Friday, December 30, 2011

My Wish for 2012

First and foremost,  my wish is peace for all - peace of mind, peace of spirit, peace in love and hate, peace in beginnings and endings.  It is a time of endings - a year;  a life on this earth for some, a spiritual life for others.

I saw an end to my store, friendships that had run their course, run out of road.  I saw an end to old thought patterns that do not serve me any longer.  Some revisited me, if only in dreams and some revisited in body or spirit.  Maybe to remind me of the importance they played in my life at one time.  Did I look at them from angles never seen before?  Yes.  Was their pain revisited?  Heck yes.  but there was also the love and gratitude that was once there and still is in some way.

Then I placed them lovingly in my deepest memory.  Some may never again come to call but they color my life and are a part of who I was and who I am becoming.  Some will call again and may be unrecognizable from my new perspective and may share my space once again.  So I say to them all;  I love you and thank you and send you on your own way.

This is also a time of beginnings.  While some were on their way out, others were entering.  I give thanks to all who blessed me with their presence this year.  To you, join me on my next journey!

If there is an unease as you move forward into the new year, embrace the transitional jitters as difficult as it might be.  It is here whether you like it or not.  Give it the space and love it desires and deserves and let it expand and grow into you..  I am right there, too, on that precipice, looking out onto so many possibilities, seen and unseen, eyes and heart wide open.  What an exciting moment to be present within!

If I can just love myself as much as I love those around me, it will spread its branches and support all. I come in contact with.  And if that love can assist those who are in greater turmoil, support them on their journey, then my wish is complete.

I say goodbye and hello in love as we step into the newness that lies ahead, known and unknown.  this is my wish to myself and to all.  Peace, prosperity, health, joy, fulfillment, laughter and love in 2012.  Thank you to all who have watched over me in body and in spirit.

This is the end of our worlds as we know them.  I'm excited.  I hope you are too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Walk in the Woods and... Murder?

A leisurely stroll in the woods of Ellison Bay Bluffs County Park led to a distressing encounter yesterday.  It all began with a lovely bluff view of Green Bay on Lake Michigan and leaving my husband alone to smoke his pipe, I set off on a meditative walk.  After all, I am beginning a new life chapter and coming out of the seeming coma (okay, it was just a huge fog...) that fell upon my brain after the closing of my business, I was eager to meditate on what’s next for me while taking a quiet stroll.

Praying to my angels and goddesses and whomever else happened to be listening, who might want to chime in with their words of wisdom on this walk, thoughts filled my mind and I drifted into a wonderfully peaceful place.

About 15 minutes into my ethereal walk of late autumn dried leaves, bare branches and brownness, I happened upon the color red.  Hmmm.  Upon closer inspection, it looked as if an animal had been attacked; maybe a coyote or a fox kill.

Upon a much closer inspection, there was a bright red blood spill in the middle of my path and a dribble of blood as if something was dragged over to this pile of red within the dried leaves in the brown woods. 

Okay, I am a city girl but I am not naïve in any way.  Something had been killed in the path before me.  Upon an even closer inspection, there were some internal organs carefully laid out around what appeared to be a very large rock, very little blood, and NO BODY.  That’s right, NO CARCASS.  What had been killed?  Where was the body?

Small circular blood spill in my path, something dragged into the woods along the path, fresh organs, and no body.  Nope, I am definitely NOT a naïve city girl at all.  I was standing in front of a morbid murder scene!  Upon closer inspection of the rock “altar” that the heart, kidneys, liver, etc. were placed upon (of course it was an altar – isn't that what sick, deranged killers do with their victims?), it started not to look like a rock at all.  So I took a stick and poked at the “rock”……it was soft…….IT WAS A SET OF LUNGS!

Did I mention that my peaceful, tranquil, meditative state was completely severed? (Had to use that word – I had just entered a scene out of Dexter!)  My bucolic, pristine nature walk had become a crime scene!

Where was the body?  The kill spot was rather small and round, perfect size for a person of my build.  And who carefully lays out innards the same way they are placed internally?   And where did the blood go?  And much more importantly, where was the BODY??  So I did what anyone would do in my situation.  In Chicago, coming across guts in an alley would have someone speed dialing 911 as they high tailed it out of there!

Not me……I went to the extreme.  This wasn’t some random, ordinary kill.  This could only be the work of a witch.  I had entered a scene from Blair Witch Project!  Of course!  That’s why there was no body or blood.  That’s why the guts were carefully laid out.  This was not the work of an animal.  What animal would take the body and leave the innards?  So I did what any city girl would do.  I panicked.  Blair herself HAD to be nearby.  Or a crazed maniac.  I looked into the trees (because of course that is where either of these folks would be – right?)  I slowly started backing away up the path.  I looked for the river I could follow to take me safely out of the woods. (I always wondered why those kids in Blair Witch Project kept going around in circles in the woods.  All they had to do was follow the river bed and they would still be alive today!!!!) No, I wasn’t lost.  And the river was actually Lake Michigan.  I pulled out my phone to call my husband (Hey, it is 2011.  No one will ever get lost in the woods again as long as the Verizon satellites are up and running.) to tell him of the ghastly scene I was now running from, eyes darting left, right, above to make sure no one was following me.

Okay, it is true, I am a horror freak.  Have loved horror flicks all my life.  Wrote some vivid tales in Mr. DeLuca’s creative writing class in 6th grade that concerned him enough to make a call home to Ma.  I guess slayings with ice picks are not common themes in 6th grade essays. 

I was the mother that scared the other mothers in my book club when they found out I let my young children watch scary movies.  And yes, a relative of some sort pulled his daughters out of the TV room where they were sitting with my youngest son when he started talking about zombies and dead people.

Maybe a part of me wanted to have walked upon a scene from the TV serial killer Dexter.  That would be way more exciting of a story to tell later.  Or maybe I have been a victim of personal crime way too many times and my brain is geared for this type of reaction.    Or at least some sort of maiming!

So as the fear increased, the more my brain conjured up ideas for this scene, my husband walked over to a sign in the woods that read, “Hunting Begins November 15” and called me back.  Damn!  It was a friggin’ deer!  But I still fought it.  After all, I wanted the drama of a murder scene.  What a story I could tell!  I said what kind of hunter neatly lays out the innards the way they are laid out in the body from top of torso to bottom?  It looked like an anatomy class.  Of course, he told me with such determination and authority that hunters must gut the animal, tip it over and everything spills out perfectly in place.  Right…..  A deer of say 200 pounds can easily be tipped upside down and emptied.  I had problems trying to tip over a 70 pound calf on a cattle ranch in New Mexico. 

After consulting with a local and then later with an avid hunter, I had stumbled upon what is commonly known as a “gut pile”.  Normally, hunters who are deep in the woods will gut and “dress” the deer there, where city folk like me will not stumble upon their leavings.  My citified hunters dressed the deer on a paved path in a county park.  Lazy wimps.  Amateurs.  What kind of hunters were they?? City folk with shiny shotguns.  Geesh…

For me, there will be no Bambi or Mama Bambi killings.  The closest I ever got to both deer and death at the same time was when I was working at the Chicago Botanic Garden and almost got run over by a huge buck with a massive rack of antlers.  Then I could have added impaling to my list of personal assaults.  I also came across a few deer on another wooded walk.  No paved path to walk upon and there she was, right in front of me, staring at me.  We stood for a moment, both of us, contemplating the oddness of both of us happening upon one another, and I walked away.  After all, this was her woods and I was trespassing upon her territory.  Imagine that.  After that confrontation, I could never consider shooting one or bowing one, “tipping it over” and spilling out its guts to feed the rest of the woodland animals.  Eeewww.  Yuck.

So here is my boring story of hunters and deer.  When I tell my grandchildren, of course, it will become the Dexter and Blair Witch story which will scare the pants off of them.  Their parents will roll their eyes.  Hey, I might even add an ice pick or impaling…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Contemplating Spiral Signs this Holiday Season

In my continued fascination with spirals, I was looking at one that was spinning.  You know, the kind you see when someone is trying to hypnotize you?   It represents continual change and evolution and the interconnectedness of all things.

In terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. Or you can look at it as outward information coming in to the core of your being.  I read this yesterday about this kind of spiral movement:

And when one contemplates such an infinitely regressing movement one begins to appreciate that the words 'first movement' doesn't even begin to express the beginning - that it's all an endless beginning - it's all a one act play - an infinitely recursive and enfolding one act play. Thus the 'first movement' is everywhere you look And soon you'll look up and see the same thing in every thing you look at until your view of reality begins to shift and with it meaning itself will take on a whole new meaning and on and on and on - beginnings enfolding endings which enfold another beginning until there's no more beginnings or endings and you just are. -Robert McCoy

If you look at a spiral in motion, it appears that it is moving from the outside in.  And if you look closely at the center, it appears to get larger as it spins.  Interesting if you think of the spiral as inward reflection.  As more wonderful things move in, your center becomes larger,  I think you can also say that as things move out from the center, it also leaves space to allow your inner most ideas to grow.  the inner core stays the same as the outer grows in size.   Do we actually spiral out of control or just to a place that is new and not understood quite yet?   I am starting to like that uncomfortable feeling on not quite being on steady ground, because I know it is leading to new ideas, thoughts.  Any way you look at it, growth is occurring.  You can see for yourself here: 
click here

So the same people, places, and things are always new, always beginning again.  From a different perspective.  You get to see them from all sides, angles, directions.  And sometimes, what you have been looking at for years starts looking different. So enjoy your life from all sides and angles this holiday season.

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spirals and Reflection...

"In the wave lies the secret of creation."
Walter Russell from The Secret of Light

I am thinking of spirals again.  The Spiral represents the path of life - from your Essence, outward to the world. Or, depending on your perspective, from worldly existence to spiritual Essence.   As I make my way through this transformation, I am envisioning the gears on an old ship.  Remember the movie Titanic, when they were trying to reverse the boats gears and change course in hopes to avoid the collision with the iceberg?  They were trying to first shut down the forward motion of the gears and then shift into reverse.  The boat was moving forward while the gears were moving backward.

It is a struggle to change course.  So much energy is being expended on that forward motion that it takes a tremendous amount of force to exact any change in the direction.  And at some point, in the middle of the struggle, you are going both directions at the same time.  If you look at a spiral,  it could either be pulling itself inward or outward in direction.  It is liminality at it once again.

I am at that midway point of moving in both directions - the old is still surfacing from the innermost point of the spiral and jettisoning out of me while the new is coming in.  Think of a revolving door at the department store!  It is that kind of energy that makes weird things happen.  Like hearing from an old friend after years of absence.  It is so familiar - that voice, those words.  Yet it is equally awkward.  You are no longer that person of that familiar pair.  The puzzle pieces that once fit are now off kilter, the edges overlapping and not setting into perfect place.

Is that the old leaving and coming at the same time, hoping to not be left behind?  Maybe to be morphed into the newness that is on its way in only to emerge again shortly.  I don't know.  the question I need to ask, and I will, is why did they disappear, and more importantly, why are they back?  What drew them back?  I have always needed answers for the whys in my life!  Then again, it is said that if you just wait, the barriers will go away.  Nonetheless, I still need those answers!

But actually, right now, what is really more interesting is watching and feeling those gears switch direction and carry me onto a different course that can only bring excitement and joy of what only NEW can bring!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life is a Series of Deaths

Life is a series of deaths with a little laughter thrown in along the way.   We die a little at each crossroad, learn to walk again, live to laugh about that last intersection and then there you are at that damn stop sign again.  Wondering – I turned left last time – which way looks good this go round?

You hear I didn’t say safe.  I said interesting.  Death of the old is never safe.  Interesting?  Yes.  Damn interesting and damn funny in retrospect.   We shift a little to the left, then we shift a little to the right.  And with each shift, each change, each death, we gain in knowledge of our own divine.  We get closer to the true purpose of our lives.

Is it the life we decide for ourselves?  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  But if we listen, if we can quiet ourselves during the troubled times, during each one of these “deaths”, we will just “know” what is right for us; which is the right path.  If it is not the right path, it will never feel right.  Or we will wake up at a crossroads again with that feeling of AGAIN?!?!?!?  I have done this before, an unraveling of the status quo in order to see the light within.

Resisting the exhaustion of the death results in more exhaustion.  Can I give myself more than 5 days to rejuvenate, replenish, rebirth?  I think so.  No matter what I try, how much I push myself, my body has shut down in order to rest during the re birthing process.  No matter how much I beat myself up about getting a move on to the next greatest thing (as asked by my son…); no matter how much I try to get my brain wrapped around the great ideas that came up prior to my “death”, my brain (which is as stubborn as the rest of me) has shut down.  Nothing seems important. 

This in itself drives me crazy.  How can I NOT be excited about all the great ideas that showed up last month?  I was SO excited, so looking forward to jumping into my next incarnation.  BUT…..right at this very moment, nothing is all that exciting to me.  Everything can wait.  I need to just sit, relax, rest.  This break has been a long time coming.  The next greatest thing can wait a bit more.  Actually, it HAS.  It won’t let me jump in.  I am numb to pretty much everything.  So, I need to be okay with that.  I know, I know, I know, it will all come to me when the time is ripe.  It always does!  And no matter how much I push it, it will not move until I am ready to move with it.  I know this.  Yet, I come to this place time and time again. 

I go back to an old post about the liminal stage last spring.  A time of transition when we stand “betwixt and between” one state and another. Kind of like on a fence, although you aren't trying to make the decision as to which way to step. It kind of does it for you. Awkward, yes. The state of neutrality/ ambiguity until we reach full consciousness of the next place, the next stage, whatever you wish to call it. But I am okay with it. Probably because I am so exhausted, I can't fight it or push it where I'd like anyway.  

Only this time, I understand this.  So when those anxious thoughts pop in, I know to let them pass.  I just thought this morning, for the umpteenth time I woke up at 4 or 5am and could not go back to sleep, that, Wow, look how much I could get done before the rest of the house wakes up.  Here I go again, pushing.  And here I am again, at only 6:30pm, exhausted.

So, please, my dearest soul, take a chill pill, enjoy this rest.  You are revving up for some unbelievable events.  Let the flower bud grow, and then petal by petal, unfold into the new blossom of you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All is Done....And All is New

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. -- T.S. Eliot

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.  -- T.S. Eliot

My personal meditation on the decision to transform Baubo’s Garden
It is done. It is complete. You are safe, sound, whole, alive. A weight has been lifted. You are warm and whole again.

So, begin again. Goddesses rejoice. Hear their laughter as they surround you. Lead the way to your destiny, your fate. Abundance, laughter, joy, rapture. Feel it. Be it. Be one. Let life flow beside you. Drift in peace knowing you are okay.

Using metaphors for life, change was the long difficult pregnancy. I labored and labored and birthed the new model of me. I persevered till the end, and the beginning. I have been set free to fly to new places, forage like a honey bee searching for the pollen of life to take back to the hive (within) and create the sweet honey nectar of my life; and then to share that sweetness. Forgive my mixed metaphor, but I come from a background of horticulture, where life cycles are key and gardening relates so much to our lives.

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.-- T. S. Eliot

You know when you need to move. Your body tells you. Your soul tells you. Some years back, I stopped hearing the music, refused to listen to it for over a year. I am a musician and I was burned out. To me, music is the juice that flows through me, charges me, makes me vibrant. I lost that music of my soul for a time, while life spiraled around me.
It is as T.S. Elliot explains, “It is music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while the music lasts.”

That is being in the moment, when all is right with your world; everything is aligned; you are at peace; you are creating. This is what I want next – to create that peace; that in just being, it transcends beyond you, to all you come in contact with; to help provide a space, an idea, a peaceful, safe place where others can find their own music or nectar within themselves. That is the task at hand.

The Gnostic way of knowing is feminine wisdom. It is insight, intuition, the process of knowing oneself. To know oneself at the deepest level is to also know God, or your higher power, or whatever, however you understand if for yourself.

I did some free writing last December and wrote that we must align our core essence and then work outwards from it. Clear the core of who you are, shine it up and it will glow outwards. Hearts Within – Love Without.

Let us join on this journey of discovery, hope, love and charity, hand in hand, upward and onward…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Onward and Upward We Go!

From the middle of life onward, only he remains vitally alive who is ready to die with life.
Samuel Johnson

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.
Henry Ford

I have started the process of a huge change in my life.  I have decided to close my business of 5 years.  The decision process was long and arduous and not without tears and heartache.  “Why” is the question everyone asks, of course.  “Why” is a long discussion.  Of course, the first and foremost reason is our economic climate, which has NOT been friendly to small business owners.  And that is all I will say on that topic.

The other reasons are far more interesting.  Is it too cliché to say the business ran out of road?  If you think of it as a living and breathing entity, does it also have a life span?  Going even deeper than that, did it serve its purpose and is no longer relevant?  If we live our lives based on an earlier uninformed decision and don’t adjust as time goes by, we will stagnate.  So, long story short, the business reached the end of the road.  Yes, when I opened, I hoped to become the next lingerie mogul, but alas, that was not to be.

Then again, and more importantly, I gained so much more in the way of friends, experiences (good and bad), knowledge and direction.  It segued me from where I was to where I am now.  And I am so grateful for all of it, good and bad.  I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.  So I bless it as it goes away.

I also realized that the place I am in right now is brand new, with no attachments to the past.  This business was attached to so many parts of what once was. In leaving it, I also leave behind the sorrows, the entanglements, and the former me.  It is bittersweet and difficult to imagine moving forward without these constant companions of the past.  But we must shed these old and ill fitting ideals of the past to blossom into the newness of uncertainty.

I awoke last night to three black entities (shadow people as they are called) running through my room.  It scared the crap out of me.  I understand they represent the dark side, fear, uncertainty.  But they also represent an opening in spirit and soul, where the good and the not so good can enter for contemplation and reflection.  I told my dear friend of this incident and she said the best of me is being birthed as we speak.  That is good to know because with change comes fear or discomfort (why would you change otherwise?) and we tend to overlook the goodness that is coming from this.

This reflection is also bittersweet.  People, places, things, that are attached to the old come flooding into mind.  Maybe to say their goodbyes.  Maybe to ask to be remembered.  Maybe to tell us they still love us and remind us of their importance in our growth.  I don’t know for sure.  Some will be forgotten.  But the ones that created the most agitation will remain on the shelves in our souls and be taken down and dusted now and then, without the sentiment that brought them to us originally.

I read this a few days ago and it spoke to the place I am in at the moment.

As you communicate, so what you say unlocks doors for you. They open up on the inside as much as the outside. These doors take you further into the palace of truth. Life is inviting you to sink your foundations in the soil of essence. It is offering increased substance.

“A real life is the life of essence. You can call it soul, or God within you, or whatsoever you will.” --Osho

And what is essence? Essence is your original face without any masks. Essence is that which you brought into the world when you were born. Essence is that which was with you in the womb. Essence is that which has been given to you by God – or whatsoever you call the totality, the whole, existence. Essence is a gift from existence to you.

So, I welcome a rediscovery of my true essence as I move forward into new territory.  I give thanks to what I am leaving behind.  In the words of  Mary Church Terrell, and so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Change and Transformation - Today and Always!

It is the season of change - as summer winds down and we feel the cool autumn breezes blow in, we know change is coming. Memories of summer vacations are tucked away into photo albums, children are going back to school, summer work hours abate and we dive head first back into our work. Change. Sometimes subtle, sometimes brutal.

Change doesn't ask our permission into our lives. The status quo is comfy, settled into ourselves. If we are lucky, we can foresee it coming and try to adjust with the least amount of agitation to our current situation. Most of the time, it sideswipes us when we least expect it. Think about it - jobs, family, health. No one would ever make changes there if we weren't forced into it.

But change and the transformation that accompanies it can be the best thing we could have asked for. Of course, that is after we have made it through. I've begun the process of looking at Goddesses and their attributes and how they relate to our present lives, how they can help.

Goddess Oya, is a perfect goddess to start this coming season. She represents change and transformation. She is there to help identify and get rid of all the old wood in our lives.

The Goddess of Transformation urges us to die to the old in order to step into the new lives that we desire. OYA is always searching for the parts of you that are outdated and no longer serve you, brings them to the surface and asks that you release them.

But the funny thing is that we fight to hold on to these parts of ourselves. They are comfortable for us. These characteristics and beliefs are what we know and are tied to our identity. And the more we realize they no longer serve us and try to remove them, they hold on tighter in our body, mind and soul.

I'm at that place again; that uncomfortable unknowing that comes from letting go of one object/person/view/thought/fill in the blank,  to make way for the next, the new.  I am excited to understand that by sitting with the discomfort, the anxiety, will unfold the newness of change.  For the first time, I am stepping into an open place and letting it define itself without my pestering input!.  It knows me.  That unknown knows what I am capable of more than I do.  So I will sit quietly (well, maybe not that quietly) and wait for the gift that is coming.  Oy-Ya!
(click on blog title for more info or here on Oya)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Being Crazy

Marsilio Ficino said that “the soul is partly in time and partly in eternity.” Thomas Moore says, “I think it’s crucial not to be limited by the time in which you live and to take refreshing excursions from it routinely.”

Finally, someone who ‘gets me’. Or finally, I have come to realize that me being told I was crazy for so many years takes on a whole new meaning. It’s okay that I am crazy. Nowadays, who isn’t?

Actually, I am before my time. Isn’t that what Moore says what everyone is already doing? When the public sits down to watch reality TV, isn’t that numbing process taking you from present time to some other time? Has that other ‘time’ been preset, predetermined by the networks to hook you into their shows? Aren’t they and the Wal-marts and the Wall Streets the masters of our universe in determining what we buy, what we watch, how we act and live?

When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I often took these excursions. I wanted to be away from the present time. It was full of tension and hate and arguments, hurt and greed. My ‘other’ world took place in the confines of an 8X9 space otherwise known as my bedroom, where I would retreat and write music and song lyrics for the times we were in. Many war songs were written then and Carol King, James Taylor and The Beatles became my inspirations.

Oh, I did my fair share of journaling. We called it writing in your diary back then. My anger, hurt, frustrations, and hopes were played out within the confines of a small notebook. That abruptly stopped once the diary was stolen by my brother and dramatized for the rest of the family over dinner. To this day, my brother cant’ let go of the views of him by an angst-ridden pre-teen. And so I was dubbed ‘the crazy one’ because my views were not accepted by my present time family.

It was not in my parent’s home that I honed my creativity. It was on my excursions elsewhere that I blossomed and learned and created. I learned that there were other folks like me out there. Those who were also dubbed ‘crazy’ by their present time families.

Bunny Lytle hired me to work at Elgin State Psychiatric Hospital in 1990. I’ll just pause and let that resonate with you...

Working for the Bunny at the state Looney bin.  ...seriously….

What did I do for a living? Bugs Bunny hired me to teach gardening classes at the Looney Tunes hospital. And yes, we grew carrots and cabbage too.

When my family got wind of this, they took out the old photos of me and the stolen diary, studied them carefully again, and said, yep, there it is, can’t you see it? She’s crazy. As if certain smirk or frown or even giggle can be found in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under mental psychosis.

Bunny understood me. Our families were created from the same mold. He was deemed ‘crazy’ too. He said he only hired people like me who had the same understanding as he had growing up. He said we were the sanest people out and about. Bunny explained it best.

Who defines crazy? These folks are so tuned into their souls, the world around them, that they don’t fit it. They are special – enlightened so to speak that they are unable to live in our Wal-Mart, Wall Street worlds. They are beyond food and shelter. No medications have changed their behaviors to ‘normal’. They exist in another time and place!

So, there we were - crazy people working in and caring for the mentally insane at the psychiatric hospital. So call me crazy if you want. Call yourself crazy! It’s okay.

It’s easier to live, breathe and create in the confines of my 'other world' than live in the insanity of Snookie, Paris, Tiger-Blooded Charlie Sheen and The Situation, in the confines of 6 million square feet of Wal-Mart....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Happy Hour Deejay

Time is running faster and faster. How is it that 26 years seems like just yesterday? I met up with two old acquaintances last night. Of course, as it is always said, it seemed like it was yesterday. And you fall back into the old speak, old memories, old stories. And of course new stories as you catch up.

It took a while to pull it all together. If there is one good thing about Facebook, it does give people a chance to find each other and catch up if it is desired. Of course, there are the people from yesteryear that pop up, find you, and create a big whoo ha about finding you. How are you? Where have you been? What are you doing? Remember this? Remember that? Remember that person?

Toga Night!
 So we finally got together. I went home quickly after work and tried searching through old photos to find those from our times together. We were all deejays for Stuart Anderson’s Cattle Company Restaurants back in the 80’s. These restaurants were the first of their kind, with attached bars, open deejay booths, and dance floors.

I was the happy hour deejay, Monday through Friday, 4-8PM. Remember happy hour? It was real back then. Half priced drinks and a full “free” appetizer bar. I would spin records (remember vinyl records?); customers would stop on their way home from work and have a few drinks and a couple of tacos (Wednesday appetizer special). I had my regular customers who eventually would be waiting for me before I even got there. And they would stay till 8pm and then sometimes stay later and have a drink with me at the bar.   There was no running to get here or there in a hurry like today. 

Oh, the parties we would run! When there was a big event, we would fill the place from 4pm till 2AM when the bar would close. There were times when I needed bouncers next to the booth during happy hour!

I have photos of events, videos of productions we staged and filmed. We made our own music videos using deejays from the other Cattle Company locations, some waiters and other staff. Last night’s meeting prompted me to gather up all the videos and restore digitally before the VCR tape disintegrates. Of course, I will watch them over again and reminisce and laugh at our craziness. I showed them to my older son and his girlfriend not too long ago. I was their age when they were created.

And yet, it seems like yesterday. I can still remember the moves. I remember standing in my booth, having the time of my life. It was my family, my stage, my performance each day, my audience. Damn, how lucky can you get to have these memories! Next time, we will ask to be seated at the table that now occupies what used to be my deejay throne. And we will hoot and holler about old times as those around us watch the crazy old folk!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whack a Mole and Old age

I know, I know, enough about getting older!!!  But please bear with me because all this stuff is kind of new and actually pretty hilarious to me!

I'm in the car today and it's very sunny outside.  My hubby calls me princess and the pea because I was always so sensitive to anything touching my body.  I can feel the stray hairs off my head that fall and get caught in my shirt or worse, between your butt cheeks!  Or getting short sheeted or a crumb that falls into your boot.  I can spot a grey hair a mile away!  (Okay, not really but you get the picture)

I can also feel the little hairs that have been sprouting from my chin, my cheeks, anywhere.  I am in the habit nowadays of constantly rubbing my finger across my cheek or chin for that stray, wiry hair that seems to pop up within minutes of the last hair check!

I am sure now that each time I pluck one of those little devils from my chin, it forces another one up and out of its slumber.  I was frustratingly saying that in the car when my older than his years young son said, "You know, Mom, it's kind of like Whack a Mole."  You know, that kids arcade game where you have to hit the moles on the head as they pop up from their holes. The more you hit the moles, the faster they pop up.

Wise ass son.  Okay, it's true.  The faster you pluck, the faster they pop out.  I guess that's why you sometimes see women with almost full beards and wonder if they realize it's on their face.  Not to mention, I am of Mediterranean descent, so it makes it all one hundred times worse.

Don't you want to have a tweezers handy when you see a long, wiry hair on a friend of yours face?  I do.  I just want to pluck it for them.   Wouldn't that be easier than telling them?  Save them the embarrassment and draw fast with the tweezers.  They wouldn't know what hit them.

How about those hotel bathrooms (I am thinking in particular about The W) where they have dozens and dozens of makeup lights.  I've missed dinners because of those bathroom lights.  "Be right there!  In a minute!  Just plucking a few hairs!"  And then silence when I realize my husband has taken his clothes off and fallen fast asleep.  Good, then I have more time to search and destroy.

So please, I don't want to be a bearded lady.  And I seem to be losing the battle.  So if you find one on my chin, please pluck away.  I won't get mad.  I will probably thank you and then continue my own personal game of Whack a Mole....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moments of Clarity

A moment of clarity.  Ahhhh.  Aren't they wonderful?  Ever have one?  Or two?  I was blessed this past weekend with one that was so strong, it felt as if the world just opened up and color and sound were brighter and crisper.  For just a moment.   Sometimes that's all we have - a moment.  And many times our eyes are closed and we lose that gift that the universe is giving us.

I went to an Akashic Records workshop with Linda Howe this past weekend.  This woman is amazing, that's all I have to say on that.  Amazing.  And the work we did gifted me some amazing things.

I was driving home from the workshop and headed to a rehearsal after a really crazy and busy weekend.  As I turned the corner I saw a man in his car and he was bopping his head to music in a way that fascinated me.  It was different.  And then I turned my head the other direction and saw a woman walking down the street and her head was bopping in the same way as the mans.  I couldn't see if she had headphones on but she was grooving!  And I had to laugh.  A sign for a musician - me.  It felt good. 

The clarity of purpose, direction, reason, that came after the "bopping" was amazing.  For a short moment, everything was clear.  My path became clear.  Of course, the directions to go on that path were not revealed (darn it!).  All in good time, all in good time.

Another wise woman I know, Nancy Gerenstein, a life coach, said to me, "when you look for clarifying things, they appear just as when we anticipate problems, they appear."  Choosing the positive as opposed to the negative.....hmmmmm......haven't we heard that before again and again and again???

Clear your way is what Linda said to me.  Let go of the past as it just clogs up your vision and path.  Nothing new, right?  For me, the past always calls me back when it is time to move forward.  It says, "Hey, remember me?  Let's do this!  Let's go back and try this again."  And it gives me opportunities to go back and revisit things that were left behind for a reason.

Each time I revisit those "opportunities", I am tempted, but realize in the end that they are dead ends that take me back, not forward.  So I thank them, and move on.  They have molded me and will always be a part of me.

The winds have changed.  They are warm and blowing me to something new.  Can't wait.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Now it's the Memory! Geesh!

Last night I pulled a really senior moment out of my bag of tricks.  It's inevitable that the memory fades each passing year.  When I was working as a DJ for Stuart Anderson's Cattle Company Restaurants (there's a blast from the past for ya!), I could name any song, any artist, the year the song was recorded, and all the other songs on the "album" that was spun on the two turntables in my booth.  We were also able to play music videos on our VHS player. (Hey, does anyone remember the old Betamax players?? I used to sell them at my part time video store job - where people would actually BUY videos!  They were $600 at the time (not saying the year here...).

So now I can't remember dates let alone song titles, lyrics, and forget about artists' names.  You can hear me grunting to my husband, "remember that song, it goes like, you know, by that guy, about that thing?  You know!"  And not even he can read my mind anymore as he used to.  Sometimes all I give him is, "you know, that place we go with those people!"  "You'll have to give me a bit more information this time", he now answers me.

What! My vague ramblings aren't enough now?  They worked before!  I think. And so it goes.  So last night we went to have a drink and quick snack before we were going to Fitzgerald's to check out the space for my event next month (  Jenna was meeting us at the restaurant and we were going to drive together.  Then my husband got the call.

He answered and said, "Oh, hi, Jamie! What's up?"  At that moment I sucked in my breath in a huge gasp and said, "Oh, shit!!!!"  There were six other people waiting at Jamie's house for dinner and she was just wondering where we might be at.  Apparently I didn't tell my hubby either.  I thought I did.  I really think I did.

Earlier that day, I was at work and as I always do, I was multi tasking, working on 3 different projects while selling bras and talking with customers.  I looked at my Filofax (did I just type that?  Does anyone even use these things anymore??) many times that day and saw the dinner date written (at least this time I actually entered it into the calender).

For some reason, my brain was not cooperating with itself yesterday.  Aw, who the heck am I kidding?  Just yesterday?  How about all the time!  I remember years ago being able to remember appointments, birthdays, everything! without having to write it down.  I also remembered my childrens' and husbands appointments as well!

When my ma got older, her "age thingee" was her purse.  "Where is my purse?  Who's got my purse?  Is my purse here?" was all we ever heard.  For me, it's my keys.  "Where are my keys?  Where did I put them?  I always leave them here!  Who took them?"

I have solidly become my mother, something that I fought and prayed and begged the heavens not to have happen. But it has.  And my children remind me of that ALWAYS as they tell me I am getting closer to being "put out on the ice".  Well, at least I still know what my keys are used for, right?

So for anyone desiring my presence at their events, please invite me, put it in my Filofax, my Outlook calendar, my calendar hanging on the fridge and remind me the day before, the day of, and an hour before.  Is that too much to ask?

Oh, and also, please pick me up because I can't find my keys to the car.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Day in the Life of an Aging Woman - The Sequel

I found a grey eyelash today.  I had to nearly smash my nose up against the mirror to confirm my discovery.  Then I feverishly tried to cover it with mascara but that silver sheen kept popping through the black I loaded onto it.

That’s not to say that I haven’t found silver hairs poking out of other more discreet places.  They actually sell dye for that unmentionable place – in an array of colors.   But I’m not diving to those depths of conversation as much as I might like today.

Oh, I’ve been battling the silver head hairs for years now.   But they are gaining on me and pop through the hair color quicker.  Okay, I know.  They don’t pop out of anywhere.  It just means my hair is growing faster than the cost effectiveness of the dye job.  Okay, okay, I should be happy for that.  The last five years have seen my hair diminish to the point that baby barrettes were not holding the whole kit and caboodle together.  I was the perfect candidate for hair club for men and don’t think I didn’t do some web research on hair replacement therapies.
So, I am really happy that my hair has come back and is growing again.  Yet, I don’t get to fully appreciate the beautiful job Usama does on my hair for very long.  I don’t understand why we can’t just pay for the two inches at the roots dye job every few months.  The middle and bottom parts of my hair are just fine.  It’s just that nagging silver raccoon tail running up the middle of any part I put in my hair that pisses me off!

The one aging “perk” that I would enjoy is the slowing of hair growth on my legs and underarms.  I have aunts who say they haven’t shaved in 30 years.  And why can’t the hair on my legs go grey?  It would diminish the frequency of shaving (i.e. It wouldn't show unless you got close up to my legs.) And I don’t see anyone getting that close to my legs any time soon.  My husband can’t see that close anymore so it doesn’t matter to him.  And with the silver popping up everywhere, I don’t feel so sexy anymore so you won’t see me sashaying up to some handsome man and saying, “Hey baby, what’s your sign?”

old grey mare
Couple that with the numbed up half of my mouth day at the dentist the other day and the subsequent drooling afterwards, and all I will see are the guys back ends as they run for the hills.  Which I can now see since I have gotten my new glasses.

Men look so sexy with their graying temples.  The silver streaks through their heads perfectly like it was done in the salon.  Women end up looking like the old grey mare. Then again, guys DO start growing hair EVERYWHERE ELSE other than on their heads.  So I guess justice is poetic at times…

I don’t know what I would rather have happen – these gradual “oh, my lord” moments like today, or waking up one morning to the new and fully aged me.  If I survived the heart attack that discovery would bring, then I could concentrate on acceptance and continue the rest of the process gracefully.  And pray God still likes me during the long and arduous road trip through sags, bags and wrinkles.

Nah.  The only prayer I am hearing right now is “Get Thee to the Salon.”  Amen to that!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Day in the Life of an Aging Woman!

I was at the dentist yesterday.  It seems that the enamel is wearing off of my teeth.  It is not due to lack of dental hygiene.  That is excellent.  Too excellent!  Am I brushing my gums and enamel right off?  Obsessive compulsive behavior of the teeth?  Okay, come on back down to reality, lady.

It is just another sign of aging.  Gums receding and that leads to exposure of softer enamel which lead to corrosion and exposure of roots....blah, blah, blah....  Roman (my dentist - whom I've known since he was in dental school with my sister's then boyfriend) said liken it to having a tree cut down with a hatchet.  I guess one day I would wake up and my tooth would fall over.  Timber!!!!  And probably while I was in an important meeting.  I would make an important point and my tooth would fly out of my mouth.

I have no idea what it means or how to deal with it.  I just followed Roman's orders and made an appointment.  He came at me with the needle and I'm like, "Hey, what is THAT for?"  He said I might want to numb the area since there was not much in between me and my tooth roots.  He could try to be careful and not numb me....  No thanks.  I am done being tough.  Dumb ass me finally realizes that I DON'T have to deal with the pain to show the world how tough of a woman I am.  (What were we ladies thinking back then when we choose no meds for our babys' deliveries????)

So he numbed me on one side of my mouth and then proceeded to chat with me while it was taking affect.  Have you ever tried to talk with only half your mouth?  For me, Miss Big Mouth, I need my full mouth to get my points across.  He gave me tissues to take with after it was all over just in case I drooled.

It only got numbier (is that a word?) as I drove home.  I started singing some songs that will be included in a performance next month ( and caught myself in the mirror singing with half a mouth.  I was horrified at the sight of a dragging left side and slurred words.  It's a wonder I didn't get pulled over for looking like a drunk driver!

Then later, eating dinner was a drag.  I couldn't friggin' chew.  Food was falling out of my mouth and my tongue wouldn't work.  My son thought I was hilarious as he watched me struggle.  I kept thinking of the years of me doing therapy programming at senior and rehab centers, where people struggled daily with strokes and other disabilities.  I had become old in that moment.  Someday I would need my son to wipe my mouth.  That stopped his laughter flat!

I bit the inside of my lip.  No pain.  I will feel that later I said.  So I took a nap.  Isn't that what aging folk do?  It took all my strength just to chew salmon!

Came to the conclusion today that I will fight this thing they call age.  Of course, with grace and dignity.  All kidding aside, I respect and admire all those who have gone before me.  They look and feel great and have a great attitude.  I will too.  After I stop complaining and whining.... and napping.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Light at the Crossroads

As I was choosing the goddess of the month for my website, the first name that came to mind was Hecate and I knew she was the one. Funny again how the right thing presents itself when it is the right time for you. What do they say? The teacher is always present. You just have to keep your eyes open.

I hadn’t done a great deal of research on her in the past as I had with the other goddesses I have profiled. Yet her name just popped into my head. I went back to notes I had on her from books I have read and some web research. It was as if the heavens spoke to me from a place deep within.

Hecate is the goddess of the crossroads. In Greek lore, her statue used to be found at important junctures or major forks in the road. She has three faces which gives her the ability to see in three directions, past, present, future; it can be looked at as waxing, waning and full moon. In other stories she is the face of one of the triple goddesses - maiden, mother and crone. Hecate is crone. She helps us make transitions and new beginnings, especially ones that were not planned. As a magical goddess at home in the spirit world, she helps keep us in touch with our spiritual selves.

Usually classified as a "moon goddess", her kingdoms were actually three-fold . . . the earth, sea, and sky. Because she represents the crone phase, she walked during the dark phase of the moon, and was described as shining or luminous.

A person I once knew always told me I shined, that I was his hero; that I was wise for my years. He always was able to see qualities that I couldn’t at the time. Wisdom comes in all forms, at all ages. If he saw Hecate in me, I truly feel blessed. An angel therapy practitioner has told me that if you pray and meditate on the qualities of a goddess, you will take on those qualities yourself in time. I believe that.

So I find myself here again, at a crossroads. This time it is good and desired. We all come to crossroads many times in our lives. Should I leave my job for this one? Should I stay in this relationship? Menopause and illness, for example all leave us with change that needs to be dealt with, understood. It is a time for looking back at where we came from.

I was just looking through some old journals today and am amazed at where I have been. Some of it brought tears again, but it still amazes me how much I have grown up. I have filled in old ruts that used to derail me time and time again. This is good even though filling them in required every ounce of courage and strength I had. Crossroads, change, it is all the same if you ask me. New beginnings, whether spiritual or mundane, aren't always easy. How many times have we heard that? If it was easy, it would bore us and we wouldn’t bother. It is those very excruciating times that force us to go one way or another whether we like it or not.

The Greek goddess Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, helping us to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth, and to accept change and transitions. She is the goddess at the threshholds of major transitions - the inner midwife who aids us when we birth new aspects of ourselves.  She sometimes asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure and to travel to the scary places of the soul. Aint’ that the truth!

So I think of Hecate as I look forward at this crossroad to see what lies deeply forgotten or even hidden in my path. She reminds us that we are in that liminal stage, the stage of inbetween.  Patience is required.  I will invite her to shine her torch and guide me in my dreams, my meditations, and my life.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This Garment is Wearing Well

This Garment is Wearing Well
An automatic writing piece from a meditation

Put back together what has come undone. The seams have opened before, you sewed them again. Then with wear and tear they opened again in a different place. And you sewed it back together again. Each time the seams get stronger.

The garment is not wearing out, it is wearing well. Each stitch uses a stronger yarn. This garment is fitting you better and better over the years. It has also gotten large enough for others to join you as they find their way.

The life you are stitching together is a piecemeal coat of wonderfulness. You world is under construction – again. But you are not alone and the garment, the life garment you are constructing will fit all in need; all those who are behind you. Light the way so they will walk easier, through a well-worn path with trees that reach out to each person at each juncture, each crossroad.

It is your path; it is their path. Their path is created from yours and will all become universal as one journey of many souls.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Open During Construction

As I move forward and have dropped from my bags the past issues, problems, stories, events, leaving me feeling lighter every day, there is still one “thing” that eludes the shedding. I never imagined that shedding parts of your life would be so exhausting. Or is it that there was way too much stuff attached to me that it took all I had to remove it?

In making one decision, one simple decision, it felt as if layers of me fell off in sheets. Okay, this one done. Now this one. And wow, I forgot about this. Gone too. And not just decisions made. Attitudes totally shifted. The stressors that kept me up at night and made life difficult are now diminished if not gone. They are no longer part of who I am; they belong to who I once was. So bother me if you want, throw your weight at me, make faces, scream. It may ruffle one feather. But for the most part, I am now just caretaking what is on its way out. I will “sit” for it, but not for long.

Another “me” is emerging and it requires all that I have to keep up with it. Yet, there is that nagging item that won't give up. During the turmoil of the last few years, this item moved deeper and deeper into the past. There has been no input from it. Every now and then, it would revisit and its memories would run wildly through my head.

It had been on a hiatus and only now has returned. It does not want to be shed and put on a shelf somewhere in the deep storage of my brain. It is the one item that has not been completed. There has been no door closed and locked on it. And I don’t suppose there will be. At least not in a neat way.

It will hang around and nag me now and then during this new construction phase. Eventually, it will be pushed out of the current chaos and stored on a basement shelf behind a closed door. It will fade, age and decrease in size so that it eventually will fit neatly into an open crevice within my cellar walls. And I suppose that one day, it will crawl out and say, Hey, Babycakes. And I hope that when that does happen, Babycakes will not recognize it nor remember the reasons it was coveted for so long. And then, poof, that old creaky door will close for good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Thoughts on Foiled by The Thong

I was talking with a new friend last night after a poetry performance as we walked to her car. (Funny - I walked her to her car so she wouldn't be alone late at night in a gentrifying Chicago neighborhood and then walked back to the venue alone.  My husband said, "what makes you think YOU don't need a chaperone?"  And I said, "I am done with all assaults on me from now on and if anyone approaches, they will get "the look" that according to my children, can scare anyone away!")  Okay, sorry, a little digression here...

We were talking about the man who robbed me and being in court this past week.  I had been wondering why I was so intent on looking at this man in court.  Why would I ever want to see his face again?  I said in the last blog that I wanted him to look at me and see the strong woman that survived his attempt to scare and belittle me three years ago.  I wanted him to know that he lost and I was better for this experience.

But in talking through it with my friend, I realized that I also wanted to see where that hate, anger and need to dominate his victims came from.  I wanted to look at his face and see if I could find where that anger and possibly hurt came from.

My husband was with me and I asked him what he thought as he saw for the first time the man that did this to his wife.  He said he wasn't quite sure yet but what he did see was a man who was still cocky in front of the judge.  A "thug" is what he called him.   The realization came to him that what was neatly “finished”…the thief was gone, his wife was okay, no major damage done…was not; he realized how serious, how threatening this man could have been to his wife and family.

I think what my husband saw in this man was not cockiness, but fear.  This man's world is coming down on him fast and I believe he was scared.  Hell, I would be!  His disregard for protecting his identity during his crimes came back to haunt him.  He did not disguise his face or take care about leaving fingerprints, which is what ultimately led the police to him.  His list of crimes is long.  Did his confidence in getting away with so many of his crimes lead to this cockiness that my husband saw?  Is he just waiting it out to see what choices the state will offer him for his sentencing?  Oh, he is definitely going to jail and from what I have heard, for a long time. 

Digressing again.  I believe I was hoping to find what crime was done to him to turn him into this hardened criminal.  What awful thing happened to him early in his life to lead him down this path of drugs and crime?  Who hurt him so bad that he needed to harm women?

Oh, I am not feeling sorry for him.  He chose the life he is leading.  We all make choices, good or bad.  Even if the only choices in front of us seem bad or worse, we still individually make them.  We all have free will.  Even I had choices to make when he entered my life that day.  And I also had choices to make afterward.  I could have closed the store out of fear of another incident like this one.  I could have become angry and turned that anger inward or outward onto others.

So I guess I wanted both the other day; to try to understand how he became the evil, hurtful, angry man he is today and to let him see that his assault on me made me even stronger.  Every day in our lives provides us with lessons for learning and living by.  And having to relive that event has provided more insight into myself.  And as it patinas and ages and "cures", it will provide more insight for growth and understanding.  I am not angry about it.  Life continues to shape us daily whether we like it or not!

So, a plea to my guardian angels, goddesses, gods and whomever else is listening, PLEASE give me the likes on a daily basis from now on?  Thank you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Foiled by the Thong!

I went to court this morning for the arraignment of the man responsible for the robbery and assault at my store 2 1/2 years ago.

Detective Keats (not his real name) was the police officer who came that fateful day to get evidence from the crime scene. He said to me today, “See, Eden, I told you we’d get the guy. Two and a half years later but we got him.” I responded, “Yes, you said you would,” but deep down I thought it would never happen. And I was okay with that. I was “over” it and had moved on.

Oh, there were about four times since the event that detectives came to the store with photos of suspects for me to look at. And I did my duty of looking at the photos. Prior to them having a fingerprint match, I picked out the guy they thought was the man responsible, out of the photo lineup. But I didn’t have faith that they would find the guy this many years later.

As I sat in court today and looked over to where the detectives sit, I realized I knew most of them. And why? I didn’t meet them at a social or family event. I have met each one due to an incident at the store. And they know me well. I have come to respect and like them all. I don’t think they get the respect they deserve in town.

Dave (not his real name), a patrol/beat cop and part time special forces army reserve specialist, who goes off to duty to very dangerous areas of the world every couple of years and is gone for a year each time, said that most of the cops in town are not very well regarded by some merchants. People assume they are dumb and socially inept.

And I’m thinking, WHY in god’s name would you NOT want these guys on your side? They have come to my aid many times (too many for my liking). I have come to know and love the regular beat cops who patrol the streets and stop in to say hi and chat a bit when on duty. These are the guys you WANT on your side. Dave was on the scene of the last incident right away and told me I scared the hell out of him because he couldn’t see me right away in the window and he thought something bad happened to me. He is the one who tells me the truth about the criminal world and gives me good advice. I respect him and I know he is there to protect me. This burly army dude is a friend now for life. So I know he’s got my back.

The judge on the bench today was identical to a dear friend, and I pictured what Mike would say and do in this situation. I chuckled to myself as I pictured the judge in a Groucho Marx costume, as Mike came dressed in this past Halloween, and doing his judge duties the whole morning in that character.

I didn’t know if “my perp” would be there today as I am not familiar (thank God) with the criminal justice system (although I AM becoming more familiar and that disturbs me). He was being arraigned. As it turns out, his bus was late in getting there but finally arrived with the criminals. When they called his name I didn’t know if it was him. I was never told what his name was. When they called my name along with his, then I finally had a name to put with the face I had identified three times now.

I went up to the bench and the DA pulled me aside to take me to a small room to discuss what would happen. I wanted to look at this man, Edmund Tate. I don’t know why. I kept looking at him. The judge asked him a question and I heard his voice again and I cringed, knowing this was the man who harmed me. I had also asked to hear his voice when I identified him in the physical lineup. I had seen his picture three times and remembered the face but I wanted to make sure it was him. Human senses are amazing for recall. Of all of the senses, smell has the most powerful memory recall system.

"When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered• the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls• bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory" -Marcel Proust "The Remembrance of Things Past"

I thought at the physical line up, “If I could only smell him, I would have absolute certainty that he was the man who assaulted me”. Of course I couldn’t, but to this day, I recall the days after the assault, I kept smelling him on me. I was certain that everyone around me could as well, but my husband assured me that there was no smell. That is how profound the sense of smell has on memory.

I think I wanted him to look at me in court, to see the woman who is strong and didn’t fall apart during his assault on me; the one who said no to his demands. I told him he had gotten what he came here for and he needed to leave. I wanted to give him the look that my children and their friends have come to know; the look that Officer Dave said scared the last two guys who attempted to rob me. They told him they didn’t because, one, they saw me press the panic button to call police (I did that right in front of them), and two, they said I gave them a look. My kids said, yep, we know that look. It scares everyone!

So I wanted him to look at me and see that he lost. I remembered everything he did and said and what he touched. He was sloppy that day. He didn’t wear a mask, he didn’t wear gloves. When you get nervous, you start sweating and he left his DNA and fingerprints all over the store. Detective Keats, said he got some juicy fingerprints. The perp was sloppy and cocky enough to think that this is just another robbery that he would get away with. His record is a long one; of robberies, bodily assaults, sexual assaults, and drug deals.

And what does he get caught for? A robbery at a little lingerie boutique in a small town. He left his DNA on a ladies thong that he tore apart to tie me up with. How apropos. He’s going down because his sexual deviate behavior led him to man-handle a thong, to go one step further to intimidate me to show his sexual power over me. For what - a minor haul on his part (he only got a couple of hundred dollars in cash – but he did take my wedding band and my favorite ring from Greece which maybe got him another $100 in pawn money) – all this manliness and power asserted on the wrong person in a tiny boutique in nowhere important.

So I wanted this dickhead to know he messed with the wrong woman. Enough is enough I say. I have had way too many events like this in my lifetime and I am done. Look at my face and know that “look” that scares my children and their friends.

But he didn’t look at me. And they pulled me into the back room before he left the judge’s bench. I looked back like a kid that is being taken away from a really good TV show or baseball game, armed being pulled as I strained to keep my eyes on him.

So that ordeal can now close its door, another chapter over in this life. That door was open a long time. I told a dear friend that I would write a story about it as I had with another horrific event that closed its door many, many years ago. I need to find humor in the tales of my life. I said I couldn’t just yet with this story. She said it needs a little patina on it, a little distance and “curing”. The story I write about it later will indeed find the humor and poignancy that only distance can bring.

However, my son reminded me that this dickhead, prior to leaving, after he tied me up, picked up a little lube on his way out. He said, “the guy probably had his girlfriend in the car who told him, “and don’t forget the lube!” “

He grabbed the box as he ran out. It was an empty display box. The thong “got” him. And no lube.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Closing the Door with a Soft Hush

An "event" from three years ago re-presented itself in my psyche the other day.  After three years waiting for review at the state police level, they found the guy that robbed me in my store.  They had fingerprints, an ID from me; but it takes the state that long to process fingerprints.  If I was murdered, it might have come in faster! Cancel, cancel, cancel! (this is what you are supposed to say when you have a negative thought - so it doesn't settle in and manifest itself)

No, I am no longer angry or even anxious about the event.  It is over and I processed it and moved on.  But - it DID bring it all back to the forefront.  After three years, I didn't know if I would remember his face when presented a photo of him.  But I did pick him out and as soon as they find him and arrest him, there will be a physical line up where I will have to identify him again.  I am wondering if his actual presence in front of me will trigger old feelings or if I truly am over this.

On a side note, I asked where he was and they said it is kind of tricky to extradite him from Indiana where he is believed to be so they were going to go to a court hearing for him and question him about my robbery.  Mind you, the guy has a record a mile long, is a convicted sex offender as well as other niceties.  I said, what guy is going to remember one robbery out of one hundred?  They said you'd be surprised.  It's kind of like their trophies.  They remember each time they were successful at being a dickhead.

So I went through the whole event again over and over in my brain.  I got angry at myself again for letting him take my wedding band.  Actually for letting him get away with the whole deal here in the store.  Just me I guess, with wild thoughts like that. 

The real point, though, is that the event itself was a turning point in my life.  I saw my angel therapist practitioner who said it was a life wake up call.  And when I look back, it was.  Sometimes you need to get really shaken up to make changes in your life.

I didn't make any real changes.  What I did was realize where I stood in my own life, what my purpose was, who mattered to me and who didn't, who cared about me and who didn't.  It created a huge shift in my perspective at that time.  And that shift brought new people into my life and some old ones were left behind.

The shift was also in consciousness.  A wake up call to my soul. Where was I going?  What did I want to do when I grew up?  I did grow up.  Spiritually and mentally.  And I find myself there again.

No, I didn't get a wake up call like that of three years ago (fortunately!).  It came as a door closing to my past and ideas that were sifting in my brain settled on a decision.  Just like that!  Well, when the decision comes, it comes in an instant, just like that.  Poof.  You were in one state of mind, and now you are in a total other state of mind.  Well, it isn't poof.  You've been hemming and hawing over ideas, thoughts, things for a while and finally your brain makes a decision.  Or should I say your soul makes a decision.  The thoughts/ideas came into your brain randomly at this time or another and they float around for a long while and then, POOF, a decision is made.  It's about time!!!!

The floating around isn't easy and billowy and soft like a breeze through a window softly blowing curtains around.  It is the anxiety ridden monkey mind that I spoke of in a previous blog that is making you CRAZY!  That's not to say that my monkeys have left my head (The monkeys have left the building!  had to say that...).  They still occupy a portion of my mind.  I have just been able to cage and tame a few of them.

I have to say, again, that it amazes me each time it happens.  That is, when you make movement in some way towards change, doors open, people show up, things happen.  Ideas that were floating around made their way to the top of the list and now they are starting to be acted upon.  It is absolutely amazing to me.

A very dear friend told me yesterday that I should be just as excited and hopeful about the door being closed as I am about the next door opening.  That I should put as much joy, excitement  and hopefulness into closing that chapter of my life as I am in exploring the next. Closing one door is NOT failure.  I have gained so much, met some wonderful people.   When you make a decision, you want to move forward NOW.  At least that is how I am.  Let's do this thing RIGHT NOW.  What I need to do is bless and love and give thanks to what I have accomplished and am letting go of.

So I am so very thankful that this turning point in my life was not precedented by a traumatic event. (thank you thank you thank you!!!)  It is about our becoming the next version of ourselves and addressing the challenges it brings.  As my dear friend Peggy said, "What do you have to leave behind when moving on?  What works and what doesn't?  How do I attract what's next and when it presents itself, how will I act on it?

Okay, I am ready!  I also plan on putting my monkeys to work.  Instead of their own ideas, they are charged with acting on MY next version of my life.  After all, I am the boss of me (as my children used to say to me!).  So let's make our move!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Manifesting the Monkey Mind!

I re-read an older blog entry today.  It is good to go back and re-read your journals, notes, etc.  Each time they give another insight.  It was about manifesting.  And the first quote was
"All we are is a result of what we have thought." Buddha

And I thought about that a bit.  And I thought about all of the seeds, dreams, wishes I have made in the past few years to see where they all are today.  Manifesting.  What really is it?  Does it really happen?  I have had these thoughts lately, been questioning a whole bunch.  Where am I, am I where I want to be, am I close to what I wanted....  You have to re-assess at different points in your life.

I feel I am at another crossroads....again.... Sometimes it seems as if I will never be satisfied.  Or maybe, it is because I need to learn constantly.  I am always eager to learn something new.  And I put my all into learning that "thing".  Then, once learned, it's time to move onto the next learning experience.  That mode of learning has put me in new situations more often than I can remember.

I have changed careers 3 times in the last 25 years.  I guess in the big scheme of things, that isn't a lot. But each has been an extreme of the next one!  And each has given me such experiences, such knowledge.  Yes, I have been able to manifest each one of these changes.  They did not goes as originally planned, but hey, that's how it goes.  Those seeds/dreams/ideas have a life of their own once planted.

Problem is there are these seeds growing and none have presented themselves as forerunners in my life at the moment.  Nothing seems that urgent right now.  Here is a portion of what I wrote over a year ago.

Your life is a physical manifestation of the thoughts in your head. An affirmative thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative thought. Whatever you are thinking and feeling today is creating your future. Your thoughts and feelings create your life. When you think of it in this way, your future depends upon positive thoughts! We can change our path through a shift in our awareness.

Okay.  If my life is a physical manifestation of the thoughts in my head, then no wonder why I feel I am going crazy.  There is no more room in my brain and each of these thoughts are living their own lives and dreaming their own dreams right now as we speak.  A phrase they use nowadays is "monkey brain", a constant chatter.  Something advanced meditation folk have learned to tame.  My monkeys are running wild, totally out of control!  I really wish one of those thoughts I thought about would take the lead so the others would quiet themselves for a while!
There were 5 different concepts/questions regarding manifesting:
1. ASK! The universe responds to your thoughts and wishes.

2. BELIEVE! If you believe that it is yours already, and show unwavering faith, you will attract the way for that wish to get to you; the path will appear!

3. DOUBT- If you doubt, this will lead to disappointment as what you desire will not come to you. Replace doubt with unwavering faith!

4. RECEIVE - FEEL the way you will feel once what you desire arrives. Put yourself into the frequency of what you're wanting. What would you feel like if you had it right now. Feel that.

5. ACT - When intuitive feeling is present, ACT ON IT! Visualizing what you want will help to materialize it. Dwell only upon the end results. FEEL the end result. The universe will figure out how it will manifest. All YOU have to do is feel it as already here.

Okay then.  I am ASKING that my gods, goddesses, angels, protectors and everyone else out there BELIEVE that my monkey brain is getting the best of me and I DOUBT whether I will make it through another sleepless night so I am hoping to RECEIVE some of your positive energy so that I may ACT on just one of the many ideas screaming in my head!  Oh, and did I say pretty please!!!!

p.s.  I actually DID make some requests today of these beings and made some plans and then a few new paths opened up just today.  Pretty amazing how this works, eh?  Now, if I can only wrangle the monkeys tonight so I can get a good nights sleep.......