All that is…

We as human beings seek to label and define things. It’s what we do. We can’t help ourselves.

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In our quest for knowledge and understanding, we name the things in our lives to derive meaning from them.

The Big Bang, the Creator, G_d, Allah, the Father, Spirit and Holy Ghost, Jesus, Muhammad, the Powers that Be, the Aliens, the Universe, the Nothing, All That Is…. In our quest to define things so we can understand them, we’ve given names to the energy that created our world, ourselves and everything around us.

In this climate of mean-spiritedness, must we assert that our words, our labels are the only correct label and that everyone else is “wrong”? Can we not, instead, see how we as human beings are so very similar in our need to understand our world that we name things to gain understanding?

We are all humans, living and breathing, with hopes and desires and dreams, with concerns and fears, with a need to belong, to feel loved and to feel protected.

What if we could see that all these names and labels for the creator of the universe and all within as simply words of a different language, a dialect or colloquialism? Not one of them wrong, just different.

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Because after all, the energy of creation that was here before any of us existed is what it is and will always be what it is, regardless of whatever label we humans place on it. It’s not a matter of right and wrong, only different. Our labels don’t affect it in any way.

What if we embraced the differences, instead of calling them out and rallying against them? What if we could see and understand, that despite the names and labels we give things, that we are all human after all?

What if we all rebelled against this current climate of xenophobia, hatred and distrust and instead embraced the tenets of our collective faiths? What if we helped lift one another up, rather than knocking each other down? What if we truly treated one another as brothers and sisters in this journey of life together?

I can imagine a world where this would be true and it is not only beautiful, it is what we should have. It’s all that should be. And …

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AoG is Always…

No matter how many lessons I learn, or how evolved I become, I keep falling into the trap of feeling sorry for myself. I guess that goes hand-in-hand with being a depressive.

I’ve overcome what once was probably clinical depression. These days, on a daily basis, I’m not depressed. However, it’s so easy to fall into the “woe is me” attitude when things don’t go my way.

One part of studying Reiki teaches developing the practice of an “attitude of gratitude.” Let’s face it: we all have things to be grateful for. The AoG helps to keep things in perspective when things aren’t ideal or when life throws boulders in our paths.
What is the AoG? Well, it’s remembering the good things in our lives.
For example, when I was growing up, we were very poor. Often when it rained it meant dumping out the buckets we had under the leaks in the roof.rain-432770_640
With all this rain we’ve been having in southern California, I can rest easy in the rainy weather. I’m so grateful for having a roof over our heads–a roof that doesn’t leak!
Another example is when I was growing up, I would have to wear layer after layer of clothing in cold weather because we had a flaky wall heater that would always fail in cold and windy weather.
I am so grateful that now when the weather gets too cold, I have an apartment that stays relatively warm and I have jackets to wear that are weather appropriate.
Another more current example is my mom’s battle with breast cancer. I’m grateful to her surgeon because if she hadn’t sent my mom for more treatment after her follow-up visit, we would not have known that she’d suffered a mild heart attack.  Now, she can be treated for her heart condition. I’m so grateful for that.
There’s an expression, “there but for the grace of G_d go I.” And, it is so true!
So when things don’t go your way, or it seems that the fates are against you, try to remember the AoG.
The Attitude of Gratitude always helps to keep things in persepctive. And, when your attitude changes for the positive, good things will have an easier time finding you.

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Busy doesn’t even begin…

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting here of late. This is because my mom has had some bad turns in her battle with breast cancer.

After her chemotherapy finished, and while we were waiting for the doctors to decide what to do next (apparently they couldn’t decide and changed their minds a couple of times–and it’s taken valuable time), she had a visit with her surgeon. We were very fortunate that during that follow-up appointment, the doctor realized she didn’t look right. Ultimately, that resulted in her being admitted and the test results showed she had indeed suffered a mild heart attack.

She’s doing better now but between juggling work demands and her need for more care, I’ve had little time to write here. However, I felt an update was neeeded.

As I close this post, I offer a reminder to all who are reading this to take the time right now to hug, call or write a loved-one. Often we put off for a more convenient time what we should do every day. So don’t put it off. They will thank you and love you for it if you take the time to do it now.

Again, thank you for your patience.

Living in the moment means…

 

This morning, as I was bundled up in my comforter fast asleep, my beautiful dog came into the room. Concerned that I was still asleep (it was after 8am and she’s an early riser), she came over to the bed and gently pawed at my comforter revealing my hand. She put her paw into it and gently nudged me.

“Mom wake up,” she was whispering. “It’s a crisp clear day. You’re missing it. Come on!”

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OK, I know dogs don’t talk.

But what else could she have said? Little D is a dog, yes. And as all animals know, the place to be is in the here and now. It’s a beautiful day, she could be having breakfast, and going on her walk in the sunshine, sniffing the grass. She could be hearing the birds, searching for her nemeses in the trees (aka squirrels) and she felt the need to remind me that this precious moment was passing us both by.

To her, each moment is a moment of opportunity to be savored and sleeping it away is something she just doesn’t understand (unless of course she’s tired and wants to sleep :)).

This morning, my Little D was a reminder of how important it is to not only be in the moment but to live in it. To find joy, hope, beauty and adventure every day. It is there, however subtle it may appear to us humans, to be recognized, savored and reveled in.

So, after Little D put her paw into my hand, I smiled and joined her in reverie. After all, the sun was shining and it was the start of a beautiful, crisp winter day.

As naive as this sounds, you have to be willing to be receptive to the good around you. Living in the moment means being willing to shed the grumpiness, the preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be and to see the good that is around you, one moment at a time. Once you start being aware of the good things, more good things will follow. One after the other, after the other.

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Trust is difficult, but …

Today was my first day back at work. It began well. I got filled in on what I missed for the nearly three months I was away on family leave. And, I started my day.

All continued fairly well until lunch time. I was walking to my car when I got hit with the worst migraine I’ve had in a long time. It washed over me with pain, sensitivity to light and sound, heightened sense of smell and nausea. I made it to my car, got inside and opened all the windows. Luckily there was a very cool breeze. For me, cold always helps relieve the symptoms.

There was no way I could work with this level of migraine and also no way I could ask to go home on my first day back. I tilted my seat back and performed self Reiki. I silently begged for it to work. I remembered to have the attitude of gratitude. I silently recited the five precepts when my mind was brought back to the severity of my symptoms. And after a few minutes, I remembered to give up the outcome to the Reiki and to know that somehow it would all be ok.

I finished the self session still feeling pretty bad. I began to question the Reiki. Why wasn’t it working? Then I realized I wasn’t really trusting it. You see, even now trust is difficult for me. Sometimes, though, trust is what is needed to get to where you want to be. So I reminded myself to trust. I accepted that Reiki would work and I rested for the remainder if my lunch time.

When it was time to go back, I worked to maintain that trust even though in that moment I felt sick. I began working despite the nausea. Gradually the pain and visual and auditory sensitivities dissipated. The nausea lasted longer but vanished as I went about my day. By the evening there was no trace of migraine–which was unusual as there is always a haze or brain fog following each episode. In fact, I felt great. And that good feeling has lasted all evening.

Reiki always works for our highest good. The divine energy gives us what is best for us. Trusting in that helps it work better and faster.

A Simple Act of Kindness …

Ok, I have to admit that I’m jaded. I’m a New Yorker born and raised and growing up in such a big, not always nice, city can make a person a cynic.

So, yesterday afternoon when the young woman on the bike rode up to me and asked me if the building I’d just exited, and was pacing and waiting in front of, was the office she was looking for my inner cynic was wary.

By this time, I had been waiting for over a half hour for my ride** outside of this building that I’d just visited for the first time, since my meeting ran shorter than it was supposed to. And I wasn’t familiar with the area. So I didn’t know if it was the office she was looking for and I told her so. I apologized for not having any information about where she could find what she was looking for. So, she walked away with her bicycle to a shaded area in closer to the entrance of the building and took out her cell phone.

I went back to pacing, mostly because it makes me feel better to move when I’m waiting and it was a lovely, breezy day in the shade of the big trees that lined the sidewalk. As I turned to pace in a different direction, I saw she was walking up to me again.

The NYC cynic’s voice warned me. Of what, exactly? Who knows. That’s just what it does.

“Excuse me,” she began.

I prepared for the cynic’s “uh oh.”

“Do you have a phone I could borrow to call my brother?” she asked gently.

I hesitated for a microsecond. Then I pulled out my phone as she explained that her brother knew the address for the place she was looking for. I asked for the number and dialed it and pushed the speaker button.

My cynic was telling me all kinds of things to be careful of. It reminded me that she had a phone and was using it. It warned me of all the negative posibilities that could arise from her using my phone.

But as we both heard it ringing, I told my cynic to shut up. I felt no ill will from her. She seemed tired from riding her bike, upset that she was at the wrong building, and hopeful that she might be able to reach her brother for directions. I remembered the precept I will be kind to my neighbor and all living things.

The phone rang for a long time. She told me he might not pick up because he worked nights. And then, as if right on cue, a male voice answered the call.

I told my cynic to shut up again and passed her the phone. It was only a phone after all. And wasn’t I practicing the precept I will not worry?

Her brother told her where the building was. She looked to her phone for the maps. And suddenly she realized where she needed to go.

She smiled. After the long mind-numbing meeting I’d just attended, I actually had something to smile about too. That’s what a simple act of kindness does. It makes people feel happy.

She thanked her brother, disconnected the call. Then she passed me back my phone, and thanked me for letting her use it. I said “your welcome” and then wished her luck finding her way. I also told her to have a good day. And she said the same to me.

About a minute later, my friend arrived to pick me up. Sometimes, even when you don’t know why you have to wait and be patient, something happens that answers the why.

 

 

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**(Earlier this year my former car, after having its alternator die, which killed a not-so-old battery, had to get towed, then after arriving at the auto shop fell off the tow truck, making the already not-so-good transmission die a painful haltingly annoying–literally since starting and driving it meant a lot of starting, bucking and halting–death. So….)