Posts Tagged ‘Paulo Coelho quote’

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them. (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.)

Ella and I play trick-or-treat any time of the year. Our version transcends reality. The costume takes over the wearer. A skeleton drinks apple juice and it passes from bone to bone to the front porch.

Today Ella wants me to be permanent trick-or-treater while she adjusts the treat to the visitor.

“Hi,” I say, then complain. “I’m a tree, and yeah, I know the peaceful nature scene. Quiet. The woods. All that. But I have bugs climbing all over me. Squirrels are nuts. They don’t just eat them. And the birds? That early morning song is nice enough, but the pre-dawn time can get on your sap after a while.”

Ella smiles and then takes on a composed expression. “Okay. Here’s a woodpecker.”

I’m immediately out of character. Our girl has a sense of humor. Down syndrome, yes. Up personality? No question about it.


photo a combination of pic taken in our backyard and portion of public domain pic

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You are important, valuable and unique. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Live your truth and be amazing. (Ricardo Housham)

 Our outdoor thermometer reads twenty-two degrees; this is a step up from yesterday’s reading of eight degrees. I wait for the sun to shine as brightly as it does in mid-June, even if brightness and warmth are not synonymous.

Like many people I have survived trauma. Cold desperate winters remained inside my being long after each spring thaw. The situation is more common than most individuals want to admit. Since those days I have embraced the pain as well as the good that came from the past. After a lot of hard work. Time. Meditation. The love of friends.

However, I only recently learned that memories live in the body as well as in the mind. Why am I perfectly fine one moment, and then, without warning, an internal storm rises? I tend to retreat. Others strike back. The why isn’t always obvious. Even if I don’t act upon how I feel, the response remains.

As a writer I watch people. When threatened, one person may stare with contempt, mouth closed, jaw clenched. Another may fight without editing words or actions. We are emotional beings—whether we want to admit it or not.

The body remembers trauma, sadness, and loss even if the mind has long-ago gone to the next page. Am I depressed? Heck no! I have a loving family, a passion for writing, and more energy than many almost-seventy-year-old people. Moreover, the physical therapy for my misbehaving neck is working.

Nevertheless, I suspect that part of the disconnection between my head and shoulders has something to do with blocks inside my body’s memory. And that is where Marcia Erdman comes in. She does something called Defusion Therapy. She is also a licensed massage therapist. And she is highly intuitive.

“You give more than you have to give,” she told me once.

And she was spot on.

One brain therapy works for me because I don’t have problems that keep me from living life. I have blocks that keep me from reaching for the sky. No, I won’t harness every lofty goal, but why not try? Why not make the world a better place, simply by being in it—as fully as possible. Marcia uses an approach that includes Three in one Concepts. In essence this means that the mind and body work together to choose rather than react when stress inevitably appears.

Marcia’s system includes muscle testing and symbols, such as flowers, to improve areas that need growth. The highlighted sites explain the system better than I can. Besides, I’m a newbie. And for people in the Greater Cincinnati area, Marcia is accepting clients. Simply click on the link connected to her name.

In the meantime I watch the snow fall since rebelling against it won’t make winter pass any faster. Peace upon all. Wherever you may be.


becoming PIQ


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No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it. (Paulo Coelho)

As usual, I’m eager to move to the next chore on my must-do-today list as my husband, Jay, gets a cup of coffee and continues to chat with fellow Y members. I sit quietly only when I am intent on an edit—or when complete weariness has almost knocked me over. He needs to socialize. My need to accomplish does not necessarily preempt his mission to celebrate the company of fellow senior citizens. I know my agenda needs flexibility, more smell-the-roses time. However, wind-up-and-go is my natural mode.

I intentionally breathe in and out slowly: breathe in to a count of five, out to a count of ten, a soul-cleansing effort. My list seems jumbled anyway. I’m not sure what I planned to do next, or what I have forgotten. I’m on auto-pilot and the plane may or may not have enough gas to get to my destination.

Then I notice Jay is talking to Nora, director of the senior programs at the Y. Nora has an attitude that brightens everyone around her. She is carrying a package. Jay motions to me to come and see it. I’m glad I didn’t insist that we leave the Y as soon as our class ended. The package is a present from Nora to Ella, a hand-made doll with a bright red crocheted dress and wrap. Nora and Ella are good friends. Our little girl has impressed Nora. Ella affects people without realizing it. Last month a young girl bought Ella a present at a rummage sale, because Ella had been charming. I think our youngest granddaughter’s extra chromosome has been misnamed; she has Up syndrome.

As I place the gift in the trunk of the car and prepare for our next errand, I sigh. My oh-so-essential list may or may not get completed. It does not matter. Have I made anyone smile today? Have I pointed out something good about a person that he or she hadn’t noticed? Have I spread a little sunshine, like Nora or like Ella do? Maybe those are the items I need to put first on my list.

To all, have a wonderful holiday.


A photo of Ella’s first printing, taken by another of her grandmothers, Alice. Maybe the E isn’t really backwards. It could be facing toward someone on the other side of where she stands.

Ella isn’t leaving anyone out!

Thanks for the photo, Alice!

first printing

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When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you. (Paulo Coelho)

Preschool and kindergarten-aged boys and girls in mismatched socks to designate left and right leg movements, sit facing a mirror with their instructors and occupational therapists. The kids’ families watch ballet class begin—this is recital day.

A couple of the class members react to the rhythm of the music. Others move to their own inner melodies. Some seem shy; others outgoing. One little girl runs as if the polished floor were a glossy playground. A man, probably her father, repeatedly brings her back into the group. All of the children have Down syndrome; none of them fit a pre-cut so-called handicapped pattern. They are unique individuals.

I watch and take pictures that are too fuzzy to save. Perhaps for me this moment can’t be held in a square frozen in time anyway. The program continues as Ella takes the hand of the girl who has been running freestyle and they explore movement through large, pastel-colored hoops. I envision the imaginations of these almost-dancers explode.

No, this isn’t ballet in the traditional sense—it doesn’t need to be. Actually, I need to control a perfectionism I see in myself. I begin each day with enthusiasm, carpe diem all the way. Then my eagerness morphs into frenzy. By noon my energy frizzles. I often jump through self-imposed hoops without enjoying the current moment.

Perhaps it is the perfectionism in me that sparks annoyance when someone needs to give every detail about her son or granddaughter’s perfect SAT scores. “That’s nice.” But if that story began with a struggle that has a survivor element in it, my interest rises. I’d rather hear about the child with a disability who made it despite the odds. Or the tale about how a loving home changed the life of a troubled teen. Sure, a natural ability is good, but what is being done with that talent—besides a claim to superiority?

These children in the ballet class and their families don’t make I’m-the-best statements. They don’t apologize either. In a poem I had published in “For a Better World 2012″ edited by Saad Ghosn, one stanza begins with:

My granddaughter has Down syndrome, I say.

I’m sorry, the reply.

I’m not, my answer.

As I read those direct-not-metaphorical lines at the public library in April I saw eyes widen, some with surprise, others with a smile. The folk with a smile either knew my little girl or they knew someone like her. They understood resilience, possibilities, not an extra chromosome.

Love has enormous power. Unfortunately it doesn’t come packaged in a neat Hallmark card. If it did utopia would be as common as MacDonald restaurants and ants at a picnic. Ella knows the word no and says it clearly. She can be as stubborn as any other child. However, she has a lot to offer the world, and so do the other children in this class.

I don’t need to understand what is happening as I relax and enjoy the moment; I only need to know that it is good, and that my first Christmas gift is in the form of a queue of children. They move in an awkward oblong shape while holding streams of white ribbon, grins escaping like sunshine through the inevitable solstice.

how awesome you are

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