March 2016 Blog Archives

March 31, 2016

Loading up and hitting the road!


We are the best parents in the world and I can prove it.  The high school band is headed to Disney to march down Main Street, U.S.A., and while they are there, our son has his 15th bithday.  All his friends in the most magical place on earth!  Now that's a party!  And even though we know other people planned and put it together, we are taking credit for it!  lol


Bliss is on the menu.  Because for the first time in 15 years, my husband and I are actually going to have two days all to ourselves.  WOW!  Wonder if I will recognize him?  Of course, we will be on Disney property just in case our son needs us and we will probably sneak into the park where he is on his birthday to say hello and get a quick hug, but it's a start on being together again.


Our son has issued the usual warnings about how he will call us if he needs us only - thank you Mr. Teenager.  We are not chaperones, but our friends are and they will keep us posted.  I bribed his friends with ice cream to take lots of pictures on his birthday and send them to me.  So I know he won't be forgotten!  And on the day everyone else is coming home, we are staying an extra day to go to the park of his choice to celebrate as a family.  So I think I've covered the basics....


I expect to see green, flowers blooming, sun shining and bliss.  It's my plan and I'm depending on it.  After all one should have some type of reward for bleak never ending winters right? 


I hope your start to spring has already begun.  And if not, I will send it your way from Florida!  I will tell Mickey you said hello and I will get reacquainted with bliss so I can come back turbo charged to forge ahead.  Happy Spring!



March 30, 2016

Historic pictures from past wars are so much more…..


I have a few clients who grapple with the holocaust and a few who do the same with 9-11. Everyone does not have a connection with big catastrophic events and those who do seem to have an accumulation of emotions that come from a past life. In some cases, it seems to come from family history, but actually it’s much more than that. I looked at some 60+ pictures of historic events. Everything from Marilyn Monroe meeting the Queen of England, to the north and south soldiers shaking hands some 50 years later over a hedge.


One thing was abundantly clear: War is a norm in this teaching center we call earth. Someone always has to be suffering to teach us the aspects of suffering. Someone always has to be in stark contrast to that to teach us the depth and width of it all. Someone has to be outrageous to get our attention and still others have to be overwhelmed for the same reason. Earth is a teaching center and without these elements, there would not be much to learn or learned.


I would love to get a room of people to look at the photos at the same time. I would love to hear their reactions to the same photo and circumstances. I believe it would prove many points to us about emotions, reasoning, circumstances and education. What have you learned from history? Why? What do you know for sure about history? Do you realize you are living in history right now?


Just last week teenagers in my car were referring to the 1900’s as back in time. I lived in the 1900’s, but they were born at the turn of the century. For them the 1900’s are history much the same as some of us look at the 1800’s. It’s sobering. 


Historically speaking, life goes on. We live and learn. Some say we learn from our history, but I’m not sure that’s really the case. (The water is polluted in Flint right now, just like in ancient Greece.) It is comforting though to know we don’t intend to repeat mistakes. And intentions are everything. Right?


March 29, 2016

Spare me taxes……..


I get that we have to pay taxes. But why does it have to be such an ordeal? Receipts, official papers, estimates, logs, and forms from the government. What a hassle! Just send me a flat tax bill and let’s be done with it. Of course, it would probably be outrageous and we’d have to sell the house to pay it….


This particular requirement of living in America is high stress in our house. Neither one of us are good at or want to do that kind of paperwork, so there is the annual bait and switch excuse game to see if the other person will volunteer and get it done. And as usual, it’s coming up on the last weekend and we are stuck having to pull it all together. Ugh!


I have a family member who always calls to brag about how much they are getting back. I have never pointed out it was their money to start with, but this might be the year. Lots of people come to see me or talk about the stress of it. My favorite question so far is, “Do you suppose all this paperwork is a conspiracy to kill us off sooner?” Well, if that were the case they would be killing off the people who PAY TAXES! So, no. It’s just a fact of life, I guess. 


Historically, we should know better. Mary was pregnant and got on a donkey to follow Joseph to Bethlehem to pay taxes. In ‘Gone With The Wind’, Scarlett took down the curtains in Tara to make a gown pretty enough to go to the jail and beg Rhett Butler for the money to pay the taxes. Can you see the fear here? Did you know that Albert Einstein said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”? Honey if he couldn’t understand it, I haven’t got a prayer and resisting doesn’t seem to be working.


But as the old saying goes, “Two things are certain in this world: Death and Taxes.” So I guess I better get back to itemizing…..


March 28, 2016

Someone I know and thought I liked……


Actually ate one M&M today and then walked away. Just one! She didn’t come back boldly, make and excuse to grab a handful or sneak back for the bowl like I was contemplating. And the more I thought about it the more I really didn’t like her as much anymore….. I mean who does that?


Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are…..believe them!” She just showed me we cannot hang out with a bag of M&M’s between us! I just don’t know if I can handle that sort of behavior.   It’s disturbing to me…. 


Still, I tried it later with a bag of M&M’s just to see if it could be done by me, but alas, they called my name! Why didn’t they call her name? It is truly not fair. If chocolate calls to me it should be calling to everyone else, too. Otherwise how can I be expected to keep up? Oh the pressure!  I am looking into more self-control, but I’d rather talk about how she probably eats entire bags of chips in one sitting. She has to have some food fault, right? And on top of everything else, swimsuit season is just around the corner.


This is shaping up to be a difficult spring. Unless of course, I find new friends who can’t resist M&M’s….


March 25, 2016

Weary from winter……


I was lamenting the brief period of sunshine that is giving way to rain today and my son said, “But Mom, I love the rain!” And so I now have to reevaluate my negativity…….


The rain is a promising change both in real life and metaphorically. We need it to make those spring flowers I am so looking forward to grow. In our spiritual lives, we need it to grow, appreciate, and understand each other. So today, I am determined to celebrate the rain and get a better attitude.  I put on a raincoat and headed out to commune with the powers of the universe. It was cold – 37 degrees with a bit of wind. But I am not deterred – I can do this and so I walked around picking up limbs and pinecones while reassuring myself that I really do enjoy the rain. And it took about 30 minutes, but I began to see the beauty in it. And even though I was still cold, I loved the sound, the feel, and the crisp freshness of the rain and the wind. 


I do love the wind. I refer to the wind as Mariah, after the song from the movie, “Paint Your Wagon”.  I see Mariah as a beautiful, and very powerful, angel who blows in the things we need and out the things we no longer need. In that same song, the rain is Tess. So Tess and Mariah visited me today and taught me that it is okay for it to rain and it is okay for the wind to blow, because new things are coming and they are the harbinger of joy to come.


I am thankful for the wind and the rain and especially for my son, who taught me something valuable once again.


March 24, 2016

Memories of Easter……


When my sister and I were growing up there was a commercial on television where a little girl said, “Thank you Easter Bunny! Bok, Bok”. Every Easter Sunday, we went to our grandmothers house to hunt eggs with all the cousins on my dad’s side of the family. There was a ton of kids, but only one prize egg. We would talk in the car on the way there about how much we hoped we would get the prize egg. I don’t remember either of us ever actually doing it.


Over the years in our lives, we learned to hope at least one of us got the prize egg. And it evolved into, “I hope you get the prize egg.” So every Easter, I call my sister and tell her I hope she gets the prize egg. And you know what? We both have amazing children, who are happy, healthy and loved. We have happy marriages, productive lives, and people who love us in them. In short, we are blessed.


So Willis, I think it’s safe to say, we did get the prize egg after all. Bok! Bok!


March 23, 2016

What do your emotions say about you?


Hormones aside, emotions are really a red flag to humans.  They well up from the depths of our souls and often catch us by surprise.  We shove them down inside ourselves or do our best to ignore them, but they will be heard and they will come back around.


Most of us are plagued by specific emotions, although we might not recognize it.  For instance, you might be someone who cries when children are left without a mother, if an animal is sick, or if you see a sweet romance.  It’s all about the connection you make with the emotions you experience to the ones you have experienced.  My son, even at an early age, never wanted to see any movie involving a horse and there were no exceptions.  Those finite emotions come from somewhere and when you are only a few years old and know that already, those emotions had to come from a past life.  So the question is why did you bring them with you?


Did my son own a horse in a past life and have to leave him?  Does he understand them in a way most of us do not?  What drives his emotions to say that is just something we don’t do? 


I arrived on this planet caring about children.  I can sense a child in distress around me for miles.  I cannot sleep until something is done and my biggest challenge is to allow things to happen when I know they could be different.  Where did that come from?  I have empathy and do care for everyone on the planet, but the children call loudest to me.


What calls to you?  What do you know really matters and brings your emotions to the surface?  Have you acknowledged that is who you are?  Are you doing anything about it?  Think about what matters to you and check your emotions about it.  Honor that you have a need to care above and beyond your normal circumstances for a reason.  Figure it out and save yourself.  You have an integral part in this teaching center called Earth.  Show up and know what you represent.


March 22, 2016

Middle of the night people……


My husband has had a really crazy schedule at work lately that has had him up and working all hours of the night.  He doesn’t like it at all and called to inform me that, ‘he is not a middle of the night’ person!  Okay, I knew that.


How?  Well he does not get up for anything.  You cannot rouse him to see if there really is a burglar, he can sleep through midnight tuba practice in our house, and the cat can literally sleep on his face without disturbing his sleep.  He brags that in the Marine Corps, he was the only one who could sleep next to the deck where the helicopters took off and I am sure he did.


But it’s more than that.  You have to be willing to give up daylight if you work in the dark and how do you recover your lack of Vitamin B?  How do you know the days stop and start?  He fears he is getting Alzheimer’s, but actually his body clock is just warning him loud and clear that he has wondered too far away from camp.  He says people in the convenience stores or restaurants at 3 in the morning are weird.  I think probably they are saying the same thing about him…..


So he asked me, the counselor, what should he do?  Ummmmmm get a day job?  Because this has been going on now for a few months and you are not adapting.  So…..  The jig is up. 


I remember working third shift for about a year.  We probably should all do it to appreciate those people who make our lives easier one night at a time.  I was wonderfully personable and efficient all during the night, but I could not get in out of the rain during the day.  I accepted that I am a daylight girl and gave the overtime back to the night people.  I think it took about 6 months to get back to normal, whatever that is. 


So here’s a salute to those people who work in hospitals, restaurants, factories, and even make the donuts by night.  May the moon always be their friend and may they sleep peacefully by the light of day.  We appreciate their hard work.


March 21, 2016

Talking in your sleep…


Oh you know this story.  It’s in the movies and books, but I really thought it was mostly fiction and probably never happened in real life.  But it did!   


So the husband was sleeping and the wife was talking in her sleep and she was naming names……  And sadly, his name was not in the mix.  So he explained it away to imagination, sleeping, exhaustion…..  But it happened more than once.  And then he began to look more closely at the credit card history and you guessed it!  It had been going on for years.  She was not in fact, going to scrapbooking weekends after all.  And guess who outed her?  The lady she was hiring to create the scrapbooks for her to take home after the weekends!  It seems there was a discrepancy on the money and they had some words and well, the scrapbooking lady tattled and apparently lost a pretty lucrative part time job.  The whole thing went wild and crazy.


No it’s not a client of mine, but suffice it to say I know of whom I speak.  And even though it is sad on some level, I just can’t stop laughing and thinking, “Did she really think that was going to work forever?”  And I would just love to know what the tryst guy was telling his wife, who has chosen to deny the whole thing and is not pursuing a divorce.  What?!? 


It is true that real life is stranger than fiction and you never know what is going to happen next.  But people we have got to study this whole thing for future reference!  Shouldn’t there be a master psychology class on this somewhere? 


OMG!  Well for a Monday, this is quite the start to the week.  And now you’ll be wondering….  “Do I talk in my sleep?”  lol


March 18, 2016

Is stress really responsible?


Recently, a client was diagnosed with cancer and the cancer center went over a list of known causes for that particular type of cancer.  She said there were about 10 causes and she only had one:  extreme stress.  They asked her if her life was extremely stressful in any way and they went on to explain that extreme stress is beyond the normal every day stress.  They said it often leaves you feeling debilitated and extremely exhausted for what appears to be no reason.  They said it was accompanied by emotions that were severe in nature.  She immediately said it was her work and begin to recite reasons she thought it might meet the criteria.  The center agreed, advised her to quit immediately, and urged her to pursue legal action.  Her employer eventually agreed to let her retire early and gave her a generous retirement package.  This past weekend, just some two years later, she died.


I spoke with her only a couple of times after she went through the ordeal with the attorneys and her job.  I wanted to know why she had remained on the job despite the circumstances.  She said she intended to retire at 20 years and so was trying to make it.  It was part of the hopes and dreams life she and her husband had envisioned.  She was always certain it would change.  In her file, the manager had documented many instances of the abuse/stress on her job, but no one changed the circumstances or suggested she leave early.  There were no problems with her performance or behavior in the file at all.  Not one person ever made a complaint against her and in fact, one employee said that what she reported about her was the truth. 


As she approached her fifties, she felt if she left her job it would be difficult to find another one.  She died at 54, leaving two children, 4 grandchildren, a husband, many friends and family.  And I have to wonder……  Why did she go this way?


People talk about stress all the time.  In fact, it seems to be a blanket excuse for a whole lot of things.  But mostly I think, we dismiss it.  Do we really need degrees of stress to get our attention?  Extreme stress indeed.  How sad. 


So in memory of my client, who was a gentle, loving, smart, caring, and remarkably kind person, please pay attention to your stress.  Evaluate it for what it really is and choose to save yourself.  Stress is a real thing.


Perhaps her story and the education of it will be her legacy.


March 17, 2016

I’m smarter than I was this time last year…..


And I can prove it!  Last year at this time, my cat brought a mouse into the house and wreaked havoc for 3 days chasing it and attempting to put it on the bed.  It was chaos and the stuff nightmares are made of – at least for me.  But I am capable of learning, so this year, I kept the door firmly closed while the great tabby hunter leapt into spring.


And guess who showed up at the sliding glass door with a wiggling mole in his mouth?  Sorry no takers here!  He screeched and howled careful not to let the mole fall out of his mouth.  He looked at me with those ‘you better open this door right now’ eyes, but I held firm.  Eventually, the mole kicked him in the face enough that he dropped him on the deck.  Of course, the mole was blind so he ran right into the wall.  The cat looked at me as if to say, “What’s wrong with my toy?  Isn’t he supposed to make a run for it?” 


There was considerable staring and much posturing on all sides.  The kitty howled and I took pictures from behind the safety of the glass, but I won out and he took the mole back to the yard.  He didn’t ‘speak’ to me the rest of the night and I’m okay with that.  At least I can sleep sans mole.


Round 1:  Cat 0, Me 1  Let the spring games begin! 


March 16, 2016

When you can’t move heaven and earth……


My son got a great opportunity to play in an orchestra and he really wanted to do it.  But try as I might, I just couldn’t make all the planets align for it to happen.  I had to accept that even when I really want to make things work out, it can’t always happen.


That’s a life lesson and I tell people about it, but I must confess that it took me about 4 days to accept failure.  My colleagues and common sense would tell me that it was ‘probably not meant to be’, but despite my logic, I really had a hard time giving up the fight.


I’m fascinated by those kinds of things.  We struggle to make things happen and it’s often a crap shoot.  And yet, we can just be bumbling along in life when something big does happen and we didn’t even know it was on the horizon.  My grandmother used to say, “It’s always something.  It’s how the something gets here that matters.”  Boy does it ever.


I had to settle for the possibilities:  If it is important, it will come around again…..  But I sure didn’t want to.  And yet, I learned again that I can’t always move heaven and earth, even though I might want to.  It doesn’t mean I won’t try again though.  So maybe I didn’t learn it as thoroughly as I thought!   


March 15, 2016

The great rock stop……


I was taking three teenagers to band practice when we passed a budding entrepreneur on the side of the road.  Just 5 years old, she was bravely holding up a pitiful looking piece of scrap lumber she had made into a sign to cars as they passed her house.  We couldn’t read the sign, so we looped the block to ask what she was selling.  She was delighted we stopped and while standing behind a beat up plastic little stand, she yelled that she was selling rocks for 50 cents each and didn’t we want some?


Her father and little brother were in the yard and over her shoulder he explained that it was her first attempt at owning a business.  We were impressed and scrambled for money.  Coming up with a dollar each, we all got out to make her considerable efforts worthwhile.  One of the teenagers checked out her sign and suggested she make it clearer and more readable.  She thanked her for the tip and said she would get right on it after making this sale.  Another teenager complimented her on the sales stand, but noted it was behind the tree and perhaps closer to the road where it could be seen would help her sales.  She walked over to a spot and asked him if he thought it would be better there.  He walked over there and stood for her to make the decision for herself.  She agreed it was a great idea and thanked him. 


The rocks were all from her yard (talk about using what God gives you), and they were ordinary at best.  But the other teenager who had not said much told her that while he was perfectly willing to buy from her collection, he just thought that if she washed them, the next customers would be more inclined to buy some.  She thanked him and sent her brother for a bucket of water. 


Much was made about the beautiful rocks and we each bought 2, making her first sale a $4.00 one.  She was elated and pondered stopping for the day or getting more rocks.  After all, $4.00 is quite a lot of money for a first sale.  I introduced her to the teens and told her I knew a little secret about them she might want to know, strictly business woman to business woman.  She was interested.  “You see, “ I said, “these ordinary looking teenagers are musicians.  One plays the trumpet, one plays the tuba, and one plays the flute.  Every Monday, we drive by here on their way to practice their music.  If you had more rocks to sell, and a better sign, I bet they would warm up in your yard and help you attract customers!”  And just like that, you could see the wheels of commerce turning…… 


I don’t know if we will ever be the draw for her future business endeavors, but we learned without a doubt that sometimes future business leaders begin by selling plain old yard rocks.  And that was priceless.


March 14, 2016

I met a girl who…..


At the age of 5, was sitting in a horse barn with chalk drawing a perfect miniature replica of each horse on the concrete in front of each stall.  According to her it was a gift for the horses.  I asked if she had any formal training and the caregiver replied with a scoff, “No, they are just drawings.  They seem to amuse her and keep her busy.  Chalk is cheap.”


I couldn’t help but recall the art class I took with professionals, exactly the right kind of paint, brushes and canvas.  In that class, only one out of the 20 or so of us could actually draw something identifiable.  This past Christmas season, I was invited to a painting party where an artist had created a ‘fool-proof’ way to paint a seasonal picture to give as a gift.  None were gift-able in my mind.  Even the artist made an error or two she had to paint over……


You either have it or you don’t.  You are either possessed of that ability to see in your mind how it will look and transfer that to paper, or you do not.  We can teach you to channel your inner artist, but those who are born with it will always have the edge.  One such senior lady I met in Maine told me she had been drawing since she was born, at least in her head.  Her colors were brilliant and in moments, she painted a sign for me that I still love as though it was a simple undertaking.  She said she could not imagine her life without painting.  I understood.  I feel that way about words and writing.


I propose that we bring some of those lifetime talents from past lives.  Otherwise, how do you explain that we can do those kinds of things practically from birth?  And if we accumulate those skills over lifetimes, we become masters of them.  And when a master is born?  We have a brilliant person so driven that courage seems superfluous.  We call them prodigies, but they are really students of time and spirit.  They move us.  They change how we think and bring us to places we might not have accomplished without them.  They have a specific purpose and they bloom brilliantly. 


Now imagine that all the things brought to us have this magnificent background.  Isn’t it a brilliant tapestry?  Intricately designed and lifetimes in the making, there is a purpose and it touches the sacred.    


March 11, 2016

What is a prodigy really?


It is ‘a person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities’.  Or you can be a ‘prodigy of’, ‘an impressive or outstanding example of a particular quality’.  Lastly, it is ‘an amazing or unusual thing, especially one out of the ordinary course of nature’.  So……  we probably all have a bit of prodigy in us.


I’m acutely aware that some of us excel, or at least seem to, more than others at various things.  I’m aware that some people really need to be prodigies, because it comforts their sense of accomplishment in this world.  I’ve seen people who were in some regard, but no one else seemed to notice.  Perhaps much like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.


I recently attended a doctoral tuba recital and while I thought the tubist was quite good, I thought the pianist was brilliant.  A professor remarked that the pianist was a doctoral student, too, and therefore should be.  But to me, there was no comparison in the performances.  The pianist was such an integral part of the music he was playing that it encompassed the listener.  He played as though he was born to do it.  The tubist was very accomplished, but he lacked the ability to totally capture the listener.  I think the pianist was as close to a prodigy as the definition can get me.


The word innate comes to mind.  It means ‘inborn; natural’.  The pianist played with an innate sense of music.  The tubist played with the ability of one who has studied comprehensively and desires to master the instrument.  There was a remarkable difference. 


So we are all capable of both.  Perhaps only in small ways and maybe even in ways other people will never notice or comment upon.  Which brings us to courage.  If you take those bits and pieces of yourself that are born of prodigy and bring them to our attention, it will take a great deal of courage.  And perhaps that is what separates us all.


March 10, 2016

Someone asked my son when he was born….


And proceeded to tell him all about himself based on their knowledge of the astrological signs.  He was polite and he listened, but they missed the mark about him.  He told me so when we got to the car and asked me if ‘all that was really true’. 


I do know really knowledgeable astrological people and I do think they have a significant contribution to our world.  But in a logical way, I need to allow for individuality, circumstances, life lessons, and common sense.  So in short, no matter the type of information you seek, it’s always smart to think it through.  It really can be used as a tool to help you understand yourself though, sort of a platform to take off from.


It is a normal occurrence in the great white north for people to hear my accent and decide that I might not be all that smart.  And yet, they will hire doctors to come in from the south to speak at their colleges or address their employees.  One of my favorite kids had a London accent and she advised me to change it like she did to avoid the hassles.  She has not a trace of it now…. Even when she is tired!  Mine gets a whole lot worse then.


One of my not Asian friends has an Asian child.  We were at an event with our kids and a lady kept asking her where her kids were.  We laughed and laughed because even when she told her they were her kids, the lady just couldn’t adapt her brain.  Diversity really is in our minds…..


In a car full of teenagers, they were talking about prodigies.  Through their research, they determined that most music prodigies are Asian.  One of the kids in the car was Asian, so they asked her if she was a prodigy and what kind she was….  She said, “Please!  I’m just a teenager!  I have no idea!”  And then she added, “But I hope I am somehow……”  I would say the sky is the limit.


Don’t let anyone tell you who you are.  Be exactly what you want to be and change it as often as you need to.  Get a framework from all kinds of sources, but in the end?  Go for the unique person you really are.  Think out of the box!  Embrace the prodigy in you…..


March 9, 2016

Change is all over the place!


Daylight savings time, nature coming alive, children growing up, weather shifting, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, you so do not! 

Evaluate yourself in regard to change.  What do you like about it and what do you really dread about it?  Those are important questions and you need to know the answers for yourself. 


My body really does not appreciate daylight savings time.  It rebels in every way possible.  It seems my flower beds are poised to bloom the second spring begins and I have no idea when that is!  Just as I got the hang of snow storms (okay I really never do….) it is just pouring rain at every turn.  Different clothes, different shoes, and mud!  Even the cat looks at his paw and then looks at me as if to say, “What IS THIS?”  And then our boy comes down the stairs all taller than five minutes ago and the cat is all, “Do we know him?”


I don’t know that I can worry about global warming just now when it is taking all I can do to adjust to the next season and whatever it may bring.  I just have to hope that someone out there somewhere is taking care of it.  Besides, I’ve got a feeling that by the time I could catch up about it, I would be behind in something else……


I do love to see flower come up and the trees popping out with blooms.  I love it when that bleak look goes away and the promise of green and sun arrives.  I love shopping for flowers and picking out a new combination for the yard.  I love seeing the mom squirrels come out of hiding with their babies, who frolick around without a care.  I love knowing we’ve almost survived another year of school, too. 


And so, at least on some level, I love change.  It’s a brilliant earth lesson.


March 8, 2016

I counsel people all the time about grief…..


And yet, when I need those skills for myself it is still difficult.  Why?  Because every situation is different and the people involved all grieve in their own way.  So the makeup of any grief situation is never the same and many levels can be expected.


Having been a student of grief for a long time, there are a few things I know for sure: 

  1. If you put grief off, it will chip away at you and manifest itself in many other ways. 

  2. No one can tell you how to grieve or what to grieve about.  It’s a very personal thing. 

  3. Whether you cry, scream, walk, sleep or work, you need to get out the energy grief creates and give it a place to go.  You are simply not big enough to house it. 

  4. You need to tell the story, no matter what it is, over and over, out loud, to get a handle on grief and change.  If someone wants to help you?  Ask them to listen to you.  Not change or fix anything, just listen. 

  5. You need to employ some kind of doctrine, preferably other than ‘everything happens to me’, for guidelines to get you through the process. 

  6. If you truly love someone and they go back to God, you don’t have to ever forget them, you can keep their memory with you.  You can honor that you knew them at all and it will help. 

  7. Often we simply would not make a change ourselves, so the universe does it for us.  In almost every situation, good things come of the change, but you have to choose to see it that way and often wait for the outcome. 

  8. No one can predict the change you will actually make.   They can talk to you about the possibilities, but you have choice and free will.  You make the decisions. 

  9. Closure really does matter.  So if you need to honor a tradition, do it.  Whatever it takes for closure.  And if you are making plans for your funeral, just FYI, it’s not about you.  Let the people who have to survive it make the plans.

  10. If there were only good things in this teaching center we call Earth, no one would ever learn anything.  If there were only bad things, no one would ever learn anything.  Both elements are necessary for this system to work.  Even when we don’t like it.


I could go on and on about the things I have learned.  But this is a reasonable start.  Never try to judge or force someone else to grieve the way you think is best.  That is a process for you.  Of course, urge them toward healing, whatever that may be, but let the process take it’s course.  If they seem in trouble, get them to consider counseling or get them away from the familiar long enough to gain perspective.  And no matter what, be kind.  It is the only true gift you can give them.


March 7, 2016

Whether you are in to numerology or not…..


2016 adds up to a 9 and a 9 is all about endings.  Changing jobs, moving to a different place, breaking up, making up, and dying.  It’s a time in our universe when change is significant enough that there will be a huge shift in people, places and things. 


It’s smart to know about it, but it is not necessary to be afraid of it.  Change happens all the time – good and bad.  Some changes are well overdue and others seem like they should never have happened at all.  People become unsettled with change.  Even when they want it to happen.  Huge sweeping changes, like electing a new president, breeds a lot of fear and so the fallout can be difficult. 


You can either go with the change and make the best of it, or you can resist it with all your might.  Sometimes resistance creates even more change and sometimes it just delays things unnecessarily.  Either way, the catalysts and non-catalysts (and you are one or the other) are at odds with each other and that makes for a sea of ……  change.


What if you set your dial to change?  What if you knew major changes were coming and tried your best to go with the flow?  I often think about being at the beach on a raft, trying to pedal out past the waves.  Some waves gently lull you over them, others wipe you out and you lose ground pretty quickly.  And yet, we think nothing of continuing to try at the beach……..  Maybe it’s because we want to be there.


If you can embrace change, you will find this year to be less difficult.  If you can acquire that skill, you will find life to be less difficult.  Either way, change is coming.



March 4, 2016

We can’t talk about love without talking about pets…..


I learned to love in an entirely different way from my animals.  Our first dog was a big old basset hound, but he would have never believed it.  He was certain he was a boy and once even got on the school bus with the other kids prepared to share their day.  We miss him still.


Our cat is a whole other kind of love thing.  When my son lifted him out of the crate at the pound, they both decided that it was a forever thing.  He walked into this house loving us and never looked back.


From guinea pigs to horses, animals are the icing on the love cake.  They are companions, teachers, workers, and fierce heart connections.  They make the journey to God easily and allow us to do the same.  They change who we are by their patience, kindness, and sense of wonder. 


Animals have a difficult job, but they do it well.  Humans often muck up their reason for being on earth, but they persevere anyway.   They have a specific job to do and they get about it. 


I remember when our son was small and we had to bury a hummingbird who got trapped in our garage and died.  Our 5 year old son made us dress up and proceeded to eulogize the tiny creature.  “God”, he said in a big loud voice, “thank you for bringing this beautiful bird to our great land.”  We struggled to hold in our laughter and remain serious, but we agreed he was right.  Animals are indeed a gift to us all.   


March 3, 2016

Fierce love…..


I think the last exit before fanaticism is fierce.  At least that’s how I would describe myself as a mother.  I love my child with everything I am and I would easily agree that he is the perfect reason for me to be on this earth.  But I have had to learn to pull back and let him experience life with all its bumps and potholes for himself.  That is not to say that I am not there in case I can help, just that I realize he needs to gain some wisdom and insight on his own.


It’s tough to let go.  It is perhaps one of the hardest things I have personally experienced.  It all started when I was teaching him to ride a bicycle and couldn’t seem to turn loose of it.  He put on the brakes and informed me he would never learn until I let go.  And things just sort of went from there……


Now that he is a teenager, there are many, many life lessons in his pathway.  I could run interference for him and spare him the frustration, but I would rather he get these lessons now, while we are here to help him through it, than wait until later in life when the lesson is not only bigger, but we might not be around.  And yes, we are still talking about fierce love.


I realize too, that it is important for me to have my own life and interests aside from fierce love.  It allows for independence and makes for more interesting people.  It’s a challenge to love and be loved.  Isn’t easy, but it is remarkable.


March 2, 2016

Fanaticism is never a good thing….


From apples to zebras, anything you dwell on to the point of becoming a fanatic, is not healthy.  It causes you to lose perspective and often leads you down a path away from your original intent.  Like it, love it, want some more of it, can be okay.  But if you find yourself unable to think of anything else and out of control on the matter?  You’ve crossed over to the dark side and you need to get a grip on things.


I remember interviewing a man once for a human interest story.  He had restored over 1,000 pedal  tractors and had them all in his barns.  It might not sound like much, but 1,000 little pedal pushing tractors for kids is a whole lot and he wasn’t done.  He was an expert on the subject and looking to build yet another barn for the next 100 or so he was planning to acquire.  His wife and children were not impressed.  She pointed to them and explained to me that those toys got the best of her husband and she just didn’t think it was worth it.  She said there were many nights when she would have loved to have him in their house instead of out sanding and painting.  When I asked her son what he planned to do with them upon inheritance, he said, “Sell them all and go fishing like I’ve been trying to get him to do since I was a kid.”  The man lost sight of what he was doing and why.


A friend is an expert on Civil War History.  She fields calls from lots of people and places about what she knows.  But when she walks out that door to go home?  She’s just a regular person who knows a lot about muskets.  She knows she can’t be ‘on’ all the time.  We need experts, but we could do with less fanatics.


Whatever cause you are here to champion, whatever subject you become an expert in, whatever hobby you find interesting, remember that moderation is a good rule of thumb.  And if you find yourself going over the top?  Dial it back before you lose the ability to correct your course.


March 1, 2016

What does love have to do with it?


A whole lot.  If you backed up and looked at the world through a lens of forces, good and evil would most certainly come to mind.  Love and the flip side of the coin, or balance to it, would be hate.  So the side you come down on most matters. 


If we assume that there have to be both kinds of people in the world – good and bad – to make this teaching center called Earth work appropriately, then those who hate or love will line up with the good and bad theory.  Again, who you are and what side you are on ….  Matters.


Those of us who choose to love are driven by it.  Most would tell you it is the single force that makes living here worthwhile.  We work hard to perpetuate and would love nothing more than for the whole earth to be consumed by love.  We rarely, if ever, understand hate.


Those from the other side of the coin are here to be unhappy about everything.  Their job is to make sure we realize that nothing is good and they constantly call us to their side to check it out.  They do horrible things, often with no sane reason.  They even mix it up, like with religion for instance, so we will be confused, and in our overall efforts to love, will allow them to do more of their dirty work.  Haven’t you ever heard that there is a thin line between love and hate? 


Sorting love out is important for you and those around you.  If you surround yourself with haters, the outcome changes significantly.  Love has a whole lot to do with everything, so we best get about figuring out where we stand on the matter and why.












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