Monday, December 16, 2013

Learning and Unlearning

I have been starving myself for a long time in many ways
The loss is a cleansing of sorts that has left me dazed and in disbelief
But this is what I am learning

I am saying yes and I am saying no
I am refusing starvation and deprivation of the soul
I can clearly see the historical timeline leading up to now

And then there is you

Filling and feeding and teaching me your way a new way
You directly defy all that I know about the world in which we live
About the way things are done
You look at me and you instantly become the object of my desire
And the rest of the world disappears

But I should never want anything myself and I would never want to contain you

I shall never seek to own you… own that which is not mine to own
Although, admittedly I dream of sharing a toaster with you
I dream of sharing a bedroom with a closet that contains my clothes and yours…but I digress
That is most likely just a dream and I could only be so lucky
But my luck has not run that way for quite some time

With you I am learning and I am unlearning

And I am trying to stay safe, I adapt to the chaos of you in a haphazard and dangerous way
And I feel alive and as if I am suffocating and breathing at the same time
It would be easy to minimize the growing pains that loss and fulfillment brings
It would be easy to minimize the hunger that grows

Because the hunger will eat me alive

I cannot stop things from leaving me or being taken from me
I cannot stop from falling in something with you
I cannot stop the pain that I will feel when you take that something away from me
I dream that you never will.. but with my luck you will

I have not been loved in a very long time my luck does not run that way
and it will not be until all of my luck runs out that I will ever be loved again
It is subtle how it happens though it is never overt and I can never actually see it directly
But only out of the corner of my eye and if I try to grasp it

It slips away

Or perhaps my eyes are always the first to look away….but I think this time it is yours
Because you dance so that nothing is disturbed not growing to the right of us
Or falling back to the left of us

But just right in stasis
Until you show up again
I have lost everything I have ever loved
I will lose love again and again
Nothing can stop this …Nothing can protect me

I am done with dying on purpose

Yet I choose to be hungry for the hunger

I choose you …to find the fulfillment of you in the spaces between us

Not to control, not to contain, not to make nice and neat

Not to strip away everything that you already are
To be filled with creating what we want us to be
To be filled with not looking away, not ignoring not denying
To be filled with occupying the space and expanding my breath
To be filled within the moment for what each moment is with you

No more and no less

To fill myself with you to fill myself with me
To fill myself with life to fill myself with love

Until love leaves and I choose to fill again

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Love Speaks to Us

There is something is us that cries out to be loved. Isolation deflates us. It completely trashes the human psyche. However, just as love is important it is also just as elusive. We have created a society where we teach our children the trajectory path to happiness is love, marriage and children...exactly in that order. Worse, we have been taught that love is a destination not a journey to be shared. We no longer teach people exactly what love is and how to love. And how could we when we were never taught ourselves? I mean come on you can't teach what you don't know.

It has been discovered that there are five languages of love. You can actually check out the book. It's call the five love languages by Gary Chapman. People show their love by words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch. These are the ways that people 'speak' to each other to communicate their love. The problem lies in the fact that if we are unaware of our love language and unaware of our partner's love language then it's like we are speaking two different foreign languages and all that ooey gooey love we felt at the beginning will dissipate and our relationships will fail. The illusion of intimacy evaporates.

Unaware of our partner's love language, people generally take one of two paths. They resign themselves to love an unfulfilled life of misery or they opt out and try again. However, research indicates that a third option is available. That is to recognize that love is a temporary emotional high and once that is over, they now have the opportunity to pursue real love. Love that unites reason with emotion. It requires will and discipline. I asks that you show up for the other person, and to allow yourself to be loved by another person rather than to simply fall in love.

Ultimately this is to recognize that beyond all the chemical reactions that occur in the brain and affect the body when one falls in love, for example, oxytocin plays a role in bonding after sex and vassiprosin is released into the brain during sex to support the pairing of a couple and dopamine... oh our beautiful friend dopamine who keeps that good feeling going...we love dopamine. But I digress. I mean after all this chemical release, love is a choice.

Love is an effort and a discipline and we need to know that it is a responsibility because ultimately that person's life is enriched by our effort to genuinely love them. Furthermore, our lives are genuinely enriched by their effort to love us. This makes me think of the gift of reciprocity. We often forget that what we do has an impact on others.

So I decide to show up for love. I recognize that my love language is a little of all five with a majority falling into physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time and acts of service. That's what people can expect from me, whether it is a best friend, a lover or a husband. That is what I bring to the table. How about you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

How You Love Me For Now..If At All

To love me means to love the ebb and flow of me

To know that I come with my own rhythm

And to be confident enough to add yours to that.

It is easy to love me in the morning when my eyes are still full of dreams and memories of the sex we had in the middle of the night.

But to love me when the dreams fade and bittersweet memories come clouding my eyes and quieting my voice, is a sweetness that I will always remember you for

You don’t even know you love me but you do…at least just a bit or perhaps only in moments

Your love is a stage of love you have never known and have yet to recognize, but with me you might come to realize that what we do is love anew

It is easy to love me when I laugh at your jokes and battle your wits when you challenge psychological dispositions

But love me when I wake up snarky and need caffeine to get out of your bed is that something you can do? You do

It will be easy to love me when I make you dinner like all good Italian girls do and when I let you have your way with me like all ex-Catholic girls do

But loving me when I want to belong to you and you to me for a time before you leave, you think that will be difficult, but, that is just a lie you tell yourself

Maybe you think you are not worthy to love

Maybe you think you are broken

But I think we all are a bit broken and to love in the brokenness is the most beautiful of loves

To love fully for that moment in that moment of each other’s presence is the present that love gifts us with

And then we realize that there is no brokenness we are just stained glass windows

Separate pieces of color creating a whole scene of beauty that is impossible not to love

And this is how you love me

And this is how I love you

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just Do It

My Best days, whether at home or at work, are the days when I am ready and focused. The days when I have a clear vision of what needs to get done and that vision is written down on paper and scheduled into manageable steps. Not everyday is like that, and nor should it be. Trust me, I have my days (many of them) that I completely leave to chance. I have days that I completely waste infront of the television or, you guessed it, Facebook. But after a day or two the pile of to-do's in my little head becomes a seemingly surmountable fortress. I'm guessing, however, that I am not the only one. So, if you are like me and need to get stuff done here are some reminders on how to Just Do It! 

1. Break Your Work Into Little Chunks Subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, and then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!. For example, let’s say you want to write a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Writing a book is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as – (1) Research (2) Deciding the topic (3) Creating the outline (4) Drafting the content (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10, (6) Revision (7) etc. suddenly it seems very manageable. 

2. Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops. If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. For example if you spend a lot of time online (ahem…Facebook) Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email. Get rid of the distractions around you. I know some people will out of the way and delete their Facebook accounts. I think it’s a little extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions, but, if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

3. Hang out with people who inspire you to take action.  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Bill Gates, or Oprah, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Identify the people/friends/colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will adopt their drive and spirit too.

4. Get a buddy. Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, however, if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other. I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

5. Tell others about your goals.  Tell your  supportive friends, colleagues, about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

6. Seek out someone who has already achieved the outcome. What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

7. Re-clarify your goals. If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that. Take a step back and ask yourself, What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does what you are currently doing align with that? If not, what can you do about it? Write it down.

8. Stop over-complicating things. Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? Think maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything. Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination

9. Get a grip and just do it. Overall, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Often times people keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day. Reality check: I have never heard anyone procrastinate his or her way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and just Do It!! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Balance Your Way to Success

What does success mean to you? 

I know that every single person dreams of some sort of success. Is it success in business? Is it success in family? Is it success in health? Or is it success in being a good person and making a difference in this world?
All of these definitions are right but I think it is even more important to live a balanced life of success. Successful Living is more than just having a certain amount in your bank account or reaching a certain career height. Successful living in the broadest sense is
~ A life that is full of opportunities that you are not afraid to try, 
~ a life full of fun and meaningful work
~ a life where you can spend plenty of time with the people you care about
~ a life you live without regrets

Doesn’t this life sound wonderful? There are no secrets to living a successful life, but there are a few keys that we sometimes overlook.
1. slow down.
The reason why we sometimes overlook success in life is because we are always in a hurry. We are in a hurry to get somewhere (without thinking whether we really need to be there or not.) We are in a hurry to reach a goal without thinking whether that goal is what we want or not.
Allow yourself to slow down, relax, breathe and ponder on what success truly is for you. Let yourself break free from the expectations of others and the norms that our society dictates to us. Set your own rules that are meaningful and important to you.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get ~Dale Carnegie
2. De-clutter your way to success
After you have mastered step #1 it is time to move on and declutter your lifestyle. Success does not mean being a superman or a superwoman. You do not have to run a marathon in order to be in good shape – just 30 minutes of running or brisk walking daily is enough.
You do not have to drive a very expensive car in order to show your status.

Eliminate goals that are not meaningful to you, declutter your house, stop communicating with people who drain you emotionally, and give up “empty” activities (TV and too much internet surfing are definitely the first ones to go.)
By getting rid of things that you do not need you make room for success in your life.
3. Learning to fail
Failures are inevitable on any path, especially path to success. There are no doubts that sooner or later you will make a mistake or your attempts will fail. However, letting this failure stop your journey towards success is the biggest mistake that you can make.
Failure is just a stop sign on the road. Just because it is on your way it does not mean that you have to finish your journey. Stop, wait, go.

I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
~John D. Rockefeller
4. Keep the flow and stay the course
If you are not afraid to fail anymore you have to learn to persevere no matter what you are doing. Thomas Edison had tried thousands of times to make the electric light bulb. He said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve identified 10,000 ways that it doesn’t work.” Of course through his perseverance we enjoy light in our houses today.
Giving up on something in life is always the easiest route, but it is not the route that will take you to success. We all have projects that seem too big, too difficult or too impossible. If we can persevere, all those projects will be a success.
5. Keep the faith
There are powers in this world that are much greater than us. The power that you choose to believe in can be Nature, Universe, God … The only power in this world that is limited is the power of a self-centered human.
When you believe in nothing greater than yourself you give room to selfishness and pride which eventually lead to envy, jealousy, and inner emptiness. True successful living does not stop on materialistic achievements; it takes you on the journey towards natural spirituality and infinite growth.
6. Love is all you need
What is life if there is no room in it for love? What is the point of that existence?What is the point of working hard if this work does not bring any results besides money in your bank account?What is the point of living in a big house if that house stays cold and empty all the time?Love is truly the greatest power in this world. It will inspire you, it will motivate you, and it will give you strength when you need it.
7. Pay it forward
Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. ~Albert Einstein  
If your life is more than a tribute to … well … you then your life will be a success. If your efforts are not based on selfishness but rather on generosity and kindness of your heart then no matter what you do in life you will be successful. When you stop thinking only about yourself you discover a completely new meaning of successful living.

What does success mean to you now?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sweet Remembrance

Sweet Remembrance

Becky Stuto

January 30, 2013

I have a friend who is one of the strongest women I know. Like many of us she is a mother, a daughter a wife and a very loyal and loving friend. And she is one of the loudest and most hilarious Portuguese women I have ever met. In fact, when I first met her, I thought for sure she didn’t like me and I was convinced she was just angry all the time. Then I realized that she was just Portuguese. However, as time went on I continued remain open and, in doing so, was able to see just how beautiful of a spirit she was. This woman is funny. She is straightforward, which I appreciate. I always know where I stand with her. She wears her heart on her sleeve, even when she thinks she doesn’t. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. And she lives life to the fullest. But most beautifully, is the fact that no matter how hard her life is at times, she absolutely loves her life.

This week my friend’s mother passed away. This was not something that my friend felt ready to handle but she is doing the best she can step by step. So this week I just wanted to dedicate this to her in her time of need and perhaps ask for you all to send her a thought of love or healing light even if just for a brief second. Love is an amazing and powerful tool. As our thoughts become our words and our words become our deeds, then we can see how easily our thoughts have a physical effect on this world. Love is the highest vibration of all and from that vibration amazing results occur.

It is my belief that when a loved one dies, instead of grieving, realize that she has gone on to a higher plane at the will of the Divine. Rejoice that she is free. Pray that your love and goodwill be messengers of encouragement to her on her forward path. We would not be human if we did not miss our loved ones. But know, that in setting them free, you are also setting your own self free.

Love in Action

To send your thoughts to loved ones who have passed on, sit quietly in your room and meditate upon them. When you feel peace within your, concentrate deeply at the heart center and broadcast your love to those dear ones who are gone.

Visualize the person you wish to contact and send that soul your vibration of love and strength and courage. Such thoughts give you and your loved one a sense of well-being and a sense of being loved.

Then affirm:
The Ocean of Spirit has become the little bubble of my soul. Whether floating in birth, or disappearing in death, in the ocean of cosmic awareness the bubble of my life cannot die. We are indestructible consciousness, protected in the bosom of Spirit’s immortality.

My most heartfelt and healing vibrations of love go out to all of you this week and always. Blessed Be.