Changing life one coffee shop at a time

There is often a huge crevice between expectations associated with our choices and Reality… Capital R – Reality. Simply put, I’m in the drive thru of my favorite coffee shop, waiting for my turn to order, I make a snap decision and choose to get a large calorie laden coffee with caffeine, sugar and real whipped cream rather than my usual healthier choice of a regular decaf brew. In that moment of choice, I may set into motion a day of regrets and negative self talk because of the one moment (monumental?) decision. I’m hung up on the little jagged edge in the crevice as the the self talk…the disappointment in my choice…. morphs into the inner voice screaming why did I do it and why do I always make the wrong choice….this negative self talk and self irritation continues on and on even into the next morning as I step on the scale, not knowing that this one little coffee choice may be forgotten, but has become a building block for the next second, day, year, lifetime.

Sounds a little over-dramatic that a cup of coffee could set your life on spin but how many times do we make a choice, a decision that seemed right in the moment, but find out as life happens that it might not have been the best decision…..but…..oh how we fear intentional change…we fear the unknown. Like the wrong career choice, the bad marriage, the wrong investment, the wrong doctor. These “moment” choices can set our life on a trajectory of angst, hardship, anger or mental self abuse? When, actually, in any moment, we can make a different choice. Life doesn’t happen to us…We choose in each moment and each breath! We can step back and ask ourselves….hmmmm, “How is that working for me?” and then make a change, or a different choice by ordering the planned regular decaf brew!

The way we view our life is one drama after another drama or a sitcom after sitcom or an entire How-to HGTV day perhaps seeing other colors to use as our background. The choices and decisions are ours to make. In my life I have lived many stories. I’ve told myself and edited narratives while identifying with each story while also including play by play -free of charge- to anyone who would listen. It’s not an easy habit to break, but I realized that I created the monsters and the beauty of realization is that as soon as I “open my eyes” the monsters disappear. Until I actually believe they are real, they do not belong to me!

Namaste

Where do I go from here….

I call it working knowledge…all of the encounters, judgements, observations and a lifetime of the resulting lessons that I draw from over this lifetime aid me in traversing through this human experience as I navigate the cube I live in.

I choose the word CUBE here…like ice cube. Throw an ice cube in a glass of warm water…it eventually melts into something else….liquid form…but while in the glass together with other cubes, we trust and rely on each other’s energy to sustain life as an ice cube a little longer. Eventually though, we morph into another form…water….liquid…we have no idea where or how our journey continues… nor do we have any control….in that moment, we are BEING an INFINITE drop of energy….a drop of water.

Namaste

Recognizing the evolution of friendships

A girlfriend from my early 20’s posted this on Facebook this morning.

As I was responding to her, I was thinking about friendships. Today is the birthday of a friend who no longer circulates with me in the physical world because he passed on 11 years ago. He’s the kind of friend that still visits with me often in my thoughts. I often wish I could “gossip” about something with him or hear his “oh gurl” one more time but I understand how lucky I am that so many things in my present life call him forward in my mind and I know he will always be with me .

I used to have a poster in my “teenage Nina” room that had a picture of a butterfly on it and the words were “if you love something set it free, if it was yours it will return and gently land on your shoulder”. That was my anthem for teenage boyfriends and crushes. It may have been a quasi spiritual knowing even back then….

I dreamed last night about a good friend who moved away. I woke up recognizing that this is what life is about. All of the important personalities moving in and out of my life when my soul needs a charge. I have a tendency to hold onto people. If you’ve been my friend, chances are You will never be free of me…I very seldom burn bridges. But life happens and we move around just as we are supposed to….and then there is that blessed, surprise contact you receive. It feels so good…often I long for everything to go back to the way it was…but the relationship of the souls has changed…we are still grounded in a history of love and trust but it is just different. I’m learning to accept the difference and embrace these dear souls in my life without expectations. The connection is strong, it’s how we choose to engage right here and right now that makes the difference.

namaste

One of those freakish accidents

Responding to my comment “after 42 years of marriage, maybe he was trying to kill me”, the doctor shuddered with that little nervous giggle and said..ya, that’s the way I would do it…through the ear. hahahah

He was hanging pictures on the wall yesterday afternoon and was using a razor blade knife with a brand new blade to cut marking tape. He laid the knife on the back of the couch for a second. The next second, I bounced down on the couch, the knife tipped off the couch and into my ear. As I reached up to remove it, I realized it wasn’t laying against my ear…the point was IN MY EAR! I swear if I had thought about it at my moment of panic, I would have taken a Stephen King scenario type picture sans the blood. The blood had chosen a different route as it meandered a path through the bony structure of the inside of my ear. I think the tickle brought me back to reality realizing that what I imagined as the most important aspect being a knife sticking vertically in my ear….was now actually something that happened in the past as I realized I was bleeding somewhere “in there”. At his suggestion I stuffed a paper towel in the little hole to stop the blood which worked well..applied some frankincense (my go to healing essential oil) with a Q tip, made an appointment for this morning with the doctor and basically forgot about it because there was really no pain.

Dr appointment: nurse who took me into the room using her calm voice. OMG HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. Doctor enters the room…”shook her hands in front of her in a professional shudder” and said…HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? After the exam, I asked her if she could see it and she said…Oh YA..I can see it. Prognosis…its fine if it gets infected and begins to hurt or seep fluid, call me!

On the way home…seep fluid…WTH does that mean ?

Friday vs Monday

I woke up this morning thinking…okay…it’s Friday whew. With my first cup of coffee I contemplated why the Friday relief seemed to mean something to me…I am a retired woman with virtually stress free days. By the second cup of coffee, my subconscious apparently had the time to answer the question…I’m still running on rules and schedules that I either adopted, inherited or expected of myself for 65 years prior to today….and

The big and….if I don’t make the choice to change that thinking, I will live out my life thinking…ahhh Monday a new start (what can go wrong) until Friday (whew glad that nightmare is over).

From the inner work I’ve been doing, I know that just realizing the error of my ways and deciding it’s time for change does not mean that Monday I will wake up “healed”not even realizing it is Monday while experiencing the day only each moment in its moment. Chances are without practicing this “in the moment consciousness”, I’m likely to be controlled by the future… in an hour, tonight, next Tuesday…and the past…can’t do that remember what happened last time! It takes practice to bring myself back to the present each time I recognize I’ve stepped back on the craziness treadmill!

Then I read the daily word. Dailyword.com

The second paragraph got me!

Divine order holds everything together, even that which appears chaotic or without reason. I may not be able to see the entire picture, but I TRUST THE STRUCTURE THAT UNDERGIRDS ALL LIFE. When I behold this symmetry in my life and in the world, I feel the comfort and security in divine order.

One moment at a time!

Namaste

Making the bed…the enlightened way…

I washed sheets today.

The whole “chore” of washing sheets (it’s not like I had to use a washboard in the stream) and remaking the bed became a mindful experience for me. Instead of focusing on the facts associated with this chore, I was shockingly finished and walking out of the room without thinking “why am I the only one who knows how to wash sheets in this house”. This takes nothing away from all of the things He does on a daily basis…it’s merely an historical triggered reaction.

Right after I rejected the common habit of yelling down and asking him to help me so I don’t have to walk around the bed myself 4 times, I recognized that this was another facet of the poor-me trigger I had learned so well. The good news is while putting the pillow cases on, I realized that I really did have a valid reason for not making my bed everyday because seriously, how does the bed go about breathing and airing out when covered with sheets, blankets and comforter all day. You are welcome…you may use it!

As I was walking around the bed on an unexpected trip (making it 6 times) to measure the distance of the top sheet to the bottom of the mattress on each side, I realized that every time we make the bed together, he gives me a reading of the sheet level to the mattress on his side…and, of course, this irritates me. Because it is an historical triggered reaction to those times when we slept in a small bed with smaller sheets and every time someone turned over, it could mean one person lost the sheet. As the victim in my own story, it was always me!

So, I share this insight as encouragement for bed makers out there to use the experience as a calming, counseling session with yourself. Finding gratitude in the mundane daily activities….even making the bed…..CAN be a spiritually enlightening experience……

namaste

The surprise visit

I had a blessed visit this morning with my dad…..it manifested with steepled fingers. Elbows on the arms of the chair with all 5 hand digits touching each other only connecting at the finger pads. It’s one of those memories of seeing my dad sitting in his recliner with his head back with his hands touching in the steepled finger position. The very last time I saw my dad was from the door of his hospital room shortly before his transition, laying in bed with fingers in the steepled position occasionally moving his hands as if having a conversation with someone I could not see.

This morning during the Daily Word and meditation portion of our Unity Service with my eyes closed I felt tears beginning to trickle from the outer corners of my closed eyes and my attention was drawn to the fact that my elbows were resting on the arms of the chair and my 5 finger pads on each hand were touching in a steeple position and I knew that my dad was close by. I wondered why the visit!

The energy of my dad visits often when I am open to his guidance or I am in a moment when I recognize I’m feeling lost or lonely and need some love. It’s not that I actually reach out or seek his connection, it’s that he just appears in my vulnerable heart. I am learning to allow the embrace, allow the connection, recognizing that his presence is here with me always and most importantly understanding that his presence is as real as if he were looking at me across the room from his recliner in his physical form.

Namaste

Stop answering the same door

I don’t like where I live right now. For the most part I didn’t like where I lived before I moved here. There is an important unveiling happening in my soul as I put together this information this morning.

On a trip back to old home last week I was healed. There was comfort. I went to a concert in a beautiful outdoor setting beside a cornfield in Iowa. The venue is a local winery. The local cover band, Slipstream (that we have been following for many years) ALWAYS raises my spirits…with a mixture of their talent, the music they play and the energy they offer their audience to soak in. This time was especially perfect because I was surrounded by 3 of the 4 girlfriends who have been the love and emotional “tag team” in my life.

Returning to the place I now call home was kind of a downer…well, and a mild hangover from wine and pure joy. After a good night of sleep I woke this morning with a neon light flashing…ok…I get it….

It’s not the place I store my stuff, buy my groceries and pay my utility bills that is the real me. It is all in my heart where I feel my pain/dissatisfaction or love and joy…it’s the place in my soul where I release my expectations and irritations. It’s in me, it surrounds me, it is me just being. It’s not “adopting” the hatred, meanness and dysfunction. It’s recognizing what I don’t want to own and allow it to pass through…it’s all up to me to keep an open heart and release those fears and expectations of my personality which I have learned so well in 6 decades. I am here, I am free, I am.

Namaste

What is the dude doing to that tree

I often find myself feeling unnecessarily concerned with people and what I consider sacred nature. As an example, I’m often very irritated when I notice someone on the trail that runs behind our house not respecting the geese. Actually many times I just sit and wait and smile because I’ve seen a mad goose in action.

A couple days ago while trail walking, I was suspiciously eyeing a guy and a small child in the distance pushing something against a tree up ahead. As I got closer he was moving away from the tree with a camera in his hand. As I approached, he told me there were baby raccoons in a hole in the dead tree that he and his son had been checking on and photographing every day. I felt contagious joy and connection to this man and his smiling little boy.

So today as I approached the tree, I looked into the dark hole and saw nothing so I stuck my phone into the hole and started snapping pictures.

It wasn’t until I got home out of the sunlight that I was able to see what the eye of my phone captured. #gratitude #nature

Namaste

My Nurses

I challenge you to take a moment right now to list every nurse you have encountered in your life…whether personally or professionally. I’m confident the majority of people do not have a sufficiently detailed memory or a sheet of paper long enough to document the associations!

I hold nurses in my heart with esteem and gratitude …. especially during the pandemic. I see nurses as the angels who are carrying the sick and the families of the sick down this road to recovery.

Being a nurse means you carry immense responsibility and very little authority. You step into peoples lives and make a difference. Some bless you, others curse you. Nurses see people at their worst and their best. Nurses see life begin and lives end. They see humanity’s capacity for love, courage and endurance.

Thank you!