, being one way and then disregard our desires, passion, and dreams. That’s an instruction via society that is false and corrupted. We are here to follow our bliss, and when we do, mysticism follows.  We create our stories.  We are shaped by them.

I am embarking in a new life. I cannot describe the pathway. I can see it clearly but don’t quite know where it will take me. Meantime, I am putting together a program to see if I can actually help the contagious spirit of laughter, play, and creation. How did we ever forget that our happiness comes from our inner child? And, yes, many of you have had some disastrous upbringings. We have all been wired and programmed to believe that “growing up” means “not participating in child play.” That’s okay! The beauty of programming and beliefs can be altered with conscious awareness. You have the power to dream, visualize and create the life you always wanted.

How do you get there?

By being truthful with how you are right now. If you aren’t happy then it’s time to see what’s stumping your dreams. Things don’t change over night, but your perception and acceptance of decisions can begin to create a plan. This plan is what can help gather your wits, joy, freedom and a new beginning. Sometimes fear of success is what stops us from performing. We are all waiting for failure. That’s a given…but how many of us can actually move through the voices of our pasts and be willing to lose ourselves in our childhood dreams again?

Change starts and ends with your inner child. Holding that little girl/boy, and assuring him/her that you have a handle on this is the first step to creating a space of joy. Taking a new hobby, making time for yourself (even if only 30 minutes a week), or joining a group of like-minded folks is recharging for your spirit.  There are ways to open up the memories of who you are and what you have forgotten for so long.  There are tools to release the hurt and move through the joy. You are not alone.  You can finally set those dreams in motion.  It’s never too late to be what you were suppose to be before the world told you otherwise.  It’s never too late to be that child again.

I am working on a some things that can bring you joy. I hope you have allowed your little person to laugh today. I hope you have done something magical and empowering while looking at life just a little different. Go get yourself some multi-colored-silly glasses and let’s begin the adventure!  Let’s meet up in a playground soon!

A Loving Heart Heals All

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Sometimes, when one of my adult children come asking for advice, I have to take a giant pause.  My immediate answer is usually very different from what I would give another person as suggestions, counseling or help.  I listen.  Then I listen some more.  In my middle age I have learned to detach from being a parent and truly be available for them.  It’s not easy.  There are subjects that I rather not touch with any of them.  But, I am so grateful that they do come to me, not so much as a parent, but as someone who has experienced life just a little bit ahead of them.  I giggle at the thought that they think I have an unlimited amount of wisdom.  Heaven knows I am constantly having to Google for answers or improvise.

There are boundary lines we create with our children.  I ask myself, “What would I tell a friend asking me this same thing?  How would I guide that person if I had not invested my heart completely?”  The reality is that there is no difference.  There is no inequality in how I would treat another over my children.  My kids are all of adult age.  Conversations about sex, drugs, alcohol, traveling, and whatever is out there does come up.  We are not “that” open to discuss each others’ adventures but they know that I am here for the long haul.  It doesn’t matter what has happened, the torturing of teenage years that left me in pure exhaustion, or that our hearts have been fractured many times.  We are still a family.  We are the sum of our experiences: past, present and future.

I look back at raising six individuals.  Whether or not their mental issues, capacities, and past environments (before they arrived into my arms) have played a large part in their evolution I take full responsibility for letting them know that I got their backs.  I will not baby them.  I will not partake in senseless acts that will put them in harm.  I will not advocate destructive behavior.  But, what I will do is let them know that I am here with two ears, open arms to hold them, and plenty of kisses to heal all wounds.  I am here to respect their choices and not tell them “I told you so” even when I want to because life could have been a bit easier for them. But then they wouldn’t learn just like I didn’t learn from my mother.

I have not been a “perfect” mother.  I have no idea what that would entail.  What does the perfect mother look like?  How does she dress?  How does she speak?  Where does this perfect mother live?  How does she handle bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, mental challenges, schizophrenia, hallucinations, ADD, ADHD, and dissociative identity disorder? How does this mythical creature raise her children to be the best possible adult?  I have stopped trying to emulate her. I am way too absent minded to be able to focus in searching for her. I have come to a healthy place of accepting me, all my flaws, and love the wholeness of my mothering skills.

Ultimately it is all about love and respect.  Whether you are raising a child, in a relationship with another, helping a total stranger, life requires that you are present in love. You will never have all the answers but that is what the Internet is for! However, you can allow the heart to open and fully be present through kindness and compassion with another.  As the Dalai Lama has been quoted, “What is love?  Love is the absence of judgment.”  Love is contagious. Without judgment we heal, learn, and find peace through the embodiment of Oneness.

Stories Within The Stories

After waking before the light of day I stumbled into the kitchen for my coffee and opened up the blinds.  I could hear the noise under the silence.  I lighted my candles and stared outside.  I am trying to embrace the rest of this holiday season.  Three of my children are home and we went through a box of slides that my mother had kept since I was born.  I bought an old projector last year and never got around to seeing these photos.  Hundreds of pictures I had never seen popped up on the wall, reflecting a life I imagined but didn’t witness in my mother’s life.  There was a picture of me with my parents when I was less than two years old on a bed.  I have few pictures of my parents together.  With each click of the projector, a new question would arise.  I understand how lives can remain frozen behind a smile in color.  But, those pictures do not tell the entire story.  They are stories within stories that have become puzzles to me.  I have heard the many versions of truth from family members growing up. These pictures have little to do with me, rather a lot to do with the protagonists and antagonists of the past…one that has formed the woman I am today because of history.

photo (5)I held that picture from my memory.  I began to cry.  I don’t know what overwhelmed me in seeing the textures and colors; the smiles and expressions; the little girl oblivious to what was happening behind the flash of a camera.   I was overcome with an eager intensity and I allowed it to release.   And, as day broke, the clouds clearing over the mountains I felt a sense of gratitude beyond words.  This is me now.  This is living.

The candles flickered, the incense burned, and I could still hear the past begging for recognition.   Life appeared in such immensity that everything around me was all that I am.  The illusion of reality continues to interrupt my life during family gatherings.  This holiday has been about stepping over boundaries, retracting, making way for new space, and the hiccups that arrive with accepting questions and answers from loved ones.  Life has invited me to visit moments of silence to sit and hear a story from childhood that now has acknowledgment and understanding.  Some of these stories are made up, fictional fairy tales created by ego to satisfy my perception. I took that path…made it here.  I should’ve done that…but ended there.  You know these stories well.  In a moment of clarity the Divine will show you a reality that seems to interrupt the core of your belief system.  Those things I have said, “NO” to and “NEVER AGAIN,” somehow become the YESES.  They form new stories.  The unexpected becomes the protagonist even when I thought it was the antagonist in the stories.

I attract everything I think, especially those things I don’t want.  I have given thoughts so much power because they have been truly present this week.  And so, this morning, somehow in my state of spiritual connection my heart opened up and let go.  I have been blessed with finding answers to matters I had no questions.  Funny how this has happened!  I have found old VCR home movies and we have watched them to then place them in another box for my grandchildren.  I am done moving through stories.  I am ready to continue forward.  My kids have appreciated this openness that I had not foreseen or planned on having this week.

Virginia Woolf said, “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”  Life needs to be acknowledged in the presence.  It needs the wisdom of time, gratitude for each breath, and love for each connection.  If you let it, life will break you and then stitch those parts into a more remarkable being.  When you let life guide without the fears of the unknown through faith and trust it will give you everything you have wanted and more…while being fully present with joy.  This is the adventure. We are who we are because of the stories from the past.  This road into the past has allowed my family to figure out where we came from and how we got here.  It has been an unconscious clearing in my home.

Allow yourself to feel alive in those solitary moments when the reminder of living is magnified. Give your soul permission to visit and revisit the parts of you that need mending. Then may you return to the present with a full understand of how awesome you are!  Be embraced by Divinity!

 

The Tango

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Mami loved Daddy with fierce exhaustion,

gripping and manipulating her way

into his heart and life.

I watched, young and naïve,

expecting to love the same way

without clawing my way into anyone’s heart.

Her end result was always similar:

He would vanish while we slept,

appeared years later when in trouble,

and played the same role again and again

until the lights went out and he exited off stage

into parallel dimension.

I was left to soothe her, remind her of life,

as I walked around with a perfect halo of light

that would make her proud and forget

the hole she had inside.

I watched discovering love,

witnessing its complexities

not as easy and fearless as I felt in my core,

emulating it to look healthy when it wasn’t.

For a long time

I didn’t fall far from her examples

reliving a love that never was….

She never remarried.  Never gave another her heart.

And, when she looked at me,

my easy-going ways,

she was reminded of Daddy and his carefree attitude

that opened doors everywhere he went.

It could not have been easy….

Now with my own children I witness love:

the allowing, accepting, and awareness

that one cannot magically instill onto another,

often times the remains of being pushed,

shoved and discarded as they grow and learn.

Loving hard doesn’t mean enforcing yourself

while possessing their rights to be free

or to be imprisoned by the likes of a human being

as they will turn to reject the reason for this “love.”

Love isn’t Mami and Daddy’s way,

lost in translation of expectations,

words, gestures, and stories

while implementing rules, lies and excuses

for social opinions.

It is conceived from universal freedom,

two souls meeting again and again,

in a tango of beauty, compassion and respect

where nothing is expected

but everything is easily promised through

a contract of Divine light, wisdom,

and tenderness.

A Mother’s Love

Today is my mother’s birthday. She left this realm over six years ago, eleven days before my 40th birthday. I recognize the emotions that come with dates. I honor the tears, appreciation, love and gratitude that visit with the memories. I try not to have attachments but some days are monumental. My mother was a remarkable woman. She had me at the age of 44. Now raising an infant at the same age that she raised me I can see and feel her in my heart. I can sense the echoes of voices from the past guiding me through intimate moments. I have spoken to her in dreams, waiting for a confirmation of pride for the life I’ve chosen to lead. I wonder what she would say to the woman I’ve become. I was always a “different” child and in the past few years that “difference” has soften me quite a bit. But, that’s the thing about parent-child relationships: we want acceptance and confirmations from our elders. We want to know that our legacy is of good-standing with them. It doesn’t matter how old we get. We still need that unconditional love. We arrive into this world to learn while picking those souls who will give and provide the most important lessons from early on. We enter adulthood, womanhood, and every other stage of development with hope that we are doing the best in this world. We do think through our parents. We return to a place of uncertainty and muttered through it while creating a world of magic.

Two nights ago when the baby woke at 1AM I held her tightly after feeding her. Her little head nudging on my shoulder, her hands holding on to my pj’s and I came to that epitome that no one right now in my life loves me with such unconditional love as this little baby.  Her face lights up every time she sees me. She smiles from the place of divinity with complete and utter gratitude for my presence. Children are non-judgmental and full of light. I forget what it was like with mine not long ago.  I do remember that Patrick (my second son) was so in love with me.  When he was 5 and I was 27 we were driving into our development…(I remember as if it was yesterday and he will be 24 on Tuesday).  From the backseat he said, “Mommy, I wish I could stay 5 forever so I can love you like this.”  I looked at the rear view mirror taking it in.  He was far in advancement in so many levels.  He needed constant challenging because he was so smart and suffered from what is clinically ADHD. I refused the medication so I had to constantly be stimulating him with knowledge and activities.  He was grateful.

Now, this baby is the same.  She’s a smart little soul.  She’s come in with such light and love and this particular morning I had a hard time letting her down to continue her sleep. She didn’t cry or fuss.  I just went to bed thinking, “This is the definition of giving and receiving in God’s terms.  This is the simplicity of life.  We all want to be loved, held, caress, and respected with the utmost presence.”

I am witnessing the miracle of life through her. I wonder if my mother saw that in me at this age. She had two other daughters much older than me. One is 15 years and the other 24 years my senior. In my twenties I didn’t notice these divine moments with my kids as I was too busy trying to survive, constantly stressed with I-don’t-know-what. I wonder what she saw when I would wake in the middle of the night. I wonder how she felt raising a child alone in a world that was so full of judgment, scrutiny, intolerance in a Hispanic community.

I have come to realize that often times we step into our parents’ shoes without truly being conscious. My mother wasn’t ever too keen on my adoptions and “complicating my life.” Whenever issues rose she had a comment or two that made me feel as if no matter what I did with my kids it wasn’t sufficient. But one day, sharing some hurtful words of betraying friends and how I was not a normal parent my mother stepped up to the plate and said, “Of course they think that about you. You make it look so easy. Anything that looks that easy with six kids must be wrong. Envy is an ugly monster.” In that comment I heard pride. She couldn’t say I was doing it right but her words allowed me to witness the sincerity of motherhood, woman to woman. She admired my tenacity and compassion. She never understood the need to help these kids but she finally stepped back and watched.

Now, on her birthday I light a candle in front of her picture. She’s lovely. My mother was always well put. She never left the house without makeup. Unlike me, she dressed to impress. She used to say that the deeper her issues and problems were the more she got dolled up. No one needed to know what she was experiencing. I admire that.

I am settling into a new role while understanding my beautiful mother. Within all her beauty and flaws there was divinity. She was wise and fearless. She was intelligent and resourceful. She was a go-getter and wasn’t afraid of change. I have acquired those qualities of tenacity and persistence. Happy birthday, Josefina! Thank you for teaching me how to mother, be a mother and love as a mother from a place of spirit. I hope you know I will always admire and love you until we meet again!

Getting Lost

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This morning on the way back from visiting a community college, my daughter and I got lost in the back roads.  She doesn’t do well with adventures, especially after stressing over college paperwork.  I, on the other hand, while the grandbaby slept peacefully in her car seat, dove into the possibilities of finding a new place, exploring my surroundings, and prayed I didn’t run out of gas.  I get lost often.  Things get lost.  Words get lost.  People get lost.  Life can become a lost playground if we aren’t present for the most part.  Each day gets lost into night and so on.  The hardest part of “lost” is never truly expressing it to someone.  When a relationship is over (regardless if it’s of lovers, parents, children, or friends) there is a lapse of time that can mend and then there isn’t.  Waiting for the perfect opportunity is like waiting for a unicorn to swift us away.  It only happens in the mind.

I used to have an amazing sense of direction.  I don’t anymore.  I go into a new trail, a mountain hike, and if I am not consciously present I will find myself in the middle of unchartered territory. Just like this morning, it happens often.  I rarely question the wrong turn.  I somehow know that I will get through the moment.  My daughter said, “Mom, do you know where you are going? (Several times with much expressed anxiety). And, I answered, “Nope…but all roads lead somewhere!” Not an answer that securely assures a fearful person. Complete exasperation came from the passenger side.  What I have found is that in those lost moments I get the chance to enter a new direction.  Beauty unfolds because I am not on track.  Getting lost is never a waste of time in this sense.  The unknown unfolds and opportunities arise in the most awed-stricken ways.  It’s magical and mysterious.  What an amazing ride!

Sometimes losing someone is just like that…you don’t know how amazing they are until you are in a different terrain.  We take people for granted.  We, as divine entities, have those awakening moments of appreciation but the human part of us clouds them.  We don’t know our asses from our heads at times.  My best friend, Bobbie, has a saying, “Get your head out of your ass.  It wasn’t meant to be worn as a hat.”  Getting lost in the world is magical.  Getting lost in our own turmoil, chaos and mind is a dangerous place.  We are our worst enemies.

I have a way of learning.  I need space, nature and time.  I need to be outside and roam endlessly in the freedom of the world.  This is why I love traveling.  I have on a bucket list the places I will visit and explore in order to find me.  With each journey I know something will open up.  Getting lost is not scary (not in my absent-minded little head).  I am not daunted by this and have never been.  I am, however, intimidated by the loss of people who I love and mean the world to me.  I am perplexed at the way folks come into my life and quickly manage to leave without clearing up issues.  This type of loss from humanity aches inside in a way I avoid…but can’t escape.  We all go through it.

An hour later, and many mountain back roads, we found the way home.  Now hungry and aggravated, my 18 year old laughs.  She said, “I wasn’t really worried!  I was just concerned that we would run out of gas or wouldn’t find a place to eat.” (As if we were on an isolated island with Tom Hanks and Wilson).   I know she thinks that I am an airy-fairy hippie.  I get lost in our conversations, laughter, and love.  She knows this part of me well enough to feel that I can get us back on track while singing (horribly) to the great radio tunes.  It was a gorgeous morning.  The haze over the Blue Ridge Mountains was astonishing and seductive.  I kept saying that “as long as I follow the mountains I know we can make it home.”  And, just like that I found home to be right there in the car surrounded by two beautiful souls, bemused by my yearning to be an explorer.  Getting lost never felt so great!

The Hardest Job in the World

kidsOf all the jobs I’ve had in this lifetime the most difficult one (by far) has been motherhood.  I have worn many hats throughout the years from kissing booboo’s to holding the hand of a little one while in a hospital bed.  My children have challenged by intelligence, freedom, choices, and perceptions a million times over.  They have taught me how to be compassionate when I’ve wanted to snap.  They have taught me patience when I wanted to fix things immediately.  They have taught me to pick battles from one moment to the next.  Indeed, the most challenging job in the world is parenthood.  The FBI has nothing on motherhood.  It is M.B.I. (Mother Bureau of Investigation) and it requires being on-call 24/7.

I love hearing from other parents who have small rambunctious children.  They make the comments, “Thank God it gets easier as they get older.”  I laugh.  I used to think like that as well.  It DOES NOT get easier.  It gets productively more challenging with every passing year.  The more intelligence and scheming they acquire the more you are being pushed to test your parental skills.  Some days my IQ drops several points.  Other times I feel like Albert Einstein.

The hardest task as a mother is letting go while standing your ground.  Boundaries are never easy.  Kids will test, pull and push them to no avail.  One day I am the best mom in the world.  The next, I am the worst parent out there.  It comes with the territory.  I’m not here to be liked.  I am here to support, love, and have a safe haven for them to return when the world comes down on them.  They don’t need another BFF.  They need a parent to hold their hand when they hurt.  They need a shoulder to cry and be heard.  As I say around here, “You need a shower and a good meal.  Everything’s gonna be alright.”  I am here for the long haul with a great bathroom and a home-cooked meal.

Children are a breed of their own.  I believe that around twelve years of age (especially boys) a spaceship comes in the middle of the night, swaps your child with an alien and you don’t see him until around eighteen.  I can recall with most of my kids when they turned seventeen or eighteen standing in the middle of a conversation and saying, “Ahhhh, you are back, my child!  I’ve missed you so much.”  Just like that they return to being pretty normal.  They begin to hug and kiss and converse with you like no time has passed.

I woke today with heaviness about being a good mother.  This week has started out rather challenging.  It’s okay.  I get the ups and downs of this job.  I understand the rejections, avoidance, blame game, and so on.  I comprehend the state of hormonal imbalance passing through a teenager.  I also get that “mom’s not always right!”  What do I know?  I am living on top of a mountain escaping from the real world.  I also know that I shut down and don’t speak for days when I feel judged or ridiculed by my children.  The pain is never easy.  This is part of investing time in making sure they are safe.   It only takes a laugh to get me back to normal.  I just require some time to let ego take a backseat to the stupidity of an event.  I am always questioning my sanity, but I’m still here.

With each passing year (and child) I am learning that love is beyond reason.  It is a boomerang that returns time and time again when they need it.  Ultimately, I am their mother.  They might not like my rules or my opinions but they all know I am here for them.  They also know I give them the space needed to experience life through their own eyes.  I don’t have all the answers.  I only have one for sure:  I love them more than anything in the world.  They might not like me from time to time but unconditional love has passed on to them.  Witnessing the way they love others is the best return on this investment I could have ever imagined.  This makes motherhood priceless!