Last week was my first visit to the dentist in quiet some time. Not so fond memories from my past had kept me away by avoiding the dentist as if it was the plague. Finally, winning the battle in my mind and frankly being tired of procrastinating as I was always coming back to the same old thought of needing to see a dentist, I managed to squeeze into my big girl pants and so I went. It’s not so much that I’m worried about the pain but more so about the sounds emerging from the dentist office. I know, I know, headphones and maybe some “rocking that tooth out” kind of music could be beneficial. With no expectations, no ideas of how everything was going to unfold, I walked into the office. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous, nervous enough to raise my blood pressure, but here I was and there was no turning back now.
Slightly off subject, I have to say that I had taken a huge liking to the “No expectations” kind of policy that I somehow found myself adapting to. Like so many things in life, I couldn’t say exactly when I had started to do so and it happened without feeling a shift through a significant occurrence. Somehow I got tired of driving myself crazy and my mind was adapting to this new way of life to stop interfering. It felt right for me and I liked it immediately once I became aware of what was happening. It allowed things to transpire the way they were meant to be, they would anyways, regardless of what I was thinking. The difference was that I didn’t give the ego permission to drive me insane through the countless thoughts that most likely would never come to fruition. Maybe it is that control thing and wanting to be prepared for every possible situation most humans strive for that causes us to mull things over and over in our minds. Me, on the other hand had reached a point I didn’t care much about that anymore and I don’t know if I truly ever did. Maybe I just never realized before. I was an open book, not afraid to be vulnerable and I simply stopped interfering with my own life. What I mean with that is that life always has a plan for us, whether we like it or not. Whether we understand it or not, I simply choose to embrace everything, good and bad and I stopped resisting and wanting to control the outcome. By saying this, it becomes clear to me that it is probably the only time that I went with the flow of my life, as I often find myself swimming upstream, against the grain and against the crowd and the most popular choice.
Dropping my expectations has helped me avoid disappointments and saved me some headaches. Things always turn out much better than anticipated and may even bring some pleasant surprises if you manage not to drive yourself crazy prior to them. I’m sure my ego could have painted a gruesome picture torturing myself and sending me into anxiety for no reason at all about going to the dentist. And I’m sure it would have loved to entertain the “What if”.
Last week, at the dentist I met some of nicest, most compassionate people as I felt the need to explain as to why I wasn’t particularly thrilled of sitting in the “torture lounger”. Another grim episode my mind could have whipped up if I only let it, but it proved itself that there was no torture at all even though I gripped the lounger a few times. What did happen, was that I immediately felt a connection strong enough to the people and their genuine care, including the experience that would put all my prior not so fond memories to rest.
I could sleep in this morning, it’s my day off….sheer bliss as “My free time” means everything these days. Somehow I managed to stay up until midnight last night, exhausted and all I finally beat the little monster which kept me pinned on the couch and off to bed I went. I woke up at 6AM and decided to turn over and sleep a little more until the phone woke me next. A cancellation at my dentists office for later on today and a new chance for another visit as I need one more tooth extracted. I confirmed that I would be there and I can feel my mind wanting to drift. Hopeful it will go as smooth as it did last week, I will have to remind myself of what I just wrote and what my motto is so I am not a hypocrite unable to practice what I preach. I have to remember last week, how pleasant it was in the most unusual of encounters, while being able to call the dentist office pleasant. My mind naturally wants to wander and there is still the element of the unknown that takes me out of my comfort zone and that makes me worry. Perhaps I’m not quiet there yet and I haven’t laid the past to rest completely, but I’m on my way. I’m here to recognize the horror my ego is trying to instill and by doing so, I am in control and everything will be just fine. Wish me luck anyways hahaha.
It was almost the beginning of December and not before long, before anybody could blink, it was time for us to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome another year. A new year filled with New Years resolutions and predictions. Good intentions carved from the willpower and the things needing improvement in our lives. Definitely, we were going to do it this time as we muster the courage to stick to our plans, to change for the better and become the person we idolize in our imagination. Maybe even for the very reasons to impress a few around us.I was glad to be at home on this blustery dark night and I was exhausted but happy to be off tomorrow. I felt freezing and I was shivering from being overtired. A hot shower helped remedy the chills, followed up with a cup of hot tea after slipping into my winter onesie. Well, actually the only onesie I had. I was all set, comfortably settling in on the couch as this thought came out of nowhere. What would 2017 bring? I think I knew where this was coming from as I amused myself with a few of those Facebook “Meow” kind of tests that leave you laughing out loud most of the time. True or not, they are amusing for sure and a fun way to pass time.
I too, had made many New Years resolutions before, in the biggest part because it was a custom we were told to do so. Everybody else did it and it seemed to be what you do to welcome the new year. At some point, I’m not sure how many years back, I stopped making New Years resolutions. I watched people throw their good intentions right out of the window, giving up on what they had felt so Gung ho about. Maybe it was due to impatience, and maybe things did not develop in a timely fashion, perhaps it was too much work, a struggle to uphold the commitment. Who knows and what was the breaking point for me was probably that it felt fake, a waste of time, a pretend scenario with no real value and follow through. I believed that life required New Years resolutions throughout the entire year and I decided to make my choices and changes when needed instead of waiting for New Year’s Eve. I knew that life doesn’t wait for the right moment and we will never feel ready. Life requires action and decisions on a daily basis, choices that often can’t be prolonged. It just never worked for me to say “Oh wait, this sounds like a perfect New Years resolution, I think I’ll do this when New Years rolls around”. Maybe you could hold off on some things if you truly want to start the new year in a new fashion, to turn over significant leaf, but maybe you also lost your momentum by then and you don’t feel that same drive you initially felt. Something to considerate and think about as it bares risk.
So here I was, in my onesie, contemplating life once more, as I did quiet frequently lately. I knew what I wanted from life and I have to say I didn’t always know. I thought I did but I now realize that I chased the values and principles of other. I’m sure it was important to me at some point of my life but that time had passed.
Today I want something that I never learned in any education system. Not in school, not during my career, but finally through my life experiences, through myself and by waking up to my lives purpose. To something that has a much stronger hold than material bliss, to something that is calling my bohemian soul filled of wanderlust. All I want is to live and truly be alive. To be filled with the treasures of my adventures and the experiences that are priceless and can’t be replaced with money and stress. We don’t learn how to live and how to be happy in school. What makes somebody truly successful in life?
You can take my career, my house and pretty much everything away as most of these things are affiliated with obligations, responsibilities and restraints. Freedom is oppressed as you spend the majority of your time making money to uphold all of your commitments. I grew up with the values of being a hard worker and it is just who I am, but still I can’t help but wonder at the changes I have seen. Is it honorable and appreciated in today’s business world? Maybe it once was but today it’s mostly business with little emotions left for the person actually delivering the results. I guess what’s in it for you is that you might lead a successful career, as long as you deliver and there is nothing wrong with it if that is what you are after. I was too at some point, but my goals have changed and I value my freedom way too much these days. That doesn’t mean that I’m not committed and when I do work, I do give it a 100%, every day.
So as I sit here and contemplate the future, as I forge my plans for 2017, if it is one resolution that I will make through each and every day, it would be the one in which I choose to be alive and truly live, love and laugh to the fullest of my ability.
I lost number 18 at the dentist today but I can’t complain. I have been lucky with my teeth for the most part of my life. Maybe I shouldn’t call it luck and I often think it’s because I never really cared about all that sweet stuff as a child. What a child that doesn’t like candy? Unheard of right? True though and to this day I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. There is the occasional craving that rises up every now and then, but which has to be followed up with a piece of sausage to get the sweets out of my mouth and to neutralize the taste as I would call it. Lol, yeah you heard right, a piece of sausage and meat will do too. So just maybe all the abstinence from sugar overkill may have saved my teeth in the long run. It has been years that I have been at the dentist due to a few bad experiences and the sound of that drill is something to behold even if there is no pain. It’s a bit like nails on a chalk board and it sends shivers of discomfort down my spine just thinking of it. There was no drill today buy I will take headphones from now on when there might be one. Going to the dentist today brought back some anxiety but also the soothing effects of feeling relieved that I finally took that first step and went. My blood pressure was elevated from sitting in that chair with all the medieval looking probing and torture tools surrounding me, but I also found myself relaxing as the feeling of relief swept over me. In the 2 1/2 hours that I was there, I surely had enough time to do so. The warrior spirit was alive and well as my dentist referred to me not once but three times that I was tough as nails. Personally I just think I have a high tolerance to pain, but there really wasn’t too much discomfort today. Thank you novocaine.
#18 called for a root canal which had a 50/50 chance of being successful. I opted against it after the advice from my dentist (wow, she advised me about what would be best for me instead of trying to capitalize on making more money off of me) and I decided to say good-bye to #18 even though he had always served me well in chomping up my nutrition. The odds weren’t good enough and I needed a higher survival percentage in order to pay the high fee #18 demanded.
I will have to go back a few more times I’m sure, for another extraction and routine cleaning etc. but I started and the experience was as great as it can be considering going to the dentist is great. I’m not sure if it will ever be my favorite thing, but the staff was amazing and made all the difference. And to look on the bright side of things and find my silver lining, I think it’s a hell of a diet plan to have a tooth extracted the day before thanksgiving as I am on soft and liquid food. Was I in the right frame of mind to do that or has this turned into an episode of “What was I thinking” Haha….I must have food withdraws as I only had a cup of chicken broth and a slice of pound cake which leaves me yearning for, yes you got it….sausage that I can’t really chew up now. I think I’m just making fun of myself and truly I have a thanksgiving kind of mind frame every day. Not always the food with turkey and all the fixings, but definitely always thankful for every lesson life has given me, for the people that surround me and make me a better person and for everything I have been blessed with. You see, I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m grateful for each one of you.
You said it a few times by now and each time you have said it in anger. “You are just like your mother”. I’m not quiet sure as to why you say it or if it’s a low blow you are trying to deliver. Maybe it’s just a statement, an opinion, something that doesn’t come with good intentions. I wonder if it truly needs to be spoken, as it’s context conveyed is meant to be hurtful. I fail to see your reasoning, nor am I trying to figure it out. All I know is that it’s no compliment towards me or my mother and I feel a change inside of me rising when you bring it up. A switch that turns to protection of my mother as I feel that she has bestowed nothing but kindness upon you. I know there have been many times that you have seen me struggle through some issues with my mother and perhaps it is the reason as to why your perception of her has shifted. Maybe it is different for an outsider, somebody not related through blood, but even that I can’t justify and excuse because you have experienced some of the same with your own family.
As far as my mother is concerned, I’m not sure if we struggled after the death of my father. She provided me with everything that I needed and while I’m sure that there must have been tough times, I was too young to understand and notice. I might have never seen or recognized the signs that were there and I dismissed them with young, innocent and ignorant bliss. There was nothing to notice for me at that age, she did a great job of keeping it all away from me and nothing was obvious or appeared out of the ordinary. For the most part anyways, besides missing my father every day. She had to be a strong woman, raising me by herself and finishing the construction / remodel on our house that was only half finished through her own power. She never gained the respect a man would have had dealing with the handy workers of various traits, but she learned to become tough which also caused her to lock her feelings away in order to display this strong front. Even towards me she kept her wall up, towards her own flesh and blood. I knew she cared about me and loved me, I always knew, she just never said it to me and I missed the affection I had come to know and love from my father.
I don’t know if my mother changed or if it was me realizing how important it was to convey feelings. My father taught me in his absence that we can never take anything for granted because we might never get a second chance. And so it was that while my heart and my feelings opened during this Rhapsody (an effusively, enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feelings), it was the opposite for my mother and her feelings and her heart hardened during that same time. Yes, she choose to be by herself for all the years that followed my fathers death and she never remarried. Sometimes I think that it is only me who can understand her reasonings behind the unspoken words. She doesn’t have to say anything and still I already know that my father was her soulmate, he was the one and only for her. A play of words that couldn’t find a better example as describing the love that lived between my parents.
I never realized how much it impacted my mother that I left her and my country to come to America. How could I, we never talked about feelings in any way or form. By now you could say, she had become an expert at hiding her emotions, with a poker face that left no clues. Over the years she became bitter that I left her behind and we drifted apart. We almost became estranged and for many years I felt that we knew each other as people, but not as family and definitely not like mother and daughter. She held a stubborn grudge, unable to forgive me and it didn’t matter how successful I had been in my second country of home, all there was, was that I had left her. Going home to visit was not always an easy thing as the first week was wasted and filled with the tension of her despising the decisions I had made. It took me over twenty years of trying to rebuild a relationship between us and thank god for that it finally happened. I nearly gave up a few times and so I understand when you remember that side of me, the frustration through it all, but you forget the internal struggle to continue the fight for her love and acceptance. It took many arguments and heartaches to finally break through to her, to finally give her something she could agree on and be proud of. It was nothing short of a miracle to have her back.
And finally she allowed me to see a few glimpses of the mother that I knew as a child. I saw her laugh again and have great fun, do spontaneous, silly things and just live a little. An inner child that was locked away for many years because of the extreme difficulty and the seriousness of events that had transpired. I could never hold anything like that against her and my heart was always aching for the tough life she had to endure. Many might not understand her, but it is me who does and who imposes the question to imagine how your life would have turned out if you had lost your soulmate at such an early age? What would you have done, or would have to do to survive? Chances are none of us can answer this and we don’t know how strong we truly are until having to be strong is all there is left. I think she did just fine and even though I know that at some point I let her down in a big way by leaving her behind, I am the work of labor and love that comes from my parents. She sacrificed much for me and I can never thank her enough for helping me turn out alright.
So when you say that I am just like my mother, I know it is in comparison that I hold on to the past, that I hold a grudge or that I can’t forgive. I might even agree with a few things that could fall into a statement like this, for we both had to be strong women and life didn’t always made it easy for us. And yet you won’t hear me complaining because life had a plan for me all along and has made me into the person I was always meant to be. I will always be my mothers daughter and just maybe I was meant to be “Just like my mother” and I take that as a compliment.
This month has packed a punch, filled with that of an emotional rollercoaster and once again it does not surprise me that my life always seems to pan out in the fashion of being born on The day of up’s and down’s. The Hawk visit from the other day made me pause and think about the meaning, the awareness of being able to witness this brief moment of which I don’t leave to coincidence. I believe in the signs and the purpose that they bring, just as I believe that everything happens for a reason, including the people who enter our lives who are here to teach us a lesson, good or bad.
On November the 15th it was 5 years since Sparky…has been gone. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed already and his death brought a likewise emotional rollercoaster. He had been sick for a while and I know it was painful for him to move around with his arthritis. He struggled and still I wasn’t ready to let him go and say goodbye. Yet it was inevitable and I remember driving home from the vet, alone, without him, in tears and with my heart ripped out. Nothing prepared me for what was about to unfold at home as I opened the door and came in without Sparky.
Nikki immediately started to search the entire house for Sparky which made my heart even heavier. Her friend and soulmate was gone and here and there, in passing she would throw me a frantic look because she couldn’t find him. I never seen anything like this display of mourning from an animal, it was truly gut wrenching. This went on for hours, with her running up and down the stairs, checking everywhere. Finally she collapsed in front of the couch, right next to me. I decided to spend the night downstairs, on the couch and turned on a nightlight so I could see her and comfort her. The house was silent, no TV, no noise, nothing.
I’m not sure when it happened the first time, but I heard a click as I was trying to figure out what had caused the noise. To my surprise the cable box had turned on by itself and the bright little digital display was shining through the otherwise mostly dark room. And if that wasn’t the weirdest, it was that Nikki jumped up in that very moment to start her search for Sparky once more through the entire house. Relentless, up and down the stairs in every room I could hear and I couldn’t explain what was going on. I had never seen the cable box turn on by itself. Maintenance? Was somebody performing some sort of test on it? And then there was Nikki, coincidence? I didn’t know what to believe and finally she calmed down and took her place next to me once more. Needless to say I don’t think either one of us slept much that night and the cable box incident repeated itself two more times, each time turning on, with Nikki springing into action and searching the entire house until she eventually gave up.
I shared this incident only with a few select people, in fear that they would declare me nuts. They didn’t, respectfully so but I knew that nobody bought into the story or perhaps believed it. People tried to justify what happened in a logical sense and dismiss the whole thing.
A few days later driving home from work, I thought of Sparky again and once again the tears rolled down my face to the point I was considering stopping the car. It was a stormy dark night and the wind was raging against my car with such fury as if it was attempting to blow me off the road. I tried to focus through my tear covered veil as I was nearly home. What happened next could have not lasted more than a few seconds, but it was as if time stood still. The noise of the wind stopped and a calm serenity engulfed my car. It was quiet and peaceful and I noticed the sky turn brighter. Leaning forward in my seat, I looked over the steering wheel upwards towards the dark storm clouds that had just been here. Through the silence a white feather danced through the night sky and landed on my windshield. And before my mind could really comprehend everything of what had happened, “Swoosh”, the wind picked up in full force again and swept the feather away.
I don’t know how to explain what happened on those two nights and no matter how much others want to dismiss these incidents and give me the strange eye, I know what I saw and what I felt. It was the beginning for me to believe in Signs and to become more aware. And I believe that Sparky came to visit us those nights once more, to ease our pain and to let us know that he was at peace while always being a part in our hearts until we meet again.
It was right after I got up this morning and while passing by the dining room table that I noticed movement in the backyard. I got closer to the window to see what had caught my attention and found myself face to face with a Hawk. The magnificent animal was sitting within a short distance on a branch, staring at me and watching my every move. His eyes were focused on me with such intense clarity and crystal clear vision that I could feel his gaze burn itself right into my soul. His eyes demanded respect and focus as I stood frozen in time. It wasn’t the first time that I was paid a visit from the Hawk spirit animal and I remembered back to a few prior visits. Always admiring this animal from a distance before, this was different and I never encountered the fixed stare before. It captured me to just stand there in silence, compelled to stare back at him as if he was ready to begin speaking to me. I felt transported to somewhere else, like into a movie snippet, a scene from a science fiction where the Hawk came to visit a human to deliver a message. Drama music playing in the background and all. Was he here to drive awareness and redirect my focus? Was there a reason behind the visit? The timing was definitely extraordinary and made sense in many ways but of course I couldn’t be sure and it is up to us how we want our mind to interpret these visits. If we see them as visits and signs from the spirit world or if we dismiss them to coincidental events. For me they were signs and my awareness of these signs was sharp and clear with no doubt about them.
Researching the presence of the Hawk, I learned that when he comes to visit you, you might have the inclination of using the power of intuition and vision in your daily life. The Hawk provides the wisdom of seeing situations from a higher perspective through increased observation, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. The Hawk is a messenger from the spirit world and a great companion to develop spiritual awareness. He directs you to the power of focus through a clear vision and guides you to take the lead when the timing is right.
With all things transpired in my life recently, I felt that they demanded the intuition and the crystal clear vision of the Hawk.
Coincidence? I think not