Ever take time to consider how blessed you are? When I experience spiritual amnesia, I too forget. At the moment, I have my left leg propped up on a pillow, since it has been crying out for my attention over the past few days. I had knee surgery a few decades ago following a torn meniscus and still feel tweaks and twinges. I walk a lot and work out on the elliptical, cybex and bicycle at Planet Fitness. According to Louise Hay, knee issues are about fear of moving forward. I consider that on target for my life circumstances at the moment. There are so many opportunities that are presenting themselves for my perusal and I honor them all. I know that I want to progress, and take my creative work to the next level, AND there are times when I feel myself frozen and distracted. It occurred to me that knees are about ‘needs’ as well and I have for too long, been ignoring my own needs, believing erroneously that I am so self sufficient that I don’t need support from anyone. Lately, I have been asking for support from the Universe and the people in it and the response has been a resounding YES! So, what keeps me from asking more often? Again, erroneous belief that I don’t want to inconvenience other people (heaven forbid!) and yet, I sometimes feel as if I have a swinging door (think Western saloon) that people move through with regularity that has me dancing too fast to keep up with the expectations.
Perhaps another metaphor is the idea of getting down on my knees in gratitude for what IS working in my life and things that are as I would have them be. I have a huge list and just this weekend, was playing the “How much more blessed could I be?” game. At every turn, I found myself attracting perfect parking spots, prizes, and ‘chance’ meetings with new friends. I have continued it today and at the moment, am sending that energy to my knee.
I am feeling exceptionally blessed that I can stand, walk, dance, stretch, do yoga even in the midst of the ouchies. I am grateful for an abundance of love, family, friends, as well as work that I love that sustains me every which way imaginable.
I will listen to my knee and follow its guidance about ‘kneeds’ that are going unmet in my life.
http://youtu.be/PV90Ef7yqYk Blessed by Brent Dennen
Facebook being the microcosm of the world that it is, I was fascinated this morning while perusing it long about 6 a.m. In a span of about 10 minutes, I noticed celebration and sorrow, fear and fun, anger and awesome appreciation being expressed in people’s postings. One friend was announcing her daughter’s scholarship, while another shared about a close call with a drunk driver. Others were asking for prayers for ill loved ones while some folks were offering their perception of the world around them. All of these things were happening in their ‘worlds’ simultaneously. I am here engaging in my Saturday morning ritual of listening to Sleepy Hollow on WXPN (88.5 fm in Philly), slight sleep deprivation headache with the whirlwind of activity in my life lately. Enjoying kale, flax milk, celery, carrot, blueberry, raspberry smoothie. Anticipating a few days at the XPoNential Music Festival today and tomorrow (an annual highlight of my summer) where I know that in addition to amazing music, I will spend time with dear friends and make new connections with other life and music lovers.
Yesterday, I was in creative business mode while attending “Unleash Your Hidden Influence: Harness Your Marketing To Catapult Growth”. A mouthful and a day-full of ideas, insights, inspiration, opportunity and connectivity. The facilitators were Shawne Duperon, Terri Levine and Teresa de Grosbois, each a powerhouse in her own right. They gave us the best of what they knew about relationship in biz. My always-on-the-look-out-for -new-ideas friend Ruth Anne Wood had invited me to join her and early yesterday, we trekked down from our Bucks County area homes to the Philly area airport hotel that housed the day long event. I was delighted upon arriving when the first familiar face I spied was that of my friend Donna Meyer. I had just been thinking about her on the way there, when remembering that she had brought the high energy force of nature, Lisa Nichols in to speak in New Jersey and I was bringing to mind some messages Lisa had to share that would likely connect with what we were about to experience. Donna and I heart-stormed about a workshop I will be teaching at her center in the Fall. At one point, I had turned to look in the back of the room and was glad to see Luisa Rasiej (The Inner Contessa) smiling back at me.
The rest of the whirlwind day was filled to the brim with ideas that I immediately began to compartmentalize in my brain, sorting out how and where I will put them to use. I was gratified to hear that one of the takeaway messages is something that I already do easily and it is that of being a connector and influencer who supports and endorses people’s work and becomes a yenta (Yiddish for matchmaker) who brings them together for mutual benefit. While there, I was having such a good time with my mind whirling over who in the world outside that hotel conference room I could match with those in the room. It seems that my fellow attendees were happy to do that for me too.
I had the opportunity to work individually with Terri and Shawne as a ‘demo model’ for concepts they were presenting. I figured that since I had invested a day to learn all I could on the subject, I was going to put my heart and soul into the experience and slurp all of the juice out of the glass. As much as I have been a journalist and speaker for more than 25 years, I found myself feeling like a newbie in so many ways. Not as smooth and polished as I am accustomed to being, I could hear the monkey mind chattering “You should know this stuff. How come you feel like an inarticulate teenager on a first date?” They were all gracious and supportive and their feedback was helpful. Needing to integrate the ideas and put them into practice.
Looping back around to the original idea, I revisited Facebook and see that my friends are now sharing inspiration, wisdom, photos, as well as inviting their friends and their friends and their friends to experience the dance of life where everything is happening all at once.
Tonight, I had the joy of interviewing Annie Kagan, who wrote the book The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad Boy Brother Proved To Me That There Is Life After Death on my show It’s All About Relationships and she shared the messages that came from her brother who died after being hit by a car, while on drugs. With a long term history of addiction, he found peace in death and offered words as comforting information to his sister and then she passed it on to grateful readers. A grounded woman, with a degree in Chiropractic, a musician and yogini as well, this experience came as a surprise to her and initially, she questioned her sanity and stability, since she was grieving. When it became apparent that he was sharing information that he would have no other way of knowing.
Death is a mystery for many of us. It is part of the flow of life and yet, it carries with it a sense of fear of the unknown. If we believe in life after death and/or reincarnation (I do), then we may have forgotten that there is something more than this day to day existence. Imagine if you will, that somewhere in the ‘heavenly nursery’, you are floating in awesome amniotic fluid, awaiting a slide down the birth canal. Would you be frightened or exhilarated? I have been present at the death of friends, family members and residents in nursing homes where I had been employed as a social worker and had thought of it as being like a mid-wife on the other end of the life spectrum. When my mom was on her hospice journey back in 2010, she told me about a dream she had. She was about to climb onto a water slide with a little boy and girl; one behind her and one in front of her. She shared in a child’s voice,when at the top of the slide “I was really scared, but by the time I got to the bottom, I was having such a good time! What do you think it means?” I laughed and asked “What do YOU think it means, Mom?” She got a knowing look, but couldn’t voice her interpretation. At that point, she was still in the ‘just don’t know’ mode, while I was certain that it was a beckoning to her next incarnation. As the time of her passing got closer, she too became certain that my father would come for her (“He told me he would.”) and that it was safe to go down the slide. Wheeee~
http://youtu.be/ebtC3ORg9fU All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
~Rossiter Worthington Raymond
Death is such a strange and multi-faceted experience. Yesterday, I witnessed my sister Jan and her family as they said goodbye to her husband, and their father Pete. A simple man with complicated emotions that sometimes ran him. A long term illness that set the agenda for daily dynamics that literally had my sister running herself ragged. Love and loss in one package. Knowing that he is no longer suffering, is a relief to everyone who knew him. Knowing that the healing is beginning for Jan and the kids is a relief to me. Seeing them grappling with losing him and all the things that would mean for their lives, has been challenging. Although their process is not about me, I can’t help but have an emotional reaction to the situation. First and foremost, I know that they are all enwrapped in a huge quilt of support comprised of family and friends. People came out en masse to one or more of the trifecta of ceremonies to honor his passing; the viewing, the mass, since Pete was Catholic, and the graveside service. The priest spoke at one point about not knowing the day of our death, so we need live as fully and lovingly as possible, focusing on the good in life.
I was glad to see cousins with whom we had grown up, show up in support of the family. Our parents used to gather every month or so for Cousins Club meetings and now my generation gets together for weddings, funerals, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. I gazed at their gracefully seasoned faces: Ricky, Steve and Teddy-brothers who, along with Jan and me, are part of the ‘Adult Orphans’ club since losing their father earlier this year and Roz whose grandmother and mine (as well as that of the aforementioned R, S and T:) were sisters. Her parents are among the last of my parents’ generation. My BFF Barb whose father recently passed after celebrating his 90th also came out to be with us. We gave knowing nods when she walked in to the funeral home.
We all carry the woundings and wonder of looking death in the face and knowing that there is more to it than closed eyes and still hearts. Before Michael died in 1998, I heard these distinct words from Beyond: “Everyone is on loan to you.” and then more recently, “Everyone you now know and love will one day die or leave you, or you will die or leave them.” Those comfort, rather than frighten me and I live each day as if this could be my last. Sometimes I forget (that darn spiritual amnesia) and get caught up in fretting over minutia.
Such a mish-mosh of juxtaposed emotions; tears and laughter; the silly and the somber. When we grieve well, we leave room for spaciousness that lets every emotion take the stage as they do, sometimes all at once. The totality of the human experience.
Wishing Pete the peace that he didn’t experience in life and wishing my sister and the kids, beginning anew.
http://youtu.be/1eR1ni6sZK4 Life Is Eternal- by Carly Simon