Sunday, June 10, 2018

Free Will and Self-Interest

     I listen regularly to the wisdom of Abraham-Hicks, a source of wisdom from our Higher Selves, Spirit, the Other Side, whatever one cares to call it. I always come away from a listening session feeling more loved. One of the things that has stuck with me long-term is Abraham's emphatic statement: "No one came here to be the keeper of you, and you did not come here to be the keeper of anyone else." It's a somewhat polite way of saying, "Mind your own business."
     Because we have free will (the fundamental basis of existence on this planet), and because we came here to expand our consciousness in myriad ways, we are most definitely creatures of self-interest. Few folks want to flat-out own that. God forbid we should be called "selfish." But according to Abraham, all that matters is that we feel good, thereby keeping our energetic vibration high, which attracts good to us (think the Beach Boys song, "Good Vibrations"). Folks who label someone as "selfish" are simply indicating that the labeled person is not behaving in a way that makes the labeler feel good. Look at your own life--your actions are done because they make you feel good in some way (even do-gooder acts) or you don't continue doing them.
     It's when we are asking someone else to be or behave differently so that we can feel better that we give up our personal power. It is impossible to change others or circumstances. Our only empowered choice is to work within ourselves to feel good, no matter what is swirling around us. Human behavior has been and always will be based on self-interest. May we be most interested in feeling good, being intimately in touch with our divine nature, aligned with Spirit. If this were the case with each one of us on the planet, there would be no wars, violence, sickness, etc. I'd say that makes self-interest look pretty damn good.
     Note that this is a "note to self." 🙂
            Leta

Sunday, June 3, 2018

An Opportunity to Appreciate a Friend

Tonight we give thanks for the great gift of friendship and in particular for my dear friend, _______________. Thank you for the circumstances that brought us together and have bound us into the sacred bundle of life. Thank you also for the gifts of our friendship: for knowledge that comforts, for words that encourage, for insight that blesses, for all the experiences shared, for the sweet bliss of deeply knowing each other in so many ways; for history and a hope of the future, for conversation and laughter, for silence, for bearing each other's witness truly, for holding each other safe in our hearts with great love and tenderness.   
     --by Daphne Rose Kingma, in "A Grateful Heart"

Make a list of all the possibilities for filling in that blank, and don't forget family members. My list includes "D, D, E, A, C, B, M, J, A, S, D, K, C, L" and many more. It's a good day to be grateful for the love in our lives!
        Leta

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