That awful sticky place of dread

Recently I was in a terribly wobbly place taking care of someone close to me. This friend had recently had serious back surgery. I knew he would depend on me solely. In our tiny community we depend on each other, especially as we age. Most everyone else my friend knows is retired, and I work full time. I would do what I could, but I felt that sticky and uncomfortable place of having someone else depend on me totally when I knew it would take a supreme effort for me to do everything necessary. I knew there were others that were totally willing to help, that kept volunteering. My friend kept refusing them, saying “Patty will do it all.”

It’s a terrible thing to say, or even think, you do not want to help someone for several reasons. One is society expects us all to be cheerful, concerned caregivers. Two, because I am an overly nurturing person by nature, why would this make me cringe? It was the overwhelming idea of the whole kit-and-caboodle that had me scared. There was something about this looming responsibility that had me quaking like a leaf. It makes me feel like a bad person for even having those feelings. I usually love to be wanted and needed, filling the role of nurturer.

This is what was going on with me that might help explain this feeling. The surgery came at a time when I had been trying to lessen my dependence on this person for my sake and his. My own dependence on him for filling my social needs has never been met and I needed to broaden my social scope. It’s not his fault whatsoever. He’s a good egg. He is in fact a dear friend. I am having a strong yearning for conversation and company and it won’t go away. The time for change is long overdue and I had been putting off the inevitable for over a year now. I must expand my horizons! The looming post-surgery tasks seemed to be holding me back just at a time when I want to burst out! Feelings of frustration, guilt, but also care, were building and mixing.

With some insistence I was able to get him to call on other neighbors who were happy to share the burden with me. I was happy to do my part and stock his fridge and freezer with groceries that were easy to fix and eat. I was thrilled to look after his sweet dog for a few days. In the days immediately following his surgery I felt better. I tried making coffee for him, which I totally flubbed two days in a row, with coffee all over the counter! I checked in on him in the early mornings to see his pain level, got him to start moving a bit. Urged him to walk more, as advised by the doctor. I changed his bandages, etc.

I believe Spirit turns up the pressure when there is a lesson looming.

When we want to diet, everything conspires to tempt you. Gooey brownies and donuts are brought into work. Your neighbor comes over with homemade banana bread. You know the drill. For me it was wanting to get out in the community more and expand my horizons. That’s when the surgery gets scheduled and you know you have to spend more time, not less, doing something you know does not suit you. But Spirit knows best.

My friend and I have been good friends for years. As close as brother and sister. But Spirit had something for us to work through. My friend also has something to learn about depending on others, in spite of insisting he did not need help. I was in that same position about two years ago, and I learned my lesson the hard way. I knew we each had something to learn from this.

In the end things turned out fine and we are both better for the experience. He was able to get the community to help, by simply asking for it. His surgery after-care was not as bad as we thought it would be. He was up and about days after surgery. I did my share of care, and liked being helpful in that way. I also enjoy going over to my friend’s home once a week instead of twice a day. We missed each other a bit more. Things seemed fresher and better. He started asking what I was up to. A stark change from his usual lump-on-a-log non-commitment in any simple conversation. He started taking more responsibility for his life instead of depending on me. I was starting to break away and make myself a priority. Things were changing!

As we know, everything is energy. Change must happen in Spirit/with you manifesting and wanting that change before it can happen in the waking world. He learned that being stubborn and wanting total independence was not always realistic. I learned (and not for the first time) that care of the self comes first. I had always given to him first. Thought of him first. Worried about him way more than about myself. The caregiver must care for him/herself first. Okay, I’m getting that lesson, for the third time!

If there is any time you feel that pressure is on, and you are being made very uncomfortable, there is a lesson or a message in it. Look for it, be humble, and be as open as you can for the change coming your way. Maybe this thing that feels awful is your key to freedom, the key to standing up in your own power and being who you have always wanted to be. On a soul level, my friend was willing to be the one to help me make this happen. I am in deepest gratitude.

Comments are encouraged. Likes tell me someone is listening. ❤ Love and Light, Patty.

The Universe is…what exactly?

I am sure you often hear people talk about manifesting and working with Spirit by saying ‘The Universe wants me to do this or that” or “The Universe is sending me signs” or “I like it when The Universe supports me” and so on. I use that phrase a lot and I hear it a lot. Two friends helped me to understand The Universe better from a personal standpoint. Each person’s take on it was insightful and of value to me, and came through normal conversation.

When I used to think of the phrase The Universe this Hubble image came to mind, along with Carl Sagan’s booming voice. It shows about 10,000 galaxies. (Not planets, galaxies!). This version of The Universe seems far away, immense, cold and unreachable. Something way bigger than me that is hard to comprehend. Like it’s out there somewhere, but not available to a tiny speck like me.

NASA Hubble 10,000 Galaxies
Image credit: NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI), Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt)

One friend was writing a heartfelt email where she was musing about what was going on at her end of the world. It had been a difficult year. At the end of a sentence she used the phrase “Everything is the Universe.” It struck me like a ton of bricks, in a way that got me thinking. We usually say it the other way around—The Universe is everything. Turning that phrase around opened me up wide and put me on my head. When I heard it said that way, my thoughts were of my immediate surroundings, something tangible I can see, smell, hear, sense and interact with. Everything as the universe means it is inside of me first and foremost. You are the Universe and so am I. The penny has dropped.

Another friend was replying to an email where I was conflicted about an ongoing problem. I wrote to her, “The Universe is sending me signs to stop doing XYZ.” She said, “Oh Patty, the Universe is IN you! You ARE the Universe! These are signs and message from you that you need to listen to.” Put that way, it makes much more sense to me. Again it brings The Universe right here in the palm of my hand, right here in my heart. I can examine it, and look at it.

These realizations lead me to several other insights. I have a new center I can act from. It puts the Universe as me at the center of things. I am no longer cowering under the thousands of galaxies above me. The Universe and my higher self are all here and available to me. Always have been. I am a co-creator and at my own center of the Me-Verse. It’s freeing and powerful at the same time. You are a big part of The Universe, part of the woof and weft. And so is everyone and everything else! We are all connected to everything.

With this new Universe as You realization, past lessons come boldly to light and you may laugh at what you went through. You marvel at your actions before the light dawned. It may have seemed that you muddled through, but now you can see things differently. You did enormously well! Look at how you solved that problem and grew from it. My marriage was horrible, yet it was the biggest teacher of my life. I am deeply indebted and grateful for the experience. It changed me from head to toe, from inside out. Comfort yourself with the idea that Spirit grows through us and how we deal with our experiences. We are incredible co-creators indeed!

Between 1990 and 1993 the Hubble was having focusing problems and images were fuzzy and out of focus. I adopted the phrase “things are getting all Hubbly” to mean something was out of focus. All my pondering of The Universe phraseology was rattling around in my head becoming clearer. I have dumped the phrase “The Universe” and I now say “The Me.” The lines of division between everything melt and there is a feeling of oneness. Things are coming into focus, I’m seeing it closer, clearer, less Hubbly.

Note: The books I am currently reading that have helped things come into focus are: a re-reading of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering, by Adyashanti, and a newsletter and articles by a shamanic place in New Mexico called The Power Path. The latest article I read is on Opening the relationship with your higher self.

Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty

2019 came early with a big push

Before the holidays I decided to have my ceiling in the living room worked on. I had originally planned to have that done in January, but felt the intuitive nudge to get it done earlier. I had a local contractor come in and put up my new tin ceiling. It’s gorgeous! That meant that my beautiful new Balsam Hill Cadillac of Christmas trees would have to be stuffed into my bedroom. I had just received it and it was a big splurge. 

When the ceiling work was finished four days before Christmas, I was excited to finally be able to move and decorate my tree! When I finally got it all decorated and looking awesome, there was a bit of a letdown. I don’t know what it was. The tree looked like the best one I’d ever had. But something was off. Later I realized what was happening. The energy felt different. 2019 energy was moving into my presence with great urgency. I took the tree down the day after Christmas, when normally I keep it up for weeks. I felt 2019 pushing into my life with great urgency. I had never experienced this before. But I am more aware and sensitive to energies than in the past. 

During the Christmas break I had 11 days off. I was looking forward to get out and about. However I was sick for the first five days. It felt like all of 2018 was stuck in my head, stuffing it to maximum. Then moving into my throat and into my lungs. Ugh. This sucked. It made me slow down, and if you have read my other posts, you’ll know I was given many signs to slow down. Slow way down. Slower yet. Okay this was the last push to get me to be still for 2018. 

Part of slowing down is being able to see and sense things that I would otherwise not see. If you go too fast, you miss things. Imagine going by a lovely country road with fields of flowers. If you zoom by you miss the butterflies dancing on the blossoms, the rabbit hiding in the bracken, and the birds as they flit about. You miss that lovely feeling, delightful scene, and gentle energy. Same goes for any activity in life. My slowing down was for a reason that would benefit me. 

After I recovered, I was anxious to get up the mountain to a small community. I felt the urge to meet new people, and do new things. I was stoked to have five days remaining to do this! Then an actual honest-to-God blizzard struck New Mexico. I had snow in my yard for two weeks, and I have never had snow for more than two days. I could not get out of my driveway for the rest of my vacation. That really bummed me out, but what can I do? Timing to move out of my normal social circles is not there yet. I decided to enjoy my alone time, the rare snow, and have fun with my animals, who loved romping in the snow.

In my convalescence I started watching Marie Kondo’s show with her unique KonMari method of organizing. Her methods are Zen centric, gentle, and effective. Very Spirit based. I was able to get rid of many things that did not suite me anymore. The trunk of my car was full of bags of clothing and items to take to charity. I even decided to sell my glass bead making studio contents. For me this will be a big letting go. But I feel elated that someone else will have as much fun as I had over the years. Everything is energy and everything holds energy. Let something out of your life and make way for the new! Finally I was able to let go of something I had not done for ten years, and it felt great. 

2019 wanted to come in early, and for me it did. I live my life by intuition and pay attention to those urges. But I know not everything goes my way. Spirit guides us in mysterious ways. I’ve got it down to a fine art, where I can tell what the energy is directing me to do. I would not live any other way. I did not want to be stuck in my house for 11 days, and I did not want to slow down. But I did as I felt directed. For some reason the last of 2018 energy was settling in, saying goodbye and leaving. Then 2019 came in with a burst of energy, before the new year even started! Pay attention to your intuition, dreams, and nudges from Spirit. Living your life this way is very freeing, feels genuine, and has many surprises in store. I have a feeling 2019 is going to be a great year!

Comments are welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

Animals as teachers show me the way

This year I took nine month’s worth of intensive classes in Animal Communication from a leader in the field. It exceeded my expectations, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Animals are here to teach and support us in a myriad of ways that go beyond the obvious. They come to teach us, to help us. And they give unconditional love. In every single reading, the communication from the pet is to help and guide the human to overcome something, or to notice something about themselves. It’s never that the pet needs help. Much so the other way around. That was the most surprising thing I learned from the course, through first-hand experience. 

I have noticed lately, since I decided to be much more social and get myself out in the community, my animals are going beyond their own social boundaries as well. It’s a way of saying “See! This is easy. Watch me!” My worry about socializing, especially looking for a compatible partner at my age, is scary. I am determined to get myself out more. I have to, or I will spend the rest of my life alone. Although, that does not sound too bad. Being single has many rewards but I feel a big nudge to change. I don’t want that Cosmic 2×4 on my head again! Nudges are important to follow up on.

I had a good friend stay with me for eight days recently and I learned about harmony. I wanted her to stay for a lot longer because it was so fluid. That time spent together was lovely and natural. If I want this type of lovely fluid relationship, I know I’ll never find someone, nor they me, if I don’t get out of my home more. Lately I have been out to local cafe’s and bakeries, art galleries, shops, and spa’s that are a 23 minute journey north in a cute little mountain town. I’ve been ignoring that town for a while and suddenly it’s coming into focus. This is good progress for me, the monk-like luddite. It helps that my work schedule has me at home more, making me want to get out more.

Lucy my goose friend of 15 years has been on her own since her companions went the way of the coyote last year. A neighbor offered me several of her lovely lady chickens. Five to be exact. Now understand that chickens are not perfect companions for a goose, but they are company. I find Lucy wants to go inside her pen more and more during the day when I’m home. Probably to visit with the girls after her morning bath outside. A week later a new neighbor moved in next door. The next day I let Lucy out only to see her stop in her tracks, stunned. We both stood there with our mouth/beak hanging open, surprised. Next door we could see the outline of four lovely geese! One was an Africa Gray, the same breed as Miss Lucy. I could not have wished for anything better. They saw us and honked greetings. Yahoo for gooses! Now Miss Lucy has company of her own at home and next door. Her world expanded in the space of a few days. 

My friends are making the effort to come out my way and connect with me more. I never dreamt this would happen and it makes my heart sing! On my birthday I will be escorted to a local hot springs by two friends, who’s company I crave, weather permitting. I almost always spend my birthday alone, because it is between Christmas and New Years. Everyone is broke, has eaten too much, doesn’t want to shop for one more gift, and is tired of all the festivities. No one wants to go out to celebrate anything! Anyone else with a birthday around this time of year knows what I’m talking about. Not only am I getting out and about more, but people are coming to me. Things are starting to bubble because of my desire and action through the law of attraction regarding being more social and broadening my scope.  

The beginning step to getting out of one place and into another is changing  your inner vibration. I’ve been somewhat reluctantly getting myself out of the cocooning vibe. That’s a bit hard because it saved my life and it feels comfy in here! But it’s time to make a move. I can feel that nudge to expand. In order for things to manifest, you have to feel and be the vibration of what you are wanting. I am wanting to be more social, to be available. That’s a big leap, but as the saying goes, fake it till you make it.

Cochise sitting at the feet of my friend Faye. Quietly together.

The most ardent excuse I keep making anyone coming to my house is my dog Goat Cheese (Cochise). He has been super protective of me from day one and only lets one other person near him, the man who raised him. When my friend came to visit for eight days I had been afraid he would present a problem. My friend is wise and knew exactly how to treat him. By ignoring him totally, he gentled to her quickly. We had a relatively quiet and peaceful visit with people and dogs. I was absolutely amazed and it taught me a lot about how wrong my expectations were regarding my dogs behavior. I was worried I needed to take him to classes, or a dog whisperer. As my friend left after our vacation, she said to me “It’s the person, not the dog.” 

The biggest lesson my animals gifted me was when I had a contractor come to my home, with his dog in tow. He brought his black lab, Bear, at my request. Bear is a larger dog than my two, by gentle and friendly. I was afraid Goat Cheese would attack Bear. But Goat Cheese’s introduction to Bear was uneventful and even a bit friendly. What? Is this the same dog that won’t let anyone near me? Good lord changes are happening, and fast! Almost immediately Goat Cheese became one of the gang playing with Bear and being a normal dog. Goat Cheese, my other dog Gypsy, and Bear, all three hanging out and socializing. I could not believe my eyes. They all played till they slept! I thought this would never happen, ever. My animals showed me my fears regarding someone else not fitting into my life are unfounded and baseless. They showed me through their actions, a new relationship can blossom into a nice life with a special someone way faster than I expect they might. 

Thinking about the lessons my animals had showed me, I realized I have been worried for no good reason. Or that the acid test— Goat Cheese’s reaction about a new person in my life—would be a huge hurdle. This heartens me to think that it might be easy to have someone come into my life, and me into his, and things might be A-okay. I thought this change of mind and heart for me would take months if not longer. My animals, wise beings that they are, showed me it was possible in an instant! I am always amazed and humbled at what my animals show me and teach me, by their own actions and wisdom. They have shown me my heart is opening and that new connections are possible, and might be a little bit fun too. 

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas everyone!

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

Slowing to meet The Flow

When someone else is the catalyst for your insight

Elote for two!

Going to the Great Minnesota Get Together is a yearly pilgrimage of mine. My older brother (one of three), plus my cousin and her husband meet in late August each year. This makes a perfect foursome. It’s the Minnesota State Fair. This is one of the largest fairs in the country along with Texas and Iowa. In rainy weather, you would think it would dampen enthusiasm and attendance. Nope. Minnesotan’s know how to dress, and relish the changes in weather. Never are moods dampened by such a small thing as rain! oh no. I’m proud to be from that area of the country. I hail from Wisconsin but lived in Minnesota for awhile before coming to New Mexico by way of NYC. During my 2018 visit on the last Saturday of the fair there was a record-setting 270,426 people in attendance. This post is about an insight I had that day.

We had been at the fair for two long days already. Our third day would be sans cousin and hubby, so my brother and I could go at our own pace. This was a bit of insanity on our part. We never go on a weekend because of the huge numbers of people. On a normal weekday it’s hard enough getting somewhere and lines are long. It was a hot day, and we were absolutely pooped from the prior two days of total gluttony.

Let me explain the normal itinerary. We get up at 6am, shower, eat a light breakfast, drink a bit of coffee and prepare for the day. We drive to where the busses take us to the fair. It’s a long process. We wait in line for a long time, then get on the bus and are on our way. It’s 9 or 10am by the time we get to the fair to partake. We leave the fair around dusk, which in summer, is very late. We take the bus, then the car, then we are home finally. Pooped and, as we say in our family, ‘fat as bloated ticks.’ It’s a very long, long day of walking. We figured we walk about 7 miles a day.

One of our first stops is the Blue Barn for breakfast. The MSF boasts thousands of types of food, way beyond the ordinary, with 30 or 40 new foods each year. The Blue Barn has breakfast such as Swedish Meatball Smörgås: Meatball sandwich with three traditional Swedish pork and beef meatballs topped with white gravy, lingonberry sauce and dill pickles. Or you could get their new bacon stuffed tater tots. My brother goes next door to Lulu’s to get his dry cider. Or we each get Bloody Mary’s to start the day off right. For me this is a treat because the rest of the year I don’t drink alcohol. 

The rest of each day is spent going to various places like the Blue Moon Dine-in for Korean-style BBQ tacos, and smoked soft-serve ice cream. Or a lobster po’boy at Caribe cafe, or my favorite, Irish Tater Kegs: Jumbo deep-fried tater tots made with a blend of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, sour cream and potatoes drizzled with house-made Thousand Island dressing nestled on a bed of sauerkraut served at the Irish pub O’Garas complete with live bagpipe music. Nordic Waffles, a brand new place, had a line so long both days we never got to try the folded breakfast waffle with smoked salmon tucked inside. The wood grilled elote (corn on the cob with small delicate kernels, very sweet) brushed with chile-spice mayo and sprinkled with queso Cotija, fresh lime juice and cilantro, oh my! It was so good we had two.

Kids Scarecrow entries.

The buildings with art, quilts, foods that are judged such as cakes, jams, jellies, cookies, you name it, it is baked, presented and judged. There are parades, live shows, shopping, the midway to watch all the crazy people on crazy rides. We love mostly the animal barns with sheep, horses, piggies, and the 4-team horse drawn carriage competition. Kids make seed art and scarecrows displayed by ages old seed and flour sacks and hundreds of (judged) dried ears of corn. We saw a 674 lb. pumpkin, and a lovely display of Bonsai forests and trees. There are butter sculptures of Princess Kay of the Milky Way in a window-sided refrigerator case so large it could fit 20 people. It’s almost too much to take in. Suffice it to say we are on overload after two days, tired, and maxed out. Now maybe you understand the scope of this event, and how you could be so overwhelmed by it.

On the third day, my brother was trying to wind his way through the record-breaking crowd. He was going way too fast for my comfort, and he was really fighting the crowd. I could see he had unrealistic expectations for 270,000 people to slow down for him and it was only making him irritated. Besides he was not having fun struggling to squeeze past people being jostled and pushed all the while. It couldn’t have been much fun. And what was the rush? This was our third day at the fair, a total luxury. Time was on our side. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “Hey do you mind slowing down? I can’t go that fast.” He instantly said, “Oh, I’m sorry! Yeah, no problem.” His tone of voice was compassionate and kind and he had no problem slowing down. 

There was instantly this luxurious flow of people’s heads bobbing up and down as we all walked forward. It did not seem rushed, crushed, or the least bit claustrophobic. There was an unmistakable fluidity to the flow of humanity. I noticed children enjoying cotton candy, balloons, eating hot dogs, slurping on drinks, someone stopping to tie their shoe, kids asking their parents questions, older couples in summer attire holding hands and enjoying the day. It was all rather languid and relaxed. We had found The Flow! This is going with the flow, in more than just a physical sense. 

I love getting real world examples of metaphorical ideas or sayings. This was a perfect example of the sayings ‘don’t push the river’ and ‘go with the flow’. But what a revelation it was to have someone else be the catalyst for my seeing it happen! Asking my brother to slow down and finally seeing how things went from irritating and frustrating to happily bobbing along. What an insight! This experience has stayed with me and will be a good teacher for me for many years. I can still feel that happy elation to finally be in flow with all around me. 

Do you have any example of when things become clear to you? I’d love to hear about them. My Minnesota State Fair Album(s) can be found here. https://flic.kr/s/aHsmim21kw

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening.Love and Light, Patty.

Boundaries, encounters, reflection, and a new path

Do you have friends that once you are off the phone with them, you wonder why they are in your life? Do you wonder why you still hang out with someone who is not good for your energy, your mental health, who doesn’t bring much to the table? Yet they don’t have a mean bone in their body? After all they just want to be friends, and they deserve company too. There is nothing wrong with just wanting to be friends, right? Recently more and more is happening to make me aware of the fact that I need to take some action, one way or the other, instead of settling for the status quo. I resist visits or chats because I think…why oh why am I going to let my vibe go back down to this level? This is not said or thought of in a privileged way at all. It’s more of a state of self protection for the good vibe I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

How do you tell someone to stop looking at their phone (texting or talking) during your time together? How do you tell someone that you’d like it if just once they ask how you are doing? I have a friend who knows I have been through a challenging year, and they never ask how I am feeling, what’s up, what’s going on. If I tell them I had a bad experience, they skip right over what I say without an acknowledgment and keep talking about their life. Or worse they gossip about someone else’s life. (I can’t abide gossip.) That makes me sad, and makes me feel like I am the entertainment committee. Which leads to me feeling selfish for even having that thought.

Now the questions start. I wonder about the many facets of this problem. I am protective of my alone time. I live out in the sticks because nature feeds my soul and it keeps me sane and grounded. But it keeps me away from being social. Always a double-edged sword to live so far out. Does spending a lot of time on my own make me snotty, stubborn, or exclusive? Maybe it is smart that I protect myself as much as possible from the wrong type of encounter. Or that I feed my soul as much as I do with time spent alone, or with quality people. Does it seem I am being exclusive? Rude? Stubborn? Hoity-toity? I have worked so hard for my safety and security.

However being more open (less stubborn) might be called for because I could be losing the openness to be wrong, to stumble on something new, to have an open heart. Balance is key here, and I know stubbornness is my stumbling block. By being ‘safe’ out in the sticks, living my life without much contact am I missing out on another type of companionship, camaraderie, and social connections? Maybe the effort to feel safe is not serving me anymore? These are questions I ask myself. It’s the flip side of the protect thyself coin. In hopes of finding an answer, I ask myself a ton of questions to make sure I’m not being a jerk. I call it a ruthless self-evaluation. This is during a time where I want to be more social and get out more. As irritating as the problem is, I think it is good timing. 

There always seem there is a bit more work to be done to have healthy boundaries. I’ve come a long way. For years I was the world’s doormat but I’m not in that place now. So maybe this is one more whorl of the river. It’s a tricky place. You can’t shut people out of your life unless they are totally toxic. Then it’s a must, but I have found that to be rare. Boundaries should be flexible enough to let the new and unexpected in, while feeling respected and honored by the presence of others. Good boundaries also means respecting others in your life. It means giving them the respect they deserve as well. It’s a two way street. It calls for more minute, fine maneuvering in the river of life. 

Even though some people may be ignorant of their social trespass, the problem remains. Ignorance does not excuse bad behavior. It must be handled somehow. I guess it’s one more level of detail I have been missing in terms of gentle communication. Here comes the lesson on runway two! There must be one more way for me to negotiate the river and find the best way make it clear, in a compassionate way, how I would like to be respected. That’s better than just dumping someone, isn’t it? It’s more humane. More detail in a finite matter. This is good. These tiny gray areas are where we learn about ourselves, and do a kindness to others. That kindness can be information they didn’t know before, that helps them negotiate their way through life. This is growth for both parties. Growth is good. 

An example of gentle and helpful communication was many years ago I was still in a bad marriage. To cope and come out of a depressed state, I was on a popular anti-depressant. Let us say it woke me up a bit and I got rather chatty. Feeling I had a voice. I was elated! I went to a party with a dear and trusted friend. At one point my friend tugged me on the sleeve and whispered in my ear,

“Maybe you are not aware, Pat, but you are interrupting every person here. I know you are excited and have a new found voice, but you have to let others speak. Tone down your excitement and listen a bit.”

Oh my I was stunned to learn what I was doing. I thought I was joining in joking, laughing, and sharing. But I could see his point. Since I was told this in a gentle and loving way, I was able to better manage my enthusiasm and channel it into listening and replying at a more appropriate time. The advice didn’t get my hackles up because my friend used a gentle tone of voice. He was sincere. This is advice I still take with me today. I also learned to ask about the other person a lot more than I talk about myself. People like me that live alone tend to get chatty when we meet other human beings! 😉

Compassionately communicating to those I feel disrespected by, gently telling them what I would like in my life is being true to myself, and helpful to the recipient. Sound and words have power. Speaking words that need to be spoken in your own defense must have great power. I need to speak out loud the words that outline what I need for the basics of feeling respected. I guess now that I put it that way, it doesn’t sound so bad. Not so black and white. Not so terrible to tell someone you need a little respect during a friendly visit. I just need a little courage. Already a new path forward is being forged. All from an irritating thorn in my side and then some good old fashioned investigating and evaluating of the self.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. ❤ Love and Light, Patty.

The huge difference between want and desire.

How seldom do we go outside our comfort zone to think about and ask for something we really want in our lives? Rarely is my guess. This is the story of how I decided to make horses part of my life. My horses are gone about a year at the time of this writing, but I had them for almost five years at the end of their lives. It was something I will treasure until I draw my last breath. I hope this story inspires you to do likewise. What have you got to lose by wishing for something you truly desire?

My commute is long, but beautiful. For the most part I have lovely orange mesas and buttes dotted with piñon, cedar, four-wing salt bush, sage, juniper, and rabbitbrush. The mesas look polka dotted with all that brush! The skies open up and the clouds do their dance above, whirling and swirling for our delight. Here in New Mexico, the large expanse of blue sky is the star of the show. This long and relaxing commute makes for much time for thinking. I had two hours each day of this lovely tableau. Time for much thought.

It had taken three years after my divorce to unwind my inner spring and relax to the point where I did not think something bad was about to happen. That process was needed, but it was over. Life was finally finding the new normal. I felt I was finally in the driver’s seat. One morning on the way to work I had a thought. As I crested the hill going into town, I asked myself, ‘What do you want in your life, Pat?’ Remembering the advice of a friend from many years ago, I replaced the word want with desire. That one word changed everything!

I had been denied so much in the past and I wanted to have a life of my own creation. Among my hobbies were weaving and playing with hot glass. I also love working with power tools and building things. I’ve raised all kinds of ducks, geese and birds. I’d studied tarot for many years, and was comfortable with it. But there was room for something more heart-filling, more satisfying. Something to bring me joy put put me outside of my comfort zone at the same time.

The answer came to me out of a fog, out of the back recesses of my mind from a time long ago. When the answer popped into my head, it surprised me. Horses! I almost didn’t think of it because I was denied my wish as a child. And probably rightly so due to the fact that we lived in town, not on a farm, and I was one of four children. Both parents worked full time careers. Since one parent was a high-functioning alcoholic, they fought constantly—every night. There was never any peace, no normalcy. No place for a wispy little girl dream of horses to fly in and settle into that bumpy, messy life.

When I was a little girl I wanted a horse! I ached for it with body and soul. Just the opportunity to ride one would have put me over the moon. That seemed like such a far away dream. Growing up I knew horses were expensive, and therefore, out of reach. But here in New Mexico everyone of every financial status seemed to have a horse or two.

When I was about eight years old my mother knew I wanted so badly to have a horse in my life. She signed me up for ten lessons at a stable in a nearby town. It was where my neighbors down the block kept their horses. These were people with expensive hunter jumper champions. At least I was able to catch a ride with them and take lessons. So I did have that dream somewhat satisfied when I was young, thanks to my mother. I remember those days clearly as the best days of my childhood.

I rode a large black horse named Julie that adults avoided like the plague. Julie was a difficult horse for others, pitching riders over her as she suddenly stopped, or balking or rearing up. She played tricks on her riders and was difficult on purpose. But she and I got along just fine, thank you very much! Julie is long gone, but those memories are as clear and sharp as if they happened yesterday. As any horse person knows, riding and being around horses only makes you want more of the same. You can’t get enough. It’s a fever, A deep seated need to be near such a strong yet yielding gentle and obedient animal. They are so powerful they do not realize their own strength. That’s part of their charm. The ten lessons went by in the blink of an eye and that was that for many years.

Now that my horses are gone, it is time once again to go in deeply and see what I desire in this life. Horses will come again at a later time, when I am retired. That will be sooner rather than later. (Big smile) But something is missing. A companion is missing. That is a hard thing to go seeking these days in the age of online dating. Especially for those of us starting our seventh decade. I know I must be flexible, open, and above all, I must be absolutely authentic right down to my toenails. A partner for me must be likewise.

As the new year beckons, I am preparing myself for this jump to light speed. If you think I’m not scared, you would be wrong! The reward for the risk is the excitement at meeting another like-minded person I can converse with and have fun with. To me, that’s the most important skill they must possess. Conversing. It is what I crave. Spending time in harmony might not be such a bad thing. It is not what I want, but what I desire. Stay tuned for the further adventures of a back woods animal lover and desert mystic with a wry sense of humor, out on the hunt! Gah! 😉

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

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The Churning Miasma, and the Cosmic 2×4

In my blog posts, I speak often of the Churning Miasma, and the Cosmic 2×4. What do I mean by these terms? Like my mother, I love to make up my own words and phrases. It’s the best way for me to quickly communicate something intangible in an easy to understand way. I love these terms because by themselves, they carry a visual weight. Can’t you just visualize the Cosmic 2×4 or the Churning Miasma? 

The Churning Miasma

When I face ongoing problems and I feel mired down, if I could see what I was going through, I’d see everything I’m thinking about, worried about, exploring, talking about, investigating, and creating. It would be about three feet above my head in a huge churning gray whirlpool. It’s too much to take in. I can’t focus or see any one thing. It wont’ slow down. It’s a giddy feeling because then I know I am on the cusp of understanding something. I call this The Churning Miasma. It seems the only way to describe this. 

I need to be still and stop searching for logical reasons about what’s going on during this time period. Trying to pull it apart and discover what it’s all about is useless. The churning miasma is not something that can be picked apart and analyzed. Nor can it be slowed down. It must be left alone to do it’s thing. Sitting still now and then would be better. Eventually it all coalesces after days or weeks, and it drops in my head and heart in a nanosecond. Even after that happens, I cannot say exactly what was learned, or *grocked. I know that new material is in me. I can sense it inside me and it feels better! The Churning Miasma is a process of learning, experiencing, and understanding. But it is so uncomfortable while it is happening. Isn’t there always chaos before change? 

*Grocked: Coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his novel Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961, in which the word is described as being from the word for “to drink” and, figuratively, “to drink in all available aspects of reality”, “to become one with the observed” in Heinlein’s fictitious Martian language. 

The Cosmic 2×4

When something is trying to show itself to me but I’m not getting it that’s when the Cosmic 2×4 comes in. Have you ever heard the saying that when the Universe/Spirit is trying to get your attention first it’s a tap on the shoulder. Then a bit harder if you don’t notice, then bonk on the head or the brick wall to finally get your attention. That’s what I’m talking about. That happens to me a lot. Apparently I need three, four, or five instances to get it through my thick skull whatever is being shown to me.

I always feel like such a dolt for having been so unable to see or understand the new something was coming my way. Some new way of seeing. Some new way of letting go of the old and trying the new. Some new path opens up to me. I love having the new vision or insight and am always in gratitude. But yep, I kinda feel silly when my eyes open after the fact, that I was so stubborn I could not see it. It’s then I look back and can so easily see the ‘taps’ or hints I was getting previous to the Cosmic 2×4. How did I not see it or get it? Huh. Funny. 

You can go over my past blog entries and look for the words Cosmic 2×4 and find what I’m talking about. I always think next time I won’t be so stubborn, so unable to see the lesson. But still I am presented with that Cosmic 2×4 every now and again. It makes one humble! Lately I am able to see when the Cosmic 2×4 might be hovering around. So that is something new. Like I might be on the cusp of understanding and I’ll say, “Well I don’t want that Cosmic 2×4 coming around so I better pay attention here!” Like that. I am becoming bit more open to seeing, and a bit less stubborn. 

Do you use any self-made jargon? If you have any instances of your own churning miasma, or cosmic 2×4, I’d love to hear it. Or anything you’ve made up yourself to help describe your life’s journey. 

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

Kintsugi and repairing painful experiences

Kintsugi “golden joinery”, also known as Kintsukuroi “golden repair”, is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of “no mind” which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life. (From Wikipedia.)

When I lost my horse Silver, I experienced an act of kindness I will never forget. When my horse lay on the ground close to death, a friend and experienced horsewoman had me sit at his head and take each thumb and gently stroke inside his ears at the tips. She said “This will feel good to him, it’s a pressure point, and it will help calm you down as well. We have done all that is possible, so just let everything go and sit with your horse.” I am glad I did, because I didn’t realize I would not see him again. I thanked him for the wonderful years together, the glorious fast rides out in the desert, and his goofy demeanor and friendship. I am forever indebted to the wisdom of my friend Kristin. This act of kindness was a knitting together of the broken pieces that were already coming apart. I did not know it then.

Regarding Kintsugi: “Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.”  — Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

With Kintsugi, the damage is part of the story of the piece and is not hidden or swept under the rug. Kintsugi makes the piece whole, new, and beautiful. In terms of healing a heart it makes the trauma part of your story but it is a healed trauma. It is a new part of you and your story. Sitting with my horse as he lay close to death was hard, but it was the art of Kintsugi, making a repair, and pulling together the old pieces to make a new whole.

If you have pieces of your life’s experience that feel broken or damaged, think of the art of Kintsugi, and how those experiences make up part of who you are. They are part of a whole that makes up everything you currently are. Don’t dismiss them, and don’t embrace the damage itself as all you are either. It is part of a larger whole. In time, bad circumstances and negative events will become clearer to you. Think of the art of Kintsugi and perhaps the pain of past events will make more sense to you than they did at the time those events happened to you.

As Jim Carey said at his commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management…

“Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

The energy of living in harmony

And how my eyes were opened.

Yesterday I saw my friend of 33 years to the airport after spending 8 days with her. My friend “F” is a person I have known since freshman year in college. We met in drawing class on the third floor of the art building and have been close friends ever since. We were roommates at one point during our senior year together. Many people said that was a bad idea because she had been engaged to my brother and that had broken apart. But we had a grand time sharing an apartment, working jobs, and taking a full load of college credits. Our friendship was built on mutual trust, admiration, and lots of fun during a busy time in our lives. We were, and still are, like sisters.

Until this visit I had not seen my friend for over 18 years. We chat on the phone every few weeks, and have ever since we went our own ways after college. We were at each other’s weddings, and we both got divorced out of bad marriages after years of devotion to the wrong person. I went to Minneapolis, Manhattan, and then my current home in New Mexico. She also went to Minneapolis, then Oregon. I live in the lovely high desert, enchanted by its continual exotic beauty, and dry climate, and she to the lovely west coast of the country with gentle gray cloud cover, pattering rain, and the ocean. Dry vs wet, what a contrast. We both love where we live and we both felt drawn to the places we are at now.

After a year of trying to figure out how and where to meet, my friend suggested “Why don’t I make it to your front door and go from there. I want to see your home and all the things you talk about.” Done! Our visit was wonderful, magical. Some planning, mostly spur of the moment. My friend F met my good friend K and it was fun for my two good friends to meet each other. Sharing friends is a very special experience.

F and I did cultural things such as witnessing the dances at Feast day at the Jemez Pueblo with rock star seating! We sat right in front of the sacred building, a kiva where the dancers emerge to start the dances. In this sacred building, you can only enter and exit through a hole in the ceiling via ladder. It was bitter cold, but bright, sunny and magical!

We soaked in a local hot springs, shopped at small local art shops in a mountain town where we met two old ladies playing a card game called ‘spite and malice’ taught to them by a catholic nun.

We walked the labyrinth at Ghost Ranch, home and inspiration of artist and painter, Georgia O’Keeffe. We shopped at Santa Fe on the square, where the Native American’s sell lovely hand made jewelry. We stayed in a hotel way above our normal price range for one evening living in luxury. I also met another friend “D” who just happened to be in town that night. I had not seen her for 12 years. Now my two old friends would meet. What a kick in the pants for me! A joy! Things aligning for my pleasure!

F and I also tooled along old back roads in New Mexico, walked the dogs at my normal haunts, saw the seven-month-old foal at my neighbors, and had a perfect relaxed trip. We stayed home some evenings cooking and visiting. I can see the Milky Way out here. But F is not able to see many stars where she lives so one evening we moved my love seat to the huge window facing the river and watched her favorite constellation Orion march his arc overhead while we sipped wine. We experienced culture, the sacred, and the beautiful natural landscape. We had Girl Time, shopped, drank a little wine, ate chocolate, and had a trip to remember. It was not packed, nor rushed. It was all just right. After eight days I was still ready for more, the energy and her company were so welcome. 

While my friend was here I never had one worry about any of my medical problems that has cropped up in the last year. None of them presented what so ever! That was quite a revelation. Being so in the moment, so enjoying another person’s company, my mind was not on myself. Finally I was not over thinking things. I was off my computer and out of my head.

My friend was a perfect companion in every way. She was thoughtful, considerate, helpful, and a joy to have in the house. She got along with my pets, especially one considered very difficult to be around, she managed with great ease. She was utterly flexible, cheerful, a lovely person to converse with, had clean habits, and seemed to know my every need before I knew. My Sister from another Mister.

Being alone for 11 years has been needed and glorious after my nightmare marriage. There are pockets of time where I still revel in being alone, but it is getting old. For eight days I experienced fresh, lovely energy. My friend’s visit taught me there are benefits to having someone around with love and harmonious energy. I want being with a man to be that wonderful. Why can’t I manifest this through the Law of Attraction?  Now there’s a thought! I miss having a companion. I miss having another person in the house who is of the same mind, the same harmonious energy. This experience created a shift in my perception. It opened my eyes. Sometimes it takes first hand experience to show you something you didn’t know you were missing. 

A man suitable to me is something I have never experienced. But I feel ready for it. That’s a really big—we’re talking huge—revelation and admittance for me. My worries about searching for the perfect Mister are all but gone. For me, that is good news, because I can be very stubborn. For this experience I am deeply in gratitude. I will not be looking for Prince Charming on a white horse, although any old raggedy plow horse, a goat or two, some chickens and a few dogs, would be welcome at my home. A gentle old teddy bear who is full of love and fun will suffice. I’m ready. And I said these words in public, to the world! (My inner me just gasped! LOL)  

I find every vacation, every time away from normal life, to be eye opening. What do you find changed after you have had time away from your normal life? Great things I hope! 🙂 

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. ❤ Love and Light, Patty.