Dumf*ckistan

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Image by Scottslm from Pixabay

I am sure that most of you have seen the photos of the Spring Breakers lounging and cavorting on the beaches in warmer states. There can be absolute beauty in defiance, but history has shown that it can make you sick, dead and sometimes burned at the stake.

I think in this case, it might result in deportation to an as-yet-unknown new country populated with those who just don’t have a clue.

Yes, I am scathing in my response to this craziness. Maybe you agree, and maybe you don’t, but is it worth putting your life at risk? In a little more than a week, my Sweetie and I would have been boarding a plane for a week in Grand Cayman. It was my retirement trip, and we were looking forward to soaking up sun and surf. That’s all gone now, cancelled because of this pandemic. Who knows when we will get to go, but right now I can’t fuss about that. I am more focused on keeping us functioning at optimum health and avoiding exposure.

What makes people defiant? Trying to achieve something, prove a point, make a case for something that matters. And occasionally, just being dumb. What did this get you? A moment’s worth of fun traded for weeks, maybe months, of recovery? I just read that a number of students who attended Spring Break have tested positive for the virus. I hope that was the only thing they contracted, as Spring Break is known for STD outbreaks. Such carelessness with the glorious human body.

I did say there can be beauty in defiance. We have only to look at history to see the faces of those who stood up for what they believed in, creating positive change for everyone. If you want to be defiant of this pandemic, put on your hazmat suit and go out and help those in need. Deliver groceries to the elderly. Take medicines to those who are sick. If you have medical training, support your brothers and sisters. Keep the economy going by purchasing takeout food.

Practice SOCIAL DISTANCING, it is reducing the spread of illness.

WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP. I read that this is an enveloped virus and has a lipid (fatty) layer. Soap breaks down and destroys this layer so it can’t be transmitted. If you are going to overbuy anything at the grocery store, make it soap and use it constantly. For those of you out there in Dumf*ckistan, soaping yourself up before frolicking on the beach is not the answer.

Loving Your Sh*t

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! A day totally dedicated to love; sharing, giving and receiving, but do you think about giving love to yourself? Probably not, there are plenty of us too intent on giving it to everyone else than to think of our own needs.

It is the main part of our purpose here, besides growing our spirit. What is Spirit if not love? Life is messy and may often have challenges related to self-love. What is self-love, anyway? I believe it is honoring our needs before, but not at the expense of, others. How can you love and care for someone else if you don’t do it for you first? If you don’t, then anything you give might contain the energy of lack or resentment and that’s not a good gift.

When you put yourself first, you continuously fill yourself with love energy so your needs are taken care of so you have plenty – and maybe a little extra – for others. Now that is what I’m talking about!

Part of loving yourself includes loving all the messy parts. This is what I mean in reference to my blog title. We are human beings filled with good stuff and some sh*tty stuff, not all of it poop. We have emotions, not all of them good and some of them downright stinky. We think bad thoughts, sometimes right after the good ones. We have crooked teeth, and big asses – although they are popular now – wrinkles and glasses. We experience delusional thoughts and sometimes can’t control what comes out of our mouths. We’re every color and creed, that doesn’t always get honored. We’re stupid and we kill, sometimes out of greed. Being harmful in any way is not loving and should not be loved within yourself. If you love the crazy parts of you, then maybe you wouldn’t feel the need to be harmful.

How about starting out with a hug? Yourself, that is, with no help from another. Yasss, go ahead and wrap your arms around you. Who care if anyone looks? They might get jealous and do it too. Look in a mirror and say, “I Love YOU”. Do you have any idea how powerful that is? You would, if you took the time to do it.

Now pretend that every day is Valentine’s Day and treat yourself to a little self-love. Even if you are a little bit stinky.

Renewal

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Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” I’m sure many of you have heard that phrase by Ralph Waldo Emerson. How often do you say “if I have/achieve/do this [thing], then I’ll be happy or whatever”? I know I have many times. But then what? Is life over because you got to that point? Maybe for a few, but most of us come up with the next thing.

That is why life is a journey.

I think it is supposed to be. Life is made up of a series of moments, discoveries and actions that help us grow. Or maybe just get us closer to death (sarcasm intended). We shouldn’t let it become a drudge or even a race to the finish line. Life is also not a competition, unless it is within your own mind and if that is what it takes to motivate you, then go for it.

I see life as a renewal. Think of how many people you have been. Baby, child, teenager, young adult, adult, elderly and many versions in-between. Relationships, careers, hobbies and interests. And if you think you don’t have interests. . .well, reading is obviously one of them.

Downtime is a renewal. Sometimes you just need to give your body or brain a break and do mindless activities. I like computer games and have a tendency to get addicted to them. I’m in that mode now, but am starting to realize that I need to get active again. After this post, I have a date with my treadmill. It’s only 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside or I would take a walk. What is important about this is acknowledging and accepting what renewal actions we need. Honoring your body’s need for rest is as important as keeping it strong, flexible and healthy. You can’t do one without the other. If you are fidgety, it is just unspent energy and your body’s way of saying “get me moving!”. Just as feeling listless says “give me a break.”

Too often we push ourselves past the breaking point because of the perceived expectations of others. Do you really think your employer wants a crabby or sick you at work? No, especially if you are sick and infectious to others. You wouldn’t want a crabby or sick doctor operating on you, would you? Listen to what your body is saying to you and take care of it, unless you don’t care if it takes care of you. When you honor your body, your mind will respond and give you ideas. They could be creative, inventive or just reminders of to-do tasks that you forgot when you were neglecting your body.

You can think of the Earth as just a gigantic body. She goes through seasons as a form of renewal. We are in Winter, when she lies dormant and lets the Sky be active. Spring tends to be volatile, when Earth and Sky work together to cleanse and clear the way for new life. Summer is about growth, so the two work in peaceful harmony. Fall is the time when Earth and Sky share their beauty and bounty with all of nature. Imagine what we would be like if we nurtured ourselves in that same way? Do you feel renewed?

Business Casual

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“Who said Business Casual has to be boring?”

We have forgotten how to dress. I like yoga pants. . .for the gym. Or lounging at home. Or the occasional visit to the massage therapist or doctor, when you need to get your clothes off quickly. But not for work. We’ve slid down into this oh-so-casual look of low maintenance, which really just gives the appearance of “I don’t give a sh*t”. Lack of time is just about priorities. If you don’t care about your appearance, what else does that translate into? Lack of funds. . .sorry, I don’t buy into that either. I used to sew my own clothes when I couldn’t afford new prices. Nowadays, consignment stores are popping up everywhere offering designer wear for low-budget prices. I don’t get the “ewww, pre-worn” prissiness. How many times do you think that brand-new shirt was tried on before you bought it? At least the consignment store wares are clean.

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“Tell me again, that bullsh*t story.”

I have never been a fan of business suits, at least the bland, woolen versions. Me, I like a little bit of edge to my business look. I scored this vintage Claude Montana blazer off of Poshmark, an online consignment boutique. Italian made, impeccable tailoring, it features those power shoulder pads so famous in the 80s and early 90s. Mr. Montana was famous for that power suit look, but unfortunately went bankrupt in the late 90s. I consider it an extra investment that I now have two Claude M blazers. Paired with the Hermes scarf in place of a tie (another Poshmark bargain), and Manolo Blahnik wingtips, this defines my version of the power suit. Affordable, due to the secondhand purchase, this look is classy with a definite edge. A better business casual than the blazer and ripped jeans favored by the younger crowd, not that I don’t like that look.

Why I need this look when I’m three weeks out from retirement, speaks more to my opinion about dressing than anything else. I am happiest and feel more like my self when I am dressed well. I’ve been like that since a small child, and then it was ingrained into me when I attended Patricia Stevens Fashion and Business College in the late 70s.

Patricia Stevens originally began as a way to educate and polish young women for entry into the workforce. Part of the curriculum included personal development and appearance. Classes included etiquette, modeling and professional presentation. We were required to dress in heels, nylons and dresses every day. These days, that might generate the opinion as sexist, but I did not and still do not feel that way. We were taught to look professional and act with professional manners. Pretty damn good skills to have. I have read research study findings that state attractive people get better jobs and pay. I don’t think that means you need to be beautiful, just well presented. If you have ever sat on an interview panel, those that come in looking like the job they want usually get the job they want.

One of the trainings that was ingrained into our being was the “Patricia Stevens stance”, a modeling pose with the weight on the angled right foot, forward facing left foot, hips turned to appear narrow and wide shoulders. A feminine, yet powerful presentation of self. I can drop into that pose instantly. When I do, I feel confident and beautiful, even while wearing yoga pants.

Heart Sounds

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Do you ever get a song continuously playing in your head? I’m sure it happens a lot, I know it does for me.

We’ve been watching some reruns of the Johnny Cash show. It was a musical variety show that ran from June 1969 to March 1971. I remember watching it with my grandparents when I was a child. We all loved it. What’s not to love about Johnny Cash? A country music icon and original badass. He delivered rockabilly with all the attitude it deserved.

One of episodes featured Neil Diamond, another music legend. He performed “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, one of my favorites. This song has been swirling through my mind for a couple of days. Not such a bad thing.

Those early memories remind me that my love of music has been with me my entire life. Music pulls emotions to the surface, enhances them, releases them and even heals them. Truly a divine gift from Spirit. With the variety of genres, we have many choices that we love or just can’t abide. But some forms of music speak to our heart. I call these Heart Sounds. Music so rich and powerful that you can almost feel your heart responding to the rhythm. Music that creates a deep, peaceful wave within our soul.

Music is for enjoyment, but it can be used for healing purposes. The didgeridoo was invented by the Aboriginal peoples and has been played near sick people to help them heal. It has since been researched and used next to the body. The instrument produces a low frequency vibrational sound similar to our brain waves. Perhaps this is why some music feels to me like heart sounds.

Our bodies have a vibrational structure. This has been researched in the field of bioenergetics, the flow of energy through the body. This subject is beyond the scope of this article.

However, when someone says to you “will you turn that music down”, it might simply be that it does not resonate with their heart sound.

I Can See Clearly Now

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

This morning I have my annual eye exam. It is a lengthy process with fittings for both glasses and contact lens. I have a cornea condition that necessitates scleral lens for my best vision. Fitting them is complicated and usually takes 3-4 sets before we land on the pair that is the most comfortable. If you wear them, you understand. If you don’t, imagine placing a rigid plastic lens the size of a nickel in your eye. They require special little tools, like a miniature toilet plunger, to get them in and out. Yes, a lot of work, but the vision I get makes them worth the effort. I also cannot see well in the dark, and dim light is marginal. These lens squeeze out just a tiny bit more night vision, but driving is still to be avoided. When they itch and burn at the end of the day, and I want to toss them across the room, I remind myself that this is much easier than missing a limb or toting around a lung like my Arizona friends.

Such are the challenges of life.

The benefit, if you will, is that I’ve developed my “other” sight to a much greater extent. This is known as “clairvoyance”, the ability to see beyond the physical sense. In my mind’s eye, I can see and sense energetic connections. It is difficult to explain, other than those intuitive feelings you get about someone or something. Ever stand next to someone who gives you the creeps? That’s what I’m talking about. Using this ability makes up for the gaps in my physical sight. It is especially useful when I’m driving. I know when someone wants to change lanes before they put on their blinker, assuming they have one of course. I can feel the tension in the air and stay in the slow lane to avoid the late-for-work tailgaters.

I can sense when someone is lying to me or trying to use me for something. I’ve started projects at work and then gotten a phone call from someone asking me for the information. No, I don’t know the numbers for the lottery, but I might know when it’s a good time to make an investment – like our house. I’m not always on point, especially when I’m tired or hungry. And sometimes I just don’t want to know or feel and just turn it down. It is definitely an ability to develop, because it can make your life easier.

Just wish I could restore my physical sight.

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.

Ratatouille

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Image by Sergei Belozerov from Pixabay

Whether it be a delicious French country dish made from harvesting late summer vegetables, or the animated film centered around a rodent gourmand who dazzles a restaurant critic with the same dish, ratatouille involves nourishing our soul.

In the Chinese calendar, we are on the verge of the Year of the Metal Rat. These zodiac Rats are know for their industrious nature, and the ability to gather sustenance and prosperity and tuck it away much like the harvesting of late summer vegetables.

I am a Metal Rat and fit that profile quite well. Coincidentally, I am petite and small-boned and quite adept at hiding in corners. You will often find me there, worrying and working myself to the bone, typical behavior of the first sign in the Chinese Zodiac. Although it might not be listed in this lucky sign’s traits, I do love me some metal music.

If you are a fellow Metal Rat, it is our year to shine. Metal is a conductive energy, so whatever we touch will have powerful energy behind it. Be careful and vigilant where you focus your thoughts and tasks, you don’t want to waste that power down the wrong path or in too much worry. I consider it quite auspicious that I am about to retire and making plans to building the next chapter in my life’s story. My efforts have been in the left-brained, logical world for many a year, so I am gearing up to give my right-brain, creative side some release. #Create!!

Even if you are not a fellow – ahem – rodent, it is a potent year for shoring up your resources. Invest wisely, beautify your nest and fill your coffers with that which sustains your life. The little rat is a workaholic worrier, always afraid there is never enough financial abundance, yet loves practical luxury. That little nest will always be stylish and those little feet shod in beautifully made shoes. The task at hand for the rat, is that in order to avoid excessive worry about money is to not overspend. Go green, recycle, upcycle, my little friends, and don’t overlook secondhand and consignment shopping. I have just discovered this market, and have scored some lovely luxury items at minimal cost. Minnie Mouse understands that you can look fabulous and be frugal at the same time.

Don’t neglect the inside, while covering up the outside. An overload of chemicals will keep you feeling off, bloated, itchy and overweight. Chemicals are everywhere and in most everything, and our bodies have difficulty in eliminating them. Think of your intestines and skin as a filtering system, and drink pure filtered water every day. Eat organic, non-GMO food. Rats have thin skin and are susceptible to the “itchies” and you don’t want to look like that. This is going to be a big year and you want to keep your body in as good a condition as possible so you have the energy to give it your best. Not that you shouldn’t do that any other year.

Remember to be a little social too, my fellow Rats, all work and no play is unhealthy. Our workaholic tendencies cause us to put all our duties before play, and usually there isn’t enough time nor energy left for play. Yes, I know you want to put the laundry away before going to the party, but no one has ever died from not having folded towels. A much refreshed you is a much happier you.

Come out of the corners, little Rats, dream big and put those plans into action. Be sure to join those celebratory parties when you meet a milestone. #wineandcheese

PS. I’ve also been told that rats make good pets.

The Light Always Returns

background-3009949_1920Lest you all think I’m dead, I’m just on hiatus because of my wrist.  I get the splint bandage off on Friday and will be pounding on my keyboard once again.  Damn hard to do anything with only your non-dominant hand.

I needed to write this post, if only to remind myself.  This is the Season of Light, no matter the name or method you celebrate.  A time when it shines through the darkest hour.  It begins with the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, that scared the sh*t out of ancient people.  They believed the world was ending.  Symbolically, it represents our own personal “dark night of the soul”, when we mistakenly believe we are at the end.  Perhaps it may be your time, but it is often when we’ve hit the bottom.  It’s a long, dark night.  And then, the sun rises and light returns.

This season represents birth in many belief systems.  Again symbolically, it is we who experience rebirth, rising out of the long, dark night.  You see, the Light never, ever leaves us and it is always more powerful than the dark.

As you celebrate this season, always look for the Light within all.  Namaste.

Happy Every Little Thing

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I’m in a food coma from Thanksgiving dinner, but I am very happy to have eaten it. I am happy that my Sweetie had the forethought to buy a small turkey breast a couple weeks ago, because the restaurant we usually go to was closed.

Gratitude is about being thankful, but doesn’t it almost convey happiness? I am happy for this day: the food, a day of relaxation, time spent together, being warm, the sun is shining and the fact that I can still write in spite of the food coma.

People sometimes get tired of hearing the word “gratitude” like you should be thankful no matter what. Well, yes, but it is more of an attitude that you can find something in your life to be grateful for no matter what else is going on. Were you able to get out of bed, go pee and get a drink of water? Some people can’t, you know, because they are connected to tubes and things that do that for them. Shouldn’t you be grateful that you can?

And then there is the word “happy”, like you should immediately get a frowny face because you are supposed to be all upbeat and bouncy when you just got rear-ended. Be happy that you could walk away from that accident. Some people don’t, you know.

I have an endless number of things in my life to be grateful and happy for, even if I often don’t recognize them. We have the expectation that these should be something big, when sometimes all we need to do is be happy that we can still breathe and taste food.

What little things are you happy and/or grateful for?