Hey family! How are you? I hope you have had an awesome week! And if you haven’t, well don’t lose hope, because the sunshine will come back! I promise!
I want to share some things that have happened to me over the past several weeks. From pitfalls in the storms of life to finding the sun shining again.
Since my birthday on the 21st, I have dealt with a lot of firsts through the grieving process of my mom. It was my first birthday without her calling me.
Then 8 days later on the 29th, it would have been my mom’s 55th birthday. 🙁
In between those days, it was cloudy and rainy.
(I wrote about my mom’s passing here and how Qigong has helped me with grieving the loss of my mother among other things.)
It was even raining days before the 21st. I had forgotten about this rainbow we just happened to catch on the 18th as well as these beautiful flowers! I didn’t realize it then, but that was God’s way of reminding me to think of His promises and to look on the bright side because I would need those reminders in the coming days.
A Rainbow Reminder & Pink Flowers
Not getting a phone call from my mom was hard, however, despite that, I was determined to make it a great day. I worked out, I trained, I did a webinar and looked forward to some of the fun and free outdoorsy things that weekend.
But then no one got me anything for my birthday, no birthday dinner, nada. Jaya didn’t even make me a card like she normally does and my brother almost forgot to call me.
And if that wasn’t enough to give someone the birthday blues, my grandparents decided to go visit my Uncle Bobbie on my birthday weekend who they just saw over the Summer, versus coming to see us. We haven’t seen them since my mom’s funeral in January.
I felt rather isolated and not very appreciated or respected by the people that say they love me. I’m not one of those gals that need a bunch of presents or an expensive trip, but there is something to be said about people letting you know they love you and appreciate you were created by spending time with you, speaking life over you or making you something, etc.
A big thank you to those that did give me a birthday shoutout whether online, via the phone or via a hug in person, it definitely lifted my spirits! 🙂
I think what was harder than not being able to talk to my mom, was that my dad decided not to call me because he had bad news and said he didn’t want to ruin my day. I told him that he couldn’t ruin my day and that I would have rather have heard his voice and the news so I could have prayed for him sooner. He found out he may have cancer. We are still waiting for blood work to find out…
So if you are the praying type, please keep my dad in your prayers and thank you in advance prayer warriors!
Though a lot did not go as planned, we decided to laugh and find the good in the day. I also found a cute spider waiting to say hello to me before I left Enter Shaolin to head home. Seeing I’ve never thought a spider was cute until then, I thought that was a gift in itself and had to take a picture. I also released the spider to a much safer place than hanging out on my car. 😉
Say hello to my cute little spider friend!
Jaya and I also took some pictures to mark my 37th day of life, to spread peace (the 21st of Sept. is also the International Day of Peace) and to laugh and be silly. Enjoy!
37th Birthday Peace, Love, Laughter & Reflection:
The next day we went to a free Green Day Festival, it was a rain or shine event. It was raining, but we brought the shine! 😉
We got to meet some alpacas, do some crafting, find out about local clubs and organizations and Jaya got to try her hand in archery. We decided we both want to take lessons. Now we just have to get some extra funds for gear and lessons and we will be set! A mother-daughter archery duo coming soon!
Our Alpaca Buddies & Jaya Trying Archery:
We went to church that evening ready to pray up a storm for my dad and get some clarity and we certainly did. 🙂
I was reminded of a time last year when I was in a waiting room, waiting to hear back on benefits my ex-husband tried to steal from my daughter. I was praying for the outcome when something came over me to write a letter to God.
In that letter, I thanked Him for everything, even simply waking me up that morning and I thanked Him for everything I had hoped would happen from that meeting as if it already happened.
Once I was done, I kept re-reading what I had written feeling more and more gratitude, love and happiness as I did.
Not only did everything I wrote happen… It was more than I could have imagined and it helped us so much over the next year. It helped us get our own place which we hadn’t had since moving to NJ back in the Summer or 2013, it allowed me to help my mom in what I didn’t know would be one of my last times to do so and to help my family put my mom to rest.
But why did I forget that powerful exercise I was inspired to do? Why hadn’t I written like that since? I am still not sure why, but I was happy to have been reminded of it and decided to do start writing my gratitude notes each Shabbat.
That night after church, I went home and started to prepare for an adventure the next day.
The one thing I had planned for myself as a birthday celebration was a free wild edible walk in the woods, however, it got canceled due to the stormy weather.
Each year besides reflecting on the past year of my life, what went well, what to improve, etc. I always plan something to lift me up whether learning something new, exercising, training, spending time in nature, etc.
I was hoping to learn some new wild edibles and make some new friends. I was also excited to be able to try a wild edible that has been eluding me since I have started learning about wild edibles back in 2009. The wild edible I am speaking of is called the paw paw (Asimina triloba).
I decided to be proactive after it was canceled and find out if it would be rescheduled and also said how excited I was to get to try some paw paw for my birthday. The host contacted me back and said the event most likely wouldn’t be rescheduled, however, she had plenty of paw paw and would be glad to share and have us come over to try some.
Thank you, Pat!
It was one of those moments that proved it never hurts to ask! And I totally stepped out of my introverted comfort zone in doing so, and it was so worth it!
A Paw Paw Tree, More Paw Paws & Me:
My daughter Jaya and I trecked out on a stormy Sunday to make a new friend and try some paw paws which were everything I have heard they were and then some! Plus we got a little history about the Old Pine Farm that has frequent outdoorsy types of events and Pat also sent us home with some paw paws! Bonus!
It truly is the simple things that bring so much joy. 🙂
The rest of the week the rain kept at it, and during that time I made sure to stay eating healthy, to stay working out and doing my training, to stay spiritually nourished and connected. If I wouldn’t have, I am not sure I would have made it through mentally as the firsts were not done with me just yet!
The above was just some of what I happened, we had a lot more hurdles to face, but we faced them with peace, love & laughter and yeah some tears & doubts too! 🙂
I discovered several things the week before and day of my mom’s birthday that made me think of her. One was a new take on an old print Pyrex did, that happened to be similar to the dish set we had growing up, which was the Corelle butterfly gold print. I bought two.
Another Jaya found when we were at the local health food store which was a vegan candy bar called a Buccaneer. It reminded her of her Grandma Kim, because my mom loved watching The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football. So I bought it for us to share. 🙂
Finding Comfort In Familiar Things:
I did not know what to expect on my mom’s first birthday gone from this Earth, it had been a wild ride of a week! Every death I have witnessed or even ones of those I have never met, makes me realize how fragile this life is, how we are not promised our next breath or moment.
It makes me want to make each day the best I can make it, to give every moment all I can, to do my best not to waste one second.
However, the night before I cried out to God. I feel so alone and also frustrated because my mom’s death was completely avoidable. But after that rough evening and roller coaster of a week, I awoke on the 29th to one of the most beautiful sunny days than I have seen in a while.
I felt this sense of renewed purpose, surrounded by a warmth of love and in that moment I knew the One Above All had not forgotten me and my mom was truly at peace and all would work out for the greater good of all.
I heard the birds chirping with enthusiasm and gratitude. I knew in those few moments that, I would survive all of this and not only that it would make me stronger, more compassionate and able to help others through the grieving process to heal faster.
I had a great bonding moment with my daughter Jaya after she was feeling not worthy of being here and sharing how she is meant for victory, she was a surprise not a mistake (she’s been asking if she was an accident or mistake lately) and how what her dad did not only isn’t her fault, it also doesn’t have to define her.
Celebrating My Mom aka Grandma Kim:
We went to church that evening, it was a great time of worship and communion. A great way to spend my mom’s birthday. The visiting pastor whom I never met before and had no idea what the previous week or even this past year had held for me, said a few words to me that was the biggest gift of all.
At the end of the evening, Pastor Michael said, “Jamie, every time I looked over to you, I keep hearing the Holy Spirit say, well done, well done. Does that mean anything to you?”
I started to tear up and said, “That means more than you could ever know.” I can’t tell you how many times over the past several months especially, I have said that I just want to hear my Heavenly Father say, well done.
The struggles I’ve shared with you in various posts are just some of what has been going on. I share because I want people to know they aren’t alone and that we can find peace among the storms of life.
There’s a lot more to share and when I can I will do so.
The past few weeks have shown me that despite me feeling inadequate and so not worthy, the One that created me sees me in a different light.
It makes me wonder how many others feel the same as I have and how much it hinders us from living our greatest life. Not feeling worthy aka feeling worthless, unloved, not good enough, lack of self-esteem, etc. are diseases… Meaning they hurt us, they hinder us, but the good news is there are cures and healing can happen and indeed we can overcome these diseases.
We can choose to find the silver lining, to laugh, to forgive, to love, to find peace among the storms.
It starts with us literally choosing to reprogram ourselves from the lies others have spoken over us as well as the lies we have told ourselves.
It starts with self-care, taking care of ourselves mind, body and spirit. We can’t change how others see us or what has happened to us in our past, but we can change how we see ourselves and how those past moments define us.
We can change what we do, what we think and how we show up in this world.
There’s a lot more to share on this subject and more firsts in this grieving process that I experienced the past several weeks. I will share more in Part II next week.
But what about you? Have you been grieving? Have you been feeling unworthy? And if so, have you healed and overcome from these or are you feeling stuck? What has helped you or what is hindering you?
Comment in the comments section below and let us know how you are and if there is anything we can do to help you on your healing journey.
If you would like to talk in private, give us a call at 1-844-9-KUNGFU or email us here.
You are not alone and there is a silver lining, there is hope and there is good, you just have to look for it & find it. 🙂
What’s new this week?
We had another great webinar this week. I hope you take the time to watch these or even just listen. They are a great resource and learning tool for all.
WATCH | Kung Fu Training & Tips Q&A
For those that have been paying attention, you know we are starting to add The Five Animals on Patreon.
We asked Sifu Phu to do a shorter lesson to give you a taste of what you can learn more in-depth when you sign up for the $10/mo or more to become a Patron.
WATCH | Shaolin 5 Animals | Crane Wing Cut Technique
You can access the full lesson here: www.entershaolin.com/Patreon
Your support helps us get one step closer to being able to make DVDs as well as get the equipment to have our seminars live-streamed. In exchange, you get our gratitude, a shoutout and some more great training you won’t find anywhere else!
To help us, help you more, become a Patron here:
Thank you to our new Patrons Cosmo and Scott for helping us and helping themselves get access to more training tools. Thank you to Corey for upping your pledge from $5 to $10 to get access to the Five Animals training.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for. 😉
Now on to your training…
What’s New In The Training Hall This Week:
(ACCESS LEVEL: Junior, Senior & Abbot)
Ngo Dac Na
Blessings & Happy Training,
Sije Jamie Pelaez
& The Enter Shaolin Family
P.S. We have 22 tickets left for the Seminar coming up. Click here to get all the details and reserve your spot!
KAM T says
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in “Finding Peace In The Storms of Life”. Your situation is hardly unique. I know of many fine people with even worst family problems. One thing they all wanted was knowing someone care about them by reaching out with a phone call or even just a text message. But as you can already guess, life is full of disappointment because no one ever called or text.
It is my opinion that acceptance must happens before happiness and inner peace could emerge. No one can give others true happiness. Happiness and peace don’t belong to anyone so no one can give them. Acceptance is allowing everyone to do what they naturally must do or do nothing. I know this is not what you want to hear but in the end everyone must do what they have to do.
Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Hey Kam, what I shared wasn’t about having a unique situation or not, it also wasn’t a woah is me piece. I am not sure you read all of it as it seems you may have missed the point. As I said, I can’t share everything that is going on right now due to the sensitive nature right now. I wish this was all I was dealing with right now and even with the more, obviously there are people that have been through worse. There’s always someone who can trump another’s story. It’s not about that or who has it worse.
Rather it’s about finding your silver lining and looking for the good and sometimes even creating the good in the storms of life. Happiness doesn’t come from anyone but inside of us. I thought I made that pretty clear. Sorry if I didn’t.
If you have been following us for any amount of time, then you would know I am all about fighting adversity, the storms of life and prevailing despite the odds (these tenets are why Enter Shaolin exists).
I share snippets of my life to inspire people that they aren’t alone in their pain or struggles, that it doesn’t have to be the end of them and there is a way past the pain and a way to use that pain for good. 🙂
Scott H says
Hi Jamie.. ☺️ I can relate. I lost my grandpa in 1999 while stationed at Eglin AFB Florida. He was and still is my everything. It’s my dad’s father. I’ve grown alot since then. Had two small boys and one on the way. Went through a divorce, being medically retired from the Air Force after 16 years.. Etc.. I’ve learned that trusting in God has brought me so much peace and happiness. I still have my moments.. The flesh is weak. My two older boys are all grown up but have many struggles. My 17 year old has brought many challenges but at 47 years old I stay positive and follow Gods light. So much more to say. Maybe sometime I’ll call you and we can talk. Take care and God bless you and your daughter. Your a very strong woman.. Till next time.. Peace.. ☺️.. Scott Hall
Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Indeed brother, trusting in Him and the process brings so much peace and happiness. And I bet you still have your moments, we are human! I know in my grieving process with my son that I have had many moments of healing as well as reality checks that there is still more healing to go! I’d love to chat brother. Stay strong and keep your eyes on Him. He will guide the way. God bless you, Scott! Shalom!
Ron B says
Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational!
Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Thank you Ron! 🙂
Stuart R says
Hi Jamie, thanks for your openness, this is the kind of sharing that touches other hearts, it did mine. Prayed for you, your daughter and of course your father.
Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Thank you brother, I am glad my openness has touched your heart. And thank you for the prayers, so appreciated! Blessings to you & yours. 🙂
Hi I come fro a big family & were bought up with these words, ” when someone dies & moves on, we should cry a little, laugh a lot, remember the good & bad times, smile thinking…… for they are at peace now I must carry on and help all those who need me……peace & happiness to you both thanks Michael xx
Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Hey Michael, absolutely! I am a big proponent of all of that. Many try to avoid the bad times, but I believe the greatest way to honour a loved one who has moved on is to learn not just from the good moments but also the not so great ones too. Indeed we can help more people by doing so. 🙂 Peace and blessings brother!
Fraser D says
Those who have passed on in faith are now part of the “cloud of witnesses” who watch and pray for us as we run our race. They are finally at home although we are separated for a time.
Yes, I definitely find that getting older means we have the ability to look more critically at ourselves and our actions. That means sometimes we’re not too happy with ourselves over our actions or progress from past years. Thank you for helping me to move to a more positive frame of mind. The dissatisfaction with my faults and failures can then be a reason to move forward and change things up, instead of a wall holding me back!
Sifu Larry Rivera & Sije Jamie Pelaez says
Hey Fraser, indeed they are! I’ve always been introspective even as a little girl. I’ve also always been called an old soul. Something to that, I think… 😉
The key is to not get upset, but rather to just simply get honest. Could you have made better choices, did you really give your all, etc. And then figuring out what could you have done better, what does giving your all look like and how can you learn from these moments to better yourself and help others.
Turn the dissatisfaction into inspiration. You got this!