Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Freedoms AND Yours

Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.
         --Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of our (already, always has been) great U.S.

     Many years ago, I had a conversation with a family member discussing freedom of speech. Let's just say that philosophically, the two of us are worlds apart. We did, however, agree that freedom of speech is a bedrock of freedom, critically important. That was until I said something to which he reacted very emotionally and pronounced "blasphemous." He said, "You should not be allowed to say such a thing." Let me end this description of our conversation by saying that we simply agreed to disagree, and we have stayed clear of such discussions ever since. 
     Please re-read the quote above. The conservative right end of our current cultural, religious and political spectrum seems determined to have the wealth, power, resources and freedoms for themselves, and prevent others whom they deem unworthy from sharing in the bounty. That goes against all our great country was founded upon, and clearly, the Founding Fathers knew from personal experience that that approach would not work.
     Our great country has fought wars and invests gadzillions of dollars in the military to maintain the rights that Thomas Paine referenced. It is standing up for the rights of every single human being that has made the U.S. great from day one. I am so grateful for the fearlessness of our Founding Fathers!
     Loving our freedoms,

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Return to Joy

(See previous post, "Grieving")
      Slowly, the grief I have been feeling is mellowing. In a session with my spiritual coach, it became evident to me that I have been focusing on frightening things that could happen, but most likely won't. So many fears were overwhelming. My coach's gentle guidance brought me back to paying attention to the present moment, wherein, for the most part, things are fairly great.
     I generally make the conscious effort to live from a place of joy, and I am working my way back there with increasingly more energy each day. This morning, three fun moments reminded me to be present. The first was in a daily reading, the phrase that this is "another day in paradise." I agree! I have no cynicism relative to that phrase. Just being alive is paradise. On top of that, I swam over 3/4 mile, and taught a yoga class, all before noon. I'm grateful for all I can do.
     The second moment was seeing a Garmin (location technology) truck with the catchphrase, "Taking you to your next adventure." If I look at each next thing I get to do as an adventure, rather than a "have to," life is much more enjoyable.
     And in a third moment of playfulness, I noticed this on my drive to yoga this morning: on the power lines high above the highway, there were hundreds of birds in one section between poles. The three-wire set was almost full of birds. The next section was empty, then the next section had one single bird. "Ah, that's the introvert bird," I thought. Being an introvert myself, I appreciate that one bird's stand to be alone on that wire. It gave me a present-moment smile.
     Given the fear-based mentality so prevalent in our society right now, it is no small challenge to stay focused on the present joy-full moment. I believe a really famous person said, multiple times, "Fear not." I'm working on it.

Sunday, August 5, 2018


     Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.  (from the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:4)
     Over the past few weeks, a number of losses have impressed upon my psyche, including one very large one and a bunch of lesser ones, a pile that has finally built to overwhelming. Note that overwhelming for me means that I am crying a lot. For privacy's sake, I'm not going into details. No one close to me has died, though it feels that way at the moment.
     I have been through deep grief before, as both of my parents have transitioned. However, that was quite a while ago, so I forgot what deep grief feels like. Besides the crying, I don't feel like doing anything, combined with extreme boredom. I have to force myself to do even small tasks. I want to escape, literally by traveling, or by eating, or by shopping, anything to make this hurt pass. Some of it most likely will pass, but some of it will remain as an undercurrent in life, such as grief over aging, my own and others.
     I try to talk myself out of it. "Things could be worse." "Get over it." "Don't be so lazy." "Other folks have it much worse than I do." That's not working. I know I simply have to feel the feelings and keep on trudging along. Remind myself that all these tears are soul-cleansing. And this, too, shall pass.
      Looking forward to the comfort,

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