Sunday gratitude

CupidThere is a circle of people out there that six months ago I was not aware of. My stumbling into this place was serendipitous and was the next step in my healing. The circle is this place, right here: WordPress. The members are all the writers that take the time to share their thoughts, their stories, their pain and their joy. For me, this place is magical. I would like to spend hours just perusing through the multitude of blogs. I have certain ones that I faithfully follow. There is one who I boldly connected past the blog and found a warrior who championed my cause and gave me power to steadily move on my path. In my gratitude roll call this morning, I wanted to take the time to acknowledge all the wonderful writers and speak to how much their work has done for me. I want to express my gratitude for this place.

When I first posted, it was only meant for a place to write as I traveled on my journey of awareness and healing. I was sending my work to my guide, but was acutely aware that I needed to spare him the time and effort it took to read. I was not a writer of any means. Matter of fact, I have been accused often of having my own language. I had taken writing courses as part of my schooling and was never singled out as being accomplished in my efforts in any manner. I wrote some poetry, short stories and could spin a yarn. My journaling efforts that became a habit with my therapy really were integral to my healing. When I decided to switch over to actually blogging, it took it to a higher level. This is an enormous gift, this place to write. I am very grateful for finding this place and having the opportunity to share my thoughts and progress.

What I get out of this place is more than I imagined. This is a place of safety and camaraderie; where inner thoughts and fears are shared, not judged. I often receive helping support when my days turn a bit rough. It is like an extended safety net. I can come here; spend a moment or two putting my thoughts to paper, and offer up the complex and simple moments of fear. I feel better because for me, it often releases the anguish. What I did not expect when I started this was the circle of writers who systematically and faithfully respond. Matter of fact, I did not expect anyone to read this stuff at first and the anonymity helped me to produced pieces that exposed my vulnerability. It was exactly what I needed. Having the support of those who have walked the walk, and now share their wisdom by responding to me with sage advice has been the most productive medicine in the world.

I could spend hours plowing through blog after blog. The time is never wasted but I unfortunately I do not have the time to read the thousands of wonderful expressions. There is photography and poetry and wonderful quick affirmations. I will look at other posts that share with the small circle of blogs I have placed in my reader. The circle continues to grow. But there are a few I never miss, even if I do not get to them immediately. The time I spend reading through them never disappoints.

Because I am visual, I see us all in a pub, spinning tales and swapping solutions. I see a boisterous band of men and women who have traveled the earth either physically or through other authors or experiences. The talent in the circle is immense and varied in their methods of storytelling. But the friendships are strong. Each author reveals their plot and offers up their soul for the moment. In telling their tale, their personal armor comes down and the exposure is great. The group protects each other as band of fellow soldiers would. I have yet to see a nasty or stupid reply posted in rebuttal. To me, that shows the caliber of the participants. I think that is what allows for the healing to occur; the ability to be vulnerable and yet safe at the same time. What a magnificent place to be. With humble gratitude I raise my glass in your honor.

I recently asked someone if they saw the world changing. Did they see how people are becoming more….. and the word eluded me. I could not articulate exactly what the change was. I have been thinking about this ever since. What is different? There is much that is different in me. There is a lot of difference in my sphere of influence. But it much more global than I realized and I became more aware when I came to this place of creation. I still do not have the word to describe what I think the change is and I am cautious to try. Whatever it is, it is wondrous. We hear and read in the current media only of tragedy and horrific tales of strife, debauchery and suffering. The media paints a different world vision than what I see and feel. At first I thought I was incorrect in my assumptions, but finding so many thousands of people who take the time to write about their personal awakenings made me realize there is something happening.My personal circle of people who are physically in my life is evolving as well. I believe likes attract but I am also aware that people are placed on our path for a purpose.

This blog site with its opportunity to share and read is nirvana. I am also realizing there are other sites similar to this. Where did all these writers come from? When I first started my journey, I remember thinking I was alone and I can remember asking for a place to share my thoughts with fellow travelers. It was here all along. I thought; “who knew?” I smile gently when I think back to the fear and suffering I went through that was so overwhelming at the time and now is but a small memory. I no longer feel the pain of the nasty incidents of my life. I have chronicled them, compartmentalized them, and put the where they belong. Such is the power of writing. And such is the power of words to heal. I am eternally grateful.

I wish there was a way to bundle this all up and pass it on to people who I connect with who need some guidance as they begin their personal journeys. This is not the fix all for everyone and I am acutely aware of that. I also know there are a multitude of books out there as I have read MANY and will continue to add to my library. But for this Sunday morning post, I wanted to make sure I expressed my gratitude and thanks for “meeting” so many glorious healers as that is what you all are. Teachers and healers. I am sending a blessing and a prayer that your fingers never tire, your thoughts never become stagnant and that forever you will offer up your soul for the moment of your writing. Please know that you are doing more for the world than all the drugs combined could do to heal and help. Thank you.






Disscussion about God

I have a quiet moment to myself and I felt the need to put finger to the keyboard. Not as poetic as pen to the paper, but it works. I had an interesting day. It started poorly and went decidedly upward. Please when you get a chance, look at this post by MarDrag which give credence to the way people are feeling. The morning was to be spent with the agency we just acquired with their training/educators. Last meeting went well and I was the only one who attended. This time, I brought my Lead Preceptor along. The meeting went ok, but I sensed an animosity that was not there previously and I think it was partially the global situation and the fact that their CEO had resigned and they were throwing her a party that afternoon. They did not seem happy with the acquisition. But that is not what I want to write about.
MC and I tottered off to lunch after our meeting. We spent time chatting about our work situation and how the meeting went. It was general chit chat a boss and employee would have. I have no idea how we got to where we ended up. MC is going to seminary school to become an ordained minister. She was telling me about her conference that she went to and how the double standards of feminism and the churches desire for female leaders is not in synchronization. It opened a door for a conversation that ended up lasting three hours.
There is no denying MC is a very good Christian. She is a model employee, great mother, and all round wonderful person. I asked her how she would feel or her husband would feel if only one of them got ordained. They both are going to school and wish to spend their lives together as Co-Pastors of a church or mission. I asked her how she got to a place where she decided this is what she wanted. She spoke of her journey, which followed an early path similar to mine. We both were both raised in the same denomination by strict practitioners for mothers. Somewhere, we both had an early desire to follow a spiritual path but then we deviated in different ways. She has children, I do not and that makes a big difference. She returned to the flock recently when her husband and she started doing missionary work. And now they are in seminary school together. I did not travel such a noble path in any way.
My path in high school was headed for a commune in a time where love ins were popular and strong Christians were called Jesus freaks. I was one of those. I was praying to join a commune that lived and breathed Christian ethics and practices. I was denied acceptance. Shortly after that, my sister came home pregnant by the Pastor of our church oldest son. Oh, that was not a good thing in the early 70’s. The ensuing aftermath of that conception and the lies and mess it demonstrated turned me off to religion for a very long time. I began to experiment with different faiths and denominations and never settled anywhere. By my thirties, I was not really practicing any religion and it was pretty much not a part of my life until I was going through my divorce thirteen years ago. By then, I was definitely not Christian. I settled in to a more Wiccan approach and took classes and certification in Pagan and Wiccan studies. I joined a coven….which was short lived because I soon saw the same hypocrisy and politics that had turned me off to Jesus’s way. I always felt a hole and when I look back in my early writing I talk often about the empty hurt that was in my gut all the time. I had no idea what it was and the more I worked on my therapy, the more pronounced it became. It is the Solar Plexus Chakra and for those who follow chakra studies, it is the chakra that represents personal power and self-esteem. I have also read that it is healed when connected to spirit as are the other Chakras. I would agree. I also felt alone all the time. It was a desolate alone that a room full of people did not resolve.
But in all the work and studies and books I have read, I have never been comfortable with going back fully to a Christian state of mind. This is where our conversation at lunch led us.
MC spent a great deal of time explaining her belief in Jesus and that HE is God. I do not think this at all. My belief is Jesus was a great teacher, who like many, had a very strong connection with God and knew what to do with it. He had the gift of gab along with great PR and many followers who through time have made this man what he is today. I just cannot get past the fact that he is MAN….Human. God is spirit void of anybody or form. So we tousled these concepts around with her justifying her comments from quotes from the Bible. I guess I have to admit here that I do not think the Bible is the end all. It is words made holy by the interpretation of man. It is a history book. It is curriculum. It is open for interpretation and hence the rub. It is subjective. I cannot get past the concept of people using it as a weapon and excuse for piss poor behavior.
We talked for over three hours. We disagreed and then came back to a harmonious place of conceding to each other. I think I may have thrown some wrenches in her concrete thinking. I know she did me. But I am still not convinced nor do I feel her argument and dissertation swayed me to reconcile. But it does make me wonder if there is something I am wrong about or missing?
Our biggest discussion was her belief that Christ is coming back to save all Christians…..and ONLY Christians. He died to save Christians and will come again. This was the overview of my answer. I explained to her my concept that we are all nothing more than energy. When our cell based bodies break down, the energy dissipates and we break into millions of particles of energy that get recombined in the ether and a new being is formed. Hence no two beings are alike. However, since we are all made up of particles from somewhere else, would it not make sense we have cells that hold imprinting and memory? When Jesus died, did his body not break down like every human? So would it not make sense that there are particles of him floating around that have grown in strength and number with all those who have a common belief? I think this is what this current flood of awakening is all about. This is the return of God to humans. We know we are born with the Light of God in us. We have freewill to decide to keep it lit or not. We can learn to make it flow, to heal and to love. I cannot accept that God turns anyone away because they are not Christian. I do not believe God thinks we are bad and need to be saved. He loves everyone equally. He gives us brains and hearts and the ability to choose. The rest is up to us. Does my concept mean there are bad cells out there? Absolutely! And they too can “win” if we are not careful. I know I have a cellular imprint that makes me crave chocolate cake.
I think what is happening is there are more people moving away from the structured religions and turning to faith, and pure and simple guidance for a way of living filled with love and compassion. As we talked, I sensed in her some confusion. She started to talk about the feeling of connection; that amazing flow that opens when we connect with the Devine. She spoke as if I had no idea. I gently smiled and let her go on for a bit. Of course I knew of what she spoke.
The room had emptied and they were vacuuming. It was time to go. We had swapped and shared and created a connection that I think is very special. There will be a time and place for further conversations, as I learned a lot from her. I think she did also from me, even though she said I was a bit out there.
On the long ride home, I reviewed in my thoughts about what had transpired. I was not really changed and I know she was not either; both of our belief systems are strong. She has made me quizzical in proceeding with finding out more about her concepts. In my head, I realized how much has changed for me. When did the hole in my gut disappear? It was so prevalent a few short months ago. What happened that made me so secure in myself and my faith? When did that alone feeling that haunted me for so long go away. I now crave my alone time as it is when I am either writing, praying or meditating. I have had my chakras read and they are all open and circling just fine. I feel the flow of God’s light and wonder why? I know when it happened, but why did I not feel it for so long? I am in total amazement every time I sense God’s touch and feel the love flow through me. I am an honest seeker, and learner. Do we ever really know……. ALL?

MarDrag’s post

Flying low

flying hawk    The  wind is out of my sails this morning. It is ok. I was all set to write a long essay on my current rant, but the energy has deflated. I sense a lot of sadness, not so much with me, but in general. As if the world is sighing. Last night, as I try to do every night, I snuggled down into my garden chair and just listened to the voice in my head. I began to cry. I was not certain why, but sensed a need so I let the tears flow. I felt weary and have for the past few days. I truly will take weary over the way I used to feel which was terrified.

So this morning, having a longer moment to myself than I would, I thought I would continue on with my campaign for SAID. But I am not feeling it. What I am feeling is compassion and concern. It feels like so much is loose and out of whack. I cannot explain it better than that. Today would have been my mother’s 92nd birthday, but she left the physical world 35 years ago. Tonight I will honor her with a ritual that was recommended to help heal me as well. But I do not think that is what is bothering me as I have been planning this for a while.  Maybe it is a cosmic shift. I am not sure, as it is not something I am feeling just in me, but more about others.

Many of my friends are struggling. Their concerns include health issues, work issues, monetary and family concerns, and fear…just general fear. It is close to me as my husband is worried about his employment situation. I had a celebration last weekend that turned to a disaster. My inner voice says there were lessons being taught, but that does not eliminate my feeling of guilt over having a retched evening. I hate to see people I care about struggle and suffer. But I am wise enough to know to let them heal on their own as then and only then, will the healing truly be theirs. All I can do is offer words of encouragement, avenues of learning, and a hug to let them know they are not alone.

So for this morning, this is all I am offering. I have no qualms above saying I love you to people and so I do now. If it helps to those who know me personally and read this post, I am a phone call away and lunch is on me. For those who are not in my physical world, I too care deeply for you and send you abundant light and love. May peace be your companion.


Image (part two)

I purposefully did not respond to my post: Image part one. I wanted to let it settle in for a day or two. I was very aware of my reactions and wanted to journal them here. For those of you who missed the original post, it is only one post back on my WordPress page. The exercise was not a fishing expedition, but a lesson on self-acceptance aimed at me, and is a process I am working on. But before I move on, I want to thank those who sent me such wonderful responses. They were sweet and kind and I am grateful. This post is about the reaction I had when I read them.

When I wrote it on Tuesday, I was not sure how I would feel about putting a picture out there of myself. I have many blogs I follow, and not many use their own image anywhere on their sites. I am not sure why, but I am hoping it is only for security and not because they are ashamed of their image. I use my dog and mostly because I was taught to not to use a real face picture on social media. I do not have a picture of myself on my Facebook page as an identifier. But what is so silly, I have pictures in my photo albums of myself. I use a real picture of me on my LinkedIn page. That is for “professional” use and so it is deemed secure and recommended that you post a professional image. So what is the big deal elsewhere? I think partially it is the anonymity and mystery but for me it is the acceptance of my image being posted for all to see. I wrote at the bottom how difficult it was to hit publish after I attached my image in the blog post. I spent a lot of time looking at the variety of pictures worrying that somehow……and I just figured this part out…..I would offend someone by posting. Why in heavens would my image posted on a random page lost in the world of a multitude of blogs offend someone? Because the person who I was worried about offending is the voice in my head. The same voice that I work on every day to quiet.

I received a response very early in morning and it threw me. I held their wonderful words in my thoughts and I did not look at the rest responses all day. Sometimes I do at work, but I waited until I got home. I did not respond then either because I was so aware of my reaction. I wanted to wait to see how I would feel a day or two after being so absolutely vulnerable. This exercise was a wonderful bit of exposure and a walk down the path of shame resilience. To some of you that may seem a bit drastic, but for someone like me who has spent a lifetime deflecting comments directed at my physical appearance, this simple minute of putting myself out there was very difficult. Granted, the image was safe in the fact that my whole physical body is not exposed, but it did not matter actually because I know. This whole concept of this posting was not for the reader to approve of my image, but for me to approve and accept.

But, I am going to say something about the responses and how they made me feel. The first one said something about my personality. My immediate reaction was to reply with a joke and deflect the actual kindness of the comment. He said something about my face being full of personality and I wanted to respond with: “oh personality, that is code for she is ugly but fun to be with….take out on a date to a movie.” This is why I did not reply. It is what I always do when someone pays me a compliment; I deflect it with either denial or a joke. I do not take compliments well….actually, I totally suck at it. I have developed a rather sharp sense of humor and employ this mechanism in many avenues of discomfort. I truly was uncomfortable with the response, which was meant in friendship and was nothing more than a kind validation. The post gathered many such wonderful and sweet comments. I was ready to respond with each one with a sarcastic and depreciative comment in order to deflect the words. My friend at work, who is a devoted reader, made a comment when I came in and I immediately dismissed it with a confused brittle comment in order to protect my vulnerable state.

When I finished reading the comments that night, I purposefully walked away. The lesson was learned and I started to brew in my head this post. Actually I have a lot thoughts brewing and I am struggling with keeping to my theme this morning. How often do we toss away a kindness of a compliment only in our attempts to not be so exposed and vulnerable? And then I thought, what the heck am I being vulnerable about? I see the same image every time I look in the mirror. It is the same body that I had when I started this blog. Trust me; what everyone saw in that small square was not what I felt. I know what the “rest” of me looks like. I spend an enormous amount of time hating my image and I have done this since I was a child when I began to not meet physical expectations. The whole scenario is pathetic to me and has given me fortitude to continue on a mission to help myself and others who struggle with SAID….my own syndrome, I made this up….. Self-Acceptance Image Deficit. I am only half joking.

I know that SAID is not gender bias. Both my husbands (present and ex) suffer from it along with some close male friends. It is amusing to me because part of what I find attractive is their physical largeness. I like big men and I know I am not alone in this attraction. In history, we honor large men because it denotes physical strength and valor, which is often not the truth in reality. (Hence the ex-husband) King Henry was a plumb fellow who had a rather large girth. This gender values litany will be saved for another post.

So why was I feeling so vulnerable? We make a decision on a person and whether or not we accept them in the first six seconds of setting eyes on them. We then spend the rest of our association either validating or denying that initial assessment. I have seen reactions at meeting me and being as sensitive as I am, I often feel their reaction of disgust. Yes, disgust. Again, this is another topic. But in my head and just by posting a small image of me, I opened a whole new world of “asking for it.” What I got back was not what I expected. Again, thank you. But it was not initially enough nor was I able to simply say, “thank you.” I wanted to deflect, make a joke or out and out deny the words as having any validity.

I am going to practice mindful acceptance of a compliment as part of my growth process. I can readily do this if someone compliments me on an action or work I have performed. It is going to take a lot of strength to first hear when someone says something nice about my appearance and then even more work to accept it. I have to start with me and really focus on hearing and saying nice things about me…which sounds so ridiculous right now, but I know it is correct in practice. Then I have to work on setting boundaries when people feel justified making comments that are discriminatory and hurtful. Again, this is another topic to tackle later. And I am going to champion this cause to help eradicate SAID.

Again, thank you for all you support and letting me write about my journey and lessons. I gain so much from writing and your comments are tonic when I am weary and torn. I value their sage advice and take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in my quest. Onward or as a friend said, “Engage!”



Image (part one)

This is something I have fought my whole life: the acceptance of the body. I have come to a point where I accept that I will never look like anyone would want me to. In all my healing work, this is one area where I struggle the most and I continue to work on. And I think it is because this is the area that I am to help others with more than anything and so I think a lot about it. I have been developing this post for a while. As I reach the beginning of my sixth decade, one would think the value of appearance would become a moot point. But it does not vanish and I think it probably will not ever in my case. I think in general, most women never give up their concern about appearance. I cannot speak for men as my husband is clearly not representative of the population who is concerned about self-image. HA!

I have gotten to the point now that I hate to check out in the grocery store and will try to find one that does not have magazines. I stare dumfounded at the headlines screaming at the viewer about the possibilities of a summer bikini bod in three short weeks. Or the image of a poor celebrity soul, who may have at an inopportune moment to bend over as a shutter clicked. Who are we to judge? And why? Why do we care so much to have others conform into an image so that we can accept them? I can hear voices saying; well I certainly do not do that. We ALL do that. We ALL have this expectation of an acceptable image which for the greater American population includes a pleasant face and a trim body. If this were not true, why would American media spend so much time and effort to support this defined criteria. Not all populations of the world would agree to it. But this is where I live and work.

This is not meant to be a whine fest either. I have always been one who fights for the underdog. Let me clarify that I do not think someone who has a different exterior IS an underdog, only that I champion the cause for acceptance of the soul there in, no matter the vessel carrying the soul. I know I am not alone in this as there are many who would do something to ban media that encourages women to seek an unnatural exterior to the point of illness. I have several friends who have undergone surgery in an attempt to carve a trimmer figure. In two cases, the women now are chronically ill. One is so sick they have done three surgeries to try and repair damage caused by her gastric bypass. She was not fat in the first place, but her self-esteem was so thwarted, she felt she needed to do something drastic. What has happened now is she cannot eat and so she is emaciated to the point of serious poor health. She has missed a ton of work. She, in my opinion looks like someone who came out of a prison camp. I sat next to her in a meeting and she was complaining about her hair and how ugly it was. My heart broke for her because it was not her body that needed help, but her opinion about herself. She would never be happy with the way she looks because her mind’s eye has painted such an ugly view. Another friend also went under the knife and lost a ton of weight years ago. She now has put back all and more of the weight an on top of it, is severely anemic and depressed. This is a talented smart wonderful lady who is in a hopeless state of sadness over something so meaningless. She is still this beautiful person who teaches and helps so many. Her spiral downward makes me angry as she is now starting to isolate herself from her friends.

I have been told by the medical profession that I am hopeless. One doctor upon meeting me wanted to rush me down to schedule bypass surgery immediately. Whoa, Jack! Let me explain something. I have been heavy my whole life. I was born chunky and roly-poly. Somewhere around five that became not so cute but it was baby-fat. Then, as a pre-teen, a womanly shape started to emerge and yet, not trim. Then the explanation was that I was not fully done refining my shape. As a young woman, I was large or what they call “thick” but that was not what I heard and saw. And that is the point of this post. I heard nothing wonderful about my size and appearance as a girl growing up. My parents and their family were all slim and tiny. My Mom was a size zero as a young bride. She was also 4’9” to my 5’6”.  Matter of fact, I was the largest woman born into my family for generations, with the next runner up being my cousin. She was so shapely, she was an underwear model. She would not be able to do that by today’s standards unless it was for a large size vendor. She is and was gorgeous though. Being the largest woman in the family was fodder to a pack of hungry jackals whose creed was to feed or become the food. I was served up often.

I am working on self-acceptance in many arenas. I sit with my lady friends and listen to our conversations which if food is out on the table, someone will self-defecate. Love that word. It means to literally shit on oneself. We do that as women in attempt to beat everyone else to the punch. I can put out the most delicious food for consumption, but until we have had a round of beating up ourselves and explaining how we will go on a diet soon, we cannot indulge in the pleasure of eating. I have stopped doing that and if there is something that someone has made for consumption and delight, I will have some, with no explanation. I have already seen this acceptance with my group of very close friends who now have stopped the litany of excuses why they cannot enjoy something. They just do.

I know in my heart that I want to be part of changing the culture of acceptance for women, well, for that fact, everyone. The first place is to start with me. The work includes no more self-defecating. I struggle with that as I have made bashing myself an art. It is the continuation of the voices that were placed in my head. I literally do a healing technique that I visualize pulling strands of “crap” out of my ears and throwing them away. This was taught to me by my guide and friend, Silke, who discovered bands of black tar attached to my heart and stemming from my ears. (This is all in a vision she saw when she was working on me) It means that I have so many bad thoughts still in my soul about things I have heard that until I remove them, I will not be able to hear the joyous things I need to hear. She is right. I was packed completely and I would never heal until I gave myself room (permission) to hear positive and wonderful things. I am a work in progress. I encourage anyone who struggles with not being able to hear the good things people say about them or spend time beating themselves up to think about what is blocking their ears and remove it. Once you start to clear the channels, you have to start putting in good thoughts and hearing and seeing the true beauty will all have.

One of the nicest gifts I recently received was from my dearest friend for my birthday. She wrote little cards, each with a lovely statement of what she loves about me and how it has influenced her. It is so sweet and I cherish the moment I spend opening a new card to read each morning. This is one of those gifts of a lifetime and I will treasure the cards forever. Her cards are a simple validation given without explanation. It just is. How wonderful. I am thinking that if we did that for our self each day how much healing would occur. When you are feeling lovely, it shows. And that will do more to get rid of the ugliness we capitalize on now. In my imagination, I think of a future where no one will be judged on their appearance, but accepted by the gilded vibration they give off.

In an exercise to document my journey, I have occasionally played with the camera on my computer. I have captured a record of myself in the past ten months. What I saw yesterday was a transformation. Not of any great weight lost or done with any cosmetic repair. But I saw just a sense of relief that has changed my appearance enough that it was kind of startling to me. As I said, I have been thinking about this physical acceptance for a long time. So as part of my healing, I am going to post the image. I starred at this morning and began to edit it in Photoshop. Then I thought that really defeats the exercise. So with all the clutter and mess that the image has, here it is. This is me….and just me. And that is ok.












I have to add that it took me a while to hit publish………….



To my very amazement, two people have nominated my blog for awards. I am humbled by their recognition. I never thought I would be honored in any manner when I started to write this post. I have to figure out how to put the awards on my page and do what you are supposed to do for the awards, but…alas I am struggling with how to post them correctly. How sad is that? I have a frigging Masters in Instructional Technology and this is throwing me? But I do want the people who nominated me to know how humbled I was by their gift.

I remember the day, second, and minute I hit post for the first time on this blog. I had been writing an on-going journal of sorts for about four months. I initially sat down to write to my guide and therapist and he encouraged me to write about my life. He was subjected to my very long and involved explanations of what I was sifting through on a daily basis as I was progressing through the therapy. I shared with him the pain and misery I had gone through in the years of my childhood. I had something that I had shut away for a very long time. When I was a younger woman, I had flashbacks of a horrid event and did not have all the pieces. Through my work with John, I was able to fill in the blanks so to speak and finally put it to rest. It was not a pleasant experience to relive, but the healing would never have  happen for me until I did. I spent hours writing about intimate details of things in my life that I had never shared with anyone before, let alone on paper. The graciousness of the man who received these long epistles is a gift I will forever be grateful for. It was through my writing that I found the place of healing and recovery.

Then after so many months, I knew that it was becoming a burden for him. Although he would use the stories to gage where I was in therapy, there was a lot to read. The medicine that writing provided need to have the prescription changed because I needed to not be a pain in the butt, but still needed to write. I had done a blog in college and I thought I would look into what was out there. And I found WordPress.

I still remember setting up the blog and writing the first post about stubbing my toe which was an overview of my journey in a short post. I sat there for an hour with my finger over the detonation button that would launch the post. I hit it and I have not looked back since.

This is no longer an exercise in just me writing. WordPress is a community. Somewhere along the way, I found a posting from Rising Hawk and became an immediate fan. I had brass ones and actually wrote him a personal email. He has an amazing book he wrote that took me to the next level of healing. He would respond to submissions of my work as I progressed through his book.  It was one of his exercises I did that I realized that the past was just that and I was putting it where it belonged. My circle has continued on with new healings, but I am forever in Rising Hawk’s debt for helping me with that time. I have since passed his book on to a friend who needs it. But his constant support and replies to my postings continue to be a special recognition for me. My group has grown and I will list the ones who I want to pass this award on to below.

I have other social media outlets, which in truth I do not use much. But every morning for the most part, I now start my day with a cup of coffee and my computer. Sometimes what I write has been circling in my head and comes out with great ease. Those posts I have to reread as I am only the tool who types as the words come from someplace else. Other times, I just want to write about something I am working through in my head and need my putting them on “paper” to help make it clear. The reward is the comments and feedback I get from my fellow bloggers. I do not seek others in only an attempt to build readership. So it amazes me when someone new joins and follows me. It truly is humbling.

But there are other wise and wonderful writers who consistently honor my work with either a comment or a “like”. They probably do not know how much their validation means to me or how much their wise words have done to help heal me and grow. But I look for their responses because it is one more candle lit on my path. One of those writers is Mar Drag.  Her posts circle from sublimely humorous to very deep and provocative thinking. Her responses to me are always encouraging and spot on. To have her actually nominate me for this award was staggering. I am deeply honored and grateful. I encourage my friends to check her out along with the list below.  I am passing this award on to them. There are many great sites out there but I want to honor the blogs below with this award. I am not sure if I am following protocol, but for now, this is what I got. Again, thank you  And I thank you for your nomination and I will post it as soon as I figure all of it out. That was very sweet of you.




Garden Views 1

roseI thought I would share some views from my garden. I love Roses so there are several shots of them. All of these were shot with my new camera. I hope you enjoy my garden views.

rose 4rose 2 There are a few varieties of Rhododendrons as well. Some have been in the garden for a while and some are new.rhoda 2rhoda3This one is old.rhoda


My chair with a view.


All photos @JDeMeis 2013



“Accept”. I keep hearing and seeing this word. The message is in many contexts and comes from a variety of sources. Acceptance, the act of accepting. I struggled this morning to write because I am being bombarded with this in my head. Accept! It has taken me two days to sit down and write about this. I have seen multiple writings and posts on this word and it seems to be on many lips. Accept. I have fought this concept for years because it was my dated principal to always question. I now realize that it is fine to question, but in the end, there are things we need to accept. We can change only so many things in their entirety. My conflict in my head is acceptance of things I always thought I should change but now I understand that there is a peace and comfort that comes with acceptance. Accepting actually allows for more change than running full force into controlling situations. One is natural, the other only creates frustration and anger which blocks the process. I equate it with the roller coaster concept. You will have ups and downs, but if you accept the fact that life is just that, and if you sit with peace and joy as you progress on the track, you will eventually return to the safe home. So throw your hands up and feel the breeze.
Oh, I speak so poetically. HA! If only it was so easy. But we know it is not. We want to run or control and not feel the pain and frustration when we are in situations we do not like. I am terrible when it comes to being out of control. I struggle accepting the motives and plans of others when I know it is a disaster waiting to happen. I have to step back and think HARD, who am I to say that their plan is wrong? This is especially difficult when it is a family member. I guess it is because I have learned the impact of their poor choices can and usually requires some maintenance on my behalf to repair. I think it is also because I want what is best for them. But who am I to say what is best?
I see many of my friends struggling with their existence and I think how unfair. “Oh…here let me fix it.” I am going to try and stop that. Who am I to think I should try to fix their lives. I have to learn to accept that this is totally their path and wish them well on their way. If I do not choose this, I will continue to suffer as I feel a lack of gratitude for my assistance, which was not required in the first place. My offerings, although giving in compassion have left me empty and disappointed and I think there is a better way to help. I have to accept that there are many, many things I cannot resolve for others, and be at peace with it. And who am I to think my resolution is the best?
I paused in my writing here as the next situation is so ridiculous that I have already decided that it is way out of my control. Instead, at work, I am more focused on just doing what I can and not fighting a losing battle with trying to control a huge project. It is easy right now, as I fresh from some time off. I need to keep my objectivity and walk away at night leaving the stress and confusion at my desk. I will persevere in doing the best I can to make the progress of this project come out to the best result. But I am accepting that this may not happen. I am not adding that it is alright, because it is not. I am just trying to keep my personal feelings out of the fray. If I lose my job, my life will continue. I like what I do very much, but I do not like “stupid” and there is an abundance of that floating around currently. But then I sit back and think; who am I to say that?
The answer is that I am the best at only knowing what I am and not who everyone else is. I do not know what is the best way to do something all the time, but I know the way for me to do my best. I have to keep my focus on the principal always do the best for me, and stop manipulating others to be what I deem the best. Only they can do that for themselves. There are times as a teacher that is the job: to judge and assess my pupils understanding and are they doing their best? It is hard sometimes to step away from that role in other arenas of my life. And it especially hard to accept not being in control of others because of the chaotic upbringing I had. I have to accept the past and learn, but move on.
My current lesson is to learn acceptance. I have to work on acceptance even when it is painful. Yesterday, as I was pulling into work, I saw a deer up the road running across. It was beautiful and I watched in horror as someone hit it and I saw it fly into the air. The image will be eternally burned in my head. Once I pulled into the parking lot, I sat and cried. I felt so helpless and upset because I could have not stopped that from occurring. Some would say I am over sensitive. I accept that and I know I cannot ever change that because in reality, I do not want to. I accept that this situation was horrible, but I also accept that I could have done nothing to stop it. My grief is the only thing I can control and so I do.
I will struggle daily with acceptance. I do feel there is a more grounded resource in my soul to help deal with the freedom of releasing control of others. I sense an internal guidance system that was not previously there. I am content with the concept that there is enough work for me to do on myself to keep me very busy for a while. And I accept that.

It’s not what you said…..

It is how you say it… In retrospect, it IS what you say and how you say it. Yesterday, I did something that really bothered me. If this was a year ago, it would not have fazed me at all. I spent a second responding to something in jest and then logged off. A simple act of trying to be funny and at first I thought how clever of me. But as time marched on, it haunted me. I went back and edited my comment and I thought to myself am I being too sensitive?
As a child, my family had a code. Never say something nice to another and if you did, make sure you veil it in sarcasm and as a joke. My father was the king of being sarcastic and mean and I honestly remember only two rare comments on being successful. One was when I was younger and was putting away an extension cord and he approved of the way I coiled it. The other time was when he was dying and I was his power of attorney. I had to do his bills. He approved of my system as it was the same practice he had. Other than that, it was always a nasty joke or just plain hurtful comment. As my siblings grew up, they too got into the act and perfected their ability to make snide left handed comments. The saying was “we would not say these things if we didn’t love you”. I am dead serious about that and as I typed it, I though holy smokes that is so broken. I grew up in a very toxic environment and I have spent a lot of time recently trying to heal from it.
And I guess it is working as my comment yesterday, made totally in love, bothered me. I was actually disrespectful of someone I have nothing but the highest regard for. So I went back and changed it, knowing full well the damage was done and that there was no real remedy. How often do we say things, thinking how clever we are, only to really demonstrate our total disregard of the being we just insulted? As a new teacher, this was something I learned the hard way. I had one student, who was actually stoned a lot, who I had very little disregard for his feelings. I made comments in front of his friends about his permanent inebriated state, which I thought would let him know I did not approve of it and I was aware. Again, I made a joke in my comments, hoping the cleverness would hit home. His friend came to me one day and told me how much my comments were actually hurting him and I stopped. He did not stop getting stoned, but he was better in class and he did try harder. You have to understand the class I had to appreciate how much these kids were hanging on by their fingertips. It was a valuable lesson that fortunately I learned fairly early on in my career. I know that in schools, this is a common practice for teachers who are frustrated with their charges. They make comments to each other, and one has to realize that they carry the practice into the classroom. It is partially the systems fault as a teacher can get in trouble for making a direct comment that in honest review maybe the truth about a student, but would be construed as harassment. For example, if I had said directly to this student “do not get stoned”, it implied that he is doing something illegal and I could have been in trouble since I actually never saw the act. Of course the stink of marijuana emanating from him was a dead giveaway. Such is our world and this harassment concept is everywhere. I think this too has gone too far. But that conversation is for another time.
I am glad for the lesson yesterday from a simple post. I decided to write about it to reinforce the feeling of regret and to help me to concentrate on what I say and how I say it. I do not have trouble saying nice things to anyone. I think that is something that as a child I practice actively and it was not accepted in my family circle. I know the comments from my family hurt me deeply, and I also know for fact that the practice is still the norm. My oldest brother struggles mightily with his inability to express himself and we have often commented on his very stilted letters and comments about events in his life. I know his wife has suffered greatly from his lack of affectionate words, but she understands the family dynamic as she has been a member for over forty years. She does not practice sarcastic comments. Instead, she hardly ever talks, but alone with me she has shared her feelings. My other sister-in-law, who is no longer married to my brother, has often commented on the cruel language especially when it was targeted at me. The impact has affected me without me totally being aware until recently. I knew of nothing different for the longest time, because my first husband readily engaged in the same practice of sarcastic and hurtful words and in time perfected it.
I am blessed to have awareness that this is not a normal practice. I am also very glad that I do not accept people making comments like that to me now. And I am sorry that I still slip, but I am glad I am aware enough and want to rectify my mistakes. We have a family reunion coming up this summer, and I am going to listen to see how much of this nasty habit still exists within my brothers. I know in their hearts, they too have been hurt from it and I hope they may have changed.
It is what we say. It is how we say it. It all matters.