Category Archives: writing

My Mother. My Safe Space.

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The Young Writer, Awards Night with Mom.

I remember one time in middle school having to call home. I can’t recall my reason. Complaints of illness, perhaps. My father was in the hospital a lot during that time; his body shutting down due to his advanced alcoholism. I mustered all the courage I could find to make my way to the office to express my needs. An anxiety-inducing task for this shy, young girl, in and of itself. But the office secretary required me to call and talk to my mother, directly. As soon as I heard her voice, on the other end, I cried. There’s just something about my mother’s voice that cuts to the core of me, and exposes my heart wide.

Most likely because my soul knew that with her, I was safe. Safety can do that to a person. The ego, which so often tells us how hardened we must be due to this world, has a difficult time convincing us of the same when it comes to certain safe people.

After rushing my son to the hospital due to his brain tumor, it was my mother who again provided this safe space in my hotel room each night. Not my husband. My mother. She sat quiet while I railed against God for coming after my son. She sat quiet while I wept afterward, asking forgiveness for all the harsh words I had just spoken. Her silence wasn’t judgmental. She did one of the most giving things one can do for another, she allowed me to work through my emotions while holding me in the safe space of Love and Light.

I went through a rather hard time at the conclusion of this last year. One that pushed me not only to the edge of my physical being, but more importantly, one that made me question myself as a spiritual guide. It was she that I called. And as soon as I heard her voice I cried.

My tears have always been safe with my mother. I am so grateful for her.

Dear reader, people matter. People are one of the most significant, magical, loving ways through which Spirit works with us, and for us. I lost my mother the other night. It was unexpected. I didn’t get to say goodbye.

While racing to the hospital I spoke directly to her spirit. Oh dear reader don’t think for a second that the little girl in me didn’t want to beg her to stay. It did. But my own soul wouldn’t let me be selfish. Instead, it pushed me to operate from a place of love. So I told my mother that if she wanted to stay that the Heavens would support her. But if she wanted to go, I understood. It was okay. I wouldn’t hold it against her. Within seconds of my words entering the air around me, my mother’s presence entered my Jeep, and settle onto the passenger seat beside me. At first I felt my body resist, as if I could push against, and thus change reality. Then I softly broke, and felt her riding along next to me. I knew.

And now I find myself bouncing between the world of extremes. My physical, emotional and spiritual being wanting only to feel her dainty arms wrapped around me, once again. And the world that demands that I discuss how to handle her passing, often using terms so technical I have to remind myself they are actually talking about my mother.

When I left the hospital, the other night, I told her that I wasn’t strong enough for this, not yet. She returned to the passenger seat, cigarette in hand, as it usually was, and said, “Yes you are.” She never really did mince words. The majority of who I am agrees with her. The small child in me needs time. But the all of me sees the love, knows the love and feels the love. And the all of me is so very grateful that I was given this beautiful, feisty, little Indian scout as a mother. She pulled me through so many rough times. She held me like no other. She loved me like no other. She was like no other. I hope I blessed her life as much as she blessed mine.

Sane

Stepping Forward

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I ended last year writing the post, Fuck It. The End; the second most read post on this site. I started 2014 lifting anchor and setting sail. I’m still sailing, dear reader. But doing so on relatively calm seas.

As I float along I’ve looked back over the year. I’ve given careful thought to where I’ve come up short and where I stood firmly within the shoes of my Higher Self. As its meant to do, my view of Life has grown clearer, and with greater understanding. It is with more wisdom that I see how Life has presented me with many experiences that held potential for my growth. In each moment rested an opportunity for all players involved to grow spiritually and as a human beings. It was and is not my job to control the responses made by others. My job was, and always will be, to give careful consideration to how I respond. My work rests with me; it all ripples outward from there.

Even now, Life has presented me with an opportunity to further align myself with God, and All That Is. The closer in alignment I am to God the further my soul expands, the greater my life becomes. I feel better when I live from a place where my center-point is closely seated to God. God is unconditional love, compassion and understanding. Generally, when I stray I notice I’m filled with angst, doubt and fear. There have been times over this last year when my mind overshadowed my soul and I stepped away from my inner-place of knowing. Those moments were not wrong. I can still cultivate good from them as long as I allow myself to learn from them.

Take a moment, dear reader, and think about some of the moments that have come your way over the last year. See yourself. Now, look at the version of you that stepped forward.  Maybe you haven’t always liked how you have shown up. Maybe now, with reflection, you see how you sold yourself short, compromised yourself or another. Maybe now, with time granting you objectivity, you see things differently. It’s okay. Just honor yourself enough to grow and learn from what you see. The value from those moments isn’t lost because they have come and gone. Truthfully, those moments remain because they remain within you. The energy exists, and always will. Now, are you going to use that energy for good, honoring yourself, God and All That Is. Or are you going to use that energy to further separate yourself from God and All That Is.

Right now, today, you have the power to completely change everything. It is never too late.

My hope is that the upcoming year continues to provide you the opportunities to grow. And it will. My deeper hope is that you use those moments to grow your love, compassion and understanding for yourself, and others. This doesn’t mean hugging those you loathe. They are loathsome for a reason. Perhaps they are there to give you the resistance by which you learn to stand stronger within yourself, and how to do so with grace. Maybe you will experience the one that makes your heart swell and sing. They’ve come your way for a reason too. Maybe so you learn to trust and allow it in. Perhaps things come your way bringing you joy, thereby indicating the direction in which your soul was meant to go. Likewise, things may come your way that fill you with emptiness and hurting to indicate you’re straying from your center-point. These opportunities exist. What matters is how you respond. What version of you shows up. When your name is called, who steps forward.

So with that, let me end this first post of 2015 having reminded you that you are not here by chance. You are here so that you can use all of these many moments that Life brings your way for guidance and to grow, not just as a person, but as a soul.

Sane

Just Checking

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Life is troubling at times. One doesn’t have to look far to see those busy manipulating for selfish gain. It could easily cause one to wonder as to the reward in walking an honest road. What’s in it for those who stand in truth? Everything.

Some people think God tests us. And maybe the energy that is Life does. I prefer not to look at it that way. Instead, I feel as evolving souls, the Universe checks in on us. Opportunities come our way during which we are given the chance to respond. In those moments – who shows up? One standing in love, compassion and truth? Or, one cloaked in fear and selfishness? Either we choose to expand our soul or we stay right where we are.

And as easy as it would be for me to say that there is a right answer, correct choice or preferred person the Universe is hoping to see – I don’t believe so. The energy that is Life always gives us another chance, and in time sends a similar opportunity our way. Either we choose in a way that brings us closer into alignment with All That Is or not. We are presented with the opportunity – we make the choice. It’s up to us.

For some its easier to take the low road. And I could damn them upside down and around, but it’s not for me to do. They pick the road and pace of their journey, and I choose mine.

As the soul expands and the mind grows more wise, standing in truth is the only place that feels right. As a great teacher once said, “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” Doing so requires truth. It also requires courage. The good thing is, I’m convinced the same energy that holds the stars in the sky, transforms tiny seeds into towering trees and causes babies to form their first smile, is the energy that will support you along the way. You are aligning yourself with the energy of Love. And Love is truth. Love means loving one’s self enough to never give others less than what we would give ourselves. Dear reader, life reflects back to us more than our actions; it reflects who we are inside. Be Love. Be Truth. You’ll get it back. That’s the reward.

Sane

The Great Divide

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It’s like medicine to sit with a blank page before me. Like many, I often turn away from that which I need. I need this, and yet – life – life, and its many obligations are ever present. At times I feel as though I don’t have the energy to inhale another breath, none alone fulfill my dreams.

But tonight, I sit, and patiently absorb what the blank page offers me. I get to enjoy the cadence of writing; the beats that fall within each syllable. My frustration with life and the clusterfuck of everything that swirls around me falls away once I take my seat, and turn my gaze inward. This white page is the doorway to my soul. Always has been. Chances are – it always will. Writing is my true north.

There are moments when I am nearly convinced I will not live long enough to write all that is within me. Recently someone asked me to think about the star toward which I’m aiming my life. I’ve been sitting with that thought for a few days now. In many ways it feels like that star rests in another galaxy, far, far away. But it doesn’t. It’s here. And much of that star rests within my hands, here and now.

But there is much work to be done. There are many leaps left for me to make. And I will. There is nothing more centering, more calming, more divine than when I dampen the din of the outside world, and listen to the one inside. Whether crafting a fictional story, or devoting my time to the completion of my memoir – all of these many genres hinge upon the same routine – I sit and stare at a blank page. I panic for a brief moment. Then it flows. Sometimes these words mean little to you but almost always they mean the world to me.

The great divide between the life you live and the life you want for yourself, will always be singular to you. For some its conquering the battlefield of fears that separate us from living a life alone and living a life with our forever person. For others it’s about claiming one’s voice; speaking their mind and owning their truths – becoming the person, they were always meant to be. This divide is part of the topography of every expanding soul. It is part of the expansion. The soul urges us to push forward because one of the integral reasons it’s here is to expand in that one direction. Generally, it’s the one area that causes us the most trepidation; the one area that causes us to pull back; the area that can easily spin our world upside down.

If you have found yourself staring at that divide, take a moment. Look out into the horizon – see your star. Find your focal point. Look to your side, see my words, and know that you are not leaping alone. Also too, know that you aren’t here to arrive at that star. You are here to find your inner strength, and to take the leap. You are here to travel, not to arrive.

Say it with me: It’s okay if I rest. It’s okay if I pause. It’s okay to laugh, and it’s okay to cry. But on my final day I will not look back, and see that I never made the leap. I may fall. But I will get up again, until one day I look back – and see behind me – the great divide.

Then I’ll keep walking.

 

Sane

Under the Moonlight

Under the Moonlight

As much as I dislike the cold that accompanies these lingering dark mornings, I savor the simplicity. As I sit in the quiet, I have only the glow from a white, rotund moon shining off to my right to illuminate my surroundings. As my thoughts drift, and time passes, the moon fades further away. It is during times like these that I find the most peace.

My world is a blank slate. I have no visual stimuli to distract me from what rests in my mind. Once the sun takes center stage, so does a plethora of distractions. But for now, things feel simple. I’m not one for clutter, not in my house nor in my mind.

Every morning I take time to pray. It is a sacred time for me. Time to stabilize myself, find my center and reconnect to who I am and what I know I need to be. I acknowledge the fact that the two are not always one. But I also acknowledge that the key to forming a more perfect union within myself is by first acknowledging that which separates me. I tend to see those things more clearly during these early morning hours.

The senses become more acute when not bombarded with outside interference. When it is dark, the ears sink deeper into a better state of hearing. And with that, as I talk to God, I often hear the soft voice which I long to hear during my busiest days; days when I can hear nothing more than the chattering voice within my mind.

The me I am with you, is the me I am with God. I tend not to veil myself from either. I’m quite convinced God appreciates my honesty. I hope you do as well. As I search, and stretch the boundaries of my preconceived limitations, I have to do so first by being honest. Sometimes I like who I see within myself, sometimes I do not. But I try to see them both with clarity.

It’s easy to assume that those who walk a spiritual path do so upon a golden road, one that embraces them and provides for easy steps. I don’t believe that to be true. I feel those who are reaching the furthest, feel the most struggle. With new knowledge comes new questions. Upon discovering new truths, we stretch to peel back another layer, reaching further and further as we go. And every time we do, we break away that which we were in able to become that which we are meant to be. Often, this is painful process. Or at least, with me it is.

Only those who have outgrown their shell feel the pain of breaking free. Its a recurrent process when continuing to grow. Only those who are not reaching, not expanding and not stretching their abilities and what they know escape this particular pain. Their pain is that of stagnation, suffocating under the weight of their own being, of spinning within the same cycle. I spent many years trapped in that perpetual, breathless state of being. Knowing what I know now, if I had to choose between the two, I would and do choose the pain associated with growth, as it allows me to breathe.

So in these early morning hours, I am always like that of a butterfly about to emerge. I notice once again that my cocoon no longer fits. I push against and release the part that no longer serves me. I try never to define myself by my cocoon. Instead I am an ever evolving creation; one that may never possess one clear definition. The tree topped vista before me is now coming into view. The stars are no longer sitting in contrasting darkness. The moon has escaped behind the trees. And the sun, like all skilled performers, is taking its time before walking out onto the stage. So with that, I will say: May this day be good to me. And may this day be good to you.

Sane

A Fluid Life

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I’ve never been one to write with a saccharin touch. Honesty has always been a component within my underwaters. And I’m quite certain it always will. My readers have come to know that if they are wanting fluffy words that sit on the tongue like cotton candy, they need not let their eyes settled onto my page. However, I don’t think the truth should bring a person down. Glib, cheery words during my most unsettling moments have never given me strength. Yet, the truth has empowered me time and time again. And the truth is, life consists of both the good and the bad. The trick is to not become those moments. Instead, let them flow. Ride it out. You are the ship, the moments are the waters. Sail through.

If you noticed you’re experiencing one of life’s more enjoyable offerings, don’t cling to it. Don’t drop anchor and demand that nothing ever change. Once you do you begin to rob it of its beauty. You begin to fear how it will be once it is gone. Just let the beauty flow through and around you. Soak it in. Breathe it in. Allow it to leave its imprint upon your emotional memory. Then let it be. If you don’t put a death hold on it, then you’ve matched the energy, and all like energy finds its way back to one another. And that emotional impression will be there for you when you most need a soft place to rest your mind. If a moment lifts your heart within your chest, it’s a gift. Be sure to say thank you. Thankfulness is a match to the divine. And the more you keep yourself matched to the divine the better life becomes.

If, on the other hand, you are nestled deep within one of life’s more unsettling moments, again, don’t become the moment. Allow your energy to remain soft. Try not to steel yourself as a way of protection. All you’re doing is becoming a vibrational match to that which you are trying hard to resist. Before you know it, everything turns cold and rough around you. Not because that is all life has to offer, but because life is working to match the energy you are emitting. Often some of our most valuable lessons come by way of difficult moments. They happen not because you failed, but because there was something key that could only be learned in that particular way. So, pay attention to them. The better you are at responding to those ugly moments, impacts greatly how often they will return.

Now, all of this may sound too simplified. I know. There are times when I am riding higher than a kite, just to notice the ground beneath me has fallen way. Life happens. All of it moves through our journey. If you are to practice anything I would advise that you practice not becoming the moment, simply allow the moment its due. Allow both the good and the bad to exist, all the while remain true to who you are. Believing that all is well is not the simplistic ways of optimistic folly. It is a state of being that has great implications on one’s life. When one’s vibrational plateau is that all is well, then when all situations arise, and they always do, life moves them along easier, softer. We are met with more experiences that match our belief, so predominantly speaking, wellness becomes our predominant experience. And the bad times are met with a centered mind and a more fortified heart. We know that it will pass and that we will be okay. In my opinion, this is a crucial knowing along one’s spiritual evolution.

Allow yourself a good deal of slack. If you notice you are not filled with joy but instead are possessing a fuck it sort of disposition, let it ride. Let it flow through you. We are spirits dwelling within these human forms that are often hindered by our mind. The mind has many glitches. Try not to get too worked up about it all. Allow yourself to flow through your emotions just like you are trying to allow life to flow through its many happenings. Fate brings us both the good and the bad, it’s all part of the material that helps our souls grow. So, again, look at what comes your way, then let it flow. A bad day will pass as quickly as the best day of your life. They are all fluid. But it’s who you are and how you respond to each that’s key. It’s in those moments that you are given the opportunity for your soul to expand, and also to set the course of what comes your way.

Sane

In That Moment

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I work for a non-profit. Many of you may not know that about me. During my daytime hours, instead of fulfilling my heart’s desire to write, I put my skills to use at an addiction treatment center. I took the job because when it landed at my feet I was just finishing my memoir. The book that chronicles how growing up surrounded by addiction set the foundation that, albeit gut-wrenchingly difficult, provided the necessary launching point to become the writer and healer that I’ve become.

Yet, there are days when my energy is tapped due to this added occupation. At times I question if this endeavor is simply a detour or derailing me completely. There are days when I grumble when as soon as I walk through the office doors the voice within my soul tells me just what I need to write – knowing full well I can’t. I no longer have the ease of unconfined creative freedom.

But I’m still helping people. And my personal knowledge of addiction provides a level of compassion that is helpful to the agency. Not to mention, they utilize my peace, passion and drive to help people discover and claim their value. They saw all of this within me, and no doubt it’s why I landed the job. I do grow weary, though. Having a passion that can not be expressed on whim is not an easy plight. And so with that I find myself silently asking Spirit – why. Why the detour? What in this is allowing me to serve my purpose?

Then, as if one cue, I found myself sitting in a photography workshop that I had orchestrated. One in which the photographer, whom I had just driven all about town in an effort to gather publicity shots for the agency, was teaching a room full of women’s residential recovery clients the power of using photography as a tool to stay in the moment. Everyone had to give their brief story. All were touching. All were sincere. I absorbed the instruction being taught, then remember I’m terrible at photography. But as everyone filed out of the room one woman stayed behind. She looked at me, then asked if I had just written an article for a local woman’s magazine. “Yes,” I answered. She smiled.

She said she’d never picked up that magazine before but when she did it opened to my article. She said tears streamed down her face as she stood engrossed in my words. She said that I write beautifully. But that my words, resonated deep within her. She wrote down a few key sentences of mine, and took them with her to therapy that evening as they meant so much to her. Mainly, the one in which I said I had to come clean about living a life that didn’t honor me. And choose a life that does.

And there it was. In that moment, Spirit provided my answer. If I hadn’t taken this detour, I wouldn’t have written the article that is an overview of my memoir. Had I not been sitting in that workshop, I would not have been able to hear first hand how my writing impacts another. All I want, dear reader, is to remind others of their worth, their beauty and their purpose. To nourish their soul because, this life of ours has little to do with all that we see around us and everything to do with what our soul is wanting to accomplish. In that moment, I was shown that this wasn’t a detour that I am on, it’s the road I was meant to travel.

So walk on. Walk knowing that even the roughest roads are roads your soul knows you need to traverse. Pay attention, though. Learn what you are meant to learn. People and experiences are brought your way for a reason. Whether to awaken something within you, or to bring to light something you work hard to keep in dark. Life is the playground on which all of this happens. Go with it. Not against it. Your soul is busy whether you know it or not. Life is at its best, when you notice the work your soul is up to. So, go with your soul. Trust me, life becomes better once you do.

Sane