BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Leland Controversy Becomes Positive

LelandWe recently found ourselves to be at the center of controversy.  It was not necessary nor was it instigated by us.  Nonetheless, there we were.  Right smack-dab in the middle of a news story which by it’s delivery, was meant to stir up the justice-seekers of the community.  Although we knew the truth, we also knew there is always the possibility a good situation can turn ugly just because public opinion calls it so.

We purchased an old historic property.  It was built in the early 1920’s and is situated on a beautiful piece of property by a garden park and a river.  The property was owned by the Five Rivers MetroParks.  My husband has been employed by Five Rivers for nearly 20 years.  This property had been their corporate headquarters for 50 years and was on the market for nearly 2 1/2 years.  It was our understanding there were a lot of lookers but no offers.  There was simply too  much work to be done to either restore it OR to renovate and upgrade it.  It is just a little too far out of the downtown area and not far enough to be in the neighboring towns.  But, we didn’t care about all that.  We have a vision for it and we knew what we could afford, and it wasn’t even half of the asking price.

The issue was two-fold:  the ridiculously low price we paid for it AND that it sold to an employee for that low price.  Although everything was clean, clear, legal, and totally transparent and above reproach, it didn’t matter to those who wanted to stir up controversy.  So, they did.  The claim eluded to favoritism and foul play.  The investigation included scouring through all the public documents about the property, the sale, our backgrounds, and my husbands personnel record of nearly 20 years.  It was not pleasant.  Every day there were updates about the investigation.  There was the phone interview and my awareness that anything can be taken out of context and misconstrued for sensationalism.  All the while, I know the purchase followed the Ohio Revised Code for government owned real estate sales.  And when the MetroPark was concerned they had missed something relatively small, they started the whole process over again by posting the property for sale in the Public Notice Section as well as holding another Open House for the public.  I was in a bit of a twit about it all.  I knew our offer was low.  Anyone in the whole, wide, world could come in with a higher offer and walk away with it.  I prayed, as I always do, that IF this is the right purchase for us, that it be made easy and effortless.  And we got it.  We closed months later than expected and lost a lot of good weather time to work on the exterior.  A few days after the closing, we received notification from the City indicating the exterior did not meet standards and needed immediate attention, or else!  That was our Welcome to the City!

When the news investigation began in January, we had barely started working on the building. And we were all too aware of the  watchful eyes to our comings and goings.  And then the news….  First it was on the local news without our names but clearly indicating this was an inappropriate sale.  Then the next day came the newspaper article with personal information being published, which was totally unrelated to the sale.  Then came my personal interview and tour of the property, which I offered up.  Why?  Because, it was my prayer that the Angels shine the light on the harmony and transparency of this transaction and to allow this to be a positive publicity event for the Leland Center.  You see, our vision for the Leland extends far beyond us.  It is our hope to provide the community with holistic services, access to workshops and events which are not currently available in the area, AND we have a vision to have a non-profit arm of the business which will provide complimentary therapies to Veterans and our active military especially those suffering with PTSD.  The final news piece has become exactly what we prayed for.  It was done well, with integrity and exemplifies our vision of the Leland House as well as became positive publicity for the Leland.  There will be more written about this journey.  We are eager to share!

No Comments »

Pt 2 “Mom, You’re registered for a full marathon!” No way! Not me!! Never!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon!  Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon! Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Two weeks before the Air Force Marathon, September 2010, my husband and I visited our Air Force son, Cody, at his base in Biloxi, MI.  While there, I just had to run along the flight lines.  It was so cool!!  I was really enjoying the jog/fast walk intervals.  (I never really understood the difference between jog and run, but I am pretty sure as slow as I was going and the minimal distance I covered each time…it was jogging.)  While we visited, Cody surprised me with the announcement he was coming home to run the FULL Air Force Marathon along with several of his friends.  I was so excited to know they would all be on the course and having a new experience together!  But I was in NO WAY interested in ever doing that!

During the half marathon, I had to make a quick potty stop.  I drink plenty of water and I didn’t know to plan around the pee stops.  There was a long line and it put me about 8 minutes behind Mary.  I needed to catch up!  So, I jogged until I found her.  I don’t know what the distance actually was but I smiled often as I realized I was actually jogging a portion of a half marathon.  I caught up with her and later, we crossed that finish line together and with great big smiles on our faces. We averaged 13 1/2 min/miles  for the first 5-6 miles.  We rocked!!  I loved every minute and knew I wanted to do it again the next year.  My son and his friends finished the full marathon.  They were sore, they struggled up and down the stairs.  I giggled at their misery.  And I knew, I never needed to do that…ever!!  Why??  Running (or jogging) 26.2 miles is just crazy!  And look at how much pain it causes!  Dah!  Why would anyone sign up for that?

During the Christmas season, Cody announced he was being deployed to Iraq for most of 2011.  He also announced that my Christmas gift was registration for the 2011 Air Force FULL Marathon.  He promised he would train while in Iraq and he would be home in time to run the full marathon WITH me.  My response….”What in our entire history together would ever give you the impression I wanted to or COULD do a full marathon!!??”  I was shocked, scared, stunned, defiant, and confused all at the same time.  But he was serious!  His answer, “Mom, you fast-walked a half marathon already.  Train to run a half marathon and even if you have to walk the rest, you will have finished a full marathon.”   He talked.  He coached.  He promised.  He even drew out a plan for how I could achieve it.  He deployed and I started training.  Why?  Because I was determined to make him proud!  I was excited he would be there with me. I wasn’t going to let him down. I knew the sacrifice he was making on this deployment.  All I had to do was jog.  So, I took the training very seriously.  I surprised myself!  My intervals lengthened.  My determination heightened.  My confidence increased.  My excitement escalated.  He coaches me very well!  From Iraq, he coached me how to run up and down the hills which was something I struggled with and avoided.  He taught me how the mind plays tricks on us while we run, but how we can play tricks right back.

Cody returned from Iraq about 10 days before the marathon.  He knew there was no way he could in-process to the base and make it up to Ohio in time to run the marathon.  What??  NO!!  I was terrified.  Now I would be alone!  All my training runs had been alone but with the knowledge Cody would be with me at the marathon.  Anxiety set it.  Then…. I had this thought!  Billy Ray Cyrus had this wonderful show called, “Surprise Homecoming”.  I just knew Cody was really going to be at the marathon!   I started having these fleeting thoughts and daydreams he would be there and at the finish line.  It would be him who would put the medal around my neck.  And….it was those thoughts that sustained me during the entire marathon.  What a great show it would be….  Mom runs marathon for son.  Son shows up from deployment and surprises Mom at the finish line.  Whenever I felt overwhelmed with the remaining distance to run, I would think about that finish line and Cody waiting.  And I’d be re-inspired and re-energized.

As I rounded that final curve, ran under the wings of those magnificent planes, and headed to the finish line I was almost smiling.  I knew it was almost over and I had done it.  But I also knew Cody would be waiting.  I saw the lines of officers handing out the medals as the runners came across the finish line.  I saw a young man in fatigues peak out from one of the officers and my heart jumped!  Cody!?!?  I headed to that chute.  As I got closer, the young man peaked again.  This time I was close enough to see his face.  NO!!  That’s not Cody!!  I cross the finish line, get my medal and look for my husband.  His smile melts my heart and I hold back the tears.  HE is so proud I can feel it.  We hug!  I am shocked I did it.  I actually ran a full 26.2 marathon  Who does that?  Who turns 50 and then decides to learn to run and then runs a marathon!  He tells me to call Cody and let him know I finished.  He hands me the phone but I can’t talk.  Now the tears flow unrestrained. Within moments all four of our boys are calling or texting with congratulations.  Both Cody and his twin brother, Britt, are ecstatic!  They make me cry because they are so proud of me.

I ran a marathon!  Really!!!

Oh…and that young man who was peaking out from behind the officer…he made the news!  He was waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line.  When she did, he proposed!  Again, my heart melted!

 

First marathon!  26.2 miles!  Sept 2011

First marathon! 26.2 miles! Sept 2011

No Comments »

Pt 1… Running?? NOT ME!! Not now…not ever!! (How I got started.. )

Jogging or Running... doesn't matter!  It's about the GO!

Jogging or Running… doesn’t matter! It’s about the GO!

Running had never been of interest to me.  It was too hard!  I felt clumsy and awkward.  I never felt light and free.  Running was difficult!  I couldn’t run the distance from one telephone pole to another without feeling like my lungs would explode.  I couldn’t regulate my breath and I was embarrassed that someone might actually see me trying to run and failing miserably!   It seemed that running was so easy for others I didn’t understand why it was so difficult for me.  I could run short distances.  I played softball and had no trouble running to base.  Having said that, I acknowledge I was okay to run to the base but I was well aware I wasn’t very fast doing it.  My answer to that?  Hit the ball hard and send it flying far enough that I could actually get to base.  Hey!!  It worked!  I loved sports so I was willing to find a way to make the running tolerable.

While in college, our volleyball team frequently did distance runs up to 3 miles.  I was such an awkward teen I didn’t share my feelings of awkwardness, or my fears of distance runs with my teammates. They didn’t know how hard my heart pounded in my chest.  They didn’t know how frightened I was that I could literally die before we got back to the gym.  My coach had no idea how I struggled to breathe.  I kept it all to myself.  And I struggled!   In hindsight, I am absolutely positive every one of them would have supported me and cheered me to success.  However, I continued to keep my struggle and my dislike of distance running to myself.

All through my adulthood I continued to enjoy sports and being active.  I loved step-aerobics, dance, ballet, and yoga.  I became certified in Pilates and I loved teaching mat classes.  I have the most fun with Zumba!  P90X and other programs become fun for me.  When I saw my sister-in-law, Mary, was fast walking a half marathon, I told her that sounded like fun and I’d like to do it with her.  The following year, September 2010, she and I trained for and fast walked the US Air Force Half Marathon.  I loved the training walks.  We did many of them together but we also had to do much of our training alone.  We live over 10 miles apart so we kept track of each other and kept up the same pace, the same distances and took our training very seriously.  She would keep an eye on the time and pace of our training walks.  At times we walked so fast, I wanted to break into a jog.  I resisted because I remembered. Besides, I was 49 years old.  No one starts jogging at 49, right?

One morning that summer, while on a 4 mile walk by myself, I was pushed for time.  I was walking so fast I couldn’t resist the urge to jog.  I jogged about 20 yards and I immediately regretted it.  My heart was pounding out of my chest, there was throbbing in my ears, my lungs were burning and I was hoping no one noticed!  I slowed to a fast walk again.  Soon, I thought I would try it again.  No better feeling.  No better outcome.  Ugh!  I was listening to my iPod and I laughed out loud when I realized I hadn’t made it through one verse of the playing song.  But… to my credit, I continued to try.  All summer I worked at it.  My goal was to get farther each attempt.  I later learned those are called intervals.  Sometimes I would set a landmark goal ahead, like a tree or a driveway, and attempt to reach it. Other times, I would plan to get to the end of the current song.  Eventually, I was able to sustain a slow, comfortable jog for more than 20 yards!  Then, I set my sights on jogging the length of our driveway.  Then, it was to the end of the driveway AND back. My next big goal was to jog from beginning to end of a song.  I eventually did it.  I was so excited!!  By the end of summer, I could jog to the road and back 10 times!  I had no idea how long it was.  It didn’t matter.  I was learning to control my breathing, and jog longer distances.  Together, Mary and I fast walked about 14 min miles.  My slow jog was probably 13 min miles.  I didn’t care.  I could finally jog without fear of exploding lungs!  The funny part was I started to enjoy it.

We worked hard for this!  We rocked it!

We worked hard for this! We rocked it!

No Comments »

Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill. Same direction… two very different paths… Live it or Leave it?

Lauren Hill, 19.  Also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Lauren Hill, 19. Also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Brittany Maynard, 29 diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Brittany Maynard, 29 diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

By now you’ve heard about Brittany Maynard.  She is the 29 year old woman who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She moved to a state that allows for Death with Dignity, a legal form of assisted suicide.  She created a bucket list of wishes and scheduled her departure date.  She was determined to end the journey before a possible massive stroke or other complications could erupt.  Although there was no promise of these complications, she didn’t want to experience them or have her family witness them. She checked off the items on her bucket list and did so with gusto and dignity!   She completed her death this past weekend.   She chose to leave it when the timing was right for her.  She prepared herself and her family.  She planned for it.  She chose when and how and did it on her terms.

Have you also heard about Lauren Hill?  She is a 19 year old Cincinnati woman who was also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She is progressing such that her dream of playing college basketball (she is on the team with first game only weeks away) was literally disappearing with each passing week.  Her coordination is affected such that she can no longer dribble the ball well.  Her right arm doesn’t always follow her commands making it more difficult to shoot baskets.  It is expected she will be unable to play basketball by the time the season officially starts.
Lauren chose to live it.  To make the best of life every day she has yet to live.  A few weeks ago the NCAA granted special permission to allow an early game so Lauren could live her dream and play college basketball before she dies.  A death she knows is soon.  A death she knows could be clouded with complications. A death she knows could be painful.  Complications or no, the journey will still be short.  She isn’t focused on what difficulties could await her.  She chose instead to focus on the here and now and enjoy every moment as if it could be her last.  There are times when Lauren is so weak she cannot stand, let alone run.  Yet, she is present and engaged in the process of living.
I have been at the beside of many people as they lay dying.  Death and dying is the focus for a hospice nurse.  And during my years as an emergency room nurse, I saw death experiences from car accidents and shootings to overdoses and massive heart attacks.  Dying is something every single one of us must look forward to.  It will happen…there is no way around it!  Yet, so many of us don’t want to think about it.  Or worse, we don’t plan for it.
Both of these young women were delivered a diagnosis none of us ever want to hear, terminal, inoperable, unfixable, brain cancer.  Both of them chose how they wanted to live out their remaining days on earth.  Both of them brought their journey public and both of them allowed us to experience a wee bit of their journey with them. Isn’t it interesting their journeys paralleled in many ways yet they chose opposite endings for their life’s song.   Do you know which you would choose if this became the next chapter in your book of life?
No Comments »

Ohh… To be a plumber…

fixing-a-leaky-shower-faucet_87807702.s300x300   If I was a plumber and knew my friends, family, and neighbors had leaky faucets, I would be willing to help them.  I would shake my head in bewilderment if they didn’t ask me to help.  And I would be disappointed for them to have leaky faucets.  Why?  Because leaky faucets mean they have water to clean up or possibly water damage.  An undetected leak would also include mold growth and damage.  Leaky faucets also result in a higher cost in water bills.  And it means a waste of a precious resource.

I am not a plumber.  I am a health, life and performance coach.  My passion is health promotion and disease prevention.  I teach people how to build a strong immune system.  I encourage people to healthier food and lifestyle choices for better well-being and longevity.  I help people heal themselves from illness or chronic disease.  And I guide people to discover the connection between their mind, body and spirit.  Like a plumber, I am willing to help others to repair their issues and improve their circumstances.  Like a plumber, I am bewildered when people are suffering  (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually) and don’t ask for help.  Why?  Because whether we are in a health crisis or just looking for better ways to promote our health and wellness, we can waste precious time and energy seeking information and answers.  We look for a quick fix for the symptoms rather than a long term resolution to the initiating problem.  It’s like wrapping a towel around the leaky faucet.  The towel will absorb the water for awhile but the leak remains.  Eventually, the wet towel becomes part of the problem, too

Symptom suppression is the same.  While suppressing the symptoms, we are not resolving the problem.  This means longer healing times, IF healing occurs at all.  It means possible further damage caused by the side effects of the symptom suppression medications.   And,  it means the initial problem continues to produce the same or similar symptoms because it is not resolved. Symptoms are actually messages to the brain/body that a problem exits.  The body will continue to send the messages as long as the problem exists. That means the symptoms continue or increase in intensity or duration, which means more medication is needed to suppress them.  It’s an interesting and complex cycle which often becomes a cyclone of symptoms which leads to more and different medications to address or suppress the symptoms.

Sadly, I shake my head in bewilderment wondering why anyone would want to continue on that path, especially when other options exist. Yet, I witness the journey for many,  If I was a plumber, their continued leaky faucets would be disappointing for me to witness .  As a health and life coach, their suffering is painful for me to witness.   Yes… there are times I wish I was a plumber.

 

No Comments »

Do you Hear Through Your History?

 Kids-upset-at-each-otherRecently, while working with a teenage client, she shared a text conversation that was pertinent to the event she was processing.  As she read her part of the text conversation aloud, she used a calm, soft voice and displayed a sincere demeanor.  While reading the other person’s texts in the conversation, her voice was filled with attitude and her demeanor was condescending and rude.  I found it intriguing how she was using voice inflections and intonations as well as other non-verbals to communicate in a conversation that clearly has none of those as options.  When I questioned her about it, she was startled.  She didn’t realize she was doing it at first.  As we discussed it, she stated, “But that’s how she talks to me when she’s mad”.  The text conversation did not indicate that the other was annoyed or angry.  In further exploration, we discovered she was assuming how the other would be speaking.

     In my practice I always recommend conversations around deep or serious topics occur in person or by phone (if you cannot do it in person).  In person, you can see, sense and experience the conversation and leave nothing to interpretation.  You can ask clarifying questions.  You have the full focus and attention of the person you are communicating with (yes….insist on it!)  And it makes it more difficult for you, the listener, to hear the other through your own history.
     Hearing through your history limits the brilliance of the other’s message to you.  It means you are filtering their words through what you surmise they mean.  When we “think” we know what they mean we are guessing which means we are hearing through our history and not hearing clearly.  The brilliance (and yes I mean, the excellence of or the magnificence of their message) is lost on you.  You miss it because you are hearing from your own experiences and beliefs.
     The text conversation my client shared was a fabulous example.   Because she was hearing through her history, she was missing that her friend was actually sharing her desire to return to the friendship they once shared.  Her friend was literally opening herself up, being vulnerable, and hoping to reconnect.  My young client was wishing for the same.  However, her past hurts had accumulated to such a degree she was hearing only complaints and attacks.  She couldn’t hear the vulnerability and hope her friend was expressing.  I asked her if I could read the messages out loud to her with a different perspective.  She allowed me.  When I was finished… she cried.  We read the same words…. one was heard through her history.  The other was heard from an open heart.
     Hear with an open heart and you will hear love and compassion.  Hear through your history and you will hear…… your history!
No Comments »

Passion or Politics

political yin yang
As each election year approaches, I am fascinated to witness the changes in personality of so many people.  Some people seem kind and thoughtful and even generous until someone with different political views joins the discussion.  Some people with differing political views go out of their way to make fun of or put down the other side.  Half of the country has hateful names for Republicans and half of the country has hateful names for Democrats.  And often, those same people, when not talking politics, say they want peace, hamony and all good things.  But if you truly want peace and harmony, how do you get there by bashing another for their political preferences?  How is it okay to demean, dehumanize and demoralize another human being in one breath and then talk about how peace and harmony should reign in another. There is no commonality between the two.
We can’t get to “good” when we keep focusing on the negative the politicians do and forget that WE – the people – are the ones who can make the difference.  Not by pointing fingers but by coming together with a positive focus and then, we the people, make it happen.  We have become a nation that tolerates it’s ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and it’s inertia!  We spend our time pointing fingers at who is responsible for what.  We have lost our focus and what is best for us as a nation.  We’ve let the politicians decide our best interests as fed by the many lobbyists who wine and dine them.
We have the opportunity to join forces as the people of our nation have in the past.  We can turn off the reality shows, and the celebrity news, and turn on our passion for what’s right for our great nation.  We can join together and focus our energy to improve our food supply; improve the health of our people; and restore our faith in our country.  But we will never get there wasting our time, energy and efforts, bashing the other political party, pointing fingers and placing blame.  I believe, we can best move forward by stepping past the political differences and looking beyond how we got here.  And bring our nation together to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
What great things about our country and it’s people are you passionate about?  What are you willing to speak up for?  What are you willing to do to improve our great nation?  And let’s get to it!
No Comments »

Is Your “Vehicle” in balance?

Lions chasing car with flat tireMost Americans take better care of their cars than they do of their physical body.  We fuel our car with the right fuel.  We monitor the fluid levels and perform regular oil changes.  We keep the tires inflated within the limits suggested.  We know we must do these things in order to keep the car performing / functioning properly.

Now, think of your body as a vehicle.  The four tires represent our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  When our tires are out of balance, we feel unsafe, out of control, and unable to maintain our own direction.  Over inflated or under inflated, the imbalance is noticed and our ability to maintain our path is compromised.  It is the same when the four aspects of self are out of balance.  If we are physically fit but block our emotions, we are out of balance.  If we are overworking our mental aspects as well as overtaxing our physical body, we are so out of balance we are headed for an illness which forces us to rest.  Those who are focused on vanity and material things are typically out of balance with their spirituality.  Each aspect of our well-being is necessary for us to maintain balance and forward momentum.  Each tire is critical to the balance of the vehicle.  The loss of one tire, or the loss of energy in one aspect, may leave us sitting on the side of the road.
In my practice I see the lessons of balance as being the most common life lesson.  Balancing between work and play; seriousness and fun; hoarding and squandering; generosity and greed; compassion and indifference.  When we seek to find balance, like a vehicle,  we are more stable and we move forward with ease of flow.  We operate more consistently.  We find compassion more easily.  And we give and receive love more freely and openly.
How are you keeping your life in balance?  Do you recognize the four aspects of well-being (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) as being equally important?  Or do you spend more time and energy focused on one aspect and ignore the others.  What activities do you perform to keep your vehicle running easily, effortlessly, and in balance?  I’d like to hear your thoughts…..
No Comments »

Stop Saying Sorry ??

Pantene Sorry 

(Click the words above to see the commercial)

Pantene’s new TV commercial tells us to “stop being sorry!”  Their message is that we say “sorry”  too often and it’s become useless verbiage.  They tell us to “Be Strong and Shine”. Indicating that we are weak when we say “sorry”.

Overused and meaningless? Is it?  I was disappointed when I saw the commercial.  In a society where we are already divided by race and religion (one only has to observe people for a short time to know this remains true), now we are suggesting common courtesy is overrated?  I think NOT!

Since I first saw the commercial, I have been paying closer attention to my use of “sorry” and I’ve been more watchful of how others use it too.  What an interesting study and so far I’m pleased to report the results have been perfectly positive.

While on a crowded dance floor, I heard many renditions of “sorry” as dancers bumped others.  Even with a language barrier, there is no mistaking the acknowledgement of “ooops I didn’t mean to bump you”.  There were smiles of acknowledgement and acceptance and returns of the apology.  In the airport, I again witnessed multiple uses of “sorry” as luggage trailed in the wake of travelers and often got in the way of others.  And when carry on bags bump passengers already seated, the acknowledgement of that bump is greatly appreciated.  I could go on and on.  The words, “I’m sorry”, can be used to mean so much more than just “oops” too.   A malpractice attorney once told me that so many medical malpractice lawsuits could be resolved or avoided initially if there had just been an apology!  And then there is the driving experience!  How many ways can we say “sorry “to other drivers while in a moving vehicle with windows closed.  Many times a simple head nod acknowledges and resolves.

It is in our recognition of others as human beings that we acknowledge their existence and their place to BE.  Apologies let the receiver know they matter…they have value! When we say we are sorry, we are stronger than ever.  Why?  Because it means we have let down our defenses, reduced our offenses,  and chose to recognize and acknowledge another.  The choice to honor and recognize another is from strength.  So yes, be strong and shine.  But stop saying sorry?  NEVER!!

How do you say, “I’m sorry!”

 

No Comments »

Beautiful Aunt Bonnie

12488_10152613160828833_5857682271535379778_nToday my Aunt Bonnie passed over.  She was one of my favorite people.  Why?  Because she was one of those people would had “it all” but was always able to “keep it real”.  She would share her experiences about all the countries she’d visited as if she was talking about going to a movie.  She had no false sense of self.  She put on no airs.  And she was a great grounding agent for anyone who did.  She knew what was important was how we love and serve each other.   She lived a great life and had already shared with her family that she was ready to let go.

I had this vision of her this morning.  She was surrounded by her family here on earth as her soul ascended.  She was greeted by her Spirit family as she arrived in the Spiritual realm.  I saw her parents, her sister, my father, and all her beloved Boston Terriers who have been her companions for all the years I’ve known her.  They were all there to greet her and she was so happy and felt such immense love and peace.  As she looked back at her family, she knew they would be fine as they continue on without her presence on earth.  I was awed at her sense of peace and joy at being back in her Spiritual home.  It was a beautiful vision and it allowed me to stop grieving and instead be filled with joy for her.

I have spent a lot of time today reflecting on the many years I’ve known Aunt Bonnie and Uncle George and the many stories we have of our families sharing events and celebrations. There are so many stories.  All of them make me smile as I remember.  I’ve also reflected on the memories of my father and how I miss his presence.  He and Aunt Bonnie shared a special fondness for each other.  They got along  very well and considered themselves a part of a special clan known as “MTB’s” aka, Married to Bogumills (my mother’s siblings).  They, along with the other MTB”s, were a hoot when gathered together.  It was as if they had an understanding like no other because of their connection to the Bogumill family.

My Dad had a very difficult childhood.  He and his siblings have shared some childhood stories that made me weepy.  However, for as many years as I can remember,  Dad would say, “If I died today, I’d die a happy man”.  It always made me smile.  It usually came after a special event, or a family discussion, or just a quiet evening with his grandchildren.  He seemed to purposefully want to point out that he was pleased.  Dad’s statement confirmed for us that he was happy with his life and how it was progressing.  He seldom ever looked back at his childhood.  He stayed present and he was grateful for his life.   Later, when he became ill, he reminded us that each of us will die from this lifetime and be returned back to Spirit.  One day, while just he and I were chatting, he reminded me of how often he had said, “If I died today, I’d die a happy man.”  He wanted to make sure I knew he still meant it.  I believe Aunt Bonnie would have shared the same sentiment about her life.  She seemed so happy and grateful and thankful.  And I believe she died a happy human.

If you died today, would you die a happy human?  Take just a moment to reflect upon your life and life purpose.  Have you yet made a positive impact on this planet?  Did you participate in something helpful or healing to others? Do you know your life purpose?  Can you truly say this has been a life well lived?  If not, what are you going to change…..  and when?

No Comments »

This website is using the http://www.seowizard.org/ wordpress plugin.