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. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Women and politics





"No one can make you feel inferior


without your consent"
                                                            -Eleanor Roosevelt









When I was young this quote made no sense to me. I'd never admit that back then, many things didn't make sense. It took me 50 plus years to understand that anytime someone says something critical, unkind or dis-spiriting to me, I have a choice. I can agree or disagree. And by agreeing I am choosing to become whatever it is they said. That has been a painful journey. Because I was always "so sensitive". As though it was a dis-ease, a malady, something to be ashamed of. I was a 'pollyanna'. 
No wonder some women are hard. Because being sensitive is a sign of weakness rather than a sign of womanliness. Of being feminine. Of being amazing. Yet, when we are young we were bombarded with disrespect of this gift by being called, "cry baby, weak, sensitive, thin-skinned, pathetic", words we so often hear associated with bullying today. As we get older, if we manage to sustain this gift, are responsive, and haven't become hardened by shutting down how we feel, there are  drugs that can help us to dull the beauty of  being  awake as a woman. 
The women we are forced to admire are the stoic ones, the ones that are rigid, staunch, sinless, 'wear the pants', keep their thoughts to themselves, especially in politics. 
History rarely tells the truth about the women that have impacted the world. They turned Cleopatra into a conniving hussy even though she spoke 12 languages, was educated in mathematics, economics, philosophy and astronomy and ruled Egypt for most of her adult life.
Who are your woman heroes (or sheroes) today? What rings out for you about them? Is it their intelligence, their words, their beauty, their actions? When you find yourself 'judging' another woman, are you actually seeing the real person or creating a story around what you think they should be like?

I see a lot of stuff on facebook that concerns me about how woman are viewed in politics. When you consider  that women, who have been a part of the working class for 40 or more years- raising families, working,  running households-we are barely represented in government.There are only 20 female senators to the 100 men in the Senate and in the House of Reps that number is 76 to 362 men. 

Think about that. And think about the fact that in the hands of the present and past male oriented government we have been at war everyday for most of our lives. In the history of our country we have been at war 93% of the time, that is 222 years out of 235. There have only been 21 years without war. Hmm, something to think about.
 I think it's time for a change. But maybe, I'm just too sensitive. Maybe, women are just inferior. And then again, probably NOT.



.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

View from the middle

"Every woman deserves the chance
to realize her 
God-given potential"
-Hilary Rodham Clinton


Can you imagine a 20 year woman going out there today and saying these words in front  a governmental committee? I have often wondered where Hillary Clinton got her courage and strength back then? Who encouraged her to be a strong woman, who taught her that 'no' meant look again and find another way to make a difference? Who gave her the stamina to stand against the on-slot of negativity rarely spoken of for some of the crookedest politicians in our history? 

I peer out today at the world I live in and I compare it to the world I went to college in and I am hopeful as well as depressed at how the nation's view on women has changed considering the amazing women who pioneered woman's rights. I am elated that we actually have women hero's such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Maya Angelou, even Madonna and Angelina Jolie Pitt, and Malala Yousafzai.
 Gloria Steinem, who started what is called the "feminist movement", in 1969 and  published an article that became the hallmark of feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment, got us all thinking about women as sources of strength. 

What really confuses me is why when women, who have worked hard, are highly educated, with vast experience and dedication can be so belittled by their own kindred gender. 
So many of us complain about the fact that women in positions equal to their colleague  men, are paid less. How there is an increase in domestic violence and rape against women, and still little is done for womens rights by our politicians. You know what I am talking about.
 How can women expect to see change in our nation and for the safety of our children, specifically our daughters, when men who claim to be our heros/politicians are allowing the kind of advertising that promotes near nakedness, antidepressants, women as advertisers for viagra ,and  ads for pads for women (even though old men wear them too) and so much more? We are constantly being bombarded by misogynistic ideals on TV, internet and the cover of magazines. But, we still feel the need to belittle our kindred gender. I guess the advertising is working. 
 So, I ask you my kindred gender, are you perfect? Are you capable of standing before Congress and the people for women's rights?  For equality? Do you have Faith? Are you capable of forgiveness? Are you strong enough to stand up to your abuser? 
The world will not change until you do. Congress and the politicians will not change until we, as women and kindred gender, stand and cast our votes for a better world run by multi-taskers who have experience, compassion and vision for a more peaceful and healthy world. 
"We must be the change we wish to see." Ghandi


My wish for you is that  you reach out today,
 to a women who has impacted your life
 and tell her so.