I have never picked cotton.

>> Friday, May 13, 2016

Last post I spoke about getting out of your head and giving or volunteering to support others as a valuable, rewarding and altruistic benefit. Today I went to facilitate my weekly group of 3/4 women, at the assistant living home and enjoyed myself. I laughed and had some intriguing thoughts. First of all how amazing to have such high caliber of people in one room. One member worked for IBM, another for the State Department, another for the former Pan Am Airways, another for the FBI (makes sense for why she is the quietest one : ), another was a Teacher abroad during war times and another who worked in foreign Affairs and Aid Work in India and she is not of Indian Decent.

They make me laugh with their terminology from the past era. Instead of calling each other crazy, they say, "Your mind is lost with the wind".  Sometimes they walk in complaining and leave welcoming me back for next time. Sometimes they loose their train of thought using words unrelated to the topic. One member will always leave or "jump ship" once her son comes. Another will contribute with her comments and fall asleep in her wheel chair. One member is the handsome stud and the apple of most female members' eye. Then there is our talkative gal who is very open and we can always count on a fun group.

Each week they surprise me and I feel so blessed to know them. I discover today the talkative member had 4 husbands; two of domestic violence, the third left a suicide note and committed suicide and  the forth was a friend of her father who she did not love. The member who worked for the FBI did not disclose this information but it was confirmed by other members. She finally revealed it was true and did disclose that her son who she "jumps ship" for was adopted. As a matter of fact she adopted two children! The handsome member who every one has an eye on was passionately in love with his wife. He tells stories about their courtship and adventures before her death. Very romantic.

The Foreign Affairs and Aid worker spoke of her travels and humanism in how lessons in life come down to one thing. "Everyone wants to be loved" She always has a wise comment. One memorable group is when a female Caucasian member identified how times are so different, as she spoke about her advocacy to have colored people have summer camp like her and her family who lived in a very small town. She was able to have her demand met through harassing the Mayor, at the age of 12 years old. The integrated camp continues today in her town in a southern state. The highlight was talking about how she picked Cotton and realized I have no idea how to pick cotton and the process. Her nomenclature of words were unfamiliar and here I was a woman of color being taught by a group of mostly Caucasian people, what the process was for picking cotton. It was so sobering to me and we all seemed to connect on the thought that in this day an age some progress has been made. I could only be grateful to millions of people who were before me and endured pain for me to be able to say, "I have never picked cotton". That day the group was for me.


Get Out of Your Head

>> Saturday, April 09, 2016

I know this is an odd title for a post. In February and a few months before, I was so "in my head" about everything. My problems and finding solutions to those problems, wondering if an who I could speak with, and figuring out some kind of self soothing that would be healthy for me. I basically needed a mental health day or month in order to feel refreshed and hopeful.

So the advice I would give to someone else, as I am a therapist, is to do something you love. So I volunteered. I started at one place which led me to another and another, not really sure which one would "hire" me. Through the process I decided to return to tutoring. Then the Assistant Living Home for older men and women wanted to continue the partnership with my private practice. Currently, I facilitate groups twice a month. All paperwork and vaccinations were a go for working in a children's hospital. So not only am I working but I volunteer at three different locations.

I have to admit it was a juggling act at first, especially in making sure my pre-teens and husband were taken care of. I'm not even sure how long I can continue at this pace. All I know right now and in this moment is I am exhilarated with pure happiness. The experience has put everything in perspective for me and I have moved out of my head, so to speak, and into the "space" and perspective of others. I can't begin to tell you what meaning it has brought to my life and I remembered why I love volunteering. It is the "altruistic rush" from connecting with others.

I will have to continue this as a series of posts. I really can't wait to share stories with you and know that maybe this post has brought you some enlightenment and/or insight into one of many solutions for self healing or self soothing or whatever you want to label it. Connecting with people who are in their 70's and 80's has given me the opportunity to peer into their past and pull something out that has helped them to have a positive spin on their lives and I wondered if  the group was meant for me solely : ) I cradled an abandoned baby at the hospital and was overwhelmed with a wave of gratitude in my life and for my kids. Tutoring has been a 6 year dedication off and on. I realize a therapist will always be a therapist no matter the setting. Even there I am able to organically use my skills for counseling kids as second nature when they are shy, not confident or flat out unwilling to try.

I am just marveling at how I came into this situation because 6 months before I was in a pit. Pit is the best way to describe it. I will have to do a series on that one too just for relating purposes. Otherwise I will log on again to update you on the stories and learning life lessons from volunteerism. Chat later and get out of your head and enjoy your life.


The Collective

>> Thursday, January 21, 2016

It is one thing to start off the new year striving to be better and hoping for a better year than the year past. It is another event when groups of people are hoping for a better new year than the last. But this year it seems the masses are looking forward to 2016, which infers that so many people were looking for a do over because 2015 may have not lived up to expectations. I know for me I am more spurred on when "the collective" has the same goal and hopes as I do. I sense this togetherness that keeps me motivated. Now I have a new home and a new job from the indirect encouragement and examples of others. Mostly my relationship is not bogged down by worries but we have been more free to laugh as a result of hearing other contagiously happy couples. There is something to this collectivist mentality thing. It has its perks. 


The Start of 2016

>> Monday, January 04, 2016

Already 2016 is off to a new start. For January I have a new job and a new townhouse with some other new prospects. Everyone is talking about envisioning what you want and then all things will happen for you. It has been difficult to envision "good things" for the year. I can only hope and speak positive at this point. I have prayed and help on to a few good words and scriptures but it is hard to concentrate when I want and need so many things.

I'm staying grounded in 2016 as in 2015 I may have been too naive and had to learn some hard life lessons about working with people who are opposite to me or who have negative intentions for whatever reason. I just continue to "speak love" to others and myself. I need a good mirror reflective talk every now and then. It does wonders!

Do your best to cope when it is called for and jump around in excitement when it is not called. It will boost your happy enzymes : )

Correspond later! 


Happy New Year!

>> Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank you for watching this year's blog party. Hope you enjoyed it. Every year we try to post a variety of interest for entertainment of everyone, motivational songs, written inspiring words, clean popular songs/dance and this year we introduced new cover artist who want to be discovered.

This is a list of LEA winners so far:
1st Year-Beyonce'
2nd Year-Joss Stone
3rd Year-Whitney Huston
4th Year-Katy Perry
5th Year-Fantasia
6th Year-Pharrell Williams

Thanks again for watching and have a Prosperous New Year!


Happy 6th Anniversary Live Ever After!!!

>> Wednesday, December 30, 2015


The winner of this year's Live Ever After Anniversary winner is a shocker as all former 5 winners have been female. He will be our first male winner and appropriately suited for his ability to be different and independent to common trends. He makes his own trend and music. For so long he has made hit songs for many famous artists. Now he has come from out of the silhouette and with a great voice, he has become a force in the music industry. 

Without further delay LEA's artist of the year is.......