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.

What We Leave Behind

Tranquility

I used to think that it was important to leave something behind in life as a legacy for others to acknowledge my existence. For most of my life I kept journals, poetry books, albums and all sorts of pasted memory books documenting my journey here. Several years ago I stopped. I was losing myself in trying to leave a life behind while not being presently available now. I was tired of leaving a token of my existence for others to find. I decided I was going to touch more, love harder, and be present with those in my life.

What better legacy but time?

We are always trying to leave footprints behind for others to find. Sometime ago during a visit from one of my sons we were sitting around discussing legacies. He asked me what I would like to leave behind as a remembrance of my life.

I said, “My laughter. I want people to think of me and think that I was fun. I want to believe that I touched someone through my sense of humor.”

His eyes watered with that simple answer. He was expecting me to say something of greatness or about love. But, I believe that joy is the catalyst to other emotions. Joy and laughter open up love, empathy, compassion, and kindness.

What carries on after death?

The lessons, mistakes, triumphs, and achievements are not so much of importance in the past as they will be in the future. We take for granted what must be learned rather than learn what we take for granted because of worrying about the future. It is the present moment that emphasis must be placed upon in order to correct anything else in our path.

Legacies are moments. Moments consist of time.

Death is a state of consciousness. It is one of the many stages through the infinite. I witnessed this first hand in January of 2014 when I had a near death experience. At that moment of leaving the physical body I was not a bit concerned with my legacy. I didn’t think about the things I should have done. I didn’t ponder or cry about the things I didn’t get to do. My only thought was, “Where will this light take me? There’s nothing like this. There never was.”

We are here passing through: learning, accumulating, and exercising the greatness of our existence. There is no real secret to life. Perhaps…. That’s perhaps the secret! We all want to know that we’ve mattered. We have. I have. You have. We are here in this melting pot together making our way home. Every day I am gifted favorable circumstances. I get opportunities of love (giving and receiving), forgiveness (for mistakes and misunderstandings), learning (beyond my means), dreaming (manifesting all my desires), kindness, and compassion (without them I am not human) so that my spiritual, physical and emotional bodies can evolve into greatness.

This greatness is called life. Make each moment count with joy, surrendering abandonment for the past, miracles for the future, and appreciation for being present at all times. Laugh at the silliness, forgive the hurt, love those who you never thought you could. Allow these opportunities to map out the journey. You got this! No one else can do it for you. Create the greatest story of YOU!  That’s your legacy.

“Inside of all of us there is the need and the desire to be heard, to have our innermost thoughts, feelings and desires expressed for others to hear, to see and to understand. We all want to matter to someone, to leave a mark. Writers just take those thoughts, feelings and desires and express them in such a way that the reader not only reads them but feels them as well.” ~ Vicktor Alexander

The Now

There are three days very important in our lives: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

When we focus on yesterday we get lost in regrets, excuses, resentments, and bitter sweet memories for not having been more…. We relive the things we cannot change.

When we focus on tomorrow we are overcome with uncertainty, anxiety, doubts, and an array of unsettling emotions for what’s to come and how to handle it. We lose ourselves in trying to manipulate and control the outcome of what isn’t here yet.

But, when we focus on today, this very moment, without dragging yesterday or borrowing from the future, we get to live fully in the magic of what is…evolving in the NOW. We don’t have to anticipate or feel guilt. We move through everything that is and isn’t. Joy and grace become vehicles for accepting.

Which day are you living constantly? How is that working out for you?

The Sacredness of Presence

I was able to watch the sun come up today driving kiddos to school. It was later than usual. And those aha moments began to gather. I breathed deeply at the traffic lights. I inhaled the sun peeking. I exhaled to the awareness of presence. I teared up at the beauty all around me in these mountains and I recited my prayers of gratitude.

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.

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 your accept that this is not a prison life sentence. It is truly a magical experience of endless proportions.

~m.a.p.

Sharing Yourself

Someone recently asked me if I was ever afraid of sharing too much. I asked her to repeat the question. I actually didn’t understand it. “Sharing too much…being afraid of THAT? The sharing?”

She said, “Yes. People are scary. They use your stuff. They judge….” She had a list compiled of the fears and how she would be hurt.

I’m not afraid of sharing. I’m actually afraid of living a life without truly sharing, or holding back. I’m afraid of not saying the things I feel that might make a difference to me and another. I’m afraid of letting someone believe they are alone in their sorrow. I’m afraid of others who don’t say what they mean and hurt deeply because of it. But, I am not afraid of my vulnerability. This is what holds my heart in its place. My openness is a superpower to myself. I have learned to properly (and sometimes without filter) overcome adversities because of it.

We fear the things we don’t understand. We fear what we can’t perceive or process from our own experiences. I, for one, tend to withdraw from someone who has hurt me and shut down. I won’t communicate. When I’m done, I am done. But, sweethearts, don’t be afraid to share from your heart…ever. Those who can’t handle it don’t deserve you. It’s truly a gift in weening out the ones who don’t align with you.

Your presence in this world is the gift of you. Do not allow fear to stump your light or your love. Be mindful. Give. Share. Love openly and wholeheartedly. You will know who is worth your time or not. ~m.a.p.

Presence is All We Have

John Lennon said, “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love. It matters only that you love.”

I have learned to love deeper because of the relationships around me. I have witnessed unconditional love and strength because of other relationships that did not work out. There is nothing more beautiful than studying the human spirit when it doesn’t know it’s being observed. There is nothing lovelier than those moments of losing yourself into another.

Presence is all we have right now. This is the only guarantee because in a heartbeat it can be altered. It could be our last breath or it can be the start of something beautiful. Stay in your state of wonder and enchantment. Live through an open heart. Forgive the past. Love because you have nothing else to give and because you recognize it as a boomerang of deep emotions. It’s in those moments of pure ecstasy that we find ourselves closer to divinity. You don’t have to participate in every argument or disagreement. You get to choose self-love and awareness.

Gift of Presence

When did we forget the meaning of being in the moment? Did we even learn this simple task? As we enter the next few days of sharing with family and friends, remember to gift yourself presence. Make a note to stay here right in the moment of awareness. I have very few memories of past holidays with my children that didn’t involve stress: making sure every one was having fun, cooking, moving so fast with exhaustion through cleaning, and the merry-go-round of chaos. Very few times I was able to sit and watch and cherish those moments of pure joy and magic. The holidays always brought with them a sense of duty and lots of work. I look back and can’t understand what all the fuss was about. I cannot get back those moments of being with my young children. They will never return to my present state so I opt to make this very second count.

Gift yourself the NOW! Stay in the moment, At the end of the day the dishes will still be in the sink, the house can wait to be picked up, the wrappers can be part of the living room decor for a while, but your family and friends will not remain with you forever. Make your presence. Take it in, not with pictures, but with the awareness of the moment. I plan on allowing myself time to chill, laugh and enjoy every second that they are here! I plan on loving every moment someone shows up to say hello.

I love you all. Wishing you a safe, loving, and joyful few days. It’s never easy for some of us to navigate this holiday but with a little effort we can make it through with love and awareness. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever else you may call it. Thank you for being part of my life.

Stories Connect Us

Our stories make us. As soon as we share them, each heartache or piece of joy, we begin to release and heal. We start to feel whole again because someone has acknowledged us, recognizing our history, and loving us for it. There is power in acceptance and awareness when it comes through our vulnerability.

Let’s have open ears for others. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the magic in another. Let’s feel each other through the silence. Let’s keep our hearts wide open as well without judgment, bigotry, or intolerance. We must see, hear, feel and taste love throughout our lives by truly being present with each other. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.

Our greatest teachers are the ones who challenge emotions, patience and understanding. We grow from their reflections.
Love transcends through every word, touch, and presence with another. It’s through those moments that we learn more about ourselves. It’s also then when we realize that we are not alone. Everyone goes through similar experiences.

You and I are connected here, out there and everywhere. It might not always be pretty but it is part of our human evolution.

Reach out to others today. Lend a smile, give a hug and share a sweet word. You might be the angel and lifeline that person needs at that very moment.

Don’t Just Smell the Roses

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I woke this morning doubting my ability to be human. I feel the ache of those around me.

The deeper one travels down the rabbit hole to understand humanity, the harder it becomes to stay humane. Compassion arrives in the detachment but even that seems to be too much. Forgiveness starts with the self. It goes no further than that today. There is such a tremendous inability to allow consciousness to dictate rather than the ego driven psyche that makes and breaks us. This narcissism is present in me and everyone. I am owning my shit!

But, when does it all stop? You know, this need to point fingers and not take responsibility for our stories? How do we connect with one another? What needs to happen to dispel the PTSD of past experiences that keep us prisoners of bitchiness, mental disorders, and stuck in victimization roles?

Today I will be anything but this. Today I will not just smell the roses in the path. I will caress them, feeling their energy and allow for their beauty to sink in. I will accept those things that need attention and still remain open to the mysteries of life through an open heart. Much love to all!
~Millie