November 25, 2012

Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward...Pause.

So I thought all week about what I wanted to touch on this week.  And I had a conversation with Adriana in NYC this week and I had an idea bouncing around in my head, and she was on the same page.  So I figured I might as well. 

We touched on the darkness and the light, which I know I talk about a lot (A Box Full Of Darkness), but I think it's true.  So often we need the dark in order to appreciate the light.  And I needed a small reminder of that. 

This isn't going to be easy.  Nor is it going to be painless.  And I have to be okay with that.  I go through my day and fill it with so many people, places, and things to do that lately I've been over-whelmed.  And I came across a Facebook post about "wanting to rewind", and I thought about that too, as the word "pause"came up. 

It's time to pause.  I'm not fast forwarding anymore, and I'm certainly not rewinding.  It's time to pause.  It's time to put everyone, and everything except those who have been there through the blood, sweat and tears on pause.  I won't be returning many texts, calls, or emails in the coming weeks as I enjoy the Holidays with my children and those who truly have been here.  Not that there are many who haven't been there, but people don't like other peoples messy lives.  Until they go through a mess themselves.  And then it clicks with them, that they might have needed that "messy" person all along.  And that "messy" person has moved on.  But usually a person who has gone through the darkness, while appreciating the light, won't turn their back on someone who comes back with the "AHA!" look on their face, while the tears are streaming down. 

I'm just pausing.  Pausing to see the beauty.  Pausing to experience the people I adore.  And pausing to love.  Again, that word. 

I won't stop blogging, writing, or putting out messages I feel will help someone.  Because as Adriana kindly reminded me, someone out there, somewhere needs my words and experiences to move forward.  Or maybe even, pause. 

Me, Kyle, and Erica were featured on the Gap billboard in Times Square this week, and their campaign is based on "Love".  And I am truly blessed with love.  So for hundreds to see it as they Holiday shop in the middle of NYC, that is awesome! 

Enjoy your weeks and the coming Holidays!  Watch for more updates, and insights.  And as always, love!  It truly is the only thing in this world that is free, and often times comes back tenfold. 

November 18, 2012

Inspirational Sunday!

I felt inspired to put in some more effort in to " The Heart Of A Soldier " today.  I ended up writing around 4K in words.  And could have easily kept going, unfortunately, someone has to feed the children and animals.  So without much further chattering, I am going to post an entire chapter for you to read.  I cannot wait to write this week, as I am thinking I can add another 10K in words after the twist I came up with today.  Wouldn't it be nice if this "was" my day job?  Enjoy, and as always feel free to comment or share my links.  Love to you all! 
Remember, this is raw and un-edited. 

"I'm just not sure what to think." Harlow replied to Dani. They had spent at least an hour already on the phone this morning. "I'm so nervous."

"Well, you already did it, and that was fabulous. Are you planning on staying the night with him? I mean your mom goes home tomorrow, you should." Danielle laughed. "Besides, what's the worse that can happen, if it ends badly, it ends badly. If it doesn't then you have a hot soldier, who adores you. What's the problem Harlow?" She stopped and waited.

"I don't know. I just don't want to end up hurt. I know I always talk about no regrets,'s different this time. I mean, I don't know what he's after. We are very different, what does he want with a single mom, who likes to ponder life, and has nothing to offer him?" She sat silent for a minute. "I know you say I cut myself short all the time, but honestly Dani, I am no catch. And I always, ALWAYS attract the wrong ones."

"Well, he may be wrong, but he may be right. You need to stop that. You are worth it, Harlow. So what? You are philosophical, and you are deep, but you are also beautiful, funny, and a good person. So what if you two are different, if it's there, it's there. Don't let it go, or you're going to end up regretting it. Trust me, I feel it. And you know how my feelings are when it comes to this stuff. Just stop being weird and go with it." Danielle stopped.

Harlow sighed in to the phone. "Fine. If it ends up being an all nighter, then so be it. Mom already said she would keep the girls and not to worry. She doesn't leave until late tomorrow. Can I tell you how sad I am to see her go. Its been nice feeling like an adult this week and having a life. What should I wear?" Harlow replied. Harlow could hear Mark telling Danielle something on the other end of the phone. Harlow waited.

"You have got to be kidding me?" Danielle said to Mark. She sighed annoyingly. "Did you hear that?" she asked Harlow.

"No, what?" Harlow waited.

"Apparently Mark heard James talking at work yesterday, and Carrie is coming back. Did Joel say anything to you...What?" Danielle asked Mark. "Oh, never mind, apparently he just found out yesterday. Think he will mention it? These soldiers gossip more than we do." Harlow could hear Danielle's annoyed tone.

"I don't know, should I ask him? Or wait for him to bring it up?" The thought of running in to Joel's ex-wife was nauseating. And of course, she would come along and ruin the entire last few weeks she had with him. Although, she was happy for him, he would get some extra time with his children. That was the positive. Her heart sank at the thought of dealing with Carrie and Becky.

"No, just wait. You know how men are, they are weird." Danielle responded. "Give it a few days, and see if he tells you."

Harlow hated knowing something she wasn't supposed to know yet. She was a horrible liar, she always had been, and it would be hard to not let curiosity take over. Sometimes, she hated being such a girl.

The women continued to chat another 15 minutes, and by the time Harlow hung up from Danielle, she was feeling much better about where she might be heading. Danielle seemed to have faith it was all for a purpose. Harlow had her doubts. It wouldn't be long before he hurt her. Men always say they want a woman like Harlow, and then in the end, they end up throwing them away because they are "too deep", or "too independent". The list always grew each time something ended. And Harlow always felt worse than when it had started. That is why she had shied away from anything serious lately. It was much easier to detach, then it was to invest and end up on the receiving end of a bad joke.

Joel wanted to spend the entire day with her. She was nervous, and she didn't know why. They were meeting at the beach, maybe in the sunlight, he wouldn't think she was so special. Maybe he would truly see "her". And then she would never hear from him again. She needed to remain strong, and not let his whispers in her ear, or his touch affect her ability to keep the situation under control. He made it difficult to for her to remember her strength. And that was a problem for her. She never saw this coming. Maybe that was why it was so magical to her. Because she didn't expect it. He came out of nowhere. And he made her feel special. But she knew the reality was, it didn't last. As much as she had loved Jimmy, this feeling never lasts. And yet she couldn't shake the feeling that Joel was different. He wasn't vague and placid. There was something that went deep in him, just under the surface that she wanted to see, something he hid from everyone else. And she was going to be herself for once. She didn't feel like if she hid any part of her personality, she would benefit from it. Usually when she dealt with men, she only showed them what they wanted to see. Most shied away from a female who could stand on her own two feet, and had a different belief system. She truly believed in love, and the fact that it existed, even if she hid it from everyone she knew. That belief made her vulnerable. And she hated to be vulnerable.

She was supposed to meet him at 3. She wasn't even sure what they would be doing. She spent the later part of the morning chatting with her mother. Jenny looked at her watch.

"Harlow, it's almost 1:30. Maybe you should go get ready." she smiled at her daughter.

"I will. I am going to miss you so much, mom. What am I going to do without you?" Harlow looked at her mother. The lines on her mothers face had deepened over the years, but her eyes were still vibrant and filled with love. Jenny reached out and patted Harlows hand.

"It will be fine. You do it by yourself all the time, honey. Maybe now you won't have to much longer. Joel is fantastic. I see something in him. And you know I am rarely wrong." she winked at Harlow.

"Dani says the same thing. But, I don't know. It will probably turn out the same way everything else does. I'm just going to go with it, and enjoy it while it lasts. I just don't want to be hurt." she looked at her mother again. Jenny could see the worry in her eyes.

"Harlow, you have to live for yourself. Not for your children, not for me, not for anyone else but yourself. And then everything else falls in to place. You need to believe. Don't let that cynical side of yours break through to the surface. You will wind up alone, and miserable. Life gives us people for two reasons, they are either a blessing, or they are a lesson. And you cannot have one with out the other. Have fun tonight, never mind that she is coming back. Maybe he honestly loves who you are. You fascinate him, you know? That is a good thing. Once a man becomes a man, he is less and less intrigued by beauty alone. A woman with a strong mind and beauty to match is rare in these times. Just let it be. And enjoy it for once." Jenny signed and smiled at her stubborn daughter. "When a man comes along, he will either love you for who you are, or he will not. It's up to you to allow him to see who you truly are, but it's up to him to decide if that is who he truly wants. Now go. The girls and I have a huge evening planned, and we can't start until you are gone." She winked at Harlow.

Harlow got up and headed to the bathroom. She took a quick shower, and put on a pair of shorts and a tank top. Joel had said not to wear anything special. She put some extra time in to her hair, and makeup. She wanted to look and feel beautiful. She wanted him to think she was special. She just wasn't sure that she was. Maybe after tonight, he would see her for her true self and she'd never hear from him again. Stop. She told herself. Stop selling yourself short. She shook her head at her reflection in the mirror. Being a female, with it's confidence and yet the self doubt, in general was a curse.

Tonight was going to be special. She would be herself, and see if he accepted it. A lesson, or a blessing. Maybe both. The words her mother had spoken were fresh in her mind as she left the house to meet him. The drive there, she was nervous. She wasn't sure why, they had spent the last few days getting to know one another on a deeper level. She was curious about his PTSD. And the underlying anger he seemed to contain. A lot of soldiers dealt with it. And while some didn't want to admit they were affected, most with multiple deployments were never the same as before they served. Ever. In time, maybe she would grow to understand why he was affected so deeply with the internal torture. He had been with Jimmies unit, and that had been a huge tragedy in itself. Harlow wasn't sure she would ever be over the gruesome way the soldiers had lost their lives that day.

She arrived at the beach and parked next to his truck. His windows were tinted, but she could see just slightly through the window, the drivers side was empty. She looked down the beach, and she could see him walking her way. He had a white tank top on, and board shorts, and he was barefoot. His brown skin was so beautiful. There were a few girls sitting together on towels, and she could see them giggle at him as he sauntered by. She smiled. He was gorgeous to look at.

She got out of her car. She bent back in to the car to grab her sunglasses, and when she came out he was already standing at her door. He took her door from her hands and shut it for her. When it clicked, he pulled her in to his arms and kissed her softly, stopping to breath her in, and rub the tip of his nose to hers. His kisses made her weak in the knees. All of the so called strength was tossed in to the wind with his kiss. She was completely in his grasp. This was a problem. A problem she didn't want to solve. She allowed his mouth to take control, and soon enough, she was standing there breathless letting his arms hold her up.

"I missed you." he said softly, as he nuzzled her nose with his again. He smiled.

Harlow could barely get the words out "I missed you too."

Joel let his grasp loosen, and he turned to the back of his truck. He pulled out a blanket and handed it to her. Then he pulled out another blanket, and a small cooler.

"I thought we could spend the evening watching the water, and the sun set. We can go back to my place later when it cools off, if you want. Maybe watch movies, or something." He grinned at her. He sat the cooler down and unlocked the truck door. He reached in under the seat and pulled out a bottle of her favorite wine. She had mentioned it on their first date. He turned to her, holding the bottle up with a cocky grin.

"Very nice, you were paying attention. I guess that scores you some more points." she said sarcastically, and laughed. She took the wine and Joel picked the cooler, and blanket back up. The two headed back down to the water. Joel stopped at the exact place they had made love two nights ago. He spread out the blanket, and sat the cooler down.

Harlow kicked off her shoes and sat down. Joel sat beside her. He opened the cooler. He had been paying more attention than she had realized.

"So, I picked up Brie, grapes, crackers, and the wine. I don't know how you live on this stuff personally, but if we get hungry later we will order a pizza. Deal?" he laughed at her. Harlow smiled. Here was this enormous, muscle packed man, and he was trying to live on what she liked. She laughed.

"Deal. I love pizza too." she replied.

"I never eat stuff like this, I guess because I am a guy, but hopefully you will see the effort I put in to it. And appreciate the funny looks I got at the store when I asked where this type of cheese was. I don't even think I pronounced it right." He smiled at her.

She couldn't help but smile back. This was it. Here he was making all of the effort and she was sitting there like a locked up fortress. What had she said to him the other night? No regrets. It was time to start living by her own words. She crawled across the blanket and gently placed herself between his legs with her back on his chest. She scooted the cooler over to the two of them and took out the food. They sat for a while eating the grapes and crackers. Joel made faces at the cheese, but still pretended to like it. It made Harlow laugh, because she knew he hated it. When they finished, Joel opened the wine.

"I forgot cups." He said suddenly.

"Who needs cups." Harlow responded. "We'll just share from the bottle."

He reached in to the cooler and pulled out the corkscrew. "At least I remembered this!" He smiled at her.

Harlow leaned back in to Joel, letting him hold her up. They passed the wine back and forth.

Joel brushed her hair back away from her ear. His voice was barely above a whisper in her ear.

"You are so different from anyone I've ever met. Years ago I would have been afraid of a woman like you. You are smart, and poetic, and beautiful Harlow. Just so different." he said. "But in a good way, don't go reading too much in to that like a typical girl." he laughed softly.

Harlow sighed.

"I am different, very different, Joel. I see the good. I see the struggle, and the beauty in the pain. I don't know if you will like all of me." she responded. Again, the self doubt evident in her tone of voice.

"Well, so far, I'm liking it. Like I said, a girl like you would have intimidated me years ago. I guess I was just immature. You are a breath of fresh air. And passion is rare. It's not everyday you come across someone with your energy. I just hope you aren't disappointed in me. I'm kinda a normal guy ya know. I like pizza, and beer, and sometimes act like an ass." he laughed softly again. His lips brushed her ear, and then trailed down her neck, he stopped with his lips resting on the curve in between her neck and her shoulder. "You smell so good." He drew her scent deep in to his nostrils, and rested his lips on her again. He could sit and hold her like this for a thousand years.

His touch sparked every nerve in her body. Here was this beautiful man, saying all of the right things, and yet Harlow still didn't feel good enough.

She looked out over the water. The sun was starting to go down. And a slight chill was settling in. Being next to the tide made such a difference in the way the sultry air felt when the sun set.

Joel moved his arms around her tighter.

Harlow turned her entire body around so that her legs were straddling his body. And their faces were close. She didn't say a word, she just looked him in his eyes and leaned in to kiss him softly, and slowly. He wrapped his arms around her tighter. He stopped to breath her breath in. He stopped to feel her, and closed his eyes. For once he didn't just see a girl, he felt her.

Joel knew what she wanted. She didn't want sex. She wanted him to hold her. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and not let her go, to accept her. When she looked at him, it was as if she could see straight through to his soul. It made him nervous, and yet comfortable at the same time. He drew his arms around her even tighter. Harlow rested her head on his chest and they watched the sun disappear below the horizon.

They had finished the wine, and were still sitting there as the first stars came out.

"So, I have another surprise." Joel announced.

"Oh, what's that? Pizza and beer?" she laughed at him. "No, seriously, I'm starving." she laughed again.

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Well, I'm always down for pizza and beer, but no, later. Something special. You'll be proud. I put some thought in to it." Joel replied. "If you're hungry, let's go have pizza, wanna brave going back to my place?" he asked.

"Sure." she simply stated. She smiled at him. "I'm fairly convinced you are not a serial killer now." she laughed out loud.

"And I'm fairly convinced you are a total smart ass, and I kinda like that." Joel laughed back at her.

The two packed up the blankets and cooler, and the empty wine bottle, and headed back to their cars. Joel gave Harlow a light kiss and she got in her car. He didn't live far, so she followed him to his house. When they arrived she was surprised. She wasn't sure what she expected, maybe a bachelor pad? But the light beige furniture was comfortable, and the decor was friendly. Pretty good for a guy, she thought to herself. It was obvious he had put effort in to tidying up. That made her smile.

She made herself comfortable on the couch while Joel ordered a pizza. And he came in and sat with her.

"I thought it would be nice to be low key tonight. Get to know each other more, and just hang out. I don't always like to go out. It gets old, or maybe I am just old." he chuckled to himself. He looked at her.

"We are so, not old." Harlow stated. "I refuse to feel old. And I don't most of the time." she smiled. "I get tired, but never, ever old."

"So what do you want to watch? What do you like?" Joel asked, getting up to look through his massive movie collection. Harlow rose, and joined him in front of the bookshelves. She tapped her fingertip on her lip as she looked through his movies.

"Oh my gosh! I love this movie!" she pulled out a classic from the 1980's and Joel laughed. He turned to her in surprise.

"I love the 80s! I have a ton of movies, I cannot believe we agree on that! I am a complete 80s nerd." He was surprised.

"What? I am not always serious." she laughed. "I have an unhealthy addiction to all things 80's. The music, the clothes, the movies, I love it all! Especially the toys!" She smiled at him.

He was smiling and laughing at her. He took the movie from her and put it in the player. The doorbell rang, and he took the pizza. Harlow could hear how polite he was to the young pizza guy. She liked how respectful he was. Sometimes the soldiers in his rank could be downright assholes. Joel treated everyone as if they were equal. That was an important thing to her. For a man to treat others as he wanted to be treated. And to recognize human struggle and equality.

He sat the pizza box down on the coffee table, and they both took a piece. Soon, Harlow was wrapped up in his arms and they were lost in the movie. It was nice to be able to feel comfortable with him. It just felt right. Joel was always touching her softly, and surely, and she liked that. When the movie was over, Joel got up. He turned and took Harlows hand.

"Come on, it's about that time." he smiled.

"Uh-oh." said Harlow, but she allowed him to pull her up off of the couch. He grabbed a blanket off of the chair, and they headed in to his his backyard.

"So the lights might make it a little hard to see. But I know you said you love astrology, and all of that stuff. So I have a surprise." he said.

Harlow could barely make out the porch swing in the middle of the yard. It was the kind that folded down in to a bed. Joel held it still so Harlow could climb on to it. And then he rolled himself up beside her and threw the blanket over the two of them.

"So....." Harlow said curiously. "What are we doing?" Was he wanting to have sex out here? What did he have in mind? She was confused.

"Just watch." Joel pointed to the sky.

As they watched the night sky, Harlow saw what he was talking about. A shooting star raced across the sky. With it's bright head and vanishing tail, it made it's way to dip quickly in to the horizon. Harlow gasped. He didn't want to have sex out here. He planned to count the shooting stars. They had talked about it on the phone, and she had told him the stories of how she and her mother would lay out under certain meteor showers and her mother would let her make as many wishes as she could until she fell asleep. Harlow raised herself up on her elbow. How shallow she had been to think he was only after sex.

She bent down and lightly kissed Joels lips. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. And he moved her head to his chest, with his arms tightly woven around her small frame.

"Make a wish, Harlow." he said softly.

Harlow could hear his heart beating under her ear. Bump, bump. Bump, bump. She closed her eyes, and she made her wish.

November 14, 2012

Black & White

Interesting how sometimes something as simple as editing a few silly photos to use for posting can completely change what I originally wanted to blog about.  I only have one sneak peek from Saturdays shoot, taken by the one and only Cassie.  I am really excited to see what is done with the rest of the photos.  So really, it is a true sneak peek because you can't even really see much of anything.  I'll go ahead and post it first and then go on to my ramblings about what sparked my title tonight.  I have to say that Saturdays weather, while shitty for the hunters, was absolutely perfect for this book cover shoot.  And of course, my counterparts in crime were perfect as well.  We had a blast!  You can see Mr. Photographers back of course while Cassie was sneaking a camera photo. 

Black and white.  There are so many shades in between black and white.  For myself I think I used to be a black and white person.  But I am slowly seeing all of the different shades that can be blended in to our everyday lives.  All of the different emotions and reactions we have to certain things.  What made our heart skip a beat last week, might make us cry our eyes out this week.  Everything changes.  But it changes for a reason.  I know many do not believe everything happens for a reason, but I do.  I see it. I know it.  I feel it.  The shades of grey are there to teach us.  They are there to guide us.  And they are beautiful. 
I was sitting on the porch this afternoon, with Cassie while we were waiting for the littles to return home from school, and we were just enjoying the sunlight on our faces.  And when I looked at her, I made a statement that was very powerful. 
"This is important, Cass.  All of it.  These are important days." 
These days we are experiencing right now are powerful.  I can feel it.  I am breathing it.  It is in the very depths of my soul.  We are practicing living with no regrets, without fear of judgement, making decisions that are right for us and our children, and our hearts.  We are leaning on one another, and the others in our circle and learning to accept the changing of the tides.   And slowly, but surely, it all comes together in the end. 
Sometimes I want to know so badly what the end is going to look like.  Sometimes when I try to sleep at night the worry sets in and the thought of the purpose of all of this is overwhelming.  And then I read something the other day on Facebook of all places, and it said "I wish life had a rewind button."  I pondered this and reposted it, but I attached an "I don't."  Rewind doesn't exist.  We only have now.  And the black, white, and greys.  It's all we get.  The greys will exist on their own.  But the blacks and whites, we have to create.  We have to be in control of those.  We have to choose to make a decision and we have to choose to say what we mean, and mean what we say.  That IS black and white. 

I wanted so badly to get to the "good" stuff.  The why this is happening, the where it is going to end up.   But now, living in the present, we are just enjoying where we are at now.  Sure, we are really struggling right now, but we are warm, fed, and getting through our days with laughs and maybe a few cries.  But we are doing it with people who love us, and love us unconditionally.  
Black, white, or grey?  Who cares?  Just enjoy all of it.  In the end it's all we have.  And once we get past the black and whites, we understand the greys, and we get to live in color. 

November 12, 2012

When I saw you I fell in love. And you smiled, because you knew. Shakespeare

I will warn you that sometimes the Law of Attraction works better than most of us realize.  As I type today, I have a cute, little kitty named Tuesday who showed up on my roof this week trying to tap my fingers as they race along the keyboard.  Last week I mentioned wanting to get a cat, and low and behold, a kitty was provided.  Most of you know I am NOT a cat person *ducking from the flying plates coming my way*, but I always found them to be too tempermental, and well, litter boxes are digusting.  But this little guy has stolen my heart.  He loves me.  So, here Tuesday sits helping me type.  Hence multiple typos I will probably miss.  And now he is chasing the mouse arrow, and the children are giggling....
I also left my glasses in the car, so good luck sifting through my nightmare of a post. 

I've known all weekend what I wanted to write about this week, and yes I know, that my novel has been slower than the normal.  But that is because I am on a journey, and I've really been pouring my heart and soul in to the journey.  I've been living in the present, not concerned with the future or the past. Not that I am not preparing for our future, or still learning from my past.  Those are 3 very different things. 

I have seen on Facebook lately a lot of posts regarding "clarity", and the "witness".  And I see that I am not the only person on this journey as of late.  You can visit Adriana here, if you would like to understand more about the "witness".  I found her latest blog post to be very enlightening, and it hit exactly what I have been experiencing with every waking moment lately. 

I spent the weekend with a very dear friend of mine, well actually several amazing friends, and Saturday couldn't have been more beautiful.  I cannot express enough gratitude to Kris, Rachel, and Cassie for providing a much needed fortress around my heart and looking out for my best interest.  When you invest in those you love, it comes back in the most honest and rare form of loyalty and protection.  If I didn't have them, I just don't know where I would be at.  Saturday was more than beautiful, it was perfect.  We had an incredible photo shoot with an incredible and beautiful photographer.  The sneak peek will come soon enough.  And seeing an old friend, who is so important to me, was well...amazing. 

But I honestly think this weekend was needed for clarity.  Everyone knows I am not afraid to say what I am thinking.  But the last few years I learned to just keep a lot to myself, and started to be afraid that people would judge me.  Not realizing that that is one of the reasons those who love me, love me so.  I think people always tend to speak the negative, or argue over politics or whatever the normal socially acceptable opinions might be.  But how often do you meet someone and tell them that you think they are fabulous.  We rarely do.  And when we get the nerve to, we expect them to reciprocate, not realizing they might not be aware of how they feel at all.  We say "I Love You" with the expectation that they should say it back. Or even worse, we hold back in fear they don't love us.  When in fact is more important for us to just let them know someone loves them.  Or adores them, or is fascinated by them, or whatever the positive feeling might be.  We cringe at the thought of feelings.  We hold them back.  We rationalize and try and come up with reasons why we can't jump in the truck at midnight to go count shooting starts.  But the best moments are the ones filled with emotions.  And the very best moments come from total freedom to say what you are feeling and not worry about judgement.  Even if they end up disappointing us, they know where you stand.  And people need to feel important.  People need to hear that they are loved and that they are wonderful.  And when you meet the rare person, that one in a million, those people who make your heart beat fast, or strike something deep inside and make you think twice, it is even more important for them to know.  Because most of the time, they don't even see it.  They are blind to it.  They are living with normal, everyday cynics, who choose to ignore the magnificent beauty that breathing gives us.

I stood on the porch late Saturday night wrapped in a blanket, the wind was blowing so fiercely, and it was beautiful.  I love that I am able to do it and see the power behind our amazing world we live in.  People are good.  Love is good.  When you can tell someone you are taken by their strength, or who they are, that is good.  It doesn't matter if they see it at that moment, because you see it.  And you won't be the last person to tell them that, BUT....and this is where it is important...YOU MIGHT BE THE FIRST.  You might be the first person to look them in the eyes and they can actually see your honest love for them.  ALL OF THEM.  The entire human being standing in front of you.  And then, show them.  Show them exactly who you are, and watch the magic unfold. 

I am touched everyday by some of the smallest things, and it seems stupid to others, or small in the blink of an eye. BUT, in the blink of an eye, if you aren't watching, you could miss it.  And it's gone.  Forever.  That moment is gone.  You cannot have it back.  You cannot re-create it.  You can only have the memory. 

So over the last few weeks I've covered love, gratitude, clarity, and now we have moved on to the combination of it all.  And I love that every week, the lessons I have learned so far just seem to tie together more and more. 

I look around me and even though it is really, really hard right now, we will make it through.  And even the stressful and really hard times have been spotted with beauty and hope.  And that is what makes it worth it.  To be able to see the horizon and look beyond. 

Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, or whatever it may be, the fact is THIS LIFE is what we have.  And it goes by fast.  And we are put here to learn.  We are put here to love and to reach out and be a solid rock for those in our lives who need it.  Even when we think we are too weak, there is the strength to reach out to others who might need you.  Because in the end, it ends up feeding your own soul and building your own strength back up. 

Think about it tonight after you read this.  Practice it.  Tell someone how you feel.  Maybe in a text, or email, or if you are lucky enough to look them in the eyes.  And do not expect to hear anything back.  What happens might suprise you.  But in the end, I promise you, you will start to feel yourself shifting in to a positive place.  Do not conform, do not live the way this society expects you to live.  Be different.  Be weird.  Be unique.  They might be taken back at first, but I promise you, at some point in their lives, they WILL REMEMBER it.  They will remember the first time someone honestly, and openly told them they loved them, or they respected them, or that were just amazed by their spirit.  And it could possibly change their lives forever, and yours.  They will remember, simply, YOU.  That is what will make you a beautiful person. 

And never, ever, EVER judge.  Just be.  And let others be.  That is the beauty of humankind.  Visit Adriana, and here is another wonderful link to pop in on, Observing The Sounds Of The World, and Paul Smit as well.  Enjoy!

"One should use common words to say uncommon things”
Arthur Schopenhauer

November 3, 2012

Collecting People

     I have had a ridiculously busy week.  And stressful, and yet once again staying positive and counting my blessings put a smile on my face each and every day. 

Even through these tough times, I can stop each day and take a look around and realize that my little family is tough as nails, and we are getting through each day with less pain.  And gaining more ground.  We are learning to function as a different unit.  We are learning to get through a new routine.  But most of all we are working through the stress and learning to love each other more. 

     I had an incredible interview this morning with a really great freelance reporter (Hi, Jeff!) and we moved on to the subject of "collecting people" and not tangible objects.  I find that the more I fill my time with the people I adore, and the more time I take in telling them exactly how I feel without wanting to hear anything back from them, those are the best moments.  I really practiced expressing how I feel this week.  And just allowing it to sink in for them.  I don't want them to say thank you, or respond, just to allow someone to tell them that they are wonderful. 

I am spending time with those who choose to reciprocate the time spent.  I am making more of an effort to keep in daily contact with so many.  And yet again, I was blessed with a few more people this week who I find fascinating.  My time and days keep filling up with so many whom I adore, that it is overwhelming sometimes.  There are so many texts, emails, phone calls, and messages on my social media sites that I spend a majority of my day plugged in.  However, it is a "good" plugged in.  Touching base, catching up, or just simply asking how their day is...makes a world of difference. 

     You never know what someone is going through in their lives.  Be careful how you treat them.  It doesn't cost anything at all to be nice.  And it takes much less energy then being nasty or hateful. 

Collect people, not things.  Be nice, and never mean.  Learn to love, and not hate.  There is a fine line between all of those things.  But in the end, collecting people is so much more fulfilling than having a houseful of things that mean nothing.  Love those you come across and learn to accept diversity and embrace change. 

     And when you come across someone who doesn't seem to reciprocate, let them be.  In the end, when you are full of love and kindness, and good truly is their loss.  One day they will understand, but until then, you have to let them learn the lesson on their own. 

I am very grateful for those in my life. 

.Live, love.

.Live, love.