The Secret of Love

What does love mean to you? Is it just another word? Something maybe you can’t describe? Does it mean much of anything? Maybe you’re not sure what it means because you’ve been searching for it forever?

Love is a state of being, the journey of life; rather than a place, some thing or some one. What has your journey been like? Have you been putting all of your love cards into some ‘thing’ in hopes that it will fill the need for love, only to figure out it doesn’t quite work? Whether it’s a relationship that was never quite fulfilling, a job you thought would make your parents proud, money you hoped would solve all problems, friendships you give your all to with little in return, those methods you use to escape difficulties or every day life, and so on. Been there, done that. Let me tell you, tried and true, it doesn’t work!

I get societies’ need to put expectations on love, especially when so many of us don’t even know the true meaning. It’s no secret though, WE are the meaning of love! How easy is that? Once we can get past the bah-humbug’ness’ in blaming our situations for the lack of love we have or feel in every day life, we realize love is really all around us as long as we have love within us. The power we give to people, places or things to fill the need for love, is what continues the cycle. All along, it’s always been about the love within us. As KARMA once said (or maybe it was Justin Timberlake), what comes around goes around. This is true on all aspects! You want love, it starts with YOU! You are what the world needs right now, we are what the world needs right now (thanking Tim Lytle for that weekly Unity inspiration). Always remember, love is the journey and a state of being, not a destination (some thing, some one, or some place). Love is how we get from Point A to be Point B, what drives us to be the change we wish to see in the world. Maybe not much is driving you right now, maybe life is driving you crazy. I’m not saying the path of love is free from crazy. You can always be crazy in love, crazy peaceful, crazy happy or just crazy OK and still enjoy the journey.

My counselor has always said realization and acknowledgement are where all big shifts and changes begin. To sit with this and ponder on the true meaning of love can change the way you view life, forever.

 

Love you always,

Kels

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The Book of Life

As humans we go through life in a multitude of experiences that become memories and ultimately, add to our stories of life. We go through chapters, books, series and maybe repeat back through a book or two to edit and so forth. We let these stories define us, forgetting the real divinity within. The stories serve as lessons, experiences, opportunities, growth, development, expansion and yet we tend to get caught up in the lesson or in the experience. Sometimes we’re even afraid of the growth, afraid of the change; It’s uncomfortable, I’ve never done it before, well what if this happens, I don’t deserve that, you get the picture. I’m a mere 25 years young and would like to point out the elephant in the room, this shit is hard!

For the past year or so I’ve been battling with PTSD. With all of the healing, changes and growth going on in life right now, I was finding it easy to fall down the slippery slope of anxiety and depression. If you’ve ever battled with either of these yourself or been close to someone who has, you can understand the spiral of illusions that accompany anxiety or depression and the quick sand feeling of never being able to escape. I remember here probably not even too long ago when I would think to myself, “Why hasn’t anyone written a book about what it’s like to go through these healing journeys?” Well, I’ve finally found the answer, it’s the book of life. I realize now that no one could have told me what to do to get better, I had to figure that out for myself. Along with the help of others, friends and family who have supported me through it all. But here’s the thing, these books suggest; just meditate, do some yoga, walk it off, but all in all, the closest I’ve ever been to truly seeing, feeling and living life for what it is worth has been by realizing everyone’s story is different. What works for me may not work for you. That’s the whole point!

Along my healing journey I have tried numerous things, because that’s what she did or that’s what that book said. Some of them worked but others didn’t. Heck, months later I still find it hard to meditate 3-4 times a week in complete silence for a mere 15 minutes each time. Yoga doesn’t really appeal to me. And I can’t go on walks right now because bugs like the way I taste too much. So what do I do? I use essential oils to help aid in healing, when I find it hard to find the words to describe what/how I’m feeling I begin writing and in that I find bits and pieces of myself, I surround myself with people who bring out the best in me, I find little ways to have passion each day in what I do, I take baths to relax and cleanse my energy, I use crystals to help protect me and the space I live in, I read romantic books, I drive around and let the rhythm of music flow through me. The point is, you too can find what works for you. I’m not saying I have all the answers because I sure don’t. I eat too much sugar, I fear change and the unknown, I don’t exercise regularly like I should, sometimes I give up too easily, other times I obsess too much. I believe it may very well take me my whole life to continue on this healing journey of bettering myself. But the fact of the matter is, you can do it too! You don’t have to sit around waiting for the answers or be frozen from the fear. Remember to always be the change you want to see in the world because all in all, it starts with YOU!

 

Blessings

Kels

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The Time Has Come

It’s been nearly 6 years my brother has been incarcerated. That’s 6 years of birthday celebrations, multiple holiday meals with family and many late night phone calls just to chat that have been missed. As he finishes out his “time” in prison, I have to say there are definitely some things I will not miss.

I’ve been in a court room to hear the verdict of my brother’s future as he sits across the room without contact in an orange jumpsuit accessorized with shackles and chains. I’ve been to visit 5 different prisons. I’ve sat behind a glass wall and talked to my brother through a telephone. I’ve been turned away from seeing him because I was 2 minutes past visiting check-in. I’ve missed calls from him in prison with no way of returning the call, just waiting until he gets the chance to call back. I’ve been turned away from seeing my brother because of what I was wearing (leggings and a dress). I’ve been patted down and have had to walk through metal detectors too many times to count. I’ve made a pit stop 2 hours out of town at Dollar General to get “appropriate” shoes because flip flops aren’t allowed. I’ve sat in a room full of murderers, child molesters, drug offenders and more just to spend a little bit of time with him. I’ve had to pay to take a picture with my brother. He missed out on my College graduation, I missed out on his High School graduation.

But in a mere 4 days, my family with be reunited with my brother. There are so many emotions that go along with this. I am so excited, it’s surreal! I am also nervous and anxious as in some ways, I am gaining a brother I lost to prison years ago. Life will be different, a lot has been missed but in this, there has been so much gained.

“God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.” Through the years, I’ve experienced SERENITY, gained COURAGE and been granted WISDOM.

I share my story with you because I hope it gives you the strength to continue on your path and to continue with FAITH. I want to thank friends and family who have supported my family and I in this journey. Thank you to those who have asked how my brother is doing, who have prayed for him along his path and who have been there and will continue to be there as we all embark on this new journey.

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May light and love forever surround you my brother,

Kels (big sis)

Wednesday Inspiration

Feeling inspired today so I felt led to write it all down. Each post I write comes from the heart, sometimes I literally feel like my fingers are guided on what to type next and to me this is the best gift of writing. That is why even if my posts are few and far in between, there is so much depth in each one. So here I am, I give my heart to you and I hope you can feel the light, love and inspiration to which I write.

Mom and I had an interesting conversation last night to say the least. Being the loving and caring mother she is she was naturally inclined to state her worries about me not being open and being so shut off with my “walls”. This is particularly designated towards relationships. I took it with a grain of salt and went about my way. Just so happens last night I had a very interesting dream. I was being cut/scratched lightly all over my body. Having an interest in dream interpretation mom and I did some research. The skin is a representation of the “cloak” of a human being which in turn protects the person from harm. Well, well well little did I know how significant this dream could be. My interpretation of being cut in the dream was the subconcious trying to get past the barrier or otherwise known as my “walls.”

I built my walls a long time ago out of fear in order to protect myself from feeling pain and sadness. Fear drove me to putting on a “cape” in order to dismiss my sensitivities in an effort to be normal. I struggled all the way through school until about the age of 20 (when I started counseling) college included, with confusion of being different but yet wanting to fit in. I’ve heard many people say “I would go back to being a kid any day, I didn’t have a worry in the world” and I’ve always thought WHY THE HECK… I remember at the age of 5/6 being on the playground, caring so much about fitting in and being accepted. Here I was a little girl just wanting to be loved. Every time I think about that age it brings tears to my eyes. Even at such a young age life is confusing. I don’t blame conformity on society because society only got there with the help of each and every one of us.

So after years living with the fear of pain and sadness it has resulted in successfully pushing many people away from me and if that was you, I’m sorry. I know I’m not the only one out there who has walls or “capes” that keep people out. Often we believe that being numb and pushing away the feelings are actually doing us some good but in the long run only does more damage. There are a number of different ways people numb themselves. Some could be a form of alcoholism, addiction, working too much, overeating, sleeping around and obsession with body image are just a few of the examples. I randomly listened to a TED Talk today that discussed the relation to being numb and pushing away feelings or otherwise putting on a cape, if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is!

I have officially come to the realization, this is not how I want to live my life anymore, something has got to give! As scary as it may seem, being sensitive in a world full of opportunities to be numb and not giving in, is actually true strength! So I have decided to embrace the fear and go along for the ride. I tell you it sure wasn’t fun just standing in line in anticipation, the ride itself is much more fun! This doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and downs but like any roller coaster, being up is fun and going down is scary but most of us adventure seekers always enjoy the thrill 🙂

I am thankful for the hardships life has to offer because as long as we are learning from them, that is a life worth living! May life bring you peace and happiness in all that you do!

FEAR has two meanings

1. Forget Everything And Run

2. Face Everything And Rise

All my love,

Kels

Italian Life

Hey all!! It’s been over a week since my last update but I have been a busy bee here in Italy. I arrived about 2 weeks ago and I just boarded a train to Pisa, about a 2 hour journey from Genova, so I have plenty of time to get everyone up to speed!

 

Most of my days are consumed with my cute kid, Filippo. We spend almost everyday together, other than my half days which fall on Monday or Wednesday and every Friday! A typical day in the life of Kelsey and Filippo consists of sleeping in until around 10 am, surprisingly enough Filippo usually sleeps longer than me! We then get breakfast ready, lately Filo (Filippo) has fallen in love with my scrambled eggs I make, personally they are nothing special but he just loves them. This morning for instance he bats his eyelashes at me and in his very Italian accent says “Can I please have eggs, the ones you sometimes make for me”. I am honored to say even in Italy my cooking is enjoyed, not that I do it often of course. The rest of our mornings are spent doing English homework, drawing or writing, and watching a movie/TV for a little bit. This usually takes us up until the time my host mom comes home and prepares lunch for all of us. We eat a lot of tomatoes, mozzarella, pasta and veggies! Other than when we go out altogether we typically eat at home, which is fine by me the meals are all wonderful! After lunch she takes Filo and I to the beach resort where we then relax, swim and play until the end of the day when we are picked up. The first day or two at the resort I got pretty burnt, shocker! I will tell you more about Italy and the beach resort later in the post. During the evenings I usually shower, lounge around, eat dinner with my host family and then enjoy my free time. I haven’t spent many evenings going around town because the town is actually about the size of Wichita, my hometown, and of course not driving makes it very difficult to get around or at least more time consuming. So I usually spend the weekends going around to different places and cities!

 

So far this has been a wonderful experience! A very busy one, but that’s pretty typical in Europe. I truly got blessed with a wonderful host family here, we have a great connection. The mom, Alessandra, speaks English very well and the dad, Tullio understands English a lot but is a little more uncomfortable speaking which I completely understand. My Italian consists of ciao and more ciao, that’s about it! Filippo understands English very well, he is sometimes just shy talking in English because he is afraid of messing up. I think they have thoroughly enjoyed working on improving their English, which is one of the main reasons for wanting an au pair. I really did get lucky, they are a very loving and kind family. I have talked to many au pairs here in Italy and have heard some horror stories about their families. So needless to say, thank you to my spirits, guides, and the Big Man for always looking out for me!

 

Fun facts of the day: (Please note the following are just general observations I have gathered about the culture of Italy and how different it can be from the U.S., plus I thought most of you would enjoying knowing some of these)

~Most Italians are very short, even guys. I tower over most Italian men and women by the long run. I have probably only seen 2 Italians over 6′ tall. Interesting eh???

~Italians love the sun and the sun loves them! I know this because I am the whitest one here and the sun and I do not have these mutual feelings towards each other.

~I thought bringing a one piece swimsuit to Italy would be very considerate as I would be around kids all day. WRONG, pretty much everyone wears a swimsuit 2 sizes too small and all of the guys wear speedos. I was not prepared for this one! YIKES

~Pasta is served as a starter course here, not a main meal as it is in The States. You then order a main course as well and don’t forget about dessert! WARNING: This does not include the gelato you will inevitably consume after all of this.

~I cannot stress enough how crazy Italian drivers are! Ultimately, I think this is a European thing because each city I have been to just blows my mind. I have yet to see a car accident or people being pulled over. We need to catch up America, what are we thinking?! There is no such thing as a speed limit or anything of the sort and if there is I have yet to see it being taken into account!

~Not all Italians know English, especially in Genova. There is quite the language barrier for me here in Italy. I find myself speaking or responding in French quite often, I guess out of habit? I will admit this does make things a bit more difficult and a lot less fun when making friends is not so easy but it’s all about the beauty of the culture right!? 🙂

~Some of you may remember me posting about this in Paris. In Italy Coca Cola is served with a lemon. I finally found out the reason for this the other night when I was talking to my family about it. The acidity in the lemon helps with digestion, weird huh!?

For right now that is all I can think of! Will add more later. I will also post about my trip to Rome in a couple of days along with pictures. I am almost to Pisa so I better go! Definitely enjoying the view ❤

Train to Pisa

 

Good news!! I return home next week, about halfway through my time here. Why? Well as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here thus far I am excited to get back home and spend some time relaxing. Life has been crazy the past few months, especially spending so much time working towards getting my degree and then graduating. So needless to say I am very sad to be leaving such a wonderful family and beautiful country but I must take care of myself and right now what I am needing is some quality me time and a bit of a break.

 

 

Love to you all!! Will post again real soon

Kels