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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nature...

A walk by the pond, a walk in nature can do so much good to one's soul.  This mother's day I wanted to be by nature.  Yes i do live in the suburbs and yes i am surrounded by treess, but going deeper into nature where there is total silence, where there is a communion of the soul is something that I long for and need.  I find that when i feel depleted, this is what nourishes me.  So we took a trip to Innesfree Gardens upstate new york.  The journey was longer than I expected. 

Yet when we arrived, I felt i was transported somewhere else.  There was a large lake with lily pads and two paths for the visitors to take.  We could either turn to the left or turn to the right.  We turned to the right and walked.  Every step we took was a discovery of something new. A waterfall, some flowers, a climbing path where we are taken to rolling hills.  The greenery was soothing to the eyes.  My son was in heaven.  There was so much space for him to be free and I think that's what nature does for you - it makes you free.  That childlike expression of being yourself i saw that being expressed through him and i felt myself like that - gleeing at something new that I saw.  Amazed that I could climb up high into the rock garden, watch my son roll down hills and knowing that he may hurt himself, he was having fun and that was what was important.  

There were benches for us to sit at - chairs for us to stare out into the lake and let our mind come to a standstill.  Yes it does come to a standstill when we stare at the pond.  Silence - it is so profound that silence - some of us may not know what to do with it, but for me it was a treasure.  It was a moment of being still.  

Nature has that capacity to heal and for those of us that don't do it enough, ask yourselves why? For those of us that do - continue to do so because it takes you to another dimension of yourself.  
That fresh air on your face, the sun shining its rays down on you and feel the warmth of it on your back.  God's creation at its finest and it is so natural.  So natural. and that's what is so beautiful about it. 
Ironically - the journey took about 5 hours total - i was more energized then i have ever been and it was well worth the trip.

It was a walking meditation and it put me back into my center.   I remember when I was younger I used to attend spiritual retreats and at one of the retreats, we did a walking meditation in the night.  This was at a campsite and we had our flashlights and walked in silence one step at a time.  No words, just walking on the grass one step at a time and all around us was the sky, the stars, and the cool fresh air.  The sound of the crickets, and our footsteps.  Then we came to a point to rest - it was a pond and we sat down and just stared at the pond.  It was a powerful experience which i would do again. 
Walking through the gardens reminded me of that except it was daylight, i was surrounded by family, we talked, i followed my son, but i was still in nature - feeling connnected to something larger than myself and letting me believe that there is something larger than me out there - that what we see with the physical eye is limited and that creation is manifested in ways that words can't express.  It is a feeling and that feeling stays with you for a while. 

If you do go for a walk in nature, I encourage you to keep your journal with you.  find a quiet space and write - see what happens and you will be surprised to see your wisdom speak to you.

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Ode to Mothers...

Ode to Mom..
theplaybarn.com



When I became a mom, my world changed forever.
When I became an aunt, my world changed forever.
When my mom became a grandmother, her world changed forever.-
There is something about giving love unconditionally to a small being and allowing that being to blossom. 
Mothers, aunts, grandmothers everywhere today will be honored this weekend for mothers day. 
Yet I say to all - why one day? Why not everyday?
Why wait for one special day to tell her that you care for her? 
My appreciation for my mother grew because I finally understood the task that had been entrusted to me.
I had respect for mothers everywhere. 
We are given the task of raising a human being and that is a daring adventure. 
It grows, it becomes a living being and it is part of us.
And to see God's creation - a tiny little being - vulnerable that has been entrusted to our care.
we watch as the being grows, pouring all our love, all our energy into making the child strong, bold, and couageous enough to face the world.
we fight to ensure there is stability in our child's lives.
we fight so that our children's needs are met financially and socially.
we fight so that our children have a sense of security. 
Even the most timid person will become a lion if she feels her children are in danger, that is the power of a mother. 
I find that the task never ends. 
Our child could be 20, 30, 45, 65, 70, and we will always be a mother.
A mother brings us life in this world
holding us, caressing us, nurturing us
till we are strong enough to walk on our feet.
A mother is like a tigress, always there to defend us when we are in danger
A mother can also be our critic and often times will tell us things no one wants to hear.
A mother also has to learn and watch their child fall and get up so they can be their own person..
That is such a difficult lesson -
I lack patience and yet being a mom - it has taught me patience.
The most difficult thing for a mother sometimes is watching their child in pain and not being able to help them with it - it is one of life's biggest lessons. 
A mother is all that and more.
Once a mother, always a mother. 
The job never ends.  It is 24/7 and that role stays with you till eternity.
Our biggest tasks as mothers is living true to our  True Selves - and allowing that to flourish.  By being that, we allow our children's authenticity to flourish. 


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So on this day - and I would say do it more than once a year, take the time to tell your mother how much you care for her.  Appreciate her and value the hard work she does to bring you up.  It takes strength to raise a child.  It takes courage to raise children.  It takes patience to raise children. Most of all realize that our mothers are human beings just like everyone else.  They come with a past, and with that past, they were entrusted with our responsibility. We are not given training as mothers, we just do it instintively.  We sometimes have to use common sense, and other times our intuitive powers come into being.  
 Mothers day is also about forgiveness - understanding that our mothers are human, and forgiving them for their mistakes.      And use the time that you have with them in a more nuturing way.  

For those of us that are mothers - take that day out for you - do something for yourself- honor yourself for the magnificent job that you have done - treat yourself to something that you would not think of and make a pact to yourself that you will do it more than once a year.  Do an internal check with yourself - Are you being authentic to you and showing that piece to your children?

I came across this article, about journaling prompts for mothers day....and would like to share with you..
 http://www.createwritenow.com/personal-growth-journaling-blog/bid/49219/Journal-Writing-Prompts-for-Celebrating-Motherhood-O-Happy-Day

wthlove.blogspot.com



If you don't journal, I encourage you to do it if you are a mother.  There are so many types of journals for mothers - I remember a journal that my cousin gave me on recording memorable moments throughout motherhood that you can pass on to your children.  It is a great way to record traditions, it is a great way to have memories on paper and it is a treasure that can be passed down.   Another form of journaling is making a scrapbook.   Another form of journaling is a Gratitude Journal for Mothers. 
And last but not least, I have a journal to my son - where I write him letters every now and then about important milestones in life that as a child he may not udnerstand, but as an adult if he read it he may be able to put things in perspective. 

I wish all mom's a very Happy mother's day!!!!!

Happy journaling....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A day to live.....

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on taking stock on how to value the things that are important in your life.  The question that it posed was "If you knew you had one day left to live, would you do what you were going to do today? Adding further, how would you spend the day?" For many this is a morbid question - why bring up death? why talk about something that we don't know when its going to happen? why bring up something that is so ominous.  For me, it was the opposite - it got me to think about how I would spend that day - what would be the things that I would be focusing my time on , who would be the people that I would want to be around? What are some of the things that I would remember to say, do or act on before it is too late and more than anything, it forced me to look and see if there were any regrets. 

I did a free writing piece on it because i need to have an internal check within me to see if i was on the right track- to see if i am moving in the direction of where i want to be emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.  It also helped me to look at some honest truths that we often take for granted and we as a society don't like to talk about.  I had to take an honest look at the mortality of my life - and however painful it can be to be open about it, it is an important step that we need to as a society to look at.  Some of us are confronted with death at a very young age, whereas some of us are not - and when it happens, it puts you in a state of shock.  It forces you to question your beliefs, to face fear in its face and more than anything it is a test to how much you can endure.  On another level, regardless of your belief system, it puts you in a situation where you begin to turn to a force that is higher than you for strength.

 If we were to have honest discussions about death, about dying with one another, how much more would be able to cope with the inevitable.  It is always painful - because of the attachment - someone we love has been taken away from us, and we feel that we are alone - we miss that person, we want to be near that person, we have regrets about things we should have said to that person, we had dreams we wanted to share with that person; so much of that is taken away from us instantly and we are forced to move on - without any preparation, without any notice, just like that- in a flash of a second.  What if we began living each day as if it were our last? what would that look like for us? would we put of what we had in store for tomorrow or two weeks from now? would we be more willing to take certain risks because we knew what was in store? Would we love each other more as a society rather than fight with one another? Our perception, our attitude, our choices would change if we knew that "the hour" was awaiting us.  So why put it off? why not act now. 

It doesn't mean that we have to be impulsive - but we should not live in fear.  And we should not put off what we have for today, for tomorrow.  The words we need to use should be said, the actions we need to take should be done. 

Death has come to me in different forms throughout my life with me losing some of the most important people in my life.  Shattered beyond belief, it forced me to change my perspective towards life.  It taught me to be more prepared about when it does hit you in the face. It also taught me to love more - without expecting anything in return.  Sometimes when you lose someone, you become hard like a shell - sometimes that is needed becuase the pain is so unbearable - but soon the shell has to break - it has to break so you can begin loving again - and that is what death has taught me.   It has taught me about control - how many of us have control issues - wanting to be in control of things - with death - u don't know - u just don't know - but u learn to let go - u learn to let go of the small things that bug you.  It is also about being in the present moment.  Being in the now - we don't have to keep looking to the future to see how things are going to pan out, or worry about this and that, otherwise our whole life will just slip in front of us.  On another note, it helps you be able to be there for those that are in pain.  We can never have the same pain as another, but because you are open about death, you can be compassionate, you can lend that listening ear, and you can allow them to be them.  There is no need for pretense, there is no need for "should haves" , etc, it is just a matter of being a support.

So I loved the idea of doing a writing piece on this topic.  I also think as a society we need to be more open about death and have open conversations about it rather than shun from it.   Especially with our families - one may say again -that is morbid, that is so depressing - no it's not - it is preparing us for the inevitable.  It is also helping us talk openly about our wishes, about our hopes with one another rather than not knowing at all.

There was a song I was taught when I was a child that I still remember to this day.  It began with
" if you have a kind word to say, say it now, if you have something to do, do it now, if you can make someone glad or another less sad, do it now, do it now, do it now.  Now before it is too late, now is the time for every good deed.  Do not wait until tomorrow for it maybe just a little to late."
Singing it as a kid, i paid more attention to the tune, the beat then the words, but see how deep these words are and so true.  Don't put off what you have for tomorrow if you can do it now.  

Happy Journaling!