Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Knowing When To Take a Break...

Sometimes, to preserve a great relationship, you have to let it go and give it a break. In order to keep relevant and exclusive memories about the relationship good and happy, you have to learn to gage when the time has come to leave that part of your life behind; if even just temporarily…

The cue...
When relationships mature in different ways than the individuals involved, it is one of the best signs that it has run its course or is coming to a fork in the road. Does this mean the love and respect for the individual (who is part of the relationship) are long gone? No… Although I would like to think that all good things have no ending, I don’t believe that everything has to last forever to be of meaning and value. If the closeness is no longer, it doesn’t mean that the friendship has lost its worth. It only means that the togetherness has diminished and the worth of the relationship will still be if we learn to let go at the right time… and do we pick back up when the time is right again?

Knowing when...
We grow, get in and out of relationships, and go through experiences; having kids, family worries, losing a job, being promoted, financial success or hurdles, deaths, sickness, etc… all that in many different orders, all at once or not at all. All these experiences can’t help but change and shape you along the way. Integrity, compassion, and love will help you keep it levelled with your friend and your friendship, however; an attitude of superiority, know-it-all and lack of compassion will put a strain on any friendship interaction.       

In a relationship you should be honest, respectful, loyal, trustworthy, kind, considerate, caring towards the other person, and treat them like they matter. A good friend is not your hired “yes man (or ma’am)” or your personal robot. They do not have to agree with you on everything! Jealousy and envy should have no say or space in the relationship. They should have your back and give undivided support in challenging situations, even if in private he/she lets you know you were wrong. Sincerely praise them when they do something right (and do this publicly) and reprove them privately. Being true in a relationship, you have to know time is of the essence; from knowing when to listen, to scold, to share advice, to be there and to act like they’re not there but are ready to catch you…

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”
Gloria Naylor
Taking ownership...
Ultimately, I have to look at myself in the mirror. I have to ask myself if all those “must’s” I listed (of what a good friend has to be) I myself embody and exemplify towards my friends. Not everyone has the same values and morals, or the same definition of what true friendship is and how it should play out. Certainly, as the one writing this, I need to make sure that I walk-the-walk and not just talk-the-talk!
I have so many faults as a person, and although with age I’ve become more of a loner, I value my friends and their friendship by showing and giving the totality of me. I appreciate them and voice it so they know and everyone around knows they are loved by me.

For the only relationship that holds a candle to a family bond is… Friendship

Have you ever found yourself in a relation going south? What did you decide to do?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Letter to Myself...

Dear Self,                

 I figured that I’d write to you today instead of playing mind tag. I think we need to catch up and talk about all the conversations, events, wishes and desires you have in your heart; and the ones you’re yet needing to let out. I know how much of a loner you can be at times, so I know that there is a lot that must be bottled up inside of you. You have not shared it with me, so I know you haven’t shared it with anyone else either.

How are you self? And please, no need to tell me “all is well”, because as you know, I know everything about us. Maybe this time you will feel more comfortable with me telling you what I feel, being the inner you? We amount to one soul but we are very different at time…while I would like to go and make things happen for us, you always hold us back with your doubts and insecurities.

Self, you have to take the time to stop and let us decide what determines our happiness, and what our ultimate desires and wants are. I am growing tired of the internal turmoil that boils inside of us every day. I’m also tired of working towards a fulfilled “us” and then having to stop because someone else’s tales are priority over us. I’m tired of our insecurities that make us doubt what we can accomplish and become. I need you to take some me-time and work on us.

Every day I listen to your thoughts. I help you organize them in our head, and then put them together with you on paper. That way, everyone can read and understand what our process is, and where we’re trying to go with our life and vision. You are so good at knowing what is right, and you’re so good at being in tune with us, so why the guilt; why the hesitation, why are you trying to hold us back?

Our to-do list has not moved since the last time we spoke. I can hear it now, even before the words get typed; you want to blame the kids, the hubby and work. You’ll say that they are the reason why nothing you promised you would do got done. You want to blame the whole world as the reason of you being overwhelmed and frustrated but let me stop you there… let me be true to us and for us. Nothing gets done because you want to consider and manage others’ expectations of you before ours and you are being disorganized. You say "any goals are achievable through process and priceless is the feeling through achieving those goals"... Why don't you follow your own advice? Why not let our process take its course?

Rose, you and I are 1, and even though we are two very strong sides that make the one you, we are still only human. We have weaknesses, shortcomings, flaws, and inadequacies, regardless of all of our good intentions…
Be honest…at least with me… You have fears. Although you say “Be Fearless”, and preach that perfection doesn’t exist, you still set your bar at trying to achieve “Perfection”. Then when you hurt, you want to pretend that everything is okay…
You are amazing for being able to recognize that a lesson needs to be learned in any given situation. You have a great talent in your ability to convey your thoughts, but don’t think the life lessons learned are to be practice only on the day that you learn or unveil the meaning of them… it take times…sometimes a short time and sometimes a life time to adjust and change your ways… I don’t want us to continue fooling ourselves and pressure ourselves, while I know we need the time to master the new “we”.

Let’s enjoy the life we have now! 2 beautiful children, a gorgeous husband, amazing friendships, a home, a career… let’s work our issues out by looking at them through all the positives that surround us. A different outlook or point of view will make our “to Be” list more manageable and easier to confront. I’m done witnessing the tears of frustrations; I’m tired of hearing the self-criticism and self-abuse, all because of an unreachable goals and skewed time frame… I refuse to ever be 2nd to anyone, and then be rushed to be that new me/us.

Self, I started this letter by asking you how you were doing but I should have been straight forward and let you know this was my intervention for us. All I needed was for you to shut up and listen to the inner you/me.  While I understand that we need to keep evolving; I also need us to enjoy where, who and how we are at this time of our life. Don't discredit all that we have accomplish for the possibilities that have yet to be...

To listening to the inner me… Thank you Niks!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs

What about you? Have you ever felt the need to have a conversation with yourself? Needed your inner voice to set you back straight? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week...

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J.K Rowling

Making good choices and having the desire to make the right decisions will tell a better story of the person you are than any abilities you possess...
Your abilities (physical or intellectual) are not what will determine the kind of person you are or will become. It is the choices which you will make in life that will show your personality and build your character. To be treated by what we appear to be, is a disservice to our true potential and to accept such attitude toward us, is selling ourselves short. ~RS

To seeing beyond the surface…

Friday, May 25, 2012

In The Pursuit of Skinny Me...

When your vanity is not your priority…
When your motivation is not your entourage and what they think of you…
When your stimulation is not proving someone else wrong…
When your worry is not that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder…

Why are you pursuing the smaller you? Why are you chasing what “was” and might never again be possible?

I was at the office last week, having small talk with 2 of my staff members, and a discussion arose regarding a blind date that one of them was going to the following day. After talking about him (the gentleman who will be the “blind” date) and the little she knew about him, I asked her to show me a picture of the man in question; stating, “we need to make sure he is good looking”. One of the staff looked at me and said that to her, the physical “wasn’t important”. The other asked me, “Well... So what if you don’t find the person attractive, what then?” That was an easy question for me. I replied, “For me, the number one step is the physical attraction.  If I meet you, lay eyes on you and I’m not immediately attracted to you, then I don’t see how I can have an intimate relationship with you. I need to be attracted first, and then get to know you but it can’t be the other way around”.
Shallow? Maybe… but I don’t think so…
Everyone’s level of beauty/handsomeness or what they consider attractive is very different but I do believe that there is a threshold. I think that it is commune to everyone; however, the level of its importance is different…

You would think this is an issue that I would no longer have to worry about as I’ve been married for 15 years now. It’s a given that reciprocal attraction is what started this relationship, with stares (of barely two adults) from across a dance floor. We’ve since grown into the adults we are today…
I am blessed with a handsome husband, who even after I gained 40 pounds and went from a size 4 to a 10 (on good days), still loves and treats me the same. Every time I asked him the ultimate question, “Have I gained weight?” along the journey of my transformation, he keeps looking at me with a lost look and says, “Baby, you know I’m the wrong person to ask that question… I don’t notice those kinds of things”


“Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense”

…And maybe not, his values in regards to that aspect are just different than mine… The love he has for me outside of the physical appearance overshadows any idiosyncrasies, quirkiness, and “blemishes” that create the visual me… Unfortunately for him and me, I’m not made from that cloth… All those changes are changes I didn’t agree with; I’m not comfortable with and are not part of me… And because I can’t find solace in the person I see in the mirror, the road to creating a better me, tapping into the person I am meant to be and getting to a place of inner happiness will never be completed unless I pursue and achieve a skinnier me…

The pursuit of skinny me is not the pursuit of vanity and shallow beauty…
It is the pursuit of who I am; who my inner self knows herself to be, who’s reflection in the mirror will finally overlap the picture of me cemented in my brain…
I believe the Rose I look at every day in the mirror for the last few years is beautiful, sexy and has no need to feel embarrassed but I just don’t connect with her. She is not a reality that I am able to connect with and there will always be sadness behind my eyes when I look at her…

When your spirit and confidence are your priority
When your motivation is the connection with self
When your stimulation is to not settle
When your worry is being able to live with your self

“I wake up every day with the realization that this is it, that there’s only one shot at this life and I can either enjoy the ride and live it to its fullest and to my highest potential or I can stay the way I am”
Author Unknown

Be in the pursuit of what will make you whole…

Can you relate? Have you ever been in situation where you trying to accept something you don't relate to or accept? Is there anything in your life that you know unless you resolve or achieve it you will never be fulfilled and truly happy?

To loving yourself,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thank You for My Milestones...

I always use to laugh at rewards ceremonies and awards shows, laugh at how everyone acceptance speech would start by “first I want to thank the man above for without him they would be no me” and then continuing down to thanking the family, partner, children and friends… I always use to find those speeches so very calculated… Until today!

LOL… I’m truly feeling like I’ve won an award as I’m seating here looking at my blog and feeling very proud of myself. I am realising that whatever this work that I’m doing, whatever this process that I’m going through is, it  wouldn’t be possible, enjoyable and rewarding without the creator allowing me to find my way to me, without my family giving me daily time away from them to tap into my creativity and without the involvement, feedback of friends and strangers. It simply wouldn’t have been possible without all of you guys support.

So from the bottom of my heart…Thank YOU

Love always...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It Used To Take a Village...

"Above all we need, particularly as children, the reassuring presence of a visible community, an intimate group that enfolds us with understanding and love, and that becomes an object of our spontaneous loyalty, as a criterion and point of reference for the rest of the human race."
Lewis Mumford

We have entered into a new era; this era where, what we do is try to adapt to a new, current and progressive set of rules (written or expected), while showing total disregard to the old habits, old ways and old beliefs. Our behaviour towards (and for) our children has us being extra cautious and solely in charge of every step they take. We hold on to them with an imaginative short leash, so we have this idea/sense of being in control, aware and responsive to all their needs and proactive in their protection. We are acting like vigilantes towards our own children, in fear of potential arms lurking out there. We’re doing all this, while missing (and yearning) the innocence of years past; where letting children play in the neighbourhood (not attended by the parent) was common practice. I miss the insouciance of years past, when children knew to respect and be attentive to “elders” (related or not) and as discipline wasn’t a parent’s privilege but a neighbourhood duty…

Today we no longer want to rely on our neighbours to keep an eye on our children as we no longer know what their lives are like, their morals… Now all of our doors are double bolted with alarm systems active, while before everyone’s doors were always revolving.
We feel that we can’t trust the “villagers” any longer as they don’t know how to act in front of our kids… Music blasting in the streets, with the only lyrics understandable being curse words. The dress code has change to “no dress code” and your Sunday best looks like everyday rags. We are no longer concerning ourselves with our community and its children but only our own, while judging others’. We now rely on the news or “fait divers” to update us on what’s going on in our neighbourhood, in our communities, in our streets and in our next door neighbour’s home…
While we are no longer concerning ourselves with the community as a whole but only our own four walls, we become easily outraged, upset and very eloquent when “the kid next door” has been declared a bully, when he beats up his parents or even worse; when he shoots up a school… But where were we when he needed someone to reach out to?

We have built these big cities that took over our “villages”, our little towns, our little rural communities and our “Little Houses on The Prairie”, where everyone knew everyone. Because all was known by all, the fear of who was watching, going to catch us, going to tell on us or punish us, was greater than the desire to do wrong. That’s when being embarrassed in front of the whole town or bringing shame to your family was the ultimate punishment.

The family dynamic has changed. Back in the day, the norm was to have two parent (biological) households, where we all trusted that the education, morals and values you were instilling into children were almost uniform. In some way, all families looked alike, other than the amount of children that formed the unit. Now we have just as much single parent homes, foster parents (which are a blessing for some children), adoptive set-ups and an increased disparity in (even) what the basic values are. We choose to keep to ourselves and with ourselves.
There are so many “do’s and don’ts”, so much research, and so much analysis, that confusion has intervened where clarity was supposed to direct us. Society is so worried about self that we don’t look at the bigger picture. Instead of competing with our neighbours and caring about appearances, why don’t we choose to be involved in their lives and learn to know each other? At the end of the day, every person that comes into direct contact with our kids will have influences on them.

I yearn for the insouciance of years past, where trust was easier as we all knew each other. I truly believe that when it comes to the journey from childhood to adulthood, there are more than the “close relative” influences that come into play. Although ultimately the caregivers carry most of the responsibility, the “villagers” (neighbours) also had some say in how the children turned out.

Positive and negative influences
I miss the concept of “It takes a village”. I miss the times when (it was a given that) your personal best wasn’t all that was needed for your child to be a positive, productive member of society. It was also true that family wasn’t the only determining factor in guaranteeing a child’s future, but you also needed the entire village or town to care and look out for all of the children. How important it is for us to realize that our values are just as important as the community values and will influence your child just as much… if not more…
The “villagers” (teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, church-goers) all need to be a part of the positive influence circle around our children. Knowing the “villagers” would help you determine the different influences in your child's life and different points of view they will come in contact with.

I’m originally from the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and even though I grew up primarily in Europe, the morals and values that were instilled in me were from African culture. So I do believe in the concept that “It takes a village to raise a child”; an African (Nigerian) proverb that fully embodies and summarizes what we believe the process of raising a child needs to be.
We need to take the literal out of the sentence and understand the meaning. It is, that we all need to have the understanding and attitude that you as a person are setting up an example for any child (or adult for that matter) around you. You need to step up your behaviour and do right by them and for your community. Extended families, neighbours and friends are very important in framing and providing a great support system to parents, and subsequently the children in the community as we are not all with our children 24/7. In no shape or form does this proverb imply that we have to transfer our responsibility as provider and caretaker to the “village”. We’re merely making it an understanding that we all are in it for success and that we all should be keeping a vigilant eye out for the kids in our “village”.
Let’s bring back our villager’s mentality, teach our children hierarchy and respect for all and a sense of pride for our community, ownership and a sense of belonging.

We are the next generation teachers…

What is your opinion on this subject? Do you feel that the facing out of “small rural upbringing” mentality and of small communities where people really lived by the meaning of the word are hurting today’s youth? Or do you believe today’s parents have to take sole responsibility of their child(ren) rearing and subsequently shaping the kind of member of society they will become?

     Love always,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stumbling Into Your Past and Growing Into Your Future...

“Don't let your past dictate who you are, but let it be a part of who you will be.”
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

A while ago I decided to clean through boxes of “stuff” packed up in the garage. I had so many boxes which meant nothing (from the looks of them) and Summer was fast approaching, so a Spring cleaning was due…

I don’t usually dwell on the past, and I don’t get hit with the nostalgia syndrome. Actually, I do believe (that generally) that I rebound pretty well from deceptions and quickly move away from any feelings of regret, as if it all was part of another life.
Opening those boxes opened the gateway to forgotten memories; to the innocent, naïve, carefree, gullible, youthful and immature girl I use to be before the present…

I found pictures that told a thousand stories. I found notes, memorabilia and I found journals… several leather bound notebooks that, as soon as I lay my eyes on, made me face the past, my past… I remember how I loved to write to myself. I loved to tell myself the stories of dreams I had, of dreams I wished, of days with friends, of interests I had, of loving my prince charming (or who I believed was my prince) and the stories of heartbreaks…

There are so many things I wished that I had done differently. There are so many things I wished I hadn’t chosen to pursue, because now I know how stupid, reckless, unwise, thoughtless and hurtful those actions were towards me and possibly others.

But wishing is different than regretting…

Wishing can challenge and inspire you, while regret can leave you hopeless and empty. It’s like trying to drive a car, only looking in the rear view mirror; while you’re focused on what’s behind you, you forget that you’re still moving forward, and you could potentially end up in a life-threatening accident. It’s true that you have to occasionally look back, to see where you’ve come from, and to get a point of reference, but you cannot live in the past. The past is there to learn from, to occasionally glance at for smiles and lessons learned, and ultimately to move on from… On the other hand, I believe that “wishing” is much different. Wishing can create a burning desire within you for better; better for yourself, better for your loved ones, better for your world. As humans, we should always want to improve, and if there is no wish (or dream), there can’t be a “dream come true”. We all have to understand the differences between “wishing” and regretting”.   

Through reading pieces of my stories, I understand why I made some of the subsequent decisions in my life. Spontaneity has been replaced with less impulsive ways…
While looking at some of the pictures, I visualize how I wish I still looked and a pinch of regret surfaces, but understanding that the physical progressed with time and maturity shapes you makes everything okay.

Stumbling into my past actually brought a breath a fresh air…

While I miss the grandiose plans to change the world, to conquer the world, to rule the world, while I miss the insouciance, carefreeness and always being light hearted, I love the wisdom, maturity, knowledge and ability to prioritize that the present is bringing into my life. I have grown as a person, and although I might have wanted things to turn out exactly as I dreamed, they turned out exactly as they should have.

Have you ever stumbled into your own past? How did it affect you? Has it left you with regrets or did it fill you with hope?

     Love always,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Sunday quote of The week...

"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
~Dale Carnegie

Simply enough, this quote just encourages us to never give up even if we don’t know what to do with the cards dealt to us and to always make the best of what we are given…
We need to look at the positive around us, look at what we have rather than what we wish we should have… never underestimate the obvious, always look further for a  outcome. 
Inner piece, satisfaction and acceptance of our situation will give us the will and courage to strive and make something better…

To finding the best in every situation,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marriage… Political decision or Freedom for all!

President Obama announced today that he now supports same-sex marriage:

         “I Think Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able to Get Married”

Was it the perfect decision, based on the perfect timing in his political agenda or was it a genuine opinion put forth, with a genuine timing?

So marriage, in 37 states, has been defined (and limited to) a union of one man and one woman. The thing that strikes me as interesting is; who is writing the law? Is it the founding fathers; that came here and imposed their will on the Native Americans, in the name of God? Is it the constitution; that originally allowed blacks to be slaves, and limited marriage to same race (forget about gender) couples? Is it our modern day Christian leaders; that share in the 50% divorce rate, and are being prosecuted by courts worldwide for indiscretions inside the church? I’m not pointing fingers, just merely asking the question….  

What is the core of the issue when speaking about Gay marriage? Is it really the fact that 2 humans of same gender want to unite their lives, or is it the use of the word “marriage” to identify the union that causes controversial reactions? Is it a moral concern that is dictating the opposition’s stand on passing the law or is it a political stand?
Would we be having such a controversy if instead of calling it a same gender union “marriage”, we officially called it… let’s say “a conjugal union”?

Well let’s narrow down the issue, as I feel we are going off on a tangent; the issue could be with allowing 2 adults (consenting adults), of same gender to formalize their relationship and not their capability or wish to have children. I believe the same gender union has become controversial, more so because of religious beliefs, than because of whatever “ramifications” the act would have on the country. Even though the United States of America is a secular country with freedom of religion, Christianity is the predominant religion. This obviously has strong influences on law, policy and government… and this is where the real core of the issue lies…

How would the union (marriage) of homosexuals impair or become prejudicial to that of heterosexual couples….. or to the nation in which we live? This is the same nation that claims to believe in equal rights for all mankind (basic principle in the US constitution).

My political opinion is that everyone should have equal rights. If we all have to pay same taxes and obey the same rules, why shouldn’t we have the same rights? I believe it is against this country’s constitution to deny anyone freedom to a legal union, based on their sexual preference. And if the issue is the use of the word “marriage”, which by right is a religious concept, the government should then create a word or term that would translate and officialise the contractual union of same sex couples; with the same rights that marriage gives heterosexual couples.
As the sacrament of marriage differs from the secular concept of this government and as churches and Christians take ownership of the word “marriage” and considerate it exclusive to whom and where it can be celebrated, the government needs to adjust so people are able to express their love in a civil/contractual union and have it recognized by the government, and not let religious beliefs impose on a contractual relationship.

Although I believe my (or our) moral stand-point shouldn’t matter in this case, here is what I think; I’m 100% for it. Why should marriage be just exclusive to couples of the opposite sex? Don’t we marry primarily for love (and other reasons)? Why should it be different for gay couples? Does it harm me? No… Is the worry of witnessing any PDA makes us reticent to accepting the relationship? Well it shouldn’t! Don’t we expect the same discretion from heterosexual couples? If  we want to be self-righteous and act as if we know what the wrath of God will be upon the gay union and those participating in it, why not let HIM do his work, in his due time? Christianity and religion is supposed to be about love, acceptance and equality. Jesus let himself be crucified to take away the sins of the world, both for those who crucified him, and those who would later arrive on the Earth. Our Christian leaders (and Christians themselves, who also have around a 50% divorce rate) have damaged the institution of marriage so much themselves, that to me it sounds more hypocritical to consider anyone not worthy of the institution.
As I can understand the desire to keep the sacrament of marriage celebrated in a church, I don’t believe that it should be the only option for officialising two lovers’ union.

So President Obama, I agree with your decision; whether it was made out of your absolute true belief, or you were just doing it to boost your re-election efforts.

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
Abraham Lincoln

What is your stand? And is your stand base on religious beliefs or on political affiliation?

To loving freely,

Take Another Shot...

Life is like a camera, just focus on what's important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, just take another shot.

Wouldn’t it be that easy? Embrace all the good you have done, as well as the mistakes. All the things you wish you hadn’t done would be tossed, scratched off and you’d have the ability to do over… But it’s not that easy… While the quote is right on target with its meaning, we need to make sure we don’t read too fast through it, but rather, really dissect and follow it step by step…

Life is like a camera, just focus on what’s important
So many things happen in and around our lives. There are so many things we feel we need to involve ourselves in (we feel we need to accomplish, excel in, participate in), that we forget to prioritize and see what’s important in our lives; for our lives NOW.
We need to focus, create a “to be” list instead of the usual “to do” list, because when you know what you want to be the “how to get there” will be brought into focus…

Capture the good times
Enjoy the positives in your process, in your journey. You want to make sure that you remember all your milestones. Remember all the moments that brought pleasure, happiness, smiles, satisfaction and gratification because there will be moments of doubt, and moments when you feel down and unmotivated. When you question yourself, the good times and the fun memories will bring back an accreditation to the “why you did, and are doing” what you are doing, as the good will always prevail…

Develop the negatives
And here again comes those life lessons J
Learn, learn and learn from the mistakes, from slip ups, from the “Oops” and hick ups of life. Everything happens for a reason. Positive but especially negative occurrences are try-outs towards your goals. Grow from your mistakes; the negatives will help you determine the positive path to take if you learn from them. Develop them and progress from them!

And if things don’t work out, just take another shot
Chances are given and made for improvement not to repeat and indulge in the same errors. To give up is not an option, your “to be” list is a commitment to yourself and for yourself. Road blocks are made to be navigated around. The direct path (listening to others, following someone else’s steps) might be the fastest path, but not necessarily the most rewarding one. The road to success (personal, emotional or professional) is a tedious one as it requires several trials but it is also a heartening one as the end result is a goal set for you, by yourself.

I have to tell myself every day that there is a bigger picture, a better picture than what I see today. I have to constantly remind myself that the film is not over, that I have unlimited screen shots at my disposal. While I am not yet where I want to be and who I ultimately want to be (and remembered for), I’m learning to enjoy the work I put forth in getting there, regardless of set-backs and the end picture being blurry. Every time I challenge myself in a project, the excitement I feel from the anticipation and from what the end result will be, is at times more adrenaline-charged than actually achieving it. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, the let-downs are so heart wrenching, as I believe so strongly and want so deeply… but again I’m learning to take that extra shot…

 To loving your process,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Sunday Quote of the Week...

“One day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it’s worth watching”
~Gerard Way
Be honest and truthful to yourself… Don’t waste yourself and settle
Make sure that whatever you do, embark on is acceptable to you before it is to anyone else
Be proud of your decisions and stand behind your mistakes as they are your learning tools, your life lessons…
When the time comes to reflect on your life, actions and to look back on your success or lack thereof, you want the process to be filled with pride.

 Live it up, love it up,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Differences... Night and Day...

How much clearer can it be that men and women are from different planets? Or is it just as simple as we deal with our emotions differently?

I woke up this morning feeling very melancholic. Many things can trigger sadness in me and one constant thing is separation anxiety. With time, I have developed this panic of seeing people travel, or fear of them being away from me. When I say people, I’m speaking primarily of my husband and children… I can be at peace if I’m the one traveling away from them, because they are left together but uneasiness submerges me when I’m left behind. I hate to see them go, especially if they are alone on their travels…  Again the what if…
So last night I fought my husband (figuratively), trying to find all the reasons in the world for him not to purchase a plane ticket he needed. He has to fly back home for his uncle’s funeral. My crazy list of imaginary reasons included; too expensive, bad itinerary, too last minute, what about work and my favorite, “You’re going to miss Mother’s Day”… But logic took over and we got the ticket. I closed my laptop, closed my eyes and went to sleep.

This morning I’m sad; sad that what I know to be my safety (comfort zone) and routine is about to change, even for a split second, and I have no hand in making sure that it will be reestablished.
Where is my self control? Why do I let inexistent struggles find their way into my mind, keeping me away from bliss?
I got my self together (why always fight or worry about the dubious?), dropped my baby girl to school and went off to work…

Of course at this point, the inevitable happens. It seems like whenever you are feeling unsorted, the music that plays on the radio is (nothing but) sad songs, just to help my mood.

I was about 5 minutes away from my store downtown, when I stopped like everyone else at the red light. From a far, I see this man knocking on windows and showing his hat for money to be tossed in. I saw him making his way towards me and by reflex, I made sure that my doors were locked. His face was black, dry with creases that looked painful and covered with scars that told a story of hard and aching times. He knocked on my windows. His hands, where all fingers were severed from the joints, begged for my attention. He scared me, but I smiled, and through the window I let him know that I didn’t have anything to give. He smiled, made some clumsy dance steps and blew an awkward kiss at me, again waiting for a gesture from me. Although he made me smile, I still apologized with my eyes.
He turned around and walked on to the next car and I felt breathless. I looked at him through the side mirror and tears started to flow down my checks uncontrollably. As I write this, 5 hours later, I still can’t explain the feeling that took over me … it wasn’t pity, it wasn’t just sadness… I was compelled to not just leave, to just not give and to disregard wasn’t an option. My body wasn’t letting me, in those few seconds my soul wasn’t allowing it… I was literally overwhelmed by this feeling I didn’t understand.
I felt pain, sadness and everything felt wrong… I couldn’t breath; I couldn’t stop the tears…
To those that know me, they know I never have cash on me… I did today
The light turned green.  Through my tears, I called for him. While reaching for my wallet, he came “running”, I handed him money that he needed and sped off.
The last minutes of my ride to work gave me the opportunity to pull myself back together without understanding.

The hubby called and I share with him what had just happened to me, and his answer to me was 
“You need to go see a doctor! You need to address the fact that if me or the babies are off to somewhere without you, you are able to handle it and not breakdown to the point you feel like giving away all your money to homeless on the street”.
How it is those two separate situations I’m going through became attached to the one another? How is it being emotional means that I need therapy?
I understand that unlike him, my emotions are present. They are unavoidable, as far as expressing them and letting them be known. I can’t push them aside, while he can acknowledge them and push them aside to be dealt later… if need be.

Is it a sign of weakness to display your emotions? Is there supposed to be a time and place for that? Are you supposed to take the genuine out of the emotion and leave it calculated and totally manageable? Are we supposed to fear that what is expressed for the world to see, can be measured and you can be judged against it, while if not shared, no one can see the degree to which you’ve been affected?

 As I stated in the beginning, men and women are different. While we all have legitimate feelings and pain, the way that we show and express our emotion is very different. How many men do you know, that will end up in tears over a homeless man asking for change? How many men do you know that will loose their breath and practically break down, when their families leave them home alone? And this is not to say that there aren't emotional men, because Lord knows, there definitely are. This is to say that conventional wisdom states, traditional women are (in general), a little more “tender” (emotional wise) than most men. Does that make me weak? No! Does that give me an advantage? Maybe…. I’m okay with my husband thinking I need help, as long as he knows it’s all in love.

It’s not even that I think we (women) are so much more emotional than men. I do believe that the way we express out emotions, is night and day. We’re taught (as women) to be open and transparent, while our counterparts are raised to be impenetrable brick walls. So to an extent, it all makes sense. What are your thoughts?

To love filled with emotions...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Celebrating Our Miracles... Our children

Without you, there wouldn’t be us…

“While in my womb, I made promises to you and about you to the world.
Now that you are here, I’m carrying out my word to you by protecting and loving you. And to the world, I’m providing and educating you so that you can take it over…”-Rose Sanderson

The other day I started thinking about Mother’s Day. I noticed how the significance of it has taken a more profound meaning, since joining the mother’s clan. I remember wishing my mother and all the ones around me, a “Happy Mother’s Day” but not thinking of the true reason for this celebration. Since I gave birth to my first child (12 years ago) and entered this journey called motherhood, I do understand why we have to be celebrated and given a day to be shown appreciation. This is an enormous commitment we’ve taken on, but this wouldn’t be possible without them; without our children.

Soon, I will be distinguished honourably for bringing you both in this world; an honour you brought to my life. It’s an accreditation that I so proudly embody, as it give me great purpose. But even though I do agree that I (along with all mothers) deserve to be celebrated and acknowledged for the important role I serve within your lives, it is in no way a stretch for me to say that I would not be in the centre of this wonderful celebration if it wasn’t because of you, my beautiful children…and for you..

To be a mother (and the act of “mother-ing”) is a gift which at times can be extremely challenging. Sometimes, it can be considered as a job more than a pleasure, but the love for my kids or of being their mom comes through and always prevails, despite the challenges and dark moments.
My children are the ones who are teaching me how to be a mother and are making my experience inspirational and beautiful, rather than unpleasant and unrewarding.

Because of them I learn to see a new world
Because of them I learn to teach
Because of them I learn to “bend”
Because of them I learn to be patience
Because of them I learn the true meaning of commitment
Because of them I learn about unconditional bond
Because of them I discover pure and genuine love
Because of them I accepted “selfishness” to be a forgotten luxury
Because of them I discover that I have more than “3 chances to give”
And for them… I learn to reinvent myself so that I can be an example

Jay and Jazz, my babies, have enhanced and enriched my life with their bright personalities, fun traits, charisma and their endless love that sometimes overwhelms me. My babies are the beings that brought changes in me which I see every day looking into the mirror; pounds in undesirable places, boobs that are fighting gravity, a stomach which looks for it’s 6 pack, scars after a C-section, hair thinning out and the dark circle under my eyes… GRATEFUL? (smile)
My babies are the little miracles I bore into this world, which in turn makes me a miracle, as they chose me to be the vessel; the body to produce them.
My babies, whom without… my life wouldn’t be worth living and loving, as they have thought me what it is to love unselfishly and completely.
My babies, for whom I do and I keep going, without looking back, with no regret and with an open mind welcoming uncertainty.
My babies, who regardless of my complaints, tirades, bitchiness, bad moods and short-comings, make me feel like I do the best job ever.
My babies who have transformed me and brought out strength in me that I didn’t know I had.
My children who, even if at times I feel like drowning myself in a bottle of vodka, make me feel to the very core of me, that I am an amazing mother and that mothering is the most amazing, rewarding, beautiful, gratifying and miraculous thing to embark on.

Our life together (so far) has been wonderful, while at times complicated and daunting. It has been the most rewarding, life altering commitment I’ve taken upon so…
Thank you for enhancing my life in ways no other being or no other accomplishment could.
Thank you for bringing joy to my life, purpose to my days.
Thank you for the gifts that you are in my life

I celebrate you because without you there obviously be no me…
I couldn’t rightfully be celebrated without celebrating you first… My miracles…

My miracles...
A few weeks ago, I asked friends of mine on Facebook to describe what parenthood had brought into their lives and here are a few responses that I wanted to share with you all…

“Parenthood makes me realise that unconditional love in its purity and sincerity is at your fingertips every single day . It still brings a lump to this big man's throat when my child wakes up and is happy to see me and confirms this with a hug, a smile and a very looooooong daddy exclamation!”
Ron Capriles

“It brought joy and a sense of responsibility”
Mukeba kabeya

It made me realize what matters and where my priority lies...somehow, I stopped sweating the small stuff”
Teddy Atangana

“Alors toute jeune Maman en plein apprentissage dirait : Amour inconditionnel, Bonheur, joie ultime, don de soi, sens des priorités qui changent, responsabilité, sagesse, patience, inquiétude, partage et Amour Amour Amour!”
Alexia Caly

“Motherhood definitely changed everything for me; I’ve definitely found that motherhood has helped me to be a better person and a motivator to be a good role model. But what motherhood has done is to help me understand what a wonderful feeling it is to live with “meaning”. I will add that every mother (parent) loves their child so much or even too much and they will do everything in their power to protect their child. Motherhood may be tough but it is very “rewarding””
Lou Barbosa-Santos

“Happiness, responsibility, you find that joy to be priceless...better person!!!!”
Maria coronel

“Besides the joy my kids bring me on a daily basis, I have more worries. Would not trade it for anything though.”
Melly N-k

“The constant state of worries in the back of my head. If the kids will grow up healthy and happy. I never cared so much about anything else.”
Anja Rodig

“Patience and responsibility. And the realization that my grandparents weren't wrong about too many things.”
Conrad Bernard James

“Made a selfish man (selflessly) put HIMSELF last… w/one word Dad.”
San Sanderson

And you? What did parenthood brought to your life? The good, the bad, the sad, the troubles, the challenges, the happiness, the milestones, the triumphs, the joy… Share the first thought, story that comes in your mind when thinking of your child/children…
        Love always,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
Thomas Jefferson

Believe that whatever you set your mind to achieve; NOTHING can work against it… 
The key is to believe and to want it. Whatever small or big the victories are, they are the results of your powerful mind. Surprise yourself, reach for the sky and be ready to mingle with the stars… ~RS

        Love always,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Precious is your love...

"The true essence of a man is defined by how he treats you, in good or bad circumstances."

I look across from me and see this beautiful woman. She’s torn, defeated, empty... She has been crying herself to sleep more nights that she can count, but is still not yet cried out. She hasn’t yet gotten over the un-appreciation of her love, the misuse of her heart, the stomping of her pride and the complete disregard of her emotions.

Who is to blame? Who is at fault?

The woman who trusted this man, regardless of and despite everything she had learned from observing her parent’s relationship…. Regardless of what she learned by looking at the world around her and learning from actions that she knew to be right or wrong. Is she to blame because she wronged herself by not following that little voice inside? Because she ignored that gut feeling that was telling her to tread very carefully, to hold off, and that somehow this wasn't right? Is she to blame for not taking (at face value) the glimpse of his soul he inadvertently showed her. Is she to blame for wishing where there was no hope, nor a future? Is she to blame for thinking she could change the untamable and conquer the unconquerable? Is she to blame for picking the wrong prince for herself?


Is he to blame for taking a love that he wasn't ready to commit to? For showing her pleasure when it was never for keeps? Is he to blame for giving in to lust? For falling short on expectations when he knew he couldn't ever meet them to begin with? Is he to blame for giving in to greed; to the forbidden? For not knowing what commitment and exclusivity meant? For taking a heart that wasn't for him to have? Is he to blame for being selfish and wanting all the dames of the kingdom?

Foster the thought but quickly move on, because at the end of the day, knowing where the fault lies wouldn't change the outcome or make the shattered pieces easier to pick up.

To the woman sitting across from me I say, “You are beautiful inside and out, you are not to be compared and most of all, you are a gift... Know it, believe it and live by it and your love will flourish in the right hands!”

Maya Angelou said, "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time."

While people can change because they want to and not because you think you can make them, remember that a fish will always be a fish...

         Love healthy,

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