Kickoff

football-1488156_1920Football season has begun.  The first pre-season game has been played and many of the players, as well as some of the coaches, are wondering what their future holds.  A crowd-pleasing punt return; the dejection of an intercepted pass; or the season-ending injury will change the tide for many.

We are still in the midst of summer so the tantalizing smell of grilled meat fills the air.  The “splursh” of a pop-top can spreads the yeasty scent of beer.  Chlorine, coconut oil and wet dog hair.  The sounds of summer echo with the squealing giggles of children playing.  Summer is for play, whether you are a big kid or small.  It is no wonder the game of football begins in the middle of summer.

braai-2572725_1920Football games can change the mood of traffic.  Fortunes are won and lost on chancy bets.  Big money rolls through the NFL in the form of salary caps, signing bonuses and the inevitable Super Bowl commercials.  How many Clydesdales have marched across the television screen?

We worry and stress over the players lives and the weekly games as much as we worry about what to have for dinner.  And forget that football is just a game to entertain us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  It’s not much different than watching “The Voice” or “American Idol”.  Relax, football friends, I’m not picking on football, just making a comparison.  I get all edgy, too, when I watch the Broncos.

football-801047_1280So why do we get all twisted up when we watch a football game?  The action and suspense, of course.  And then there is the beauty of watching a pack of incredible physical specimens do amazing things with their bodies.  Football [and its European counterpart, soccer] is an enjoyable diversion in our lives.  When some strong-armed guy launches a football downfield and a speed demon latches onto it with one hand, tucks it into his chest and runs hell-bent for leather to a touchdown. .  . well, it’s pretty easy to forget all about the big report you have to write the next day.  Or maybe when you have to kick-off a big project, you’ll have that touchdown in mind and the process just might seem a little easier.

I say, go for the two-point conversion and maybe you’ll get a bonus.  It might be just enough to go and see your favorite team play in the Super Bowl.

Money Is The Root of All Believe-il

money-2724241_1920Poverty conscious or abundance.  Which would you choose?  Well, duh, abundance.  Why wouldn’t you?  If your belief system is rooted in poverty or lack, abundance might not seem to be a choice.

It is and you can have abundance in your life, but first you have to change your beliefs.

What might be readily apparent in your life, such as always thinking you’ll never have enough money or you’ll never be able to get out of the situation you are in, can be changed.  Yes, it can.  You know the saying “what goes around, comes around”?  That is the key to changing your life to accept abundance.

What messages do you tell yourself?  Whether it is something you say out loud or just think, those messages become reality.  When you go to the grocery store, do you think “jeez, all I can afford is lousy mac and cheese”?  Nothing wrong with mac and cheese, it’s the thought of that’s all you can afford.  When you take your car in for new tires, do you think “jeez, these a$$holes overcharge me for everything”?  Now what do you think will happen with thoughts like that.  You will overpay for those tires.  What you put out there comes right back to you.

What if the message was “I am so grateful/happy I can provide for my family or myself with good food”.  Or “I am really glad I have new tires for my car so I can be safe on the road and drive it for a long time”.  What do you think happens then?  Your experience will change.  Take it one step further “I am really glad/happy/grateful that I have a nice grocery store [tire shop] nearby that offers good service and good prices.  The people there are really nice and helpful”.  How does your view of the situation change?

This is not about being fake, blowing sunshine up someone’s a$$, or winning the lottery the next day.  (The lottery might not be out of the question, if your belief system is structured that way.)  A simple, “I feel good about this situation” is all it takes.  Just a brief moment of sincerity can cause ripples of abundance to flow through the Universe and stream right back to you.

What goes around, comes around and quite often multiplied.

Pay attention to the garbage that rolls around in your head.  Consider it fertilizer, if you must, to grow a new garden of thoughts.  Try thanking yourself for getting good food at the grocery store, for having enough money to meet your needs.  Then thank the Universe for providing abundance in all forms.

And look around you and see all the abundance that you might have missed when you were agonizing over the mac and cheese.

I’m Better Than I Never Was

photo-256887_1920Remember when you could run a seven-minute mile?  Wore a size 2?  Could live on five hours of sleep a night?

What if these and many others things like them that you tell yourself on a regular basis are really just lies to avoid accepting yourself for who you are now?  If you quit saying them, could you embrace your reality, could you be kind and loving to you?

And if you did, might you be better than who you thought you were?

It is easy to get caught up in the past.  It is about who you were, but your memories might be tainted.  Maybe things in your life aren’t going very well.  Struggles with a lover, unsatisfying work, body image, bank account a little low.  Not surprising you might wish for what was.  Not surprising you might think the past held better times.  Maybe it did.

What if you could change now?  The good news: you can.  How?  Think differently.  You are better than you were or you wouldn’t be here now.  You are better than you were because you have experience.  You have more knowledge.  You know what you really want, but did you know that your thoughts create your reality?  What you focus on is what appears in your life.  The more you think your life is crap, the more crap appears in your life.

Start by thinking of all the good things in your life.  Write them down.  Put a sticky note on your mirror to look at when you brush your teeth.  Stay focused on the good things.  Like attracts like.

Before long, you will realize that life is better than you thought it was.

Wastin’ The Day Away

patio tiki barI am taking a “stay-cation” next week.  It’s practice for when I’m retired.  I would like to know what it feels like to be at home all day and choose what I want to do.

Luxurious, I’m thinking.

I realize that taking a week-long break from work is a whole different animal than being at home day-after-day.  A break from work usually means doing nothing, doing everything, or maybe just wastin’ away in Margaritaville.  There will be a small amount of Margaritaville in my week.  It’s summer, we have a little pool and a tiki bar on the patio. . .so why wouldn’t I?

There will be fun festivals bookending the week.  I have my usual chores.  A little bit of de-cluttering.  Spiffy up my ride.  Exercise.  Walk the lake.  Lounge in a chair and read.  And hopefully, write and stockpile a bunch of articles to keep you entertained in the weeks to come.

A lot of what I anticipate my days will look like in retirement.  Regular exercise will be priority on my list.  Writing because it pleases me.  Writing my book.  Yes, there is one of those.  I am calling it “Phucensch*tt – Spirituality for People Who Swear”.  Yes, really.  But I’m not giving out any more info on that.  You will have to wait.  I plan on trips to the library.  Trips to cool places in Denver that I’ve never seen in all my years of living here.  Like the Molly Brown House.

I will walk to the grocery store and buy a few things for that day instead of stockpiling from a warehouse store.  I will poke in the dirt until it begs me to stop planting flowers.  I will chase pigeons off the roof.  (Hopefully that problem is already resolved.  Haven’t seen them in a day or two.)  I will re-ignite my love of cooking.  I will meditate.  H*ll, I might even take guitar lessons and become a rock chick.  Or not.  Guitar Hero might be enough.  I’ll watch all my favorite movies over and over until I can recite every word,  “Welcome to Columbia, Joan Wilder.”  And if I feel the need to work and serve, I’ll give readings at my favorite little metaphysical store, For Heaven’s Sake.  I just won’t be doing what I’ve done for the last 30+ years.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll put on a pair of flip-flops and search for my lost shaker of salt.

Shake It Off

skeletons-32459_1280I recently created a music playlist to listen to when we are hanging out on the patio.  I tried to pick songs that make you want to get “jiggy”.  That’s code word for dancing, not the OTHER jiggy.

I went back in time for some of them, for favorites, and to add variety.  Remember “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Ritchie?  Watch the video on YouTube, it will make you smile.

Dancing is healthy for mind, body and soul.  It gets you moving, maybe singing along and it just lightens your soul.  And it is portable.  We have a little above ground pool on the patio, just big enough to cool off on a warm summer day, and spend quite a bit of time there.  We can fit 4 inner tubes without crowding and it is butt-deep.  Ever dance in an inner tube?  Okay, wiggle, but you get the idea.  Just don’t wiggle too much lest you wish a mouthful of pool water.  Needless to say, it has been a fun way to beat the heat and listen to some great tunes.

Dancing can also help heal the soul.  I recently read some articles discussing the shaman’s “Skeleton Dance”.  After you have done some emotional healing work, it is recommended that you do this dance to shake off and out the residual energy.  First, picture a skeleton hanging by a string.  Give it a shake and watch how all the bones rattle around.  It is a very loose dance and probably not much different than what you might do when you are drunk.  Just don’t drink alcohol when you are doing healing work as it defeats the purpose.  Well, duh.  Drunkenness is probably why you need to do the healing work in the first place!!  So let’s practice. . .err, give it a try.

Stand up.  Get your a$$ up off the sofa, it is time to get jiggy!  Start swinging your arms around like they are loose in your shoulder socket.  Loosen up those elbows, your wrists and even your fingers.  Do the same with your legs and move on up through your hips and waist.  Head too.  Just let loose and shake it loose.  Quit worrying about what you look like, you are supposed to be a skeleton, remember?  Jiggle around until you feel relaxed and fluid.  Then stop and just stand there for a bit and tune into your body.  How do you feel?  There should be some measure of less stress.  You should always do some method of body release work after emotional healing to avoid keeping it trapped in your body.  The skeleton dance is a fun and effective way to do this.

So why don’t you cue up “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith or “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and dance your way to joy.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

“Happiness is not having what you want.  It is wanting what you have.”  This quote by Rabbi Hyman Schachtel always seemed perplexing to me.  I focused too closely on the “not having what you want” portion and totally missed the meaning behind it.

We all exist in a state of want.  More money, better job, nicer home, prettier clothes, more loving partner, the list is endless.  But just “wanting” will keep you in a state of more want.  These days, everything happens quickly and we can exist in a state of insatiable desire.  And most all of it can be achieved in minutes.  But is that what it really takes for happiness?

“It is wanting what you have.”

The second portion of that quote is too often where we get messed up.  Once upon a time, I thought it meant be happy with what you got ‘cause you ain’t gettin’ any more.  Sad.  That is existing in a belief state of lack.  Feeling lack is what gets you stuck in want.  Feeling lack leaves us never feeling satisfied with what we have.  We believe we are missing out on something better, even if everything we Need is surrounding us. 

Lack prevents us from feeling happy.

Abundance is free.  Abundance is your connection to the Universe and knowing that everything you need will be provided for you.  You may have to take action steps to get that, but if you listen to the Universe you will be guided on what to do.  When you feel abundant, you will never want what you don’t need.  I have no interest in having an airplane, so I obviously don’t need it.  Sometimes when you feel abundant you will need less.  Everything you have will support you and you will move through life with more ability to handle stresses.  So how do you feel abundant?

Ask the Universe to help you.

“Universe, please help me to feel abundant in all forms.  Help me to open my heart to experience all that I need.  Thank you for helping me to allow this in my life.”

As you practice this, you will begin to feel differently about your life.  You will likely still want things, but they will be what you need and you will discover ways to have them in your life.

Especially if they are already there.

Freedom

religion-3426187_1920 (1)It is the 4th of July in America.  People all over are waving flags, watching parades, staring in wonder at dazzling fireworks displays, and consuming vats of food and drink.  I think sometimes we forget what it really means.

What is freedom?

We know that it represents Independence Day, or the birth of the United States.  It changed the world and the people that created it.  But what does freedom mean to you?

Freedom is the right to speak and act without hindrance.  It is not the right to do this without regard for others and causing them harm.  It is not the right to harm creatures and property.

Freedom is about choice.  It is about the ability to think, to decide, to act upon what is for your highest and best good.  It is about choosing who you want in your life.  It is choosing a career path that makes you happy and utilizes your skills.  It is wearing what you like.  It is doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  When you feel happy and fulfilled, your life will feel smooth.  Oh, it will never be without issues, for you are human after all.

Freedom is simply just a thought process.  It is allowing your thoughts to run wild, imagining, dreaming, just completely letting loose.  They are just thoughts after all and don’t have to be shared or put into action.  “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” is an old German song about the freedom of thought.  Its lyrics speak of thoughts being within your mind where no one can shut them down and no one can imprison you.

That is the true meaning of freedom.

So how will you set your mind free?

Progress – Forward and Backwards

site-285645_640This morning, my sweetie and I walked around the lake.  It’s a three-mile hike, but there are many things to see including the gradual progression of a new residential building.  It has been interesting to watch it grow, floor-by-floor, as men and tower cranes add wood and steel.  The view will be fabulous, along with the prices of the units.  It will have everything, including delivery from the proposed eateries on the ground floor, so I suspect it will be quite worth it.

Many layers of moving upward.

We generally think of progress as moving forward or upwards, and is often associated with an improvement of sorts.  We make a plan, set goals, track the timeline and then reach a desired outcome.  Hopefully, it comes with the sense of satisfaction.

But what about the times when progress is going backwards?

This, too, can be a necessary goal and lead us to better things.  Taking a step back gives you time to review.  This month, five planets will be going retrograde.  Retrograde is the appearance of a planet moving backwards.  Think Michael Jackson’s Moon Walk in the sky.  (They don’t really move backwards, it just looks like it.)  Retrograde forces us to slow down and do all things “re-“.  Review, rewrite, replace, renew, recycle, redo, restrict, retrace, repurpose, release, to name a few.  Don’t sign on the dotted line until you read the fine print.  Don’t take those marriage vows if you have a sickly feeling in your gut.  Wait to buy that car.  Pay for that inspection on the house you are considering.

Believe me, if you do things during a retrograde, you will live to regret it.  One of the more powerful retrogrades is Mercury.  Mercury loves to wreak havoc on your electronic devices.  Do you know how to say “back-up”? Yep, been down that road.  In addition to all this planetary love, we have two eclipses in July.  Talk about change-making!  If you allow it, the Universe will have your back and direct you towards your best life.

Even if it means going backwards.

The Duel of Duality

yin-yang-2024615_640Black or white.  Dark or light.  Good or bad.  Happy or sad.  Which do you choose?  Which is really you?

To everything there are two sides.  We have the choice of which side we want to be, but it too often seems to be an inner duel as to which side is the most powerful.  And too often, we turn to the lesser, the darker, and the easier choice and leave ourselves wondering why we are not satisfied.

The war within is fought by our belief system.  If you are the product of a difficult upbringing, have health issues, frightening surroundings then you likely turn towards the darker side.  It is still always a choice.  So why not choose the light?

Because Fear is a stern master.

We are ego-driven humans and the ego thrives on fear.  The ego wants total control of you.  The ego wants you dependent on its whims of desperation, despair and defeat.  I’ve read that it takes 21 muscles to smile and next to nothing to frown.  (I haven’t fact-checked that.)  If that is true, then it is easy to see why we gravitate towards sadness and disappointment.

But enough of that sorry sh*t.

I had a sh*tty day at work.  Enough that I wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and stay there for the next century.  By some blessed chance of fate, my sweetie didn’t know what to have for dinner and it so happened that this evening was the first of the summer Thursday music and market fest in our neighborhood.  So I suggested we wander over and see what was on the food truck.  A huge amount of battered catfish and fries, which along with a beer I don’t usually drink, will cause me to regret that in the middle of the night.  In spite of the tasty grease-bomb, there was live music, people, dogs, vendors, farmers market wares and just an air of a happy summer evening.  EXACTLY what I needed to pull myself out of my bottom-of-the-sh*pile-funk.  It was a choice, you see.

fencing-1683513_1920We always, always, always have the choice of whether we go towards the light or down in the dark, even if you think the situation is utterly impossible for that.  In those times, we must look deep within and find the light within ourselves, the goodness, the capableness, the loveable-ness.  I told myself that I am intelligent, capable and damn sure know what I’m doing even if some a$$hole disagrees.  So when you are faced with a seemingly dark situation, swish your tip up and yell, En Garde!!

And watch the dark disappear.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Recently, at work, the subject of dress code has surfaced again.  We have a new director, and he is getting his feet wet in all areas of the business.  After initiating the topic of shoes, he wisely turned the dress code idea over to a team of women.  Women police each other, after all.

59745-2001_CEREZA[1]Many a man, to his everlasting regret, has ventured in to the female shoe closet thinking to discuss the quantity, cost, necessity, appropriateness and style of female footwear.  Many of them wisely retreated when they notice the squinty eyeball staring back at them.  A brave few thought to continue the topic, and then determined that there is a fine line between brave and dumb.  Some hearty souls continued on, and were grateful that the living room sofa was a comfortable place to sleep.  And some were never heard from again.

The only men who can safely traverse the domain of the female shoe are those of a “different persuasion”, or the Great Oz of Shoes himself: Mr. Manolo Blahnik.  Should Mr. Blahnik ever appear in a woman’s shoe closet, especially if he were bearing gifts, she could succumb to a heart attack at that very moment and consider her life complete.

51g35jLUYvL._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Shoes represent the Holy Grail to women.  They are the ultimate form of self-expression.  We willingly spend thousands of dollars for coveted pairs, suffer untold agony and blisters for a few hours of wearing a spindly high needle for the praise of a friend or stranger.  Women have made new friends over a pair of shoes.

A beautiful pair of shoes can brighten a woman’s day.  Knowing that pain could come later, she will still step out proudly and with confidence that she can kick a$$.  An ugly pair. . .well, can make a woman feel ugly.  They are the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite.  A necessity, if you will.

Oh and if you are available, Mr. Blahnik, my closet is open. . . size 7, if you please.