Saturday, March 26, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

Ahhh...The way we were....

Isn't it funny how life is?

When we have something it's simply not good enough.  We are consumed with changing it somehow.  Making it better or at least different.  Then, as time passes and we think/look back at those things, we often wish we still had them-exactly as they were.

I was driving home from my parent's place the other day and noticed the home on the corner.  What made me stop was the fact that they had three cars, all lined up in a row on the driveway.  Each car inches away from one another. I smiled at that, not because it was odd, but because it reminded me of how my family once was.  Suddenly, the tears began to fill my eyes and I started to think back to how things once were. 
There was a time when my brothers and I all lived at home.  We all had vehicles and my Dad would constantly try to find ways to fit all of them onto our driveway in such a manner where none of us would be "terribly inconvenienced".  The truth is we were all inconvenienced-my poor Dad most of all.

I would remember how we would all bicker and get angry with each other about who would have to park where and how it always ended up being the same person having to move their car; each time someone else had to get out.  God what I would give to have those moments back.  I wish so much that I could go back to a time when my brothers and I still lived together with my parents.  If anyone would have told me then that in 10 years I'd be making that comment, I would have said they were crazy.  "It was the best of was the worst of times" Most of all, it was the greatest time of my life!!!

It's really funny how it all works out.  When we're young we wish to be older, and when we're older we wish with all our might to be young again.  It's an endless cycle.  Don't get me wrong, I love my life, truly.  Sure it has it's ups and downs but I love it.  I am truly blessed with all that I have.  The difference now is that "the adult Gia" both knows and appreciates that.  Where the "younger Gia" didn't have a clue what appreciation really was. 

I would give anything to have those times back.  I would definitely have done a lot different.  Not because I regret my life and how it's all worked out.  Yet, I would have just paid more attention to things that mattered and less about things that really didn't.  Just another thing I am learning in the new chapter of my life.

I believe that I am slowly (but finally) coming "into myself".  It took me 37 years, but I now know what's truly important to me, and what is not.  I really am starting to appreciate everything in my life, and understand that all things are blessings (even things we believe for the moment are bad). 

I read somewhere once that "People teach what they themselves need to learn" and I believe that with all my heart-now more than ever.  I've been telling my friends/family for years to be grateful and mindful of all you have.  Yet, I never took the time to do that in my own life, until now. 

As I journey through the beginning stages of my "new life" I realize that it's time to expect and respect more of myself; in every way.  However, within that realization comes many paradoxes that I am trying to flow through:

I find that I want to change myself, but yet I want to accept all that I am.  I want to take myself more seriously-and yet less seriously.  More and more I am consumed with trying to understand the reason as to why God put me on this earth.  What is my gift, my reason for being alive.  Yet, more often than not, I find that I want to explore "just wandering around playing" more in this life.  I want to forget myself more, so that I can think about myself more.  I don't have all the answers yet, and maybe never will. 

Whatever path I am destined for, what I do know for sure is where I came from.  That, my dear friends means the world to me.  I will always miss those special times I had with my family growing up but it's nice to know that I had "special times" at all.  Sadly, there are some people out there who will never know what that can mean.  I am glad that I have come to a place where I can appreciate all that I have had (and continue to have) in my life. 

To my dearest family, who was once made up of just a "party of five"  I want you all to know how much I love and cherish our time here together.  Without you I would never exist.  With you I will always fly.  To my family now made up of those five, four more and about a hundred others:  I thank you for always loving me for just "being me"

To my brothers:  I just wanted you to know how much I loved sharing all those moments with you.  It was tough sharing things and space with you then, but I would give the world to have a minute of that time back.  Yes, even those times when we too had to park side by side in the driveway to "make it work" Thank you for always protecting my heart with your lives..always!

To my Mom & Dad:  There is no greater man or woman on this earth.  I am so blessed to have you.  Thank you for always ( and continuously) turning your worlds upside down, so that mine would always flow right side up. 

I love you more than my silly words could ever express...

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Group Will You Be In On Judgement Day ?

I had the most horrific dream last night. I dreamt that the world was truly ending. Now I do realize that my dream may very well have been manifested from all of the terrible things going on in the world today. How could one not be terrified. The contents scared me so bad that I woke up in a cold sweat and for the life of me could not get back to sleep.

The dream itself was very detailed and took on a religious approach. For those of you whom have ever read the “Book of Revelations” from the Bible will know that the narration goes something like this: It is said that on Judgement Day, the son of God will come back to earth to witness it’s destruction and all living things upon it. It will be the final and eternal judgement by God. God will separate those who will inherit and share his Kingdom in love and those he will banish to the depths of hell in everlasting punishment.

In my dream, I witnessed a different kind of God than the one I was always taught to believe. The God of love, peace and forgiveness was mad, angry and wanted to inflict pain on every living thing in his path. I remember his eyes more than anything. He looked at me and spoke without speaking, almost saying: “I have given you all many chances to live with all the glories I have given you – and this is what you have made me come to do. His eyes were wicked and filled with much anger and pain.

He gathered all people and huddled them in a corner high above the ground. He wanted us all to see what he was about to do. He waved his arms and hands in all directions. In one respect he retracted all the water from the earth, leaving everything bare and left to die. Then, he turned to another side and pushed the water from him back out onto the earth again, causing a tidal wave that practically wiped out anything that was left on the earth. Then, he raised the earth, causing cracks and rifts on the ground. There were some people who fell in.

When it was all “said and done” He divided mankind into two groups. Those who were going with him and those who were not. However, unlike what the Bible stated, he did not banish one group to the underground (Hell). He made those people stay to fend for themselves on an earth left with nothing. That was their punishment. To fend for themselves in every way with no assistance from God ever again. The others he took with him by putting his arms around them all in one single motion.

The rest of the dream was about how those who were left behind had to fend for themselves. It was the most gruesome sight I ever saw. Some groups were drowning in the floods, while others were trapped in the depths of the cracked earth. Some where trying frantically to find food to eat. When they finally realized that there was no food to be found anywhere-they began to eat themselves. It was a horrible horrible thing to witness.

When I woke up, something really grabbed a hold of me and for the life of me I could not let this thought go: Why was I on the earth with the others and not with God in heaven? All I witnessed was just how bad hell can be for those God deems unworthy of sharing eternal life with him. Why was I never shown the other side? Was I one of those horrible people, whose done horrible things to others? Am I to remain in “hell” until the end of time?

Once the initial shock was over and my heart rate came back down to “normal” I realized that I truly need to work on me and be the best “me” I can be. To give of myself more. To become more involved within my community and to help others. To truly live up to my potential in every way possible. To be the “me” that God created and wanted me to be. To share the gifts he has given me with the world – always!
When my time on earth is done and I am standing before my God, the last thing I want is for him to look upon me with that same stare I saw in my dream today. It was paralyzing.

- - - - Note to Ray - - - -

* Ray, you see? This is why I should NEVER discuss World Issues or Politics before bedtime* :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

Have you ever really stopped to think why things happen? I mean we have all heard the cliché catch phrases like: “Things always happen for a reason” or “It was meant to be” This I know and have heard a million times before, but have you ever really stopped and taken a particular situation and tried to connect the dots? I realize that I may be speaking in riddles this morning and my apologies for that, but I’ve truly been thinking about this process a lot lately.

I woke up this morning fairly early and decided to mediate. I normally meditate in the evening hours now, because I find that it really helps with the level of stress I endure during my day. It’s a great release, and any one of you who have ever tried to meditate I’m sure will agree with me. Nevertheless, today I felt I really needed to try it in the AM. There have been some varying degrees of “uncomfortable ness” that I have been experiencing lately, and I’m trying to place it all into some kind of perspective.

I began thinking about why some things can cause you to feel a great deal of happiness and other things manifest themselves into great degrees of melancholy. I have learned that all situations are given the feelings or emotions that we allow them to have, both consciously and unconsciously. Yet, I am in constant inner turmoil as to why certain things in my life have to take place. Yes, of course there is a great deal of lessons to be learned from such events but why do we allow some things to shake our very existence; while other events barely affect us at all?

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how I got to this place? Not that this place is bad per say, but why am I here? I keep thinking over and over in my mind why it is that I can give so much love, focus and energy to other people’s lives and not my own. Of course I do try and live my life in a manner that is “best for me” but I don’t give it as much emphasis or perhaps the “intense passion” that I will allow myself to feel for others (and their lives). It is as if somewhere along the way I adopted someone’s awful notion of myself. That I am simply not worth that same degree of passion. It’s funny because a long time ago, when others tried to tell me that I couldn’t have something it made me fight that much harder. It made me crazy. I have never been one to tell someone that their dreams or life simply aren’t possible, so I would damn well never accept that talk about me and my life. Yet, somehow, I lost that entire zest along the way. Now it’s as if the bad stuff rotten people have said to me over the years is a lot easier to believe. I wish I knew why or how I have allowed that to happen to me.

The main thing is that I am still here, with plenty of life to live (God willing) which means no one should count this girl out. Not yet, and quite possibly not ever!

Things do truly happen for a reason. I truly believe that there are purposes for absolutely everything under heaven.

Today, I learned something new. I found a new perspective of how I should be looking at my life. That is simply that I exist, no matter what. Perhaps not the way I want to exist at the moment, but nevertheless here. Which means that with each new morning that I am granted breath I can change and manifest this existence into something spectacular? Perhaps, like a caterpillar I too must now spin a cocoon and embrace all the things that have and are happening within my life. So that I can someday be released from that web and fly away a beautiful butterfly with a new chance at life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I wanted to share a very special blog with all of you today.  One that will hopefully spread awareness about an important cause.  The one I speak of is none other than: MS.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Multiple Sclerosis allow me to briefly explain what it is to you.  It's a vicious disease that attacks the nervous system, within the human body.  A disease with unpredictable symptoms that vary from person to person and over time.  What it does is it attacks the covering of the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation and damaging it.  It disrupts and distorts nerve impulses to those regions.  People living with this disease quickly become painfully aware that they are not in control of their functions at all times.  It's a scary process and one that definitely needs more attention.

I have been involved with MS projects over the years.  Growing up I was always part of the yearly "Read-A-Thon" in our local community to help raise money for the cause, I but never really knew about the disease to it's full capacity.  I looked at it as:  It's a good cause and I love to read so what the hell.  Today, it's painfully different.  Today, it sits too close to home and with those I love. 

It's been almost a year now since my little cousin, Erika got diagnosed with MS. I still remember the feeling of numbness that washed over me when I first heard the news.  I went over and over it in my mind and asked the all time famous question - "why her?"  It's funny how life can change in a blink of an eye and something that you barely thought about now becomes the centre focal point of your universe overnight.
I immediately began to think about how she would allow the news to manifest itself into her existence and became saddened at the thought of this breaking her. 

Erika is the youngest of three sisters.  All of which I share an incredible connection with.  Watching them grow up I always smiled to myself at the uncanny resemblances we all shared.  I saw so much of myself in all of them.  The eldest sister exudes the same head strong attitude I do, along with a protective armour around herself and all those she loves.  The middle sister shares my "dreamer like" qualities, love for books and never allows anyone to own the definition of who she is.  Then, there's Erika.  Not only do we share an incredible facial resemblance, but a spiritual one as well.  Naturally I would be protective of them, for the three of them together make up my entire chemistry.  It breaks my heart to know that I cannot protect her from this.  Yet, what I can do is help her fight and that's exactly what I intend to do. 

Erika, for whatever reason, it seems that MS is one of your crosses to bare within this life.  I want you to know that you are never alone in ANY fight during this journey.  I will always be right there beside you every step of the way until you tell me to go away.  Even then, I never will.  You see, I love you and will never stop.  Which means that you're stuck with me for this entire journey of your life.  I will never allow you to give up on any part or aspect of your life-especially this one.  I know it will be a trying road, but when you want to give up just remember why you've held on for so long.  Take comfort in the fact that you have so many people around you who support you in every way. 

I know there are times when you feel beaten in life, but always know that it's never about the obstacles God puts in your pathway, but the lessons and strength you gain as a person from them being put there.  You are a strong and vibrant light, so don't ever allow anything to diminish that within you.  Always remember that nothing can be given power unless you allow it power.  So only give power to positive thoughts and you will always be free.  That is my own pesonal quote, made just for you!

Never allow this disease to take control of the person you are.  For you would rob the world of your incredibly beauty if you ever did.  Never allow your eyes to loose their sparkle, and never loose that gorgeous smile that appears on your lips every time I see you.  Most importantly, never loose that child like spirit you possess within your heart.  Instead, allow God to use you as a canvas to draw on and help him guide your path well.

Always remember that you are perfect just as you are. The way you were made was purposely done, as God makes no mistakes.  If anything, you are more so perfect now than ever before.  I love you with all my heart and truly believe that you are capable of the most remarkable things.  Live your life for you-your way and never allow something out of your control to direct you in any way.  Instead you show this thing that you control yourself and you're gonna fight every step of the way.

If you or anyone you love is currently living with MS than you know how important it is to find the answers.  How crucial it is to continue to fight for it's execution.  So let us do all it is we can to educate those around us and help the cause.  Again, something is only as strong as the power we allow it.  So stand up and be heard.  Show support in any way you can for Erika and the millions of people who live with this disease each day.  Become part of the research of MS by donating now.  Or get involved in special events surrounding this disease in your community, so that we can make this disease a thing of the past.  Let's put an end to the madness today.

Please visit: and become aware.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The "Happiness" Project

With each passing day that I'm alive, I realize that the hardest thing to achieve in this life is happiness.
What I speak of is not "contentment" nor is it "feeling fine" but truly feeling a fulfilment and utter bliss toward both yourself and life.

What I am realizing is that each individual should create their own meaning of what happiness is.  A laundry list, if you will, of what their own happiness is to look like and strive for that.  I think we get caught up in what another person's perception of happiness is or what society says that we should define it as being.  Yet, how could that make any sense at all.  There is no logic in that theory whatsoever.  If every individual is created uniquely different than how could we possible believe that what may be good for some MUST be good for all?

Putting myself through this "emotional/mental cleanse" has been incredibly mind blowing to say the least.  I cannot tell you how many thoughts of clarity are being channeled to me through meditation.  It can become utterly exhausting but refreshing all in the same breath.  This week was especially draining for me.  I've gone through many bouts of emotion and however uncomfortable it's been at times, I do realize it is all relevant and necessary for the "recovery" of my soul.  During this process I have tried to have very little contact with others.  With the exception of going to work, I try to fill my days with quiet.  Forcing myself to focus on the noise going on in my own head.  It's incredible what you can actually hear when you really decide to listen to your inner self.  What I heard made me depressed beyond words however, it needed to be felt aloud. 

I realized that I have been struggling all my life to achieve a level of happiness that others had set for me.  I was trying to reach peaks that were not my own, but those in which society deemed necessary.  I observed the lives of my family, friends and all those around me and tried to adopt them as my own.  The second thing I learned was that what you allow your inner being to hear from you is far more damaging than what it can hear from the outside world.  Your mind, your heart and your soul can only feel the peace and love for it that you guide to it believe. If you deem yourself unworthy, no other living thing could ever make you feel otherwise.

The Buddhists believe that happiness is our own responsibility - and completely within our control.  That if we train our minds the body will follow suit.  Therefore, if we are what we think, than our own happiness stems and flows from within us alone.  A teaching so simple, yet so many of us never truly make the correlation.

We are so consumed with what society says that we allow ourselves to fall prisoner to it.  We are so quick to mimic the lives of loved ones and those close to us because we see that it works for them. Yet, it's not what we ourselves may need in our own lives. 

Think about it:  How could anyone possibly know what makes me smile better than I?  How could anything influence my perception of life unless I allow it?  What is demonstrated to us visually and how our own individual mind's interpret that vision are two entirely different things.  I think this is why none of us ever truly feel "content" within our own lives, because we are far too busy looking at what everyone else has that we don't - and feel sad about it.  We are too brainwashed with what society believes we should all strive for to achieve happiness, that when we don't reach those stars we are failures.  That when we don't meet the expectations of our families, friends or loved ones that we are unworthy.  I believe that this is what I have been doing all the days of my life.  I was poisoning my own body, mind and soul with those of your perfection and happiness instead of my own.  No wonder I was failing.  No wonder I was feeling unworthy or unloved.  I've been in this state because I never bothered to ask the one person that mattered what they wanted.  What they believed happiness meant for them. What they believed their dreams should be.  that one person was ME!

Perhaps making/winning millions is not my happiness but making a humble living helping others is.  Perhaps falling in love with a traditional man that society thinks is a great catch isn't my idea of romantic, but finding a man who loves every part of my existence is.  Perhaps having a 3/4 story home filled with rooms that aren't even lived in is not my idea of wealth, but building a village of need is.  Whatever it is, I must find and build my own definition of happiness and how I will live it will be my choice and mine alone.   

 “I would say happiness begins with being able to accept oneself and one’s situation in the world, so that one is not constantly in a state of inner turmoil, striving, strife, conflict. Those are the main things which actually prevent us from being happy” .... Rob Nairn, Buddhist.