Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Return to Innocence

Lay your head down and rest
Close those big beautiful eyes one last time
And drum up one last lullaby
For today you become Heaven's guest.

You had the voice of a songbird, both soothing and free
One this world won't soon forget.
The way you wrote words to music was unique
And you sang them beautifully

How could we have been so blind
How dare we not see
That your words were like daggers through your heart
And not just simply a rhythm to a rhyme

For an artist's heart can feel pain so deep
Like a painter who hangs his portrait revealing a million thoughts
Never needs to say a thing
And a writer will write words they sometimes cannot speak

You once said that love is a losing game
A game that should never be played
For some of us are too weak
And will die from it in the last frame

I too have played the game
With opponents who've won with ease
But if we never take a chance and love, dear lady
Life would surely be a dying shame

May you hear the words I speak to you this day
Like a whisper in the wind from heaven high
Your life had meaning, your beauty had depth
And you spoke the words some of us can never say

You were loved so deep and so true
And I consider myself blessed in every way
That your words and music I found
And opened up a part of me, made possible by you

In your life your words brought meaning
Hitting home with every lyric you ever sang
Now, in death (that came too soon) they'll always be remembered
Left echoing in my mind, as forever thoughts of you lay dreaming

In loving memory of my dearest Amy Winehouse….R.I.P.
May your soul finally feel the freedom it's always wanted, as you return to innocence.
I hope you spend eternity flying high, my song bird.
You will always be missed...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pay It Forward

Although our lives take crazy turns every now and again, it's nice to know that you are surrounded by people who just simply, unconditionally love and support you, no matter what. 

I'm one of the lucky ones.  I've had truly incredible people bless me, by allowing me to share/walk in their journey with them, most of my life.  People who will turn their world upside down, to be there for me.  I cannot tell you how that makes me feel.  It's truly an incredible rush to know that you matter that much to those around you.  I suppose that's why I always reach out to others, whether I know them or not.  As a human being it should be our job to support one another in any way we can. 

My friend Danny once told me that he makes it his mission to make at least one person smile every day.  It could be a gesture, a kind word, supporting someone or even giving them a pep talk.

 I remember walking along King Street ( in Toronto) one cold winter day.  He and I walked arm in arm, when we came across a woman, who sadly had made a heating vent on the corner of King and Jarvis Street, her home.  We stopped to give her some change and ended up staying for a little while, because Danny had engaged in some conversation with her.  The woman was incredibly upbeat considering she was homeless, but her eyes revealed the pain she so well hid otherwise.  Our conversation ended, we bid her a good day and began walking away.

On our way back home we took the same route.   All of the sudden Danny stopped off at a corner store.  He told me to wait here a moment and that he would be right back.  When he came out, he had a flower in his hand.  Naturally, I thought it was for me.  However, Danny had other intentions.

As we waked by the woman we had spoken to earlier, Danny stopped and knelt down to address the woman, who was now lying down.  She immediately sat up and smiled at us both.  Danny gave her the flower.  It was a beautiful rose in full bloom.  He told the woman that he couldn't get her beautiful eyes out of his mind all afternoon.  He told her that they were the most beautiful pair of eyes he had ever seen.  Danny then gave her the rose and said:  A beauty for a beauty.  I thought it was the most incredible thing I had ever witnessed.  Tears slowly fell from my eyes as I watched her face light up like a Christmas tree.

Here is a man that for no reason, stopped his day and his life, for just a moment to make someone feel worthy, special and happy just because.  There was no rhyme or reason for it.  It was just a simple gesture of kindness.  He taught me a lot during the times we spent together.

There have been many other moments, and many other people who are all responsible for shaping my life and how I treat others.  I am truly grateful to them all. 

Today, I was given a flower by someone simply because they thought it would cheer me up and make me smile.  A simple gesture done out of the blue, for no other reason or intention except to make me feel good about who I was.  Something to make my day a little brighter.  It reminded me of that story of the homeless woman, so I thought I would share it with all of you, in hopes that you can take something away from this blog and apply it in your every day life.

Perhaps we should all begin to "pay it forward".  To do things for others (whether we know them or not) simply because we can.  Simply because it will make another person smile.  Imagine all the good we could do in this world.  Something to think about....isn't it?

Always be kinder than necessary just because....

So, what little, simple acts of kindness can we do to pay it forward today?

put a quarter in a meter, any meter, that’s about to expire

leave a copy of a really great book you’ve read in a cafe for someone else to enjoy

be nice to the customer service people who are trying to help you with your technological difficulties

tip your restaurant server generously

thank the cooks, waitstaff and bussers personally

say something nice or funny or goofy to the toll booth attendant (like, “Don’t drive too fast, now” or “Glad to have encountered you today”, or something less hokey)

forgive a driver directing road rage at you

buy or pack a meal for a homeless person (or give him/her your to-go box from a restaurant)

give a warm coat to a homeless person

offer to do pro bono work on a project where your skills are needed

mentor someone

make a donation

say a prayer or whisper a kind wish for someone

compliment a stranger

send a box of donuts or bagels or muffins to a construction site

next time you leave a foreign country, give all or some of what’s left of your currency to someone who resides in that country

next time you’re at the airport, offer to pull the bags belonging to a woman or a mother with child out of the conveyor belt

praise generously

give local tips (re: restaurants, sights, etc.) to a tourist

show respect equally to all human beings

put a tip in a street musician’s jar

let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store

tell a funny joke to a stranger

give someone a chance to prove him or herself

encourage someone to pursue their dream

allow someone to let his or her light shine

show support to an artist or writer or musician

hold the door open for someone

tip a cab driver generously

teach a child something you wish you knew at that age

smile at someone who’s sad

smile at strangers

offer sincere, kind words to someone who’s hurting

visit a hospice and spend some time with a terminally ill patient

volunteer at a battered women’s shelter

spend some time with a senior citizen living alone

give up your seat on a crowded bus or train or ferry

inspire someone to be the best that they can be

give someone the benefit of the doubt

offer to babysit for a single mother

offer the FedEx, UPS or DHL delivery person something to drink especially on a warm day

help a pregnant lady

sit and talk with a homeless person and learn their story

loan something to someone and forget about it

contribute to a friend’s child’s education fund

give blood

show respect to a soldier regardless of your pacifism

donate to or volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation

replace an angry or bitter thought toward someone with a loving thought (or at least try)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Birthday Serenade

My Dearest Mother,

I wish I was the daughter you deserved.
If I could only take away all the tears you cried for me I would.
In there place I would leave diamonds in the shape of their drops.
So that you could know how rich my life is simply because you love me.

I wish so much that I could turn back the hands of time
If only just to take back every ill word I ever spoke in your name.
To see then all that I do now.
Because today I know how much your heart breaks every time you see me frown.

I cannot help but dwell on the fact that as a Mother I have never given you your due.
For all life's defeats and successes you always stood there by my side.
Never accepting my negativity to gain strength.
Always know that whenever I want to give up, it's your love that sees me through.

I suppose it's very true what they say.
That a Mother's love for their child is something no one can ever explain.
It is made up of many different things:  Dreams, fears and humility
Even in the darkest of days it never falters.
God made it so and not even the devil himself could never make that love go away.

Today is yet another birthday for you, my dearest Mother.
One that I truly hope is special in every way.
Always know that I love, adore and honor you forever
With more than my words could ever say.

I am a lucky girl that God loved me this much to make me yours.
You may have given birth to me all those years ago.
But always know that for me, you give me life each day
With all your love, all your words and all your strength
To see something meaningful in me.
That is a gift I could never soon repay.

My love is your love...forever.

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Beautiful Mind

Lately, I've been doing a lot of  what I like to call "vision meditation"  Something that my relaxation therapist ( yes, I have one) says is something that is vital for all human beings to do daily. 

For those of you who don't know what this is, allow me to explain:

It begins as normal meditation does.  Breathing your way to an inner calmness.  Then, once you have achieved this state of peace, you begin manipulating your mind to focus on images you desire.  So basically, it's allowing only visions of certain things into your mind at that time.  By doing this daily you engage your body and mind to become one focus, one realm of state.  Something that if done regularly can assist you in achieving what you most desire.  After all, what you are or do within this life, always begins by being in the right state of mind to achieve it.

The object of this exercise is to envision what you want for yourself by making your mind believe that you've already achieved them.  Sounds weird right?  Nevertheless, I assure you it works.  It's almost along the same premise as the idea in the movie:  "Field of Dreams"  The entire focal point in that movie was built around the mantra:  "If you built it, they will come"  You apply this the same way.  If you allow yourself to believe something with all your mind, all your body and all your spirit then you condition yourself to achieve it. 

Buddhists believe that meditation has the ability of  teaching one to transform.  That if you condition your mind to believe it can achieve greatness, it will.  That is why some people consider Buddhism to be a kind of psychology.  A theory that I believe whole-heatedly.

The very first time I tried this was almost a year ago.  After having a session with my therapist. During that session he asked me two things:  1) Do I have any goals in place for my life and 2) If I had to choose just one of them to focus on with all my might, which one would it be?  So I did.  I had many, but the one that I kept believing in with all my might was the idea of being a Writer.  Then he said:  "OK, now go home and don't simply "dream" about this goal, believe in it and live it as if you already achieved it".  Again, like many of you are thinking at this point, I thought he was crazy. 

I went home with the idea to try it out.  At that point in time, my life was very unsettling in every way.  I was unsure of my job, my relationship and the person I was in general.  I knew that everything in my life was about to change and I was nowhere near ready for it.  Truth be told, I was scared.  Scared to do what my Therapist had asked because I was afraid of changing my state.  With change comes uncertainty and I wasn't exactly ready for either.  I was miserable in every aspect of my life at that time, but I was settling.  Settling and much more willing to live with the devil I knew than go after the devil I could find if I changed anything.

Then, one day (about 12 months or so ago) I sat all alone and tried it.  That day I began my "vision meditation" journey.  I started off with one thing, as my Therapist had recommended.  I envisioned myself as a Writer.  However, not just any writer but a respected writer.  A writer who touched/helped people, because that is truly the only reason I write.  I carried it from meditating alone in my room to my everyday life.  When I met new people and they asked me who I was, I told them I was a writer.  I actually went around conditioning myself to believe that I had already achieved this goal. 

Two months after I adopted this "way of thinking and meditating" I was approached by someone within my workplace to have a meeting with them, to discuss an opportunity.  Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me, so I accepted.  It was that day that this individual offered me the chance of a lifetime.  It seemed that there was a temporary vacancy within my organization to write and I was being offered the opportunity to "try it on for size"  Believe me when I tell you that til this day, that entire meeting was a complete blur to me.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I didn't know this individual, except in passing, let alone the fact that she knew I loved to write.  When I asked her "why me?" she simply said:  "Well, I hear you're a writer and a damn good one, from what I've seen"  My jaw dropped. 

So for the past 10 months, I have been actively engaged in a "writing role" at my present workplace.  Sadly, this opportunity is not a permanent setting however; it was the first real stepping stone to opening the door to my dream.  To a lady such as myself, with no real writing education or background, it was a dream come true.  I have been doing what I love on a daily basis, while gaining the skills and experience to now venture off and really do this on my own. 

So over the past little while, I have been incorporating this kind of meditation as part of my everyday life.  I have begun putting into action what I need to do to achieve my own greatness.  What I feared most a year ago came to light.  The life and the person I was 12 months ago no longer exists.  Everything has changed. It's been a difficult and scary transition but it needed to be done. 

Shortly thereafter, I began "LIFE AFX" My very own idea that both allows and assists new artists ( of any realm) to begin living their own dreams and making them a reality.  An idea that will introduce new artists to the world.  What I've learned is that we all have dreams, and sometimes it's just not enough to believe in them yourself.  You always need someone in your corner who believes them too.  I want to be that person for others.  So this is my new dream and I hope it will take off and set fire to the sky.  I hope that by igniting my dream it will also allow your dreams to come true too.

Today, I try to not only dream my dreams, but live them.  I haven't exactly captured all of them in the realm of my mind or state of consciousness just yet-but it's coming.  So watch out world!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us"~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Angel's Goodbye

In loving memory of a great man. Antonio Dodaro. 
This is a poem I wrote, especially for my Uncle, Antonio Dodaro.
He left this life rather suddenly and will be sadly missed.

Isn't it funny how you remember things ( in great detail) when someone dies?  It's uncanny.

My mind has been tapping into memories that I truly haven't thought of, since I was a little girl.

He was a great man, who for as long as I can remember, could make me smile in an instant.  Could make me laugh even faster.  He was a story teller, a singer, a family man.  Someone who still believed that kindness was something worth showing all those you loved each day.

I will never forget him.

I wrote the first thing that came to me and have included it below:

An Angel's Goodbye

An angel came to me  last night
He knelt down by my bedside and said
My time has come, I have to leave
I will not be here in the morning, but rather
by God's side instead

I know my passing came rather quickly
and there was not much time for goodbyes
It will come as a shock to you and I know you'll be sad
But there really is not need to cry

You see when God came for me I was happy to go
Because my destiny has been fulfilled
My life has always been full and I've savoured much
And I spent a great deal of time loving you so

So please do not allow the end of my journey to leave you with a void
Instead I want you to fill it with memories of who I was
Remembering all the ways I brought you joy

Always know that I loved you so
And never think that you didn't do, say or show me yours  enough
You have been the light of my life and reason for my journey
But the time has come and I must go

I promise you that I will always be with you
Sharing the sunshine of tomorrow
Only this time I will be above the sun and you will be below it
And each time it warms your face you will remember me anew.

R.I.P Dearest Uncle.
I cannot wait to someday ride a rainbow with you...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Intimate and Interactive - Part Three - Meeting the Writer

Many of you have asked for yet another "Meet The Writer" piece, so I have decided to make a "Part Three" for all of you.  Please do understand that I cannot answer all the questions that you've taken the time to email me about, so when I do these pieces I pick the most popular ones that have been asked.  I truly hope you enjoy it, and thank you once again for all your support and engagement with respect to my writing.

ARE THE RUMORS TRUE?  ARE YOU ON THE "SINGLE MARKET" ONCE AGAIN?  Yes, I am currently single.  I have always been the lady with a man on her arm, so these waters are unfamiliar territory for me.  I love "being in love" and a part of a relationship, however I think I've made haste decisions choosing mates in the past.  The next man I choose to commit to will have to truly be deserving of me, extremely supportive of the person I am and all I stand for.

WHAT ARE THREE OF YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVES?  Sadly, I have many however, my top three on the list would have to be:  (1) Racism (discrimination of any kind)  It makes me utterly sick when people walk around thinking they are better/superior over others -for ANY reason.  Making someone else feel bad inside is wrong on all levels, period.  (2) Those who bring drama to my life. I truly don't care for it, so I ask that people always "keep it real" with me. I don't like impersonators, so don't pose as a human being unless you are one.  (3) People who gossip about a certain type of person/behaviour or style directly in front of someone sporting it.  Then look directly at you and say: "no offense" really pisses me off.

WHAT ARE THREE THINGS THAT CREEP YOU OUT?  Being in the dark, spiders and men smelling my hair, on the subway.  These things all things that give me the "hebejebeez" lol

ARE YOU INTO FASHION AND IF SO WHAT DESIGNERS DO YOU FANCY?  I am a huge fashion buff.  I truly appreciate (and do) have my own style, but watching fashion shows and the runways to see what's "new and exciting" each season really excites me.  There are many wonderful designers out there, but my most favourite would have to be:  Donna Karan, Ralph Rucci, Louis Vuitton and Manolo Blahnik.  Their visions are truly magical in unique ways.

WHAT IS GIA CURRENTLY READING?  I just finished Tolstoy's "What I believe"  It was a very intense 12 chapter read about his view of the Christian doctrine, which he explains as "a momentary flash of light, which made everything clear to him" 

WHAT IS GIA REALLY LIKE AS A PERSON?  I'm intense in anything I believe in, think of, or feel.  I'm definitely more of a dreamer than a realist.  I can be very "loud and proud" in one instance, but I also have a very gentle soft side to me as well.  There are days when I'm fearless, strong and unstoppable, but in a heartbeat I can become very vulnerable, fragile and broken.  Generally speaking, I'm a simple, down to earth kind of girl, who genuinely cares about people (whether I know them or not).  A woman, who as Judy Garland once said, that in the silence of a night I often wish for words of love from one man who means them, rather than the applause of thousands of people.  Meaning that love will always be more important to me over money.

DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST AND IF SO, WHAT'S ON IT?  Yes, I most certainly do.  Here it is, in no particular order:  (1) I would like to visit the Almafi Coast in Italy.  I remember seeing pictures of it growing up and for a long period of my life, thought it was the most beautiful "get a way" on earth.  (2) I would like to see the pyramids in Egypt.  They have always fascinated me and would love the opportunity to explore their mystery.  (3) I want to spend some time in Tibet and meditate with monks.  I discovered meditation and Buddhism at a time in my life when I truly believed that the loudness in my mind was going to kill me. At a time when I was truly lost.  It taught me about the spirit and the kind of person I want to be.  So I would love the opportunity to experience this way of living.  (4) I would love to meet the following people:  The Dali Lama, Anthony Robbins, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey.  These four individuals have all shaped my life in very special and meaningful ways.  It would be a true honor to spend time with them.  (4) I want to write a book.  (5) I want to learn how to play the guitar, well. (6) I would love to do "community theatre" and act in plays. Acting is one of my "secret/in the closet" passions.  I would love the opportunity to explore it further someday. (7) I would really love to be a Mother and Wife.  Family has and will always remain one of the most important things in my life.  I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my days both giving and enjoying the love and moments of my own family one day.  (8) I want to be responsible for doing something big for mankind before I die.  These are just to name a few.

WHAT ARE SOME EXCITING THINGS THAT LIFE AFX IS WORKING ON?  Well, I am currently working on building my own website.  There is a lot of work involved, but I really want to take "Life Afx" to the next level.  I have very much appreciated this forum but I believe it's time to go out on my own.

I have started writing my book and I am quite pleased with it.  It's something very simple, that will give you a real idea of what I've learned in my "37 years" on this earth.  The book will include a number of different famous quotes that have truly helped shape my life and the person I am.  I'm writing this book for my babies:  My nephew, Matthew.  My niece, Emily and for the newest addition, who will equally have my heart:  My unborn niece/nephew - due to appear around my birthday.   They are the truest reasons of why I want to live.

There has also been an idea swirl ling around in my brain, over the past month, to begin my own magazine.  The idea is still very fresh, but I would like to explore it further and see what comes of it.  I think I've got a great concept on my hands and truly think it could be successful.  However, at this time I cannot share more than this, so you'll just have to wait and see what transpires.  Yet, the book and web page are my first "orders of business"

DO YOU WRITE BACK TO ALL YOUR FANS?  YES! I most certainly do. Your words are always important to me, so I make a strong effort to reply back to all those who take the time to write me.  I thank you for all your writing suggestions/questions and do my best to incorporate them into my blog pieces.  To make a comment on something in particular:  For those of you who make public comments on my page, thank you.  I always read them.  I do not comment there myself simply because that area of the blog is for you - my public.  It's a place for you to share and express your thoughts about Life Afx.  So please do not feel bad/take offense that I do not directly respond to the feed.  As it was solely meant for all of you. 

For any new comers/followers:  Welcome to Life Afx.  I hope that you will both share and take away many moments/experiences from my writing.  If you wish to contact me directly please do so at: You may also add Life Afx now to Face Book:  Gia Life Afx and on Twitter: @LIFEAFX

This concludes this particular session of "Meeting the Writer - Intimate and Interactive"  More to follow as time progresses. 

Thanks to all of you who support my passion and journey within this life.   This entire experience means more to me than you will ever know.