Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. I usually am really good with change and love taking on new ideas. The change I’ve been pondering is a little different this time. It’s more about the seasons and how they affect our moods, rhythms and ideas.

Summer is winding down

I received an email from a friend of mine yesterday where the opening line was, “Hope summer went well and was fun and everyone is back to their regularly scheduled routine!!” Summer is about being laid back, having fun, not being on a schedule and so on. It is a time to unwind and be carefree.

During the summer, I never worry about schedules and routines. I just want my family to totally decompress. I never had to pack a lunch box for anything and honestly, that felt great! Towards the end of any school year, I’m always ready to stop packing lunches and having to worry about time schedules and all that.

Fall allows us the opportunity to start going within

The beginning of a school year represents the time of year where we start thinking about all we want to do in the next few months. A routine has been established for us and now we just need to figure out what to do with all the time. Think about school zones, they force the driver to slow down and pay attention to his surroundings.

Fall is right around the corner, the weather is getting somewhat cooler, garden vegetables are starting to wind down and I’m canning like crazy. There is such significance to canning zucchini, tomato sauce and peppers. It’s more than just saving some veggies for the winter, rather I feel it’s a time to preserve what we have and save it for later.

This is the time to begin the process of going within so that we can understand what it is we’d like to do. My friend’s email was about getting revved up on your yoga practice again. It may be the time to start that diet and exercise routine you’ve been putting off because summer is just so much fun and you don’t want to be bothered with it. It may be the time to write that book you’ve wanted to write. It may be the time to really get serious about finding that job and the list goes on.

Taking care of the light

We have a festival at the Waldorf School that my kids go to known as the Lantern Walk. The Lantern Walk takes place in November as the weather is getting colder and the days shorter. The kids create their own lanterns that are always so amazingly beautiful. We all gather at the school right when it’s getting dark to share a potluck meal together. Amazing soups, breads, apple cider and cookies make for an amazing feast. Then we go out with our children and the lanterns to walk around the neighborhood in silence. We end up at a local park where the kids sing songs in hushed voices.

I love this evening more than any other. I probably don’t know the true meaning of this night but for me, it represents an evening of being in silence and going within. It represents that light in the lantern being the light within us. That little light is enough to keep us going throughout the dark, cold winter. I love the significance of the light within. We all have that light within and tending to it is a must.

What am I going to get myself into?

At this point, I’m starting the process of going within. I am realizing what I’d like to sign up for as volunteer activities at school, what exercise program I’d like to take on and how to go about expanding my business. I like to do a check of how I’m performing as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I love this time of year. I’m looking forward to the leaves changing color and how that will affect what I ponder next.

Your thoughts ... I'd love to hear them

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You may leave a comment below, email me to mary@marysalfi.com or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of marysalfi.com

Off to help with the Sally Foster fundraiser at school. Have I mentioned that I love wrapping paper!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

I may have to practice what I preach

I've been a little discombobulated lately. I think it’s a combination of school starting for my kids, my husband being out of town quite a bit and me hurting my back. I was trying to reach for an overhead while playing tennis when I twisted my back and then landed on it twisted. It’s the pain that is constant and just wears me out.

My son’s prayer to Jesus a couple of night’s ago was, “Dear Jesus, please help mommy to calm down so that we can have some peace” or something along those lines. I had to laugh because there’s nothing like a seven year old putting me in my place.

Spiraling somewhat …

I had to go to my room after that comment and regroup. By the end of the day, my back hurts so bad that I just want an ice pack to numb the pain and a box of tissues so that I can cry. I realized that part of my stress is the lack of a meditation routine that is reliable.

Towards the end of summer, my kids’ demands become more pronounced and urgent in their minds. The first few weeks after school is out, they are content to play with their toys quietly while I meditate or get things done. These last two to three weeks, that certainly has not been the case. They constantly bickered and fussed over anything and everything. I have to say, it was really starting to get on my nerves. I found myself spiraling somewhat out of control.

A Reiki session – the perfect remedy

I love having energy work done on me. My friend came over yesterday and gave me a full Reiki session. I had never had one done before and I have to say it was fantastic. She is super intuitive, so together we were getting all sorts of great messages. It was such an aligning and balancing experience, I finally feel like my old self again.

Your thoughts …

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You may leave a comment below, email me to mary@marysalfi.com or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of marysalfi.com

Meditation every day, here I come!

Friday, August 13, 2010

23 years ago ...

I've written about my dad so many times in my blogs, I'm sure you've realized how much of an influence he was and still is in my life. I love my dad so much and miss him so much all the time. He passed away 23 years ago on August 14, 1987. It seems like it was such a long time ago and yet I remember the details of that day as if it were yesterday. I was 13 years old at the time and thought the world of my dad. I can’t say that it came as a shock to me that he passed away since I’d been having feelings about it happening for about six years prior to the actual day.

I totally knew it was going to happen …

I have always been intuitive and I believe one of my earliest memories of getting a “hit” was knowing that my dad would pass away. I actually remember being about seven playing in the sand and I just knew. It made me sad for a whole lot of years. I never was able to tell anyone my feelings or fears because I didn’t know how to describe them myself. About two months before he passed, I would hear a voice in my ear telling me that it would happen. I remember moving my head and expressing, “NO!” Yet the feeling never went away.

My dad was the coolest!

I must’ve cried for four years non-stop every single day. I remember being in an extreme state of sadness all the time. My dad was the coolest. He was the dad who would leave work to oil my roller skates. He called the school principle once and told him that we all needed to go on a field trip to check out the icicles that had formed on the trees along the median right by our school. It was one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen until this day.

I have memories of my mom and dad holding hands and taking an evening walk together every day. He was always helping someone or doing something for someone. He was the guy who made the salad in our house. He always made a great lemon, olive oil and garlic sauce to go with it, we call that “zoom” in Arabic and he always scooped the zoom for me in pita bread to eat at the end because I loved it so much.

While in Lebanon this past summer, I went to go visit my aunt (my dad’s sister) who had just suffered a stroke. While sitting there, her husband asks her to look at me and tell him who she saw. He told me that whoever knew my dad would know that I was his daughter because I looked so much like him. He told my brother and me that he had lost a lot of people in his life, but only two people’s passing had affected him greatly, one of which was my dad. He told us the he has a picture of my dad in his home so that he could remember to live his life with the highest ethical standards and morals because that is what my dad represented to him. I felt honored to listen to my uncle talk about my dad in such a fantastic way. I am always eager to hear stories about my dad, because I was so young when he passed away.

I have accepted it but it doesn't mean I like it

I read a book called, “Healing Grief” by James Van Praag about four years ago. I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with grief of any kind. It helped me move through the phases of grief with my dad to a much healthier one which is where I am at right now. I don’t know that I’ll ever be fully “over it” or healed, but I can say that I have accepted his passing but I miss him all the time especially the night before the anniversary of his passing.

I miss you and love you dad more than words can express! I am patiently waiting for the huge bear hug that only you could give.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"I would never want to deprive anybody of the learning experience of losing"

I just finished reading Andre Agassi's book Open. It is a fantastic book and captivated me from the first chapter. I really could not put it down; I took every opportunity I had to read it. I finished the book in less than a week and its almost 400 pages.

I enjoyed seeing him evolve as a person

A lot of people I’ve talked to it didn’t like how negative he was about playing a game he was amazing at. He talks a lot about hating tennis throughout the book, but that didn’t bother me at all. I felt that he was a troubled person trying to do the best he could in the situation he was in.

I empathized with him having to do something he didn’t totally enjoy because he was good at it and didn’t feel like he had an alternative. I enjoyed seeing how he evolved with from being a confused or maybe lost boy, to a rebel teenager, to an adult, all the while trying to find himself. I loved the fact that he ultimately channeled his passion into building a K-12 charter school for underprivileged kids. I find that to be an incredible quality to admire.

Career ups and downs

He had a lot of ups and downs in his career. He went from being number one in the world to not being ranked, back to being ranked and etcetera. During one of his upward slopes, he beat a guy in the first round of the 2005 US Open in 61 minutes. The following is word for word from the book:

“Reporters say it was a massacre. They ask me if I feel bad about beating him.
I say: I would never want to deprive someone of the learning experience of losing.
They laugh.
I’m serious.”

You would have to have read his book to appreciate how great that was to come out of him.

I’ve never really thought about losing being an ultimate win

Agassi talked a lot about his tournament losses and how they shaped and affected him. I’ve thought about that line a lot and I believe it to be really true. I feel losses make us exponentially better. The losses could be sports related as were those mentioned in Agassi’s book, but they could also be life losses or any other kind.

I believe that at the heart of every loss there is a win for us if we can see it. I feel that losing sometimes allows us the opportunity to see how much we really had wanted something and therefore appreciate it when we do win. It may also make us work harder and give it our all. I belong to a tennis league and I always joke that the social hour is so much more fun after a win, but I can’t deny the benefits of losing as well.

Your thoughts ... I'd love to hear them

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Going to give it my best at tomorrow night’s match!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I still don't know how I feel about it ..

My son is in tennis camp this week. He is seven years old playing like a 12 year old. He’s doing amazingly well. He loves playing matches, he loves hitting the ball hard with his friends, his serves are amazing, his net game is fantastic … it really is such a joy to see. The only problem is that he’s got so many emotional issues to go with that fantastic game, that I don’t know how to deal with him half the time.

He’s so complex, who knows what he’s thinking?

I constantly joke that I need to go back to school and earn a psychology degree to deal with my son. He has been a challenge from day one. He’s super smart and extremely talented in everything he does, but he’s wound up so tight, we fear he may explode one day.

I embarrass my son, really?

My other little guy had a play date today with one of his buddies. We had to take that little guy to swim lessons and wait for him to finish. We thought that we’d go watch some tennis while waiting. It just so happened that my oldest and his team were on break while we were there. My oldest looked visibly disturbed. I asked him if something was wrong and his answer was, “Well, I don’t know if I want to tell you because your feelings might get hurt.” That’s when I realized that he was embarrassed by me. He didn’t want me sitting in the same area he and his friends were, and he certainly didn’t want me talking to him at all. He eventually told me all that, so I decided to move. I decided to move because I didn’t want to deal with it right then and there. I wanted him to go back to his lesson without falling apart, because he had started crying already.

I still don’t know how I feel about it?

I was very upset to say the least. I thought to myself, “If he doesn’t want me around at seven, what’s in store for me when he’s 14?” I’m writing this over 12 hours later and I still don’t know how I feel about it. When we came home, I explained to him that it wasn’t nice to be embarrassed by your mother. I told him that he was to value his parents and grandparents, not feel like he didn’t want them around. He’s displayed such behavior before around my mother as well. He said that he felt bad about it and he was sorry, but I’m not sure I believe him. I’m not sure that if I come around tomorrow during his tennis lesson, he won’t be the same exact way.

Appreciation is not demanded

Part of me feels like we can’t make people appreciate us or respect us. Respect and appreciation are earned or given, not demanded. Maybe I just have to wait for the day that he loves having me around, regardless of what crowd his hanging around with. Or maybe, I should give him the silent treatment for a couple of days to make him come around. Hmmm ... something to think about.

Your thoughts … I'd love to hear them

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You may leave a comment below, email me to mary@marysalfi.com or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of marysalfi.com

Going to bed a little sad tonight,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why worry about the fish?

We were at a fantastic birthday party the other night. My friend is turning 40 this Christmas Day, so decided to celebrate her half-birthday in July. They had a Christmas tree, gourmet turkey sandwiches (which were incredible!) and a fabulous Christmas tree shaped cake. She wanted her night to be special and it truly was.

Her mom had put together a slide-show of pictures of her throughout her life. It was fantastic to see pictures of her when she was a baby and then pictures of her babies. It made me think about the circle of life and how it is truly continuous.

My husband is the “ultimate environmentalist?”

My husband was talking to some other friends, while I was hanging out with a different group. He comes back to tell me that he got accused of being “the ultimate environmentalist.” I was very proud of him and told him that’s the greatest compliment. Apparently, they had been talking about the oil spill in the gulf and offshore drilling. One of the guys, a big oil guy, told my husband that we need to worry about people getting to work, not the fish. Obviously, my husband wasn’t of the same opinion.

Humans depend on one another for survival

I’ve really thought about that statement for a couple of days now. I thought about how my friend was a baby and now has babies herself. I thought about the fact that we are all inter-connected and how we all depend on each other to exist. I thought about how, “It takes a village to care for a baby.” I feel that no human can truly survive on their own. We are all dependant on one another. Each of us has a role that we play and if we don’t, then it will absolutely affect humanity.

Humans fully depend on the environment

We are not only dependent on each other though. We are 100% dependent on our environment. We breathe the air, eat the food and drink the water. Everything that is needed for our survival comes from our environment. If we’re polluting our oceans with oil, ultimately that oil is getting ingested by us. One way or another, that circle will come full-circle right back on our plates.

Yes, I’m still on the environmentalist kick, but hey, when things make me think, you usually hear about it.

Your thoughts ... I'd love to hear them

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You may leave a comment below, email me to mary@marysalfi.com or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of marysalfi.com

Extremely thankful for the clean water I will use to water my vegetable garden!