Debapalooza 2013!

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Debapalooza 2013 rocked tonight! Sitting with my two little boys on my bed we played our air guitars and drums while singing our hearts out to Elton John, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Owl City, Danny Gokey and Rob Thomas. They were songs about losing love, betrayal, rocketing to the moon and enjoying the wonder and magic of life. After four tough years our adoption of each other is complete, and as we looked into each others eyes we sang the words, with full understanding, of what they meant to each of us; ‘It’s hard to deal with the pain of losing you‘, ‘don’t stop believing‘, ‘Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids‘.

Midway through our concert, one of the little monkeys, made his way to curl up in my lap like a newborn and force a rocking motion to the music, finding a place in himself to roll between infant and his 11 years. The other turned upside down with his feet over his head in some acrobatic mold without releasing his little fist’s firm grasp around my pointy finger.

We belted out: ‘Don’t let the sun go down on me‘, ‘You may need me there to carry all your weight, but you’re no burden I assure You, tide me over With a warmth I’ll not forget, but I can only give you love’

We shifted position to our backs and lay snuggled together, one under each of my arms. As I gently tapped one’s hip and the others belly, we finished with a beautiful rendition of, Wonderful World, by a lovely Hawaiian man, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, and something became clear to me. Together we were healing – and it was good.

I dedicate ‘Ever the Same’ by Rob Thomas to all three of my brave children. May we always hold each others hearts.

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Suffering is only pain’s desperate need for a friend

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Sometimes the truth, the adult, mature, balanced, right and good truth, is actually irrelevant. While an enlightened view of painful situation is a sign of some hard work and evolved growth, and it is true, that a new perspective and the practice of mindfulness is an element of healing, there is an important facet that our ‘hurry up and finish grieving’ culture, is loosing. Heart.

If your child steps on glass and cuts their foot, you pick them up, dress the wound, give a kiss and carry them for a little longer. You know the glass is gone but the experience for the child has been very real and very painful. They are sure it will never be safe to walk on the ground . . . ever again. Even though you know the immediate threat is over, it is safe, and their perspective of the ground is no longer true, you carry them anyway to support their need in regaining a sense of security.

As you carry them you talk about how sometimes there will be glass or possibly other sharp objects, but mostly there isn’t. How it is safe to walk even after the experience, because it has made them aware of themselves in the world, and has enhanced their ability to see potential harm. We, as the adult, talk the child into looking down at the ground from the safety of our arms to see for themselves, that all is clear.

Over the course, of whatever time it takes, we answer their tentative questions and agree, that while the truth is, there are still sharp objects, there are not many, and that if they happen to get cut again this experience has taught them that they will in fact survive getting injured. That after the injury, they can once again enjoy the feeling of being barefoot in the grass or the sand or the water. That they can move forward assured that they are even stronger now and are ready to feel freedom and joy once again.

They need to be put back down, in time, their time – when the extremes of fear have subsided and only tentativeness is left.

As friends to others we must understand that grief is not civilized, not sensible, not pretty. It distorts thought, seems irrational, and can be a snotty, crazy making mess. It is not to be rushed, belittled or compared to. We must have compassion and patience for the feelings of pain that threaten to turn another’s insides completely out.

Likewise we must view ourselves from this same perspective. Be humane and kind to ourselves when we have faced injury. We must be the friend for our pain and be reassuring, that the response of grief has a life of its own and deserves our accommodation and attention. We all just want to be noticed, we just want someone to see, to really see, how much it hurt. In life, pain will come but suffering is not necessary. Suffering is only pain’s desperate need for a friend.

Cherries and other yummy stuff!

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Last night, 11:29 pm, I was preparing to have some ‘me’ time.

Heating pad?                        check!

Tea?                                     check!

Medicine cards?                   check!

iPhone?                                check!

Kids asleep?                        check!

Empty bladder?                   check!

Room to myself?            check!

After the scene was set, I crawled into bed. For me, some days, when I feel bedtime creeping close it’s as if I’m the Arctic Fox making my way towards a dry windless burrow in the middle of the wild frozen tundra. My movements are slow and calculated as I check for the safety of my surroundings and dream of the comfort I will enjoy after the hard labors of hunting and gathering in such a harsh environment.

I know, drama queen – right? You would think I was suffering. You would think my life hard. It’s not – not by ANY stretch. Yes, I’m a mother of three, have little in the way of monetary security but am totally blessed with an amazing husband, great kids and a network of friends to seriously envy! But, I’m sensitive – I mean really sensitive! I felt shame when I heard it growing up; “Oh, Debra (with the sound of exhaustion) you’re so dramatic!” “Oh, Debra (eye roll here) you’re so sensitive!”

Here’s the thing – it is because of this ‘sensitivity’ that I can see, hear and feel spirit. It is because my radar is a bit off center, which I am able to have experiences like the one to follow. I don’t often understand the how or why of it all; Spirit communication? Psychic ability? Remote viewing? Not important right now, really, but truly fascinating and I look forward to more being revealed.

So I get myself settled in last night and I think of my dear close friend Carolyn. I send her a text requesting her approval to focus on her and pull an Animal Medicine card. (I always ask permission, as it would be tantamount to pressing my face up against someone’s living room window and spying.)

Carolyn:

“Absolutely – you can pull cards for me anytime!”

In preparation for pulling a medicine card I sit comfortably, back against my heating pad and headboard, I breathe deep. I focus on seeing the colors of my charka open; red, now orange, yellow, now green, blue, purple and now brilliant white! I see Carolyn now in this bright space of my meditation and right to the left of her head I see three little cherries with their stems attached. I open my eyes and think “Debra, you’re such a weirdo. Cherries? People are not eating cherries! It’s winter and that must be your imagination.” Now my critic can be quite the skeptic, and while on one hand I am glad for that (keeps me grounded) on the other hand it can make trusting information difficult. I don’t pull a card an instead, text back:

Me:

“Did you eat something with cherries? I saw cherries.”

Carolyn:

“Yes.”

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“Did you get my photo?”

Me:

“Laughing my freaking a#$ off!”

Carolyn:

“Made me smile ear to ear. Only candy I ate tonight!”

“You never fail to amaze me, my favorite super stalker!”

Me:

“Funny thing is I saw 3 cherries!! Stems and all!!”

Like I said – Yummy! It’s the topping on my cake; the cream cheese frosting! Life can be tough, cold and harsh. It is, at the same time, full of joy, opportunity and love; but beyond all the experiences that life, in this physical form holds, we have access to the great mystery of an expanded awareness, the awakening of a spiritual depth, and the choice of a joyful deliverance at any moment! I’m so glad now, to be that ‘sensitive’.

Of energy dogs and empty spaces

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I was in for my 10 a.m. cranial-sacral treatment with a naturopathic physician after a traumatic highway crash (A treatment I highly recommend for an incredible healing experience). It is a multi modality office of talented health professionals; chiropractors, massage therapists and the excellent Dr. I’m about to see. I lay comfortable and ready for the treatment, on my back and fully clothed. During the treatment, all I will feel is the placement of the practitioners hands at specific locations on my body. As she gently places her hands to cradle the back of my head I can ‘feel’ dogs over my left shoulder, barking and quite vicious.

I have not come to accept my aptitude for mediumship or psychic abilities at this point, even though for the last six months I have had awe inspiring, and shocking experiences with spirit. My denial of these experiences was still high, and I wrestled ever day with the wonder of what was happening to me.

I can now sense two Rottweilers and another dog I cannot place, but there are three of them and the ‘vision’ won’t stop. In my mind, I calm myself, take some deep breaths, meditate on the ‘Light’ and think, “ok, maybe this is just some weird manifestation created in my mind because I have some unresolved anger?” I try to listen incase my unconscious is trying to communicate some old issue that my uncooperative, nail biting, overeating self, is trying to ignore. But no! – Quite literally, these are dogs, and they are going nuts over my left shoulder and about 4 inches from my ear. I decide that maybe the woman treating me, was woken to dogs this am, was somehow annoyed and was now transferring her annoyance to me. Honestly! I had no freaking idea! I’m had been searching for answers to the weirdest things lately.

“ummm, can I ask you a question?” I bravely extend my potential for perceived, or possible proof of, insanity.

“sure” in a questioning tone she replies.

“did you have some annoying issue with dogs recently? Like did you wake up to dogs barking this morning?”

“no”

Ok, so clearly I may just be nuts! Come on Debra you have to be prepared to accept that finally you may have turned some corner into Nuttyville!

“umm, well, I’m trying to relax but, I know this might sound weird but, ummm I keep feeling these dogs, kind of ummmm, over my shoulder and barking and barking and ummm, I don’t know why? I thought maybe it had to do with me but, ummm I don’t know now cause its still there.”

I went on to describe what I saw, the ‘Energy’ of the situation and the Rottweilers.

“I think you should talk to the women at the front desk.” she replies “I think it may have something to do with someone else, just talk to them on your way out”

Oh man! Temporary hope! I grip the wheel hard to pull a U-turn in the road and see Nuttyville in my rearview – for now. At the counter I pay my bill and like a reckless gambler go ‘all in’ by describing what happened for me in the treatment room.

“Well you know what’s weird?” comes the reply “There was a woman in here about an hour or so ago and she was really upset and telling us about how these two Rottweilers attacked her dog on the weekend!”

Yes! Now I needed treatment to place my jaw back in its proper position.

So this brings me to the picture and the quote; “Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place” Rumi

The madness that must be created by the ignorance of what I have shared above, has often made me sad. That some may be vulnerable to that which does not belong, personally, to them.  I wish I had a manual (I’m sure many of us do) for the new awareness of the Energy Era. Energy seems to be a new catch all for a multitude of experiences; spiritual, physical, and metaphysical or metaphorical. Our collective talk is about what is seen and unseen; until we microscope it further, and even then must assume that there is still more, out of sight – mysterious.

This experience has made me more conscious; more mindful of where I am and what I might be feeling or experiencing that does not belong to me, and equally when I am going about my life, what am I leaving behind. My intention is to be of light and peace – I am not always successful as I struggle; like many, with the humanness of me; yet I always strive for a better expression of who I am.

Live consciously and wisely, be humble and open, with a pure heart and the intention to love better, the creator will provide the opportunities to do so.

be·gin·ning 1 :The process of being brought into being; a start.

If you need to, begin again. If you screw up, no matter how big; if you have a new minute, a new second; you have an opportunity; begin again.

The word is hopeful and filled with potential. Each moment, mixed with a shake of humility, a scoop of willingness, and a heaping handful of trust, has the power to make intention become concrete change! I am aware of how much I am surrounded by ethereal support, divine assistance and angelic strength and sadly how little I activate this assistance in the practicality of my life.

I am a nail biter; have been since I was a little child and have only quit a few times for no longer than a year. I have tried most all approaches to quitting except asking for help from spirit. “Of myself I can do nothing”. I’m sure my hesitancy is driven by the fact that I know, if I were to enlist the powerful force of spirits help, I would in fact succeed – yes; fear of letting go! Even though nail biting no longer serves me, and has no practical place in my life, it is change nonetheless. Arnold Bennett said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts”.

So I begin again. I first ask for the humility, to ask for help; and then, the grace to receive it.

While writing this post, I was informed that my wonderful Great Auntie Ellen passed away at 9:15 tonight. She was 98. Thank you Auntie Ellen, for the moments in my childhood you made joyful. Thank you for your touch, your jokes and for the magic of your pennies 😉 You are remembered for your light and humor. I am truly happy for you tonight, as you take pleasure in the Divine love of your new beginning.

ellen

I can still hear her say this one:

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Little old lady?
Little old lady who?
Hey! I didn’t know you could yodel!

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, GRACE

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Holding a ‘raw’ piece of pottery in my left hand and a carving tool in the other I began to make my mark on a coffee mug I had chosen to craft and glaze. A girlfriend was staying with me while my husband was out of town on business; I never liked to be alone. We had chosen the craft as something fun to do that evening while we sat cozy in the living room with a cup of chamomile tea and each others company.

As I began to carve into the mug, a feeling of being suspended in time and a sense of peace shifted my consciousness; it is what I would imagine a trance to feel like. I carved letter after letter around the center belly of this mug, starting on the left and working my way across, forming the words FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, GRACE. The moment I finished the last letter, my awareness shifted again and I stared, in wonderment, at what I had done. My girlfriend looked over and was clearly impressed.

“How did you do that? You are so good!”

“I’m not” I replied. “I don’t know how I did it”.

Now, this is not to deny any artistic skill. I have always been good with my hands. My mother is an artist, and while that is not a label I would use for myself, I can do better than stick men. I still could not see how I was able to produce letters that looked, not only computer generated, but were evenly spaced from one side to the other. Handle to handle. After the final stages of painting on the glaze I was looking forward to having a finished product to drink my morning coffee from.

The following day I dropped off our pieces to the shop where they would be put into the kiln and fired. Pick up would be in a week.

Ten days later I had some time to drop by and claim our coveted items – I was excited to see how the glaze turned out and to lay my eyes again on the perfection of the job I did. I approached the counter to meet a friendly, dark and curly haired, woman in her 50’s. The counter was in the middle of a large open space, filled with wide shelving units, which held pottery in all stages of preparation. She walked over to one of the shelves and took down a small box. When she returned she set the box down on the counter and opened the top, just to make sure the product was, in fact, what I had brought in.

As she pulled the mug up, out of its protective wrap, her expression changed and she quickly looked up at me with impassioned eyes. With some urgency she said, “Are you the one who did this?” the tears already beginning to well up.

“Yes” I replied, curious about her reaction.

“I have to tell you, the day I pulled this mug out of the kiln I had just hung the phone up from my daughter. I, I was on the phone with my daughter; she was calling me from the doctor. She was told she has cancer and she had just called to tell me. I hung up the phone and went to empty the kiln; I was devastated. I pulled out your mug and those words were the first things I read. This mug got me through the first days of finding out about my daughter. I have wondered who this belonged to”.

Overwhelmed, and with tears of my own, I had a new understanding of what had actually happened ten days earlier. I took a step back from the counter “that’s not my mug” I uttered. As she replied “no, no” I was already putting distance between those perfectly carved words and myself. “You don’t understand” I countered, “I did not know, until right now, how I did that. How I was like, in a trance, and could carve such perfect lettering, I had no idea what had happened, but now I know; that’s not my mug it was made for you”.

Deeply touched, I walked away – I just left. I sat in my car, in the parking lot, weeping and powerfully affected by the knowledge that somehow spirit had moved me aside in order to write the words that would comfort a stranger in a dark and painful moment. I felt so divinely used and so humbled to have been such a vessel.

It would be 12 years before anything similar would happen again. But when it did, the floodgates opened . . .

13 ways in 13 days to transform your look by New Years!

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Touch your toes, take it in, drink a glass, walk it off, think it through, cry it out, pee your pants (at least once), tell someone, ask for help, heat things up, flip a page, make it new, hug it out.

 1. Touch your toes (Reflexology)

Here’s a tip; get to know those toes; they are the gateway to your nose! Did you know that your sinus issues could be relieved through your feet? That your bowels can pass with a touch of your ass (ummm . . . that is a touch of your ass as it correlates to your Gastrocnemius/Soleus in your lower leg. Don’t ever let a Reflexologist touch your actual ass – they are only feet people and their hand should not wander above your knee.)

The practice of Reflexology has been around for like a gazillion years and is truly a gateway to supporting your mental, emotional and spiritual health. Seek a qualified one or ask the Spider Goddess (World Wide Web) for more information!

 2. Take it in (Breathe)

I know right?! I don’t know where or when I dropkicked the ability to breathe, but when I began the practice of meditation I found it again. Discovering my lower lungs was like finding the soccer ball I had when I was 12 laying moldy and flat in the far corner of a field under a bush. I forgot they were there. It was painful to blow them up again but Oh My Heavens! Do I feel better! I won’t list the benefits, there are just to many, but this quote is a nice touch:

“How do you tell if something’s alive? You check for breathing.” Markus Zusak

 3. Drink a glass (Water) you will need this for #6 and #7

The institute of medicine says roughly 8 glasses a day. But I say: if you’re at none, make it 1; if you’re at 2 make it a few; if you’re at 3 take a pee and drink a couple more. Progress, right? Always, improvement is the goal! Just a moment  . . .  (elevator music here) . . . OK, one more down. (BONUS: one of my son’s joined me so this post is already working!)

 4. Walk it off (Exercise) see arm twisted behind back?

Imagine a thinner, healthier me! (I picture Sofia Vergara – there are no rules here people!) This one is my toughest. I will admit I am starting at 180lbs (ok, it’s really 191 lbs. I best be honest.) Granted, the fat is on a 5’9’’ frame but chunky monkey nonetheless. When it comes to exercise my insides feel like what our golden retreiver does outside the vets office – four paws out front and her butt an inch off the ground resisting, and twisting against the pull of the leash. I still don’t know the reason for my total and complete resistance to moving my body, but no worry.

It’s like I say to everything else: it matters not what you think or how you feel, it’s what you DO that shifts the first two!

So lets get moving! But remember, if you jump in headfirst you risk knocking yourself out. Start from where you are and improve at a steady rate. For me this will mean 20 minutes a day of walking. (Believe you me, that will be a huge improvement, by about 19 minutes!)

5. Think it through = “To thine own self be true” (thank you, Shakespeare)

Many of us are prone to be impulsive. We often rush, deny or completely ignore our inner selves. Mindfulness would have us pause and question: “Do I really need to . . .buy this? drink this? eat this? have this? spend this? say this? ask this?”

Self-care and deep breathing = mindfulness = access to self question = a burden-free spirit!

6. Cry it out. (“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” Charles Dickens)

I mean bawl!! Don’t hold back! Really, let it wail or drip or trickle or just slowly slide down your cheek. Cry because you’re happy, sad, angry, worried, touched, stressed or you’ve stubbed your toe – OUCH!

Tears not only lighten the heart and ease ones stress, but they can release negative chemicals from the body.

Check out this wonderful blog post by Mike Robbins:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-robbins/crying-good_b_1233958.html

 7. Pee your pants (Laughter medicine)

On multiple websites this is considered one of the funniest jokes:

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!” The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

I laughed, Honest! But I have a terribly sick sense of humour. When I grew up we had food fights at the kitchen table (spoon catapult of mashed potatoes and gravy – the best!), my dad fake chopped his hand off only a bazillion times (ketchup dripping and all), and water fights that grew from a few simple palm-sized balloons to the garden hose in the front door spraying anyone who walked by the top of the green shag carpet stairway! Practical jokes were the norm and I’m grateful now. My ability to find most things funny has brought me through many a tough time. It also taught me to laugh. I can clearly see when I’m being a nut bag and call myself on it.

Laughter is freedom, release and survival. It is contagious and demonstrates to all the strength of human spirit.

8. Tell someone – bring it into the Light!

Keeping the door closed on thoughts, feelings and deeds that are troublesome, guilt causing or painful, is a sure way to have them multiply in number or size. Not to mention the wrinkles they cause. In my 42 years and with many tears I have come to share painful, dark parts of myself with trusted others, only to find, these 3 things: 1. My secrets are not as bad as I think they are – people do not jump back gasping in horror; 2. I find solutions and often a ton of support; 3. I feel better.

So unburden yourself to someone you trust. Someone in a position to listen in a detached or anonymous way: Good friend or family, Minister, Help line, counselor or therapist, etc.

Speak up and be free!

 9. Ask for help – better a rogue wave than a tsunami!

Why do I wait so long? Or refuse to ask at all? Earlier, in my 23 year marriage, I had often been stuck in the martyr mode of not asking, but expecting, that others should anticipate what my needs were. Like somehow that demonstration of ‘psychic powers’ on their part would let me know just how much ‘they love me’. Can you hear the violin? Lol

My non-asking resulted in a building of anger and resentment. Others unaware, completely oblivious to the fact that the tide had gone out way too far, the animals were heading for the hills, and all was not normal. Then LOOK OUT! Emotional tsunami!

Age and experience led to wisdom and thankfully this is not a part of my make-up anymore. But if it is a part of yours, ‘ask and ye shall receive.’ an answer. Even a ‘no’ let’s you know where you stand. You will find that most often others are more than willing to help, and that leaves you with the freedom to focus on more constructive expressions and exchanges of love.

 10. Heat things up – Light a fire under your Passion!

No I don’t mean sex; although that’s not off the table, in fact it may just be on it! I mean do what you LOVE! (I know you thought “or who you love” ok, stop it now . . . what was I saying? Oh right, passion.) Be it poetry, reading, skydiving, cooking, driving, needlepoint, painting, singing, dancing; whatever floats your boat – do it! And keep doing it. Don’t let it take a back seat to the money making, child rearing, bill paying life. Allow it to enhance and bring joy to you and the other things that make up your experience here. Allow your passion to fill you with joy and ground you to who you are. Everyone around you will benefit from the glowing, energizing and awe-inspiring miracle that you are! Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

11. Flip a page – at any age; read, read, read!

 Be open to knowledge and experience; remain curious always. Expand your frame of reference. Make new connections. In my mediumship this has been a necessary and helpful tool. You don’t have to grab a novel, just a great magazine, a comic book, an online blog or a poster in the coffee shop. READ! READ! READ! Malcolm Forbes said “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The truth is the more you learn the more questions you have. This state of mind is a wonderful thing to experience – it’s like a constant state of kindergarten; all things remain colourful and discovery is ongoing. It also gives you permission for nap time!

 12. Make it new – Create! – who, you?

 Yes, you! My sister says, “I can’t make anything, I’m not good at drawing, I wish I could craft but I suck at it”. This again is about our belief limitations on the word Create. My sister is a gifted department store manager; she envisions a space, home decor and wardrobe. That is no less creative than a painting or a sculpture. A gardener creates, a builder creates, a baker creates. It is in allowing yourself to imagine, within in the very thing you already do, that makes you creative. Dr. Seuss says: “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Open your mind, expand your awareness and listen to your heart. Creativity is not of you; it is through you!

13. Hug it out! – Darshan

 Have you heard of Mata Amritanandamayi? She is ‘The Hugging Saint’; a 57 year old Indian Guru who has hugged over 30 million people. It is not about religion, sex, money, fame or selfish pursuits – it is about the practice of Darshan “to see.”

A hug holds love, tenderness, trust, aches, pains, tears, joy, laughter and peace. Touch is a component missing in our culture to the detriment of many. Healthy, non-sexual touch is not something everyone is familiar with, but is in my view necessary for survival. Our bodies crave touch because the healing power of it is undeniable. It may seem the corniest thing you have done lately, but now take this moment and wrap your arms around yourself in the best most loving embrace possible. Tip your cheek to your shoulder and tell me you don’t feel something shift.

Seriously! – The Little Book of HUGS by Kathleen Keating; you must get it! Two bears demonstrate every type of hug under the sun!

So there you have it! 13 ways to change your out-look! You will be ready to show your bright, beautiful transformed faces at New Years 2013. Go forward with Hope and Joy