Friday, December 28, 2012

Calling it Forward ~ Live the Life You Love, Love the Life You Live

As life has evolved the past year I have certainly noticed a theme for this chapter of my life.  Truth and accountability.  I have repeatedly found myself in situations with various persons wherein I have had to examine myself, their place in my life and use my voice.  At times I have to create healthy boundaries as well, doing things that I sure didn't see coming and letting go of people whom I have loved since they were small children.  Things that hurt on so many levels but nonetheless things that had to be done for all involved.  On the other side of the hurt and action I will say there is peace.  You do however have to go through the doing to get there though.

As the new year approaches I am optimistic that as I continue to clear away that which isn't beneficial in my life that I am in turn opening up additional space for that which is.  This past year has also had within it many manifestations of things I wished to call forward in this life.  New knowledge, resources, inspiration, amazing people, fantastic memories and even a couple of candidates worthy (and not worthy) of "the list."  As many of you have told me, I probably should of put local on that "list" but it's all good really, what will be will be, in it's own time, in its own place.  I trust in that.  Who knows, that time may even be this year.

The knowledge that has come has been life changing.  It started last January with juicing raw fruits and vegetables.  It literally transformed my life and opened the door to additional food and drink intake changes. Changes that when mixed with the opportunity to frequent the local Health and Fitness Club solidified the transformation in my life that I'd been playing with for years.  For the first time in my 37 years of living my father (who compliments no one) complimented my appearance on multiple occasions.  Not that I needed his words but having them sure was the cherry on top of the sundae of life.  I am now past the half point of my self imposed goals and the best part is the changes being made are moving me in the direction of the authentic self.  The girl who loved to chase the soccer ball around the field, the girl who went away to the beach on a whim for a day or two, who traveled near and far to see the bands she loves.  Yes, and this return of authentic self all started with the vitality and energy that juicing gave me.

I also called forward more enriching relationships with friends.  New friends near and far who just make my life better because they are who they are.  Friends who make me laugh daily, who bring a smile to my face, friends whom I want to make match maker with (cough, cough, you know who you are don't you.....February 9th is coming....bahahahaha), friends who teach me new things about my evolving spirituality and paranormal abilities.  This past year I had my mind blown learning I had done something in a dream I had never even knew existed.  Had I not had the affirmation of the same, I still wouldn't believe it.  Oh yea, my head is still spinning from that experience.  Now, if I could just do it again.  And again.  And again.  Better yet, if the others involved could remember it too.  I know that part's possible, I did that as a teenager. To the person involved in this experience, thank you, you know who you are.

Our little community at Knowing has evolved as well.  We have grown from 2500 members to over 4300 in the last year, almost doubling in size.  All because we want to share and be inspired by each other.  I love this.  I learn something from each of you who open yourselves up to share things on our Facebook page.  New music, new thoughts, affirmative words.  We even have a regular contributor now, Mr. Leonard Bowles from Oregon in the United States.  It is all so yummy and exactly as I had dreamed it would be.  After much nudging this year from many of you I finally committed to organizing all of the thoughts of the past few years into a book, with the goal being publishing it on my own this coming year.  Alas, another beautiful thing in life being called forward.

Fact is, without each of you, I wouldn't be where I am today on the journey.  This past year had loss, sadness and a whole bunch of acceptance of what cannot be changed.  Through all of it, through watching children mourn the loss of their mother too soon, to letting go of the one who to me was just as my own flesh and blood, those who mattered the most stayed the course with me through the pain and brought a smile to my face.  Yes, your roles in my life, they were called forward too.  The deeper this gets, the more magical and miraculous it all seems.  Thank you.  Please, if you haven't all ready, get busy calling your own life forward.  I promise you, you will have zero regrets.  I love you.

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis 
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

If Not Now, When?

Just before the Holidays I had to use my voice again. It had been a long time coming and it had been a conversation started but not finished repeatedly in the days and weeks leading up to the same. It was a conversation that had been swirling around in my head over and over again, in letters not finished and the like.  Each time before when it had started it ended in anger.  Each time I spoke the words no one else had the gumption to speak I was met with resistance.  While they were in fact my words, they weren't my sole thoughts.  Others who love the person in question had the same thoughts and questions.  The others however were bound in fear of the reaction, bound in fear of the potential loss, bound in the inability to take action on their thoughts.

Then as life would do, it got in the way.  Here I was, letter drafted and ready to send it when more negative news would come to pass the very day I was ready to put it out there.  I trust my instincts and my gut and there are times when you just can't open your mouth or send the words onto another.  This was one of those times.  I had to hold off and let life unfold.  A couple of weeks passed and then I felt the pull again to lay it all out there, to try once again to open someone's heart and eyes to the pain and hurt they were causing others.

I even thought ahead of time, is this the right time?  It's just before the Holidays.  It's post life's latest obstacle.  It's not the best time really.  Then the voice from within spoke "If Not Now, When?" and I knew it was time.  Frankly put, I could be gone tomorrow and if I don't speak my peace when it's on my heart or be the voice for the collective love of the others when called upon by spirit to do so, I'm not being true to my authentic self.

Was it easy? No. Did I get the response I was not wanting? Oh yea, big time. Their reaction was ugly and sad. Did I take their denial and crappy response personal?  Absolutely not.  Did their response change who I am or make me regret using my voice? Nope, not a chance. Why? Because in life our journey and their journeys depend on it. If we can't speak our truth we have no business being someone's friend, lover or family member. If we can't hold those accountable whom we love for their actions and try and get them to see the truth we have failed as human beings. 

We can never change another person but we can inspire them and we can decide when we distance ourselves because they're not helping themselves. It's never easy but one thing I've learned quite well the past few years is that doing this is so, so worth it. Speak your peace. Say your words. Let it go.  Stop holding your tongue, listen to your heart and use your voice.  Trust me, your being depends on it, and sometimes so does theirs. I love you. 

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Acceptance: Letting Go of the Need to Change Others

As of late I have had various conversations with friends revolving around acceptance of the fact that we cannot change other people.  Within the majority of the population is a desire to do right, to nurture, to be compassionate and to evolve into our best and highest self.  For some it is a simple as providing for ones family (blood, friends, four legged or otherwise), for others it may be a call of action to change their food supply, their country or the world through education and service to others.  No matter what our life calling is, we each have within us a spark of belonging and we each have within us the potential to shine.

Why is it then that so many of the good spirits of the world get caught up in trying to fix others, to appease them, or to change them?  Why is it so hard for many to accept that their path is theirs alone and that while we can inspire and lead others we surely cannot be the acting factor in another person's change?  I have my suspicions regarding these things.  I believe it all comes down to fear and acceptance.   

Some of my friends are stuck in this way of thinking out of fear.  They simply do not want to believe that the other person has willfully decided to be what they are.  They want to be their light, their motivating factor to change.  Far too many of us get stuck in the cycle of complaining and enduring another persons behaviors simply because of what we believe they can be.  There is an underlying wrestling from within to let go of the expectations they have for the other person.  They fear that if they do so that, that if they accept and just let that person live their life without meddling, they are in turn giving up on that person.  This could not be further from the truth. 

Letting go of our expectations for another persons evolution of self has nothing to do with their success at the same.  We can be there for those we love and not enable them, let alone lose ourselves in them.  Simply put, their will has nothing to do with how brightly our own lights shine upon them.  Their will is theirs and theirs alone.

A few of my friends wrestle with trying to get others to understand their own more evolved thoughts and decision making patterns.  They simply want the other people to see it like they see it, to understand their way of thinking.  They get so frustrated that those whom they wish to share their lives with are on what I term "the wrong playing field involved in another game of life." 

Again, we cannot control the people in our lives.  It is a fruitless waste of our energies to fret over what they are doing (or not doing) in their own journeys.  We can only accept where they are, who they are and go about the business of living our own lives as best we see fit.  It is their path to navigate and transcend just as your path is uniquely yours to do the same.

Really, all of life boils down to acceptance.  We all desire to be accepted for who we are, not where we have been or the promise of where we may go.  We all wish to be acknowledged and cherished for that which is uniquely our own.  I promise you this, the best decision you'll ever make in life is to accept and let go of that which you cannot control.  Life is just too beautiful, precious and fleeting to waste time playing the game of trying to change others.  Trust me, it will not happen. 

The power to change never was yours to give them in the first place you see, it was always their own doing to discover and act upon.  The sooner you get this fact, the sooner you will procure contentment and happiness in your own journey.  In the end, the only people we have control over is ourselves.  Remember that.  I love you.
Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Songs are Stories

As you are already aware, music is a large part of my life.  Today I had the pleasure of seeing a sneak peek of a song being written on YouTube by one of the bands I enjoy.  I am going to share with you the background of how this all came together in hopes that you can fully appreciate and understand how moved I am at what crossed my computer screen today.

The band is Eye Empire and their bassist Corey has been a part of my long standing musical “family” for over 16 years.  I have watched his career with various talented individuals blossom through the years.  I have observed lessons learned with the business, lasting love finally come to pass with his beautiful lady, family created and loss endured as he and his brothers said good-bye to their father this year.  You see, I knew he would put together a class act project when I heard their first release some time ago.  Having been through all that he has been through I knew he wasn’t going to settle and I also knew that who he had become on the journey was ripe for such a magnificent union of musicians.  When their first independent release came out I of course snapped it up along with some merchandise to help support the cause.  Merchandise my step-daughter had no problem claiming as her own either, proudly sporting it to her small high school in hopes of spreading the word about the up and coming band. 

Life would have it that by joining my private juicing group on Facebook, the one I’ve written about previously here, that I would end up becoming friends with their singer’s life partner and the mother of their two amazing little boys.  Let me tell you, I adore this woman to pieces.  I look forward to traveling to Florida soon and can’t wait to meet her in person one day over a Rockin’ Wellness shake or a yummy gluten free veggie meal or fresh glass of juice.  We have many similar passions and a certain vibration of devotion to all things beautiful when it comes to food, sustainability, self and parenting.  Knowing how authentic she is I had no doubt that the love of her life would be just as interesting.  What I didn’t realize until watching that video today however was just how interesting Donald is.

While the video itself is a peak into the private world of Donald and the band’s writing, the universal information shared within the 10 minute video is so profoundly on point that I had to share it here at Knowing.  In fact, when I first went to share the link on its own with just a blurb of an introduction, I had so much to say it soon became apparent that a full blog was in order. 

So many of you have reached out to me privately and even publically at the Facebook fan page for Knowing regarding the topics Donald touched upon.  I knew with every fiber of my being that even if the music isn’t your genre of choice that you needed to listen to the entire video to soak in what’s really going on in it, to appreciate what stirred within me that I felt needed to be spoken about here.

In the beginning Donald touches on staying motivated, on the importance of environment on one’s positivity.  He goes on to state how we must understand that we pick our lives, how he’s picked this life for himself.  His life as he has stated isn’t easy, it’s a life that he is making happen every day.  One that he loves, one that albeit is demanding is a life that he never feels like it’s work.  This is what happens when we follow our passions, when we find a way to do what we love and live a happy life.  Donald embodies his words, the working hard and the knowing that he (and his family) deserves everything that comes their way.  You too deserve to do what you love, to create a life of happiness and to believe that you deserve life’s abundance.

As he opens up about the lyrics of the song, about how personal it is for him, he even takes into consideration the gifts of being bi-polar, of finding the advantage to his range of feelings.  I have many friends that are bi-polar and I have never heard any of them draw from it that beautiful outlook of truth.  Donald goes on to touch on our life dreams, on the doors of life being open (and sometimes closed), on our expectations of the same.  I love how he takes accountability for his journey and states that focus and being active is what creates life.  What are we always talking about here at Knowing?  Being present, doing what needs to be done and becoming who we are in the process of the same. 

Standing up, taking control, opening doors for one’s self, even when burned out (worn out) on the journey is truth.  How one creates opportunities in one’s life by working hard is truth.  Donald even goes on to touch on how the lyrics genesis the transition between old mindsets that don’t serve one’s self, the ones we have to get rid of in order to develop and move into the life of the new mindsets such as positively and proactive living.  Yes, all of these life lessons and truths in one beautiful work in progress.

Before the video wraps up he even goes on to explain the importance of knowing when and how to trust others, on how we have to understand how to balance life and how we have to learn to rely upon each other.  Remember in my last blog how I talked about the collective human consciousness that has gathered around my dear friend as she battles breast cancer?  Once again Knowing community, here is the truth, front and center.  Are you listening?  Are you accepting the beauty of the oneness of humanity?

In closing, I don’t think I could of said it better myself.  Songs are stories.  I hope the story behind this one as its being written reminds you of the Universal knowledge we all possess.  As their band always says, “Love, Respect, Support.”  Love one another my friends, respect each other and support each other.  I do.

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Perspective - The Peace We Pick

The power we have in the choice of our own perspectives is what opens the door for hope, faith, being and a meaningful life.  Within the last two months, in my upper 30s, I have embraced this more than ever.  So many things have happened that required a mindful shift in perspective.  

The most meaningful was learning shocking news that one of my best friends of 20+ years was being brought to the fight of her life.  Having discovered a pea sized lump in her breast at four months pregnant with her third child, she would learn a week after giving birth that she in fact has Stage 3, Grade 3 breast cancer.  Cancer that had grown to the size of a baseball in less than six months.

To say I was gutted when I learned the news would be an understatement.  I cried every darn day for weeks as the news sunk in, as I remembered every day and precious moment we have shared these years together.  Our first conversation on her front stoop, our circle of friends and boyfriends past, our love of music, fun times rowing around Burke Lake and walking the trails behind our neighborhood.  Teenage life was sweeter because of this beautiful soul.  

I wasn't crying because I believe that cancer is a death sentence.  In fact, I believe for her it's been a shift of perspective.  I'm not afraid for her either.  I cried because I know her inside and out, backward and forward.  I know what she's built of and what she's capable of, even when life would throw her curve balls and she didn't know these things herself.  We have a connection beyond words, a connection between beings unlike anyone else in my journey.  My first inclining of the "knowing side" of my life came when we would spend time together.  Her close family members are my "extended family" here and I love them as I love my own blood.  My beloved friend and her family are in just as much shock and disbelief as I am.

The hardest thing for me to accept those first few weeks was that I now live away from her and her family.  I felt so helpless in that I couldn't be there physically the way I wanted to be.  In fact, my first visit with her post diagnosis and new baby was a divine gift orchestrated by the Universe.  Making that first visit occur contained obstacles that I didn't have solutions for.  Despite this, it happened just as it was supposed to.  Accepting this truth, the angst of being away, accepting that this life I have built here had limitations, I still had to turn my unhappiness with the situation into something positive.  So I did just that.  I listened to the Universe and took inspired action.

As the weeks have passed, I have watched her path unfold.  The inspired actions I continue to take play a small roll within that path.  This week she bravely faces her third chemo treatment dateThrough this diagnosis I can honestly say I have seen her rebirth.  I have come to know the person I have always known was there in those hard times of the past.  The person she thought she was is no longer there, newly replaced by a stronger and better version of herself.  

I'm seeing the lights switch on and the dots connect in her story.  Every single hardship brought her to exactly where she is supposed to be right now fighting this fight.  Had she not had those hardships she would not be surrounded by her mom in a positive environment of compassion, love and respect.  Each moment, no matter how unbelievable and unbearable, has come together to make a beautiful picture.  When we spoke about these things we were both sitting there in utter awe at it all, staring at the fall leaves in the backyard, feeling the wind against our cheeks.  Best part is, her story is still a work of art, a masterpiece in the making.  

I know she gets this now.  I know that she believes, she hopes and that she is falling in love with herself for the first time in a new way unknown to her before this life hiccup.  Cancer has been the catalyst of that gift.  I have faith that she will win this fight.  I also have faith that if it doesn't happen as we believe and want it to be, that the person she is becoming right now, the person she is remembering within, that person, she is the one she has always wanted to be.  Yes, this becoming, is exactly what it is supposed to be.  This gift is a beautiful change in perspective.  

As our other dear friend Susie always says, life is messy but it is always beautiful around the messes and filled with grace.   Susie herself has had her own life obstacles that have created a new creature unlike any other.  She doesn't just say those words, she has lived them.  Together with many others we are embracing our sweet friend and lifting her up and through this chapter.  Just us all coming together again has been an amazing gift as well.  

My friend with cancer said it best, "through this rough year, and recent news, I have learned that ONLY love & connecting with people REALLY matter. ♥"... As strangers have reached out with kindness, care, concern and love we have all been changed and awakened.  As old friends, new friends, and her family surround her, we are all remembering what is truly important on this journey.  This cancer, it has been the gift that is changing all of our lives for the better in the present moment because we are all being reminded of the collective consciousness that is love, compassion and being human.

I have not just seen this gift recently with her.  Another dear friend's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer a couple of months ago and has since passed.  She watched her mother's own awakening to the goodness of life, to the love of people and the kindness of strangers and old friends.  Watching her mother go through that in turn shifted this friend's perspectives of life, creating her own awakening.  She even told me that Katy Perry's Wide Awake was her new theme song.

To see both of these amazing souls shine, it is incredibly and deeply moving.  I will love both of them each day I am breathing.  I too am on this journey and I too am wide awake. 

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lessons of a Lifetime

Gerry Batte Russell 2011

Yesterday I stumbled upon something from a Facebook friend. While on the hunt for something else, Ms. Russell discovered a list she’d written on her 70th birthday, things she wanted to pass along that she’d learned from life. It was such a beautiful list that I asked for her permission in sharing it with all of you.

Had it not been for the Internet and Knowing (The Blog) I would not even be blessed to have Ms. Russell in my life.  She is an amazing individual full of beauty, love and life who celebrates the precious moments of everyday life, who enjoys her family and cherishes her friendships.  She has a servants heart and is well known and admired for the same in her home of McKinney, Texas.  Wearing her heart upon her sleeve, she tells it like it is and isn't concerned with what others think or believe.  Kindness and respect of others exudes from her.  In many, many ways she reminds me of my Grandmother Irene who passed away in 1999.  I look forward to traveling in the next couple of years and taking advantage of the opportunity to meet her radiant energy in person.   I hope you enjoy her insight as much as I did.

70 Things I’ve learned in 70 Years
By Gerry Batte Russell

1. Never be employed by someone you don’t consider a friend.
2. Hug and kiss your hubby or wife every night before you fall asleep.
3. Cherish every moment you have with your children.
4. Know that your children will likely grow up doing what they see you doing.
5. Don’t ever expect to change anyone.
6. Give love and support when someone needs you.
7. Worship from your heart.
8. Protect your earth.
9. Fight for understanding and acceptance, not control.
10. Eat foods good for you.
11. If you ever start exercising – don’t stop.
12. Find time to get enough sleep.
13. Follow your bliss.
14. Read books you love.
15. Use the “love” word a lot.
16. Give unexpected hugs.
17. Feel privileged if children enjoy being with you.
18. Know that you can do it – just be sure that you want it.
19. Always have your camera nearby – capture the moment.
20. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, you can make a difference.
21. Truly believe when one door shuts, another opens.
22. Treat everyone like you would want them to treat your mother.
23. Don’t race to judgment.
24. Laugh a lot.
25. When you say, “I love you,” be sure you mean it.
26. Take a walk in the park and be sure you have your camera.
27. Know every moment of every day can be meaningful.
28. Look for mentors and learn from them.
29. Embrace kind gestures and savor the moments.
30. Reduce exposure to the negative influences in your life.
31. Always take the high road.
32. Look for challenges.
33. Give of yourself and your resources for truly worthy causes.
34. Know that your vote does count and “politics do matter.”
35. Hug your pet at least three times a day.
36. Get a pet if it is possible – you’ll be a better person for having one.
37. Fight any kind of abuse of human kind or animals.
38. Do something to support your country.
39. Volunteer in your community and/or child’s school.
40. Tell your children they are smart, loved and cherished.
41. Only look back for the lessons you’ve learned.
42. Let go of what you can’t change.
43. Find out who you are – learn your family history.
44. Be an asset – not a liability.
45. Develop your talents.
46. Plant a garden.
47. Have a birdfeeder and keep it full of seeds.
48. Appreciate Winter for its power and stark beauty.
49. Appreciate Spring for the re-awakening of nature.
50. Appreciate Summer for the endless energy it exudes from the sun.
51. Appreciate Fall for the beauty of color and the cooling of temperatures.
52. Run while you can still run.
53. Learn that gray hair can be as beautiful as blond and it is natural.
54. Children see and hear much more than you know.
55. You can miss so much by racing through life.
56. Take time to smell the roses and enjoy the sunsets.
57. Texas is the best place in the world to live.
58. Plant seeds in mud puddles.
59. The “thou shalt not’s” are pretty well established – shouldn’t challenge.
60. Over-indulgence in anything is usually not the best thing to do.
61. Play to win.
62. If you can run a mile – work for running two.
63. Don’t forget a little chocolate or a little wine can be good for you.
64. Love your babies with all you heart and be sure they know it.
65. Always respect the opinion of others.
66. Never feel like you know everything.
67. Love the “love of your life” by showing that love always.
68. Love your Mom and Dad knowing that you may not always have them.
69. Appreciate your homeland.
70. Don’t ever think that you know it all.

Gerry Batte Russell 2012

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis less the list and images which are shared with permission.
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Difficult Choices: Finding Peace in Insanity

It is said that life is what happens when we are busy making plans.  Yes, it does.  How different the winds of life has blown since my last post about a lost classmate and new friend.  September 2012 was a month of change and an opportunity to take clarity to the next level.  The month wherein all that's been a part of me up until this point of the journey was questioned, tested and in the end, deeply appreciated.

I found myself amidst another round of using my voice, of tough love and of letting go and trusting.  The great thing about all of the above is that the more you do these things, the faster you reclaim your peace and understanding of your path here.  I found myself having to make a choice I never wanted to make.  I didn't even have time to "process" it.  I just had to act and act quickly.  Without getting into details, lets just say it sucked and was incredibly difficult to do, yet it had to be done.  As days turned into weeks after this choice, affirmation came that it was indeed the correct thing to do as well as the best thing to do for all involved.  I've never felt more peaceful.  This time of my life reminds me of when I had another difficult choice to make, a time three years ago.  After that choice also came this same peacefulness. I have learned that we aren't to question these things, that we are simply supposed to take the lessons and the love forward.

That's the beauty of life, when we step out into what we know is right no matter the pain or consequences of the same, we find a peace that passes all understanding when we do the right thing, the thing that honors our being.  When we stand up, we claim victory and void ourselves of any chance of being victimized.  Lastly, when we hold others accountable for their actions, we not only reinforce our worth, we're teaching the other person a valuable lesson about it as well.

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye - The Imprint We Leave

Image by Rebekah Piper

I know it has been months since I've been able to type freely.  In that my computer has been away for repairs, it is just now that I am able to borrow a laptop and put into electronic form all of the thoughts these past few months that have flowed through me from pen to paper.  Expect a flurry of blogs in the near future.  Within all of those thoughts, the most time sensitive and poignant ones come from a very recent unfolding of events.  

The life I'm about to touch on and honor with this first publication reached far and wide in her short 39 years here with us.  Rebekah Piper is a woman who first touched my life 24 years ago, over half of this 37 year old's lifetime ago when we were young, wild and free.  That's when she bounced up and down the halls of Hayfield Secondary School, early in her journey of not simply being good, but of being good for something.
Becci was by all accounts a beautiful teenager, surrounded and doted on by trusted, loyal and honest friends.  She may have been but one person in a sea of 1200+ students, being that little needle in a haystack of a student body, but people still knew who Becci was.  She had an energy and presence that preceded her even in her youth.  I was a class behind hers.  Becci was personable, always up to something interesting, full of fun times with friends and even at times a crazy and normal teenager.  This was her persona when I first knew of her and by all accounts still her persona when I'd get to know her nearly 20 years later.  We had mutual friends within the student body but weren't anything more than acquaintances during that early era of our lives.  In fact, if it hadn't been for Facebook, I'd never of know just how special she was this past year.

From August 2011 to August 2012, I got to know Becci, mother of three, a beautiful teenage girl who goes by Elly, age 17, going on 11 handsome preteen Ein and precious baby girl Amelia Grace who is closing in on  10 months of age.  Beyond motherhood she was still a sister and friend.  I remember when we first made contact, it was shortly after a hurricane had moved through her area of North Carolina.  I remember how fluid Becci was, how nothing in her life was off topic, from the simple joy of reporting things such as the weather and the cat's nasty kill offerings of devotion to tougher deeper topics such as the pregnancy progress and relationship dynamics.  What made Becci so awesome was that she just told it like it was without regretting any of it.  With one child at the Prom era of life and one on the way, it was an exciting time of change for her a year ago.   

I remember how excited we all were when her daughter Amelia Grace was born last November.  Many of us were stalking her wall for photos.  Becci wore her heart on her sleeve to her friends on Facebook, must like Becci lived her non internet life, inspiring others, making them smile, being open, honest and free.

Becci's morning Facebook posts were always full of hope, light and laughter.  I looked forward to them as did many others.  She lived her life savoring the everyday moments, something not many people do.  If you don't take the time in your life to be grateful for all of the little moments, in honor of her life, modify something in your own so that you too can implement this way of  authentic living. 

Amelia Grace
On an evening in December 2010 Becci was enjoying the night sky and said, "Lunar eclipse is beautiful here in nc...clear wind. All i had to do id walk out the front door stand in the middle of my very quiet street and gaze upon the beauty.  Elly even got up to my surprise...Ein on the other hand is very hard to wake.  Well here's to another 486 yrs. :)"....yes sweet girl, here's to another 486 years....bittersweet years that will pass wherein we all miss you.  Thank you for reminding us of the beauty around us.

Another thing about Becci was that she loved December and was "giddy as a school girl" for Christmas.  I can remember her joy at every Holiday, Birthday and snow day as well as her joy of the everyday days, you know, the movie nights, finding a new song she loved moments, or savoring a good meal.  Becci truly enjoyed all of it in its divine presence.  She took nothing for granted and neither should you.

Elly and Ein
Above all else, Becci loved her children and doted on them the most often.  From one parent to another, those are the moments that stick and make your heart smile.  Parenting takes on a pretty cool twist when you share the journey of parenthood with friends who remember your own journey to adulthood. All within her friends list could comment and reminisce about how things were at their ages.  Becci and her best friends loved their strolls down memory lane, looking forward to their 20th High School reunion in the coming months.  

Ah yes, the ties that bond, the people who knew you back when and have no problem telling you just how you were.  The treasures of life.  As I said, Becci had loyal and loving friendships.  I'm willing to say that the depths of those friendships helped to make her the wonderful mother that she was to her three children these past 17 years.

Being an in the moment lover and liver of life Becci would tell us that "I love Ein..the boy just busted out singing Mississippi Queen...he buts a smile on my face."  via her cell phone.  On Elly's 16th birthday she said, " Lord gave me a gift I'll always treasure! She's a beautiful girl and has heart of gold. Thank you dear Lord Jesus for giving her to me. :)"  Mama Becci enjoyed Elly's first prom and shared it with us in 2011 as much as I enjoyed my own daughter's first prom in 2012.  I still remember prom pictures of Becci and her then boyfriend Tref.  My how time flies.  Felt like yesterday.

Becci funin' at Micky D's
Becci had mastered the art of relishing the small joys of living too, whether it was movie nights with her loves, or "dinner out with the family...I so love my family!"  she always gave gratitude to her family and spent many days laughing with them.  She never missed a moment of gratitude to her parents either, whether it was related to a leaky gas tank in the Jeep or ode to a Holiday of wonderful memories shared.  Are you experiencing and thankful for the small joys of living?  

One of my favorite moments she shared was her account of a ride in the car, wherein the kids and her reenacted Wayne's World listening to Queen.  I'll say it a million times over, Becci didn't take a single moment of this life for granted.  If you learn anything reading this blog, learn that.  After all, time we know waits for no one.

While we're on the subject of good advice for living, also take this note to heart from what I like to term the book of Becci, "Growing and becoming a better person is to be able to look at where you've been where you are and where your going. Never loosing site on whats going on in the world around you. Those who choose to become "holier than thou" after reaching such growth and forgetting where they came from has lost site and appreciation for their growth of total understanding. It's not your place to judge but to help others in their journey."

I simply can't imagine what it's like to mourn her having shared her entire life with her, or to be one of fellow classmates who were her best friend and first love.  My heart aches for each of them.  I only knew her but a short year and she most certainly left her spirit with me.  Her being a part of my life made it richer, typically in less that five minutes a day.  Who's lives are you leaving richer after simply five minutes or less a day? 

I like to think that with every life we encounter here we have the choice to take upon ourselves the imprint that life leaves upon us, good, bad or indifferent.  Most lives have aspects of all three but typically someone either is worthy of sharing the journey with or their not.  Becci was worthy.

As with many others who have lived, Becci had regrets, she had growing pains, and she had obstacles to navigate along the way.  Despite all of that, she held onto what was authentically and beautifully Rebekah.  I believe that authentic way of living life is what I'll carry forward as her imprint.  We can all learn so much from someone who held their head high in hard times, who kept fighting the good fight, who appreciated the here and now with gratitude.  We can, we should, and we will. Until we meet again sweet girl.  Until we meet again.  

If you knew Becci and would like to share your memories, please do so with her family.  Her friends, parents and siblings are compiling them in various formats for her children.  

Also, if you would like to give to the children's education fund or make a donation for something specific such as back to school shopping, school pictures, Holidays, or Birthdays, you may state what you would like the gift utilized for.  You can do so here:

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
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