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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Is that all there is?

I have been thinking about the Muslims and I guess people of all different religions, races and strong beliefs/habits that seem to go against the majority. My question is: when you look at a person, knowing these things about him/her, is that all there is?

I am among those who believe we are all spirits experiencing a human life. The only difference is the experiences, which I also believe we all had a part in planning before we arrived on earth.

Those are my core beliefs and they no doubt differ from many of my friends, but is that all there is that makes me who I am?

I certainly hope not. I believe that I am a passionate, caring, generous, loyal being who has been given the means to share my experiences with others, thus inspiring them to use their own gifts to inspire others along their own path.

That's the way the universe works, everyone helping everyone else.

When I first created my Facebook account several years ago I acquired a Muslim friend. She was a very sweet, kind, young lady who worked hard to take care of her family. We were obviously worlds apart in our beliefs, but we grew to love and respect each other. She lived in a part of the world where the fighting was going on. One day I ceased to hear from her. To this day I don't know if she and her family were killed or if being on Facebook was just too dangerous. I often think of the lessons the friendship taught both of us.

I had another experience with a friend whose "religious" beliefs are considered to be cult like by many. Whether they are or not I have no idea and I have no intention of finding out. We have been estranged for some time and over Thanksgiving re-connected over a "Hi!". I'm not sure at this point if the connection will last or not. Even if it doesn't, I believe I have learned the lesson that his beliefs are his and my beliefs are mine, and neither of them make up a whole person.

Especially at this time of year I think we all need to look deeper and find the soul inside of everyone we come across because God doesn't make junk!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Just wondering

I really dislike this time of year. I can somewhat relate to people who are homeless. Yes there is plenty of food and my physical needs are not lacking, but where are the people who are supposed to care?

Thanksgiving was my son, my two cats and my dog. The rest of my biological family, who live in Grants, NM, celebrated two doors away.

I wonder if they gave a single thought to us as they sat around their Thanksgiving table, possibly giving thanks for blessings they have received.

I wonder if the universe noticed.

I know we all hurt others at some time or other, but when someone just keeps doing it year after year;I wonder what is wrong with that person.

Five years is a long time to punish another for whatever was perceived to be done.

I wonder if it will ever stop.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A three month lesson

Looking back to June, when I offered my last children's Writing Camp, I had no idea what experiences the Universe had in mind for me. I believe the lesson was twofold. First was to realize just how strong I am and have always been and second to learn to let go of control and let others help me when necessary.

It's funny the way things get set up for our next adventure. First my oldest son had to move back home. I had plenty of room and after he got a job things settled down to a workable arrangement. Eventually, I learned that people have their own way of doing things and if it goes against the way I do things- so what! I know I was brain washed by a very controlling mother who was critical of pretty much everything I did. If it wasn't her way it was wrong. I literally grew up holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I recently became aware of the fact that holding one's breath causes not only mental, but physical problems like low oxygen counts. I am now working on stopping this bad habit.

Next I asked for and was given a friend to help guide me through the experience I was about to enter. Her name is Betty. At the time we met she was about to retire from the financial department of our local hospital. Through her advice I was able to acquire medical coverage, which has put me in a very comfortable place. Since her retirement she has also been available to be my driver for appointments in Albuquerque. I am very grateful for her help.

Shortly after the Writing Camp ended I made an appointment on my own to have xrays taken of my hip. They showed that the situation was bone to bone. Next, also on my own, I obtained a list of the best orthopedic surgeons in the area, made a phone call and made an appointment, with who turned out to be the best rated surgeon in Albuquerque. I don't believe that was luck.

I was informed by Dr.Carothers that I needed a hip replacement. He said surgery was optional and depended on just how long I intended to deal with the pain. My surgery was scheduled for August 21st. As I look back at the path I can see the amazing cast of characters and events that had to come together to reach that point. I also acknowledge how strong I was to have had the courage to pick up each piece as it was offered by the Universe.

My healing process during the last 13 weeks has been better than expected. I'm not saying that there wasn't pain. That would be a lie; it was bearable. I learned to ask for and accept help when it was needed from my son and friend, bringing me to the second lesson- letting go of control.

I am due to have a checkup in another week and expect all to be good. If I had been told last June what was going to happen I would have responded- no way! It just goes to show that when the Universe decides to teach you a lesson you had better pay attention.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just floating around learning and growing

My attempt to find lost cousins has not been successful as yet. Also the majority of my known relatives have rejected me because my actions do not fit their idea of how I should act/speak/write. It seems to me that the universe is quite happy just letting me float around unattached.

This morning I found an inspirational piece that fit my situation and here it is.

There are a few souls who have stuck with me no matter what and I am grateful for them. It is hard to let go of the hurt that the others have caused me. I wonder just how long a person is supposed to pay for a mistake? A few years ago a young person informed me that their are no mistakes and I tend to believe she was right. Out of the mouths of babes!

I think the negative things we choose to do in a human lifetime are simply experiences meant to be lessons to help us grow. When we learn the lesson we stop doing those things.

Sometimes the people who have judged us for past behavior, unsuitable to them, never take the time to see that we have changed.

For instance; I remember when I stopped smoking back in 1999, after many years of the ugly habit, my daughter still saw me as a smoker. Oddly, she has had no problem exposing her son to second hand smoke from others, including her father (my ex-husband) who still smokes. Think about that for a moment.

It is very sad when others are unable to give someone credit for learning and growing. They continue on their judgmental course and the relationship often becomes unbearable.

I am ending today's post with a quote from the amazing, Maya Angelou that just seems to fit. "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Looking for 1st cousins

My biological family has been disjointed all of my life and I find it very stressful. Through Ancestry.com I know that my two aunts and an uncle are deceased. My mother was an only child. My grandparents, parents and my only sibling are also deceased.

We were never a close family when everyone was living, but I am holding out some hope that there might be a 1st cousin or two that is still living and would be interested in connecting.

I was born in Ketchikan, Alaska to Sidney and Gertrude Ione Halverson in 1937. We moved to the state of Washington when I was about two years old. I lived there until 1967 when my husband and our two sons moved to Downey, California.

At that time I had a brief encounter with two of my cousins, Joan and Shirley and then lost track of them. It is the last connection I had with anyone other than my maternal grandparents, mother and younger brother, who are now all deceased.

If anyone is a relation out there in cyber land I sure would love to hear from you. You are very welcome to reply to this post.

I am posting two photos from the past to help jog your memory. The first was taken in Tolt (Carnation), Washington in 1950 something and the second was taken in Washington State in 1940 something.

Just because you're nice

Being nice, saying please and thank you, looking for ways to help others is just the way I am. My problem with the world is that not everyone thinks the way that I do. I constantly run into trouble when I take the way other people think as a personal slap in the face.

How could people not say thank you when someone does something nice for them? It's like recognition for an act of kindness and I simply don't get it.

Yesterday I mentioned that I had briefly worked as an after school recreational aide.I put up with a lot of abuse both from some of the students and the staff, who were all much younger than I was. I stuck it out because I needed the income at the time.

One would think that on my last day the director would have said thank you for my effort. It never happened. I had known this person for about 15 years and I thought she was a fair administrator. Apparently when someone has the title of your boss niceness vanishes. I now have a totally different opinion of her and it matches what others who have worked closely with her think.

In the last 10 years I have also worked with an elementary school as a Foster Grandmother, donated time to Grants Good Samaritan Center, set up a local writing group for seniors and created a summer writing camp for elementary students. I am currently crocheting and donating baby caps to the maternity ward of our local hospital. I recently bought yarn at Hobby Lobby in Albuquerque and when I told the clerk what it was for she said, "That's so nice of you." Every one of these acts prompted a thank you from someone, which made me feel that my efforts had been appreciated.

Perhaps if people spent more time saying thank you for positive efforts instead of focusing on negative energy the entire world would experience peace. Try it you just might like it.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What happened to the children?

What kind of children are parents raising that could grow up to kill groups of innocent people just because they can?

Are parents so busy or preoccupied with their electronic gadgets that they can't see where their children are heading? It's getting pretty damned scary when a person can't go to a movie, a concert or enjoy a meal in a restaurant without worrying that their life may end because of some crazed individual with a weapon.

In 2013 I worked as an after school recreational aide at our family center. I would never be that desperate for work again. The disrespect handed out by some of the children was unbelievable. It made me wonder how they act at home. On top of that every time I tried to report the behavior of one of the little darlings the director would ignore me and side with the child. I was never so happy to see the school year end and my job come to a close.

There were two or three kids in the group that I know will be in prison some day. They are so angry with the world that they will have their picture and name in the Cibola Beacon because they killed someone. If I, as an untrained individual, can see this what in the hell is wrong with people who are trained? Are they so afraid that something will happen to them that they just sit back and do nothing?

I am not sure what has happened to the children who grow up to be killers, but I put partial blame on the adults in their lives, starting with the parents, who ignored their disrespectful tendencies when they were young.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A real hero

A story from my e-book Spirits of Cibola County

James Amos knows firsthand that following and trusting an all-knowing entity greater than oneself will lead us to extraordinary experiences. James was the most talked about veteran during the recent viewing of the Vietnam Moving Wall in Grants. I am honored that he trusted me to tell his story.

A member of the Sioux tribe, James was born in South Dakota. There were eighteen children in the family and fourteen lived to be adults. Both his father and grandfather were Presbyterian ministers. James remembers prejudice, almost hatred, between the Sioux and the white man.

Because the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not pronounce tribal names they were changed to biblical ones. His father’s name, Fights the Bear (because he was mauled by a bear) was changed to David. His mother, Morning Dove, became Mary. With such a large family, James said, “I had to work to buy my own clothes and learned early that if I wanted something I would have to work for it.”

He began working on a cattle ranch when he was eleven. After being shamed by a boy for wearing a second hand shirt he had purchased, James vowed he would always have money to buy new clothes. In school James was interested in sports. He was a runner, played baseball and basketball and participated in track. Even though he was the only Native American in his high school, he does not recall prejudice touching him. James joined the Marine Corps in 1957, shortly after graduation.

Among other assignments, James volunteered for several tours of duty in Vietnam. His most harrowing experience occurred in 1969 as a staff sergeant, in charge of seven men. They were on a special operations mission. He recalls, “We were given the wrong maps and dropped off in the wrong location.” Their confusion lasted for two months. James trusted his training and his spirit guide. He said their daily goal was to find a way out. Their biggest concerns were ambush and heat stroke. The temperatures rose to 120 degrees during the day, causing them to consume salt tablets like popcorn. They traveled mostly at night because it was cooler, moving less than a mile each night.

He said, “We survived off of Mother Nature. We made water from leaves and ate snakes and lizards.” As time went on the parents of the men were informed they were missing in action and presumed dead or prisoners of war. James finally led his men to a place he knew, ironically called Indian Country. It took another month for the military to officially inform families that the men were not dead.

James was not honored for getting his men out alive. He was actually reprimanded for getting them lost, even though it was not his fault. This might have caused an ordinary man to become angry and give up. James rose above the injustice of the experience and moved on.

During an ambush in 1971 he fell behind a termite mound and was bitten by a cobra snake. Reliving the experience, he said, “I was in such intense pain I walked toward the battle field hoping to get a bullet in my head or heart. Then my Indian guide took over and I forgot about my pain.”

One by one James helped six fellow Marines to safety. Others noticed the seriousness of his leg wound and he was given needed medical care. He was recommended for the Navy Cross and awarded the Silver Star. He still has mixed feelings about the award.

In 1972 James was wounded during a medical evacuation and lost his right kidney as a result. He fought three medical boards to stay in the service. He has had one failed kidney transplant and has been on dialysis for sixteen years. He also suffered a stroke in 1986 due to the snake bite. James retired in 1979 with the rank of First Sergeant E-8. He and his wife, Louise, of Acoma were married in 1970. At the time he was a recruiter for the Marine Corps. James is very proud that one of his grandsons is planning to become a Marine.

Characteristics that are important to James are honesty and respect. Even though he is retired he is still “a dedicated Marine who believes in God, country and duty- in that order”. He would like to see young men who are having trouble adapting consider the military for new direction.

James made daily trips to the Vietnam Moving Wall while it was in Grants, New Mexico. He was drawn to the wall because of respect for his fallen comrades. Perhaps he was sent to touch the hearts of people who were not in Vietnam and still do not understand what happened there. He knows that any material award pales in comparison to knowing deep inside that he does his best every single day to trust and follow his spirit guide. He is a real live hero we can all learn from.

author's note: James Amos is now deceased, but I am grateful to have had the privilege to interview a real hero.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Closer and closer

I am now 25 days from completing DNA cycle #11 and beginning another.

I have been thinking about the experiences that have been presented to me, especially in the last two DNA cycles. I have pretty much been left on my own to deal with whatever problems come up. They have included physical, relationship and financial situations. As I look back, I can now see that they were part of the story plot that I agreed to before I became human to teach me that I am extremely capable of caring for myself. An added bonus was to learn that I do not need to carry the weight of other people's problems on my shoulders. They were created with everything they need to take care of their own challenges.

Some of the major relationships I have struggled with have been with very strong individuals with addictive traits who tried to pull me in to their addictions. I came close on more than one occasion, but I now feel that my guide/angels/creator always kept a firm hold on my physical and mental being. Many of those souls have acted as mirrors for me to see the person I never want to be.

Because of these near misses I ended up believing in myself and becoming stronger than I have ever been in this and previous lives. Perhaps a purpose of this life was to learn this lesson. It seems that even as a child I was always on the "inside looking out". That may sound backwards to some, but it is how I grew up feeling. It reminds me of a poem by Edwin Markham(1852-1940)that reads like this:

He drew a circle that shut me out; heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle that took him in.

It also reminds me of a poem I wrote in 2001 titled Lessons.

Life is full of everyday lessons

based on experiences each has had.

Endings always signal beginnings

adding new experiences to our past.

Slowly waking and accepting

lessons needed to stay on our path.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

DNA and me

Wow I just checked my calendar and realized that I only have one month and one day before I complete eleven seven year DNA cycles since I arrived here on planet earth. I feel the last seven years have been my greatest achievement.

We begin our human journey dependent upon parents who are supposed to be responsible for us because we are unable to care for ourselves. As we grow we allow others of every conceivable age to shape who the world thinks we should be, causing us to forget who we really are and what we came here for.

By the time we reach adulthood we carry an unbelievable amount of weight placed on us by our experiences as humans. It is like getting out of a swimming pool soaking wet. If we were dogs we could simply give our body a good shake and the extra weight would disappear. We are not dogs, we are humans and things stick to us, becoming embedded in our minds.

We learn to react to who the world believes we are and it changes us. It takes years of trial and error to shake it off.

As I near the beginning of cycle number twelve I feel I am on the verge of a major change in my life. I am no longer dependent on anyone. I have raised my children, helped raise one of my grandchildren, endured living with two abusive husbands, and survived cancer. I have learned to take care of any problem that the universe throws at me and not only survive, but thrive.

And so as December 2nd looms ahead of me in one month and one day I am ready for the next DNA cycle to begin.