https://mysticjourneybookstore.com/event/the-wonder-of-possibilities-workshop/

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The Attitude With Gratitude

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could still hold a lot of gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne–Winnie The Pooh

The very popular theme these days is to be:  grateful.  They say that the only prayer that needs to be said (or whispered) is:  Thank-You. (what a lovely thought.)

Yet, giving thanks and re-patterning our negative thoughts to positive ones can sound easy in theory, yet very difficult to practice.  Giving thanks has been a common religious and cultural theme throughout the centuries.

(How many of us on this great big planet of Horror and Wonder are conscious enough to not take for granted the gift of waking up (each day)? Of–breathing–of thinking–of being and feeling (loved)?

Sometimes we do not realize how fortunate we are until what we value has been taken away from us and still there are some of us who never know what they had even when what they had has been lost…

(We complain about most things on most days.)

Being single for over a decade and a half now, I have utilized my singleness observing couples who are supposed to be together because of their love (for-each-other) yet I see so many comfortably displaying grievances about the other rather than enjoy the love that is supposed to be (between) them.

(I-find-that-curious.)

*     *     *     *     *

When we feel loved, there is no need to complain.  Sometimes the complaining is a good thing (if it leads to positive change).  Sometimes we are just not focused on loving but give our attention to our negative distractions.  We complain about our spouses or significant others, until they are no longer “ours” to complain about.

(and then we complain–still.)

It is easy to focus on the negative when it is surrounding us at every turn.  Technology, media and our world feeds on negative news about everything that is not happy, positive or uplifting.  So many comparisons, the list is endless:  Not talented enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not enough for others or ourselves.  The Lacks in Life and doubt in our own self-worth is a constant battle for many.  Being good enough and having enough just never seems to be–enough.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you do not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”  ~ Epicurus

When you  hoped for a Someone To Love and then you are in the company of someone you love, remember the above Epicurus quote and you will remain in a state of gratitude for–your-love.

*     *     *     *    *

Could lack of gratitude have something to do with the fact that our brains default position is to worry and worry could be another form of focusing on what we do not have and the fear of what we have and don’t want.  We focus on fear of the unknown and the constant struggle to settle the chattering mind in all of us.  If we focus on “Thank You” suddenly the chattering settles into a grateful stillness.  We remember, naturally, “Thank You” feels better than “Not Enough”.

Science says that expressing gratitude will help diminish the feeling of negative thoughts.  We must occupy our thoughts with counter thoughts of gratitude and happiness, so our brains don’t end up in “psychic entropy.”  It takes 5-10 positive events to counter balance one negative one!

With the overriding thoughts that are in the background of our minds, the ones filled with gratitude must be louder and clearer than the subtle judgments of others and ourselves; inner complaints and criticisms about every topic imaginable.

Whether we have actual events to counter the negative ones, doesn’t really matter as our brains do not know the difference from what it sees to what is actually true. (tricky huh?) We can and must train our brain’s reticular activating system to what we wish to experience and we can do this simply by making a few goals and reading them a few times a day; looking at photographs or images of what is positive and what we envision for our lives is a great way to create and manifest.

(Focusing on our goals will give us a sense of positivity and that positivity will in turn remind us of all we have to be grateful for)

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive” ~ Hafez

Gratitude is touted today as the key to much, primarily the Law of Attraction.  But what is the Law of Attraction, really?  It is not a new idea. It does not belong to ‘The New Age’ for the New Age is nothing more than an awareness of what has always been.  It might be new to the western way of thinking, thus calling,  The Law of Attraction another form of, The Law of Gratitude.  Simply put:  The Laws of Nature and the laws of nature have been supplying us with its gifts since the beginning of–time.

Whatever happened along the passing of the seasons and centuries that we stopped noticing The Gifts of Nature, of ourselves or each other?  We have more to be thankful for than ever.  If we do not take notice of all that we have, soon, surely, The All Powerful One, behind that Curtain that sustains all of life–just might take everything away from us.

We are the gift that nature constantly and unconditionally provides for us.  We are Gratitude. We just need to remember to notice all that we are (and are not.)

So when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, decide, decide–which path will you take?  The one pointing in the direction of  Thank You?  or Not Enough?

(only Time will tell…)

(This post is dedicated to the one and only,  Goddess of Light, Violette, whose emergence  from the past brought  gratitude and appreciation to her sister “B” once trapped in Darkness…)

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Absent Minded Love

Me:  are you mad that I love you?

You:  yes, it scares me.

Me:  if you prefer torture, i can love you to death (and you will die most happy and satisfied.)

You:  hmmm. dying seems easier than love.

Me:   dying is not easier, it is just not–living.  Love is scary because it makes you feel–alive.

You:  if i love you, i am afraid of…

Me:   being happy?

You:  i am conflicted.

Me: because, love-is-new-to-you.

You:  can you forget someone and still love them?

Me: why would you want to forget me? (but i think it can be done. if i try really hard, i can forget you and–still love you.)

You:  really?

Me:  yes, it is called Absent Minded Love.

You:  i want you to always remember me and to remind me what love is.  i will come find you tomorrow, just in case you forget to Find Me…

Me: (i can’t wait for your tomorrow to be my today…)

 

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The Bucket List for Intimacy…

Intimacy is the fun and lightness of being.  Yet why does it seem that so many fear it?  000056660034

When relationships are solely based on a technological bond, we are left fragmented, distracted and conflicted.

 When we are not filled with the spontaneous act of face to face, heart to heart loving, seeing and feeling The Other we love– our hearts become contradictions tangled in our minds with technological disarray and busyness eroding it.

When the heart goes unattended and the environment in which it is communing with is being seduced by the Liquid Crystal Displays of our daily lives, much of love will go unrecognized and sadly, unfelt.

Cellphones can be instrumental in conveying love in an emergency, “Love, are you ok?” “yes, but I will be late…” They are exceptionally helpful in a disaster and even can assist in saving lives.  But cellphones  are not meant as a conduit for the sole communication of serious matters of the heart of any relationship.

Yet the text messages are becoming the norm for the starting of romances, the breaking up of romances and even the reuniting of them.  Can their be a happy medium?  Can we set rules and boundaries for this rapidly new way of relating?

What kind of relationships are we hooked up to, either technologically or emotionally?  Are they positively charged and physically and emotionally uplifting?

Behind the tough exteriors of men and women today, young and old, is a sensitive, ageless and timeless center, a core that wants and even craves–real, (tangible) love.

Below is The Bucket List of Intimacy.  (May you be one who dares to traverse the magnificence of its depths.)

Intimacy is…

Surrendering to each other.

Moment by precious moment.

Being Known.

(best kind of love)

Mornings, waking up–together

Laughing–

(Before getting out of bed)

Whisperings in The Language

(of Together-ness)

Jumping off The Great Precipice of Life, feeling small and tall–and not being afraid!

(together!)

Eyes locked (together)

Hands clasped, tightly (together)

Discovering Life’s Mysteries through each other’s eyes

(together)

Sharing of thoughts, fears, desires

(together)

Holding each other, closely, tenderly as if this moment is the first and the last you will have,

(together)

And in the end?

Intimacy is once again Surrendering.

The Letting Go–of love–of life–

(together).  Knowing that being alone, without The Other

is the greatest sadness of not being–

(To-gether…)

 

(this post is dedicated to all of my Find Me comrades who bravely dare to swim in the uncharted waters of face to face and heart to heart encounters with, The Other.)

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The Natural Flow of Enlightenment

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.  Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi

Today our lives are filled with information overload and all kinds  of professional trainings that we have forgotten who we are, naturally.  Being authentic has turned into one more task we have to check off our many to do lists.

The busier people get the more distracted and unsettled they seem.   Our attention spans are shrinking, but what are we doing about it?  Trying to be mindful creates more anxiety because we are, again–trying.

There are schools and methods and techniques for everything imaginable and it seems that many of us grasp for all of them.  Could all this learning actually keep us from ourselves? Our Joy?

IMG_3182

I recently went to a dharma talk on the importance of meditating and “how” to meditate.  One of the objectives of the instructor was to value the practice and not seek for an “end goal.”. Even Kafka had said that if you just sit, the world will roll at your feet.  It is really that simple:  Sit. Don’t get up.  Breathe.  Eventually your breath will find its natural rhythm if you don’t allow your mind to interfere. (My mind interferes often…)

Many years ago, while reading Shunryu Suzuki’s, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”, I remember a similar message:  enlightenment is really our true nature.  So why do we make everything from  how and whom we love, what we eat and how we breathe so complicated?

Could enlightenment simply be knowing what it means to feel alive?

Enlightenment and mindfulness is a coming home to the place before The Confusion began.  Muddled Minds have their early stages rooted in turbulent pasts at a time when caregivers, religion and society decides much of our training and ultimately much of how we think and feel as adults.

Enlightenment is:

Happiness.  Happiness is the state of feeling alive.  Meditation gets you to that feeling.  Breathing keeps you in that feeling.  It is that simple, but not so easy to achieve.

Misery is:   Distraction.  Overthinking.  Anxiety.  Busyness.  All the things that keep us from ourselves and from  any amount of joy.

Enlightenment can be a sudden moment of clarity, a gestalt of some sort that changes our lives forever, yet it can take many painful years to unravel the accumulated clutter from our rigid and overly structured pasts.

We are collecting the patterns of our future with the routines of our days.  When we are curious about life and our world around us, we can settle our pasts and re-pattern our future with each day, naturally.

Unless we can lasso the feelings that support our thoughts, now, life can take us on a tumultuous course against our will, without ever knowing that our memories are preventing us from living richer, happier lives.

In Buddhism they suggest that we do not go digging up our pasts for we have too many pasts to glean into and it would take lifetimes to resolve each one.  Whether the Buddhist philosophy is correct or not,  I have discovered that it is more than enough work to change my old beliefs about myself and the world.

Even if there are other lifetimes, those life-times are as flimsy as our yesterdays and will only keep us from being available for our life today.  When we focus our attention on ourselves and where we need to grow, ultimately we find a reservoir of energy and love available not only for ourselves but we find giving to others is a natural expression and extension of ourselves.

When we focus on the changing of others and the changing of the world–we actually find we are too depleted to give of ourselves to anyone.

Obviously the most challenging of memories are the negative ones from our childhoods that we unconsciously haul into our adult lives.  For many of us, our past messages do weigh heavily on whether we are happy or not.  The latent background memories and voices from our pasts are what prevents us from any hope of enlightenment.

What can we do?

We can heal our pasts today, every day by committing to being happy and by changing ourselves and not worrying about the anxieties and fears that make the world go busily around.

By being happy we will know how and when to slow down.  When we are happy we seek out the silence in our day, even if it is for five minutes. Five minutes feels like eternity when you become friends with that intangible quietude and stillness–that space and place that holds the key to our soul.

So when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, decide, decide….what will you do?  What will you do?  Mediate or procrastinate?  Be happy or sad? (only time will tell…)

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The Beauty in Belief!*

Belief can be like gratitude.  You might think you don’t have much or many and then you realize that you have a great deal of beliefs that you are grateful for!

I recently asked someone to list their beliefs for me.  Instead of hearing their response, I decided to list mine.  This is a good exercise to do every now and again, for as we evolve, our soul grows and  some of our beliefs may no longer hold the same truths for us.

Sometimes beliefs can be like a promise we feel we can no longer keep.  (It is ok to believe in new things…)

The below beliefs have remained consistent over the years with what I am grateful for.

I believe in Love–because love is really all there is, once  we peel away the layers of everything that is its opposite.

I believe in heaven and earth–just makes sense. The earth is below my feet and I am grateful that I can still feel the ground below them. And heaven?  For me,  heaven means there is something other than what is concrete and tangible, perhaps even–magical.

I do not see heaven as a”place” after our feet permanently leave the ground. I see heaven as the space and place that is all around us and above us.

(Just because we cannot touch something does not mean that is is not there or that we cannot feel it.)

I believe in forgiveness. Forgiveness, like love, heals as well.  Mostly forgiveness heals the forgiver.  (Sometimes it is best all around if we just forgive–ourselves.)

I believe in giving. When we give of ourselves, we become a beautiful example of what it means to be human.

I believe in equality.  With equality, there is no right or wrong way of being. We see each other at eye level, which is the Ultimate Vision.

I believe in unity. (Wow.) What a concept! United, unified, integrated, not separate–whole. You totally win The Race with that one!

I believe in faith–namely, faith in one’s Self.

I believe in autonomy.  Autonomy is a wonderful thing to believe in and something worth  having as a goal.  When we are autonomous we can remain open to the views of others, yet stay true to ourselves.

I (really) believe in the first amendment—yak yak yak :)

I believe in the beauty and idea of Hope. I love the word hope! Hope to me is like a wish and a prayer.  Wishing, hoping and even praying are ways to uplift ourselves or others. (“I hope, wish, pray you feel better! I hope, wish, pray that you win that race! I hope, wish, pray you feel alive–every day!)

Who or what we pray, hope or wish to is up to us.

I believe in dreams, for without dreams and dreamers we would have no hope!  Think about it:

When we see those living out their dreams there is an excitement (or envy) inside of us. That Dreamer dared to live their dream (belief of themselves) and to watch their actualization also gives us hope for our own dreams and wishes.

I believe in action.  (even when that action is still.) Action is a great thing to believe in and to be grateful for.  Action promotes change, and without change there would only be stagnation.

I believe in Peace. (Peace reminds me of how the earth and life existed before Greed ravaged it and man forgot he was a vital part of some greater whole.

Peace reminds me of what Faith, Hope and Love will always be. (A Trilogy that can save humanity.)

* this post is dedicated to the Sorceress of Past, Present & Future. May she discover the magic in her beliefs!

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The Preciousness of (Y.O.U.)

There is a
(Preciousness)
in the world and all that which is precious–
is you
is Me
is–We.

We are all (that) valuable…
and we are more than the
videos(we)take too much-time-out-of-our-precious-lives
to watch
(and not)
participate.
Because
(we are so busy
doc-u-menting)
the very lives we should be…
(living)
We are more than the perfectly posed
Selfie’s. And no matter how adorable we need to feel
(these self-images)
are not images of our
(True Self)
These digitized imitations
(Limitations)
do-not-de-fine
Us
or who we truly are.
And there are so many
(reels)to choose from!
These snip-its and cleverly calculated “filters”
cannot and do not convey who we are
(authentically) to
(others)
viewing
(without)
en-gaging.
Unlike the (precious) sun
(it’s-just-A-screen.
There is no real warmth).
It’s-just-A-background-light)
Bright and blinding.
(No real comfort)
We cannot see,
up, down and all-around.
And aren’t we all too isolated anyway?
Technologically close
Tangibly at bay
That Screen–shields us
from ourselves.
(From others too.)
Instead of turning the camera on ourselves,
why not reach out to another fellow human and have them
do the clicking-this-one-time!
They cannot be far away and if they are?
Get outside and find someone to relate to
and
(hug-them).
Ask them to turn the camera on
you 😉
break free from
The Screen
Invite another into
your
(real world)
you never know–
you might just make a
(real friend)
hashtag#oldschool
(but golly, so worth it!)

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The He(art) Behind Neuroscience.

Beat. Beat. Beat.

Tick, tick, tick. Think, think, think.

Feel. Feel-(Feel.)

Is there a heart behind neuroscience? One of my favorite books to peruse is The New York Times Guide To Essential Knowledge, yet most recently as I began researching this post, I noticed that some of the information from its 2007 publication is now outdated. Scientific theories and facts sometimes change, leaving one wondering:  what is consistently true? When it comes to neuroscience and the ways of the brain, must we also entrust within the science world –the care and nurturing of our hearts? Does science really know best when it comes to that feeling part of who we are? Can we entrust “evidence”, books and studies with the aspect of our deepest selves? If, some day, science can control our brain and manipulate our hearts, is that the trajectory we want to embark on as a race?

In the article,  “How Does The Brain Work?”, by Sandra Blakeslee, from the Guide To Essential Knowledge, the indication was that there were brain cells in our hearts, but wait (!) that was way back in 2007 and now current research states that neuron’s are not the same as a brain cell. (This is already too much for my romantic heart.) My interest for this post is not to confuse facts and theories, but rather to ask ourselves how we feel—if we can identify how we see life, the world and our feelings, separate from science and society, culture and religion.  (Tall order, but I think we can handle it.)

Our days are increasingly growing busier, globally and we are becoming more seduced by the lure of technology’s light beams from the pixels on our mobile devices.  Add background noises, professional and personal daily obligations and we can understand why and how we are becoming desensitized from the core of what it means to be human.  If we take a moment we might need to remind ourselves what it means—to feel. (and can we remember?)

Freud is known to have said, “Wherever I have gone, a poet has been there before me…”  

Perhaps, he too realized the value of the heart.  Neuroscience says that there is no Deity in our brain and while some theories say that there are brain cells in our hearts, they deny that the heart has feelings in the love and emotional sense.  Science talks about the heart’s complex nervous system and that it is responsible for what we poets take as a higher meaning or order to our lives.  When science suggests what is true (for now) we must remember:  Western Medicine, Western Psychology, Western Every-thing is newer than the ancient, Eastern way of healing our minds and bodies. Ancient Widsom understands how we think and feel regarding life, love—meaning.   With our new science, our new medicine, yes, we have managed to save lives but at the same time, we are destroying our planet. So if there is no “God”, certainly there is some-thing and that thing we are scientifically a part of and it is a significant part of—us.   Whether there is a God or not, what are we responsible for?

This New Age that gets such a bad rap is perhaps merely Old Wisdom that deserves more respect than it currently gets and that the “New Age” is really the birth of the Western Mind and Western Medicine.  Science does change. Einstein’s theory is being challenged now.  Brian Greene’s theory about strings being the fabic of our universe is tempting and challenges even the most evolved minds, for the very core of reality is being challenged here.  And, ahhh, yes then there are the theories and wisdom of Winnie The Pooh and one of my favorite of all time–The Little Prince!  Life is movement and with movement everything and everyone one changes. We read and we believe and we trust, and in doing so, perhaps what we need to do is question what and whom we believe, whether it is science, religion or Disney, can we relearn to believe in ourselves?

My “theory” is that there is absolutely no God in our brain, for if there was, we would never have managed to destroy our lovely, beautiful planet–a planet that we are solely responsible for its destruction.   Our Western Mind has managed in just a few short hundred years to kill all that was good.    Yet, we all know, deep within our beings that there is a Such-ness Out There and In Here and that Such-ness is the intangible part of our heart.  Take away all the science of mind and theory and we can travel back thousands and millions of years and there is a basic core that runs through living things.  Perhaps we can grapple with the extent of our nervous systems and who or what species and animal has a stronger, more complex system, but why must everything be explained?  What if we had to rely on our own internal resources, thinking and feeling?  Whom and what would we turn to then? No books, No media? No religions, No video games—no things other than:  ourselves.

In closing, our genes, our brain chemicals, combined with oxytocin and vasopressin are supposed to be responsible for whom we love.  Can hormones completely dictate how we feel and whether we have empathy or can love? Intimacy is becoming increasingly more oblique and relationships seem to have lost the vital, tangible sensitivity that made them relationships in the first place.  What is “trending” these days are “sexbots” and recent poles state that some humans actually are ok with this kind of sexual relating.   Yet, in the beginning, before fast food quickly polluted our brains so our bodies would grow too numb and sick to feel, slowly our hearts deadened and love was lost to things outside of ourselves.  Add to the list of bad diets and thoughts—air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and corporate suppression (polluting our hearts and minds)—the human being contained every aspect of what it takes to have love be an active part of our species survival.

If we refrain from emotional and physical complacency and remain curious about what makes us tick, feel and love, rather than rely on books and “evidence”,  neuroscience might have a hand in helping us understand how to heal the very parts of our minds and hearts that we are losing sight of.  Together we can intelligently thrive in a world with love as our foundation for thought and science…

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Embark on The Journey of Change…

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February 14, 2014

This post is dedicated to the three most important human beings in my life: Four-10-19-Ninety-One, Three-25-19-Ninety-Three & Eleven-13-19-Ninety-Five.  Thank you for showing me, without words…

 Sometimes the language inside of our hearts, is too vast for a single word…

When this is the case, we scramble through our emotions and memories and attempt to pull from within our beings, that deepest place of feeling, striving to convey, in words the experiences of our hearts.  If we are to succeed at accomplishing (and allowing) this great feat, tears will rise from within that Word-less Place inside of us and coat the periphery of our eyes and we will see our world, with extra vision. Without warning we find ourselves surrendering to something much larger than we are prepared for: The capability and enormity of our heart’s capacity to LOVE, is sometimes too frightening to embrace.

When we surrender? We find a powerful release of an oxygenated life force.  Our faces, wet with tears and flushed with emotion—free this feeling of The One Word.  The One Word that expresses and embodies every emotion that matters most in our meager existence here on the great big and now fragile planet.  The contents of our hearts evoke and provoke sentiments that sometimes take-us-by-surprise and we identify this expression with the One Word called:  L O V E.

On this  Fourteenth day of February, each year, we celebrate the sentiments of our hearts, most notably with the idea of romance between lovers. Unbeknownst to some, there is another kind of romance that is equally wonderful and as fulfilling, yet not talked about in the same context:  The LOVE a mother can feel for her children.   There is a LOVE that a mother shares with her children—quietly and privately.  Between the two, LOVE illustrates and illuminates the immensity of what lies in our hearts.  Children come to us from many places and through different channels, yet they arrive, bearing gifts and lessons for us to value and learn from, if we are open to welcome what they have to offer. LOVE is transcendent—in any form and relationship.  It is wordless, except for its exression through poetry.  The LOVE of a mother and child is a power force and bond that can rarely be described, yet it can-change-the-world, because LOVE changes everything. And when we LOVE our children, in essence we LOVE the world, because some day they-will-be-its-Keeper.

*     *     *     *     *

Sometimes I feel like we Sensitive Ones are not taken seriously in the world because we make LOVE our priority.  (Imagine if everyone—did.)  The Dreamers and The Conservatives honoring, LOVE!   In the end it will be what mattered.  In the end, LOVE will be what we had, lost or sadly never knew. If our passion for each day began with: “I LOVE… my man, my woman, my children, my dogs, my career….my—life, we would set a new standard for existence.

*     *     *     *     *

Individually and together,  my life has only been enhanced by my children’s presence, showing me what family is, what LOVE is.  And while I can only speak from the position of a mother, from a biological perspective LOVE is LOVE.  The bond is established whether it is a blood relation or cosmic.

*     *     *     *     *

In my mind’s memory bank, my heart has cataloged millions of snapshots, celluloid and media free, that are too rich and rare to share in any visual context. (so this post shall remain text only.) For aproximately 7,300 days I spent with three amazing, intelligent, creative and loving little beings. I watched in AWE as their little eyelashes grew in over night, fluttering just before they awoke from a dream;  their soft, pliable bones grow strong,  their tiny feet, curled up on the sheets of their crib, and the sounds and coos they made while dreaming–their recognition of their independence from me and their dependence on–my LOVE for them and their eyes, holding that gaze–of trust… 

*     *     *     *     *

No matter the form of media today, nothing will or can ever replace the tangibility of the physical or emotional touch of LOVE.  There will never be a technological replication for: feeling, yet what film and media might be able to do? Technology reminds us of what we are missing and what we need in order to survive that it will never be able to give us–no matter the high definition it tries to seduce us with.

In closing, Conor, Jack, Dylan:  you are incredible human beings that have graced my life with immeasurable and unexplainable value. I am proud to be a part of your life and look forward with great enthusiasm to see, without words the awe inspiring life you shall continue to live with nothing short of a fierce passion.

I LOVE you.

(MOM)

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