Color Me Red

I saw a picture of a girl sitting on a couch laughing. She had red hair and wore a white dress. She was bobbing her head around and frolicking hysterically as she chuckled such a happy giggle. Who is that girl I wondered.

I’m looking at a little girl with a sad expression on her face. She cries very often and doesn’t talk too much. Even when she does talk it’s a quiet whisper. Her tears come more often than her sweet grin. I asked her what her name was and she shyly whispered “Mona”. I sat with her for a while and tried to strike up a conversation but her apprehension was so great that she just put her head down and searched for something to look at other than me. Mona, I asked, why are you so sad? “I don’t know” she replied. It was difficult to pry any information out of her. “Well Mona, I’ve been told that you cry very easily and I’m sure there must be a reason. Can you tell me what upsets you so?” Mona sat quietly in the room with me. There were toys for her to play with but she had no interest in any of them. She was very fidgety because she didn’t want to engage in this conversation. Mona looked at me out of the corner of her eye and said “my brother makes me cry”. “He’s mean to me”. I began to ask her questions about the things that her brother did that were mean. “He points at me and tells me scary stories and he laughs at me”, said Mona. “Well Mona I knew there had to be a reason that you were sad. I would be sad too if someone laughed at me and made fun of me. What kind of stories does he tell you that are so scary?” Mona sat up and looked at me very intently now and said “he said that I used to have a sister named Mona and she cried all the time and they drowned her in peanut butter and they buried her under the apple tree in our backyard.” I looked at poor Mona and realized that her brother was tormenting her but he did it in a way that nobody else could see. He would place his elbows in a certain way at the dinner table so that they were pointing in her direction and he would whisper “Mona, I’m pointing at you.” This was a terrible torment especially because it was secret and everybody in the family couldn’t understand why Mona was such a cry baby. At such a young age she felt like a victim that no one else could understand and they couldn’t because they didn’t see clearly what her brother was doing. Her family chalked it up to the fact that Mona was just a very sensitive child. But nobody liked a cry baby.

I see a young woman who is married and has a small child. She works full time so her son has to go to daycare. Her husband works full time too but he is very withdrawn all the time. He works more than the average 40 hours a week. For some reason he’s working 50 or 60 hours a week. Even when her husband is home he is never present. He sleeps a lot and is cranky most of the time. He doesn’t like to smile ever. This woman is very lonely in her marriage and so she shares all her time with her little boy and he becomes a companion of sorts. She takes him to the orchards and to the park. They go to the movies together and Mother and Son are very happy. But the loneliness just fills her inside. She can’t share her feelings or emotions with her husband because he won’t tolerate it so she just let’s it build up inside without a whisper to anyone, another lonely hearted soul. Eventually she and her husband have a second son and shortly thereafter they face divorce. A woman can only stand being alone for so long. The sadness and fear and anger keep building like lava heating up up underneath the mountain. Soon the volcano will burst and what will be left in the ashes no one can know.

Independence is a funny thing. We are not always born with it or maybe we are but we learn very early on to contain it. We must always contain any thoughts or emotions because nobody likes a cry baby. There are times when independence is forced upon us because we cannot count on anyone else. We have to figure things out for ourselves because there isn’t any rescue waiting for us. We are lonely beings just waiting for someone or something to come along and pick up our broken pieces and put us back together. A person can get pushed into it if they want any chance at survival. Self reliance can pop up in our path because we have no other choice.

A woman in her mid thirties walks by me. She’s a little heavy set with brown hair and stands about 5 feet 2 inches. She’s got her little girl with her and they are getting ready to enter the dance studio. The woman seems pretty happy with a smile on her face as she greets the dance teacher. Her daughter is a very confident, talkative little girl. Everyone at the studio knows her. She is quite the social butterfly. The mother sits in the waiting area with the other mothers while their children have their dance lesson and they chat about Mom stuff. I noticed that she comes by here every week with her daughter and now she is able to drop her off and pick her up after her lesson. I’ve never seen her Father come by. A few years later I saw the same woman with her daughter who was of course starting to grow up. They were at the ice cream stand in our town with the daughter’s softball team. Everyone was all smiles and the parents were friends. The kids hung out with the kids and the parents hung out with the parents. I guess when your kids are in activities that becomes your social life. I didn’t notice her Father there either.

I just met this woman at my weight management group. She’s really nice and so caring. She makes me feel comfortable sharing my weight loss journey. It’s very difficult to speak about what caused a person to become heavy. It’s like a therapy session and people share their souls with the group. I like this woman. Her confidence and humor make our meetings so much fun.

As time has gone by I too have changed. I’ve grown older, wiser, more confident and willing to socialize with everyone. My life is good and I’m finally happy. As the years have moved forward I’ve been able to grow my spiritual foundation and at the same time not take life too seriously. I know how to have fun now. I can laugh and dance and sing and find humor in most things now. It’s funny how life can change. As you grow older you get new friends, keep some old ones and socialize with different groups of people. I’m looking in the mirror now and wondering if this dress flatters my thinning figure. I’ve dyed my hair red because I love switching things up now and again. I have to laugh at how men respond to red heads. It’s astonishing how boyish they become with their flirting even as an older adult.

Changing Tides

Some people were meant to move around in life from one place to another. The majority of us usually are born and raised in a certain town and will end up living there and staying there for all of our days. Sometimes we will move to another place but end up always coming back to what we call home.

I have a hobby of bird watching and as the years have passed I have learned a lot about their behavior. There are certain birds that migrate every year. They come here for the summer and when the weather gets cooler they move back to their warmer homes. Then there are birds such as blackbirds that may or may not migrate each year. I think it’s interesting that one year they decide as a flock to stick around and the next year they may pick up one and all and move on for a time going back and forth to the same places. There are other species of birds such as the Eagle that may stay in one place for life and other Eagles may move around. There doesn’t seem to be any particular rhyme or reason that I can see. One thing I know for sure is that our feathered friends just follow their instincts. They do what they do. There is no sitting down and thinking about the logistics of the move.

We as humans tend to complicate every little thing. Sometimes I wonder if we would be better off without this insatiable thinking mind. It never stops. Every day is the same as we routine ourselves to death. We could just follow our instinct and move along with it but we tend to look at movement or change as the enemy.

I have a friend that has moved quite a bit in the last few years. There are those that have asked her when she is going to get settled. For most of her life she had lived in one place just like a lot of us do, near her home town. Then changes happened and she decided to follow the inner need to try something new. The ripple effect of that first move interrupted the dynamic of those around her simply because she was part of the well oiled machine that was her support system and with her changing the flow it threw everyone out of kilter. I have watched her blossom as a spiritual being since that first move. She has learned to not get attached to environment or circumstances. As I watch her grow I also grow. Seeing her experiences I am learning to be more introspective and I am connecting to my own true self.

We seem to be so afraid of change. It’s so scary. I find solace in routine, knowing what each day will bring. Then, when things change, I feel out of sorts. It’s not natural to be so stuck in our ways. In my opinion we force ourselves into a state of habit. That’s how we bring on suffering in our lives. As you may have heard before, we are human “beings” not human “doings”. The animals and the birds and bees, they are beings. I’ve chosen to live as a “being”. Life could be much more pleasant if I would just go with the flow. It sounds really easy doesn’t it?

It is not the end of the world when our routine is shattered. It is the beginning of a whole new world, wide open and full of possibilities. Each new experience in our lives teaches us different things. It makes sense that moving around could enlighten us in ways we never imagined. Being able to see how others live on a daily basis gives us a new beginning to our point of view. It changes us. If you have lived in the Northern part of the United States since birth and then you move to the South, you will definitely learn a different culture. After a time you will be able to understand people in a different way. Our perception of others can change and there is freedom in that. Our point of view opens up so much by being exposed to differences. If we allow ourselves to “be” and let things flow as they will, we will grow. That’s what I want for myself. I want to grow and experience new things and people and places. I want to be free. This does not mean that I have to move around from place to place constantly. It’s the attachment to our environment and routine that keeps us stale. It’s time to open up and let energy move through us. If we allow it we will grow because as the energy comes in we can take what we need and allow the rest to flow right on through and out. That’s why emotions and feelings are so important and why we should not stifle them. They are here to teach us things. But we have to allow the flow to reap the benefits.

It is our attachment to emotions that causes suffering. I have become attached to being depressed at times in my life. Not that I chose to be depressed but that I sat too long with it. There are different kinds of depression and I am not an expert about the subject. I have suffered with clinical depression for most of my life and I didn’t even realize it until I was well into my thirties. There was horrendous suffering on a daily basis full of desperation. I felt too exhausted to live. I didn’t understand why I felt that way until my doctor diagnosed me. But at that moment I had a decision to make. I had to choose whether or not to try medication or psychotherapy or neither. But I was not in a state to even make the decision because that is what desperation will do to you. It sucks the life right out of you. I can’t explain why but I made the choice to start with the medication. It was a horrible experience in the beginning. The medicine made me shake and feel sick and this lasted for 8 weeks. I kept calling the doctor and telling him how much I was suffering and he kept saying “please continue the medicine. It will kick in soon.” After the 8 week period it did kick in and I felt like a new person. I felt like I wanted to live. It didn’t make me someone that I wasn’t but it gave me the chemical balance that I needed and was lacking. But there was more work to do because I had a lot of pain and suffering inside of me to be healed. I was very resistant to psychotherapy for years and I suffered immensely. Over and over again the same sorrow and anguish would engulf me. I would think that I was better and that I had healed from loss and struggle and then out of nowhere it would find me again. It took me probably another 10 years before I was willing to embrace therapy. At that point I was such a mess that I had to be forced into therapy because of a mental breakdown. The day I started therapy was the day that I opened my heart, my mind and my eyes and allowed the healing to begin. For a whole full year I had my therapy and I worked it to the best of my ability. It was hard and painful and exhausting but I did the work. The emotions were so raw and felt so new like the circumstances had just happened. It was very difficult but I am happy to report that I did have that major breakthrough of healing and this time it was complete for that particular circumstance from my past.

My point is that when I was finally able to allow the pain and suffering to flow through me it was able to flow out of me. I had to stop pushing my suffering underneath so it wouldn’t hurt anymore. All I was doing was covering it. The best thing that happened to me was being forced to face it, work through it and allow it to leave. That is why emotions and feelings are given to us. They are our teachers. I now give myself permission to accept that certain things did happen in my past. I don’t need to deny that they happened or push them away. I just need to acknowledge the feelings of hurt or sadness or pain and then accept them because they are real and then release them. Take the healing lessons and be free.

Movement of any kind such as moving to new environments, moving our physical bodies or allowing the movement of emotions and feelings to flow freely in and out is the healing mechanism that can set us free. So, feel free to move from North to South or East to West. Feel free to change your job if you’re not happy. Acknowledge and accept those emotions that nobody wants to talk about. Give them their voice and learn from them. Feel free to heal. Embrace the changing tides and the changing weather. Embrace the differences between ourselves and others. Feel the freedom of movement and change in all things. Change up your daily routine. Experience the little things more intensely. Stick your toes in the water. Feel it and embrace it. By allowing all things in our being to flow, moving in and out, we embrace Freedom!

The Mad Scientist

It’s been raining for about a week now and today the sun is shining.  I don’t quite remember her name.  S – U – N, hmm, she’s this bright warm thing that hangs in the sky and somehow makes my moods feel lighter.  She is a great friend of mine.  I think I love her.

I have a 10 week old puppy and he is a terror.  His name is shadow and he lives up to it because I am always tripping over him.  He’s really not that much into rain.  I’ve been potty training him so we both have an intimate relationship with the rain.  We feel the dread when the puppy’s circling begins indicating that he has to defecate at this very moment.  I have my raincoat waiting at the door.  He now hates my coat.  He barks at it and I agree wholeheartedly.

Anyone who knows me knows that I would never curse the rain and I am not cursing it now.  I am just stating the fact that it’s been a rough week because I am cold and damp and puppies don’t like potty-training in the rain.  It makes a difficult task even more so.  But I digress.  That nice warm ball up there is just the medicine that I need right now.  It’s pretty cool that something a million light years aways can have such an effect on me.  The great fireball in the sky has magical powers.  It’s like a mad scientist.  It does this chemical change thing on all living things.  We don’t even know that it is happening.  The sun is triggering all kinds of crazy stuff in our bodies like giving us the sunshine vitamin that keeps our bones nice and healthy.  A few years ago I broke my ankle in December which kept me indoors for most of the winter.  After getting blood work done I found out that I had a Vitamin D deficiency all thanks to not greeting my friend in the sky each day.  A friend of mine takes medicine for a mood stabilizer and he definitely needs it but there is some potent medicine coming from our mighty friend that can release some feel good chemicals into our brain.  Those sunrays that shine so brilliantly are an energy that has the capacity to change our lives and without it we couldn’t live.

There a couple more benefits of sunbeams that will surprise you.  An Aunt of mine who’s namesake I am used to say “It must be springtime because all the lilies are out.”  By mentioning the lilies she was referring to all the pretty young girls who were letting more of their skin show.  The guys like to enjoy the warmth too as they remove their shirts.  As to the Sun, many can thank her for her hospitality.  If you’ll notice when the sun is shining people tend to smile more.  Thank God for the souvenir of smiling people given to us by our ever present companion who warms our hearts and souls.  From a personal experience I know that when it is raining my boyfriend is downright crabby.  He’s much more contented when there is light.  He has a love/hate relationship with the sun.  He likes all its benefits but doesn’t like cutting the grass and it gets too hot.  You have to take the good with the bad I say.  I love the way the sun feels on my face.  It’s like bathing in splendor.  The warmth just falls over my face washing away all the stresses of the day and making me feel clean and fresh.

Of course there is another side to the sun as is the case with most things in life.  There is a contrast with everything and that helps us appreciate things a bit more.  The Sun has its own cycle kind of like how a woman has her own cycle.  There are times that you don’t want to irritate that great fire goddess.  Her cycle comes around every 11ish years.  She gets kind of pissy and starts flaring up for no particular reason that I can see.  They call them solar flares.  Any person who shares a home with a woman while she’s in her cycle knows exactly how ghastly this time period can be.  You’re never quite sure how things are going to go from one minute to the next.  It’s a hormone thing.  Our dear, sweet ball of sunshine has this hormone-like change too.  Look out because when she gets agitated she can cause quite the commotion.  A strong enough tantrum can actually affect our electric grid and our electronics.  Oh My.  That beautiful, warm, supreme life giving force has the muscle of a fiery volcano that can actually shut down this world’s dependency on electronics.  Just take a moment and imagine the young ones of today trying to live without their electronics.  They wouldn’t be able to spell, read, add and subtract or find their way out of a paper bag.  It’s so sad to realize that the upcoming generation has not been taught the skills of living simply and using their mind instead of that contraption that they hold in the palm of their hands to navigate the world around them.  To be fair our world would sustain a very grueling, complex task of coming back from such an event.  This is a life that we have created and we are all responsible for the outcome if such a scenario should happen and it is very possible that it could.

I’m not sure that we have the immense respect that we should have for this distinguished energy that presides over us.  I don’t know if there’s anything we can do in advance but we really can’t stop the Sun from being who she is just like I can’t stop myself from being who I truly am.  I can try but deep down I am the being that I am meant to be.  The notable thing here is to offer the respect that is warranted for the commanding forces that have been given to us.  The Sun is one of those things that we don’t give much thought to yet it literally has Supreme power that brings great happiness, joy , excitement and health to all of us.  As with all things in life there is always a contrast within that makes things work.  There is the good and the bad in everything we do.  They are both here for us as teachers.  The good things make us happy and give us the feeling of spirit living within.  The bad or I should say the difficult things give us the lessons we need to thrive and the combination brings us balance in our lives.  There are so many commanding forces within us and around us that we just take for granted.  There is the enormous inferno just hanging above us and we rarely take the opportunity to truly appreciate the gifts that it brings.  I am just focusing on the Sun in this writing.  Can you imagine the immense fulfillment we could experience if we were able to focus in on each and every powerful element in our daily life?  Pure awareness of the many facets of all that surrounds us can be so inspiring.  Today I am thankful for the Sun and all that she brings to my life.  I wonder what I can find to be thankful for tomorrow and all the intricacies they possess.

Simply Finding Freedom

Birds are so much fun to watch.  Bird watching is a peaceful hobby of mine.  I love being able to attract different types of birds to my backyard by offering an array of foods for them to feast on.  They are so beautiful and interesting.  I have several bird feeders in my backyard.  One is a top feeder that sits high on top of a ten foot pole.  It is made of wood with a screen floor and a top that looks like an A frame.  It is a wide open fly through type of feeder.  On the roof of that feeder I have placed a long screw facing up so that I can place a half an apple or orange on top.  Certain birds love fruit so I try to accommodate.  On the same pole there are three arms.  One rm holds a long tube like feeder which makes it easy for birds like woodpeckers to hold onto thile they poke their beaks in the different portals to grab seeds and nuts.  The second and third arms hold suet cakes.  One suet feeder is just like a plastic covered wire basket and the other suet feeder holds 2 cakes in it.  The suet is made up of fat and protein and seeds.  The birds use it vigorously during nesting season because it is a high energy soft food that gives easy access for Moms and Dads that are eager to get back to their babies.  It’s kind of like driving through the fast food restaurant to get a nice quick and easy meal.  I also have a hummingbird feeder that is red to attract these amazingly fast little creatures.  I fill it with sugar water so it’s like nectar that they get from flowers.

None of the birds need me to put out feeders for them to eat.  They have all the natural food they need whether it’s insects, flowers, fruit, tree nuts or grass seeds.  My practice is purely a selfish one because I get so much joy out of watching them and learning their habits.  In essence I need them more than they need me.

Birds are a lot like humans in some ways.  The family unit is at their core of existence.  Most, not all, birds mate for life and they set out together on their journey of life.  They begin by preparing nests and having their babies.  Mother and Father share in all the daily activities of raising their families fiercely protecting and teaching their young ones how to become independent so they can go forth and sustain the species.  There are no worries about where their food is coming from.  They just naturally go and find it.  The birds don’t wait for someone to tell them how to build a nest or what materials they should use.  They have the innate knowing that they have what they need.  Their spirits are pure as they go about their living.

There are no egos involved.  They don’t argue over who is going to do which chore.  The birds work together for the common goal.  Human, I believe could tap into such freedom by taking example from the birds.  Pure love is what I see in the spirit of the birds.  The eat, sleep, work and even play with reckless abandon and still all is provided for them.  It’s not that they don’t have to work for their food and shelter.  Just like all of God’s creatures they have to do the work but they don’t see it as work they see it as daily living.  There is no worry about it.  Humans have all that we need in our lives but once again we find a way to complicate everything by worrying and caring about what everyone else is doing and saying.  We are always looking for something outside of us.  We seem to gravitate towards the drama of everyone else’s life.  Why do we do this?  Are we searching for something that will make us feel better about ourselves?  Why don’t we feel good about ourselves in the first place?  The answers we seek are not about what everyone else is doing or thinking.  If we choose to live simply and work with the inner knowing that with the work all will be provided we could be much happier beings.

Life is all spelled out for the birds.  They live, enjoy, work and raise their babies.  The babies learn and grow and the cycle goes on.  It’s really very simple.  We share the same spirit as the birds do and yet we choose to live the hard way.  We attach emotion to things that don’t require such attachment.  We constantly feel irritated about too much traffic or feel depressed because we have to go to work on Monday.  We aren’t going to change the outcome by stressing about things we cannot control.  Can we really make the traffic disappear or eliminate Monday morning?  The thing we can control is our reaction to different situations.  Instead of dreading going to work on Monday morning we could just be thankful that we have a job to go to.  Or even better still how about if we don’t attach the word “work” to our job.  It is just a part of living.  It is actually a blessing to have a job to go to.  Work is just a place that gives us the means we need to fulfill external needes in the human world.  By changing our perception of what work is we can find fulfillment in our lives. This my friends, is what is called a gift.  The birds don’t attach the human word “work” to their daily living they just naturally live.  It’s all in the perception of any given situation.  By learning to be still we can allow ourselves to just do what comes naturally without putting our own made up thoughts to it.  Can you imagine how peaceful we would feel?  We would be more open to the pure essence of love that we are meant to be along with all of God’s creatures.

The Eyes Have It

The eyes are the opening to the soul. Look deep into my eyes and look for the source behind them that breathes life into my every breath, movement, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Can you see my heart and my thoughts? Go deeper and feel what these eyes are saying. They are telling you the truth of who I am. If you look and feel deeply enough you will find a child full of innocence and wonder. You may also find peace and satisfaction and fullfillment. What you won’t find are the sadness, pain, loneliness and fear because all of these things come and go at different times yet they leave a message for my growth. Are you able to see the lessons I have picked up along the way of life? Can you see wisdom here? Look deeper now and feel the power of the unconditional love that empowers absolutely all that I am. That light that you see, that love that you feel is coming from my ultimate source, My God. That life within me connects all of us because we all share that source.

Look into your mirror and see deep into your own eyes. Search for your deeply embedded fears, desires and aspirations. Go deeper into the feelings you have when you see these things. You and I have the same source. All the power lies within each of us. Find the true “I AM” when you look in and investigate what you see and what you feel. Your creative soul has so much to share. Be still, open up and let the light shine through and allow it to flow. Your eyes are the window to your soul. If you are feeling lost and alone just peek in there and pull out of your soul what your purpose is. Look for the innocent child and feel the unconditional love that breathes life into you. Your Source is within you and everything you need is already there.

This is something we can do on a daily basis at any given moment. Deep in those eyes, down in the soul we can find inspiration, wisdom and the truth of who we are and we can see all the possibilities waiting for us to explore. Try and make it a routine and find deep in your soul the pearls that can give you satisfaction and enjoyment from the great gift of life that we have all been given.

Red Death

I don’t like to cook. I think the reason is that nobody in my house likes to try new things. It is not very motivating to try a new recipe when there isn’t an audience that will appreciate it. My boyfriend and my step-daughter don’t like anything with spices and they like everything fried. It’s just no fun when they turn their noses up at my endeavors. Every now and then I do try new recipes because I am so bored with eating the plain old meat and potatoes theme.

One day I found a new recipe that I wanted to try. It had simple ingredients such as chicken and potatoes and the spices were simple like salt, pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, chicken broth and sour cream. I knew that it sounded friendly enough for my tough audience and thought it sounded easy to make. I gathered all the ingredients and made my dinner plan. It turned out to be much more difficult than I anticipated. The preparation was time consuming because I had to make long noodles out of the potatoes. At that time I had never heard of a vegetable spiralizer, which would have made it so much easier. Then I had to cook up the garlic and onions on the stove and then brown the chicken. I hate when you have to cook on top of the stove and also use the oven. Haven’t they ever heard of a Crockpot? After all that preparation it took another 40 minutes to bake in the oven. The entire day it took me to make this casserole. I was exhausted but also a little excited for my boyfriend to come home to his surprise meal.

We sat down to dinner and I told him how I had worked so hard all day to make this special dinner for him. He was hesitant and asked what was in it and I told him simply chicken and potatoes. He gave me an approving look as if ready and willing to try it out. This is the kind of audience I want to have after making a home cooked meal. I was so excited. I put the casserole on the table and it sure did look good even though it had this red hue to it. I spooned it onto our places with great anticipation of success. After all, I did spend the entire day making it and I followed the recipe to the “T”. We started eating and there was silence but we kept eating. I finally asked him what he thought and he said “it’s okay”. He did his very best to be kind but after another bite he pushed his plate away and said “I am sorry. I know you worked on this all day but I just can eat it”. I looked at him and said “it feels like we’re eating sand”. It was absolutely awful. It was like eating a pile of sand with your potatoes. I checked the recipe and confirmed that I had done everything that it had called for. I just couldn’t understand what happened. It turned out that there must have been a typo regarding the paprika because since when do you use 1/4 cup of paprika in anything? We both laughed because I couldn’t even defend it and thus the name “Red Death”. Of course that turned out to be night of ordering pizza.

After that debacle he has always been afraid when I say that I am trying a new recipe. It’s been years since the “Red Death” incident but it is fresh in the minds of the occupants of this house. He now has a mental aversion to the statement “new recipe”. So it makes it even harder to try new things around here.

I can completely understand his aversion to a new recipe but it was only one meal. In his mind he now has to be very wary of any new foods I make. But because of who he is the same thing applies to other situations. One bad experience causes him aversion and caution in all subjects. I think that this can resonate with all of us at different times of our lives. One bad experience sticks to us and can define who we are. It’s hard to enjoy life when you are constantly worried that something will go wrong. Bad things happen to all of us and it truly sucks but if we can’t be open enough to experience new things we will never know the joy that is out there for all of us. We are as the saying goes “cutting off our nose to spite our face”. While on the subject of bad things happening to us, we can always use them to teach us. It is guaranteed that life will be full of ups and downs for everyone. Nobody has a perfect life and some have had absolutely horrible past experiences that need in depth work and healing. There are different ways of looking at them. We can see them as defining moments in our lives which they absolutely are but how we are defined by them is our choice. I have had to come to the brink of a nervous breakdown in order to open my heart and soul to the work of healing past traumas. It is no easy task for anyone and we need each other to help us through the journey. I would never belittle any person’s traumatic experiences that define them but I offer up the fact that with help we can heal and feel joy and peace.

I ask you to be brave and try to take that tiny step forward with one thing at a time. Try a new recipe. Try taking a new route home from work. Try listening to your friend without judgment. Step out of your routine today and go to a movie. Stop by the Library and pick up a good book. Keep moving forward each day with just one new thing being introduced toward a positive outcome. In time you will feel safe enough to try to open your mind and hear the voices of the past and accept them for what they are. They are the past and they did happen but you are stronger than they are. Feel your feelings about them. Scream and cry and jump up and down. Just let that darkness flow right out of you and finally give yourself permission to feel peace. Throw away that “Red Death” casserole and feed yourself with something new and refreshing. Don’t allow one bad experience to steal your sense of joy and adventure. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and embraced. It’s safe now to be who you are meant to be and not that hurt child from your past. Allow the child to come out and feel free to live a full, expansive and joyful life with ups and downs and good and bad times. The bad times are our teachers. Let’s together be students of life and allow the lessons to enrich us to the fullest. We are all in this together and there is freedom and hope in the fact that we are not alone.

Ice Cream for Breakfast

As Americans we have certain rules and we think that the rest of the world sees life the same way we do.  For example, when we speak of breakfast we think of bacon, eggs, pancakes, toast, sausage, cereal, milk and maybe fruit.  Well other countries consider their breakfast as their main meal of the day.  They make it their biggest and heartiest meal.  Well that makes more sense to me because we haven’t eaten all night long and we have the  work of the long day ahead of us and we will need maximum energy.

Whether it makes sense or not it doesn’t really matter.  Rules are made to keep us in order.  Sometimes we feel a little rebellious and we want to spread our wings and change things up.  We live in the land of the free and home of the brave.  We are allowed to change things up.  We get very used to our little routines and ways of doing things.  We close ourselves up in our little bubbles and we actually freely give away our freedom.  Our routines sometimes stand in the way of growth.

Sometimes we need to either turn our world upside down or have it turned for us.  Recently I was in the hospital and they came around at different intervals to check vitals. They came in around 2 am to check my blood pressuread it was really low.  So their solution was to lower the head of my bed and raise the foot of the bed.  I literally felt like they turned me upside down.  So three hours later they checked my bp again and it was normal.  Success!!  So that’s what it took to fix my problem.  So I am thinking that maybe that concept might apply to life in general.  Think about it.

I have decided to use my freedom to make choices that make me happy (within the confines of the law of course).  Maybe today I will stretch my rights and eat ice cream for breakfast.  It’s time to pop my self proclaimed bubble and see things with new eyes.  Time to open up my mind and see what I can find.  And to think, it all started with breakfast.