SUNSUNSUNHave you ever awakened to a sunrise? To see the change is to feel the actual turn of the Earth toward the sun! You can feel that power that greatness. In that moment it gives you a glimpse of not just earth which is amazing in itself, but the Universe!

When I see it this way, it takes my breath away. Just looking at the sky is amazing. The moon, the stars–and not just in that romantic cliche kind of way.

We don’t just live in a city or a town but in a Universe!  And think about what it takes to keep that going so smoothly, so mathematically correct that we don’t even need to think about whether the sun will rise or whether or not the planets will stay in their own lane. We just trust that it will happen each and every day.

This mathematical precision is repeated in every living thing, in every tree, flower animal and insect. And let’s get to us! In spite of our abuse of ourselves, our hearts continue to beat and our bodies continue to carry us and we wake up–if we are amongst the fortunate of the day.

When I think about this greatness, this power that exists, I can’t help but feel awed to be alive and excited and grateful to wake up to the light of any day! Let alone my birthday. Because every morning I wake up, no matter what’s going on in my life or the world, is a privilege.  Everything else is just gravy!

Take a moment, take a breath, look around you and be awed by the richness that surrounds you!

Seize the day!

 

 

Posted by: gayleegayle | June 22, 2013

Tranquil Corners

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No matter where I am in the world or in my life, I always seek out a place where I can slow down, breathe easy and reflect or marvel at this amazing life we live.

Most people miss these moments. They are too busy using the phone, texting, playing games, fretting over what they lack, or complaining about others to even notice.

I love these moments. Right now, I have the back door open, it’s raining, listening to birds chirp, the rain fall, far away thunder rolls, smelling the air, feeling its coolness, enjoying the quiet.  While I am far away from where I began to do this consciously, it is something I have always done.

I remember at the age of six, we moved to Queens, NY. I went outside with my skates to explore my new suburban landscape. There was no one outside, the sun was shining brightly and it was a warm day. I remember this day vividly because I stopped to listen and observe even though I was just a child.

I sat on the curb and noticed how clean the street was. How the sidewalk glistened as though it were made of jewels. The heat felt so good and I just admired it all. I feel that same sense of peace when I think about it right now.

I have not always been in the best of circumstances but I have never been without these tranquil moments. Living in a housing project that was overrun by drugs and crime for many years, I counted my blessings daily.

We had a big family with a tiny bathroom, no window and mildew in the grout. I would clean that bathroom until it was fully sanitized, run a bath with bubbles, light a candle and feel that wonderful moment of peace–of gratefulness for what I had and where I was in my life. I believe it is in these moments that your next move is born.

Go on–catch a moment of tranquility. Enjoy!

 

Posted by: gayleegayle | April 10, 2013

Powerful Wisdom from a B Movie?

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“I am search of the final level where the spirit takes over from the mind and guides the body without thought.”  “Leroy this is not a punishment, it is a celebration you have touched the final level, you knew without knowing…” ~The Last Dragon~

These powerful lines come from a cheesy cult film called, “The Last Dragon.”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089461/  It was a great fun film; G-rated enough to entertain the kiddies and yet kept my interest by fulfilling my love of martial arts without a lot of blood and gore.

It has been 28 years since I first saw that film, but I never forgot those lines. Whenever I say to myself, “I don’t know,” I still respond with, “you know without knowing,” delve deeply within and trust that the answer is already there. Whenever I take this approach, decisions are made quickly and amazing things always happen.

Wisdom can come through anyone, anywhere, at any time. You know when a message is for you. You feel like looking around and saying, “Wow! is he talking to me?” The words seem to stand out while everything around you comes to a halt. The message is so specific that it couldn’t possibly be just a coincidence.

I believe that this is how our Creator, Inner Guide, God–speaks to us when we are open to receive. Being open to receive is the key to receiving the message. Being open requires a quieting of inner chatter, a surrendering of resistance or ego and a belief that there is a force greater than you.

Those words have truly helped me at times when my life was going around in circles. I felt like I was wandering in a wilderness, unable to make a decision. I needed to trust myself–to trust that I knew without knowing. Receiving the message is just part one of this movie though because just like any good movie, action is required.

Posted by: gayleegayle | April 5, 2013

Empowering Our Children Against Sexual Abuse

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Sexual abuse of children is a sad and frighteningly common occurrence. If you yourself have not been a victim, you are the parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, teacher or neighbor of someone who has. Most of the time you don’t even know until someone in a room tells their story and the rush of stories that follow bears witness to the frequency of the crime.

Michelle R. Britto, is the author of “What’s Below Your Tummy-Tum?, Empowering kids to have a voice for their own safety.”  She is creating a movement toward empowerment and prevention, away from feelings of fear, powerlessness and victimization. You can learn more about Ms. Britto on the following links:

Listen: (Interview on BlogTalk Radio-Interview by The Virgin’s Island-Journey with Judith)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thevirginsisland/2013/03/16/whats-below-your-tummy-tum–author-michelle-britto

See: (Book Signings In NYC)

Sat Apr 06 2013 at 02:00 pm
Venue : Sisters Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center, Inc., 1942 Amsterdam Ave@156th Street, New York, United States

Sun April 7th 12:30-2:30pm
Venue: Rudy’s Pastry Shop & Cafe Ridgewood, Queens, 904 Seneca Ave. 11385
(Includes Interactive play and Question and Answer segment.)

Purchase:

http://www.inlightenmebooks.com/

About:

Michelle R. Britto, L.M.S.W. is a Licensed Social Worker, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Masters Degree in Social Work, a Degree in Occupational Studies (The Body functions) and a License in Massage Therapy. She has worked in Preventive Services, Foster-Care and currently the Department of Education. Michelle has also worked privately with adults, children and in healing centers in various boroughs in the state of New York.”

Spread the word!

Posted by: gayleegayle | January 13, 2013

May Cause Miracles? I hope so!

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I am a self-help junkie and proud of it.  Many years ago, I felt like I needed some professional guidance–as in therapy.  I mean who doesn’t?   In seeking this help I learned two things.  One, with five children I couldn’t afford it and two, getting the right person for you could be like finding a needle in a haystack.

So instead, I turned to reading. I would visit the bookstore across the street from my job at lunchtime (yes, yes, I know I am dating myself, but this was way before YouTube and Google) and peruse everything available.  I must have been late to this party because the bookstore was packed with people doing the same.

There are millions of books out there on any subject you could ever want or need.  I would look hungrily through book jackets and magazine covers for things that spoke to my issue of the minute.  I recognized then that I was on to something.  Not every book or article is going to solve your issue, but you will definitely walk away with a new perspective, solutions to try or a confirmation that maybe shooting people or suicide is NOT the answer.  As a result of this practice, I was able to assist my children’s pediatrician with a proper diagnosis for a scalp issue, become a better writer, mother, wife and person.

Today, I can promise you that I know myself. I know what I love, what I want out of my life, what is important to me and where I am going.  And when I want some new information, I research it on Google, Amazon, or yes, I still occasionally go to a great book store.

I have come a long way from those early days with a huge toolbox of ways to help myself that work for me, but the quest for knowledge is never-ending. My current read is “May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness” by Gabrielle Bernstein.  You can check it out here:  http://gabbyb.tv/

Posted by: gayleegayle | August 7, 2011

Creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning!

If we are made in His likeness, as the Bible says, then we should be doing what He does in our own realm.  Creating.  It’s different for everyone of course, but somewhere deep down we know without knowing what we should be doing.

It doesn’t matter what it is and we don’t always understand the why.  It’s just important that you do your work.

Here’s how you can identify what you do.  As Oprah said, once she understood her work/her mission, “It’s as easy as breathing.”   She went on to discuss how you get lost in it and that time has no purpose here.  You could do it for hours and you don’t even realize that so much time has passed.  What do you do that makes you feel this way?

You have a mission, a purpose, and no matter how insignificant it may seem, it matters.  You may create beauty in the garden, food in the kitchen, words that teach or soothe, but there is always more to it than you know.  It doesn’t matter if you do it on a small or a grand scale, it doesn’t matter if you become famous or rich, what matters is that you do what YOU came to do.

A gifted hair-stylist I know creates beauty in the unique styles she fashions, but in touching the crown of one’s head (the Crown Chakra) she also touches the mind, heart and soul.  Somehow those who reap the benefit of her work always walk away feeling better about themselves or their lives.  They walk a little taller; they feel smarter, informed or inspired like they’ve had a healing of sorts.  Understand that this is not a job for her; it’s the calling of a gift that comes from within.  She is moved to do this and the result speaks for itself.

The amazing thing about acting on your gifts is that it not only benefits others, it benefits you as well.  The universe is an efficient system of brilliant architecture where everything is useful.  A great example of this is that trees and plants give off oxygen which benefits us and we give off carbon dioxide which benefits them.

Where does your gift of creation lie?  Don’t deprive the world or yourself of the benefit of what you came to do.

As Nike says, “Just Do It!”

Posted by: gayleegayle | August 6, 2011

Too Busy

Morning!

Didn’t realize how busy I’ve been in the last few months. Totally consumed with my financial situation, work (thank God), events, and what’s on the horizon, sometimes living in the past wondering what I “woulda” “coulda” “shoulda” done.

This morning has been the most wonderful of all though. Why? Because I am taking the time to experience the joy of being. Not looking to the future or the past, not going over lists of what I should be doing.

Just breathing-noticing-experiencing-enjoying.

Try it with me.  I don’t care where you are or whether or not it’s a place you want/don’t want to be.  It doesn’t matter.

  • Notice without any judgment, your breath
  • Breathe in, breathe out
  • Relax
  • See-no really see what’s in front of you, around you
  • Empty your mind and just observe

If you’ve never done this before, try to spend at least five minutes or more here.  Anytime you feel your mind wandering to judgment or what you need to be doing, just take it gently back to observing your breath.

Here’s what I received:

  • I am excited to be alive and well and living on the planet
  • The smell of summer
  • I felt the warm breeze
  • Surrounded by a sense of love
  • The quiet of morning
  • The potential of a new day

It’s a luxury that everyone should take the time to experience, because really, this moment is everything you truly own.

Enjoy!

 

Posted by: gayleegayle | April 3, 2011

The End is Near

 

Night of the Big Moon

Night of the Big Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning!

Almost 41 years ago I had my first child, and 27 years ago, I gave birth to my last child. While that may make me amazingly ancient in the eyes of some, I still feel like I have my whole life ahead of me—and I do.  It is certainly a new phase as full of excitement and wonder as any other part of my life.

Many people believe that the world will end in 2012.  When I compare life and the world 40 years ago or 27 years ago with life and the world today, I feel that things are no different.  No better, no worse.

We have always been at odds with presidents and politics.  We had wars and the threat of wars, bizarre events in the world and the environment.  We read the newspaper with the same fear, disgust, anger and conspiracy theories that abound today and there were always those that predicted that the end of the world was near.

I remember receiving such an announcement in our door when I was about 10 years old.  I was inconsolable.  My Mom said, “Oh throw that crap away!”  But I still worried about it for weeks.  We are still here and I suspect we will be for many years to come.

It’s not about how long we have because none of us know on an individual level how long our lives will be.  It’s certainly about the quality of each and every day. So put down the worry about the economy and the future and no matter what your situation, live your life as best you can finding joy in the little things.

  • Live with hope and wonder
  • Love like there is no tomorrow
  • Believe that 90% of your fellow man has good intentions
  • Yet always keep common sense and caution at hand
  • Celebrate all the little wins in your life
  • Greet the rising sun with amazement
  • Same with the moon as well
  • Take nature walks even if you live in a concrete jungle
  • Cook at home and invite family and friends
  • Party like it’s 1999–or maybe 2011.
Nature Walk

Nature walk with my grandson.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the things that make life worth living and every day a  joyful one.  In the end it doesn’t matter how many days you’ve had, but that you found joy and meaning in each one.

Carpe Diem!

 

Posted by: gayleegayle | January 16, 2011

My Body of Work

Morning!

I have been cleaning house, getting rid of all the extraneous papers cluttering up my office, my home and my life.  I avoided doing this for some time because it just seemed like a tediously unpleasant task.  As I’ve gotten into it though, I realize that it has given me time to take a look at all of the things I’ve done over the years on a personal and professional level.

Every piece of paper, every note, and every photo conjures up memories.  Some great and some not so much, so I try to stick to the role of observer and not allow myself to dwell too much on the emotion of it all.  Luckily, looking at it in its totality helps me to realize that the negative was really only a small part.  

Artists often refer to their “body of work” and as the artist of my life, I am amazed to look around and see the body of work I’ve produced.  Some of it, I can’t believe I’ve done because when I was in the midst of it, I frankly didn’t feel all that comfortable or confident.   I just let my inspired ideas, coupled with my own skill set–no matter how limited those skills may have been–carry me.  I realize now that it was the doing that was the important part, not the perfection or lack thereof.

I also reflected momentarily on how many opportunities I’ve had in front of me that I didn’t take advantage of because I thought I’m not qualified, I might fail, or I might look ridiculous in front of others.  Thankfully, I didn’t allow myself to dwell on that.   I just took it as a strong reminder to continue to take advantage of inspired moments.

How is that working out?  The other day, one of my granddaughters was here watching some Kidz Bop music videos for children.  She was so intent on watching that she wasn’t really engaged in dancing, so I got up and started dancing like I was trying out for Soul Train.   She took one look at me and joined in dancing as intently as I was.  When we were done, her Mom was laughing hard and told me I looked ridiculous.   All I could do was smile. 

My experience in life tells me that if you act on the good things you feel inspired to do and believe you can do them, they’ll give you the most satisfaction.

“Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like no one is listening, live like it’s heaven on earth.”           ~William Purkey~

Posted by: gayleegayle | January 1, 2011

Dogs, Bugs and Resolutions…

My late great dog, Suede, taking full advantage of someone else's bath.

 

Morning!

Like everyone else in the world today, I’m setting myself up for what will probably be a waste of precious time.  Making promises I may not keep, creating reasons to feel bad–yet again, about myself. 

In spite of the track record of resolutions, I remain optimistic that this will be the time that I follow through and become the great person I dream of being.  That’s the beauty of being human.  We can improve.

I sometimes wonder if a dog or a bug has thoughts of being a better dog or bug.  Probably not, but unlike humans, they have the sense to stay in the moment.  There’s no multitasking for them.  Whether they are catching a breeze, getting something to eat, or seeking shelter from the rain, they remain focused.  It’s as though they realize that life is short so they enjoy, or at least deal with what’s happening right now. 

Truth be told though, I really love the concept of renewal.  At any time, not just on January 1st, I can decide to be better at anything.  I can shoot for improving my health and my skills, take up a new hobby, or whiten my teeth.  It’s what separates us from other living creatures.  Not only can we improve ourselves, we can take up noble causes to help others in the world to improve as well.

Some people look forward to the New Year with fear in their hearts expecting something ominous to happen.  I look forward to the New Year with the excitement of a child opening a well-wrapped present.    We can’t always choose what we get, but we surely can choose our response.  In fact, our attitude and preparation can even shape the things that happen or don’t. 

My goal is to strengthen the tools I am currently using that I believe will help me to cope throughout the remainder of my life.  Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and swimming are not only helping me to become physically fit, they also help me to be mentally and spiritually fit as well.  I feel these activities can help me to cope with whatever life throws my way in the future, like illness, loss and any other type of disaster, but they will also help me to fully enjoy the good things that come like celebrations, vacations, my grandchildren or just sunny days.

I feel so very thankful to have made it to this 1st day of a new year.  I look forward to all that this year brings, the promise of who I can be and what I can do to enhance my experience in it.  I am also glad to be human, but I will also take a lesson from my dog and bugs. 

“This is my life.  It is my one time to be me.  I want to experience every good thing.”  ~Maya Angelou~

Happy New Year Y’all!!!

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