Tag Archives: happiness

By Comparison

Good morning, dear reader. And welcome to a new day. I hope it feels better than the day before. I hope for all of us that our troubles are few and our worries are light. I pray that the challenges we face come with clarity as to why they are present in our life. I pray that love finds us wherever we go. And that laughter is never far away.

As much as there are challenges in this world. Things that can pummel us repeatedly, or body slam us out of the clear blue, there are also those hidden umbrellas I spoke of earlier. Little bits of goodness tucked amidst the turbulence. And what I want for all of us is that we are able to keep redirecting our focus, our thoughts and our energy onto those little bits of goodness. It is breathtaking how quickly we can get swept up in the hardships; our own, those of others, those of the world. The media doesn’t exactly help with that. More money is made through fear. Fear of death. Fear of aging. Fear of illness. Fear of poverty. Repeatedly showing us how bad things are. 

And I’d be lying if I said that while focusing on the good bad won’t still happen. It does. And it hurts like hell. But what is the alternative. I do firmly believe that what we think about we bring about. That there is a vibrational pull that draws unto us that which we are. So if we are in a state of appreciation, more things that match that state will appear. The reverse is also true. And that’s the rub. That is the challenge of living in a world of duality. The bad is always there. If not in plain view, its very likely hiding in the shadows. But the same is true for the good. 

I woke having received an order from a kind woman who recently opened a boutique. A week before her grand opening her brother died in an accident. He helped remodel her boutique. Now she has to try to find the goodness within all that pain. And yet, here she is, buying empowerment clothing. Messages of hope and love, from a person with a very wounded heart. And that’s grace.

Grace is in being authentic about where we are at any given time. Not just when everything in life is lined up perfectly. Not just when our first thoughts are of the highest variety. No, it’s in being aware of it all, even our shortcomings and bugaboos, and loving ourselves just the same. 

I try not to judge any situation, because as soon as I do I feel the restriction within myself. I try not to compare myself to others because as soon as I do I hand over my power; the power that says, I’m okay just as I am. I’m right on track. And it’s up to me to decide what that means. I try not to measure myself against anyone. For as soon as I do I’m judging even my accomplishments; which can be the start down a very slippery slope. I try also not to compare even my complaints, because there is always someone who has it worse. If I need to whine, I need a moment to whine.

Sometimes I wonder why on earth I’m doing what I’m doing. For heaven’s sake, dear reader, I’m not a spring chicken. And the money I’m pouring into this business surely has other places it could go. And then the Universe shows me this one woman, and I get to hear her story. And I think, okay. I get it. I’m right where I need to be doing what I need to be doing. My transparency is bringing a bit of comfort to someone. Oddly enough, just knowing that, brings comfort to me. 

And anyway, usually when I’m feeling my worst, I’m granted something purely special. A glimpse into humanity at its best. A hug from my son solely because he knew my heart was heavy. Even though his was, perhaps, heavier. Grace. 

Sane

PS I have no idea how long this little stretch of writing will last. But I’m going to enjoy it while it does. It is my intent that it offers you something positive. A get out of jail free card from being too hard on yourself. A reminder that you’re not alone. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it aides you in your journey.

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I Don’t Know

The way I see it, life is pretty confusing. It seems half the population act like jackasses and some pretty amazing people die too soon. I won’t lie to you, dear reader, I had a pretty crummy day. Although I can’t go into the details and intricacies, suffice it to say, I spent a large part of the afternoon driving the countryside trying to sort myself out. I arrived home no more sorted than before I left.

Oddly enough, after being completely drained, one of my dearest friends called. She needed a boost. I did what love does. I scraped my reserve tank, and gave it to her. I couldn’t help her feel better about the abrupt death of her friend; a woman about to set off on a new career helping others, including autistic children. Why she had to die in an auto accident is beyond my understanding. I know all my spiritual teachings on the topic. And I could’ve recited it to her. But it fails in the moment. None of it makes sense. 

Something must be in the air. Because there’s a whole lot of pain being felt by a whole lot of people right now. Things are being kicked up. Emotions are rising. and that which is usually buried is being brought to the surface. Some of which isn’t pretty. It’s part of the process though. The moon calls the tide in. And with an enormous pull, it draws it back out, moving everything underneath. We are more water than anything else. So it should come as no surprise the tide pulls deep within us too. Only, it doesn’t feel as lovely as waves washing over the shore. 

Perhaps its because humans have their own agenda. We tend to fight nature. Often, we push and pull and fight. And those of us not prone to fighting find ourselves driving the coast in our Jeep Wrangler. And on those days, after having shared the deepest thoughts within me to the heavens above, and after carefully examining everything, I exited my Jeep saying the most spiritually sound thing I could say. Fuck it.

And that’s okay. There are times when that is what you have to say. Now, before anyone is offended, please realize that it’s a form of release. It means letting go of one’s hold. Often it’s the weight of knowing what needs to be done that causes the grip to tighten. Responsibilities. Being the lone person standing on the front line. Being the single parent. The single caregiver. The person who gives their all, because it’s the right thing to do. The person who knows they should feel differently, grateful, fortunate, blessed, but can’t. Not yet. Not now. Today feels the way it feels.

So, this was the advice I gave my friend. I told her it’s okay to let herself off the hook. It’s okay to disagree with life. It’s okay to say, fuck it, none of this makes sense. It’s okay to get angry. It’s okay to push back. It’s okay to not feel our best, to not be our best. And in giving ourselves that permission, we are being our best.

I can’t say if any of this helped her. It surely didn’t ease her pain. But, I hope it helped her to know it’s alright to be confused. It’s legitimate to feel the pain and wonder what it all means. Because I surely don’t have the answers. And right now, I don’t need to know. I don’t need to know anything other than I’m doing my best. 

If you’re like me, a kind person living in a turbulent, often unpredictable world filled with some pretty thoughtless people, just know that it’s okay to say fuck it. It’s okay to step aside from  your normal calm, cool and collected self. Life is to be felt. Feel the pull. Feel the push. Go with it. And what it brings up, it’s bringing up with purpose. Even the tears, dear reader. Even the tears.

Nature is good that way. It’s constantly cleansing. Our job, I’m guessing, is to ride the waves. You’re doing alright. 

Sane

To Breathe Again

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I hadn’t expected to write tonight. But the stars shifted and the planets aligned. In other words, it’s a good day. I wouldn’t be surprised if my readers have all moved on by now. But always know this, eventually, I’ll be back. That’s how it goes when writing is your love. You never can ignore your love. It beckons you. You long for it. So, finally dear reader, I am here once again with you. Oh how glorious.

My world is just as it should be. All is dark and the music is softly playing with only the glow of my MacBook. I used to write to you while looking out on the vast horizon. I’d watch cars in the distance, miles away. Ever since moving from that one writing spot, I’ve struggled to write as I’d like. But its in my blood, it’s the one thing I always long to do. It’s what always feels right. I have to imagine its similar to how it feels when reunited with the one you love.

It’s that time again, isn’t it? We’ve reached the end of another year. I love this time. It’s as painful as it is joyous. It is the embodiment of who I am. The dichotomy of me. I am always caught between extremes. I am the one who loves to share laughter with friends, and yet, turns down side streets while walking her dog as to avoid others. I love silence. I love rooms filled with activity. I love the deepest parts of me that sit unmoved and steady. I love the parts of me that seem to stir at the slightest gust of the wind. I guess, this is why I’ve never truly felt as though I’ve fit in. Because I don’t. It took nearly five decades for me to be okay with that reality. I’ll probably spend the next few decades I have left helping others do the same. Because we should all feel good with who we are; whatever shape and style that is. It doesn’t matter. You are you for the reasons you are. Love it all. And perhaps once you do, then you’ll be less tormented and more peaceful. And isn’t that why we are all here – to enjoy the experience? If not, then why?

This time of year stirs up so much for so many. But the stirring isn’t bad. It’s a good thing, as hard as that is to believe. Do what I do, look at it. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t become it. Stay the observer. Allow the memories from your past, the good and the bad. Allow the grief of things lost. Allow the grief of things you never even had. That’s okay. Every bit of it reveals something about where you’ve been. Always good to see what’s been buried, because whether you realize it or not, you carry with you the stones you’ve tried to hide.

With every new year I take this motley mix that is me and think about who I am. I like the me that makes no sense. I’m not always sure what to do with me. But I like me. So I stand at the cusp of a new year owning every newly upturned stone, every quirky nuance, every soft emotion that sits on top of a very independent personality. I’ve gotten better at recognizing how God works through the personality that is me. And with every day I try to let the God within me show more.

For as soft-hearted as I appear, I am not such a passive player in my life. Instead, I like how it feels when I choose to trust in God; the God that moves the heavens; the God that resides within me; the God that finds its way into every song; the God that moves the seas; the God that lives within the trees. So to this new year, let us all be more okay with who we are.

I hope to be back more often in the upcoming year I will always be back, at some point. Because, eventually, I have to breathe.

Sane

To Feel the Sky

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To say that its been awhile would be quite an understatement at this point. I always miss these moments – where my words and your thoughts whisper and mingle as they do. Bliss.

This I know for certain, dear reader, Spirit lives and breathes through the world around us. And that brings me to what led to tonight’s writing. A friend asked if I had anything to write, about Northern Michigan. I thought on it for a moment, not sure what I would write. More often than not these posts are about that which heals.

Then, as It always does, Spirit waited for me to catch on. I finally did.

I’ve never felt more connected to All That Is than here; with my feet grounded and nature surrounding me. It heals. And that is exactly how I grew up in Northern Michigan.

While growing, Northern Michigan gave me continual communion, and it still does. When I need to be embraced, I look to the trees. When I need to hear the voice of God, it’s there within the wind that speaks through the pines. And of course, there’s the water. Often the water feels like that of an altar. It’s where I go to cleanse all that troubles me. Never has it let me down.

As much as I look forward to warmer climates, a part of my very being will only feel at home when smelling the leaves as they surrender to autumn’s call. I grew up with that distinct perfume. I also grew up with the smell of hot ferns as they collected on the foot pegs of my dirt bike. Something about that smell heals me. I learned to be reckless and wild on dirt roads that twisted and turned through the woods. To this day, a dirt road still makes me smile. But it was also here that I’ve healed a million broken parts within myself. Its been under a Michigan moon that I’ve howled in desperation, and also given thanks. Nothing beats the healing power of a Michigan sky. And nothing feeds the soul better than a Michigan autumn sun. Just as it signals the trees to let go for the season, it signals me to stay in harmony with the ever-changing cycle that is life. We are meant to let go. I learned that from the trees. I’ve never learned one thing from a preacher. But I’ve learned volumes from nature. No right or wrong, it’s just who I am. The water taught me to be who I am, all that I am, and I’ve never looked back since. The long Michigan winters have shared with me their truth, don’t hide your darkness. Michigan does it with grace, as well as fury. Its a time to explore that which can not be appreciated during the long days of summer. And so it goes with me.

There’s a line from one of my favorite songs, “Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.” I know the smell of the water that surrounds me and the feel of the sky above me. And even though these stars accompany me wherever I go, I know, I’m at home here. There’s something primal about communing with nature. The trees absorb me. I absorb them. For me, church is when I look out and see water like glass. Or enjoy the sermon of waves raging on high and the willows that sway like a soulful gospel choir. It’s all there, if the eyes can see. And its bliss if the heart is open to feel.

So I will end this tonight with a thank you. Thank you for the invitation to write about Northern Michigan. And thank you God. You showed me, when young, that You can always be found within the trees and the water and the stars. A church to which the door is always open. All inclusive. Ever welcoming. Always answering, even my most difficult of questions. Thank you for that.

Sane

Drive Through the Night

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I remember once driving through the night. Honestly dear reader, I wasn’t just driving, I was escaping. I had everything I owned crammed into a Ryder Truck, my Acura in tow, my two year old son and mother beside me. I drove and I drove until the lights of Phoenix were far behind me. There comes a time for all of us when we have to take big steps toward freedom. Sometimes I think all I’ve done is taken big steps. At this point in the game, I’m an Olympian Pole Vaulter. But please know this, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We are all on a journey. Baby steps are just as valuable as pole vaulting. Actually, you can’t do one without having first done the other. So if you are finding yourself having to take big steps or baby steps to start something new, know that you are not alone. The one’s who don’t take those steps are those that will, most likely, be tasked with the same struggles throughout their life or perhaps in a different life. As for me, I try to stop the bad cycles when I recognize them.

One of the biggest cycles we all face is in learning to let go. Often, this means letting go of a relationship. Life is about relationships. We live an existence that is in relationship to what’s around us. Letting go of a steady paycheck can be devastating. Letting go of a much loved home is brutal. Letting go of someone you love is near crippling. Yet, there comes a time, when that is exactly what we are faced with doing. We must shift our direction, lift the energy, and in doing so, allow in something new.

And we know when its time, don’t we? In our core we know. From there, we usually fight it. I will say this, it does get easier. But I’ll also say that it never truly gets easy. Then again, I’m a tender heart. I feel things others don’t. Having said that, if I can do it, so can you.

Its okay if you notice you’re stuck. Its okay if you notice that those surrounding you don’t respect you. Its okay to realize that you took a few wrong turns along the way. Don’t judge yourself. Instead of viewing it as a set back, look at it as another step toward perfecting peacefulness. We almost never know what peace feels like until we are surrounded by the absence of it.

Its okay to take a stand. In fact, the best thing you can do for yourself is to fortify yourself with grace, look at yourself with Love and treat yourself accordingly. Often this means letting go of a few people, a few situations, a few habits. Every day is a new day to drive through the night toward making things right.

I’ve driven through the night both metaphorically and physically. Either way, it was filled with an indescribable ache, as well as an indescribable sense of freedom. With grace, let go of those things that no longer serve you. With a blessing, let go of friendships that have went beyond their season. And with a special prayer, release those mismatched loves. Both of you deserve something better.

I remember one night saying goodbye to someone that to this day I still love. As I sat in my Jeep, I felt the death. But I also felt the birth of hope for something better. Since then I’ve let go of people, places and things. It must be where I am in my journey. And I’m doing my best to move forward without too tight of a hold on anything. No map. Just my senses tuned to my core and the stars above. Now, if you’re needing to let go, do so with an open heart. Take a moment to look up and into the night sky. Breathe. Trust the Universe. It won’t let you down. Its time to shake it off and start again. Something better awaits. But it begins with you.

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

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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