Tag Archives: aging

Judge Me Not

30d2bc40c099daa3ca00062dd3c32233

We are so much more than the labels put on us or the numbers associated with our life. One’s salary, savings or lack there of. One’s house value. Years of education. Pants size, shirt size or dress size. One’s color should not put them automatically into a compartment. One’s gender should have nothing to do with how they fight, live their life or what type of partner feels most right to them. Who you are has nothing to do with the stats that may, or may not, be associated with your journey. Dear reader, can you sense how tired of judgement I am?

And yet, it’s a profoundly human reaction to judge others. To size them up and then render verdicts inside our mind about who they are and what they believe. I say the hell with that.

In starting this women’s empowerment clothing line, I’m continually coming up against other people’s ideas about what this company should be.  Often, I have to pull back, take stock of all the decisions that have brought me to this point, noting if I’ve stayed true to my core principles – No Judgement. So as I get judged, sized up and put into a box, I have a choice. Show up as my highest self or get down and dirty to prove my point.

Truth is, I don’t need to prove anything. Nor do you. Our clothing is for all women. Even women who aren’t sure if they want to associate as women. If you like it and speaks to you, wear it. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too. Just know this, I have no desire to judge either way. I know how judgement feels. I know what it feels like to have someone take one look at me and size me up, incorrectly.

It took decades to shed the labels that have been thrown on me. Even the positive ones. I don’t like anything that limits. I’m me. I fumble and bumble my way along trying, always, to be my most authentic, best self. And when the impulse arises to judge another, and it always does, I try to harness the impulse before it develops into full-blown analysis and conclusion. It gets easier. Bottom line, if I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It should always start as a clean slate. Let me show you who I am by action and deed. Truth never can stay hidden. So give it time. Then decide.

This women’s empowerment clothing line doesn’t exclude anyone. Because all women could use empowerment in one form or another. Don’t be fooled to think otherwise. And I will continue to create affirmations that speak to all women, and do my damnedest to offer clothing that works for all women. It has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. It may sound easy, but manufacturers don’t cater to all women. So finding something that works with a size extra small all the way up the line, and looks beautiful and is made of good quality materials, has been enough to turn my hair silver. There is no right or wrong in my book, except for that of exclusion and judgement. And damn these manufucturers like to exclude.

So dear reader, let’s all do our part to make this world a better place by judging less and loving more. Start with you. You can’t offer to others what you can’t first offer to yourself. Try not to limit someone because of their gender, race or socioeconomic situation. Try not to judge yourself by these things as well. We are all evolving. We are all fumbling and bumbling along; some more gracefully than others, yes. But we’re all still on a journey just the same. So be open. Be kind.

Am I a single mother, twice divorced with a business bankruptcy sitting in my past? Am I a victim of rape? Do I fight like a girl? How many degrees do I hold or funds do I possess?  How do you classify me? You don’t. I’m a spiritually guided soul who is doing their best in this world. There is no label or box that could ever fit me. And that’s just the way I like it and God intended me to be. Most likely the same holds true for you.

Sane

Night Driving

1946a3c704eff4dab052b0ae95cbd10b

Photo by F.C. Gundlach, 1954, Lo Olschner, ocelot coat by Berger, Hamburg.

There are days when I feel as though I’m driving through this world in the middle of the night on a road I’ve never traveled before. Truthfully, it feels like that a lot. I suppose however, that is the true definition of faith in action. I’m trusting that my desires rest just beyond my headlight’s beam.

Faith is a bit like walking through a pitch black room; trying to get to the other side one slowly keeps putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that with each step they will feel the ground. The ground isn’t visible. But they’re trusting it’s there. Really, anything else would not be faith. Anything less would not be utilizing inner Knowing, it would be utilizing a mind that has already seen the outcome.

As I continue to build this women’s empowerment clothing line, the more and more I realize that I am on a cross-country journey of faith in action. My inner self is elated. My mind, well, that is the part of myself I’m always training. Because my mind keeps wondering what is beyond the headlights. For all it knows, instead of road the earth could just drop off, taking me with it.

So when I get amped up and filled with anxiety, or worse, caught in a moment of utter self-doubt, I sit and remind myself – just drive. Keep moving forward. Don’t speed, as that kicks up the fear triggers. Instead, motor along and enjoy the ride. Look around more. The headlights are illuminating everything I need to see in the moment. So take in the moment. Stop wondering what is beyond my sight line. Perhaps what is just out of view is still being brought together by the Universe in honor of my continued belief and faith.

If the desire is within us, and the passion is there to fuel the desire, then it is meant to be. It has a purpose and my job is to honor the desire by moving forward Knowing that what is meant to be will be. I am not to expect a certain outcome. I am not to get weighed down in What Ifs. I’m meant to believe that the road will take me where this desire is meant to go.

Desire is what makes life worth living. And life should be a bit more fun than we often allow it to be. When we worry about what rests ahead we often fail to see and appreciate what is being given to us in the now. And there is usually always something of value meant for us to notice in the present. Perhaps doing that one simple act of appreciation is what helps to orchestrate what’s to come, what will soon fall into the range of our headlights. Perhaps faith is Divine fuel.

So dear reader, when getting where you want to go feels overwhelming try to let go of wondering what is ahead. Trust that as you move forward, as you keep taking the necessary steps to do all that you can do to keep driving, you will get there. People and places and experiences will fall into place. Most likely, they are waiting for you just around the bend. The headlights won’t show those things until you make a few more turns. Keep appreciating what you can in the now and keep driving. Life is a lot like a cross-country adventure. There are times when it feels as though you aren’t moving. There are certain states that seem to take a lifetime to drive through. About half way through you begin to convince yourself you won’t make it. But you will. Take your time. Try not to give up.

Sometimes the kindest thing you can give yourself is a release. Release your timeline, release your hard fast rules or expectations. And trust that All Is Well and everything is working – you just may not see it yet. Breathe. You’ll get there.

Sane

Its Beauty is Your beauty

Hello Dear Reader

It feels like a lifetime since I’ve last whispered in your ear, dear reader. It’s an odd thing, being a writer. One would think I’d just sit down, on a whim, and write. That’s not the case. At least, it’s not for me. Instead, things have to be just right. If I have my way, the moon must be visible and shining down on me. The music must be flowing through me in such a way that we become one. And, lastly, I have to be seated behind my trusty MacBook Air. Change one thing, and anxiety washes over me and I begin to question if I know how to put anything of substance onto the page. Oh the mind, it can be our greatest ally. And so often, it can be our greatest foe.

You see, dear reader, this MacBook Air of mine that has aided me in writing numerous posts, novels and children’s stories is growing tired. I have to wait as it catches up with a mind that screams along at unsettling speeds. And as for the moon, its been awhile since I’ve had it shining down on me. One day I will have a desk that sits under the glow of its nurturing light again. But the music, it never fails me. And thank God for that. Truly.

Too much time has passed since I’ve written. A lot of life has unfurled beneath me. Too much to write about, but just know this: I am still sailing forward. I am at the helm, looking out at the horizon with wonder and delight. The waves, well, they do what they do. More often than not though, there is calm. And when I do look back and notice the the rough seas, I do so with gratitude knowing that, once again, something kept me upright. My time of having to plunge deep grows less and less.

So, if you are in the midst of underwater discoveries yourself, take heart, one day you will buoy up and with it, not only will you enjoy breathing, but you will breathe knowing who you are. There is mastery in that. Sometimes I wonder if that is why we are here; to discover who we are – and then love ourselves once we know. Love, that’s what it’s all about. But first it starts within. If you can’t love you – loving another is counterfeit. Love moves outward. The Universe rests within you. You are made of the stars. Why would Source do it any other way?

Recently, I went on a trip with my brother. We spread my father’s ashes along a small creek nestled into the side of a mountain. I watched as his physical form was embraced by the water and returned from which it came. And it felt right. Life alteringly difficult, but very, very right. I flew above my brother and I, and watched our star-dust beings return my father into its physical home. Pure. Divine. Transcendent. I hope I have as beautiful an end. In the months since I’ve been thinking a lot about the gap between the soul and the physical. There is a huge gap and yet no gap. The soul is one with everything. All the while being completely separate. I love the awe-inspiring gap. I love having one foot in this world and one foot someplace else. My awareness of this is often overwhelming. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Its just who I am.

I love that ‘someplace else.’ It’s home to me. It is the place best described as being closer to the stars. It is the place where energy runs free. Its exhilarating. Its passionate. Its unbridled. And it is like air to me. It’s in music. Its in laughter. Its in the way our heart fills unexpectedly with emotion. And I know its seen in my eyes.

We are all so much more than we believe ourselves to be. The essence of who we are is there for the taking. If we allow ourselves to tap into it, then become it. And it is love. Love is Source and Love is all there is. It’s from where we came. And it is where we will return. So smile. Dance. Let the music flow through you. Look up and give the stars a nod. Its beauty is your beauty. Love.

Sane

 

Soundtrack:

Mondo Cozmo – Shine

MISSIO – Middle Fingers

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

The Strumbellas – We Don’t Know

Letting Fear Decide Your Fate

fate

It should not take so long before finally breathing deep. Nor should it take so long before finally witnessing the light. But then again, the air of which I speak is not taken in through the lungs. And the light to which I’m referring is not seen with eyes.

The soul does not rely upon the same aids as does the physical body. The soul knows the steady place that is found when standing from a place of being, even when that being is standing on the edge. And yet, rarely do we lean into life with the security found in this innate place within each of us. Instead, more often than not, we let fear decide our fate.

We diligently shape our future using a mold defined by all that pained us from the past. The mind employs the reasoning that by doing so, we are avoiding further pain, disappointment and loss. And when focusing on the pain of life, the pains of life increase, thereby requiring that the box in which we push ourselves, grows smaller.

As many of you know, I do not damn fear. I see it as a beautiful tool. Much like that of any other indicator marking something warranting our attention. Don’t dismiss it. Witness it. View it with open eyes, then move on. Once it has our attention, it is of no further value. Its purpose is complete. But please remember, often the signal of fear reveals something requiring our attention inward, not outward.

Looking forward into this new year. Think for a moment upon what foundation you are creating your future. Is it from a place of love, knowing and hope. Or is it from a place tethered to fear-indicators from the past. When a bone is broken, pain shoots throughout the body pointing to that which needs our attention. We tend to the brake; the brake heals; we move on. Fear is much like the pain of a broken bone; vital in that it signals our attention. The soul knows this. The mind lost this knowing along the way, and allows the signal of fear to become the backdrop of our existence.

The other night, I asked someone quite special to me what he wants done upon his passing. He admitted that he didn’t know. I admitted that I did. When my time here is done, I want a celebration. I want those closest to me to look upon my life and see that it was lived and shaped from a place of love – not fear. I do not want my children looking upon my life and noticing all that I avoided for fear of what others would think; for fear of failing; for fear of not knowing how. Instead, while listening to my favorite music, drinking my favorite wine, I want their hearts to move with the love that was the current on which I floated through life. Fear isn’t the water. Fear is merely an outcropping along the stream. Don’t take your canoe out of the water and place it on this rock.

With every thought we think, we are shaping our life – dear reader, shape it with love – not fear.

Sane

Originally posted, January ’13

You Are Magnificent

8bf720bc32a9c8aa01f91cba19fbaea9

1953 Getty Images

Did you know that you’re magnificent? You may not have known that. Instead, you look at yourself and see all the things that don’t measure up. You see the parts within you that are broken and damaged and insecure. Maybe you see your past failures and the times you’ve let yourself down. Step back, dear reader. There is more to you than that. Let me whisper into your mind what I see.

You are like a good bottle of wine. Why? Wine is complicated. And that is precisely why I like it. You can not rush quality wine. You let it sit on your tongue, and you savor it. It’s similar to the human soul in that it’s a mixture of flavors, top notes and undertones. When balanced, each characteristic adds to the other. Out of balance, and its unpalatable. Balance is key. And so it is with you.

Everything that is you, is there for a reason. Everything. You are like that good bottle of wine, nuanced. Not everyone likes the same bottle of wine. We are singular. But there are those that will appreciate you. They will savor all that you have to offer. Trust me.

But first, find your balance. You can’t balance what you don’t know. Look at every little part that makes up you, and do so with eyes of appreciation. No one can look at you in a way that you, yourself, are unable to do.

I used to damn the parts of me that didn’t seem to fit in. I was too this or too that. It took some very dark nights on my knees in surrender before my eyes were opened and I was able to see how all the pieces within myself were purposefully placed; how each added to the other. I couldn’t see that before then. But damming myself had gotten too painful. I finally broke open, and surrendered my desire to be something I wasn’t, and began appreciating who I was. And that is what alignment with Source is – loving yourself – then you can feel the love of All That Is.

Take the time to discover yourself. Sit alone, savor who you are. A great spiritual teacher once said, “You have to love yourself when you are by yourself.”

You are not hear to please anyone. You are here to be you. And the more you settle into that, things will open up to you. Joy. Peace. Love. These are not things one can reach out and grab. They are treasures hidden within you, waiting for you to find. And they sit at the core of who you are. So get to know you. Ask yourself why you do what you do and feel the way you do. What are your fears? What are your dreams? The answers need to be released. Your heart needs to open. Let yourself breathe, dear reader. You are not called to be anything except who you are – your job is to discover who that is. Then live it. Be it. Enjoy it. The rest will follow.

Me? I will forever be a writer. I will forever be a mother. A Harley riding free spirit who loves to tip tables and help people see themselves for all of their God-given breathtaking beauty. I will always be poised, unless busy laughing. I will always be a blend of levity and philosophy; delicate yet strong. I will forever long to be in my church, nature, seated with eyes fixed lovingly on the setting sun or dancing in the moonlight. My hope is that those who know me, have come to experience the many nuances that, balanced together, soothe their soul when I touch their lives. And so it is with you. Now, sit with yourself for a while. Learn from your past, then let it go; holding on keeps you off-balance. Stand tall. Smile. You are magnificent. Now let yourself breathe.

Sane

Written while listening to, Shine by Mondo Cozmo and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

The Train

We’re a solid footstep into the week. And I can’t say how its going for you. I don’t know the obstacles riddling your path. This week may be one with little hindrance, or it may be one where you’re pushed to the edge. It’s like that for all of us, dear reader. Its part of the process, the dichotomy. If all were good all of the time, we would never grow. But there is something that makes the process easier: Learning to pivot.

Your mind is the filter through which you see the world. Often, your mind guides your feet. Yet, you do not have to be led down a path of ceaseless judgements, and fear-based what if’s. However, stopping the mind  when its going full steam takes near Herculean strength. It’s much better to catch ourselves before we jump onboard.

There is always a gap. And in that gap we choose how we react. The size of the gap depends on how fast we are racing through life. For some, the gap is so small one would be hard pressed to recognize it exists. For those who have developed observing their life more than reacting to it, its wider. Narrow or wide, the gap allows us to pause. From there, pivot and think something better.

People are walking around with chests so tight they can barely breathe. Will my dreams come true? Will I forever be alone? Will I have enough to pay my bills? Will I ever find peace? Will I ever laugh again? These are questions one whispers alone or to a trusted friend. They are real. They are valid. And they have the ability to take one’s breath away.

Please hear me when I say: What will become of you is largely dependent upon what you do now. You hold the power to those questions. And you wield your power by what you do – now. Now always impacts what’s next. Always. You can answer those questions one of two ways, you can answer toward the positive or you can answer toward the negative.

Dear reader, if you have something pressing upon you at the moment, and you can feel your chest tighten and your body temperature rise and tears push against the back of your eyes, pivot. If you can feel your mind race, picking up negative thoughts that pierce you to the core, pivot. If you find yourself thinking or acting in a way that doesn’t honor you or the you you want to be, pivot. Pivot your thought. Think the best thought you can think. Give Source the direction it needs. What you think is how you guide your life forward. Life mirrors your thoughts and actions. Like mile markers, life will keep throwing chances your way that will cause you to use your Free Will and Personal Power to dictate what you truly believe and how you want your life to unfold.

I believe in fate, and how it dictates the larger issues that happen in our life, agreed to by me, on a soul level, well before my birth. But everything else, that is up to us. When your mind begins to go in a direction that does not feel good – pivot. Bring it back. Think something better. Don’t jump too far or your mind will scoff and tell you that you’re a fool. And when in those delicate emotional spots, we often believe whatever damning thing our ego says about us. So take it slow. Remember, fear is like a fast-moving train. It can and will take you exactly where you don’t want to go. All it takes is a few thoughts and before we know it we are swept away. And when we finally do jump off, we’re miles down the road, fair from where we want to be.

So let’s take a collective deep breath. We don’t have to know how things will work out before believing that they will. Our job is to believe. Start there. That is the pivot point. That is what sets the wheels in motion. Those thoughts of belief have to occur within you before any of what you want can arrive.

Dig your heels in deep, if you must. Then pivot your thought. “I don’t know how this will work. But it will.”  Controlling one’s thoughts is the most important thing we can do for ourself. It sounds simple. It’s not. But it gets easier. Like picking up a heavy weight. The weight doesn’t change over time. You do. You get stronger. The train is at every mile marker. You don’t have to get on. Step back. Pivot. The train isn’t going where you want to go. It never has.

Sane

Being Beautiful

aeab289743a5c525c8dc9905d32acb7a

I have never felt beautiful. So yesterday, while walking by a group of people, a man and woman turned to look at me; first at my face, then my shirt. They did what so many do – they sized me up. Then I did what almost all of us do, I joined them. Its an odd thing how our ego is poised and ready to tear us down.

Truthfully, I spent the majority of my life never feeling beautiful. It wasn’t until the last few years of my life that I’ve come to know my beauty. But it isn’t the kind of beauty the media likes to persuade us into believing is most important. The kind of beauty of which I speak is inner beauty, which is what we feel and others see. What we are on the inside is always revealed on the outside. For me, it wasn’t until my dark night of the soul that I came to understand what stood between me and believing in myself. It wasn’t until, out of sheer exhaustion with life that I found myself staring into the eyes of the demon that had plagued me since my earliest days.

The demon of which I speak is the kind we all have. It lives and breathes in the darkness of our shadow. Its voice is often weaved through the voice of ego. Its constant declaration is that we are not good enough. That we will never be what we want to be. We will never have what we want to have. It bounces around. Its target and diatribe ever shifting the blame. But the core of its message remains – you are nobody. And everyone knows. Who do think you are? You will never be as beautiful as others. You will never be smart enough. You’re a failure. Life stinks. You stink.

Depending upon what has happened to you in your life, the shadow side can cast an overwhelming presence. Which explains why so many avoid it at all costs. And, there is a cost. We pay greatly when we turn our back on this side of ourself. Like an untended garden, the weeds of our fears begin to overtake all that is beautiful and healthy. Dear reader, I had reached my end, which is what led to my dark night of the soul. I really had nowhere else to go but to travel deep within myself and confront my fears.

But within this darkness, I discovered, there is Light. And there is a mirror. We get to see Who We Are. Even when surrounded by all the falsehoods I had believed about myself for nearly four decades, I was shown a Light that allowed me to see past the illusion of my fears. And when I shined the light, the darkness became illuminated. There was great beauty there. There was Love. A love that had the ability to strengthen me to stand up against my deepest fears. When I did, the demon went into submission. And my life has never been the same since.

But like with all things, I have to keep a watch on it. There are times, when a side glance from a stranger will bring that demon to life. Once again, it will try to override my thoughts. Its up to me to shine the Light back onto it. I’ve seen it for what it is. It isn’t big. It’s small. That’s why it fought so wildly within me like a small, crazed animal. It didn’t have mass on its size.

As I mulled around with my daughter yesterday, I gave thought to what had occurred. I gave pause to all the thoughts that sprung to life within me. You see, dear reader, I was wearing one of the shirts from my women’s empowerment clothing line. It was the I AM shirt. The design, upon first glance, is simple. Its message, at least to me, profound. Surrounding the words: I AM, are all the words I spent a lifetime believing I wasn’t: I AM beautiful, healthy, radiant, love, peace, abundance, success, joy, enough. And because we can never see in others what we can’t see within ourselves, I never saw any of these things in my life. All I use to see was a shifty world with people, places and things that I couldn’t count on. Life didn’t feel beautiful to me. I didn’t feel beautiful to me.

But life is, and so am I. Not the kind of beauty that ego tries to say is the measure of success. No. In fact, the core of my Being doesn’t give a damn what others think. My ego does. Within myself I finally found my beauty. It was there all along. It is singular to me. It’s kind. It’s nurturing. It’s peaceful. It’s strong when protecting, soft when loving. It is Love. Under all those layers of insecurity and fear, is Love. And love is beauty. Its within us all. So when I wear my I AM tee, its my way of reminding myself that its okay to recognize my beauty. Actually, it’s a hard won victory being able to do so. And it’s a victory that finally allowed me to recognize it in others. I may not be a Covergirl or a super model. I look like me. And within me is someone I’ve come to love greatly. I am the kind of beautiful that means something to me.

Sane