A Better Boat

It’s that time of year again but this year I decided not to count the minutes, the days or the months that I have been here on this earth. (But I may do a cute post with a sign that says how many months old I am) ha

Counting just makes it seem that much longer and make the hand on the clock move that much faster. I am learning to try and slow the fuck down. I breathe in, I breathe out.

I started writing this blog a few days before my 47th birthday. For the simple reason of time. It flies by, there is not enough of it, time is precious, of the essence, an illusion, on my side, it heals wounds, time is not wasted if you enjoy doing what you are doing. And that is EXACTLY it. I am enjoying everything that I am doing.

This past year I have learned so much personally and professionally. I have dug deep and looked on the inside on what I needed to work on, what my triggers are and the things I need to fix to continue to evolve. And I have done the same with others. I have felt their energy, sadness and fear, happiness and relief, bitterness and resentment. Authenticity and fake. It was a year of digging, learning and clearing. I have increased awareness to interpret myself and others much deeper than before on so many different levels. And I wanted to share what I have learned during year 46.

Lately, it has been the onion and the mask. Reading, thinking and trying to figure it all out. Let’s remove the first layer of the onion my friends. Take off the mask. Behave and appear the same everyday and everywhere. Stop hiding your authentic self. Although I have seen many “true colors shining through” this last year. Do the inner work!! Once you dig you will realize what a great person you are. Lose the ego. Peel back the layers and be yourself. Stop following the crowds, and show up where you want, when you want and most importantly walk in without a mask. Throw it in the trash. Because guess what? That is exactly where it belongs.. And I don’t give a shit what town or county you live in or what car you drive or how big your house is. You are all amazing, beautiful beings. Show the real you. Thinka bout this...After the mask comes off, begin peeling off all of the layers. What's left?

" I ain't lonely, but I spend a lot of time alone. More than I'd like too. But I'm okay with staying home. My how the last few months have changed. I'm smiling more despite the pain"

Yes!! I am not sure what happened. From extrovert to introvert!! I am actually proud to have this come out of mouth. Most treat introverts as weird  or a personality trait. Some just get physically exhausted by spending a lot of time with other people. I have found that I need alone time to rest and recharge so I can continue to do what I do everyday. I sit and enjoy life without being in constant motion with others. Maybe it's because I am now 100% aware and tapped into those who are authentic and those who are not and I prefer to be around authenticity. I choose wisely.

Happy Hump Day, July 18th. I am back continuing the blog for what I have learned during year 46.There is so much I want to write and it may just be a mish mosh of crap so bare with me.

Let’s go back to 1973. I was two years old and I specifically remember watching The Wizard of Oz belly down with my hands under my chin, close to the big, old school, hand channel changer tv with 2, 4,5, 7, 11 and 13. I buried my head everytime that scary, green faced, screechy wicked witch with those cheesy long ass nails would come on the screen. It didn't take so long for me to stare at the screen and look her straight in the eyes. After 45 years of watching this movie over and over again I always found a new meaning. A deeper meaning. But nothing as deep as this amazing book I discovered just a few months ago. I have shared it in class but feel the need to share it today, on my 47th Birthday. This movie is a part of me. It always was and always will be.

“It is a story we remember, believe, and cherish in our hearts. To each generation, the story rises and blooms anew in the psyche. It is a story invested with all of our potentials and highest ideals, as well as our shadows and terrors.  It speaks to the basic human need for companionship. It is innocent and sincere. As it remembers a golden age in our past, it simultaneously portrays a technological golden age in the immediate future. We find the security of place, the assurance that we have in us a sufficiently of capacities to confront evil and survive, and the ability to trust in our own enormous untapped potentials.  Then, like Dorothy, we can come back and re-green the wasteland, the Kansas of our lives. We are OZ. In any mythic structure we may identify with the hero, but in truth we contain all of the characters. Dorothy might be any one of us. Or we might be the Tin Man in our longing to feel loving connections, the Scarecrow seeking our true intelligence, or the Cowardly Lion seeking courage. We contain the Great and Powerful Wizard. What would happen if we dared to dip into this high and holy magic within ourselves??”-The Wizard of Us.

This movie has so many lessons that so many of us can learn from and The Wizard of Us is one book that I am learning from everyday. It just makes sense to me. I can relate 100%.

For many years on this earth, I cared so much of what others thought of me. The last few, specifically this last I have finally removed that completely out of my head. It no longer exists. Theo Roosevelt said it best “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do” That is character!”

I have taken the time to really figure out who I would like in my life. Those who I value, respect and trust and those who respect and value me just the same. Those who are real, who lead and don’t follow. The people who can understand and accept decisions I have made or need to make and some were harder than others that’s for sure. Each decision has been a true lesson and wake up call that goes back to wearing masks and living a truly authentic life. I have made a commitment to myself to send only love, kindness and sympathy to those who portrayed themselves to be something they are not. I have let go of the situations that have occured. From phony emails and phone calls to cards and letters blowing smoke up my ass saying how much I changed their lives and then once things didn’t go their way; the real people under those masks appeared.

“A balanced individual is free to make the choice to change something if they’re comfortable with feedback that may be unflattering”-Wayne Dyer

Oh boy, did I get feedback. Ha ha.

I will continue to go on a rampage of appreciation rather than discussing the evils of the world and take every opportunity to continue to radiate joy whether you are on my side or not. Today, as I am approaching my 47th birthday I am sending nothing but hug and kisses to the evils of my world and everyday hope that halos are given and pitchforks are thrown in the trash along with the masks. Thank you for the lessons.

Boundaries.

Now this has taken a long time for sure and I am still working on it and the first step has been to practice self-awareness personally and professionally. SUKHA is a place of business and not a free for all. I will no longer allow a student or teacher to dictate or demand how I operate. I am always open to suggestions and there is now a suggestion box in the studio. In the beginning of my journey I have let too much get by. I have had past students drive to my house and threaten me if I raised prices, I have had negative comments thrown at me if I did not come around with oils, etc...Of course we all know people such as these have so much inner work to do. They just don’t seem to get the true meaning of yoga. With that being said, in November of 2017, I had felt like I failed as a teacher. With the number one thing coming to mind-”Did they not listen to ANY of my dharma talks? Holy shit, all the time and preparation and they still don’t get it but that’s okay. I get it now. I now fully understand that not everyone thinks they have healing to do and that many only think of yoga for the physical benefit or a social hour. Some people make situations so easy to walk away from. (Especially when you have a bird chirping in your ear front and center that likes to stir the pot)

I will continue to share even if some don’t fully understand the real reason why I am here

and what I am teaching and sharing. I congratulate everyone of my students who are on their authentic journey and practice yoga for the work-in.

As far as the personal boundaries go, well; I believe I am almost there with certain people that will unfortunately be in my life for a long time.

"I breathe in. I breathe out. What ain't working, what's still hurting. All the things I feel like cussing out."

Always remember, no person, no place, and no thing has any power over you, for you are the only thinker in the situations you create. When you create peace, harmony and balance in your mind you will find it in your life.
 

Competition.

It is only a word. Something I do not want to participate in. When I first opened SUKHA I was expecting peace, love and happiness from all and that was not the case. But again. That’s okay.  When it comes to the “C” word the best thing for me to do is mind my own business and that is exactly how I operate. I still struggle with others stealing Intellectual Property. Everyday I try to now to send peace to those who can’t seem to think for themselves, it’s been challenging, but I’m getting there. I am always flattered, but it still gets me heated. The hours and time brainstorming for someone else to steal? Ugh.

From the bottom of my heart, all yogis are welcome to SUKHA to practice. Not to spy,or have any alternative motive but to practice. And keep in the back of your mind that SUKHA is not only for beginners and we leave egos at the door and continue to keep it real. On the mat and off. On the screen and off. My wish is for yoga instructors all over the world to share this beautiful practice with as many people as possible and from the  heart, I wish you all nothing but the best on this magical, yet challenging venture. Always remember to be yourself. Teach how you want to teach and what feels right to you. Be your authentic self and teach that way. Let go of the script and teach from your heart. Your book and your lessons. Make people smile.

Healing.

Even at this age I am healing every freakin day. Healing from old wounds, present day bruises and learning to accept things that I can’t change.

I am trying to figure myself out and this is just the emotional healing. What I have learned is that any physical problems are caused from emotional issues that we carry and hold on to and I have many. This year I have found the root cause of a few and have found ways to heal through juice, essential oils, and making a change to my diet and letting go and removing blockages caused by people, places, and food.

To end this mish mosh of a blog, I would like to end with this:

I am proud of my flaws and I have so many and I will continue to work on them everyday.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

“We are each responsible for all of our experiences.

Every thought we think is our future.

The point of power is always in the present moment.

Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt.

The bottom line for everyone is, “I’m not good enough”.

It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.

We create every so-called illness in our body.

Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.

Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.

We must release the past and forgive everyone.

We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves.

Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are keys to positive change.

When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”-Louise Hay

Thank you for reading, learning, practicing and sharing with me everyday. It’s going to be a great ride and I wouldn’t jump off just yet if I were you. :)

"I think I'm stronger than I was. I breathe in, I breathe out. I got friends to call who let me talk about. What ain't working, what'still hurting. All the things I feel like cussing out. Now and then I let go around the waves I can't control. I'm learning how to build a better boat"-Kenny Chesney

Listen to it here. It's a good one! (Amy may even like it) :)

 

 

To My Graduate.

June 19, 2018

Well, today is the day!! You are graduating 8th grade at Brielle. It feels like yesterday when you started and you probably don’t remember but you didn’t want to leave my side. I hope you never do.

Patrick, I wanted to write you this today to tell you how extremely proud I am of you. You worked really hard in school and in everything you put your mind to. Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and school work. This year I received emails that I didn’t want to get, but that’s okay. It’s all part of growing up and ready to “get out” of the school you have been in for years. I get it. As long as you learned a lesson from each one. Remember that I will ALWAYS have your back if you are not at fault or blamed for something you did not do. (I will always ask for proof and do my homework)

You are starting a new chapter in your book and I know that you will continue to work hard at everything that you do. Continue to stay focused in school and on the field and you will go far in this life. Respect your teachers, coaches and peers. Be a leader and not a follower. Stay healthy. For you only have one body in this life and you need to take good care of it.

Have fun, but learn how to balance it all. Study!! If there is one thing that does not come easy to both you and I, that’s school work; but that’s okay. Work hard, play hard, show up, listen and lift others and it will all pay off.

Remember that having fun does not mean drinking just because you are in High School or because others are doing it or because others think it’s cool. It’s really not that cool and definitely not all that fun and it will make you slow, sick, silly and chubby. Make good decisions, not stupid ones. Choose your friends and girlfriends wisely. Observe and take note carefully of peers and their parents. Children are a reflection of their parents. Keep those eyes wide open.

Be a sponge. Listen and learn.

Be a player on the field and not with the girls.

Think for yourself. Do not let others talk you into doing something that doesn’t feel right. Always go with your gut, listen to your heart and always ask dad or I if you are not sure; whatever it may be.

I look forward to this next chapter in your life and I am so happy that I am able to watch you everyday grow into the man you are becoming.

You are and always will be the man of my house (12 years and many more) and the sunshine of my life. There are so many days I wish I could still rock you to sleep, and lay in my bed and watch movies with you. I miss that and I hope one day you will ask me to watch a movie or ride bikes, or have a race. Time went by too fast and I miss my little boy.

Please continue to shine bright. Smile always. Stand tall. Walk with your head high always. Stay sweet. Respect all life especially the girls. Be true to your feelings and be honest with them. Remember, lying gets you nothing but caught. Especially with me. (ha)

Shake hands always with a firm grip, look people in the eyes, say thank you, hold doors for everyone, play the game on the field, in the classroom and in life. I know sometimes its hard, but you have to do it in order to win this amazing game called LIFE.

I love you Patrick James. Congrats on 8th Grade Graduation.

 

A Blog about a Boutonniere

I felt the need to write last night. My mind was non-stop. I knew what was on my mind, but not sure how to get it all out.

Last night was the 8th Grade Dance. The "Last Dance".

For months, Patrick was going solo until the day before. Kelsey and I were thrilled by who decided to ask a beautiful and smart young lady, but as a busy mom, last minute running around is not fun. But this time it was. Shoes, a tie, a hair cut and bonding. Late Monday night it dawned on me about FLOWERS!! Crap. Amy to the rescue! The first thought was a Succulent for Patrick. Not sure why, but it was the first thought and it was perfect. Keeping reading on how it all comes together.

My stomach was torn up with emotions that as always, I held back. This is hitting me pretty hard. High School. College. Life. My baby. The man of my house. 

Anyway, the night went like this....

5:30 pm pictures at my house with Patrick, Kelsey, Woody and I. The Perfectly Imperfect Divorced Parents. The tide was up and the train was flying by. The ducks, the birds, the perfect breeze and two sets of the most beautiful blue eyes a brown eyed mother would only have look at her in her dreams. Smiling, making jokes and of course hitting one another on a creaky, old, white-washed gazebo that is just perfect at high tide and mucky and buggy at low tide with the train still cruising by no matter what. I love the train and I love mud. No mud. No lotus. You first have to sit in the mud. In life's terms, the work and suffering that we put in are what yield in return, the reward. (I don't mean a bigger house or money. For me anyway.)

You see, when I first moved to Brielle someone asked me, "Where do you live"? I was confused because our kids both went to Brielle and you have to be a resident. I answered. Her response."Oh, "over there". Slightly taken back by response I asked what exactly does that mean? Response "On the "Other Side of the Tracks". Tracks? What Tracks? The Rail Road Tracks? You see I love the train. My grandmother lived in the Bronx. No air, windows always open, the sounds of horns honking and the train chugging, hissing, screeching and whistling. Music to my ears!! A small home, by the tracks, low tide or hide, it doesn't matter. Less is more. Noise can be calming. Silence and sterile can be sad and lonely.

Still torn about the reasoning for this blog I was starring at the Instagram post I posted on my personal page. swiping and swiping. Looking and thinking about the afternoon, the "photo party in the hills", the breathtaking view, the beautiful young teens, the parents, and my son and his friends. Then I figured it all out. It all came together.

The first photo is Patrick and I on the gazebo with the tracks and the "creek" in the background, the second was Patrick and his date on the River up in "the hills", the third photo is Patrick and his two friends, then Lilly and Patrick, Kesley and Patrick and Patrick solo.

You see the three boys in the photo are all sons of hardworking, very strong, single moms that continue to work their asses off for their children and continue to thrive everyday.

 Next pic....LILLY!!!! Patrick and Lilly have been best friends for years. They are one! Most Athletic and friends until the end. I admire and look up to this young lady so much than I can say or write in any blog or any book. Before I continue I want to say that from the teens I did see, everyone looked beautiful and handsome, but Lilly stole the show!!! Classic white button down, pink khaki pants, a low, wind blown pony, clear, bright, natural ,glowing, freckled skin and a smile that projected her confidence across the river. Come to find out Patrick and Lilly spoke the evening before about the dance. She did not want to go. I am not sure of the entire conversation, but what I do know is, real friends stick together. Through the mud and the rough waters. Friends help each other up when they are feeling down. Friends are confidence boosters and a support system. Lilly, continue to be you. Less is more. Walk with your head high ALWAYS.

Still confused about this blog? So am I. Here's the deal.....

SUCCULENTS.

They are difficult to kill and require little maintenance.

 

They are grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.

They survive in HARSH climates.

They're reflections and reminders of our existence and consciousness. The colorful leaves brighten up any room. They are living Mandalas. (means circle in Sanskrit)

The circle center of our power is the third chakra. Solar Plexus. It is the center of will power, personal power, confidence, responsibility, reliability, self-esteem and warmth in your personality.

Succulents and Mandalas. Both like art, just like every photo that I described. We overcome situations that gives us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do. We learn how to make it work by making it work. Just like three single moms, a teen putting it all together within one day  and a natural beauty inside and out, showing up. HER WAY.

Lastly....

No mud. No Lotus.

"Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow".

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong,

 

The happy, single mom, living on the tracks in the mud. 

Proudly.

 

Be a Succulent