Welcome to my Journey

Hello, and welcome to my Journey. Over the last few years I have been learning more about my personal journey, my Path and my Soul Purpose. The further I travel, the easier I find it to share my journey with others, and to learn from their journeys as well. The most recent evolution has caused me to expand my Universe and allow more people access to my travels, as well as allowing me access to more people, their travels and what they have learned as they walk their own paths. Feel free to share your journey here as we all have much to learn in our lives as Divine Beings having a Human experience.

Love and Light.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014 Perceptions and Perfection

As I sorted clothes prior to doing laundry this morning, after having gotten up, fed the cats, made the bed and the rest of my morning routine, my mind drifted back to part of a conversation I had with a friend last night and I began to grin.

She commented on my efficiency and I laughed and said that I have a lot of lazy days when I feel like I've accomplished nothing (though, admittedly, at the very least, the bed gets made and the kitchen gets put to rights).  Sure, when I was working outside the house, I filled my refrigerator with two or three days worth of meals that I could just grab and go with in the morning, but that was still laziness.  It meant that I could nibble on my lunch whenever I felt like it and get my daily meditation in during my lunch hour.  It also meant that I could do the same with my breakfast which I tend to drag out if it's more than a carton of yogurt as it is nowadays. 

Now that it's spring, and as hot as summer, I'm already on my second batch of gazpacho, but again, I consider that laziness too, coupled with simple economics.  For less than 30 bucks and about 2 hours of chopping, I end up with enough fresh, healthy vegetables (and fruit if you want to get technical, since it's mostly tomatoes) to last me a week.  All I have to do if I get hungry is ladle up a bowl of the soup, toss a dollop of fat free greek yogurt on top and I'm good.  I do the same thing with dinner stuff.  I always make enough so there's leftovers and at least one dinner is just heated up.

The long and short of this is, one person's laziness or simple expediency (why make a little when a lot will feed me for a few days?) is another person's efficiency.  To me, the ones who amaze me and leave me awestruck over their efficiency are those who have immaculate houses, busy lives, jobs (either at home with the kids or out in public) and just seem to have their lives in perfect order.  But appearances can be deceiving.

None of us can do it all, so we choose what's important to us and don't spend a lot of time fretting over what doesn't get done?  Or do we?  I look at my yard and keep telling myself I need to get out and pull weeds, trim rosebushes and maybe put in a vegetable garden.  But has it gotten done?  Nope.  I look at the floors in my house (which these days is everything except my bedroom) and think "I really need to lock the cats in the bedroom and give this place a good scrubbing!"  But as of today, the need remains.

Sure, there are a few superwomen out there who can keep all of the balls in the air, and have homes which run like clockwork, perfect kids, a devoted husband and no financial stresses, but honestly, how many of those are there?  And how many of those have maids and gardeners who do more than just mow the lawns twice a month?

It's all a matter of priorities and nobody can tell you what is important except you, yourself.  Sure, I'd like to have a cleaner, more organized house, but until it becomes a priority, I keep up with the things that are important and try not to sweat the rest.  At the moment, I always have clean clothes to wear, my bed is made every morning, my kitchen is ready for just about any cooking project I might want to undertake, the sandboxes are scooped regularly and the wads of fur are vacuumed up once a week.  Much of that is an improvement over what I did previously, and as the decluttering continues and my space becomes easier to maintain, I know that more will become habit as I find that doing some things makes others easier. 

I believe that we all do the best we can and frankly, if maintaining an image of perfection doesn't make you happy, I can't really see the purpose in it, but as you may have seen from previous posts, I've never been one who sees outward appearances or the neatness of my home as indications of a person's character.  Those who do will likely find other friends than me, and that's ok, as I will find others who love each other for their warm, loving heart and willingness to drop everything for a friend. 

Many of my friends do have gorgeous, immaculate homes, but I have to believe that there are days when they just leave a mess somewhere because other things require their attention.  Many also have some kind of cleaning service which comes in regularly.  I tried that once, and though it meant my house was cleaner, I wasn't really happy with that solution either. 

It's a funny thing about life, though.  If we can sit back and be quiet for a minute, we will find our own balance. 

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the low stress lifestyle I've achieved.
2. I am grateful for friends who can love and accept me as I am, sloppiness and all.
3. I am grateful for finding my own version of efficieny.
4. I am grateful for continuing to find ways to improve my surroundings.
5. I am grateful for getting to spend a couple of days with the kids!

Love and light.

April 29, 2014 Nothin' much to say

I have been putting off writing this tonight because I don't really have much to say, though I had a really awesome day.

I started with a massage which is always wonderful!  Came home and did a little accounting work before leaving again to accept a friend's invitation to step outside my comfort zone and do something for others at the same time.  I have to say, I really had a good time, met some lovely new people and got to chat with my very busy friend for awhile!  She is another wonderful example for me of being warm, kind and big hearted but NOT a doormat!

More and more often, I'm reminded what amazing women have come out of my high school, and they are all setting me such incredible examples.  While my bar isn't set as high as theirs, at least it's set!  My path may not allow me to reach the heights of generosity and goodness they have reached, but that doesn't mean I can't reach whatever level I can, even this late in the game.  I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful women serving as examples for what I can do!

Unfortunately for me, I allowed the late hour and growling stomach to let me make a very poor choice, dinner-wise.  I stopped at The Hat for a pastrami burger and onion rings (I wish they made a small order as I end up throwing about 90% of them away!).  The heartburn which followed the meal was definitely not worth it!  Back to veggies and healthy stuff for me tomorrow.

But the best news of the day is that the kids will be here by tomorrow night, and will stay until Thursday night.  My daughter also informed me that she'd be taking the train up and staying for a couple of days on my birthday weekend!  (doing the happy dance here!)

So life continues on and I'm doing my best to mix things up.  Meanwhile, my big, handsome boy, Dylan, is giving me kisses and telling me it's time for bed.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for amazing girl friends.
2. I am grateful for stepping outside of my box and doing something for someone else.
3. I am grateful for kitty love.
4. I am grateful for writing almost every day now.
5. I am grateful for finally getting used to daylight savings, and getting up earlier again!

Love and light.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 Lunar Eclipse Eve

And so, we come to the end of our two week eclipse cycle.  Here on the west coast, we won't actually see the eclipse but it will certainly affect us, as they all do.

My excitement tonight was instigated by my cats.  Monday nights are trash nights, when the sandboxes get emptied, scrubbed and refilled with clean sand, the house gets vacuumed, and, typically, I hit at least the bathroom floors with the spray and mop thingie.  My little darlings apparently decided that my "lick and a promise" approach was not acceptable, so they did the only thing they could.  The left a rather distinct puddle UNDER the sandbox in my master bath, which necessitated a thorough, pine sol infused scrubbing, and since I scrubbed one bathroom, I might as well not waste my soapy water, so the other got a thorough scrubbing as well.  I have to admit, the fresh smell of pine is rather pleasant (and for all of the cat lovers out there, yes, I did thoroughly rinse and dry the floor so my little darlings would not be adversely affected by contact with said piney cleaner). 

After speaking to my broker and making some changes to my portfolio, I also got some good news on the financial front, and feel a lot less pressure while things are aligning for my new path.  When asked what my monthly outflow was, his "is that all?" was, initially, surprising, until later when I realized that it amounted to what is just a lot of peoples' house payment these days.  There is definitely a lot to be said for staying put for over 30 years!  Frankly, though, I'd like to be able to get by on a lot less, but there are some debts which I'll be paying off before that happens (and if all goes well, that won't be very far in my future!)

My first thoughts after receiving the good news were of gratitude, and part of that related to my continued offering of thanks for always having enough.  And so, I do!  The Universe was definitely speaking to me today, and giving me a very clear sign that everything is going along as planned and that everything I want and need will be there when the time is right.  My only job right now is to continue allowing and moving forward.  I think I can handle that! 

The cats seem to be affected either by the impending eclipse or the wind or something I'm emitting without realizing it because I've had at least 2 if not 4 close by nearly all day.  When I went out to the garage a few times for one thing or another, I'd have someone checking to make sure I would be right back.  And Dylan didn't wolf down his treats tonight, preferring to eat a few, then sit beside me and snuggle.  As always when their behavior changes, I find myself wondering:  Do they know something I don't?

I'm the first to say that animals are far more sensitive to earth changes than we are.  They sense earthquakes, but I believe they sense things which might be more cosmically than terrestrially initiated as well.  I've yet to be steered wrong by an animal!

May everyone find the benefit in these cosmic energy shifts and boosts.  I still feel strongly about this being an amazing year!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for Universal assurances that everything is on track for success.
2. I am grateful to receive reassurance that I will be able to take care of myself for a long time to come.
3. I am grateful for the attentiveness of my animals who give me comfort, reassurance and companionship, asking little more than a comfortable place to sleep, ample food, a treat or two and affection.
4. I am grateful for the examples I receive from my friends.  Through them, I continue to strive to be a better person.
5. I am grateful for opportunities to do a better job while following this episode of Human Existence.

Love and light.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014 Focusing on the positive, the present and the future.

Today, contrary to my mental plans, I spent the day reading and relaxing.  And thinking. 

I'm looking at what I've achieved in the last five months and while I haven't shaken the world yet, I'd have to say that some of what has happened has been quite amazing. 

In the spirit of focusing on what I have achieved and not what I haven't, I have to say that the highlights aren't too shabby.

I've made definite inroads into the decluttering of my space, aided, in part, by the kids moving and taking the rest of their stuff (along with a few things I was no longer using, but would be useful to them.)

I've edited (and, in some cases, re-edited) 21 chapters of my book (or to put it into perspective, 106 pages of what is currently 261 pages).

I've developed routines to maintain the order of my recently decluttered environment.

I've nearly completely removed stress from my life.  (that one is huge!  And all it took was leaving a job with a regular paycheck for a life which is on my terms, though a little more uncertain, financially!)

I've reviewed my portfolio and scheduled an appointment to go over some potential changes with my financial adviser.

I've had six boxes of old paper shredded and now have closets and drawers which are empty or nearly so.

I've gotten into the habit of keeping healthy food in the house, and am making good use of the local farms.

I'm keeping up with the monthly work for two accounting clients.

I had business cards made for the accounting work and am distributing them somewhat liberally.

I have set lots of intentions and am spending a lot less time trying to make things happen and a lot more time allowing things to happen.

All in all, I like the new pattern of my life.  Sure, there are things I'd like to see change, but as change is inevitable, continuing to move forward, avoiding dwelling on the past, and trying to keep my thoughts positive, no matter what is the best course of action right now.

I'm trying to convince myself to put in my own vegetable garden (committing to the work to maintain it is the sticking point right now) as I'd love to have fresh fruits and veggies at my doorstep. 

I'm holding the door open for more income opportunities as well and am learning to give equal time to just about anything. 

Finally, I'm working on getting back into my gym routine as I've not been as diligent about that as I should. 

I believe that, no matter where we are, there's always room for improvement, and it's that room for improvement which keeps us getting up in the morning, facing the day with a smile on our faces and excited anticipation in our hearts.  We never reach perfect because we, ourselves, keep raising the bar.  We keep raising the bar because we always want to be the best us we can possibly be, but know that setting the bar too high would be discouraging, so we raise it a little more as we get closer to the last goal we set.   

Sure, there will always be people whose bar is set much higher than ours and who achieve a lot more in less time than we do.  But we don't travel their road, nor they, ours.  In fact, though they may have achieved a great deal in one direction, we have surely surpassed them somewhere else.  Nobody can do it all, so we all pick and choose what to pursue.  Otherwise, we'd just end up standing in one place because we wouldn't know which direction to run first. 

I am glad that I have the ability to choose my direction and even change it completely if I see fit.  Women, especially, have not always had that ability.  And in some parts of the world, they still don't!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the things I have achieved.
2. I am grateful that I can make choices as to what I am going to do and where I'm going to go.
3. I am grateful for the health, safety and abundance which has been showered upon me and my family.
4. I am grateful for loving, caring friends.
5. I am grateful for distractions which remind me to take care of business as well.

Love and light

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014 My world is shifting rapidly and irrevocably

I'm feeling the shift, whether or not I want it, it's going to happen, so I may as well just sit back, relax, and let the changes manifest as they see fit!   This morning, I chatted a bit with Heather as she was working on finding her way around her new home without depending on her GPS.  I'm still feeling a little sad, but I know that it will get better each day and the key is to keep busy.  While running some errands with Heather yesterday, we stopped at Underwood and July must have come early, as they had some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  I got the ingredients for another batch of gazpacho, using my Easter present from the kids.  I'm looking forward to the next few days being filled with book editing, accounting work and maybe even some more decluttering.  I'm loving how each room is slowly getting organized!  Even the garage isn't such a mess any more!  I'm also hoping to get my altar set up soon.

The outpouring of love and understanding I'm receiving from my friends right now is incredibly heart warming.  Many weren't surprised that I started to fall apart a little last night, and were probably more surprised that it didn't happen sooner.  I had no idea that I'd take the kids' move as hard as I seem to have done.  But I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that my daughter is also my best friend and that I find it nearly impossible to open up to other people.

But the Universe has only my best interests in mind, and this is just another opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone.

Playing my Loggins and Messina Pandora station while making the gazpacho today, I alternated between singing loudly, dancing to one of the songs (it was a great solo Drifter) and even shedding a few tears when a song reminded me of how lost I'm feeling with the kids no longer within shouting distance.

It's all part of the process and I know it will come out perfectly in the end, but right now, I've been better.  But my friends are amazing and are offering me all sorts of suggestions.  One of the best was to help feed the homeless on Tuesday night.  After ensuring that the church which holds the event won't shake in it's foundation from my presence, I realized that doing something for someone else is probably the very best medicine for what's currently ailing me.  I don't have anything going on on Tuesdays anyway, so, why not?

After I'd gone and posted this, I realized that it was missing something.  Wynonna did a song a number of years ago (as did Kenny Chesney, but I like the Wynonna version best), which really makes sense to me right now.  Here it is if you want to listen.

I also learned today that Apple is having a 7 for 1 stock split which might not mean much to most, but I have a few shares in my portfolio, and this split will not only leave me with over 200 shares, but will drop the share price to under $100!  This is fabulous news for my dividend reinvestments as I'll get more shares.  Even though they're of lower value, as the stock price inevitably rises again, it will have a very nice affect on my portfolio.  Granted, I don't tend to touch this stuff right now, but it means that my cushion until I start making my dream pay is that much more stable.  Interestingly, I scheduled a meeting with my financial advisor before I learned of the split.  Now I have something else to discuss with him!  I am very grateful for this news of abundance coming into my life.  It certainly isn't what I planned or expected, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth!  And this could be just the beginning.  Everything must start somewhere!

So, let's see.  If I take stock of the last couple of days, I think my balance sheet is going to come out heavily weighted on the asset side:  My life is filled with abundance:  Friendship, healthy food, prosperity, health, cleaner, clearer house...  and of course, my sweet kitties who make sure I'm never alone.

Many of the websites I follow have been talking about the major clearing which would be occurring, not only because of the two eclipses, but also because of the grand square of Jupiter, Pluto, Mars and Uranus.   I know that I started feeling the effects a few days early, as I always do, but what I felt in the beginning is nothing to what is actually occurring.  I find it rather interesting that the kids' move was scheduled right in the middle of it all, and that I have a massage scheduled on Tuesday, the day of the second eclipse.  (and to think, I almost scheduled it for the following week!)  Allowing the Universe to guide me is working out very well, indeed.  I may not like how drastic the changes are and how quickly they're occurring, but I can guarantee that I will be much better for it when the dust clears!  I wouldn't be surprised if the Tower card showed up in a Tarot reading for me right now.  I'm certainly having my world shaken to the very foundation right now!

At this point, I have the Universe kicking my butt and my Publicist chewing it.  One way or another, I'm going to do some major moving forward over the next couple of months!  Guess it's time to set myself another goal; to complete the rewrite by ??? and to get the video reading done before the end of May!  I can't guarantee that I'll have colors picked for my website by then, as I haven't a clue as to what I want it to look like right now!  But I am learning that once I put something in motion, other things figure themselves out along the way.  And do you know what?  It's all good!!!  I think that is my new catch phrase!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends who understand where I'm at and give me constructive ideas for weathering my latest storm.
2. I am grateful for the first indication of my impending prosperity.
3. I am grateful for the abundance in so many aspects of my life.
4. I am grateful for my kitties who are being ultra attentive right now.
5. I am grateful for learning to allow...and realizing that I need to adapt the concept to allow people to touch my heart.

Love and light.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014 Moving into a new life-phase

Tonight was Thursday night, so I went dancing, as usual. 

But the night was anything but usual.

In the first place, I found myself getting uncharacteristically weepy like so many people have mentioned doing over the last week or so.  Added to the weepiness was a feeling of disconnection combined with the distractedness I've been feeling for the last week or so, myself.

Today, the movers came and packed up my kids' apartment to take it to their new home, down south.  And tonight, as I was getting ready to leave to go dancing, they were loading all of their critters in their cars along with a few things they didn't want the movers to take, and heading for their new home. 

I'm really happy for them as they begin this new phase in their life together, and thrilled that when they went down last weekend to sign the lease and pick up their keys, they made some new friends already.

But I realized tonight that I'm sad for me.  Not that it isn't a new life phase for me as well, but I realized tonight that I don't think I have ever been quite so alone. 

I am, by nature, a hermit, and working from home these last few months has not improved that aspect of myself.  I leave the house to go dancing, go to the gym, get my nails done, have my monthly massage and run errands.  I tend to combine two or three of those so that I have days when I don't leave the house at all. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm never completely alone as I share my home with several cats.  But what I lack is close friendships with other humans. 

There were so many years when I had to pay attention to putting one foot in front of the other and keeping things together, so I didn't establish friendships.   Once I had more time for myself, Heather was usually there so I didn't make a lot of effort.  Sharing my soft, mushy center has never come easy anyway. 

Tonight, I found myself thinking a bit longingly of the days when I was just "one of the guys", hanging out with my guy friends and being easy and safe.  While other girls were learning how to have and be girl friends, I was climbing around car engines or hanging out, talking about things that didn't much interest teenage girls.  Or I was in the tech theater department building sets. 

A friend pointed out tonight that I have all of my dance friends.  But I don't have anyone close.  I don't have anyone I can call just to yak or to go see a movie or meet for lunch.  I never made the time to learn how to make friends like that. 

Clearly, that's one of the things I need to learn now.  And I'm incredibly grateful that, as much like me as my daughter is, she does know how to make friends, and has some close girl friends.  It's my turn to take a page out of her book now. 

As I embark upon this new, and very unfamiliar path, I am also feeling like I've lost sight of my purpose, my true path.  I thought I knew what I wanted and where I needed to go.  I certainly needed to get out of the rut I was in, so no matter what happens now, the steps I've taken so far were necessary, important and beneficial (if a little drastic).

The next weeks may still see little other than more physical decluttering occurring, but there will also be a lot of soul searching as I try to find my way back to the path I will be traveling...whatever that path might turn out to be.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for new opportunities to learn.
2. I am grateful that my daughter has developed qualities which will keep her from finding herself where I am now.
3. I am grateful that I can see where I need to make improvements and changes, even if the "hows" are not apparent right now.
4. I am grateful for my dance friends who understood and did their best to distract me tonight, while letting me know that they got what I was feeling too.
5. I am grateful for the things I do which get me out of the house and amongst people on a regular basis.

Love and light.

April 23, 2014 Letting go.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been doing my best to let go of my fears and continue to trust that all will work out as it's supposed to.  This isn't always an easy task, but I took a leap of faith a few months ago, and refuse to give in to worry, fear and other self-defeating emotions, so when I feel myself sliding into the abyss, I take comfort...and courage from some of the pages and friends on Facebook who are so great at keeping the positive energy flowing. 

This is one of the posts I've borrowed (with permission!) that helps me to keep moving forward even when it seems as if I'm getting nothing accomplished.  It also helps me to remember that sometimes, all I am supposed to do is to sit back and allow things to happen without any guidance from me because any effort I might make to affect the outcome will, essentially, just be me trying to paddle upstream.

As those who know me are aware, letting go is one of the hardest things for me to do (which may well be why I'm being given lots of opportunities to learn the lesson right now!) as I'm so used to forging my life as I see fit.  I will also be the first to admit that many of the choices I've made as a result have probably slowed me down instead of moving me forward in the manner I might have wished. 

So for the past couple of weeks, I've been diligent about my blog posting, worked a little on the copywriting course and done absolutely NO editing on my book.  In the meantime, sleep has been spotty, meditations have been hit or miss and my subconscious has been having a veritable field day via my dreams.  But I have to believe, have faith, and trust that there is a purpose to all of this, and that, in the end, I will be very glad that I took the time to just allow and not drive for a change. 

Interestingly, the more I let go and allow, the more attentive my cats seem to be.  It is a rare moment when I'm alone in a room, even if I only got there a minute or two before.  Munchkin and Dylan, especially, seem to think that they need to be by my side constantly (although it is Toby who stands guard when I shower).  In fact, I've been driving them crazy with my sleeplessness, because I move from room to room, trying to find a place where I can actually sleep for a couple of hours.  Munchkin, in particular, finds this rather annoying since her favorite place to sleep is on top of me, and if I'm changing not only positions, but rooms, it means that her sleep pattern is disturbed as well!

As I've noted before, I know that part of my distraction and restlessness has to do with the kids' move, so I'm hoping that some of it will be released after this weekend.  The movers are picking up their stuff tomorrow and they'll make the drive tomorrow night with the rest of their menagerie.  Heather will be back next week, as she's making a birthday cake for one of our friends, and a week or so after that, she'll be alone with the critters and the new friends she's already made. 

I'll miss having them close by, but I am glad they're close enough to come back frequently.  I'm excited for them as they embark on a new adventure, and maybe even excited for me because it's a new adventure for me as well.  It's a little scary as, unlike Heather, I don't have anyone close to turn to if I need anything.  But the truth is, I don't often need anything anyway, so it's all good. 

I felt a little sadness as I typed that because, to be honest, it is nice to have someone who will be there if I need them, even if it's just to pick up chicken soup for me because I'm too sick to go get it myself (again, a very rare occurrence, and lately, I usually have at least one container in the house anyway!).  I think the feeling that someone cares enough to go out of their way for me is the part I'm going to miss the most. 

A friend of ours put it really well the other night.  She said that Heather is like me and puts up walls.  I don't think either of us is even conscious of doing it any more.  We simply allow people to see so much and no more.  I've been trying to overcome my tendency to withhold a lot of myself from everyone, and I do believe I've made progress, but with the kids' move, I know I'll be challenged to do better.  I should be used to it by now, though, as I've made a habit of doing scary things for the last few months.  I still believe with all of my heart that the hardest part of taking a leap of faith, or of stepping outside your comfort zone is in taking the first step.  Once you get past the first step, you end the anticipation, and with it, all of the truly terrifying scenarios your subconscious creates, knowing full well that the worst, and pretty much all of the less than optimal scenarios are just the subconscious mind's scare tactics to keep you from making changes.  The truth is that even the most drastic changes aren't going to turn your wold upside down.  They are simply going to create a small shift. 

In fact, with all of the "shifts" my world has taken in the last few months, I'm still doing well, and, for the most part, better than ever.  Yes, I spend a lot more time alone, but I also get out and do things I wasn't doing before too.  I know that whatever I do and wherever I go, no matter how much or how little I think I've accomplished, it's all exactly what I need to be doing. 

Even on the days when I think "man, I've gotten absolutely nothing done today!"  I can look at my to do list and realize that that is not true at all!  There isn't a single day that passes when I don't check off at least two or three things these days!  And lately, some of the big ones are coming off the list entirely! 

Awesome Women posted this one today and it reminded me of something which might seem obvious to some, but for me, it isn't quite so simple.  Being kind to yourself means that you accept whatever it is you've accomplished, feeling grateful and happy for those things, and not getting hung up on what you didn't do.  That is what can be hard for me, and this reminder was incredibly timely.  I re-shared it and will have it in my own archives now, for the many, many times I will need to be reminded.  Like forgiveness, kindness is far easier to give to others.  Thus, in this case, I would have to say that I need to treat myself as I treat others. 

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the things I have accomplished lately, despite the fact that they might not meet some random standard I had erroneously set for myself.
2. I am grateful for all of the people who post such wonderful, timely reminders to help me move forward unstressfully.
3. I am grateful for new adventures.
4. I am grateful for whatever tomorrow brings because whatever that is will be awesome!
5. I am grateful for the love of my daughter and son-in-law, and that there will always be a close bond, no matter where they might be living.

Love and light.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014 Changing priorities

As I was going through my evening routine, straightening up the kitchen, putting things to rights, I realized how much my priorities have changed, both since the kids moved out a couple of years ago, and since I began working from home again.  Despite the fact that, for the past couple of days, I can't seem to get myself to settle on any one thing for more than, maybe, 30 to 40 minutes, some things have become almost automatic.

As  a caution, these things probably seem like no brainers to most people, but through years of holding down a full time job and a side job, raising two girls by myself and trying to stay involved in their lives and activities while maintaining my own sanity, things like a clean house fell way down my list of priorities.

These days, my bed is made almost as soon as I get up, where it used to maybe get made once every couple of weeks.  The kitchen is cleaned up almost every night, and the dishwasher is unloaded almost immediately after it is finished running (which, these days, is about once a week!).  Laundry is immediately put away instead of sitting in the laundry basket, waiting to be folded. 

I know it sounds silly to a lot of you out there who are just inherently neat, but I'm loving walking into my bedroom and seeing the bed made and the pillows piled neatly (unless one of the cats decides they need a nest that day!), or into the kitchen to see the sink empty and wiped down and counters and stove top free for whatever the next day might bring.  I'm also loving the fact that the dining room table and sofas are relatively clutter free, and that the fleece blankets are always folded neatly on the backs of the sofas when they're not in use.  Even the accumulations in Heather's old room and office are nearly gone and her office is currently set up as a guest room (though eventually, it will be my meditation/healing/reading room while her old bedroom will be the guest room.  I just need to decide what to do about the floor first!).  

It isn't that I don't still have clutter, because there are things I'm still trying to figure out where they're going to be stored, but the clutter has been severely diminished and many things have found a permanent place, out of the way.  I'm also becoming far less attached to stuff I haven't used in forever.  Another attack on my closets last week has left me lots of space, making it easy to find what I want to wear.  The next step will be to put a bunch of plastic food storage containers on Freecycle.  I don't use them, they've been in boxes for two years, and before that, taking up space in the back of my cupboards.  I've since replaced many of them with Rubbermaid ones which I like a lot better, and will thin out my collection of oversized bowls when the kids move this week. 

Though I'm not getting what I would call anything productive done, either writing wise, or accounting wise, I am making more room in my life for whatever is coming, and that, too, is productive and necessary. 

As my A.R.T. teacher kept telling us, we need to express our desires in broad strokes, not worrying about the details or the hows.  Something in the broad strokes I painted is guiding me to continue clearing things out, and more, letting things which no longer serve me go.  As the physical is a mirror of the emotional and energetic, I can't help believing that, while I remove more physical stuff from my world, I'm opening myself up energetically to some really spectacular new developments which are just waiting in the wings until I've cleared some more space. 

I have to say that walking into an uncluttered living room or kitchen is really refreshing for me, and that having my office more organized and the desk, typically clean unless I am working on something (of course, this doesn't include the requisite cat who, at the moment, is using my phone and iPad as a bed) makes getting started on anything (when I'm not all betwixt and between like I am at the moment) a great deal easier. 

In some ways, I believe I am clearing the way to finally knock out the wall between the kitchen and living room and install the new cabinets and everything else which goes with the kitchen of my dreams.  Slowly, but surely, I am aligning my world for something bigger than myself.  I can offer insights into what some of the pieces might be, but in truth, I can only keep decluttering and wait and see, like anyone else. 

I'm reminded of a couple of pieces of advice I've acquired over the years.  The first is "KISS" or Keep it Simple, Stupid.  The second, newer one, is "KIMF" or Keep it Moving Forward.  I think both apply right now.  I'm simplifying my life in a lot of ways right now, but in the process, I'm moving forward into what, I couldn't really tell you for sure.  I just know that whatever it is will be exactly where I need to be.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for Universal guidance, even when I don't realize that I'm being guided.
2. I am grateful for clearing space, clearing thoughts and ultimately, a clear understanding of my path.
3. I am grateful for days when I don't really get anything done (unless you count laundry and a couple of small decluttering tasks), and realizing that it's ok.
4. I am grateful for always having enough:  enough to live, enough to share, enough to do whatever I want to do. 
5. I am grateful for crossroads which cause me to re-evaluate my priorities.

Love and light.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 My dreamworld is wreaking havoc with my sleep patterns!

Oversleeping seems to be becoming a way of life for me these days!  The pattern started yesterday bubbled over into today, despite setting the alarm so I could check on the pickup time for a box of clothes I was donating.  Unfortunately for me, the pickup time was between 3 and 6 PM so I thought nothing of laying down for just a few more minutes, followed shortly by locking Toby and Snowball out of the bedroom because they actually tried to keep me awake!!!  What were they thinking???

2 1/2 hours later, I finally came out of my dream filled stupor and belatedly started my day (and no, I didn't make it to the gym, darn it!)  But the dreams stayed with me, flickering in and out of my vision, all day long!  I asked the Universe to give me some kind of sign as to whether there was a message (would it be too much to just be clear in the first place?), but so far, I've got nothing!  Just a group of people taking an extended trip to Europe and leaving me alone in the house.  If that wasn't enough, at first, the house was my childhood home in Reseda, but morphed into a continuously growing place at the beach in Malibu.  Unfurnished rooms were suddenly furnished, animals I was supposed to take care of in the owners' absence multiplied and I kept trying to get the visitors to go home.  There was even a complete video game setup I was planning to leave in a corner because I wouldn't use it, or so I was telling a guy I was ushering out the front door. 

Enough about the dream, as I don't want to bore you.  I just wanted to offer the gist of something which was completely bizarre, not to mention random in the extreme, yet lingers.  It seems that my old pattern of only remembering dreams in vivid detail if they had a message for me is changing into something different.  Now, I don't know when to pay attention, or dismiss it as just another weird dream.  Clearly, my subconscious has contracted the ADHD of my conscious mind and is taking little jaunts into Weirdsville!

At least I finally broke the block which was keeping me from moving forward with the copywriting course.  I'm still struggling with it, but can at least read the instructions and try to do the necessary research to move on to the next section.  With any luck, I'll get some editing done this week as well.  If that's the point of the weird, vivid dreams, I guess that's enough.

It was an interesting weekend with both of my grand kitties here.  Arthur, who is pure black with long hair and a big, fluffy tail was totally terrorizing his younger cousin, Snowball who, as you might assume from the name, is pure white with a big, fluffy tail.  Once Arthur decided to venture out from behind the couch and wander the house, he had Snowball so intimidated by his "cross my path and I'll kill you" hiss, that Snowball would hide whenever Arthur was out and about.  It was really kind of funny because, in truth, Arthur wouldn't have really hurt him, but as his usual playmate is a 50 pound Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, he manages to look a lot bigger and meaner than he really is.

Snowball is making up for his traumatic weekend by climbing into my lap at every opportunity.  It's really rather cute, but he is still just a baby at about a year and 4 months old.

For now, I'm going to try to get some sleep which is only mildly interrupted by my subconscious on megadoses of caffeine so I can go to the gym before starting my writing work tomorrow.  I just realized that I was a week ahead of myself and the massage I was thinking was tomorrow is actually next week.  This is a good thing, the way things have shaken out the last couple of days.  Who knows?  By tomorrow, I might wake with another story idea! 

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the wonderful, fun, silly things my kids do for me! (I wish I'd taken a picture of the Easter flower pot Heather created before I tore it to bits!)
2. I am grateful for all of the kitty love I'm getting during a time when I'm tremendously unsettled.
3. I am grateful for constant reminders to allow.
4. I am grateful for the number of items I'm taking off of my To Do list.
5. I am grateful for new opportunities for abundance.

Love and light.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014 Just another quiet Sunday

As the day winds down and the time to sleep draws near, I find myself very relaxed and at peace after a quiet Sunday spent in reading, reflection, a little brain teasing and cat pleasing.  In short, a perfect day. 

I'm doing my best to ride the current for the moment, allowing guidance and direction to come from Source.  My mind might be dormant for the moment, the path ahead foggy, but in the meantime, I can continue decluttering and work on maintaining a healthy body. 

That's the interesting thing about life.  Even when you're blocked from doing one thing, there are always several more you can pick up until the block is cleared.  I know that, as usual, part of the block for the copywriting course is self-inflicted because the course is currently focusing on sales letters, and my real desire is to write web content.  However, I do know, on a conscious level, that the tools I'm acquiring while learning to craft a sales letter are actually the same tools I'll need to write web content.  Just as children learn to print before they learn cursive (they still learn cursive, don't they?), or crawl before they walk, I'm learning to print or crawl right now, and acquiring skills which will make me a much better web content writer when all is said and done.  I have to have the same understanding of the audience and the product or service as I would to write the sales letter.  It's just that the sales letter part, and especially the sales packages, are tougher for me to get my head around. 

But I know that if this is the right path for me right now, I'll figure out how to embrace it fully and completely so that when I'm done, the product I put out will be the very best product for the customer and will exhibit a thorough understanding of their market and product.  I do find myself backtracking now and again through the lessons, but just knowing I need to do that is important and a good sign.

It was kind of a bittersweet day with the kids spending the weekend at their new place, making new friends and finding out where everything is around there.  We have, in the past, done something for Easter, even if it's only breakfast and baskets filled with silly stuff (though the tea Heather gave me last year was really clever and sweet!).  This was the first of many minor holidays which I probably won't celebrate as regularly, with them living so far away. 

So, it's not just with the writing and career stuff that I'm struggling to find my way right now.  Though, struggling is probably not the right word.  It's not that I'm thrashing around, kicking and fighting.  I'm just sitting back, musing over what the changes will bring, but knowing that whatever they are will be what is best for all concerned.

For now, I'm at peace, surrounded by my kitties, and until tomorrow, my grandkitty.  I've read a little, meditated, played a couple of computer games, talked to friends, and all in all, had a very nice day.  I have a feeling that I'm going to look back and really appreciate today as the calm before the storm.  I have a feeling that the pace of my life is about to speed up again, so I'm buckling my seatbelt and getting ready to hang on to what could very well be another E ticket ride!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those peaceful, introspective days on occasion.
2. I am grateful for the quiet which follows another of my neighbor's loud parties (complete with constantly shrieking child).
3. I am grateful for more decluttering.  The larger tasks are slowly being whittled down to manageable levels.
4. I am grateful for my spirituality.  It isn't like everyone else's, and I don't feel the need to convince anyone about the validity of my beliefs, nor apologize for seeing things from my own perspective. 
5. I am grateful that I've reached a point where those people who think less of me because I don't share their religious convictions are simply not part of my life any more which is ok for both them and me.

Love and light.

April 19, 2014 This is why I do what I do.

I'm sharing an image and quote from a page I follow on Facebook, Zen to Zany, because it completely epitomizes what drives me to write, my blog, my book, brain dumps, whatever, every day (or nearly so!)

Without Joy in my life, I was a pretty miserable human being.  I think, at times, even my kids didn't want to claim me!  Life is really an empty shell without Joy, and a heavy dose of zaniness.  I think I learned this the hard way so that, in some small way, I could pass what I learned on to others, to figure out in their own way and time, just as I did.

So when my life is crazy or just doesn't seem to make sense, I turn to things which do:  cooking, organizing, dancing, writing, meditating...just to name a few.

Today I finally realized that for the last week or so I've just been spinning my wheels.  I've done a lot of things in fits and starts and am only frustrating myself.  So I gave myself permission to just let go for as long as I need to.  In the meantime, I've gotten myself back to the gym, and if, for the time being, I go 5 days a week instead of 3, it certainly won't hurt me!  I am posting something here nearly every day.  I make the bed every day, scoop the sand boxes, take care of other menial chores on a regular basis, and can do more organizing too.

If what I'm meant to get out of this strange, unsettling period of time is just a cleaner, more organized house and a leaner, healthier body, then, so be it.  The whole point of changing my lifestyle was to stop trying to squeeze myself into a mold that no longer fit (if it ever really did), so why would I push myself to do things which, at least for now, just don't feel right and are a huge struggle to accomplish even the slightest bit?

One of the items on my To Do list is to spend time allowing.  Clearly, there's a reason it ended up on my list!  I might have to revise it to just say "allow throughout the day" or something like that.

On the dance floor tonight, I found myself drifting off into my own little world quite a bit.  When I did, I'd feel a smile forming on my face because I was exactly where I needed to be.  The truth is, we are all, always exactly where we need to be.  At least, we are if we don't try to paddle upstream.  When we do, we feel uncomfortable and that's as clear an indication as it gets that we are doing something wrong! 

Tonight was also a night of interrupted conversations.  While chatting with one friend, a gentleman who only shows up now and then asked me to dance and I love dancing with him because he challenges me to watch my form and pay attention.  Later, I was chatting with someone else and he was asked to dance.  Finally, one of the Cruisers came over and was talking to me.  I sat through one line dance I could have done, but had to do the last couple.  Though we were never discussing anything world shaking or anything, I found it interesting that I never went back to the conversations, nor interacted with any of those people again all evening.  But I guess since we're all there to dance, first and foremost, conversations are somewhat superficial most of the time, and as such, disposable when interrupted by dancing. 

The conversations and wanderings in my own mind, however, just kept on going! 

For the next few days, I can't promise a daily blog.  I'm just going to go along with whatever moves me and see if I get caught up in anything promising.   I did do a tarot reading today, and found that it coincides with what I've written here as well.  I have some demons to face and to accept that they're really only illusions created by my own mind.  Once I do, everything will fall back into place and I'll see my path and my purpose more clearly. 

I hope that my readers aren't suffering this much confusion, but if anyone is, it might just be a good time to do some cooking or sewing, work in the garden, or whatever it is that soothes you, until these intermittent bursts of energy subside.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my dance friends who always get my mind off the silliness and back to what's important.
2. I am grateful for changes as they keep me from becoming complacent.
3. I am grateful for my return to the gym.  It's an indication that I'm again ready to work on improving my health.
4. I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  Even if I were to sit down and list them, I'd never come to the end of the list, as more keep appearing.
5. I am grateful for a life of abundance, love, health and joy.

Love and light.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014 All I can say is "Bloody hell!" I think my wheel is upside down!

I've been feeling very anxious and out of sorts today, and have even passed the feeling on to my poor, compassionate cats.  After ruling out dehydration and low blood sugar, I asked friends for ideas, and of course, my A.R.T. teacher indirectly reminded me to re-read the April forecast on the Power Path site, and specifically, the forecast for this time period.  After reading the following, knowing that I tend to feel moon and planetary changes a couple of days early, it all started to make perfect sense!

April 17-23: This is a window of the most intense time especially April 20-23. This is a container of intensity that supports a crisis energy that could manifest in many different ways. The most likely way being that each person individually and then collectively will be deciding on some level how they really wish life to be. Many things they thought were real will end up being just an illusion. This can create a crisis in the fabric of life, as we know it. Changing this is a tall order as there are ways things have been done for many years and sometimes for many generations. There is a collective agreement that feeds a belief about how things are and how they will be and how they can change or not. This is very limiting, as it does not allow for the expansion into thinking or feeling differently.
We have an opportunity here, especially in this time frame, to really reconsider our belief systems and be open to change, expansion, new ideas and new experiences. Change is stressful especially in intense times. Keep your feet on the ground and stay connected to what matters to you the most. Take advantage of the gift of this portal we have that provides the doorway into something brand new.
I also woke with a burning desire to make gazpacho, and since chopping veggies tends to calm me, I headed for the local farm to pick up most of the ingredients.  Little did I know that they do their Easter thing for the kids all week, and the parking lot was a zoo!  But I got a little extra exercise from walking further to and from the car, so it was all good.  All that remains is to do some dishes and put my yummy creation together.

My daily meditation didn't do much to calm my crankiness, though it was peaceful with the cats in their usual places.  What did turn me around a bit was the simple process of making the gazpacho.  I guess it's a bit like putting your hands in the dirt (which I could also do).  I did get some feedback from friends about sunspots and the intense releasing which occurs after an eclipse and full moon.

After reading some things which were offered to me, I learned that this is part of changes which began in October, which was when I reached my decision to make a career change.  Supposedly, I should be getting some signs about the changes I've made, letting me know if I'm going in the right direction.  At the moment, I'm just not sure.  I've been working on the copywriting class at the expense of editing or promoting my book, and I am having some doubts.  Hopefully, the next few days will give me something which will let me know if I'm going in the right direction or need to retrace my steps a bit.  For now, I'll forge forward.  But today, I took time off from working on anything to do some things around the house and make soup!

Perhaps what I needed was exactly what I gave myself.  I now have a huge bowl of soup made from fresh from the farm ingredients.  It will sustain me for at least a week, and keep me from eating less healthy foods.  I did stock my freezer and cupboards with better choices, but when I get lazy, I tend to grab what's easy.  Now, what's easy and what's healthy are one and the same!  That's a win-win for me!

I'm still very restless and switch from one thing to another every few minutes.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to settle into doing something in the next 24 hours or so, or I might just go bonkers!  (of course, I do have the option of going to the gym, and like the soup, it might be just what I need right now!)

At any rate, writing about my confusion and disorientation isn't really helping either, so I'll finish with my gratitudes (and there always are gratitudes), and put the fretting aside for now.

1. I am grateful for friends who help me understand when cycles get my goat.
2. I am grateful for quiet time with my cats.
3. I am grateful that I can be around people when I want to be, and alone when I don't.
4. I am grateful for new tools which make it easier to prepare healthy, easy to grab meals.
5. I am grateful for times when I'm twitchy and confused because I know that when it's done, I'll have answers to questions I hadn't even known to ask.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014 Going where no mind has gone before.

Lately, my meditations have become much more lucid and in the process, have taken me to unexpected places.  I try to begin each one (once all of the cats have settled in for my session) by asking the Universe to show me something I need to know, or to offer guidance, especially when I feel I'm being particularly dense about something.

Today, my thoughts drifted to Forgiveness, and especially to the people I've been struggling over forgiving, fully and completely.  I admitted to myself that all were people I'd allowed to manipulate me in some way:  the fellow dance team member who used everyone she could to bring her closer to one of the instructors, and sucked me into her world of drama.  the contractors who mislead me, and with whom I failed to check facts and figures.  Or people who have gotten pissed off because I didn't read their minds and understand all of their sensitivities.  And yes, I fully recognize that all of these entail forgiving myself as well. 

But as my mind continued to drift, I came to a very large group:  Family members who did little or nothing to keep in touch with my sister and I after the deaths of our parents.  In truth, the rift wasn't entirely on them, as nothing ever is.  Though I can't speak for my sister, I know that I was busy dealing with a divorce, two small children and keeping my head above water after my mom died. (which is when most of them drifted away)  As my mom had, in many cases, been the catalyst which kept everyone together, her passing cut the cords.  I certainly didn't have the time or the energy to bring people together.  And I had little interest in family picnics which were catered instead of potluck, and where many of the participants squatted in someone's air conditioned motor home instead of chasing the kids around with water guns.  Though this may well be someone else's idea of a family picnic, it wasn't what I was used to, so I became resistant.  To me, catering and air conditioning are more suited to a hotel or someone's home.  Family picnics are meant to be hot, sweaty, dirty and filled with food that was lovingly prepared by the participants.   

But I digress.  As I continued down the path of forgiving my extended family, I realized that, for the most part, I didn't really need to forgive them on my own behalf, but on that of my mother.  As I look back and add a few things I've learned since, I see that her own mother set the standard for her treatment through life, and, in fact, she might have been better off detaching from her family when she went off to start her own life with my father.  Casting her out, destined to move, like a gypsy, from one aunt's house to another, my mother became the disposable child, unworthy of love or respect.  She didn't belong to the families where she was forced to live, so she didn't get to be part of the warm, inner circle of their household.  Following the example set by my grandmother, everyone treated her, quite literally, like the redheaded stepchild (which was exactly who she was when my grandmother remarried, eventually having another child with the man.)  Her cousins learned by example from their parents that it was ok to treat her disrespectfully.  It was ok if she wasn't given the love and acceptance she saw all around her. 

So it was no surprise that the lonely, insecure girl grew into a lonely, insecure woman, still desperately trying to win the love of her family.  It was she who had the parties and invited the family members to participate.  It was she who resurrected the family picnics, long after my paternal grandmother had passed, only to have them taken over and perverted by the rest of the family.  It wasn't long before my father's side of the family declined the invitations and left it to the alter kockers from everyone else's extended families who preferred the comforts of home to a messy picnic.  It was also she who ran up phone bills to keep in touch with everyone (back in those days, only the caller had to pay for long distance calls!) 

Yet, again, I digress.  As I traveled down this path, realizing that before I could forgive my family for turning their backs on me, I needed to forgive both them and myself for turning our collective backs on my mother.  Sure, her efforts to win affection and approval were rather pathetic, but then, had things been as they should have been, she wouldn't have had to make those efforts at all.  Love and affection would have been hers because she was a member of the family.  Even when she had a family of her own, she didn't have any good examples to fall back on.  My grandmother even made it clear that she preferred her son-in-law to her daughter.  How sad is that?  As a kid, I used to think it was a funny joke, but I know now that my mother only laughed on the outside.  Inside, I'm sure she shattered just a little bit more. 

The reality is that my family didn't turn their backs on me at all.  They simply turned their backs on my mother and everything she represented because, with her gone, and their share of her worldly possessions stashed away in some of their homes, they had no further need to pretend, and nothing more to gain. 

I hope that in my mother's next life, she is the adored princess she deserves to be. And I am grateful to her family for preparing her for that life with a lifetime of painful lessons.  I understand that she chose the lessons she received in this lifetime, as did I, so blaming anyone for what happened is rather pointless.  With this realization, I find that I can...and yes, do, forgive the people who made her, and her immediate family as well, feel like outsiders.

There is more than enough love in the world to go around, and, in fact, the more we give, the larger the pool.  Just because we don't find it where we expect to doesn't give us reason to discount it, nor pretend that we are incapable of giving and receiving.

To the family I no longer see, I love you, and I appreciate the lessons you helped me learn.  In a small way, you helped me become the strong, independent, forgiving woman I am continually becoming.

To the people I still struggle to forgive, I love you and appreciate you for helping me learn difficult lessons.  May you be happy in the lives you've chosen for yourselves and someday, even forgive me as I'm forgiving you, but more, forgive yourselves as I'm learning to forgive myself.  It is truly the greatest gift we can give ourselves:  Acceptance with our flaws, and forgiveness when we stumble along our path.  As long as we keep picking ourselves up, nothing else is really all that important!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the people who have been put in my path to make it more challenging.  From them, I learned my most important lessons.
2. I am grateful to the Universe for sending my mind on a bit of time travel, and helping me finally understand, accept and forgive.
3. I am grateful for the ability to give and receive love, and to recognize how full of love the world is.
4. I am grateful for my writing talent which has allowed me to work through issues like this over the years.  Sometimes, it took decades and re-reading what I'd written, and others, it just took opening myself up to the energies around me.
5. I am grateful for days when it seems I accomplish little, but really accomplish so much!

Love and light.

April 16, 2014 Being exactly where I'm supposed to be.

After a long but enjoyable day hanging with the kids and even getting some errands run, I sit here, staring at a blank screen with Munchkin curled on a chair on my left, and Dylan sprawled on my desk, on top of the new calculator on my right.  The only sounds I hear (aside from the clicking of the keyboard) are the whir of the ceiling fan and the purrs of my two protectors.  I can't think of a nicer way to end a very pleasant day. 

As the kids gear up to move to Mathom's first duty station since they got married, I've been inclined to finally get some more of the decluttering done as I'm no longer faced with stuff that isn't mine.  In fact, I'm getting rid of some things I hadn't anticipated like the camping gear which has been sitting in my store room, and the bicycles which are in my old shed.  I know the kids will get a lot of use out of both, and am grateful that those things won't continue to just collect dust and get moved from here to there whenever I'm looking for something. 

In some ways, their moving away is clearing space in my life too.  I won't be able to spend as much time with them living 3 or so hours away (on a good traffic day!), which leaves me free to put something else on my plate.  Though this week is not exactly a clear week, it is a clearing week!  As I'm moving stuff physically out of my house, I'm also moving stuff mentally and emotionally which will clear the way for new experiences.  It will also clear the way for me to move forward with editing and marketing my book and continuing to determine whether copywriting is something I can wrap my head around to use my writing skills for fun and profit. 

Talking to a friend who's gone back to school now that her kids are mostly grown, she made me realize something rather important.  I spent over 14 years acquiring a degree in Accounting, including the 4 years as an undergrad at UCLA where I started as a Theatre major, moved to Psychology after the first year, and by the end of the 4th year, decided I wanted to switch to Business.  I took two years off, then spent the better part of the next 10 years working full time and going to school at night.  Somewhere in there, my step-son lived with us for a bit, and then I had my girls. 

Now, a lot of years later, I've finally accepted the fact that it was simply a means to an end for me.  A way to support myself and my kids better than some of my single friends, not as well as others.  The only time I truly enjoyed it was when I was either part of a team working on a project which involved some creativity, or when I was trouble shooting or setting up a system.  Since those opportunities are few and far between, and ultimately end, most of the time, I was stuck with what to me was pure drudgery.  Which led me to today.  I'm using what I learned on a very small scale and spending more of my time writing or learning new skills related to writing than on the accounting, and enjoying my life a great deal more.

Yes, I'm glad I took the time to get that college degree, and I truly appreciate the fact that it allowed me to have a decent life most of the time, but it certainly never brought me the joy I have found in the last few months. 

We all have bouts of wishing we'd done something earlier in our lives or met someone sooner, or any number of things.  But the truth is, we choose do things, or we meet that special person at just the right time. 

In my case, it's easy.  I had to acquire a bunch of life lessons (not to mention, the funds to walk away from a steady pay check) before I was ready to try to write to live and for a living.  I also had to learn to have faith, even when it doesn't look like I'm heading in the right direction, because over the years, I've learned that even life's detours are there for a reason.   In fact, I have a sticky note at the top of my monitor which simply says "FAITH".   I have faith that, even when I'm taking detours like I've been doing this week, I am exactly where I need to be, and will have exactly what I need when I need it.  I refuse to believe anything else! 

Thus, I gather the energies around me which will allow me to connect to Source and propel me in the direction I need to go in order to walk my true path.  In the process, I'm healthier, happier, more relaxed and slower to react to things around me.  Though drama still tries to find me, I find it easier to decline the invitation and keep my path clear of such distractions.  (although it is interesting to watch different archetypes and mentally file them away for future use!)

Both Collin Raye and Rascal Flatts have done songs which exemplify the way I feel, and, though both are love songs, I think the thought applies to other choices as well.  Here's Collin Raye's version, a song called "All My Roads":
Looking back from where I stand tonight
I wouldn't change a thing about my life
Wrong turns I had to take back in those crazy years
Could not have been mistakes if they brought me here

'Cause all my roads have led me to
This night, this love I share with you
And though the road was never smooth
Life has made me someone who
Could be the right someone for you

I don't regret a single broken heart
That taught me what love is and what it's not
Someone must have planned our two paths would cross
I couldn't see it then but I was never lost

'Cause all my roads have led me to
This night, this love I share with you
And though the road was never smooth
Life has made me someone who
Could be the right someone for you

Detours, dead ends, endless explorations
You were my only destination

'Cause all my roads have led me to
This night, this love I share with you
And though the road was never smooth
Life has made me someone who
Could be the right someone for you

I loved this song the first time I heard it, but the thoughts it contains have made more sense in recent years.  Rascal Flatts does a song called "Bless the Broken Road" which carries the same message.  What it all comes down to is that we all travel our own twisty, windy roads, and those roads lead us to exactly where we're supposed to be.  I guess I'd sum it up by saying that my ultimate goal is to have no regrets, to find joy in wherever I end up and to know that I've done the very best I could at any point in time.

My gratitudes  tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends who remind me of what is truly important.
2. I am grateful for lazy, carefree days with my kids.
3. I am grateful for the love and devotion I receive from my cats. (though if Toby reprises last night's antics, he will be locked in a room by himself all night!)
4. I am grateful for the serenity which has found it's way into my life.
5. I am grateful for friendships old and new which are moving to new levels.

Love and light.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 2015 Going with the flow!

So, the first two days of this week have not turned out as planned (and tomorrow, we make one, last trip to China Town before the kids move, so there goes day number 3!)  Clearly, the Universe is trying to redirect my efforts so I say "let's go with the flow!"  The cats are fed, the bed is made, the trash has been picked up and the house is vacuumed.  I'm going to call it good, and just sit back and wait to see why I'm being maneuvered in directions which, on the surface, seem to have no rhyme or reason!

Thinking it through, though, the kids' and my taxes are filed, and by waiting, Turbotax had some more updates that saved me almost $100!  I got a new client's books set up too.  So, has the week really been a waste, or am I simply being redirected?

In spite of myself, I'm checking things off of my weekly to do list.  Maybe not all of the things I want to be checking off, but as with some of the big ones that came off last week, I'm definitely making progress!

Sadly, I have not had the chance to pick up the copywriting class where I left off, nor to revise the first assignment in accordance with the reviewer's suggestions.  But I did replace my suddenly expired calculator (a requisite piece of equipment for a number cruncher, even a part time one!) with a more compact model  (ok, so I went with less expensive, and it happened to be smaller, but once I had it set up on my desk, I liked having one with a smaller footprint!), made myself a healthy dinner after going grocery shopping and loaded and started the dishwasher!  More checks off of my list, and it's only Tuesday!

For some reason, I am being guided to put work stuff aside for a bit (though that doesn't mean I won't use the late hours when I do my best writing to do some more editing on my book!) and focus on other stuff, which, in some cases, is yet to be determined.

One thing I do know, it is not wise to ignore the guidance from the Universe (oh my aching head for the times I forgot!), and trying to do something which I'm being specifically guided NOT to do is both unwise and counterproductive.

Instead, I spend time with my kids, organize a few things, have some wonderful meditations, cuddle with my cats and otherwise, watch and listen for indications of which direction I should go next!

The worst part of the whole thing is that I really have to sit on my inner control freak right now.  You know the one.  It keeps whispering in my ear:  "You really should be accomplishing something, you know?  You're wasting valuable time futzing around, but going nowhere.  And you really should be going somewhere!"

The only thing I can really do is put my hand over the mouth of this inner voice and say, loudly and firmly:  "Who says????  Now shut up, and let me listen and learn!"

That inner voice kept me on the straight and narrow of a passionless life for many years, and yes, in some ways, it was necessary for me to listen.  But the time to listen to anything either straight or narrow has passed!  I'm supposed to be following the twisty windy now!  This is the right direction, despite what my inner control freak might think.  And it's ok to be a little scared when I have no idea what to do or where I'm going next.  That's what makes this an adventure, and not a mere existence.

So until I receive guidance to do differently, I will continue to follow this twisty, windy, unpredictable path which is my course of late.  I know it's not forever, and I know there's a point.  Just because I can see neither at the moment doesn't make it wrong!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lesson I finally learned which lets me be a little crazy and unpredictable some of the time...a lot of the time...more often than not....
2. I am grateful for time to spend with my daughter and son-in-law before they're not living nearby any more.
3. I am grateful for being able to spend time with my remaining cats and truly monitor their health and welfare.
4. I am grateful that I will, at some point, get back on my 3 times a week gym routine, though it has been a struggle for the last couple of weeks.
5. I am grateful for the abundance which will clear my plate of things which are no longer needed as the attached lessons have been learned.

Love and light. 

April 14, 2014 Best laid plans and Nature's Miracles!

On this eclipse of the moon eve, I had planned to get up early, go to the gym and work on my copywriting class.  Unbeknownst to me, the Universe had other plans!

First, I overslept badly!  As I was drinking my coffee and mentally preparing myself to leave for the gym, my phone rang and a client was asking if he could reschedule his appointment from Thursday to today.  By the time we were through, it was nearly 3:00, I hadn't had lunch, nor had I meditated. 

Lunch out of the way, I settled down to meditate.  Snowball, as usual, climbed on top of me and prepared to leave a pint of drool on my fleece blanket.  As usual he was thwarted as I removed his fluffy self to a safer, dryer venue. 

Dylan, as usual, jumped onto the back of the sofa and turned his purr on loud, though it wasn't enough to drown out the sound of the neighbor playing basketball in their back yard.  Turning Pandora on, I set my phone on my chest to finish drowning out the kersplat of the ball hitting concrete, and settled in, hoping my efforts to meditate would be far more successful than they'd been yesterday.

I had no idea!!!  Mid-meditation, I suddenly felt an enormous infusion of bliss, so great that my face fell into a smile of its own accord.  Before me was the most beautiful light filling my energy field to overflowing!  There was no particular reason, at least, not one I was aware of on a conscious level.  I simply felt blissful, and that was enough.

Returning to a full meditative state, I continued my meditation until Dylan woke me with a series of sneezes. 

Not knowing what I wanted for dinner, I started pulling things out of the freezer, but each thing I pulled out turned out to be too old and freezer burned.  At least I got some things cleaned out of the freezer! Finally settling on a container of chicken soup which was less than satisfying, I at least quelled the hunger pangs. 

Now I await tonight's "Blood Moon" which is supposed to be visible sometime after 9 tonight.  I'm tempted to perform some sort of ritual of abundance, but I'm just not sure what to do.  Maybe by the time I need it, it will come to me!

Sorry folks.  I never did come up with a ritual for the blood moon, and the pics I took after it turned red came out as black as night.  My poor little digital just can't hack it!  But I have to say, it's a beautiful sight!  I'm so glad I stayed up to watch it!  Just another example of how miraculous Nature is!!!  Makes me wonder why there are people out there who truly don't believe in miracles! 

Standing outside, trying to get pictures, my two outdoor cats (yes, the ones who left me a decapitated rat the other day) decided that the only reason I'd be standing outside at this hour was to give them attention, and, if I failed to realize my true purpose, a little climbing up the bare leg with claws extended was sure to make me see the error of my ways!

Meanwhile, the inside cats were crying at the door, trying to figure out (yes!) why I was standing outside at this hour and, by the way, how could I even think of paying attention to other cats when they were obviously neglected and abused! 

You know that feeling, when your kids are young that if you only had 8 arms like an octopus, you could get everything done?  It's ten times worse with cats.  First, they all want attention at once, and second, each and every one of them believes that the only real skritch is one which is performed with not one, but both hands!  On more than one occasion, trying to skritch two or three cats at the same time has caused certain felines to come to blows.  (and the outside girls are no exception to this rule!  Cinders likes to chase Hailey completely away from me!)  Trust me "just a minute" is NOT in the vocabulary of any feline.  I even had one climbing my leg while I was making potato salad Saturday.  But there was no way I was going to place my potato encrusted fingers on a furry body.  It would have been beyond gross!!!

At any rate, I will probably step outside for another view of the blood moon, and another attempt to get some pictures, but this blog post is finished, except, of course, for my gratitudes which are:

1. I am grateful for the flexibility to adjust my day's plans on a moment's notice.
2. I am grateful for the wonders of Nature which remind me that every day is a miracle in and of itself.
3. I am grateful for furry love and furry companionship while meditating. 
4. I am grateful for those moments of pure bliss which seem to be occurring more and more often of late.
5. I am grateful for friends with whom I can share the wonders around me.

Love and light.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 13, 2015 The excitement is building

I'm going into the first of two eclipse weeks filled with energy, excitement and drive.  The cold has finished with me now, and I'm ready to hit the gym with renewed vigor.  Meanwhile, I've received the review of my first homework assignment for my copywriting class, and am excited about the fact that, though there were a few comments, most of what the reviewer said was extremely positive.  I'll do the requested tweaks tomorrow, then go on to the next assignment awaiting my attention.  It's really nice that we actually get to do things and have them reviewed so we can really tell whether we're "getting it". 

The goodbye party for the kids was fun and relaxing, though I know I ate waaaay too much!  Though they'll be back and forth for a couple of weeks, we're definitely getting our minds set to move into this next adventure.  Though they are the ones who are moving, it will be an adventure for me, not having my daughter right there if I need her or just want to hang with her.  But I have a lot to do in the coming weeks between my book, my copywriting class and my accounting clients (not to mention the continuation of the decluttering process on which I made some amazing progress this week!).

Of course, when there's this much energy in my world, something has to suffer, and right now, it's my sleep and meditations.  I find myself waking in the middle of the night, and unlike normal, having a tough time falling back to sleep.  Meditations are tough because my brain is far less willing to quiet for a little while, but still, I persevere. 

I talk about my book and the class with a lot of excitement these days, knowing that I'm really, truly, following my path now!  A lesser woman would be daunted by such small indications of progress, but I have learned over the years to really value those baby steps, because when they begin combining with other baby steps, the results are phenomenal!  Life is clearly bringing me new and exciting things, and I'm going to have to be on my toes, tennis player style, in order to respond quickly and efficiently to all that's coming in the next few weeks!  Getting my house in order is certainly a huge part of being ready, and I'm so excited about the things I've finally taken off of my to do list this week!

It's interesting to me that I've become a lot more organized, in some things.  In others, I still operate under the organized chaos method, but it all works.  Too much structure would drive me crazy, but enough to keep things in their places so I'm not chasing my tail seems to be a good thing.  And those happy mediums (and I don't mean the psychic kind) are becoming more and more a part of my life.  I think, in part, it's because I no longer have the structure of going to an office certain days of the week, so I needed to replace that external structure with an internal one.  The beauty of it is, it's a really flexible structure right now.  I'm not locked into certain hours of the day, or even days of the week.  I know what needs to be done, and I have a window in which to do it.

More and more, people remind me that my words are, indeed, my art and give me hell when I say I'm not an artist.  It's true that I can't draw for beans and that a monkey could do a better job with a paint brush.  But I have to admit that painting pictures with words is surely artistic as well.  I really appreciate the fact that others recognize it, and are very quick to point it out if dare utter the words "I'm not an artist" even if, like today, it was completely accurate within the context of the conversation.

I see myself relying less and less on number crunching and more and more on word smithing as this year unfolds, and the thought brings me a great deal of joy.  I am, by now, completely convinced that I'm exactly where I need to be.  Even those days, and sometimes weeks, when I don't feel like I've accomplished much, still, I am doing what I need to be doing at the time.  There are just times when I need to let go and allow things to percolate without doing a lot with what's coming in.  I know that ultimately, all of the pieces will come together. 

A friend posed the question today:  What would you do with a few million dollars?  There were some really amazing and altruistic responses, but mine went something like this, and I feel that it truly describes where I'm at:
I would pay off all of my debt, give some nice chunks to a couple of cat rescues.  Then I would buy a nice piece of property and build my dream house complete with great romping areas for my cats.  I would adopt some more rescues, as I would no longer have either budgetary constraints or the rules of a city to limit me, though I would have an arrangement which gave them an outdoor area as well as indoors, protected from predators and disease.  My dream home would have numerous places where I can sit and write, and would, I believe, also have another house or two on the property, but removed form the main house, where other artists might come for retreats. 

It's always an interesting thought to ponder, and gives me a chance to remind myself of what my dreams are, envisioning them fully manifested, and grateful for all that has come to pass.  A friend and her husband are currently building their dream home in Arizona.  While the location isn't what I'd choose, the house is gorgeous, and, when the time comes, I will probably ask her who the architect was that designed it.  I would likely not go for the elegance they've put into theirs, but might also do some things they haven't.  We all have things which are important to us and are quite different from the choices of others, but we can certainly learn a lot from how other people put things together.

As my mind is beginning to spin through thoughts so quickly that nothing is going to come out in any sort of reasonable order, I'll close this with my gratitudes (or at least a few as they are beginning to reach the point where they are endless!)

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a lovely day celebrating my daughter and son-in-law's new beginning.
2. I am grateful for wonderful friends who continue to surprise me with their love and support.
3. I am grateful for opportunities which are coming, and I can't even imagine them at this moment in time.
4. I am grateful for the energy which is building inside of me, and is bursting to come out and propel me into the new life I so recently embarked upon.  It's a Disneyland kind of feeling!
5. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and expand my horizons over the next years (I was going to say "few" but that really isn't accurate!)

Love and life.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014 Another turn of the wheel

In another couple of weeks, I will begin a new chapter in my life as my daughter and son-in-law begin a new chapter in theirs.  Two weeks from today, the daughter I have been close to all this time will no longer be living walking distance from me.  Instead, it will require a drive of at least 2 3/4 hours, (and that's ONLY if there is no traffic between here and there!  But this is California!  When is there no traffic???)

The physical distance will certainly bring a lot of changes.  I won't have a gym buddy, but over the last few weeks, I've pretty much gone on my own anyway.

I won't have someone to bring me chicken soup when I'm sick (but I don't get sick very often, and usually have a container of Trader Joe's chicken soup in the house anyway). 

I'll have to call on someone else to check on my animals if I go away for a couple of days.  But one of Heather's friends is really good about that, so again, it's a non-issue.

In reality, I think both of us have been changing our habits a lot over the last couple of months because we knew that the day was coming when we would no longer be close enough to shout. 

I'm making more effort to either go places by myself or meet up with friends.  I think the solitary life of a writer and freelance accountant makes me actually want company more often now, so I make the effort. 

There's still a great deal of uncertainty, though.  I still don't have friends I can just call and say "hey, let's catch a movie/do lunch/meet for dinner or whatever.  So many of my friends are either married or in relationships that they have other commitments. 

So the next few months are going to be more transition for me, more evolution, more growth.  As usual, I don't really know where my path will lead, but I know that it will lead me someplace wonderful, and that's really all I need to know right now. 

I've signed up for a bunch of webinars, and keep getting emails letting me know that the replays are available (it's almost impossible to pin me down to a set time!).  However, the more I listen, the more disenchanted I become. 

While I realize that these are business people, and their sole purpose for doing the webinars is to sell something, as the general theme (other than the sales pitch at the end) continues to have the speaker talking about how they have found the only one, true way to manifest my desires...well, frankly, I'm beginning to feel like the content is designed for less skeptical listeners than I.  Too many of them are delivering veiled (and sometimes not so veiled) intimations that "The Secret" and "Laws of Attraction" among others don't really work...unless, of course, you know the speakers "special, secret technique for making things happen!" 

Thus, I'm finding that I listen for a few minutes, then end the recording because I don't feel I need advice from arrogant, self-involved sales people.  And in my eyes, that's really all they are.  Snake oil salesmen hawking their wares under the guise of giving you something useful and important.  Often, they spend 50 minutes talking about all the wonderful things they've done, and another 20 or so pitching their product.  At this point, the only real value I see in them is as examples for my copywriting class.  And I guess maybe that's why they're being put in my path right now.  Because they certainly aren't teaching me anything new or valuable otherwise!

Which leads me to conclude that many experiences are put into our paths, but if we only take them at face value, we might be missing the real purpose for their presence in our lives.  Just as, over the years, I've learned what not to do from other people as often as I've learned what to do, some experiences are put into our lives as examples of something else, rather than to gain insight from the more obvious aspects. 

I've decided that from this point forward, I'll continue to listen to some of the webinars, but now, I'm going to listen, not to gain any insight from the person's experience on their chosen topic, but to observe the techniques they use to try to suck people into dropping 40 or 100 or 500 bucks on the product they're offering at a deep discount, JUST for the listeners of the webinar! :) 

I may be a little slow at times, but I eventually get the point I'm supposed to see.  Clearly, there are people out there who have learned how to market themselves and what they see as a unique product (though if you listen to enough of them, the uniqueness quickly dissolves!), and I can stand to benefit from their marketing experience, not only in learning to write copy, but also when I begin marketing my own product (book, short story, or whatever else comes bursting from my fingers!). 

Once again I'm learning that no experience is wasted.  We can truly learn from them all!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the new road ahead of me, obscured as it might be right now.
2. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue widening my world.
3. I am grateful for the company of my kitties, as they make sure I know that I'm never really alone.
4. I am grateful for my friends who, in their own ways, encourage me to continue evolving.
5. I am grateful for the continued abundance in my life which gives me more and more things to be grateful for!

Love and light.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 9, 2014 Decluttering revisited

Sitting here tonight having reduced 5 file drawers, 6 bankers boxes and a bin down to about 2 file drawers, a bin and a box and a half (with two boxes and two large garbage bags awaiting their visit to the shredder), I'm feeling pretty darned accomplished! 

But I didn't stop there!  The writing assignment I had been stuck for the last three days on just flowed right out tonight!  Unfortunately, the instructions for uploading it neglected to mention that you had to register for the upload site AND get permission from the AWAI gods to join their group before you'd be allowed to upload the assignment!  <sigh> 

In the meantime, I can now get on with the program as I've completed the task itself.  Thus, along with the lightness I gained from clearing out documents which, when all was said and done, go back to about 1990 (pretty sad that I kept things like electric and gas bills that long, huh?), I'm also feeling a huge weight which was that assignment being lifted as well! 

I know that as I continue to clear out what is no longer needed, both mentally and physically, my creativity and the positive energy will also find a clear path which they can move in and fill.  (though I have to laugh for a second, as I was watching tv tonight and a commercial came on which had a woman hiding in her laundry room as it was the only place her family wouldn't chase her down.  With a laptop on her lap, she grabbed a dryer sheet and suddenly, inspiration hit!  I get that writers can be an odd bunch, but dryer sheets as inspiration?  Seriously?  No wonder there's a need for new blood writing copy.  I think the advertisers are the biggest contributors to the dumbing down of America!

So as I was saying, I've now been through every piece of paper since 2003 and have yet to find the one document I need!  I am wracking my brain for where I might have put it.  The only thing I remember is that I remember running across it at one point, years ago, and thinking that it was in an odd place.  I just wish I could remember where that odd place might have been!  And the last place I remember seeing it was in the bin which I've been through repeatedly, with a fine tooth comb!  I guess the only thing left to do is ask for Divine assistance in remembering where I saw it last.  I've done everything Humanly possible to locate it! 
(that last statement sent me digging through the file drawer in my desk, but all I netted for my trouble was more stuff to have shredded!)

So this is me, releasing the location of the document to the Universe which retains the memories of everyone and everything.  I know the memory is out there.  It simply needs to find its way back to my brain!

Which leads me to wonder, how many times a day does the average person dig through their memory banks to try to retrieve a piece of information?  I know that I do it a lot, but do others do it too?

I can't tell you how many times I walk from the back of the house to the front (and my place is only 1200 square feet total, so it's not a great distance!) only to forget why I made the trip in the first place!  Of course, when I return to the original location, I often remember, so maybe what I need to do is find a way to return to the original location where I last remember seeing the document in question?

I'm also finding myself spending an inordinate amount of time just staring into space!  I even did that during my nail appointment today!  Is that a writers' thing, or just one more indication of my own insanity coupled with ADHD?

Topic change!
Over the last few months several friends have lost a parent.  Since I lost both of mine a long time ago (nearly 11 years for dad, over 20 for mom), I can't help wondering what it might have been like to have them around longer and to, like my friends, just be losing them now?  Admittedly, I do have plenty of friends who had either one or both parents pass as long ago as mine did, some even longer. But as I watch my peers wrestling with the issues of aging parents, I wonder what I might have done and how I might have handled it.  Even more, where might I be now?

It's just a fact of life that trauma changes us.  I've had my share, no more, and no less than most.  But I know that each event caused me to turn in a different direction until, finally, I took a good look at what I'd become, didn't particularly like what I saw, and set out to make changes.   One thing, though, I'm pretty sure of is that I wouldn't have become such a cheerleader for a positive outlook were it not for the rough patches in my road. 

The truth is, I know what it's like to be sad all the time, and to prefer just sleeping all day to doing anything else.  It's recent enough that I remember and never want to live that way again. 

I know what it's like to feel that I need to fight with everyone and everything because nobody is on my side. I never want to go there again either.

I also know what it's like to feel a glimmer of hope when a friend offers me a possibility.  To see an opportunity to slowly pull myself out of the hole I've been hiding in and start living my life instead of just existing.

Although I've lost touch with the people who helped me turn my life around and learn to find joy in all of the small things instead of misery in it all, they will always live on in my heart because they were there when I needed them.  Some were part of my life for a short time...a season.  Others were part of my life for many years/  Our paths have split and that's as it should be. but we will always be connected on some level. 

Right now, I just need to take a moment to thank:
    The woman who introduced me to "The Secret" and with whom I became a support group for positive thoughts.
    The woman who was there when I finally couldn't hold on to the grief, the misery and the guilt any longer and had to leave the club where we danced to wait for everyone at the restaurant we frequented after the club closed, nursing a cup of coffee, and my embarrassment at losing my carefully constructed facade.
   The woman who helped me raise my girls despite the fact that she clearly disapproved of some of the things I did.
   All of the people who supported me and my girls at all of the dance competitions, despite the fact that it was really the wrong time, the wrong place, and in some cases, the wrong people for me.  All of the wrongs really did make a right because it was just one more step in bringing me to where I am today.

I'm sure there are more.. many, many more (not the least of which is my favorite cheerleader!  (you know who you are)).  I don't know how I could have gotten here without all of the people who have influenced my life, both positively and negatively, because all of those influences were important, and the ones to come will be just as important.

I'm finding that I'm reaching a better understanding of the John Donne poem: 
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
 I tried to explain to someone recently that I believe we are all connected, and that things that annoy me in others are actually flaws in myself.  He didn't understand...but Mr. Donne clearly did.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friendships,past, present and future.
2. I am grateful for the elimination of things which are no longer needed.
3. I am grateful for Divine assistance in retrieving important memories.
4. I am grateful for abundance:  in creativity, in love, in compassion, in prosperity, in health...and more!
5. I am grateful for clarity which come of decluttering, whether I declutter the physical or the mental, both benefit!

Love and light