Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Lost Opportunity or a Wake-Up Call?

wayne-dyer-divorcevv-5da35There are many people who have inspired my path of personal growth, but none as profoundly as Dr. Wayne Dyer. When I first discovered my passion and purpose in life it was connected to words of wisdom and inspiration spoken by Dr. Dyer. For over ten years I have listened to audio recordings, watched videos of his seminars, read his books and even was honored to receive a gift to attend one of his seminars here in Ft. Lauderdale. I’ve had a plan in the back of my mind to see him again and walk up, shake his hand, thank him for his profound authenticity and vulnerable sharing of himself to the world and give him a copy of my book, PROUD.

Several years after I began following his work, I found out I went to school with a few of his daughters, while I was not close to them I remember their names, Skye and Serena. My uncle told me he and his family used to attend the church we grew up attending.

In many of his books and speaking engagements he shared about his experience as a child growing up in the foster care system and how he never let it hold him back. His stories of struggle and overcoming were part of what inspired me to become a foster parent.

When I found out that he passed away today from my friend who gifted me the tickets to see him several years ago, my initial reaction was one of devastation and sorrow, tears instantly welled up in my eyes. This person, whom I never even had the opportunity to physically talk to had somehow managed to touch my soul and inspire me to be a better person. So much so that I wanted to model my life after his, I wanted to be able to touch, move and inspire people with my words and the vulnerable sharing of my life. At that moment I felt like I had lost my opportunity to say thank you, I waited too long because I needed to have just the right time to finish my book, gather up the courage to put myself out there and I allowed my fear to win.

As tears stung my eyes and I gazed upon the Florida sky, the reality of the impermanence of this physical life sat heavy in my heart. Time does not stand still for anyone, regardless of their impact on the world. Dr. Dyer at 75 lived a tremendous life, inspired millions, enjoyed the pleasure of self-made abundance and spoke constantly of the love for his family. I know he died with peace in his heart.

I have a passion and purpose to inspire others aching to get out yet there are also mountains of excuses that seem to always get in my way. Today, in my grief I remembered why Dr. Wayne Dyer inspired me so much, he never let his excuses get in his way, he could have let his circumstances hold him back yet he did not. He pushed through his resistance and with a truth and braveness few have he then wrote about it as a way to share his growth with others.

Dr. Dyer, thank you for everything you were strong enough to share, allowing us to learn through and with you. Today I lit a candle for you and while I was not able to say thank you in person I am sure your spirit knows, you have inspired my life in so many ways. Namaste.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Gratitude, Lessons Learned

Am I really an Author?

I am still afraid to call myself an author…why?

Since self-publishing my book last October I have slowly allowed my excitement and passion to fizzle. Because PROUD did not immediately and without massive effort take off, I silently called myself a failure. Because people questioned my target audience saying “you can’t be a best selling author ONLY targeting queer youth,” I believed them and stopped really trying. Why?

Watch this video – it struck a cord with me and had me in tears.  I’d love your thoughts, ideas and any solutions you’ve found that work. I know this my next area of personal growth.

Namaste

MandiSignature

Leave a comment

Filed under Lessons Learned, Youth Empowerment

The “C” Word

FurFam-IMG_0157I was 14 years old and living in South Florida with my father and step-mom. One night we got in a really bad fight, there was screaming and things got physical. What we were fighting about I cannot remember but I know the last stinging words I uttered were “I hate you.” That night I packed my bags and moved to live in Texas with my mom.  I did not talk with my step-mom or father for over a year.

After almost 2 years I got an urgent phone call from my aunt. With a shaky voice she shared that my step-mom had lung cancer and had been admitted to the intensive care unit in the hospital. I was in shock; I had no idea that she was sick, my entire family kept that from me.

With the help of my mom I booked the soonest flight possible and I was on my way back to South Florida. As my flight landed and cell phones could be turned on again, I frantically called my aunt to find out where I was going to meet them. With a deep sigh and a barely audible whisper she let me know that my step-mom had just passed; I didn’t even get to say goodbye or that I was sorry, or that I really did love her. I collapsed in one of the airport chairs and cried for what felt like hours.

For years this pain tortured me, I felt guilty for never being able to apologize and I blamed myself endlessly. I was a total wreck, taking Tylenol PM to fall asleep and NoDoz to function in the morning. I refused counseling, pretended I was fine, stuffed my pain deep down and held a strong front because “big girls don’t cry.”

It was not until my early 20’s that I began to work on healing. But as you know when you don’t heal from something painful it has a way of recreating itself over and over until you do.

I found myself in a long-term relationship with my first girlfriend. After about a year together she was diagnosed with what doctors called an “incurable disease”. Crushed and with a hopeless desperation I tried to push her towards every holistic healing method I could find.  When nothing was working I pushed her away because I could not bear her being sick.  We had a messy breakup and even now we still have a difficult relationship. For years I have held onto this guilt and pain.

It’s been about 3 years and here we are; the same pain has been coming back up again, asking to be healed. My grandpa has been suffering with cancer and my best canine friend Arya has been diagnosed with Lymphoma and was given at most a few months to live.

During the last few weeks our family has watched as Arya slowly got worse and worse.

On Christmas Eve this year she took a rapid turn for the worse, she wasn’t able to breathe and could hardly walk. We made an emergency call to our mobile vet.

As we sat together I told Arya how much I loved her. I thanked her for her unconditional love, friendship and joy she shared.  I told her how grateful I was for her being there for me during every broken heart and emotional time I had. She kissed my face and with her eyes told me she was ready. She laid her head down on my leg and peacefully drifted off.

I finally healed a part of me that was so afraid of death, so afraid of sickness. This time I overcame; I loved her till the end without pushing her away.

I still hurt, but I know everything is going to be all right – I still feel her presence and am grateful she is no longer suffering.

To everyone suffering with pain and loss: Hold strong, there is a gift in the beginning and ending of life.

Arya taught me that

 

MandiSignature

 

 

34024_443140331809_6601932_n

 

1 Comment

Filed under Lessons Learned