Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"We are only as good as we know. We understand any situation only by the experiences we've had and handle them accordingly."


I used to listen to my friends who consistently reminded me in many of our dialogs, "When you write your words make sure to leave out any negative vibe in your message―be spiritually inspirational, and most of all, positively enlightening. Follow the lead of all those successful gurus because that's what's known and familiar now. Or people will not want to accept what you're saying."
I had allowed people I'd never met in person, and didn't really know how they were truly living their lives, to question my truth, and second-guess how I should (or should not) deliver my words to the world. I believed them, subconsciously at one point, in my weakest hour.
And let's not forget those social network friends, those who consistently post "I don't want to be around negative energy. I want nothing to do with anything that has the potential to cause drama. I want words and messages wrapped up like a beautiful gift in vibrant and inspiring colors or else it's not worth my time and energy. The secret to making your dreams manifest is all in your head. Just concentrate, and *poof* you will attract it. Whatever IT is, think positive all the time. Speak positive words. If you want a better life, a better relationship with your loved one(s), all you have to do is be positive all the time about everything!"
Reality check: We are all negative about something, at times. We all get sad and depressed, moody, pissy, and irritated now and again. Unless one is heavily medicated on antidepressants (all the time), but that's another matter, and from my experience, if you have to constantly announce something about what you "won't put up with", it means you're consistently going against the grain and must be experiencing that very something that embodies precisely what you say you're NOT willing to go through. Truth be told, it comes off sounding like a five-year-old complaining. I've been there, we all have. 
I used to be concerned that if I told people where I was really coming from, I would be misunderstood or no one would like me. But, I'm not good at sugarcoating facts. Let me say that in another way to drive home my point: it pains me to have to find 'softer words' to substitute my message in fear that people are not strong enough or smart enough to "get it". I give people more credit than needing to be talked to like a toddler. I know they're competent and strong enough to get my message without having to tip toe on words. And although it's nice to read and hear positive affirmation on different subjects, when you're actually ready and need that extra push to really make a change, or finally get over a bad hump, some things have to be said, delivered, and spoken as "just a matter of fact". 
Many of the "facts of life" obstacles most of us have experienced (myself included), where we have made the wrong decisions (continuously), were difficult challenges to us because we didn't know any better. We are only as good as we know. We understand any situation only by the experiences we've had and handle them accordingly. If only my circle of family and friends, and the teachers and mentors of my generation when I was “growing up”, had been more transparent with their words and exposed us to the knowledge on the nitty gritty of real life's subjects―the life challenges, the lessons we would eventually have to learn at particular stages in our lives—by simply talking to us, we would be much further along in where we should be as a collective group of the human species. (Notice I wrote "talked about" not told or yelled at us what to do.) Instead, everything is a fucking secret! Until you read a book titled "The Secret". But who reads that in their adolescent years? I mean seriously!

The last extensive phone conversation I had with my Nana Loraine, before she passed away, was right after my forty-fifth birthday. I was going on about my fears of becoming successful and famous with my published books, public speaking, and media writing, and how it could affect my children's lives and their schedules negatively. My excuses were my own insecurities in my ability to deliver my words in my own style or have a plan. She said... "Darling, even if you share your writing with the world wrapped in butterflies, cotton candy, and sunset pictures, there will be a group of people who is not going to agree with what you say. No matter what you do or what you're attempting to achieve, it's only you and you alone who will live a life of knowing whether you've been honest with your message or you've followed what others wanted you to do. You will only succeed if you don’t lie to yourself. You might as well be honest with yourself and the world. You have to use the courage you have to be who you were meant to be in this lifetime."
I didn't allow her words to sink in my head when she spoke. I was still too wrapped up in my own fears, insecurities, and excuses. It went into one ear and out the other. "Everyone has a chapter in their life they don't read out loud."
A year later her words feel like they're being tattooed on the bare skin of my back. Echoing in my head every minute, every hour, daily. Nonstop!
She was right. It was time for me to grow up and stop hiding. It was time for me to stop making excuses and step out of my fears. It doesn't matter what I say or how I say it, someone will not like it. I'm not writing to win a popularity contest. What does matter is that I stay genuine and transparent with my words, my message―my story.  Whatever I say, whatever I do, might not sit well with most people, but, for that someone who's reading my words and listening in quietly, I will give the right message to the right person at the right time.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Good parenting sucks most of the time, not a lot of parents will admit to that."

When people ask me “What have you been up to?" I find that question funny, especially if they already know I'm a mother. I have three kids with a busy life schedule and I am constantly planning and preparing like an architect with OCD, attempting to be five steps ahead of the game. It would seem that the last fourteen years of my life have been planning, preparing and doing, doing, preparing and planning, all in one breath. Lately, I've been feeling like I'm part of a roller derby team. Three of them and one of me. And they're having fun. Boy, are they having fun! Football, baseball and 'Girls On The Run' season is over for the year, so now, Alex is doing wrestling, David is doing basketball, Tay is doing newspaper. Nowadays my kiddos are constantly signing themselves up for their own activities...they bring home the forms and their father and I write the checks. Are we good parents in letting them do this––make their own decisions on what activities they want to take part in? Or are we supposed to drag them kicking and screaming to the activities we want them to do for our own fulfillment? Nah...that would suck, for all of us. I tried that once with Alex, earlier this year. I attempted to force him into doing something by signing him up for drama and art classes (after school activities). I even called the school, and then dragged him and his father into the school cafeteria to meet the teachers who were facilitating the clubs. His father had been on him since the beginning of the school year to get involved in an after school activity other than being an "online gamer" learning how and attempting to be the next PewDiePie, YouTube millionaire sensation (at 12.5 years old mind you). I felt the strain in their relationship and the distance between them getting bigger. The tension between father and son was mounting, I had to do something. Embarrassing, I know, for a 7th grader to have your mommy walk you into a room full of your peers. At least he had his father there to laugh with as they shook their heads in disbelief and thought "'MOM' is really serious about this, and she's about to embarrass both father and son to make this happen." And Alex tried to attend them for almost a month. He texted me one day in early October, stating he was joining the wrestling team and dropping the drama and art clubs because wrestling has practices daily and he won't have time to take part in anything else. I said, ok. Nothing more, just "ok". I can't say no to my kid when he finally takes the initiative to do something on his own that's positive for him and will benefit him in the long run. Isn't that what parents are supposed to do, teach their kids to make up their mind, be themselves, and think independently and assertively about what they're doing with their lives? I found myself thinking "Being a YouTube millionaire can wait, just be a kid for now, Alex."
Good parenting sucks most of the time, not a lot of parents will admit to that. Any of your own selfishness as "the adult in charge" has to be drowned and put to pasture. Your every bit of patience has to be tried constantly and you have to, you need to, muster up more patience than you've ever had without losing your cool. And you have to learn fast as a parent, and be on point 99.9% of the time. We're supposed to smile and always say “Being a parent is so rewarding" or else we're judged by someone who doesn't give two nickels about us or our children (funny ain't it?). Most of all, even when you're at your last straw, your last energy, your last have to love another human being unconditionally and unquestionably. But here's the reward, your kids' lives won't suck when they're on their own one day. Hopefully.
Sometimes, when being a parent to your children, you just have to wing it, and hope that what you're teaching them and the example you're setting up for them does justice to their lives when it's their turn to make big decisions independently. Baby steps, ten leaps forward, then baby steps again and again, and again, till the next big leap forward. It's a process. ― LRAEBROWN

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The copies of the copies of the originals


Don't read too much into this piece, I'm just toning up my writing skills.

I'm sitting in my vehicle outside of a building's parking lot as I type this, there's a dinner party inside that I'm supposed to be part of. Honestly, I don't have the patience to smile at people tonight and keep my mouth shut. If people knew what was really on my mind they'd be scared shitless. Sometimes I just have to smile, bite my tongue and not reply. Nowadays the fakery is so deep, people don't even know their own souls anymore. And the truth, the truth burns their skin at the touch of a few words.

It reminds me of something I was going through several years ago while I was figuring out the "type" of writer I wanted to be. Some woman whose name I can't even remember was advising me to write more in the spiritual context and join the band wagon of all the spiritually centered gurus.
And while everyone was playing on their "Enlightened, Awakened, Spiritual Empath’s tambourine", copying the copies of the originals with their wordy spirituality, "magic" unicorn and astral projection (or astral travel); sublime bullshit of self centeredness wannabes speaking that slang of positivity of "think it and it shall manifest"...I was standing on the sidelines wondering what the fuck they were talking about and waiting to be pointed to the punch bowl they'd been drinking from so that I'd never take a drink of that Kool-Aid. I speak five languages and I had not a clue what they were saying.

I knew this, whatever dent they thought they were making in the "Universe" with all those enlightening, magical read as if they were just trying to get some internet pussy from some lonely old divorcee or fishing for a catfish.

I...I wanted to follow my heart, my calling. Although, at the time I had no clue what it was, because all the crazy words those people were throwing around sounded like a lot of scrambling white noises to me.
I wanted to do something important―for someone else. Something that would guide and help our next generation become better adults (than us), transcending the enlightened spiritual narcissists.

On my last birthday I remembered something my pops once said (not in the same wording), "Integrity is one of the necessities for a balanced mental health and clear conscience. It's the recipe to self-esteem and self-awareness. When you give up integrity, you end up writing checks that you can't cash."

And right then and there I decided to find my own "groove"―my own way of writing―my own voice. My own words and prose to get my message across to our younger successors, instead of concentrating on me, myself and I, trying to impress somebody who didn't have a clue or two cents to rub together after four, five, six decades of living, nor the interest to really make a real positive change in their lives.

There are people who will motivate you and inspire you. They challenge you to move forward and accomplish your dreams. They will give you clarifications to your questions. And then there are people who are brilliant at hiding their inauthentic agendas. You can't even sense the red flag burning. No matter how badass-magical-positive their words, they pull you down in their emotional abyss. You sense something feels off in their words, but you can't seem to put a finger on it. They're always suffering or in the midst of constant life's challenges with no direction. How can someone be so enlightened, awakened, a spiritual empath, yet, have not done much real self-healing? Maybe it's just me who doesn't get that.

I've had to do several colon-cleanses of all the distractions in my life in the last couple of years. I didn't even know the weight existed until it was gone.
I had to accept that it's better to be alone in reaching for my goal, than to be surrounded by the weight of people still searching the universe for their purpose, without a plan. Maybe a meteor will hit them.

I can count on one hand the originals and masters in their craft whom I know personally; truly enlightened human beings who are equipped and qualified to teach, whether it be about health, yoga, or spiritual matters. It's them I seek when I need answers to my questions. The rest―the copies of the copies of the originals―I just keep my mouth shut and bite my tongue when they're talking. Josh Billings once wrote, "The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust." Sometimes, that's the hardest part of being human. But, I'm learning it gets easier.