One woman's journey within

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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Decisions from within. Jump off the cliff and the wings will appear.

Nobody really knows how we arrive to certain decisions in life and whether the paths we choose are the ones we were meant to follow. Through my recent practice of morning meditation, learning, writing and making affirmations, I have arrived at a life changing decision. I will not share what this decision is, only that I have been contemplating it for a long time, probably knew many moons ago that it was the true choice for me, but was not ready.

What I do want to share is that no matter where you are in life, what pain you have, what challenges you face, what struggles you find yourself in the midst of, it is discovering your personal truth that will help you, and realizing there is no other way but living that truth and choosing that truth. Kamal Ravikant was a great inspiration in my journey, and even reading his “Love yourself…” book did not get me there, but continual practice of actually loving and forgiving myself, even if just in words, being okay with feeling the way I am feeling, letting myself just be there and be at peace, that is what finally got me there to the top of the mountain, to the big decision that I now know is my truth. In the times of pain, I close my eyes and I speak the “I love myself” words, I breathe deeply and feel my body connected to the universe, I see it pixellated and not really separate from the air around it, and I feel calm. I tell myself that everything is going according to my truth and I will get there when I am supposed to. My mom recalled when I was small in nursery school, I would console myself while crying, saying “It’s Okay Genya, please don’t cry, it will be okay, Genya, stop crying, please”. She said it was the funniest thing, the way I would talk to myself through bawling like crazy. Well, over the years I have forgotten how to do that, and now I have learned again. I have it within to heal my pain and to choose the life of truth, joy, kindness, and abundance today, within, and yes, Kamal, I can feel my wings growing.

The memory makers of life

Let the lines on my face be the memory markers of belly laughs and smiles at my babies’ first words (Broom!), and happy, drunken nights with friends, and angry looks at my husband, and worries about the kids and the job and the traffic and the bills and the weather and whether I will get enough rest to be up again tomorrow to fight the battles the day will bring… Let the brown spots above my left brow be the memory markers of that time in Tijuana, before the kids, before all the big worries, when we were free and took the rented Pathfinder illegally over the border and hung on the beach sans sunblock because our cares were only in each other… Let the new gray hairs be the memory markers of enormous stress when my son was kicked in the belly at wrestling and we spent the night at the ER worried sick and the feeling of enormous love and affection for this kind sweet handsome boy and praying, praying that he would be okay. Let the not so white teeth be the memory markers of glass cups of coffee that my husband and I make for each other every morning, our one tradition that we now have for years, before the day starts and the kids wake up, extra cream and no sugar always for him, and the everchanging mine with stevia sometimes, or agave or coconut creamer or regular, will he get it right, and yes he gets it right, every time. Let the stretched skin on my belly be a memory marker of what it means to be a mother, of having that abundant womb filled with miracles over and over again, feeling the flutters of first movements inside it, hearing the music of that first heartbeat (is it fast or slow, boy or girl?), late nights of contractions, is it coming, are you sure, do we go yet, let’s go…My memory markers I am told are signs of aging, that I need to fix, cover, dye, whiten, tighten, erase, firm, remove, renew…and yet they make me who I am, they are proof that aging is beautiful, natural and life itself.

More questions than Answers: Parenting, Middle School, Coming of Age

How do I help my sixth grader deal with life? How do I invite her to realize that what is inside is what is important? How do I tell her that the good friends will come, the ones that bring you up, the ones that make you feel good, ones that are kind and considerate and caring? How do I tell her it doesn’t matter what the other girls whisper about her when she walks by them in the hallway? How do I explain that sitting at the “popular” table is not what it’s cracked up to be, and it won’t make a difference 5 or even 3 years from now? Because no matter how many times I tell her that she is smart, she is beautiful inside and out, she is amazing, brave and courageous, she needs validation from others in her tribe. I sit with her and tell her about an older girl I used to be friends with who lived upstairs in our apartment building, and who would whip me with a belt, like her mother did to her, and I was terrified, and I would run away and cry, but I would keep coming back because I wanted  her friendship and her attention, however twisted it was. And then there were the mean rich girls precisely in sixth or seventh grade, with whom I wanted to hang so badly that I would steal money from my parents savings, to skip school and take everyone out to McDonalds or Pizza Hut. I would do anything to be liked by them, to be accepted and to feel a part of their “popular” group. Watching her go through this coming of age time, where she realizes the world isn’t what she expected, that some people aren’t nice, aren’t kind, and are intentionally cruel, but yet she can see and feel that they, too, have their own battles that they fight, invisible, coated with all this outwardly pointed anger, is incredibly tough. Nobody said it is easy to be a parent. Nobody said there would not be tears, fear, angst, and stories, and hugs, and love so strong, so powerful, yet somehow not feeling like it is quiet enough to tame the pain.  I am grateful that I am able to be here for her, and that she has the courage to express what she is feeling, even if it isn’t something that can be “fixed”, “solved” and “addressed” immediately. Parenting is a process, where both parties are growing up, and both are teachers, no matter their generation.

Go beyond the norm! Choose yourself! Hugs are free and the best thing in life!

We know the amount of hours in the day but we do not know how many we will have. Work and sleep fill lots of those hours, but what we do with the rest is our choice, right? When I was growing up in USSR, our choices were very limited. There was one kind of salami, one kind of milk, one kind of cafeteria, one kind of children’s boots, and one kind of black and white television, there were no commercials or advertising because all industry was ran by the government and there was no competition. We did not know different though. Our days were filled with school and work, and then lots of playing outside, cello and piano lessons, library and theater, walking around and exploring Moscow, museums. This was pre-internet of course. Today we speak of how busy we are, yet we find time to like things on Facebook and Instagram, to post a bunch, to catch an episode of somewhere’s “Housewives”, to read and ignore a friend’s text, to play with our phone while our children are trying to tell us what happened in school… We are choosing each and every second who we are, what we surround ourselves with, what we expose our children to and what we model for them.

Seth Godin says of the Industrial age that “You work your day doing something you’re not proud of, and you decompress at night with television and whisky, and on weekends you can go for a run. Right? Do that forever, and forty years from now you’re dead — that’s the deal.” In post-Industrial era our choices are abundant, thanks to infinite connectivity that is growing exponentially as we speak. But it is easy to feel trapped by what is being sent to you and the stories that are told about who you are and what you should be choosing. Rebel and do something different today! Go beyond the norm, beyond what people expect, beyond what you expect.

I stopped at my son’s public school the other day to surprise him with a hug. I was driving by and thought about it, then almost did not do it because “would it be weird?”, “would his teacher say something”, “would the front desk ask me why I was there?”, but I pushed myself and went ahead with it, and ran in and hugged him. The smile on his face was priceless. The feeling I got from the hug was beyond what the words can describe. It was a little hug that was enormous. I understood that it is the best thing in life. Free. Abundant. Amazing. If choose it that is.