When you wish upon a star…

When you wish upon a star...

When’s the last time you made a wish? When’s the last time you believed the wish you made would come true?

I believe a wish is a prayer that you believe is close to impossible so you keep it in your heart out of fear that it will never come true. It’s a secret prayer, never spoken or shared with someone else and we all have them “when you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are.”

What makes a wish come true? A little faith, a little hope and a little of you. Even the most passive wish takes some action: seeing a star, having a thought. Even blowing out candles on your birthday cake takes you playing a part. What’s the one thing you wish would come true? What is in your way: and is it you? Many times all we can see is the obstacles to making a wish become a dream become reality. Many times that obstacle is our own self: our doubts, our fears. It takes faith to let go and send out our wish as a prayer. It takes faith and action to realize if that wish is really meant to come true.

Autumn Fallin, from trees. The snow is up to our knees… I believe, it was you. Who I wanted to be walkin next to.

And I believe we were friends
And I believe we will be again

If I knock on your door would you let me in?”- JayMay “Autumn Fallin'”

Best song. And in this video, it is performed in one of the best cities in the world. London is such a charming place. Besides all the history, literature and religion that was birthed in the Motherland; deep down, it is a city with a story. And how fitting that the gifted story-telling singer-songwriter, Jaymay chooses this city with a story as the backdrop to her autumn fairy-tale.

The thing I love about this song, and Jaymay as an artist, is like any good story-teller, she invites you into her story, her life. And she does it by setting up the scene. “Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away”… Okay, not that kind of story, I’m not going all geek squad on you, don’t worry, but by the first words “Autumn’s fallin…” she sets a beautiful scene. Autumn is falling from trees, and instantly in our minds we see Jaymay and ____ walking through the snow, walking through central park, getting rid of shoes, and a whole bunch of other fun things that this setting, this season may bring. Our imagination sets in as she tells the story. And we’re fully aware that this is her story until slowly but surely, her story becomes ours.

And we go from, man I wish I was walking with Jaymay in Central Park to… BAM. The picture of the one person I want to be walking next to. RIGHT THERE WITH ME. The “hero”, “prince charming” or “princess charming” in our story. Maybe someone comes to mind. Maybe a group of friends, maybe a long lost friend you’ve lost touch with, someone you couldn’t picture your life story without.
Whoever it is. Whatever it is. A good song brings the song-writer’s life experiences into your heart and your mind. It makes you reevaluate your life and ask yourself tough questions like “who do I want to be talking to, walking next to, spending forever next to?” What kind of stories and adventures do I want to tell? And who is in those stories that I don’t want there. And who is not in those stories that I do want? And then of course these thoughts and hopes, lead us to action. It leads us to following our dreams and believing our hopes will come true… “I believe we were friends. I believe we would be again.”

Autumn is falling. Let’s fall right with it, fall in love with the story of your life. 🙂

Leave your dishes in the sink. Leave your fear there too.

Leave your dishes in the sink. Leave your fear there too.

You can find a million words, to build a wall of fear. Safe behind that wall, imprisoned here.
Take that someday step today, to who you’re meant to be.
And turn your dreams to plans so you can breathe” – Superchick- This is the Time

Confession: I’m not a fan of Halloween. I know, what’s wrong with me,right? The only thing I actually like about it is that it brings us that much closer to Thanksgiving and then… wait for it…. CHRISTMAS. Nevertheless, Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to do what we therapists do best: analyze human behavior. Surely, some of our finest moments as a human race must have occurred during this lovely holiday in which something mysterious and fascinating MUST be happening in our brain (sugar high?) that convinces us, otherwise rational humans, that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to wear masks of things like zombies, werewolves, etc. or worse, a zombies or werewolves with the weapon that killed them still in stuck in their head and knock on people’s doors expecting to be rewarded for such original fashion statements… So now that you have a beautiful visual in your head, as we watch people make these rational decisions, I can’t help but discover (invent) a deeper meaning to the holiday and what it represents to our society.
And I came to the following conclusion: life is a lot like halloween. And no, not because life is like a box of chocolates (although I completely agree with that statement, that Forrest knows his stuff!) In life, like Halloween, there is always an opportunity to live from a place of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of meaninglessness. And this fear sometimes causes us to wear a mask. We wear masks to hide parts of ourselves that we don’t want people to see. Maybe we wear a mask at work. Maybe we wear a mask with a significant other. Or a social group we are trying to impress. We think, “I can’t show them THAT”, “If they knew, THAT about me, they would… “This is a side of me everyone would think is…”

So instead, of actually embracing those things about ourselves and allowing it to grow our character, we hide them, buried deep down in the closet of our heart.The good and the bad. We hold the weight and spend all our energy trying to be people we’re not out of fear that we can never truly embrace all parts of ourselves and be loved and accepted regardless of what’s underneath the mask.
As a young therapist, I bring a lot of that fear into the therapy room with me. Although, ironically, I thought I was supposed to be “the one who has it together”, I often feel the most afraid, like I need to wear a mask in front of my clients so they don’t find out that… guess what I’M A HUMAN TOO?

Isn’t that the funny thing? In life, like during halloween, we ALL know there is something under the mask. We all know that there are things the next person is hiding and as unwilling to share as we are. And you know what is the funniest thing about it? We assume that the only ugly and scary masks are the ones we wear at Halloween. And only at Halloween are our true selves more beautiful. But the real ugliness is in the life masks. The gossip we engage in so that we fit in. The lie we tell to get us out of an ethical dilemma at work. The pleasantries we engage in at church or in social circles so we don’t have to really be honest about the terrible week we had when someone asks “how are you doing?” So why are we all so afraid? Because fear is a prison. We lock ourselves in our tower walls, and throw away the key. We’d rather stare at walls, and play our parts and recite the lines, than discover the risks and rewards that lay on the other side of those walls. But really, on the other side of that wall is where our dreams live. And if we were watching our lives on the movie screen, we would be screaming at ourselves, at the top of our lungs: “FORGET THE FEAR. JUMP THAT WALL. TURN YOUR DREAMS TO PLANS SO YOU CAN BREATHE.” The movie is only 1 hour and 20 minutes. They’ve got to jump that wall before it’s too late. Your life is only ________. Break down those walls and live your life like someone died for you, today. There’s no better time. This is the time, this is your life.

“What would you try if you had no fear”. Happy Halloween. Here’s to no fear.

Autumn blew the quilt right off

Cover of "Passing Afternoon"

Cover of Passing Afternoon

Autumn blew the quilt right off the perfect bed she made.
And she’s chosen to believe
In the hymns her mother sings
Sunday pulls its children from their piles of fallen leaves
Iron & Wine “Passing Afternoon

There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. I think we have all, at one time or another, found ourselves in a place where we think we finally have lined all our ducks in a row, fit all the pieces of the puzzle together and it looks like life’s finally coming together and then, like Sam beam sings, “autumn blows the quilt right off” and we’re left with the pieces of the “perfect, predictable life” we had envisioned in our minds. Our ducks are free-style floating across the lake (go with me here), a toddler has steam-rolled through our puzzle and all the leaves have been shaken off our beautiful fall tree.

What do we do now? We’ve tried doing it all on our own. Piecing our quilts perfectly together. Finding the right significant other that meets all the qualities on our “list”. Finding the perfect job that has nothing we dread (like paperwork), driving the right car, buying the best house. But really, what if our life turned out that way? What if you got everything you wanted and it all lined up perfectly?

There is a bible verse in which Jesus says “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead?” So, you may ask: WHY AM I NOT GETTING WHAT I ASK FOR? WHY IS MY PERFECT LIFE NOT LINING UP? Well maybe, just may be. You think you’re asking for a fish… but really you’re asking for a snake. What we think we want may be the very thing that will destroy us. What we think is a “perfect life” may not be all that we hope it will be. What if it turns out that the imperfection and the unpredictability is really what makes life beautiful and what will make us look back on our lives with joy and gratitude.

May we learn the lessons from the hymns our mothers sing. And instead of mourning over the fallen leaves, find the faith to say “I’m ready for whatever life brings”.

And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain…

And it's hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain...

Happy November, from Guns N’ Roses… and Me :). November Rain is one of those classic songs that brings you into a feeling like fall colors bring you into a season. It’s a beautiful lyrical and musical piece (Fun Fact: It is the longest song that made it on the Billboard 100 top 10– 8 minutes 57 seconds) but according to my philosophical paradigm about music; the truly beautiful part of this song is its expression of what cannot be spoken, but something we cannot be silent on. It express nostalgia, longing for what was and trying to hold onto it in the midst of changing weather.

Like Axl writes, “hearts can change”, but that is not the only thing in life that changes. In fact, the truth is life is all about change. And a change in season often mirrors a change in life circumstances. Some of us welcome Change with open arms, and some of us try to avoid it and live in the past. Either way, the only true thing about change is that it happens. And it happens to all of us. But the real lesson we must learn in the face of welcome and unwelcome change in our lives is that the better we prepare ourselves to handle the unexpected, the better we are able to live in the moment and not worry about what the next season of life will bring.

So here’s to a new season, one where we can embrace something new, and step out into the unknown. A new season, a new chance to FALL in love with your life. Every second of it.