Change, Choice, Courage, friendship, Growth, Relationships, Truth, Uncategorized

Having Hard Conversations

I am with a friend this week and a hard conversation comes up.  If you are in the US you know we having a lot of division regarding the killing of blacks by police. That is a stark statement, but that is what is happening. So people are lining up and taking sides. And we have peacemakers who say #lovematters or #alllivesmatter. But it does seem we called upon to choose a side. That is a problem for me. I know there is good and bad in each segment of the population. I can’t really choose to support one side over another.

But apparently my friend could, as she came down on the side of the police. And she made some racist statements and then ended it by saying “well, I am a bigot” in this offhand manner. I know I was supposed to laugh it off, I know I was supposed to ignore the statement. I know she expected me to support her or at least not call her out. Sigh.

These are the hard conversations, when it is your friend, your family, someone you want to have  a continued relationship with. It is easy online to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are in company of like minded people to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are disguised behind a keyboard to stand up for what you believe. It is hard when you are one on one with a friend and you have to say “well I am not a bigot, and this is why”

But I did it. If I am going to present myself as a person who does believe that all lives have value and that we have a problem with racism in our country, then I have to stand up and say that. Am I willing to risk being uncomfortable or offending a friend?  Are my beliefs worth that?  Yes. Am I willing to say I feel differently than you, I believe you are wrong? Well I guess I am.

speak the truth

So we had a conversation and I saw some of where she was coming from.  Her experience with a black person (beyond superficial) was not a good one. It was traumatic for her, and the police were her angels. And from that place she built a belief system on who is right and who is wrong. And the police came out on top.

I know what she went through was hard, and she struggles with it to this day. But I have a different experience. I have a close long term relationship with a black man . I have friends who are black. I am able to hear and see some of their struggles first hand. And I shared that with her. Maybe, just maybe, she saw some common humanity in all of our struggles. Maybe.

But this is what I know. My job is to speak my truth, even when it is uncomfortable. My job is to back up my thoughts with my words. Even when I don’t want to . It is not enough to stay quiet anymore. It is not enough to not “rock the boat”. That is how we got in this mess. It is not about being loud or forcing my ideas and beliefs on someone else.  I can speak respectfully, I can listen to the other side and I can learn from a different point of view.

But I will not be quiet anymore just to keep someone comfortable. I will speak my piece and call out racism, homophobia, misogyny or any other belief that keeps people down. If you are uncomfortable with that, I am not even sorry.  Because it is when we are uncomfortable we know we have work to do.

So speak up,  have those hard conversations. That is how we will make the changes we all want and need in our lives. Stand up for what you believe and do it with Love. Be willing to be the one who opens the conversations. Be Brave.

Namaste

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Connection, Daily Life, daily practice, friendship, Inspiration, Love

Love is An Action Word

There are a million quotes on Love:

Love what is

Love makes the world go round

All you need is love

You love me? Real or not real? Real.

I could go on and on and on. Love is the most talked about, written about, sang about thing in the history of all time. But I was thinking what kind of word is love?  Is it a   verb or a noun? Or even an adjective? So I look it up..it is a verb, a noun and  an adjective. How really all inclusive love is.

But Love in Action, that is what I am thinking about right now. To really recognize when I do something, I am showing Love, in action.

When I water my plants,  Love in action.

When I listen to my friend, Love in action.

When I go to my friends sons baseball game, Love in action

When I text someone to say good morning, Love in action.

When I make my home clean and comfortable, Love in action.

When I help out a co worker, Love in action.

When I pray, Love in action.

When I greet a stranger with a smile, Love in action.

When I am welcoming to my lover, Love in action.

When I support my community, Love in action.

When I step up and help a friend who cannot ask, Love in action.

When I share food, Love in action.

This list could go on and on. All of this are actions that have happened in my life in the last 4 days. All of this love in action. And this is how I want to live. To recognize all these acts of love that are not called love, but are Love.

We speak much of love. We write songs, we tell each other I love you. There are poems and sonnets. And that is all amazingly beautiful and necessary.  But let us not overlook the million simple ways that love is shown.  Because these ways are simple and part of our daily living perhaps we tend to not give them the importance and acknowledgement we should. Yes, a song is lovely and I will enjoy it. But a meal made and shared with a friend, that will live in the heart long after the note of the song has faded.

 

 

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Change, Expansion, family, Growth, Healing, home, Love

Where is home anyway?

First off my friends, I apologize for going missing.  I have been feeding this last year way more than being fed.  I had to go internal for a minute and recharge.  This blog is important to me and I do  a lot of processing here, but lately my mind has been jumbled and the words simply would not take form.  But I am returned and ready to share with you…….

So how do I define “Home”? Is it a place where I reside? Is it a feeling? Is It a community? Is it family? Do I even have one?  Can I have one?  Do I want one?

When I lost the house I lived in, raised my son, had so memories in, I lost my home.  And I have not found it since.  The last 2+ years I live in a nice apartment very comfortably.  It is not home to me. It has given me many things, safety, time to re balance, a place of non attachment, a place of little responsibility. It has been a resting stop and for that I am grateful. The apartment is attached to a home and the owners have put the entire place up for sale.  So for me, that means a change, again.

Here is what I know, I cannot re create the past.  When I think of home I remember my house, my son, my sister, holidays, our pets, my friends, parties.  So many memories I cannot begin to list them. But that is what they are, memories.And I kinda get it, that for me, home is memories, making memories.  You can’t buy that, you can’t move into that, you have to live it.

A long time ago a man asked me “where do you stay?”  It took me by surprise and I said “well I have a home, I stay there”. But now I understand because lately this is where I stay.  I complain that friends and family don’t come here, don’t stop by, but the truth is, I don’t ask them.  I have not wanted to make this my home.  I have been resistant to letting go and moving forward.  I have put all kinds of blocks up and made this into both a refuge and a place of isolation. So while one has served me, the other has saddened me.

Is home a person?  Somehometimes with friends it feels like coming home.  You share laughter and tears.  But home cannot be one person, it is bigger than that. We are bigger than that. Our lives are so big and complex.  There are too many pieces to call one thing home.  I find home in my friends, my family and my community. I hope they find that in me.  Because feeling at home, safe, comfortable and loved, there is nothing on earth that can touch that.  You cannot shrink that down to fit inside walls.

When I moved in here  I was wounded and reeling from the circumstances surrounding me.  But much of that has healed and I am ready for more.  I simply have to decide what that is and manifest it. And what I want is wholeness within the place I live.  I want peace, I want the sounds of nature, I want the feeling of love, especially self love, in my home.  But I also want the world to come by and share my home with me.  I want memories, I want welcoming, I want ease and grace. I think that is what I really want, ease and grace.  And so all of those I shall now have.  I am ready for them.

Because home is not one place.  It is not that simple. What I am seeing is that my life, the wholeness of my life is my home.  I am my home.  Wherever I go, I take my memories with me, I take my sense of peace with me, I take my laughter with me, I take love wherever I go.  So I can never ever be without a home. It will  look different at different times in my life.  And it is up to me to create whatever kind of space I need at that moment.

So whether I stay here or move on is unknown.  I am available and ready for the Universe to send my Good. And some pieces of it have already arrived.  There is comfort and peace in knowing that there is no struggle, there is no worry,  all good comes my way,  ease and grace is mine to enjoy.

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

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Change, Growth, Love, Relationships

Love With a Capital L

Can I accept all the love the Universe offers me no matter the form it comes in? How available am I to be loved in ways that are a little different from what I want? Do I simply relax and say yes?  I think so.

I spent the last 48 hours surrounded by love.  I have had 2 days of sharing time with people that love me and who I love back.  All of these visits, meetings, sharing, were unrelated. I just kind of fell onto a pathway of love.  There was a visit, then a lunch, then a conversation, then a visit, then a phone call, another visit and I have an event tonight with a dear friend.  All people who are so valuable to me and who love me all in different ways. An interesting note, not one of those loved ones are blood family.  But they are my family, they are my tribe. They are the people I have chosen to love.

So many different kinds of love.  We go through life building relationships, all kinds.  Family, friend, work, romantic, church, community.  As we move ahead these all change over time.  And that is what I mean, can I accept love, however it comes?

Right now I am struggling to change within a relationship that has changed.  I want it to be the same, but it is not. And I don’t know where to put these feelings.  This change comes from life circumstances that neither of us had any control over. But she has changed, and I have to love her in a different way now.  Our relationship has to find new footing, the old path does not fit.   I think I have to be gentle and kind and breathe through it. I have to be honest and share my feelings and be willing to hear hers.  I have to stay in a place of non judgement and no expectations.  I have to let the Universe do its work through me and through her.  Because she is my sister we will always be connected.  That is, for us, a given. Her path is hard right now.  There are also lessons for me in this. A willingness to let go of what was, and love what is.  Does it always come down to “Love what Is”?  Maybe, standing in the past, holding on to the days that have passed is a lonely way to live.

Hafiz

I love this quote by Hafiz. If we could just love each other, as we are, as we stand here. Can we accept that people are going to grow, are going to change, are going to not want the same relationships that we do, and love them anyway?   Can we not put conditions around how we love, who we love, why we love?  Can we just love?  There is a belief that there is nothing you can do to earn God’s love and nothing you can do to lose it.  Can we love like that?  Can I love like that?

Because this is not about my sister, that was simply my strongest example.  This is about everyone in my tribe.  This is about my son, and loving him even when…. This is about my friends and knowing they have their own lives, be willing to take the amount of love and time they have to share, and not judging that. Or comparing, or keeping a list. This is about men who I have loved when the relationships went south. Can I stay in a place of love even then? Can a different kind of relationship develop?  Can I accept that as our path this time around?  Can I keep seeing love when basic beliefs are different from mine, and yet I love the person? Can I have a loving physical relationship and be good with the limitations around that?  Can I love old friends from afar, knowing our time together ran its course?  Can I have all of these loves and more, and not say “you owe me”. Can I take what is offered and celebrate that?

The answer to that is yes, most of the time. Not always, sometimes I feel sad, or lonely.  I might feel rejected, I might be having a pity party.  But really, that is only sometimes, and doesn’t really last.  It lasts long enough for me to remember who I am and who you are.  We are love, We are of the Universe, we are here to create, to learn and grow.  And our greatest teacher is Love.  We crave it, we name it, we judge it, we cling to it, we cry when we perceive it lost. We lose our minds, our perspective and our sense of self.  All in the name of love.

But let us look at LOVE, love with a capital L. Love comes from Source, Love is energy, Love lets us believe in ourselves.  We see ourselves more gently when we look at ourselves through another’s loving eyes. Love lifts us, Love makes us strong. Love makes us compassionate, Love sets us free.

So when I can stay in the place of Love with a capital L. I can have 48 hours of bliss.  I can welcome all kinds of love coming my way.  And the more I welcome, the more that appears.  Rumi returns with “What I seek is seeking me”. I court Love, I invite Love in.  All Love, all Love is welcome.  I am going to move forward into my day seeking Love, not judging, no conditions, no requirements. Because Love only wants my greater good, only lifts me higher.  Open mind, open heart and ready to claim all the Love the Universe can send my way.  I invite you to join me in welcoming Love with a capital L.

Namaste

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Change, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, New Year, Relationships, Self, Soul, Spirit

Intentions, 2015 and Beyond

So I want to share my intentions for 2015 with you. I believe that stating this out loud to the world gives my intentions even more strength.  So this is an indulgent post, It is all about me.  But maybe something will come up for you that says I want that too.  Because you can have whatever you believe you can have.  And that is the key. The knowingness, the belief, that these things belong to you.  Whatever is yours will appear. So here are mine, for now: This or something better……..

2015 Intention 

In looking at my life I realize there are ways my life can be better, ways I can be happier and have a fuller life.  In recognizing that, I also recognize my role in manifesting these changes in my life.  I have prayed and treated around these ideas.  I am ready to acknowledge and set my intentions for 2015 and beyond.

I want a life that is full of love and community without limiting my need to recharge with time to myself.  I am a loving, caring person and I want that returned to me by those I come in contact with.  I accept nothing less than balance and equality in my relationships. I welcome friends, family and lovers into my life while still keeping my self respect.  I will no longer chase anyone or allow anyone to make me feel my life is secondary. My intention is to live lovingly, happily and fully with those who are likeminded.  Equally, my intention is to allow those I love to walk their own paths with my support, without any fear of loss of love from them.  My intention is to not cling so tightly, but to have mutually respectful and loving relationships.

My intention is to welcome financial abundance in my life.  I recognize that I have been willing to live with lack and I release the belief that this is natural in my life.  I know that the Universe has an never ending supply of whatever I need and I need money. I am now living with the intention that my finances will be multiplied in a way that will enhance my life and the lives of my community.  I see this, I believe this and I welcome this.

My intention is to  live in a healthy body.  This includes living at a healthy weight.  I no longer need to fill any lack in my life with food.  My intention is to wake each day in with a healthy mind and a healthy body.  I see myself growing healthier each day and as a result of clear minded thinking I will reach a healthy weight. I release any need to fill voids with food or drink. I accept and love my body as it is and I am willing for my body to grow healthier.  My intention is to move through my life with grace and ease no longer fighting a battle with my weight.

My intention is to welcome a loving committed relationship into my life.  My life will become enhanced by a singular love which will expand my life.  I release any fear around commitment or settling. I know the love coming into my life will only make my life better and more joyful.  I am ready for this, I no longer need to walk alone. I know a loving relationship is the next step in my growth and I welcome this.  This relationship will not take away from anything and I will not have to “give up” anything that is valuable or important in my life. I have an open honest heart and I welcome the same. My intention is to receive love and commitment in a way that multiplies my joys.  My intention is to say yes to Love.

2015 Treatment 

I know that there is one God, one Designer of the universe and of my life.  I know that God is in everything I do, every thought, every breath.  There is no part of me or my life where God is not.  And knowing this Truth, I know that my stated intentions are the word of God. I know each and every thought of mind and desire of my heart is supported by the Beloved.  And knowing this, I know my life is good.  I know my life will only grow, will only get better and is fully supported by the Universe. I am so grateful for this knowledge.  I am  grateful for light in me that works with God to co create my life.  And as I know this for myself, I know this for everyone.  Everyone is connected, everyone is loved, everyone is supported.  And feeling this deep connection I release my words, my thoughts, my desires into the Mind of God, knowing as I do, the work is already done.  And I let it be so, and so it is.

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Change, Daily Life, friendship, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Spirit

Each Day is a Blessing

Yesterday I was blessed with a day I was not sure would ever come again. For years my sister and I have spent a day during the holiday season going out in the community and taking part in all it has to offer. Craft sales, bazaars, trolley rides, music, lights, truck parade. It has been “our” day. And it so easily could have been lost. For us, we had a real crisis visit us late last summer.  I watched her struggle to live, to talk, to walk, to come home, to understand what had happened, to rebuild her life, to regain joy, trust in the future and her foothold in the world. And none of us knew then, or even know now, where all of this eventually will end up.

But this is what I know today, yesterday I was blessed.  I spent the day in joy, i2014-12-06 18.02.07n love, in peace, in laughter, in song, In happiness. Here we are last night at the lighted truck parade (she is the blonde), a moment we were not   guaranteed to ever have again. Because there are no guarantees, and I really get that now.                                                                                                                                                                                        We have this moment, this day, right now as it is.  Do not let it slip by without some appreciation, some thankfulness.  It is the small things we will miss when life takes a different road.  The voice, the sound of laughter, the sharing of “our song”, someone saying “mom, or dad”. The shared meals, the easiness of simply loving someone and sharing life.

The lesson that comes up for me over and over is be grateful for today. Be grateful for this moment. Be grateful for the simple things.  Wake up and say “Thank you for today”.  Show compassion, people are struggling with hidden pain, sorrow and fear.  We are all human, we come from the same Stuff.  It is easy to give someone a smile, maybe that smile can change their day.  Maybe it is what they need to not give up. Be kind, show how much I care.  Be loving, don’t pass up the chance to give a hug or say I love you.

One thing I knew when my sister was in the hospital was that she knew how much she was loved by me. If the worst had happened I would not have had regrets on our relationship. But I can’t say that about everyone.  It is easy to get get caught up in the day, the week, or month.  Time goes by really fast so make each day, each moment count.  Reach out, don’t let people you love slip away.  In today’s world it easy to connect.  Yes, I would rather hear my son’s voice and feel his hug, but a text from him that says “I love you” feels so darn good. We have no excuse to be disconnected.  All the modern technology makes it easy.

So my yesterday was a gift. But so is today.  I cannot sit in yesterday, whether it was amazing or trying, it is over and the lesson mine to keep.  So I take that lesson and I move in today, with all of its unknown.  I have no idea where the day will take me.  It could a normal day to be grateful for, there could be unknown adventures and lessons waiting me.  It is important to treasure it and it all it brings. Be they lessons, delights, simple pleasures or adventures, the day awaits.  I will not waste it, because this I know, Time is precious, life is precious, I am precious and the Universe is ready, willing and available for me to join in and dance.

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Change, Courage, Daily Life, Honesty, Inspiration, Relationships, Self, The Past

Owning My Past

So I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks ago.  I was out visiting some friends and there was a person there who said he thought he knew me.  And as the evening ended I asked if he remembered where we had met. And he was cagey about it.  I said “in high school? college?” The way he looked at me it was like he thought he had secret knowledge about me, something I wouldn’t want shared. And he wouldn’t tell me.  So I moved on, said goodnight and left.

But here is the deal, I don’t care what you know, or even what you think you know.  Because I know it all, and I own it. You can’t say anything about me that is going to shock me.  Because I lived it. And I am not ashamed of anything. Was it my marriage?  I was not the best wife, I admit that. I was not anywhere near ready to be a wife.  Was it drugs?  I did my share of drugs, maybe your share too.  Was it sex?  I have slept with a lot of men, all of them willing. I am a sexual being and not ashamed of that.  What else?  Was I drunk?  Oh my gosh, I have spent nights on the bathroom floor. What else, was I rude, did I act out? Maybe, probably, I am no angel. Was it the  man I dated who was in prison?  It didn’t last long after he came out, it was an interesting 6 months, no shame here.  I learned a lot about what I don’t want.

My point is this, my past brought me to this point. I have learned lessons along the way, some the hard way. Many the hard way. But it is my past and you cannot use it against me.  I simply do not  care anymore to hide or pretend. I have lived too long and seen every single person I know fall down from time to time, and that includes me.  There is no shame in that. People will try to control us by presenting that they will “keep our secret”. The way out of that is to  graceown who we are, not have secrets and be willing to share our story. Or at least not hide it.

So Mr. whoever you were, you have nothing on me.  You cannot control or make me feel uncomfortable because you “know” something. I know everything, and I will share it all if circumstances warrant it.  If anyone wants to judge me by my past I probably don’t want to spend much time or energy on that person. No more games, no more pretending, no more hiding who I am. I am proud of who I am even if I am not proud of some of the missteps I have made.  Some of things that brought me to this point I would not do again. But I refuse to lie, pretend or be ashamed. Each step along the way has been a lesson and brought me to this point.  Shame holds us down, fear of discovery holds us down, guilt holds us down. Whatever happened, happened, It is done, learn and move forward.

I  want to know people that have a past to share.  Those are the ones with the stories that resonate with me. Show me your scars, show me how you survived, show me how strong you are.  Let’s not deny how we came to be here, strong, beautiful, survivors. Let’s own that and never ever let anyone hold how we came to be here over us. Never let anyone make us feel small or less than. Every step of the way, we walked this, it is ours, this is our story. And it is beautiful and valuable and we have something to share. So go out there and live your life, every piece of it has brought you to the place you are, and there is no shame in that. Love yourself, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly, because truly,  It is all beautiful, it made you who you are.

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