Staying in the Now

Saturday I visited one of my elderly clients at his facility. He was on his bed with his eyes closed. I sat next to him and waited. He opened up his eyes and smiled. He doesn’t know who I am. He has dementia. However, he never questions who I may be. He never asks. He is forever present.

This man continues to be a teacher. I refer to him as Yoda. A few months ago, when the state appointed him to us to be his guardian representative, I went to his house to get a few things before everything would be disbursed and sold. He had already been placed in a facility. So I went to his apartment and gathered personal items.
There were no signs of a past life. He is a minimalist and everything was very neat. He was a photographer by profession and had many cameras but no personal pictures. He never married or had children. He has no one. Leaving his place puzzled me. It was as if he rented space in his life. He lived in the present moment.
And…he continues to live presently. When I sit with him he never shares of his past, as if he had none. He doesn’t ask of his future, as if it’s irrelevant. We talk about the weather or food. Every so often I ask about photography and I am reminded he is still taking mental pictures of the present moment. He is available to see light and a world only seen through a small lens. He doesn’t care what’s beyond the view.
I brought him a box of chocolates for Christmas. He opened it up and stared at it, carefully observing the shapes. He was grateful but I was more grateful in noticing the moments of his discovery. His beautiful green eyes lit up with each bite.
I want that. I want more of what he embodies. I want to stay present without questioning the future. I want to stay here without reliving my personal stories. Through his gentleness I am recharged. I am given hope that we can all stay in the now.
We get to decide how we show up. We willingly get to participate on this journey however we feel we must. So, I must show up like that…completely immerse in what is happening this moment without rushing it. It’s like taking a photograph and capturing that second forever. Now!
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Recharging

 

Tranquility

Something happened as of late…I hit an emotional and spiritual wall which affected my physical health. I felt it and I disregarded it. I have gotten better at detecting these moments, but I still ignored it. I woke a few days ago in a panic…exhausted to the bone and with an unwillingness to move. I couldn’t meditate (and this is huge for me). I recognized it then.

The knowing.
The guidance.
The red flag.
I listened and took it seriously. I am too old to ignore this. In the past it would cause me to end up in the hospital.
I kept hearing for weeks that I was “off” somehow. I felt it as well. So, I have moved into the mysteries and investigation of finding out what is “off” with me. Mary Poppins has vacated the premises. The PollyAnna sweetheart is MIA. It’s not that I’m short or nasty. It’s not that I’m unhappy. But, my frequency has shifted and I am tired. I cannot entertain one single thing.
I need a break from the world.
This week I’ve cancelled all appointments other than going to work. I cannot do anything else afterwards. I have been at this go-go-go schedule for months now. I have to take inventory of my spiritual guidance and emotional necessities.
There is such a thing as doing too much. There are repercussions for those actions. I refuse to bulldoze over my soul’s needs for one more week, one more day, or one more hour. It’s yelling for attention!
I listen. I am listening.
It’s in this magical space of detachment that I find the answers. It’s in the afternoons before my husband and child arrive that I can clear my energy and find bliss in sitting outside, listening to the birds…or going into my meditation room and sitting in quietude.
I need my time to create my own magic.
We all need space for recharging. We need sacredness. We need reflecting and allowing for answers to visit. We also need to crumble down the things inside that are asking for egotistical answers. The past calls, but you do not have to answer!
May you have a peaceful week! May you enjoy your time alone, or with others, but remember to honor your spirit. Go play. Go be in joy. You need it. We all do.
I love you…~m.a.p.

Privilege of our Lives

I got up at 3:37 AM for the third time in a row this week. I went downstairs to meditate. Came back up and snuggled in our bed pressing against my husband’s back. I actually fell asleep at some point. Around 7AM our little girl came running into the room. She got on my side of the bed and motioned my arms around her. We snuggled tightly. I smelled her sweetness, digging my nose in her wild curly hair. The female cat came to me to pet her. The other male cat laid at my feet trying to attack my moving legs through the blankets.

The world outside disappears in these moments. The safety and comfort of love and security is priceless. But then I returned to the knowing that not all children get to feel this. There are children all over the place not being kissed and snuggled by their parents. I used to feel that it was prominent in other countries. That has shifted. And for a few moments I gasped. Tears silently fell and I kissed and held my little girl extra harder.

Remember where you are, the privilege of what you have. Send strong healing vibes to those you know are not in the place of love, acceptance and light.

And for you reading this: I thank you for being here with me. I’m humbled by your friendship! Have a beautiful day.

New Beginnings

new beginnings

I take the month of April as a time to celebrate. All 30 days honor as my birthday. On April 1st, I lost one of my sweet elderly clients. I loved him dearly. Although he was in hospice care, I didn’t expect his departure. On April 3rd, I lost a family member who died way too young, leaving three young girls. Yesterday I visited a brand new baby at the hospital who will be adopted by a beautiful couple. She was born from a crack addict who abandoned her as soon as she could leave. Holding her in my arms completed the circle of life. As two souls left this world, this little one came in fighting for her existence. Life is fluid and magical. I left the hospital celebrating it all…the losses and the gains. All three cases are heartbreaking and require emotional acknowledgment.  All three souls touched me in deep ways. I keep hearing the pain out there but I also keep rejoicing the healing and love.

A week ago my husband and I made another difficult decision. We will be taking on another child who needs a loving home. We will love him with the same ferocity and acknowledgment that we’ve given to others. I will be 50 years old in two weeks. It’s not an easy decision but it is the right one. He sat across from me and shared that “Batman never questioned or ignored his bat signals. He armored up and went to the call….” In this case he is Batman…and I am his side kick (yours truly). We will answer the call and provide the superpower of love.
I suspect this is going to be one of the most intensely surprising April’s. We leave in two weeks to Machu Picchu on a spiritual journey of sorts. It’s been calling for me for some time. And, we need this before re-entering another phase of parenting. I sat across from him and said, “Darling, this is not my first rodeo. This will be number 8. I know how this works.  This is number 2 for you. I know you will continue to be magnificent in your role….” So, Peru will be healing and full of mystical surprises.  My spiritual guides have been preparing me for some incredible experiences there.
I feel it’s time to recharge and return to the origins of me. It’s hard to define that. It involves faith, grace, and acceptance. I suspect that something is emerging and it’s lovely on so many levels.  I am open to the expedition of self. It is spring after all…regrowth and newness.
I urge you to make decisions without worrying about how others will react. I ask that you live fully and love openly. Life is fragile and beautiful. You get to decide how you choose to live it. You never know what’s around the corner even when you think you have it all figured out. I look forward to my journeys…the trip and another round of motherhood. For months I was living with panic attacks and anxiety during the night. I couldn’t figure out why. My soul knew of the changes. I resisted unknowingly in my human form. Once it showed up I was able to return to peace. And here we are…today is beyond lovely. Our little boy will be arriving to a home full of joy and love.
I want that for you as well….joy and love. Over and over again. I love you.

The Compass

road-sun-rays-path

Yesterday I had a huge challenge appear in my path. I was expecting it for some time. I knew it would cause a halt on the journey or at least a major detour. But, like all things when it finally appears you are frazzled by its presence. The knowing doesn’t even matter. It becomes a void of doubt, shame and guilt. Immediately I sat back and took a deep breath. The first person I could think of reaching out was my husband and I knew what he would say. He’s my husband. He would want me to do whatever felt right for me. The second person was my eldest son. At almost 30, he is wise beyond his years. We were both working so I texted him briefly. I gave him the condensed version.

I asked him to please answer what I should do without me being his mother. I wanted his honest answer without thinking of me as this woman who thinks she needs to save the world. He came back with a quick long answer. Immediately he took a step out of the family circle and answered the question without a single sense of being my son. He was a man. His opinions were defined by how he’s been raised. After his answer I asked him to then remember I was his mother.

He paused. I could see the (…) dancing on the screen. And then he answered with such love and compassion that I broke into a pool of tears. He asked me to stop. He asked me to also follow my heart. He asked me to go into my sacred space and ask for divine wisdom, but to please take my heart and hold it in my hands, caressing it and loving it the way I love him and others.

My son showed up as a compassionate and amazing guru and I forgot all about the dilemma/life changing event that had appeared in my path. The lesson turned into something magnificent and delightful. I needed the reminder. I had to truly get back on the right path.

He thanked me for teaching him to step back and look before reacting, reminding me that I forget myself along the way. I forget to count myself as a blessing. Hours later he called me to make sure I was okay and I thanked him through sobs. I told him that he had saved me from taking a detour into the thickness of a dark forest.

In the end…that is all we want. We want someone to be our compass when we get lost. Mostly we want to know that another soul understands us so well that we don’t have to feel along when hardships show up.

Have a beautiful day!

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.