Your Here is not My Here

you are here

I was sitting waiting on some friends in front of an event. A man pulls up on a van, his wife steps out to get tickets, he and the children drive off to park and wait. He whistles at her in a coquette manner as she walks into the place. She ignores him. A short time later the wife steps out and frantically starts searching for them in the parking lot. She calls him on her cell rather loudly, “Hey, where are you?” He must’ve answered, “I’m here.” She then says sarcastically, “I AM HERE! If you were here I would see you. YOUR here is not MY HERE.” She sees the little girl waving and walks towards the end of the parking lot.

I sat there thinking about relationships. How many times don’t we think to ourselves, “I am here. Where are you? Why aren’t you seeing me?” It happens with out mates, our children, our parents, and even friends. We want to be acknowledged. We want to be heard. Nothing is more relevant than knowing that our presence is honored and appreciated.

Whenever I had something important to say to my young children I would make sure they stopped whatever they were doing. I sat or stood in front of them and asked for their attention. “Look at me for a second, sweetie….” Then to make sure it was heard I would ask them to please repeat it back to me. This was necessary because otherwise they didn’t seem to comprehend. With them, I used small sentences. I made sure there were no long explanations because children need simplicity. When my mother got ill I had to use the same technique. It’s usually in those few words that the brain understands that it needs to pay attention. The tone of your voice is vital in how another person listens.

And so it is in relationships! We are often asking, “Why am I being ignored?” But the question we should be asking is, “How am I saying this? What needs to change in my presentation in order to be present and acknowledged?” Are you yelling your thoughts into chaos? Are you screaming in anger? Are you ignoring that the timing might not be right? You cannot blame another for what they are thinking when their ‘here’ is not in alignment with the way you perceive it to be.

Listening and hearing are two different animals. One requires being. The other is just noise. We have been accustomed in this society to use the art of over thinking and analyzing. We are conditioned to go-go-go until we drop. Relationships suffer because of the multitasking and technology. Allow for YOUR HERE to be another person’s presence. Be willing to provide the sacredness of listening and being in the moment. There are things that are being lost in this new age of technology: speaking, being heard, and being able to decipher the importance of union with your loved ones.

Notice how a dog behaves when you walk out of the room and return. Your are in his “here.” Let’s be like dogs in our commitment to provide space for our loved ones. I see you. I feel you. I honor your existence. I love you. Have a great day.

Simplicity in All

Sometimes you find that one soul who shows you a piece of yourself you did not know was even there.  This person can come in for a moment but the impact can last a lifetime.  At times their entrance into your life needs no words, just a glance, a gesture, or a slight touch.  Just having them come into your existence is enough to make you realize what happiness really is inside.  Life is all about the simplicities and the grace of our unions.

I can recall moments of people who have appeared as angels into my space when I wasn’t having a good day.  This has been in a check-out line, at a red light, on an isle in a store, passing by in a park, trekking up a mountain hike, or just entering our place to look at the pond.  The energy in their eyes or in their silence has spoken volumes.  These lapses in time make me aware of our interconnection with each other.  We are all small threads weaving in and out of a giant quilt.  We are all different colors, textures, and composition.  Each interweaving in the fabric allows a degree of separation, but we are all connected by the giant cloth of Divinity.

I was at a store in Downtown Asheville this morning.  I needed to get down from the mountain, be with civilization, get my Starbucks chai latte, and buy some candles (which is one of my favorite vices).  While in the isle an older woman walked by, saw the array of colors and smells in the cart, looked up at me and gave me the biggest smile, while raising her eyebrows.  I had ten different sizes and colors lined up by smells.  In that moment we laughed when she exchanged a look like, “Girl, are you expecting a power outage?”  In our silence, with huge smiles, we had a connection.  She went on to another isle. I continued my smelling routine of checking every autumn candle on sale.  As I was paying I saw she went back to the candles and picked some of the same ones that I got.  It took one moment, a few seconds, to see how happy those fragrant candles made me.  I am always giddy when I get anything with comforting smells for the house.  Happiness is contagious.  Her presence filled me with joy, and I hope that in my excitement she also filled with the indulgence of delight.

We tend to constantly hold our breaths when we are running around doing errands.  Unfortunately, we are so involved in our own minds that we forget to notice the existence of another in our realm.  With technology at our fingertips we tend to interact with the gadgets easier than with a live person.  It is impossible to know when that one angel or person will enter our space.  I bet that if you think back you can truly remember many times when a child smiled at you from a shopping cart at a store.  Their laughter was so contagious that you found yourself laughing back.  And, those seconds are precious.  They are magical.  Whether it is from a handsome man, an elderly woman, or a child, the energy exchanged is God-like at its simplest form.  Never take these moments of sheer joy for granted.  They remind us that life is sweet, kind, and beautiful.  Just like my candles, let the simplicity light up your day.

Much love and light to all!

The Expansion of Divinity

I am exhausted.  I don’t know if it’s the new baby or the effects of this new mercury retrograde.  What I know is that yesterday I was pushed to the ultimate limit of my emotions.  I lied in bed at 6 pm with tears rolling quickly, soft sighs, and an intense heartache. I placed my hands over my heart and felt it move in a way that was foreign, yet familiar. My breathing helped ease the movement.  I don’t know how else to express the emotions. It could be the lack of sleep, feeding a five month old every few hours.  It could be the intense astrological and cosmic movements.  It could be that I just need sleep and rest and the comfort of knowing that my daughter will be okay.  As I hold her baby in my arms I am filled with joy.  As I put her down I am saddened that my daughter can’t feel the joyous privilege of understanding this little soul.  I don’t think she will ever cognitively live it.

You want to know God?  Hold a baby and look into their eyes.  They just came from that magical place.  They smell like heaven most of the time, and when they search for your eyes they demand complete presence.  It is no wonder my emotions have been topsy-turvy.  This business of raising a child is extraordinary.  I didn’t know I would be doing it all over again from scratch.   My youngest child graduates from high school this week.  And, yet, here I am starting over for however long it may be.

The other morning I spoke to a very good friend of mine who had been traveling through Europe.  We caught up within minutes.  As I related the events of the past two months she didn’t skip a beat, “It doesn’t surprise me…none of this surprises me!  You are meant to be a mother.  That’s your greatest job.  Apparently this is your destiny.”  To my dismay I understood her.  I have to believe she’s right.  I feel my heart expand when I hold the baby in my arms, even through waking every three hours in the night.  I see her little eyes searching for my acknowledgment, “Hey you, I am here.  See me?  I see you!”

Life moves forward but its lessons expand outward, inward, and every direction.  I don’t know how long this new phase and process of having her here will last.  Mental illness is not fixable.  There’s no cure for my daughter.  There’s rehabilitation, teaching, and many forms of adjustment.  My heart has been tugged, pulled and pushed to the extremes.  I am not alone in this journey. The only difference is that I have gone through the parenting trap and lessons before.  My anticipation, anxiety and humanness kick in because I have known this path and the things it holds.

I cannot “suck up” the emotions.  I have no way of keeping them inside.  I have to allow them to release when they need to be exposed.  I cannot ignore events like I used to for the larger part of my life.  I was always sick: emotionally, physically and spiritually.  This is a new dawn.  The expansion of love is endless.  Holding this baby is showing me what I never saw in my twenties: Divinity staring back.  When she searches for my eyes nothing else matters around her.  She expects my undivided attention, holds a haze and forces me to stop whatever else is inside of me.  In those eyes I see the universe.  In her smile I find the spiritual connection to life.  This is all that matters right now.  The mere simplicity of being present is why we are here.

So perhaps I shouldn’t blame it on the astrological movement of Mercury or the stars.  I shouldn’t blame it on the sleepless moments.  I am being rubbed and polished into anew. The expansion of my consciousness is in constant process.  As I write this she sits in her swing, our dog at her feet, the porch door is opened allowing the rainy morning to visit us with a breeze.  This is completely different from anything else…before…until now.  Everything is changing.  I am witnessing the growth and expansion of my soul with this presence.

Throughout the world people go to church, or religious establishments, to find God on Sunday mornings.  Today I hold God in the form of a child.  My sermon sits inches away from me.  I am moved by nature: that of a child and watching the earth unfold next to her.  I cannot imagine the divine speaking through any other way.  Have a blessed day, my friends!

Simplicity in Serenity

simplicity in serenity

I read a quote today from Susan Abrams Milligan: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”  Powerful words!  How many times do we allow another person to dictate our worth? How often do we change our thinking, our moods and our decisions because of another?  Usually we do this in relationships, especially women.  We do allow another to determine an unhealthy dependency.  I decided a few years ago that I would not let anyone hold the pen.  I spent a lifetime with others abusing my emotional state in order to take control.  I made a point of not only holding the pen, but making sure there’s no other form of writing aids.  I am the only one who could write the story of MY LIFE.

This past Saturday afternoon Matt and I sat for a bit looking at the pond in the retreat center.  My cousin snapped this photo without us knowing.  It speaks volumes to me of how I feel with this man, about this man, and for this man.  We have this simplicity of allowing, loving, and accepting that I’ve never known before.  We can sit for a long time next to each other without uttering a word.  Every so often we will smile, ask for a kiss, touch one another lovingly, but return to the book, the story, or whatever else we are doing.  The easiest way for me to explain is that he’s the wave and I am the ocean floor.  We fit without expectations or needs but we flow together.  Because we love the outdoors, books, movies and writing we share a mutual respect for solitude, serenity and space.

The picture also happened to be taken minutes before we moved to the red chairs on the dock.  I took my cell phone out of my back pocket so it wouldn’t fall in the water but somehow it slipped out of my hands, and dove into a suicide mission never to be seen again (bubbles surfacing as it sunk many feet into muck).  I laughed it off because I am the one always telling him to be careful with his phone!  This wonderful man went inside the house, changed into shorts, and tried to go into the icy water.  I assured him I didn’t need it.  I could go get another one.  He insisted that he could retrieve it (to get the TMNT cover he had gifted me) until he put his toes in the water and realized no way, no how was he going in!  We both laughed.  Our laughter is contagious.  It is in those moments that I find the simplicity in him and the magnetism it brings out in me.

I used to ask myself, “Is there true love?  Is there a perfect person out there for me?”  I never doubted the answer.  I manifested him years ago but it took time for me to heal, let go, and surrender to my desires.  It takes time for dreams to align in perfect Divine order.  He is more than I could’ve asked God.  In his gentle ways he brings me to the truth of myself.  I fell head over heels in love with his intellectual no-nonsense mind that is the other side of everything I am not. I don’t hide or hold back any emotions.  He calls me on my crap and I need that.  I need people in my life who can keep me in check.  I don’t do phony well.  I can’t handle superficial personalities.  With us, what you see is what you get.  There is no guessing what Matt is thinking or what I am contemplating.  I definitely have no poker face!

Just like the picture there is a place in our presence that allows us to be together beyond space and time.  Moments come and go without the need to force anything.  He brings out the best in me without anxiety, fears, or pretenses.   We are one of the same.  It was a month or so after we began dating that I looked at him and my soul knew instantly that he was the one I had dreamed with all my life.  As Emily Bronte once wrote, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Simple is Osm!

Yesterday I was running errands down in Asheville with my friend, Nichole and her daughter, Sophia.  Nichole and I are having an intense conversation about God-knows what, when Sophia, from the backseat asks how to spell the word “mountains.”  Nichole spells it out for her.  Sophia says, “That’s a big word.”  Nichole answers, “They are big mountains.”  End of questions.

Simplicity is like that.  We are constantly trying to complicate the smallest of issues.  We make them larger than what they are.  Rather than seeing the moment as an opportunity we create the elaborate plays with protagonists, antagonists, and schemes.  A simple question turns into a melodramatic event.  Things are mostly pretty simple, except with illnesses, losses, and finances.  And, even then a drastic change in just one habit (changing jobs, new diet, seeing a doctor, etc.) can have different results.  That simple!

I laughed when I heard the mother-daughter conversation.  I can’t count the endless times I would give my children simple answers to the most elaborate questions.  I never made a big deal or enlarged their curious minds.  I wanted them to stay grounded while figuring things out.  I would say, “Use your imagination.”  Every question has an answer…it is how you present it.

Whenever we step back from a situation and truly stop the chit-chatter ego we can see that it isn’t that difficult.  It might be challenging but things always happen for a reason.  You might not like what is happening or why it is appearing in your path, but the result is usually about allowing and letting go.  The biggest problems require big amount of faith.  Sitting back and doing nothing won’t get results but allowing your spirit to find the simple and most effective answer is all you can ask from the Universe.

I will forever remember how Sophia spells the word “awesome.” She wrote an essay for her first grade class about living in the mountains.  She wrote, “It is osm.”  And that’s my definition of a simple life.  Have a great smooth-sailing day!