Little Thoughts


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When thoughts start to clutter my mind now, especially ones that take me away from the present, this is my new mantra:

I am here now; I am alive; I am healthy; I am grateful.

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“Extended bliss is boredom of the existential kind.” from the book NutShell  By Ian McEwan.

Unintended Consequence


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The law of unintended consequences….

I heard this term used today and it was new to me. It intrigued me. In looking it up, I found that the context that it is often in reference to the human effect on the environment (usually negative). But I wondered about it within my own life. Surely this law has played a role somewhere….

In thinking about it, initially I believed it was my haphazard approach to living that would bring unintended consequences to my life. So many of my previous decisions seemed terribly unplanned; my huge degree of boredom would motivate me into life altering steps with utter abandon. So then, of course, there would always be unintended consequences to these choices. Ones that propelled me forward down a path that allowed no turning back.

Sometimes, others choices set me down these unintended paths–the consequences to be paid then were hefty and to be dragged with me forever. But they defined me too and made me the person I am. Good? Bad? At moments, either/both… The weight of these, had they been changed, could have reset the entire course of my journey. Had they understood the consequences completely, where would I be now? Different consequences I suppose.

But really, even with a direct approach to life, I still face things unintended. Don’t we all? Think about it: what may be the unintended consequence of each action we take? It’s all ripple effect. It can be huge. Or maybe just something simple. The point is that nothing we do is without meaning. We bounce off of something else.

Maybe I am simplifying this concept.

But really, when it comes down to it: many things we do come with great responsibilities.

So now that this is in my head, I will try to be more aware of its presence: in my life and in the greater world. By its very meaning, I won’t be able to change anything I guess, as the outcome will be unintended. But maybe, if on the front end I think more carefully, the consequences can be good.

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Poem: Seek Not


Just gotta keep on walkin

till the paths divergent go

or a single one does open up

and your feet are raw and muddy

keep on pushin

however slow

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Just gotta keep on walkin

though the road may be tough

you may meet many strangers

who you never even know

some greet you friendly

but some are mighty rough

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Just gotta keep on walkin

and push the branches back

they’ll tear your legs and

rip your arms

the blood may drip bright red

and it will leave a track

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Just gotta keep on walkin

following  the trail

wherever it may lead

you may not know

but it’s your path

seek not the Holy Grail

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Buried Treasure


There are some folks that search for buried treasure. Some of that treasure may be from sunken ships from long ago that legend tell tales of gold and jewels that went down with these vessels. Divers search and may come up with some beauties, or may find only fish and wood in the depths of ocean, or maybe nothing at all. But it might be the journey alone that draws these seekers, the hope of treasure and wealth and a visit into the past.

I’ve read of current day treasure hunts: wealthy men hiding trunks of money and producing hints with maps given in books that hungry hunters must purchase in hopes of finding the loot. Is it bunk and a lucky gent making his own treasure on unsuspecting innocents, or is there really something hidden waiting for some brilliant detective who can unlock the key?

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For me the buried treasure is of a different kind. It’s not material. In fact, I’ve been making efforts to rid myself of material goods, including ones of “value”. What is value anyway but what it means to someone. True, gold and diamonds have value if one tried to sell them in our market, but even these go up and down in price and they can sometimes cost so much they become: invaluable. Museums must hold onto pieces that are such treasures as to become priceless.

No, things are no longer what I am pursuing, but still my treasures have been buried. I’ve felt rather like some great explorer that has gone on a long expedition to some unheard of place to find my gems. The natives were not always hospitable and the climate often harsh. The tools I brought with me I found, at times, were primitive and didn’t quite do the trick as I tried to dig and dig to find this deeply hidden trunk of goods.

The maps I had were often handed to me by people who had no idea where I needed to be or what I was looking for; they were crude and often in a language I did not understand. So I tossed them aside and plunged on, sometimes through jungle brush, other years in desert heat sucking the water out of my pores. But I knew if I kept going, eventually I would find the goods.

There were years that I walked in circles. And sometimes I would just lay down and cry. Sometimes I had the strength of a tiger and the eyesight of an eagle, feeling like I was closer and closer. But then the treasure would slip away and I would have to start again.

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I’ve learned over the years now, that the maps I needed were with me written in an invisible ink only I could read. They were my maps to find my treasures. When I looked really closely, I noticed that the path lead me through all those places I had gone: the jungles and deserts and around and around–it’s where the trail led, I just hadn’t seen it before now. None of it was by accident.

And all the people I met along the way, they were in the Legend of the map, part of landscape I was meant to wander on path to the treasure. In fact, when I squinted just right, I saw that I actually had found treasure in each of these villages! There were markings showing that’s where some of the jewels were: the people, even the ones I thought were hostile had given me something I didn’t know, a tiny gem of knowledge.

But after walking, searching and following this map–and scrutinizing it carefully, I saw something that brought wonder to me. It appeared I was coming very close to the buried treasure that I had been chasing for so long. Maybe I’m only steps away now it seemed. The map showed it was at the center of everything: bright and brilliant, overflowing with energy.

I’m almost there now. The treasure. My treasure, buried–inside of me.

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The Music Of The Universe


Lately, in keeping with all the inner work I’ve been doing and with the great changes coming out of the last few years of my life, it has naturally moved me back to the more spiritual side of myself. In my past, the spiritual plane was almost equal to the plane in which I lived on a daily ‘normal’ basis. This meant I often felt very in tune with so much more around me and on a much deeper level: people, animals, the natural landscape and of course: the mystical.

Then, the course of my life got in the way, and this beautiful and magical part of my life slipped away  without me really noticing. The spiritual habits that I had practiced left me; all the ‘unexplained coincidences’ that would so often pop up joyfully in my life seemed to disappear and life just became a dull and routine existence.

Like so many of us, the tether to the unknown–to that thing beyond us–(call it what you may), isn’t always there unless you are really looking or open to it. Many just don’t believe, being simply too rooted in reality.

But we all have our own scopes of what reality may be. And I know that my reality had encompassed many things which could not be explained by scientific or simple explanations. You just had to be there to understand. To have faith in the powers and energies that flow. And I did.

So the time has gently begun to seem right, bit by bit, to reemerge within my spiritual self. To put back on my garland crown and flowing robes and step back into the circle once again. And I feel my power returning like an old friend. It was just waiting for my call.

My dreams have been full of visions, visitations and clarity. I use a dream book that I have to help interpret them and I’ve been writing them down in my journal, along with other long and inspired thoughts about my journey.

My interactions with people feel more purposeful and I am often drawn into deep conversations on a sidewalk with neighbors. Seeing people now brings me warmth rather than anxiety and I’m happy to share these moments and feel they are all meaningful.

Most things now feel part of my plan, that I am drawing all things to me. Some days I pick a tarot card to see what it might say, and often it will reflect what I have been feeling during my meditation. That nothing is random: I am creating this reality around me.

It has a been a very long walk to this place of inner peace; to be able to shrug off the demon within each time it threatens to claw its way to the surface. And now that I am dancing on my spiritual path once again, my peace is sweeter: for finally  I can hear the music of the Universe with my whole soul.

Benches


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As she sat quietly on the bench, she recalled so many times of reflection. Times of stopping, of sitting still to breathe and think of her life. It wasn’t always easy to create these moments, to stop the moving train that was her life, long enough, to simply see what was around her.

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These benches were everywhere. Even if people were around, they could cradle her; let her thoughts roll through her mind, easing the turbulence with the help of the surrounding landscape. They were guardians, givers and saviors.

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Sometimes she would be present, sometimes drift off to another place.  Somehow they were conduits of time travel: as though a space had opened up and she slipped into it and could go forward or back, depending on her mood. Because of this, she walked in places long forgotten, places of lost love or deep pain. The remembering, though, somehow put it in an ethereal plane, so the visitation became moments of healing.

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Some places to sit weren’t really benches at all, but still created for her the right second to watch a sunrise. Just the act of seeing one could erase months of chaos in her soul.

She remembers now these sacred vessels and can recall far into childhood how many she has visited. From cities to the middle of nowhere, the times she took to just stop and sit–to contemplate, meditate and be quiet.

And now she wonders: where are all the benches yet to come?

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Sponges


In one of my karmic lives, I must have been a sea creature–specifically some sort of sponge-like aquatic marine form no doubt. There I was, a mulitcelluar organism filled with pores so the water could just flow through me. As the oceans currents would flow around me, whether turbulent or calm, I sucked up the salty stream going my way.

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Well, not quite an ocean stream…

Now, in this life time, it appears I continue to suck up most things that float nearby me. The energy that is around me, whether positive or negative, seems to sink into my pores like a sponge out of water. It absorbs into me, even if I am trying hard to deflect it with the best of my defenses: meditation, positive self talk, exercise and simply just being happy myself.

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This doesn’t absorb water, it explodes with it from build up pressure!

As long as I can recall, I’ve been chided for not have that tougher skin, that shield to bounce the bad ju-ju of others off me. Nope, I never could do it successfully for very long. In fact, many years ago I would actively try to save every soul until (finally) I learned this was a lost cause and slowly ruining my soul.

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My ruined soul??

But even working hard to create my own bubble–with my absorbent nature–stuff seeps in and I find myself struggling to stay afloat, focused, energized and positive myself. It’s often the chameleon effect. I try to stay upbeat, but it becomes slowly draining and the sponge, more and more full of water, can hold no more. Simply wrung out.

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Just blending in…..

When being in an environment that is consistently difficult, trying to stay afloat is like treading water to exhaustion. Nothing can float forever and eventually one dips below the surface and, well, disappears. One loses oneself no matter how hard you try.

This isn’t what I want. If I once lived below the ocean, while a beautiful and wondrous place I’m sure, I am now a creature of light. It’s where I belong and am meant to be. Some days I feel like it’s hard to be around others because of their energy…but maybe it’s because I just haven’t found my tribe yet.

Meanwhile, I rejuvenate when I’m alone, work hard not to absorb when around others and continue to keep my head above water following the sun while looking for my island.

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Ahhhh….peace….someday? Maybe?

Out Of The Fog


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So I’m ready to come out of the cold and fog into the sun and light. Today I announced to my chief at the fire station that I will be giving my notice as soon as I can find a buyer for my home. It was an amazing relief!

Now of course there are miles to go before this can happen, like fixing the house, the snow melting so someone can even get in to fix the house and then hopefully finding a buyer. But still–it was such a sweet feeling.

I wasn’t planning on saying anything until the end–until the contract was signed. But today, something just told me to do it. And I’m glad I did. Many of my friends already knew and there was a chance he would find out anyway. But more importantly, just because I felt that the place had let me down, was not a reason to do the wrong thing.

There are many reasons I’m leaving the job and it’s sad for me. I’ve worked hard to carve out a reputation in the community and I’ve tried hard to do a good job. Sadly though, it’s just not a place I’ve ever fit in. Story of my life! I’m not a follower and one is better off being a follower there. My kindergarten report card said: She is a born leader. Oh my. It also said if the kids don’t play the way she wants, she doesn’t let them play. I’ve worked on that one most my life….

Anyway, whatever the reasons are moot now because I’m moving on for many reasons. The most important one is that I’m moving south to be near my Mother. This is a relationship that needs more mending. It’s been 40 years since we’ve lived close by and it’s time to be near again. We left each other on odd terms many, many years ago and while we’ve stayed in touch (and not on bad terms)–it’s time to become a family again. We’re both very excited.

And I’m getting older and don’t like the weather in the north anymore. Some sunshine will do me good! This climate change is true, I don’t care what anybody says–the winters are more brutal.  Maybe a hurricane will blow me away, but at least it will be sunny in between.

So, it’s time to start again. Create a new chapter and new life. I’ve been hedging towards this for years now and never had the guts. But finally all the planets aligned. And, well, it was simply time.

I came to where I live now 20 years ago with a husband and three daughters and high hopes. I’m leaving now divorced and my kids grown and doing their own things. The daughter that lives with me now is sending me off with blessings. She is thrilled to be living in her own apartment (she was the one thing that kept me here for so long).

With those blessings and great sadness to leave friends behind, I face ahead with great joy and hope for new and hopefully this time, successful steps of my life!

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Balance Beam


I feel as though much of life is lived as though on a balance beam–walking gingerly, one careful step in front of another, trying desperately not to fall off. It can apply to so many aspects of our daily lives: our emotional well-being, our physical self, our spiritual life, our relationships or even our financial standing. We balance so many things, each and every minute, we not even be aware of some things. We become like Olympic gymnasts training for some great event. The exhaustion of this perpetual feeling of being poised, wavering and anticipating a possible plunge can be utterly exhausting. This, in turn, produces stress to all of our systems both physical and mental, that makes toppling off almost inevitable.

Not only does every day life produce the possibility of losing one’s balance very great, but there is always the added factor of being pushed. When one enters any kind of relationship or friendship with another person–no matter who that person might be–the unpredictability of outside forces increases ten-fold.

We all know that is hard enough to really understand ourselves. If we add any kind of mental instability, balancing on the beam becomes incredibly problematic. Doctors prescribe medication and maybe therapy, but one wonders if these may only tend to make us more groggy and unsteady? But trying to understand and getting to know the psyche of someone else can be utterly baffling, especially if they don’t know themselves? Then how does one predict anything?

One may present themselves as a certain persona, and this may be true. Or it may be what they believe to be true or it may be an utter lie. So we walk on the beam under the impression of a given set of information from this person. They may promise things, take vows and all may be true in the moment. But when the moment changes for that person, but not the other–we can’t help but fall off! And what if there is no safety net underneath?

Life hits us with so many unexpected things: health issues, car accidents, death of a loved one, money loss, divorce, affairs, getting dumped–you name it. The key is figuring out how to stay on the balance beam! This is what I’ve been trying to learn. In the past when I got knocked off, I would easily curl into myself, blame myself and go to a very dark place. In the more recent years, gathering inner strength through mediation, yoga and forgiving myself and others–has made it much easier to stay balanced when something comes at me threatening to tip me off. I may wobble and I may even do one of those fancy moves like an Olympic Star, but I stay on and simply say: I meant to do that!

It comes down to realizing that life will throw things at us but if we can remain strong: physically (by working out, eating right and breathing), spiritually (by practicing whatever works for us), emotionally (by being around loving and caring people) and intellectually (by continually learning, growing and striving for new things)–we may stay upright. It may take time to get physically strong–learning to eat right might be something we have to change and working out is not something we all long to do. But in the end, your body will thank you. Growing healthy and loving relationships can be difficult in this age of throw away ones. It may be hard to know who is real and who isn’t–some of the people we meet or work with may be the very ones who end up knocking us off the beam! Staying strong, being patient, believing in one’s self, being honest and true to one’s own feelings and trusting those ‘red flags’ go a long way in building foundations. Only time builds good friends–the ones who run quickly weren’t worth it anyway. Our intellect can be cultivated by anything that interests us: our hobbies, the news, reading, our job–as long as we keep nurturing our minds.

By staying balanced within ourselves, we should be able to walk with ease on the narrowest of beams. Even in times of deepest stress or troubles, picture yourself like the most toned athlete standing there on the end just getting ready to do some amazing move. They stand perfectly still and focus, they breathe and  believe they can do it–they picture the Gold and then leap with the picture of a successful landing in mind! We all too can do this on our own balance beams and come out winners in the end.