Opal Siren

My life in dreams

A little meditation for me


For the past two months, I have been experimenting and researching about mediation, the power of our thoughts and yoga. In my quest, mostly through the OWN network, I have found some really good books to read, like A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle , and some really good philosophies on life, like Zen Buddhism.

I have been plagued by questions like: What is my purpose in this life? What can I do to be a better person or make a better contribution to the world around me? Why am I always so worried and anxious?

I do not have the answers to these questions, but through mediation, reading and being with my thoughts,  I have found some inner peace and time to spend with my inner self. Slowly, I am getting closer to the answers I need to alleviate some of my frustrations and concerns about my life.

I have to admit that I am a bit obsessed with Super Soul Sundays on the Own Network. If it was not for Oprah and these shows, which are broadcasted every sunday, I don’t know if I would at least be asking myself the right questions, like: “How can I connect more to others?”

But the most important lesson I have learned through this quest, is that I am already connected to nature and to God. I am not some entity on my own in this world. I have a connection with my fellow humans and with everything that lives on this planet. I am a human but I am also a soul with a spirit. There is some divinity in me and every single human on this Earth. I really have been able to understand myself  and others better. I also have been able to understand my religion and other religions as well, because I am more conscious that I am connected to everything and everything is connected to me.

It is in my humble opinion, whether you are a religious person or not, that mediation can really help us connect with our true beings and most of all help us be more authentic in our relationships. It can really calm us and quiet our inner voice for just a few moments, so that we can collect ourselves. Meditation can also better help us hear what it is that God, the universe or the energies that are, want from us as humans and as divine beings.

I am so grateful to have found sources of inspiration like Ekhart Tolle, so that I can at least ponder on their philosophies and bring more perspective and understanding to my own life. I truly hope that this journey helps me make better choices and eventually allows me to connect even more to nature. I hope that if you are interested in a journey like this, that you can also share me with me your own thoughts.

 

Happy Reading!

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When you are in your thirties and childless….


My husband and I are used to the old questions “Do you guys have any children?” “When are you going to have any children?” “Why are you waiting?”

I mean, I can tell you that we have been married for six years as of 3-14-14, and we have heard these questions thousands of times. We would be millionaires if we collected a dollar each of the times the subject has come up.

It seems that the questions have gotten even more intense at work and even more frequent now that we are in our thirties. Every day I get grilled and told: “You need to have a baby, soon!”

My husband is turning 30 this year and the thought has come about a few times. We do want to add children to our family, but the truth is we are happy the way we are. We have been married a while, but during that time he has been deployed several times and he was 23 when we got married…23!!!  I was 26 when we got married but not more mature than he was, and I knew that. I did not want my husband’s Navy career to suffer by getting pregnant too early and without him being able to be present.

The other reason why we have waited sooo long to add to our family, is simply that we are a family period. We are not creating a family, we already are a family unit and are quite happy and satisfied. We both work, contribute to our home, have a wonderful dog that we tend to and do what we like each day. We feel happy and complete. We do not feel the need to”create a family”. We are each others best friends and partners. We would like to add to our family at some point because we want to, not because of a dire need to have a family. Also, it will happen when we both feel comfortable and when his career dictates.

I know it sounds awful that my husband’s career has to dictate our lives, and recently I had issues with this myself, but this is the reality we are both living in and I accept it. My husband is in the service, we both committed to this lifestyle and we both knew the consequences of being a military family. There are somethings he does not have a choice in and I have had to push back a lot of my own ambitions and dreams. That is what love and sacrifice is. When you truly love someone, sometimes there are things that you have to put aside or even push back. That is the biggest lesson I have learned in the past few months.

I will also say that I did not want my very young sailor husband to be a father, because I wanted him to have a fulfilling career. I wanted him to conquer his dreams. We were also not ready when we got married. Now we are ready but we are content and still not sure where the Navy is going to be moving us. I live in a military town and I see the tears in the children’s eyes when their fathers or mothers  have to leave on long deployments. I did not want to see those tears in my children’s eyes. That is why we are waiting as long as we can to have children. We will wait as close to his retirement as possible, if we have to, in order to avoid unnecessary stress and anguish on myself and our future offspring.

And so, although it is hard to see other couples with their children, we are often not invited to things because we do not have children, get strange looks because we are childless in our thirties, we know what is best for our family. All things happen when they are meant to happen 🙂

Happy Reading!!!!

 

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Hello March???!!!!


I cannot believe it is March already! Where did February go?

So much happened in the month of February that I feel like I am barely catching up to myself!!!

Also, Wow is it cold out here in VA! When is it going to stop snowing??? It seems that there is a storm right around the corner each week!  Someone must have really ticked off Jack Frost!

My anxiety levels have been really high lately. I received a promotion and then I had to turn it down. It was in Austin, TX and it would have been too stressful for my husband and I to be apart, with the extension that is upon us from the Navy; unbeknown to us until recently.  Yes! we are being extended here in VA for at least another 3 years!  I was so disappointed and as you can imagine so was my employer. Things are not so great at work and I am holding on with faith until something better comes along. My husband and I have been going to our local Catholic church and we have met with a wonderful priest there. He is witty, funny and his sermons are very entertaining and  unconventional to say the least. Each week I look for sources of inspiration that would help me move forward…Life goes on!  This priest, however, has really motivated us to continue our spiritual growth and not just focus on tradition and dogma.

I did have a dream the other night that I was walking through a beautiful valley with, what I believe was, Jesus/God? I did not see a face. Only that the person I was walking with was male, very tall, and had sandals on his feet and a robe on. As we walked side by side, he held my hand and told me: “You need to take it down a notch!”….I woke up the next morning and started to laugh so hard. Even God had to tell me to calm down!

On other news, I loved watching the Winter Olympics this year;  except, once again, I hated the uniforms for the US Team! The tops looked like tacky Christmas sweaters from twenty years ago. I was happy that the events were held in Sochi, Russia. I do realize that Russia and the US have had an icy past and a lukewarm present. However, I was happy for the people of Russia. They have been through so much strife, poverty and uncertainty, that it was refreshing to see such a special event take place in their homeland.

And as I am concluding this post, I am watching The Academy Awards, aka The Oscars. What can I say….Gravity is taking it all as well as 12 Years A Slave, and Lupita is gorgeous. However, Jared Leto has given the best speech thus far. His reference to those struggling in the Ukraine and Venezuela warmed my heart, as well as his constant mentioning of his mother which makes any girl tear up.

Happy Reading!!! 

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Plans Never Work


The other day I watched the movie “PS I Love You” with Gerard Butler, Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and others. I love this film. I love the Irish flare, the landscape, the love story, the power and strength that Holly (Hilary Swank) must find within herself to move on and create a life for herself. She must find out who she is, all while dealing with the loss of her soul mate and husband. Her story is a reminder that life is not permanent and things can change rather too quickly and without any warning. Life is disorder, chaos, inconsistent and unplanned; no matter how organized we may want to make it.

Every time I watch this movie I cry. The love story is very similar to my life with my husband. I am the crazy, super orderly, have no clue what do with my life, girl. My husband is the carefree, let’s see what happens, funny, tell-it-like it is, let me find ways to annoy my wife, type of guy. I cannot imagine being without him and yet we have endured periods of separation, anxiety and loss. Every time my husband goes on deployment, or there is a threat that he may have to go on one, I feel a knot in my stomach and the agony of the thought that it will be months before I see my husband again. I have separation and abandonment issues from childhood and I cannot bear being away from him; even when I need a break from him.

However, each time I watch this movie I learn something new. The first time I watched it, I learned that sooner or later we all must pick up the pieces and move on. The memories of those that have passed on will always stay with us and will shape us. When I watched the movie this time,  I also learned that all the lists in the world cannot prepare me for a life of chaos and constant change. I love the saying that Gerry (Gerard Butler) says to Holly, something along the lines: “That’s okay, luv. Your plans never work out, anyway”.  I love this quote!!! Why did I not notice this quote before? The quote is so true, at least for me. My plans never work! Maybe plans are not supposed to work. Maybe we are not supposed to be orderly and live by lists and know what the next step should be.

One way to look at plans,  is that they are soul consuming and really keep us in a state of worry and stress about the next step. Maybe life just needs to flow and we need to just let go and let it happen. I am not saying I am not going to be a responsible adult, but maybe I need to worry less and just take it one day at a time. Something good can come out of disorder and chaos. Just by looking at nature and life itself, humanity, all of it was not even suppose to exists. Out of the chaos of the universe something beautiful and magical emerged: Our species emerged and evolved. That is something to be thankful…

What do you think?

Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Happy Reading!!!

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Respect Nature’s Course


I am struggling with aging and the natural course of life. This is not a good place to be when you are dealing with so many other issues. I am finding it very difficult to see myself in the very place my mother was a few years ago. Am I the only one that witnesses change and not being able to appreciate it? Why do I feel like I must hold on to the past or the present for that matter? Why can I not let go?…All of these emotions have blocked me from being able to be understanding of others.

But what struck me the most this week is that my husband is also dealing with changes related to grief. I often deal with grief and regret when it comes to my grandmother’s passing. Sometimes I want to kick myself and wish I can go back in time. I wish I could change some of my choices. But I cannot change any of my choices or any of the things that happened. It is a journey for the better or worse and it is not reversible.

I was in total shock when I failed to realize that my husband’s bad mood (He drove me insane this past week), was due to his grief. How did I not see that? My husband tends to go with the flow and is highly logical. I knew he was hurting and that he missed my mother-in-law, but I did not realize that some of his bad behavior was coming from a place of grief.

Part of the argument is that he often feels that no one understands how he is feeling. I have to somewhat agree with him, because we are all souls living in our bodies and are experiencing things differently. I also did not feel like anyone could or can understand the pain that I am dealing with daily. Due to the loss of my grandmother, I had a lot of suppressed pain because I felt I had to be the strong one for my mother and other family members. This thinking has led me to grief in pieces or a little each day; instead of letting the process of grief happen. It is my daily Hell. That does not mean, however, that I do not understand the degree of pain that my husband is feeling. Of course his pain is beyond measure now, because his loss is so recent. But all of this pain that I am feeling for the loss of my grandmother, and now my mother-in-law, has prevented me from seeing my husband’s pain manifest in other forms; like uneasiness and boredom. I am deeply regretful of this and I take ownership that I must work on this.

I watched Shirley MacLaine on Oprah’ Super Soul Sunday “The Best Of the Oprah Winfrey Show” today and she spoke about the metaphysical, grief and death. What I have learned from watching the show is this: The pain will eventually become less intense. It does not go away ,but we also must respect nature’s course. We must respect the individual’s right to pass on to the next life. I never thought of it that way..and it makes complete sense. There is a time for grief and a time to let go. That time may not be right now, tomorrow or maybe even in 20-years; but it will come.

For my husband Michael.

Happy Reading!!!

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Reaching out for the good in life


Last night I had a horrific nightmare. (PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PRONE TO SCARE EASILY)

I woke up in the middle of the night, sweaty and scared to death! I could not catch my breath, and the horror of what I just had seen would not go away from my mind.

I woke up my husband and began to sob like a child. There was nothing that could comfort me and to be honest I am still freaked out by this dream. I was so tempted to call my mother in AZ, but due to the time difference it would had worried her.

I dreamed that I was in very dark room in what appeared to be a castle. The room was cold and I could barely see right in front of me. I kept seeing ghosts walking in front of me but could not tell who they were or what they wanted.  It seemed that they were just walking without any purpose and it was a tactic by an evil presence to scare me.

I saw one of my younger brothers (who is 15-years-old and is also a twin) laying in a bed in a horrific state…He was possessed by a demon. Worst of all he kept taunting me and looking straight at me as to antagonize me. His teeth were pointy and his face kept changing to that of a monster. I felt the presence of something very evil around me and I felt lonely and scared. I kept looking around for help but there was no one I could reach out to. I truly felt like the presence of God was no were to be found. I kept praying over and over for protection. But the more I prayed the sadder and scarier I felt.  It was not until I yelled in my dream: “In the name of Jesus Christ, whatever is not supposed to be here must leave and leave me in peace”, that I woke up scared, vulnerable and shaken.

My husband tried to comfort me, but I was shaking uncontrollably. I tried to go about my day the best I could, but the memory of this dream keeps coming back and each time it scares me even more. I  never again want to feel like the presence of God is nowhere to be found and coldness and loneliness prevails.

I normally try to rationalize what the dream means or what I am going through in my life that would trigger such a dream. This time I just prayed. Maybe there are things we are not supposed to know and this is a serious warning. I don’t know and I don’t want to know. I just want the peace and clarity that prayer and the presence of good brings into my life.

The meaning of this dream is not relevant. Things will happen as they should and sometimes there is nothing we can do to prevent it. All I can do is surrender to God and let him take charge. I never again want to be without his love, his presence, his mercy and his comfort.  I know for sure there is evil in this world and there is also good in the world. We must reach out for the good in any manner or belief that we may have. We cannot let ourselves be so ignorant of this and leave opportunities for negativity, anxiety, jealousy, envy or plain ugly to invade our lives. Sometimes we must surrender and look for the good in ourselves, but most of all in others.

Happy Reading!!!!

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Series Of Uncomfortable Traditions


Growing up in a foreign country had its ups and downs. I learned a lot and I am grateful for the experience. There were some things that I loved like visiting the beaches in the Dominican Republic, eating mangoes and drinking fresh coconut water. Then, there were things that were not so enjoyable like the heat waves, hurricanes, cold showers and the lack of fast food; which they do have now and I realize now I was not missing a good thing after all. When I would visit the States I engorged in all the American things I missed, like fast food and hot showers, Hershey’s candy, apples and grapes…For some reason we did not get to eat apples and/or grapes unless it was Christmas in the D.R.

Then, there were the traditional customs in the Dominican Republic which were pretty interesting; like celebrating Three Kings Day and having many days/holidays for the Sacred Virgin. But, there are some cultural traditions that still make me very uncomfortable and made me rebel against the very own culture and traditions that made me who I am today.  Here are a few of those traditions that I would like to blog about:

1. Young love. It is perfectly acceptable for brides and grooms to be as young as 15. Young girls from the poorest villages and “Barrios”(low-income areas of the cities), just pack up their things and leave in the middle of the night with their suitors. Granted it could be very romantic, but some of these girls are too young and should be in school and not cleaning up after a spouse. Besides, most of them wind up at the groom’s parents’ home; since he is probably just as young. I mean  why can’t these teens just practice safe intimate relations and still go to school and stay with their parents? Why do they need to be forced to get married or elope?

2. More young love. It is acceptable for a young bride to marry a much older suitor. This really gets under my skin. I mean most of the girls are not minors per se, but there is definitely a big age difference in most cases. A lot of the cases are between a very young college-age girl, let’s say, and a much older man who has  U.S. citizenship  or the means to provide for the girl and her family. I understand that not having many opportunities and being poor drives families to give up on their young daughters, and I have no right to judge, but it still makes me very uncomfortable to see older men with such young brides. Some of them are as old as the bride’s great-grandfather.

3. Girls do go to school and college, but in the end wind up in the kitchen. I know this is a generalization, but women are raised to tend and take care of the home and their family. There is nothing wrong with this line of thought, but in my home we both take care of each other. I also really resented learning how to cook, iron or do laundry for my future husband. I wanted to learn to take care of myself and to know how to do it for my benefit, not just for some guy I haven’t met yet. Thank God my husband is a great cook and a great helper. He never makes me feel like I have to do all the chores because I am the woman of the home.

4. If you are 21 and not married, you are an old maid. This one goes back to being a young bride in order to even be considered as a good potential partner. I resented this line of thought and it really made me uncomfortable to think that someone as young as 21 could be a bride and a mother to someone. I mean at 21, one should be going to college, graduating college, having a good time and dating…Definitely not getting married! But that is my opinion after all. I am happy that I waited until I was almost 27 years-old and even now I think I was too young. I was not as mature or wise as I am now.

I guess the world cannot be perfect and even here in the U.S.A there are  traditions that make me cringe. There are different cultures and traditions, languages and values in our world. That is what makes the world a world and not just a planet. Without these very different things, there wouldn’t be any diversity.

Happy Reading!!! 

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5 Reasons I Am In Love With Smoothies


My husband and I have been doing the smoothie thing consistently now for about two weeks. We are in love! I had tried making my own smoothies a few months ago and loved it, but stopped once my husband returned from deployment. I am happy that we both decided to jump into smoothie making recently and are benefiting from it immensely. Here are the five reasons why we love it so much:

1. It gives us energy. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue. When I come home from work, I want to go to bed and do nothing else. I do not have energy to go to the gym, and until recently getting up in the morning was a chore. Ever since my husband and I started making smoothies, I am up early every day and not just on weekdays. I am still working on getting to the gym and improving my diet even more, but the smoothies are helping me tremendously so that I am not sleeping the day away.

2. It makes us eat our vegetables. My husband hates anything green. He does not eat anything healthy, and refused to until I made him try a smoothie. He now loves it so much, that he insists on making them daily or making enough for the week. The smoothies contain enough fruits to cover the taste of vegetables. I am so happy to have found a fun way to get something green and nutritious into his daily diet.

3. They taste amazing! There are many ways and many recipes for smoothies out there. My husband and I normally make our own with spinach, citrus, berries and bananas. Sometimes we also add vanilla and cinnamon. We then add water and blend away.

4. They are economical. It is not expensive to eat healthy. Mu husband and I have discovered this. We always thought we could not afford buying all those fruits and vegetables. We were wrong! It was cheaper to buy the fruits and vegetables and make the smoothies, than to keep buying snacks that were not healthy for us at all. The smoothies also keeps us full for longer periods of time and we are getting healthier by the day.

5. I am loving my skin. The green smoothies have helped improve my complexion and my skin feels baby soft. I would like to eventually add more healthy items to our diet, as the smoothies thus far have been a hit in my home.

By the way, I am not getting paid to sponsor any products and/or diets. As always, consult your doctor before starting or changing your eating habits.

Happy Reading!!! 

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The Three Kings


The other day my husband and I had a special delivery. It was a 65 inch, flat screen television, complete with 3D capabilities. New year, new T.V. and a new job which I start tomorrow!!! Anyway, I was taken back when one of the men, who delivered our T.V., mentioned that we had not taken down our Christmas tree or decorations. I did not know there was a deadline to take holiday decorations down, but we are one of those people who put their tree up way too early in the holiday season and take it down way too late. We really enjoy the holidays, minus the gift-buying craze that goes along with it, and the decorations.

This holiday season was very special to my husband and myself. He had just returned from a very long deployment overseas. We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a very romantic turkey dinner. We got to go to Florida to see our relatives. We even managed to celebrate New Years together. After spending so many holidays and birthdays apart, it was nice to be with each other when it mattered: Celebrating Christmas!

Yet, everyone is in such a hurry to take down decorations, put away the massive amounts of gadgets, toys, and items that will not get used, that they forget about Three King’s Day. I know it is not a major holiday here in the U.S., but in the Dominican Republic it is very much a HOLIDAY. It is the day that most children actually receive gifts from The Three Kings and not Santa. Children put out grass for the Kings’ camels, water, and food items similar to the Santa Claus tradition. The Santa Claus tradition did not start until more recent times in the D.R. and it is also celebrated with the exchange of small gifts. Three Kings Day, however, is a tradition that is based on the Bible. Imagine, a holiday that is based on gift-giving and it is actually religiously based on a sacred book, and yet no one seems to remember it or know about it!  So much for us being “Wise Men”.  This is the part of the holidays that is a huge turn off for me. Christmas is no longer about being with family, socializing, gathering and exchanging love. It is not even about what it was originally meant to represent: The birth and celebration of Christ! I mean, I celebrate and admire all cultures and religions, because somewhere in the mindset of every one of us there is the interchange of love, and we are all capable of it. But we should at least try to understand why or what we are celebrating even if we do not agree with it. You do not have to be religious, or even believe in anything, to take part in exchanging good vibes or love with family and friends during the holiday season. Love is the universal “religion”. And yet, we have manged to turn the holidays into such a spectacle to see who gets more gifts, that we completely miss the mark and do not even acknowledge what it is that we are celebrating. We are quick to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations to move on to the next holiday. So quickly we move on to the next thing, that we forget about the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings, and their visitation and presentation of gifts to Jesus. Again, you do not have to be religious or a believer to appreciate the story and the meaning behind their visitation, or the meaning of the holidays for that matter. However, it is part of history, folklore and culture, and that is something that deserves honor.

So for everyone out there who still appreciates a little culture, history, meaning, and spirituality: Happy Three King’s Day and Happy Reading!!!

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How many gifts does it take to make it through Christmas?


Every year during the holidays, my husband and I make a list of gifts to buy and their recipients. Most of the recipients are children like nieces and nephews and a few cousins. We also try to set a budget so we don’t go broke or into major debt. However, each year it gets harder and harder to buy gifts. The latest gadgets and toys that most children want are very pricey, and it is difficult to be fair with everyone.

One of the things my husband and I do is not exchange gifts with adults. We decided a long time ago that Christmas is really a time to bond and share with families, but the gifts are for the little ones. We do a small gift for our parents or for whoever is hosting Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, and that is basically it! We also do Christmas cards for everyone else like grandparents, friends,etc…

The other thing my husband and I do is to cut off grown children, like certain 20-year-olds that should be working or attending school. This is a matter of choice of course and I am by no means telling anyone how to spend their money. But, once I was 16-17 I had a job and Santa stopped dropping gifts for me. Therefore, I do not understand why grown adults should be receiving gifts unless it is from a parent or spouse.

Although my husband and I do not have children and we try to stay within the above guidelines, I feel pressured each year to buy more and more gifts. I know that the parents of our nieces and nephews should be the ones purchasing most of the items for their children, but I still feel pressured into buying as much as the parents. Should I be feeling this way? Afterall, my nieces, nephews and the other kiddies in the family, seem to get so much for the holidays that at times it does seem excessive. So this year my husband and I opted for gift cards instead.

Also, I do not understand why children must have every single toy or item that is on their list or every item that is new on the market. As as child growing up in the Dominican Republic, I saw poverty first hand. There were times that I did not get gifts from Santa, and when I did I got maybe a nice big gift and maybe five or ten smaller ones. I remember feeling like it was a mountain of toys and feeling so happy and grateful. Never did I question how many things I should have gotten. My grandmother always made it a point that I donate what I was done using and she always dragged me to the poorest sites of the country, so that I saw first hand how other children lived. I always loved Christmas because of the trees and lights and all the donating we did at this time of the year. For me, Christmas was about being happy and with family and not so much about gifts. So for me, giving a child over 50 gifts just from the parents alone is a little much. So we only do one or two gifts per child, and yet I still feel like it is not enough or we are not doing enough.

I am not sure what my husband and I will do when we decide to have our own children, but I do know that I would like my children to be grateful for everything that they have. There will be trips to GoodWill and The Salvation Army to give donations, and I guess most of  Santa’s list will be covered as well 🙂

Happy Reading!!! 

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