Tag Archives: gratitude

Thank you Ms. Freeman wherever you are

My teacher in fifth and sixth grade was Ms. Phyllis Freeman.

I think she was the first person to teach me to use Ms. She created a new grade for me, A-WD – “A With Distinction” because I’d gotten too many A++s. Whenever we asked if we could borrow her tape to fix our papers in class, she’d give us the tape, and then she’d come back to us ten minutes later to ask us for the tape back, because we’d asked to “borrow” it. She taught us modal verbs using the phrase, “I can, I may, I will, I shall, I must love my teacher.

I loved my teacher.

And I think she loved me.

Then when I was in sixth grade, and my life imploded, she somehow figured out, and she went out of her way to protect me and to actively love me more.

I don’t remember how or when I began to call her “Mom” (not around any of the other kids, of course), but I did. I don’t know if she knew, or how she might have known, that my mother had left us, but she stepped in to be my mom. She gave me extra hugs and affection, perhaps trying to fill my void and my need for hugs and affection.

When I spoke loving of the Unification Church, she never corrected me or chastised me. When the other kids made fun of me or questioned me after I praised Rev. Moon while presenting a New York Times article about his speech at Madison Square Garden, she quieted them or redirected the conversation.

And when I wrote a passionate essay about the beauty and joy of a weekend workshop at the Church’s estate in Barrytown, New York, her written comment on my essay was “The Unification Church is very lucky to have a loving member like you belong to it!”

How she was able to remove what must have been her disapproval of the Church and of my mother’s (and my) involvement from her interactions with me, I’m not sure. How she was able to treat me with love and kindness when she must have wanted to wrest me from the situation, the surroundings, and the people whom were taking over my mind. She had known me (and my mother) during fifth grade and must have watched in horror when I returned to sixth grade, having found the Messiah during the summer, a changed person with changed beliefs.

And yet all she did was love me. And protect me. And teach me not to “borrow” tape. I wish I could find her to thank her personally.

Thank you Ms. Freeman wherever you are.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: My Story, , Tags:

Milk it baby!

The snow outside is beautiful. I’m going to milk that feeling. I don’t have to shovel it. I’m going to milk that feeling too.

I’m snuggled inside, sipping my tea, with my feet in cozy slippers, texting with my oldest child (while I’m supposedly focusing on writing my blog). All of this is also worth milking.

I’m going to milk it.

My life is wonderful. My life growing up, not so much (as someone who was there with me reminded me of yesterday). I’m going to milk the wonderful. I have learned that my day can be good or my day can be bad, and much of that has to do with how I choose to focus and what I choose to notice. Today I’m going to – again – notice the good, focus on what’s working, and milk it, milk it, milk it.

When someone asks me how I feel about turning in my manuscript, I’m going tell them how outrageously pumped and excited I am and choose not to – for this moment – give credence to my fear. When someone asks me how work is going, I’m going to tell them “actually better than ever – we’re busy and it’s all fun!” and choose not to – for this moment – add, “and I wonder how I’ll get it all done.”

When things have been sucky, I’ve learned to lean into the suck (with a few reminders from a few good friends). When things are good, I’m going to lean into the good. I’m going to notice and bask and enjoy. I’m going to imagine the book as a book going gangbusters and picture how much fun it will be to finalize the title and sign copies at as many book signings as I can book.

I’m going to see the beauty rather than the struggle. I’m going to relish the fun along the way rather than dread what I might mess up. I’m going to milk every little (and big) thing I can that is going well. Or splendidly. Or even just hopefully in the right direction.

I’ve learned (and studied) that what I choose to look at and focus on has a huge effect on how my day and life go. I’ve learned (and studied) that my mind is mine to direct, and how I direct it matters.

For today, once again, I’m going to find everything I can to be even the littlest bit stoked about, and I’m going to milk it, milk it, milk it baby!

And reap the benefits. And enjoy my day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , Tags:

Life is now

How many of us are waiting? Waiting until things are better. Waiting until we get the job. Until we fix the house. Until we fix our life.

What are we waiting for? Life is now.

Life is in this moment. What am I doing? How am I spending my time? What am I feeling? Who am I with?

Life is right now. Am I present? Am I happy? Am I loving and giving? Am I letting in ease and joy?

Life is here. Am I paying attention? Am I noticing and savoring? Am I letting it in?

It’s so easy to miss so much of it. It’s so easy to wait for later or to wait for more. It’s so easy to focus on the future or the past. But life is now.

My life is now. Here. In this moment. And it’s up to me whether I’m fully in my life or whether I’m waiting for something else.

How can I be more here and be more now? How can I pay more attention to my feet on the ground, my fingers on the keyboard? How can I give my full self to whomever I’m with and whatever I’m doing?

I breathe. I listen. I feel what’s going on in my body, and I heed what’s going on in my mind. I look at the people I’m with or the beauty that surrounds me.

I give it my all. All of my thoughts. All of my attention. All of my care.

Because life is now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Passion, Tags: