Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mumma's Wisdom

     This is lessons from mumma included in the book by rupi kaur titled "the sun and her flowers."

when it came to listening
my mother taught me silence
if you are drowning their voice with yours
how will you hear them she asked

when it came to speaking
she said do it with commitment
every word you say
is your own responsibility

when it came to being
she said be tender and tough at once
you need to be vulnerable to live fully
but rough enough to survive it all

when it came to choosing
she asked me to be thankful
for the choices i had that
she never had the privilege of making

     So very thankful,
               Leta

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spirit's Delivery System -or- Why I Love Estate Sales

     I love going to estate sales. I find a treasure here and there, useful items and occasional curiosities. I love to see old-time things like my mom used when I was growing up. I'm not a collector of anything, and I generally don't have much of a want list. It's a game of "what goodies does Spirit have in store for me this week?" I can go to several sales in a day, buy nothing, but thoroughly enjoy the experience of looking. (On a side note, I would say that there are enough sets of dishes in Wichita alone to supply every person on the planet with their own set.)
     I used to have a great set of steel shaft golf clubs, Ping I-3s. In a fit of madness, I handed them off to son Eliot, because he likes the feel of them so much. I was thinking (this is the madness) that it would be good for me as an "aging" golfer to get graphite-shaft clubs. However, after two years of playing with graphite-shaft clubs, I was so frustrated that I decided I was either going to return to the Ping I-3s or quit golfing.
     So I got on Ebay. Given that the Ping I-3s are an "older" model, I had no trouble getting another set for a reasonable price. The only thing the set did not have was a sand/lob wedge, so I kept one from a previous graphite-shaft set to use in those dreadful instances when my ball lands in the beach.
     Today I was at an estate sale, where I am always on the lookout for golf clubs and equipment. (I've scored some of my best wood deals at estate sales for less than $10.) I found a golf bag with a motley assortment of clubs, and the bag and all was marked $95. Within this batch of no-name clubs was a solo Ping I-3 lob wedge! What are the chances?!?!?! So I took it up to the check-out desk and asked if I could purchase just the one club, since it was not part of a set. The two women there agreed, then one said to the other, "I have no idea how much to charge for it." They looked questioningly at me, and I said, "I'll give you $5 for it." They said, "OK, but I hope you aren't low-balling us on that." Given what I had paid for my set of Pings, and given that it was 20% off day at the estate sale, $5 was a decent deal for them, and I feel like I got the deal of the century. That club was meant for me, and I am sure Spirit was giggling at all the fun involved in getting me and that club together. I love a little surprise and serendipity such as this. What fun!
     Life is good!
            Leta

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day, A Mixed Bag

     I thought I'd offer up a variety of thoughts regarding Mother's Day, from the non-Hallmark perspective.
     My own mother transitioned when I was 23 years old (I'm now 62), so I've been through decades of Mother's Days wherein it seems like everyone except me has a mother. So I am sensitive to the fact that Mother's Day (like Christmas) is not necessarily a great day for all.
     I consider the pain:

  • of those desperately wanting to be a mother, but so far that hasn't happened
  • of those who recently (or not so recently) lost a mother dear to them
  • of those mothers who have lost children
  • of those who did not or do not have a pleasing relationship with their mother or children
  • of those whose own family doesn't appreciate the gift that a mother is
  • of those who choose not to be a mother, and are nagged about it
  • of those watching and caring for a mother suffering and declining with age
  • of the fathers who also serve as mothers and are not recognized as such

     The best thing I have ever been called is "Mom." I have an awesome mother-in-law and my son's love, Aliza, is an outstanding mother to 5-year-old Paisley. I know the trials, tribulations, risks and rewards of motherhood. I have wonderful relationships with both my sons, for which I am extraordinarily grateful. While loosing my mother at such a young age is not something I would wish on anyone, I see in hindsight, that event dramatically changed my life, and helped to make me who I am today, and I am happy with me. 
     So, like Mother Mary, on Mother's Day, I shall "treasure all these things and ponder them in my heart."
     Love to all from this mother on Mother's Day,
                   Leta

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Body Appreciation, A Lifelong Process

     Our culture has a thing for the "perfect body." It seems to permeate the air around us. It's a huge billion dollar industry encouraging us to change into something better, more beautiful, younger-looking, on and on and on. How can we ever learn to appreciate our physical selves if we are constantly being pressured to fix our many assorted "flaws"? When we are coaxed to look like someone else with hair dyes, face lifts, boob jobs and all the rest?
     My journey of body appreciation began with two items of significance. The first was loving and thanking my body's ability to grow and birth two healthy children. The second was to immerse myself in addiction recovery and stop the decades of abuse I had put my body through.
     My body appreciation continues to expand through daily self care and learning more about our bodies as a yoga and MELT Method instructor. I am in awe of my body's ability to heal itself, and I have experienced this in various ways as I have explored assorted healing methods for various aches and ailments over time. Adding a bit of humor to the whole topic, I often recall a spiritual mentor of mine saying, "Nobody looks good naked."
     Caila, love of my older son, Derek, blessed me last Christmas with a book titled "the sun and her flowers" by rupi kaur. It is a powerful and magnificent work of both text and drawing. I close with this writing from the book:
i reduced my body to aesthetics
forgot the work it did to keep me alive
with every beat and breath
declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs
searched everywhere for a miracle
foolish enough to not realize
i was already living in one
     Please find one thing today to appreciate about your magnificent body.
           Leta


Thursday, April 26, 2018

A New Understanding of God

     Those folks who are avid and adoring dog owners see a no-coincidence relationship between "god" and "dog." I have become a temporary dog owner by virtue of dog-sitting for our son while he adventures in Australia for a year. While I love this Golden Retriever named Dusty, and he is a sweet dog, I must confess that I am a reluctant dog owner. I'm enjoying him while we have him, but I will be third-most-excited, after son Derek and Dusty, when they are reunited.
     My belief system is grounded in the idea that there is one universal everywhere-present energy that makes up everything, and we can call it God or Ralph or any of a bazillion other names. Basically, "there is no spot that God is not." Using my extremely logical mind, I have also discovered that "there is no spot where dog hair is not." Therefore, God is dog hair.
     It is essential when stressed for me to find humor in the situation, as you can see. I am not a clean freak, but the ever-present God/dog hair makes me feel like I should clean, and I hate to clean.  Plus, given that there is no spot where dog hair is not, as soon as I clean, there's dog hair there instantly. My deceased mother's ghost will not allow me to just throw in the towel and let things get endlessly dirty for the next few months. She wouldn't have let the dog in the house in the first place. (I can hear her "I told you so!" right now.)
     In some reflective time a few years back, I was challenged to come up with my core values. Back then, my first one was my personal freedom and flexibility--the ability to do what I want, when I want. Having a dog has "cramped my style" and reinforced the importance of that value for me. In other words, once Derek takes Dusty back, we will not be getting another dog. I promise I will miss Dusty and cry a few tears. And yes, I will clean every nook and cranny of my house, knowing that God remains even without the dog hair.
      AARF!
           Leta

   

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Explore the Gift

From "A Grateful Heart":
Saint Augustine once said, "Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering."
Tonight we acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation--that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances. May we never take for granted the gift of our individuality.
     The human is an amazing entity on every level. While science and Western medicine seem to think they have so much figured out on the physical level, they don't. They've barely scratched the surface of the intricacies of the human body. I am in a constant state of wonder at the human body's ability to heal itself and continually return to balance. Consider how a sperm and egg uniting in a woman's uterus creates a new human--it is mind-blowing. Then we move to the human consciousness and the mystery becomes even more mind-boggling.
     Those are all general thoughts about human beings. As we delve into the aspect of individuality, it is again mind-boggling to think that there is no one like you on the planet now, nor will there ever be another like you ever. With each of us having our own perception and ability to create, truly the possibilities are endless. Just think of all the things that individuals have invented or initiated in the last 50 years. And the pace of creativity is speeding up. Human creativity, the creativity of you and me, is fascinating!
     One of the things I love about teaching the MELT Method and Forrest Yoga is the opportunity to encourage folks to appreciate the magnificence of their bodies and to enjoy all the things they can do, setting aside, at least during class time, the things they can't do.
     Would you like some help and direction exploring the gift that is you? Check out my book, WHOA!--just click on the tab above to learn more. Another excellent way to have the time to enjoy yourself is to go on retreat. That opportunity is yours this October 19-21 at Timber Creek Retreat House in Drexel, Missouri. Yep, there's a tab above for that, too.
     You'll never go wrong appreciating the amazing being that you are!
                    Enjoying being me,
                                Leta

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Is It Better to Know or Not Know?

"Everything has a lifespan." Dr. Chris Michaels

     I recently missed, due to a combination of work and dog-sitting duties, an annual event that I enjoy in the St. Louis area. Alas, I learned the day after the event that it will likely be the last one, since the host is moving away. (The location of the event is a huge part of its draw and success.) Had I known it would be the last one, I would have been more ambitious about finding a way to make my presence there. Dang!
     I spoke recently with my friend who lives in Chicago to arrange my annual visit there, which of course includes a Cubs game. He informed me that he is leaving Chicago in August and fulfilling a long-held dream of moving to Bali. This means that this will be my last "annual" adventure in Chicago. Granted, I'm thinking Bali will be even more fun to visit, but nonetheless, I'm feeling some melancholy that we won't have our Chicago fun together any more after this June's trip. "The last one" will definitely be lurking around us when I am there.
     Another example... our older son played baseball as a youngster, he was quite good at it, and I LOVED going to his games (yes, I'm crazed about baseball!). Both he, his dad and I anticipated that he would continue to play baseball all through high school. However, he decided as a freshman to play golf rather than baseball. Mercifully, I did not know that his last baseball game was, in fact, his last game, and I am grateful for that not-knowing to this day, as that would have been a very rough one.
     So is it better to know or not know? It's not a comfortable vibe to go into something thinking "This may be the last time I get to do this." But in reality, that is always the case. There are no guarantees. That question has no definitive answer. It depends on the circumstance, the person and even the timing. I'm thinking it makes for one of the joys of this amazing earthly life.
     Enjoying right now,
          Leta