I stood in the kitchen of the condo in Lakeland, Florida looking out on the still water of the man made pond and cried. Warm salty tears streamed down my face as I told myself I could do this, I had to do this, it was hard but necessary. “Just start with one box, don’t get overwhelmed with everything. Pack one box stay focused”. I started packing Grandma’s China first. As I packed the China set a flood of memories came of the countless times I had carefully wrapped up each piece and placed them into the box. It was at that moment that I decided to write about this beautiful set of China and all the experiences that have gone along with using it. The last two times I moved everything was packed for me so it had been several years, a lifetime ago, that I had spent time carefully wrapping these delicate treasures. It is through my Grandmother’s life that I have found my own strength and my path to freedom. I am writing this story to honor her life and to help me remember when the day comes that I might begin to forget. The primary reason I am writing this book is because someone recently encouraged me to write my story insisting that this book would help many people, a week later I moved into an apartment by myself once again and I began. Here it is, my first book may it help you discover yourself and make positive changes in your life as much as it has helped me on my journey.
Elementary school teachers teach our children that authors write for a purpose and determining that purpose is as easy as PIE. Authors write to persuade, inform, and entertain. Perhaps I am persuading you to take a look at your own life and understand that you have the ability to change your circumstances if you so desire, or maybe I am writing to inform you about my life experiences so that you may grow and learn from them. Of course I am sure that some readers will be entertained by reading about the events that have shaped who I am today and wonder if these events really happened or if this is a work of realistic fiction.
While some superstitious people view the number thirteen as an unlucky number, it is an important number in my Grandma’s life just like the Great Seal of the United States. Recently I was doing a reading lesson with a group of fourth graders, we were reading about the Great Seal with its thirteen five pointed stars above our national bird holding an olive branch with thirteen olive leaves in one claw and thirteen arrows in the other, holding a shield with thirteen red and white stripes representing the original thirteen colonies. My Grandma was born on January 13th and was one of thirteen siblings. Coincidentally I have packed and moved this China thirteen times; therefore this book is organized into the thirteen chapters and now I have finally come to a place in 2013 where I am ready to publish what I have written. It has taken three years to write, review, rewrite, add, change, etc. to be comfortable opening up my heart and soul to the world with this book. For over a year it sat unopened simmering, and quite honestly, I was not sure I wanted anyone other than myself to read these pages. “Perhaps,” I thought, “I wrote this book simply to heal and let go.” But then one day over the holidays, I found the courage to open it again and go through my journey one more time, one page a time, one chapter at a time, one day at a time. Some sections I have reviewed so many times sifting through the pain to heal, knowing I was writing from a place of love and gratitude instead of anger and hurt. There is a difference. May you enjoy reading and listening to my story. You may wonder if what you read or what you hear really happened and my answer to that is, “It depends on who you ask because life is experienced differently by all of us. My experiences through someone else’s eyes or ears will be very different just as yours are.” I am confident that the people I have mentioned throughout the book, if given the opportunity, would share a very different view of the events that have transpired. It is up to them to tell their story from their perspective. Everyone has a story, I hope that after reading mine you will be inspired and find the courage to tell yours.
Somewhere along the way in life you start to listen to that little voice, intuition, intention whatever you choose to call it about the path you are on in life. For me that path is education and finding ways to help the people around me reach their highest potential in life while I continue on my path. We are all on this journey together… growing, learning, and changing. I have wondered since I began writing how I will end this after three years and then one day I figured it out while having an amazing massage coincidentally called the “Journey to Heaven”. I had this same massage once before on my birthday, the day of my Grandma’s funeral and the whole time my mind was focused on my Grandma’s journey to heaven. I spent the whole time thinking about her life trying to understand. It is amazing how clear your mind gets during a massage when you reach that still point. While my Grandma (and many other people I suppose) believed that heaven is a place that you go to when you die, I have changed my thinking on that and believe heaven is what you create in your life right now. Heaven is found in this moment right now as you are blessed with the ability to take in another breath of life. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it in and slowly exhale. You do not have to suffer and wait until your body dies to get to heaven. You can create your journey to heaven right now, but you have to allow yourself to change your thinking and let it happen. You have to ask yourself what you want and focus your attention and energy in that direction because you get more of what you focus on. As Mary Poppins says, “Anything can happen if you let it!”.
I believe that everyone has a story in their soul that wants to be told. For my readers no matter how young or old you are I hope that by sharing my journey to heaven you will find the courage and strength to share yours. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. Your journey is worthy of being shared with the world inspiring others to grow because you are making the commitment to live your life on purpose. I have found the ability to change people’s lives in a way I never would have imagined I was capable of doing.
I hope that my story inspires you to take the time and to have the courage to give yourself what you need, find your passion, your enthusiasm, and live your best life. Healing from the past comes when you are able to make time for yourself to reflect on where you have been and create the life that you want. Only you can make that happen. When you are learning or doing something new resistance from yourself and others (but mostly yourself) always shows up. When you push yourself further than you think you are capable of going physically, emotionally, or spiritually you suddenly realize that what used to be challenging is suddenly easy! Remember that who you are today is not who you were last year nor is it who you will be a year from now. When you begin to doubt your truth, persevere the reward is worth it!
One more thing, use your China. Make every day count and a day worthy of bringing out your China. Don’t leave it locked up saving it for a special occasion. Today is the special occasion you have been waiting for. If you enjoyed reading my book, go to my Facebook page “A Journey to Heaven” and click on the like button and visit my website www.ajourneytoheaven.com Share your story and a picture of your China.