Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 18 Letting LOose Challenge: Being a girl.

"I have an idea that the phrase 'weaker sex' was coined
by some woman to disarm some man
she was preparing to overwhelm." 
~Ogden Nash

For most of my life, I did not want to be seen as a girl. Tomboy, sure. In my mind at the time, I didn't want to be perceived as weak and vulnerable, so I did my best to be as strong and defiant as I could be. Tell me I can't do something? I'll show you I can.

It's bode well for business. And it did well in school. But, in my personal life? Being this kind of leader simply wasn't attracting men who would help take care of me, but rather ones I would become like a mother to.

It alienated me when I was in a room full of women, feeling like the most masculine one in the bunch. I didn't want to put on make-up in front of each other and do our hair or parade around in my bra and underwear trying on one another's clothes. I didn't want to gossip, to complain, to do anything that resembled being a "girl." 

I just wanted to be one of the boys. Or, so I thought.

Because I've come to realize that being a girl is awesome. Being a woman is even better. We can be as creative as we want to be from appearance to personality, and we can do everything as good as the boys can do. 

As Mae West said, "Curve: the loveliest distance between two points." So, why am I trying to look like I have a 12-year old boy body, instead of embracing the muscles and my voluptuous breasts and the soft parts in between, too? After all, the more I talk to men, the more I realize that they like a bit of oomph to one's figure, and that the stupid magazines and media I've been exposed to have been telling me completely anorexic lies. 

Today, as part of my Letting LOose Challenge, I played girl pop music in my car. Loud. I rolled down the windows and sang along. It finally clicked in my head that if I want to attract a man who's going to be the kind of man I'd like for him to be, then I need to be the kind of woman I want to be. 

And, y'know what? I have plenty of emotions that shift throughout the day. I also have insecurities and confidence beyond my own comprehension. I have power and I have sweetness. I am a nurturer and I am learning to honor my love for being cared for in turn. I love my girlfriends beyond belief, and I'm opening up to inviting more close male friends, too. 

In the past, I believed that feeling like I was in control gave me an illusive sense of safety, but in the end, all I've really wanted is a man secure enough within himself to encourages me to shine as a woman. 

This means that I feel comfortable to roll with my intuition, sort through various feelings, have different desires, change my mind fairly frequently, and want to talk about things until I've worked them out in my head and my heart. It also means that I like to be pampered and romanced and surprised in pleasant ways. It means I like the door opened for me, from the car to the restaurant, and that I can sometimes crumble and he will gather me up, just as I would for him. But, the role I've often played up until now is the one who figures out the bills, who determines where we'll go and what we'll do, who decides how the relationship will progress. It's no wonder I would find myself wondering why I can't relax into feeling good around my partner, as I wasn't being true to me, but instead, to the person I thought they wanted me to be. And, to their credit, I feel a few of them really did just want me to be happy... being.

So today, I let myself be a girl. I even bought clothes that said, "I love boobies" to support a good cause and because, hey, I do. My boobs are great. 

I'm enjoying learning how to be a girl. In fact, I'm kind of loving it. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 17 Letting LOose Challenge: Feeling whatever the hell feelings I want to.

"To give vent now and then to his feelings,
whether or pleasure or discontent,
is a great ease to a man's heart."
~Francesco Guicciardini

When I was in my late 20s, I started doing Krav Maga to take out a lot of anger and frustrations in the only way I knew how — beat the shit out of them. During one of these drills, my newfound friend Cara and I were sparring, then days later, I felt like I was having a hard time breathing. 

I texted her, "I think you bruised my ribs!" To which she replied, "I'm so sorry! I do Reiki! Please let me come over and help you."

I had experienced Reiki once before this, and didn't think much of the experience, but I was also open to trying anything and everything during this period of my life to answer this increasingly loud calling to find my sense of spirituality to heal from wounds so deep, their bruising was just barely finding its way to the surface.

The day she was coming over, I woke up from a nap, extremely saddened. Part of me knew that my live-in boyfriend and I were in a doomed relationship, part of me was just lost in figuring out what the next steps of my life should be. As I had done countless times before, I spoke out loud to my deceased grandmother, the only person in my entire life who I believed loved me unconditionally. She had died in my early 20s and it took me two full years before I actually began to grieve her death. In retrospect, it was likely because the idea of being all alone now, even though I still had other family members around, was much too much to bear.

I looked at the clock, realized that Cara was about to arrive, and cleaned myself up in preparation for her visit.

Cara and I barely knew anything about each other, except that she owned a dog walking business and I was a writer. We liked sparring with each other in Krav Maga, as we were about the same size and strength. Otherwise, we were left to battle men twice our size who didn't hold back at all.

She arrived, set up her Reiki table, then proceeded to tell me, "Just so you know, sometimes spirits will come into the sessions. I'm not a medium by any means, I can't call them forth, but when I open the portal, they just sometimes show up... okay?"

I nodded, unsure of what to make of this, then proceeded to get onto the table. Cara began the treatment, then paused.

"Do you have a grandmother who passed away?" she asked.

"Wait, what?" I said, shocked.

"Do you have a grandmother who passed away? Because," and she said this tenderly, "she's in the room right now."

I laughed, nervously. "What are you talking about?"

"Well, there's a presence in the room and I feel as though it's your grandma."

I began to tear up.

"She's not leaving," Cara smiled. "It's like she's watching over me to make sure I don't mess up on you."

I had no idea what to do. Cara kept working on me.

"Your grandmother wants to let you know that she's really proud of you," she said. At this, I couldn't hold it back anymore. I just started crying completely.

"If there's anything you'd like to say to her," she asked, "you can tell her now."

Confused, I asked, "My grandmother doesn't understand English — do I say it in Mandarin?"

Cara gently reassured me that it didn't even have to be through words, that she was certain my grandmother could understand me energetically.

Towards the end of our session, Cara revealed, "Your grandmother wants to give you something. I can't see what it is. Usually, when a spirit wants to give a gift to the person on the table, I can't see exactly what it is, but I get a sense of it. All I'm seeing right now is the color red. I'm not sure what it is, but I just keep seeing the color red."

She finished up our session and added, "Just keep your eyes peeled over the next two weeks. The gift should reveal itself."

During this time of my life, I was experimenting with a lot of different healing modalities and a colleague had recommended hypnotherapy. I went, and discovered that it was essentially a very deep guided meditation.

Towards the end of our session, the hypnotherapist suggested, "I'm going to bring you out of hypnosis now. Before I do, understand that when you wake up, every time you see the color red, you're going to know it's okay to feel your feelings. You'll see a stop sign and it'll look brighter than ever before, stoplights... any time you see the color red, you'll know that it's okay to feel your feelings."

I woke up, walked out, and felt that through the power of suggestion, the stop sign did look especially red. But, that was it.

Until I went to yoga class that night with my friend Eddie. Afterward, we grabbed a bite on the Third Street Promenade, where I excitedly told him, "You should see my friend Cara for Reiki! You'd really like her!" and then relayed my experience.

By the time I got to the end of our session, I stopped talking. Looked out in space.

I realized then that THAT was my grandmother's gift. "Every time I see the color red, I'm going to know that it's okay to feel my feelings."

As part of my Letting LOose Challenge, I am allowing myself to feel whatever feelings come up. Usually, I'd want to figure out why, to know where the source is, so that I could potentially nip it in the bud. But now, I'm not doing that. I'm feeling whatever's coming up and accepting that it is what it is. Like everything else in life, it'll pass. But for now, it's okay to feel whatever the hell I want to.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 16 Letting LOose Challenge: Letting go of labels and being a woman.

"Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out." 
~Rumi

Recently, I said that I've wanted to become more feminine, because I feel very masculine. My bodyworker, Trevor, asked why I felt that way.

"Everything I do is very masculine — I'm an entrepreneur, the role I play in a lot of different situations is the go-getter and make-it-happen person. A lot of the sports I do are also very masculine." 

He blew a wisp of his strawberry blonde hair away from his eyes, raised a brow, then looked at me perplexed. "I don't see you as masculine at all," he told me, continuing to work on releasing the tension I've built up in my body from stress and physical activity. 

We chatted about the idea of masculinity versus femininity for a little longer, and he added a bit of wisdom that was echoed today during a conversation with Tara, owner of Kaia Fit. "I think that you're focusing too much on being feminine," he added, "when in actuality, all you have to do is just embrace that you're a beautiful human being. I think that'll do it."

Trevor's been working on fixing my hip, the plantar fasciitis that happened lately, and tension so deep in my shoulders that it feels like my muscles are knotted into one unbreakable rope. Part of the reason I'm so tight is because of the activities I do, one of which is a women-only boot camp that I started a few weeks ago.

It used to be that I was reluctant to join in any group activities limited to females, as I always felt like the most masculine one of the bunch. But, in an effort to open up to my yin side, I've started exploring different opportunities to be around my tribe, and it's actually been quite lovely, especially in learning how everyone has gone through their own versions of crap to become the beautiful souls standing before me.

Tara and I talked about a few of the hurdles I've been facing, including not being able to push to my limits because of my injuries. I mentioned my whole battle with masculine versus feminine, and she said, "What would happen if you removed those labels?"

I furrowed my brows, unsure of what she was asking.

"Well, you think that by being an entrepreneur, it makes you more masculine. Why does that have to be masculine? Why can't it just be awesome that you're a go-getter who makes things happen? I think when you compartmentalizing activities and parts of yourself as this or that, you're not embracing everything of who you are and just letting it be. I think if you just let yourself be exactly who you are, a lot of these things from working out and injuries to food and relationships would all just work themselves out. Let go of the label of feminine or masculine or even having had an eating disorder and just be all of who you are, this amazing person."

It felt like a light bulb went off. As often happens, the Universe will repeat the same message to me in increasing frequency if it's something that I'm supposed to learn, and these similar messages from Trevor and Tara about just "being" as an antidote to my feeling more feminine became ever more apparent.

I told Tara how earlier during class, my dear friend Roe gave me a few tips in the midst of our reps so that I wouldn't further exacerbate my injuries. Roe is an exceptional bodyworker and amazing heart, and always has my best interests in mind. 

"Y'know, if you ease up, you're stil getting the workout in," Roe advised. "You're still getting your heart rate up, all while preventing further injury." 

I nodded, knowing that her words were a lesson in learning how to better honor myself. 

"And y'know what else?" she smiled. "Your numbers are always the highest in class... maybe you could just ease up a little? When you push like that, your body starts to go into stress mode. It can't tell if you're working out or running away from a lion. That's why a lot of people, even when they're working out really hard, hold onto weight. The body goes into conservation mode, since it's not sure what's going to happen next, so it's preparing itself."



"You're obviously an athlete," Tara agreed with Roeshan. 

Again, I cocked my head to the side, curious of her perception of me. This idea of "athlete" is something I've heard again and again from various people in my life, but it's never sunk in because to me, an athlete is a professional player on the soccer field or on the basketball court. I didn't feel like it ever applied to me, someone who just likes to be active in every way. 

I got home and shared these dialogues with my friend, who's visiting in town. "Yeah, you totally have the Asian mentality about work, where you feel you have to keep pushing harder and harder to make it count."


So, despite all the times that people say, "Don't listen to what others say or worry about what they think, listen to yourself," because I'm so hard on myself, it actually is important for me to open up and see myself through someone else's eyes as they're usually a lot kinder, more generous, and loving. 

It's time to let go of the labels. And just be me. 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Celebrate the tiny victories.

"All the arms we need are for hugging."
~Author Unknown

My business coach says to celebrate the small victories, even the teeniest tiniest ones. It used to be that I would binge and purge my emotions away — I could never have believed that my life would become what it is now. That was a huge win. But, I would still overeat, especially late at night, and sometimes go into binge behavior. Even if the quantities of food were not the same, it felt just as it did in the past. Then, through a lot of work and support from professionals and friends, that's become less of a habit, too. Now, when I express concerns over my approach to eating, I'm told that it's relatively "normal," in that every one in our society likely has a distorted relationship with food and body image.

I got bodywork done today to alleviate the perpetual pain in my hip, the tightness in my shoulders and neck, and now a bit of plantar fasciitis. It feels like I'm getting old, but what it actually is, is that I'm athletic and I do a lot and my profession entails movement. It's using my body fully. 

The other thing that happens with bodywork is that it releases a lot of old pent-up emotions, brings forth even greater awareness of the amount of stress I'm under, and because of the person I go see, calls forward other thoughts and feelings. A lot of the time, after a session, I just want to cry.

The thing about removing food as a crutch is just that — it's no longer something I can lean on, something that I can use as a distraction from my true potential and real experiences. Instead of numbing out, I am forcing myself to look with open eyes at what's happening and, even more importantly, approaching it with an open heart. 

Sadness. That's what I have right now. I have a heavy feeling in my heart that pulls upon my face, so that it becomes sullen and my voice becomes silent. My eyes feel like they're on the verge of watering with salty tears, I keep bringing my palms to face and moving them slowly to cover my eyes and down my checks. My whole body just slows down. It's a sadness over wondering whether I'll ever meet someone who can love me in a way that I deserve. It's a sadness at feeling like I'm hurting, and I need help healing, but what that requires is relying upon someone else, which is achingly hard for to do. It's a sadness that I didn't get a lot of the vital care I needed to thrive, so instead, I've lived life feeling a bit broken, no matter how many people tell me the contrary and no matter how much work I've done to embrace the healthier understanding that there is no perfection, there just is processing. It's a sadness that I have so much love around me and I have such a hard time removing the impenetrable barrier I've placed around my heart to let it in. It's a sadness that comes from having a hard time being in the mystery, being in that place of waiting to see how things will unfold, being surrendered to whatever the Universe has in store. 

If I were going to celebrate the tiny victories of today, then they would be: 1) waking up, 2) working out, 3) moving past my boundaries to connect with other women, 4) speaking my truth, 5) teaching a class from my heart regardless of how many people showed up, 6) choosing healthy foods for lunch, 7) sitting down to write, 8) listening, 9) breathing, 10) being vulnerable in ways that may not be apparent to anyone else but me, 11) making myself dinner, 12) not overeating because I'm sad, 13) taking the dog to the dog park instead and being in the sunshine and grass and turning around to take in the view of the ocean, 14) admitting where I am rather than pretending to be in a better place, 15) pausing with my hands at my heart in gratitude for being of service. 

It's hard to hear from so many people, "You're so awesome, I don't know why you haven't met anyone!" because it feels like there's something wrong with me. That I'm doing something wrong or the Universe doesn't love me enough or that maybe life is unfair and people can't have everything (which I don't believe is true). Maybe it should just be, "You're so awesome. Period." or "You're so awesome, and the Universe has a Divine Plan in Divine Timing." Or, what I liked hearing from my craniosacral healer, "Maybe it has nothing to do with you. Maybe you're totally fine and your partner just isn't ready yet." 

Whatever is the case, this is where I am. And, I'm just letting it flow. Because, as my business coach also said, "Be more flowy. Let this whole process be more flowy." 

Here's to letting it flow, even if it means for now, tears streaming down my face. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 15 Letting LOose Challenge: Giving myself permission to be who I've always been.

"It took me a long time not to judge myself
through someone else's eyes."
~Sally Field

Okay, so my 21-day Letting LOose Challenge has gone on longer than 21 days, but as I've realized, people just have to do what works for themselves! As I learned from a recent interview with a Oneness Meditator, "There are 4 billion people on this planet, which means there are 4 billion ways towards enlightenment. Everyone is different." I'm not going to beat myself up about staying on the 21-day path, because hey, that's what this challenge was all about in the first place!

This past weekend, I did a Paddle Board Yoga Teacher Training and it was profoundly changing in the way that it inspired me to give myself permission to be exactly who I am and P-L-A-Y. I realize that I've spent a lot of time and energy and hard work on becoming a better person, digging in deep to old thought patterns and behaviors in order to change them, and simply grow in my potential for contributing to this planet, but all of that has made life a lot of work.

My soul needs to play.

Perhaps the most beautiful and unexpected part about this retreat were the people I met. The moment I met the owner, Taylor, I knew I wanted to go to Morro Bay and be part of this bliss/Bliss. Something in my heart called out and I answered.

I love solo road trips. They give me an opportunity to be with myself, to get lost with my connection to Source as my brain is focused on moving forward in a gentle monotony. The scenery is gorgeous, the vistas filled with expanses of land that remind me to breathe. I hadn't been to Morro Bay since I was young and stopping by the quaint town of Los Olivos on the way back (I actually passed it, wondered if I should stop, thought "Life is short!" and turned back around) was worth every moment. I heart little towns.

Yet, I also get anxious in group situations, especially when I know I'll be spending the night (or more). This is why I wake up very early, before everyone else around is up, so that I can get quiet time to regroup. It's exhausting to feel like I have to be "on" all the time, but there was something about the group dynamic of the people on this retreat that was perfect. Every person there had gone through their own version of shit to get to a point where they were comfortable expressing their truths.

I've also been in group dynamics, where people's idea of "fun" is to drink a ton and then get stupid. Then, when I didn't want to participate, I'd get ridiculed for it. This group was different. We had fun making dinner together and having wine, some with the puff-puff-give, playing with live music and Acroyoga, and simply sharing ourselves in what we were passionate about.

From being around the creator of the company and her team, I realized there's a way to do business where you can simply be yourself and the Universe responds in kind. She was building her business based on her passion, and her passion inspired enthusiasm within other people, and that continued to ripple outwards. It wasn't this hard-edged approach that I'd taken to virtually every endeavor I've ever done — and I've done a lot.

I suddenly felt like I had permission to be myself. That all the things that I struggled with, I wasn't alone on. That play is such an important part of living and something my soul has been craving, but I've made every playtime session in surfing and climbing and anything else into work. "How can I get better at this?" I continued to challenge myself, rather than, "How can I simple revel in this joyful moment more?"

The best part about it is that I love the sea. I love, love, love the ocean so very much and every time I play in it for awhile and come out, I don't care how tousled my hair looks or whether my clothes look presentable, I just feel so amazingly good for bathing in the replenish salt and sun. This is the feeling I had coming out of every paddle board session, this so-dang-happy-for-being-alive-and-relaxed kind of effect.

This is what I need more of. I feel this deep desire to become more yin, to be more receptive, to stop pushing and begin fully trusting and receiving. I want to be around women I love, women who I'm not competing with, not trying to gain hierarchy amongst. I want to be around play, people who love their play. I want to play.

And that's what I'm going for.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 14 Letting LOose Challenge: Playing in the air.

"Live in rooms full of light." 
~Cornelius Celsus

I'm spontaneous. And, I'm lucky I have the freedom to be like this. Like that time I had an opportunity to go to Brasil with the only family ever to summit Mt. Everest to cover their first multi-sport race. I got a phone call a week before I would have to go, cleared room in my schedule, then realized that I needed a visa. 

"You can't get an expedited visa to Brasil," every travel agent told me. "There's no one who's going to be able to help you with that." 

I did my research, found someone on the internet who said that he could. "Why are you able to do this and no one else is?" I asked him, very questioningly. 

"I have connections," was what he responded. I did as much research as I could to ensure he was legit, then took a big fat risk and bought a one way ticket to New York to meet him in person, so that he could do an 8-hour turnaround for my visa and have me get on an international flight that night to the capital of Brasil. 

I had no idea if, when I showed up, he would actually be a real person in a real office. I thought that I'd get into a cab at JFK and arrive at an address that was actually a defunct office building. But, to my great relief, he did as promised (the man had connections within the Brazilian embassy) and before midnight, I was out on an international flight. All the while, my international departure hadn't been confirmed, I had to do Skype calls from a random Starbucks in Manhattan to coordinate with a travel agent abroad who spoke little English in order to get everything set, and kept texting back and forth with the Romero family, who were themselves prepping for their flights. It was a whirlwind, but absolutely worth the gamble.

Earlier this past week, I met with Taylor Chaput, owner of Paddleboard Bliss, to potentially interview her for an upcoming article in Laguna Beach Magazine. Upon getting to know her, we realized that the two of us could collaborate to bring SUP as an afterschool program for youth.

"We're doing a teacher training this weekend in Morro Bay," Taylor told me with a broad smile on her face. "Do you think you could come?"

I looked at my calendar, rearranged a couple of things, and left at 3am on Friday morning for the road trip up to the Central Coast. And again, I'm glad I did. Because this weekend has shown me what it means to have fun, to be around people who are lovely and loving, who have each gone through their own hardships to become the people they are now. I've never met a group of more laid-back and amazing individuals, each endowed with unique gifts and personalities that light up a room. 

This morning, before we went out on the stand-up paddle boards, we were asked to share what our favorite parts about yesterday were. There were those who mentioned the Acroyoga, an amazing practice for what it teaches me about trusting another person and getting pretty intimate in comfortable ways, as there are toes being jammed into crevices in one's body and other slip-ups and touching that can result in interesting experiences. Others talked about vibing off one another's energy, where our evening was filled with one of us playing music, the rest of us moving our bodies in yoga postures before a fireplace. 

When it came time to me, I shared that what I've enjoyed the most was realizing that I have permission to play. I never had it growing up, I always had to be quiet and be perfect and go unnoticed, so to be around these freewheeling and easygoing people of such diverse backgrounds and natures was such a refreshing and amazing realization that I can indeed let go... and have boundless amounts of fun!

Yes, I can.

Day 13 Letting LOose Challenge: Crying over avocados.

"Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book
known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title."
~Virginia Woolf

There's this thing that bodyworkers say, which really gets to me: "It's okay, relax. I've got you." It shows me how little I let go, how much I feel like I have to take care of everything on my own. 

As part of this spring cleaning phenomenon, I didn't realize that what would also happen is that I'd also be spring cleaning my emotions... it seems to have popped up in the most unexpected of ways and at odd times. 

Like, the other morning, when I was making breakfast. I cut an avocado in half, and began to remember how my grandmother would do the same thing for us grandkids when she was alive and living with us, this woman who was the only person in my entire childhood who loved me unconditionally. 

The moment I sat down to eat, I dug my spoon into the green fleshy part of my avocado and then burst into tears. I thought about how much I missed my grandmother, how much I longed to have someone like that in my life who I felt would always be there for me, even in presence alone. I missed the care she offered, the solace when my parents were being brutal towards one another or towards me. I've been exhausted from always having to do everything on my own my entire life, from personal to emotional to financial care, and I believe that deciding to work with my coach has brought all this to the forefront. 

Because finally, I feel like I can relax. Let go. And trust that someone else has got me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 12 Letting LOose Challenge: Spring cleaning.

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."
~Auguste Rodin

After asking for guidance from the Universe about whether or not I should move forward in working with a new life and business coach, the answers came back very clearly that it is indeed a good decision. And, before I inked my name on the 13-month contract, I already felt things shifting to make space for this next endeavor. 

"Do a bit of spring cleaning," Jesse encouraged. "Get rid of everything that doesn't serve you in the life you want to live. Go through old photos, old emails, anything... and this might happen in stages, and sometimes, it involves really grieving the thing you're giving up."

I don't have that much as it is, having traveled around so much seeking a home internally and life experiences externally, so that all of my worldly possessions in my almost 35 years fits into a small room. Everything. I don't have anything at my parents' house anymore, so what I carry with me is everything I own. And yet, there was still more to get rid of.

As I tore through old papers and documents, donated clothes I no longer wear, or simply released the energetic attachment I have to certain objects surrounding me, I was more amazed at the letting go I experienced emotionally. 

Yesterday, while driving home from grocery shopping, I began to tear up, and then by the time I pulled up to my driveway, I was fully crying big fat heartbreaking tears. These came from the sadness I have rarely let myself wallow in, about how I've had to do everything on my own for my entire life. 

When I say this, I don't mean just a little bit, like having to work jobs to pay for school. I mean that since I was young, emotionally/mentally/physically/financially, the only person I have been able to depend upon is myself, because my parents were not only inept at providing care and affection — they were also often abusive about it. To never feel like I can fall back upon anyone, to feel like the foundation beneath me is a bed of marbles, to want love so intensely yet be afraid to let it in, because the people who gave me life could not offer it unconditionally is a breaking of the soul so intense that at times, it pulls my breath away and out. Not only that, but already existing in a place of lacking such vital and crucial things for healthy well-being, I was also asked to step up and become the parent, the mediator, the manager of everything before I was ever ready to do so. That created a pattern of giving to the point of breaking that I am continually working on healing. 

In the midst of my cleaning, I came across several pieces of creative writing (and through away a bunch more for a fresh approach to my prose). One of these was a poem I wrote 21 years ago when I was 13. 

It's called, "Just Imagine." In big, round and hopeful letters, it reads:

The night is a sheet of black velvet.
And the stars are little holes 
In the (construction paper) velvet.
The heavenly bodies 
Such as the planets and the sun 
Are paintings made by someone's imagination. 
Breathe the air,
Make another star. 
Let out air, make another galaxy.
Have a dream,
Make a black hole.
Have a goal,
Make a sun.
Have a hope,
Make another planet.
And when you are happy
You make another solar system.

So much of the past can bring me to tears in an instant. Here's to spring cleaning and new beginnings.