Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Halloween SCARY story

Happy Halloween!

A SCARY story for you. Trick or treat?

Not so long ago there was a beautiful young woman who lived a comfortable life somewhere in the urban sprawl of a modern metropolis. She enjoyed her life, had a good job, and wonderful relationships. She loved everything about modern life: the fashion, the food, the accessibility to everything in the world at her fingertips.

One day, she was given a gift. She was told that this tool was harmless, except that it would help her to feel better about herself if she was ever sad or upset. If she faced any challenges in her life, she could bring it out of the closet, unseen, use it, and in an instant, she would feel better than before. It could transform any negative thoughts she had about herself with the push of a button.

At first, she didn’t understand it – and she put the gift in the back of the closet. Until one day when she went to put on her favorite little black dress for a cocktail party, and it didn’t zip. “What the-!” she thought. “I wore this only a few months ago! Must be all those extra mocha-frappa-ccino thingies I’ve been drinking to stay focused at work.” With that thought, she pulled out some black pants and a cute sweater and got dressed for the party. Not happy with herself, and feeling a little less than fabulous, she remembered the gift at the back of the closet.

“I wonder…..”

She took it out, pressed the button, and within seconds, she felt a little better. Surprised with the effects of this little wonder, she decided to put it in her purse and bring it with her. “Couldn’t hurt,” she thought.

Throughout the evening, as her friends arrived in their cutest dresses, she felt herself shrinking inside. Mad at herself for being unable to wear her cutest dress, she resorted to pushing the little button again and again throughout the night.

Over the course of the next few months, the little button was never far from her side. She brought it with her everywhere: the gym, the store, work, events. This little gift never left her side – even as her friends started to pull away from her. “They’re just jealous,” she thought. And her finger would automatically slide to the button once more.

Eventually, her beauty began to wane, and she found herself spending more and more time with people she had previously thought ugly or rude. But now, she gave it no mind. They were her new friends, and they liked her, thought she was funny. With time, however, even her clothes, job and home gave way to the little “gift” she had received. Her world had become dark, covered in cobwebs and dust, and the little button no longer worked. It only brought her more and more misery with each press.

Finally, she couldn’t take it any longer, and she decided to throw the button away, assuming it was broken. “It must not be working,” she said, and she walked out her door. As she approached the nearest trash can on her street, she pulled the button out of her pocket, ready to hurl it into the depths of decaying banana peels and old coffee cups.

“You can’t throw that in there!” She heard someone yell from the corner. She stopped.

“Why not?”

As the man approached her, he looked disheveled, dirty and … homeless. ‘Why am I listening to this ugly homeless man’ ran through her mind in a flash, her finger on the depressed button. “Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do? You’re homeless! And, and dirty! And you probably do drugs or drink or….or steal!” Still pressing the button.

But the homeless man came nearer, and for a moment she could see starlight in his eyes. Her finger softened, and he reached for her hand. Without thinking, she placed the button in his outstretched hand, as he gently took her arm and walked her to the nearest bench.

“Thank you,” he said. “You’ve done a wonderful thing. You’ve just given yourself a gift.”

“But that WAS the gift. And it stopped working.”

“No,” he continued. “This….This is a weapon.” She stared blankly at him. “Let me explain.

This button is the worst weapon of all. It destroys lives, steals joy and demolishes love, faith and hope. It’s stronger than any chemical weapon they can create. Like a gas it’s invisible and toxic, but also contagious. This weapon has been known to build entire industries on lies and falsehood, and wipe out generations of relationships in the process. This little button was killing you, and you never even knew.”

“But – but…. I don’t understand. Why? What is it?”

With that, the gentle man stood up, dismantled the button, destroying the individual pieces, and threw them in the garbage never to be assembled again. He returned to the bench, quietly sat down next to the beautiful woman, placed his hand on her hands and softly said,

“Judgment.”

Knock knock…..who’s there?

Opportunity.

What do you do if you’re awakened by your mind at roughly 3am for 3 nights in a row? Well, if you’re me, for the first two nights, you roll over, say “not now,” and go back to sleep – rather uncomfortably. By the third night, however, you sit up and take notice and accept the fact that inspiration has come to visit. It would be rude (and rather stupid) to keep ignoring the call.

Some say that the ‘veil’ between the physical world and the spiritual world is thinnest around 3 or 4 am. That if there are messages to receive, they will most readily and easily be ‘heard’ during that time frame. Heck, Dr. Wayne Dyer makes it a practice to be up and meditating during the thinned veil time, and look at what he’s accomplished! But I like my sleep. I need my sleep, so

it took three nights for me to heed the call!  …….And I’m ever so glad I did!

Not only do I have the idea and design completely mapped out for an entirely new workshop on authenticity that will be fantastic! (I can’t wait to share it with you!)  I am also writing this piece on opportunity. Knock knock, indeed.

What strikes me about opportunity lately is the realization that it knocks many many different ways. Sometimes we recognize it, sometimes we don’t. Here’s the bit that fascinates me however:

even when we recognize it, we often don’t know what to do!

It’s true! Suddenly, that open door that we’ve been praying and hoping for is before us, and we find ourselves speechless and motionless, seemingly unable to walk through it. Why? Is it fear of what’s on the other side? Fear of losing what’s known (and comfortable) on this side? Or is it something else combined with fear? Something like: lack of acceptance and preparation.

You see, if you’re at all like me (which if you’re human you probably are), then all the hoping and dreaming in the world doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the day the dreams have the potential to become reality. Why? Because the energy has been in the desire, not the acceptance. Wait. What?

The energy has been in the desire, not the acceptance.

Desiring something keeps it at arm’s length. It keeps it external to your reality. Accepting something makes it real…allows it to be received

So, there’s a reason manifesting incorporates receiving. Because asking is only half of the process. Receiving is the next step. The energy shifts and what was once desired is now possible.

As for opportunities. They can be tricky little buggers. The beauty is that if something is meant to be, the Universe conspires to make it happen and will provide numerous opportunities for you to walk through that door. They’ll range from the quiet subtle hints (like hearing something on the radio that ‘happens’ to be just what you were thinking about – coincidence?), to the blatant slaps upside the head, such as receiving a message in your inbox from someone reaching out to connect with you, be it for a job, a conversation or a relationship.

Opportunities are all around us. They abound. The Universe conspires to give us the best life imaginable from where we are today: a life of love, joy, wellness, prosperity and connection. What we have to do is learn to recognize them better, and accept them when they show up, by walking through that door. After all, anything is possible. Whether it’s probable, however, depends on what we do when opportunity shows up.

Permission and Forgiveness – Heck, we’re all human!

So…Confession: I haven’t been myself lately, for myriad reasons: death of a friend, driving over 2,000 miles in 10 days, getting sick, etc. I may have even projected some of this onto others in my life (oops). Then I thought about that first sentence and realized something very important:

I AM being myself….In all my messy, human unique ways.

I therefore have modified it to: I haven’t been my BEST self lately. And that’s ok. I’m not perfect (don’t wanna be), and I’m human (sometimes forget that), which makes me fallible and lovable at the same time. As a dear friend wrote to me recently

“I’m a firm believer in being fabulous and human at the same time.” (Thanks Martha!)

I agree! Which means I mess up, I get things wrong, I get tired, emotional, and confused. It also means that I have great capacity for love, compassion and kindness. I forgive more easily, because I know what it means to screw up.

All that being said, I’ve taken a reflective look at the past few days and where I thought I had messed up, and frankly, I’m not sure I did. I know I didn’t express myself well at times, but I still tried – and there’s value (lots of it) in simply being willing to show up and try, in being vulnerable. In being present.

What I’m getting at then, is this: It’s ok to be vulnerable, scared, and imperfect. In fact, it’s quite normal. Healthy, even. What matters most is what we do when we realize we may have acted somewhat out of alignment with our best self.

What matters to me is that I say sorry if I offended or hurt someone, and I reach out to trusted friends to ask for help when I’m tired or overwhelmed, instead of trying to go it alone. Thankfully, I did just that (after some rest), and I was reminded of how great it is to have friends who love you, for you. They forgive your moody exhaustion and take it all in stride. (Thankfully!) Most importantly, they help you remember your best self, thereby making it easier to return to a state of gratitude and wellness.

So – this week it’s a simple thank you. THANK YOU to my friends who gracefully embraced me in my exhaustion and emotional sadness at the loss of a friend, and who reminded me of the joy, light and love that I hold inside me for life.

This week I’m giving myself permission to be human and forgiveness for not being able to be my best self, in light of all I had going on. Something to think about, then: We often give these things to others in our lives… I encourage you to join me and think about where you can do the same for yourself.

Death and Remembrances

Death. It’s a tough subject, isn’t it? We don’t often discuss it in our society until something tragic (or expected) happens, and then we lament the past and momentarily feel scared of the future. Death, however, is a certainty. It happens, and it will happen. To all of us.

For me, I’ve been surrounded by the prospect of the death of a loved one on and off for over 13 years. That’s a long time to live wondering whether someone you love would leave, when they’d leave, and how they’d leave. In my case, it’s almost a third of my life! And yet, I’ve rarely discussed the subject with anyone, because it seemed somehow out of bounds.

Last night I was reminded of this when visiting with old friends. It was suggested that it was somehow wrong to discuss the prospect of dying with others. It was an unnecessary burden to place on another human being, especially someone in a younger generation, like an adult child. I respected their opinion, but I disagreed. Here’s why: Because I’ve been directly faced with the prospect of a loved one dying for some time now, I’ve been able to have the conversation in which I could offer a different perspective. When my loved one recently said to me that he felt he hadn’t done enough, accomplished enough, or been enough – I was able to share that he had, in fact, done more than he realized, that he had been more than he knew, and that he had accomplished incredible things….and I gave examples.

Being able to share with someone what their legacy may be, before they pass, is a gift. Being able to have the same honest conversation with ourselves is an incredible opportunity. So, I thought about it. (Admittedly, it’s not the first time I’ve done so, and with each instance, I’ve gained further clarity for my life.) I asked myself this question:

If I were to die tomorrow, would I be ok with that? The answer was simply: Yes.

I know with absolute certainty that I would be able to say that I died content, knowing that I would be remembered as I would have liked…. as someone who loved well. I may not have accomplished all that I desired, and I may have left unfinished business, but I would know in my heart that I lived according to my values, my goals, and who I am as a person. In my opinion, we can’t ask for much more than that. I know I can’t.

So – although it’s a difficult conversation to have, I think it’s important. Not only to discuss with loved ones but also with yourself. And it’s a good yardstick against which to measure how you are living. It’s one of those barometers I’ve talked about. If you were to pass tomorrow, what do you hope would be said of you, and more importantly, what would you be able to say of yourself? If the answer is not what you would hope it would be, what a great opportunity to make changes now so that it will be then. Asking the question is about creating opportunities for sharing, caring and making changes. And I think that’s healthy and, actually, life-affirming.

I also want to share that I have every intention of living to a ripe old age, loving well along the way. :)  What is your intention?

The Good Parts

“I can’t stop now, I’m just at the good part!”

This was a quote from a cartoon sketch my parents had done of me when I was growing up. It was a big 70s thing, I think. (I’ve just dated myself, haven’t I? Ah well.)

I can't stop now!

I can’t stop now!

I was thinking about this the other night, and how I still read a book until 4am if it’s gripped me. How could I stop? But, in truth, it’s so rarely the case as adults. In fact, it’s quite the reverse.

As a child the world was FULL of good parts. Everything had the potential to be exciting, because we still sensed adventure and exploration around every corner – ripe for the taking! Life, as it seemed, was a series of good parts stitched together by the occasional “muddle through” bits, like brussel sprouts.

As an adult, it’s quite different. Instead of “can’t stop” we “don’t stop” because we’re always hoping to get to the good parts….some day. We keep going and going, searching for the elusive good bits, all the while munching on the brussel sprouts of life.

What a difference!

Now, I’m not giving brussel sprouts a bad rap. Actually, they are quite good once I changed how I cooked them. And that’s the point. When we’re muddling through something, changing our perspective can turn something we tolerate into something we can’t get enough of. (Like those 4am books!!)

Yes, as adults we have more responsibilities. However, we also have more independence and choice. We get to choose how we look at each day, and that, in itself, can shift muddling through into those lovely good bits that we don’t want to stop.