When was the last time you had an entirely happy summer? I have had just that. It has been filled with good friends and good times. I am feeling so amazing!
I tell you disengaging from negative and enjoying positive people has had an amazing impact on my life and those around me.
I know it seems as though I am always busy involving myself in something but all of the things I have done this summer have been because I have wanted to and not just because someone asked me to do it and I have felt obligated.
One event that I will not forget is Sherri Henderson's 40th birthday party.
I have never been to a party quite like this. I happened to run into her at a store while she was shopping for all things butterflies. I was never really into butterflies. I used to think that people just liked them because they were pretty and had wings that is until I met Sherri.
I really pay attention to people. I guess maybe a bit much but I really like her she is a different person. So I began to study the butterfly not for its beauty but for its qualities. Metamorphosis, transformation, balance, grace, ability to accept change ... yes, that would be Sherri.
The butterfly undergoes massive change: egg, to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges as a beautiful winged creature. All of this happens in one month! How does one survive with so much change and still remain one of the most beautiful creatures on earth? If you know Sherri ask her. She will know the answer and make you feel good even though you have been through less.
So the only person that I know to have four parties in one day would be Sherri.
Early Saturday morning the first party began at 7:00 am. Who does that? Who gets up that early?
The place was packed with women being treated to massages, manicures, pedicures and make up. Before that you could workout, hit the swimming pool and then relax in the jacuzzi.
When I got there at 10:00 am everyone was bright and chipper! They were preparing themselves for the Butterfly Tea Party. This woman is creative!
The room was amazingly decorated. The Lexington Hotel in Lansing had the best service I had seen in a long time. She really got the “Queen's Treatment”. Tablecloths, tall crystal vases with exquisite flower arrangements, scrumptious lunch menu and delicious looking desserts fit for a king. Who does that?
My 10-year-old daughter, Anissa, sang at the event, so she was the only child there. We had to set up and try to figure out logistics. The Lexington Hotel was technologically advanced. Her sound quality is crystal clear.
We waited for the harpist, Dorthea Fields, yes there was a harpist, to tune her instrument and she was amazing.
Anissa sang. We ate and chatted. However, we did not get to chat for to long because Sherri of course had handed out bags to all of the guests. Yes, she does that. On her birthday, she gave gifts to everyone.
So we had little cards inside the bags with butterflies on them. We had to write down our butterfly dreams. What do you want to come alive for you? What dreams do you have that are not being fulfilled? I mean imagine living the life of a butterfly and transforming in such a matter that at the end of the process no one recognizes who you were before.
It was amazing. So we all wrote down our “butterfly dreams”.
My dream is for all to enroll in the possibility that they can be amazing and love people. I mean it was broad and general. We were told to come to the microphone to speak and of course Anissa pops out of her seat like a jack-in-the-box to read her card.
Anissa's “butterfly dream” is to become a famous singer and live in a mansion with her father, mother and brothers. I thought, “Now that is what I am talking about!”
Jona Stout is looking forward to expanding her business to Africa. Leah Alexander is looking forward to obtaining her college degree. Other women wanted to start businesses they have always wanted and some of the other butterfly dreams were geared towards multicultural oneness, peace and loving one another.
After this tear jerking experience celebrating the achievements of how we have grown into women achievers from little girls. We were told to get the little bag that we were presented with. All of the women were wondering what was in the bag. Sherri exclaims that now that we have told our butterfly dreams that there was our own personal butterfly for us to release into the universe.
For real??? What happened to balloons? Who does that? She proceeds to tell us they were flown in the day before from Florida with this sweet innocent childlike quality that she has. So we all went outside and released our butterfly. The feeling was one that I had not felt before, probably because I am dedicated to doing things differently and stepping outside of the norm. I wasn't going to attend but I had to. I had put so many things aside for other things, other people, other wants and not my needs or my families needs.
I received the hugest reward. I got to release a baby butterfly. After that I was not missing any of the other parties. I had to go to all four!
At the third party at Troppos restaurant, I ate polenta and steak. I could have cried it was so delicious! At the fourth party at 621 we listened to DJ Violinist Rodney Page and danced the night away.
I could not believe how much fun I had. I was so tired that I had to take my shoes off on the way to the car. July 30, 2011 is a day that I will never forget.
A few weeks later at Jazzfest in Lansing, Anissa was getting ready to go on stage and a larger than life butterfly flitted around the front of the stage and flew away. I whispered into her ear, “Your butterfly dreams are about to come true. Um, I know you said you wanted us to live in your mansion but can I get my own.”
She smiled and said, “I love you Mommy!”
I thought and yes, that what makes life so worth living as she climbed the steps to sing her dream to the universe.
P.S. Log on to Facebook and like “The New Citizens Press” or “Rina Risper” tell me that you read this article and you could win two movie passes to NCG Cinemas.
This was printed in the August 28, 2011 - September 10, 2011 Edition