Friday, December 4, 2009

Starts with an "H."

With our thoughts and our actions, we can shape our destiny. I think destiny is only destiny in hindsight anyway. It is in our power to change our destiny at any time. In the end, there really is only one true destiny. That is our ultimate destination, the home of our hearts.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Progress, Not Perfection

Sometimes it is enough to just show up. If we honor the progress, we cannot at the same time expect not to make mistakes. Perfection is an ideal, a goal perhaps, but it is not the be-all and end-all. There is plenty of room for progress, and perfection would just get in the way of progress in any case.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ten Happy Memories from Childhood

By request. In no particular order.

1) Backyard barbeques with my family.
2) Long, lazy summer afternoons playing and picnicking at the Duck Pond in Milford.
3) Buying Devil Dogs and Coke (in a bottle) and Bazooka gum at Frazier's Market.
4) Going to the Saturday matinee at the Capitol Theatre.
5) Falling asleep to the sound of the buoys in the harbor, with an occasional boat chugging in to its slip late at night.
6) Playing in the swamp across the street from our house.
7) Getting to have the cherry from Dad's evening cocktail.
8) Grandma's closet full of Christmas cookies.
9) Going around to all the windows in the house, to see the little numbered plaques on them.
10) The time Mr. Frost gave Laurie and me a whole carton of vanilla ice cream!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Ideal Day, through the Decades

When I was a child, an ideal day would be:
-wake up to a sunny, warm, pleasant day
-have a breakfast of Maypo
-play outside in the yard all day: make forts, have a picnic lunch, play, play, play
-barbeque dinner, with roasted marshmallows AND ice cream for dessert
-hide and seek after dark with all the neighborhood kids
-fall asleep with the windows open, listening to the buoys out in the harbor

In my teens, a ideal day would be:
- wake up to a warm, sunny, pleasant day
-have a breakfast picnic at Camp Columbia, then go for a hike in the woods
-visit the Heseltines or Polly (time spent with family friends)
-watch burning plastic drop from the ceiling into a bucket of water (who thought of this??)

In my 20's an ideal day would be:
- wake up to a warm, sunny, pleasant day
- spend the entire day at the beach, preferably on Cape Cod
-out to dinner and a movie with friends

In my 30's an ideal day would be:
- wake up to a warm, sunny, pleasant day
- spend the day in New York City, exploring, eating, whatever
-take in a play or concert

In my 40's an ideal day would be:
- wake up to a warm, sunny, pleasant day
-spend the morning with my kids, and have them be happy and well-behaved
-massage, facial and pedicure in the afternoon
-barbeque or dinner with friends and family
-lots of laughter

Now, as I begin my 50's, an ideal day is:
-wake up.

(Ha ha just kidding.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Judge not, lest ye be judged

"Judge not...." When I become aware that I am judging another, I almost always stop and examine my motives. I ask myself why I am judging this person. For example: Am I envious of their possessions? Am I fearful of their negativity? Am I gaining a feeling of superiority from this?
Always, my goal is to "judge not." Of course, the quote above is speaking of the negative connotation of "judge." There certainly is room in life for discernment. And I don't want people walking all over me or using me either. And yet, the world around me is rife with opportunities to pass judgment on others.
I use these moments of awareness to teach myself lessons about humility, acceptance, tolerance, gratitude and serenity. I am grateful for the abundance of opportunities that the world presents me for this purpose.
"...lest ye be judged" When we attack another (and judgment can be viewed as a mental attack), we are also attacking ourselves. This speaks to the concept that we are all One. We are all connected on some level, and the ways that we interact on the subtle level have meaning and significance, even when we are not aware of it. So, the judgment that goes out from us bounces right back. This can be seen clearly when it is the case that what we are judging in another is also a trait that we ourselves possess. But it can also exist purely in the act of judging itself.
Judging another widens the gaps between us. It emphasizes the illusion of separation. It alienates us from God-consciousness.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Up a stone-strewn path,
Under the eaves of asparagus,
Past the last old rotting log,
There is a way to walk.

I go meandering, and
soon realize that I am going up
a mountain.

The trees hold me lovingly as I go by.
The sweetness of the air sustains me.
I stop for a drink of cold, pure water.

I have never had water before now.

Endlessly, I wander. Until I stop.
There is a clearing, and I am dreaming that
I can see forever
from this mountaintop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Say You Want an Evolution

Even as a child, I had a ‘knowing’ that I was here on Earth at this time for a specific reason. In my teens, I connected to the idea as my being here to help in an “evolution of consciousness.” Slowly, over the years, I have to come to appreciate that patience is a key virtue in the unfolding of this evolution. Patience with myself, and patience with others. Change happens one person, one moment at a time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time; -

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sundays and Me

I love Sundays. It is my favorite day of the week. Although I do work around the house on Sundays, I feel especially virtuous doing it, because Sunday is supposedly a day of rest. Therefore, if I am not resting but instead working, it is sort of "bonus" work, which is extra-good, if you will.
When I was 10 years old, my family still attended church on Sundays. I think it was waning, however. We stopped attending church regularly some time in the following years; I am not sure exactly when. At 10, I think I was still attending Grace Baptist Church. My most vivid memories of those Sundays were of being excruciatingly bored through the sermons, and having to be very quiet nonetheless. Your typical childhood church experience. I also recall the great joy of church being over! The rest of Sunday would have been spent at home, playing in or outside, perhaps a family dinner. Maybe not idyllic, but certainly pleasant enough.
When I was 20 years old, I was in college in Philadelphia. Sunday was the last day of weekend, usually spent studying and partying. So I would be wrapping up both, no doubt. Or continuing both, depending on how you look at it. I suppose I liked Sundays. No classes, no that point I worked on-campus during the weekdays. So Sunday truly could be a day off, yet there was no strong urge to dread the coming week.
When I was 30 years old, I was a working gal. I was also getting divorced, so Sundays probably were spent largely alone. It wasn't a happy time in my life at all. Sunday may have been one of the worst days, but only because it was part of the weekend. For that matter, Sunday might have been good in the sense that I knew the work week was coming; when I could go to work and forget my troubles for a while!
When I was 40 years old, I was a working mother, and I was pregnant with child # 2. Then I had child # 2! So, first Sundays were a whirl of house care and child care and preparation for the work week, and squeeze in a little rest there too, if possible. Sundays were the DAY OF DREAD. I did not like Sundays when I was 40. Rather I HATED Sundays when I was 40, at least while I was working. I knew what was coming. The M word. Leaving my son was heart wrenching, especially on Mondays. So by Sunday evening, the awful feeling would be welling up inside of me. Later, after the baby came, Sundays were just a blur, of course, marked only by a greater presence of hubby.
And now I am 50. And now, Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Mainly because I don't have to get up and go to a job on Monday morning. Also because everyone else I live with generally does leave the house on Monday. Then I get to have some time for whatever! I love them, I really do! But sometimes they are so loud and intense that I can not even hear myself think!
That is why I love Sundays. Because it is like a clean slate, a new start to the week, a day of rest or not, a time to start anew.
I wonder what Sundays will be like when I am 60?

Monday, August 10, 2009

I could see peace instead of this.

I could see peace instead of this.
That is a line from A Course in Miracles. I like to think of it when I am feeling worried or anxious. It is so calming to remember that I am free to choose the thoughts that can then direct my feelings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I don't need

"Write about.....what you don't need"
I don't need all these old clothes in my closet. Who am I kidding? I am not ever going to wear that silk blouse from the 1990's for goodness' sake. I loved the blouse, I wore it often, it slipped out of my repertoire, it went out of fashion, and there it sits. I keep thinking I will wear it again, but the truth is, I haven't worn it in over ten years. I don't need it, clearly. Even though I have winnowed out much clothing periodically, certain items keep clinging, most likely because of some sentimental attachment.
But now is a time to ask myself: do I need this in my life? If the answer is, no I don't need it, then out it must go.
I don't need those clothes, and as a matter of fact, that lack of need is a clarion call: simplify! purge! cast off the old to make room for the new! Let those old pieces of fabric (for that is really all they are) be a metaphor for your whole life, Meredith! Make room for some new clothes!
OK, here I go!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Don't Want to Hear It

(Note: I am back to taking inspiration from "Thinking About Memoir" which has page after page of instructions to "Write two pages about....")
I don't want to hear about all your problems, if you don't also say what you are going to do about them. I don't want to hear about every little thing that bugs you. I don't want to hear that you can't, or won't, or don't want to. I don't want to hear that you are sad, depressed, frustrated, anxious, worried, angry or jealous. I don't want to hear that I have any negative effect on you whatsoever.
I don't want to hear anything at all about all the bad stuff that goes on in the world. I don't want to hear about murder, war, exploitation, elder abuse, famine, pollution, political corruption, child molestation, or global warming. I don't want to hear about how television and the internet are ruining us. I don't want to hear any rap, heavy metal or hip hop music booming out of the car next to me at the stop light.
I don't want to hear any of it. But I do. It enters me and runs around like crazy, trying to find a home in my psyche. It does not find a welcome home, and that only makes it crazier. If only there were a filter for all of this stuff, a protective barrier to keep it all away. I crave silence. If I could only have enough silence, I could start to hear my own self think. Then maybe I could figure out what to do with my life. But all the noise keeps coming at me. All the noise drowns out the silence, until I can barely breathe, let alone think. But the dictate is to keep on going, in spite of the cacaphony.
This is not a complaint. Because I KNOW you don't want to hear that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Hair, Do

My hair is now shorter. Not quite short enough, but it is getting there. I already feel lighter and freer. It is all a matter of attitude, yet the outward manifestation of this desire is certainly pleasing to me.
My new do does it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Wrong?

Why is it that it is always in retrospect that I like a haircut that I had? For the longest time, I have not liked my haircuts. I can't even remember the last time I truly liked my hair. But then, when I see a photo of myself, I think, gee that was not such a bad haircut. I am starting to think that it's not my hair, it's me. What if I just plain don't really like myself? The haircut is only an outer manifestation. It is not really all that important in and of itself.
Here is my secret: I want to cut off all of my hair. I want a really short haircut, and I don't want to have to deal with it. But I am afraid. I am afraid of looking too old, too mannish, not attractive. There, I've said it. Now I get to publicize it, see it on my blog, and then, and only then can I laugh at my own vanity.
Just in time for my haircut appointment on Thursday.
Here goes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A story

I have a story. You have a story. We all have a story. At some point, we tell our stories to others. Without being conscious of it, we are each telling our stories to ourselves all the time.

What is my story?
Why do I tell my story to myself?
Does my story serve a purpose?
Does my story work for me anymore?

When we are storytelling, we are creating our lives, and reinforcing our memories. We are also coloring our present and future experiences. This is often a good and useful thing to do. But what about when we have, perhaps, outgrown our story? How do we know when it is time to shed our old story, and "write" a new one?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Loves You?

When I am getting down on myself, and thinking negative thoughts, I yearn for a quick fix for this; but the fact is that such thought patterns do not disappear that easily. Each time a negative thought pops up (i.e. that I notice its appearance), I cast about for a solution, a way out of the darkness, so to speak.
Not long ago, I was reminded about The Work, of Byron Katie. (Others have adapted her teachings to their own messages. Specifically, I heard Wayne Dyer use the basic principles in his latest "No Excuses" teaching.) As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to hear a lecture by Byron Katie some fifteen or more years ago in Boston. At the time, she seemed kind of "out there" and, to be brutally frank, a bit on the flaky side, but not in a bad way. Anyway, she laid out her plan for dealing with any negative thought, as's meant to be reflection, not an active changing of your thoughts so much as an awareness and acceptance of them as an avenue to a change.
Any thought you have that is troublesome can be met with the four questions: "Is it true? Can you absolutely know it is true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought?"
Next, you "turn it around" - think the opposite of the original thought, and provide yourself at least three examples. Finally, you "embrace reality" which entails opening your mind and heart to all experience without fear. All of this is supposed to get you to a new state of awareness about your negative thinking.
Every thought we have also contains its opposite, as surely as light and dark exist in one another. For example, if I am angry at someone, inside that must always be some anger that already existed in me. This is not about blame, but about acknowledging the truth within.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

With God, all things are possible.

With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.
With God, all things are possible.

Now and again, when darkness surrounds you, and there seems to be no viable solution to the situation, it is good to remember:

With God, all things are possible.

It is not always possible to know the solution to your problem. It is not always possible to share your troubles with others, or to allow others to help you. It is not always possible to sustain faith in the midst of the darkness. The one thing that is certain, irrefutable, and unchanging:

With God, all things are possible.


P.S. "With God, all things are possible" is the State Motto of Ohio.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's a Miracle!

Miracles surround us every day. You might even say we do not even exist apart from miracles. Our very essence is a miracle. We would do well to stop discounting this very basic fact. When we take the time to marvel over the idea that we ARE a miracle, we can stop LOOKING for miracles. Looking for miracles is like trying to see the air. If ever we do see air, it is only because it is mixed in with something else, like mist or smoke, etc. It is the same with miracles. What we see when we think we are experiencing a miracle is really that something else that is mixed in. The miracle itself was already there.
Today I sing of miracles. Today I breathe in miracles. Today I radiate miracles. Today I am a miracle.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Love is life's song

We tend to think of love as something we give or receive, or as something we want or need. Yet love is so much more, and so much less, than that. Love simply is. It is all around us and in us. We are love personified. There is no escaping love. We can deny it, justify it, and objectify it. But the truth remains: Love is.
Whenever we are feeling a lack of love, or a lack of ability to either give or allow in love, we can help ourselves by seeing that the lack itself is not the love. Love always waits for us at the other end of our self-doubt and struggle. Love keeps on singing life's song, always and forever. It is up to us to pitch in and sing along.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Chiaroscuro (Italian for light - dark) is a term in art for a contrast between light and dark. A more obscure (!) definition is the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow.

We have a tendency to either focus too much on, or to attempt to deny, the darker parts of our selves. When we dwell on the shadows, we can even become quite down on ourselves. By the same token, if we try to ignore the darker aspects of ourselves, they have a way of rearing up to remind us of their existence.

Perhaps there is another way. If we borrow from the artist's way the concept of chiaroscuro, we can begin to see that the interplay of light and dark in our selves and our lives can create a beauty of its own. If we look only at one or the other, instead of keeping them both in our sights, we lose an essential perspective. If we look at the contrast of light and dark in relation to each other, we can begin to appreciate the worth of all of our experiences.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nice Work, If you can get it.

Every so often, if we allow ourselves, we can make an intuitive leap to the next stage of our development. Usually, an event in our lives will precipitate the leap. There is something about certain events, for example a death or a change in residence, that can stir up and break apart our established assumptions about living. We can sit there and mourn the loss, but then we can also see the opportunity in the change in front of us. The time is ripe for growth and insight.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Nature of Regret

Inherent in regret is the holding on to the past. If you look at any regret you have, you will see that your thoughts are dwelling outside the present. More often than not, the feeling that you have is one of loss, because what was, in the past no longer is, in the present.
If you will instead focus on the present, and remain steadfast in your focus on the present, you will gain a sense of power. The past cannot have power unless you give it power. The present is the only true source of power. So the present gives us power, and we are free to give up power to the past (and the future in the form of worry). But in giving up power to the past, we feed the feeling of loss. We are free to choose again and again, to bring our thoughts back to the present. In the present we will find our true comfort and meaning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Catching Up

I read this somewhere: "If you caught a fish every time you went fishing, it'd be called catching."
Of course, it made me chuckle. But it's also true. It's just the same idea as "there is no try, there is only do," in the words of the great but fictional Yoda.
I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Is thinking also doing? Or is it just fishing, but not catching? Does that mean it is not a worthwhile endeavor. I think not.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bless the Beasts and the Children

One of my favorite parts of living with a dog is seeing how she lives completely in the moment. Her joyfulness is unbridled, her love is unconditional, her loyalty is unquestionable. She has got a great way of living! She lives in virtue without even trying. She is an inspiration to me. Other than that occasional peeing on the floor thing.
Speaking of inspiration, children do that too. I have learned so much from my children. They seem to be able to find my growing, unhealed parts so well! They challenge me to become a better person, every day.
I would not want to be a child again. Nowadays it looks very hard to grow up, with all the stuff going on in the world.
I wouldn't mind being a dog, though. In the right family, of course! Perhaps that can be arranged in some other incarnation of mine?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

"Intentional Listening" is what I heard in my head as I awoke the other morning. It seemed to make perfect sense at the time, coming as I was from the state of dreams. Apparently, I had been dreaming about listening with intent, or I had been intending to listen. Or maybe....
Anyway, I let the phrase just sit there in the outskirts of my consciousness. I even had the thought of going through my day, intentionally listening. I wondered, do I listen WITH intent, or do I listen FOR intent? Or both?
When we are interacting with others, we can always choose to listen with intent. In fact, we do that without even thinking about it. We come to any interaction with preconceived notions about how it will go. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. It helps if we do not go into a situation with the idea that it is not going to go well, as there is a measure of self-fulfilling prophecy at play here. Say you go into a post office expecting a long line, surly clerks and an overall frustrating experience. Chances are that is what you get. You could instead go in with a book, treasure the waiting time, or strike up a pleasant conversation with the person next to you in line, then smile winningly at the clerk (OK, forget getting through to the clerk). Then your intent improves your experience!
It's the same with listening. If your intent in listening to another is to really, really hear what they have to say, not only the words, but their intent, then you have got a win-win situation. You may not like what you hear (insert example here) but if you listened with the intent of truly communicating, then you accomplished something! By the same token, if you read this post with the intent of being enlightened, you have just been fooled! Haha, Happy April Fool's Day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

May the long time sun shine upon you.....

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Click on the title for a Video of this song.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning, Part II

Another way I am spring cleaning is clearing verbal clutter. That has two parts: the first is trying to clean up my language. Not that I have a gutter mouth, exactly, but I do let a four letter word pop out now and then! I mainly am thinking of the effect on my children with this one. I hope they don't get the idea that it's okay to use vulgar language. So far, they mostly haven't. This spring, I am working to come up with alternatives to the F and S words, especially when I am feeling aggravated. That's when they generally appear! So there may be a deeper issue there. Definitely there is, how about that.
Which leads me to the second part: negative self-talk! Negative self-talk is perhaps the single most insidious eroder of my positive energy. What I say to myself in any given moment has a powerful effect on my experience of the world. It is also an important predictor of my future experiences as well. So, I have to become more aware when I am using negative self-talk. Then stop it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Just an update:
I am in the midst of spring cleaning, both of my house and of my self! The house is getting de-cluttered, first of all. It is amazing how much stuff we can accumulate...we have lived here less than two years, and it already needs purging! Then there is some serious, deep cleaning to do. Enough said about that. Finally, there is a long list of home projects, some of which will be farmed out to the experts, like chimney cleaning and the like. But there are still the phone calls and arrangements to be made for those.
I am also spring cleaning my self! I'll be getting to work on shedding those winter layers; read: excess weight! Yep, it's happened again. I am a bit of a yoyo when it comes to my weight. This time, I am going to work harder at getting and staying active. Last time I really didn't incorporate an exercise regimen. This time I am.
I had my first yoga class today. It is kundalini yoga, which gives special attention to the spine and endocrine system. I have a real good feeling about this. I will also be walking more, and want to mix in some weight-bearing exercises too. I have ordered new eyeglasses, the first new pair in three years!
Finally, I am continuing the ongoing "Meredith" project - a lifelong process, to be sure. Each phase of growth is exciting. It's nice to know that we do not stop learning as we age (hopefully). I expect to be a finished product when I am ready to make my exit from this realm, and not a minute earlier.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the winner is...

Disclaimer: these are just some thoughts I have been having on this topic. It's not meant to be my final draft.....

I have concluded that morality is relative. Morality can be absolute in some ways; the Golden Rule springs to mind. However, to take an example, one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible is "Thou shalt not kill." I suppose many of us take this on faith, that it is wrong to kill. Yet we eat dead animals that have been killed on our behalf. Yet we squish a spider or an ant or a fruit fly without a second thought. The Bible doesn't say "Thou shalt not kill, except when it's okay to kill." So, if morality were absolute, we all would live as vegans with many mosquito bites. We who do not live as vegans with many mosquito bites, who wear leather shoes and sit on wooden chairs, are not behaving immorally. We are living by the standards of our societies. Some may believe we are wrong, yet we do not believe we are wrong. I guess it comes down to whether morality is subjective or objective.
There's more to say, but I have to go to the eye doctor now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Laughter and kindness

Is morality relative or absolute?
The reason I am asking this is that I have been wondering when, if ever, it is okay to laugh at others. I had been offered a link to a video showing clips of "crazy women drivers" crashing into things and having a hard time parking, etc. Personally, I did not find the video funny, regardless of the gender of the drivers in the clips.
Leaving aside the gender issue, the video is meant for us to laugh at others. I was left wondering why some of us find the mistakes and shortcomings of others amusing. Is it that we feel more human when we are shown examples of our foibles? Are we enjoying the feeling of superiority that we ourselves would never do these things? Or do we relate on a personal level - "Oh, I can't parallel park either - hahaha!!"
I don't want to fall into the trap of judging those who might laugh at this video - everyone comes to the table with their own experience, beliefs and values - and that colors their perception, and informs their amusement (or lack thereof!). Humor is subjective, of course. I think what struck me about the video, and the comments (overwhelmingly expressing approval), is that most people don't see anything wrong with laughing at other people. I admit, it strikes me as unkind! There, I've said it! I think there is not enough kindness in the world today. Simple, everyday kindness. And anything that perpetuates this lack of kindness must be scrutinized for its necessity. Do we need this video, and do we need to praise it?
I say no. I say what we need is more kindness. Granted, we need more laughter. But I hold that the laughter should not be at the expense of kindness.
I continue to ponder the original question, as I go about my day. I will report back later.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy for No Reason

The best part about being happy for no reason is that no one and nothing can take that away from you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lunchtime with Larry

Last night I had a long, complex dream involving numerous scenery and wardrobe changes. The one event I recall vividly is this: I was in a school cafeteria, and in the far corner was a table of administrators and teachers. The people I sat with were noticing that Larry David, the writer and actor, was sitting at that table. Someone at my table asked, "Why is Larry David having lunch?" and I replied, "Probably because he's hungry!"
When I awoke, of course I thought this was pretty funny. Then I thought about it a little more, in light of the fact that dreams are usually highly symbolic. I wondered what this little snippet could mean. I decided that what happened was that a very simple question was asked, one which had a very simple answer, no doubt. In any case, the true answer as to why Larry David was present was not readily apparent to me, in the dream anyway. Perhaps he knew one of the teachers. Perhaps it wasn't really Larry David, only a look-alike.
What really struck me was my own answer. It seemed perfectly obvious to me that the reason someone is eating is that they are hungry. The fact that they are famous, and the fact that it is completely unexpected that they would be eating lunch in a school cafeteria for no apparent reason, is completely irrelevant.
Finally, I attempted to extrapolate a lesson from this dream. After all, what are dreams for if not to provide enlightenment? This is what I came up with:
Our lives consist of a series of questions asked and answered. We are always engaged in an internal dialogue with our selves. What will happen tomorrow? Why did I do that today? Where did I leave my keys?....the questions are many and varied. We may not even be aware of how many questions we are answering every moment of our lives. The majority of the questions are quite mundane. Once in a while, a "big" question comes along. Where should I move next? Is this the right person for me? What do I want to be when I grow up?
Becoming mindful of the way in which we answer the day to day questions that occur in our self-dialogue (is that a misnomer?) can help us immeasurably when the larger questions arise. Are we honest with ourselves? Do we try to seek quick comfort, or are we willing to forestall pleasure for our own greater good? Do we treat ourselves with compassion and good humor, or do we belittle ourselves and deride our own foibles?
Our survival toolkit must include the ability to answer our questions truthfully, respectfully, and lovingly. We practice on the small, daily questions, and we strengthen our ability. When the big questions come along, then we are ready.
I guess you could say that lunchtime with Larry was productive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Past is Not Prologue

The past is not prologue. Whatever happened up to this very minute has no meaning whatsoever, EXCEPT the meaning that you give to it. Bear with me here. Starting with the concept that you see what you believe, and what you believe is shaped by your experiences (read: the past), then what you believe always comes from the past. Therefore, whatever you believe only has meaning for you because it already happened, and you based your thinking and conclusions on that. The past informed your beliefs. Done.
The future cannot inform your beliefs, because in our world, the future has not yet occurred. Anything that we think about the future is largely conjecture, until it actually happens. Sure, some things are a shoo-in. Leno will be on TV tonight. The milk will be in the fridge tomorrow morning. Gas prices will fluctuate over time. There is a level of predictability that we depend upon. When the world feels unpredictable, as it certainly does in the current economic climate, we have a tendency to color our perceptions with our beliefs - this helps us maintain a level of control or security.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest Post by Julia

I love you. You're super- cute and I like how you brushed your teeth. They're very shiny. What kind of toothpaste is that?!!
I really think you should go to a place where there's houses made of cake and flags made of candy canes. Swing seats are cookies and swing chains are licorice, and there are bubble gum balloons. Roses made of cake frosting. You know why you should live in this world? Because those things are as sweet as you.
Thank you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Today might be a good day to do some serious house-cleaning in your heart. Is there any spare debris kicking around? Unheard grievances? Unspoken anger? What about the walls? Have you put up any walls in your heart with regard to any person?
Your heart longs to be free and at peace. Help your heart achieve that today. You and your heart deserve to be at peace.
Happy Hearts Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Open it now!

The present is a gift you give to yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


When you're feeling overwhelmed by life, it helps to take a step back and look, really look, at what is going on. Perhaps you need to get away for a day or two, in order to get perspective. If you don't have that luxury, you can also spend an hour or two in solitude. Sometimes writing it all down can help. Whatever helps you get a handle on the thoughts you are having!
That is because it is your thoughts that are the crux of the problem. No matter what is going on, it is your thoughts about it that make or break your ability to handle it. Thoughts generate feelings. Sometimes it seems like it's the other way around, but the key to breaking that cycle is to focus on your thoughts. When you get your thoughts in alignment with your desires and goals in any given situation, then the feelings will follow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fear, It's Self

Fear is rather selfish, when you think about it. It is based in the ego's thoughts and desires. If you are feeling fear, you are basing your thoughts on something that is outside of you. Your essence, which dwells beneath your ego, does not even comprehend fear. The experience of fear is completely based in earth-bound reality. There is no fear in heaven. Fear draws its energy from the illusion of our separation from God. This is the paradox of our experience. We come from God; therefore, we are completely and utterly safe. We believe that we are separate beings, both from each other and from God. We experience fear in that separation. This takes myriad forms. But all fear is at its core a belief that we are somehow not safe. We harbor this illusion for many reasons. The illusion makes us doing many foolish things. Thus is fear born. When we forget God, we beget fear. When we remember we are of God, we come back to Love. It is an unending journey, around and around, always circling back, continually forgetting and remembering. Today, I remember: I have nothing to fear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

M-m-m-mushroom Barley Soup!

This is one of my very favorites - from "Vegetariana" by Nava Atlas

Monday, January 26, 2009

Old Enough to Re-paint

Neil Young's song "Tell Me Why" popped into my head while I was in the car, so I started to sing it. Realizing I couldn't recall all the lyrics, when I got I home I looked them up. That's when I saw that all these years I have been mis-hearing one of the lines.
The correct line is:
Tell me why
Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself
When you're old enough to repay, but young enough to sell.

I had always thought he was singing:
When you're old enough to re-paint, but young enough to sell.

Wow. This makes a big difference. I've spent the better part of my life believing that when you get old enough, you get to choose: whether to re-paint or whether to sell. Now it all makes more sense. Because really, if you are going to sell, you are probably going to re-paint first. Then again, if you re-paint, you are then free to either sell or not.
This whole episode has turned my world upside down today.
I like to keep things in perspective.
Tell me why. Tell me why.

Peace, Love and Understanding

I was reminded of the song "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" (the original Nick Lowe version, not the Elvis Costello version - click on the title to hear it).
Naturally, it got me to thinking: what is so funny about peace, love and understanding?
Why do we make things so difficult for ourselves? Must life be so complicated? Can't we all just get along? If not, why not?
First: Peace. Peace is a state of mind. The peaceful state of mind creates a peaceful reality. As long as any of us persist in our resistance to a peaceful state of mind, we cannot truly know peace in reality. Conversely, as long as one of us knows a peaceful state of mind, peace exists in reality. As always, it begins in one, and we need only bring ourselves to the tipping point for it to become reality all over. It can happen. It will happen. It is happening.
Second: Love. Love is all there is. Whatever is not Love, does not really exist. Semantics can be slippery here. One must be careful not to become solipsistic in the presence of Love. Still, in my book, Love is, and the rest is embellishment.
Finally, Understanding. The etymology suggests that it means "standing in the middle of, or center." How wonderful! When you understand, you are in the center of that which is understood. In this world of dualities, understanding brings you into the center, where, as we know, the perspective is infinite.
So: Peace, Love and Understanding - not funny, as in ironic, not funny, as in haha. Maybe a little bit funny, as in AHHHHHHHH! HAAAHAAA!!! I get it now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This is such a wonderful day - the day those >>shudder<< people leave the White House, and the Obamas move in.
No matter what happens, at least those >>shudder<< people will no longer be in power. More than that, I am hopeful that today is the dawn of a new era for our country.
At the very least, I don't have to avert my gaze when the President comes on the TV.

Monday, January 19, 2009

An agreement

I entered into an agreement with my self.

It was a yes or no thing.

Yes: I will be me.
No: It will not be easy.

What happened to the or?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There are no tears in heaven

We get caught up in the drama of our lives. We may suffer quietly, or we may wail, and yell, and gnash our teeth. How we respond to events (real or imagined, past or present) may vary with the seasons. We can learn from our experiences, and move forward to a higher level of understanding. In the end, though, we are only human, and we don't always get it right. We cause ourselves pain when it is not really necessary. We cry over little things. We yell about nothing.
I'll bet there are no shouts, or tears, in heaven, except for shouts, and tears, of joy.

~In memory of Dewitt, who died one year ago today

Monday, January 12, 2009


Why is it so hard sometimes to let go of the past? Even when you think you have let go of some memory or other, it can come back again and again. Is there some emotional component that lies dormant, to be triggered by some event or other in the present? What part of that memory must be addressed and/or eradicated for the thought to go back into the past and stay there where it belongs? Is it okay to continually have a memory crop up, as long as you don't dwell on it? Why is it okay for pleasant memories to come back, but not okay for unpleasant ones? I mean, it's not as though the memory is actually happening again. The key is the emotion attached to it, I think. To some extent, you relive the emotion when the memory is triggered. Fine if it is a pleasant or happy emotion, not so fine if the emotion is .... not so fine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


As winter wraps its long, velvety gray arms around us, and we settle in for the long ride towards spring, I remain grateful for being able to witness the turning of the seasons. As much as this season has its dull, dreary days and wet, wild nights, it also contains a wondrous beauty, and much life still abounds. I look out on my meadow, and at first see only the dead grasses, bare trees and ice-covered pond. But then, I see a bluebird flitting from a tree to a bush, and now a squirrel scurries quickly (is there another way to scurry?) across the lawn. There is a slight breeze that is making the cattails quiver, and if I squint I can see the dormant buds on the maple tree next to the deck. LIFE GOES ON, the world whispers. I do well to stop, and look, and listen.

Friday, January 2, 2009


4) SLEEP more. Yeah, that would be nice.

Thursday, January 1, 2009