Thursday, October 31, 2013



It is Autumn...the leaves are changing colors and the days are getting shorter.  The art of change is upon us!

Susan Peabody in "The Art of Changing ~ Your Path to a Better Life", puts it succinctly. "Change is a natural process that can lead to true happiness by helping us reach our full potential.  It is also the answer to solving many of our problems.  Unfortunately, sometimes we are afraid to change. We become creatures of habit.  We find ourselves feeling bored, unsettled, lonely, depressed or out of control." She continues..." the ability to change is something that many people only dream about. It is a commodity often in short supply, and without it life can be anything from boring to tragic." 

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Why would we want our lives to be boring and potentially tragic?

It's not a big secret. I yearn to change and gain control of my life on my terms.  I, like most I assume, traverse each day on auto pilot...doing what is expected of me, what I have determined I have to do, doing what others want me to do, and the list goes on. But I don't really want to do most of these things.  We become locked into a routine of stifling and suffocating repetition.  And here comes the part where we don't feel fulfilled. The time comes when we have to carve out the life that we want...a better life.
I have spent way too much time longing for things that I will never obtain. I too have become a slave to routine. Last week my eyes opened and my soul let me know what I need and must do.

The week was spent in magical Sedona, Arizona. It was a time of reflection and inspiration. In my heart it was the beginning of change for me. It is there that you will find a vortex, several of them, in the canyons of the millions of years old red rocks.  But my vortex was found sitting alone with a friend on a patio at twilight, listening to the most beautiful music coming from  handmade flutes. Music came from the heart of Steve, by way of the flutes, as he opened himself and his heart up to the moment. As the pink tinged clouds signaled the end of another day, a closing and an awakening also presented itself to me. In his music I found peace, longing, and release.  I felt history all around me of Indians from long ago.  I felt the spirit of my grandmother who instilled in me a love of all things Native American and tears rolled down my cheeks.  There was a calm that overcame me, much like a warm blanket of comfort, of knowing, of centering, of arms wrapped around me providing me safety and knowledge. I had a longing for peace like never before. Watching an eagle riding the currents at sunset, I knew at that moment  I had to take back control of my life. 

Later as I was tucked into bed, reality reared its head and it became  all too clear that there are multiple stumbling blocks between me and 'change'. On the positive side, it also became clear that change is that which means we are still growing.  Growing and changing keeps us from getting stuck.  Taking steps to achieve that goal is as Peabody says, "the bridge between your problems and the solutions.  It is your path to a better life." 

I need a more balanced life, as I suspect many of you do.   I found this clear in magical, mystical Sedona when doors opened in me and my heart opened to them. I found I have the capacity to change, which many people only dream about.  But how does one begin to go about this after being trapped for so long.
I quote again from Susan Peabody. "The beginning of change is like this.  You do something different and finally something clicks.  It is all very mysterious.  You don't really understand it, but when it happens you know, you immediately open the safe and take out your valuables."  These are valuables that have been locked up for way too long and represent all the things you will become when you change.
Over the past few months I have gained many insights and have a confidence that has been lacking. Changes have and are taking place. I have begun to become keenly aware of when I am doing those things I don't want to do.  Panic and exhaustion appear, resulting in negativity, inhibiting change. It is almost a feeling of suffocation.
Today I begin. Today I pray for the energy and willingness to take back my life.  Today I begin the change and will surround myself with those who support me and my affirmations. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dogs Love with all Their Hearts

Dogs love with all their hearts. You can see in their eyes, in their silence, in a lick, or a nuzzle, or a loving sigh....their love...their longing for nothing but to be with you. You are their world.

In their eyes you will see that this is their love song. My Remy has his very special love song...a long deep sigh that relaxes me in the middle of the night and chases my nightmares away.  My Wally settles into slumber with his song reminiscent of a whimper full of love, as he settles into his pillow. My Kelsie observes my every movement, waiting to be needed or loved or spoken to in quiet and reverent whispers. I take her face in my hands and see a glimpse of heaven. My little sightless Gracie sees with her heart and feels with my gentle touches.  She rolls onto her back in my arms with a trusting heart, that without exception opens my own heart so wide I sometimes feel the tears roll down my cheeks.  Nothing will erase this love, nothing ever can.

My dogs are certain.  I am certain.  The love and certainty between us will never end.  Taking the faces of my dogs and holding them in my hands and looking into their eyes, we both know....we can both tell, there is a most insatiable longing between us. There is nothing else like it.


I offer these words from a posting by a facebook friend regarding her dog.  "Bonnie makes the world bearable, even when it's not."
Today these words seem especially poignant and true.
Our dogs lift us up above the unbearable. For all of us the way we grieve, the way we live, is a personal thing.  We can grieve for lost things, people, pets, life,  dreams, friends, any myriad of things that we have at one time or another treasured and loved and believed.

Our feelings and dreams are so much a part of what it is to be human.  The trouble with dreams is that they sometimes, often times, never come true.  But we live hoping that sometimes they just might. But when the world is unbearable, we sometimes stay in an isolated place where no one can hurt us.  For me personally the answer that I find difficult to verbalize to those that care about me is that "I wish I could give you a part of me, but that is not something I have in my possession right now." 

I have spent much of my life in mental pain.  So much so at times I don't remember what it is like to be dance, to feel the absence of pain, to not be hurt by others.  Maybe the answer lies in unlearning pain. It has been suggested that I stop doing everything and just 'be'.  This is alien territory for me.  How do I sit and just 'be'?  How do I explain this to those I care most about without hurting their feelings?

I have helped others my entire life.  Those that were sick, mistreated, injured, abused, dying so that I could feel some sense of worth and in relieving some of their pain, I relieved some of mine. For you see, others diminished my self worth every minute of every day.  Now there are times when I am depleted to the core. Times when I have nothing else to give. 
I have become a warrior myself.  A warrior to get my life back after many decades of manipulation, control and heartbreak.  This isn't easy.  But I am taking one step at a time to achieve this before it is too late.  I want to experience it, feel it, taste it, have it cover me like a warm soft blanket.  Then I look around me at four dogs peacefully sleeping and I realize that they are the prime example.  They are quite simply content, quietly and peacefully watching me for the slightest movement, the slightest engagement I might have with the world. 
"I love you ~ I am at rest with you ~ I have come home."
~Dorothy Sayers
"Did you know the people that are usually the strongest are usually the most sensitive?  Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated?  Did you know the one who takes care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it most? Did you know the three hardest thing to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and help me." ~Unknown
"The essential message of unconditional love is one of liberation.  You can be whoever you are, express all your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence.  You do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away.
You will not be punished for your openness or honesty.  There is no admission price to my love, no rental fees or installment payments to be made.  There may be days when disagreements and disturbing emotions may come between us.  There may be times when psychological or physical miles may lie between us.  But I have give you the word of my commitment.  I have set my life on a course.  I will not go back on my word to you.  So feel free to be yourself, to tell me of your negative and positive reactions of your warm and cold feelings.  I cannot always predict my reactions or guarantee my strength, but one thing I do know and I do want you to know:  I will not reject you!" 
~FR. John Powell, Unconditional Love
This is how I feel about my dogs and they about me. When the world comes tumbling down, I need only to look to my dogs to stabilize me and bring me home once again. These words above are so full of beauty and hope. This is what I want to feel.