Dream On!

Last night I dreamt that I was dead.

Well, almost dead.  I was about to die and so I was pretending to be dead just to go along with the inevitable.  In order to pretend to be dead I lay face down in a dog crate on the floor.  I tried to keep still and go ahead and die but soon I realized I actually didn’t want to die.  I moved and shifted and even stealthily waved at passersby who exhibited mild surprise to see that I was still alive.

A few days ago I dreamt that I was being prepped for a medical scan because I was going to have a “minor” brain surgery.  I didn’t want brain surgery.  It would probably hurt and any number of things could go wrong.

Then I woke up and wrote a blog entry about it.  Or did I?

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Things My Mother Never Told Me…

Brendan Burchard recently challenged me to create a video of five suggestions for success on any topic and this is it!  Quite frankly, I came back to WordPress because it DAWNED on me to check how easy it would be to post it here and was pleasantly surprised!

This could be the start of something big!

I look forward to reading your feedback and answering your questions.

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I’ve Changed My Story and I’m Sticking To It!

When something so miraculous happens I want to share it with others in such a way that they will “get” the miracle too.  Therefore I stall, hem and haw, ok I’ll say it – procrastinate it often right into oblivion.  Not this time.  This time I will relay my experience the best I know how to and leave the results up to the choices of the receiver.

I have heard of times when everything just seems to line up in the human experience to set us up for finally hearing what the Creator has been broadcasting all along.  On a warm Thursday in Orlando I was the next in line for such an event.  A precious new sister friend was humbly and sincerely relaying her experiences in such a way that I responded to them on the cellular level.   I guess this is what is often referred to as “organic” these days – which I have to admit I took as nothing more than a new packaging of manure until this very moment.

As a writer, it might have occurred to me long ago that we are all story tellers.  Thing is, I had no clue how powerful the stories I’ve told myself have been in steering the direction of my life.  Apparently, this is a mechanism of our subconscious mind, which, according to this method (see “Related Articles”), is like a horse.  It is an intelligent, sensitive, stubborn, majestic, strong, creature of habit (both bad AND good) that can, however, be trained.  It is also the repository of the reactions and responses to events that our conscious mind (the rider) experiences.  (The horse is the part of you that’s saying in your head, “Karen’s completely lost her mind”, or “where’s she been – I learned all this stuff years ago”, or “this is boring, where is she going with this?”)  As displayed in these thoughts, the horse is where our “gut” reactions come from; they are neither good nor bad but they are there.

So what?  That’s the miraculous part – at least it is for me at this time in my life.  The stories I’ve told myself are based on my perceptions of the events in my life and here’s the key:  I can change my story.  No, I can’t change the FACTS of the events, but I can change my perceptions –the STORIES I’ve told myself (and anyone who would listen) – about the events. 

When given the challenge to think of an event and rewrite my story about it, there was little hesitation on my part and I immediately set to work.  As much as I have struggled against, denied, prayed and received prayer for, refuted, let go of, and released the effects of my parent’s divorce on my life my story had continued to be: “I was rejected and unloved by my father, therefore men are not to be trusted and I will never be loved.”

Taking a deep breath, I picked up my pen and wrote in my workbook: “My new story: my father loved me more than life itself.  He chose to leave because he thought it was best for me.  My father loved me the only way he knew how.”

There is no doubt in my mind that those three sentences have forever changed the trajectory of my life because I had spent the past 45 years collecting “proof” that my original story was true.  In fact, I suspect that this story was confirmation of my earliest feelings of unworthiness in response to yet undiscovered events that predated my parent’s divorce.  As far as I’m concerned, that story is “grandfathered in” to my new story.  The truth has indeed set me free.

Now it’s your turn:  what stories, based on errant perceptions, have you been telling and retelling about the turning points in your life?  Take a few moments right now and give yourself a gift and change your story – and stick to it!

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Chasing Pavements

So after six months in Florida I’d say I’m beginning to be fixing to get ready to adjust.  Well, almost.  There is this one rather glaring exception. 

No, it’s not the bugs, although they do,well, bug me and appear to be getting bigger and louder with every passing day. Then there’s the flea circus formerly known as my 10-pound toy poodle, Alfie.

The heat, and especially the “humility” (as my dad used to say) are challenging if only in the redundancy of it all.  Back in Virginia, the saying was if you don’t like the weather just wait ten minutes… it will change.  Here in the sunshine state, I am experiencing the perpetual state of, er, sunshine.  (Although I’m told we have entered the rainy season during which there is a downpour accompanied by cloud-to ground lightening between 3-7 PM every day for the next five months.  Goody.)

The tourists are about twenty miles away from where I live and work and only enter my world if I choose to enter theirs through the occasional obligatory foray into the “attractions” domain, or am forced in that direction when attending one-day trainings that are held in hotels in that neck of the woods (more on that later).

Being so close (and yet so far) from the Atlantic Ocean is a bit of a frustration along with the corollary challenge of finding the wherewithal to overcome my aversion to going to the beach, or the pool, or other outdoor “hanging out” activities without anyone to hang out with me.  So far serendipity has not been my best ally in this regard.

I’ve warmed up to Publix (the equivalent of Giant Food back in VA), found a great chiropractor (more on that later too), a groomer for me, a hairdresser for Alfie, work friends, church friends and activities, a $3 car wash, and was recently told I looked tan (thank you Natural Glow) and healthy.

Nope, not the alligators (haven’t seen one yet), nor the proximity to the airport (love watching these monstrosities take off and land which such grace).  Believe it or not, the one aspect of life in Florida, or at least in Orlando, that has literally driven me to distraction is the parking lots!  May I please have the hours back that I’ve already spent in the past six months driving in circles in these mazes?  Granted, geography is a major factor – there is water everywhere here (news flash), so the parking lots of adjacent strip malls or even individual businesses are not connected to one another.  Apparently there is also an obsession with controlling the egress and ingress on the main roads.  God forbid there should be more that one way to get in and out of a shopping center that spans several blocks!

I’ve never read Who Moved My Cheese? and now I’m more convinced than ever that I will never need to.  If there is ever an amber alert (or would it be silver?) on me – just check the parking lots.  I’m the hamster in the alien green Kia Soul.

Adele – Chasing Pavements live on Lettermen

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A Year of the Tao?

Wow, that was fun, wasn’t it? What? I was a few profundities short of a full Tao? Well, see, what happened was…

  • I had begun to have the vague feeling that writing my reactions to the Tao, which is deeply personal, spiritual, and unfathomable with the expectation that I might impress someone out there with my insights, contradicted the egoless messages of the Tao itself.
  • I realized that I had embraced the “discipline” (ha) of writing on a passage a day as a way of distracting myself from the necessary exercise of figuring out something to write about, and,
  • In general, although my intentions may have been admirable on some level, I had motives that, of course, *gag me* involved impressing a particular “someone out there” of the opposite sex. Yeah, there, I said it – it was for a guy. Blah.

So now what? Writers write, right? Guess I’ll just write and see what happens. If nothing else it will keep me off the streets.

I’ve recently joined the ranks of “ultimate fans” of Oprah. Better late than never. She describes one of her first “aha” moments back when she was in Baltimore in which she discovered that the best road for her to take in her career was just to be herself. On Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, her staff and friends repeatedly remind Oprah to “just be yourself” as she takes the stage. So here I am trying just to be myself. We’ll see how that works out for me.

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A Year of the Tao – Day 122

“With the slaughter of multitudes, we have grief and sorrow.  Every victory is a funeral; when you win a war, you celebrate by mourning.”

(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)

Perhaps it is for people like me that there are reports that Bin Laden was given the opportunity to surrender.  Although I rejoice with those who have lost loved ones on 9/11 and in other ways directly or indirectly because of this man who may feel some sort of closure, I can’t bring myself to celebrate the death of any creature under heaven.  (As someone once said, if women were in charge there would be no wars.)  So it was curious that the above was the selection for the 122ndday of 2011 because like it or not the truth is that the lives lost today will be mourned. By someone.

The shadow of 9/11

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A Year of the Tao – Day 63

“If you need rules to be kind and just, if you act virtuous, this is a sure sign that virtue is absent.  Thus we see the great hypocrisy.”

(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)

Yes, but isn’t it a good thing to “act as if” while trying to attain better qualities?  “Fake it till you make it” as twelve-steppers say.  Ah but I suspect that this practice only goes so far towards the inner transformation that this passage speaks to.  Even members of AA don’t claim healing from alcoholism – only recovery.

Hypocrisy – one of the tried and true excuses of those who balk at the mere mention of church attendance.  Fact is, those who state that churches are full of hypocrites are more correct about that than any other claim against Christ followers that have ever been made in the history of time.  Ok, that was just hyperbole for effect, but anyone who says differently is worse than a hypocrite – they are fools and liars.  Just sayin’.

Take me, for instance.  Please.  See?  See?!  Actually, nothing more to see here… move along… and take a listen to this song.  I’ve been singing it quite often lately.  Guess I need to sing it a few more times.  With feeling. 

Luke 11:36-38 (The Message)

 33-36“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”

Frauds!

 37-41When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.

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