Changes – It’s Still All About Acceptance and Self Love


“Evening Song” www.sfago.com

I always recoil when anyone says, “at your age ….”, “It’s expected at your age…” or a diagnosis of “age-related”. to which I respond, “OK, but what would be causing this if I were young?” And then I have been able to find a satisfactory solution, usually on my own. Until recently.

I have reached a time in my life that is bringing perhaps an inkling of changes that are probably pretty close and maybe even here now, if I choose to acknowledge them.

I have a paint buddy that I met in 2014. We were immediately best friends and we’ve rarely done plein air painting or travel relative to paint workshops or paint outs, art shows, gallery trips without each other. I’ve grown close to her and consider her one of of my two best (nonfamily) friends. She is several years younger than me, I’m in my 80s and she in her 70s. She is still traveling internationally and has a higher level of energy.

I don’t want to hold her back from doing painting events, because I’m unable, knowing we can modify what and where we do some things together. She’s a lesson in loyalty and I realized yesterday that I need to make her feel comfortable with looking for a new paint buddy but first I have to work through my own feelings about this and at this moment I’m having a difficult time facing that. I’ll miss the very special times and making memories, our painting relationship, experiences and the closeness that goes with creating memories and just the fun of painting with her in situations that are highly unlikely to happen again. I imagine dynamics will change, proximity, time together will probably change and will our wonderful friendship change? I expect it to continue to be meaningful in other ways. We have a lot of fun memories.

Choosing is sometimes a little easier than being forced to let go so am trying to use that perspective to face the end of an era, a change caused by some new limitations in my life, and probably not in the too-distant-future, hers as well. Painting is my passion and still consumes my thoughts and time but in my studio now.

I’d like to, in fact, plan to travel to paint again and need to find my own comfort level. I have now and have always had an abhorrence, even an inability of feel that I’m being a burden to anyone. Now I’m faced with needing to deal with that and find a way to accept that it’s ok to ask for help or, with forewarning to my buddy, friends and family, of my less energetic self. I know that it could sometimes hold someone else back and concerned that I would make them uncomfortable and impatient. I have to remind myself that these are more likely my feelings – not theirs. Yikes! Admitting that I’m not the person I want to be or used to be? That I’ve become less? Again I have to remind myself that I’m more than my energy level. I have the same issue no matter when, where or who – I’ve always pushed through as much as possible but can no longer stretch myself. When I’ve hit the wall, I’m done and it’s often inconvenient to me and have a difficult time involving others in that.

I’ve been isolating, partly because much of the time I don’t have the wherewithal to leave my home, but also waiting for a time when I would be able to keep up comfortably. I finally realize that I’m going to have to admit to myself and others the possibility, in fact reality, that I have a new pace. I’m hoping – and quite sure they’ll understand, and that they also have a choice and can opt out of anything, no harm, no foul. Giving that “out” to them is easy for me to do and accept. I also need to accept the possibility that I may have to opt out last minute – and that’s difficult for me to accept ! No harm, no foul for me? Yikes!

Is slowing down such a bad thing? I suppose not. I still walk briskly and have a pretty sharp mind. It’s subtle changes in desires, actions and staying power. Maybe that is part of aging? Maybe not? I have a feeling that I’ve been in denial and those close to me already get and accept it. After all, I do have a head of white hair and that is hopefully associated with wisdom, discrimination and maturity – and slowing down. I think I need to concentrate on that description of my changes. I have loving family and friends around me who are eager to be together. That’s all that really matters. So what am I concerned about? Nothing serious going on here! Isn’t part of life just acceptance of constant changes?

Other changes in my life that were monumental and real life-changers at the time are now, as part of my past, remembered mostly with very little, if any, emotion. This change has been more insidious, occurring rather slowly and somehow immense and accepted with more resistance; I think because I am equating it to moving toward the end of life as I know it and that I love so much. But other changes were really no different? Yes! Because now I’m closer to the end of my life. Period! And I love my life! But I’ve milked it and am still having a wonderful time and I’m past my expiration date.

So just another change – really nothing new. Only what I decide to attach to it. Perspectives?

Self love, acceptance. Remember, Sharon! Self love, acceptance. And then Joy and Gratefulness!

Carpe diem!

And Namaste,

My Son – My Prayer


Thanksgiving Day 2015

Rich is still with us and we have that and much more to be grateful for!  He’s having more issues, was in the hospital for 2 days but discharged and was seen at Compass Oncology yesterday.  His daughter and granddaughter arrive today to visit for a few days.  His sons and their families will be here December 3 and we’ll have our Christmas then.  The tree goes up today and we’re looking forward to a precious family day.

I hope that for all of you as well.

Thank you so much for all of your support, prayers, wonderful notes and for sharing the link. We appreciate all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Rich, Brooklyn and Silas

Rich, Brooklyn and Silas Please share this link – help make it go viral! Thank you! https://www.gofundme.com/RichardHart

After a sleepless night of praying, sending good energy and healing to my son, vacillating between shock, numbness, deep grief and yes, fear, I’m writing…my therapy and release.

I’ve read Michael Singer’s book, The Surrender Experience and trying to understand and put into practice what I’m learning.   I don’t want this extremely painful lesson in surrender.

For almost 9 years now, my 54-year-old son has been in unrelenting pain in his back and leg from an unfortunate accident when he was in his early 20’s and a back surgery that increased his problems rather  than helping.   He has been on some pretty heavy pain and anti-inflammatory drugs and for most of this time has tried to get off of them, unsuccessfully.

He’s lived 4 years of his greatest happiness – and reason to keep going – with his granddaughter, and a month ago, a precious little grandson, Silas.   Along with the joy of having Brooklyn in his life, he’s lived with the worst stress for the same four years because of an ongoing custody battle in a very corrupt and expensive court system.  It has taken its toll on every level of his life.

Two weeks ago, he called saying he had been in the Emergency Room with stroke symptoms, stroke being a side-effect of two of the medications he is on.    He had lost feeling in his entire right side, from the top of his head to the tips of his toes.  Although he had lost sensation on his right side and the vision in one eye was blurred when he looked to the side, his pain increased.  He had tried to go off one of his meds and when he restarted it, the symptoms decreased somewhat but didn’t disappear.  The exact scenario repeated a week later with another trip to the ER.  CT and other tests ruled out stroke and he was again released.

Yesterday, he called and said he was going to the ER again for an MRI because the symptoms were getting worse.  He said not to worry, it was the same thing as before but his doctor said he needed to be checked. As the afternoon progressed,  I got a call from his son saying that a CT had shown a very large mass on the left lobe of his brain.  Hours later, he was told it is an inoperable brain tumor, fast growing.

My mantra is – where there’s a will there’s a way.  He lives in another State and I’ll be traveling to be with him.  Rationally I know it’s not possible for me to fix this one but my heart says I must try.  Our family first-line remedies are food and prayer.  I’ve prayed all night.  If I believe what I say I believe – every thought is a prayer, I feel the need to stay positive and send only good energy.  I want to jump in the car and drive but it would take longer to get there than to fly out tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to be with him, make bone broth and green veggie smoothies for him….fill him with organic greens, grass-fed meats, free range eggs….. and on the other hand, I almost cannot stand the thought of seeing him in fear, pain, and knowing that without a miracle, his beautiful soul will be shedding this battered body.  I am struggling…really struggling.

My mind says this is happening and I can choose how I want to be, so be grateful and joyful that I’ve had all of my years with him.  But right now I feel helpless and what in the world can I do to help him and whatever will I do without his phone calls and texts, his wonderful love notes…..my heart is aching.  I think of several close friends and family who have lost children, a 3-year-old niece included, and wonder how their families survived.

I’ve had emotional conversations with my husband, my two sisters and with my other son and daughter who live near me. My daughter and I talked into the late evening hours,  a wonderful conversation, making decisions about how we want to navigate our part in Rich’s journey.  If this is truly happening,  if we’re going to lose Rich, we want to respect and support him in his transition back to God, be joyful and grateful, loving and appreciative of having his important soul in our lives for all of these years.

Right now those are just words that we’re trying desperately to connect to and believe – and live.

Right now, I’m in anguish and resistance and look forward to some respite – some moments of feeling numb and not comprehending that this is really happening to my precious son.

I’m still hoping there has been a mistake and this is just a bad dream…..

Please pray for us…and all who are going thru this and worse.  Please send strength, guidance, peace and healing to all who are in need.

God, please help me know what to say and do, how to make it through this….I want to truly trust, be able to love and support him through his last adventure here on earth.  I held my son when he entered this world and I will be honored to hold him when he transitions.  Just like when he was a kid and got scrapes on his knees..I will hug him and tell him he is OK…all is well…you are loved deeply…We’re here with you, Son…God is with you.  We won’t forget you.  You’ll be so deeply missed.  I’m so blessed to have you in my life and you will continue to be for as long as I live.

Thank you, God, that we have your peace and your comforting presence throughout his transition.

Morning is finally here!  Somehow things seem a little easier with morning light.  For a few moments at least…

I’m sending this out in hopes that collective good energy in thoughts and prayers from so many will help during this time.  Thank you!!

 

11/6/15 Update

Seems like another life ago since my life was normal and it has only been about 3 weeks.  After a week with him in the Hospital, I brought he and  his wife home with me to Washington State and we’re on a new adventure.  He was diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma multiformae.  We are still trying to comprehend the speed of this aggressive nasty cancer.   He’s being seen at OHSU in Portland, by a Naturopathic Oncologist and a Nutritionist in Texas, Nutritional Solutions, who specializes in brain tumors.  We’re doing all we can and very hopeful to prolong his life and make it best quality possible.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and thoughts!

Sharon

Please share the link below – help make it go viral.  Thanks!

https://www.gofundme.com/RichardHart

 

11/16/15 Update

This is a precious time with my son.  He went to live with his father when he was early teens and I missed him so much.  We lived near each other and he was back and forth but I missed the constancy and the little things that happen each day.

Today while he was sleeping, I was sitting nearby and sending love and healing, visualizing the tumor being eaten away by big mouths, visualizing a healthy brain free of cancer, a healing light aimed at the tumor and shrinking it.

It brought back precious memories of when he was a sleeping baby, toddler, and seeing him in his little league baseball uniform.  He made the All-Star Team and really was a little star.  Visions rush through my mind.  I loved to smell his head, his neck, his pillow. I still do.

His right side is now useless and my husband, his wife and I help him up and down the stairs each day – he’s still able to make it.  His son, Calvin, was here for a few days to visit with him and it was difficult on Rich seeing him leave – and difficult for Calvin to leave his Dad.

FullSizeRender

Rich  had a very low energy day but we’re so grateful for today.  Thank all of you for your wonderful notes, prayers, healing thoughts and support.  Every day that we have him with us is a wonderful day!

 

 

 

 

My Art – An Insight


I painted all day yesterday, final touchups on a couple of paintings and then sketching ideas for new paintings.  Don’t know why I’m thinking about new ones when I have so many to finish…

 I’m trying to get myself back to enjoying painting instead of anticipating a buyer or show.  That takes away from the joy of just painting for the sake of creating for me.  While I’m actually painting, I’m  in total bliss.  But before and after?  Not so much.  Not like it was before I started selling.  Sometime ago I figured out that pressure that I put on myself – insecurity about my paintings – needing others to like my paintings – sellable? gallery-able?  was a big part of the reason that I stopped painting for so many years.

Some of my paintings were used in Portland Street of Dreams in the 80’s which precipitated a pretty unexpected success in selling my art and hundreds of prints.  I had been selling regularly at a hospital where I worked but the Street of Dreams experience raised pressure to paint to a whole new level.  Ultimately, it became such a drain that I quit painting.  For 20 some years!  I dabbled once in a rare while but don’t think I ever finished a painting during those years.  I do know that I got side tracked with my sales years ago – felt stuck in doing the kind of art that sold in the same way as always so that it would sell.  After the initial excitement of being in such demand lost it’s glow and became pressure, I felt trapped and bored – in a way.

I realized this morning that I’m still in that mind set – insecurity and pressure.  I have myself so confused and pressured about what I want to paint to add to a collection for a gallery – children series, southwest series, seascapes, landscapes…. I’m like a fart in a frying pan!!!

 A couple of years ago I started painting again.  A little.  About a year ago, I started painting more and now I’m obsessed with it again.  But I find I’m struggling with me.  I want to have a distinctive style – whatever it turns out to be.  Some others say they see it but I don’t.  Right now when I look at my different sets of paintings, they look like they’re done by different artists – my children series is one style, southwest another, seascapes are different yet and way  more realistic than I like although I really get high on some aspects of realism in all my paintings, especially seascapes.

If I’m truly painting from in my artistic “center” will I see my style as consistent?   No matter what I paint?   I don’t know.   And then again, maybe I just need to accept that right now I enjoy doing different styles and have different series to express those styles.  I need to explore that.  Acceptance?

I do know that this artist thing is kind of a torment for me.  Pressure – to paint, to sell, to hang, to be part of, is my art good enough?  For pity sake –  Am I good enough?   Do I want to be alone today and paint?  My internal battle begins.  Most days it takes a lot of self-discipline to get started.  Once I do, I’m glad.    It clears my mind – no stress.  It’s my meditation and prayer time.  Fortunately I’m more a loner than not  – so art suits me.  But I find myself feeling very separated from life and feel like I’m coming up gasping for air.  I need family, a friend, laughter, fun.  I have an intensely deep need to for both.

Today I’m going to paint for the fun of it and to express my creativity and consciously put all of “those” pressures out of my mind.  I am going to practice not caring what anyone thinks about my art.  It’s mine and if I like it, that’s all that matters.  It’s my baby and I’m gonna love it.  If it turns out to be something, then great.  If it doesn’t, it was my expression for the moment. I had fun doing it.  If not, I can always paint over…

Hmmm.  Am I really that brave?

Of course I am!

It gives me joy and freedom just thinking about it!

Wanting


I was driving down the street today and realized I was feeling very intense.  And my posture was expressing my mental stance.  I wasn’t speeding.  I was just intense.  Then I had an immediate “A HA Moment”.  At almost 72 years of age (however feeling no more than 40 – at the most!) I had a moment of realization – that as a working adult, I have been used to getting what I want.   If I wanted something, I just worked a little harder and got it.  I was not necessarily discriminating in my wants.  And these wants certainly have not always been for myself.  Many times I want to do something for someone else, help someone else.   Sometimes too much.   This morning I was examining my intentions and motivators.   This morning I had a moment of clarity about my long painful lesson and how grateful I am at this moment for what I’ve learned.   It involves ego, self value, intentions, being conscious.  How I’ve tried to fill emotional needs with material things.  The old story.  But now it’s very real to me.

I grew up with very little in the material way.  Our basic needs were barely met.  But we sisters had a lot of fun together and probably because we had very few toys, and of course no tv, became very creative  and found innovative ways to entertain ourselves – built tree houses carpeted with lush moss.  We collected empty cans and boxes to fill our imaginary cupboards.  We usually had a couple of goats  ( I still enjoy them if I don’t have to milk or smell them) and I spent a lot of time following them around and pulling limbs of huge oak trees within their reach – they loved eating the leaves.   We strung laurel tree berries and created beautiful jewelry (to us) – necklaces and bracelets.  We were very competitive – racing and checking to see who had picked the most blackberries and red clover for our Mom.  She gave us a few cents for every quart we picked.  It seemed like a lot of money then.    Our family was large and money was very scarce.  But we had a lot of fun during that time.

My A Ha moment led to thoughts about how I learned to be self-sufficient, creative and so very determined.  There was a point that I remember – in junior high – when I spent much of my time in deep despair and intense “wanting”.  To have things that my school mates had – carefree laughter, nice clothes, a watch, cafeteria lunches instead of homemade bread sandwiches – whole wheat!  Oh no!  Just when white bread was what everyone was eating.   I so wanted to be like everyone else.  And I wasn’t.  I lived in “want”.   I wanted to be different than I was.  I wanted a family that was very close.  I wanted to be close  with my Mom – I wasn’t.  She just wasn’t available.  Neither was my Dad.  They were in a relationship break-down that ended a few years later in divorce.  A very painful and messy divorce.  In a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business.  Not a fun time.  It was an intense time and I formed some lifelong habits.

The wanting began to be a lifestyle for me.  When I started working at age 14, I discovered that if I wanted something, I could get it.  And that continued and escalated for most of my life.  As an adult, I’ve always had a good job and above-average income.  Eventually I started my own business and literally became a workaholic.  I was lacking in the “relationship department”, to say the least – for many years.    The wanting continued only I didn’t recognize it as “wanting”.  I wanted me – and those closest to me – to have what they wanted.   It was wanting and  it was a habit.  I just worked a little harder if I wanted to do a little more.  I didn’t even get it – but the “wanting” was driving me.   I was trying to keep up with the want habit and I was never enough and I never had enough.  I didn’t think about that consciously – ever.  It didn’t connect for me.   I called it competing with myself to do better.  But I drained myself and was always stressed and “behind”.

I retired a few years ago and my financial picture dramatically started changing shortly after that.  The “A Ha” this morning was a recognition of what has been happening in my life for the last six years.  I was being pushed into a lesson  that I would never have jumped into by choice.  It has been obvious and definite.   This morning as I look back over the lesson years when I was feeling very humiliated and deprived, I realize that I  had all that I needed – and more.   I’m on the other side of this lesson – finally.  And yes – I got it today.  Clearly.   I recognized that for most of my life,  many things I thought were “needs” were actually “wants” and that I needed to learn the difference.  I needed to learn my value (I’m still working on that one) without my props, my things, my kudos.  I am enough.  I say that to others.  I need to listen to myself!

Today, I consciously realize how different my life is now – and why.  During my  involuntary lesson, I was forced to live with less and less, down to real basics – and I learned.    It feels amazing to finally really be living the difference.   With deep gratitude.   I feel a whole new consciousness.   These words don’t begin to define the impact of the reality in my life.  And I can clearly see the difference today.  And I’m grateful.   I’ve almost always questioned myself when spending – do I “want” this or do I “need” this.  But that very rarely had very much to do with my decision.  Today I realized that now it does.

I’ve said the words for years – “as soon as I get something I want, something else will take it’s place.  So just say no”.   I’d tell myself no and then justify reasons for needing it.   Woo Hoo!   I now truly know the difference between wanting and needing.     It’s a new lifestyle that I was forced into by circumstances, part of a lesson, but I’ve come to appreciate it  – deeply.  It’s been an incredibly difficult few years but today I realized how much I’ve grown and the joy that has come into my life.    It’s exhilarating.  Over the last few years, I’ve gotten rid of almost everything that I’m not actually using.  It feels so good.  I was carrying a heavy load of possessions and obligations, chaos and clutter!  Quietly but intensely.   “I don’t have a life” was my mantra for many years.  I kept myself busy even after I retired,  when I wasn’t actually doing something useful, I kept myself busy with stress and “mulling” and inner angst.   Even in my successes, I felt a deep void.  I felt that I didn’t do enough, that I wasn’t enough.    Arrrrgh!

Today I realized that I also have a different view of the wants and needs of those that I’m able help.   I really appreciate that.  Whatever that compulsion was to help others get what they “want” is gone as well.  Now I am free to help people that are in obvious need.   And I feel free to declare that boundary.   It’s such an awesome freedom.    I look for the best use of the comparatively small amount that I have.  I’m finally in control of my wants.  Appearances, status, and ego are not my motivators.  My Dad preached, “Be in control of your money.  Don’t let your money be in control of you”.   Material things do not fulfill my emotional needs.  How many times have I heard and said that!  And thought I understood….

Today I had a few moments of clarity, of remembering how my life used to be.  And how it is now.  Huge difference – in almost every way!   I have a life!   Even with much less, I have freedom!  Wanting is no longer an unconscious habit.  I feel content and relaxed.  I have joy!  My life is so full!

And I’m so very grateful!

Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 10: Joy Rising (Flash Mob)


Lesson 10: Joy Rising (Flash Mob)

Every Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah brings us a little bit of joy.  And other days as well.  But watch the Flash Mob…and get happy!
Aired: 10/21/2011
Today’s Question…What’s the one thing about joy that you know for sure?

Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes:  

Joy to me is a feeling of deep gratefulness.  I can create joy by focusing on the many things I’m grateful for.  When I watched Oprah’s South African Christmas for the children I felt intense joy so deeply that I was in tears.  Happy and grateful tears.  When you recognize that somebody cares enough about you to show you that you matter, you never forget it.   It’s great to feel that joy but wow!  the chance to give that feeling to someone else is beyond description!  Like Oprah says, it can be the littlest things.  Little things that make a huge difference.  I feel that way about Kiva.  Many small things I can do each day.  I look for them.

And Jake too!  He loves to perform and he’s a huge fan of Stevie Wonder.  Oprah arranged for Jake to sing for her audience and surprises him when Stevie Wonder starts accompanying him.  It gives me goosebumps every time I see it.  And I watch it over and over.  What fun!  For everyone involved.  We the audience.  Stevie Wonder is obviously enjoying.  Oprah is giddy with joy excitement.  And Jake!  I can’t even imagine that anything will top this in his life.  At least in the department of surprises.  He says it’s his dream come true.  Love those dreams!  And when they come true…well…how amazing is that!  Joy!

Nancy Kay meets Tom Cruise – her dreams fulfilled.

The great thing about joy is that it’s so much fun, so satisfying, so fulfilling to share.   It’s contagious.  It brings laughter, smiles and tears.

Joy comes in all forms?  Elie Wiesel is another guest.  How to bring consciousness and joy to such a horrific tragedy?

Clementine won Oprah’s essay contest – Why is Elie Wiesel’s book, Night, relevant today.  Clementine won the contest.  She also lived thru the genocide  in Rwanda.  In just 100 days, 800,000 people were slaughtered.  Men, women and children killed with machetes.  Bodies dumped.  Clementine was 6 ears old at the time.  She and her sister escaped, believing that their entire family had been killed.  They ended up in the US and for 12 years, had not seen their family.  They searched diligently for their parents.  They last saw their parents in 1994.  In 2001, they discovered that their family was alive.  At the time of the reunion on The Oprah Show, they had not seen their family for 12 years.  Had brothers and sisters that they had never met.  The reunion was “amazing grace” moment (Oprah’s description).  I was so grateful that getting to share that moment, even on TV, well…. and Elie Wiesel was there and shared the moment.   Raw, pure joy!

Followup on Clementine… She is attending Yale University.   Her pencil-case is the only thing that she still has from Rwanda.  It holds her Yale Class of 2013 flag.  Her pencil-case  is her touch of the past and a reminder  that she has to be grateful, quiet and …to complete her school work.  She visited and spoke at  Oprah’s school in Africa – what an inspiration to the other children.  Her story is pretty amazing.

If you can’t find anything to be happy about, to fill you with real joy.  Close your eyes and consider for a moment your breath.  You still have it.  You’re here right now.  Let that fill you up.  And build from there.  Allow yourself to feel, experience the joy.

An Oprah message.


Oprah’s Lifeclass
Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 10: Joy Rising (The Flash Mob)
Oprah’s Webcast Lesson 10: Joy Rising (The Flash Mob)
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes
Today’s Question

Lesson 5: Joy Rising (The Car Giveaway)


Aired: 10/14/2011
Oprah recounts how she felt in and about what has become one of her most talked about Oprah Shows.   Oprah also shares other moments of great joy.

 Oprah’s Lifeclass Webcast Lesson 5: Joy Rising

Today’s Question:  What brings me joy?  What steals my joy?
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes:
Oprah’s Life Class
Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 5: Joy Rising (The Car Giveaway)
Oprah’s Webcast Lesson 5: Joy Rising (The Car Giveaway)
Oprah’s Life Class Notes
Today’s Question

My Life, My Mortality… and My Loves


I got some sleep last night – Yay!  And today is brighter…

Writing my letter to Dr. Oz (thank you Sister – for suggesting that I do it) clarified my plight – to myself.  I’m so grateful for some clarity.  Now I have hope again – that I can deal with my fear and get my life back.    I was suddenly able to see the part that fear is playing in my health issues.

I recognize clearly that my fear is about death.  My death.  It’s also in some strange way about the people that I’ve lost in the last 5 years.  I realize that I’ve never grieved them.  I realized yesterday that thinking about them is so painful that I avoid even letting them into my mind.  When they slip into my thoughts, I keep it at a very superficial level – and quickly change my thoughts to something else.

One of my doctors told me that she thought that these losses were having a part in my health issues and that she feels I have some grieving to do.  I heard her say it, I listened, I went thru some motions of grieving but I didn’t really get the connection.  Now I do.

I’m thinking about them today with joy and tears.  I’m honoring them.  I’m missing them deeply.  I miss Dad and my three sisters at a whole new level.  I’m remembering what I loved about them.  I’m remembering fun, funny memories – one of the many times we sisters came from different directions and met for lunch and a few hours together.  Our human pyramid picture.  Our sisterhood reunions. Shucking corn for a dinner.  Posing for pictures together.   What I learned from each of them is such a part of who I am.

And my husband, Dale.  We had such a rocky marriage and a deep unshakable love.  Our friendship lasted thru a divorce until his death in 2007.  He loved me.  Completely.  I loved him in the same way.  We had a bond that neither of us knew how to break – or even wanted to.   It wasn’t a consideration.  I didn’t realize until after his death that he was the reason that I could never move on into a marriage with another man.  Neither of us remarried.  But we didn’t live together either.  We were there for each other – right up to the last phone call the last day of January,  hours before his assumed death.  He lived by himself and when he didn’t return several phone calls, I was alarmed.  When I didn’t hear from him on Valentines Day – a yearly gesture even after our divorce many years ago – I knew something was terribly wrong.  I called the police who entered his home and found that he had passed – they estimated about two weeks earlier.  I handled his estate per his wishes.  I’ve avoided thoughts that he’s gone – always.  Not today.  Occasionally I’ve started to go there and recoiled as quickly as if I had touched a red hot wood stove!  Today, I’m remembering him…so many things.   There were very painful and difficult times in our lives but in many ways he was such a rock for me.  I feel way too vulnerable without him in my world.  I miss him terribly.  So much love!

And Peter.  My love.  We were in each others’ lives for 7 years.   Wow could he dance!   He knew how to have fun.  He was an old school Hispanic man and was such a character!  My Latin Love….  He loved taking care of me – cleaned my home, cooked, pressed my clothes,  was a lot of the reason that I was able to be very successful in my business.  He took care of many things in my life that allowed me the time to focus.  And did I mention fun!  I’m remembering the Las Vegas evenings, all doors open to my outside living area.  He loved cooking in the outdoor kitchen – for everyone, palm trees swaying, warm evenings, music playing and  NO BUGS!!!  We drank wine.  We loved.  We laughed.   He was so incredibly handsome to me – his dark skin, hair –  and bold, warm eyes.  He was gallant and classy.  He sang songs to me in Spanish – all of the time.  He ended up battling major health issues for two years that led to his death.  With such courage.   He wrote love letters to me.  I haven’t read them for a very long time – much too painful.  But I’m going to re-read them as I can, starting today.  Yes, of course there were difficult times too.  But I grieved those at the time.  Today I’m grieving and missing the sweetness, the love, that man.  Towards the end of his life when he was on a respirator, he wrote “Sin Ti” on a piece of paper with x’s and o’s.   I still have it tucked in with his love letters.  He used to sing that song to me.   I miss you so much, Peter!  You made your mark in my life.   Thank you!

And my sisters.  I’m going to write about “The Sisterhood” in another post.  I miss them so much.  They were my three older sisters and my link to so much of my history.  I wish I could have thought of more questions about how they remembered our lives before they left.  There’s no one to answer those questions now.   I know that they each knew how important they were in my life – no regrets there.  I just miss them.   It’s almost impossible to comprehend that they’re so gone!   Today I’ll remember them…

I’ll remember them all.  With so much love and gratitude!  I had – and have – some very special people in my life – some great loves!

And maybe, if I grieve my loss of them, I won’t have to worry about losing myself?  If I honor their lives, I can live mine – fully – without fear?   If I accept and remember their lives – and deaths, will it help me accept my eventual great adventure?  Without fear?  Will it help me live my life without fear?  hmm…

Is the doctor right?

Amidst the grief, I have my joy back today!  I’m starting to let go

Oprahs Life Classes
Joy, Letting Go

Letting The Balloons Go!


My husband and I had few surprise moments of unexpected glee, joy, just plain fun.

In September, my son was visiting from Las Vegas – a 50th birthday trip.   We had a wonderful family gathering and dinner in our home – cousins, aunties (one had traveled quite a distance), sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, sons, grandchildren – you get the picture.

My sisters picked up some helium-filled balloons.   They’ve lived in a corner of our dining room for two months  (the balloons, that is:).  They’ve hung in there, lasted, they’ve rested against the ceiling.  They’ve been a daily reminder of a very special day with some of  our most loved.  Fun, pictures, good food, a lot of “catching up”.

A joyous day celebrating my son, and each other.   Family who are also friends!

Today, my husband said he was ready to put the balloons away.  And so  was I.  On his way to the door, we looked at each other and, at 71 and 75, we felt like little kids again.  We headed to the backyard, made some wishes, filled those balloons with our worries,  and let them  go.  We laughed.  We watched until we could no longer see them.  We marveled at their movement.  We felt some moments of freedom and exhilaration.   We laughed again.   And we still have our memories of that day.

We also decided that we’ll go buy more balloons and do that again some time soon.   Just because….

Oprah’s Lifeclass…What gives me joy?

Living Fearlessly? But What About My Fear of Death? It’s Stealing My Joy!


My goal is to live fearlessly but I’m traveling backwards on this one.

I’ve been battling pretty severe hypertension issues this year, volatile and very worrisome.  I’ve been to the hospital seven times now, admitted three, a myriad of tests complete and thankfully finding noting life-threatening.  Stroke and heart attack threatening episodes – yes!  Without going thru details of these episodes, I’m consistently told to come to the ER at my hospital when they occur.

I’m letting my blood pressure terrorize me.  I determine to feel joy in my life but instead, feel fear, dread and anxiety.  How many times can my brain and heart remain undamaged – at the very least – with these assaults on them?   I’m now back in my place of wondering when it will happen again.   I had four months in the early part of the year when my blood pressure was unpredictable and uncontrolled.  When I checked my blood pressure – as told to do before I take my medication – one time it was too low to take my med, and a few days later, it’s 218/112 again!

OK.  If this is a lesson – as I believe it is, I’m open and ready to learn.  I’ve discovered life-changing messages during these months.  With the last revelation – No words can never express…but thank you!  I felt so changed that I had expected never ever to have hypertensive issues again.   That was peace and bliss!

I had no events until four days ago when I was right back to the old numbers.  I had some new symptoms with the elevation and was encouraged by my paramedic grandson to make yet another trip to the ER.  And so I did.    I chose not to have the suggested (by my grandson and offered by the ER doctor) CT scan of my head.  The doctor, a long time and very well respected man – although yes, just a man – told my husband and I several times that from his exam and other tests, that he was 99.9% sure that he’d find nothing on CT.  I was comfortable with waiting – and still am.  I was given some signs to watch for and report immediately should they appear.

My anxiety is back.  Full force.  I’m angry and trying very hard to accept what is happening again and decide that today will be full of joy rather than fear and anxiety.  I have many, many things to be joyful about.  One is that I’m healthy.  Uh…. and why am I feeling this angst and fear?

I walk 10,000 steps almost every day – per Dr. Oz.  While I’m working on my physical health with each step, I’m listening to Eckhart Tolle’s, The New Earth, and Practicing the Now – for my emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.  How many times have I listened…..and each time hearing something different, learning something new.  His books have changed my life.

But there is that nagging, energy-tapping fear! When I get in touch and “feel” and “hear” what I’m telling myself, it’s about the fear of dying.   I love life and want to live it out loud, want to “slide” into my death, without pain and on my feet.  Yes, I believe that’s possible.  I am dismayed that I’m letting fear swallow up my days – whining about fear of dying.

I used to be in denial about my death.  I’ve always known that along with everyone else who lives, I’ll die.  I’ve nonchalantly said those words.  Adding that I didn’t like the thought of it, would probably be hanging on with fingertips, wanting to do or say “just one more thing”, but that I “just didn’t want to be in pain or fear”.  Ha!  Right!  But it was off in the future then.  Except for very rare times, it was not in my thoughts.  I was very sure that there was something that I could eat, a vitamin that I could take, a thought that I could think…..whatever.   “Something” would be there by the time that I needed it.   It just was not a reality to me.  I call it denial but it was more of something that would happen someday in the distant future.  So distant as to not bother myself with thoughts of it.  I loved that place.  I so want it back….

Well now I’m in my 70’s, exceptionally healthy except that I have severe insomnia and am told it is probably the culprit.  Studies are showing how it is related to hypertension.  That is only part of my issue.  Maybe this lesson is about death, another lesson about acceptance.  I’ve discovered that my terror is death.  I want to stay here.  I don’t want to leave.  I have family and friends that I love and can’t bear the thought of leaving.  But even more than that, I’m finding, is the fear of the unknown.  Aaaarrrrghh!

I have a deep faith in God, I have a theory of death that is personal and acceptable to me.  In theory.   If I truly believed it with my whole being, I suppose I’d have no fear.   But obviously I’m not there yet.  I’m working on it.   Acceptance.  Trust.  I know I need to let go and live my life.  I feel that I’m wasting my precious days with this fear.   I’m miserable with anxiety and fear.   Today.   Tomorrow will be better.  I’m going to use Scarlet’s line.  I’ll think about it tomorrow.

to be continued….

My Life Class Notes


There are two emotions – Love and Fear
Anger is really a manifestation of fear…
Fear of losing the love of someone – rejection
Fear of being powerless or helpless, hopeless, vulnerable (maintain control) – fear of being unsafe
Fear of losing control – of self, others, how, when and where it will happen
Fear of not being seen as valuable, necessary
Anger – never angry for the reason I think I am.  I’m not born with anger in me.  helpless, hopeless, vulnerable event happened that impressed my soul.  Stirs up anger.  When anger is triggered, the trigger is simply reminding me that there is something down there that I need to deal with.
Anger is the easy way out – when I’m angry I get the control.  Anger is the #1 addiction.  Right below the anger is a world of hurt.  It’s easier to stay in the anger than to go deeper and deal with the hurt.
You can accept or reject the way you’re treated by other people but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.  You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.   You must find the strength to open the wound,  you must stick your  hand inside, pull out the core of the pain, the memory, and make peace with it.
Spirituality – the most real part of me.  My connection to the knowing that no matter what happens, I will be all right.  The knowing that everything that happens in my life is bringing to my purpose, the real me.  Live in openness to what is.  With that openness, a far greater power comes into my life.  Inner stillness – out of this comes aliveness, joy, creativity.  I become rooted in the aliveness and fullness of the present moment.
Spirituality has to be practiced.  We must stop, take a breath, become still inside – the act of meditation and contemplation.  Be in nature, connect with the arts, and connect with ritual.  Moments of serenity, stillness is when we experience something much larger, transcendic than what we are.   Meditate – go into the stillness of my soul.  Breathe.  Look for the message in every problem.  Don’t fight them, ask them – what are you here to teach me?   Share my spiritual path with others.  Find others that are like-minded.  There is nothing out of order with me.  Everything is happening for a reason.  I’m growing closer to spirit.  Pay attention to my life – it’s teaching me.  Listen.  Get clear, still and listen to my soul.   Tap into my best life.  Stillness is my religion.  Stillness is when I can connect.
Meditation – sit and smile.  Smile in my organs, in my arteries and blood vessels.
I understand that everyone I meet is sent to me as a teacher.
I need a shift in the way I look at life – that’s all.  When I discover the world around me, I also discover the world within me.
My inner journey
1.  Ask myself and journal – What do I really, really, really want?  Every day.  The answer will come
2.  Write the happiest moment of the day every night.  Learn it, study it.  Keep it in a happiness journal
3.  Refine my mantra.  Whatever I’m repeating consistently in my mind is my mantra.  If it isn’t working for me – I need to
     choose another mantra.
Entrances are everywhere.  There are accesses to God in all sorts of situations – be alert.  Find a tiny corner of my life for stillness when I can connect and ask questions.
I need to stop wearing my wishbone where my backbone ought to be!
When I experience a truth, I don’t need to experience it again, I know it and I carry it with me.
When we help, we heal.  Find a way to be of service.
Selfishness – beneficial to myself.    Am I being cruel, greedy and hoarding?  If not, do it.
Happiness – the people around me, a state of mind, love, share
What makes me feel good?  Am I missing pleasure?  Am I missing devotion?
I’m the hero of my own life’s journey.  This is my life and I write my own story.  No one else gets to write it – just me.  I get to be who I am.   Does my life look like me?
“I don’t know” is a legitimate answer.  I’m allowed to ask for as much time as I need until I do know.  If they aren’t able to give that time, they’re allowed to leave.
Write to myself as though I were a best friend.  Write out my questions.  Answer myself as a friend.   Listen to it, believe and lean on it.
Newton’s Third Law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Cause and effect.
The energy of emotions and  thoughts are frequencies of energy that always come back to us.
Every action we take creates a reaction in the world.  The sum of all those reactions is what we call our life.
The energy I generate creates my life.
Intention always determines what the effect will be.
Love changes everything.  It heals.
If I ask for courage, God doesn’t Zap me with courage.  I get the opportunity to be courageous.
Listen to the whisper.  Don’t wait for the brick to fall on our heads.
Whatever I need to be the greatest force for good…. bring it on!   If it’s a lesson I need to learn, I want the lesson.
Separate myself from negative people and negative thoughts.  Period!  I will not allow them in my life.
If this is in the best interests of me and those around me, then please let it happen.
Who do I want to BE in the world?  what kind of person do I want to be remembered as?   I want my love to effect others.
If I can’t do “it” with love, I won’t do it.  I can either decide to do it with love, or I need not do it.  Before I take any action, I need to clarify my intentions and make sure they are good.  Then good will be returned to me.
The people that I have in my life reflect who I am.
What am I doing to create and attract negativity?
Appreciate the ordinary
Acknowledging my mortality motivates me to live my life more fully.  My days are gold and I use them wisely and fully.
Do You hear me?
I see you
Do my eyes light up when I see…..?
God made me and made sure I am enough!
I no longer think that its possible for other people to hurt me. They’re just giving me their observation and I’m giving it meaning so I get to choose what that meaning is.
If I think I need it, that’s ego. I already have everything I need. The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.

Am I defined about what other people say? Does it determine how I feel?

When I receive criticism, they could be right.

Does I love you equals I’ll trade you?

Is this a business contract or do I really love you?

I’m happier when I love you – whether or not you love me. It matters not – whether or not you paricipate.

Just the fact that I’m here makes me “worthy”.

Fear is always involved in big egos – there lies our deepest fears.

Will I be sorry that I let this opportunity to pass? Even if I don’t succeed, do I want to give it my best and see? Is it the most meaningful, fulfilling direction?

What is the fullest expression of myself as a human being. What am I meant to do here on Planet Earth?

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? What does fear feel like?

As Maya Angelou explains, people know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.
Feelings buried alive don’t die. They stink and re-emerge
What would I do if I had no fear? Do it anyway. That’s courage. Be it!
What is my life worth?
Is this the fullest of expession of me?
When I hear criticism – they could be right. It’s their view of me.
Give up resistent to life. Go with it.
When I think I need it from “out there” – that’s addiction.The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.
Ego is anything that I think I need that I don’t have. I already have everything I need.
Oprahs lifeclass Notes
Oprahs class
Oprahs Super Soul Sunday