Friday, December 31, 2010

2011, Here I Come!

I just re-read my post from January 2010, where I outlined my plaCheck Spellingn for the new year, and I still think it's awesome! I'm happy to say that unlike typical resolutions that fall by the wayside almost immediately, I really kept to the plan. And as a result, 2010 was one of the best years of my life! So, here's my new, simplified version for a year I hope will be even better than the last:

1. Choose love, not fear, in every situation.
2. Work to live, don't live to work.
3. Look for my barriers to love, take 'em down.
4. Work hard but play harder, every day.
5. Connect with Spirit/My Higher Self, every day.
6. Listen more, talk less.
7. Connect with nature every day.
8. Take leaps of faith, on a regular basis.
9. Expect the best.
10. Love and care for myself, don't wait/expect/need anyone else to do it.
11. Laugh as much as possible. Life doesn't have to be so serious!
12. Give away love, for free, every day, to everyone I meet.
13. Have more fun.

Yep, that's pretty much it! Still looks good to me, just gonna keep going with what's been working.

Wishing you a wonderful, healthy, beautiful, amazing 2011, full of love and light!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Life is Really Very Simple....

A beautiful life affirmation from Louise Hay.

She writes: "Life is really very simple. What we give out, we get back. What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us....Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.....No person, place, or thing has any power over us, for "we" are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives."

As I read these affirmations out loud to myself, it's interesting to observe which parts my mind rejects as being untrue or impossible. This is a sure sign of which areas need the most work! Our thoughts create our reality. Why not create the most amazing reality imaginable?

In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole, and complete.
I live in harmony and balance with everyone I know.
Deep at the center of my being, there is an infinite well of love.
I now allow this love to flow to the surface.
It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness,
my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions
and returns to me multiplied.
The more love I use and give, the more I have to give.
The supply is endless.
The use of love makes me feel good;
it is an expression of my inner joy. I love myself;
therefore, I take loving care of my body.
I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages,
I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly
responds to me with vibrant health and energy.
I love myself; therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home,
one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in.
I fill the rooms with the vibration of love
so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love
and be nourished by it.
I love myself; therefore, I work at a job I truly enjoy doing,
one that uses my creative talents and abilities,
working with and for people I love and who love me,
and earning a good income.
I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way
to all people for I know that which I give out
returns to me multiplied.
I only attract loving people in my world,
for they are a mirror of what I am.
I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past
and all past experiences, and I am free.
I love myself; therefore, I live totally in the now,
experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future
is bright and joyous and secure,
for I am a beloved child of the Universe,
and the Universe lovingly takes care of me
now and forever more. All is well in my world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding Peace in the Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner, which for most of us means time spent with close family. In some cases, this is not always a pleasant thought, thanks to old, negative family dynamics. These bonds are deep and powerful, and can affect us greatly. If there is someone in your family who really gets under your skin, who really pushes your buttons, this post is for you.
The only person we can change in any situation is ourselves. If you are waiting for someone else to change so you can be at peace and be happy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It is our failure to accept people exactly as they are that gives us pain in a relationship. The key is self-love. If you love yourself deeply enough, you won't be looking to others for validation, and you won't be affected by what they say and what they do. 99% of the actions of others have nothing to do with you. If you love yourself deeply enough, their actions can be seen for what they truly are, an indication of their fears and inability to love, nothing to do with you. When you are able to separate yourself, you will see how afraid they are, and how that fear manifests itself as anger, resentment, bitterness, and guilt, which they then project onto others. You will see their fear, and realize the only answer for it is love and compassion.
Our families, especially our parents, are able to push our buttons, because they programmed them! No matter our age, when we spend time with our parents in some ways we become 5 years old again, still looking to them for love, nurturing and approval. If they say negative things to us or start pointing out our faults, chances are on some level we are still buying into it, still believing it. "What happens to us externally does not determine our internal condition. It is what we tell ourselves about what is happening externally that determines our internal condition." If your parent (or sibling, or grandparent) is still able to push your buttons, then on some deep level you are still telling yourself that they are right. Chances are you can't change the other person, but you can change yourself, by changing what you are telling yourself at that moment. Refuse to buy in, refuse to play the long-established game. Love yourself deeply enough to know your own worth and to reject their fear. By having compassion and realizing that their negativity has nothing to do with you, you are meeting their fear with love. And when love meets fear, love always wins.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday season!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making the Mind, Body, Spirit Connection.

Pain is the body's way of telling us something is wrong. It's a red flag, signalling "I need help!" Emotional pain works the same way. When we feel angry, resentful, ashamed, guilty, or afraid, these emotions are a message from our soul, "I need help!" Unfortunately, many of us ignore both kinds of pain, or try to medicate it away at the encouragement of the medical experts, or numb it with alcohol or street drugs. The problem is that taking a painkiller or an anti-depressant will mask the pain temporarily, but it won't cure what's hurting, what's actually causing it.

Looking at why something hurts emotionally is hard work and many of us don't have any idea how to begin, so we bury it, try to pretend it doesn't exist. We try to just keep going, "tough it out". Which is fine until you just can't anymore. A nervous breakdown or anxiety attack occurs, or depression hits thanks to all the feelings you're repressing. Or your body starts to manifest these emotional ills physically so that you can't ignore the issue any longer. This is how many serious illnesses begin. It's recognized by medical science now that cancer, heart disease, strokes, brain aneurysms, etc. can all be caused by unaddressed emotional issues. I've learned this the hard way in my life, diagnosed with a stomach ulcer at age 12 from repressing my worry and feelings over my mother's health issues. I was literally swallowing my feelings, terrified to let them out, until they ate a hole in my stomach lining.

For the last 2 years I've suffered periodically with severe lower back problems. The medical explanation is that I have an old injury and my muscles tighten to protect that area and the scar tissue there. I've been in and out of physical therapy, tried regular deep tissue massage, muscle relaxants, dietary supplements, yoga, and exercise. Nothing has worked, long-term. For the past 2 months I've been having a flare-up. I was so tired of being in pain, and had no idea what else to try, I guess you could say I'd "hit bottom". So I asked the Universe to please help me heal this......coincidentally, (except I don't believe in coincidences!) I won a gift box from an inspirational website. In the box was an amazing dvd by Louise Hay, called "You Can Heal Your Life". In it she talks about the direct link between physical issues and our thoughts and emotions. It made so much sense to me. I guess I was finally ready to consider that my back pain might be related to my thoughts, and not something that was confined to just my body, that I might actually be creating this situation somehow. If that was true, maybe I could also heal it! I began to really look at this, analyzing when the pain flares up, and seeking to uncover the underlying emotional causes.

After doing some really hard work, lots of journaling, meditation, and using some transactional analysis-inner child techniques, I found the source of the problem. An old emotional wound is causing deep-seated fears, triggered when I allow myself to be vulnerable with another. My fears were causing me to tense up, literally a "fight or flight" response, so much so that I was causing my back to completely seize up. As soon as I realized this, I was able to start working on those fears, and my back immediately responded by relaxing. Now, two weeks later, my pain is almost completely gone.

What an incredible gift, and lesson. Our thoughts are powerful beyond our wildest dreams, and can be used for us or against us. Awareness is the key. So the next time you have pain, either physical or emotional, stop for a minute and consider that it's possible that you can heal your life.

Sending you love and light.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love, Healing and Romantic Love

Over the past year I've been working to revise my vision of a romantic relationship, and to change the way I show up when in one. In May I wrote about the "myth of happily ever after". Don't misunderstand, I believe in LOVE more than ever, but I no longer believe in different kinds of love. I've come to believe that love just IS. Period. I often think of life as a classroom, and relationships are like the "lab" part where you actually experience what you're learning. Paraphrasing Mariann Williamson in "A Return to Love":

Relationships are assignments. They are a part of the vast plan for our enlightenment, by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. Spiritual progress is like a detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, our unhealed places are forced to the surface. People will be brought into our life who help us see where our walls are. Our walls protect our wounds, the place where we can't love anymore, can't connect any more deeply, can't allow anyone in any further, can't forgive past a certain point. We are brought into each others' lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal. Spirit brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. No meetings are accidental. Those who are meant to meet will meet , because together they have the potential for a holy relationship.

However, our culture has bred the idea of the "special" relationship into us, through books, songs, movies, advertising, and the conspiracy of other egos. The "special" relationship is a device by which the ego keeps us separate from others, rather than joins us. The special relationship makes other people, their behavior, choices, opinions of us, too important. It makes us think we need another person, when in fact we are complete and whole, just as we are. In the "special" relationship we're more interested in what our brother can do for us, fix us, complete us, etc. This is not love but exploitation. When we try to use a relationship to serve our own purposes, we falter because we are reinforcing our illusion of need and incompleteness.

In a holy relationship, we're just interested in our brother (or sister), period. We are not put here to audition one another, put someone on trial, or use other people to gratify our own ego needs. We are not here to fix, change, or belittle another person. We are here to support, forgive, and heal one another. The holy relationship is above all else, a friendship between two souls.
In the holy relationship, it's understood that we all have our unhealed places, and that healing is the purpose of being close with another person. We don't try to hide our weaknesses, but rather we understand that the relationship is a context for healing through mutual forgiveness, unconditional love, and compassion. A relationship that is used by Spirit becomes a place where our blocks to love are brought into our conscious awareness. The holy relationship is a divine relationship, a temple of healing.

Our fearful places have to be revealed before they can be healed. The ego thinks of a perfect relationship as one in which both people show a perfect face. Our ego is where we are wounded, our fear. We are all afraid on some level that if we reveal who we really are, people would recoil in horror. But our true selves, the Spirit within us, is that which is most beautiful. "Spirit is in me, as me." If a relationship exists to support our growth, then in many ways it exists to force us out of our limited tolerance, and inability to love unconditionally. Spirit's purpose is always that we might learn to love ourselves and others more purely. We love more purely when we release other people to be who they are. The ego seeks intimacy through control and guilt. Spirit seeks intimacy through acceptance and release. "Fear holds on, love lets go."

Love is a decision. A real relationship is supporting another person to be the best they can be. Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other's lives. They are meant to help each other to access the highest parts within themselves. The most productive responses in relationships come from committing to playing your own role on as high a level as you can. Spirit will take care of the rest.

There are no different categories of love. The love that is real is the love of the spirit inside each person, the perfection within them, whether your mother, brother, child or lover. We must reveal ourselves at the deepest level in order to find out how lovable we really are. When we dig deeply enough into our real nature, we do not find darkness, we find endless light. True love asks for nothing, but peace for our brother, knowing that only in that way can we be at peace ourselves.

Wishing you light and true love.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Poem for the Modern World

Someone gave this to me as a book, many years ago, and I loved it. I recently rediscovered it, and in reading realized how much of it has become an integral part of my personal beliefs, and the way I try to live my life. Although it was written almost a hundred years ago, I feel it's still very pertinent to our modern world.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly,
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant,
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble,
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is,
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars,
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, circa 1920's

As always, sending you light and love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Choose Love, Not Fear

One of my favorite sayings is "Choose love not fear." A Course in Miracles teaches this, and that every day we are constantly presented with opportunities to choose between the two. It says that at our core, our deepest essence, we are beings of pure love, sparks of the divine light and that everything that's been added on since our creation, by society and conditioning is useless. This explains why small children are so pure, so full of love and joy. They haven't been wounded, or taught to fear yet. I think maybe we are here to learn how to un-learn everything that's been added on by our experiences, so that we can return to that state of pure love.

The Course teaches that only love and fear are real, everything else is an illusion. Marianne Williamson writes: "What we think of as people's guilt is their fear. All negativity derives from fear. When someone is manipulative, they are afraid. When someone is cruel, they are afraid. There is no fear that love does not dissolve. Like the dark is the absence of light, fear is merely the absence of love." Don Miguel Ruiz puts it this way: "Anger is nothing but fear with a mask. Jealousy is fear with a mask. Sadness is fear with a mask." Understanding this is big. When we feel those things we need to ask ourselves "What am I afraid of?" And when others come at us with these emotions our challenge is to stay present in love and awake to the fact that the person acting out is choosing fear. This person has fallen asleep momentarily, to who they are. Our job as a miracle worker is to stay awake and love that divine being. This gives us the power to reawaken him.

"Everything that someone does is either love, or a call for love. If someone treats us with love, then of course love is the appropriate response. If they treat us with fear, we are to see their behavior as a call for love. Love is always the appropriate response. Our power lies in remaining non-reactive." Of course this is often a hard thing to do, we all have our wounds, our walls. And it doesn't mean that we should allow others to mistreat us. If someone refuses to wake up to his true essence, love them, forgive them, and remove yourself. This is the most loving thing you can do, for yourself and for them.

Staying fully present in love means not reacting out of fear. The ego always emphasizes what someone has done wrong, it seeks to keep us separate, it thrives on our fear. It's a defense mechanism, overly-developed. We have to learn to recognize it's voice, and to choose love anyway. We are all allies in each other's healing. Being a spiritual warrior and choosing love is not an easy path. When someone attacks you, or judges you guilty it takes tremendous strength not to respond in kind. If we can just stay centered and not take it personally, most likely we'll find that their actions have little or nothing to do with us, it's merely their fear talking. "99% of what other people do has nothing to do with us." It's about where they are in their lives, their healing, the stories they are telling themselves. It's tempting to choose fear, to lash back at them or try to convince them we are in the right. The ego really wants us to prove we are "right"! But sometimes it's better to ask yourself, "Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?" Because the only thing causing us pain in most relationships is not the love we think we're not getting, it's the love we're not giving.

Choosing love is always the right response. Not always the easiest one, but the right one. When I'm able to keep my heart open and choose love, it brings me peace because it's in keeping with the integrity of my divine higher self. When I'm able to do it, it feels right and I feel "in the flow" of life's energy, walking my path in the light. And that's the only place I want to be.

Sending you light and love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Mother's Daughter

Today would have been Patricia Patrick Wood's 75th birthday. I've been thinking of her a lot lately, feeling her around me. She and I were very close in my younger years, and almost completely estranged for the last 7 years of her life. It's only been recently that I've begun to make my peace with that, and I'm sorry it couldn't have happened sooner. I think eventually we would have found our way back to being friends, we just ran out of time. But I believe she is in a place now where it no longer matters. She knows I love her, and always have, and I know the same about her.

I believe in a higher power, a divine loving Spirit that loves and guides us all. (Call it what you'd like. I stopped using the word "God" because it conjures up childhood images of a stern bearded old man with flowing hair and robes, ready to judge my words and deeds, and to punish accordingly.) I believe this Spirit has created a loving, nurturing universe to be our classroom so that we may learn and grow. I believe that our souls are small sparks of this divine source, and as such are eternal and divine as well. I believe our ultimate mission, through each lifetime (and yes, I believe in reincarnation) is to overcome fear and to learn to manifest ourselves only through love. In doing this we return to our natural state, to one-ness with the divine. I believe that Spirit offers us guidance and assistance in our lessons and journeys. Everything that happens to us is to help us learn and grow. Spirit is like a loving parent, only seeking to help us return to our natural state, pure loving energy. We are provided with everything we need, if we only choose to see it. I believe we can't always get what we want, but we always get what we need. (The Rolling Stones were onto something!) What we choose to do with it is up to us however, and often we squander or waste it.

I believe our higher selves, our eternal, wise souls, know all. Everything that's happened to us, in lifetime after lifetime, since the beginning. On that level we understand the ways and workings of the universe, it all makes sense. This higher self tries to communicate what it knows with us, to help and guide us. This is the little voice we call intuition. It's not mysterious, it's the way we all are built, one of our natural senses. We've gotten out of the habit of using it, so it has atrophied, much in the same way that we no longer need our appendix to process ingested bones. We have become focused on listening to external voices, losing the ability to hear our own in the process. My inner voice has told me some seemingly impossible things, but it has never been wrong. It has led me to wonderful adventures and great loves. I find that when I listen to it and follow where it leads, amazing things happen. Connections are made, doors fly open, red carpets roll out, magic happens! This is how I know I am on my path, doing what I came here to do, in sync with the universe and my purpose for being. At times like that I see how beautiful and perfect life can be.

Sending you light and love.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

No Regrets

Sitting on my deck, the sun going down, the birds singing their last sweet songs for the day. So peaceful and quiet. I love this time of day they call "dusk", even the name sounds hushed and perfect. In the movie business they call it "magic hour" because everything is bathed in a rosy-golden glow. Wind chimes ring softly like temple bells in the evening breeze. The peaceful end to another good day on earth, and I'm so grateful.

I feel at peace too. I know I have done everything to the best of my ability today. I worked hard and accomplished a lot. I feel pleased and satisfied with the results. I tried to extend myself in love wherever possible. I didn't always succeed as much as I'd have liked, but I see the opportunities where I could've been kinder, more patient and I resolve to do even better tomorrow.

This is pretty much the way I feel about my life in general, at what I hope is just the mid-point. No regrets. I've definitely made my share of mistakes, but what matters is I learned from them. That's what life is for after all, to experiment, experience, and learn. Most importantly, I've kept my heart open, even when others closed theirs. Instead of toughening me, I've managed to let those difficult times soften me, so I can be more open, more compassionate, more loving the next time. In a recent entry I compared life to a river of energy which we are all adrift in. Yes we get bumped and scraped against the rocks sometimes, but I think that's the process that smooths our rough edges. At the end of the ride I hope to be a beautiful, smooth stone, polished to my highest potential by life and time.

Sending you love and light.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reality is Subjective, Choose Heaven.

Some of my best ideas come while I'm sleeping. It seems that my brain doesn't completely shut off at night, the creative juices keep flowing. Last night after writing the previous post, my mind continued to work over those ideas, and I found something more I wanted to say.

Our perception creates our reality. It's common knowledge that our thoughts do help shape our experiences. How ever I choose to perceive a situation will create the reality of that situation, for me. Let's face it, the glass is rarely completely filled. But I get to choose whether I see it as half full, or half empty. Am I going to choose to focus on what I have, or what's missing? Because one will make me feel grateful and happy, the other miserable and angry. Yes it's true that the world has it's share of pain and bad things do happen, but it also has good things, beauty and love, so which am I going to choose to focus on? Maybe some people actually enjoy being miserable, but I think it's more likely their viewpoint has been shaped by the influence of others, and they don't know how to break the cycle, or even realize they have a choice.
I believe heaven and hell are here on earth, and we get to choose which one we live in. As I wrote in the previous post, I choose to view the universe as a loving and benevolent place, bringing me experiences that while admittedly sometimes painful and unpleasant, are ultimately for my growth and learning. Because I believe this, I constantly find evidence to support it in my life, so it becomes my reality. This is heaven. If I choose to believe the opposite, I'm sure I could find plenty to support that too, but my reality would be tortured and filled with pain. This is the meaning of hell.

Which one are you choosing to live in?

Sending you love and light.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Keeps Me Going

Someone asked me recently how I am always able to find the positive in things, no matter the circumstances. I wasn't really sure how to answer except to say that it has to do with my deepest belief that everything happens for a reason, and for the best, whether we can see it or not. As I've said before, I believe the universe is a kind and benevolent energy source. It supplies everything necessary for every living thing to flourish and grow. Flowers, weeds, trees, animals, fish, insects, reptiles AND human beings. It's a matter of trusting and allowing. Having faith and letting go.

Often it's the things that are most important to us that are the most difficult to surrender. I realized this to be very true in my own life. For example, when I needed a new place to live, I would set my intentions, visualize what I wanted, and trust the universe to provide. Of course, I still had to get on the Internet and pound the pavement, but invariably in short order I would find something even better than I had imagined. I did the same thing with finding new jobs, with the same results. I wasn't even aware that I was doing this until a friend of mine said "You always find the coolest places to live, and the best jobs. You must be really good at manifesting things!" She was right, I had learned to surrender those two areas. However, my love life was another story. This was THE most important area of my life to me, so of course I was desperately trying to control it, with little or no success. Finally, after all these years I was able to truly surrender this area, to say "If it's meant to be, so be it. If not, I know I'll be OK." I found such peace, like a burden had been lifted that was far too heavy for me to carry alone. Naturally that's exactly when big, true, soul-mate type love walked in the door and rocked my world.

I believe life is like a big roaring river of energy, and we are all deep in it, part of it, whether we know it or not. Some of us cling to the reeds at the bottom, terrified to let go and see where the current takes us, afraid we'll be smashed to bits against the rocks. Others are kicking, screaming, fighting and panicking, afraid we will drown. But I've found if you can just relax and allow the river to flow, you will find you can float, and even swim along with the current. And although there might be rapids from time to time, or even some falls to circumnavigate, if you allow it, the river will carry you safely to a peaceful, deep, safe harbor, where you were meant to be all along.

This belief is what keeps me going when life gets tough, what gives me faith in the bad times. Life isn't always easy, but it's a great ride if you can let go and enjoy it!

Sending you love, light and peaceful waters.

Monday, May 31, 2010

What I Know for Sure

Much in life is uncertain, but there are a few things that I know for sure. I know that where I am right now is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I know that life is unfolding exactly as it should. It's not always the way I want it to be, or how I think it should be, but I believe it's perfect anyway, exactly the way it is.

 I know that your real family is not necessarily related to you by blood and that you can meet someone and have an instantaneous, mysterious understanding that they are one of your tribe. I know that counting my blessings makes me much happier and more peaceful than counting my problems. I know that every day is a gift, filled with opportunities to choose between love and fear, and that these two things are all that's real. Everything else is an illusion.

Finally, I know that at the end of my life it will not be how much I've accomplished, how much money I've earned, or fame I've achieved that matters. All that will really matter is how willing I was to take down my walls and truly give and receive love.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Happily Ever After" is a Myth.

I don't believe in fairy tales anymore, at least not the ones where the prince and princess meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. I believe in love, but I think our current vision of romantic love is unrealistic and sets expectations that can never be lived up to. Humans are flawed, and we are all struggling, to learn and grow. I think this means that relationships are predestined to be bumpy rides. I think the whole initial "falling in love" stage is a product of hormones and biological programming. Those first feelings of infatuation are nature's way of getting us together to procreate and ensure the survival of the species. I don't mean to sound cynical, I'm just trying to be real. I am actually still a hopeful romantic, but over the years I have revised my idea of what I am hoping for.

I think we all have a deep seated need for real, deep, meaningful connection with another human. I think we are connecting with the divine within that human, and in doing so, connecting with the divine inside ourselves. When we first fall for someone, we are falling for the pure soul within, the spark of Spirit that exists within each of us. And we love seeing our own divine self reflected back in the beloveds' eyes. But as time goes on, we begin to realize that this human is flawed (of course) and we begin to focus on those flaws, until that is all we can see. It's an unpleasant realization because it means we too are flawed, which is uncomfortable to face. So much easier to go, and to seek a new beginning with someone else. This is the challenge of real love though, to love someone even though they are flawed. To allow them to see our deepest, most damaged parts, and to trust them to love us in return. Unconditional love.

I believe in soulmates, and have met a couple in my lifetime. I think you recognize them right away and are drawn to them, for what you can learn from each other. Usually they have all the keys for your locks and vice-versa. It's not always rainbows and butterflies though, because soulmates challenge us to grow in ways we could never have imagined. They push us to stretch ourselves, to learn, to reveal, to go deeper than ever before. It can get messy, growth and stretching can be painful. Sometimes it's easier to run away, or to push them away, but if you can hang in there, it can be tremendously rewarding. Like giving birth, out of the pain, blood and mess comes something beautiful, light-filled and new. And your life has changed, and will never be the same, for having known this person, and having let them fully into your heart.

My current personal vision of "happily ever after" is to find someone who pushes me to grow, encourages my baby steps in a new direction, who supports my quest to be the best version of me I can be, and who wants me to do the same for them. Someone who will stay through the messiness, who will try to sit through the pain instead of withdrawing or pushing me away. To share life experiences and compare notes on learning and growing, who inspires me to be always more. I have had a taste of this, and my life has been forever changed for the better. That's how you know it's a soulmate kind of love. And I know I want more.

Sending love and light.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This is something I read in 1993, and it really spoke to me. I found it recently and still love it, so I wanted to share it here.
"Namaste'. Shalom. Aloha. Peace. Or, if you're a real stickler: The part of me that is most pure loves the part of you that is most pure and within that relationship, we are One. Someone once told me I'd be lucky if I found namaste' with six people in my whole life. I decided she was mistaken, that namaste' is something to be cultivated, given away, celebrated.
After all, it's the invisible connection between us all. The recognition of lives past and lives to come. In India, everyone uses namaste' as a greeting, and they say it with their hands flattened together, as if in prayer. A solemn bond, namaste'. Stronger than just about anything.
And by the way, I've felt namaste' with places, ideas, pieces of music, friends, lovers, even check out girls at the grocery store. You never know. So keep your eyes and your heart and your soul open. Wide. Give namaste' away in bunches, like flowers, to everyone you meet. And when a big dose of it comes your way, in return, rejoice and hold on. For good. Becomes when it comes, it'll come from one of those Big Six. If you're lucky.
And sooner or later, aren't we all?"

Tony Buchsbaum/THE magazine
Santa Fe, NM
May 1993

Sending you love and light....and namaste'.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today I was blessed with two doses of inspiration, within 10 minutes! I love when this happens, when you are able to be open and free and let things just come in.

I was going to meet a friend for dinner, and pulled into a busy parking garage in Burbank. As the cars in front of me slowly found spaces, I inched along. Then I saw a space up ahead, with only one car in front of me. I crossed my fingers they wouldn't see it, but they did, so I continued on my hunt. I turned the next corner and found an even better spot, closer to where I needed to go. As I parked it ocurred to me that this is a lot like life. You think you know what you want, what will make you happy. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't, and sometimes the Universe has something even better just don't know it yet! I think of this when I hear the Rolling Stones sing "you can't always get what you want, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need"!

A few minutes later I was waiting for my friend outside the restaurant as he had phoned to say he was running late. I stood there by the entrance, staring at my "view" such as it was, the concrete side of the parking garage and another building. After a few minutes of this, I decided to walk just a bit while waiting and headed down towards an open air mall about 20 yards away. I walked out into it just in time to see the last of the sunset, pink clouds floating in the flourescent blue sky. A tiny crescent moon was hanging, perfectly framed between two palm trees, while a street musician just happened to be singing one of my favorite songs. I thought to myself "Wow. Just a slight shift and everything completely changed." I was reminded it's within our power to make changes to the way we think and our perceptions, and sometimes it's a small shift to do it. It really is true "Change the way you look at things, and the things you are looking at appear to have changed."

Sending you love and light.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Unfinished Masterpiece

At New York's Museum of Modern Art, I brought my face to within a few inches of Vincent van Gogh's painting The Starry Night.

It looked delicious. I wanted to kiss it. I wanted to eat it. Its stars were throbbing and voluptuous. The night sky shimmered with spiral currents. In the foreground, the cypress tree flared like a shadowy flame. I could also see that the artist had been less than thorough in applying his paint. Especially on the edges, but also in the middle of the painting, slivers of untouched canvas showed through. Fierce, innocent, nourishing, reckless, unfinished, this priceless work drank my attention for a long time, constantly refreshing my eyes with its ceaseless movement.

Can you be at peace with the fact that your masterpiece may always be unfinished?

Rob Brezny,

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black Cats and Seeing Signs.

I'm not superstitious. I have Irish blood on both sides, so by all rights I should be, but I'm not. My mother would freak out over spilled salt, stop the car dead in it's tracks and go 10 miles out of her way if a black cat crossed her path. She insisted visitors always leave by the same door they entered. I wonder if this belief in superstitions goes back to a time when people thought they were totally at the mercy of the whims of the gods, and lived in constant fear of offending them? Thankfully, we've evolved somewhat. The current debate is about destiny vs. free will. Movies are even made about this. ("The Matrix" anyone?) My personal belief is that it's a combination of both. I believe life is a classroom, we come here to learn how to love, how to become the light. Certain lessons are predestined, but we have the free will to pay attention and learn, or to sleep through class and fail. If we choose to sleep, then we have to take a make up, meaning the same type thing will just keep happening until we "get" it. Or if we're stubborn and stay asleep, we have to repeat a "grade" by coming back in another life and doing it all over again.

"There is a benevolent force of energy available to guide your life, and it always has your best interests at heart. This energy is Grace. When you open yourself up to it's influence you'll begin to see the signs, symbols, and messages that are placed in your path to lead you in the right direction."
Cheryl Richardson, life coach.

I do believe in signs, so I guess that makes me Irish after all. I believe Spirit, the Universe, Grace, (whatever you want to call the energy force we all sprang from) sends us guidance every day in the form of signs, coincidences and dreams. Even seemingly random conversations with a friend can contain a message that is heaven-sent sometimes. Often I've been talking with someone and they will say something unrelated but that goes to the heart of an issue I'm dealing with. I know when the messages are from Spirit because they make me feel more clear, calm, centered. My soul recognizes them as truth, and I relax and am inspired.

It's become common, accepted knowledge that our dreams can contain very powerful clues and messages from our subconscious. I believe these can also come from our "super-conscious", that part of us that is eternal and knows all. Usually these significant dreams are much more vivid than normal, and you may be awakened immediately after, as if to give you a chance to remember. I've started keeping a pen and notebook by my bed in order to capture these images before they become elusive in the morning light.

Another way I receive inspiration and information is through music. Music has always been important to me, it speaks to my soul. I've noticed that I wake almost every morning with a fragment of a song running through my head. If I take a moment to really listen, the song and it's lyrics are usually directly related to something going on in my life and can give me a completely new insight or perspective. Signs can be more obvious too. One day I was driving in my car and really struggling to absorb something my intuition was trying to tell me. My rational mind was really being stubborn and resisting this "knowledge". I was pondering this situation when a song came on the radio that reiterated exactly what my intuition had been saying. As I listened in surprise to this "coincidence", I pulled up to a red light. Glancing to my left there was a wall covered in posters for upcoming movies, cd's etc. In the midst of all this, my eye fell on two posters hanging side by side. One said "Do you believe yet?" and the other "It's not just your imagination." No pictures or mention of any product. "OK then!" I thought. Message received!

"Awaken. Keep your eyes open. When we decide to live a conscious life, we see signs of Grace everywhere."
C. Richardson

I think we are sent messages, signs, and gifts of guidance and inspiration every day, we just have to be awake enough to receive them. Our ancestors, whether native Americans, Africans, or pagan Celts and Vikings, were in touch with the earth and life's flow of energy. They understood the signs and believed in dreams and visions. But slowly over time these things became lost or twisted into superstitions. In "modern" times we've become so insulated by technology and modern conveniences that our "receivers" have fallen into disrepair due to lack of use. We have to make a conscious effort to open the channel, and wake up to the miracles happening every day all around us. The world can be so much richer and more beautiful!

"My father says almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says only a few people are awake. And they live in a state of constant total amazement."
John Patrick Shanley in "Joe vs. the Volcano"

Sending you light, love and amazement.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ageing in the Land of Eternal Youth

I live in Los Angeles, the land of eternal youth and beauty. Women here (and some men) don't age, they just become cartoon-ish caricatures of themselves, who manage to look perpetually surprised and completely blank, simultaneously. It's seriously creepy. The more I see, the less I want to participate. Plus, once you start you can't stop, and I've got enough "Goddess maintenance" appointments every month as it is!

I guess this obsession with looks and ageing makes sense in a way. This is Hollywood after all, "movie capital of the world", and movies are a visual medium. But I think maybe we've gone way too crazy over this, focusing too much on the packaging instead of the product. I think we worry far too much about age, weight and size. These things are just numbers after all, not the true measurements of value. I just want to be healthy. In other cultures age is revered, the older a person is, the more they are valued for their wisdom and life experience. Maybe wrinkles should be thought of as medals of valor, earned through years of courageously surviving this crazy thing called life? Something to be respected, not dreaded. Maybe lines should be seen as signs of someones ability to empathize, to find joy, to offer a smile, to laugh and live life to it's fullest? Maybe lines and wrinkles should be admired, not erased! My analogy is this: If one wears a beautiful linen dress to a party, and you are enjoying yourself, by the end of the night it will be a bit wrinkled and creased, but it's still intrinsically the same beautiful dress!

What exactly are we hoping to find out when we ask someones age? The idea that age is an indicator of one's maturity is laughable. I've met people in their 30's far more wise and mature than many in their 50's (especially in this town!). When someone asks me how old I am, I want to say "Well, that depends...." How old is this body? 52. How old do I feel? 35 most of the time, 12 on a good day. How old is my soul? Both ageless and ancient. I honestly don't FEEL any different than I did in my 30's. My father says the same thing and he's in his 70's! Maybe emotionally people are like cake, you're either done or you're not. You're either a grown up or you're not, and your age isn't necessarily an indication of this fact.

Actually I think that Mother Nature, in her wisdom has provided her own way of dealing with this issue. I discovered in my 40's that just as I began to crease and wrinkle, my close-range vision began to go too. Without the technology interfering and the invention of magnifying mirrors and reading glasses, I would never know I am ageing! As most things in nature, it's a perfect system, as my face continues to age, my eyesight continues to degenerate. To my poor eyes, I still look the same as I did at 25, and that is a beautiful thing. Trust me, I am VERY careful NEVER to look in the mirror with my glasses on. I like the state of denial I'm living in, thanks!

I suppose it's human nature to judge a book by it's cover, but maybe we should learn to "see" with our hearts more, and our eyes less. Stop worrying about how we look and think more about how we feel, and act. Be more gentle with ourselves and each other.

Sending you light and love.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Funny Valentine....

This weekend was one of the best Valentine's days ever. Not because I had a lover waiting on me hand and foot, or showering me with roses and jewelry, but actually because I didn't. I realized that in the past I've been so focused on whether that ONE person was going to show up in a big way and make me feel loved, I've overlooked all the other love that I have in my life. I feel so incredibly blessed to have an amazing, long list of friends and family who love me. In addition, I've learned to really love myself, and am learning to hook into the ultimate love/energy source that exists for us all. I had such an wonderful, blissful weekend, enjoying the incredible spring-like weather (82 degrees yesterday!) and just having a love affair with life. I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's day, and that you feel how much you are loved.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Either Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying!

I don't really make New Year's resolutions anymore, but I love the idea of a new year as a new beginning. 365 days stretch out before me, mysterious with the sweet promise of unlimited potential and endless possibilities. The beginning of 2010 seems especially portentous, the start of a whole new decade. Anything can happen, our wildest dreams could come true! As always, I'm hoping this new year will the be the best one ever, but just hoping won't make it so. This time, instead of waiting to see what this year will bring, I've decided to get busy living, and being the best me possible. ME, version 2.010!

I'm going to practice what life coach Cheryl Richardson calls "extreme self care" in every area of my life, starting with the physical. "The body is a temple", an amazing vessel designed to carry my soul until I've finished what I came here to do. I'm going to treat it with kindness and respect, listen to it and let it tell me what it needs. I'll let it rest when it's tired, and feed it what it needs to be healthy and run efficiently, not just what my emotional inner child wants at the moment. Instead of forcing myself to "exercise" (ugh!), I'm going to find ways to go out and play! To run, jump, skate, swim, ski and dance....have more F-U-N!

I'm going to feed my soul too, less mind-numbing TV, more music, books, and hanging with people who inspire me, make me think, make me laugh. More laughing, for sure! I'm going to spend time with my girlfriends, because we women need this, it's good for our souls. I'm setting aside time every day to be grateful, to appreciate the many blessings in my life; my health, a warm, safe home, amazing friends and family of the heart, a good job I enjoy in the industry of my dreams, working with people I like. I'm also making self-expression a priority, finding time to create, and giving myself the gift of not being overly critical of what I've created. I'm going to take time for reflection and connection to Spirit, so I can stay awake to the wonder and beauty of this world, and to hear my own wise inner voice.

I'm going to laugh more and complain less. To look at difficulties as gifts of opportunities for learning. I'm going to keep my heart open, even if others close theirs. I'm going to make leaps of faith and trust that the universe will catch me, to believe that whatever is happening in my life is for my soul's ultimate growth and that I am safe, loved and cared for. I'm going to surrender everything that's beyond my control, and make room for magic to happen.

This year I've decided not to just sit and wait, hoping for the best. I'm going to go out and BE it. I intend to pack as much love and joy into each minute of this new year as possible. I'm choosing to be happy, daring to dream big, looking at the glass as half-full, and my life as half-started. This year I'm going out and having a big, fat love affair....with life.

Here's to a great 2010, may you also be the best you yet!

Sending you light and love.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Gift

I come from a long line of women who have what the Irish call "the gift". The ability to just "know" things. I remember staying with my grandparents in the country one summer when I was young, and watching my Irish grandmother baking bread and putting on a huge pot of stew one afternoon. When I asked why she was making so much food for just the three of us she said "Oh, I just have a feeling we'll be needing it by tonight." Sure enough, shortly before dusk a man knocked on the door. His car had broken down and he, his wife and five kids were stranded! My grandmother had listened to her intuition, trusted it, and that family was so grateful.

I believe we all have intuitive powers, (don't they say we only use a small percentage of our brain?) some people just have a heightened awareness. Women are usually better at paying attention (or are just more in touch with their feelings- hello?!) thus the legendary "women's intuition". When I was younger, this ability to "just know" things scared me a little because I didn't understand it, and it made me feel different at a time when I just wanted to fit in. So I ignored my own inner voice and went to psychics on occasion, to see what they would tell me about the future. Almost every psychic I saw said the same thing "you don't need me, you can do this for yourself", so I decided to start accepting and nurturing my own abilities.

As I did, I noticed that my so-called "rational" mind often over-ruled my intuitive voice. I was at work one day, in a meeting, and someone knocked on the door. My intuition immediately told me "That's John!" (a co-worker I was secretly dating at time). My rational mind snapped back "You can't know that! Besides, he's in school right now, AND he's not a manager so he doesn't belong in this meeting." Three reasons in five seconds why I would be wrong. Of course when the door opened, there he stood, having been called in for a meeting down the hall (that I knew nothing about) and had knocked on the wrong door. That's when I decided to really start trusting my intuitive voice, and it's never failed me.

I could give many more examples, but the point I guess I'm trying to make is that maybe we should listen to, and trust ourselves more. I think our intuition is our heart/higher self/wise, eternal soul trying to communicate what it knows based on it's vast experience, but our ego/rational mind tries to shut it down. I believe intuition can lead you, guide you to make decisions, to walk your path, to do the right thing for yourself, and ultimately for everyone whose life you touch. I think we should nurture this voice, encourage it to speak, by carving out some quiet time in our busy lives so we're able to hear it. I've been trying to do this more and more, and it's been amazing for me, bringing me a greater sense of peace and well-being. I wish you the same.

Sending love and light to all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So you think you want to blog....?

I've been contemplating this for a while, so I've finally taken the plunge! Why? I already journal, but that's more for my personal, emotional health and well-being. I'm creating this because I have thoughts that I want to share, about love, life, Spirit, and ageing gracefully in the land of the eternally young and beautiful. Stay tuned......