Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mind over matter - honey

When I was young I was a bed wetter. It was humiliating to have sleep overs at friends. My mother would call and let their mother know to protect the mattress just in case.

They really couldn't figure out why it was happening. I had surgery but nothing changed.

One night my mother came to me with a jar of honey. She said that a spoon full of honey before bed time would prevent any accidents. I loved honey so I was happy to give it a try.

It was a miracle I stopped wetting the bed almost overnight. Was it the honey or the belief in the honey. I think the latter.

Suggestions are powerful and I trusted what my mother said. I still love honey especially mixed into full fat yogurt. It is as good as ice cream and as a bonus keeps me from wetting the bed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding Wholiness - Potter tales

I haven't got much time before I have to leave for an appointment across town so I will attempt to write something brief.

I think I mention that I went to see the final Harry Potter movie one afternoon last week. It was serious and dismal compared the earlier ones. I guess as Harry got older life became more complicated and serious. Where is the fun in that?

At the end the school was in shambles. Then years later they were sending their own kids to school there. They never showed the school restored and as a designer I felt cheated.

The other night I watched the first movie and Dumbledore the wizard was explaining to Harry about the magic mirror. He said it shows what you long for in Harry's case his dead parents. They were right there in the mirror and Harry became obsessed at looking at the mirror.

Dumbledore told him that a healthy person would only see himself standing alone in the mirror, wanting nothing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shopping carts and life on the edge - Acceptance

I am in charge of my cousins trust because she is somewhat disabled emotionally. She gets a check twice a month and by the time the day ends she has nothing left.

I have her rent an utilities paid directly so all that is left is food and cable. She receives enough money to live comfortably for the rest of her life but she lives like she was homeless yesterday.

This time last year I helped her to find a new apartment. She was living in a house in a rough part of town. Her husband was in jail and she couldn't keep the place up. I with my good intentions found her an apartment with all the amenities for less than what she was paying. The first visit she had put blankets over all the windows and didn't want to sleep in her new bed.

It all went down hill from there. The day after her check arrived she would be broke and proceeded to beg the neighbors for money. Bottom line it has been a year and they ask her to move.

Today was the last day she had to get out. When I went by her old place today she was cleaning and in her apartment she had three shopping carts. She hadn't plan to even clean it until I called her this morning. The apartment is destroyed and they will bill her for damages.

I found her a new home that caters to the odd and down trodden. It is a small complex and I didn't have to co-sign the lease. She has been there a couple of weeks and has made new friends and fed most of the complex. She fits in better.

I tried to get her to move there the first time but she was excited about the other place. With this place the grocery store is across the street, it is on a bus line and there is a church near by.

You have to work with what you got. Her parents were millionaires but her mother, my aunt, was a control freak and demanded perfection. She was adopted and already had emotional issues and then placed in a home with more problems. Her brother had more potential but couldn't take the pressure either and became an alcoholic.

She was on the streets a lot in her life and prefered that to living at home. She is 55 now and seems pretty happy with the way things are.

I don't blame my aunt her life was no picnic either and she never got past her own pain. She did what she thought was best but it wasn't that great for anyone else in her life.

Her kids at least will never have to live on the streets even if that is where they are the most comfortable.

Passing storms dead plants and worms

I worked in the yard yesterday taking care of some long forgotten dead potted plants. I was forcing myself to just be still where I am, without giving thought to anything but the moment. That didn't totally work.

A friend had given me five flats on dwarf mondo grass six months ago. Her daughters nursery was closing and they were going to pitch them out. I knew how expensive they are because my ex and I had paid for a landscaping plan that called about a hundred of them. We never filled in the patch because even then we thought they were too expensive.

I thought wow free mondo grass. I wanted them but really didn't have a place for them in my new life, but took them anyway. In my depression I never got them planted. They have been dead for months an unidentified plants have sprouted up through the pots.

When I dumped the pots they each had worms in them so I guess it wasn't a total loss.

The whole thing made me think of how at one point in your life you can really want something and then by the time it shows up you really have no use for it. You have changed, your life has changed and you really can't remember why it was so important in the first place.

I have accepted that a lot went to waste while I was away emotionally. I feel like I am cleaning up after a storm. Happy that the storm has finally passed and ready to face the mess it left behind.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Voyeur considering facing the final dragon

I have had some news today that would normally rock my world and it did but only for a minute. I don't think I want to share that here at this moment. Nevertheless I needed a distraction so I went out to facebook to see what I could find.

Being fully awake in my life now I want to see everything just as it is. Since I have given up my story of being a girl without a family and started actually trying to have a relationship the part of my family still alive I decided to check my half sisters facebook page.

She posted a picture of our Dad with her from her wedding day. His big smiling face and her in her movie star (judgement or observation?) wedding gown. She noted that she missed him. I am her friend on facebook so I gave the picture a thumbs up.

She had a different life than me and her mom was always about the way things looked rather than what is on the inside. I didn't go to the wedding I couldn't have dealt with that whole scene.

You see it has always been about me. Locked in my own pain walking around expecting someone to understand me heal me be there for me. Stuck in a childs emotional mind.

Don't get me wrong I had to be there for as long as it took. So now what do I do about my little sister? Can I reach out and test the waters? If I mend what is broken then I will have to face my final dragon, her mother.

Her mother was the first person I encounter that I thought was pure evil. I know now it isn't true (first I wrote is true, a Freudian slip) and it wasn't personal. She is old now and has been pretty miserable most of her life. My Dad loved her unconditionally just as he did my own mother.

I have gotten over her emotionally and at my Dad's house after his funeral she actually said how much they both had loved me. REALLY! I knew my issues were with my Dad and loyalty so I never considered her as the real problem. But when I was under her rule life was no picnic.

If I want to be more than just a thumbs up on facebook it will include her mother. Can I do that now? A test of my no baggage lifestyle. Maybe.

We do have the same blood flowing through our veins. She is family. Can I see past the labels I have given her and see her without judgement.

We'll see only time will tell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Changing my mind - A wizards way

I have been reading a Deepak Chopra book The Way of the Wizard passed on to me by a friend. I find that when the messages come they come all at the same time. I know I have been harping on labels and changing our own minds but it has really been the key to freedom for me.

In the book it talks about how when we see someone or something we see it with all our past baggage attached to it. The simple example was a tree. We drive by them each day with think oh there is a tree. I know what a tree looks like and that is the image from the past we bring up. We don't look at the actual tree standing before us which is different than it was yesterday.

If we do that with the people in our lives how will we ever see the changes. I know when someone acts a certain way I expect them to be that way every time. My expectations are fulfilled so that reinforces the situation for the next time.

If I meet someone like it is the first time every day without my own baggage, instead of waiting for them to prove me wrong, maybe I can see the changes they are making.

I remember early in the program when I stopped focusing on changing someone else or in my mind an impossible situation by some miracle it took care of itself. Time and time again this worked when I stopped seeing what expected to see.

With my depression gone I have been able to let go of the fear and trust that it will all work out. Sometimes it seems like magic.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am planting today

Is this a coincidence or not? Do you believe in signs, I do. Today these words of wisdom crossed my path two different ways and I thought maybe God was trying to tell me something.

Seths Blog

The naive farmer farms as his parents, grandparents and great grandparents did. She plants, hopes and harvests. Anything that goes well or poorly is the work of the gods.

The professional farmer measures. She tests. She understands how systems work and is constantly tweaking to improve them. When failure happens, she doesn't rest until she understands why.

Today Ennegram

By planting the right crop in the right place in the right season, the farmer brings harmony to the cultivation of plants, and prosperity to his family.

Similarly, any business must adjust to the natural cycles of the season; only through flexibility and adaptation can order and growth be maintained.

We are suddenly real busy in fact last night the other designer had an appointment in the showroom. With the lights on some customers stop in around 7:30.

It feels great to have things moving again and a full plate. I took today's messages to mean carefully plant and tend to your garden. Be wise in what your planting for the future and tend to what has already been planted.

Off to work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Homeless - A quiet place

I spent the day alone yesterday. I did some stuff around the house and then decided to go to the downtown library and then to a movie. They were playing Taxi Driver at our oldest theater.

I knew I needed to get out of the house an change my perspective. I wasn't sure I really wanted company but called a friend anyway. I got my answer she couldn't go. So I headed out. I reached the library at 15 minutes until 1:00 and there was a long line of people at the door.

At first I didn't think much about it but as I parked I saw more groups of people heading in that direction. Then I realized it was our homeless population. It was nearing 90 degrees and they were looking for shelter. Everyone looked clean and presentable. We were all greeted by a five man security force.

I admit that at first I was a little afraid but my fear didn't prevent me from staying. They checked our bags for possible weapons and then let everyone through.

This library was built at the peak of prosperity and no expense was spared. Four storeys high with a huge center stairway and a couple or outdoor fountains. The reading cubes are walnut and there is a room for maps and genealogy. Plush couches and tons of computers.

Some would say it was an extravagant homeless shelter but I thought how great that we all have this beautiful structure to come to and I am sure it means more to them than it does to your average person. Plenty of room for everyone.

I thought life has taken a wrong turn for them. Could be the product of mental illness or drugs and alcohol. We have all seen the results of addiction at some point in our lives. Who knows it could just be a temporary set back.

I don't like to use the problems of others to summon gratitude in my own life. It makes me feel like I need to see someone or something as less than to make me feel I am better off. I don't know their journey just my own and accept that for today I can appreciate the grace I have been given for today.

We are all the same inside wanting the same things to be loved to have a place we feel safe. Quiet moments where we can be free from fear and this hard to come by no matter who you are.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nesting and story telling

It has happened again. I am here supposedly working and I am writing instead. This is the perils of being your own boss and being able to justify the fact that your not on the clock.

I have had a easy week with everyone else getting caught up from their own holiday week so it feels good to cruise for a couple of hours. I will be here as long as it takes to get my to do list complete.

I got a call last night from a couple I met at one of my meetings. I was just wrapping up here and deciding what to do about eating when they called to see if I wanted to go to dinner. I was surprised because this hasn't happened before.

We met at a local bar and grill and had a long interesting meal. They are going through a really tough time and losing a lot of things in their life that is important to them. Really just important to her and he is not attached to what they are losing, because it is mostly her stuff.

People say material things are not important and in the grand scheme of things they are not but for someone who has lost their family the remnants of the past is all they have left. I struggled with this in the past myself after I lost my family. I had and still have many things that were my grandmothers or even things that were a part of past relationships that are gone.

I see the stuff as a kind of substitute for the loss. A nest of sorts to comfort when the what has really been lost cannot not be replaced. It supports you when the unthinkable happens, when you lose some large chunk of your life and can't cope with the idea of losing anything else. Grasping for a something familiar to remember the joy or pain of that person or time in your life.

I can be sadly sentimental I have my ex husbands sweater that I taken on every trip I have ever been on except last week. It has been over for 20 years. Sounds crazy but I am not ashamed he never really liked that sweater anyway. I loved him and thought we would spend the rest of our lives together.

I think that not taking the sweater on this trip was yet another sign of putting the past in its place. This trip was about getting my family back or what is left of it. The timing is finally right for me to let go of the past and start fresh. I can do that now. I can change my sad story to something with a happier ending. I can let go of my pain and blame and live with what is instead of what could have been.

I am exchanging people for the memories that I have kept alive for so many years. I was lost in them for so long and didn't know it. Letting go doesn't mean I will forget it just means I don't have to make today's choices by holding them up against something that happened in the past. I can make them without baggage and as the person I am today.

I can see the past like an old cherished book to be kept on the shelf. I can take it down from time to time and let the emotions of the story wash over me if I want. I know for me by book contains some fiction and some facts but it was all real to me because it is my story.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Look how pretty those clouds are. Living in the moment

On my vacation I spent time with my niece and nephews. The first two days I spent with the oldest 24 we hiked and talked non stop. We discussed the world the one we live in and the spiritual world we are striving to get to. We wrapped our visit up because he had an out of town wedding to attend. He is the professional groomsman amongst his friends.

The next few days I spent with his sister a finance major working three jobs this summer while attending to a new boyfriend. She has all the balls in the air and managed us both by inviting him to lunch with us or inviting me to lunch with them I am not sure. Very efficient and very familiar to me when I had the world by the tale.

The youngest of the three is 15 and is his own man. He is mild mannered and prefers electronics and machines to conversation. He did make it clear to me that he was available for hiking himself after his job as camp counselor ended at 3 each day. I apparently was neglecting him. His job as counselor consisted of taking the kids hiking each day so I assumed he would prefer his games to his aunt. I was wrong.

One afternoon we decided to drive up the parkway to Skinny Dip Falls. His sister was going to go with us if she could juggle her schedule. I think he wanted her to go because he thought I would get lost on the parkway like his mom. We waited and when she was a no show we took off on our own.

It was a long drive 45 minutes high in the mountains. I asked him some questions and he answered them. It was mostly quiet except when we came upon a mile marker and we calculated how far we had to go. After a long bit of silence we rounded one curve and he said look how pretty those clouds are.

Wise beyond his years comfortable with quiet and seeing the beauty before him. Isn't that what peace is all about? Living in the moment.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Finding more freedom from the past - New labels

I mentioned before that during a meeting someone said "what would you do if you had no fear?" In my mind I said I would take off and see my sister. So I did.

The timing was right for me and my customers. Maybe not perfect for anyone else with the owner out of town but I decided to just do it anyway. I have played the part of manager and keeper of all things over and over again. I don't need this label I have given myself. I am good at it but that doesn't mean I have to do it again and again.

Miracle of miracles everything went fine a couple of crisis but nothing with my customers. I felt strange being out of character but I got over it pretty quick. I don't want a permanent role I want to be free. This is a daily choice to be free from past definitions of myself.

The trip was the best ever probably because it was like visiting for the first time. I was different I was free from my childish self and able to meet my sister as one adult to another. In the past I had baggage. This time we talked one adult to another the timing was perfect. I said I was sorry I hadn't been there for her the past 10 years and she said she was sorry she left me with my dad and stepmother at 13.

I had to get rid of my demons from the past before this embrace could happen. I have felt alone since the death of my mom and it was painful to be around my sister. She did have a relationship with my dad that I did not. It was important to her because she had children. I felt judged and was judged for my decision to stay away.

Time uncovers truths when the opportunity is right. Our black and white views become gray with age and we can either choose to open our eyes or bury our heads a little deeper. My mom taught us that the truth will set you free and we both got that.

We are starting fresh no past to hinder us and this is quite the miracle. I am able to accept her as she is instead of who I want her to be. I told her that I wanted her to have what I had and she said she just wanted me to have what she had. Who cares now we got what we got and some of it was good and some of it was bad.

Finally letting go of the past and accepting the present is all I have to work with frees me from the restrictions I put on myself. It is my own thoughts about the past that binds me.