Thursday, August 31, 2017

Everything Can Change in a Second...

The day started with a four hour training session in Healthcare. My head was inundated with information but it didn't end there, I had to go back to my School and get four more hours of training, added to the eight I had the day before.

It didn't go by fast but at the end of a productive long two days of Information Overload, I felt content, grateful it was over for now and even a bit more confident!

I got home and found a delicious meal being served by my loving husband. I had this enormous feeling of gratitude to live in a beautiful place, have a loving family, surround myself with a great group of people who work as a team to make a huge difference in the lives of so many families. Can life get any better I thought to myself?

At that moment my phone reminded me that I had a voice message I had received while going around from training to training. The call was from the Radiology nurse. I was actually looking forward to the call, last week the doctor had decided to do a biopsy on a tiny spot he'd been watching, he just wanted to be certain. I'm sure it's scar tissue he said, I agreed, there's no cases in my family, I take care of myself and am very healthy, so I picked up the voice message on a speaker for my husband to stop worrying and we heard the nurse saying "Mrs. Shaffer can you please return my call I'd like to discuss the results of your Biopsy."

At that second I knew that my life was about to change....

Soon my physical body will change and I'll have to endure some very unexpected pain, but that's just the car that I decided to drive during this Life Adventure. My Spirit however will hop on the Shooting Star I'm about to ride and soar with it wherever it takes me.

Because Everything Can Change in a Second...

Hugs xoxo

Monday, August 14, 2017

Insatiable Curiosity!?...

Looking back at my life I realize I've always had what could be considered an obsession to finding out the answers. I used to think that was just a normal curiosity that everyone had so I never gave it a second thought, but the older I get I can now consider it more like an insatiable curiosity, if I want to know something I search for the answers non stop, that has led me to trust my intuition more and more, although it has also led me to have more questions that invariably arise from the answers.

Curiosity to what you ask? to anything and everything, to life, to death, to all the mysteries that arise from being a sentient thinker living in this realm experiencing life in the Broadest Possible Spectrum that exists in all of Creation.

I've always been a sceptic and never really a scholar, so I've had to rely on hours, weeks, months, years of research just to vaguely understand who we are, why we're here, what's our purpose, is there anything else, do we come back, who are the others, friends or foes, duality, dimensions, spirituality, religion, science, collective consciousness, quantum physics, sets of beliefs, the shadow and so many other things and the more answers I find that make sense to me and my intuition tells me I should pay attention to the more the questions arise.

So what do you do when you have some answers but still have so many questions, I guess if that was a question I had to answer to win a contest that at the same time would satisfy all that part of my life I've spent trying to get all the answers, I would have to say "I Trust Life!" and that alone satiates my "Insatiable Curiosity!"

Hugs xoxo


Saturday, July 22, 2017

I Learned it All from Soccer...

I was born in the early 1950s in Mexico City. Back in those days and especially in my country of birth sports were not as popular with girls as they were with boys. I was never really interested in sports, I used to take ballet and piano lessons and always loved doing crafts of any kind, but that's a whole other story.

The only sports I've always loved watching are those where art prevails, like figure skating or gymnastics, I did try both of those when I was young but I was never very good at them, not sure why, perhaps I thought of myself as more fragile than I really was. I remember feeling afraid to try anything that went outside of my abilities. I tried many times to break that fear by attempting to learn sports like water or snow skiing, swimming, biking, running, even walking, but anytime I get into the habit of them something comes along to distract me from the consistent practice of a physical activity and every time I drop it, it takes me forever to get back.

The one sport that I really couldn't care less about because I've been inundated with it all my life is Soccer. That was the preferred sport where I grew up and lived the first 25 yrs., then when I became a mom my two kids became soccer players from the age of 3 and I was at every single practice and game for the next 10+ years.

Back in my childhood I had two brothers, my older brother was always focused on business and my younger brother David had Soccer in his heart. He had muscular dystrophy and by the age of 9 he was on a wheelchair so he never had a chance to play the sport he loved to watch, dream and talk about. "Gol del America!!!!" I remember him screaming when his favorite team scored. He might not have been on the field with his physical body, but he was in his heart and soul. He had created this simple quad notebook where he would cut 3 of the 4 sides of the little squares all over two pages side by side. They were cut in strategic areas and then he lifted as if it was a player standing up. Then he would roll a tiny little paper ball, make a goalie on each side and let the games begin.

He would make up his own games and became the player, announcer, referee even the team owner. He kept track of his games and his favorite team wasn't always the winner.

At the time I remember watching him and being in awe of what a great soccer announcer he was and now looking back I can see that he wasn't only living the game he was playing in it. I know that if he had lived longer he could have been a Soccer Announcer and become very loved and admired because of his strength of heart, passion for what he loved and the kindness and patience of an angel. I don't ever remember him complaining about his lot in life.

My uncles and cousins were also fans and players, I believe to this day some still play and so do their sons. Soccer was played at school and at the park, all you really need to play soccer is a flat field a black and while ball and a bunch of people of any age, race, social status, ability, gender, who want to run around kicking the ball and try to get it to hit that net that's being carefully guarded.

The years went on and I got remarried to an Italo/Argentinian. Are there any two groups of people who love soccer more? It turns out my husband feels the same way I do about soccer, but his son and now mine, who happens to live with us, LOVES!!!! and has been playing Soccer his whole life.

So these are just a few of the many things I've learned from Soccer.

No matter how good you are at it, how much money you make from it, how many people admire your skills, or how many goals you've scored, you still need a team who helps you along, who's not competing against you but rather giving you their gifts and talents so that you can score. And when you score they feel the same joy that you do because this is a team effort, just like family.

I'm convinced that even though David never got to play soccer, he felt as if he did, it gave him a reason to dream and not focus so much on his pain, it allowed him to feel passionate about something and it brought him many hours of entertainment, focus and excitement!

Even though I still don't care for soccer and wouldn't sit to watch a game by myself including the World Cup Finals, I have enjoyed every second that I've watched my brother, children, uncles, cousins, classmates, friends, neighbors play or get excited watching their team win. I get emotional when one of the countries where I have lived and felt at home wins a game. I have a foster son from Croatia that I haven't seen for years but I know how much he loves Soccer, so every time I hear the Croatian team won a game I think of him with love and joy.

Life is a simple game we play at every moment that doesn't require much, especially when we can play it together as a team.

"I Learned it All from Soccer"

Hugs xoxo

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My Bucket List....

I was thinking about the items I have on my personal "Bucket List". Although I will confess that I've never really sat down to write a list or place each item in order of importance. I've been wanting to do that but I probably don't because if I want to pick one item to be my No. 1 I wouldn't know which one, they are all good and crossing off any of them will bring me just as much Joy.

I decided to start a list but rather than just numbering them, I will dedicate a whole blog entry to each one of them to remind myself of why it is that I think of it as part of that precious list I carry in my heart.

Today I was thinking of one in particular because of a song I was listening to while relaxing in the tub in the weee hours, when I wake up every morning of the week and use that time to watch fantastic videos that help me understand life better in every aspect and answer all my deepest questions. And sometimes I'm just in the mood to listen to my favorite music and this morning was one of them.

I was listening to happy upbeat music and some romantic old fashioned love songs and when Adam Levin started singing "The Way You Look Tonight" my Heart started to beat faster. Immediately I started to envision that Item I was talking about.

I have to go back to when I was a young child, my circumstances always threw me in the direction of dreams which in many cases became realities because I felt the emotions by living the dream in my mind, heart and many of my actions.

This items contains many of my yet to be fulfilled dreams of a well lived lifetime. I see my husband and I having this lovely party to celebrate our marriage, we got married in a beautiful Court right in front of the Pacific Ocean but there was nobody around to celebrate of witness the decision we had made to spend sharing each other as partners for the rest of our lives.  This will be perhaps in Argentina where his family is, with our four children there to celebrate with us.

We will take a professional dance class to have our first Dance as husband and wife, even though we've already been married almost 4 yrs. this June, we've yet to dance. Our first dance will be to the song "La Mer" because it was the song we chose as ours since we became friends years before we even thought one day we'd be husband and wife and the second song will be to "The Way You Look Tonight" sang by Adam Levine, who we will invite and he'd probably say hmmmm that's a good idea lets go to Argentina and travel around the country. And I even see us getting along as couples and going together to visit Patagonia with them :)

So there you have my first Item of my personal "Bucket List" in no particular order though.

Whichever Item I get to cross off that list I will be forever in gratitude as I am with all of the other ones that have come before and those that might come after.

What's in your "Bucket List?"

Hugs xoxo

Friday, April 21, 2017

"By George I think I Got It!"...

We've all had one of those "I Got It! moments when something so simple that was there all along was the answer to all your questions.

A few months ago I stumbled into a YouTube channel called Mindalia Television that I recommend to anyone who understands Spanish well enough to listen to all the different perceptions and views there are out there and the many levels of understanding or even Enlightenment which is growing every day.

You can spend months listening to all the different information and might even become confused with it all, the best part for me is that it's all free access to anyone who wants to know, those of us who are in search of answers to Mysteries of Life and beyond; it's not because of the cost as much as that fact alone gives it more credibility to me because nobody is trying to sell you an idea, they are just expressing or sharing on their views and you make the decision of what clicks with yours.

What I do is I pay attention to the similarities they have, the things they all have in common and I make my own conclusions combining what they say with what makes sense to me according to my own life Adventure as I've always chosen to call it which now I understand is actually wherever I'm at in my own level of Consciousness.

If I go back to what I've written here over the years before I knew any of this information existed, I realize I always knew what my heart was telling me was right, that life is simple, that everything is LOVE, that we are all one creating our own individual experience in order to reconnect back to "Oneness" as it's called and that the talents and dreams that we come with are there for a reason and just have to focus on doing what we LOVE which is what we ARE and let life flow as it comes, just like the River does, instead of living in FEAR which is not what we ARE.

This last month I've been focusing on this one man's perception of LIFE as we know it and it all clicked for me.

He goes into every aspect of LIFE and much more than that with as much detail and uses metaphors that we can all relate to. Like for example he says we are not our bodies or minds or even emotions, all those are "bodies" individual from each other. So we have our physical body, our emotional body and our mind body and then there's us, pure consciousness, pure energy, pure LOVE.

He puts the example of the physical body as the car we ride in for this life Adventure we chose. We don't identify with it or any of the other bodies that drive us through this Adventure, we just take care of them and use them for the purpose they were created for, the mind is to read a book, learn a subject, you don't identify with it either, you are the observer, not the thinker.

I won't go into all of the rest, everyone has to make their own interpretation to suit their level of consciousness, the point here is that when something comes to my life that makes sense to me and that something resonates with every cell in my body I feel a total sense of relief, as if I was carrying a heavy load and all of a sudden I feel like skipping in the park like I did when I was a little girl. That's the best description I can give it.

I may not "like" every thought that comes into my "Mind Body" every emotion in my "Emotional Body" or everything in my "Physical Body" but since I don't identify with them and they are the ones I decided to "Embody" when I came down into this 3D Adventure I give them my essence which is LOVE and that makes me LOVE the Adventure for all that it is and flow with it.

"By George I Think I Got It!"

Hugs xoxo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Storyteller...

It's been a while since I wrote, for me writing takes mostly inspiration, in other words I have to be "In Spirit", but it also takes time, commitment, passion, heart or at least a couple of those components and lately my life is undergoing many changes, twists and turns and I'm focusing mostly on that.

I get inspired to write about something all the time, but lately when that happens my mind is either too tired to let the words flow or I'm doing something else at the moment.

I'm convinced that I was born to be a "Storyteller". I believe I've always known that but what I didn't know when I was growing up was that you're not supposed to postpone what "You're Born to Be", judge yourself for the way you do it or compare with others that do it as well. I grew up knowing that I had to do better than I did, I was told that by my parents, teachers, surrounded by others who did do it better than I did, I just got by. Looking back I realize that one of the reasons I never became passionate about anything while I was growing up like others did was the way school was taught and my own personal abilities to learn.

Now that I've been working for the school system and see how diligent they are at addressing every single child and teaching them the best way the child learns better, I realize how much of the education I was offered I missed because I just couldn't focus on all that information they offered me, I could retain some things but others I couldn't, my mind would wonder into this Magical World of Storytelling.

I could make up stories about anything as far back as I can remember. I believe that if school had been taught in a Storytelling manner I would have learned better, but it took me till I was living alone, on my own for the first time in my life, in my late 50s to realize this and now in my 60s I've only begun to scrape the surface of all those stories that I've held inside for so many years that seem like so many lifetimes ago, now only a handful of those millions of stories are still somewhat clear in my mind.

There are many ways that we engage in stories, it can be something as simple as someone next to us riding the bus home at the end or the beginning of the workweek, a total stranger we had never seen before or most likely will never see again, he or she has a story to tell like we all do, all that story needs is an audience other than yourself so it can be told, so if you were to engage in a short conversation with that stranger you may know things about them that could change your instant interpretation of them while perhaps identifying with a part of their story. And just by you listening to their story you are allowing it to be told. The person telling their story will get some sense of relief because having a story in your mind can weigh you down or excite you and by being able to tell someone about it you're either sharing on the burden or the excitement while connecting through it with another soul.

This is more evident than ever in this era of Technology, all you have to do is look at almost any site, especially those with platforms that lend themselves to the telling of one's own personal story which are in fact the most successful ones, ie. Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Instagram, Youtube, any dating site, but it doesn't even have to be just Social Media it's also any company that has created a Website,

I know at least for myself that if I'm going to look at a company I have the habit of looking at the area where it says ABOUT US and the reason I do that is because I like humanizing the experience no matter if it is to buy a pair of shoes, some business cards or deposit at the Bank, I feel more of a connection when I realize there is someone behind all these words on a screen that are offering me a product or a service. Just like we did before the Internet changed the way we live our lives.

The other day I came up with some quotes that made a lot of sense to me:

"The plain fact is that the Planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restores, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success the way we have defined it".
~ David W. Orr - Ecological Literacy: "Educating our Children for a Sustainable World".

"The purpose of a Storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon".
~ Brandon Sanderson - "The Way of Kings".

We all have a story to tell and we all have the need for someone to listen to our story and at least for myself I want my story to be an ADVENTURE!

 Envision your story on a large movie screen and ask yourself "Would I go see that movie, is it interesting, will it hold my attention, is it going to make me laugh and cry and feel every emotion intensely, do I like how the music in the background makes me feel, did it teach me something, was it worth my time, how do I feel when I walk out of the theater, uplifted and energetic, sad and drained or perhaps with anger, fear or despair?

Would I read the book and buy the movie when it comes out on video so I can watch it again and again or will it be one of those movies that we see once when it comes out on TV in the weee hours of the morning when there is nothing else to watch and when you're 1/2 way through the movie you realize you already saw it once and didn't care for it?

Go make your life what you want it to be so you can be in total harmony with the story you tell. Believe me it's worth it, I know, I'm The Storyteller....

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Let Go and Go With the Flow...

I always felt different, I'm sure we all do, but to me it manifested by not feeling at home anywhere outside of me and I must admit that for most of my life I was not comfortable inside either. I went through many ups and downs in my journey and when I was up I was flying high and would cling on to the feeling for as long as I could as if already knowing it wouldn't last, this was way before I started to realize that I was creating my own reality, I had no idea it was those very thoughts that were writing the next Chapters of my Life.

I don't feel shortchanged because I didn't know then what I'm starting to understand at this stage of my life, I feel fortunate and with so much gratitude that I was able to get to the point where I finally understand what it takes to grow, evolve, be grateful for every experience, to Make Life Happen On Purpose and With Purpose and look forward to what's yet to come.

Now I can actually wake up in the morning excited for the day to come. I still walk with cautious steps because it takes time to re-program the mind that has been telling me that what I'm living, experiencing, being, becoming, having was either good or bad, but I can say with all certainty and pride that I've worked hard understanding and taking responsibility for my "Life Adventure" and live it as such perhaps not every moment but pretty darn close to it.

I look for constant reminders, learning to trust my intuition based on the way things feel emotionally to me without judgement and I can see my thoughts and emotions coming to life before my eyes.

Now what happens to me from this other side of the river is that I look around me and see the people I'm in most contact with, my Micro Universe so to speak living the way I did for most of my life and I know they can't see it in themselves otherwise if they knew that how they are perceiving life and what they are and will continue to attract will be the opposite of what they want maybe something will hurt enough that they will say I don't like these results, what am I doing wrong? Is this as good as it gets?

I understand that most of the time these changes don't start to happen until the emotions we are feeling are either emotionally depleted or extreme sadness. At least that happened to me at some point and it got old feeling sad or unemotional so I went all out to find how to change that, otherwise life becomes a burden or boring at best and it might be a short life but it's long enough when you don't find motivation and you're not having fun most of the time.

We can change the way we perceive life, I do now, but we can't make those we love or surround ourselves with change the way they perceive theirs that's their path. I went from feeling like an outsider when I was on that side of the river and now I am the outsider on this side. I didn't appreciate enough the things that I had when I was there but I will be eternally grateful for the way I perceive what I lived then; and now instead of going against I decided to "Let Go and Go With the Flow!!...

Hugs xoxo

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I had a fabulous experience the other day, I didn't even know that it would turn out that way but for a few hours I traveled straight to my past and my memories came rushing in. I had this ticket that my Husband gave me at Christmas time for a day at the movies at the old and beautifully refurbished Cinerama, the only one left in Seattle, WA. I had been wanting to go but it meant taking public transportation on a weekend day when I'm home, cozy trying to wind down from the workweek that is always intense for me because of my type of work. It also entailed walking to the bus stops with the weather we have here that so often rains, so I kept on postponing the movies that appealed to me like the newest Star Wars for example.

So last week I checked what was playing as I did every week for months, only to find that they were showing the only movie that I've wanted to see in years LaLaLand. That was definitely one that I had to see and what better than the Cinerama that brought me so many memories of my past growing up in Mexico City, I remember being IN LOVE with movies since I was a little girl, my father instilled that love in me because he too felt that way. My mom couldn't care less if she went to see a movie or not but my dad did and so did I and so do my kids because I took them to every appropriate movie they could see throughout the years.

I remember Cinerama being the first chain of its type in Mexico City where I was born and grew up. I believe they opened for the first time in 1962 when I was only 10 years old and could really appreciate what it took to create all that magic that transports you to a different emotions with every frame, action, site, script, music, at that time I wanted somehow to be involved in the movies so my way of involving myself without being in them, was to live them as if I was in them, as if I was one of the characters of the story.

There were two Cineramas that I used to frequent, one was around the statue of "La Diana Casadora" and the other one was the "Hollywood Cinerama" that was across from the CDI, the place where we did everything outside of school, a sports center my family and all the other Jewish families who lived in Mexico City went to for sports, daycare, classes, theater, shows, weddings, events, concerts, exhibitions, celebrities, trips and I could go on and on when I remember how convenient it all was for us then. How much easier it was to connect with the people that you knew your whole life, you saw them at school, at camp and lets not forget the CDI.

On top of it all you had to do if you wanted to go to the movies with your family or with your friends was cross the street to the "Hollywood Cinerama" and voila, you had the best just across the street.

For years I have believed that the past circumstances were easier, lighter, better, but this past Sunday I remembered the things that made it not better than how I view my life Here and Now, when I'm already entering the Winter of my life, when I should be slowing down and discarding my dreams, those that I didn't accomplish yet, when my life should be settling in and not having to concern myself with the future or what it may bright with it.

There is no doubt in my mind that the past was fantastic with everything it brought into my life, but I couldn't see it then nor take full advantage of it because of all the huge challenges that it brought with it,  seems to me that I lived my past just jumping hurdles and not necessarily enjoying it or learning from them, more of what you would consider the life of a victim as opposed to the way I live and view my life now, a fabulous adventure filled with all the contrast necessary to promote your emotional and spiritual growth.

So last Sunday I took the Bus to Westlake Station, the ride alone was like a ride at Disneyland, it travels through neighborhood streets, long two way streets, the freeway and then you go underground where it stops at several underground beautifully kept stations and the part that took my breath away with a combination of surprise, a little fear and amazement was when it went through this concrete pipe-like tunnel where only the bus fits and going through many curves at what seemed like high speed to me. You couldn't see where the tunnels ended so for a while I was conscious that we were many feet underground inside a tube.

Once I got to Westlake Station I took a little while to walk around it. What a beautiful old fashioned station, I've traveled to many places and not all stations are as elegant, inviting, clean, well patrolled and as precise as this one.

I saw how deep we were when I finally went up the escalators that take you back to the street level. It was a cold and rainy day so I was happy that I dressed for the part. On my way to the theater I stopped at my husband's place of work. He came outside through the back alley with his black apron and headband. We both looked like two teenagers who were sneaking to see each other for a moment to steal a kiss.

The theater was just at the end of the block so we said goodbye and I went my way. Inside the theater didn't let you forget where you were, it had the same blue colored tiles all over including the bathrooms, the same red and white and blue signs and even had memorabilia on display.

The movie was all and more of what I had expected, all the emotion of those wonderful Musicals I grew up with, the ones my dad introduced me to when I was a little girl, that created the magical feelings and dreams that carried me through life, bringing me here to this moment when I can cherish and appreciate everything that was that brought me what is.

The most wonderful reminders that I have found of how much one can do, be, have, feel in this lifetime are our Memories... I will remember this day forever!

Hugs xoxo

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Como Decía Mi Mamá...

Yo estoy convencida de que mi mamá era un Angel con cuerpo de humano, no porque nunca haya hecho nada inapropiado sino porque tenía el más grande de los corazones que yo he conocido. No me quedó muy claro el porque de todo el sufrimiento que ella vivió en su vida, cosas que hubieran creado monstruos de otras personas que lo hubiesen tenido que vivir y sin embargo ella fue bondadosa y generosa hasta el último momento a pesar de sus experiencias de vida.

Yo creo que una de las razones por las que yo siempre me resistí a ser como mi mamá fue por lo mucho que la vi sufrir, tanto como de niña y más aún como adulto. Al ver lo vulnerable que fue su vida yo decidí salir a buscar mi camino de una manera muy distinta.

Después de muchos años de buscarle el sentido a la vida y con el entendimiento de que somos nosotros los que pavimentamos de uno en uno nuestro propio camino entiendo que tiene que haber un balance entre lo que sentimos, lo que pensamos y lo que hacemos para ser esos Angeles en la vida de los demás sin dejar de serlo en la nuestra.

Hace unos años escuchaba a diario un programa de radio conducido por la Dra. Laura Schlessinger, el show consistía en que sus radio escuchas la llamaban por teléfono para hacerle una pregunta de como manejar algún entronque en el que se encontraban en sus vidas y ella les daba una respuesta de dos minutos a cada una de las preguntas por complicadas o sencillas que fueran solo les regalaba dos minutos.

Es de entenderse que en dos minutos no puedes darle ninguna vuelta a cualquier tema ya que nadie sacaría beneficios de su llamada, lo que ella hacía era ir directo al corazón del tema. Eso la hacía sonar dura porque la verdad a veces es dura, pero si alguien no te la dice y tu no puedes verla ya que estas permitiendo que tu vida no esté en armonía no vas a poder darte cuenta de que eres tu el que está creando esa falta de armonía en tu propia vida.

Gracias a las lecciones que mi mamá me dio en combinación con las que he aprendido a lo largo de mi Aventura de Vida he tratado de combinar el amor, la bondad, el servicio a los demás, junto con mi propio valor, autoestima y perseverancia en mi camino a cumplir todos y cada uno de mis sueños.

Al mismo tiempo también he aprendido que si alguien acude a mi para darme un consejo de algo que ven en mi que tal vez yo no haya logrado ver, darle la consideración necesaria y buscarlo en mi, ya que no mucha gente tiene el valor de decirte algo que pudiera o no ser lo que tu quieras escuchar o reconocer y cuando alguien acude a mi para pedir mi opinión o tal vez un consejo sigo mi corazón que me dice que tengo la obligación de ir directo al corazón del asunto y responderles lo que yo veo en ellos aún cuando sea algo que ellos no quisieran escuchar o logren ver en si mismos, de otra manera mis palabras serían falsas, algo que nunca he sido o terminarían por no tener ningún valor para aquel que ha decidido acceder a mi en esencia para ver como yo manejaría la situación en la que ellos se encuentran.

Mi madre tenía mucha sabiduría porque escuchó a su corazón que le decía que el amor es lo único que existe y que hay que darlo incondicionalmente, lo que nunca supo es que ella también formaba parte de todos a quienes ella daba amor y que sus deseos y sus sueños también valían, que si los tenemos es porque venimos a cumplirlos, de otra manera no los tendríamos.

Al final de su vida mi hija le hizo una pregunta "Hay algo que hubieras querido ser?" y ella le respondió que le hubiese gustado ser Arqueologa!!! su respuesta me dejó muda primero porque ella y yo teníamos una linda relación y hablábamos mucho y sin embargo jamás me mencionó siquiera que le interesara la Arqueología yo me imaginaba a mi mamá más bien en el campo de la medicina porque ella actuaba como la enfermera de tantos dentro y fuera de nuestra familia, eso me demostró que tal vez yo nunca conocí su Espíritu, aquella Alma libre que viene a esta dimensión a hacer correcciones y a cumplir sueños, por lo que yo hoy me dedico a cumplir los míos y lo hago por mí, por ella y por todos aquellos que se fueron antes de lograr cumplirlos y trato a la vez de ayudar a otros a cumplir los suyos cada vez que puedo.

"Como Decía Mi Mamá" "Sé Feliz Anita!" lo que me hace seguir mi camino con la alegría de saber que estoy cumpliendo sus deseos y los míos.

Abrazos xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2017

We Just Have to...

It's been a fascinating adventure from the moment that my husband and I made the decision to move to the US only 3 short years ago. I had lived here most of my adult life, since 1979 to be exact, but a few years back things happened and I decided to move away to try to figure out who I was and what I was capable of.

So three years ago I came back to the place I call home only this time there was someone else with me, the man I decided to continue this life adventure with and he had never been to the USA before nor does he speak the language. We really had no idea what we were going to do, how we were going to survive, where we were going to live, to work, to make ends meet and then to grow to get the vision that I hold of my life.

I have to admit that at times I've had my doubts but the majority of the time I didn't. I just went day by day walking in the direction of my dreams and sometimes making what before I would have seen as scary decisions only this time I knew inside what felt right.

It's only 3 yrs. later, it's been an adventure that I would have never wanted to miss, although I've wanted to quit and escape the many challenges that appeared in our path many times. From health to weight gain to a place to call home, to work, to exhaustion to lack of funds to adjustment to all the many changes and roles that we have to play to get back to the other side, where we can pick up where I left off years back, traveling and visiting every corner of the world, helping people in whatever we have to offer, sharing wonderful moments surrounded by family, growing our own organic produce, having a place to receive our loved ones.

The more we've walked in trust the more we've grown and the faster things fall into place giving us all the opportunities that we were hoping to have only a short while back. Today we both have jobs we love, we get to help others, we have a lovely place to call home where we can sit by the fire, cook outdoors on the grill and even plant some organic produce, we spent the holidays surrounded by the Love of our family for the first time in a long time,  I even got my bounce back, I walk in confidence and opportunities for growth keep on appearing without having to go out and look for them, that part already stayed back in the past, the challenges now are more about steps we each continue to take to access more of our own abilities and continue growing and crossing off wishes from our individual "Bucket Lists".

I get excited just thinking about all the different experiences that will no doubt continue to appear because "That's How the Universe Works"!!!...

Don't walk or run, just bounce, don't think just act, don't ask just give, don't compete just win, don't smile just laugh, don't mope just cry, don't just dream, imagine! and most important of all don't Hope just KNOW!. All you have to do is be in complete Gratitude of everything that has ever been that took you all the way to where you are right now, look around you and see how well that works for Nature and Trust.

We just have to... Make Life Happen on Purpose and With Purpose!!!

Hugs xoxo

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yo Te Amo como Tu Me Amas...

"Como pasa rápido la vida me dijo Matías ésta mañana". Me contó de una amiga que se había propuesto ir a la Facultad de Odontología y de como a el le había parecido algo imposible ya que le auguró a su amiga que no la terminaría y ahora está a solo un año y medio de terminar lo que a Matías le despertó la realización de que la vida es solo Aquí y Ahora y que las decisiones que tomes son las que están haciendo que tu destino tome uno u otro camino. Esto es a lo que yo llamo Karma, al destino al que tu quieras llegar dedícale toda tu Energía.

Hace ya seis años yo hice un viaje verdaderamente MARAVILLOSO!!!! conocí a gente hermosa que permanecería por siempre en mi vida, conocí un país que no estaba ni siquiera cerca del lugar al cual yo visitaría antes de haber visitado los lugares de mis sueños que aún no conozco, pero se dio así y yo no quise desaprovechar la oportunidad.

Gracias a mi instinto de curiosidad y mis deseos por conocer todo el mundo viajé con alguien quien no merecía de mi compañía. Por supuesto que lo hice por mí, por conocer, por tener con quien ir porque llevaba yo 10 años de viajar sola y la verdad es mucho más lindo compartir tus aventuras con alguien, aunque en mis viajes también conocí a tanta gente que por esos momentos se volvían mis mejores amigos. Ahí fue adonde tomé esta foto que hoy inspira mi artículo.

Tendría yo que escribir un libro tan solo de los viajes que hice y a la gente con quien me topé en el camino, las cosas que vi, los cambios que tuve, las experiencias que viví, la sensación de soledad y a su vez de Libertad que los humanos raramente nos permitimos sentir porque a lo largo del camino nos topamos con tantos retos y la falta de alguien a quien le importe tu vida puede ser algo difícil, es algo así como cuando rompes un hábito que has tenido desde el día en que naciste, todos me decían que admiraban el valor que yo tenía, pero yo no lo veía como valor sino con una sensación de libertad que me hacía querer volar, pero al mismo tiempo me costaba mucho motivarme hasta que un día por fin acepté que si me podía motivar yo sola, lo que se presentara en mi vida iba a ser para complementarla pero nunca más para apoyarme en esa o esas personas que decidan caminar al lado mío por la vida ni para darles la responsabilidad de que sean mi razón de encontrar la felicidad porque entendí que la felicidad no es una persona ni un lugar sino simplemente una decisión a pesar de todo lo que nos rodea.

Cuando logré encontrar la motivación dentro de mi misma y seguir por el camino en el que mejor me sentía en ese momento todo se empezó a alinear. Eso no quiere decir que dejas de tener sueños que involucran a otros personajes como parte de tu historia, pero lo que si descubres es que la manera en que la mayoría de los humanos vivimos no es la que te trae los mejores resultados.

Para mí cruzar el río ha tenido muchas revolcadas en aguas poderosas y a veces agresivas, me tuve que golpear con muchas piedras a lo largo del camino pero una vez que llegué al otro lado del cauce y entré en aguas transparentes y tranquilas me di cuenta de que fácil hubiese sido cortar camino.

Nos pasamos toda la vida poniendo nuestra energía emocional en los lugares incorrectos que nos van a terminar redituando muy poco a cambio de lo que nosotros tenemos que invertir. No estoy tratando de comparar las relaciones humanas con lo material esto es solamente a nivel de energía emocional, porque todos sabemos muy bien que como humanos pensantes y con sentimientos el mantener esa energía emocional siempre en el lado positivo nos va a redituar una vida plena, con alegrías, buenas relaciones humanas, buenos resultados en todo lo que nos propongamos hacer, pero también sabemos que cuando esa energía emocional está baja o de plano no existe todo lo que hacemos nos causa incomodidad y hasta agonía.

Y lo más extraño de todo es que la solución (en mi opinión y experiencias personales como todo lo que yo escribo) es Tan Sencilla!!!!

Fijate en tus acciones y ve a quien le estás dedicando tu tiempo, tus pensamientos, hasta tu economía. Si esas personas son las que más tiempo, pensamiento y en general energía emocional positiva están invirtiendo y siempre han invertido en tí entonces sí, adelante, esas son las personas más merecedoras de lo que tu te sientas capaz y deseoso de dar.

Esas son las personas que nos han comprobado que a pesar de todas nuestras debilidades siempre están ahí con todo. No porque no tengas que hacer nada para tener lo que esa persona le ofrece a tu vida quiere decir que no tengas que hacer nada para regalarles aún más alegría, recargarlos de amor y de todo lo que tu sabes que les trae aun más alegría sin limite, haz que les fluya porque tu ya sabes que todo lo que tu les des siempre lo vas a recibir de regreso a manos llenas. Digamos que es el mejor camino a seguir, al lado de aquellos que quieren estar a tu lado incondicionalmente.

Todo el resto del mundo también merece de nuestro Amor y yo trato de vivir mi vida con una cálida palabra y una sonrisa para todo aquel que cruza mi camino, pero "Yo Te Amo como Tú Me Amas!"

Les quiero desear a todos y cada uno que este Año encuentren la Mágia en la Vida!

Abrazos xoxo

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Raising a Teen...AGAIN!!!

I think raising a teen is way up there as far as challenges are concerned with going through a divorce, I know that much because I've raised two teens, a girl and a boy and I've also been through a divorce.

But what happens when I'm done raising my teens, come full circle through the divorce, gotten stronger and better than ever, gotten happily remarried and all of a sudden I find out I'm about to help finish raising a teen only this time it's not my own. I haven't had a chance to love him unconditionally I didn't raise and hardly know him so he comes to me with somebody else's life hangups and challenges, mom couldn't handle him so I said yes because I want my life partner to have a chance at the same thing I have, the satisfaction that I was always there for my children and they turned out to be two wonderful human beings.

I'm not going to lie and say that it's something I do from the heart because at times it has been very challenging and I've had feelings of resentment because it has come to take away the peaceful private and enjoyable atmosphere that my husband and I had created in our environment.

At first I allowed for the situation to settle down and adjust because I could imagine how difficult it must be for him to come from this little beach town where he grew up where he was in a very negative relationship with his mother. She never saw anything good in him, hyperactive child medicated by a very neurotic and hypochondriac mother, never put any effort into school, all he ever wanted to do was play soccer.

Mom leaves him behind and takes along the good son, the one who likes to study and learn, who is self contained, who caters to her by giving her hugs and kisses and moves very far away. So this kid who had a terrible relationship with his mother is never able to heal and close a circle.

Aren't we supposed to help those who need something we have in us to give? Wasn't I there one day when my ex-husband wanted to have a relationship with his father because he too was raised by a very dysfunctional and negative mother? Didn't his father's new wife make him kick us out of their house just because she was jealous of the re-birth of father and son relationship?

All of that is well and good, I want to be the cause of something good coming out of all this effort we have tried to put into my husband giving birth to the relationship he always wanted to have with his son, but there is also me and my desires, my rules, my needs, my privacy, my relationship with my husband.

So instead of running away and not being a part of this coming of age event in the life of a teenager in partnership with his father, I decided to make the rules very clear.

I will give up the things I've gotten accustomed to that bring me joy and peace, the time to help, the space, the patience, the guidance, but in exchange for that I will need to see passion and interest in learning and making the best choices. I will want to see appreciation for all the opportunities that life is giving him at a time when he didn't know which way to go to become a productive human being.

Now the ball is on his court, he arrived here an arrogant know it all cocky 19 year old who behaves like a 13 yr. old if I'm being generous. The first thing he did was asked dad to buy him video games and collection cards, he begrudged the cell phone we gave him with  unlimited everything. His father signed him up for the gym where I didn't sign myself up because of finances and we had strong disagreements because if I am going to have to clean up someone else's dirty work as far as raising a child is concerned it will have to be my way, otherwise this will never work.

I believe you always have to do the right thing for everyone concerned and that includes me. The other day I told my stepson. If I am stern and strong with you is because I care, the day I stop caring you will never hear from me again. So you have a choice, you either do it in this house with our rules or elsewhere with yours.

I don't care how many times I have attended these meetings with parents with problem children and how much I believe I'd be doing it a different way if that were my child, if when it happens to me I make the same mistakes I see everyone making, trying to be your kid's friend, trying to have him approve of you and like you. I rather he doesn't like me and becomes the best version possible of himself, than like me and become a loser.

There is no doubt that "Raising a Teen" is not easy, but if the Universe sent him to me at this stage in my life it must be for a reason, so I'm going to give it my best shot and see what goes...

It's starting to rain outside again, just like "Raising a Teen"...

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, December 17, 2016

You Will Know How to Play the Part...

I've always admitted I don't vote and the reason I don't is because it's something I don't understand or like and there are only enough hours in a day so I rather put my energies into helping others and becoming a better version of myself than watching how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton  make fools of themselves with their rantings.

I wanted to get involved my own way the way I believe the country would really work and the world would gain a leader to look up to but my life got too busy just trying to maintain our heads above water.

Politicians controlling everything we do taking too much of our money which goes to support those who don't want to put the effort that I and many of us have to put to "Make Life Happen on Purpose".

Next month I'll be 65 work every day and help others.  I see first hand illegal large families who receive incredible benefits that I wouldn't qualify for and yet I pay for them to get the benefits, how ironic is that I ask? I was also an immigrant once but I never asked the Country for a dime, I believe its our own responsibility to see that we have a productive life otherwise why are we here? just to take space?

I've never met the man I believe would make the best President of the United States of America and he would be the first president I vote for. The reason he would make a huge difference in the way the Country is run is because he's already studied, played, rehearsed, understood and became for months or years perhaps all the roles that can run worlds let alone countries.

He was a castaway for years with just a ball for a friend, survived and went on to a happy life after that, he's been a little boy in a big boy's body and a big boy with a little boy's mind and met presidents like that, flown into space and made it back although the odds were against him, a prison guard, a scientist, succumbed to a deadly virus but died with dignity and honor, a cop, a book chain owner, a widower, a coach, an attorney, a comedian and even a toy.

If Tom Hanks wins the Presidency of the United States of America I will be glad to be his campaign manager even though I'll almost be 70 by then but whose counting. Which means that there is still a chance for me to meet and work with Tom Hanks. My number one wish on my Bucket List.

My daughter met him once when she was working as the hostess at a restaurant very frequented by celebrities in Santa Monica, CA she told me he was as kind and charming as he appears as is his lovely wife.

I'm not really the type to be anyone's fan in particular, I admire people's talents, but not to the point of being a fan, but I am Tom's No. 1 fan. I can't even describe the millions of emotions that I have experienced thanks to your movies Tom, I'll always be grateful to you for your talent but its how real a person you have remained in spite of your fame and the challenges of life that I admire the most.

I hope you do decide to run for president, all of us who believe in you can't be wrong. I know it seems like a huge job and I'm sure it is, but I truly don't believe there is one person on this earth who has seen your movies and seen you as a real person who wouldn't offer to help out with something somehow just because Tom Hanks told them to. You'd be as great at it as you've been in every role.

You WILL know how to play the part!

Hugs xoxo
Anita Shaffer

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Happy Rug...

I came up with that title about 25 yrs. ago when my children were only infants. I had the idea my whole life that the day I had kids I was going to be the best possible mom, so I kept on searching for those special out of the ordinary methods to raise them in a different way than how we were raised, neither of us had very clear role models in our childhood, I didn't want to make the same mistakes our parents did and have our kids wind up in the same spot where we were.

The Happy Rug was a game I designed so that we could get together as a family and talk about anything anyone needed either some clarification, some help, ask questions, or just to learn to communicate with one another.

It was actually a lot more fun than I expected it would be and the benefits were priceless.

The kids were very little when we started so they would actually ask for a Happy Rug when they felt the need to express something.

It consisted of the following. The four of us would sit on a rug and the one who had called it would hold a stethoscope on their hand. Only the person who was holding the stethoscope was allowed to talk. We came up with the stethoscope because we were supposed to talk from the heart. Once that person finished what they had to say or ask the one who wanted to talk next would raise their hand and the stethoscope was passed. Everyone got to talk and nobody ever got interrupted even if what they were saying was wrong in someone else's eyes.

We spoke so many times on the Happy Rug, at the end of the session there was always an understanding, a better feeling or emotion, we never ended the Happy Rug on a sad note even if the subject we spoke about seemed sad. We spoke about life, death, friendship, family, relationships, education, sex, world events, future hopes and dreams, ideas, doubts, fears, joys, you name it we covered it.

I remember one time when I made up four little notebooks. The cover was decorated and it had the name of each one of us. The project that day consisted of writing 10 good things we each thought about the other three. So each one wrote in three notebooks and at the end we got to keep the one with our name on it. We each read what the other three thought about us out-loud. I remember how surprised the kids were especially when they read what their sibling thought of them, as children we rarely tell each other the good things we see in them. It also made an impression on them when they were able to see themselves through the eyes of their loved ones.

I can't wait to have grandchildren to pick up where we left off, at The Happy Rug...

Hugs xoxo

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"You're Gonna Miss Them When They're Gone"...

I believe that Unconditional Love has to be understood in all its concepts in order to be able to invite it into our lives, otherwise it can be confused with different emotions. I think all human beings have the innate ability to feel love and  be loved but not unconditionally, we love things or people that bring into our lives some reward, whether it is their company, their exciting personality, their monetary support, the way they treat us or how they can understand and contain us, there is trust too, that's a whole other intense emotion, but hardly if ever to the point of it being unconditional.

Like the word says it is without conditions placed upon the love that we feel for someone. Most of the times the strongest feeling of emotional and mostly unconditional love would be the love of a parent to their children and viceversa, the strongest being that of a mother to her children, a lot of reasons for that being the case, but sometimes even that love is not without conditions, such as a child having strong mental problems that would turn them into criminals, some mothers continue to claim love for their children who deeply hurt others but some mothers have expressed feelings of hatred too.

I find that the best way possible to understand what unconditional love means and try to attract it into your life is going to the one or two human beings that have impacted your life the most, your parents. Nobody is perfect, everyone is going to do something that we are not going to like, but if you really want to learn unconditional love you can't judge your parents unless you are willing to place yourself in their shoes and that's impossible.

Perhaps something your parents did hurt you deeply, but are you sure it is their fault that happened? do you really believe that when they made the decision to take that action that brought you a painful emotion that their intention was to hurt you or perhaps it was their attempt at surviving or evolving themselves as better human beings so that you would have a better frame of reference in your own life of how it's done?

If you ever want to know what Unconditional Love means you must forgive your parents and give them all the Love that you can while you still have them around. Otherwise you will not know how to teach that to your children so you won't receive it back from them either and also because "You're Gonna Miss Them When They're Gone" no matter what. I promise you that...

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Happiest Thanksgiving of my Life...

I got busy very early this morning going from one room to the other of the house. I'm so used to having the house impeccable because if something gets messy or dirty I just clean it right away and not allow things to lay around, but I just had a hurricane that came by and stayed for a little while to make our house feel more like a home full of Life Love and Laughter than I've had in a long time.

The moment my husband walked out the door to go to work I did a couple of things and everywhere I looked around I would see something else that needed to be done, whether it was washing or drying, changing beds or cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming or dusting it's gotta get done before my husband comes back home at 2:30 pm. or I would feel bad that I just sat around writing and listening to music, or relaxing in the tub after he helped me pull off the Happiest Thanksgiving of our Lives...

I stood in the middle of the living room and saw the mess, assessed the time it will take me to put the house back and my eyes landed on the picture in the silver frame.

At that moment I started to feel the emotions with even more intensity than I was at the moment that picture was being taken. I remember I was trying to make Sinatra feel comfortable on my lap and smile at the same time :)

So instead of going back to tidying up I decided to let my heart pour all of its emotions out while they are still so latent inside me.

I was telling my lovely daughter and her handsome boyfriend that this picture reminded me of the vision I had of the future outcome of my life when I was just a little girl and that picture that I visualized in my thoughts and my dreams was now sitting on my little coffee table that I ran to buy just before they came to brighten our house with their Love, young vibrant energy, laughter, lightness, success, union as siblings and significant others and lets not forget the happiness those two beautiful puppies bring every time they are around. I cannot even wrap my heart around what it will be like when there are little feet running around making a mess in my yard and helping me plant vegetables and fruits, watching them grow. Then coming back in the house as we sit in front of the fireplace while I read them stories just like I did to my children when they were growing up.

I made a conscious effort to be present in every moment not trying to orchestrate everything but rather allowing it to flow and it did in the best way possible. I watched my children having fun and a strong unity and everyone in the room got that much closer. It brought back memories of what it felt like to be a family sitting around the table and just having fun being with those who know us and can still love us with all our flaws and value our strengths.

I remember dreaming of these moments when I was younger, but even in my wildest dreams couldn't have imagined the stories contained inside the silver frame and the image of a life of ups and downs, highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, walking paths, crossing rivers and climbing mountains and landing back on my sofa in front of the fire. Back after a long road of our intense fight for inward growth.

We ate healthy food, laughed till our bellies hurt, saw pictures, told stories and got to know each other better at a deeper level, listened to music, played table games, did fun crafts, even got to briefly travel across the border to beautiful Vancouver for the day.

I feel very lucky that my daughter loves to take photographs as much as I do because I didn't take one single one, I made it my purpose to be present in the moment at every moment and I notice that when I want to capture the moment through my camera I distract myself from the moment somehow to capture something for later and I didn't want that to happen when my children were around, I wanted to drink in all the emotions that my heart was feeling after such a long road to land them back together with me on my couch sharing each other's hopes, dreams, passions and present realities.

When my son and his lovely fiance came to pick up my daughter and her boyfriend they both handed me two beautiful gift bags, I couldn't have imagined what would be inside but I knew it had to be something where there was a lot of heart involved because that's how my daughter is, always so thoughtful with everyone trying to get them what she knows will bring them joy so I opened them just like I remember opening presents on my birthday or holiday when I was little child, with excited anticipation and I wasn't wrong.

There was that photo that would inspire me to write this post with tears of joy in my eyes, same tears I allowed myself to share with them at a moment of need to express all of those emotions that we hold inside for so long that one day like this they just come out without control. There were other pictures just as wonderful each one with a different message, memory and emotion that gets stirred inside.

There was also a card, I opened that first actually and read the sentiments both wrote to myself and my wonderful husband and they made me melt.

There was a packet of ladybug stickers, no doubt my daughter knows what I like, they also went around looking for the Kinder eggs with toys inside because they know how much I love miniatures and how much of a child I am.  We all had fun opening them up and putting them together, we were laughing so much at the fact that it all started with the purple whale I have in my tub that my stepson and husband got me and here it was a Kinder Egg from Canada with another miniature whale in the egg I got, what were the chances of that?

All of a sudden I saw the roles being reversed, I used to be the one giving them toys now she goes around looking for those she knows I will love and she's always right.

As I stood this morning in the living room deciding whether to clean up and put things away or write I looked up to the ceiling where a beautiful hummingbird alebrije that we bought in Ciudad Juárez to represent the presence of my mom in my house hangs. My husband hung it with a thin transparent string from a sprinkler that is right in the middle of the room so it looks as if it's flying. My eyes landed on it as I was admiring the picture on my table and I felt my mom's presence sending me her blessings and reminding me what being a mother is really all about.

My heart filled with so much gratitude that I just needed to sit down and let all the emotions pour out into my words so they don't get lost in memories that become distant and eventually fade out or get forgotten in our busy lives.

I love all the stories that go behind every one of those smiles in the picture in the silver frame because they all make us who we are and because it brings us back to the times when we were a family living under one roof with the same common goals and dreams.

My daughter's boyfriend also handed me a bag with a beautiful shawl that I loved. I wanted to slip it on right away so they could see how perfect those are for me, I learned that when he bought it since he didn't even know me at the time he just went with his intuition of what I might like. Once here he saw how it's mostly shawls that I wear because they are the best for me at this time and I didn't have anything like the one he gave me. As I was rushing to put it on I took care of taking off the tag that was being held by a tiny safety pin. I always keep the tags until I have a chance to look at them, I like to know about the clothes I use to wrap my body around. I left the tag sitting on top of my desk without looking at it and slipped the shawl on. We all said how great it was and I kept it on till I went to turn in for the night.

Right now as I was writing this post the tag was slipping down from where I had left it on top of my sewing project that was on a slant. I saw it slipping off the periphery of my eyes and turned to catch it so it wouldn't fall to the ground and I'd have to bend down and my eyes landed on the only word printed on that small cream cardboard label inside a dark brown triangle. All it said was 'dreamers'.

That's me I thought, it was a very strong confirmation of the purpose of dreams that if our hearts hold on to a dream it's for a reason, they are here to be fulfilled otherwise they wouldn't exist and if we really believe and walk in their direction one day they will turn into "The Happiest Thanksgiving of Your Life"...

With so much Gratitude to everything that was which makes everything that is a Reality!...


Saturday, November 19, 2016

"The Changing of the Guard"...

Those were the words that Poppo used so many times throughout his life. Poppo was a second father to me and he took his job very seriously. He passed away recently and we spoke at least once a week up until the end of his life. He was such a strong force in my life that might have even helped change its direction. For one he was probably my No. 1 fan, one of three actually, his sister Beverly was my No. 2,  my Mom was too she always rooted for me and believed in me till the end but she always 'Hoped' I would do well with my life whereas Poppo and Beverly knew I would. I don't know of any others but with the three of them I had my heart full of love and gratitude.

I knew Poppo since I was 17 and started dating his son. He lived in Chicago most of his life so once I married his son we moved to be near him. The years went on, we created a family and made him a Grandpa. He was always telling all of us jokes and funny stories mostly of war time when he served in the Marines, he spoke of that with so much pride, even though he was at war his stories felt to me as if those could have been some of the best years of his life. He also told us stories about sports, he Loved sports. I always thought he should have been a coach, he would have been amazing at that because he had the love of it, the knowledge and a great rapport with kids and because he never got it out of his blood.  "And this is a true story" he would say to the kids with a slightly crooked shy smile on his thin lips.

I remember he gave me a subscription to People Magazine as a birthday gift and every year he would renew it right on that day, he knew that every month that magazine came to my house I would think of him with gratitude and love. He never missed a birthday or a holiday always with a call or a card or both. Even for all the years that I was no longer his daughter in law he would do that and every time we spoke just before we hung up he would say two things to me, "Don't Step on the Cracks" and "You will always be my favorite daughter in law". He was as handsome as they come till the end but most of all he was the kindest person I knew. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, I remember every time we spoke of someone who might have hurt him in his life somehow, he would always justify the reason why they had done that.

No judgement wow, I never knew anyone like that, while I was younger I thought that was a weakness on his part, that he was either not seeing that people were not doing the right thing by him, or maybe he didn't feel worthy of more I thought, later on as he persevered with his position in this life and his views were firm I understood that he was right not to judge, that nobody does anything to us, that they are just reacting to their own life circumstances. We chose whether we stick around or not, that's our choice.

The Changing of the Guard was something he would talk about as in passing the responsibilities to the next generation when his time was up. He even wrote an article about that. He used to write articles with his opinions and send them to the Chicago newspapers to see if the editor would print them and they always did, he was very proud of that and so was I. I admired that he was trying not to be part of the problem by just standing by and doing nothing about an issue he felt strongly about, he took the time to write and the courage to send it and see if anyone would deem it important enough to print it in a newspaper editorial and they always did. At the end he put together this large book that contained his story in a way. He also added letters he had asked people to write about him. Like a testimonial that he passed by and left behind a great legacy of love.

He told the story of how he would carry his son as a baby, sit him next to him when he shaved and gave him a Gillette without a blade, the old fashion kind, put some foam on his little face and they would shave at the same time. I thought that was such a lovely memory I kept it engrained in my heart.

He would make jokes out of the years he spent living with his parents who didn't have much money and even about his father who had a sad ending as if accepting his lot in this imperfect life and finding love and laughter behind all those imperfections.

He was a proud man, took care of his wife even while he was battling his own illness at the end. He was prepared to go, we spoke about that at length, he didn't have any unfinished business because he had made peace with everything, not a lavish life, not an easy one either but one lived with dignity, courage and no judgement. He lived life as it came and allowed it to flow. "And That's a True Story".

I can only hope that one day I will be the person that he was. He was loved and admired by many. He stood up for what he believed the best way he knew how. If he has to come back to make corrections he will have a great head-start.  I know his next life will be amazing!

At the end my name didn't even appear in his Obituary, as if I had never existed in his life, but I know he was wearing my name in his Heart.

He left a great legacy of love through his son and his grandchildren who will always think of Poppo as the Greatest Grandpa. And now it's time for "The Changing of The Guard"...

Miss you Dad xoxo

A Vase with Flowers and a Colander with Skittles...

I have always had very mixed emotions about the internet and what it has done to and for humanity. On one hand it has done WONDERS what nothing else was even close to doing before. No amount of schools and teachers in the world could compare to what we can learn now just with a click of a mouse.

And lets not forget globalization, I mean how many airplanes and phones, news media in all it's fields and I don't believe we could have imagined all that the world really is behind closed doors. Now we are welcomed into people's houses to see how they all live and the worst part is that we get stuck on watching them live while we are just being the observers  of their lives, we have sex through the Internet, we fall in love, learn careers, meet people, become a part of groups, we watch how nature co-exists and the difference between co-existing and living the way humans chose to live and although now we can clearly see what works to have a fulfilled life and what doesn't even though we have with just a touch of a mouse the ability to become anything we want, that there are no limits to our abilities and that dreams were created to fulfill them, otherwise they wouldn't exist, even though we have all that I believe humanity has lost its spark.

Yes a lot of emotional people out there dedicated to causes and to stopping of destruction and harm to anything and anyone, still there is no end in sight to all the destruction others want and can do with the touch of a mouse.

I stayed away from social media for a long time, I didn't like what being on it was doing to me, it was taking me back in time when Ego was important to me so I left and felt so much better just living in the real world and trying to make a difference there with whatever I have to offer even with just a smile to whomever crosses my path, I only come here to my own "House in Cyberspace" where I write down my thoughts, feelings and emotions so that the day I'm no longer around my children can come back and see what their mother was all about, meantime I welcome all my guests with a warm hug and some words that come from the heart without trying to sell them anything!!!

Recently though I came back into Social Media at the request of my lovely daughter, she just thought it would be a better idea if I created an Instagram account just so that we could exchange our photos that way, that sounded great better than attaching them a little at a time on e-mails we may not get to for a while. So I opened my @youneedanita Instagram account and started to post my pictures.

There were pictures of our trip to México to see my stepson and of my daily life in general, her and I  love taking pictures that hold emotions behind the camera. So I took at picture of this lovely vase I found at Ross and fell in love with. The shape is a little odd and its see through turquoise colored glass. It's large and it holds the flower we buy every week for Shabbat. I put all these corks inside the vase as a daily reminder that my cork always has to be floating above water, never sinking down to the bottom.

Then my husband found this tiny little colander at World Market, also turquoise in color, the colors of my childhood, the ones I feel happiest around, so they decorate all of my house, just small touches of color surrounded by the comfort of dark woods. Then there's the flowers we choose at the supermarket wherever we happen to go on Fridays. We filled the colander with little bags of candy. I just like the colors I don't even eat sugar anymore and proud of myself for that.

I take time choosing flowers every week and do it with love and mixed emotions because it makes me sad that we cut them to beautify our space, so while I'm choosing to give them a home and care for them as best as I can until it's their time to part, I thank them for giving their life to make my space beautiful and fill it with joy from it's beauty, it's scent, it's color.

I love miniatures so we also got a tortilla presser that brought back so many memories not only of my own childhood but my children's as well. Having been raised in México allowed me to be a part of a different culture that enrich my life  so much and I wanted to give that to my children who didn't have that opportunity.

We used to make our own tortillas, I would give them dough and they would press their own on a little presser like this one and fill then with cheese and whatever they wanted, close them like a quesadilla and put them on the grill to melt the cheese inside. It was a lovely tradition that we had at the house. since they were very young My children will be here for Thanksgiving I'm sure they will see it and remember those times fondly.

So I put it all together and took a picture and post it on Instagram for my daughter to see and low and behold I started to get followers with my pictures, who are these people who see a picture and decides to like it and add me to their circle and why did they do that? Is it just the colors or could they see the love that went into all the stories that go behind "A Vase with Flowers and a Colander with Skittles". Who knows, it doesn't really matter, I'm just glad they liked it.

Hugs xoxo


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How Well do You Know Yourself?...

I was at a long weekend getaway with some of my friends, I believe there were 11 of us. A weekend to remember no doubt, one of those that come along perhaps once in a lifetime if you're lucky and it doesn't happen to everyone, although those who understand the value of love and bond will make it happen. Why do some people do and others don't I really don't know the answer to that, but what I do know is that when something is important enough to us we make things happen and not everything is important to everyone.

We were an interesting bunch, we came from different backgrounds although somewhere along the way in our childhood our paths happened to cross and we became fond enough of those memories that we wanted to feel that same emotion that we do when people who share lifetime experiences with you come back into your life again. There's already that familiarity, the fond memories to relive, but we are actually making a new friendship, because the memories are lovely but we are living in this now reality that probably has nothing to do with who we were when our paths crossed for the first time.

It's funny because I don't remember us being a particularly close generation. As always there were little groups of friends within the generation who did frequent each other but as a whole we didn't promote many activities to do as a group other than what the school programmed as group activities.

Throughout the years these small groups kept contact with each other since they stayed and didn't move away, but I did, I left when I was only 23 and stopped seeing or knowing from any of them for years and one day I looked back and wondered what had happened to all of them. I really wanted to see how these children that were my little classmates once with the personality that I remembered had wound up as men or women.

This particular group  of 11 was chosen by the friend who organized this long weekend. His family has the most lovely farm in a town in México and Christmas was approaching. The farm has a large main house with several bedrooms and of course living room, dining room, gardens, an enclosed pool. It had other houses around with more bedrooms for guests and another one for the staff who took care of it all, the land, the houses and the animals.  It has a vast piece of land and there was even a stream that ran through the land, one of those places that comes out of your dreams.

The staff also took care of all the guests in this case our group, but I'm sure there have been many people throughout the years that visited there.

Our group couldn't have been more diverse, screen writer, producer,  psychologist, a police woman, a couple of teachers, an art dealer, several of them very wealthy and comfortable with their lives. I remember how I felt in that place, the same way I remember feeling when I was a child in my classroom sitting towards the back, I wonder what kept me sitting there? or what made it so that I would feel that same emotion again 50 years later?

I wanted to discover who they were as adults, it was a small group, we could have written a good screenplay of this magical long weekend because it was that, the fireworks in the center of town, the cemetery that we visited with the little old man who took care of it all these years. It was a cemetery for the British soldiers who once invaded that land. He told us the story that all the tombs had to face in a particular direction I believe it was facing the Queen or England. I couldn't stop taking pictures. My friend even found a tomb that belongs to a relative of his.

We visited a firework factory, went into town to watch the dances, the music and the always amazing Mexican food! My favorite.

We sat that one night around the fireplace and I said lets get to know each other, who are we now, what memorable thing has happened in your life since the last time we saw each other and they looked at me as if I had come from another planet, one challenged me and said you start so I did.

I talk about my life to anyone not because my life is a tragedy or important enough to anyone to know what I do with my days, is important to anyone other than me but because I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can see clearly that it is us who create our own reality and that love is all there is. It took me years of painful search to find that out and now I want to share it. The only way one can teach is through their own experience so I talk about my life with pride not to attract pity or any other emotion for that matter just to illustrate. I don't feel bad about my past, I loved that I lived it and am here to talk about it.

After telling them what my life path had been and where I was at the moment they all stared at me in silence and one of them broke the ice and said "Well not everyone is as comfortable sharing about themselves" another one chuckled at a comment I made, one who had NEVER even as much as glanced at me in all the years we've known each other said "Your efforts is what got us all together to begin with" as if aw poor thing don't feel so bad you did something right. One came to tell me you are behaving like a victim.

Of course nobody said anything about themselves after that, we all just kept on being these strangers that knew each other once. Some of them more because they kept in touch all these years.

I didn't feel the need to tell them I love my life, I don't care how you view it or how sorry you feel for me I love knowing that life experiences have a purpose, that we are not our ego, that we create our own reality, that we rejoice for the success of others, that we connect with others out of love not of fear or judgement. That we should help each other fulfill dreams.

Towards the end of the reunion the psychologist pulled me to the side with a lot of empathy to offer her help, I wanted to give her a hug and tell her don't worry I don't need any help I'm great but instead I listened to what she had to say and funny enough she asked me "How well do you know yourself?" I said I've taken the past ten years of aloneness to get to know myself better so I think I know myself fairly well, OK she said "can you describe the ridges of your fingerprints? any finger. Hm I thought, maybe I should just keep on looking for what's inside of me and see what else I can learn.

How well do you know what this life is all about, how much emphasis are you placing on finding that out while you're here, is there a purpose for you to be here? "How Well Do You Know Yourself!"...

Hugs xoxo

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"It's Not About the Money!"...

It was raining hard this morning on our way to my husband's job. Early, cold, dark and rainy. We have a rental car while our 'Victoria' is at the Car Hospital being healed and having a little bit of "Plastic Surgery". I know she's going to look beautiful so that makes me happy and my husband is thrilled that for now we get to drive this brand new SUV. He is a big man so a car this size fits him perfectly, I on the other hand like small cars, easier for me to drive, to adjust, cheaper in gas and easier to find parking as I go from one place to another all day long.

On our way to work at 3:30 am I turned on the radio and this song was playing. I turned up the sound and started singing and moving along to the tune, you really can't help but do that, at least not if you're like me who carries music in my heart and listen for the sounds of life everywhere I Am.

I think the only people who don't believe that Happiness can't be bought no matter how much money you have are those who either have so much money they find ways of buying some of that instant gratification you can get with the money you have or they wind up identifying their self worth as money.  Or those who have never had enough money and they believe once they get it then they'll be happy. The question is, "Is that what Happiness is?"

So what if you lose that money and can't keep on buying that happiness, is happiness no longer something you can have if you don't get that money back? Can money always buy you happiness? ask the people in the Limelight, like Prince Charles and Princess Diana RIP, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, just a few of the many examples who not only have the money they have everything else too, the talent, the altruism, the following, the fame,  the respect, you name it they have it so why aren't they being happy?

Or what if you're so poor you win the lottery and you get the stuff you wanted and go to visit the places you dreamt of and once you do all you thought that would make you happy something happens that even your money can't buy. Do you then stop being happy? What if you're in the middle of acquiring all these things and going places and you realize it doesn't feel the way you thought it would when you were dreaming about it your whole life, what then, what do you aspire to next?

Look around you there is beauty everywhere. You may be challenged with anything, an illness maybe, a big loss, of a person, someone you loved, something material or a job. I say stay Happy while you are here, while you still have a body and a mind, keep on giving love to others, we are all going to die eventually, it's About the Here and Now, it's about The Music in your Heart. When you are happy money flows into your reality because you are not looking for it you are just making the most out of your life, it's just a consequence if you will to your state of being.

Listen for the music, but most of all feel it inside and you will see what Happy means... harmony, love, care, peace, joy and most of all no fear! The French call it  "Joie de Vivre!"...

And always remember that "It's Not About the Money!"...

Hugs xoxo

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thanksgiving Celebration...

It turns out that our Cable company has been having problems with a line which happens to be the one that connects into our area, so the image is all pixelated on and off and they can't find where the fault is. They came, they fixed and they couldn't so while they are fixing their problem which causes us not to have TV when we want it while we are paying for it, they gave us 3 months free of HBO and wouldn't you know HBO works just fine, Hm!

So this morning I'm looking at the  HBO guide and they were showing a Drew Barrymore movie I saw and remembered liking years ago called "Getting in the Car with Boys". I knew the premise and some of the challenges but I really didn't remember the important parts so I kept on coming back to watch. I'm really not one to get hooked on watching TV, rarely turn it on if I'm alone, I rather listen to music or write and TV is a total distractor to that which I love to do.

This movie was different though, as if it was trying to remind me of something I had forgotten. I forgot how incredible it seems to me that we either cannot see the mistakes we are making along our path since we keep making them in different ways at every stage and we always find a way of justifying or we just cannot help ourselves and we are weak or fearful so we have to keep on doing the same things that we already know what the consequences are and handle them at the time, although when that time comes we can't handle the pain and break down, than try something totally new and different and take a chance at a better outcome.

If it's the first one that we are blinded to our own mistakes then I say ouch, because maybe there are a lot of people that chose to remain ignorant and just remain alive however but there are so many others that are intelligent, well read, smart, clever and you're going to tell me they can't see it? they're too afraid? too weak? How does that happen? Why does it happen?

This is a movie about a 15 yr. old girl who got pregnant by her boyfriend. Her dad was a policeman and mom was a loving stay at home mom and she decided to have the baby and winds up marrying the boyfriend who is and ends up always being a heroin addict. You should watch it, it has a good message.

The point here is that when I lived my life in the past before I realized it was I who was allowing all the chaos I remember very well many things I did within that perception and I remember well how I felt when I made certain major decisions, how I behaved, the choices I made, the risks I took and those I was too afraid to undertake and when I remember I actually feel the way I felt then only now I can see it so much better from this angle and let me tell you it's not easy to understand why I made some decisions I made throughout my life but I assure you that will never happen.

Thanksgiving was always and still is my favorite Holiday and one of the few I don't like to see pass without me celebrating it with anyone who happens to be around. In the past few years it has been my husband and I. He cooks these lovely meals for the two of us and I'm just the kitchen helper :) but this year will be different and I will be crossing a line off my "Bucket List!"

My daughter and her boyfriend will be flying in from Los Angeles and my son and his fiance will be coming from home which is just down the freeway and will bring with them their two adorable pekinese that I love and miss so much. I will be sitting around the table spending Thanksgiving with the three most important people in my life and their most important people, laughing, singing, playing guitar, breaking bread together like Poppo used to say, seeing pictures, exchanging ideas, playing board games and most of all being Thankful that we have this new opportunity after all these years to show each other how much love we have. Have the other one feel the love rather than just read about it or hear the words.

In the past it would've been perhaps just another Thanksgiving but I don't see it like that now, now I give thanks every day for everything I've experienced, everything that I Am and moreso for all that's yet to come.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Wherever you are may you surround yourselves with Love.

Hugs xoxo