Heart Light

One of the best part of having time off of work, is having time to sit & be with the humans you love with out thinking about the “have to’s” or “should be’s”. To truly be present. The time restraints are less and moments can be enjoyed with ease. It is joyous.

Today, while having dinner with my niece, I turned around saw the sunlight through the grass & I heard my intuition say, “Take a photo.”img_20180207_212148_9721259808615.jpg So I did. When I viewed the photo I saw the heart of light.  “How perfect!” I thought; the universe is talking & I was listening.

 

An Unexpected Smile

Unexpected Smiles

Today’s weather was crazy- hot with extreme dryness. This type of weather has a way of creating a chaotic energy, scenarios that are not normal and lets not forget more fires for us in California despite today’s date, October 23, where is the fall weather?

Needless to say, as I pulled into in the Target/Trader Joe’s shopping center I looked for shaded parking and the most shaded spot was next to a new, red Ford 150 truck. Even though the parking lot was virtually empty – I still parked next to this truck – shade was far too important than to worry about a ding in the door.

As I parked, I saw leathered faced man, in a sleeveless t-shirt walking across the parking lot towards my car. He was watching me park, so I gave him thumbs up (so he knew I saw him) and then I paused because I was not sure what his intent. Was he walking to his car? Was he in need of money?

As I focused more on him, I noticed he was carrying what was a bouquet of  white roses from Trader Joe’s and there were only 3 left. My first thought was “He is selling roses to earn money. Hmmmm… This was a new angle to raise money in a parking lot.” So I  prepared myself to buy a rose, as I watched him walk towards my car. Then he placed one long stem, white rose in my door handle and he walked to other side of my car to the new, red Ford 150 truck.  At this point, I got out my car and said “Thank you.”

He turned to me as he opened his door and said, “Do you know that some people never have been given a flower? I do not do this for a thank you. Just enjoy it!”

I was very surprised that his intention was to simply spread beauty, thoughtfulness, and kindness. He did not even want a thank you. Wow! I completely misinterpreted the scenario and refreshing it was to be wrong. With an unexpected smile on my face,  I responded, “I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Have a a wonderful day!”

And then he continued to get into his truck, as I walked towards Target. This unexpected encounter made this crazy-hot day seem a bit more refreshing, a bit more inspiring and a bit more heartful.

Life has a way of being a Good Kind O’Crazy if you let it.

 

 

 

 

How is It Going?

20161028_155854Two months in with dog number 2, Iggy Pop, the Havanese. Our lives has changed and I want to say for the best , but sometimes he is just too much. (11.11.2016)

3 months in now and I have accepted his puppy ways (for the most part). I am taking 1 day at a time because he is on full throttle most of the time. He has learned to lean into love- morning time he will ramble next to me to get love and affection. He is a ball of joy when I come from work. Iggy wakes at the same time every morning – even on the weekends-6:30 a.m. and he is ready to start each day with enthusiasm. He also goes to bed around 8:30. He will disappear under the bed and turn himself in for the night, unless of course he hears an unfamiliar noise then it is doggie barking the middle of the night. No bueno. (12.10.2016)

13 months in and Iggy the Smiling Havanese is definitely part of our family. He still has issues; barks a lot, has a temper, becomes a Tasmanian devil when he gets grooms and he has an addiction to tennis balls. Despite Iggy’s craziness Zeke has come to adore him. I have also come to the conclusion, Zeke has missed his calling as a dog whisper or maybe it is just the beginning. Cesar Milan watch out for Zeke Rodriguez. Zeke is amazing with Iggy and Iggy’s craziness.

The best part of having Iggy is the love he gives, the way he looks at you trying to understand what you are saying and the softness of his hair. Iggy’s crazy has turned into a Good Kind O’Crazy and he definitely has caused my heart to be fuller. #Heart.ful (10.09.2017)

Good Kind O’Crazy (It is a matter of perspective, isn’t it?)

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Life is full.

Many years ago an 8 year old girl, by the name of Katie, was describing my sister’s house as kind of crazy, but a good kind of crazy. I completely understood what Katie meant, and I have used this description through out my life for many different scenarios, experiences, and moments. But what does it mean?

As humans, I do not think we escape the feeling of crazy or being put in a situation that is crazy. It may be a loud event or being spread too thin. It maybe hormones rushing through or leaving our bodies. It may stem from the feeling of not belonging.  It maybe the moment when you realize, the beliefs you grew up with are not true or at least do not fit who you are. There are too many scenarios, too many experiences, and too many moments that can be described as crazy. It is what you decided to do with them that determines the quality of good crazy or bad crazy.

I believe all these possible crazy moments and feelings are a right of passage. And to make it through to the other side, we must accept the craziness. In these moments, it might feel like you have lost our minds or maybe never had it. You realize that main-stream society simply is not you and you pause. You wait, you are confused, you are lonely and then you notice something. Something that will cause you to remember who you are and why you are here, and that life is full.

I began to accept and move through the crazy in my life when I realized life is created by dualities. My perspective shifted and something inside me remembered and accepted that to experience joy you must know sorrow, to experience love you must experience hate or worse apathy, to feel belonging one must feel isolated and to understand crazy you must have known sanity (peace), and you can not truly know or understand one without the other. The yin and yang of life. The ebb and flow.

This is a Good Kind O’Crazy that we call life.

The Teacher is Good to Me

Being a teacher is exhausting. Often I ask myself the rhetorical question “Why am I a teacher?” My profession is a tremendous balance of kindness, knowledge, patience, deep breathes, lesson planning (which always seems to get pushed because of other obligations) communication, learning, creating, being proactive and teaching is some where in the mix.

I would like to tell you that my profession gets easier with each year completed, but it does not. The students have become more challenging,  wealthy entrepreneurs invest in common core standards that are not developmentally appropriate to the grade which caused our curriculum to change  and our best practices to be effected, districts allow the age of enrollment to be too early & then wonder why so many students are below grade level ( well maybe because they should have waited to start kindergarten), the landscape in regular ed classroom has drastically changed and sometimes 1 or 2 students will consume 80% of the teachers time & the education of the other students suffer. Teaching is exhausting to the mind, the body and the spirit, especially when the energy of the classroom is unbalanced.

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And then one day, a situation changes the exhaustion to fulfillment. For one brief moment we are reminded why we are a teacher. One of my teacher friends discovered this note and she shared with me the story behind it. You see, Manuel is not a cooperative student. He often is quietly defiant and simple put rude. When the teacher called Manuel over to discuss the note Manuel denied it; even though his name is written on the post-it. The teacher asked Manuel again if he wrote it he said “yes.”  With his head hung down, the teacher continued to explain how she would like to keep it and asked Manuel’s permission to do so. He lifted his head and the teacher continue to explain how his words made her day. Manuel smiled and agreed she could keep the note.

Moments like these are our successes, our bonuses, and our motivation to continue. Moments like these remind us why became a teacher despite everything we do not have control over, everything that is frustrating. Moments like this make our hearts full.

Side note: My friend is an exceptional teacher; she meets the students where they are emotionally, she is consistent with her expectations, respectful, and joyful. Needless to say Manuel is very fortunate to have her as his teacher, and his note is evidence he knows this to be true. Please remember to measure your child’s success in school by their sparkle in their eyes and eagerness to want to go to class, especially in elementary school. Their sparkle should not disappear.

Heart-ful.

-ful: suffix – 1. (forming adjectives from nouns) full of. as in “grateful”

SCAN0058Write one thing you are grateful for each day and this action, this state of being will improve your outlook, your life. How many times have you heard or read this? A LOT, right?

So I am going to put action behind these word and see how it affects me. I am doing this because I want to improve my daily existence and it truly is a simple thing to do. I just need to decided when & how- before bedtime, first thing in the morning, when I get home- when will I create this habit? How will I document my happy moment, my gratefulness, my change of existence?

How? With a pen & paper in a journal.

When? At the end of my work day or before going to bed.

I choose to share this new habit with you to hold me accountable and to hopefully inspire you.

I choose this new habit because I do believe it will have a direct affect on my mind, my spirit and my health; professionally and personally.

I choose this new habit because I want to live fully and have my heart be full.

Heartful.

 

Why Write?

Writing with the intention of sharing your words with others is an awkward, anxious feeling. I consider myself more of a private person, however as I grow older I can not help, but feel the need to express myself through writing and photography. So here I am writing, creating, and sharing.

 

20160517_195548Why Blog? Why write?
I have chosen to write because I believe in the power of writing. When we write we release thoughts & emotions.   Emile Zola’s words”I came into this world to live out loud” have always resonated with me. We all have a story (our life) that have many mini-stories that are more endearing, more enduring and more important than we know. Your story and my story is more than what we give it credit to be.

Creativity: I also believe we all need a creative outlet. We need to feel inspired. So I am combining my joy of photography with writing; to release, to feel, to be and to create.

Last thoughts: Me/We: The shortest poem by Muhammad Ali in “When We Were Kings”

As stated by Louis Doré  in “When We Were Kings”: One version expresses a sense of community, and of appreciation for support and togetherness.The other expresses a freewheeling sense of ego, of enjoyment for one’s achievement and abilities and of thanks for the opportunity of existence.

So I encourage you to start writing or sharing in some way through your creativity. Get your thoughts and emotions out of you and share. We simply never know when our own personal story or perspective will help another. The Me, then becomes the We, and vice versa. And in just a moment our lives maybe a bit brighter, a bit better by sharing, by creating.

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Hemingway the Cat

Hemingway the CAt

Hemingway has gone away.

He has found another home down the way.

The new dog’s energy -he does not like-so he takes a daily hike.

A text, I will get, telling me to come get.

So I walk a block or two.

Contained he is- until morning appears- then he is ready to disappear.

A nomadic cat – that is is Hemi-  wandering away until the end of each day.

Today I Cried

20170121_102401Today I cried, not because I am hurt, because the world is.

Today I cried, not because I was denied, because my fellow humans were.

Today I cried, not because I do not have medical care, because others do not.

Today I cried, not because I did not have a choice, because once again females may not.

Today I cried, not because I can not marry, because others humans may not.

Today I cried, not because I do not understand what is at stake, because others do not.

Today I cried, not because I am unjust, because people in power are.

Today I cried, not because I do not protect the planet, because others do not.

Today I cried, not because I do not take responsibility, because the US President does.

Today I cried, because sometimes life is too much!

Hard to Say Good-Bye

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Nothing better than the perfect fitting jeans.

Dearest Blue Jean,

Why do you have to go? You have faded and torn or no longer fit. Yikes!

You have been there for me on the best of days and the worst of days.

The way you comfort me. Remind me everything will be OK.

Thank you for always reassuring me it will be a good day.

You made my days better and know you are missed.

Love Always, KO

~ I am still waiting to find another pair that fits me, as well as, the the top two pairs.  Until I do they are safely waiting in a Rubbermaid container.