If You Could See Yourself Through My Eyes


What if you could see yourself from the eyes of your best friend?

You would probably see yourself as the bomb, the shiz-nizzel, or just simply beautiful. One of my dear friends reached out last week and said, ‘can you believe my aunt put an old pic of me on facebook! Its not even #ThrowBackThursday or #FlashBackFriday.’

I saw the picture and all I could focus on was her beautiful eyes, her innocent expression and her cuteness! She of course didn’t see the picture the same way, I can only hope in telling her what I saw that maybe even for a moment she could see it through my eyes and see her beauty.

It reminds me how very hard we are on ourselves.

We are our own bestest friends, being there to wipe our own tears, inspiring our own spirits to thrive and being the support we need to laugh at ourselves. And yet we are our own worst enemy. I don’t have any enemies in this moment because there is nothing they could think or say about me that would be worse than what I’ve already told myself at some point.

I said to my husband the other night, “I wish we could all see ourselves through the eyes of those who love us.” He responded, “I wish you could see yourself through my eyes and you’d see how wonderful you are.”

I, of course, said, “no offense Love, but if you don’t mind I’d like to see myself through our older daughter Neeva’s eyes.” (half joking, 100% truth). My daughter adores me! She absolutely wants to spend every waking moment with me and even on my ….lets call them “my not-so-nice days” she is there wanting to hug me and tell me how much she loves me.

I believe that mother-hood refers to the permanent space in your brain that is dedicated to your child from the second your baby is born. Even when your child isn’t around you think about her; you worry about her safety, and her pain or her joy takes precedence over anything you have going on in your world.

It’s the one thing I am in constant battle with myself over:
Am I a good mother?
Am I screwing them up?
Will they be traumatized from this?

And then I remember my daughter’s words one night as she cuddled over to me as we were watching tv, “Mommy, no matter what I do, I will always love you. You are the best mommy for me.”

I have to take a moment of silence to wipe the tears from my eyes as I write this. It really doesn’t get better than that.

She doesn’t care how I look, if I’m in my pjs or dressed up.
She doesn’t care if I clean the house or not.
She doesn’t care if I make dinner or order in.
She doesn’t care about any of the stupid things my mind tells me determines my worth as a mother. She just loves me for me. Silly, crazy, loud me. And she’s proud to be my daughter.

So what the hell is stopping me from being proud to be me?

Nothing. She reminds me of what I already know…that I’m amazing and beautiful. However, life doesn’t allow you to maintain this feeling all the time. So for the moments I can’t see or feel my own truth, I thank God I have people in my life who love me so much and are willing to show me, through their eyes, just how beautiful I am.

So I invite you to look through the eyes of someone who loves you the next time you don’t feel so good about yourself and think of the One Direction song that got it right…
“If only you saw what I can see.
You’d understand why I want you so desperately.
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know oh-oh.
You don’t know you’re beautiful.”

Share with someone who needs to see their beauty through your loving eyes!

Love & Healing♥

Sister of My Soul

IMG_0295You may cut me with your stares,
You may shoot me with your words,
You may destroy me with your disbelief,
But I will still stand,
For in my soul there is courage,
In my soul there lies joy and faith and love.

The same love that is within you,
The love you ignore as you laugh at my falls,
Or throw lies at my story.

The same love that will bring you to stand with me,
when your soul is ready.

As I stand here as 1,
I thank you still for being my lesson.
For being my growth,
For filling my being with power so that I can keep moving forward.

As I stand here I am grateful still that I can see clearly
Feel infinitely and speak lovingly.
That you are me and I am you.

I see your fire burning to set a blaze upon the world.
I feel your love even from behind the masks of falseness.
I see your light hidden behind darkness and negativity.
I see your courage bleeding through your heart hoping to be seen.

As I stand with patience in my heart and love in my hands
I ask you to stand,
I ask you to smile,
I ask you to be vulnerable,
I ask you to be brave,
To come and hold my love,
So that I can stand here no longer alone… but as part of a sisterhood.

For you have the ability to dry my tears even through the phone,
The ability to wrap me with confidence even from a distance,
The ability to heal the deepest part of my open wounds with your kindness,
This potential lies within every girl, every lady and every woman,
To love whole hearted,
To accept without judgment,
To heal with just the presence of your light.

For you have the ability to speak to my soul, my sister.

Love is My Truth

There was a time when fear ruled my heart,
There was a time I thought laughing about your weaknesses was good thing.

I am wiser now.
I know my truth now.
I am love and love doesn’t do those things.

There was a time when fear held me back from communicating,
There was a time when I thought standing up for myself was too exhausting,
When silence became the best option.

I am wiser now.
I know my truth now.
I am love and love doesn’t do those things.

There was a time when fear was considered good, “makes a person stronger,”
There was a time when yelling was the only way of being heard,
When being alone was all I thought I needed.

I am wiser now.
I know my truth now.
I am love and love doesn’t do those things.

There was a time when lying about my feelings would make you like me,
There was a time when accepting my own needs seemed selfish,
When comforting you seemed like the best choice.

I am wiser now.
I know my truth now.
I am love and love doesn’t do those things.

Love is my voice.
Love is my truth.
Love is me.

Here’s to 10 years of Healing … Together


Maybe because my big 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up or all my single 20-something cousins are constantly being bombarded with questions of marriage, or most of my clients have been talking about their own marriages, but one thing is clear, Marriage is the topic of the week.

Most people are expressing the opinion, people get married too young. I can’t help but ask, “is it that they are too young, or that they don’t really know who they are?”

I know people who are 23, completely self-aware and know their boundaries and I know people who are 40 and still discovering themselves. The point is not of age, but on self-knowledge. If I don’t know what I will and won’t stand for, my own likes and dislikes, how can I possibly expect to understand someone else’s?

Better yet, if I am not acknowledging my own needs, wants, goals, dreams, can another person really be the key to my  happiness, and thanks to Jerry Maguire, expected to “complete me”?

My story started out as a confident, independent, bubbly 23 year old, who knew one thing for sure, I did not want to get married and I did not want to have children.

Well the universe had different plans in store and sent Rik, into my life. It felt like, instant humor, instant love, and instant marriage, too busy having fun to realize the depth of what it all meant.

Reality hit when we moved in together and it was truly like Venus meet Mars! I just had never experienced this much intimacy with a guy before. Every-day you will be here? I will see you, think of you, talk to you… 24 hours a day? I don’t know if I can handle that much of my own self.

Even as I signed away the rights to my middle name, (formerly my father’s first name, now to be replaced as my husband’s first name) burning tears streamed down my face. This drama was my ego’s way of trying to hold on to the little self-dignity I did have. It didn’t matter if my name were changing to Phila-Lemon Patel that day, it didn’t change the fact that I didn’t know what I wanted, who I was or what my boundaries were.

At some point in our marriage, together, we realized we were both lost kids, trying to find our place in the world. I’m grateful because it made me realize that, no, we don’t need to break up because his socks are all over the bedroom and closet floor. No the D word (divorce) doesn’t need to be addressed every time he doesn’t follow the grocery list exactly. And no, bathroom hygiene is not a cause for separation.

Although, can we just take a moment to thank the Home Building Gods for creating his and hers sinks, which I’m pretty sure extended my marriage by a few more years!

Finding that thin line between bringing up things that need to be worked on without succumbing to the D word has been the stepping stone of my marriage. That and the presence of love.

Not just the love we feel as humans for all living things, but also the kind where his words make my heart smile, his voice brings joy to my soul, and his touch still sends shivers down my spine! That feeling that no one else will possibly do.

In case you didn’t get it, let me state, my marriage is far from perfect. My husband has slept in our guest room for months, we’ve done silent treatments for days, screaming fits for hours and I’ve even had tacos thrown at me, and for a man that loves his food… that’s saying a lot! I’m grateful that through it we ended up finding our selves, finding our own boundaries, and finding out why we are still together: love, faith, communication and hard work!

1. Always Have Faith.

My husband more than me kept faith that we will always be together. Even from what seemed to be rock bottom with no light shining in, he had faith we’d climb out to the top… together.

Without faith there’s no reason to really keep going, if there’s no belief that the marriage will last than why try? I’ve learned that yes, one person can hold the faith for a relationship, maybe temporarily, but its like a flame, it will burn until it uses up the last of its fuel, then it must go out. One person holding the faith is still burning that fire.

2. He Can’t Read Minds.

When you put a guy who doesn’t volunteer information unless asked and a girl who is constantly trying to people please without being asked, there’s a whole-lot of hoping the other person will ‘just know’ what you need. True story, no one is that consistently great of a mind reader.

So we learned to actually talk! Even little things like, I am feeling tired so I may get irritable, it has nothing to do with you. Even saying come home early today, I really need a hug. If you want to pick me up some flowers on your way home, I’d be ok with that!

Where’s the spontaneity? When the communication lines are open, it opens the door for spontaneity, fun, and more love!

In the beginning of climbing out of rock bottom we had to say every thing that was on our minds with the voice of our heart. (I don’t think this stage is ever really over, it’s the definition of honest communication).

3. Its Work.

No one wants to open Pandora’s box or that messy drawer in the kitchen, because you don’t know what you’ll find. But without bringing up the suppressed feelings, the deep cuts, I couldn’t have possibly found peace or freedom in myself or in my relationship.

For without feeling sadness you cannot feel true joy, without fear there is no courage, without grief there’s not undeniable love. All of which requires your time, effort, tears, and vulnerability. Everyday you work to fight your ego and say what you feel anyway.

You do this to clean your energy, your self, your relationship and your karma. You do this to heal together. I’m lucky, its working for me, and I guess I have my ego to thank for that, because as my best friend pointed out, I stayed through the drama, the tears and the nasty spats because it was a little less than the pain I was causing myself. I’m lucky that my husband was going through the same thing. I’m lucky he wanted to heal. I’m lucky he wanted to redefine our marriage too.

My marriage will always be a work in progress, otherwise what’s the point. But one thing I know for sure, I wouldn’t be living, loving, doing, growing if it wasn’t for him and his faith in me to be able to heal together.

Let Your Wild Heart Soar


“Mommy, you should give it to me because I’m fabulous!” –Naya Patel

I don’t even remember what we were talking about or what she was asking for; all I could think as she said this was “that’s right girlfriend, Preach!”

Of course my daughter should be growing up knowing she’s fabulous; that she deserves the good things in life; that birds and mice come and get her ready with ribbons of love in the morning. Ok the last part is obviously a Cinderella fairytale, but why not.

I grew up unsure of how good I was. I grew up questioning every decision I made, sometimes 3-4 times. Constantly worrying about what people thought of me and never speaking up for myself. As a result I had a massive fear of confrontation.

It took me years to put my fears aside, to finally know my worth, and speak up more. I realized I actually love debates, and am unafraid to give my opinion on a subject, assertively and confidently…now, after all these years.

I am so grateful that my daughter knows who she is from the time she was born. My heart smiles thinking about all the years she’ll save trying to find herself, her worth, her purpose. I have faith I will be able to preserve this beautiful self-awareness in her, because I believe I can honor my own self-worth, self-acceptance and self-confidence!

In the end, we are all wild hearted beings that just want to let loose, be free, fun and fabulous! Here’s 3 ways we all can all preserve our wild hearts and shine the light for others!

1. Saying “YES”

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but for some reason “No” is usually the first to come out. Maybe because we just react, rather than taking a deep breath and asking, “heck why not?”

In our house, tent parties in our bedroom, painting with our hands, dance parties on kitchen counters, and riding our bikes around the house on rainy days, would never happen, if I hadn’t said Yes!

Saying yes, has been… FUN! Like literally I have a fantastic time. Saying yes has also calmed my controlling mind and freed me from the pressure of being “perfect.” The pressure of keeping them protected and clean, having good manners and being… tame.

I’m trying to keep them TAME!?! When all I want to do is run out in the rain and dance, to jump in the swimming pool fully clothed, to have a food fight…in a park (there are some things I still won’t allow in the house 😉

Saying yes, makes my wild heart soar!

2. Speaking with Respect

Sometimes my girls whine and nag, and repeat! On my already tired days, I yearn so bad for peace and quiet and may even find myself wanting to scream “BE QUIETTTT!!!”

Then I take a deep breath and realize, if my best friend was doing this what would I say to her. I’d say, “Hey girl, I’m beat. I really just wanna chillax. And from all the sounds you’re making, it seems like your day has been pretty exhausting too. So lets find something we can do quietly, together. “ (ok the last part is reserved for my kids to understand, to my bff I’d say “lets just make like celery and veg out ;))

This response puts me in a peaceful state of being and allows me to know my own potential; I can be calm and not bitchy? This logical reaction is simple and yet enormously affects my self-respect and respect for others.

When people feel respected, they feel supported and capable of doing things they never thought possible. Capable of commanding a room. Capable of rock climbing up the highest mountain. Capable of speaking in front of 1000 people.

If you can’t speak with respect on the simple things, then how do you expect to do it on the bigger issues.

3. Come Back to Love 

When all else fails, remember to come back to telling myself and everyone I care for, how much I genuinely love them. Sounds simple enough.

However, the other day the most horrible thing happened. I was putting my babies to bed, and realized I hadn’t REALLY hugged them all day

Sure, we say “I love you” and kiss them, when they go to school, or when we leave for work. I mean to really take the time to look at them and hug them, and make them feel like you love them to the moon and back 8 times over.

Telling them “I am the luckiest person in the world that they chose me as their momma.” Telling them “I am wonderfully free because, I learned it by watching you.” In telling them, I am reminding myself, I am loved, I am grateful, I am joy, and that I can always come back to love!

Of course these things aren’t easy to do, and take it from me, your ego will fight you every step of the way, but they are simple. Simple, yet profound. A simple yes can make a person feel fabulous, A calm response can make a person feel respected. Words of gratitude or hugs and cuddles can make a person feel loved…sometimes that person is you. A wild hearted, untamed soul, needing to take flight!