11 September 2015

my heart today....

I've come to accept that today will never be a typical day for me.  I am a different person because of this day.  I am, if it's possible, softer and more loving as a result.  I practice daily gratitude and strive for optimism as much as I can.  (I do realize that this sometimes annoys the heck out of people but I've come to own it and not be ashamed of being called a Care Bear at times.)  I never knew my own strength until this day 14 years ago and the moment I had to face a crowd of New Yorkers to tell them that the country was under attack and that our location was named as the next New York target.  Faced with extreme craziness & fear, I somehow held it together from that moment until I stepped in my apartment days later.  

A friend asked me earlier if I wished I could forget this day and the fear of being in downtown Manhattan - my answer is strongly a no.  As horrific as it was, it was a day that changed me forever and I don't ever want that to fade out of my memory.  I remember in vivid detail every bit of that day.  I remember my sales rep from the hotel walking in and saying how weird it was that a commercial plane just flew directly over her head as she entered the building.  I remember the feeling of calling my mother still thinking that this was an accident and knowing she would be worried.  I remember the gravity of it sinking in and asking her to call our office in Toronto to tell them we were safe.  Asking the techs who were running my rehearsal in the ballroom to put up a live CNN feed and seeing the rest of this unfold before our eyes.  I remember packing up bagels and breakfast items from the buffet tables to take with us as we tried to go and give bloodI remember the streets and the people, the dust and the chaos.  How horrible could it have been that people were willingly throwing themselves out of the buildings? What kind of despair could have been in their hearts

I remember watching the buildings fall and the impact causing our own ceiling to crumble.  The sounds of the emergency sirens going off and us picking up to run only to be told to stay inside because of the crowds.  We had no idea where we were going to go? The borders were closed.  We were sitting ducks on an island just waiting.  I remember not being able to stomach watching the coverage on tv and packing up all of our event supplies to busy myself so that if we did get to leave all was taken care of.  I just remember willing myself to get through this and cry later.  Later that night and the next day seeing deserted streets except for military and wandering loved ones with pictures of those lost in the rubble, just hoping to find them.  People covered in blood and ash and I'm sure countless tears.  Our lives were now changed forever.      

Some things have faded over the years - I don't freeze in fear now when I hear loud sirens.  I'm able to talk about 9/11 without tears in my eyes, today being the exception because today there are always tears. 

I crossed through the tunnel today to the US and felt a pit of anxiety in my stomach so I guess the fear isn't totally gone.  As I write this, I am listening to the names of those who perished being read at the memorial.  It may be slightly morbid but it's my way to give tribute - to sit here and listen to each name, to hear stories from their loved ones and to just be grateful that I am not on that list.  Our lives move along and we think of these moments less and less but today I think it's important to make the time to remember.  To listen to each name and pray for all the souls that went to heaven that day. 

If anything good can come of something so tragic, is is the lesson that life is finite and fragile - we should never take it for granted. We need to live each day in a way that promotes love and freedom and abashment of hate.  To remember that when we are faced with acts of evil or demise, it is up to each of us to sow peace.  That every day something horrible happens in our world but tragedy cannot be what guides us. Let us live our lives in the way that teaches others to walk in peace and be guided by hopeLove with all your heart. Say I love you as often as you can and mean it.  Take the high road.  Forgive easily, even if forgiveness isn't asked forBe selfless.  Give of ourselves and walk by faith that if we put good into the world eventually it will overtake hate. 

There is something in each day to cherish no matter what our circumstances or challenges may be. Look for that with each rising sun or as you say goodnight to the moon.  Live every day in such a way that you would not feel regret when faced with your own mortality.  Be happy.  Make others happy.  Live fully.    Love. Love. Love.

04 September 2015

the arrow

This past weekend was Yoga 4 Hope - a day long fundraising initiative to assist people battling chronic illness.  I spent 6 hours total on my mat being led by different instructors and practicing poses that were both familiar and new to me.  My body was completely exhausted by the end and yet there was a part within me that felt renewed.  I thought of last year's event when after months of isolation I was able to practice with Allie and give her a giant hug. I remember her frail body and yet a spirit so strong.  This year I of course sent my practice out to her but also to other fighters in my life and in the lives of those who I care about. 

That many hours on your yoga mat afford you some time to practice gratitude.  Some days it's hard not to want for more and to be just content with what you have in your life.  To be happy to have a healthy body that can do 6 hours of yoga and meditate.  I have to be honest, there are times when I feel like I am stuck in this circle of perpetual waiting and I'm sick of waiting.  I want to share my life with someone.  I want to have a family with someone. I want to have a home and plan vacations and get kids ready for back to school. I want to have finished going through the "process" and get there.  Maybe it's just my own personality but I feel like when I look at those around me there are some friends who just seem to have it all figured out. Perhaps they do. Or perhaps they are just living day to day without any sort of introspection or growth.  Perhaps it is only by going through these challenges that we accept who we truly are.  Maybe the process is more important than the outcome. 

We are constantly learning - about ourselves and about those in our life.  Sometimes it is in teaching others that we learn more about ourselves.  While we search for perfection, we come to realize that we ourselves are all inherently flawed.  There is no such thing as "perfection." So perhaps in practicing gratitude for what I do have in my life and for the sheer fact that I am going through the process rather than coasting through my life, I will enjoy the journey far more than the outcome.  Perhaps i need to also practice Patience in that what is meant to be will come in the proper time and Acceptance that as much as I want to run down the path, it will come I cannot speed it along.  That just like the arrow, I must be pulled back in order to keep moving forward.  

ps. I think I just decided on my next tattoo......  

the post it.....

As most women in their 30's & 40's will attest, there is a familiarity with the characters of Sex and the City that allow us to feel as though our lives are not spinning out of control; that there are others, whether they be real or fictional, who struggle daily with issues that are similar to our own.  It gives us temporary reassurance that we are not slowly losing our minds as we try to find love. That we are most certainly NOT alone.   There have been other moments in my writing where I make the correlation from Sex & the City to my own life such as the My Charlotte post that still kinda makes me cry because I'm so lucky to have my own Charlotte. Not sure why I am thinking so much of this show as of late, perhaps because I was recently gifted the entire series on DVD which has been my main source of pre-sleep entertainment.  

This week I've been feeling the "Post It Note" breakup. Faced with our current way of dating, we can talk with someone for months forming something of what I like to call the "non-relationship". You meet online and could possibly never even physically meat during this "non-relationship!" Perhaps you share parts of yourself both emotionally and physically but nothing is ever really clarified as to the direction or definition of what exists between you.  It's sorta a relationship but not really. You've connected your life via texting & social media & briefly hanging out but is it definable?  It's totally weird and you don't really know where you stand and I hate it. It's like a constant state of rrelationship limbo.  Then comes end of a "non-relationship" which is usually in either ghosting (where one or both parties just drop off the face of the earth without a goodbye) or by text message; not unlike when Carrie received Bergers break up Post It note.  

What gets me is that when something just abruptly ends, you never get any final closure.  It seems almost cowardly to just walk away without acknowledging that someone was in your life. I've been quite vocal with my thoughts on always saying I Love You and making the time to tell people who come into your life why you think they are great.  This may sound weird to a lot of people as it really makes you put your heart out there on the line but truly in the end, if we make someone's day by telling them how we see them as wonderful people or how they have changed our life, where is the harm? They don't need to say it back to us, that's not the point.  There just needs to be that moment where we acknowledge how each person along our path has made a difference.  

To the left are some of my favourite lyrics from the musical Wicked. I remember seeing this play when Tim & I first separated and I was internally struggling with ending my marriage.  This song hit a certain part of my heart and told me that perhaps this was where I needed to let go. That I had to move forward with my life and be happy - only I was in charge of making that happen.  I had the choice to "cry because it was over or smile because it happened." I was grateful for all the love and people and experiences that I had with Tim but I knew deep down I wasn't happy and it was time.  That his part in my story had come to an end. 

I believe that everyone we share a part of our life with changes us, gives us something or teaches us about ourselves. And inversely we affect their lives in much the same way.  This was something that Mesia brought up in our yoga practice the other day, reflecting on the words of Dr.  Wayne Dyer.  We are all put on this earth and connected together in order to effect change of some sort.  The only way to truly keep moving forward is to acknowledge perhaps why a certain person has come into your life.  Have they taught your or vice versa? Are they a paragraph, a chapter or part of your whole story?

This long rambling post was supposed to have some sort of message....That message seems to be escaping me now ha ha! Well let's just end it with this.  If you like someone say it.  If they have taught you something or helped you to grow in some way, let them know.  If you aren't really into someone, say it don't ghost them as that is just mean and kinda weird.  If you are online dating don't be discouraged by all the weirdos out there.  If you are have been ghosted or post-it noted say your own little goodbye in your head and let them go - they weren't worth the effort and that paragraph had to end.  Keep moving forward.  Keep your heart open.  Love freely.  Wear protection!