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Sunday, March 31, 2013

A common thread

Reading some Facebook posts this morning inspired me to think about people and how we are all so different. My thoughts were searching for the common thread that binds us all together.

There are so many groups out there today. Some are for and some are against a cause. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, which stem from their life experiences. Working toward strengthening what they believe and gathering others along the way, I guess is okay. I have a problem with people who think their way is the only way and if I don't follow there is something wrong with me. I admit I have been guilty of this act too. When we believe so strongly in something that is working for us it is human nature to try to sell it to others.  Isn't that what Jesus did?

It is mind boggling to think that the billions of souls residing on this planet called earth are all so different. Our creator has an unlimited imagination.

Color, race, gender, sexual preference, age, height, weight, physical ability, religion, political views, intelligence, education, health, creative talents and the list of differences goes on and on. They tend to create groups of sameness, which in my opinion is a step toward separateness. Next comes the really scary part of the equation; thinking that one group is better than another group. Now we have disrespect and non acceptance; leading to anger, avoidance and non-communication. Somehow I doubt if that is what our Creator saw for his children.

Possibly that is why there is a mighty big universal movement going on, reminding us one by one, that we need to remember that the reason we are here is to learn to accept the differences and love one another anyway.

The common thread I was searching for is that we are all spirits living a human life. We all originated from the same place and will eventually return from whence we came. Most of us will even try the experience again, until we get it right. There is always hope! 

Happy Easter to all you different lovable souls out there!



  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Positive energy

Everything is energy, absolutely everything! It is up to each person to create a positive flow of energy and walk on by anything negative. It takes lots and lots of practice to find the silver lining hidden in every dark cloud. It's a little like hunting Easter eggs. Only gather the brightly colored ones in your basket and leave the cracked ones behind.

There isn't one person we have had a relationship with that has not taught us something we needed to know on our path to evolvement. Even the most hurtful experiences have taught us by example what we don't want in our life. I think I have learned the most from these people because their negative energy stands out like a sore thumb. I have in the past spent a lot of time feeling sorry for them, but now I realize it was a  waste of my precious energy. They are what they are and what they are is not my responsibility to fix.

Just for fun I looked up the word energy in my new All-In-One Dictionary & Thesaurus to see what Webster thought were synonyms. The words that popped up were: potency, power, strength, vigor, force, might and muscle. Every one could be either positive or negative. It looks to me as if how we use our energy is an individual choice.

I don't know about anyone else, but I choose to plug into the positive. Just think what would happen if everyone made the same choice!   


Friday, March 29, 2013

My fondest priestly memories

In my 25 years spent trying to fit into the Catholic church there were some fond memories. I wouldn't want anyone to think that it was all negative. As I have previously stated I only became Catholic because I was at the time married to one.

My instructions were a bit unorthodox. I tried attending a class, but it moved so slow it would have taken me years to accomplish my goal. I talked to the young (about my age) priest in charge and was asked, "Would you like to follow me?" Some of you might see that as my first mistake. Back then I was a lot younger and easily persuaded to follow. One of the funniest things that happened during our one on one instruction periods was when Father Bob asked me with a straight face, "What is the difference between a priest and a nun?" After I stopped laughing I gave him the answer he was expecting. A priest is ordained and a nun isn't. It still makes laugh when I think about it.

Shortly after I was finally baptized the Bishop came to visit our church. Apparently that was a big deal, but I wasn't terribly impressed. After mass the parishioners formed a line and one by one offered a greeting to the Bishop. I stuck out my hand and shook his as any normal person would do. Immediately, Father Bob stepped in and explained to him that I was new and didn't know I was supposed to kiss his hand. Whew saved by the bell! Along this train of thinking I never did get used to kissing a piece of wood that was supposed to be Jesus. Haven't you people ever heard of germs?

We eventually moved to the Laguna Indian Reservation in New Mexico and a whole new brand of priests appeared. They were a little less formal and on occasion stopped by our house to share a meal with us. I even agreed to be on the parish council for a short time before I realized it wasn't my thing. That experience brings back a rather embarrassing memory. During one of our meetings the priest was adamant that any child whose parents did not regularly attend mass would not go to heaven. His statement pissed me off to the point of my asking him. "Have you talked to God lately?" I never have been able to keep my mouth shut when something offends me!

The next outstanding memory occurred when we brought our new born daughter home from the hospital. We saw Father Bill outside the church and stopped to introduce the baby to him. I rolled down the car window and handed him my daughter. He was so startled I was afraid he would drop her. I seriously doubt he had ever held a newborn in his arms before. This same priest once tossed a basketball out into the congregation to make a point during his sermon. Fair is fair!

Our next move was 30 miles up the road to the small town of Grants, NM and again I met a new batch of priests. We pretty much avoided the large Catholic church and chose the smaller parishes to attend mass. The priests and nuns were much friendlier. I have a very fond memory of Father Oliver who loved music. Whoever came to his mass was expected to sing, whether you had a good voice or not, it did not matter. He reminded me a little of Gomer Pyle

And then came Father Clark, a priest I will always remember and I doubt there will ever another like him. What made him special, in my opinion, was the fact that he had been a Navy Chaplain and as such had seen and heard it all. He also knew that before he was ordained he was a human just like everyone else. I can't think of him without remembering his, slightly overweight dog, who always found a comfortable spot to nap right in front of the alter during mass. Father Clark loved to bend the rules just a bit. He changed the midnight Christmas mass to 8:00 p.m. because he said he couldn't stay awake until 12:00.

So you see my 25 year experience with trying to fit in as a Catholic wasn't all bad, just different.

Stop blaming me

Good Friday, a day when a whole lot of people are focusing on death. I am taking the day to focus on living and eliminating anything or anyone who is causing me to take the blame for things that are not my fault. I proclaim this stop blaming me day.

Since I was a child I have taken the blame for the actions of others. I never quite got the message that what you choose to do is your fault/responsibility- not mine. I make enough mistakes (faulty decisions) on my own. I don't need to assume the blame for yours too.

My posts are inspired by my life experiences and are written with the help of my universal guides. On this special day I have a suggestion for anyone who does not like what I write- don't access my blog! If you just follow this simple suggestion we will both be free to live a much happier life. Enough said! 

Yesterday my dog, Ejay, helped me to have a different opinion of blame. Because he kept coming into the house with dirty feet and legs I assumed he was trying to dig under my chain link fence. With the help of my grandson I checked every inch of the rather large area and found no evidence of an attempted escape. At that point I looked down at Ejay, who had been following us, and saw that his legs were a telltale color of the reddish dirt our area is famous for. He hadn't been digging after all. His legs were dirty from walking through the dried tumbleweeds along the back of the fence. My next move is to find someone who can help me eliminate the problem and stop blaming my little dog for something that wasn't even his fault.






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Words words words

My 2013 hard cover edition of Webster's dictionary & thesaurus just arrived. Oh my goodness! It contains 67,000 "clear concise dictionary definitions" and more than 140,000 synonyms and antonyms. Talk about words, words, words!
The book is really set up very nicely, with the definitions printed in black and the thesaurus printed in blue. Just for fun I wanted to see how it began and how it ended. It's been a boring day! The first entry was  "a", the first letter of the alphabet and the last one was "zygote", a cell formed by the union of two sexual cells, also, the developing individual produced from such a cell.

I am aware that some of my facebook friends who are writers believe that ordering books from Amazon helps to put local bookstores out of business. Although I do agree with that thought, I live in a small western NM town that does not currently have a book store. I was in need of a new dictionary and had no choice but to order it online. I had donated my old books to an aspiring writer that I am trying to encourage, who resides in a nursing home. I didn't realize I missed the books until I no longer had them.

Although I am thrilled with my new purchase and expect it to inspire me to find synonyms and antonyms I hadn't previously thought of, 67,000 words at my disposal is just a bit overwhelming.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm retired do it yourself!

I am sure I gave my guides, along with all the angels listening in, right up to the top entity in charge reason to jointly heave a giant sigh of relief this morning when I finally understood why I so vividly recall two of my past lives.

For months I have fretted because the other soul involved in those two lives, and an online friend in this life, had no clue. I thought it was a huge universal joke. How can I be so positive and he be so clueless? It didn't seem fair until I realized this morning that what he recalled or didn't recall didn't matter in the slightest. It also finally made sense why I didn't know what he looked like until recently. It was not supposed to be a physical experience; although it did at times involve the heart, as in caring about him. That could have been an unforeseen accident; guides have been known to make mistakes now and then.

It was all about the lesson being offered and if I hadn't taken so much time worrying about details that didn't matter, I may have learned it sooner.

I was supposed to see that our current relationship mirrored issues present in the two past lives. It all had to do with control; mostly my always taking responsibility for things that were never mine to deal with in the first place. This time the universe cleverly switched our roles and I became the soul who was manipulated by a control freak. Let me tell you I didn't like it one little bit. It reminded me of the saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. My feet hurt!

Apparently walking that mile did the trick because changes have been happening in my life and I no longer feel the need to live anyone's life but my own. One life at a time is plenty. I have a little handmade sign that hangs by my front door that reads: I'm retired do it yourself!  


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter- a Catholic holiday?

I had actually planned to take the day off and not write a post. Looks as if the universe had other plans for my morning. Thank you- I think!

I received an email message this morning from a Catholic friend who is also a member of my creative writing group. It said, "Hope you have a good Holy Week and Easter, although you don't believe, my good wishes go to you anyway."

My first reaction was, excuse me! I don't think you understand what I believe. Apparently her opinion stemmed from my statements that I am no longer Catholic and do not ever care to be again. This person's life is so tied to the church and its traditions that she seems to have forgotten how to think for herself. Everything she writes, no matter the subject, has a religious tone. I guess in her mind Easter is only celebrated by Catholics.

I spent 25 years of my adult life trying to believe in something that was never a very good fit. I remember the words of my beloved grandmother when I made the choice to become Catholic, "You want to be a Christian." At the time her words really bothered me and my intuition was to say no!

I didn't realize I was just trying it out because my husband at that time was a non-practicing catholic. Following my previous life pattern I thought it was my responsibility to get him back into the church. In the process I allowed myself to be swallowed up in ritualistic traditions that were totally against my core beliefs. In 1999 I dropped the church and the marriage and began the process of learning to think for myself.

It did bother me a little when I recently looked up the definition of Christian and saw that it really did not fit. I do believe that Jesus was born, lived and died and that his purpose was to teach his fellow humans how to love each other. He and fellow sages such as: Buddha, Confucius and Muhammad were all born of the same Creator as you and I. It seems to me that makes us all siblings- no savior in the crowd.

As I have previously stated I have a one on one relationship with my Creator that does not require the assistance of any other being, living or deceased. I choose not to label that knowing, it simply is. My church does not require four walls. My beliefs are my own, gathered from 75 years of personal experiences, and I am presently trying to the best of my ability to learn to respect the beliefs of my fellow beings.

I trust this post satisfies the universal push I received to write it this morning. Now I am taking the rest of the day off thank you very much.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friendly feedback

I have friends from all over the world that I truly treasure. Sometimes out of the blue one of them does something that touches my heart. This happened yesterday when I received a totally unexpected response to my 3/22/13 blog post "From dependence to independence" from my friend Bob Luckin. What first attracted me to him is his beautiful art found on http://www.luckinart.com/slideshow1.html. He recently  started writing a blog http://robertluckin.com/. Bob has also been a life coach for many years along with a slightly unusual gift of handwriting analysis.

He is the kind of person that one could describe as "what you see is what you get". He doesn't play games and there is absolutely no pretense about him. His writing is honest, straight forward and usually offers more than a touch of humor. I don't know where his wife Judith found him, but I would like to fish in the same pond. Because he has been teasing me about the reference to footsteps found on the home page of my blog I was not prepared for his positive feedback of my work that he offered yesterday. I would now, with his permission, like to share his words with my readers.

"I believe in you. I see you standing at the top of the mountain. I know that spirit is with you, within you and is guiding you. You have over the past few years accomplished a great deal. To be in a place where you can reflect, use what has happened to you and continue to grow is nothing less than a miracle, unless you believe that spirit is always guiding you and I know you believe this. I am inspired by your growth, your courage and your honesty."

I feel very grateful to have a friend like Bob Luckin who took the time to notice and comment on what I have accomplished. Please check out his Websites you won't be sorry.

Friday, March 22, 2013

From dependence to independence

If I could overhear the words of encouragement my soul mind is saying to my conscious mind it might go like this, "Congratulations, I knew you could do it. You came equipped with all that you needed to succeed, you just didn't remember. You have moved from the position of dependance to independence and I am very proud of you. Now go encourage others do the same thing."

Surviving my experiences, especially those of the last couple of years, have pushed me over that last obstacle to the top of the mountain. Breathing in the clear fresh air of freedom is exhilarating! Look mom no hands holding onto anything or anyone. I'll bet you didn't think I could do it. Fooled us both didn't I?

My intentions have moved from asking to doing. If anyone else wants to join me on my adventures they are welcome to do so. If not, please find your own adventure. I believe in what I am doing and that's all that matters.

In the words of motivational speaker, Tamara Mena, "If you believe in you people will believe in you. If you believe in others people will believe in themselves."

And in the words of that wise little bear, Winnie the Poo, "You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem and stronger than you think."

I believe what finally broke through that last membrane of the bubble was being able to step back and look at my life from the vantage point of a witness. I have always been able to do that, but lately my fearful ego kept getting in the way and diluting the progress I have made.

It is not that I am ungrateful for the help others have provided on my journey, because I am, but I now see that the souls who helped me the most allowed me to fall, pick myself up and try again. It seems odd, but those who offered little or no encouragement actually provided the fuel I needed to move from dependance to independence. Maybe I'm just a little weird, but I have always responded with a "watch me" attitude when told I couldn't do something.

So now that I am standing on top of the mountain, not holding onto anything and breathing clean fresh air; I could swear I can hear my grandmother's voice asking "What now my love?" 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

RESPECT

Having decided that respect is what I am seeking I thought I would make a list of some of the ways respect can be shown in our daily lives. The golden rule is always a good way to start. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Dr. Tony Alessandra PhD. created what he thinks is a better way of expressing that which is, Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. It seems everyone has their own opinion of respect.

Some of the ways I thought of are:
Listen attentively
Be considerate
Keep your word
Be on time
Use please, thank you and excuse me
Encourage others
Be fair and truthful
Do more than expected
Strive for dignity
Do not assume
Follow your own footsteps
Don't take more than your share
Help others when asked
Don't belittle anyone for anything
Show honest interest
Give positive feedback
Acknowledge and accept differences

Even if people regularly practiced some of those things they would be on their way to living their life with respect. Try it you might like it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What do you want?

Awhile back someone took a look at my life and decided it needed fixing. I went along with this little game until the day I informed the person that I was done and no longer desired to be anyone's science fair project. I then wisely, I thought, stated that if our relationship was going to continue I expected equality. The person has not communicated since my demand was stated; perhaps still contemplating just how to make my request a reality.

Yesterday I began contemplating the exact same question with surprising results.

After some research I have determined that where humans are concerned there is no such thing as equality. In the first place who will decide what is equal? Everyone has had different life experiences. Some grew up in ideal family settings, others did not; some have great educations, others do not; some are financially well off, others are not; some are physically fit, others are not etc. etc. etc. as the King  of Siam once proclaimed.

Even if you took two human beings with the exact same backgrounds and engaged them in a tug of war the battle would still not be equal. One of those beings would always have more drive, more determination and more faith in their ability to win and therefore would be the winner of the contest.

So much for equality.

Going back to the drawing board it became apparent to me that it wasn't equality that I was seeking anyway, it was respect. It was the piece of the equation that had been clearly missing from the beginning of our relationship. How could this have occurred I pondered. The only way it could have happened is because I let it happen. I excused the person's actions because I didn't care enough about me.

I never once said to the person, "If you can't treat me with respect please leave".

With this thought I went back into other relationships I have had and realized that if I had cared as much about myself as I did about the other person my entire life would have been a whole lot more respectful. Disrespect almost always breeds disrespect. Basically we have two choices in this kind of situation. We can allow the negativity to keep building until someone/something explodes or we can put a stop to the nonsense as soon as it shows its nasty head.

From this experience I hope I have finally learned to expect from and give to others respect right from the beginning of any new relationship. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Seriously?

The universe is filled with people who are all equipped with a brain, well most of them anyway! Each person uses that unique tool to make decisions, based on life experiences, which creates their comfort zone.  Sometimes I  look at someone and think- seriously?!

It seems to me that some people are so brain centered they forget they have a heart. Then there are the people who are so heart centered they forget they have a brain. It reminds me of the scarecrow and the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. They both needed the courage of the lion to balance their lives.

When we are new born humans all the pieces work together pretty well. It is our job to fill them up as the body grows. It would be nice if everything stayed balanced, but that rarely happens.

This is my opinion and you are welcome to follow along if you choose to do so. Every experience we have, every person we meet slowly manages to screw things up a little at a time, until we either become heart centered or brain centered; in other words unbalanced

At pivotal points in our life someone with a strong personality that is impossible to ignore will intercede and give us the opportunity to straighten up a bit. Mitch Albom wrote about these people in his wonderful book The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  I can easily identify at least two of those souls in my life.

These encounters are a little like going to a chiropractor. You know you are in pain and you need an adjustment, but you fear the procedure will hurt. Some people go willingly and some fight every step of the way. The result is usually worth the temporary discomfort though.

Strangely what I found in the two experiences I can recall is that I learned to balance my brain and heart,  while the teacher was left behind; leaving me to observe that life and think to myself- seriously?!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Are you generous?

This time of year people seem to be looking inside and examining who they are. One of the questions that pops into my mind is are you generous?

In the small town I live in there are always beggars standing on a particular corner in the area of our local Wal-Mart store. It gets the most traffic of any corner in town. People wave all kinds of creative signs as cars drive by. Franky, I pretty much ignore them, not truly believing they need help. There are people who earn more begging on a corner than those sitting behind a desk working all day. There are also places in town that offer help to those who need assistance.

Following my intuition, I did stop to help a woman one day. She had no visible means of transportation. I told her I would not give her money, but I would purchase groceries for her. She accepted my offer. We went back to the store and I allowed her to pick out whatever she thought she needed. After paying the bill I took her to a local motel where she and her family were staying. On the way we exchanged basic information and I learned her husband was out of work. It just so happened that I was in desperate need of finding someone to cheaply clear the dried grass in the back of my property. I made arrangements for the woman's husband to do the job the next day. As it turned out he was an honest fast worker who did an excellent job for a reasonable amount of money. My intuition paid off in this situation.

I have often shared the story of the very cold winter morning I was walking in the park. I encountered a young man sitting alone on a park bench with a backpack. I thought this was a bit odd as this particular morning was Christmas. As I was preparing to leave I just couldn't get the man out of my mind. I stopped by an Allsups store and purchased a cup of cappuccino and a pastry and returned to the park bench. Handing my purchase to the man I said, "merry Christmas". He thanked me and returned my greeting.

That experience took place because of a story I remembered  hearing that had stayed in my mind. A minister wanting to make a lasting impression on his congregation, dressed in rags and situated himself in front of his church one Sunday morning. The parishioners, dressed in their finest walked right past him, without giving him notice on their way into the church. When it was time for the service to start the minister still dressed in his rags walked up the aisle and addressed his congregation from behind the pulpit. No other words are necessary from me.

I just really think that generosity comes from the heart and we should always listen to our intuition, the voice of our universal guide. It doesn't always take money. Often just letting others know that we care is more than enough.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quest for perfection

My inspiration is coming from everywhere these days. This post was inspired by a quote from Ralph Ellison: "The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike." Any good writer knows the truth of these words. The quest for perfection is always present.

I'm sure many of my readers have noticed that between posts I often go back and forth with the ideas I express. If you look really close it is not unheard of for me to make changes even after a post is published. That's the really nice thing about being a blogger. It gives the writer the option of rethinking when new information presents itself. The same is not true of writing a book or being a columnist. The writer can edit up to the minute the material is published, but then it is too late. Having experience with all three mediums I much prefer blogging. Besides I am my own editor!

In my earlier years I was always seeking perfection in everything I did. In my later years I have backed off quite a lot from that view. I now know that nothing is perfect. Searching for perfection is a total waste of time and energy. I am also smart enough to realize that if something is not making me happy there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

I still have a terrible habit of holding off a little longer than necessary before tackling the issue, especially when it involves the way someone is treating me. That is probably a holdover from my former life of allowing others to walk all over me. I think it's part of my DNA to keep hoping the other person will change, even when my brain says that is never going to happen. The only person I can change is me.

I am learning that when any situation is causing me constant pain it is time to pull the plug. It doesn't matter if it involves a thing or a person. Life is just too short to put up with negative energy from any source.

Although I am easing off of my quest for perfection as I get older, I still try to put my best foot forward, especially as a writer.




Saturday, March 16, 2013

You gotta wear green

Here we go again, about to celebrate another holiday promoted by the media- St. Patrick's Day is Monday. I'm not even Irish so what does it have to do with me? 

The closest I come is through my maternal  grandfather, who was of Scottish decent. I no longer drink and when I did never liked beer so I guess that leaves me out of the obligatory celebration. For years I purchased the meaningful corned beef brisket and made sure I had a head of cabbage and potatoes to boil for dinner. As far as wearing green goes, if I had it I wore it.

So again I ask myself, what does St. Patrick's Day have to do with me? My answer is absolutely nothing! Good grief I'm not even Catholic anymore, although the church might disagree with that! I remember somewhere along the line hearing "once Catholic always Catholic". Sorry about that, but I broke that rule several years ago and my soul belongs to me!

So this year I am going to ignore the media's control and treat the day no different than any other. I will cook, drink and wear whatever turns me on. The rest of the world can follow along like little sheep if they choose to, but I am not buying media control anymore.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I finally found the key!

Sometimes you just have to put all the puzzle pieces in a box, shake them up and roll them out onto a pristine pallet to find the answer to a question you weren't even aware you were seeking. Gathering a little of this and a little of that and a big chunk of my never failing friend intuition (otherwise known as universal help), I Goggled communication skills. In all honesty I must admit that at this point I knew exactly what I was looking for. I was searching for a key word.

The first word I came across was confidence. Reading on, it suddenly struck me like a bolt of lightening that it is not only the key to communication, but to every challenge we face as a human being. I can just hear a very good friend of mind saying "if you ain't got confidence you ain't got nothin'!"

Confidence is the element that has changed in my life. It is what has made everything else possible. All the other pieces of the puzzle now fit together perfectly. It is why I now have people following me that previously didn't even acknowledge my existence. It is why I do not fear challenging those who in the past I have allowed to intimidate me. It is why I no longer allow others to live my life for me. It is why I now have boundaries and if people cross them I do not hesitate to push them away, until or unless they meet my expectations.

In a minute I will share what else I found about communication skills so I don't waste the knowledge I acquired, but first I want to share a quote from former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson, regarding President Ronald Reagan,  known as "the great communicator".  He said, "He was believable because he believed."

Exactly!

Now for the goggled information regarding communication skills: Next to confidence, which attracts others like a magnet, the suggestion was to show interest. Get the other person to talk about their self. Ask questions that require a detailed answer, not just yes or no. Phrase questions to make the person think. Listen twice as much as you speak. Stay focused, absorb the information and follow with a question relevant to the information received. Of course, if you are having a person to person conversation, as opposed to an online one, eye contact is important. Don't be afraid to take risks, nobody can take away your self-worth but you. The more interests you have the more you have to talk about. Start small and get comfortable it will build up your confidence.

The key word is confidence, if you have it you need do nothing more, if you don't; get out there and find IT!





Fairy dust people

There are people who fly around, not ever touching their feet to the ground, who love to rewrite my life for me. They always have a way of turning around whatever I think to end up being what they think. It is extremely annoying! Fairy dust people need to let me be and concentrate on their own life.

Things aren't always going to be perfect. How could they be when we don't live in a perfect world? We didn't come here for perfect. We came here to learn by experiences and solving whatever problems come up along the way that act as a road block to what we truly desire.

Of course, I would like things, especially relationships, to move along at an even pace, but that is never going to happen. It won't, because we all have a different way of looking at things. One person could have the most loving intentions and could be misinterpreted by the other. I have found through trial and error that there is always a third source of energy in any relationship. That entity has no body, but has the power to help repair whatever we as humans screw up, through misunderstandings.

Where there is love there is a way and the solution does not need the assistance of fairy dust people. Just keep your feet on the ground, walk confidently forward and watch for that mysterious energy to take over. Believe and it will be.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Come on spring

Even though our winter has been mild with only a smattering of snow flakes, as opposed to last year's several feet of the white stuff, I can't wait for spring to arrive. The weather is getting warmer, which has allowed my puppy to move outside for the better part of the day, doing whatever dogs enjoy doing. Thanks to my son-in-law the holes in my chain link fence have been blocked, allowing Ejay a half acre of land to freely explore, without being tied to anything. He is no longer under my feet from the time he wakes up, to the time he dozes off at night, in his comfy basket next to my bed.

My life, although actually busier, has gradually become less stressful day by day. Consciously only doing the things that make me happy and eliminating  people I formally believed had all their ducks in a row was all I had to do to see/be me.

There is no need to compare myself with anyone else nor particularly care what my fellow earth mates think about my choices. It has nothing to do with them.

I am simply going to follow my passion and my intuition and move on into spring. It is the time of new birth and cleaning up the rubbish left over from winter.

My passion and my purpose is to use my love affair with words to inspire others in whatever way possible. My blog, my writing group and my nursing home communication group are only a jumping off place for where I intend to go this spring.

There are several plans brewing just waiting for the right time to add to my cup of happiness. One of them could mature any day now as I am waiting for the background check to be completed to officially become a CASA volunteer. That stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate for children. I am very excited about the possibilities this move will bring to my life. I know it is exactly where I am supposed to be; giving a voice to children, who through no fault of their own, have lost theirs. 

Some of my friends are waiting for St. Patrick's Day, Palm Sunday and Easter, but me, I am waiting for spring and all the new beginnings it will bring to my world.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Avoiding the poo

Over the weekend I finished reading A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. If you haven't read the book I highly recommend doing so. It is brilliantly written and gives a dog, who has the ability to recall past lives, a voice. He is able to see how  things he learned in his previous lives progressively helped him in whatever current life he was living. The book helped me finally get a message I have been refusing to learn for several of my own lives, including 75 years of this one.

The message/lesson: When I see a pile of dog poo in my path it is only my responsibility to shout out a warning to anyone following me; it is not my job to actually pick them up and carry them to a cleaner place.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=a%20dog%27s%20purpose%20by%20w.%20bruce%20cameron&sprefix=A+Dog%27s%2Cstripbooks%2C487 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eyes to see

Yesterday I wrote about a visit to our local nursing home and shared what I saw. Others making the same visit might have had a totally different picture. My eyes saw a room full of very positive people doing exactly what made them happy.

Yesterday I also re-posted a painting on facebook of a young lady sadly staring at a musical instrument with a broken string. I made the comment "learn to sing". A person who believed he knew what the artist was saying corrected me by offering his own idea. I would have just let it go except that in his reply he used the words "it isn't complicated", which I took as inferring that my view was incorrect.

No two people ever see the same thing. It is as simple as that. Our view of anything is based upon our own experiences. There is no right or wrong just different.

I have a friend who has dealt with major heart problems over the last couple of years. Most people would look at him and think "that poor man". Having observed his method of dealing with his challenge over time I look at the same man and think "what a great man". He will be fighting with all he has and a ton of humor until the day his challenge is over. He never gives up. Go Tim go!

A female friend has dealt with a serious weight problem most of her life. One day her eyes saw the person she knew she could be and she set out to be that person. She lost over 100 lbs in a year and is still inspiring others to follow her on a path to good health. She saw what she wanted and never gave up even though at times her body resisted. Go Jaylene go!

 I believe through my writing and personal connections I am inspiring others to be the best that they can be. I look for the positive in others and try to promote that. People sometimes need someone to help them believe in their-self. I am happy to be that person because it costs me nothing. I know professionals often look for what they see as the negatives in clients and try to fix them. In my opinion that is not the best way to help someone.

Maybe that's what is wrong with most religions. The eyes of those in charge see the congregation as being made up of broken people that just don't quite measure up to the Creator. That's basically why in recent years my "church" has moved outside. My eyes and their eyes no longer see the same thing and never will again.

This Sunday morning I was thinking about another friend who also believes he is helping others, but from a totally different eye level as mine. I finally saw the reason we always butt heads. This realization inspired me to write the following.

I look for positives and try to promote them.
You look for negatives and try to fix them.
No wonder we aren't on the same page,
We aren't even writing the same book.
You enjoy being you I'm happy being me.

Go me go!




Saturday, March 9, 2013

Listening to real voices

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given to interact with residents from our local nursing home. As I have previously stated I worked in this same facility as the Resource Development Coordinator back in 2000. At the time I didn't feel it was necessary to get involved with the residents. My job was to come up with projects that brought in money, which in turn benefited the residents.  Although I was good at what I did,  I now realize I could have done my job even better if I had stepped out of my office in the main hall and taken the time to get to know some of the people I was representing.

The facility is just across the street from the grocery store I frequent and I have made it a habit to stop by the activity room when I am in the vicinity just to say hello and see what the residents are up to. Activity is a perfect name for this area as everyone is doing something. There are very few residents just sitting around with blank stares on their faces. When they are sitting they are usually listening to peppy music, playing bingo, following an exercise instructor or participating in games that keep their minds active.

The activity director makes sure that anyone with a special skill is provided with the necessary tools to keep them active and interested in life. On my visit yesterday to spend a few minutes talking to a special friend who was busy crocheting I also noticed a lady, who has much more patience than I have, busily tackling a 250 piece puzzle. She has finished over 200 of them, some of which are framed and decorate the room. A near by computer sits waiting for anyone brave enough to learn a new skill with the help and encouragement of staff, while another man I know plugged in an electric guitar in preparation to serenade his eager audience. In the center of the room most of the remainder of the residents were busy exercising their limbs. In separate ends of the room there is a TV set and books for those interested in keeping up with the world outside of their walls.

Because I have taken the opportunity I have been given to get to know some of these wonderful people my opinion of them and what they have to offer has greatly changed. They are not just people who have given up on life and have been stuffed away in a facility waiting to die. They are real people with real voices and I am very grateful that I have been given a second chance to hear them speak and share what they have to say..

 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Time to bury the bone

I love it when a simple thing like watching my puppy, Ejay, from my kitchen window leads me to make a decision I have been pondering for some time. The dog had been chewing on the end of a rawhide bone for weeks and this morning he took it outside and calmly buried it under a tree. Although he has other things to munch on, this bone was one of his favorites. The act was so clearly a universal lesson that I just can't ignore it.

There is a favorite person in my life that I have also been "chewing" on for some time and today I do believe it is time to bury the relationship.

Taking a good look at the person with my eyes wide open I see that his actions have never matched his words. He never follows through with anything he promises he is going to do. He is the kind of person who has big ideas that never happen. He starts projects and no doubt sees them finished, but there is no middle to his plans. He does not have the tools to move from where he is to where he wants to go. Like a Mexican jumping bean he flops from one thing to another, never able to commit to anything or anyone. There is a word for that and it is desultory: meaning the fear of commitment.

I have been trying to hold onto this relationship because I am actually able to see the person's soul and I know he can change if he wants to bad enough. Apparently he just doesn't want to or possibly he really can't see what he is doing and that his actions are interfering with the possibility of a much happier life.

Because of watching Ejay bury his favorite bone this morning without looking back I believe I am ready to do the same with this relationship. It is time to let go of something that obviously is never going to change for the better in this lifetime, no matter how much positive energy I give the situation.

Thanks Ejay you did good!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Acknowledgement

In both my nursing home communication group yesterday and my writing group this morning the conversation took in acknowledging the existence of others. It seems that many people are so busy living their own lives that they no longer take the time to even notice anyone else. It is not only true in nursing home situations but life in general. How many times do you go to the store so intent on what you have to purchase that you don't even see the other customers?

It isn't necessary to have a 10 minute conversation, but would it hurt to smile and say hello?

Years ago while working at our local nursing home I had a brief experience that to this day is embedded in my mind. I walked right past a lady in a wheelchair on the way to the copy room. Something caused me to pause with my hand on the door handle. I turned around and went back to the lady, smiled and said good morning. The lady returned a huge smile. Today as I walk through the hallways of the same nursing home as a volunteer I never pass a person without acknowledging them.

There are people I know who go out of their way to avoid acknowledging my existence. I used to take it as an intentional insult. Now I just feel sorry for them because I know they have a problem they can't deal with. In order for them to intentionally ignore me they have to first acknowledge my presence. It is sort of like a backhanded compliment, but still I have been acknowledged!

I had a funny experience after my grandson's basketball game last weekend that is still making me smile. As I was leaving the gym I briefly paused within a foot or so of someone who has chosen not to speak to me for a couple of years. Observing her I could see how uncomfortable she was as she struggled to look down at her shoes. How much easier it would have been for her to just say hello and let me pass.

Life sometimes teaches us in odd ways. Probably because I have been ignored in the past by experts I now make a conscious effort not to do it to others. I believe for those who already have a self-esteem issue it is the worst possible hurt they could endure.



  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Feed back with a smile

About a month ago I wrote a blog post regarding a request I had received from the spirit world from a friend who left earth in 2007. As I stated at the time, I do not hear voices it is simply a knowing; a gentle way of communication. My friend Barbara H. asked me to bake a batch of heart shaped sugar cookies topped with cinnamon candies and give them to the adoring husband she had left behind. I happily complied with her request. Along with the Valentine cookies I included a card with a detailed explanation of who they were from.

I hadn't seen John until this morning when  he stopped to talk to me in the grocery store. He sincerely thanked me for the cookies and the card. I told him I hoped it had not upset him and he told me that he smiled every time he ate one of the cookies.

In parting I said, "You know she did it right?"

John smiled and replied, "Yes, but YOU didn't have to do what you did."

Did he really think I was going to ignore a request from a spirit that strong? No way!

Knowing that I had made him happy and no doubt Barbara happy made me smile all morning. I know there are those who do not believe it is possible to communicate with deceased souls, but I am not one of them.


A different view

When I first began writing back in 2000 a symbol popped into my mind one day. I knew it was something meant to be a strong message. A friend even suggested that I keep it and use it as a logo. It never became a logo, but it has always stayed in my mind. Today prompting from the universe, which I have learned not to ignore, caused me to reconstruct the symbol. In doing so and because of recent changes in my life I now have a different view of its meaning.

When this symbol first came into view I interpreted it to mean three different entities all connected.  I saw a man and a woman and God. I knew who god was and I knew who I was (well sort of), but I had no idea who the man was. I did tend to believe that the male and female were soulmates. It made perfect sense at the time.

What a difference a few years of hard work dealing with and learning the lessons that God/Source has provided for my evolvement make. Like many others I was forever looking for that third entity to complete my picture. This simple little illustration couldn't possibly be all there was to the puzzle- could it? 

Today I do still believe that the circle represents Divine guidance, but it now flows through the soul (mind) and into the rest of the picture. The triangles are not two separate entities, as I originally believed. They are two whole parts and represent the feminine and masculine side of every living being.When all of these pieces are balanced the entire illustration represents a whole perfect being; the one that was created to come to earth and actively participate in the universal changes that are now taking place. 

Although it would be like icing on a beautiful cake to connect with a male who has the same view as mine it is no longer absolutely necessary for my well being or for my purpose.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An amazing dream

Everyone dreams and I am aware that dreams are symbolic and meant to teach or share an important message. Although I do not often remember my dreams in the morning I had one a couple of nights ago that not only woke me up in the middle of the night, but left tears in my eyes because it touched my heart.

What I saw was a male and female (me) dressed in some kind of robes. They were sitting cross legged facing each other, holding hands. To my left were Native Americans singing in their native tongue Amazing Grace. It seemed like a spiritual ceremony of some kind, a uniting of spirits. It was beautiful and as I said it touched my heart.

In response I would like to share a video of Amazing Grace sung in Cherokee. It is worth watching because the messages come through loud and clear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvYIjFtPQEk

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm following who?

Lately I have been checking out the people whom I have believed at one time or another to be worthy of my following.

As I have changed and grown so have these people. Some of them have grown right out of my life, which is not always a bad thing. I have considered some simple questions like, is this person dependable or does he/she come and go like a puff of smoke from a chimney? Does this person follow through with promises made or does he/she disregard them as null and void as soon as they are spoken? Does this person make every effort to encourage and help promote others or is he/she more concerned with his/her own self worth?

Honestly answering these questions makes it clear to me why some people are no longer in my life. They have simply proved over time that they were not who I originally thought they were. Honesty and dependability are the number one qualities that I require both of myself and those close to me.

We all have role models, those people we look up to and desire to emulate. That's just fine as long as in the process we don't lose sight of the fact that we are not them.

My first role model was my maternal grandmother, I no doubt ended up being a lot like her, which always made my mother cringe. Nana was an ordinary woman, with honest values and a giving heart. When she saw something that needed doing she didn't ask questions she just jumped in and did it. She taught me by example to value my creative gifts and to freely give them away to those who needed them. She taught me to appreciate the natural beauty of flowers. She taught me to strive for perfection in the way I present myself to the rest of the world, being mindful not to become egotistical. She taught me to acknowledge a higher presence and to always be grateful for what I have.

As I think of my grandmother today I am thankful to have been the one she chose to teach. If it were not for my following her honest values my life could have gone in an entirely different direction.




Rainbow dreams

Somewhere over the Rainbow
way up high,
there's a land that I heard of
once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
skies are blue
and the dreams that you dare to dream
really do come true





Someday I'll wish upon a star
and wake up where the clouds are
far behind me
where troubles melt like lemon drops
away above the chimney tops
that's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
bluebirds fly
birds fly over the rainbow
why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
beyond the rainbow
why, oh why can't I?


Someday, somewhere, somehow...





Saturday, March 2, 2013

A tribute to a very special Lady

The following piece was written in 1994 as a tribute to my mother-in-law, Mary Milan Gunn, who died on April 29, 1996. It was originally published in the New Mexico State University spring edition of Inscriptions and was actually my first published work.

Between Here and There

Somewhere between here and there lies Mary' s mind... Where it briefly rests depends upon the day, the hour, the minute. Eighty five years of struggling, working, giving and loving tucked away in a golden box with no key for the rest of the world.

Family, life long friends, fellow board and committee members, church members, those touched by her existence- astray in the maze of her mind.

Perhaps Mary is better off not understanding the daily happenings of the world; that her friends are no longer alive; that her family finds it unbearable to visit, not recognizing the person before them.

Those who care about the total person know her body needs protection from her mind. They are left to deal with well meaning people who simply do not understand that she needs a safe place.

How sad it is for the body to be here and the mind to be there. If only they could be united once more.
by Barbara L.Gunn 2004

This time of year always reminds me of Mary. Every spring she would make a 30 mile trip from New Laguna to Grants, NM in  search of the pecan meal, which was the main ingredient for the Spanish sweet breads she made. They were given to very special recipients, such as her nieces and nephews. The delicious treat had a whole egg baked into the bread.

I can't ever think of Mary without remembering the parties on Easter Sunday that overflowed her large home. On that day everyone for miles around became family whether they were biologically related or not. People stopped by all day long to visit and eat until they were tired and full.

The food always included her famous baked chicken. The pieces were first swished around in mayonnaise then given another bath in crushed corn flakes. Her favorite seasoning on everything was lemon pepper. I always worried because she had a habit of leaving the cooked chicken sitting out too long. Nobody ever got sick as far as I know. Mary also had a bad habit of leaving a pan of butter on the stove to melt and going about more important business, which could include gardening. I have no idea why, but it never started a house fire. Perhaps she had an angel watching over her.

I think what I am most grateful for when it comes to my mother-in-law is the fact that she accepted my two sons from a previous marriage as her very own grandchildren at first sight. She never gave a moments notice to the fact that they were not biologically hers. Later on when my daughter was born Mary regarded her as the best gift she had ever received. Sadly her last brother died about a month later. It was clear that the baby helped to ease her pain.

I believe Mary is one of the best gifts I gave my three children. She may not have always been a perfect mother-in-law, few women are, but she was always a perfect grandmother to my children.

Mary and Wally Gunn with granddaughter Christina 1980






Take me or leave me

Once again I find it necessary to firmly state that this blog is a journey of my life. It shares real life experiences with real friends and associates I  meet along the way. It mixes facts and personal opinions with a generous spoonful of humor. I do not claim to be an expert on anything, not even my own life, as I am still learning and growing. If anyone has a problem with that perhaps they should stop right here and find something else to read. Bon voyage!

I have been called many things since I became a free lance writer, but the one I think I like the best is instigator. Yep, that would be me. I admit I love stirring things up just a bit. Sometimes it is the only way to motivate those people who live on a very high mountain above everyone else to come down and see how the rest of us live. You know the ones I mean. They have gone some through some kind of life change and all of a sudden they know how to fix everyone else. Well I have news for those people- God does not make junk! Some of us might need some minor repairs now and then, but we are not broken.

Looking around at my life I see that I am now attracting a whole bunch of people who just can't wait to share their personal stories with me, many of them are shared on the social media Facebook. I believe I am at least partly responsible for some of what is now out there because I am not afraid to share and take responsibility for everything, including less than perfect choices that I have made. The past is the past and is there so that we will have a better future.

There really is no point in hiding behind anything or anyone else because there is at least one entity in this big wide universe who knows the TRUTH.

So my friends and readers if you like what you read I'll be back soon. Right now I plan to go watch my grandson's playoff basketball game. Have a great Saturday you all!


Friday, March 1, 2013

An honest conversation

Yesterday I had a business lunch with a young friend of mine who happens to be gay. We have known each other for some time, but I was not aware of his sexual preference until recently. What people do in the privacy of their bedrooms is no concern of mine.

After the purpose of our meeting was taken care of we began sharing personal information about our current lives. What made the conversation interesting for me is the 50 year age difference between us. Yet, we have both been dealing with the challenge of seeking recognition for our accomplishments from those we have learned from. I asked if it wasn't enough that he knew in  his heart what he has done and his answer was, "no." Possibly age does matter because my answer is now "yes". I no longer need validation.

On another note, I told him that I have very little personal knowledge of gay relationships, which opened the door for him to tell me about his life; what it feels like to be a young gay man in a small town. Because I was not judgmental he felt perfectly safe in talking about his challenges. He seemed grateful to find a sounding board. I was also grateful that he felt comfortable enough to let me in.

Due to the information he honestly shared I now have a better understanding of the subject than I had previously. We also have a much firmer trusting relationship, which is a good thing as it looks as if we will be working together in the near future.

One of my male cousins was gay. I was much to young to know why my mother strongly suggested that my brother and I stay away from him. My daughter later went to school with a male friend who is gay. He was one of the nicest most polite boys in her graduating class and still is.

My only other direct experience was when I was a product demonstrator at Wal-Mart. The product was a new line of greeting cards created by Ellen Degeneres. They were great cards by the way. I could not believe the stupidity of some of the customers who were afraid to even touch them. Until then I had no idea you could catch gay by touching a card.

I really don't know how I feel about the current struggles of gay couples. I don't believe I care to fight for their cause because it has nothing to do with me, but on the other hand I believe there are some very solid issues to fight for.

Yesterday was an enlightening day spent enjoying a delicious lunch, featuring a yummy chicken mandarin  bowl, and an educational conversation with a very honest young friend, who will one day set his world on fire with his ideas and enthusiasm.