Friday, October 31, 2008

Struggling with Logic and Emotion Again

I was listening to a sad song on the way home. It was a Blue October song and the lyrics were singing something like “can we pretend I’m amazing, I can pretend I’m amazing, instead of what we both know.” The music is beautiful in that song. I wish I could remember what it’s called…I think it’s titled “Amazing.” Pretty and sad…but I was driving down a hill on my way home from work and way off in the distance I could see green hills leading up to the mountains after a long stretch of low city road, hazy sunshine, gorgeous small just forming storm clouds covering the cerulean sky but letting the light through. I was struck by the beauty and how I usually just miss that view most nights when I drive home. I imagined as I looked that as far as I could see there were people driving, walking and heading somewhere at that moment…people were laughing, crying, sitting, thinking and talking. I felt lonely in that moment though I’m not sure exactly why.

I’m kind of tired now having been up at 3:00 a.m. two mornings in a row. I feel incredibly anxious and have for days. I can tell my mind is busy working out some challenges in the back ground…a low irritating continual and nebulous hum. Life’s events these past several years have been emotionally devastating and perhaps a part of my mind still feels the reverberations, mistrust in myself and the world around me and frustrated at having to face all that I faced. I’d like to say I didn’t choose everything that happened but I know I did. Maybe I didn’t choose reactions of other people but I chose my actions, my thoughts and I was really very hurt and devastated. I realize in this moment that I’ve been fighting off this feeling like I used to fight with my little brother over the last chocolate chip cookie back at home. It’s never good to fight emotions. When you fight what you’re feeling and thinking anxiety does settle over you in the most discomforting way. I know better but unconsciously I’ve engaged in battle. It’s a battle I consciously can’t win. There really is no help for it other than to let these reverberating after-shocks hit, wash over me and then fade away.

There are new things adding to the anxiety. Perhaps it’s the new things triggering feelings of old. I’m not really sure because I’ve not given it much thought but as I sit here and think about it, I realize that’s entirely possible. Realization can be a double edged sword sometimes. But, the best course when you realize what is going on is to take appropriate action. For me, appropriate action is to stop fighting and to merely surrender to all it is that I’m feeling all of it. There is one area I’m fighting most fiercely and with seemingly good reason. I’m dealing with emotions in one area I don’t want to face out of pure unadulterated fear and mistrust of myself and someone else. A simple conversation might alleviate that fear but with this anxiety and in this emotional state, the words just can’t seem to form correctly and I end up feeling locked up, oppressed by my own thoughts and it isn’t a comfortable place to be. I’m not sure there are any answers other than to admit to feeling my feelings, thinking my thoughts and talking about what’s going on for me. I’m just not sure where to start and won’t belabor it here. This is just something I’ll have to tackle in another way, an important way.

It’s hard when my feelings wrestle with my logical mind. One thought flows with a feeling attached and quickly logic steps in and tries to negate the thought and cut short the feeling. This creates anxiety and a whole host of assumptions that generate more feelings the logical mind tries to circumvent. I’m left feeling off-balanced, lost floating in nebulous strangling emotions and fears scrambling to find a foothold of a sane line of thinking that might pull me out. I know that tiny gossamer thread is here somewhere and I need only to just trust it’s there, grab hold of it and I’ll pull myself out of this swirling mess of thoughts and emotions. I feel like I’m so close to shrugging them off like a coat on a rainy day. I’m almost there and I think today I will find release and I will smile at my success. I think I need a long cold and lonely walk on the shore this morning. I think I shall make sure to fit that in before the mundane upkeep of my vehicle that is required of me also this morning.

I stepped outside to see the stars and instead felt tiny drops of rain. It was refreshing. The smell clean and uplifting. It’s been a while since I let the raindrops fall on my skin and smiled at the wonder of the things of this earth. I think I shall train my focus there today and let the swirling thoughts coalesce and settle a bit before I attempt to tackle any communication points. There is always tomorrow and if I set my intent in this direction and hold it, it will happen as I intend. It’s information I seek and I will find it and set myself free one way or another.

The thought for today is this, when emotion strikes in any of its facets, don’t act. Relax and don’t fight it. Just let the emotion be, observe it, feel it and then relax and let it pass over you like a harmless beautiful wave that makes you appreciate the beautiful moments in life. Some times the waves are higher and thicker than others but you know you can ride it and when the crest gets close, it will actually lift you up and set you back down gently. You just need patience, a lot of self-love and trust in that this is just how you get through emotional periods in life. Happy Halloween all. Be safe, be well and have a blessed day and evening. Peace.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Emotions and Politics

I communed with my beloved stars again this morning. The sky was so black and peaceful. I watched as a satellite traced its way across the sky and wondered what the world looked like from way up there. On cool mornings I can hear the waves hitting the shore. You can’t always hear them being a quarter mile from the beach but I guess the cooler temperature combined with little early morning activity and the sound travels greater distances. It was a peaceful sound and I wished I were dressed warmly and sitting on the sand in the dark awaiting the sun.

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. this morning unable to go back to sleep. This has been a habit of late and one I’m not all that fond of. Luckily I went to bed at a reasonable hour and got a good 6 hours of sleep. I’m going to be tired later I fear. I’ll be ready for a nap about the time I’ll need to meet with my boss…GREAAAT! That’s okay, today is like Friday to me. I’ve got the day off tomorrow. My car is 600 miles past the point at which service was due. It’s only an oil change and tire rotation so not a big deal. That’s the first order of business tomorrow morning. Then, I’m off to get the poor dirty truck detailed. The Santa Ana winds from two weeks ago combined with foggy wet mornings has created quite a mud film on my car. I really need to take care of that. I also need the inside thoroughly vacuumed out. I’m going to attempt to quit smoking in my car and the ashes in it make it smell awful!

I missed my tennis lesson last night and am bummed. I so wanted and needed to play but sciatica kicked in and dictated otherwise. Rather than be upset about it I watched the Obama infomercial. I was really disappointed. I had hoped there would be something new and inspiring and I saw and heard nothing but empty and nebulous campaign promises that already show signs of being huge untruths. I’m sorry folks but I just can’t get behind this candidate. Hillary would have been a better choice for the dem ticket. Everyone seems to be so afraid of McCain and Palin. I think that’s ridiculous. Their personal views on things won’t change the laws of the land and bring down utter destruction as so many people thing…there is a congress, remember? Its okay, to each his and her own. I like the idea of a smart business woman on the GOP ticket. It doesn’t matter to me that her views on abortion don’t match mine. The majority thoughts of the people will keep things fair, that’s just how this country works.

I’ve not voted since Reagan because I was just too disgusted. However, a good friend pointed out the importance of paying attention, staying involved and voting. He’s very wise and I respect him a great deal so I reregistered and will be out next week voting. I’ve been a republican since I was 18. I was careful in making that decision because it resonated with me. I’ve been republican in my views all of these years even when it was unpopular, even when all of my friends went dem. I just couldn’t do it, it wasn’t me. The politics of the campaign are interesting and the media bias irresponsible. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I think those media outlets that participate in biased broadcasting should be held accountable. They have an obligation to bring people the truth, not just their version of it. Report the facts, look for the facts and let them be known. Fox and CNN seem to be the only outlets making an effort to be unbiased although some of the folks do have a bias obviously…at least they’re reporting all facts for both sides and CNN last night seemed to really be making a concerted effort at fairness. I appreciated that immensely.

I think the campaign had me worried and kept me from sleeping. It’s silly, I know but I just can’t help but be passionate about it. My instincts are usually pretty good and I’ve got a bad feeling about the democratic ticket. I don’t like the idea of a democratic congress and democratic president. I don’t think that’s good for our country but that’s just me. I think the problems aren’t democrats or republicans, it’s the people we’ve all elected who’ve been corrupted by a system that is flawed but works for the most part. I hear so many people complain but hey, get out and vote, come up with a solution instead of just whining about the problems…get involved, write letters, send emails do something other than just complaining.

Okay, enough of that rant. I noticed that the fog is rolling in again. My beautiful stars are now obscured, much like the truth in politics…hehehehe. Ah well, I guess that’s just the way it goes and I’ll navigate my way to my morning stopping points by rote I suppose. I’m getting pretty good at that. Despite being tired, I’m surprised at how optimistic I am. I have other heavy stuff weighing on my mind this morning. It’s not easy stuff either. It’s things I’ve never dealt with before so I’m not quite sure how to respond and make decisions. So, I’m doing a bad thing and not making some. I guess I feel like more information is needed or maybe I’m waiting for the unknown to be revealed on it’s own. I’m frustrated at my inability to speak here but that’s just the way it goes for now and the right words, at the right time, will come to the surface and let the truth be known in my current contemplations. It’s all good.

I better get myself off to work. I guess my thought for today is that its okay to drift sometimes without reaching for a shore somewhere. Maybe we need that drifting time to get more in touch with how we feel or let the tide and currents carry us instead of being completely in control. You have to have a lot more faith in the unknown but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trusting in yourself and our Maker is key here. Peace.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Truth Shall Set Me Free (I Hope)

The day yesterday didn’t turn out to be all that much better than the day before…vexing legal delays, Ugh! But, all good things do take time. I just don’t want to pay any more for something I feel I’ve already paid for with blood, sweat, tears and a good chunk of my savings account. Live and learn! It seems today I’m questioning my own existence, who I am and what I want. Something at the core of me is driving me to make changes, seek clarity and it’s making me increasingly uncomfortable. Lesson time I fear…there are a few lessons that have been floating around the perimeter of my existence and I’m apparently not getting it so they keep swirling, swooping in, knocking me off balance and then leaving me feeling like I’ve just been on a roller coaster.

I don’t like that feeling and I’m not sure the words pent up inside given flight will really make a difference here. I guess there is only one way to know for sure and that’s to set the thoughts and feelings free even if I make a fool of myself in the process. I guess there’s really no help for it as this compelling urge won’t leave me even though I’ve tried to ignore it, look at it differently and play out scenarios in my own mind. I realize that’s the core of the issue…playing out scenarios in my own mind concerning another whom I have no control over and realize I could be making a lot of off-based assumptions. I’ve held my tongue because I’m not sure that speaking would accomplish anything. The one thing that would be accomplished is making known the way I feel about something. I’m not sure why in this case it is so difficult for me to open my mouth. I’m not sure if it’s fear, I’m not sure if I’m worried about being careful of what I ask for, I just don’t know. Usually when we struggle and agonize over decisions of any sort, it’s because we know what is right for us and we’re avoiding.

So, I’m thinking this morning about what it is I’m avoiding and that circles me right back to a fear that can only be confirmed as real or imaginary by opening my mouth and talking to another person even if it seems the goal is pointless. I guess if nothing else it will net me confidence in expressing my courage to speak my mind no matter how pointless that may be. It’d require that I be true to myself and clarify my own feelings which I’m not 100% certain of at the moment. There are many reasons why I might doubt myself in this particular area. I’m sort of keeping my own counsel on that topic here and just brushing the surface of the challenge here. Maybe my struggles, meandering thoughts and fears might help someone else from following the same thorny path some day.

The thought for the day is to heed compelling urges, provided they are healthy and speak your truth with sincerity, kindness and in honesty. There is no better way and outcomes will be as they were intended to be regardless of what you want; regardless of what you fear. Sometimes setting things free can liberate you in amazing ways. Peace.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wishing on The Stars

Domestic discord had me crying out like the Calgon commercial from years ago yesterday. I had a resulting fitful night of sleep as well. But, this morning when I stepped outside into the cool and dark I noticed a clear black sky filled with twinkling stars. I breathed in the beauty of it and felt like I’d been holding my breath until that moment and, as if to make up for missed moments, I caught a glimpse of not one but two shooting stars and of course wishes were sent up and out!

I’m tired this morning but I’m much more calm, the anxiety drained away during fitful slumber. That’s fine by me. Somehow the coffee tastes much sweeter today and the aroma leaves me with a heavenly feeling. I love mornings . Especially after a rough bit of a day. I’m suffering the parental growing pains. My sweet girls can some times act like possessed demons. I’m the only constant they have definitively day in and day out and when I have a bad day, they sense it and respond at this psychic level that amazes me every time it occurs. I have to find a way to quickly restore mental/thoughtful balance when this occurs and its just damn hard when the bad day is compounded by children acting like they’ve lost their minds. There is a huge lesson in my experience from yesterday and it’s really about not letting your emotions throw you off balance. Now, I know this is much easier said than done but it’s worth the effort to find a way to restore balance quickly, adjust your attitude and your thoughts or like a negative magnet, you can draw some not fun emotional stuff your way.

Today will be a much better day. I can feel it already. A fair night of sleep even helps restore some of the balance. A busy day will keep my thoughts occupied and the things from yesterday that had me emotional and feeling anxious will fade to the background. I won’t forget about those things today but won’t let them live in my conscious foreground. I need a break from those things so shall mentally set them down until I’ve got some alone time to deal with them.

I’m looking forward to the drive into the office this morning. I’m going to have Nora Jones escorting me loudly as I drive. Her first two CDs have such a calming effect on me and I really enjoy her music. Her second one, can’t remember the title, reminds me of an issue I’m dealing with this week and listening and singing along helps to ease some of the tension of it. Music truly is a balm to the soul.

I keep going back to my early morning commune session with the stars. Whenever my troubles seem overwhelming, a quick glance up at the stars makes me and my troubles seem small and insignificant. Maybe that’s why I rely on that view so much…it recharges me, gives me hope, makes me feel incredible and I can’t articulate well the reasons why. Maybe there is someone I’ve not yet met that is on my mind and I know that the one thing we share for now is the stars. I wrote a poem about that once, I may share it here some time. I plan to do a bit of writing on Friday. I’m taking the day off just to relax and have some “me” time. I need it. I give a lot to everyone else and so little to myself. I need to change that and I’m starting this week with little things…baby steps. I’ll get there.

Thoughts for today are leading me down interesting paths. So, I say, if you find yourself in a similar situation some time, don’t judge where the thoughts go, just follow them as they meander through memories, worries, hopes and dreams and see where they lead you. Try to understand the themes trying to get your attention without doing any negative judgment at all. Peace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Stars

Just before I retired for the evening, I stepped outside on the small landing in front of my town home. I typically have a full and spectacular view of a star lit sky but not last night. Only the brightest stars were visible. It was disappointing so I thought, “no worries, I’ll be up early and can see them in the cool clear of the morning.” I went to bed and slept so peacefully. When I got up this morning I stepped outside while some delicious Starbuck’s coffee was brewing and was yet again, disappointed because a light fog had crept in while I was sleeping. There will be no communing with the stars this morning. I remind myself that there are just times like that in life. Something small and seemingly insignificant that brings you great joy may not always be around. So, what then? Well, that’s where the beautiful memories come in and I have so many.

One of my favorites that I’m in full recall of this morning was a camping trip with my dad and my brother to Lake Elsinore. It used to be a nice place to camp or at least it seemed that way when I was nine years old. One particular trip, my dad and I sat on a picnic table and looked up at the night sky. With very few houses, at that time, and lights around, the light pollution was very minimal. When you looked up at the sky, there were millions and millions of visible stars. In fact, you could see the Milky Way with your bare unaided eyes. When my dad pointed that out to me and I could see it, a thrill of energy surged up within me. I had read about it in school and now I had a picture in my memory of what it looked like. I climbed on top of the picnic table and lay on my back so I could take in the full view of the night sky. I was quite simply mesmerized, felt so calm, serene and peaceful just staring at the sky…and then, of course, I saw a few shooting stars and made a lot of wishes. I don’t remember the wishes any more but I remember the view. That’s what I hold onto now when I need to see the star filled sky and just can’t get there.

It’s a great memory and I’m reminded often that when you set your heart on something and it just doesn’t come to fruition, maybe the timing isn’t right or there is something temporarily obscuring the view. Patience and creativity is all that are needed to navigate your way through the disappointment. You don’t want to hang your happiness on anything but you and what you can control. If you always remember that, such little disappointments can’t affect you for long and you can easily return to a peaceful and serene place. In a somewhat chaotic and always unpredictable world, you have to create diversions for yourself in order to not be derailed by life’s little disappointments. Don’t become obsessed with outcomes and you will know less pain and frustration. Learning to let go of what you want can often bring it right back to you when it matters most.

I’m finding at this moment that although I missed my starry sky view this morning, I found the peace in the memory, I found the peace in the quiet time in my living room sipping coffee and I found that although disappointed, I remember the beauty of a starry sky and that’s enough for me for now. There will be other times to enjoy the view and maybe I might just find other beautiful things to look at and hold my attention rapt and curious. Life is like that... Noticing small things.
Yesterday I watched the sun come up. In the early morning hours, I watched the tiny dust particles in the air reflecting light almost like tiny pieces of glitter floating through the air. I watched the particles swirl and dance in morning’s first light. It was amazing how something so simple could seem like an orchestrated show for me…yeah, narcissistic thoughts there but go with me here for a minute…I was taking something extremely mundane and changing my perspective to see the beauty of a moment. When you become very aware in a moment, things can seem larger than life and the view changes a bit from nothing to something you might not have noticed before. I wish it were easy to view the whole of our lives like that. It might save us from hasty ill-conceived decisions and viewpoints. But then again, maybe those hasty-ill-conceived decisions and viewpoints are the stuff of fantastic lessons we must learn in order to appreciate life.

I’m certain that I would not have learned to become very aware in any moment were it not for some pretty intense lessons I had to learn. In retrospect, I’m really grateful for those experiences because I learned something important; many things that were important actually. For the rest of my life I think I shall strive ever to pay attention in a moment and see all the things I can possibly see, things I never considered, and things that will have me appreciating life even more. So, the thoughts are pretty simple today: Adjust yourself and expectations when the disappointments come and be very aware in the now so you don’t miss anything that is really important.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Special Dinner on Tuesday at Home

Today is a good day. Six months and one day ago, I had my ex-husband served with divorce papers. The divorce, by California law, should be final by now. There was no significant community property issues and it was a pretty much file and it’s done kinda deal. So, today marks the end of California’s six month and one day waiting period for me. Any day I should receive the final decree. I wanted to celebrate this milestone tonight because there were days I didn’t think I’d ever get here. So, without saying anything to my girls, I planned a big dinner. We had fried chicken, mash potatoes, gravy and rolls along with milk in blue glass wine goblets. The kids thought it was great. It’s so rare when we can all have a sit down dinner together.

Samantha, who is 5 wanted to say grace. That’s not a typical habit in our house but she went to a Lutheran preschool and they always said grace before meals. So, I let her have at it. She was so sweet saying: “Dear God, thank you so much for this delicious food and for our family, I love you.” Tooooo cute. I almost cried. Jenna, who is 9, seemed to be delighted by the sit down time too along with the older one. Of course Britt (now 18 and a half) wanted to get as far away from us as she could after she finished eating. It was such a delight to me that something so simple as a home cooked meal, with the good dishes and glass wear, and all of us at the table had such an amazing and calming affect on my little family. We really should try to find the time to eat a regular meal together at the table like that. The girls even wanted candles so we just did it up restaurant style. After our meal, I was amazed. The younger two cleared the table and put the dishes in the dish washer. How cool is that?! They didn’t whine or complain, they just did it sort of as a thanks for creating a brief and special moment at home. They’re out playing now enjoying the last 15 minutes of day light.

It was a really good day and a rather nice evening so far. I’m planning to go to bed early again tonight as I’m just feeling so tired. I’ve had too much emotional stuff going on and really haven’t taken much time to eat or take care of myself in months. I swear, I’ve gained a few pounds in the last two weeks and I’m not sure why. Just felt like eating and well, the tennis…haven’t had much time to play as I threw my back out over the weekend. But I’ve got tennis lessons tomorrow night and will be able to play for at least 90 minutes. That’ll help make up for the calorie intake…and I can do the stairs, all 8 flights at the office starting tomorrow. I don’t want to get out of shape. It’s meant so much to me to be thin right now…sort of a one last thing for a single mom to worry about thing. It’s all good. I’m in a good and peaceful place tonight. I had to let go of some emotional things to get there and hormones aren’t helping me feel completely content but I feel really good.

So, I just wanted to write a little bit about how the very simple things in life can matter big time. Tonight I learned that my little family is just craving my attention in a different way and I was so glad to oblige. Everyone now seems to be at peace. I think I may just strive for doing the same thing one night every week. Then, maybe we can grow that night to two. We’ll see. It’s hard being a busy career mom and taking care of a house and kids. Some days are harder than others but it’s moments like tonight that make me feel like it’s worth it. Both my little girls were so sweet tonight. They told me I was the prettiest most beautiful mommy there ever was. I smiled. I know they are as biased as the day is long but the feeling is mutual so there! LOL

I’m going to go do a little clean up. My thought for now was to remind you to get back to basics in one small area of your life. You might be surprised at how pleasant the impact is. Peace to you all and good night!

Script Writing

So, while change is good and I recognize there can be no good opportunities without it, I just don’t seem to handle it well. I love my new job and coming back to my favorite team to work with. That is truly a blessing but the location I’m in does reflect back to me many memories of the time I was nearly destroyed emotionally by life with mama drama, work issues and spousal issues all at once. I stood outside yesterday and had a smoke break (no, I haven’t given it up yet but will) and some pretty hard memories cropped up of the times I went out back to smoke and could barely stand from the fits of anxiety and grief that overwhelmed me. I calmed myself telling myself it was a long time ago and these memories were just residue of lessons I learned by first hand physical and emotional experience. They made me stronger so how could I regret remembering them, right?

I realized the “change-factor” is what was really going on. Last night I was dreaming that I was in a large auditorium, like the kind they have in some schools. There was a stage at the far end of the room. I was in the back on the right and something bad was coming and people were trying to get out. Everything in this auditorium was gray. The seats were dark gray, the stage was dark gray, the walls a lighter shade of gray, the carpet on the floor dark and light gray, the sound proof tiles on the ceiling were light gray. The people around me were mostly men and they were telling me it was time to go. Just then I knew I was conscious…doing a bit of lucid dreaming and because my body was paralyzed with the chemicals the brain produces while sleeping and dreaming I couldn’t move. I was trying so hard to scream for help but everyone was getting out of there. Everyone but me and because I was conscious while in my dream I stopped trying to scream and willed myself will all of my might to just wake up. I did. Sat up for a moment and realized my dream was a desire to escape the dreary sameness of day in and day out and that the people there were intended to show me the way out but I was the one who had to wake up and get myself moving.

Interesting dream. I was disturbed by it for about 3 seconds after I woke up but immediately I realized the meaning and stopped struggling against fear. There was no need for fear and I would keep moving. I went right back to sleep without a worry at all. I did change the channel on the TV to something very benign on the nature channel and didn’t stir again until my partying neighbors woke me up for a few seconds two hours later. I wasn’t even mad, just watched TV and went to sleep. So, change is hard for us all but I think it’s time for me to stop saying I don’t handle change well. The more I own that, the more it will be true. I handle change just fine. Job changes are on the list of majors as is divorce and move. I’m only a few months out from many of those changes and am doing quite well. So, time to change some scripts that keep running through my head. The more we permit negative scripts to play unfettered, the more we keep them a part of our reality.

I’d like for you to make a list today of 3 scripts that you let play in your head. I want you to see them on paper. I’ll give you mine for example:
1. I don’t handle change well.
2. I’m damaged material romantically.
3. I’m not good enough for true love.
So, look at those scripts. Do you know they play in the background reinforcing and manifesting in your outer-worldly existence? They do as long as you hold onto those thoughts. So, now I want you to rewrite those scripts. The above ones will continue to play but you can cancel them out by repeating a newly written script to cancel them out. For example, here are mine:

1. I handle change exceptionally well.
2. I am wholly and completely healed from past romantic relationships.
3. I’m grateful for the true love I have in my life right now.
Not so hard right? Well, be vigilant with the new scripts and ensure you call them up to your consciousness when the negative scripts run. It’s so key to your happiness and healing. You can even expand on them. Take each new script and write about it in your journal…list all the examples for why the new script is true and if related negative thoughts crop up…create new scripts and don’t delay. You draw to you those things you think about. I’ll share with you that once I was really ready for a relationship after purposely spending 3 years single. But, there were no options in sight. A voice popped into my head and said “Make Room.” Hmmm, interesting I thought so I cleared out all of the clutter in my physical place and not 2 weeks later did I meet the man who was to become my second husband. I made room as an outward manifestation and reminder for what it is I truly wanted in life most. Maybe it’s time to do that again…clear out my space and the thoughts in my person that don’t support my truest goals in life…which really are love and a happy home. I can see how clearing away the clutter once again and eliminating residual thoughts and items could really help me there. So, this weekend I think I will be all about that. I’ll also be doing some script writing as sometimes the negativity seems to creep in unnoticed.

I hope that you have a positive day filled with love, light and laughter. Blessings to you.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sometimes in life things just don’t turn out as you planned. From the grand scale to the small, we have expectations, plans and dreams and then something happens…the universe, other people, Our Maker even, steps in and shows us what we thought we had in store was not what we thought. Is it bad? Sometimes it feels like it but what about this…what if our disappointment on a small scale for a change in direction saved us from something that would have been more painful or meaningless? I don’t know anything about anything…a wounded healer of sorts I am. It’s easier by far to give advice to others than to think things through and make logic out of the chaos that is often my own life.

I don’t do a lot of things right. In fact, I do quite a lot of things all wrong. My heart is usually in the right place but I do get hurt a lot. I think about that often. I’ve got choices there like everyone else. I can decide I’m sick of the pain and just not put myself in a position to get hurt. But then I think, that’s no good…look at what I’d miss…particularly in the romantic realms. Yes, I’m tired as others are of having their heart trampled on or taken for granted but you know, I just can’t seem to give up on what I really want and I trust that because of that, I’ll have it and eventually, just like I want it. In the mean time, I’m not going to mope or despair. I’m going to just keep placing one foot in front of the other trying to focus on the lessons I ought to be learning.

Sometimes I feel like I’m tired of learning and would just like to coast a while. Well, there is plenty of time for that later I suppose. For now, it’s all about experiencing life. I’m not getting any younger and I don’t want to take my last breath wishing I would have been more open to love in all of its forms. I'd rather take my last breath knowing definitively that I gave love at every opportunity, that I loved, have been loved and if nothing else, I made a good mark on this world with a caring heart. That’s just me though. Some might call it naive or fantasy but I really don’t care. If most people knew the entirety of my life’s history, they probably wouldn’t think much of decisions that I have made but they would be struck by one thing…I always seem to learn, better myself and try to give back to others through the lessons that I learned.

I’m not feeling down on myself. That only happens when I compare myself to others, which I try often not to do. It’s pointless. No one has lived my life like I have. No one has seen the sadness I have seen with my eyes. No one else has felt the love I have felt from within my soul. We’re also different but we have a similar drive in terms of love. I think I enjoy that fact of life more than most. It’s a beautiful thing and someday I know I will find someone similar, who shares my wonder and curiosity. I already have many in my sphere who get me at least a little. That’s enough to make me smile. I’m not so complex…just a mere mortal woman with hopes, fears and dreams. Whether my dreams come true or not does not depend on fate or the universe, it depends on me and whether I will remain open and try to stop throwing roadblocks onto my own path. It’s funny how we do that without even realizing it.

I guess my thought for today, although convoluted, is to never give up hope…be who you are, love with all of you always at every opportunity. For then, and only then, can you truly realize your dreams and find happiness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pointless Meandering Thoughts

It’s a crystal clear fall morning. The temperature is still at dew-point so everything is covered in tiny drops of water glistening in the first rays of morning sunlight. I so love the cool fall mornings in California. The cerulean blue sky is deepening in color and the trees are still etched in golden light. The birds are completing their daily migration from the trees in-land to the seashore and the city is beginning to stir. I can just imagine the line at Starbuck’s and McDonald’s as people get moving this morning. It’d be a great morning at our local beach here in Huntington. The tourists are gone and the only one’s milling about at this time of the morning are the local surfers and residents out for a beautiful morning walk to start the day on an uplifting note.

My consciousness stretches out far like the rays of the sun this morning. I can almost feel the conscious thoughts dawning as people rise and go about their business. Some are hopeful and contemplative like me while others are mourning, frustrated and sad. I’ve talked before about choices and I’ve had many a sunshiny morning where it felt like a cloud stayed permanently over my head. But that’s not me today. Today, it’s hard to imagine people not smiling and happy to exist in such a beautiful world. The dichotomy seeming often a chasm because this world too holds terrors and horrors unspeakable. Sometimes I shake my head because I don’t understand. There is much in this world I don’t understand and sadly, much that I do.

I’ve seen many things I wished I hadn’t seen, I’ve felt things I wished I’d never felt, and I’ve sure said things I wished I had never said. But, living in regret means you’ve got a backwards focus as you move into a moment and that’s not wise. You can’t see where you are if you’re looking backwards. Conversely, you can’t see where you are if your focus is too far forward. That’s a bigger problem for me…this insecure feeling of not knowing what’s in store, things I’d love to know the outcome of or control the outcome of. Silly thoughts exist bundled right there and I know so much better than that. I can’t help it though when my heart is engaged in something. Things that matter. It’s funny, we have this newsletter at work called “Everything Matters.” If you think about what those two words mean and spread that out across your life, you’d be amazed. Everything we do matters in some way shape or form. In everything we do we leave some kind of footprint. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen as time goes by but it’s a good thing to think of.

The word "matter" has been on my mind a lot lately. I left a job that mattered because I felt like I didn’t matter and what I did wasn’t worth anything. I left it for a year. I came back under different circumstances with the same group I was working with before in another part of the company and learned this week that I did matter and do matter and that made me feel amazing. It’s good to know you matter. I think about the word "matter" in terms of a particular area of interest in my life I find increasingly important…in the area of special friendships. I have a good number of friends that would say I matter and I would say they matter, and a great deal at that. I wouldn’t want to know life without them here with me. And there’s more. There is someone else that matters to me but I’m never really sure how much I matter with this one. I risk much there at times it seems. I pretend to be an open book but I never really am. On some things, sure. Where I think it might help someone else, I’m fairly open but when it comes to me needing something I find I’m still not very open at all. That’s an interesting discovery right now and I’m not sure what, if anything, I’ll do about that. Maybe in certain situations we’re open only to the extent it feels safe for us to be open. I’m apparently not there yet in one area but that is to be expected I suppose. I’ve been married and divorced three times after all. You can’t put your hand in the fire, have it feel too hot and be totally open about jumping right back into the fire again. I never realized my own reticence until this very moment. So, I’ve been looking outward wondering about the slow progression of something instead of focusing inward wondering about my own slow progression. I think a certain dream or fantasy does trip me up yet again.

I’m talking about a dream I’ve always held of sharing life with another, the right other. It’s not been easy to find and rather than blame God, the universe or anyone else around me, I had no choice but to look within. I attract to me what I am. We all attract to us who we are. Every person we have in our sphere is some reflection of something inside us. So, if I perceive I’m in the presence of someone emotionally unavailable to me, who have I got to blame? Me. I’m emotionally unavailable in some area and have been presented with a unique opportunity to understand exactly where and I think I’ve discovered it. It’s an age old challenge for me but acute awareness while shocking, is also a relief. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken and you don’t know what is broken until you look at the people you have around you. They are like clear pools or mirrors reflecting back your own soul.

Hmmm, I have much to consider yet again and will spend some time in reflection for a bit to see what I might be able to do, to determine what I’m ready to do and learn more about what I might be ready to let go of…namely fear or pain. We all have it in bits and pieces in hidden pockets in the deep dark recesses of our emotional minds. It lies there in wait for the right opportunity to come to light…say like being reflected back in the eyes from the soul of someone you care about?!

I need to let go of such thoughts for now…pull my consciousness back and consider my day. I’m going to spend some time with a good friend. I’m craving an oceanic view, good company, conversation and sunlight and am infinitely grateful I have this particular friend to share my day with. It’s been a rough week. Not a bad week but I’ve gone from little people interaction for 12 months and greatly reduced activity to being greeted warmly by former co-workers, busyiness I’ve not been accustomed to in a while and that seems to be sending some anxiety floating around in my conscious thoughts in between all my goals and plans. It’s nebulous but persistent and I know what generates it…fear. It’s okay. Some fear is good. It prompts us to do things we might not normally do and in some situations that can be a good thing…for me, it throws me into logical thought to map out an appropriate solution to quell it.

I’m going to stop here for now but my thought for the day is awareness…from the micro to the macro. Be aware of where you are in the world, where you fit with your friends, your purpose in life even. Be aware of your successes and especially your seeming failures…take each one out and look at it as a valuable life lesson learned instead of something you should beat yourself up for. If you find straggling thoughts that don’t fit or nebulous anxiety, frustration or fear…ask yourself to reveal the true source and sit quietly awaiting the answer that will come. Be willing to become aware and consider what you might do to heal pain behind those fears, develop hope instead of narrow-minded thinking, expand your consciousness across the globe and realize what you have to be grateful for. Those are lots of thoughts for today actually but as you can see from my post above, that is simply my mind-set…shuffling through thought after thought, meandering theme after meandering theme not with the idea of overwhelming myself but pleasantly strolling through all of the things that represent me to see where I might make myself better, happier or more serene. Sometimes you have to walk in the dark for a while until you find the light. Looking inside can be like that. Peace and love to you all today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Right Here and Right Now

I don’t understand
This compelling and yet nebulous desire
I wish I could, I think of it often

You appeared before me
A fork in the road
I wondered if I should diverge from my path

I contemplated
Most hesitantly
And followed some internal urging

I did not realize
What I had found
I did not realize the universe had brought me a friend

It was something I wanted
Definitely something I needed
But this path although seemingly similar, is not familiar at all

I wonder at such thoughts
I wish I could know the unknowable
What the universe has in store; what lessons must be learned here

I think that I think too much
Maybe that’s the point
Maybe that’s where I stop…right here and right now and not think

Notice instead
The experience delightful
The time delicious and feelings enchanting

But the fear does dwell
When taking paths unknown
When traveling where one has not traveled in some manner before

I’ve done quite enough thinking
And shall move ever forward
For good or ill and I will learn as I should

And if nothing else
I will have something I didn’t have before
A special friend, new and different, who means a lot to me

Morning Contemplations Again

Again, this morning, I stepped outside in the still and cool of the morning to gather my thoughts for the day ahead. It’s been a rough week in terms of being very busy, standing in awe of the moonlight, contemplating my life and its accomplishments, my shortcomings and out-and-out failures. Why at the beginning of the day my mind is flooded with these things, I’ll never know. I just have gotten used to the way my mind works and use this time each morning as an opportunity to seek the crystal clarity I’ve missed, look for the things I’m grateful to have and have seen and consider the days and weeks ahead. I’m peaceful this morning. I have been for days but my mind is stirring with the excitement of my new job and I’m troubled trying to sleep at night. It’s not a bad thing. I think I liken it to the feeling of a child reading herself mentally the night before the first day of school at the end of summer. You know, that nervous excitement of return, re-greeting friends of old and making new ones.

I’ve got some good plans for the weekend. Tonight its all about simple self-care. I get to have a girly night on my own to color my hair, paint my nails and lounge around in my favorite PJs. I plan to come home, relax with a glass of wine and enjoy a peaceful evening. I’ll catch up on my email, my researching new stocks, catching up on the political happenings of this week that I’ve missed and work on my 5 year plan in more detail. I’ve realized that when you complete milestones, it’s important to set new goals and map out the steps you will take to realize your accomplishments along the way. You also have to make sure that you plan to just take care of yourself from time to time. I’m frequently the last on my list. The kids come first, the cat, my friends, my work, the car and then if there is time me. However, I do put myself first with my weekly tennis lesson. Our instructor just extended our class for another 8 weeks. Yeah!!!! I’m excited about that.

I’m excited about endings and beginnings. I’m grateful for both painful and joyful lessons. I’m thoughtful and hopeful about my present and future. I’ve got a deep faith in myself and my abilities to make my life meaningful, worth living and successful. I’m so grateful for that alone. That one thing will help ensure my success in every area of life. You have to believe in yourself and remove all the barriers that exist to achieving that feeling. If you don’t, life becomes bleak, miserable and depressing. We have to set for ourselves reasonable expectations and sometimes those expectations must be low and brought to the point of just getting through the day. Such days shouldn’t be disheartening. They should be viewed as quiet moments…those moments where you shut everything else off and focus on the basics of existence. A few examples to illustrate what I mean here are, getting out of bed, showering, making yourself presentable, taking care of responsibilities and obligations, finding time to relax, journaling about those things that you appreciate in life, stopping to smell the roses, eating good and healthy food, finding a few minutes for some form of exercise, talking to family and friends. There are challenging days and beautiful days and they should be strung together with hope, faith and love.

My thoughts are interesting to me this morning. They spin around in circles, roaming outward and spinning back, swirling up and down and through memories and dreams. It’s good I think because I feel like I’m in a good place, ready to face the day, spend some time on me as well as with a very good friend of mine. Then it’ll be all about chores and starting my second week of my new job. Life is good no matter how hard it seems.

The thought for the day is to find a measure of hope to hold onto, find something within you that you can believe in and set a course in your life that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful adventure it was intended to be. Peace!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

70's Day Thoughts

I stepped outside this morning and noticed moon light shadows spilling all around. I stood there in the moon light and breathed in the cool morning air. It was so quiet I could hear the waves crashing onto the sand. There were no cars I could hear, no people, animals and no birds out yet. I stayed there for moment collecting my thoughts, enjoying the silence. The peace I felt from last night was still with me and strong. Recollection slowly dawned upon my newly conscious mind. There is clearly pain in my left eye; a little tennis mishap from last night. My little furry friends got even with me for all those weeks of smashing them across the court and one hit me squarely in the eye. Luckily, my vision has returned but I’ve got a bit of a shiner.

I will survive and in a few days it will all be just another not so fun memory I add to the long string of memories in my head. I wonder at that thought. There are some memories I feel are kept in my heart. Particularly those of my children saying “Mommy, I love you so much,” The memory of friend’s words when I may have been down on my luck and the pure selfless kindness of amazing co-workers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Then there are other memories that seem to collect in my soul such as those of my father’s philosophical discussions, my grandmother playing little red riding hood with me and the moment I realized there was a lot of pain in this world.

I’m excited about the day today. We’re celebrating an award at work with all the folks that made it happen. We’ve had a week of activities to thank the team like breakfast Monday, contests on Tuesday, and lunch on Wednesday. Today is 70’s day. We’re supposed to dress up like the 70’s. I laughed when I read those words because I’m sort of a hippie chick in my casual attire…I always loved the late 60’s and early 70’s look of hip hugger flair legged jeans, long bell sleeves or tie die shirts and platform shoes. That’s my typical casual Friday attire. So, today, I thought I’d add a little too it just for fun. I’ll break out the powder blue eye shadow and the hair straightener to complete the look. It’ll be fun.

As much as I love the fashion of the 70's and know every word to the music of the folk songs, I find the music and memories are hard to deal with. Those memories seem to dwell in both my heart and soul. I truly feel a sense of sadness recalling my childhood in the 70’s because I remember the turmoil within my family. In 1970, my parents divorced but they could not afford to live apart and remained in the same house for 3 years. That was rough. They tried to make it work but both were alcoholics so there was no way it could work. I remember the fighting, the emotional distress that made my little brother and I seem like we were more irritation than treasured members of the family. I’m sure that’s not how my parents felt but that’s how their actions made us feel. We both carry the scars today. We turned out to be good people deep down inside but completely opposite which is interesting. I went super type "A" and my brother went type "C" or "D." He’s a good guy with a big heart but has a hard time planning ahead or considering consequences. He digs himself out but has severely handicapped himself in life. It doesn’t really matter; I love him and always will.

It’s funny how certain times can impact your memories. Although the 70’s were a little rough, there were good times too. I remember camping, family get-to-gethers, playing at the park, taking trips and just getting by. It was the 80’s where I had my “coming of age” so-to-speak, realizing I was independent of my parents and could really do what I wanted to do and be who I was no matter who tried to stop me. I loved that music and still do today. It doesn’t hold the painful memories of the decade before although it should for other reasons. After that, it seems all the decades are rolling together while i gained more wisdom and serenity. I’m skipping rather quickly now but that’s really only because I’ve got to try to put make up on to cover my shiner and I really don’t want to look. I can feel that my eye is swollen but it’s not that bad. I took a peek from a distance just before I got in the shower this morning and it wasn’t that bad. Today is going to be a good day and I think I’ll pop one of my 70’s CDs in the CD player and try to soothe away some of the pain of it realizing it’s already been dealt with and I can hear the music that I really like without becoming melancholy with memories.

I think my theme for today is similar to most others, look back at where you’ve been, see where you are and be peaceful, tomorrow you can take you anywhere you want to go and you’ll get there in good time. Appreciate a fresh breath of air today. Appreciate your accomplishments and in at least one act today, put yourself first in an effort to make sure you matter to you. If you don’t take care of yourself no one else can do it for you, at least not meaningfully. Be good to yourself. When you’re kind to yourself it’s easier to be kind to others. May you have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mountain Climbing

I started a particular journey six months ago, almost to the day. When I started out, it seemed like I was at the bottom of Mt. Everest with a fierce blizzard blowing through me and spilling my emotions out in every direction. I didn’t even want to begin the climb because unfortunately, this climb was familiar. However, I knew the journey must begin and as the Tao Te Ching says, even a ten thousand mile journey begins with a single step. So, step I did. I placed one foot in front of the other not looking at the top of the mountain but focusing instead on the journey. I’ve navigated smooth plateaus and gaping chasms I feared would swallow me whole but I didn’t stop and I didn’t give up. I just kept going.

This particular climb was nearly 3-fold with 3 major life stressors happening nearly all at once. I felt battered and bruised along the way, tired, angry, shredded emotionally but I just kept going. I knew somehow I would make it, that I would undo wrongs done and find forgiveness somewhere along the way not only for the other folks involved but also for myself. I think I’ve finally achieved that state of forgiveness I sought because at this point of the journey, so near the very top, I am mostly at peace. The peaks and valleys along the way are leveling out and it’s just a few more hand holds to get to the top along with time. These last few steps find me a bit reflective. I’ve learned a lot. Mostly I’ve learned that I need to think a whole hell of a lot more before I make decisions and make sure when I make those decisions that I am in a state of peace and serenity.

The main focus of my current “climb” is the receipt of my final divorce decree from marriage number 3. It was one I probably should never have engaged in. My heart was in the right place but my judgment was clouded. The man was a good one but not good for me in the way I needed him to be. I hope he’s well moved on by now finding healing and happiness somewhere else and that I will soon be a long forgotten memory; a life lesson along the way. I’m hoping that I maintain my own happiness, continue to find peace and serenity too. As I said, it’s been a long journey, a hard journey but one I made it through nearly to the end. I expect that next week some time or the following I should have my decree and I’ll crack that bottle of champagne I’ve been saving to celebrate my liberation from my own limitations.

I see the world so much differently today than I did six months ago. It’s not the bleak world I thought it was and along the way I seemed to have truly learned the value of friendship and how much the love of friends means to me. Were it not for my beautiful friends I would not be here sane as I am today. I would not be here peacefully writing at my computer and contemplating a hard-won victory over myself. I’m grateful, eternally so. I’ve reclaimed ground on the work front for me too after a year long break. That’s a significant accomplishment I’m also very grateful for. The remaining front still holds some battles for me but with an addicted loved one, those battles don’t end until they give up their poison or succumb to it completely and finally. That one will take some time and I’m prepared to finish that journey where ever it might lead me.

Tonight I’m at peace, watching the presidential debates and getting ready to go play tennis. I’ve got lessons tonight and for the next two weeks. Then I’ll likely go into a bit of hibernation until January but I plan to write a lot. I’ve got a lot of wonderful things happening in my life that I treasure. New friends, reconnected friends, the tried and true ones and the love of my family. My heart is still open after all I’ve been through and that makes me smile as that was no small feat!

I’m going to sign off now on a good note. I want to remind you as you climb your own proverbial mountains that it’s not the view from the top that’s important, it’s the journey and how you navigate it along with the love you give and receive along the way that matters. The reality is, as soon as you get to the top of that mountain, you’ll enjoy the view for a moment only to learn there are other mountains you must climb and if you don’t pay attention to the current climb as you take each step, you may not have the skill and experience needed for the next mountains and the next ones. The journey is the destination.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Riding the Wave

I started a new job today, finished up as much as I could with the old one and saw all kinds of people I’ve missed a lot over the past year. My stocks are up by several hundred dollars, my living room is clean and the last load of laundry is done. These are great accomplishments for the day, more than most days, so why is it I feel so anxious? I just took a look outside and saw the reason for my discomfort. Although I love the full moon, the light it shines at night and the comfort in brings me to see it, I’m anxious at its arrival apparently. Tonight, I wish I could say I was at the mercy of my emotions. It seems that way on the surface but sadly I know better. I’m in a mood because I had high expectations for a happy and peaceful evening and those were not to come to fruition. Again, such feelings and thoughts are no one’s fault but mine.

So, I’m going to fall back and regroup…think a little differently. I decided to get comfortable. The dishes are done, dinner is cleaned up and the cat is fed and his box nice and clean. There aren’t any more chores that must be done this evening and I’ve got an hour and twenty minutes before I turn into a pumpkin. It’s challenging to face such emotions on what was an otherwise really good day.

On a distracting note, a friend at work pointed out there is a military air show coming up next month at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas and I think I’d like to go see it. Unfortunately, the quickest way to get there is via air. I hate the flight to Vegas. Although it’s a short flight, I hate how bumpy it is over the mountains. I’d rather drive it but I’d hate to drive alone. Being a mom, it’s hard to make plans that far into the future that cost money because something inevitably comes up and last minute cancellations are a high risk. Hmmm…I’d really like to go to that show. It would be great to see. It’d be easy to fly out Fri Night and fly back Sunday morning. I’m thinking about it. I wish I hadn’t missed the show in Mira Mar weekend before last. I got to see some of the planes but from a little ways away. I really love military air craft. I think I loved them from my first trip to Edwards Air Force Base. I remember walking around, seeing the shuttle, air planes old and new and watching the Blue Angels and thinking, “AMAZING!” That show definitely had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling the vibration of sound inside my heart as the jets flew over head and I was hooked!

Well, that was actually a very nice distraction because I’m already in a better mood. The challenge now would be finances. The flights are about $100 and two nights, depending on where you stay would be at least $300…meals, drinks, gambling, taxi’s and tickets for the show and I think I’ve priced myself right out of my budget. Oh well, I’ll definitely be waiting for the next CA show. I’ll have to check and see when that is and make plans to go!

Well, I am now much more at peace even though a bit disappointed about the Nellis show. I can always have Carlos bring me back a sticker (pouting) and stories about how cool it was! It’s not a big deal…really…budget and responsibilities come first and there is going to come a time that I will miss having those responsibilities to look after.

I’m going to go read a book for a while, in peace, in my room, where it’s quiet and things are put in exactly the place I left them in. It’s like my private sanctuary undefiled by children’s socks, toys or the little plastic straw wrappers that come off the juice box straws. I hate those things. They somehow find their way into mysterious places!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Surviving Divorce or Other Crises

So often are we faced with overwhelming aspects of life that we are just derailed, feeling blind-sided and defeated or frustrated. I've been there so many times that I can't count. Due to my life lessons, I've been through divorce 3 times, the death of a parent from alcoholism and witnessing the surviving parent succumb to the same illness, troubles at work, thin finances, feeling alone and totally on my own. Such things can emotionally bring you to your knees and leaving you feeling so empty, angry, anxious and toxic. But there is a way out. In fact there are many ways out and I'm going to suggest them to you now. I'm a very strong advocate of helps but you have to do your your homework outside of the sessions and not expect to be cured in a 55 minute session each week. Read, talk to friends and family and keep thinking through the challenges you face looking for the cause within you and not the blame without.

There are also support groups that you can go to for many topics. These are a blessing and a comfort for those who take advantage. So, I highly recommend those too. Along the lines of support is a website that I absolutely They have forums on so many topics from mental and medical diagnoses to hobbies and finance. Great place to get that "support-group-like" support as well. Now, outside of these help sources there are somethings that you can do yourself. When life gets tough our energy is drained and the more exhaustion we allow to set in from these things the more emotional and impatient we get. Life can start to look bleak and frustrating everywhere you turn and then the negative thoughts flow like a mountain spring thawing after a long winter. Not good!

So, here is Reverend Janice's idea...tested idea...meaning, it worked and does work for me as long as I commit to doing these things whenever I feel like I'm slipping into negativity. It might seem trivial and unimportant but I assure you the impact on your psyche is hugely positive. I call this my Ten Commandments for Serenity:

1. If someone is out to get you, so what...just go about your business and don't trust them but let it go. In time, you will want to learn to forgive them for they know not what they do. (This one takes some time...but is very liberating when you can shove your own...get-even ego out of the way).

2. If the world is spinning too quickly for you...hit the pause button and change your focus to helping those less fortunate than you. (Donate your time to help the community, family or friends so you can get out of your head on your own worries).

3. When life gets to chaotic for you, turn it over to God, the Goddess or your Higher Power and ask for help so that you make things right and peaceful for all involved.

4. Make yourself a plan for life, even if a loose one, and then think of that plan and take your steps to get there knowing that even a 10,000 mile journey begins with a single step (Lao Tzu).

5. Dress yourself up presentable each day not for anyone else but yourself.

6. Learn something new every day to enrich your mind, heart and soul.

7. Say a prayer in an open field or out in nature somewhere as your visit to church each week...pray that the homeless find shelter, the wounded...healing, the and the

8. Hug a family member and tell them you love them.

9. Smile at a complete stranger for no reason at all and make eye contact.

10. Compliment someone in the grocery store or help someone find something or get something.

These things might seem silly but when you are going through the ravages of a divorce or other chaotic life-crises, these 10 simple things can help restore balance and peace to you. You see where I'm going with these themes so make them your own and add-lib the concepts to make them fit you. The idea is to generate good will between you and others in your sphere. This good will is very healing for you and for others. But, to get to this place where you can do any of the above, you have to allow yourself permission to let go of the chaos and the emotions generated. You have to know that your emotions are your choice and under your are responsible, not anyone else. This is good news. If you blame others and make them responsible for how you feel, you can't control your responses. If you take accountability for your emotions, you ARE in control and CAN decide how you will respond to life's events.

Just some food for thought folks. May you find a measure of peace and serenity today...even minutes matter. Blessings!

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Thought? I Think Not.

An interesting thought popped into my head seemingly at random today. The thought was just this: We are merely the culmination of all of the words we’ve read and heard, the mannerisms we’ve seen in others and the feelings that we’ve observed in others. We think we are so unique at times, searching to be special or maybe seeking to stand out. But, how do we do that when every profound thought we think we own is really just a collection of all the thoughts we’ve been exposed to from others.

Then, another thought struck, in a sense that means we have just one other way that we are all connected. We build off of each other, we feed off of each other and if we’re really aware, we realize that there is energy to all of this. From a simple perspective, to the extent you’ve picked up someone’s mannerism and make it their own, maybe you’re giving that person an energy compliment. I know that in human interaction in mere conversation there is an unseen exchange of energy. James Redfield writes about this in his book, The Celestine Prophecy. You know when this is happening by the “flow” of conversation between members of the group and you know from experience that the flow is stunted only when someone is trying to take energy away via the ego. Its interesting stuff and I’d recommend James Redfield’s book strongly.

I don’t think the concept he conveys is all that wild or extraordinary…when I read it at first I thought, "Yeah, duh!" We either gel and flow in conversation or we don’t. The more I read about psychology and environmental development I learned how much the ego has a say in whether such group interactions promote the flow of energy or stop it. You can think this is all just crazy talk if you want and it’s entirely likely this thought is not my own at all but rather a culmination of all the hundreds and hundreds of books that I’ve read and connected with, experienced, etc.

Then, another thought occurred. Each time we are presented with the sum of someone else’s experience, we do tend to add something to it, maybe our experience, psychology and environmental development was so different that we have a different spin on the concepts we’re articulating in a string of thought or conversation. I know that is what occurs and we make each string our own, we put our name on it and call it ours. It’s not though. It seems to me there really can’t be any original thought sometimes. Like the world began with one idea and that idea became a seed that sprouted many trees bearing different fruit. Then, everything else came as a result of some serious cross-pollination.

I write a lot because I always have thoughts flowing and swirling…but you know, I have read an awful lot in the last twenty years. Maybe I’m still processing all of those words and concepts and end up feeling like I’ve been struck by an epiphany when all I’m doing is connecting similar concepts articulated by other folks that have all been struck by epiphanies. I’m thinking now of the old Breck Shampoo commercials…”So tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on…” (I'm laughing quietly to myself). None of this stuff really matters, just random thoughts and observations about how we feel like we’re all separate and different when the truth is, and we’re really connected in so many ways. This line of thought I’ve outlined above is really just one of the obvious ones. I’ll write more about empaths another time…another way we’re all connected.

So, get out there and think some really big thoughts and then go out and share them with someone. Who knows what good can come from it if you keep it thoughtful, positive and sincere.


Shift In Consciousness

Always in the quiet and cool stillness of the wee morning hours do I find myself the happiest. The peace seems palpable, like you could hold it in the palms of your hands. I treasure such moments as I do many others. When the world gets chaotic, emotional and seemingly out of control, I learned a little trick while walking along my up and down path in life. It’s simple gratitude and appreciation. For example, earlier in the week I was feeling a bit chaotic juggling all of the seemingly important things in my world when all at once I was struck by the depth of a cerulean blue sky. Not to stop there, as it seemed my perception was rapidly expanding,in the span of seconds I lost all concept of time. My consciousness expanded and my senses came alive. It was so warm out and the grass had just been cut.

That smell of fresh cut grass on a warm day always reminds me of the summer time of my childhood...days spent in a little suburban neighborhood in Bellflower, California. I was always up so early just waiting for the sun, choking down breakfast quickly so I could go outside and play. I stopped in the moment in my present reality and all of those memories and scenes played in my mind's eye and I was filled with the joy and laughter of childhood memories of play and friends. But the moment was still expanding and I caught sight of the flowers in a bed near our building. The colors of the flowers seemed electric and alive...the brightest alive orange I’ve ever seen, the deepest soft pink in contrast with the green along with bright and vibrant yellow. I stood transfixed for what seemed like an hour. But the moment wasn’t yet done. My sight was pulled upward to a hawk hovering above the trees hunting for something small and delicious to eat. She looked magical floating on a warm up-draft of gentle wind current. She circled effortlessly and I just watched in awe.

But the moment still was not yet complete. Suddenly my consciousness was pulled to the people walking around the campus. I saw them moving so quickly and noticed they hadn’t noticed their surroundings at all, too caught up in drudgery as well as the superficiality of work-a-day existence. I could feel their thoughts and the cacophony seemed deafening. I observed only pulling back from my own thoughts and just watching a feeling what was happening around me. A cool breeze kicked up out of no where and blew my hair into my face. I looked at my black berry and realized all of this awareness and sensation occurred in a span of 3 minutes as I stood in the shade of a very large tree by my car in the parking lot. I smiled with an ear to ear grin. It’s like life is a simple joke sometimes. The things we think are so serious mean nothing and the things we miss, the things we don’t see mean everything. You might think it’s a cruel joke but to feel it you clearly know it’s not. A simple shift in your observation can bring joy and love spilling into your inner sight, your heart and your mind and the trivial things shift out of focus for as long as you remain open and refrain from control. It’s an amazing space to exist in if even only for 3 minutes.

I find I slip into such much moments more frequently. Perhaps I’ve been through so much raw emotion these past couple of years that I’ve really lost my mind and those moments I am transfixed in observation may just be moments in which my sanity is lost or maybe it’s that I’m insane all the other times but those short 3 minute escapes. I’m really not sure and I’ll probably question that forever. The one thing I do know is the effects are like being intoxicated in a good way, high on life…sort of like John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High…or something. Such moments remind me that there is so much more to life than we allow ourselves to see, hear and experience. You have to shift your focus a bit or become acutely aware when the shift occurs on its own. Remember what that feels like so you can go back to that space any time you want to.

Remember the peace today. Find something beautiful today. Appreciate something meaningful and deep today and realize you don’t have to go too far to find it. Be peaceful and filled with joy this day and all of your days.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Tell me something I don’t know. Tell me something I want to hear. Is that too much to ask? I don’t want to know about falling interest rates, rising inflation and political rhetoric. I don’t want to know about high gas prices, wars and wounded. I don’t want to know about jilted lovers, angry mothers and inadequate feelings of frustration. I crave something new in my sphere of existence and am about to get it on one front. A change of focus so desperately needed.

Every year we all grow older. Every minute one step closer to the grave, a reality we all should not live in denial of. So, what to do with those minutes until then? I think I don’t want to spend them nutted up, cross-threaded, angry and anxious no matter who is trying to push my buttons. Life is too damn short to spend it clinging to the rickety car of some unseen roller coaster you never bought a ticket for to begin with. Life is really too amazing to walk through it oblivious to the beauty that exists in small pockets of the world, your world if you just stop for a moment and notice.

Now, this might sound strange, but I see the world and people differently than I ever have. When I look into someone’s eyes, I see the spark of divinity within. I see the aspect of their soul that is still connected to the source. A friend mentioned an unpleasant transgression committed at random causing the defacing of local property and this friend said he’d like to shoot the perpetrators. I immediately piped up saying that I understood that frustration but to take such action one would have to presume that the perpetrator was raised with morals and values and goes out of their way to deface just to spite. More likely it was environmental factors that shaped his or her psychology and caused the lacking self-respect to manifest outwardly against other property owners. My friend then said, I don’t want to understand them, I just want to shoot them.

I thought about that for a moment and reflected back inward. I understand the statement, “I just want to shoot them.” I have impulse thoughts like that as well but as strong as those thoughts might sometimes be, the logical mind kicks in and tells me that form of punishment, if seriously considered, would not fit the crime. I think I’d be more apt to force them to not only clean and paint the graffiti (that is what we’re talking about I neglected to mention) the individual left but I think I might have them carted around for a month of cleaning any graffiti that showed up anywhere in the city. But I can’t help to want to go further to get at the heart of what drives the perpetrators…what horrors have they lived, what pain have they been through that cause them to care so little about their community. Is it the gang mentality in that the only self-worth feelings derive from committing crime that would gain them approval from the collective of the other gang members? That is psychology and psychology can be helped.

I’m on a slippery slope as a co-dependent who understands psychology and the motives of others. It causes me to be forgiving when maybe I shouldn’t be. Of this, I am all too aware having my heart broken from living that understanding to points that maybe I shouldn’t have. So, I think balance is key…my thoughts of let the punishment fit the crime is a good compromise for an overly understanding soul I think. I starting to think I’m learning a little separation between auto-understanding to the point of co-dependency and reasonable discipline and accountability. That’s a good place and while the natural tendency is auto-understanding, I can work myself towards reasonable discipline. I do it with my children daily and should do it more. I understand what they’ve been through and make concessions perhaps where I shouldn’t. That’s okay; I’m not perfect I’m learning. But I want to learn something I don’t know, something positive, something happy, something wonderful today. I’ll just put that out there and see what comes back.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Onyx Sky

An onyx sky with twinkling diamonds she saw when she first stepped outside this morning. She stood there in complete awe and feeling so small and insignificant while gazing up at the pre-dawn sky. The air was cool and damp as it should be on a fall morning she casually thought. She arose only thirty minutes before that moment feeling restless and anxious instead of peaceful after a long night’s repose. She wondered about that but the feelings were nebulous with no seeming source in sight. She went with it and moved about her morning business. First things first, the coffee is brewing emitting a warm aroma that eases the tense feeling somewhat. Routine is a comfort and she realizes in the moment why she holds to it day in and day out. Like a child needing discipline to feel safe her routine gives her a sense of control in an often chaotic life.

The children are all sleeping peacefully and she realizes how much she treasures waking up in the quiet of the morning, before the children awaken. Those quiet moments allow her to recharge her thoughts more gently, allow her to make more sense of the things she’ll face in the day. She realizes that she’s taken on way too much in this world but there’s no help for it now, no turning back. She must go on and keep it together, keep the juggling going so those around her will remain entertained and in their seats for the show of life. She has much to teach and much to learn and is luckily a very quick study. Except, it seems, in one small area…love. Love both drives and repels her in this life. The one thing she wants most seems always to elude her for reasons she can’t always understand. She tries though, she always tries.

She sips her coffee and navigates her way through her laptop that feels warm and comforting, like a treasured friend. When no one else is around to listen, she pours her thoughts out through the key board and onto the screen. She reads what spills out and seeks to understand. For some reason the thoughts seem more organized and cohesive when on the screen for her to read as if the thoughts come from without. She finds it easier to help others navigate this game we call life than it is for her to navigate her own and deal with her own emotions. Sometimes she thinks putting the words on the screen makes it seem like its someone else telling her about their woes, worries and troubles and she can better analyze what’s happening when she sees her thoughts from the outside in. It’s a hard place to sit, always questioning what she sees, second guessing herself.

She steps outside again in the damp and dark, same onyx sky and sparkling diamonds. She lights a cigarette and slowly inhales. As she exhales the thoughts of self-loathing begin because she hates the idea of smoking at all and wonders why she’s only been able to give it up for days at a time. She stops the self-loathing thoughts and realizes its her choice and once she wraps her head around the need she’ll be able to let it go. She says good morning to her neighbor as he leaves in the dark for work…a horse jockey and a really nice man, that one, she thinks. Alone in the dark again, on her front porch she continues to stare up at the sky. She talks to God in her own way each morning with deep appreciation for life, gratitude for friends and the people she loves. She’s grateful for a job that feeds her family and allows her to find shelter. She’s ultimately happy and optimistic despite everything swirling around her and beneath all of those thoughts a steady hum of other thoughts plays in the background of every waking moment. The thoughts of a man she’s spent a good deal of time with over the past several months. He’s a friend and a good one. Someone else she’s grateful to have in her life.

That line of thought is a whole separate story she thinks and decides to let the hum go without exploring the swirling thoughts there. It’s best to leave those alone and not analyze. In that area she knows she needs to just be in the moment in order to avoid so many mistakes from the past. Her center must be maintained religiously there in order to stop frenetic thoughts from flying out of control. She loves him she knows but not in a way others might expect of her. She’s learned in life that love is by far more than the infatuation driven chemical feelings of a fleeting romance. She knows this one is different, more important and not driven by the urgings of her ego. Thus the need for maintaining her center…to keep the ego disengaged, to keep it’s fearful and self-conscious thoughts at bay. She puts out her cigarette and watches the embers fade from bright orange to black. She lingers a moment with her hand on the door. It’s time to wake up the kids and get them moving. It’s time to mentally prepare for her routine departures from thoughts and emotions. It’s time to turn on the child-like wonder for the occurrences of the day. She lets go of her morning contemplations and moves into the daily routine again. It’s going to be a great day she thinks and she’s officially off to it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pain in My Heart/Music to My Ears

It’s a cool Saturday afternoon in October. There are huge clouds up in the sky and it’s sprinkling off and on today. I’m in a favorite pair of jeans, a t-shirt and just relaxing. I’ve got a cup of coffee in hand at 5:00 in the afternoon. I’ve been updating my iTunes and organizing my music. I’ve been so lost lately emotionally it seems so I thought I’d make myself some new music mixes. I had nearly forgotten how much I loved alternative music. It’s stuff that doesn’t evoke intense emotions in me at the moment so that’s the focus of the afternoon. I’ve got myself a nice little mix of Chris Cornell, Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots recording on a little CD. I intend to replace all of the CDs in my car disk changer. I need new thoughts and music is a perfect way to usher that energy in. Especially music you’ve not touched in a while.

I have a wide array of music I listen too. Some of my favorites include Tool, A Perfect Circle, Staind, all of the above. Along with that I have a ton of chick music, Dixie Chicks, Jewel, Chely Wright, Sara McLaughlin, Trisha Yearwood, Cheryl Crow, etc. I’ve also got a bunch of the hits from the seventies like Carly Simon, Carol King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Joe Cocker, etc. I love music. I love intense music. I love deep music. I love slower paced heavy metal sounding stuff and I even love my Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies…Punk Covers of the songs from the seventies. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the punk version of One Tin Soldier Rides Away or Mandy.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching through music lately. iTunes has been my best friend and counselor today. I’m not sure what I’m searching for. My collection of music has often represented new influence of people in my life. They introduce me to things I never heard before or never really paid attention to. So now I have this great collection of music but I must admit that at times, I grow sad listening to some of it. It reminds me of times long past, the way I thought or felt and the things that I experienced. Much was good but it’s always hard for me to look back. Take a recent 70’s mix I think I posted the other day. Whenever I hear Linda Rondstadt sing “…and I think I’m gonna love you for a long, long time,” I cry. When I hear John Denver sing “Sunshine on my shoulders make me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry,” guess what I do…tear up. Those songs remind me of the past. In the seventies is when I became aware of my family dynamics and started to learn all was not right in my world. The music is beautiful and I love it…it reminds me of home but then it quickly reminds me of bewildered times, frightening times and I can’t take it for long.

Then there are those days when I plug in Tool and hear Maynard sing “Why can we not be sober, I just want to start this over…” I think of my second ex-husband and the happy times we shared in our little house in HB and then I grow sad realizing how much we had and let slip away. It’s hard to remember. Then I plug in Temple of the Dog and I’m reminded of an old and still dear friend who once brought me a copy. The music is alternative…easy to listen too and deep in a different way. In reminds me of my friend, who is also my nine year old daughter’s dad. We’re still friends today and I’m grateful for that. I remember so much about the music that he liked and introduced me to. Interesting and thoughtful times.

When I’m in love I lean towards the Dixie Chicks, Jewel, Trisha, etc. I love those songs that cause me to emote even more than I normally do but then, when things go wrong and I’m not in love, that same music brings me to tears. That’s good because sometimes I’m too tough to cry and that’s not good…I start reverting back to my old ways of locking myself up and away and the tears want to fall but won’t. I remember someone close to me, someone I hurt telling me that when he hears the song by Simon and Garfunkle, “…I am a rock, I am an island…I’ve got my books and my poetry to protect me…I’m shielded in my armor” it made him think of me. I remember those days and how shut down I was emotionally and didn’t have a clue. I didn’t know but I didn’t ignore that comment and spent ten years opening up and trying my best to heal the scars that made me an island unto myself. Not a good place to be.

Forgive the rambling this evening…all this music just has me in an interesting mood and I was compelled to let the thoughts have voice. Well, I’m off for more coffee. May you dance with your ghosts to a happy tune this evening as I will with mine…and I’ll send them home at midnight as I drift off to peaceful sleep.

Serenity Circle

You can really feel the change in seasons now. The fog has rolled in off the coast nearly every day this past week. We had a few extraordinarily warm days but they passed and yesterday was quite cool. Gone are those hot sunny summer days that gave you a feeling that all the cares in the world were nothing and fun in the sun was the theme of the day. But, well, I’m in California so they’ll likely be back with a nice arid Santa Ana wind from time to time. The weather has always been a fascination of mine and it’s a wonderful and universal way to strike up a conversation, isn’t it?

Yesterday I had a touch of the blues. Maybe it was the thought that summer is over and summer brought me many new things, wonderful things and self-discovery. Maybe it’s just impending change…lots of it over the next year once again. I don’t want to borrow trouble so I’ll let the idea of that go and focus just on the big one I’m facing in the near term. I’m excited to start my new job, learn a new role and go back to working with familiar friends and faces. Not that the ones in my current job aren’t special. Of course they are. It’s change that I struggle with even though logically I see the wisdom of stepping into it and enjoying the process. I realized though that somewhere inside is doubt, concern and hesitation for seemingly no reason at all. “Its just change,” I repeatedly attempt to tell myself.

I felt completely at peace when I woke up this morning. My first thought was that first precious cup of warm coffee and cream. I’m pretty simple but always look forward to that first cup. I love the feeling I get when I smell it brewing. I love the bold taste of coffee tempered with something sweet. My morning ritual includes adding just enough cream to change the color from deep brown to tan. I can tell the mix is right just by the color. I’m funny like that but that’s okay. My coffee is very much like a morning ritual. When I’m sipping that first cup, I recall the events of the day before, those things I’m grateful for, those things I’ll strive to do better with and those things I left undone. I acknowledge them and move on to the day at hand hopeful and optimistic it will bring unexpectedly pleasant surprises. I like a pleasant surprise. After that, I typically look forward to sitting down to write. I don’t publish even half of what I write. I write what’s on my mind, in my heart and in my soul. If I like it enough, I post it.

Writing, like any other task, is worth doing well. I’m not perfect with mine but I just get so full of ideas and thoughts from the many lessons I learn day in and day out and just feel compelled to commit them to my blogs or my poetry. It’s one thing to create a piece but there is a release of reality to it when it’s published in one of my blogs somewhere on the web. Writing is catharctic, healthy and focusing for me. Sometimes I feel like I can’t really own something I’ve learned unless I’ve committed it to words on my screen or handwritten it in my journal. I’m a kinesthetic learner unable to just hear something and own it. I’m unable to see something and own it. I’m unable to do something and own it. But, when I write about what I’ve heard, seen or done, it cements the concepts, ideas and feelings rolling through my internal vision and memory to a lesson learned and one that won’t be forgotten. It’s interesting to me how that works so differently for all of us.

I have so many wonderful things and human exchanges happening very regularly these days. In fact, it’s those human exchanges that seem to humble me most. I was helping a friend with a particularly vexing issue yesterday. I guess my perspective made a difference as this friend gushed afterwards with commentary along the lines of disbelief that I carry so much and have time for a friend, that I go through so much and yet have so much sensible wisdom to offer along with perspectives that get right straight through to the heart of the matter. It makes me feel good for a few seconds because I’m truly grateful to help another human being on the planet with perspectives on things that represent a way of looking at things they haven’t considered before…I like to offer what I can to help bring about healing or growth. Although I say something trivial like, “What are friends for” or “It’s nothing, don’t give it a second thought,” what I want to say sometimes is, “I’m nothing and no one. Take a walk inside my mind with me. Come on. You think I’m so special, let me show you how much I’m just like you.”

“This place is filled with light sometimes and darkness in others. See over there, that’s where my fear resides for the one thing I’ve always wanted and was never sure I had, love. Over here is where my sense of self-worth fluctuates like the tides at times. See over here? This is where my anger still resides from childhood at feeling cheated out of a normal life thanks to alcoholism. Down here, see this is where I always feel successful and full of self-love but this place is often consumed with the parts of the ego that will ever strive to be better than everyone else as if my life depended on it. Here is the place my memories dwell and rather than take the weight of the sadness some of those memories bring, I get creative and strive to find meaning so the weight and pain of these things won’t destroy me. See over here? Here is a spark of a tiny flame, a flame of hope and where my dreams are still alive. Look over there…see that? T hat’s my sanity…notice the tiny gossamer thread it hangs by most days?”

I’m not different than any one else and when the worries of the world hit me…like everyone else, I must wade through the dark recesses of my mind and look for something to use as a filter, a filter of recognition of how I or someone I know dealt with something from the past to use to guide me. I have to dig through years of fears and feelings of failure to try to find enough light to guide me. I do know that something within me is ever inquisitive and philosophical. I thank God for that part of my mind or maybe it’s actually my soul. I’m not sure which but whatever it is it compels me to seek the deepest meaning possible in every experience that floats and/or crashes into my thoughts. I’m grateful for that and believe because of that I’m upright rather than rocking back and forth in the fetal position in the corner. Like everyone else I’ve seen good things and bad, terrifying and joyful things and have experienced happiness and pain. I’m a little more careful with myself these days in many regards. Not that I lock myself away, I really don’t do that any more. The writing of this piece and the fact that I published it here is a demonstration of how very open to the world I am regardless of past pain. I’m either very brave or very stupid. I’m not sure which but it works for me and helps me survive the thick and heavy emotions that some times strike us mere mortal human beings.

I think maybe that thinking these things through detail by detail, analyzing, fitting pieces together and seeking always to learn and understand are the corner stone of my existence, the drive that pushes me ever onward even when I’m afraid and the source of my lessons. I’ve gone off on quite the tangent I see but it’s good. Everything that happens to us is ultimately good, we just can’t always feel that way until enough time and distance has passed enough for us to look back objectively with a fresher perspective a little more free from the attached emotions we have with events. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just full of “you-know-what” and the gossamer thread snapped a long time ago. It could be. However, this place I’m in is a good place today. I’m removed from the heavy feelings of the day now passed and have returned to myself a measure of serenity.

I sincerely hope you all can do that too today. Maybe happiness or bliss is a bit much of a stretch. Sometimes those things aren’t what they’re chalked up to be. I find that bliss and happiness raise us to a precarious place, like after eating a good piece of chocolate…the high is nice but the fall somewhat devastating. Peace and serenity are a lot different. They are more neutral feelings and places in which you can allow the mind to dwell in a state of. There is no fall from peace and no fall from serenity. We get pushed outside of those things like they are a circle at the center of our being. The really great part about that type of analogy is that at any time we so choose, we can step back into that circle. Really, it is just that simple. You have to give yourself permission to let anxious thoughts go though. You have to really believe it is possible and then just do it.

May peace and serenity over-take you today and all of your tomorrows.