I said goodbye, but he’s not gone

September 21, 2020

I came home today and my fur baby Skylar wasn’t at the front door sunning himself like he usually does. You see, he crossed over Rainbow Bridge today. Skylar had enough and didn’t even want me to hold on to him this morning. I knew when I awoke that today was the day that I had to help me… cross over that is. How does one make the decision to end a life that one has tried to prolong for so many years? The decision haunts me. Should he have just a few more days? Was there even one more thing that I could do to help him?

I got out of bed and went downstairs hoping that there would be less food in his bowl showing me that he had eaten during the night, but it was not to be. In fact, there were only two small urine balls in his box indicating that he hadn’t even been drinking water. Normally, I had to scoop his box a lot in the morning due to the many times he’d used it during the night. This morning, it was different. I knew he’d not eaten and not drunk water. He was done.

With a resolve that can only come from an inner knowing, I called his veterinary’s office and through tears made a 12:30 pm appointment to put him down. Then I tried to give him some of the meds I had in his little box I kept for such things; I tried a pain pill but it only made him wince. I kept hoping that I’d find something that would encourage him to eat and I’d be able to call the Vet back and say that I was mistaken and he was alright. But it was not to be. It was going to be the end.

I took a walk and asked guidance for confirmation and the same answer came back, “you’ve done all you can. It’s time to let go”. When it was time to put Skylar in his carrier, he was already in there. He had used it for comfort. I had come to leave it on the level by the front door so that he could feel secure. It was kind of cute how he’d sun himself on the pad with the carrier open and then go inside when he’d had enough of the sun. It was a condo with multiple options. Lately, he’d spent a lot of time inside this carrier. It was where he felt safe. His hearing was gone yet he could feel when someone would come into the house as the door opened. Sometimes, as I opened the door, he wouldn’t want to move. I had to laugh as he had his little personality. Yet, too he was always happy to see me when I came home. Now I was ending the life of my little boy that I had come to love and who had become as much a companion to me as I had to him.

And so we left for his last ride in the car. We arrived at the Vet and had 30 minutes together before Dr. Chau came into the room. Again, I asked if there was anything else we could do, to which she reconfirmed what she’d told me the week before; he was in end stage renal failure and had given up eating. He most likely had stomach bleeding, had thickening of the spine, could hardly walk, had bronchitis, as well as the pancreatitis that plagued him his entire life. All around me as well as my own inner guidance had confirmed that it was time yet I still was crying so hard at the thought of ending his life. Yet, I had to. I knew it.

 Then the needles came as well as the dreaded end. Once I saw the life leave Skylar’s little body, I realized that I had been in denial. He probably had been trying to tell me that he wanted to leave for a while. He’d been on appetite stimulate for several years, yet I persisted in keeping him alive. He’d been slowly losing weight over the last couple of years.

The pandemic was a bit of a blessing in that I hadn’t traveled in these last six months giving Skylar and I more time together. For several months, I only went out of the house for one hour per day and was available to him when he needed or wanted me. Sometimes he’d come upstairs to my study and just sit near me as I worked. I’d turn around and he’d be there, sitting so quietly. Sometimes I‘d find him in my study when I returned from being downstairs; the little guy knew that at some point he would meet me there. In this sense, he was very patient. I can remember times when I’d be searching the house for him to make sure he hadn’t gotten closed inside a closet or in the garage accidentally only to find that he’d been waiting for me in my study all along. Other times, he would realize that I was on the sofa in my family room watching tv and he’d join me there. When he was awake, which weren’t many hours of the day, he liked to be near me. That is, until the end.

The week before he died, he looked at me like, “help me”, so I took him in to the Vet to find out all the issues that were going on. Whereas he had been holding steady with his renal failure (at Stage 2), he’d risen to Stage 4. Where his weight had held steady at 10 pounds, then down to 8 pounds, he’d fallen down to 7.1 pounds. So in the last 9 months, there had been a huge decline. The 6 months of the pandemic had been his worst period, yet it was the time when I hadn’t traveled and had more time for him. The universe has a way of organizing things for the best.

The last few months I’d been busier with on-line classes and walking outside giving me a more positive attitude, yet I was getting very tired of all the care I had to provide. I was getting caretaker’s burnout. I missed some of his medications. He would come to me and cry – it was time for his fluids. He knew it. He could feel it and so reminded me. It wasn’t that I wanted him to die; I was experiencing adrenal exhaustion and weight gain due to the stress of an almost dying cat, an aging Mom and a brother with cancer. I had done my best, yet I’m second guessing myself now – was there one more pill that I could have given him that would have made a difference. Once I come back into my body I realize that, no, it isn’t possible to play God. The end is the end and all living things have one.

After Skylar expired, the nurse wrapped him in a towel like a mummy but made sure to leave his little head clear. What difference did it make as he was already dead? In my grief, I was thinking that he’d be afraid as he didn’t see well in the dark. One doesn’t think straight at such moments, yet I’m obviously not the only one since this Vet tech knew to do it this way. He was laid in his beloved carrier that had become his safety net, put in my car and then taken to a crematorium nearby. Driving home with the carrier empty, crying the whole way, was very difficult.

Once home, I began the task of cleaning up the house. It isn’t that it was necessary right at that point in time; it was more a way to busy myself to not think so much. Looking at his bowls, his litter boxes and all his toys on the floor were too painful. Cleaning it all up took time and gave me a chance to zone out. Then I went to bed early sure that I could hear him walking around the house.

The next days and weeks will be mourning his loss and remembering all the cute things he did when he was feeling better. I began to realize that when one sees a loved one on a daily basis, the declining health they experience isn’t always seen by the caretaker. I hadn’t realized how much Skylar had declined. I had been in denial.

How will I remember Skylar? When my other cats died back in 2011-2012, I hadn’t planned to get another cat. I felt a pull to look online at rescue cats and found Skylar. He was a big guy at 12.6 pounds and had been told that he was an over eater. I ignored the naysayers and adopted him anyway stating that he just needed to be loved. And love him I did. Within six months, by following me around my three-level townhouse, he was a more normal 10.5 pounds. I feel that he’d been mis-treated when young since he had trouble trusting me for the first year or so. Eventually, he came to sit with me on the sofa and our love affair began.

Skylar had a very sweet nature and loved anyone who would pet him. He was crazy about his pet sitters, which helped me a lot as I travelled several times per year.  Once he fell ill with renal failure and pancreatitis about three years after he came to live with me, (now five years ago), my caretaking began. I went to heroic measures to compound medications for him as the standard dose overwhelmed his sensitive body. His Vet was always amazed at what I was doing. I have been recording videos over the last year of just what I did for him and plan to put together a You Tube Channel  to help other pet owners in Skylar’s memory. I had gotten five years out of a cat that was only supposed to live for two after falling ill.

For now, this is what I have to say about Skylar’s passing. Over the next few days, I will pick up his ashes, write and carry out a fitting funeral for a wonderful guy. He was my little fur baby. I miss him so much and feel his energy around the house. Am I crazy to hear, “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m ok. I can play with other cats here. “I hope he’s at Rainbow Bridge and maybe, just maybe he’d found my other cats and now enjoying activities that he was never able to do here. He was never able to play outside.

“Skylar, Mommy loves you. I hope you’re ok. I hope you’re no longer in pain; that you can run and play and have fun”.

P.S. If you have a cat with Chronic Renal Failure and Pancreatitis, stay tuned for the Skylar Channel on You Tube which I will be creating in the near future.


Aspects in Balance

September 21, 2020

Every quality, like most things in life, has a good aspect and if extended into extremes, a negative one. Even something like being a nurturing person which is normally considered to be a desirable quality, can be negative if done to excess leaving the nurturer over-extended. It is always important to consider the balance point for everything in life, even our personal qualities. Today, I’d like to address some examples of qualities and the full spectrum of how they can be represented as in balance or out of balance.

As a great man once said, let’s look at the man in the mirror first, so I’ll start with myself.  I was born an Aires, with natural qualities of leadership and organization. During my working career, I used my natural tendency to lead and organize to great success for my professional duties; however, when I transferred those same skills to personal relationships it didn’t go so well. As I was to learn, people don’t like to be managed, overly organized and led outside of the work place. Apparently, it feels too much like “mothering” from someone who is not their “mother”. Certainly, it didn’t go well in my dating life for obviously reasons. My awakening moment was during a dance lesson when my instructor told me, “Joanne, you have to let the guy lead!” I was to learn to not only let go to allow someone else lead me, but to do so with complete trust with my eyes closed. I suppose my love of dancing was a way of balancing this natural quality of leadership for me. I also know now that one is left brain while the other is right brain; again, one balancing out the other.

The above example can be applied to many other qualities. How many women, and perhaps some men, over nurture? At home with children, this is a good quality, certainly when the kids are young. That said, as they grow us, even children want more autonomy. If one doesn’t learn to allow space for mistakes so that the kids learn to fend for themselves, then they will be in trouble when they get into the real world on their own. In the worst case scenario, we see grown men and women, totally dependent on a parent (whether mother or father) because they never separated out; they never developed their own identity because of over-nurturing by the parent. It’s very important for kids to have a chance to make mistakes and not be scolded (too much) so that they don’t develop fear of being wrong; otherwise, when they get into the workplace they turn into adults who have to be perfect. Since there is no such thing as perfection, the pursuit of same causes extreme stress and uncertainty. Thus overly nurturing mothers, who are well-intentioned, can raise kids who become neurotic adults. Again, every quality has a full spectrum from the positive to the negative.

Another example is a guy friend who is a good analyst. He was born with an ability to pay attention and hyper focus (perhaps a bit ADHD) on the details of life. In his work life, he’s learned to apply this ability as a detail-oriented person to an analyst position, one for which he is accurately suited. In addition, he has moved on to a managerial job wherein the details are also extremely important. However, when it comes to managing people, he tries to use this same skill of being in the details and it doesn’t always go so well. He tends to reflect back to people what he believes they want him to say rather than intuitively (right brain) ascertains what is needed to mentor them into productivity. When I’ve heard him discuss the issues he has with certain individuals at his workplace, I can only imagine that these are the people that don’t want to be managed; or perhaps even manipulated as it might feel. Perhaps they would prefer for him to just ask how he can be of service to them or inquiry as to the source of their issue. In other words, he should treat his subordinates as adults rather than as children to be managed. I have tried to explain this to him but he gets locked up in his left brain and has difficultly moving into the right brain to grasp the concept. Although he is perfect for this position from the standpoint of attention to details to manage his day, the routine it requires and the constant checking to make sure that everyone has completed their tasks, I feel that he is lacking in real people skills. If it were me in there, I would empower my people to feel a part of the organization, give them a sense of pride in their work and not micro-manage them. It’s been proven that when one treats people like children (micro-managing ) them, that’s how they behave (not performing unless told to do so).

Unfortunately, this same guy tries to handle his personal life in the same way – with an extreme hyper focus to the details and an unwavering plan that doesn’t adjust for changes as they are required. I watched it happen last week and was horrified at how each challenge messed him up. Things that I accept as normal bumps in the road were major hurdles for him – like traffic, rain and a tire getting a nail. My approach was to deal with the traffic, make adjustments in the plan for the day based on the rain and stop to get the tired plugged so as not to ruin the entire day. But that’s not what happened. As each challenged appeared, he repeated it over and over – this horrible traffic; OMG it’s raining. Now there are two things so he repeated the two things until there were three things and he repeated them. Until he had himself convinced that the day was ruined so we had to return home.

 I’m so used to putting out fires and keep going that none of it would have stopped me. It’s all a matter of perspective. Life is life and we have to stay in balance in order to be resilient. Otherwise, everything and anything will throw us off and life will become horrible. Why do that to yourself?  Comments are always welcome.


Obsession with the Absurd

June 5, 2020

During the current Covid-19 pandemic everyone is rather on edge and often little things become blown out of proportion.  In this environment, perspectives on what’s important sometimes get off as well. Here’s my story of what happened with a next door neighbor over a small planting bed in the front area between our two townhouses. To me, it’s an example of how one’s mind focuses on the absurd when it doesn’t have anything else more constructive to capture the attention.  

Late one Saturday night a few weeks ago, my next door neighbor, also a single older woman sent me an email asking me to trim my bush. Her request seemed really out of left field as it was spring time and my bush had been in the ground for 23 years without it bothering any of my prior neighbors having also resided in the same house next door. Why suddenly did she worry about this bush? In her email, again late at night, she stated that she was concerned that my bush would harm her plants newly placed in the “flower bed” between our two homes.

As a point of reference, I’ve always maintained this area 75% because I’ve lived there longest and have paid for whatever was necessary. A couple years ago, suddenly the tree died and as it was deemed “my tree” by the neighborhood I was required to pay for the removal and replanting of another tree which set me back $1000. Her predecessor neighbor disavowed any responsibility for the tree stating that the trunk of the tree was technically on my side of the planting area thus my problem. This was her view even though the tree was clearly providing beauty and shade for the two homes. I graciously accepted the responsibility and when the bed had to be redone I didn’t tell the gardener to stop at my half, I had the entire bed redone without expense to the neighbor. I felt like I was doing the right thing.

My late night response to this neighbor’s bush trimming request was that I’d take care of it in the fall. Receiving my email only made her more determined to stand up for what she wanted and I got more emails demanding action. I was really having a hard time taking her seriously. We were in the middle of the pandemic, I was going out once a week for food and for a daily walk, and really didn’t want to think about trimming a bush. To me, it seemed so ridiculous.

The emails began to fly back and forth with me stating that I’d take care of it and her stating that she’d take matters into her own hands. Really? It was a bush and 6 inches away from her plants. What could happen to them? At one point I even told her that she needed a new hobby, and pointed out for example that I was learning to make masks to donate to the Million Mask Challenge. Well, this only made her angrier and she assumed I was saying that she wasn’t doing anything to help with the pandemic. In response, she told me that her daughter was a nurse in NYC on the front lines of things. Great, what are you doing? But this is really not the point. I didn’t want any trouble. I was minding my own business and she was making an issue about a bush that grew an inch in a year or two suddenly creeping up on her plants.

As far as this new neighbor of about 1.5 years was concerned, learning about how the tree was planted held no interest for her. She proceeded to send me nasty emails about how awful I was and how I didn’t greet her properly when she moved in. I’m not sure what she expected, but in my neighborhood people move in and out without much fuss. I never did anything to hurt her and was cooperative when she had work done on her roof and her contractor needed access from my roof to do his work.

About two weeks after the email barrage, I asked a friend to come over with a chain saw and trimmer to take care of the bush, obviously sooner than the “fall” that I had promised her. When we went outside to begin the work, I bent down and realized that she’d already taken pruners and cut some of the branches out of the bush. I couldn’t believe it!!! Talk about obsessing over a bush. My friend and I took a huge amount off the bush figuring that we’d do a really good job. But our efforts were not rewarded. Within hours I got another email from the same neighbor asking to meet me in the morning regarding my plants close to the street. My response was a negative. I held my boundaries and ended communication not responding. She needed to find something else to obsess about because I realized it was her mind that was the problem; nothing I did would ever satisfy her.


Creating a loving reality

May 19, 2020

If you ask someone what is missing in their life, many will respond that they’d like more love. The younger generation might feel that they didn’t get enough love from their parents, whereas the older generation might feel forgotten by their kids. Or, the working class might feel that they’re not appreciated at work. Those of one belief system may feel those of other beliefs (whether religious, organizational or political) are against them. And even there are those that judge themselves unworthy of even being loved.

Wow, with all this unloving going on it’s amazing that anyone is happily in love! But of course, there are many people that walk around with smiles on their faces while in relationships, having wonderful children, and happy at their jobs. So what creates loving vs. unloving situations? The question is an age old one of how can one be happy because in actuality, we create our situations (most of the time).

According to brain research as well as ancients religious texts, we create our world one thought at a time. I recently watched a great video on GAIA, the spiritual equivalent of AMAZON PRIME VIDEO Channel, which explained how the brain is wired. This video went on to explain how our thought patterns create new neural networks almost like beating a path to a door from constantly going there.

The result of constantly re-hashing how others were mean, angry, abusive or otherwise non- appreciative of us, is creating a mental state where we begin to believe that we are only deserving of abusive behavior. In other words, by thinking negatively about ourselves we begin to believe the negatively about ourselves which in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. This was a scientifically based video. The other end of the spectrum is the spiritual view where Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet and great psychic of the 20th century, promoted the idea that thoughts become actions become our world; or, as we think so we become. So here we have a case of science meeting spirituality; both systems giving support to the idea that thinking negatively is counter-productive to create anything positive.

Now my own universal law appropriate here is that nothing positive comes from a negative. In the case of love, if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else do so? It also follows that if you want to be loved you need to be more loving yourself, as like attracts like. This is also promoted by many spiritual beliefs as well as the work of Edgar Cayce.

If we create our world one thought at a time and we need to be loving in order to be loved, what is the best way to create a loving reality? I believe the answer is clear! Be positive with your self-talk, have compassion with those around you, think before you speak working towards being the best version of yourself that you can be avoiding throwing stones at others for holding a contrary viewpoint; everyone deserves a place in the world and to express  their reality even if you don’t agree. Hold love in your heart for your fellow humans; one day we might need each other. There are many challenges at hand. No one knows for sure what will happen in the future. Have empathy. Stay in the light and be positive. These are all loving qualities to nurture and behold the love that returns. Voila, you’ve created a loving reality! (Granted, this may not be a perfect solution, but give it a try and see how life improves!!)

Comments are always welcome..


Destiny or Blind Luck?

April 10, 2020

I’ve been thinking about how the events of late regarding the Covid-19 virus reminds me of a movie. Was it ordained by God or rather by some hate monger? What are we meant to learn from it? I see both sides of nature with some people being evil hoarding goods for themselves while others try to share in any way they can. One thing that I know for sure is that we will not be the same, nor will the world ever again. Is this the Apocalypse we are living through? Is it the new world on the other side?

It’s said that when the 10 lost tribes of Israel are found the Apocalypse will begin. They have been found by an Israeli historian. The story is on Amazon and is a great video. But according to the Jewish religious beliefs, it’s not the end but the beginning of the new age. (Check out Amazon for the back story).

Just last month, when I was leaving Buenos Aires 3 days early from my vacation, just hours before the Argentine government closed the borders; hundreds of people were in line many hours early for the last flight back to the US – the one I was on to DC. Many people were then making connections to other parts of the country. There were 12 airports doing testing prior to allowing entry – I had selected routing through Houston – the only airport, as it turned out, that was not doing testing. Those other airports had lines many hours long. I went through quickly. After a 17 hour journey, it would have been horrible to wait in line for hours. Was I lucky or was it ordained?

While I was in the check in line in BA, people were in panic mode. They weren’t thinking straight. I found out I could print my luggage tags at a kiosk rather than wait so long in the main line. So someone watched my bags while I went over to the kiosk and printed my baggage tags. Putting them on is pretty simple. One merely peels the paper strip apart, put one end through the handle and stick the two pieces together. Several groups of elderly people were holding the tags in their hands with empty looks on their faces. As I gazed at these people who clearly needed help, I began to ask if they’d like me to assist in putting the tags on to speed things up. Their empty looks turned into big smiles as I was handed their luggage tags as this single gesture became an act of service. In turn, I was given a rare opportunity to feel good in the midst of a crisis situation. In addition, as I periodically looked up, I could tell that my efforts were being noticed by the United Airlines staff who, with their eyes told me that they appreciated the support too.

I did get home and have been doing safe distancing for these last four weeks. I do appreciate having food and enough money to pay my bills. I know that it could be months that we need to stay inside. I plan to organize my day to do what I can by dividing my time between being active and resting, talking and writing. The hours will go by. At least men are not shooting at us. We are not going to gas chambers. But I’m in the high risk category by virtue of my age. My wish is to live through it, to stay busy, and be of service where I can.

 What do you hope for? Comments are always welcome.


Entitlements??

February 6, 2020

I already know that I’m not going to make friends on this blog article. The word “entitlements” is charged without even knowing the perspective or specific contextual meaning. Usually, we use the term Entitlements to mean benefits that one earns through working and paying into a system such as for social security retirement or Medicare insurance. After working for 40 years, and paying for 40 credits (quarters), one earns the right to have benefits paid out in the form of a social benefit payment known as social security. However, if one is disabled and by definition can’t work, one is entitled to claim benefits after as little as five years. That is, in our great country, we pay people social security disability after just a few years of working versus the full 40 years if they are able bodied.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, I have a friend that wants to retire and is complaining that he might have to work a couple  more years rather than retire now in order to help his family – disabled sister and invalid Mom out for a bit. But let’s look a little deeper. The family has resources that they are not using or wish to keep for later. So rather than sell one of their two properties (a home in an affluent city neighborhood as well as a vacation home in the outer banks) to take care of the disparity in their finances, they want to just live off of the government. My friend is complaining that the amount of money that his sister gets from food stamps which was reduced from $300 per month to $260 is outrageous (as he puts it) and so unfair. This is in addition to the money she gets for social security disability. Now I certainly am sorry that she can’t work and that she is caring for her daughter and yes, it’s difficult to eat well on that money. But I can also tell you that I’ve gone through tough times in my life, when I was starting my life coaching business and was living pretty meagerly. Sometimes one has to do that. What I’m hearing from him is that his family doesn’t want to give up anything, and that the government should take up the slack. He’s furious with the President, since of course it’s all Trump’s fault for his current situation. If it were me, I’d sell one of the properties, accept that the vacation home is a luxury that isn’t affordable in the current climate and then live comfortably with the money one gains. No, unfortunately, he doesn’t agree (and I didn’t actually say that only thought it).

Why do people think the government should take care of everyone to such an extent that family should never have to help out? Who is the government but us individuals who pay taxes into a system? At what point are we paying for a lot of other people to live well because their families don’t want to help them? It all comes down to a bank account of ins and outs. I’ve saved all my life and in putting money away for a raining day I had to give up some meals out, some special activities that I didn’t attend, etc. I’ve watched this friend spend lots of money on special programs not giving any thought to whether he could really afford it or not. Where is it written that we have the RIGHT to fancy restaurant meals, Starbucks café coffees daily rather than as a special treat or other niceties?  We all have to make choices and it really irks me to listen to this guy complain about the current administration and how his problems are all due to the Government and not in his own financial management.  He also told me that he would have to figure out how to get his 88 year old Mom a car so his sister could drive her around. Perhaps Uber for the few trips would be more economical or a special ride program. Oh no, they’d never be able to drive up the long drive way. He has an answer for everything. Well, perhaps the big home they’re living in is no longer suitable for his Mom and sister. Again, they don’t want to make any changes. It’s easier to just blame everything on the government.

I’ve written about personal accountability before, but this is a bit different. We can’t expect the government to do EVERYTHING. I feel that his sister is getting a lot from the government. When I asked about the other services available to her, he just brushed me off. He knows I’m one of the millions of crazy people who actually voted for this President and who is very happy with this economy which is very much due to his economic policies. And that’s my side of the story.


Slow Down for 2020

January 22, 2020

Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? How about slowing down and enjoying the many blessings that we already have in our lives? If we are going so fast, running around doing errands, attending to the insurance and phone problems as well as the doctor appointments, visits with friends that we cram in rather than space out, we just can’t enjoy our time. So for this New Year, I vowed to really slow down. Then the universe began to give me opportunities to do so as well as other people who felt the same to help me attain my new goal.

Sometimes there are pushes to get to new soul developments in our lives. In my case, it was ill health throughout the month of December. First, I had stomach issues that seemed to be related to overdosing on vitamin supplements. I had been told that I needed to take more and more specialized supplements to handle leaky gut and adrenal problems. The underlying symptoms were extreme fatigue, poor digestion, and the feeling that my very expensive organic diet wasn’t being converted to energy. In the end, I had to stop taking all this stuff and just rest, relax and slowdown in order to get better.  Towards the end of the month I came down with a really bad cold and cough which I believe was part of a healing crisis.

During this time, I began to do some journaling and realized that it was a turning point in my life. Perhaps my soul was writing the story of my life and detoxing from the prior extremes that I had gone through for what may well be the first 2/3 of the years that I would have on this plane of existence. Although one never knows the exact time that we get here, I just have this feeling that my time as a life coach had come to an end, even though I will continue to help others in a more probono manner.  Just as I had left the corporate world over 10 years ago, I was now letting my semi-retirement profession go as well. I had done this partially a couple years ago, but felt that I had totally left it now and was detoxing from the residue of helping others get rid of their junk.  The final phase was to literally slow down.

And then I went off to a tango festival on the west coast in concert with a family visit. During this time, I met some awesome people who were light bearers. When I refer to people in this way, I mean that I could feel how spiritually then led their lives and interacting with them was a joy. Truly I was feeling the joy return to my life after being around these people for several days.

This was the fourth year that I’d done this particular dance program but the first one where I’d met so many light bearers. I might meet someone in a workshop and then somehow connect for a meal during which we’d chat; I’d then find out how really interesting they were and that it was their birthday the following week. So, in my good feelings of abundance, I paid for their meal as well as mine. They were happy and I felt great. By being with people of the light, I was more of the light also. Another example was of a guy I met at one of the dance evenings that interacted with me on an outing to a park the next day. We totally had a great time and enjoyed the day together. During this time, we shared stories of our lives and found out how very spiritual we both were.  I thought I was spiritual, but he’d studied for many more years and shared with me about his beliefs of compassion, meditation and allowing the universe to guide him. Although I had my own version of these disciplines, it was wonderful to be with a kindred soul. His energy felt so good to me that I was in a very nice calm place all day. The hours flew by. Once again, the universe delivered me to just the right people in just the right place for me to evolve even more.

So as I celebrated the New Year on the West Coast, I brought in a new spirit of abundance, calmer and with a renewed desire to appreciate all the many blessings I already have… in other words, to slow down and find my joy.


Be friendlier

November 1, 2019

It’s an age old wisdom that we should look in the mirror first if we feel there is something missing in our lives. Thus when I decided that I needed more friends and that I would have to be more welcoming to bring people into my life. In other, I would have to be friendlier.

Ok so how do I become friendlier when I thought I was already a nice person who was polite and congenial to those that I met anyway? Well I guess it came down to my energy. What was the message that my energy was sending out? Although I felt friendly, perhaps I was inwardly insecure or afraid, which sent a similar awkward message out to the world. This was not what I wanted. In other words, as is quite common, I was guilty of sending out a mixed message. My outer voice wanted one thing while my inner voice was reflecting another. I needed to become congruent.

Thus I had to really become a happy person, feel good about myself, and raise my self-esteem which in turn would send out a happy vibe to the world. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I booked a social group and just smiled and talked with people being non-judgmental and accepting them for who they were. Suddenly people began to like me more. When I became more of a listener reflecting back to people what they were saying, staying present and really hearing them, even more people liked me. In turn, I was laughing more.

Before I knew it I was in my authentic self, feeling good and sending out positive vibes. Soon, I was getting return positive glances at my gym class at Zumba and in social circles. Then on travel, people would engage with me more. All of a sudden, I then realized that i was really making friends. I had become a friendlier person with all the associated qualities. My energy changed and I attracted healthier people into my life that warranted my friendship. As far as I can tell so far, these are people that really want to be friends, have no ulterior motives or axes to grind, no mood disordered and just healthy happy people. What a relief it is. It’s been awesome so far and I certainly hope it continues. I offer my personal experience to you so that you can give it a try and see what happens. As always comments are welcome.


People and processes don’t always cooperate

August 26, 2019

We all know, or have learned the hard way that human communication is not an exact science. The old adage is that’s why there are lawyers! Today, I’m going to relate a situation that I experienced regarding a transaction on EBay. The whole interaction went from a misunderstanding to bad then to worse. Then it got ugly! Sometimes people and processes just don’t go as one might expect.

 First, let me say that my perspective on EBay is pretty laid back because it’s not my main business; it’s very much a hobby and a casual one at that. I sell stuff to get it out of my closet and if I’m lucky, I get a few dollars for it. So what’s my story? I offered a beautiful designer red silk dress for sale at a fabulously low price plus shipping. The woman in question, whom I will call “The Buyer”, sent an offer. What I saw on my end was “an offer to buy at $50” which I accepted. I’ve been doing EBay for about 8 years so I don’t question offers. I just look at the figure and either accept the bid or not. Usually people pay within a day or two. My listing clearly states that non-payment after 48 hours will result in a cancelled transaction. If someone made a mistake in pushing “buy”, then an email to me indicating such will solve the problem. I’m not out to force any sales, so if there’s a mistake, I’ll cancel the transaction.

I accepted the offer and the EBay system put the offer in as a sale and sent the Buyer an invoice for the price plus shipping. No response. Several days go by. I sent a nice note with a reminder invoice – “is there a problem, I ask?” No response. More time goes by.  The EBay system opened a non-payment case against the Buyer automatically, which when she received the notice made her furious resulting in her sending me a scathing email stating that I hadn’t read her offer. What? I never saw any email or further detail about her offer. Apparently, she writes that she’s retired and doesn’t have the money. (Why buy if you don’t have money??) At this point it was very confusing to me because she referred to 8/30 which I assumed meant August 30, but it was August 20. I had no idea what she was talking about. Rather than calmly explain to me that she’d get money at the end of the month which eventually I realized, she raved at me that I hadn’t read the offer details (that I’d never seen) and basically was saying how stupid I was for causing this problem. As it wasn’t an auction item, just a fixed price, make an offer, she could have waited a few days until her pension check arrived. Rather, she chose to expect me to make the system work according to what was best for her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

It became obvious to me that she had anger issues and was venting at me for other situations where she hadn’t been heard. I was just the one getting her venom over these frustrations in her life. I kept trying to write to her calmly explaining that the system was automated, that offers are translated into purchases, and that non-payment cases can be opened without me doing anything. She insisted that I cancel the transaction at this point which was impossible according to the EBay system even after I tried calling them directly. I wasted so much time over almost a week for a non-sale with this woman. I had packed this gorgeous dress with tissue paper in a strong box so that it wouldn’t get wrinkled… basically for naught. After 2 days of her insisting that I cancel the transaction, I find that she paid. It was the night before the payment was due or a negative mark would go against her. I figured that she paid to clear the case so that I could cancel the transaction. So I went into the transaction, which was now clear, and cancelled it. I thought this was what she wanted. She had not sent me an email to tell me that she changed her mind about cancelling the transaction and now she wanted it. So what happened next?

The next morning I got a wailing email, “oh, I’m going to cry. You cancelled the transaction after I paid for the dress!”  Well, yeah, after receiving email after email insisting that I cancel and no communication indicating otherwise, what else could I do? Then I get more communication about why did I do that? It’s like being in Wonderland! Ok, so I thought about it and my final email to her was my best attempt to be spiritual, “I’m sorry that you’re not happy with this transaction. Sometimes people and processes don’t go as one might want or expect. Rather than directing anger at me, a bit of patience might have been a better idea. It would also be a good idea to find a healthier channel to vent your frustrations that to direct them at me”.

The moral of the story is that when crazy interactions occur like this story; take a moment to reflect on the situation. Chances are there’s more going on than the immediate reaction. Usually, there are related experiences that the person is reacting to in this lifetime or a prior one. It’s easy to ignore the person but just a bit harder to consider how you can be a guiding light. Just consider that she needed to be reminded of her behavior and it took me going beyond the physical to tell her about it.

Although I had planned for this to be the end, there’s more. The woman wrote back telling me that “You’re a fool!” Well so much for being a messenger of light. I thought about her response a lot and I truly believe that I was guided to write back to her what I had to give her a chance to reconsider her self-righteous position. Unfortunately, she failed the test. Now the universe takes over and karma steps in. I believe that she’s really in scarcity and has a lot of hatred, anger and hostility built up over being in a compromising financial situation. But what got her there? Meanwhile, I live in abundance and reap the rewards. Comments are always welcome.             


Time to take a stand for oneself!

April 16, 2019

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.


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