Flying the friendly skies

This week I traveled with my husband. When we got on the plane, we ordered drinks. The stewardess handed them over and with a backward glance said, “enjoy your party “
Completely bitchy
Definitely got me thinking during the flight
How do we respond when were annoyed?
When we are not where we want to be 
or when we think somebody’s having a better time than we are
How do we handle someone else’s happiness?
When all you see on Facebook are friends going to concerts and parties that you aren’t attending
What about when finances are beyond tight?
Friends buying homes
traveling
getting a golden ticket
wearing the glass slipper
How do you handle not being jealous?
How do you deal with despair
when everything for everyone else seems like an Instagram post
How do you stop the writhing inside?
How do you sit in the presence of “being in the moment”?
Do you understand your thoughts are just thoughts?
you don’t have to make them mean anything
nor do you have to follow them and feed them
how do you just sit in the space of joy
when it’s somebody else’s joy?
Someone else’s life
Kid
Career
Car
How do you bless?
Believe?
Behave when it’s not your turn
When you feel disappointed, disillusioned
There has to be a belief that it’s possible for things to change
That the pie has infinite slices
A tiny voice that says “ hold on”
A sliver of light in the dark can come from anywhere
Maybe it’s not today but it can and will be your day, your turn
Your life can be fixed
But it comes with grief and surrender and awareness
What goes down must come up
The prayer can be said with clenched teeth and clenched hands
The prayer can be said with open eyes, head back, tears falling
The moment we find gratitude for just being here
Right here
Where we are
In this moment
It all will seem like it’s unfolding as it should
Because it is
It’s all right here
Always
Anyway

Transformed

I recently sent two pairs of jeans to an artist friend in Switzerland
I had seen a pair painted and asked is she could paint on mine
She’d never done it before but said yes
They came back this week and they are spectacular
She put very meaningful words and images on them in lots of bright colors and
They are transformed
The thing is, I really didn’t like either pair before
They pull up because I can’t do buttons or zippers
I felt handicapped wearing them
So I rarely did
But, the way they were painted makes them something
Totally new
Something I’m extremely proud of and incredibly excited to wear
They’ve been transformed

Today, I picked up jewelry
A bracelet and two rings
All gold, all smooth bands
It’s made from old pieces that I’ve had for years
Old earrings and a ring from college
A bracelet that was 30 years old
Things I never wore
Pieces I didn’t get rid of when I thought I was dying because they were sentimental
Instead of looking at them in drawer, I called a friend who’s a jeweler
She made them into something new
The old gold became shiny
Transformed
They will be pieces I wear everyday
Probably for years and years
How fun
To take something that was of no use and create something that is
But, can we do it that in our lives?

Speaking to another girlfriend today
We were discussing, becoming different
How all the stuff we carried around emotionally was exhausting
How we’ve come through the other side of trials and feel transformed
We see life differently
We see ourselves differently
We live our days differently
Somethings are the same but seen through such a very different lens so even that
feels different
I don’t think you can teach it
Or preach it
You become it
You take on the paint of many colors
You let your life be the canvas and you change
You melt in the heat and fire and you take a different form
You change
But, your still you
Hard to describe how vastly different I feel when I look
like the same person
but I know I’ve been changed
I’ve been rearranged
Transformed
I’d like to say it was easy
I’d like to say it was painless
I’d like to say anything other than the truth which is
It’s been the hardest eight years of my life
I’ve endured pain that I couldn’t even imagine
I’ve cried and screamed and begged, sometimes before breakfast
But, I’m through that darkness now
I’m healed and not reeling
I smile now, a lot
I call in joy every moment and am grateful I made it this far
I am sure life isn’t done with me
I know that because I’m still alive
Every day we change and grow and that’s the point
Step by step to change
Claim the day you want to see and find a way to make it
Maybe with paint
Maybe with fire
Always with a lot of grace
Transformation isn’t easy but it’s profoundly beautiful to let what’s old
Become something new

P.S.
Approximately four hours after the writing the above, I was in the ER.
One of the rings was too tight and would not come off. We tried lotion, Moroccan hair oil, dental floss, scotch tape, ice, aspirin, tequila and more ice. Michael even went to the store to buy windex, yes windex, I googled it. Nothing worked.
So, on a Friday night I entered the double doors of a busy metro Atlanta hospital and approached the nurse and explained what happened. I was helped almost immediately and the ring was cut off. I’ll go back today to see my friend, the jeweler and give her the pieces to put back together again. I know we’ll laugh. Isn’t that just the way it goes?
Something new, something old, something breaks, then gets fixed
It’s all part of the cycle
The circle of life goes round and round
Like my band of gold
Only this time not so tight

Then and now

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“Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time.” Eckhart Tolle

The above picture was posted this week on Facebook by a high school friend
It was taken over 30 years ago
I’ve been mulling over what it means to see this after so very long and thinking about who I was versus who I’ve become
Back then I was full of confidence and spunk
I was belligerent according to my father and courageous according to Mom
I felt alive with possibilities and couldn’t wait to see what the next day held
I swallowed whatever insecurity I felt and applied more lipstick
I understood that we only get one life and I wanted to live mine fully
I loved to laugh and play and sing loudly in my car with the windows down
I loved dressing up
I dreamed of faraway places that I knew I’d see
As far as appearance, I knew I’d never be the prettiest in the room or the ugliest
But, I knew my personality would sway the vote
I felt like I’d have a career in fashion and I did for twenty years
I look at the girl in the picture and I see my life
Who I was
is still who I am

There is a quote from Joseph Campbell I have saved, it says-
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.“

So, I look back and remember that we only get one life
I’m living mine gratefully
I am full of spunk and confidence
Alive with possibilities and looking forward to each new day
I am also belligerent and courageous
Those things saved me
I am letting go of part one of my life, all the time
I sing in my car, everyday, loud and proud
Still love dressing up
I am still the girl in the picture
But, I am very touched by time and life
I think it’s inevitable
Memory lane can be a dangerous drive if you look in the rear view too long
My future is waiting
I’ll apply my lipstick and be ready

Max in the moment

Lessons and observations from a foster dog:
He doesn’t have to remember to “ be here now”
He is here
He’s not sitting on the deck worrying about dinner
He’s just watching the birds and feeling the breeze
In the moment
When he’s got a toy
He’s playing with that toy
He’s not going to the window to see if another dog walks by with something better
He just plays
In the moment
When it’s time for bed
He goes to sleep
He doesn’t toss and turn and think about a to do list
He sleeps
When he is done with his business outside
He sits at the inside of the door and waits for his treat
He knows it’s there and he faces the bag on the shelf
He doesn’t bark or whine
He sits and looks because he trusts he will get it
He understands that the treats are his
When he wants to cuddle on the sofa
He looks for one of us
I’m the one I’m sure he calls, kisses my face
Michael I’m guessing he calls, let’s go for a walk
Either one will do when it’s time for a belly rub and cuddling
Because he is present with who ever is on the sofa
Face isn’t scrunched up worried about who, what or where of anything
He is in the moment
Feeling the love
Stretched out and serene
No social media or television needed
Mirrors mean nothing, that reflection isn’t the real you
There is joy in ice coming out of the refrigerator door
There is wonder at seeing a lighting bug
There is wonder in everything
There is joy all the time
When on a walk or a ride in the car
Look around at everything
Roll the windows down, the fresh air smells great
It’s all miraculous
Everything is something beautiful and amazing
Curiosity is to be encouraged
So are manners
Max in the moment looks like meditation
On how to be here now
All the time
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A place called, Here

“All who wander are not lost” J.R.R. Tolkien said that
(The great writer of tales of travel and epic journeys )

The Wanderer learns to look deeply into the face of her aloneness and discover what truly brings her alive and what doesn’t. . . . You discover ease, inspiration, belonging, and wisdom in your own company. . . .father Richard Rohr

Are the people on the path to enlightenment there on purpose?
Or do they find the rainbow by accident
After an accident
Dazed and confused
Disoriented and disillusioned
I am a wanderer now
There is a looseness to my days
Emptiness on my calendar
I am no longer laser focused
Single minded
Seizing the day
Taking the bull by the horns
Motivated and manic
I wander and ponder
I savor
I am not lost or at least I don’t think I am
Then I read this:

Practice: Being Lost
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known. . . .
—David Wagoner

Wherever you are is called, Here
It’s a powerful stranger
That is too much to take in too quickly
Here
As a stranger
It’s true I think
That’s why we love distraction

David Whyte writes,
“. . . Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.”

I totally understand confinement of my aloneness
But, sweet?
Is it?

Richard Rohr went on to say, “In order to live your soul into the world, you must continuously loosen your beliefs about who you are.”

Loosen my beliefs
Live my soul into the world

“By trusting your unknowing, your old standards of progress dissolve and you become eligible to be chosen by new, larger standards, those that come not from your mind or old story or other people, but from the depths of your soul. You become attentive to an utterly new guidance system. . . . “

Trust the unknowing
Old definitions of progress dissolve
Old stories
Other people lose their power and influence
Up from the depths of my soul comes a new guidance system
New knowing from my soul
In a place called, Here
I am not alone
I never was and now
I ask to know and be known
In the place, called Here