Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Do You Know - Fun Movie with a Message

Steve and I saw "How Do You Know" last night. I am such a lucky girl, with a husband who loves ALL KINDS of movies. This one was really fun and packed with messages around every corner. It's all about asking "how do you know" about a certain girl or guy, what to do in certain situations (like when you are about to be indicted by the Fed. Gov) and about some people's motives in life.

My favorite line was when Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) goes to see a psychiatrist and she asks if there is just something "general" he can tell her to help her. He says this:

"You need to figure out what it is you want and learn how to ask for it."

(The psychiatrist was played by Tony Shalhoub, who also plays Monk on the TV show of the same name. Kind of a twist to allow Tony to play the psychiatrist and very fun!)

Although this is a "rom com" (romantic comedy - learned that term from Carrie Fisher and her one-woman show the other night) this is a very heavy line . . . so, let me repeat it . . .

"You need to figure out what it is you want and learn how to ask for it."

This is what I've been struggling with MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!

A lot of us have baggage that prevents us from even KNOWING what we really want. Once you get clear on that, we have to work on the courage to ask for it!

Courage is a funny word. I think I always thought it meant being fearless. But, I've come to know that there really is no such thing as "fear-less." Fear is always going to come up, especially when we are encountering our "stuff" that needs to be cleared. The question is usually, "do I trust enough to let this stuff go and move on to a higher level of living?"

How do you know when it's OK to just let go?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Best Birthday Gift . . . EVER!

Yesterday, I received a birthday card from my Mother. Now, this isn’t really unusual, because my Mother ALWAYS sends me a card, but this time, it is really special.

Ten years ago, after a nasty break-up with a man with whom I’d had a 3 year relationship and who I really thought I would marry, I changed my name. I decided that I wanted to be called by my initials, rather than my name. Shortly thereafter, I changed companies, as well, so just kind of “started over” with a clean sweep, new name, new me!

My family did NOT agree to calling me by my new name. At first, I thought it was because I hadn’t asked. So, I asked. Then, I decided it was because I didn’t explain. So I explained. Over the next 10 years, only one of them acquiesced and that was my Dad.

Most recently, I made ANOTHER plea, this time to EVERYONE and in WRITING. One sister wrote back and flatly refused. She said she wasn’t going to call me something that only one Uncle and my Ex-husband had called me. A brother-in-law (not her husband) wrote and said that “we don’t know who PJ is” and insinuated that “they” wouldn’t be calling me PJ anytime soon.

I talked to my husband about it: Isn’t this ridiculous? The only thing I have ever asked of my family and they won’t agree!

(I’d like to point out that my daughters jumped on board with this Day 1 and one of them routinely calls me PJ instead of Mom! Steve met me as PJ, so he never had a chance to call me anything else!)

And, then I got my birthday card from my mother! Inside was the most beautiful butterfly card, in shades of blue and purple with metallic, sparkling accents. Along with the traditional check for both birthday and Christmas (my birthday is only 4 weeks from Christmas) was a typed sheet of paper with a list of 11 names of various family members. Each one had changed his or her name, one doing so at age 50 and legally changing it in front of a judge.

Now I knew about each of these stories, but I had never thought to use this information as substantiation for my own request. At the bottom of the sheet, she said simply, “So, if you want PJ for a name, then go for it. I may not always remember, but I will try.”

I was jazzed, surprised and elated! WOW! She finally heard me! (You have NO idea how BIG this is for my Mom.)

And then, on the way in this morning, I had this thought: something in me has shifted and changed to allow this great gift.

If our outside world reflects what is on the inside, then I have really shifted something. So, what’s next?

Gratitude doesn't even begin to describe what I am feeling!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diana, Princess of Wales - Her Ring Takes on a New Life

Well, with all of the talk around Prince William and Kate, I am reminded of my facination with her ring. In 1981, I was coming to the end of a really bad marriage. We really lived totally separate lives and I was very unhappy. We tried counseling. I tried talking. I tried being flexible. I even tried comprising . . . a lot! In the end, he wouldn't change and I had to move on. In Jan 1982, I asked for a divorce and in February, I fell in love with Husband #2 on a trip to Mardi Gras. (Doesn't that only happen in the movies?)

So, for those friends and family members who propigated the story that I had an affair with someone from work and then divorced my husband, here's a message for you: Not True!

Anywho, we met, fell in love, decided to buy a condo together and then he proposed in the summer of 1982. He gave me a beautiful, small ring, a kind of "promise" ring, he said, although he knew we were a little old for that tradition! (Both of us were 27 at the time)

We then went to jewelry stores and looked for the perfect ring! I was especially excited because I got to pick it out myself. In my prior engagement, I had been given a family diamond (it was beautiful, truly) but I was taken to one of those discount, catalog stores and shown a few mountings and allowed to select one. I never truly felt it was "my" ring.

So, this time, it was going to be mine. Initially, I dreamed of a sapphire and diamond ring, just like Princess Di. Now, I knew that I would never HAVE a ring like hers, since Charles paid $65,000 for her ring at the time. (It would be worth about $150,000 today!) However, I
was excited about the idea of something similar.

That is, until I saw one on the finger of a woman I worked with. Somehow, when I saw the ring on another woman's finger, I realized that I really didn't want that ring at all. It was only then that I was able to go and select a ring that was truly mine. What a blessing that I was able to see the ring and all it represented to me in that way.

So, thank you, Lady Di, for providing contrast for me, back when I didn't even know what contrast was.

And congratulations to William and Kate!

Becoming Me, With My Shadow and All of My Imperfections

‎"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." -Anna Quindlen

This quote speaks to me on a level that is so true, so wonderful and so liberating! When I saw it this morning, I just knew I had to blog about it!

I used to love that Hershey’s Kiss commercial where the little boy gets a Kiss in his lunch and says, “When my Mom says ‘nobody’s perfect,’ she could be talking about my brother!”

Nobody IS perfect, but that doesn’t stop parents, teachers and church folks from pretending that it’s possible and then holding all of us (except themselves) to this standard.

So, today, I’m going to give myself permission to BE myself. I’m working a lot these days with my Shadow self. It started a few years ago when someone mentioned Jung and his concept of Archetypes. I read the books by Caroline Myss and bought her Archetype cards.

Then, in February of this year, I heard a woman speak about “the Shadow” and how relationships bring out our shadows. I invited her to hold a workshop on Astrology and The Shadow Dance in June. Then, in September, I invited my friend Dr. Margaret Clench to teach a 6 week workshop on Archetypes.

Recently, I was cleaning out my guest room and found a bunch of old files, including some sheets from Byron Katie on “The Work.” She invites us to look at our conflicts and use a journal sheet to record each conflict, a little about the person with whom you are in conflict, what you would like instead, etc. Then, she has this amazing technique that she calls “The Turnaround.” You take the very thing that you are accusing the other person of doing and invites you to look at how the person might do the opposite and how you might be doing that very thing to the other person! And, if that isn’t enough, she asks you to reflect on how you might be doing this same thing to YOURSELF!

Well, it is just incredible! I had been introduced to Byron Katie quite a few years ago and even downloaded the free worksheets from her site. However, “when the student is ready . . .” I guess this week, IAM READY.

I did the process on a conflict with one of my brothers-in-law and my little sister. WOW! It is so liberating!

This morning, I was running out the door and went back to say something to Steve. He said, “Baby, I’m trying to get ready here and you keep interrupting me!” Well, I fumed to the car and thought to myself, “He doesn’t have time for me!” Then, as soon as it came in, I thought of “The Work” and did my turnaround:

Steve doesn’t have time for me.
Steve DOES have time for me.
I don’t have time for Steve.
I don’t have time for myself.

WOW! What an insight! I’ll be working on this for the rest of today!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Au Revoir to Suzy, Not Goodbye

I just got word that my friend Suzy Moore crossed over this morning. She was such a sweet person, with kindness and caring such a part of her nature. She was always smiling and radiating love, wherever she went.

Just a few weeks ago, I saw her at an event and we hugged and talked as if only a day had passed since the last time we spoke. She always asked about me, my work, my husband, and family. And, she really wanted to know. Suzy REALLY was interested in whatever interested you and it showed in her compassion, her attentive listening and that smile! Her smile could light up a room!

About a year ago, I invited Suzy to be a part of a group I was creating to produce retreats for women who are just coming on to their spiritual paths. She politely declined, saying that she didn't think she fit in. I begged her to reconsider, but she continued to decline and wished me the best with our project. I thought many times about how I handled the invitation. Was I too brusque? Should I have given her a chance to help us create the group, rather than attempt to add her later to the faculty?

I thought of my questions this morning when I learned of her passing. I immediately went outside and talked with her.

Suzy, I want to apologize for the idiot way I invited you to be a part of our group. I know I screwed it up. And, I also know you know me. You REALLY know me now! And you know that I was inviting you from a "heart" place. That I really wanted you to participate in whatever way was authentic for you. Thank you for touching my life, Suzy. I love you and I am blessed to know you and I can't wait to see what we will create in the next life! Cheers, my friend! I'll bet you are dancing and kicking up your heels as you transition. And so I say to you, "au revoir," as the French say, which means "until seeing you again."

As I walked back into my building, it began to rain. I thought about other friends & family with whom I might have misunderstandings. Well, the one with Suzy is settled now. However, I don't have to wait for someone to pass to work things out, do I?

I've got some phone calls to make . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the Love of Monster Truck Drivers . . .

This morning, as I was driving to my office (I drive 40 miles each way every day) I signaled a lane change and moved over to the right. I had plenty of room, but evidently upset the guy behind me in the monster truck, because he immediately flashed his brights and gunned it to go around me. I maintained my speed behind him and then he stepped on his brakes. I kind of expected that, so I was prepared. I resisted the urge to go around him and as I drove behind him, I pondered the fact that I even WANTED to go around him and “beat” him to the I-20 West exit.

Why do we do this? Why do “I” do this? That’s so “First Chakra” and “tribal” as my mentor Caroline Myss would say. All of the work I’ve done and I still want to “beat” someone to the next exit?

So, as I drove behind him and saw him go around another car and “leap frog” to the very front of the line on I-20, I thought: “What if I could send him light and love, instead of being pissed off or hurt or wasting energy on the guy in the monster truck?” So I did.

I imagined pink love and white light emanating from my fingertips as I raised my right hand off of the steering wheel, pointed it in his direction and kind of made a wave motion, as if love was flowing right toward him. Then, I said a prayer for him and one for myself.

Some of my teachers and mentors tell me that when “you spot it, you got it,” so I know that I’m projecting some of my own “bad ass” tendencies. Cocky people who take more than their share of the road bother me. People who drive big, monster trucks and then blow by me or almost hit me as they go around me REALLY bug me.

So, with the whole “shadow” concept in mind, I want to embrace the part of myself that gets upset over this type of behavior. Does it mean that a part of me wants to do that? Wants to be “king of the road” and lord it all over everyone? Maybe. Or, did I act like that in another life, in another time and now I’m getting to see what it feels like to witness it or be treated like that?

Yep, maybe so.

My prayer for myself is one that asks for my Higher Self to integrate and embrace those parts of that driver that I most abhor. And I embrace it long enough to take the emotional charge out of it and reduce the action to something equivalent to walking across the street. Neutral. Not bad, not good, just an action.

And then, I can go back to “be-ing” ME.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grapevine Botanical Gardens - Cool in the Shade

Today I got to visit one of my favorite places on earth: the Botanical Gardens in Grapevine. My dentist is in Grapevine and I drove by the post office to drop off some packages before my appointment. On the way to my dentist’s office, I saw the Botanical Gardens and decided to stop in.

What a surprise: it was almost cool in the shaded areas, so with my bottle of water and camera in tow, I walked around. I found the most beautiful (and accommodating) butterfly, which flitted and fluttered around and allowed me to snap 20 pictures of it before it said, “OK, enough, already!” I snapped some beautiful flowers, too.

This place is particularly special to me because it’s the scene of my wedding to my husband Steve. Just over 8 years ago, we asked our daughters if they wanted to go out to dinner and told them we had a short stop to make. Steve ran into Tom Thumb to get some flowers and handed them to Meagan, our older daughter and we drove to the Botanical Gardens.

Once there, we were met by our friends Jim and Carol, who had been our teachers at the marriage class (well, BEFORE- Marriage Class) we had taken at Fellowship Church in 2001. Jim is also an ordained minister and he was thrilled to perform the ceremony. Carol stood by and took lots of pictures and then mailed them to us a few days later. They are really sweet people.

After the brief ceremony, attended only by Carol, Meagan and our younger daughter, Sara, we all went to Red Lobster and had dinner. All in all, a very special day!

I love the gardens, because of the transformation I’ve seen for that plot of land over the last 27 years. When we moved to Grapevine in 1983, it was a small park with a few trees and a small ravine that was either added for flood control or carved into the land by rain waters.

Over the years, a gazebo was added, as well as koi ponds, walkways and a home on the property was annexed to be a community center for meetings and parties. When we utilized it as the scene for our wedding, it had just undergone a major renovation, with the addition of covered walkways and a few bridges. All in all, it just keeps expanding and growing.

Now, there is wrought iron fencing all around the perimeter of the gardens, leaving the park area open for play and framed by trees for beauty.

Inside the gardens are birds of all types, butterflies, and dragonflies of many varieties. The flowers are every color of the rainbow and the caladiums and special green plants are breathtaking, too.
I sat in one of the covered areas and just snapped a few more photos and took in the color and beauty of nature . . . While in the shade, I tried to snap a small dragonfly, but he wasn’t as patient with me as the butterfly!

I guess the Botanical Gardens remind me of, well, ME! I’ve been transforming myself over the past 15 years, too! With each passing year, I grow and stretch, as I become all that I am to be!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Releasing Weight - My New Heart Adventure

I remember being told in my hypnosis training five years ago that Americans don't like the concept of "losing weight" so refer to it as "releasing excess pounds." As Americans, we DON'T like to lose!

I get it, but at the heart of it, it is about losing something that no longer serves us, releasing something and letting go. Yes, it's all of those things.

Over the past 30 years, I have gained and lost 50 pounds twice and it's time to lose it again!

In a meditation last night, I was clearly shown how this weight has protected me in many ways:

childhood hurts & abuse
wounds by people I love
sensitivity to others
defensive strikes
loss & grief
fear & shame
anger & rage
lack of love

In an earlier meditation, I was shown the door to my heart. With Google images and a little help from Paint software and the addition of a door knob, the graphic at the top is a pretty good
representation of what I saw. Inside, I saw this beautiful little girl in braids, dressed like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, swinging in a beautiful swing, decorated with yellow garlands of flowers up and down the ropes.

My little self, my Dreamer Self says she is ready to help me “peel away the layers.”
“I’ll help you,” she says, “and then I can come out and play.”

‘It’ll be fun---you’ll see.”

She went on to say that we will know fun and fearless flying and a type of Friendship I have never known.

Another interesting image was that the little girl (who I knew instantly was me) had a “heart-shaped” face and wore braids, just like I wore when I was young. When I really look at myself and take away the bangs that I have worn since my 20’s when blow dryers came into existence, I HAVE a heart-shaped face. My “widow’s peak” and my cheeks give me a heart shaped face. I just don’t see it, because I always have my bangs.

The little girl was swinging, going back and forth and zooming very high up. It was as if she was flying.

I have a feeling we have many more visits and interesting journeys to take together, now that I’ve found her again. And, I can’t wait to release all of these pounds. I have a feeling it will be easier this time!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sheba, Wonder Dog

My dog Sheba is one of the most allowing creatures I know. When she sees me grab my keys, she immediately starts this little primitive dance and jumps and twirls like a ballerina or a Cherokee medicine man. She wants to go, so she sends out this positive vibration. She is not attached to the outcome; she just knows she is going!

With the Universe on her side, I can’t help but let her go with me, so I motion her out the door, into the garage. I open the car door and watch with a smile as she jumps over my seat into “her” seat by the window.

I have to put down the window just a bit as soon as I turn the key or she gives me “that look.” Then, she sticks her head out the window and begins to smile as we travel down the driveway and down the street toward rest of our small town.

For most of the places we want to go, I can forego the freeway and take surface streets, so I do. This enables Sheba to put her head out and enjoy the cool breeze and smells that are everywhere and not get her lips blown off! (Freeway driving can be hazardous!)

She will hang her head out the window for about a minute, then she brings it back in, shaking her head and letting her ears fall back down into place. She knows when she’s had too much wind and she ducks inside for a few seconds and then she’s out again.

Her smile would light up our entire town, if we could hook up a generator to her energy. She is happy, ecstatic and on a true spiritual high when she is riding in the car with me.

Sometimes, she turns to look at me as if to say, “Thanks, Mom,” and I feel her gratitude. Even more, I feel the love we share. Her love is unconditional and I am learning to return that unconditional love, even when she chews holes in her towel or drops mouthfuls of dog food on the carpet with no plans to eat it all.

Sheba is a German shorthaired pointer who is sleek and beautiful in her chocolate coat with chocolate and white ticking. I call her my “chocolate chip ice cream girl,” because her patches look just like that. We rescued her from a center up in Denton in 2004 and she has been a part of our family ever since. A few years ago, we decided (translation: I decided) that the other dogs were picking on her, so she gets to be the “inside dog” now. She sleeps on a towel on either the couch or the loveseat and graciously moves over to allow Steve and me to watch TV when we are home.

She sees spirits and alerts us when one of our relatives is visiting. Lately, she is seeing dog spirits and she finds this troubling. I have to reassure her that she is safe and Steve asks the Spirit to leave after a bit. Sometimes, I open the door and escort the dog spirit out of the house, so Sheba can watch TV in peace. (Yes, she loves our big screen TV, except when pigs, lions or particular animated creatures come on the set.)

She is my earth angel. I love her and I love the love that the two of us share. She can ride shotgun anytime she wants, except when I’m leaving for the office.

One day she was doing her dance on a Saturday as I was getting ready to leave for a client. I told her, “Sheba, sorry, but it’s not take your ‘Daughter to Work Day’ today. I’ll see you tonight.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Loving Others

Over the past six months, I've been part of a study group led by a Harvard Professor/Reiki Master and we’ve been learning about manifesting. He has taught us that V + E + R = M

V - Visualization
E - Emotion
R - Release
M - Manifestation of the thing you want

Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about releasing, which he says is the most important part of the equation. Releasing is that means by which we “detach” and “let go” of our desire for the thing we are seeking. There are many tools to help us release and I’ve used most of them:
Law of Attraction
Levenson’s Love Technique

When we learned about the Sedona Method, we were introduced to the creator of this method, Lester Levenson. He said some amazing things:

“This thing called love is your basic nature. All the love in the universe is in your basic nature. You will discover that happiness—your happiness—equates to your capacity to love, and conversely all your miseries equate to your need to be loved. Just love, love, love and you will be so happy and healthy and prosperous. Remember, you need to release your non-love feelings. Try it, you will like it.”

Well, one day in meditation, I got a very clear nudge to take a tablet and write down all of the positive memories of my childhood, my parents, etc. What? Did I understand that correctly?

I’m beginning to be very trusting of my Guides, so I did as I was encouraged to do.

I filled two pages with memories from the skateboard I received at age 11, to the new dress my Mom made me for the 9th Grade Banquet. It was amazing how many positive things I could remember!

And, in the process, I began to see my parents in a different way. I had worked so hard over the last few years, releasing my “non-love” feelings. Yet, now I had some positive memories to fill the empty space. It was truly wonderful and I felt such a loving feeling toward BOTH parents.

I highly recommend it! Just take a tablet and start writing!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, New Me!

I’ve been meditating in some form or another for about 7 years. Everyone we encountered in that first year of our new path of spiritual awakening recommended meditation. At first, I was put off. “I can’t seem to get rid of my busy mind,” I said. Some people called it “monkey mind,” and we would all laugh and lament our trouble meditating. Then, we met someone who told us that guided meditations were not only “OK,” but probably a must for anyone just starting out and those with a slight bent toward ADD! I want to thank Shannon Maxey for telling us this. Prior to her saying this, I was led to believe that if you didn’t sit in a dark room in a lotus position, you weren’t really meditating!
This new style of guided visualization was very helpful for me and so, I could transcend the world for a few moments, at first, and then for longer and longer periods of time. Next, I trained in hypnosis and opened my practice, and then I had a brand new appreciation for the mind, various states of mind, brain waves, etc.
I’ve used meditation CDs or MP3s from just about everyone: Kelly Howell, Brain Sync, Holo Sync, Silva Method, you name it, I’ve tried it!
My favorite tend to be those created by Sanaya Roman and her guide Orin. Just the other day, I was meditating with one of her MP3s and found myself floating and flying around the room in which I was meditating. Then, there was a progression of people from my past, people whom I had hurt in some way. As quickly as these came and went, a new wave began appearing in my mind’s eye: people who had hurt me in some way.
Just as soon as the progression ended, I had a very succinct feeling: All is forgiven and you have forgiven all. This feeling of forgiving and forgiveness was immediate and very healing. No words really entered my head or awareness, I just knew this. And, I knew that more healing was coming my way, each and every time I stop, breathe and disconnect from the world I know here on earth.
New Year, new me! Woo-Hoo!