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A Life Uncommon

I have, as no doubt everyone has been, unsettled, devastated. rocked to my core by the violence and tragedy that has been visited on hundreds over the past few weeks, and many thousands over the past several years. And if that isn’t enough to make me want to pull the covers up over my head there are still more thousands of people walking to freedom with only what they can carry, being turned away at borders, and living in refuge camps with little shelter, food, sanitation, medical care. And winter is no longer coming on, it’s here.

It seems that there are hundreds of people writing eloquently about these issues, but I find that I am at a loss for words. My sentences all seem to end in tears. So I offer this instead, a reminder to love each other and only this will bring peace.

Thank You Just Doesn’t Cover It

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I received this photo with a text saying, “Check out my new wings. Angelic, no?”

Actually, yes! I love them!

This is Sheryl’s ear and one of her new wings. Technically Sheryl is my niece, but being only two years apart we’ve always considered ourselves more like sisters than not. We grew up in exceedingly different socio-economic situations, our lives punctuated by dissimilar traumas. Sheryl and her brother lived with my family for a period of time while we were in elementary school, and spent several summers with us sharing road trips and Saturday morning house cleaning extravaganzas. As is commonly the case we have completely disparate memories of our childhood.

As children we were as dissimilar as could be – she a bookworm and I a tomboy. In high school she pursued drama, while I blended in. While I was raising babies in my twenties, Sheryl was disco dancing. She’s always been a special aunt to my daughters and often had them for sleep overs when they were young; when they got older she enlisted their help in party preparation – many valuable lessons learned there! AND she saved me from back-to-school shopping with testy teenagers, teaching them the thrill of the hunt, to shop the sales and to find the best deals.

These days? Well, these days Sheryl should be receiving a fee for her part in promoting my book, Journey From Ego, The Path To Healing. To date she has gifted at least 25 copies to her friends and acquaintances. How cool is that? She tells me that I would “be amazed at how many people are reading and benefiting from it every day.”

Oh, thank you, thank you for sharing Sher. Thank you for sharing my work so unabashedly, for passing on the fact that people are actually reading it, for sharing the reader’s experiences. Everything after that is cake. I’m so grateful to be able to touch the lives of others. Thank you and thank you again! It just puts a big ol’ smile on my face!

New Beginnings

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Happy spring, and happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

I love spring, it’s without a doubt my favorite season of the year. Winters here in the Pacific Northwest can be dreary, wet and sometimes cold, but what I struggle with the most is the lack of daylight. Those short and often dark, cloudy days seem to suck the life right out of me.

But spring came early to us here and with its arrival we jumped our clocks forward an hour and voila! It’s light here until at least 7:00 in the evening, and it just gets better from here on. I suspect that we may have a dry, hot summer thanks to climate change, but I will try not to complain. I much prefer long, warm evenings playing by the river with the dogs to arriving home from work in the dark.

My mother loved the coming of spring too. I often spent my Friday’s with her and when the grass began to grow green and the trees gave up their blooms we’d go for drives through Portland just to look at the city in its new spring duds, or drive along Highway 26 toward Forest Grove, past the greening fields and new lambs, and vineyards.

Easter was Mom’s most cherished holiday, which I didn’t realize until I was an adult. I had invited her to a choral concert in which I was to perform and she said, “No, that’s Easter Sunday. It’s the most important holiday of all.” And that was that. As a child we always celebrated Easter with dyed eggs and Easter baskets and big family get-together meals. Living on the Oregon coast Easter eggs were frequently hid inside the house due to the nearly always-inclement weather. It seemed that every year at least one egg would be left unfound, only to eventually reveal itself via its unsavory odor several weeks later. But I never really understood how important the religious message of Easter was to her until the moment of the refused invitation.

Mom passed away on Easter Monday, April 6th 1999, as if she had decided to stay for just one more Easter Sunday. So amid the beautiful trees and tulips and chocolate eggs, Easter holds a little needle of sadness that pokes at my heart from time to time. And then I remember that for her Easter was all about forgiveness and beginning again, and there’s no room for sadness in that.

Happy Easter, Mom

Bruises

Ego will interfere in your process in order to move you away from love. It will try to convince you, through negative self-talk, of many things. You will have to learn to be vigilant about the self-talk in which you engage. If it is not positive and loving, it is from ego, and you must stop the flow.   -Journey From Ego,

 I read an essay written by one of my favorite authors a couple of days ago that made me smile at her use of words and touched my heart like a finger gently probing an old bruise. This particular essay led me to a website that was new to me where I read a post that so clearly stated my very own experience that it brought tears to my eyes. This morning I read some statistics about the number of new blogs that had been started in 2014 and how many new posts are posted every day, and that was when I felt myself begin to slip.

It was a whisper, not even a fully formed thought, more of a feeling, really. But it wasn’t until I had a moment to sit still that I caught the image of being pulled under water. I wasn’t panicking, or thrashing. I was just being tugged by my feet, a little bit at a time, my head going under a little more, a little bit more. My hair (it was long for some reason in this image,) was floating around me.

I heard it then, the whisper. It told me that I was fooling myself about being a real writer. It told me I didn’t have enough years left to practice, that I’d never be really skilled at writing. It told me that my blog would never be seen by more than a handful of people, that it would never have any real reach. And then my head popped up out of the water and I heard it clearly, my ego voice messing with me.

I wish I could say that the recognition of that ugly, mean voice nullified its affect on me, but the sadness lifted slowly, slowly as I intentionally placed my attention in gratitude. “Thank you my angels, for helping me to be aware. Thank you.”

And I take the risk again, to share my words with whoever chooses to see them.