Trust. A Simple Word.

Trust

“Patterns of the past echo in the present and resound through the future.” ~ Dhyani Ywahoo

Trust.  A simple word with a lot of meaning.  In the dictionary, trust is:  Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.  Confident expectation of something; hope.

Trust for me is knowing other people have the honor and integrity, that I do until they show me that they don’t.  I prefer to think the world is full of trustworthy people and sometimes things that happen are a miscommunication, not a purposely misleading event.  I may be gullible, but I believe people are basically good.  Once they give me pause to see they are not trustworthy, I proceed with caution or keep them at arm’s length.  Or let them go.

My husband and I always trust each other.  We even point out beautiful people for each other to have as eye candy.  “Thanks honey, that was delicious!”  When we were first married, if men would check me out, he would say, “Let ’em look, I know you’re coming home with me!”  It is so refreshing not to have to deal with jealousy.

I think we can really live up or down to labels.  My first husband was incredibly jealous.  It was hard to remain faithful when I got punished for his fears, but I did.  In reality, his self worth was low.  We all deserve to be loved by a faithful partner.  In the end, it was his untrustworthiness, in the form of lying and not being dependable because of drug abuse, that ruined our marriage.

I never lied to my kids and I can’t think of a time that I ever broke a promise.  I believe that they are trustworthy as a result of knowing that they could count on me.  I told the truth, even when I wasn’t sure I should.  My poor kids!  I told them that Santa Claus was a myth that people loved to believe in because it was fun and that we could believe in it, too.  I couldn’t bring it to myself to tell them that Santa really brought the presents down the chimney.  What a Bah Humbug!

Then there is the whole subject of trusting ourselves.  Sometimes it’s hard to count on ourselves to do what is expected of us – or what we expect of ourselves.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to conform to what is ideal to ourselves, our parents or whomever, that we can’t hold up to it sometimes.  That’s when we have to realize that we aren’t being true to ourselves.  That’s when we need to decide what to prioritize, what to cut, what to change…

I would like to challenge myself and all who read this to stay with their authentic selves and make decisions from the heart.  Let’s not make excuses for ourselves.  Let’s be ourselves with integrity.  It may take a while for some people to get used to our changes, but we will feel so much better when the heart, the mind and the spirit are in alignment.

“Women keep a special corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed.”

~ Cornelia Otis Skinner

Trust lion

The Loss of a Pet

Jasper

 

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  My beloved, 14 year old kitty, Jasper has died.  I am still reeling.  Three weeks ago, I thought he was healthy and well.  I was hoping he would live to be 20.

That’s when it started.  Little drops of blood here and there.  I thought it was a boo-boo.  Then, when the drops were getting more consistent, I thought he had a bad tooth.  I did my best herbal magic to save the tooth and to keep it from getting infected.

When he threw up blood, I knew we weren’t dealing with a tooth.  He had low platletes and almost no white blood cells.  That told me he probably had leukemia or something equally fatal.  He went downhill quickly and left the planet 3 days after.

During my grieving time, I have had a lot to ponder.   I found that vets (and Doctors) make us feel we need to do everything possible to control the situation and to “know” what’s going on.  For $200. we can do a test to find out which disease is causing him to have no white blood cells.  Why?  Why do I need to know which fatal disease is killing him?  Why do I need to have meds to bring him back from the brink of death, so he can live a low quality life for a little while longer?

It seems since Western medicine can know the why of so many things and can continue to treat symptoms and keep people and pets alive, that we are made to feel guilty if we opt for less control over the situation.  Or we are made to feel stupid if we want to try alternative methods and perhaps we think unconventionally.

I also find it amazing that we are considered cruel if we don’t put a pet to sleep,  but it would be murder if we helped a human loved one along.  A loved one that can talk to us and tell us what they want, mind you.

Everyone is so different and we come from so many life experiences and back grounds.  It really is an individual thing.  I wish that people would be more compassionate and less judgemental. I also wish people weren’t so awkward and uncomfortable around sickness and death.  Even the word awkward looks awkward…  did I misspell it??

I believe in reincarnation and life after death, so I think I have a nice belief to hold onto and comfort me.  I feel peace knowing that a soul lives on after the death of the body.

I had the most amazing experience.  I had a “shamanic dream” and I saw the days unfolding towards Jasper’s death through his eyes.  I felt his spaced out delusions from being dehydrated.  I saw me come into his view, every now and again to check on him and try to make him comfortable.  To clean him.  To cry my eyes out.  To grieve.

I saw his brother kitty, JonnyCat that we lost years ago, come to take him home.  I felt JonnyCat’s breath catch when he saw me and got home sick for a moment, missing me, his Earth Momma.  I saw Jasper and JonnyCat watching Michael dig Jasper’s grave.  I saw Jasper and JonnyCat have an exciting reunion.  They loved each other so much.

What was that?  Was it real?  Was it a dream?  I don’t know.  What I do know, is it gave me a lot of comfort.  Sure, I am going to cry some more.  Crying isn’t for sissies.  It’s hard work to process loss and death.  Crying is looking at your soul, face to face.  Crying is feeling deep and knowing you will get through to the other side.  Eventually, in it’s own time.

I think our pets live shorter lives than us so that they can teach us about unconditional love, loss and death.  I have had a lot of practice.  These babies give so much love, that is why it hurts so bad when they are gone.  They fill our hearts with pleasure and love.  They teach us one at a time, so when we loose our human families we will have had some practice.   They come into this world with one goal:  To love us.

Love & Light to you, Jasper.  Thank you for all the JOY we had while you were with us.  ♥

Jasper

Don’t “Should” Yourself ;)

To Do List

“Anything worth doing is worth doing frantically.” ~ New proverb

“I don’t give myself credit for what I do get done, because I have so many projects hanging in the fire that I haven’t done.” ~ Chris

“Shoulda, woulda, coulda, I like to say to myself when I start to worry that I didn’t get enough done in one day.  There are only so many hours in the day to get things done.  We all are so overwhelmed with so many items on our “To Do” list.

We listen to seminars, take classes or read an article and it says, “Do (insert here) every day for at least 10 minutes a day and VOILA!”  ‘Ten minutes a day’, we say to ourselves, ‘I should be able to do that.’  Then when it doesn’t get done, we think we failed.

The truth of the matter is, we all have so many things on our to do lists that we could never do it all in one day.  With all the 10 minutes spent on what we “should” be able to do in just 10 minutes each day, we would need a day twice as long!  Here’s my “TO DO” List for example:

10 minutes – record dreams in the morning

10-20 minutes – Tarot reading

10-30 minutes – meditation and/or gratitude thoughts

10-20 – minutes feed and pet the animals

60 – minutes exercise

20 – minutes stretch

30-60 – minutes walk dog

30 – minutes reading a day

30 – minutes studying a day

30 – minutes practicing healing work and shamanic journeys

30 – minutes grocery shopping

30 – minutes cooking

This is over 5 hours by now!  Impossible!  Then you are supposed to work, spend time with your spouse, take care of your kids, spend time with them, check in with your parents, your siblings, your friends.  Check in with yourself.  What?!  Yes.  Check in with yourself.

But, I need to do all this stuff!  Check in with yourself.  How are you feeling right now?  Can you give some of that love and attention to you?  You could use it.

I take my to do list and I rotate it.  I start at the top and each day, do what I didn’t get to the day before.  I don’t have to do all those things every day.  If I get through a third or a quarter of the list each day, the items will come through every 3-4 days.  Whew!  Much more doable.  Some of these things are daily, (like feeding the animals!) but all of them do not have to be daily.

Let’s give ourselves a break and stop sprinting to the finish line every day.   I am not a runner.  It doesn’t feel good.

If I spend the day thinking of what I shoulda done, or coulda  done, I am not in the present moment.  What is happening in this moment right now?  Shouldn’t I be present for what is happening now?  It is much more joyful to live in the NOW and be PRESENT.

So… stop “shoulding” on yourself!  😉

“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”

~ Corita Kent

a drop of water

 

Forgiveness For Ourselves And Others

forgiveness stone

“You can sit forever, lamenting how bad you’ve been, feeling guilty until your death, and not one tiny slice of that guilt will do anything to rectify past behavior.”  ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Last time we looked at judgment, so today I wanted to follow up with forgiveness.  We judge ourselves.  We judge others.  We need to forgive ourselves and we need to forgive others.  In my reality, our whole lives are a series of lessons and events.  It is with our perspectives and our emotional attachments to them that decides what happened and if we are going to hold onto those view points or not.

Maybe we would change events or decisions we made in the past if we could.  But if we learned from them, I don’t believe they were mistakes.  They were life lessons that created the strength and wisdom or the compassion and motivation that drives us today.  How is that a bad thing?

Years ago, I used to love to tell my “stories”.  It’s amazing how loaded and dramatic a story can be, depending on if you are still hooked or a victim of that story, or if it no longer holds a charge.  I don’t tell my “stories” very often anymore.  (When I first stopped telling my stories, I didn’t know what to talk about!)

There actually was a grieving process, letting go of all those events where I was a victim.  I needed to forgive people for things that happened to me and I needed to forgive myself for not having healthier boundaries, not trusting my intuitions or making poor choices.

Several years ago, my Dad apologized to me for letting me marry my first husband (at 19 years old) who was a drug addict/alcoholic.  I could see it weighed so heavy on his mind.  That was 32 years ago!!  I told him, “Dad, don’t worry for one more second.  First of all, being 19, I would have never listened to you.  Second of all, I don’t regret a single moment.  I learned so much and I wouldn’t be who I am today without that experience.”  The weight that lifted off his shoulders was a visible load.  I only wished he expressed himself sooner!!

I believe I have forgiven all others for any wrong doings or perceived wrong doings.  I now realize that some things that happen, happen because we don’t understand how we impact others, we are ignorant of our behavior, until it is brought to our attention somehow, or maybe we just plain misunderstood what happened.

I have a few things left to forgive myself for, but I am doing good work.

Will you join me in my focus to appreciate and see the best in ourselves and others?  It truly will make the world a better place to live.

“To not forgive is to not understand how the universe works and how you fit into it.”                     ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

forgiveness

Who are we to JUDGE?

“Judgement means that you view the world as you are, rather than as it is.”                                    ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Judgement.  We do it every day.  We do it several times a day.  We decide about something when we don’t have all the facts.  We judge people for how they dress, how they wear their hair, what their job is and how they show up in this world even though we do not stand in their shoes.

We don’t think about someone that dresses too young for their age might be having a hard time aging!  We don’t know why someone is being rude; either in person or driving.  While it is not okay to be rude, what is behind that?  We don’t know if someone in their life has just died or is dying.  We don’t know if they are experiencing so much pain, they can barely get home.  We don’t know if they are deciding if they should get divorced or keep trying.  We don’t know what motivates another person.

I think what we can do to be our best selves is to be compassionate and not take it personally.  Maybe we can offer a kind word or a smile.  Maybe we can say a mental prayer for them.   Maybe we just have to let it go, walk around them, give them space.  We don’t have to engage internally or externally.

Once I started taking myself out of the equation and realized everyone reacts from their own perspective and the values that they were brought up with, my life got so much easier.  Who knows how someone else received parenting?  Who knows what shadows they wrestle with each day?

The last several years I have been working hard on the many layers of me.  What’s inside of me?  What makes me tick?  What stops my process?  I am growing and healing the inner me and the outer me gets more radiant each day as I stand up for my authentic self.  I feel if I focus on being the best ME (the microcosm) I really can effect the macrocosm.  (the world!)

If I practice gratitude, nonjudment and unconditional love, if I find my joy, I can only help to spread joy.  If we focus on what work needs to be done on ourselves and celebrate loving ourselves and accepting ourselves, I really think we can make a difference in the world.  We won’t be contributing by putting negativity out into the world and we will be projecting love and joy because we get it.  WE get it.  We understand that everyone wants to be loved and accepted and we can help.

Be our best selves, that’s how we can help.

“We can only learn to love by loving.”  ~ Doris Murdock

The Menopausal Attaire

Maxine with chocolate

“I refuse to admit that I am more than fifty-two, even if that does make my sons illegitimate.” ~ Nancy Astor

Seriously, what to wear during this long phase of transformation?  I’m about 5-10lbs heavier than I used to be but, I don’t want to buy new clothes.  I am hoping my body resumes it’s normal shape on the other side of menopause…

I feel fat, frumpy and tired!  Black yoga pants are the daily event.  I don’t have to squeeze into them, they make me look thin and can act as camouflage if a rogue period rears it’s head on some random day.  I think I have 3-4 eggs left and my uterus coughs one up every now and then.

The next part of my attaire is a colorful camisole. Forget bras.  Too uncomfortable.  If it’s extra long, it can make up for my tops that seem to be getting shorter.  Besides, the pretty color peeps out of my black top and adds a little festivity to the ensemble.  Next, the aforementioned, black top.  I have several of them.  Ones with sparkles, funny sayings or pictures, nice looking ones.  Your frumpy feeling body is looking thin in black, the splashes of color add some happiness… You have comfort and you are presentable.

The way our bodies change shape and the weird things they do, remind me of when we used to flatten silly putty onto the comics and make misshapened figures.  Our skin gets looser and we get “wisdom” spots (as my skin specialist likes to call them), our triceps wave when we wave, our boobs look down at our shoes…  Geez…

I have realized something.  I am obsessed about gaining weight.  But, I am MORE obsessed about eating chocolate.  I know how to loose this last 5-10 lbs, but I don’t want to give up my snacks.  The chocolate is really satisfying during those few minutes that I am eating it!

Seriously though, as we age, we become more wise and have so much more intuition and insight.  We begin to realize that our bodies are only part of us.  There is so much more to us than our outward appearances.  We have been seasoned and tenderized over the years.  We have so much to offer our family, friends and community.  As we say goodbye to our youth, we can begin to embrace our wisdom years.

I’ll take this peace of mind over my 20 year old body any day.  Really.

“Since I have also now reached the age when I have positively not an eyelash of physical vanity left: my clackers can rattle down to my flat feet and my wig drop off in front of the howling mob for all I care.”  ~ Caitlin Thomas

 

Dogs and Their Untrained Humans

Earth Day 2011 - Cleaning San Pedro Terrace Road with Misha

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” ~ Ann Landers

I have heard the saying, “No bad dogs, only bad humans.”.  I totally agree.  Dogs all have their own personalities, but generally they are varying  degrees of lovable.  Their humans on the other hand, can leave something to be desired.

I thought I was doing the right thing by getting a rescue dog.  When we went to check her out, she came running down the isle and jumped in my lap.  The lady at the rescue kennel where she was staying said, “Wow, she’s never done that before, I guess she’s yours!”.  And so she was.

I have never had a dog love me so fiercely as Misha loves me, but Chow – Chow’s are protection dogs and she doesn’t want any people or dogs near me.  Luckily she is only half Chow, but she has her issues from whatever trauma her past held and then being in cages for four months before we got her.

When I walk her, I always have her on a leash and I always pull her in close when people are passing by.  When other dogs are around I pull her in close to the side away from the other dogs.  My biggest challenge is loose dogs.

I am very happy for people that can let their dogs off leash when they are well trained.  In my experience, people like to pretend their dog is well trained or think they are…. or don’t care…  I don’t know.  All I know is almost on a daily basis, I have to call out, “Excuse me, my dog is not friendly.  Can you grab your dog so I can walk by?”  “It’s okay!  My dog is friendly!” they say.

What part of that is asking if their dog is friendly or not?  What part of that is ok to have your dog bit because it is friendly or not?  I want to respond, “My dog especially likes to eat the friendly ones!”  Smile.  🙂

“No sorry, you can’t pet my dog.  She is not friendly.”  “It’s ok.  All dogs love me.” they respond.   People are crazy!  I love my dog and probably 90% of the time the person would be safe and maybe 10% of the time the other person’s dog would be ok, but do you really want to take an unnecessary risk?  What makes people think they know my dog better then I do??

The bottom line is that my dog needs exercise and so I subject myself to this day in and day out.  She is a good girl and does not start anything.   But, if your dog is off leash and you are going to let it run up in my dog’s face, how can I stop her from biting your dog?  You are not even close enough to help me to protect your dog!

I think it is easy to read the body language of dog walkers.  If a person with a dog is coming toward you and you see the person reel in the dog close, that means either their dog is aggressive or they are afraid your dog is aggressive.  If a person is standing there waiting for you to pass with their dog pulled in close, can you put your dog on his leash until you move past?    If you open your front door, can you peer up and down the street before you let your dog dash out the door and chase us down the street?  These things happen all the time.  I try my best to do my part to be safe.

Besides the fact that I don’t want anyone, 2 or 4 legged to get hurt, I worry that if my dog hurts another dog, she will be the one to be put to sleep and I will be the one heart broken and sued.

Please pay attention.  Not all dogs are safe.

“I’m smarter than my dogs.  Well, smarter than one of my dogs.” ~  Ellen DeGeneres

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Elderly Parents ~ When The Roles Start To Reverse

elderly care

“Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.”  ~  Marie Curie

The last several years I have witnessed my friends caring for their aging parents.  What a hard transition!  Now it seems to be that time for me.   How do you know when to step in?  You want to be respectful of their wants and needs and of their freedom.  You see them struggle and you know you could make their lives easier.  Sometimes they don’t want to let you!

My Mom is the biggest martyr in the Universe, and she won’t let anyone help with my Dad.  I finally said the other day, “Ma!  It would be hard for someone in their 20’s or 30’s to take care of Dad.  You’re 73!  He’s taking years off your life.  Let us help you!”  I think that sunk in a little.

It’s all so weird.  I can see my Mom is terrified of my Dad dying and I can see he is getting scared too.  Neither one of them even talks about the fact that he is going to die soon.  I told my Mom that at least they could talk about it and they probably wouldn’t be so afraid.  She said no, they never do.

It’s so weird the way some couples stay together, even though they act like they hate each other.  They love each other, they hate each other.  They love to hate each other and they hate to love each other.  They wouldn’t have it any other way.  The ‘ol ball and chain.

Even though my Dad is a pain in the ass to my Mom, he’s her pain in the ass and she doesn’t want to loose him.  Here I am after 50 years, still trying to teach them to communicate.  Who’s the crazy one!?  😉

It must be so hard to slowly (or quickly) loose your freedom.  You loose your healthy body, you loose your license, you loose your dignity.  You pee your pants…  You loose your teeth, your eyesight, your hearing.  You loose a lot and you have a lot to loose.

One thing you gain is a lot of wisdom over the years.  I hope that we all remember that the elderly are wise.  They have had a lot of life experience and they have a lot of stories.  Listen some time, they have a lot to share and we should all value the aging population.  They need our love and our hugs and our respect.  We need to hear and learn from their stories, their lessons and understand their perspective.

Maybe people wouldn’t be so afraid of dying if they were always respected and valued in their communities and the lines of communication were more open.  Let’s all work on closing the generation gap.

“If we wish to grow old gracefully we must commence by being young cheerfully.”

~ Marie Corelli

eldercare2

Life, Death & Afterlife?

“The possibility of experiencing a power greater than myself has always been there, knocking on my inner door.” ~ Anne Wilson Schaef                                                                                                                                                                        “I “I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal,
I died as an animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?”   ~ Rumi

I have been thinking about death lately.  There is a lot of it going around…  There  are many beliefs about what happens to our souls when we die.  I have entertained many of them and I have landed on an explanation that I like to believe is true.

I mean, after all, no one can really prove or disprove any of the beliefs around this subject.  We really don’t know.  But, what gives us comfort?  What drives us to be a better person?

After reading a LOT of spirtitual books and hearing a LOT of beliefs, I started pulling together the parts that rang true for me.  I created a whole story out of what I decided to believe.  For one,  I choose to believe in reincarnation.  It feels so real.  Why else would we go through so many lessons, striving to be a better person?  For me, I want my next life to be much easier because I learned these lessons already!   I don’t need outside forces to encourage (or coerce) me to be a better person than I am.  I am my biggest advocate and put the most demands on myself.

I think each life time, we come to learn another theme of lessons.  For example, we might want to learn about compassion.  It may take several lifetimes as we view compassion from several different angles.  One lifetime we may be the abused child and/or wife so that we can rise above the abuse and find compassion. Maybe we go on to fight for the rights and equality or safety of other abused wives and children.  The next life, we may be the abuser and feel what it feels like to be forgiven by our victims or not forgiven and going to jail or getting killed…

I know my life lessons have helped me be a more compassionate massage therapist/spiritual healer because I can identify more with my clients.  They feel safe telling me what is going on because they know I will understand and not judge them.  Their trust is my reward.

I think the spirits are all up there, in varying degrees of healing and evolvement. Each life, we learn more and more important lessons.  That is what it is, lessons.  Not good and evil.  Lessons.  We learn so many different things, but most of all, how to rise up above the pain and trials to find our joy.

I think we are here to find our love, our light and our joy, no matter what the situation is.  I believe the deceased go into some healing place for however long it takes for their soul to recover. Then they go on to lessons to become angels or to have more human lives.  I think each time the spirit gets more evolved and vibrates at higher and higher levels. At some point their vibration is high enough for the capacity to become a guardian angel, life guide or helping spirit of some kind.

I believe we have a higher self and that there are many helping spirits like guardian angels, Reiki Masters, Spirit masters, life guides, soul families, power animals and Divine Archangels.  They are all here waiting to help us.  All we have to do is believe and ask.

I think we all have a soul family, like our earth family and we all take turns supporting each other in different roles for each lifetime.  Some come into human form with us so that we can help each other with our life purposes and lessons and some help us on the ethereal levels, keeping us on track with our journeys as our guides and angels.

This gives me incredible peace of mind to know that I have so much help, love and compassion.  I just have to ask.  Miracles happen every day if you believe.  What do you think life and death are all about?

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.”   ~ Kurt Cobain

“I know stuff.  Stuff I shouldn’t.  It scares some people.” ~ Rosie O’Donnell

New Beginnings

sunrise beach

“I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself… one day at a time.”  Anne Wilson Schaef

I love that the New Year gives us permission to start anew.  It clears the slate and we get to put new effort into eating better, exercising more or not swearing.  We get to start over.  Hit the refresh button, if you will.

But, the truth of the matter is, every day we can start over.  We don’t have to wait until January 1st to start a good habit or quit a bad habit.  Every day, every minute we have a choice.  When we screw up, instead of letting the voice of the critic chastise us, we could say, “My soul chose to have a human experience and I learn from my mistakes.”  We have to put on our big girl/boy pants and try again.  Over and over.  As long as it takes.

It takes three weeks of active work to break a habit.  I like to add a good habit to replace the bad habit.  For example, as I try to eat less sugar, on one or two of those sugar urges, I will eat a piece of fruit, some nuts or protein.  Not as exciting, but my body thanks me for it and it is guilt free.

I think the trick of breaking any habit is to be a positive cheerleader for ourselves.  ‘Is that a nice thing to say to myself?’, I think in my head.  ‘Would I say that to my friend, if they had the same problem?’  No, I would give them unconditional love and a boost of support.

So, let’s make one or two New Year’s resolutions and when we falter, let’s tell ourselves, ‘That’s ok, were still working on this.  Keep trying.  No worries.’  Let’s choose to look at our growth and set backs more compassionately so we will want to keep trying.  Let’s support our growth by choosing to love ourselves, before we loose the weight and before we stop swearing.

Every day is a new day to be a better person.  Every day we have the opportunity to treat ourselves, others and this Earth with love and respect.  If we make all our choices from this perspective, life can only get more and more wonderful.

Happy New Year!

“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.” ~ Anonymous

“Believing in our hearts that who we are is enough is the key to a more satisfying and balanced life.” ~ Ellen Sue Stern

sunrise land