Posts Tagged ‘blues’

The end result of emotional extremes is extreme emotional dissatisfaction. Perfect happiness lies not at any of the extremities of outer experiences, but at a point of calmness midway between them all. – Paramhansa Yogananda (Stanza 39 of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam explained)

It is so easy to become disgruntled and vexed by the loveless actions of others. Inattentive friends. Family members acting like strangers. Co-workers with political agendas. To quote Marvin Gaye; “We are all sensitive people with so much to give.” At times we just feel too much. Pushed to emotional extremes in reaction to perceived unfair or shoddy treatment. I love the quote here by Yogananda. Our ability to relate to life and the people in it as the unrocked boat is one of the keys to our happiness.

I am most at risk of being rocked when I am dealing with people who feel they are disadvantaged. Don’t you just love a victim? The thing is these very people tend to take advantage. As victims they don’t own their own power. So, they try to take your power and wield it over you by manipulation or (my personal favorite) playing super-victim. You know the type well I’m sure. “You did this, and you did that, and you are the cause of all the drama and unresolved grief in my pitiful life.” Yeah, one day I’m gonna write a really whiney country song inspired by this theme if Reba doesn’t beat me to it. The “disadvantaged” amongst us are always at either extreme and extremely b-o-r-i-n-g! Not to mention a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g! As for myself when blessed with the presence of this energy? The flags go up and my heart shuts down.

I know… it isn’t a befitting way for a person on the Path of Light to behave. I know. I will continue to work on this. I’m not striving for perfection, OK? I’m striving for peace. In order to live life from the point of calm response rather than extreme reaction we need to be armed for bear. Here’s what we need to pack for the hunt. Meditation, inspiration and perspiration. The afterglow effect of meditation will open the gates of our intuition. We need our intuition to navigate the deep waters. Being inspired will keep us from being tired. Perspiration? Well, I hate sweating. It’s so…sweaty. But a walk, a swim, time working in the garden, a little cha-cha-cha will engage our serotonin and endorphin levels far better than a Prozac cocktail ever could. It’s difficult to be reactive when your psychic and physical bodies are in harmony.

 I suppose it will prove helpful to accept that sometimes it is just gonna be a long rugged road from drama to daylight. In the meantime? Keep calm and carry on. Have a sweet one!


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 I write about “Story Telling” quite a bit I know. The thing is, every single being has a story to tell and I find these tales to be absolutely fascinating. These days, the stories animals have to tell are most compelling to me. I volunteer at my local animal shelter here in Sonoma. When you walk through the glass doors of the entry way and look to your left there is a room full of bunnies available for adoption. The bunnies come and go but my favorite bunny story is the story of Harvey and Rose. Harvey Rabbit came into the shelter and soon became the George Clooney of the bunny habitat. All of the girl bunnies were in love with him and Harvey enjoyed the adulation. He wriggled his adorable little nose at all the single ladies! Until one day when the lovely Rose Rabbit hopped on by. It was love at first sight. Harvey and Rose have been an item ever since. Soulmates, right?

 Then there is Phoenix the Cat. Poor little thing was hit by a car. She was a mess. Internal bleeding, broken pelvis, heart murmur, she could not move at all. The Vet’s at the clinic treated her of course but with little hope of their efforts producing a positive outcome. Phoenix had something else in mind. One fine day Miss Kitty just stood up and started walking. Phoenix, ashes, rising up from, get it?  Every single animal at the shelter has an interesting story to tell. Some of the stories we have heard before and some of them are entirely new. Love stories. Survival stories. Fallen hero stories. D-I-V-O-R-C-E stories. The only difference between human stories and animal stories is that an animal needs a human to change the outcome for them. Animals bear their troubled stories with endless grace. Even the most abused animal will still find it in their heart to be gentle and loving.

We can learn so much from them about forgiveness and humility. A little love, care, food, water, and almost any animal can be rehabilitated. What’s up with we us? Why do we humans insist upon making such a big deal out of our silly, sad stories? And guilt? That false emotion can rank a free lunch. We really believe we are making moral progress when we feel pangs of guilt. (I did that “bad thing” but I feel awful about it so I must not be a “bad person” after all.) Forget guilt! No self-respecting Pit Bull has ever felt a moment of guilt in its life. An animals ability to stay in the now, accept a healing, embrace the moment, move-on is remarkable. Inspiring beyond inspiration.

Yes, every being has a story to tell. But the lack of angst and drama in an Animal Tale is something I myself aspire to. On any given day of our lives we may find ourselves lost, broken, alone. Next day? We can find redemption. We only need to let go of the tired tale we are telling ourselves (and anyone who will listen) to begin living the happy ending.

 Adopt a spayed/neutered pet from a reputable animal rescue group if you are able. Then live to tell the tale of the greatest love of your life. Have a sweet one!



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June has been bustin’ out all over and as the clock strikes midnight it will finally be over. I’m not complaining mind you I’m just sayin’. Many of the clients I Read for have been going through it big-time. I answer the phone and they are already in tears. (Usually the tears don’t come ’til after I tell ’em all the things they don’t want to hear.) There are months when we seem to glide through life and months where we  pray we can keep up with it all. It has been one of those months. The praying kind…not the gliding kind. Decision after decision has been made and now we pray for the best outcome. Nothing really dramatic – just change. Just life. Just it’s-about-frickin’-time you looked at this whatever, gave it a name, and stopped dancing around the issue. Big girl panties on and handle it! So, we handle it. A few days or a few weeks will go by and the seeds of our decision will bear fruit. You have to trust what you did was the right thing to do. This will happen over and over again throughout our lives. It’s a process of pain, relief from pain, then fresh new energy. The process will have us feeling better than we had been in a good while. Why were we acting as if we were having a root canal without anesthesia? Perspective is everything. Change is not easy when you aren’t certain if the exchange will be fair. Something will replace the something we know? Will it be enough? Will there be a period of emptiness? Unbearable emptiness. Oh, no! Not emptiness.

We need to learn to experience emptiness and enjoy the lightness of being it has to offer. Remain faithful knowing full well emptiness never lasts for long. I mean look at that hall closet you just cleared out in December, right? How about the trunk of your car? Empty just isn’t a forever kind of thing. We humans need to fill up the spaces and we do. It would behoove us to become less accepting of filling them up with junk in the first place. It doesn’t matter if it is our closets, or our stomachs, or our hearts. Our high-tolerance for riff-raff will get into trouble every time. How do you know you are making the correct decisions for your life? You don’t know! But here is how we may know a little better. Pay attention to how you feel after you make a decision. Do you feel relieved? Honor the outcome of the decision. Get in the habit of putting your feelings of relief and a positive outcome together. Ask for signs along the way.

Yesterday, I was at the beach. Children were everywhere, laughing, and flying salt-water taffy colored kites. The restless ocean was a deep lavender-blue. I had never seen the ocean this color before. It was remarkable. I closed my eyes and said the prayer I had come to the ocean to pray. When I finished my prayer I opened my eyes only to notice a tiny butterfly the same color of the ocean lighting on a flower. The flower was the exact same color as butterfly… lavender-blue. It may not seem like much but I took it as a sign. A sign I had come to a correct decision and my prayer would be answered. I left the seaside feeling satisfied. Today, I went to the paint store to pick up color chips. I’m leaning towards the blues and feeling sunny yellow. Have a sweet one!

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I have a new boyfriend. I fall in love with someone on a weekly basis at the very least. Can’t help myself. Most usually it is someone who is beyond excellent at what they do. Someone who knows their stuff and does it with panache. Someone I have never met. I guess we can call these little flights of admiration a crush? I guess. I have women on my crush list also. Been carrying a torch for Coco Chanel since I was 21! Why not? She was perfection and she liberated women from those godawful restraints they used to call clothes! My latest crush is on a fella I’ve been watching on HGTV. (Don’t tell Smokey Robinson or Nouriel Roubini, OK?)  Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes) has not replaced my great love for The Smoke or Dr. Doom but he is currently a part of my personal holy trinity. Why? Because we all need a hero and Mr. Holmes is a hero if ever there was one. Mike is a Canadian building contractor. Every week on HGTV, Mike walks into some fresh hell another builder has left behind for some unwitting home owner. The home owner is usually facing the worst possible contractor rip-off story ever. Electrical fiascos, plumbing-to-nowhere, the house at risk of caving in on itself because the foundation has been compromised by a sociopath posing as a building contractor. Imagine your worst renovation nightmare and Holmes On Homes deals with it. Once Mike enters the scene it is just a matter of time before he rights the wrongs and all is well on the home front.

 Mike’s crew includes his three children. The crew works day and night until Mike is happy with the result. And Mike ain’t happy until it’s perfect. He has even been known to use his own money to finish a project properly for the people who have been taken in. We are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here. There is just sumthin’ about Mike? A gal has no immunity from that kind of charm. He saves the day every time. He does it with grace, kindness, and human decency. Some bad guy has done something to someone so unfair and Mike, the good guy in overalls, corrects the injustice. He is an absolute inspiration. As stated before we need our heroes. It doesn’t matter if the hero is just an honest working stiff. Or a woman willing to stand up for the freedom of another woman in a country she will never set foot in. It doesn’t matter if the hero breaks the rules or follows them. Anyone doing the right thing when it is far easier, more profitable, and totally acceptable to do otherwise is a hero. At least in my eyes. Ya gotta love a person like that. I manage to find one on any given day and fall in love with them…just a little. It’s Memorial Day here in The States. A day we set aside every year to honor our fallen military heros. Bless them all. And thank heaven not all our heroes are dead heroes. Have a sweet one!

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Have you ever had someone come back into your life after a long absence? You are used to navigating your days successfully without them. Now here they are trying to insinuate themselves onto your radar screen once more. It’s strange isn’t it? At some point they let go of the relationship they had with you. Whether there was benign indifference or active contempt in play, at the time, they had their reasons. Reasons they felt “right” about. Right enough to vent those reasons out loud and say goodbye. Ya know, I tend to protest for a minute when I feel I am being inappropriately dismissed. I then find after my initial resistance acceptance comes quickly. I let go and get on with things. I don’t think I have ever spent an entire week mooning over the loss of any relationship to date. What’s the point? It doesn’t change anything. Over is over, right? Apparently not for everyone.

Seasons change and we change with them. We all have our strong points. I easily forgive. I suppose others easily forget. I wish my memory were not so long. I wish forgiving meant forgetting. I wish there were never feelings hurt. Unkind words expressed. Promises unkept. What should we do? Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish writing this blog. Get some much-needed sleep. Hopefully, wake-up tomorrow. I will act as if my relationship status has not changed at all because it hasn’t. I still have the same friends, family, and loved ones I had yesterday. I’m still livin’ alone and lovin’ it. I will continue to prosper and do well. The comings and goings of vexation in human form doesn’t affect my world at all. Clueless people will continue to walk into our lives and walk out with some regularity. Refuse to react to mindless inconsideration and whim. Never let the opinion of a fool break your heart or delay your journey. We have work to do here. It is easier done in the company of those who play well with others. Capisce? Have a sweet one!

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I write a weekly inspirational letter called Friday’s Child. The letter has a standard form. It starts off with a quote to compliment the content. I am forever looking for just the right words. The subject of  judgment and “the now” came to mind. I wanted to write about it. The following story expresses this theme well. A Japanese Zen Master, Nan-in, poured tea for a visiting novice. Once he filled the cup to the brim,thejudgement he continued to pour the hot liquid until it spilled all over. The visitor held his tongue until he could not contain himself further. “Master the cup is overfull! Nothing more can go into it!” Nan-in replied; “Yes, and like this cup you too are full of your own speculations. How am I to show you Zen if you do not first empty your cup?” Our pretty little heads are so full of what we think we know, aren’t they? How this or that should or shouldn’t be? How much is too much? She’s so smart. He’s so flaky. I would never.

How are we ever to take in a real moment when so many other moments come immediately to mind to define it? We finally land the job we have always wanted. The relationship we dreamed of. Will we frame it with the ghosts of all other gigs and ex’s in the picture? Or will we be able to let go of what is now the past? See clearly only what is before us. Crop out everything but what is and where we plan to go from there. It won’t be easy if you aren’t used to living your life without a lot of  “help” from your past. At first it will feel as though you have lost your mind altogether. You may be a little off your game for a minute but it is the better game to play. I volunteer on Sunday’s at the local SPCA and I always bring a book with me jic. This week I brought a book of quotes along. I found this great quote on just this very matter. I must say I had to empty my head a little when I saw who was responsible for the quote. But Zen Masters are everywhere. Here is the quote. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”  Wayne Gretzky said that. Who wudda ever thunk it? Out of the mouths of hockey players…

Have a sweet one!



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Today is my birthday. Hey, it’s not polite to ask a lady her age. But since you didn’t ask. I’m 58 years old today. 5-8. 58. Oi! For the love-of- Mike and sweet-suffering-Jesus I haven’t a clue how this could possibly have happened! If I had any sense at all I would be in a state of existential despair. Although, I do admit to asking myself certain probing questions. Questions concerning my true values. My spiritual path? Who do I love? Who loves me? Am I free? Do I want to be free? I could really work myself up over this but frankly Scarlett…

The great thing about being me now (as opposed to 10 years ago) is that I accept a wide range of cognitive dissonance. I haven’t bothered to rationalize anything in years. I accept the mysteries of life and appreciate them for what they are. What are they? Apparent realities, clearly not my business. That’s OK. I ask only for saliency in the working corner of my life. I assume a little awe will keep me young.

Do I have any advice for the truth-seeking amongst us? Yes, in fact I do. Here represented forthwith are Big Al’s Big Four.

  1. Unless there is a rattle snake slithering your way consider most of your fears to be unfounded. Calculate your risk in any given situation. Get on with it!
  2. We humans are all about patterns of behavior. The ability to create self actualized patterns will make all the diff. Keep workin’ it!
  3. Focus on your strengths to build your character. Ask yourself if you can do better. If the answer is no. Let it go. If the answer is yes. Make it happen!
  4. Stay close to anyone, anything, anyplace, any sound, scent, or sweetness that brings you joy. Cherish it!

I have a few more tidbits but that’s enough for now. I’m up past my bedtime and G knows I need my beauty sleep. I’ll bid you adieu with one of my favorite Hafiz quotes. “Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” Do yourself a favor. Don’t make the little bugger search forever. Hold still long enough everyday for happiness find you and bless you with bliss.

Happy Birthday Alex old thing. Have a sweet one!

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