Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stress and the Centered Being

We have all heard the phrase about being grounded, or feeling grounded.  What does that mean, really?  Does it mean that our feet are firmly planted on a solid surface from which we cannot be moved?  Does it mean that we feel really certain about something?  Does it mean that we are just plain sure of ourselves and our position in life?  Is being centered the same?  I don't know, and I've heard the two terms used to express similar states of being.  So if we are centered/grounded, then our stress level must be low.  As centered persons, we know who we are [our solid ground], we know that certain things are true for us, and that we hold our spaces in the world with love, integrity and compassion.  I challenge anyone to have a high level of stress, and know those things at the same time.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simplify for peace of mind

Less is more. More space, less clutter. Room around you. Fewer things to dig through to find what you need, and to put back wnen you're done. Fewer domestic choices; fewer things to change your mind about or cause confusion. Places where your eyes can rest, where your legs have room to stretch. I love having those dust bunnies in clear sight so I can sweep them up and have the clean line between the floor and the wall restored.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Show up

When you say you're going to be somewhere; be there. When you begin to call someone a friend; be there. When you make the decision to bring children into the world; be there. Let things that keep you from being present fall away from your life. It isn't easy. It's not even intuitive. It won't feel 'normal' for awhile... We aren't taught yet how important and powerful our simple, loving presence can be. Teach you children.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Day

Things continue to happen in the world, and the sun continues to rise and set.  The stars come out at night, and the moon goes through its phases.  These constant events change ever so subtly each day, not that we would notice, just like people do.  Every day is another adventure and set of challenges to meet.  Each time we wake up, we get to start over in some small, or large way.  We get to make different choices and try something new.  Every day we are alive is amazing.  Remember.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Easiest Way

OK, so I'm borrowing this phrase from my friend Mabel Katz and Ho'oponopono.  Thinking about that annoyance from yesterday, recognizing that it really is just an annoyance, and understanding that right now there is enough going on around me that this thing doesn't have to take up one extra bit of my time and energy.... I know what to do.  Doing it with love is going to be the interesting part.  I guess sometimes, the person that recieves the love is yourself.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life's Little Annoyances

So, I'm not sure what the real value of having really good communication tools, things on record that should be shared and known lines of communication [some prescribed by law] if people don't use them.  I am also amazed at how quickly people and organizations are to sue others in court, when no harm has truly occured.  I suppose it's all about somebody deciding, based on something real or imagined, that instead of dealing directly with the person who has supposedly done the harm and working things out in a win-win situation; involving attorneys and courts is a better idea, or the only recourse.  Now, I'm not talking anything really big here, the part that hurts and angers me is worth less than $500 and in the greater scheme of things, that's just piddly.  So, I take my deep breath, and try to figure out a way to feel calm about having to pay for a mistake that was not mine, and for which I have already made what I consider to be a reasonable settlement.  Apparently there is disagreement.  I am completely responsible for unknown errors made by unknown corporate others which I attempted to correct as soon as it came to my attention.  My current challenge is to remain calm, centered and articulate when I write my letter, and remember that I am dealing with more than one set of expectations, more than one person making judgement and more than one set of community values.  I will also give this a day or so and write that letter when the initial hurt has subsided a bit.  My apologies to all the good attorneys out there; this feels like money-grabbing, pure and simple.  I guess for this, I have divine justice or karma in which to place my faith.  This is a test, this is only a test.  If this were a real emergency, I would be completely alone in the world.  I'm not, keep breathing. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dig Deep

In each of us is infinite wisdom, generosity and compassion.  We are all capable; those who seem smarter or more sophisticated, and those who have difficulty.  We can all find within ourselves a well of love and a unique way to express it.  At different times we are called upon to bring our true selves "to the table" and to set aside our own interests in order to serve others.  On these occasions we have the power to change the world and express our love [our wisdom, generosity and compassion] for individuals and communities.  Knowing that there is this to offer, that this power is ours to use, how can we say 'No'?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


No two days in a row are the same.  I try to keep that in mind.  You never know what is going to present itself.  And even in the same day, all at once, two very different things can be working to change your life.  You might not even know it.  There you are, bad day at work, hard sad time, and secretly working behind the scenes is a gift from a stranger that will, in its time, bring you happiness.  Life is full of surprises, things we label as 'good' or 'bad'.  In truth what life brings is adventure and opportunity to exercise all of our emotions, intellect, heart and soul. 

The Dogs Know

It is obscenely early.  The dogs are up with me.  I'm wide awake and thinking.  The news is bad.  My friend has lost her home and her two wonderful cats to a wildfire.  Some things remain that were outside and in the barn.  Inside the house is nothing but burned out metal objects, broken dishes, and ash.  Even though I once lived there, I don't now, and I can't imagine how it feels.  She was able to joke yesterday about the outpouring of love and things variously called 'juju', 'mojo', prayer, good vibes, etc. that describe what she has been receiving, and her willingness to be open to all the spiritual approaches to healing.  She must find her way again, where so many things remain and a huge piece of her life is suddenly missing.  I can only watch and love.  Maybe that's what the dogs know.  Maybe that's why they are up with me now, watching and loving.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It is late; or early.  I'm not sure which.  I couldn't get to sleep, and when I finally decided to get up, I looked outside.  The sky is so clear, I can see Orion without my glasses.  I can also see a million other stars.  There is no moon.  It is still.  Somewhere, not too far away, somone I love is in pain and I can't help.  I don't know how to reassure.  I can't repair what has happened, or even make it better.  It is what it is.  What can I offer right now?  Nothing tangible, really.  I can pray that a miracle has occurred and that our worst fears do not come true; that in the light of day, loved ones are safe and whole.  Where can we find peace in this?  What is the lesson and why must it be so harsh?  My only consolation is that my friend is not alone tonight.  I hope that she is resting in preparation for whatever news we hear in the morning.  Maybe that's all I can do as well; maybe all I can do to help, is to be ready.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old Friends

Old friends are something special.  As I get older, so do they.  The years add up, and we discover that we have been friends most of our lives, where at another time, we had only been friends for a year.  The time passes and we drift in and out of touch.  When we see each other, there may be more grey hair in the room, or more family members to talk about; the friendship may need a bit of refreshing.....and it's still there.  It is so amazing to me that I have a person in my life who has been my friend for over 42 years.  She always contacts me on my birthday, and I rarely remember exactly when hers is, I just know that it's coming up soon, it's in January and is on one of the 20 days.  This message, today is for Margi, whose name I will always spell like that, who taught me to walk slowly somewhere in New Haven the day we went to see "Yellow Submarine", and with whom I have spent time on no more than 6 occasions.  She is always in my heart, and I am so happy knowing that she is in the world somewhere. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


One way to keep our personal peace and integrity is to honor our commitments. Put aside the urge to break or bend the promise until the reason is thoroughly considered. One huge commitment is having children. Nothing I can think of compares to the responsibility we take on when we bring children into our families. When that happens, the adults involved have to make decisions based on how the child/children will be affected. This includes, moving to a new house, having other children, changing schools, breaking up of the parents [should there be more than one involved], or bringing a new adult into the family. It also means that we now have people in our lives who will challenge us on a daily basis, and demand honest answers. Children know when we are lying or hiding something, just as other adults do, and no one should have to suffer knowing half the truth and being left to make up the other half. In my case, for a long time, I would always assume the worst possible scenario was playing out. Ow. That caused a lot of misery and misunderstanding. Then as an adult in my 40s I learned to ask questions and to find clarification, to not just make assumptions, but to be courageous enough to get to the real issue. It ALWAYS helps to know what commitments are yours, and where others stand on their commitments. For good lessons on not making assumptions, I recommend the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz [link is on this blog]. We often don't consider promises to be commitments, and they are. Be mindful of them, they have meaning and impact on yourself and others.

Monday, January 16, 2012


There is a directly proportional relationship between your level of frustration and your level of expectation. When you find yourself expecting something, ask yourself; 'Why?' Where did the expectation come from? Did you make it up yourself? Did you agree with someone outside you that the 'thing' you expect is reasonable, fair or right? What good is that expectation doing you? What do you hope to gain? Is there another way to get the result you want? Lots of questions. One more: Is placing an expectation on someone/something outside yourself, really taking responsibility for the result?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Do the Thing

It's important to learn about yourself, to find out what makes you happy and to get great ideas about how to rid your life of misery. It's an entirely different thing to take action on those ideas and inspirations.... to actually DO what you know in your mind will help you. Whenever you catch yourself using the word "should", you know you're in trouble with the doing part. Thinking doesn't take any time. Doing does take time. Take time to meditate, take time to be with your children, take time to call you parents or your friends, take time to go to the gym or just take a walk. If you're not willing to Do the Thing, saying you 'should' just sounds like whining. And nobody wants to hear that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The power of a good conversation

I know this has happened to you. You run into someone you haven't seen in a really long time, and after the initial small talk and catching up, you pick up your friendship right where you left off. The details of each of your lives is there for discussion, but the conversation turns to what's going on now, and connecting in the present. Some friendships seem to go on 'hold' during the times apart, then the 'play' button is pushed and it feels like no time has passed. Laugh with your friends, be serious, share what's going on today. Then when you part again, you will know that the connection is still there, and that somewhere in the world, someone is keeping your conversation on hold, patiently waiting for the next talk. These people are part of us, and we are part of them. Remember that they are there.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Anger and Responsibility

A couple of references for this morning: A Pema Chodron YouTube clip and a quote by Krishnamurti.

As I am not a sophisticated YouTube video imbedder yet, you'll have to copy the following into your browser address and access it that way:

"Want to know my secret? ...I don't mind what happens!" ~ J. Krishnamurti

There is another option. We can change our minds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More passings

It seems like each day I hear about another pet who has passed.  Our non-human friends who live with us and love us are so amazing... I love my dogs, who are almost 13 years old, litter mates and such sweet companions I hate to ever leave them.  Of course, after their first greeting when I come home, they disappear to the couch or to sleep on my bed, and come out to eat and drink and answer the call of nature.  Once in awhile they get distracted by the neighbor's dog, or a bunny in the backyard.  They are gentle creatures who roam my house when I'm not there, sit with me and snuggle when I am, and make little sleepy sounds when I'm late going to bed.  Sometimes its hard to find a large enough spot in the bed to sleep, even though they are not large dogs.  How much space they take!  In my heart, and in my home and in my life.  They let me rub their chins together and look into their eyes.  They are forgiving when I need to move and it disturbs their slumber.  I am so fortunate and grateful for them, my Tuck and Patti, who love to play squeaky-toy with their Carrie.  :) 

For my friends who are grieving, I love you.

From the website:  www.peaceablekingdomac.com:
Given time, healing will occur for the bereaved owner. However, there are several things that the grief stricken owner can do to help speed up the healing process:

  1. Give yourself permission to grieve.  Only YOU know what your pet meant to you.
  2. Memorialize your pet.  Makes the loss real and helps with closure.  Allows the bereaved to express their feelings, pay tribute and reflect.  Draws in social support.
  3. Get lots of rest, good nutrition and exercise.
  4. Surround yourself with people who understand your loss.  Let others care for you.  Take advantage of support groups for bereaved pet owners.
  5. Learn all you can about the grief process.  Helps owners realize that what they are experiencing is normal.
  6. Accept the feelings that come with grief.  Talk, write, sing, or draw.
  7. Indulge yourself in small pleasures.
  8. Be patient with yourself.   DON'T let society dictate how long mourning should last.
  9. Give yourself permission to backslide.  It WILL end and your life WILL be normal again.  Grief is like waves in the ocean: at first the waves come in fast and hard, but as time goes on, the waves become less intense and further apart.  Don't be surprised if holidays, smells, sounds, or words trigger a relapse.
  10. Don't be afraid to get help.  Pet loss support groups, grief counselors...
  11. Be sure to consult your own "Higher Power."  Either religious or spiritual.

Anxiety and Informed Choice

I find myself saying the words 'so we know we did it on purpose' a lot.  The events of our lives can be anxiety-producing and overwhelming at times, and we can handle that.  We become afraid that the decision we're making or the conclusion we just came to might not work out in the long run.  I suggest we add a little bit of information to the equation, and see what happens.  Drop the urgency down a notch, take a breath and go after some new information, or a deeper level of understanding.  Turn the reaction to something into a response to something; do the next thing 'on purpose', not automatically.  Let's use our hearts and brains every day in every decision we make.  Take control.  Say 'Yes' or say 'No', and make it really reflect what you want as the outcome.  Every time.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Some say that I'm always packing to go somewhere. That would be true. Hard to pin me down. On any particular day I could be packing for something or unpacking. My house is usually in some sort of disarray, unless you are seeing it when I am on my way out the door. I like to come home to a tidy place. The point being... Even though it seems I'm never sitting still; I am always present where I am. I do not worry about things that are not in my immediate environment; it would be overwhelming. By remembering that I can really only be in one place at a time, and that whatever needs my attention will come to me, I can relax. I've also figured out that there are stores everywhere and if I forget something, it's no big deal. The weekends I don't travel are special gifts, and the travel takes me to people I love. And so, I am happy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


 In 1900, Nikola Tesla [the inventor of the AC current and radio] wrote:  "We are all one.  Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea.  Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection."  We now have greater understanding of how connected we, as humans, truly are to each other.  How is it that a species so closely connected at a molecular level can have so much conflict within itself?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peace of the River

Its a song. Of course. The words are: Peace I ask of thee, o river. Peace. Peace. Peace. When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease. From the hills I gather courage, visions of the days to be. Strength to lead and faith to follow, all are given unto me. Peace I ask of thee, o river. Peace. Peace. Peace. I had the amazing good fortune to learn this song at a young age. It has been with me most of my life. Words are powerful things.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Peace, Justice and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Last week I was able to see the new MLK memorial in Washington DC.  Part of this site is a long wall with several quotations.  I'm not sure how one would go about deciding which parts of a man's life to represent on a wall, but there they are. 14 of them.  I was reminded of this one today:  "True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice." (Martin Luther King Jr. 16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL).  This doesn't feel to me like a statement about personal peace, but one about global or at least community-level peace.... something broader than just having peace in your heart/mind/body.  However, I think we can make this personal; apply it to ourselves as singular beings.  How often do we create tension within ourselves?  How often are we unjust with ourselves, either short-changing or embellishing?  When we are just with ourselves, we know the truth is present.  Is that all it takes, being honest with ourselves? 

Peace and the end of the Mayan Calendar

Next December we will experience the end of the Mayan calendar.  Some people in the world have no idea what the calendar is or what it represents.  Some people do.  If it really is considered significant for the whole planet, it won't matter whether you understand it or not, your life will be affected.  If not, then what's the fuss?  I have been reading more about the end of the Mayan calendar lately, and seeing the wide variety of predictions about what will occur.  What I think is that the change will be very personal for everyone, and that we have already begun to change.  Something about that particular winter solstice will somehow push us all 'over the edge' into something subtly different, and that we can chose what that will be.  We are the creators of our own lives, and are able to manifest many things using our minds and hearts.  If every person on the planet set his/her mind to spending more time with a peaceful heart, there would be a huge shift in attitude, cooperation, compassion and abundance.  At least that's what I think.  I am open to your comments, please share.