Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

Friday, August 17, 2012

Letting My Baby Bear Go~

That day has finally arrived. That day that I have written about before, half-dreaded, half-celebrated, and wished away.

We take Zoe to college tomorrow.

This marks another transition in my life. I wish I could tell you that I am handling it well. But, I find myself tender, and sad. The tears flow too easily as I realize that I will not be able to see my baby bear everyday, have dinner with her, check in on her asking..."Are you OK?"... hug her, laugh with her. Her presence will not be here in our home. It is this keen awareness of her absence that takes my breath away.

We watched the Odd Life of Timothy Green together and cried. Timothy vanished when his last leaf fell off -- it was his time to go.

It's Zoe's time.

When Zoe was a baby, I held her to my chest and sang:

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When the skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
So please don't take
My sunshine

I'm singing to you now baby bear. You are my sunshine, you will always be my sunshine, and your light will shine within me while you are away.

I love you,

Mama Bear~

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Becoming the Light~

If we are paying attention, our time here is becoming more intense and polarized. Environmental disasters, global warming, wars, political strife, mass murder, and increasing health issues seem to plague us all. Suicide is on the rise as many "opt out" rather than suffering. Speculation abounds about 2012. Is it the end?

While we witness the dark, we are also witnessing an intensifying of the light. Organizations, groups, and individuals are reaching out with generous hearts to aid others, clean the environment, speak out and act on countless injustices and heal themselves. We are "waking up" in this age of Aquarius. We are discovering our true nature. There is a recognition that perhaps there will be no second coming of Christ as so many believe and pray for. Perhaps, as Jesus taught, the Christ lives within each of us.

Now I realize that this may be disconcerting for some who pray for release, an easy exit, and redemption in the afterlife. So many desire to be rescued by the Messiah. There are no shortcuts. We are here to love; to love ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and to discover the Christ within --to literally become the Christ and emanate this love everywhere like a beacon of light. When we let go of our doubt, fear, jealousy -- all that separates us from what is -- we will then become aware of our inner Christ light. As we embrace this light, and recognize our true nature, our DNA and vibrational level will change. With new eyes, and a tender and open heart, we recognize the Christ in our sisters and brothers. When this happens, we will have heaven on earth.

So, do not despair. Do not give into the temptation to see only the darkness and suffering. Choose to see the light, to see God in everything, and turn within to your own divinity and brilliant light. You are the Christ.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th of July

There is something about traversing the still very “wild, wild West” for 10 days that sets the mind a thinking. The beauty of the National parks is unsurpassed and we have key individuals and political leaders to thank who had the foresight to preserve millions of acres of our land in their pristine, natural state. One cannot not possibly walk this land, and drink in the beauty, without being thankful for the privilege and freedom to enjoy our beautiful nation. It certainly has led me to ponder the meaning of 'freedom' on the eve of July 4th.

Our Founding Fathers were willing to pay a significant cost in terms of lost lives and risk to win the fight of taxation without representation. Today,less than half of those eligible to vote for their representatives bother to vote. Effectively, we have tax policy set by a minority of our citizens with a majority not believing that they have the ability to have an impact. Six months from now, it appears that the tax cuts put in place by President Bush will be allowed to expire and all federal government programs will be proportionately reduced because our representatives cannot or will not agree on tax policy that will allow the government to function in a more rational and thoughtful manner. This is disturbing.

And, what about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to bear arms -- equally important to the Founding Fathers and citizens of the United States over two hundred years ago? How are we exercising those freedoms? Turn on any news station, and you are bombarded with “talking heads” saying anything they want. Issues are exaggerated, shouting, vulgarity, interrupting and gross distortions are par for the course and override anyone’s ability to discern the truth. It appears that we are just trying to out scream the opposition. Is anybody listening?

What about the right to bear arms? When did this become the right to gun down anybody for any reason? Oozies are a bit different than the arms of yester-year. It is no longer a matter of self-protection and more of "what is mine is mine" and I have the right to take it with force and blatant disregard for human life.

Is freedom being exercised when a large percentage of young, black males are incarcerated before age 30 and the number of prisons built are determined by black male's 3rd grade test scores? Is freedom exercised when gay men and woman are not allowed to marry because they have chosen to love a same sex partner? Are we free when big business, the 1%, controls wealth, political access, and governmental policy in favor of their interests without regard to the remaining 99%?

And what has happened to a large proportion of the 99% who have allowed themselves to be dulled or bullied by the incessant, illogical, and rampant rhetoric? Apathy has become an abdication of the right to exercise the privilege to vote. The 1% will always win if the 99% do not take responsibility. Protest is one tier, but we also need to organize, contribute thoughts, energy, money, and learn to dialogue in a civil, factual and compelling manner that is heard by others. Our voices do count. And our actions will make a difference. Similar to Rockefeller who purchased 24,000 acres of land back in the 30’s and then donated it back to the federal government to preserve our land, we have intelligent, wealthy, thoughtful men and woman committed to preserving our country and contributing. Washington is broken. But, we are not. Our inaction is just as detrimental as Washington’s inability to listen, compromise and act.

How do we celebrate the 4th of July, our country's hard earned independence, in a climate of mistrust, self-centeredness, and political mayhem? We remember what we fought for, we exercise the privilege to vote, we appreciate the incredible freedoms we do experience living in America, and we
stand up and make our voices heard.   

Friday, June 22, 2012

Never Give Up~

Never have I been so inspired and moved! You will cry, laugh and cheer~


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Folding Laundry~

I have prided myself in raising up children who are independent and can fend for themselves. For quite some time, they have been doing their own laundry. Last night, Zoe pleaded with me to fold hers "one more time". For old time's sake perhaps? I think not. She was tired after cleaning all day and skillfully manipulated me at the dinner table to fold her laundry so that she could crash with Kash and Tati, watch a movie, and eat ice cream. After saying "No" several times, I of course buckled and folded her laundry. What fun it was to fold her clothes. Chuckling, I held up her tiny shorts, thongs, and skimpy T's wondering how in the world did she get her body into such small scraps of cloth?Seriously, I do not know how her booty fits into those shorts. When did she grow up? I am traversing down the motherhood path once again trying to grab hold of the point in time when Max and Zoe stopped being little and became adults. I am failing miserably. It feels as if I have lived several lifetimes in this one. I realized last night as I folded each of her garments that a chapter has ended. Like a scrumptious novel that you do not want to end, I don't want to turn the next page, start the next chapter. I want to linger here, savor every memory I have of Max and Zoe growing up. I want to go back and edit some chapters, ease their suffering, erase my mistakes mothering. But I know life does not permit the re-writing of our sorrows or our children's. For every sorrow there were many more joys and triumphs. And as I acknowledge my sadness, I also acknowledge and embrace my joy in knowing that Max and Zoe have grown into beautiful, kind, thoughtful young adults who are ready to fly on their own. I celebrate their independence, grateful to have had the opportunity to be their "mama bear".

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Zoe Graduates~

Another milestone is upon me without my permission. Who is in control anyway? When did I say my baby bear could grow up, graduate high school, and go off to college? I'm not ready! Why isn't the Universe listening to me on this one? Yesterday, I was holding her chubby, slippery little body in my arms in the shower singing to her "You are my sunshine." The passing of time becomes eclipsed when it comes to our children. One day they are running around in diapers, the next they are driving a car, and the following day putting on cap and gown to graduate. I'm still in the same body not aging. How does this all work? It doesn't make sense to me, 'this time flying by' nonsense. It is in these stark moments of clarity that I realize more than any other time that I am not in control. I can't slow time down. I can't reverse it. I can't re-capture those moments with my children when they were small, adorable, so carefree and innocent. I can't slow time down for them. I can't protect them any longer. They are grown. Going off to forge their own way, make their own lives, decisions -- good and bad -- without mama bear whispering "Be careful", "Are you sure about that?", "Be home by eleven." I'm not ready!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Visiting Mother~

I flew up to CT on Thursday, May 17th to surprise my sister for her 50th birthday. It was indeed a surprise and quite fun. We had a lovely dinner and the next morning sat out on the porch sipping our coffee and Kibitzing. Most delightful was my 18 year old niece, home after her freshman year at Vassar, talking with us "adults" and holding her own. What a remarkably gifted, self-assured, and loving young woman. I was also able to visit my mother at Seabury. I only get to see her twice a year and this trip I was able to visit three times. Each time was scheduled around dinner or lunch so I could feed her. In the past, I have found these visits a wee bit tortuous. Either my father makes me cry, or the other residents who are trapped in their bodies and minds, or my own sweet mother. I vacillate between the horror of the scene I find myself in and a feeling of complete and utter tenderness as I raise a spoon of soup to my mother's lips. I watch myself dis-connect and become the "witness". In this state, I can hold it all. I allow myself to smell the odors, to take in the ugly and beautiful, to touch my mother's hand, caress her face, and hear her belch without flinching. Oh, how embarrassed she would have been before she lost her mind to Alzheimer's. Now, she laughs. I lean in and listen to her words. Trying ever so hard to understand what she is saying -- to make sense of what sounds unintelligible. Every so often she does link words together and I understand. She turns her hazel brown eyes to me and captures my soul. It is in these precious moments that we connect deeply and we are One. "Ahh, there you are mommy." I feel myself catapult back into my body, no longer the witness, fully in my heart and in my sadness. I allow myself to sink into this sadness -- accepting, allowing, surrendering. It is what it is.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A story of healing, hope and forgiveness~

As we watch the current political events unfold, endure the horror of yet another teen suicide due to bullying, and honestly question and explore our own behaviors past and present, please watch this touching and moving video of healing, hope and forgiveness.

Convicted killer now trains dogs: Convicted murderer Melinda Loveless has a leash in each hand and a new lease on life as a trainer of service dogs for the disabled.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Full moon~

Andy and I were on the beach just after the magnificent full moon rose into the sky basking its yellow light on the shoreline. We were bathed in moonlight, delighting in the sounds of the surf, the feel of sand on our toes, while watching the moon rise further into the night sky.

What is it about the full moon that captivates us?

There's a gentle, silent yearning that stirs with the coming of the full moon. Our body cycles with the moon, our souls seem to quicken and awaken as if to say "pay attention" to the connection, spend a moment or two and feel our one-ness to everything and everyone.

Many years ago, a lifetime it seems, my yearning ignited a feeling of aloneness. I would look at the full moon and just want to go home. It was raw, painful, and lonely.  Why am I here?

The full moon brings me home to myself. It is a reminder of our cycles here on this earth, of our individual journeys fraught with painful lessons, triumphs, love, and abandonments -- and ultimately of our connection to all that is.

So, I will continue to celebrate this magnificent moon tonight. To howl with her, to bask in her light, to delight in the shadows she will cast taunting me to look deeper, and to revel in her beauty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life streams of light~

We are living matrixes of radiant light – life streams upon this earth --shimmering, pulsating light -- here to transmute and create. First, we must burn our own internal dross; that which is dark, ignorant, and detached from the truth of our own God-self so that we may truly "see" and embrace our divinity.

This light matrix extends throughout the cosmos and is connected to everything - living and not. We are constantly being “impulsed” by beings of light – angels, ascended masters, guides – who provide us opportunities for growth, expansion, and change. 

Seeds of creation are planted in the ego/mind.  The entire blueprint of this particular creation lies not in our human mind, but in the GOD mind and will only come into fruition when we allow the God-mind/self to co-create with our will.

Surrender ~ Allow ~ Create ~ Be ~

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Birthday Musings~

Tripping into the second half century~

It is hard to believe that I am 51 today. I celebrated 50 with gusto. I loved turning 50! It was freeing and uplifting. What an incredible year it has been with so many changes, twists and turns, blessings, and opportunities.

We have been privileged to support and nurture many kids...our own as well as those who need a safe haven. Our home has always been open and continues to be a refuge for teens who need a place to stay, rest, and receive love. Our Zoe is the loving, guiding presence who offers this tender respite.

Our gift this year was becoming owners of a health food store. Everyday we are thankful for our customers, their stories, and their commitment to health. What an opportunity for Andy and I to learn and share.

The greatest blessing this year for me has been my spiritual journey and all that I have embraced and absorbed. I am constantly overwhelmed by the love of Christ energy that permeates my being, and how I can share this with others who enter the sacred space of healing and light. It has been and continues to be the wellspring that feeds my soul.

Every morning I speak this prayer: "May all beings be healthy, may all beings be happy, may all beings prosper, may all beings emanate the Christ light. May Mother Earth continue to heal."

Wishing all of you peace and prosperity~

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kaleidescope Horizons

We are no longer living in linear time. Linear time is an illusion, but has been a necessary one for our world to exist and function as optimally as possible. Until now. Many of you might be experiencing a new reality where the sense of time appears and feels distorted. Where a cascading of events are occurring rapidly and simultaneously without apparent rhythm or reason; colliding like a kaleidescope of colorful patterns changing instantly with a slight twist of the hand.

This is the new reality, pregnant with unfathomable possibilities, if we embrace our multidimensional capabilities and accept that we are working within a collective and not as solitary individuals in a vacuum. Every thought and action that we have based in fear will keep us struggling in the old paradigm of linear time. We will fail to grasp the magnitude of possibilities that are available for co-creating our new reality.

If we open, and deeply understand that all action and thought born of the light will create infinite patterns of possibilities, we will be free to play in a whole new reality. Perhaps you have already noticed the new patterns at play, the increase in synchronicity, the effortlessness of tasks, and the quality of magic in your life? If so, you are shifting into this new kaleidescope reality.

If not, take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth releasing any and all resistance and fear. Breathe in the light, acceptance, and surrender to this incredible new emerging reality.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Live like a dog~

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued,

''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE...Getting back up is LIVING...

Have a great life.

By: Ultima National Resources, LLC

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paw Print

I vacuumed. Ugh.

Then I went to my friend's house with flowers and a card to thank her for coming with me to the vet's last Monday. I was so distraught that Monday, I told the vet that I did not want anything -- no ashes, no "paw print", or her collar, leash, etc.

And there is Barb handing me a bag with Millie's paw print. They did it anyway, somehow knowing that I might change my mind, or that I was out of my mind. How about that? I just couldn't believe it. There I was blubbering in the driveway, so thankful that I had a concrete "memory" after vacuuming up the last of her dog hair.

Millie's paw print is now beside the Buddha in the garden. Resting in peace.  I can visit her daily and smile.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Musings~

The sun is streaming in the windows, casting shadows of light on the foliage outside and dancing on the water. Another beautiful day and almost a week since I lost Millie. It is quite peculiar how I can hold both the joy and sadness simultaneously.

Many times this week I entered the house and felt the emptiness wash over me. I allowed myself to feel the emptiness, the absence of her, and let the tears fall. I also danced last night with Andy on Flagler Avenue to a great band, laughed with my son visiting on Spring break, and bantered with customers.

Feel, release, feel, release.....like waves coming in and going out....no attachment, but fully present.

We are capable of holding both the sadness and the joy in our lives. Bittersweet. Each day brings us our challenges and it is our attitude and willingness to embrace that creates the optimal environment for living fully.

I am aware too of how the mind can niggle. Andy's daughter is flying in tonight and I need to vacuum the house. I watch myself hesitate as I realize that if I vacuum, I will erase all that is left of Millie physically -- her hair that lies on the rugs and floor. I can feel my hesitation and resistance.

I indulge in my "delay" -- knowing that by taking this action I will empty the house a bit more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My forever friend~

My Forever Friend

I know that it must be different,
now that I am no longer here.
I realize how much I was loved
and how all of you did care.

I know it will be hard at first
when you look around for me.
Expecting to find me in my bed
or beside my favorite tree.

Someday you will begin to see,
although it'll take some time,
the happy times you shared with me,
the memories are yours and mine.

I'll remember you, my family,
and how much you meant to me.

So please don't grieve and don't be sad,
it was just my time to leave.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye~

Millie is ready. I am not. But, she is telling me so. I hate this.

Why is it so hard to say goodbye?

They have a service now that comes to your home so that you do not have to go to the vet. I like that.
I can be with her here at home while they put her to sleep.

It won't be any easier.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Makes one hopeful~

Photographer Michel Denis-Huot, who captured these amazing pictures on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara in October last year, said he was astounded by what he saw:

"These three brothers (cheetahs) have been living together since they left their mother at about 18 months old,' he said. 'On the morning we saw them, they seemed not to be hungry, walking quickly but stopping sometimes to play together.

At one point, they met a group of impala who ran away. But one youngster was
not quick enough and the brothers caught it easily."

These extraordinary scenes followed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Loving Kindness~

I shared this prayer with the Saturday meditation group and with a few friends who are undergoing cancer treatment and other challenges. A good friend, spirit sister, gifted this to me and I share with you.

Loving Kindness

May I be at peace.
May my heart be open.
May I awaken to the Light
of my own true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of 
healing for all beings.


Imagine starting every day with this prayer? 

Try it.
Pass it on to those you love.
Let peace abound~

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our journey~

It is, has always been, and will always be a "we" -- "our" journey is the collective consciousness of which we are inextricably a part of, which is inextricably part of the Universal God Consciousness.

The I AM presence, the Christ Self, resides within each of us awaiting our attention and recognition. The consciousness or awareness of the self in and as the Christ is the journey -- our collective journey of awakening and ascension.

The "I" is diminishing as we understand more deeply that we are all ONE. There is no separation.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Blog Share

50 Ways to Love your Liver
Wendell Fowler

Apparently Hannibal Lecter didn’t know the liver relates to almost every vital function of the holy temple, or he wouldn’t have suggested it be consumed with a glass of Chianti.

The large meaty organ processes everything we ingest, breathe and absorb through the skin, and plays a major role in digestion and metabolism, regulating production, storage and release of sugar, fats and cholesterol. The liver fires up protective immune function, thins or thickens blood, assists lymph flow, converts food to energy, removes ammonia, makes bile that breaks down fats, stores extra blood for emergencies and filters your blood of the stew of pollutants inhaled daily. It produces enzymes, hormones, blood proteins and clotting factors. Finally, the liver assists the temple with house cleaning by filtering infectious organisms and poisons from the blood and eliminating the toxic bilge. Regular medical care, a healthy, sun-blessed living diet, moderate exercise and controlling stress support it.

Ancients knew the liver and bile are critical to a healthy appetite. When bile doesn’t flow smoothly, you lose your appetite. The ancients felt too much or too little blood loss during menstruation was related to poor liver function and interfered with storing and releasing blood. Chinese and Ayurvedic healing medicine relate anger with poor liver and gallbladder function. Someone chronically angry would be prescribed liver therapy to open, cleanse and cool the liver and bile.

Pharmaceuticals with alarming side effects, street drugs, Chemotherapy, over-the-counter medications, excess alcohol, Tylenol, antibiotic drugs, fried and fatty foods and toxic substances in the American food supply brutalize the loyal, hardworking organ. Cut down on the amount of deep-fried and fatty foods that you and your family consume. Doctors believe the risk of gallbladder disorders (including gallstones, a liver-related disease) can be reduced by avoiding high fat and cholesterol rich foods. Desserts, snacks and sugary thirst-quenchers are high in calories because of the sugar and fat they contain.

Your liver adores beets and beet greens, preferably organically grown, since they are the richest source of betaine, a natural liver detoxifier and bile thinner, and aren’t sprayed with liver-stressing chemicals. Shred raw beets then combine the beauties with a drizzle of raw flax oil, honey and lemon juice or puree them in a blender with orange juice. That’s right: raw.

Explore culinary seasonings that sustain the liver: lemon juice, onion, vinegar, garlic, pepper, mustard, cloves, sage, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon and licorice. Milk thistle has been used for centuries in Germany as a liver stimulator and rejuvenator. Eat more high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, ground flax or chia seed, brown rice and quinoa and granola. Fresh food provides the best preventive maintenance and contains nutrition that enriches the liver. Include them regularly in your cooking. Next, get over your fear of healing cruciferous broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, berries, green tea, yogurt, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and red grapes.

Revere your liver so it won’t end up in a pan smothered with sautéed onions.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Every moment of every day we make a choice to feed one of our wolves.

The blessing?

One day, having chosen wisely over the course of your life, you awake and find only one wolf lives inside you.

Now you have become an instrument of peace, loving kindness and a source of healing for others.

Is this not our journey on this earth walk?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Take what you need~

Imagine if we were to offer these qualities all the time to everyone who crossed our path? Is this not what GOD offers us at all times? Without regard to who we are, our color, religious preference, sexual orientation, social status, or accomplishments.

Like the sunlight, GOD's presence shines on us all regardless. There is no distinction, or culling out of the 'good' ones from the 'bad' ones. This illusion is merely the earth game that some like to play to keep us in our rightful place and small. And we willingly participate.

Each one of you are lifestreams, a ray of light, emanating from the golden sun. Shine your light brilliantly and freely -- let anyone and everyone "take what they need" from your lifestream without judgement.

The really cool thing? You will never run out of this brilliant light. For you are forever being fed from the ocean of bliss - you are one with the golden sun - GOD.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celebrating the Goddess Body~

We are born into bodies. Beautiful, ever-changing, wondrous bodies which enable us to walk, dance, make love, work, create, birth children, and express ourselves. Too often, too many women, are ashamed of their bodies -- shamed by the media's distorted perception of "what is beautiful", childhood/adult traumas or the inevitable process of aging.  Too many woman fail to appreciate and love their bodies.

We are Goddesses -- our bodies are an expression of our femininity, fertility and spiritual essence.

Get naked, stand in front of a mirror, and embrace your glorious body!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Family Day~

We all slept in after Saturday's most spectacular Grand Opening; snuggled down bracing ourselves for a cold and windy day. Max and his girlfriend were arriving at 10am for Sunday Brunch. There were eight of us around the table bantering back and forth, laughing and joking. I sat back at one point and asked my father if he could see my "peacock feathers".

My children are comfortable in their own skins - confident, poised, and easily able to converse with adults. I couldn't help admiring them yesterday as we joked back and forth and planned our Sunday. Chip, dad, Andy and I were going to brave the cold and golf. Becky, Max, his girlfriend, Zoe and her friend were going shopping, bowling and then making a German Chocolate cake.

The cold golfers returned to yet another home cooked meal by my sister. We all crowded around the kitchen table eating grilled chicken with Seasame Peanut sauce, Jicama citrus salad, and roasted organic carrots in coconut oil. Dessert, of course, was the triple layer German Chocolate cake. The same warm fuzzy feeling from this morning filled my entire being as I glanced around the table, so grateful for my family.

Sometimes I need to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming or caught in some distorted reality like the Truman Show. Is this really my life? Did that crooked, difficult path that I meandered so long ago prepare me for the gifts that shower upon me daily? I think so. I think if we choose to embrace our pain, and learn how to move through it, it is like spinning straw into gold.

I think of all the choices I have made through the years that has led me to this particular place. The critical ones demanded bravery, risk taking, and walking into the unknown. How grateful I am for choosing the mystery.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Heart Conscious

We are being asked to move from our mind/ego to our hearts; to awaken to our heart consciousness and dwell in a place of compassion and love. This is no small feat. Like the moth drawn to the flame, we are drawn to the light, deeply knowing that this is our rightful place. But our minds tell us, flying into the flame means instant death, so we avoid the light; flickering around the flame. We engage in a mysterious dance hovering around the flame, lunging and getting singed, swooping away, only to be drawn again from some unknown powerful force.

This is the call of the 'collective' heart - of our soul - the yearning to come home and be one~

Stepping into our heart consciousness means releasing the fear that keeps us paralyzed and caught in repetitive fear-based patterns. We leave the ego and all of its excuses and bravely venture into the unknown. We willingly surrender into the 'mysterious dance' of the flickering light and delight in the unknown.

This is the call of the collective heart~

Are you listening?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Blog Share~

In the castle of Brahman, our own body, there is a small shrine in the form of a lotus flower, and within can be found a small space. We should find who dwells in this little space within the heart, and we should want to know him. – Chandogya Upanishad

Our sun travels through the galaxy in an orbit that is 26,000 years long. On Dec 21, 2012, we will reach the end of one of these great cycles. For thousands of years the laws of matter have dominated Spirit and now in this new age, Spiritual laws will rule matter. Many of the ancient traditions tell us that we must live from our hearts to make this mass shift of consciousness – our very survival depends on it.

So what does that mean? And more importantly, how do we do it?

Firstly, it is important to understand the nature of the heart. Modern science is finally catching up to what sages and mystics have been telling us all along about the importance of the heart to our Spiritual Evolution.

Here are 5 Things to Know About the Heart:

1. Your Heart Beats in Sync with Mother Earth

The Earth has a heartbeat (resonant frequency) called the Schumann Resonance which has been 7.8 cycles for thousands of years, but has been rising since 1980. (It is at about 12 cycles at present and increasing each year). Planet Earth is our mother and our heart beat must synch with hers. When we are not in sync, we feel fearful, insecure and anxious that there is not enough time in the day. To counteract these effects, make time to be with your Mother: go out in nature, breathe fresh air, look at the sky. As you intentionally send the frequency of Love from your heart to the center of the Earth, you will feel her Love return back to you.

2. The Heart has its Own Brain

Science has discovered that 60-65 percent of the heart is made up of neurons that connect directly to the limbic system. What we think of as ‘the brain’ is not just in the head – but also in the heart. These neurons have a direct connection with the right hemisphere of the brain and is responsible for dreaming, intuition, and creativity. The ancients tell us that we used to create our world with our hearts. When you visualize or pray, bring your awareness to your heart

“ Whenever you pray with the head, it takes a long time before you see the desired goal. Whenever you sing or pray from the heart, it will be timeless, spaceless and absolutely effective. Praying from the heart is 108 trillion times more effective than praying from the head.” – Yogi Bhajan

3. The Heart Has its Own Electromagnetic Field

Heart cells are unique in that they produce strong and measurable electromagnetic signals extending as far as twelve to fifteen feet from the body in the shape of a torus. The electromagnetic field of the earth, the solar system, and the galaxy has the same toroidal shape. The quality of our thoughts and feelings affect the electromagnetic field of the heart which in turn affects all the people around us.

We are all connected to one another through these electromagnetic fields and to that of the earth’s electromagnetic field. This is why when we see harm done to another we can feel it – because in truth, it is also being done to us.

One of the 5 Sutras for the Aquarian Age is Recognize the Other Person is You.

4. Heart Cells Naturally Beat in Unison

Science has discovered that if the cells of the heart are removed and separated they will beat at their own unique rhythm. When these cells are brought together they will naturally synchronize and start beating in unison.

This is why when you listen to someone speaking from the heart you feel included in the conversation. No matter how large the group, it feels as though that person is speaking directly to you. The heart is beyond duality and conflict – it is the perfect balance point where the upper and lower chakras meet. The heart does not judge others as higher or lower- it knows we are all brothers and sisters on this planet.

When you experience conflict with someone this is an opportunity to bring compassion to the situation. Go into your heart and see and feel things from their point of view. If this is challenging, pray to the Infinite to see this person as God sees them. Relate to their light not their darkness (ego).

5. The Heart Responds to Laughter

Science has discovered that a hearty laugh causes the lining of our blood vessel walls (called endothelium) to relax, increasing blood flow for up to 45 minutes afterwards. Damage to the endothelium can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and eventually cardiovascular diseases.

Laughter brings comfort to the heart. When you embrace your Divine Nature you can’t help but laugh at the silliness of the mind/ego and how perfect the world is – how perfect we all are.

What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up! – Hafiz

Catalyst Yogi: bringing the cave to you~

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waking Up~

What we fail to see is that our imperfections and vulnerabilities allow the light from within to shine outward touching others; calling them to wake up. It is through our suffering, grief, and triumph over our challenges that we awaken to our divine nature and allow our light to emanate.

Embrace your perfectly imperfect self and let your light shine~

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings~

It's been awhile since I have posted. In that time, I feel like I have surfed the wave of life at warp speed. I fully intend to blame the solar flares (smile). I wonder if any of you are feeling the intensity of energy and the acceleration of time?

As I reflect on this week, there was not a moment not fully lived. Work, golf tournament, yoga, dinner at friend's homes (4), a spiritual gathering, healings, a trip to FSC in Lakeland for Zoe's scholar's weekend, Bok tower and visiting a friend, gardening, planning for the grand opening, meeting with Hospice, and a whole host of "to-do's" that serve to lubricate the wheel of daily life.

The amazing realization is that I feel fantastic and I am not overwhelmed in the slightest. I should be!  Now, I can give the credit to the solar flares, or the cell power I am ingesting, or the practice of gratitude each morning. Perhaps it is a combination of all three, plus unseen forces that are coalescing to buoy and sustain my energy levels. I don't know and I don't need to know.

Truly, what is most rewarding is witnessing the miracles happening daily in people's lives, being present and available to those I love, and sinking fully into the awareness that something spectacular is happening on this planet.

It's easy to join in. Step fully into the light and embrace "All That Is." Let go of any and all fears (no cheating on this one) and surrender into grace and gratitude. Each time you step into fear...pause...and say to yourself "I have a choice." Let go of fear and choose love. Always act from a place of love and compassion.

Try this and watch your life transform~

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cat Stew~

My musing this lovely Sunday morning will rather shock some of you who are accustomed to my softer, gentler side.

I loved the movie We Bought a Zoo and for anyone who has not checked it out, please do. You will be pleasantly surprised.  My conundrum is that I LIVE in a zoo. And, it is not fun. Yesterday, Zoe and I worked together at the store. She left at 5pm and came home to find Millie (our 13 year old Shepard) in the hot tub. Needless to say, this became a crisis as Zoe did not know what to do and was afraid that Millie might bite her. With calm prompting, she was able to get Millie out and dried off with a lot of towels.

Not so bad, right? It can happen. Millie was scared. Zoe was scared, but we all survived. On reflection, however, I think the energy of the incident jazzed up our two cats -- Bread and Butter. Butter, who by the way, looks exactly like her namesake -- 25 pounds of lard ass. Bread resembles a Baguette. Let me remind anyone reading this post that these cats are my children's. They HAD to have a cat. And they do NOTHING to take care of them.

Now, as a preface to this morning's nightmare -- let me describe to you what these two lovely animals do all day -- ruin our home.  They scratch up the fabric on all our furniture, delight on laying on every piece of furniture including our kitchen table leaving a blanket of hair, find their way into our closet to hunker down for a cozy nap, but not before rubbing up against every piece of clothing I own leaving a thick coat of hair, and just for fun and to make my day, they lovingly leave dead mice or squirrel parts on the walkway.

This is their daily itinerary. And, I have not even began to describe their witching hour, which begins at 5am.

This is where I have seriously considered making "cat stew". This morning was the worst to date. We have a system, Andy and I. I get up first and let Butter out. We wait for about 10 minutes to hear the scratching at the door to be let in. Andy gets up for this one. Then, if we are lucky, Bread will jump up on the bed and lay between my legs, and we get another hour of dreamland with no disturbance.

Not this morning my friends.

We were up 7 times between 5am and 6:30am with those damn cats. In and out, meow, scratch at the doors, play with the paper in the corner, scratch at the door, meow. We fed them, to no avail. Scratch, meow "Let me out" Scratch, meow, "Let me in." On and on it went. Instead of "50 Ways to Leave your Lover" Andy and I whispered quietly the 50 ways to kill them. Hauling their asses to a Chinese restaurant was definitely on the top ten list.

If anyone is interested in two cats, please let me know. Otherwise, please come over this evening for a warm bowl of "cat stew".

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chalk Man~

Every once in awhile one is totally blown away by someone's talent. While I have had a lifelong love and appreciation for art, I never thought I would see chalk art this compelling and inspiring.

Known as the chalk man, take a look and be prepared to be "blown away".

Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrating Zoe's golf tournament~

The golf tournament was a huge success! Zoe had her table set up beautifully and was so poised as she accepted the checks and handed out raffle tickets. She raised over $1,000 for the Children's Advocacy Center. I was filled with happiness as I took photos during her speech and watched how she reached out to everyone who came to support her with such confidence. Thank you to everyone who supported Zoe and her senior project!

She is a testimony of how we can move through adversity and triumph.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mother's heartbreak~

Tomorrow is Zoe's golf tournament to raise money for the Children's Advocacy Center; part of her year long senior practicum. For Zoe, her choice of projects is personal and she is not "ho-hum" about the cause. She has written a research paper about child abuse, volunteered at the Babe James Center, and is now raising money for the lead protection agency in our county. Her choice of major at Florida Southern is psychology; an avenue into helping children.

There is a part of my heart that is broken, and wishes that my child's passion stemmed from curiosity or a book that she had read, and not from years of abuse at the hands of a trusted neighbor. I failed to protect her and this wound never heals despite my daughter's wishes. For me, this is the quintessential failure and one I have yet to forgive myself for.

Tomorrow she will speak before all the amazing people who have come out to support her. They will know her story and mine. She will tell them that she has forgiven and moved on. I will sit there knowing that I have not -- in awe of Zoe and quietly holding my inability to forgive.

My head will be held high in pride, even if my heart is breaking, as I watch my amazing daughter speak her truth.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spiritual Guidance ~ picking up the shit

My old girl Millie is on her last legs - literally. She's thin, and it is hard for her to get up. For the last 3 weeks (at least) Millie has decided to poop in the house daily. She will pee outside, but will not poop. She saves it for the house.

We haven't yelled at her because she is so old and these are her last days. But, I think this has given her license to continuing pooping inside rather than out. This leads me right into "picking up the shit" in your life. This would have been a big deal earlier in my life. I hate picking up poop. But it's not now. "Oh, there it is -- again." I just pick it up and flush it down the toilet.

What if we were able to do this in all areas of our life? You have a little poop -- someone is unkind to you, you have a fender bender, your computer breaks down -- and instead of getting all crazy and making it more than it is, you say to yourself  "Oh, this is just a little bit of poop. I'll pick it up, flush it down the toilet, and move on."

The trick is not getting mired in the "ick" of the poop in your life. Just deal with it and move on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bandanna Barb's all purpose spray~

In a spray bottle mix:

2 cups of H2O
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1 tsp pure castile soap (peppermint)
3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops of lemon grass essential oil

Shake well!

Compare this to any other cleaning product you have in your home. You will be thrilled to discover that Bandanna Barb's cleans as well or better than the commercial cleaners.

One step closer to a poison free home~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Musings~

Since owning this health food store, I find myself becoming a bit fanatical. I have eluded to this in an earlier post or two. Not only am I in a state of discarding -- letting go of "stuff" -- but I am very cognizant of what I am putting into my body. Now, I've become very aware of the chemicals in the house that we use to clean with. Poison! Pure poison. Why do I use them?

There is absolutely no good reason. Laziness. Habit. Ignorance.

Vinegar and baking soda is all you need to sanitize and clean. Yesterday, a customer came in with a bottle of all natural cleaning solution that she made as a gift for me. I was beside myself. "How did you know?" I asked incredulously. I sprayed that little sucker on everything. Cleaned like a charm. Smells good too. She added lemon drops.

I'm posting the recipe tomorrow. Not because I am trying to be coy, but I am at the store, and my fantastic cleaning brew is on the kitchen counter at home.

Do yourself a favor. Pitch the poison and try this amazing all-natural cleaning solution. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Listening to your gut~

I've been reading about the "gut". Do you know most of our illness and chronic disease stems from the gut -- our digestive tract? From the moment our saliva glands begin to water until we sit on the "pot" (forgive me), an incredibly intricate set of processes are in motion to ingest, digest, absorb, and eliminate the food we eat.

Most importantly, what we are eating, how we are eating, and even what we are thinking and saying while we eat plays a vital role in our health. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, Crone's disease, bloating, gas, acid reflux (and I could go on) are all a result of something going awry in our digestion and absorption.

The kicker is that many of us suffer needlessly because we have not healed our early life wounded-ness. Many of our "gut" issues can be traced back to early life. How many times have you not listened to your gut --your inner voice? Did something because it was the 'should' thing to do, or the expected thing to do, or because someone else was insisting? Think about it for a minute.

How many times have you put something into your mouth, and your inner voice is saying "that really isn't good for you?" How can you possibly assimilate that food properly and with joy, if you are feeling bad about your food choice? You can't. Immediately there is conflict and this is played out in the digestion of that food. Or, if you are eating mindlessly or thoughtlessly because you are emotional and "stuffing" -- this all impacts your digestive system and can wreak havoc.

Food for thought. Listen to your gut! It's wiser than you think~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Caring for your vehicle~

How well do you take care of your car? Do you change the oil and filter every 5,000 miles? 10,000? Do you wash it, and vacuum the inside? Or is the inside littered with trash, empty food containers, and other sundry items? And the only time your car hits the car wash is after someone writes "wash me" on the dusty windows? Perhaps the maintenance and care of your vehicle lies somewhere in between these two extremes.

Our vehicles take us to our place of employment, destinations of leisure and play, and to the stores and places that allow us to function in the world. Our bodies are like our cars. They need to be maintained, cared for, and only the best fuel poured in for the highest functioning. Too often, though, we neglect our bodies. We take for granted this magnificent vehicle of muscle, cartilage, blood, organs and tissue. We mistakenly think that there is a life time warranty on our personal "vehicle" -- no maintenance required.

What we eat, what we think, what we say is the fuel for our bodies. Are you using the highest octane fuel possible? Just as important is a balance of rest and movement. We need to move our bodies, and also know when to turn the "engine" off and rest. 

Take a moment and reflect on the care of both your car and body -- is there a discrepancy? Are you taking better care of your car than your body?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spiritual Guidance ~ Sustainability & Ingenuity

Lately, I have been experiencing a persistant and every growing urge to purge anything and everything that is not all natural and no longer has relevance. This seemingly irrational urge extends to deleting all 13,000 of my emails, not buying products with chemicals, only buying vegetables at the Farmers Market, and wanting to eliminate dairy and meat from my diet. I'm not there yet. But, everyday something goes and is replaced by an all natural or organic product.

Yesterday, the "urge" had me surfing the web for tiny homes. I am fascinated by the concept of living simply, with few things, in a very small space - 225 sq. feet- 500 sq. feet. There are many positives to living small; less things to take care of, reduced electric, heating and cooling bills, smaller carbon footprint, sustainability, and less financial stress.

Click onto the link below to see how magnificant, beautiful, imaginative, and simply one can live~

Man Builds Fairy Tale Home for His Family – For Only £3,000

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Snug as a Bug~

A taste of winter has crept into the fine state of Florida reminding us that we are not immune from the cold and blustery winter air that blankets other parts of the country. It has not gone unnoticed that we have enjoyed an unseasonably warm November and December. Our plants are still alive, and most of us Floridians, until yesterday, could be found in shorts and flip flops.

This morning was another story. Snug as a bug, I burrowed under the covers and remained for as long as I could. I feigned sleep even though the rattling of the dogs collar and the meowing of the cats could be heard throughout the house, knowing that my sweet Andy would get up to let them out (that was not very nice).

As I burrowed under those covers, I thanked God that this was a temporary state of affairs knowing full well that the temperatures would be back up into the 70's by Thursday. I giggled some, I must admit, luxuriating in the fact that I no longer lived in areas that were bitter cold for months and months on end. I know longer had to scrape my windshield, shovel snow, negotiate slick highways, and dress in layers.

For this I am grateful! I'll wear my furry slippers today, bundle up appropriately, and happily greet this cold wintery day. For I know, tomorrow the sun will shine.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

With open arms I welcome 2012~

My mom's Alzheimer's and her loss of mobility this year has been one of the most poignant and heartbreaking events. My dad's devotion and her delighted response every time she lays eyes on him brings me to tears. Their relationship is beyond articulation. If only you could witness how my mom looks at him and beams and how he returns the look -- hope would be ignited and sustained.

My sweet mom~

                                                                                 My amazing dad~

Let's start this year of 2012 in love, being love, cherishing love, emanating love, and finding ways to love all who cross our paths.