Sunday, November 28, 2010

Human resilience

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I wrote my last post. This blog gets inspired by things that I have been thinking about. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law and her family. I wasn’t really contemplating anything much other than how to cook a 20-pound turkey. That was something that my husband and I had never done before! I have to say that it was delicious and the whole meal was a great success.

We find a way to take it to the next level

Last night, my husband and I were watching the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” At one point, Julia Roberts, who was playing Elizabeth Gilbert in the movie, was talking about how from ruins things get built. I have been thinking about that phrase a lot since I heard it.

I thought about the fact that so many of us when faced with hard situations and really feel like our lives are in ruins, actually truly find ourselves. From the depths of grief, we find a way to rise and step it up a notch. So many people talk about a severe illness or experience being the best thing that happened to them, because it gave them a different perspective on life.

I, for one, feel that my life has been very different since losing the baby last summer. It seems like things just don’t affect me much anymore. I go with the flow a lot more and allow myself to enjoy the moment I find myself in. I also refuse the experiences that bring me anxiety or generally don’t make me happy.

My experience fast-forwarded me to a happier place

I often wonder if I would be as decisive about life had I not had my experience of losing a baby at 20 weeks last year. I think that I would have eventually gotten there, but I do think that this experience eliminated at least 10 years of the process.

I often say that the experience is bigger than the actual gain, but that’s because I’m only a little over a year removed from it. As time goes on and I continue to live peacefully and happily, I find that I appreciate it more. I don’t wish to repeat any part of this experience or any other hard one for a long time, because at this point my roller coaster ride is going up! I often say life is up, down and everything in between. When it’s going up, enjoy it, because that too will change someday.

Giving thanks!

It’s been a fabulous Thanksgiving week. I truly enjoyed having family in town. That was such a treat for us to get to see our nephews, niece, my sister-in-law and her husband. We shared tons of great family moments and it was truly awesome!

I love this season! It’s a season of appreciating what you have and what’s coming. We are looking forward to having my father-in-law in town for Christmas. He’s truly a great guy and it’s always wonderful getting to see him.

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Time for some hot chocolate, Christmas music and hanging ornaments!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There are no coincidences

I graduated from college on May 11, 1996. One of my friends gave me a book called The Celestine Prophecy. I still remember the moment she handed it to me; the sun was somewhat setting, the light shown through the clouds and while she was giving it to me she said, “I’ve heard this book has changed people’s lives.”

I knew that moment was a huge one for me. I really didn’t know why it was huge, but I knew it was.

No coincidences

I started reading it that same night. I can’t tell you that I remember that I remember what the book was about right now, but I do remember one part very vividly. The author was talking about the fact that there was no such thing as coincidences and that there was a message in everything.

He said that anytime two strangers lock eyes, then that is a sign that they must meet. He gives the example of being in a restaurant and locking eyes with someone who is sitting at a different table, you need to get up and introduce yourself. I have found that to be impossible to do, let alone pretty unacceptable in our society.

What I have gained from it though is that idea of “no chance encounters.” I belong to an enhanced book club of sorts. We may get together for an evening of painting, or to chit chat about metaphysical experiences we’ve had, or listen to a guest speaker and so on.

Last night, we had a guest speaker come in to talk to us about meditation and her spiritual journey. I had this incredible feeling that I had to go to this meeting. At one point during the evening, I thought to myself that I knew pretty much everything she was lecturing about and I practice it.

I meditate a few times a day; I meditate every chance I get. I turn the music and my cell phone off in the car all the time and take the few minutes I have to calm and center. I meditate while folding laundry. I meditate while waiting at a doctor’s office. I meditate before I have a meeting. I truly meditate all the time and the benefits are tremendous.

I wondered why the feeling of being there was so incredible. Earlier that day, while shopping at Vitamin Cottage, I ran into a friend of mine who had led a book club a while back. We started talking and I told her that she would love the meeting I was going to tonight and that she should come. She actually did come and it was fantastic to have her join our group. I thought to myself that maybe that was the reason for it, yet I felt that something was still missing.

My guided encounter

After the lecture was over, a few of us started chit-chatting about various topics. I was telling someone about the committee that I am a part of at the Waldorf School. We are putting together what we’re calling a student conduct code. Our school lacks any resources for both the parents of the bully and their target.

I expressed that the research I’m doing in this area has been tremendous in helping me understand why children bully and how to identify their targets. Kim John Payne’s work in this topic is amazing. I was saying that it’s funny how I started this group and then I’m faced with a situation that I could have used some help, but I didn’t know where to go.

One of the ladies standing there shared with me her story of how her son was a target for years and how eventually, everything settled for him by virtue of him remaining strong in the face of what was going on. Her words were comforting to me. I thought to myself that situations usually have a way of working themselves out.

The other person happened to be a member of the board at our school and took a great interest in what I was saying. I ended up talking to her for the rest of the evening about the issues we were facing.

I left there realizing why I had the urge to attend this meeting. Had I called her to talk about these ideas, I may have not presented them as well as I did in a more casual social setting. The thoughts were presented and received very well, because we were both in the right frame of mind for that conversation.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

I believe in the phrase, “there are no coincidences only meaningful encounters.” I’d love to hear about your meaningful encounters. You may leave a comment below, email me to or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of

Pretty amazed by the encounter I had!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a first for me

I had an epiphany this morning. I had decided to slow down doing readings and teaching classes for a while to see how I would feel. After my experience last year of almost losing my life, the thought of maybe not being around for my kids totally freaked me out.

I decided that I wanted to be more available to do things with them. Since my business was mostly part-time, I thought of eliminating the classes and readings to see how things would work out.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally love doing readings and teaching classes but it just didn’t feel like it was the right time. I didn’t realize that by doing that, I was giving motherhood a chance for the first time.

Making the decision to quit my job was difficult

It is so hard to be a working professional and then to become a full-time mom. I felt like I had lost a part of me the day I decided to quit my job to stay at home with my newborn son. I didn’t realize that it would be greatest gift anyone could give me.

On some level, I still fought the idea without even knowing it. I went to homeopathy school while I was pregnant with our second child. I attended spiritual classes while my boys were one and three for a total of three years. I started my business while my boys were two and four. I felt at the time that I had a balance of career and motherhood, but now realize that I really didn’t.

I was always struggling to find time to do things with my kids because I was always trying to catch up. You’ve heard the saying “there’s a time and a place for everything” and I wasn’t giving motherhood the time that it needed.

Giving motherhood a chance

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning when I told her that this was the first time I was giving motherhood a chance and it really feels great.

I have plenty of time to go on every field trip that my kids have, I volunteer in the classroom, I am part of a group working on a student conduct code for our school, I have time to grocery shop while my kids are in school, I cook about five times a week a fantastic dinner for them and all of this feels so good and so right.

I’m still very much needed at the moment

I will come back to readings and lecturing, but when my boys are a little older. I feel the older my boys get, the more time they need and not the other way around. They may be able to entertain themselves by playing without me now, but they absolutely need me to help them with their lives.

After a couple of weeks of volunteering a lot at their school, I asked my son if I could skip one of his events and his answer was, “Mom, that’s your job. It’s your job to go with me kite flying for Michaelmas.” I told him that he was right and I was going to be there.

I was doing laundry yesterday and thought to myself that I really ought to find a day other than Sunday to do laundry. My mom never does anything other than have fun on Sunday. She feels that it is a day of rest that is necessary for everyone. I thought to myself, how many American families devote a whole day to be a family day and a rest day? I would guess that not one family does that.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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Getting ready to bake pumpkin bread for my boys! Oh, the wonderful smell of pumpkin bread in the oven, snow outside, fireplace on, life is definitely good!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Theosophy by Rudolf Steiner

Waldorf schools are based on the philosophy of a man named Rudolf Steiner. My kids go to the Denver Waldorf School. I figured it was time to read works that were written by the man whose philosophy our school was founded upon.

I’ve tried to read some of his books before, but I found them to be too difficult. It’s almost as if I had to read the same sentence twice and the paragraph more than that to even get the gist out of it.

Reincarnation and Karma

I decided to read a book named Theosophy by Rudolf Steiner, a book that is considered an introduction to his philosophy. Some of the concepts in Theosophy, I have read before such as those of reincarnation and karma. Steiner explains them in a slightly different way that has made a lot of sense to me.

I read my first book on reincarnation about 15 years ago. It was definitely something that I didn’t accept or deny at the time, as I do most things. I never judge a book by its cover. It was an interesting concept for sure and definitely something that made sense to me. I used to always wonder how we could possibly accomplish all that we’d like to in the span of 60, 70 or 80 years, if we were lucky enough to live that long.

“Yesterday’s actions are now the conditions I must abide by in what I do today; through what I did yesterday, I have created my destiny for today” from Theosophy. I love that sentence! Every person owns their life and all the events in it. “Through what I did yesterday, I have created my destiny for today.” I’ve thought about that a lot since I read it. Yesterday’s actions could be 250 years old; they are still yesterday’s actions.

He says, “Sleep has often been called ‘the younger brother of death.’” Death seems final, but is it really? Maybe we could look at it as “sleeping in” instead of never waking up again.

Past live regressions

I’ve attended a couple of Dr. Brian Weiss’ workshops on past lives. I’ve seen a few of my past lives that have explained a lot of what I was feeling at the time. I’ve often wondered if they were really lives that I lived or were they scenes I saw to help me move forward with my current issue. I don’t really think it even matters.

I remember a past life regression where I saw my youngest son being swept away from me in a tsunami. I had always had an incredible fear of losing him prior to that regression. It was fascinating to me that since then my fears have totally subsided. We do carry with us impressions from past experiences into the cells of our being.

Remember my last post, just the fact that it was Wednesday, made my senses heightened. What does a rose or the song “Brick House” signify to you? Think about when you were eight, how did you feel? Things, events, periods of our life, they all leave an imprint in our being somewhere.

Great reads on the subject of past lives and reincarnation are Many Lives, Many Masters and Same Soul, Many Bodies by Dr. Brian Weiss. They are absolutely fascinating. I also enjoyed Past Lives, Future Healing by Sylvia Browne.

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Enjoying the concepts in Theosophy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pavlov's dog

Have I mentioned that I love Tuesdays! They are the day that my cleaning lady comes and pretty much the only day that the house is guaranteed to be clean for a few hours before the kids come home from school.

She used to come on Wednesdays, therefore Tuesdays used to be the worst day for me. I would be a total nut; cleaning for my cleaning lady. Tuesday night in specific, I’d make my husband go on a cleaning frenzy with me. We’d have to pick up toys, put laundry away, clean the kitchen, pick up the main level and the list went on before going to bed.

Then I would get up extra early on Wednesday morning to make the beds and completely make the house spotless before Rosa showed up at 9 am. How exhausting!

Cleaning day is switched?!

I didn’t realize how much of a nut I had become until Rosa blindsides me one day to say that she can no longer come on Wednesdays. I had a moment of panic, but she quickly saved me to say that she could come on Tuesdays.

The first week that she came on Tuesday, I hadn’t trained myself yet to switch my nuttiness to Monday night, so I didn’t get my usual cleaning frenzy going however, amazingly enough, she was able to clean just fine. That morning, in a very slow and non-panicked mode, I made beds and picked up toys or whatever without any stress.

I am an example of behavioral psychology

The panic did set in on Wednesday morning though. For no good reason, my heart started beating a little faster in anticipation of Rosa coming. I realized that I had become Pavlov’s dog. The thought of Rosa coming to clean immediately implied a state of panic. I had to remind myself that she had come the day before and all is well.

I actually went through it again the following week. Tuesday came and I hadn’t panicked. I was on to something. I could actually enjoy my cleaning lady coming without the panic of “the toys aren’t going to be picked up and the beds aren’t going to be made.”

She’s been coming on Tuesdays for a few months now and I have to report that I am still doing ok. I realized that I was a little more heightened than normal on Monday night, but I’m going to say that was because I was just a little more tired than normal. Yeah, that’s it. Do you believe me?

Your Pavlov stories

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It's Wednesday morning and it's just so peaceful in the Salfi household!


Monday, November 1, 2010


I have written about boundaries many times. I often refer to them when I am talking about contracts or soul lessons. I believe that we all come to earth to grow and therefore, take on different lessons or contracts.

I also believe that we have a bigger purpose or what I call a world contract. This world contract could be something that you do for a living or it could be something that you are passionate about. I am passionate about the environment for example. I donate, I recycle and so on.

A world contract doesn’t have to be a cause; it can be anything that you are absolutely passionate about. The criterion for it, I believe, is that it must benefit others.

Life lessons

Life lessons or soul contracts, on the other hand, are for your personal growth. Examples are: having joy, trust, giving, receiving, balance, relationships, and abandonment and so on.

One of my soul contracts is setting boundaries. I realized that about five years ago when I first learned about contracts. It was such an “aha moment” for me. I realized that I had been dealing with boundaries my whole life. People would ask the most ridiculous things of me and I never said no. I definitely would get frustrated with them, but it’s only when I realized that one of my lessons was boundaries that I actually appreciated them for helping me learn it.

Setting boundaries is as much about saying no as it is about respecting other people’s boundaries. Every lesson has its yin and yang or balance to it.

Boundaries … they never go away

I have gotten a lot better with boundaries but they have definitely not gone away. I realize now that they may come through my kids and their experiences as well.

Zack, my five-year-old, had an issue about a month ago with a little boy in his class. We had a huge discussion about it at school and I thought that it had been resolved. Last week, he comes home telling me that same little boy was inappropriate with him again. It has been on my mind since then.

I have brought it to everyone’s attention at school, but I realized that there was a piece missing for me. I believe that what’s been bothering me the most is the lack of respect this boy continuously displays towards Zack.

I always say that our kids have their own journey in life and we must respect that completely. I don’t believe that this is Zack’s journey as much as it is mine. It is my job as Zack’s mother to stand up for him and to say that this little boy cannot continuously disrupt his rhythm at school.

We cannot worry constantly as to what behavior will come out of this other boy. It was bothering me all last week until I realized that it was about setting boundaries as to what is and is definitely not acceptable.

Is it a big deal that he took candy out of the bowl?

Last night, I was handing out candy to some trick-or-treaters when a little boy reached into my candy bowl and took what he wanted. I didn’t say anything to him, but it really bothered me. I told my husband about it later and he said that I said the same thing last year. That is an example of a boundary as well.

Is it really a big deal that this kid reached into the candy bowl? At this point, I would say no, but I do believe he’ll grow up lacking respect for other people. You can see trends in people at every age, but especially when they are little.

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Saying no to the behavior of a little boy that is totally unacceptable!