Thursday, December 29, 2011

Intention

Our intention creates our reality. Wayne Dyer

Hello. Here we are with a brand new beginning again. We get one at this time each year. It's like opening a package, not knowing what's inside. Only now we get to decide what we want in the package, and we get to make it so. Is there something you wanted last year and didn't get? Well, how about this year? Dreams really can come true when we make them real with intention.

A good intention clothes itself with power. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bringing what you want into your life involves more than just wanting something. First comes the idea. Then comes intention, the power that supports what you want to have, do, or be. Getting into the habit of setting intentions promotes good results. It helps clarify your desire and it motivates your efforts to acquire it.

Once you intend to have, do, or be something, set a course to get there:
1. First go within and ask for guidance. And listen as you go along.
2. Be open to change, for in some way you will be changed this year. We all are. But you can decide what you want to change.
3. Be clear about what you want and why you want it. Will it enhance your life? Will it involve others in any way? How? Use inner reflection and state your purpose.
4. Examine your inner feelings and work on anything that needs attention.
A. Do you have any defeating habits? Worry, pessimism, procrastination?
B. Do you feel worthy? Unworthy?
C. Are there any old wounds that need healing?
D. Any past mistakes that may interfere with the present?
E. Is there anything you need to forgive in others or yourself?
5. Resolve what issues you can, and love all that is you.
6. Set in motion whatever needs to be done in the outer and move toward your goal. And don't listen to inner critics while you're at it.
7. Look for light in everything.
8. Trust your inner Voice, and trust yourself. You have all you need for success.
9. Imagine what you want as already manifest in your life. And hang onto that image with gratitude.

Wow! That seems like a lot to do to get what you want this year. But once you express your intention, the rest will follow. You have the power to bring much good into your life. It's worth the effort. And each time gets easier. Make this your year.

Happy new year. Happy new you.

Marilyn

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Magic Time

We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic. E. Merrill Root.

Sorry I'm late this week, but last week's injury from a fall on my kitchen floor put a stop to all of my plans. It took my focus away from outer activities and forced me to go within. There was no other place to go. And the pain in my bruised body directed me to explore who and what I am and how I view life and it's challenges. There are times when we need to go within and find meaning we may be missing with our busy minds. I remembered past holidays like the present one...what I did then, how I felt and what they meant to me. And the same thought kept coming back--the same profound realization I have every year during this beautiful holiday season. This is a time of renewal, reawakening, rebirth--and releasing of the old invites this Newness of Life.

You might ask yourself, as I have done this week, what do you want to release from your life? What do you want to renew or reawaken? -- a talent, a sense of peace, an unfulfilled dream? Listen to the Voice within that always leads you to greater awareness of truth in your life, greater expression of who you are. Embrace the song in your heart that wants to be heard, and allow rebirth to unfold in the joy of the season. You are more than you know, and now is a time to express the magic that is you.

This is a time for each of us to let our light shine as a star in the heavens, and be who we are meant to be.

I wish you the joy of reawakening love and light in your life.

Marilyn

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oops

Each morning when we wake up, we think about what we have planned for that day. It's usually pretty routine and works out mostly as planned. But sometimes a storm hits and all plans are out the window. Then we have to make a 180 degree turn and regroup everything. There are all kinds of ways to meet such a day. How would react to one like this?

A few days ago, I had an opportunity to answer that question for myself, and I've been going through just about every reaction since the catastrophe. I had my list all made--2 appointments, shopping, the post office, and ingredients to make peanut butter candy for my writer's group party. After breakfast, I picked up my empty cereal bowl and headed for the kitchen. But I didn't see the pair of shoes I'd left near the kitchen door. My little renegade toe skillfully picked up a shoe strap, and I suddenly flew across the kitchen floor without a parachute, holding the bowl high in the air, hoping it wouldn't break in the inevitable impact. The flying time felt like forever, but I finally landed with a very hard thud on the left side of my chest. Of course, my arms had to follow my body, so the broken bowl flew everywhere. Slaaaap on the tile floor.

When a friend who's staying with me picked me up off the floor, my first reaction was confused disbelief. (I think that's the normal reaction at this stage) Then by the time we got to the Acute Care Center, I actually felt numb and giddy. In fact, the nurses remarked at my sense of humor in a not-so-funny situation. (Maybe mishaps like this affect a person's brain) But when the pain set in, my sense of humor melted into pure agony, and my left rib cage, neck, shoulder and arm were on fire.

Now 3 days later, my plans are shot, I missed my writer's group party, and I've been through anger, self-pity, feeling weak and shaky, and regret at not putting my shoes away. And with 3 medications, the pain is still grueling. So now what do I do? I know resistance makes everything worse, so I guess I have to accept where I am and envision more plans for another day.

The ride is still very bumpy, but I can't say it's boring. You know what? Life is like that. We never know what the next moment will bring. But we choose our reactions and they greatly influence recovery, so it's wise to be ready when the unexpected interrupts our world. I think I'll learn from this present experience and do better next time.

Always have a parachute ready.

Marilyn

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Gift

I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered. Robert Louis Stevenson

Recently I thought back on some of the gifts I received in the past. Some were expensive, some were not, and some cost nothing. But the ones I treasured the most had one thing in common. They were all given from the heart. This is the one ingredient that makes a gift a gift. It's how much love is involved in the giving.

When I was a child living in Detroit, I played outside until the streetlights came on and all the children went inside. There was a man who played in a band downtown, and every evening he caught the bus on my corner. Well, on my 9th birthday he brought me a box of beautiful hair ribbons wrapped in a pretty box. I never knew his name, but I still remember the joy I saw in his face as I opened my gift. I also remember the gifts my own children brought home to me from school--the handprints, the valentines, and the colorful pictures of Santa and the Christmas tree. I still have some of them. Then a few years ago, a friend didn't have money to buy a gift for my birthday, so she cleaned my house for me. What a beautiful gift. I knew she put her heart into it, and she made me happy. When I worked as a Psychotherapist, one of my patients brought me a birdhouse his wife made for me, and another patient gave me a lily he grew in his yard. What wonderful memories.

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

These gifts remind me that giving from the heart blesses both the giver and the receiver. I remember each giver's happy expression, and I re-live my own joy in receiving. The value of a gift is in the sharing of heartfelt love, and the gift is a symbol of this feeling between people. Think carefully as you choose a gift, and enjoy the experience of giving and receiving. Remember that when you give someone something with your heart, you're giving a part of yourself. So, really....you are the gift.

Enjoy a happy heart.

Marilyn

Friday, December 2, 2011

What About People?

This is a time of year when many are caught up in holiday activities, and sometimes we focus so much on things that we forget about the people in our world. So I decided to resurrect a message from the past that seems to apply to this time of year.

Today I approached the door to the library, and was pleasantly surprised when a young man moved in front of me and held the door open for me. I remember when nice gestures like this happened often, but I don't see much of it now. I smiled and told him how much I appreciated his kindness. This experience brought to mind how busy we are and how seldom we think of people. Yes, time is valuable, but I wonder if we're missing out on a lot of joy in our rush to get things done.

Most of what we do is necessary, but do we stop long enough to evaluate all those chores? Or are we just caught up in the fast-paced flow, and don't even realize we're in it? Are we really too busy to reach out and share some time with others?

Many years from now I'll remember the young man who opened the door for me, but I doubt I'll remember the department store sale I couldn't miss last week, or which gift I gave to Aunt Mary, or who brought what for the holiday dinner.

Think about it. Time is what you make of it. Slow down and reorganize. When a moment is gone, it's gone. Create time to smile at the store clerk, laugh with a child, hug a friend, pray for the hungry in the world, express your love for the people in your life, and feel the joy of the season. Things are important, but they're temporary. People are forever. Life is for making memories. What kind of memories are you taking with you this year?

Breathe slowly and love a lot.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude

When I was a child I heard a lot about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, about how it was a day of expressing gratitude for freedom and all the blessings that go with it. Is that still taught in the schools? Is it ever mentioned anymore? When I hear people ask, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I never hear anyone say, "I'm going to express gratitude." Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but it seems like we celebrate a different kind of holiday today.

Now I mostly hear about families and friends getting off work and coming together for a really fun day of visiting, watching a parade and a football game on TV, and wishing they hadn't eaten so much of the usual feast. Some even say a blessing before they eat. Then there's the huge shopping day after Thanksgiving when all the stores try to outdo each other selling a huge amount of merchandise to stampeding customers. And I agree that this is a wonderful way for some people to spend this holiday each year. Hey. I'm not a spoilsport. (Is that still a word?) But where's the gratitude--the reason for the holiday in the first place? Is it still there--we just don't talk about it anymore?

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy. Ralph H. Blum

Maybe we shouldn't assign one day each year for giving thanks, because it's so easy on that day to focus on everything but gratitude. How about making every day a time to focus on how blessed we are. Yes, there is pain in life--some have more than others--but we're still here, and it is possible to live life with a peaceful heart while we deal with whatever pain may come.

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins

Next to love, gratitude is one of the most powerful healers we have. Say thank you from your heart, and feel the shift deep inside. Say it everyday, and watch for the changes that take place in you and your life. Develop a daily attitude of gratitude. It works.

I thank you for being there.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tunnel

Every positive change - every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness - involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, or initiation. I have never found an exception. Dan Millman

Each change in life is an opportunity for growth, but change can't take place without a period of transition from letting go of the old to embrace the new. These transition periods may be almost unnoticeable or painfully profound, depending upon the situation. At times like this, we may want to cling to the familiar, but change requires that we accept the transitional state and move through it. This is part of the process.

Do you ever feel stuck, like you're spinning your wheels and going nowhere? Or everything is at a stand-still in limbo? Or you're leaving something behind, but not yet moving in a new direction? Sometimes this can feel like a dark tunnel with no way out and no end to it. A change is taking place, and you're in transition.

The next message you need is right where you are. Ram Dass

We're a society of activity, going and doing. And being in the tunnel, waiting for something new to enter, can bring up all kinds of negative emotions. You fret and stew because nothing is happening. I can't just sit here and do nothing. Well, why not? There's purpose in everything that happens, and transitions are a gift. They're times for inner work, reflecting upon life as you know it, examining what worked in the past but is no longer useful, a time to know yourself better and gain strength from that still small voice inside upon which you can always depend.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into chrystal clearness. Mahatma Gandi

When you find yourself in a transition tunnel, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they taking you into despair or are they lifting your spirits to a higher level? Sometimes you can't change what is happening or not happening. But while you do what is yours to do, you can quiet your mind and listen for direction. This is a time of preparation for the next step on your journey. Allow your life to unfold in a peaceful way, stronger than you were before.

I wish you an easy road ahead.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trust Your Self

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Goethe

In life we all make mistakes. The little ones just seem to be a part of our imperfection, not of much consequence. But some are major mistakes, and over time these can create mistrust in our ability to make sound judgments. Our ego-self may become afraid to reach out--to live as fully as we would like. And we look for ways to cope.

When I grip the wheel too tight, I find I lose control. Steve Rapson

When we lack trust, we foolishly seek to control the people and situations in our life, thinking this will provide the sense of security we need. But fear is always beneath our need to control. Control leads to bondage--not freedom.

I've probably made more big mistakes than most, but I got tired of looking back at the kind you can't go back and fix, and I realized I was looking in the wrong place for wisdom. It never was out there where people and situations changed no matter what I did. And it wasn't in my head with all the fear, confusion, and uncertainty. It was inside--in that special, peaceful, all-knowing place that touches my heart with truth. The one place that would never fail me. And I began my journey to find trust in my self.

Self-trust is the first secret of success. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear is powerful energy, and change does not come easy. Even if you know that the answers you need are only found within you, breaking old habits is difficult. They may be painful, but you cling to them through a false sense of security. That's familiar territory. The unknown is scary. But you can learn to tune into that small, still voice within you for dependable answers and direction.

Do not abandon trust when your ego thinks things should be different than they are. Wayne Dyer.

It may take a while for you to transfer from the sometimes faulty thinking in your mind to trusting the truth of your inner voice, but with practice this transition can occur.
1. When you need physical information, gather it from your environment. Then go within and ask for help with your final decision.
2. Listen for your answer. It may come as a voice, a feeling, a knowing.
3 Be patient and wait. Your answer may not come immediately. You may be driving your car, doing laundry, busy at work, or whatever, when you suddenly know your answer.
4. Develop an attitude of trust in your life as it unfolds day by day.

Trust your Self. You have always had this part of you that can lead to peace and confidence in your self and your life. Release the worries, and know you are cared for. All is well.

I wish you peace in trusting your Self.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Look Inside

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. Jo Coudert

Most of the time our focus is outside ourselves believing our source of happiness is out there somewhere. If I had a partner, I wouldn't be lonely; If all of my affairs were in order, I'd be at peace; If I had all the money I need, I'd feel secure; If I could do something important, my life would have meaning; etc. If I had--if I had--if I had. Yes, it's important to have things that enhance our quality of life, but things and situations are only ours for a time. Life is constantly changing, and we can spend a lifetime searching for new things when the old ones wear out.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. George Moore.

For some people, many years are wasted looking for that special person, place or thing that will bring them true, lasting happiness, only to find at the end of the journey that it was inside all the time. That's where all of your answers and solutions are found. True peace and happiness can only be found inside. They're built in, and all we have to do is go within and search. Are you willing to spend time and attention to discover what may be waiting there, like who and what you really are?

Resolve to be thyself, and know that he who finds himself loses his misery. Matthew Arnold

You will always have to face some painful times along your journey, and during those times you may not feel that happiness can be found within. But peace and happiness are your true nature, that part of you that gets overlooked when you search in the outer. And this is where you find peace in the midst of the storm.

Take some quiet time each day (even 15 minutes) to come home to yourself. Allow your shadows to surface without judgment. We all have those. Then let them go. And allow your light to shine in your life. We all have that too. See it, believe it, and praise that beautiful self. That's where true, lasting happiness is found.

I wish for you a happy, peaceful journey

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anger As Healing Tool

Anger is a great force. If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world. William Shenstone

Anger is a complex critter. It can kill you or it can save your life, depending upon how you use it. When it's projected outward it becomes destructive. Society tells us not to get angry, and if we do, we're supposed to suck it up. As if stuffing it down somewhere inside is going to dissolve it. When turned inward it causes ulcers, high blood pressure and heart attacks, also destructive. So what causes it?

Anger is often our response to a thought, idea or belief that we're being threatened by someone or something--look what they did to me--or that we've fallen short of our own standards--I'm so stupid. I should have done better. This perceived threat may be associated with self-esteem issues, our need to feel secure and safe, loss of something tangible in our life, personal exposure, our own imperfection, or something as simple as a need to be right. For some, being wrong means invalidation of self, but being right provides a false sense of power. Have you ever known someone who couldn't stand to be wrong?

Anger seems like a no-win situation, but there's another side to this phenomenon. Anger is painful, and pain is useful. It tells us there's something inside that needs our attention. You can't make others be what you want them to be, and you can't make yourself perfect, but you can change your responses with inner work.

While you're working on inside changes, you need a way to stop anger from taking over in the first place. You know how it first grabs you in the pit of your stomach. That's when you say stop and re-focus your attention with affirming statements. I don't need to be right all the time; I'm fine just like I am; this can be fixed; that other person is just a big bag of wind. Use whatever fits to stop the feeling before it becomes full blown.

Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear. Zora Neale Hurston

Allow anger to tell you what there is in you that needs attention. Then begin your search for answers. The better you know and understand yourself, the better you're able to deal with destructive anger.
1. Spend some quiet time writing letters to yourself with questions: What am I afraid of? What in me feels threatened? What in me needs changing?
2. Write down whatever answers you get.
3. Now write a new scenario confronting each answer with positive descriptions of your true self. Emphasize peace, strength, wisdom, power etc.
4. Release the fear and create a positive you.

Anger is pure energy, and you can use it to your advantage. (I do my best house-cleaning when I'm angry) Use it wisely, and it will serve you well. Allow it to heal your fears and help you grow in truth.

I wish you peaceful encounters.

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Open The Package

You don't know what's in the package until you open it. Unknown

When you receive a package do you spend time examining it, shaking it, and guessing what's inside? Do you assume what the package might contain? And does the wrapping affect your attitude about the contents? Well, this is what we sometimes do with life situations, and then we miss something wonderful because the situation doesn't come wrapped in a pretty package. We quickly judge something and assume it's not worthwhile, not what we want, so we discard it without looking past appearances. It might be wise to take a deeper look.

Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by. John Sales

Many years ago, I was searching for a job in my field, but the only one I could find was with a mental health team in a county jail--definitely not what I had in mind. But I took the job until I could find something I wanted. I performed as required, but my attitude was not productive until I began to open the package and notice the many unexpected challenges and rewards in my work. I gradually realized I was in the right place. And I stayed in a job I loved for 10 years. I would have missed this rewarding experience if I had clung to my assumptions and left for something else.

Another time I had a supervisor who seemed to push my buttons every time we encountered each other. This package was certainly not wrapped in pretty paper. But I took the time to examine my own attitude and look beyond our differences. I was quite surprised to find we had a lot in common, much upon which to build a good relationship. As time passed, we became friends, and I remember her with a warm heart instead of with my initial assumption.

There are many times in life when the people, places and situations we encounter are quite different from our first impression. Things aren't always what they seem. It's often worth our time and effort to look past the wrapping, open the package without judgment and find what's really there. At least we won't have to look back and wonder what might have been.

I wish you happy surprises.

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Take The Time

Last night I made a big pot of vegetable beef soup, because my body said the time for potato salad and cold cuts has passed, a reminder that a new cycle is beginning. The fall season is a time when nature seems to pull back, a time of replenishing to meet the next growing season in the spring. Days are growing shorter, bears are readying for hibernation, birds think about flying south, animals are growing their winter coats, leaves are turning to yellow and orange, and we humans are being told to slow down. Nature knows what to do, but we don't seem to hear our inner wisdom.

I live in Florida, so I would think the rules for seasonal changes wouldn't apply to me. But our bodies have an inside clock that thrives on rhythm, and although that rhythm may vary in different climates, we are a part of that universal cycle affecting all of life. Everything is made of energy, and when energy is spent, we need reminders to take our attention from summer's busy activities to the quiet within where we can take a slower pace while still fulfilling what is ours to do each day. Nature is a beautiful reminder of this transition, like my craving hot soup.

During the summer's longer days, our attention is more focused on the outer. But now is the time for some quiet inside reflection on where we've been and where we want to go. Insight we gain during quiet times leads to a better understanding of our inner self and promotes changes for a more positive future.

It's so easy to spin the same wheels in the same manner, and find we're just treading water. We need these periods of reflection to grow into more of what we want to be. Take some time to slow down and allow each cycle of life to unfold a more clear and meaningful direction.

I wish you time to be.

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hanging On To Stuff

Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own. Bruce Lee

I just finished helping a friend pack everything she owned to move to another city. She's alone, but the 26 foot truck was packed full, with left-overs packed solid in her car. And this was after her moving sale. Wow! The experience was so enlightening, I'm now ready to back up and take a look at my own life. I was reminded of how attached we become to stuff we no longer need or use, and how reluctant we are to part with any of it.

I think of Grandma's favorite tea set, Uncle Joe's old baseball cap, a lamp I bought at a garage sale that didn't match anything, the skirt I wore when I had a 23 inch waist, and mounds of stuff that's entirely useless to anyone, especially me. Even my file cabinets are overflowing with receipts 10 years old. So why do some of us hang on? (God bless those who don't)

It comes down to attachment, and we delude ourselves into thinking we can't live without it. Maybe someday I'll need it? Memories of loved ones are related to it? I get a strange sense of security from having stuff? My identity is tied up in it? Who know for sure? What I know now is that most of it has to go. I'm still reluctant though, because I remember a time when there was some unclaimed property coming to me from the state if I could prove that I lived at a certain address many years previously. Well, wouldn't you know. I happened to have a tax return from when I lived at that very address, and I received some money. See why I don't want to throw anything away? Hey. What if I need it.

Lame excuses. Life is not about things. It's about making memories that warm our hearts in the cold times. It's about discovering who and what we are and learning and growing into more of what we want to be. It's about finding love, peace and meaning within and sharing it with others and our world. We are beautiful creations living in a world that needs our daily love and attention. Life is what matters--an adventure to be lived. Attachment to things takes needed energy and space, so don't be afraid to let go. Cleaning out what you no longer need makes room for the Universe to bless you with all that you do need. And that's a pretty good trade off.

I wish you space in your life to grow.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Walk Your Journey

It is only when we silent sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands on the doorsteps of our hearts. K.T. Long

I've been listening to interviews on the Healing With The Masters series, and one in particular by Marise Karlin reminded me of how hectic our lives are and how much we need to include quiet in each day. We rush from one problem to another, collecting mental and emotional junk on our way. We hang onto it somewhere inside and don't take time to clean it out and replace it with things like peace, harmony, joy, contentment and all the good stuff that makes life worthwhile. And we miss those precious moments that we let slip by.

Everything in the universe is energy. Each individual has a vibrational connection to the oneness of all, and we each connect into the whole. Our energies affect one another in a positive or negative way. Life is full of triggers that push our buttons and tend to move us into negative vibrations. Your boss yells at you, a store clerk is rude, someone doesn't understand you, being in the presence of someone in a bad mood. Difficult and/or painful situations are endless. And sometimes we respond in kind instead of choosing to respond in peace. What a cycle in which to live our life. The sad part is that we don't learn to live another way. Maybe we don't even know that's where we are.

We may be a part of the universal whole, but we can choose the kind of energy we want to receive or project in the universe. There is within each of us a Source of peace that transcends our human flesh, and we can learn to connect with this Source as needed. What a great sense of freedom when we're no longer at the mercy of someone else's trigger, or just from everyday stressors we all encounter.

Today, there are many ways available to learn relaxation techniques, and there are things you can do to bring harmony into your life. Embrace the healing power of music and nature to encourage wellbeing in your body, mind and spirit. Have you ever noticed how flowers and plants have a healing influence when a person's dealing with a health challenge? And how about smiling to activate healing chemicals in your brain.

Stop resisting and pushing at all that clutter and junk that crosses your path. Be quiet, take a deep breath, and reconnect with the Divine within. Then meet each challenge from a place of calm assertiveness. Practice inner quiet until you can assume a quiet mind at will. Maintain a serene heart. And just walk your journey.

I wish you a peaceful walk.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Air Fright

If anyone is anticipating flying somewhere, it might help to know what could, maybe, possibly, might happen to you. I've been flying for 50 years, and the flight I just took to Seattle is the first one I can label a nightmare. I'm a nice quiet person, but this last trip brought out the beast in me, and I'm surprised I wasn't put off the plane. Looking back, I suppose it's a good thing I wasn't put off, because an irate old lady being put off a plane should certainly have a camera rolling, and I don't think one was poised to shoot the scene.

A few years ago I stopped carrying a purse in addition to a carry-on bag (easier that way), and I learned the airlines minimum size requirement for a bag to put under the seat in front of me. Then I bought and carried a bag very much within those measurements that held my medications, my inhaler, food, money, credit cards and ID, a light blanket, kleenex and my crossword book and pen. Until my recent trip, everything worked without a hitch, so little did I suspect an onslaught was about to begin.

While I waited for my initial flight, an attendant put a "gate claim baggage" flyer on the handle of my carry-on case, and this told me right away they planned to confiscate my bag upon entering the plane. So I discretely removed the flyer, put it in my pocket and entered the plane with my best innocent old-lady smile. Got away with that one.

But changing planes in Houston was a different story. When I entered the plane, an attendant pounced on me and grabbed for my bag. "All of the overhead bins are full," she smirked. I grabbed back and said, "No. This goes under my seat."

Well, this started a tug-of-war between us that I eventually won, thinking that was the end of our encounter. Wrong. When they did their last check before take off, I knew that attendant wasn't through with me. She stopped by my seat, hands on her hips and threw out her heavy chest demanding my bag again. We went back and forth with my pleading and her demanding I surrender my bag. Then I exploded, and every time she opened her mouth, I put my foot in it with cuss words I'd kept in check for many years. The whole cabin gaped at the show they had not anticipated, but obviously enjoyed. The attendant smirked again and said, "I'll get my supervisor." And I blurted, "Yeah, why don't you **** just do that."

Next here came an attendant wearing a spiked hair do and a menacing look. She glared at me with a sickening grin and said, "If you need your medicine, we will get it from your bag in the overhead bin. (I thought the overhead bins were full) Then we can work together....can't we!"

With both feet on top of my bag I yelled, "No way. You will not have this bag." Both attendants straightened up, grunted big time and replied, "Well, if there's a problem, we will take it." And, harumph. They stomped away. Then I cried from pure stress, glad the whole mess had ended.

By the way, the person sitting next to me had stuff under the seat in front of her consisting of a dog in a carrier, a giant tote bag, a heavy sweater and an Ipod, with no room for her feet, while my feet sat comfortably on either side of my bag.

I've really been running on about this, but I just wanted to warn you to be prepared for surprises you may not anticipate on your next airline trip. Some attendants are ruthless.

I wish you only harmonious flights

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The People In Your Life


Life is accepting what is and working from that. Gloria Naylor

I just returned from Seattle visiting my son and his family. Every year or two I visit them and my daughter's family in Dallas. Not enough time to spend with people I love. Each trip reminds me again of how distant families and friends are today. In earlier times, life wasn't like that. People stayed close and spent their whole lives together sharing all those little tender moments that really aren't little. They're what life is about, and their importance can't be measured. I know life changes, but did that have to change too? Yeah, I guess it did.

Separation of family and friends is a normal way of life now. And maybe that's okay for those who've never known a different way. But I wonder if sometimes they wish friends and family were not so scattered so they could drop in for coffee, ride in a friend's new car, visit when a child is sick, help a mother walk when she gets old, find joy at a baptism or cry together at a funeral, or get frequent hugs from those they love. Companionship feeds our soul and is absolutely necessary for us to flourish.

It's been said that we don't miss what we've never had, and maybe that's true. But for some of us who remember, we have to adjust and find new people in our lives and feel grateful for those who are still near us to fill our need for community, our need to express love in person. That's not to say there aren't people in our lives who grate on our nerves, and maybe we'd like a little distance from them, but those are the ones who help us grow the most. So we need people like that too.

Every single thing changes, and is changing always in this world. Yet, with the same light the moon goes on shining. Saigyo

I missed watching my grandchildren grow up, and I've missed many of the day-to-day encounters with my children and some of my friends but, oh, how I treasure the memories of times we were together. Maybe I appreciate them all the more because those times were infrequent. I would rather have had things different, but I believe there's good in everything, and the situation has taught me to appreciate what I might have taken for granted otherwise.

We're all on our own journey, and it's wonderful to travel together, but I guess each of us has to take our own route. So grab on to every minute you have with someone you love, and put it somewhere in your heart for safekeeping. Life isn't always what we want, but it can be a blessing when we make it so.

Love them here or there.

Marilyn

Monday, September 5, 2011

Decisions

More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny. Anthony Robbins

Look around at your life. What you see reflects your past decisions, thus the life you've created for yourself. Are you happy with what you see, or would you like to change something? It's going to change anyway--nothing stands still--but the quality depends upon the method you use for making decisions. Stuff happens, and you can't control everything, but for a better tomorrow, it's wise to look at what you're doing today.

Since we live our lives from the inside out, it helps to explore what's going on inside and the actions we take as a result. Are you impulsive or a worrier? Do you go on automatic and end up in regret? Do you have unfulfilled dreams because you're scared to reach out and take a chance? How would you rate yourself as a decision maker?

Make decisions from the heart, and use your head to make it work out. Sir Girad

My decisions brought much regret in my life until I learned from one magnificent success. At age 47, against advice from family, I returned to school to work in the mental health field. I had no savings, no money for school, and I had to quit my job and move to another city. Looking back I can't believe I was so brave, but friends helped me in the other city, and I went for it. I got a job, a school loan, my own apartment, and excelled in school. And I began a new life. That's when I learned something about making wise decisions. Since then, I also learned to forgive myself for the times I forgot to be wise and goofed up.

We're faced with thousands of decisions in our life, but whether we have a major or minor one, the process is the same.
1. Keep your needs and wants clear. Is it a need or a want, and what are you willing to pay for it?
2. Be patient and gather all the information you can about the issue. What will it take to manifest? What is the best direction for you to take? What resources will you need.?
3. Never make a decision based on fear. What if I make a mistake? What if I can't make it happen? Etc. Just turn your fear to healthy caution.
4. Look inside for guidance. What is your heart telling you?
5. Be enthusiastic about the potential outcome. Stay committed, but flexible.
6. When ready, take action, and be prepared to accept the outcome. And know you did your best--no matter what.

We're all learning, so don't look for perfection. Learning just makes life easier. Make it fun along the way.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Be A Butterfly


Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you. Marsha Norman

Many people have a dream, and they go for it and make it happen. Others vacillate between hope for making it come true and fear that they can't do it. Some know there's a dream inside, but don't know what it is, so they wait for their soul to speak to them. Then there are others who go through life totally unaware that there's anything inside worth expressing. They work every day and pay the bills. Isn't that all there is? NO. We may start out in a cocoon, but each of us has the potential to become a butterfly if we listen and answer our butterfly destiny.

"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." Trina Paulus

I have a friend who felt a calling for a long time, but she brushed it off, feeling she didn't have the potential to become more than she was. Neither of us knew what her calling was, but for years, I saw the butterfly in her, and I carried that vision in my heart. I knew that one day she would discover her dream and pursue it. Well, recently that something came alive in her. She crawled out of her cocoon to fly like a butterfly preparing for work in the field of Energy Medicine. Her face glows with contentment and visions of a beautiful future helping others. And I smile, because I knew it all the time.

One can never consent to creep, when one feels an impulse to soar. Helen Keller

Do you feel something in you that yearns to be expressed? If so, are you one of those who's afraid to answer that call? Maybe you think it's not important enough or it's too great for you to tackle. There are small quiet dreams and large lofty ones. Whatever yours is, it's meant especially for you. You don't have to be rich or famous or produce great achievements for your dream to be worthwhile. Anything you do that satisfies that longing inside and spills over into the world is fulfilling your dream. And you can fly like the butterfly.

Our dreams are there to help us grow and share more of who and what we are. And life becomes more meaningful and sweeter with each one. If you need certain resources to accomplish what you're moved to do, your own heightened energy will attract those resources to you. There's a saying that goes, "Whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right," So why not believe you can...and be a butterfly.

Your wings are beautiful.

Marilyn


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Give Up

If you're going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

If we fall into a hole, we work hard to get out of it. If the car breaks down, we try to get it fixed. If we get sick, we try to get help. If we lose our job, we look for another. If we have a dream, we think about pursuing it. And thousands of other issues that take our time and energy. The climb can get steep, leaving us exhausted. And sometimes we say to hell with it, and we go to bed with covers over our head to block it all out. Many people come to a place like this in their life. But is there another way to handle the mess without giving up and letting life slide by while we spend years treading water? Where's the sunshine?

The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. Ivy Baker Priest

You can't see the future. You can only deal with now. But now must be dealt with if you want to be free. Even if you feel you've no energy left, you can't give up and surrender to the status quo. What you're looking at every day is not all there is. There is also you. One of the greatest parts of your life is you. Have you been missing that? If you give up, you might not find you, and what a loss that would be.

It's easier to move forward when you stop--when you take time every day to stop, get quiet, go inside and see what your soul wants for you. Not for all the issues you're dealing with, but for you. So you don't have time to stop? Yeah, you do, if you schedule it. You won't do it if you don't schedule it. It won't be easy, but when you find you, the other stuff will get easier.
1. Keep a running 'to do' list. Upgrade it every night, prioritize, check things off as you accomplish them. Oh, you're not a list type person? Well, maybe discipline is one of your lessons in this life. If that's you, what a wonderful discovery.
2. Organize your errands, and change the way you do some things. Include music in your life every day--and sing along. You don't have to feel like it. Just loosen up and do it, and you might find a smile you didn't know was there.
3. Schedule time for you every day, and don't begrudge yourself the time. Enjoy it.
4. Start each day affirming love. It will fill your heart and go where it's needed.
5. End each day with gratitude. If you look, you'll find a lot to be grateful for.
6. Never criticize. Always praise.

If you have a dream for yourself that will express who you are, pursue it. Do what is yours to do each day, but find your own personal light and let it shine. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Discovering you is an ongoing adventure, and there's always more to discover. So stay on the journey, and don't give up. You're worth it.

I wish you happy hunting.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ah, The Music


Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows. Napoleon Bonaparte

I'm in love. I'm in love with 3 teen-age Italian singer's glorious music that's now being heard all over the world. Their music is so inspiring, I had to get their CD. Now I walk around my house waving my arms in the air as if conducting the orchestra with tears running down my face. Their voices are beyond beautiful, and their expression touches my heart with the realization that we humans are blessed with beauty we're not even aware of. Maybe we just don't take the time to hear the music that runs through our lives everyday, and a group like these amazing young men is here to remind us.

Music is everywhere. Mothers hum to their babies, men belt out songs in the shower, and children still sing Itsy Bitsy Spider. But we usually don't pay much attention. We're too busy to think, not only about music we hear, but about the music we don't hear. There's music in every part of our lives, not just through singing or playing a musical instrument. Have you ever heard a song in the wind blowing through trees, in waves that hit the shore, from birds talking to each other, or bees flying around a flower? And most of all the song that's inside each of us. We all have our own voice, the unique way in which we express ourselves, and we have the power to choose our songs.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold Auerbach

When I go to the grocery store, I notice one of the check-out clerks. She always smiles, asks how I'm doing today, and if I want paper or plastic. She sings the same words every day, and the title of her song is, I care about you. I know this, because I feel her voice expressing those words. My cousin plays with her 12 great-grandchildren and works in a medical office one day a week. My niece sings with smiles from her wheelchair, and my writing group puts their songs on paper. Ah, the music.

What do you want to express in your life, and how do you want to express it? You have the voice. Now choose your song and give it to the world. We need it.

I wish you a song in your heart.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Go Ahead And Laugh


Yesterday I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 2 years old was sitting in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had the best time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and laughed together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us, that part of us that needs to play and laugh, especially in today's world. My experience also brought back a childhood memory that makes me smile. It's recorded in my book, Silent Echoes, and I want to share it with you today in an abbreviated version. It takes place in the Great Depression years when my mother was a widow, and most people were dirt poor. We lived in a combination living room and bedroom with a small kitchen in the basement, and shared a bathroom with other tenants.

There was no spending money for us kids, but we discovered a way to get money for movies and treats. Mama met a store owner down the street named Stanley. He was nice, but Mama made it clear she wasn't interested in a romantic relationship, so he settled for friendship and came to visit occasionally with gum and candy for us.
One afternoon, after Stanley had been for a visit, Jackie found our little brother, Lee, outside playing with a nickel and two pennies.
"Where'd you get the money?" he asked.
"In the chair."
Jackie took us inside to find the place. We stood huddled together while Lee showed us a hole in the back of the old leather chair where Stanley had been sitting. We knew the money had fallen out of his pockets. We couldn't hold back our giggles. There were always people in and out of our apartment, so from then on we sat all the male visitors in that chair, telling them it would be more comfortable. Mama smiled at us and said it's nice to be polite. We just grinned.

I'm not advocating such trickery as portrayed in the above scene, but when times are hard, we need to look to the child in us who knows how to make a kite from an old worn out dishrag. Many children have sadness or pain in their lives, but they're ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. Sometimes that spirit gets lost when we grow up, but we could take a lesson from the little ones. When the sun doesn't shine, look inside for the child in you and remember when you used to laugh. Try it again, even if you don't feel it, because the more you laugh, the more you will feel it. It's wired in us.

I wish you smiles on your journey.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Your Special Light

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. Mary Dunbar

Life is busy, isn't it? Run. Run. Run. Take care of everything on the outside. That's fine, but is that all there is? Who and what you are is not located out there, and you may be surprised at what you'd find if you took a closer look inside. You are unique, different, special, an adventure to be explored. You may find the impression you have of yourself now is quite inadequate. There's so much more.

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. Hafiz

Sometimes our self-image reveals more of our weaknesses than our strengths, and we go through life short-changing ourselves. I had a friend who rarely admitted anything admirable about herself--I can't, I mess everything up, I'm homely, I'm not worth much, etc. This impression was not true, but she had never searched for anything else. So I sat her down and gave her my impression. As I rattled off a dozen wonderful qualities I saw in her and cited many times she had expressed these qualities, tears filled her eyes. She said, "No one ever told me that, and I never saw it. Is it really true?" I convinced her to observe herself, and take note each time she expressed her strong points. She amazed herself with each discovery, and her wonderful self became real to her. Over time, she learned to let her light shine even in her own eyes.

There is something innate in each of us that longs to grow on our journey through life. But how can we grow if we're not aware of what we're working with in the first place? When I was a child I watched my brother put together model airplanes. First he opened the box, then laid out each piece on the table and carefully identified each one. Some were ready to us as is, while others needed sanding down and rough edges smoothed out. He was grateful for those ready to use pieces, and happily spent time on those that needed some work. No piece was any more important than the other. He needed all of them to create a plane that would fly. If we're to fly, we need to search inside the box, see all of the pieces, and work with them without judgment.

By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. Edwin Elliot.

Look inside, discover your light, and shine as you're meant to shine. The world needs your special light.

I wish you a happy adventure

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome To My Life

Everyone and everything around you is your teacher. Ken Keyes Jr

People come into our lives for a purpose. They come with love and support and/or to present us with an opportunity for growth. And there's a blessing in each one, for even a painful challenge is a blessing if we learn from it. Sometimes we don't see the blessing until we look back on the experience and realize we took something of value from it.

When I was working, I had a supervisor who made my life as miserable as he could, and I stayed stressed out. I told a friend about him, and she said, "He's probably one of the best life teachers you've ever had." Her comment rattled my brain, and I took a second look at this difficult person and my feelings toward him. I'd stayed so immersed in miserable feelings, I'd missed the value in this challenge. I began some inner soul-searching, as I call it, and realized how I could gain from the very irritation I dreaded every day. With a different perspective, I found strength and wisdom from this experience to pave a smoother way for myself in subsequent relationships.

No one makes you feel anything. It is how you react and respond that determines your emotions. Brian Tracy

Nobody says you have to like a person that's in your life, but you can learn to live around him or her for as long as you have to, and keep your sanity while you're at it. You can't change the other person, but why let someone else determine how you feel? You can take dominion over your own feelings, and learn something about yourself in the process.

Each person is a valuable part of our growth, so when someone is in your life, put your feelings on hold and ask what you can gain from the experience--patience, understanding, independence, self-worth, strength, compassion--whatever is yours to learn. Think to yourself, Welcome to my life. Let's see what we can learn from each other.

Sometimes people you believe to be your enemy really can be your greatest teachers if you give the relationships a chance on that basis. Over the years, once I learned to start out with the Welcome to my life statement, a few of my potential enemies became friends. And we learned together. Sure made life a lot easier.

I wish you happy encounters.

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Rainbow

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail. Robert Motherwell

I'm a child. Ten years old on a school trip. Mesmerized by a sight so beautiful my breath escapes me. Thousands of tulips. Michigan tulips. As far as I can see they stretch across a field before me, and fill my eyes with brilliant color beneath a soft blue sky above. Their colors form a rainbow in my mind. Yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, white, all swaying in the warm breeze while the springtime sun sparkles on their petals. I hold my chest and sway with them, overcome with awe at a sight I only dream of in my storybooks. For a while, this incredible sight replaces the loneliness I feel at home. It's nobody's fault at home. That's just the way it is.

This beautiful panorama of color taught me something I've carried with me my whole life. No matter what pain we encounter on our journey, there is always a rainbow somewhere. There have been times when I looked around at my life and saw nothing but dregs of what might have been. Boulders that looked too big to overcome. Doors closed to me forever. Hills too steep to climb. But my mind held the picture of the tulips, and I picked myself up and moved on.

When life throws you a curve, and you think you can't get up, you may not see a rainbow. But the rainbow is always there. Maybe it's just behind the clouds you see in your life, or between rain drops when they fall, or in birds talking to each other early in the morning, or in a child's smile. You may have to get on a bus and take a field trip in your mind to find it. But it's there.

When it looked like the sun wasn't going to shine anymore, there's a rainbow in the clouds. Maya Angelou

Life has a way of putting the difficult stuff right in our face, while the good stuff remains illusive. Maybe that's what teaches us how to be more alert and careful where we focus our attention. Rainbows are all around you. You have to know that. You have to believe that. And open your eyes and your heart to look past the darkness and find them.

I wish you clear vision along your path.

Marilyn

P.S. I keep the beautiful yellow tulips on my computer desktop.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Second Thought

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. D.H.Lawrence

The above quote is the philosophy I should have taken when I was recently forced to get along without my computer for 10 days. During that time, I wrung my hands, railed at fate, and felt as if life would never be the same. Okay. So I wasn't that insane, but I did forget everything I thought I'd learned about facing those bumps that pop up on the road of life. I was resisting the situation with all my might, and that just prolonged the agony.

When you fight something, you're tied to it forever. As long as you're fighting it, you're giving it power. Anthony de Mello

Our thoughts, feelings and actions produce energy, and our energy gives power to whatever is involved. One of the best ways to keep an unwanted situation or condition hanging around is to resist it. We do this with fear, worry, fretting, frustration, yelling, kicking walls, or any other way we can think of to express our negative feelings about it. Some people focus on their shortcomings, real or imagined. They focus on wanting these thoughts to go away, so they can feel good about themselves. This does nothing but give power to what's being resisted. With an outside problem, we attach ourselves to it as if that's going to make a difference in the outcome. We think the problem can't be solved unless we stew over it, and this too is resistance. These cycles take us nowhere.

Most problems work themselves out over time, but why chain yourself to them? You might as well say, "Pull up a chair and have a seat. I'll feed you enough energy to keep you around for a long time."

What you resist persists. And only what you look at, and own, can disappear. You make it disappear by simply changing your mind about it. Neale Donald Walsch

Nonresistance doesn't mean putting your head in the sand and ignoring something that needs your attention. It simply means choosing to accept the problem not as a mountain, but as a manageable hill that you're capable of resolving, rather than focusing on it with resistance.

1. You don't need to like the situation, but accept it as your own.
2. Talk to your feelings with understanding and compassion. You're human.
3. Detach your self from the problem, so you can be free to do what's necessary.
4. Research ways to resolve the issue and act upon them.
5. Just get the job done as best you can and accept whatever you need to accept.

While you're doing all of the above, send love to yourself and to the whole process. Love is the healing ingredient. You don't need to push against life. Allow it to move you forward in peace.

I wish you open arms full of love.

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Best Laid Plans Etc

It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. Clive James

Hello. Hello. I'm still here. I didn't go anywhere. I've just been wrestling with my computer that quickly showed me who's boss in our relationship. Two weeks ago, I wanted to include a picture with my post, which seemed like a good idea at the time. (Well, what can you expect? Old ladies need something in their life too, so this picture was to be "It" for me) Well, I followed the written directions from a friend who's a computer wizard, but I totally screwed up the project. The picture was too large and in the wrong place. Then when I clicked something else the picture disappeared. With a few choice words, I projected my frustration onto my computer, and in malicious retaliation, it bellied up and died. Stone dead for 10 days until another friend coaxed it into forgiveness and acceptable performance.

I can't help it if I'm semi computer illiterate. I'm pretty good at a lot of things, but computer stuff isn't one of them. My cranberry salad is a hit at family gatherings, and I make my own delicious gluten-free cookies. And years ago when I worked in the jail as a Mental Health Counselor, a violent schizophrenic was no problem for me. The officers used to call me to handle those situations. And I'm only 5ft 1in tall. Then when I was a bar waitress on an Air Force Base in Texas, I knew how to deal with guys who'd had too much to drink. There's a method to that, and I learned quickly. When I lived in Las Vegas, I went to the desert and learned to shoot a gun. I was pretty good at it, but the gun scared me, so I got rid of it. I also remember the time I was alone in a London, England airport, and didn't know how to get my two huge suitcases from the first floor to the second floor to change planes. You'd think the airline would have done that for me. I felt pretty stupid, but I finally figured that one out. There are carts to do that. Duh!

In my later years, I actually wrote a book, Silent Echoes, that was published last year. It's a memoir, but it has lots of adventures in it. I reveal some of my stupid times, but in the long run, I had sense enough to survive. So I have to ask myself why the computer is such a mystery to me. I understand what makes people tick, and they fascinate me. But the computer is like a giant stranger hovering over me, chiding me, because I don't understand that piece of solid mass with a mind of its own.

There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor, and we are funny to God. Bill Cosby.

I finally decided that if this computer and I have a future together, I'll have to lighten up and make some concessions, because I know there will be no such thing on the part of the computer. That ego will never give an inch. So I will practice patience, and only in extreme anger will I reveal that other models are available.

Be kind to your computer. You may still need it.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Freedom Through Forgiveness

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis B Smedes

For years I carried anger and resentment toward someone who had caused emotional pain in my life. When I felt I'd had enough, I decided to work on forgiveness and release. It was work, and it took time, but one day I examined my feelings and realized I was free. I still occasionally see this person on the street somewhere, but when I look inside at what I'm feeling, I smile. Even in his presence, I'm free. And that feels good.

When another person has done something to hurt you, you can't go back and change that person, but you can change your feelings that hold you captive. You may feel right and justified, and maybe you are, but would you rather be right or happy? You can't always be both, so choose happy and let go of right and justified. Do this for yourself, and grab hold of freedom.

When we think of forgiveness, we usually think of forgiving someone else. But what about forgiving yourself? Think about how you feel when you hurt someone, or when you do something you wish you hadn't, or you feel you don't measure up. The same feelings of regret, guilt, or self-reproach are there inside no matter who or what the situation. We hang on, justify our feelings, get sick, and wish it would all go away. What a waste of body and soul when we have this great tool for freedom within our power. To quote a friend, we do the best we can according to our growing ability. And learning to use forgiveness is an important part of our growth. So while you can't go back and change something, you can love and forgive yourself for being imperfect. You are worth love and forgiveness. Set yourself free to grow and become more of what you envision for yourself.

While we need to forgive ourself and others, we also need to forgive situations in order to transform our painful responses to them. Forgive your car for breaking down, forgive those times when Aunt Susie gets on your nerves, forgive your body for getting sick, and so on. It's all a crappy part of life, and it will nag at you until you forgive it for being crappy and then release those painful responses to it.

Let nothing painful in life sit with you without expressing your love and forgiveness to yourself, others, or a situation. Every painful emotion can be an opportunity for growth, but only if we answer and grow with it. Choose your freedom every day, and the rocks in the road won't seem so big.

I wish you a smoother road ahead.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Assume Your True Nature

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa.

When was the last time you spoke with a neighbor, exchanged smiles with a stranger, listened to another's pain, or simply sent love into the world and felt it come back? For many people actions such as this are not a natural part of daily life. We live in a world motivated by an individualistic, competitive, what's in it for me mind-set with ultimate separation from others. And we take for granted things like illness, stress, conflict, anger, loneliness, confusion, etc. We say, "That's life", and we continue this path without question. But is this the way we're meant to live?

Recently, I listened to an interview of Lynne McTaggart, author of the book, The Bond, in which she discusses how we live today vs how we're meant to live. Years of research have shown there's a connection between all people that is so profound that it runs through our total structure on a sub-atomic, cellular level. Nature designed us to connect, to belong. And living against our nature creates a world of physical, mental and emotional pain--the world in which we find ourselves today. So how did we get here?

Many years ago the cultural norm was a sense of community with others. Yes, there were individual differences, just as there are today. But differences were accepted without conflict. When I was a child in the Great Depression years, we lived in an apartment building in Detroit with people of different nationalities, but we shared our food, our time and our love. With a sense of connection and community, all the maladies we suffer today were minimal. Then as industrialization spread, people changed. We forgot who we are. Now when I sit in my back yard, I look at my neighbor's privacy fences that were not there a few yeas ago. I hear their voices and their dogs barking, but I'm not a part of them. And I feel the separation.

Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love. Rainer Maria Rilke.

McTaggart offers several steps to restore love, peace and harmony in our world, to live according to our true nature.
1. Change your vision. Notice the differences in people, but accept your connection, and share without intention to change another. You can accept a person without accepting their views. This doesn't make you weak. It makes you stronger.
2. Work with others toward a common goal. In collective efforts, differences disappear. Share the problems, pain and joy.
3. Don't stay isolated from others. Join groups. Take a class. Volunteer. Attend a church. Reach out and hold another's hand.
4. Change your life purpose, and rethink the meaning of your life. With intention, be a spiritual activist, and send love to pain and suffering you see in the world. The love will come back to you.

We are all cells in the cell of humanity. Choose to be a part of the whole creation, and use connection and community to create love, health, peace, and harmony within yourself and your world. We need each other.

I wish you hands to hold.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lonely vs Alone

To transform the emptiness of loneliness to the fullness of aloneness, ah, that is the secret of life. Sunita Khosla

We all know what loneliness feels like. But each of us perceives this emotion and feelings that go with it in our own unique way. Some even equate being alone with loneliness. But the two are different. Loneliness is suffering, while solitude of itself is simply being alone and need not create loneliness. It may sound strange, but both can offer opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth.

Loneliness involves a sense of loss and/or separation, and may come from many sources: loss of a loved one, divorce, the empty nest, illness, isolation, rejection, loss of a job, retirement, etc. Maybe you've always been lonely, and you don't know why. It just feels like a piece of your heart is missing. For some people, loneliness is the result of childhood experiences that left them feeling unloved and alone.

If you feel lonely, have you ever asked yourself why? What is there in your life, even on the deepest level, that you've never resolved? When you miss someone or something that's no longer in your life, it's normal to go through the painful separation, but the need is there to eventually pass through this time and open your heart to newness in your life.

We live in two worlds, the inner and the outer, and we were created to experience both in our human condition. But we need awareness and understanding to grow and find peace in both areas. The human spirit needs something greater than self. Our life must be meaningful and count for something. And that life is ever moving and changing. We need to know our oneness with all others and that we belong, not to serve as crutches, but to bless each other.

Change must come from within. Accept your loneliness and where you are now. Then it's no longer your enemy, but a possible step to something new and wonderful. Loneliness can bring a letting go of old ways and limiting beliefs. It can lead to freedom and purpose. It can transform your life. You are not that wounded child you feel inside. Understanding what a glorious creation you are, in spite of your losses, can leave you free to experience the love, joy and peace that have always been yours to claim.

With great intention, create and use time alone to go within and communicate with Spirit--you have never been separated from this inner love and comfort. Then reach out to others with love from your heart. Loneliness will have nowhere to live, and will leave you.

I wish you a peaceful heart.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Procrastination

If and When were planted, and Nothing grew. Proverb

This morning I looked around my house at all the stuff I've been meaning to do but haven't done. I've become a procrastinator. I didn't used to be one of those, but now that I'm dealing with a health challenge and have little energy, I only get done what I need to do, like cooking meals, paying bills, getting my toilet fixed, correcting errors the pharmacy makes, preparing short presentations for church and my writing group's yearly celebration, putting gas in the car, etc. You know, stuff like that. But my house is a mess, my yard has almost died, I'm rationing my socks until I can get to the laundry, and most important, I haven't been doing my soul growth activities, like soul-searching, meditation, music, laughter, spreading love around, etc. You know, stuff I recommend for others to do. Well, I told myself to get cracking and stop procrastinating. But that's not easy, is it.

Knowing that millions of other people also procrastinate is not much consolation, because I know we're each responsible for our own life. But I can share what I'm now saying to myself about this malady.

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice. William James

1. First, will power probably won't change anything. I use will power every day, and nothing happens.
2. Close your eyes, look inside with an honest heart and identify what is holding you back. Is it fear, fatigue, illness, boredom, unclear goals, perfectionism, distractions? What?
3. If you find limiting beliefs about yourself and/or your world, confront them and gently let them go, replacing those beliefs with truth.
4. Find ways to correct and/or work around any other limiting situations. Rest when you're tired. Clarify goals. Accept your imperfection (we're all imperfect), etc. Put some laughter in your life. People are not bored when they're laughing.
5. Make a list of things you've been putting off. Then break them down into smaller tasks. (When things pile up, we become overwhelmed and immobilized) List-making gives you a sense of power, control and motivation, because you no longer have all that stuff running around in your head.
6. Take one task at a time from your list, ignore everything else, and time yourself. Work for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, you name it. Then leave it for a while and do something pleasant. Walk outside, sing, take a nap, whatever. You may have to address a need to stay with something until it's done. But unless it's a requirement on your job, you have a choice. Use your power of choice.

Accept yourself as you are now. There's nothing wrong with you. We're all a work in progress. Give yourself time, and be patient with you. And find someone to give you a hug and reassurance. If you can't find anyone, Spirit within will give you a hug. Just ask.

I wish you lots of hugs.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Earth Energy

The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light. Joseph Campbell

Two of the presenters on the Healing With The Masters series, Patricia Cota-Robles and Maureen Moss, discussed some ideas that resonate with me, and I would like to share them. I would also appreciate some comments.

Our solar system is moving and shifting, and we're living in a unique moment on earth. Now is a critical time when our true self can claim the truth of who and what we are. Our ego self has created a world of chaos, fear, limitations, and confusion, but this negative energy is now being pushed up to be released and replaced with an incredible light. It is our responsibility to rise to a higher energy vibration and return to the Divine plan for us. Lofty ideas? A lofty intention? Of course. But do you really believe that this world is now the way is was created to be?

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming. Helen Keller

How do we get distracted from our lofty goals? First, we're stuck in false beliefs that we believe are true. So we use our creative powers based on these false beliefs, and we live in our lower nature. Then we get caught up in what's going on in the world, and we end up surviving instead of thriving. We get tired and burned out. But we're now living in a time when we can break free, and we need to look past appearances and envision what the Light within tells us is true.

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. Edwin Hubbel Chapin.

We have created disconnect, but in truth everything is connected. Our energy is powerful, and one person can transmit light energy in thousands of people. Research tells us that a person who is prayed for heals faster than someone not prayed for. Every experience is an opportunity to add to the light of the world, depending upon what energy we are releasing.

We must be the change we wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

It may seem impossible that what takes place in each individual can bring about change in the whole world. But what you see in the world today was created by individuals. If you light one candle, that light can eventually be seen around the world, and our world can be united in harmony.

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marian Wright Edelman

We need to wake up. Don't be satisfied to live in the ways of the world. Change your mind, and join the many other souls on earth who are rising to a higher energy vibration. Commit to change. Intend to change. Fill your life with happy music, laughter, joyous energy. Learn to love yourself. Embrace yourself with a full heart of love, and share this love with the world. Love heals.

You are not alone. Everything you need is within you. Spirit is there. Ask. Now is the crucial time. Be willing to do the work, and choose to be a part of a peaceful, loving world.

May you be blessed in the light.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Self-Discovery 2

As all children do, when you were growing up you wrote a script about who and what you are. And your script probably had some descriptions about you such as: stupid, unworthy, unimportant, clumsy, sickly, incapable, etc, etc. Or you can look inside and come up with what your individual script says about you. Then you can scratch all of that off, because that's not who and what you are. In truth you're beautiful, bright, worthy, strong, capable, brave, poised, etc, etc. And since you're an offspring of your Creator, you are love, peace, light, joy and much more of the same. Wow. What a spectacular creation.

So how do you turn off the script and turn on the truth? This is a lifetime endeavor (I'm still working on it), but the longer you continue discovering your true self, the more your true self will emerge. Go slow at first, and be realistic and reasonable. Self-awareness is very important, but no one can catch and correct everything. If you were riding down a river in a boat, you couldn't count every wave on your way. But you could be aware of whether the water is calm or choppy. It it's calm, you enjoy. It it's choppy, you guide with the oars. Then you get where you're going in a more peaceful state.

Your heart knows your song, but you have to be willing to listen to the words. Sue Rock

When you want to work on something, you need to know what needs attention. Making a list will help clarify how you see yourself--your strengths and your weaknesses--the thoughts, words and actions you use in your daily life. With this list, you can identify what you want to release and what you want to keep. Make no judgments, good or bad. Just be aware.

1. Upon awakening each morning, state your intention: Today I look forward to discovering more of my true self.
2. Practice awareness: Thoughts direct our feelings, words, and actions, so stay in touch with your feelings. Then identify the thought that created the feeling. Listen to what your body is telling you. If something doesn't feel good, it's coming from the script thinking. Otherwise, it's your true self.
3. Confront and release any script thoughts (limiting beliefs), and embrace your true self. Example: I know you, script thought, and I deny that you have any power over me. I release you, and I affirm my true self as one with my Creator.

Your script self may never totally disappear (at least not in this life), but take your time and allow your life to unfold in new ways. This can be interesting, even exciting. Don't criticize your failures, but always celebrate your successes.

Most important, love and accept yourself, move through your life with your head high and your shoulders back, and claim the divine self that you are.

Welcome to the real you.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Self-Discovery

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which each person leaves a mark. Chinese Proverb

We come into the world with a kind of innocence about us, but as time passes we begin to believe all kinds of ideas from our environment about ourselves, other people, and our world. We create many different selves, or aspects of personality, with ideas that may be false. Our true self seems to get lost along the way, as we begin writing our life script according to what we've been told. In the process of creating who we think we are, we forget who we really are. And our false self seems real. Sounds complicated, but that's what we do.

If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you. Louise Hay

Since we believe our creation to be real, that seems to be the one we live in most of the time. Then we seldom stop to question why we struggle through life on such an uphill climb. We say That's just the way life is. But is it?

There is a voice inside which speaks and says: This is the real me. William James

We live in two worlds, and although we sense a separation between these worlds, we're not a divided being. It's our limiting beliefs that silently echo in our human mind that cloud our sense of true self, our oneness with all of who we are. Although we spend much of our time relating to our physical world, every human being hears that inner voice. But how often do we listen? How often do we set our thoughts on that voice and discover what's there?

We want our human self to reflect our divine self, but self-knowledge is essential for us to discover and express who we really are. As we become more aware and peal off the layers of limiting beliefs, we expand our consciousness in truth. Then when we learn to blend our two worlds in harmony, we no longer feel fragmented, and we experience the joy of self.

Implanted in each of us is the desire for our true self to grow and unfold, to express our divinity. We're so amazing. We need to let our greatness show. But this takes a conscious intention to study, learn and experience truth.

Stay tuned, and next week I'll suggest some ways for you to confront those limiting beliefs and begin to get acquainted with your self.

I wish you beauty in anticipation.

Marilyn

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rebirth

Everything in the universe moves in cycles. I think this is something we rarely think about, but these cycles are necessary to life. The moon tells the oceans when to ebb and flow, the seasons tell us when to sow and reap, and darkness tells us when our day should end. Everything is constantly in cycle, and each cycle offers some kind of rebirth. Most of these rebirths are subtle and go unnoticed. We take so much for granted. But we could find much joy in life if we consciously allowed ourselves to experience these changes as they come. When we wake up each morning, yesterday is gone, and we're given a brand new chance. Isn't that spectacular?

My favorite time for rebirth comes each spring. That's when trees turn green, flowers burst forth from buds, bears come out of their caves, butterflies emerge from their cocoons, cats lay in the warm sun, and newness of life is everywhere. One of my fondest childhood memories is when I was in elementary school in Michigan, and I went on a field trip to see the tulips blooming. When I saw the life in that field of tulips, I felt life in myself, like we were part of each other in God's great universe. It's all laid out in perfect order for us to enjoy.

Nature is beautiful in the spring with rebirth everywhere. But what about us? Do you ever think about rebirth within yourself, or are you content to continue living in the old script you've written for your life? Everyone creates a script. It's like a recipe for living, and we act it out every day. We may have visions or dreams of how we'd like to change it, but most of the time those fade away, and our springs come and go as they always have.

How about taking a lesson from the tulips, or the butterflies, or like the bear, be brave enough to come out of your cave. Within each of us is a Light so bright you can write a whole new script for yourself and experience rebirth with those visions and dreams you've allowed to go unfulfilled. We've been given the gift of rebirth, a chance to allow the old scripts to die as we blossom anew.

Think about what rebirth within you would mean. Size doesn't matter. Little blossoms are as beautiful as the big ones. It's springtime. Just accept your rebirth and blossom in your own way.

Spread your wings anew.

Marilyn

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Healing With The Masters

We live in a world where everyone seems in a race to get somewhere, but many have no idea where they're going. They're just trying to keep up with the crowd. No goals, no purpose, just running fast enough to provide food, clothing and shelter, thinking body and mind is all there is, and anything else can take care of itself. But I think we all know, gut level, there's more to us than that. And if we're quiet long enough to listen, we'll hear that sacred part of us wanting expression.

Our human condition has been called the school of life, and that's pretty much what it is. We're here to grow and learn how to express our true Self, that part of us that we so often ignore and/or take for granted. But some lessons are difficult, and we get tired.

I've been learning my lessons for a very long time, and I've released many blockages to my awareness of Self, but there are times when I want to give up. I don't want any more lessons. I don't want to learn any more. I'm tired. I just want out of this school. Etc. And I suffer. But then something catches my attention, and I'm back in the learning mode.

Recently, I found Healing With The Masters, Season 7, a teleseminar, or audios, of interviews with well known authors, speakers, and teachers who present a variety of healing modalities, with insight regarding Who I am, and how I can express my true Self. These interviews run from March 8th to May 26th, with two each week which can still be heard within 48 hours after the original presentation. So far I haven't heard much I didn't already know, but oh, how I needed the reminders. Some of the topics I'm looking forward to are: Who Am I, The Soul Truth, Bright Light, Unstoppable, Touch of Grace, Commitment to Love, The Mother of Invention, Midnights With the Mystic, Spiritual Liberation, Heart and Divine Essence, and Keys To the Kingdom. If any of you would like to join me on this enlightening journey, you can register with your email at www.healingwiththemasters.com/ Then you'll receive each presentation.

I listen to these interviews with an open mind, taking what feels right to me and leaving what doesn't. I've learned that when I need something for my soul growth, something will certainly pop up. And I'm grateful.

Yes, our lessons can be difficult, but we're never alone in our search for truth. Spirit is always there with love, strength, guidance and whatever tools we need to move forward. Keep searching and learning. The blessings are great.

I wish you exciting and fulilling discoveries.

Marilyn

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Steven Halpern's Music

Sometimes life isn't easy, and each day we face bumps in the road on our journey. I think life's pretty good most of the time, but there's usually enough stuff on our path to cause some anxiety, worry and stress. So each day we need to say stop, and find ways to cope. If we just keep running, we pay a price physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes spiritually.

There are many ways to release stress. There are relaxation techniques, listening to quiet music, being in nature, prayer, meditation or any way that quiets you. Next to prayer, my preference is meditation. Back in the 1970s, I began trying to meditate to various kinds of music, but my
attempts were not successful. That is until I discovered Spectrum Suite by Steven Halpern. This type of healing music was new back then, and I was ecstatic when I found it. I responded to it immediately, and used it for many years.

Then a few years ago, I developed a chronic health challenge that keeps me so wired up, I can't handle stress normally, and I'm in a constant state of stress. Over the years, my Halpern cassette tape wore out and lost some of its quality, so I gave up even trying to meditate. But recently, a friend gave me a brand new CD of Spectrum Suite, now called Chakra Suite. Blessings do come when we need them. I'm just beginning to meditate again, so I do need practice, but I know that with Halpern's music, the peace I found in the past is mine again.

Steven Halpern has a number of albums out now dealing with sound, relaxation, angels, inner peace, yoga, massage, and others. Per the brochure enclosed with the CD, "What you won't hear are recognizable melodies, familiar chord progressions or a continuous rhythm, as is found in most music. You are able to respond in a more healing intuitive, rather than intellectual manner. You can listen to this music as background, or meditatively, especially with headphones, and it produces an extraordinary psycho-acoustic effect. And it reminds us that we are human be-ings...not human do-ings." Check out Halprn's music on Amazon, and read about his different albums. I intend to get a couple more myself.

There's much love, peace and harmony within each of us, if we turn off each day's noise for a while and take the time and effort to go inside and find it. Let's tune into the part of us that's real, that's remarkable, that's beautiful. That's who we really are. Turn off the clutter, and let your true self shine.

I wish you many peaceful moments.

Marilyn