Sunday, October 6, 2013

BOOM BABYand the Big 60!

I had this ridiculous goal early Spring to arrive Sexy, at Sixty.  I defined sexy as being twenty pounds lighter.  As my littlest grand-daughters say about a “hot chick”...Boom baby! That would be me, I thought.

If you would have asked me in my 20’s or even 30’s if I could fathom what 60 would look like I would have said, “Lying in a box, six feet underground- probably sporting a hot pink stiletto, shoe still intact on a little skeletal foot.”   I never imagined I would live long enough to qualify for senior discounts or lose my abs to make room for a comfy marshmallowy grandma pillow. Who would have thought I would sincerely admire the tattle tale lines all over my face that divulge how much I’ve worried, laughed, and squinted at the warmth and pleasure of the sun.  My memoir could be written tracing through those facial grooves.  I’m also of the age, I can connect the dots with the funky spots that have magically appeared overnight, all over what used to be silky, spotless flesh.  I could easily use those brown spots on my hand to create a senior citizen’s tattoo, coloring in a  yin-yang sign on one hand and the familiar symbol of peace on the other. Those would be an appropriate symbol for what I represent these days as well as reflect some pretty important lessons I’ve learned, all because I’ve had the privilege of growing older. My skin now feels more like a fine old leather hand-bag, broken in, comfortable and classic. I’m allowed to make jokes, laugh at, and appreciate my own baby boomer aging.  Because I’ve learned through all the disappointment, loss, tragedy, and time, how precious life is.  Mine has been a great adventure, and I am incredibly grateful.  

I find myself appreciating things I was never comfortable with in my younger years.  Living alone doesn’t mean I LIVE my life alone.  I’m  blessed with such a diverse group of friends who I’ve grown to treasure FOR their differences.  I was pretty judgemental in my younger years, too close minded to move out of the clan I thought I needed to belong in.  These last few decades, some of my most phenomenal moments have happened because I stepped out of my comfort zone, and joyfully cannonballed into people, activities, and environments that were different.  I’ve grown and learned so much more about life, sharing with those whose philosophies and lifestyles were unique from mine.  

I’m easily entertained these days too.  A cheap date.  I get just as much pleasure lying on a blanket with a loved one, stargazing, life-sharing, and sucking on cherry red Twizzlers,  as dining in a five star restaurant.  When I do dine in a five star restaurant, I probably qualify for the seniors menu. Do five -star restaurants have a discounted menu?   Best of all,  I will heartily enjoy the cuisine unafraid of packing on a few pounds.  I am not in the least interested in sacrificing one moment of delicious for the pinched face of deprivation.   

I’m calmer.  Oh, don’t get me wrong... I can get riled up by politics, injustice, and evil in the world.  I rant for a short time.  Then I’m done-- cleansed of all resentments, roadblock free, and pick up the crayon of my choice rather than letting people, places, and things color in my day.  I love this, I think, the most. 

I’m accepting without being resigned. I know where I can change things, and where I can’t.  I don’t waste energy anymore that could be used for a greater good trying to change others.   I’m peaceful, but not complacent.  I don’t turn my back on the injustices of life.  I recognize I can do my best to implement change by being honest and kind just as easily as being radically obnoxious.  

Being authentic and honest is more important to me these days than being liked or accepted and winding up where I don't belong. 

I delight in the day without having an agenda of how that day should go.  I don’t need much to make me happy;  really only the basic human needs of food, shelter, security, and love.  There was a time I thought I would be happy when..... I’m  happy now.  All the joy I was always looking for I find in nature, the faces of my loved ones and friends, a good ice cream cone, small (and sometimes big) adventures, and going to bed every single night of my life, knowing I am loved.  

All my Spin classes, salads, and prayers to be lighter haven’t paid off like I perceived they would.  It’s really been the exercise of putting one foot in front of the other, grasping life’s brass ring, one day at a time that has truly made me Sexy at Sixty.  

On that note, this little Sex Pot thinks it’s time to retire.... this blog at least and LIVE my well examined life, one day at time.  Cheers to Life, at every age! Boom baby! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Self- Forgiveness - Part Two - A letter from my Higher Self (an exercise suggested by a recent meditation session)

This morning I languished in the empty space luxuriating between sleep and lucidity. This sweet spot is my favorite time of the day, caught up in the deliciousness of a quiet, empty, mind and the kind of peace that feels soft and silky like the trim on a baby’s blanket. What better place to open the day with a little prayer.  Gratitude softly rises as a natural expression when I am in this state.  I stretched.  I smiled.  I ticked off a few of my many blessings....another day of life, recovery, family, friends, having just enough, and,   the daily expressions of God’s love for me (when I stay alert and teachable). 

 I suspect God appreciated that I finally seemed to notice all this after a summer of what felt like a Spiritual Tough Mudder competition.  Me, feeling prepared after exercising and developing what I thought were some pretty big spiritual muscles over the past few years.  So, it was a big surprise to feel trapped, weak and helpless: the underground drainage pipe filling up with some stinky luck, and blockage as everyone else (apparently spiritually fitter and more deserving) seemed to charge right by me. There were many things that just weren’t easy.  It was solitary, and clearly out of my control and I surmised it was time to work on bigger, maybe steroid enhanced muscles, of long-term patience, surrender, acceptance, faith, and courage. I thought I was failing miserably at even my amped up workouts. I needed much bigger guns than I apparently had.   I did recognize a good part of my depression was my own head chastising me for a million things that I thought should be happening and weren’t.  I was either just unworthy, or being karmically punished for every mistake I’ve made in my life - since birth. Joan of Arc and I had a lot in common- in my distorted mind.  Only I was hardly a saint, just a self-professed martyr. 

This creepy, prophesy fulfilling self-talk, revealed I still had one huge forgiveness opportunity festering away waiting for me to put to rest. Of course someone had to be blamed, so I picked me.  I knew my slate was clean with everyone else I'd had a resentment towards for real or imagined harm done.  But, I didn’t really have a clue how to forgive me, or exactly what I needed to forgive me for. If I chastised myself, wasn’t that okay and way of keeping me accountable?  In a blinding flash of clarity, the thought drifted into my head, “Would you use such negativity on your loved ones to hold them accountable?” The answer of course was no.  I wouldn’t dream of demeaning my beloveds thinking that would produce the empowerment and acceptance that comes from good self-esteem.  Furthermore, don’t I believe resentment blocks peace of mind, clarity and abundance?  So, why wouldn’t  holding a resentment towards myself be part of the problem recently?  I clearly needed to forgive myself... for everything. 

The question was, “How can I do that?”  The Universe answered. The same way I have forgiven everyone else I needed to forgive in my life.  By  putting myself in God’s immeasurably large shoes and looking through His eyes at the person I needed to forgive.  This time it was me.  

So, this was the morning...  He must have sensed my peace and comfort and thought it a good time to remind me of my commitment to work with Him on a forgiveness letter, written in my hand, from His compassionate heart.  He suggested we do this and pay no attention to the crazy blonde lady who often party-crashes inside my head.  

This is what We wrote:

My beautiful child,

I hear your words and they cut like a Samurai’s sword.  Oh, the evil things you say about my creation.... YOU.  Life is not about your mistakes, failings, and poor choices.  Life is about experiencing, learning, growing and moving through the good, the bad and the devastating.  I see that it is often in the pitchiest blackness, you’ve turned to Me and learned to trust my guidance and voice.  Why do you question that it is My voice?   I’ve seen you flourish with little light, and grow beyond your perceptions of your limitations.  It’s time now, to walk into the Light and see that for yourself.  No human being enters into this material world all knowing.  I placed you into this classroom to learn, grow and recognize your true spiritual nature.  I gave you Life and experiences to be your teacher.  I signed My name in blood on your life contract so that YOU would never know the suffering of unforgiveness. You learned the importance of forgiving  others, but you diminish MY gift to you? Do you realize, when you do that, you block the power I give you to live in abundance, peace, and joy.   You must recognize, my love, when you know better, you do better.  Your self-talk is so vicious about many of your life choices.  My precious one, don’t you see, it has been your choices that have helped you to grow and evolve into your spiritual skin?  The choices you have made, while you may see them as negative, have cultivated your intuition, compassion, loving spirit, and many other spiritual gifts that I placed in you.  How would you know what sacred love looks like without seeing what it isn’t?  Look to Me. I have shown you the kind of love you have craved, so you can NOW pick people that respect and honor you as I do.   I see you focus so often on your perception of what you haven’t achieved.  Why do you not celebrate all you have achieved?  I do.  Everyday I give you breath, I celebrate a woman who has overcome many obstacles and turned her life into one of hope, possibility, tenacity,  authenticating My work by being who she is, the woman I created -- In big, bold, cursive writing for the world to see.  I see a woman who is honest, strong, loving, capable, kind, generous and deserving of all that she already offers to others.  I see a woman whose needs, desires, hopes and dreams have a right to be acknowledged.  You just have to speak up, my dear, and claim them.  I see a woman who yes, has sometimes fallen, but always picks herself back up, wiser and more compassionate to the human condition. Let Me help you put away the pommeling stick.  It doesn’t honor either one of us for you to continue to reject My perfect Grace.  I forgave you for every sin before your sins were even manifested.  Today, I am asking you to forgive yourself and remove this Samurai sword which continues to break My heart.   Today I am asking you to take My hand and the two of us will wipe your slate clean.  Can I hear you say... I forgive, I am forgiven, I forgive myself?  I love you. 

Thank you,
Your Greatest Fan (aka God)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Forgiveness Part One - Let it begin with me.

I’ve spent the past 26 years on a Forgiveness mission.  I’ve gotten pretty good at it too. I’m not saying I’m an expert because sometimes it takes me a long time to realize I need to put forth the effort, AND do the work. I don’t fool myself anymore into thinking it’s not work. It’s hard work; sometimes more difficult than others, it just depends on the impact of the damage done and how I perceive it affects my life.  A belief I’ve acquired which takes some of the sting out of   wrongs committed, is the understanding that life is a school and sometimes the best lessons are learned through those Forgiveness opportunities. 

 Honestly though, every now and then I think I rather like splashing in the mud puddle of thoughts of creative revenge, karma, and little self-pity... for awhile.  I figure I must get some payoff from it.  Or maybe it’s just part of the way I learn my lessons...  rehashing and searing into my brain cells, why I don’t want to go there again. On that path, with that particular person or institution.  After awhile, I am alerted to the suffocating fog of poisonous anger overtaking my life and I miss the way the light feels on my skin and in my heart.  Blindly groping my way out of it,  sometimes I feel hopelessly lost and forget how to even begin to forgive.   Many times I’ve had to ask God to help me with it because I just can’t get there on my own.  My pitiful, yet heartfelt prayer would go something like this.  “God, please show me what you see in this person/situation, because I don’t always see things like you do and I am not seeing anything redeeming in this individual right now.  I would rather get out my voodoo doll and use up an inventory of sewing pins.”  It’s honest and I believe my communication with my Creator needs to be that, even if it's raw and real.  I am still human and need Him to transform the impure to a purer vision.   We may hide who we are from others, but, there are no secrets from Him... He knows my heart.  That plea occasionally got repeated for a long time before freedom set in. I’ve just learned through the years, how incredibly important Forgiveness is to any kind of fulfilling life.   Bryant McGill professes, “There is no Love without Forgiveness and there is no Forgiveness without Love.” I want Love to be at the center of my life. 

Forgiveness, for me, is the golden key.  I can't afford the luxury of resentments and any unfinished Forgiveness business just blocks the gifts of the spirit I have come to treasure.  Years ago, before I learned the power of Forgiveness, I adorned myself with resentments and masked the pain of their weight with a few addictions, for a time... Especially the ones that broke my hurt into a million pieces, or threatened the basic needs in life of safety, food, shelter.... healthcare. But, I did learn about personal choices, and I don’t do that anymore.  Once you enter the kingdom of heaven on earth, it’s hard to go back and live in a self-imposed hell. The sooner I got rid of that negativity, the better.  

I thought I had the Forgiveness skill mastered.  Furthermore, there was nothing currently swimming around out there waiting to sink its gigantic teeth in and suck the life out of my joy. 

A few weeks ago, I took part in a 21 day meditation challenge designed to transform relationships.  I’m not a newbie to meditation; Guided, Mindfulness, and Kundalini, even dabbling in a little Transcendental in my younger years. Way back then, any excuse to leave my body was a way of life and welcome!   Each day during this challenge I anticipated the day’s meditation and lesson plan- sailed right through each one, and savored the peace it brought.  Then, along came Day 14 or so.  The topic....Forgiveness.  I thought rather cockily... “I got this down.”  In the midst of the meditation, I felt unwarranted tears streaming down my cheeks, and saw my own face within, sad, and pinched. It shocked me. What was up with this?  Then came the journal writing part. The first question, I wrote:

I have forgiven many people through the years.  My parents, husbands, employers, friends, institutions, family members, even God.   I know how important it is to not only my serenity, but also my health and well-being. I am confused why the meditation impacted me so profoundly with tears, sadness, and sense of unfinished business. I think my slate is clean.   

Well, well, well.... Apparently not.  My body and reaction was telling me otherwise.

The next question in the journal led with this thought provoker.  “If the person you need to forgive is YOURSELF, consider writing yourself a letter from the perspective of your true (Higher)  Self, offering compassion and Forgiveness.  Holy cow!  Forgive myself?   I knew how to Forgive others, but me? I sat cross-legged on my mat and again, the tears flowed. Had I hung onto that voodoo doll and been using the pins on me?  I pulled out a notebook and pen and wrote with abandon, feeling disembodied from my thoughts and hand.   I wrote this list:

  1. I need to forgive myself for speaking and judging myself so harshly. 
  2. I need to forgive myself for having unattainable expectations, ones I would never ask of someone else.  
  3. I need to forgive myself for allowing others to treat me with unwarranted disrespect and going back for more. 
  4. I need to forgive myself for the incredibly poor choices that have peppered my life from time to time.  
  5. I need to forgive myself for failing to speak up for what I believe in.  
  6. I need to forgive myself for thinking that perfection was an attainable and an admirable goal.   
  7. I need to forgive myself for forgetting where I came from, and what my task is while I am alive.
  8. I need to forgive myself for treating the grandmother of three of the most beautiful little spirits on the planet, with such loathing and disregard.  
  9. I need to forgive myself for believing my needs and desires weren’t as important as everyone elses.
  10. I need to forgive myself for not forgiving myself.... 

Part Two, over the weekend---  Write a letter from my True Self, the Holy DNA I came into this world with, accessible at anytime.  The One who sees all as it truly is, doesn’t judge,  loves unconditionally. The Teacher.  The Lover. The Father/Mother, The Source of All.  

God, I ask for wisdom to write my letter IN YOUR WORDS extending Your compassion and understanding, and ultimately Forgiveness....for myself.  The same Forgiveness I know I must extend to others, I now recognize I need to give me. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Show me how big your brave is...Sara Bareilles

Happy Birthday to the new teenager in my life!  I’m loving it, but then again, I’m her grandma and can sit back and enjoy the evolution from a biased distance. Now, Mom and Dad --- hang on to your patience, understanding and most of all, your hearts.  She’s sure to unintentionally smash all three to smithereens over the next several years.  Alex, my oldest grand-daughter, turns 13 on Sunday, August 4th.  Born in 2000, this little girl entered the highly anticipated new millennium, a little angel of hope and healing.  The previous year had been a devastating one for the family.  While all of my grandchildren are my most precious gifts, when she came along, the first born, smelling fresh of heaven and God, this tiny person gave me a reason to keep moving forward at a time when I just wanted to lie down and stop breathing.  I’ve watched her grow from an innocent, trusting, happy little spirit, into a young lady, trying in the last year or so, to break open the lipstick as well as the door to adulthood.  Why do they want to grow up so fast?  I know I did too.  I couldn’t wait to be out on my own, away from the control of what I perceived to be rigid rules, only to discover the world had even harder core rules.... and much bigger consequences. When I broke them, the landing wasn’t nearly as gentle as when I was protected by the security of home and family.  I know that’s just a part of the process of growing up, and she will navigate it in her own way.  The only thing I hope to continuously tattoo on the brain of this precious little teen, is the message that no matter what happens in her life, we love her unconditionally and the biggest gift she can give back to the world is to be herself... the uniquely lovely person God made her to be.  And, that is going to take a lifetime of sometimes being very, very, brave. 

Curious Seven
In early years, she was the most spiritual little girl I’d ever seen, praying for others, (even me) comforting and supporting her friends, and so in tune with her faith.  Kind and giving, she learned an important lesson a few years back-  not everyone will reciprocate, nor should everyone be entrusted with your friendship.  Some sadly have their own “stuff” going on and don’t walk the faith they espouse. She also learned in a matter of a year or so, that sometimes death snatches precious people from our lives.   I thought she was a little young to have to learn these harsh lessons, but she grew from them in ways that amazed me.  Crushed for a time, she’s emerged with wisdom and a sense of self-worth and awareness..... she never has to put up with or succumb to the meanness of life’s bullies simply to have friends.  Happily, it didn’t damage the part of her spirit that recognizes the need to still be kind, give back to others, and put her best foot forward while also honoring her values.   

 She was also a highly curious little girl, interested in some rather strange topics for one so small.   She loved history, was enthralled with King Tut and made me promise to take her to Egypt someday.  She would ponder for hours whether the Kennedy assassination was a plot and the fated Titanic and Amelia Earhart  became obsessions for awhile.  She still delves deeply for answers to life’s questions.  But, then the apple doesn’t fall far from her grandmother’s tree!    A bookworm, she reads endlessly, and completed the entire Hunger Games series in less than two weeks. Obsessed with quotes, she reads them to me from her I-pod Touch with the intensity of Socrates, instructing from the podium, stretched out, on the living room sofa.  The human mind and people’s behavior seems to  fascinate her, and she wants to learn so that she can empathise and understand her friends and others.  

A flair for creativity, and fashion, she can put together an outfit and/or a bedroom with style.   She is at an age, where fitting in is still important, but every now and then, I see that inner trendsetter fairy, run a little wild, as she dons a cute, little polka dot dress with a flared skirt reflective of a 50’s dance party.  This is usually worn when she isn’t hanging with her friends- rather to a family wedding reception.   With friends, you will generally find her in a traditional Aeropostle tee shirt, and jean shorts.  She’s intensely loyal and looks for the better qualities in her friends and peers.  

Beautifully 13
But, at thirteen, she can also be as moody as Ohio weather.  She is not fond of mornings, fights like cats and dogs with her younger sisters, and will hideout for hours listening to her music and perusing Instagram.  The sign on her bedroom door - DO NOT DISTURB wards off the family when she’s craving solitude.  After a time she rises from the teenage Jekyll/Hyde syndrome and you begin to question whether an alien had taken the real Alex away and has now returned her to earth space again.  She opens her door to a bedroom organized to perfection, hands out smiles and hugs, cheerfully shares more quotes found online, and even surprised her dad with an uncannily adult letter to him. Just when her parents wonder if she hears anything they try to teach, she let him know how much she admires him, his parenting, and thanked him for his love, boundaries, discipline, and direction. What a gift! 

She was my angel come to earth 13 years ago, and now she is my mentor and teacher of all things technology, introducing me to Facetime, showing me how to open an account on a social media site, and navigate some of the newer apps on my phone. She’s my go- to grand-daughter for profound discussions about the philosophy, lessons, and hidden meanings of all the Pixar and Disney movies.  She hates liars, DRAMA (in all caps as in melodrama), Math, spaghetti, bugs, button-eyed dolls, and bullies. She loves God, family, her friends, Cleveland Indians games, scarves, all things Paris, zebra print, fancy nail polish and painted toes, basketball,  music, relaxation, organizing, books, and movies.   Her new favorite song is Brave by Sara Bareilles and she sings it so powerfully with her naturally pure voice; like a prayer and  a promise.... to herself, her parents, and the world. Everytime I see her step out of her comfort zone and walk through a fear, her little light shines brighter piercing through the shroud of conformity.  She emerges with a few more badges of confidence, and a greater sense of who she is. The butterfly is emerging and what a joy for this Mimi to witness. 

This incredible  young lady stole my heart at birth, and now, I have been privileged to hang out with HER beautiful heart for the last 13 years.  A bear hug last night and a whisper in my ear.... out of earshot of her friends..."I love you SO much Mimi"  will likely tide me over until she's 14, but I know she won't make me wait that long.  Happy Birthday my little teenager! Make a wish... or make 13 of them!   May you always remember to show the world, as you have shown me, how big your brave is!  

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave- Sara Bareilles

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

26 years - A day of Flashbacks and Reminders delivered on Butterfly Wings

July 17, 1987 is branded into my memory.  It was my first day without any alcohol or mood altering chemicals.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience.  A body whose cells have been saturated in booze, slurped up like a dehydrated camel, every day--- for a few years, rebels.  Mine had become accustomed and needed it just to function and feel normal.  Deprivation, produced massive shakes, dry heaves, chills, paranoia, hallucinations, and a foreboding that if you didn’t pour some more poison into your body, you would clearly hear the gates of Hell slam behind you;  trapped forever in the grips of something much worse than death. Even when my mind begged to stop the madness, my body wouldn’t allow it. Until the morning of July 17, 1987.   The buck and the booze stopped there. 

On that morning,I fearfully awakened from my chemically induced coma, and I discovered my last empty half gallon bottle of 150 proof vodka was bone dry.  A Milli-second of clarity flashed.   The bottles weren’t the only thing empty.  A lifetime of my worst fear, was now a reality... The house was empty.  Everyone had left me. Glancing in the mirror ( I could never really look full on) I saw this reflection of empty eyes - no lights.  Just hollow darkness peering out from an even darker soul.  A card carrying member of the living dead, skin over bones, crazy hair and all. 

The next three days were spent locked in a torture chamber of pain and suffering, shutting off the outside world.  I did allow entry to my compassionate, former husband. May God always bless him.  He brought cigarettes, which I thought might help my tortured body.  He held them to my mouth because I was unable to stop the shakes.  Later, he told me I looked like Linda Blair, in the final stage, before her Exorcism.  Yeah.  In retrospect that was a great correlation.  The demon of addiction had completely taken over my mind, body and soul. 

Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, bringing hope and healing and glory to God.  I was in such a terrible state, I lay in my self imposed tomb until the fourth day.   I will spend my lifetime continuing MY message of hope, gratitude and giving all the glory to God.  That day,  I made myself wash my hair and shower.  I sipped a little orange juice, pushing past the gag reflex.  My body had not seen nutrition in weeks and my bony legs wobbled like a newborn farm animal as I attempted to put one foot in front of another. I had feeble hope, that day,  but a fleeting thought infiltrated my still woozy brain cells.  I had not had a drink of alcohol in four days.  And that, was a miracle.  It was the longest stretch of time in a few years.

Months later when asked, what flipped the switch, I gave it some thought. I honestly did not know, but it was surely miraculous. What had happened?  Why, on July 17th did I not do, what had become so natural for me to do?  Drink.  My ego was so big,  I considered myself a woman of great strength, with massive amounts of discipline and will-power.  Yet this was a force more powerful than anything I could do or say to master or control it. 

Twenty-six years later, I think about those four days of detox and the torture, and it all comes rushing back--- the physical feelings- the emotion, and one small plea I uttered in the midst of the suffering.  I said, “If there is anything out there that can help. If there is a God of compassion,  I CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN AND I NEED YOU.  The words were probably just whispered, or maybe they were only in my head.  It didn’t matter.  I had just come to believe..... 

That was the day I came to. 

It wasn’t long before I recognized that coming to wasn’t going to be nearly enough. I knew my self-will had not served me well and it would take more than believing in a power greater.  So, I took an even bigger risk, and turned my will and life over to God, with the caveat... as I understood him.  This step forward has changed my life forever. 

Twenty-Six years later, every morning before rising, I still turn my will and life over to the  God of my understanding.  My God is kind, nurturing, non-judgemental, a bit of my ideal father/mother  figure too... occasionally letting me experiment with those things I think I have to do or must have.  He knows sometimes we learn our biggest lessons when He allows us to just take the training wheels off before we've learned to ride the bike.  When I end up crashing, He gently picks me up, and treats my boo-boos with his unconditional love.  I then ask for his protection and turn my will and life over to his care again. He keeps his hand on the back of my bike, running along with me, until I get all independent and smack His hands away. Repeat.   

Twenty-Six years later and this practice of turning my will and life over to the care of God has freed me of so much worry and leaves space for me to live in serenity, joy... And the kind of gratitude that makes me shimmer like a princess dipped in fairy dust.   He’s got my back.  I don’t ever need to worry.  I am always right where I am supposed to be and I don’t need to ask why, or try to  figure it out.  He is right beside me guiding me forward into a life of growth, enlightenment and the kind of intimate relationship I have been seeking all my life. 

I was reminded of that this morning.  As I rushed out the door to get into my car for an appointment, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  My hands were full so I couldn’t brush it off.  Lighting on my bare shoulder was a brilliant orange, multi-marked butterfly.  Not only did it land, it sat there for what seemed like minutes. I know it was a special anniversary gift, and a reminder, I AM Happy, Joyous and Free.  

All because I came to believe.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A few thoughts about Open-Hearted living......In friendship, in love, in life...

I’ve made a decision to lightly wrap my heart in bubble wrap for a little while. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it there. Maybe always, but I know it is part of a Holy agreement I made a few years back...I promised my soul to be more responsible for the nurturing and care of my heart.  It’s feeling a little battered and betrayed lately.  Right or wrong, imagined or real....that’s what my heart is telling me to do.   

My heart, has been bare-naked for eight or nine years now.  It used to be encased in bomb shelter quality materials. I took some pride in the fact that a mere child of seven could construct such an awesome survival shelter, keeping herself safe without any help.   The flip-side, as the years passed, it got to be pretty formal and regimented in there, and the tools I used to give myself the illusion of safety, weren’t all that healthy either.   I rarely let it out of the bunker and when I did, it was just long enough to restock a few supplies I thought would keep me even safer.  Turns out, most of the things I gathered up, drove me deeper inside; mortaring up for the apocalypse while tenaciously hanging on to my illusions of self-reliance.  The tools I gathered were defective for the most part, like a hammer with no head, trying to pound out the dents in my life.... those tools lead to poor decisions, a bushel full of addictions, and trusting untrustworthy people. I didn’t have clue what a good tool looked like, or a trust-worthy person and I had limited awareness of what a good decision was.  I’d been in solitary for so long and there were no mentors, or “How To” manuals where I was cloistered.

 About twenty-six years ago, I took a jack-hammer to the concrete bunker.  It felt so good as the weight of each chunk fell away, piece by piece. It did take a long, long, time to tear it all down though.... Much longer than the Berlin Wall.  They had help. I could have had help too, but I thought I had to do it all by myself.   I began to discover, in awe, it really didn’t protect me from being hurt after all, it just kept me feeling isolated, unique (and not in a good way), and tired, really tired. I was sadly anemic to the full spectrum of being human - suffering as well as  joy.  Light is scarce in bunkers, and not much got in. When it can’t enter, you may be able to survive, but thrive.... not hardly.  The heart grows pale and the Vitamin D needed for healthy brain cells (and thoughts) diminishes.  So, what good did it do me, living half-hearted?

About that same time a thread of Light slipped in through a crack; my bunker wasn’t as impenetrable as I originally thought. As the years passed by, I noticed many veiny, luminous breaks zig-zagging my heart.  I begin to see it clearly then: healthy red, beating, and what was that?   Butterflies, excitement, gratitude - feelings.  I also saw, where I went wrong!  The tools it needed to heal had been banned from the bunker--- unconditional love, acceptance, true friendships, and most of all honesty, and the intuitive knowledge there WAS something bigger than me that would actually protect it (and me).  

When you’ve lived behind walls for so many years, and you then discover the freedom in bare-naked heart living, you can behave like a drunken sailor, on land for the first time since commission. WooHoo.... here's a piece of my heart for you, and you, and you!  For a long time there, I also kind of resembled The Grinch who Stole Christmas when he sheds his first tears - of happiness.  What were those?  I was “leaking!” I leaked all the time.  It seemed it was now time to move through a lifetime of feelings.  My emotional intelligence was volcanic rather than wise.  I road the waves, felt the pain, and put a lot of it to rest.  I  squealed at the joy, and savored the serenity.  Open hearted living!  Wheeeeee!  It was off the charts!  So much so, my heart opened up like a refugee center - arms welcoming in and trusting everyone and everything.  I thought everyone was honorable to their word.  I tried to see everyone like God sees them, the parts of them that were perfect and pure.  I didn’t see the harm they could do because of their humanity. I didn’t see their selfishness and insincerity,  how biting their tongues could be, or how harshly they judged.   Worst of all was the indifference.  I was a babe in the woods and I got hurt... a lot.  I was disappointed a lot...  My first reaction was to rebuild my bunker.  I spent a few days contemplating how to begin, especially since the things I would need in there to survive were now scarce.  I found I didn’t have the ability to be unkind, hold people at arms length, or hurt others anymore. 

I was frustrated. I thought I learned my life lesson about the uselessness of bunkers.  How they may protect you from suffering and pain, but they also shut you off from authenticity, love and joy.  As those of us who walk the spiritual path know, after the lesson, always comes the test.  Do we pass and move onto the next lesson?   Bare naked heart living isn’t particularly wise.  There are those who will take advantage, be envious of your beautiful heart, try to drag you into their bunker and hold you hostage. We don’t have to judge them...they are walking their own path at their own pace.  But we can be discriminating and choose whether or not their behavior is good for our hearts before we let them in.  

So I’ve  decided I will wrap my warm, healthy, much purer heart in a little bubble wrap.  It’s a pliable material, gentle on my heart and easily stripped away when and if I choose.  It’s translucent.  You can still see my heart shine and know it's a loving one.  Yet, I can take some time in getting to know others, to see if they are worthy of my healthy loving heart, my friendship, or my time.  Are they honorable to their word?  Do they walk like the talk?  Do they have empathy? Do they make time to receive what I have to offer? Is my attention reciprocated? Hearts stay healthy because of the flow..... give and receive.    Most important of all, because bubble wrap is also transparent, God’s light can still enter and infuse it with all the love and  knowledge I need-- to sense His will, make wise decisions, and honor my commitment to protect the beautiful heart He gave me..... and still share it where He guides me. 

Openheartedness  is living in authenticity while taking responsibility for the care and feeding of your own precious heart.  That's really the only way to live in gratitude and grace and preserve it for those who truly value you,  want, and need  its love and attention. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Death is just a nap before your tea party with God - Lucas Denzler, a very young man with a very wise old soul

A cousin on my deceased husband’s side passed away suddenly last week.  The gifts my husband left behind for me, are too numerous for a blog post.  It’d take a novel. One of them is the unconditional acceptance and love of a family whose hearts, larger than most, welcomed in my teen-aged daughter and I.   Although he has been gone for more than 14 years now, this family has kept us tucked into the fold, seamlessly integrating my son-in-law, and each granddaughter as one of their own.  Speaking from my own childhood and past experience, I know it does not take a blood line to be family.  I’ve often felt more supported, valued, and loved from those who didn’t share my DNA.  So, when we heard the news of Paula’s death, it was a no brainer to head up North and attend calling hours.  This phenomenal lady was born with cerebral palsy and spent her life in a wheel chair.  Don’t allow the apparatus that supported her body, and her medical disability fool you though.  I would place bets that her life was better lived in 54 years than a good majority of the population, handicapped by an inability to recognize life is meant to be lived full on, and the only thing stopping us, is fear, or the belief that we can’t. There were picture boards filled with her traveling, picnics, jet-skiing, at ballgames, playing games.... dancing eyes and joy vibrating from a crippled body that always tried, and a mind that refused to believe it was impossible.  Her mind won.  She lived it up! 

After visitation, the girls and I stopped next door at a local Friendly’s for comfort food and ice cream.  My oldest, always curious, granddaughter and I, got into a discussion about death.     She’d heard the comments at the Funeral Home.... Paula’s spirit  had moved from the confines of her broken body and wheelchair and she was now running in heaven.  Free at last and greeted by family and friends who had passed before.  I happened to echo those sentiments over our sandwiches and fries, adding,  “You know Alex, there are people who have claimed to have gone to heaven, and returned to tell their story.  They call those “near death experiences".  Those individuals have all said, they did not want to come back.”   I happened to know she is somewhat familiar with this proclamation, because this little seeker, asked for, and received, the book Heaven is for Real a few years ago.  This is the story of a little boy who clinically died, and had such an experience too.  So, why was she looking at me, horrified, and why was her response,  “If something happened to me, I wouldn’t want to stay in heaven. I wouldn’t really know anyone there.  My mom, dad, sisters, and friends are here.  I know I have family in heaven too, but I never met most of them and I haven’t gotten to do enough things yet.”  I wanted to tell her so many things to reassure her, while keeping it age appropriate. I wanted an easy and profound response to be in line with the Christian beliefs she is comfortable with to avoid even more confusion.  With those barriers in my mind, I found myself tongue tied.  So, I said very little and simply nodded in empathy as she explained that her earthly life was preferable to heaven. Lying in bed that night, I wondered what I would say to her if I spoke from my heart, laying aside the filters. What do I believe about death and life after?

Here is what I know in my own heart to be true...  Heaven is where we all came from to begin with, therefore, heaven is our true Home.  We’re just visiting here; spiritual beings, having a human experience. Our true nature is that energy, the soul.... infused with the Holy Spirit,  that lives in us and never dies. We are here to taste life, love, and friendship: give, learn, teach, and grow more beautifully into our spiritual skins.  This realm, simply, is both classroom as well as playroom. But, it's not Home.  We are here for a specific purpose as well.  It may be to change course, impact someone else’s path, invent or create, or even correct some karma.  And.... this, I know, is where it gets dicey for those of different faiths and beliefs.  Yet, for me, it is what I believe. I intuitively know this as a deep truth, FOR ME, and it gives me great peace.  I believe we are born again, and again, and again, reconnecting, intertwining, interchanging roles, with others: from our past, present and future.  As a child, (and I was a seeker even then) I sat in awe and witnessed the vastness of the Universe and heard about time and eternity,  I could not imagine a God who would allow us to live on earth, for a mere 70-80-90 years ( a blink)  and then it would be  time for permanent retirement,  lolly gagging in heaven.  Not my Creator.... always Creating, and Re-creating.  Rebirth simply makes sense to me... a recycling, like the seasons, birth, growth, death, renew. Meeting again, and again through all time.   That would certainly eliminate Alex’s fear of not really knowing anyone in heaven should her present life be cut short, but I am sure I won’t share that with her at this time and that’s all a much bigger blog post, for another day. 

What I would share with her, is how close heaven really is. 

My father passed away after a long journey into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease.  The one constant, even though his mind, recognitions, and perceptions were ever driving him into inner darkness, was his adoration of little ones.  The final months of his life, we were visiting him in the nursing home.  While I’m still unsure if his eyes even knew who we were, I'm convinced his spirit did.   His eyes lit up at the sight of Alex and he broke into smiles and laughter as she danced around him, teased, and played with him. Their love for one another and the obvious joy in each other’s company, needed no words.  A few weeks later, post his funeral, her mother and I were in the basement, taking care of some laundry.  Alex, was playing on the other side of the basement wall.  We heard her chattering away, laughing and talking.  Her momma asked, “Alex, who, on earth are you talking to?”  Her reply, “Grandpa.  He’s here!”   

Maybe she just needs a reminder.  Heaven can be found looking through the eyes of our hearts.  When we tear down the barriers of doubt and skepticism and construct a bridge of belief and faith, we see heaven is just over the horizon, out of sight, but still for real.   She used to be able to easily connect with it  when she was a very small child, fresh from His arms.  As the years pass amnesia sets in and blocks that connection.   Maybe that’s a good thing, our spirits  would be pining for Home while we are here on earth.  There is a penetrable mist that separates us from the loved ones who have passed before.   We simply need watch and listen with that eternal Holy piece of ourselves and reach beyond it.  It is right there that we will always find them.  

Death is just a nap.... A quick refresher, to prepare us for the biggest party of all--- our tea party with God.  Pinky finger out, Paula!    

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved. - Will Rogers

6 Continents in 60 Years! 

I was privileged to attend one of the most entertaining and delectable  birthday parties a few weeks ago. The birthday boy turned 60 and decided to throw a bash for a few hundred of his closest friends and family. It was an exceptionally generous gesture on his part and a real shin-dig (old person’s term for quite an event).  The theme of the party, was to share his wanderlust experiences with friends and family-   6 continents in his 60 years.  He's indulged in the majority of his exploration  in the last decade and a half, right around that mid-life mark.  A time, when many of us in that demographic begin to hear Peggy Lee warble in our heads, “Is that all there is?  Is that all there is?  If that’s all there is my friends... then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.”  My friend didn’t break out the booze; he broke out his National Geographic caliber photography AND cuisine, native to each of the continents he visited, sharing his phenomenal experiences with all of us.  Around the perimeter of the party room were six stations, each one showing off beautiful photographs of his trips as well as tables laden with the food of the continent.  Of course the European table with its spectacular, art gallery quality shots of the Alps and beyond, was my personal favorite- --the table was laden with exotic imported meats and cheeses. Cheeses of all colors and textures! Heaven! South America wasn't my personal favorite, but food is my friend, and I sampled it too.   Now, China, India, and Africa were excellent, but, Antarctica revealed the most delicious crab cakes with Dijon dill sauce.  Believe it or not, even I would visit there despite the below, below, freezing temperatures.  I hate the cold.  But the privilege of partaking in the most breathtaking natural views on the planet, would more than make up for shivering myself silly.  The older I get, the less I discount any door that opens,  viewing most of life as just a series of wonderful opportunities.  I do think this is one of the bigger blessings of aging  and I embrace and surrender to the unknown, most every day.  Aren’t we supposed to get more set in our ways as we age?  I think not.  

I have been pondering this aging gig recently as I approach the BIG 60 too!  Glimpses of Mother Time flit through the brain every time I put my make-up on in the morning, or am only able to be a freestanding "tree” in my Yoga practice by gently touching my finger tips to something  for balance.  Best yet, when I am referred to as a person “with much experience,” I can read between those lines, and sense I am being viewed as a geriatric.  Ouch. My baby girl is turning 40 and my oldest granddaughter will be a teenager in two months. I clearly remember my mom looking into my unlined face, way, way back... when she was dying at the ripe old age of 51, and saying, “I look in the mirror and see myself as a young woman.”  I know what she meant by that - --no matter how old, we still dream of adventure, need love, and hope to be accepted for who we are.  What I don’t think is particularly healthy, is wanting to be the same person, looking and thinking the same as I did in my 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.... For one thing, it’s far too much work! I have a whole lot more free time these days to do the things I love rather than maintaining the illusions of my youth.  My head-turner days are over, and that is a breath of fresh air. I call the shots now rather than placing myself at the disposal of the whims and opinions of others. I am much more interested in turning, and softening hearts.   

In my 20’s it was all about how I looked, and how I used, this youthful, sexual energy and power of a quick mind, firm body, and face that women, in their younger years possess.   Back then I believed it was the best thing in my toolbox as it allowed me to attract what I thought I wanted in my life.  I imagined I was in control of my world because of it, and the thought of ever losing it was incomprehensible.   I could and did attract whatever I wanted; handsome men, great jobs, success... the good life. 

 In my 30’s, and 40’s I was in heaven:  I had arrived and still had plenty of that ammo in my much bigger tool box, along with some smarts by now as well.  It was those things that I actually thought defined me back then.  My ability to attract and achieve.  But, it was exhausting to maintain.... investing all of that energy, constantly worrying about how you looked, how others looked at you;  striving to be better, do and have more because this was the benchmark for a successful life.  Virtually placing your destiny in the hands of the perceptions of other people, and so many elusive toys, is never a very good idea.  Time marches on and you best be moving forward, marching or dancing along with it.  The days of physical and mental “hot-mama-dom”  have evolved into a desire for something more noteworthy-- a legacy--- One which revolves around, unselfishness, kindness, honesty, authenticity and integrity. 

I have discovered there is a lot of freedom in pushing 60, leaving 50 behind.   First, I could be pushing up daisies. So many precious lives I’ve been touched by, are.  Second, my desire to be kinder to this vessel lined with wrinkles, and plumped up with belly fat, includes acceptance of what is, as it is. Yay!   Gone is the belief I have to loose 20 pounds, get botox, achieve notoriety,  or have lots of bucks in my  bank to be happy. I’ve quit saying things like, “I’m too old, not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, because I just don’t buy into the advertising anymore!  I look at the decade of my 50’s as having been a time of earning an advanced degree in what’s important, what’s not, and why we are here, on this earth.   A note from my (younger) very accomplished brother, really put where I am at in perspective for me.  He said, “I especially liked this quote from your email:  If you can learn to be happy without all those things the ego defines us by… jobs, other people's opinions, a significant other,  accomplishments, you can probably live through anything, in acceptance and grace.  Wow. What wise person wrote that?  Why, it was me! He went on to say, I haven't had much time for introspection, especially lately, so I'm envious of the self-awareness you have, and the personal growth you've achieved.  In that respect, I learn vicariously through your reflections and discoveries. There are those who are lamps, and those who just reflect light.  It's never 100% one way or the other, of course, but I think you're more the former, and I'm more the latter.”  

(Thank you baby brother)... A tear trickled down my lined little face.   I am happy today, to be the lamp, rather than merely a reflection - because no matter how bright the light,  it's easily extinguishable in the world's ever-changing and fickle limelight.  There is an unselfishness, easy comfort, and continuity about the lamp. 
So, back to the party....What DO you buy a man who can afford to travel to six continents?  My gift to him.... a tiny kangaroo toting an even teenier Joey who held up a sign.  The sign read:   Australia or Bust!   I’m hoping he makes it 7 continents before he’s 70.  Something tells me he’s already booked the trip!    I think I’ve also learned, by his example, when you turn 60.... you just go dancing... you break out the food (or luggage), and have a ball! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Am I too picky?

Can it be true that all of the men I am magnetically drawn to, are dead?

I am in love.  First it was a Saint and now a former priest!   I sure know how to  pick em!  I sigh over their words, prayers, and poems.  They awaken my sleeping butterflies- -  in recognition and resonance.   How can I ever find the right words to explain ethereal recall, and those serendipitous moments handed down from a beloved Creator who always knows exactly what I need, when I need it. 

 Meeting James, or as he was known earlier in life, Father Kavanaugh, it was like meeting my identical twin, for the first time. Imagine being separated at birth, years ago .... and discovering, right from the beginning, you need do nothing but sit in silence, heart to heart, and watch the sparks fly. Either that, or I spiritually reconnected with a past life soulmate, and just joyfully greeted him in the eternal part of my heart

Yesterday, I was introduced to James Kavanaugh and my spirit did a few somersaults.   We met at the unlikeliest place.  Online. No torture this time around.  Rather a fix-up,  on Facebook.  A dear friend introduced us with a simple quote on my Facebook timeline.  It read, "Some one's been writin' about you, girlfriend."  Then she directed me to the link, so I could meet him face to face.  My pulse quickened and a chill ran up my spine  at the first several lines of his intro.  Who could possibly know these things about ME?  It was like someone had been living in my heart and head, secretly gathering information to write my biography.  Only, it wasn't my profile, it was his.  Here is what I read:

Some people do not have to search-
they find their niche early in life and rest there, seemingly contented and resigned.
They do not ask much of life,
sometimes they do not seem to take it seriously.
At times, I envy them, 
but usually I do not understand them-
seldom do they understand me.
I am one of the searchers. 
There are, I believe, millions of us. 
We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. 
We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. 

We like to walk along the beach, 
we are drawn by the ocean,
taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. 
We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. 

Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. 
To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. 

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, 
for everything beautiful it can provide. 
Most of all we love and want to be loved. 
We want to live in a relationship that will not impede 
our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls;
 that will take us for what little we have to give. 

We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, 
for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. 

It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.” 
~ James Kavanaugh  (click here to read about him here)

I  spent the remainder of the evening cruising websites about Mr. Kavanaugh, exploring every word detailing his life.  Through these words, I identified with  his incessant need for change and the pursuit of truth, knowledge, love and beauty.  I stared dreamily into the depth of his words, drinking it all in, parched for a connection with a like minded other.  I ran into the arms of his poetry and let the words envelope me in the knowledge;  I am not alone.  There are indeed other seekers out there.... like-minded others, just searching for like-minded me.  There are millions of us, and the Universe does bring us together, when it's time. 

In the meantime, I take my comfort in knowing, I am not flawed; no thwarted development, identity crisis, or malcontentment here!  Ambition for life is a Holy career.  There are others, like me, awakening to immeasurable beauty, excited to continue on this treasure hunt... seeking never-ending purpose, and meaning.  I am blessed with an earthly friend who not only knows me so well, she loves me for those qualities too!   I am doubly blessed to have been born with the soul of a seeker.

Hey, if it's true there are millions of us out there, I am bound to eventually meet a living, breathing,  seeker, eager to share in my laughter, sadness, the good, and beautiful.   And, worse case scenario,  if I am destined to simply fall in love with the deceased, then that's okay too.  They still have many things to show me and lessons to teach me. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The K.I.S.S. Method....

Keep it simple, sassy. Some might argue the acronym stands for, Keep it Simple Stupid.    I don’t agree. I like sassy. Or.... student, as in student of life.  I’m growing weary of labels these days. Especially those derogatory ones, attaching them onto others, but also the ones I've pinned on myself.  Charity starts at home.  I’ve personally stationed some fences and guards around my life to protect my spirit from the infiltration.   Even said in jest, they can be sneaky, and damaging.    

K.I.S.S.  That’s been my mantra for these past months, drilling it down to the basics. Baby steps.   That long list of to-do’s atrophying in my planner, is no longer used to bonk myself on the head in punishment at my inadequacies, degree of motivation.  Check marks are not the measure of my worth.  I should have trashed it a long time ago.  Maybe a little dose of depression and inactivity is what it has taken to recognize, I am still incredibly beloved and worthy, even without the ridiculously high self-imposed standards.  There are no lists.... For now.  A calendar with the most important events, and mandatory attendance of the day, penciled in, is quite enough.    The newest discovery here has been dumbing it all down.  The paradox.... keeping it simple  has been conducive to getting more things accomplished. Mindful.... and more focused on the one task (or pleasure) in front of me.   Especially when I arise and let the day itself prioritize the goals.... Just one single sentence, echoing in my soul, to remind me how my day is supposed to be.  I hear this............

Be still and know I am God.  I do this first. 


First thing, I get still now.  That’s the first baby step of the day. So simple.  I already know God, much better than I knew God, even yesterday.   What I’m learning to do is listen to God.  When I listen to God, seems I am guided to the things I need to do in that single day, rather than what I think I need to accomplish in a lifetime.  Holy prioritization. Sometimes His idea of accomplishment and mine aren’t in alignment. I’ve discovered when that happens, that’s when the depression monsters come calling.    If I believe His master plan for my life is PERFECT for me and what I have come to this earth to learn, then I must clear out a space to visit with Him.  The only way I can hear Him, over the din of my ego, is to be still.   The ego.  The cruelest of task masters; assigning me to things I wasn’t created to do to feed it’s ravenous, empty void; acquiring traits that don’t necessarily bring out the best me. The ego... the false prophet.    

According to Dr. Wayne Dyer, the ego defines us by these things: I am what I have.  I am what I do. I am what other people think of me. I am separate from everybody else and I am separate from what’s missing in my life.   What an OCD and crazy making way to live!   I know.  I’ve lived like that for far too long. If I wasn’t in constant motion making every attempt to be somebody, get approval, grabbing as many brass rings as I could, trying to be what someone elses idea of success looked like;  striving, and constantly seeking for what I thought was missing,  I feared my epitaph might read “loser”.  
Be still and know I am God.  This creates the life of a “winner”..... But I’m done with labels.  

Doors seem to open up, peace has settled into my soul, and a unique new river of energy surprises me with an enthusiasm I couldn’t seem to muster on my own, with all the plotting, planning, and goal setting in the world.  My day is gently being conducted by the Master who directs me to the next task at hand.  No more cacophony of nonsense and noise.  It all began by using the most basic of K.I.S.S. methods....

Be still and know I am God. 

That is the biggest K.I.S.S. I will receive all day long.  

Keep it simple, student.

With Hugs, and K.I.S.S.ES, K.I.S.S.ES, K.I.S.S.ES