Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"i" is for Inspiration

We all want to be something great! There is something that we all want to do. A dream we all have that needs to be realized. But where does the dream begin? How do we get it started. It has to come from inspiration.

Let me start with a quick life update. Jason has graduated from Paul Mitchell and we have had our evenings together for about a month now. Our relationship has grown stronger by 10-fold. Becky moved back from New Orleans in May. She has acquired the perfect new job teaching special Ed. at East Hollywood High. Tiffany, the girl that can and will do everything in life has now started a boxing class in addition to Pilates, writing groups, creative groups, photography and being an awesome wife, when will she stop? NEVER!!! Charles leaves in 2 weeks for South Africa for 3-4 months if not longer... and I, well, I am living one day at a time, looking for peace and understanding in life. So far, my friends have been a huge inspiration for my Alpha-biography blog. Seems like it has been more of a biography about their lives. But their lives are mine. I learn so much from them and I care so much for them. Without them I wouldn't be half the person I am today. They are my inspiration. But this blog is not dedicated to them. Jason, Becky, Tiffany, and Charles were all inspired by someone else. This blog is dedicated to the ones that inspired the ones that have inspired me....

Let's begin with Jason. Jason has become a very talented Hair stylist, recently graduating from Paul Mitchell The School. Already Jason has a huge fan base and a following of supporters of his trade. The program took him nearly 3 years to earn his certification. But he was determined to finish despite many obstacles, like nearly loosing his life for one. Jason's inspiration came from his sister-in-law, Talisia. Jason has always looked up to Talisia for her outgoing personality, fantastic sense of style and her sheer talent and success as a hair stylist. Talisia wasn't only a successful stylist but an incredible wife, loving daughter-in-law, and inspiring sister-in-law. Up until Talasia had joined the "Cluff Clan", Jason and his family had experienced so much loss of love in their family due to Jason's fathers passing and divorce. Talisia was a true inspiration for the whole family. She had also experience the loss of a loved one after her own brothers passing. Talisia was a binding force that strengthened relationships throughout Jason's family. It was no wonder that a very young and impressionable boy like Jason would look up to her. Besides she was freakin' gorgeous and attractive, little gay Jason could only hope to be half as FABULOUS! Which he is! Jason's family has grown to now include another fabulous addition Lindsey! I am so impressed with the closeness and love in the Cluff-clan. I am honored to be considered family.
Recently, a very good friend of Charles moved to South Africa due to her husbands' new position working with the African Consulate. Linda, a very grounded, wise and funny woman got rid of at least half of her belongings, packed up what was left, and moved her family across the world to South Africa. How many women in their Fifties would dare to move across the planet to an entirely different culture to begin a new life? Not many. Most of us become very set in our ways. Charles for one was a person who was extremely set in his own ways. He has changed so much it's almost difficult for me to recall the person he once was. Depending on the day of the week you could almost guess what he would want for dinner. He was the type that if he was going to be away from home for more than a day would check the toilet if it was running, then the fridge for leaks, then check all the locks.... then the toilet, the fridge, the locks, toilet, fridge, locks, toilet....fridge....locks, then leave the house. Then go back in to check the toilet, the fridge and the locks. Linda's inspiration has facilitated a change within Charles. He is now open and eager to explore the world. His world is no longer just Cafe Rio, Red Box and work. The world has truly become his oyster. He is both excited and exciting. Linda has inspired Charles to be emotional, open, and daring. I am so proud of Charles for excepting Linda's invitation for a new adventure in South Africa. It's something that I would never have believed even a year ago. I will follow in Charles footsteps one day and step out side of my own comfort zone. Thanks for paving a way Linda and Charles.
Miss Swendy! Local icon and living saint! Swendy has owned and operated a daycare for more than 30 years. She has loved and cared for many children, and the children of those children, and their children too. Chances are if you are from Utah and have children in daycare, or know someone with children in daycare, you've probably heard of Miss. Swendy. Swendy is not the kind of person you meet and forget about. She is memorable to say the very very least. She is larger than life! I have always known Swendy to be as gentle as a lamb, tough as a doornail, and as loving as Mother Teresa herself. Following in her footsteps, one of my most favorite people in the world, her daughter Becky. Becky has worked on and off in her Mothers daycare for most of her life. Becky herself has become an inspiration to many children. For the last few years Becky has been an Art and Music teacher for a private school for special needs children in New Orleans. In addition to teaching music and art, Becky has away with teaching everyone around her about life, living and being human. She is as real as they come. True to her heart. True to her friends. And true to her commitment to help children realize their full potential. With a Mother as dynamic and inspiring as Miss. Swendy, it's no wonder Becky is following in her footsteps and becoming a teacher and facilitator of inspiring young minds. Good luck Becky with your new position at East Hollywood High!
The following was written by Tiffany this last February on Tiffany's Blog: http://iamrenasdaughter.blogspot.com/
I have been postponing this for so long now~ But I am really looking forward to starting this blog and sharing things here~ I just could not find the right words or place to start~
This past summer we found out that my beautiful mom had 2 glioblastoma brain tumors ~ Malignant, cancerous, extremely aggressive tumors. That was July 2nd, she was checked into the hospital that day and never came home ~ Our life was turned upside down. She was my rock~ My favorite thing about life. It is devastating to know I have to live without her for the rest of my own life. She died on August 19th 2009, she was only 68 years old.
That is all I want to post about that part of her life because this is a place that I want to be positive, write about the amazing things about her and share things about her and myself and be creative ~ I just thought it was important to share that information so you would know why this is such a special place for me.This is a place to share, hold myself accountable and remember to live~
My name is Tiffany ~
I am Rena's daughter...

It is important for me to share what Tiffany wrote so that you understand the kind of impact Tiff's Mom has had in her life. In my life. And the lives many others.
Tiffany, just today we were joking that we love each other so much, and pretending that we didnt already know that about each other, and jokingly just decided to be friends as of today. You already know how much I love you! You already know how much you inspire me. And you already know how I feel about your beautiful mother. But maybe you don't know how much you honestly inspire me to be a better person. I admire the challenge you have given yourself to follow in your mothers footsteps. To appreciate life everyday. You show so much love and respect for your mother, I know she is extremely proud of you. If she were able to tell you I am sure she would tell you to continue to spread your wings and fly. Although, I think she still does tell you that in her own special way!I want to dream as big as the people that inspire me dream. I want so much more out of life! I want to see, do and live as much as possible. I want to show love and support to those that are most important to me, like Talisia. I want to dare to be different and change, to be confident and true to myself, like Linda. I want to teach and encourage others, helping others reach their full potential, like Miss Swendy. And I want to leave an impression on the world that will continue to inspire others like Rena.

This blog is dedicated to Rena Traub! Happy Birthday Sweetheart! You've left the world with so much love and inspiration, her name is Tiffany!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

H is for Heart. "The Heart wants what the Heart wants"

The human heart beats 100,000 times a day. It pumps 2,000 gallons of blood. And pushes the blood 60,000 miles throughout the body through vessels to 78 organs. Along with the brain and lungs, it is one of the hardest working and most vital of the human organs. However, it seems to me that the heart does much more than beat, pump and circulate blood throughout the body. The heart also burns, breaks and aches. It attacks, throbs, and flitters. It can be warm or cold, light or dark. It can be open and soft. It can be given away and cherished.

Approximately 1,180 years ago, in a time when poets and philosophers seemed to rule the world with imagination and theory, lived Claudius Galenus. His theories and studies would dominate and influence medical science for well over a millennium and later disproven and nearly forgotten. A pioneer in his belief that there was no line of distinction between Spirit and Science. He believed that the different organs within the body served other purposes beyond their obvious physical functions. He determined that ”Passion” came from the liver, “Reason” from the brain, and considered the heart to be the harbor of "Emotions". Hundreds of years later, after his theories had been proven wrong, the heart continues to be used as a symbol of human emotions and LOVE.

A good friend of mine once told me that the reason why love and “heart-ache” can be so confusing, frustrating and painful is because, as he put it, “The Heart wants what the heart wants”. Much like a foul-tempered angry Monarch Queen. The heart wants to rule the body and mind. “The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said, without even looking round.” Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

Recently I have become witness to the tyranny of the heart. I have seen through my friends how lovers can pull their heart-strings across the world. I have seen how suddenly the love lines that connect can be severed without regret. I have seen how hearts drift apart and become unrecognizable to one another. I have observed the way hearts can attack each other. Sometimes in silence. And sometimes with full force and brutality. The war of our hearts. Ever competing and ever battling. But for what? We fight for the same reasons. We fight to be on the same side. It’s the salvation of LOVE that keeps our hearts alive.

We have all asked ourselves a million times. “Is love worth it?” We ask like we think we have a choice. As if the next time that LOVE comes knocking we will be able to resist the urge to open the door. It’s true. The heart wants what the heart wants. And eventually, the hearts gets what it wants. And no price to pay could ever sway the hearts decision. So we love again. We hurt. We heal. We are human and we get to do all of these things regardless of conscious thought. To deny ourselves of LOVE is to deny ourselves of being human. It exists with us. It’s just there.

Today, I was discussing with a friend the difference between LOVE and FEAR. We both have learned and have discussed many times that all things in life are based on own two principles. LOVE or FEAR. Everything in creation, every word ever spoken, and every thought ever had or to be had is based on these two principles. Nothing can exist without Loving or fearing. And the two wouldn’t exist without each other. To be able to understand the differences between LOVE and FEAR could mean the possible immunity of pain from LOVES next battle.

Harsh words spoken in the heat of the moment are based on FEAR. But they originate from love. LOVE is ultimately what feeds our FEARS. The FEAR of loss and rejections causes us to lash out in defense. It’s a survival instinct of sorts. And I believe to recognize the origin of FEAR is the best weapon in the war of LOVE. Seeing the truth behind someone’s FEAR has usually brought me a lot closer to understanding and forgiving. I think that’s when I realize that the FEAR that is been presented is a FEAR that I have or have had at some point in my life too. And who am I to hold anything against someone else for feeling what I have also felt.

To all my friends whose hearts are in question, or breaking, or lonely. I want you to know that your hearts make mine stronger. Your pain is my pain and I share it with you. I recognize your FEAR’s and LOVE you for what you are. And also know this; every heart-ache and heart-break has brought you to THIS moment. And in this moment you are are simply who you are. And who you are is every reason why I LOVE YOU!