Eight years ago this month, I was working in my office in Hackensack when a woman I had been helping came in and found me tearful at my desk. She was (and is) a loving deeply caring and religious woman, a mother and a grandmother so the chances that she would overlook my sadness were nil. When she inquired what was wrong, I tried with all my might not to tell her, not to inflict my sadness on this other person who was in need of my help. But, she was intent that I speak my tears out and resist as I might, she drew me in to her confidence. I told her I had been cooking and preparing a holiday meal for my family and friends, that I was missing my mother who had only recently passed away and that I was feeling the pressure of being the remaining female, responsible for not only my own life but for my children, for my financial future, for my elderly father, for my brother who lives with a disability and for everything else I could have possibly felt terrible about – including my annoyance that no one seemed to be helping me put together this colossal holiday event. This woman, who years later lives as somewhat of a prophet in my consciousness gave me a piece of advise that still keeps me afloat to this day. Here is what she told me. Make your holiday. Cook your food. Set your table. Do the best you can do from your heart because that is where the magic is. And if you do that, if you give your best love in your efforts, then everything else will melt away. It won’t matter if anyone helps or not. It won’t even matter if anyone says ‘thank you’ or not. It won’t even matter if you break into tears over your food or even at the table – because you did your work with true love and that is the best place for your energy.
Maybe she was a prophet. Or, maybe my mother wherever she was, somehow sent her to me to put me back together. Could be she was just a super smart lady who knew more than me about life. Either way, somehow, I miraculously felt better and did as she suggested. I cooked and baked and set the table. I burned things. I had mis-matched china. Some people came late, some on time. Some helped in the kitchen, some not. Chances are my kids probably didn’t behave. But you know what? I still remember it as the most relaxed I ever was while entertaining and to this day, in moments of stress and pressure, her words comfort me and I carry them everywhere.
By September of the following year, Bright Path Consulting was incorporated and had offices Teaneck. I had left my full-time position as Associate Director of a group home agency and hung out a shingle with a mission to provide support and guidance to people with special needs and their families. Eight years later, the doors are still open and I’m feeling it is time to tell more stories.
Bright Path stories are stories of hope and light and I look forward to sharing my journey with you over the coming days, weeks and months.
Thank you for reading and here’s hoping you will tune in for the next chapter.