Tag Archives: living

“Stepping On Old Grounds”

Standard

Today I went back to place I lived in Philadelphia. I haven’t seen since the day I ran away in 1968. That’s 50 years ago. It was an institution in Philadelphia called Stenton Child Center. My younger sister and I were supposed to feel fortunate that we were in such a nice place. Most of the places the state provided for abandon children were pretty run down. There is no place on earth that could be better than being with your own family no matter how difficult things are at home.

I didn’t know how I would react when I actually saw it. As we began to approach I felt only a moment panic, that quickly turned to curiosity. I couldn’t believe how much it looked the same after all these years.  The memories so fresh in my mind and stories yet to tell. I couldn’t go inside because it’s now a shelter for homeless families, but I was okay with that because I felt like the monster it represented in my mind for so many years no longer had a hold on me.

On my way home I wondered about how this applies to what I wrote about yesterday in relation to place of shifting I find myself. Of all the different places I’ve been, this was by far the worst ground I’d ever worked in my life. But it’s also yielded the most growth in my life. It was a time of planting, growing, and nurturing. It was full of many cultivating opportunities that could have yielded many weeds, but instead continues to teach and bear much fruit.

I am not only in the winter of the season, but nature teaches another lesson in my life, that I am in the winter of my shifting cultivation. A time to rest, re-evaluate, contemplate, let go and chill out on a icebergs going with the rivers flow.

“Lucy Turning Life Upside Down…In A Good Way”

Standard

img_2389

I guess since I’ve come into my new family’s life I’ve turned it upside down a bit. I don’t know why because to me everything seems as it should be. I’m 6 months old which makes me about 3 1/2 in people years now. I’m easily distracted especially when I go out to pee. If I see a bird, bunny or bee I forget what I came out to do, and want to play with all Gods creations. I love being outside in the world walking bare paw on the grass, I don’t care if they get muddy or wet. I love digging in the dirt smelling all the scents, hearing all the sounds even taste-testing different things like those lip-smacking rabbit turds, yum!

I think I’m good for my people. I keep them hoping up and down as they have to take me out several times to pee. It makes them walk in their bare feet too as they don’t always have time to put their shoes on. It also gives them a timeout from what they were doing. I look up at my Connie and see something as she breaths in the fresh, is it happy, peaceful, contentment? I don’t know a lot about these things yet, it just looks like she’s feeling and sensing the same things I am, and everything seems as it should be.

Then there’s the leader of our pack, Tom. He’s like the lion in our tribe. When he roars, he expects me to listen. I just love teasing him. When he points his finger at me with a roar to stop, I jump up and nibble at his finger. He roars some more, and I jump back and forth yapping at him. He says, “don’t you talk back at me!” and I ruff, ruff, ruff right back again. The whole time my Connie is laughing at us both. My Tom tries to keep that stern look on his face, but I know if I keep it up I can melt that look right into a smile even a chuckle or two. He loves me, I know it. Sometimes I don’t know who I love more…my Connie or Tom…maybe I just love them both for who they are. What I do know for sure is that I like making them happy and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it even if it is in upside kind of way.

Until next time,

Love Lucy

“Wakeup Calls”

Standard

 if not now

I don’t think I can count how many times I’ve been given a wakeup call. They come in one way or another like a health issue that pops up putting a scare in your life. An accident where you realize you’re lucky to still be alive. The loss of a pet, friend or loved one. These are all life altering scenarios that call for a change in our life.

So, the question becomes, “If not now, when?”

For as Mark Nepo says in his reading today, “There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.”

 

 

“Miracles Of Life”

Standard


Today as I begin my meditation I’m giving a quote by Albert Einstin to ponder, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

A few weeks ago a friend read a quote to me by Napoleon Hill, “In your search for the secret of the method, do not look for a miracle, because you will not find it. You will find only the eternal laws of nature.”

I realized that sometimes I get so caught up in how to make the miracles in my life happen that I actually miss the miricles there are to see. I think to myself often that I know how to do what I need to in order to get from here to there. However, in the process of doing things the way I think I should, I miss out on all there is to see in between where the miricles actually exist.

“A note to Myself”

Standard


Why do I need notes to remind me
What’s already written my heart?
To be grateful for a new day.
For the people I love
And pray for too.

To remember to hear the birds sing
To smell a rose or two.
And
How could I ever forget
to tell you
I love you too.

And don’t forget to laugh out loud
And be silly instead of blue.

Savoring a glass of wine
With a piece of dark chocolate
Or two.

Walk on the grass in my bare feet
Maybe even dance in the rain like a kid.

Sing a song that goes to my heart
And makes me tap your feet.

Oh the gift of life
Is so sweet
Yet can be gone in the blink
Of an eye.
So why waste my time
Writing notes to myself
When I could
Be living 
what’s already
written in my heart.

“Lucy & I”

Standard

This is Lucy & I resting after our morning walk or should I say chilling out as I ice my ankle and knee. Not to worry…I’m only trying to keep ahead of the swelling that comes with all the extra activity that Lucy has brought into my life. It’s a good thing, but my life feels a bit on hold right now while I keep a watchful eye on her. She wants to chew on everything so I try to catch her at it giving her one of her chew toys instead. Then there’s the housebreaking. I’m not sure if I’m training her at this point or myself to take her out about every hour. 

I feel like I did when I brought my babies home from the hospitality. My life was their’s as I put my own on a shelf for a while and tended to their every need. I know I gave up my nice easy going life for her and while I think I should be saying to myself, why’d you do that? I have to say I find it worth all the work.  She makes me feel alive in a whole new way, and that’s a good thing at my age, don’t ya think?

“I Love Lucy”

Standard

“My little dog- 
A heartbeat at my feet.
-Edith Wharton

For those who haven’t meet my little Lucy she is a 4 month or Cairn terrier full of lots of energy and love. 

I understand now why they say dogs are known for helping people live longer. I would add especially if they’re puppy’s. Lucy has me on the move constantly, in and out we go as I work at housbreaking her. She’s doing pretty good. I read in the training book that if they go inside the house it’s not their fault it’s yours for not paying enough attention,  oy vey its exhausting. Than there are the several walks we go on to work some of her energy off. It’s good for me especially since I’m supposed to walk a lot to continue making my new knee stronger. The quote above made me laugh because she is literally at my feet and sometimes we are doing more of a dance together rather then a walk. I have to say my legs are really sore but it’s a good sore that comes from a good workout. I’m getting out in the fresh air a lot more too and that in itself has me feeling great. 

I love my Lucy girl that’s for sure.

“As Long As You Are Breathing”

Standard

As I went through my own struggle with my health issues this past year it was difficult to think of anything else except what I was going through. Bringing myself into a place of mindfulness that reminded me that I wasn’t living now and that I can’t ever get this time back took a conscious effort.

In Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes, “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.”

He goes onto say:

“When we’re ill, we obsess about what’s going wrong in the body. We don’t think about the fact that since we’re alive virtually everything in the body is going right! And when we’re healthy, how often do we celebrate our good health? Hardly ever, for most of us.

So I’m going to suggest that you devote more mental space to celebrating and rejoicing in the ordinary things that are going right, and that you’re doing right, in your life.

-When you’re driving, notice that you’re driving with care and attention, and celebrate this. Say to yourself things like “Yay, me!”

-When you’re reading, pause once in a while and rejoice in the fact that you can read. (As a father whose oldest child is only just beginning to stumble through reading primers, I’m at the stage of recognizing how amazing this is.)

-Notice that you’re conscious. What an amazing thing that is! No one has the faintest idea what consciousness is — how matter interacting with matter can create this thing called “experience.” You’re a miracle!

-Pause and celebrate your good health. Say “thank you” to your body. If you’re in bad health, rejoice in the fact that your body is forever trying to heal itself, and that most things in your body are in fact functioning.

-Celebrate having access to clean drinking water, clean air, food.

-Celebrate having clothing and having possessions. If you’re poor and live in the developed world, you’re probably still richer than 90% of the world’s population.

-Celebrate family and friends.

-Celebrate the fact that you’re alive.

-Celebrate that you’re able to celebrate.

“Start From Now”- A follow-up from yesterday’s post

Standard

now

This is a follow-up from yesterday’s post. “Start from Now.” I was asked for a source of where it came from and as I wrote the answer it got me thinking about how important it is to share with everyone.

It’s a phrase my Dad often said to me when I found myself discouraged by the choices I made or the circumstances I found myself in. I figured he got it from one of the many inspirational books he’d read, but since I was asked I decided to google it. There are many different references to the same idea but none that are specific to these 3 words. It was found within the quote written by Carl Bard. (see the photo attached.)

Many already known the story I wrote a few years ago, about how I found these words written on a yellow sticky note stuck to the inside door of my Dad’s medicine cabinet. Something he couldn’t miss each morning as he began his day shaving.  What many people don’t know is that he was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about the last 25 years of his life before he died at 79. Just because alcoholic’s stop drinking for long period doesn’t mean that the urge to drink goes away. It was a decision he had to make daily, sometimes several times a day. He found a way to take each moment and start anew because the other alternative would play on his mind, and he knew he couldn’t go there.  He also learned to apply it to many other areas life.

These 3 words for me are not just words of feel good fluff. I don’t share anything I myself don’t use in my own life. One thing I will say is that starting from now is not for sissies. It is hard work. Moving past the things in my life that drag me down feels like my own personal addiction to overcome. I’ve shared this quote with friends going through their own struggles. My friend Donna used it daily as she fought her way through cancer, and when she was too overcome by her condition her husband reminded her to take one step at a time…starting from now. Even through my own illness this past year and my surgeries where I felt stuck in limbo bringing myself back to the now reminded me that I was still alive, and that each day is a gift worth living no matter how I feel. Nobody said it was easy. The choice is there. I can choose to make the best of where I’m at each day or choose not to. Starting from now is just a formula to begin with…the rest is up to us.

“The Sea of Life”

Standard


“The Sea of Life”

With my limited mobility, I don’t have much choice except to sit most of the day. Oh I get up quite often for short periods of walking and exercise, but the gist of my day is spent in a chair. I have plenty of things I can do like watching TV, reading a book, writing, working on my genealogy, a craft or even coloring in my color book. Or I can simple sit in the quiet and listen. The thing is I’m so tired most of the time that the TV seems to be the most mindless thing to do. In spite of my cloudy mind I still hear my inquiring mind reaching out from within. In case you haven’t guessed already I’m a pretty deep thinker. Nothing keeps those thoughts from finding a way out, except when I ignore it. I find myself saying lately, “Go away, and come again another day.” But to be honest I miss being connected to that inner part of myself. I miss being in the quiet. It’s simple a matter of choice. I can be in a noisy mindless state or in a quiet mindful state.

“A troubled man exhausted from his suffering and confusion, asked a sage for help. The sage looked deeply into the troubled man and with compassion offered him a choose: “You can have either a map or a boat.”
After looking at the many pilgrims about him, all of whom seemed equally troubled, the confused man said, “I’ll take the boat.”
The sage kissed him on the forehead and said, “Go than. You are the boat. Life is the sea.”***

In the quiet I’m always able to rediscover the sea of life that exists within me. Like a fisherman all I need to do is sit quietly bobbing in my boat, listening and waiting for the catch of the day to reveal itself to me.

***from “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo