Walk with purpose 

Sometimes I feel like I am on the Bipolar Expressway and most of the exits loop around Crazy Town. So I mindfully begin my mornings with an hour of prayer and/or meditation. I cannot miss a day or I begin to feel ungrounded. I lovingly light my candles for those who need light. Every day is different. (If you’ve been to my house you have witnessed the bucket with a hundred plus tea candles). I light my sage and incense. I wait for the break of day reciting gratitude mantras. This ritual is imperative to continue driving along the expressway of life. Some days are awesome (no traffic from looney tunes) and others are bumper to bumper chaos that require my complete (Im)mature level of patience (I have patience for most people. It’s patience in myself that is a constant struggle). Life is a magnificent teacher. It will provide all the lessons needed for the evolution of the soul. Stay on your lane. Breathe. Get off on rest areas that bring momentary peace. 
Remember this: Joy clears stagnant energy so find what makes you happy. Find solace in a breath. Stop to notice and acknowledge nature around you. Search for God’s presence within. Let Divine energy move you to the next exit without chicken choking anyone in the way. There you will find faith. Oh…and don’t be so quick to press on the horn…you don’t know what that person in the same expressway is going through. I love you. Have a magnificent Day, darlings. Make it magical!!!!

Compassionate Tribe

18342151_1475346785857508_9213382647655657273_n

I read somewhere long ago that there is a tribe in Africa who shows tremendous compassion and support for one another. When someone commits a mistake or a wrongdoing they don’t judge or bring them down. They don’t punish their tribe member for what they did. They stop everything that one day and they gather around that person. And, one by one they lift that soul who has been broken with loving words. They tell that person, sharing with kindness while reminding them of their attributions and beautiful things. They enhance their greatness.

I don’t know if this story is true or not. It doesn’t matter. I feel that this is the way our society needs to be. We need to lift one another when we have fallen. We all live based on our past mistakes. We come down on ourselves and beat our self esteem to such low levels. To get support from your village, oh my! It’s hard enough to deal with our own judgment and self-criticism. It’s even more appalling when others are constantly seeing the flaws instead of our beauty. I want to live like this tribe. I want to raise another when they fall and they hurt. I want them to know that it’s okay to have hard life lessons. It’s not okay to stay there and live as a victim.

This is compassion at its fullest. This is community and true empathy. This is the world that I want to leave for my children and grandchildren. This is what we came here to do. No one cares about the political climate or religious beliefs. This is not about any of that. It’s about finding hope and kindness when we really need it. Remember that it’s wonderful to spend time with others when all is well. The hardest part of being with one another is when we are hurt and feel raw. We feel neglected and rejected. We wallow in the anger and negativity of how others see us. We need to be there for one another in vulnerability and in joy. Yes, yes, yes! This is how I want to be of service to another.

Imagine! Can you truly envision a world without judgment and criticism? A world that has joined together to lift one another?

I want to know that as I walk throughout this journey I can squeeze out laughter and love from as many people I can.

Join me in this venture!!!

Endless Love

This afternoon I was out seeing clients. Whenever I am in this particular facility I like to visit a sweet lady with Dementia who also has her husband there in the same room. That’s a rare circumstance. She is the kindest soul. His health is declining fast but his mind is all there. I walked in to visit them and she immediately asked who I was. I told her my name. I sat on her bed, she moved up, he sat in his wheelchair next to her. She asked me where I was from. I could feel the confusion (as she should have because she’s really not my client. I am just some woman who collects love stories).
Me: “I am the welcoming committee. I go from room to room hugging and saying hello’s. Every so often I throw some glitter in the air and grant wishes.”

She giggled, mouth and eyes wide opened, and said, “That’s a fine job you have, but I have no wishes that need granting.”

Me: “There are always wishes that need granting.” He smirked, she laughed and asked again what I did for a living. I again said I was just passing through collecting heartfelt stories. I told her I loved to visit and be in the presence of such greatness. 
So there I was stirring up love stories with these delicious souls who have a history deeper than words. You can feel their love and admiration the moment you walk into their room. See, I might not be aware of much but when I see true love I know it. I recognize it. It’s hard to ignore. There is radiance in their eyes, and also a familiarity of comfort. There is mutual respect which is so rare at this time in history.
The nurse came in and asked if they were going to the dining room? She didn’t hear her so I asked her if her hubby was going to take her to dinner? She perked up, got her outfit ironed out with her hand and asked him in the most darling of voices, “Will you be taking me to dinner, my love?”
He said, “Yes, if that’s what you would like?” I felt a tug of emotions stirring from their union. I witnessed that even with memory loss, and health issues, this type of love transcends. She told me they’ve been married 15 years and he corrected her. They have been married for 13. She smiled and told him it felt longer because every moment with him was always wonderful. She said to me that he’s always been a gentleman and has taken care of her. He smiled through the discomfort of pain.
I helped them get ready and then headed to see my client. As I was getting my purse from the chair she asked if I would visit again. I assured her I would. I told her I would bring some sparkles and glitter to grant wishes. Her light eyes looked straight into me and she said, “I have all the wishes I need. I have my husband here with me.”
Those fortunate enough to share a love so beautiful are filled with enchantment. They get it, even without knowing where they are, who they are, and what happens in that day. They feel the emotions deep within their hearts. I walked out shielding tears of joy. I am blessed to witness such exquisite humanness and compassion. I truly live through bliss when I am in proximity of such embodiment of love.
May you be blessed with this kind of love that forgives and shelters the heart forever. If you are lucky you can find it even in the later years of your life, like these two did, and still remember to feel blessed by each other’s presence. It’s priceless! And it is the yumminess that make true love stories admirable.

Collective of Oneness

Recently I took an afternoon and spent some time in a book store browsing through magazines. Nearby an elderly couple sat sharing ideas for a new garden with each other. They discussed things about their children, grandchildren, and extended family. They spoke of doctor appointments. Every once in a while she would touch his hand ever so gently as he browsed through magazines. She took out her little pill box and gave him medication. All the meanwhile I sat wondering about the amount of time these two people have spent together in this lifetime. How many moments of joy, intimacy, laughter, sadness, remorse, anger, love, forgiveness, loss, and other scope of emotions have been shared that can break or mend a relationship? They were so lovely. At one given moment she got up to get another book and he helped her. Then he waited for her return to help slide her chair in.

These are the stories that grab me, take me into a place of serenity, and give me hope for our humanness. I hope those moments are not wasted in past generations. Chivalry, politeness and generosity seem like a lot to ask these times. There was presence between them and in our techie-busy lives it seems like it’s disappearing.

There’s something so tender about watching a couple who has been with each other for decades. You can always tell which ones have a mutual respect and which ones can’t wait for the other to just hurry up and drop dead. When I witness such sincere appreciation it makes my heart melt. True human spirit shines when no one is present…when they don’t know they are being observed. These two fragile souls seemed to have a connection that beamed from each other…a collective of oneness.

Listening to their random tones, sweet words, and concerns, made me think of how it must be to be with someone that long. How does it feel to know someone’s secrets, pains, fears, weaknesses and all their attributions, successes, virtues that no one ever sees? Couples who truly love each other after fifty years begin to look alike. They finish each others’ sentences. They know that silence speaks volumes. There is a connection that goes beyond anything else in our humanity. There is a knowing that breaks all barriers of time and space. I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s a year or 60. Mutual respect, similar beliefs, love, depth, gratitude and acceptance are the foundation blocks to any relationship.

Between one thing and another, checking out ideas through all the home/garden magazines, I began to feel gratitude for their presence near me. I began to feel as if I visited with them directly and we shared a cup of tea. They reminded me of love and respect, sharing and compassion, and all the in-between’s of this sweet life. I have been blessed to take those lessons and move forward in the best way possible…through love!

Sacred Presence

water mtn

Having a rare day while being in a state of complete presence. It’s a day off for me. I am here but I am not. I have lifted myself through something odd and divinely lovely several times today while driving down the mountain, then sitting by the creek staring at the water with a friend, talking about things of the past and realizing the rawness of life. There has been frailty today. There has been huge awareness. There has been an exhaustion of humanness holding things in and then allowing to fly away with the wind. Complexity has been engulfed by simplicity. The slowing down and just sitting has allowed for clarity.

We move through cycles of what was and what is. And, somewhere in between lies the illusion that these things make us whole and become our stories. Your story might be raw and full of pain, or it might consist of happiness and delightful moments. You have been embraced by love and lovers (past and present), but in the end it is this very second that glues us together. You have lost a loved one to death or just the ending of a relationship and it hurts like hell but you are still here surfing the ebb of deep waters.

This is Sacred Presence.

This is a raw and vulnerable ability to stay here and share while connecting to another by saying, “I am here for you. You are not alone. I understand. I have experienced something similar. Or, I haven’t and it is beautiful how you are moving with grace, strength and faith.”

Yes, these are the moments that make us whole through the veil of life. These are the uneventful days that move through us in the subconscious with changes and growth. We don’t know it but there’s a shift inside. We can’t look back and know when it happened but it’s there. These non-judgmental days of self awareness are huge mile markers.

Keep searching for your truth. It isn’t always pretty or perfect or without some hurt…but it is your truth. These are the things that have created your humanness to continue expanding in our world. The conscious shift in knowing and acceptance is evolving within you always. And how MARVELOUS you are, darling! Go be all that greatness you are meant to be!!!! Mucho love.

Dressing the Part

Bearwallow Mountain TrailA few mornings ago I decided to go on a hike up the mountain near our place. As I began trekking up the path I came upon a young man all geared up in what looked like the poster child of a true hiker: expensive boots, nice backpack, walking sticks for climbing the Himalayas, and a great windbreaker. He was standing on the middle of the trail in deep thought staring at the tracks on the dirt. I said, “Good morning.” Took off my headphones when his lips started moving.

“Are these bear tracks here?” He asked with great concern pointing to the soil.

“Yes, they are! You do know you are on Bearwallow Mountain?”

“Are you going up?” He asks with hesitation.

I answered, “That’s my intention!”

“But what about the bears?”

I say casually, “They don’t bother anyone. I’ve been hiking this mountain for several years and have never come across any on the hike. I have friends who have but they are more scared of people than you can imagine. I’ve seen them down on the road while driving.”

“Oh….I don’t know,” He adds while taking off his cap and scratching his head. I saw the fear and anxiety spew out of his pores. He was definitely out of his comfort zone.

I passed him with a smile and said, “Good luck then. Believe me, if you are meant to see a bear you will see one!!!”

As I continued my trek I kept thinking of him and how well he dressed the hiking element. He looked the part. He was ready to climb, explore and experience freedom. I sat on the summit admiring the 360 degrees of mountain ranges with joy on a clear-cool-autumn day. A while later I saw him below reaching the entrance of the path with a map, sunglasses and a complete disorientation that would make a drunken man seem sober. I giggled, not at him, but at how we are in our humanness. We are lost in the illusions of what we expect. He was so confined to the presumption of what would be up on the mountain that he missed the opportunity of enjoying the journey.  And, it is a gorgeous trail.

We play our parts well. Sometimes not so much! Here was this man dressed up to hike on a mountain alone. I can assume this was huge for him to be in a different part of the Appalachians and conquer this moment, which is exciting, nerve-wrecking, and an exploration to something in his spirit. Hiking is a rush, a form of meditation, and a way to join with the dance of nature. I am reminded that I have been him a million times before. I have played the part to a specific drama, said the right lines, worn the perfect outfit, to later find that I wasn’t being authentic to my spirit. I was just acting out what society expected. We tend to wear costumes for the places we expect to conquer. We put the uniform that best suits our purpose and move through the motions of leaving the comfort zone. But, all along the comfort zone is still secretly holding us from venturing outside of our minds. We live on fear and the claws of uncertainty.

I have very few fears. They are not snakes or bears. They are tiny lizards that when crossing my path on a hike I get off the trail running hysterically. Seriously, a lizard, gecko, salamander or whatever looks like one will push me over the edge. I have tried to get to the bottom of this phobia and it seems it’s paralyzing. I am not afraid of spiders, or anything that can actually kill me. I am afraid of a reptile that logically is more frighten of me. How do I go hiking? How do I garden? How do I enjoy nature? Well, I try not to think about it. There is no such thing as lizard tracks…so I must go on through the trails praying I don’t come across one. I don’t dress the part. I know my fear. I don’t pretend to be a hiker. I am a hiker. I sat up on the boulder watching this young guy hoping he found solace and congratulated himself for conquering the mountain…and not coming across a bear. I sent him love from up there, soul-to-soul, padding his back with a “job-well-done affirmation.”

Fear is a costume we choose to wear. I am consciously aware of this. And, unfortunately we attract those things we fear (because I find lizards in places that shouldn’t have them). I know the way fear feels when it’s close to the surface. We dress our parts with pretenses, avoiding the underlining issue for the trauma, circumstances, and/or event. This encounter made me very aware of my own fear of lizards and how much it presents itself when I am doing what I love. Kudos to the ones who surpass the anxiety and find their truth. It is beautiful. If you can undress the nuisance, find the rawness of being vulnerable with yourself, admit it to you and others, then you are far more advanced than many. I take my hat off to you! It’s not easy to show our helplessness.  It’s not fun to show the humanness of vulnerability. But, it is our right to respect those fears in others.  We all deserve at least that!

Touching Spirits

hands around world

Something happens among strangers who aren’t trying to impress or move through egotism. There’s a mystical connection and awareness through a touch, a word, small conversation or a glance. Life simply exists without the expectation of fulfilling the other. Strangers dive into the rarest form of freedom and many times without filtering truth. At least this happens with me a lot.

This morning I went to Goodwill to drop off stuff and decided to go in to get my daughter something for her computer. As I was kneeling in the electronic area I heard the most beautiful melodic male voice singing along to the store’s music. He was right behind me. Without getting up or turning around I said to him, “You have one of the loveliest voices I’ve ever heard!” I got up and looked at a gentleman in his late 60’s or early 70’s.

He kindly said, “Wow, thank you! When I was younger I sang all the time. I have had cancer three times and with it and the chemo my voice has disappeared.” He shared a glimpse to his stories.

At that very moment I got closer to him, looked into the depth of his brown eyes and said, “You are a gift to still be standing here and singing with such hope. You are a miracle. How very awesome to walk near death but continue this journey of faith through humanity!”

The man smiled, began to tear up as I could see he was having an ‘Aha Moment.’  I witnessed his humanness and ego take a backseat. I could see in seconds through the glances that his wheels were turning reacting to memories, the past, history, and life events.

“I can’t tell you what your words have meant to me right now,” He began to speak as he composed his spirit. “I have rarely been grateful for anything, less this horrible disease until you just said this. Thank you!”

I smiled, touching his hand in mine, “Keep on singing! You touch others with that magical voice. You touched me.”

He hugged me and dropped the items from his hands on the shelf and left the store gathering his tears through his fingers. I felt horrible for a second but knew the message didn’t come from me. This devotion of gratitude was something the Divine needed to share with this man through sacredness. As I sat in my car I began to shed tears for my own gratitude, compassion, humanness and kindness. I, too, walk here in a journey of faith and hope.

This stranger’s spirit touched the core of my flustered essence today. I needed his song to move me just as much as he needed to hear words of encouragement. What a mystical union. I am forever touched by strangers, their kindness, wisdom, laughter, smiles, and stories. We are all connected holding the earth up with love, stories, and hope.