Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened

Recently, I was out with a group of friends having a good time and learned that one of them will be moving out of state soon. While I don’t know her well, we have shared a business/social relationship and had experienced a mutual respect and warming toward one another over time. I will be disappointed to see her go but the move will be a good one for her, and for that, I am happy. I relayed that this has been a reoccurring theme in my life. As a child I moved around a lot and didn’t mind it. I always saw it as a new adventure and a chance to meet new people and see new horizons. After becoming close with individuals over the years, the relationships come to an end either because they, or I, have moved away. Now with a family and with setting down roots being important to me, I am more melancholy with the coming and going of people in my life. I became emotional during the course of our conversation, stating that even when people have the best intentions, relationships do fade and change with distance and time. I am including a poem that I found that has a positive perspective about this ebb and flow our lives:
SOME PEOPLE ~ By Flavia Weedn Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same. Some people come into our lives and quickly go...Some stay for a while and embrace our silent dreams. They help us become aware of the delicate winds of hope... and we discover within every human spirit there are wings yearning to fly. They help our hearts to see that the only stairway to the stars is woven with dreams... and we find ourselves unafraid to reach high. They celebrate the true essence of who we are... and have faith in all that we may become. Some people awaken us to new and deeper realizations... for we gain insight from the passing whisper of their wisdom. Throughout our lives we are sent precious souls... meant to share our journey however brief or lasting their stay they remind us why we are here. To learn...to teach...to nurture...to love. Some people come into our lives to cast a steady light upon our path and guide our every step their shining belief in us helps us to believe in ourselves. Some people come into our lives to teach us about love... The love that rests within ourselves. Let us reach out to others and feel the bliss of giving for love is far richer in action than it ever is in words. Some people come into our lives and they move our souls to sing and make our spirits dance. They help us to see that everything on earth is part of the incredibility of life... and that it is always there for us to take of its joy. Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Be Vulnerable!

I've been running across several quotes lately that have made me stop and think about allowing ourselves to feel and be vulnerable. By letting down our guard, we are suseptible to feeling many things that include sadness, fear and pain to go along with our feelings of love and joy and that is scarey for many people. Ask yourself, what the worst thing is that can happen if you let go of expectati ons (self-imposed, imposed by others or imaginary) ...maybe I will look foolish... or maybe people will think less of me... or maybe I will be rejected... or maybe I'll get hurt... or (insert your own fear.) It helps when we decide to stop classifying feelings as "good" or "bad" but just simply human emotions and allow ourselves to feel and process and grow from them and not getting stuck there. So Go Ahead, Be Vulnerable! Allow Yourself to Feel! ~Tele "The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out joy." — Jim Rohn "Resisting and avoiding pain sucks energy—and time...The more you let yourself feel those minute-and-a-half hells, the quicker you’ll start feeling those minute-and-a-half happinesses." — Leigh Newman (This quote copied from Oprah website) "Be willing to vulnerable, naked and rejected. - Trust that you don’t need a fortress around your heart to be safe anymore. Whatever you think is protecting you from the slightest possible pain is actually what’s blocking the softest sweetest most gentle healing love from finding its way inside. The willingness to be a transparent human being is the most courageous act you can do with your life. Be willing to experience whatever level of exposure, nakedness, or rejection that you’re afraid to experience, and you’ll find that what you were really running from was only in your imagination." — J. Ozwald (This quote copied from the Facebook wall of: Lisa A. Rizzoli)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Create An Asset of Value

I believe that Consistency in your “Asset of Value” is key. Knowing that you can be counted on to be/provide that value on a regular basis allows others to build trust in you and what you bring to the table.

When I was a young single mother, with three children and open to a new mate in life, I recall taking inventory of myself and what I felt I had to offer in a relationship. I came to the conclusion that what I had to offer was ME and that my uniqueness and authenticity was special and something that could not be duplicated and money couldn’t buy. That sense of having something of value to offer made me set my standards in a new mate high. I was not willing to “settle” for less than I felt my children and I deserved. They were, after all, counting on me to make a good choice about who I allowed into our lives. That made me analyze what qualities I was looking for in a mate that I could grow old with. I did a lot of soul searching and came up with a grocery list of what qualities I needed that person to have. These were not shallow expectations but “real” ones such as trustworthiness, stablility, intellectual compatability, communication, integrity and several more including chemistry! After dating several wonderful people that had expressed interest in being part of my little family, but not feeling that level of connection, I recall praying, “God you know me and you know what I need in my life, but not only do I want you to give me what I need, I want to be what that person needs in their life as well.” The very next person that I dated was my husband of 16 years. He is someone that I love, trust and admire very much and I thank God for answering my prayer and sending him to me He has been a wonderful husband and a loving father to, our now, six children.

None of this would have come to be had I not believed in my “Asset of Value.”


June 25th, 2010 by Bob Burg
Sometime back I had the honor of sharing the platform with success coach and bestselling author, Mike Litman.

During his presentation, he suggested creating an “asset of value.” This is a part of you that you “bring to the table,” a way you can always add to the relationship.

What a great idea! And, an “asset of value” can include so many things. Among them are information, advice, referrals, introductions, names of great books you’ve read, retweets of quality on Twitter, a kind word, articles of interest, and much, much more, including your “way of being”…those things you do that are uniquely associated with you and that provide value just by virtue of being an extension of your personal values.

Come up with your unique “Asset of Value” and share it on an ongoing basis with those with whom you wish to establish mutually beneficial, give and take, win/win relationships.

You’ll become known for your “signature” asset of value and position yourself as a true center of influence; the type people seek out to do business with and refer business to.

So, the natural question is…what is your signature asset of value? And, if you aren’t able to fully articulate yours yet, feel free to share some examples of “assets of value” of others that have impressed you that you feel it would be good for us to know about.

Monday, June 21, 2010

To Everything There is a Season . . . Turn, Turn, Turn

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

It's official! I am now a Licensed Massage Therapist, fulfilling a life-long dream. I have been drawn to this vocation since my early twenties, but due to moves, raising a family and other factors, my dream kept being put on the back burner. As I went through boxes of papers that I had kept over the years, there was a re-occuring theme of brochures and information on the massage program at any location that I lived at since then, including Texas, Orlando and San Jose. I spent most of those years raising my family and in sales jobs, and more recently positions that entailed marketing. All the while, that calling to pursue a career in massage therapy remained a part of me. Looking back on it, I feel that those roles and years of experience and maturity have all helped to prepare me to be and have more to offer as I pursue my vocation.

With the encouragement and support of my family and friends, I have spent the last couple of years as a massage therapy student and also realized another dream of becoming a hospice volunteer.

This is an endorsement from my 10 year old daughter, Kaley:

"We wish that you have an enjoyable massage and that you know you are in caring hands in which you will feel like family and that you will be amazed at what this massage therapist can do to soothe you."
by Kaley Raack, her daughter June 2010

We live in a society where many see touch as "taboo" but I have experienced, first hand, how important human connection and positive physical touch means in the lives of those who may not otherwise be receiving it on a regular basis. I feel that it is a sacred priviledge and trust placed in my hands to do what I do.

This is my mission statement which I have displayed on the wall where I will practice my calling:


Through the years many have commented to me about a "magic" that they feel in my touch. I quote Bob Burg, a fine gentleman that I have the honor of calling my friend, "The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself."

I hope to have the opportunity to share the gift of myself with those that are in need of relaxation and nurturing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Dear Friend ~ Frank Modestini


My daughter, Mandy, is Community Business Director at Atria Summit Ridge, an assisted living facility in Reno for Seniors. It was there that I made the acquaintance of a wonderful gentleman named Frank Modestini. We grew close as I visited, dined and attended functions with Frank over the years. Frank had a special way of making everyone around him feel like family. He enjoyed giving gifts of fruit and candy to show affection. He was a widower and did not have children of his own, but did have close ties with his nieces, nephews and many friends. The resident ladies at Atria especially loved Frank's company. The way he could light up a room with his presence and his loving, generous nature, make it no surprise that Frank was at one time the President of the Optimist's Club.

When I heard that Frank was having some serious health issues, knowing that the time he had left were short, prompted me to persue receiving training as a Hospice Volunteer. This was something that I had been wanting to do for a long time and I wanted to be prepared to be there for Frank in his time of need. I completed the training that I needed and have found it very fulfilling to be there and offer comfort for those who are nearing end of life. As I had known it would, the day came that I received a call that Frank was not doing well and he had been read his last rites. A very devout Catholic man, his faith was a very big part of Frank's life. I prayed that I would arrive in time. Several hours later, although weak, Frank had an appetite and I assisted him while he ate a big, juicy burger from "In n Out" and sipped a beer from a bendy straw. :) It was apparent that it was not meant to be Frank's time yet. He said, "I can't explain it, but I was overwhelmed with a feeling that I was a'gonner and I was going fast." Luckily, Frank was to remain in our lives for several more weeks. The next time I received, "the call" Frank's situation was much more grave. We did spend several days visiting, joking, and listening to music. I moved a crucifix that was on the other side of the room, closer to Frank's bedside so that he could see it and take comfort from it and shared a book of my mother's religious artwork with him, which he enjoyed very much. I also gave Frank gentle massage and touch to which he said with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, "You make dying a pleasure." As I caressed his face, he would burrow his cheek in my hand, much like a child would with it's mother. These are moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life. On the morning that Frank left us, I remember kneeling by his bedside with one arm under his neck & shoulder and my other hand on his cheek. He was no longer able to communicate but I knew he could hear me. I told him that I wanted him to feel comforted, at peace and to know that he was loved. I told him that I knew that he loved me too because he had told me so many times. I told Frank what an honor it had been to have him in my life and how much his frienship meant to me, I told him that he had done so much good for so many in his time here and that the World was a better place because he had been in it. I went on to tell him that it was time for him to take his place among the Angels in Heaven. At that moment I drew closer to him and recited the Lord's Prayer followed by a Hail Mary. Just as the last words were out of my lips, ". . . now and at the hour of our death, Amen", Frank peacefully took his last breathe as I held him in my arms. I know that when my time comes, he will be there to meet me and welcome me into Heaven.

These are posts that I made on Twitter during the days that I was spending at Frank's bedside:

Just got in from spending the day w/ a very special friend who lives in Senior Assisted Living. He is nearing the end of a rich, full life.
10:04 PM Apr 17th via web

10:04 AM Apr 18th via web
A dear friend is nearing end of life. It was hard to leave his side last night. Going back now to be with him & offer support to his family.

5:06 PM Apr 18th via Twitpic
"Frank" is a beautiful man with Italian upbringing and a HUGE heart. We have had good times & great laughs together. I love him.

9:32 PM Apr 18th via web
My dear friend, Frank Modestini & I share a birthday, May 26th. Today 04/18/10 while I held him in my arms, he left this world to take his place among the angels.

Frank was a member of Reno Optimist Club & Honorary Boy Scout. It was my honor to know him http://shorten.ws/508d86 http://shorten.ws/be08ce
5:11 PM Apr 18th via web

Right before Frank's condition worsened and once since his passing, the picture that we took together has opened on my computer with no explanation. I feel that this is his way of still communicating his presence. Another way has been through music. The song that I played in honor of Frank in the days following his death is "Time To Say Goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman: http://shorten.ws/84d12f
During my last days of Massage Clinic while giving a massage, the Pandora music site randomly played this song which was very different than the usual New Age genre that was played during massages, when I heard it, I knew it was Frank letting me know he was there. More recently, Mandy & I stayed at a B&B in Petaluma to celebrate my birthday, which happens to be the same day as Frank's birthday. I left the television on during the night and in the wee hours of the morning I awoke to Frank's favorite song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" http://shorten.ws/2e33a6 I smiled and said, Happy Birthday, Frank :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let the Child Within Your Heart "Rise Above"

I just read http://bit.ly/a2T7kE "Let's Get Naked" a post by Renee Ludwigs, aka @reneeludwigs on Twitter. She tells us, "Be true & authentic to the real you. Uncover your own naked truth."

Reading Renee's post on her blog, An Island Perspective, I was inspired to write about a wonderful memory from my childhood:

My favorite childhood "authentic self" moment was in Arizona where I grew up. I was watering a tree that we had in our front yard as I stood watching the most glorious sunset in the horizon over the mountains. I was filled with pure joy and inspiration that I let out by singing "America/My Country Tis of Thee" with abandon, at the top of my lungs! I remember feeling so "connected" carefree and just plain happy :)

I think it's important not to lose touch with that part of ourselves that was full of awe, wonder and believed that anything was possible!

Thank you Renee, for jogging my memory and guiding me back to that part of myself!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Begin With the End In Mind

Begin with the End in Mind - Visualize where you want to be. Think of the “Vision” - Creative Visualization

I included this as part of a previous post about long & short term goals, but I feel the message is so important that it needs to stand on its own.

“He who spends time adorning himself knows he is going to a dance”. ~Kenyan Saying

Preparation is the key to securing your future. Are you adorning yourself? You should be, because there’s a dance awaiting you. The dance is the future that you were destined to live. Start adorning yourself. Invest in personal growth. Read books that will prepare you for the future. Develop yourself into the kind of person who will shine on the dance floor when destiny finally says, “Here’s your chance”. Get ready! The quality of dance you expect in your future determines the amount of adorning you will do today. Raise your expectations. You shouldn’t be expecting to go to some mediocre dance. Your goal should be to dance in the most sophisticated dances reserved for the ones who have invested heavily in themselves.
~Herman Najoli “How to Make Your Mark”