Tag Archives: humor

Judge Me Not

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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

Who Shows Up

Who Shows Up

“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” ~ Yehuda Berg

I feel one of the most vital lessons within one’s spiritual practice is to become aware of who shows up within ourselves. And life, being the gracious host to our spiritual development that it is, provides us ample encounters by which to meet who does.

It is one thing to sit in meditation and express soft words of praise to God and all of humanity while alone. It is a completely different thing to offer such kindness when met with the many individuals who make up humanity. We aren’t here to solely be kind to those who are kind to us, even if such a thing fills our heart immensely. People like that, I look at as nourishment. They help fill me and prepare me for those who drain my heart and challenge my kindness.

People will enter our life that do both, fill us and drain us, challenge and empower us. Both serve a purpose. They allow us to see who we are inside. Who is buried under our physical shell. Our heart is revealed by how we treat others.

When we want to know who we are, look first at who shows up within yourself when met with Life. Do you step out of your own mind, with all of its many judgements and stories and validations, to be open and kind? Do you try? Or do you let yourself off the hook with a reason why you can’t? Life gives us countless opportunities to bring to Light who we truly are. And as much as it might seem as though it is doing this to show others who we are, I don’t believe it is. I believe it’s to show us who we are. If you are like me, dear reader, you may not always like who shows up. Its part of the process. Its the only way for us to finally deal with all that rests within. But, it’s what we do with what we see, that matters. Once you begin to pay attention, you will see how the hand of Spirit is trying to bring everything within you out and into the Light. That is the only way you will ever fully know who you are, and make all of your fragmented pieces part of the greater whole. And from there, you can live wholeheartedly. Not because you have vanquished parts of yourself that seemed rotten. No. Instead, you brought them into the Light and healed what was once very dark. You learned from it. You healed it. And then took this newly healed and enlightened part of yourself and returned it to the fold.

When I am at a loss as to how to behave. When it feels like everyone I meet is ‘causing’ me pain, disappointment or just plain frustration, I try to hit pause. Then, I try to be who I would want showing up for me. I try to be for them, and for the world, who I would like to see. This may or may not change the situation in front of me. But I’m not doing it for that purpose. I am doing it so that I can, at the very least, be true to myself and offer the world a mirror that reflects Love. Showing the world a wholehearted mirror is not easy. In fact, its one of the most painful experiences of my life. But it is also deeply rewarding. Because every now and again, it is reflected back to me. And that is bliss.

So dear reader, as you go about your long weekend, and life unfolds its multitude of experiences in the guise of people, places and things – notice who shows up within you. And remember: Be who you want to see. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive. Be Love.

Sane

Holding the Key

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Photo by Harry Burnett, Yale Puppeteer. Albert Einstein, Pasadena, CA 1931.

 

True freedom is not an external condition, dear reader. It’s internal. The key is your thought.

In every moment, in every situation you have the power of choice. Free will, as it pertains to your thoughts. You can either think toward the positive or toward the negative.

Please know, this is not a light-hearted endeavor. In all candor, I feel it is one, if not the most difficult undertakings one makes. When one does not know what rests around the corner, yet trusts that whatever it is, it’s going to be alright.

So then you finally round the corner and what’s waiting there is something absolutely terrible, you tell me. You thought it might be, but you flexed your spiritual thought muscles, did what they said to do, and kept repeating to yourself that it was going to be okay. And now this? You knew this namby pamby stuff couldn’t be counted on.

Our thoughts are not always our beliefs. And until one finally shifts their beliefs, by way of continually redirecting their thoughts, they may stumble upon the manifestation of their old expectations. In other words, give it time.

But it’s never too late to start ,and its never too late to continue on. But immediately, you will feel the difference. So, let’s take this with baby steps. Nurture yourself with kind thoughts. Get real with your self talk. Listen to it. You may notice that if your self talk were a person, you would want nothing to do with them. But that self talk is merely the puppet. You are the puppeteer. Turn the puppet into someone with whom you long to share time. Why? Because they are always seeing the good in every situation. Even the one’s draped in yuck seem to possess a certain purpose. This puppet has gone from inner critic and naysayer to cheerleader and comforter. It’s up to you.

Sometimes we view ourselves as victims, prisoners to a very cruel set of circumstances that all serve as proof that this world is a rotten place. Within this world are both conditions, the rotten and the glorious. Its you who continually focuses upon the rotten. Don’t believe me, look at what you choose to read, watch on television, discuss with coworkers, family and friends. Are you focusing upon upheaval, and wallowing in the muck. Or are you keeping your focus held high above it all.

Listen, listen, listen to your inner voice. It tells you everything about where you are and the part you play in all of this. Is it harsh on you and on others, not to mention the world around you? If so, these words and opinions are spinning off of the beliefs you hold deep inside. There is so much good within you, that if you only focused upon it without judgement, it would take your breath away. See yourself as Spirit does; a piece of itself. See the good in the world. And when you get hung up on the bad, know this, the bad ushers in the good. The darkness is here to call the Light; it is here to awaken us and cause us to stand in our Truth. Yes, it has a purpose.

And that negative self talk, redirect it. Every time it says something awful about you, stop. Reshape the sentence. You are fat, you are ugly, you are a failure. No one loves you. On and on it will go. Until you say – enough is enough. I am Divine just as I am. My value is not conditional upon my size, shape or color or acheivements. I have never failed more than when I’ve chosen not to believe in myself. Today, I choose differently. God loves me. The Source of all that is loves me so much that it hasn’t given up on me, and never will. I’m the one that did that. Today I see what Source has seen all along. And, I love it. I love all that I am. I love all that I have to give to this world. Today, I choose to turn off the continual loop of negative dialogue. Today, I begin to rewrite my script.

Sane

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

Falling In Love

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I can’t speak for how it is in any other country, at present. But for those of us here in the States, we’ve been hit with a barrage of reminders from the media that it’s Valentine’s Day. A time for love. History is a bit hazy as to a definitive origin for this holiday. So, I like to go with the one that feels best to me. February marks the time when nature looks toward new growth, new life, a new season. I like that idea.

There is a new season awaiting you, dear reader. Its waiting, and its bursting with potential. But you must do the work to bring it about. The fertile ground of which I speak has nothing to do with what’s out there, and everything to do with what’s inside you. When you look upon yourself do you offer up harsh words of judgment. Do you whisper self-criticism when you look in the mirror. If so, please stop. Instead, start planting kind words into your mind.

I want you to fall in line with one of the most Divine guides given to us, nature. See yourself with promise. See yourself as an ever-changing, ever-developing, ever-unfolding creation that gets to ride through many seasons while here. Each season, guided by both nature and our own beliefs. We can never be more than our beliefs. So, what do you believe about yourself?

Give yourself the gift of self love and appreciation, not just today, but for this new upcoming season, and every season. It starts with this simple, yet poignant, ritual – look in the mirror, and fall in love with who you see. All of your past beliefs rest upon the face that’s looking back at you. And within the eyes that are gazing hard upon your own, is your inner being. The child within you. The person who has walked through trials and tragedies. The person who has taken more beatings from you than it has ever taken from any one else. Also is the person who loves to laugh; who loves to sing; who loves to play; who loves to savor the deliciousness of life. Be courageous, and feel what is stirred within you as you lock eyes with your own image while repeating these simple words: I love you.

There is a very strong likelihood that the person in the mirror has not been loved by you – not fully. Instead, its had to harbor years of criticism and judgement. Let those words not touch your tongue this year. When those thoughts fall into your mind, sweep them away with love. Don’t damn yourself for having them. Remind yourself that they are merely a habit you started long ago. Maybe they started by way of words spoken by another, but you took it from there and made them your own. Your brain, the magnificent tool that it is, has created default pathways that cause – what was – to be – what is – until you break the habit. Then a new pathway is formed. Like giving up anything familiar, it takes time. But that person in the mirror is worth it.

Be courageous, dear reader. Stop looking externally to be loved until, at the very least, you have first found it within yourself. Surround yourself with thoughts that edify, uplift and encourage you. Add to your life those things that bring you joy. Start to cherish you as if you were the love of your life. Because, quite honestly, you are.

Sane

Semblance of Happiness

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There have been times when I’ve been labeled a bleeding-heart liberal. Often too, I’ve been called a feminist; as it seems I’m generally advocating one thing or another. Truth is, if I advocate anything, it’s that we all find and allow ourselves happiness.

Life is nothing if not imbued with joy. It’s a dry, lifeless experience without it. When we feel joy, we feel the energy of life. Is a tree joyful when its growing – I can’t say. But surely it feels alive. And that is key. There have been times in my life when although physically alive, I was emotionally dead. I had no joy. I was out of alignment to the 10th degree. Unlike the tree that doesn’t have the tool of the mind, and therefore grows as intended, I stunted myself. I formed a rut consisting of a belief system that didn’t serve me, then surrounded it by a moat of fear. I lived there for many years. Then one day, an energy pushed through that overpowered my mind. Every day since I give thanks to that energy, the last breath of air it took, and the courage it infused in me to breathe again.

You may have a moat that surrounds you, dear reader. One of your own making or one that seems to have been built by another. You stand on one side and happiness seems to rest on the other. Don’t ever let fear stand in your way. Don’t ever fall under the misbelief that a life consisting of happiness is not yours for the taking. It is. You just need to claim it, and make it your own.

Each and every day look for the little things that make you smile. Those things that turn your head in curiosity. This may be a person, place or thing. Take back your power, your growth, your joy by seeking out the things that stir you with life. Start small. Even if it is one tree that seems to sit steady against all forms of weather. Maybe its the water that breathes through waves that go in and out. A song, a movie, a color that instantly pleases you. Maybe its the feel of the air as it enters your lungs. If so, breathe it in, hold it there a moment. Then release it back into its environment. Stop and treasure these things.

Joy doesn’t always happen easily. Sometimes it requires us to reach for it. We can not connect with something outwardly that is not a match to who we are inwardly. So first, give yourself permission to be happy with you. If you do not look upon yourself favorably, you will never be surrounded by a favorable reality. That is what I advocate. I have things within my being that no one but me may like. But I decided they’re okay. In fact, I came to the conclusion that they are part of what colors me. Maybe each color, standing alone, isn’t beautiful. But together, it works. I’m happy with that. I’m an advocate of you taking back your power by first being happy with you.  Work outward from there.
Sane

As the Water Carries Me

The Water

 

The other day, while standing outside in the blustery wind, I was told one of the most beautiful things about myself, “Something about you brings people back to center. And sometimes moves them forward.” I’d like to believe this to be true.

Coming back to center, in my opinion, has little to do with finding a stationary place, forming a groove, then remaining there. The soul isn’t stagnant. The soul flows. Finding appreciation for one’s self during the ebb and flow, that is a large part of my life’s work. I have to believe this is why I find such resonance with the water. Also too, why so often I can be found sitting and looking out over the bay, watching the waves as they move, or choose not, depending upon the day. I too ebb and flow. Its been a long road, seeing the beauty in both.

It’s easy to cling to those parts within ourselves that seem so perfect and good, and hide those that don’t. To award the emotions that ride high, and push down the rest. There have been times when I felt like a stranger within my own being, whose life has stirred into a mess. And then it shifts. A new day comes and the waves calmed. I was the mess. And I am the calm. The water never divides itself. Nor should we.

My idea of being centered no longer comes with a longitude and latitude. No longer do I try to define my center by any other guidelines than – I feel good, I feel steady, I have hope. This, to me, is center. For me this is alignment, and alignment comes with a lot of leeway. There are days when feeling centered means I speak to almost no one. I sit with the weight of reflection, and think thoughts that require silence. And then there are days when my center lives and breathes within the laughter of friends, dancing in the moonlight, or sipping wine. If it feels right, if it feels good, and I have hope – then I am at peace and at center.

I used to have demons within me, from which I would run. Then one day I turned. I looked at them and they looked at me. And like with most people, I noticed their value. I noticed their purpose. With that I formed an appreciation for those things within me that use to knock me off-balance. Next to my joy stands my melancholy heart. It took seeing with eyes wide open for me to accept and embrace the all of me.

Dear reader, we all shift. We all have our own sway. No movement within you is better than the next. Each has purpose. Even when you are a mess, it is a mess that carries meaning. Life messes us up, so we have to let go. Sometimes we sink low to see something we wouldn’t had our gaze been kept high. Everything changes. It must. And so must you. Move with life and life moves with you. Maybe the purpose of life is to learn how to love yourself – throughout.

Sane