Training Wheels

Posted 16 April, 2014 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

I bought my son a bike for his 4th birthday. A bright blue bike with shiny metal and training wheels – included a bell that he had to have. 

He’s ridden it about a dozen times in the year and a half he’s had it…and I may be exaggerating with that number. It’s probably less than a dozen times – a handful?

The first year, he always opted for his razor or one of the little balance bikes that were too small for him. I didn’t really mind as I knew the ‘real’ bike was a little too big for him. I was just anxious for him to have a ‘real’ bike. One I could teach him to ride.

Fast forward to this spring.

Several weeks ago, he wanted to take the bike out to ride and I run next to him. He always loves going running with me but (unfortunately) is too big for a stroller. So, we headed out with the bike he has so far ridden a handful of times and had a good, short bike/run. A week later as we were driving home from his school he says to me from the backseat “Mom, I want to go ride my bike but I want to take off just one training wheel. Just one okay? Just one.” 

We got home, grabbed the bike, headed down to the trail and took one training wheel off. It took two minutes of him trying to ride, knuckles turning white, and his little body stiff as a board with fear before he told me he didn’t want to do this – he needed both training wheels. 

Fast forward to a week after this outing and again, on the way home, he says to me from the backseat, “Mom, I want to ride my bike without any training wheels. I won’t both of them off okay. Both of them. Not just one. Both of them. Okay Mom? Okay?” 

“Okay buddy” I say to him a little surprised at how adamant he was being that both training wheels be taken off. It wasn’t until yesterday that we really had time after school (and the weather cooperated) for him to get back out there and ride. The sun was out, the weather was nice and as I was talking to a neighbor, he came up to me with his Spider-Man costume in hand and asked me, “Mom, can I put my Spider-Man suit on to ride my bike?” 

“Sure buddy, go put it on and we will head on out to the trail”.

So, we headed out, Spider-Man and his bike with both training wheels still on but being taken off once we hit the trail, riding in front of me – full of spirit and excitement.

At the trail, I could only get one training wheel off and honestly – he pitched a FIT. I started getting angry not wanting this moment to be ruined by a pissy five-year-old and plus, I really thought he needed to practice a bit more with just one training wheel on rather than just throwing the both of them off and riding off into the sunset with a broken arm or leg…

I talked him into trying out just one again and he obliged and as he rode off, he was practicing getting the other wheel off of the ground and as he did so he whooped and hollered and turned around saying “okay Mom – now both of them!!!”

We walked back to the house to get a socket wrench to take the other one off and as we were walking I had this conversation going on in my head ‘I don’t want him to get discouraged and does he really know what this means and can he really do it and what if he falls, okay, I have my cell phone shit its almost out of batteries and crap he’s only ridden this damn thing like five times and he doesn’t want the training wheels on – why the hell did i pay for the training wheels…’

The socket wrench was found. The lone training wheel came off and Spider-Man and I headed back downy to the trail where there was nice soft grass and no thousand pound moving vehicles to worry about…

We were in the middle of the path. Spider-Man on his bike. My right hand holding onto the seat, my left the handle bars. Both of his feet were on the pedals ready to go. “Okay buddy. You ready? Now just remember, balance with your butt. Relax your arms and just pedal fast and try going straight. I’ll push you off and be right here beside you.” 

“Okay Mom. I’m ready. Let’s go.” 

A slow jog started, my hands still clutched to the bike. I let go of the handle bars and picked up my pace to keep up with his pedaling and within seconds….

“okay Mom you can let go now”

And he was off. 

No falling. No broken arms. No broken legs. Just a little boy in his Spider-Man costume full of determination and belief in himself – riding ahead of me whooping and hollering “woooohoooo – I’m doing it Mom, I’m doing it!”

Behind him, I’m crying and jumping up and down with my arms raised and screaming “YOUR DOING IT YOUR DOING IT KEEP GOING KEEP GOING BABY”!!!!

I remember a moment about five years ago. Doug was sitting on the sofa and Lido was playing on the floor and Doug said “I just had this great thought. I just can’t wait until I teach him to ride a bike. That moment is going to be awesome. Just awesome.”

Yesterday, as I held onto his bike, the seconds before I let go, I just kept thinking of that moment – five years ago when his Dad was looking forward to this moment. The very moment I found myself in. 

It is the moments like these that take my breath away and I find myself walking both within the moment and outside of it. Taking in everything little thing that was going on, burning the sound of his whooping and hollering into my brain, the excitement, the smiles – everything – while grieving the loss of this moment for his Dad. 

I was taught a lesson yesterday. With the changes that are taking place in our life and embarking on new chapters – sometimes its best to just throw both training wheels off and go for it. I feel that I’ve been walking slowly but steadily forward, training wheels still on, fears still there but not letting them get too close to the surface to mess with my plans. After yesterday though, seeing my son make this decision, knowing he had been thinking about this for weeks, dreaming about it, running it all through his head, practicing in his mind – and then literally just going out there and doing it – well – I’m throwing the training wheels off too. 

It was a great reminder to live boldly. Live fiercely. 

…and wearing a Spider-Man costume while doing it, isn’t such a bad idea.

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The ART of Creating Your Reality

Posted 26 March, 2014 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

I just popped off an email to Unity here in KC as I have felt compelled to write to the ministers there for the past week. They are starting a new series this Spring “The ART of Creating Your Reality”. Since this past Sunday, as they announced the new theme, I have been looking back on the past four and a half years and how I have created my new reality. I wrote to them because I want people to know that no matter where you are in life, what you have gone through, if you have experienced great tragedy or have a blessed life – that things can change. Life is what you make of it. Life is meant to be lived. Life is meant to learn. 

Through the quiet that was Doug – the quiet humor, the quiet manner of him – well, as I’ve said before, I learned so much from him. I wanted to be a better person because of him. I still want to be a better person because of who he was in life, what he taught me in life and of what he has taught me in death and through his death. He is on my mind always and in my heart eternally. 

In creating my reality, I have learned so very much from many different experiences. Some were wonderful and spiritual experiences and some were experiences where I needed to learn a lesson and they were certainly going to teach me. I do not regret anything in my life. I do not regret any of the lessons I have had to learn or the experiences I have gone through. It has made me the person I am today and you know what? I am so thankful for who I have become and I am so very thankful to all the people that have stood by me, cried with me, yelled at me, hugged me, got me drunk, taught me lessons, let me grow. I am also thankful that I have seen the harshness that comes from death. The loss of friendships. The loss of family. The loss of expectations of people. It has opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me in every moment. It all has made me look directly at what is best in my life versus searching for something – a something that I never needed in the first place. 

I have certainly learned to live fierce and love fierce and I am happy to say, grateful to say that through all the muck and harshness that I have happened upon, a very wonderful person that embraces who I am, embraces my life and the love I will always have for Doug, supports me, loves me, loves my son. 

Man, this life really is meant to be lived. To be loved. To rid yourself of the muck and shine. Shine bright. Embrace everything new and embrace your past. I am Doug’s soul mate and it is strange at times to think that I have found this once again – and believe me – he had to work hard to win me over. I feel Doug’s spirit every day and it is nice to know that the heart I thought stopped beating and turned black is really truly capable of being completely filled with love. Love for Doug, love for Lido, love for my family and my friends and now love for Mr. New. I cannot begin to describe the change I physically feel – the change I physically feel in my heart. Only a person with such a great loss, my fellow widows (and others) – can really understand the physical – physical pain you feel in your heart. The physical pain of not being able to catch your breath. As the darkness fades and enlightenment – lightenment – comes…it is a new sensation. An energy that was always there within…I hope that others will find their reality and understand that we truly have the power to create what it is that we need, what we want in our life. Invite the love in. Invite the joy. Create your reality today. 

The ART of creating your reality

 Over the past week, I’ve felt compelled to write to you in regards to the spring series starting this week – The ART of creating your reality. The reason is that four and a half years ago, on September 20, the day after I turned 35 and four days after my son turned one, my husband was killed in a helicopter accident. He was a helicopter flight instructor for Hillsboro Aviation outside of Portland, OR and flying with a student who was to be sitting for his Certified Flight Instructor rating with the FAA the very next day.

That was the day when my reality and my future disappeared. At the beginning, creating a new reality just wasn’t in the cards. I was lucky to shower once a week, eat at least once a day and it was an extremely good day if my infant son was changed out of his pajamas. I had always been a spiritual person but at that time in my life, I turned my back on all of my beliefs because my mind could not wrap around the fact that my reality – this amazing, loving, compassionate, fun, kismet of a reality was taken from me. How do you move beyond something like this – how do you create a new reality?

This is a common phrase in the young widowed community – “my new reality”.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever created. Birthing a baby was easier than creating a reality from nothing. From grief. From a very dark place.

As I look back on the past several years, I have realized that I wasn’t creating my reality from nothing. Yes, I did lose so much. Yes, I did lose the future with my husband. Yes, my son lost his father and their future together. Yes, we lost. However, an amazing perspective was given, an amazing life was remembered and I became aware of all the things my husband taught me in his life – through his death.

This is where I began creating my reality. Not from the ashes but from the life. 

There was a lot of trauma I worked through. I suffered from PTSD for quite some time. Going to the grocery store was a challenge as I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything because that damn can of beans reminded me of him making his famous chili in that damn red ugly soup pot. So, I ended up eating out a lot. Jalepeno’s in Brookside became our dinner table most evenings. But slowly, slowly, I worked through it all. Even though I really had turned my back on my spirituality and meditation and everything I used to be about – I made myself do the things I knew would eventually get me to a place of creation.

It really has been over this past year and a half that I feel that I have created the most. I stuck with looking at the harshness and stuck with the ART of creating. I really started listening to what was coming from inside of me – trusting my instincts and believing that diving deep was the only way to come back up to the surface.  I did what I needed to do to survive and then so much more.

I had moved my son and I back to Kansas City within weeks of my husband’s death. I also bought a house. I know many questioned my decisions at that time but honestly, I was working from shock and I needed control over something and it seemed that buying a house and moving all of our stuff here was the only control I had over my life. I think I looked at over 30 houses in 3 days and when I walked into the house I would buy – my current home – something in my brain, in my soul said this is the house. The house if FULL of windows. Coming from Portland – well – as you can imagine this spoke to me in volumes and especially because my soul was in such a dark place. I needed light! My soul said, this is the house where you will create a new reality. You will fill this house with warmth, with love, with a family, with friends. This is the house where you will create your new reality. I also really felt my husband there. I continued to feel him very close to me in this house for quite some time. I would walk into our son’s bedroom at night and it would be intensely cold and I knew that his spirit was there. I had to buy boxes upon boxes of light bulbs as it seemed that every light in the house was going out every other day. I had electronics fried and believe me, even though the house is over 80 years old – my electrical was just fine…my electrician became tired of checking it…

Granted, the thought of a new reality here in this house entered and left my mind within seconds but it has been the thought that has pushed me forward the past 4 years. It has always been with me. I have never known if it will all come to fruition but it was a tiny little belief, a tiny little light in my very, very dark world.

And you know what? This house has wrapped its walls around little parties, birthdays, anniversaries, tears, anger, moments of enlightenment, friends, wayward pilots needing a place to stay, other friends going through transitions of their own. I have used necessary renovations as therapy – a hammer and glass and tears streaming down your face can be very cathartic.

This house, the house that is too big for just my son and I, has been just the right size for the journey of creating our new reality. 

Who knew, that four and a half years ago – the little light in my dark world would shine so brightly today? Well, I did. I had hope. There was nothing left to cling onto but that.

I guess the reason I wanted to share this with you is that I want each and every person out there that is finding themselves needing to create a new reality, create and enhance the current one, whatever ‘creating your reality” means to you – that all it takes is just a tiny little light, a little bit of hope and faith that it will be – and movement. Movement every day. Even if that movement is just a tiny thought. The movement can be a simple action or a great action. No matter what, with that little light, hope, faith and movement – the energy will build. It will be all that sustains you on some days and on other days it will move you forward by leaps and bounds. We need to be easy on ourselves in this journey as creation is a powerful thing. It is hard work  but amazing work. I always see it as I said before – diving deep under water, into those dark places, not enough oxygen in your lungs and as you work on creating your reality – the one you know you want even if it is not fully defined – you leave the dark places to rest as you no longer need them, your start towards the surface noticing the beauty around you, the life around you, just above the darkness. As you create, your lungs expand, the colors are more vibrant, the light shines stronger and soon you find yourself floating gently towards the surface, taking a breath not out of desperation for air but as a new beginning and you feast upon the vision that surrounds you that is the reality you created.

It’s a powerful thing. It’s within you.

Amazing to realize, huh?

My Love

Posted 20 September, 2013 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

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My Dearest Love,

Four years today. 

I’ve just deleted about 500 words that I wrote – it is all just stuff I know you see and feel. I don’t want to recap the year for you. You know. 

Instead, I just want to say I love you. I have never loved anyone so deeply in my life. You truly were meant for me and I am always amazed to look back on our life together and see just how great we were together. I never knew something like that could exist. I’m so very, very thankful that you came into my life. That you loved me. 

I’ve seen the signs that you are around me. Its been going on for a few weeks now. The lights have been flickering, the ladybugs are out in full force on my front door and a beautiful monarch butterfly keeps landing on Lido’s finger when we are out front…he keeps saying “it’s an answer from my Dad!” So very cute and I’ve stopped correcting him – instead of answer that it is a sign…because I think it is an answer. You are here around us. 

I love you Doug. I always have and I always will. 

In this life and the next.

 

Yes, it is

Posted 19 September, 2013 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

my birthday.

A day I’d desperately love to celebrate and one that I’d love to skip. Actually, I’d love to skip today and tomorrow. Just erase them from the calendar.

Then I think about what I would miss. I think about what I would not remember.

It has been a really rough couple of weeks. I’ve never spent this time of year for the past 3 years at home. I’ve made it a point to travel, to get away and do something, anything. Traveling during this time of year has always felt like I was living, really living. Doing something to celebrate and remember and also to be able to take a breather. To sit with my thoughts…no distractions other than the beauty surrounding me.

I haven’t been sleeping and that has been really rough on my body. After Lido’s birthday party on Sunday, I felt that I could barely keep my eyes open and I had zero energy to make dinner and barely enough energy to run out a pick something up. I was so exhausted that I told Lido to turn off the TV when his movie was done and come up to bed….because I was heading up right at that moment. The next day I felt like I was hit by a mack truck and ended up feeling pretty yucky the last few days. I’ve tried to get into the gym but my body felt like it would revolt if I did…last night I finally gave myself permission to not feel bad about not getting a workout in for the past few days. That seemed to change a lot – the moment I said it was okay I felt more energized and ready to hit the gym hard this morning. And that is what I did.

39 years behind me and entering my 40th year…I worked out hard. I squatted until my legs gave out. I did bicep curls until my arms shook. My triceps wept…Then I drove to my stairs…I ran up those stairs for every year that Doug and I were together and for every year we have been apart. 12. Half-way through I looked up into the sky and broke down. Sobbing at the bottom of the stairs. Barely able to breathe. Then I ran, two steps at a time. Because I could. Because he can’t.

Before I ran the stairs I looked at his facebook page and someone had posted a pic of themselves with their helicopter and said “You have had a big impact on my career Doug. Thanks for everything!” Seeing that was a wonderful gift to me today. To hear this, to know this…well, it just means so much to me.

Then I started thinking of all of the beautiful people that have made an impact on my life, especially over the past four years. The people that have stood by me even when they were not sure what to do to help me. The people that have come into my life that I never really knew before and the people that have come back into my life. The words of encouragement, the emails, the little packages on my doorstep, the laughter, the texts telling me to get my butt into the gym and sweat it out, the wishes and love from people I haven’t even met in person. I just want to say thank you.

Today is a juxtaposition. It is a difficult day but one that I am trying to make better each and every year. I do wish I had went ahead and booked a trip…but I guess I’ll just save it for next year. Do “our trip”. The one we never got to go on but had been planning on taking after finishing up as a CFI. Neither one of us had much on our bucket list but this was one thing I know he wanted to do…so the planning will start and this time next year, I will be sitting drinking a Guinness fresh from the tap…and spreading a bit of ashes where I sit…

Today though, I’m going to sweat it out, stay healthy and live life:

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My Sweet Boy

Posted 16 September, 2013 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

My Sweet Boy,

You are five today. You are amazing, sweet, loving, stubborn, silly, an expert at everything, love dinosaurs, love transformers, snuggling with me and watching a movie. You are so intelligent and you are so compassionate. 

It truly is hard to believe that you are five already. I see you laying here sleeping and remember when you were a tiny little thing snuggled up in blankets and laying in between your Dad and I. My mind goes directly to those moments when you were so very small and when it was the three of us. 

You are so incredibly loving and compassionate. You are always quick to put an arm around one of your friends or give them a hug. You are still shy at times but you are coming into your own more and more. Tonight when we went to dinner for your birthday, you surprised me by telling our waitress that it was your birthday and you are five…it is a restaurant we go to all the time but you have never willingly spoken to any of them. I think that sometimes, you get it in your head that at “x point” you will be fine talking to someone or doing something…but until then you will observe. You chose the restaurant tonight because you knew they had desserts that you could have – there is a lot going on in that brain of yours…I love it. You have specific ways of doing things, and of how you think things should work. 

This past year we haven’t travelled as much as we’ve done in the past and we’ve just explored our surroundings and started getting involved in more things in our neighborhood. You played soccer for the first time and even though it was a struggle the first couple of games you stuck with it and decided that you were not going to be afraid to play and by the third game, you were out there playing hard and having a great time. The fall season just started and after the first game, you saw your old soccer coach and ran to tell him you scored two goals – you were so proud of yourself and I loved that you wanted to share that with him. 

You are really starting to get a silly side to you. You like to say things that are followed up with “just kidding”. You think it is so funny. You also love pretending to be asleep and you got me really good the other night when I really did think you fell asleep. It wasn’t until half-way up the stairs with you in my arms that I saw a little smirk…that, my son, was a good one. 

I’m proud of the both of us for this past year. We are really starting to get our groove and I know part of it is that I am finding my groove as being the only parent. It is still a struggle at times but we work well together. You are just a kid at times and other times, well, you seem to have a sixth sense about you. 

I love you my sweet boy. It is amazing how much you have grown and changed over the past year. I still see so many things that remind me of your Dad, especially some of the looks and mannerisms. It is wonderful to see him in you and especially how you make it all your own. You miss him and I know it is hard on you to see your friends with their Dad’s. I see you gravitate to any man that comes into your life – your soccer coaches, teachers, etc. I hope that people realize that just a small gesture to any child can make a world of difference. I’ve seen it happen to you. I’m always so grateful for them to take an extra little time out for you or to say great job kiddo. 

We had an amazing summer hanging out and having fun. You are my workout and running partner and love getting to hit the punching bag after I’m finished with my workout…you have a mean left AND right hook! The craziest thing that has happened is you losing a tooth ALREADY! You lost your first tooth and have two more loose as well as your 6-yr. molars are in! Please, quick trying to grow up so fast! I can’t keep up!

I’m proud of you my five year old. I love you more than life. Happy Birthday sweet boy. 

In this life and the next,

Your Momom

 

A few weeks before you were born:

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You and your Daddy just hours after you were born:

 

 

 

 

 

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You and your Daddy on your 1st birthday after you had your birthday cupcake:

 

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Two years old – Oregon coast:

 

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Three:

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Four:

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Five:

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That month…

Posted 9 September, 2013 by javagirl
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Oh this month. I love it. I despise it.

The month of ushering in my favorite season. The month of birthday celebrations. 

…and the month of That Day. 

The 1st day of the month found me crying most of the day as well as the days that followed. 

It’s more than just this month though. It is just this time of year. The back-to-school moments that he will never take part in. The new soccer season starting that he will never help coach. The superhero birthday party he will not be a part of. The birthday where I turn 28 again where he will ignore the year and call me his bride. The wedding anniversary we will never celebrate. 

It seems all too much to take in in such a short period of time. 

Then, the planning. The planning of Lido’s birthday party. Trying to figure out the best day to have it on where it is not too close to that damn date. Then it is side-stepping Lido’s questions about my birthday. What are we going to do. What do I want. The one I have absolutely no desire to celebrate.

The past 3 years we have always taken a trip this time of year. Right around our birthdays and that date. The second year sucked as my Uncle was dying and ended up passing away on ‘that date’. That year, we spread Doug’s ashes in Yellowstone and on top of Bear Tooth Pass. Last year, Lido and I took an amazing trip to the Turks and Caicos where we swam every day, all day and a wonderful lady at the resort found out it was my birthday and made reservations for us as well as got us a huge cake – for just the two of us. It was all I could do to not cry as I shared the cake with those around us…and then they started asking questions…and I shared our story. I’m glad I could share the story but man, when you are hanging on by a thread…well…

I can’t even remember what I did that first year. I have absolutely no idea. I can’t even remember if I went anywhere…oh, yes. I went back to Portland. I went to the crash site with a hazelnut latte, a six pack of Guinness and a pack of the shitty cigarettes he smoked – PallMall. I smoked a cigarette, drank a Guinness, and finished up most of the latte. The rest, I left there.  I lost my orange scarf out there…I saw two eagles flying overhead. Huge, huge eagles. They showed up right before the time of the crash and circled overhead for a long while…

This year, no trip planned. 

And I’m okay with that. Lido has his schedule booked and I thought that this year would be a good year just to be around our things during this time. Maybe get together with some friends of Doug’s to celebrate his life. To remember him. 

I have felt that this year, I’m ready to celebrate and start ushering in the future…but I’ve been scared of even looking at the future at this point. Then, this past week, one of my assignments for a class was to sit through a meditation where it had you imagine what your future looked like and to invite any visions to come in and be open. I was listening to the meditation and going deeper into a meditative state, then she asked us to start looking and inviting what we see in our future. Immediately, all I saw and felt was this swirling vortex around me, almost as if I was Dorothy sitting on my bed watching things swirl around me. Everything I saw was gray and dark and just this energy whipping around me. 

At the end of the meditation, we were supposed to draw/color/paint what we saw for our future…I couldn’t do it. It just made me sick and I didn’t want to draw this out. Instead, I sat there in meditation once again to rid myself of these feelings and ended up just separating my brain from my heart and drew what my heart was saying…It was mountains with a river running through them. It was my “happy place”. A place in Yellowstone that is just amazing.

I turned in the assignment and my instructor immediately sent me an email with her comments. I had explained that I had difficulty with this assignment and just had to do what I needed to do just to get through it. In her voicemail (she typically sends CM instead of writing everything out), she made me think about a few things and realize a few things. Or, maybe just one big thing.

Love.

Pure and simple.

Love.

As I approach the 4-year mark, the birthdays, the anniversaries I have decided that it is important to sit and meditate on Love. To fill my heart with love and to imagine my future – as love. There needs to be no details. I don’t have to see exactly where I will live, what I will be doing, what Lido will be like. All I need to do is envision Love as my future. Love surrounding me, coursing through me. 

I sat and pondered this approach. Only for a few minutes. I immediately felt my heart lighter and my soul and my mind willing to not dwell on the sadness but to let the love in. To grab hold of it. My fear of imagining a future, I believe, will not be a fear for much longer. Instead it will be welcomed because I know that my future is love.

With a little bit of silliness added in….

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Simple. Mindful.

Posted 9 August, 2013 by javagirl
Categories: Flying Dodo, Lido, Uncategorized, Widowhood

Tags: , , , , , ,

For the past several months I have been practicing mindful meditation throughout my day. At first I would pick one or two activities or blocks of time to be directly in that very moment, whatever it was that I was doing. I could be eating alone or doing dishes or running errands or being with my son – it was all done while keeping the mind focused on what was happening that very moment.

Soon this was something that I did throughout my day, not just blocking time or activities but the whole day. At first, I was a bit hesitant in some moments, such as paying bills, for fear that the thoughts of the future or guilt over something past (did I save enough, why did I spend that much on that stupid thing?) would come to mind. I actually was late in paying bills because I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it…Once I decided that those thoughts were like any others within a meditation practice – they just pop in and then you regain your focus in the now and let them float away with no attachment.

After three plus months of practicing this and slowly integrating it into my every-day activities, I had a true test of being mindful during a week that Lido wasn’t in school and I was also not in school. I hadn’t planned anything for us for that week and I didn’t want to. I just wanted to wake up each morning and see where life took us. I wanted to just focus on the two of us and I really wanted to put mindfulness into practice every moment of our day.

What an amazing week and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It truly changed so much for the both of us. So much so that a little less than two weeks later, our cable box was dropped back off to the cable company and we have had limited TV and movies for the past two weeks. This has also started me on finishing projects that I have started as well as organizing the house in order to finish some of those projects. The house is beginning to really come together and I can pretty much walk into every room without tripping on something that needs to be put away.

With mindfulness has come simplification.

Mindfulness allows us to sift through things and take the time to put the cell phone down, turn the tv off and really open our eyes to what is happening right around us. We see so much more. To truly practice mindfulness is to recognize what is important in our life and to understand and let go of the unimportant things in life.

The most wonderful things I have seen is how my son is just full of love and warmth and happiness. He is such a kind and gentle soul. He is so much like his Dad when it comes to knowing what is on my mind before I know it…

I have seen him build cities and railroad tracks running over bridges. I have heard him playing make-believe and cuddling with his animals. I have seen him take our little cat in his arms and just gently hug her and talk to her and kiss her. Just last night, even though it was past his bedtime, we sat and played ‘vet’ for over an hour with his stuffed animals. He didn’t go to bed until 9pm…and if I hadn’t been mindful during our bedtime routine (not that we have much of a routine), I wouldn’t have taken part in this wonderful moment because I would not have seen how important it was to him. I would have been worrying about the future – I have to study, I have to do dishes, I have to, I have to, I have to.

Instead, this moment was all I needed to be within. The present.

I just had an instructor give me some feedback on one of my client sessions and within her comments she said “the ‘now’ is where creativity takes place. It is where we find our answers. It is where things start. We can not change the past, we can not know how the future will play out exactly. This is why we must remind ourselves to be in the ‘now’”.

Being mindful – I do not worry as much as I used to. I am simplifying our life in little ways and in big ways. The ‘chatter’ that comes with any type of meditation has slowly softened and as I am mindful, I am able to make decisions with a clearer head and also look at what I truly want in my life, what I want to do with my life and where I want to go with my life.

It is a truly wonderful moment when you understand how to live in the moment while moving forward.

I urge you to add this to your day and see the difference in your life. Take one activity – don’t start with being mindful with your kids or spouse – take an activity where you are mindful in something you are doing. As you are eating, washing the dishes, reading a book – be mindful. What are the sensations. What does the food taste like, what does the water feel like, what do the pages of the book sound like when you turn a page? Once you have done this, see how you feel…calmer? Relaxed? Ready to face the rest of the day? Then, start to slowly work on being mindful in conversations you are having – be present in that moment – really truly present. When was the last time you sat across from someone and really listened to them? Looked them in the eyes and got lost in the conversation? Try it. Try it with a friend. Try it with your spouse. Try it with your child.

It really is amazing.


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