Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Dose of Reality for Many This Year

Wow, can't believe another year has come and gone and what a year it has been. This country is still in a recession despite what propaganda the government spews out. Many people are unemployed or underemployed and this holiday season may not find them at their jolliest. But Americans are survivors. We don't give up. We just pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and keep on keeping on.

For me, this year has not been the easiest of my life. I've worked Christmas retail in Albuquerque, counted people for the US Census in Lafayette, LA, started my book about my journey and this blog. Sure I wish I was doing better financially, but money has not been the reason for this journey Westward. It was my truth I set out for and truth was given in spades. I took a lot of baggage with me from New York, over 50 years worth. And as Spirit often does, It made me look at that baggage before I could let it go.

More than a year later, I am lighter by far. I have released many limiting beliefs and am able to see Spirit in action in my life. The Universe whether we believe it or not gives us what we want and only what we truly believe is possible. So if you see the world as an unfriendly horrible place that is what will show up for you.

But if you know that the Universe is conspiring to do you good that is what you will experience. But in order for me to get to that point, Spirit had to show me what my limiting beliefs were creating in my life. I am not going to go into all my trials and tribulations of this past year for it is detailed in this blog and my upcoming book. But suffices to say I've been to hell and back.

However nearing the tail end of this part of my journey, I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life. I know there is a forever expanding Universe that gives us what we want and believe is possible. We are the creators of our lives and until we start taking action on the things we want, we will be stuck with more of what we don't want.

Your predominant thoughts create your reality. I've always had a grand imagination, but my old beliefs in how the world works had to drop away. I believe that our childhood can have a negative impact on our lives, if we don't put it in proper perspective. We often react to the world the way in which we reacted in our primary families. If we were exposed to abusive parents, we have to work to change our beliefs so we don't see everyone in the world as stand ins for those abusive parents. Consciously we don't know we do it, but subconsciously we have done it all our lives. Guilty as charged.

Changing the view of the world has opened up possibilities for me to move forward in different directions in my life. I think I've tested the waters in every professional endeavor I could think of the past year, but writing is clearly my forte. I also love to travel, love to meet new and interesting people and experience different cultures. Some how I have to make a living out of that for in what you love is the answer.

The holidays are here! And I have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my new lease on life. I am no longer angry and bitter. The painful past has dropped away. I now see the world as a friendly place and welcome all the good the Universe can throw at me.

And 2011 it will be mine!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may all the Light in the world shine down upon you and yours this holiday season!!! May God Bless YOU All!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

Here it is over a year now, since I started this journey to seek a more meaningful existence. Perhaps the meaningless needed to drop away first, before it could find me.

After leaving the Northeast to seek happiness out West, I am returning to New York/New Jersey to spend my birthday and Thanksgiving with family and friends. No longer having to live or work in the city on a permanent basis, I can again enjoy the city for all it offers, great food, great people and great entertainment.

Looking back now, I experienced much success in my professional life in New York. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a magazine editor and I took a look at public relations. It didn't take long for me to realize I just didn't like the public relations business. While the money was good compared to journalism, I didn't feel the satisfaction I felt with being a journalist. As a journalist you are rewarded with a certain contentment just knowing you got the facts straight and either entertained your audience or informed them or both. As a daily newspaper reporter, you did the community a service in reporting on civic events and other important topics.

However, during the past few years, newspapers across the nation have made major cuts to coverage and staffing. Some closed their doors for good. I also didn't really want to repeat my past, but was looking for something new that gave me the same or deeper fulfillment. So during the last two years I've looked at many options in my professional career -- going back to school to either study creative writing or film, buying and operating a bed and breakfast, operating a daycare business, working for the United Nations, working for the US Forestry Department and working in the travel industry.

But none of that came to pass. At the same time I was looking for a more fulfilling professional life, I was also dealing with a major health issue without medical insurance. Like many in this country during this recession, life has not been easy street.

I guess the saying you are only as successful as your ability to get beyond your greatest challenge rang true for me this past year. Although moving to New Mexico wasn't a mistake per se, it didn't turn out the way I had anticipated. My roommate situation became volatile overnight and without full-time employment I couldn't afford a place of my own. I eventually had to rely on family and friends for assistance. Now, I am coming out of this year-long odyssey that tested the limits of my very soul.

But without trials and tribulations in life, how would we find true happiness? Duality can be trying, but what would life be without it. How would you know true joy, if you didn't experience sadness? Life is a series of ups and downs and you have to learn to ride out your trips to the subterranean levels and then find the light back out again. You have to realize the darkness is the way shower to your greatest discoveries. How else can one see the light, but through the darkness?

During your time at those depths, you find yourself going over your existence up to that point. You start asking yourself deep questions. You look at all your major life choices and why you made them. You ask yourself how did I get to this point? What could I have done differently? In processing the past, you realize how you’ve hurt others, how selfish you’ve been, how utterly horrible you are. But some how you discover self forgiveness whilst you wander the halls of the ominous never-ending void. You come to the realization that you did the best you could with who you were at the time.

Forgiveness of others also awaits you there -- parents, siblings, friends, lovers and co-workers. You realize they also did the best they could with where they were in life; and if you don’t forgive them their trespasses, you’ll just be stuck in wander mode all the longer.

Meanwhile your soul is crying out to fulfill its life’s purpose. You ask yourself just what the heck am I suppose to do with this life, these gifts I’ve been given? Being a writer has been both a blessing and a curse. You know you are a good writer, but just how to make a living at it escapes you. Plus you no longer want your writing to be bastardized by corporate America. You long to write about something that matters. So you write a book proposal that piques the interest of a small publisher, but then you choke on just where to start the damn story of your life. It’s put on the back burner while you figure out how to handle your health issues and imploding financial woes. And then you ask, where’s the ending of this so called life story? What’s the point, if there’s no happy ending?

In addition to handling all life's day-to-day problems, you are finally able to release the old. Old worn out beliefs, old clothes, old ways of doing things and old ways of thinking are purged. If you want change, you unfortunately are the one who has to change. You can't expect the world to change, first because it isn't what needs changing, and second of all you don't have the power to change it. You can only change the way in which you react to it.

So you go through a metamorphosis of sorts. You revamp your thinking. You are no longer bitter and plagued by regrets of what could have been. You have to let go of regret, anger and sadness. Don't ask me exactly how. It happens differently for everyone, but I think when you hit rock bottom, you have to transform yourself to climb out of the pit. You can no longer operate under the same assumptions or lest you repeat the same thing over and over again.

You also have to be grateful for everything, even the challenges. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude, can't stress this enough. Just be thankful you have another day to laugh or cry.

During this time you'll knock on several doors that don't open. Early on it's the same doors you used to rap on that opened wide, but those doors are along the old path. "Don't put a comma where God put a period."

And then there is the waiting period in the darkness, when you have no idea how the heck you are ever going to be the same again. You cry and rant at God, asking why, why, me? Why do I have to go through this? All the while remembering you are the one who asked for change. You asked for spiritual enlightenment and asked not to be the same. That's the whole point of the journey, transformational change.

Spirit whispers to you there is a waiting period. You have to sit in the unknowing for awhile. You have to accept you don't have the answers. No matter how you plead for them, they don't come. Your ego is being dismantled. Slowly but surely your ego desires fall away. You throw your hands up to God, saying "Okay what's next, because I don't have a clue. Not my will, but yours be done."

Then you are ready to ask the ultimate question. "How can I serve?"

And shortly thereafter the turning point comes and you again see some sense to this mecca through madness. Spirit has been talking quietly to you. Only in the quiet will you hear It. You understand now that where you used to be, you couldn't hear Spirit calling you. All you could hear was your ego desire for more, more money, more love, more things, more, more, more.... And now you are being asked to be happy with less. Then wala less finally becomes more.

For me Spirit nearly had to hit me over the head, but still I hesitated. Many people in my life were either teachers or becoming teachers. I had, however, looked into teaching several times. In the Northeast living on a teacher's salary would have been quite challenging and making six figures, you really don't seek jobs making 40-something a year.

After several people asked me this past year "have you considered becoming a school teacher," I finally got the hint that perhaps I had better seriously consider it as a career path. So just this month, I applied for a teaching internship with the Austin Independent School District. Plus here in the South a teacher's salary is in line with the lower cost of living. The internship program begins with online classes in January, live classes in March and then you become a teacher intern with full teacher pay and benefits in the 2011/2012 school year. I've decided to teach special education.

How did I decide on special education? Well, while still living in the Northeast I had met a young boy, the 12-year-old Autistic son of a former boss in New York. I felt an immediate connection to Connor. I loved being around him, and I felt I could help him some how if I spent more time with him. But that wasn't to be. So when I arrived in New Mexico I volunteered to do the public relations at two non-profits that helped children with developmental disabilities. But that didn't seem to be enough for me. I wanted direct interaction with children. I wanted to give back. I wanted to help.

So there you have it, one year and one month after leaving the Big Apple, I have a new career in the making as an elementary school teacher. I have come to the conclusion that everything actually does happen for a reason. If you want change, you are going to have to spend some time becoming that change, and that process isn't going to be comfortable. It’s definitely not for those afraid of the dark or of being in the state of unknowing for any length of time. But in the nebulous void, you will find God. To Him you were never really lost in the first place. You just had to come to the conclusion that His plan was better than any plan you could have come up with on your own.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthing a New Life, While Healing the Old

Making a life change is a process. Just as the creation of anything new, it takes time. Something we humans like to bend, speed up and circumvent only if we could. We can't.

So here I am smack dab in the middle of a mid-life change that is nearly a year in the making. The past is all but faded away, but the new has yet to be. I've been slowed down quite a bit by hip dysplasia and financial flow, but this too has it's benefits. When you can't get around like you used to for whatever reason, you find inner work to do. And if you don't find it, it will find you.

About this time last year, I was finishing up my class on The Four Agreements based on the book with the same name by Don Miguel Ruiz. An amazing book that leads you to your truth, based on four simple principles.

1) Be impeccable with your word.

2) Don't take anything personally.

3) Don't make assumptions.

4) Always do your best.

I had read the book years before, so this was my second go round with these principles. This time I shared my thoughts with others in a classroom setting, which helped. Listening to others speak their truth also helped. I realized I couldn't live the Four Agreements working in Manhattan and that was part of my unhappiness. So I took off for parts in New Mexico and just like the song by the Dixie Chicks Room to Make a Big Mistake, it was to be my Waterloo or as one old friend put it Custer's last stand.

However as mistakes often do, I was led a little closer to my truth. Last fall when I left New York/New Jersey I had no real idea what my truth was. I just knew I wasn't living it and I was miserable. So I wanted to get as far away from city life as I possibly could. Yikes desert life did not suit me and I hated being called a Gringo. And this new life of living with Gay women, who were in a Native American ritualistic group didn't suit me either. Somehow I thought being amongst fellow truth seekers would help me find my own. But it was their truth I found and I found myself the odd man out many times living there. I honored them following their truth, but I was still in search of mine.

Realizing now that was just as far from my truth as Manhattan turned out to be, I picked myself up with the one good hip I had, brushed myself off and am now living with a good friend in Lafayette, Louisiana. Just so happens I am still friends with my ex-husband and that's a truth a lot of people don't live. And there are some ex's of mine I wouldn't call a friend, but fortunately Jim is one I can. His OCD still drives me up the wall, but then my cat's hair drives him even further up the wall. So we are coping with living together enjoying it at times until my surgery is over and I am healed, which should be about one year since I left Montclair, NJ.

It's no coincidence that I have just picked up The Fifth Agreement by the well know author and now his son Don Jose Ruiz, realizing that everything does happen at the right time, even big mistakes. The fifth agreement is about being skeptical, but learning to listen. Something I should have been a little more of before I left for New Mexico, but the book wasn't written yet. Gee thanks Don Miguel Ruiz. Just getting into the book, but basically it's about this concept (weird I was just thinking of this very concept this week) those who seek a deeper meaning in life question everything. Everyone has a truth, listen for it. Everything has a truth, expand your awareness to find it. I believe books find you instead of the other way around and this one came into my life right when I needed it.

I've been able to get lost in the silence of the Deep South and that's the only way truth will find you. It can't find you working a high-stress job that takes your very soul. It can't find you when you are complaining about it. In the silence you shall find me. In the wee hours of the night, the truth starts seeping in. To me it said, "You are a writer. That's your gift use it for good, but write about what your passionate about, not what someone pays you to write." So I started this blog and I realized I had stopped writing for me when I had to write for corporate America. My creative abilities were stifled in New York. I actually broke down at a friend's house while still in New York, saying "I left my husband 12 years ago to find myself and to concentrate on my writing and now look at what I am writing bylines on how to eradicate bed bugs for a property management company." I had some how gotten way off course and it had killed my creative spirit. But one does have to make a living. Even though I was making more money than I had ever made in my professional career, I wasn't living. Not the life I wanted anyway.

A wonderful medium I am using to find my creative voice is a mandala coloring book. It found its way to me through a wonderful new friend in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thank you Sue! Revelations have already come to me. It's the coloring, the shapes and sitting in silence or with music and just doing the work with the intention you aren't just passing time. You are honoring your creative side. Art is art and it helps to heal you and bring about change. If you would give yourself over to the process, you will be transformed.

As I was coloring my second Mandala last weekend, something very interesting broke through, something I had deeply buried and not been able to come to terms with in my life. I was coloring a large portion of the background in red when Jim came out on the patio and said what's that for. I said it's suppose to be a spiritual experience.

"Umm...well, I am going to mow the lawn I hope you are done with it by the time I get to the backyard," he said.

I had tried to talk him out of mowing the lawn that day as the mercury was suppose to creep to over a hundred. But his OCD rarely allows him to change his mind and as I was nearing the end when he rounded the corner of the house with the lawn mower. I was putting the finishing touches on my Mandala and a thought came to me about what my mother said about Jim.

When I would express my deep discontent with my passionless marriage, my mother would say. "You are never going to find anyone who loves you as much as Jim does." If she said it once, she said it a hundred times. And then I realized as the red was streaming out of my pencil that my mother never made a decision that wasn't based on fear or the lack of something. The root Chakra starts at the base of the spine and is depicted by the color red and denotes security in life, providing yourself with the basic necessities. I realized my mother had based all her decisions in life on fear of never having enough. She never celebrated her life with her creativity. She was always unhappy, because she never followed her passion. I don't even know what her passion was, because she was so out of touch with herself. After two husbands died of heart attacks, she turned to alcohol and slowly drank herself to death. She couldn't face herself. She couldn't get out of fear mode.

You were wrong Mom, not only for throwing your life away, but for the advice you gave. I realize you didn't know and I forgive you for not knowing. But I am going to follow my passion, my heart, my writing and there is a man out there that will love for me and be passionate.

I realize I am right where I need to be right this very moment, healing the relationship with my ex-husband, who will be a lifelong friend, but not a lover. Finding my voice, expressing it, enjoying the now time and letting go of the past that held me to a life I found passionless.

Meanwhile, I am still working at the Census and have gotten my resume revamped, pieced together my professional portfolio, and gathered references from past employers and clients. Getting ready for the final push to find my truth, realizing that its the journey that ultimately matters, not the destination.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Change That Makes A Difference

Where in the world has Spring gone. It's already mid July for crying out loud. It's summer and things have slowed down here in the South. The humidity hangs in the air as sun beats it's familiar feeling on your skin. It rains daily, keeping the trees and grass a pleasant shade of green. The insect life here is impressive to say the least. Thank God mosquitos don't like me. The bull frogs sound like ducks quacking in the backyard at night and one beat his way to front door, as if wanting to come. He kept jumping into it, sounded like someone was knocking.

The oil spill lingers on people's minds and hearts, much like a cancer cell that grows larger. I heard BP is hiring adjusters. Many are applying.

Me, I've slowed down and have had time to make the necessary changes that were required. I've taken time to dream a new life. The old one just didn't suit me. I don't even know who that person is anymore.

I suppose many of my friends have not been able to understand my meanderings for the last several months. Once I left New Jersey and Manhattan I guess I was kinda off the page of what they expected me to do. Heck I was off the page in what I expected me to do.

A new chapter in my life was in order and I was tired of having the same conversations with the same people. I felt like I was living the movie Groundhog's Day. It was really dragging me down. Sometimes when we make a change, its the people in our lives that aren't allowing us to do so. They don't see the new you. All they see is the old you. I've stayed in touch via email with most of my good friends, just know I still love you all.

Many changes have been made and sometimes we won't really know what we want until there is nothing in our lives to mirror back to us our old life. You can't remake yourself doing the same things, saying the same things and hanging around with the same folks. Once you change then you can touch base to see who will allow the new you or who will suck you back into that old energy of who you used to be. Just my opinion.

Also I had to change the thoughts that kept running through my head. I had to get rid of "no one will ever love me, all the great guys are taken, I am always going to be broke, I will never write anything of value, I hate my life etc., etc. etc." I didn't really think any of that was true, but some part of me did. Enough of me, which kept me stuck in repeat mode.

I started to love me. Instead of the old limiting thoughts, I filled my head with positive affirmations. I began to see a different world, a world filled with love and laughter, not lack. I concentrated on my life and what I wanted in it, instead of what I didn't want. Basically you have to walk the walk and talk the talk. And now I finally feel that I can heal and move onto a life filled with love, beauty, abundance and laughter.

During the past several months, I've also had to deal with health problems without insurance. However, the Louisiana State University Medical System helps those working individuals without insurance. In fact, Louisiana didn't want the federal healthcare reform program, because this state already takes care of their own citizens. I have to say I have run into some Earth Angels that have helped me, bringing me to tears with all the hugs and love they have given me. I just had to allow them to help me.

Along with having to have my right hip replaced due to hip dysplasia, I found out I am allergic to either gluten or peanuts. Before I went to the doctor, I thought I had everything under the sun. The next step is an allergist to determine the cause of the allergic reaction. But hey I am still alive and kicking. Now, I am just waiting for a surgery date in New Orleans to get my right hip replaced. I will announce that when it happens.

Next up, I plan on moving to Austin in the fall, but one step at a time. First the surgery, then healing and then the move to the city's whose motto suits me fine "Keep Austin Weird." I guess I will fit right in.

Perhaps the best development is that I have started my book and a publisher is interested. I met one of the editors while working at the Census. Getting three chapters to him, has proved a daunting task, but I am doing it. So things are rolling along.

Although things haven't gone smoothly on the road to self-discovery, as bad as they got, I made myself feel better by saying "At least I am not on the commuter bus going into Manhattan." That always seems to put things in perspective for me. can begin anew. The Solar Eclipse tomorrow, although not visible in North America, is helping with these new energies everyone is feeling. Well that is if you are tuned into that sort of thing, which I totally am.

I want to thank all of my dear friends who have supported me in following my heart. You know who you are. Maybe you just thought of me happy, maybe you just sent me an email that made me laugh, perhaps you've said a prayer or two. I appreciate everything!

May God bless you all. Namaste.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Celebrating Freedom? A Dose of Reality

How free can Americans truly be this Independence day? "Home of the brave, land of the free," should be changed to "home to the broke, and land of the enslaved." This country's debt is a staggering $13 trillion and counting. Check out the debt counter.

A large part of this debt can be contributed to the Iraq War that most Americans do not support and were taken into by deceptive measures. Wake up America, our government knew about 911 long before it happened. If they didn't help to plan it, they allowed it. Buildings don't come down like that unless there are strategically placed detonations devices. Metal doesn't melt by jet fuel alone. It was never about terrorism. It was about instilling fear into Americans, so that corporations could rob the world of oil. But moving on.

We are in the worst economic times since the Great Depression and it ain't over yet. Check out this video. I watched the entire presentation on Link TV by Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

In May, one in every 400 households in this country had received a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac 's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The US unemployment rate for the last two years has hovered around 10 percent, only rivaled by the period in the mid 1980s. Check it out:

Congress sold out to corporate America long ago, passing laws allowing them to do as they please. Corporate America has experienced record productivity and profit levels over the last 40 years, according to Wolff. Due in part by its massive outsourcing practices, putting millions of Americans out of work. Getting even more greedy, some Wall Street genius created an investment vehicle called CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities), which is now bringing down lenders worldwide -- harkening back the days of the early 1990's and the Savings and Loan crisis. However, we have already surpassed the number of banks that have failed in the S&L catastrophe and as of March 31 the FDIC is in a deficit of $20.7 billion. Bank failures are expected to peak this year (83 have failed already in 2010) and be slightly higher than the 140 that fell in 2009. Check it out:

According to Wolff, the reason we are in such dire straights is because even though corporate profits are up, corporations haven't increased the standard of living for Americans since the 1970s when you compare inflation rates with salaries. However, as Wolff states, Americans work longer hours than any other country in the world. So we are working harder and longer for less money. And you'll love this, because our standard of living hasn't increased, the credit card companies loan us the money to buy all the material things they say we need. And because we no longer make the money to save to buy a house, companies loan us money, which they then trade on to make additional money. And low and behold when Americans were at their debt limit and could no longer pay-- wala the subprime mortgage meltdown. Corporate America lulled Americans into complacency and we bought it hook, line and sinker.

In case you didn't get the concept yet let me explain. When the 70's ended Amercian's standard of living froze and has not increased since, and yet corporate profits have soared. And with this profit investment banks invested in what they thought was a safe bet the CMBS market, allowing them to trade on and profit from commercial real estate loans in addition to residential loans. When the bubble burst and they got caught with their pants down who bailed them out? We did the ones they turned their backs on when the profits rolled in.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are without access to quality health care, because of pre-existing conditions or job loss. Yet our US Congressmen and women have access to the best health insurance in the country without having to deal with pre-existing conditions. Why shouldn't they? After all they are the ones who let the insurance companies get away with murder. It's their just rewards for looking the other way, while millions suffer. The temporary high-risk insurance pool created by the Health Care Reform Act that was to be in place by July 1 is now put off until the fall of this year. Who are we kidding? The insurance companies have until 2014 to raise rates across the board for undoubtedly less coverage. You can't force a conscience on an industry.

To top it all off we allowed the oil companies to screw us again by creating what is likely to be the largest oil spill in American History in the Gulf of Mexico, killing not only livelihoods of millions of Americans who depend on the waters of the Gulf, but millions of sea creatures who call it home. The oil is still flowing, skimmer ships that should have been in place weeks ago have finally been deployed. Why? It's as if BP and Halliburton want this to go on as long as it can. We have the technology to create a clean, reliable energy source and yet the government refuses to acknowledge this. Why, because corporate American would stand to lose billions of dollars. We have polluted our lands, our waters for the sake of profit.

We are fast becoming a third world country. There is approximately 30 to 40 million people living in poverty in the US, according to the National Poverty Center. The population of California is 36 million. Capitalism doesn't work, because the people that run these companies have no soul. They truly only care about profits.

Independence, that's a joke. We are not free when corporate America runs this country. We have to be the change we see in this world. Instead of setting off fireworks this weekend, we should all pray for and send light to the Gulf of Mexico that is slowly dying and all those Americans without homes, without jobs and without health care insurance.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oil and South Louisiana, An Intriguing Juxtaposition

It will be quite interesting on how legally, economically and politically this oil spill will play out, since most of South Louisiana's job and revenue base is derived from the oil industry. Meanwhile oil continues to pour into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, killing millions of sea creatures every day.

The shrimping and oyster bed harvesting businesses, another important lively hood here in the South, probably won't survive this disaster. I wonder what the mood will be at the 75th Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City in September? Will the oil still be flowing into the Gulf? Where will they get the shrimp for the festival or will it be held at all? These two industries have co-existed side-by-side here for decades. What now?

President Obama said the spill only illustrates how the United States needs to find a cleaner alternative to oil for our energy needs. Certainly this is true. However, South Louisiana like many Gulf states are home to the largest population of poor in America, as highlighted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This oil spill could very well be the final blow, if there is not some type of job creation mechanism for the people put out of work in this disaster.

Life is certainly going to change for many here. Oil production has stopped. Hundreds rush to the only jobs available, cleaning up the oil spill.

BP is running full-page ads in local newspapers, explaining how to file a claim. Millions to be sure will be applying for retribution. Will it be enough? No amount of money can fix the damage that has been done to this area of the country.

But Louisiana sold out long ago to the oil field. Lafayette, LA where I currently reside, probably wouldn't exist except for the oil related jobs here. If people don't work directly for the oil industry, they work for the ancillary businesses that support it. I came here myself because of of the oil industry. I was married to a helicopter who got a job with one of the largest helicopter companies in the world, Petroleum Helicopters Inc. Its pilots fly oil crew workers to oil rigs in the Gulf. With the moratorium on oil production in the Gulf, PHI and other helicopter companies in the Gulf stand to lose millions of dollars.

Politicians here in Louisiana face a dilemma, how hard do they come down on the oil companies involved when they are some of the largest employers in the state? Many a closed door session will be held to be sure.

As they argue how much will be enough, oil still spills into the Gulf. Internet sites are ticking up the barrels in seconds, a live cam video feed gives us the visuals, all while marine life is dying and Gulf Coast life along with it.

The oil industry, once the savior of the South, is now its killer. But will the South bite the hand that feeds it? More questions than answers to be sure.

Send your prayers, light and positive thoughts here. Namaste

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Chrysanthemums

In 2001, when the world was watching the World Trade Center terrorists attacks, I was sitting in a masters level creative writing class at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. My executive editor was beeping me and I ignored the beep until I got out of class, thinking what the heck could be that important?

As soon as class was dismissed I called in. I received the shocking news and sat down on the nearest steps. My editor told me to report to the Acadiana Regional Airport to see if any flights had been diverted there. There weren't and it was a very quiet news day in Acadiana and expectedly the entire paper the next day was devoted to the horrific news that large-scale terrorism had reached American shores.

I had no idea a year and half later I would be in New York City writing about the WTC redevelopment or should I say the impediments to its redevelopment.

Here it is, nearly nine years later, I am back in Acadiana. In the 2001 writing class, we read a story by John Steinbeck entitled The Chrysanthemums, one of Steinbeck's greatest works. Chrysanthemums are cut back during the growing season, which enables them to grow stronger in the fall.

I believe in every lifetime we go through a growth period and then must rest a season, where very little progress is made, just some immense thinking. Perhaps that's where the entire country is right now, with the economic crisis. God sometimes does a shearing of our lives, allowing us to go deep into the core of our beings and so we can begin to pull out those things that resonate with our truth. It can also be test of faith. But flowers never doubt they will bloom once again.

Chrysanthemums bloom in the fall, and for best results are cut back during the growing season in order to grow fuller instead of taller.

In the Steinbeck short story, the character of the protagonist, Elisa Allen, was a bright and energetic woman who gave up her career to follow her husband. Since her husband is always working the cattle in their farm, she never has enough attention or any kind of affection. This neglect from her husband causes her to turn to her “chrysanthemums,” of which she is very proud. Her husband’s remark, “I wish you’d work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big” which shows how little interest he has for her chrysanthemums. Elisa does not feel appreciated by her husband and so she takes care of her chrysanthemums, symbols of how beautiful she really is. Early in the story, Steinbeck uses little symbolic phrases to let the reader know that the chrysanthemums are an extension of Elisa.

When a strange man passes through town, a wanderer who travels up and down the coast of California sharpening scissors and repairing pots, her conversation with him leaves her feeling frustrated and dissatisfied with her current life. But his interest in her flowers and her makes her feel good about her self again. Later as she is getting ready to go into town with her husband, she notices the flowers she had just cut were laying on the ground and the flower pot she arranged them in gone. She feels used by the stranger, who smoothed talked her.

In my life, I played the Elsa role a time or two, especially in my long-term marriage to a helicopter pilot, who's career always came first. There have also been many strangers, which I feel can symbolize any distraction that is seemingly exciting, that have waylaid me from my truth. Perhaps that is what was necessary for my growth, to find only emptiness in things that glittered.

While in New York City, I searched for happiness through many distractions never finding it. It was an experience I will never forget, nor regret, but now I long to go back and get my masters in creative writing once again.

I have been severely cut back in many, many ways. I am working a temp job that pays the bills, whilst I figure out the rest. But I have found less can actually mean more of what truly matters in life. Getting up at daybreak and watching the sun rise and seeing the orange bursting from the clouds of a South Louisiana sunset finds me appreciating life in ways that I never thought possible.

So much has transpired between last October and now. I traversed many states, lived in New Mexico, worked two temporary jobs, and tried to get lost in the wee moments of life. But much like when the Chrysanthemums are cut back a lot happens underneath the soil, when we don't notice or force things to come about. I have become more grounded and drawn closer to my truth. Things are just different. So different I don't even know how I existed in Manhattan, commuting, working, and living a life that didn't match my soul's desire.

Faith, it has come and gone. I have been test and apparently found worthy. But through these trials and tribulations I have processed and let go of limiting beliefs, and practiced forgiveness and patience. I have also learned how to accept a helping hand with grace. I used to be so darned independent that I turned away many blessings in my life.

Probably the most positive outcome is that I have learned to use my intuition, allowing the flow of life to lead me. I learned that forcing a door open that was meant to remain shut merely results in a really bad decision. I was a go getter and was more easily distracted by people, places and things that I thought would bring me happiness. In this cutting back, I have learned discernment. I now allow things, letting life meander where it is suppose to go, versus paddling against the current. Happiness just is and I AM. Problems great or small disturb don't disturb my peace. It just doesn't matter anymore.

I don't know where I will end up. But when this season is over for this too shall pass, I will let God lead me to my next job, my next home, my next love interest. This isn't saying I will not do my part in seeking all these things, I just won't force them into happening and much like chrysanthemums that bloom in the fall, that is when I believe my life will again blossom into fullness.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pain Before Gain on The Road Less Traveled

If someone had told me six months ago when I left New York City for parts West that I would be back in Louisiana living with my ex, I would have said they were crazy or just plain mean. But yet that is where I find myself today.

Things have changed I suppose and for the better, but I grow impatient for the Universe to do it's magic in my life and move me to my next destination wherever that might be.

Some have called me irresponsible, crazy and just plain stupid for leaving a stable job. I don't know how stable it actually was when we were being furloughed and told layoffs were eminent, but I digress.

Being patient has never been one of my strong suits. When I want something I want it now. In reading The Road Less Traveled I realize I need to learn to delay gratification. Also not a thing I've quite been able to do well. Doesn't even sound appealing to me, delaying of gratification. Sounds downright painful. But to bring about change and a more consciously-lived life, I must learn this technique. I guess the old saying "no wine before it's time" makes a lot of sense.

The Road Less Traveled also says life is supposed to be painful and one must accept that fact. That isn't exactly what I wanted to hear either. But working at the US Census I found someone that echoed that back to me.

Mr. Charlie, a senior citizen who has been married to the same woman for 47 years, doesn't have to work, but he enjoys getting out of the house and helping out. He happily worked the recruiting phones assisting those interested in working for the Census through the application and testing process. One day when the phones calls let up, I asked him what the key to happiness is and he said simply "Life is full of good days and bad days, and hopefully the good days will out weight the bad ones."

Everyone loved Mr. Charlie who also said "Don't take yourself too seriously," which he didn't. He always smiled and had a good word to say and laughed a lot when the occasion called for it.

When I told Mr. Charlie about not wanting to work for someone I didn't respect, he told me about a former job where he didn't like his boss. "After I thought about it, my opinion didn't really matter," he said. "Unless they ask you to something immoral or illegal, you just have to do the work and forget about the rest."

Mr. Charlie will be missed by many at the Lafayette Census office to be sure. His last day was Friday. He made an impression on my life. I also told about my hip pain and how reluctant I was to have hip replacement.

His reply "Piece of cake, I had one two years ago and I don't regret it." I guess Mr. Charlie is a wiser and braver soul than I am. "You'll get through it kid," he said with a smile, as I gave him a gentle hug goodbye.

I saw my sister go through double hip surgery about five years ago and it tore me apart to see her having to learn to walk again. She too is a braver soul than I.

Pain before gain....yikes does that really have to be the way it is? Geeze that really kinda sucks doesn't it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Emancipated Woman, Looking For The Needle In The Haystack

I have hesitated on writing about the subject of men, but it is now time for this to be said and written about. So here goes.

Right now I am concentrating on my own life and happiness, but eventually I would like to have a healthy long-term relationship with a man around my age. After having been single for the past 12 years after a divorce, I highly suspect that being abducted by aliens would be more likely. I would love to meet a man who respects that I have my own life and is happy and successful in his own right.

The question is where are all the men my age? I have traditionally dated younger men, because they are a heck of a lot more fun and understanding of a strong woman and her needs. However, younger men are wanting marriage and children eventually, something I no longer want or can provide. All I am asking for is a man my age who also wants a relationship that is equal, a co-career relationship. We have all been around women whose husbands define their lives. All they talk about is their husband's life.

I don't need a man to define me or my life. I need a man to compliment my life, to have fun with, to share intimate times with. And yes, women want a fulfilling sex life just as much, if not more than a man. But double standards still exist in today's society. It's a shame, because there are many unsatisfied women waiting for a sea change. It's time.

Women have changed and we require a newly evolved man. However, it seems most men still want an appendage, not a complete person with her own life. They tell you all about their life, rarely do they even ask about yours.

Some men don't listen. They want you to become interested and engaged in their life, but will not do the same for you. Women require someone actively engaged in life, who also is open-minded enough to explore something new outside their own lives.

It's time for a change. It's time we stop defining our lives by men, because I know so many great women who don't have men in their lives right now and they are happier than those who do.

The truth is women are evolving with the times and most men are back in the 1950s wanting a woman to be their helpmate. Somewhere out there is a man, who has evolved enough to put his ego aside and be an equal partner. And as Michale Buble says I just haven't met him yet. I hope I won't have to wait for an alien invasion.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happiness Without Reason

Suddenly I find myself smiling more. You see I was on this fast track to success and decided to get off or was I thrown off. No, I got off on my own. And looking back isn't going to help me anymore, or so I have decided. And for whatever reason for the first time in my life I don't have this fantasy future planned out for myself looming before me that I have to live out or die. Sure I have desires and dreams, but they don't drive me crazy trying to make them happen anymore.

I am here now, happy or so it seems without reason. I am roommates with my ex-husband, a man I couldn't wait to get away from 12 years ago. But we are friends at this point in our lives and both agree we make better friends than marital partners. However, he still says leaving him was the biggest mistake I ever made. But sometimes even mistakes are meant to be.

Anyway, happiness, I don't quite now how to describe it. But it's funny that it doesn't mean making a lot of money, which I don't right now. Funny it doesn't mean having a lot of friends, because I don't right now. Funny it doesn't mean being in total shape and in the best of health, because I am not.

I've discovered happiness just is. I wake up and am not driven like I was before to change my whole life. I always woke up thinking I had to do something, had to change something, make something, plan something, because wherever I was wasn't good enough.

Now, this moment is good enough. The sun isn't shining. I don't have a permanent job or a man in my life. And so what, who the hell cares. Life isn't about having things. It's about having peace of mind.

I know now that wherever I finally end up living, whatever I end up doing, it's going to be okay. Life is going to be okay.

I suppose one could say I am drama free. I am more conscious of what is going on around me that's for sure. Talk at work, or should I say gossip doesn't bother me. I realize what people say to me is really about them, not me.

I realize that everyone's expectations of me is about them, not me. And I don't care anymore what others expect me to do. I am more aligned with Spirit and where life is leading me day by day. But am in no hurry to get there. Because "there" has been my source of unhappiness. There is no "there." Right here is where it is at and truly all there is. If our thoughts are somewhere in the past or somewhere thinking of a grand future or fearing what is to come, we aren't going to be happy.

I have read about this concept several times in new age books and understood it, but until I actually lived it, I couldn't apply it in my own life. I was constantly looking for something out there in which to pin my happiness, when all along it was in the now moment. And in the now moment whatever is happening one must be happy. For happiness brings more happiness. Thinking that happiness is somewhere else in some other time that lies ahead, we say to ourselves "I am not happy now."

Well, I am not saying that anymore. I am happy. Life is good right now and that's all I need to know.

Peace and happiness to all.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Busy Enjoying Life...Happy Easter!

It's Easter today and I am preparing a very nontraditional Easter dinner, BBQ ribs and potato salad. I didn't attend church today, haven't joined a church here, because my stay here is merely temporary. Although, it has proved a longer stay then I originally had planned. But sometimes you just have to let life be what it is in the now moment. And right now I don't have to make any major decisions.

I am still actively looking for a permanent job, but have a temporary job with the US Census that is allowing me to enjoy life in South Louisiana. I had boiled crawfish last week...and it sure was tasty!

Still there is no permanency in my life, but I am finally able to accept that and be happy. Although, my friends and family probably do not totally understand that. Sometimes not making a decision is the best decision someone can make.

While in Albuquerque, NM late last year, I decided to try acupuncture. I went to three sessions and it wasn't really making much of difference in my hip pain, so I stopped going. But the experience did make a difference in my life. The acupuncturist had taken a similar path as mine years earlier and imparted his knowledge of his mid-life change onto me.

Rolando, originally from Jamaica, had dark skin, beautiful dread locks that hung to his shoulders and an engaging enough smile that made me feel at ease with him sticking needles into my skin for the first time. He had a calming, gentle way about him. Even when he had patients backed up in the waiting room, he never rushed anyone.

Working in a non-for-profit clinic, primarily serving those who could not afford medical care, he welcomed each of his patients with handshake and intense eye contact. I wasn't sure if that was part of his diagnostic technique or just his way of greeting people.

He told all his patients, if they couldn't afford the procedure he would still treat them, saying "pay what you feel you can afford." He proceeded with his examine. Apparently the tongue tells a tale into a person's health, because I found myself sticking my tongue out quite a bit for Rolando to examine.

Talking with an island accent he told me he could tell from the condition of my tongue and energy level that I was completely exhausted. He asked what was going on and I told him I left New York City, my career, my life and my friends to find my truth.

"Ah, I see," as if that told him everything he needed to know about me.

Before becoming a certified acupuncturist, Rolando was an engineering professor at Columbia University in New York City. He said he found himself not liking city life and wondering why the career he had chosen didn't make him happy. So like me, he moved to Albuquerque, without a clue what life was to bring.

"You aren't going to find the answers right away," he said. "I dropped out of life for over a year, played in a Reggae band. My friends all thought I was crazy."

He told me that sometimes what was needed was getting lost, before you could actually be found. He said the more you try to figure it out, the less likely the answers will come. He said sit with the emptiness for awhile and don't worry what everyone else thinks about you.

For someone who was always planning, scheming and doing something, sitting empty has not been easy. Being in a temporary situation isn't that easy either. But I believe it's better than taking a job that isn't right for me.

I've looked into going back to graduate school to get my master's in creative writing, but I want to study abroad. However, it seems getting a student Visa these days isn't as easy as it used to be. You have to convince a foreign government that you won't become a financial burden while attending school there. In the UK, the new Tier 4 Visa restrictions only allow students to work 10 hours a week while attending full-time school, which isn't enough to support oneself. However, the good thing is grad school is only a year in the UK and European Union countries. Whereas in the United States it takes two years of study. So I am still doing research.

Many possibilities are floating out there in the Universe and where I end up come Fall is going to be a roll of the dice. Sure I have a plans and ultimate desires. But in wanting something, one has to let go of the outcome and let the Universe provide "the way."

Patiently planning and awaiting the magic and being happy in the meantime that's what I am doing. And like John Lennon said "Life is what happens, when we are busy making other plans." Boy he sure did know what he was talking about. Life is in the now moment and we can't be so focused on the outcome that we miss the moments in between!

Just another day in paradise. I think I will go make myself a margarita and start making the potato salad.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still Floating in Limbo Land

Getting restless in the land of limbo. I am still in Lafayette, Louisiana, working temporarily for the 2010 Census. It's actually quite interesting to see how it is all done. And I have to say my coworkers are pleasant to work with and for and the work environment is stress free. The money is decent and my bills are getting paid. I like the fact that leaving at the end of day, I don't take my work home with me.

Although I am itching to get settled and be reunited with my furniture and personal belongings that are sitting in Northern New Jersey in a moving POD, I am in no hurry to make a final decision on what it is I am going to do as far as work. My resume is floating around cyberspace and has gotten a lot of hits from insurance companies and all kinds of business investment opportunities. None, however, have truly peaked my interest.

I climbed the corporate ladder in New York and have no desire to do the same again elsewhere. I think once you've made it to the top and weren't happy there, there's no need to repeat that experience.

I may go into sales at this point in my life, but I have to believe in the product. I can't sell something I wouldn't use myself. Wouldn't mind working for a wine purveyor, if I liked the wine. Wouldn't mind working in the hospitality industry, because one of my passions is international travel.

I made this trek across the country to find myself and more of what I wanted out of life. I have changed, slowed down a bit, which was needed. I don't need to do, do, do.

"You need to sit and be quiet," said a friend in New Mexico. "I find it a bit funny that you left New York City where there is always something to do and came to the middle of desert and expect to find something to do. Just do nothing and the answers will come to you."

I think the answers are floating to the top at this point. Just haven't found "the" answer yet. And that's okay.

I have to say I have had some incredible dreams. In one dream, I gave birth to my own beating heart, which to me means a new beginning of something that is heartfelt.

In looking back over my career, I find that what I enjoyed is interacting with all types of people. Being a journalist allowed me to meet and interview people from all walks of life. That's why I think sales might be the ticket, because I would be interacting with people all day long. I also know I have a tendency to get bored quite easily and hate being stuck indoors all day.

My favorite job was being a beat reporter and covering a large rural area in South Louisiana. The story was always out there somewhere and everyday was different. I wrote a story a day about everything from murder and mayhem to features on the forestry and crawfishing industries.

I didn't enjoy reporting on big city life or big business and found the stories to be pretty much about the same thing -- money. Money is actually boring to write about or so I found. The fact that math has never been my favorite subject doesn't help matters. I have no idea what happened to the left side of my brain, but it just isn't as developed as my right brain. But as many new age philosophers are saying right-brained people are going to lead the new world order. Is that a paying job? Where do I sign up?

So moving on, the job has to involve interaction with interesting people, travel outside the office, ideally international travel, a reasonable salary to pay my bills and make my life comfortable, involve my excellent communication skills and be stimulating enough to keep me interested. So I revamped my resume to include my hospitality industry education and experience and started sending it out last week to hotel corporations and several travel related companies.

I believe it's totally doable, because I am following my heart and I made a commitment to myself to do this life change. I am not one to sit on my laurels and complain that my life isn't what I want it to be. You have to go after it and that's what I have done. Sure it's been long and arduous, but that's what life is about peaks and valleys. Not all life can be dancing on the mountain tops. It's all in the journey baby...and this has been one hell of a journey and the mountain top looms ahead of me and this time I am on the right mountain!

I think at points in our lives we climb different mountains or perhaps we follow someone else up their mountain only to find this isn't where we want to be. However, we have to enjoy the climb, because we only stand a few moments gleaming in our achievements. Then it's off to find another mountain to climb.

Right now I am enjoying working a job that allows me to live in the moment and concentrate on what I truly want...and I know it will come. When I left New York, I thought I knew what I wanted. However, I needed to empty out those ego desires and go for something more aligned with what I was to become, not what I was in New York. I've changed and I am proud of those changes.

I kind of feel like George on Seinfeld when he's looking for a job and he doesn't know what he wants to do next. He suggests being a sportscaster because he really loves baseball.

"I think those jobs go to people with a broadcasting background or a former sports star," says Jerry.

"That really isn't fair," responds George.

I agree George!

George did end up working for the Yankees, so he followed his heart and there is justice in the world...even if it is in TV land....LOL

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Love is Like Pizza

It took me most of my life to figure this very simple concept out: Being in a loving relationship requires that both people love themselves first and the hardest person to love is yourself.

Time after time, we all have become entangled with relationships where we try to get someone to fall in love with us when all along we are the ones who need to fall in love with us. And have you ever tired to love someone who does not love themselves. You will find yourself giving body and soul to get the job done. When one does not love themselves it is impossible for them to love another. Why is that?

Looking for love outside yourself is a losing battle. If you don't love yourself, you will continue to draw relationships that mirror that back to you. We've all heard of the law of attraction and how it works. If your vibration sends out a signature that says I need someone else to love me to make me whole, you will get someone who will abuse you, so that you love yourself enough to figure it out.

I heard this story long ago and it stuck with me. Love is like pizza. Let's say you are starving and have no food in the house and your cupboards are bare. Someone knocks on the door and says I will give you all the pizza you want as long as I can control you and your life. You are hungry, scared and alone and you don't know where your next meal is going to come from, so you let them in. And for awhile your hunger is quenched. But as the relationship continues, you realize this person doesn't really care about you. They just want to hurt you, use you.

In another scenario, the same person comes to the door. However, this time your cupboards are full and you have all the food and pizza you'll ever need. You say to the person "No thanks. I don't need pizza. Perhaps we can be friends and we can share our food, if you wish." If that person really had the capacity to love you, they would agree, but if they only wanted to use you, they would leave.

See the difference. When you are needy and require someone else to fill you with love, you are likely to let them in and allow them to treat you badly. You think you require their love to complete you. When you love yourself, you know you are already complete and no one can change that and you realize it is better to be alone then with someone who doesn't love or respect you.

When a person loves themselves, they eat right. They love their body and treat it with respect. They exercise and get the proper rest and nutrition. They are friends with like-minded people, work for employers who respect them, and know they don't need anything outside themselves to make them happy or whole. When you meet them, they glow with positive energy. Therefore they magnetize to them people who exude those characteristics.

If you are still saying, there aren't enough good people out there to date then you need to change that tune and start singing a different one. You are the only person who doesn't allow love into your life, not the other way around. And if you keep drawing people that abuse you, that's the vibe you are putting out there.

And for whatever reason, if you are alone, then you want to be alone. Either you don't love yourself enough, trust enough or haven't worked out your issues enough to let someone in. Life doesn't do you. You do life. So quit complaining and get out there, and if you keep drawing the same type of person that you don't want, look inside and work it out. It isn't them, it's you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cod Liver Oil - What our Mothers Knew

I started taking liquid Cod Liver Oil about three weeks ago along with liquid glucosamine and chondroitin and I have to say my arthritis pain in my hips has significantly been reduced and my flexibility has greatly been increased. I have combined it with yoga, cycling and inversion therapy.

Last summer before I began training for a 5K walk, I decided to get a checkup. I was experiencing pains down my upper right thigh, both on the inside and outside. My sister had double hip replacement years before, as she had advanced osteoarthritis in both hips. The doctor said yes, I had the same. The right hip was worse than the left and I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who said I needed a total hip replacement and I had hip dysplasia. Well, me being me, I ignored that advice and bought some supplements from GNC. It was a multi-pack joint supplement, which did very little good.

The pain got increasingly worse overtime and I began to lose mobility in the right leg. A friend who had back arthritis recommended inversion and supplement therapy along with yoga. And to my surprise that combination has worked and it hasn't even been one complete month. The effects are suppose to reach full-benefit within two months, so I may have nipped the progress and I can now walk further distances without pain.

I have to warn you Cod Liver Oil has an after taste and it is recommended that you get a high-quality liquid oil. They have different flavorings. I am currently trying the strawberry flavored Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. It's not bad.

There are a myriad of benefits to Cod Liver Oil. Here's an excerpt from

What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod Liver Oil is a nutrient rich oil that is derived from the liver of Cod fish. It is available in both oil form as well as in capsules.

What are the Benefits of Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is a wonderful nutritional supplement which provides multiple health benefits. It is rich in nutrients such as:
  • Vitamin A: helps to maintain a healthy immune system, helps resist bacterial and viral infections, and beneficial for eyesight and healthy skin.
  • Vitamin D: helps maintain strong and healthy bones.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: have anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve the symptoms of arthritis, improve brain function, reduce stress, prevent allergies, relieve asthma, and help with learning and behavioral disorders including bipolar syndrome.
  • EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA): is great for the cardiovascular system and helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. Also works as a natural anti-depressant.
  • DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA): is also a fatty acid which is vital for good eyesight, a healthy nervous system, and healthy skin.
Research has also shown that consuming 1-2 teaspoons of cod liver oil daily can help to prevent serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, kidney problems, and high cholesterol.

Uses of Cod Liver Oil

Home Remedy for Arthritis

Consuming a small amount of Cod Liver Oil each day helps prevent arthritis, as well as provides some relief from arthritis pain. A recommended dosage is 1 to 2 teaspoons daily, or follow the directions on the bottle if you are using capsules.

Home Remedy for Muscle Aches and Pain

Bone and muscle pain are two of the primary symptoms of having low-levels of vitamin D. Many people with such low vitamin D levels notice signficant pain in their legs and have difficulty climbing stairs. Numerous studies have shown that 1 to 2 teaspoons of Cod Liver Oil daily can increase vitamin D levels in the body which helps to improve muscle strength and reduce muscle pain.

Home Remedy for Preventing Heart Disease

Taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil everyday can greatly improve heart function which helps prevent heart disease. It can also improve heart conditions even after a heart attack and after heart surgery. This is attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids which alters the linings of the arteries in such a way as to improve healing after damage. Vitamin A and D also play important roles in facilitating mineral absorption, improving muscle function, and supporting elasticity of the blood vessels.

Home Remedy for High Cholesterol

The fatty acids in Cod Liver Oil help lower the amount of bad cholesterol in our body. A simple remedy is to consume 1-2 teaspoons of Cod Liver Oil daily.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Being Empty, It's a Good Thing!

We've all heard the saying "God can't fill a cup that is full. A cup must be empty before it can be filled with the new." But what does that truly mean. For me it meant I needed to let go of people, places and things that kept me from changing and dropping beliefs about life that no longer served my higher good.

I currently find myself with an empty cup, but it's a good empty. At first I felt an immediate need to fill that cup with something, anything. But I have learned that true happiness doesn't come from external circumstances and if it does your happiness will always depend on something outside yourself. Even though many times people complain about their jobs, lifestyles, friends and spouses, they keep making the same decisions. They keep filling their cup with the very things they say are making them unhappy. That's the safe choice. It doesn't require us to change. True change comes with risk taking, with the possibility of failure, and it requires making new choices.

I think when your life is empty, you have time to actually reflect on what was, what you liked, what you regret, what you want more of and what you want less of in life. It also creates room to focus on what is truly fulfilling and joyful for us.

I realize now that I wasn't really making conscious choices. I just took what was given. Instead of going after jobs I wanted, I applied for jobs I thought I could get. I didn't realize I had the ability to co-create what I wanted or I was too afraid to actually go for it. It's a lot easier to do the thing you've done than to trail blaze an entire new path. And then there is always the risk that you will make a wrong choice. I believe my cup was still full when I made the decision to move to New Mexico and with a cup filled to the brim with things that didn't fulfill me, the decisions I made subconsciously perhaps were to empty that cup. What better place than the desert to empty things out? Through trials and tribulation I was emptied. (See previous blog entries.)

And sitting with that emptiness I finally feel that a new beginning is now possible. It took a long time, nearly six months and I had to look at some pretty ugly truths about myself and about the way I acted or reacted to life. I had to forgive many people and ultimately myself. I had to give up trying to be right and trying to get everyone to see my point of view or make them wrong. Everyone has the right to live their truth, whether or not anyone else agrees with it. I also had to look at the choices I made as well as the reasons I made them. Basically I believe like many people I was not conscious completely and I wasn't following my gut instinct. Until we become conscious, awakened to the present moment and the infinite choices we have, we will continue to make unconscious choices and won't be awakened to our abilities of intuition.

I considered moving back to New Jersey, but sitting with that decision for a few weeks, just didn't feel right. Our bodies will tell us, if we listen to it, what feels right. I am not talking about emotions. I am talking about intuition, gut instinct. As the world awakens, humans also awaken to this innate ability to use their internal guidance. As Louise Hay says, "You do know what to do." And truly I think we do know what to do in any given moment, if we actually sit with ourselves and ask internally is this the right decision.

Having reached mid-life has had much to do with emptying my cup. I don't want the same things anymore. I want something better, something more meaningful, more satisfying. Up to this point it seems I've just went from job to job, taking the offers that were given. I climbed the corporate ladder in Manhattan. Made it to the window office, with an assistance and was the director of marketing and communications of an international real estate firm. Sure it was great for awhile. It just didn't give me the fulfillment I thought it would. But I don't regret it. It has brought me here and was a necessary right of passage.

I think after reaching a certain age, we just want more from everything. We want more fulfilling jobs, relationships and experiences. We want to live our truth and that truth isn't living a life that our friends and families expect us to live. It's digging deep inside and pulling out those things that make us burst with happiness in just doing them and the second part is having enough courage and tenacity to go after it.

In the empty cup stage, you are more likely to go after what you want more of in life. Once you've sat there with yourself, exposing your weakness, your shortcomings, you conclude that you truly aren't all that bad and you then can look outside yourself again. Your decisions become more conscious, healthier. You begin to love yourself despite your faults and foibles. And the more you love yourself the easier it becomes to make good decisions that will bring the joy you want out of life. You won't take jobs that don't honor you, you will pass on relationships that will drain you and you start to truly care about your health, what you eat and how you treat your body. It also becomes easier to maintain those choices; and you've now made space in your life for God to refill your cup with the good stuff.

So what's next for me? Whatever it is and wherever it will be, I know it will be a life overflowing with love, happiness and abundance, because I am more prepared to go after it and I at a point where I know I truly deserve it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Great Awakening

I just wrote a dear spiritual friend in India, who asked me to elaborate on what has been happening in my life. So here is what is in my heart to say about where I am.

I believe like many new age thinkers that many people on the earth at this time are being called to awaken more deeply to our own spiritual powers. Many books have been written about this awakening process that will peak at 2012. Unlike Hollywood and many others who buy into this scary synopsis of the end of the world in a cataclysmic event, new agers believe that it is merely the shifting of energy that is necessary to change the earth from the ego mind into a heart-centered existence.

Of course you must read Eckart Tolle's books, which go into detail about this shift from an ego centered life. His books The Power of Now and The New Earth, address this topic in length.

My belief is that we are all being called in an accelerated pace to fulfill our soul's mission this lifetime. However, in order to do that we have to empty out these limiting beliefs that have kept us from the truth that we are all magnificent, creative beings that co-create with the Universe. The worldwide economy going into a tailspin is helping people to realize what is truly important in life. Some will learn this, some will not. If all we have is our possessions, our jobs to define us, then we are ego-centered. However, this planet-wide awakening is making us see that those things are not happiness. There will come a day in the future when success isn't gauged by material possessions and large bank accounts, but by how much love and joy is in your heart. It may be hundreds of years from now, but it will come to pass. That is the New Earth.

The overall change is away from this fear-based religion where we beg God to help us with our lives. We are being made to see that our thoughts, our actions are what creates our lives. When we tap into the Universal God source, we co-create our existence. We will also see that negative thought patterns over time is what keeps us separate from the very things we are praying about. We have to go to God in thankfulness as if what we desire has already been created in our lives. Take a look also at Ernest Holmes books on Science of the Mind. It goes into great detail about how to co-create with God.

My journey in this awakening has taken its toll, but God cannot fill a cup that is already full. And I was taken to my knees in the New Mexico...because I am so very stubborn. We've all heard of the Charles Dicken's story The Christmas Carol where three ghosts come to this stingy horrible man, who has no compassion, no love in his heart. All Ebenezer Scrooge knows is money. He is shown his past, his present and his possible future if he does not change. I went through something very similar. No, there were no ghosts, but I believe the story is an analogy of what Spirit shows us, if we want to open our hearts to actually see it.

In New Mexico, I had a roommate, who was abused as a child, being so angry and unable to get over her childhood pain that she truly couldn't function. I saw in a way that was me. Every decision I made, was based on the lack of love I didn't receive as a child. I had no compassion for anyone but me. I had become the thing I hated in everyone, stingy, and unloving and uncaring. All I talked about was myself. All I thought about was my life and when I was going to meet the love of my life. Thinking once I had the job, the man, the house then my life would be complete. In that train of thought, we are telling ourselves we need something outside ourselves to make us happy, when it is inside us all along.

I was made to see, if I didn't change, which wasn't an option, I would never have real love or have anything I wanted in life. I was made to see it was ME that wasn't allowing the goodness. I also believe I was made to see that I forced New Mexico to be and that's why it didn't work. When we go against the current of the flow of life or God's will for us, we find resistance. When we go with the flow of the river, we find doors opening.

I found no doors opening in Albuquerque to walk through. I found only resistance. And as fate would have it I met a woman who came to New Mexico through a door God opened. While working at Pier One in Albuquerque, she came in the store and we began to talk. I told her I came to New Mexico on vacation to find a job and then moved without one. She told me this wonderful story of how she came there on vacation and a job just fell into her lap. I believe God wanted me to experience what it felt like to go against the flow of the river.

My faith has been tested, but I have survived with the help of some wonderful people in my life. My dear friend in Nutley, NJ, who has been a huge blessing, asked me before I left for New Mexico "what's the worst that can happen?" I said "I could be lying homeless on the streets of Albuquerque."

Well, that didn't happen, but it nearly took that for me to see that God provides the way if that way is aligned with your soul's mission. And your soul's mission brings much joy and bliss in your life, and when you get the garbage that has been poured into you by the world out of the way, the path will become evident. God has a bigger plan for our lives than we can ever imagine and when our thoughts are aligned with those plans miracles happen!

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path. Psalms 119;105