Tag Archives: life lessons

Wisdom of an Idyllwild Woman

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Yesterday was a beautiful and profound day. Mom and I took a mini road trip up to Idyllwild to walk around and get away from the city for awhile. After checking out a really awesome metaphysical store (where I got a lovely new pentagram pendant), Mom asked where we could find the best root beer floats in town. We were directed to Oma’s.

This little cafe was adorable with a brother/sister waitstaff who kept bickering with each other. The brother waited on us and was really nice with a snarky sense of humor. Mom and I dig that sort of thing. I ordered a cinnamon roll and Mom got her root beer float, both of which were out of this world delicious.

There was an elderly woman there who looked like Oma, a painting of whom hung on the wall. Mom and I couldn’t quite figure out if it was her, so we asked. Turns out that the original Oma has passed away about eight years ago and this woman, her name was Gisla, was a long time family friend who just liked to help out when she was in town. We had the opportunity to talk to this little bad ass of a woman for about 10 minutes.

Gisla was nearly 80 years old, had pretty white hair down to her chin, beautiful blue eyes and what I liked to call “wisdom wrinkles”. Through our conversation, Mom and I learned that she had taken 22 years of karate, was an incredibly spiritual woman, and believed that her life had been full of miracles. She was originally from Germany and had lived through the atrocities of WWII. 

She struck a chord with me when she said, “I have never believed in God more. My life has been full of miracles.” She spoke of lessons and mistakes, seeing the good when bad things happen, and relying on God (in her words “Or whatever it is people want to call It”) to get through. Gisla was fearless. She feared nothing and nobody. Even after only a 10 minute conversation, you could tell that everything she said was true.

I’m learning more and more as each day passes that God is with me. I choose to call Him/Her the Divine or the Universe. It just feels more natural to me. I have become much more open in my dialogue with the Divine through conversation, journaling, and just soaking up the energy in nature. Looking back, it seems that my life has been full of miracles too. Even the darkest hours where my soul was writhing in pain were miracles because I learned something. I grew. I became stronger. I shed old skin. 

Mom and I agreed after our conversation with Gisla that we were supposed to be there at that precise moment in time. We were supposed to meet her. This little woman was so full of life and wisdom. If I were to be so bold, and I will be, I would say that the Divine was speaking to us through her.

We only spent a short time in Idyllwild, but it was just enough time to get some truth we didn’t know we had coming to us. I am very grateful for the opportunity to not so much talk to Gisla, but to listen to her. This experience I will remember for a long time… especially in times when it feels like my life isn’t so full of miracles.

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The Knitting Lesson

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I got some yarn and a knitting kit for Christmas this year and it was quite possibly one of the best gifts I could have gotten. Not just because knitting is fun or because I picked it up quickly, but because it’s teaching me to cut myself some slack.

My first project was a scarf. A multicolored piece that showcased my progress; mistakes and all. I started it the day I got back from New Orleans so I was beginning to adjust to being back home and lots of energy from my trip went into it. A nasty habit I have is to berate myself, even slightly, when I make a mistake with something. Since I didn’t know how to pick a stitch back up when I dropped one, I either had to try to figure out how to pick it back up or continue on and leave the mistake alone. This was hard to do at first because I am a perfectionist by nature, especially with my art. But every time I dropped a stitch or tied an extra knot or whatever else, I’d sit there for a moment and say, “It’s ok. The mistakes will give your scarf character, and it’s your first scarf ever. Cut yourself some slack.” Little by little, those words are starting to help.

My scarf isn’t complete, but you can see where I have dropped stitches, mistakenly increased or decreased rows or didn’t follow the technique when creating a stitch. The hardest part about this process has been telling myself, “This is your first project. It’s ok to make mistakes,” because I want everything to be perfect. But, allowing myself to learn how to do something right and PRACTICING will help me create beautiful pieces over time, and even then I will still mess up. But I’ll know how to correct my mistakes without the internal put-downs.

So even though knitting has become a hobby that I enjoy very much, it has also started teaching me some lessons that I can apply to other aspects of my life.

I’m going to start taking dance lessons soon with people who are much better than me. Keeping that inner voice that tells me I’m not good enough quiet will be the biggest challenge, but I think I can do it thanks in part to the lessons that my knitting is teaching.

The Moon’s Reminder

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As I drove home tonight, I saw the moon as I have never seen it before. Traveling east on Arapahoe Road toward home, I spotted a large, yellow light on my right hand side. It looked like a giant, lit up billboard. Considering I had never seen this “billboard” before, I kept looking until I figured out what it was. To my absolute amazement, I realized that half of the moon was peeking out from the black clouds that encompassed it. It looked as if it was touching the earth. I saw it as I was about two miles from the freeway and kept glancing over it as I got closer and closer to my neighborhood.

About halfway up the road, I noticed something falling from the sky… low and behold, a star. I watched it fall at a very high speed, burning bright before it fizzled into nothing. How strange that I would see such a magnificent moon, emerging from the clouds as if representing new birth… only to see a bright star burn out, dying, a few short moments later.

I kept driving and called a friend, meanwhile still stealing quick glances at the moon as I lost it, found it, lost it again… I wanted to know who else could be seeing what I was seeing. After describing to him what I saw, I told him I’d call him back because I’d decided to go and try to see the moon more clearly. I drove into my neighborhood and passed my street. I kept driving, following, chasing the moon like some sort of crazy woman. I eventually pulled over to try and get a shot on my phone, however, being that my phone has no zoom, I couldn’t properly document just how big the moon appeared to be.

Unsatisfied, I got back in my car and drove even further, up a hill, down a hill, up another one. I stopped where the pavement ended and there was nothing left but dirt. Again, I tried to get a shot. Again, my camera failed me… garnering only a speck of light that did the moon no justice.

Through all of this, I was experiencing euphoria. I had chills up my spine, amazed at the immense size and beauty that this moon represented. It was another one of God’s gifts to nature; to humanity. If I had been able to chase the moon forever, knowing that someday I might touch it, I probably wouldn’t have stopped driving. As loony as that probably sounds, that is the only way I know how to describe what I felt when I looked at the moon tonight.

As humans, it’s very easy for us to forget just how small we really are. We’ve built monuments, buildings, telescopes, dams, and a thousand other structures that at one time seemed like impossible feats. However, when it comes to the massive size of the moon, our oceans, our mountains, our deserts, our universe… all our impressive, man-made accomplishments pale in comparison. Tonight, seeing the moon humbled me and made me remember my humanity. While my life may only be represented by a hundred years if I’m lucky, the moon and everything natural that was here millions of years before me will still be here millions of years after my ashes have returned to the soil.

Life After Death: My Legacy

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This weekend was positively epic. I got the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my cousins, some of which I hadn’t seen in many years. We partied, we raged, we had a hell of a rockin’ time and the cool thing about it is that we all knew that that was just who we were and how we rolled. It really always has been. If you’re one of the Moyte cousins and you get yourself in a room with us, you know you’re going home with some memories. But, the epicness of my weekend isn’t what I want to focus on now. I want to share a little something about the weekend and a couple seemingly small events that took place.

On Saturday, I went to visit my grandpa (who I so affectionately call “Grampa”). I haven’t seen him since I’ve been out here and I love the guy to death, so it was really nice to be able to spend some time with him. In his house, he has pictures of all of us grand kids. He has pictures of my grandma and him from when they were young. Looking at those photos, I felt a bit of nostalgia and a bit of sadness. My grandma passed away in December of 2000. Two of my cousins passed away as well, one in December of 2004 and one in February of 2005. While I have seen all of those photos time and time again, it was different this time. Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to understand what death means now.

My grampa surprised me by giving me three necklaces that were my grandma’s. One was a gold arrowhead on a silver chain, one was a circular pendant with a gold bird etched across it, and the other was a dainty cross that I was a little hesitant to handle because I thought I’d break it. Of all of these pieces, the cross reminded me the most of my grandma. The chain was so delicate and graceful. The cross was very small and I could totally picture her wearing it. The fact that my grampa wanted me to have these means the world to me… and it has also made me realize just how much I still miss my grandma.

Even though it has been 10 years this Christmas since she passed away, I still think about her a lot. I think about my cousin, Chris, and my cousin, Nicole, too. I miss them all like hell.

Today, before I left Cheyenne to head back to Denver, I went to visit their graves. All of their headstones were decorated with flowers, crosses, pictures and other mementos. All of them were young. All of them were and are deeply, deeply loved.

Being there reminded me of my own mortality and that none of us are guaranteed another day on this Earth. Only God truly knows how long we have and it’s up to us to make sure that we leave a good legacy for those who carry on once we pass. On the drive home, while I listened to my music, I let my thoughts wander and I started thinking about what was truly important to me. What kind of legacy do I want to leave when my day comes to take my journey Home? I thought about the kind of person I’ve become, who I want to become, the kind of people I surround myself with and the example that I want to set forth to those who look up to me. I’m definitely not perfect, but I think I’m on the right track.

What I found important were principals that I’ve weaved into my life little by little over the past few years, even the past few months. Friends will come and go, my family will always be there. Let go of the people who are toxic for me and hold on to the people who help me shine. Be honest to others, but most importantly, be honest to myself… even if the truth hurts. Pay attention to my gut feelings… they’re usually right. Let myself feel pain. Let myself be open to love. Let myself see the world through varying points of view. Do something that matters and forget the material things. Stand up for my beliefs and never let anybody tell me that I can’t do something. I can do absolutely anything.

When I remember who my grandma and my cousins were in life, I feel incredibly blessed to have known them. They were people that loved. They were people who were happy and who didn’t sweat the small stuff. They were people who left a stunning legacy for all who knew them. When it comes time for me to leave this life, I can only hope that my legacy will be as memorable for those around me.

Venom

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Actions have consequences. Retaliation breeds vengeance. Depending on the willpower of those involved, sometimes rising above the hatred can be a daunting task. I’ve had to watch someone I cared about once completely act like someone I never knew him to be. In the face of adversity, he turned into someone that I hated. Someone I didn’t even know. It caught me so off guard that I had hoped it wasn’t real; that it was all just a horrible dream. The person that I used to know cared about others… but then again, during hard times, isn’t it those who are close to us that get hurt the most?

It took everything in me to not react like he did. To not spit venom right back in his face. Rising above the hurt, the anguish, the hate and the despair nearly killed me. There were times where I wished for death, however, now that I look back on it, death would have been the easy way. Those who know me know that I’m not really one to take the easy way out. I want to suffer through the trials and tribulations of life because in the end, it is me who is stronger. It is me who will learn the lessons, remember them, and apply them to the future.

I had expected more from this person. I had truly thought he expected more from himself… but, apparently, I was wrong. As the weeks turn into months, the months will turn into years. My anger has diminished significantly but I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t still some there. To be blatantly honest, if I saw this person again right now, I’d probably shatter his jaw. Overpowering the anger though, is the overwhelming sense of disappointment. I thought he was better than to act in the manner that he did. I truly believed that he was better.

What I have to remember now is that I am better. I was honest. I followed through. I let the paint on the walls dry and have yet to hang new pictures. He didn’t… and right now, I certainly hope he suffers every consequence that comes to him in full. There will come a time when I will be able to forgive him. Right now is not that time.

In the end, we all have our demons… it just depends on whether or not we keep them on a short leash or let them off the leash completely. For the most part, I try to keep mine starved, beaten and battered… kind of like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but not nearly as feisty. I’m not perfect and I don’t ever mean to make myself sound like I’ve got it all figured out. I don’t. I do, however, feel that there are basic lessons that every person should master in life. Learning to act like an adult at an adult age is one that I thought was pretty obvious. Apparently, there are still many folks who don’t understand the concept.