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.

Innocent-ive

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Image by KDArtStudio from Pixabay

Innocent is the baby sister of the twins Blame and Shame. She sees that at the core of humanness is the pure divine light of creation. This light is the soul connection to Spirit, with the innocence of a baby. Within this pure light, there is no blame, no shame, just the love that we are created with.

Innocent knows that even though we are human with flaws and imperfections, her sisters want to make a big deal out of those bumps and blemishes. She continually reminds them that the only thing wrong is the tendency to hate themselves.

The anger and fear that we project on others is simply the avoidance of acknowledging and accepting our own imperfections. We turn these emotions inward as self-hatred instead of nurturing and loving the blemishes we carry. Perhaps you were unloved and unwanted as a child. This may have instilled a belief within you that something was wrong. Shame became your new best friend, because you couldn’t trust human friendship. Your misguided view of yourself manifested into outward traits of being unlovable. Maybe you were excessively shy and avoided people. Maybe you didn’t care for your physical appearance. Maybe you were defensive and belligerent. You unconsciously put yourself around people who treated you badly. Blame joined her sister and you had a way to fight back.

If this has been your pattern, it is time to look deep within yourself and recognize the beautiful innocent core of your being. Spirit would not have created you and made you human if you were not lovable. Sure, you may have flaws, but Spirit was not looking for perfection. Those flaws are there to grow your spirit in order to grow Spirit. Think about that for a moment. Spirit is all loving and all abundant so why would Spirit need a human? Obviously Spirit wants and needs your imperfections to become even more loving and abundant. How awesomely cool is that? Do you now understand how important you are to Spirit? Even Blame and Shame are important to Spirit, because without them there would be no reminder of their baby sister, Innocent.

That just gives you more Innocent-ive to love yourself.

Put Me In, Coach

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Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

“Centerfield” is a classic rock song by John Fogerty, released in 1985 about someone telling the coach that they were ready to play, and in center field. It’s that fighting spirit that all coaches want to see.

I know it is about baseball, which I’m not that interested in, but I often use sports analogies when I’m writing to demonstrate my meaning.

We know that a good coach can bring out the best in their athletes and lead them to a winning season. A good coach has passion, can read their players, can encourage them and most of all, know the game. They need to be able to teach the players the mechanics and techniques that work the best, but at the same time encourage them to go beyond. At times, they also must be tough, and not afraid to crawl all up in someone’s sh*t if they aren’t pulling their weight.

Coaches aren’t limited to sports. They can be those rah-rah people around you, cheering you on during life victories. There are also professional life coaches, with formulas for success, who lead seminars and write books for self-help people.

I am beginning to think of myself as a life coach. It wasn’t something I aspired to, as my passion was always about design. Coaching was more of a calling born out of dealing with my own life issues and learning. I can say I am passionate about spirituality and metaphysics, having studied them for over 40 years. I have taken classes for developing psychic abilities and healing. As I got older and realized that my early years were having an impact on my choices and behavior patterns, I knew I needed to do something about them. I went to talk therapists, psychics and energy healers. They made a difference, but ultimately, I knew that the changes had to come from within me. Since I learn best through reading and research, I delved into the world of self-help. I practiced the behavior modification techniques often recommended, and the best one for me was to call out my inner child and mother her in the way that she didn’t get. That shifted a whole lot of the baggage I carried.

I was so impacted by my changes that I wanted to share with others. Whenever I have (and still do) encounter someone having difficulties, I reach out with personal experiences and suggestions for making changes. (Not being a medical professional, I don’t diagnose or attempt to treat those with severe issues.) I often feel guilty afterwards; who am I to tell someone how to run their life? But I have learned, and done this myself, people will hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest. Thus, no offense given, and none taken.

I’m not ready to take the step into professional coach. I still carry doubts about “lecturing” people on how to manage their life. I’m also concerned about being overwhelmed by the demands, so I keep reminding myself to take baby steps. Writing this blog is a baby step. I can tackle an issue, make suggestions and put them out there for people to accept or not. If I’m using this as a training ground, then I realize that I’m not really telling anyone what to do, just making recommendations and how-tos for making life better. Sort of like showing someone with basic cable what they could get if they sign up for the 250+ package. Woo-hoo!, because the biggest win in life is living a good life.

If there is a topic you would like me to address, for the good of one and all, then please comment back.

Or just say “put me in, Coach, I’m ready to change!”.

Ad Infinitum

infinity-584674_1920If you take the number 8 and turn it on its side, you have the symbol of infinity. It can also mean abundance. Today is 8/8, a double dose of abundance. Jackpot!

What does abundance mean to you? Most people think of money or food, but it can mean anything including people. Whether you have it or not depends upon your belief system. Some belief systems almost demand you live a life of poverty. Others an excess to the point of waste. I think it is all a matter of opinion and nothing to get worked up over. After all, it is a choice of what you believe, whether it is consciously or not.

Abundance is there for everyone, regardless of belief or choice. Look around you and see what is abundant. It can be material things: homes, cars, clothing, toys, tech items and so on. It can be life-sustaining things: food, water, medicine. And what we don’t think of as abundance, non-material things: relationships, caring, love, support, weather, generosity, and all these other gifts.

Do you feel abundant? Why not? The world is filled with everything you need to have a fun and joyful life, so why aren’t you partaking of Spirit’s bounty for you? Too often it is just our beliefs that block us from receiving good things, things to sustain us, things to enjoy. Denying ourselves of what we need is not necessary. I think it might make Spirit a little sad that we wouldn’t accept food, shelter or love from another.

Today, being 8/8, holds powerful energy. It is a good day for opening yourself to receiving what you need to make your life better. Now you may need to take some action steps. Not all of Spirit’s gifts magically appear the minute you ask. It might mean getting a better job that comes with more income. It might mean taking a chance on that cute single neighbor who waves at you from across the street. It might mean accepting the offer of a bag of groceries from a stranger. Sometimes these gifts appear and we don’t see them for what they are. A gift, just for you. To show you that life is abundant.

Because Spirit’s gifts are infinite.

Losing My Religion

golden-1321410_1280Uh-oh, she’s going to write about THAT?! Yes. I. Am. It shouldn’t be any more of a heated topic than, say, chili cheese fries. Neither of which are very appetizing.

I was raised in a religion-oriented household. We went to services, gave money and followed the doctrine. I dutifully went to religious education, which was much more about the rules than about God. When I got older, I asked “why can’t I just talk to God?” Then I really learned about not disobeying rules.

There is nothing wrong with rules in general, especially those about keeping us safe. Clean water, speed limits, fences and the like. Because some people wear their underwear too tight so they are pissy and crabby all day, and then shoot a couple of people standing next to them. And let’s face it, some people are just plain dumb.

Anyway, the religious rules I learned didn’t make sense to me. What does not eating meat on Friday have to do with God? I mean really, God made cows, so why shouldn’t we eat them? (Kid logic) So when I was about 15, I decided to learn about ALL the rules. I went to the local library, which thankfully had a vast variety of books on every subject, and buried myself in the religious stacks. I studied Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism and so on. When I finished with that, Pagan, Wiccan, Shamans and more. Worked my way through metaphysical studies. That was a lot books. Do you know what I discovered?

Almost every one of them was a bunch of rules written by (mostly) men in silly outfits that dictated when, where and what to believe in, and very little about a non-human supreme being.

People get all worked up about this. Okay, but why is that any different than say, the NFL? That’s a bunch of rules written by men in silly outfits that dictate when, where and what to believe in. And may I remind you that most of the games are played on Sunday. How many times have you or someone you know says “I pray to God that the [team name] win today!” The same could be said about government, the food industry, every sports franchise, and your job. We’ve turned something that matters into power and control, and have totally forgotten the real purpose which is to have meaning in our life.

Religion is bigger than rules. It is bigger than silly outfits. It is bigger than beef or pork. It is bigger than we can imagine. So how did we f*ck this up so badly?

Power and control are all based in fear, primarily the perceived loss of something from someone else’s doing. We fear being abandoned. We fear being poor or without resources. We fear pain and harm. We fear not being loved. Deeper than that is the fear of abandonment. Abandonment fears come with being human. As soon as we were born, separation from God occurred. And now we make up rules and sh*t to find our way back; before someone else gets there first.

That is not the God I know.

I refer to God-and-all-the-other-names as The Universe. For me, this is a massive energy source larger than we can imagine. There is no specific name, no gender, no race, no color, no language barrier and most of all no destruction and lightning bolts. The (God) Universe that I believe in is absolutely pure and loving of us no matter what we do. I think the Universe is just so damn happy that we agreed to be human in order to learn what physical existence is all about, and certainly has no plans to wipe us out. What would be gained by that? Just because we can act like idiots and shoot each other or wipe out rain forests and other dumb things, doesn’t mean that the Universe is angry.

Yes, you can talk to the Universe directly without some dork in a silly outfit running interference. The Universe is delighted when you start the day with “good morning” and express gratitude for something. The Universe gets really excited if you say “I’m having a rough day, will you help me?” And Oh MY, does the help arrive. In ways that you, with your pea brain, can’t even dream up, especially when you don’t dictate how you want that help.

I agree that religion can be a good thing for people. Some really do like the silly rituals and fish on Fridays. Some like gathering together in a beautiful building. Just remember that the most important thing of all is your direct connection with the Universe, because if someone tells you that’s not allowed then you better be losing your religion.

Hurri-calm

raindrops-828954_1920Yesterday, I experienced one of the wildest weather events I’ve ever seen in Colorado. It was almost like a hurricane. To those of you who have gone through the real-deal, my empathy is with you.

There is a public park just around the corner from our house and they have several events throughout the summer. Yesterday was a fund-raising event with live bands and food trucks. We’ve been to it several times and it is wonderful. I love summer events. This is a happy one, with families and kids and dogs and everyone having a good time.

The weather was forecasted to rain, with possible severe storms. Typically, those have happened this summer and we get rain and sometimes hail. I think they may have understated the severe for this storm. We walked over about 5:00. A fantastic Stevie Ray Vaughn cover band was playing. Dark clouds were forming all around us. We went to get some food and it started to rain. The band decided to shut down. Grumbling skies and lightning flashed overhead.

And then the wall of rain arrived.

Sideways, blowing in great sheets of water. People running everywhere to grab kids and chairs and umbrellas and whatever. My Sweetie yelled “head for home!” Our friends headed for one of the food trucks. There was too much lightning for my comfort and I’m a small woman so the wind was a little rough. I spotted an awning with a few people underneath and ducked for cover.

It is truly amazing how people respond in crisis situations. An almost absurd, slow-motion sense of calmness takes over. The awning was for a chiropractic center advertising their business. A nice young woman had the station with a big computer setup. It was her first month in Colorado. Oh my! But this one gentleman was the star of the hurricane from hell. He calmly took charge and held onto the frame of the awning, while instructing the woman. He had her shorten the legs of the awning on the incoming side of the rain so the water would run off and not pool on top. Then had her move the weights to the canopy frame to hold it steady. Three others arrived with umbrellas and he had them stand at the front and create a wall with their umbrellas. I helped cover up the computer, even though I was holding food. We were all cold and soaking wet, but felt safe in our shelter. Next to us was a woman with a food station. Her beautiful food was ruined as the pans filled with water. She hovered underneath the tables and eventually came to join us. This amazing gentleman kept talking to everyone while he held onto that canopy. Asked they two woman about the companies they were with and where the one woman had moved from.

He was simply amazing. Some people freak out in crisis, others maintain, and then there are those wonderful beings who keep the calm when we all need it. Thank you, dear friend. I don’t know your name, but many blessings to you.

We all made it home safely and we had no property damage. My flowers will probably grow a foot and that is not a hardship. There are photos on the news stations of all the flooding. They are calling for another round of storms today. Yikes. Blessings to all in the Gulf who have been dealing with this.

I hope it’s only a Hurri-calm.

Finders Keepers

person-3382248_1920Have you noticed that when you get older, it seems to be more challenging to make friends? Unless you are of the sort who has retained some forever, who didn’t die, or move away, or have challenges getting out.

I tend to be the type that prefers a very small social circle, and really, just happiest have a best-friend partner. I have the most fun when it is just Tom and me. Yet, I miss my dearest friend Pat, but not enough to relocate to Phoenix to see her regularly. Other people I know have busy lives, like me, so it doesn’t seem like there are many opportunities for socializing.

Some people just aren’t interested, no biggie. Then there are those nutty alone people (AKA crazy cat lady types) who can’t seem to shut up if you start a conversation with them and seem blissfully unaware that you might actually have a busy life and things to get done. And really, not too sure you want to get involved with them anyway, I’ve discovered, as they are usually very needy and cheap too.

Internet friends are great, too, and you can have good conversations, but you likely will never get to meet them.

Lately though, my mind has been drifting to some long-lost friends. I located one of them and we chatted for bit on the phone, but that’s all it has been so far. She was more buddies with my ex-husband. Her former partner was more my buddy. I have been doing some searching on the internet, pretty easy these days, and I think I may have located her. I need to make some time to try the phone number I unearthed. She might not want to talk to me. My ex wasn’t very nice to her and we lost touch. I wish I would have kept her friendship and ditched him sooner. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

It’s good to have a friend, or two, or twenty. Whether it is for fun times, or emotional sharing and support, companionship during activities – any or all of it is a basic human need. We are, by design, social creatures. We need contact in the form of voice and touch. The wiring in our brain functions better with human contact. Our health is better and we live longer.

When you find a good friend, who lifts your spirit and warms your heart, hold on to them even if your only contact is a phone call. Life is better when shared.

The Safe Zone

danger-851895_1920Do you ever find yourself feeling and acting overly-cautious about many things? “What am I going to do if the furnace goes out?” “What if I’m late for a deadline?” “What if a hailstorm destroys all my plants?” “What will happen if that car keeps following me too closely?” And then all these thoughts along with many more, generate lists of things to do and tasks to be completed as quickly as possible. Then you get stuck in an endless cycle of worry and doing, never giving yourself a break including the middle of the night panic.

Welcome to my world. Many of you are shaking your head while you are glancing at your to-do list. A whole bunch of you are like “WTF, get over it already”. And a whole lot of in-betweeners are just reading this to see what I’m writing about.

No, this really isn’t the way I like living my life. I’d like to be all Zen and not worry; just handle things if and when they occur. Being hyper-vigilant is not fun and it is exhausting. It is a difficult behavior pattern to break, and yes, it is a behavior pattern.

I recently read an article by Bethany Webster about being hyper-vigilant, over-achieving and anticipating problems. It all comes back to a lack of feeling safe. Bethany teaches about the Mother Wound; how it affects us and ways to heal it. Her website is http://www.motherwound.com. The Mother Wound is real, deeply rooted and particularly worse for women. Even if you had a wonderful mother, there are generational and gender wounds that are passed on. If you had a mother who was emotionally unavailable to you, then you were likely imprinted with the belief of never feeling safe.

Beneath the fear of never feeling safe, lies the core wound of trust. You learn quickly to be self-sufficient, never relying on anyone for support. If you couldn’t trust your mother, why could you trust anyone else? Your child brain can only envision danger ahead so you become highly sensitive and sensitized to your environment, reading others’ emotions with more skill than an NFL quarterback scanning the defense. You create your own “No Fly Zone” by carefully managing your surroundings so you can feel safe, secure and at peace. And raise holy h*ll if anyone moves anything out of place. Because you lack trust, you become an over-achiever and over-responsible because you expect others to fail you. You can do anything and everything and can make the Energizer Bunny give up. But do you ever take time to rest and relax?

Only when everything is done to your satisfaction, at least for the moment, or you are safe in your little nest. But even then “what if the electricity goes out?”

It takes a lot of work to change this behavior pattern. First, you have to face and feel the emotions that create the pattern and most people don’t want to go through this. Trust me, it is worth the pain. You need to feel this in order to accept that your mother wasn’t capable of being a mother. Seek professional help, even if you don’t trust them. That’s the point, right? Secondly, you must learn how to mother yourself. Rest when you are tired. Eat when you are hungry. And for God’s sakes, go pee when you have to go!

Force yourself to stay focused in the moment. Whatever is in the future will happen or not. If you focus on disaster, you might actually create it into being so why not focus on doing something happy and fun. Practice trusting others. Give them a small task to do and stay out of their way. If you are nutty about something, show them what you would like. Say “please, would you do this for me?” Only a total sh*thead would ignore you, and then maybe you need to clear them out of your environment. Talk about anticipating problems.

These days, with technology delivering things at lightning speed, the pressure is on to do everything all at once. Our inner wounds are easily triggered in this intense environment. When you are feeling especially anxious, stop and breathe. Give yourself a moment to assess whether something has to be done, if your anticipated worry will manifest or if you really are just tired and need to go sit in your safe zone.

Like I’m doing. Even if it’s writing this post.

Do You Remember?

pink-rose-in-rain-4205779_1920It is Memorial Day, the annual event to honor those who have passed on, particularly of the military. Memorial services are being held in many locations, some solemn, with flags and a lone bagpiper. Some more joyous and others even more somber. In any event, we are remembering those who have passed.

But what about those who are still living and have passed through your life? Friends, lovers, acquaintances? Spouses, significant others and even children. Memorial Day can be a trip down memory lane, with thoughts of “where are they now?” Such it is with human nature, life is a journey with many paths and many people. Too often, these missing and long gone folks left behind a scar or a bit of sadness. Only a few were able to leave behind the bright, shiny feeling of joy.

Whatever the circumstances, whether there is life or death, remember all of them with gratitude. Some people are with you for a reason, and some are with you for a season. Be thankful you knew them, because they helped you find room in your heart to allow someone else to fill the empty spaces.

Blessings to all on this remembrance day.