Hugs from Beyond

My Grandfather passed away the year I met my husband.  And just like that the relationship was reincarnated.  Read about that here:  A Lesson in Value

Here’s a moment in my life I hold very close to my heart.

When I was about 1 years old, my Dada (that’s what I call him) came to live with us.  At first it was just a visit, but I missed him so much when he left that he ended up coming back and never leaving.  That decision changed my life forever.

Growing up with Dada was such a blessing.  He was calm and collected, intelligent, full of stories, and a gentle soul.  From him I learned the art of forgiveness, and letting things go.  He had unconditional love for us, and no matter who came to him for help and advice, he was always willing to help.  That’s how I learned about compassion.  Dada was an astrologer and a damn good one.  He’s never been wrong.  And just a few weeks before he passed away he said something to me that changed the course of my life.

Now Dada had always given me sound advice, and he seemed to always know what was going to happen in my life.  By the time I was in my teenage years I had come to blindly trust him.  He had never failed to warn me of money pits, accidents, no good people, etc.  So that day when I went to visit him after work was no different.  I sat and asked how he was feeling.  I scratched his back for him and held his hand while we just sat and talked about my day, just the way he used to hold my hand when I was sick.  I told him he needed to hang on until I got married and had kids.  I needed him in my life.  I was feeling so lost and alone.  He was in the hospital for an extended time and my routine at home was turned upside down.  The times in the evenings when we used to sit and joke around had turned into quiet evenings alone, waiting for my parents to come home.  I missed him in a way I’d never felt before.  He had warned me several times that his time was coming.  I couldn’t accept it.  I foolishly, perhaps naively,  relied on the doctors to turn him back into the Dada that I grew up with.

So that day, I asked him for a final piece of advice.  I asked him to tell me everything I needed to know.  I knew that from the day I was born he had made my astro charts and he knew all along what would become of me, and as I grew and matured he would give me little nuggets of information that would help me along my path. I was asking him for guidance.

He squeezed my hand, and told me that he wouldn’t “physically” be at my wedding.  Tears filled my eyes as I squeezed his hand back and nodded, accepting the information.

“You’ll be married by 26, don’t worry.”

“But how?  There isn’t even a man in my life right now.”  I frowned wondering who on Earth was going to come into my life and sweep me off my feet in a matter of 11 months, at which point I would turn 26.

“He’ll be tall and good looking, educated, and from a good family.  Don’t worry you’re a very lucky person, you have all good things in your future.”  He went on to vaguely describe light colored eyes and an unusual last name.

I asked Dada how I would meet this man, and he told me when he figured it out he would tell me.

He also told me that I would go back to school for another degree and really help people.  He said I’d be like a doctor.  I took all this information and put it in my pocket.  A month later, he passed, just the way he said he would.  With my mom by his side and peacefully.  It all happened the way it was supposed to.  I wasn’t supposed to be there, and so like he had foretold, I got stuck at a meeting for work and instead of going straight to the hospital, came home to meet my parents.  I vaguely remember walking into the house and my dad telling me “Dada is no more”  and I hit the floor.  My muscles just gave out and an invisible hand violently snatched my heart from my body.  My cousins were all around me and my dad was hugging me and I just remember saying “No” over and over again.

The day of his funeral, I had a dream.  I couldn’t see him but I could feel him.  Even the things he said to me, I couldn’t hear them, but I could feel them.  He told me to get on a matrimonial site that I hadn’t had luck with before.  I even protested in my dream.  He insisted that I needed to do this now or my life would take a different path, and one that wasn’t intended for me.  I woke up confused and crying.  Despite the confusion, I ran to my laptop in the middle of the night and through tears and choked sobs I put up my profile on shaadi.com.

It was only a week later that I saw the profile of a mysterious looking man with kind, light colored eyes.  Within a few months I was engaged to be married and happier than I could imagine.  I now knew the meaning of soul mate and true love.  Everything my grandfather told me came true.  And he kept his promise, as soon as he knew how I was going to meet my husband, he told me.  I know without a doubt that if I had never had that dream I wouldn’t have put my profile up.  I had such bad luck with matrimonial sites in the past, that I wasn’t willing to take that chance again, but how could I ignore a message from beyond?!

This past Saturday was my Grandfather’s birthday and in his memory each year we go out to eat.  That was his thing, for birthdays and death-days we would all go out and eat in honor of that person.  To keep his tradition alive, my husband and I go out on birthdays and death-days as well.  Typically my parents will go out at the same time and I spend dinner on the phone with them as we remember and share favorite stories. We keep it small and intimate and it always feels like such a special occasion.  Like we’re really honoring him and everything he contributed to our family.

I love to remember him and share stories with my husband about him.  Jayesh tells me that he feels like he knows Dada as if he grew up with him too.  I’m so excited to share this tradition with my son.

As for the other predictions, I did end up going back to school and as a hairdresser I help people by listening to them and being a friend to confide in, and by making them feel good about themselves.  As for the doctor part, well I do a lot of that for my family.  With all the prior experience and the education I’ve received, I’m blessed to be able to decipher medical reports and interpret diagnostic images for my family.

Dada, you changed my life, and even after you’ve moved on to your next life, you continue to inspire and motivate.  I thank God for the time we had together.  I feel you when you’re around, and your wisdom resonates in our lives.

I wanted to share this to honor his memory.  This is the story I remembered when we were celebrating this weekend.  Do any of you have personal traditions that you keep?  If you don’t, I think it’s a wonderful thing to share with those closest to you.  I hope to pass this on to my children and perhaps they’ll find positivity on a day that would normally bring feelings of sadness.

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Throwing Starfish

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked,
“What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make much of a difference.”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said…
“I made a difference for that one.”

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I heard this some time ago and have held it close to my heart ever since.  It’s a nice philosophy to apply to one’s life.  Each one of us wants to make a difference, but where do we start?  It’s so overwhelming to think about ending world hunger or finding shelter for the homeless.  But we are all compelled to try and do something.  Not everyone has the time to start an organization, raise funds, and go build houses in a third world.  Many of us can hardly make ends meet ourselves so how could we possibly spare a donation to a charity?

This is only my opinion, but I think it starts on a smaller scale.  Think of the tiny pebble that creates giant ripples in water.

Here’s my idea, it’s not a new one, but perhaps a forgotten one:

Be kind.  Just be kind to people.  It puts them in a good mood, which in turn allows them to be kind to another person.  Passing it forward in a way.  Just like gossip spreads as fast as the flu, so can kindness, if people did it.

So make it a habit to be kind, stop judging, lend a helping hand, and put the people around you in a good mood.  Spread that positive energy and eventually it will reach the people who do have the money or platform to do something huge.  And then, you will have made a difference at a larger scale.  Even at a smaller scale, you can brighten a person’s day and change their whole day around.  It could be the worst day possible for them, maybe they got some bad news, and then your bright smile and kind attitude just flipped that right around.

If you could imagine love and kindness as a way to communicate, it is a language that all can understand, the deaf can hear it, the blind can see it.

Being kind is infectious and so good for you.  Studies have shown that being positive and happy significantly improves health.  Kindness breeds more kindness.  So get out there and spread that love that you have inside of you.

Be forgiving and understanding at the times when people really test you.  This isn’t an easy task, people can be skeptics and sometimes they question kindness.  They wonder, what’s the catch?  Are there strings attached?  It is a sad thing to admit, but we immediately jump to the negative or cynical answer.  There will also be the people who get defensive when you are thoughtful towards them.  Say you give them some helpful advice or just offer your help in some way and they jump to a defense and treat you as if you were questioning their decisions or beliefs, don’t fret, their problem is deeper than you need to worry about. Just continue on your path.  There’s a fine line.  You do what you can to spread positivity-you are responsible for your actions, not the other person’s perception.

If any of this happens on your quest to kindness, don’t be discouraged.  Be persistent.  Ignore the people who want to bring you down or hold you back and continue on your goal.  Remember to love these people no matter what, and with consistency comes belief.  They will believe in you once you prove that this kindness and love is real and honest.  And really, you can’t win them all, but you can try your hardest!

I encourage all of you to think back to a time when a stranger was really nice to you.  Think about when someone helped you out and to no benefit of their own.  How did that make you feel?  Special?  Loved?  Happy?  Do that for someone else.  It’s time to make a difference, one starfish at a time.

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You have the power…

Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.

This was said by Mahatma Gandhi.  I read it on my friend’s facebook and it hit me in a good way.  A few years back there were things I thought I couldn’t do and flash forward to now and I’m doing them.

  • I am a mother and wife
  • I live in a beautiful home
  • I run my own business
  • I sew
  • I crochet
  • I color, highlight, and cut people’s hair into a miracle
  • I transform people with makeup
  • I have an amazing supportive family
  • I have friends that love me
  • I am HAPPY everyday

These are all things I thought I couldn’t do or couldn’t have.  Make a list of your accomplishments.  When I do this, it reminds me that I am capable of many things and I shouldn’t let my insecurity or doubt get in my way.  I encourage you guys to think of something you think you “can’t do” and DO IT.  You just might surprise yourself.  If you ever feel a doubt just remind yourself of everything you’ve already accomplished.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  I believe in you 🙂

When I was in middle school, my principal would say every morning on the announcements – “Have a super, fantastic, wonderful day.  You have the power within you to make it so.  It’s up to you.”

I heard that everyday for almost 3 years and never thought twice about it.  Now at almost 30 years old I apply it to my life each day-wisdom doesn’t always come in shiny packages.