"A true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes the smile on your face." Unknown
We all are poets...
Let's find the voice within.
After the Sunset Poetry
"What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi
Today is a national Poem in Your Pocket Day. A simple gesture - select your favorite poem or write your own, carry it in your pocket and share it with others throughout the day. We generally don't turn to poetry for comfort or inspiration these days as much, however, I still believe in its beauty and melodic voice.
As I sat here, my thoughts took me back in time, reminiscing about my parents and their tales they used to share about the way they met. That turned out to be my favorite poem for the day. ♥
Happy First Spring Day!
Inspired by simplicity, by silence, by the patient movement of a turtle, by the harmonious rhythm of ocean's waves at the shoreline crashing near my feet. By the sand in between my toes, by my voice, my thoughts and my mind. Do you ever pause to wonder how perfect everything seems at a particular moment? The synchronicity of all elements and forces creating the picture perfect piece of art. The art of life. The perfect moment for me is right now, when I don't need to say a word, only in silence observe the stillness, the movement, the scent of air and the time endlessly floating by, with only music in my heart and the traveling sun.
Much has been written about the human Soul which has proved to be of great inspiration to my own life, my writing and the way I perceive communication with the Self, nature and others. To be self-aware may also pose a great deal of pain and weight to carry if we're not careful with where we draw the line in the sand. As if the ever so flowing skies of our inner eye could never pause and fall asleep, not knowing when to let go to get our much needed rest. However, if a healthy balance is achieved in our daily life and we learn to nourish that of which we're made with love, our Soul is the one warm place nobody can take away from us; a home of calmness where we always can retreat to rejuvenate the shores of our weary mind and reflect brighter colors back to the world.
Do you ever feel lost? Well, we all do at times, whether we show it to the outer world surrounding us or keep it inside, it's quite natural to experience that suffocating inner feeling of doubt. There would be something wrong if all the paths were straight without shadows. As John Muir once said: "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." So, perhaps, it's necessary for us to get lost once in a while to find our light and meaning...as long as we are capable of feeling, it will be there...somewhere in the depths of a forest peacefully waiting.
Think quality rather than quantity...
I learned that life is not about perfection but rather about doing the best we can with what we have at where we are. However small or big the act, it is all subjective and a matter of perception...no one journey is the same. As long as you can look back and say you tried your best is all that matters in the end.
With the arrival of the new year, it's time to embark on a new journey, putting regrets to rest and look forward. Let's hop in the vehicle of our souls and take a new road with new turns and views. Let's forget about the bad and look ahead to the good that surely is awaiting us. HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
There are no adequate words to express. 12.14.12 started as any other day, perhaps even better. A Friday morning, one week before Christmas, the weekend was almost upon us, how can it be bad? The clouds were slightly darker and the storm was forecast, but that was to no one's surprise, it's the winter, after all. How quickly things change, how quickly the skies cry without a rain drop falling to the ground. Only our hearts cut deeply, bleeding for all the angels that left without their Good-Byes, without their dreams realized, ripped away they were from their dads and moms.
Perhaps, as Kahlil Gibran suggested, "You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.", it is true, especially this holiday season, the best gift we can give is to hug our loved ones, let our heartbeat echo through theirs, let our embrace warm their Soul. Share a compassionate word, a smile, a story to laugh about, a story to cry about together, look into each other's eyes and feel the path of life, the privilege to build memories not everyone has.
♥ In tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School senseless mass shooting. 20 little angels & 7 adults shot to death. Let's not forget! ♥ 12.14.12
Sometimes the light in our life can only be expressed as a form of artful dancing within the fabric of canvas, swimming in the streams of rhymes, or a soulful sound of piano keys. We all know the end of Van Gogh's life, however, there was so much more to his story many could not see or appreciate at the time, yet we now are fortunate to enjoy his paintings of playful illumination, despite the darkness at times clouding his own being. This song was sent to me by a friend with a note: "Unfortunately, the bright, artificial SoCal light is not conducive to star gazing or seeing the delicate, pure-blue light emitted by 'After the Sunset'. Your book is the perfect complement to Don Mc Clean's, 'Vincent'." I hope you'll enjoy this beautiful song just as much I do...with a quick glance at the stars. Love, S ♥
"Romance is in the simple things for which to be grateful in our daily life. It's the small details we acknowledge with care that go unnoticed by most. It's in the smile we receive for no reason. It's a walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon, holding hands and watching life dancing on the river before us, as the sun rays touch the land before disappearing behind the horizon, offering one more chance to see the sparkle in each other's eyes and feel our souls breathing the love we share. Romance is in the scene we are able to see with an open heart when beauty is the only landscape without boundaries and spiritual bridges there to connect. The steps we make on our journey leading in one direction to share. Romance is in the autumn colors of a leaf floating in fresh air unsure where it will land; a soothing word in the midst of noise making our heart beat a bit quicker. 11.06.12
"I woke up in the morning with an uneasy feeling of a sad reality, and disbelief. Did I talk to my mom last night? Did my dad die? I wasn't sure if it was just a bad dream or if, in fact, it was real. I checked my answer machine and played my mom's voice. it wasn't a dream! Tears rushing to my eyes, unable to stand with my legs weakening, I fell to the floor. I lay on the carpet, curled up, embracing my knees, letting the streams of tears flow as it may. I felt the relief of finally letting the pain crack outside of my suppressed self; letting everything out like a bursting hot lava out of the Earth's core. I broke down, unable to contain myself, replaying my mom's voice on the answering machine over and over again...until it all sank in..." from the book AFTER THE SUNSET.
"What is it about nature that leaves such a strong imprint in our souls? Is it the raw beauty or the unpredictable power we are intrigued by? Is it the silence full of whispers we can hear once we open our hearts? Is it the impermanence we can almost see with our very eyes if we sit still for a while? There are as many answers as there are people on this planet. There are countless treasures for us to find if we are brave enough to venture out into the depths. We all receive as much as we are capable of holding in our hearts and Nature's soul always invites us back to explore some more..." from the book AFTER THE SUNSET.
It's raining outside. Autumn has arrived and the air is dancing to its own beat. The lone observer is sitting aside, in silence observing the changing colors and falling leaves. While pondering and listening to one's thoughts, the Universe offers dynamic melody not even the best orchestra could synchronize. What a reward for the dreamer without words. 10.11.12
Convince yourself it's a beautiful day today. After all, mental conviction is half the battle, and as long as we show up the sun will shine upon us...
I wonder if Pablo Picasso was urging us to never forget about our true, playful nature when he said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." It seems Ralph Waldo Emerson shared similar sentiment, proclaiming: "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
It's not easy to remain playful with the stresses and responsibilities of adult life. Usually there's someone dependent upon us, so we have to stay focused on the task at hand and can't afford to play, be artistically expressive and have fun. Or so it seems the majority of the time, resulting in making our life feel like nothing but pain. As if there were too much sadness, stress or heartache instead of happiness. Every generation is hungry for meaning, purpose and beauty in life, as is evident from the concerns of great thinkers and artists' works.
So, forget about daily struggles for a moment, the bills will be waiting there for you tomorrow. Close your eyes, tap into your inner child and remember how as children we used to pick wild flowers and made a bouquet. We ran in the meadow and sang with our friends, spinning around holding hands. Our faces hurt from smiling and our tummies were sore from laughing. Sit down and write a poem or a letter to someone close to your heart but living far away. Draw a picture for your own child and have a cup of tea or coffee or something you really like. SMILE. Imagine life as fun as it used to be, even if just for a moment. Life is made up of moments. Just because we're all grown up doesn't mean we can't have bright moments of happiness and be ourselves. Make your moments count and make sure they bring smiles to your heart, at least once in a while...
Every culture has a different definition of marriage and its way of celebrating
spouses and the union. It's also a very individual affair how we choose to honor our loved ones. As a young woman I was quite reluctant to get married. Not for the reason of being scared of the "till death do us part" commitment, quite the contrary. I valued and viewed the union between two souls sacred and felt today's generation doesn't as much; a feeling the divorce rate statistics would surely support. I never wished to be part of the statistics, yet, my heart was never closed due to skepticism or bitterness. Being the realistic judge of my own situation, I knew I would realize the right person for me at the right time. And, as always, my patience served me well. What a happy marriage I now have! Every morning when I wake up, I take a personal quiet moment to be grateful for my beautiful husband and our life together; reminding myself to never take him or our marriage for granted. Isn't that the ultimate proclamation of love, after all - to be aware of simple moments and grateful for what we have? Every day spent with my husband is a special day to me; a gift, a reason to celebrate. But especially on his Birthday, I am overcome with gratitude and thank for the day he was born and grew up into such a wonderful man and husband. How fortunate I am to be his wife!
♥ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEETY! I LOVE YOU!!! ♥
Doesn't it seem that nature always has a soft voice for our hearts to absorb? Every time I feel down I let it touch me with its song. And when I'm happy I dance and sing along. Even when your day may be hard, never forget to sing and smile. Nothing is permanent and with a little smile everything seems to be slightly brighter...
Funny how inspiration finds its way to knock on our door at the right moment if we let it. Recently I listened to a song by Ray LaMontagne - "Be Here Now" which truly spoke to me. The other day, I felt quite overwhelmed with this and that and needed a little bit of inspiration. Since it was late at night and there was nobody around to talk to, instead of going to bed with a heavy heart, I created this video with uplifting quotes and poems to lift me up. There wasn't a better song for it than "Be Here Now". As that is exactly where we need to be. Not in our past, perhaps being reminded of our regrets, or the future bringing anxieties. Right NOW is when our life is happening. Hope the slideshow will speak to you and will uplift your Soul. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
LIFE and DEATH
When we think of life, the subject of death also creeps into our mind. Are life and death considered to be synonyms then, or are they in fact antonyms? We often hear: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, but learn as if you were to live forever." by Mahatma Gandhi, or "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." by Eleanor Roosevelt, yet according to Clint Eastwood, "Tomorrow is a promise to no one." All of these are meaningful reminders to keep in mind on our path through life and do the best we can do, so we have as few regrets as possible when the time comes for us to face death. However, isn't it all quite relative, based on our perspective and place we personally occupy in our daily experience? When we struggle and are down on our luck we may wish to die today, and when we're happy and doing well we hope our time to depart is far, far away. Life and death - the undeniable Yin and Yang of our existence; as an extrovert and introvert complimenting and learning about their strengths and weaknesses; experiencing a heartache in order to appreciate love and joy; or overcoming a disease to be grateful for good health. Whether we like it or not, whether we are ready to acknowledge it or not, it has been the truth of all times. The constant presence of death is to make us live our life to the full potential, the best way we know how, with appreciation of our loved ones for the gift they have been to us. We can never be truly ready for the ones we love to depart, so perhaps the reason for so much pain a dying person is going through is to make it slightly easier for the friends and family to let go and wish the traveler a pain-free transition and awakening on their peaceful journey. The Yin and Yang of life and death - with every death there is an opportunity for a life lived in a better, fuller, more meaningful way... as unfair as it may be.
- In memorial of my husband's beloved aunt Marion. Rest in peace! ♥ 8-14-2012
Do you ever wonder if there's a crack in the universe, a leak of poison that creeps into our minds destroying our reasoning ability and robbing us of common sense? Do you ever feel like an outsider because you're not chasing the "in" fashion trend just to fit in? Does anybody care about the human soul anymore instead of competing who has more stuff? Let's pause for a moment, dig deeper into our hearts and acknowledge that we have enough. Let's say thanks for the things we treasure, especially the people that are there for us. Let's complain a little less and extend a helping hand to those who are in need. Let's keep the circle of love flowing. Love & Hugs. ♥
Wouldn't it be nice if there only were the sun and crystal clear sky every day? Wouldn't it be nice if we only felt joy and had a smile on our face all the time? But how would we learn life lessons and become people of value and depth if we didn't struggle and crawl through mud at times? Sure, those often are not the moments we wish to remember, yet, those are the ones that build our character and make us into the human souls we are today. It's the rainbow at the end of a rainy day which we're rewarded with if we endure those gloomy times. And those are the experiences that bring pride, strength and warmth to our heart as well. We survived! Perhaps even stronger than before, how awesome is that!? And when we look back, we can appreciate all the shades of life because it's not all "just" good or bad, or black and white! Life is a rainbow of colors. Life is a full color photo-book. ♥
There is no denying I am a nature lover. I look at nature and wilderness as our home, our teacher, our inspiration, and our healer. Every time I take a stroll on the beach, observing the constant motion of the mighty ocean and its whispering, or a hike to the mountain peak offering peace and unsurpassed overview of a valley below, I am filled with an indescribable sense of connection to the existence at large. I let myself become one with all and can almost feel the expansion of my lungs, my veins, my Soul. Nature always invites us to her core, the exploration never ends when we choose to open our hearts and feel the wonder; there's no better gift than being able to hear the grass grow and watch waterfalls dance for us. There's no better feeling than being embraced by Mother Nature and learning about ourselves through her ever-changing landscape! Go outside and open your heart! ♥
This book, in large part, is about overcoming obstacles and the struggles life brings to us all in one form or another. When I wrote this poem years ago, there wasn't a day I didn't fear what my then fiance would do to me. I was so beaten down by his verbal and emotional abuse, I almost forgot who I was. However, one day I had had enough! I decided to take my life back and move on - without him. I chose my own death rather than let someone else kill me. I let our love die, too. I believed I had to die in order to rise from the ashes to live anew again. Bit by bit, slowly I began to heal, brushing off my broken wings and like an eagle I began to fly. Elegantly circling the sky, alone, but free! Leaving the old skin behind like snakes do when they shed it as they grow. Like butterflies emerging from their cocoons to show off their colors.
Don't give anybody the power over you but yourself. Only YOU can decide your FATE! Only you can decide to leave an abusive relationship and begin again as difficult as it may be. You have only one LIFE to live, don't let anyone else ruin it for you! CHOOSE TO LIVE - NOT JUST SURVIVE! Hugs & Love ♥
Every now and then you must stop and feel the love you're enveloped by. True love doesn't hurt or betray but nourishes and let's you fly. Despite all other struggles and hurdles in life, genuine love will give you wings and make you feel like there're no limits to your being and abilities. You can overcome anything with true Love.
There come days when nothing could go wrong, especially when you lay in a meadow with your arms resting behind your head as you're watching the perfect harmony of all simple elements surrounding you. When the warm breeze is gently brushing your hair, the leaves of grass are tickling your cheeks and the falling mist from waterfalls is refreshing your soul. Nothing can go wrong at the moment. Nothing! It's one of those days...
I wrote when I was down, I wrote when I was on top of the world. I wrote when eating disorder was killing me, I wrote when depression threw a dark veil over me. Sometimes I drew or painted a few pictures in my despair. And I survived, somehow...one poem, one painting, one day at a time. I dearly hope that whatever you're going through, as dark as it may be, there's at least a small ray of hope in your Soul shining through, because that's all it takes. Life is a journey of small steps, small decisions, small bites, but a constant movement, as subtle as it may seem. You don't have to change your life today, just believe it will change, eventually. And know that you're not alone; even those with a smile on their face hide pain inside. Never lose HOPE! Never lose BELIEF in YOURSELF! It's all about making one small step at a time...She did. ;o)
We're all positive and strong when we are happy and things are working out. But especially in times of sorrow, we must convince ourselves we are stronger than we were yesterday and that there always is hope and path to travel, as long as we believe we can make one more step forward. Today is the perfect day to make that step. Love & Hugs SW
Sometimes even the simplest of moments may provide the greatest inspiration and sense of satisfaction. Sitting on the patio, doing nothing of importance, just observing the buzzing of hummingbirds in the tree crowns and watching the slight movement of my Pink Mandevilla in harmony with the spring breeze. Drinking in the simple beauty I am surrounded by and the fresh fragrance of blooming flowers. It almost brought tears to my eyes as I felt so at peace at the very moment, appreciating every living element; myself being one of them. Gratitude circulated through my veins and I wished to be no other place than where I was right then.
"Every life story has its ups and downs to which no one is immune. Each story differs to some degree, but we all can relate to the roller-coaster, at least in part. It should lead us to always strive to be compassionate, for often times we don't understand someone else's journey and don't realize their struggles. As life provides unpredictable twists and turns for us to learn to be flexible and find our direction within the maze, some unfortunately find themselves lost and often fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel, feeling hopeless. As painful as some life lessons can be, there always is hope. I know, for I lost everything only to discover my own being again..." from the book AFTER THE SUNSET.
My blog is still not working properly. So, in the meantime I would like to share a list of some of the books that either changed my life, enhanced it in some profound way, or brought self-awareness, understanding and knowledge that shifted my way of thinking.
BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE:
1)Identity and the Life Cycle by Erik H. Erikson
2)Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl
3)Biodesign Out For A Walk by Lowell Young
4)Ethics for the New Millennium by Dalai Lama
5)The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
6)A Poem a Day by Kean McCosker and Nicholas Albery
7)Thought without a Thinker by Mark Epstein
8)Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein
9)Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
10)The Untouched Key by Alice Miller
11)The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin
12)Gandhi: An Autobiography by Mahatma Gandi
13)Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore
14)The Secret Language of Eating Disorder by Peggy Claude-Pierre
15)The Van Gogh Blues by Eric Maisel
16)Never Good Enough by Monica Ramirez Basco
17)The Collected Autobiographies by Maya Angelou
18)The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
19)The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
20)Selected Poems of Anne Sexton by Anne Sexton
21)The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, PsyD
22) Insight: Reflections of the Gifts of Being an Introvert by Beth L. Buelow
23) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
24) Jung to Live By by Eugene Pascal, Ph.L.
25) The I Ching or Book of Changes by Brian Brown Walker
There are many more fascinating and informative books that I love, these just came to mind as I was thinking back. I will add more as I either read a new one or come to remember one that has made a deep impact in my life. I hope you found some of these titles interesting. And if you have any suggestions you'd like to share, please feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to post them as well.