Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


Memorial Day, originally called "Decoration Day", is the day dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who died so that we may be free.  It began in 1866 as a day to commemorate those soldiers from the Union Army who died in the Civil War...and after World War I, it now honors all men and women who died in military service.  Sadly, too many have forgotten the true meaning this day, and for most, the day is filled with barbecues, boating, and other relaxing activities.  And some just welcome the three day weekend.  

Take a moment this year to place a wreathe or a flag on a loved one.  If you cannot get to a grave site, go online to Find a Grave and join.  It's totally free and you can place virtual flowers on the graves..and even if, on the off chance that you cannot find a family member listed there, take a moment to place some flowers or a flag on the listing of another solder. Visit a national monument. Take moment for a short prayer.   And be sure to take a moment to at 3 pm today to participate in the National Moment of Rememberence to express your gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice that we may be free. 

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There honour comes, a pilgrim gray
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell, a weeping hermit there.
--William Collins--

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Magic of the Sea

(To me, the sea is like a person--like a child that I've known for a long time.  It sounds crazy, I know, but when I swim in the sea, I talk to it, and I never feel alone when I am out there.)--Gertrude Ederle 

What a wonderful Sunday afternoon...sunny, warm...but not too warm.  Got up early today and headed out to Coney Island.  I wanted to beat the crowds. There is just something about the ocean; it satiates my senses and rejuvenates my soul.  I needed this time for me. 

I expect there to be thousands heading out to the new park this weekend.  I know that change is inevitable, but somehow, this one is hard for me to deal with. I know the rides were unsafe...and the place was virtually falling apart, but there was just something special about it...and now, all but the Cyclone will be gone.... Sometimes, when I am quiet, I swear I can hear the laughter of visitors from the past.


But, I don't come out here for the rides.  Once in awhile if I am feeling really daring, I might get on the 'Tilt-a-Whirl', but that's the gist of it for me.  I come to visit the ocean...to pay homage to She, our Great Mother...but, today was not the best of days to find serenity.  Memorial Day weekend is by far not the quietest time to spend there, but did manage to zone myself out for awhile as I watched and listened to wave after wave as they gently rushed up on the beach.  The smell of the salty water envelopes one's senses with memories of a distant past, a reminder of our primal connection to the ocean...and salt is such such a powerful energetic purifier.   And the water is just so healing.  Years back I ended up slipping three discs in my back.  The pain was horrendous.  Hubby talked me into going to the beach with him and going into the water, took the pain away.  From that day on, I started to heal. 


The crowds began to gather, but before tearing myself away, I took a walk along the water front and gathered  some sand and a jar of seawater.  Sand collected from the area between the tides...sand that is sometimes dry land and other times the ocean floor...two different worlds...is magical and especially useful for any ritual which involves ocean deities.  I like to keep a small jar near my door for protection.


Sea water is especially useful for rituals...especially those concerning new beginnings and can be especially powerful if used at the time of the new moon.  Didn't see anything but a few broken shells this morning, but I already  have a great collection of them...both at home and at work.  But, that certainly doesn't rule out adding to the collection if one should 'call' out to me.  Shells are sacred to the goddess because they grow in a spiral.  Sand dollars are natural pentacles which can be worn as an amulet or used as an altar piece.  


And, of course, it is always important to leave a pinch of ginger to thank the sea spirits for their gifts.


(The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.)--Jacques Yves Cousteau

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So You Say Nothing


Oh my, what a busy Saturday morning.  Food shopping, cooking, did some laundry and hung it out.  Gosh, I'm drained, but the good thing about it is, I have two days to recuperate rather than one.  We're kind of cloudy and cool today...a bit breezy with the threat of a storm...and then tomorrow it will be right back up in the 80's.  It's been so up and down this spring.  

(People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.")--Joseph Fort Newton

Although I always have a book in my hand on the ride to and from work, I like to people watch...but not in a way that's noticeable.  It's usually a short glance or a longer gaze out of the corner of my eye.  One finds that when you ride the subway...in the same car...at the same time each day...you begin to notice that the same people are always there.  Sometimes, you smile and nod at each other; perhaps you even say 'good morning."  And sometimes, when you really, really get to trust each other, you might even carry on a conversation...but only small talk.  You never expect to be let into someone's life.

So, we sit back and we begin to wonder, to imagine what their lives are really like.  Take the woman with the fiery red hair.  She always looks so sad.  I wonder what makes her life so unhappy.  Does she need a friend, you wonder?  You smile, and she nervously lowers her eyes.  She's not ready. So, you say nothing.


Then there the chubby little man in the business suit...always reads the New York Times. He is so rude. Morning after morning, you watch as he pushes and squeezes his way into a seat which is way too small for him...the others are noticeably squished.  He never says excuse me; he never says thank you.  He acts as if he  entitled.  Is he like that at home, too?  Does he rule his home with an iron thumb?  Is it either his way, or no way at all?  Then, one day he squeezes in next to you, and you can't even move your arm to turn the page of your book...but you say nothing. 

Perhaps he should get together with the lady who is always dressed so primly dressed...her dark hair pulled straight back and always in a bun.  She always frowns. I wonder, 'why is she always so angry?' And you will keep wondering, because you will never ask. 


And, of course, I cannot forget the young couple who spend their ride touching, hugging, and kissing like they can never get enough of each other.  Dare I tell them how inappropriate they are?  I think not.  There is already far too much anger on this train. 

A group of noisy teenagers get on at the next stop.  You try to read, but you cannot concentrate.  Do you say something?  Then, you remember that you were once a teenager...and you used to laugh and have a good time on the way to school.  They're doing nothing but acting normal, so you say nothing. 

(Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner sense of peace and tranquility--instead of anger and resentment)--Unknown

And, one day when you are least expecting it, someone will sit next to you and in a short time, you will know what they do, where they work, about their family...etc...but, this person is usually a stranger...someone who feels comfortable confiding in you because they know they will never see you again.  It's easier that way than opening up to someone who you know you will see the next morning.


And as for my regulars? Those people I see every day?  We may not ever speak, but just knowing they are there adds a sense of unity.  I may never know their names or what they do in life, but they have become a part of MY life nonetheless...my subway family so to speak. 

And why this post?  I don't know.  Sometimes I sit down with something in mind...and something altogether different comes out. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Ramble


Top 'o the mornin' to you.  It's a wonderful day indeed.  It's the Friday of a long weekend, and, (sigh), I really need it this week.  Tomorrow will be a food shopping and cooking day, but after that, it's a time for rest and relaxation.  I've no plans for the holiday, but I'm thinking of heading out to Coney Island on Sunday...before the grand opening on Monday.  I go there to commune with our great Mother Ocean, not to be lost in a crowd of millions...Well, maybe not millions, but a crowd nonetheless. 

You know, this has been such a strange spring. I know temperature wise, it's been a rather strange spring in many parts of the world. Like here, on Wednesday we were close to 100; the sun was beating down and the humidity was sky high.  It was almost hard to breathe.  And then, on Wednesday, I step outside to go to work and it was downright cool; the temperature had dropped about 40 degrees, and the skies were gray.  It was like that most of the day, and then, when it was time to go home, the skies opened up and the rains came down.  I love the rain, but last night I really did want to spend some time with the moon.   Hope the rest of you were able to enjoy it.


This crazy weather makes me wonder if the Earth is not trying to tell us something, to warn us before it is too late.  What's sad to me is that us so-called 'little' people who care pretty much have our hands tied by government and big business.  We may be able to control our recyclables, but we can't control the big oil companies and their oil spills.  I was reading the other day in a book on following the ancient path how many feel that learning how to farm was the original 'fall from Eden' and in the story of Cain and Abel, the farmer (Cain) murders his brother (nature) for once man learned how to tame and domesticate the plants and animals, people also sought out to tame and domesticate the landscape according to their demands.  Interesting concept to think about, and now, I leave you with these words from Albert Einstein:


"A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
         --Albert Einstein, 1950--

May you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Full Moon in Sagittarius

Happy Full Moon Day to all.  Well, yesterday's dreaded training is over and wasn't as bad as projected.  Oh, it was boring, all right, but I had some fun meeting up with people I haven't seen since the last training.  I think the worst of it was the walk to and fro.  Yesterday was so brutally hot...temp was approaching 100 degrees and I do believe it did hit that where we were.  It was a long walk...no buses...and in an area where there was only buildings on one side, the other side was a street headed to the Williamsburg Bridge...so there was absolutely no shade.  Oh my, did I ever feel light-headed.  

"There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mistery."--Joseph Conrad

The full moon signifies the completion of what may have been started at the previous new moon which urged us to take a look at the things we value in life.  Tonight's full moon with be in Sagittarius; it encourages us to expand--our minds, our faith, our perception of the things around us. And, while any full moon will bring intensify our emotions, and during this period, people may seem one extreme to another either sociable and friendly or rebellious and agitated.

When the moon is full, it will actually be in direct opposition to the Sun which will be in Gemini. This full moon will be energetic and positive and actually, with all for mutable signs activated by this moon, very powerful.  Its energy will help us to tend to our dreams and provide us with the knowledge to be more daring. This is a fiery moon, one which impels us to speak honestly and get straight to the heart of the matter.  

But, more importantly, this full moon will usher in a succession of energy shifts....for only a few hours after the full moon, Uranus, the Lord of sudden change, will enter Aries for a few months during the summer. Then, it will return there in March of 2011 and remain until 2019.  Uranus is the planet of change; its energy is rebellious, disruptive.  Aries the sign of new beginnings, the trailblazer of the zodiac; its energy is bold, dynamic.  Uranus represents the collective mind...as well as unique ideas and movements. Aries represents the self, the ego. 

So, who knows what it will bring to us this time?  I do know that Uranus has a way of coming unexpectedly, and his entry into the fire sign of Aries will mostly likely shake us up in some way...perhaps it will even shake us all awake. That is a question no one can really answer. It looks like a very exciting time is ahead for who knows how it will impact.  Thus, it is very natural to feel in limbo at this time.  One part of us is resonating with the full moon and the push to accomplish; the other is beginning to feel the transition point between the old and the new, a feeling of disorientation, of not knowing that something is about to happen, but knowing what.  A little scary?  Maybe.  But definitely very exciting. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Seth Material


"You were given the gifts of the gods; you create your reality according to your beliefs.  Yours is the creative energy that makes your world.  There are no limitations to the self except those you believe in."--Seth (as channelled by Jane Roberts) in "The Nature of Personal Reality

Has anyone out there read any of the Seth books?  I ask because, although it is hard for me to imagine anyone not reading his books, he was actually most famous in the 60's and 70's...and probably many of you were babes at that time. Some of you may be asking, "Who is Seth?"  Well, Seth was an internationally acclaimed spiritual leader who was no longer focused in physical reality.  He spoke through a writer named Jane Roberts while she was in trance, and even if you didn't believe in channeling, the materials he presented were mind-boggling and offered one a new way of looking at life.  


The subject range in his books was broad, and he discussed such topics as other dimensions, space travel, Biblical history, dreams, and life after death...other dimensions and parallel selves.  I've read  several of his books many times...and actually still have a copy of one of my favorites, "The Nature of Personal Reality."  Other books I have read and recommend are "Seth Speaks" (I think this is his first) and  "The Nature of the Psyche and Unknown reality", both volumes.  Sounds deep, but is very easy reading material. 


"You cannot escape your own attitudes, for they will form the nature of what you see.  Quite literally you see what you want to see; and you see your own thoughts and emotional attitudes materialized in physical form.  If changes are to occur, they must be mental and psychic changes.  These will be reflected in your environment .  Negative, distrustful, fearful, or degrading attitudes toward anyone else work against the self."--From, "The Nature of Personal Reality."


Why Seth?  Why today?  Well, for one thing, while looking for something last night, I came across my old Seth book, and secondly, well, I have another training today.  It looks to be an especially rough day for me, and I am trying to focus on Seth's words. "You create your own reality."  Well, if this is true, and I do believe it is, then my negative thinking is actually working against me and causing me to have a miserable day.  Perhaps if I try to look at this in a more positive light, the day will go much easier on me; in fact, I know it will...but, I will be honest.  It's a long walk where I have to go...and as I watch the temperature rise, it's getting harder and harder to think positive thoughts...but, it's something that has to be done, so I might as well make the best of it.   

I suggest, if any of you should be interested in looking into the Seth Materials (as they are called) you pick up a copy of "Seth Speaks" and begin with that book.  Many of his ideas are explained rather simply in his earlier books and only later does he give fuller and more detailed explanations...so, its best you understand his theories before jumping into any of the later materials.  

There are many who have said that it was the Seth Material that set off the 'New Age'.  I don't know if this is true or not, but I do know that Seth touched the lives of many with the knowledge he brought to us...and all of us who he has touched, have reached out to others...as I am doing today.


 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Time to Judge


Good morning.  It's a sunny day here in the city.  Tomorrow it's supposed to go up in the 90's. Yikes!!!  Not my cup of tea.  I'm sure you all know the phrase, "Be careful what you ask for".  Well, when I am gonna learn.  I got myself out of the training yesterday...with much whining and complaining.  Boy, I was so proud of myself. Not many could have pulled that one off. But, then as the afternoon wore on, and I was busily touching base with clients who had shown up to see my co-workers who did make the training, it hit me.  I looked at the clock...3 pm...and I realized that in a little over an hour their training would be over with.  They would be done...finished...and I, well, I still have mine to complete. 

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."--Mother Theresa

Special words from a very special person...and such a good lesson to be learned.  I have my faults...and have made some pretty bad mistakes in my life, but I've never judged people.  Some think it odd that from my first day in the city I could be so accepting, but I never looked down on anyone.  My parents did something right.  

I was born and raised in a small town in Northern New Jersey.  In both grammar and high school, there was only one Jewish kid.  I remember how I used to feel sorry for him when Christmas and Easter came about, and he didn't participate.  I didn't understand why he didn't; I knew he was Jewish...I just didn't know what it meant. There were no blacks in my area...and whatever Spanish there were lived on one little block where none of us went.  I knew nothing of culture, of race.  My world had been pretty much cloistered from the outside world.

So, I was one of your true country bumpkins when I moved to the city.  Everything was so new to me.  Imagine not even knowing what a bagel was. Well, that was me. Oddly, though, from Day 1 I seemed to fit in.  It was if the city was where I was meant to be...and living in the East Village in the late 60's early 70's offered me a quick education into race, culture, and religion...and I loved it all.  Hippiedom was on its way out, but I can say I sat in the grass in the park with the hippies and listened to the folk singers and up and coming comedians who I would later see on "Saturday Night Live".  


It was such a special time in my life...those first few years here. So many wonderful people passed through my life...people I will never forget.  I may not remember names but I remember tales and I cherish them.  And I learned to love and not to judge...and that is the greatest lesson I could have learned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Morning Blues

Good morning, everyone on this dreary Monday morning.  I'm always the first one here at work.  I love this alone time before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.  I come in, read my mail while having my breakfast, check out blogland.  It's just so peaceful...and sometimes a little frightening.  Sometimes the thought will cross my mind that I am alone here, and anyone can come up...but, I brush that aside quickly.

Ah, a rough day in store for me.  These awful trainings...year after year after year...same stuff.  Pay me the extra money, and I'd be happy to do the classes.  After four years, I think I know it well enough.  Why, I can even quote the jokes...so why not me?  I think what bothers me most is having to travel to the trainings when we  have loads of space here.  Like Friday's training, our who staff had to travel to another site...that's 7 of us who had to travel when there is only 2 people at the other site who would have had to travel.  Where is the logic there?

"Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again, and meeting again, after moments or after lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."
--Richard Bach--

What a beautiful thought, isn't it?...Knowing that you will meet again be it in this lifetime or another. I've always hated good-byes, but it's comforting to know that good-bye is not forever, isn't it?    Have you ever met someone and looked into their eyes and just known that you have met and loved before?  This is how it was for hubby and I. From the moment we met, I knew we had been in each other's lives for forever. 

I was still recuperating and working on issues stemming from a 12 year relationship with an abusive man.  On a beautiful August day, I was sitting on a bench in Washington Square Park, reading my book, and minding my own business.  I had sworn off men.  From now on, I was going to take care of me.  I was going to be an independent woman.  I was so tired of being hurt. It was then that a man approached and said, "Would you mind if I sat next to you?"  I looked up and into the eyes of my soul mate...and we have been together ever since...my soul mate, my love.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Ramble


Hoping you all are having a wonderful Sunday.  Somehow I am feeling a bit discombobulated today.  I just can't seem to get it going.  I think...no, I am sure....that I am spending far too much time thinking about the rough week coming up at work rather than enjoying my time off.  We've two more trainings coming up...on Monday and on Wednesday...and these trainings are quite a distance from my job with no bus or train service.  I've trouble walking any sort of distance with my fibro...and still suffer from a bit of shortness of breath...so I am feeling rather anxious...especially the Wednesday one where I have to work from 9 to 1, then training from 1:30 to 4:30, then back to work until 7pm. That definitely is going to be a rough one, but I shouldn't be allowing this to rent space in my head today...and I am determined now that I see it in writing, the make my Sunday afternoon much more enjoyable than the morning.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbour.  Catch the trade winds in your sails."
      --Mark Twain--

Actually, I don't know how much I agree with this.  I understand what he is saying, but I think I've lived my life to the fullest. I've had so many experiences, ...many loves, many jobs, and, yes, I have made many mistakes, but I have learned not to dwell on them.  The mistakes I have made were made by my own choice, and I am blessed to have had the free will to make those decisions.  As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, some people are unable to live their lives without reading the stars...and every little thing they do in their lives is done when the stars say it is right.  That's not freedom, in my book.  And astrology was never meant to be a ball and chain. 

Sometimes I look back and find myself disappointed in some of the things...I think we all do... I never did or never accomplished, but then I look to what I have done and what I have accomplished , and all the disappointments fade away.  I am disappointed in my fear of flying because that means I will never see the home of my ancestors, but I can read a book and close my eyes and will myself there.  

Yes, I can honestly say that my blessings outweigh my disappointments...my friends outweigh my enemies...and, as far as I am concerned, I am far from finished.  Everyone have a wonderful day. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Quiet Saturday


Good afternoon, on this lazy Saturday.  Went out this morning and plowed around the 99 cent store...one of my favorite places.  Amazing what you can find.  I'm feeling better than last night.  Still haven't heard from my son, but, when he is ready, he'll call.  I lit my candle and said a prayer last night, but there is not much more I can do.  I really hadn't known about the pregnancy.  Oh, I'd been told by my eldest son, but when nothing else was said, I just assumed he may have heard wrong.  I regret not asking my son outright, but each time I thought about it, I thought about my elder son and how he had confided it in me and asked me not to mention it.  So, I was between a rock and hard plate...or whatever that old saying is.  So, I really wasn't actually planning on this child, but it still hurts.  I think, at this point, my pain is for my son and how I know he is suffering.  But, what do you say?  I'm sorry?  Somehow, that doesn't seem enough.  And, 'it wasn't meant to be,' seems far too cold.  But, I know when he does confide in me, I'll know exactly how to handle it.

We're the bridge across forever, arching above the sea, adventuring for our pleasure, living mysteries for the fun of it, choosing disasters, triumphs, challenges, impossible odds, resting ourselves over and over again, learning love and love and LOVE!
--Richard Bach (from "The Bridge Across Forever"

Has anyone read "The Bridge Across Forever".  It's such a wonderful book, a modern day fairy tale, the story of soul mates finding each other.  It is a part of Bach's life story, a biographical love story.  I'm sure most of you have read Bach's 'Jonathon Livingston Seagull."  There's just something about this writer that not only holds your attention, but makes you keep going back and rereading over and over again. So, if you can find it, pick it up.  Guaranteed, once you pick it up, you won't put it down.  But remember, this book is not for everyone...only for those who still believe in fantasies and are lucky enough to experience them taking shape in their lives.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prayers

--the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears--part of a Native American Saying


Many of you know how badly I have wanted to be a grandma.  Well, several months ago my older son told me that my youngest was going to be a father.  As a couple, they are so much in love; as a matter of fact, I've never seen my son love a girl like that before.  Well, I so happy, but then I heard nothing else about it so I told my son that he must have heard wrong, that he probably said they were trying to get pregnant or had a false alarm.  

So, life went on.  I didn't give it a second thought because I figured if she was pregnant, why wouldn't they tell me?  Well, today I came home and found out that there really was a baby, and she lost it.  They hadn't wanted to tell me because it was a difficult pregnancy. She was four months along.  My heart goes out to them, but I have to respect their wishes and allow them to mourn. When they are ready, they will reach out to me. I am so sad right now, and the tears have started to flow for a soul that was never meant to be...and for the living, that they say strong.

I'm asking for prayers and positive thoughts for my son and his girl that they be strong and that the goddess/god watch over them and that poor little innocent soul.  I don't know yet if it was a boy or a girl, but it wasn't meant to be.  The time just wasn't right. 



 

TGIF


TGIF!!!  What a week it has been!  Burned out isn't the word for it.  I could sleep for a week.  It really is time for a vacation.  I don't know why I have been putting it off.  In the heat of summer I am so much better off here with the central air than at my home where I am forced to ration everything.  Would you believe if I keep my AC on normally my bill goes up over $300?  So, we try to live with fans as much as we can.  As I have said many times, it is time to get out of this city. Everything is just way too high.  

I won't be around much today. Have groups this morning and then I have a boring training to go to this afternoon.  Anyone ever see "Ferris Buehler's Day Off?"  Well, it's a film about three teenagers who play hookey and the adventures they have.  Well, there is this one scene where the teacher has asked a question, and he has this very monotone voice, "Anyone?  Anyone?"  His voice never changes key.  Well, that's our trainer for today....and, the training we're having, I have already had three times.  This is one of our mandatory trainings which we have to have each year, but the very least he could do was change some of the jokes and some of his stories...(he just loves to talk about himself and his own experiences). I'll leave you now with the following Ute prayer...one of my all-time favorites. 




Earth, Teach Me

Earth teach me quiet...as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering...as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility...as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring...as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage...as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation...as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom...as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance...as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal...as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself...as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness...as dry fields weep with rain.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Thoughts


Good morning, everyone.  It's a beautiful day.  Finally a bit of sun, and I am feeling more alive today...even though I don't really want to be here at work.  Would love to be  home.  I'm still working on getting the spring and summer clothes ready.  It's hard doing all of this packing away and taking out when  you work full-time, but also, this has been a fairly wet spring...so nothing on the line has been drying.  Just went back and changed the title.  Seems I lost two days someplace.  It's not Tuesday anymore.  

"By choosing your thoughts, and by selecting which emotional currents you will release and which you will reinforce, you determine the quality of your Light.  You determine the effects that  you will have on others, and the nature of the experiences of your life."--Gary Zukov--From "Seat of the Soul"

Ah, some great advice from one of my all-time favorite books. It's true, we do determine what effects we have on others.  I know for myself, I am an emotional sponge.  I soak up all the emotions around me and then wonder why I'm feeling the way I do.  Take yesterday, for example.  I came to work in such a good mood.  It was cool, cloudy, but I had gotten a good night's rest and was feeling like a new person, but when you work around negativity...and especially when you have to share an office with it...it becomes such a struggle to maintain one's good spirits.  So, yesterday ended up being a day that my emotions ran the full gamut...from being in happy-go-lucky to frustrated to tearful to angry and back again to happy.  

Sometimes it is just so hard to keep those boundaries up, but when something like this happens, it makes you realize emotional currents really ARE reinforced.  Yesterday as soon as I entered the office, my office mate said she was in a bad mood. Truth be told, some people just naturally have a dark aura, and she is one of them.  Well, I was determined not to let it effect me, but easier said than done.  Compound her mood with the mood of all these clients I deal with and you can see why I felt like pulling my hair out yesterday; at the very least, breaking out in a good cry. 

Amazing how quickly we can recover though.  Once I had the opportunity to be alone in my office, I put my nature sounds on my computer and before I knew it. I was back to my old self. And truthfully, where I am going with this, I don't know.  I seem to have lost my train of thought awhile ago...and now, since I just seem to be rambling, I will cut this here before everyone starts saying, "Hey, what's up with her?  What's she talking about?"

Have a wonderful, wonderful day.   

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When One Door Closes


Good morning, everyone.  A dreary day outdoors...cool, sunless, but comfortable...at least it is to me.  I don't like the heat.  I could take year round temps in the 60's and be happy.  Well, this week is already halfway over.  Hard to believe, isn't it?  Time sure does fly when you are having fun.  You know, whenever I see a quote or a poem that I love or has meaning to me, I write it in a book I have filled with this kind of stuff. Hubby got me started doing that.  He jots down all kinds of things.  So, last night I was going through my book and came across the following...and it immediately brought up some memories.


"Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping stones to great experience.  Perhaps some day you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction.  When one door closes, another always opens; as a natural law, it has to balance."--Brian Adams from "How to Succeed".

Those of you who have followed me for awhile have heard me mention several times that when I first moved to the city, I was so poor that I had nothing to eat. When I had come across a few dollars, I bought a loaf of bread and a jar of plan Ragu sauce and lived on Ragu sandwiches for a few days.  When that was gone, I laid across the bed and slept to avoid the hunger.  Oh, I could have gone back home...or called for money, but that would have been admitting failure...and that's something that always had been expected of me so I was determined to toughen it out and succeed.  What follows is a tale right out of "The Celestine Prophesy"...a tale of synchronicity and a series of coincidences--and perhaps a miracle-- which led to my survival in the big city.


I'd run out of Ragu sauce a few days before had eaten the last of the bread before going to sleep.  Morning came and there was nothing to eat.  I drank some water and laid back across the bed.  Depression was setting in.  I'd come from a fairly well-to-do family...not rich, but there was always tons of food in the house and I wasn't used to this.  I forced myself to get up and get dressed and went out for a walk.  I stepped out into the bright sunshine and as I started down the block, I looked down, and, lo and behold, at my feet was a ten dollar bill.  I knew I had to make that money last, but I was starving, so the question was, "What is cheap and filling?"  Across the street was a MacDonalds, and I decided that one of their milkshakes was calorie laden and filling, so I bought myself a chocolate shake.  
As I stepped out of the store, I bumped into a man who was handing out fliers.  A light bulb went off.  "I can do this".  So, I asked him if his boss needed any help and if so, where do I apply.  His response..."Right here.  I'm the boss".  We talked for a few, and before the day was over, I had taken over handing out the fliers.  This went on for several weeks, then one day I handed out a flier to a man who said, "How would you like to come to work for me.  I need someone to hand out my fliers."  I thanked him, but one thing about me, I have always been a loyal employee.  So, when I refused, he asked to speak to my boss, that maybe we could work this out.  Turns out the two of them had known each other for many years.  

I never did hand out his fliers.  Since my boss was good with graphics, he had decided to start his own business.  He'd make the fliers,and I would run the temp agency of employees and drum up business.  No more standing outside for me.  All was going well for almost a year until the payday came that my boss asked me "How much can you get by with this week.  I don't have enough."  Well, I gave him an amount.  Big mistake!  I discovered that because I had agreed once, he was expecting it every week...meanwhile, everyone else was getting their full salary. Finally, I'd had enough; I told him to give me what he owed me, or I quit.  He didn't pay me and I followed through on my threat.

Not expecting anything, I then went to see if the other man still needed me to hand out his fliers.  To my surprise, he said, "I've got something better for you if you want it.  My office manager will be leaving next week, and I need someone to take over."  Wow, I was bowled over.  I accepted and ended  up working there for the next nine years.  It was an exciting position and I met many famous people.  We were an expediting agency.  What we did was get passports, visas, get car registrations, pay tickets, etc. for rich people who didn't want to go through the hassle themselves.  I personally registered all of Ralph Lauren's antique cars.  I got the visas for the James Taylor band's European tour.  I met movie stars, singers, even did work for Donald Trump.  


But eventually, the time came that that wasn't satisfying enough anymore.  I was tired of helping "rich" people who just didn't care.  For example, the time I had delivered the visas to James Taylor's agent, I got a tickle in my throat and was practically choking to death...and they had all kinds of bottles of water around, but didn't even offer any.  That kind of stuff.  Besides, I was getting married...to a man I had met when I delivered fliers for a bar restaurant. 


In the 15 years I was with my ex, I worked tending bar, in catering, as a telephone answering service operator, as a case manager in home care, and went to school.  It wasn't until we had separated that I went into the helping profession. 


So, there you have it my friends, the story of my survival.  Don't know why I felt the need to post about it today, just felt like it was something I needed to do...and as I was writing, I began to get the idea of writing a book on survival.Coincidence?  Or not?


Hoping you all have a great day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday This and That


Good morning, everyone.  It's a rainy day here in the city, one of those days that  you just want to roll over and go back to sleep. I'm feeling kind of out of it today...a little tired, but also a little scattered.  I think the weather has much to do with. This up and down business with temperatures weighs on one after awhile. 

I want to take the time to tell you that I really appreciated your responses yesterday, and you were all right.  It is time to back off from the smoking group. I've been a counselor for years; I should know by now that you can't help those who don't want to help themselves.  It's bothered me for awhile, but I am feeling so much better now. I think the following says it all, and most of us can apply it to some part of our lives.


"There comes a time when the pain of continuing exceeds the pain of stopping.  At that moment, a threshold is crossed.  What seemed unthinkable becomes thinkable.  Slowly, the realization emerges that the choice is to continue what you have been doing is the choice to live in discomfort, and the choice to stop what you have been doing is the choice to breathe deeply and freely again.  Once that realization has emerged, you can either honor it or ignore it, but you cannot forget it.  What has become known can not become unknown again."
                              --Gary Zukov--

I've been continuing with my reading of Shamanic Egyptian astrology, and I am totally hooked.  It's something totally new to me, and I can't seem to get enough of it...but, unfortunately, there is not much out there about it.  I do believe I have the only book written about it, but I foresee many more coming in the future.  The gist of this astrology is the substitution of the Egyptian pantheon--Hathor, Isis on April 20th--for the Greek and Roman deities--Taurus, Venus on April 20th-- currently in use and integrates this with Shamanic practices. In Egyptian astrology, we are brought back to the time before the imbalance between the masculine and feminine occurred...to a time prior to patriarchy when both were equally celebrated...a time before our wounding.  It's really, really interesting, but I am still learning, and will not pass anything on until I know I am passing on the correct information.

Here's hoping to a wonderful afternoon and evening.  May you all have a blessed day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Letting Go


Good morning.  Can't believe it's Monday already, but I am sitting here at the job so it must be.  Gosh, I used to love blowing on these little weeds when I was a kid.  Used to hunt them down all over the yard. There were lots of little things that we kids found amusing.  Remember putting the buttercup to your chin, and if your chin looked yellow, it meant something...but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was.

I've been wrestling with something this entire weekend...should I or should I not let go.  Most of you know I stopped smoking a little over 10 months ago...July 4th to be exact...and, no, I'm not thinking of letting go of my quit.  I'm thinking of letting go of the group that helped me quit...at least for the time being.  Maybe I should explain.


In March of 2009, hubby caught a cold and had trouble breathing.  I took him to the hospital and we discovered he had emphysema.  He was having such trouble breathing that the hospital kept him to get him stabilized.  He quit smoking that day.  I made the decision to quit, went home, joined a Yahoo support group, and quit...but only lasted a day and a half that time.  But, even though I was smoking again, I didn't leave the group.  I kept reading, but didn't post.  Didn't think it was appropriate to post if I wasn't ready to stop.


So, I smoked until July and on Independence Day, and finally called it quits.  I started posting again to the group and found so much support.  There were several people whose quit dates were close to mine, and we all supported each other.  And also, there were those with time under their belts, and they were especially supportive and helpful with suggestions and feedback. We all got along well.  We all responded to each others' posts...those of us who were new and those who had been around for awhile.  The group was so close knit, and I loved having a place to go.


I'm sorry to say that out of all the members whose quit dates were close to mine, I'm the only one who made it.  Not sorry that I made it, but sorry the others are still out there smoking.  I know I couldn't have done this without the support of everyone on the group...and I mean everyone.  I was thankful to everyone who responded and let them know how much I appreciated them.  They literally saved my life.
 

Okay, now this story is getting too long.  The gist of it is that now that I am an 'oldtimer', I've stuck around to give back what was given to me. But, lately, it's been getting kind of stressful.  Some bad feelings have been kicking in, and I wonder if it's not time to let go.  To put it bluntly, I am  beginning to feel I am talking to myself on the group.  The newcomers don't respond to my posts...I don't even know if they are reading them. It's like I don't exist.  I am totally ignored.  I know it might sound silly, but I'm feeling very frustrated and hurt over this.  Everyone likes some kind of attention...even if it is just a thank you.  They talk to each other, but ignore whatever I write.  For example, a newcomer with two days clean posted that she was having some real heavy cravings and needed help.  Well,  I immediately wrote her with some suggestions that had helped me through the rough times.  She never responded to me.  Then, I see where she has responded to someone else's post..."I'm so glad to hear from you.  I value your input."  Well, the person who's input she values had one week clean...for about the umpteenth time.  And it's over and over like this.  It's not just one person, it's all them.


I'm thinking of backing off. It's kicking up those old feelings of low self-esteem.   I've noticed that several others have backed off already.  Maybe it's time for me to do the same.  It hurts because I wanted so badly to help, but you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped by you.  All weekend I have been thinking of letting go, but went back last night hoping for a different result. A newbie had posted her introduction, and  I was the first to jump on the bandwagon and welcome her.  Well, this morning I see she responded to a couple people, but ignored my welcome.  I think it's time to let it go. You can't help those who don't want your help.  Need some advice.


Let Go

To 'let go' does not mean to stop caring;
it means I can't do it for someone else.

To 'let go' is not to cut myself off;
it is the realization that 
I must not control another.

To 'let go' is not to fix'
but to be supportive.

To 'let go' is not to be in the middle
arranging all the outcomes
but to allow others to effect their destinies.

To 'let go' is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.

To 'let go' is not to regret the past;
but to grow and live for the future.

To 'let go' is to fear less
and love more.

--Author Unknown--  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Stinging Power of Words


Good afternoon.  It's a sunny day here in Brooklyn, and I'm feeling pretty good today.  Yesterday I was just too burned out to do much of anything.  I tried to read, but nothing interested me...even my new book.  I couldn't blog because I couldn't concentrate.  So, I headed off to bed and slept until 8:30 this morning...very late for me.  

"If we understood the power of our thoughts, we could guard them more closely.  If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.  In our thoughts and words we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths.  Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts.  We can always replace the negative with the positive."--Bettie Eadie 

When I was a little girl and did something wrong, my parents would tell me to go out and pick a switch.  I'd usually come back with the smallest one I could muster, only to be told it was too small and go back to get another one. And then, I'd be told to bend over for my whipping.  Oh,gosh, how the tears used to flow, but as quickly as it started, it was done.  Within a half hour, the stinging would be gone, and  I'd be laughing and playing like nothing happened. Sometimes, actually a lot of the time as I grew older, I'd be grounded and stuck in my room.  But, all those punishments, bad as they have seemed while I was going through them, none of the them could compare with the stinging power of words.  That's something that doesn't go away so easily.

Words hurt.  Words hurt bad.  And, continued over time, words begin to sink in and wear away our self-worth.  We begin to believe what is being said.  "You're no good".  "You're never going to amount to anything".  Or, try this one in to your new boyfriend, "She's never going to be anything but a fat, old drunk like her father."  And there is nothing you can do, no place you can hide, so you just sit there and listen as she berates you.  You feel the tears begin to well in your eyes, but you won't cry.  Oh, no, you won't let her see how much she has hurt you.  

 Hey, what's the old saying?  "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me?"  Whoever wrote that one, sure had it wrong.  On the contrary, words can hurt for an entire lifetime.  We become adults and search out what we are used to...because we believe that is what we deserve. We develop this warped impression about what love is about, and end up in another hurtful relationship.  Now, I was hearing...."You owe me for putting up with you.", "You're nothing, and you never will be."  "I'm ashamed to be with you."  Let me tell you, the pain went pretty darned deep.  


It's a long, hard path to undo that damage, and I'm beginning to believe that residual effects will always be there.  I'm still super sensitive to criticism and very easily hurt...extra sensitive...but, I've learned to believe in myself.  I know I am not a failure; I never was.  I know what 'projection' is and realize now that my mom really didn't mean to hurt me like she did; it was meant for my father. I realized that, no matter what, I have always loved her...and because of her, I was a better mother to my own sons.  I'm healing and perhaps will never be fully healed...but I am working on it...day by day.  










Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane


 "One of the most responsible things you can do as an adult is to become more of a child."--Dr. Wayne Dyer

Good Saturday afternoon.  It's a totally gorgeous day.  The sun is shining, it's breezy, and it's not too hot nor too cold.  Unfortunately, though, it is my cooking day so I've been holed up in the kitchen most of the morning.  What is it that changes as we get older?  Why does something that I used to love become such a chore?  I used to LOVE, absolutely love, cooking.  Hubby never knew what country his meal would be coming from.  I cooked everything, right down to homemade noodles for a Polish dish...and then one day...actually, it is when we moved to this house, cooking was no longer fun for me.  My kitchen is actually larger than the one I had at my other apartment, but it is not as quaint.  Perhaps that is what is.  

Fun....acting like a child.  How many of you have played with toys lately?...and I don't mean video games.  There's something soothing about playing with a toy...a real toy.  I always keep a coloring book and crayons on hand...and sometimes after a super stressful day, I come home and take them out and color a few pictures.

Another little thing I started that gives me pleasure is my 'memory book'.  It's a book about my early childhood, not written, but in pictures.  I bought myself a sketch pad and since I can't draw, I bought stickies of all sorts--people, toys, pets, etc--and began putting together a book of my past...the house I lived in and the friends I had when I was 5 years old...and oddly, the deeper I got into it, the more I remembered.  I drew a picture of the house, used stickies for hedges, a bike in the yard, trees, my dog, Susie...and even my friends.  Indoors, I eventually remember the whole layout of the home...even though it's been over 45 years.  I did my school, listed my friends, my favorite childhood foods.  I had so much fun doing it. 

And I cannot forget my cutouts.  One day I was in Barnes & Noble and wanted to get some cutouts.  I just felt like playing with them.  But, surprisingly, they didn't have any...at least the kind I was looking for.  Computers are wonderful, though.  I found plenty of sites which allowed me to print and even color the paper dolls.  Why, I even found a site with Betsy McCall?  Anyone remember her?  Grandma used to get NcCalls, and I used to drive her crazy.  Couldn't wait to see what Betsy was wearing that month.  And finally, the treasured magazine was handed over to me...and it wasn't only Betsy who was cut out.  By the time I was done, you'd barely recognize the book.  Gosh, (a wistful sigh here) I had boxes and boxes of paper dolls.  I loved them so.

And then there are the games such as "Candy Land" and "Shutes and Ladders"....oh, and can't forget "Go to the Head of the Class". And you know, these games are still available...so what's stopping you from having fun?

So my dear friends....what was your favorite plaything as a child?  Hey, can you still purchase it?  Or something similar?  If you can, you are so lucky.  Have some fun the old way...become a kid again.  See how fast the everyday stressors leave you.  Happy playing!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This and That

Good morning. The sun is finally shining; it's still kind of cool, but this is the kind of weather I could go for year round...not too hot...not to cold.  So what if I can't wear tank tops and shorty shorts.  Don't wear them anyway, so it doesn't bother me...and believe me, if you could see the way some of these women dress here in the summertime, you'd shake your head in amazement.

"Difficulties are opportunities to better things.  They are stepping stones to greater experience.  Perhaps some day you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction.  When one door closes, another always opens, as a natural law it has to be, to balance."--Brian Adams from "How to Succeed" 

I had a some bad news when I went home last night...and I not a little angry, I am VERY angry.  I had my taxes done down the street from where I work.  The place is legit, but it is weird the way they work.  There is a small office where the lady who did my taxes has her business, and next to it was a Jackson Hewitt.  Would you believe the day after the 15th, they had all cleared out?  My ladies' little office was now a hairdressers little studio and Jackson Hewitt is now the home of a psychic.  Seems these businesses all share the office spaces at different times of the year, something I've not seen before. 

So, my little lady is gone, but I am so glad I have her card and have put a call into her.  She had me so happy the day she did my taxes.  According to her, I was getting $321 from the federal and $911 from the state.  Now, I have never gotten back from the state...always paid, so this was such a surprise.  She even had me blaming my old tax preparer for having to pay each year.  You can imagine how I must have been feeling yesterday when I opened a letter from the state informing me that I OWED the state $99. This so-called profession tax preparer had not included my city tax with the state.  I don't know how it is elsewhere, but here in New York City we pay federal, state...AND city taxes. The city and state taxes are added together and sent to the state.  Aside from Yonkers, other towns in New York State don't have this...It's almost as if you are penalized for living in the city.  

I don't like to talk politics on my blog, but hey, what's up?  What's going on?  I heard on the news this morning that Homeland Security is cutting funding to the city by 27 percent?  Two weeks after the Times Square bomb scare?  They were saying we only get 11 percent of the funding, yet you might as well say we are the 100 percent target.  Go figure!!!!

And then, we have the New York State government which has now become such a big joke...only a joke that hurts the little guys. How can the governor ask state workers, who, by the way, make little more than me, how can he ask them to take one day a week unpaid furlough and then give HIS people a raise?  Well, the latest is that the court stepped in and the furlough is halted for the time being, and the governor has decided that now is not the time to give his people a raise...but why even think of it at this time?

On another note, the new Moon tonight will be in Taurus.  Taurus energy is stable, practical, patient, and nurturing.  It is a 'fixed' Earth energy;  hence, this new moon can be a stark reminder of the realities that we are living in a material world. 
Taurus embodies a great appreciation for love and beauty, so take some time to relish some of the simple pleasures of life...especially those that help you attune to Mother Earth. Also, make sure to acknowledge your blessings.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Religious Tolerance Applies to Me, Too. I Must Remember That.


Good morning.  It's a rainy day here in the city, and believe me, I when that alarm went off, I just wanted to pull the covers back over my head and go back to sleep.  A sick day really would have felt good, but I realize, I cannot take off EVERY time it rains.  If I did, I would run out of sick days in no time this spring...and then what?  So, here I am.  Besides, I always chide my clients when they tell me they didn't come to the program because of the weather.  I remind them that 'when they were using drugs, they didn't care WHAT kind of weather they went out in to find that drug".  So, how would it look if their counselor took off every time the weather was bad?  Sort of hypocritical!!!

This morning the train was delayed and a little more crowded than usual, but I did manage to find a seat.  At least that meant I could read on my way in; for some reason, I can't read standing up like I see the others doing.  For some reason, when I am standing, nothing I read really sinks in, and I usually end up reading the same pages again.  So as I took out one of my new books "Shamanic Egyptian Astrology", I took a glance about and was in awe of all the different beliefs surrounding me.  Across the way sat a woman with a clear bag and in it, you could see she was carrying a few "Awake" magazines.  Down at the end of the train stood the tall Buddhist monk dressed in traditional Buddhist robes.  He was obviously deep in meditation.  In the corner seat was one of the other regulars...who always manages to get the same seat.  He's a little Hispanic man who spends his ride reading his little prayer book.  And next to me sat a young woman reading a tattered little pocket Bible and on the other side, a Jewish woman with her wig with three little books in Hebrew on her lap.  Her lips move silently as she rocks back and forth in prayer. 


And, I in the middle of these two suddenly felt a little self-conscious with my pagan studies.  The truth be told, I thought I was pretty much past that.  At work,  I am pretty much out in the open, and most of my co-workers are aware that I am a Druid, they know of my pagan beliefs...in fact,  many have even shown interest in them, asking if I had info to share.  But this morning?  I don't know what it was...why I felt like I had to hide.   Usually I have no problem taking my books out and reading them...and with many of the same people who were on the train this morning.  Perhaps today I paid more attention to what was going on around me.  

Religious freedom had been on my mind since my post on "I Am Woman" yesterday so perhaps that is why I was taking more notice.  I don't know, but the one thing I do know is that religious freedom DOES include me, too...and my beliefs. I am free to worship as I choose...no matter what the people sitting next to me believe...and to honest? I don't even think these people were actually paying any attention to what I was reading...No one was going to stand up and point, screaming, "She's a witch."  It was all just me and allowing my old self-conscious ways to take over.  No one but me cared what I was reading.


I'd be interested in hearing if others have been in situations such as this, and how it made  you feel.