Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Doggy Lama: Do Animals Reincarnate?

Share Button

 When my hubby Bill and I met, he had a very special dog named Fred. I fell in love with both of them.

Fred had so many endearing qualities – his yellow lab enthusiasm, his bloodhound flop-on-top-of-you adoration, his snugglyness (think eighty pound lap dog) and his adorable nibbles on Bill’s beard.

One of Freddy’s unfortunate habits was when he buried his bone (from the butcher) in the bed. If we forgot to close the bedroom door, he would take that messy bone and shove it down into the corner of the mattress frame.

Then, trying to thoroughly ‘hide’ it, he’d push his snout so hard that the tip of his nose would start to bleed. As he dragged his bloody nose from every angle, he left a dramatic red sunburst pattern across the white sheet, at the corner of the bed. A bloody artist.

And then there was the time he stole the plastic bag of stinky sour-bread starter and dragged it (leaking) around the entire apartment. That stuff dries like cement.

Through it all, Freddy helped us lighten up, laugh, and feel loved, as only our fur-family can do. Such deep and mysterious attachments are soulmate kinda material.

It makes their loss incredibly profound.

It was a week before Christmas, when Fred was hit by a car, and killed instantly. Bill and I were devastated. Heartbroken. Unhinged.

My one source of hope was believing and praying that someday, somehow, Freddy’s jubilant spirit would come back to us. My hubby wasn’t so sure.

That would change.

A year later, we were ready to adopt again. We searched around for weeks until we finally found a yellow Lab/Shepherd mix at a local shelter. By the time we got there, another woman had the puppy on her lap. Bill started pacing. I chewed my nails.

The woman asked the shelter volunteer, “Does this puppy play at all? He’s awfully lazy.” The volunteer answered, “He was very frisky with his sister not long ago.” (The sister had been adopted just before we arrived.) “Well, he has zero personality now. Is he going to be big? I live in a small apartment,” the woman whined. Bill jumped in: “Take a look at those paws. He’s gonna be BIG.”

Fifteen agonizing minutes tick-tocked by. The puppy was oddly placid.

“Well if you aren’t sure,” the volunteer told the woman, “let these folks hold him – they came specifically to see that puppy.” HIGH FIVE!

As the volunteer handed the puppy to Bill, the pup sprang to life, wriggling, waggling and then nibbling on Bill’s beard. Aw! When Bill put him on the floor, he scampered away and then circled back and sat right between Bill’s legs. The volunteer was very impressed. “Sometimes the animals pick the owners. He sure picked you.”

We named him Norman. He turned into a 95 lb. blond shepherd, with cute speckled tan polka dots on his white paws.

About six months later, Bill brought home a butcher bone and gave it to Norm. As we were cooking dinner, I put his dog food down. When he didn’t appear, I went looking. I peeked into our bedroom.

“Bill! Come quick!”

There, in the corner of our bed, was Freddy’s bloody sunburst pattern. We stared in astonishment.

Bill laughed out loud, “I guess dogs do get recycled!” 

Time flew by. When our sons joined the family, Norm was their devoted gentle giant, a daily cornerstone of unconditional love.

When he passed away of old age, our hearts were demolished, once again. Bill believed he would never get over the loss.

That would change.

A few months after Norm left our world, we began the search. I showed Bill all kinds of online puppy pictures at local shelters – Bill wasn’t moved by any. Until.

      This one photo (below) creamed our hearts. 

The shelter was two hours away, but there was something about this puppy, in a litter of nine, that felt like Norm. But how will we know?

The adoption day was so big that we had to stand in line. We watched as, one by one, that litter of nine yellow Lab/Rottweiler pups dwindled down to one. By the time it was our turn to look, there was one puppy left and he was the dude in the photo. Yahoo!

As Bill held him, I saw it – one white paw with speckled tan polka dots. Norm!? As my older son and I stood in line with the new pup, waiting to buy some toys, I was still unsure.

I silently asked my guardian angels for another sign that this puppy was the one.

An older woman, ahead of us in line, was talking to the cashier when all of the sudden she yells out into the store, “Norman?! Did you find the birdseed?”

My son and I did a double take at the woman and then stared wide-eyed at each other.

Welcome Home Norm!

Merlin, aka Fred/Norm, is now 7 years old. I like to believe that, in one form or another, he is family forever. He’ll go on giving his daily dose of love. Happy to be alive. Reminding us of the purity and power of living in the present. When we can enjoy the ‘simple’ NOW, then the next moment starts looking pretty awesome, too. And we end up taking a brief, but vital, vacay from our worries.

And while we have responsibilities to tend to, there’s no reason we can’t pause for a moment, and live by their example. Unfettered by the future. Unattached to the past. Following our next breathe to a deeper peace and appreciation of everyday life. That sunny spot on the carpet. Those tasty tootsie rolls in the cat litter.

Montana photo by Joslin Fields

These fur-balls forgive us our sins (as we forgive theirs.) They pay no mind to our superficial distractions, fears and flaws. They don’t long to be leaner, stronger or prettier. They don’t need the coolest device, car, cash or perfect mate. They don’t judge gender, religion, race, appearance or smelly pits (that may even be a bonus.)

They accept what is, without regret, and they feel ecstatic just to be alive. Sniff the breeze. Go for a walk. Or rest in your holy presence.

Compared to us, they need very little, and they appreciate a whole lot. They save us from ourselves with their depth of love, loyalty, life, and uninhibited being-ness. If we mess-up, they don’t love us any less. They never question if we’re good enough.

And when they stare into our eyes – the love hormone, oxytocin – is released into our blood stream. And theirs. Fur free.

So go totally insane with joy. Over anything. Be your own oxytocin dispenser. We may not have everything we think we need, but we can be happy anyway, just like they are.

This earth is filled with creatures who increase our capacity for connection. Wonder. Joy. Just have a laugh at an animal video. Cuddle your cat. “Wag more Bark less.” Be pawsitive. Smile at an ordinary day. It all lets the love stream in. And out. Right where you are. Just as you are.  

It’s easy peasy doggy sneezy.

The Divine Giveaway ENDS tomorrow, Friday, 3/31!

Check out the FREEBIES – before it’s over…

The gifts are specifically geared for spiritual seekers – especially entrepreneurs, coaches, intuitives, holistic therapists, energy therapists, healers, etc…

Simply sign up and you can download any or all of the FR*EE gifts :)

– ebooks, audio trainings, audio meditations, video trainings, checklists, assessments, programs, healing sessions, intuitive sessions, services and much more…

Go get your goodies now – There’s tons of support and inspiration!

~~~~

with lotsa love & thanks (to fur friends, far and wide,)

and to us, their hilarious, hapless humans,

XO Julie

Share Button

There was an Angel Dancing at the Park

Share Button
%22Angels believe in you. Jan Phillips - angelcloud

Last Saturday, I was sitting at Heaven Park (my favorite pond where my heron friends feed,) feeling kinda angry and sorry-for-myself after an argument with my hubby. Sigh. I asked my divine dad & my angels to help me return to peace and stop blaming anything or anyone else for my unrest. And then I went on with my day – writing, reading, gazing, watching the gold finch, and snacking.

 A few hours later, as I’m getting ready to leave, (feeling much more aligned after my time-out in Mother Nature’s nursery,) I look up and there’s this triumphant Angel, tiara and all, cheering me on from above. I laughed out loud! Or perhaps she’s toasting the world while dancing a cheeky cha-cha. Whatever she was doing in the clouds, it was the perfect tonic for old sour feelings.
cloud angel As I took a slew of pictures, another angel image, with what looked like big open arms, came up underneath the first brassy gal… see him? Well, what matters most (for me) is my own looking glass. What matters most for you, is your personal spectacles – that’s what will seize the day and make it troubled or triumphant. We always have that choice.
What uplifting lens will we choose to look through today…?
How do YOU shift a crummy mood? Take a walk? Write? Read? A snooze? Yoga? Music? Art? Facebook? A cruise? :) 
Let me know in the comments… 
%22You will never influence the world by trying to be like it. Sean McCabe I was recently interviewed, along with 30 others, for an inspiring online video interview series called,
This series is to help folks stop feeling frustrated, get clear about what’s right for them & take inspired action to create a life that lights ’em up.
We are meant for more than an everyday routine don’t you think? Our dreams are not going to materialize by fitting ourselves into a pre-designed package that society expects.
Imagine being able to:
Deeply access our powerful intuitive guidance.
Achieve our goals with confidence.
Live a life of deep meaning & profound joy. Yay.
Discover practical tips and tricks, new ways of thinking, simple practices, and powerfully inspiring stories to jumpstart the journey to becoming all we’re meant to be.
Wishing you…
a new creative lens, and the 
the willingness to keep looking up, 
the courage to keep looking within,
the inspiration to keep looking forward
& heavenly angels to dance you toward your dreams…
~~~~~~
xoxo Julie 

My Watercolor Cards

Holiday Watercolors

Inspirational Magnets & Bookmarks

YouTube 

My Huffington Post Blog

My art at RedBubble 

www.nothingshortofjoy.com

%22You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved

Share Button

What Has You Hogtied? Rescuing a Peace of the Wild

Share Button
The Peace of the Wild Things Wendell Berry

Click on photo to enlarge (for easier reading!)

After a painful money-argument with the hubster, I head to my favorite park for some healing perspective. As I leave, Bill tries to hand me two slices of his homemade whole wheat bread for the ducks. I pull the door shut in response.

At the pond, I immediately spot the gorgeous great blue heron. The sight of her, and this natural world, always wows me. My breath deepens.

The ducks and geese bring their downy babies. Their seamless water-wake further muffles my turmoil. I throw a few paltry pieces of sandwich crust, wishing I’d taken Bill’s peace offering.

I notice one gosling, swimming alone. When she finally comes to the water’s edge, she can barely stand. She struggles up and plunks down. Up and down until she loses her footing and tumbles back down the embankment. Oh no! The mama goose squawks and runs alongside her baby, helpless.

My heart has dashed outside my body and wrapped itself around this gosling goddess. Animals have always captured my soul. Once, while trying to rescue a fish that was dangling on a hook and line, stuck in branches, I fell into a very stinky pond. The camera in my pocket was never the same. But the fish was freed.

Finally the lil trouper gosling goes up, down, up, down and makes it to the grass. I exhale. I realize my stress won’t offer her strength. So I close my eyes and start sending healing energy. It’s all I’ve got. But according to our Dr. Emoto’s rice experiment, it’s enough.

As I call in the angels, the rest of the geese family continues grazing a few feet away. The diligent parents keep an eye on me. Eventually they relax and begin their extensive primping. I appreciate their trust.

The self I am when I listen… Nature is my wisest self made visible outside of me.Edveeje Fairchild

The Lil Goddess grazes and preens, too, but in an odd sitting position. She seems unfazed. Maybe her leg is just sprained.

The other goslings slowly move behind me, as they graze. Lil Goddess awkwardly inches in their direction and ends up right in front of me, only a foot away.

I am in love.

I continue my prayers. Then Lil Goddess starts peeping softly at my feet. I open my eyes and get the distinct feeling I need to WATCH. LOOK. I stare at the adorable fur ball and breathe. As she tries again to stand (but can’t) I see it. There’s a fish hook in one webbed foot and it’s attached to taut fishing line that’s binding the other leg.

Oh no, help!

I need Bill.

I phone in the troops. Ten minutes later, my family arrives, ready for action. Bill has various tools, and those two slices of bread. My anger has washed away.

It can sound selfish to take a break or go off to a quiet place. But as soon as you do sit still.Pico Iyer

One son has two pole grabbers (which I use to reach things at home) in case we need to fend off panicked geese parents.

My family huddles for the game plan. My oldest and I will use the bread to lure the geese further onto the grass. Bill and my youngest will fall in behind Lil Goddess and grab her. Gently.

Hoo boy, I’m nervous. Geese can be fierce and we’re about to break their trust. There must be twenty other geese hanging out in the shade ten feet away. Will they attack when we grab the goddess?

Suddenly one of the geese parents lets out a HOWLING HONK and dashes straight at Bill, who is now holding Lil Goddess – he got her! Bill hands her to my youngest (who is thrilled) as my oldest continues to throw bread, grabbers at the ready.

But the geese parents are suddenly uncharacteristically quiet and polite. Maybe they know we’re here to help?

Bill and I get to work.

Lil Goddess squirms at first but then relaxes. The barbed hook has left several holes in her black webbing and is presently piercing through two spots. Bill starts to snip the hook and gently ply and weave until . . . it’s out!

We switch to the other leg to remove the fishing line. It’s a tangled mess, and it’s very tight on her leg. Bill clips carefully at a few spots and, at last, I find an end to unwind and unwind and unwind until . . . it’s off! There are deep indentations where the line had been constricting her. Ouch. But there aren’t any serious wounds. Phew.

My youngest sets her down and she runs for her family. Free at last!

Joy!

Other than a slight limp, Lil Goddess is looking dandy . . . and no one was goosed. Mission accomplished, on several levels.

I came to the pond hoping to free myself. Life gave me an unexpected opportunity to offer freedom, instead. Without my having to try, it came back around and released me from my anger. It’s still astonishing how that works.

Don't just do something. Sit there

Bill gives me a hug as my family leaves the sanctuary. In my quiet hours ahead, the goose family comes and goes several times. Each time, Lil Goddess lags five minutes behind. Aw. My heart can so relate.

I spent my childhood feeling I could never keep up with my peers, my life. I thought I would always stumble and fall, up, down, up, down, because of my arthritis and dwarfism.

Lil Goddess’s predicament echoed my own binding BS (Belief Systems). When I feel fear (False Evidence Appearing Real,) and I withhold love from anyone, I deprive myself. It’s an angry tangled mess.

What has you hogtied?

My mind often insists that I should analyze and solve my problems, with fierce focus, by myself. Independent. An island. Alone.

But believing in that separation is exhausting. It’s a blindfold to the ocean of help around and within me.

When I go outdoors, I pause. Watch. Breathe. Be. Somewhere in the breeze, the rippling water, the bird’s song – my mind’s fearful grip is lulled to sleep. BS can’t hold up against the vastness. My soul can re-enter and peace returns. I peep quietly at the feet of majesty. 

You do not sit down and solve problems. Thomas Merton

When we yield to the present moment, we naturally offer our love and care to the world. We are freed from worry by resting in the Oneness that we truly are. Our aliveness is always patiently waiting in the wild wings.

A lil webbed goddess showed me that.

before rescue rangers copy

Lil Goddess before the M.A.S.H rescue mission 

 

after the rescue copy 

Lil Goddess grazing, afterward 

 

resting after the rescue copy

The family of geese resting together, after the rescue : )

with abundant love and downy peace,

Julie

If you liked this story, you might also enjoy these past posts:

Where True Control Really Lies and Celebrating Everyday Miracles & Mother Nature’s Magic

Share Button

Dancing at the Division of Motor Vehicles: Transforming Drudgery into Joy

Share Button

Don't quit your daydreamI‘ve no choice. An hour ago, Bill found out he’ll be away on business all week. My license has to be renewed and I do not want to drag my boys along with me. Ugh.

It’s lunchtime…on a Friday…at the end of the month, and I’m driving to the DMV. As I’m complaining to myself about the dreaded lines, sour faces and stale air, I suddenly stop. Why am I playing the victim? There’s power in our intentions. If I don’t want a rain dance; I’d better start imagining a sunny salsa. So, I ask my angels to help me get the party started at the DMV.

Maybe I’ll meet some great people. We’ll talk and laugh and the time will fly. “Wow the line is moving so fast,” we’ll say. “Just look at how efficient and friendly the employees are. The DMV has never operated so beautifully!”

When I pull into the parking lot, my happy hula dashes on the pavement. The place is so packed that people are parking on the street. Yikes. I spy one parking place and zip in. I’m re-inspired. This is going to be good.

As a man and a woman walk in ahead of me, we smile at each other and mosey up to the same line. Soon enough, we are joking and laughing about all the paperwork we had to gather to prove our identity. The man comments on how quickly the long line is moving.  The boogie has begun.

I glance over at the two women in charge of this first line. One is somber Sally who rarely looks up. The other looks like Joan Rivers; she’s animated and engaged. I’d rather rumba with her.

As the two new friends ahead of me land with Sally, I mambo up to Joan. “Hi!” I say with cheer. “Well hello there, sweetheart! How are ya?” Joan asks. “I’m great, thanks! This line is moving so quickly, thanks to you.” “Just wait for the next line,” she warns. “Well I can still hope!” I add with a laugh.

Adversity isn't a disadvantage. It's a doorway. We get to decide how to interpret the dance.” unknown

Joan is a hand-jive expert as she clips and flips my dance cards. “Okay, babe, head on over to the next line and wait to be called.”

“Wow,” I say as I leave, “you’re good – thank you so much!”

Before I get far, I hear a loud call. “JUL-I-A!” I turn to find Joan sashaying toward me. “Will you be paying with check, cash or credit?” she asks. “Oh credit,” I answer, as Joan and I move toward the counter where everyone wants to be. “Okay, doll, wait right over there,” Joan says, as she points toward the crowd, “You’ll be called in a few.”

A few?

That’s DMV lingo for an hour. I sit down next to a pale looking soul and ask how long she’s been waiting. “Forty-five minutes,” she drones and looks away. As I reach for my book, I hear the loud speaker: “JULIA BOND GENOVESE, line five please.”

Huh?

I find line five. There’s no one in it. An employee with a disco smile asks for my Visa. She shuffles my papers and types away as I chat with a woman in the conga line next to me.

A minute later, I’m handed my Visa and my new license. I look up in shock. “Am I done?” “Yup,” she says with pearly pride. Whoa. It’s been only fifteen minutes.

As I watusi out the doors, I realize it must have been Joan. I feel as if she personally awarded me the Mirrorball Trophy. I drive home in amazement. My intention worked. I asked for fun and an angel two-stepped in.

We are so full of holes we become holy

Suddenly I realize I didn’t thank Joan! I am a dance school drop-out, an ingrate! At home I grab a copy of my memoir, Nothing Short Of Joy, and start to write an inscription. To my DMV angel? I don’t know how to address her so I leave a space and head back to DMV.

When I arrive, I see Joan and throw my arms wide and yell, “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” As we hug, I tell her that she gave me the most magical DMV experience ever. She whispers in my ear, “It’s a two hour wait today, sweetheart. I just couldn’t do it to you.”

We say goodbye, but as my spirit pirouettes toward the door, I hear a familiar call from my angel, “JUL-I-A!” As I turn toward her light, she throws a kiss and shouts, “God Bless you!”

Joan’s real name? It was Angela. Because even at the DMV, angels are always ready to dance.

Take the high road

Enjoy your dance with the divine today,

with much love & freedom = )

  Julie

If you’re looking for some self-help inspiration, check out the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Giveaway. There are tons of freebies available – Health, Wealth, Personal Fitness & Business Building Gifts. There is also some hype to wade through (sorry) and you have to register, but it’s worth it for the amount of info available. You can always unsubscribe after you find the good stuff. Be well! xoxox

Share Button

Offers from the Heart – Michelle Martin Dobbins

Share Button

We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too.Kristin Martz copy

Hey Wondrous Wayfinder,

A few weeks back, I was a guest blogger at the marvelous Michelle Martin Dobbins’ blog, DailyAlchemy.comand now she is visiting here, wOOt-wOOt!

Here’s Michelle, in her own wise words : )

Offers From the Heart

Wanna know a secret? I hate to write guest blog posts. Well, hate is a strong word but as much as I love to share my work, guest blog posts tend bring up old stories for me about whether or not what I have to offer is adequate. I tend to feel that I must deliver something worthy of the blog and its readers and I start putting pressure on myself to make sure I deliver. Then, guess what? I can’t write.

I love to write and I’m usually making little notes constantly about ideas I want to share, but when I put pressure on myself to perform it jams up the creative process. It’s a sure sign that I have my focus on how I will be perceived instead of what value I can provide.

This week, I’ve been pondering what I could share that would be worthy of Julie’s audience. Finally, I remembered this: whenever we offer our gifts from our heart, what we offer is always worthwhile. My job is to offer my abilities freely. My job is not to judge what I offer or attempt to offer a gift that is what I believe others want. I just need to offer what comes from my heart.

MichelleD

When I started Daily Alchemy, my blog, two years ago, I wasn’t selling anything. I had no books, no services and no products so I decided I would showcase other people’s “stuff.” If I met someone online via social media or through their blog and I liked what they were offering, I would immediately invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post on my blog.

I still love to do this because I enjoy offering my platform to folks, like Julie, who I know will benefit my readers. It’s wonderful because everyone involved wins. At times, I’ve found myself feeling insecure offering my blog to potential guest writers but I never had anyone say no. Even if they did, say, refuse my offer, it would have been for their own reasons and not a sign that the offer wasn’t worthy.

I always offer for two reasons; I love their work and I feel my audience would benefit from connecting with them. So even though it’s always a little scary to make these offers, I continue to do it when heart tells me to. Here’s the surprise bonus, I have made the best friendships from reaching out to people and offering them whatever I could. The only negative has been when I judged my own offer or neglected to make an offer. When my brain said my audience isn’t big enough to benefit them or what I have to offer isn’t enough.

You don’t have to be a writer in a creative field to offer your heart and your assistance to others. In fact, sharing who we are is what makes our world work. Reaching out and making connections, whether they be business connections, friendship connections, or romantic connections, makes life better for everyone.

Michelle

Here are 4 reminders for making sure you share your essence with the world:

1. Make Offers. When you get a nudge to make an offer, do it. Maybe it’s an offer to hire someone for a job, to take them to lunch or promote their work. Follow that nudge from your heart quickly before the gremlins start talking. Don’t offer what you believe someone would want, offer what you feel led to share. Take time to listen to your inner guide and you will know how you can bless others and it will always bless you too.

2. Accept Offers. If someone has made an offer to you, sincerely consider it. That doesn’t mean all offers will be a good fit, but don’t dismiss them because you feel insecure or because you don’t think the person offering has enough to offer. I take people up on offers based on how they feel. Say yes to everything that resonates, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

3. Keep Playing. Keep making connections. The fear never fully goes away but connecting with other people is worth the risk. For every connection that doesn’t pan out, another will change your life. Put yourself out there and be brave. It will widen your circle of influence and it will bless the world. It’s a win-win.

4. Don’t forget your worthiness: You have value and what you share with the world has value. If it doesn’t resonate with someone, don’t take it personally. We are all on different journeys and while our message and gifts aren’t going to be right for everyone, someone needs what we have to offer.

The best way to make sure what you are offering is going to reach the right person is to send it with love and no attachment to the outcome. May you share the light that is you and make our world a little brighter.

 

MichelleDobbins

Michelle Martin Dobbins is an author, spiritual alchemist, & reiki master who shares true stories of magic, creation, and love in everyday life on her blog at www.dailyalchemy.com. She supports people to transform their lives using love and joy. You can connect with her and get motivational snippets throughout the day on Facebook ~(https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDobbinsAuthor) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MichelleDobbins).   You can get her Free Revamp Your Vibe eKit here~ (http://michellemartindobbins.com/get-your-happy-back/)

Should you ever find yourself on your path, moving along in spite of fear...Rise anyway.” Mike Dooley

 

Share Button

Fire-Up 2015 – Simple Technique to Ignite the Light

Share Button

“What you appreciate - appreciates. Lynne Twist

Asking for help is humbling for me. But I’m trying to tear my old DIY badge off my t-shirt. So last week, I reached out for advice from a fabulous blogger, mamapreneur and writing teacher, Suzi Banks Baum at Laundry Line Divine. By allowing that relief, I’d no clue just how quickly the universe would be on the job.

Suzi listened lovingly to my woes about finding balance between home, biz and self-care. She gave me two suggestions. I also wear a badge of practicality so I’m all about homework. But. What seemed like slightly impractical ideas had my resistance popping up like a nervous prairie dog.

Her first suggestion, to feed my inner hunger, was to get together with a buddy and do art. Fun art, not “for sale” art. My shoulders slumped – I love creativity but I’ve no clue who this “buddy” would be…? Her second suggestion was to do something a little different, something new, everyday. It didn’t have to take long. And post it on FB for accountability’s sake. Okay – not sure what this will do, but I’m game.

Day One of “Do The New” ~ An old friend starts to chat on FB and suggests, out of the blue, that we should get together and make mandalas and artsy vision boards. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I feel the “New” creative powah winging in like a boomerang. THAT fast and I didn’t even try. Whoa.

Later that night more newness arrives as I’m staring sadly at our now crispy Christmas tree. I hate saying goodbye. The smell is one of my all time faves. Like camp fires, lilacs and butter in the frying pan. Then it hits me. Make a bag of pine-pourri! My spirits are immediately lifted. Now, anytime I need a pine-fix, I crush this big baggie of needles and snnnnniiiff in the goodness.

pine pourri

Day Two of “Do the Noob” ~ I set out to play with watercolors without needing to “produce” something “good.” (This is very new…) I go for rainbows, even though they are so unicorny. I hear my messy BS (Belief Systems) yammering, “you’re wasting time and expensive watercolor paper,” but I don’t listen. The exercise is a perfect foil for my lack-consciousness Bolshevik.

As I relax and let go, I create this meme about our powerful inner light. It makes me smile.

Whatever your past or your future, within you right now is a powerful light.Julie Bond Genovese

Out of the blue, I’m invited to be a guest at a book signing in NYC with Paul Williams (“The Rainbow Connection” song writer,) for his book Gratitude and Trust. The hubster and I have a new type of date!

Have a blind date with your infinite unknown self.Sara Deutsch

Day 3 – is a busy blur with my boys.

Day 4 – I take my big tub of marvelous markers & begin decorating my “Create Your Shining Year In Biz + Life workbook” from the magical Leonie Dawson. I generally resist a stodgy “year-end review.” My last blog post will give you the skinny. Finances make me fidget.

BUT.

As I doodle on the pages of my workbook, I easy-pease my way into the tougher questions, and I find I’ve done a lot more this year than I’d realized! I was so focused on “what did NOT work” I could not see ALL that DID work. Old BS can sneak up kind of ninja-like – I didn’t even notice I’d ditched my rose colored glasses.

I’m feeling a new freedom creeping in.

“Where Attention goes Energy flows. James Redfield

Without realizing it, by putting my attention on simple joys, I’ve taken my attention OFF my trouble-spots. I, the health nut, eat dessert for dinner. A big hot fudge sundae with caramel, too. I suffer no ill effects. My boys love it. Out of the blue, two new coaching clients sign up for more sessions.

Day 5 – I dive back into my “Create Your Shining Year Workbook.” As I’m blessing my belly-flops from 2014, I remember I haven’t done a “Burning Bowl of BS (Belief Systems)” to let go of 2014. So yay! I write out my BS fears and darkness, and find many fun ways to say GOODBYE (toodle-lou, peace out, so-long-sucka, take care panda bear etc,) which immediately makes me snicker!

burning bowl of BS

Lightheartedness, a sure sign of being in the moment, is THE place of powerful creation. As the BS burns, I take a picture to share with Suzi. Then I notice the note which had said, “Good riddance perfectionism and not being good enough,” had one word left in red – DANCE.

burning bowl ceremony

Let’s rumba!

Day 6 – Driving my boys to their co-op, I decide my newbie d’jour will be to strike up a deeper conversation rather than just chit-chat. Whatdaya know, the yoga teacher is just leaving as I sit down and several of us get talking about the mind-body connection. Plus one of the co-op organizers asks about my motivational talk for the teens in the spring and boing! a New idea for it bounces in like a baby bunny.

Day 7 – We go to Paul Williams’ book signing ….and I give Paul a copy of my own memoir (I’m normally not so bold…) The hubster and I haven’t had a cool date in a long awhile.

Paul Williams

Holy Obi-Wan Kenobi. I put ‘New’ on my radar and my Reticular Activating System is manifesting ‘New’ like a Star Trek replicater. When we consciously shift our focus, the universe synchronizes to whatever we choose. It’s a magic mirror that, without judgment, shows how our thoughts, feelings and FOCUS are co-creative powerhouses.

Here are some of the fun synchronicities from my week…

1.) I couldn’t find my perfect “Word for 2015” to carry through the year. Then a wondrous woman named Zhi Bell, emailed and thanked me for the “BraveHeartisty” in my memoir. My new WORD!

2.) Hubster doesn’t necessarily relate to my deep need for creative-solitude. Then out of the blue (instead of out-of-oblivion, as Abraham Hicks says,) he suggests that we take 10 feet in the garage, wall it off and make an art/writing studio – just for moi. Shut the front door.

Goodies appearing “out of the blue” are just our thoughts, visions and joys catching up to us. They’ve come to meet their maker.



3) My last blog post was about keeping the heart open. I took this photo of the crystal bear with the rainbows it casts on the wall behind it. A green sparkly light appeared at the bear’s heart center. Aw!

4.) I asked for a sign from Mother Mary (a statue, a book – anything) that she is working behind the scenes with me and my boys. Today my son shows me a temporary tattoo he’d like on his wrist. He asks what it is, and I realize it’s a fleur-de-lis. My heart skips a beat. It’s Mary’s symbol. High five.

This has been a most excellent and heart-opening exercise! The best part is that it illustrates, to we recovering control freaks, that we do NOT have to force, bribe, manhandle or continually focus on “what we desire.” If you’re like me, you’ve already ASKED for certain dreams to manifest (like, a hundred times.) It’s time to chill and rest assured that Source is on it.

Go find something fun to do in the meantime. Focus on the New. Jump into Joy.

In that space of openness, our co-creative workshop is in full bloom, year round. Just plant a little joy at a time and watch ‘em all sprout up.

Joy for its own sake. What a concept.

Fab copy

My continued assignment for this week is “Find Your Fab!” Put this on YOUR daily ta-dah list and find an accountability partner. Or tag me on Facebook. With a “simple” shift in focus, watch how the universe will line up the fun and surprising brave-heartistry just for YOU.

Banzai!

w/love and rose colored spectacles,

Julie signature copy

Share Button

Post Holiday Blues, Mindfulness and Keeping the Heart Open

Share Button

“Smile, Breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s usually sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve that my heart starts to close. As I unknowingly disconnect from home base, my BS upstairs tends to throw an embarrassing fiesta.

I barely notice the mindless partiers, at first. But as the holiday busy-ness winds down, I start tripping over their wicked heavy baggage. I feel sufficiently indignant, Grinchy and miffed, which only causes them to snuggle in closer.

There are good times, of course, but the holidays are also decked out in not-enough solitude, self-care or creative-time. This leaves the welcome mat wide open for past disappointments, high expectations and my BS (Belief Systems) to wipe their snowy feet.

Quietly ready to pop out from behind curtain #1 is the familiar BS – “I’m not enough” – and the scary feeling that my humanness is quite unsightly. “I didn’t give enough, spend enough, care enough or do enough.”

I do eat enough, however.

The goodies soothe the not-enoughness for exactly the same amount of time it takes to enjoy them. Someone called it filling “the God-sized hole.” (By the way, if you want a great book on emotional eating, I love Geneen Roth’s, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.)

I often blog about the not-enough-crew, I speak about them, I invite them in for hot cocoa and cookies… but I still don’t want to accept that they are me… and that life can get confusing and dark in here sometimes. So I’m just not gonna be a happy joy machine, 24/7. Got it.

Until.

I’m lulled by the unrealistic picture perfect Christmas ….or a New Year of “All Your Dreams Come True!” ~ it’s in the media, magazines and the restless hum of more, more, more. I’ve let those promises give me hunger pangs for years. I dangle the fairytale out beyond my reach instead of truly loving what is right in front of my red nose.

By New Year’s Eve, I tend to be secretly pouting. Growing up, we always had a rousing celebration with our family friends – 16 of us at least. We’d play Charades, Pictionary, and cards, we’d sing around the piano and eat deli sandwiches with pickles and potato chips til 2am. We’d wake up in the morning to scrambled eggs and buttered toast and maybe go skating on the lake nearby. It was remarkable.

In stark contrast, my hubster and I tend to have a quiet evening at home with our two boys. It’s like any other night….except that we watch a big ball drop and a throng of folks freezing their buns off in Times Square. We mumble things like, “why on earth would anyone GO there? How do they get out of the city afterward? Aren’t they feeling claustrophobic? Crowd-aphobic?” But suddenly I find myself wishing we HAD made New Year’s Eve plans…

I heard Christmas music playing in Staples yesterday. And that pine-scented BS in me started to whine. Where’s the magic now? The presents? The happily ever after? Why does the wonder fade?

“You suffer because of the thoughts you believe. Byron Katie

Cue up BS #2 – “The happy times from childhood are gone, sister.” I fear that I’ll never be able to create a rockstar childhood for my boys, but that I should. (Note the “I’m not enough” wiggling back in here.) And, BS #3, “I must suck at mothering.” Right now I resent it (eek) and I wanna build a couch fort and retire from the whole parenting thing. Could someone else just step in and arrange a blissful, easy life for my boys, hubby and me? Oh and a long vacation in the Caribbean. Or Disney.

Next I feel inundated with New Year’s newsletters about resolutions, goal-setting and “Your best year yet!” and it makes my butt twitch. What about the stuff I didn’t make happen this past year? Do I put it on my list, again? Trust again? Just to disappoint myself again? Is a bliss-filled life unrealistic BS?

My drama queen chimes in with BS #4 – “It’s now or never, all or nothing.” When I’m feeling joyful and grand, I tend to believe that I will never, ever close my heart again. All will be merry and bright. Always. When I’m feeling down, though, I tell myself that I never really felt all that great in the first place. I’ve finally seen my true yucky nature and it isn’t princess material.

When I believe “I’m not enough,” I try to do more and be more. But when I do more, I feel overwhelmed and disconnected, and I feel like “I’m not enough,” and then I try to do more and…

You get the cycle.

Best solution? Extreme self care. When my messy mind gets a death grip on the wheel (tell-tale signs are hopelessness, blaming, eye-poking, candy-grabbing etc…) my heart needs to gently pry the grubby fingers off. For me that requires uninterrupted solitude. Lots of it. I need to breathe. Write. Draw. De-clutter. Lighten Up. Read. Meditate. Feel.

Slow down.

Eat simply.

Open.

Be.

So while Bill was home on vacay, I slept in and stayed in my polka dot pajamas for as long as possible. I didn’t shower, blow dry my hair or put on a bra or make-up for days. I closed and locked my door. Ignored the phone and email. It. Was. Unprecedented. Heaven.

It was a permission slip to go away. And return to myself.

Wild applause please!

My attitude shifted like tectonic plates. Oh the epic relief!

“You’ve seen my descent. Now watch my rising.Rumi

My BS will insist I’m selfish, spoiled, guilty, greedy, and I’m not living up to my potential. With a bit of quiet time, I can smile at my little girl fears. I know she’ll pull out of this. She’ll forgive my imperfections and humanness. She’ll re-remember that harsh judgment just sends me chasing my sorry tail. She’ll believe, once again, that she belongs. That the world is safe for her. That I’m her champion. Even though things didn’t work out before, there is still enough time, energy and love to make it so.

It’s safe to keep dreaming.

Suddenly when I’m loving myself again, I realize that my holiday blues (or any sadness for that matter) visits when my gratitude is in the can. The hubster that I ached for, and didn’t believe I deserved, and the boys I wasn’t sure my body could ever have, are right outside my door. That’s phenomenal! And some fab friends from childhood are still by my side. Whahoo! And two fur friends on the bed nearby. Aw! And this rawkin computer that lets me reach YOU in 30 different countries (30!) Totally cosmic!

I could go on and on. And so could you. We have endless bounty going into 2015. We get to wake up to powerful gifts every day – maybe it’s that hot shower, food in the frig, trees in the yard, things to do, people to love. And I find that when I appreciate what I already have, and I let it be “enough,” it tends to grow three sizes that day. Ironic.

Even though our bank accounts can’t record these many, many intangible treasures, we are still rich. The goodness of a lifetime, the love, hopes and joys, are real and lasting. They are the foundation for daily magic.

We all face heartbreak, uncertainty, loss… but the world is experiencing a major metaphysical makeover. We’ve got a lot to live for! We’ve got so much to give and express and enjoy and love and believe in. We have a beautiful world to explore, inspiring people to meet, adventures to create and mountains to move!

Instead of bashing ourselves over the noggin every time we forget this truth, let’s just welcome the wondrous remembering. Yin and yang gives life it’s punch and aliveness.

The years we were asleep bring us more wonder when we wake up. The ways we deviated from our hearts make for an indescribable reunion with our truth. The long dark nights of the soul, make the recovery of the light even brighter. The blessings we forgot to count, inundate us when we finally remember. The times we follow fear and negativity makes learning to follow our own starlight a major WOW today.

And the BS? It’s unbelievable. It’s born of fear. Under despair, anger or numbness are the BS thoughts (not the circumstances) that are wreaking havoc. Any thought that frightens us isn’t coming from our soul. Fear doesn’t protect us – awareness does.

Michael Singer, in his beautiful book, The Untethered Soul, says it this way: “You can learn to keep your energy centers open. You do this by just relaxing and releasing. You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over. Remember if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.

Not even our losses, mistakes, failures, our inner nastiness, dreams that didn’t come true, someone else’s dreams that DID, our critics, our past, our partner or lack of one, kids, bad habits, finances, fears and flaws. Believing the BS closes our heart. Letting it all be, re-opens the flow. It takes mindfulness and courage to open. Sometimes, a donut seems quicker.

When you discover any BS driving your school bus, no need to slam on the brakes and screech at your students (we’re all life-long-learners, after all.) Just make the next legal u-turn. Gigglesnort with the passengers. They’ll probably be riding with you again, next month. Slow to a safe stop and go do what makes you smile (even if the closest you can get is in your imagination. It’s a powerful place to engage.)

Your life is beautiful. Even when a deep ache keeps you awake at night. Even as your partner walks away. Even as the bank takes your house. You have something much more radiant inside you, behind you, and ahead of you, waiting to be reborn.

You have air in your lungs and sun on your skin (or snow in your face.) You have a lot of living to keep on loving.

Whatever the question, you’re still the glorious answer.

“Who you are in not an option. You are love. Byron Katie

That amazing heart beating in your chest is willing to believe in you, again and again. That’s not foolish, that’s fabulous. That’s the joyful creator inside you who knows how to pull her head out of the sandbox, dust herself off, breathe in the present moment and enjoy the path through this luminous playground.

Here’s a wonderful poem by Rumi, to leave you with~

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.


Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,


some momentary awareness comes


as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!


Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,


who violently sweep your house


empty of its furniture,


still, treat each guest honorably.


He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.


meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.


because each has been sent


as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi

 “I was in an abusive relationship once, and I found a way out. That relationship was with myself. Byron Katie

with much love,

wholehearted living

and chocolate truffles,

Julie signature copy

Share Button

Transforming Self-betrayal in the Mirror of our Relationships

Share Button

 

Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.JulieBondGenovese

Bill fills me in on a recent fight between Ky, our 10 year-old, and Carlito, Ky’s best friend. Ky told Bill… that Carlito told Ky… that I was ugly. 

Bill stops for just a split second. But when I appear unfazed, he continues nonchalantly. Little does he know, an old sad story has scurried out from behind my eyes. And my mad attempt to squelch it, is about to backfire. On both of us.

While my rational adult-self assumes that Carlito used the comment to get back at Ky (who probably said something rude to Carlito,) my younger-self, remembering a childhood of insults and labels, feels a fearful sting.

What is ugly about me? My differences? My face? My skin? My stumpy bod? Is it when I don’t wear make-up? Or blow-dry my hair? Am I just weird and unappealing?

I’m too mortified to admit any of this. So I slam on the cone of shame. You’re being childish and ridiculous. You should be over this insecure s#**! Do NOT let anyone KNOW!

Ever told yourself these doozies?

I wait for Bill to sooth my embarrassing fears…without my having to voice them. But when he doesn’t shower me with compliments, kisses and Krispy Kreams, the smack-down begins. Ugly is no longer the issue. Bill is now on the chopping block.

BS begins to bubble and spit. If Bill, the one who knows me best, doesn’t truly understand about my pain, no one ever will. I’ll always feel very alone.

Cool smokescreen, huh? Note how skillfully BS (Belief Systems) can make the argument about something else, entirely.

It can happen in the blink of a blind eye.

Shame zips me over to the dark side. I see Bill there. Growing horns. He’s stepping into my BS minefield. I’ve already been blown to smithereens. He’s next. And he’s toast.

Funny thing about old negative BS is that, since it isn’t true or kind, it desperately scrambles to be right.

I’m sinking fast as I grab for the old defenses. Blame. Anger. Victimhood. I think these puppies can lessen the hurt by casting the problem off me. By sharing the cesspool of BS.

I’m judging myself, but I need to prove that it’s Bill doing it. Ay caramba.

Is Bill ignoring my sadness (just as I’m doing) and abandoning me in my fears (ditto again.) I replay my old story and it’s frightening ending; he doesn’t really love me (aka I’m just not that lovable.) Woe is me.

Although I’m a former Oscar nominee for hiding feelings, I expect my hero hubster should see right through my charade and save me. He should recognize what I deny. Reveal what I hide. Be effing sensitive to my old wounds.

With rapid fire, I tell Bill how he should show his love for me (since I’m not doing it) and inform him of what he should have said and done differently (guilty again.) The “shoulds” have BS written all over them.

This never ends well.

It was me who wasn’t loving me! I was guilty of every one of my charges against him. I stopped loving me the moment I judged my feelings as weak, childish, stupid. I projected my judgment onto Bill. I didn’t recognize my self-betrayal in the mirror, which was begging for my acceptance.

No problem.

When I deny my feelings, it will seem as if my pain is outside me, crawling all over someone else.

How convenient.

We can’t run from their reflection because, on a soul level, we are One with them.

Bill goes to bed, angry and confused. I sit in a slump trying to prove that he was wrong. Then I hear myself saying, “he always…” and I feel the pixie-dust tickling my toes. What I claim about him is true about me. So what is it that I always do?

Um, I always think he should be able to read my mind and heart (which I’m hiding) and take responsibility for my happiness (which I’m not doing, at the moment.)

Repeat arguments and complaints are a rawkin’ festival of Biblical-sized BS.

I pull out my notebook to do some Byron Katie exercises called, “The Work.” Arguments are an opportunity to reclaim the peace I’ve lost. The brawl I take up with “them,” is raging within moi. I want to get out of this lonely, dark place where I’m believing things that my soul would never believe about me. Or Bill. It’s a scary spot to visit because the spirit and strength of me isn’t there.

The lights are on, but the feelings aren’t allowed home.

Like children, our emotions will clamor for attention, respect, validation and love, in the most annoying ways…and people. They’ll go viral in the movie all around us – in the characters who look at us sideways. Criticize us. Call us fat. Say goodbye.

What are your ongoing complaints about others?

With accusations and denial, we inadvertently step away from our soul’s wise influence. We’re “beside ourselves” because we’re not lined up with our soul’s stream of energy.

Fortunately, our emotions are a mayday call from the soul that we’re out of synch. We’re suffering because of what we choose to believe. We need to feng shui our feelings and shift our thinking.

We can find the truth about ourselves by looking at where our fingers are pointing. Can we take the advice we hoist on others? Bless the mirror that calls us names? Make amends with our own self-cruelty?

Allow your war-torn fears to come back home.

Our greatest awesomeness is fearlessly guiding us. She has full view of the meaning behind the BS mess. She beams and calls us to the highroad. She’s unshaken by whatever ugliness we barrel into. We’re swept back into her arms when we stop battling ourselves. We plug in and power-back-on when we forgive our forgetfulness.

Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.

Take a deep breathe. Draw a quiet lavender bath. Settle your soul. Whisper sweet nothings to the Love you cast out. Your own. Woo and romance her humanness back toward the light. She will melt into tears each time you honor her broken, flawed wholeness.

When I welcome myself with open arms, I become a beautiful sight.

 

 

Wishing you soft & tender love bombs,

xo

Julie

Magnet 47

Share Button

Soul to Soul Conversations: Repairing Relationships with Ex’s, Enemies and Gnarly Earthlings

Share Button

When my hubby, Bill, had told his ex, Ann, that I was pregnant with our first son, she’d said, “That woman should not be passing on her bad genetics to another generation.”

Criminy.

I’d imagined folks who’d felt that way about my dwarfism, but she was the first broad to blurt it out.

It was ten years down the line, after their divorce, and Ann was still railing against Bill. Any phone call turned into a dump fest. She hadn’t let their daughter come to our wedding. She made visitations difficult. She blamed and badgered. It was infuriating to watch.

Occasionally she threw some ridonkulous zingers at me. After I’d gnaw on them awhile, I’d let ‘em go. As Anne Lamott would say, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Thankfully, Ann lived across country – I never had to face the rat.

Until.

My step-daughter was getting married. We’d be flying out west, straight into Ann’s nest. She’d have the hostile home-field advantage. Gulp.

Suddenly, the old grudges I thought I’d “let go,” were squawking. I’d had a hidden addendum: “let it go, except in cases of possible attack. Then haul out the poison to defend yourself!” I started rehashing the past; Ann pulled this and that crap…she’s critical, defensive and needs to be RIGHT. She tells herself she’s better than I am. Will she make a scene at the wedding? 

When ex’s or painful relationships are involved, all self-help tools and techniques tend to be toast. Hoo boy.

What was it about Ann that I was fighting in myself? Where could I find common ground for the sake of my step-daughter? For the sakeof peace? It’s ten years down the line and I am still critical, defensive and needing to be RIGHT. I tell myself I’m better than her.

Rings a bell.

I decided to have regular (imaginary) soul-to-soul conversations with Ann every night before bed. It would be an ongoing prayer in hopes of bridging our differences. I’d try, for once, to visualize Ann as a friend. A sister. Underneath the hairy heartaches, I believe we’re one human family. We’re mirrors of each other’s unresolved pain. Here was an opportunity to test my mettle.

Bill had told me a bit about Ann’s tough childhood. She and I had probably shared similar humiliation, rejection, loneliness. Who hadn’t? In our soul-to-soul, I told her I understood. That she was lovable, anyway. She was stronger than she thought. I saw her shoulders and defenses drop. Our eyes teared up. In the end, we hugged like sisters. Laughed over our pettiness.

And she’d apologize.

The next night, I started our ‘conversation’ with motherhood. I’d silently criticized her parenting, a LOT. Now that I had my boys, I told her, I could better understand why she’d been a royal pain in the patootie. She’d been a protective mama bear. We commiserated about the demands and confusion of raising kids. I imagined the mayhem  of being a single mom. I said I admired her. I was rooting for her. We ended up hugging and laughing.

Our ‘conversations’ went on for several weeks. Often, I still regressed into finger pointing over some past insult. It was embarrassing how much I’d held onto, just like her. It wasn’t easy to let it go, but I’d be sure to end the visualization with us hugging and laughing.

And she’d apologize.

As the wedding drew closer, I was feeling…better. Whether or not my prayers reached Ann was no longer the point. Whatever happened, I could step back and see her soul. Without the old defenses within me, I could remember the beauty within her. I hoped.

Our family flew out for the wedding. The first meet-up with Ann would be at the reception venue where friends were helping to decorate. As we pulled into the parking lot, Bill said in shock, “There’s Ann.”

Huh? Oh no. Ambush.

I tried to shake off the nerves and put on a smile. I slammed the car door and, with determination, headed for Ann. But in my intense focus, I somehow missed seeing the tiny curb ahead. I’d built up enough momentum that when my clog caught the lip, suddenly I became a speed-walking projectile, careening straight toward Ann. Oh help.

My replacement hips and knees have little flexibility, so by the time I reached her, I was practically horizontal. As I felt myself going down, panic erupted.

But wouldn’t you know. The demon (er, darling) . . . actually caught me. Yup. I landed in her arms. She didn’t let me fall – she lifted me up. She straightened what had gone crooked.

The beauty of the metaphor was lost on me. I felt like a clumsy idiot at the feet of my old foe. But somehow, together, we ended up . . . hugging. And laughing.

And I apologized.

The weekend went shockingly well. Ann was a kind hostess; she asked if my boys needed snacks; she offered me a quiet place to rock my youngest to sleep; she complimented Bill on his toast to the beautiful bride. Shut the front door.

As we fly back home, I scratch my oversized noggin in awe. My soul-to-souls had soothed their toughest target. Me. Who knows if Ann, too, had been praying for help. For healing. For the love of her only daughter. For her past and her ex. For soulful understanding across the great divide. 

All I know for sure is that at the wedding table that day, as we dined on humble pie, a sweet peace was gratefully served up, too.

 

 

with love & understanding,

xo Julie

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

The Tender Power of Love Bombs, Mindfulness and Prayerful Intentions

Share Button

People mill about the magazine rack near my cozy chair at Barnes and Noble. In between chapters, I send them silent love bombs. I hope, somehow, their day is brightened. That they feel unexpected relief. I especially focus on the grumpier sorts, or the two loud women, or the dude who’s a bouquet of cigarette smoke, or the crying child and angry mum (my personal fave).

On the other side of the rack, a scrawny pair of corduroy legs with a metal cane catches my eye. I feel . . . a bond. For years, I was convinced that my dwarfed, arthritic body could only bring me rejection and pain. Eventually, I’d realized I’d adopted those practices toward myself. Ouch. I wonder if the tired corduroys have done the same. 

Silently, I begin the Prayer of Thy Healing Angels from Lorna Byrne. I started this habit a while ago when I realized how disconnected I felt from the world. I’d reserved my energy for a small circle of friends and family. But there was suffering all around and I felt powerless to help. I was not particularly philanthropic. Activists made me squirm. 

Years of soul-searching, though, left me with a deeper compassion for myself and so a growing empathy for others. Even the chowderheads. The very least I could do was send them light.  

I’d thought my love bombs would be altruistic. Then a weird thing happened. It was helping me. Comforting me

Wait. 

I was trying to be selfless, darn it. Making up for lost time. So I added more ‘tangible’ random acts of kindness. I paid for people’s car tolls. I bought little kid’s “art” at craft fairs. I waved cars out in front of my car. I let people go ahead of me in grocery store lines (especially moms with kids). It all felt awesome. For me. Hm. 

When family or friends would ask me to keep a certain person in my prayers, I’d always believed it was to help them. It took me awhile to realize that when I reached out with positive thoughts, I was likewise feeling calmed, cherished, elevated. 

Sweet. 

This is good news for the insecure, self-serving, distracted parts of me that don’t want to give unless it’s reciprocal. It turns out that it is always reciprocal. Fire at will.  

The man uneasily squats down in front of the magazines. I feel a familiar rush – envy and amazement. My whole life, I’ve ached to do deep knee bends. At night, sometimes I dream I can hug my knees to my chest, kneel, straighten my arms, tie my own shoes, or some other Olympian feat. Such indescribable joys! Then I wake up. 

A sadness follows me for a while. It takes time to adjust my antenna back to what I can do. 

Sir Corduroy rises out of his Herculean squat. As he steadies his wobbliness, I quietly cheer. Those legs aren’t as nifty as some, but they’re doing the best they can. I bless his regal body. Then I realize, with surprise, I’m appreciating my own. 

I’ve come to love this cherub bod far more than I ever thought possible. Wow. She won’t win any beauty contests or marathons. She won’t be dazzling any runways or airbrushed on the pages of Vogue. She’s a broken down vehicle in a showroom of BMWs. She turns heads for all the hard reasons. But she’s my bombshell anyway. She’s gone the whole freakin’ distance with me and for me. She’s beautiful for all the right reasons. 

My dear body has been a relentless teacher. She’s a megaphone for what matters and she’s a barometer for when I forget. She’s my home on this earthly adventure my spirit longed to explore. She lets me take a crack at loving the ‘unlovable.’ She asks for compassion in the midst of pain, surgery and lifelong scars. 

Sometimes, I sulk over an old wound. I freak about the future. There are days when my knee swells up or my shoulders hurt from typing, painting or sleeping. Then I remember the simple practice. It’s free and painless – I take my mind off my problems by praying for friends and strangers. Taking a vacation from my noisy complaints, fears, and impending doom heals the distance between us. It summons the soul.

In my periphery, as I watch cane and corduroys limp away, my eyes tear. I feel a new tenderness for myself, through him. I remember how far I’ve come. Life has bombed me back.

So when loss knocks at my door, a health issue barges in, an economy tanks, a friend walks away, a relationship ends, money is scarce, hope dies or my dinner burns, I lean into the light. I shift my incendiary BS (belief system) away from “I’m separate and alone” and remember my dreams are interwoven with yours. 

Whatever we give, we get to keep. 

Whether you pass a car accident or you’re stuck in traffic – whether you have to see the doctor, lawyer, or your ex – whether you’re in pain or you’re being a pain, load up on love bombs. Go nuclear. It will bless your own burns.

Begin with the next person you see or think of. Nail ‘em with light. Then open your catcher’s mitt. It’s coming back home, brighter than before. 

Bombs away people.

 

 

with lotsa love & ginormous joy,

~Julie

Share Button