Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"Conflict"



Definition of  "Conflict: Friction or opposition resulting from actual or perceived differences or incompatibilities."



There are some of us who grew up in families where conflict was a common event with disastrous results. Screaming, resentment, punishment among them. We grew up thinking this was normal and went out in the world with swords drawn and dripping with blood, fists bruised and bleeding and we thought this was normal. It was our way to resolve conflict as we knew it. It drew many of us into abusive relationships and behavior, it was our only defense against the world. We did not know any better. Many of us travelled a long time carrying this burden and some, realizing the meaningless caustic outcomes of this, learned new and empowering ways to resolve misunderstandings and conflict. Others of us became what I would call "addicted" to the feelings around conflicts, mainly anger and resentment. Even now, as I learn to release  anger and resentment there is a small part of me that yearns for a good fight, a screaming match, all that rage blossoming. The appeal for justice, the cry for righteousness. The fact is not a lot gets accomplished in this scenario but a lot of blood letting. A release of steam (the anger, resentment and fear). Yet it is familiar and deep somewhere in our darkness it feels good. That is the the Ego. 

Now as I study the Course in Miracles I find myself drawn back to some of those old wars and conflicts to examine them through a different lens. Some of the statements are hard to grasp yet in examining them I know that there is another way to see the world. The Book says that conflict is meaningless. This is powerful to think about because it calls for us to really look at conflict and to release our preconceived idea of the outcome. Most conflict has little to do with what is happening at the moment, but is a cannon ball of events in our lives accumulated into one big ego bomb that shows up any time we feel invalidated. Sometimes this is the only way we can feel alive because we have loss sight of Love and Joy and Laughter.  It is like we are swimming through the mud of this craziness in our world rather than taking a boat or paddleboard over it through our prayers and lovingness. 

Conflict is not understandable. Can anyone make sense of it? Examination, on the other hand, brings understanding and appreciation  which brings Love. Understanding may take work and separation from the conflict, yet, the outcome of this learning is resolution and peace. And sometime understanding just means that you do not agree and can still appreciate the humaness of another. 

What this world needs right now is more appreciation of others. Inside everyone of us is this bright and beautiful flame of Love. From the moment of conception on we have had this flame and it is always there inside as we develop into the person we are today. Fanning that flame brings more light and love to you, holding it back keeps you mired in the mud and darkness. Look for the light in others and you will see the light in you. 


I see the Light in you!


The time has come....

"We can't look to the world to restore our worth;
 we're here to restore our worth to the world." 
-A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson

I am in awe of the movement of women in the world right now. It is my quiet dream realized in my lifetime. Who really knows when and where we, as women, lost our equality and our power or why, we only need to know that it is no longer truth. We are the peacemakers and in a man's world of war and profit this is scary. We are the stable ground in the family, we see all sides of the arguments, we organize all tasks to be done, we write to-do lists because we have the ability to pause and see things as they are in the now. And this takes strength in a society and world that plays down our power through mass media bullshit. No offense but there is no better word. 

Recently I heard that Mattel is now making "Barbie Inspiring Woman Series". I also noticed she is still bone thin, long legged and pretty much perfect in the world of misogyny. Little girls playing dolls with twigs who look like the Kardasians and wanting to be like them, rather than like the women of our times who are actually creating a safer and more respectable world for women. What is wrong with that picture? 

Last night I watched Dave Letterman's new show on Netflix. His guest was Malala, nothing more than a 20 year old young women who at 15 nearly had her face blown off because she spoke up about education for all women. At fifteen!!!!! And like the phoenix, she has risen to continue her commitment to this cause. She speaks of forgiveness as her motivation to move forward in bringing the importance of education to young women all over the world. At 17 years of age she was the youngest person to receive the Noble Peace Prize. She is unstoppable. What is her secret? Her absolute belief in her mission and a family who supported their children in following their own dreams. We all have this.

The #MeToo movement has lit  a fire under our sisters in the world. Not just the disgusting and degrading treatment of women in the moment, but the sheer number of repostings in the millions.   Women have been under a siege of sexual, physical and mental misconduct for years, maybe centuries. I am moved, not only by the MeToo's, but by the women that openly say it is a lie. Maybe they have been fortunate enough to have been protected from it, but, to deny your sisters experience is rough. Denial is not a river in Egypt, it is a thought process based on fear and shame. The act of sexual misconduct upon another human being is wrong. Ignorance is our cross to bear if we do not see the truth in this monumental time in history and take action now.

Yet in modern day history, this is unacceptable. And we haven't even really visited the assault in the medical arena, the one area of the women's working force dominated by women. And it is there, lurking, waiting for the war cry of the many nurses who have had to put up with the pats on the asses, the whispered remarks, the innuendo's. In a male controled environment catered to by millions of women over 200+ years, the abuse is there. I know, I witnessed and experienced it. 

In our desire to be "equal" we do not want to be "like" men because it is obvious that we are not, we want to be actively part of the world in progress. We want to speak our minds without being interrupted. We want the right to support our sisters. We are going to be heard. We will  turn the other cheek and keep on. Each time we are struck down, we will rise and keep walking. It is time. 

More and more women gather. In marches, in communities groups,in women's groups, bookclubs, dinners, in many countries. We are learning to be more respectful to one another, to be kinder, to not judge. As Jesus said, "Seek first to understand". Powerful and sometimes difficult words. We are rising and we will be heard.

So, seek the greatness in your sisters and let go of what does not serve. Put your loving and understanding energy into elevating each of our sisters to their full potential and grace. Let go of fear, recentment and anger. Look for and see the light in them so that they, in turn, will see the light in you.
The energy of the Universe is inside each one of us to be used for the greater good. Get in touch with it, use it to heal yourself and your sisters. Be the light you seek! Our radiance will change the world!



Friday, February 16, 2018

Conflict Truth



Definition of 
 "Conflict: Friction or opposition resulting from actual or perceived differences or incompatibilities."


There are some of us who grew up in families where conflict was a common event with disastrous results. Screaming, resentment, punishment among them. We grew up thinking this was normal and went out in the world with swords drawn and dripping with blood, fists bruised and bleeding and we thought this was normal. It was our way to resolve conflict as we knew it. It drew many of us into abusive relationships and behavior, it was our only defense against the world. We did not know any better. Many of us travelled a long time carrying this burden and some, realizing the meaningless caustic outcomes of this, learned new and empowering ways to resolve misunderstandings and conflict. Others of us became what I would call "addicted" to the feelings around conflicts, mainly anger and resentment. Even now, as I learn to release  anger and resentment there is a small part of me that yearns for a good fight, a screaming match, all that rage blossoming. The appeal for justice, the cry for righteousness. The fact is not a lot gets accomplished in this scenario but a lot of blood letting. A release of steam (the anger, resentment and fear). Yet it is familiar and deep somewhere in our darkness it feels good. That is the the Ego. 

Now as I study the Course in Miracles I find myself drawn back to some of those old wars and conflicts to examine them through a different lens. Some of the statements are hard to grasp yet in examining them I know that there is another way to see the world. The Book says that conflict is meaningless. This is powerful to think about because it calls for us to really look at conflict and to release our preconceived idea of the outcome. Most conflict has little to do with what is happening at the moment, but is a cannon ball of events in our lives accumulated into one big ego bomb that shows up any time we feel invalidated. Sometimes this is the only way we can feel alive because we have loss sight of Love and Joy and Laughter.  It is like we are swimming through the mud of this craziness in our world rather than taking a boat or paddleboard over it through our prayers and lovingness. 

Conflict is not understandable. Can anyone make sense of it? Examination, on the other hand, brings understanding and appreciation  which brings Love. Understanding may take work and separation from the conflict, yet, the outcome of this learning is resolution and peace. And sometime understanding just means that you do not agree and can still appreciate the humaness of another. 

What this world needs right now is more appreciation of others. Inside everyone of us is this bright and beautiful flame of Love. From the moment of conception on we have had this flame and it is always there inside as we develop into the person we are today. Fanning that flame brings more light and love to you, holding it back keeps you mired in the mud and darkness. Look for the light in others and you will see the light in you. 


I see the Light in you!





Sunday, June 4, 2017

"A Rose By Any Other Name..."


The power of words. This quote from the play" Romeo and Juliet" was written 400 years ago. It is still quoted today for how powerful it is. These were words that Juliet said when confronted by the fact that because Romeo was a Montegue, she should shun him and her love for him. His name mattered not to her, what mattered was the love they felt for one another. "A rose by any other name  would smell as sweet". What infinite wisdom did this young woman have. She knew that a word/name had no meaning to the power of Love. She was willing to die for her Love. Imagine having that much faith today.

I relate this to my faith. My long search for meaning. I have been a traveler for truth. I have always known I was guided. I have always known there was a power greater than myself. I have known It to be named God, Goddess, Spirit, Universe, Buddha, Allah, Hu, Angels, Jesus, Yahweh, Creator, the Divine, Father, Mind, Soul, Life, Grace and more. God, by any other name, is still God. A Power beyond ourselves.I care not which one is used. I am open to that Voice inside me now.

We are guided. He is the tiny voice inside us that says, 'Yes' when we are unsure. She is who affirms our right decisions with a swish of sweet feeling in our hearts. He is who we called to in those events when we think we cannot take another moment and we cry out His name and ask for help. And are answered. If only we would ask more often and sooner and avoid unneeded  fear, sadness and pain. 

In the depths of sadness after my Mother passed, in the middle of a snowstorm with my heart filled to the blink with confusion, fear, sadness, resentment, blame, anger, I stepped out into the storm and raged. I cried, I screamed, I asked the universal question , "WHY?!?!?" until I had no more in me and I asked for help. "God, help me", I said, "please help me, I cannot do this anymore, I cannot go on this way, with this burden of unhappiness and misunderstanding. Help me, please God". I walked inside, I took off my clothes and I went to bed. I slept as though I'd been through a storm and I woke cleansed. I felt that a great weight had been lifted and that I was finally seeing Light in my darkness. Within the week, I was introduced to the opportunity to begin The Course in Miracles. She'd heard my prayer.

Maybe I have told this story before. It is important in so many ways. Miracles happen. We have to be open to them. If we carry the burdens of the past along with us everyday, we are blocking all the possibilities today. We can say the words, we can remind ourselves of the past  to pretend that we are getting the Now, but, ultimately, to be healed and whole we must let go. I had to let go of the grief, the misunderstanding, and see past the behavior to the true essence of the Love in all of us. At first, it took tiny steps. Looking at small grievances and looking for understanding there. Trying to see each situation through someone else's eyes. How would my mom look at this? How would a friend advise me on this? How would Goddess want me to see this? What if how I was looking at it was wrong?

There is a purity that came from this time in my life, what I call my three years of grief and growth. The studying of The Course in Miracles brought understanding. The connecting to the Divine through prayer, contemplation, study and yoga were the steps. The re-examination of past events and finding the Grace in them, showed me what I missed by being attached to the meanings I gave them. And then forgiving myself or the others and moving on. I would ask myself, "why should I forgive them?????' and the answer would come. "Because it is time, the weight has been much to bear and it no longer serves." It reminds me of the fabulous pictures of the people of India releasing the flower and candle bouquets to the Ganges River. Or blowing a Dandelion to the wind. Or writing a letter and then burning it and burying the ashes, like old lovers, in the yard. Creating ceremony for the past and letting it go so I can make room for a more peaceful approach to my Life. 

Roses are in bloom here. I smell them and find the small differences in their scent. I see the beauty and light in them as part of God's plan for salvation and peace. I stay away from that which does not serve the greater good. I pray for the children. I pray for Love to overtake those in need. I send Light and Love to everyone who reads this blog. And to the million of women who walked their talk in Washington in funny pink hats! God Bless!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to my Goddess friends! 


I hope that you are surrounded by love and light from family and loved ones  or, like me, you are infused with the love of all the women in the world loving you from near and far.  I send out love and light to you all. As I sit here at my computer in Hood River I look through the eyes of love to every family I see walking by. 

I think back with enormous gratitude for all the beautiful births I witnessed and the power of women that were becoming mother's for the first time as well as again. What a gift!!!! Every single person I see came from a mother, a Goddess, a believer, a saint, someone who looked down upon them at their birth with awe and love and connection. In thirty plus years I rarely saw anything else. Those magic moments being present to the Goddess in each one, I am eternally grateful to each woman for the courage and strength it takes to give birth to another human spirit.

Motherhood evaded me, it was not my plan, I thought I'd have a bucket of kids. Not that I did not love a bundle of them, oh yes I did. I thank my friends and family for sharing their babies with me. I learned so much from these sweet children, I learned about the love of a child. I learned the preciousness of a tender hug, a sigh of release after a tearful tumble, the sweet smell of a tired child in my arms. Yes, I loved me a few!!

 And life happened, I moved around the country,  I had freedom to travel and see the world. It was what I worked for, to see, to learn, to experience life in other countries  and through books, each countries history. I admired art in every country from museums to street art, beads, etchings, paintings, tiles, pottery, jewelry. My home a collection of my memories and experiences. I followed a path to spiritual awakening, and I began to understand the world I inhabit. I shared this all with my mom. We shared many things.


She was a risk taker, too. She courageously met and married a man who lived in Central America, he was a pilot (as was her stepfather and stepbrother) and she moved to Nicaragua. Brave! For the next fourteen years she lived and brought to this world four children. And when it was not enough, she left him with her four children and moved home to Miami, got a job driving a school bus and soon became the first woman realtor in Miami. She pursued her love of art taking oil and acrylic paint classes at night. 

My mom had secrets. Unhappy events that molded her. It gave her a rough edge, which showed up in her child-rearing. It was difficult to understand her as a young woman and the result was conflict and alienation. 

Yet, looking back she always got me. She was hard on me, but she was  my "go to" shoulder to cry on. She was so smart. Yet, she was the product of the events of her life and unlike me she developed a strong shell. I was always transparent and "sensitive", as though this was a dis-ease. It wasn't until later in my life that I saw this "sensitivity " for what it was. A Gift. The ability to feel deeply. But, in the beginning nothing but shame was attached to it. And fear, as I was also very sensitive to other peoples feeling, even when they weren't.
From as far back as I can remember, I felt bruised by words and actions of others until I embraced this gift. I realized that in my sensitivity was my strength.


I see now that she did the best she could. And I couldn't be more grateful for the good times. And through my spiritual learning there is nothing that ever happened that was beyond forgiving. Nothing. It just was what it was. My mom was brilliant, she was funny, elegant, an artist, someone I always admired as did many other Goddesses. And I miss her deeply.

So today I celebrate my Mom! May she rest in Peace and Love. May she live in my heart forever. May she know that I loved her to the best of my ability and I thank her for bringing me to this earth at this time. I thank her for my looks :), my travel addiction, my Art background, my strength and whether she likes it or not, my sensitivity.
 Love and Light to you Mom! Happy Mother's Day!




Monday, March 27, 2017

The Stories....


"Spiritual growth involves giving up the stories of your past so the universe can write a new one. You are not denying your childhood; you're simply transcending any of its negative aspects."
 These words are written by Marianne Williamson in her book "The Law of Divine Compensation". I was moved by them this morning.

 So many of us think we have this huge bag of rocks of events that happened to us in our past that are responsible for all the things that are happening to us today when in fact they are just stories. They no longer have any real meaning other than the meaning we have attached to them. And we convert meaning into feeling.

There comes a time in our lives when we must set aside the bag of rocks-maybe create a rock garden, maybe bury the rocks but at some point we need to let go of the stories and move on into our real life. this is a difficult task, I know I've done the work. But the outcome is the whole opening of our hearts. The freedom to feel the love that is around us. The freedom to extend the love within us to others. Every event and every story that we create about our past is a brick in the invisible wall that we surround ourselves with. It makes it difficult for love to flow in and to flow out.

Sometimes it takes baby steps, yet every step towards love is huge. Learning to have compassion and love for ourselves and others even in the face of diversity and anger and resentment changes the world. And each time we remove a brick from that invisible wall the wall becomes less powerful. And as we take each brick and look at it and examine it and find the goodness in it we can set it down. The wall becomes weaker the love become stronger. The strings that bind our hearts begin to break and we begin to let go of the stories, take the gifts from the events and move forward in our lives. We see the miracles. It might be at the grocery store, it might be with a new friend but we see the miracles because we've let go of that which no longer serves. When we are open Love flows, when we are closed Love is blocked. This is the origin of pain, these blocked places in our bodies and souls. Miracles can only occur through the eyes of Love.


So, open up and open out. Spread your arms out to the Universe and God and let it flow. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze brush your cheeks and be open to the flow of Love now. Be in Gratitude for all the Miracles in your life. Be the Miracle in someone else's life by flowing Love their way! Amen!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Our Republican Sisters



A friend called me recently. She was very upset. She was almost estranged from her family because of her views on politics. She was almost angry but more than that, she wanted to understand how and why they could not see what so many of us see in the present president.

I remember waking up the day of the election. I didn't know the results yet, but somehow I felt so heavy. And of course when I found out the weight of me could hardly get out of bed. But what I found fascinating was how many other people, many my women friends, felt the weight of it as well and somehow felt it was our fault or responsibility. Imagine the power we have in sensing our sisters this way. We were united in this feeling.

Suddenly there was rumbling among the masses. Protests by high school students and the LBGT  community, women were marching in the millions. People of all races were standing up. Something in our great country had changed. The question is- had it changed for the better or the worse.

The cries that call to me the most is how do we talk to our Republican sisters. How do we make sense of it. One thing is certain- sometimes we do not get to understand why people think the way they do. That does not preclude us from understanding that by loving them and allowing our differences to just be, we can get closer to them. Just because other people don't like what we're saying doesn't mean it's wrong. And that goes both ways. Our reality may not be their reality. And judging them invites them to judge us and that create separation.

If we want to reach our sisters we must let go of judgment. For judgment is separation. How do we do that? By coming from a space of love regardless of our conflict and ideas. Be the love you want to see in them. Communicate from the spiritual depth of who you really are. Know that unkind words and actions are of the mind of a body in pain. We cannot reach them by attacking them. We can only reach them by being respectful and having faith in their journey.

"We do not heal by pointing outward we heal by the pointing inward. To recognize where we ourselves need to atone and be made aware."- Marianne Williamson.

What does that look like? Sometimes by simply saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" can lead to opening communication. Sometimes by just agreeing to disagree and loving anyway can lead to a better understanding and an openness to listen. We are not at war with our sisters so put down your swords and open your hearts and love them. Accept that you may not agree with them but we are not at war with our sisters. It is our job as women to love one another and to be respectful and show them the way by our actions.  In so doing we allow them to open their hearts as well. And so the world is healed.

Have faith my Sisters and Goddesses!