Happy Third Birthday to the Blog

holding-hands-black-and-white     “Why can’t you turn your pain to bliss?”

     –Swamee Kaleshaware

Dear Friends,

Three years ago when Omid & Sabrina made this blog for me as a birthday gift, I didn’t know what a blog was, had never been on a blog and really missed the power of internet for connecting. When the first story “Ten Seconds of Freedom” was posted on July 27, 2012; within two or three hours, there were more than three hundred views on the story from all over the world!

I asked Omid who are these people viewing the blog? And how did they find the story? I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I have always felt one of my callings in life is to connect with others.

Our children at times tease me about my passion for connecting people to one another. Since the blog started, I feel I have grown tremendously by your support, having friends from all over the planet.

The intention was to bring emotional healing to humanity thorough story telling. We know story telling is healing for the children.We read them bed time stories. Yet at times, we forget the healing power of the story for all of us . When I look at our planet, when I hear the daily news, I feel deep sadness in my heart and long for love, peace and harmony for all.

My spiritual teachers suggested if you feel peaceful inside, then you have the opportunity of manifesting it to the universe. Yes, that makes sense. I can’t give what I don’t have. Inner peace can be projected on to the planet. Imagine, if each and every one of us could create total peace, a state of bliss within and then offer that feeling to our family and loved ones. Soon, it would include the circle around us, our communities, town, city, state, country, Planet Earth and the Universe. It is said when Buddha mediated no violence could happen within fifty miles around him. Even animals in the wild did not hunt. Imagine that possibility.

I have always wondered what I could do about the pain and suffering of all beings. As a clinician, I feel honored to sit with others in pain. It is the most sacred gift for me to be trusted with their pain. We always remember those who were there when we were in pain. It is an important step.

However, I feel a sense of urgency for humanity at large. The intensity of violence and destruction, cruelty from individuals to global is a painful reality. It is time for each one of us to become the kind of candle that lights millions of other candles. There is an urgent need for higher awareness and creating consciousness that we are all one! As Persian poet Saadi has beautifully said: Humans are part of one another and come from the same source. When one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts.

I used to think; I am only one person. What can one person do all alone? Today, thanks to all of you, I feel I offer my gifts to the universe and trust the universe supports our intention of unity and solidarity affirming we are all connected.

The Dalai Lama once said:“The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is the set”. Yes, we need more soul healing energy on this planet. If our basic needs were met, most of us if not all of us long to live a peaceful life with love, honor and being of service in some way. The question remains; How come so much pain, suffering, cruelty and inequality exist on our planet? And what can we do about it?

I like to share what I have done and invite you to join the caravan of healing.

The most challenging step is to create a state of bliss from within even if it is only for a moment. It similar to having a ray of the Sun in total darkness. Feeling the warmth of that light will energize us to take action. It is not easy, yet possible, and there are no quick fixes.

Think for a moment with me now, what brings joy to your soul? What makes you feel loved, serene and peaceful? How can you manifest that for just a split second? You are the only one who can discover that.

I can share mine with you. It does not mean it would do the same for you. You know it in your soul, if your mind can be quiet, then you can hear the inner voice.

At the center of your being

you have the answer;

you know who you are

and you know what you want

Lao Tzu

We live in a “rat race” lifestyle and our minds are busy beyond our awareness. Millions of thoughts travel through our mind at any given moment. How can we possibly hear our inner voice?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see a Saint from India. She is called the Hugging Saint. This woman, this candle brought healing not only to India but to the planet through her HUGS! Thousands of people gathered around her to receive a hug from her! I was crying with tears of joy watching a video of her, teaching women how to plant seeds, build bath rooms, homes, teach children…………………………….

She gave real hugs! I was wondering about this tireless woman, heard she gives hugs at stadiums to thousands of people at the time. I long for that kind of connection. When I got a hug from her, I felt her loving energy healing the soul, one hug at the time. I was energized and ready to pay it forward.

So, here is an invitation to all of you who wish to bring loving healing to the planet. As Mother Teresa has said, there are more people who die of lack of love than lack of bread.

These are not the stories of one candle. It is about the universal healing of the planet, from individual to global, form inner to outer world.

One step is to share the healing with all those who are willing to receive, consider sharing the link with others and join our phenomenal translation team to bring the healing to corners of our planet. There are already nine languages on the blog, we have over  52,300 views from 91 countries already! I could not have  imagined this three years ago.

I am inviting you to translate one short story namely “Heaven” posted on August 4th 2012, leave me a note on the blog and I will post it.

To my friends from Lesotho, Batswana, Guyana and many other countries, thank you for supporting the message of healing. My heart smiles knowing that readers all over our beautiful planet got a healing message of hope and serenity.

An invitation for you to share your reflections on the blog. Several friends have shared with me about their healing journey through these stories and expression of their soul. Do you think it was easy for me to share about having been violated on the blog? I could not have imagined that possibility a few years ago. Words cannot express the healing process and freedom I have felt after sharing my life experiences / stories on the blog.  Consider starting a personal journal.  Be mindful as how you feel inside when you read a story and what kind of memories/triggers show up. Write about your inner landscape.

A friend in our writing class said, her mother told her “stories are to tell not to sell”.

Some Persian friends ask me, how can you share such personal issues? Yes, in our culture like in many others, there is a strong taboo about sharing the dirty laundry of the family with “strangers”. At times, there are serious consequences, sometimes murder for those who dare to break the taboo. When females are violated within the family and killed by male family member under the guise of an honor killing, no one asks who violated the young girl. How are young girls supposed to learn to protect themselves from the predators?

Some friends think I am courageous. The fact is that I had a choice to remain hurt, angry, resentful and hateful – OR – take the road to recovery, no matter the challenge. I made a choice and I like to support you in yours. The possibilities are open.

We are all ONE. We are to become the voice of those who are in the process of finding their voice. Our planet needs healing and it is up to the loving, healing, nurturing of divine feminine energy to create a shift in consciousness. We have a choice.

There are so many people to thank that simply would be long for even patient readers. You know who you are and we don’t really need any stickers or acknowledgement for a heartfelt gift. Simply a big thank you to the endless support of my family. Without their help, there won’t be a blog.

This birthday is a mark in life for me becoming a grandmother. The joy is priceless.

Together we can heal.

Turn your scars to stars.” – Dr. Robert Schuller

Happy Birthday

Feliz Comlianos

Joyeux Anniversaire / Bon Anniversaire

Flice Compliano

Tavalodet Mobarak

The White Dove

Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 10.30.55 AMI heard my brother was taken to the emergency room following a severe bleeding from the nose and mouth. He was in the ICU for a week facing a life-threatening situation. His bathroom was full of blood. Apparently, the combination of the heart medications he was taking caused the bleeding. I asked myself how would I feel if his time had come? What do I need to clear from my heart in order to release him with love? I am aware of my need for closure and freedom. My thoughts took me back to my childhood.

He was bossy and aggressive with me. Our father loved to play cards with his friends in the evenings. There were times my brother would hurt me and I cried. Then our father would come and if he were in a “ good mood”, he would ask what happened and then punished my brother for bullying me. Other times, when he was not in a good mood, he “disciplined” us both for making noise.

When he was 8 and I was about 2 years old, our parents went to Europe for two years. They placed him in a boarding school where he was at the mercy of the staff. I wonder how he was impacted by that experience.

We had an older cousin, the son of my maternal uncle, who was about a year older than my brother. His mother had left him when he was 9 months old and our grandmother raised him. We grew up together. The two boys would play together and did not let me play with them. Now, there were two of them bossing me around.

My brother was acting in ways that was puzzling for me. He went after little robins with his slingshot and would take their heads off with his hands when the bird fell. He would catch a fly and hang it by a thread, execution style. He pulled out the wings of the fly and burned it by using a magnifying glass, using the energy of the Sun. In Spring, they prepared the yard for planting the flowers and the earthworms came out. He used camping like cooking equipment and burned the worms on a plate. He seemed to be fascinated by the experience.

When a teenager, and driven by hormones, he was preoccupied with girls and needed money for entertainment. He started playing poker to earn money. He was great in many sports like volleyball and loved playing for money. When out of money, he forced me to play poker and backgammon to take all the money I had saved. If I refused, he would be forceful with me. He had convinced me that feet were dirty and then he would put his feet on my school supplies in front of me. I wondered what motivated him for the  need of power and control? Male dominance? Having been abused? Feeling better about himself by overpowering me? I only know that as a child I developed strong negative feelings towards him. I was too busy trying to protect myself. I wonder now, as an adult, being  thousands of miles away and years of minimum contact, what had wounded him so deeply to make such choices. I wanted to understand what happened to him.

When I became a teenager, blossoming into a young woman, he had several girlfriends and seemed popular with the opposite sex. He convinced me guys were after only one thing and like a bee go from one flower to the next. Unfortunately, I bought into it and viewed the relationship between guys and girls similar to the relationship of a wolf and a lamb. I grew up to feel hateful and fearful of men.

He got involved in smoking and drinking. He seemed to be a restless soul trying to bring joy into his life via quick fixes. My life was directly impacted by his choices. He created many challenges in my life and our parents let him. He dated many young girls at the same time, yet would have raised hell if I received a call from a male friend from college. If one would ask him “Why,” he would proudly say that he was protecting his sister from the wolves like a dedicated brother. When I was in high school, I did not dare to even think about liking a guy. It was so important to me to be treated with respect. I was not going to do anything to give him or my father any reason to treat me harshly. I was becoming a woman in a macho culture and I was well aware of men’s dominance and entitlement over women.

When I was in college, I became the president of our class. I was developing friendships with my male classmates for the first time in my life. Students usually exchanged phone numbers. I was not able to give my phone number to anyone out of fear that a guy would call and my brother would make a scene and I would be embarrassed. I was fearful to go to a movie with a group of my classmates when I was 20 years old. I recall one time a male classmate got my number from a female friend of mine to call me about a homework assignment. My brother picked up the phone, as he believed that every phone call was for him. When he heard a male’s voice asking for me, he started bullying the caller using disrespectful and offensive language. I wished I could disappear, rather than face the classmate the next day. I grew up feeling shame and reacted with shame as unconsciously felt responsible for others’ choices.

I felt like a bird with its wings cut off. I was able to communicate with my father, yet I could not have a relationship with my brother. My only defense was to tell him that I was not going to talk to him after a big fight and make him respect it. I was successful to keep this distance for a long time until I left for the U.S. for graduate school. I was finally able to fly away with the hope of creating the woman I wished to be.

I had no communication with him. I heard he fell in love, got married and had a son immediately.  He and his family lived with my parents. I knew the marriage was not going to last given the circumstances. He was not ready to be a family man or a father. They divorced shortly and the mother raised the child.

My brother wanted to go to school abroad and start all over. Our parents supported him financially and he went to England.  They did what they could to support their grandson. When I was at the University of Maryland, my brother came to Texas to study management. I visited him once and he seemed to be happy with his American girlfriend. I wonder how his life would have been different if he had stayed. He chose to go back, a decision he now he regrets.

He and the mother of his son remarried when their son was 6 years old. He said the in-laws interfered with their marriage. This time they had their own apartment and he was working. Everyone was hopeful they would have a happy life for the sake of their child. They decided to immigrate to Australia to offer a better future to their son. They settled in Sydney where there was no family members to interfere with their life.

My brother had a heart disease related to his heart valve. My parents said it was congenital. He said he was informed by his cardiologist his heart problem was from untreated pneumonia in childhood. He was fortunate he passed the physical exam for the immigration. He had an open-heart surgery, replaced the valve by the valve of a pig. The valve would be good for ten years and must be changed again. After the recovery, he was not working. His wife started working to support the family. I wonder if he had developed dependency on alcohol and marijuana by then. I was aware of his substance abuse since he was a teenager. It seemed alcohol calmed his violent temper. One of his most disturbing behaviors at home was beating up our innocent female servant for any insignificant reason. For instance, if the eggs for his breakfast were not exactly as he wanted, or a little bit too salty, he created a major scene at home. I remember not being able to stop him and I would throw myself over our servant to protect her.

At the time, I was deeply disturbed by the presence of violence in our home and my primary feelings were pain, hurt, anger, hate, resentment, and at times rage. I was motivated by my own survival and didn’t even think what has made him so angry and violent. He was abusive towards his son. They divorced for the second time. He went back to live with the family while his son and his mother stayed in Sydney.

He kept losing his jobs, repeating a pattern with every employment he had. He would go to nightclubs until late at night, drinking and naturally had a difficult time waking up in the morning. He was expected to be at work at 8am, while he would wake up around 11am. He would take long showers, over an hour, perhaps to sober up and have breakfast. Meanwhile, they called from work every 30 minutes expecting him to be at a meeting or whatever duties he had to attend. He kept saying, tell them I’m on my way, trying to blame the traffic for being late. As expected, he lost many jobs. He always blamed others or circumstances and had difficult seeing his part in the process. He seemed to have an overwhelming desire to have pleasure and enjoy the moment while not having concern for possible consequences.

One time he borrowed our uncle’s car. It was a yellow Audi. He was driving late at night, lost control and hit a huge tree. The car was totaled and amazingly, he did not have any serious injuries. I wonder if he was under the influence. I do remember the car after the accident and one would have guessed that the driver would have been killed instantly.

One of his best friends was killed in a car accident. At his funeral, my brother said he met the female cousin of his deceased friend. They soon developed a relationship. He became interested in her because she reminded him of his friend. They dated for a long time, got married, and had a son immediately. Our mother was visiting us in the states at the time and was against this marriage. They got married when she was away. He was not working, continued to drink and use drugs, and was abusive to his wife and son. They got a divorce and the mom left and he was the one to raise the child by himself. The mom had entered the lottery for a green card to the U.S. and asked his permission to enter their son’s name and he gave his signature. Perhaps he thought what are the chances of winning this lottery? As they say the chances of being hit by a lightening is greater than winning such a lottery. Perhaps, the universe had a lesson for him. They actually won the lottery. The mother, perhaps with the fear of the father changing his mind, kept the process of getting the visa a secret and one day took the child from the school and went to the airport .

My brother was in rage, and perhaps feeling powerless and helpless, expressed his intense anger and accused the mother of kidnapping his son without his permission. My image was of a volcano erupting erratically knowing that he really couldn’t do anything. He called me and with his usual manner of authority and entitlement practically ordered me to find his son and inform the authorities of the kidnapping, and bring him to my home. I had such mixed feelings. I had made a commitment to myself to be true to myself, express my feelings and thoughts as they are, practice unconditional love to the best of my ability and release the distancing emotions. I am not saying I was able to do it every day. At that moment, I felt that my “judgment” center was activated to the point of explosion when he said he has never hurt anyone in his life and does not understand why that “horrible” woman is doing this to him. What I really wanted to say was to remind him, his choices have caused deep pain to the most significant people around him. Naturally, I had thousands of examples. I wanted him to know the pain he caused me impacted my life deeply, to remind him of abusing his children when they were vulnerable and dependent on him. Yet, when a person is on a self-destructive path, would he be able to have concern for others? He had been a bully all his life and what goes around comes around. I wanted him to know that I hold him responsible and accountable for all the choices he has made and will not buy into his blaming game. I was amazed how my anger and rage had been triggered after so many years. I became aware that my deep wounds of childhood had not been healed as I thought they had and I had long ways to go. I wished to be a compassionate human being and offer my empathy to him as a human being. How? I didn’t really know.

I tried to put myself in his place. He was the first born to a child mother of fifteen who didn’t know anything about life and parenting. My best guess is he was the product of the union of two people who were not ready to be parents and knew nothing about raising a child. He had a heart problem that was not diagnosed until he was an adult. He became aware of his heart condition when he was receiving his physical exam for the army. He was exempted.

I wonder what his experience was when he was in the boarding school. He was only a child. I remember our father would never allow us to spend the night at anyone’s house, even the closest relatives. Yet, leaving him with the staff of a boarding school puts a young child at risk for potential abuse. As a clinician, I see many of his behaviors are similar to adults with untreated childhood traumas. Adults abused as children, without treatment are at risk to repeat the cycle of violence and he did.

I wonder if the childhood pain injured his “Super Ego” so deeply that he caused pain to others without being aware of it. Does he really believe in what he said? Is that a delusion? Is it possible a long life of substance dependence has impacted his memory? Does his subconscious protect him from remembering the painful experiences? Is denial his primary defense, so he can go on with life? I ask myself what motivates him to wake up each day? His hope to see his children again? I wonder if he is aware of the pain he has caused them? I wonder if there could be a miracle of healing in the family? I wonder if my co-dependency is activated wishing for the impossible.

My mind is clear. I must let go. There is truly nothing I can do for this troubled soul. I remember the story of the Native American and his grandson. He told the child there are two wolves within us. One is kind, loving, caring, gentle, and thoughtful. The other is aggressive, angry, greedy, and cruel. The child asked “grandfather, which wolf is going to win?” The wise grandfather said, “Whichever you feed!” My brother has continually fed the aggressive wolf and now the wolf seems to be in charge of his soul.

I needed a closure. I called him wishing for a meaningful heart to heart communication. In my mind, I was aware of the possibility I may never see him again on the physical plane. I was determined to release the past and attachment to the childhood wounds. The conversation was like before. He demanded the impossible with the same tone of delivery of force and entitlement and I made a decision to let go of my wishful thinking and let it be and then I heard about the next trauma.

He was driving home from a village at 2 am in the morning. He said he suddenly felt his car was stopped. He came out and saw half of his car was at the edge of a cliff. He realized he was a second away from a tragic and violent death. I wonder if he was under the influence. I wonder if he sobered up instantly and I wonder if his guardian angel was protecting him again. I felt the pain in my heart for this wounded soul. I wonder if only a miracle can help him reach inner peace. I wonder if I need a miracle to heal my heart from the past and release him with love.

Then the miracle I was waiting for arrived just on time. A  friend whom I had known all her life, in an intimate conversation offered me the shift I needed to make within me. She gave me the image of releasing my brother like a “white dove.” Wow, a white Dove, symbol of peace .I became aware of  the dark image I had created in my mind in direct contrast with the white Dove. Yet, in a moment of clarity, I could see in my mind’s eye, a beautiful white Dove flying away to the deep blue sky. Something heavy lifted from my heart, a feeling of serenity. I have chosen to release the Dove with love and enjoy the feeling of empowerment. I am eternally grateful for the image of the “White Dove.” I have other ones to release.

A Bowl of Soup

simple-pea-soup1

It was freezing cold. He could feel the icing cold in his bones. His toes were numb. His nails had turned blue.  He took a sip of the bowl of soup in his hand.As the hot soup reached his dry stomach his imagination flew like an eagle.  he imagined being home with his family in the living room with warm clothes on in front of the fireplace.  He was home.

His mother was preparing her famous soup rich with vegetables and spices. He actually could smell the aroma of the soup from the distant memory. It was a family recipe from generations before. He loved the big black heavy iron pot. Mama had a big spoon. She cut the veggies with a ritual. She would be singing a tune that filled the house with so much joy. The anticipation of having the soup when it was ready was an experience to cherish for a lifetime.

“What’s in the soup today Mama?” the little boy asked.

“What would you like to have in the soup?” Mama asked.

“Oh I love potatoes, mushrooms, everything. But my favorites are peas. I love those little green peas.” The boy was salivating as he expressed his desires. He knew Mama would put everything he wanted in the soup for him. He couldn’t and he didn’t know and couldn’t say , yet he felt loved when mama made peas soup just for him. He felt his mother’s love in her soup. He was little, but he knew when he felt safe, loved and when he felt scared inside. He was curious by nature. He wanted to understand how come some people cause pain like a sharp knife in the heart and others warm the heart like drinking hot cocoa on a cold winter night. He always wanted to understand the nature of the human psyche. He became a psychiatrist.

He was lost deep in his own thoughts, in his own world, away from others. He took another sip of the soup. Ah, he saw a green pea in the soup . How come he didn’t see it before? Was it there before? No, he remembered looking into the bowl! There was nothing there! He would swear it was only a watery soup with no taste. It felt as if his mama’s soup was sending him a direct message through the little green pea that appeared out of nowhere. Only his mama knew how much he loved peas when other children didn’t.

Something shifted inside in that moment. He was energized with an unseen energy he never experienced before. He knew his mission in life now. He must survive! He must leave Auschwitz to tell the story!

He drank his soup sip by sip. He put the pea in his pocket to dry and to take with him when he leaves the camp.

Note: This was a prompt in a creative writing class. Thank you Timothy.