The 24 Hour Gifts

Today is a great day.  Yes it is because I have love in my life, peace in my heart and happiness in my soul.  It’s taken much of my life to be able to say this.  As I sit here and write, my puppy is curled up next to me on the floor.  I can hear my washing machine cleaning my clothes and the dryer is drying the first load.  My house is clean and I just finished food shopping.  These are the places that I have found my peace.  After leaving the food store I felt grateful for being able to buy the food.  It warmed my heart. As I grow older I am realizing the joy in all the little things.

On this day there is no drama floating around me.  I have found solace in being able to sit and write at this moment.  Today I have to pay the mortgage and I am able to do that.  Peace surrounds me knowing that I am well cared for.  We are having hot dogs for dinner and I’m completely satisfied that I have a dinner plan.  I find relief that I don’t have to worry what’s for dinner because cooking is not my favorite thing to do and I get stressed out each morning when I try to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner.  But at this moment I can feel peaceful about that.

The small comforts of home bring me tremendous joy.  After food shopping today I realized that I was able to afford snacks, so after dinner we will be able to sit down and relax while watching television and enjoy our snacks.  What a gift that is.  It’s not about the food.  It’s about the comfort of home.  It’s about the warmth of knowing I am so blessed with all these different little things in this 24 hour day.  In 24 hours there can be so many moments of being grateful for all of life’s pleasures.

Windsong

To all my friends and family,

Have you ever wondered why I have named my email with Windsong in it?  I will share this with you because I am giving you a part of my heart and a look into my soul.  If you’ll take a moment and enjoy this song you will know more about me and who I am.

A song written by someone else yet it has my spirit written all over it.

Much love to all of you,

Just click on the link below.

Windsong

 

You Get to Choose

What are the chains that bind you?

What kind of ties limit your beliefs and ability to accept this moment as it is?

One can wake up in the morning and choose to feel fresh and alive or one can create their own prison of misery. One can complain and see emptiness everywhere.

If one is feeling like they are imprisoned they must own that it is their choice. They have created their prison by living in fear, judgement, anger and resentment. The dark prison where they are sending their soul, searching for fulfillment and light where there is none. These are ones chains. These are ones choices.

Contrast of Life: Good vs. Bad, Hope vs. Despair, Joy vs. Sorrow
A clear choice must be made. What will it be? Confinement or Freedom?

Two choices are available every moment of every day. It can only be one way. We can train our brain to choose the joy over despair by small changes.

Elevator or Stairs? The elevator is quick, easy and doesn’t require any effort but gives nothing more than a ride. The stairs provide exercise that feeds the body and the mind. The activity they provide clear the brain and make you feel good for extended periods of time. Ask yourself everday, elevator or stairs? The answer can be found when you look for the guidance of the benefits you can reap.

Easy choices broken down into small pieces. A split second decision to the question: Elevator or Stairs? Confinement or Freedom?

What are the ties that bind you?

Organized Religion. What’s to be thankful for?

I went to Catholic School for 12 years. The Catholic religion was as much a part of me as my DNA. I loved it there and found peace in the routines and repetitions of prayers. I grew up and walked along my personal path of what I believed. When bumps in the road such as a failed marriage and divorce became my reality. How could I be the person who divorces? I committed myself to this man for life as was expected by my church but he wasn’t present with me. I perservered for 9 years but my sadness and loneliness became my prison. Now I had found myself on the wrong side of my religion.

I wanted a fresh start and a blessing from God and my priest but it wasn’t meant to be. The restrictions of my indoctrination no longer wanted a tainted soul and that is how they looked upon me. My heart, so broken into pieces, had to seek shelter elsewhere and so my spiritual journey began.

Years ago I was told I could never be reconciled with God or Church because of divorce. My church left me but My God walked with me all the while.
I sought out other voices of God to nourish my soul and I felt fulfilled as each new experience with religion brought me to a closer more intimate relationship with my God. I no longer attend meetings of organized religion but have greater enrichment. I thought I was lost but I was walking the path to spiritual enlightenment that I continue to walk today.

I thank you, organized religion, for giving me the foundation to walk this journey as I grow and become present with my Holy Spirit. Without you I could not have known the true unconditional love afforded to me by Spirit. I am grateful everyday for all that I am and all that brought me to this moment of love and peace. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

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.