Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Well Mr. Know it all Frost – What if there are more than 2 paths? ~ Guest Blogger Kory

 Welcome – Special Guest Blogger Kory. She is a fellow traveler on the highway who both Kristi and Rae adore! 

As I have been traveling my life’s roathe road not takend, I’ve recently come to a standstill in the middle of a fork.  Yet instead of two different options, it had several.  Which one to choose?  I was confused!  I was excited!  It was troubling as conflicting emotions were running both through my intellect and my heart.  I was indecisive.  

Let me say that again…I was indecisive.

That has never happened to me before.  I usually have a goal in mind and that’s the road I travel.  I may glance at the other roads as I saunter, but I never doubt my decision. I live in the now.  Yet as I gaze at these multiple roads before me I realized I needed help; I needed advice. So I sought out my confidants…my girlfriends.

After their initial remarks such as, “We’ve never seen you like this” and “this is weird”, we finally got down to business…how do I solve my dilemma? As I listened to their input I realized they were just as puzzled as I was.  However, there was one prominent question that stuck with me:  “What do you want in the long term? What is your final goal?”  I pondered the answer to this question for hours and I finally came up with an answer: I don’t know.  I don’t have one.  And in fact, I don’t want one.  This was quite a shock to me.  As a teacher I always direct my students to have both short term and long term goals and now I’ve become a hypocrite?!?  Will my life now fall apart and I will go on wandering aimlessly?  Ironically- I’m quite content and happy with the right now.  So what if I don’t have a long term goal?


What I’ve discovered is that I am a pseudo-professional student.  I love to learn!

  • Take more university classes to get certifications and credentials?  Check.
  • Take more workshops to get a deeper understanding of teaching and curriculum?  Check.
  • Go to advisory council meetings to bring county and state goals to my classroom?  Check.

And there’s many more.  Then I thought back to another question that stuck with me “How do these help me reach my long term goal?”  Well…it doesn’t…Since I don’t have one.   Still, I live in the now and they help me with the now.  My long term goals have not appeared to me yet…no apparitions, no glimpses, no anything.

And for once I’m totally fine with that.

When I reflect upon my life I realize that I’ve always been a short-term kind of girl.  Those kinds of goals are more attainable, there are more of them, and thus more celebrations of achievement!  Conversely, long term goals are fussy, so far off and thus seem almost unattainable.  I want to live a long comfortable live, full of the wealth of family and funds.

Yeah…unattainable?  kory

Or only attainable at retirement age?

That is just too far off.  I like celebrations of achievement!

So as I stared at the all the roads ahead of me I didn’t choose the “one less traveled”.  My roads all looked the same.  That’s when I realized that it didn’t matter which road I headed down, they are all me “living in the now” and they are all “short term”.  So as I embark on the first step down my chosen path, I can still see the others running parallel to me on my journey.  Will they disappear forever?  I don’t think so.  They will still be there.  We will have our intersection again.

So screw you Robert Frost.  My roads are all bright and sunny and inviting.  So no matter what I choose I will be happy and live a full life.  And that has made all the difference.

road not taken 2

Leave a comment »

Honesty~ Monique

Honesty

Weekly, I host a women’s group where a small gathering of like souls come together in order to purge, learn, and share amongst one another. This year’s theme constituting mainly around “honest communication” has brought with it an entirely new meaning to life. For years I have found myself reminding others to be honest with themselves. To get real about what they wanted or who they were as a person. Asking them to dig deep and to seek out their own truth. What I found this year was myself asking those questions in reference to my own life. In the earlier part of the year, I started under going some health concerns. The pain at times was so prolific that it kept me in bed and on pain meds. As I navigated through my own emotions awaiting results, I started to learn what it was to get very honest with oneself. Just like there are many layers to life. There is also many layers to one’s honesty. It simply comes down to how far is a person willing to take it.

For me. it was to go all the way, which transcribed into a new teaching lesson each week with my group of women. At first the lessons started simple. Look at your clothing, your homes, your materialistic items that crowd your space. Get honest with that vase given three Christmas’s ago that repulses you and has yet to be disposed of. Soon the lessons moved into relationships with others. Who in your life weighs you down, represses, or abuses you in some sort of the way? What is it you wish to say but haven’t? What are the truths versus the untruths fed to yourself by yourself? As you quiet the mind, listen to your own clear secular voice and distinguish it amongst the clutter. Lastly was a two-week assignment to live life each waking moment as though you were dying.

I cannot speak for others but I can, however, validate for myself the changes it created within my environment. For those who know me know that clothing is my weakness. It is a way of expression and a completed masterpiece when I have finished putting together an outfit for the day. As I purged my closet, out went the articles too small, too big, too difficult to get into. Out went the trendy pieces that I never was convinced I liked, the patterns that made me dizzy and the “cute” items that I felt like a little girl in. Out went others preconceived views as to who I was. In came space as I effortlessly slid the hangers back and forth on the rack. Realizing how much I had but didn’t need.

Moving on to the relationships within my life I wrote beautiful letters to all those who I loved and honored. I spoke up slowly about the things that didn’t represent me any longer. Most of all, I created a relationship with myself. I chose to go vegan after struggling with the decision after 2 years and I stay honest with myself when I can only be 80%. Some weeks only completing 50% accuracy. I became honest with what constituted as self-care: a cup of tea, solitude, a quick read. I found my “yes” becoming a more definite yes, my “no” a sturdy do not question me no, and my maybe’s becoming less and less frequent. I learned to maintain my issues around people pleasing and instead to learn what it meant to please myself. I broke through the concept of selfishness when I preconceived the end results of “what if’s” by not jumping through hoops. I mastered the art of crying as I breathed through my fears of possible abandonment by others and found that it was I abandoning myself by not being honest with me first. This year thus far has been an accelerating experience. I have proven so much to myself. I have beaten the odds that were against me and have triumphant over the hurdles that have stood before me. With strength of character, faith, and an open mind as my armor I have amazed myself. Change is possible, success is achievable, and unconditional love is always the answer. However, honesty is a gem we all posses.

The great thing about pain is that it is real. It is intense, to the point and makes itself known. There are many ways to disengage from it but eventually it will ramp up and be heard again. One’s own honesty is very much the same. Once it is given a little attention, fed and listened to, it will escalate from a yelp to a howl. The most honored trustworthy person to direct you to your truth is you. Simply why go with the flow and follow the herd when you are meant to stand out. Sometimes honoring that honest voice within will lead you to your right herd of like-minded people.

Monique Kristi met Monique in high school.  She was a sparkling soul then, but now her sparkle is blinding.  Monique is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a B.A in Psychology.  She hosts weekly Meditation Groups, Women’s Groups, Cancer Survivor Groups, Inner Child Workshops, as well as teach Yoga.   She has been involved with the American Cancer Society for the past 5 years.  She provides Hospice with Volunteer Bereavement Counseling and Respite Classes.  Monique’s blog can be found at: http://moniquesguidinglight.blogspot.com/?m=1

Thank you for challenging us to be more honest with ourselves and with the people around us, Monique.  May you be blessed!~ Kristi and Rae

Leave a comment »

Friday Freakout~ Rae, Kristi, and Donna

fridayfreakout

Rae~

This Daylight Savings time switch is a paradox for me; I both love it and hate it. I love sun shine in the evening, but hate waking up to the pitch dark. Adjust body- Adjust! I’m done looking like the walking dead every morning.

Note to tall people- if you are over 6’4″ you should NOT stand in front of a group of peers looking at the same exhibit. No, I’m not kidding. I went to a fabulous presentation at the Naval Warfare Center and one of my fellow educators kept standing right in front of 5’6″ me.  Hello- Did you not realize you are REALLY tall?

The season of tests is upon students and educators of California. An average sophomore in high school took the California High School Exit Exam last week, probably has quarter exams by the end of March, and will take the California State Test in April. Poor babies (I’m referring to both the students and their teachers)!!! Too much testing gets a grade of F in my book.

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. ” ~Roger Lewin

Kristi~

My house closed- FINALLY!  All the hoops have been jumped through.  I can enjoy my house now (two days before a week long camping vacation).

My new dishes make me do the happy dance.  They are zebra and (red) giraffe.  You might need to call me “Snookie” instead of Kristi.  I do have to remind myself (numerous times) that not everything in my house can be animal print!

I have been slacking on Crossfit due to working too much and the delays in the move.  I am so looking forward to WOD-ing (Work Out of the Day) again.  My body needs it, but my mind craves it!

“We work on ourselves in order to help others, but we help others in order to work on ourselves.” ~ Pema Chodron

Donna~

I got to see the Los Angeles Kings play two nights in a row. If the Bears were in town I’d be in my sports Nirvana.

There is no good that can come out of a 13 year old being out on the streets at midnight. What are people thinking?

I don’t care if I buy my tiaras at Disney or the 99cent store, I deserve the crown.

I made it to work three days in a row without baby barf on my clothes. I should go to Vegas or something.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~ Elie Wiesel

2 Comments »

Hope~ Donna

 

Hope- Donna

I was much honored when I was asked to submit some thoughts for this awesome blog. I mean if you knew me you’d know most people are usually praying for me to shut up, and now I’m being asked to talk. Free reign to talk in an open forum, the possibilities are endless; as is the block I was having.

Of course the normal ideas came to mind: family, friends, and work. But if I’m going to have this one chance to introduce myself and chat with you I wanted to provoke you into thought because that is just the kind of person I am. Some may say I like to debate, others may say I like playing Devil’s advocate, and there are some I am sure I don’t want to know what they say. I said a little prayer and told God that I hope I get it right. Then I thought about that word hope. I use it often; I hope I get accepted into a good college, I hope my children succeed as honest human beings, I hope someone will come up with a delicious chocolate donut that burns more calories than a treadmill. The word hope loosely defined means a feeling of expectation for something to happen. What do I hope to happen? Then it hit me, my work as an advocate relies greatly on my ability to continue to hope for change in laws and society.

So allow me to lay a little background on my road to becoming an advocate. Several years ago our family went through one of the most traumatic events any family could go through. To say this almost destroyed me is an understatement. I decided to channel my anger into something meaningful. I found a group who did online work fighting pedophilia so I joined and for 3 years I worked as an undercover decoy helping law enforcement arrest men who were seeking minors online to rape. While this work did a lot to channel my anger, it also made me a little jaded and cynical.  I mean, there are things I have seen, read, and been told that I wish I had never seen, read, or heard and I wouldn’t even want to share that with anyone because some things just are unspeakable. Yet they happen, and to innocent people. It’s easy to lose hope in humanity when you deal with this a lot.

As my children grew my circumstances changed and I had to retire from this group. I knew I still needed to do something so I went through training and became a rape crisis advocate for the county I live in. So from dealing with the bad guys every day I now got to work with those who were victimized but were brave enough to report their attacks and went from victim to survivor.

Where is the hope you ask? The hope lies in healing. The hope is the expectancy that things will change, laws will be made, and people will learn that while there is evil in the world there is also good. No matter what happened, there is healing that can occur. I think hope is the one human characteristic that makes us strong. We can’t control what others choose to do to us, but we can control how we react. I love the notion that I can tell my children that while the plans they have for their futures may hit detours, some bigger than others, they have their faith and the hope that they can heal. There is also the hope that we can be the difference, that we can affect change.

One of the beauties of hope is that it doesn’t require something bad to happen first, to then hope for good. My daughter’s father and I hope every day when we send her off to school that we are doing right by her, that we are teaching her the right values, the right ethics. We hope that she sees how we love our family and hope that she chooses to expect the same goodness her Dad showers us with when it is time for her to find someone; which we hope isn’t for decades. We hope that she isn’t afraid to try things; we hope she has courage to do what is right instead of what is easy. We hope that her faith is shown through the behavior she displays, and the causes she is willing to stand for.

My advocacy relies in the hope that people can stand and fight for change. The hope that our military females can serve without fear of being raped by those they are supposed to work alongside with. That a child can go online without being targeted by a pedophile. I hope that we won’t see more politicians trying to define the rape of a woman to gain voters. I hope that we will all hug our kids a little harder, not be afraid to stand up for what’s right rather than what’s popular, and my greatest hope is that we all look a little deeper inside ourselves to see where our advocacy lies.

 

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?view=att&th=13d673072b536e44&attid=0.3&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-KlM6x3miF9ESL-WMcvpKR&sadet=1363748451151&sads=yAQVuhxBjgrXabHqNj2Zrsh-MJ4We met Donna at the high school that Rae and I work(ed) at and Donna’s desire to make the world a better place walks into the room before she does.  She does work that most of us couldn’t, yet she still embodies hope.  We are grateful for Donna’s reminder that “hope lies in healing” and that “hope is the one human characteristic that makes us strong”

For more information about Donna’s organizations, please visit these websites:

http://www.perverted-justice.com/

http://rarcc.org/

Donna, we think you are amazing and thank you for being you.~ Rae and Kristi

4 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: