WEEKLY STRETCH 8-25-16 – What Else Can We Create?

FAM bobby d
FAM Tuzigoot

In 2006 Bob and I visited Arizona for the first time and we fell in love with it. That trip was paid for by years of accumulated travel points from our credit card. It was the first time we had been able to travel anywhere. We spent the week in Scottsdale and visited The Grand Canyon for one day and Sedona for a day and half. For me, coming to Sedona felt like coming home. At the end of our week, as our plane lifted off of the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, we cried. It felt like we were being ripped apart and we were heartbroken to leave. On the flight home, through his tears, Bob told me we would be back, and often. He didn’t know how or when, but he said it like it was already a done deal.

Shortly after that trip a close friend of the family whose wife had become ill approached us with an unusual offer. He owned three timeshares and was unable to use them since he and his wife could no longer travel. He offered to sell us any one of them for a comparatively low price and to pay him what we could and for as long as we needed in order to pay it off…interest free. This made it possible for us to visit Sedona or almost anywhere in the world in “like home” comfort. I’m certain that Bob manifested this for us and I am writing this post from our timeshare in Cornville, Arizona only 15 minutes out of Sedona. This is now our 8th visit here.

Our second trip to Arizona took place over Mother’s Day weekend and I remember calling my daughter from a rest area just outside of Flagstaff where I could actually see the glow of the red rocks of Sedona in the distance. It was during that trip, at that moment, that I knew I needed to share the experience of Sedona with my family. In fact, Bob and I longed to make the trip with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew and of course my daughter, son-in-law, and our grandson. We made the trip with my brother and sister-in-law in 2012 and right now, as I type, we are here with the whole family…all nine of us…staying at our timeshare and having the experience Bob and I have been dreaming of for all this time. It’s truly a dream come true and I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real.

What keeps coming to mind as this dream-come-true unfolds is that I know we made it happen. We manifested this week with our thoughts, our feelings, our vision, our desire and our intention. We are the creators of this amazing family experience. And as I reflect on the way this dream has unfolded I ask myself, “If I can do this…If I can make this magic happen…what else can I create?” I think about not only the material things my heart desires – trips, living arrangements, furniture, clothing, other acquisitions; but even more importantly the interior things like a healthy strong body, peace of mind, self-acceptance, forgiveness, stamina, clarity. My sense of personal power is being enhanced with each passing day – as I take in the sacred energy of my beloved Sedona and tap deeper into the depths of what my heart truly desires I feel the energy of creativity stirring ever more strongly and I welcome it with arms open. I am humbly grateful for the tremendous gifts I’m given. More please.

STRETCH: Think about the some of the things you’ve created in your life that give you joy, bring you happiness or a sense of satisfaction. Now envision something your heart desires and feel the way it will fee when that something arrives in your life as if it already has. Bask in those feelings and enjoy them. It’s a done deal! You’ve created before, you’re creating now, you will continue to create.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-18-16

baby in heels grow up

We are all growing up. At least that’s what I’m told. We arrive little and vulnerable and we have mommy and daddy (if we’re lucky) and eating and diapers; then we are walking and falling, more eating and sleeping and mommy and daddy; then we go to school and learn things, play, make friends and encounter a little drama; then we enter teen-hood with more school, sports or dance or whatever we start to love, friends, “no one likes me”-hood and much more drama; and then off to college or work or whatever pulls us into the responsibilities of adult-hood and guess what…more drama.

I had a birthday this week. I am old enough at this point to have had more than my share of all of the above, especially the drama. I sort of wish that upon arrival, we are given a “Welcome to Earth Life” manual that said, “expect lots of drama along with all other great stuff you get” so I would have been better prepared. Or maybe that’s the whole point. We don’t grow up without it and we need the element of surprise in order to learn from it all.

I find that at this point in my life I spend considerable amounts of time pondering these things. Is all this pondering a waste of time? I wonder that too. I wonder at many things and I find many things in my sphere of living quite magical and worth pondering about. One big ponder is that I realize that there are more years behind me than ahead of me, and that truth is poignant. I ponder on whether I’ve done right by the gift of this lifetime and could I have done better. I ponder on how I can do better with what I have ahead of me. I ponder on how my relationships have changed over the years and that the ones in my life now are changing as I write this. That reality is also poignant and somewhat painful. I ponder on what to do next and how much more fun, love, and pleasure can I bring into my life to help balance all the drama that seems to be necessary for the growing up part of this deal. I ponder on how blessed I am to have arrived at this point, with this many years behind me, alive and intact.

So after all this pondering I’m formulating a decision. The decision is still in the formative process, but it goes something like this – I am deciding to make drama less of an enemy. Notice I haven’t decided to embrace it and ask it to tea. Right now I’m just deciding to regard it as a “non-enemy”. I’m giving myself credit for that with the hope…intention…of befriending it in the future. I’m not there yet – haven’t quite evolved this relationship to the friendship stage. However, for this next year of my unfolding lifetime I will begin a new relationship with drama and look at it with less disdain and more value. That’s the best I can do for right now, and right now is what I have to work with.

So in an effort to continue the grow up process, I publicly offer a very tentative and shaky hand of “maybe we can be nicer to each other”-ness to drama, knowing that it has an important place in moving me to whatever the next level of wisdom, compassion, grace, and worldliness will be for me. The other stuff is easy and I enthusiastically invite more and more of that into my experience…Love, passion, abundance, play, laughter, sharing…you know, the juicy stuff. Come on in! The water’s fine! And place must be made, with grace, for the other stuff; the not so easy stuff; the painful stuff that seems to be jumping around in the water making it turbulent and less easy to stand in. I’ve noticed that when the water is turbulent and rocky, I find ways to stay upright and maintain my balance because I must, and much as I hate to admit it, drama gives me the opportunity to develop the muscles to do just that. Not quite as much fun as the juicy stuff, but in the end equally valuable.

STRETCH: Pay attention to your growing edge. Notice when your life presents you with opportunities to grow and see if you can give these opportunities a wide berth so that you can learn more and more about yourself and how to be the best You that you can be, right now. And most of all – be gentle with yourself.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-11-16 ~ SUMMER SO FAR

healthy boundaries beach
Photo by Franne Demetrician

It’s been a great summer so far, not without ups and downs of course, but in general I love these wonderful days of sunshine and warmth. I even enjoy the occasional thunder storm, watching the sky do its thing with voluminous clouds that gather and scare me…along with the wonder of lightning and thunder and the awesome power of Nature when She decides it’s time to get out of the house and do something a little different. It’s thrilling and scary and all about summer.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting our summer vacation. We will be traveling to Sedona, AZ with our family in a little less than two weeks. This trip has been a dream of ours for quite a few years. Sedona is a second home to us and we’ve dreamt about sharing this very special and sacred place with the people we love most in the world. It’s not easy orchestrating a trip for nine people, but we are just about to see the realization of our vision and it’s quite exciting.

There have been some wonderful experiences this summer and as I reflect back on the last few weeks I am grateful for the insight, the fun, the music, the connection and the gifts received. I truly love the beach and I’m happy to have been there a few times so far to surround myself with the healing energy of ocean, sun and sand.

All of this said, this week I had an experience of great disappointment. It was staggering and left me with many questions. I found myself in a quandary that seemed impossible to resolve given the circumstances. So what I have before me is an opportunity to grow. OH BOY…yet another opportunity to grow (or as it’s been said, AFGO!…Another F*&%ing Growth Opportunity). Life is filled with them, of course, but this one is about as challenging as it gets. I asked a confidante, “What do I do now?” and the answer was, “You have to let it go.”. Deep breath…how do I do that? I think right now the only answer is to love myself enough to keep a safe distance until the pain and disappointment reach a tolerable level, then move forward with the information and wisdom I’ve gained. Mostly I need to “drop the knife”. This idea comes from a poem by Hafiz which I share below:

Once a young woman said to me,
“Hafiz, what is the sign?
of someone who knows God?”
I became very quiet,
and looked deep into her eyes,
then replied,
“My dear, they have dropped the knife.
Someone who knows God has dropped
the cruel knife that most so often use upon their tender self
and others.”

So today I make the commitment…albeit a shaky one…to drop the knife. To be kind and gentle with myself and my tender heart. To be OK with conflict and to dig as deeply as I can to find forgiveness, remembering that forgiveness is NOT condoning, but simply letting go of attachment to what I think “should” be rather than what is. I am speaking with the Universe and asking for support on this task because it’s about as important as it gets that I get it right.

And so this summer thus far has been rich in so many ways, including the challenging ones. I learned today of the death of someone who is about my age. I feel blessed to be here and thankful that I am given every day to live fully, with as much grace as I can muster. In spite of challenges…or really because of challenges…it’s certainly never boring. And because of the lifetime I am living and the people in it, it is filled with love.

STRETCH:
I offer this stretch for you and for me.
Ask yourself, “Where am I able to drop the knife I use on myself and others? Can I love myself enough to let it go?”

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-4-16 Make Friends With Yourself

20150804_203438578_iOS 1
Bradley Beach, NJ
Photo by Franne Demetrician

Yesterday morning, I began my usual morning routine – stumble down the stairs, get some coffee, check email, drink the coffee…drink more coffee…read email. Sophie (our little Havanese four-legged) came down and indicated in her special way that she needed her own morning moment so I set my computer and coffee aside and hooked her up. All of this was pretty robot-like in terms of my presence…not quite in my body as yet. I hit the button to open the garage door and it was as if the world, my world, suddenly woke up. Everything was bright green and crisply in focus, my own car in the driveway seemed to have been edited somehow to be more vividly red. As I stepped across the threshold of the garage into Creation my senses were hit by a barrage of information. Light, smells, sounds, sensation. And the air had a perfume that stopped me (and Sophie) in our tracks. It’s not as if I haven’t smelled this perfume before, as I’ve probably reported…it’s just that I haven’t been there for it lately. Ah, it was a very special moment and I enjoyed it fully. I breathed in the perfume of morning, noticed the dew sparkling all around me, looked at the leaves on the trees and noticed the way things were growing. I listened to all of the birdsong and squirrel cacophony around me. It was different because for various reasons I’ve been inside for days and haven’t stepped into Creation in quite this way for a while. I realized I missed it. I won’t let that happen again.

I receive dozens and dozens of Facebook posts sharing wisdom and platitudes all day long. Some of them hit me hard, some of them not as much. In fact, today I realize that many of them are simply redundant and I need to begin weeding out which of these pages I really want to see and which I can remove. As you all know, there are more than enough distractions in our days. It helps if we can consciously eliminate at least some of them. One consistent message I am receiving is that it’s time to take steps in new directions. In fact, I do have something new I am in the process of creating, but more to come on that.

On the topic of doing something new, I decided to take myself on a date. Yesterday I drove myself an hour away to my favorite New Jersey beach. I admit that I’ve never done this before…taken a long drive to sit on the beach alone. So taking this journey on my own was new for me. And I loved it. It’s been awhile since I took a long drive alone so I cranked up my music and took off. It felt great to make friends with myself again; hanging out at the wheel of my car, finding a parking space, schlepping my beach stuff out the shoreline, just me and myself doing my day. I had some productive and invigorating creative space to envision and begin writing a project I’m working on. I was able to simply be with myself without distraction and in a different environment. I feel like the entire day shifted some stuck energy like the proverbial “breath of fresh air”. I feel refreshed and empowered all because I changed my routine, took my day in hand literally, changed my environment, and simply enjoyed my own company. I would imagine the power of the ocean may have played some part in my shifted energy, but I think it was the whole package. I’m so glad I did this for myself.

STRECTH: Think about something you could do to “change up” your day. Try taking yourself on a “date”. Maybe a walk in the woods with a picnic lunch, or a trip to a lake or the ocean. Maybe visit a museum or art gallery, or anything out of your ordinary day-to-day that you love to do. Make it a date in your calendar and choose your activity consciously. At the end of your day, check in and see if your energy has changed. Make friends with yourself.