Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Silent Presence

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Just letting someone know that you are there for them by holding a safe and sacred space around them is, sometimes, all that they need. This is called silent presence. However, this can be difficult for many of us. We, typically, don't like silence. Just think about when you had your last conversation with someone. Whenever there is a pause in the conversation, someone starts to feel a bit anxious and 'has to' say something. The void feels like it has to be filled. So we fix this by speaking to avoid that space. When you fill in this space by giving advice or making comments, you take away "their" moment to feel the emotions and to heal. Instead, they move out of their body, their feeling and emotions, to hear and think what you are saying. It is a form of distraction and avoidance.

There is a time and place to distract or avoid, but when someone is grieving or sifting through confusing emotions that arise from the memories of a traumatic event, it is, sometimes, best just to listen and give them your silent presence. Remember, it is about them; it is not  about you and your anxiousness or uncomfortable feelings in this moment.

In the end, when someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What Is No Longer Serving You?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

As time goes by, some things may not serve you anymore. Do you need to close some doors to serve you better or even to help you heal? xo

Closing doors is a tough thing to do especially with people that we care for, but to salvage our sanity, safety, and spirituality, we may need to close the door to the people that suck the living energy out of us in order to rise higher than we are now--to be who we are intended to be. 

If you want to elevate yourself to the next level, you cannot hang with others that are always bickering and complaining or belittling and harassing. No matter how much you try, eventually, this lower level energy will get to you. You will not be able to sustain your higher energy source. 

Time-and-again, I have heard the words that "no one can make you feel bad; only you can do this to yourself." These individuals state that "you must take responsibility for your own happiness." Yes, this is true, but it's much more easier said than done. Controlling your way of being around people that are constantly griping may not always be the solution. This takes tremendous effort and energy which can leave you feeling exhausted. If people are constantly complaining, you may want to reconsider who you are hanging out with. Otherwise, you will need to have a conversation around this topic and then set some boundaries. 

You can protect yourself with the energy bubble surrounding you. You can cut the cords that are pulling at you on a daily basis, but when you live or work with others everyday that are sucking the living daylights out of you, eventually, you cannot sustain this, and you will falter.

Definitely, there are exceptions to this. I mean ending relationships and moving on. For instance, perhaps you have an ill parent or child. You cannot walk away from the heavy energy of hardship when it is someone you care deeply for. Then you need to take a different route to sustain your higher energy level. You must find avenues in your life that you are grateful for. Sometimes they are difficult to conjure up in a time of grief and pain, but they are there. Look for them, as small as they may seem.

Different routes need different tactics.  Do you need to close some doors to serve you better or to help you heal? Do you need to set boundaries? Or do you need to foster a heart of gratefulness?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Woman Are Amazing Nurturers

Just a reminder to let you know how frigging amazing you are, and don't you forget that, because us over-givers tend to do that.

Women are nurturers and caregivers by nature. We love to give. We support and encourage. We love to make others happy, but, sometimes, we over-give to the point of exhaustion or resentment and sacrifice our own happiness.

On the flip-side, as nurturers and caregivers, we have a unique ability to make the world a better place for everyone to live. We empathize and inspire. Nevertheless, there are times when we need to schedule time-out and nurture ourselves.

Foster self-care, first. Give yourself the energy you need to continue to be a strong and healthy nurturer, connector, teacher, warrior, lover, and/or a leader. However you are contributing to your higher purpose through your greater self, take responsibility for your energy. Nurture yourself before you nurture others so you can stay strong and enduring.

You are amazing. Remember that, but, first foster daily self-care to be your strong self.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Love Yourself

As I Began to Love Myself

As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health --
food, people, things, situations, 
and everything that drew me down 
and away from myself.
At first, I called this attitude
a healthy egoism.

TODAY, I know it is 
[Charlie Chaplin]

Wake Up to Live by Desiree Leigh

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Reason I Started Wake Up to Live! Blog

The Reasons I Started Wake Up to Live! Blog

One thing is for certain about life, there is a beginning and there is an end. 

I started the blog Wake Up to Live! because I wanted others to wake up to live a life fully and passionately.  I was once a sleeper, and I lived life from a knee-jerk reaction not conscious of the reasons to my emotions and behaviors, as well as my choices. Also important, I wasn't aware of time passing me by. Once I awoke, life became clear, refreshing, truthful, and exhilarating. At the same time, each moment of time became precious. I found a way to create a person that I wanted to live with, and I wanted to find a way to share my experiences of waking up and encouraging other to wake up to live fully, too.

To wake up and to live a life fully and passionately, one must clear out the baggage we carry.  This baggage darkens our view of life and our view of ourselves. So, in the blog I talk about the healing process and what one can be prepared for.  I encourage and give strength and power through my stories hoping to encourage others, both men and women, to step forward and know that all will be well when confronting darkness. In the moments during the healing process, it can be extremely difficult. So many varying emotions come pouring out.  With persistence and with the support of a health care provider, and knowing that these emotions or the pain you feel in your heart or your head won't last forever, the brilliance and depth of life will be revealed all around you.

I speak from a spiritual mentor, counsellor's, and life coach perspective inter-playing the dynamics of each together or separately. Although I have retired my spiritual mentor hat, and I do not define myself as a spiritual mentor, I will always live by what has awakened me and how I live my life. I like to say that I am a health promoter or educator incorporating the triad of mind, body, and spirit in my teachings and practice. 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Monday, July 25, 2016

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis 

A diagnosis of cancer.
On Thursday, I found out that an old friend has been diagnosed with cancer.  No one, yet, knows what type of cancer she has, but, with an MRI scan, the cancer has been located in her lung, kidney, and femur.  Tuesday, we will all know what type of cancer it is.

I was taken aback by the news. Somewhat dumbfounded, confused, and dazed.  I heard the news only by accidentally bumping into her brother, my ex, at the grocery store down the road. This news was very new, though, and I think everyone was just trying to deal with what just happened.  I immediately told two of my children since she is their auntie.

So, as you can imagine, my mind is not as present as it was prior to Thursday.  I am still getting things done, but in the not so far distance of my thoughts, I think about her. I think about a life that may be cut short because of a growth that is now housing her body.

My son and I went to visit her on Sunday.  It was a very pleasant visit. I got to see one of her brothers and his wife that I haven't seen in years. It was nice to see old familiar faces and talk like time in-between our last visit was only yesterday. They left and the three of us were there to chat, but, really, it was mostly to listen.

As I sat there listening to her and how she plans on approaching the tumors, refusing to do any chemotherapy, I started to think about why I waited so long to visit.  I see her about once a year, but, really, once a year!  How could that be good enough?

The importance of staying connected with the ones you love.
I preach to my children that life is 'always' busy, and you have to make time for the people you love and care about. They do and I do, for each other.  That's what makes our bond with each other strong.  We see each other weekly chatting on current events and work, talking about the deep issues of life and our goals, recipes and the food we eat, and laughing about everything. Just recently, I had seen the three of them on Saturday morning. Since they all live together, I was able to do a respiratory and cardiovascular assessment on two and them.  I was glad they volunteered their time to do this for me so that I could practice my nursing skills. As a mom would do and an up-and-becoming registered nurse, I started giving my advice regarding health and blood pressure. They listened intently to my advice since mom is not rambling from some random self-help book anymore but from hard scientific facts.

Why do we wait so long to see the one's we love, or why do we wait so long to see certain people that we love?
The excuses we use to not see a loved one is not only about life's 'busyness.'  We have thoughts that ruminate every once in a while which dictate why or why not we visit loved ones. There are definitely good reasons. Some family members, in my circle, were abusive in the past and still are today, so I chose to leave them. Some, that are not abusive, I have kept in touch with.

Does your ex play a role in visiting the ones you love?
Ex's play a different role, though, and this old friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer is a sister of my ex. I always found myself questioning the relationship between me and her and the rest of the family when I moved on with my life. It wasn't a smooth and easy end. She and I always had a close bond, though. I remember when she arrived at Lion's Gate hospital when Fabio (my youngest son) was only 9 weeks old after a respiratory arrest. She seemed to be the only one that cared for the children I had with her brother, at the time. She was the one that was never judgmental and that meant a lot to me. She was always sincere and humble.

Not seeing the love that was always there in front on me.
When I went to visit her on Sunday, I picked up on her heart-felt care and concern for me by what she keeps around her home.  23 years ago, I was into making topiary trees and wreaths, and sewing kids costumes, aprons, and oven mitts, as well as ornamental pillows. I made her a pink heart-shaped wreath arranged with moss, ribbons and flowers. This wreath, that is falling apart, still hangs on a hook on the outside of her door welcoming visitors. I asked her if I could make her another wreath. She refused. I then asked her if she wanted me to fix the wreath I made for her, and she said yes.

By removing the wreath, she removes the memories, and she doesn't want to remove the old memories that are so precious to her. She doesn't see the unsightliness of the dilapidated wreath. She only sees the memories of connected-ness, love, happiness, and the children. Sometimes I wonder, can I also see beyond the unsightliness of things in my life as she does? How beautiful is that.  She also keeps a two and a half foot tall metal Eiffel tower that encases a candle the children and I bought her many years ago within her beautiful display just outside her front door.

What I learned from the cancer diagnosis.
My excuses are many. What does she think of me? Maybe she doesn't care? She doesn't have the time? She doesn't want to see me? I don't want to hear her say no and feel rejected. Maybe she's been influenced by the family. With these ruminating questions and statements, I am allowing time to pass as though life will never end. What I finally realized on Sunday was that she really did and does care about me, and not only about her nephews. That she always wanted me in her life, and even with my absence, I was a part of her life. It's my turn to step it up a notch now: to be there for her, to support her and her journey, to phone her, and to visit her.

Time is precious. Who knows how much time we each have on this planet. Spend it wisely with others--the one's you love.

Wake Up to Live