Present Tense

On surrendering…

familyToday’s journal entry, after a challenging weekend with my 96 year old mother.

It is the winter solstice; the day that the dark begins to lose to the light. The day that we begin the rebirth.

Yet, it feels the opposite to me right now as my mom struggles.  But, I guess another way to look at it is that she will could begin to move toward the light, as it becomes brighter and brighter.  It will become more and more inviting and powerful.

I think her soul is ready to go, but she’s stuck.  Maybe the recent spate of falls are a catalyst to get her unstuck.  We all pray that she just goes to bed one night and never wakes up, which could still happen of course, but it seems as if that isn’t quite the way that she will exit.

My dad orchestrated the perfect death.  He died suddenly.  He died outside where he was happiest, in the back yard.  No worrying about his health or who would care for my mom.  No extended hospital stays or heroic measures.  Just a beautiful spring day and BAM!

My mom, who had more health challenges and hospitalizations than my dad over the years has held on to age 96.  Her soul is leaking out as her memories and cognition and grasp of reality leave her.  She is half in and half out and I can only believe that as she becomes more frail and unable to function, that light will draw her ever closer.

I was thinking about all of this as I had plenty of time to observe and feel out her situation over the past few days. I see very clearly now that my job is not to spiritually guide her to the other side, but rather, to allow HER guides to work as they will.  Someone recently explained to me a theory that we all have various ‘exit ramps’ that appear in our lives;  opportunities to leave this incarnation. We often manage to speed past them or maybe we put on our turn signal, but change our mind at the last moment and veer back into the living.

My mom has an exit ramp approaching and if I keep too tight of a grip and protect her too much, she will miss it.  She says she’s ready.  She often wonders why she’s still here.  She may have zoomed past some other ramps, thanks to various earthly interventions on her behalf.  Or maybe there were spiritual interventions on her behalf.  I’ll never know, but I do know that she’s passed a lot of exit ramps in 96 years.

This time, I feel as if we need to back off and let her take that ramp.  It’s time to stop the back seat driving and let her get off the freeway.

She’s been speaking of ‘going home’ for the past couple of months.  Yesterday, when I asked her where she was going, she said “I don’t know,’ she chuckled.  “Maybe hell, but I don’t think so.  I’ve tried to live a good life and make good decisions.  So, I don’t see how I would end up there”.

I told her that all of the people she loved are waiting for her in heaven and she replied, “I sure hope so”.

She keeps falling.  I’ve been there to see her fall several times and it’s wrenching for me to witness her frailty, fear and pain.  She has no control in her life.  Of anything. And I caught myself over-controlling her when I was there.  My motivation was to keep her safe and to avoid any pain.  But,I can’t alleviate her pain.

Someone takes her to the toilet. Someone fixes her meals. Someone dresses and undresses her and shows up to give her pills that she doesn’t want, 3 times a day.  Someone (me, usually) warns her of falling or hurting herself.  What’s left? She feels completely alone, even when others are with her.

She enjoys our visits, but all I seem to do is sound warnings, with an occasional pleasant conversation, always about the distant past.  That is where her comfort lies; the time in her life when she was vital and useful and strong.

So, it seems as if she is approaching that exit ramp and it’s time for us to back off and allow her to take it.  If that means she must continue to fall and yes, hurt herself, then that’s how it has to be.  Perhaps it’s the soul equivalent of jumping off a cliff.  We don’t get to decide how we go, even as we’re on the ramp toward The Divine.

She’s ready and we have to see that it’s time to let go of her and allow the process to unfold as it will.  We hate to see her physically hurting, but must consider that the psychic and emotional pain of remaining in her body is excruciating for her.

Surrender.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Musings | 15 Comments

On stillness…..

More stream of consciousness…bear with me as I oil up my writing chops again:)iss-39_pre-winter_storm_southwestern_australia_b

I’ve decided and it was reinforced during a reiki session, that I have to limit my news/internet/bullshit.  It’s causing me suffering and making me angry and agitated.  It’s also clouding my thinking.  I need cleanliness and clarity in my brain.

The election was a perfect example of allowing pollution into my third eye.  I KNEW that it didn’t matter who won and that my vote was inconsequential.  Turns out my intuition was correct because I did end up casting a ‘hold your nose’ vote for HRC and she lost.  HA!  If that’s not a reinforcement to listen to my guides, then I don’t know what is.

NOBODY thought she would lose.  NOBODY.  And yet, it was the fates slapping us down, blowing up conventional wisdom and within my soul and my deep knowing, I was correct.  I knew this was going to be a disruptive election. I felt it coming for a few years and I should have just walked my path and allowed.  But, I was influenced by the buzz, the spin, the hysteria surrounding this whole evolution.

I knew it and felt it months, no, years ago.  This is why I need to limit my consumption of this addictive brew of junk that is swirling.  It’s no difference than how I feed myself food:  No factory farmed meats, mostly organic, as local as possible.  I avoid toxins as best I can and yet, I allow them into my eyes, ears, psyche and heart.  What goes in, comes out and if we nourish ourselves properly, we are clean and clear and able to function optimally; physically, spiritually, emotionally.

During reiki this week, I was told by one of my spirit guides “Don’t underestimate the power of being still”.  Yes.  Stillness is where we find ourselves, our essence, our authentic soul/spirit.  There is no other way.  The constant drumbeat of media, internet, anger, outrage, with so much of it based on lies, is damaging to us.  Damaging to our collective psyche and energy.  We need space and silence and time to process the sensory stimulation of modern life.

When I was working, I had a very distinct and rigid routine every morning: wake up, brush teeth, let dogs out, get a cup of coffee, head to basement, prepare for morning radio show, 20 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of meditation and GO!

I’ve lost that discipline and I miss it.  I have Saturn in Capricorn, so  a routine and even rigid boundaries around diet, exercise, discipline, even restriction, appeal to me.  My life is sloppy right now.  Not horrible, not tragic, but sloppy because I’m not doing what I need to do to function optimally and it’s like dragging a rock around.

But, that is me.  Everyone has to find that groove; the one that makes you feel like you’re powerful and lubricated and engaged. Maybe that’s playing music or painting or long walks or reading or cooking or just sitting with a beautifully fragrant candle.  It’s all about disconnecting with the chaos of modern life and re-connecting with the stillness within all of us.  It can be so hard to find.  But, it’s there.

We make life so much harder than it needs to be, by the stories we tell ourselves.  That old nemesis of awakening and enlightenment, The Human Condition is a tough one to wrangle into submission, eh?  Why have we allowed our lives to devolve into such an unnatural place?  Stillness will light the way out.

December 7, 2016 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

On dying….

Sat down to write in my joucandle-with-flame-1rnal this morning and this came out.  Stream of consciousness and I figured I would go ahead and post it.  Raw form. No edits.

I had a reiki session yesterday as I’ve been feeling sooooo low.  Not as bad as a week or so ago, but just full of dark sludge.  My 96 year-old Mom is not doing well and when I say that, it’s more of an energetic thing than a physical one.

My visits with her are beautiful and tragic and necessary.  My reiki goddess, Charlotte had very good advice when she said to just ‘be with her’.  I don’t have to ‘do’ anything; maybe that’s my job.  To bring her along toward death and acceptance and letting go of this physical plane.

Some of the things that have happened over the past few weeks show me that I’m supposed to be there in these situations.  To be there when she falls, is scared and confused and as Anne Lamott says, to simply ‘bring her a glass of water’.  I can’t change her situation, I can’t turn the clock back or forward, I can only wait with her for the day when she transitions to spirit.

This is very hard for me.  I’m an action person.  A deep thinker, but also driven to do something, to initiate movement of some sort and in this situation, that is just not possible or productive or kind.  Her spirit is leaking out, as is her life force and I can only sit with her, offering comfort and love and security.

Dying is a profound act.  From the beginning of time, humans have feared it, wondered about it, attempted to explain it, run from it, denied it and ultimately we must accept it.  I have accepted that I will lose her and since she has told me many times that she has been here long enough, I welcome the end of her life in this physical incarnation.

There was a time when I was absolutely paralyzed with the fear of losing my parents. I’ve written about it and I discussed it with a counselor.  Over the past 3 years, I’ve been in an intense and instructive death lesson, having lost two dogs, my dad and a dear friend.  This got my attention.

And though I’m still pissed off at their passing; that I can’t hold them, call them, consult them or just know they are sharing my earth space, I have been able to formulate a spiritual knowing that death is not the end.

I firmly believe that we live on as spirit and that the moment that we leave this physical body, will free us and expand us and turn us into pure light and love.  That knowledge has erased much of my fear around my own death and has greatly helped me deal with and process the many and inevitable losses that come with being human.

So, death and dying confront us all.  At some point, we all take that final breath and our ancestors will appear to lead us back to our pure essence; our authentic spirit and soul self.

My job now is to hold my mom’s hand until she lets go.  And that is enough.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Story of Mojo

mojoWe lost our dog Ember in May.

I wrote about her death after she was hit by a delivery truck in our driveway.

I wrote about forgiving the driver.

I wrote about how I handled her death and held her body and buried her in the center of my medicine wheel garden.

I haven’t yet written about the solo, 3600 mile, healing pilgrimage that I made to sacred places in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana after her death.  But, I will.

I’m not overstating it when I say that her death and the circumstances surrounding her death were some of the most painful and transformational events of my life.  There was something mystical about it.  Here is the next chapter:

On June 1st, while I was wandering around Badlands National Park, breathing in the energy and working on clearing my heart of the oppressive grief that I felt, 5 puppies were born in Colorado.  They were Jack Russell Terriers from the same family as our dogs Chili (also a devastating loss in 2013), Junior and Ember.

My friends Darlene and Mike, sent me photos of the new puppies. They were also grieving Ember’s loss along with us.  She was ‘their dog’, too as she had come from their kennel.

I had no desire for a puppy anytime soon.  The wound was still too raw. I wanted to take plenty of time to allow the grieving process to unfold.  I knew that healing would happen with time.  We would be a one dog family for a year or so.

When these puppies reached about 6 weeks, Darlene told me that one of them, a little boy, had a heart murmur and needed to be checked out by a cardiologist.  Many times puppies will outgrow a minor heart murmur and so I wished her well and didn’t think about it again.

A week later, she had an appointment with a specialty clinic in Denver to have him checked out. Driving to the clinic, she was caught in traffic.  An accident had closed the freeway and she wasn’t able to get to the appointment.

Frantically, she called a terrier owning friend who recommended another specialty clinic north of Denver with a great cardiologist and she was able to get an appointment.

At that clinic, they were told that “Dipstick” as they’d started calling him due to his black tail, was in congestive heart failure. He had a large hole in his heart.  Surgery, costing thousands of dollars was the only thing that would save his life.  He was 9 weeks old.

They admitted that they just couldn’t swing that amount of money for the pup.  It was a horrible decision to have to make, but the cardiologist was so taken with Dipstick, she said they would do the surgery, no charge.   Out of the blue.  Just like that.  They said, “we’ll save him”.

And they did.  As soon as he was out of surgery, his BP and heart rate were normal. He was up and eating within 24 hours.  A miracle.

The docs said the hole was so big that they couldn’t fix it laparoscopically; they had to open him up and use sutures to close the hole in his heart.  The entire team was in the operating room, watching and rooting for “Dippy” as they called him.

I had no idea that all of this was happening, other than being told that he needed this surgery and that this group of wonderful angels had offered to save his life.

I was telling my husband this story and told him that once he was healed, they would place him in a good home.  He said “Did you raise your hand?”  This comment was from a man who fought me on every single puppy that I’ve brought home.  Who declared loudly after every pet loss, “NO NEW DOGS”.

I hadn’t spoken one word about a new puppy after we lost Ember.  It was still too painful for me and I knew what his reaction would be.

So, the next morning, I meditated on this.  I had decided that we should wait on another puppy. I was hoping for another girl dog.  I didn’t think we had taken enough time to grieve and adapt to our new normal.

But, as I sat in meditation, I heard this: “You all have a hole in your heart and so does he.  You can heal your hearts together”.  Truly.  That is exactly what came to me.

This little dog was full of magic.  He had such a strong spirit to survive for so long with a hole in his heart.  His spirit reached out and grabbed a group of veterinarians when they saw him and propelled them to do a wondrous and compassionate and extraordinarily generous thing.  That is some very good mojo.

I have no doubt that part of that strength and part of that charm came from Ember’s spirit visiting him.  I see Chili’s sweet, wise soul in his eyes.

Mojo saw his docs last Thursday and they declared him cured.  Fixed.  Ready for a long and vivacious terrier life. I’m told some of them had tears in their eyes when they saw how lively and happy he is with his strong, healthy heart.

There is something mystical about this story.  When I weave it all together and see the unseen forces working to bring this pup to us, I’m in awe.

Had he not been sick. Had Darlene not missed the first appointment.  Had I not sat in meditation.  And yes, had we not lost Ember.  Life is so uncontrollable and mixed up and perfect.

He will come to live with us very soon.  He has to.  Spirit wouldn’t have it any other way.

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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