Illumination

 

light

 

Yesterday I acquired a new elderly client. I went to the facility to meet him, sit with him, and hear his story. He is a sweet gentle man. Gentle beyond words! As we sat in the neatest and orderly room he shared tidbits of his life…sometimes forgetting details which he would apologize for. I reached over to his hands several times guiding him forward. Dementia is brutal when you are still aware that it’s happening.

He spoke of his wife and how she was the most remarkable woman he had ever met. He spoke of his children and the loss of one of them. He mentioned his career. And, in between the sentences, the gaps in memory, he allowed me to see the man he was and is today.  He lives with regrets which are clearly seen in his demeanor. He is a man of faith but that can only take you so far if you don’t forgive the past.

I drove home thinking about my own life and how I want to remember it in my later years. I caught myself crying at a light. Took me by surprise. I am way too emotional at times and my heart cracks open with each story I get to collect. I tend to them with care and learn the underlining meaning of what another can transport to me. I made a list of how I want to end this journey.

At the end of my life I want to look back and remember the magic I created. I want to have full awareness of how I walked the earth and all the teachers who touched me on this journey. I don’t want to beat myself up for not having a perfect body, for not making everyone happy, for not keeping some folks around, for not having done more, for not being enough….

I want to smile and recall the joy the world brought me. I pray to always acknowledge the love that was created. I want to look at the rear view mirror of my adventure with awe-stricken wonder for raising my children, loving wholeheartedly every one without judgment.

My only goal in life is to have no regrets, forgive… especially myself, and keep an open heart till my last breath. I want to make it a lifelong expedition to be led by all the light and stay in it until I become stardust again. And even then I hope that sparkles come from the smallest particle of earth guiding me to the next place. 

Give of Yourself

in the now

 

I was in a store right after work today. I needed to get a few things. A woman in the makeup section was frustrated. She was moving things from side to side. I was trying to get something for one of my little girl’s teachers. I looked up from the shelf and just stared at her. She looked as if the world was coming undone.

I took a step back and asked, “Oh sweetheart, are you okay?”

“This holiday shit has me so stressed out….” (she had a mini rant which needed to come out).

I took her hand, removed the soap in it and asked her to please breathe deeply with me. (I often wonder how folks don’t slap me). I asked if we could just stay present for a few seconds. We stood staring at each other. She actually took the deepest inhale and together we exhaled simultaneously. I asked for another. And another.

So we stood there…two middle aged women with odds and ends in carts understanding with little words that it’s okay to come undone. What’s not okay is for the reasons of the commercialized season. It’s not okay to feel like we have to give to everyone. It’s not okay to consume debt that needs to be paid off next year. It’s not okay to have to feel that giving symbolizes how we feel for another. It’s not okay to feel anxiety and frantic energy.

Her tears began to fall. I held my hands around her cheeks and kissed her. She hugged me as if we were each other’s lifeline. Her body felt as if it was finally collapsing from the stress.

Darlings, that’s more like what this season is for…reaching out to others. It’s about understanding that we are connected. Screw the shopping. Take someone for a cup of coffee. Hug a stranger. Give a freaking yummy compliment. Send a card with glitter. Leave some cookies at a neighbor.

The season of giving is about gratitude and sharing. It has nothing to do with consumerism.

We are all in this. I love you. Allow for the emotions to come up and out. And if some crazy woman with fairy tinsel in her hair comes up to you…allow her to hug and love you. I don’t want to get slapped.

Strangers On A Bench

strangers on bench

(*image from google search)

There was an accident yesterday on a main road coming home from downtown. I must’ve sat through the lights for at least 10 minutes. My three year old was overly tired and grumpy. My stomach was twisting and turning as I hadn’t felt well all day. I wanted to get home…badly. On the other side of the street there were two people at a bus stop. A black skinny man in his 40’s and a chunky white one in his late 60’s. They sat on opposite sides of the bench. I observed their body languages as they were engaged in a really good conversation. Both would laugh and carry on. One would speak while the other nodded and back and forth. They couldn’t have been more polar opposites on the outside. In other words, I couldn’t imagine them even holding a conversation, let alone sharing such delightful-ness that they were laughing out loud. At that moment I stopped Kali and her whining, “Baby girl, love every single person who enters your space.”

“What you say, mama?” She asked to repeat it. I did. She agreed that she loved everyone. Finally she quiet down and I took a deep breath.

The traffic light changed without movement. And then, the city bus stopped, covering my view of the two men. I figured they both got on. It moved on and the white man was left sitting on the bench. He looked happy, shaking his head and smiling alone. He was touched by something, whether it was humor, lightness, acceptance, or life.

This is humanity in moments when no one is looking. Life moves through us. It happens from us, not to us. We have the ability to touch another. We have the gift to love a stranger, regardless of social class, race, gender, or religion. We get to decide every single day what our superhero abilities can do for the world. It doesn’t have to be on a giant scale. You can just entertain another person on a bench waiting on a ride.

Those two souls changed my attitude in a few minutes without even knowing it.

Do good. Be good. Be kind. It takes a few seconds to smile and give another words of affirmation. Today it’s you being the generous giver. Tomorrow it might be your turn to receive. Life is definitely fluid and beautiful and you get to decide how it turns out.

Happy Day!

Secrets Kept

secrets

“I thought about how there are two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don’t dare to let out.” – Ally Carter

Secrets have a cost. We all have them because of taboo, shame, guilt, intimacy, embarrassment, and self-worth issues. Meantime, while they sit inside gaining energy, they eat away at our psyche. Ego feeds them with remorse and negativity. Secrets often times have a huge price to them. And even though we are entitled to keep things to ourselves, there are those little secrets that still nag for release. There are those small disclosures that eat at us in disgrace. Unfortunately, the longer they are kept in the closet the larger they become.

Sometimes, in the middle of nothing in particular, I return to a specific memory. In that memory I can conjure up the emotions of that time, with the person, and the things exchanged. I realize I have never been one to dig for secrets, including my very own. The reason my exes could cheat so easily was due to the fact that I never checked them. I never went through their things. I never followed them, until I was ready to face the moment of truth. Then there was no going back. I am completely oblivious to my surroundings, and when in my own bubble, I try to stay there out of fear.

What I’ve learned, through journaling and past therapy, is that avoidance is a form of keeping secrets. If you can’t be willing to dive into the heartache and discomfort then the secret continues to lie inside. Sometimes the best way to keep a secret is to pretend there isn’t anything to keep. Is it a form of delusion? Is it clinical and psychological avoidance of sorts? Is it survivor instincts repressing the deep and emotional pain? I don’t really know why we keep certain things inside.

I don’t have many secrets. I can’t really say there is anything badly enough to keep eating at me. The few things gathered in a basket of shhh, are more personal things about love and relationships. Some sweet intimate memories must remain inside forever. They are mine to hold and cherish alone.

The shame from my rape at 18 took eighteen years to be released. It had become an inconceivable shameful event that created many self-esteem issues. Once that was purged, I was able to allow for restoration and restitution. I was able to free myself from the monsters. Now there isn’t much inside that can control my psyche with oppression, only secrets of the loving kind. The secrets that are filled with shame birth a new identity in us. Those things that are due to infidelities, stealing, lying, sexual indiscretions, rape, abuse and much more, are the ones we need to allow release. The letting go of such “monsters” allows for divinity to step inside. Forgiveness is easier when it is for someone else. Real forgiveness, however, starts inside. The past has allowed each one of us to get here. We learn from our mistakes. We are better because of the lessons gathered along the path of life.

Skeletons in the closet serve no purpose unless you are decorating for Halloween. We are created in the light of Spirit. In that light all secrets are diminished. Let go and realize that you are not your secrets. You are evolution of such experiences. Good or bad, they have brought you to the awareness of today.

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” – Sylvia Plath

The Divine Within

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In India there is a Sufi story about creation and where to put God (or the Divine or whatever name you place on a higher power): “If we put God at the bottom of the ocean, man will dive there. If you place God on a mountaintop, man will climb there in search of him. But if we put God inside of him, man will never think to look there.”

In many spiritual philosophies and theories it is said that the next teacher is just around the corner. When needed to grasp a powerful lesson she (or he) will appear as a mighty ferocious warrior ready to embark you in a journey questioning faith, love and patience. In a second she takes her sword to conquer the ego and the false perception of truth, control and belief. Usually this great warrior appears in the path of adversities, addiction, loss, physical crisis or a significant event that forces us to search for inner strength. And it is in her presence that we are humbled to bow and listen while she takes that sword and smacks it on us to pay close attention to what is important leaving us bruised, achy and tired.

I am blessed to have had a warrior like Xena show up recently. I am being pushed to those extremes and reminded that nothing happens by mistake. Her teachings are magical and condensed to make the lessons stick without much time to rest before the next battle. It’s in those times that I get quiet and find the God within me and how I don’t have to run around looking for him out there. I get to see him looking at me through the eyes of another –a soul-to-soul mystical connection. I get to witness true cosmic changes through every action and reaction.

This is the Divine Feminine in me reminding me of my strength. It is God through all others that reflects those parts of myself that need improvement or attention. I am embraced by divine energy shielding me from any real harm. I am what I am. I am who I am and I will not apologize for that. We all have the power to look within and find God. He/she isn’t on some cloud in the sky treating you like a puppet. He isn’t to blame for your choices. He isn’t here to punish you. He/she is within the walls of your physical body, the embodiment of all that is humble,compassionate, and graceful. It’s our nature to detect, accept and reject what doesn’t suit us. You can only meet another at the level of their consciousness and divinity.

How Ahhhhmazing, right!? To know that no matter how far and wide you search for faith, it is sitting right inside of you the whole time. And it is through the external forces of another that we are reminded of our divine purpose and our right to keep compassion for those who hurt us. It’s through forgiveness that we find God really displaying our humanness. It’s through the miracles of love that we accept it in us. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to strengthen my tools, heart and mind in this game called life.

Surprise in the season

Spring is here in full bloom. Green buds occupy the yard on every tree creating a sense of magic. We’ve moved to the city. Yesterday allowed me to close a powerful chapter in my life. Having lived on a mountain for almost 7 years I was ready. Our yard is a blank canvas full of possibilities and the flowers blooming are enticing me to finish putting things away, get settled into this new life, and head outside.

As a child my mother did not like me going out and getting dirty. I was one of those kids that loved to make mud pies and dig in the dirt. I was always the black sheep of the family, the one who danced to her own tunes which no one ever heard. I was the one who would speak to anyone, make friends with the garbage man and the utility folks. But, fear always lurked in the distance due to a family that has always been rather reserved and afraid of stepping into the unknown. I feel for them because they are missing out on the joys of serendipity and spontaneity. They are not allowing their natural state of being to direct them to feel the earth within themselves.

Now, at this moment, I sit in my new nook and office staring outside. The landscape is filling up. Each morning the trees birth more leaves. Flowers give out the fragrance of memories. The skies are lovelier. Sunrises and sunsets have purples and pinks. The breeze is softer. The earth is enriched with such ease. I am always surprised by this time of year in North Carolina. We don’t have significant changing of seasons in Florida. So, this to me, around my birthday, always feels like a giant gift from the universe.

Birth is here. It’s all around us. It’s within us. All we have to do is step out of our little dramas and notice the beauty of this season. It’s time for mud pies, gardening, creating and nesting. It’s that time of year that draws me outward and allows for me to sigh…in relief for all that winter had me endure.

May you continue growing just like the trees, leaves, flowers, grass, and nature around you. Find the its rhythm and follow that. It’s magical and mystical. It’s why we are here. Nothing to change, nothing to force, nothing to do but allow things to move in their Divine order. Breathe…deeply with love and compassion.

Have a great week, darlings! Make it sparkly, glittery, and yummilicious…Millie

Gasping for Air

You had a bone to pick with me…

digging out,

unleashing an ugly truth

of a perception

brought on by my words,

nasty monologue,

and the lack of expressing my side

of a story I believed to be one way.

I allowed it,

even owned it for a while,

until the realization sank

that you don’t know me

anymore than I know you.

 

Lessons come in moments,

days, weeks and narratives

cascading through emotions…

nothing is ever what it seems.

Smothering closes in,

spaces are confined,

and both sides race to a finish line

while neither voices

their suffocation,

lack of air stretch,

in the freedom

we know as the reality

of our lives.

 

We are never the sums of half truths,

untold substances,

made up by the what if’s

brought on by past experiences.

Neither of us lived in those scenarios,

never intertwining into each other.

We never touched the same terrains,

walked similar journeys,

or ventured in each others’ timelines…

we cannot be expected to adhere

to the tension of any physical attractions

when the rest of us doesn’t quite fit

the puzzle pieces.

They should all have fallen easy –

no force or manipulation.

 

Words escaped me at that moment,

paralyzing the little girl in me,

when I wanted to protest,

feeling raw and exposed

to explain what I don’t know

in this and that of two strangers.

 

Egos have a way of taking over,

multiplying, enhancing and dictating

instead of allowing

our authentic selves to speak.

 

It’s okay.  I now understand.

The past is a cosmic web

threading us to new experiences

that push and pull the psyche

forcing growth.

I am thankful for the test

as I stand back watching

a movie replay…

for this path I shall never walk again.