I Will Leave The Light On

light on

 

I woke up thirsty the other night… came downstairs in the middle of the night for a drink of water. The kitchen light was on. I got some water and reached to turn off the light and couldn’t. My heart won’t let me. I always leave the light on… for my children.

My children are adults now. They live their own lives and do as they please. One even live in a totally different state.  Neither of them really live at home anymore even though they both still have bedrooms here (and would probably be highly offended if I convert them to something else). Somehow though… our kitchen light stays on all night every night – Just in case…

While they were growing up, as they got older and stayed out later, we got into the practice of leaving a light on for them when they came home, I can’t really remember but I’m guessing they would turn it off when they get in. I, though, have no recollection of turning it off at nights… only in the mornings.

I’d never thought about this kitchen light before my trip downstairs recently for a drink of water. It dawned on me that my daughter lives thousands of miles away and my son has not slept in The Sunshine House in almost 6 months and neither probably won’t be coming back except to visit and I should probably turn the light off? I wondered how much of a difference it would make it my electricity bill if my lights didn’t stay on all night. I wondered why I left it on in the first place as they both know where switches are in our home.  Still somehow… I could not flip the switch and I suspect… like a lighthouse… I Will Leave The Light On.

 

 

 

Chapter 47 – 0 MILES TO EMPTY

love wild

 

September has been a whirlwind. Chapter 47 of this beautiful Joy Journey has begun but it ended with 0 MILES TO EMPTY!

0 MILES TO EMPTY!!! 100 MILES COMPLETED IM SEPTEMBER! In September, I made a deliberate effort to complete 100 miles of walking/running (outside of my normal training/workout).   Most of you know my goal was to complete a 5k a month (12 for the year) and in August I missed doing one because I was out of town 3 weekends and lost a love one the other weekend. (It still feels surreal that Gail is gone. I drive through Naples and my instinct is to stop by her office or call her to meet for lunch or dinner or an event).

 

But because I missed my August 5K, What did my crazy ass decided to do to make up for it? A self imposed challenge of walking/running 100 miles in September!  Let me tell you… this was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! Having to get up every single day and make sure (Be Intentional) to add miles every single day (3.33 had to be completed each day to ensure success) so I’m not behind was brutal, some days was so hottttt… I just plain cried.

September, also being a month of several out of town trips, I’ve literally had to put these miles in wherever I could. The streets of New York, walking around airport terminals, and even across the street from my house, All this while maintaining my workout schedule. I’m grateful for all the times I was joined by family members especially my sister Sharmilita to push me.

My September 5K was special! I looked for one I could do on the actual day of my birthday and was happy to see that there was a Color Run in Orlando.  I’ve always wanted to do a Color Run. It reminds me of the Hindu holiday Holi. As a matter of fact, its kindof a bite off the  festivities, utilizing the same colored powers that is used for those events.

colored

I completed my September 5k on my birthday at The Color Run Orlando came home and went right back at it, working to complete my 100 miles that I set for myself. Somehow though I still felt a way about missing one of the 5Ks I intended to complete in 2019 so when I realized there was a 5k for MADD not every far from my home at the JetBlue Stadium on Saturday September 28th (end of the month)  I decided… what better way to complete the 100 miles and get 12 5ks completed this year as intended, than to do another one in September! Busted my ass to make sure this week that I was at 97 miles before this morning

And there you have it folks. 2 5ks in September and 100 miles!!!!! Chapter 47 about to be a whole book by itself.

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PEMF Therapy

1PEMF

 

I’ve been getting out my comfort zone and trying new things lately. I’ve blogged about my Salt Cave experience, my Labyrinth experience, Full moon yoga on the beach in Aruba, FAR Infared Sauna, basically… I’ve just been on a year long adventure, not just with travel but with experiences.

A few weeks before she passed my friend Gail mentioned PEMF Therapy. We were talking about my father-in-law needing Physical Therapy and she mentioned that PEMF was being offered at her son’s gym Inferno, in Naples. FL. I told her I’d mention it to him and never thought about it again. After she passed, I met Heather Caputo, who is the person that administers the therapy and Gail’s daughter in law. She gave me a little background on what PEMF was and I arranged to go check it out.

According to oskawellness.com,  PEMF stands for Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field. Devices that tilze PEMF technology emits electromagnetic  waves at diferent wavelengths in order to stimulate and encourage your body’s natural recovery process. this article also mentioned that it has been used by NASA to help mitigate bone loss and muscle atrophy in astronauts.

It is used to treat chronic pain by inducing a mild electrical magnetic current into damaged cells. Some even think it helps cure cancer. Having had back pain (scoliosis) most of my adult life and also issues with pain in my knees, I decided to give it a try.

When I arrived, Heather showed me around and got me on The PEMF table The table is similar to a massage table with a slight incline. Heather added a mat over my knees to target that area and started the machine. I could feel pulses coming out of the bed. She lit a candle, turn down the lights and left the room. I lay there for a few moments thinking, “this is pretty similar to my crystal bed therapy experience (oh, did I forgot to mention and blog about that one? – coming soon then) minus the mediation music in headphones” “hmmmm, maybe they need meditation music in headphones” “can that even happen with electromagnetic fields” “what the heck is electromagnetic fields” “is this thing working” “is it going to get rid of my sore shoulders from yesterdays’ workout”…. and the next thing I knew… Heather was gently shaking me awake. Yup… I fell asleep doing PEMF Therapy.

The rest of the day with extremely productive for me and I did notice a noticeable difference in the level of pain I was feeling in my knees, getting in and out my vehicle and later that evening when I went for a walk.  The next morning I went for a 4 mile walk (I typically can barely finish 3 miles) and had an intense workout session with my trainer, Alphonso Hopson later that day.

I would have to give the PEMF Therapy credit for this as I know what my body generally feels like after all that activity and I’ve booked myself a few more sessions….

Gentrification? Or mass Exodus?

Gentrification definition is – the process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area (such as an urban neighborhood) accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents.

I saw a sign in Richmond Hill NY. House for sale $900,000… Wait What???? Granted it was over 15 years ago but when I lived in NY this neighborhood was in the $200,000 – $300,00o range.  Conversation later on that day with my sister who is also a realtor… “if they want something more affordable they will have to go out on “the island” (Long Island)” Wait… What????  “The Island” (Long Island) was suburbia. Upper Middle Class, Upper Class Living… you could barely afford the taxes.

Morning walk in my sister’s Long Island (upper middle class) neighborhood and it hits me… most of her neighbors are now … let’s say … diverse… lots of brown people… specifically a lot of Asians, Caribbean… so… what’s really going on here? Are they rebuilding and repairing and moving the urban America for ease… or maybe… mass exodus from US?

Back in the days Queens and Brooklyn was the only places we could afford to become a homeowner. You can look all you want in the beautiful areas of manicured lawns and picturesque homes in Long Island but the prices, the taxes and factor in the commute cost from “the burbs” and you simply could not afford to live there. It was white washed.

Then slowly but surely people of color in NY (especially Caribbean/Immigrants) became prosperous enough and couldn’t wait to get out there. Almost all the communities you walk through now has come color

Fast forward 15 years, the homes in Queens and Brooklyn cost sometimes 3x as much as “the island”. Gentrification? Or mass exodus from us?  It’s as if they are saying: 1. If you gonna move into our communities then what we are going to do is take over the urban areas because y’all don’t even know the convenience of what you have so we gonna buy it out, price you out and you can have the damn burbs with your 4 hours a day commute and 4 times more taxes….

Gail

gail

“The key to lasting friendship and why Gayle and I have it for sure” … it’s the August 2019 cover of Oprah Magazine! I called you to share this information for a couple of reasons. We both love Oprah and wanted to meet her and…  this cover is iconic because for the first time in history, Oprah is sharing the cover with her best friend Gayle. Its only been a handful of times in the 20 year history of the magazine that anyone other than Oprah is on the cover.  And because that tagline… is us! I called but you didn’t answer. I knew you were probably resting as it was a rough couple of days and you last shared you were just getting home from the hospital but not to worry, just focus on Gale (another friend, another story)

 

gail and oprah

A few days later, early on a Saturday morning, I was delighted to see a text from you… but it wasn’t… I have to admit, I doubled over and bawled like my heart ached. Actually my heart did ache. SN: You won’t be happy about the explicit words. I wasn’t ready my friend.

I’ve been on the go every since the day after your Life Celebration. Perhaps deliberately staying so busy, I didn’t have to process it but today… today I sat down to get caught up and reached for the phone to tell you all the happenings and realized…. my conversations with you will never be the same.  I almost called anyway, just to hear your voice if it was still on your voicemail. Yes, my heart literally aches.

I’ll share here what I shared on your FB page… (with a few edits)

I’ve been struggling to find the right words to express what you meant to me…

A mentor/mom is the best way I could find to describe it – although I’m not sure how you would feel about that as most people didn’t even know you were old enough to be my mom. I know very many people have used the word mentor to describe you and rightfully so as you were the force behind so many in our community – always, always looking out for other people, but our bond was something special. From the first day I met you over a decade ago, you have been unwaveringly in my corner. There was never a time you didn’t support and uplift me. Making sure I had a seat at the right tables.

At most events and happenings around town, I was your plus one, sat at many of tables because of you, met many wonderful, progressive powerful people because of you , I’ve learned from you , grown because of you.

Given we shared the same last name, many would ask if I was your daughter, I think in spirit I was. Our road trips whether it was goodwill hunting, visiting our state capitol, teaching Diversity classes or most recently and epically going to see Michelle Obama live was life giving. We shared life, memories, concerns, dreams and aspirations. Traded laughter, tears, belts and scarves and lions and elephants (most of you will get this)

A Force. A Powerhouse. An Entire Movement By Yourself.  In our inner circle we kinda knew… “you don’t say no to Gail” but it didn’t matter because we knew that 99.9% of the time whatever you were asking was mostly beneficially to us.

You are so missed my friend. You assisted, supported, sponsored, partnered with, shared information, guided any and every organization or person who asked or you felt needed it.

You called yourself a CHANGE MAKER. I hope you knew you were a LIFE CHANGER

gail 2

They say the most important way to honor our ancestors is to fulfill our personal potential and life’s purpose here on earth. I dedicate my positive actions to you.

I honor you.

 

 

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Bloom

bloom

 

Words find me.

Every year as my birthday approach (my new year) I start looking for a new Word of the Year to live. I have been doing this for several years now and somehow the words find me. Joy, Abundance, Grow, Soar… the ideal word is always right on time. I will start noticing it popping up in several different unrelated places. It will have a feeling to it… and always, it is exactly the word I am looking for to order my next steps.

My sister Gale who lives in Orlando wasn’t feeling well so I decided to take a trip to visit with her. When I mentioned this to my sister Sharmilita and my sister in law Coleen, we decided to make a girls trip of it and take the nieces for a tea room experience. On the way there, while calling to make reservations,  the place we had planned on going told us they were closed for a private event so in a frantic effort to find another tea room, we happened upon Lavender N’ Lace. We had no idea where we were going or what to expect.

Once there, Lavender N’ Lace was exquisite. The most perfect tearoom you ever did see. The garden area, the gift shop, the décor and the staff was serene, and amazingly beautiful.

As we are escorted to our table, I generally always get the seat to the far left as I am left handed and it makes eating arrangements in a group less complicated. On the beautifully set table was gorgeous mismatched teacups and saucers with tiny plates with pretty napkins set upon them and underneath it all  a beautiful garden designed embroidered tablecloth.

Tropical Breeze tea was served along with tiny hot seasoned muffins and as I lift my napkin from the plate in front of me, I gasped in excitement. My plate had a word on it. Bloom! How appropriate for this occasion of sisterhood. I love this place already. And this word.

The tea room experience at Lavender and Lace was surreal and will require its own blog… or two but the word bloom has now found a place in my heart.

After in all, we drove back home and as I showered and got in the bed and started flipping through HULU looking for something to watch… a series popped up… BLOOM!

The universe speaks to me! I hear you.

Some of the definitions of Bloom

: the flowering state
:rapid and excessive growth
: a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor
: a state or time of high development or achievement
: to mature into achievement of one’s potential
: to appear or occur unexpectedly or in remarkable quantity or degree

 

 

 

 

 

Labyrinth

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“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears” Rumi

“Life is like a Labyrinth, its center filled with happiness, so instead of rushing out of it, find your way to its center” Suhana Ansari

The definition given by Merriam-Webster.com is:  “a place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys. something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement or character”.  I found neither of this to be true

Some of what I also read online about the Labyrinth that had me intrigued:

lessons4living.com:

The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as a meditation and prayer tool….

A download from Veriditus on Walking the Labyrinth says its a sacred place set aside for you to reflect, look within, pray, negotiate new behavior. and should be done in 4 stages.

Remember – Express gratitude, bless the people in your life and bring any specific troubling events to mind.

Release – Quiet the mind, let go of the mind chatter and release your troubles. Open your heart.

Receive – At the center, is a place of reflection, listen to that inner voice and have a heart to heart talk with yourself

Return – Integrate your experience and take out back into the world what you’ve learned and want.

I Loved This! Lately, I’ve been feeling out of sorts at times. My life is beautiful and I am grateful for so much and sometimes even that is scary. I’ve managed to create and be blessed with the life I’ve always dreamed of and people that love and live for my best and highest good and sometimes I have a hard time letting that flow. As an Earth sign, I feel the need to always be grounded, have answers, research, analyze, over analyze and I knew that I needed to let go of some things.

I said a prayer and entered the Labyrinth and from the first step the feeling was surreal. It was a cool afternoon in a quiet neighborhood, a cool breeze was blowing and I as I walk I released, doubts, fears, judgment, criticism, feelings of lack, feelings of not being enough, feelings of being too much, need for control, need to know, need to please, walk, pray, walk, pray, walk pray… and after a while I am at the center.

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At the center of this particular Labyrinth is a small fountain and some rocks. I stopped.. this is holy ground, this is holy water… I dipped my finger in the cool water… its refreshing. I caressed some of the smooth rocks and I silenced my mind in meditation. In this moment, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am LOVED. I am BLESSED. I am HIGHLY FAVORED and I am fully equipped to not only enjoy every blessing I receive but anything else  that comes my way. I am THE DIVINE. A beautiful sense of peace came over me that brought tears to my eyes. I AM GOOD!

LAB3

Walking out the Labyrinth and back into the world, I grabbed one of the small rocks for my prayer closet… EVERY LITTLE THING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT!