The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost
I was watching a show the other day that made reference to this poem and I was reminded again of how much it speaks to me, especially the last line.  I imagine most of us have been standing at a crossroads where two paths diverge, more than one time in life.  We are faced with a choice about which way to travel in our lives…
Sometimes the choice is so easy, you look ahead and you see right where it will lead.  You march on down that road with confidence and conviction, your head high and your mind clear.  You can rest assured you are on the right road.
What about the other times?  You know… where both choices look interesting, but you are not sure of the outcome on either road?  You are hesitant and not sure or confident that either road will take you to where you belong.  How do you decide what road to choose?
I’d like to think if we stand there, at that diverging road, and just pause for a moment, the choice will come.  It can appear to you in a number of ways…
You might just start walking! Your body may just take control of the decision and I’ve learned from experience, always trust your body.
You might begin to see something familiar, in the distance, along one of the roads and walk towards it.
There might be a sudden gust of wind that knocks you off-balance and suddenly you are situated on one of the roads.
A friend might come along and invite you to join them on the road they are traveling.  You see the point I’m making, the choice might not be direct, but you will eventually move forward!
What I’d like you to know is this… the road you choose will make all the difference.  It will become the story of your life.  It might not be the perfect story, you know… the one in your head where it’s always roses and candy.  It will be the real story, made up of a series of diverging roads flowing one into another.  It will be the beautiful and authentic story of you, so travel well…♥
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Oh dear, I broke my toe this week…  I didn’t even know it happened!  You know how sometimes, you just bang your foot against a door or piece of furniture?  You make the necessary motions to acknowledge the pain.  I’m  laughing thinking about this.  It happened on Monday morning.  I was so focused on all that I needed to accomplish that week, I didn’t even flinch really.  I just kept right on going.  Of course wearing the wrong shoes and then going in and out of the subway about 50 times.  You see where I’m going with this right… Denial.

So, when I finally made it home, and took off my shoe, I saw the most pitiful sight.  My poor toe was purple, swollen, and looking slightly out of joint.  The only thought that came into my head was… how am I going to make it through all of my appointments with this swollen, non functioning toe?  I gave her NO down time…

I Googled “broken toe”.  I know you are laughing right now.  Seriously, I think Google is the high priestess of the everyday situation.  Since I was clearly not going to the doctor, Google would have to suffice.  This is when the interesting thing happened.  I discovered the “buddy toe”.  It makes me laugh just thinking about it.  When your toe is broken, you tape it to the toe next to it, “the buddy”, to provide stability until the healing process can finish.   So, I taped the broken toe to its buddy and continued on with my week.  The ship kept sailing, so to speak.

The buddy toe got me thinking about how some of us are wounded in life and keep going.  There is no time to stop.  We have to be the functioning wounded.   We don’t even acknowledge our wounds, for fear they will keep us from participating in life.  It can be draining to carry these wounds in and out of our days.  What if we were to “tape” ourselves to a “buddy” while this wound is healing?  I am thinking of someone in your life who is functioning and capable of being strong for both of you.  You infuse yourself with the strength and energy of the other until you are able to go on your own,  just like the buddy toe.

Think about it… give yourself the gift of the “buddy toe” when you need it and share your “strong toe” with another when you are able.  The healing process will strengthen you both… ♥

When was the last time you heard someone referred to as a “Master”?  I think about this mostly when it comes to golf.  You know, the Masters Tournament…  All those professional golfers coming together to compete at the height of their game.  They have honed their craft to a point that it becomes mastery.

What happens when you’ve reached the master level?  First of all you have to take a look at what it takes to become a master.  I have a personal theory that masters are created where skill, experience, and passion come together.  This perfect combination of qualities brings to life a higher level of expression.  It’s really a pleasure to watch a master at work, they are so present… 

When masters practice their craft for a long period of time, they become artists.  They place their own personal spin on the technicality of their work.  They have studied, experimented, and honed their craft so expertly that their creative mind takes over.  It breeds a new and ultimately unique level of achievement.  Experiencing mastery as it becomes art is a beautiful gift.

How do you experience mastery in your life?  Who do you see as a master?  Appreciate those around you who display mastery and encourage them to become artists…♥

Have you ever thought of how choice affects your life?  Think of all the decisions you make consciously or unconsciously on a daily basis.  Imagine them all creating a bigger picture…  This becomes your reality.  We are all constantly choosing our lives…  

That is a little hard to hear, right?  I mean, so many times I’ve heard people describing events that supposedly just “happened”.  I always wonder what choices were made prior to that moment.  I especially think of this when I encounter someone who has extraordinarily bad luck.  I mean, seriously, they get the whammy!  Mostly, I’m seeing the end result of a series of choices, some conscious, some unconscious.

Ok, but why am I writing about choice today?  Because, it’s possible to manifest all kinds of happiness, joy, and beauty in our lives by being conscious of our choices.  Not just the big choices, but the little ones too.  Try an experiment for this week.  If you are trying to welcome something into your life, think of how you are going to do it.  Now, each day, choose to do something that will lead you closer to your dream.  See how that series of choices affects your world.  Be patient.  Let me know how it goes…

Building a life based on choice is so empowering!  Experience it for yourself…♥

A friend forwarded me this image the other day…  It made me laugh out loud!  I have an August birthday, so I am a Lion by birth.  Also, because I used to have a cat named Mosie who looked just like the kitty in the picture.  His body resembled the kitty, but his personality was definitely like the Lion.  We spent 8 years together as roommates, before he died.    He was not my friend, or my son, he was my roommate.  We struggled and fought and ignored and occasionally loved each other, but he was hands down the most loyal companion and highly protective.   He had this whole self-image thing down.  He saw himself as a LION every day.  Even when he clearly looked like the kitty!

Working in the fashion industry is all about image.  It’s constant scrutiny and very subjective.  One day you are IN, the next you are OUT.  It can take its toll on your self-image over time.  I often wonder if it’s really a good idea to bring young men and women into the industry so early…  You have to be so strong inside.

Seeing yourself  for the natural beauty inside is the most wonderful thing, it brings you peace.    When you express yourself in your most authentic form in the world, no amount of outside scrutiny can deplete you.  Living authentically is a source of beauty 24/7.   All that other outside stuff is just fluff!  So…  How are you going to see yourself today?  Why not take a lesson from Mosie and see yourself as the perfect LION that you are?  ♥

Today is a gorgeous day in Brooklyn.  It’s completely clear and the sky and water are the most beautiful shades of blue…  Especially the water.  It’s that perfect combination of green and blue.

I rode my bike to the Brooklyn Bridge to sit in the sunshine and have coffee.  I positioned myself in front of the carousel which was full of little kids!  There must have been some event happening, because I was suddenly swarmed by 2-year-old little boys and girls.  My God, they are so cute and so funny.  It was a bit like being swarmed by bees, but in a good way.  What I noticed most about them, is they smile and laugh with their entire body… I mean how can you not be hypnotized by such beauty!

They must have been handing out balloons for this event, because they were flying all over the place.  The colors painted such a pretty picture against that brilliant blue sky.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little boy running along with a red balloon.  He suddenly let go of the balloon!  The wind took it and it floated over the railing and down to the water.  Oh dear, his face… first it was total disbelief, then came the sadness.  I looked at him and said “OH, NO”!  He clouded up and rained just like a storm.  His Dad, was quickly by his side, comforting him and telling him it would be ok.  It was so sweet to watch.

What happened next is another example of magic in the Universe.  That balloon, floated up from the water, back over the railing, directly across the walkway and into the hands of the little boy!  I swear on my grandma’s grave!  OMG… I mean, I started looking around.  Did anyone else see that?  It was fantastic!  The little boy’s face was just pure joy.  That moment was right out of a movie.  It was, in my mind, a complete example of heaven on earth.  I sat for a moment, so humbled by this beautiful sight.

Letting go of a balloon is a lot like losing something you love in life.  The instant it happens is so heart wrenching.  Seeing this on a child’s face is a perfect example of how we, as adults, feel on the inside.   What if letting go is for the greater good?  Maybe we’ve been clinging to something that needs to be released.  What if letting go will actually free you to RECEIVE what is really yours?   Just like the red balloon that found its way home to the little boy.  ♥

I was out to dinner with a good friend the other night.  We were discussing a series of events that had transpired in her life since I last saw her.  Her description of the journey made me think of a really fun ride at an amusement park, thrills and laughs at the same time!

Have you ever thought of life as an amusement park?  Think of the park itself.  It’s got something for everyone.  There are games, parks, water features, food, shopping, benches… and of course the RIDES!!  I am a big fan of the rides.  The roller coasters are my favorite.  They have unexpected twists and turns, big highs and deep valleys,  speed and slow motion.  I recently rode the famous Coney Island Cyclone.  It did not disappoint!  I loved every minute of it and I smiled for days afterward.

Life can be like a really fun ride… There are some highs and lows and a lot of little twists and turns, but the end result of the journey brings a smile to your face and a fond memory of the trip.  Start looking at your journey in this way.  Add some new adventures if you seem to be missing the fun.  ♥

I was out with friends the other night to see an off-Broadway play.  Broadway plays are performed in the big theaters that hold 500 seats or more.  Off-Broadway plays are performed in smaller more intimate theaters all over the city.  Visiting these theaters is sometimes as good as seeing the play, as many of them are full of great architecture and character.  

This night was all impromptu.  My friends called last-minute to ask if I would join them to see this play written by their friend.  I immediately said yes and our adventure was under way.  When we arrived at the theater, we took the “sketchy” elevator to the 4rth floor.  The doors opened to this cozy living room with deep couches and an antique bar.  After a glass of wine, we all entered the room that held the stage.

The play itself was dark and heavy, but even though there were no big sets or props, we were all instantly transported into the world dreamed up by the author.  It was amazing to see this snippet of another world created in the simplicity of an old theater.  As the play finished, we all acknowledged the great acting and writing.

Stepping out to catch the elevator down, the unexpected happened.  The elevator was out of service, so we needed to take the stairs down to the street.  As my friend opened the door to the stairs, I saw the most intricate and beautiful staircase!  It was an iron cylinder with spiral, marble stairs wrapping their way down around it.  WOW! I mean it was amazing.  I spent the good part of the next 20 minutes trying to capture it with my iPhone camera.  The detail and design were so unique.  Even the aging process of the marble, iron and brass came together to make so much beauty.

This lovely, old staircase made me think that life is unexpected.  Around the corner of your everyday routine, there can be so much magic and beauty, we just have to appreciate and share it.  Remembering to stop and appreciate the unexpected things that appear on your path in life is another way to live in the moment and really cherish life.  The next time you encounter the beauty of something unexpected, stop and absorb its magic… ♥

So…    as I grew up in a very small town, in a rural community, I am by geography a farmer.  Now, living in the big city, I still try to dig in the dirt as much as possible.  I have a small garden on my patio, that I prune, plant and water.  I have the most gorgeous rose growing in a pot.  Its the kind of rose that gives these rouge colored flowers.  I live to see this thing blooming.  It starts to give blooms around May of every year and keeps producing well  into October.  She is a fellow spirit of mine and she gives me so much joy.

This summer was a hot one and during the middle of July, my gorgeous rose started to die!  I had to prune away more than half of her arms.  I cut them way back, almost too far…  I was thinking to myself that I might lose my gorgeous friend.  I continued to water and care for her, just as I would if she were healthy.  This morning as I went outside to check the plants, to my surprise, she was back in full swing.  The arms that I had so aggressively cut back were almost completely regrown!  They were also full of new blooms.  You can imagine my delight…

The rose made me think of how we all go through periods of rebirth in life.  I have had quite a few.  I’ve seen people I love go through some tough ones as well.  It seems very dark during that “pruning” process.  Letting go of the parts of ourselves that die off is a natural process.  You know what?  It frees up our energy to birth something totally new.  That is the beautiful miracle of rebirth.

What kind of rebirth do you experience in your own life?

I’ve been reading this book about the soul and consciousness… I’m not sure why I even picked this book to read, maybe it picked me!   In any case, I’m engrossed in these pages and I’m stuck on a particular segment of the book.  It’s about the heart, that beautiful piece of anatomy that keeps us alive and holds our emotions.  What does it mean to live with an open heart?

Did you notice that your heart can’t lie?  For me, my heart holds truth.  My mind, that’s another matter.  I am a master at justifying a decision or thought.  I can provide logic, relevant examples, scientific findings, you name it.  The more detail the better.   However, if I quiet my mind and run the event or decision past my heart, the truth of the matter is evident.  There can be no other argument.  The heart has final say and is always on target.

So, knowing how valuable the heart is as a tool in life, why would we ever close it?  Because it houses emotions and they are often extremely painful.  You know this to be true.  Some of life’s events are so gut wrenching.  The heart literally bleeds with pain and sorrow.  Other times, its joy and happiness we experience.  These emotions are just as strong, but they are positive. Whatever the event or situation, the feelings are originating from the heart.

For me, living with an open heart means allowing all this feeling to flow and not holding good feelings or denying bad ones.  Just being with the feelings, letting them take space, expand, explode, trickle down, whatever!  The more I try to hold or deny the feeling, the more cut off I am from my beautiful, truthful heart.  She’s my biggest ally in life.  She is a well to my deepest source of energy.   I’m grateful for the opportunity to practice living with my heart open each day.

How about you?  What does it mean to live with an open heart for you?  ♥

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