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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Death - a human word

WE NEVER DIE.

I have lost track of how many times I have tried to get that message across to others. Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to convince myself or my readers, although I totally accept the fact that we are simply transmuted to another form. Death is a human word, meaningless in other realms.

In the past it has annoyed me when people use the expression he/she has passed on, but it is truer than he/she died. I now have difficulty using the latter expression. Lately so many celebrities that I grew up knowing have moved on that it makes me very aware of my situation. Leonard Nimoy for instance, was only a few years older than I am. It causes me think about my own journey into the next realm.

I have learned enough about spiritual matters to not really be afraid of the trip, but I am not ready to go. I remember a priest from years ago who gave a sermon on this very fact. Father John made a point of telling the congregation that they should always be ready. At the time I was thirty something and definitely wasn't. At more than twice that age I am not sure that I am now.

The journey forward is no different than the journey we made coming in. We are not the first nor the last to make the trip. Some are smooth, some are not. That's just the way it is for reasons we, as humans, have trouble understanding.

My experiences in recent years have made it abundantly clear to me that even though we leave our bodies behind, just like the butterfly emerging from it's womb, we become something more beautiful.

Our journey goes on and on and WE NEVER DIE.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Leave your mark

Yesterday I shared this picture with a friend because she said she has a “thing” for trees. Most people would believe this particular one is dead, but as I looked at its photo I realized they would only be partly correct. Just like a deceased human form the spirit of this tree still exists. If you look closely you can see it too.

Long after our body ceases to exist we all leave a mark on every thing and everyone we have touched, whether we meant to or not.

As I looked at the picture of this little tree I thought of the many stories it could tell if it only could. It happens to be on a road to the local dump. Imagine how many vehicles have been driven by its view on their way to disposing of unwanted items.

My daughter and I were wondering around the area one day. I was looking for interesting photo opportunities. We ended up in this spot because we had been following a very unusual light in the sky and I was looking for a good place to get it on film.

While looking around, this little tree attracted my daughter’s attention and she asked me to take its picture for her. Perhaps it spoke to her or perhaps the light and tree were working together to provide a shared experience and leave a mark on our lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do your part

I realized yesterday that healing from anything, whether it be physical or mental, is only partly due to the help of professionals and their talents and machines. It is also due in a large part to believing that autonomy is possible. This thought reminded me of a piece I wrote toward the end of 2012 after going through a battle with back and hip pain that didn't seem to want to leave my body. I retrieved it, did some editing and here it is good as new or perhaps better even.

Dear Pain,

If we could just talk perhaps I could figure out why you are still here. I realize that I have not fully learned what you came to teach me or you would be gone. I am trying I really am and I think you know that because there are times when you ease off a little and let me breathe. It is at those times I remember what it was like before you made yourself known in my life.

The last few years have been the most stressful of my entire life, even more than when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1989. At least then I knew there would be an end to my pain. Now I just pray you will go away so I can get back to living my life. Because of you and the lessons I have learned there have been some changes. I no longer need to depend on other people the way I used to. I have felt as if I have been residing on a desert island alone. I have been forced to do things myself and learned that the help I thought I needed was all in my mind. I am a lot more capable than I thought I was.

When you are around I stop and observe my thoughts and actions and do whatever I can to help the situation, even if that means doing nothing. I am aware that there is always a reason for your presence. I am also aware that I do not always know what that reason is.

I am doing everything that I know how to do to get my body back to being pain free. I have worked damn hard and I deserve credit for taking every opportunity that was offered to heal.

From past experience I know that you can go away at any time. I remember the heal spur I developed in 2008, causing me to walk with a limp for some time. Then there was the morning I woke up with a knee so full of pain I could not walk without holding onto something. There was also the time I hit my elbow so hard it hurt for weeks. I won’t even go into the surgeries I have had. Pain stopped on its own when the time was right.

Your presence hasn’t been all bad. You kept me from taking jobs that would have caused further damage to my body. You also kept me home when gas prices were the highest they have been in years. Apparently I didn’t need the extra money working would have brought in after all. For awhile I was upset because it hurt to walk at the family center. That wasn’t a bad thing either because I needed to try out another form of exercise.

I am grateful that you are not present as often as you used to be and I am taking that as a sign that I am on the right track.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do you see what I see?

In 2005 I wrote and had published a book titled, A Gathering of Spirit. It contains over 30 true life stories sharing the lives of Cibola County, NM residents. The stories first appeared in the Cibola Beacon in the column, Who We Are, which I also wrote at the time. I was very proud of the stories and they received a lot of attention from the community. The book is now out of print, but a few copies may still be obtained through various online sources.

This book was one of the tools that helped make me the writer that I am today. It taught me to only use necessary words, because I not only had a deadline, but a word count limit. It was fun and challenging getting a person’s entire life on a one page document. I had to find what was really important to the subject I was writing about. For clarity, every story was edited by that person before it was published and I rarely had to rewrite.

I remember telling someone that I felt I was offering the person’s life as God sees it. Her response was, “That’s quite a gift!”

One day I gave a copy of the book to a woman who had just moved to town and had opened a restaurant. I thought it might help her get to know some of her future customers. After reading it she stated, “The stories were too nice.”

I saw something this morning that reminded me of that experience and I would like to share it with my readers because I feel it is very important to keep in mind.

Sometimes I need to take a shovel and do a lot digging before I can see what God and the angels see, but it is always worth the effort.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

One thing leads to another

For the last couple of days our dinner menu has been a little on the light side due to my son's oral surgery this week. Fixings have included homemade soup and pancakes with scrambled eggs.

When I opened the box of pancake mix a sample container of Nutella, a hazelnut & cocoa spread, popped out. A free gift great! I had never tried the product although I had seen the TV ads and been curious, just not enough to buy it. I later spread a little on a pancake and decided I like the taste and nuts are a good thing to eat.

Last night after a dinner of chicken nuggets & mashed potatoes I talked my son into going to my grandson's (his nephew's) basketball game. I always suggest his going in an effort to connect and support generations. My grandson has been passed around all week because his mother has been staying at the hospital to give moral support to his step-father, following his recent surgery. It was a great last game of the season, Colin made some really good shots and his team won 49-10.

On our way home my son stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple of things he needed. When he unpacked his purchases he pulled out a jar of Nutella and handed it to me. Another gift just for me!

The last time I went to the store I ended up with two packages of Thomas muffins, one original and one cinnamon & raisin because they were buy one get one free. My son has been eating the original and I like the other variety. This morning I spread a generous serving of Nutella on one of those little guys for breakfast and it was delicious.

With a little caring, one thing always leads to another.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Prayer is...

On my Facebook page yesterday I asked my friends for prayers for my son-in-law who is having a difficult time healing from recent intestinal surgery. The response was wonderful as I have friends all over the world. Although religion and I are no longer a couple I do believe in the power of group prayer because I have seen it work.

One of my friends, who is not shy in stating that she does not believe in a god, surprised me by posting a positive comment. She simply sent healing energy, which is exactly what I was asking for (Jan B.).

Another friend had stated earlier that he believes when one or more person is sending out positive thoughts for the benefit of another that is not only prayer, it is love.

I don't think it matters what one's belief is when it comes to asking the universe for the best possible outcome for someone else. Whether you believe in the existence of a supreme being or not so what. You have to believe in something greater than yourself. Come on you weren't dropped in a basket from a passing spaceship!

So in my opinion prayer is expressing compassion to an unseen source greater than yourself for a fellow being, and yes (John S.) you are right that is LOVE.

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's our job

A really cool suggestion came across my path today, in fact it is absolutely perfect. I'm sharing, of course. It was: Don't lead, I'll wonder off bored. Don't follow, I'll get you lost. Walk beside me and help me cause trouble.

I have always had some problems with following and leading. Both have caused me stressful experiences in the past. I'm not you and you aren't me. We all have a ton of spiritual wisdom to sprinkle around like fairy dust in the breeze.

Just think of how much ground we could cover, simply walking together. Although some might call it causing trouble I call it waking people up!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A pot of nourisment

My son is having dental surgery today and being a caring mom I checked my recipes to see what I could fix for dinner that did not require chewing, yet was filling and nourishing. I remembered a recipe for creamy Sweet Potato Soup that we had both liked. You all know how much I like to share things so here it is.

Ingredients: 3 T oil, 2 small chopped celery sticks, 3 medium peeled & cubed sweet potatoes, one clove chopped garlic, 3 cups vegetable broth, 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and cubed apples for garnish opt.

In a dutch oven, saute the celery & onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients (except apples) and bring to boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Discard bay leaf & cinnamon stick. cool slightly, then process the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan and heat through. Enjoy!

I am serving it with applesauce. Chewing still not required!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A sit down comic

Anything/anyone can be a motivating force in one's life. You just have to be on call and learn to pay attention.

My latest motivator is the book A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. She is not the best known performer, but it isn't because she never tried. She did. She took every opportunity to get her name and talent out there no matter what. Her life, like mine has been a smorgasbord of experiences. Reading this book not only encouraged me to not give up, but to add more humor to what I am doing.

For some time I have had a dream of being a motivational speaker; of getting my thoughts and experiences out there. Not to be important, but to cause others to think. In a way this is exactly what I am doing with my blog. The difference is, I don't have a wooden stage and I pretty much sit down. Thanks to Ms. Griffin's life story I was able to see that some of what I write gets a bit too serious. I don't recall who said, "Laugh and the world laughs with you", but it is a good thing to remember.

Just yesterday I had a very comical experience with a word document I was getting ready to submit to the Chicken Soup site for a future book. After reading the story guidelines I noted the word count needed to be 1,200 words or less. Next stop I clicked word count on my word document and it was over 1,400- I thought.

Part of the fun of editing is cutting out words to make the work fit. Going over my story, I spent some time doing just that. I cut this, I cut that, I added a better word here and there. When I was finished I rechecked the word count and realized I had been looking at the character count not the word count. What! I had done such a good job of elimination the story was now 300 and some words.

I began another rewrite, putting words back in, much the same as a stand up comic or motivational speaker might do in preparation for a performance. When I was finally satisfied and had read the story as a reader, not as a writer, I submitted it to Chicken Soup. Its journey is no longer in my hands, but I know I have done my best and have a really good feeling that my work will be published in their future publication, Volunteering & Giving Back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nothing lasts forever

While getting dinner ready last night I witnessed the sudden destruction of one of my most precious bowls. It had been a gift from my daughter, made by a local artist and was one of a kind. It all happened so fast I am not sure who to blame. It could by my dog, my cat or my son assisted by the wind. I am providing a photo of the crime scene with a stand in bowl. The original star of the story is now resting in the trash can.
Position of the actors: the cat was on the table next to the treasured bowl, the dog was on the floor under the table, my son was approaching the patio door on his way in the house from work. (I was in the adjoining kitchen minding my own business)

When all of a sudden the dog lunged at the door in an effort to say hello, scaring the cat and my son, the cat skidded into the bowl, knocking most of it off the table and smashing it into pieces on the carpet in front of the door. The cat took off down the hall, my son backed away from the door with a startled look on his face, I screamed and the dog- well Ejay just sat there wagging his tail as if nothing had happened.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A family affair

I believe I have a very dysfunctional family. It seems that nobody cares about anyone else. Wow how could that be when I have done my best all of my adult life to keep everyone attached? I wish I could put them all in a room until they talk to each other. I remember seeing that in an old movie. It's not that they are angry with each other, they just don't seem to care. It is a very strange family affair.

My ex-husband seems to be the town/family crier. All information filters through him before it is dealt out. This is a rather odd fact as during our 27 year marriage he was pretty much unavailable to everyone. He was either working or drinking. Suddenly everyone cares about poor Donnie. How could this be?

Yesterday I left a small box of Valentine candy for my adult son, who now lives with me, and my young grandson, who lives two houses away. Of course, neither bothered to acknowledge my offering. My son came to dinner last night in his pajamas. I was very impressed with his caring on this special day.

I left the dishes (not many) to go to my grandson's basketball game, thinking the dishes just might be washed when I returned. What a dreamer I am. He can't even pull his body away from his computer to take out the trash once in awhile. That's real caring.

The basketball game didn't happen because not enough of the team showed up and they had to forfeit their game. While waiting for it to start I did actually have a conversation with my daughter. It was the longest in over four years(kind of a captive audience). My son-in-law had major surgery on the 13th and I was seeking information about his welfare. Even though she doesn't care about me I care.

This is just one day in the life of my very dysfunctional family. If I survive I expect a medal and/or recognition from a higher source.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Just one of those days

Today is one of those days that should happen every day. Valentine's day is supposed to be about love and caring about others. I wonder what would happen if more people were kind and thoughtful on all 365 days in the year.

As I have grown older most of my biological family has moved away and are now focused on matters that don't include me. It used to bother me, but now I see that I must have done something right. It is the positive/natural progression of things. As long as they are happy, healthy and not in prison or dependent on drugs that's great. The world is a different place than it was 70 years ago.

It took me a long time to learn that family is more than biology. Although my biological family has moved on my soul family has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. The gestures of love and kindness that they offer every day is amazing.

Sometimes we really can't see the forest for the trees. On this day, which has been made so commercial, it is more meaningful to me to receive a simple smile or hello aimed in my direction than a basket full of flowers.

On second thought I might accept a basket full of chocolate!

Happy Valentine's Day to my readers!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The death of a friend

Over the weekend my son's dog, Leia, completed her job on earth. On Wednesday she was in reasonably good health for her 14 years. She was taken to the animal clinic to have a small tumor removed from her neck. It was supposed to be done with a local injection, but she wouldn't hold still and was put to sleep instead. She came home later that day and seemed fine. Then she stopped eating,began throwing up and became very weak. Saturday morning she went back to the clinic and was hooked up to an IV. Blood tests were done and it was determined that she had a kidney disease, probably caused by the medication she had previously been given. There was nothing the doctor could do. She didn't make it through the weekend.

Leia was a wonderful companion to her master, who had lived through some challenging experiences for the last four years. My son was divorced, unemployed (through no fault of his own) and on the verge of being homeless. Last June he and Leia and all their possessions moved in with me to start over. It took a lot of adjusting, but things worked out. My two mature cats and young dog, Ejay, had to get used to another four legged being sharing their space.

I feel bad that although I took care of Leia's needs during the day while my son was at work I never really bonded with her as well as I should have. In addition to being a great companion for my son she taught Ejay to share and became his friend. They each had their own toys and places to sleep and pretty much learned to respect each other.

Leia did a great job of taking care of my son during her life and he deeply misses her. This morning Ejay was looking for her. I don't know how to explain the death of a friend to an animal.

In this photo Ejay is on the right and Leia is on the left, shortly after she moved in.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Waiting around what a waste

This morning I decided that I have been spending too much time on my computer and especially on Facebook, waiting around for people to notice that I am waiting for them to get back to me. One of the things that I really detest is people who don't do what they say they are going to do, and waiting around for them to get around to me is a complete waste of my time. I have decided to back away from this social media. Just clicking a little "like" box is not the same as a conversation.

A friend of mine recently did exactly the same thing. She has a lot to offer, but felt that the little response she was getting was not worth her time. Although I respected her decision I didn't fully understand it- until today.

I fully realize that the world contains takers and givers, but once in a while it would be nice if the takers would at least acknowledge the givers.

When people promise to make the time for me and don't I pretty much feel like an invisible person. I am sure there are many out there who can relate. I have decided the best thing to do is stop waiting around because it is a total waste of my time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Leave the leftovers alone

I just realized for real this morning that our soul's journey is absolutely an individual one. Our experiences whether as a human or as a spark of light in another realm are meant to help us evolve.

In recent years I have been exposed to people who have tried to shove what they believe down my throat. My refusal to allow them to do that has caused the end of more than one friendship. I believe my guide has on more than one occasion kept me from consuming the left overs belonging to someone else.

I do believe that we each are members of a particular "tribe" made up of like souls, but we still maintain a singular mission to evolve alone.

Help is one thing, but when someone declares that they have the absolute answer to life don't listen to them. They are, for lack of a better description, plain nuts. Don't eat their leftovers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An individual journey

I finished reading The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan and would recommend it to anyone who has doubts that there is more than life as a human in store for them. It is a true story of one soul's journey into the next realm, as dictated to his sister Annie.

Many aspects of his journey did not come as a surprise to me. They were concepts that I had already accepted. A statement Billy made that I really liked was, "the key ingredient(to spirit communication) is the right sender, the right receiver and permission from those on the other side". There has to be a good match or it will be one sided and very frustrating for one of the entities.

At first I was a little upset that he said he was floating alone on much of his journey. It has always tended to bother me that I could leave earth and not connect with other spirits. It was explained that each soul goes to a place/level that best suits them. Some souls need a connection with others they may have known in the past, while some are evolved to a point where that is not necessary.

A concept I had already accepted before reading the book is that deceased spirits communicate telepathically. In all my personal communication with them I have only heard a voice one time and that was enough. It occurred in a local deserted cemetery where I heard a man and a woman asking me to help them. It was not long after that experience that I began consciously taking photos containing spirits.

I'm sure we have all heard that there are no mistakes. I always thought that meant that the things that happen to us are meant to happen. Billy's explanation was that WE cannot make a mistake. Imagine that. Whatever we choose to do is always the exact choice we should make. That's an interesting twist on free will.

Even though I really liked this book and recommend it please keep in mind that this is only one souls journey; as on earth we all have our own path to deal with.