August 5, 2019 we lost an amazing writer. Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88. And to be honest – he words changed me in a lot of ways. Her words encouraged me to write

The first time I ever heard of Toni Morrison, was back in my college days. I took a class called “The Nobel Laureates of the NorthWest”. Well, my mind figured it would be about the winners in the Northwest United States. Nope, not exactly. Northwestern Hemisphere. Just a smidge larger.

Anyway, in this class, we were assigned to read 5 books from 5 Nobel Laureates. One of the books I chose, was Beloved by Toni Morrison. And I was hooked. (Fun Fact, that novel also won a Pulitzer Prize.) But the story, was just – entrancing. I couldn’t put it down. Sethe, the protagonist of the novel, will break your heart while standing in awe at her resilience. That’s all I will say so I don’t ruin it. Fast forward to yesterday.

I had a blog post written, and I pulled it down. Because I knew I wanted to write about Toni Morrison, and I wouldn’t have time to do it justice until late tonight. So, you are getting it a day late. Sorry about that. But today, I got a blog notification from Brene Brown, and she was talking about Toni Morrison. (If you aren’t aware, this is just further proof that Brene Brown and I are supposed to BFFs… LOL!) Well, she was talking about how much she loved her also, and she brought up an Oprah interview. Of course, I google it – and I watch it. Below is from Brene’s blog, quoting Toni Morrison. I just can’t word it any clearer.

She asked, “Does your face light up?”
She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?”
Her advice was simple, but paradigm-shifting for me. She said:
“Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”

Boom. Wow. Quake. Think about that. And I thought about all the times that I have pulled into the garage, and little feet come running out the door excited to see me – and what do I say? “GET IN THE HOUSE! WHAT IF I HADN’T SEEN YOU AND HAD HIT YOU!?” Little feet scurry back inside. Ugh. I would give anything to turn back time to those moments and change it. All I can do, is apologize now – explain why – and try to change it. They are my whole heart. I never want them to think for a second that I don’t want to see them. I can’t let fear, bad moods, sickness or anything else – come between them knowing that they have a strong and powerful purpose.

Take it one step farther. Your boyfriend or girlfriend. Husband or wife. Parents. Does your face light up when you see them? If you hadn’t seen them for a month, would it be any different? A year? If you thought you would never see them again, but you got another chance? Listen. I ain’t judging, cause I am going to tell you the truth. For YEARS of my life, my modus operandi was this – If I liked a boy, I played it cool. If I was excited to see him, I played it cool. Don’t show that you are happy or excited. That will make you weak. Then they have the upper hand. And apparently everything in my life was some type of crazy display of power.

Until the day I decided that I just don’t care. If I am happy to see you – I am going to hug you and show it. Simple as that.

So today, take a second, and look lovingly at your kids. Really, do it to anyone you love. But hey, they are little. Start there. And read a book. Or get on Audible.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat Nam.

Since I turned forty, I have realized that I know absolutely nothing. You know how in your teenage years, you know everything? And then when you become a parent, you read the parent books – but you also think you are smarter than anyone else about how to parent? And for me, albeit not everyone, there were the years of mourning – where I really did nothing but exist. And then the years of creating a career, because as a single mom you really need one of those.

And then I turned 40. During my first hurricane. That is not a joke. My birthday is September 9, 1977. Google Irma. I live in Orlando. It was great. Yes, that’s sarcasm. But honestly, little did I know how much that hurricane was foreshadowing what was going to come.

Anyway, I went through what one might call an awakening. I had some serious health scares. I recognized my mortality. And I as I was typing that last sentence, I typed the morality on accident. Then I thought, maybe that wasn’t an accident. So I might have recognized my morality, also.

I am in a season of growth. And I love it. All the crap I have carried around for years, I am slowly dropping by the wayside. Bit by bit, my load gets lighter. My heart gets bigger, my smile grows larger, and I feel better. I am tackling each problem, one chunk at a time. And you know what is helping me do that? Look at the title. That’s right. Audible and Self-Help Books.

I love audible. I also love self help books. I don’t like to sit down and read – but I do like to drive and listen. I am a queen of multi-tasking, so audiobooks/podcasts, are my go -to. Some of my absolute favorite authors are – Brene Brown, Mel Robbins, Gabrielle Bernstein, Dave Ramsey, Steven Furtick, Denise Duffield, and Jen Sincero. And that’s just to name a few. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with every single bit, of every single book. And some of the bits I do agree with, I don’t necessarily apply.. because sometimes I am lazy and I suck. It is true though, that I learn something, and better myself in someway with each one.

So, Let me ask you – do you like audio-books or paper better? Also, what are some self-help books that you recommend? I’d love to hear it!

Well, this is gonna be short. I didn’t plan this blog, she just kinda flew out my fingertips. I have had a good day. No major issues. Hiccups. All good. Then, out of nowhere, “WHAM!” I got slammed by a flood of emotions that I didn’t see coming. Long story short – in a previous blog I wrote about the best friend break-up. (You can click the underlined part to read that if you haven’t). Well, some of their social media popped up in my world – and it was like I was stabbed all over again. I guess, I should just feel blessed that I don’t know how you do that. How you just drop someone for literally no reason/no explanation.

Anyway. That sucked. Tears were burning my eyes. I shut my office door. I cried for a second, cause my feelings were re-hurt. And then I did it. I made a phone call. I called and I cried. And guess what !? I wasn’t made fun of, I was listened to, and I ended up laughing at the end. So I say all that, to say this. I am so grateful. In a moment of yucky – I realized that I have so much to be grateful over. And guys, when you are upset, let it out to someone you trust. I started off feeling crazy for being emotional. I ended up receiving understanding and a deeper connection with them? Why? Because I got vulnerable and showed emotion instead of choking it down. So, try it. Let it out.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

It’s worth it. For real.