Saturday, August 13, 2016

Understanding a conflicted sister



The mind of God has no conflict. It is of Love. So, what happens when we find ourselves in huge conflict about loving someone we can't forgive?

Family conflict and marriage conflicts seem insurmountable. We say, "how can they have done that, how can I ever forgive that". And from that moment on we define the culprit by that particular action. We forget every bit of love, kindness, laughter, fun, compassion they ever showed us up until now and we condemn them forever. Funny.

I remember speaking to a friend a few years ago as she was reaching the end of her marriage. She was bitter and angry as many of us are at infidelity. And I asked her, "what about the other 23 years, was he a good husband and father? Do you remember that moment when he looked into your eyes when your first child was born? The love that he had for you?" "Can you really negate all of that because he created a way for you to be free ?" My experience had been that her husband was fun, pushy, but he kept her safe for so many years and he was an outstanding father. And though I do not think infidelity is a smart move in building a family, I do not think it warrants hate and bitterness and an ugly divorce which can have repercussions on the whole family. I think she got it, and as she proceeded through the divorce she realized that his behavior had nothing to do with her, that he made choices that only he had to live with and that she was free to be who she was-a goddess of love and kindness. That he would walk away from that was not her problem. And she was able to let him go-to forgive him. She did not have to like him she just had to see that it was okay to let it go. For the good of all.

People are defined by their behavior more often that by who they really are. Where we feel conflict we are not seeing the love. It seems hard sometimes to see this, I know, but when we look beyond a person's behavior we will see that we are all alike, we all came into the world hungry for love. I birthed babies for over 30 years, not a one of them came into the world looking for trouble. They came in awe, little sponges of love. What they became is what they were taught or what they witnessed. And it is not who they are at the core. People are not their behavior and when we understand this, we can see through their bull shit and see the pain, the sadness, the cry for love.

Lately  I have noticed that the media is linking love to Oxytocin as though that is the only thing that creates love in a mother, "she is filled with oxytocin". Really? So, it is a chemical that makes us feel love and now we can get a dose from our doctor?

Love is of God and the Spirit. And the more you Love the more you receive Love. If your oxytocin levels elevate when you feel love, which came first-the love or the drug?

Love is not a chemical. It is a complete mind/heart experience, a connection to a higher power, to God, Spirit, to the All. And the more you find to Love in the world, the more Love will find you. Think about it, you love your partner deeply (where is that?), you love your babies (unfathomable how deeply), you love the smell of roses, the skin of your lover, the sound of the ocean, the feel of soft sand under your feet. Love is available everywhere you are, whenever you want it. You only need to set aside your ego mind and be present.  And in doing so, we open up to the ability to find the good in others, even in their bad behavior moments. You don't have to like their behavior, their bitterness, anger, resentment or pain, but in order to create change you must look to their deeper self, the child in them and know that there is love there waiting to be recognized. You chose to be more open to Love and be loved. Go out there and look for it in everything. Look at strangers, the grocery cashier, the gas station attendant. Love is there. And the more you recognize it, the more love you will attract into your life. God Bless!!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Let Love In


Each one of us has the opportunity to carry the burden of the injustice done to us. Some suffer in silence, some act out toward others in rage, some through cruelty and mean spirit. Some act it out in behaviors and habits such as lying, cheating and addictions. Some just shut down never to explore possibilities again. Some stuff it deep.

The adage "Shit happens" is how we superficially let it go if we are cool. Some exam and re-exam the event in question and find ways to simplify the meaning of it. We look to find understanding and the path away from the hurt. Some even get the lesson and can move beyond it to forgiveness and faith.
Terrible things happen in life, but so do unexplainable moments of joy, and yet we spend way more time on that injustice. Strange. Why not carry around that incredible moment when you first look into the eyes of a newborn? Or that instant when you know you have connected with the love of your life?

I have witnessed many marriages come and go as a witness to this weird phenomena. In the end of some of the happiest marriages, I have seen how both parties have absolutely forgotten the good times, the laughter, the magic moments, the joys of parenting, and focused only on behavior that has been blown up to enormous "injustice" which not only destroys the relationship but also the spirit of the children who believed in you.

Who teaches us how to handle "injustices"? Who can help to explain a death of a teen or newborn?How do we learn to find meaning in everything? The movement of spiritualism and return to faith has had a profound effect on many people in this arena. The search for understanding. The search for the strength to find forgiveness. The meaning in "letting go". Creating new meaning  from the old "injustice". Tiny steps toward gratitude for this moment as a result.

Sometimes I remind people that this life they live today, the one with those gorgeous children, or serenity that comes as they create their art, the sweet moments in the early morning light that bring peace, these are the gifts of those injustices. None of it could be possible without the strength you have to move forward from those moments. And when the dust has cleared, the pain lessened, faith returns, we can look back and forgive and let go the "betrayal" and find the gift. Seems a simple answer, yet it only takes a small step at a time until you begin to feel alive again. The sky is bluer, the view brighter and we can live in peace and faith again.

And as we shift the world around us shifts with us. Our peace, love and faith extends outward to others and we help them make this shift as well. And all the injustices of the world lose their power and influence on us.  Have faith, my friends and pray for loving peace in your families, your communities, our country and our world. Let love in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Mother Daughter Love-Baby Steps


One year after my mother passed I would get excited because I could get two tasks done in a day. Before my mother died I could get five, six and seven tasks done in a day. I don't mean every day
tasks such as getting up, having coffee, cleaning house. But biking, shopping, visiting, gardening, driving. That first year, I could hardly get out of bed. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all that had occurred during the passing of my mom, how much I missed her and whether or not I've done everything right. Had I been a good daughter?? Did she know I loved her? Did she love me?

It was a painful time in my life as it is in most daughters lives after their mother's pass. Suddenly our lives and our relationship with our mothers begins to pass through our minds. I think back to moments of being in her lap when I was just a little girl and feeling so secure. I remember my resentment as a teenager to her rules about how I needed to live my life. I remember how disgusted I
was when she gave me the Emily Post book on manners. I remember the day she stepped off the bus in Gainesville on a visit and told me that my friend Karen's dad passed away. And the instant I knew how much Karen was hurting. I remember living in the Caribbean and our late night skinny dips off the end of the boat. I remember all the fabulous places we traveled together. I remember laughing until my stomach hurt at our private jokes.

 Near the end I remember the magic moments. Those are the moments I remember now to get me through the night. I remember doing a Depok Chopra meditation together while resting on her bed. I remember brushing her hair and how much she enjoyed it. It reminded me of when she brushed my hair when I was a child. I remember how much she enjoyed having me scrub her back when she showered. And I know how much she appreciated it all and they were magic moments for her,too.

 I also remember all the exasperating moments. I remember how frustrated I was when she didn't understand what I was talking about. Or when she got angry for no reason. We had a very turbulent relationship being both of us goddesses. I felt the guilt of how I spoke to her at times. And her mean streak. Yet she was so smart. I was always amazed at what she knew about art and culture. To go to a museum with her was like being in heaven together. She was a talented artist. She had been to so many places in the world. And she was beautiful especially at the end. 

Today I hold her close in my heart. I look into my eyes in the mirror and I see her. And I'm so grateful now. Because of her I am who I am. And I want to emulate her in so many ways. She surrounded herself with outstanding people. She had many friends. 


It all took baby steps. Just taking one simple task a day and being proud of being able to do it. Maybe it was just to cook a meal. One simple task a day and being proud of being able to do it. Maybe it was just to take a small walk. Maybe to just to get out of bed. And to be kind to yourself when others don't understand. To give yourself a break instead of second-guessing everything. To know that grief is a normal process in life and drugs may not be the answer to it. Sometimes we just have to grieve. We need to feel it all the way into our bones because she is in there. Our mothers are everything about us and we have a right to feel the loss. 

I took great comfort in the shower. There I could cry and lament and let go of some of it in privacy. I could wash away my sadness for a little while. I talked to God while I was in the shower. I asked for his forgiveness and his guidance. I'd ask him "why can't I handle this"? Today I have so much gratitude for the learning and the love that has grown from this experience. I wish she was here to share it. I think she would be proud. In a world where we want answers immediately , grief is something that is overlooked and under credited. Take the time feel it, love it and let it go. This is how we heal from the loss of our mothers. We accept the pain and sorrow. We allow it so that we can move through it toward the light of living again in fullness.We just need to take baby steps.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Where is the Light?


Sometimes we wonder, where is the light? Some of us actually wonder "what is the Light"?

 I do not. I know and recognize the Light in everyone I see now. Sometimes it is just a small flame of inner Light and other times it blasts from their Being like a Blessed lighthouse on a stormy sea. We are attracted to it and sometimes are confused as to why. Some people's Light is so dim we cannot see it or  we believe their Light is out.

It is never gone, just covered by so many layers of unprocessed events and belief systems. These are the lost ones. The "unlovables, the bad ones, the evil ones, jihad, psychos, madmen". They are the ones whose Light is beaten down to nothing but a spark that is barely there. It needs the fuel of love and forgiveness and that cold tiny spark of Light can grow warmer.

We live in a world of fear today. Fear does not feed the flame of  Light in any of us. It is the pretender, it is the ego playing God. Fear serves nothing but to cause us to distrust our faith, our world, our neighbor. Fear causes us to judge and belittle those who are lost and are out of touch with their own Light inside them. Sending them our Light and love heals. Judging and condemning does not.

We see the Light in children; they do not. They don't actually know what it is, but we see it in them often. We see when they are screaming with excitement, when they focus so intensely on a bug, when they crawl into our laps for love and comfort. Their Light shows brightly. We see it in their eyes in wonder and our Light is reflected in that moment. You know what I am talking about, that moment when you look with Love at them and your whole Being is warmed and there is nothing else in the world but this moment of sharing the Light. Call it Love but it comes from within your heart, your Being. And it connects us to our children, to our parents, to our families, friends. The Light in us can be so powerful! It is how we heal the world. It is how we heal a skinned knee. It is not the medicine or the band-aid, it is the Love and Light of our Being that connects to the hurt and heals it.

"The peace of God is shining in me now." Lesson 188-ACIM

Faith has been tested these last 20-30 years. Many of us have questioned and then walked away because faith in God did not make sense. Call it Buddha, Allah, Hinduism, Catholicism, Christianity, and so many other faces of God. Others searched the world seeking understanding. Some religions took a strangle hold on its devotees, while others taught about love and peace and harmony. And rather than recognize the common denominator, we formed opinions and prejudices and moved away.
Our world is in turmoil and we wonder what happened. My guess, we are the lost lambs of God. We have strayed from the path of faith, any faith. We have moved away from faith in love and light in all of us, not just the chosen few. We put value in things, famous people, more things, things outside ourselves. Things we have little control over. Many are either sheeples or in disconnect.

 How do we reconnect?

We look inside, we reconnect to the peace and love and the Light inside of us. We have always had it. It is where we began. In the wonder of love and Light of being born. In the happiness of our childhoods. We remember to appreciate the Magic Moments. We take a minute or five each morning and we connect to our hearts before the world of chaos takes over. Light a candle and focus on the flame. Pray for the love in your heart to grow just a little bit. Take a moment to find forgiveness in something or someone who you believe needs it. See the Light in you and then spend the day seeing the Light in others. Those you know as well as strangers. The Light of Love and Faith will begin to show itself more and more to you. You will find yourself smiling for no good reason. You will see something amazing and feel the childlike awe of Life.You may become aware of the sweet song of a bird, the whisper of the wind through the trees.
You are in the moment of now and in touch with your Light. Smile. Be Light. Amen!

Friday, March 11, 2016

I choose Joy....


This morning as I was reading from A Course in Miracles, which I do every morning now, I started to dream about the times I felt Joy. My question for the last two years has been, "where is the joy in my life?" I was looking out the window at the ever present grayness of the Northwest and I asked myself, "where is it, I remember it, where is it???" 

I thought about the joy of watching birth, of the exhilarating joy of that moment snowboarding when I was not longer in control rather I was allowing myself to be lead softly, smoothly, curvaceously down the mountain. Every cell in my body alive, I wanted to scream my love of life to the universe. Joy! I remembered the joy I felt when Dag Johnsrud, at the ripe old age of 3 told me that I could not leave and go back to Florida because he did not want me to go-in all seriousness. My heart was so filled with love and joy, I could not speak. I thought of the many mountain bike rides I did with friends in Moab and the aftermath of the rides, sitting with a beer in hand in absolute exhaustion, recapitulating the best parts of the ride and making plans for the next one! There are so many moments of joy that I felt unworthy of. Why should I feel such joy? Who was I to see this moment as something more than just a ride, a word, a birth? Who was I not to??!? Where was this Joy now?

The lesson for today is, "I choose the joy of God instead of pain". And as I sat thinking about it I was asking myself, where is it? I know what it feels like to be in Joy and suddenly my mind was flooded with all these awesome memories of joy. The excitement and passion I felt, how I wanted (and sometimes did) wag like a puppy in the amazing feeling of it. But, where is it now, I asked? I thought, Oh My God, it is right here inside me. Not out there, or there, or there. It all starts inside me, my heart, my God, my Goddess. I felt my heart open to the truth of it. All that joy I had experienced in the past was still here in me waiting for recognition and release. It isn't out there, it is right here in my heart! Just waiting for each moment of opportunity to be-in Joy! All these hours and days of sadness and fear were but covers for the Joy that is inside everyone of us. Yes, there are times where it is easier to live with the pain and fear, yet, if we allow even a glimmer of light to show itself in our heart, we will be lit by our own Joy. 

How do we get there? Start remembering the "magic moments" as Tony Robbins calls them. Flood you heart and mind with them, none of us is without them, we only need to look at them from a new view. How easy it is to see the pain, resentment, anger, injustice. Well, it is just as easy to find the love, the joy, the beauty, the gifts in our lives. Just find one, it will lead to another. The moment you looked into your newborns eyes, the smell of a new puppy, the feeling of warm sand as you kick off your shoes at a spectacular beach, the mountain top view you hiked to on a sunny day, the bliss of windsurfing, kiting, snowboarding when you are one with the elements. Magic moments of sheer joy. Stock pile them into your heart, feel the joy in the memory, create new ones simply by enjoying a moment in your day. Maybe even a bunch of moments or an hour or the whole day!!!

In this time of "uncertainty" in our country, grab a hold of those moments and send that joyous energy out into your family, your community, your state and your country. Just close your eyes for a moment and well-wish that joy on someone in need.  And see how your Joy grows!! See how more magic moments appear and how, in its recognition your life is transformed. May the Joy of God's love fill you today!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Friends

"Sweet love I'm of the age that should you pluck me
 like a flower, you must also take the garden
 from where my beauty grows 
among the tenderness of my friends"


Last night was the Harvest moon in eclipse, dark mysterious harvest orange, like a shadow of itself staring down on all of us who took the time to set out to see this phenomena. Facebook was filled with gorgeous renditions of the same image from millions of viewpoints. Like life, it can be one thing seen many different ways.
Some of us see through the eyes of science, others see the beauty, some see omens, some see blessings. Whatever it is to you is what you make it. It is a gift when you can see it, as some less fortunate, or not in the right place, or awake at the right time. 

When do we "count our blessing"? I tend to do it everyday, many times. I start with my morning prayers, then, throughout the day as I notice some uncontrolled natural beauty that stands out harsh against a sometimes unhappy world. Sometimes it is simply the sounds of two birds bickering at the feeder, or a hawk in flight across a field. Sometimes as I drive along the Gorge, the water so still it perfectly reflects the train moving along it on the Washington side. What a blessing to be able to be a witness to such color and composition. The mirror of the Syncline in the background.  

How do we find our way to understanding? My greatest lesson has been that sometimes we don't get to understand, we must learn to forgive and accept. That the more forgiving we are the more we understand. And with understanding we find our way to peace, to seeing things a different way, to not getting caught up in the illusions we create to make us different, even special. 

What makes us special? We are of the same flesh and blood as the next person. Cut us open and our heart and kidneys are in the same place as the homeless guy at the side of the rode begging for "anything will help". Our life force runs the same dark 'blood' red. Most of our brains are capable of figuring out how to survive or at least, to die trying. We are so much the same, how can we be special? 
Specialness is an illusion created by the mind to separate us from our true nature to be love.  It separates us from truth and reason. It confuses us and forces us to believe almost anything. We lose sight of what is true within us and we start to build a facade based on what we are told, what we witness, what protects us from pain. We lose our humor, our insight, our trust. We become mired in our illusions and we lose touch with ourselves and love. We are at war within ourselves.

War is not changed by  more war. It is changed by the desire for peace. The desire for peace comes from thoughts and actions that speak of continuity not combat, of understanding and commonality not differences, from finding the good of one and the good of all. Peace is not about profit it is about harmony, safety, community. It is about loving our world, loving our children, loving God/The Universe/Buddah/Allah. And if we want it we must think about it, talk about it, pray about it, teach about it, appreciate it everyday. 
"We must be the change we wish to see".
 Pick someone today and make peace with them. Whether you do it in actuality or in your mind, send them peace and love. Every step counts. Take as many as you need to keep the peace and let it grow!!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Speaking Our Truth


"Once we give up searching for approval, we often find it easier to earn respect."
-Gloria Steinem


This morning I woke early and looked out to see Mt Hood in its morning splendor, the rosy early light touching it's white snowy peak. I was grateful. I rose and grabbed my coffee and had a walk to warm myself in the early sunlight and motivate Sweetpea. 
It is a ritual, everyone has them. I go from that one to prayer and reading and then, I either get ready for work or, like today, I wonder and review my thoughts and beliefs about my life. 
Am I being true to myself? Am I being fair and loving to others? Am I forgiving? Am I allowing God's guidance to work through me? Am I in truth in all areas of my life? Am I allowing the light of God to quiet my mind and soul so that I may serve?
Lately, I have heard people say, "did you really say that?" about when I am speaking my truth, how I am feeling. At first I felt this as criticism, but on further examination I let that feeling go and asked myself the same question. Did I really say that? And I did, I said it from the truth in me without condemnation or anger or resentment. I just spoke my truth. And here is why.
If I am not speaking my truth, my experience, I am not being true to myself. I have some experience in this,yes. 
I think back to the times in my life that speaking the truth was so dangerous and fear-filled that I became less. I shrank "so that others would't feel insecure around me"-MW. For years, I downplayed my abilities as a seer as a healer as a woman with a brain. I spoke half-truths, I felt shame, resentment, anger beyond belief towards that which I did not understand. It turned my guts to mush.
 As a blossoming teen, I ripped out pockets of my dresses under the dinner table, to keep myself from screaming because I was being told what I had to say did not matter. Later on there were other vices to suppress the desire to speak my truth. Or to aid in developing the courage to speak it. I started searching for the truth in college, I wandered into nature for hours, I read psychology books, spiritual books such as "Be Here Now", barely understanding it, I joined groups, I traveled. I was searching for the truth. 
Today, I know my truth. As a human and as a woman-a Goddess, the Wise Woman that I am. I know that behavior does not define us. What we do is not who we are, I said this for years when someone would ask me, "what do you do?'. I would respond, " I work as a nurse, but it is not who I am, I am many things". Today I am true to myself.
I speak as I see it and it may not be your reality, but, it will be honest and truthful. I join the many women who are today, speaking their truth, standing for what they know to be right, for their children, for the world. And I honor them. They have honored us by their strength.
Mary Magdalene,  Joan of Arc, Queen Isabella of Spain, Queen Elizabeth I, Pocahontas, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Clara Barton, Marie Currie, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Georgia O'Keeffe, AmeliaEarhart, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks,Babe Zaharias, Anne Frank, Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Oprah, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai. All these women have and continue to work toward equality and peace. They stand in their truth against a world at war. Look them up, see how this world has been changed for the better by their truths.
 Stand in your truth. You will not be alone.