Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Well it made me smile!

So the other day we were on the train ... it was pretty packed as is often the case with the subway ... it's the most popular mode of transport in NYC... the vehicle of choice... We were all kinda jammed in like sardines, and honestly, nobody enjoys it, everybody groans! People hate it but what can you do... It's always a joy when there's room, or when a band alights the train and serenades us with reggae music or violins. I don't care which. I'm always glad of the distraction...So the other day, there's this older guy... and he goes -

"Someone hold the door open for me will you, I'll just be a sec, I'm going outside for a cigarette!"

The whole train cracked up! Ain't nobody got time for that!!! It was too funny because the train seriously DOES NOT wait long at any platform, he wouldn't even have time to find a cigarette, let alone light up! But in an enclosed space, when tempers are frayed, he provided the levity required to endure the rest of the sojourn! I am still laughing a couple of days later! Amazing that someone could create so much joy in just one simple, outrageous comment...it was only funny, I guess, if you'd been there... and if you know the NYC subway...and if in that moment, you just needed that break in the weather. Someone should've paid him. I could have hugged him! He made our day!

Things have been a little tense around here to say the least. Any opportunity for a smile or a laugh is greatly received...like the other night when we were up til 4.30 am skyping MM, my friend from Upstate. Now there's someone who keeps me entertained. God bless MM!

Since arriving here in this great city, I have made the most amazing friends. I hardly get to see them or touch base, but I know they are there...juuuust at the end of a phone line or whatever I can muster.

Anyway...I thought I was having a bad day...then this happened...

(click the pics to see larger versions)

A bus pushed a taxi into the back of an ice-cream truck...
so now Mr Whippy is Mr Whip-lash!
Actually, technically it's probably the taxi driver with whiplash...
but either way, it wasn't good!
Check the damage to that tire!

Can't you just imagine all the sprinkles and hundreds & thousands on board that truck go flying!

It was probably a blessing the ice-cream truck was in the way, 
otherwise both may have mounted the curb and killed a few people...
It's one thing to joke, but that could've been much worse!

(*If you're an Aussie reading this, please forgive that I use American spellings now.
There is a reason for it and there's more than one...)

So... it's been in the Media this week... a Hundred Days of Happy!
I admit, I've been struggling to find reasons to be happy...
It's been a rough few days...
Then my friend P.K. invited me to her FB Group...
so we can participate...at first I was like 'God help me'...
Then I was a little bit excited about it.
It's a challenge and I am always up for a challenge...You know me!
Sooo....to begin, I posted the pink tulips I saw today in Columbus Circle (above).

And I decided to smile for the rest of the day!

Anyway...this was my day!!!
Hangin' out in Columbus Circle
& Greenwich Village, Soho.

How was yours????

Sunday, April 20, 2014

For those who love too much!

You know that feeling...when you're about to cry...your nose burns and you feel your eyes well with salty tears that threaten to spill over your lashes and onto your cheeks...I hate that feeling...but that's what happens when you care about others and you hate to see them suffer and struggle!

Why does our society look at caring for others as a burden? If someone is a burden to you, a noose around your neck, then you don't truly love them! They mean NOTHING to you! When you do something willingly, with love in your heart (expecting NOTHING in return) then that is the true essence of love. Otherwise, why do it...step away! If you spend your time counting up what people owe you, then to me that is not genuine charity. Give with an open heart, or do not give at all!

When you take responsibility seriously, when you genuinely feel that connection or bond, no task is too big or too small and it becomes an honor to serve, not a rope to be loosed!

"When we are in the service of others, we are in the service of the Lord." Sometimes our task is to be a blessing to others. I find it hard to ask for help and one day, about 20 years ago, upon my refusal of assistance, a third party said "Why don't you let them help you. You may be robbing that person of a blessing if you don't let them." That really made me view the world differently. When you help someone with a genuine heart you never know what you will learn from the experience. There is a lesson inside of everything, if we only care to look.

You can look at the boat anchor as an anchor of love, a safe harbor, or ... something that holds you back! When it's done in the right way it's the thing that calls you home - it's the place where you belong.

I have the responsibility of my whole family 'on my shoulders', but I am grateful to be blessed with the care of so many! Having been raised as an only child, I am so lucky to be part of a large connection of people now, all of whom I love very much! This is not a burden, it is a JOY! Of course it's true to say, boats weren't made to stay in the harbor where it's safe (and comfortable) but I know from experience the comfort of returning home...it's something I don't take for granted and dearly wish I had now...now, I miss the safe harbor. So I will create another.

This has been a rough ride and there have been many disappointments and hurts along the way. The path is hazy and uncertain...there are still oceans to cross, barriers to clear, obstacles to be rid of...that time is coming, but it's not here yet. It's important to pull together, not apart...

No matter what life throws at you, you just have to keep going!

What if I decided it was all too hard. What if I gave up!? What if everything I have worked for has been for naught!? What if I just...went home...and forgot about my life, my family, here in NYC! I can't do any of the above...and I can't imagine a world where I would ever do that...It's not in my nature to give up! There is only ONE thing I haven't completed in my life...and I don't regret abandoning it, it wasn't for me...I didn't have the passion or the love for it and I can't excel where I don't fit in...it's like that in life too! You have to find your people and stick with them...

I always think outside of the square, because I don't fit inside of it! This is WHY I LOVE NYC!

I am so blessed to have positive and gentle people around me...generous with their time and their love - the most beautiful connections based on trust and respect. I'll always be grateful for what I have... materialistically that might not be much right now, but the journey is in creating memories, experiencing life, tasting the rain, touching the rainbow, climbing the mountain - looking at life from the other side, sliding through the barbed wire fence even if you tear your clothes....you look back on the scars, the marks, the blemishes and the memories... and it all shapes you into who you are!

Sometimes you gotta cross that paddock with the scary lookin' Brahman bull ready to stomp on you - I did that a few times...

I have learned to conquer my fears and face situations head-on, even when I don't want to. When I was a little girl, I hated unsealed roads...you know, the dirt variety....scared the crap out of me...we would travel them every so often, driving in the country... Then we went to Fiji for 3 weeks. You think they had sealed roads back in 1977? NOT MANY! It cured me. Sometimes we are forced out of our comfort zone for a reason...in order to create a new one!...a better way!

Life is a lesson...sometimes a very hard one...and as such we are all so much wiser for it... Hindsight, what a wonderful thing. It gives you the tools after the event, but it's a handy arsenal to have, to ensure you never make the same mistakes again! Oh how this rocky path has taught me so very much, and, it continues to do so!

My heart is heavy today with the weight of all that's going on around me - both for family and friends... for death, illness, loss, sorrow, loneliness, lack of love, lack of money, lack of...left and right!

And the price we pay for loving too much is the pain associated with that beautiful connection. In the words of Lady Antebellum 'I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all!' There is much suffering in loving and caring, but there is also much Joy! It's a trade-off, taking the good with the bad. It's so much easier to protect your heart, to shield it from life's sorrows, and not get involved, not care...but I haven't mastered that art, nor do I intend to. To become like that is to become a cold and empty vessel...like the people who took our home from us, tossing us out into the street...with no good reason, other than to HARM, to HURT, to be cruel. But, you taught me survival - and that's what life is about 'SURVIVAL -OF THE FITTEST!'

It's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I found a strength I never knew I had... it also softened me and taught me to love more, to give more (regardless of how much or how little I have)... it gave me a deeper compassion, a greater appreciation for what I have, and it lead me on a journey not only to self-discovery but to find a new life - a better life - a better way! It lead me to a world where 'Dreams are made...'  What would be seen as a burden is life turned inside-out - it is my greatest gift and blessing. How can I not be happy about that.

Yes there is suffering and struggles...no it's not yet perfect or defined...but when you share the Titanic with those you love most, you put them first...you push them onto the life raft to save them, and worry about yourself later on! Paddling the leaky boat together, that threatens to drown everyone on board, you learn to work together - to fix it, to patch it, to bail the water, to keep it upright and afloat, no matter how many holes appear. You work together, not against! That's how you become the force to be reckoned with. No matter how many times life knocks you down, GET UP - START AGAIN - KEEP GOING!!

While ever you have breath in you, you can always create something better...all is not lost, it never is - til we say die!

For all of my struggles it is my goal to bring others together...in harmony! This is how you bring peace to the world...LOVE YOUR FAMILY...If my legacy is to have loved and to have been loved, then I have truly lived.

We all struggle with something...so we should at the very least, make the journey more pleasant for each other. What is the point of spitting venom into the world. I have been trashed, but I don't wish to trash the world around me, I want to embrace what I have with love, and what positive energy that finds me, pay it forward as much as I can! This is why I started this Facebook Group - called Beauty Therapy! A place where others could feel good about themselves and receive a little bolstering and support when they need it. Come and join us there for an injection of soul food.

Let us always be remembered for the good we did in the world.

I don't wish to be bitter and angry! Although much harm has been done to me, I'll still usher love into the world, and into my family, wherever I may be...so that one day when I leave this world behind, my name will be said in love, with loving memories attached. Despite the fact that the world is a very hard place, I want to show my children that there is beauty in this miracle and we can make it amazing, no matter what. That despite the challenges we can make it to the other side together, where happier times are waiting...

50 Shades of Color!

I've learned that life is beautiful...
no matter what shade it is!

#photoprompt - Apr 18 - Something I've learned...

We've been a little crazy busy...hence no posts...

It's Easter...well almost...and I haven't eaten a single chocolate egg.
Usually by now I would have consumed half the Lindt warehouse -
man, I love those bunnies! 
Not only are they super cute, they taste bloody awesome...
What is it about Easter egg chocolate that is so special!?
It's pretty addictive, I know that much!

This is the closest I got to an Easter egg!!!
What??? No egg-pression???
Not sunny side up either...
these ones were definitely in the shade ;)

Easter is of course the beginning of new life...new beginnings...
it is a significant life and death journey,
as we celebrate that Christ is risen!!!
It just wasn't the same this year without my kiddos...
I've been feeling a little sad :( 
The holidays are a time for families...
and as I watch everybody celebrate, it's a quiet time for us;
yet we have so much going on...

#photoprompt for Good Friday... Something Good
Church, Cross, The Freedom Tower.

These pics below were taken by my husband and sent to me.
They were inspiration for collaging...how strange this is Autum at home...
their home now...
In QLD where we used to live you don't see the changing color 
of the leaves at all!
Everyone now plants those evergreens! It's a little disappointing,
because I really love 'Fall', or how I remember it as a child!
I know everyone complains about the mess the leaves make
(especially here in the U.S)
but I just love it!

This is so odd for me this year... as the weather warms up
and it is Spring here right now in NYC.
Today we celebrated with 19 deg (celcius)
and I was stuck indoors writing! 

This is how my babies celebrated Easter together this year, sans Mummy!

So where have I been...
Here's a little update on our latest little expedition...

From the Top -

1. Me
2. The sign on the historic Woolworth Building C. 1913
3 & 5. Harlequin Books & Magazines
5 & 6. The Woolworth Kitchen (Restaurant) for lunch
7. Lips - the shade I wore today
8. Bloom - window shopping with my sister in law
9. Barnes & Noble
10. Home-made Foccacia
11. Beautiful design in plaster on the front of the Woolworth Building
12. Harlequin Posters - recent published works on the wall 
13. A mural snapped through a window in Manhattan
14. Harlequin Posters - recent published works on the wall 
15. The Freedom Tower that replaces the Twin Towers, stands proud!
16. Me

And in between crowd hopping in Manhattan in stilettos -
ouch my feet hurt - will I never learn??...
and taking photos,
I've been updating all of my online profiles
with pictures and information 
to reflect my Freelance Work!

So I haven't been Blogging much...but I have been writing content elsewhere!

Ever wonder what I've been doing all these years??
Or what I do with my spare (laugh) time??

and last but  not least...

SuiteXposure Photography

#photoprompt Apr 20 - Close (one from the archives)
The Bee was close to the flower...and...
I was close enough to catch this awesome shot 18 months ago!
And it's one of my favorite photographs ever!

Tomorrow is another day...well it's tomorrow already and at 2am  I think it's time I bid you adieu,
and headed to bed...because last night I worked and skyped til 4.30 am and I am just a tad tired...
hence my lack of hilarious, and or serious content in this post...
Hopefully I can write more soon!
I have lots to share, just no time to do it!

Til then!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When I was a little girl...

and what I know now...

It's been a week of memories...

Sometimes I feel like there aren't very many good ones from my childhood...
so I decided to Blog the ones that have some good attached to them!
It's better than focusing on the negative...

Although I haven't danced for many years
my love affair with ballet continues...
I'm going to take up classes again soon!
I used to walk a lot of K's when I was 16,
just to go to classes (even in the dark and the rain!)
I had my very first pair of ballet shoes @ 18 months of age...
they were black...and I have a series of professional shots taken wearing them.
My mother was teaching ballet at the time, in the Sandgate Town Hall.

These are the beautiful tulle skirts my dear friend Kelly R made for me
before I came to NYC the first time...they are so beautiful!
And bring back some lovely memories of my very first ballet tutu
which was white and accessorized with blue sequined wings!

My favorite keyring!

On my wall when I was a very little girl!
It was one of my fave pics!
And still is!

ABBA - PopCult Icons
On my wall in the 70s
I had a huge selection of their pics!
Gotta love them!
And to this day I still do!

"You really are the dancing queen..."
a quote from my book

...and as I got older...

(I must get another one like this some day, for my new place)

This block mount  poster (above) was on my wall when I was a teen,
set on a background of walls that were musk pink!
Yep, literally this color!
The color was a mistake (it was meant to be softer), 
but I LOVED it!!!

My cousin lived in a big white, rambling old Queenslander 
on the corner of the street I grew up on.
In it's hey day it would have looked something like this... 

The house has been moved to second from the corner now and 
the verandas were unfortunately removed, but 
originally this was where I had some of my first ballet lessons...
then when my cousin moved in, we spent a lot of time climbing the massive mulberry tree,
heavy with purple fruit and big green leaves (a silk worm's delight)
that enveloped us like it was our very own natural tree house!
There are sad memories attached to this too...
But the Mulberry tree was my fave...
A special place I loved to hang out!
It brought a little bit of calm!

It's a little crazy that while I was hanging out in a Mulberry tree -
my fingers purple with the stains from eating and handling the fruit,
my dad was working on Mulberry Street, in Little Italy...
the irony of that is not lost on me...
I think we were always connected in ways only the Universe could know...
and finally the journey is revealing itself
as the pages of history unfold!

Long walks with my Grandfather & our little black cocker spaniel 
would always wind up here @ his favorite watering hole -
A picture similar to this used to hang in the entryway of my home!

on Brisbane's Northside!
 A collage of bittersweet memories!

From the top left hand corner
1. The Old Post Office - now a restaurant (Whaaaaat the??)
2. The old pier...currently under reconstruction :( You can't even walk on it!
3. The house I grew up in - but much changed now...
4. The Poinciana Tree at the end of my street!
5. The train station I used to travel to school & to work.
6. The little house on the street corner with the beautiful Poinciana trees.
7. The beautiful old town hall - where we did ballet and used to meet for church.
8. The Little Corner Shop - where I would play pinball & drink milkshakes 
with my cousins, and where we would buy gumballs so big they barely fit in my mouth, 
and I learnt to blow bubbles - much to my mother's chagrin!
9. The old Pier (again) in all of it's glory! My grandfather used to fish here.

I walked from our home to Sandgate to school many times over the years...
and then when I became a mother I would walk with my son around this area as well.
This was 'home' for a long time...

but...sadly this is not HOME anymore...
and for all the special times, there are some unhappy memories attached to this too -
This is where I met my EX partner (Michael, the Dr)
...and life unraveled, then and now...20 years on...
Which has, in part, lead me on this journey to NYC...in more ways than one!

Photo courtesy of my brother from his trek to the city today!
Man! It's a jungle out there!

But I will keep looking forward...moving forward...
and believing and hoping for the best!

Something I learnt from a very young age was to stand on my own two feet...
You can't rely on anyone else - so be strong and rely on yourself!

That's the one thing this journey to hell and back has taught me...
that no matter what - BE STRONG!!! - KEEP THE FAITH!!!
Believe, no matter how dark it gets...
I was always very good at this in my youth!
It's what got me through a very difficult life...
and it's how I never succumbed to substance abuse of any kind.
It's this memory that keeps me going now...
Because I have already done it before,
I know I can do it again!
I have done it again!
I am doing it!
I believe!

This next part of the journey is proving very....interesting...
and there are things I want to share but it will have to wait for two weeks or so...
It's the next chapter...the next part of the story...
another hurdle to jump over - but we will! -
so watch this space, there is going to be so much more to tell!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My life reads like a filmstrip!

Braveheart (1995)

William Wallace: Every man dies, not every man really lives. 

This week I've been contemplating...looking at where I have come from and where I am now... 

I've lived through pretty much all of the AZ-family above 
and I am ever so glad I am on the other side of that! 
It was HELL...my HELL...but I survived it...

It seems that the Universe is speaking to me LOUDLY today as I opened Facebook and my email simultaneously I came across all of the things I truly needed to read today ... One of my favorite bloggers, she's also a dear friend of mine - KQ - writes about Trauma here as she explores her world within and beyond Child Sexual Abuse and Trauma...

This is not a topic I generally focus on in my day to day life...but I am one such survivor...of many of these hurts in my life...People can choose to believe it or not, I am past caring. Most people don't want to accept or hear that you've lived through these atrocities, but they are REAL and they DO MATTER, and they SHOULD BE talked about! The taboo that exists around these topics has GOT TO GO! Kelly is blazing the trail to a greater understanding of this horrendous act and how to navigate the life you live 'after the fact!' However, I am not here to explore that process. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for what she is doing - so I will let her do what she does best. This is not my forte...I talk about my own experiences...BUT today this post is about something else...It's about learning the lessons of life...

So today, re-posted on Kelly's Blog... this was the perfect post for me to find as I have struggled to connect the dots today...

Hey Universe, I Hear You This Time!

This post is about a tremendous AHA moment I experienced on Friday. It is so powerful that I needed to share it with all my fellow seekers out there. You see, like many others I am aware of way too many moments in my daily life where stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of despair threaten to undermine if not destroy my happiness. With all the daily practices I have in place to increase my conscious awareness, I still am a work in progress and prone to ruminating about the tragedies in my past and fretting over my future.  Keep reading here where it was originally written & shared - this is a beautiful post of peace, love, and learning to survive HELL! You won't want to miss it!

Anyway, thinking about how far I've come - and where I came from, I realized my life reads like a filmstrip. I see it in pictures, in snippets - as it runs through my mind! I can choose to give each picture (or memory) a chance to settle there...I can explore it further, giving it time to roll (or play out)... to remember that particular movie (or that part of my life) or I can hit pause and move on! I generally try not to focus on the bad. It serves no purpose! Although, some days that is truly easier said than done!

As life is full of upheaval and there are so many unknowns...as I wonder where life is taking me and what else this journey has in store...I look at the lessons - what am I supposed to learn and what am I meant to teach. Life is still unsettled, we are still looking for a home... Amidst the joy there are still many things that aren't right...so I have realized that perhaps there are some things I just have to trust and let go of...Miracles happen when we least expect them... And we must always be grateful!

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Solomon Northup:  Days ago I was with my family, in my home. Now you tell me all is lost. "Tell no one who I really am" if I want to survive. I don't want to survive, I want to live.

We can change our destiny and conjure up a better future - we just have to believe - and Faith is the cornerstone to living your life free of anxiety! When you believe you don't worry...stress evaporates and you just go with the flow. I know it WILL all work out. I know there is a 'Happily Ever After' just around the corner...I just have to keep the FAITH!

I know I am being tested - I also know Karma is a bitch when the ax falls...But I don't go out of my way to wish harm on the people who have hurt me. I just wish them well.  Eventually life - consequences - will catch up of their own accord...every dog has it's day and if you give someone enough rope they will eventually hang themselves...all good advice from someone who has hurt me in more ways than I care to count - but perhaps it was a tad prophetic...we shall see...

I do know this much though - Bad things happen to good people - it's a fact of life! 

I've been thinking - I have now been 'wandering' for 11 months and I know it's time to settle...to stop and to breathe...ENOUGH already! It's time for things to change. Then I read this! - and it is worth reading to the end. Thanks to my friend Lauren for sharing!

~~The Awakening~~ 

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... when, in the 
midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice 
inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold 

And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to 
subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world
through new eyes.
This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to
change... or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next
You come to terms with the fact that neither of you is Prince Charming or
Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or
beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin
with you... and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone
will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK.
They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of
loving and championing yourself... and in the process a sense of new found
confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did
to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on
is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what
they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always
about you.
So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself... and in the
process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people
as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties.... and in
the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world
around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into
your psyche.
And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you
should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear,
what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive,
how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and
raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And
you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn
the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the
doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin
with ... and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there
is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering
through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the
outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon
which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save
the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the
importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry
and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love,
when to stop giving and when to walk away.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you
would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside,
smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that
it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want... and that sometimes
it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love,
kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to
care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water,
and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so
you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So
you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe
you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that
wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it
happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone...and that it's OK to
risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber
baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because
you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to
give away the right to live life on your own terms.
And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud
of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you
think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On
these occasions you learn not to personalize things.

You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your
It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment
must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison
the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple
things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream
a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and
you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever
settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to
the wind.

And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to
stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side you take a
stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to
live as best you can

~~Author Unknown~~

(*Blog post continued beyond this graphic!)

Right now I feel gratitude. Here's what I am grateful for today! 

1. A loving family - on both the sides of the globe! - who never gave up on me, no matter what!

2. Good friends - on both the sides of the globe! -  who never gave up on me, no matter what!

3. That my children have this beautiful place to live in (below)

4. Free Graphic Design work via my husband, so I can get all my advertising material happening for my books...a new Resume created...business card designs, and other exciting stuff to come...we even have a brand new merchandising store coming soon!

5. My health - it's not the greatest, but it's not the worst either!
6. For learning experiences and for growth.
7. For the opportunity to be in NYC all this time!
8. For my talents and abilities.
9. For my Faith! ... and my strength that comes from that!
10. and...for love!

Oh and 11... I just thought of this - being in the right place at the right time...and for the blessings that come from that!

I can honestly say I am HAPPY regardless of life's challenges!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peace be with YOU!

It's Spring
It's 17 degrees -
it's warming up!

Yesterday was Palm Sunday...my brother sent me a message from work
(yes work...looks like he has an awesome job...but more on that later)
and asked me to go to Church and pick up some palms...
Me...go to Church!? Yeah right! ...
I didn't want to go - I am NOT a fan of organised religion
and since I stopped attending my own Mormon church
15 years ago, I haven't been inside one of any description.
Not that I don't believe...I just don't go!

Going to Church Doesn't Make You a Christian 
Any More Than Standing in a Garage Makes You a Car
And generally speaking I can't stand Sunday Christians who belong to their sect
when they wanna...then during the week conveniently forget they even have one
and do whatever they please - and treat you however they want...
So...I just don't go...and I confess I didn't want to!
But if someone asks me to do something, 
and because I knew this meant a lot to him
I couldn't disappoint...
That's just how I am!

I know the drill...from spending 8.5 years in a Catholic school...
I know their religion backwards...and I have a lot of respect for it;
I just don't practice anything... anyway, doesn't practicing mean you haven't got it right yet?
Like...ummm practicing medicine for example...makes you wonder really doesn't it...
I'll practice til I get it right...
God help us!

Anyway...so I went to church...it's one I stumbled on some months ago -
I adore the architecture, and inside is even more beautiful than the outside.
It is truly a stunning building...not that it should matter where you worship really.
God hears you no matter what church you're in...or really wherever you are -
that's what I believe anyway...

My faith is all that has sustained me all of these difficult months...

So I felt that it was right to go...
So I went, I blessed myself with Holy Water
I did the sign of the cross as I entered as a mark of respect,
and I picked up the Palms... 
- it was late in the day so as I walked to the church I prayed
that at least one bunch would be left...and sure enough,
there was one bunch waiting for me as requested... Thank you! -

And then...
I sat and prayed...for everyone, and everything, I could think of!
I have to admit the beauty of this House of God
was very distracting...and yes, I took photos
(see below)

When my brother got home...we made the first cross together!

In the evening we want back to the Church -
it was closed but I actually felt better being there.
It was good to walk, and the fresh Spring air felt good on my skin!

The picture above with the American flag unfurled, 
that's the full moon just underneath it!
That seemed like a good omen to me!

If you read my Blog often you'll see me mention the No. 13 A lot!
It seems to be our lucky number...and once again that's come true -
the new job my brother has been training for has a 13 in the address.
I went to the website to check out their stuff and I couldn't believe it when
I noticed the street details...it's true to say everything happens for a reason...
even if you can't work out what reason at the time...
It helps to just have Faith!
And sure, that's not always so easy to do!
But no matter how dark it got,
I was always determined to believe that things would get better!
And I can see that they are...

You know, I have these challenges but...I'm happy!
REALLY happy!
It took 45 long years...it was a long road...a long journey
but it was worth every minute of the suffering!
I have my Dad, and my brother, in my life and that's worth more to me than anything.

I am surrounded by the most amazing people!
Talented, positive, happy people!
And these are not people without challenges either...
but they are people I am proud to know and share the journey with...
No matter the mistakes I make, or how many times I have to pick the pieces up,
No matter whether I'm having a good day or a bad day...
No matter whether I am there in person or just in spirit,
I am never forgotten, and never alone...

I am so grateful for my life and it's important, even in the midst of trouble waters
'to count our many blessings, name them one by one!'

Thank you Kelly.R....for your little gift of coffee the other day, it meant so much!
I am so glad we can always be there for each other!!!

Thank you Neeta, for your kindness, your words of wisdom, your *new* friendship, love & support -
I know we are going to do AMAYYYYZZZZING things!!!

Thank you P.K - for always inspiring me...for your patience & love..for being WHO you ARE!
You know...I said it all the other day in a heartfelt message I TRULY meant!

Thank you Bec, you are beautifully amazing, and amazingly beautiful! 
Never stop creating!!!

Thank you K.Q. - your courage will heal others...
You are doing amazing things!
Your courage is inspiring!

My list is endless...that's just the short version of the list from the past few days...
there's a stack of people on it...
too many to mention!

Thank you to my beautiful daughter for sending me this!
Love you heaps EJ!

Before I go, I just want to say...always be careful what you wish for you might get it...
While I love the silence & the solitude (at times), I miss my family...I miss all of the little things...I watch my friends writing on FB about screaming kids they can't get to sleep, nightmare days with toddler tantrums and difficult children who wont get ready for school on time...I know how you crave some space and some peace mummies, BUT I would trade with you in a second! I miss hugging and kissing my little cherubs...tucking them into bed...making their lunches and baking cookies and slices, washing their endless piles of clothes...I just miss it all really! Life sure is about giving up something to gain something else, there's always a trade-off, a fine balancing act - not sure I've worked that one out yet - it's one thing or the other for now...the scales tip, it's hard at times...Life is one hell of a crazy ride! But most of all, through all of this, I am grateful for my little people and the messages of love I receive daily over the airways. I am grateful for their dad who keeps me up to date with photos and anecdotes of the latest little thing; no matter how small, I appreciate it. 

and then there's this -

We have a beautiful story to tell...

And I am grateful for my Dad...his personal journey has not been easy...but he is the most amazing man! I'm lucky to know him and proud to call him MY father! I am blessed to belong to this connection... I am proud of my lineage and thankful for the stories he has imparted to me...it's been such a very precious experience to learn about my Grandparents, and exciting, interesting and sometimes treacherous stories of my Dad's life as he traveled the world - where he worked as a Chef, what he's seen and done...I can't wait to share his adventures in a book; he has quite the story to tell! I want my children to know and to be proud of where they came from. And like my children, my Dad is now my inspiration and my reason! This miracle has been such a beautiful gift to all of us - many of the layers of which are still being revealed. All things in time - everything has a season...It took us this long to get here! Now we're putting it all together and building the beautiful foundations for the future.