Monday, March 2, 2009

beginning again...

Hello to each of you and thank you for making the first few months of my entrance to blogger awesome. I've spent some time learning the ropes around here and think I am now finally ready to begin this blog spot wholeheartedly. Hence why I have created a new'll find me at: I hope you'll follow me there and our sharing journey will continue. Everyone have a super day/night and I will be typing with you soon ;o)
ps......I'll be checking back here periodically to make sure I don't lose touch with anyone who misses this message. At least for a month or so, then I'll be deleting this account.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Where the Past Meets Now

I'd walked this road many times before. Enough to know each bump and turn, even the gouges left unfilled where large stones had been removed to save on tires as they rolled through this small Georgian town.

Unpaved, there was almost a comfort floating above the road ahead. Dust blanketed my warm cheeks as I passed a long line of Cleveland Pear trees, marveled at a beautiful Autumn Purple Ash and quickly approached a single Weeping Willow in a clearing to my right.
Somewhere in the distance a Laughing Gull cackled as sparrows flew playfully above my head. It was a clear, warm autumn afternoon ...not too hot nor too cold...temperature near perfection as I paused to rest under the willow's shade.
It was here where my mind continued to wander. Years before, as a child I'd saundered down to the swimming hole with my brother, fishing pole in hand, eager to catch the biggest pickerel just to show him I could. After all, I was young and little but still could not be shown up by a boy, even if he was my brother.
Other travels along this roadway included Sunday jaunts to church. Always dressed like a little lady right down to my patten leather shoes and golden locket with my puppy's picture inside. After a couple of hours of sermons, singing and community connectedness, I'd skip home, often stopping under this same willow tree to catch my breath and steal a few more moments of childlike independence. "Oh to be so carefree again." I thought with a sigh.
My memories were abruptly interrupted by a sound I hadn't heard in years. *Creak* The wrought iron gate behind the willow tree had been loosened by a gentle breeze and in its old familiar whine it spoke to me.

Could it be? Even after all these years? Quickly I jerked to face the sound. Sure enough, the gate was still hanging from one hinge- three decades since I'd first noticed its dilemma. As a child, it had been the focal point for several ghost stories told by summer campfires or during teenage pajama parties. A smile crossed my face as I remembered telling my best friend one day I would write a screenplay about that eerie little gate.
Of course, the years melted away without another thought of my cinema creation, but today here I sat, still intrigued with this particular spot along the roadway to my childhood home.
Behind the wrought iron gate, gravestones painted the grassy hillside, tangible symbols of those who once frolicked these same neighborhoods long before I cut my first baby teeth.
The gate, untouched and unfixed, seemed to act as a passageway for the past to touch the future. Its whine, the suffering of those who walked before me. Their pain healed only by the goodness brought into the future from their efforts.
As my eyes squinted against the sun's piercing brightness, a thought materialized. Perhaps this gate's creaking should never be fixed. Let it catch the breeze and remain a constant reminder of past sacrifice. Allow that love to continue to touch our future, our now. Only by remembering where we came from, can we ever hope to move forward.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Facing Challenges- Part Three- Final

Hello my friends...
Here we are on part three and my thoughts are tired...perhaps a bit jumbled, but the blog must go on! lol... In part two we did some soul searching and after a few questions, we came to the realization that we matter. We validated our own existence. Confidence began to stir.

It is here we ask, "How do I change things? Make them more manageable? Attack problems successfully?" There are some great ideas found in quotations. The one that quickly comes to mind is, "When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change." (Wayne Dyer) Let's see where this idea leads us...
Perhaps we've always wanted to be a professional football player. The idea makes our heart race and the adrenalin rush is euphoric. While our confidence laid dormant, we looked at this dream as unreachable. Our thoughts buried it deeper each day. "I'm only 145 pounds. They won't ever want me." "There's only so many people who ever make it big in this sport. Why would they choose me above the others?" "I didn't play college ball therefore I'm not good enough." We compound our misery until we are immersed in failure. The dream is broken before it even has a chance to be born. And us? We're left feeling empty, frustrated and overwhelmed.
Looking at the same dream in a new light....holding our validation and confidence in hand....we begin to see new opportunities. We stop sabotaging our desires. "So what if I am not as big as the other guys?! I can run twice as fast!" "I have as much chance as any other athlete to be selected to a team." "Who says college ball is a prerequisite? I've worked on my skills since high school by playing with the local guys. I have enough desire and determination to make up for not playing in a college." We've replaced the negativity with positive thoughts...again, building our confidence in our ability to achieve. We're left feeling hopeful, excited and confident. The world is our playground- grab some trucks and shovels!
Unfortunately, this new thought groove does not manifest itself overnight. It takes conscious effort and practice... seeing things as they are and then replacing every nagging negative thought with something fresh, new and positive. Eventually we don't even realize it's happening, but our minds begin to change and our ideas begin to take on a more open, optimistic viewpoint. Our dreams seem reachable. Our obstacles seem destructible. And with every successful achievement, we gain more confidence...we stop dogging and doubting ourselves. Here in this mind space, there's no limit to what we can accomplish! Not only do we believe we CAN overcome obstacles, we WANT to....our drive and determination have come alive.
Personally, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I'd given up on success long before I had the chance to pursue any vocation. I did know what type of person I wanted to be. In retrospect, there was always someone present in my life who represented this person. Strong, powerful, intelligent, and creative women who had control of their lives. Each knew what they were capable of and never settled for less. Each also saw my capabilities and continually pushed me forward...until I pushed them away. But ya know, they never really left...they just gave me space....loved me enough to let me go...and yes, today I have much better than before.
Okay, where are we? We've developed our self-confidence, we feel validated from within, we've compassionately converted our negative thoughts to positives, and we've become aware of new drive and determination. Wow- how cool is that?!
Yes, it's time to take a moment just to breathe! Celebrate! We're feeling pretty good and life is looking a whole lot better! Sure there are still occasional fast balls coming in our direction, but they don't seem as scary anymore. We know how to duck! lol We've developed our coping skills...we're ready.
In this quiet moment of jubilation, take time to really feel the goodness. Not just a "Hurray I did it, what's next?" Let the feeling linger...feel it. Breathe. Feel it some more. This warm fuzziness is the quiet, comforting jubilation we've been missing while immersed in nothing but chaos. It's the goodness we'd forgotten how to feel while lost amongst our inner turmoil.
Okay, my friends, I could continue through about five more blog entries, but I will stop here. One final thought, when we can learn to remain mindfully in this moment, we are focused and giving 100 percent to whatever activity we are experiencing. There is no fear of the next thing or the future....there is no depression for past regrets and mistakes...but there sure is a moment of pure opportunity...we have a blank slate (tabula rasa) in which to create anything our hearts and souls desire... It is here where joy breathes and I hope you'll share its refreshing air.

On that note, good's wishing you peace, compassion, and yes, love, the greatest gift of all. Hugs :o)

Facing Challenges- Part Two

Hello again!
In part one, I wrote about challenges and shared a bit of my background to create a relateability factor. In this section, I want to discuss how we get back on the road to success. Of course, what I am sharing is based solely on my experiences and/or opinions and not to be used in place of medical or psychological advice. On that note, let's continue...

When we attempt to solve a difficult math problem, we do not add, subtract and multiply simultaneously. There are rules we must follow and an order of operations to solve the problem efficiently and correctly. Like solving geometric formulas, everything is a process.... therefore, we can never hope to fix ourselves by implementing tons of ideas at once. There must be a concentration focused on one change at a time. After all, we didn't break down in one day... we certainly cannot become whole in one day either.
Acceptance....that there is a problem...that we must begin again...that life is going to throw curve balls...that we can learn to be all right no matter a primary concept we must first allow to breathe from our insides. Kind of like an alcoholic walking into an AA meeting and sharing,"Hi, I'm Ted and I'm an alkie." Only in this case, it's "Hi, I'm me but I don't know who that is nor do I know what to do with the challenges I'm facing." After this admittance, we need to allow it to be okay- just the way it is- with no facades....allow ourselves to be human.
Once we hold the acceptance in our hearts, where do we go? It's one thing to recognize a challenge and quite another to place our feet on the road to overcoming and conquering a problem.
Somehow we must validate our existence. Give ourselves a reason, one we can easily believe ourselves, to validate our life. In simple terms, asking the questions, "Who am I?" and "What is my purpose?" In a world of billions of people, what makes me special? Why was I born? We must actually take the time to delve deep inside and answer these questions. Not off the cuff and flippant, but thoughtfully and completely. After all, we want our lives to be happier, don't we?
Obviously, we are not God. We don't know the exact reason why we are here, but with some time spent in honest reflection, we sure are capable of surmising what we feel is a plausible answer.

Perhaps after sitting in our comfy chairs for an hour and soul searching, we are still stumped. Perhaps the only answer is: "I am here just to be.... period." Or perhaps something profound hits us in our silence: "I am here because I was meant to carry a message of healing to others." Regardless of the meditative result, we have an answer of some sort and we must allow it to be okay also....allow it to add a degree of importance to our every breath...allow it to push us into the mindset of "I really do matter," "I count," "I am here and my existence is as important as anyone else's life." Maybe we even need to practice telling ourselves those statements until they become second nature. Maybe not. Everyone is different. But just what have we accomplished with these questions and answers?
We've validated our importance in this world. We've found the "truth of what is....just as it is." Suddenly, we realize we are not broken anymore... maybe a bit off track, but surely not broken beyond repair...nor is our life and the challenges before us. Our confidence, though up to this point hidden, now begins to awaken.

On that note, I'm ending part two before your heads knock into your monitor and you're out cold. ;o) In part three ( hopefully also the final part of this blog series- but I'm long winded so I can't guarantee that! lol) we will be taking our acceptance, validation, and confidence and begin to tackle new ground towards a better life....perhaps even find some joy along the way.

I wish each of you a night of reflection where you become one with what you see as the reason for your existence. Only when we look within, can we ever find direction.

Hugs, :o)

Facing Challenges- Part One

Hello my friends,
Today I want to talk about challenges. No, actually I don't want to talk so much about them as I want to discuss how we overcome them.
Sometimes life tosses an obstacle that hits us in the face with a sting like a snowball. Other times, it's more like a boulder runs us over and flattens us to the ground. Sometimes we see it coming, sometimes we create it even, but most times, it's a huge surprise.
For years I ran from anything I couldn't control, which, in retrospect, was most everything. Whether it was by using drugs, physically moving (geographical cure), or withdrawing into myself, I ran. Though I may have appeared to be strong, determined and capable of handling about anything, inside I was scared, quietly crumbling, and the owner of little to no coping skills.
Fear and cowardice led me nowhere...quickly. Wrong friends, abusive relationships, a less than admirable reputation....and the biggie- more obstacles to run from. Negative actions bred more negative results. Go figure!
The bottom fell out of my life several times. I lost almost everything I owned materially, but worse, I eventually lost my own identity. There was no "me." I didn't exist beyond being part of the chaos my actions, and life's surprises, created. Depressed, anxious, and in many ways, indifferent, I lost touch with goodness ...with myself...with the world...with life as a whole.
At these points, I felt I deserved whatever boulder I was being hit with at the time, and in some instances, I did. Lost my car- okay, I hadn't paid the bill. Lost my apartment- okay, my money was going to drugs, not rent. Lost my marriage- okay, he hated me anyway. Having been abused as a child, beaten by my husband (my high school sweetheart), and raped on three different occasions, I had no self-esteem--no self-worth. Those in my so called "inner circle" were incapable of providing any validation for their own existence, much less mine. So, when I realized I had lost "me"- so what?! In my own mind, I didn't deserve goodness in any form. Believing I had been born under the wrong star with the moon in retrograde, I kept running and found nowhere fast.
My point in sharing my past is simply to create some background to emphasize changes in thought, in action, and in me. A relateability factor, if you will. To say at one time I felt like slime under a whale's belly would be an understatement. So what changed?
Nothing. That is, no thing. Life continued to pitch its uncertainties and challenges my way, but ....I changed and how I interacted with the world around me changed dramatically. I stopped running...I had no choice. Not wanting to live and too afraid to die, I was a shadow of myself quickly losing the only glimmer of hope I'd been able to keep...the hope that one day I too could be "someone" ....someone who mattered... someone who could touch others and better our world...someone who was available for whatever goodness needed to be spread.
On that note, I'll end part one of "Facing Challenges."
In part two, I'll discuss these changes in thought and action.

Wishing everyone a wonderful today where hope and faith exist simultaneously and a moment is taken to give and receive goodness in its purest form.

Hugs :o)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It was Fall...

One last burst of warmth before winter's cold tightens its icy grip upon us. It was one of those crisp autumn days when we feel restless. Unwilling to let go of fall's sunshine and almost afraid to look ahead toward winter's snowstorms, already peaking over the horizon. Watching the end of the colored leaves spiralling to the ground, I decided to take a walk through the local park.
Children were sneaking in one last afternoon of swinging, sliding and other outdoor activities. Their giggles floated on the air and tickled my ears as I passed by the playground toward the fenced off pond. A spot I had discovered earlier in the year when spring fever had me roaming the neighborhood.
It was quiet by the water. Only the sound of a slight breeze through the almost bare trees. Even the water was still as I stood reflecting and searching inward for a peice of calmness.
Since leaving behind my world of chaos and anxiety, I've spent many days sorting through ideas, thoughts, and yes, even memories. Boxing, labelling and storing away what was worth keeping. Letting go of more than I saved.
Most definitely this has been a transition year. A year of change. In fact, there have been times where I've stripped away so much, I don't even recognize myself anymore. Or at least, the person I've always known myself to be.
No, today was not a "mind in crisis" day, it was more of a "coming together of body, soul and mind" kind of afternoon. Redefining who I am. The truth of "what is" and full acceptance of that reality.
So many things I've longed searched for have been directly in front of my eyes and though I would like to use the excuse that I was blind to them, the truth is I was afraid of what their reality would entail.
Today I met fearlessness. I had touched it before, briefly. That awesome feeling of oneness with all things in my life where the sky could fold into itself and it wouldn't matter. I would be okay. Better than okay, joyous. The epitome of happy- from hair folicle to toe nail. Inside and out. Then slowly, my visits with this feeling became more frequent until today when it all just gelled.
It wasn't an earth shattering jubilation, but more of a quiet satisfaction warming from the pit of my stomach outward until my whole being became alive and radiant. As I meandered through the park, I could almost feel my thoughts, plans and dreams line up with a plan greater than my own.
So many questions no longer needed answers. I had found purpose for every obstacle I had ever overcome. Better still, I had found reason to celebrate every day of the rest of my life. Awestruck by the enormity of the universe, I couldn't help but wonder why I ever questioned life on life's terms, even for a second.
What an awesome feeling to know, and fully believe, we always end up where we are meant to be. We don't need to stress that fact. It just happens. When we stop fighting and find acceptance for this truth, wow, how much of a difference it makes. Our minds are no longer cluttered with mental garbage. We gain clarity.
How wonderful to be able to stand by a pond, surrounded by the beauty and wonder of nature, and know, no matter what, the sun will shine another day, the snow will fall, the spring will come and dandelions will again paint the country fields. Yes, all will be okay- including us- without our control.
Jumping back into my car, fully aware of all that's beautiful in my world, my insides remained warm and quietly grateful. Before turning the ignition key, I paused to breathe. One long slow breath. The exhale seemed to last an eternity, but once complete, not an ounce of stress remained.
My life may not be unfolding as I once imagined it would, but it sure is wondrous just the same. In fact, far more happier than I've ever had the capacity to dream.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


When darkness encapsulates the silence, I can hear you breathing. A steady, slow breath in...breath out...our spirits unite as one and rest comes easily. If the world were to fold unto itself, the event would go unnoticed. Peace, so powerful, has been captured within our quiet.

When the sun dances across your face and accentuates the sparkles in your eyes, as mortal as I am, I can see forever. Standing strong, side by side, and me, still euphoric feeling the warmth of your smile.

When uneasiness creeps upon my shoulders and I feel an inner crumbling, the warm softness of your hand upon mine instantly instills a quiet confidence. In these moments I feel I can move the universe with a slight tap of my finger tips.

While immersed in our childish silliness, I marvel at the intensity of our laughter. Gleeful, unashamed and twisting on the air it travels while I wonder how I deserve to be so blessed. Without question, gratitude consumes me.

While thinking of all you mean to me, words become lodged within my being. New to my existence, this connectedness at times allows me only a long loving silence. It's within these insecure instances when I hope you can read the raw emotion straight from my eyes.

Looking back at our history, I wonder how the mystery took so long to reveal its reality. Never have I loved this deeply and completely. You're the source of my dreams and my trust of the future. All who is cherished in my world, hence why I know, without a dash of doubt, I'll love you.....Always.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Such a Geek!

Jumped out of bed, all excited, no I didn't win the lottery last night, but I was nominated for four different Bloggie 0scars tonite! Now that, to someone who loves to write, is top honors! (Most Inspiring Blog Post, Best Yuwie blog, Best Creative Writing Blog, and Best Original Work)

Keeping this short, you can check out all the cool details at: 2ND ANNUAL BLOGGIE 0SCARS

Yes, it's a global social networking site that pays its users to submit content and interact with each other. Will anyone get rich there? Probably not. I personally have made about 30 bucks in the past six months just by chit chatting with people. Admittedly, I'm addicted to the connections I've build with friends all over the world and go there to at least check in daily. If you want to take a look and give it a whirl yourself here's a link: ONE OF MY HANGOUTS

Wish me luck and have a super day all. Hugs :o)
OH, and here's your own invitation to the event:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I awoke this morning.
No, not in the sense of my eyes opened to a new day making its presence known with the scent of warm coffee on the air. But in a much deeper, more soul-oriented sense. A moment of total clarity, vision and understanding.
Ok, perhaps it wasn't a total awakening where all things make sense, but it was enough of a revelation for me to find peace and enarmor myself in fearlessness because there was a sense that no matter what direction I plant my feet, everything is going to be as it is meant to be...and yes, my inward prophecy to this realization sure looks joyful.
It's no secret I've struggled with intimate relationships- whether in love, family or friendship. In fact, for many years I ran from the closeness most people search for in their lives. Didn't want to hurt or be hurt anymore. An inward struggle to remain stoic and without vulnerabilities.
I could always find a reason, justified by narrowmindedness, to thwart contact with someone. Anyone. Perhaps it was religion...or race...or as trivial as hair color or the way they held their silverware...whatever fit the situation. And if there seemed to be no justification, I'd either label them less important than they were to me or run like hell with no explanations.
But sometimes, when we are immersed in hiding from ourselves, there's a stronger force at work behind the scenes. A power so great it plays our life cards well enough to guide us where we are supposed to be regardless of how much we struggle, kick, scream and resist.
Yes, I do believe everything happens for a reason and if I was meant to be in Chicago at four o'clock today to meet Joe Cool, circumstances would have unfolded in such a way as to find me there. Instead I am snowbound in New England with yet another fierce storm over my head, but that is a separate blog! I am here because this is where I am supposed to be at this time. Just as you are reading this because you were meant to hear these words for whatever reason applies to your situation. I believe that.
This idea doesn't just apply to you and me, but to everyone around us as well. Those in our inner circle were placed there for a reason significant to their lives and to our own. The magic happens when we learn to stop struggling and let things just be as they inner acceptance that in the grand scheme of things we really don't have control. We are merely pawns on a chess board, if you will. No, that doesn't mean to forget your rent or mortgage this month! But it does mean to stop shutting out Tom, Sue or even Lassie because you're fighting the inevitable contact. They are present because they are meant to be...there's a purpose.
We don't always know how someone is supposed to "fit" into our lives, but if we allow them to "show up" with us, somewhere down the path the importance of their presence hits us like a brick to the face. Problem is, too often we allow society or our own prejudices to complicate what should have been an easy exchange of ideas and emotions. We're blind to their significance in our lives or we, like I used to do, label them less important to us than they are. We tend to prolong our own suffering. That's right, we rob ourselves of goodness everyday we allow ourselves to be ruled by narrowmindedness....or fear.
In my quiet awakening this morning, a thought materialized: God doesn't care who we love but He does care that we learn to love. For isn't love, of the unconditional kind, what truly makes us joyful and validated? And if God created everyone, isn't everyone equally important? Who cares what race, religion, sex, height, weight, or nationality someone is...within each person lies a true nature that is free of all those labels. Love doesn't know boundaries so what makes us wiser than it? Wiser than God who gave us the capacity to love?
If someone makes your world spin happily solely by their presence or you get a lump in your throat at the thought of their absence, then throw away the labels and immerse yourself in that love. Everything else will eventually work itself out. Whether for the next ten years or the next fifty years, it is meant to be. There's a purpose- even if it is only the chance to truly experience the beauty of love with no preconceived ideas and conditions.
Living with faith in the world around you and being open to all its possibilities may just throw you a few surprises. Possibly what you've searched for has been in front of your eyes all along.
In closing, today I wish for you the end of narrowmindedness and the possibility of something beautiful happening as you throw out your own personal agenda in favor of floating towards what is meant to be.
.....hugs :o)

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Than a Meal

Amazingly, after postponing Friday, lunch ran smoothly today.
I awoke this morning all comfy cozy in my bed and dawdled with the idea of rolling over and catching some extra zzz's when the thought,"Today's the day." hit me like a boulder to the chest. Adrenelin rushing, I jumped from the covers to face the day.
Of course my brain was spitting questions like a semi-automatic pistol: "What if she doesn't show? What if she does? What if she ridicules my life? What if she wants more than I'm willing to give? What if she's really changed? What if- blah blah blah."
We'd changed the restaurant location three times and I had no idea where I was headed, but I was willing to bet it was probably right outside her doorstep. (Later I would be proven wrong. Yes, it ended up being closer to her house but still a bit of a drive away.)
She arrived shortly after I walked into the restaurant and secured a table. Carrying in a scrapbook, my tree she made, and a few other items she juggled nervously, it was time for us to talk after so many years. The scrapbook was definitely a Godsent and a perfect icebreaker.
To keep a ramble down to size, we'll say lunch was full of small talk, good food, and an added surprise. She gave me a necklace she bought a long time ago for me...just after we stopped talking. It went well enough, I even drove down the road to her house and stayed a bit.
There were glimpses of the vain, self-centered woman she used to be, but I had to chalk up that chatter to her nervousness. Overall, she made herself available and willing to listen. Accepting even...of my life and of me. And I no longer saw her as the person who had me, left me, and owed me something. Today- after many years- I allowed her to be human in my eyes...human with feelings.
No, I am far from ready to tear down my safety nets, but I am willing to float along this journey and see where it leads.
I found it rather ironic that she made me a tree center piece. A tree!
Back when I began my last series of counseling sessions, my therapist told me a story about trees: They are not confused. When the sun rises each morning, they know their purpose and are accepting of that just be a tree. They see a cat and don't want to be a cat...a tree is what they are and it is good enough. No confusion. On that note, she's my mother...she's human...she has feelings...and yes, today that too is good enough.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Ask You- What if...

There's too much hate in the world.
What if...tomorrow we awakened and the labels society gives us were meaningless...non-existent words no longer living on anyone's breath?
What if...when a baby was born, genetics didn't define his/her skin, hair, or eye color... size, shape or stature...predispositions to disease or intelligence...all were left up to fate?
What if...there were no more organized religions ...Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, etc all walked the earth with no label, no separation? After all, isn't the bottom line to walk together as equals and love all living beings as much as we love ourselves?
What if...when we looked at each other, all we could see is a color, no sexual orientation, no height nor weight...just a soul equal to our own eternal life force?
What if...we learned to love from our spirit and to connect to and love another's true nature?
What if...everyone lived expectantly- jumping out of bed each morning just happy to be breathing... believing and knowing something amazing would happen before day's awe of this life we so take for granted?
What if...we all learned to breathe from within, deep within our spirit, mindful of only this very moment and the goodness it has to offer?
What if there was truth in what ifs?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pickled beets and Pork Chops

Friday. Lunch. Nothing very unusual to find on someone's schedule. That is, unless you're me. And unless it's with my mother.

Yes, after 12 years of no contact, we've decided to meet in the middle and do lunch this week. To say things have changed would be an understatement. There was a time when she wouldn't meet me next door much less twenty miles down the road.

I've spoken with Mom (gosh, I used to choke on that name) four times. Each conversation was absent of the blame game and full of past apologies and future hopes. There's an underlying "I'm here now Honey and it's okay" in her tone. Her voice is soft, calm and inviting to my inner child who has missed her so much. To the adult I've become, she's accepting and only asks for my time...and a chance to make things right.

Yesterday I thought the world was opening up and swallowing me in as I heard the words,"I've always loved you Honey, you're my baby and I've missed you so much." I could feel the lava of the planet's inner core begin to burn my feet as she continued to unveil little things I'd given her that she'd kept all these years. Would've placed my life savings on the planet blowing up before she ever said,"Honey, I'm proud of you." But I'd be dead ass broke now cause she said it last night....but more importantly, I could tell by her near whisper, she meant it.

Yes, the woman who has been the catalyst for much of my disappointments, hurts and resentments has now appeared as the person I'd always hoped she could be. Well, toss my salad and call me's a whole new world. I almost don't know whether to raise a flag or bake a cake. For now I'll do's too soon....I need time.

I find myself squirming inside. I so want to believe this woman has changed but I find myself doubting, questioning and looking for the 'old' mother to appear and snatch away the goodness as quickly as it appeared. I guess reasonable boundaries are okay but I am mindfully trying to remain optimistic, open, and compassionate.

The simplest of words blow me away. Do you know she remembers my favorite color? She even remembers what foods I liked when I was a baby. Information I'd thought she'd long forgotten as she'd never told me before.

Heck, I never knew what her favorite anything was...but I'm beginning to learn now. She likes black and red. Pork chops over steak and yes, beets but they must be pickled. She loves country and western music and dance. Even loves the ocean as much as I do. Perhaps this sounds trivial to some, but imagine not knowing for 40 plus years and then one day being allowed close enough to gather the information. Mind-blowing really.

I only spent the first 2 1/2 years of my life with her...then at 17, I spent about ten years knocking heads with her, just trying to make us fit into each other's lives....or more accurately, into each other's expectations of who we should be. It didn't work. If anything, it only accentuated the pain we both (yes today I can say 'both') felt. Then it was only a quick hello and expected check-in holiday visits once every four or five years...until I totally gave up in March of 1997.

Suffice it to say, I am both excited and scared to death. I've placed up boundaries as protection but I'm remaining open to tearing them down. After all, there's a little kid inside of me who is so afraid of being crushed again...but she too is breathing life into the possibilities of a brighter future. One conversation at a time.

My mother is gifted when it comes to crafts. I'd always wanted her to make me, get this, she did! She made me a decorative tree- not a Christmas tree- but a table top center peice with lights and decorations. She's bringing it to lunch so I can take it home with me. Can't wait to see it. Between you and me, she could have drawn the smallest of things...let's say a mouse...on a scrap piece of paper, handed it to me, and I'd treasure it because for that second or two she was thinking enough of me to create the drawing. Instead, she took an hour or two and made something really nice. I'm touched.

In closing, I don't know where I'm headed with this journey of rediscovery, but for now it's pork chops and pickled beets....and maybe a mindful hug or two.

Here's wishing you all a day of restoration...where something hurtful can be resolved and healed. Have a happy today!

hugs :o)

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Theme of The Year

Tonight I sit here at the keyboard, my thoughts warming -awaiting a 'pop' to signal an idea is ready, like raisin toast on a cold morning.

-----snap, crackle, you got it- pop! -----

Every year seems to have a theme. Three years ago was a year of loss with the passing of my father and other significant people in my life. Followed by a year of transition as I journeyed through some intensive therapy, placing my feet back on the ground. Then last year, the year of awareness, at last finding myself and the flow of what is- wuwei. Having found a comfortable space in my world, the year ended quite happily.
Mind you, usually I can't see what the theme has been until about mid December, when I sit reflecting over the previous months and the events they've held.
This year is different. What strikes me is how quickly the theme has developed. This year will be the year of emotions and change. Sure, I've experienced a whole lot of emotions in my lifetime, but how many have I actually taken the time to actually feel their intensity? It was normal for me to always be three steps ahead of every conversation (and event), in my safe zone, awaiting someone's arrival on the other side. Definitely not in the moment. After all, if I've already passed by the moment no one can touch my vulnerability. Racing ahead was a defense mechanism. My, how things have changed.
Today I practice mindfulness in all things...I'm right here- right now. For I've come to learn, this now is all we ever truly own. All I have to do is "show up." A hundred percent present. Living through all my senses. Even now as I type, I can feel the softness of the keys under my fingers, hear the music on the radio, smell the floral scent of dryer sheets drifting in from the laundry room, taste the cherry gatorade I'm sipping, and of course, see the words I'm typing.
Of course, moment to moment my senses find something new to experience. Perhaps the sound of an adult child on the phone, or a cool graphic someone sent me in email, or even a hug. Yeah, what about a hug?
Here's something for you to try. Lots of people hold their breath when they hug someone. It's true. I didn't believe it when my counselor first told me that fact- until I found myself actually doing it! Anyway, go grab someone and hug him/ other words, be conscious of your breath....hug him/her and BREATHE....mind you, I didn't say PANT! lol...just breathe...from your stomach...where we were meant to breathe....long, slow, and deep...then relax into that hug...actually feel the other person's arms around you...the warmth, the softness, the safe security this embrace rewards you with, his/her breathe on your neck, his/her scent...feel the beating of his/her heart against your body-rhythmic and strong...lastly, feel the love. Don't allow your mind to wander to the clothes waiting to be folded or how many emails are needing answers... stay in the hug....fully and completely....then release... Now that's a hug...and you're feeling pretty good, aren't you?
Hugs are supposed to feel good...they are medicinal- when enacted correctly, they release chemicals in our brains that make us feel better. Now that I've taken you through a mindful, fearless hug, imagine living every second of every day from this space...mindfully showing up....better still, forget imagining - just attempt to do it...and watch how beautiful life can become. After all, there's no anxiety here- you are not worrying about what is coming next...and there's no depression because you are not looking back at past are here and now...where in this now everything is okay.
Yes, it takes practice. I've gotten a whole lot better at this feat after two years of consciously working on it. Sure, it makes me much more vulnerable...but I'm finding a whole lot of beautiful moments too. And as I find safety in mindfulness, I'm building up fearlessness....courage to experience new be loving, more compassionate. Breathing life into love and love into life...that's become my own personal quote...where I live from everyday.
Back to this year's theme- emotions and change. I'm learning not to run from the intensity of my emotions. Today I allow love to breathe. I know what it is and I'm not afraid of where it leads me in my relationships. After all, I only have to 'show up-' one moment at a time...fearlessly. I've learned to trust this life we breathe in...everything will end up where it is meant to be...all I need to do is float. This fearlessness has rewarded me with many wondrous surprises. Many of which were right in front of my eyes all the time I was running away. So glad I stopped and caught my breath!
In my journey of mindfulness, I've claimed joy, understanding, laughter, compassion, awareness, and yes, love- the greatest of all emotions. Not only have I claimed them, but I've felt them in their highest intensity. In retrospect, it's amazing how many wonderful mindful moments I've collected already this year...with eleven months to go!
Sure, I have plans, goals and dreams...and when the moment is right, I'll experience their realities. For this moment will lead me moment at a time. I already see them materializing.
On that note, I wish you the joy that only true mindfulness and vulnerability of spirit will bring, go grab a hug.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Okay, so I'm not a rocket scientist!

I'm by no means a novice but I sure have not scored very high tonite on the "customize your blog" report card.
For three hours I have taken out code and replaced code to get what I have. And my header/background is awesome--thanks to the super work of "LEE" (go see her, she's wonderful)....but now I cannot seem to get my widgets back! My blogroll has gone followers are non-existent....poll was wiped name it, it's vanished.
....what to do, what to I really have to use one of blogger's routine layouts to use the widgets? Ugh!

now it's thursday morning and still my page is not cooperating....gee, no wonder i have no comments- my blog isn't even showing! anything past "I created this" is absent from my page...........I guess I have no choice but to redo my page...or stare at the page and try to mind manipulate all my widgets and new blog to appear....

I have acquired a Motrin resistant headache, but I now have a blog. Lee, if you are reading this, please know I so loved your work and thank you so much. It's just a sign of all my wasted educational dollars. I really should have taken at least one computer class! As soon as I find someone to help me get my page rocking, I'll put it back up, but I'm still linking to you so others can see your wonderful work.

Ok, I am off to unfold slowly into my morning...who am I kidding? I'm going for coffee! lol

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I created THIS?! lol

An all star athlete. Co-captain to three teams. Honor Society Member. A loyal employee of five years at the local Bestbuy. My wonderful son.
Enter three years of college, supporting an apartment on his own, homework, bills, practice, homework, laundry, making meals, homework, long hours at work, athletic meets, did I say homework? (Don't forget to subtract Mom's every available dollar!) Still my son.
Add a near tragic car accident. An attack by a neighbor's dog. Panic attacks. Forty six stitches because a glass door smashed nearby. And the question of the 2008 year: "Mom, can I come home and get on my feet?"
Add all that together and what do you get?
A crowded house with gym shoes magically appearing at every corner. Milk left out on the counter ("Sorry Mom, I forgot.") Laundry piled to the rafters - 90 percent still smelling of dryer sheets! ("Well, I put it on, then I changed again." translated to- it touched my body for two seconds)Oh, don't forget the endless questions- none of which are seeking advice, but instead want to know WHY I drive down Maple Street when it's so much easier to take Oak St...and various other examples of mom's 'shortcomings.' If that isn't enough, you may filter in the big german shepherd/rottie who leaves mud, hair and various other bodily fluids all over the what was new carpet. ("Mom, it's not my fault! Prince was playing in the mud." My question-who owns this dog?)
Someone said my little boy is a man now....hmmm...if that be true, just WHO IS this creature who resides in the room down the hall?!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Luck and Justice

Some people seem to have all the luck. They step in yards of animal feces and walk out smelling of lilacs in springtime.
Take my son for example. Last year he was driving home from work around midnight. His car shaking from the music ricocheting off its walls. Its roar pleading for a new muffler. Three houses before home, blue lights. A state trooper pulled him over. "License and registration."
Now I know what you are thinking. How is this scenario lucky? Well, check it out:
Months before he'd gotten a speeding ticket. We sent in a money order and paid the fine. Well, as the officer was running his name and social security number, the ticket comes up unpaid ...and his license? Suspended. As the officer was relaying his findings to my son, I was on the other end of his cell phone listening. My mouth hit the floor and I struggled off the couch to find my car keys anticipating the 83 mile to my son's rescue. I mean, there was enough duct tape, super glue and coat hangers holding his exhaust system together to keep a grade school art class busy for a month...not to mention the blaring rap music that had become synonymous with the act of driving, no matter what time of day (or night in this case) it was.
What came next was typical for my son: "I can tell you're a good kid. Going to school...working...and I believe you did pay your ticket. Young man, take your car home, park it and square away your ticket. Get that muffler fixed too before you drive this car a mechanic. It would do you well to keep your music turned down too. Understand?"
"Yes, sir."
"Okay, have a good night."
Now do you see what I mean?! Of course I don't wish my son any harm...but why, after stepping in poop, coming out smelling like a floral bouquet, do I have to hear: "Why does everything happen to me?" ....
What in criminey happened to him?! He got to drive his car home, pay day was the next day, his car got fixed and life went on...oh yeah, they also corrected the books about his ticket with no problem the very next day.....
If that had been me...the next words from the officer's mouth would have been: "Ma'am, please get out and step to the back of the car." followed by a *snap* as the metal restraining bracelets were fit tight enough to cut off circulation. A trip to jail, a bail posted, a court date appearance the next morning, an impound fee, and a tow truck bill to bring my car home would have been the beginning of a very long dilemma. Heck, even after they discovered my ticket had been paid, I bet the judge would have issued a fine for faulty equipment and disturbing the peace. Then, if I made the mistake of asking, "Why does everything happen to me?" within ten feet of my son's hearing range...he'd look at me and laugh!
Where's the justice?! lol
Oh wait, let me answer that! One day my son will have children of his'll be his turn to step in poop, ask "Why does everything happen to me?" in front of Junior, only to be answered with, you got it, laughter!
Yeah, now there's justice!

On a separate note, my son did have a car accident last week. He hit some black ice, lost control, drove up a four/five foot snowbank, airborne he took out a fire hydrant when the car landed. He's okay- granted, that morning very shaken up, but thankfully, nothing more. His car? Well, the last estimate was almost 2000 dollars to fix....and all he can say is....."Why does everything happen to me?" .........go figure!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm a Glass!

Alone. Fragile. Vulnerable. Standing on the brink of my demise, questions bubble up within my emptiness. Will I rest in junkyard dirt- eternally comfortable? Or *gulp* must I return to the depths of fiery hell in Richmond's Recycling plant? I don't like heat!

I've heard that the souls of a million Budweiser bottles pour long into the night- searching for new pieces of glass to infiltrate and make them whole. And let me just add here, I'm not your ordinary piece of glass! Behind my shapely, crystal exterior, I have feelings.

What really frosts my stem is how you used me and then disappeared into another room. I was good enough to cradle your $3 bottle of Boone's Farm...I nearly gagged as you happily threw back the toast to your new baby. But because I love you, I didn't crack...not even a chip!

I've celebrated with you since your high society mother-in-law found you deserving of my $36 price tag. I willingly lowered my standards to accommodate your tastes: Narragansett Super Bowls....Tap water hangovers...Schlitz barbecues.All the while just happy to be caressed by your lips. A few brief moments when time stood still and I tingled from rim to base. Those sensations are a mere memory now. I feel so used!

Will you miss me when I shatter against your beer stained linoleum? Will tears sprinkle upon my dust as you sweep away my jagged fragments? I'll take your finger prints with me for all eternity- what will you hold onto?

I never demanded much. A bath now and then. Set the heat dry to keep me shiny and spotless. Jet dry costs less than some of the chablis you brought home for birthdays. Yes, I was a low maintenance friend. Perhaps, too low.

Now, here I stand, used and abandoned, my pride diminished to that of a mere Dixie cup. Little fingers are exploring my rim. Unnoticed by you, they continue to roam. My stem slips and I am forced to go with the flow.

Help! I am tumbling in the air!

"Angie! Look out!"

I can see you running to save me. I know your rescue will be too late, but your effort answers what I've wondered all along-- You really do love me. *SMASH !!*

My Journey to Okay

And so began this day, much like any other ordinary day. It was winter in New England, windows were painted in frosty designs, shaking with each gust of wind against the house. Me, blurry-eyed and shuffling across the cold linoleum tiles, awaiting the caffeine-laden elixir which would, almost miraculously, bring me to full consciousness.

Lady, the queen beagle of the house, lay sleeping in front of the television. Her snores seemed to accentuate each headline of the morning news. Undaunted by the sound of sleet against the window, she shifted her position long enough to peek directly at my shadow. Satisfied, knowing it was me, she slid back into her canine fantasies.

I opened my laptop, typed in a familiar address, hit 'enter' and awaited the sign-in screen. My day had normal fashion. Nothing spectacular- nothing horrible. Little did I realize, this day would hold a special surprise. One whose magnitude would set off a chain of illuminating light bulb moments. For a time, I would walk on clouds of normalcy. In retrospect, I like that phrase- clouds of normalcy.

The skies cleared, I decided to venture out with my sister- and the canine princess accompanied us too. We trudged through the maze of snow banks, laughing at the effects of time on our worldly bodies. It sure was easier to worm through the snow drifts as a child, but still just as exhilarating-some thirty years later. Especially rewarding today, as it was my sister's first walk since spending time in the hospital. To say I was grateful for her company, would be an understatement.

As we rounded the corner to cut through a parking lot to our street and the safety of home, I had a mental chiropractic shift--something 'clicked'...this is what "okay" is....I wasn't racing home to thwart a panic attack nor was I over-analyzing everything that had just transpired....I was enjoying this excursion as it unfolded-one minute at a time...I had finally found "okay"--I had touched it- felt it- heard it-and it was just that, okay. Nothing more - nothing less....nor did it need to be. Its presence was enough-just the way it was, at that very moment. My only thought, "This is what okay is!" and the phrase continually echoed throughout my being.

Now I know many of you are thinking I have lost my marbles...or at least dropped a few. But let me take a couple minutes to explain. Life for me has always been a series of highs and lows. No middle ground. That was normal to me. I was conditioned to either be racing to the next thing or analyzing the last thing. Only last year, did I learn about mindfulness and how important- and how less stressful- it is to be 'here'-in this moment...where only this moment exists. But my struggle had been to make this moment 'okay' --to know and feel safe -comfortable- in all that is right here and right now. And on this particular winter day, I found 'okay'...and I rejoiced with my newly found treasure.

Then what to my amazement happened? I found 'okay' the smell of coffee in the morning, in the 'crunch' of snow under my feet, in the softness of my sister's voice, yes, even in the crispness of the winter air. Have you ever danced inside in total jubilation? I did. Not from winning a mega lottery, or getting a pay raise, no, my insides danced to the tune of a thousand songs in one...and all at the same time. Uninhibited joy...I began to relax into this new sense of well being...and life not only became "okay.", but I touched the enormity of such a simple little word.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More than a Cutting Board

A cutting board. Two inches thick, forty plus years old, and still holding up to
serve its purpose. Beyond the pie crusts rolled out on its top or the turkeys carved for a holiday, it represents so much more.
Christmas last year my man-child stood eyeing the ham I was carefully slicing for dinner. "Hey Mom, I like this board. Where'd you get it?" No, he wasn't buffalo-ing anyone, I knew he was trying to distract me long enough to grab a piece of meat and quickly leave the kitchen, but I played along.
"Actually it was your great-grandmother's. In fact, it was the first one I ever used when I was learning to bake. From grandma it went to your grandfather then to me. It's been around every holiday since I can remember."
Still waiting for his chance to capture a prize piece, my son answered with a short, "Cool." But before I could continue to relay the materializing memories, he sighed and left the room, giving up on his attempt to pre-taste dinner's main course.

In seconds, I was five again, covered in flour and helping my grandmother to roll out dough. The Pillsbury Dough-boy would have been envious of my whiteness- flour from head to toe but smiling a toothy grin just the same. The rolling pin had been smooth in my little hands. It sure seemed hard to roll the dough just right. Too thick. Too thin. Too small. Then way to large to fit the pie pan. Determined, I finally got it right.
A little over an hour later, which of course, seemed like forever and a week, the smell of a freshly baked apple pie traveled from the kitchen counter, down the hall, into the bathroom, landing directly under my nose as I sat in a tub of bubbles. Mm was that ever a wonderful scent. Hard work on top of a cutting board had been rewarded with a delicious dessert that evening.

Halfway done cutting the ham and loading the platter with even slices, I smiled to myself as I remembered the same anticipatory feeling my son had had moments before.

Don't think a holiday had passed when I didn't try to "help" my father carve the turkey or ham just so I could steal a piece before dinner. Breakfast had always been before daybreak so by afternoon I couldn't wait to stifle my growling stomach with any small scrap I could put my hands on.
My father was a professional cook and it had been fun to watch him breeze through the motions of carving and serving. Except on the few occasions when he'd try to rush and the knife would slip, nicking his calloused hands. Usually by that time, he'd had a couple of Budweisers so his language would become angry and very colorful. As long as I continued to hold the platter still, not laugh at his dilemma, and instruct the nearest relative toward the band aids, I'd be rewarded with not just a scrap, but a whole slice of whatever meat he was slicing.
He never was one for family gatherings so it'd be him and me serving our guests, then after the meal, clearing and cleaning the mess. Yes, it was a lot of work at times, but our afternoons by that cutting board had been some of the best bonding times we ever had. Perhaps that is why I loved the holidays so much.

At last I had the ham sliced and ready to serve only to realize there were still other veggies to tend to before calling everyone to dinner. I heard my son's voice behind me and in the spirit of a tradition he knows nothing about, I picked up a slice of ham and handed it to him. My offering was met with a wide hungry grin.
After dinner as I washed the cutting board and ran my fingers over the many digs within its wood, I thought how amazing it was that an inanimate object could hold so many memories...and so much love.

Here's hoping this blog reminded you of some of your own special moments. Hugs, Lisa :o)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quiet Jubilation

How about a day of jubilation...not a loud one- but a soft, quiet, peaceful day within ourselves where everything is okay just the way it is...not complicate the day with our own agendas but let the day unfold as it is meant to be...and better still, be okay with it - just the way it is.
The other day, I climbed some trails in the woods and found a clearing where you could see for miles- trees, mountains, lakes...the view was indescribable really. As I stood there awestruck, I realized there was not a sound on this cliff- no planes, no birds, no frogs, no crickets, not even a breeze...just total peace....and silence. The world seemed to stand totally still and for those few minutes in time, my humanness didn't the grand scheme of things, my bills, responsibilities, and desires don't dictate who I am....that is solely dependent on how I choose to interact with my world (*operative word: choose!*)....can I live, love and laugh enough to make a difference? can I breathe joy into another's eyes? can I touch someone so deeply they never forget the feeling of safety and compassion? yes, can I be the change the world so desperately needs? Can I learn to just 'be' and be content in my existence- just as it 'is' the rocks on the cliff, the trees in the forest, and the clouds overhead....can I be peaceful within knowing everything unfolds as it is meant to be- all I have to do is 'show up' each day? Live expectantly, love unconditionally, and laugh wholeheartedly....

For a minute, picture yourself 200 feet up...your shoes firmly on the ground...the warmth of the sun caressing your face...see the world before you...trees- green, orange, red, and yellow....lakes- blue with white ripples....the sky- blue with big puffy white and grayish clouds...and feel the silence- peaceful, calming, and present....for these small seconds, watch as it begins to move slowly around you...then just as you think you've had enough- stop thinking! and reach within yourself ...deep down inside where your heart beat meets your, breathe from there, observe from there, be present from there....feels pretty great doesn't it? stay as long as you'd like- this place inside you is always there!! Even when Sally has painted the puppy a beautiful shade of lilac using your new nail polish...or Johnny is tearing at your coat tails to use the computer and take you away from your work....the key is to find this place of total equanimity and know you can always return to its comfort- no matter what!
When we can learn to live from this quiet space within ourselves and allow life to unfold as it is meant to be, we can find peace- comfortably floating and not struggling with agendas. Takes some practice, but it is there for the learning. Imagine a world full of people living and breathing that awesome feeling up on the cliff- open minded, accepting, clear headed, peaceful and yes, compassionate... sounds like heaven on earth to me...
Today that is what I wish for each of you... moments of clarity and a peaceful spirit.