So much to say! & plenty of time to say it….

It’s been a helluva adventure. A new world. A new code. New standards. Lots of hand washing and protocol. Each day the CDC or W H O organization updates us with the number of cases and deaths. The numbers are staggering. The fear and unknown anxiety is real. We have never truly experienced a pandemic globally. None of us could predict or see this coming. and BAM! It sure did come. I remain positive. I remain in control of my own behavior. I remain humble and most of all. I have hope. Hope this will cease one day. Hope, this will change our world for the better of mankind. It will reconnect us all in a unexpected way. But, the lesson will connect us all as one. We will have more awareness and compassion for our future. So, I’d say… it’s A long strange trip? I mean, here we are, in the middle of a global pandemic. I never even knew this word – ” Pandemic”. Maybe it’s just me, but, are millenial’s making up new words and shit? A few winters ago. We were in a Polar Vortex. WTF is THAT? Like, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Life appeared simpler. My mom would turn on the local news and pray for the sound of school buses. …The decision was made by a superintendent of the school district. The radio would recite each school closing on repeat, for hours over and over. Of course, we kids would rejoice and my Mom would look sad? Anyway, it was simple back then. We would get up early and wait for the decision. We are expecting 3 feet of snow! Schools will be CLOSED. That was pretty much it. I mean, we were so happy to have a free day and yes! We ALL played in the snow and froze and watched the Brady Bunch reruns. Life was simple. No, we didn’t have the internet yet. DON”T JUDGE ME!
The biggest snowstorm I remember was the blizzard of 1978. We got a few feet the first day and it continued for a few more days. We jumped off our 2nd story deck into like 7 foot drifts of pure snow. My brother Michael got stuck in it for hours and we had to dig him out! Good times. We had snow days. Everyone survived.

Now, we face a pandemic. This world quickly changed. It’s been a few weeks of self isolation, social distancing and watching the numbers. I check in each morning now and read the horror and rising cases. We all read about Wuhan China. We were semi aware. We hadn’t a clue what was to come. Honest. At first, I don’t think a lot of us even thought it would effect the WORLD! Right? Then Italy reports started flowing. The footage and updates were painful to watch and accept. Not enough coverage, beds, supplies, ventilators. Death tolls, rising hourly. All So quick, they are ordered to stay home and not leave their homes and apartments. It was too late. The virus had spread from village to village. Many Italians took to social media and the internet to WARN Us. Beg Us. Confirm to us. This is serious. Do NOT ignore the government warnings. Italy, sadly, opened up our eyes. The US was on alert. But? Was it already too late? Then Spain. I follow this a bit more closely, because, my daughter & her husband live in Madrid. They have been on lockdown for a month. Healthy, Thank God. They are both responsible adults. They are so very far away. She worries that we are at risk. She worries that we will get sick. Many are in a state of anxiety, panic, depression. This is real. I remind my daughter. I’m ok. I do not live in fear my daughter. I’ve already suffered and had my worst/biggest fears happen. I accept this and assure her we are safe. I vow to do my best in staying well and isolated. She is what I live for. I take that serious and pray this too passes with ease. We cancelled our plans to visit Spain in May. I know she is homesick and isolated. How did life get so complicated? It feels apocalyptic in a strange way. I remember watching Sandra Bullock in Bird Box. Very dark film. A premise that the end of the world happened and they are the very few who survived. They must cover their eyes to the light, in order to survive. It involves two small children and I was vested in them! Cool movie and she was amazing in it. When I read that Italy’s death toll reached 9,000 today,(March 27, 2020). I fully realize what has happened. They had no chance to flatten the curve. They were still socializing (children were allowed to socialize in the evenings) due to this socializing, like fire, it spread rapidly. Now, they beg us! they urge everyone to NOT allow your children to play and socialize. I am devastated, concerned and heartbroken for their country. A country I visited last year and fell instantly in love. I can’t wait to return. They live in the moment, organically and simply. I admired that so much when I was travelling through that beautiful country. I text my daughter’s in-laws in Italy. They have been quarantined for 6 weeks already. They reply that they are healthy and well. It’s a miracle no one in their family has gotten sick. They have followed the rules. Stay home. They go to the supermarket once a week with gloves and masks. Smart. I pray for them daily. It is not over in Italy or Spain. The USA, has not even begun to truly embrace the inevitable. Devastating pandemic. A high death toll. I see it is unavoidable. I am trying to do my part. I am taking it all in and slowly breathing out. I accept and continue to think positive. I recite to everyone I know. 87% of people that contract COV 19 virus experience “MILD” symptoms. That’s a pretty high percentage. I focus on recovery and good health. Here is how I attempt to do it.

One of my daily mantras is:

Today, I am healthy. I live in full abundance.

I started to repeat this mantra a few weeks ago, with a meditation teacher I follow. Meditation can seriously help every single person reading this today. Just 5 minutes? 10? whatever you can muster. It’s about the practice. It’s about self love and giving and receiving that daily through meditation. I’ve been meditating for many years. In the beginning, I probably could do a few minutes and feel frustrated. That is normal. It isn’t a instant click. Training ones mind to stop “THINKING” by just taking intentional breaths is life changing. Yes, you heard me LIFE changing. I am not making this shit up. It works. It calms, heals, it boosts your immune system. It increases endorphins, serotonin, you name it. This shit WORKS… and its like FREE! I am a big fan of the Mindful Movement Meditations. Thank you YouTube! I saved a dozen or so to my favorites. I love each and every session with Sarah Raymond. Amazing things can happen if you dedicate a moment to love yourself and take care of your mental health. I promise you. Try it for a week. Pick a 10 minute meditation (on Gratitude, Peace, Forgiveness) etc…give yourself the gift of clearing your mind. I am that confident it will help you during this time of uncertainty. Remember to ask yourself after your first meditation. How do I feel right now? I can’t wait to here your findings!

I wanted to share what my daily routines, rituals, connections are guiding me with love and compassion.

I have always limited my time on social media/ news updates.

Social Media/ News Reports:
I suggest you tune in for updates and then put it aside. Flip it over. The screen can suck you IN people. Don’t bring it to bed! Just, find an organic way to connect to the world. TRUST ME, tomorrow there will be another update and you won’t miss a thing.

I like making lists.

Movies to watch on Netflix. Books to read. Online Courses to take. I am taking FULL advantage of every online course for FREE. Yes, FREE people. I just took a Warrior Goddess webinar with Heather Ash. (Ahhhmazing!) She offered 6 more classes for a minimal donation. I’m stoked.

Writing/journals:

I’ve been writing since I was a young teen. I am finishing up a memoir and studying and gathering knowledge and inspiration for recovery coaching. I write about my childhood. I write about grief. I write about finding joy and purpose and my journey to faith and back to Joy. It’s my absolute super power. You should try it. Buy a pretty journal and write down your feelings, thoughts, anger, dreams a few paragraphs a day. Watch it transform your thinking and your focus.

My other lists are semi boring, mundane, chore/fix it lists:

What needs a cleaning/painting/freshen up? Broken stuff – Things that need repair. My never ending list. My quest to be Marie Kondo/Martha Stewart organized. Serious downsizing. For over a year, I just Keep on de cluttering my “stuff” Oh I need help! Geez Leelee! This stuff keeps me buzzing! It’s a never ending list and I totally get off on organization. I have a ways to go. I have made enormous donations and runs to good will and church donations. It’s easier for me to donate. I like to think someone else can use it.

I am an avid cook and gardener:

I credit my Mama and my Daddy for these gifts. A nature lover, beach, boat, fishing girl and lover of sneaking away for R&R. I’d rate beach houses my very favorite. I’m a serious collector of shells and rocks. I love and adore the east end of Long Island. I like it even better off season. (wink). The South fork is top notch and very pricey and bougie. From the Hamptons to Montauk Point. Absolute pristine beaches for the very Richie folks. I love every town in the Hamptons and I escape there often. But.. my heart speaks to me…and always will. My secret to heaven, my spiritual place is The Northfork. (NoFo) It still has that rural, farming feel with more and more breweries, & wineries and a nautical upscale, peaceful place to hang. After all, I AM an island girl at heart. I chase the seasons out on the east end. The sunflowers and farm stands are amazing. I take the ferry often from Orient Point and I love driving out weekly to gather veggies and flowers. I adore summer festivals and the many vineyards. I discover all the private growers and relish in a new nursery. I support all local farmers and artists and crafters and humanitarians. This is my happy place. My Zen. I indulge in it often.

But alas, now we are staying home, nesting if you will. So my kitchen and my gardens is where you find me. Creating and decorating is my jam. I love to rearrange and repurpose all my beautiful treasures. Recently, I gathered all my favorite stones, gems, goddesses, bhudda’s essential oils and sprays and sage. I set up a corner with all my favorite things. A shrine of gratitude, hope, renewal. I spritz heart chakra around me and say a prayer for healing. it’s in the love of creating food and flower beds. Seriously, I could do it 24/7. I really enjoy challenging myself in the kitchen. For instance: You have a handful of mushrooms, leftover chicken, spinach, cheese…What can I create! My new obsesh is Asian cuisine. It stems from my devotion to the dumpling. I have several Asian grocery stores and I get lost in there for an hour and discover a lot of cool things. A dash of this or that goes a long way in Asian sauce. I scour the internet and find simple, awesome recipes to make at home. Once you stock up on the secret ingredients, you are all set! I have been making some killer dumpling recipes as of late. It takes time to learn by trial and a few errors, but, once you master it, BAM! It makes my head spin. I also bake (something I was determine to master over the last few years) I never waste a banana (or anything really). I enjoy baking a shit ton of desserts and freezing them for give a ways. It makes my heart happy. A warm banana bread to a sad friend….priceless. I fill my life with giving. I found my secret to healing and growing. Lastly, Art. Create. Getting your creative flow on! So, I take my time and sift through my treasures and then I repurpose all my little treasures and create some type of new art. I decorate my yard with love, in memory and with my hippie spirit and decorating passion.

My latest projects: (Don’t judge or Laugh) We may have MONTHS of this stay home rules. I intend on enterprising on them. I may not do every single thing I dream about. But, I’m serious about making a dent in what matters to ME….on the weekend create list….

Rock Painting – (DO NOT laugh at me!)
I find smooth cool rocks around my property. (I happen to have 1000’s of rocks) and I paint them…with inspirational words or quotes. Tutorials and suggestions on Pinterest.

Shells – I make art out of my shell collections. Chimes, beachy scenes, & flower bed d├ęcor. It’s fun to repurpose.

Slate: Stepping Stones/Signs: I have some cool bluestone slates laying around. I did one today for my garden
it says….

~ Let It Shine ~ .

My Mother once taught me about Simple Abundance. It’s not ironic she got sober and once wrote herself a check for 1 million dollars~ pay to “Simple Abundance”. After she died, I found a vintage sign with the same quote. I look at it in my kitchen often. She read the book, and shared it with me a long, long time ago. Perhaps, she knew I would need to learn and understand it one day. Perhaps she was teaching me to just…. Let It Shine…..

Namaste

Leelee

Replacing Fear with Love….

Hello! From Long Island. An island of beauty. An island of state parks & abundance of nature, all surrounded by water. It’s my land. The same island my parents moved us to 60+ years ago. From Brooklyn, New York. They were living the American dream. They told the story many times. My father borrowed 500 dollars from Grandpa Angelo, to put down on a foreclosed home in Huntington Station, New York. On a whim, they decided to move to the suburbs. A big backyard and a pool! I was one years old when we moved from Brooklyn. I would stay with my Nanny for a week or two in the summers in Brooklyn. Good Times. Carefree and light. I loved the vibe of the inner city. In 1962, My Dad was appointed to the NYPD. It was the same year I was born. He often told the story that one day he got on the road to his new job as a Police officer in (where else?) BROOKLYN! He drove 2 hours in traffic to get to the new post and thought he made a terrible mistake! How could I move my family out to the “boonies” the potato fields! And, now travel several hours a day back and forth? Was it all worth it? Somehow, someway, he did it and he never complained. He worked nights and days and a lot of overtime. He loved fixing up the house and mowing the lawn. He made a beautiful vegetable garden and tended to it for hours each week. He loved fishing and coaching sports and camping. He loved planting flowers and rose bushes for my Mom. He loved his life and family. He taught us everything. He took us everywhere. He had very few friends, (you can count true ones on one hand Lisa Marie..he would tell me) IF you’re lucky enough! He loved a good meal, a strong cup of coffee and he loved to grill meat and spend time with his kids. He always worked hard. He was always sweaty and dirty from work. Building something, fixing something, he LOVED it, his life, simple abundance. He was happy and satisfied with life on Long Island. He loved and protected us. He had an extensive career with the NYPD. He retired 20+ years later with many great stories and a Bachelors degree in psychology/sociology. He definitely lived the American Dream. The difference was he appreciated everything he achieved and earned. He took care of everything. He provided. He encouraged and supported us. He was a tough ole bird. A no nonsense, do it my way (the right way) kinda guy. As I became a wife and mother, he became my bestfriend. Gladly, giving me sound advice. He encouraged me and supported me. He valued me, he trusted me. We became close and respected each other so much. We only moved once as a child, to a larger home to accommodate my Grandparents moving in with us. It was well “crowded” but, we were a family, together, supporting one another. When my Dad retired, he bought a bar and saved all his money and moved to Florida with my Mom. They bought a new retirement home in a cul-de-sac. Life seemed perfect….or so we thought. Ten years later, my Mom convinced him to move back to Long Island. She longed to be closer to her children and now Grandchildren. He did it. He wanted her to be happy. For my Dad, Life was simple. He never complicated anything. He had his priorities and his shit together at all times. Who knew I would be so much like him? Who knew his strength and love would carry me, sustain me, heal me through my darkest times. My Dad was the Rock, the epicenter of our family. He died, quickly, at 64 from stage 4 lung cancer. He didn’t even know he had it. He was not ready to cash in… he begged God. He begged the oncologists for just a couple more years. He cherished life. He didn’t get his wish. He only lived 7 months through horrendous Chemo and Radiation treatment, and then he died. Cancer sucks. He was so sick and vulnerable. We never left his side. We all stood in the sunlight, surrounded by each other, holding each other and sadly, watching him die slowly. During the last days he had a spiritual awakening. He was born a Catholic, oddly, he was more an agnostic. He played on the fence about religion and spirituality. He believed in God. He didn’t worship. True fact: In the 80’s, He met the Pope (John Paul) on the steps of city hall. The Pope stopped and gave him a medal and a blessing. I remember that night. He came home with a light in his eyes. He said.. I just met the man who has seen the eyes of God! He was awakened…impressed. That was short lived for him at that time.
When he came home from his last treatment, he was sick. He couldn’t sleep, or eat. The doctors scanned his body and told him the cancer had spread. He should get his affairs in order. He was in shock. I sit in the tiny office with my Mom and watch him beg the doctor. Heart wrenching. I’m so weak Doc, but, if you think I should try another round… he stops my Dad and softly tells him. Tom, No, I don’t recommend another cycle. I recommend you consider hospice and get your affairs in order. Time stops. The clock ticks. We leave. My mother is crying. I am driving them back home. The end is near. He says to my Mom. Are you crying for me or are you crying because I am dying? I don’t remember her answer. We just cried. We all gathered. He wanted us all to be with him. It was late September. His favorite time of year. Cool, breezy spectacular weather. He couldn’t sleep anymore. He would get up at 2, 3 in the morning. Organizing papers. Paying bills, etc. Then he would walk with my Mom. He made/designed and built a magical garden in their new little house. She wanted an oriental garden, Pergola, with a pond and a waterfall…a huge vegetable garden…he built it all, with his hands and heart…just for her. He grew his favorite flower, The Morning Glory vine. He grew them every year. He would pick each color and hold it in his hands. He made her a bouquet every day and he would say… Mitzi.. have you ever seen a more beautiful color in your life? Look at this blue… pink…white…God made these. They are simply perfect beauty. He lived for a week in a spiritual awakening. He called for his son Michael to come home from N. Carolina. He knew his time was near. He was sick, dehydrated, weak, malnourished, sleepless. Yet, he smiled. He stared at my children and held them. He took them on short rides on his ATV and laughed and played catch. We all stood strong, dying right along side him. Our rock. our mentor, our father who protected and loved us every single day of our lives was sick. Nothing Else Mattered. NOTHING. No job, no money, the world stopped and we grieved and loved each other. We were a family. We were all shattered. When my brother Michael arrived. He stood up and walked to the door and he said.. My Hero. Finally, He is here! Shaking and trembling he waited to hug his son. My father died 2 days later. In fact, he waited till his hero arrived and gave him permission to go to Jesus. My brother Michael told him… Daddy, go to Jesus Daddy, I got Mommy, I will take care of her. My brother told me, my Dad in a semi coma, took one breath in and didn’t quite exhale. He passed peacefully with my brother holding him tight. My Mother was taking a bath. It was the greatest loss of our lives. It is over twenty years ago that we lost this great man, husband, father and son. I remember him in the hospital bed watching the coverage of the 9/11 attack. He was such a patriot! He absorbed and purchased time life books of 9/11. He still was well and able enough to support and mentor my youngest brother Anthony, who served as a first responder immediately after the bombings. I am grateful that he was alive and able to help his boy, Tony, his Tiger as he nicknamed him. He served in the US Air Force as a intelligence specialist in Berlin Germany during the Korean war. My oldest brother Thomas was born in a AF hospital in Berlin. He lead a very interesting life on earth. He was raised by a single mother and worked since he was 11 years old. He had a strong opinion about most things. IF you asked for it, be prepared to get a straight forward one. He had an arrogance and a confidence that sometimes made him butt heads, but he was fair and honest and trustworthy. He told us often. No one, I mean NO ONE loves or cares for you like your parents and grandparents and siblings. They are all you have in this harsh, sometimes cruel world. If you are ever in real trouble, we will always be there to help and rescue you. Don’t ever forget that. I never have. I think of him often. I wonder how he would have approached this pandemic/virus state of affairs. I know he would have provided everything he had for his family and neighbors. He would keep us safe. He would protect his little world. Isn’t that interesting? Isn’t that all we really have right Now? Each Other? Nothing else should matter. Stay safe, stay home, be smart, be brave. This too shall pass. Amen.

In loving memory of my father… Thomas Joseph.

with eternal love & abundance

Lisa Marie