Social-phone-ic

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I don’t think we often realize how important social connections are to our well-being. Face-to-face conversations and human touch can heal in more powerful ways than we can imagine. Technological connections are wonderful and help us to stay connected to people we don’t have the opportunity to be face-to-face with.

Yesterday, we attended the wedding of one of our neighborhood “family” friends. I call them that, because we are not related by blood, but have established true friendships with them. I consider them family by choice. The wedding was held at a nearby historic home. Small and intimate, beautifully simple with an Irish theme. I think it was the best wedding I have ever attended.

Most importantly, the sense of family and friendship bound the event together will love and caring. Stories and laughter, sharing food and plenty of drink, and music that got people moving their feet. Many of the guests were reluctant to leave the venue, even though the celebration was to continue at our neighborhood pub, where the groom is a co-owner. At the pub, the guests expanded to the regular crowd, faces familiar to me from the neighborhood. An atmosphere of joy in celebrating a new bond.

This feeling sticks with me today, a full heart and sense of belonging. I know that this creates powerful energy that radiates outward to impact many, including those I connected with. It is healing energy, in its simplest form.

I wonder about those who choose to live alone and without social connection, who are often referred to as social-phobics. I know that this has its roots in fear of being hurt. Life comes with a certain amount of risk-taking, which includes having a vulnerable heart. It takes courage, but most importantly hope, to take another chance at love and friendship. Like with many things, that what we fear the most is the greatest thing that heals us.

I hope that the energy swirling outward yesterday touched the hearts of many, enough that they reached out to a friend, stranger or whomever and perhaps opened their heart enough to make a connection. Even if it starts by swiping your phone.

Disinfect-tude

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Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Yesterday, I had a severe case of short-timer’s flu. This attitude had me complaining to my coworkers about how poorly I thought the transition was being handled. Sorry to have dumped that on you, but thank you for listening. Apparently, I needed to vent some of my fears.

I know I am not alone in my madness. I’ve watched others leave for other jobs or to retire, and at the end most of them complained until you just wanted them to pack up their crabby ass and go home. I’m sure my coworkers wished the same thing yesterday.

I don’t know if it seems more prevalent now or I am just noticing it more, but people leaving their jobs seem to be much crabbier now. I had to dissect my own feelings to see my take on this attitude.

My reasons for leaving are simple: I am at the age where retirement is possible, and my circumstances allow this. My Sweetie and I want to have some fun. However, underneath that lies a whole soup of emotions. I no longer care about my work.

I’ve been in this phase of my career for 18-plus years. I created most of my job and helped establish the department. It was tough work, but we had a good group and made it fun. The department grew, and with it the workload. I grew tired of the same routine. In more recent years, management chose to use inferior technology. They went cheap and thought it would be the answer to collaboration. Au contraire, everything became difficult and takes three times as long to process. Half the time, you can’t even find your document. The attitude is that “you will use this”. I believe this contributes to a huge portion of the bad attitude. I know it does for me. The inefficiency creates stress, coupled with the get-it-done-yesterday pressure.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I would not give up technology, because there have been many gains. The cost has been the loss of emotional connections, which contrary to popular belief, are not made strictly with social media. I sit in meetings with people who are busily typing crap into their laptops or pads, and probably aren’t really listening to what is being said. Does anyone ever read those notes? This lack of connection is so widespread that it has become acceptable to say anything, even on national television. When demeaning statements about a dead person are blown all over social media, it gives people “permission” to say any damn thing they please. Where are our manners and what has happened to our sensitivity?

I could go on and on about this, but I want to keep the focus on the workplace. This age of bad attitude has infiltrated the places where we derive our sense of accomplishment and financial support. I realized that after yesterday’s rant, that it wasn’t just yesterday. Venting has become commonplace. Demands create stress. Stress creates frustration and we take it out on each other. We think that as professionals we should keep your mouths shut and put up with it in fear that we would lose this security. I have taught my staff that “if you don’t vent, you blow” and we keep those vent sessions sacred, unless there is something that does require intervention or action. Yesterday was my turn.

I’ve been using vacation time lately and getting a taste of what my changing circumstances will look like. I WANT IT. The freedom to do things of my choosing and on my schedule is rejuvenating. Being away from the stress has me feeling physically renewed. Going into work had me feeling trapped and this little frisson of fear attached to my monkey brain and said, “you are never going to get to leave, too many people need what you know”. Uh-oh. Now reality says that’s ridiculous. You are not in jail. You are not handcuffed. You do not have to stay. But I think you get the idea.

Feeling trapped is just an illusion created by your ego to keep you from making a decision. We might not even know that it is fear. My coworkers expressed their need of me, gratefully so, but it activates my character traits of feeling responsible and caretaking. Then I get hooked into a pattern of doing too much for others and to little for me. All work and no play makes Lorrie a crabby woman.

It all comes back to disinfecting my attitude. Even if my heart tugs otherwise, I must set appropriate boundaries for myself. I need to teach others how to do things for themselves, which is very empowering for them. I need to say no to requests that do not serve either of us. I need to avoid any discussion of failure, while acknowledging that this is a transition time – even for me. Life moves on, even if we are afraid to flow with it. I am ready to move on, filled with hopes, dreams and desires for this next chapter. And to those I am, I hate to use the words – leaving behind, I hope that you also have dreams and desires that you will pursue.

Free Will

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Choices. Which way do we choose? Is it right or wrong, good or bad? Does it lead to success or failure? I should I just sit and wait to see what happens?

Free Will. OUR choice to decide; not anyone else’s decision.

I like the lyrics of “Freewill”, from the band Rush:

“You can choose a ready guide, in some celestial voice. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You can choose from phantom fears, and kindness that can kill. I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose free will.” (Released January 14, 1980, by Mercury Records, on the album “Permanent Waves”). (Rest in Peace, Neil Peart, you passed from us on January 7, 2020.)

You can stay stuck in fear, unable to decide and life will just float along regardless. Life will deal you a fast hand, and make you feel as though you didn’t get to choose. Were there warning signs, red flags that you chose to ignore? Could you have done something to change course?

Are you unable to trust yourself so you hand off the decision making to someone else and then feel resentment towards them for running your life? Or maybe you are thankful that they were there to help you along your path, but now it is time to take back control.

I recently read a quote in a subscription newsletter from Kelly McClain (you can find her on 12Listen). It stated, “your new life is going to cost you your old one”. Holy Sh*t! Does that make your toes curl in fear or in anticipation? Are you ready to take on that challenge or have you already been plotting the course and the new path is wide open?

Regardless of your thoughts or emotions, when planning your life path it is best to rely on trustworthy assistance. Even the lyrics point in this direction, “you can choose a ready guide, in some celestial voice”. There is always help available to you anytime, anyplace, in any way. The Universe has your back.

The Universe is comprised of a Higher Power, in whatever name you choose, and many other spiritual guides. Every human has one or more Guardian Angels. There are Archangels, available to anyone at all times, and you don’t have to think you are taking them away from anyone else. Ascended Masters, Spirit Guides and many others with pure loving thoughts and guidance are always available to you.

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Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

ASK THEM FOR HELP.

Because we are human, we were given the gift of free will choice so we could learn and grow our spirit. We are free to journey along as we wish. The guides in the Universe won’t interfere unless it is life or death and not our time, OR until we ask. So why take the path of fear and indecision when you have readily available help that will guide you to your best life? Ask them for their help.

Don’t know how? Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself. Get comfy and take a few deep breaths. As you breathe, allow your chest to expand and feel like your heart is opening up. Feel that space for a bit, it should feel warm, happy and safe. State your fears. Think the words or say them out loud. No one is around to hear you so you needn’t feel silly. The words can be simple or a big long running statement. No judgement here. Some examples: “should I take this job or keep looking?” “I want to move, but I don’t know if I should stay in the area or go somewhere else.” “Should I stay in this relationship?”

90% of the time when you get down into your heart, you already know the answer but were afraid to admit it. When you are talking to the Universe, thoughts and feelings will come into your head and body and will provide you with guidance. Pay attention. If those thoughts and feelings make you feel good, even if it means making an uncertain change, then your choice lies within them. If the thoughts make your stomach feel sick, they are not right for you. The Universe is always positive and always wants the best for you. Making you feel sick and scared is not in the plan. Your tummy might feel sickly from those “butterfly” feelings of anticipation. I think you know the difference.

If your path includes many decisions to move forward, play ball with the Universe. Keep asking, keep following the guidance and take action steps until you get to your happy place.

You got there of your own Free Will.

For simplicities sake: I had a choice to write this post. I also could choose the topic. I decided to ask my Guides for the topic, and guidance on the words. It is written in my “voice”, but with many words given to me by them. I usually write in this manner. In this case, it is also intended to provide guidance to a friend who is currently uncertain in her path. A note on that: sometimes we need to float along for a bit to disconnect and decompress from our prior life path. Becky, you already know the answers in your heart, you just needed confirmation and validation.

Running On Empty

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

The countdown to retirement has begun and everyone wants a piece of my brain. No wonder I feel like a Zombie this week. Hope the Apocalypse doesn’t kick off this week, not that there would be much left of me anyway.

It’s the beginning of the month, which means I need to do all those financial tasks that brings in money and makes anal-retentive people happy. It is hectic, but added to this task is training my manager on how to do the work. Think about doing brain-intensive work and explaining it at the same time. I can barely remember my name when I go home.

The sad thing is that I just don’t care anymore. Maybe it’s not so sad as much as it is a true indicator that my time of service is finished. Maybe that’s just how we know that it is time to move on and do something else. It could be a job, a relationship, a place or just a habit that has outgrown its usefulness in our lives. Sadness, yes, but if you can let go you will see how much you have grown and are now ready to discover and learn something new. We tend to look at letting go as a bad thing, when really it is a healthy thing. Think of it like growing out of your kid bike with training wheels and climbing onto a multi-geared adult bike. Look how you can go now! Unfortunately, my bike has a flat tire so I am limping along until I can get a new bike.

Note if you will, that it is only changing the type of bike, not dumping the whole thing altogether. We don’t need to change our identity entirely when we outgrow something. And maybe sometimes, all we need is a new tire.

A New Decade Rolls In

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Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

Happy 2020 to all! I’m back online, mostly, as I’m still in recovery mode for my wrist. Who knew such a little lump would be such a big deal. I’m back to work tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes.

Not just a new year has begun, but a whole new decade. The time is ripe for a new, or just revised, vision of your life. Resolutions are usually a wasted effort and often abandoned within three weeks. I’m talking about a vision. How do you see yourself? What do you want your life to look like? Have you practiced that?

In February, I am retiring after 18-plus years of government service. It’s been a good run for me. I helped start up a new county and made it a worthwhile career. I set my intention to serve and I feel as though I lived up to that goal. But now it’s time to serve me.

I’ve been in the prep mode of this event for a couple of years. I’ve begun new hobbies, written a-yet-to-be-published book, researched places to visit and practiced activities and interests. The three weeks I have been away from work due to my surgery have been very useful in teaching me what matters. I expect retirement to still have its surprises, but I am ready. I have my vision of what my life will look life. I look forward to this new decade and what it will bring.

How about you? What vision have you imagined for yourself? Have you taken any action steps or practiced your vision? Are you ready for the reality of it?

Many blessings, hopes, dreams and most of all, good times to all of you as we journey forth.

Superman Stumbles

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Kryptonite is the fictional element that renders Superman weak, helpless and incapable of using his superpowers. One tiny little atom of that stuff will take him to his knees.

I recently read a blog posting from the wonderfully gifted intuitive and delightfully entertaining, Radleigh Valentine, titled “Facing Your Kryptonite. (I obviously love the man.) Article  Radleigh writes that even we humans can have our own kryptonite to deal with.

I know I do and the article provided me with the opportunity to recognize and accept my kryptonite. From the time I was a baby, I was treated as an unwanted burden and I should be invisible. With all soul wounds, each time you encounter a situation that mimics the original wound you add another layer, much like that of an onion. The bigger the onion gets, the more it makes you cry if you try to remove the peel. However, you just need to learn how to cut it down to size.

Until very recently, and prompted by Radleigh’s article, I didn’t quite get why this issue continued to take me to my knees. I believe that the continual triggering of the wound is how the Universe gets your attention to deal with the matter. I also believe that it just might not be necessary to heal it right out of your life. Some things are there to serve a purpose.

We are human beings filled with the Light of the Universe. We are here to love and to learn by experiencing many things, and find our way back to our infinite connection with Spirit. Life is messy, busy and hectic and we, too often, wear ourselves out in our quest. We forget to ask our Guides and Spirit for help to make life more enjoyable and simpler. Maybe Spirit tosses a little kryptonite our way to render us helpless so we look up instead of down. Maybe these moments are the only way we can look within and see the beauty, the gifts, the talents and skills, the very light that is our superpower. I think that we wouldn’t ever see this if we didn’t have our kryptonite.

You may think this is a cruel joke played on us by Spirit. I assure you it is not. Spirit created us and doesn’t see any flaws within us. It is only our peanut brain that compares us to others. Spirit created us with many versions and varieties, because, well beige is boring. Spirit loves variety and thought you would too, but being human, we stupidly think it is bad. Spirit loves us no matter what, and so should we.

What is your kryptonite? Don’t know? Think about something or some persons that breaks you down, especially if it is a consistent pattern. What about it makes you feel bad? Do you find that you defend some part of you that gets disturbed by the pattern? Can you identify it? Patterns are the key. Maybe write it down and post it someplace where you can see it. Then write down what you believe to be your superpower. Put it next to your kryptonite and see how one can be in opposition to the other.

My kryptonite is feeling like an invisible, unwanted burden to others. My superpower is being kind, generous and thoughtful of others. These are in total opposition, but yet born out of the other, sort of like karma. My mission isn’t to rid myself of the kryptonite, rather to diffuse its strength by activating my superpower. Do you see now how that works?

Stumbled maybe, but not down for good.

Mercury Madness

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Image by NakNakNak from Pixabay

Mercury, that nimble-footed messenger planet, is dancing its way into retrograde on Halloween, October 31st. The third, and final, time this year, the little planet backs its way through the astrological sign of secretive Scorpio until November 20th. Make sure you check all the buttons, zippers, and seams on your Halloween costume, because this planet is known to – umm – rip things up.

Mercury has been doing this tri-annual dance for longer than we have known, which means you should know by now to protect your phone, computer, and take care with your words – both printed and spoken. The passionate and powerful sign of Scorpio excels at keeping secrets, and striking at a moment’s notice much like the creature form of the scorpion. With Mercury, people don’t always mean what they say so this is likely to be more pronounced during this cycle.

Best thing to do? Relax. And any other thing that starts with RE, or in going backwards. Re-think before doing, if you are plotting to cut your hair, get a tattoo or take up with an ex. Not an “Ex-cellent” time for anything new. If you are already in the midst of something, such as a contract or travel plans, prepare for some potential delays or mix-ups. Pack your necessities, and an extra pair of undies, in your carry-on bag, as well as all of your electronics and the power cords. Extra haggling over contracts might come up too, but if you are patient and review everything carefully, it could save you time, money and heartache in the long run.

And that Ex? Really?! Why did you split up in the first place? Forgot, didn’t you. Before you drunk-dial for a booty call, think back to those sexting messages – not addressed to you – that you found on their phone. And seriously, if you were down to the level of having to look at their phone, you better review your behavior patterns. Mercury’s little gift of communication and review might be a good time for you to look within and see what Scorpio inspired secrets you might be keeping from yourself. Repression is also a RE word, and one that would benefit you to seek out some professional counseling.

Mercury can bring crazy-making to the forefront. It is no fun to have your phone permanently crash while on vacation, as mine did in the blissful Caribbean. That little gift made me focus on my surroundings rather than check the weather report back home. (It still snowed.) The Blue Screen of Death on your computer could just be that it is old, slow, and out-of-date. Whether you get it repaired or invest in a new Big Dog (me, again), set up backup in the form of the Cloud, external hard drive or even flash drives to avoid losing all those precious photos.

Mercury madness happens for a reason, if only to get us to slow down and check in to see if we are still on our path or need to re-route in another direction. Be thankful it is only three times a year.

Sh*t For Brains

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Otherwise known as “stinkin’ thinkin’”. Have you noticed how easy it is to fall into negative, self-defeating patterns? This pattern of negativity has been showing up a lot lately in the inspirational sites I follow – that it is a pattern that we need to get free of. A pattern that is easy to get into, and not so easy to get out, given the preponderance of negativity around the world.

Hate-filled rants in social media, world leaders tossing taunts at each other like teenagers at the mall, road rage, mass shootings, gender inequality and the list goes on. When you get caught up in the muck, it then begins to fester in your internal wounds, filling them up like blisters on your soul.

How do you make it stop? “No be there”, as they say in martial arts. Well, that is damn hard to do when negativity surrounds you. Our very human flaw is not seeing the beauty and light within ourselves. We immediately allow the negativity to determine our worth. “Not good enough” is the catch-all phrase and we look to the outside at our circumstances and loved ones and pick out only the bad things that support our low self-view. We stop noticing the truly wonderful, loving and abundant things that surround us every day. Would the Universe have made you if you were so awful? Would the Universe gift you with necessities and abundance if you were so awful? Would the Universe not show up with loved ones and kind strangers if you were a complete sh*t?

Not likely, as the Universe can only give love.

Still, it takes strength and determination to pull yourself up out of the sh*tpile. Cry it out of you need to. Spill your guts to your dog; they’ll still love you and lick your face afterwards. Ask the Universe to help you, and It will. The Universe is incapable of saying No. Ask that your negative thoughts be cleared and replaced with positive ones. Ask for help in seeing the good things around you. Ask for help in releasing your old wounds that keep you stuck in a negative pattern. You still have to allow these changes, and you may have to take some action steps on your own, but things can change.

Flush the toilet in your head, drink some water to clear it out, and look up. Look up and say, “please help me stop this stinkin’ thinkin’”.

The Winners of the World

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Image by AxxLC from Pixabay

It is Sunday, which means football, which means that – once again – I am writing a football inspired article. Why? Well, I like watching the sport, but there is just so much inspiration to be found in such a hard-driven game.

There are, of course, winners and losers in each game and each season. There has to be; that’s why it is a competitive game. No one would watch otherwise.

What makes a Loser? And why would I start with that? Because it is too easy to talk about a Winner. A Loser can happen for various reasons. Not feeling good enough comes to mind first. A Winner can feel that way too, and so pushes themselves that much harder. That isn’t so bad, unless the endless quest pushes you into a nervous breakdown or serious injury. You can have an off day or feel ill, which could make you a Loser for that day. That could make you a Winner if you realize that sometimes you need to rest and recover instead of pushing yourself harder.

You could have a bad rapport with your mentor or coach, so you make a bad decision based upon bad direction. If you can adapt or resolve the situation, you become a Winner. Sometimes choosing to leave the situation altogether can be winning.

A true Winner knows how to change their circumstances through the power of choice. A Loser believes they have no choice. Not choosing at all is still a choice. Even if you are part of a team, and your team is experiencing a loss, you still have a choice to be a Winner. You played your best; you did your best work; you did something that made you feel good about yourself – makes you a Winner.

So get out there and kick some a$s, even if it is just your own.

Guardians of the Desert

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Leigh-Ann Edrich from Pixabay

We recently spent a week in Arizona, visiting friends in Tucson and Phoenix. Coming from Colorado, the desert landscape is quite different and requires some adapting. Colorado is dry, but not quite like Arizona.

The landscape is brown and rocky, and dotted with cactus and other vegetation. There is much beauty in its simplicity and the mighty saguaro cactus reigns supreme. From short to tall, slender with varying number of arms, these beauties symbolize the desert region. Some areas are heavily populated, and some without a single statue in sight.

I found myself studying them as they seemed to pulsate with life. I sensed the spirit beings within and slipped into their energy. Mystical, folksy, somewhat primitive yet highly spiritual, they reminded me of the famed Hopi Kachina Dolls. Their presence seemed to me that of a guardian and guide. A protector of both land and its inhabitants, who offers guidance to those who seek it. They also seem as lightposts showing them the way to the afterlife.

Arizona is a much-sought-after destination for retirees. Whether it is year-round residency or the wanderlust of the snowbirds (those who winter in AZ and summer in another state), the over sixty crowd can be found on the golf course, in swimming pools, grocery stores and the mega clubhouses of the various popular communities like Sun City. Draw by the warm winters, older folks find contentment and companions in the desert.

But what if there is something more to draw the older crowd? What if these stately cacti, filled with spiritual energy, are what beckons them to give up their family homes and move south? Perhaps these beings are there to assist people in their life transition. It’s not like I think people go there specifically to die, but maybe age gracefully and beautifully with peace and purpose until it is time to pass on. I believe these guardians stand tall to show them the way.

They are here to show us all that we are never alone.