Signsfromlife

"The Universe is an unbroken, conscious fabric within which I can create and intend my destiny"

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Signsfromlife began with the idea of creating a place to sell handmade signs with inspiring words.  Some years later, though the site and domain name had been activiated, it had never been set up.  Then Life changed and everything I knew to be true came into question.  Experiencing an unexpected divorce forced me to seek out a different email address.  Remembering the domain name had already been purchased, the name become ironic.  Still hoping to sell inspiring signs, the name became so much more.  Signsfromlife.  Signs from Life are presented to us all daily, however the signs we see are often not realized until much later.  This site is about acknowledging those Signs from Life and honoring the change they bring with them. 
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Je Suis Le Jardin
Lady at a crossroads by Grace R-J
The First Colorado Fourteener

I am so proud of my brood I can barely stand it!  Colorado fourteeners are no easy fit. As a Colorado Native it feels more like a right of passage.  This year I was hopeful that I would get all three of my children to summit their first.  


I chose Mt. Bierstadt elevation 14,060ft. for a few reasons but mostly because it was a peak I have personally climbed several times and am familiar with the mountain.  Still, flying solo with three children was somewhat of a daunting endeavor, yet one I had looked forward to for sometime. Besides, the Christmas Card photo atop a fourteener was always a hope of mine. 

June 14, 2016 would be the day.  


To my surprise, all of my children, ages 16, 11, and 9 woke without complaint at 4:45am to appease me.  They were ready to attempt their first 14er.  And, it was a success!


My teenage daughter, Grace, who opted for going out with friends the previous night only had a few precious hours of sleep.  When I attempted to persuade her to just stay in for the evening, and get a good night’s sleep, she reminded me that she could “sleep when she was dead”. I knew the hike would be challenging but allowed her to make her own decisions regarding how much sleep she needed.  Groggy but willing she woke and even managed to get a bit of shut eye heading up.  To my surprise, my boys adhered to my suggestion of a 9pm bed time during their summer break.  They woke with ease.  


The drive was easy partly because we opted for a Tuesday trip when traffic on both I70 and the trail itself would be less.  Having climbed Bierstadt this winter when Guanella pass was closed and buried under snow, I knew the climb would be quite different from my experience months earlier in snow shoes.  I was grateful to be parking in the lot at the trail head.  


Ascent


The boys were revved up and as soon as they hit the trail, they began climbing at what could be considered a sprinters pace.  I warned them they could run out of steam and urged them to conserve their energy for the tougher, colder climbing parts.  Yeah right. On they motored giving Grace and I a little time to leisurely hike together.  Knowing she is a Senior this year and is ready to take on the world and all of its imperfections, these moments come less frequently. I chose to enjoy our time hiking together rather than reigning my boys back.  


The weather was perfect.  A sunny 38-48 degrees for our initial hike.  I knew when climbing at such high altitudes, this could change at the drop of a dime.  I tried my best to convince them all that dressing in many layers was necessary.  Still, much of the clothing I brought, I later found stripped and tossed on the floor in our back seat.  I tried.  


The boys remained well ahead for most of the hike.  It was my goal to hit Summit by noon to ensure we were heading down before any storms rolled in.  Nearing 13,000ft now, I was thrilled to see it was only 9:30am.  We were making such good time!

My sons who steamed much further ahead could now be seen sitting along the trail now waiting for their sister and I.  They sat unaware of the jagged beast and beauty cascading behind them.  They were just beneath the Sawtooth Ridge. 


As we came closer I began to hear the calls of my youngest son. They were not sounds of joy. As soon as I could reach Gannon, Garrett grabbed a couple of snacks then started back up the trail. We were now at about 13,000 feet. Gannon had a look of dismay sprayed across his face.  I figured the fact that he half ran up to 13,000 feet with his brother had left him needing a little rest then energy.  Instructing him to sit down, he promptly informed me that his pressing issue was that he had to GO! Looking around his eyes widened realizing that while he could see the Continental Divide, Mt. Evans, the edges of Sawtooth Ridge up close and personal, he could see neither a restroom, nor a bush. “What am I going to do? I mean where am I going to go Mom?” Taking a quick glance before looking through my pack for anything resembling tissue, because yes, I forgot that, I found some gauze in our first aide kit. I told Gannon to follow me.  Grace was sitting on a rock tending to a new blister with the moleskin I thankfully remembered to pack.  


The next part, while hysterical as my son has a knack for explicit detail in just about everything including going #2. His elaborate detailing of his “poo process” had both me and any passing hikers laughing out loud.  Gannon was now done leaving behind what could easily be mistaken as the small child my son bore for mom to effectively bury. 


We returned to the trail with my hope restored now that Gannon would now feel better and be ready to rejoin the party.  Much to my consternation, this was not the case.  Gannon was disintegrating like a filled ballon when the tied not comes loose.  It was a matter of minutes before he reached the conclusion with resolve that he was “going to die”. I told Grace to go on and that we would catch up.  The temperature was dipping so it did not make sense for her to stay put.  She was better off continuing her climb.  I figured a little snack, some water, a pep talk, and some TLC was all my little boy needed.  Seeing the summit so near I was sure I could then persuade him to move past his doubt and forge ahead.  No avail. As we started back on the trail, Gannon began collapsing every few feet, sobbing, and his tears were beginning to freeze atop his looks of anguish and defeat.  I was realizing that I would need to rethink “my plan”. It was no longer looking as though the family photo atop a 14,000 foot peak (I brought the selfie stick and everything), was in the cards this day.  Then I had a brilliant notion.  Given I was a hopeful Denver Fire Fighter, I had been physically training and I could just carry him the rest of the way.  And so I tried.  Lumping his sobbing body across my already heavy backpack only made his cries louder, but still I pressed ahead.  At a snails pace I carefully placed one foot in front of the other hoping I would meet solid ground rather than a patch of ice.  We made it to about 13,500 feet.  We had arrived to the FALSE summit.  Still, the views were spectacular.  The temperature though? Well, not so much.  It was rapidly dropping and the wind had picked up considerably.  My attempts to distract Gannon with pointing out how quickly the clouds moved and how with even a few moments of sun made a difference did not help.  Being carried lowered his body temp and he was now my shivering little warrior with tears frozen to his face.  It was time for yet another plan.  


Making a quick assessment of my surroundings I became concerned that I told my other two kids to wait for us at the top.  Realizing now, Gannon and I would not make it, I feared my kids would do as they were told.  Surprisingly I noticed my phone had service, and so I began to call them both.  Straight to voicemail.  Damn! I spotted a large Boulder jutting off the side of the mountain and somehow coerced Gannon to hang on one more time to make that rock.  It was large enough that if he crouched down, it provided some shelter from the now howling winds.  I needed to get to my daughter to let her know that she and her brother should not wait for us but should turn around whenever they needed to.  So I used my poles as markers around Gannon’s Boulder and used all I could find resembling fabric to wrap around him.  I told him to stay put until I returned.  I needed to run and catch up with Grace to deliver my message and give her my Gortex jacket.  I knew if it was cold at 13,500ft, it was bone chilling at the summit.  I then blocked all of the thoughts of what could go wrong in my short sprint so that I could in fact just do it.  I ran/slid up ice and rocks to catch her.  I gave her the red jacket, additional snacks and instructed her to FIND her brother, and NOT to wait for us at the top.  Looking down in Gannon’s direction I noticed three young men standing near Gannon and pointing.  I guessed they thought he was lost and so I turned and began running back in his direction leaving Grace behind with her uneasy, unsure expression.  Looking back up I relieved to see her Red coat powering on.  Waving my arms like a crazy lady, I gained the attention of these young men who seemed to put it together and left Gannon where he was.  Going up to find and Grace and running down back to Gannon allowed me to share a description of Garrett to anyone I passed. Each hiker kindly agreed to relay mom’s message NOT TO WAIT and to come on down.  It was really cold and despite my running up then down I, too was now shivering.  So crouching next to Gannon I hugged him tightly and began to rub his arms, backs, and legs.  I had given my windproof gloves to one of my kids and my hands could now no longer be felt.  I knew that his staying still could not have been pleasant so after reminding him how brave he was and how proud I was of how far he made it I convinced him that movement was needed.  So on came my music and I began to dance.  Begrudgingly, Gannon joined in, bellowing out a cry of “I just want to go home” every minute or so.  


Soon reports of passers by began flooding.  “Is that your son who is 11? He told me to tell you he is VERY cold! But, you should know he is also very determined and he was just about to Summit when we saw him.” Excited by this news I again attempted to persuade Gannon to just begin walking up in an effort to meet them part way.  He gave it his all, but the wind was now strong enough to knock him down so we decided to stay put near the large Boulder which was providing minimal shelter.  We would just have to wait for my young Mountaineers to return on their own.  Reports continued to come in from other hikers. I was overjoyed when I learned that Garrett had summited and was coming down but ran into his sister.  He had enough juice to head back up with her.  Now standing below, I was able to make out the red Gortex amid the last section of rocks before the top.  I knew exactly where they were having climbed this mountain a few times myself, and they were almost there!  Grateful, I could now witness the moment when they  both reached the top, disappearing for a few moments before reappearing and beginning their descent. Hearing my squeals of delight Gannon became hopeful that the word SUMMIT meant they would be coming down soon.  With a frozen smile he leaned in for a few selfies with mom then said “mom- by the time I am 11, I know I can make it all the way to the top.”  Holding him a little closer I whispered “I know you can and will, too my little warrior.”

And so together we waited. 

It was not long before I saw Garrett’s head pop over the horizon in front of us.  I ran, or at least it felt like I was running, clapping, relieved, proud and yelling in his direction.  My smiles did not meet his nor did they overwhelm him with joy. “You made it! You did it! I’m so proud of you! WOW!” I chimed with my now skip.  

Garrett, glaring at me stated “ You abandoned me.” I offered my explanation of the turn of events as quickly as I could hopeful he would see that this was not true.  He accepted my account then added “Yes, we made it. And that was my LAST 14er ever!” I nodded, gave him a hug then looked up to see the red jacket now approaching.  Grace looked exhausted no doubt but she was also brimming with pride.  She made it.  A few words were exchanged about the people she encountered along the way, even the handsome smile she received.  


They were safe.  All three of my treasures were with me now.  My older two made it to the top, and they did so with only each other, perhaps a few angels, and their own determination.  No adults were needed, thank you very much.  My heart was beating a little harder, not from the lack of oxygen or exertion, but from the pride, relief, and gratitude I was overwhelmed with. My 16 year old daughter and her 11 year old brother had just navigated the toughest, rockiest, coldest part of the climb sans parent.  My being was pool of over flowing gratitude that I got to be a witness to these two warriors and this goddess before me.  

Gannon was also overjoyed and grateful, because their arrival meant we could all start down!


Descent


Garrett, still peeved we were not all at the very top together, and the fact that he was freezing began to share his tale.  He was knocked over repeatedly by a white dog while at the very top, he could no longer feel his hands as they were frozen, and did he mention he was frozen.  It did not help that I pointed out he had an additional jacket zipped in the pack he had been carrying all along. “Well, that would have been nice to know Mom.” I knew stating that I had told him would be futile so I just nodded.  It turns out, he was out of water and he had a terrible headache brewing.  In case I had not heard him the first time, he added “And I will never be climbing a 14er again!” Nodding again but this time adding “Ok, but by the time we get all the way down, you just might feel differently.” 

“Doubt it.” was his answer. 

I supplied Garrett with water, Tylenol, and honey for electrolytes before we joined the other two in our descent.  


Our journey down the mountain included sliding down a couple of glaciers, crossing a stream on a small log with clear confidence compared to the trepidation present crossing it on our way up, battling the wind now in our face and lots of conversation.  Slowly but surely the looks of anguish began to dissipate.  The sun decided to peer through the grey allowing our Colorado Blue sky to rein once again.  A few more stops to hydrate Garrett and even his tune began to change.  He seemed pleased that fellow hikers had reported to me how determined and great he was doing near the top.  His face began to soften as the success of his climb began to sink in.


One of the gems of hiking a challenging climb are the life lessons learned along the way.  When hiking with your kids, you are provided with incredible teaching opportunities.  

Before we began our hike, I explained or warned the kids that it was likely that each of them would experience a myriad of emotions, that just about every emotion on the spectrum of human feelings would appear at some point along the way.  They would feel everything from elation and determination to anger, self doubt, and blame.  They would love what they are doing and hate me for bringing them.  They would question why they are there and feel moments of sheer gratitude for all they are experiencing.  They would witness beauty as they had never seen or that could never be fully appreciated from a photograph or a car window, and they would hate the same beautiful landscape.  They all laughed like “Yeah, yeah mom. Whatever” but as we descended down the mountain to our new destination goal of CAR, they each individually acknowledged how exactly that, did happen.  


“So, how far is the car?” he asked. I pointed to a distant lot barely visible. He groaned.  

A moment was here for another ‘mom’ lesson. 

“Remember how I told you that when you are climbing up, its best to not to look up to see how far you still have to go, but to look down to see just how far you have already come?” I asked. 

“Yeah” he looked perplexed.

“Well its the same here.  Instead of looking down at how far the car still is, its better to look up and see how high you already went. And better still, is to look at where you are stepping.  Keep your focus on your next step rather than the destination goal itself.” 

I had to chuckle inside as these words embodied a skill I had been attempting to master my entire life. I reminded myself, progress, not perfection. 

We were able to talk about how life is a lot like the trail, how it is sweeter when we can keep our focus on the next step, whats right in front of us, the here and now. We were also able to laugh at just how difficult that can be.  


Garrett had a challenging year socially and emotionally.  It was not long ago where he expressed profound sadness and despair. He came to me one night and shared that he was afraid these feelings would never lessen, that life was never going to get better.  Words no mother ever wants to hear from her child.  As we began to now near the end of our hike, Garrett spoke up. 

“Mom-Guess what?”

“What?”

He was now his normal color and had already stated that his headache had gone away.

He continued, “And you won’t hear this often” a long pause then “But, you were right.”

Assuming he was referencing something to do with all the wisdom about hiking I shared with him, he surprised me stating instead,

“Remember when I did not think life would ever get any better? Well, you were right.  You told me that it would.  You said that this bad time would pass.  And, well, you were right.  I did not believe you then, but you were right.  It did get better.”  Another long pause.  

“Mom?”

“Yeah?” I managed to say.

“I’m happy again.”

I smiled.  Another moment where the rush of joy swept over me.  As a mom, there is an obvious knowledge of the ups and downs life brings.  We have lived them and are old enough to know, its how it is.  Still, when your little boy shares this level of deep sadness with his own life, when you believe him when he tells you he does not think it will ever get better, you say what you need to say.  You tell him it will pass and that it will get better.  Yet, somewhere deep down, you quiet the fear that maybe you are wrong, then you hope, you pray like hell that what you are saying is true.  You press down the ‘Mama Bear’  rearing up and resist the urge to sweep him up and cradle him until ALL the mean people go AWAY!


So many opportunities for discussion of all things big and small were provided by this glorious mountain.  We talked about the recent tragedy in Orlando, we even agreed to hike on behalf of those people whose lives were cut short senselessly and who would not get the chance for even another day.  We talked about guns, music, animals, friends, and of course what we each would order at Starbucks on our way home. 


At one point, Garrett stopped, turned to me, and asked me for a hug.  And so we embraced for a good minute without my asking for 1 minute of heart to heart contact as I had often done.  No request from mom was needed.  We just stood there, with only the incredible beauty of nature and a chipmunk or two around. Walking just a little bit further we caught up with Grace and Gannon.  Gannon had magically been healed from his near death experience and was now leading the pack.  This time it was Garrett who yelled for Gannon to “Wait up.” 

Gannon did.  When Garret approached him I overheard the same request.  “Gannon, can I have a hug?”

Grace and I observed their embrace. Tearing up with a collective “Awww” we both smiled and continued toward the car.  


There was at least one point in all of our day when we thought that perhaps this hike was the worst idea, ever.  There were moments when we wanted nothing more than to be anywhere but where we were, and yet driving home, sucking on our Frapachinos, singing, and smiling I knew that todays hike was a day we would always cherish.  

Throughout the remainder of the evening, each of my children managed to pull me aside to say 

“Mom, thank you for taking us today.”


Just as I was about to drift into sleep at 8:30 pm Garrett, being shushed by his older sister, yelled out “Mom! Maaom!”

“Yeah babe?”

“Mom, today was fricking AWESOME!”

One by one they each tucked me in, kissed me goodnight, and I can only hope one of them turned off lights and locked the doors.  I thanked God and closed my eyes. 


Waking the next morning, the first words from Garrett, who swore he had climbed his first and last 14er, were “Mom! I picked the next one.  We should climb Mt. Elbert next!”





 

Yes. I am learning. After a while...


After a while – Veronica A. Shoffstall

 

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

 

I was given the poem After A While by Veronica  Softshell when I was in my early twenties. I don’t remember who or why this was given to me.  I just remember that it hung on the wall of my dorm, and my homes well into my thirties. It was the tangible nugget which provided me, or a much younger version of me, hope in the midst of my despairs. 

Stumbling upon it this evening, a now much older me, I am moved by how my own understanding of this poem has deepened. 

Being now in my 40’s, I have had my share of farewells.  I can see now only thru retrospect, that these goodbyes, while painful are never really permanent. Even death. 

I can now see how each hold hidden gems. They teach us something we need to learn. Sometimes I would like to Fedex a message to The Universe reading

"Hey! Enough lessons already! We done with the farewells yet?" But apparently Fedex does not work that way or one could argue, maybe I haven't completely learned the lesson. Still, I would really like less farewells.

And so, I continue to learn. In my learning I am beginning to notice that these words no longer are my hope. They are my truth.

I am getting the subtle differences-I just forget sometimes. I no longer wish to chain any soul. I know kisses, poetry, soulful love making, making babies, or a even diamond ring do not equal a cosmic contract. I know there is not only one twin flame or Beloved or bishert for all because I have had a few.

I am learning to accept what is rather than what I wish was. I am grasping that REALITY- while not always what I long for, is what I've got. I understand now that it is only in the accepting of such that my calamity is matched with peace.

I, too have been burnt by too much sunshine, both figuratively and literally. And I still frakin love the sun!

I have had my future fall down mid flight, before my very eyes. I have had the ground swept from under me, again, and again, then again.

I have had to gather my broken parts, mend my heart with crooked stitching and mismatched buttons. I have had to lift my head back up, sometimes with heavy machinery. I have cried enough tears that my eyes ceased making them and my lips responded by chapping.

I have had to peel my now dry eyes away from a year, a month, even a few days ago and refocus them on the here, the now.

I have been gently and sometimes abruptly led to look forward despite my will wanting to look back. I get how shaky even the firmest of grounds can be.

And in spite of or because of, though tattered as all hell, I love.

I will not forsake the gifts of love because of the sometimes, ok, the too often pains of love. I will not allow my grief
​, or ​
my fear to be bigger than my light
​,​
 and my love, at least not every day.

So, 

I do plant my own gardens. I witness new growth, along with weeds, and cats using them as toilets. I care for my gardens, but sometimes I over water, and sometimes I forget to water, and sometimes thru no fault of my own, a huge frakin hail storm takes my garden out.

​ ​
And I have to start all over again.

Then one day my sunflowers bloom. And every time its witnessing magic. Each flower unique, magnificent, divine, and temporary.  Then one flower becomes many, and I can provide not only my own flowers but flowers for my neighbors and my friends.

Though I slip into a few rabbit holes here and there, because lets face it, any good garden attracts bunnies, I have the strength to get out before I am buried. I am strong.

And when my arms are to weak, I have the loving arms of the earth angels we call friends, family, strangers, you know- those other spiritual beings also having human experiences. Oh yeah- and I have this loving force or 
​these ​
benevolent arms I call God whom has cradled me even in the hole and whom has shown me that yes, I have worth.

I can accept my defeats or losses with the grace of a woman. I am no longer a child, though I admit to an occasional temper tantrum. I mean talk about cathartic. Beating the floor, or a pillow, screaming at the moon, stars, sky, kicking, and screaming until I collapse? Well​,​ it leads me back to the ground. Back to the home of my flowers, and I am replanted. Sometimes it takes me a while to root again, but eventually I do.  Then, when I am ready and my trunk is sturdy enough to stand tall, I do. And I do so ​with grace.  

I can endure.

With another goodbye, and a heavy heart, it is apparent, I am still learning. 

By~ Elisa Day

Note to self. Some things to always remember...

A Note to Self:

Whom should I be by now?

            

Elisa,

Are there areas in your life in need of improvement?  Of course.  Are there wiser choices you could have made along the way, areas where you could have played your hand a little smarter? Yes. But, Elisa, every mistake, every corner you did or did not peek around, every emotion, every laugh, every cry, every crack made in your heart have led you to becoming exactly who you are right now.  Every experience has brought forth the love you have in your presence today.  You have your mistakes so that you can learn from them and every day you get to make choices, to repeat patterns or to choose to see them and make different ones.  

 

Sometimes your fear creeps in.  You are not smart enough, you never complete anything, you will fail.  you are not worthy of great epic love, mediocrity is ok, you can’t be as big as you think.  Don’t believe the fear.  The FEAR, that is the smoke in mirrors and its bullshit.  You have these ideas, these visions, talents, because you have purpose.  You are here to be big, play big, and yes, you deserve epic love, epic life.  You do and so long as you continue to put one foot in front of the other, remain willing to stumble, listen to the whisper of your heart and listen to the hearts of all those you love, pray and allow for this spectacular journey to continue to enfold then regardless of whats around the next corner, you can shine.  

 

So, rediscover your Practice. why you fell in love with yoga.  Teach, and remember how you have that indescribable something that allows you to teach from a place that is not work but art and divinely inspired.  Write your story, not just for you but as a testament of life and how we can all be tempted to be dragged down by our circumstance and how even in the midst of surreal disappointment, extreme grief, smoldering anger, addiction, expectations unmet, getting the job done, failing, falling, its still worth the effort.  So raise your children and his and create a new kind of family, complete with the greatness that is the mess of your combined pasts, and of all the oops and all the triumphs, and not only can you become the greatness that you may not have yet attained, you can become greatness in union.  

 

And Elisa, remember always FUCK what THEY think!  Be soft with your heart and with theirs, and when you write, write Truth. No matter how ugly, funny, sad, exciting, boring, or uncool.  Write what is real and that is your authentic story- whatever and however that may turn out to be.  

 

And Elisa, LOVE.  Always remember in those moments when its seems like throwing in the towel is the easier route, take one more big in breath, trust in your exhalation, and go for big love in whatever and with whomever is a part of you.  


-Elisa Day

Wise Words of Collective Wisdom for my Grace on her 14th birthday

I wanted to offer advice to my 14 year daughter on her birthday, but instead posed the question to 50 or so women I respect.  Here are their answers. 


Thanks to all the Wise Women whom were kind enough to share their wisdom. 

 

 

Question:  What advice, given what you know now, would you give your 14 year old self?


 

~Get out of your comfort zone.  Try something that scares you.  Try out for something different.

~If a boy does not respect or speak well of their mother or their sister’s, STAY AWAY FROM HIM.

~Guess what? YES! Your grades matter!  (and if you can get a scholarship, you will save your parents TONS$$$$ of money)

~Gossip Sucks!  Stay out of it.  If a friend gossips WITH you about someone else, you can bet they are also gossiping ABOUT you with someone else.

~There exists a compass inside you.  If you cultivate the quiet and listen, this compass will ALWAYS guide you where to go, how to get there, when to act, when to stop, when to push, and when to rest.

~Work hard, get a job, become self-sufficient.  You will feel self-respect.  When you respect YOU, so will others.

~Always remember that NORMAL, IS JUST A SETTING ON THE DRYER, HONEY.

~Study

~Be HONEST, with yourself and others.

~Cultivate good relationships with your teachers/professors.

~Don’t spend ONE SECOND worrying about boys.

~WEAR SUNSCREEN

~Remember, The Universe supports you ALWAYS in ALL WAYS.

~Embrace the mystery.  Too often we search for the answer and miss the gifts in the mystery.  

~Believe in MAGIC and look for it EVERYWHERE!

~Be Wild

~Be Free

~F@#K FEAR!

~Be the friend you want to have

~Take the pressure off yourself, there is enough given by the rest of the world.

~Don’t take anything TOO SERIOUSLY.  Relax and let life be “cool”.

~Seriously? Whatever you fret in this moment, will it matter in 5 years, or 10, or 100. If not, then STOP FRETTING!

~Don’t eat yellow snow!

~Slow down, breathe deeply, and if you can’t control it....LET IT GO! Let Go, Let God. 

~You can’t control the outcome.  You can just do the footwork.  But do it. 

~BE Authentic BE your SCOUT self.

~It’s true.  What everyone thinks about you, is NONE of your business.

~Remember all the lessons of ATTICUS FINCH!

~Don’t MOO with the rest of the herd.  Be original, DON’T be like everyone else.

~Use birth control!

~If others need you to relax or change your core values to keep them around or make THEM happy, DITCH EM!

~To Thine Own Self Be True, often challenging, but ever so important.  

~Remember, you can ALWAYS say NO!

~Even when you don’t FEEL confident, BE confident anyhow.

~Seldom can we THINK our way into right acting, but always we can ACT our way into Right thinking.

~There will always be those who try to make you feel small. Don’t let them. Never sell yourself short!

~Surround yourself with people who challenge you, but also have the ability to recognize how fabulous YOU ARE!

~You don’t have to DO IT ALL. But try to get your dirty clothes in the hamper.

~RIGHT NOW is what you got kid.  Enjoy the present.  B/c always THIS TOO SHALL PASS. 

~Guess what? Not everyone is going to like you.  MAKE PEACE WITH THAT NOW! And who cares?

~NEVER apologize for WHO YOU ARE, but ALWAYS apologize when you are wrong. (and know the difference)

~Brand names are CRAP!  Never think otherwise.

~Be close with family.  They are the ones who will have your back always.

~Find out about your grandparent’s history.  It is your history as well, and they won’t be around forever.

~When people are mean, it’s more of a reflection of how they feel about themselves than how they feel about you.

~Appreciate the imperfect yet perfect body you have now.  One day you will see photos you dislike now and wish your legs still looked like that. 

 

~Observe. Look up, look around. Take the time to take it in.

~Get out in nature.

~If someone tells you to “have a more realistic dream”, smile at them and continue with the BIG DREAM.  Never take your dreams down a notch so others can be more comfortable.

~The number on the scale MATTERS NOT!

~If he/she belittles you, wish them well and walk away.

~Forgiving someone does not mean being their doormat.

~Learn to forgive. Harboring resentments only keep you cut off from all that is good. 

~God is too big for 1 religion.  Find your own relationship with Spirit, God, The Universe, The Divine.  

~Know your heart will get broken, and when it does, remember that it is the cracks where the light comes in.  Never let it close, heartbreak is just the Universe kneading the soil for more LOVE to enter.

~Sometimes, it’s better to let go and remember to ask yourself, “Do I want to be RIGHT or do I want to be HAPPY?”

~THE SEXIEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD IS TO BE REALLY SMART!

~Dance, always, anywhere, even in the kitchen.

~At concerts, if you see an empty seat up closer after the concert begins, TAKE IT!

~Get your education before you get married.  Be self-supporting through your OWN contribution.

~Follow the compass of YOUR OWN HEART and have the courage to go where it leads you!!!!

~LOVE yourself FIRST.  Only then can you experience or give the Love you desire. 

~Worry, worry, worry, too much worry.  STOP NOW

~PLAY BIG, don’t shrink for others insecurities.

~Always let your imagination be bigger than all else.  We cannot create something we cannot imagine. FEED YOUR IMAGINATION ALWAYS!

~Cry when you need to, FEEL IT, breathe it, release it.  THEN LAUGH

~Wearing expensive things does not make you “cool”

~There is no need to trudge the road to the Middle.

~Remember where you came from and those who supported you along the way.

~Recognize you can’t be perfect and strive to be better anyhow.

~YOU can be THE ONE who does it (even if its never been done), who creates it, who makes it, who sells it, who owns it! And don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.  

~WHY NOT?

~Travel

~READ, read, read, read

~Remember your God-given talents, use them, build on them, share them with the world.  You were meant to. 

 

 

~And when you screw up, or fail, or get dumped...take a deep breath, say a silent prayer, and continue to TRUST, The Universe supports you ALWAYS in ALL WAYS, dust off and GET BACK UP.  And when it happens again, DO it again, and again, and again......

 

 

And below is from me to you my Amazing Grace!

 

Grace- You are destined for greatness.  Remember that. There really is a field of existence that is UNLIMITED POTENTIAL.  Dwell in that place and know that it is absolutely TRUE! Be better than I. Love bigger, take more risks, BE BRAVE! 

AND NEVER SET YOUR DRINK DOWN AT A PARTY! If you do, get a new one. Call me if either you or your ride are drunk.  ALWAYS!!!! Remember, alcoholics black out, non-alcoholics pass out.  

 

KNOW you are LOVED ALWAYS.  LOVE ALWAYS and make love a part of everything and anything you do and if its not present, DON’T do it, or FIND a way to bring the LOVE in. 

F@#K What THEY think!

Some day, Pick out a nursing home for me with lots of windows and fresh air.  Must have fresh air.  

 

 

I love you, always and forever.

You are my Scout.

 

Love, 

mom 

An 18 inch journey December 9, 2011

It has been a little over two years since I was catapulted into a storm of changes on this journey called life.  Acceptance and even joy have crept into many of my moments; still Something (with a capital “S”) lurks from behind the shadow of my mind.  It is with me always, peering at me, scratching me, poking me.  Looking everywhere I stumble in my attempts to find where the itch is coming from; that is; until I make that difficult journey that is only about 18 inches long.  This journey begins with self-knowledge, discoveries about my family, my mistakes, his mistakes, my choices, and theirs.  It is the journey that is the transformation of the bonfire of anger flaming from my being, burning away all that fuels the flames until at last, all that is left, are a few hot coals, and loads of ashes crying to be swept away.

What is the Something that lurks within me, around me, on me? My mind knows the answer.  Though it wants to be, my heart has just not been ready.  Bruised and battered my heart pulsates in desperation. It is the lotus working its way through the murky water and mud, allowing itself to once again bloom.  Light calls to it in the quiet moments. My heart reaches, knowing it is the light it needs to survive, the light it needs to find the answers to all other questions, the light that shines on the path showing me which direction to go, what step to take now, and now, and now. Pondering this Something I begin humming a tune. In a flash, there it is.  I have journeyed in an instant, those treacherous 18 inches from my mind to my heart to meet this Something.  It has no face, no form. It is soft, like a baby’s blanket, a whisper. The familiar scent of; home cooking, fresh rain, a newborn baby surrounds it. It is a prayer; a prayer for forgiveness. I am so grateful we are finally meeting.

It is a prayer for forgiveness.

Beautiful garden, where have you gone?
My self-delusions are leaving me in a storm
Taken for granted, all the goodness that I found
Somewhere I lost all the control, came crashing down

And I pray for forgiveness, look for the answers
'Cause it's hard for me to pretend
Look to my mother, call to the captain
Can't you see, this state that I'm in?
And no one would know this, nobody noticed
'Cause it's me, where it begins

Beautiful morning, please don't wake me from my sleep
'Cause I need some comfort to regain my sanity
And I don't want to feel this crazy, I don't want to feel discarded
Shattered in a million pieces, I'm so broken-hearted
Nowhere left to run, nowhere left to go so

I pray for forgiveness, look for the answers
'Cause it's hard for me to pretend
Look to my mother, call to the captain
Can't you see, this state that I'm in?
And no one would know this, nobody noticed
That it's me, where it begins
And I pray for forgiveness within

I swear that every day I feel like my mind is haunting me
I think of every little stupid mistake that has been made
This time I don't have the strength to gather myself
I'm falling to pieces

And I pray for forgiveness, look for the answers
'Cause it's hard for me to pretend
Look to my mother, call to the captain
Can't you see, this state that I'm in?

I pray for forgiveness, looking for justice
Searching for answers, call to my mother
Pray for forgiveness, breaking the silence

Nobody knows this, nobody noticed
That it's me, where it begins

  • Songwriters: Alicia Augello-cook, Linda Perry

 

 

 

Dec. 1 Frackin Transformation

Transformation:

 

It sounds like such a beautiful thing, and don't get me wrong, it really is, but it can also be very tiring. For one thing, it is never ending. There is no graduation or certificate of accomplishment.

 

It has been a little over two years since I discovered what was then unthinkable and was launched onto a path of unwanted transformation. Just as the ball in the pinball machine gets bounced around seemingly out of control, so too have been my roles on this path of transformation. I played the part in this drama of my life as the victim, the martyr, the defendant, the prosecutor, the witness, even the judge. Bottom line, I am tired. I am tired of "my story" I am tired of being the one who got left, who was betrayed, who is always overcoming something. I am tired of all that goes along with that, anger, grief, sadness, doubt, tears, and fear.

 

December 1st feels like as good of a day as any to let go of "my story", to begin a new chapter tabla rasa. Today I get to begin the process of finding gratitude in even the toughest times recognizing that it is only through a crack light can shine. So, gratitude while not my favorite topic is what I will attempt this month to focus on.

 

What am I grateful for?

 

Discovery: In picking up the pieces of what felt like a shattered heart, I discovered a hidden strength within and a part of myself which is more gentle than not.

 

Love: While it pains me that my marriage ended, that my children are now part of a divorced family, that my ex-husband left for her, I know that Love existed. I know that the day we both said I do, we did so without reservation, with Love in our hearts and with the hope that it would remain this way forever. I know that our children were made from that space of Love and that through them, the Love is ever present.

 

Compassion: Not only do I find compassion for myself trudging this path unaware where it is taking me, but I find compassion for my ex. The gentle side of me gets that his choices were his, and that he, too is on a path of discovery. I have compassion for all that he "lost" as a result of his choices and look forward to finding peace with him no longer being part of "my story".

 

Time: It is true that time is one of the greatest healers. While I would not proclaim to be healed I will admit that my four year old chiming in at Thanksgiving dinner about the time "daddy called 9-11 on you" brought a smile to my face, not because the incident he referred to was funny, but because the recognition that with time, even the most tragic of times can be softened even humorous. Watching this unfold through the mouth of babes and noticing the change of my own reaction is evidence enough for me that time is a great healer.

 

Hope: Getting back out there (the dating scene) whiles not my most favorite thing to do, have opened my eyes. I get to experience different flavors to entertain my palate. I can say good-bye and remain hopeful for the next hello. My heart has not been closed; it has remained open to possibility.

 

So closing out the year I say Bring it on. If I were to offer a prayer it would be this. Transform me, make me giddy, patient, loving, might I create abundance, joy, and laughter. May my heart continue to knead forgiveness, might I BE LOVE!

Elisa Day

 

 

The Larger Story

By Elisa Day

The larger story I wish to tell is about finding oneself on the ground as a result of a seeming detour in life, and the climb back up. The larger story is the details of survival, strength, perseverance, hope, endurance, and the willingness to be optimistic. It's finding joy in the midst of grief. It's taking a close look inward and uncovering your own shadow. It is recognizing we all have a shadow, but choosing to embrace the light in ourselves and others no matter how faded it seems. The details are about walking through grief, anger, self-pity, and choosing joy, choosing love.

The larger story is an awakening. It is taking pleasure in the simplicity that life has to offer. It is observing the dragonfly hover in the yard, or watching an ant carry a load three times its size, it's breathing in the fresh air and feeling the water as it runs over your body in a hot shower. Joy comes in observation. It's looking at an infant's hand noticing how each knuckle is marked with a perfect dimple. It's the smell of rain, homemade cookies, or the scent of a puppy. It's smiling through tears when your dog eats your last $300 in cash knowing in the back of your head, this will one day be a memory to laugh about.

The larger story is taking a solo evening stroll in your own neighborhood. It's gazing up as if looking into your soul mate's eyes and watching as the clouds clear revealing a marvelous starlit night gazing back down at you. It's calling the moon "your friend". The larger story is returning from a trying day to a messy house and cleaning while blasting music, dancing in your underwear while your neighbors sleep. It's teaching your children that yes it really is possible to tell someone you love them with your eyes, and watching them "get it". It's the inward envy which arises when your child begins to tantrum, thrashing about the floor because you know exactly how they feel and wish you could do the same. It's wearing an invisible "S" on your chest when you comfort a sick child in the middle of the night, or using fairy magic to chase away any lingering ghosts. It's overhearing your pre-teen daughter offering heartfelt advice you would take to a friend in need. It's finding yourself on the kitchen floor sobbing yet being pulled by invisible forces to rise, dust off, wipe your tears and continue making dinner.

The larger story is looking into your child's eyes and answering their heartfelt question with an honest "I don't know" or "what do you suppose". It's cheering for your favorite team even when they are losing, particularly when you are the coach. It's marveling over the seed you planted months earlier as it begins to burst forth from the earth and continues to blossom.

The larger story is one of loss, change, but most of all it is one of love. It is a story of choice, some good, some not so much. It's what happens when nobody is around. It's when you find yourself alone, but not really. It's that intrinsic knowledge of a power greater than you whispering in your ear "yes you can; you are beautiful and loved". The larger story is about tapping into a fountain of wisdom provided by the Universe and deciding that you are going to allow that wisdom in. It's forgiving that which you most desperately DON'T want to forgive. It's the recognition that in THIS moment, you are better than ok. Its comprehending just how difficult being in the "now" really is.

The larger story; the unfolding of life, is seeing it as colorful, changing, constant, big and small. It is finding the path back to the light, back to love. It is being grounded in strength, trial, error, and humility. It's about learning to recognize each sign presented and choosing our own destiny.

Ch,Ch,Ch, CHANGES

Let's face it. Change sucks! Change in any form is usually met with some resistance. We like the familiar, it keeps us comfortable.

Self-initiated change comes with its own set of challenges; however, choosing to make a change ourselves is empowering. On the flip side, change which we did not initiate ourselves can leave us feeling disempowered, discombobulated. How then do we summon the courage to face unwanted change we feel we did not want, choose, or think we deserve?

I have personally been on a journey of asking myself that very question. Two years ago, I came toe to toe with unwanted change. My husband informed me that he no longer wanted to be married. Gasp! A month or so passed, during which time we were separated. All the while I was sure this could be fixed. This unwanted change could be avoided. I knew there was more to it than he was admitting. Then I confirmed what had been a lingering suspicion, my husband was having an affair. This was not just an affair with some young assistant; it was an affair with the woman whom was married to one of his best friends. My husband chose to let go of lifelong friendships for her. My husband left me, for her. My husband shattered our family, for her.

In the wake of the shock of betrayal, I found myself shaken to the core. The world as I knew it no longer existed. My future was snatched out from under me. I went from being a stay at home mother with three young children and part time yoga instructor to a frantic out of work soon to be divorcee searching for understanding, struggling to find my breath.

I did what could have been expected. I fought the change. I got angry, justifiably so. I threw temper tantrums, I cursed both of them, I pleaded, I cried a lot. Unhealthy habits formed overnight. I quit eating and started smoking. I slept minimally always waking to nightmares about what was now my current life. I muffled my cries into a pillow so my children would not hear me. I bartered and tried to suit up and change to his liking. I tried with all my might to make him "see" what a mistake he was making. When that did not work, I tried to at least make him "see" what he had done to me. I resisted the change with all that I had.

By the Grace of God, Source, or Something larger than myself, I found some healthy outlets for my anguish. I taught and practiced yoga, using my pain and misunderstanding to speak to students from my shattered heart. As a student I practiced daily, often turning my yoga mat into a slip and slide with tears. I prayed. I meditated. I comforted my children, threw surprise parties, hosted play dates, taught my sons to ride a bike, took them fishing, and vacationed with family. I discovered a creative side of myself. I began writing, I gardened, raised hens, bunnies, dogs, kids. I made sidewalk chalk mandalas, and bought myself flowers. I read every book about infidelity I could get my hands on. I read for pleasure, for fun, for growth. I went skateboarding, rode my bike through the park, and danced under the stars. I made friends with the moon. I made love to beautiful men. I took care of my skin, wore makeup, and organized my home. I coached basketball and volleyball. I learned to use the power tools I inherited through divorce. I repainted every room in my home, rearranged furniture dozens of times, painted murals on my bedroom wall, created collages, vision boards, hand painted inspiring signs, and managed to find gainful employment. I even converted my wedding dress into a headboard! (I admit that first cut into my beautiful gown was painful, but the reward of the piece I created was worth it.)Then I prayed more, chanted, attended workshops, and healing circles. Through the thick of it all, I stayed sober!

I thought I was doing pretty well; considering. My relationship with my ex-husband did not get easier. Much to my chagrin, He did not come to the realization of his wrongs. There were no heartfelt apologies. There was only condemnation stemming from both sides. We became more and more toxic. I found myself defending actions I was both accused of and innocent of. I underwent psychological evaluations, spent $THOUSANDS on attorneys, mediators, therapists, etc. I endured constant verbal battery and being labeled "mentally ill" by the man I once loved more than I thought was possible. I won the court cases yet despite the Judge's rulings; my ex's vision of me remained the same. I stayed sore, and I stayed stuck. I resisted not only the changes that happened to me, but also the changes that I needed to make within myself.

I felt proud of all that I had accomplished having endured such betrayal. Still, underneath the facade of pride was a molting, lingering anger, combined with genuine sadness, and confusion. Eventually the molten rises to the surface until it emotes out with force. Those emotions shot through my veins bringing with them every defect of character I ever had. This anger began to shadow any light being created in my world. Broken, weary, and tired I still resisted the change. I had not signed up for this change and I was pissed. Pieces of the shadow part of me began to creep into every corner of my being. I began making choices which would later prove harmful to not only myself, but to people I loved and cherished.

I found myself wallowing in the devastation that was once my marriage. Work was difficult, not in the work itself, but in the motivation. Depression set in. Those helpful channels I had earlier found became more difficult to assume. Just doing the basics became a tremendous effort.

"How dark it is before the dawn", AA Big Book.

It was getting dark, and every negative aspect of me seemed to show up for the party. People who were once supporters were pushed away, repulsed by the shadow side of me.

Like that day over two years ago, I found myself resisting not only that change, but any other in my life. I was drowning into an abyss of self-pity. So, back to the original question: How then do we summon the courage to face unwanted change we feel we did not want, choose, or think we deserve?

WE STOP RESISTING THE CHANGE! We stop defending, realizing the futility of our efforts. We recognize that it is the defense itself that is the first act of war. We go back to the basics. We remember that these resentments block our beings from all that is good. We decide that it is our turn to make some choices. We stop playing in the role of victim. We realize that the anger, justified or not, is only poisoning our well of love, happiness, abundance, and sanity.

I have come to realize that the absolute resistance to this change has brought on perhaps more pain than the change itself. Sadness has gone from genuine heartbreak to a self-inflicted war with what is. This resistance disempowered me. It kept me a victim. It has kept me angry and this anger turned to resentment; oozing, infected, bubbling resentment which has kept me in the dark. My own anger has hidden from me the experience of love, God, and from seeing the truth of my own actions.

So here I stand again, amid anguish, despair, and regret. But for (once again), the Grace of God, Source, or something larger than myself, I have answered my own question. I am accepting the changes in my life. I choose to go along with the current of the Universe, no longer fighting or resisting it. I welcome the next wave in this ocean of life fearlessly and humbly. I acknowledge my grief and grant myself patience. I honor the loss and choose to learn from it. I am done resisting it. I choose instead to accept the change, to be empowered. I can acknowledge his right to make his own choices and know that he, too is on his path.I can find gratitude in the gift he gave me, the gift of my two precious boys. I choose to honor my light which extinguishes my shadow. I am no longer a victim. I choose my power from within rather than seeking a power over. I am free to move forward without forgetting where it is I came from. I am able to recognize that this is my path, I am here. I am done fighting, done being angry. I am ready to love me. I am choosing not to fight what is. I do not have to make anyone "see". It is I who must "see". I can look at the mistakes I have made both past and present without flinching. I can accept my flaws with a willingness to be better. I can know that each offence was a necessary thread in this quilt of life. Each mistake, his or mine, his or hers, mine or theirs, happened. It is up to each of us to decide how, if, or why to amend any of it. I choose to examine my side of the street and clean it up. I choose to acknowledge that while at first change is bitter, sometimes gut wrenching, it too can be sweet and sane! I choose that.

Next, forgiveness...