Namaste they say!

Good Morning and grateful for Friday’s. I set that goal weekly. Just make it through the week leelee. You can do this! I dream of weekend plans and fall festivals and pumpkins and crockpots and soaking in every moment of the transformation of brilliant Autumn. I often drive to work and catch a brilliant maple tree that has turned a glowing orange and my mind photographs the peak foliage and I wish I could play hookie and photograph it all. I’ve learned, it’s the little things that mean something, really.  I know this weekend is jam packed with outdoor festivities. Most importantly, it is my first walk with AFSP, Out of the Darkness walk @ Jones Beach, NY. They expect over 5,000 people to walk! That blew me away. It is the walk to send the message to our world. We have Suicide prevention. It is extremely important to send the message and hopefully, shed awareness and hope to our world. To be honest, I never even thought of this a year ago. Then my brother died from suicide this year, January. My entire world changed, the moment he left this world.  In honor of Thomas, I am volunteering to help, and walking with my survivor support group.  We made a quilt of all our loved ones lost to suicide. Each of us, had a square made and sewn together. The quilt is beautiful and sad all in one.  I walk for Tom, secretly wishing he could have stayed. Loving him in my heart and quietly accepting the reality. None of it has been easy. I have sought support and counseling since he died. It is a journey like no other. Grief, forgiveness, acceptance and healing. The process is quite traumatic. Hope is the rainbow at the end.  So, I give back, I give my time, and my understanding, I connect with other survivor’s and I go on. That is how we do it. One day at a time. So, come walk if you live on Long Island. Field 5. Registration is 9am. The beach, the ocean, and 5000 people all with broken hearts, healing together.  It’s all good. I walk for him, for he was good.

The other day, I was browsing some pinterest stuff. I stumble across “morning mediatation by Candace”. Cute right? So I click. I was curious for awhile. I mean duh…Oprah meditates EVERYDAY…right? They even have shrines and stuff, quiet meditation spots in their homes.  My art therapy group meditates before we create. I kinda liked it. I have been suffering with headaches a lot. Job stress, kid stress, it happens. So, I clicked on the video. Meditation on your Bed….ummm yeah, I can handle that.  I love her sweet voice. I begin. Palms up, get comfy, breath slow. Focus on your breath. Find the rhythm, focus just on breathing.  She says, when you focus on your breathing….it quiets the mind. I continue to meditate, it feels nice. Focusing on tension area’s, sending the oxygen there, exhaling. So good. Then she asks to stretch. HUH? wait? and I look up. It’s Morning Meditation and Yoga! (didn’t see that part) sorry! I’m slightly off balance..ummm I wasn’t ready? But, I go with it.  Breathe. Stretch the arm gently reaching. I am acutely aware of my shoulder cuff injury and left knee injury. What if I begin to stretch those muscles? What if I bring oxygen and flexibility into this horrible pain I have everyday? So I gently begin to stretch. She reminds, it should be gentle,  with very little exertion. I relax and stretch gently. Ahhh, not so bad, ok, I’m doing it.  Stretching of hip bones, torso, spine and neck. Curling up into a ball, stretching the knees, hips, rocking. I’m ok, not afraid now. Wait, this feels good. Like, zen, good.  Namaste? Who knew right. So, I jump in the shower, and I’m thinking….floating really, & proud that I kept it up all week. Totally aware, of how calming it is. Also, noticing, I am not in pain or sore from it. Then the AHA moment happens., Yep.  Leelee, girl… The reason you have boohoo’d Yoga all these decades was because you couldn’t sit or stretch anything. I had no ability, energy or flexibility to move my body. I was obese. Obese people rarely do anything physical, much less “good” for ourselves.  We avoid it, because it hurts and it is awkward. I’m guessing, since I lost the weight, my body just might want to stretch and breathe! When I was obese, I did not dream about curling into a little ball and stretching my hip bones or spine. I could barely hike myself up out of bed. That is the epiphany. I can move now, and it’s good for my body. *ding*  Mind, Body, Soul ~leelee.  I get it.  Epic right? You’re darn right. Because, it’s happening to me, right now.  I must journal about the benefits of health, mental wellness & awareness. I don’t want to forget them or forsake them any longer. Old habits, they can change over time, if you let them. In your time, when you’re ready. Baby steps perhaps, or big leaps like… training for a marathon. The skies are the limit, you are the only person behind the wheel. Just start slow, gently and steer forward.  Wishing you love & peace today ~ leeleehi heaven its me leelee

A walk in the woods

Good Morning:

I hope this Sunday brings sunshine and centering into your life. My daughter called and suggested we go for a hike in Blydenburg park. I’ve grown up on Long Island, and recently discovered all the beautiful, secluded parks, gardens and arboreteums that I have never visited. I love the beach and ocean, but, hidden and tucked all around me, are breathtaking, serene places of beauty.  My mental bucket list is overflowing with places I have never discovered.  The key word here is Nature. Discovering the beauty that God has made. Exploring and allowing yourself to get lost for a little while.  It is a proven theory that walking, reduces stress and depression. The fresh air and cardio, increase good endorphins. Serotonin, I need you! As summer closes and autumn stirs, I feel my whole being shift. Two years ago, I wouldn’t dare consider hiking or walking. I was obese, a heavy smoker, basically, unable and unwilling to even try.  I had no motivation. I used to be a “sitter”, I sat a lot, rarely stood up. That and planning an afternoon nap,  I did that often. Anything that required physical movement was shunned. I was the girl who drove around a parking lot, continuously,  for the closest possible parking space to the store. I don’t remember walking more than a block, anywhere.  When I did, I ached for days. Every joint, muscle, hurt. Honestly, I never could envision Leelee hiking anything, I could barely lift myself to sit on a stool. A few years ago,  I read an article about Wynona Judd. She had recently lost weight, and shared her journey. She wrote how she found the “woods” behind her home in Tenneesee.  She started to walk in them, reflecting, praying, walking. She discovered how much she enjoyed it. She continued daily and slimmed down considerably.  She talked about the serenity, the quiet, the simple Joy and beauty around her. It stuck in my head, long, long,  ago.  Yesterday, I was channeling Wynona. It was purely beautiful. Cool temps, changing leaves everywhere,  quiet brooks, clear carved paths of beauty all around us. We chatted the entire time, my beautiful daughter, sharing her heart, her dreams, happy and joyful I see her and her heart is good. She is good medicine for her Mama. She gently pushes me to move forward. She listens and understands my grief, my worries, my heart. She finds simplicity, beauty in every turning leaf, a red mushroom! (she squished it? Why?). We follow the wood planked path to paradise. Who built that? Amazing! I notice,  I am not winded, I don’t feel tired. We climb and twist and discover the beauty of this nature preserve, a hidden gem, God’s land.  We run into a man on his Black Stallion. (No, this is for reals), the most magnificent horse to see. I speak gently and suddenly, I am petting and loving this massive creature! The stallion stares at me, allows me to say hello.  Quite “the moment” eh? I comment to my daughter, I feel like I am in a Nicholas Sparks novel! We write the next chapter together & giggle.  We arrive at the lake. You could say for sure, it’s very “On Golden Pond”. This lake has many white swans, truly like a painting. She photographed and played with her camera, it was so good. We decide to take another trail back. (No map…umm, no). So we hike, follow the lake around and I feel great. I feel blessed, lucky, healthy, loved. She is a smart young woman, my Danni. She is learning how to fill the soul, feed the brain, truly brilliant.

Well,  so, that other path we took, umm, totally, not so GPS’d. We wound up on the horse trail,  which leads out to the residential street! Ooops, we walked, and walked and ran into the horseman from the trail. He pointed us out of the streets and back to the woods.  Quite the detor, we both took it in stride. Ahem, except for a minor leelee mishap, (shhhh, DD), we found the entrance and had a good laugh!  This is the healing, the journey. These are the steps that connect the dots in your mind. Quiet the negative.  This is how we move forward, let go and let God. We made plans to return soon and hike the other side, a new path, discover the other magical spots on the lake. I look forward to that. I rejoice in finding gratitude and thankfulness again.  Go discover a hidden gem in your neck of the woods today! You’ll be glad you did. Thank you for stopping by. Ciao ~ leelee

blydenburgblyndenburg 2blydenburg 3

Rainy days, storms, all will pass

I awoke with a song in my head, a beautiful melody, a calming sound. This occasionally happens to me. Not often, but often enough to write about it.  It was one of my personal mentors, favorite artist. Ever. Sara  McLachlan.  Angel.  I hear her softly sing to me:


By Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay

There’s always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard, at the end of the day

I need some distraction
Oh, beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins

And maybe empty
Oh, and weightless, and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight…

In the arms, of the angels……

I thanked my brother, I felt his energy around me & perhaps it was a strong sign, for me, some sort of an affirmation, a glimpse of clarity, understanding of his state of mind. Perhaps, heaven was weeping with all of us, mourning the mass murder of 10 people at a college in Oregon. I am not sure, the path our world, our beautiful “United States”, our complex society, social media driven generation, the amount of human suffering, war, hate, crimes of hate, that lead to these mass murders. In my heart, it is a devastating reality. Our loss of humanity, from basic rules, loss of faith, God, trust, brotherhood and fellowship, family. I remember, Bill Clinton spoke at a rally once. He stated,  the All American family, no longer exists. How true, Mr. Clinton, that statement was your only truth.  All of us, we all feel it slipping away. Stunned, disheartened, discouraged. Lost and powerless.  We do not feel united. In our nation’s grief, our mourning for the victims, we feel united, yet we do not have the power to change it, to stop the killer, murderer, to heal the mentally sick. We feel powerless and frail. Fear. We are all starting to thrive in a fearful society. Tuned out, disconnected, disassociated and honestly,  we all are part of it. We dwell amongst it all, Sadly, not all of us will escape, unscathed, spared of the horror of twisted, psychotic young men who have begun to do mass random murders for their psychotic “cause”. Many families are making funeral arrangements today for their child. They rage over “nothing”, they are not famous, or particularly special or important. They are just sick, mentally sick.  It could be a simple stupid political stance, racism, radical religious beliefs,  sexism, all are a form of hate. Hate crimes and certainly self hatred. It is anger, psychotic rage, entitlement, defiance. This psychotic behavior, has become the “normal” in the USA, how very tragic, scarred, and fearful we have now become. These repeated murders, is truly the nightmare every parent thinks about. Our children go away for the first time. We pray every day they are safe, and not harmed, hurt. Who could even process their child senselessly fall victim to a deranged murderer.  It is the subtle snap of one sick mentally ill person. There is a mission, in the murderer’s mind. He has a plan, a goal of killing other human beings. Ironically, 9 times out of 10, they kill themselves, self murder as the finality. It’s overwhelmingly sad and clinically, totally, insane. The most frightening truth?  It is happening steadily. My heart is heavy, burdened with trying once again, to make sense out of a no sense.  A violent, sudden act. I, have struggled personally with this for 9 months myself. Suicide is a jumbled, violent, impulsive, traumatic death, the most confusing death by far. It has taken it’s toll on me and my family, we are slowly healing, daily grieving, it is very painful and deep. So, for the last 10 years, these young men committing a senseless, spontaneous, attack, violent, shredding our guts, creating trauma and death in moments. I sit and grieve the new murderer’s of the USA. These young, sick men, are gunning down classrooms of students and teachers, in theatres and in places of worship. The world is crumbling, slowly becoming subhuman and numb. We watch and it all unravel on social media, local news, CNN, Obama stepped out and spoke. Continually it tragically has become a frequent occurrence? Society watches from our cozy living rooms. I go to my office and the detached, numb, co workers who sit around me, are texting. (surprising, no, not at all). They do not talk about it.  They all have children too? We do not pray together, or speak of the victims, the horrific loss our nation is suffering. Societal detachment, numbness.  I once predicted the world would fade into a tiny 4″ screen, allowing our kids to check out, tune out. Isolate and ignore.  The media hounds in and scurries for the “story”, the MO of the shooter.  They piece together a story about, this sick, young, impulsive psychotic kid.  Society today. The next generation of radicals, bi polars ,over medicated, under medicated, hidden, isolated. They can be diagnosed as  schizophrenic, gun obsessed 20 year olds. 6 school college/movie/church mass murderings.  Just off the top of my head. I remember the first mass murder,  Columbine.  My daughter did her  college essay about it. Brilliantly written from a mere young woman. I believe she was deeply affected while she researched her thesis. I saved her college essay. I never dreamed it would be the first of many mass killings. So, I pray to God, light a candle and ask when and HOW will this all stop? Who, besides God can change the mind of sick, lost soul? Who can begin to save, and renew our nation?  And now, 10 dead, and the swat team, killed the shooter/murdered, this time.  He won’t be honored. He won’t be eulogized, he will leave behind his scars, his rage, hate, sins with the family who loved him and raised him. They will mourn the child they once knew. Not the beast, sick, deranged murderer he became.  As I write this, I re read my words. I sense my underlying anger, my own private rage, my heart hurting for all who perished and all I can think to do is pray.  Perhaps, if all of us, begin to pray, our world will slowly begin to heal.  Love, ~leelee