Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Mighty Goldfish

Tasty Tidbit #1:  Like a Ninja
            I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again, I love my job.  Yesterday’s quest was to see how many ways you can use a piece of cheesecloth.  First, I used it for a hand wrap after my vicious and somewhat cruel boss told me to grab hold of something really hot.  Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it went. Might have been more like, “that’s not that hot, oh shit!”  The hand wrap made for an excellent sympathy tool.  Next, I tried it on as a head wrap for a toothache.  Drool was included.  Finally, I used it for the all important ninja headband, the mark of a true geek.  Upon tying the cheesecloth around my head, my body was filled with the spirit of the ninja.  In other words, I hide behind the bookcase and jumped out at Harmony, making her scream just a little bit.  That was pretty funny, but what was even better was the high pitched indescribable noise that came out of one of our clients.  It wasn’t a snort or a twitter, it somewhat resembled the squeak of a guinea pig.  We love you Erika!  All told it was a productive night. 

Tasty Tidbit #2:  Accepting the Lesson Before it Arrives (AKA Learning to Duck)
            When you call the Universe out, you better be ready. You might also want to duck because there is most likely a 2x4 aimed at the back of your nugget.  I believe that we come into this life to learn lessons.  Great, most of us know this, yes?  Of course yes.  So, I was thinking the other day, what would be the next step in that spiritual process?  I think the next step is asking for the lesson.  I’m not saying get cocky, because that’s just asking for trouble.  Writing something like “Hey Universe- Bring it on,” on your facebook page, might be seen as a universal challenge by some.   J  I’m just saying.  However if you are feeling up to the challenge and willing to accept whatever comes your way, if you are willing to release “control” and step onto the playing field of Source, then I recommend asking for the lesson.  I’m sure there is a measure of humility that goes along with this.  As for me, I say bring it!

The Mighty Goldfish
            This might be a myth, it might not, but I have heard that a goldfish can only grow the size of its tank.    Who would have thought that a goldfish could teach us so much?  It’s a 29 cent feeder fish that drunken college guys swallow on a dare. I wonder if guys really do that or if it’s just a movie thing, give me a shout out if you have ever purposely swallowed a goldfish.  I’m not sure how you would swallow one accidently, but God only knows.  In fact, if you have ever accidently swallowed a goldfish, never speak to me again.  I digress. 
            So a goldfish only grows to the size of its tank and the same goes for you my blogger friends.  We can only grow as much as we allow ourselves space and only we decide the size of our tank.  If you can believe it, this whole idea of space and fish, (Spacefish the ultimate defender of the universe), came out of me reading a book on labyrinths and mazes.  No, I’m not going to explain what the difference between them is, if you want to know go buy the book.  Anyway, the book came with a stack of labyrinths and mazes for you to practice, and work with.  I shuffled through them, and picked a simple one to start working on.  I didn’t expect anything to come out of the experience; I was just killing some time.  The one I choose was a labyrinth pattern, mostly because that’s harder to spell when you’re typing.  Anyway, as I began coloring in the pathways toward the center I made sure to take notes along the way, as the book suggested.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much came out of such a simple exercise.  Here are a couple of examples of the notes I took.
·        Distracting self from completing labyrinth
·        Ability to look ahead to choose correct path
·        Taking care of tools to ensure completion of journey
·        Pausing before each action to ensure taking correct path
When I got to the center room on the labyrinth I paused before coloring it in.  When I did begin to color, I watched as the blue of the pencil filled and expanded to fill up the space, hence the goldfish idea was born.  I realized that I could only expand to the space marked on this page, but what about my life?  How was I allowing myself to expand and grow? Was I allowing myself to do those things?  This is one of those cases where space is an essential element.  If my life was too full, too filled up, how could anything new come into my life, how could I continue to grow?  I started to examine different areas of my life and I noticed that certain areas had become stagnate or as Teresa likes to say stagnatized!  Areas had become cluttered with too much stuff, old stuff, and stuff that had served its purpose, but I wasn’t letting go of it. 
     With spring right around the corner, many of us are feeling the urge to purge.  This is a great time to look at your life and see what areas need to be cleared out.  I’m not just talking about all the clutter in your home and physical area; I mean everything, mental, physical, and spiritual.  Are you holding onto old belief systems that no longer work for you?  What about old habits? Are there people in your life that you feel you have grow apart from?  To grow we must allow space into our lives.  Space is a lot like silence.  We in the west are not really sure what to do with silence or space.  Space can feel uncomfortable at first, like you are missing something.  In a way you are, you’re missing the old comfortable thing, whatever that was for you.  By opening up, clearing out, and holding space, we are telling the Universe, hey I’m here, and I’m ready for what’s next.  This brings up another fear for people, fear of the unknown.  We have no idea what’s going to come walking into our lives and we are usually so afraid of what it might be, that we choose to hold on to what we know, even if it’s painful, or we’ve outgrown it.  We have to be willing to trust that everything is in divine order and that our highest good is being looked after.  That we are taken care of, just not the way we might have perceived it, or wanted it. 
     One way, and maybe the easiest way, to start clearing your spiritual tank is through meditation.  It’s an easy way to clear out some of the clutter, even if it’s just for a few minutes.  Start with what you can comfortably work with, five minutes counts.  Don’t feel like you have to sit down and meditate for an hour at a time.  When you quiet your mind even for a few minutes you are opening the door for spirit.  You are creating space for the Universe to step in and begin making miracles in your life. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sometimes I just Feel Like a Universal Pawn

Tidbit #1:  Closing Time
            Using the phrase closing time seems a little cliché to me, but it works.  I love closing time.  I love my job, but I love the end of the day too.  I love it when the lights are out, the floors are vacuumed, and the drawer is done.  Everything is set in its place, or at least stuffed in the general area.  I love to walk through the darkness just feeling the energy of the day.  Sometimes I’ll go sit in Win-A-Car’s chair, and meditate.  The silence draws me in.  I’m grateful every time I hear the door chime, but I equally as grateful for the silence.

Tidbit #2:  Advertisement
This is just me being honest.
            Seven year old, one-eyed ornery orange cat looking for a good home needs to be an only child.  Gizmo, who also responds to, hey, cut it out, is a loving cat that is fixed, declawed and loves to eat shoelaces.  He is a fat, fuzzy ninja assassin who will jump out of dark corners to pounce on the backs of innocent animals and bare ankles.  Serious inquires only, for a cat who needs some serious loving!

Sometimes I Just Feel Like a Universal Pawn
            I’m someone who does her best to listen to her inner voice.  You know the quiet one that’s mixed in with the voices of the rest of the world.  Sometimes I hear no problem, other times it’s like I just can’t get a clear signal.  Lately, I have been doing a lot of listening, but only partially hearing.  The universe however has been working that part out for me.  I have to say, I feel a little used.  The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of strange, and mostly unconnected (as far as I can see) events.  The universe seems fit to use me whether I am getting the messages or not.  Which is probably the case more times than not, but I like to pretend I have some control.  I was doing a meditation the other day on this subject, the subject of not getting the message that is, and basically the answer I got was, I’m trying too hard.  Tension causes static, which makes things hard to hear.  It’s not that you’re disconnected, the line is just busy.  Relax and call back later, I guess.  Back to feel like a pawn.  So this series of events that happened has caused me to ask a couple of questions, which I am now going to present to you. 
Have you ever thought about how connected we all are?  Walking through Walmart the other day I found myself amazed.  I was thinking, each and every person in this store made an agreement to come to this store at this moment and have these interactions.  We are all here, helping each other and learning from one another in a thousand different ways.  For example, when I was bent over trying to get a plastic storage bin I noticed a woman coming down the aisle. When she got to me she just stopped right next to me.  I asked her if she needed a bin, as I assumed that this was the reason she had stopped (the plastic bins were all but gone, spring fever anyone?).  Instead she said, “Oh no, I just wanted to get by.”  Can we say lesson in throat chakra, say what you need to say.  As I stood in line waiting to pay I saw a couple items spill off an overfilled belt, a couple of lanes over.  The cashier made no move to assist the customer and you could almost hear her thinking, serves you right for overloading the belt.  Possibly a lesson in compassion for one, and patience for the other?  I don’t know, I’m not the lesson giver, just the observer.  The woman in front of me in line was scrambling through her purse looking for something.  Then her phone rang and all action stopped as she took the call.  I have to admit I laughed out loud in delight.  It was really very funny to me; you could feel the other customers in line and their need to claw this woman’s eyes out.  The call was short and then she went back to rummaging through her purse.  She pulled out several singles and a handful of change; however, the search continued.  She was checking yet another pocket in her purse when I decided to add my two cents in, or twenty-five to be exact.  I asked the woman how much she was short, and she said just a quarter.  So I dug to the bottom of my purse found the much searched for coin and we parted ways. 
            So now I’m going to ask, why was I there?  Was it just to give some stranger a quarter, or was it so that I could make these observations?  I would guess that there’s more than one answer to the question.  Why is it that you have an urge to go to a certain store and when you get there you find a wallet laying on the ground and you are able to assist in returning it to its owner?  Or you go out to eat, but it’s so busy at the restaurant you want to go to that you end up going to restaurant across the way and as you are walking through the parking lot you find a cellphone?  What about that person that’s in front of you doing 25 in a 45?  Did you ever think that maybe you have the reflexes (and maybe the insurance) to avoid a potential accident that might be caused by the idiot riding your butt instead of the old woman in front of you, that you are in a way there to protect that person in front of you?  Or the reverse, that person is in front of you to slow you down, to prevent an accident that might have occurred?  We are all here to help each other, what in God’s name makes us think these things aren’t possible?  That we aren’t all constantly working in small ways to assist each other? Most of us are so caught up in our own personal agendas that we never stop to think about someone else’s.  Take one day this week and let the universe move you.  See what happens, observe the situations presented to you throughout the day, and see where you might be moved into a position to help someone. It doesn’t have to be the work of a superhero, in fact it will probably be something small, but it will be significant for the other person.  Remember that we are all connected, so really you are not just helping someone else, you’re helping yourself as well.  It’s not so bad being a pawn, I actually kind of like it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Poetry Portfolio

Tasty Tidbit: Ugly Children
I’m probably going to hell for this, but I’m good with it.  Tonight I saw something that frightened me, almost beyond words.  I went to the local Wallyworld with Teresa and as we were checking out we saw a terrifying sight.  The ugliest kid I’ve ever seen.  Not just ugly, because I’ve seen ugly.  This kid was so ugly we actually made up a new category, Zoids, for this kid.  It was like a car wreck, you don’t want to look, but damn you just have to.  Your brain just can’t quite comprehend what it’s seeing.  Blonde curly hair bunched at the top of his head like a Mohawk from hell.  His skin was pale white; I’m not sure if there were fangs I figured he could read my mind so I shouldn’t look too close, and a blue vein going up one cheek.  He was throwing his head back and laughing in this super creepy, horror movie way.  He looked like one of those kids that would come walking out of a corn field, or that had an alien for a daddy.  As we walked out, Teresa tried to get me to take one last look.  I refused. The sight of that vein was burned into my memory.  We wondered in the car, does the mom know that her child is the spawn of satan?  Or does she think he’s a darling little boy?  I would say that the child is the result of some ugly sex.  The mom wasn’t ugly, neither were her other two kids that were huddled together in the back of the cart for safety.  Too much inbreeding?  I guess we’ll never know.  I wonder what people say when they see pictures of the kid; I mean what could you say? Well at least he doesn’t have a tail?  Or, I see he got your vein?  There was nothing to work with.  What do people with ugly kids do?  Or what if you have a really cute kid and a monster child?  Just remember, adoption is always an option. 
Tasty Tidbit: Don’t Forget to Ask
            A few days ago I was feeling down.  Not just down, as in blue, more like completely disconnected.  I hadn’t heard from my husband in over a week, and I was moving out of my mother’s house.  It felt a bit like I was being booted from the nest again and the people I expected to catch me weren’t any where to be seen.  Once I started down the road of funk, my vibration followed, which means that funk followed as well.  I went to take a nice lavender salt bath and found out that my tub drain leaks.  Later that day, I found that the toilet in that bathroom was running continuously, and the toilet in our half bath is wedged in so tight you can barely wipe yourself. Things just kept happening, I lost the DVD remote, my cats knocked two plants over (freshly watered of course!), etc, etc.  The task of moving for the second time in four months was overwhelming me, and being alone was crushing.
            Finally, I was able to sit down and talk to Teresa about things.  I basically spewed my guts all over the place, describing what was going on in my life.  We chat for over an hour about the various mishaps, and when we parted I did feel a little better.  Still when I got back to my new pad the emptiness was waiting in the dark for me.  I decided to just sit down and let myself have a good cry.  Sometimes you just need to cleanse all that funk out.  As I was crying my phone beeped, letting me know that I had a new email.  Hoping that it would be my husband, it wasn’t, I grabbed the phone.  It was an email newsletter that I get daily.  This one was all about laying down your burdens, turning your problems over to the divine.  There was a short meditation included.  I immediately laid back down and did the meditation.  I visualized all of my problems as a package, which turned into several packages including one pet carrier that had two of my main problem people in it.  Then I called my team in.  To me, my team is all my angels, guides, totem animals, passed family, etc.  I called everyone in and asked if they would help me with these problems.  I visualized each stepping forward and taking a package.  I could feel the relief.  I could actually feel the weight lifting off of me.  In the meditation it said to be sure to say thank you, and since I agree that gratitude is incredibly important, I made sure to say thank you.  As I did so, it popped in my head and I guess this might sound bad, but I thought, why didn’t you guys do this sooner, you knew I needed help?  The answer: I never asked.

Poetry Portfolio
Well folks there’s no grand lesson tonight, except perhaps one of gratitude.  The last four months I have been living at my mother’s home, because I sold our house.  I knew, and she knew, that this was a temporary situation.  Going back home at age 31 is a little disconcerting.  The first time I came home at 2:00am and my mother was waiting for me, really threw me. I was grateful however to have a place to stay.  My mother; however, does not always think to ask me things.  Like, hey Sara do you need this writing portfolio? If she had asked the answer would have been yes.  No, she didn’t ask.  She deleted it from the computer and when I went looking for it, I was devastated.  I didn’t keep copies of my work, because I figured, hey it’s on the computer.  As a last ditch effort I decided to write my professor from last semester and see if he could email me my portfolio.  I thought it was a long shot at best.  Sometimes long shots are the best shots.  Today, he emailed me back, portfolio in hand, or email I suppose and I was overjoyed and grateful.  Because of this I decided that I would share a few poems from this portfolio with you all tonight.  I hope you enjoy them.  I know I am just so grateful that I can share something that I thought was lost for good. 

Breaking Boughs

The first time I fell
You caught me.

The second time I fell
You rebuked me.

The third time I fell
You ignored me.

The fourth time I fell
I caught myself.

The Return

Nothing extraordinary happened
Nothing has changed
Yet I feel a shift inside of me
My kaleidoscope vision turning again.

Poor me has been washed away
With tidal waves and foreign shores
Leaving me the same
But released

Released from grief
Heartache and pain
Released from myself created chains

I return home
To the place of I Am.

The Gallery

I stare into fragile frames
Looking for a piece of myself

Watercolor, oil paints, pencil, and charcoal
Lines, figures, dots, and landscape

In the corner
Just like me

Hidden in the back
Just like me

She waits staring
Just like me

I fall into her penciled eyes
And buy a piece of my soul.

A Free bird in a little cage
Wearing chains around its little foot
A Free bird in a little cage
Flying through open skies.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Because I Love You...

Tasty Tidbit
Well I’m burping tequila mixed with grande quesadilla, so it must be ‘Ritas night!  It’s a little difficult to come bumping back to earth after so much fun.  Tonight I got to hang out with some of my best buds, which is perfect considering this week’s blog is all about friendship.  Now mind you folks we’re going to bring it down a notch tonight, so turn the lights down, light a nice fire, and snuggle up with the one you love.  Don’t forget to love yourself too, just don’t Love yourself, I mean unless you want to.  You might want to wait until your done reading though. So tonight I want to say thank you to all my friends past, present, and future, (please don’t get me started on the whole, it’s all happening at the same time thing, I have tequila in me).  I love you all, and I always will.

Just Because I Love You…
          I have always wanted a group of close friends.  You know like the kind that you see in the movies.  I always wanted buds that would hang with me, stick up for me, and go to jail with me.  There was always a longing for a closeness, a gap that I was never quite able to fill.  I was looking for lifetime friends, no not like the television channel, I mean the kind that would be with me when I was pissing myself (wait a minute, okay check that one off the list), and gasping my last breath.
            When I was sixteen I met a beautiful young woman, who we will call, Lana. Lana has done more and experienced more than any person I know.  She is one of the most talented people I have ever come in contact with, and I have learned what that can do to a person.  At the time, I thought Lana was the same age I was, maybe a year or two older.  It took us almost twelve years to discover that she was the same age as my mother.  We never knew, I guess it was never important.  What was important was the way that Lana assisted me in my spiritual growth.  I was sixteen and had more understanding than most adults I knew.  In fact, I would say more than any of the adults I knew.  It was a frustrating time for me.  Leaving out for a moment the raging hormones, and factor in a complete sense that I don’t belong here (as in this planet) in any way shape or form.  It wasn’t any kind of; gee I’m a teen I don’t belong, though I did have that too.  This was a deeper disconnection, something that had no words or definition, only a deep and utter longing for something I could not reach, or better said, did not know how to reach.  I was writing, but not understanding.  I had the understanding, but not the words.  I was searching, like most teens for a way to define.  But I wasn’t looking for a way to define myself, really I was looking for a way to define the experiences and the understanding that I was having.  People were always telling me that there was something different about me, but when asked what, there was no answer.
            Lana was the first person who had an answer.  I showed her some of my writing one day and she shocked me by telling me I was an old soul.  This I already knew.  Lana, however, was the first person to identify that within me, she was the first person to confirm and help reinforce ideas and conclusions that I had made about myself.  Lana was someone I was looking for, a mentor or a guide.  I needed someone to talk with, before I just simply burst.  It was an actual fear that I had, I also thought that I was mentally imbalanced, or broken in some way.  Here, finally, was someone I could share with, who could assist me.  Turns out that I ended up assisting a lot of other people, for once it became an exchange.  Lana and I started taking weekly classes from a woman that she knew.  I learned more about subjects I already knew.  Auras, energy, Reiki, color therapy, and a whole lot more.  My writing took off, in ways I had never experienced.  I didn’t know it than, but I was doing automatic writing.  I just knew that I would sit down with a tablet and write, when I was done I couldn’t remember what I had written, and most of the time I was astounded by what I had written.  Then I started getting messages for people in our classes.  I was uncomfortable giving the messages, but at the same time I felt they were important.  I never judged them, even when I went back through and spell checked them.  I figured it was what it was. 
            After a couple years, teenage life caught up with me and a terrible break up with the boyfriend I was sure I was going to marry.  I went through stints of writing, but I felt like my precious gift was lost.  Lana stuck with me through everything.  She was there when I needed to call at 2 am.  Lana was there when I got kicked out of my house and needed a place to live.  Lana was there when I was eight hundred dollars in the red after depositing my whole paycheck and when I filed a desperate bankruptcy.  Lana taught me that the greatest gift you can give to another person besides love is compassion.  Then Lana got a new husband, and I was ousted again.  Not of Lana’s doing mind you, but of my own stupidity.  I left her hanging with a three hundred dollar phone bill, why do girls always leave someone with a phone bill?  After nearly seven years of friendship, we ended up not speaking for over a year.
            Then I got nudged.  I was working on meditation one day, and I heard someone say my name. It sounded like someone talking through a fan.  There was no one else in the house at the time.  There was no profound message, just my name.  That was enough.  I had been thinking about Lana for a couple weeks, how I needed to call, pay her back and at least give her the chance to tell me off properly for being the world’s worst friend.  So I called.  I paid her back.  She didn’t tell me off.  We started our friendship where we left off, like we never left off at all. 
            Fast forward another eight years.  Lana moved to Texas, I moved to the armpit of the United States.  For seven of those eight years we didn’t see each other.  As the years past we went from calling once a week, to once a month, to once whenever we felt like the other needed to talk.  I suppose it was a classic long distance friendship.  Our connection was still so strong, but I started to notice some differences in her tone of voice and the way that she would present her ideas.  While my life was unfolding almost faster than I could keep up with it, I could hear that Lana was exactly where she had been six years ago, or eight years ago, then sixteen years ago.  Then one night about five months ago I got a phone call from Lana. To be honest, I hadn’t been calling because I could sense things were not going well with her.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to help her, it was that she in no way wanted to help herself.  Lana was looking for someone to pull her out of her funk, to hand her the magic key that would change everything for the better.  Instead, things just kept getting worse.  It was difficult for me to relate to anything she was saying, and most of the time I felt she just called to dump on me.  This call was a little different. Somehow, I had become a target for Lana’s frustration.  The conversation was a short one, only because I cut it off.  By the end of it, Lana was literally screaming in my ear, about how I was living in a dream world and a host of other unpleasant things that I would prefer never to repeat.  Now I realize that she was screaming out her own life frustration, but I was no longer willing to take the beating for what she was lacking in her life.  In a calm voice I explained that I was unable to continue the conversation and that I was hanging up.  And I did.
            At this point, Lana had been in my life for literally half my life.  That is a long time.  I went to my friends, explained the situation and hoped for some ideas on how to handle the situation.  The best one was just to not answer her phone calls anymore.  I had no idea what else to do and I felt I needed a break, so that’s what I did.  When Lana’s name would come across the caller id I would cross the room and take a couple deep breaths.  Her voicemails, as one would suspect, got increasingly agitated.  At one point she went through her full name, where she lived and her phone number, in case I forgot.  Mind you she has had the same cell phone number for as long as I can remember, possible the whole time I have known her.  After about two months I began to feel that the tactic of not answering was A) obviously not working and B) didn’t feel right any more.  I had taken a break and I was able to regroup.  I felt in my heart that the friendship was at an end.  I was conflicted.  How did that weigh into all of my spiritual beliefs?  Was I not being compassionate enough?  Was I blowing off someone that I have known and cared about for years?  Was this separation?  Could there really be a separation between us if we are all one?  These and thousands of other questions looped through my mind, but always I came back to the same conclusion, the friendship was done.
            I decided that the next time that Lana called I would answer.  I knew that my intention was to explain to her that the friendship was over.  I knew that I wanted to come from a place of love, not blame.  It was important to me that I was clear and compassionate.  Once the decision was made of course it didn’t take long for Lana to call, in fact she called the next evening.  I missed the call, but called her back right away.  I explained to her why I had not answered her calls and then with every ounce of compassion and love I could muster, I explained that our friendship was at an end.  Lana said that she felt that, and honored my decision.  Then she started to slip back into conversation mode, explaining about her current problems.  I gently cut her short and explained that having come to this decision and explaining myself that it was now time for me to go.  We said our goodbyes and hung up. 
            The darkness of the nights drive home and the silence in the car filled me.  There was no feeling of anxiety, I truly believe she understood.  Lana even explained at one point in our conversation that she sometimes felt envious (not her exact words) about the life I was living, and that hers was not where she wanted it to be.  There was an intense feeling of relief.  One thing that kept popping in my head over and over again, both when I was struggling with the decision and when I was on the phone with Lana, was a concept that I had tried to explain to and teach my mother.  Simply put, just because I love you doesn’t mean you have to be in my life.  I can love Lana and honor the friendship that we experienced together, but that doesn’t mean that I have to take verbal abuse or get dumped on all the time.  I can love someone without them being in my space.  Love transcends all the illusions of the mind.  Love is eternal.  And for all of you out there, once again I say, I love you.  Goodnight my friends.