Mondays with Michael – Happy, Joyous and Free


I never knew life could be so great, never again did I think I’d have a smile on my face.
I give credit to God and the Angels, what a beautiful day.
They brought me from the dark to the light, through the Angels and God, I love the new Mike.
When I pray I always cry, tears of gratitude, I know longer want to die.
They taught me how to live, no longer selfish, I have so much to give.
I’m here to help others through the disease, you can recover, you just have to believe.
The obsession is gone, it’s a miracle.
I’m happy, Joyous, and Free…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Mondays with Michael

Michael T. Clark has graciously agreed to share his lovely words of poetry on my blog every Monday. Going forth, this day shall be deemed “Monday’s With Michael”. So let it be said, so let it be done. – E

Peace – by Michael T. Clark

As I walk up the mountain all alone,
I realize I’m at peace, this is my inner home,
I hear the insects, the birds, and the trees,
One with nature, this is how I fight my disease,
As the water flows through the stream,
My mind is calm, this must be a dream,
I feel the love pounding in my heart,
So blessed God gave me a fresh start,
The dirt and rocks under my feet, this is the foundation of the Universe that I seek,
My thoughts are so clear, not only do I see the beauty, I can hear,
The wind blows as I travel the path,
My cells are cleansed, like a warm bath,
This is the solitude that I seek,
Thank you life, I’ve found peace…
Live 2 Love…

Stay Blissful my Friends – E

Personal Values/Break on Through


Personal Values

In my last blog “A Moment of Clarity“, I posed the following questions:

“Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? ”

I also wrote of taking action. Elysia, where do I start? I’m glad you asked. A few years ago, I experienced yet another painful bursting of a bubble. I found a support group on-line and one of the first assignments handed out was to prepare a Personal Values statement.

I had done this several years before after reading The Purpose Driven Life. Again, I found myself asking the same above questions. Not a bad place to be really.  At this point, I would do anything to step outside of the raw emotional pain I was enduring. The Personal Values writing process was simple and I would love to share it with you today!


  1. Start with a list of everything important to you. You don’t need to overthink this, just write.  Some examples: Having dinner at the table as a family; Getting to Work on time; Daily Meditation and Prayer at a specific time of day; Going to the Gym in the morning; Spending one night a week with my girlfriends; Volunteering once a month at a shelter.  Got it? Good. So write, write, write!
  2. Review this list and choose 5-6 of the most crucial items for you today.
  3. Summarize these 5-6 items. Elaborate and expand on the importance of each value.
  4. Then again, ask yourself if you are already living according to any of these values.
    • If yes, identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
    • If no, how do you intend to make these work? Where are your strengths and weaknesses in following through? Might you slightly tweak one of these? For instance: It could possibly be more attainable to have dinner at the table as a family three times a week, or meet up with your girlfriends every other week.
  5. Ask yourself if your current work/life situation is allowing you to live these values.
    • If yes, then you are ready to go forward with living your personal values! I like to post them in a place I can see them daily as I begin the process of living them.
    • If no, well, this part can be difficult, because  you are probably due for a major life change. But be fearless! This is an exciting part of your life!


Life changes are a positive thing, just not always easy. I remember when my little Chevy Aveo was a total loss due to a rear ending accident. I was sad. I loved that little car. It was fun and it made a really cool sound when I accelerated. Then I saw my new car…A beautiful purple Ford Fiesta with all the perks that the Chevy did not have!  I know this is just material, however transportation is a daily part of life for most of us.

If you trust the process, you can truly experienced the satisfaction of breaking on through to the other side!  

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day, tried to run, tried to hide
Break on through to the other side

Break on Through

I know right? How do The Doors fit in with all this personal values jigger? This song can mean so many different things. Today I see it as anthemic. I am ready for a change. Fired up, ready to go, ready to break on through! This song did not represent such a thing to me several years ago.  That my friends, is the true magic of music. But that is a topic for another day ha!  I love the idea of changing my perception or psychic change if you will. I have a tattoo of a blue rose that specifically represents this type of change.


Today is a different day. The bubble has been burst. Nothing will ever be the same. Thank you God!!

Now Go!

…And stay blissful my friends – E

A Moment of Clarity

soap bubble bursting 03

Moment of Clarity
AKA – Epiphany
AKA – Disillusionment
AKA – The bubble has burst!
I am a huge fan of disillusionment, having experienced many epiphanies – all for the improvement of my inner self. What I love about these said moments of clarity are the sudden opening of my mind, realizing that I no longer think or believe the way I have been all or most of my life. Maybe some of this thinking is cultural, or passed down in my family from generation to generation.

Zig Ziglar once told a story about a woman cooking a ham. Her husband asked why the ham must be cut in two pieces and  positioned a certain way. She replied that this is how my family has always cooked ham.  With her husband’s encouragement, she called and asked her grandmother what the reasoning was behind this method. Her grandmother laughed and replied “When we were young, we had a very small oven so this was the only way we could get it to fit.”

Not all moments of clarity are this cheerful and fun. Some can be painful…as growth usually brings forth some pain.  Sometimes we have to step out in faith to  live our truth. At times this can be perceived as failure by our family members. Occasionally  tribal shaming will happen. At these times, we must accept that we are disappointing our loved ones and own it for the greater good of living in our reality.

Benjamin Bratt stars in this movie, produced by his brother Peter. Though beautifully filmed, it is not an easy movie to watch at times. It tells a real story of generational culture and of beliefs/thought patterns. Tribal shaming appears in a rather violent way. I know this violence all too well. Still, I am glad I continued to watch. 
In probably the most powerful performance of his career, Benjamin Bratt’s character “Che” is more than ready to have his bubble burst. For in a beautiful scene alongside Aztec dancers performing, Che experiences a most compelling moment of clarity. It is in this moment, I feel as one with Che.  

Knowing we cannot go on living the same illusion and yet fearful of the unknown. At this jumping off point, either fear will motivate us or faith will. I think sometimes fear gets a bad rap. Fear is a gift, a part of our human nature. It warns us to swerve to avoid a car accident or to avoid going near the flames from a burning building. Fear can sometimes lead us to faith. 

A moment of clarity is as a good a thing as long as it is followed up with action. 
Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? Are you ready to have your bubble burst so you can experience real life? A blissful life?
Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Sunday Shot of Bliss IV.

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. - Casey Kasem
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. – Casey Kasem

When I was the little girl, I used to look up to stars and wish myself away from the violence and the chaos of my life. It helped to look up and away from all of the gravel and asphalt. Away from the angry people. Away from that man who used to pull a gun on me on my way to school and then pull the trigger. “Click”.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm. 8:3-4)

I always knew I would have a better life, even at such a young age. The stars were not my God, but a representation of the hope I would have in my God knowing someday that better life would be attained.

It is said that stars represent high hopes and great ideals. I like this concept!

There was a time when my hopes seemed so high. To live in a decent neighborhood, to have a nice home and a car that runs without having to push start it every day.

After all this came to pass, I realized just how not so high these hopes were. Again, I wanted better. I wanted to be better. To be a friend among friends, a worker among workers. To be a better parent to my children. To have something to offer others. To be of service to all of God’s creation.

My hopes and ideals are not too lofty, but they are bigger than myself. I cannot achieve them on my own. That is where a good support group, fellowship or whatever you want to call it comes in. The good news is that there are people who have lived this before and are more than happy to share with each other how they did it!

I have heard this song several times this week. I used to think it was a corny love song. Now as I hear the chorus “Waiting”. I realized this star could represent anything we are waiting on. A life partner, a job/career move, a home, retirement (gulp), the birth of a child, and for some of us just a better way of life (whatever that means).

Keep in mind that waiting, does not mean being slothful  until said “star” arrives. We must work for it. If it just happened, how much would we appreciate it? Just like labor pains; though they are difficult to experience, how easily are they forgotten when that newborn baby is placed in our arms?

I understand labor and working while waiting. Sometimes, it seemed that a bad situation was never going to end. Or more concerning, potentially get worse…and sometimes it did.


It is said that a shooting star represents a fleeting moment. “This too shall pass”. Thank you God for that one. If I didn’t have this cliché in the back of my head (and also tattooed on my shoulder), I would have lost my mind several years ago.

Are you waiting on a star to fall? Are you willing to work while you are waiting, to overcome the obstacles? Can you accept each circumstance along the way knowing “This too shall pass”? Will you share your experience and empower others along the way?

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Sunday Shot of Bliss III.

Albert Einstein Picture Quote

Miracles do happen indeed. It is our choice whether to open our eyes to see them or not. My life is a series of miracles. But this is not about me. I want  to share the miracle that is my oldest brother, Ed.

Ed is quite the family cause celebre at our annual reunion.  Young cousins (usually boys) will walk by him with wide open eyes. Occasionally, one of those young men will muster up the courage to approach Ed and ask him “Is it true you’ve been shot in the head twice?”  My brother will smile and say “Yes”, then proceed to show his first scar and explain where he was when that one happened. Then he will point out where he was shot the second time and how that one was more serious.

My brother Ed is the oldest of 5 of us from our mother. Though Ed has always been a serious guy,  he often shared his love of comic books and Star Trek with the rest of us. When he was old enough to drive, he was given the family Monte Carlo. Then promptly instructed to take us kids to the movies. That was okay with him because Superman had just been released. My brother was a no-nonsense kind of guy so he did not put up with us yelling “shot-gun!”. Nope, we all had to sit in the back seat. We devised a plan that if any of our friends saw us we would just tell them that Ed was our chauffeur.  They most likely wouldn’t have believed us since we lived in Pacoima, California at the time.

At a young age, Ed decided he wanted to become a police officer and entered the LAPD Explorer Program.  Of course he graduated.  That’s just the type of guy he is.  Around this time, he witnessed some behavior on the force that was less than ideal. Not deterred, he decided he would become a better cop than what he had seen. My brother was not short on idealism, a trait I admired in him. I still do.

Here is a tidbit that I don’t think all of our outside family even knows about:  In 1981, Ed’s first miracle was surviving a motorcycle accident. He and my step-father were broadsided by a truck on their way to work one morning. It was serious. I remember walking 2 miles to Holy Cross hospital to see him and crying with gratitude for his life on my way home.

Because of the damage done to Ed’s leg, it would take years for him to even be considered a candidate for law enforcement. So he took jobs as a chauffeur (had we prophesied this?), a security guard and as a night shift clerk for a gas station.  Ed was fearless.

When he was a security guard in Compton, Ca during the 1992 LA riots, he made friends with many of the local police officers. Many  would become life-long friends with Ed. My brother assisted them during the riots and also other events.  It was at this time that he was shot for the first time.

Ed was working as a security guard at a mall in Compton when he kicked out some gang members who told him they were going to come back and shoot him. Fearless Ed replied “Then you better shoot to kill”!  They did. They failed. The bullet struck him just under his cheekbone and went out the back of his head.  He was in and out of the hospital within hours.

A few years later, Ed moved to Atlanta, GA.  His leg was coming along nicely and he was cleaning up his credit. Many of his friends from the LAPD had sent in letters of recommendation to a law enforcement agency just outside of Atlanta. It looked like his dream was finally happening.

Ed was working the overnight shift at a BP Oil station. He had been robbed once by a guy with a fake gun. Ed pulled out his REAL gun and apprehended the robber. He was told that this guy was a suspect in a series of gas station robberies and given a commendation by the local police department

In July 1994, after dropping my sons off at school I got a phone call. Ed had been robbed again – and again shot in the head. This time the bullet was lodged in his brain and my brother was in a coma.  I knew I had to get to Georgia and be there for my brother and of course,  for my mom. We did not have any expendable finances but borrowing them and arranging care for my kids was…well miraculously a piece of cake.  I was on a plane that evening.

The doctor’s said that it was fortunate that the bullet was from a .22 and Ed’s chances of living were good. How much damage to his brain function was the question.

The thought of my brother’s life having been in the hands of someone who had no value for human life made me indescribably angry. Yet, I had to keep it together. I was there to support my mother. I picked up Ed’s telephone book and began to call his many friends.  They were obviously concerned and sad. I remember telling each of them “If I know my brother, he is thinking this very moment that there is no way some dirt-bag with a .22 was going to take his life”.  Every one  of them laughed and said that is exactly what he would be thinking!

Of course, Ed survived. He is one hard-headed individual and much prayer was spoken on his behalf.  There are so many miracles that began the moment that thug entered my brother’s store:

It is a miracle for the robber and Ed, that my brother did not have time to get to his .45, else the guy might be dead and Ed would have had to be the one who had pulled that trigger. It is a miracle that the guy used a .22 and not a larger gun or my brother would be six feet under. It is a miracle that my brother still believes in the right to bear arms and he does so today. It is a miracle that he walks, drives and independently takes care of himself.

Ed loves to pretend that he doesn’t understand something to confuse us. Yeah, he has brain damage, but after hanging with Ed, he might have you wondering if you are the one who had a head injury!

Though Ed’s chances of ever becoming a cop are over, he has a wonderful life. Every time a Marvel Comic is adapted into a movie,I won’t go to see it until I visit him in California. Because those are the movies we watch together.

I am forever grateful to God for the miracle that is my brother. Ah, and gratitude is a good road map to Blissful Living!  Stay Blissful My Friends – E