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
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...