Friday, June 3, 2016

This Blogs for you!

To all of my fellow windy-path travelers. To all of us crash & burn (and dust yourself off) types….this blogs for you! (and honestly – for me too).
“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis
Some famous people who have followed the same kind of path….wandering, zig-zaggy, and always challenging:
  1. Oprah – anyone who knows the story of her childhood and early career-life will see the huge hurdles she has overcome.
  2. Steven King was a janitor living in a trailer before he wrote his first best seller.
  3. Vincent van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school at 27
  4. JK Rowling – was almost 30 before Harry Potter came to her
  5. Harrison Ford was a carpenter until the age of 30
  6. Vera Wang – tried to be an Olympic skater and didn’t make it. Applied for the editor-in-chief of Vogue and didn’t get the job. Her first dress was designed at age 40!
  7. Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at age 39 and had her first show at age 51
  8. Morgan Freeman landed his first major role at age 51 – and what is that guy NOT in
Some of my favorite quotes about failure….and there are many……
  • I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas A. Edison
  • Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. Napoleon Hill
  • It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default. J. K. Rowling

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Word Journey

Words fascinate me. The power of words even more so. Even as a child, I strongly disagreed with the retort: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

While I get that this colloquialism was meant to be a lesson of internal toughness, words seem to have a deeper penetrating value than any of us cares to admit. How many phone-calls, drinks, and other "social" outlets (like Facebook) focus on the life-conundrums around a "he said/she said" or the combination of words in a post?

AND, often times these words are just a misunderstanding! A personal example....recently we went through a really hard time and someone kindly offered us some grocery money. Because of a simple word misunderstanding, that person immediately deleted me and that was that. They never even asked for clarity and didn't think to assume the best. The end.

To me, these misunderstandings often lead to really hurtful scenarios that could have been avoided by a simple clarity of the actual words being used. Even physical altercations often times begin with a few well placed word-bombs. And nothing will blow you to bits quicker than harsh words from those closest to your heart.

Screw the sticks and stones - there are many times I would rather you hit me with your fist than with your mouth.

Let's test this. What feelings pop up when you say the following two statements? The same point is being made, but I think you will find one to be quite a bit more hurtful than the other:

1) I hate you for....
2) I hate it when you....

Both of these statements use a pretty strong word, so that already should illicit some response. Both statements lend to some action the offending person may be doing. But, wouldn't you agree that statement #1 feels a little more like a personal attack? Statement #2 has the word "when" separating the person from the action; and that right there seems to allow for more grace. If feels less invasive.

There is a belief, and I am on board, that everything worth experiencing in life requires dark times. It makes seeing the light that much more hopeful. Same with words...they exist on a spectrum of good and bad, dark and light, hurtful and helpful. Some words are recognized by most of us to be "bad", like: hate - while others are subjective, like "marijuana". Not everyone has negative associations with the same words. Not everyone has positive associations with others - like "family".

Now, on the flip side, I have escaped many a troublesome reality at the hands of a well written novel. Hours spent in the life of a fictional character certainly helped make my own life's trials seem very far away. This too is a creation of simple words.

Such pleasure and pain stemming from the simple act of putting words into the world. Wow.

Now that we see how much power lies behind what we say and write, I think a good place to start a word-journey is with the word....well...."WORD"....

Latin: word translates to verbum = language, conversation
*verba dare - to deceive
*per verba - by means of words

Let's break this down.
1) "Verbum" = language or conversation.
This is what I believe words were really meant connect, to share, to communicate. Without words we would all still be grunting and hitting rocks with our clubs to get a point across. Isn't it much easier to say "holy shit. saber-tooth tiger. Run!"

2) "verba dare" - to deceive. Right off the bat of language creation, there was a premeditated mis-use (or rather manipulation) of words to help us gain what we want through deception...."per verba" by means of words. 

So, if even the word, "word" has some questionable connotations from its origin, it is easier to understand why our individual internalization of words can be so subjective and can lead to such emotional turmoil and/or elation.

So, after all this pondering, maybe the real lesson should state: 

"sticks and stones may break my bones, yet words will never leave me."

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Older the Wiser - My Father Said

For many years, my Father has said: "your probably not old enough to understand what I am talking about or what I went through." I hated hearing this because he would always be older than me and therefore this statement would always be applicable.
He feels that anyone older will always, ALWAYS have more knowledge. Funnily enough, I ran into an article today that solidifies this theory.....

Accoriding to an article I read in Whole Living, the author, Henry Alford states:
"judgment and inhibition are stored in our brain's prefrontal cortex, which does not finish developing until we are about 45, as well as in the parietal lobes, which are not mature until we are closer to 50."

Alford quotes an old African saying:  "The death of an old person is like the burning of a library." Simply making the point that the more years of life, the more stories, experiences, wisdom and therefore understanding of it all.

Ok dad - you win!

Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." —Groucho Marx

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Have a Little Faith

It occurred to me the other day that having steady, consistent faith is not easy. My dad is a devout student of Scripture - it its most correct translation from Greek and Hebrew. One point he often makes is what he considers to be a huge misinterpretation from the old languages to the 'modern' Bible translations: Faith or Belief (a state of mind) vs. Faith-ing (a verb/action/active intent).

While doing some of my own research, I happened upon this online sermon that was really cool. The Pastor says: "When you awoke and went into the bathroom this morning you flipped a light switch and you had faith that it would work. When you get in your car you turn the key and have faith that it will start. When you mail a letter you have faith the postal system will get it to the right address. Every time you walk into a building you are expressing faith in the architect and the workmen. In each instance there was an action. You flipped a switch, you turned a key, you mailed the letter, you walked into a building. The measure of our faith is NOT our “talk” — it’s our “walk”. It is what we do. It is not what we say we will do. Believing is one thing but do you have Faith, do you have an action filled faith? Instead of Faith we should call it Faithing. It is a verb, it requires an action."

He goes on to reference scripture where Peter walked on the water, only because he asked for the action part of faithing to be instilled in him. Peter asked, “Lord if you are Jesus, command me to come.” And Jesus replied, “Come.” 

The Pastor says that 'the Holy Spirit is God’s gift enabling us to live the ideal of grace; to live a life of Faithing. If we proceed under our own efforts, we will likely fail.' SO just when you think you have to DO something to get faith, once again God comes in and says, Nope. Got it covered. Just ask for faith in Me & I will provide it. By the way, the God in my head is sort of witty, sarcastic & humorous.

During a weekly encouragement meeting with a friend I recalled this story I had sort of forgotten about. In my bedroom, right in eyesight when I sit up every morning is this beautiful wooden plaque that simply states "have a little faith". Over three years ago, I packed up my things and left my boyfriend, two cats, my thriving massage practice & family/friends in New England to move back to Kansas City. I was unsure of so many things: what was going on with my body, my relationship, my career. I was simply making a leap of faith that being near my family, in a familiar place, where life is much slower and much less expensive - would help to heal me.

I had sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist so I could lighten the load for the long 2-day drive. On my last day in NE I had various strangers coming to the house with a mixture of friends stopping by to say adieu. By the end of the day I was emotionally and physically exhaused, but there was yet another visitor knocking. I opened the door, said hello & hugged.....a complete stranger! It was this nice lady who had responded to one of my craigslist ads for some shelves, but I was in total 'goodbye' mode and was apparently hugging everyone.

She ended up staying for awhile, listening to my story while I just started giving her things I hadn't sold. After about an hour of getting to know this cool lady, I went out to help her load her car. She was about to leave when she said, 'hold on a minute - there's something I think I'm supposed to give you.' She grabbed something from her front seat and handed it to me saying, 'You are about to embark on a new chapter in your life & what you are doing is probably really scary, but will definitely lead to good things. I make these and want you to have this.'

And Jesus said, "come"........

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jiggy Jibberish: A Nuclear Cool Column (2009 Post)

To show her size, the pink bag is my purse & that tiny creature is Cocoa!
Summer is coming! Summer is coming! After a pretty intense winter, I am quite certain I am not the only person in Kansas City that wants to scream that from the highest hill. I am longing to be outside enjoying the sun, the air and our amazing city at its best. First Fridays in the Crossroads, Loose Park and lazy spontaneous weekends with friends & family. Last summer was particularly special as I had a constant companion - a doggie named Cocoa. She was a pretty easy excuse to spend excess time at parks & going for walks. Admittedly, the attention she received from strangers created rich and memorable experiences for me as well. Simply put: It was lovely!

Along with this adorable doggie-pal, came unlimited access to the trampoline in my landlord’s yard, which I found myself gravitating towards almost daily. Jumping up & down not only felt physically amazing, but it also warmed my spirit in a deep and meaningful way. Images, scents, sounds and feelings from childhood came rushing back so vividly that I was sure a peak of my reflection would reveal the 8-year old me.

I recently spoke with a group of women about the importance of honoring the ‘inner-child’ in us all – allowing for more of those child-like moments in the midst of adult responsibility. For me, jumping on the trampoline was the golden gateway for my inner child to come out to play.

About 2 years ago, a healing practitioner told me that I needed to get a re-bounder (a mini trampoline), to help jump-start my lymphatic system. If I were to go back to him now, I am pretty darn sure my lymph system, as well as every other cell in my body, would assess at a much healthier level – not to mention the immeasurable healing of my soul.

It is amazing that something I did so carelessly in childhood could hold such value to me in my adult years. In the sea of infinite possibilities of self-care, this is my favorite one yet.
Have a fun, safe, happy, & child-like summer! Find a trampoline and rediscover the 8-year old you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spiritual Warfare Dream!

Last night I had this dream that was really, really strange - yet encouraging. Normally I wake up from dreams like this and think: "nightmare, yuck. no need to remember that."  But this time I woke up 2 times; both times needing to write down an immediate interpretation of what was going on. That's not like me, but the pressure to write it down was heavy!

The setting was another world, kind of a dark world. I felt the presence of the enemy all around me because there was a lot of awful stuff going on. The thing that really struck me was the story of this girl. It was kind of a 3rd person/first person thing...there were times where the story was unfolding in front of me, like a movie & times where I was the girl (although she did not look like me or anyone I know). In this story, the girl has been tormented, many times, by an evil man. No matter where she moves, or what she does, he can find her and will again torment her physically, mentally, emotionally. Between every move the girl made to try to get away from the him, she would meet these wonderful men and try to have a relationship, but this evil man would kill the good men and reclaim the girl as his to possess & torture forever.

The girl is so worn down by trying to escape him & is somehow brought to the presence of a spiritual guide. This spiritual guide was a woman....her face never was shown, only her voice & a light representing her body. It was like she was a fairy or something. We'll call the spiritual guide God because I think in this dream it was God taking on a form that the girl, scared of men could be comfortable with. God told the girl that if she did everything she said, that the evil man would be destroyed forever. The girl was desperate for a way out of his grasp, so she let God bring her into many new routines & experiences, forcing her to break old habits. It was not easy because the girl was used to her way, her patterns, her old life, but she now recognized that the tools she needed were outside of the comfort zone.

The girl fully believed that this new life, in this new town, with God would be exactly the thing that keeps the evil man away forever. Then, the girl starts seeing & sensing him watching her, which obviously scares her to no end. She questions God, "why would you let him follow me? how could you watch me go through that now that I am with you?" Over time, and as the evil man gets closer, God reveals that it is not her change in location or the fact that she now believes in God that will keep the man away. She must gather tools, experiences & lessons much different that in her past; to fight him. That ultimately it will be a fight between her and the evil man, not God and the evil man.

God is training her, breaking her old patterns that allow him back in. As the girl allows God to put her into these scenarios she's never been in before, she feels herself getting stronger and more able to discern how the old patterns of hiding from the world gave her enemy the exact environment he needed to be victorious. There are these scenes of training - one was a karate class with other women learning to fight off predators. In these classes the girl was actually connecting to these women as her authentic self whereas in the past she tried to be what these other women needed her to be - ultimately a floor mat. It's this very thing that is the girl's biggest challenge...being herself, no matter what that means & no matter who does or doesn't like it. Not letting the needs of others determine her ultimate value, worth or personality. Even in the end scene the girl battles this very thing....

Everything jumps to this fight's out in a desert in these old sacred grounds. God tells the girl that people still live here and that they allow the grounds to be used for spiritual warfare, which they take part in as a ritual. God tells the girl that it is her job to find a place to remain silent, meditate & focus on the new tools she has to fight her enemy. All of a sudden, the girl feels her enemies presence fully for the first time since God began her new quest.

The fight begins....
The girl is supposed to be focused, but in the quite place she is being distracted by one of the residents asking her ridiculous questions about how she is going to use the grounds & how it is important to put everything back the way she found it. As the girl gets caught up in this, the evil man sees his opportunity to strike. All at the same time, the girl's awareness sharpens towards the man, away from the distraction (she literally throws the person out of the room) & towards God who is now right at her side - helping her with the fight she thought she was going to have to do alone.

That is when I woke up. Grrr, but I think it is significant that I didn't get to finish this fight. There are so many metaphors here that I interpret to my life....

*The biggest spiritual metaphor is that the evil man is not a man - it is Satan. This is how He knows where the girl is at all times.

*I believe that Satan did not acutally kill the men in the girls life, but instead used the habits/patterns in the girl that did NOT represent God to drive the man away. The girl saw it as a death because she did not understand that it was coming from her spirit nor did she have the skills necessary to move on in a healthy way; carrying the trauma of each separation with her forever.

*The biggest personal metaphor is the 'distraction' & co-dependent behavior being a part of Satan's ammo towards the girl. I now feel compelled to break even my daily patterns / routines to see what lies outside of the 'norm'.

*I didn't wake up to a classic ending because I truly believe that spiritual warfare will be a forever battle - until Heaven. I pray once we get to Heaven that isn't part of our existence anymore. I do know that we have a spiritual army here too. In another scenario, on another night, I woke up frozen with fear and a sense of an evil spirit in my room. Finally, it went away and in its place were four soldiers with wings carrying gold staphs in each corner of the room.

*I feel like this was part of my spiritual warfare training. God is so cool! He knows how to train each of us in a very unique and special way so that we may acutally learn from Him. Some people interpret it as that they are the only ones that have these messages, but I truly feel that God sends them to all of His children, all of the time. We are just more aware of it at certain know, the 'aha moments'. We all have them. The special & uniqueness comes from God, not us. Just like to keep the humble nature of our gifts, well humble.

Anyway, it was one of the coolest dream experiences of my life. I wish they were every night! It is like having my own personal movie that actually has significant meaning to me. Love this! Thank you Father!