Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How will I know when I’m dead?

I remember when my Mother died and I was devastated. I wandered around for about two years before I got conscious again. Moved to the West Coast and started a new life. Fast forward 40 years and I have had a tremendous amount of adventures traveling the country and the world.

I have worked with some great people and I have rubbed shoulders with many of the world’s finest artists.

I have three sons, four grands and a slew of cousins. Most of the generation that preceded us is gone, so we are the elders of our generation.

I often think of that moment when I found out that my Mother died. As I pondered the meaning, with my still adolescent mind (although I was 21) I just cried. I knew I would miss her terribly and I just cried.

As an adult, I started to compare it to moving away and not seeing someone ever again. How is it different? I still feel the same way about the people I left when our family relocated from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.  I was 7 years old. There are several whom I have not seen since.  Have they died?

And when we break-up with a lover, often, except for traveling in the same circles, we cease to see that person ever again. We will or we won’t miss them, have they died?

How is it different?

Is it expectation?  When a person dies, a lot of people are devastated because they won’t physically see that person again. When a person leaves, or moves, or is somehow permanently separated, in our mind we know that person still goes on. If it was any situation other than death, in our brain holds some belief that there’s a chance that we might ever see them again…regardless of the circumstances. In death, that belief is terminated.

Is it true?

How will I know if I am dead? Only man is conscious of thinking about what he is thinking about. Will I stop thinking? If I stop thinking, I won’t know that I’m not thinking and I won’t be aware that I am gone. What if my consciousness goes on? What if I just start thinking about other things instead? Maybe instead of how to pay that bill or get a new job, it's about how to get somebody’s energy higher using whatever my skills and talents are ‘on the other side.’ What if I become part of the greater consciousness of the earth – if you believe that there IS a greater consciousness? What if I become part of the Divine Energy of the planet – just the good stuff?

I have no answers, it is just a question that came to me this morning. 

I offer you this poem:

The Ship

I am standing on the seashore
A ship sails and spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
She is an object of beauty and I stand ther watching her till at last she fades on the horizon
And someone at my side says, ‘She is gone’
Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spurs as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination
The diminished size, the total loss of sight is in me, not in her,
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘She is gone’
There are others who are watching her coming and other voices take up the glad shout
'Here she comes'

And that is DYING.

BISHOP BRENT

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I AM LOVE

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." — Anäïs Nin

After one traumatic day where I drank myself into a stupor and literally passed out on my bathroom floor, and a second day in which I literally sobbed, wailed and cried for hours, I knew it was time. But to do it, I had to go back. Not so far back as to re-live past traumas, only far enough for me to see a pattern. And I found it. I have spent most of my entire adult life claiming lack and limitation. There it was. The Source - Abandonment - Lack of Love.

When my Mother died, emotionally I also lost my Dad and both of my sisters.  That was my initial entry into Lack of Love. But I had rebuilt that support system and I was thriving, things were going well and then, the unthinkable, I had to move away from the system that it had taken me so long to rebuild. Since I hadn’t dealt with the initial abandonment issue, it reared its ugly head again. And that’s when it began to manifest in all of my subsequent experiences. It manifested itself as lack of Money, lack of Support, lack of Job, lack of Self-worth and lack of Faith - all stemming from the original declaration of Abandonment - the lack of Love.

I knew I had issues. I made a list. I wrote how I interpreted each one with their own singular issue of Abandonment. Each one was post-mortem of my Mother and an unresolved event in my life.  I went back.  I re-examined my part and decided that none of the situations had anything to do with me personally.  I did not leave them, they left me. I am alright. I am perfect, whole and complete. I lack for nothing. Then I finally realized…

The Universe is my Source. I know that there is no Lack.  There is no Abandonment. I know that there is only Peace and only Love. I claim Peace and Love. I know that there is no Fear, only Faith and only Joy. I claim Faith and Joy. I know that there is none other than Divine Spirit as the One Source of All. I now claim that I am One with that Source of All. 

There can only be One.

I now claim Joy, Faith, Peace, Abundance and Love in my life.

Where? Right here.

When? Right now.

And so it is.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Love gives your courage

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength;
 loving someone deeply gives you courage." 

Lao Tzu

There was a time in my life that I was sure that everybody loved me. I was supported. Everything I did and everywhere I went I felt light as a feather, confident, secure, almost arrogant. Then something changed. I had to move to an unfamiliar town with my two little baby boys. I had no friends. No family. No support. I started to fall. It wasn’t until I read this prompt that I realize what has been wrong with me all this time. I don’t feel loved. At least, not the close up, hold me, hug me; make me feel good, kind of love.

And I can barely remember the last time I did feel that way because it’s been so long. And whom do I love?  

I love my children... 

But I don’t know anyone who makes me feel the deep-inside-makes-me-wanna-holler can’t-wait-to-jump-your-bones – kind of lust and attraction at ALL. With anyone. And I think every one needs that – even if it’s just on birthdays and holidays…lol. I need a lover…

I Am A Mystic

I am a mystic.
I listen to your story, your struggles, your concern. I make suggestions, recommendations with compassion. I ask the questions that lead you to self-discovery. I ask the questions whose answers give you inspiration and motivation. You are ready. You are free. I feel it. I claim these experiences as being my soul’s connection.

I am a mystic.
I sit where the ocean meets the land and I become that meeting place. I marvel at the vicissitude of nature from the mountains to the grains of sand and I am a grain of sand. It is a connection that defies description. It is a feeling no words can explain. It is more than emotion. I make the connection because
I am a mystic.

I am a mystic.
I sit where the ocean meets the land and I become that meeting place. This time I am the ocean washing up on the shore, closer, closer until it is called back unto itself and I am a drop of the ocean in the ocean. It is I. The ocean and I are one. I feel the rush to the shore and the waves break, and they pull me back to where I began because I am a mystic.

I am a mystic.
At my core is the soul of a dancer; I am an artist, I am a choreographer, I am a mystic. I marvel at the mechanics of my body and I know that how it works is a blessing and a miracle.

Music makes me move.  I feel the flow, the rhythm, the cadence of it. Appreciating the grace, artistry and beauty of other dancers, feeling their movements, being with them in flight when they launch themselves into the air; the sensuality of body over body; knowing their thoughts at each moment of the movement; being ‘of it’ and ‘in it.’ I claim these experiences as being my soul’s connection.

For I am a mystic.

In my revelation that I am a mystic -
                               - all the question marks become exclamation points!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

There are several memes going around about being grateful. 

This one is pretty good: (Feel free to insert the name of your personal Deity)

Thank you for the sounds that disturbed my sleep as many woke today and could hear not. Thank you for all the things that I see around me as many woke today and could see not. Thank you for the muscles that move and allow me to get up as many woke today and could not. I thank you most of all for allowing me and those that I love to wake up, as this morning, many woke not.

And I agree, it was wonderful to wake up this morning. I count my blessings every day. Every day I am grateful and thankful. I am a naturally upbeat and cheerful person. I have every reason to smile. I am grateful for my life.

And I am so happy and blessed to be a Mom of three wonderful boys.

It’s Mother’s Day!

Today, though, I was also thoughtful which led to feeling an emotion that I haven’t felt in a while – melancholy.

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
-          Lao Tzu

So today I am spending a moment in my past. Today I am missing my Mom. I’m not feeling the celebration. I am thinking of all the things we didn’t do together. All the things we didn’t get the opportunity to say to each other. All the times I had stories to share…

I am sad and tearful and miss my Mommy!

I’m glad I could be here to see the birth of my children and my nan-children. I’m glad to be here to have made so many great memories. And it’s these memories that touch me that I could not share with my Mom. Her energy is with me, I know. Her physical presence is what I miss.


If I may I have just this moment, I’ll be better later. I promise.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Earth is NOT your Trashcan

Sorry, I got angry and I had to write this down or I was going to explode. 

I was riding down the road when the person riding shotgun in the car in front of me threw a BAG OF TRASH - from a fast-food visit (I could tell) - out of their car window!! Who does that?

Who told you that you could just drop your trash wherever you stand? Do you drop trash on the floor in your own home? Do you drop trash on the floor at your place of worship? Do you drop trash on the floor at school? Do you drop trash on the floor in a casino? So why do you insist on tossing trash out of your car window? 

What is the reason that you drop your trash along a path in the woods? What makes you think that dropping trash on the sidewalk is acceptable? The earth is your home. Where you stand is holy ground. Mother Earth is your teacher. Your abundance is all around you. When you disrespect your home, it will not be long before it begins to treat you like trash as well.

Thank you for letting me vent.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Remembering Al Jarreau


My friend, Uri, had discovered an album that he couldn’t wait to share with our mutual friend, Chet. So Chet brings the album to my house. It was all green. It had a picture of a rather attractive guy on the cover. Chet put the album on the record player and said, ‘Just listen to this.’ And I was hooked.

It helped that Chet sang a lot like him, which was encouraging to him. I was in love with Chet, and now in love with this guy who had an album, who sounded like Chet.

Fast forward, San Francisco, 1978. I am now over 3000 miles from home. I’ve left town because my mother died suddenly. I am supported by family and brand new friends. I am teaching and dancing full-time. I have a mad crush on my dance teacher.

He loves the Pat Metheny Group. His brother likes Pat Metheny as well. We discover that Pat Metheny is playing at UC Santa Cruz. We buy tickets and make plans to go - me, Alan, and his brother Paul. We are excited.

The night of the concert, we are tooling down Hwy 17, we are listening to Pat Metheny on the cassette player in the car. We are pumped. We are ready for some Pat Metheny Live!

We arrive and the event begins.  We hear a bass playing. Frantically looking out onto the stage, there is no one there, or they are all in shadow, and there is certainly no one playing a bass.

Soon, a man emerges from the wing and it is with his voice that he is creating the illusion - that sound. Remarkable. Astonishing. Incredible. Outstanding. 

Before his set is over, we are convinced we don’t even need to stay for Pat Metheny, the concert has already been fabulous. We have gotten more than our money’s worth. This amazing musician’s name? Al Jarreau.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Dream is Free

It turns out that in the past several weeks I have been challenged beyond my comfort zone and I have responded DIFFERENTLY this time. Historically, things come to me so easily that as soon as something gets hard, I quit. I don’t want to work TOO hard for it. My first instinct is to opt-out every time. I mean, there are consequences, but my first response is always to just QUIT.

I’m a substitute teacher in our local school district. My contract expires in February. I was willing to let it go. I didn’t get much work this year anyway, so I was ready to split. However, I got this really sweet gig which is kind of a permanent part-time position, however, in order to get (keep) this job, I had to renew my license. And to renew my license, I had to study, take and PASS (with more than 70%) THREE (3) EXAMS! 

I LIKE my new job. I’m actually making a difference in my new job. It’s even enough cash to keep me in the black on my bank balance. And if I want to stay with it, I would have to push through to learn and memorize several key facts in order to pass three exams.

The old me would have quit. Sure, the gig is sweet, but I would have to STUDY. And there was a bunch of stuff I didn’t know! Did I want to work for it? Did the NEW me think it was worth it? So the NEW me tried to recall what tactics I’ve used to study in the past. It finally came to me, having rediscovered those tactics, I set out to ‘Get ‘er done.’ Whew. Two weeks and four days later, I sat for the exams and passed them all at least 10-15% higher than the required result.

That made me feel good.

Spanish. I’ve been learning Spanish for about a year now, on and off. I decided to commit to getting at least 90 days in a row. The app I’m using keeps track. I’ve been doing this for a while, so although I didn’t have a 90-day streak, I thought I was doing pretty well. I realized, however, that I have come to the end of all the Spanish I have ever heard or learned, or could glean from my previous study of Latin. That was at about day 65, and it was getting somewhat challenging. My option, of course, was to quit. 

I figured I could pick it up again later, if I felt like it, until I remembered why I was learning Spanish. First, the most important reason, is that my eldest nan-child speaks it and I wanted to be able to converse with her beyond ‘Hello, how are you?’ Second, because I am looking forward to travelling in several Latin American countries, I’d like to be able to speak the language.  And, finally, I believe learning another language is a great idea! So, as I got more and more frustrated and was ready to quit…I almost let 24 hours go by – but, nope, I committed, let’s do this.

I am happy to say that I am currently on Day 90. And I’m still at it.

The last, which is the opposite of what I have done so far, is to ACTUALLY QUIT something that no longer serves me - The Casino. This is by far the hardest decision to make, considering that up until now, quitting is something I do well.

I wasn’t hanging out all the time, but it was just too many times for my budget. I have exciting plans this year. I have things I want to do. I have places I want to go. Yes, I win big sometimes, but I’d be having so much fun I rarely took much of it home. I need healthier options when I’m celebrating. I need healthier alternatives when I’m sad. I need new friends. 

I am only two weeks into this one. I figure I would have been there at least four times by now. However, based on the success of the other two…

Is this what it means to be a grown up? I thought I was doing a good job. I was taking responsibility for my actions. But what actions? 

I thought about some things I have done in the past and realized these issues have come up for me for YEARS. I see things that I didn’t follow through on because as soon as they got tough I quit. Or, I would convince myself that I didn’t want to do that anyway, so let’s try this (next thing) instead.

This all came because I was trying to figure out the reason that I am not making any notable progress in my entrepreneur venture and wondering what to do about it. Did it get too hard? Yup. Is there stuff I need to learn? Yup. And did I quit? Almost...

So many times I’ve heard ‘The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.’ And now I understand what that really means to me. Back at it. 

It's right what they say, the dream IS free, but the hustle is sold separately.