The Lights Are On & Someone’s Home ~ 8-25-17


photo by Franne Demetrician

Feeling the refreshing cool hint of fall in the air this morning and it feels good. Planning to hold summer as close as possible but ready to welcome the sensual pleasures of autumn.

I spent some time in the last few days talking about and reflecting on authenticity. I had written a post for this week that somehow didn’t work for me and even after asking for some valued input from trusted confidants, I didn’t feel good about posting it. So, it sat in my file for the last few days waiting for me to “post or get off the pot”. I decided to get off the pot and start over. Here is why.

The intention of this website is to be a place of safety and respite for anyone who chooses to stop by and read my blog. My hope is that what I share here is helpful to my readers; that together we come to feel and know that none of us are alone in our human experience. My previous post was more of a “cranky pants” rant than the fulfillment of my intention. I’m considering that post a private journal entry that just needed to be written, and leave it at that.

I had the good fortune of receiving a tremendously healing session from my friend and colleague, Michele Granberg. She is a gifted shaman and healer. I was holding the question about my cranky blog post in my heart when I arrived. My intention for the session was quite simply to find my center, to affirm integrity and authenticity, and to remember my connection to Oneness. As always, the session was amazing, but this one seemed to have an even deeper and higher quality to it and soon I was in an altered state hovering just outside of my body in total bliss. I’ve had some inspired moments during sessions with Michele, and this one was restorative and refreshing, which is exactly what was needed.

Toward the end of the session Michele began to whisper some affirmations to me, and as she did I started to see faces – faces of people in my life who love me. It started with my Dad’s face and I felt his energy as if he were standing right next to Michele at the side of the table. I felt the tears and said a silent “Hi” to Dad, but then I saw more faces – faces of people in my life who I love and who love me – and felt more energy and was immediately surrounded by what can only be identified as unconditional love from every one of them. It was sudden and filled me completely. I almost felt myself lifted off the table by the rush of energy I felt from the light of all their love. Then she said something like, “feel yourself so connected that the face of God is but a hair’s breadth away”. That was profound, and what I saw was me “cheek to cheek” with the face of God. It wasn’t so much a visual image, but it was what I experienced. Me and God – cheek to cheek. It was pure, it was innocence, it was transcendent.

Michele said a few more things, brought me back to Earth and my body, and the session ended. I felt revitalized to be sure. And I gained insights from some of what Michele intuited from the session that clarified some of my present questions and challenges. I hugged her and thanked her, then floated out to my car. My habit is to get the music going before I do anything, which is what I did. I pressed the button that would start my iTunes library and put the car in reverse. The next thing I heard was the most beautiful saxophone interpretation of “God Bless The Child”, by of all people Stanley Turrentine. Y’all, I didn’t even know I HAD that piece in my library. Hello! I stopped the car and just stared at the readout on the dashboard that said, “God Bless The Child”. The message was complete – cheek to cheek with God, “God Bless The Child”, and unconditional love from all the angels in my life. It was all there and the lightbulb blazed as bright as the sun. Ding, Ding, Ding! I knew what I needed to know.

Whatever the eclipse on Monday left behind – the “eclipse hangover”- that I was feeling this past week I have surrendered to it and welcome the opportunities it has afforded me. My session with Michele was integral in moving me forward and I am exceedingly grateful to her for her kindness, her compassion and her skill. I heard the message loud and clear, the lightbulb continues to burn bright, and I’m ready for what is next.

No stretch this week. Just hugs and love from me to you.

FINDING HOPE ON THE BEACH ~ 8-14-17


Bradley Beach, NJ 8-12-17

We are probably all a little freaked out with the hype about the eclipses, moon cycle, and Mercury going retrograde all at the same time. I know I am. And while I do believe that astrological events can and do influence how things play out in our lives, I sometimes wonder how much of these occurrences are actually the result of these energies at play, or my projections and fears about their power. Regardless, energy IS moving around that I think may be related to the action going on “out there”; and it’s gotten my attention.

I pay heed to the advice of astrologers, especially my friend Lisa Zimmerman, who is a gifted one. I’ve learned so much from her about how aspects of astrological circumstances surrounding my birth influence how I express myself in this lifetime and am often comforted by her advice as she helps me understand what’s going on with planets and stars in relation to how life is unfolding. The eclipse energy portends upheaval, endings, beginnings, release and a variety of other possibilities. I am noticing how that is showing in various forms and while I see it in my personal life, what is most important right now is what is occurring in a more global way.

The most dramatic way it has shown up this weekend has been the horrific event taking place in Charlottesville, VA, and the tragic and needless death of a young woman, two policemen, and injury of 19 others. It is impossible to continue this posting without expressing my own feelings of shock and disgust that my country finds itself immersed yet again in the calamity and crime of racism and intolerance. I feel like I’ve been in a time machine that moved me in reverse and landed me in 1966 America, when firehoses and vicious dogs were fixed on peaceful demonstrators asking to be treated equally as men and women. And as a person of Jewish descent, the sight of nazi flags carried by a gang of angry white men was chilling and sickening to say the least. I keep shaking my head periodically to force those images away from my mind. Thus far, they are not leaving me.

The images from Charlottesville brought back some of the most unsettling memories of my youth, a time when change was rapidly taking place and hope sprang eternal despite the extreme turmoil of the times. Today I admit that my vision of my country has been badly damaged and I feel estranged from hope right now. But, I cannot and I will not allow fear and grief to derail my fundamental belief that we as a people are kind and good and that fairness and equanimity are the birthright of all people. What we are perceiving as darkness will be once again illuminated by the light of Truth and we will once again be proud of the legacy of the Great Experiment that is The United States of America. People of conscience must stand up over and over against the “normalization” of darkness and continue to be the bearers of light and love. Thankfully, there has been a lot of that in the last twenty-four hours. Hope.

Yesterday Bob and I spent our day on a crowded beach. I commented to him that we were here with probably thousands of people as far as the eye could see, gathered to enjoy the bounty of nature, focused on the ocean and a collective experience of breathing fresh sea air, the refreshment of the ocean’s waters, the gift of sunshine – all of us together. No politics, no suffering, no anger or violence. Just a colorful sea of humanity enjoying a day at the beach. This is my America. Did the thousands of people on the beach have different opinions about this or that? Probably. But we were together in one place, with one thing in common that allowed us to be there in peace. To me, this was the epitome of “possibility”. It was a helpful balm to soothe my broken spirit and helped to begin to restore my sense of hope for all of us.

The eclipse energy and the various astronomical influences notwithstanding, we are the masters of our thoughts and our responses. We are empowered to offset these influences with consciousness and intention. We can reach out to each other for support and counsel to manage our emotions and impulses. We can navigate these troubled waters with our own focus and awareness along with skillful guidance from those who know. We are fully responsible for the choices we make and now is the time to make the best ones possible. Love is the foundation of life. Nothing and no one can alter that reality.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-3-17 ~ On August

Ah, August. I have a conflicting relationship with this month.

As I mentioned, August is my birthday month. My awkward relationship with August began in childhood, specifically once I started school. You see, August comes before September, and September means SCHOOL! And there is my birthday, smack dab in the middle of August, two weeks before the beginning of SCHOOL!

Most kids dream of their birthdays. Am I right? And like most kids, I dreamt about mine, in living color. Cake, ribbons, wrapped surprises, games, all kinds of fun. And yet, the specter of SCHOOL was always breathing down my neck in the form of some hideous monster who would show up to ruin it and scare the bejeezes out of me and everyone else. I’d wake up in tears and disappointment. In my waking life I’d think, “Oh boy, my birthday is coming!”, feel a quick sense of excitement and delight at the prospect only to have those feelings diminished the second I would compute the timing and what would inevitably come right after. It didn’t help that some of my birthday gifts might include school-oriented things like fall clothing, a bookbag, or a new pencil case. Such a mixed bag for a kid to manage.

As an adult, I developed what one might call “unrealistic expectations” around my birthday. I think on some level I had hoped that adulthood would negate the conflicting emotions since school was no longer an issue. The end of August was only the end of Summer (bad enough actually, but not as bad as SCHOOL), and I love the fall season so it was not so bad. Subconsciously (maybe not so “sub”) I expected the day to be extra special somehow. And sometimes it was. But most times it was average or less. I often felt let down and sad. It just never measured up to what I had hoped it would be. My birthday continued to be a mixed bag emotionally.

I love being a student and eventually – you guessed it – went back to SCHOOL!! And guess what – that old anxiety returned and I would measure the month of August (and my birthday) against the impending beginning of my school year and eventually my child’s. No matter what I did, I couldn’t separate my birthday from what would arrive shortly thereafter.

As I’ve grown older and more mature I’ve worked at my relationship with August. I am a proud Leo woman, and I’ve educated myself about what that means. I have made peace with the placement of my birthday on the calendar and celebrate the radiance, color, and light that August brings. I pay close attention to the beauty of it and get myself to the beach as often as I can to enjoy the warmer ocean waters and the golden sunlight that is unique to the month. School is a constant in my life. I am always taking classes, teaching something, supporting my family who are teachers and/or students, and I’ve come to embrace the onset of the school year. I see it as a beginning rather than an ending – or at least that is my intention.

I’ve also taken the time to look up the definition of the word august. Here is what I found: respected and impressive. Synonyms: distinguished, respected, eminent, venerable, hallowed, illustrious, prestigious, renowned, celebrated, honored, acclaimed, esteemed, exalted; great, important, lofty, noble; imposing, impressive, awe-inspiring, stately, grand, dignified.

OK, maybe not dignified, but I’ll take the rest and add in some of my favorite Leo traits: kind, sunny, passionate, creative, generous and loyal. We’ll just leave it there.

My birthday became an even more poignant day on August 16, 2012. My father died on that day. He fell into a coma and was in grave condition on August 13. I think I knew then that he would die on my birthday. There is something about that fact that was comforting then, and continues to be. It seems to have some sort of cosmic significance, though for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure it out. I only know that on that day I feel great reverence and peace, along with genuine sadness at the loss of my beloved father and hero.

The day my father died my daughter made me promise that I wouldn’t spend my birthdays grieving. I don’t, but I find that the day has taken on a different energy. I no longer have lofty expectations and anxiety around it. It’s now a day for me to reflect. I think of my Dad and that day five years ago. I also think about how grateful I am to be here on the planet and celebrate life. I enjoy time with my family, but it’s not a requirement. I’m also fine with passing the day alone, doing something I love. This year I plan to take myself to the beach.

My Grandpa Louie used to tell me, “Never be too happy or too sad”. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that when I heard it as a young child. But, his words stayed with me and as an adult I finally get it. My birthday is a great metaphor for that advice. It’s a wonderful day of celebration and gratitude – for the magic of birth and the gift of my life. Happy. Juxtaposed with all that happiness and joy is the opposite – my childhood dread of school, the sadness at the end of summer, and the inevitability of loss and death. Sad.

So, with Grandpa Louie’s advice in mind, my birthday is “never too happy or too sad”. I’m OK with the mixed bag. It means I get to have it all. I like that.

STRETCH: Take time to think about where you may have “unrealistic expectations”. Can you imagine removing them? Can you imagine how much more at peace you will be when you do?