Through Darkness, I Will Continue Shining Light.

balance
Last week was filled with powerful experiences. Each displayed different sides of life. Some reminded me deeply of the connection we all share. Others reminded me of the darkness that resides within and amongst all of the beauty around us each day.

The good and the bad. The dark and the light. Beauty and Evil. Love and Hate. All of these things we are aware of and all of these things are witnessed in this world we live in. I haven’t been sharing as much lately. I’ve been trying to find my way since recent events have made me stop and re-evaluate.

Recently, I was walking down an alley around noon, in the lovely Marais district of Paris with my family. My husband and son were up ahead and my youngest son and I were walking a short distance behind. A beautiful elderly woman exited a door of a building right as I was walking by. I stopped and we both stared at each other deeply. I had chills run through my whole body and my eyes filled up with tears as we each experienced the intensity of that moment together. After about 3 minutes without a blink, she whispered softly, “Bonjour Mademoiselle.” I responded with, “Bonjour Madame.”

I didn’t know if I should walk away or stay but the fact that my husband and son were up ahead, I decided to walk away. I turned around and was looking at her and she was staring as well. When I got to the corner, I told my husband. He asked why my eyes were filled up and I told him of the moment I just experienced with this woman. She slowly walked up with her cane and touched my arm. She spoke in French and I couldn’t understand her. We paused again while looking at each other and she walked away.

I was so, so touched by this interaction. It’s in these moments when I truly believe in past lives and feel my connection to a particular place or person. I went about my day and the depth of existence continued. Past and present. We walked and stumbled upon a sign that pointed to the home of Victor Hugo. I couldn’t believe it. I am such a huge fan and have been most of my life.

Before visiting his apartment we discovered the most extraordinary park in Place des Vosges. It was in the center of all of the buildings that made a square and his home was in the corner. Our boys played happily for hours. They made new friends and we just took in all of the energy and joy around us.

It was just wonderful standing in and walking through a place where a man with such talent resided. Les Miserables has always been a powerful thread in my story. Seeing the place he rested his head, the desk he began to write this book on, and the view from his window where we played so happily.

View From Victor Hugo's Apartment

View From Victor Hugo’s Apartment

On our way home, in the midst of the magic from the day, I was caught off guard by ‘darkness’. I am choosing not to share this story on here. I am mentioning it only as a warning to all of you to always remain cautious of your surroundings and of the people you encounter. Continue to walk forward in the face of darkness and fear. Continue to shine light on it and let yourself be guided by the brightness of love and beauty around us. I believe that when we let go, we will see more clearly. Although things will be uncertain and unknown, it is in those crevices that we will truly discover our paths and grow.

I always speak of and consciously choose love over fear. I am thankful for this journey I am on personally and as a family. I am cautiously moving forward, telling fear and monsters to bugger off, and I’m enjoying each and every moment. Traveling and experiencing the world around us truly is eye-opening and the perspective we are gaining is immeasurable.

Once again, I am happy we are connected and I look forward to sharing in this journey of life together.

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“Let’s Run”

Aston Running FLOTG

Our three year old son enthusiastically yells these words as we step out the door each and every day! That may seem like something every child says but let me tell you why this warms my heart and inspires me to share with you.

My little Aston was inflicted with many chronic issues since three months of age. We spent most of his first two and a half years of life in the doctor’s office, the hospital, on a nebulizer and suffering in some way. This never stopped Aston from smiling and persevering though. In fact, it made him stronger and more compassionate.

He doesn’t want attention when something is wrong. He actually wants to prove that he can endure it and wants to move on to more exciting things. He is a deep thinker. He is a philosopher. He is wise beyond his years. He touches my heart and melts it with each word he utters and each action he takes.

I am an attachment parent. I am so grateful that I get to be with my two boys all the time and that we are so close. I am thankful that I chose and continue to choose to breastfeed and have been blessed with an abundance of milk for over five years. I wore both boys until they were ready to be on their own. I continue to co-sleep today.

I am sharing these things because I wouldn’t have it any other way. When something is wrong, I am right there. When I am needed, I am there. We are so connected and I know my boys like I know myself. Aston communicates clearly whenever something is bothering him. He tells me if his stomach hurts and why. He tells me if he can handle it or if he needs something. He reminds me to give him his medicine and vitamins each day.

I want to mention a very important person to us and how she has made such a huge difference in our lives. Dr. Nancy Blumstein. I am so thankful we were led to her and she is the greatest pediatrician we could’ve asked for. She practices homeopathy which is what I believe in and use for myself and my family. She guides me and I trust her. Thank you Dr. Nancy for all that you have done for my boys and for all that you continue to do even from afar these days. We love you.

As we are on this journey around the world, I see my son growing. I see him thriving in a way I always knew he could and would. His brain is always working and his imagination is always creating. As we walk the streets of each city, rain or shine, he grabs my hand and says, “Mommy, let’s run!” When I slow down, he says, “Let’s run faster, Mommy.” When I am tired he runs over to Daddy for some more.

This brings tears to my eyes each day and as I write this. He is my little Rocky Balboa. I see him in his sweat pants and hooded sweatshirt running his little heart out with more soul and love than I can even express. He inspires me. He shows me how to live. He shows me how to Love. He is my little angel.

His big brother loves him so much and he loves his big brother just as much. They are so close and so connected and for this, I am so grateful also. As Aston runs each day, Pierce lets him lead and he says, “Aston is the fastest runner ever.” If you knew how fast Pierce was, you would understand why this is so sweet and says so much about Pierce. I am so proud of my sons and I love witnessing their precious souls develop and grow each day.

This trip is all about allowing each of us to grow at our own speeds. To let life unfold before us as we discover new lands and new people. We learn as we go. We spread love like we are sprinkling fairy dust through the air. Our education is life and the rewards are priceless. We have never been closer or more connected as a family.

Aston’s spirit is what guides him. He won’t let anything hold him back and he wants to take in and savor all of the splendor this life offers. I feel the same way about life and I am truly grateful for every second I am given.

“Let’s Run.” I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow, hear those words…and do it again.

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Turbulence. Fear. Letting Go. Living.

airport

We are on the plane and everyone is asleep. I seem to be the only one awake for this wild, bumpy ride so I had to write and share my thoughts with you. 

Any fear of flying I may have had in my life never prevented me from actually taking flight. I would always go, have a positive attitude and pray during takeoff for a safe and enjoyable trip. What else is there to do. Oh wait, I know many drink and/or take pills of some kind to relax. Good for you. I hear it helps 🙂 I don’t do either so I’m left with my positive outlook, prayers and the choice to just relax and let go.

Tonight as we are flying through dark skies from Buenos Aires to Madrid, I am reflecting on where this fear originated. I see how my kids have no fear. They actually love getting on the plane and staring out the window. There is a peace I see within them as they stare at the clouds and quietly analyze what they are actually doing. This is what I felt at one time and I am now remembering where that changed for me.

I was 17 years old and I was going to New York to visit my Dad on a business trip he was taking. I was in theater and was acting at the time and the thought of spending time in New York was the most exciting thing ever for me. We stayed at the Plaza, walked through Central Park, saw my favorite show on Broadway, Les Miserables, and so much more. It was a time I can remember feeling very alive and free in a way I hadn’t known before.

My flight was something, until now, I believe I blocked out of my memory as I have done with other traumatic events in my life. We had horrible weather and the turbulence was absolutely crazy. People were crying, praying, screaming and freaking out. I had a cold and I remember I couldn’t breathe very well. I remained calm because that’s what I always did and continue to do in my life today. As we got closer to JFK, we were circling the airport for well over an hour. The weather was so bad and we didn’t have clearance to land. You can imagine how this felt after the ride we had taken to get here. Eventually, the captain came on and told us we had to land because we were almost out of fuel. For some reason, this sounded scary to me. Had to? Was he going to just take a chance that it all worked out?

I was alone. I just kept envisioning New York and the lights and I believed that I was meant to take this trip… so everything would be fine. We continued to circle even longer. We went in for the landing and when we landed safely, everyone cheered like they just witnessed their favorite team win the Super Bowl. I was so grateful and happy.

When I got off the plane, my Dad ran up to me and hugged me so hard and didn’t let go. I wondered if he knew what I had just been through and if that was why he held me so tight and for so long. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the reason. One of the planes that had been circling with us for hours, ran out of gas and crashed. The plane that was right in front of mine. I saw people at the airport lying on the ground hysterically crying. Faces staring at the door that I just exited hoping their loved ones would appear. I was in shock. People were calling my Dad and asking if I was ok. I could feel that fear existed here on land just as we had our own up in the sky.

I truly felt something happen to me in those moments at the airport and in the moments and days after, watching the news about that tragic evening. I was so devastated for the ones that perished and for the families left behind to mourn. I also realized how close I came to death. We were in the same position and probably minutes away from the same fate. 

As I’m writing this, I am crying. This life is so precious. This is something you will hear me say often. I can’t say it enough. I have always lived with a great sense of gratitude. Since I was a little girl I realized not only how precious life was, but how quickly it went by. I also am realizing in this moment how I have buried certain fears by replacing them with a positive attitude and a big smile…but the fears still have a way of showing up and presenting themselves.

I am writing this post for two reasons. One is so that I can release this out to the world and let it go. This flight we are on tonight has been very turbulent and I feel alone as I did that evening. Everyone is asleep and I am walking through these feelings here with all of you now. I am just staring at our boys as they peacefully sleep on my lap. I am looking at my husband as he sleeps and taking in his life and all he’s experienced and is working through. I am envisioning Spain and all that lies ahead. I am feeling LOVE and putting Love out to the Universe. This is my choice.

I want to share so that if any of you are afraid, I’d like to encourage you to let your fears go. Whether you believe in God having a plan for us, destiny, or you live with a fear that you shouldn’t get on planes because you are not in control, let me tell you this. The only thing we have control of is our attitude and the lens with which we view our world and live in it. This is my belief. As we take this trip, I am grateful for each second that I get to spend with my family as well as the opportunity to broaden my perspective in this life I’ve been given.

Fear may reside in you. It has for me for different reasons because of different experiences I’ve witnessed, faced and lived through. I am alive, therefore, I will choose to Live. Live today and let go of the fears that bind you. I realize that sounds like a simple statement and I know it isn’t a simple task. I’d like to ask you to do yourself a favor. Try to figure out where a particular fear originated for you, and take some time to walk through it. Write, talk to someone about it, post it on Facebook. I’m finding that sharing is so cathartic. It does wonders for your mind and soul. I believe this will make a huge difference in your life. It is making a difference in mine. Thank you for listening and for being a part of my life.

…I must add a few things now that we have arrived and we are safe and cozy. I feel so, so happy and thankful. The boys were just amazing on our 12 hour flight and through all of the before and after processes. I actually get to relax on all of our flights and I must admit the plane was one area I anticipated would be challenging.

Also, I wanted to show you a new feature they have on planes…this large screen which displays the point of view of the captain. There are cameras on top of the plane so you watch the screen as if you are flying it. Talk about staring something right in the face. We are the captains of our own lives so we may as well see the view head on. It’s interesting and actually comforted me in a weird way. When we landed and watched the whole thing…heading down through clouds and landing on the runway, it actually made me enjoy this method of transportation in a way I hadn’t before. Perhaps the letting go of what I was afraid of helped me with this point of view today. We are always the first ones to clap as we land and the boys get so excited when everyone else joins in. Very special moments, indeed.

Airplane Camera

I am so excited to explore a new world and to share in this experience with my family. We LOVE Madrid so far and we can’t wait to share it with all of you! By the way, it’s still winter here with snow on the not so far away mountains and I only packed for spring/summer 🙂 Everyone is bundled in coats, scarves, boots and style. Beauty everywhere. Vertigo and all, I’m ready to step out into this vibrant city and share the Love! Have a wonderful weekend!

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