Posted by: ButterflyMoms | June 20, 2010


Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms,
This might just be my best blog yet….Let me know what you think. It means a lot to me when you send feeback.

Little girls and fathers…..ahhhh, perhaps one of THE most interesting and influential relationship of our lives! Whether they were “there”, or not, how they treated you, or didn’t, all of this greatly influences us. There is no escaping it so let’s explore it. Today, I’ll use myself as a “case study”. Here we go…. (deep breaths)

My Beloved "Pai" (Dad in Portuguese) - one of my BIGGEST Teachers In This Lifetime!

When I was born in Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal in 1967, women there had almost NO RIGHTS. They did not have THE RIGHT to vote and if they traveled outside the country they literally needed a letter with their husband’s PERMISSION! WOW! Imagine that life. (deep breath) SIDE NOTE: Since today is Father’s Day, I want to stay focused on fathers but I’m recommending you read, “HALF THE SKY” which is a fabulous book by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It is soooooooooooo incredibly eye-opening! It was featured on the Oprah Show and when you read it you will see why! I will write more about “HALF THE SKY” on a later blog….. “now back to your regularly scheduled program!!!!!”

My parents immigrated to the United States a week before my fourth birthday. My father fiercely LOVED his children but the only tool he had in his life bag of skills was a HAMMER and that is how he saw every problem, as a nail. His beatings were nightmares at the time that reverberated through my life. They were so bad, and we were so afraid of him, that I prayed almost every night that he would die. The last time he beat me was a week before I turned 20 years old. This time I got the courage to call the police. When they got there they told him to go take a walk and that everything would be fine. That was 1987 before any bills had been passed to protect women from domestic violence – YES, EVEN IN AMERICA! In America, it was only in 1972 that women were allowed to take out a bank loan or credit card without having a male relative (even her son) co-sign on the account!! Thank goodness things have gotten a bit better since then!

A Year or So After We Immigrated to the United States from Portugal

Even after I left home I took the pain with me. Throughout the day, each day, I would unpack it and use it. I made it a huge part of my life, a crutch. I got sympathy and energy from people when I shared it with them. Caroline Myss, the best-selling author and energy medicine healer, calls that WOUNDOLOGY. I felt less than whole. In the late 90’s, I went to a workshop in Berkeley, California with Caroline Myss. During the workshop I got one of my biggest gifts, REALIZATION. Carolyn Myss teaches that each day we are given 100 energy points for a full night’s sleep. You “spend” those points by what you think about. HOW SIMPLE! HOW ON TARGET! WOW! I realized that I was showing up in my life sending HATE to my father (whom I also loved deeply) EVERY  DAY and thus spending my ENERGY points on HATE and what I did not want in my life. WOW!!!!!! TALK ABOUT AN AHA MOMENT! I think what I LOVED most about it was that not only did the explanation FEEL RIGHT, but it was something I could SHIFT. I HAVE CONTROL OVER THAT!!! YAY!!!! That was a HUGE life altering moment for me! As I write this I see a major pattern of growth about every 10 years for me. I hope the growth comes faster, otherwise I’ll have to live until I’m 325! 😉

Last year I enrolled The Rhys Thomas School of Energy Medicine. The whole year has been absolutely incredible! I call it THE REAL DEAL! It brought me to a whole new level of understanding about why we are here and what I’m specifically here to do….TO BE THE FIRE THAT IGNITES PEOPLES’ SOULS!!! 

Our Mãe Joins Our Photo Shoot 😉

The last day of class I got a HUGE AHA about my dad’s role in my life. I HAD HAD IT ALL WRONG! I “suddenly” realized that I did not hate him! I had never hated him. Who I hated was ME!!!! WOW! WOW! WOW! I see now that it was easier for me to hate him than hate myself, but that inside I felt like I was not good enough. It was not a conscious thing. I had no clue that I thought that (although in hind sight the universe gave me truckloads of clues – the boyfriends, the icky situations, the bosses, the debt….you get the gist)! It was the reason I had spent all those years trying to over-deliver to clients and worked sometimes 20 hours a day so they would NEVER FIND OUT that I was a FAKE. There was a part of me who thought I was BROKEN and that part of me did not want to be found out. I NOW REALIZE I AM WHOLE because I CAME THROUGH this life experience and it is NOT WHERE I’M FROM. I’m FROM the same stuff that we are all from, the love that makes the stars and the ocean and the sunsets. It’s the magic of that energy that we are all FROM, everything else is JUST A LESSON!

My dad is an incredible man. He never knew his dad and lived in a very violent and loveless boys’ school in Portugal where they sent poor kids. He lived there, away from his mom for eight long years. It formed who he was. One of his gifts to me was that I got to super develop my INTUITION. My dad was very volatile at the drop of a hat so my five senses (our mind) could not pick up the cues. I had to go deeper to avoid dangerous situations. Without knowing it at the time I was developing one of my favorite abilities! It is that ability I share with you EVERY day when I write, INTUITION.

Today’s blog is a very deep one. We come to this planet to learn, play, love and let go. IF you take things personally you cannot let the lesson go and it will bite you in the ass until you do 😉 You sometimes cannot control what happens to us but we CAN control how we react. Just like with what I teach my son Christopher, we have two choices. See it as a gift and what it comes to teach you OR see it as a curse. As Maya Angelou says, “We do the best we can with what we have and when know better, we do better.” This is my better. What is your better?

A Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! May you remember you are doing the best you can with what you have. And to all the daughters out there, may you uncover your lesson and move through it! 

Great big hugs to you my beautiful ButterflyMoms!




PS If you like this blog please share it with others… The link is: Great big hugs!!!! :)!!! You are safe! 🙂


  1. Hi! As always, another beautiful and insightful post 🙂 I read your blog daily and love getting the e-mail in my inbox showing your latest post.

    I did have a comment – if you do like feedback I don’t know the best way to reach you for specific comments – maybe I missed it but is there a “contact me” link right on the blog?
    a dedicated fan

  2. Wow, Wow, Wow…yes I would say it is your best yet!

    I would love to know more about the school you attended this past year.

    We have so much in common Mariaaa!

    Happy Father’s Day to Doug!

    • Hello Beautiful Joanne,

      THANKS AGAIN for reaching out! It sooooooooooo helps me when people email me. When I write I like to know there is an audience waiting to read what I wrote. Oftentimes I picture you in my audience! You motivate me. You help me bring out the best in myself. THANK YOU!

      Great big hugs,

  3. Great job. As always I am here to support you. I love the journey we’re on. Love you.

    • Beautiful Doug,

      Today’s blog might have been the best but it was also one of the longest to write. So on this Father’s Day thank you for making your special breakfast for your family so I had time to write and so that we could all sit outside and eat our magnificent feast.

      Beijinhos amor! HAPPY FATHER’s DAY!


  4. Ah yes, Maria. Another insightful and wonderful blog. Hyper-vigilance is a sword that cuts both ways for me and it has taken years to let down the guard and just “be” in the world. I am at peace with my father (who died when I was 18) and grateful every day that I was given a mother who was able to guide me gently, generously, and ever so capably through life.

    Peace and joy today to you and your wonderful husband, Doug.


  5. Thank you for sharing. I love you! XOXOXO I now have to go find a tissue.

  6. Maria,

    So well said. I’ve learned to forgive my father in spirit (since I can’t in person) and to have compassion for the path he took — as I now realize how he’s hurting himself more than myself. Like you said, one can come into the world with their own limited set of life skill tools.

    So with that said, I will wish my father in spirit a happy Father’s Day on MY birthday today! I was born on Father’s Day, of all things! Must mean something, yes??? Every seven years it comes around on that day. And every seven years isn’t it we renew our cells in our body? Perhaps it’s like a reminder to renew my connection with my father in a new way — a renewal of the self and not abandoning who I am.

    Linda D.

  7. Maria,

    I loved your post! I admit that I haven’t always made time to read your blog, but I think that now I will make the time!



  8. Why is it I cry every time I read your blogs. Something must be wrong with me? Wait…you (Mariaaaaaaaa) would say “No Janelle something must be right with you!” I love you my dear friend and I am SO happy and touched that you shared this about your father. It is a lesson to me. A great gift today and always. Thank you for being in my life. Hugs and love to a truly inspirational, talented and intelligent woman whom I am proud to call my dear friend and sister…..Janelle

  9. Thanks Maria…a celebration of compassion…enjoy the summer solstice…
    in spirit, love always, Janice

  10. I learned that we come to this world and we have to deal ith “somethig ” or “someone” and is how we come out of it that makes us a better person. It does take a long time to some but the constant search is the answer to our lives.
    Thank you for sharing a piece of you, Love

  11. All that exists within the universe flows in us and through us – the good, the bad, the painful, the joyful, the moments of sheer joy, and utter terror. The ones we cling to shape us. The ones we learn from help us. But always, even when we can’t see it, it is all there flowing through us. When we are children, we need someone who understands this (with or without these words) to help us find the joy in life and survive the tough times. I think your Butterfly, Sophia, is that helper for you – even though she is the child and you are the adult. She touched the little girl in you and helped her grow and gave her wings. Now you are doing that for others -because we are all children and adults at the same time in our souls. It is all there within us.
    I am glad for you that you have found a way to understand, to forgive your dad, and to let go of the fear. The bigger the fear, the bigger the rebirth when it is gone. You suffered much and now you are giving much to others. You have a powerful message and an indefatigable passion to spread that message.
    Your father is very proud today.

  12. I’m moved by your realizing how you were creating your life, not just living a life (as you thought) that someone else had created for you.

    What possibilities now exist for you! May I remember this the next time I feel like a victim of circumstances. As Wayne Dyer said, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

  13. My old idea of parenting usually involved tottaly responsability for the welfare of the children. But I’m starting to understand the Universe get parents and their children together to learn from each other. Maria I’m sooo proud of you!!! Love

  14. Your sharing of your relationship with your dad is heartbreaking. I learned something about myself today. Thank you

    • Beautiful Luisa,
      If we uncover some of the history of our Portuguese culture many things will be explained. Nothing taken personally will ever set us free. All any of us want is to be heard, seen and udnerstodo!

      Muito amor!

  15. It is amazing that you can talk about it, understand and forgive. Many people never had a chance and many more will not admit or even attempt to understand.

    Unfortunately the bad moments are the ones that have a tendency to come up but the good ones are put away. My motto is that it is not the person, it’s the situation.

    Beautiful piece. Keep up the good work.

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