This postcard hangs on the pin board above my desk in Germany. (That's where I am right now!) It's one of my top 10 "Wisdom Whisperers".
🚲 "IF I COULD BIKE... JUST ONCE..."
🚲 "EINMAL RADFAHREN KÖNNEN..."
I haven't been back in Germany for more than a year. And, as always I am thrilled to have quotes in my life. Right there on the wall in front of me. So I can see them and let them work their magic. They always make me:
Pause. Reflect. And like this one, smile.
Quotes support me in moving closer to the whole-hearted life I want to live. They bring me in the present moment.
From Speyer, my hometown, I can bike about everywhere. I have a basket on the back of my bike. It can hold groceries, flowers, and books, etc. And sometimes a bottle of wine😌. It brings home treasures, and memories and of course carries my yoga mat!
I didn't drive a car for a week. In a moment I'll bike to the post office. On the way there I am sure I catch a few hellos and see faces from the past. After all, I spend the first thirty years of my life in this town.
I love everything about biking. It's pure bliss for me. I feel the elements and how my body moves. I feel my breath and my heart beating. All senses are awake and in conversation with each other. When the wind hits my face, it curves me lips to my ears. This joy summersaults down to my heart in a second. I am content and unconditionally o.k. with everything.
And this is the message of the card. Of the little bird wanting to be able to bike...And I know for sure, some of you have dreamed to be able to fly... I know I have😇.
🙏🏼SANTOSHA - CONTENTMENT
Santosha is one of the qualities a yogi cultivates by following the Niyamas on Patanjali's Eight Fold Path.
Yoga is so much more then bending our body. On our mat we can grow tools to create a more positive relationship with ourselves and others. I know if I am needy, expect things to be different, or harbor resentment I am not a good companion. Nor do I like myself.
I have learned, to have an authentic relationship with others, I need to be in touch with my feelings. I need to be able to stand in my truth.
Contentment must be at the core of who we are.
It's a life skill. And it takes practice.
It asks for our willingness to be present and let our awareness teach us what we need to know.
In the present moment, we can pay attention to our thoughts, and how we speak to ourselves* and others. To observe how we do what we do, where we show up or hide are all ingredients of contentment and lasting happiness.
*I like what Louise Hays says:
"Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening."
And boy this can be a tricky path. But an exiting one. And a worthy one.
Come with me!
Today I practice this:
The moment I catch only an inkling of:
💡"I'll be happy w h e n ... "
I will pause and breathe. And be grateful for what I have on all levels.
It's age- and timeless. It's unconditional.
And it is free!
Sending Hugs on Wings,
"Let's glow💡 together."
Thriving: Life Beyond Raising & Living with A Special Needs Child.
I am thrilled to announce, my story was featured by The Wellness Universe (WU)! Introduced by Anna Pereira, founder of WU with a question: "How different would your life be if you had a baby born 4 months early? Today’s inspiring story comes to us from Manuela Rohr. Originally from Germany, now living in Santa Rosa, CA
Here it is:
The 24-7 overwhelming challenge of being a mother to a special needs child brought me to my knees.By searching for who else I am, besides being the mother to my child, I overcame the limitations I felt. I gave the chains growing around my heart some slack and finally broke free of being the victim of my old, limiting story.
In my mid-twenties…I woke up from a dream with butterflies in my belly. “I want to be a mother,” I thought. It felt fabulous, but I had time. I carried this longing with me while I built my business and looked for the right guy.
I wanted to share yoga with the world.
Babies would come later. I never had the tiniest thought of not living the life I dreamed up with four healthy children in tow.
After losing three pregnancies, I gave birth to a micro-premie girl. She was born four months early weighing one pound, fifteen ounces and not able to survive on her own. The broken dream burned a hole in my heart.
“Who am I besides being the mother of my child?”
is one I had to learn to ask. The journey of raising a child with extra needs is complicated and often soul-crushingly painful. Tiny victories fight with the overshadowing losses on a daily basis.
I found the answer to my question in different places.I developed skills that taught me how to bend but not break; how to receive when giving was a 24-hour task. It’s on my yoga mat and during my visits in nature that I receive. There I grow what I need the most, a balance of effort and surrender, and the courage to say yes to my life wholeheartedly.
My daughter will always come first. But to feel fully alive I had to remember my other dreams. They’re creating the well from where I can give to her, myself and the rest of the world. It’s my mission to allow all my hearts desires to grow side by side.
I am thriving, and if I can leave you with one piece of advice, it’s this:
To create a distance to my daily challenges has been life-saving for me. If you’re in my shoes, creating time to receive and do the things that fill you up often feels impossible. Pause, bring rituals into your life and learn the art of relaxation. 5-minute breaks scheduled throughout your day will protect you from collapsing and gift you with more energy.
Go for a walk, breathe, listen to a favorite song or anything else you enjoy.
Celebrate the little steps you do for yourself and look for the dreams you’ve put aside.
Don’t forget to ask yourself, “What brings joy into my life on a daily basis?” Do that.
ind your dreams and hold them in front of your eyes. Make them part of your journey. Let them help you realize your worth apart from your child.
visit my published story on The Wellness Universe site... there are many more inspiring reads for you to find:
...one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower!
Enjoy my today's Wisdom Whisperer.... of course, with little Sarina, forever the garden fairy!
After reading the book E-Squared by Pam Grout a few years ago, I got hooked on her message. In the book, she offers simple experiments to prove that our thoughts create our reality. "Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."
One of the experiments I did back then is now part of my daily commitment to live a vibrant life. I believe in the little things and small steps I can do off the yoga mat to continue the lessons I learn there:
Show up! Pay Attention! Be Present! Accept what is!
Because I lived in Germany I read the book in German. She called the experiment I'm talking about the Toyota-Prius-Principle. She writes: "If we decide to see a Toyota or look for sunset beige cars or purple feathers we will see them."
I agree: "We decide what we want to see and if we pay attention we will! And, if we want something, we have to go for it. To spot a car we have to leave the house, it won't drive through our living room."
The yogi in me adds: "if you are going to do yoga, you have to roll out your mat and do it."
I had some skeptic and didn't want to make this too easy when I chose my first experiment. Ok, I decided I wanted to see green cars. In my mind, there are none or very few Germans who drive green cars.
I went out on my bike running errands while scanning the cars driving by. I was surprised, by the time I came home I had seen seven green ones. Seven! Wow, that was a surprise. Later I biked to the yoga studio, and I spotted five more green cars on just a 15-minute ride.
Unbelievable I thought. I could swear I had not seen any green cars in my city before. I shared this story with my students and one waved her hand and smiled: "Just look out the window, my car is parked there." We all looked, and right there was a car, a bit banged up, but it was a green car.
I had spotted thirteen green cars in a couple of hours when I thought to perhaps find one.
By paying attention! Our awareness is like a muscle that will grow if we use it!
So for this week, I have chosen to look for white flowers. Not because they are hard to find right now, actually Spring is here in Santa Rosa, and flowers are popping up everywhere. I chose an easy to find color because I want to have many opportunities to pay attention. Each time I see one I thank the universe for such beauty.
That's Yoga-off-the-mat for me.
It slows me down and inspires me not to let my day be run by the to-do-list-alone.
Yesterday I spotted 22 budding white daffodils right by my driveway. I had watched them pop up, but now I stopped and didn't just drive by. I looked at each one of them, took a few deep breaths and drove off with a smile.
Let me inspire you this week. Find something you like to spot. Smile each time you see your flower or what else you have chosen. Put it in your happiness box no matter how the rest of the day goes.
Walk tall and with ease and be gentle with yourself!
"Manuela is a Yoga teacher and Phönix Rising Yoga Therapist who helps people of all ages, to use the gifts of Yoga and Mindfulness to let go of their often limited storyline and create more joy in their lives. Her special interest is to help parents of children with challenges to have tools in their life to be able to bend but not break on their extraordinary journey. Her passion is being in nature, writing, dancing, cooking, and photography. Originally from Germany, she lives with her husband and daughter in Santa Rosa."
How simple is that?
For me, this boils down to everything I ever learned.
And all I'll ever need to learn. It's how I want to live my life.
I chalk painted the words on my office window today.
It's so simple. I might forget🙃.
I chose different "wisdom whisperers" every week to stay alert.
How about you? Do you remember the small things you want to do? And do you act on them? If you have an honest "yes" here; congratulations! You are one step closer to where you want to be! Keep practicing!
I put my reminders on sticky notes and place them on the bathroom mirror: After all most of us take at least a peek at our morning faces before we stretch into our lives. I put them on top of my shopping list, my yoga mat, on the dashboard in my car and on my computer. I want to walk my talk.
Stop right here and read the words or say them out loud:
"Every day is a fresh start."
What comes up? Do you believe it? Criticize it? But if it? Are you willing to act on it?
In its simplicity, it tells us: BE HERE NOW! It's all you've got.
Unfortunately, this simple advice is not a freebie. We have to practice it. We have to practice to remember to remember!
Our yoga mat is a great place to train this presence muscle. Think of
Each time you stand like a Mountain is a fresh start. A new moment in time. Your feet touch the earth, your crown lifts to the sky! And a favorite of mine:
"Let your heart gently lift upward and your brain gently downward."
Stay present. A fresh start!
Our minds race with us through our day if we don't interrupt it. We are:
- on autopilot, perhaps chasing after our to-do lists
- following our hamster mind from A-Z of our human struggles
- attend to past hurts - yes, yesterday belongs to the past too
- attach our hopes to a future goal or worse, a future pain.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Each beginning of your inhalation is a new start or moment in time. Honor it. Cherish it!
Start fresh. Grab this little reminder and make it part of your day.
Lead with your heart!
🌷 I don't shine if you don't shine.
PS. I plan to send "wisdom whispers" to you a few times a month. If you want a weekly one, let me know in the comments. I'm getting better at what this tech has to offer as I go.
Photo: I took it on New Years Day in m front yard.
Manuela Rohr is a certified Yoga Teacher and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. Living mindfully and with joy is her priority. She is a writer and has a passion for books, trees, cooking, and dancing. Any chance she has she hangs out with her trees, often upside down. She is the warrior-mother of an extraordinary daughter, a sister, and wife. If like to stay in touch with me please sign up for my newsletter here: https://forms.aweber.com/form/52/1855858252.htm
How can words express what I feel? What do my eyes see?
I have chosen to live in a home hugged by trees. It's equally valid to say: "the home has chosen me." My trees are the first thing I see every morning.
Do you know trees are capable of friendships?
Do you know that trees feel and use scent to communicate with each other?
That is if we don’t chop them down and break their line of “speaking” to each other.
I have learned trees do experience pain. Trees have memories and live together in community to support each other!
Trees would shake their crowns at such a notion as - the survival of the fittest - Trees could have come up with the saying:
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
I am deeply grateful to live so close to trees. When I am still enough, I can hear their stories. And when I am slowing down enough I let them listen to mine.
This connection I feel in my bones. It’s something that knocks on my heart the moment I open my eyes in the mornings.
When I c h o o s e to see.
Yoga has taught me the difference between looking and seeing.
Just like we are t a k i n g a breath versus r e c e i v i n g a breath.
To see means to P A U S E , let our eyes soften to receive what’s unfolding in front of us. It’s the opposite of what we are in the habit of doing. We're always looking for something or are on the lookout for what’s next.
Like the breath. Of course, we are breathing as long as we are alive. But if we pause long enough, soften our shoulders and replace doing with being, the breath will flow through us. We are receiving the breath! It becomes a gift we can cherish rather than something we take for granted.
Imagine a dry sponge expanding in the water. It opens up, it grows. It's effortless. That’s how an inhalation can be.
If we are too busy, too fast, too exhausted, we cannot receive.
I learn this on my mat, and I want to expand this lesson by learning from my trees. Trees grow at a leisurely pace. The word "too fast" is one I want to replace in my life with the word s l o w . Better yet, I want to s l o w d o w n .
Have you picked a word or two for this New Year? Share it with me if you'd like. It's a beautiful way to stay connected. In communication, like the trees!
I am too often in the fast lane when I am not on my yoga mat or sitting by my trees. Yes, it's part of my temperament and brings a lot of joy and fun into my life. But also fatigue.
I see my father, the king of too fast! The adventures I experienced with him are breathtaking. And my mother the queen of surrender. Poise and gentleness are qualities she owned. The understanding and unconditional love she expressed are the solid ground I walk on.
I know it's the middle ground that will protect me and help me live the life I want to live. A bit slower will be it for me.
And here is my wish for you:
Please start this fantastic New Year with a
⭐️ An exhale
⭐️ As a receiver.
Let the next breath be your eternity.
Let your breath flow and your eyes see.
Each time I look at a tree, I will slow down, tune in, surrender and receive!
Let's say 100% YES to this New Year.
Let's fill our cups by receiving so we can offer a hand and share our abundance with those who need us.
Peace and Abundance of Health for 2018!
PS: A few weeks ago I noticed a grove of younger trees next to a path I like to walk in the morning. Standing in a circle like children holding hands they look like a tipi offering some mossy rocks in their center to sit down.
They are young bay leaf trees. Sarina and I did a few counts. And ended up with 44 of them! Angel Number! Of course we named it: The Angel Grove!
Here are the two people I dedicate my slower pace and the year 2018 too:
I am reading a fantastic book: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Here is a link for you:
Lately, I find that the word happiness comes across as being muddied by too many headlines blurs telling us things like: "all you have to is: be happy."
Is it? and if yes how can I do it?
It's like the word LOVE. If it falls out of your mouth without a connection to your heart, it's missing the power to heal yourself and your listener. Faked happiness does the same. If behind the facade, you are struggling to give your life lasting meaning without the action step necessary to create it, it will make you miserable. You might look at the word happiness with a smirk as if happiness belongs to a certain type of chosen people.
A friend pointed out to me that she cannot always be happy. She said: "if I try to be happy all the time where would I hide the hard feelings, the sadness, the anger, the unhappiness?"
How I understand true happiness comes from my lifelong commitment to the practice of yoga and the mindful life connected to it. Yoga on the mat can be blissful and rewarding but also testing and very challenging. Just like day to day life.
I am not about to hide when life sucks. But at the end of the day, I remember that no matter what I will cultivate the feeling of contentment which in turn allows me to be happy with what is.
Happiness on my mat and in my life exists at the very moment when I notice my frustration, my pain, my dark side and react with kindness instead of rejection or disappointment.
It's not easy. But it's possible. It's a daily practice.
If your answer to the question:
"Do you want to be happy?" is yes but it's startled by a but-if you're tying your happiness to your circumstances.
There cannot be any ifs, ands or buts attached to it. It's not a question of whether your happiness is under your control. Of course, it is! No qualifying needed. If we can only be happy when x y and z are in place, we missed the boat.
I have many reasons to give up on being happy, and I am sure you do too. But I refuse.
Yoga taught me to pause and to practice self-reflection and self-love. I am deeply grateful for that. Rarely have I stepped off my yoga mat without feeling grounded in my world and intensely aware of what is going on. It's not all about me. It's about my connection to everything around me. What I think, say or not say and how I act or not act.
I can wholeheartedly say practicing yoga reminds me to stand in my truth and as a result, I step off my mat and can say: "I am happy."
In this groundedness, I can look my humaneness in the eye. I catapult the problematic feelings to the surface like today when I lost it with my daughter. Again. She triggers me like no other. Of course, she is the person I am most passionate about in my life. And the one who needs my support.
It doesn't help my feeling of self-worth that she is special. She sees and understands the world differently. Her neediness coupled with her brilliance can drive me into despair. How can I lose it with her? It's by far the most painful emotion I know.
In the moments when the sky turns dark, and I feel crushed to the ground Yoga has taught me to re-bounce, to find my breathe and move on. And reaffirm my commitment to find happiness on the other side of fear.
I am keeping Pema Chodron's words:
Fail, fail again, fail better
as a mantra in my imaginary back pocket. It works.
I collect quotes. I still love the first quote I put on my wall back in 1999 when we moved to California.
Happiness is a how; not a what.
A talent, not on object.
by Hermann Hesse
I am the witness to this process. We learn what happiness is through understanding that:
It is a choice!
Trees have been part of me forever. From the first love in my life, the cherry tree in my fathers gardens to the "secret" hollow trees of my childhood where we escaped to from adult-supervision to the "tree house tree" in Sarina's childhood home. Trees hold a magic that stops me in my tracks.
We live next to Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, Northern California. A magical place to live. Sometimes I think we were called to move up here because of the trees. I am blessed, I can walk out the door and find groves of trees within a few steps.
This Christmas season my love for trees sparked two new traditions.
Every Christmas Eve we will walk by my trees and adorn them with an ornament.
And inspired by Judi Dench, who plants a tree on her land for every friend that passes away, I will name a tree on my hill for friends I lose. Judi, like myself, belongs to a group of women called "Tree Sisters".
Tree Sisters is a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the restoration of our tropical forests as a collective expression of planetary care.
Join them: www.tressisters.org. The air we breathe, and the world we leave behind for our children depends on our trees.
Finally, let me introduce you to and celebrate my trees:
He was love at first sight. The first time I drove up the road to my street I had to stop. The name Adam just poured out of me. Adam is stunning. Adam is strong. He stands as a guardian for everyone coming up the hill.
Adam has become my go-to place when I need support. When I want to lean on something that is stronger than myself. I read him my stories, tell him what aches me.
When Sarina dressed up as a "human bouquet" to deliver joy "one 🌷 at a time" to the fire victims who were still in shelters at that time we had to pay tribute to Adam on our way home. He too kept our hill from burning.
I always walk away feeling happier. My small world opens up just by listening to Adams stories.
🌳 Hugo - the patient
Hugo is on every sunset you might have seen me share on my Facebook page.
Hugo was the tree Sarina and I hugged when we came home in October of this year after the wildfires threatened to burn up our hill.
He stands outside my dining room window, leaning onto a large boulder for assistance. Someone butchered his wings before we moved in. He is still healing, still a patient needing extra support.
We sit next to him to watch the sunsets. I swear he hears our stories. I can climb into him and feel free. Hugo is a symbol of healing for me.
The first time I sat on our sofa and admired the view, Victor smiled at me. His shape is precise: "Victory" is what you see. He stands firm, protected from the winds. When things don't go my way, he nods at me: "you can do this!" is what I hear.
It took me a while to find Eva. In proximity to Adam, I thought, healthy and impressive and stunning was what I wanted to see. Eva bears all of that and more. She stands protected in a grove of smaller trees. Above Adam on the same hill but not immediately visible from the path. You have to hike off the trail to find her. Her crown is full, giving shade to the siblings below. Her canopy reaches far down to the ground.
"Protected" is what I feel when I sit with her.
I dedicate the next tree to my friend of more than 40 years
who suddenly passed away in October, a day before the wildfires devastated part of our city.
She died at age 56.😔.
When I visited Corinna in August this year we spoke about her bucket list wish to visit me in California. She loved to learn about my life in the US, was a dedicated student of yoga, a devoted friend and admired my trees from afar. She loved Sarina.
I picked this tree because it stands firm, like Corinna did, across the street from Adam, hugged by beautiful flowers. I pass it every day on my way down!
More of my tree stories and adventure will follow.
Leave me a comment or write me a note if you have named a tree and why.
On the picture you see Sarina jump in front of the library of Santa Rosa Junior College. I took it on the last day of her 1. Semester when all the finals where done. That was just two days ago.
She scored 100%/100% on all of her courses. A significant milestone for her!
Determined, willing to show up, doing the work and a never ending up hope in her heart made her first chance of going to college a full success.
You might know, Sarina has been waiting for this chance since 2009. Living with the challenges she faces on a daily basis make steps like this like a walk on ice.
Now we are holding another hope: her moving out and to start living on her own again. A fantastic supported living program in Sonoma has one spot open. She had an interview there last Thursday. Three young women have been on the waiting list before her. Send your love and support. She deserves this chance. I choose to envision her there already and breath when doubt kicks in😊.
2017 was a roller-coaster year for us on many levels. Losses and victories shook hands a few times. We're grateful to celebrate today in the home we love, the place we want to be!
I have been reflecting on where we as human beings can find the ongoing courage to be brave, be daring and leap when needed.
I find it in my practice, out in nature and in the yogic texts I keep going back to for the last 30 years. I cherish what I learn by my ongoing study of the Yamas and Niyamas. They are yogas ten guidelines on how we should behave in the world and how we need to pay attention to our inner practice.
The tree below is in front of our home. A colorful thank you that our neighborhood survived the fires.
And this is what I stand for:
⭐️ I'm sending love to you and your loved ones.
⭐️ Healing and strength if life is challenging for you right now.
⭐️ Time for reflection and pockets of silence to breathe.
⭐️ A walk under the sky.
⭐️ And a smile. I also often smile for no apparent reason!
PS. Some of you wrote to me that you have not been able to open links included in my letters to you. I have not figured out why but will try to do so. In the meantime, if you want to read about my yoga life and my life with Sarina, just visit my website. You can click the blog link or the Sarina inspiration and choose what inspires you. Of course, if you let me know I will also try to send my blogs via email to you.
I have a collection of "magic moments."
They are what sustain me and feed my hungry soul when lives challenges are closing in on me.
It's the "not having enough time" that makes me suffer the most. I feel it as tight chains around my body that threaten to take my breath away and dampen my massive joy for life. I get angry quickly in that state, I lose it with my daughter and don't like myself that way.
Do you know that feeling? The constant rush, the endless d o i n g and no time for b e i n g ? I think most mothers do when their kids are little. And mothers like me who are raising a special child. Of course, this hits home for anybody who is struggling with a demanding life. With old age and illness, with injury and loss and grief.
What are you doing to take care of your body? When the energy is low, and the mood turns grumpy? Do you numb it? So you don't feel it?
I have a few things to share that help me stay sane and energized. I will not give up on being vibrantly alive.
They are my "magic moments." I pop them into my day. On the spot, before I roll out of bed, in the shower, in my car, in the grocery line, etc.
You need to p a u s e for a few minutes of your time to experience them ☺️.
Don't say no. It's simple math... only 5 "pockets of silence" a day and you will fill your happiness account with about 25 golden minutes.
In that pause, you can refill your cup and connect with yourself.
Feel your body and notice your breath. Acknowledge your feelings and raise your vibration because you're connected to your source again.
Here is my # 1 pause:
🚿 Magic in the shower
Instead, to continue to think of the million things on my to-list or my despair, I step into my "to-be list" once the water is turned on. I love to "wash" away the stories that cling to my body and run through my mind. I step into my senses and the present moment on the spot. Water is a great metaphor to help me do that. It hasn't failed me. The success is in my smile.
🚿 Stand facing the shower head and allow the water to run down directly onto the back of the neck.*💡
Focus on feeling the water on your back for a few moments.
⭐️ Let your shoulders drop
⭐️ Let go of everything else you might be holding on to by relaxing
your hands and your grip
⭐️ Take three deep breaths - feel yourself breath - make sounds if you like
⭐️ Listen to the water
⭐️ Feel it touch your skin. Feel the temperature of the water
⭐️ Smell the aroma of the soap
⭐️ close your eyes and feel
Become super aware of everything you are feeling and experiencing in that moment. No judgment needed. Just being present! Give yourself a smile!
Take this peaceful moment with you in your day.
🌷 I am a believer in visualization. When challenged during the day, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and visualize this moment in the shower. Before you know it you created another magic moment. Another chance to be you.
It's a charm. Own it!
Pause - Please!
⇰sign up for my newsletter to add my other treasures to your list. Next is a guided 2-minute mindfulness moment
*💡 Let me add a short info from my yogic life. We have seven main energy centers in our body called Chakras. Another one worth understanding is an energy center right where the neck meets the head. It's called the Cerebellum Chakra. That's where you want to feel the water. When this energy center is balanced, it manifests as feeling in touch and inspired by our dreams. It lets us access our soul contract. It connects us to our intuitive voice.
Today, is the 4th of December. It's my grandmothers Birthday.
She would have turned 140 years old! 🌷
I feel more connected to my tradition this year. I feel connected to my home in Santa Rosa, more than to any other place I have lived for a long time. I remember my roots as a reflection of who I am. I mirror my life in them. I am curious.
What lessons did I receive? What shaped me? Which stories burn in my heart? Which ones have I let go? Which ones are still waiting for their exit?
My grandmother was a grumpy even bitter old woman. She didn't like me much because I was my father's child. Very much like him. Too fast, to sporty, to noisy, too much laughter. Too much sun on our skin and not well behaved enough. Not a good Catholic, not good enough in prayer was one of the sins she despised me for. I was afraid of her harsh judgment. And for my father? He was not good enough for my grandmothers standards. End of story.
My mother suffered under her meanness. She was not like her.
I revisited the hurt I felt by her rejection for as long as I needed to heal and move on. I did. I learned from her behavior: I will have nothing of this. There is no such thing as not a good enough human being. I will not bigger behind people's back. Well, I learned not to. I worked hard to find my voice and I am still learning.
The last Christmas season we celebrated in the United States after moving here in 1987 was in 2009.
We lived in Orinda, CA at the time. In 2010 we moved back to Germany. To our roots we thought, but now it feels more like an uprooting to me.
In 2015 we moved to Texas... let me tell you, that's another adventure of it's kind. Sarina stayed on in Germany.
In an almost overnight and very happy decision, we moved to Santa Rosa in April of this year and Sarina followed.
Goodbye Empty Nest for me. For now. For a bit too long I feel, but what do I know which lessons I will get to cherish from this?
I vow to have an Empty Nest again. I ordered it. Yes. It's one phone call away.
There is a whole story written of what happened this year. So much did not go as planned. And much more did. LOL, who invented the word "plan" anyway? As I reflect, I learn that one of my superpowers is
Another one, I am a
💪🏼 WARRIOR WOMAN.
I don't give up. I fight back. I know how fear looks like and challenge it. It has to go on its knees so I can move towards my dreams. With a deep breath I step over my obstacles - every day.
💪🏼 I bend but, I don't break.
I feel a few more superpowers arising as I type. I am growing something big. I dare to say this out loud:
💪🏼 I do manifest. It's in the power of my soul. I am getting clear about what I want and: I ask for it out loud.
Oma Aloisia would not want any of that. Her imagined resistance to the woman I am makes me smile today. I would stand up to her now and love her anyway.
🎄Crafting our advent wreath and preparing the home for the Holidays brings me back to memories of her and my childhood. To my roots. I feel them grow strong and reach out to the word. I know they give me the strength to stand up when I fall and to stand tall.
Being in this reflective mood, my grandma's birthday today is one of the memories that just pop up. Perhaps she wants me to celebrate?
She gave birth to 10 children! Only 4 survived into adulthood. Two lost their lives in World War II. My mother, the youngest, and her brother Leo, the oldest were the only one still alive when they had to leave their home, their friends and memories behind. They were part of the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II. I am a child of all of this.
So much to tell here. I feel it coming... the book I have been dreaming and speaking about? It wants to come out. I had no plan to write this much today. My fingers did!
As the sky turns dark outside my window, I look at that picture of her. I will get up now and light the advent candle for her. She would approve of that. She would smile. Sarina will soak up the story. She is our families history queen.
I will bow my head to everything my grandma went through, everything she taught me. I will salute her tonight!
Happy Birthday, Oma Aloisia!🌷
Here is a thing that slipped in... sorry Oma... AND thanks to my older sister Evi for picking it up and counting better.... OMA ALOiSIA TURNED 130 yesterday not 140! ☺️