Be Careful what you Wish for

Posted: April 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Wishing for a Magic Wand?

Wishing for a Magic Wand?

I was irritated one night when my whole family needed something from me all at once. Even the dog was following me around for food, attention, or whatever she could get.

As I mumbled under my breath, “Grrrr…. everybody needs me,” I suddenly started smiling. My smile then turned into a chuckle.

“Everybody needs me!”

Of course! How lucky I was that everybody needed me! What would my life be like if nobody needed me?

It was my choice to be irritated or to be thankful – and being thankful was a much more pleasant feeling.

A while ago, I was doing a self-study of memory through the analysis of the people I had kept in my heart over the years. A few of them had no memory of me and some had very different recollections of our relationship than from my memory.

While doing house cleaning, I came across old heart-warming photos and letters from some former friends. And since my dad, friend, and father-in-law died, I have made a point of trying to be more open with people about my feelings which prompted me to look up these people, although one of them made the initial contact to me.

When I contacted some of them, I got an assortment of unexpected responses.

The one person I’m writing about who contacted me? That person that I knew in my early 20s left a huge imprint in the formation of my personality, but obviously had very dissimilar recollections of our time together.

Another person didn’t remember who I was.

And yet another did not recognize me.

I began to wonder if there were people from my past that remembered me who I had no recollection of and as soon as I wondered it, of course the situation appeared in my life to answer my question and give me a taste of both sides.

There have been other people from my past with whom we picked up where we left off, but this isn’t about them. It’s about being remembered. And when I found myself not being remembered – at least not in the way I expected – it wasn’t upsetting to me, but more so an eye opening experience that left me pondering certain topics and questioning if I am unmemorable, and if so, why.

I realize that I’m more of a thinker than a talker; “people watching” is one of my favorite activities. I was always quiet and somewhat shy as a child. The pet name my dad had for me growing up was “Mouse.” Add all of these factors up and it makes sense that not many people remember the “quiet girl.”

Additionally, I remember producing a play years ago in which one of the crew came to me after attending several meetings to admit to me that each week, he thought I was a different person. Apparently, I changed my hair and clothing to the point that I looked like another person to him. It was not intentional on my part, but definitely a curious experience.

What it comes down to is this. Some of the people I hold in my heart and am forever grateful to for helping me to grow spiritually … well, they don’t even remember me. And some things in my life didn’t turn out exactly the way that I wanted them to.

I can add up all of these experiences and be upset, hurt or bothered or I can choose to make the best of the situations and be thankful for what I have. If nothing else, the difficulties give me spiritual growth.

In conclusion, I have to add that, while I’ve always considered myself to be “happy-go-lucky” or a “look-on-the-bright-side” person, I do have my share of moments when I feel like giving up.

It’s during those times that I remind myself of a couple of favorite sayings: “Be careful. You might get what you wish for,” and thank you to my friend, Cari, for her saying, “I didn’t get what I wanted. I got what I needed.”

Panda as Teacher

Panda as Teacher

(This was originally posted on-line on November 16, 2008)

Something is stirring inside me. It has been for a number of days but I’m having so much trouble getting past the emotion and letting the words come out.

I have so much writing to do but I feel like it’s coming out in a jumbled mess. Still, I feel a need to post this. I hope I won’t read it tomorrow, slap my shaking forehead while asking myself, “Why did I post that?”

There are things floating around in my unconsciousness which I’m trying to avoid, but my body won’t let me… the fires and the empty space yelling out at me – you know the one where my dad, my friend, and my father-in-law now sit.

Today is the birthday of one of them which, I suspect is why my energy is off. It’s also hard to avoid the subject knowing that I will soon be sitting in a room with many others who are missing them as well.

This morning we left to take my son to a baseball party today and I was overwhelmed when I saw the acres and acres of burned hillsides. We saw an empty lot where a house once stood. It added to my jumbled state.

Flash back to a few nights ago when I had one of those dreams that are so life-like that it felt like a message. In my dream, I was being given a gift of Himalayan Pink Salt because it helps to “maintain good health and prevent aging” the gift-giver said. Here’s more information if you would like to read about it (I just picked a random site. I bought mine at Whole Foods):

Himalayan Salt

Then this past Friday, I took my kids to see Kung Fu Panda, which sounded like a cute movie. It was more than cute though – I loved it and the lessons it was trying to teach.

There was one character in the movie, who kept repeating… (I’m sure many of you have heard these before but I love them every time I hear them)…

“There are no accidents.”

And another:

“Yesterday is history,

Tomorrow is a mystery,

Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”

And another:

“The secret ingredient is that there is no secret ingredient; there is only believing that there is one.”

So that was weird, first a dream about a Himalayan “product” and then a philosophical Panda story…

I have no more commentary. My writing circuits are fried and I still have at least 2,500 words to pump out tonight for my project. May the panda bear be with you (and me) and show us all the will power inside.

I hope this jumbled mess all made some sort of sense…

The Panda

Pandas are white and black bear like mammals found in the forest areas of west central China. Their coloring holds the energy of polarity. The panda reminds us to broaden our vision and not get caught in one side or the other. For those with this totem personal challenges relating to polarized concepts are common. Past life ties associated with the light as well as the dark forces is also indicated.

The giant panda grows to a length of five feet and weighs about two hundred pounds. It feeds almost exclusively on bamboo and is able to grasp the young stems and leaves of this plant with the aid of a special thumb like structure on its front foot. In metaphysics the thumb symbolizes will power. The panda teaches us that anything can be accomplished if the desire is strong enough.

Although the panda feeds on bamboo its digestive system is that of a carnivore and so the animal is unable to digest cellulose, which is the main constituent of bamboo. Consequently, the panda must consume enormous quantities of bamboo in order to obtain from this plant the nourishment it needs. Panda medicine people often develop problems with their digestive system so extra care is advised.

Pandas have a lumbering gait on the ground but are agile tree climbers. They prefer being up high watching what is happening on the ground below. From this vantage point the panda is able to maintain a spiritual connection with the seen and unseen forces.

Pandas live alone except when breeding, indicating a solitary lifestyle. Those with this medicine will be happiest when living by themselves. Relationships can be acquired and maintained but only if a partner respects the need for privacy and sacred space. Although relationship issues are common for those with this totem a panda medicine person will be forced to rely on their intuitive voice for nourishment and guidance. This aids them in developing a deeper understanding of who they truly are. From the perspective of spiritual growth this understanding is a fundamental requirement for the soul’s evolution.

Some might say that panda medicine is full of difficulties and others may see its true value. Whichever way you choose to perceive this ally one thing is certain. The panda is a powerful teacher. All that is needed by the student is a willingness to learn.

Panda Bear

Love and Details

Posted: January 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

What happened to feeling less busy when the holidays were over???? I still have my Christmas tree standing in my living room. Yes, it’s minus the decorations, but hey, I hoped to have it taken down by now. I’m feeling inspired to get rid of clutter and redecorate, so after painting my hallway today, I went shopping.

While I was in search of new pillows and bedding, I found msyelf behind a car with a license plate that read, “WNTSHPN.” I was busy trying to decipher what it meant and when it finally hit me, I reached for my camera but the car was gone before I got the shot. It’s forever in my mind though.

What would you think that meant??? “WNTSHPN”?

I finally decided it meant, “Wants Happen.” I thought that was so cool and the person driving the car must be a fellow deliberate manifester.

Or maybe not…maybe it meant someting entirely different to the owner of that car, but to me it was a message… a reminder that yes, “Wants Happen” … when you focus on what you want.

Next stop, a shoe return at the sporting goods store. I was thinking about how I need to clean the car… it’s dirty from driving it 1200+ miles. But then walking back to my car, the sun was hitting the driver’s door in just the right way because I swear the fingerprints in that vacation dirt spelled out the word “Love.”

I sat down ready to drive but then thought, “I wonder if someone actually wrote that or if that word just happened?”

I got out of my car and looked again to find that “Love” had been created by amazing randomness. The fingerprints swirled in the right positions and the sun hitting the door together spelled out this word for me to see.

Wow. I wish I had taken a picture in that moment because at the next few stops, I looked again on the door and the word had vanished. I’m thankful that I was lucky enough to catch it though when it did happen. It made me feel like someone is looking out for me.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit that I like to watch the television show “Survivor.” It’s full of gossip and back-stabbing, you know, those things I try to avoid in my everyday life. I realized today though that I’m learning a lot about human nature by watching this show.

You see, I guess for the first 40 or so years of my life, I have been quite naïve about human nature. I’ve always believed that people are all basically good or at least they strive to be.

This particular “Survivor” season though, there are at least two people who are really just… not nice … and they are proud to admit it.

One of these players boasts that she is bitchy.

Another one finds something to complain about in pretty much everyone. He treats others with rude manners but when they do it back to him, he thinks they are terrible, refusing to see that he was the first one to act rudely.

There are others that have displayed less than honorable character, but they would argue they are just playing “the game.”

It surprisingly has made me look at the way I interact with people in life. You see for 40+ years, I have walked around with a smile on my face, thinking everyone is friendly and nice (or at least tries to be) – the same as me.

I would be lying if I said that I have never encountered rude, mean, and inconsiderate people. The difference in my life view now though – you know, after that light bulb went off – is that before I made excuses for their behavior…

“Oh, she’s having a bad day.”

“He had a horrible childhood.”

“He doesn’t know any better.”

You name it; I’ve probably used it as an excuse for someone else’s bad behavior.

Now I’ve finally figured out that some people don’t need excuses. That’s just the way they are and they enjoy being that way.

But wait… then there’s that naïve, sweet voice inside me crying out that …I still believe most people are not acting out personally against others, but an event or circumstance triggers something from the rude person’s past that brings out that side of them again. They zoom in on the target of their anger and pain (usually another person), blaming them for their feelings and actions. They even feel justified in the way they behave. Still, they are where they need to be in their path towards spiritual enlightenment….

But my smiling bubble has been burst.

Yeah, maybe I was delusional back when I thought everyone was nice.

Yeah, maybe some people are just mean and they like being mean.

They like the power it gives them.

I am so thankful and excited to be enlightened to the fact that this weekly TV show has helped me to better understand the human race.

I am thankful that my perspective has changed.

If you can play and survive the game of “Survivor” – by understanding other people – you can most likely play and survive the game of life.

Before you read this, I must warn you…this entry is raw and unpolished…

And before you read it, try to put aside your “Uh, that’s dumb” or “That makes sense” comments. Just read it without commenting. Is that possible?

Is it even possible to do that in life? Just live your life without commenting on it as you move through your day? I think it’s an acquired skill.

I have been working on writing this in little spurts over a period of about seven days. Normally, I sit down and let out all the words in one sitting. The past week has given me little time for that freedom, however.

It’s okay though. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way this thought process was meant to be.

I’ve realized these past several days that everyone seems to be in slow motion. That is, everyone that is in front of me.

Slow drivers, slow walkers, slow baristas, slow coffee, slow decision makers… Breathe, I tell myself as I resist the urge to watch my watch. I know that I have patience to learn. I do. I know that.

I also know that I have a fast internal energy. At least I realize this about myself and I know when to curb that energy.

Like the other day, I was sitting quietly on my bed. I had just been pondering over the subject of judgment when my husband started cleaning our daughter’s room.

“I didn’t know she had this book,” he said as he tossed The Tao of Pooh onto our bed.

Oh yeah, that book.

I gave it to her several years ago when I found her being drawn to every religious text at the bookstores we frequented. It was before she could read – and it was at the used bookstores where all the books were not separated by subject, but rather mixed together – so how she knew which book to pick, I have no idea.

It was like a gravitational pull.

I am convinced that personality is set from birth. I see this as I watch my children grow. I have also noted this in the people I have known for 20 or more years. Years pass, but their personality core is still present.

Parents and peers guide growth to a certain extent, but there are qualities in each of us that stay present from the beginning, no matter what the influence.

It is my job to teach my children right from wrong; it’s not my job to change who they are meant to be.

When I was little, I remember being appalled when people made fun of other people. I would overhear someone say, “Look at how ((fill in the blank)) that person is!” and it made me want to cry. It wasn’t nice and I knew it before anyone told me that it wasn’t.

In the same way that I felt lying was a bad thing… I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I would cry and my face would turn red – and then I would tell the truth.

Now I watch and ponder what qualities are most prevalent in my children.

So, I sat on my bed studying web design with the Tao of Pooh whispering to me, “Pssst….Hey you… read me. Read me…”

It’s been years since I first read it – and I guess the time was right for me to read it again; I put my studies aside and read about the Tao and Winnie-the-Pooh.

It fit right into the grand plan for me for that book to fall into my life again with judgment on my mind. I’ve been contemplating how not to give anything in life a label of bad or good.

When someone does something outside the norm of what is acceptable in society, how can I not call that bad?

When I feel someone is judging me, how can I say that’s not bad?? But now aren’t I judging judgment??

My brain could go in circles on this one.

Everything has a purpose and everything is a lesson, so how could something be bad if it is meant to be a learning experience?

So reading the Tao of Pooh – again – wet my appetite for more.

“The sage does not distinguish between himself and the world;
The needs of other people are as his own.

He is good to those who are good;
He is also good to those who are not good,
Thereby he is good.
He trusts those who are trustworthy;
He also trusts those who are not trustworthy,
Thereby he is trustworthy.

The sage lives in harmony with the world,
And his mind is the world’s mind.
So he nurtures the worlds of others
As a mother does her children.”
Peter Merel’s Tao Te Ching

To some, like for instance Eeyore, it’s a gloomy day. To others, like Tigger, it’s just another day to bounce.

And still, to some, like Winnie-the-Pooh… it’s just a day… with no judgments as to whether it’s bad or good, gloomy or beautiful.

It’s a day to put emotion aside and accept what comes your way without putting a label on it. It’s a day to accept the gifts that are given – whether these gifts are a lost job, a lost friend, a friend returning to your life, or a lump of money appearing in your life.

Each one has something to teach if you are open to the teacher.

Someone asked me the other day if I thought a particular poem was too bleak.

“No, I like bleak,” I responded.

It’s not that I like negativity, but I appreciate honesty.

I appreciate it when someone can allow their emotions to flow freely, whether the emotion is happy or sad. It’s not that I don’t like negativity either because … while it may rattle my energy, it always teaches me something.

And so it goes… I try not to judge, but then I find myself judging my own judgment or lack of judgment.

Just allow life to flow around you – and accept that which moves around and into your life.

That’s what I’ve been contemplating lately.

Today as I was driving home, a giant truck started pulling out of his lane into mine and nearly into my car, but thankfully I saw him coming and was able to maneuver out of the way.

At the time, it was interesting to me that someone who drives all the time for a living jumbled me – momentarily – and nearly crushed my world – at least for one day. But everyone makes mistakes… even the experts.

Interestingly, I have witnessed the aftermath of three accidents over the past two days as well. I finally realized that there was a message for me in these experiences.

In the path of life, sometimes people will come along who, it seems like, are trying to crush the spirit out of you. Maybe they mean it or maybe they don’t, but sometimes – if you are not paying attention to the detail of staying on your own path – you can be overcome by them. 

Staying focused on your own path, keeping peripheral vision on alert, will help to steer clear of the damage these people are trying to do. 

You don’t necessarily need the same size vehicle as the one they are driving. You could be driving a moped, but if you are focused on where you are going, you will have the nimbleness to get out of the way and avoid the damage they would inflict.

So the next time, someone steers into your lane and nearly crushes your spirit, remember to quickly drive away from them. You needn’t look back or waste precious gas turning around to address them.

Just keep driving towards your destination.