Monthly Archives: March 2013

Anchors Aweigh

It is our very nature to move forward. Some recognize this inner pull as easily as they recognize hunger. Others are numb to it; living an entire lifetime without acknowledging the undercurrent of their own waters.

Not only do I live in full awareness of my undercurrent, I also notice the waves upon the water’s surface that knock me off course when allowed. I can, however, push through the waves. But it takes strong resolve to do so and there are times when my resolve has grown weary. But like hope, it is never gone.

However, for resolve and hope to spin their magic; to propel us where we are meant to go, we must jettison those things that keep us tied down to the past or to those things that no longer serve us. How can a ship move steadily forward with any amount of speed if it is dragging numerous anchors behind. We do this without even thinking, though. Some of us keep anchors dropped deep into the sand, as if those anchors define us; as if we’d lose a part of ourselves if we were to draw up the anchor. And yet those anchors are not us, we are the boat. The anchors are merely bits and pieces of our life, our past, that have become entrenched into our being. Their familiarity has made distinguishing between the two a bit murky.

Sometimes even dreadful states of being, emotional responses such as fear and doubt are mistakenly believed to be a clear representation of who we are. And yet, they are not. They are merely a reaction we carried out repeatedly, based upon a set of circumstances that came our way. The more familiar they became, the more we let the anchor dig itself in. But these responses, keep us tied down and held in a place that prevents us from moving forward. All of us drop the anchor of worry, doubt and fear. And while there; while held steadily in place, I have to believe much is to be learned. So while there, while your ship is kept motionless, examine that part of yourself. But once done, raise the anchor and allow your natural state of being to emerge – allow yourself to sail forward.

As we move into the weekend, notice your boat. Notice your natural state of being. Notice the way you immediately feel lighter when happy and propelled by joy. Also notice what it is that is weighing you down. Look back at the anchors you are dragging behind. While in the moment they may have served you, they no longer do; bring them up; feel your ship lift and begin to glide again. You control this boat of yours. You and you alone. So give yourself this – lift anchor, put your hand on the wheel, and set sail. Move in the direction of your joy.

Sane

Full of Life

If anyone would have asked me while young, if having an alcoholic father was a good thing – I would have given a resounding no for an answer. And yet in hindsight it has caused me to be the poignant writer and compassionate speaker that I am. Not to mention given me the keen awareness and emotional layers needed to help others – my mission in life.

So out of this most painful time, I learned the skills needed to carry out my purpose. In keeping with yesterday’s post, its obvious my soul and that of my father’s had made an agreement well before I let out my first squeal as a baby.

But this was just an opportunity presented to me in the form of a childhood I couldn’t escape. But I was the one who determined if it would lend to my greater purpose or be the crutch on which I leaned for the rest of my life. With every circumstance we are given, we are also given free will to look at it however we wish. We can either build from it, or let it tear us down. I chose to let those things for which I first believed to be character flaws derived from an upbringing of constant instability and turmoil, to be some of my greater assets. My heightened sense of awareness, acquired from years of being on the look-out, is the very thing that allows me to see things in others most do not. It is why my characters in my novels are so very real, as I am able to describe the slightest nuances of their personalities. These are the things I notice in others. It is the reason why my words ring true when sharing my thoughts on the human condition. I lived in a constant state of raw awareness all my life. A life that could’ve been the passageway to my decline, or the portal that edified my understanding of others.

The other day I listened as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer described growing up with an alcoholic father, and how those years had trained her to become a very insightful lawyer. Her youth did not allow her to blissfully skim the surface of human behavior. Nor did mine. I could say much of my innocent youth was stolen from me. And although there would be truth to that belief. I have a higher belief that although much was taken, spiritually much was also given.

So as you look at your past, or perhaps at that which ails you in the present, contemplate what good can be derived. When you are spinning in circles, ask who it is that is keeping things in motion. You may be surprised. But do not be hard on yourself if you notice the answer is you. The fact that you had the courage to ask yourself this very insightful question means you have gripped tightly onto the reigns and soon things will come to a stop.  And if you can see no positive outcome from the past that may haunt you, then it may not be time yet for such discoveries.

Upon looking back upon my youngest years, a tear easily forms in my eye. Such difficult times. But I survived. And so will you. But survival is not a means to an end. We survive so that we can live. And we live to be full of life.

Sane

Look At It This Way

It is my belief that we are all born into a certain set of challenges, unknown to us at the time; sometimes unknown to us during our entire lifetime. But mastering those challenges is the agreement to which we helped draft and consented before drawing our first breath.

And much like that of a team, certain souls agreed to help us along the way. They enter into our life in a positive or negative light; both to help us grow; both necessary for us to grow. So with this in mind, please do not punish yourself for feeling downtrodden at times. Do not feel as though you are weak because you doubt the unfolding of your life; because it feels a bit too overwhelming. Instead step back a bit. Look at the grandness of what is unfolding. Through the actions of your physical being your soul is fulfilling its agreement, its sacred spiritual contract. And even Jesus questioned his; as did Mohammad; as did Siddhartha; as did Abraham; as did all those whom we put so high upon the pedestal.

We look upon the great teachers, sages and mystics as being immortal. Due to such we often look down upon ourselves and our frail, doubtful human nature. And yet, they too wept. They too begged to be released from the mission given them. They too asked for guidance, help and understanding. Most of all, they too asked, why? Because it is within the questioning that spiritual maturation is found. One has to have the inner burning that spurs the question, if ever to receive an answer. The question does not show weakness as much as it shows the desire for growth. Of course the masters seemed to have a keen ability to latch onto the answers. Their power was in their faith. And thus they’re ascension into enlightenment played out a bit quicker than for most of us. But at its core, those who seek, are very much the same in that the road is riddled with things that make us question. That is the path. The potholes that make us stop are not there due to our lack of perfection, or our lack of greatness. They are there because without them we would have no need to stop, and ask why. And without the questions we do not evolve.

If there is one thing that separates the masters from those who seem to stay trapped in the cycle of only asking; it is that the masters accepted the answers and then moved forward.  They understood that this dimension provides not only the challenge but also the means by which to overcome the challenge. That is spiritual maturation in action.

You may think at first this means you are doomed to experience certain pains repeatedly. You are only doomed in that you will experience certain life experiences until you make the decision that will allow you to overcome and move beyond. So if you notice a cycle of hardship, please step back and instead of seeing it as an external assault, look at it and ask what it is you should be learning from the experience. Your soul is calling out for the experience as it knows it is necessary if ever the agreement is to be fulfilled.

So do not damn the challenges, and please do not damn yourself for having the challenge. In fact, please refrain from being so critical as to damn yourself at all. If one’s spiritual agreement is to overcome doubt, please look at those things that cause you to do so as opportunities given to finally have unwavering faith. And if your soul’s contract is to learn to claim the value of your voice, then please know you will be challenged in this regard. You may at first feel as if your voice has no value, no purpose and is inferior. That is the challenge you are here to overcome. Your soul is begging for you to see your own potential, so it will continue to give you opportunities that spotlight that part of yourself that needs work. So look at these challenges. See them for what they are. They are not signs of your weakness, they are merely opportunities to find your greatness.

Sane

The Delicate Orchid

I took a long ride today, and thought about what it means to love another. What it is we give. What it is we hope to receive. It is within this very delicate dichotomy that I believe most unions fail. Things aren’t in alignment. Above and beyond all things, one must be in alignment; with themselves, with what surrounds them and with their partner.

There are few things worse than living with someone with whom you do not share the tender synchronicity of pure love. As loving unions go, finding a soul with whom your heart synchronizes is much like that of finding the Holy Grail. I don’t think anyone stands a chance of such a discovery unless they’ve first found it within themselves. It’s impossible to give to another what one has yet to discover and experience within themselves. One can’t give directions if the destination is unknown. One can’t give love if they don’t yet know what love is.

A friend said to me this morning that her husband wasn’t the romantic type. And yet she is. I thought about her statement afterward. It made me sad. With all the many nuances inherent to a relationship, I know I won’t proceed unless I have synchronicity. I do not want my mirror image. I want my perfect fit. How I romance my partner may very well be different from how he romances me. And yet, romance will be ever-present. I don’t want to be in a relationship if it means having to go without things I hold dear. No, I want a partner that knows these things about me, and me about him. And in our own special way, we delight in bringing a smile to the other.

I only want a union with another if it will enhance my life emotionally. I want to give love unconditionally, all the while knowing the same is being given to me. It’s this gentle give and take that’s so necessary. Like two people in a canoe, each with their own special task, but when done in unison the canoe moves with ease. Both important. Each giving to the other; each giving to the greater good of the relationship and back to themselves through the beautiful act of loving another. An exquisite circle of love. But it must be balanced and equal for it to flow. When not, things begin to spin.

There will always be trade-offs, of course. Such is true with life, such is true with relationships, such is true with all things. But I rather believe when with a partner, one should never give when they are only left with emotionally empty hands. We hand off our heart, our attention, our love and should get the same in return. If not, what is the point. My mission through writing is an act of total giving. Rare is anything given in return. But one’s life partner has a two-fold calling and purpose; to give; to receive. And when both do this to the fullest, the love is over-flowing. I heard an elderly man, who was quite ill, say that he wanted to be healed not to feel better, not to be relieved from the pain of his illness. He wanted to be healed only to have more time with his wife. I cried. The beauty in his statement touched me deeply.

To those who have this, I want to remind you to hold it dear. It is one of the greater gifts given from the Universe. It has the power to make all things better. It has the power to make you smile through your deepest tears. It has the power to make your heart expand to the point of breaking. And to those who have yet to experience such a love, I beg you not to settle for anything less, and most of all, do not give up. It is there. True it is rare; that’s how you know its value is substantial. And to those that think they might be holding within their hands the very orchid of their dreams, my words are to treat it well. It is unique and quite hard to find. Give to it your love, attention and care and you will always be left with hands full of the same.

Sane

Changing You

To be loved for who we are – isn’t that the thing for which we all long; to be accepted in full. Unconditional love; the type taught by the sages and great teachers. When we love another in this way, we look into them, not at them.

Many of us have spent our lives shape-shifting to suit the needs of others; to cater to the opinions of those we felt were important. All the while, never stepping into and accepting our true nature as it wasn’t recognizable, even by us. During an interview recently, I made a statement that I will pass on to my children, their children and all those willing to listen: If others ask you to change. Change the company you keep. Don’t change you. I stand by that statement and always will.

Those who judge will do so regardless of anything we do to fall within the guidelines of what’s deemed acceptable at that moment. And every time we shift to their whims, a piece of our identity slips further away.

My daughter came to me one day, and asked if she could dye her hair violet. The dye was temporary, but the independence the act gave her will last forever. Of course, I knew there would be those who would look down upon her. Then again, such is always the case. It takes a wise soul to know the issue is with the viewer, not with the one being viewed. Never dear reader, mold to fit the whims of those who look upon you.  Because in time, you will start to see yourself through their eyes. You will question if you are good enough. And yet most who look down upon others do so only because they look down upon themselves; from somewhere deep within they question their worth. It is one of life’s greater truths. A truth we need to own in the same unshakable way we own the heart that beats within us. And by owning this deeper truth, we pass it on to our children; helping to stop the cycle of self-criticism and loathing.

For four weeks my young daughter walked boldly with her violet hair. I watched as others smiled at her. They saw in my daughter her vivacious spirit sprouting with life. I also watched those who offered her a raised critical eye. They saw in my daughter what they feared to be a wild child; one that should be kept tighter under wraps. I stood proudly by my daughter then, just as I do now that her chestnut hair is all one sees. I look into her, never at her. That’s what love does. I cherished every minute while I watched my daughter shun the dubious glares of others. It is a skill that will serve her well. Because she will never be a spirit that’s kept under wraps. I hope she has learned this from me. Or maybe she’s the one who’s taught me. I really can’t say.

Whatever your outer trappings, never change them for another. If you like to wear neon sneakers, walk with style. Or if you are content in khakis, wear them with confidence. But if like me, you stand out a bit in the crowd, then stand tall. I can’t change me. Although the action can be taken, to do so would be to deny who I am. And I rather like me. I’m an old soul that’s hopefully carrying out her last life. I have copper-red hair that flutters in the wind as I ride my Harley down the winding roads. But I am soft in ways that only few understand. My peaceful nature permeates the air around me. I look into people. And the precious few who stand beside me, seem to treasure these things about me.

So if you want to change you, dear readers – do so at your own discretion. Have fun with who you are. You are a magnificent being that is here with a purpose. And that purpose is not to please others.

Sane

Don’t Let Go

In my own distinctive way, I try to send us into the weekend with a lighter thought. My day was most peculiar, and not one that lends itself easily to light thoughts but I’d like to leave us with this: Never give up hope.

Often hope seems like a web. We grab hold of it but quickly notice it amounts to nothing; it dissipates in our hand. We become discouraged because we can’t see its substance. Hope may appear empty and transparent. True, you can not see nor touch its power. Yet its power is substantial. Hope is the rope tossed to us by our higher self. Grab onto it. Hold it. It leads to the steady boat of belief and knowing. And on that boat is where you want to be.

As I look around, more people than not are consumed with some sort of worry, doubt, fear or insecurity. The mind is inundated with external words of gloom. But more than that our internal words are of exhaustion and frustration; as if all this life stuff is getting to be a bit too much; as if we’ll never come up for air. And when life presents us with the most perfect of gifts, we pull back; scared due to a lifetime of scars and pains. If we could tap into the minds of those gathered in a room, only one or two would be without concern. Instead most everyone is buried under something that could easily keep them up all night. I can’t say why life is this way; why it is we are so vulnerable to turbulence. And if there’s one thing the human mind repels against, it’s the state of vulnerability. I know I do.

Hope is not without purpose. It is not silliness or folly. Neither is it the scrapings from the bottom of the bowl. Hope is the first hold we take onto pulling ourselves toward a deeper connection with All That Is and our Authentic Self; those two being one in the same. So please don’t see it as merely fictional thoughts stemming from desperation. Although the desperation may be real, thoughts are the seedlings for all future occurrences. So hope for only that which you want to later experience. Do not look upon it as the last wisps of smoke from a fire that’s burned its final ember. It’s not that way. When you have hope – you have everything. You are on the right road. Keep going. Hope for love. Hope for the partner who will finally see your divine beauty and value. Hope for the better future. Hope for abundance and ultimate success. Hope to love yourself in full. Hope to discover your true value. Hope in the fruition of your dreams. It’s all there for the taking. Its reality is what prompted the desire. You merely have to get on the road to claiming it. Hope is that road.  Hope is the rope that fits into the hand more easily than unshakable knowing; it’s the baby steps that precede full belief.

I know at times it seems as though all hope is lost. And at times, it is. Hope is lost. But like all things lost, it is not gone. It’s merely turned away from our gaze. Find it. Find hope. Look and look until you see it. And once you do, latch on. Don’t let go of the rope. Pull yourself back onto the boat of knowing all you desire is yours. Because it is. Go in the direction of that which makes you smile and fills your heart. At times this means a complete life change. At times this means simply making a slight pivot. If I were to draw my final breath tonight, let my last words be: All that you want for yourself is yours for the taking. Know it. Feel it. Be it. Hope will get you there.

Sane

A Writer

I leisurely drank a glass of wine while watching the sun settle behind the trees this evening. A moment I needed. And in some inexplicable way I feel the moment needed me. I often feel the energy of life longs for us as much as we long for it.

For those who wonder, the life of a writer is very much like that of a visionary and a builder. The words written from our passion are written on speculation; sentences built on the hope of a receptive audience. We have no guarantee. But if writing is within one’s molecular structure then writing is what they must do. They write even while watching the sun set gently in the sky. Never do they merely observe. Even within their mind, they write what they see. They feel with emotions that would suffocate most, but that’s what enables them to later put the feeling into words. As the moment held texture, something that can later be transcribed. Writers like me are the one’s that can articulate the passion, or lack thereof, behind a solitary kiss. We know when it is lacking. And we know when it holds the bitterness of ecstasy; the pain that says I must have this again. Leaves never simply fall to the ground when viewed by a writer. Instead they relinquish their hold, then allow the wind to take them away; fate says their time is done. Life is always there for us to transcribe. We are the messengers. We say all the things others hold inside. Most of all we dance upon your soul and enter the places you hold private from others.

I often held the romantic notion of being the prolific writer that sat for hours on end with a cognac and cigar. Both emitting an intoxicating aroma while I allowed the movies in my mind to manifest onto the page. Oddly, that isn’t the life I lead. And as some are curious, I will settle your curiosity by saying I almost never stop working. I begin work often before 5am and finish after everyone else has succumb to slumber. This is not an exaggeration. Good writing is never in need of exaggeration. Instead, it relies upon the simplicity found when poignantly exploiting the truth. And the truth is, rarely do I turn off my working mind.

Unlike my romantic notion of surviving on liquor while typing the whispered words of my muse; I’m the mother of two and a dog. The latter of which keeps me busy with her incessant need to go outside, merely to sniff around. But it’s the look in her eye and the energy she emits that causes me to crack to her demands. Her connection with God is pure. She is my balance. Most writers have an animal perched by their side. As we plunge deep into the psyche these gentle beasts often pull us back to the surface.

This is not a glamorous life unless there is glamour in touching the lives of many. For me, my success is measured by such. There are many writers like me; each with our own timbre, our own tone. But we have the same purpose. We build on speculation. Our vision won’t allow us to escape. Instead often the words of others are silenced to the voice of our muse. Instead of looking silently at our lover, we can’t help but to find words that capture the starburst that sits at the center of his sea blue eyes. And when watching our children smile, we can’t help but to see how their joy is the very presence of this ethereal thing we call God.

So to those who want to write, I say write. But know this, if writing is your purpose, if writing is within your being – it will forever beckon you. It is your breath. And in time, it becomes the beat of your heart. If you can do that, then write.

Sane