The Gathering of Souls

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would only allow those individuals who contributed to the best of my life. I was done with all the crap of people who were emotional vampires. I wanted a community, a family of friends, who were there for me regardless of the weather (in good and bad times). I wanted people who allowed me to be me without judgment and likewise I would relish in their uniqueness. The Divine provided much more than I had intended because I have wonderful people in my life.

When we realize the old patterns in our life, the way we choose situations, and accept (with full blown responsibility) that we attract those people who hurt us because we participated in the drama, then the Universe moves on to what the heart truly needs. I’ve changed and with those modifications I have allowed like-minded people to enter my circle. These are giving individuals who truly care about friendship. I am blessed. And I don’t take it for granted.

If you have people in your life (whether it be a mate or friends) who don’t bring out the best in you, take a look at your behavior. Take note of your actions, how you treat others, and seriously decide if they are projecting your individuality. The root of criticism in others is usually the reflection in ourselves. We attract that which we put out. You don’t want drama, look to see if your life is a one-stage act after another full of chaos. You don’t want selfishness then see if you are reflecting things that are being only about you. You don’t want craziness, well then I suggest you start to define what normal is for you! You get to manifest the things and people in your life. You get to create what stays and what needs to go.

Life is marvelous. It is too short to allow others to dictate misery in your life. Fill those special moments in your life surrounded by things and people that matter. Setting boundaries is hard, at least for me. Those vampires from my past disappeared as soon as I decided that I was worth loving in a manner that allowed the best of me to shine. These people know my laughter, sorrows, sarcasm, goofiness, bitchiness, kindness, creativity, love and the things that create the totality of me. They are there when I need a shoulder to cry on and a wine glass when I need to unload my craziness.

We’ve lost the sense of unity and community in our lives. Society has become so busy that we forget to get together for a simple meal, or just a cup of coffee. I love how the Italians and the French in Europe live their lives. They work hard but they also know when to quit and gather around their loved ones to enjoy the simplicity in sharing their lives. There is an easement and therapeutic element to sitting with others while allowing laughter, tears, and expression as the only agenda.

Seek and you will find. Put yourself out there. Talk to strangers. Participate in your community. I promise you that you weren’t meant to be alone. You have the ability to design the life you dream of….so go and get it done. ~m.a.p.

Compassionate Tribe

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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!!!

Real Beauty in You

My darlings be proud of who you are. Accept and embrace your flaws, wrinkles, curves, cellulite, and bodacious-ness. Each part of your body is a reflection and projection of your inner-ness and wisdom. I had someone make a comment a few days ago about my weight..that now that I’ve lost some I look better. I laughed because I guess with extra weight I don’t look well (I must look like shit)…but I am still me. The me inside doesn’t change with the weight. I have been up and down the spectrum of heavy to thin to heavy again. I am still who I am regardless of my exterior. I have lived a life in my younger years worrying so much about the size I was wearing in a society that was constantly judging me based on the number on the scale. And for what? I am flawless in my mission to love, not just others, but especially myself as I am today. I am healthy. What do I care if I have to get new jeans today and tomorrow give them away?

God don’t make no junk!

You cannot live a life dieting and full of self-loathing. No make-up in the world will make you perfect. The mask eventually has to come off. Love yourself. Because when you do another will align with your worth. If you want to enhance your beauty, go ahead but be happy with the overall parts of you. Allow those parts of you to show you who and what needs learning. We are each others’ reflections and it’s not fair to anyone that we are living based on being small, medium, or large. It’s insane!

Each dimple in my body is there as a reminder of something powerful. Every scar on my breasts has taught me that I’ve survived powerful lessons…that I’ve overcome some incredible challenges. Each thought from my rape continues to inspire me to be more loving with those parts of me that used to feel ugly and disgusting. Every thought, movement, and freckle is an endless composition of what’s behind me and all the elements that are still ahead to finish a work of art with my name on it. I am a composition in the making until the day I die. I don’t want anyone remembering me for my beauty. Screw that! I want them to say, “That woman cracked me up and lifted me in moments of darkness.” I am not gonna be remembered for my weight, and neither are you. Superficial behaviors are lower vibrational issues and I refuse to live in that realm.

I can promise you from working with elderly folks that they don’t remember what size they were…they don’t care. They remember their first dance, their child’s birth, the first kiss, and everything that is meaningful…not that they went from a size 4 to a size 14. That’s so irrelevant when you are near death.

I can no longer hate a wrinkle because I have laughed, cried, rejoiced, and suffered with the awareness that each path has brought me here. I am a mother. I am a lover. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a student. I am so many labels and, yet, I am none of that but the essence of Oneness. So, sweethearts, no more comparing yourself to the pages of photo shopped ads, or celebrities who sensationalize something that is completely superficial. You have the power to shift and create your awareness. Do it! No more self-hate. No more comparing yourself to the exterior of others. What are we showing our daughters, nieces, sisters, and young friends? We must elevate consciousness and move beyond all of this. It starts with you, me and them. You are precious, priceless and perfect just as you are.

The magic in your life starts the moment you accept you. All of you. And in that moment others begin to witness an extraordinary light that is love.

The Truth is Sometimes Boring

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Yesterday, over a cup of coffee, I sat across from one of my dearest friends. We shared the events of the past week, caught up on holiday stories and then got real. I have some amazing friends. I can get real really fast when it is triggered with some loving pushiness. The charade comes off, throwing that mask away so I can be vulnerable. This particular friend is a mirror. I see in her all that I am. We reflect one another in many levels, especially emotional and spiritual stuff. She gets the good, bad, pretty and ugly of me…and still manages to love me whole.

I sat there letting go of tears. I told her I was ready for change. I feel 2017 is going to catapult me into many amazing experiences. I have witnessed some intense awakenings lately, even shedding old belief patterns. I expressed how sad it made me that people believed things that weren’t true. I have held myself up as someone who is not pretentious or fake. She immediately said, “Buttercup, people like the Jerry Springer version. They love that drama. They can’t handle the simple truth because that’s boring. They have to make it into trashy-over-the-top crap. That’s what sells. And, anyone who matters will not buy into that cheap Springer nonsense. So there!”

So there! There in those words lies love and truth.

It’s amazing how important it is for me to visually see that frame with Springer retelling crap. This woman has a gift for framing things in just the perfect size and order. I love that about her. And, it’s unfortunately true: the Jerry Springer version of anything is what keeps society going. Most people take it as real and don’t bother to research the truth. They want things handed to them, especially gossip filled with shame and wrongness. Cause, let’s face it, who wants to truly dig and find out another version when the fake one instills fear and disappointments. The Springer show is entertaining. Anything else won’t be. Anything uplifting won’t sell the amount of tickets or have an audience.

And, that’s where we are in our world. We take things to heart by hearing them from wrong sources. Our lives have become a constant old game of telephone cups…repeating a story into a cup held by strings and by the time it makes it to the last person the story has changed dramatically into something ridiculous and unacceptable. But, many buy into it. They want to hear that version. They want to be disgusted and judge and feel another soul’s failures. They want to know that they are human with a tremendous amount of flaws. Those who are awake and empathetic will never buy into this…but for the rest of them, it is what it is.

The division is expanding between what is real and what is fabricated. We are seeing more and more the appalling circumstances of gossip, false media, and created stories that start with small insignificance and end in catastrophic mayhem. We are experiencing a massive shift in consciousness that is reaching out and clearing old paradigms. Can you feel it? Can you understand that you are in the midst of some powerful changes ahead? Are you willing to let go of those things and folks that no longer serve your highest calling and purpose? It’s time, darlings!

Be careful who you share your stories with. Be cautious of their output and how they may be turned into some sensational Jerry Springer segment for others to judge and send negativity back to you. You deserve to live in your authentic power with integrity and never allow another to take that power by twisting your truth. It’s important to surround yourself with those who want your best interest at heart. You owe no one an explanation for your life. You also should not have to fight to make those believe if they don’t care to stand in your light. The world is a sports arena and we are all spectators. Pick those who follow your team. They will always know your character.

Sending love to all.

The Beauty of You

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I found a box of pictures last night of when I was in my twenties and thirties. I was shocked to see how lovely I was. I never had the body of a twelve year old. I was always curvy and full. But, I was definitely pretty. I didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t until recently that I actually met this woman that is now fully present in my body. That’s the thing with each passing year…while you are in your skin without acknowledging your worth and truth you just don’t accept your loveliness, beauty, and radiance. I was all of those things and didn’t even know. I wasn’t me. I was pretending to fit into a life of a society that expected perfection. And because of that I always picked partners who would instill the lack of worth in me. It was a wonderful dramatic play. I needed to show I was a good mother, a wonderful business woman, a magnificent housekeeper, and a decent lover. Everything had to be just so or what would the world think of me? Nope, I wasn’t really being me.
This morning I glanced over at the middle age woman on the mirror brushing her teeth. She’s no longer embraced by that lovely youth, or the concerns of opinions. The dark circles under my eyes and wrinkles diminished as I looked deeper into my soul. I smiled. “Ok, this is me. This is the hippie lady in the mountains. This is the me that was in there all along. I love you, lady.”
When was the last you actually looked at yourself and acknowledge your beauty: the inner and outer radiance of your soul? We can live in the past mourning the loss of what we had when we didn’t even know we had it because just like now, we don’t live in the present. We live in the past and the future. This moment now….this minute stand back and tell yourself how beautiful you are. See and feel your worth. It’s so important. You will never be this young again. You will never exist in this exact breath. Take advantage of it. Be gentle, be loving, and feel the magnificent spirit that is occupying the body. You are amazing. Be you today. Forget who to be when the world demanded that you be one way or this way or any way. Be the you that is here now! Have a blessed day, darlings. I love you all.

Entertaining Angels

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I sit in the Starbucks cafe at Barnes and Noble. A group of mentally challenged sweethearts has come in with a special school. They are going through the magazines discussing the stars on them, the President, the cars, and so many other child-like messages. They are giggling at the pretty pictures. These are folks in their thirties and older. I marvel at their abilities to stay in this moment. They are so-ever present. It’s beautiful! I am reminded of my own children with disabilities. I recall similar scenarios throughout the years. I feel admiration for their courage to walk among others who judge in this world. This is not an easy place to be when “normal” is not only a setting on the dryer.

I am smiling as I look up from writing this and a young man in the group catches my eyes. He shy-fully laughs, looking away, and then returning my gaze. He giggles and shares a secret with another. Such pure innocence. I am in love. I have fallen into the depth of love right now as I continue writing and smiling. I keep glancing and smiling with them. I am in love with each one of them for their vulnerability and coming into this world dependent of others while teaching us about humanity. If we care to learn, they are there giving out important and significant lessons. They are the rare ones who get lost in our society. Today these folks are my most valuable teachers. These loveys have become my mentors for a little while.

I felt misplaced all morning and had to come into town to find clarity, but right now I’ve found my place among Angels. And that’s always such a magical place to be. May you be entertained by pure divine light today. May you be open to all the amazing-ness, delicious-ness, and ever-ness that those around you can provide.

Your Here is not My Here

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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.

Being a Mother

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Okay, folks, I am going to go out on a limb of vulnerability and hope to not fall too hard for this post. This is not a subject I openly discuss with people. It’s motherhood! The other day I was asked by someone who learned I have 7 kids, “Why do you have so many kids? Are they all from the same father?” I find this super intrusive and I always marvel at the curiosity so I gave an honest answer to the second question: “No…some of the fathers I have no clue who they are.” Because honestly if you are that arrogant to ask stupid questions I will screw with you in my truth.

I came from a Hispanic community. Everyone has children. That’s what we do. It’s normal to us. We get married (or not in these times) and have children. We become professional mothers. We begin to mother even other people’s kids in the neighborhood. At least this is true for me.

Once I moved to the mountains I have met many people who have no children or have little desire to have them. It’s an observation not a judgment. I don’t think everyone should be parents or have to conform to social pressures. We should learn to mother ourselves first. I tell my children when they discuss having kids this: “Okay, get a plant. See how it survives for 6 months in your care. Then get a fish. See how it survives in your care while the plant is still alive. Then get a cat. See how it survives in your care and how the plant is doing with it and most importantly if the fish is still alive. Then …then get a dog….” You get the picture. Not everyone should be a parent. Not everyone needs to be one. But, the questions I get asked about my children are a little disturbing. “Why did you adopt? Are ALL your kids adopted?” Let me explain, all my kids are MY kids. They didn’t all come from my uterus but they all came from my heart. End of conversation! If you are that ignorant and selfish to not understand I am not here to mother you through that answer!

I am certain that if I didn’t have kids I would have a house full of animals. I would be housing every lost soul out there. So…it’s not kids that I am so much attracted to as the need to love and give love. I have enjoyed my children immensely. They have been my finest teachers in life. I have grown up with them. I have struggled with them and because of them. I have placed my heart in their hands and received gifts beyond words.

The assumption that I collect children is asinine. I collect nothing. I am a human being nurturing those who need it. I do it with friends. I have done it with relationships. I do it with strangers. “Mother” is not my label. It is an act of love and kindness and compassion. So…to those who have this constant need to figure out how to fix me (because apparently having these many kids is wrong) please go fix yourself. I am perfectly happy navigating this life selflessly in the arms of another who needs it. And, if I have to continue to do it then it’s my choice and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be placed in the heart of a child.

Embrace your Fabulousness

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”~ Marianne Williamson

Matt, my husband, rolls his eyes and laughs most of the time when I compliment him.  It bothers me that he doesn’t see his fabulousness.  I find this man not only physically attractive but highly intelligent and stimulating.  He brings out the best in me as I am always in awed of him.  When I ask him, “Do you know how amazing you are?”  He asks me to “please stop.”  I tell him to take it and own it.  When the tables reverse and he compliments me I ask him to “please stop with the nonsense and go check his eye sight.”  Imagine that!  I have come to realize that we are the sums of those traumas from the past and all the peeps we handed our worth on platters.  It is time we take it back and stop fearing our greatness, fabulousness, and awesomeness!

I have never had a healthy acceptance of compliments, especially about my body or talents.  We can spend hours analyzing the root of this issue.  If hundreds of hours in therapy did not correct it I doubt that this post will.  But here is the thing I have learned about compliments and self-worth:  we truly fear them.  For the most part we hide behind what society expects from us. An older woman who was my neighbor at 18 (she was 94) said to me, “My sweet young woman, when someone hands you a flower what do you say?  You say ‘thank you.’ So, when a person compliments you look at them in the eyes (even if you don’t believe it) and accept the gift.”  Almost thirty years later I get the reason why.  If you are forced to share the moment and look at that person (stopping everything else in your head) you may see that they are genuine. We have been accustomed to disregard our worth, the natural beauty in our existence, and beat ourselves up because we can’t fit in some kind of social acceptance or perfection.

Body images change with fashion and fads.  Decades determine if size 10 is a healthy average woman’s size or size 2 is the new size 6.  Should your collar bones stick out so you can use them as soap holders? Should you plump up your lips like a bee stung them?  Is it healthy now to let your eyebrows grow out or should we still be plucking them into an arch that puts the shock factor on your face along with botox?  I can’t keep up, can you?  I stay away from those fashion magazines. I have never been good at following directions.

When I look in the mirror lately I don’t see myself.  It isn’t that I sit there examining.  I stare at the reflection brushing my teeth, often times in la-la land but catch a glimpse of a middle age woman who has come into her own.  I feel sexier now than I did in my twenties when I had a breast reduction, liposuction and the insane habit of dieting until I would faint.  I have many more laugh lines, wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. Each one of them maps out some incredible lessons.  I have a flabby but healthier body that climbs mountains, drinks wine, loves lattes, and at times indulges in some delicious dessert that I can’t pronounce.  And, yes, a few times a year I give everything a break and detox the middle age part of me giving up everything for a month or two or four until my friends beg that I go back to carbs, “please” because I am nicer when I eat junk.

I love watching the love of my life move.  I love studying his strong middle age body.  He might not like it but I find that each scar, dimple, and extra space is what allows more of him to love me.  Each time I embrace him I feel like I am with the sexiest man alive and I can’t understand why a magazine hasn’t posted this on their front page.  To me it is headline news.

As Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you not to” see yourself as beautiful?  Don’t let society determine what is beautiful. At what age do we stop worrying about body image, and what needs to be done, tucked, fastened, or covered up?  You are beautiful: curves, flab, scars, more or less.  It is the body given to you to journey on this life.  I don’t want to be perfect.  Hell no!  That’s a lot of pressure.  I want to be loved by those around me because of how I reflect parts of them.  If I can make you smile then I have done my part for the day.  These days when you hand me a compliment I will take it as a flower, put it in a vase, and relish that someone thinks I am special, beautiful or whatever else your spirit sees in me.  The returned words, “thank you” are magical in so many ways connecting us to each other.  Now go flaunt your spectacular-ness into the world.