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It Actually IS Life or Death Sep 10, 2021

The most powerful and life-changing conversation I've ever had was with a mother who lost her son to suicide.  Our sons had been friends when they were little.  Our sons are very much alike.  Hearing about his death, I knew to my core that if it could happen in her family, it could happen in mine.  I learned from visiting with her that there was no warning and there was no note.  There was no obvious reason, but there were many possible reasons.  She listed a string of challenges: ADHD, depression, junior year overwhelm, major school pressure, an illness which kept him home for two weeks and caused his grades to slip, isolation because of covid, some bullying, some self-doubt.  On the other hand, he had a lot going for him and it always seemed that he was managing just fine.  

I write this on Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2021 and in honor of Suicide Prevention Month to bring attention to the very real truth that this IS the #2...

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I Don't Mind What Happens Aug 26, 2021

Known as the "Guru who wasn't"... Jiddu Krishnamurti never wanted any recognition or fame but seemed to intuitively know great and universal truths and shared them with audiences throughout his life.  He was believed by his community to be the great "World Teacher" claiming that salvation is found within.  “I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth…you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self.”  In one of his most famous speeches, Krishnamurti said, "Here is my secret:  I don't mind what happens."  

Wow.  This has been on repeat in my head lately.  "I don't mind what happens."  Is that true?  Is it possible not to mind?  On the very simple, very ground floor level of life... I guess I don't mind.  Like, let's say I'm out...

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A Beginner's Mind Aug 01, 2021

Do you enjoy trying something new?  New foods?  New habits?  New friendships?  New hobbies?  New board games?  Do you start out with a fresh sense of wonder an openness about the experience... or do you feel a little cynical and figure that you probably won't be very good at it?  

We tend to only try things we know we have a proficiency for.  It takes a very brave constitution to start something new and KNOW for sure that we're gonna suck at it for awhile.  "I'll try" might be the bravest thing you ever say.  It's the bridge between not doing and doing.  

The culture here, in America, is pretty goal oriented.  We like success.  We like achievement.  We want to be REALLY GOOD at everything.  We have a tough time being 'bad' at something.  But really, when you're new... you're just NEW.  You're a beginner.  You're like a baby deer on wobbly legs.  It's NORMAL that it doesn't come...

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Is Your Child a Square Peg? May 18, 2021

If the answer is yes... you won the lottery!  You might not believe me, but it's really true.  This child of yours comes bearing gifts.  To begin with, hello patience... hello acceptance.  Because, what other choice do you have?  You can try to CHANGE them, but that's not why they're here.  They're not even here to CHANGE YOU!  They are here to be themselves, in whatever form that takes... and guess what?  THAT IS CHANGING THE WORLD.

Look, I know you probably worry so much about all the 'terrible toos.'  They're too emotional, too loud, too opinionated, too obstinate, too slow, too fast, too awkward, too sensitive, too smart, too unorganized, too talkative, too exhausting, too honest, too hyper, too lazy, too difficult, too MUCH!  Do you wanna know why?  Because we are asking these square pegs to fit into round holes and THEY CANNOT.  They can't.  They won't.  

It is out of their true integrity to be...

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Build Your Own Birthday! Apr 22, 2021

I am 50 years old today!  What the heck?  I just LOVE birthdays ;). I love mine, and I love everyone else's!  I don't know why I love them.... I just DO!  At some point in my young adulthood, I realized I could actually do whatever I wanted on my special day, and I started making it a THING.  I would think about how I wanted my day to go... what would I love for breakfast?  Would I like to attend a yoga class?  How about coffee with a friend followed by a massage!  Lunch with a large group?  Movie night?  Solitary shopping date at the Galleria?  (I LOVE shopping alone!). I've enjoyed the simple and free pleasure of long phone chats with far away friends, and the more elaborate celebrations like a vacation with people I love.  I've had birthday pedicures, crawfish boils, Mexican fiestas with sombreros and mariachi.  Every year is an adventure of planning little or big celebrations that are just so... GIA.

I remember...

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Late Bloomer Mar 24, 2021

 

 

In early February, I wrote about my excitement over our Japanese magnolia blooms when there was only one open flower on the tree.  Our tree was very late to blossom.  On our walks through the neighborhood, we saw all the other trees in full color, many already shedding their petals, covering the ground in a carpet of pinks.  I didn't mind waiting for ours... I could tell it was going to be magnificent.  On February 15, winter weather arrived in Houston paralyzing our city with unprecedented low temperatures.  Even with valiant efforts to cloak the landscaping with bed sheets and insulators, nothing delicate survived.  All the Japanese magnolias that had bloomed were now covered in sad, crinkly brown wilt.  About a week after the freeze, our tree started to open up.  The extra time in incubation protected many of the buds and the color was a welcome reprieve from the dead all around.  Before the freeze, this tree...

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Emotional Support Animal Feb 21, 2021

This is Ellie.  She died Friday.  Her passing was completely uneventful in every way.  She just died... in the living room.  I was in the kitchen.  I heard her paws scritching on the wood floor.  I looked over and she seemed to have slipped and was struggling to stand up, so I walked over to help.  She lay down and sighed a deep sigh and then didn't breathe again.  Wow.  That's it.  Easy as that.  No long illness.  No having to make a decision to put her down.  Just, poof. Transitioned.  After a totally normal day, she just left this life.  I have been with each of our pets when they've died.  2 dogs and 1 cat... and I was the only one there.  It might seem like a bad omen... but I think it's a gift.  I see the beauty of that exit.  It's amazing that something is living and then it's not.  What leaves?  What animated that creature?  

Ellie was my emotional support...

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Potential Feb 05, 2021

We moved into a new/very old house in July of 2020.  The Japanese magnolia tree next to our house was covered in green leaves.  We'd missed it's annual bloom in late winter, so I've been eagerly waiting to see what she'll do!  The tree has been covered in fuzzy buds for weeks.  The buds still look too small to pop open into flowers - but today... the first bloom appeared!  I've been snapping photos of the tree each day this week.  I could see some color at the very top of the tree.  Looking at the photos on the computer - there are actually several spots of pink hiding in the  branches... so much potential about to pop off!  I can't wait to see what it will look like all covered in Spring.  I can't wait until there are too many blooms to count.  Today though, there's just one.  An eager early riser... the first to the party.  I didn't notice her at all in the photos I've taken.  She sprung open on the backside of...

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My New Career Nov 19, 2020

Here I am.  Living my dream.  I was five years old the first time I used the word 'career.'  My mom called me to come inside and I was having a really good time in the back yard.  "Aw, you ruined my career!" I whined.  I have no idea where I'd heard the phrase... probably on tv.  My mom giggled and repeated what I said, and I thought two things; "I don't think I used that word right," and, "She's going to tell people about this and they are going to laugh at me."  

I was a sensitive child.  I grew into a sensitive adolescent, a sensitive teen, a sensitive young adult, and... you guessed it, I'm still so so sensitive.  An empath.  I notice everything.  I notice with my whole self.  All of my senses are tuned in as I move through my life.  I've believed for most of my life that being sensitive was a curse but now, it's one of the things I love most about myself.  I love being sensitive, because it feels like...

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