What Had Happened Was…

It’s not about what’s wrong with you, it’s about what is hurting you. It’s all about what happened to you. I am in the middle of reading an amazing book entitled: What Happened to You? by Oprah and Dr. Perry You can find it here –> https://www.amazon.com/What-Happened-You-Understanding-Resilience/

The book that is changing and affirming lives especially mine 🙂

It is an affirmation that I am exactly where I need to be. Healing wounds not reopening them or simply covering them up with metaphorical bandaids and smiles. I am full of gratitude for giving the gift to myself and most of all giving myself the gift of healing.

As I am reading and reflecting about what had happened in my life as I read both Oprah and Dr. Perry also discuss a lot of what I learned and was gifted as a preschool teacher: the neuroscience behind trauma, it also reminds me a lot of Dr. Becky Bailey’s work with the brain stem, Conscious Discipline how at times we go into fight or flight mode. The Cortex is where we should be when making significant decisions. I love the brain and fell in love with it when I read Jill Bolte Taylor’s work: My Stroke of Insight.

What I am alluding to is the importance of the brain, how early childhood and early sensory experiences play into that and how they are the key to making imprints on us. A simple but not so simple scent can bring us back to remembering experiencing and even stepping through trauma. A mere scent can bring us back to the beautiful and ugly parts of our experiences. Embrace the beautiful, let go of the pain and h e a l. That’s how to help yourself. The early years are the most significant years aka the 0 to 8 years old milestones where a lot of our synapses are connected and made. As you continue to grow breathe, stretch and shake into your human way of being. And special shout out to our chakras! Intuition and Chakras are on fleek as we speak 🙂

Take a moment to think, reflect, draw: What happened to you? What hurt you and how are you healing?

Thank you at https://standwithtrans.org/product/intuitive-energy-healing-session/

Dogs and Roses

It was a cold evening in Arlington and I was walking around a few blocks during my 30 minute break. This happened pre-pandemic back when we were at school in person and not online.

I stopped at a corner, as light snow started falling, a rose blanket caught my eye. 

It was tan and worn out patterned all over with roses. It covered a man crouched and hunched over in the corner. 

I stood still in time watching the man under the blanket. Strangers on the street walked, kept walking by. They had places to go and people to see.

Two strangers were walking up opposite sides of the sidewalk. One stranger with a dog. The other stranger with a warm drink cusped in their hands, steam rising from it. Maybe a coffee or maybe a hot chocolate. Maybe, neither. They stopped in front of the man with the rose blanket. 

The person holding the warm cup asked about the dog and if she could pet her. The dog walker nodded, “Yea, go ahead she’s friendly”. 

The woman with the warm cup placed it on the ground, knelt down and pet the dog. She asked, “What’s her name?” The dog walker responded, “Rose.” 

No one asked the man with the rose blanket covering his shoulders like petals, what his name was. The strangers didn’t ask each other’s names either.

Why do we call humans homeless when we’ve in fact, made them strangers? We’ve turned them nameless.  We’ve turned each other into strangers.

The holidays. Depending on your perspective is a time for thankfulness and togetherness. 

What type of thankful and gratitude are you showing? What are you giving, what are you noticing…what are you asking?

I am asking for names.

This is What Happens While Wearing Two Different Shoes

You could tell a lot about a person by how they handle certain things in life like accidents, mistakes, rainy days, spilled milk and so on and so forth. The ultimate and most obvious timeless question to ask is could they laugh at themselves in moments like that?

Throughout the pandemic and especially during the height of it all, a student of mine has been working at McDonalds while also attending college and caring for her young son (who is also doing elementary virtual class).

No matter how tired and exhausted and scary the pandemic was and is — She still rises and goes to work.

Each and everyday she rose and (still rises) at 5:30 am, left and arrived to work at 7:00 am where her manager took her temperature, scanned and looked her over. On this particular morning worth mentioning, he glanced down and pointed at her shoes.

She looked down and when she looked down she saw two completely different colors!

She took another look. She went to work with mismatched shoes. One shoe was a jet matte metallic black and the other one, a silver neon gray slip on.

Her manager told her to go home and change them.

She went home, changed her shoes and went back to work. Again, her manager pointed down to her mismatched shoes. Feeling exhausted and defeated but with a second wind, she said, “I don’t care. I feel like wearing them just like this today. Take me as I am or let me go.”

She said, “I feel so small, I feel like a bug or an ant. Most times — I don’t even want to wake up but on this day I laughed until I cried myself and felt better.”

I told her 2 things. 1. Keep laughing and 2. Keep laughing.

You see, this life is too precious than to worry about matching socks or shoes plus it’s Halloween and second, ants have superhuman strength.

When you “feel” like no one and nobody notices, trust the process and know that you can and literally are carrying a weight 100 times your mass just like the ant. You are rare and your very purpose is to be here. We are somehow chosen and we don’t even know who, what, when, where, why and how our stones will ripple, wreck, melt, shift and shake up the world.

Time is too precious than to spend our precious energy on matching our socks or our shoes or our feelings to match what society thinks we should be or act or feel.

Just be yourself.

Who are you? Who are you in a process of becoming? What’s your reason? How are you getting there?

Walk in whatever fits you best. Walk in that.

Walk that well.

Black Velvet

My mother loved this song Black Velvet by Alanah Myles https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l_7HTXkyTwQ

Last Fall, as I was driving into work I was thinking of my mom and then her song came on. When the ending of Black Velvet came on the radio, it was fused-staticky mixing with another station. Although it was not very clear and smooth, I smiled. I still hear you Mom.

Today the same song came on while I work from home. It’s clear. Smooth. Perfect timing as I hear the raspy voice of Alanah Myles. My mother had a raspy voice, too. Signs are everywhere when you pay attention. I still hear you Mom.

When we lose the ones we love, the pain stays for forever but what do you do with the pain that you feel?

Think about that.

Breathe on that.

Inhale and exhale.

A former family member of a former student taught me (without realizing that she was teaching me) to:

Smell the flowers.

Blowout the candles.

And, I’ll never forget it. 

If we don’t take care of ourselves like how we care for others and our environment then who will?

No one takes care of ourselves the way we will. That kind of light emanates outward from within to the world.

Remember breath work, stretch work and sense work.

Love and light. Most of all, calm and peace in the moments.

The Light and the Dark

Q: When will there be world peace?

A: When the world falls to pieces. -Tupac Shakur

Is anyone else seeing through the illusion we are living in? <o> am. I live by three basic principles: To care for myself, to care for humanity and to care for the environment. In a world full of loss and suffering, I hope that we get well soon. How do we move on from it all? How do we stay present and let our presence stand for something greater than ourselves? How do we just be at peace in the moment? How can we hold another accountable for capitalizing on human suffering and human healing?

Is it true that we will have world peace when we no longer exist? Tupac Shakur’s songs and timeless advice reverberate from the 90’s into this very moment right now proving that our nature is cyclical cycling around and around in patterns. He said it best when he said, “We need to change the way we eat, we need to change the way we live and we need to change the way we treat each other.”

I am tired not physically or emotionally. Just tired of the unjustified pain and suffering.

Is anyone else? And, what are you doing about it?

I wrote a letter to Patch Adams and he wrote me back. It gave me hope. It gave me life, again. I am thankful for it. In a nutshell, it affirmed that I am okay being exactly who I am.

He said, “The most radical and revolutionary act is to be happy.” I will stay and continue to smile and laugh in the face of unhappiness. I will continue to smile as the world takes itself a little bit too seriously. I will chuckle, I will laugh as though it is my last laugh. It just might be as we never know when our name is called to walk home. Isn’t that right? Aren’t we all here just walking each other home anyway?

By the way, Happy Birthday Mom. 8/26, 8:26am Forever young.

If I Could Live My Life Again – Jorge Luis Borges

Awesome lessons in this.

Academy Of Eudaimonia

“If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
– to make more mistakes,
I won’t try to be so perfect,
I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,
I’ll take more trips,
I’ll watch more sunsets,
I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers,
I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been,
I’ll eat more ice creams and less lima beans,
I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives –
each minute of his life,
Of course that I had moments of joy – but,
if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments,

If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of,
Don’t lose…

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100 and Counting. We are ALWAYS Learning: Stay True to Who You Are and Who You are in a Process of Becoming

Speaking a 100 and more languages as we convey who we are. (Shout out to Loris Malaguzzi of Reggio Emilia)

We figuratively and literally have so many ways of learning which brings me to the questions:

How are we learning? 

How are we approaching teaching? 

What are the standards?

Where did they come from?

Who created the standards?

When were they created?

Why were they created?

How can we change and adapt to where we are now?

We need more than standard(s) ways of being when it comes to learning. 

We need connection, relationships and collaboration most. Most of all—keeping an authentic identity and not trying to sound like anyone else but ourselves.

When someone asks me where I’m from, I’m proud and I tell them. When someone asks you where you’re from—be proud of that and tell them.

Then build on from that.

This also brings up unlearning past habits.

Time to unravel and relinquish “standards”.

Time to be ourselves. Our best selves.
—whoever that may be and whoever you are in a process of becoming. We’re all waiting.

Show and Share: A Soul Story

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your soul. Who are you surrounded by? How are you feeling? Are you inspired? Are you drained? Are you anxious? Are people talking about ideas or about other people? That is the question. And, when people answer…when people show you who they are, believe them. No judgment. Accept it but don’t you ever settle.

Our life’s work is what and where we go each and every day. Most of all, it is who we spend the most time with. I am grateful to be an educator and life long learner. It is a major part of who I am. We are in a constant process of becoming. Constant change. Each morning is a new morning and a new day. I yawn. I wake up. I stretch. I meditate. I breathe. I remember who I was, who I am and who I am in a process of becoming. I get to see who children were, are and are in a process of becoming. I get to see who families were, are and in a process of becoming.

I learned a lesson, a major valuable lesson this year during the Coronavirus. If you don’t like something, say it even if your voice trembles. Speak up even as old trauma reopens because you’ve been triggered by someone’s behavior. Always stand up for those who are not present in the room even when you’re afraid to. Follow your gut. Your instinct. It will never ever steer you wrong. Ever. We are always in a process of becoming never reaching the final product. Movement is life.

I am thankful. I am grateful for all that I have experienced. I learned a lot and will continue to. I forgive but I don’t forget. I use it to propel even further holding hands of others on the same route.

Healing from Trauma:

  1. Time: Give yourself time and hugs
  2. Journal: Write a lot
  3. Journal: Create an art journal *Bonus: Paint some canvases/cardboard and give it away!
  4. Write a letter *your choice to send it or not*
  5. Reach out to those who care about you
  6. No need to respond to toxicity: Let it go, let it go, let it goooo!
  7. Cut out negative+toxic relationships
  8. Stop making excuses for people and hold them accountable. If they don’t change. You leave. Let it Burn as Usher would say lol

Normal, Not!

A return to normal? Thank you for the offer but no thank you. Who defines normal anyway? What is the standard? What does the new normal even mean or signify? How are you feeling right now in your present moment? Where are you pedaling to? I’m curious. Are you? Who are you? Why are you? Who are we in a process of becoming?

I am embracing building up something different and a chance at change. I am embracing the giant within. Full steam ahead. We are all born geniuses and giants. Let’s not stand on shoulders. Let’s walk and stride like the giant we are. We are giants and geniuses. The word genius in Latin literally means to give birth to. What is your gift? What is holding you back? If you have a gift…Give. It. Away. You can’t take it with you when you leave this Earth. So giants and geniuses: the question is — is when do we start feeling as though we are not? That moment, change. The moment you feel small, change. Do that thing that scares you. Let go and let it be. Learn and move. Movement is life. We are somebody and nobody at the same time, simultaneously.

The ant and the human have a lot in common when you look real close as Emerson and Thoreau had had. And, as I had a close up look in real life. Instead of researching at Walden pond, my research occurred behind my garage as I meditated and observed ants. I see just how much we are connected to all living creatures. True story: when I was little I still remember covering up ant hills and in real life crushing an ant and seeing the effects after close study: I vowed never to crush another ant. At least, not on purpose. The image stays in my mind. But I remember watching as they rebuilt their sandy hill. When something is destroyed, it can be rebuilt into something even better. The ants souls and spirits were not crushed. Although my five year old sticky fingers pushed their ant hill in, the ants decided to rebuild. That is courage and resilience.

Nature shows us character and stories of life. Life is easy and hard. It can be both, at the same time. It can be both beautiful and crushing. These days, I’m not settling for less than what I or what human beings and living things deserve. Point. Blank. Period. Labels? No thank you. Limitations? No thank you. Identifying problems lacking solutions? No thank you. Running circles around the same mulberry bush? No thank you. Stress and worry? No thank you. Meeting myself and others right where they are and row, row, rowing this boat. Singing. Together. Off key. In the words of Mimi: Still teaching in the Key of Life (and beyond). Get her book y’all! It’s a page turner. I return to it again and again to remind me of my why. My why is not to make a living but to make a life. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with. Be careful with this one precious life. Real life y’all! There are real life vampires who don’t just visit in October.

And I embrace movement. Growing pains hurt and heal and all. Crawl, walk, run. Repeat. We are who we are in our actions. Words plus actions. Show me who you are and I believe you.  “There is more in us than we know, if we could be made to see it; perhaps for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” — Thank you Kurt Hahn for that quote that resonates and encourages me even today.

Love, light and air hugs.