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"When one experiences truth, the madness of finding faults with others disappears" - S.N. Goenka.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
“Happiness is not getting what you want, it is wanting what you get.” – Neale Donald Walsch.
I grew up on the outskirts of the City of Detroit’s west side, just one mile north of Eminem’s now famous 8 Mile Road. Our neighborhood streets weren’t exactly tree-lined, nor were there pools in every yard. Instead, it was abandoned lawns, cracked and crumbled driveways, and homes in desperate need of fresh paint.
Tom’s Party Shop was just down our road. It was a place where neighborhood kids went with their pockets flush with coins to buy handfuls of candies or frozen treats. If you were an under-aged teen with a little extra cash, you had no problem getting your share of Marlboros. Tom’s was the meet-up point for our neighborhood “gang.” After meeting, we scattered throughout the neighborhood. Days spent riding bikes, running through sprinklers and hiking the woods. We climbed trees, ate Popsicles and sometimes smoked those shared Marlboros. We had everything we needed. There was nothing lacking in our world. We were simply flowing with a curiosity borne of our childhood innocence. A feeling so intense, that we explored our world with creative imagination and complete openness.
Friday, June 17, 2011
“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within, and it available to you now.” - Eckhart Tolle
Fear was a major life motivator until it practically consumed me. There was a point where it held on so tight I felt desperate for breath. It only took a few months for me to realize it’s not a comfy place to pitch a tent. It’s too cold, dark and lonely – a place too desolate and barren to set up camp. We each have had intimate relationships with fear, in one form or another, and in varying degrees. We understand its power and its conviction. And we all want to break free from its hold.
My life during those few desperate months would have appeared to an outside observer to be picture perfect. I had a supportive, loving husband along with two beautiful, healthy, spirited daughters. We shared a home nestled in an established neighborhood just outside of New York City. I was a full time mother, grateful to be home with my kids.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I was in my early teens – a rebel with a quest to break free from the madness that was my family life. My parents were a perfect pair. My mother, a petite, Italian woman, spoke little English and understood even less about American culture. She kept her distance from the unfamiliarity of this new world by distracting herself with perpetual housework. Despite her constant feelings of hopelessness, she managed to channel her nervous energy into keeping a spotless home, making the meals on time, and getting the kids to school or practice. Her inner turmoil created an outer world of disconnection, and she lacked the capacity to relate, to trust and to love. At the time it appeared that she just resented everyone and everything, but now I recognize her struggle as a disconnect within herself. She portrayed the life of a victim, as if everyone had the sole purpose to cause her discomfort and pain. My brother and I eventually gave up trying to convince her of anything to the contrary. Instead, we simply turned a blind eye to her despair.