Monday, December 29, 2008

A Matter of Perspective

I took a drive by the beach this morning. The colors in the sky before the sun comes up over the horizon is in a single word, AMAZING! Just when I think I’ve seen the most gorgeous sunrise ever, another finds me and leaves me with a feeling of complete awe. Such a range of colors appeared in the sky this morning…low and close to suburbia were striated shades of gray and blue, the smoky pale lavender turning pale peach and pink and I’m not done yet…then above that a layer of blue tinged with clouds. WOW! Really gorgeous and driving by the water…it looked like a liquid rainbow reflecting the gorgeous colors from the sky. It was smooth and rippled only where a bird landed looking for breakfast. I wanted to pull over and just stand there until the sun came up but duty calls and I’ve got a complete inability to shirk responsibility. I know, call it a character flaw if you will.

Seeing such beauty reminds me of how wonderful life here on Earth really is. I mean, I’ve had my share of days where all I could see was the traffic, the guy cutting me off or the car moving way too slow ahead of me. Those are pretty dreary days as my consciousness is much too close to home with such thoughts and then I feel bad realizing in such situations my awareness is pretty well shut down. I don’t like days like those but have to admit that they do exist and actually serve a purpose.  If you look back and reflect on such days you can see the contrast and feel the difference between your good days.  When my awareness is pulled in too close, I’m too wrapped up in mundane thoughts and lacking pure appreciation for life…my own concerns consuming me to the point that I’m missing too much on this journey. But, when I can come back to my senses and throw my awareness out far and wide, I can feel the energy flowing in so positive of a way that I can’t imagine not having a beautiful day. It’s all a matter of perspective. How we view life is a matter of our perception. We can go through life with our perception skewed, pulled in tight, narrow minded and just exist or we can throw the doors of our consciousness wide open and reach out way beyond ourselves and drink in beautiful light, gorgeous vistas of mundane things and feel alive, more alive than ever.

I’ve noticed that appreciating beauty can be like a drug only without the negative consequences.  Imagine a beautiful escape that is no escape at all but rather a more finely tuned consciousness on the bigger picture of life. You should try it.  In such moments time seems to stop and information comes in expanded and in larger chunks that take no effort to comprehend at a level beyond words. It’s like taking a mini mental trip down some incredible highway that takes you far away from your concerns and when you “come-to” you’ll find only seconds have passed and the good feeling residue stays with you for a long time. It’s sort of like a good hang-over! It all stems from simple gratitude and learning to see things with new eyes and forgetting about the parts of life that have made you feel jaded. We’re all jaded, to varying degrees. So much in life seems to steal away our energy and close down our hearts and minds but truly, that only happens when we give our consent.  So, rebel I say! Let your current view blur and slip away. See what is really important in life and know there is something bigger and better out there.  The really good stuff in this life is mostly intangible but it is there at any time you’re ready and willing to open up to it.

May your heart and mind be fully open today. I hope you feel love in all of its forms all at once often!

(c) 2008 Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Lessons, Balance and Gratitude

With infinite optimism do I approach this day and every day as the year of 2008 comes to a close. It’s been one hell of a ride I have to say but I’m grateful to see 2008 go. Odd years, for some reason, seem to be the best for me as long as I can remember. I hope that’s the case for 2009. 2008 has brought me more intriguing and interesting lessons than any year of my life and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to have learned. I’m hopeful this next year won’t find any particular themes of lessons repeating for me. I think I’m really ready to move on to new things, new thoughts, new friends and new experiences.

This past year have brought me a great number of things. One of the most important was learning who my real friends are, meeting new friends and having some pretty amazing guides cross my path and infuse my thinking with new energy. I find as the year closes, all manner of expression of art seems to take more of a focus…the poets, the writers, the artists, music, lyrics, sculpture…these are the folks that bare their souls to the world in one way or another and teach us all that its okay to be real, its okay to be authentic. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like you or if they can’t understand what you stand for…such thoughts can never take away from who you are just as a compliment doesn’t make you any greater than you already are.

Striking a balance every day as you live is also something I learned this year. The human mind and heart can withstand only so much before it breaks. But, when it breaks even that can be magic because then you can begin again. Pain is not the enemy…it’s a part of life and its only through the experience of pain that you really come to understand how wonderful joy is or serenity even. The cure for pain, I always have said is…let it get you…let it hit you squarely between the eyes if necessary and then just don’t panic while it permeates your being and then begins to leave you. I think of pain as something that helps to define joy and happiness like the dark helps to define the light and vice versa. You can’t know one without the other…so, embrace instead of run from it and you can always heal, move back to your center and grasp the gravity of the lesson so that type of pain doesn’t continually repeat.

Another way to restore sanity and centeredness in your life if you find yourself struggling is gratitude and appreciation. Turn your gratitude or appreciation towards people, nature, animals, art in all of some of its forms and realize as much as this world is full of dark, the light does dwell there too. Be brave and peaceful today and every day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It’s not a pretty word is it? It creates all kinds of visuals and negative sensations or emotions right? I never knew that abandonment could be created by people who are still there. Abandonment can occur invisibly by severing emotions while still being present…emotional abandonment. The symptoms for one suffering from emotional abandonment can be a long list. For some it’s a simple feeling of not being able to trust people and as a result, having feelings of not being able to let someone in. So, what does one do if they have challenges with abandonment? Do they suffer in silence with an inability to trust and as a result, keep everyone on the perimeter? Do they continue to ignore anything representing self-awareness and continue to live behind invisible mile high and thick emotional spring-loaded steel walls or become self-aware and strive to over-come the issue(s)? There are choices to be made and they can become conscious choices and responses as opposed to involuntary painful reactions even as difficult as that might sound.

Some abandonment issues start from so young, it’s hard for an individual to connect present day behavior with emotional abandonment from the past. One clear way to determine the existence of abandonment issues is to take a look at patterns in past relationships with family, friends and significant others. What are the themes? Someone with abandonment issues and lacking trust will have a theme that has recurred in all of their interactions. Why? Because the heart of you is so cool and amazing that it knows your issues and presents you with situations and people that will expose your weaknesses so you can see them, understand them and work to resolve them. How can that not be cool? Okay, so you have to step back pretty far from yourself to see it that way because some “lessons” can be quite painful. No doubt about abandonment issues being hard to deal with but at some point folks might decide they are tired of repeating themes and patterns in their lives…they may wish to make some changes and the only things we have the power to change are our actions, our thoughts and our approaches to life. We can’t change people, situations or the past, right?

So, what is the best way to overcome a fear? Exposure!!!!! Through exposure, you can become desensitized to the fear and begin to understand it, realize it is unreasonable today and may stem from a past wound and begin to modify your thought process in order to resolve the fear. With abandonment issues, this is so important. Well, that is, if you want close, fulfilling and caring relationships. If you’re fine keeping everyone at arm’s length, just close your browser and continue like Cleopatra! However, if you want to learn to love more, be loved more, feel more comfortable in romantic relationships and friendships then you’re really going to have to learn to do things differently…particularly if you lack trust due to abandonment issues. One thing I recommend that you do, and I mean this, sincerely…if you think you have abandonment issues that are really interfering with your relationships, go get some professional help through a licensed marriage and family therapist. They have the training to help you focus, find the precise source of the pain or original wound(s) and help you focus on healing those wounds and learning to respond to relationships in a different way.

There is a lot of work that can be done outside of the therapists office and on that note, let me just say…if you’ve got a psychological or emotional issue you’re working with a therapist on…don’t expect to be cured if you do nothing in between visits! Homework is necessary and that homework is being aware of your triggers and your natural responses to triggers…just noticing when they go off. Becoming aware is the first key to healing abandonment/trust issues. Next, learning to understand your reactions and rebuilding your own inner faith and trust along with self-esteem is the next place of focus. Then, after that, forgiving the people involved at the heart or who are or seem to be the cause of the abandonment feelings/wounding is going to need to come at some point in order for you to move on. Then, finally, learning to respond to your triggers instead of reacting as you’ve always done is going to come next. You’ve got to learn to respond differently than you did to a trigger.

So, in a nutshell, that’s how to spot it, work to heal it and relearn a better way to live. Now, when you get down to it, the work is quite uncomfortable. You really have to be dedicated to fixing the problem and being near people that will honor you and help you work through the issue. If you’re around people who can’t support this…you need to be around different people or be more selective in who you let into your life…and do definitely work with a counselor if this is the case. So, the simple answer…if you have abandonment issues and lack trust that if you let anyone in they’ll hurt you, what do you think you’re going to need to do? Yup, let people in…be open, be honest and realize no matter what happens or doesn’t, the situation can’t take your birthday away from you, it cannot change who you are inside and tomorrow will be a new day no matter what. Ever heard the saying: “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself?” Well, with abandonment, the fear of being hurt and abandoned again, keeps us from letting people in which reinforces the fear and reinstates the original wound over and over again. So, the only cure is learning to be open. It’s not hard in theory. What’s hard is changing your natural tendencies…learning to think…learning not to over-think…taking time outs before speaking and reacting so you are in control of your words, your thoughts and your actions.

Making changes to your natural seeming instinctual reactions takes time, patience and understanding from the people around you and you have to realize that sometimes people can’t handle “your stuff” …meaning the things that are your issues. And let me say, as un-fun as that sort of rejection is, you have to understand that a rejection does not invalidate you as a human being. It really can be quite impersonal. There was a time for me that any form of rejection was unacceptable to me so I beat everyone to the punch. I didn’t let people in so they couldn’t ever really reject me. But a long string of failed relationships really made me want to change that behavior. It takes work and it takes time. But back to rejection…both my parents were alcoholics…I spent a fair amount of time in Al-Anon meetings and there I learned some really amazing things…like how to separate my issues from someone else’s…not to take someone else’s issues as a personal rejection and how to instead focus on the things I had the power to change…namely…me and my thoughts, actions and reactions. Al-Anon has an online bookstore and if you’ve never been to their site or ready anything about how that program works, I’d look into it. Another book I’ve read that sort of underscores this particular theme that is sooooo helpful in dealing with abandonment is a book by Byron Katie called “I need your love. Is that true?” Very eye opening in terms of the assumptions we automatically make as a reaction based on our own “stuff” as well as the natural thought progression we allow to follow which really leads us to our own pain. Interesting stuff…check that book out!

So, this topic could really become a book and maybe it will some day. For now, it’s just a blog, just some ideas that I wanted to share with folks out in cyber-space. It’s an important topic because part of the meaning of life is learning to love…love yourself…love those around you…and, allow yourself to be loved. If you’re facing abandonment issues and complete lack of trust in humanity, you may be relegating yourself to a lonely life with not a lot of love in it. That’s just not a good place to be. If anything I’ve written resonates with you on any level, I strongly recommend that you spend the time on yourself to heal abandonment and trust issues. Life is just too short to live it disconnected and in denial. Such things can lead to escapism, alcoholism, drug abuse, over-working …Goodness, the list goes on. It takes more time and energy to maintain “issues” than it does to work on healing them. At the end of the day, facing pain is a good thing. It’s really not as bad as the fear of it but you just have to know that there are tools out there, there are books out there and there are human beings willing and able to lend an ear, a shoulder or some advice to help you deal with challenges.

So, my thoughts for the day are pretty focused in one area. It’s an important area. I’ve seen abandonment and trust issues tear lives apart and cause some very unhappy and painful consequences for a lot of people that I care about. I’ve dealt with my own for the better part of my entire life. So, focus on healing, focus on learning and love yourself enough to make positive changes for yourself! There isn’t anything that cannot be changed within you so long as you allow the thoughts to grow, in the positive, love yourself enough to become aware, make changes that are healthy for you and surround yourself with people who will support you. (And just a hint…if you have no such people in your sphere…that’s a theme you might also want to look at). Peace and healing to you!

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like my books.   I'd be honored if you'd visit my author spotlight at:  Blessings.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grateful Christmas Morning

It’s O’Dark Thirty and my little one’s are up, excitement gleaming in their eyes, an absolute search and destroy mission for the goods under the tree. This Christmas has been a little rough. I’ve come down with a really bad head cold and haven’t moved off of the couch much in 2-1/2 days. I was hoping I’d feel better today but no such luck. But, it’s Christmas and my kids are so excited so I’ve got to pretend all is well and keep moving. If I stop for long, I’m afraid I’d be asleep! I think when we’ve been on the go for a long time, the body eventually givse in and demands a rest. So, you just go with it, get the rest you need and the annoying little illnesses pass when your body is rested.

It’s raining this morning and everything will be gray and gloomy today. We’ve not had a wet and raining Christmas in a while being so spoiled here in mostly sunny southern, California. I really can’t complain. Where I live, the average year-around-temperature is 72 degrees. Nice, yeah?! I had hoped for a sunny morning so I could take some pictures down by the beach. I love to go on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My beach is empty outside of a few souls heeding the call of the ocean just like me. I’ve lived not far from the coast my whole life but never appreciated it much like I do now. Every weekend I take either a drive or a walk to the Huntington Beach Pier, grab a Starbuck’s grande mocha and just watch the swells come in. In the chaotic seeming life of a career-single-mom, the peace of the ocean is an amazing blessing. I get so lost in the scenery and can lose my cares and worries for a time. I may take a drive down there later after I drop the kids off with their dad’s this morning. I can just sit in my car, listen to some Staind (Illusion of Progress is my favorite right now) and watch the rain drops hit my windshield warm and safe inside.

I’m hopeful one of our local Starbuck’s is open this morning. There is usually one open until 3:00 on Christmas day. Down here, everyone loves our local Starbuck’s on Main street and you can see many engaging in their normal morning ritual there without fail! I’m one of them, on the weekends at least.

I’m so tired today. Being sick has really drained me and with this cold attacking both my chest and my sinuses… breathing is a real chore. I’ve learned to appreciate this simple act I normally take for granted in a very big way. I think I’m more grateful for the life I have today having to experience it these last few days with the challenge of the common cold. I wish I could take cold medicine but it actually makes me feel worse than the cold so I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s lots of hot drinks and soup for me…zicam every few hours and mostly vitamins for a diet. At least it keeps my spirits up.

I get to return my house to normal this afternoon. Pack up the Christmas decorations that have been cluttering my tiny little place all month. I wasn’t into putting them up this year knowing how little room we have for them but I had to do it for the little ones. I used to love the process of Christmas decorations but I find as I get older I’m losing interest. It’s more of a chore and I wonder what’s happening to me. I think maybe as the kids get a little older, only one left who still believes in Santa, maybe some of that magic is gone from this season for me. It has been replaced by something else, a season of reflection and gratitude for all of the things that I have. I realized that I need nothing. There is no material possession that fills me with joy…things are just that, things. It’s people that I treasure and the opportunity to love. I’ve got 4 beautiful kids and truly the best friends ever, a great job with absolutely lovely co-workers. I’m really lucky and am feeling that this morning despite feeling sick as a dog, a little bummed out about the rain and feeling so tired. I believe as the day progresses and the fog of early morning wears off (it’s only now 6:00 a.m.), I’ll feel a little better and get busy with my travels, my un-holiday preparations.

My thoughts for today, like most days, surround gratitude…counting blessings and feeling the love I have inside for those I care most about. I really believe that love is both the question and the answer in every situation we face in life…and the mundane things like chores and colds, well, that’s just a challenge we face in life to make us more creative and appreciative I guess. This cold is forcing me into some rest I would not otherwise have engaged in. It’s going to be a great day, as it is every day. Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When I'm Ready

I walk alone under storm clouds
It’s cold and its damp
I pull up my coat collar
To defend against the chill

Gusting winds cut right through me
And the air turns colder when the shore is in view
The sand is wet and the sky so dark
A torrential down-pour imminent

In silence I notice the stark scenery
The absence of people off congregating with family and friends
The beach is empty today and I prefer it
It’s just me and a few others like me needing a temporary escape

It’s Christmas Eve day and I’m supposed to be working
But my heart isn’t in it
I’ve lacked attention and focus
For days on end

My mind wanders backwards
Over the past few weeks
Like a whirlwind he blew into my life
And in a short time nearly swept me off my feet

I knew our time would be short before it began
But I didn’t know it would leave me feeling like I do
In the present I miss him so damn much
I think it’s worsened by not knowing when I’ll see him again

I return to my surroundings
The rain drops pulling back my focus
To the reality of this moment
Standing there on the shore in spite of the storm

I’m not afraid of it
I don’t care if it gets me
As long as I can feel my feet on the ground
I’ll make my way back home again when ready

Gratitude and Reflection

I’ve always viewed the holiday season as a time for gratitude, contemplation and planning ahead a little bit. It has nothing to do with the religious aspects of Christmas, although I’m sure that lends some good energy to my thoughts. I think I view the end of the year as a turning point, sort of a “what did I accomplish in the last twelve months” kind of thing. This time last year I went on vacation with my then husband. It started out as a good plan but the marriage had been turning sour for months. It was an opportunity to try to turn things around, talk it through. That wasn’t meant to be because the heat was turned up ten fold with unfounded accusations and from my perspective seeming insanity that served no purpose other than to make me feel as bad as he did inside, a pain he refused to acknowledge and take responsibility for, something he blamed me for and I had nothing to do with it.

I decided then that the end was near. My friends were in favor of trying to save it but I had already tried and it just wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t strong enough to face a divorce with someone I knew would turn very vindictive and mean on me so had to wait a few months. The sick and hurtful drama perpetuated by my own mother had me so torn apart. ( Another individual who needed help but refused to get it and then made me to blame for not rescuing her). I’ve written about it before, I really did try but my best wasn’t good enough. I learned last December that you can’t rescue people and they will be who they are. You sometimes have to make difficult choices then, and if there is any mental instability in those people, brace yourselves for something difficult. I didn’t linger through the pain long, I looked ahead. I withstood battle after battle, attack after relentless attack and I kept going understanding it wasn’t about me at all. In April I found the courage to begin another ending. I cut ties with both my Mother and my Ex-husband and I didn’t look back except to try to understand the lesson, to make sure I had really learned it. Both situations were thematically similar. Guess it was a big lesson. Two pillars in my life had shattered and only months before the first was obliterated, my job.

I felt so weak and fragile then, emotionally speaking. It was hard to breathe, hard to move, I couldn’t eat nor could I sleep. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I took accountability for my actions and grabbed hold of understanding for the hurtful things I could not control. I had to believe the situations I faced were designed to bring me growth even though I could not really see the lessons through the tears of anger and betrayal. The one thing I was proud of wass that I refused to become a victim and I eventually stopped seeing the people involved as villains. Instead I stepped back and realized that from a much higher perspective, there were just things I had to learn, I needed the strength and growth that would come from having solid structures completely shattered and taking baby steps to build them again. I changed phone numbers, moved, got a new job and filed for divorce and began slowly to rebuild my life.

What a difference a year makes. Despite all of the challenges I learned that all the healing focus I’ve engaged in has had a wonderful result. I learned I could love, I learned how to date, I’ve had so much fun and so many new experiences, I have the best friends in the whole-wide world. Were it not for Ginger, Robert and Laura – 3 angels on Earth, Richard – another special soul I met on my journey that brought about some major healing, I don’t know how I would have made it through. They lifted me up, they helped me to focus, they gave me back myself and reminded me how amazing I was even though I couldn’t see it. My friend Scott, although we’ve never met was there too…a wonderful man and excellent listener…we helped pull each other through some of the trips and traps of emotions in divorce…my friend Chris, another I’ve never met also helped by sharing his insights and listening to mine. All angels on earth is the way I think about it. Today on the day of Christmas Eve, I think of them all and how grateful I am to the powers that be for sending them to me and allowing me also to be of service with kindness and love. Oh this group has had some pretty big and very similar challenges this year and I can see why all of our paths converged…we had something we needed from and something to give to each other.

Today, I’ve returned to myself, learned to find solace in my soul, I’m smiling at strangers just because I can, I have hope where I once held nothing but despair and darkness and I’ve healed probably 98% as a result of my efforts and the efforts of my friends. Although the world can seem to represent a challenging place for life, it is amazing and beautiful too. I don’t think I ever purposefully worked towards happiness as that always seemed a bit fickle and illusive to me. This last year I’ve worked only to find peace, find what my center felt like, and truly learned to understand what serenity meant. I learned to move into my soul and view life as if I were an observer of a play, detach emotionally long enough to understand and then step back into the emotions, whatever they may be and work to heal them. I’ve had many opportunities to share the things that I’ve learned this last year and the greatest gift I’ve ever been given is folks who took the time to say thank you, you changed my mind and helped me heal. Really, that has been the most amazing gift and one I plan to continue to give where ever I am called to give it.

The secret of life is truly love and love takes on so many forms. When my friend Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer she knew what I was going through and said she felt bad for leaning on me and I told her I had enough strength for both of us and would be there for whatever she needed. She wrote me yesterday, the kindest words I have ever seen and I cried…not for her gratitude but really just for the opportunity to mean something to someone in that way. She’s doing so well now and she’s almost back to her old self…but even better. I’m so proud of her!

I am absolutely elated as I sit here this morning and think about where I’ve been, where I landed and how I feel in this moment. Every experience I’ve had this last year has hit me with the deepest meaning possible. I can’t say that’s bad or good, it just is what it is and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn. My thoughts for today surround gratitude, understanding lessons learned, allowing yourself to give and receive love in all of its forms and seeking out serenity and peace no matter what chaotic situation you find yourself in. Sometimes instead of battling, its time to just stand there and experience what is going on (emotionally speaking), step back into your soul a little bit, away from the ego, and try to imagine the themes of the lessons you were meant to be learning. It isn’t easy but I promise you its worth it. When you refuse to learn something a theme will repeat for you until you get it right…oh yeah, then there is that part about the more you learn, the harder and faster the lessons come…but have no fear. If you keep your awareness focused outward and your understanding tuned acutely inward, you can do anything you set your mind to. My thoughts and prayers are with you all that you enjoy a measure of peace as this year comes to a close, that you encounter prosperity in the year to come and above all else this next year fills your heart with love in many forms. Season’s Greetings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rainy Day Thoughts

I woke up to the sound of the rain gently falling outside my bedroom window. At once I felt the cold breeze and remembered that I left the window open. I beat the alarm this morning having had a full night of sleep; peaceful dreaming, warm thoughts but not wanting to move from the warm shelter and comfort of my bed. I got up and showered and made some coffee. Certain thoughts seem to be continually reverberating in my newly conscious mind, wondering, hopeful and ever thoughtful. It seems like California might float away with all of this rain. We’ve needed it so I’m grateful but the rain isn’t my favorite weather.

I’m recalling this morning still, all of the things I’m grateful for. I’m glad I’ve got my health, my children, friends old and new to experience life with. My job is a great source of positive challenge lately and I’m so happy to be doing work that I love. There is something amazing about work. It gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment when you can muster the ability to do it well and it seems you do it well when you find something in it to enjoy. I’ve had my share of days where the only reason I came in was to the see the people I work with. I’m so lucky to have such a fantastic group of professionals to get through the day with. In fact, it hardly seems like getting through the day at all but more of something I really enjoy. I have to work, don’t get me wrong. Most days I’d rather be at the beach, or writing, or taking a drive along the coast. But, since I’ve got to work, I am grateful that I like what I do and the people I’ve got to do it with.

I’ve had such a long stretch of incredibly thought provoking experiences this last year and I think I’ve learned a lifetime worth of lessons in a mere 12 months. I understand now how the more you learn, the harder and faster the lessons seem to come. I’ve not had a break in that area and probably won’t until the day I die. That’s okay, life is meant to be lived and you might as well learn while you’re living, right? My thoughts leave the lessons behind and return to my warm cup of delicious coffee. I’ve got an easy day today at the office…lots of time to play in my mind and that makes me happy. There is a friend I’m thinking about today, as I have every day for several end to end. I’m wondering, I’m curious, I’m happy and content. Pleasant thoughts I must leave for now to begin my day but they’ll not be far from consciousness.

I think now about all of the friends I have. How nice it is to hear from them, learn about what’s happening in their lives and having the opportunity to learn not only from my own experiences in life but theirs as well. I’m a quick study in some things and I’m grateful for that. I’ve got a heart that although it seems it’s been broken and shattered too many times, feels completely whole and healed for the first time in a little while. I’ve got a pretty bright outlook that I fought to hold through much adversity and seeming chaos but I chose to hold that outlook. I chose hope and sanity. I chose peace and serenity over anger and sadness. Although it’s hard at times, I do practice what I preach when I can keep myself centered no matter what comes my way. Its hard and impossible some days and when that happens you just go with it and know it will pass and when you’re ready to give up anger, guilt and trying to control uncontrollable things, you naturally return to your center. I never really understood that before but I do today.

My thoughts have drifted and scattered like the tiny little rain drops blown in the wind. Time for more logical and rational thoughts held closer so that I can start my day in earnest. I have the same thoughts today that I do most…and that is that life is sometimes a struggle but it too is beautiful. You can change your perspective any time you choose but letting go over controlling the uncontrollable things and choosing peace rather than to become a victim of life or of others lacking scruples, knowledge or morals. Hell, some people are just sick individuals and truly deserve kind thoughts from us instead of feelings of anger and betrayal. You can’t stuff those feelings down when you encounter them. You have to acknowledge them and realize those thoughts originate within you and do not come from any outside sources or individual. We control what we feel ultimately but we just don’t realize that most of the time.

I really better get moving and get my girls off to school and myself off to work. I pray you have a beautiful day filled with magical thoughts, peace and serenity!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Choices Again

It’s a gray, gloomy and misty morning. I’m feeling tired but pasted on a smile as I drove my girls to school. As I turned the last corner, I spied a man on a bus stop bench, sitting in the rain, tipping back a bottle of beer partially wrapped in a paper bag at 8:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. I can’t be certain if it was a “the hair of the dog” thing or a “breakfast of champions” thing and I’m not sure why I wondered at all at first but it caused a twinge of pain for me to see. Almost immediately I knew why. It reminded me of my mom who is likely sipping vodka in her go mug sitting in her car somewhere in Salt Lake City…cold comfort to numb the pain of vengeance ill-gotten in her mind. It’s hard to think about as I sit in my nice warm truck, sipping a Starbuck’s mocha responding to email messages on my pretty red blackberry. The guilty feelings drift away with the ocean breeze as I logically conclude our lot in life is a culmination of the choices that we make.

My attention drifts to the water, strangely calm on a stormy morning. I’m playing witness to a whole host of other people from all walks of life who clearly have made other choices. Not unlike me. I wonder about the traps people lay for themselves engaging in a victim mentality and seeking sympathy to manipulate others for the love that would otherwise be so willingly given. I can understand it for only about 5 seconds and then come right straight back to choices. We chose to be who we are and how we let the world and its events shape us. I think about some of my choices over the past 18 months. I don’t choose sadness anymore. It’s a draining emotion. I choose peace and serenity. When the world as I know it becomes like a torrential rain storm, I seek the eye of it. I let the world just swirl on the periphery and keep my peace in the calm and serenity of refusing to fight nature and circumstance. My eyes have seen too much pain for too long and honestly, there’s not a tear left in me so I smile because I’m alive…because I know what love is…because I know balance and that as sure as the tides push in high they also push back low. It’s a never-ending cycle…life is an infinite circle of meaning and drama…an interesting dance of smiles and tears juxtaposed on an illusion of a real reality.

I come back out of my proliferation of seemingly meaningful thoughts and take in the beautiful view of the Pacific from my favorite place on Earth. I think of a new friend I have made and realize he’s the reason for my smile this morning. I realize too that for the first time in a very long time I’m quite content in my own skin at the moment. The sun is suddenly out and the diamonds are once again dancing on the surface of the water. It’s so very beautiful to behold but I’m tired and will need to make the short trip home in a few moments. I need some rest, more coffee, some vitamins and food…fun right?

I guess my main thought for the day is that sometimes it’s hard if not seemingly impossible to see the beauty and magic of life. But, when that becomes your reality with too much conviction, it’s truly time to shift your perspective. It’s time to find the beauty you’ve been missing in obscure places. Go back, retrace your steps and look for the things you walked by previously oblivious. There you will find a new perspective, maybe something interesting and maybe something important. Peace!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spark Of Hope

Yesterday morning I saw a shooting star in the darkest part of the morning just before dawn. It was beautiful as it shot across the sky. I stood their warm inside my leather jacket with a nice hot cup of coffee in hand. This morning I did the same thing only no shooting stars today. Just a heaviness in my heart for lessons passed, people transitioning from this life to the next, a seven year old Kaylie diagnosed with Leukemia undergoing her first round of chemo therapy this morning, the homeless men down by the Huntington Beach Pier, the "crazy woman" as they call her who sleeps on the beach every night, the party animals chasing the tail of an illusive dragon down at the bars on Main street every night, my brother who has given everything to crystal meth, my dad who gave his life to the bottle, my mom who is working on giving hers to the same master, for the thousands upon thousands being layed off right now just before Christmas, for the families of the soldiers on all sides of conflict, for the stray animals without loving families, for the broken hearted, for the angry and the injured. The weight of the world is by far to heavy for me to carry and so I'm not sure why I try. Maybe it's this big stupid heart of mine that just cannot exist in this life indifferent and oblivious. I wish it could. But then, I wouldn't really be human. So, rather than expend energy feeling sorry for all the down-trodden and troubled, today and for this whole season I'll send energy that the spark of life and hope inside of them all burns brightly, that they find and follow their truth, do their duty to themselves and their families, their countries and more.

The world can be such a big daunting and scary place. Living life can be an arduous task sometimes but it isn't without purpose. I can't tell you what that purpose is but I know with every breath in me there is purpose even if I can't specifically name it. Maybe that's blind faith, I don't really care but it gives me hope to keep on going even on dark days where the thunder clouds tend to follow me around...I enjoy the change in the proverbial weather because the contrast helps me to appreciate warmth and sunshine. You can't appreciate one without the other that defines the dark defining the light, the light defining the dark so-to-speak. It's an interesting way to look at things. The trick, I continually write about is doing our best to maintain a state of equanimity, balance, centeredness whether you are struck with joy or sorrow. You really do get to choose how far from your center you allow your emotions to carry you. Some of us are more challenged than others at asserting that choice but it can be done either on your own or assisted by trained professionals. I wish more would seek out that help but they are afraid, indifferent or in denial. That's okay, send them love...that's all you can do.

My focus must return to my immediate concerns as I get my children ready for school and get myself off to work. I'm grateful for my job and all of the stress that goes with it. I'm grateful to be a mother and for all the stress that goes with it. Both are a labor of love for me that I do truly treasure. Again, warm cup of coffee in hand, a few more sips and I'm out the door. I'll drop off the girls, head for the office with the music up loud. I'll sing to the music, ignore the traffic, watch the gorgeous fiery colors of sunrise and breathe in contentment for the opportunity to be alive. I'll send up prayers for all the folks who need them and I'll give this day the best I can give it and then return to my little family and the peace I feel inside the tiny walls of my little home.

Be peaceful and hopeful today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I stepped outside and noticed the sky glowing in neon blue almost as far as the eye can see. Just off to the right, Venus was brilliantly shining and Jupiter quite a bit fainter. The moon is waxing near full again and I feel it's pull. It feels good, amazing and spectacular and at the same time, simply peaceful. I've needed some peace for quite some time and at long last I have it.

I've learned this past year that peace is a choice you make no matter what is happening in life or who is trying to rain on your parade with delusions, lies and ridiculous or horrendous sick fantasies of made up wrong doings to transfer psychological drama away from their accountability where it really belongs (okay...a last vent, yes, done). You find peace when you consider the aggravating sources and summarily dismiss them from your focus as simply not worth it...let them take their drama elsewhere...very far away from me. That's so sad but a reality.

Life goes on, this too shall pass as will we all and everything we think is really important. The only thing you can ever take with you is the love you gave and the love you received. Nothing else really matters.

I'm gonna go watch the stars a bit more. I pray that you have a peaceful and beautiful evening!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ethereal View

I noticed a pair of hawks in flight from my office window today. I watched them circling around in a warm air current for quite a while in between meetings. It was peaceful, so very peaceful.

I spoke warmly today with co-workers. Despite the stress and strain of corporate existence, I deeply respect the folks I work with and most interactions are truly a joy. I liked that about my day, especially today.

As I was getting on the freeway to come home, I watched a large pastel peach sun sinking behind gray and pink hazy atmosphere. The light thrown through the fine particles of moisture in the air gave the whole sky an ethereal glow and the clouds parting just above the setting sun shone electric silver and like liquid white light in the sky. It was an amazing view, breathtaking. Had I not been driving I'd have taken a picture with my cell phone. But I have the memory.

I have a lot of those playing through my mind just now. Maybe its the season, the winter of reflection of all of those things collected over the year, processed and learned. It grows dark so soon now with not much daylight to be had and no time for tennis, sadly.

I've a strange feeling of letting things go. Things that once made me anxious are slipping away. It's not that I don't care any more it's that I suddenly just don't care as much. It feels peaceful and I like it.

I came home to my kids and made dinner as soon as I walked in the door. All I heard was fighting with the oldest being mean to the younger ones just because she was in a bad mood and then I watched the younger ones acting rowdy and then being mean and bossy with eachother. I wince wondering where I went wrong but then I realize ego and emotion go hand in hand and no one can control the ego of another. I let go again, clean up the dishes and relax with a nice glass of cabernet and a vanilla cigarette.

Peace returns a bit again as I sit somehow in a position of observer in my own skin rather than a participant. I'm not sure when the shift occurred...maybe while watching the hawks in flight earlier. I realize I'm human and fallible but I love and I care, so I just do the best I can do in a day.

The crescent moon is out tonight, glowing dully behind misty skies. It's quiet out which is strange for a Thursday in this place. No matter, I like it and will just enjoy it for a time.

I'm watching my big furry black cat Zacky try to sharpen his claws on our metal stair railing...that's an interesting sight. It's quite a useless endeavor as he can't find purchase for his claws and it makes such a racket. So many parallels I could go off on here but I decide to save those thoughts for another time...breathe in the peace and quiet in this tiny moment, going back to my earlier ethereal view.