Eight Legs A Week

spider-303580_1280I heard on the news that the annual tarantula migration has started in southeastern Colorado. Thousands (yep, THOUSANDS) of hairy, horny, 10-year-old, male gigantic spiders are marching their way into the state. They are cruising for chick spiders. That is just seriously gross. Like total arachna-geddon.

No, I will not be going to see them. Not now, not in this lifetime, not on this planet, not ever, ever, ever. Rather adamant about that, aren’t I. It’s rather easy to turn a spider into a tarantula, err, make a mountain out of a molehill. How often do you make a problem bigger than it is?

These days, the world moves fast. Technology is great, but we expect everything immediately. Demands grow, deadlines were yesterday, and anxiety rules the day. Eight days – ahem – scuttle faster than that arachnid after a mate.

The spider march serves to remind us that in nature, things take their time. The spider knows when it is time to make the trek, maybe his hairy little b*lls grow as a reminder. Do spiders even have them? And why do I care? Eww. They march on at their spider pace, blissfully unaware that some monster truck could mow down half their army in less than a minute. Less competition for the girls, I suppose. They know what they are after and they keep going. Somewhere in the grasslands, the ladies are lounging, waiting for these determined fellows. They do the tarantella (it is a dance!) and a few thousand eggs are laid. No, I’m not writing this while drunk. Spidies make me crazy.

The point that I’m attempting to make is that things will happen as they should and in their own time. We can turn them into a tarantula, freak out and f*ck things up unnecessarily. Take your time, breathe and don’t swat the bug. Everything will work out.

In eight days. More or less.

Did I just see a spider?! Aaackkk!

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.

The Importance of Doing Nothing

window-view-1081788_1920Do this, do that, go here, pick up that, cook, clean, eat, wash and keeping running. Don’t you just wish you could have five damn minutes to yourself?

Why not?

We always think we need a day off, or a vacation, to take time to relax and recharge. And end up packing in so many activities we end up more tired than we started. So why not just give yourself a little treat every day.

Five minutes, is all.

Five minutes where you just sit and do absolutely nothing. No thinking, no checking your phone, no making lists or any other damn thing. Just sitting and breathing.

Oh sure, you say, my mind fills up with all the stuff I need to do. So. It will all still be there five minutes from now. Just try it. Put down your phone and sit. Well, set the timer on your phone if you need to, but then set it down. Now close your eyes and breathe. Let all those busy thoughts just scroll through your head like movie credits. Don’t focus on any one of them. Maybe focus on your breathing, in-out, in-out. You may even notice your heart rate slowing down. Ah, peace.

Try doing this at least once a day. Then do it when you are feeling the most stressed. You’ll find that your rapid thoughts will slow down and formulate into action steps. Whatever problem you were struggling with might get resolved.

All because instead of doing something, you did nothing. Feel better now?

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.

Eclipsed

eclipse-33019_1280This evening is a full moon lunar eclipse squaring off between Capricorn and Cancer. It is the astrological time of Cancer. Are you setting new goals or doing a mid-year review of those you set earlier in the year?

An eclipse is always a time of change. The Cancer/Capricorn square represents the opposition, or balance of the feminine nurturing sign of Cancer and the masculine, structured sign of Capricorn. Have you been ignoring your inner soul calling and instead have focused upon old beliefs and ways of doing things? Do you feel as though you haven’t made any progress towards your dreams?

This lunar eclipse is the time to dig deep into what you may have subconsciously been resisting. If you have been cutting corners or cutting yourself short, this is a good time to rest and review. The fact that this eclipse is occurring during a Mercury Retrograde is another reason to slow down and review.

Did you create a structured plan with step-by-step actions, but it is just boring the sh*t out of you? Ask yourself why. Don’t fall back upon the old flowchart to answer this. Get quiet, take a deep breath, and drop down into your heart center. What are you feeling? What is your heart telling you? Have you been closing off your desires to fit in someone else’s plan or maybe planning because you think that’s how something should be done? Now don’t run out and quit your job, get a nose job, or file for divorce unless you are absolutely certain that is what is best for you. Still, it is wise to wait a month until Mercury decides to fall back in line. Some regrets can’t be recycled.

Are your cravings or crabbiness a sign of something deeper, some dissatisfaction with life? What tiny step can you take to bring some fun into your world? Try a coloring book with crayons or markers. Now don’t say “that’s for kids”. It’s about releasing creativity and allowing yourself to play. When you open those channels in your brain, you free up some space for new insights and ideas. Maybe it is simply that you need to play a little. Or maybe you sketch out a revolutionary idea that could benefit others and bring you a new career opportunity. If you are single and looking for a mate, take the coloring book to a restaurant or other gathering place. You’ll put out such positive vibes and happiness that your special someone will be attracted to you.

Capricorn rules structure but sometimes those are outmoded. Eclipses usually shake up the status quo and sometimes bring it crashing down. I’ve often said that if something needs to change in your life, the Universe will send you hints. If you continue to ignore the hints, the Universe will bring about change. That’s much-needed change, silly wabbit.

The action of an eclipse is one planet covering or blotting out another – including the sun or moon. Sometimes it is necessary to cover up a distraction in order to pay attention to what is important. Take note of anything that may be similar in occurrence to this. Instead of constantly glancing in the rear-view mirror, you are looking around and see the For Sale sign on a beautiful new home.

Just be sure you check everything out before signing on the dotted line. Mercury in Retrograde can mess with contracts. And you want nothing to eclipse your dreams.

I Wants It

barbecue-2098020_1920You remember Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”. An emaciated creature who craved an empowered gold ring. A craving so intense that nothing else mattered. I doubt that even a junkie would be that far gone.

Cravings are powerful. I’m sure you’ve experienced them in some form or another. Like OMG, nothing will do but you have to have a bag of chips before you die of starvation! Not likely, unless you are on “Naked and Afraid”, and even then they would rescue you before death.

If you are of average weight and maintain it, cravings are fairly normal. They typically signify unmet needs for fun, excitement or love. Basically, you are bored and food fills a hole. If you struggle with being overweight or are a chronic dieter, then food cravings and overeating signal unmet emotional needs. Overeating often springs from anxiety or depression. I am not a doctor, nor am I providing a diagnosis, but if you struggle with these issues please see a doctor or therapist. Life is too short, and you are missing out on too many good things so make your overall health a priority.

Real physical hunger comes on slowly and your stomach tells you it needs fuel. Emotional hunger swirls in your mind and triggers taste sensations in your mouth. Poor nutrition, blood sugar swings, alcohol and drugs mess with your brain chemicals – especially serotonin – and cause even more cravings. Give your body the proper fuel and in return, it will provide you with energy and feel-good chemicals so you want to get out and enjoy life. Good trade-off, I’m thinking.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I have been overeating. Nothing extreme, but I’m looking a little poochy. Ick. And not for anything in particular as that points to different needs, such as salty-crunchy for anxiety. So I decided I needed to look into my need for food.

Sometimes we overeat for simple reasons: obligation – someone brought cookies to work and you don’t want to hurt their feelings; not wasting – you ordered the food at a restaurant and don’t want to leave a full plate, although a doggie bag is always an option; taste – it’s damn good!; boredom – snacky foods give you something to do; true hunger – eat too fast and eat too much; tired – hoping it sparks energy. These are a few of the reasons we shovel in more than we need.

Well hmm, I think those are my reasons.

I’ve b*itched about my work plenty, but it is a long day from waking to coming home. I have plenty of responsibility that goes from all-out-balls-to-the-wall to sitting and waiting. Anyone that does accounting work understands those cycles. During the boring times, I eat. During the stressful times, I work through lunch, go home tired, eat to refuel and have a drink to unwind. The perfect combination to build tummy fat. Because of all that, I have set aside some activities that I would normally enjoy doing – like I don’t have the time and energy for them. I know, practice what you preach. Eating has become the new enjoyment. Therein lies the problem.

Using food as a replacement for getting your needs met is a bad idea, but instead of focusing on food as the enemy search for the root. Give yourself permission to have fun. Schedule some free time in your day, just for you, to do something you love. Practice self-care. Give your relationships some attention. Hug your friends. Get out in nature and soak up a little sun. Maybe do some energy work. The third chakra – Solar Plexus – is at the navel. It governs personal power, so it may be said that a little tummy fat protects your power. Maybe your personal boundaries need a little work. The second chakra – Sacral – is directly below and governs pleasure, emotions and addictions. A definite connection. If you sit at a desk all day, like me, then the two probably get squished into one muddled energetic glob.

Hmm. Addictions ending up in the stomach. Better get up and stretch, but not for another cookie.

I wants it. . .

 

Mercury Retro-Gasp!

god-1293818_1280The blue screen of death just appeared on your computer. Your phone went dead for no reason. You lopped your hair off in a mad rant. The contract on your home has so many contingencies it will take a team of lawyers to decipher it. Your flight home just got delayed, which means you’ll miss your connecting flight and there isn’t another for two days. WTF.

Hello, boys and girls, Mercury in Retrograde has arrived. That cute little Messenger planet makes its periodic Michael-Jackson-Moonwalk around the sun, wreaking havoc on electronics, travel, contracts and communication.

Accidentally hit “Send” on that ranting email? Oops. You might want to follow up with an apology phone call. Or not. Exes have a habit of showing up during retrograde. Some things just shouldn’t be recycled.

Think this is all a load of bullsh*t? Au contraire, my friend, I’ve personally witnessed too many events to doubt its ability to screw things up. One trip to the Caribbean netted a bunch of Mercury meddling. A delayed flight. Landing a rainstorm. Room mix-up. And to cap it off, my phone died a mysterious death on arrival. Good thing there was plenty of rum at the bar. It ended up being a great trip just because we laughed and made the best of it.

Taking a chill pill is the best way to work through this cycle. This current one goes through July 31st, so plan on kicking back and enjoying the moment. Mercury’s gift is the ability to slooooow things down and since retrograde starts with “re”, think about all the words that do the same. Starting with Relax. It’s also a good time to clean up your sh*t too. Think recycle, repurpose, renew, hell even rent!

Take care of your electronics. Back up your computer and your phone contacts. Even get a service check-up on your car. Hey, its got electronics too! Mind your stuff so you don’t lose something important.

Don’t sign any contracts during retrograde unless you started the process, like a house purchase PRIOR to this cycle. Still, it is important to read all the fine print and make sure all the details are seen to. Don’t skip the inspection either. It’s not a good idea to buy a car or any other electronics during this cycle.

And for Gods Sakes, DO NOT in a fit of mad or any other emotional disaster, lob your hair off, get a tattoo or any other body changing process during a retrograde. Remember how long it took to grow out the last time?

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.

In Hot Water

broken-1294723_1280My lovely week off is coming to a close and reality returns to work tomorrow. It has been a great week; a nice balance between chores and leisure and what I hope for in retirement. However, there was one small hitch that caused me some anxiety. Our water heater quit working.

I enjoy a nice soak before bedtime. It’s very relaxing and it is nice to go to bed clean. Cold water is not what I had in mind.

Our water heater is only three years old, but has one of those fancy electronic controllers that decides when the water needs heated. It decided to go all stupid and shut itself off. So my Sweetie got to handle that chore and called the manufacturer. They gave him a list of service companies, and he found a guy who was able to arrive in two hours. He was timely and came prepared with a new controller box. As he was checking everything, he discovered a crack in the burner and had to go out and get a new part. He returned quickly, and before long, we heard the telltale sound of the water heater firing up. An hour later and I was blissfully standing in the shower with hot water spraying down. Relief.

As I was reveling in my bliss, I got to thinking how technology has changed home appliances and fixtures. Gone are the days of the furnaces with a burner and blower that lasted for decades. Electronics and their quirkiness routinely require service or replacement and seem to shorten the life of what they are housed in. Rather annoying. Then I thought about the cracked burner. Perhaps the errant controller sensed that all was not well and shut itself down. What seemed an annoyance could possibly have saved our home, if not our lives. You hear those horror stories of the water heater blowing up and shooting through the roof. The time spent dealing with the service call could have been time spent in the hospital.

So the next time some electronic device puts a hitch in my day, I’ll take a moment to be thankful that I’m not standing in hot water.