Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Embracing Emotion

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My grandmother at 18.

In “You Being Beautiful”, Drs. Oz and Roizen write the following: “Our goal here shouldn’t be to ignore emotions when they come up – whether we are reacting painfully to the loss of a loved one…Our goal should be to observe emotions – and learn to think with these emotions to help give our lives even deeper meaning.” (page 321).  Today is the anniversary of my grandmother’s death and it seemed an appropriate time to finally write something all about her so that I’m not ignoring the emotions that I feel.  My eldest sister has asked me for a long time why I don’t write about her.  I think she knows…she is intuitive in a way that very few people are, even if she doesn’t know it herself.  I haven’t written a full entry on my grandmother, because it’s so painful for me to write about her in the past tense that I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

In February, I wrote about my grandfather, https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/a-true-gift/ and it was so much easier talking about him, maybe because I lost him at such a young age.  My Bobbi (that’s how she spelled it – some spell it Bubbie – either way, it’s Yiddish for grandmother) was my perfect person, the one that I related to and adored the most.  I can tell you a million reasons why, but probably the biggest reason is that what I got from her was unconditional love.  It was demonstrated in the small things that she did that seemed huge at the time.  It was when my sisters and I would visit her (she lived in Ottawa, we lived in Nova Scotia) and she would light up when she saw us come in the door.  It was the fact that she always made the same welcome lunch when we’d visit – baked macaroni and cheese, just slightly overdone exactly like we liked it, with a pitcher of chocolate milk in the refrigerator and her amazing home made chocolate cake for dessert.  It was knowing that she’d have our favourite cereal that we couldn’t get at home in her cupboard.  It was the way every day that we were there, she had something else baked for us.  You can have your grandparents that spoil you with diamonds, my grandmother spoiled us with love and that was her answer for everything.  I would ask her why everything that she made tasted so good and her answer was always the same, “Because I made it with love.”  And I knew that she did.

When my sisters would go to sleep away camp, I’d get my grandmother all to myself for 7 weeks (well, my mother was there too, but I was #1).  These were some of the best times of my life.  We’d go for walks every day – mostly so that my grandmother could take me for a treat – she was worried that I was too skinny.  Thanks Bobbi – you’ve more than taken care of that childhood problem.  As we would walk by, I’d see her greet her neighbours.  They looked so much older than she did – my Bobbi looked young with hardly any grey in her hair, even though she never dyed it.  I finally had to ask her why all of her friends were senior citizens.  I had never seen her laugh so hard or be so flattered.  She loved telling people that story, because even if I didn’t know it,  she was part of that club.  She was the grandmother who found us all so charming that we could do no wrong in her eyes and in return, in my eyes at least, she was and still is perfect.

Leaving her was so painful for me, or having her leave when she would come for a visit.  I’d sit in her lap, crying inconsolably.  When I got too big for her to hold, she’d give me a big hug and tell me that she had to go because she loved her home.  She would recite a little poem from a ceramic iron that she bought in Bermuda to help me understand “My house is small, no mansion for a millionaire.  But there is room for love and there is room for friends.  That’s all I care.”  I have that iron sitting next to me as I write this entry.  She loved her house, I think, because that was where she spent her married life with my grandfather and she adored him.  She never stopped missing him and her house was where her memories of him were the strongest.  I shouldn’t call it a house though, it was home for all of us.

I could spend all day listing all of the things that she did with me like taking me to the very fancy (at least in my eyes) Green Valley with my great aunt for lunch or playing games with me or just reading to me.  I could tell you how she watched the best TV shows – Wonder Woman, Matt Houston, Charlie’s Angel’s or best of all – The Golden Girls!  We would watch that show and laugh together every single time.  She thought Sophia was a hoot.  I could tell you how she was a lady, and carried herself like royalty.  Even when people see her picture, they think she looks like a queen.  I could tell you that she never had an unkind word for anyone, although I’m sure she felt hurt at times, she never showed it.  I could tell you that her house could pass a white glove test.  I could tell you that even though she was ill at ease around dogs, she would always give my dog a careful little pat of the head – and he was very gentle with her because he could tell how nervous she was.  I could tell you that whenever we’d get up after reading together that she would always give me a hug that my mother would always walk in on and spout “Oh – the pals”.  In her defence, when I was growing up, I had a duo photo frame filled my two favourite people – my Bobbi and my dog.  Stiff competition and I’m sure that must have hurt her feelings.  Sorry Mummy.

I could tell you a million little things about my grandmother but it would never explain how much I miss her every single day.  It would never explain how I would give anything to spend just a little bit of time with her.  It would never explain how even today, so many years after she has gone, I still wish I could hear her say “Jilly, come to Bobbi” when I was crying and how it would make everything better.  It would never explain how much I wish I was more like her but she was in a class by herself.

Today, I am grateful that my Bobbi never had to leave the home that she loved and that she was never so sick that she had to change her life.  The day she died, she went for tea with her friends, visited with her beloved nephew, watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and then felt sick and had to go to the hospital.  She never suffered.  I can’t tell you how grateful that I am that I had her for 17 years of my life.  It was a gift.


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Day 18: Expressing Like – I Mean Love

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

I completed the 21 Day Experience on Wednesday evening – and then, they come out with a bonus meditation *sigh*.  It won’t be part of my blog, but in the interest of doing this experience from start to finish I will do it tonight.  Not to spoil the 21st day entry, but Deepak really ended things on a high note so stay tuned for some great words of wisdom with a few meditations that has small moments of inspiration in between.  So getting back to love making the world go round, I mean expressing love!  The most interesting thing about this meditation was the mantra – Om aHa.  Do Deepak and Oprah have homes in Nebraska?  Is Omaha the new yoga and spiritual centre?  To all of my US readers, nice shout out if you are from the state giving us Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.  Maybe I’m wrong – maybe this was an Oprah licensing thing – she did give us the AHA moment didn’t she?  Maybe she asked Deepak to create a special mantra for her disciples and created the OM-AHA moment?

Moving away from some of my silliness, even though it pains me, Oprah begins by letting us know that when we express ourselves from a centered place of love, miracles happen.  The love that we feel could be the predominant energy that rules the world – just like the Tears for Fears song – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”  (Jill is saying this part, not Oprah in case you hadn’t guessed).  When we expand our awareness and embrace that which we come from and are love, the universe flows through us, we transform the world in the most natural and wondrous of ways.  This is where my mind starts to wander – when they ideas get a little too out there for me with the flowing energy and the whole world transforming because of little old me.  I think that we can impact some lives, and we need to be kinder and more compassionate, and through that we can change our small part of the world.  We can also be more open to expressing opinions about what is bothering us in the world so that people everywhere know that they are accountable or not forgotten, like the tragedy happening in Nigeria right now.  Just putting it out there, girls are not commodities – they are people and deserve the right to education, security and love, not to be sold into slavery by ridiculous little men who create a new religion to justify their actions (what they are preaching isn’t part of any religion that I know of).  I could go on and on, but I won’t – since this is a health and lifestyle blog.

Getting back to Deepak – he lets us know that fulfillment of the heart chakra elevates all hearts connected to it.  We, tend to limit love to just those people immediately around us (family, friends, etc.).  Deepak Chopra wants us to love the world (I’ll love it with some exceptions – hello bad people, I’m talking to you).  The concept kept getting more abstract, which if you have been following along on my path to meditation, just doesn’t work for me.  He then concludes that we limit ourselves because it is socially acceptable to love our families but not humanity.   Well, sort of, it’s just harder for me to love those people that I don’t have any connection to, but I can feel compassion as I’ve noted above.  AH – he means compassion in the same way that we mean love  – gotcha DC.  This compassion will help us change differences between ourselves and others and unite us in a common goal.  Nice!

Every day, he would like us to make a connection with love beginning in silence – hmmm a woman trying to be silent – don’t you know us at all?  When you experience a positive emotion, he would like us to say to ourselves that this is love flowing from my true self.  I’ll just say, “Oh Happy Day” if you don’t mind.  It can be anything that makes you feel happy like enjoying a sunny day, seeing a puppy tugging it’s owner along, getting to another level in Candy Crush or just watching “The Mindy Project” – whatever brings you that contentment.  Any positive feeling can be traced to love.  Deepak says that you can say “I am love” and know that it’s true and learn to transform small moments along the way.  I think he means make small transformations as a result of this joy that you feel and this will have a positive impact not just on you, but those around you.  This meditation had some bad moments, but overall, when you preach love and compassion, how bad is that?

Today was beautiful.  The weather was warm, and even with the rain, it was still nice.  I’m also grateful that I got to enjoy a good laugh with my massage therapist who always makes me feel better.  I saw my dear friend tonight who spotted Vionic shoes when we were shopping.  They actually are helping with the nasty pain that I’ve been feeling, so I’m totally grateful for that as well.  AND IT”S THE WEEKEND.  Another day, another boatload of gratitude.

Gratefully yours,

Jill

 


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Day 11: What the World Needs Now Is Love….

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

…sweet love.  Great – now I’m quoting Burt Bacharach songs.  What have I become?  I’m like one of those young American Idol contestants being forced to sing songs by a man at least 4 times their age.  Did you ever wonder how come they all pretended to know who he was?  They’d all act really excited, but I bet only one really old soul actually knew who the man was, the rest were hoping for One Direction or whoever the big band of their season was.  I’d be much more excited to meet One Direction.  I, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s soon to be uncoupled from, husband find them delightful and entertaining.  No offence to the silver haired and tongued, talented Mr. Bacharach intended.  Now back to today’s topic – Activating Love.

Of course D-oprah are both much deeper than myself.  I did enjoy this one a little bit more than yesterday’s meditation.  It was because the concept wasn’t as abstract.  It’s all about being relatable for me.  Oprah started by posing a question, “What can happen in our lives when we allow love and compassion to flow freely?”  Well, like my Momma always told me (I threw in a little Forrest Gump), you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Sorry – there was more deepness, I got side-tracked “…we begin to feel at one with the force of pure joy, reciprocity and kinship, connected and whole with more to give which means we receive more and life gets better.”  She has a point – just think when you have done something really good, helpful or even compassionate for someone – you feel good about yourself and are more connected to that person.  I always go on and on about the friends who went out of their way for me during a difficult time in my life – and they know that because they showed me compassion, they will always get it back, whenever they need it.  Even when you do something kind for a stranger, there is a small joy in that and the universe will pay you back.  Sorry to go all Oprah on you – but it’s true and I’ve seen it.  It can be as small as helping out a tourist in your city who is lost remembering that one day, you will be that person who needs a hand. Speaking of tourists, the Divine Miss O asks us to remember a moment that took your breath away or melted your heart.  It could be the vast majesty of the sky (not for me – fast moving clouds make me dizzy), the mountains (ok, getting warmer – I love the mountains), ocean waves (totally hot now – adore the ocean) or redwood trees (cold, cold – very cold – trees are full of bugs). 

We learned that the heart chakra is the fourth chakra and helps us to give, receive and connect with others.  To experience love fully means experiencing who you are according to Deepak.  He goes on to say that love can have different intensities but the reality is that the connection to this chakra can be like the feelings of love at first sight (strong) or the love that you feel when you think of a friend from the past (weak).  He suggests that you can live love rather than look for love by experiencing a silent mind.  I’m sure any man that you speak to would rather have have a wife with a silent mouth and a louder mind – just kidding ladies!   He provides us with a couple of lovely lines from a poem to get the point across, ” Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the values within yourself that you built against it.”  I think the translation is essentially, you can’t look for something until you deal with the issues that you have created within yourself. 

His belief is that the energy forces in your heart can remove obstacles effortlessly like warmth dissolves ice.  The man is a poet!  Let’s just say, he wants you to lead with the heart, rather than the head which is a challenge for many of us (although some are too led by their hearts too).  This is to help connect you with others and alleviate feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety  which are all from a lack of love.  He wants us to think of and notice the different “flavours” of love in your heart and these include appreciation, gratitude, enjoyment, affection, romance, and personal attraction.  This can be as simple as acknowledging how beautiful a morning is to remembering that love is gentle – it’s not all about having strong emotion.  I have to say, I love DC – he makes the simplest concepts and advice sound like iambic pentameter.  No wonder Dr. Oz likes the guy so much!

Today, I am grateful for my health.  I went to the doctor to get some test results and what I’ve been doing is helping – no drugs needed for this Oz follower just yet, well except all of the supplements that I take.  Can’t wait to meditate later (only 10 more to go).

Gratefully yours,

Jill