Thank you for taking such great care of my little brother


This past weekend I was in Texas. I had two things on the agenda. 1) coordinate a ride to take my Dad to colonoscopy. (No small feat for someone who can hardly see walk and has Lewy body dementia. Oh did I mention I had to secure insurance approval appointment coordination, work coverage and flight cost) I know, I know I am milking it so you guys can get my occurring world.

2) Celebrate my Dad’s bday. I secretly invited my family to a byol (bring your own lunch) at my Dad’s assisted living facility. To create a day where we all come together.

So I call my Aunt to tell her about the party. Then the thought occurs but why me? Why doesn’t she go see him on her own? The lens I see her through is that she is not doing enough on her end. I am the only one doing anything. Instead of help she ask me the dumbest questions and is so out of touch that she dosn’t even hear how ridiculous she sounds. She lives closer than me and has WAY more $$ than me.

I take it so personal. It triggers me. Or let’s say up until now I used to take it personal and used to be a trigger.

After inviting her she says, “Well that is bad timing taking him to a colonoscopy and trying to celebrate his birthday. What if he doesn’t feel well tomorrow?” My thoughts, “Well if you took him to Drs appointments or helped paid for his care or my flights maybe you could get to say that….” then I respond, “Well when you fly in from NY to take him and coordinate a ride to colonoscopy yes it gets batched with a birthday visit. He is not feeling well today. I don’t care how he is feeling tomorrow really this is the day we are celebrating because I fly out on Sunday.”

After that smart ass response she then ask if my Dad is ok to go to a restaurant. Did she not hear what I said about him a) getting a colonoscopy 2) anything I ever said this year about how he can hardly move or see? My response, “He is not well and will likely not ever be well to go out to a restaurant.”

The best was when she asked me if my Dad had a phone book with the family’s numbers in it. She called my Dad on his birthday and asked my Dad about knowing her number. I told her no that Juanita (care provider)had the numbers listed in his file. Her response, “Well your Dad doesn’t know that. He said that he doesn’t have anyone’s number.”

Me: “He has this thing called dementia”

Her: “Well I was thinking to write down all the numbers of the family for him to put in a phonebook in his room.”

Me: Well he can’t really see or read anything written also he does not know how to use the phone.”

Her: I have a lot of extra phone books. Do you think it would be a good gift for me to make for him?

Me: Well if you want to give a phonebook to someone who can’t see and likely won’t remember sure but, Can you bring a cake?”

Meanwhile on the inside I am raging I am trying to rub my peace beads to calm me down. How can she be so out of touch with reality to even be suggesting this?

Fastforward to after my Dad’s surprise party. I texted everyone thank you for coming. Her response: “Thank you for taking such good care of my little brother”

It melted a bit of my hardness just a bit or broke a piece of the glass I am looking through. I didn’t even take a second to think how emotional she may be taking this or that she is seeing him maybe even scared as her little brother. I didn’t know I needed this recognition and I wonder why I did? I mean as being transformed are we not supposed to do things for ourselves regardless of how others respond??

I am enough. The end.

Last week of # 10!

This week for my creativity project I decided to focus on finally selecting a painting for my apt. I was at a local coffee shop with my friend when I was making this declaration. He then ask me, “Why don’t you buy one of the paintings on the wall here? Everytime you are here you check them out?”  So I looked at the paintings again and read the artist name…. Me: “Hey I know him he used to be a member at my gym!” I remember seeing on facebook when he started taking on paintings. So, I reached out to him to see if I could commission a piece.  He responded that he would be glad to. Best part is that he uses painting as his outlet for karmically giving back, so the proceeds minus materials will go to a charity of my choice.  Win, win!

For my spirituality goal I am really happy with my new mindset and openness about the topic. It is hard to describe but it seems so light for me to talk and be curious and ask and share without fear of judgment about it.  As far as by when’s I reached out to Naomi to attend a service and Shabbat dinner with her in July.

After my last post about me hulking out on the Medicare rep, I had two other situations that came up in Texas with friends that had me take a look at my being and how I was showing up in the world. Without self beat up I have taken the downs or perceived downs and as Josh wrote the other night thinking about the fact that yes I get to take a look at me but also it is not all about me. Yes this is feedback and it is also about other people and their stuff. I am failing at times but failing better……

I am going to continue my spirituality foundation and practices and now I know some of the what is possible when I get creative. One step closer…….


A work in progress

My creativity and spirituality are still a work in progress. Within progress there are ups and downs and this past week is the first week I did not set aside time to work on my goals intentionally. Throughout this cycle I have really felt the power of starting and ending each day powerfully with intent and getting present and even did this reset midday. I didn’t realize how these new habits were so amazing until I let them slip away. Slowly but surely it ended up with me doing less time meditating, less time journaling, less time reflecting, less time making my goals important and not calling myself out on it.

In my mind I was still subconsciously doing these things just without as much rigor, outrageousness or accountability. And I was ok with that for the last week or two…as I have focused on housing two different sets of house guest.  But wait we do this work and practice new habits so that when we are under stress, our stories or circumstances we rise powerfully! I am recommitting to finishing the cycle and life with vigor and excitement humility.

The power of intent and getting present really hit home yesterday.  I handled a conversation with a Medicare representative in a way that I thought I had got past. Learning the new habits of really stopping and asking myself the questions before I make the insurance call for 10th time: ” Who do I want to be? What role do I want to have? Do I want to just listen to them?  How do I want to feel when I put phone down? I want to feel like I learned more and am moving in right direction. How to set up for success today?

And knowing by taking these steps I can shift the results. Having a spiritual text or quotes next to me, calming music playing, breathing techniques, recognizing moments of frustion and greet them…I am feeling this anxious, awful moment, I am getting tense, I recognize I need to shift the rhythm now or perhaps my day will go this way.  BE ACCOUNTABLE DURING CALL. I WILL STICK WITH THIS AND TURN LEFT. BUILDING RAPPORT. CAN I MAKE THE OTHER PERSON FEEL HEARD. I JUST WANT TO DO THE BEST I CAN FOR MY PARENT.I deserve this in this moment. I have a choice in this situation. Follow through.

Those were all steps I knew would set me up for success but I guess I thought I could take the training wheels off and just make the call.  Summary: Medicare would not talk to me because I am not my Dad. They wanted my Dad to verify information. He has dementia. I told them this. They insisted on me having him on phone to ask him. He remembered his bdayd just not the year so they would not talk with me. We were on a three way call I told my Dad it was ok to hang up. I proceeded to lose my mind on the phone with this rep and ask for a supervisior because clearly this wasn’t the first time the situation came up. Bad result: my Dad did not hang up the phone but heard all this. He was already sad becasuse he could not remember his own birthday year this just made it worse as he heard how mad I was. The exact opposite result of what I wanted to create. 😦

I want to acknowledge myself for limiting my self beat up after this happened. I also want to realize the prices I am paying.

Bottom line: no shortcuts in life and in the work.



A week has passed?

This past week I had friend’s visiting from out of town. I’ll be honest I didn’t do much towards either goal. I did share my vision board with them (which is creative) and reflects my spirituality goal? (I know it is a stretch…)

This post is short and to the point. Minimal action towards goal’s this past week. declaration this week: make it to a group religious event and spend a few hours looking or creating that elusive art work for my apartment.


Buen Camino and Communion

Last week I declared for my spirituality goal that I would tell my Dad about my spirituality quest. Being that my Dad has limited attention span due to Dementia and we have never had a religious conversation , this was a stretch. I am happy to say my Dad listened responded that he thought it was great and he even liked my prayer that I read him aloud (posted on my blog post last week).  Then Sunday came and the place where my Dad lives always has someone come in to give them communion.  Normally this is something I would sit out and watch.  Since this was an opportunity in line with my goal, the bigger purpose  of connecting, stretching and I knew all the words. I participated and ate the cracker given. Amen   (now I didn’t recite it word for word but baby steps)

Next, one of my friends from the gym is going on the Camino this summer. The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large group of ancient pilgrim routes that stretch across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago (north-west Spain). He told me he is walking with intention this year so he asked me and some friends who were interested to put our “intention” in a self addressed envelope and he will carry with him on his hike and when he reaches Santiago he will mail it back to us.

Here is where my two goals come together I used a page from my Daily Zen doodle book and drew up my intentions:  Intentions



Making spiritual and creative moves day in and out

Creativity has been on a halt this week.

Spirituality is going in full force. I finished one book and am working my way slowly through the other book.

I noticed I have skipped around on my by whens getting some things done I said I would do by the end of the cycle and not completing a few things I said I would get done by 2 weeks in.

What have I been up to? Last weekend I was in Albany with my gym cheering on our team in a weekend competition. We made history. For the first time since we opened we had a team that made it to Regionals and then finished in 4th place securing our place at the Crossfit Games. So exciting especially for people who may not be members at my gym anymore but remember when I started the gym out of gymnastics studio, working out barefoot, using sandbags. To see our team compete in a huge stadium and have a sign with our Gym name Crossfit Queens on it being hung up where concerts are held was breathtaking and brought tears to my eyes. It is funny because this is not something that I put value on or was a part of my vision. This was my business partner’s vision. He wanted to be a GM of an athletic team and I remember years ago he wanted to have our gym staffed with games Athlete’s and our own team to make it to the games. And he created his vision and brought this to life. So while, I was not excited when he told me this vision now I am head over heels and blessed to be a part and a long for the ride. It has also opened up my eyes that while we have some different parts of our vision for the gym our two visions unite in what we want for the gym. Different ways to get on the same page.

This weekend I am taking my two goals creativity and spirituality to Texas and going to incorporate them with my Dad. I am going to look for creative ways to be with my Dad and connect and a creative way to talk about my spirituality with him. This will be a stretch as we have not had any in depth conversations about this ever.

As a child my parents were Catholic then at age 8 half of my family decided to become born again Christians which I fell on the side of and identified myself as. My Dad always stuck to identifying with being Catholic. When I moved in with my Dad at age 9 the topic never came up since my Dad didn’t go to church or have any daily Catholic practices. A few years ago when my Dad first started getting sick and I guess scared of dying he started going to a Catholic service on Wednesday’s at 8am. He asked me to go with him a few times and I refused. I couldn’t be bothered to go so early in the morning especially to something I didn’t believe in. At that point I wasn’t that far in my personal growth journey and didn’t see it as a chance to connect, be open and just get curious. So this weekend, I will be courageous and bring up religion and spirituality and with no expectations on the outcome. Time is short. Who knows how long my Dad’s memory will be with him.

Lastly, I got a letter from my half sister from jail. I didn’t grow up with her and after my Mom died a few years back I am the only family she has that visits her, writes her or sends her money or even talks to her. Anyhow I digress from the crazy I don’t know what to call it folklore, myth, demonic?….she calls religion. In line with my spirituality goal I wrote her and told her what I was up to and different thoughts I have share on the blog and beliefs. She wrote back that she worships Santa Muerte. I kid you not this sounds like something from some B rated horror or comedy film. What? Anyhow I googled this for a second but WOW talk about stretch and being open and not judging..,, here is what I found on Wikipidia

“Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Spanish for Our Lady of the Holy Death) or, colloquially, Santa Muerte (Holy Death), is a female deity (or folk saint depending on school of thought) Mexican folk religion, venerated primarily in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. A personification of death, she is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees.[1] Despite condemnation by the Catholic Church, her cult has risen to an unprecedented prominence in the 2000s and 2010s, as a continuation of the Aztec goddess of death Mictecacihuatl (Nahuatl for “Lady of the Dead”) clad according to Spanish iconography”

Say what????

Keep exploring

This past week. I had some good moments to reflect and really get curious. In my creative goal. At first I was looking for a piece of abstract artwork to hang behind my bed. Then I was asking someone for ideas of where to find this piece and he gave me the idea to sketch something myself and then collaborate with an artist from craigslist to bring the vision to life. He believes I would get more value out of it if I created it myself. Now talk about stretch, I am not sure if I can even with the support of an artist pull off a sleek, abstract, modern, industrial type painting…..but it is worth looking into.  Another idea me and a friend came up with was to use this fo-marble and hang a piece of it behind my bed as artwork. So the creative juices are definitely flowing and it feels good to explore these ideas.

For my spiritual goal. This past week I started reading An Autobiography of a Yogi. Also, one of my goals in spirituality/religion was to learn about a religion I did not agree with or no anything about so I got a book about a man who started off living in Britain as a hip hop teen and became an extreme Islamist Extremist and then made his way out of it and found his way back.  I am in Albany this weekend as my gym has a team competing in a Fitness competition all weekend. Driving up last night I used this chance to connect with a member of my gym and ask him about his religious/spiritual beliefs and discuss.

I was listening to a video this week from a man who works at nondenominational church. He was explaining his meditation and prayer routine.  I really saw this as a new way to approach both and have been using it this past week.

Each time you Meditate:

1) Establish Intention: When we sit. Our intention is to wake up. Let your attention focus on your intention to wake up

2) Your attention on your breath with your intention to wake up.

3) Reverential Alertness: Deep seated listening. Sit as if someone was about to tell you the greatest story ever. You can hear what is beyond the eye and ear. Seeing with  your consciousness is pure awareness.

4) Sit like you are sitting for the very first time you have ever meditated.

 You will reach a point where you become aware of distractions or sounds but it does not distract you.

Let the divine enter.

And my biggest take away was this prayer which I have been trying on a couple of times this week. The idea was to pray aloud to hear the vibration when you hear your own words.

I am so grateful to be awake, aware and alive.

And to feel my oneness with the grand presence of life itself.

And to know I am with Thou and thou art what I am

And I speak this word knowing I am a vehicle and instrument for abundance and compassion and peace and love.

And everyone I touch today will feel the presence of love and feel their significance in the world.

I feel that all of my needs are met and I give thanks for this and let it be so it is.