What is love?

I wrote this a few years back…

A friend and I had a discussion about love, and I was asked what it meant to me, I couldn’t quite sum it up at that point. I asked the people in my life, both close and acquaintances what it meant to them… apart from one person saying “@#*$ like a wild animal!!” (which was one of my favourite responses), their answers were short, but some really hit home, I took them into my heart, and below is what love, in some small measure, means to me… 

Love is kindness, gentility, thoughtfulness, an ear and a shoulder, it’s in a child’s smile, it’s a mother’s touch, it’s a friend’s hug, and a lover’s embrace. It is opening your heart to someone, allowing them in, no matter how many times you have been hurt, love is trust.

When I say I love you, I don’t say it lightly, it comes from the very depth of my core, it is who I am, it fills me with such passion and desire that it sometimes moves me to tears, and God willing, it is in every action I take…

Love is humour, laughter, faith, friendship, communication, honesty.

When I say I love a “thing” I really do… I love cheesecake, I love the ocean, I love a multicoloured sunrise…

Love is sitting in silence and still so much being said, love is looking across the room, seeing a smile and being filled with joy, it’s the purr and meow from the light of my life.

Love is in the simplest things, like smiling at someone on the street, or holding a door open, and not expecting a “thank you”.

The power of the word love is a wonderful thing, but the power of the action of love can change the world. Mother Teresa once said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” The first time I read this quote it left a profound impact on me, and I feel it changed me… I read it and re-read it, and try to remember it, especially in the most stressful or anger-filled times of my life and somehow it reminds me the real reason for us to exist on this planet is to love, to love with everything we are, stand in the face of fear, anger, negativity and just love. To make the choice, in each and every moment, to love, to be kind, to do whatever it takes to take the right path.

What is love to me? Love is everything…

love 2

Breaking down walls…

I wasn’t planning on sharing this story, but the more time that passes, the more I am coming to terms with what happened to me and need to share…

One of my closest friends in this world has been in the hospital for the last two weeks and we are currently unsure when they will be coming home…I have been spending all day, every day, at the hospital, by their side when I can, or in the visitor lounge when I can’t… The hospital is a sad and scary place, surrounded by such overwhelming emotions I have a need to find balance, to keep connected to my soft side, I am finding myself hardening up, building walls to combat these energies… and I don’t like how that feels…  

So, I’ve made a point to help people wherever I can, when I am in the lounge I make conversations with the patients, especially those who are alone… If I see someone lost, I try to help them find their way (literally lol), if I see someone crying, which is a daily occurrence, I reach out to them, even if it’s to hold their hand… I speak to each nurse with respect and gratitude, for they are truly angels, their gentle & compassionate care for my friend is truly amazing….. They’ve become like family to me and I’ll never forget them… I thank the doctors, the miracle workers… I hang out with the orderlies and joke with them, flirt with some of them lol… I’m well known at Tim Horton’s, they know my coffee order, and relish in my joy of the pumpkin spiced muffin!…

Last Thursday there was an elderly man in the elevator bank on my friends floor, he looked lost, so I asked him if I could help him… He asked where Tim Horton’s was, I told him I am heading that way and to follow me… When we got to the main floor he asked if I could take him back up to the floor so he could go back to his wife… I said no problem; I’ll be back in 5 minutes… When I met him again, and we entered the elevator, he became sexually inappropriate with me, to the point I was terrified and had to physically push him off of me and escaped quickly when I left the elevator. I filed appropriate reports with the powers that be, I’ll just leave it at that…

This man, along with all the other men in my life who have taken from me which is only mine to give, feeling awful and gross, and dirty… I showered 4 times in 8 hours, and could have showered dozen more…  He also, and quite possibly, worse, left me feeling angry, furious, enraged, and beaten down… On my drive home I was screaming incoherently at the top of my lungs, I woke up every few minutes crying, sobbing, shaking… A week later, I am still not sleeping well…

For a few days after this happened I made the conscious choice to stop helping people, to shut up, not talk to anyone, to give up on humanity, to only focus on those in my immediate circle and shut the rest of the world out… This man took away the part of me that makes me me… he robbed me of my freedom, he took away my strength and replaced it with fear and total disappointment… I did this for 3 days, I walked with my head down, eyes on the ground, fists clenched and just took care of my friend… As each of these three days passed, I felt worse and worse, I felt physically ill, I was crying each time I was alone, I found myself lost, and scared, and I wasn’t me… But I wasn’t able to stop, I had built up a wall and refused to break it down, while I wasn’t happy, I was safe… I was suffocating in my safety, but I wasn’t afraid…

Then on day 4 as I was walking into the hospital there was an old man trying to climb the stairs and carry his walker up, dozens of people walked by him as if he didn’t exist, and I couldn’t handle it… I busted through my wall of anger and hatred and touched his arm, asked if I could help him carry it up while he used both hands on the railing… He barely spoke English, but thanked me profusely, and I made sure he got inside and knew where he was going… In that moment, as he took my hand in his and thanked me, in a NOT gross way, I started breathing again, feeling again, and slowly, brick by brick, I’m breaking down the wall…

ॐ Peace ॐ

 

 

 

A Big Girl’s Fairytale…

Once upon a time there was a girl who, after the most difficult and tragic year of her life, gathered up as much courage as she could and went on vacation alone…

While sitting on the beach and speaking in Spanish to one of her dear friends who lived in the Dominican and worked on the beach, she overheard two girls sitting behind her, two absolutely beautiful, skinny, model-esque girls, talking about her… They were saying things like, “I wouldn’t even leave the house if I had a body like hers let alone go out in a bathing suit in public” and “how on earth someone could let themselves go like that is beyond me.” Some more comments, more harsh and thoughtless comments, followed…

The only thing this girl could hope for is that these two models thought the girl didn’t speak English and that’s why they were being so loud, and heartless with their words… This girls friend saw the change of expression on her face and he asked what was wrong, as strong as she tried to be, a tear rolled down her cheek and she looked at him and in Spanish, said “nothing my friend, I just missed you so much and am glad to see your sweet face” He then hugged her, told her to stop crying and enjoy her vacation…

As her friend walked away, she stared at the ocean, quietly sobbed for a few minutes, and begged God to release the anger and sadness in her heart… By some miracle, God did just that… right in front of her beach chair she saw a teeny tiny crab doing a little crab dance, side to side, as if he was performing just for her… She wiped her tears, and smiled, and the smile grew to a laugh and the laughter grew to release… She no longer felt sad and angry, AND she felt forgiveness, she forgave the models for their hateful words and she forgave herself, for allowing their words to hurt her so deeply…she felt connected to the universe and all of its wondrous, mystical and magical, beauty… When the crab finally disappeared under the sand she lay back on her beach chair and began to enjoy the feeling of the warmth from the sun on her BEAUTIFUL body, she put on her iPod and she found peace…

An hour later this girl was hungry so she got up to go to the beach front restaurant for her daily hotdog and as she passed by the two models, she looked at them right in the eyes and with a big genuine smile she said “I hope you beautiful girls enjoy your vacation!!” The shock on their faces proved her earlier suspicions that they didn’t think she spoke English… and then there was a look of fear… to which she replied “The Dominican is a magical place girls, I hope you discover it and appreciate it!”

The girl went to the restaurant and enjoyed her hotdog, and the rest of her vacation… And that night, at the buffet, they were serving crab legs; in honour of her earlier gift from God, she chose not to eat them! And she, so far, is living happily ever after…

Love is always the answer…

At times… life can be a bitch, a total, heartbreaking, slap in the face, unjust bitch… it can take everything in which you believe and shatter it into a million pieces within a fraction of a second… Life can take all you hold dear and precious, your faith and your humanity and it can obliterate it… Life can be the ultimate force of total, all encompassing douche-baggery…

But… that’s got to be a temporary situation, it must be… we can’t allow it to take over our lives, take over our hearts and change us for the worse… we can’t allow it to extinguish the light from our hearts… we can’t allow it to eliminate our faith…

We must be stronger, more powerful and better than what life sometimes offers us. We must stand up to life and not let our SELF be changed…

We must remember the real life, the one that offers us miracles, hope and bliss… We must remember to focus on Kindness, Compassion and Love, and release the hate and the anger… I know that is asking for a lot when we are faced with such atrocities such as Sandy Hook, Danzig, and most recently, the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the case of the death of young Trayvon Martin… How can we let this go… ? We need to take this anger, this resentment, this hatred and transform it into something positive… We must pray for all the Trayvon’s of this world, and do whatever we can to change the system, the laws, the thinking, the privilege that is so segregated…  We must spread love in this world with such a force that the hate will just die out… Love… Love is the answer, love is ALWAYS the answer… for each of us  the path is different, but the destination is the same… we all must arrive in love…

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Lover’s Tiff…? Nope… Violent wife abuser? Yip!

Please watch this video, and then read on…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hsX2MAW-gQ

Isn’t this sweet, simply a “lovers tiff”, according to Nigella Lawson’s husband, Charles Saatchi, he was emphasizing a point to her and the photos misrepresent that… so do the tears in her eyes, the fear and terror on her face…. and what I am sure are big giant bruises left behind… Yip, just a misrepresented lovers tiff… I am so glad he cleared that up….

If this is what he does out in broad daylight, in public, on the patio of a restaurant, what does he do to her in the privacy of their home, and what does he do to their kids?

Violence is not based on a certain social structure, or economic class, or on education, or lack there of, it’s based on people who are sick, who thrive off of dominating the weaker sex, who feel it’s their right to do what they want to their ‘possessions’, it’s a power thing, it’s a thing full of hate and anger, it’s got to stop…. It is NOT the victims fault, it’s not as simple as ‘well, why she doesn’t pack the kids up and leave’ and anyone who says so needs to stand in these women and children’s shoes, just for one day… To see the scars, physical and emotional…. to see the years of emotional abuse, that have broken them to the point where they feel there is no place to turn… no one who can help, and that it is their fault….

It’s our fault, who ever had the damn camera should have put it down, gone over there and put a stop to the obvious abuse…. Someone should have stopped it…. plain and simple, no ifs ands or buts… you see someone being hurt, you stop it, you call the cops if you are at risk, but you make damn sure you don’t leave that situation until the person is safe….At the very least the person with the camera should have stood in front of him, so Charles (Mr. Lovers Tiff) could at least see his actions were recorded and he would stop… Somehow, some way, it is our absolute duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves…  And whether the victim is a famous, rich, white female, or an impoverished person of colour; whether they are sitting outside a fancy, expensive restaurant or if they are in the park in the poorer section of town… if they are being hurt we step in…. we help… end of story.

Shameless Self Promotion… If I don’t… who will?

bragging

A few weeks ago a local stand up comic, Mark Forward, posted the following message on Facebook

 “Recently I realized no one will promote you in this country unless you do it yourself. So, I’ve been trying to do that. Maybe I post things too often or too much, but I’m just feeling it out. Sometimes you post something five times, and no one sees it. Now, I know, we as Canadians for some reason frown upon self promotion. But I just wanted to thank you all for sticking with me, and being so supportive and kind with everything I post. That’s all. It’s the Canadian in me that feels I need to apologize for promoting myself. Hopefully one day, we promote our own. Cheers.”

 

Reading his post kinda pissed me off… Why is there such a stigma on embracing your talents, being proud of your work and promoting yourself? Mark is a very talented comedian, he’s one of my favourites! His stand up is bizarre and insanely funny, his tweets are equally as bizarrely funny, and his character, Mr. Leung, on CBC’s Mr. D is dark, creepy and hilarious! To me, he’s a comedic genius, you can tell he loves what he does and it shines through his work.

 

So why should such a talented person apologise for promoting his work? Why would people look down on someone who is simply saying “hey, this is me, my work, I’m proud, check me out”… Since we live in a society where promoting others seems like a negative thing, shameless self promotion is all we have… and so what???

 

I am an event planner in Toronto; I have my own business, and have been at this full time for over 7 years… I work my ass off to produce high quality events, provide my clients with confidence in not only my suppliers, such as caterers, staff, decor etc. but also in me. I work my fingers to the bone, and I am sure I annoy my staff with my attention to detail, but my clients all walk away with a feeling that I have taken care of each of their needs and made them look like superstars to their managers and guests… I know I am good at what I do, I have a stack 5 feet high of positive testimonials and thank you’s and not one complaint… and yet I still have issues with selling myself, promoting myself…

 Is this, like Mark says, a Canadian thing? If we don’t promote ourselves who will? I try to promote businesses that I like, I spread the word on talented people, I refer people all the time to trusted sources… A lot of my business is referrals from clients, and I am always so appreciative of that… However, my postings on Facebook and Twitter are, for the most part, tame, I put up pictures of events, or simply state that my event went really well and I had a very happy client… I’d like to say “it was the best event ever and you should all hire me!”

“You have to do a little bragging on yourself even to your relatives-

man doesn’t get anywhere without advertising.”

John Nance Garner

 

So, I am going to make it my mission, from this point forward to ensure you know

it’s not only ok but encouraged for you to Recognise Your Strengths,

Sing The Praises Of Your Talents, Toot Your Own Horn, promote yourself…

and even BRAG ABOUT YOUR TRUE AWESOMENESS!!!

 

And I am starting with me… “I am Lalita, of Events by Lalita, I love what I do, it’s truly my passion and because of that passion I am an amazing event planner and will work so very hard to make sure your event is flawless!”

“It is important that you recognize your progress and take pride in your accomplishments. Share your achievements with others. Brag a little. The recognition and support of those around you is nurturing.”

Rosemarie Rossetti

Bragging2

 

“They’re Real and They’re Spectacular” Until you go shopping for a dress!

Today I went shopping for a new dress to wear to the awards gala in Atlantic City this weekend… It’s the first time in a couple of years I’ve gone shopping for something fancy schmancy…

 I left my home with the highest of expectations… I mean, in the past 8 or 9 months  I’ve lost well over 45 pounds and am like 8 dress sizes smaller than I was, so I figured I could hit H&M or Suzy Shier, find one of the sexy dresses I see in their ads and actually fit into them! I mean, my intended budget was $45.00, and as my plus sized gal pals can attest to, that’s insanely unrealistic in plus sized stores…

So I went to Dufferin Mall… walked right passed Cinnabon, (a victory all on is own) and into H&M I go… I found a few dresses I liked I held up their ‘large’ size, and quite frankly it wouldn’t even cover one of my nipples! So, a tad disappointed, but not yet defeated, I went into Suzy Shier, and they were having a sale, ALL DRESSES $30.00!!!!!!!!!! I was even more determined to buy one there as it was under budget! I picked up 5 dresses, went into the change room, and again, my chest, my DDD chest, beat me down into a puddle of shame, a quivering mass of depression, and an informal decision to walk straight to Cinnabon and feed my depression as I’ve done my entire life…

I thanked the lady who helped me, and left… close to tears, wondering how, after all my hard work I still don’t #$^#*$ fit into a ‘regular’ sized dress… then it dawned on me, slowly, (thankfully before I got back to Cinnabon) that while the dresses didn’t fit over my chest, they DID fit everywhere else… HOLY CRAP! They fit my ribs, my waist, my hips, my ass!!!!

So this realisation is a big deal for me, all my hard work IS paying off! But what to do? I still need to shop in a plus sized store to appease my giant breasts… So I went to a plus sized store, Addition Elle… I tried on 4 dresses, all of which fit over the girls, and I fell in love with one of them… I felt like twirling around and dancing like a Disney Princess in this fantastically beautiful dress… and I felt beautiful… So what if I, because of my ‘girls’, have to keep shopping in plus sized stores, (other than the fact the prices are at least double, another topic for another blog entry), I felt gorgeous, sexy, and happy, with me, my body and my boobs… My boobs are part of who I am, who I’ve been for over 30 years, (read “My nickname in grade 4 was ‘Tit Wiggle’” for insight into that tale), I love them, they, in some way, define me, who I’ve become and who I want to be…

So life is good, I have an awesome dress, I went $60.00 over budget, and I am quite ok with that! I just won’t eat during the month of May!

p.s. I’ll update this entry with a photo once I wear the dress this weekend.

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