Blame it on the heat wave here in So Cal. Or say its because it's been one of those days when the circus came to town and even though they aren't your monkeys, you still wanna help. Maybe its poor nutrition, a restless night, a pain in the neck or just the upazidics, whatever it is, it is just what it is.
So I will say, not night. No blog tonight. I have a headache. But then I see, I blogged in spite of myself, my achy eye, my swollen feet. Hot or no, even if you say not tonight, having a headache doesn't always preclude the blog.
So there you have it. Good night.
I was driving home this evening from dinner with a friend who always has lots to say about life, love and liberty. I am a good audience for folks like this. But the conversation always turns to that same question from my friend: "What's up in your life?" And I go blank.
"Not much,", I say with a bit of chagrin. "Same old same old."
"Oh, really, you must be kidding."
I shrug my shoulders. "No, not much going on. Nothing new."
I could have told her I was writing my blogs again. And that I created a phlog. "What's that?" she would have said with a chuckle. "It's a photo blog. I post an image and talk about it."
"Oh," she would say. Then silence.
I could talk about working with my friend at his estate sales. Those have been rather challenging of late. Lots to do, difficult or emotional clients. People in transition often are, shall we say, interesting to work with. And I mean that in every sense of the word.
My friend asks about estate sales. I tell her they have become rather similar of late, running together, forgetting who had what and what their stories were. Of the last six sales I've helped with, five of them have had leather recliner/sofas. That's interesting...until its not.
So I guess sometimes its no wonder that sometimes I sit down to write my blog and my mind seems empty. The blank page is daunting. And yet I yearn to write. I know the muse will come. Just begin to write. Much like I did hear. And something will come. It almost always does.
Did you know that if you feed something, it flourishes more than if you just let it fend for itself? This morning I was doing my now weekly ritual of feeding my garden plants and thinking about how richly they have rewarded me with surprise blooms and the prospect of tomatoes and apricots coming soon. This is the first year I have religiously fed my landscape and garden and, oh boy, am I pleased. It seemed paying attention and feeding is the key after all!
I use Miracle Gro in moderate amounts on just about everything. I love that it is called Miracle Gro, because it does seem like a bonafide miracle. That started me thinking. Like my yard, when we give attention and nourish our vision, we often call into reality our dreams. I wanted a lovely yard, and now, because I have been disciplined enough this year to do what it takes, it is blossoming (literally) into something I am proud of and inspired by.
I also do regular weeding and pruning and raking up the debris of the sycamore and pine trees. Funny how all that helps. Don't laugh, but I actually talk to the plants as I go along. They seem to like that. Remember when talking to your plants was the latest "thing". Turns out they were/are onto something. This also works in all areas of your life!.
Out of this meditation, I came to think about how we can "Miracle Gro" the other areas of our lives so easily. All we have to is look for the good and praise it.* What we give our attention to, we help to thrive. We attract more of the same into our lives. I know, because when I fall into feeling sad or sorry for myself, the Universe is happy to support that.
Anyway, I thought I would share this while it was fresh in my mind. And I also want to remind myself that this is how it works. The miracle occurs when we feed our dreams by doing what it takes to make them come true. Not only in the garden, but in your daily life, loves and dreams.
*I first heard this phrase was I was practicing the science of mind with Religious Science. I just Googled it, and apparently the phrase can be attributed to Alex Haley in his writings.
How many nights have you gone to bed, fully expecting to wake again in the morning? How many times have to fallen asleep fully expecting to find the world much the same and all the people you love and care about still there? I know I have...almost every night of my life. Truth be told, most of the time I don't give it any thought. But sometimes things do change, things are not the same and people are gone before you have said good-bye.
June 6 is one of those days that has several anniversaries for me. One is a "world" anniversary, another is a personal change anniversary and the third is the anniversary of the day someone very close to me left without saying goodbye.
June 6, 1945. D-Day. Invasion of Normandy. Turning the tide against an evil empire. 75 years ago. Many of those who stormed those rocky shores are gone now, but the few who are left are not forgotten. Praise be. Sincere thanks is due for their service. I heard that at least three of those brave soldiers parachuted once again from the original planes that carried them so many years ago. I have nothing but admiration for them and all those who risked everything to bring peace and freedom back from the brink of loss. Hands folded.
June 6, 2002. Local gay man whom I did not know was fatally stabbed in what was a brutal attack in downtown Riverside. It was in the parking lot behind a LGBT "safe" gathering spot. A birthday celebration. It was also across the parking lot from the First Congregational Church. The man's name was Jeffery Owens. I attended the vigil in the parking lot the next morning. Most of the congregation who were in service that Sunday morning joined the vigil. For me, everything changed. Because of Jeffery, I became an activist. Because the church showed up, I joined it. For years I was changed. Some may recall we established the Jeffery Owens Community Center. Although it has faded away, the memory of Jeffery, that night and those who showed up, have had a lasting effect on me, my life, and the way I live still today.
June 6, 1976. I got an early morning phone call. My grandmother was calling. I had been packing, ready to go back to Detroit to see my mother who was in what would be called hospice today. My grandmother told me Mom had died during the night. I didn't get to say good-bye. I still went back to my first home. My life stopped for six or seven long weeks. But eventually my grandmother said its time for you to go home. Home. I learned the meaning of home that month. My mother is always with me. Forty-three years hasn't changed that, but the grief has morphed into something much richer. Fond memories, love and positive regard. My mom told my grandmother before she died that she didn't want me to see her "that way". Moms. Lucky kids who have ones who always are looking out for them.
This was one of those days that started with good intentions. I was going for five days in a row blogging. And here it is, almost 8:30pm, and I'm finally just sitting down and knocking something out. Well, that is not really a bad thing because the important thing is to write. So right or not, I write...like a rite of commitment.
Seriously, so much of what we do is just showing up. So here I show up, sit down and share. It may not be much tonight, but it is something. And there you have. Just a reminder to me, and to whomever thinks about not showing up, show up. Its better than not showing up at at!
So there I was, minding my own business, having wrestled with the idea that I hadn't thought about my vision (dream) for my life was, when out of the blue, on Twitter no less, a therapist friend of mine tweeted about this article:
I truly belief that the Universe is always listening or in synchronicity or the "ask and you shall receive" prophecy. In any case, this article, although aimed at therapists envisioning their ideal life, it really asks the questions that need to be asked when you are trying to achieve your dream or just a happy life.
What time do you want to get up in the morning?
What time do you want to go to work?
What time do you want to leave work?
What time are you wanting to exercise?
Times for breakfast, lunch dinner, and with whom?
Who are your clients, and what are their problems?
How do you want to feel?
How much money do you want to have?
How much free time do you want?
Do you want to do volunteer work, when, for whom and how often?
To answer these questions might just assist me, for instance, in discovering what it is I really do want out of life. Some barometers to help find the answers are thinking about when I'm most happy. When do I feel like I'm doing what I want to do? Who's priority am I getting in line with? Interesting.
What do you think?
So I have been thinking, which is always dangerous as it can lead to action...or inaction, and both possibilities are fraught with consequences. Some consequences are intended or desired, like success, fame, fortune, satifaction. Other consequences are not intended such as failure, disillusionment, alternative unexpected success, love, pain and on ad infinitum.
Anyway, all this thinking has led me to wonder how one makes their dreams come true. Well, first, I suppose, is to have a dream. What is a dream? Its a desirable outcome, result or realization that brings happiness and satisfaction to your life. At least that is what I understand it to be. And the best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.
But what if you have trouble figuring out what your dream is? I've struggled with this my whole life. I am not sure I have ever had a clearly defined, well thought out dream (vision) of what it is I want to be when I grow up. Funny thing, I grew up in spite of that. And now here I am, 67 years later, still trying to figure it out.
So now I understand. To have a dream come true, you must first have a dream. That is so simple it is almost scary. Yet now I can tell you how not to have a dream come true: don't have one. Argh. And so there you have it. Time to start dreaming. It's never, as they say, too late.
"Life handed him a lemon,
As Life sometimes will do.
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through.
They came upon him later,
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment, drinking
A glass of lemonade."
The above poetic rendition of the phrase entitled The Optimist appeared in a 1940 edition of The Rotarian:
I'm no Pollyanna, but I truly do believe most negative events in our lives can have a surprising positive effect. Call me crazy, but even you calling me crazy might cause me to stop and think about what I'm doing in a different light. Maybe looking on the bright side of life isn't always possible as they sing in Monty Python's Life of Brian. But I would like to think every cloud really does has a silver lining. (The sun is up there no matter what).
Anyway, it is the first of the new month. As with every new month, I always think now is the time to start new things, clean out closets, work on establishing new habits. Of late I have been thinking I really should review my subscriptions and auto payments taken from my debit card. But of course I procrastinated. I would do it one day soon, just not today.
Well, the Universe was listening and decided to take matters into its own hands. At 3am this morning a mysterious debit was attempted to a strange "customer service" organization in Boca Raton Florida. $44.14. Odd amount. Odd charge. I was concerned...and so was my credit union.
Today being Saturday, I was surprised to hear from them at 9am. A recorded voice asked about that charge:
Do you recognize it?
Okay, we will block your card from further charges. You will need to come to the branch to get a new card issued.
And so I did. It was the only strange charge thank goodness. New card. New PIN. Set to go. Then I realized I would need to review and update any regular withdrawals from my debit card. Aha! The Universe had forced me to do what I have been putting off. Lemonade from lemons. Cleaning up my accounts. Yay.
But there is one thing in all of this that I have to wonder. When did the Universe move to Boca Raton? Isn't that where the Golden Girls lived?
Okay then. June is off to a good start. First blog of this month, second in two days. Things are looking up. And as I am now canceling several unwanted/unneeded/unused subscriptions, I will save a bit of money to boot.