Archive for August, 2010

So we’ll live, and pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterflies…

The Story of the Butterfly:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body…Neither happened!
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.

~Author Unknown

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

The first step into the sunshine of life begins with the opening of a cocoon.  The caterpillar becomes a butterfly spreading her wings into the world.  What she is today is but a tiny mirror of the magnificence that is still yet to come.  Her transformation is not yet complete.  For with time, love, humor, and warmth; she is an ever changing masterpiece.  She will find her center of piece.  A place that is hers and hers alone; the essence of what she is and what she will be.

Her flight through life should be filled with happy adventures and memories to put in her book of life.  And when the sun at last begins to set in the west and her flight nears its end; she can look back along her path and can be content that she has been everything she can be and has done her very best. ~ Linda Dietz

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Maya Angelou

“When, within our souls and psyches we are made aware of a safe but insistent drum beat, repeated like butterfly wings in motion, we sense the message…that our inner self has begun its search for freedom…”

The Secret History of the Carolina Yayas

     

Long before the world was like we know it now, there existed a Wise and Mighty Tribe of YaYas.  The yayas were a band of women, strong and beautiful, who roamed the country.  The stars in the sky loved them so much that they would dip down and allow the yayas to ride through the sky, so that they could travel from Louisiana to all around the world.      

Our mothers who raised us, were the first yayas and were most beautiful and loving.  People adored them and no one messed with the tribal yayas.  So that we could remember who we are, a great book was written about our story.  It is passed from yaya to yaya and holds our Divine Secrets.  From this book, we remember the good, the bond of true friendships and the love from beautiful souls who are family, even when they are not born into our family.  We also learned to love the inner gifts that naturally spring from being raised as a southern woman, which include charm, manners, quiet strength, and the ability to laugh at one’s self and not take things too seriously.  We remember that the meaning of life is about opening up, being in touch with our spirit and our feelings and finding the friendships of a lifetime.      

The Lady of the Moon is our guardian and her silver light reflects the goodness in us all.  She is here to teach us that the true mission of the yayas is to empower women and serve as a place to help us remember who and what we are.  We know that women are divine love, full of generosity, kindness, creativity, and wonder.  We wish to help women “remember” that these gifts are within each of us.  We share them with others, so that our inner light can come out and shine.  The Lady of the Moon, knew that so many of us had been forced to move from our birth places and so she promised to be with us always.  She also told us stories of how we would one day meet our other yaya sisters and be reunited.  We no longer live in our birth homes and we know that our town does not realize we are loyal, but, we the yayas, secretly know our history and we are loyal to our tribal sisters and the women who were there before us.      

From this we have grown and created our motto, which is to Live Well, Laugh Often, and Love Much.  We come together in appreciation of women and sisterhood and celebrate how much joy there is in this world.  We believe that in coming together, if only for a few brief moments, that the spirit of the yaya restores us, renews us, and reminds us of the wonderful women that we are and were always meant to be.  This is the true spirit of the yayas , our journey in life, of traveling to the next level, and paving the way for the deeper connection.      

“Friendship is a rainbow between two hearts…”      

What does it mean to be a yaya:      

This story speaks to the incredible power and love of women’s relationships.  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did:      

“Young and newly married, I relaxed under a pecan tree on a hot Texas summer day drinking iced tea and getting to know my new sister-in-law, Estelle.  Not much older than I, but already the mother of three, Estelle seemed to me experienced and wise.      

‘Get yourself some girlfriends,’ she advised, clinking the ice cubes in her glass. “You are going to need girlfriends.  Go places with them; do things with them.’  What a funny piece of advice, I thought.  Hadn’t I just gotten married?  Hadn’t I just joined the couple-world?  I was a married woman, for goodness sake, not a young girl who needed girlfriends!      

But I listened to this new sister-in-law.  I got myself some girlfriends.  As the years tumbled by, one after another, I gradually came to understand that Estelle knew what she was talking about.  I remembered that she used the word ‘girlfriends’ with emphasis.  As I went along, I discovered the subtle difference between friends and girlfriends.  You go to work with friends go to dinner with friends, go to church with friends, belong to clubs with friends.  You send friends greeting cards.  You need friends in your life; all girlfriends were once only friends.      

But girlfriends are different.  I offer this praise to girlfriends:      

  • Girlfriends don’t compete and aren’t jealous of each other
  • Girlfriends bring casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you are sick
  • Girlfriends keep your secrets sacred
  • Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it; sometimes you take it: sometimes you don’t
  • Girlfriends don’t always tell you you’re right; but they are always honest
  • Girlfriends still love you; even when they don’t agree with your choices
  • Girlfriends laugh with you and you don’t need canned jokes to start the laughter
  • Girlfriends pull you out of jams
  • Girlfriends don’t keep a mental calendar of who hosted what event last, who spent the most money, etc.
  • Girlfriends are the friends who came into your life and never left your side; they’re the one’s you call when you need a reality check, a shoulder to cry on, to celebrate your joys…and who will be there for you no matter what else they may have going on in their lives
  • Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant, and come to you genuinely when the hard times come
  • Girlfriends listen when you lose a job, a boyfriend, or husband
  • Girlfriends listen when you’re children break your heart
  • Girlfriends listen when your parent’s minds and bodies fall apart

My girlfriends bless my life.  Once we were young, with no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead.  Nor did we know how much we would need each other.  I want to tell all younger women to take my sister-in-laws advice!”      

Dance Like No One is Watching and Love Like You’ll Never Get Hurt!      

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice.  But for those who love, TIME is an eternity! – Henry Van Dyke      

Women everywhere: Take heed…

“Sisterhood is many things. It’s a warm smile on a cold and rainy day, a friendly hug, a cheerful hello… It’s all that a good and lasting friendship is, only better. It’s treasured. It’s sacred. It’s knowing that there will always be someone there for you. It’s dreams shared, and goals achieved. It’s counting on others and being counted on. It is real.”

Sisterhood is the essence of all the wisdom of the ages, distilled into a single word. You cannot see sisterhood, neither can you hear it nor taste it. But you can feel it a hundred times a day. It is a pat on the back, a smile of encouragement. It’s someone to share with, to celebrate your achievements.” ~ Anonymous

I first went to see the movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” in 2002  or 2003 when it came out in theaters.  I went with my “girls” from Sharp-Rees Stealy when I was living in San Diego.  As Corrine, Martha, Alma, and I piled into the theater, you could feel the strong bonds of friendship, love, and an empowerment of women all through the room.  Friendship is something I value and cherish.  True friends are always there with a shoulder to cry on, a mirror to shine your true reflection back on you when you need it the most, to cuss you out when you’re screwing up…You may fight, scream, laugh or cry…but in the end you will always know that person is there for you and has your best intentions at heart.  She’ll be your army when you need or a safety net to catch you.  It’s a bond that can never be broken.  Friendship comes in so many forms: a mother, a daughter, a sister, or someone you hand-picked to share your journey with.  Wherever you may find that bond: Cherish it, value it, nurture it…and above all…never let it go.

I hope every one of you has someone in your life you can truly consider a friend.  I have been blessed with the friendships I have in my life: A wonderful mother who I can always count on to be there for me; and I, her.  A beautiful sister with whom I share the best of memories.  Friends who were hand chosen by me.  Some of whom I may not have directly in my life anymore but that I miss and think of often.  Surround yourself with that love and you can never be lost.

We are raised as females to be strong, independent women, who crave the love of a man to share our hopes, dreams, successes and failures with.  While I am also a hopeless romantic hoping for that very thing; I am also acutely aware of how much the relationships you share with other women are vital to happiness. 

So, if you haven’t done it in a while, have a get-to-together with your closest friends.  Have a Sex-In-The-City night and catch up over cosmos.  Have a BBQ at the lake and just socialize; enjoy the company of your friends.  Or if you have found friendship in other area codes: Send a text, call them, or message them on facebook just to let them know you’re thinking about them. 

We all get so busy in our day-to-day lives: work, family, children, etc. that often friendships fall by the way side.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Embrace life, embrace being a woman, and most importantly; embrace your friendships: family and friends.  Make today count.  Don’t be a tree that simply has branches but can’t establish roots.  Get grounded and enjoy life.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE!

Raise our voices in words of Mumbo Gumbo: Ya-Ya!!

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood A Novel By Rebecca Wells

“Rebecca Wells’s new novel is a big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes trying to survive marriage, motherhood and pain, relying always on their love for each other. It is a novel of wide reach and lots of colors: fun in a breathless sort of way. Vivi is one of the best characters in any novel you’ll read this summer.” -Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Plot Summary:  Sidda is a girl again in the hot heart of Louisiana, the bayou world of Catholic saints and voodoo queens.  She walks barefoot into the humid night, moonlight on her freckled shoulders.  Near a huge, live oak tree on the edge of her father’s cotton fields, Sidda looks up into the sky.  In the crook of the crescent moon sits the Holy Lady, with strong muscles and a merciful heart.  She kicks her splendid legs like the moon is her swing and the sky, her front porch.  She waves down at Sidda like she has just spotted an old buddy.  Sidda stands in the moonlight and lets the Blessed Mother love every hair on her six-year-old head.  Tenderness flows down from the moon and up from the earth.  For one fleeting, luminous moment, Sidda Walker knows there has never been a time she has not been loved.  When Siddalee and Vivi Walker, an utterly original mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a “tap-dancing child abuser,” the fall-out is felt from Louisiana to New York to Seattle. Siddalee, a successful theatre director with a huge hit on her hands, panics and postpones her upcoming wedding to her lover and friend Connor McGill.   But Vivi’s intrepid gang of life-long girlfriends, the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together.

In 1932, Vivi and the Ya-Yas were disqualified from a Shirley Temple Look-Alike Contest for unladylike behavior.  Sixty years later, they’re “bucking seventy,” and still making waves.  They persuade Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of girlhood mementos entitled “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”  Sidda retreats to a cabin on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, tormented by fear and uncertainty about the future, and intent on discovering a key to the tangle of anger and tenderness she feels toward her mother.  But the album reveals more questions than answers, and leads Sidda to encounter the unknowable mystery of life and the legacy of imperfect love.  With passion and a rare gift of language, Rebecca Wells moves from present to past, unraveling Vivi’s life, her enduring friendships with the Ya-Yas, and the reverberations on Siddalee.  The collective power of the Ya-Yas, each of them totally individual and authentic, permeates this story of a tribe of Louisiana wild women impossible to tame.

Love is a wonderful; F***ed up thing…

  

You’re talking to a girl who has had her heart broken, cried for continuous hours, yelled and screamed for help.  A girl who turned her back on the world and a girl who did nothing but love someone who couldn’t, wouldn’t, love her back.    

“Have I ever told you how beautiful your eyes are and how they fool me every time?”    

If I could have just one wish, I would wish to wake up to the sound of your breath on my neck, the warmth of your lips on my cheek, the touch of your fingers on my skin, and the feel of your heart beating in rhythm with mine…knowing that I would never find that feeling with anyone else.  You treat life like a picture; but it’s not a moment frozen in time.  It’s not going to wait for you to make up your mind.    

I’m sick of all these broken love quotes, sayings, and stories; but there’s nothing else for me to fall back on.  You’d never guess a girl so happy on the outside is breaking down on the inside; walking around with her heart shattered.  The girl who laughs her head off everyday; you’d never guess she’s covering up a million tears behind her smile.  I’ve learned that goodbyes will always hurt, pictures never replace having been there, memories (good or bad) will always bring tears, and words can never replace feelings. ” Sometimes we must get hurt in order to grow, we must fall in order to know.  Sometimes our vision only clears after our eyes have been washed with tears.”    

“The words you scribbled on the wall, the lots of friends you didn’t have…I’ll call you when the time is right (or when I’m too weak to take a stand…”    

No more holding it in; how many years can I pretend that nothing ever goes the way it should?  No more sitting in this somewhere-in-between place hoping that you may one day see things my way.  The truth is that I don’t think you ever understood or will ever understand.  I rip up your pictures, throw away your letters…I turn off our song and cry even harder.  I look at my face and see what you’ve done.  My eyes can’t betray…I hate you because you’re so beautiful to me still…so perfectly…imperfect.  I hate you because I loved you too much.  You destroyed me and for that I’m bitter; I’m damaged.  Behind every “I’m fine” is a mind full of confusion.    

I want a guy that will make me happy; someone that will make me smile every time I hear his voice.  Someone that will love me unconditionally.  You’re weird, obnoxious, crazy and a complete idiot; and yet I can still think of you and smile.  Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect; it means you have decided to look beyond someones imperfections.    

“Everybody wants happiness; nobody wants pain.  But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain…”    

Love me without restrictions, want me without demand, accept me how I am.  You gotta take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, always forgive; but never forget.  Learn from your mistakes, never live with regret.  People change and things go wrong; but just remember… LIFE GOES ON.    

LOVE: It’s such a short word; easy to spell but hard to define.  I am a hopeless romantic.  I believe in wishing on stars, soul mates, and love that never ends.  And yet, sometimes, I feel like I’m the only single person alive.  I feel so alone.  No matter what I try to do; I’m often left in solitude.    

My heart has to prepare itself for whatever bullets may come out of your mouth.  I’m living in an empty room with all the windows smashed; my heart aching like I’m walking on broken glass. “She’s an artist; a painter actually.  See the “smile” she’s painted on her face?  It’s her most famous masterpiece yet…”     

**This entire blog was pretty much a compilation of other’s writings.  It just spoke to my heart and I wanted to repost most of it and it all just seemed to flow together… Love can be a wonderful; F***ed up thing…but in the end the experience is worth whatever the outcome may be.  Life is about the journey; not the destination.  I wish all of you the best in life, love, friendships, and your pursuits of happiness!  Have a blessed day!    

 

SALT

“Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie), a CIA agent, interrogates a Russian defector, Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski). He tells her about “Day X”, an operation organized by a powerful Russian since the cold war, which will lead to the destruction of the United States. Orlov also mentions that at the funeral of the late Vice President in New York City, the visiting Russian President will be killed by a trained Russian spy. He mentions that the name of the Russian spy is Evelyn Salt. From brain scans performed during the interrogation, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and other CIA officials all see that Orlov is telling the truth…”

And so the story begins….

I really enjoyed this movie and in the end was left wanting for more!  I had an incredible day with my mom and brother and was able to just relax and be.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Albert Einstein

   

There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.  

Have had a rough couple of days.  Things are looking up finally.  I just had to come to terms with the fact that “I guess in the end, it all comes down to the fine line between who you thought that person was, and the truth.”  (author unknown).  The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, words can be twisted, people will betray you, someone you’ve known for years can turn on you, and things you say can and will be repeated and can come to haunt you even months later.  And then people who you thought were “family” will block and delete you from their social networking site as if  you never existed.  *Deep Sigh* I’ve learned you can only live a life that is true to yourself and to who you are and to whom you aspire to become.  

‎”What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”    

“You can’t base your life on other people’s expectations.”  

If others can’t see your light or only want to take it from you; they aren’t worth your time and energy.  The people you surround yourself with should lift you up.  “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”  

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.”