A Time to Just Be

A friend contacted me today. We hadn’t spoken since February. She’s an amazing writer, artist and creator of so many things. She explained that she hasn’t been able to create anything since the virus took over our lives.

Zilch. Not a painting. Not a poem. Not a post. No photographs. Nada.

I listened while a herd of children were being menaces in the background. I heard her. I felt her disappointment and frustration. She said that to have been gifted all this time and not create feels like she’s failed the Universe in some way. Somehow she’s got shame.

I suggested that perhaps this time was not about being creative for her. But, it was about just being. Not keeping busy. It was about allowing healing to come through. And the healing didn’t want to transpire into creativity.

There was silence on her end. Even my children were quiet and I found myself breathing the space in between here and there. I found myself channeling that energy of just being. Exactly what I was expressing to her.

I feel that so many have felt disappointed because they didn’t create music, wrote a novel, painted oil on canvas or anything else that was expressed as “if I just had a month off I would do this and that….”

The collective has been so chaotic energetically. Trauma has been a huge theme and many have had to purge old programming. Creativity arrives from a place of divine guidance and if we have been bathed and consumed in heaviness there is little that would come through. The creative process needs sparks of positivity. It needs to rise from ease.

There is time for creativity. There is time for prayers and contemplation. I have had very little energy to create so I get it. But I have been able to do other things. We cannot push what’s not here at this time. We cannot feel guilty for ego scolding us for not doing more. We cannot do what we cannot do while merely living through the most radical times of our lives.

Please forgive yourself for your muses not helping you create. Forgive yourself in thinking you have slacked off on some precious chunk of time; For coming out of quarantine with nothing to show except long gray hair and extra body weight. You don’t have to feel bad about anything because you are still here on this world. You are one of the lucky ones.

Let’s honor ourselves for all that we’ve done or not done the last few months. There may be time tomorrow, or whenever. Love yourself enough to just let go of all expectations. Take this time to manifest a new beginning. May you accept what is and let go of what isn’t.

I love you. And, for those who have done magical things during this time my hat goes off to you. Bravo!

A New Dawn

Photo from Blue Ridge Parkway.

Change is here. Everything has changed for me and others. As I sit on my back deck I catch myself reminiscing about the beginning of this year and all the plans I had. I’m sure we all had trips planned, career goals, lifestyle changes and so much more in our thoughts.

The last few months there has been a freeing and release. I’ve let go of expectations and all the goals I had for 2020. There has been a spiritual expansion that has allowed me to truly work on some beautiful projects at home and within myself. Huge shifts have happened and continue to evolve. Witnessing spring in full bloom somehow matches part of my emotional and spiritual journey at this time.

I am turning. I am also transforming from one season into another. I recognize the desire to continue moving inward. It’s in upcoming months that I will watch and learn what humanity is made of. I have faith in the human race. I trust we’ve learned some powerful lessons lately.

The last few months have brought a huge awareness of what and who I allow in my life since social distancing has been a powerful experience. I have rid myself of major toxic energy. I have learned to protect myself from things that would bring others down. It’s been a wonderful gift of bearing down and letting go. It’s been a season of exposure from darkness into light. The world has been undergoing the dark night of the soul.

Things may appear to be back to normal as the world opens up. It may feel that we can get right back to what was routine a few months ago. Be gentle with how you proceed. Be cautious with your decisions. Be mindful of how you show up with others.

I don’t feel is possible to go back to normalcy. I have grown way too much to just dive right back to “what was” when “what is” feels so different. It feels like a different world to me. Even the energy of the collective is nothing like it was at the beginning of the year.

We’ve had a giant global pause and to disregard it is a real atrocity. It is a gigantic loss. What an experience to witness humanity at its most vulnerable state! To just go back to what was is basically bulldozing all that has been mastered and accomplished. We’ve been clearing individual toxicity.

We’ve been put in timeout and so much of our own tramas and triggers have come up and out. You can’t just dismiss that by returning to your previous normal.

I have seen mysticism all around me. I mean, remember when the sweet Italians were serenading to each other across balconies? How neighbors sat in their yards to talk to others with distance. How about all the creativity that has come out of this lockdown? How the animals came out of the forests to roam freely? How about the smog all over the planet, clearing up? Our appreciation for healthcare workers, teachers and others has been magnificent. People began to connect on a deeper level because for once we were all experiencing the same shift.

There is tremendous gratitude for my life and those I love beyond words. Seasons may come and go but my inner circle of friends and family continue to warm my heart all year long. I have met so many new people on social media. The world out there has changed. I can not deny the expansion.

Slow down and watch the world around you. I know you will get out there and return to your busyness but please remember the good things about the last few months. Recall how you were able to “just be” for the first time in forever. I am sorry if you have lost a lot during the crisis, especially a loved one. I know many who are in financial shambles. Folks are grieving. Let’s not forget about what has happened too quickly just to get back to business as usual.

There is a magnificent shift in our timelines happening right now. All we have to do is pay attention for the changes…the small and the large ones. We get to decide how we show up from here on and it will be interesting to watch.

It’s a new dawn. Rise to it.

I see you.
I honor you.
I love you.

Quarantine

It’s the 52nd day of staying-home-safe for me and my family. It’s actually a little longer but I’m counting from the actual day the county started the lockdown.

The first four weeks were super intense for me. Shit was coming up that I hadn’t a clue was still dwelling in me. It was truly an opening, the dark night of the soul, a heroes journey of sorts (even when I didn’t feel any heroism). My spiritual knowing went on shut-off and all I could do was be present with every single moment. Having two little ones demanding of me 24/7 was the biggest obstacle of all and not be able to take them out was an experiment in extremes.

I cried a lot. The world’s uncertainty was scary and I don’t get scared easily. There was a sense of major anxiety wrapped in panic. I felt helpless. I could no longer say “I don’t live in that reality.”

But, in spite of the emotional roller coaster ride, something happened around the fifth week. I was in the yard working and clearing bushes when it hit me: I had no time like this before to dedicate to our property. I also came to realize that I had been asking for this for a long time. I wanted time with the kids and be home to mend to my house. What I never imagined was that people out there would be dying. People all over the world were hurting.

I stopped watching the news around that time. I couldn’t deal with what was happening and the guilt of being safely at home with my sweethearts.

Every time I heard or saw the word “quarantine” I was triggered. I couldn’t understand or remember why until one day doing strenuous clearing of trees I understood.

In April of 1998 I adopted my first little girl from Romania. She came sick with a chaparon from the adoption agency. They said she had a cold. She was two years old and so malnourished. That first month she slept with me holding my hand. She wouldn’t let me go in fear she would be sent back to a horrific orphanage. One morning I woke and I was almost blind. I could barely get up. I felt feverish and aching all over. I called my mother who lived nearby to please take the kids to school and my little girl to daycare. When my mother took my temperature it was 105. She rushed me to the hospital. I was blacking out. Walking into the hospital I passed out and I have very little recollection of the first few days there.

I was placed on quarantine for over a week and a half. No visitors. I couldn’t see my baby girl or my two sons. They tested me for everything and couldn’t give me any medication but Tylenol because CDC couldn’t find what was wrong with me. I had doctors baffled. They assumed that my daughter carried something with her from Transylvania. I was touching heaven’s gate often almost in comatose state at times. The fever would spike and they had to wait until then to run their tests. Eventually after every test, poking, pricking, stabbing, and scans the infectious illness took its toll. I was fortunate. Almost two weeks later, on Memorial Day weekend, I walked out of the hospital with a diagnosed of “AB Mountain Fever.” But even that didn’t explain all the symptoms. Until CDC could give the okay I wasn’t able to just go. They kept a close eye on me for another six months.

THAT was quarantine. Real hellish seclusion. People coming into a room with suits on and I was unable to see and feel them clearly. So when I hear the word “quarantine” now I don’t see it as what this has been. This lockdown has been about clearing up ourselves and staying safe to help others. It has been in place to allow an infectious disease to slow down.

I was 30 years old. I was told that my heart took a beating during all the symptoms. I already had a mild heart condition. So I am super conscious of how I show up in the world at this time. I don’t believe there is anything I can’t overcome until it’s my time to truly leave this journey. But, by God, if I can do my part to stay healthy for my kiddos I will. If it means wearing a mask, staying put in my house, lifting others in love and humor, holding sacred space for me and the world….well you betcha I will do it.

I have replayed that May of 1998 so many times. I have let go of so much anger for many issues that showed up while I was laying in a hospital bed and unable to take care of matters in the world. Little did I know that April of 2020 would relive so many of the same emotions. And just like that in pulling roots out of my yard I was also pulling roots of hurt from long ago.

We have been gifted a lot at this time. And yes, a lot of grief and sorrow and atrocities. We have in our hands the ability to save ourselves and heal. The quarantine has brought about anger and rage; sadness and despair; hate and insanity. It has also allowed many to stay put and work on their own dark night of the soul. The entire world is doing it. It’s a global opportunity to raise our vibrations and work on our loving muscle to be forgiving, accept others even when they think or act differently, and acknowledge that ultimately compassion is what we need in our world.

I can’t change your mind. I won’t even try or dare. This is my journey. You have to figure out how you show up during this time. Our lives will never go back to what was before this March. But, darlings, I ask that you let go of the anger in whatever you are practicing. Let go of hatred. Let go of that need to bulldoze over everything just to make your point. That will never ever help cure anything. It only decreases the ability to allow love and compassion in our world.

I love you.

Mama Lessons

My little girl brought me a top portion of the purple irises. I said thank you but then told her to please not pull the flowers.

Her face when stoic and I saw her tears swell.

I failed. I felt it immediately.

See, to her she saw the flower and wanted her mama to hold the beauty. She knows how much I love purple. She saw me take the photos yesterday while I told her that the flower always makes me so happy.

So I kneeled to meet her eyes and I cried … along with her. I held her tightly. I apologized. I placed the flower on my ear and she smiled. I thanked her for thinking of me. I told her I appreciated that she brought the flower to me. I asked her how it looked with my grey hair and she said I looked delicious.

I then explained that my reaction was absolutely horrible. It was wrong of me to tell her not to cut the flower. She’s seen me bring flowers from the garden in the past.

And such is the fluidity of being human with so many imperfections. We came inside and I put the flower in water. I held her as we talked about the baby groundhogs and how the mama was protecting them. I told her I would always protect her as well. She was happy. For a few minutes I was broken because I hurt a little girl’s feelings. Cause you guess it… this mama is tired.

My children don’t sleep. Ever. They get a few hours and then they are up running around. My husband and I are living on fumes. In the middle of the day I am beyond cranky at times. But I will never ever again disregard a present from either of them. They are here safe today. All my children are on this planet alongside even from afar.

A friend lost her child last week. And when I saw her disappointment I immediately thought of her and how she will never get to hear from him or receive any kind of gifts.

I fail at this being human thingy a lot and lately it feels like it’s often. We are all on edge. But that iris today stopped me. Kali’s face taught me to take a moment and receive every single thing that she presents to me. It’s in those moments we recognize the human connection.

I honor her. The soul in me recognizes her soul. And that connection extends to every single one of us like a ripple in a lake moving outward. We feel it all. The hurt in me feels the hurt in others.

May you recognize when you make a mistake and take accountability. It is the only way we heal each other and ourselves.

Love. That’s all we got.

A Pilgrimage

Today I went on a pilgrimage. My husband took the kids and I headed up my favorite mountain. It’s been a while since I have been alone. All alone with my thoughts.

This mountain is the place that for many years I would hike during summer rain, ice, snow, and every other weather condition to help
with severe anxiety. I lived down the mountain and for years it was my daily commune with God. The higher I trekked the easier I felt the Divine. I released so much of my old life up there.

This was the place I broke several ribs, sprained my chest cavity falling on ice and ended up in the ER. Another time it was where I fractured my tailbone. I can’t remember the many times I sprained my ankles. The trail and I had many battles. Sometimes I won. Other times I was well defeated and I learned some powerful lessons. It was the mystical place I stargazed at night and played with my kids during hard times when I had very little money. I had many galactic experiences up there. Bearwallow Mountain pushed me to begin writing with openness about myself and nature. It was the place I took my husband on our second date and where, on Christmas Day nine months later, I asked him if he would ever consider marrying me to which he answered, “Sure, why not?”

And years passed before we married and during that time those hikes helped me heal so much of an old self that was strangling me. I hiked in order not to run. I hiked because while I was climbing that mountain I was living in the present. I was grounding myself in order not to hurt myself.

The terrain up there pulls me. The vast space on top of the mountain calls my soul. The smell of cow manure is like coming home to comfort. The decomposing of the earth is intoxicating. In a bizarre way all my senses are heightened and I come alive like no other place. Today I needed to go home alone. And while I was up there I realized that on this day ten years ago I came to these mountains for the first time. Two months later I would be calling them my home.

So I sat on my favorite boulder and spoke to God. I cried while feeling the world’s grief. The beauty was breathtaking. I began asking for the best possible outcome for my kiddos. I felt the cool wind go through me with assurance. A baby calf came up real close while I was meditating. We startled each other when I moved quickly. And I giggled like a little girl. It was pure joy to feel the simple ease of the moment.

Up there I felt my soul open up again like it had years ago. Memories flooded since it’s been a while I had been there. I found many heart shaped rocks to add to my collection. There is magic and connection there and I was reminded to not wait so long for another return. It’s free therapy that enlightens my spirit.

The mountain always offers me a sacred journey inward. It holds intimacy and rawness. Today it supported me once again. And it reinforced what I always believe: it is compassion and gratitude that bring us to ourselves. It is release and forgiveness that allow our return to spirit. And, it is love that makes us, creates us and embodies us at all times…all this through the earth. Nature heals us. We become aware of our small presence in this world. Nature is our connection to the Divine and to each other. The divine is the love that we are and continue to learn from.

The Monk

I knew a monk. An ex-monk. He was a father to one of my daughter’s friend. Before I knew he was a monk I thought he was a saint. His daughter (and mine) both have mental disabilities. Even though they were 14 years old at the time they acted like 8 year olds with no sense of stability or safety. And when they got together it was challenging but I wanted her to have the same experiences as her siblings.

We would alternate visits. And each time I met him I was immediately calmed and collected. He was a sanctuary just by standing in front of me.

One day I asked for the secret. I had 6 kids all under 16 years in one house. Four of them with special needs. So he shared that he had been a monk in South America for many years, way before meeting his wife. And apparently, from my observations, he was still very monk like. He never lost that.

“When you no longer label the problem or situation, it dissipates. It has no power over you.”

“Your awareness is your reality.”

“Do not focus on the negative because you will continue receiving more of it. Focus on this moment of gratitude….”

There were so many messages.

This was over 15 years ago. But lately I am remembering a lot of the small lessons he would share with me. At the time I truly didn’t quite grasp his wisdom. I was stricken by constant anxiety believing I would never be a good enough mother to my kids. I ran a business with my ex that was extremely stressful. And we had money, and lots and lots of worries about all we owned. The more we made the more we bought and then worked like animals to sustain it.

There was no peace. There was zero spiritual awareness of what was important. We were lost in the material world and its worth. My ex needed a lot. And my life was centered around the children and his high-maintenance attitude.

When the monk would visit to get his daughter, or I would get her from his house, I felt a common energy flow of pure peace. There was the complete essence of now. Even with how difficult his daughter was at times.

I needed it. I would try and buy it. I did it all in order to sustain it. I wanted that peace and I would read about it. Study it. And chased after it with a vengeance. I was determined to find it in every religion and doctrine. In theory I became an expert on philosophy and how to attain peace.

Ha ha ha. And I never found it in those movies or books or talks.

It isn’t until you lose all that you think (and believe) you need that inner peace is truly birthed. That was a powerful lesson years later for me. And the wisdom began to visit through the nothingness. It began to reshape my spirit. I had to stop labeling and analyzing every single thing in my life.

Logic went out the window. Mysticism began to lead. Oh…and the magic that appeared in believing and allowing!

Today I remembered the monk dressed in his Bermuda shorts and polo shirts always ready to be in complete sacred presence.

I aspire for more of that in my life…Pure mindfulness and presence with all beings who share space with me. I aspire to love and be a messenger of love whenever the opportunity arises.

We need more of that calmness and sacredness now in our lives. In our country. In our world. We have been given a chance to move inward in the midst of chaos and uncertainties. Powerful times encourage and build lessons.

Thank you for your presence here joining me daily through your words and wisdom. The amount of sages on my social media feeds are delicious. We are all aspiring for peace, love and the inner light of grace.

Climb the Mountain

We move and make decisions based on experiences and our personal level of awareness. I cannot ask others to help me when they have not experienced the challenges. And believe me, everyone has an opinion the moment you make things public. During these times I marvel at the level of awareness in our society. Everyone starts to tell you how you need to live based on what they’ve experienced, what they’ve researched and whatever else feeds their perspective. People are moved through fear in most cases. They enter a loop of beliefs and cannot let them go. And then it’s transposed on to our human spirit. During challenging times this all gets magnified and sent out to the collective.

It can be destructive. And it can also be a positive outlet. It’s up to you to decide. Your higher self leads the way. It is your internal GPS. It knows truth. It begins to guide you to continue trekking.

Every mountain you choose to climb begins with small steps. If you go too fast you start to feel the unhealthy pressure and lack of breath. You allow fear to take over in that momentum. The tinnier the steps the more endurance you accumulate. It might take longer but to climb a high mountain you need to truly be mindful of your life substance… your breath. You have to continue the self pep talks. You must believe in yourself beyond anything else. You must listen to you and what you feel is truth.

Here is the world’s greatest opportunity to come from a place of love and compassion. To come from a place of trusting yourself. To allow the unknown to be just that while you work on yourself.

GO Climb your mountains. Regardless how others react. Go after your goals in spite of the naysayers. Take chances. Pick a path along the journey even when there are a million deviations. Believe whatever makes YOU happy. Keep climbing. Keep breathing. Keep focusing on what you want.

You get this giant pause to work on your life. It might feel like everything will never be the same. But neither are you.

Your life is a blessing made up of so many magical moments. Don’t allow anyone to instill their shit on you. Ever! You begin to create the life you desire the moment you put on those hiking boots and start walking towards your purpose. The higher your purpose the more people will try to pull you down. It’s all a game and you get to decide how you participate.

You can do anything you want. I promise. But start with your inner awareness and full heart belief. Love yourself enough to turn the impossible into possible.