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Saturday, May 28, 2011

gotta let it go

I had a minor melt down the other night.  My hubby and I were lying in bed and talking about the day, the typical series of small successes and failures.  The conversation morphed into a review of life's critical choices and the bigger successes and failures that resulted.  And suddenly I burst into tears.

"I had such high expectations for my life - I thought I was going to be somebody special.  I thought I had a big bright shiny light inside me and now I'm starting to think that this whole time I've been wrong.  I don't know what I'm doing anymore.  Boohoohoo..."  (People keep telling me that with each Reiki attunement comes an energy shift that can really mess with my balance.  I had 2 in 8 days so I'm hoping that's what's happening?)

Anyway.  Just as the waterworks started really gushing, my little voice piped in and said, "Have faith.  God has a plan for you."  And just like that my tantrum screeched to a halt.  I told hubby, "That was so weird, I just heard my little voice and I feel so much better."  He's like, "Okay, Cybil.  Glad you feel better." 

So, yes, I had a brief moment of psychosis, but it served as a great reminder to me.  As the great George Michael says, "You gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith-aaaah."  If my light is only meant to shine on my little family, that's okay.  And if the Universe has something else in store for me, that's okay, too.  God will use me the way I'm needed and that's the beauty of divine order.  We all play an important part - even if the part is simply being a stay-at-home mom in suburbia.  But if and when the Big Man Upstairs opens a door with my name on it, damn straight I'm gonna run right through it.  :-)    

There's a song that I love by Zac Brown Band (Who else?  Can you tell I'm a little obsessed?) called Let It Go.  It popped into my head while I was writing this...

Looking back now on my life I can't say I regret it
And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma woulda had it
But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it
And when a pony he comes riding by you better set your sweet ass on it

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go

Peace, Love, Gratitude,
p.s.  If you want to see a bootleg of ZBB performing Let It Go scroll down to the next post.

Zac Brown Band - Let it Go

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

tiny shifts

When the mind, body and soul are in balance, life feels more tailored to fit.  I've spent a lot of time working on cleansing and balancing myself through meditation, reading, crystals, reiki, journaling, conversations with friends, self-reflection and, most importantly, mindfulness.  From what I've learned over the past few years of being a dedicated Explorer of the Universe, it's not the big shifts that create beautiful balance, it's the tiny ones.  The ones that are barely noticeable.  And when the subtle shift occurs, perspective is altered and a different picture is revealed.

More often than not, it's one simple yet beautiful thought that deepens my spiritual outlook.  For me, these thoughts are so meaningful and colorful.  So once a week (or whenever :-), I'll share ideas that I find or I have found under the headline "Tiny Shifts".  They may speak to you, they may not.  But to those who are in the right place at the right time, I hope you feel a tiny shift, too.

I won't interpret.  Apply the words below to yourself as you see fit and please feel free to share your feelings here anonymously or otherwise.

An excerpt from Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa first printed in 1939:

I am merely one of the travelers, like everyone else here.  But from my own experience - and my knowledge is, as the scripture describes it, "like a single grain of sand in the Ganges" - I would say that when we talk of "higher" things we tend to think in terms of our own point of view, a bigger version of ourselves.  When we speak of God, we tend to think in terms of our own image, only greater, colossal, a kind of expansion of ourselves.  It is like looking at ourselves in a magnifying mirror.  We still think in terms of duality.  I am here, He is there.  And the only way to communicate is by trying to ask His help.  We may feel we are making contact at certain times, but somehow we can never really communicate in this way.  We can never achieve union with God, because there is a fixed concept, a prefabricated conclusion, which we have already accepted and we are merely trying to put that great thing into a small container.  One cannot drive a camel through the eye of a needle.  So we have to find some other means.  And the only way to find it is to come back to the sheer simplicity of examining ourselves.  This is not a question of trying to be "religious" or of making sure that one is kind to one's neighbor, or of giving as much money as possible to charity.  Though of course these things may also be very good.  The main point is that we should not merely accept everything blindly and try to fit it into the right pigeonhole, but try to see it at first hand from our own experience...

So the whole point is that we must see with our own eyes and not accept any laid-down tradition as if it had some magical power in it.  There is nothing magical which can transform us just like that.

Peace, Love, Gratitude,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

in the pink

There's a kids' book called Priscilla and the Pink Planet.  In it, the Great Queen of Pink eliminates every color from the planet except for her favorite - pink.  A little girl named Priscilla sets off to find another color somewhere on her Pink Planet and is in awe when she finds a multi-colored butterfly.

The Queen snares the butterfly in her net with intention to lock it away underground.  Priscilla begs the Queen to release the creature and this is her argument:  "If all colors were out for the whole world to see, pink would look even pinker.  Don't you agree?"  Well, as it happens, this is the Universe's thinking, too.

Here's the new age theory on life's purpose and why bad things happen to good people...

Picture all of our spirity selves hanging out in heaven surrounded by God's amazing love.  We're up there high five-ing each other for being so awesomely loving.  But since all we know is love, we're not sure we fully understand it.  Only by intimately knowing hatred, jealousy, deception and horror and we confidently define and celebrate the meaning of love. 

So, in honor of our Creative Source (or whatever you want to call it - God, Allah, Yahweh, etc.), our souls set up shop in these earthly bods in hopes of discovering love through its polar opposite.  It's only in the physical that we can feel pain, and through pain our souls evolve.  (After three natural childbirths, I'm thinking I'm well on my way.)

Our soul and spirit guides devise challenging scenarios for our physical selves in order to guarantee a meaningful human experience.  Maybe it's a drug addiction or financial struggles, the tragic death of a loved one or a terrible accident.  Everything is written.  And this is why people say, "God doesn't put anything on our shoulders that we can't handle."  Because God lives in us and works with us to create our destiny.

Maybe you join me in believing this theory or maybe you think it's all horseshit.  Regardless, when I'm feeling rotten about the confusing or difficult things that have happened to me over the course of my lifetime, it gives comfort.  Those crappy times have meaning and value.  For every struggle encountered and overcome, I've learned more about love and I've stepped closer to heaven.

It's hard work, living out life's challenges.  But when we do we are fulfilling our divine purpose...  and undoubtedly, we'll end up in the pink.  When all sorts of energy is out for the wide world to see, love is feels even lovelier.

Peace, love, gratitude,

Monday, May 23, 2011


I met a girl named Yffka a few years ago.  She was a 5th grader at Mother Caroline Academy in Dorchester and I was co-chairing their big Annual Spring Gala fundraiser.  She was a headliner in our program - a little firecracker with a bright light and a big heart.  Fearless, kind and articulate.  A fabulous combination.

I was attending a committee meeting at the school; midway through we stopped and lunched with some of the students.  After the meal, the girls straggled out and Yffka was one of the last.  She quickly turned back as she exited the cafeteria door and said in her sweet high voice, "Peace, girls!"

The closing remark wasn't extraordinary for her - it's a way the girls from inner-city Boston say "see ya" all the time.  But for me, the word Peace stopped time for a moment.  Three years later I can still hear her voice clear as a bell. 

Driving into MCA, you can't help but notice the many crosses propped up on the sidewalks, a sad reminder of the danger that exists on the streets where these beautiful children play and learn.  So that word Peace carried profound meaning.  Real meaning.  I was sitting in a school smack dab in the middle of one of the tougher neighborhoods in Boston and this sweet young girl was habitually asking for something as simple as peace. 

For Yffka, Peace wasn't just a "so long", it was a hopeful message from a bright little girl who deserved, deserves, to be surrounded by love and safety.  She delivered the words with perfect conviction, sincerity and fluidity.    The beauty of it made me want to replace my own goodbye with the word Peace.  But something about the deliberateness of my delivery made it awkward for me, a white girl from the 'burbs.  So instead I sign off on emails and such with it - a gentle reminder for me that Peace is an idea worth spreading.

So Peace,
and Love,
and Gratitude,

Friday, May 20, 2011

dropping science like galileo dropped his orange

we depend so much on science.  medicinal science, environmental science, computer science, etc.  science provides us with proof, right?  observation, research, facts.  we teach the laws of science to our children as absolute truth. 

but i feel like every time i turn around the scientific powers-that-be are saying, hold up, hold up!  we just found something that negates everything we thought WAS true and now THIS is true. 

example.  in the 1820's the first dinosaur bones were discovered in england.  since then fossils have popped up all over the world and scores of creatures have been stacked up and displayed for us to ogle in museums.  when i grew up, the brontosaurus was down right iconic.  but scientists have since changed their story about the brontosaurus.  they wrongly puzzled the bones of a couple different dinosaurs together when assembling that most famous long-neck.  now the only place the brontosaurus exists is in fred flinstone's burger bun.  the brontosaurus isn't the only dinosaur being scrutinized.  i think the t-rex is said to have been feathered now, along with several other ancient over-sized lizards. 

i appreciate and admire the exploration and evolution of science, but i'm finding more and more that what science is proving to me, is that the only truth that exists is love.  (i know i sound incredibly cheesy but it's coming from the heart.) 

when someone says, there's no scientific proof of god, so god doesn't exist, i think, just hold that thought... science is bound to discover the truth any time now.  don't hold fast to science - the truth of it is, science is always changing so it'll only slip through your hands. 
peace, love, gratitude,

props to beastie boys for the title of today's post.  :-)
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the road to acceptance

I used to be really judgmental.  A negative force that completely drained and annoyed me, this unattractive quality was one that drove me nuts.  I was very aware that I was analyzing the shit out of people and generally assuming the worst.  An equal opportunity judge, I formed opinions (good and bad) about friends, strangers, acquaintances and myself.  On countless days I'd come home from social gatherings and replay every moment and every feeling, bashing myself for faux-pas, condemning some for poor behavior or praising others for social grace. 

There were a number of times the judgment would manifest in the moment, too.  I'd walk into a room or onto a playground and greet friends who totally ignored me while they chittered away.  It felt terrible and I'd think things like, they're rude, they're cliquey, they don't like me.  I'd be overlooked for party invitations, dinner gatherings or birthday celebrations and feel terribly left out.  I'd think, I'm not fun to be around, I'm not good enough, they don't like me.  There are people who, no matter how many times I waved and smiled, always seemed to not see me.  In the moment it'd hurt or feel awkward and I'd think, I'm invisible to these people, they don't care about me, they're not friendly, they don't like me.  

Being the social animal I am, these judgmental and assuming thoughts were screwing with my Mojo.  So they had to go away.  The removal process started with becoming mindful, or present without judgment.  (Not suprisingly, I found mindfulness to be the first step to balancing every yucky feeling I wanted to work out; but those are stories for other days.)

For the first few months of my mindfulness practice, I'd have to remind myself daily or hourly to BE.  Some days I'd forget altogether.  As time went by, and very much without realizing it, I stopped the reminders and mindfulness settled in comfortably to my thinking.  I had a lot of simple yet profound moments in which I'd find complete peace of mind regarding various social scenarios.

The first and most important realization is that I could say with confidence that I really like myself.  I'm compassionate and open.  My intentions in relationships are pure.  I try to always be kind to others.  I help when I can.  I genuinely like neighbors, acquaintances, friends and family and wish them good fortune and happiness.

Second.  Cliques of friends can be beautiful, providing extraordinary comfort and security.  We all need close friendships to survive and there's not enough time in the day to be BFFs with everyone.  I feel happy for people who have fallen into a tightly-knit group.  Never in my life have I been exclusively committed to one particular clique but am insanely blessed to have several extraordinary friendships that deliver me so much comfort, joy and love that when I think about these girls my heart fills up with love and my eyes fill up with tears.  It's all OK.  Whatever makes your life work and brings you genuine happiness is perfection.

The third understanding was that I have no clue what's propelling a person's behavior.  She could be coming off a sleepless night, getting over a fight with her hubby, stressing about money, suffering through a bout with depression, rushing and clueless...  Maybe she doesn't remember my name or simply just isn't in the mood for small talk.  Maybe she has social anxiety disorder.  Maybe she just lost her job.  Maybe she's insecure.  Maybe I'm just not her type.  The point is, you never know what's going on behind another person's closed door.  We are all pieced together differently but we are all equally human and in our humanness we are divined from the same goodness.  At a soul level, we love and accept each other even if it's difficult to show sometimes here on earth. 

Finally, I stopped comparing.  I'm not a competitive person by nature but when other people so enjoy talking about spendy things they have, perfect relationships they're in and exotic things they do, all of the sudden I start thinking, Boy, I wish I had all of that.  And the jealousy creeps in.  I wish she didn't have that b/c I don't have that; I deserve all of that great stuff, too.  And then that ugly judgment.  Who does she think she is?  Does she think she's better than me?  She's materialistic, she's a show-off, she's not nice.  Okay, so this thought sequence is a little dramatic but I'm trying to drive home a point.  Unreasonable comparison and unhealthy competition can lead to bad assumptions and self-doubt.  When I recognized it in myself, I stopped doing it and it changed my life. 

There are lots of other smaller shifts that helped me balance out my unhealthy feelings but these were those few that were easiest to recognize and share. They're pretty amateur ideas but what made them profound for me is that they became a living and thriving part of the fabric of my conscious mind.  When an idea becomes part of your natural foundation of thought, it takes on a new power.

So the other day I heard some news that could have made me really upset.  Instead of getting mad and assuming the person was ill-intentioned, I instinctively accepted it.  But then my ego jumped in and said, "Hey, Vanessa.  This is not cool.  You should be pissed off."  So I processed the situation and tried being angry on for size - and the feeling just didn't fit anymore.  Acceptance suits me much better.  I don't know exactly when the shift happened, but it did and I'm grateful.

When I began my spiritual journey, I did so with intent to stop judging and start accepting everyone and everything.  And I'm very happy to have balanced this part of my life.  I feel like now that I have a handle on a universal feeling of acceptance, I can skip over the pain and analysis that crops up in social situations.  Or I can just acknowledge the hurt and move on quickly without letting negative judgment seep into my noggin or affect my self image. As Eckhart Tolle might say, it's a breaking down of my ego for the purpose of Universal Love.

By opening my mind in meditation and practicing mindfulness, I've broadened my perspective and now spend much less time indulging in self-destruction and self-deprecation.  In fact, I barely engage in that behavior at all anymore.  And in the end I think it makes me an easier person to be around.  Good for me, good for you, good for the planet.  ;-)

Peace, Love, Gratitude,

Friday, May 13, 2011

entanglement to enlightenment

The first idea that drew me into this spiritual quest was past life regression.  I needed answers.  I needed faith.  I found the concept intriguing, provocative and satisfying.  I liken it to the keyhole through which I could peek and see the universe beyond.  And as I've dug deeper into the new age movement, energy has become increasingly interesting to me and I wonder now how it came to be that our culture became so apathetic about the extraordinary power of energy. 

In mainstream western society, our metaphysical energy source has been generally poo-pooed.  Back in the early 17th century, Rene Descartes backed up the ancient philosophical ramblings of Plato and Aristotle by asserting that the physical body and the spiritual soul are two separate entities, arguing that you can cut off a person's leg but the soul remains intact.  This theory is called Cartesian Dualism and it has been widely accepted and unconsciously practiced by westerners and Christians for a few hundred years (and more).  The philosophy defines each physical being as separate from one another - be it humans, plants, animals or your Lazy-Boy recliner.

Eastern philosophy is much different.  Hindus, Buddhists and Sufis say that everything is connected.  We are one with the cosmos.  The same molecular stuff that makes an asteroid also makes you and me - it makes up that old Lazy-Boy, too.  And that on the road to enlightenment one must transcend the idea of dualism.  Everyone and everything has energy.  There is no separation between heaven and earth, between you and a tree, between the body and the soul, or between the soul and its Creative Source.  We coexist with the intention of perfect balance.

This concept lends itself to a powerful thought - if your soul and body are one and the same, and your soul is a perfect chip off the old universe, and the universe holds infinite power...  Doesn't that mean that within your body you possess infinite power?  Knowing this is true, what can you do with that power?

Set a clear intention and You can do anything...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

in the mood

mood is a funny thing.  it's even funny to say.  moooooood.  i blame a grey mood for my slacking this past week.

i haven't written since last thursday.  the days are just sort of happening.  i feel like i've been sloshing through the daylight hours aimlessly and i'm not really focusing on anything.  it's a strange, foggy state of existence, one that actually happens to me a couple times a year.  i putz around at home, do the bare minimum amount of work, say strange or pointless things in casual conversation, wear sweats and no make up, forget to take my kids to swim class, and the list goes on.  typically when this fuzzy mood swings in, the only people who know are my very closest friends and my hubby.  my homegirls know b/c i fall off the radar for a week or two.  my hubby knows b/c i spend 3 hours in front of the TV each night without uttering a word.  what's interesting about this particular dip is that it's happening before an audience.  some of you may have noticed i haven't posted since last week.

i haven't been blogging b/c i feel vacant - and maybe a little tired of the pressures and expectations that come along with the simple act of living.  for me, this vacancy is a neutral feeling.  i'm mindful of it but not beating myself up for it.  these are the days i just have to get through.  breathe, eat, sleep, get the kids to school, walk the dog.  the basics.   they'll pass.

but it's in life's foggy moments that i am able to reflect from a unique perspective.  feeling void or confusion forces me to refocus and think about challenges.  so that's what i'm doing.

my biggest challenge in life is discipline.  and so it happens, one of my goals in starting this blog was to start practicing discipline.  (write every day for 1 year save vacations and life-gets-in-the-way moments.)  discipline and commitment issues have plagued me since i can remember.  i think this is because i so Love change.

i am stimulated, invigorated, impassioned by the idea of starting something new.  but through this blogging experience i have found that discipline can inspire change - specifically transformation.  discipline is the open door to evolution.  by forcing myself to write daily (well, almost daily) about spirituality, i have taken the time to read, explore, focus and analyze this journey earthly journey in a way that has allowed me to begin to transform.

b/c of the time and energy i've committed to writing, i've said no to a slew of other things so i could focus mainly on my spiritual evolution.  i've learned about healing and peace through meditation, reiki certification and a thousand quiet moments.  i've learned about me, sometimes surprising myself with "a-ha moments" while simply typing.  i've learned about you during vis-a-vis chats and through your posts, your emails, your phone calls.  what an incredible blessing.  in the end i think that this discipline has led me to richer, purer relationships, with myself and others.  i am so grateful.  and when i'm filled with big, beautiful gratitude, it's impossible to feel empty and alone. 

geez, i'm feeling better already.  and a peek out the window tells me the sun is coming out again.  god is good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

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May 9, 2011
Spiritualizing the Planet
As we ascend, we gain consciousness of the more subtle aspects of our being and begin to connect with all that is.

We are one with the cosmos whether we realize it or not. Realizing it, though, quickens our spiritual energy and allows us access to higher realms. In those higher realms lies the awareness that we are more than just finite physical beings living one life in one place at one point in time. Connecting with this awareness is to awaken to the truth and take a step forward, and upward, on our soul’s journey. This upward movement is known as ascension because the more we remember who we are and embody that truth, the higher our energy vibrates; we ascend up the scale from the gross physical plane to the subtle spiritual plane. As we ascend, we gain consciousness of the more subtle aspects of our being, with the ultimate outcome being a complete identification with the light body, an experience of unification with the cosmos.

As you look around you, you will see that many people are not even interested in these ideas. Others are open and paying attention. Still others have devoted their lives to deepening their understanding of the truth. All these people are on the path of ascension, but they will ascend at different rates. Each soul chooses its own path. The more devoted a person is to remembering and being guided by spirit, the more quickly the soul will ascend. These people are at the forefront of an important process of raising the energetic vibration of the whole planet. The earth, made of the same energy we are, is undergoing this shift along with us. This evolutionary process, while seemingly chaotic at times, is as natural as the process that unfolds a flower from a seed and we are all part of it.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the earth too is on her own ascension path as she is sentient. The best way to support this process in yourself and in the world is simply to relax and be open to its unfolding. Listen to your inner guidance, and let it guide you to the path that brings your heart the most joy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

rise and shine, vanessa. it's time for evolution.

the tree of life by one of my favorite artists, gustav klimt

i'm so excited to share this today.  i hope that people who share my struggle are inspired to try this healing method, too.

i grew up on the edge of the woods in a house full of animals.  my home environment never caused me to sneeze, cough, wheeze or scratch my eyes.  not once.  when i was 22 i spent a semester studying and interning in washington dc.  it's the longest i had ever been that far away from home - about 6 months.  when i came home in late may, i found that my relationship with my neighborhood had changed drastically and painfully.  the same trees that i'd climbed as a kid began cursing me with migraine headaches.  the cats i'd nuzzled since childhood now made me want to gouge out my eyeballs.  the grass i'd always loved to lie in made my nose stuffy and drippy all at once.  mold made me wheeze, milk gave me cramps, dustmites made me clogged, shellfish made me throw up.  what the hell happened to me???

i'm well into 35 now, which means i've lived with allergies for 13 long and painful years.  i'm not a big fan of meds so i tend to ride out the storm (in misery) until the rain comes or the seasons change.  this year, though, when april 1st arrived with a mean right hook and punched my lights out, i caved.  i took zyrtec-d.  while my allergy symptoms were relieved, i felt completely loopy.  after a week of medicated insanity i chucked the little green box in the garbage and decided to meditate in search of answers.

i've studied enough about yogi, metaphysics and new age to know without a doubt that a human being's personal power is infinite.  so i put on my red undies, sat down with a big chunk of garnet and looked within.  when i quieted my mind, i saw a tree.  i felt like the tree was growing out of my body.  out of my core.  and i realized that this tree is not so different from me.  we are both part of the earth, bound to the planet, connected to the soil.  we both are made of a lot of tiny molecules.  we both need oxygen and water to survive.  we both grow in response to loving energy.  we are both creations of the universe.  the tree is not allergic to itself.  i am not allergic to myself.  so if we are the same, i cannot be allergic to the tree.  because the tree is me.

i continued to think about the environment.  how plants and people are changing in response to pollution, to imbalance, to this sad reality.  regardless of how much we deplore our new state of normal, it's here to stay.  there's no turning back.  our only option is evolution.  but evolution isn't so difficult.  this is what we do.  we respond on a cellular level to survive and enlighten.  from apes to cavemen to soccer moms.

and we can evolve into beings who live peacefully with our changing environment.  to do this, we need to tell our teeny tiny cells to listen up.  this is the way things are now.  we can either dope ourselves up on claritin, zyrtec and benadryl, or we can do something we are designed to do.

so for me, instead of waiting for evolution to officially get underway, i decided to put the pedal to the metal.  it was very simple.  i just said, with clear intention and confidence, "i am one with the earth and i am not allergic to myself."  and then i told my cells, "wake up, girls!  it's time to evolve!"

and that's it.  since early april, my allergies have been practically non-existent.  occasionally i'll sneeze or feel a tinge of a migraine coming on, but i immediately take a moment to pull my mind to center saying, "i am one with the earth and i am not allergic to myself.  wake up, girls!  it's time to evolve!"  and the symptoms clear.

i have been purposely spending more time outside this spring - especially on days when pollen counts are very high - breathing in deeply, all the while telling my body that the air is healthy and good.  i've been working in my garden daily thinking about nature, sending flowers and trees loving energy.  this is my way of saying thank you to the universe while encouraging balance in my lower chakras

i'm not special.  i'm not guru.  i'm not a gifted healer.  i just believe in myself.  i know that i have intense personal power.  and you do, too. 

i'm curious to see how the rest of the summer plays out, but i expect great things.  i'm also continuing other natural treatments to keep the seasonal allergies at bay - acupuncture with linda, local honey, an occasional pagan ritual (HK :-).   my next goals are to work ice cream and horses back into my life.  i'll keep you posted. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

i'm not a heathen. but i play one on TV.

welcome to this american life.  we live in a country where we can be anything, go anywhere, say whatever - freely.  free speech!  free press!  ain't it fab?  my issue with this is:  freedom without responsibility is misrepresentation. 

i'm so pissed at local and national news stations.  they took pictures of a few thousand people dancing on bin laden's grave, broadcast them around the world and now americans are labeled barbarians (as if people need more reasons to hate us).  but, hey, sex sells, yadda yadda yadda.

on facebook and other comment-based web journals, i read more posts from americans urging peace over rage.  most commentary that i read highlighted feelings of conflict about bin laden's assassination and voiced that spontaneous public celebration was inappropriate. 

this is the american truth.  so suck it, reporters.  where is the truth in your reporting?  you are focusing on a small, salacious sampling of the american spirit.  i wish that folks with a loud public voice could spend more air time spreading peace and healing.

to readers around the world...  this is not the sentiment of this country.  one picture could never define the diversity of beliefs and opinions felt by this beautiful nation. 


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May 4, 2011
Anticipating the Good
Anxiety about Change
Change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to embrace it while releasing the past with grace.

When we find ourselves going through any kind of change in our lives, our natural response may be to tense up on the physical, mental, or emotional level. We may not even notice that we have braced ourselves against a shift until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or general worried feeling toward the unknown that usually results. There are positive ways to move through change without pushing it away, however, or attempting to deny that it is happening. Since change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to make our response to it an affirmative one of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace.

One thing we can do is change our perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings. We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as the anxious butterflies that come with eager expectation. With this shift, we begin to look for the good that is on its way to us. Though we may only be able to imagine the possibilities, when we acknowledge that good is there for us to find, we focus our energy on joyful anticipation and bring it into our experience while allowing the feelings to carry us forward.

We can also choose to do a ceremony to allow our emotions to process. Every culture has created ceremonies to help people make the transition from one phase of life to the next. We can always create a ceremony too, perhaps by burning written thoughts to watch the smoke carry them away, thereby releasing them, or we can welcome new endeavors by planting flowers or trees. Some ceremonial activities such as a farewell send-off or housewarming party, we may do automatically. Society also has built-in ceremonies, like graduation and weddings, which may satisfy the need we feel. Sometimes the shift from denial to acceptance is all that is needed to ease our anxiety, allowing us to bring our memories with us as we move through nervousness to joyful excitement about the good to come.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a dog's life

My fabulous Mother-in-Law sent this story to me, courtesy of her friend Reverend Vincent Watson.  Wanted to share it with you guys...

Jackie and I had a great visit with a good friend last Wednesday and when she was about to leave she said   she had to take care of her two dogs.  This reminded me of an item from another good friend  titled


Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year old Irish Wolfhound named Belker.  The dog’s owners, Ronald and Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker and were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found that he was in the last stages of cancer.  I told the family that there were no miracles left for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia for their old dog tomorrow.  As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me that they thought that Shane should be there for the procedure.  They thought he would learn something.

So the next day I felt a catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him because Shane seemed so calm, petting his old dog for the last time.  I  began to wonder  if he understood what was going on.  Within a few minutes, after I’d applied the needle, Belker slipped peacefully away.

Shane seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for awhile, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are much shorter than human lives.

Then Shane, who had been listening, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next, stunned me.  I had never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, “People are born so they can learn how to live a good life, like loving everybody and being nice, right?”  Then, he continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I hope that you know what dogs already know.  And I hope I do too.

I just love the message in this story.  So simple, so true.  Kids are naturally intuitive.  They understand much more than we give them credit for.  Our children teach us lessons every single day.  Many more than we could ever teach them, for sure.  Shane made such sense out of a dog's life's purpose.  I agree with him wholeheartedly!  Magic!  Thanks, Reverend Vin!
my boys loving each other <3

Monday, May 2, 2011

ding dong bin laden's dead

fell asleep early last night so i missed the hullabaloo following obama's announcement last night.  woke up strangely early this morning - since the kids were (and are) still asleep i decided to watch today for the first time in several years.  an interesting time to tune back in...

i'm having mixed feelings about bin laden's death.  i'm proud of america, of the navy seals who accomplished their mission.  happy for president obama.  happy for the 9.11 victims' families who have found closure his assassination.  my emotions stumble around the act of killing, though.  i just don't think murder - any murder - is something to celebrate.  don't get me wrong - i'm relieved that bin laden is no longer a threat.  he was a nasty mother effer.   i just don't believe in murder, period.  so the idea of cheering for murder makes me feel a little barbaric, regardless of how evil the victim was.  and i'm all too aware that when you cut off one devil's head, eight will grow back. **

i think that while this nation celebrates the demise of bin laden, we should also pray that his youngest children, who must have been terrified when the seals attacked, find peace in the world.  pray that the people of pakistan can live safely amongst the terrorists who still hide there.  and pray that the men of al qaeda put down their swords and find peace in their hearts.  closest to our hearts, we pray for the families of the victims of 9.11.


**case in point.  no wonder the wicked witch hated munchkins.  they threw a goddamn parade when her sister was killed.  i wonder how the story would've changed if they showed a little compassion?  or if they considered that her truth might be different than the one they saw playing out?  this is why i love the book and play wicked