Here’s how I’m dealing with Covid-19

How about you?

Can I ask if this is a safe place to open up?

Since I can’t hear your response, I will imagine you nodding “yes.”

First, I’m a foreigner living in a Middle Eastern country. That’s curious enough and a surprise to me as well as it is to anyone who knows me. And second, I’m in a high-risk age group of the population. But, I LOVE Istanbul and I feel safe here and yet, afraid at the same time. If I allow myself to look at the negatives, I will drive myself crazy—and raise my BP. I don’t speak the language. Would that matter if I had C-19 symptoms and showed up at a hospital? But I also feel super secure in the fact that the health care system is one of the best in the world. And the Turkish people take care of their own. And as long as I’m living in their country, I’m certain they will take care of me.

So here’s what I’m doing.

First, I got my hair done yesterday. And then walked to my neighborhood Starbucks. It was business as usual but fewer people on the streets. Still, I nodded at the familiar smiling faces and thanked the staff at Starbucks by slipping an extra big tip in their jar when they weren’t looking. I know it will be lean times for all workers over the next few weeks. Some businesses are already closed down.

It was freezing out and windy but I’m grateful for the fact that I’m healthy and can walk and afford to go to the hairdressers, the pharmacy and Starbucks.

I glanced across the street and witnessed this. It the first time I’ve seen this in Istanbul.

“There, but for the grace of God…” It made my heart hurt. What will the poor people and the refugees do during this scary time?

Further on my walk I looked up and saw these event posters hanging everywhere.

I LOVE YOU. And that made my heart sing.

I came to a decision yesterday. In life we always have choices. I chose to be the LIGHT, I will do what I’ve always done. I will put my own fears aside and show strength and compassion.

So I opened up my computer and did a FB Live. I said hi to friends and readers of my novels and memoir that I’ve met from all over the world. I connected and made people smile. Then I shared something I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert—the author of Eat Pray Love—she called it a grounding technique to bring us back into the present.

And now I will share it with you.

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Name 5 things you can see right now. I. I see the sun streaming in through my loft window landing on my white cotton comforter on my bed 2. I see a colorful pocket notebook with Istanbul and a sketch of the Hagia Sophia on the cover 3. I see my iPad where I have a thousand books and several I have not yet read so I know what I will do with my time if I self-isolate 4. I see photos in a stack in front of me, the only things I kept from my past when I packed my suitcase and left my life in Mexico to travel in 2019 5. I see the fresh coffee I just made from the extra bags of beans I bought at Starbucks yesterday.

Name 4 things you can hear right now. 1. I hear the hum of the heater—it’s cold today. I’m so grateful to have electricity. 2. I hear the Call to Prayer at the Mosque. I know Muslims all over the world will stop and say their prayers in the privacy of their offices or homes because groups are forbidden by the Iman during this time of the virus. 3. I can hear a seagull calling. The Bosphorus Strait is at the end of my street 4. I can hear the keyboard click as I type each word and hope I’m inspiring you.

Name 3 things you feel right now. 1. I feel happy because my boyfriend came over last night and made me laugh and helped me get centered. 2. I feel loved and cherished to know that someone cares that I’m okay. 3. I feel purposeful because I made a decision in the midst of my anxiety that I would do what I do best and spread LIGHT and LOVE.

Name 2 things you can smell right now. 1. My steaming black coffee 2. My Chanel Chance perfume that I put on my neck just for me.

Name 1 thing you can taste right now. I can taste the bananas with honey sprinkled with Chia seeds that I’m eating while I write this piece for you.

And finally, since it’s the eve of my BIRTHDAY, this is my birthday wish:

I will send an intention out to the Universe that when this virus is finally under control, governments, countries, and people can somehow begin to truly embrace the fact that #weareallone.

As always, thanks for reading. And if you’re looking for something to read. ULTIMATUM Code Raven 3 is free right now!

The Art of Love

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The Art of Love

 

a moments rest

time to digest

the thoughts of him

his illness

my Love

so long ago

and yet

always clear

present

and near

 

words

uninvited

the sound of his voice teasing

knowing that something

was not

quite

right

 

the solemn day

rushes up to me

grabs my heart

squeezes old tears

demands of me

an/swer/s (to questions) I don’t want to hear

 

what are you doing sweet heart

there is an art to love

have you been asleep

throughout your life

are you too busy

looking for Love

to follow the rules?

 

there is no logic to Love, I respond

it cannot be dissected

ana/lyz/ed

filed

it does not fit

into

patterns

principles and strategies

there are no rules

to Love

 

the art is in the Loving

in the selflessness

in the joy of knowing

your beloved feels safe

and loved

 

the Art is in the Love

 

and for this Love

I would do anything

 

and so

I do nothing

 

© The Art of Love, I (Spy) Love 

 

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Help

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© Lynda Filler Photography 2017

 

Help

I feel (help)less

(dis)connected to you my love

worried

(in)sane

(in)complete

my heart sore

my body rests in increments

no longer sure

no longer in touch

with you

spirit to spirit

I cannot be sure

I do not know

how close (to life)

how near (to death)

I pray

 

© I (Spy) Love, Lynda Filler

 

The Art of Love

 

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© Lynda Filler Photography, Venice, Italy

 

The Art of Love

 

a moments rest

time to digest

the thoughts of him

his illness

my Love

so long ago

and yet

always clear

present

and near

 

words

uninvited

the sound of his voice teasing

knowing that something

was not

quite

right

 

the solemn day

rushes up to me

grabs my heart

squeezes old tears

demands of me

an/swer/s (to questions) I don’t want to hear

 

     what are you doing sweet heart

     there is an art to love

     have you been asleep

     throughout your life

 

     are you too busy

     looking for Love

     to follow the rules?

 

there is no logic to Love, I respond

it cannot be dissected

ana/lyz/ed

filed

it does not fit

into

patterns

principles and strategies

there are no rules

to Love

 

the art is in the Loving

in the selflessness

in the joy of knowing

your beloved feels safe

and loved

 

the Art is in the Love

 

and for this Love

I would do anything

 

and so

I do nothing

 

© The Art of Love by Lynda Filler, I (Spy) Love

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Think You’re Ugly? Q

 

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The outside of us can be changed, but I believe it’s the inside shining out, that makes us beautiful.

If a “lot of men” find you ugly, and you look in the mirror and see a good looking girl, take a real hard look at the person inside that you’re conveying to the world.

I have an amazing man in my life that unfortunately is incurably ill. One day, years ago, I asked him what he liked most about me. I was expecting him to say my boobs, or my eyes, or my smile. You know, typical physical stuff that guys are attracted to—or so I thought. But he answered immediately with “what’s between your ears.” For me, that means the way I think, the conversations we have, my personality, the fun, the laughter and the love.

I almost died from an incurable disease in 2008. I wrote the memoir this year: LOVE The Beat Goes On I’ve lost lovers to death, I’ve lost possessions, marriage and the dreams of a future with the love of my life. I still don’t believe that “life is unfair.”

You cannot be ugly unless you think you are. But the first and best relationship in your life is going to be with yourself.

I’m grateful daily for the life I’ve been given and I look forward to every single day with love in my heart.

If This Book Could Save Lives…

Lynda’s story will help someone avoid the health crises that plague our society today. Attention to early warning signs, self-care, emotional intelligence, and self-love are all concepts that Lynda covers in her personal and sometimes humorous story of how she went from 6 months to live in 2008 to cured and living a healthy life today. Insurance companies should give this book with every policy written. Heal yourself one heart beat at a time. 

 

on May 18, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I hadn’t heard of Dilated Cardiomyopathy before reading this book. But, I know any number of people who have been given a death sentence and suffer years of treatment. When Lynda Filler was given this same prognosis, she decided to defy the odds and embrace life. Her choice to believe the impossible and live the imaginable is truly inspirational. I loved her energy, her zest for life – both of which are evident on every page of this book.
There are no clear answers, no step by step directions; rather, Filler’s message is simple, follow JOY. Set negativity aside and follow what you love. Fill your hours with that which gives you life. I highly recommend this jewel of a book.
on March 31, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is going in the birthday bags, Christmas stockings and every get well package that I send this year. Lynda Filler’s journey through cardiomyopathy is amazing, inspiring, and thought-provoking about more than just illness. Anyone facing a major obstacle, a fork in the road, or looking to reinvent their lives would benefit from a journey through Lynda’s heart and soul story.
Format: Paperback
Often self-help or books that offer advice on how to improve your life are pedantic or so “new-agey” to be taken seriously. This is not true of Lynda Filler’s book Love The Beat Goes On.
Appropriately titled, the book chronicles the author’s own life experiences, beginning with what was essentially a death sentence. Diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, her life expectancy in 2008 was about five years. From the beginning Filler was determined to survive and enjoy a healthy and rewarding life. Her journey provides many lessons for readers ill or fit. Following her as she navigates the health care systems, spiritual awakening, and self-awakening the reader can’t help but become invested in her story.
Throughout the book, she reminds her readers to follow their physician’s recommendations and take medications as prescribed. Her book is not about medical advice. It is the telling of how her determination and positive vision has enabled her to long outlive the dismal prognosis of early doctors. Dedicated to living a full life and doing the things she enjoys, Filler did things most people with a bleak and hopeless future would not even dream of. Traveling extensively, driving from Mexico to British Columbia, following spiritual paths many would not consider, Filler took charge of her future.
After telling a remarkable and inspiring tale, the author devotes the final chapters of her book to “Heart Habits”; methods readers can use to overcome negativity and enhance their quality of life. By using creativity, developing a positive spiritual outlook, and exercising mind and body, Filler improved her health and lengthened her life well past her doctor’s forecast.
If you do no more than read this book as an autobiographical journey, you will come away with a smile on your face. This is an uplifting and inspiring book. Personally, I plan to use some of Filler’s “techniques” to begin my own journey to a healthier and more vibrant life.
on April 27, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! First of all, when I saw the cover, I was intrigued. As I turned page after page so many instances, names, and locations were absolutely familiar to me. Wayne Dyer snippets. I knew them all. Although I was unfamiliar with cardiac problems, I found all the medical information fascinating and can honestly say I enjoyed every minute. From medical emergencies to romantic scenarios to paranormal events, this book was one happy surprise after another.
on April 15, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I will agree with the author, Lynda Filler, in the one thing that she stresses in LOVE The Beat Goes On, “Don’t Google your illness.” I’d add to that, “Don’t Google your illness if you are ignorant of its variations and do not know where to get to right advice.” Similarly, realize that when a doctor tells you to get your things in order, that your disease is in an acute phase, but, it may not stay that way. Acute illnesses, even ones affecting the heart, may go away, just like the measles and the mumps do. The condition that remains is the chronic disease, which is less dangerous in many instances.
There are many conditions that Google might give a ten-year life expectancy for the acute phase, whereas in a chronic phase of that condition one would be able to live with the disease for a normal length lifespan, or an only slightly shortened life expectancy.Yes, avoid doing blind medical research on Google if you do not have a trusted medical guide, as that can only alarm you.The author, with her doctor, and mentors’ assistance, and her courage, determination and positive attitude combined, reclaimed a healthy life.Even if she remains with a symptom-free, mild, chronic version of the condition, there is no reason why that should worsen.As we mature, we have chronic illnesses, or disease, in common. I applaud Lynda Filler for having regained her health and for sharing her journey through this book. An excellent, inspirational read.
 

 

What is the worst yet also the best day of your life?

 

I flew to Phoenix with plans to drive to Sedona, Arizona. It was 2008 and the doctors had told me I was not responding to medication for a serious heart condition and had told me to “get my affairs in order.” They basically said I had six months to live.

I was trying to relax by the swimming pool, tired and worried, when I started seeing double! I drove my self to a hospital and ended up being yelled at by a cardiologist for traveling while being so seriously ill. After 4 days of hospitalization—they had no idea why I was seeing double—I drove to Sedona. I’d rather die trying to save my life than sitting around waiting to die!

The next morning was both the worst and best day of my life.

I was traumatized by the 2-hour drive in the dark from Phoenix to Sedona. I was sure my heart was going to give up on me. But I had made it.

I proceeded to go for coffee, have a muffin and hope for the best. I had no idea why I came to Sedona only something inside of me said: find a healer, he will know what to do.

Four hours later, on the worst and most frightening day of my life, I walked down from Airport Vortex in Sedona with a Shaman I’d met that morning, and I knew my heart was healed.

LOVE The Beat Goes On Yes. I wrote my story this year.

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What is Love?

 

This is very personal… I wrote it this morning in honor of my bf of several years who has been hospitalized for a long long long time. He’s dying. But I will never give up hope.
What is love? Let me count the ways.
the moments throughout my day when I think about you and hope you’re not in pain
the six months when you were in a coma and I never heard from you but I NEVER gave up hope
the times when I do something, write something and think “G would like this” or “G wouldn’t like this.” The love/hate thing that exists in all love relationships
the way I think of you early in the morning and last thing at night
the way I laugh when another man tries to get my attention…. I shake my head and say to myself “G is an impossible act to follow”
the way I feel close to you, it’s like I talk to you and you’re not even here, but I feel as if you hear me
the way I sit in moments like right now, with many things to do and all I want to do is write to you
the way I long to go to Venice again but keep hoping for a miracle so that we can make that trip together and you can teach me about Opera and I can write poetry about love
the three books of poetry inspired by you, and a writing career that you gave me the strength to pursue
its the way I know that you would be my fierce protector if things were different
its the way everything I write, my determination to succeed, the photos I take, and the paintings I do are all done with you in the back of mind, always in honor of the things you can no longer do
it’s the way you took my hand one day when we first started seeing each other and we were walking down the street near Hotel Monaco, and I said to myself “I have a boyfriend”
the way not a moment has gone by since I met you—except when you piss me off—when I haven’t wished I was Your One, the One person you wanted by your side
the way I know that in a heart beat I’d give the life I know up to be by your side until “death do us part”

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but I knew, from the moment I saw your smile and looked into your eyes that you were the crazy one I’d been waiting for my whole life