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 7-29-16

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I’ve made a commitment the last two weeks to stay as far away from the political circus as I can and so far I’ve been pretty successful in spite of the constant onslaught of media both news and social, that insists on playing the proceedings out over and over again, with a constant spin in every direction possible. I’m not ignoring the history-making moment of our first female Presidential nominee, though in the present climate it feels anticlimactic. And so I take a moment to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how pleased I am that this moment has, at long last, arrived. I can’t help thinking of my mother and what she would think about seeing a woman President. In fact, there are many women who come to mind whose reaction to this historic moment would be of interest to me.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending three days in the Pocono mountains on retreat with a powerful group of women (and one incredibly wonderful man – my husband). It was an amazing experience to be in a space of sisterhood with these women and to support a very dear friend of ours who created and delivered this magical weekend for all of us. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for the experience of connection I felt – with all of nature, with the earth and the sky, with the rocks and trees, with the animals and the birds, and with the souls gathered. We made new friendships, reconnected with friends we love who live far away, and filled our cups to overflowing.

In contrast, today my husband and I will officiate a funeral service for someone we have cared about for many years. She was my father’s companion for quite some time and my family and I have been grateful to her. Her presence in his life made his loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s Disease easier for him to bear and the last years of my Dad’s life were so much happier and richer for her being there. They were great together and we know that she loved him dearly. We are sad today, but joyous that she is reunited with her ancestors and with my mom and dad who I knew were happy to receive her. So I say thank you and send love to Trudy. We will always hold her in our hearts.
And as we say goodbye and release from our lives one being, we welcome another, our new grand-niece, Olivia, born just hours after Trudy passed. A poignant example of the continuum of the life cycle and how birth and death exist within it.

All of this gives rise to our stretch this week.

STRETCH: Our lives are filled with variety. Variety of experiences, variety of people, variety of feelings, variety of thought. It is evidence that we are alive and moving through time and space on the earth plane. Take some time this week to notice variety…ups and downs…in and outs…highs and lows…warm and cold…that your life offers you. Give thanks for it and dedicate yourself to fully living in each moment. If you feel so moved write your musings down in a journal or notebook as the week progresses and reflect back on your writing at the end of the week. You will be amazed at how much you can hold in the course of one week of living. ~FD