Tag Archives: Presence

Being Present is a Present

It’s challenging to remain PRESENT when the phone attached to me at all times pings with alerts, updates and breaking news.

My goal has been to disengage from electronics and really BE with the people in my space.

Enter Elvira.

Actually, I have peacefully coexisted with this lovely woman for my almost two years at Cityside; have ridden countless elevators with her and her husband and even exchanged odd pleasantries*, yet never knew her name. (*Elvira has been known to blurt, “How do you wear a bra with that?” or other off-putting questions to literal strangers…like me.)

I never knew her name because I never asked.

Always headed to a meeting, to beat a deadline, or simply to get dinner underway, I rarely stopped to truly TALK to this woman.

But now that I am soon leaving Cityside and the Word of the Weeks, PRESENCE, has been knocking at my heart, I let our most recent chance meeting evolve into an actual conversation.

Elvira speaks like a Russian princess. Her husband, appropriately named Boris, remains at her side with a lovely little terrier-type dog at his feet. They have settled into the ease of older age and enjoy apartment living, the Saturday brunches where the entire complex gathers and even attend all of the wellness sessions hosted here.

Which included one taught by me, “Raise Your Vibe at Cityside.

I expected the millenials and my vibe-conscious contemporaries to be present, but the first to grab seats were Elvira and Boris.

These 80-somethings came prepared to take notes, nodded throughout the presentation and asked great questions afterward. None, thankfully, about wearing a bra.

When we met in the elevator this past week, I mentioned that come Memorial Day Weekend I’d be moving out. When she learned that Mark and I had purchased a home she exclaimed in her gutteral accent, “Goot! You young people need space!”

I would love her forever for referring to us, 55 and 59, as young.

She and Boris had been quite accomplished in her home country, but coming to America, she was only able to clean houses. I don’t know what they ended up doing for their livelihoods, but it turned out great for them. They live well; their children come to visit and they go to visit them. I hear her hearty laugh and Boris’ quiet and supportive presence is always felt. Their dog adores them.

They are examples of a life lived well.

I wonder who you may pass by every day, yet never stop for a little chat.

If you allow yourself to be present, they might touch your heart, like Elvira did mine.

Now put that cell phone down for my closing thoughts on PRESENCE and the new WOW!:

https://youtu.be/CRqsH71cBi4

Oh, darlings! What adventures will we find these next two weeks???

I will be in Santorini, Greece and will MISS – for the first time ever – issuing a new WOW on April 28th. This little hiatus will continue until I come back in May for a Mother’s Day post on Sunday, May 12th. Almost a whole month of ADVENTURING!

Have fun, everyone!

Love,
Brenda

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Goosebumps and the New WOW (2.28.16)

Last week’s WOW was PRESENCE, and this time around I was focusing on the fact that I’m never alone.  This realization is often accompanied by the presence of goosebumps.

Whether you call that Presence God, or the Universe, the Holy Spirit or Energy…you’ve felt it.

When you’ve been encountered by pure acceptance and love, ka-ching – that’s it!

When the sunset takes your breath away or a baby’s little hand curls around your finger…

…these are all goosebump worthy in my estimation.

This past week, did you see that clip from Undercover Boss? Where the woman (she’s so awesome) tells her new co-worker not to feel down…and to keep moving forward (then reveals that she leaves work to go to the homeless shelter where she and her three children have been living.)

I can’t do it justice, you just have to watch it. And get your tissues ready.

Sometimes in tears or the expression of true emotion, I experience the Presence. Like when Kelly Clarkson sang this week on American Idol.

When I speak or write about the Presence of God, I see a sharp drop in “likes” on Facebook. My thought is that it brings back memories or thoughts of religion that didn’t work for you and you don’t believe in anymore. I get it!

It’s also revealing that when I post a video of the Gulf of Mexico at sunset or a bunny eating a carrot with its nose wiggling, the likes go through the roof.

And it delights me. Because these, too, are a celebration of life and love and light and all that is Good.

Anything I experience that is Good, I attribute to my understanding of God.  I find such comfort in feeling that connection.

So while I will always cherish the goosebumps, it’s time for a new Word of the Week (with a few parting thoughts on the word Presence…)

For those of you at a crossroads, at a huge decision juncture, preparing to embark on a business venture or a love affair…or even if it is as small as “should I take that umbrella with me?” – may we all have heightened discernment this week.

And if you can’t yield it;  if it’s full of angst and bad energy – flush it.

That’s not the wisdom that should win your vote.

And when in doubt, don’t.

Have a wonderful week!

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Ode to a Fabulous Woman – and a Comforting WOW

The preamble to this week’s WOW is a tribute to my dear mother-in-law, Jeanne Viola, who went to be with God on Valentine’s Day.

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Though I spoke about her on the video, there are a few more things to say.

She was a devoted Mother. (By the way, you NEVER called her Mom.  I slipped a few times and you could feel the sharp intake of breath around the table at the error!)

My husband, Duane, always sums it up this way, “She was always there for me.”

She held the family together like glue. Christmas Eve was a sacred family event for her.  She expected everyone to be in attendance, to be on time (she’d tell you if you weren’t) and to eat their fill of her world-famous stuffed calamari.

Duane would ask her to hide some of it just for him.  I bet the others did the same!

Even in her late 80’s, she purchased and wrapped presents for each of her children, their spouses, grand-kids and great-grandchildren.

She was one of the first aerobics instructors in the area, a belly-dancer, a truth speaker and the epitome of strength…but at the same time, child-like in her love for porcelain dolls, presents and parties.

Here’s more about my beloved Mother-in-law, and the new WOW:

Let’s all take comfort in the Presence of the Divine this week.

You may call it Energy, or the Universe…I respect whatever you may call it.  I’ve learned that my God is big enough and not at all touchy about these things.

May you be wrapped up in a soft and warm sweater of love this week.  And for those of you with broken hearts, may the Presence of love take you a step closer to healing this week.

Love,

Brenda

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