Calming The Zoo

squirrel-316022_1280Sometimes the endless chatter in your head can make you feel like running and screaming.  Whether it’s your monkey mind or squirrel brain, feeling overwhelmed can be like living in a zoo.

Today’s world is fast and endless.  Technology drives the pace and global media points the direction.  We are turned on and tuned in, when sometimes we just need to shut it all off.  How many times a day do you reach for your cell phone or other personal data device?  If we do shut them off, we become starved for the electronic hit like a junkie desperate for a quick fix.

Technology is amazing, no doubt.  You can consult with a doctor, or watch a video on how to scope out the toilet.  A lot of useful things, but with the consequences that everything should be “on-demand”.  Including our brains.  We fuel up with caffeine and sugar to keep up with the hype and then wonder why we can’t fall asleep at night.  Counting sheep has been replaced by chasing squirrels.

Is it any wonder why so many undiagnosed illnesses that are treated with a pill end up creating one?

You don’t have to unplug to calm the zoo.  Even hyenas take time to eat, sleep and play.

One of the easiest methods to unwind is to ground yourself.  Hug a tree (like, for real), walk barefoot in the grass, put your feet in water or just simply imagine a cord attached like a tail to the base of your spine and going deep into the earth.  None of these things will harm the earth.  Mother Earth is very willing and able to dissipate your yuck energy if you give it to her.  She can take a lightning strike with ease, so you are no big deal.  Remember to breathe deeply while doing this as it helps move the squirrel energy out of you much quicker.

Deep breathing is another way to calm your mind and help you think clearly.  No need to go to that oxygen bar and waste your money.  Deep breathing can be done in about five secs.

Faster than clicking on the latest Twitter feed.

Maniacally Depressive

upset-534103_1920I know they call it Bi-polar these days, but I’m not talking about a mental health disorder.  Disorderly, maybe, but nothing clinical.  Do you ever have those days when you feel so overwhelmed it makes you want to cry?  It’s enough to make you mentally ill.

I have a lot going on right now.  Summer is coming to a close and it is time to start preparing for cold weather.  We spent the last day in our little pool and it is draining as I write.  Now talk about depressive.  There are quite a few things to do to shut down the pool and patio.  The pool needs to be drained, cleaned, disassembled, folded up and put back into the box.  Hopefully.  You know how those things go.  The manufacturer uses some sort of air thing to suck all the molecules out of the plastic so it fits into a box half the normal size.  Then we crazy (and insanely determined) humans attempt to stuff whatever back into the container.

Maniacally.

I’m hopeful.

We’ll see in a day or two after the thing has dried out.  The filter needs to be cleaned and also packed away.  Innertubes deflated.  Floating bar deflated.  Then everything stuffed into a corner in the garage until Memorial Day.  Waaaaa!!

That’s just the first round.  In a few weeks, the rest of the patio gets undressed, tarped and pushed out of the way.  It took like three days to set it all up so we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Depressive.

Before long snow will be piled on top and I’ll be dreaming of the tiki bar.  The flower garden needs to be tended.  Weeds pulled.  Ornaments put away.  Bulbs ordered for fall planting.  Halloween gear unearthed from the crawl space.  (It’s a month long ordeal at our house.)IMG_0481

And all this while working, keeping up with household chores and maintaining a blog.  It’s enough to send me into a funk.

Or maybe just onto the sofa to watch football.  Anything to keep away the winter blues.

Fall-ing

autumn-1655915_1920Summer is giving its last big push before giving way to Fall.  There is still warmth in the air, yet a crispiness to the edges of the breeze that speaks to cooler days ahead.  Flowers are blossoming riotously, vivid colors, as though to give up their very last gift before collapsing spent into the mulch.  Leaves compete with the blossoms with rich tones of yellow, orange and red.  The smells of chlorine and coconut oil are diminishing to be replaced by the smoky scent of fireplaces.  It’s quieter outside as children return to the classroom and summer festivals are packed up and moved back to indoor venues.

summer-814679_1920Oh, how I love summer, sunshine and fun every day.  I feel a sadness deep within as I, too, give way to the tug of Fall and the time of turning inward.  And the inevitable demands of winter cold and snow.

Fall is a time to savor the dreams we worked to achieve.  We birth them in Spring, nurture and grow through the lazy days of Summer and harvest what we have sown in the autumn season.  As difficult as it is to let loose of summer, it is equally so to release the nurturing of our dreams.  Harder still to move into winter, where we along with our dreams, must hunker down to focus on the next stage.

Everything has its seasons, including our dreams.

poolWe must look at Fall as truly a time of harvest.  What joy, what gifts came with summer that we can ripen and grow into something bigger?  If summer was full of fun, how do we continue to pull more of that into our lives?  The clues are all there if you are willing to take the time to look and see what brought you the most joy.  I learned many things this summer.  Where I live, what provides both fun and relaxation, what activities are readily and easily available, and how I want to live my life.  I think this has been the best summer I have experienced for all these things. 

And as the leaves begin to crackle beneath my feet, and the chill in the air reminds me of the approach of winter, I don’t mind too much because I know that next summer will be even better.  So bring on the harvest, I’m ready to Fall-in.

So Shoe Me

IMG_0117I love shoes.  I’ve written about them many times, probably more than anything else.  I guess I can’t help it.  I just love them.

I probably have too many.  Big Deal.

No one is starving because of my obsession with shoes.  If anything, the person who makes them is likely feeding their family from the proceeds.  I would like to think I am helping the economy.

The economy is like energy, there has to be a give and take flow in order for it to work.  When you buy shoes, or food, or cars, or homes or even just a pack of gum you are contributing to the flow.  When you go to work and create or support or provide service you are contributing to the flow.money-2159310_1920

Not doing any of those things merely stops up the energy like a two-year-old tossing a plastic dinosaur into the toilet.  I suppose that, too, contributes since you have to call a plumber to come dig Dino from the sewer.  Plumbers eat well because of two-year-olds and toys.

If you take something without an exchange or create harm, you might have to pay a fine, go to jail, or get sued.  All of which also stop the flow of energy.

By keeping the energy flowing, you create room in your life for more abundance, prosperity, success and just plain joy.  Allow yourself to receive and it will be easier to give.

Or just go buy a pair of shoes so someone can have a nice dinner with their family.

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.

Gra-feed-me

IMG_0443                                All photos from the RiNo area of Denver.

Graffiti has long been considered an eyesore and often gang-tagging.  There is obviously some beauty in it since many graffiti artists are being commissioned to decorate the sides of large buildings.

Denver has two areas with extensive wall art.  River North, known as RiNo, on the north side of downtown has gorgeous work of graphics and bold colors.  I’ve taken several photos and plan another trip for more.  The colors just grab my creative soul.  The other area is on West Colfax, known as the 40 West Arts District.  They actually have painted a green line on the sidewalks and pavement for people to walk around and view the art.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve driven past much of it.

The history of graffiti is attributed to Cornbread, a high school student in Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl.  Sigh.  Everything starts with love.

Graffiti is about getting attention, and probably for the purpose of feeding the soul of the creator.  How many times have you sat in a meeting and doodled while you listened to some talking head?  Feeding the need to quell boredom.  Or maybe designing the next rocket ship.

Graffiti is the most raw form of creativity.  Spewing out colors, shapes, swirls, maybe people or things.  The contents of your heart spread out for everyone to see.  I guess you could say posting a blog is some sort of graffiti.  A bunch of nonsense on an electronic wall.  Well, not everyone’s blog is nonsense.  But really, don’t we write in the hopes that someone will “Like” it?  No head trips here, just random thoughts.

However, I just might start adding some swirls and bright colors to my posts.  Gotta feed my soul, you know.IMG_0453

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.