Tag Archives: Personal Stories

words on life

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

cristina carlinodid you have a special diary when you were young girl?  can you still see its perfect color and remember how  it felt to clasp the shiny lock shut, knowing  your most sacred secrets  could stay safe in a world where only you held the key?    years go by and our deep secrets secured may no longer be so safe for our souls and health to hold onto.   our self expression grows.  our need to be intimate with ourselves and others blossoms.   the feelings and memories once of excruciating  significance have birthed and rebirthed a thousand times over.

i don’t remember having a special diary when i was a young girl and i have not kept  an actual journal  (before i published  “the changing room”, )  but i have never stopped writing my thoughts and feelings and memories of my moments in time on notebooks and notepads and napkins, love letters , poems  and photographs and pretty much anything I could get words onto.  wherever my words have landed, they all have one thing in common.  they are the mirror that sees through me.

i see now that our lives are our living journals.   everything we touch.  when i listen to all the songs or poems  i have written  each one chronicles the “me” i was at the time  in my life when i wrote it and the perceptions that were only as valid as my age would allow them to be. there are the canvases  we have painted; a party dress sewn, videos we have taken on  our travels and a recording  of the voices of our grandparents we taped at a backyard picnic.  there’s  the journaling visible in the beautiful growing faces of our children, the eternal memory  of a laugh that  traveled the distance between ourselves and a  forever faithful friend and a rose bush we planted one spring  in our garden.   each journal entry is a mark or a question mark on our path.   and so are the expressions of others for us.   that one day my poems would be included on bottles  of product that millions of women and men would see daily  never could have crossed my imagination back before i created my skincare companies.   and we never know what tomorrow may bring.

today i am discovering a song i wrote about 18 months after i sold philosophy.    the song captures me as a then neglected woman and an overworked mama.

it is called “hands and knees” and is  posted for listening to  on my facebook  page.  and  i will tell you more about the time it  journals in my next blog.  like all of our journals, it was a prelude for me of what was to come next.

may we find our diaries of yesterday  and keep our journals from today,  if we wish,  to look back on who we were without  self judgment and always move forward with more love.   grow, grow and then live some more.  this is what we are here for.

i would love to know what is your life journaling today?   where is your word, your touch making its lovely mark?

peace and blessings

cristina

remembering our heroes (and the night i met springsteen!)

 

cristina carlino and bruce springsteen

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

i do not easily go baby gaga over spotting a celebrity in a crowd, but last week i attended the ReMIND.org  “stand up for heroes”  fundraising event  in new york and i confess.  the stars were out and i was struck.  not by the ones who first walked the red carpet, but by the super heroes who weren’t visible and whose presence filled the heart and soul of the room.  they are our nation’s men and women who  have  served our country since 2001 in iraq and afghanistan and returned  home physically, emotionally and mentally injured.  and far too often forgotten.  the numbers are staggering.   bob woodruff founded the bob woodruff foundation with his wife, lee after he endured a brain injury as a result of an exploded bomb while on news assignment news in iraq. at the top of the evening bob called out the names from the stage of a select group of heroes in the audience.  many names were called. only half stood up because the rest could not.  the applause for these selfless souls filled the room and filled every cell of my grateful body.

and then bruce springsteen came up to the stage.  pure and poised and strong.  and because i am a songwriter and he is my musical gold standard. and  because i have taught my young daughter to see him as the gold standard.  and because he is both a legendary artist and an american hero .  and because i am a warm, breathing , beating heart; during his performance i felt like i was running on a  treadmill on high incline.  and then time stood still.  bruce began to sing a duet with his wife, patti, written for their wedding.   it’s called “should i fall behind.”

“now everyone dreams of love lasting and true,
but you and i know what this world can do,
so let’s make our steps clear so the other may see,
and i’ll wait for you,
should i fall behind, wait for me.”

as they sang, his acoustic guitar glistened.  her hair fell shiny, pretty and red.  the lyrics lifted me not only because they spoke of the love story of their remarkable marriage, but also and equally to the message of the evening.  we must be there for each other.  “i’ll wait for you, wait for me.”

words i imagined these warriors may well have said to each other many times at night out in the field while they were fighting for my freedom and i was snuggled safe and warm in my bed.  all of the stars.  all of the unidentified.

later, bob and lee introduced me to bruce and patti. they shook my hand and looked gratefully into my eyes.  i was awed by their dedication to our war heroes and by their humility.  i was speechless and fumbling for my words when i did finally speak. all i remember is telling them i loved their song.  A fund-raising, live auction took place from the stage.  one of bruce’s guitars from the “promised land” tour was up for sale to raise money for the wounded. the bidding began.  the next day i read online that the guitar was bought by an unidentified woman.

i have been to many fundraisers and i will not forget this event and bob and lee woodruff’s heroic dedication to it.  i hope you will not forget our wounded.  i am posting this blog today, Veteran’s Day, when our heroes are traditionally honored.  i came home with the memory of what was one of the greatest human experiences of my life.  i came home with a lesson about heroism and sincerity and humility from shaking hands with our fallen heroes and meeting Bruce and Patti Springsteen.  I will live with their examples for a lifetime.  and one last thing;  i came home with  bruce’s guitar.  it’s on my lap and waiting for a new song to sing!

peace and “born in the usa blessings”!

the cloud with a pink lining (and a crayon, too!)

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

as i write this, we are more than half way through breast cancer awareness month. pink is the word.  pink, that for every other month of the year instinctually calls up my feelings of joy,  innocence,  carnations, weddings and a luscious pink lipstick or two this month changes hues.  now the same pastel pink is the color of passion and power, pride and hope.  it is a promise and a prayer wrapped in a ribbon.   it is a switch that turns  on  memories of those we’ve lost from this awful disease from our mothers to daughters to sisters to friends-  both women and men.  pink is the switch that flicks on a remembrance of struggles in the bodies of all survivors and an awareness and recognition that at any time this disease can occur or reoccur for any one of us. anywhere.  cancer is a dark grey cloud that just hangs there.

and then there is pink.  we grow up learning that adversity is inevitable in every life.  that every cloud has a silver lining.  that with loss there is some gain. i have found this to be true in the darkest moments of my life which include losing people i love to cancer. with my greatest losses have  always come some unexpected gift.  i wouldn’t  wish the horrific breast cancer prognosis on anyone or any family.  but my dear friend and author, leah komaiko, said it best with the following poem.  it is now  my pink lining for myself and for those i know personally and love. it is also for the millions of women i know indirectly from my work creating product for philosophy and the millions upon millions of faces i will never see yet know are my own.  pray:

that at least one of us sees and trusts her own strength in facing her worst fear.

that at least one of us awakens to the beauty of her body and loves it for the first time in her life.

that at least one of us makes some small change in her diet that can save her life.

that at least one of us has a conversation long avoided where we forgive and ask to be forgiven.

that some of us discover a love that has been there for us all along.  And let it in.

that some detach lovingly from someone who may no longer be healthy for their journeys.

that none will blame herself for having this disease or mistake the disease for who she is.

that some may be brought to their knees to God with a new faith, gratitude and willingness.

that we may come to consider the connection between our minds, our body and our spirits.

that we will enjoy every single, simple, precious and gifted moment  of our lives.

and that we will share with each other the pink  linings.  cancer is no gift.  but the linings are our lifeline of connection and hope.   a friend of mine told me she went to a “thanks for the memories, mammeries” party  given for her friend three nights before her second surgery.  a once in a lifetime party for sure.  you won’t find paper napkins to match the theme.   the guests mixed sorrow with silliness and laughter.  and on the flip side of the surgery, a celebration.   for me, it was my loss of a young woman who left behind her young daughter that inspired me to find my pink lining and initiate she colors my day and the pink crayon to support breast cancer awareness and research funds for the entertainment industry foundation’s women’s cancer research fund and susan g. komen for the cure. i hope you will support this cause and share your pink linings here and with others.  this month and every month.  until the big cloud of breast cancer can no longer be seen in anybody’s sky.

peace and blessings

“the wave” review (book by susan casey)

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

the wave changed my life not unlike other classics like marianne williamsons return to love, carol myss anatomy of the spirit and eckart tolle practicing the power of now. i believe, unknowingly, susan casey has penned a book that puts all of us seekers on notice that a strong spirit requires an equally strong body. the wave made me see you cant reach a truly spiritual high without physically animating your body. i have put my theory to the test by enrolling myself into a wave theory of life where i rise with a passion for movement knowing that like a wave  this day will never come again. for the first time in decades i am working out and getting strong all because the wave made me want to do it. it was the ultimate ah ha moment for me. i will be posting weekly to report on my progress in becoming a person that doesn’t just live in the moment but is exploding in it. buy this book for any person in your life that like me has been sitting around way too much. once you ride the wave you want to become with it. stay tuned, cristina carlino

frustration vacation

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

i’m going on vacation.   perfect timing.  not because my favorite travel destinations have thinned out at last from the summer crowds or because the airline rates go down a notch or my work calendar says “you are now free to move about the cabin.”  but because i can no longer push what feels like a rock up a mountain anymore.  do you know what i mean?   i have run out of steam trying to make dreams happen on my terms and in my time the way i thought for certain and with all the best intentions would bring the best results for all.  the most visible result to me is that i am frustrated.  so i’m headed for my “vaca.”   have you been there?

frustration is part of the human road map.  it’s on every atlas.  our bodies don’t do what we want them to do.  our lovers let us down, our livelihoods  fizzle, our children, who are our very lives get on our very last nerve.  traffic makes us late, technology makes us nuts trying to figure it out, keep up with it  and fix it.  and then there is the world and the future.  frustration is global.   we all feel it at one point or another.  so how do we get to points unknown?

what should i pack?   what to leave behind?  because i know it is time to go.  so  i’m not taking my favorite sweater or necklace and i’m certainly not taking my shoes with the dressy heels.  in fact,  on this adventure i will be barefooted.  this trip will be carry on only.  i’m not bringing my laptop but my arms  will be wide open and lifted toward the sky.  stopping, being still and just listening is what is called for now.   once i would have thought of that as a luxury spot to go to.  today i know it is my necessity.  because with frustration comes fear.  and it breeds more fear and false beliefs  that we are in control.  letting go is not easy and  may not feel very familiar.  but it is our steps back that welcome our personal god back home to be  almighty.  and with these steps,  i am headed to a personal terrain in my own home where i will have my courageous expedition.  stopping, looking and listening to my heart.  what could be more relaxing?

i will send you a postcard shortly!

peace and blessings

expect a miracle

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

do you remember the fable of henny penny? the poor, dear chicken had something drop on her head, panicked and jumped to the conclusion that the sky was falling. her fear quickly turned to frenzy as she scrambled to deliver the bad news to every chicken she could find on her route to warn the king.   then, just at the moment she was about to reach the castle, something dropped on henny’s head yet again that  she discovered was in fact, not the sky, but  rather a small nut falling from the tree. once upon a time, as a child, i heard that tale and giggled. now, i have empathy for my little chicken friend. i get it. when i’m in fear, i contract. when i feel truth, my creativity expands.

these are undoubtedly unnerving times. it seems the whole world is in the midst of some kind of creative reconstruction. i don’t pretend to know the answers. but i do know i’m not alone with the numbers who have stopped watching or listening to so much news. bad news travels fast and we have more channels of delivery for it. bad news and gossip is big business. fear sells. this is not news. and it doesn’t have to be my reality today. there is a proverb that goes like this: “that the birds of worry fly above my head, i cannot change. that they build nests in my hair, i can prevent.”

this blog is not about the economy, oil spills, war, tornadoes or bed bugs. for me this about practicing faith – literally in action and not only in words. practicing optimism without being blind to reality. i am deeply concerned. and the reality is that wonderful changes are also happening every day.   even if they are harder to find on the internet. you have only to look into the eyes of a small child to be humbled into recalling  that the universe may well be far more creative than we are.  what do they see when they look in our eyes? children will pick up our fear. just as we have from our parents and built a culture out of it. perhaps we are, as a nation, becoming adults. growing up. perhaps we are being given the dignity to see the consequences of some of our actions. and the opportunity to make new choices.

i can only begin with me. here i am in this moment. to be still. if only for a minute before i react.  i am alive.  today the stock market is falling and the sky isn’t. i will expect a miracle.  it takes less energy but more courage than expecting disaster. will you join me?

the miracle of the moment

she colors my day

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

wonderful news. i just had a clean report on my mammogram. mammograms are a miracle of invention. that the technology was given a name that sounds to me like  your breast is going to be put in an envelope and delivered by western union, is another story. for women over a certain age and men who can also be at risk and victims of breast cancer, mammograms are the best method we have as of today for screening and diagnosis. they help save  countless lives. that’s a story that cannot be told too many times. pass it on.

and then there’s the one about anxiety. a tale i have known something about and have suffered with personally. the experts say that anxious feelings are normal when taking medical exams. it is not uncommon that our blood pressure may go up. i don’t doubt mine has many times before. the poet, t.s. eliot said, “anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.”  as a self proclaimed “creative compulsive” and someone who has also created two very successful businesses, i know this to true. and when it comes to taking a medical exam and especially the mammogram; my blessed, creative mind can come up with thoughts and images that make the blood curl. like too many of us, i have lost beloved friends to this disease.

but then, at this mammogram, something miraculous happened. i got nervous only for a moment when instead of routinely bringing me into the doctor to review my results, they wanted to first run an ultrasound on my right breast so the doctor could get another look. for the very first time ever, i felt uncomfortable but not scared to death. as i laid back down on the table, i heard myself surrender to whatever the prognosis was going to be. i said, “ thank you.”  thank you, god, for this caring doctor and for the privilege of having access to good medical care.  and thank you, also, for everyday. and this one, too. and in that moment, i felt no fear. i was completely in the moment. surrender does that to a person. after a few minutes when the doctor pronounced the words, “all clear”. we both felt better.

please share this blog and story with someone who may need to read it today.  and visit, please www.shecolorsmyday.com this is part of our project miracle.  it supports the research of thousands of people who work tirelessly each day to discover a cure for breast cancers as well as the hearts and souls of those who may be affected this day by the disease.