Monday, August 31, 2015

Six Years Later

Six years ago today, an eight-year-old boy went to the emergency room because he had a severe cough.  What no one realized at the time was that he was actually having a stroke.  Next morning, as all his classmates were getting up - ready to head back to school after a long summer vacation - he took his last breath.

His name was Yuto.  He was my cousin's only child.  The end of his life was the beginning of my spiritual journey.  Because how could you not wake up?  How could you keep on living in the same old way, when you are looking at your own child and it hits you - He doesn't have a protective bubble around him. He can be taken away from you just as easily.

It took a long time for me to come to terms with everything.  It seemed so unfair.  It didn't make sense.  Eventually, I got to the point where I accepted what happened and promised myself that I would enjoy and live my life to the fullest so that his passing would not be in vain.  And every year, on the first of September, I would assess my life to see if I was living up to that promise.

This year, I'm noticing a slight but a significant change.  Rather than just saying that I should be enjoying my life to the fullest, I'm at a point now where I know I DESERVE to enjoy my life to the fullest.  (In fact, we ALL do.)  Rather than be somber all day long, I want to do things that make me happy.  I feel like that will make Yuto infinitely more happy than having me sit there and be sad, or worse, sit there and criticise myself for not living my life to the fullest.

So, my husband and I took my oldest, who is also eight years old this year, to Manhattan this past weekend.  Just the three of us, so that we can give him our full attention even if it was for a few hours.  We went to a show and enjoyed a delicious dinner.  The full moon that night, as well as the Manhattan skyline, was gorgeous.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I loved everyone and everything in this universe.  And that, I think, was the best tribute I could ever make to a boy who headed toward heaven with a most peaceful smile on his face.

If you've read this thing all the way through, I have a favor to ask of you.  Please do something right now, right this minute, that will make you feel happy.  If not for me, then for yourself and for Yuto.  He didn't leave this world early to make us live in fear that our life or our children's lives will be cut short.  He's teaching us that if we have something we'd like to do, do it now!  If you have someone that you love in your life, tell them now!  Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may....


P.S. Hmm, I seem to have walked right into yet another Melodysheep video!

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Song Stuck in My Head

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head?  I've got Melodysheep's "We Are All Connected" stuck in my head right now.  If you've never heard of Melodysheep, he digitally alters footage from television and movies to create very unique songs.  He has a whole album of songs called Symphony of Science in which you'll see well known scientists singing (and rapping!).

For me, if I get a song stuck in my head, it's a signal that I need to pay attention to the lyrics.  It's like the universe communicates to me through songs.  Sometimes, the message is obvious.  It cues me up to the exact lyric I need to hear.  Sometimes, I have to keep singing the song until I get to the part that's relevant.

I've had this current song stuck in my head for a few days now.  I thought it was because I needed to appreciate everyone in this world.  To keep working on feeling connected to the universe.  Now, I'm starting to feel like it was because I'm supposed to blog about it.  Someone somewhere is supposed to find this song, and I'm part of the web (quite literally) that leads that person to it. 

So, I trust the universe and put this out there.  I hope it reaches the person it's supposed to reach.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Baby Steps

One of the hardest parts of making changes in your life, whether mental or physical, is that it takes a while for us to unlearn our old habits and create a new one.  I am trying to make changes both mentally and physically right now, and I'm proud of how much I've grown mentally.  But the physical changes are simply not happening for me.

The frustrating part is that I started working on the physical changes first.  I was exclusively breastfeeding my baby so I had to eliminate dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, and a plethora of other foods from my diet when he developed eczema about 2-3months after he arrived.  It helped my son a lot, but as for me and my eczema, things got worse.  I think a lot of it has to do with my stopping the use of my steroid creams around the same time and going through what is called Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW).   From what I read on the ITSAN website, this is a long, drawn out detox process, and it will take several years for me to be completely better because I've been using steroid creams for decades.  Still, it gets pretty frustrating not seeing much of an improvement after 9 months.

Thankfully, I have three wonderful children who teache me countless invaluable lessons everyday.  Right now, I've got a little one who is showing me, quite literally, that learning a new skill or making changes in your life is all about baby steps.  My son took his first step on Independence Day (of all days!).  It was more of a shuffle or a shifting of foot position than anything else, but it was the beginning.  Three days later, he took three steps.  At that point, we could definitely categorize that as "walking".  He seemed to be stuck on taking 6 to 8 steps then falling on his tush, but after a month, he was walking more than crawling.  Now, he walks most of the time, and he squeals with delight at each step!  If he falls, he doesn't get frustrated or give up and cry.  He just stands right back again and keeps on walking.

And THAT, I think is the most important lesson I'm learning from him.  We forget how difficult it is to learn something new, and get frustrated with ourselves when we fall off the wagon or the changes don't happen as quickly as we would like.  But we just need to keep going.  We need to keep taking small, baby steps and rejoice at every steps that we do take!  We have to learn to walk before we can run, and each step you take brings you closer to your ultimate goal. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

I'm Getting My Voice Back!

Hello, everyone! It's been a long, looong maternity leave! LOL! Truth be told, it actually was 2 back-to-back maternity leaves. Yep, that's right. Just as I was beginning to think I might start going back online again, I found out I was pregnant once more, so I never bothered to restart. I'm a mother of three now, and my youngest just turned one. My daughter, who was only a few months old in the last post, is getting ready to start Pre-K this September.

So, obviously, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. Adjusting to new life changes and being trusted by the universe to take care of little lives definitely forces you to dig deep within yourself, and I've learned much during these 3 and a half years. The past year in particular has been really intense, with website after website and books after books presenting themselves to me exactly at the right time, just when I needed it the most.

 The most important thing that I've learned is to be true to myself and to accept myself without judgement. This, I realize now, means I have to love and take care of myself before I can truly love and take care of others. I had allowed my life to revolve completely around my children because I thought that's what good mothers did. But in hind sight, all it did was make me build up this suppressed resentment that I had no time for myself, which caused me to be constantly stressed and short tempered. And then, of course, I would beat myself up because I got frustrated and angry with them! In my mind that was definitely not something a "good" mom was supposed to do. It was a vicious cycle.

There are 3 books in particular that has helped me turn things around. One is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book showed me how important it is to love myself and challenged me to search deep within to figure out why I hated myself so much. The second book is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I got this book to read with my oldest son since I remembered enjoying it when I was younger. What I didn't remember (or realize back then) was how deeply spiritual this book is. It gave me exactly the messages I needed at exactly the right time. And I learned how important it is to "Do as you wish". The third book, which I just finished reading, reconfirmed what I had learned and refined some of the awarenesses that I had. It's called Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani. This is a book detailing how her terminal lymphoma was cured after a near-death experience. Her description of the afterlife and the spiritual dimention really meshed with my own beliefs about them, and it really reinforced the need to value and love myself exactly as I am, warts and all. (In my case, eczema and all!)

So that's where this blog comes in. I am searching deep within and piecing together my true identity.  Since I was so caught up in the daily chaos of motherhood, I had forgotten it.  But deep down, I am an artist and a writer. And I have things that I want to express to the world. If I truly want to be happy, I have to allow that "Self" to shine. I have to follow my wishes, as Bastian did in The Never Ending Story, and trust that I am always going in the right direction.