Monday, August 20, 2012

Southern Comfort


A lot has happened since I have last blogged. More lessons to learn in life and experiences to grow from. It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes things just fall into place and what you need most comes along like an oasis to a dry soul in the most perfect timing.

A trip that started out to be about surprising my gf for her wedding shower, ended up being a trip that my heart needed more than I could ever express in words. I felt my eyes had a mind of their own and tears often freely flowed down my face. It wasn’t a sadness, it was more of a cleansing. It was like these tears were a physical manifestation of my soul being bathed in love from bonds that time, countries and life had not broken. Four girls who grew up together on the same street, a soul sister, and a family my heart feels at home with – I was surrounded by a love that transcended all the odds and warmly wrapped itself around my heart to soothe and comfort and bring hope.

Moments that came out of the blue; like in the shoe department in Nordstrom at the Galleria.  A ring that was given to to my friend to encourage her and give her hope in a time when she needed it most. Being a twin and “losing” your twin not only to marriage but a country 19 hours via plane away. Her heart was stripped, she felt lost and vulnerable and alone. This ring came along from another woman given to her to encourage her, to remind her of how precious she is – worth more than a million of these beautiful stones. To not lose faith or hope, that her time would come and it has! There in the shoe department right before paying for her beautiful wedding shoes (that I am honored to be a part of!), she turned around (the time just felt right) fished it out of her purse and told me the story. She handed me the ring, she wanted me to have it to see my beauty and remind me of my own worth to remind me to believe that my time was coming to remind me that even when you don’t see the finish line it will all be okay. There at the cash register tears streaming down my cheeks, her cheeks another one of our friends cheeks (and possibly the cashiers cheeks) a precious moment was had and shared. A moment I will treasure in my heart forever. I don't think I will ever give this ring away... but I was inspired to buy something else and to wait for whom I can pay it forward to.

Another moment in an Italian restaurant, 4 women who grew up on the same street were no longer children. As I looked around the table to these girls, no women - I realized how honored I was to share the table with them. Each and every one of them have walked their own life journey and it hasn’t been easy. There were no masks at this table. We are who we are. It was like the bond we all shared just allowed us to be there vulnerable in the pain of the hard stuff, celebratory and joyous in the good stuff. These women knew the very foundations of my life. They understood my heart without me even explaining. They understood that I was happy, yet struggling with a restlessness in my spirit and I didn’t know how to explain that – and they just took that in and loved on me (again tears flowed!). They are like the stitches in the quilt of my life. Some are beautiful pictures and others are haunting or ugly. Then there are the people who come along side you in your life and they celebrate the good, they mourn the bad and they carry you when you can’t walk. Whether you like it or not these pictures all come together to tell the story of your life and some people come along and help you stitch them all together – helping you heal and learn and recognize ALL aspects of that quilt. These people are the backing to your life. I am forever grateful.

This trip that took me home to Texas, back to my southern roots is one of my most precious life moments to date. I am so blessed, my heart is full and I am forever grateful to share this life journey with these women.

xo

L

Friday, April 20, 2012

Oh the Power of the Mind!

We don’t give our mind and the power of our brain enough credit. Forever an advocate to do things in my life that challenge and stretch me, last night I went and did hot yoga with a friend. I have done hot yoga before… probably 6 or 7 years ago and felt like I knew what I was getting into. Boy was I wrong! I forgot just how HOT hot yoga really is and I was in for a challenge! I felt really strong at the beginning – strutting the Awkward Pose and Eagle Pose like there was no tomorrow and then the second half hit. We relaxed in Dead Body Pose for two minutes and the instructor challenged us to clear our minds and pay attention to our bodies. This is where the class started going haywire for me. I couldn’t clear my mind. All I could focus on was ITS SO HOT. All I could think of was how I didn’t think I could go on. I wanted cool air, I was panicking on the inside, I was gonna die right there on the mat and no one would know. I was sure I was going to slip into a coma. I could feel my heart pulsating inside my chest and I felt it was going to burst out of me! It was the longest two minutes of my life. I wanted to run out of there like a horse from the start gate at a race. Then we started the second half – Cobra Pose, Bow Pose.. my mind churning, my attention fixated on the heat. Fixated on how I didn’t think I could on, fixated on how I was failing the class, not doing it right. The instructor looked at me and said “do you feel like you are losing your mind?” I was stunned. Why YES – this is exactly how I felt (and it must have showed on the outside too, she singled ME out)! Then she said “give yourself some credit. People who have been doing this for months or even years will still be faced with this sensation. Control your mind. Tell yourself you can do it. Just relax just staying in the room is achievement, you are doing wonderful”. Something in me clicked. So many times I don’t want to start something because I feel like I might fail at it. Or I push myself so hard to complete something in the way I think I HAVE to complete it that I don’t even enjoy it in the moment. I stopped. The last seven minutes I lied on the ground in Dead Man Pose and focused on breathing. Focused on staying in the room. Focused on ceasing the panic that had welled up inside of me. I focused on the positive. When the class finished up those last few poses, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment. I had stilled my mind. I had taken control of my thoughts and changed my point of view on the entire class. I had stilled the panic I had felt - I wasn’t a failure at the class; I achieved more than poses – I had gained an understanding in more depth just how much we can achieve with the right attitude. “You are what you eat” a very popular phrase for healthy motivation… I’d also like to say “you are what you think you are”.  

I think of all the situations that life hands us where we allow our minds to run rabid with fear, hesitation and panic. Next time you find yourself there, take a moment to stop. Evaluate the situation and quiet your mind. It is easy to allow our minds to run amuck – it takes self-discipline and courage to stare those negative thoughts in the eye and choose to think something else. Today is an amazing day even though I am not exactly where I thought I would be at this moment, I am so grateful for the time I am in. I am learning valuable lessons and moving forward and the things I could let destroy me, are only making me stronger. Take some time today and be grateful for all the blessings in your life – if you look hard enough you will see them and when you acknowledge them you breathe life into them and sooner than you think they will become bigger and your problems will shrink to into the shadows of your light. Be positve today, because nothing ever stays the same and "this too shall pass" but how will you pass through it?  

Xo

L

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To Online Date or Not?

I have come to the conclusion with all this online dating has taken away men’s ability to compliment and approach a lady organically. Organically? Yes, Organically. Meaning approaching a girl you think is pretty or hot or beautiful without hiding behind an electronic device. Which brings me to another question; how do you even go about trying to meet guys organically these days any ways? I mean, it doesn’t seem to happen like it does in the movies you know? You want to meet a guy who has the same interests as you. I like to think I am fairly active. I enjoy being outdoors and am continually pushing myself in the area of fitness. So you wanna meet a guy who likes to do the same. This year living so close to the beach and the sea wall I have taken up running. This is a good place to meet guys right? In my mind running is so sexy. I envision myself running, no, gliding with strong lean legs, sweat glistening off my tan body and a smile on my face, so easy so effortlessly. Then I get out there and hit the pavement. I am trotting along feet barely picking up off the ground, children are passing me…. and they are walking. My eyebrows are furrowed together my entire being focused on putting one foot in front of the other, my breath is coming in heaving pants and sweat is dripping into my eyes blurring my vision causing me to blink erratically. I get runners cramp and so I’m slightly hunched over to the left just a little bit trying to ease the pain. I can't even look up to see what guys are out there. So I would like to think that the reason no one has stopped to ask me out along the sea wall is because everyone is so focused on their own runs too, right?

So what to do?

Well, you can agree to the blind set-up. This is a huge risk. They can be the most awkward and bad dates of all and the worst part is you don’t just have to tell him you aren’t into it. You have to tell your friend as well (all the while you are thinking REALLY? This is what you think of me?!). I think the biggest problem with a blind date is what you imagine your date to be. Of course my imagination runs wild and I envision the guy who comes to my door is a Bradley Cooper look-a-like, a dozen roses in hand, nice car waiting to take you to that posh restaurant you have been dying to go to and he says; you look amazing tonight and flashes me a brilliant smile. My heart leaps and my knees go weak - this is perfection. So when he arrives at my door – short, stalky and balding… my heart kind of sinks a little. When he gives you flowers and proudly exclaims the florist told him they were from South Africa and you look down into a bouquet of Gerber Daisies, you wonder if you should all of a sudden have an emergency phone call….? While walking to the local franchise restaurant he says “you look good – that is what I am supposed to say right?” During the middle of dinner your date hands you his wallet and you sit there thinking um…? “Oh,” he says, you can hold that in your purse”. REALLY? CAN I? I hand it back holding up my small coach bag and thanking my lucky stars I chose this bag for the evening and say politely “my little purse won’t hold your George Castanza wallet… sorry!” The waitress comes by and yes… I will have another glass of wine, thank you.

I have put a lot of thought into this whole online dating thing, and I have decided that I am not going to do it. I want to come about meeting someone organically. So if that means awkward set ups and blind dates, someone having to see past my skills as a runner, and maybe me shooting some of my award winning, over the shoulder, flirty eye combinations around (like its 1999) then so be it! It’s a time to learn, laugh (mostly at myself), be open and get outside of my comfort zone to the world around me!

Cheers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dating Catastrophe or Simply Charming?

When I think of words that describe me and my dating life… sexy is not one of them. Cute mayhaps with what I hope could be “charming” maybe – but not sexy. I relate to Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City where she states “I will never be the woman with perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it”. I could never be that woman who struts through a room hair (and legs) long and flowing, make up applied with perfection (how do you do a smoky eye?!) and men’s head turning as she passes. I am more the girl who walks passed with a false eyelash that has become loose, toilet paper stuck to her shoe and dress tucked into her panties. Don’t believe me? Let’s reminisce.

I was 14 years old, and in love with all of my older brothers friends. One night a bunch of us were hanging out and decided it was a pizza and movie night. One of the boys said he would go and get the movie; did I want to come along? Did I?! Is that even a question?! I run upstairs and primp my poodle perm, adjust my glasses and re-apply my fuchsia lipstick. We decide on a movie and are walking out of Blockbuster when my crush says something funny. I giggle in my most endearing way and casually look over my shoulder to give him the flirty eye when BAM! I walk straight into the glass wall beside the door.

Fast forward a couple years and I’m riding my horse around the property as much as I can within eye sight of my brother and his friends playing basketball. I am not wearing a helmet because that look is so not cute. One of the boys stops playing and looks over at me and smiles… OMG he is smiling at me! I give him my most winning smile and quickly look straight ahead and BAM. My horse walks right under our porch, but unfortunately I don’t quite fit UNDER the porch and smoke my head on the bottom ledge. This actually gives me a goose egg, some scratches and nice purple bruise.

Aww you were young you say! Hmmm, not so much. A few years ago I was asked out on a date by a guy that I thought was the bee’s knees. We go for Chinese food. I can’t stop smiling the entire night. After we finish our food my date says; “I’m going to go to the washroom, whenever I eat Chinese food I always feel like it gets stuck in my teeth”. OK, I think that was weird why did he say that? When he comes back I excuse myself to go to the washroom - I’m thinking I should check just to make sure. I look in the mirror and I have a broccoli garden growing in my mouth. I have never had so much food stuck in my teeth!!! I am humiliated when I realize that I really only ate the beef and broccoli because I didn’t care for his other food choices, and seeing the plethora of food in my teeth it’s obvious this was a slow steady build up throughout the entire dinner.

Last year… I have just gotten my hair cut and I am feeling goood. I go for a Staples run for work and as I am walking in this incredibly good looking guy is walking out and looks at me and smiles. I give him my signature award winning smile, coupled with the casual look over the shoulder along with the flirty eyes (because this has worked SO WELL in the past) and BAAAAM. I walk right into a display in the middle of the store. Stuff flies everywhere. The Staples guy is running (in slow motion of course) towards me yelling “noooooo!!! My diiissspllaaayyy” and I am tripping over scattered items, trying to catch the display rack while picking items up off the floor and blindly trying to hang them back up. Worst part? Hot guy is laughing and helping and says “if I didn’t have a gf I would ask you for your number. You are CUTE.”

Now that I can see dating in my nearish future again I am a little terrified. Who can blame me right? Fortunately for me I have cultivated a great sense of humor and have learned to laugh at myself along the way. This is yet another part of my journey in life and who knows what things I will learn along the way and how I will grow as a person. Is it too soon after recent hurt? Maybe, but you know what they say; Laughter is the best medicine. All I know is one day I hope to find my prince… who loves the “charm” in me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reflections

The beach is an amazingly peaceful place and with each passing day is becoming a favorite spot of mine. Here is a place where I find the parts of my mind that won’t stop thinking and wondering and stressing, slowly start to shut down and quiet in its amazing presence. Its dusk and people for the most part have gone home. I dig my feet into the sand and close my eyes letting my senses take over. As I take a deep breath I think of how blessed I am. The wind gently picks up my hair and dances with the strands, tickling my neck and cheeks. I am grateful for the fact that I can feel. I hear the rhythmic orderly sound of the ocean and I am humbled to be part of such an intricately put together world. I open my eyes and see the birds soaring in the air, wings spanned out resting, gliding in a current of air, and I am grateful for the chance to see and hear the things that go on all around me.

I think on this opportunity I have to reflect on myself and learn and discover more about me. I think about my past and I close my eyes and imagine giving myself a hug. You are an amazing woman Lisa, you have come so far – don’t forget that! A single tear rolls down my cheek. How many times do I pass up the opportunity to encourage myself in order to reflect on the bad, or chastise myself about everything that I think is disappointing about myself? Another tear falls to the ground. No. Life didn’t turn out the way I imagined it when I was a little girl, but I am the same little girl inside that I was back then – I have just forgotten and covered her up through the hurt and pain along the way. Like coaxing a small scared puppy to come out of the box, I have begun to coax the inner beautiful me to come out and play again. My dreams are coming alive once again, my spirit and soul pulling at the corners of my mouth into a smile that for once in a very long time is actually coming from the inside out – and no one out there is the reason for this smile. I am the reason I smile.

I pull myself up off the sand and I feel like my spirit is soaring. I throw my arms open wide and twirl. Yes I fully twirl – head thrown back, shoes in hand, a 30 year old woman starts to giggle letting the wind pull at her dress and hair and it feels amazing. I stop and look around me. There is an older woman sitting on the beach and she is smiling at me. And I am smiling at me too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A broken heart

How do you mend a broken heart? I wish I knew. I close my eyes and imagine my heart. Dried out from all the tears I have cried, I hold it trying to keep the pieces from crumbling out of my hands. Like hard sand it falls through the cracks of my fingers… each memory hitting the floor and shattering into a million grains of sand - lost forever in the past, yet its echo’s remaining to haunt me. It’s a first kiss. Hands held for the first time. Singing in the car at the top of your lungs and looking over to find him doing the same. It’s a best friend lost forever.

It’s the worst kind of break up. It’s a heart that still beats love for someone and a heart that has stilled and doesn’t care to try anymore. I struggle to move forward. My head and my heart conflicted and at war. I know in my head that I am glad that this has happened now – that I do not want to be with someone who does not understand the fundamentals of a relationship. I do not want to be with someone who doesn’t understand that anything worth having; a relationship that is worth being in is one fought for and one worked hard for. Nothing that is worth having comes easily and my value, who I am and what I have to offer, the person I will become… is nothing short of worth fighting for.

My heart however, is sad and lonely and feels used and broken. When I think I couldn’t cry one more tear it hits me in the most inconvenient places. The grocery store as I buy my food – for one. I come unglued in the cereal aisle and sob my eyes out… grateful for the fact that no one came down the aisle and realizing that I could be the very reason why no one is coming down the aisle - and not really caring at the same time. My heart is hurting. My heart is broken. There is a void there that I must nurse back to health… and I feel useless and don’t know how to mend it.

So, I get up each morning and shower and dress. I put one foot in front of the other and bravely face the world when I feel like curling up in a ball and hiding under my sheets. I smile at a stranger. I buy a cup of coffee for a homeless man. I utter out loud the things for which I am so grateful for; my family, my amazing friends, my job, I get to walk to work…. The list grows longer as I open myself up to the positive things in my life and focus on what is good. I don't always want to. It's not always easy. It's often done with a deep sense of sadness... but I do it, I do it because I won't be defeated by this. I have been through too much in my life to give up now. I have grown too much as a person to see myself dissolve and move backwards.

I have learned a great deal from this experience. I have learned about myself, and I have learned what I truly want and what I don’t want to make allowances on. The future is open and for the taking and I will write the script by the story I tell myself. I will feed on whatever is true, noble, right, and pure, whatever is lovely, and admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy… these are the things that I will think about. These are the things I will tell myself and reflect on. My story does not end here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the Vancouver Swordsman

Yesterday I went for lunch at work. I went down to the Waterfront Station cafeteria only to find the place PACKED! I didn't feel like standing in line for fast food, so I decided to hit up the skytrain, go one stop to Burrard and go to the cafeteria there in the Bentall building. I get on the train and this big dude with a big beard, turban and leather jacket turns around and he is holding a sword. Yes. You read that right. A SWORD. This was no traditional ceromonial knife that the religious East Indian people are leagally allowed to carry. Oh no. This was a giant sword! I sat there thinking "are you friggen kidding me?!" And I find myself praying "Lord please don't let this guy lose his marbles and start slaying people here on the train!" I look up and bearded swordsman is looking at me. I quickly look down.. but he starts walking and SITS RIGHT NEXT TO ME! Again I'm thinking... "ARE YOU FRIGGEN KIDDING ME?!" He starts asking me about the train and where it is going. I tell him about the train system and then ask him where he is going and I would tell him if he was on the right train. "I'm just wandering" he says. Where are you going he asks me. I reply, oh I'm getting off at the next stop.. so he shakes my hand thanks enthusiastically thanks me for helping him. He asks my name (while he is still holding my hand!!) and then responds with ... "wow that is such a beautiful name" he tells me his name and says (still. holding. hand.) "I hope we see each other soon".

Needless to say I pretty much bolted out the door and didn't look back! I sent my boyfriend some text messages telling him what had just happened and how creeped out I was. He kept asking about the "sword" thinking that I was exaggerating it, and it was indeed a knife. Nope I tell him... this was a SWORD.

About 45 minutes later my boyfriend calls me and says - hey your sword friend is on the news! It turns out this guy got off at Burrard as well - he was waving the sword around and the police were called. The police arrive and section off the area and are asking him to lay down his weapon. He won't. He gets shot with a riot gun. The guy keeps going. He gets stot with a tazer gun. No stopping him appears! He then starts running - so the police chase him, trip him and tackle him to the ground...

I'm reading the "Breaking News" on the internet and I am blown away. This guy SAT NEXT to me!!! REALLY? Holy crap... what a feeling I gotta tell ya! All I can say is that I am super happy he didn't lose his marbles inside that train... what a different story this would have been! God absalutley had his guardian angles around me to protect me! Thank you God! :)

Go to this link if you want to see the take down! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZHi8C0cHgU