Life Coaching, Listen To Your Mother and Goosebumps

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neal Donald Walsh 

I always believed, as my parents reminded me, that I can make a difference. I would scribble Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world." on my journals to inspire me that in order for me to change the world, I have to be that change!

The past 3 weeks, I stepped out of my comfort zone, in order to tell a story. I didn't think I could have a voice, let alone go on a stage or be on television. I was so conscious of how I would sound, or whether my message would get lost because of my accent - or whether I could even construct a sentence in front of an audience. 

I voiced these concerns to one of my closest friends, Sonia, who is training to be a Life Coach. She has such natural talent and abilities that she was able to get me focused on the reasons why I wanted to share my story, and made me realize that what I perceived as imperfections are actually endearing qualities I possess.

My friend, Brandie, forwarded a link for "Listen To Your Mother, NYC". I immediately requested for a spot to audition. On February 28th, I headed to Manhattan and read a poem I wrote, "The Learning Curve". ( I added my son's writing which was an excerpt from the book, "Out of Status")

I remember the first time I saw the EPT plus sign,
The first time I heard your heart beat,
The first time I felt your kick,
The first time it dawned on me that I was going to be a mother!
And I thought “Holy cow! Do I know how?”

My dear child, before you, LIFE was all about me.
And then for nine months, I had to eat for two.
And I said, “Wow, I now have an excuse to eat everything I want!”

I nourished my body, so that you could be healthy,
I listened to Beethoven, so you could appreciate music,
I sang you a song, so that you could hear my voice,
And when I heard your first cry, my whole life had a new purpose!

I cried when you got sick,
I didn’t know what I did wrong.
I laughed when you said, “mama”,
My heart smiled and grew strong. 

I recorded every step,
I photographed every smile;
I wrote down every emotion,
I prayed you’d do fine.

I longed for your hugs,
I craved for your kisses. 
I jumped at every story
Your sweet voice caressed my ears.

At an early age, you found your voice.
I’d ask you to do something, you’d answer, “Yes but…”
I refused to buy a “Happy Meal” and you thought I just didn’t want you to be happy.

When you were sad, I cried.
When I made you mad, I felt bad.
I pushed you to do it all because
I wanted you to be successful in this world. 

You greeted my mornings with smiles and yearnings;
You waited for my goodnights of tranquil lullabies.
You warmed my heart every time you said, “I love you”,
I worried every time I had to wave “good-bye”.

Years passed and you were growing fast.
You had new interests that didn’t include mine.
I waited for your text messages telling me how you were,
Your short post-it notes informing me where you’d headed,
Your voice that continued to echo in my heart.

When you were a teenager, your hormones collided with mine.
Yet, I had a feeling things would eventually calm down.
I really wasn’t asking to be a sun or a planet in your solar system,
I just wanted to be a moon that occasionally influenced the tides on your world
so that at that moment you would be amazed at what I had to share with you.

I wanted to make sure you were happy, and not to make you miserable
I didn’t want to push you away, but sometimes you didn’t want me nearby,
Maybe it was the way I listened,
Maybe it was the way you communicated,
Anyway, I didn’t stop trying…because I love you no matter what!

I wanted to take you places, and tried to make you smile;
I would buy you treasures before thinking of buying mine;
I hoped to show you the world but sometimes I ended up nagging.
Anyway, I didn’t stop trying…because I love you no matter what!

So I backed off and realized
if loving you meant letting you go,
or watching you make mistakes,
or letting you cry,
or letting you spread your wings on your own,
So be it, find your way, I would wait
BUT I wouldn’t stop trying…because I love you no matter what.

Now that you’re an adult, I shared with you my stories but I wasn’t sure if you were listening.
I told you how much I love you, but wasn’t sure if I convinced you.
Until one day you wrote…

Dear Mom,
Life is a collection of constant adjustments and challenges. A family is a group of people that fills in the gaps. Upon deciding which road to take, a family helps you point out the pros and cons of each option and guides you along whichever path you choose.

A family is there to help you work around and learn from the mistakes you may have made along the way. A well-connected family is what fuels a constant growth in one's security, confidence, and passion. Taking the reins of every great family is, more often than not, a strong motherly figure.

A mother can look briefly into a refrigerator and calculate exactly how much food is needed;
Can make a pile of dirty clothes smell like a breath of air from the heavens;
Will put off anything for the well-being of her family and still manage to get all the other important things in her schedule taken care of.
A mother is someone who never sleeps until she knows all her children are tucked quietly into bed.

Reading your words, I cried with pride and joy,
Only then did I realize that
I picked my battles, and you listened to your mother.
I’m blessed to see in your eyes, and hear in your voice
The love and happiness you gave me
Just like the first time, just like your first cry, my sweet dear child.

The audition process taught me that there was nothing I couldn't do -- as long as I put my heart in it. I was so nervous, and my daughter was, too. But she kept saying, "You published a book, you can do this, Mom!"

I didn't get the part, but I had an awesome experience. The judges made me feel important because they took time to read a few things about me! They even knew I just published the book, "Out of Status".

I would have loved to be on stage to read the poem -- for my children, but it wasn't my time yet! Maybe next year!

The cast of the first ever Listen To Your Mother show looked totally awesome - a total power house! If you're in New York, the show is on May 6, and it is definitely worth watching! (Check the LTYM site for details)

That same day, I met with my PR person who would help me promote and market the book, "Out of Status". He already had 2 journalists scheduled to "meet" with me - how awesome was that! He listed all possibilities -- and they all seemed endless! The week after, I was scheduled to do my first TV interview - holy guacamole! How did that happen?

I opened the doors, and voila, opportunities just kept coming! As my friend, Sonia, said, "You put it out there, and the universe will conspire to keep it moving forward."

I needed some headshots, so I asked one of my closest friends, Dawn, who owns Dawn Nicholas Photography. (She even asked our neighbor if we could use her porch!)

March had been a warm day here in New Jersey -- but on that day, it was freezing. We were laughing the entire shoot!

Last week, I went to NYC again. 

I went to South Street Seaport to meet another friend, Natasha of Creative Nachos. We talked about life and the book. It was more of a celebration and reminiscing what it was like the first time I approached her and said, "I am planning on writing a book."

What stood out in that meeting was when Natasha read a few paragraphs from the book, "Out of Status". She randomly picked a page and started reading.

I had goosebumps! The words sounded so beautiful! I couldn't believe those were mine!

I was so excited and just so happy that when we went outside to take a picture, I didn't realize I was holding the book upside down!

In between going back and forth to the City, I squeezed in a meeting with a friends old and new - helped a non-profit organization called, Shepherds of Youth", and formulated a plan of action in putting a "Be the Change" workshop.

That week, I went back to NYC one more time to do my first interview. (Photos and videos were posted in the OutofStatusBook FaceBook page.)

Needless to say, it was a hectic 3 weeks! Luckily, I have the love and support of my family and friends.

So earlier today -- one gorgeous sunny day in March, I took a break and played basketball with my youngest son!

He always reminds me that no matter how busy my life can be, I will always be his mom!

To my family, especially my Dad who turned 80 today, thank you for this wonderful life! The ups and downs, but most of all, for raising me the way you raised me. I am who I am because of you!

Enjoy a little jazz music from my 16 year-old son.

"When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find ways to do it." - Dr. David Schwartz

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  1. Beautiful poem. I'm sad you weren't picked, but so excited for you for all the wonderful things to come your way =)


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