Inspiration based on one-word choice. That word is “Home”
Home. One of those words that means everything and nothing depending on with whom you are speaking. A word that takes on increased meaning and ‘flavor’ as time moves forward. It takes on more meaning and has a better, more understanding outlook as the listener continues through life, whether ashamed or not, excited or not, successful or not, enraged or not, joyous or the opposite. I believe that no matter what the word ‘Home’ means to a single person, that same person will have a deep appreciation for the word and what it is or means as they take the time to grow older and ponder the word. Home.
For me, home is more than a physical space. Yes, it is the state I grew up in, and the beautiful edifice in that state with changing façade throughout the years, where I have some incredibly fond and tough memories alike. It is also, though, my mother’s warm snuggles and my dad’s jokes (yes, my dad invented the “Dad Joke” – insert eyeroll here!!) Home is in my brothers’ smiles and my sister’s voice, and especially now my niece’s calling out “Titi” or “Auntie Krissy” for whatever they need from me. Home is truly where my heart is or wants to be most times. I can’t imagine any part of my home being forgotten and let go.
Without “Home”, life can seem harder than it should. I know this to be true. Being torn from a piece of my home is one of the more painful experiences in life. I find joy in the ways I incorporate Home into my thoughts, but also in the physical manifestations of these thoughts. Still, simply contemplating the meaning of home in my life brings me comfort these days.
Let’s try something: just stop for one brief moment. After you read these directions, close your eyes; let yourself go in the moment. Once you have closed your eyes, think and reflect… think of the meaning of home for you. Think of how saying “home” makes you feel. In fact, say “home” loud. Let the words flow out of your mouth and come back to seep directly into your heart. Do you feel any influence by what it is you perceive home to be? Did you notice anything about your body or your breath?
Can I be really real Y’all? Time is flying for me. How about for you?
I am working on providing my resources as a Joy Coach for all of my readers and followers near and far to be able to activate and infuse more joy in their lives. It just feels like time is moving so fast that there’s never enough time to get it all out. Also, major fatigue from autoimmune illnesses is no joke. It seems at least half of my time is spent simply recuperating from the stress and the fast-paced energy exerted with work.
Trust me, I am motivated. I want to see us all thrive. Yet, when I take one quick break, a quick minute turns into one long hour, and then two, and three, and then… bedtime.
But trust me, this does not steal my joy. I am here for a reason and part of that is to show others how joy can create success and more effective relationships and support. I hate to let so much time go by without giving new nuggets of info, but know that I am still working and finding ways to get you this information from behind the scenes.
In the meantime, here I am, enjoying more time at the orchard, where I get some lovely and joyful time with family, finding the inspiration for life and work.
Having received some inspiration calling to list some of my most harrowed life lessons throughout my journey to joy, I have decided to write them down and shared them with you, my readers. I am hoping you find some wisdom in these musings, and inspiration to add to your own journeys.
*Please also note: these are all my gatherings from life experiences and lessons. In no way do I purport to desire you changing your views because of me or completely making a 180 for my benefit. These sharings are for you and are shared in the hope that you take what works and leave what doesn’t for me to continue to share and/or grapple with. With much peace, love, and joy for the journey. – KrisE*
Five of the Things I’ve Learned
I’ve learned that joy does not have to mean happiness every day
I’ve learned that family does not equal friendship, though love is there for all – and it’s enough.
I have learned the power of believing in something and/or someone
The body is an incredible, mysterious, and unique entity amongst all, even with similar parts and characteristics (Covid-19, especially, is a good example of how “healthy” does not always mean the same thing in or for everyone!)
I am loved and I matter… and so do YOU! This is why we must continue to shout “Black Lives Matter!” – I’ll explain more, promise
Expanding on What I Have Learned
1) You’re Not Always Happy, or Joyful
There will be days when any one of us feel sad, down, in pain, and/or a little lost or confused. That’s OKAY!! We must work to get back to joy, and even happiness, every day. It sounds like somuch work, but it’s for the good of my own body, the good of the community, and the good of humanity. It doesn’t always seem that way, I know. “It’s just me… little old me. What does that have to do with anyone or anything else? Everything, My Dear, Everything… Heard of paying it forward? Or the power of 6 degrees of separation? Helping any single person you see in your community could pay forward your heart so that it comes back to someone you know and love. What do you think about that?? (REALLY! leave me some thoughts in the comments section below!).
2) Family, Friends, Love
Family isn’t always going to feel like [a] friend(s). Yet [mostly], they may be there for you when no one else decides to stay in your corner. Sometimes you may feel like you have no choice but to love – or show love for – your family. And most times, friendship is chosen, making the love all the more sweet. As long as love manifests in healthy, secure, and appropriate ways, joy wins and persists for you, your family, and your friends.
3) The Power of Believing
Belief is a wonderful thing. It’s also incredibly powerful. Holding the knowledge that someone believes in you and/or your capabilities can sometimes be enough to propel you forward to even greater heights. At the same time, though, what can hold the most weight is your own belief in yourself and your capabilities, in addition to the belief of others in your life. A pure, authentic, loving belief in the nature of someone else’s gifts comes back to you many times over. Can you think of a time where this has happen? Can you connect two seemingly diverse events, realizing that at the very least, one may not have even happened without the other? For instance, I found that there were times, in my musings, where I realized that I might not even have certain loved ones in my life had my mom no longer been a part of my life. In no way is that good or bad, it seems, but I am sure happy to know both sets of family members, in all capacities and forms. So much love amasses from events – from the simple and small, to the over the top, crazy big.
I’ve known the healing power of a mother pouring strength into me just by stroking my head and telling me how much I matter; a father who let me know I can do and be anything in this world, with or without such a devastating illness, while sealing it up with a backrub for bedtime. With or without this major illness… I. Have. Been. Blessed; and I continue to be so now.
4) Our Bodies, Our Selves
The body. What an incredibly, mystical, awesome entity. It can seemingly heal itself in some cases, and completely deteriorate or disintegrate in others. The main thing, though, is how much it aligns with the mind and other situations in life. As long as we take care of our bodies, they can do for us so many amazing things; things we didn’t think we could ever do. For me, having a body that gives out on me so much is hard, but I do see the benefits of proper self-care. This, then, leads to the further understanding of my body and the joy that comes from this better experience.
5) The Value of Support: You Matter
There is so much value in giving love to others and receiving love from others. It creates a sense of closeness between multiple people, which, as social beings, gives us humans the ability to progress through our lives, and making goals work for ourselves. More importantly, though, it shows us what is already true; with or without this love and support. This truth is that as humans, we matter. We have a purpose in this world and there is a need for each human being to be on this earth. With or without support, we give to others our purpose and make life different for others too! However, with the support of others, with their love, we tend to see this purpose more clearly, which is of course a deep, deep benefit.
Black Lives Matter: Why I Say It Too
So why do we say “Black Lives Matter” then, if this is the case for all humans? I believe that the human race/society has completely forgotten what I noted above; that all people make society better and impact them to no end. This includes the lives of Black People, and all of the global majority. Black people, as many know, are being killed by other humans so much right now, and they are being hurt with words and actions. Police officers, for reasons that we can only guess, have found a target in Black lives. And so that negates the All Lives Matter mantra, because we need to actually make that true. If Black lives don’t matter, all lives DON’T matter. For this reason, we must remind society that Black lives DO matter, and will matter the same way others do, for all of time. We are all to contribute to this life with purpose and belonging and joy! So, let’s really commit to doing that. Black Lives Matter.
What Should You Do?
I have learned so much in this life already. And I ask you – challenge you even – to set aside some time, sit down, really take some deep breaths, and write down what for you – only you – is most important for you to declare and fulfill your purpose. What even is your purpose? Even if it is to support others, trust me, you have one, or multiple. So be blessed and take to heart your loving purpose.
I am here to support and love on others, with coaching or a listening ear. If you are in CT, I am also getting ready to provide formal therapy, once my license transfers. So let’s move, and let’s talk! Reach out via the contact page, or by clicking through to my calendar via the button link ->
It is important – critical even – to remember why it is that I write as often as I do. Without writing, ideas would not flow as freely. Words would simply be held captive in my brain, manifesting only as free yet restless and frustrated energy escaping my body. I need a way to feel some release; a way that will also bring me joy.
I Have Been Writing For So Long
From the last time I can remember, I’ve been writing. At the age of six, I would write pretty little princess stories based at some level on my life; little did I know how aligned they would be with my own real-life story. One thing I will never forget at this point is how most of my stories at that time (maybe… all?) were about a pretty little princess who lost her mother and lived with her father, whom she loved dearly… I know, I know, super original. I was also an incredibly voracious ready… guess what I read most in those days?? ;-P…
My dad, in real life, knew how close I was with Mom. I think if he had remembered reading some of those stories, he might have noticed the pattern and realized how much I treasured him too! I romanticized my stories to no end. Let me tell you, though: there is absolutely nothing romantic about losing your mother, or a parent in general. It was almost like I knew something like that would happen… and it did.
As A Child…
Children seem to have some incredibly keen senses beyond just the five we know and with which we are so conditioned; and I was no different, it seems. I simply got to put them down on paper as an expression of those “extra” senses…
So, I write because my childhood memories of writing are some of the best I have. I write because it gives me another place to go; another way to extend myself to others, in love and joy. Another way to once again reach my mama.
Seeking and Activating Joy
I write to show that my ideas – rooted in joy activation – are more than possible; they’re necessary!
Joy is at the heart of a fully productive and successful life worth living.
I hope to assist others in empowering themselves to seek their own joy in the midst of pain, heartache, and struggle, just as I have and continue to do.
And so, for all of those reasons – and more -, I write.
Thank you for reading. Let’s keep onward, and share!! 😉
I tend not to speak out on my own personal experience with race, racism, and feelings around microaggressions I have had thrown at me. As much as I speak out against injustice and am a big proponent of love, support, peace, and joy, I notice now that I – more subconsciously than not – keep quiet about me; maybe I block all the experiences out. However, today I am going against the grain on that front. If sharing my experience can give someone else power and the encouragement to press on and keep fighting, then it’s so worth the share.
Where The Present Issue Began
It had been two years in the making. Two. Years. Suspected to be part of the inflammation and flares from my autoimmune illnesses, I began having incredibly intense, sharp pains in my abdomen. A quick-ish visit to an ED while away from home found with a CT scan that I had a fairly large amount of fluid in my abdominal cavity surrounding organs and gastrointestinal fluid; something that is highly abnormal. That, among other things, has been a big source of bodily discomfort over the past two years. My family members and I were each excited to find out – once we learned that the fluid was draining from my lymphatic system – that there was a doctor a few states away in PA who dealt solely and specifically with chylous ascites (lymphatic abdominal fluid) and was a great specialist in this area. Of course insurance issues and getting better or worse health-wise (in the hospital at home) always seemed to get in the way of my trip down there.
A few weeks ago, I finally made it – amid a pandemic and all – and just knew that my problem (at least this one) would be solved. For good. A couple of exploratory/laparoscopic procedures later, I laid in my hospital bed writhing in pain; barely able to open my eyes or see straight; or stay in one spot, or keep from getting sick in those lovely pink, plastic hospital wash basins.
The best I got from doctors and nurses alike? ‘Oh, it will go away. It’s just from the procedures.’ (I went to the ED at home three days later; it wasn’t just the procedures, Y’all) I spend two extra nights, three days in a hotel in horrific pain because I couldn’t even RIDE in a car for all the bumps that would create worsened pain, which at that point was unimaginable. The pain would not let up in the slightest until I had a sufficient amount of pain medicine in my system. Never have I ever had, or wanted to have, that many doses of morphine in my system in one day. I took the maximum safest amount of doses – as I am always overly cautious about opioids – ; but still, it didn’t even touch the pain until the next day, when I also felt all of the side effects. I couldn’t see straight for a different reason that day…
This is all setting the scene, but the truth is, this is not uncommon. Article after article, post after post, comment on this very topic. Many healthcare professionals, God bless them, have a tendency to not believe patients – especially patients of color – about their bodily knowledge and/or their level of abnormal pain. This, then, can have – and has had – dire, sometimes fatal, consequences. Yet, patients like me tend not to talk about it, thinking it is unique to us. I personally believe I block out those types of experiences – and yes, I’m putting this in the category of racial inequity and microaggressions -, though I now realize the importance of speaking up, even when it’s about me specifically!
This Happens Too Much
This happens way too often, I have learned, for me to stay silent. I myself took for granted my connections in healthcare and that fact that many healthcare professionals who have known and cared for me also know that I am very knowledgeable about my own body especially, having been through a lot during my lifetime, and so gaining tons of information and insight into what and when something may be wrong – especially as it involves pain. These doctors and nurses themselves did not know me in this capacity, and I almost let that be their excuse. But no, it cannot be so; I must call out the injustice.
People die because of lack of care received, same as what I experienced. The ability to tell when my body is in a dangerous place does not come as easily to everyone. I am fortunate to have developed this skill, which means I must speak up and speak out for those who aren’t so sure of themselves because they are being told something different and haven’t had similar experiences with pain as I myself have had; this is part of my duty and calling.
You can be sure I have a few things to say at my virtual follow up appointment and to the President of the hospital. But if nothing else, please get this lesson out of my post: YOU MATTER. WE MATTER. It is important to speak up when you feel like something is wrong… not just for you, but for the lives who do not have the privilege of a determined, heard, and understood voice. We must be there for each other, as social, communal beings.
Love and Light, Peace and Joy… always.
Another Note: If you are enjoying what I write and are following along on this writing journey with me, please let someone else know! Share in whatever way you feel comfortable. I would love to be a support to more people; as many as possible. Thanks for the love, and know it is coming back at you many times over!
*Note to My Readers: This has been an incredibly difficult month. Sometimes it’s expected, and sometimes it creeps up and hits you like a ton of bricks. What I am most thankful for in this endeavor – choosing to write for my own clarity and sanity and having you join with me in doing so – is that I have some faithfully kind and patient readers! Hoping to be back for the long haul, but whether I am or not, I am enjoying this journey, even with its many hiccups (to put it lightly!)
While away these last couple of weeks, I spent the greater part of a week in the fetal positions with a pillow between my knees (when I figured out that was more comfortable a position than most). Why? Pain. More specifically, abdominal pain.
Procedures and inflammation and scarring and tests, and more. Each contributed to the pain in its own way, and also helps explain, or search for, the locus of this pain. None of that really mattered while in the thick of it, though. Because all I could see and feel and experience for a few days was searing, uncontrollable, angry pain.
Is Pain Important?
Pain is inherent in the human experience, and comes in all different forms within and outside the body. The nature of pain, in mu own experience, is two-fold; it has two purposes. One is to send a wake-up call, letting you and your body know that something is up – wrong, amiss, weird; whichever way you want to say it. The other purpose is a little more subtle, so subtle that not everyone agrees with it being accurate. Strength: pain comes, and stays, to encourage and grow the strength in you – your body, mind, and spirit. Without recognizing the latter aspect, it becomes increasingly more difficult to activate the joy one should be able to find in their life.
All of this is to say: I truly believe in the power of finding your worth and, in kind, the opportunity in getting through pain, which builds strength and character. It has certainly built mine, all the more reason to be ready to activate my joy as much as possible. That I have this view even while working towards the management of my current pain episode makes me certain that the fabric of our very selves includes pain in its makeup.
Is it easy to get through? HA! Please, not even close. Yet, it’s soooo necessary.
Let’s get through this together. How are YOU? How do you build strength, push through pain?
Reach Out! Therapy and/or Coaching
I am moving towards providing support to others for this topic and others. If you would like to become a client through therapy or coaching, you are more than welcome to reach out. See contact page, or find some time on my calendar to chat below.
When I woke up this morning – very early – I decided I needed to see something beautiful. My spirit was yearning for it and I decided to satisfy. At 4:30 am, I left to head to the lookout for a 5:24am sunrise. I waited a bit before I got out, making sure to stay quiet for the sleeping neighbors in that area; peeping around and through and on the landscapes on all four sides of me.
Nature is beautiful, and the skyline beyond it just as picture perfect I was ready.
When Disappointment Strikes
I knew it was a bit hazy from the rainfall, but didn’t realize that because of that fog, I could not see my beloved sun, could not cherish its light or heated rays.
I was a bit disappointed, I drove all the way out to see it, after all. But I do realize that life does have its share of disappointments. This is especially true when we overlook original, small signs that we actually should not strive for the something we tried to get.
Can you name some disappointments in your life? How about those silly, small, but retrospectively significant red flags that say Stop, this is not your destiny? Yep, there are certainly many more in my life I can name.
What’s so incredibly important is to not beat yourself up for going for it anyway. Life is about taking risks, finding successes, and celebrating small wins on your way to the bigger successes. And of course, it is about activating that joy?
How can we honor ourselves; praise ourselves for going for it? In what ways do we find our joy any-daggone-way??
Life is full of nature and wonder, it makes me marvel at the creation of God and man both. Oh what we can do when we put our mind to it! So go for it, y’all! Yes, sometimes you will be disappointed. However, a life of what ifs is much less of a life than one with failures that shape your ultimate success.
The cool, confident, suave sophistication; it even worked on BABIES, Y’all. I can only imagine that I, of all babies, with my voracious appetite for new and inspiring words and ideas even today, was just as taken by my Dad’s inclination to speak to children, from infant to 4 years old, the same way he spoke to grown adults. He is a captivating, master storytelling and a proponent of the formation of the perfect words for any situation.
Even so, my most favorite feelings and time spent with my Dad as an infant (I am assuming, of course) were the moments where quiet hung in the air, stirred at the most inopportune moments, by my persistent wailing.
Don’t worry, though. Daddy knew just what to do.
With my teeny little head snuggled softly in his one hand, and my feet tucked swiftly in the crook of his elbow – my whole body spanning the length of his forearm -, he would carefully, yet confidently, dip and sway his body in sync with his arm, rocking me with his smooth, deep voice singing,
“Sugar, sugar Pookum, yeah!
Sugar, sugar Pookum, yeah!”
That was the beginning of one of my most prized possessions: a nickname. The one hardly anyone knows about and only my daddy ever can or ever will be allowed to call me. That name? Pookum Pie. The words, the spelling, the zeal, and the zest of flavor (get it, pie??), come straight from him; Daddy.
The meaning ascribed to it, however, and the ways it is held onto and cherished, that comes from me. The love and the joy that are activated in every moment of its use, that will forever belong to the bond that only one couple of hearts share.
I am so proud of my dad; his resilience, goofy sophistication, and handsome, easy laughter. I’m always impressed at how even I want to hear the same story told over and over again (though now I tend to finish many of the stories myself *shrug*).
Losing my mother, his first true love, has taken a toll on him in many ways, and yet he still loves, with his whole heart, refusing to let grief or confusion in the whys and hows of life be what steals his joy.
Wishing everyone a warm love like the one I get from my father, and – just as important – the support and encouragement that he has given me, empowering me to fully, truly and completely love my own self; I wish that for all of you too. Know that I am here in that capacity for anyone who so desires to call out for it.
I would like to get very clear and specific here today: what has been going on in the US and the world is NOT “NORMAL”… whatever normal truly means. Too many sad and horrifying things have happened to innocent, unassuming people; from the millions and millions of avoidable deaths at the hands of what many experts believe to be a preventable, and yet dangerous and fatal, virus, to the murders of George Floyd recently, and countless others before and since then. I am so hurt for the people and families I cannot claim by blood, but most certainly claim in my heart. And the fight is still not over on either of these counts. I am speaking out now because I want YOU to know that my belief in joy activation and activism is not done and is never complete without rooting out the exact problem as it stands. We cannot activate joy pushing through an issue without knowing exactly what that issue entails first and foremost. The way to do this, however, does not include living in fear. It is more a matter of fighting injustice with the heart – in fits of forgiveness and love.
Still, it is okay to be stuck in the messy part for a little while, before leaning into the joy. Hopefully, though, we don’t get stuck there too long!
When Forgiveness is Everything
This is not a popular opinion, I am sure, but I do believe everyone deserves some type of forgiveness. EVERYONE, including you and me!
Wait, so what am I saying?
Am I saying that D. Chauvin (I’m still having trouble saying his name) deserves forgiveness?
More or less… yes; that is exactly what I am saying. He does not necessarily have a right to forgiveness from us or anyone, but as a walking, talking, breathing being, his acts should be forgiven.
Trust me, I am not fully there yet myself. I can’t look at the pictures of May 25, 2020, let alone watch the video, without my heart tearing up and tears of unsquelchable anger seeping from my eyes. That day, while I was celebrating three loved one’s birthdays by singing them a birthday song through the phone, 46-year-old George Floyd was being murdered by a racist cop with a bone to pick… a very harsh, irrevocable, fatal bone.
And yet, my belief remains strong; I am so totally and completely against senseless killing of innocent Black bodies, while also having faith that true and intentional forgiveness, alongside justice, WILL set us free.
In my eyes, amazing people, like the mothers of Tupac Shakur and Chris Smalls, are heroes and awesome examples of radical forgiveness.
Hopefully, you will join me in attempting the seemingly impossible task pf forgiving these killers and many more (on the journey we will follow here), after which we will give those people no more mind.
Yes, indeed; these trying times have seemed to gain momentum every day. It seemed, at times, that there was nothing to do but get increasingly more frustrated, sad, fearful, and even angry. I know I can speak for myself when I say social distancing – never mind complete quarantine and isolation – is incredibly and increasingly harder each day. I am, by nature, an extrovert, but I believe the current situation is hard for everyone, as social and community-oriented beings. As a person with a serious and potentially fatal illness – as well as a deep affinity for people – these times are incredibly hard.
When it’s not happening to us subjectively, it is hard to take it as seriously, this pandemic. However, knowing that there is a likelihood that I would not survive contracting Covid-19, it is important that I overcome these hopes of being social physically with others very soon.
Yet, that does not mean I have given up all hope in general. It has always been critical for me to maintain a dose of reality while also “keeping the faith”. Yes, it is extremely difficult, yes it even wears me out to no end. But you know what? I’m not just more joyful for it in the long-run. Mentally, and therefore physically, I imagine a better future for myself and know that “this too shall pass”.
Self-Care is Necessary
In keeping with this sentiment, I find self-care – in whatever form one ascribes to themselves – to be the healer of those rifts between what we wish would happen and what we know can only actually happen at this point. Besides simply looking to the future when things will get better, take the action now to care for YOU, even if it may seem like a chore now and then.
Peace, Love, and so much Joy, Y’all!!
*Thank you so much for the support. Keep reading and I always love seeing the comments/responses below. How are you taking care of yourself, despite horrifying scenes in our world lately? Yes, taking care of YOU?? ❤