Monthly Archives: May 2015

I Am Not the Same

5 17 15 Not the SameAre you the same person you were a year ago? Of course, you say! The name on my driver’s license is still the same!

There is a quote attributed to the artist Michelangelo in the 88th year of his life: “I am still learning.”

I’ve always loved this quote, since I have always been an avid learner. If we are the sum of our experiences and we learn on a daily basis, then each year after the earth has gone around the sun one more time we should be a different and hopefully better person.

I’m listening to the Hay House World Summit speakers and videos for the second year. If you are not familiar with this event, you still have 11 days to get on board! It is 100 free lectures/interviews (averaging 60 minutes each) and 12 videos about self-discovery, health and success. You pick who you want to listen to and which videos you want to watch. Check it out at: Hay House World Summit

I looked at my notes from last year because I wanted to choose new speakers to listen to this time around. New speakers, new nuggets of wisdom! As I listened to one speaker, I was profoundly moved by her words. I happened to look back at my old notes and discovered that I had listened to her last year. I had missed her in my list!

Why did she impact me so much more now?

Because I am a different person than I was a year ago. I have grown. Now, I was listening from a different place and a different perspective. I had new “ears.” I did not “hear” what she had to say last year, but this year everything was different.

I encouraged a few friends to take part in this feast for the mind/soul/body. One friend said, “I’m fine. I don’t need to listen to seminars now.”

What? I can’t comprehend thinking one knows all you need to know at any point in life. But, if he had listened, he may not have heard anything anyway because his emotional ears were not open.

On the other hand, I was happy to introduce another close friend to listen to a popular, modern-day philosopher, and he was quite moved by the speaker’s presentation. Later, I was happy to have a deep, philosophical conversation with my friend about some new concepts! (We are prone to deep conversations anyway.)

I did caution him that when he listens, to do so with himself in mind, not me. My lessons will take care of themselves! Let each walk on his or her path of self-discovery.

Today’s learning was exceptionally “mind-blowing” – which is probably a very apt phrase. Last year I remember after ten days of Summit, my brain felt as if it had grown several new neural pathways. This year they have spread out the sessions over twenty days to give us more time to listen to more speakers. After only nine days as of today, I can only imagine how I will feel by the end of the twenty days!

I know I will be a different person than I was three weeks ago.

How wonderful to know that if we want to, our learning, our personal growth can continue our whole lives.

Who will you be a year from now?

It all depends on if you keep learning and growing.


Tribute to Mothers

Mother'sDay CassattThis Cassatt painting has long been a favorite of mine. It’s not one of her most famous works, but it speaks to me. I see a particular peace and calmness about it. You can sense that the baby feels safe, secure and loved.

It’s no surprise that Mary’s paintings focus on the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds of mothers and children. Mary’s mother was educated and very well read, and had a profound influence on her daughter, providing her with an education in Europe. Although her father opposed the idea of his daughter pursuing art as a serious career, Mary’s mother always continued to be supportive, especially during her early struggles as an artist.

Considering her affinity for mother/child portraits, it is ironic that Mary never became a wife or mother, having decided early on that a career as artist and married life would not mix. I’m so glad that finally in the 21st century a woman can both pursue a life passion and have a husband!

I can credit my mother with instilling in me an appreciation for the arts, taking me to plays and concerts as a girl. Thank you Mom for  sending me to private education, although not in Europe! For nightly entertainment, in lieu of watching TV, my mother would play piano and we would sing together. It was my mother who taught me to play piano, but I never got as good as she was! There were some duets in the student’s piano book, that I can still fondly remember playing and singing along with her. I only wish she had sent me to real lessons and that I could be a better player now.

I also wish that I could play music “by ear” or at least by memory, but at least I can read music. Give me some sheet music and I’m good to go, which is what ended up happening when my friend Suzy and I entertained seniors this past Christmas Day!

I wonder if my early living room warbling was a premonition of my current love of karaoke? I still have some artistic goals on my Bucket List that I hope to get to do soon. Things that my mom probably would never try herself – like formal acting classes!

What has your mother inspired you to do? At the very least, we can make our mothers proud by being honest, kind and loving. Treat others with compassion and reach out to help those in need. Have integrity. Good character is the best tribute we can give her.

I have a friend, Thom, whose mother’s birthday is May 8, very close to Mother’s Day. Tragically, his mother Ellona was killed in a traffic accident at age 55. Thom never knew some of the circumstances surrounding the accident until a few years ago. A witness told my friend that while still in the car, Ellona was calling out her son’s name. How strong a mother’s love to think of her child in such a time!

Ironically, my mother passed suddenly of natural causes two months later. Thom and I met the following year and I think we bonded when we discovered our mutual loss the previous summer. Both cases were sudden and neither of us got to say goodbye to our mothers. Now, we acknowledge the birthdays of our respective mothers, choosing to focus on their birth rather than their passing.

When I first visited my mother’s burial site, I was amazed to find that right next to her gravestone is a lilac bush. I was comforted to know that she would always have flowers blooming for her. I always liked lilacs and I like them even more now.

Mothers make us feel safe, secure and loved just like in that Cassatt painting. There’s nothing like it. So give your mom an extra hug and kiss this Mother’s Day, because you can.

I miss you Mom.

Happy Mothers Day.