Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday, so I thought I’d honor her by sharing her absolutely phenomenal talent.  What’s even more wonderful than these beautiful arrangements is the reason behind them. . .

For as long as I can remember, my mother has participated in some kind of volunteer or charitable work.  She’s done countless classes for children, in particular, over the years, and loves nothing than giving, sharing, and seeing others surprise themselves with talents of their own.

She recently spearheaded an event, Flowers, Fashion, and Footwear, that raised money for a local social service agency that she has worked with for many years, Community Centers Of Greenwich. CCI services children, adults with special needs, and seniors, and provides educational and financial assistance for lower-income families.

I am convinced that my love and passion for volunteering with these communities was passed down by her and my father’s dedication to helping where they can.  I am honored to be their child and thankful for the early exposure to these wonderful aspects of community service.

For the CCI event, flower arrangers were called upon to pick a pair of Louboutin shoes – owned by Kent Russell, perennial specialist – and design an arrangement to match.

I looked at the photos in the Fairfield County Look article (event link above) and without knowing hers, I gravitated to them as my “favorites.”

I grew up with the great fortune of having flowers and nature in our home all year round (yes, even in the throes of wintertime!) And it wasn’t just the beautiful blooms or branches, which I, for one, adore… The unreal sculptures and art she always manages to create look more like they belong in THE fanciest spas, homes, hotels…whatever!…in the world. They’re always breathtaking.

The shoes, of course, were art of their own.  Having been in the footwear and fashion industry for many moons, I watched the birth to death of many a pair…and I know exactly what goes into them.  I’d personally steer clear of stepping out in these if I were him, however, simply in fear of dirtying their impeccable polish!

In any case, I’ll maintain my mother has a supernal gift because there’s no explaining the talent – it’s an inherent spark I wish I had.  But I’m so very proud of her, and I’m inspired by the things she does to raise money to help wonderful causes…all the time. I can only hope to make as much difference in my life, and am blessed to have the example. (Keeping in mind I won’t ever quite get the hang of flower arranging!)

 

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Let Go Of *Should

“Should” is dangerous.  It looks perfectly benign, and wasn’t exactly something I grew up thinking deeply about – it’s just a word after all.  Right?

“Should,” however, can quickly turn into trouble when we apply it to our situation, for example.  “I should have more money by now,” “I should have reacted differently,” I shouldn’t have studied ____ in school…now it’s too late,” or “I should have listened to so-and-so.”

Life is a journey – we are all presented with circumstances, joys, challenges, and opportunities as they are meant for us. . . I sincerely believe we are precisely where we need to be.

If we had more money, maybe it would be at the expense of our own self-worth, or our family’s happiness.  If we reacted differently to a stimulus, perhaps that resultant, and positive opportunity, would not have been made available. If we didn’t study what we had, perhaps we’d not have come to the realization that we are best suited for another area.  If we listened to so-and-so, maybe we wouldn’t have made the mistake that finally put us on a path to recovery…

There are so many “what-if”s and if we play too much with them in our minds, we neglect all the blessings we have in front of us.  To say should” imposes on reality the idea that we are not where we should be… And yet there are so many circumstances where we find our lives falling right into place, rather miraculously.

When we use “should” with respect to ourselves, it can become much more than a word – when we say things like “I should have known better,” or “I shouldn’t be ________” we are adding a layer of self-judgement to the mix.  It becomes less about a word, and more about an attitude – and when we use words with respect to ourselves, we begin to believe them….

None of us are perfect. . .and that’s okay. There is no “right way” to be, neither a flawless mold to which to adhere.

Each of us is on a unique path, and we are – even when it seems otherwise – right we are meant to be.  When we view our world from this lens, we bring the present back into focus, diminishing the anxieties, worries, self-imposed judgments and falsities that the brain likes to dwell on when we revisit our past…or project into the future.

Including “should” in our conversations with ourselves begins to erode our self-confidence – it can do so not only unbeknownst to us, but at a frighteningly rapid pace.  To let go of the notion allows our inner dialogues to remain healthy, and as we are a reflection of the divine around us (whatever that means to you) those words we speak about ourselves matter.

Our lives are like flowers whose petals must unfold as they – and Nature – are ready. To rush them is to destroy the life itself, whether directly or on a more, shall we say, spiritual level.  

Allow yourself the room to BE without the confines of “should” – even when life feels askew, remember that the last time it felt that way, the cycle came whirling back around to everything-is-okay.  

And…it will be. ❤

Random Panther

RANDOM BLOG PANTHER!

Why?

Because black panthers are the most spectacular creatures on the planet, hello (and I not-so-secretly am jealous I’m not one myself!) 😉 

I mean…just L O O K!

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Nature is astounding.

PS…did you ever see that Geico panther ad?  🙂

Gothiness – Goth Garden

I’ve always had an affinity for all things darkly-hued.  I couldn’t even say why, save that there is a richness born of the depth of the color (or “absence” thereof) that woos my heart (and sight!)

I bought my mother a spectacular black pansy plant for Mother’s Day one year – nothing “morbid,” nor dreary about it!  She was delighted knowing that those velvety black blooms with sunny centers and a burst of violet were my way of smiling at her each day. ❤

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Black pansy

I also have a tradition of sending 50 Black Baccara roses to my parents for Halloween.  This year, my wedding in on the 29th (as close to Hallows as I could manage!) but I will still be sending them their gloriously, decadently-hued blooms all the same!

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Black Baccara rose

“BLACK?!” people say?  Well…not necessarily 100% pitch (there are some flower varieties that are pretty darn close, though!)…but very much “blackened” and beautiful most of the time.

There are countless varieties of black’ish blooms, and one day if I DO have a garden, I will endeavor to plant as many as I can.  “Queen of the Night,” “Black Magic,” “Mystic Dreamer,” “Raven’s Wing”…for me, those names alone have me full swoon.  Strange?  Maybe…but we are all entitled!  I love a brightly-colored bouquet as much as anyone, and in fact one of my favorite flowers are the Pascali rose – an angelically white bud, fresh as driven snow – that my mother planted in our garden in my honor as a child.  My skating coach still calls me “Pascalli” and the memory of those striking, moonlit petals will be with for always.

Pascali rose

Pascali rose

Perhaps, then, I will add a Pascali plant…and some red varieties…since red is also a favored shade…  Osiria, naturally, speaks to my Egyptian-Pagan-heart… ❤ 

Osiria rose

Osiria rose

And “Hearts” would work so nicely…

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What would you plant in your garden…?

Goth Garden

 

“Smelling The Roses”

I’m definitely one of those go-go-go! people… I’m always running around, and pushing myself hard.  I’m not *quite* as bad as some of the Fashion folks I worked with – for them (and good for them if it made them happy!) “chaos mode” was not only okay, but they way they preferred to be!  For me personally, it was too much, but I do have a habit of running from one thing to the next to the point of exhaustion sometimes.

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Fortunately, I DO take time to appreciate what’s around me – I am aware of the weather, the temperature, the scents in the air, the sounds…  I don’t go about my day paying no attention to those details because they are all blessings in their own right, and I don’t want to miss them because I was too busy to lift my head away from my phone.

I needed to drop some things off at Good Will this weekend so I decided I’d take a leisurely stroll there, and back – I opened my mind and senses to the experience.  Just a walk?  Not really.

I felt the cobblestones underfoot through the soles of my boots, and the sound I made as I touched each one.  I noticed the runners who were out with their dogs, and the couples casually walking by… I took in the scent of Spring that came in gently-windy waves, admired how green my favorite creeping ivy had become, and the sound of people outside enjoying their lunch and friends…

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Even just a decade ago, I’d have had to remember the color of the petals on the trees, or the shade of blue of the water without a photo to remind me – which, I have to say, I DO feel is an important exercise (if nothing else, cerebrally!)  Nowadays, we phone cameras with which to capture some of those moments.  While I like to ignore my devices sometimes, I also appreciate that I have a camera at my fingertips – It’s still important to soak in the experience in order that our mind (soul, spirit etc) has an opportunity to form those impressions as richly as possible – but I also love that I can refer back to that “gorgeous sunny day” if I want to.

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It doesn’t matter when you take the time out – nor whether it is one minute, versus thirty.  ANYTHING is a start, and it really is vital to our experience as human beings.  Life moves far too fast- when you hop on the rollercoaster and only look ahead, you will miss the beauty around you.  

Our blessings are countless, truly – take a deep breath and just look around.  The World will become infinitely more astounding right before your eyes…and it was there the whole time!

H2O Of The Future

I occasionally get some odd looks when ingurgitating my bag of seaweed chips – they’re absolutely delicious, despite what skeptics may think!  But I imagine if I held up a jelly-like sphere, crystal clear as could be, to imbibe my thirst…and then, I devoured the skin in a gulp!

Skipping Rocks Lab

Skipping Rocks Lab

That’s right! So much for piles and pits of plastics!

Ooho!, designed by Skipping Rocks Lab, has been created as an environmentally safe solution, making portable water more sustainable.  

To add to the monumental benefit of such a feat, the Company’s use of sodium alginate and calcium chloride (derived from seaweed) has also brought the cost substantially lower from traditional plastics – to approximately one to two pennies per capsule!

Mother Nature inspired the sphere, which I can’t say surprises me – the Universe is pretty remarkable.