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The Lotus Flower

This is the post excerpt.

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For a flower that looks so beautiful on the outside, one may not realize the dark and desperate journey it has to take in order to find sunlight.

In the bottom of a pond, deep in the muck is where a lotus flowers starts its journey.  At first it’s just a seed.  A tiny little thing that has no roots to keep it ground.  It can so easily wash away with the flow of the  current.  Floating until it dies or sink into the muck and hang on for dear life.  As it sits there, starting to grow it’s roots, it knows the only way to climb is up.  A journey through treading water once again.  A journey which as it begins is tiring.  But as it grows, it starts to see that a light is in the near future.  A light it has never seen before.  What lays ahead? The darkness of the muck sometimes feels more comfortable than the growth it has to take.

But growth it must.  Even if its just an inch a day.  An inch more then when it first got started.  And as it rises, it starts to feel the change in the water temperature.  It was once freezing in the depths, not feeling much of anything.  But now, it can start to feel some warmth.  And as it looks around, the bud starts to see other flowers on the surface and for once, it wants to join in with the crowd. It wants to survive!  It can hear the whispers from above, the whispers of those who were once in it’s place.  The stories that are shared are ones of inspiration, hope, and faith that things will be better once it hits the surface.

And as it does…the flower starts to open.  Not all at once, but one petal at a time.  As the petals open they start to feel the sunlight.  A new freedom from the darkness, a new warmth that only the sun can offer.  And amazingly, it’s not alone.  For it sees the others who have been on the same journey. It sees the others who have helped it grow.

~This is how I see the lotus flower and how it relates to the journey I have been on.  I can only speak for myself and can only relate to what I feel.  ~Amanda L.

~WHAT DOES THE LOTUS FLOWER MEAN TO YOU?

 

 

Reflections of A Sunrise

It was over a long weekend that my family and I were able to escape the tedious routes of everyday living.  We decided to spend the weekend on the beach and get re-centered within ourselves.  What a wonderful gift we gave ourselves.

It turned out to be a beautiful weekend, so many new images were captured during that time.  My children enjoying themselves, the husband able to relax, and myself able to sink it all in.  For it’s times like these that leave me the most grateful.  It’s times like these, that show me the journey that I have been on has been so worth it.

For 4 years I have been in recovery from alcohol. Not all 4 years have been a walk in the park, some have been absolutely tiring.  To the point, that at times throwing in the towel seemed like it would be a better way.  However, I could never letting go of that towel.  It seemed that it had become attached to my hand, just like the bottle of wine or a cold beer.  Instead, all that towel allows me to do… is wave it in the air to show that I have surrendered to the demon that had control of me.  What a gift the towel has become, it has saved me many times.

Watching the sunrise and then seeing its reflection in the glass pane of  a french door, allowed me to realize that I to get to have a little glimpse of my reflection too.  And just as the sun gives us a reprieve from the darkness, my reflection gives me a reprieve to remind me why my journey is important. It’s at me darkest moment when it helps me the most. It reminds me that it’s not just for me, but for the family I live with and for the others that look for help. It’s a reminder of the obstacles I have over come, the scares I have healed, and the growth I have conquered.  It’s at those times, that I am able to get through another day of reprieve.  For that….I am grateful.  For that…I get to live another day.

I didn’t look at the sunrise in its reflection for to long.  Only enough time to see the beauty, then it was time to move on. After a certain period of time the reflection starts to become distorted and somehow starts to look a little blurred.  Just like when I glance in my reflection to long.  The images start to falter and start to change, it changes into things that I don’t need to see. somehow those images add scenes that never happened.  Things that like to feed my inner demon.  And when that demon awakens and starts to speak, that’s when things change for me. You see my demon is very cunning and at times becomes very baffling.  This demon of mine stays very quite and waits with perfect patience, until it sees the perfect time.  That’s when I need to leave my reflection.  That’s when I wave my white towel for those who truly know me. For they are my safe haven.

For it’s the landscape that is in front of me.  The true sunrise over the water.  The true awaken from the darkness. It’s seeing the beauty that lays ahead of me, it’s watching my surroundings come to life with the help of the sunrise.  Seeing birds that soar in the sky, the tide bringing in the waves, the sound of the waves crashing, and the laughter that the sun gives to the children basting in it’s beauty.  It’s living in the reality of the sunrise and living in the reality that is given to me, that keeps it all real.

~Amanda L.

The Power of Touch

She held me when I was born.

She fed me when I didn’t know how.

She carried me because I couldn’t walk.

She changed me when it was needed.

She taught me how to care for someone even when she was tired.

And most importantly…. she taught me unconditional love.

All these things and so much more is what my grandmother did for me.

She never let me down.

She never walked away.

She never threw in the towel, even on my worst day.

Strong to say the least, ready to combat any tantrum I threw her way.

 

This amazing lady who taught me so much, finally made her way to heavens gate two months ago.  I didn’t want her to go.  I wasn’t ready yet.  I still had so much I wanted to learn from her.  But I knew in my heart that she was tired.  She had faced many challenges and had hide so much pain.

For a year I had her with me.  And in that year, I made sure to give her everything she had given me as a child and young adult.  Unconditional love.  Everything that she taught me, she received back.  It was like applying for a job that only two people understood.  Money wasn’t discussed as payment, only the memories I knew I would receive.  I also learned a very important lesson during this time… The expression of touch, what a gift that is.

Four months before she left  me, I took the picture of us holding hands.  A picture that reminds me daily of how important it is to touch those we love in our lives.  The power of touch came in many forms over this past year emotional, physically, and spirituality. I never knew that touch could come in three different forms. Well, maybe I knew it …but never understood it.

It was the emotional touch of sitting next to her, talking to her, feed her, or even using the family recipe for a special cookie; it touched our hearts and fed our souls. She had stopped talking, but I knew when she gave me that look, that she was glad someone was in the room with her.  She was glad to have company again.  It was watching me children tease her and trying to make her laugh. Those were the times emotional touch was the highest.  My children loved her as much as I did.

It was physical touch of waking her in the morning.  Brushing back her hair and signing a happy song.  Seeing her eyes open her a smile forming on her face. Holding her on the side of the bed, until the spinning stopped in her head.  Those were the moments that lasted the longest.  A hug was needed to start the day.  It was the physical touch of brushing her hair, of hold her hand, or rubbing her back that she seemed to enjoy as well.  Just knowing that another person is able to transfer love through touch is a gift all in its self.

It was through spiritual touch that helped her on her new journey.  It was telling her that it was okay to leave us.  It was knowing and helping her understand that those she had lost were waiting for her on the other side.  It was knowing that she would be able to see her husband and oldest son again. It was explaining that she was about to join them and start a new journey, one that only she was able to see.  It was telling her thank you for everything she had taught me.

Not only did I get to experience these amazing gifts, but now I get to pass it on to my children.  What a gift that is.  My children are not spoiled with tons of toys or every electronic that was ever made, but instead I get to spoil them with something I learn along the way.  The power of touch all the way.

For Patricia A. Hoffmann.  In my heart and soul is were you shall always be.

~ Amanda L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating My Own Sail

Over the past few years I have learned to design my own sail.  This isn’t any sail, but one that helps to make sure my vessel stays strong in any storm. And yes, I have had a lot of suggestions that have come my way in designing this sail, but I only keep the suggestions that are the strongest for me.  The ones that capture my thoughts with the wisdom and beauty they hold.

It’s like walking down a beach and seeing over 100 shells that are glistening in the sunlight.  They are all beautiful, but there are only a few that grab my attention.  It’s funny how sometimes the colors are a little different and the shapes a little distorted. But’s the feel of the shell that calls to me.  The beauty that only I can see.

It’s those shells that I hold on tight too. It’s those shells that I place on my sail to help guide me through the seas of the day.  And when the seas get a little rough, that’s when I stand closer to my sail, look for the beauty each one has, and hold on tight.  It’s those shells that keep me balanced and help me stay afloat.  For without them, I would not be able to get far.    ~ Amanda L.

~What helps you through your day?