I love, Love.
Dedicated to a very special friend of mine.
Louis, my wish for you on your wedding day, and always.
I want the love between you, and your beautiful wife Marisa, to continue to grow and intertwine the two of you
in such a way
that the people around you
continue to truly feel your love for each other, deep within their soul.
Where it not only inspires them to search for their own true love
but leaves them realizing their gratitude
for being in the presence of both of you, and your infectious love.
The last two years have been a world wind of events and emotions, which has ultimately led to a great deal of reflection. Tomorrow, on October 14th 2018, I celebrate my two- year anniversary of my second Open-heart surgery. Yes, I said celebrate. I celebrate my life, I give gratitude to god and the universe for all of my blessings that have happened, and I honor my growth over the last two years.
This anniversary, and recent events, have shown up in my life at the perfect time. Isn’t it funny how the universe always does that? There is a greater knowingness in this world, that aligns everything perfectly for us, and sometimes we do not even realize that everything is aligned until we have that ah-ha moment. That moment that creates a pause in our life, filled with such intense gratitude and amazement, that it leaves you with a certain high and further understanding of this thing called “life”.
Well, I had that moment Sunday October 7th while I was surrounded by a group of very special people, and a lot of love. Before you can understand the magnitude of this special moment, and the euphoria which it brought, its important to understand the journey leading up to that first week in October.
First let me put my disclaimer, the way I always do when I write: Yes, these are my experiences and feelings- but my topics are universal, and I feel, can be applied to everyone’s life if you take a few minutes out to read and reflect. I hope that my ah-ha moment, can become yours. So, here we go. The lessons I have learned, year two.
- Time is always going to pass. It is up to us to consciously choose, how we feel during that time.
To say the last two years have passed quickly, is an understatement. That’s another funny thing about life. When you long for something, it feels like time passes slowly and it takes forever to arrive; but when you are lost in one of those magical moments or experiences, time seems to go by exponentially fast. Obviously, time is not the variable. Time is the one onstant in our life that will always move at the same pace, it is us that changes. It is our perception, our passion, and our vision that are the variables. So, we must not only accept this truth, but carry it with us daily. If our perception of time is up to us, shouldn’t we always choose to appreciate every second, of every day? Can’t every moment be filled with magic? Of course bad days will happen. That is a fact about life, and quite honestly, what makes life a little sweeter…but what if even on the bad days, we choose to refocus, realign, and remember this lesson about time. It is in these moments that we need to take control of our perception or thoughts and remind ourselves about how quickly time passes. This bad day, this negative moment, feeling or situation will pass on the wings of time, just like any other moment. My advice to you, and what I try to practice, is instead of focusing on the bad day or the shitty thing that happened; refocus, realign and choose gratitude because, as my mom would say, this too shall pass…
- We have mental & emotional muscles, the same way we have physical ones. It is up to us, to exercise those muscles daily and use them as tools to shape our life.
Of course, that is easier said than done but it is practice. Let’s be honest, are you ever good at anything new when you try it for the first time? Or the first few times? Gratitude, and naturally choosing positivity, is like a muscle. It isn’t something that comes easily. It isn’t something we are born with. It is something we need to cultivate and work on daily. It is a lifestyle; an understanding. The more you choose this way of life, the easier it will become. That being said, I needed to refocus and realign MANY times this year. If I was reading these words by someone else as the author, my first thought would be “yeah okay- im sure their year wasn’t as bad as what I’ve been through”— and fair enough. However, because I genuinely believe that we can learn from each other’s stories…I will let you into my heart ache and why 2018 was a year of perseverance. A year of movement, a year of learning, and a year of growth. I think my personal quest these last two year and especially recently has been for an understanding of life, and purpose. Why are we here? Whats the point of life? Most of us wake up every day, go to a job so that we can pay the bills, we worry about what to cook for dinner, getting in that exercise, making time for the people in our lives, wondering if we are on the right path; while at the same time, trying to keep ourselves aligned and happy. We get lost in the little things, when in fact, it is the bigger picture that matters.
- Sometimes there are no answers; that’s why there is faith.
The beginning of this year, I was arguing with family. Not baby arguing where we knit pick on each other and then make up…but real deal arguing. The type that affects your daily routine, your dreams, your reality and your mood. The truth is, I don’t know how you deal with arguing with family. I think both people have to be willing to put in effort to make it work. If they are not willing to, or cannot at the present time, all you can do it wait and pray for unity.
So I argued for weeks around January, and in the midst of all of that, I had to plan a massive fundraiser for IP (Imperfectly Perfect). On top of that, as if that wasn’t enough, 3 days before the fundraiser I heard that someone very special in my life passed away. Someone who was my best friend since 2010, someone who taught me what unconditional love entailed. Someone who completely changed my life forever. His loss and needing to deal with true loss for the very first time in my life, hurt my soul. How do you get through it? I don’t know this answer. I honestly don’t know how anyone deals with such a vast hole in their life, from the loss of someone they loved. I still ask myself that to this day, and I think I always will. Living life, and being alive, means living through death. The death of those you truly and deeply care for. Thee passing of people who have completely transformed your life and left their imprint on your heart. I think the only solution, is to remember those you love who have passed, daily. To remember their legacy, their smile, and the love you shared between the two of you.
I realized with all of these obstacles I had to overcome in the beginning of 2018, that sometimes there are no answers. Life is about acceptance, truly believing in your heart and soul that everything will work out. It is about appreciating the people who are around you, while they walk on this earth. It requires a lot of daily hard work to stay aligned, healthy and true to yourself, but it can be done. It is in these times of uncertainty, our only option is to find something to believe in. To me, that is the definition of faith and believing that “everything happens for a reason.” I believe, if you are someone who believes that, you cannot pick and choose where to apply it. It is an all or nothing kinda thing.
- All it takes for a stranger to become a catalyst in your life; is a simple “hello”.
This weekend, as I was surrounded by many people who I love dearly, it occurred to me. The purpose of it all; the daily hustle, pushing ourselves, sometimes feeling as if we are on a hamster wheel or the star in the movie Groundhogs Day. It is all worth it, if you can share your life with people you love, having experiences that set your soul on fire. That’s why we are here….and everything else, is what leads us to those moments. You never know where you will be, when you meet someone who will completely revolutionize your life from that point forward. This is why it is so important for us to experience things, to push ourselves to DO things, surround ourselves with people whether they are strangers or not because the truth is, all it takes for a stranger to become a catalyst in your life; is a simple “hello”.
8 years ago, 3 friends of mine convinced me to go on Birth Right to Israel (Yes, I’m Jewish). I didn’t really want to go but I agreed to because luckily, all 4 of us were able to get on the same trip (Thanks Mel). 😉 It was on that trip, that I met Louis. An absolutely incredible soul, who quickly became like a brother to me…and it didn’t stop there. Louis met my friends over the next few years, and their relationship flourished as well. It was all of us coming together to celebrate Louis’s wedding with Marisa, the woman of his dreams, where my ah-ha moment occurred.
Before I get into this magic moment, and why it was so special, it is important to remember that for me this year was very difficult. I am sure as your reading this, you are thinking about your difficulties as well. We all have them, but it’s the difficult moments that make the sweeter ones, that much sweeter. A friend of mine recently told me that he genuinely loves and appreciates all of the feelings he experiences in this life. The good, the bad, the magical, the unknown; because these emotions are what life is about. He said they made him feel alive. Of course, when he said that my first reaction was “yeahhhh okay” but when I thought about it, I think he is right. How do we thoroughly appreciate the good moments, if the bad ones never exist? How can we truly appreciate and feel gratitude on a soul level, for the people, moments, feelings and experiences that make us feel good, if we do not understand, accept and embrace the bad? If we follow this thought pattern, we learn to be grateful for all of our experiences; just like Felipe.
- Only those who believe in magic, will see it.
So, now that you understand a little bit of my thought process from January to October, hopefully you can not only grasp the power of my ah-ha moment, but claim some of its magic as your own. As I am sitting in the synagogue on Sunday night with 4 of my close friends I realized as this man, my brother, took his stand on the altar that my life was about to change because of him, again. As Louis was standing there, awaiting his absolutely beautiful bride to come down the isle, my ah-ha moment hit me like a ton of bricks. Louis’s smile, the way he was anxiously awaiting the love of his life to meet him at that alter, the absolutely vibrant and incredible love that filled the room and my heart, was indescribable.
No words can ever attempt to describe the feeling that completely devoured that room; that moment.
It was then, that it all clicked for me. I realized this is what life is all about.
It is about being with friends, and family, and creating memories that are magical.
It is about the pureness and truth behind genuinely loving someone, and going through different moments, and celebrations, with those who you care about.
It is about surrounding yourself with people, who you love so much, that their love; becomes your love.
It is about saying yes to experiences that give you the opportunities to meet strangers, who will become friends and family over time. It is about honoring your struggle, as much as your success. The word “family” to many people means, “your blood”, decedents from your bloodline. Of course, that’s true, but it doesn’t need to end there. Some people aren’t blessed with family, or the large family that they have wanted their whole life, but what they are blessed with is the power to choose people to embrace, who can become family. To create moments that leave your heart aching for more, and fuel your soul with a passion for life.
Thank you to all my incredible friends, who aided in my ah-ha moment and to James, the stranger on the plane, whose “hello” was a catalyst for my weekend of magic. Thank you for reminding me that the key behind any successful relationship….is to have fun.