Saturday, July 24, 2010

I am a Butterfly

Butterflies have fascinated me for a while now.  Any creature that can completely reinvent itself and change into something entirely different is truly amazing.  That feat is nothing short of remarkable.

It begins its life as a caterpillar, a small wormlike creature. This creature seems rather insignificant.  It is considered a nuisance to many with its seemingly insatiable appetite for vegetation and its appearance pales in comparison to that of the butterfly that it is preparing to become.  Caterpillars have a very important job. They eat to grow and fuel their bodies for the transformation that will soon ensue.

As I think about butterflies and admire my daughter’s room that I have decorated like a butterfly utopia with butterflies and flowers adorning her walls and hanging from the ceiling I realize that people have some of the same life changing abilities. Of course, we cannot undergo a physical metamorphosis. Our bodies with two legs, two arms, one head and one heart will always remain so, but we have the ability to experience a metamorphosis of the soul.

Caterpillars enter a chrysalis and exit a beautiful butterfly ready to take flight and assume their roles in the circle of life as flower pollinators.  It is a wondrous and seamless transition.  The caterpillar does its role by feeding its body and preparing fuel for the natural, inevitable change that will take place for it.

People can experience a very similar transformation.  Our jobs are to feed ourselves- mind, body and soul. We feed our souls by learning and absorbing everything that we can about ourselves and the world we live in.  We feed our bodies by doing exactly what I tell my children to do: eat good food, get good sleep and practice good exercise.  We feed our souls by being quiet, being aware of our thoughts, meditating and having spiritual beliefs.

We can have a metamorphosis many times over.  We need no cocoon.  We need only to wrap ourselves in the fibers of the love and warmth that we receive from our families, envelope ourselves in the joy that we experience from an uplifting activity, blanket our spirits with a feeling of freedom by dancing when there is no music or by simply being still and learning to appreciate the inspiration in silence.

Life can be an enjoyable journey.  No one has to stay a caterpillar indefinitely. We are all butterflies with innate abilities to spread our wings and soar.  All that is needed is our desire and know how to do so.

Mom, sing with me.  It’s okay if you don’t know the words.  Just sing!

~My Baby Girl 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sunshine Blog Award


I am very pleased to accept the Sunshine Blog Award that was given to me a few weeks ago by Laurie at Twinkie Mommie.  I am brand new to blogging (two months ago was the first time that I had ever written or read a blog) so I am truly touched by this award.

The Sunshine Award  is passed on from blogger to blogger to those who are creative, positive and inspiring.

The rules for accepting this award are:

Put the logo on your blog or within your post,

Pass the award on to twelve bloggers,

Link the nominees within your post,

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog,

Spread the sunshine and link to the person from whom you have received this award.

It took me a while, but I have selected twelve blogs that I find truly uplifting.  Here is my list in no particular order:

Mother to Son
Not Quite Susie Homemaker
A Work in Progress
My Whimsical Way
Vivianne's Vista
Twice Charmed's Blog
Visionary Mom
A Guide to Loving the Black Girl in the Mirror
Dear Sister
Nirvana Mamma

Thanks again Laurie for the award!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Power of Thoughts

I am learning a lot these days.  Life lessons keep revealing themselves to me in so many different forms.  Simple observations while watching my children play, new books that I seem to just stumble across, conversations with old friends even people watching in the airport gives me new insight.  As I get older my hope is that I get wiser and I am beginning to look at my world through different eyes.

Most recently, my attention has been directed to how my thoughts, behaviors and relationships with others affect the condition of my life.  For thirty three years I have looked externally for answers.  I really thought that my environment dictated my outcomes.  That type of thinking puts the onus on others and not on myself for how my life unfolds.

I have cut people out of my life and chosen not to befriend others.  I have avoided situations that I knew would cause me discomfort and stayed within the confines of  my self created safe existence.  I have historically made those decisions based on my feelings of certain people and situations being toxic.  Of course, I was always right.  I always received what I focused on. 

What I failed to realize was that it was me, not others who put the toxins in my life.  We have all heard about the laws of attraction.  In the past I have read books on the subject and mused over it for a little while and then eventually pushed it out of my consciousness.  For some reason it keeps resurfacing and now I am willing to play closer attention.

I have come to realize that what I have focused my energy on over the years is what I continually get back.  My thoughts about others and myself always become my reality.  I get it now. 

Of course I am not saying that if I keep a positive frame of mind that everything and everyone in life will just become perfect.  What I understand now is that shifting my thoughts to a higher, lighter more positive plain will draw to me more of what I want.  I am putting what I have learned to use now and choosing to focus more energy and effort on that which uplifts me.

You perceptions really are your reality.

For some, this may sound kooky, but what harm is there in making an effort to change your thoughts?  It takes a lot of focus and dedication, but the payouts can me tremendous.

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
~ Mohandas Ghandi

Friday, June 18, 2010

Look Beyond What You See

As human beings we each have innate abilities to overcome any situation and to learn and grow.  Our experiences in life are supposed to aid us in our spiritual development, but the physical side of our realities usually trumps the metaphysical side.  It is our humanity that makes this so.

As a college student, I took a class on dream interpretation.  I was truly fascinated by the concept of decoding the symbolism in our dreams.  Through that class I learned that as we are sleeping our dreams are meant to teach us lessons and that seldom are they about what they seem to be about.

For instance, a dream about death is really not about death in the physical since.  Death dreams symbolize the need for something in our lives to "die" in order to make room for something new to take its place.  That something could be behaviors, relationships, thoughts or any number of things that have outgrown their usefulness.

I have come to realize that the same concepts in dream interpretation can be applied to us in wakefulness.  The character Rafiki in the Lion King movie said, "Look beyond what you see."  Yes, I know that this quote is from a cartoon that was intended for children, but it is no less profound and if its targeted audience absorbs that message it could prove to very beneficial. 

Events happen in our lives for very specific reasons and if it seems like the same thing keeps happening then its intended lesson has not been learned.  Our souls attract to us what we need for spiritual development.  We have to look beyond what we see in order to truly reap the benefits of the happenings in our lives- whether they seem good or bad.  

One bright day in the middle of night two dead boys rose to fight.  Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot one another.  A deaf policeman heard the noise, and saved the lives of the two dead boys.  If you don't believe this lie is true, ask the blind man, he saw it too.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stormy Days

It is a beautifully stormy day.  At 10 AM the sky is dark and gray.  As I look out my window I can see my kids' outdoor toys blowing around our backyard as if waiting for someone to save them.  Even though I know that I will have a mess of balls, pool toys, water guns and a bubble blowing lawn mower to clean up I could not be more delighted.

I love stormy days.  They have such a majestic appeal.

Thunderstorms are usually not long lasting.  They come with a raucous roar and they exit in the same bold manner.  Afterwards,  the sky usually becomes crystal blue with a brightly shining sun.  Other than the puddles that were left behind there is no evidence of the drama that just took place.

I have come to realize that my life is much like weather.  Sometimes there are stormy days.  Sometimes the sun shines so brightly that its warmth reaches all the way into my soul.  There are also those days when several thunderstorms join together creating a hurricane that knocks me off my feet with torrential downpours that soak me to my core.  Those days are the worst and fortunately, the most infrequent.

To my dismay there is no supernatural weatherman who can accurately forecast the elements for me.  There is no way to ever be completely prepared for the weather that may ensue.  With that key fact in mind, I have learned to simply always carry an umbrella with me and not to deliberately stand in the way of forceful winds and lightning bolts.  I appreciate the splendor of nature and  I keep in mind that even the most "menacing" storms are only temporary.

I am learning to accept the natural course of things and see the beauty in it all.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Another school year is coming to an end.  As I look at my children I can't help but to absorb all of their excitement.  They have conquered another phase in their journeys.

They are young, but they work hard.  They venture into this big building everyday without complaint and they hold their own without being obnoxious, disrespectful or aggressive.  My little ones are kind, thoughtful and respectful.  They are making their marks in the world and learning about themselves in the process.

Though my children are still very young, they seem to be developing a very good sense of who they are and don't waste a lot of time sweating the small stuff.  I have a lot to learn from them.

As I sat in the parking lot at their school today fuming and fussing about a car that has blocked me in, my eight year old said, "Why don't you just beep at them?"  How simple a solution?  Why did I magnify the situation with my ranting instead of calmly thinking of a simple solution myself?  Instead I sat there and devoted three minutes of my life complaining about the inconsiderate idiot who had the audacity to block me in.

After I explained to my son that the driver of the other car was aware that we were trying to exit the parking lot and obviously didn't care I realized that I actually had enough room to maneuver around the back of that car and get out of our space.  It took a little more effort than it otherwise should have, but it was a painfully simple solution to a very minuscule problem. 

In those three minutes I wasted so much time and exerted so much negative energy.  I looked back at my children who sat patiently and calmly and I actually felt ashamed.  Through the whole ordeal my daughter sat singing, not even acknowledging that I was in a semi rage and my son very intelligently offered me a simple solution.  Sometimes I think that they are smarter than I am.

Once again my children have taught me a lesson.  My only hope is that next time it won't even take me three minutes to realize what they already know.  Life is too short to spend it barking and complaining and simple problems really do have simple solutions.

Thank you to my children for helping me grow.

"A Little Child Shall Lead Them"
Isaiah 11:1-10

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It is really important to allow yourself to dream.

As a mother and a grown up I somehow lost focus on myself and decided to dream only for my children.  I look at the three of them and I see infinite potential.  I envision a world where they can conquer any and everything.

My five year old daughter refers to herself as a princess and through her eyes I see her as such.

My oldest son very loudly and squeakily plays a recorder at home.  It is an instrument that he got from his music class at school.  He relaxes and lets himself feel the music as he toots with all his heart.  The sound is not exactly melodious, but he believes that he is making beautiful music.  He asked me to post a video of him on YouTube because in his soul he knows that anyone would surely appreciate and be inspired by his sweet-sounding tunes.

Their little brother asked me today if he can fly.  He is a superhero, so of course he wants to know and explore every power that he has.  Some days he is Super Man  and sometimes he is Batman.  Right now he is focusing his energy on being the best Iron Man there is. 

They are dreamers.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."  If that is the case I am positively doomed unless I take a lesson from my children.

Somehow along the way I became a "realist" and started operating with fear instead of passion in my heart. Recent events in my life and my kids have caused me to rethink my position on dreaming.  I have come to learn that it is essential to have dreams not only for your children, but for yourself as well.  As adults we lose focus on how to believe with reckless abandon.  We get too busy planning, scheduling and worrying.  We surrender ourselves to adulthood and starve our dreams.

Children have a lot to teach us.  They believe that anything is possible and that their dreams with all their splendor are part of what makes life enjoyable.  They don't place limits on themselves and they expect that their lives will be beautiful, fantastical never-ending adventures.  

My eight year old son believes that he can be a famous football playing recorder star, my five year old daughter knows that she is the epitome of grace and royalty and my three year old son is Iron Man.  Because they believe it, it is so.

What do you believe?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Self Reflection is a Beast

It is very easy to cast judgement on others. We look at our neighbors' lawns and shake our heads at how tall their grass is. We pity those whose marriages fall into ruins and we feel sorry for those unfortunate ones who just can't seem to find love no matter how hard they try.

It really is an effortless act. Without a second thought we lose ourselves in the seeming misery of others. It is much simpler to do that than to take a look at oneself. Rare is the opportunity to face our own demons. We have become a race of good actors. We pretend that our lives are somehow better than others and that our problems don't run as deep.

But what happens when life doesn't fit into a neat little package that we'd all like to wrap with a pretty little bow? There are fortunate individuals who during their lives are confronted with terrible truths and painful ordeals that leave one no choice but to reflect on the past and consider how it affects the present. Those people are fortunate because very loudly life is telling them to shift their thoughts, change their behaviors and be real.

Journey through the darkness and you will get to the light. You just have to free yourself from that which is weighing you down.

According to William Shakespeare, "All the world's a stage, and
all the men and women merely players". That may be true, but
isn't time to be more aggressive with the condition of our lives.
We can stop just existing and going through the motions with
our pretend scripts and preconditioned roles. Life was meant to be lived, not just acted out.

Think about it.