Ever walk by an interesting tree and wonder about it? How old
is it? Do animals live in its branches or inside part of its trunk? What
stories could it tell you about people who have walked by. Some trees are
called witness trees because they’ve seen horrible events… or maybe two people
got engaged under a tree. All of these are possibilities if a tree could tell
you what it’s seen or heard.
What is precipitating
this question for me? Recently there was a tree that fell across the walking
path behind my townhome. As I stood looking at this huge brown tree devoid of
leaves, essentially dead, it fell across the path, having fallen due to
excessive rain, I wondered about its life. It was a very large tree and yet during
a bad storm it was taken down. After many years of standing tall, its root
system gave way to old age and poor drainage. It was a product of a bad
Yet, this downed tree lying on the ground still had a story
to tell. I stood there and just looked at it. There were lots of holes where
animals could make a nest and live. Perhaps birds were born in its branches
when it stood tall. I’m sure that it provided shade to other smaller trees, to
animals that ran through the nearby vegetation as well as for people who might
be passing underneath. There are many possibilities of how this tree could have
been productive during its life. Even now in death, this tree will eventually
decay to nourish the soil around it to help other plans and tress flourish.
I’ve heard stories of witness trees. These are trees that
are normally over one hundred years old that were standing during revolutions,
wars, major events, hangings, or other atrocities. Or, on a happier note, there
are trees that have witnessed people falling in love, making babies, having
lively conversations or passing important information along. One can only
imagine what a tree might say, if it could talk!
There is an old adage of how we look at life” do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This is a common theme that plays out time and time again when looking at situations. How one sees things is always in the mind of the beholder.
Recently, I sent a photo to two friends while visiting family out in California of Palm trees with a mountain background taken during my early morning walk. The caption to my one friend was simply a good morning to her. I received a reply that the photo looked serene and peaceful. In other words, she had a positive response to an image that was pleasantly received. As my other friend lives in a northern climate still experiencing chilly weather, I captioned the photo that I was sending sunshine. His response involved questioning the temperature to which I told him over 100F… “an oven” was his response… he knows that I totally enjoy my morning walks in the sunshine because I don’t do it at home. Yes it’s a bit warm even at 7 am, but it’s so beautiful looking at the mountains and the Palm trees that it’s my favorite thing to do while out west. We don’t have Palm trees in Virginia.
So where are we in this story? My
first friend is a positive person about most things so it’s not so surprising
that she’d have a positive response to the photo I sent. She takes life well
and I enjoy being with her. She holds down an important management consulting
position and juggles being a Mom to two young adult boys. She’s a genuinely
My other friend tries to be a nice person too but he gets lost in the negativity of the world. As a result he sees the negative in little things that people do or say and in this case, he missed the beauty of the moment or the kindness of the act by over analyzing the situation. I still like him for he has some lovely qualities, but he struggles to get through life. Such a small thing like looking at a photo and deciding what you will see. But that’s the point.
It’s a decision how we will
interpret what comes into our mind. So will you see the glass as half empty or
half full next time? Try to catch yourself if you start to be negative. With
practise we can move into being more positive people and in the process we will
be happier too. Comments are always welcome.
It’s a beautiful spring day. The trees are blooming and look
refreshing and new. It’s warming a bit so that it’s not so cold as before. It
would be nice to talk a walk out in the sunshine.
I choose to think positive thoughts; to read my book on the fascinating history of the Templars in Portugal; to help others by mentoring and to do other volunteer efforts which bring me joy. I started assisting my university alumni with offers of mentoring and immediately had a taker… the very next day. It was a pleasure to help this woman assess her current career situation and how to move forward according to her desired plan. These are all pro bono sessions but they provide me a venue for giving back and that brings me joy.
An old project management colleague
contacted me to be interviewed for an article that he was writing and I was
glad to assist. The piece was on the value and impact of various certifications
and as I have several very unusual ones, he chose me to be included. It was fun
to participate and wonderful to receive a digital copy of the finished product
several weeks later. More joy came to me in helping him.
Those that chose to stay in a negative place will be left behind. I can only help so much for it drains me if there is nothing ever coming back, nor appreciation; just chaos left in the ashes of my attempts to be of service. Thus, to those that are negative energy I say that I must detach from you all. It’s just too oppressive.
For there to be a friendship, it must be a two way street. The
same holds true for a relationship. Both parties must acknowledge their
participation otherwise, there is nothing? It’s all just a fantasy. I care about all the issues that other people
have but no one wants to listen to me or care about what is going on in my
life. Am I too independent? Too willing to take on the world? At some point, I have
to say that it’s enough and I’m going to stop being the world’s baby sitter, or
mother or care taker. I have to look out for myself and have proper boundaries.
So if your mood darkens and you refuse the light that I
offer, so be it. I can do no more. I will not be your psychologist to figure
out what’s going on with you. Only you can decide you want to figure all that
out and then it’s part of your soul’s journey to take the road ahead.
So here is where we part company. I choose to take the high
road, be positive and follow my path to be of service. My goal is to help souls
one by one to be all they can be in order to raise the vibration of the planet.
But each soul must move forward in his/her own way and in their own time.
It’s your decision now. What will it be? Will you stay behind in the darkness or come with me into the light? Comments are welcome.
Have you ever wondered about the nature of a relationship
that’s not going so well? Perhaps there is arguing, conflict, constant
negotiations or other types of negative interactions. Most relationships are
with and between adults, but they can also be with children. There is another
category of people who never matured into a fully functioning adult and remain
very childlike, perhaps even referring to themselves as having arrested
development whether in jest or not. As I’ve
been told by my psychology-oriented friend, this type of individual most likely
wasn’t properly nurtured during the prime young years and as a result, missed
out on a type of personal validation that’s required to develop a healthy sense
of self; thus, the impact is that they never really grow up. In other words, an
individual who didn’t have a mother or father really present in their life
(perhaps physically but not emotionally for lots of reasons) can remain in an
immature or childlike state. The dynamic
is more complicated than I’m presenting but is simplified for discussion. There
are many people who do grow up to be quite well adjusted even without childhood
nurturing, myself being one of them. I simply recognized where love was missing
and did a lot of inner child work. However, I’m not the norm.
Don’t get me wrong.
My parents did love me, but they came from an era where kids were seen and not
heard, my opinion wasn’t valued, I was greatly criticized, and never made to
feel important unless I was achieving. Ah ha! And as a result, one learns to be
an A type personality to overachieve in order to please one’s parents. But now,
I’m getting into a slightly different dynamic. Here, the individual is taking
on very adult qualities and perhaps way too much responsibility. Possibly, it’s
the two ends of a spectrum of not getting one’s needs met as a child.
So as far as this discussion is concerned, we can refer to
individuals who never really attain a proper sense of self, a man-child or
woman-child. They appear in an adult body but when provoked they revert to
temper tantrums and outbursts just like a child. If you are unlucky enough to
interact with one of these immature people, you may find that you are in an
entanglement full of chaos rather than a more normal type of relationship.
Since I believe that everyone comes into our life for a
reason, what types of lessons can one learn from interactions from a man-child
for example? As I’m a woman, I’ve had the experience of dealing with a
man-child. In fact, I actually felt like I was caring for my child. As I noted
above, taking on too much responsibility and not wanting to take on any are
polar opposites and attract. Could it be that my life lesson was to learn not
to be so very responsible for everyone else by the universe giving me someone
who would simply take and take and it would never be enough? He was an empty
well that could never be filled with enough love because he felt that he wasn’t
good enough to be loved (never forming a positive sense of self-worth as a
child). No matter what I tried to do to help this person in terms of working on
a resume for him to get a new job; showing him how to earn money with odd jobs
by actually going to the job site and waiting for him while he working on a
friend’s electrical that I set up for him or any of the other caring acts I did.
I felt like a soccer Mom waiting for her child to play the game. I sat for
hours so that this guy could make some money so that he’d feel better about
himself. I also went through the motions of caring for him in other ways by
feeding him meals, giving him t-shirts, socks or other articles of clothing
when he needed them and helping him buy presents for his family because
navigating a huge store like Target was too overwhelming. I’ve never had kids
but really felt like I had one during my “entanglement” with this guy.
Eventually, he left town and I felt like I was losing my child.
Of course, I had to have a serious talk with myself about
why I felt that way and where it was coming from. After considerable reflection
I realized the lesson in it for me. It was about learning unconditional love
and being the divine feminine. Being my polar opposite, he opposed me in many
ways. To do what I did for him, even though it caused me great consternation
many times, was an act of pure love, unlike any that I had known before. He
taught me a lot in our months together and for that I’m grateful. I know that
our soul contract is now complete and I’ve done all I can for him, now
recognizing that it’s time to let go and allow him to survive on his own. Much
like a parent allows her child to be a teenager then grow up; of course, this
may be impossible for him at this point in his life.
It was an entanglement, not a relationship of equals. Now I
can stand back and see it for what it is. I have the power of analysis and so
am sharing it to help others understand their lessons if they find themselves
in an entanglement. There are many types of entanglements, but if one looks
deep the answer to why it’s happening will appear.
Have you ever been in bed and had ideas pop into your head?
Perhaps it’s the list of what to do that day or a shopping list of activities
that need to be done over time. Well, for me, I had an idea – that was almost
totally conceptualized creep into my waking moments around the early part of
this month and just wouldn’t let go. For days I had the same thoughts that I
should create a non-profit community group aimed at making the world a better
place using the energy of tango dancers. Ok, so why tango dancers? My two
passions are helping to make the world a better place – or more esoterically
put, raising the vibration of the planet; the other is dancing tango. The
creative idea that hatched in my head used both these thoughts – tango dancing
and bringing light to the world. No small task; or what many have told me when
I started to talk about it, “good luck with that!”
In terms of creating a community action group, I was totally
in unfamiliar territory. I seriously had no clue where to start, so I began
where I always do when I don’t know – I decided to ask other people who might
know. So just like any other creative project that I’ve tackled over the years,
I decided to do information interviews with key influencers, who could
eventually become stakeholders in this new venue. I selected friends, tango
dance friends, friends of tango dance friends, people that tango dance friends
knew, and so on. It wasn’t long before I had lots of people to interview and
plenty of, “good luck with that” answers as well as a few good pointers along
the way. I knew I would have my hands full with this activity, if it was even really
After about a week of
these interviews, I went to a tango dance wherein I realized that just the next
week, this particular organizer was holding an anniversary dance. I quickly
decided to hold a first fundraising asking permission to use their venue with
the caveat that it wouldn’t impact their collected fees. The organizer owned the space and was all
about helping charity especially if it didn’t cost them anything.
The next day I set up a Facebook page for my new group which
I named, Tango for Change. Within hours one
of my dance friends put a donate button on my personal page (not the new page),
OH MY NOW WHAT?? So I had to figure out what to do. When you’re new at
something, often times it doesn’t go smoothly the first time you go at it.
Alright, I just went along with it and “SHARED” the fundraiser which had been
created on my personal page to the Tango for Change page. This was a bit
awkward but it was sufficient to have a few people donate. I had to work at it
but by the end of the week, the initial modest goal of $200 was raised.
That night, the actual date of the fundraiser, I simply put out a decorated spaghetti keeper with a ribbon indicating the charity (a homeless shelter in the area) and with my encouragement around the room, another $83 was raised. Wow, it was hard work, but in less than 2 weeks the idea was hatched, created and implemented (with $283 going to my first charity). More on my new group as it progresses, but other than being exhausted from being emotionally trained, I’m pretty happy with the result. Now to keep the momentum going! (Of course, what you give out you get back multiplied!) So PLEASE like my new Tango for Change Facebook page to show support!!!
Wow, it’s hard to believe how
time flies! Yes I know what a cliché this statement is, but so true! I happened
to see an article I wrote seven years ago when I first brought Skylar into my
home as a rescue cat. I explained how he came into my life through a local pet
shelter, how he lost his excess weight by following me around the house in just
six months and how my other cat died soon after he arrived. It was all so sad…
losing first one of my fur babies to kidney failure (Hercules in April of 2011)
and then my female Judas in January of 2012. Skylar never met Hercules, and he
never really bonded to Judas so when she didn’t come home one day he wasn’t
upset. Of course I was. I’ve never had human children, but I almost felt that
Skylar was an intrusion as I just wanted to mourn my fur baby of 18 years. Yet,
I had to attend to him. He didn’t bond to me so easily either. It was a process
for both of us.
About 4 years ago Skylar had
his first major episode of really being sick. Although he had a tendency to
vomit his food, I assumed he had a sensitive stomach and rotated his food until
I found a brand and type he seemed to tolerate. In the process, he seemed
happier and his weight normalized. Then he had an attack of a bladder infection
that set up a major stream of vet visits. I felt like the animal hospital had a
swinging door. At the time, the vet I was using was very close by but the
various vets kept doing the same things over and over. Needless to say, the
bills I was paying were really adding up; that is, until another pet lover at
my aerobics class suggested I try a different type of vet – one that uses
Chinese Medicines. Dr. Chau turned out to be a lovely person who treated Skylar
according to both Western and Eastern medical disciplines. After some testing,
she found that he not only was in renal failure but he also had pancreatitis.
We started him on sub-q fluids a couple times a week and some Chinese medicine
pills, as well as antibiotics for his infection. It wasn’t very long before the
cat I thought was dying came back to life. He turned around in many ways. Somehow
he recognized that I was trying to help him even though he hated the fluid
treatments early on.
After about six months of this
process, he started to settle down about the whole thing and cooperated… not
fighting me so much. Each time I would take him in to see Dr. Chau, she’d say, “he
looks good for a dying cat!” Although she initially gave him 2 years to live,
he’s now well past the 4 year marker. So indeed, he’s doing well for a dying
Meanwhile, Skylar became more and more
attached to me, eventually coming over and wanting to sit near me. In the evening, he likes me to sit with him
while I watch TV. He always lets me pick the show as he normally sleeps through
it anyway. His new thing is to curl up between my legs as I lie on the sofa.
Sometimes he climbs up on my chest for a hug. It warms my heart when he does
this, as he was quite cautious for a very long time. I have to believe that the
little guy was badly treated during his early years. Since he’s a rescue, it’s
difficult to know exactly how old he was when he first came to my home, even
with the vet checking his teeth. I’m guessing that he was about 7 years and he’s
now with me 7.5 years making him close to 15 years old this year. This is
pretty amazing considering how sick he’s been over the years.
During the years that Skylar
has been with me, I’ve learned to give him prescription medications in addition
to the Chinese meds (all of which Dr. Chau has prescribed) to manage his
symptoms. What’s interesting about this situation is that I dilute each
medication to about 1:7 so that one might wonder how such a small dose could be
helping. Apparently, they are helping because without each one (and now there
are 4 plus the Chinese tea pills morning and night) as well as the fluids which
have increased to daily with the progression of his disease.
The photo is Skylar on my bed,
one of his favorite spots for sleeping. And more, recently, he sleeps curled up
close to me. I don’t know how long my fur baby has to live, but for now, I’m
his pet parent and he’s my little boy. We both seem to like it that way.
Ever sit in front of a TV set that’s not turned on? There’s not much happening; it’s just a dark screen. One can stare at it for hours and wonder what kind of shows or other programs are on but really, it’s just in our minds. Until we turn on the set (as in establish the connection of the TV with the electricity that provides the source of the programming), we won’t get a signal. Well, our lives are really like this.
Do you remember the movie, the Avatar? Here’s a recap just in case to make my point; the blue almost human looking creatures all have long tails that seem to connect with other creatures that we’d call horses, just to simplify the discussion. As the tails were plugged into each other, the “connection” would allow both to sense what the other needed. Rather than the rider pulling on the reins or making noises, as one would expect in this plane of existence, in the land of Avatar, only thoughts are needed. One could say that the thoughts of the creatures would be conveyed through the connection; it was like an energetic transfer both of feeling and need – what and how it should be done. Later in the film, the humanoids would do the same thing, and while swaying back and forth one could imagine a large gathering of people singing Kumbayah. This plugging in was required in their world for a connection between beings.
Just like the TV set or the Avatar creatures, we as humans have a source that we need to plug into in order to function properly. One could say that we need to receive our programming as well as interconnect since we’re all made of the same divine energy. This divine energy comes from a divine source where our inner guidance system, our life lessons, both challenges and successes are all interwoven. Unless we make a decision to plug ourselves into this divine plug, we will just walk around in a daze, blindly performing our daily duties without much thought. Plugging in can be as simple as taking a meditation walk, sitting and asking for guidance, or the act of prayer. How will you plug in today?
Inspirational memoir capturing a love that extends beyond the veil of death, of care-giving, of the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease as well as a widow's restructuring her life after the only man she ever loved was gone. Buy safely via PayPal