Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another new post at Tiny Buddha

Hello, all!

Hope you are having a great week! I am so grateful to Lori Deschene at for posting another contribution of mine to her site. It fills my heart to know, from reading the comments of those who read my article, that I am helping someone out there to realize that they are not alone in their trials and tribulations. That, through my own experiences, life is meant to be lived fully and with grace, and that we can all help each other get there.

You can read this new post here. I truly appreciate it if you read it and let me know what you think!
And, as always, thank you so much for stopping by here and reading my blog!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lessons From Our Friends

As I was perusing through Pinterest (of course!) there were a lot of pins of animals, pets and nature and it got me thinking of something I read in Eckhart Tolle's book, "A New Earth" about how animals do not live with ego. He mentioned how, when you see a  couple of ducks in a pond fight, they squabble, get done with it, literally shake it off, and swim off as if nothing ever happened. They don't really keep an attachment to it, holding grudges and remembering wrong-doing's.

If you really think about it, most animals don't hold grudges (my dad's poodle, Molly, being the one exception, I think, but even she gets over her little 'mad's' quickly enough). If you watch dogs on a dog beach running, splashing, digging and having the time of their lives, they are living completely in the moment, the Now. When you watch a cat sunning itself lazily, it isn't thinking of the past and letting that rule their thoughts or worrying about the future-events that haven't even happened yet. As a matter of fact, I bet they aren't even thinking about when their next meal is going to be, believe it or not.

There are so many pictures and stories I've seen lately depicting animals that are "total opposites" living harmoniously and at peace with each other because they've never been told otherwise. What a lesson to be learned from that!

Hohenwald, Tennessee where elephants rescued from zoos and circuses go to retire  a very unusual friendship has emerged. Tarra the elephant has bonded with Bella the dog and the two have been inseparable.<3
pitbulls are sooooo vicious, huh?baby deer and puppy


If we could all just realize that we are all from the same Source, that under our skin we are all the same, that our connection is real and we are never alone, what a glorious existence we could have.

I know it is easy to say, "Yeah, but it'll never be like that..."

That infuriates me more than anything. That shows the lack of desire to even try. If every single person on this planet said that, where would that leave us? If you always wait around for "someone else to do it" what state would Louisiana be in after Katrina? New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy?  But if every person on the planet actually tried, even a little each day, imagine the possibilities! Just imagine where we would be now if we started years ago, all of us, instead of just a brave few who's lights were extinguished much too early like John Lennon, Dr. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi, all believing in and spreading peace in their own ways.

But I do I believe we are starting to step up more now, and the use of social media, while consuming our attention way too much at times, acts as an outlet and means of outreach for all of us to connect better than we ever have. Now that we have the tools with which to communicate with each other physically, we need to focus on gaining the tools with which to learn how to communicate with each other mentally and emotionally.

I am proud to say I'm seeing that more and more each day, the reaching out to one another, the support, the love. Sure, I still see ignorance and hatefulness as well, but I choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative actions of others. I choose not to respond to or get upset by comments and actions unless it seems really necessary. Why do that to yourself? You're just giving people like that what they want. Of course it upsets me to see people still treating each other that way, but I'm not going to get myself involved in petty arguments and rude discussions because I have come to a point in my life where I don't have to be right all the time. It took some work, but I did it.

I wish for the future of humankind that we become more involved with each other in a positive way. When we learn to accept one another for who and what we are and gain a deep realization that we are of one another, not separate. What a fantastic day it will be when we can all look at each and every human being and see ourselves. When we can rid ourselves of the attachment of things and gauge our worth on the richness of our relationships. When we no longer hold court with things that cause us separation such as our stubborn views on politics, religion, sexual orientation and monetary wealth.

I know this is probably a long way off, but it doesn't have to be too far into the future. It is all well within our reach, in this lifetime. It just takes a moment of collecting yourself each day and making the decision to change and live from that point of view onward. I don't kid myself, here, it takes work, and you won't be 'perfect' at it everyday, or even probably do it most days, but you can make a start.
Why not start today?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little Miracles

Today I attended the service for my cousin Elmer Ray who passed away peacefully in his sleep Tuesday January 22nd. Elmer had Downs Syndrome and lived an incredible 63 years; the new upper age of life expectancy for someone with Downs Syndrome is about 60.

As I sat and listened to my Uncle Richard (my mom's brother and Elmer's first cousin) give the service I started to realize how much of an impact Elmer actually had on my life. I realized that, if he were never in my life, I may not be quite the person that I am.

I grew up with Elmer Ray, though he was 26 years older than I, because my mom, her sister (my Aunt Tootsie, though her real name is Charlotte) and my sister all worked at a boarding care home my entire growing up years until I was about 12. I remember always being there, especially in the summer, taking Elmer Ray and his friends outside for Ring-Around-The-Rosie, tea parties, picnics and trying to teach Elmer to say his ABC's and count on his fingers. I consider it a blessing that I had these women in my life that were the type of people to work in a place like that so that I could be around the differences of other people and learn from them.

Those experiences of my childhood conditioned me for a life of tolerance and compassion and that is the way I instinctively raised my son; to never judge someone based on appearances and to never be cruel to those 'different' from us, and I know this is how Tyler will continue to conduct himself in his life.

After the boarding care home closed Elmer went on to live in a small facility with just a few residents and staff in a house still right in town where he had his own room and roommate, all of his belongings and his freedom. He went to workshop and loved going to church. My sister has been his caretaker and Power of Attorney for many years and has always cared for Elmer Ray, bringing him to her home for every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. As he got older, it was more difficult for him to walk and travel (and he was recently moved to the Nursing and Rehab center where my sister has been a devoted nurse for 20 years...let the spoiling continue!) but he still got his Christmas presents and treats. And boy, did he love to eat. And play in the water. I learned today that Aunt Tena would fill the sink and let him play in the water when he was small to keep him occupied while she got a few things done in the house, and all the way up to adulthood, you would have to keep an eye on him to bring him out of the bathroom before your water bill became sky high!

He had his very own personality, of course, and was a part of my family that I will always think fondly of. Elmer, unbeknownst to him, gifted me by merely being. I know that  I am so good with people at my job, especially "handicapped" people, because of him, he was so ego free and blessed with innocence. While I was listening to the service I had a joyous thought of what a glorious event it must have been for him to enter the realm of 'heaven' with that innocence and what a beautiful sight it must be for him, being so pure and untouched by the doubts of the mind that most of us carry.

 How incredible it is to just realize how your actions, whether you know it or not, can touch so many. It should encourage you to think about treating others and yourself well and always striving to be your best.

My sister and I, in our lines of work, see people who get sick and are ill for a very long time and they linger on and on before they are finally able to let go and pass on to the next realm. I think I truly witnessed a small miracle with Elmer Ray that he was able to just close his eyes after being ill for a relatively short period of time due to complications of his syndrome and just pass away gently and peacefully in his sleep. I suppose it was because he didn't have the capacity or attachment to hold on as tightly as others because he was free of ego and he was able to just go.

It was amazing that he didn't have to linger on and suffer, he was able to just go peacefully, as if God released him from the confines of his sick body. He really did lead a very full life, the best he knew how. He was raised by his parents and when they passed, he was placed in a group home, not institutions, where he made friends with the other residents there, many of which came to see him today. He had many people who knew him and cared about him. He had a schoolmate from 40 years ago that came and told us very endearing stories about when they went to a special elementary school together, and the mischief they got into.

 He had people around him who embraced him, and since he was born in the 1940's, I'm not sure if it was yet unheard of to institutionalize your children that were born with disabilities such as Downs syndrome, but he was raised by his parents in a 'regular' setting and was treated by family like a 'regular' kid.

 I really learned today that I have an amazing family. Things I never knew. Things that I took for granted. I had always just thought "Well, of course Great Uncle Elmer and Great Aunt Tena raised him themselves. That's what I would have done."
But there are so many families, especially back then, that wouldn't have done, who would have just put children like Elmer Ray away somewhere where they could be cared for 'properly'.

Truly an amazing family. My Uncles (Mom's brothers and Elmer's cousins) grew up with him and played with him. I got to hear wonderful stories today due to Elmer's passing and we got to gather around and share stories about him and Grandma and Aunt Tena. It was a coming together and he made that happen. And for that I am grateful.

Elmer Ray White
July 20, 1949 - January 22, 2013