Musical Chairs

Several years ago when I was in the social work field I had a conversation with a co-worker and she shared a story about one of her clients who recently departed our world. We were talking about doing volunteer hospice work if we had money to spare. I told her I was fascinated by the end of life and folks transitioning, especially those who are ready. And for those who struggled, they allowed me to just sit in sacred space and hold their hands. These were precious and priceless moments in my life.

She said one day she went to visit her client and she asked her how she was handling her ending?
Her sweet elderly woman, who had been a missionary for many years, a woman of huge amount of faith, said…“I’m moving from one chair to another. Is that not okay?”

I stared at my co-worker. My eyes began to water. That was such an insightful and beautiful analogy of end-of-life transition. I got chills. From that statement I knew she was a woman who had lived with grace.

I feel life is like that: moving from chair to chair trying to find the most comfortable one.

It takes pure divine “knowing” to accept all of it. It’s in the simple awareness that we are just moving from one form of matter into another.

The joy of life is to continue moving from chair to chair while finding the magic of what it holds for our spirit. The trick is finding the greatest chair while playing music and enjoying it as long as possible in complete love and acceptance with a lovely view.

I Hold Space

For as long as I can remember I have ached to live or travel to the edge of civilization. I have craved to hear stories told and shared from all corners of the world. I’ve wanted to touch and inhale the essence of humanity, the borders of humanness. I’ve been studying empathy, compassion and what moves us to be who we are. I’ve been fascinated by spiritual and philosophical issues. The irony of this has been that I’ve received more than my share the last few months in isolation. I’ve witnessed the evolution of our civilization in the last week. And I marvel at how much I will learn in the near future.

We’ve gone from witnessing horrible and atrocious deaths of black men to partially opening up a country that’s been affected by a killer virus.

The virus has taken backseat the last few days. It’s become about our constitutional civil rights. The fight has been well overdue. Folks who were locked down for months have taken themselves out there for their rights… because let’s face it, whether it’s a disease/pandemic or racism, there is a virus.

One doesn’t care about your race to kill you. The other is a learned behavior and programming that has been around since the beginning of time.

People are dying. From both. The pandemic has nothing on racism that has been killing and torturing people forever. Racism has used religion and politics as part of its ignorance and fear.

These months have allowed me to truly take my Sunday’s into sacredness. I space out the day in my mind to accommodate God and pray. Even if I’m out with the kids in the yard, I am in my most spiritual presence sending love and healing into the energetic fields. I am mindful and extremely present in my day. I take in the journey from the edges of humanity and really try to breathe love into all the corners.

Today I am empty. I have nothing. I woke not knowing anything while trying to figure out how we will move through the state of our country and the world. I watched some of the protest videos. I ask myself, “What is all of this mounting to? Where will we be in a few weeks? How can we resolve what has been here unjustly forever? What will be on the other side…?”

So for a bit I will just entertain the idea that our lives are massively evolving into something indescribable. We are awakening to a totally different world. We are leveling up as avatars in some cosmic game. Each level gets more complicated and challenging. We will utilize our truths and knowings to move on and evolve. We will heal. We will find a way towards peace. We will rise together from the flames of many injustices. The last few months have had many folks living in fear. That was nothing in comparison to what needs to happen.

Continue keeping your peace. Continue raising your frequency to love and forgiveness. Let’s remain humble. Let’s hold space for others who are experiencing so many emotions at this time. It’s chaotic. It’s intense and we are experiencing new levels of perspectives, awareness, tied to our own individual truths. Sending love to all.

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.

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.

Taking it One Day at a Time

The wind was wicked all night long in this corner of the mountains. Children slept. We all slept. It was a rare night indeed. But sometime during the middle of the night the wind took over. It is still howling and it forces me to return to my own breath. It allows me to return to this moment.

I begin to understand again. I return to my remembering:

Who you are today is a compilation of every past experience. And, you are nothing of what you will be tomorrow. That’s the beautiful mysticism of understanding the evolution of the soul… especially during these times.

We’ve never been here before. What a journey this is for each of us. For our planet. For our soul evolution.

You are the universe embodied in a human vehicle. You are a zillion cells and infinite years old. Things change every second. I urge you to pay attention.

I’ve been wealthy. I’ve been poor. I’ve been a follower. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been an avid student. I been a mother. I’ve been a wife and a lover. I’ve been angry and happy and lost and found. I’ve been broken and pasted back together mending in my private times. None of those labels will define my tomorrow because I am ever changing…but they have defined the soul I’ve become at this moment. Every single challenge and experience has molded me. It’s never the end. We are semicolons pausing and quickly beginning a new phase. Every single day.

Just as the sun rising and the night returning…You get to restart and reinvent yourself over and over. It’s a divine privilege. It’s your human right.

So don’t let the stress of tomorrow overshadow the sacredness of presence now. You will never be this young again. You will continue to grow in spirit and the moment you become aware of your power life will begin to shift.

I love you. Be present. Make it a point to stop, have a conscious breath, and taste your life for what it is. Whether it’s good or bad it is your life. And you can change it whenever you accept that this is not a prison life sentence. It is truly a magical experience of endless proportions.

Existential Crisis

The first three months of 2020 I was writing… A lot. And I was keeping a gratitude journal each evening on my phone. When the schools let out weeks ago I stopped. Not because I wasn’t grateful for our health and for the ability to be safe with our kids, but because time was no longer available in the same manner. Now when I do have spare time I am beat.

I’ve raised six children basically on my own before this second act. Those six are grown and gone to have their own lives. This time it’s two little ones and a husband. And I look at them with joy and wonder. Many times in disbelief that at almost 52 years of age I have chosen this mothering job again. I take it seriously. And the state of the world feels heavier because they are so young…and I am much older.

Time has stopped. And I am living (as many of us are) in a loop. Just like the movie Groundhog Day, I have no idea what day it is. It’s like an ongoing weekend without the ability to physically connect with others and be in places that bring us joy.

I miss my Starbucks chai latte with no water. I can make it at home but it’s not the same as speaking to the Barista while the chocolate croissant is being heated.

I miss interacting with strangers daily everywhere without the risk of getting sick.

I miss driving. Today I got in my car after a week just to pull my eyebrows and chin hairs. It was lovely. I didn’t leave the driveway. The mirror and light in there make a difference. I miss doing this while I waited for my daughter to get out of school before. You know THAT before. Before the world stopped being the same!

I miss the human touch of friends. I miss hugs and kisses. I have them at home but sometimes, in rare moments, a friend can truly reach the depth of my soul with a hug. No words needed. It’s the most fantastic yummilicious exchange of energy.

Don’t get me wrong…I am forever grateful. For so much. I am deeply aware of how fortunate I am. Yet, I am struggling with an immense sadness. As we all are.

This is a shit show. It’s okay to say that out loud. While I know this is not just about the virus, but a massive shift in our humanity, I am mourning the life I had just a month ago. I am mourning the lives of so many. I am feeling such denseness for the turmoil, the lack of readiness, the uncertainty and the truth. Combine that melting pot of emotions with other things and, yes, it can be a tad much at times.

Every year I pick two words as my intention for the year. I picked “adventure and travel.” Oh, it’s an adventure alright. Daily! And I travel all day long from the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom and laundry room. There are several other rooms I explore. Every few days, when it’s not raining, I travel to the far end of our property to talk to myself in quietude. That’s the moment I am not cooking, or picking up crap from the floor, or sanitizing little hands. It’s just me and God. And boy, Am I keeping Him busy with my talks!

There are projects to be done. There are books to be written. Cabinets to be painted. There is a lot that I can be doing when I have those ten minutes of peace. But truly…I don’t feel like that’s important. I rather sit in the sun. I rather read a passage from a book that brings me to sacredness. I rather do nothing because in the nothingness lies peace. In that vacancy I get to feel the illusion of it all and it’s beyond tolerable.

There is an entire world experiencing loss and ambiguity. I’m grateful for my little bubble in the country setting. But, it is emotional fuckery, physical carnage and chaotic spirituality. (And yes, I am using more “sentence enhancers.” If not now then when the fuck)?

We cannot deny ourselves the emotions. And when I get on social media to escape, I read of others moving through similarities. This helps me connect and disconnect simultaneously. It allows me not to feel lonely in my own loneliness of seclusion.

I laugh. I cry. I shake my head in disbelief at times. I sometimes get angry. I even mumble a few things at the screen. But, ultimately I get to be here to keep a little bit of my sanity in tact. I get to witness the best of others.

Who knew that 2020 was really about seeing the world through new lenses? We’ve had to adjust and redefine our lives. We’ve had to purposefully let go of our dreams for the time being. We’ve had create a new state of reality. It’s a gigantic pause like never before. A pause to dive inward and pull out old traumas and triggers. It’s a pause to heal…globally. It’s not just this viral event. It is an existential crisis of the soul.

I promise you that it will be okay. I say this constantly. Sometimes I actually believe it. I thank you for being here with me. For taking the time daily to sit together and fill these pages with love, humor, and important messages. You are an extension of my life right now.

This year is a game changer. We will emerge from the flames with some massive badassery. I have no doubt.

Be safe. Be love. Be authentic. Be faithful. Be compassion. Be the best you there is.

A Social Experiment

This feels like a giant social experiment: Who will snap first in their spaces? Folks are being triggered. Personalities are truly on edge. I am hearing from so many about emotional rollercoasters all day long.

Be gentle with yourself. Cry it out. Get outside and try to release it. The not knowing when life will return is unnerving. The not being able to do your previous “normal” is daunting at times.

We are losing days. We are feeling displaced at times.

I get it. I’m with you.

This is triggering us all. Add a few kids with high energy to the mix and it is a potential mental deterioration like never before. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing. Other times like a thin rubber band being stretched and snapping. But I do try desperately to get out of my head and create a sacred space of peace. Or I remember a wonderful event in my life that I can breathe through with joy.

I seem to be crying a lot. Which is allowing things to come up and out. And I am blessed to be able to release.

I feel the collective and the sadness. I also feel the massive conscious shift in awareness. We are returning to what’s really important: love and connections.

Those who are working from home with family…I feel you. This is enhancing your creativity.

Those who are homeschooling kids…you got this. I will continue to praise and admire teachers and educators. You guys are truly gods and goddesses.

Those who have elderly family members at home…keep remembering how precious they are. They are truly feeling the angst of this chaos.

Those who work out of the home and return to those who are home all day…it’s stressful and everyone is walking on eggshells. Remember what’s important.

Those who are suffering from isolation…you are not alone. This is no time to stop communicating with loved ones.

Those who are struggling with depression…please please please get help ASAP. This is no time to put anything off for another month. There are places online.

Those who are risking it all or are getting sick…sending prayers is not enough. Sending light feels like bullshit. Gratitude is an understatement. I am awestricken by your commitment and heroism.

I love you. Each one of us is doing our best to move through this time. Let’s remember to put love and compassion in the forefront. This shit is getting real(er). Keep connecting with each other here. Share the happy moments. Let’s continue to raise our moods and energy to joy in spite of what is happening.

We are being cleansed emotionally and spiritually on so many levels. The oldest traumas are rising. The newest ones are being birthed. This is not the end. It’s a new beginning. We just need to hang on to our faith, sanity and stay in this moment as much as possible.

Stay home as much as you can. Stay in your love lane. Stay in love.

There Will Be a New Normal

We will never be the same when this global event is finished.

The normal we lived was not normal. It was imbalanced and toxic. We worked to survive the rat race. We forgot how to cherish the simple ways of life. We lost our faith and human dignity as we gave away our worth to others who misused our trust.

When this is over we will see the world so differently. We will talk about our lives as B.V. (before the virus) and A.V. (after the virus). It will become the marker of all our experiences…of a human evolution and spiritual transformation.

We will talk about how we saved the lives of billions by staying indoors. And how we came together as a community. We will share how we connected with others through the internet and became friends with strangers.

We will share about the jobs that were lost, money that crumbled and hearts that broke during the pandemic. And how we became stronger because of the lessons while rebuilding our lives in healthy ways.

We will be grateful for the medical staff, the truckers, those who deliver food and supplies, the teachers and all others who were out there putting their lives at risk on a daily basis.

We will talk about countries and how we all came together when it was over while erasing all boundaries. Hate didn’t win. Love lifted us to a whole new level of consciousness.

We will have moved inward instead of outward in a world led by materialism. We will have evolved our spiritual gifts to help so many. Healers and lightworkers will have been in the front line of the metamorphosis. The world became lighter in ways that “normal” never experienced beforehand.

We will have raised the frequency of our planet through joy and compassion. Acceptance, awareness and altruism will become a way of life across all of human lives.

We will be mindful of how we felt being home with our loved ones. How we became more creative and finished all the projects we had on hold. How our homes never looked cleaner and cozier. We filled our little lives with gratitude for what we had.

Our lives will never be the same and it’s a good thing. We will come out of this as a new world. A grateful world. A world with less hate and more love. An earth that will have rested from all we have done to her.

Normal wasn’t working for us. The new normal will be absolutely beautiful. I am holding on to this with the deep knowing that it was well overdue.

What this virus brings up

What this virus brings up…

The more time you spend alone, the more emotional stuff stirs up. We’ve never been forced to sit with ourselves like this. It’s like a huge mandatory retreat.

And retreats do this…they bring up the shit we avoid to face. They allow triggers to come up and out. They force us to look at the past, sometimes with regrets, resentments and sadness. We begin to beat ourselves up for things we cannot change.

This feels like a giant social experiment. It might feel like you’re being forced to go into therapy alone.

But you are not alone. There are millions experiencing these challenges.

Reach out. Talk to others. These emotions that are coming up have always been there but you were too busy to entertain them. Be gentle with yourself. Get to know yourself and your family.

It’s time, darlings, to clean your emotional bodies. It’s time to embody your spiritual truths. We are experiencing gigantic amounts of uncertainties. We are witnessing deaths of human life and the lives we had before this. Things are quite different now. Many folks aren’t working, and have lost their jobs. There are financial fears. Health fears. Anger. Hate that serves no one. Claustrophobic tendencies are rising. No one wants to feel out of control. But that’s also an illusion. You still have control of you.

This might be a while. So please get comfy with the discomfort and begin healing yourself. Allow yourself time to really dive into love while letting go of the experiences that no longer serve you.

You know all those folks who triggered you? Well you won’t be entertaining them for a while either. What a perfect way to distance yourself!

You know that job you hated so much? You won’t have it now. Take this time to reinvent yourself.

You know those things you wanted to do but had little free time? Look at that! Here you have it.

You remember all those times you said you wanted more time with your family? 💥 bam! Here it is.

You have the power to take this time and work on yourself. Get to know you. This virus puts things in perspective. You can choose love and compassion to go viral. You can forgive and let go.

If you are with your children all day I understand how trying it can be. This is all a learning curve and experience. And one in patience.

My heart goes out to all those out there putting themselves at risk for us. And to all the families struggling with losses…prayers to all.

I love you. Let’s raise each other from a distance through compassion, love, kindness, humor and understanding. There is so much good that’s waiting for us after this is over. We will be emotionally available to help the world come together like never before. We need each other now. I love you.