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My Twelve Week Challenge: The Results, Part Two

My alternative title for this post is “I am the dragonfly”.

OCGreenMama_Results2CollageSo, that’s the surprise I promised to reveal in part one of my challenge results. Not quite as cool as some had speculated, but there it is.

It took me some time to post this. First, because this took some time to get done. Two sessions actually. After five hours of a pain I would put just a notch below childbirth, I’m done.

Then, I had to wait for it to heal. I would not subject you to freshly-inked tattoo photos (you’re welcome).

Some will think it’s cool. Others will find this ridiculous or say I’m going through a mid-life crisis. Here’s the best thing about coming to the end of this journey – it makes no difference to me. I love it. My family loves it. That’s all that really matters. The line of people who agree with everything I’ve done/said/posted is very short and probably only includes people I’ve known for less than a week. Approval from others is no longer necessary for me. It’s quite freeing.

Plus, since this tattoo will be hidden about 98% of the time, I plan to spend the rest of my life meeting new people and thinking in my head “you might not know this about me, but I’m pretty bad ass.”

Which is pretty cool. What’s also cool is the story leading up to this tattoo. I’ll share the short version.

At the beginning of my twelve-week challenge, I decided that at the end of it, I was going to do something that I had been contemplating for some time – get a dragonfly tattoo. Around the same time, my husband and I reconnected with some old friends. These friends introduced me to beautiful and talented Hillary of Royal Ink Tattoo.

Hillary read my story and designed this beautiful piece of art for me.

As we were chatting during my time under the needle, or rather everyone else (my husband, Hillary, and our friends Josh and Sasha – who introduced me to Hillary and whose moral support helped me get through the pain) chatted and I remotely listened in between prayers to God to get me through the pain, we discovered, Hillary is also this person –


The princess in this photo – a photo that sat framed on my daughter’s nightstand for most of her life.

Serendipity. That’s the only word I have for it.

Now, the journey is finished. Thank you so much for letting me share this journey with you. The response to Part One of my challenge results was touching and overwhelming. The calls, emails and texts meant so much to me. I am truly grateful to have some really awesome people in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I said at the beginning that I was embarking on this journey in part, because of dragonflys. I don’t think I even realized how true that would prove to be.

The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body… The magical property of iridescence is associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.

This dragonfly is ready to fly. The journey is complete.

On Death, Dreams and Dragonflies

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my father’s passing. And today, not coincidentally, I’m launching my long overdue blog site.

What does all of this have to do with this crazy post title? Hopefully this story helps it make some sense…

In the two years since my dad’s death, I have had many dreams about him. In some he’s alive, in others he’s sick, and in some, he has died. But (and here’s the part that may cause you to think I’m crazy), there have been two dreams that didn’t really feel like dreams at all. There were more like “visits”. I’m not going to share all the details because that would make for a very long post, but believe me, these dreams were different than any I have ever experienced in my life. And, I really am sane…at least most of the time.

In each of the two dreams, I could tell that my dad was sending me a message. The first time, it was letting me know that he was healthy, happy and okay. Considering that he was not able to communicate with me before dying, that he was on a ventilator, that I had to have “that talk” with the doctors in ICU and make the decision to take him off it, this was information that I needed – badly. That dream was about a year ago. It gave me a lot of peace.

The most recent dream was about two weeks ago. In it, I could tell that my dad was sending me a message about my life and how I’m living it. You see, ever since his death, the loss of my business, and some other personal issues in my life (all hitting right around the same time), I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’ve suffered from, at times, a debilitating lack of self-confidence and inability to move forward with my life. In this dream, my dad was sort of saying to me – “you are here, make the most of it, live life, pray, be happy, and I’ll see you again.”

Then (okay, again, don’t think I’m crazy), right after that, one red dragonfly appeared in my backyard and began to fly over our pool all day…and the next day…and the next…and the next. Each time my husband, my kids or I went into the backyard, there was that dragonfly. (Note: my dad loved dragons. He had a collection of them, some of which now reside in my son’s room). It took me days to make any connection. The kids even noticed the dragonfly – “boy that dragonfly sure loves our backyard” my son said one day.

Finally, I googled “meaning of the dragonfly“. That is when the light bulb went off and I got it. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.
  • The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body… The magical property of iridescence is associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.
  • The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

The dragonfly has much to teach me – about life, love, loss, forgiveness, and most of all – living in the present. Last week, I picked up this little necklace at the Sawdust Festival as my daily reminder:

I’m incorporating the message of the dragonfly into many aspects of my life, this blog being one of them. I’ve been thinking about launching this site for about a year but have hesitated – “But it’s not ready yet. It doesn’t look the way I want it. What if no one reads it? What if no one cares? What if everyone hates my writing?” – my inner voice has told me all of these things.

Well, here’s the thing I have realized – none of that really matters. I’m not doing this to make money, sell products, or land some book deal. I’m just trying to use the space I take up on this planet to do some good. That’s it. Period. So, if only my mom reads (which of course she will), it’s okay. Eventually, someone else will read, and care, and maybe make one small change to take better care of this planet.

And one small change, made right now, in this moment, is a good thing.

Or maybe someone else will not think I’m crazy … and will learn to love dragonflies.