Category Archives: Uncategorized

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times

 

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1,016kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 7th with 64 views. The most popular post that day was What Do Mothers Really Want On Mother’s Day?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, weeklyvolcano.com, and alphainventions.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for www.hereinthe253.wordpress.com, marsha lichorowic, hereinthe253.wordpress.com, and hereinthe253.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

What Do Mothers Really Want On Mother’s Day? May 2010
7 comments

2

About March 2010

3

The Turning Point March 2010
5 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep…I Pray The Lord My Soul To keep May 2010
7 comments

5

der mom…the wurld is goin krasy! June 2010
4 comments

An Gorta Mor…The Great Hunger

It’s Christmas day, the end of the year 2010.  Many of us are awakening to special breakfasts filling the house with delectable aromas and gifts to open in the warm embrace of family and friends…but not all of us.

What does it mean to be hungry?  How does it feel to be alone?  How can that be relieved on any day…but especially on Christmas?  Here in the 253, although not nearly so much as most other places in the world, hunger and loneliness are a daily concern.  Children, families and the homeless go hungry.  But no one has to starve.  Clearly, if you have an empty belly, if your children are hungry, the primary concern is to find nourishment.  The secondary concern is finding shelter, a safe place to stay.  There are so many degrees of these basic needs to be met, and Here in the 253 there are many avenues for finding help and hope.

Here in the 253 there are many hardworking organizations that strive each and every day to provide for at least the minimum basic needs of people in dire conditions.  Here in the 253, in fact just down the street, there is The Food Connection, The Hospitality Kitchen and Operation:  Keep ‘Em Warm and Fed.  Our general populace is well schooled in giving.  It’s something most of us do without any strain or worry of personal sacrifice.

But there is a larger hunger in the world, as well as Here in the 253.  There is the Great Hunger…from the Gaelic:  An Gorta Mor.  Does this hunger have anything at all to do with how laden your table is with food?  Once your belly is full, does food have anything at all to do with  this deeper unsatisfied hunger…this unquenched thirst?

Even in the midst of the struggle for survival, the An Gorta Mor cries out in the wilderness searching for Love. There is a Great Hunger for Love and belonging, acceptance and appreciation, recognition and respect.  There is a Great Hunger to be seen and heard, honored and counted, to be understood, to matter.  There is a Great Hunger to create and express, find meaning and connection, contentment and satisfaction.  There is a Great Hunger to continue, to find Peace and feel Hope.

On this Christmas morning, I pray that each being on earth find nourishment for our bellies and gifts that nourish our hearts and souls.  May our An Gorta Mor…our Great Hunger for Love and Peace be understood as a gift that once opened, is shared freely and lavishly with All.

On this Christmas morning in 2010, may you be graced with gifts that bring Peace to your mind and Love and Joy into your heart.

Blessed Be in this Season of New HOPE.   xoxoxoxox  !!!

Conspiracy Theories

There is the truth that the collective consciousness, the media, many teachers, political leaders and spiritual gurus would have us believe.  And there are other truths.

The almost universally agreed upon current truth, generates fear and loathing, undermines the common global good, grabs, takes and uses, hijacks basic human rights, declares peace and brings soldiers home only to hire unaccountable mercenaries to continue war, applauds haters and reactionaries and allows non-human paper entities legal rights and freedom to rape, pillage and plunder the world and everything in it.

This is the conspiracy theory the lower astral plane orchestrates and influences.  We buy ‘no’.  We’ve gotten used to ‘can’t’.  We believe ‘not enough’. We think it’s just the way it is.  We’ve been taught that human nature is by it’s very nature depraved.  We have accepted that power corrupts. We think money is real.  We don’t like it, but we live with it, eat it, have it streamed into our homes and downloaded it into our consciousness.  Every once in a while some of us make a feeble protest that wilts under the weight and retribution of this retched dominant truth.

It’s a conspiracy.  It appears to be the only reality.  It is, in fact, only one reality, only one truth. There are others.  And there is one in particular that consistently gives this currently dominant conspiracy theory the shake down.  Every now and then this other conspiracy’s existence and successes are reported although so rarely, most people have no idea of it’s vast possibilities.

This other truth is one that conspires to uplift and enhance the lives of every living creature on this living breathing planet.  This conspiracy is very dangerous.  This truth is called a lie by the current truth in power.  This conspiring could undermine the entire current conspiracy that has a stranglehold on truth, if given half a chance.

Here’s why:  It’s fun.  It’s alive and lively.  It captures the imagination. It feels really good.  It’s a breath of fresh air.  It’s idealistic.  It’s catchy. It’s lovely and loving. It’s free. It’s a shot at redemption. It’s cost is affordable to all.  It asks one simple thing:  change your mind.  Change your theory.  Change your perspective. Do it if you want to, because you can, because you have the right and the power to do so!

Yep it’s that simple. Just say; Yes, OK, Why not, Wow! Just change it.  Decide that in this truth, there is a loving Presence that wants you to be well, to be happy, to be prosperous, to be free from fear and want, to love, to feel joy, to experience pleasure, to laugh, to create.

One of the most alluring and powerful aspects of this conspiracy theory is that there is no one person or entity orchestrating it or pulling it’s strings.  This truth recognizes  the wisdom and power and glory in All.  Leadership is circular and inclusive and asks only that every crazy believer recognize this one unalienable truth:  You are it.  You are the one.  You are the wisdom and the power and the creator and the leader.

This Perspective of Truth, that is considered by the current sinister conspiracy theory, as the lunatic fringe, has one basic simple commandment:  Take good care.  That’s essentially it.  It suggests that we consider our stewardship of all creation as a noblesse oblige.  And why wouldn’t we be honored to take care of this creation that supports our very existence.  And why wouldn’t we want to take care of what we have manifested from this creation?

I’ll wager most may consider this conspiring perspective naïve, pointing out as the true reality, the obvious suffering, pain and despair that constitutes the lives of the largest percentage of beings on this planet.  There is no denying that reality. We witness it and we live it. That’s what the current conspiracy hath wrought.  But even amidst the pain, poverty, suffering, loss and despair, there is the choice to change one’s personal theory, change perspective.

When that can happen…and although it’s a simple process it is not at all easy…when that sliver of changed perspective grasps a lifeline and clamps on and there is the faintest hint of a victory smile… then the shift in consciousness is born and a glimmer of the essence of beauty and hope and a truth that had been hidden from view shines through.  The great difficulty and discipline is in continuing to hang onto this affirming conspiracy, despite appearances, despite afflictions, in spite of the onslaught of heavily funded contrariness with which the current dominant theory conspires to entrance and enslave us.  Perspective is power.

There may be difficult circimstances and conditions and drastic consequences to our actions that are out of our control, but with detemined courage, we always have the personal freedom of choice in how to think, what to believe, how to feel, how to treat ourselves and others.  Which conspiracy theories rule your world today?  How’s that workin’ for ya?

Milestones

Milestones.
When do we know that we have reached one?

Mile-stone (noun)  1.  A stone showing distance to a place.  2.  An important event.   (synonyms:  landmark, highlight, high point, sign, signpost)

With this definition almost anything we choose can be considered a milestone.  I had always thought a milestone had to be not just ‘important’, but momentous…not just a ‘high point’, but a pinnacle.

I have been known for Celebrating as a raison d’etre.  It’s more than just a pastime.  What I hadn’t fully realized until just yesterday, is that although I am prone to celebrating outer events, other peoples accomplishments and victories…large or small, my own I gloss over and quickly move on to the next whatever it might be.

Coming upon this awareness…yet again…didn’t seem too ‘important’ at the moment it occurred, and in keeping with my habit, I quickly glossed over it.  I had just completed the first phase of a project that had taken months of my passion and time.  It didn’t seem ‘monumental’ to me at the moment, because…well…I knew it was just the first phase of an ongoing project.

What got my attention, much later in the next day, was my emotional state!  I was feeling all kinds of emotions that didn’t seem correctly placed.  Strong emotions that seemed more suitable to something really ‘monumental’.  These kinds of signs tend to occur for me later at night, when I have slowed down enough to reflect on the day.

I began to realize that I had not celebrated my own efforts and upon acknowledging that, I gave myself a pat on the back and made a cup of tea.  Neither of those actions had any effect at all in appeasing my emotional state, which was feeling a deep sense of undirected loss.  Loss, I have become familiar with.  Many loved ones, cherished ideas, hopes and dreams, including any kind of security or certainty have left my life, and recent years have seen a monumental ramp up in all of that .  My rational mind scolded me and admonished me to ‘get over it’, because it thought my emotionality was about the completion of something and the loss of focus the project had provided for me.  That might have even been true to some extent, but not completely accurate, because I have lots to look forward to in the next phases of this project.

It wasn’t until just before falling asleep that I realized that the emptiness I was experiencing had to do with the loss of people not focused direction.  In the course of the last few months, I have had to choose where to place my energy in order to get to that completion point with my project.  I had made a conscious decision to direct my energy inward and in so doing was forced to notice who was pulling on me without offering me any of their time, support or energy, and who wasn’t there at all.  I began to delete them one by one…not from my heart or permanently from my life, but in energy.  Intellectually, that action is compatible with my political views on energy conservation!  It just seemed prudent and well…necessary and responsible for the times.

But the forced reality check of who made that list also made my heart hurt.  The truth of unreciprocated love is a painful reminder of how isolated and self-absorbed any of us can become.  I pulled back my outward extending energy and it was scarcely noticed by people who have mattered deeply to me.   It’s not tragic but it’s been every bit as honing and edifying as the discipline I rarely have, to complete something.  And it’s all good!  This awareness is actually as significant and possibly a more far-reaching milestone than the completing of a goal or project.

Milestones are Important Events!  How important or monumental is only as significant and individual as any one of us personally decides it is.  I am a Celebrationist by nature.  I have decided to focus my awareness on acknowledging and celebrating all the milestones…major and minor…that this miraculous life places before me…showing me the distance to a place!  The place isn’t ‘out there’.  When I remember that the ‘place’ is in my heart…I can never get lost.  Just understanding and feeling this is a very momentous Milestone!  Maybe it’s even a Pinnacle!

der mom…the wurld is goin krasy!

My daughter wrote me a note 35 years ago, which I have kept to this day, reminding me of the Truth.  Her 5 year old awareness already recognized a Truth.  She is now an adult with a child of her own…her note still rings with this Truth.

“der mom…the wurld is goin krasy”

As time passes, most people look back on the good old days with nostalgia. I am as guilty of this as anyone, even though I also look forward to the future with optimism…often with no good reason…but why not?  There’s always Hope!  Looking forward to innovation and social evolution, I also desire to hold onto the fundamental basics!  How do we juxtapose the two and live happily ever after?  There is always the swing of the pendalum…from one end of the spectrum of polarity to the other…seeking a workable balance.  There is never a stasis…it’s always in correction mode.  Or so it seems to me.

The following scenarios came to me via an email, which has made it’s way around the web again and again.  I think it’s worth noting as an example of  the way …’the wurld is goin krasy’ and crazier for our kids.

High School    1957 vs. 2010

Scenario #1

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with hishotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

1957 ~ Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2010 ~  School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again.  Counselors called in for traumatized  students and teachers.


Scenario #2

Johnny and Mike get into a fist fight after school.

1957 ~  Crowd gathers. Mike wins. Johnny and Mike shake hands and end up buddies.

2010 ~ Police called and SWAT team arrives.  Johnny and Mike both get arrested.  Both are charged with assault and expelled from school, even though Johnny started it.

Scenario #3

Jeffrey will not be still in class.  He disrupts other students.

1957 ~  Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal.  He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt the class again.

2010 ~ Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin.  He becomes a zombie.  He is then tested for ADD.  The family gets extra money  (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario #4

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 ~ Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2010 ~ Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse.  Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang.  The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and dad goes to prison.  Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario #5

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 ~ Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.

2010 ~ The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations.  His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario #6

Pedro fails high school English.

1957 ~ Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2010 ~ Pedro’s cause is taken up by the state.  Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist.  ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher.  English is then banned from core curriculum.  Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can’t speak English.

Scenario #7

Jimmy takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant hill.

1957 ~  Ants die.

2010 ~ ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called.  Jimmy is charged with domestic terrorism.  The FBI investigates his parents.  All his siblings are removed  from their home and all computers are confiscated.  Jimmy’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario #8

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee.  He is found  crying by his teacher, Mary.  Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957 ~ In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2010 ~ Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.  She faces 3 years in State Prison.  Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

The World Is Going Crazy. What do we want to do about it?  What can we do about it?  Where should we start?




What Women Do

What do women do?

When women are healthy, this is what we do:

We gather together to support one another.

We know that as women we are able to love and embrace

with our arms and our hearts and our thighs.

We know that as women we are able to assess a need

and find a way to fulfill it.

We know that as women, our children and our families

are more important than anything else.

We know that as women, because we feel it,

that which affects one of us…affects all of us.

We know that we are all connected in love and spirit

to all women across the globe.

As women, we love, we understand, we grow, we feel, we know, we dream, we despair, we laugh, we weep, we live, we feed, we desire, we create, we accept, we learn, we believe, we give, we hold the world steady.

When women are healthy, we understand and demonstrate

the difference between anger and righteous rage.

When women are healthy we are fierce in our protection of those we love.

When women are healthy, we forgive each other’s weaknesses and failings

with love and understanding.

As women, so many times we are asked to open our purses

to support important causes near and far,

and we are grateful if we are able to do so.

Whenever we can, this is what women do.

So many times we are moved to open our homes

in welcome and feast and celebration.

Whenever we can, this is what women do.

So many times we are moved to open our homes to those in need.

Whenever we can, this is what women do.

So many times we are asked to forgive and forget pain and neglect,

hurtful words and behaviors.

When we can, we make the effort.  This is what women do.

Women’s true worship is in the heart that rejoices.

All of our acts of love and giving and mercy

are in service to what we hold sacred.

This is what women do.

When we are healthy, we do what must be done.

When we are healthy, we know who we are.


Almost Perfect!

Almost Perfect!

A friend, who lives most of the year in a small Mexican village, recently told me a story about Casi Perfecto! or Almost Perfect!.  One of his best friends had hired a local seamstress to make full length curtains to go across a long bank of windows.  Days and then weeks went by and still she hadn’t finished them.  At last, a month or two later, she arrived with her bundle, smiling broadly.   When they were all hung, each panel was a different length…not one was even or matched the other.  Standing back to admire her work, the seamstress clapped her hands and enthusiastically declared, “Casi Perfecto!”  Almost Perfect!  Who could argue?

I found this story delightful and just one more wonderful and vivid illustration of how much easier it is to live and love in a culture that not only allows and accepts that things are not perfect or certain, but embraces that reality.

If I truly take Casi Perfecto! to heart as I intend to, I will no longer worry about the fact that the vines I just trimmed in my secret garden have gone wild again practically overnight or the tiles I set last summer are all crooked and uneven.  I will no longer be concerned when I notice that the carwash left streaks on my windshield and didn’t actually get my car sparkling clean.  I will not get upset when I pick up my dog from the groomer and find that the kid, who was to give her just a trim, overachieved and she won’t need a cut for the rest of the summer or maybe the year!  I won’t have a melt down when I look in the mirror and see that all those miles I’ve logged on up and down hills haven’t melted even an inch off my rear.  It’s Casi Perfecto! as is.

If I truly take Casi Perfecto! to heart as I intend to, then I will be ever more mindful of the beauty of the moment, the pleasure of the company, the effort made, the best intention behind the action, the way things are.

Life was meant to be lived Casi Perfecto!  It’s just so much easier and pleasurable that way, isn’t it?

Can You Count On It?

Can You Count On It?
The Answer Is Maybe…baby!

Have you figured out what you can count on yet?  Is there a person in your life you know you can count on?  Is there a process you can count on to achieve the results you crave?  Can you count on your time honored opinions to be correct?  Can you count on help when you need it?  Is there a time or place or person you can count on not to change?  Can you count on being happy?  Well?  Prosperous? Smart enough?  Stable? Secure? Can you count on things staying the same long enough to get a handle on them before they change again?

I’m visiting a small village in Mexico at the moment, and I have noticed that, here, the answer to any and every question ends with ‘maybe’ or tas vez!  It may be cultural but I think it’s astute.  At times it might be exasperating to cope with, like when you want or need a definitive answer, time frame or commitment.  But it’s also a lesson in flow.  It’s a lesson in faith.  It’s a lesson plan for either the forced or willing surrender of self importance.  ‘Maybe’ is something you actually can count on.  ‘Maybe’ is for sure!  ‘Maybe’ leaves open a window into the realm of all possibility.  ‘Maybe’ you’ll get your delivery on time, or your house painted tomorrow, or the internet to work today.  ‘Maybe’ the surf will be up, or the car will start, or the power will stay on.

Counting heavily on certainty increases our stress levels when certainty fails.  When what we thought would happen, was true, was valuable, was meaningful, was important, turns sideways and upside down, the idea of ‘maybe’ can even be comforting.  ‘Maybe’ something better will happen.  ‘Maybe’ everything will change again, turn right, turn our way.  It leaves a space for inevitable change.

Can I count on that?  The consistently truthful answer is ‘Maybe’…baby!  I like that!  How about you?

Witnessing

Every institution and system I can think of tonight, seems to be in collapse, and dying. Here are just a few of the broken things on my long long list: Government, Religion, Education, Health Care, Financial, Politics, Big Business, Marriage/Families, Democracy, Civil and Species rights/liberties/protections, Social Alienation, Decent Manners….

I wonder how I can Imagine Institutional Integrity, Immediately. The failings of each are so glaring, and have so many layers of complicated and far reaching problems, I see no clear solutions or relief in site! Sometimes I feel both anxious and paralyzed with urgency. What can I do…that’s useful, meaningful, will matter at all? It’s exhausting to even contemplate!

Overwhelmed by the magnitude of great big world issues, I am grateful that my day job is in a warm, welcoming, nurturing, safe and sacred healing environment. There, I feel like I can make a small difference in someone’s life…one person at a time. It’s a much smaller world of problems. The problems are no less real or complex. They are often a microcosm of the macrocosm.

Most of the time my role is simply as a witness. I create and hold the space for healing in whatever form that will manifest. That might mean listening with compassion. It can mean sharing from my experience or understanding. It will often mean taking an action; using energy to move and correct blocked expressions of energy in the one who seeks wellness, wholeness and healing. It will usually involve all of those things.

The world goes away for a little while at The Turning Point. We do the best we can together. We do what we can together. Integration of health can have many layers of complexity that we understand may not be solved all at once. I have noticed that exhaustion is often the underlying cause of the problems we face. We exhaust our immune systems with stress, our thinking with negativity, our emotions with worry, our spirits with hopelessness.

A poem was shared with me yesterday. I read it and was overcome with emotion. It seemed to address for me the story of my small work of daily witnessing in a healing space.

Kindred Spirits

Tired after feeling your way
in the dark for so long,
you are looking for cracks of light,
need them now more than ever.

Another woman appears.
Her voice soothes.
She speaks from love,
reminding you:

no one
remembered
is ever lost.

it’s almost always
tiredness that
gets us in the end

you must dare
to tell your own story
without blinking

She helps you
remember what you know.
Hope flutters in your chest,
rising up, like birds from cover.

(poet unknown)

This tender poem also suggested to me that I could extrapolate my witnessing into the larger constructs that have me so despairing. I can stand at the edges of those collapsing and dying institutions and systems and simply be present without fear or animosity. I can hold a tone of Hope for Healing on a larger scale. I can do this.

I will also, no doubt, continue to use my energy (in the form of outbursts, postings and vigils) to let off steam when I am overcome with outrage. And I will, no doubt, be unable to restrain myself from using my energy (in the form of outbursts, postings and ceremony) to celebrate what is right and good and beautiful and working in the world.

I can be a witness all the time, holding a tone of Hope. I can do this.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep…I Pray The Lord My Soul To keep

If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
If in the morning light I wake,
I pray the path of Love to take.
Amen

Who remembers this children’s bedtime prayer? My Swedish grandma taught me only the first four lines. I was always resistant to saying it, terrified that I was praying to die by mistake!

Somewhere along my life the last two lines were revealed. I don’t remember when or by whom. Once I imagined that I had made them up to comfort myself. But, I am sure that someone else thought of them first.

Once those lines of comfort and direction were added, I could and would say the prayer and find peace. Until this week, I had forgotten this prayer completely, for possibly decades.

Tragedies and the ever continuing unexpected keep happening and they seem to be streaming in at the speed of light! I have my theories. I am fond of theorizing. It’s one of my comforts and coping mechanisms. My theories give my mind something to nosh on while my heart is breaking. My theories give my mind someplace to land in the chaos of change.

I have recently arrived at a theory concerning my close personal family and our seemingly continual trials and tribulations in the arena of Illness, Life and Death. I have never thought things like; Why Us? Why Now? But my current theory is leaning toward the concept of Per Capita. I am not making less of the real issues that we are and have been facing. I am merely theorizing that in a large family, tragedy and the unexpected are, per capita, mathematically more likely to occur.

When I glance sideways at the Earth and her People, Our larger Home and Family, and try with all my might to digest and assimilate the ongoing suffering and tragedy that occur every nano-second, I feel no less detached. Information that travels and is accessed at the speed of light makes it impossible Not To Know that Life and Death hang in the balance for All…all the time…and precariously. It’s almost too much to bear.

We are tender now, in our clan. We desire answers and confirmations and healings and meaning. We are not fragile, however. When I think of my ClansFolk, one and all, I am gripped with the most visceral admiration, love and amazement! What a bunch! I have friends that cannot understand the bonds, demands, expectations, issues, squabbles, reconciliations and unending challenges we face together and with each other almost every day. We only drift toward these so-called problems with each other, when we have the luxury of no perceived crisis looming. Underneath any and all conflict we ever face is simply misunderstanding or miscommunication.

Underlying All Else is the Love we share that bonds us to one another so intrinsically that when one of us struggles, we all struggle, asking how and stepping up to help. I have friends who wonder why I allow myself to become so involved in the messier dealings of the family. I have no idea what they are talking about. Firstly, these magnificent beings are not ‘The Family’…they are ‘My Family’! I’ll be the first to admit that living and loving in our Clan can sometimes feel like the worst of things but without reservation it is also The Absolute Best of all lives! Oh it’s messy and passionate and enmeshed and binding and none of us can avoid the attention of the other even though we try at times.. And, Thank God! I am grateful every minute for the blessing of being born into such a tangled twig nest of warm nurturing in-your-face love and resolute decisioned acceptance.

We’re not all the same. We don’t all agree. We are all individuals and span a wide swarth of diverse, eclectic, humorous and serious divides that could separate us. At the same time, we cannot be separated. We refuse to be separated. Even when we have divorced, our former loved ones remain loved ones and in the fold. It takes a lot to escape and only a few have managed. Fools! Just kidding….not. We think it is their loss…but it is also ours. If ever we have loved, we don’t forget it. That cannot be erased only changed.

Our Path Of Love is the One Thing I never want to change. Our family is Love at It’s Most Interesting.

So to the many who have passed from us in these last few years:

We have prayed the Lord your soul to take. And for us who remain to love on, I know in the deepest most precious knowing there is…the code of the heart…that when in the morning light we wake….We pray the path of Love to take. Our Clan makes the effort. Isn’t that what counts? That’s what makes my life, our life, this Life worth living.

Blessed Be to My Clan!
We all know who we are.

Why Wait?

Why Wait?

So many things to do!
So many ways to procrastinate!
So many adventures on the ‘Someday’ list!
So many excuses not to do them now!
So many missed opportunities!
So many choices!
So many options!
So many changes!

Wait!  Wait!  Don’t tell me!

Is it because there isn’t enough time?
Is it because there isn’t enough money?
Is it because of fear?
Is it because of ill health?
Is it because of fatigue?
Is it because of lack of imagination?
Is it because of lack of information?
Is it because of too much information?

Wait!  Wait!  Is any of that True?

Is it really true?
Is it true only for you?
Is it true for everyone but you?
Was it true yesterday?
Will it be true tomorrow?

Wait!  Wait!

Any minute, everything can change.
Any minute everything does change.
Any minute you could become ill.
Any minute you could lose what makes you feel secure.
Any minute you’re life could end.

Why Wait?

Start now.
Make a plan.
Throw caution to the wind.
Take a deep breath.
Make the first move.
Take the next step.
Don’t look back.
Don’t look too far ahead.
Be here Now…..

Wait no more!

What Do Mothers Really Want On Mother’s Day?

Mothers Love Children.

Mothers want their own and all children to be safe, to be well, to have opportunities, to feel love, to respect life, to grow up, to be able to grow up and love children, to learn empathy, to understand their personal gifts, to want to share their gifts with all, to be the brilliant lights they came here to be.

Mothers, when faced with the threat of danger to their own and all children, when faced with illness, or injustice, or hunger, or war…cry out in despair. Mothers then become fierce, Mothers then become strong, Mothers protect, Mothers give all they have to help, Mothers find a way…and Mothers need support.

Mothers are intrinsically united beyond all cultural, ethnic, circumstantial and imposed barriers. Even childless women deeply understand the bond of women as Mothers. Everyone has or has had a Mother. Mothers are not perfect and I would venture that most Mothers have immense remorse for their own perceived failings as Mothers, real or not. But if a woman is conscious, if a woman is well herself, if a woman has had half a chance, if a woman can hold onto Hope, if a woman is given a glimpse of opportunity, if a woman is allowed to be a woman and a Mother of heart to children, that Mother will instinctively act on behalf of the children. That Mother will give of herself endlessly. That Mother will never give up.

I am a Mother of five wild children. Each is now an adult. Each is unique, adorable, restless, concerned, caring, impatient, full of heart, misguided, frightened for the world and their own children, here now, or coming in the future and loved beyond all reason by me. I have been forced to consider that, come what may, each child has their own journey through pain and joy, lessons and tribulations, life and death. I can’t change that.

I am a Mother and a now a grandmother and I have a perpetual broken heart for the world and its children but I can’t be stopped from being a fierce advocate for all of them. It’s for the Common Global Good. There is nothing else to do.

For Mother’s Day, I wish Peace for this troubled tortured world, Our Own Mother.

For Mother’s Day, I wish for Understanding and Compassion for all people on earth and especially Our Children.

For Mother’s Day, I wish for an end to hunger and torture and marginalizing and profiling and injustice and ignorance of our common bonds.

That is what I want for Mother’s Day.

I offer these words…a cry from the heart of a Mother: Julia Ward Howe.
From her Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870!

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

TO ALL MOTHERS ON EARTH: This proclamation is about Community! We need each other and as I learned from the Berkana Institute: “Whatever the problem…community is the answer!”

Let’s remember that Motherhood is what we were ultimately created for, whether we desired to conceive a child, were unable to conceive a child, were forced to conceive a child, or chose not to conceive a child. Our very being and bodies were designed to be Mothers. That energetic is in our nature and is what unites us as women. One woman can change anything, Many women can change everything!

A change must come. Our Mother, the Earth, is waiting for us to gather together as women and Mothers and Change Everything on behalf of the Children…and we are all Her Children.

Blessed Be

…and Blessed Mother’s Day to all Mothers and the Blessed men and children who love them for who they are and what and as they are!

We Can Weave From Common Threads…

…a world of strength and beauty!

Oh, there is no end to the differences that separate us as cultures, societies, races, religions, communities, politics, genders, generations or opportunities. In the rare unchallenging or cheerful moment, it’s even possible to celebrate our differences.
Yet on most days, those moments are so idealistic and downright rare, they are scarcely noticed, let alone appreciated for the gifts they could bring to understanding in these complex times we live in now.

The polarization that our world’s ideologies appear to be drifting toward, implies and fortifies the notion of: This OR That, Us OR Them, Men OR Women, Against OR For. Equality challenges these polarities with the notion of: That AND This, Them AND Us, Women AND Men, For AND Against. I wish there were an intrinsically encoded ‘Non~Compete’ clause embedded in each of our most preciously held assumptions.

What if there were ways to re~imagine and redefine a future that blurred or defied accepted polarities? What if each, and every one of us developed a core appreciation of what each, and every one of us could bring to the other? What if we could view opposition as opportunity? What if we could become alchemists who stirred discord into harmony?

I recently had an opportunity to chat with a beautiful, spiritual women about our common passions, pains, disappointments and concerns. She is a woman in my community who feels deeply, dedicates herself to the service of others…with her particular attentions directed toward the issues concerning women and youth. We acknowledged that we share these focuses in common, and yet, as she is a woman of color, and I am of the so~called dominate culture here, it felt as though we were also, individually and silently, forced to acknowledge the differences and assumptions that have defined our lives.

As we took our leave of each other, we embraced and in that moment I felt a deep stirring within and a certainty that we could learn something of value from each other, help and influence each other, create something of lasting importance together. I don’t know what that might be. I am invariably assuming it would have something to do with our ‘common’ interests and concerns. But, there might be something beyond This OR That and even beyond This AND That. There might be a 3rd Way we haven’t imagined as yet. A way that is yet to be revealed. An alchemy of ingredients and conditions we have yet to consider that would bring us the pleasure and satisfaction of co~creating.

She and I may never find the time nor the presence to look more deeply into what we can bring to each other or create together…but I will not ignore that in the realm of all possibility, we could: Weave from common threads a world of strength and beauty. I see this as more than a possibility. I see this as a way of life. I see this as more than a desire. I see this a way of being in community and togetherness. And so I pray that it be so.

The Lusty Month of May!

It’s Beltane! May Day! The official day to celebrate Life, Love, Fertility and Hope! It’s a natural impulse, as spring bursts into bloom, the Earth as our guide and inspiration. Seeds planted in the rich moist soil (and bodies!) are the impetus for the ancient adage: HOPE Springs Eternal!

Beltane is the name the ancient Celtic cultures gave to this lusty time of year and dancing the May Pole is the mid-point in the festivities of Old. On the eve, bonfires were built to assist the sun with it’s light and heat. Cattle were driven through the smoke for purification and Lovers leaped over the flames in joy and blessing. Traditionally, on this sacred Eve-ning, the old pole was burned, it’s ashes scattered over the fields to enhance fertility in the coming season. Young men would choose a new tree to erect for the dance to come. Make no mistake about the meaning! That robust young tree was the symbol of the Earth’s phallus, to be adorned and celebrated for it’s reproductive powers!

A young maiden, by virtue of her virginity, was chosen as May Queen, to be honored and adored as the symbol of the Earth’s fertile womb waiting to be impregnated with New Life! This was the day that Making Love was not only celebrated but encouraged! The energy of Bliss and Blessing would spread across the land and into hearts, young and old, renewing Hope for the future.

In Our Family tradition, the celebration of May Day was a joyous event that folded in Mother’s Day, spring birthdays, and the drinking of May Wine . (We loved a crisp white wine infused with sweet woodruff).

To be completely honest, it was the women who promoted this holiday in our clan gathering. Our men participated by burning the old tree and cutting and erecting the new one. The women and girls attached the long colored ribbons to the top of the pole just before it went up, and the men then became more indulgent observers than revelers (until later that night!)

In May, my garden in Gig Harbor, was just beginning to bloom with Forget~Me~Nots, sprigs of early Lavender, Lilacs and BluBells. The women and girls gathered in baskets of flowers and wove them into garlands for our hair , as we laughed and talked and sipped our wine (or fresh juice!). The little boys went off into the woods to choose the twigs they would need to make their headband of Stag Horns!

We dressed in our favorite flowing dresses and skirts and the music was always gay and merry; Celtic reels, pipes and drums. The boys were more than pleased to provide the percussion background to the thrum of the day. The aromas of the feast that would follow the dance, drifting out onto the deck and into the garden, reminded us of more pleasures to come at the table…roast lamb, new potatoes, asparagus, young greens, berries with thick cream and a always more May Wine!

The impulse to dance would spontaneously lift us to our feet with joy throughout the day, and when it seemed just the right time, we would go to the pole…curtsy or bow to the power of regeneration and new life it still means to us…and Dance! In and out, over and under each other’s arms, we danced and laughed. (and often the mothers, aunties and grandmothers cried with Joy to be able to continue our festival tradition with our young ones)

Such a heart filled memory this brings to me now. In those days, before children were grown and scattered, loved ones were lost to us by illness, marriages disintegrated and households disrupted…..We celebrated our lives, each other, our children and the good fortune to belong to Our Clan. The memory of that last May Day at Our home is so vivid to me today. I see our mother, dressed in her full bright skirt, the garland of flowers and ribbons that she had assembled worn as her crown, laughing even as tears streamed down her cheeks. She danced!…her chronic pain disappearing while she reveled in the embrace of her family….her greatest joy.

Today and every day can bring us Hope for new life, opportunities to rejoice and give thanks for our abundance and pleasures and a renewed sense of Belonging. Isn’t this what our deepest longing is meant to evoke? We belong together, come what May!

Blessings to All now and always!

What Do You Need?….why?

Do you feel as if you have what you need?  Do you feel as if you can get what you need?  Do you know what you need?  Are your current needs basic to your survival?  Can these needs be met?  Are your needs, at the moment, more existential?  Do you need a purpose, a mission, a raison d’etre? Do you need a friend?  Do you need more time?  Do you wish you didn’t have so many needs?

An amazing amount of our life force is concerned with meeting our needs, real or imagined.   If you are living in the NW corner of the United States of America, have access to a computer, are on FaceBook, or somehow randomly found this obscure blog, it is likely your most basic needs are being met.  You have the luxury of concerning yourself with what you think you need.  You can even focus on what you think you want!

What do you want?  Why?  Are you sure?  What if you had what you think you want right now?  What would that mean?  How would your life be different?  Would there be a dramatic difference?  Would you be a different person? In what way?  Is that what you want?  Why?

It could be argued that we are mere slaves to our needs…real or imagined, and prisoners of our wants and desires. Is that true for you? Is there any way you could free yourself if that is true? Would you? Do you need to?

Are You A Healer?

You are a healer if…

You are healing. You recognize that you may have flaws and glitches and are willing to work on them. You reach out to those in need. You include others in your prayers. You are an avid listener. You pick up litter. You recycle. You conserve resources. You volunteer. You embrace and hug others profusely. You inspire, encourage and support others on their journey. You repair any enmity in your life. You forgive others. You forgive yourself. You stay grounded as a courtesy to yourself and others. You lend your power and energy to freedom. You allow others their lessons and mistakes with impunity. You allow yourself your own lessons and mistakes with impunity. You appreciate and love others exactly as they are. You appreciate and love yourself exactly as you are. You see the potential and goodness in others even when they cannot see it for themselves. You take time for yourself and make time for others. You feel that what benefits one benefits all and what harms one harms all. You cultivate a loving heart and share it. You are generous with your affection. You are alive and present here now.

Thank you for being a healer.

When did you become aware that you are a healer? What is your greatest joy in being a healer? What is your most difficult task when you practice being a healer?

Take good care. Blessed Be.

The Audacity of Faith…holding on in times of rapid transformation!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities (written in the mid 1800’s)

Today, we may feel as though we are living in an era of epoch, radical and unprecedented change. Change that appears to be happening so suddenly, we often feel anxious, hopeless and unable to cope. These times have generated such a massive consciousness of fear that it informs and taints our perspective on every level of existence…personally, locally, globally.

There will likely never be a permanent cure for ‘personal’ problems. We’re all here on this planet either crawling or jogging along the learning curve.
I believe that what dramatically differentiates our times from those of Dickens, is the leap of awareness from local to global. Information now travels at the speed of light and many millions of people on earth have devices to access it immediately.

We live in this age of rapidly changing technological and information saturation that has immense global importance and impact. But often by the time we’ve reviewed and considered the data and have formed an opinion or preference, the information (and technology) that led us there has already changed. The issues facing us are monumental and can be viewed as catastrophic and seemingly unsolvable which is creating a sort of mass malaise, high anxiety, hopelessness and despair.

I find it a full time job…365/24/7…to overcome, release, override, ignore and deny fearful thoughts (which are mostly based on the dead past or the imagined future). In my experience, the energy of fear taints the outcome of any desired manifestation. And, I’ll admit that, although I endeavor to make the conscious decision Not~To~Be~Fearful, it doesn’t always hold for many reasons. That’s why, for me, one of the most useful and simple ways to practice overcoming fear and restore calm is contained within:

The Serenity Prayer

“Creator, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Caveat: just because we may be able to accept the things we cannot change doesn’t mean we agree with them, like them, want them or can tolerate them. The power is in learning, that with wisdom, we can work toward changing those things with courage.

A now a word about Faith! Why not just decide to take leaps of it?

If what we have always regarded and become accustomed to as truth and certainty has changed (keeps changing) for better or for worse, then that which is being imagined and implemented to replace it, can be for better or worse as well, depending on the kind of energy we, ourselves, lend to it.

Maybe it takes a leap of faith, like Indiana Jones, discovered in The Last Crusade, when he stood on the edge of the abyss…the Chalice hopelessly out of reach, the life of his father hanging in the balance…the edge of the chasm breaking away with him on it and no way to go back! Considering his options, it didn’t take Indie long to simply take a deep breath and Step Off into the unknown. He could never have anticipated that, waiting for him to take that leap in faith, were pillars that would rise up, positioned precisely, to further him on his mission!

Indiana, is one of my favorite action-figure archetypes because he depicts the power of passion directed toward a singularly focused intention, resulting in progress forward, while having one hell of a good time doing it! And although we can be generally relieved that our challenges don’t come as fast and furiously as he likes his to, the truth is that there will always be challenges that require some kind of action or movement, either forward or back.

We don’t have the luxury and we’ve never had the guarantee that our problems…personal, local or global…could be solved all at once or even just once. The more depth and complexity, and as we are beginning to understand; the more pervasively interdependent and codependent all of our concerns regarding life on this planet become, the more our solutions require wisdom with perspective. We each have a unique part to play.

It’s a daunting prospect no matter what. But, especially if our personal perspective is cultivated exclusively by the small~picture models being spewed out from the popular media machines. Partisanship, us~against~them factionalism, culture wars, and the dumbing down control exerted by the fear mongers in our contemporary society have served to undermine perspective rather than promote it.

The polarization of fear~based ideologies has made careful, thoughtful, intelligent, inclusive dialogue…dialogue that could promulgate more wise, prudent and useful solutions…come to a clenched~fist stand~off. And, the meltdown of sureties that has characterized ‘our times’ has brought with it forms of denial, despair, hopelessness and rage that are afflicting and endangering our human consciousness. Deceit at the highest levels of authority has contributed to the confusion, delusion and loss of respect for those who we trusted to guide us, changing the existential nature of reality for millions and millions of people.

But, the world Is transforming, and we are transforming too, like it or not.
It is my strong feeling that maintaining an audacity of faith and lending our healing, loving energy to the matrix of the construct is the most potent personal action we can take. When we do, we have the potential to positively affect not only our personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives, but that of our local communities as well. When our personal lives and our local communities feel empowered and hopeful, we can begin to believe that the transformation of the Earth…our global physical, mental, emotional and spiritual community, is possible as well.

All major religions lean toward the adage that…with faith…all things are possible. Why not just take the leap? There is nothing to lose but the pillars of strength, direction and possibility awaiting to guide us over the abyss!

What do you think?

How do you cope?

What practices have had the most significant impact for you?

Take good care. Blessed Be.

“Tingle” or “Misfire”… how to choose.

When presented with choices…decisions…options: How best to choose? How to discern? How to Know?

Our minds will intellectualize, rationalize, confuse us, negotiate with us, trick us, double~cross us, make amends with us and in the end either congratulate or chastise us. Of course we must utilize our minds. They are a great resource for gathering information, sorting it through, mulling it over, categorizing, sifting, culling and finally presenting us with the choice, the decision, the option. But truly the only way to really “know” what is best for us at any given moment is a simple process that has nothing to do with rational thinking. It has everything to do with personally and intimately knowing for ourselves what is right. It is a kind of thinking from the heart…or it sometimes feels like thinking from the gut. It is either a ‘Tingle’ or a ‘Misfire’. You can feel it.

Once all the data concerning the choice is assembled by the mind and the activity of discernment and processing is fulfilled, the decision is ready to be made. It might make perfect sense. It might be logical. It might be prudent. It might be a no~brainer. It might even seem like the only choice, the best choice, the rational choice. But if there is no ‘Tingle’, if there is no passion, if there is no energy…or positive thrust in the direction of your choice…it’s a ‘Misfire’.

Think of all the times you have made a choice based on the best available information to you. You proceed in that direction based on what your head…your mind insists it wants. Sometimes this is the best option, but it’s only best if your heart is also aligned and your inner knowing has not raised red flags or warnings that you are willfully ignoring. It’s those red flags, that churning of the gut or the lack of passion from the heart that is the true discernment.

Here are some examples from my personal experience that might illustrate this point:

Marrying for all the acceptable ‘right’ reasons except Love. Investing in what appears to be a sure thing except for the unsupported data that raises a red flag (that is ignored!). Trying to decide about a future business venture that might be good for me, but having no passion for it. Saying Yes, when No is how I strongly feel.

My point is that once we have utilized the best our mind can offer, our inner knowing must be the final verdict on the decision. It’s either a Tingle…a yes…go for it…or it’s a Misfire…a no…don’t do it (at least not right now). There is probably still no real way to predict all the variables that will affect the future outcome of our decisions. The decision is just the beginning of the action that becomes a turning point.

Everyone has had the experience of looking at life through the rear~view. With hindsight and in retrospect, a decision whose outcome has gone sideways will often be accompanied by the acknowledgment of: “I knew it! And we did. It’s just that the decision was made with only a fraction of our knowing.

Aren’t we more than one~dimensional beings? Our minds are incredible tools, and so are our thinking/feeling hearts and guts. Becoming whole beings, wholesome beings, wholistic beings seems to me to be the goal of our evolution. Our expanded consciousness is a United State of Being.

It is my hope and wish that each of us will be become aware and be able to access all of our awesome aspects and talents and Always Remember Who We Really Are.

What do you think? What process helps you make decisions?

Take good care.  Blessed Be!

The Turning Point

After a time of decay comes the Turning Point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement but it is not brought about by force. The movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old is easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore No Harm Results.

i Ching

The Chinese character FU means Turning Point. It also means Recovery as well as Return.

One day, 22 years ago, I was contemplating a suitable name for my healing arts practice. I closed my eyes and opened the i Ching, the Chinese Oracle or book of changes. As fate would have it, I opened to the character FU…The Turning Point. It was perfect because that very day, a client had described to me what my work had meant for her….she told me with much sincerity and emotion that our sessions together had ushered in a turning point in her recovery.

That day was a turning point for me as well. Every day since has seen some kind of transformation…from minor to mega. The Turning Point became for me, a way of being in and seeing the way of the world with more ease…more grace…and more acceptance of what Is…a way of noticing what is occurring in reality… in the moment. I came to comprehend in a new way that there is always movement. Everything changes either for better or for worse. When the movement is allowed to commence in it’s own time…naturally….there can be easy transformation. That can sometimes seem agonizingly slow. Sometimes movement is forced and then there can often be more difficulty…maybe even harm. Being innately impatient, I prefer movement to move along…with encouragement…albeit gently if need be, but this is merely a preference. I am clear that it is not necessarily up to me to make that determination. Most important for me to remember is The Time. How it arrives informs Everything. In an earlier time, I used to subscribe to the adage that time is nothing…timing is everything! It might be true.

(This is my first blog. Each entry after this may have another theme, but the overriding influence in my posts and musings is Change…and change begins with The Turning Point!)

How about You?  What was your ‘turning point’ that prompted ‘movement’ in your life?

Take good care.  Blessed Be!