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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Contrast

All of my life negative people have been put on my path. Over the weekend I had some quiet time to think about why that is. My conclusion: they provided contrast so that I could see what I want and what I don't want.

Being born very stubborn only added to the confusion. Believing I knew what was best for me caused a constant struggle with Source. When I remember the times that I was the most unhappy I clearly see the big picture. They were the times I tried to bring someone or something into my life that was not a vibrational match for my authentic self.

The struggle caused anger, tears and hurt feelings. Usually, given enough time, I saw that I was better off not getting what I had insisted I wanted. Sometimes of course, I was given my way just to prove I was wrong and the universe was right.

I have often been temporarily intimidated by those who use their clever, educated minds to express themselves. If I had gone to college instead of getting married and raising my three children, perhaps I would be as smart as they appear to be.

Perhaps that is not true. One of these souls in particular fits this description to a tee. The man has a brilliant mind, but does not show his face to the world. He hides his authentic self behind his alter ego/s. It seems to me he is afraid to express his most private thoughts.

Oddly, I thought I needed him in my life. Over the weekend I asked myself, "Does this person match your current vibration?" When I answered NO, I finally saw he was simply put on my path for contrast to allow me to see the real me!

There was a time that I did hide behind others, afraid to express my authentic self. That is no longer true. In contrast I now follow my heart, which is in tune with my soul. I am very happy to have found me!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Out With Calendars

My grandson made me laugh last Friday and it inspired this post. Last week was the end of the school year here. Technically, Wednesday was the last day of school. Most of the kids, including Colin, didn't go Thursday or Friday. As we were getting ready to have lunch Friday, Colin, popped up with, "I am so excited about Monday!" I asked what was happening on Monday. His response was, "It's the first day of summer vacation."

Apparently the two days he already had off didn't count because they weren't on the school calendar. It started me thinking about how many people live their lives according to the calendar. If they are working, Wednesday is hump day with only two more left in their week. Then on to the weekend and they start over. It seems like most people live from one holiday to another with hardly a breath in between.

What about the rest of the year? I think it would be great if we banned the calendar and just lived each day to the best of our ability. No gifts, no cards, no special foods- just appreciating one day after the other.

No day is more special than any other in my world, no matter what the calendar says. Each one is a gift filled with experiences of our own choosing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Battle of One

On this weekend most of the country is remembering those who lost their life in a military battle. I choose instead to think about those souls who have touched my life and have lost their own lives in a battle with disease.

Having survived cancer myself I know what I am talking about. Everyone has their own way of dealing with their devastating health challenge. This post is in memory of all those brave fighters placed on my path. Each one has offered a lesson to aid me on my own journey.

Ione Halverson, Sidney Halverson, Ruth Williams, Juanita Pilcher, Dominique Baca, Joseph DeSoto, Shaunualee Brito, Howard Miller, Barbara Hocker, Marlee Garza and James Amos.

Peace be with you all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Way

This has been an interesting week so far. I believe the universal message is access all information available to move forward, then stop, evaluate and use my intuition to do things my way.

I was not born a sheep and have learned through trial and error to trust my inner voice. When something doesn't feel right there is always a reason, presenting itself as a lesson to be learned or ignored. When it is ignored I usually find myself saying, that was really stupid or asking do I really want to go through this experience again?

For two weeks I drove myself to write to the point of causing physical pain, which led me to my trusted chiropractor. Today I am rethinking what I am doing. I realized that there is no need to push myself so hard. Recounting the stories I have already finished caused me to see that I probably only need three more to accomplish what I set out to do, which was celebrate the lives of the people who live in Cibola County and promote the area to prospective tourists.

If I just added 3 it would bring the total to 66, which is a memorable number in this part of the country. It brings to mind the famous Route 66. I wonder why I didn't think of that earlier. Sometimes I really am the last one to know!

The inspiration for this post came from another new Facebook friend who shared the story of her husband's method of prayer before he died of a terminal illness. He didn't bother with organized prayers or rituals, he simply talked to God in his own words.

Her post really brought home an important message for me, which is stop trying to do things the way everyone else does them and just do them your way. Not only are you not a sheep, there is no absolute right or wrong way to do anything.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Unexpected Lesson

Lessons come wrapped in all kinds of packages until we learn them. Last night the universe apparently decided I needed yet another experience to pound into my head that I am only responsible for me.

Recently I found a web page for a tiny set of twins, born at 24 weeks in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. It said the mother had set up the site to keep people informed on the progress of the girls, named Ava and Bella. When I saw it I couldn't resist the photo of them cuddled on their mother's chest. I immediately added them to my Facebook friend list. I also sent a suggestion to several of my friends to do the same. Sixteen others accepted.

Yesterday I suggested the connection to a brand new FB friend and almost immediately my antenna went up. I noticed the twin's friend list had grown by leaps and bounds, attracting people from all over the world. There were sometimes references made about donations to the hospital and suggestions to followers to have fund-raising events. All of a sudden the thought surfaced, "Is this a scam?"

Wondering if I had led my compassionate friends astray I sent a message to my newest friend to see what she thought, because she appeared to be very intuitive. She did feel it was a bit set up, but she also pointed out that each of us have a choice whether to donate or not.

Between us we checked out the information and it is authentic. The Scietekat babies are residents of James Cook Hospital, until at least July 2011. They are doing very well, considering their traumatic arrival and tomorrow they will be three weeks old. I plan on sending positive loving energy to these brave souls who are fighting to live.

The lesson for me was, I can give information to others based on my own experiences, but it is their choice what to do with it. Taking this a step further I have also been wondering how to address the devastating earthquakes, floods and other disasters that are occurring around the world. I feel bad for the lives that have been lost, but I am not in a position to be of financial help. All I can do is send out positive healing energy to those involved.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Remembering Marlee

All this hype about the world ending today brought back a memory of a lady who came into my life a few years ago. She wasn't really a friend, but had worked with my daughter at a prison in Grants, NM. She was a very interesting woman.

Marlee was diagnosed with lung cancer and eventually had to quit her job because she became too weak to work. She loved her home on Mt. Taylor and lived there for as long as she could manage with the help of friends. She began going through her extensive art collection and possessions she had collected on her travels. One by one she gave them to her special friends.

One day she announced to all that knew her that she had selected the exact day she was going to die. Marlee had dabbled in several religions and finally settled on Buddhism. She claimed that Buddhists had been given the ability to decide when they would die. She planned a party for the night before her chosen death date and invited her closest friends to attend. I am not sure if anyone actually believed her or if they were just humoring her because she was ill.

Of course, the next day she was still alive. It was a little embarrassing, but nothing stopped Marlee for very long. She lived for at least two more years and continued to grow physically weaker. She eventually had to move to a nursing home, where she made the best of still being alive.

She made sure that the nurses and staff knew that she wanted to die. It was not a morbid wish, she was just done with what she came here to do and I think annoyed that God was not listening to her. She had already made a decision that she wanted to return in her next life as a healer.

Marlee was a very spiritual soul, in her own way. A few weeks before she died I had a strong feeling that I was supposed to visit her. I had at one time shared some of my photos that contain spirit images and on my visit brought her prints of the ones I knew she especially liked. She was grateful and said, "There is no one here to talk to about spiritual things."

Above all Marlee had a great sense of humor. Before I left I remarked, "You know that you can't tell God when you are going to die, right?" With a smile she said, "Yes, I know."

Marlee finally got her wish and like her life her funeral was one of a kind. Her ashes were scattered by family and friends on the grounds of the sandstone bluffs in Cibola County. One of her sons summed her up by saying, "My mother was an odd bird."

On this day, with part of the world at least, thinking they can tell God what to do, I remember Marlee and I am grateful to have known her. Maybe she is a reminder to me that even though I know certain things are going to happen, the when is not entirely up to me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Simplify

For months, maybe even years, I have systematically eliminated things I no longer need. At first it wasn't really a conscious effort, I was just following my intuition. Now I see I was being led to simplify my life.

This week's major accomplishment was to eliminate Dish network, which I have had for three years and go back to Comcast, where I started in 1980. I was never happy with Dish, mostly because I had no clue how to use half of the things I was paying $60 a month for. The price had continued to climb since I originally purchased the contract. Comcast is running a special for $19.99 for the first year, which will save me $480. Even when the price goes up it will be considerably less than Dish is now.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when my picture became distorted and I could not speak to a human to find out what was causing the problem. I took a deep breath and dialed the account number then yelled "disconnect my service" at the automated voice who was on the other end of the line. Today I can watch the programs I want to view by just pushing a channel number, no electronic knowledge is necessary.

It is the same with my phones. I have a land phone for general use and a trac phone for emergencies. All I need to be able do is dial a number or pick up the receiver when the instrument rings. It does not need to play music, provide internet service or order a dinner in a restaurant or send flowers to a friend. It just has to work when I need to communicate with someone.

Last week I did purchase a simple to use digital voice recorder to make interviewing my subjects for my current book a little easier. Previously I had struggled to take accurate notes by hand, which made interviews run much too long.

My life is now simplified and I like it that way!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's Your Story?

I am really happy to be back writing life stories. It is apparently what I am supposed to be doing. A friend once made the comment, "Don't you hate it when you are the last one to know.?" It always amazes me that I can put a person's entire life on a single piece of paper and that person loves what I accomplished. One of my subjects once said, "You have found the essence of my life."

Since Sunday I have written four new stories. I even wrote one without doing an interview because the person is so busy. Her reaction when she read it was simply, "I love it!" I am always willing to change anything the person is not pleased with.

Writing these personal stories again with the purpose of celebrating the lives of the spirits of Cibola County reminds me how different yet how alike we all are. It is a mind boggling realization. Everyone has been given their own challenges and the freedom to choose how to deal with them.

In writing my new stories I clearly see that I am being led to a slightly different mindset than came out in the original 60 stories that I wrote a few years ago. This is a good thing. It means my old fashioned western town is finally relaxing and allowing new ideas to emerge. It's about time!

I just stopped by this morning to check in with my readers and now I am off to my morning exercise and then to my next interview. Have fun today living your own story.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Great Job

I recently sent for my credit score, which I do every once in a while just to see where I stand among my fellow US residents. It came yesterday and I am elated to see that I am doing great and remain rated in the top 90% of the country!

It would not surprise me if those who know my actual monetary worth would react with, "How did you do that?" My answer would be I have listened to my intuition and made wise choices. Rule #1 is do not live beyond your income.

There is nothing I go without. I am not the least bit tempted to purchase things that "they" say I need. Those people don't live my life. I am the only one who knows what will make me happy. Over the last twelve years I have replaced all major pieces of furniture in my house, kept that house in good repair including renovations, purchased a new car and computer; all by myself. What is more important than that is I owe nobody anything!

I am not writing this post to brag. I am writing it to tell others, especially women that you can do it too. Not all partnerships are made in heaven. If you are in a relationship that is draining the life out of you- leave! I did at age 60 and I am proud of myself for having had the courage to venture out into the big wide world alone. Some women have family support, but that was not God's plan for me.

Looking at what I have been able to accomplish since I took that risk in 1999 is amazing. I really have done a great job of taking control of my own life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Farsighted Vision

Driving around town this morning I noticed a couple of new business that I envisioned several years ago, occupying the exact buildings I saw them in. It caused me to think out loud,"if that happened, what else did you see back then that may still happen?"

One of the new businesses is a coffee shop, called "Coffee Bean" and the other is "Fast Track Nutrition". The difference in what I saw and what came to be is I thought I would be involved. Strange huh? Perhaps they or their owners are slated to be promoted in the new book I am working on about Cibola County.

At the beginning of my awakening journey I often clearly saw things that hadn't happened yet and it was very frustrating, until a friend assured me that I just saw things far in advance. He suggested I take a wait and see stance. I believe part of the problem back then was I didn't want to be psychic and I still don't- really. I look at those famous for their "supposed" gifts and I determinately do not want to be like them.

Because so many strange things happened to me at the beginning of my "conscious" journey I even feared at one point that I was being prepared to die, until another friend suggested that perhaps I was being prepared to live. With that thought in mind, I stopped holding my breath and began to investigate my new life.

Not being a naturally patient person, this wait and see game that the universe has been playing with me since 2000 has at times been painful. I do realize it was my fault because I didn't trust 100% in an entity greater than myself.

In my writing I have often used the words, believe and it will be. Perhaps it is time I personally believe in the things my farsighted vision has created, even though they still have not materialized for my human eyes to see.

By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.~ Nikos Kazantzakis

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Turn on the Light!

I am always amazed at how clever God/Source is when I step back and let things happen. While talking to a friend this morning it came through loud and clear why there has been a seven year gap between the original life stories I wrote as a columnist and the ones I will now be adding to my new book. It is so clear I don't know why I didn't see it before.

Not only did my writing skills need time to improve through the various projects, including this blog, that I have created; my entire life had to improve. My mind had to catch up with my soul so that I could truly become conscious of and believe in the gifts I was born to share.

An even bigger realization that occurred to me this morning is that the new stories are going to reflect the spiritual changes that the people I will now be interviewing will share through their life stories. I know I am not going to be looking for these people, they will naturally make themselves known to me when the time is right to talk to them. How cool is that?

I am still not sure how many new stories I will add before the project is ready to publish as a Kindle book, but I'm leaning toward 10 to 12. Maybe a baker's dozen, which for some reason seems very appropriate. 1+3=4=2=1 It only takes one to accomplish anything! Now that the light is turned on I am on my way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Can Do It

This morning I feel somewhat like the little engine that could. It took me six days to edit and rewrite the 60 individual stories in my first two book. Now they are all in one place with all the unnecessary words removed, just as they were meant to be in the first place.

Last night I had two stories left to work on and planned to leave them for today. It didn't turn out that way. Determination from inside pushed me to finish what I had started, before the night was over. I knew I could not begin writing new stories until the old ones were put to bed. I slept very well last night!

You bet I was tired and my back and butt are still a little sore, but I did it. So far the project is 40,290 words. I did learn a couple of things from my experience. First of all, I forced myself to take frequent breaks to stretch and do simple tasks around the house. Several times during the week I went into town just to take my mind off my project, as some of the stories brought back unpleasant memories about the subject of the story and were hard to write.It always upsets me when I have written someone's story and I later discover they lied to me. Honesty is my #1 priority.

The original 60 people who had allowed me to put their lives on paper are amazing! They helped me create some wonderful life stories. I still cannot believe that many of them shared the most intimate details of their lives with me. They then trusted me to use my gift of words to share their experiences with the world. I believe the reason this happened is because I am an ordinary writer who desires to inspire others by sharing life experiences, mine and those belonging to others. Talking to a reporter is a whole different ball game and it does not describe me.

As a reward for my positive efforts and determination I ordered a new padded posture chair to use with my computer. Now that I am taking myself seriously as a writer I suspect I will be spending much more time using my God given gift then ever before. I might as well be comfortable.

This morning I began the familiar process of setting up the first interview for the next story which will appear in my current project, Spirits of Cibola County. coming out soon as an Amazon e-Book. Watch for it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Gift of Gratitude

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and for most mothers it will be a day of family celebration. For me it no doubt won't be much different than any other day, which is not necessarily a bad or sad thing.

So many holiday's have become media events and it really bothers me. I may be just a little strange, but I would rather have my children remember my efforts to give them life than to purchase a gift of flowers or candy or whatever is the appropriate token of appreciation in today's world.

To me, the gift of respect and gratitude is all that is necessary. As children, we often don't stop to appreciate all that our mothers or grandmothers did for us. I just dug up a photo of my mother and her mother, taken not too long before they both died. It caused me to remember all the little things they both did to make my life happy. It also caused renewed gratitude for their efforts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Motherhood

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes. Some women are thrilled to accept the role, some not so much. One thing they all have in common is that their children would not have had the opportunity to live their life without them.

It is very easy to judge the job our mothers do, I did it myself with my own mother, until the day I realized she probably did the best she knew how to do. I also realized I did not know all the details of the struggles of her life, which influenced how she raised me and my brother.

Two of my own children are currently having a problem with the way I raised them. I am apparently, not the mother they would have chosen. I am afraid they will have to take that up with God. Like most mothers, I did the best I knew how to do, based on my life experiences and role models. Like most children, my three do not know all the details of my life.

The Biblical phrase, "Judge not lest ye be judged", comes to mind. Another great reminder is "He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass." attributed to George Herbert.

On this mother's day I am reflecting on what I did and didn't do and I believe I would give myself a pat on my back. I stuck it out and finished my assigned job and I believe I did ok. My three children are adults living their own lives. None of them have ever been arrested or as far as I know used drugs, which in today's world is a remarkable thing to say about your children. So it looks like I did something right, whether or not they believe I did.

In 1999 I wrote the following poem with my now estranged daughter in mind and I would like to share it with my readers, especially mothers to whom I am sending best wishes for a Happy Mother's Day!

My Gift From Above


An angel sent from above
in answer to my prayers
Thank you Father for your help.

An angel to love
to guide to shape
Thank you Father for your help

An angel to let go
to test her wings say goodbye
Thank you Father for your help.

An angel to watch and enjoy
as she shares what she has learned
Thank you Father job well done.
Barbara Loure` Gunn 1999

P.S.Special thanks to my oldest son, Jeff for not judging and accepting me exactly as I am!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mixing the Old and New

Editing and re-writing the 60 life stories that appeared in my first two books is going much faster than I had expected. Re-visiting the stories has made me aware of what a great little town Grants, NM is and how fortunate I am to have made so many friends while writing the stories. It also made me realize this morning that when I finish editing and updating the old stories I need to begin interviewing and adding new ones.

At the moment I am not sure what number I am shooting for, but I have begun making a mental list of people I want to interview. They are local residents who by simply living their lives, have added to the history of the area. As with the original stories, all subjects will have the opportunity to approve my take on their life experiences.

It seems I have known since I started writing way back in 2000 that it is my mission to promote the spirits of Cibola county in my own unique way. Any writer knows the first rule is to write about what you know. I temporarily forgot what I was doing! I let other people and their problems distract me, often taking responsibility for things that were none of my business.

Enough of that! Everybody can take care of their own problems from now on because I am going to be very busy mixing the old with the new for some time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Editor at Large

If I had known how much fun editing material I wrote, say seven years ago, would be I would have done it sooner!

I am very excited about my current project. I am also learning that I am a damn good writer and always have been. The Cibola County Beacon lost a talented columnist when I decided to move on, but I doubt if the editor knows that. Through editing I have discovered that I have learned much in my journalistic travels that I am now applying to my writing.

Without bragging and just stating facts, I am changing very little from the original material. All it is taking is updating facts here and there and a little tweaking to make the words come alive.

Perhaps I did find the wizard or at least the confident polished writer that was hiding inside, fearing to move into the light.