Archive for the ‘Wisdom & Inspiration’ Category

My Awakening

September 5, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

by Leslie Escoto, host of Tell A Story Online

I had an awakening today. I awoke very early, in fact the middle of the night. Something was bothering me... nagging my mind. I've been very overloaded lately; so much to deal with, to handle, to endure and so I just thought it was more of the weight I am carrying on my shoulders.

So, I flipped on the TV and started watching an old Gene Kelly/Judy Garland movie, Me and My Gal. It was so poignant and sweet and I just broke down in tears and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Later in the day I realized why I was crying. I wanted to feel that love, to be that loved. And then what I realized is that it was up to me: I needed to give myself the love that I was sobbing about. I had to give myself permission to care for me, to cherish me, to adore me, to love me.

I have never been able to do that before. It's been a long, long, arduous journey of self-awareness and acceptance. Today, for whatever reason, I was graced with the ultimate truth. That I am okay by myself. That I'm a really good woman, with God-given talents and abilities, with a great family who supports and loves me, wonderful friends who care, and a life for which I must be grateful.

A giant smile crossed my face, made my crinkles show, and I fell to my knees and looked upward. I closed my eyes and yelled out loud, "Thank you dear Spirit, for hanging in there with me, sheltering me, encouraging me, kicking me in the ass when I needed it, and finally providing the light I need to show me the way."

I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted. I feel free and easy and happy and loved—by me!!!!! And you know what? I have a lot of love to share and I can't think of a more deserving person to receive it... right now that is. I know there is someone out there who will want my love but for now, someone is here to finally accept it from me. Ahhhhhhh.

Yes, I'm okay.

If you have a story about an awakening of your own you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it! Write us at MaliAndJoe@TheSoulmateExperience.com. ♥ Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

Sophie, My Christmas Angel

August 27, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (11)

The author of From Scars to Wings and Tiny Sophie Spreads Her Healing Wings continues her healing journey and shares it from her heart with all of us.

I tried so hard to find something to concentrate on. The hum of the machines, the constant beeping. The whisper of the nurses in the corridor outside the room. The white lilies in a vase on the window ledge. The sun shining through the window as the snow continued to fall outside. None of it was distraction enough. None of it could make me forget that I was sitting in ICU while my daughter fought for her life.

It was December 23rd, my daughter Sophie was born on December 22nd. I was still trying to put the pieces together in my head. I missed her birth, all of it. I didn’t have contractions, I didn’t feel the excitement of what was about to happen. I didn’t push; I didn’t feel that final surge as she left the comfort of my womb and entered the world. I didn’t have that moment when the nurses checked her over to make sure she was breathing and counted her fingers and toes before they handed her to me with smiles and congratulations. I didn’t hold her in my arms and touch her sweet face and have that instant moment of bonding that you hear about. Instead, all I remembered was falling. My partner had come home from work in a foul mood and beat me. He pushed me down the stairs and as I fell the last thing I remember thinking was, “Please protect my baby”. My daughter wasn’t due for another five days.

When I woke up in hospital, my hand instantly went to my stomach and I knew that there was nothing in there. Where was my baby? I didn’t know if she was dead or alive. Everything hurt. There was not a part of my body from my head to my toes that wasn’t screaming in pain but my heart. My heart screamed the loudest. I was trying to get out of bed as one of the nurses came in; she tried to calm me down and keep me in bed. She was trying to tell me about my injuries. Later I discovered I had a concussion, fractured cheek bone, fractured arm and cuts and bruises but all I cared about in that moment was my daughter. She called another nurse in and they closed the door. One nurse sat on the bed beside me while the other pulled up a chair in front of me. I knew, I knew it wasn’t good news. They told me she had been born with severe brain damage as a direct result of the beating and the subsequent fall. She wasn’t breathing on her own, her heart wasn’t beating by itself and they didn’t hold out much hope of her living through the next 24 hours. At this point she had already been fighting for almost 14 hours. I wondered if she knew. I wondered if she knew that those 14 hours I had not been with her?

They took me to her. Nothing could have prepared me for that moment, a moment that haunts my dreams to this day. I won’t share that moment as it is too distressing both to hear and to share. They told me to talk to her, to sing to her, to read to her, anything to let her know I was there. I could put my hand through the small door in the incubator and touch her but I couldn’t hold her.

The next few days are still a blur and I don’t remember every detail. The only time I left her side was to go to the bathroom, to brush my teeth and to go get coffee. I didn’t shower for days. I was taken back to my room occasionally so that the doctor could check me over and tend to my injuries but for the most part they left me alone with my daughter.

I told her stories, sang lullabies to her. I told her over and over again how much I loved her. I whispered to her that if she fought, if she stayed with me I would spend the rest of my life making this up to her. I apologized for being the worst mother and promised to do better. I prayed to God longer and harder and with more sincerity than I ever had before.

As visitors came for other patients with cards and gifts for Christmas, I was oblivious. A few friends came and went but none of them knew what to say to me. I didn’t have many close friends and those I did have were scared, so they stayed away.

One of the nurses called my mother and told her what was going on. The first time the nurse called, my mother told her that I had my own life and had to deal with the consequences of my actions. The second time she called my mom was December 26th, Boxing Day. She told her she was calling to tell her that Sophie wasn’t going to make it and that if she or my family wanted to see Sophie or say goodbye, they had to come now. My mother’s words to the nurse were, “Call me and let me know when it’s over”. They called my mom before they told me what was going on; they wanted someone there for me but when they told me and I asked them to call my family, the nurse had to tell me my mother’s reaction. As I looked at my daughter lying there, so frail and helpless, I felt such a surge of overwhelming and all-consuming love and I knew that if I could, I would give my life to save my daughter’s life. I wondered where that sense of love was with my mother right then.

They asked me if I wanted to hold her. I said no. As long as she was in the incubator, she was safe, she was being kept alive. Every fibre of my being was aching to hold her but by doing so, by allowing them to take her out of the incubator and place her in my arms, I would be admitting defeat. I would be allowing myself to believe that she really was going to die. In my heart I knew it was happening but my mind was in denial. As long as she was still attached to the machines that were breathing for her and keeping her little heart beating, there was hope.

After a few minutes of trying to persuade me, the nurse simply took Sophie out of the incubator, unhooking her from everything and placed her in my arms. We were both bawling by this point, me and the nurse. They sat me in a chair and gave me a blanket. They turned down the lights and they left me alone. A few minutes later another nurse came in and asked me if I wanted a picture taken and I immediately said no. Letting them take a picture felt like I was signing her death certificate myself.

Sophie wasn’t small. She was only 5 days from her due date when she was born and she weighed almost 8 pounds. She had fair, wispy hair and the softest skin. Most of the bruising had faded considerably and aside from a small indent above her eye, there was no sign of the trauma she had endured. She looked just like a normal, healthy baby that was sleeping peacefully.

I touched every inch of her soft skin. I held her close and breathed in her sweet smell. I kissed her, held her against my heart so she could hear it, all the while hoping that it would be enough, enough to make her want to stay with me. It was so hard to believe that instead of getting ready to take her home, I was being told to say goodbye to her.

There is a book called Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney that I was given by one of the nurses the day they took me to see Sophie for the first time. I must have read it to her hundreds of times in those few short days—short days that at the time felt like the longest of my life. As I held her I recited the words of that story to her from memory. “I will love you to the moon and back again”.

My daughter died in my arms on December 27th 2006. My Christmas Angel left this world on the very day she should have entered it. Who else can say that they have their very own Christmas Angel?

The rest of that day and the one following I don’t remember. They sedated me and just let me sleep, hoping that my body would begin healing physically so that I would be able to start healing emotionally.

The day I was leaving the hospital, two days after Sophie died, the nurse who had been there every day handed me a small box. In it were the book I had read Sophie, the teddy that she herself had bought for Sophie, a lock of her hair, her handprints and footprints, her blanket and a picture. Even though I had said no to having my picture taken with Sophie, the nurse knew that when the time came, I would regret not having one so she took it upon herself to take a picture of Sophie for me. It is not the same as having a picture of both of us but at least I have a picture. The nights I wake up in a cold sweat with the fear in my heart that I am forgetting her, that I can’t remember what she looks like, all I have to do is take out the picture.

♥  ♥  ♥

I was angry for a long time. I was angry at myself for not being able to protect her. I was angry at my family for not being there. I was angry at God for taking her and I was even angry at Sophie for leaving me, for not loving me enough to stay with me. She would be six years old this coming Christmas.

It has been a long and painful journey. I have veered off path many times, gotten so lost that I believed I would never find my way again. More than once I didn’t want to be found. I just wanted to be left alone in my darkness and in my hurt. I didn’t want to feel better, I didn’t want to live. I felt guilty if I smiled, if I felt happy even for a second. I felt guilty for every little change I made in my life, thought that she would think I loved her less for moving forward without her. The guilt and shame consumed me as much as my love for her once had. It took over.

Then it came to me. It wasn’t that Sophie didn’t love me enough to want to stay with me. It was because she loved me so much that she left. God spared her. He knew I was strong enough to deal with losing her so that she didn’t have to live a life of pain and hurt. He needed her more than I did and he knew that I would find a way to see that. Who knew what our life would have been like had she lived and I had taken her home. Would he have beaten her too? Would he have killed both of us? She saved me. Her strength and her courage gave me the strength I needed to leave and to start my own journey of healing. She doesn’t think I love her less by healing and moving on. She knows I love her more.

At the beginning it was all for her; it was all in her name and in her memory. All that I did was for her. Since the day she was born and even after she died, Sophie continues to teach me daily. I realized recently that it is not enough to do everything for her. I have to do it for myself. I can hold her in my heart as I continue my journey but the only way my journey will take me where it is supposed to is if I do it for myself. She taught me that I have to believe in myself, even when it feels like the world is against me.

She is my greatest gift. Without her I would not know love—true, unconditional love. I would not know hope or trust. When God gave me Sophie, he did so for a reason. I was too hurt and too angry to see it at the time but I see it now. I will be forever thankful that I was given her for those few short days and that I was given the chance to hold her.

Her full name is Sophie Louise, which means wise warrior. She will always be my wise warrior, the one who taught me what true strength is and the one who passes her wisdom to me even now. She knows what my heart sounds like from the inside and she is teaching me how to listen to my heart, how to follow my heart. She is teaching me how to simply BE.

Paintings courtesy Leslie Escoto, host of Tell A Story Online.

If you are moved by this story, the writer, KA, would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment for her below.  Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

 

 

When the Time Is Right

August 4, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (9)

A glimpse into the soulful inner world of our dear Scott Stewart

I just returned from the grocery store. While there, in line to check out in front of me was a beautiful blond woman. Well manicured, tattoo on the foot, no ring—very pretty.

When our eyes met, I thought about saying something, but I didn't. Deep breath, positive energy and have a nice evening I thought to myself. What else should I have done?

Old me, new me. I have faith that when the time is right, the right person will come into my life and I will say the right thing. I have to remind myself that I am a different person today.

Today is not about my will. I lived that way for a long time. Part of this new way of living is the awareness that life is a gift. I am always provided with everything I need. More times than not I am provided everything I want. I remind myself throughout the day: Your Will, not mine be done. I start each day with a breath of gratitude and ask for knowledge of that Will for me and pray: 'Take me where You want me to go, have me meet who You want me to meet, tell me what You want me to say, and keep me out of Your way."

Today He wanted me to keep my mouth shut, appreciate a pretty girl and enjoy some positive energy. Mission accomplished.

If you'd like to contact Scott, leave a comment for him below. <3 Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

Before I Die

July 26, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (11)

Leslie Escoto, host of Tell A Story Online, shares what she has discovered about herself and life through contemplating the question "What does it mean to have truly lived?" and through her interactions with The Soulmate Experience community on Facebook. Leslie emerges as a woman overflowing with intelligence, passion, and creativity in this heart-opening story, just as the lovely scene emerges on her canvas (about which she says, "This is called painting from the imagination and heart. Just put the paint on canvas and see where it leads."). See more of her painting here. Leslie, may you know yourself as lovable right now!

I came across an essay by Edmund N. Carpenter II, age 17, printed in the Wall Street Journal in 1938. As a young man he was attempting to capture his thoughts about death and what he wanted to do, experience, see, and learn before he perished. As I was reading it I felt as if I were reading my own thoughts, desires, needs, dreams, fantasies, and hearing my burning question: What does it mean to have truly lived?

I thought long and hard about this—who am I really, what do I want to do with my life, how do I wish to be remembered, why am I here? For a long time, I didn’t get any answers. I was too broken and sad and hopeless. I was so stuck in the pain and trauma of the past that I was unable to visualize what would lead me toward a life of peace and grace.

And then came an awakening. I found a special place, on the Internet, a warm, loving and safe place called The Soulmate Experience and I began to heal, and forgive, and smile, and hope.

I was finally able to answer my questions about who I am and what it means to have lived the life I so desire.

So, dear Edmund, here is my contribution to your incredibly beautiful heart.

I want to be remembered for doing something important. I want to see the world and immerse myself in the ways in which others on this planet live, work, play, and love. I want to find the love of my life with whom to face the rest of our time here with joy, laughter, adventures, passion, and love. I have experienced great sorrow, and although I don't relish the thought of feeling it once again, I do understand that it has given me a better understanding of the fragility of life... that we should, no we must, be grateful for each day that we can see the wonders of our world, feel the warm sun or a drop of rain on our face, hear the sounds of nature and children’s laughter, smell the aroma of a cup of freshly brewed coffee or the rich earth after a gentle rain, and taste the sweetness of ice cream on a hot summer afternoon or the bite of a warm snifter of brandy at the end of a long day's work.

I want to write, paint, create and have my fellow human beings see something in my creativity that resonates with them, teaches them, fills their heart, makes them cry, lifts them up, makes them fall in love, helps them stop the hate, self-doubt, or cynicism. I want to serve the common good, be involved in making the world a better place, help people understand each other, leave a legacy for my grandchildren, and yes, learn more about myself so that I can discard the old hurts, mistakes, frailties, self-doubts and make myself loveable once again.

I want to feel good about myself, proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. I want to spend time with family and good friends. I want to give of myself and my resources generously without expecting anything in return. I want to feel cherished and adored, safe, protected, admired, respected, and yes loved, unconditionally, deeply, with abandon... forever.

I want to stop crying for sadness rather than for joy. I want to be more confident and less self-conscious. I want to read, listen to music, go to the theater, watch the whales, stare at great art, visit the zoo, live on a mountaintop, learn to cook like a gourmet, drink champagne for no special reason, grow a garden and give its bounty away, spoil my grandchildren, sail around the world, travel on the Orient Express, sleep in a castle, visit the Louvre, wander through Soho, shop at Harrods, see the pyramids, learn more about Celtic history, and so much more.

I know most of this sounds lofty and perhaps even silly, but I truly believe that making memories for myself and my loved ones is one of the most important aspects of life. Living my life, really living it, and cherishing everything it offers is what I strive for: being present, aware, open, involved, included, learned, and most importantly, contributive is how I want to go forward in this cherished existence. I would live in a tent if I could do all the things that I want to do before I must leave this earthbound life for my next great adventure

.

Thank you Leslie—we love you!  Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

 

 

 

The Catch

July 5, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (5)

A true story that will bring a tear to your eyes and reaffirm your belief in boys, men, and life. Thank you, Scott Stewart, for the gift you have given us here and for the gift that is you! (If you love this, you might want to read Scott's soul interview, too!)

I came home from work one morning, fresh off a 16-hour shift and ready for bed. It was late morning and already on its way to some beautiful weather here in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

I realized that my roommate was off the day before, so I prepared myself for the usual dirty dishes, clothes strewn about and a few beer cans stacked neatly in a pyramid next to the Lazyboy. I see it as my opportunity to practice gratitude and nonjudgment. Being a recovering alcoholic, I certainly recognize all the times I left people’s houses in such a state. 'Yes God, I remember and thank you for the opportunity to be of service' is what I say in times of frustration, especially as it relates to this mirror of myself that currently rents my upstairs.

On this particular morning, I'm so tired it wouldn't matter what the place looks like. I can make it straight to my room and crash even if I have to step over him sleeping on the hallway floor again. I don't judge, remember? So I walk in, throw my keys on the counter and start my descent when I hear a familiar tiny voice:

“Hey Scott.” My roommate’s 7-year-old son.

“Hey buddy, how have you been? Haven't seen you in a while. Staying over for a couple days?”

“Yeah, just waiting for Dad to wake up. He’s really tired. Said 10 more minutes.”

It’s 11:00 in the fucking morning and this poor kid has to wait for his alcoholic father to come to so he’s not bored to death! This is not my problem! He’s not my kid! I've been working all night and this dick can't go to bed at a decent hour even when his kid is here. I'm tired, I'm cranky, I want to go to bed and this ain't my problem.

Negativity, judgment and bad energy are a subtle foe. The more I practice quieting my mind, the more I recognize the ways it creeps into my thinking. But then there are days like this when clearly this kid’s dad is a bum and the kid will just have to keep himself busy until dad rolls out of bed around the crack o'noon. Not my problem!

I'm trying to be a better guy; trying not to judge; trying not to engage in negative energy. Be the change I want to see in this world. But right now I'm tired. This ain't my problem. I’ll mention the kid and his Dad in my prayer before bed. I’ll apologize for thinking negatively and judgmentally. Amen, good night nurse.

Before I leave the room, I take a deep breath. The thought of “help me do the right thing” crosses my mind. Another deep breath and the thought “a 20-minute catch won't hurt my sleep time” and it is a beautiful morning.

“Hey bud, how about a catch out back?”

When I was 2 years old, I came to live here with my mom while my dad fought in Vietnam. The first time I came to stay for the whole summer I was 7. I came every summer after that until I was 12. I bought this place in April of 2009 and found myself at rock bottom, in the fetal position on the kitchen floor two months later.

Three short years later, as I'm heading out back to have a catch with my roommate’s son, I'm telling myself to enjoy this moment for just what it is. Don't judge anyone, smile and just talk to the kid. Go to bed with no frustration and be grateful for the day. What I was given was so much more.

I have to admit, the thought did cross my mind... “Look at the greatness that is me! Someone should take a picture as I have a catch with this poor orphan boy!” Fortunately I recognize the voice of my ego immediately. I can stop it and just be present with a little kid having a catch. Not thinking anything of his dad, but more important, not thinking anything of myself.

Slowly, what began to happen, what I began to feel, was not only gratitude, but a complete humbling. The miracle that is happening in this moment, in this back yard. How utterly grateful I felt for this instance as it was unfolding not only in front of me, but through me.

Then I saw this young boy not as my roommate’s son but as a gift from God. The memories of my youth. The feeling of being young with a whole summer of fun and friends. All the love this house had provided me. Packaged and wrapped with a bow. Standing all of three feet high and talking about his life and what’s important to him.

And just then it got even better. All I asked for was help not judging his father, but what I felt was so much more. What I received was the feeling of what a gift his father is to me. If he wasn't exactly who he was, perfect as God made him, I never would have had this experience in this moment.

I felt like a fish that realized for the first time the miracle of water. It’s all around me all the time this miracle of spirit. If I stop to feel it, it is always there. When I do the right thing for the right reason, and ask the right questions, the gift that is the present moment will wash over me.

That was a few weeks ago. I wish I could say my roommate walked around with a golden glow about him. I wish I could say I felt that way about him all the time. Actually, no I don't. He is perfect just the way he is. So is his son. So am I. When I find myself frustrated, angry or judgmental, I have the memory of that morning. Of the gift that was The Catch.

If you are moved by Scott's story, please leave a comment for him below. <3 Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

 

Tiny Sophie Spreads Her Healing Wings

June 25, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (5)

The author of From Scars to Wings continues her healing journey and shares it from her heart with all of us.

After reading something written by one of my mentors this week, I decided to do what her article ["Give Yourself Permission to Be the Greatest You"] suggested. It gave instructions to all who read it to choose something to give ourselves permission for, to include one thing that we know in our hearts is the one thing that would make the greatest difference in our own happiness.

I chose to allow myself to feel. To truly feel. To allow my authentic feelings some room in my heart. I chose to push aside what I thought I should feel, what I have been taught to feel. I chose to not feel what it is simply easy to feel, what others expect me to feel or to only feel what makes it easier to sleep at night.

My daughter died five and a half years ago. She was born five days early on December 22nd, with irreversible brain damage after I was beaten by my partner and he pushed me down a flight of stairs. She fought for 5 days. Where one so tiny pulled the strength and fight from, I will never know. She left this world on December 27th. The very day she should have been entering the world, she was opening the gates to heaven instead.

The first few months after she died I was a mess. An inconsolable, non-functioning mess. I moved to the other side of the world to get out of the situation I was in. I naively thought that running away, making a fresh start elsewhere would make it easier. Of course, all I was running from followed me and still took up space in my head and in my heart. I was filled with all-consuming self-blame and shame for what happened. If only I had kept my mouth shut and not antagonized him. If only I had found the courage to leave him. If only I wasn’t so weak and had been able to protect my daughter. I was angry at him. There are no words to describe how I felt towards him, but I couldn’t fully blame him as that would mean taking the blame off myself. He hurt me in various ways for almost fifteen years, but I allowed it to happen so I was as much to blame as him, right?

I had some unwelcome communication with him this week. It brought back some very unwanted feelings and memories that I had tucked away in corners of my mind and heart and let myself believe that I had dealt with them. He managed to get access to my Facebook pages and has now read a lot of my posts, the content of which include my daughter, her death and my thoughts and feelings about her. I thought about folding my pages; I said that he didn’t have the right to read those things, he didn’t have the right to be a part of my connection with her through my writing. Talking with some friends about it gave me pause for thought and with some deep soul searching I had some very core-shaking realizations.

I am not angry at him anymore. I thought I would be angry until the day I die but I don’t feel anger. He didn’t set out that day to kill his daughter. He had problems, issues that went deeper than just his temper. He knew what he was doing was wrong every time he beat me but he never intended what happened. For as long as he lives he will have to live with the fact that he was ultimately responsible for the death of his own daughter. That is not me casting blame; that is simply fact. I accept my share of responsibility for our situation but at the end of the day, he beat me, he pushed me and as a result our daughter died.

I do not know, I cannot know, what he thinks or feels. For five years I have assumed that he doesn’t feel anything, that he doesn’t care, but I do not know that to be true. I allowed myself to believe that he didn’t love me because of how he treated me. I allowed myself to believe he didn’t love Sophie because of what he did… But allowing myself to believe it does not make it true. He has to live with what he did every day, just as I do. How do I know that he does not hurt and cry like me? How do I know that his heart does not break every time he thinks about it? I got to hold her. As hard as it is to remember that, I at least got to hold her. I know her touch, her smell; I remember every feature. I was at her funeral. I at least got to say goodbye. He never came so he never had that. I can't even imagine not being able to hold her or say goodbye. On the days where I want to give up, when the pain threatens to engulf me, those are the memories that get me through. What gets him through?

Allowing myself to feel authentically is hard. It is easier to let myself believe false thoughts and feelings to ease the hurt, but that is not real. In order to achieve healing and forgiveness, it has to be real. I will never be on good terms with the man. We will never be sitting down to dinner together or communicating, but I no longer harbour hatred for him. Hatred achieves nothing except to hold me back. I don’t want to be stuck in a pit of hatred and despair for the rest of my life. Sophie does not want that for me either. She wants me to be as free and happy as she wants to be, and she can only be so if I release her to it. Blame, hatred, shame and guilt are not going to bring her back. These emotions take so much energy—energy that would be put to better use in fights that need it.

As I lit a candle tonight for my Sophie, I also lit a candle of forgiveness in my heart for him and for myself, that we may both find our way on our individual paths of grief and that we may both find some peace in our hearts. Even he deserves some peace.

Momma loves you baby girl, sleep well nestled with the angels.
♥ ka ♥

I never saw your smile, yet it is your smile that warms my heart when I am down.
Your eyes only opened for a second, yet their beauty permeates my soul forever.
I never heard you cry, yet it is your cry that wakes me in the middle of the night.
You never lived long enough to learn how to laugh, yet I hear your laughter carrying in the wind.
My arms only got to hold you once, but my heart will hold you forever.
The words “I love you” I will never hear from you, yet I feel those words every minute of every day.
You were never meant to stay forever, but that which you taught me will never leave.
Your heart never beat unaided, yet I feel your heart in every beat of my own.
You never woke up, 5 days you slept, yet you are alive in my heart always

You give me reason to wake up in the morning, purpose for prayer at night. You are my reason for being, for trying, for living… I made you a promise that I intend to keep. I will never stop fighting, never stop trying, never stop living. I will continue to use all that you taught me to make a difference, for you, with you… I will never stop. Even when I want to, I will never stop.
♥ ka ♥

 

If you are moved by KA's story, please leave a comment for her below. And be inspired by her on Facebook at Hold My Hand, Welcome Home, and Sophie's Song. <3 Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships


Waiting for Cancer

June 19, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (5)

This powerful story comes via the creative hand of Megan Monique. Check out her inspirational site and blog

Disclaimer: The title of this post is not to belittle the experience of cancer. Nor does it speak to the idea that I am literally sitting around waiting for cancer (I do believe in the law of attraction). "Waiting for Cancer" is merely a phrase to place emphasis on the idea that many of us sit around waiting for something to force us into action rather than us taking it upon ourselves to take action in the now.

It's almost been a month since I sat down with the infamous Mali Apple of The Soulmate Experience in the lovely town of San Rafael.

You see, many months prior to this visit Mali and I had began working together on my body image perception. After both of us got carried away with our work, the conversation around my body got put on the back burner. As it had many other times in my past.

So here we are, Mali and I, sitting at this groovy little pizza joint called Pizza Orgasmica (are you turned on?).

Mali turns to me and says, "Okay, let's talk about this." I knew right away what she meant because since the last time we were together face to face, I had put on a few pounds and at that moment I felt truly disgusted with myself. I was wearing an oversized T-shirt and jeans that were too tight. I didn't feel cute, sexy or in the least bit appealing to any human eye, especially my own.

As the conversation got rolling, Mali hit a rather strong chord. She says, "So if a doctor came up to you tomorrow and said, 'Megan, you have cancer and the only way you are going to live through this is if you completely change the way you eat and move your body.' Would you do it?"

My answer was a loud, clear and sudden OF COURSE!

Mali then asked me what I knew was coming: "So what are you waiting for?"

My answer: "Cancer."

Photo by Lori Paquette

I let that thought settle in as Mali got really excited about the line we had just come to terms with, waiting for cancer. I mean, it applies to so many different things. Waiting to leave a bad marriage, to lose weight, to eat healthier, to leave the job that's killing you, to travel the world, to experience financial freedom.

When you think about it, we all have our own version of how we are "waiting for cancer." What's yours?

 

Here's to facing your area of procrastination, with love!
Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience:
A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

Love from the Neck Up

May 14, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (4)

We've been honored to be witnesses to this lovely woman's transformation in the two years since we began The Soulmate Experience Facebook page. Many people have shared their transformational experiences with following the daily suggestions on our page; Leslie just puts hers into words so well! Read more of her writings at Applauding Humanity, Tell A Story Online, and The Little Black Dress.

I have always liked my face; it’s not a bad face. I have always appreciated my hair; there’s a lot of it. I have always been comfortable with my eyes; who doesn’t like chocolate brown? I have always been okay with my voice; 60 is the new 12 after all.

But my acceptance and love of myself has always stopped at my neck. I have always hated my short legs—I can tie leggings into a bow around my neck. I have always been horrified about my arms—angel wings just aren’t in season. I have always disliked my small feet—stilettos look like mommy dress up time. I have always cringed at my fair skin—white just makes everything look bigger.

You know how some people, even celebrities at times, put their own head shot on a body belonging to someone else? I’ve been tempted to do this so many times, to see how it feels to like the whole enchilada (perhaps that’s my problem—the whole enchilada).

One day I came across this Facebook page called The Soulmate Experience and I saw so much love being showered on the people there: all of the people there, every inch of the people there. I was stunned. You mean there are people out there who actually love themselves from the top of their head to the tips of their toes? No way!

“Those narcissists,” I thought.

But then I started following the teachings there and even contributed my own two cents worth (that’s about all I thought I was worth). And as time went on, I contributed more: 25 cents, 50 cents, a whole dollar. My little thoughts became more positive and more uplifting, and people “liked’ them. And then lo and behold, the beautiful owners of the page quoted me—the words out of the mouth that I kind of liked—on the back of their soon-to-be bestseller book.

And so I started looking at myself with more accepting eyes... tenderly touched my soft white skin… walked around on tippy toes… flapped my arms to soar to new heights. I started to understand that I wasn’t so bad, that the head I loved really wasn’t misplaced on the body that I hated.

I am one entire package. I am unique. I am kinda cool. I am not perfect, but who is? And I deserve, all of me deserves, to be loved not only from the neck up.

A Gift for Mother’s Day

May 13, 2012

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (2)

This guest post is a gift from Karen Burch. You can enjoy more of her writing at the Facebook page WayPoints by Karen Burch.

I made this piece of art for my 21-year-old daughter, Alanna, for Christmas. The beautiful photo was taken by a dear friend of mine, and I wrote the poem about art and artists — and about Alanna — to go along with it. My daughter is a very talented and amazing artist whose specialty is painting. She's quite accomplished and well respected for her work, and I'm so very proud of her and her gifts and passions and how hard she's working to become a successful artist. She has a dream and she's working hard to make that dream a reality. I respect that, especially because I'm doing much of the same. In that artistic respect, she and I share much common ground. She and I don't share much other common ground, with the exception of genetics, at the moment, to my great disappointment.

But I wanted to give her something special and meaningful and personal as a Christmas gift, and she was moving into her first apartment by herself in January, so I wanted to make her something beautiful that she could use to decorate her little home. So I took the photo, added the text of the poem onto the image, printed it out, bought a beautiful frame and framed it for her.

I gave it to her a couple days after Christmas and she opened it up. I had hoped that she would understand that I was giving her a little piece of my heat and soul, even though it was an inexpensive gift, and I knew that my gift to her certainly was not on her Christmas list this year.

She unwrapped the gift and opened it up. I told her that I'd made it for her and that I'd written the poem especially for her. She looked at it with an amused smile. I asked her if she liked it and she sort of chuckled, which was not at all the reaction I had expected or hoped for.

She just kind of stood there, speechless, and stared down at at the piece of art I'd made for her that she held in her hands. I wasn't sure that she really even liked it. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. Maybe she really did like it and even love it, and just couldn't show it. Maybe she just couldn't admit that she really liked it.

I asked her why she was laughing. She told me that it was "kind of cheesy." Then she added that it was like one of "those cheesy inspirational posters."

"Well, I'm an inspirational writer, you know," I replied, "and some of those inspirational posters are very beautiful."

She said, "Well, it's cheesy, but it's high-end cheesy."

Now, cheesy is not normally a complimentary word. And high-end cheesy is pretty much the equivalent of a high-class hooker. However, I didn't get offended, and I didn't ask any more questions of her. But I don't think that she really loved the gift, as I would if anyone ever made me something like that. And in my lifetime, no one has ever made me such a gift. And I wish that I could say that someone had.

I think that first of all, she isn't at all fond of my writing, which is really sad to me. It's pretty sad that I can't get my daughter's approval and respect for the one thing I know that I do so beautifully, something that others (strangers, really) think highly of me for, and value and appreciate me for. I can't paint or draw anything beautiful (or even decently), but I can create a beautiful "picture" with my writing. I consider myself an artist with writing, not paint. A piece of paper is my canvas. My fingers are my brushes. Letters and words are my paint. But come to think of it, I could never get my mother's approval for my beautiful writing, either, when I was a young person. And perhaps this is why I would like to have my daughter's approval of my writing gift.

I don't think that she thinks much of inspirational writers, but that's what I am. Maybe she thinks that inspirational writers and their writing are cheesy. I don't think that. Maybe she thinks that inspirational writers don't really put their heart and soul into what they write. I think that I do. Maybe she thinks that inspirational writers aren't genuine and authentic and they don't really believe what they write. But I am genuine and authentic and I believe 100% in every word I write, because my writing comes from my own beliefs and my experiences, both ugly and beautiful. My writing doesn't just tell people, "Have faith, pray and be positive!" I aim to teach people how to become inspired, how to be inspired and inspire others, and I teach them how to have faith, how to change their thinking and use their changed thinking to change their lives for the better. I want to share the gifts I've been given. And I want my gifts to be used and enjoyed. I suspect that my gift to my daughter will never be displayed proudly on a wall or on a table in her home. Maybe it even embarasses her. I hope that I'm wrong.

Maybe she just thought the gift was overly sentimental and mushy. Maybe she needs to learn how wonderful it can be to feel overly sentimental and mushy, especially about the love of a daughter. Maybe she thought that the gift was corny or hokey. Maybe she needs to learn how good it feels to be corny and hokey about someone you love. Maybe she didn't know that the gift was created with unconditional love. Maybe when she has a child of her own she will understand unconditional love. Maybe she was too proud or stubborn to admit that she liked the gift. Maybe she needs to learn that pride can deprive us of giving and accepting love and many other gifts. Maybe she just couldn't bear to give me credit for creating something beautiful. I did create her, too, didn't I? Maybe she needs to learn that giving credit where due is crucial in any relationship. Maybe she just can't accept me for who I am. Maybe she needs to learn to accept people for who they are, just as she demands to be accepted for who she is. Maybe she just can't appreciate that she has a "cheesy" mom who made her a cheesy gift for Christmas.

But that's the kind of person I am, I suppose. I guess I'm just a sentimental, mushy, corny, hokey kind of person, and I'm good with that. And I guess if that makes me cheesy, then cheesy I am, and proud to be cheesy I am.

I wish you all an overly sentimental, mushy, corny, hokey and cheesy Mother's Day and that each day is filled with all that cheesiness -- high-end or not -- and so much more. May your cheesy love be a brilliant work of art.