Be In This Moment

Angelism: “Stop always looking forward to a day that has not yet arrived when you can be enjoying the moment that you are in with the people that you are with.”

I am guilty of countdowns and planning so far into the future that much of my day-to-day focus goes towards the time I’m not sure I will be gifted. So often on social media sites, I see people posting things like; Is it Friday yet? When will it be Fall? Only 100 days until Christmas! I can’t wait for my wedding! And my favorite one is T-20 days until my vacation. But what if that future day we keep yearning for never comes? On Monday of last week, I wished it was Friday, I wanted nothing more than to be off work and to start our three-day Labor Day weekend. I wished it was Friday until Friday arrived and I was woken up by a phone call saying my mother-in-law had passed away in her sleep. At that moment I wished nothing more than to be able to reverse time, and for it to be any other moment prior to the one I was in.
 
The heartache and clarity that hits you at the time of a loss is overwhelming. I began to process what matters most and face emotions that I do not feel day-to-day. The presence and miracle of time became heightened and I thought; How do I want to use each day I am granted? How should I really spend my hours? What’s truly worth worrying about? I have lost many people in my lifetime; a grandmother, a grandfather, a few aunts and an uncle, a friend, and a co-worker. Losing a loved one is always painful. This time around it was harder than ever before. I had a mother-in-law that girls dream of having and now she’s gone forever. Her two sons, only in their mid-30’s, are much too young to be saying goodbye to their mom, and her grandkids, are now deprived of their grandmother’s endless love. At age 61, she earned her well-deserved Angel wings. It happened that fast. On that Friday, the one I looked forward to for fun and playtime with friends, now feels like a heavy weight on my heart, a weight that may never truly lift.
 
So I question; How wise it is to get excited about an unknown future date that may not be available to me in the way I expect it to be? How selfish is it to want more in the future rather than enjoying what I have right now? Every time I race through a season to get to summer vacation or count the days down until a holiday or special event, I am focused on moments I have not been gifted that bring me one step closer to my expiration date. I find it sad that I would ever spend time being excited about losing precious days of my life just to get to the ones in the future that seem like they will be more important.
 
I certainly don’t want to live in the past because we can’t change that which has already happened, but now more than ever, I simply want to exist at this moment. Naturally, I will still be excited about the future, it is always wonderful to look forward to days that you anticipate will be joyful and memorable. However, my new focus is to be less concerned about my tomorrows, and more present today. My goal is to be present at this moment, with this breath, honoring this memory. 
 
RIP Brenda, after 15 years of wanting us all together at the same time you got it! XO
 
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Love Is My Religion

Angelism: “Love is my religion; with a good heart, a good intention, and an open mind, love can conquer all.” 

Today I had a rush of emotions and all I wanted to do was hug all those around me and spread love. I saw the movie 42 and felt such an internal sadness watching so much hate during a very racist time. This is the third film in the last few years that I have seen that has left me with a heavy heart. The Help, Django Unchained, and 42 all address the history of racism. These films make me grateful that I was fortunate enough to be raised in a different time and mindset. I happen to be a mixed breed with many nationalities in my gene pool. I have family from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Poland. Here in America I was fair enough to be considered white. I never really had to face racism, I can’t even imagine how how hard that would be so I won’t even try. The closest thing to racism I experienced was people assuming I was Mexican because my last name ended in “ez”.
Growing up in California I feel I have always been a piece of a melting pot. Our state is diverse and I am proud that I was raised here. I am grateful that I learned love for all kinds of people. I loved my fellow classmates that were Asian, Filipino, African American, and Mexican. I love that I lived near San Francisco where I got to befriend some people in the gay community and witness their challenges. I worked at the GAP for ten years and remember feeling ecstatic when they announced they would be one of the first companies to offer health benefits to domestic partnerships. Now living in Los Angeles, I have been touched by the Jewish community and their traditions, religious beliefs, and challenges in history. I have traveled across the country, from Georgia to California, and unfortunately witnessed some states that still see in color. More reason for me to remain in California. These examples name just a few of my memorable experiences. I’ve learned that life is about loving, being kind to your neighbor, and being open to accepting new things. I embrace change, I remind myself to think outside the box, and I always consider how I would feel if the roles were reversed and it was me that was being judged and discriminated against.
I decided in the last few years that my religion would be LOVE. As much as I respect those who go to church, I respect those who don’t just as much. I grew up Catholic and for me church was limiting and had a way of making me feel guilty. I don’t need to feel guilty for anything, I don’t do anything wrong. I realized I could practice faith on my own. If I want to get closer to God’s story I will read the bible and interpret it for myself. I have faith in a higher power, I have love for my neighbors, I live an honest life, and although I make some mistakes here and there, I know I am genuinely a good person. All I need in this life is to share LOVE. So thank you Mr. Jackie Robinson, #42, for reminding me yet again today that love and openness to change is what will make our world a better place.