My best friend Big D…

It has been difficult to keep my mind focused on work. Today the news came I have awaited for a week, my beloved pup of only 6 years has renal failure and will likely have to be put down sometime soon. My heart is breaking with the news and yet I know that life is once again teaching me something positive in a sea of what feels negative right now.  I have always thought of writing a book called “My Conversations with God.” It seems I have them often, when things are good and when things are bad. I have had numerous conversations with God lately, in the past week I have asked for a chance to have my pup for a few more years but I also trust in my higher power, it is in his hands as to what my path ahead is to be, not just with my pet but with my life. In the past 7 years I have experiences so many losses, pets, lovers, best friends and family members. Perhaps this is life’s way of preparing me for change by allowing my grief to also bring gratitude even when experiencing those things I have no control over. 

I know I am on my way to my next chapter. Over the years I have learned to be a little more in tuned to things even though I am constantly questioning my thinking. I can’t explain exactly what I mean by that but I feel more connected to life and to experiences than I ever did in the past, perhaps my quality of quiet time has allowed a deeper sense of meaning within. A few weeks ago I remember thinking one night as I looked at my dog there was a weird feeling of sadness in his eyes I had seen in Mozart’s (my last pup) before I learned of his cancer. I can’t fully explain it but I was more aware of that thought with D, because I remembered that moment after the fact with Mozi. I remember saying as I let D out that night I love you so much but feeling like something felt uncomfortable, of course I brushed it off because he is so young and it was one of those -less than a second- thought. I have noticed he seems to be more attached to me, following me around the house more than in the past. Small little thoughts briefly crossed my mind before any of this knowledge was brought to light of this unexpected health issue….so strange.

Deisel is my angel, I tell him that all the time. When in 2008 I lost my dog Mozart to cancer, my once boyfriend to depression and a drug overdose and my step father to heart failure. I felt as if Deisel saved me by becoming my healer. That was a very dark time with a very cloudy recollection for a year or two but I do remember watching this pup grow, love me and become a part of my life. For those of us who are true pet lovers we understand that unconditional bond that develops, it is something that words can not explain. It is heart felt, and today my heart hurts with the news. I know there will be a day when I will have to allow the vet to give that fetal shot and Deisel will enter on to a peaceful sleep as he passes, I experienced that with Mozart and it was difficult. I also know I will continue to feel loss with those around me because with life comes death and it is a continued cycle until it is our turn.

From where I stand now I do believe in the saying that when one door closes another one opens. While my eyes will most likely not be dry for sometime I know that there are always good things ahead regardless of the hurt I am feeling right now. God continues to bless me with beautiful life experiences, I choose to keep love in my heart and happiness in my life no matter what happens. I will cherish each day I have from this day forward with my best friend Big D until fate calls upon him to leave me. Each walk will carry more meaning, each time he slings his metal bowl across the deck I will laugh harder, each night before bed as I give him a hug and a kiss on the nose I will be sure he knows how much he truly means to me. I love my big dog, this will be hard but I will make the best of it with the time I have.

I saw a post on FB recently where a 6  year old child had to experience the procedure of losing his pet, the child’s response was “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

That really registered in me (here is the story if you want to read more).

I have not written much since learning my Dad had cancer although I have so much inside I want to share. This was good to get out I hope you can feel connected with what was said. Thank you for reading, sending love and hoping you will pass it on….

A new day….

This morning I laid in bed and watched as the beautiful pink and purple colors surrounded the skyline. I felt completely relaxed, content, peaceful and happy. I watched as the light intensified into bright orange as the sunlight took over and a new day began….spring is in the air!

Last night I awoke in the middle of the night gasping for air, my heart was beating fast and felt as though it would jump right out of my chest. It was one of those dreams where out of no where your body is reacting as if a tragic event has happened. I was crying, I was feeling deep sadness, hurt and uncontrollable pain in the center of my chest. It was the kind of pain you feel when someone close to you dies, that impending feeling of loss, of grief…of despair. Before I had full control over my thoughts I was aware of the person in my dream, I knew him, he was from my past over 14 years ago. He was someone I never dreamed about, at least not anymore.

At first he was pulling away, I was acting my normal goofy self, playful, happy trying to get him to laugh. He seemed distant, was not amused and grumpy. Finally, I called him out and told him to lighten up, those words were what started my immediate pain and eventually the reason I awoke. “I’ve been seeing someone else,” he said…the words came out easily for him, easier than any words I had ever heard him speak.

He was a quiet man, one who rarely talked, unless it was about fishing or basketball. He never shared personal emotions. I don’t remember him being that way in the beginning but at this point in our lives, ten years of learning who he was he had two personalities…one was vulgar and one was anger. When he was speaking those words he was calm, spoke clearly and watched quietly as my emotional state disintegrated in an instant. I said nothing, I just felt a sharp pain in my chest and panic set in. My whole body hurt and I began to cry. As I turned to leave the room he said something, I can’t remember what it was but I remember how it made me feel. He was trying as he always did to make me feel guilty, to blame me for his actions, to make me feel as though I had treated him bad, had not given him what he wanted and had drove him to this…then he began getting angry, the tone in his voice changed and that was when I realized it was a dream.

All the deep emotions I had when I left him more 14 years ago surfaced at that moment, the sadness, the hurt, the heartbreak and despair. All but one….anger. In the dream as I was waking up I remember thinking this will make it easier, I now have a reason he will understand, he will finally have a clear reason of why I am choosing to move on, this is a very good thing. I sat up in bed and started crying out loud, I asked as if someone was in the room…where in the world did that dream come from?

The strange thing about my dream last night is that as far as I know my ex husband never cheated on me. I did learn after our separation that he had lied when we met, he was living with a woman that he “had” dated even though I was led to believe he was living with a bunch of guys in a house across town.

I have no idea what triggered that dream to happen, our minds are very strange in how they work. What I do know is that having the courage to leave that person because of the verbal abuse I was experiencing, regardless of how much I loved him was by far the best life choice I have ever made. I held onto anger for a number of years. I have worked very hard to earn back my self dignity, my ability to love myself and to know who I am and what I deserve. I have also worked hard to forgive and to let go of the anger. Perhaps that dream was my test. I laid in bed for 30 minutes before falling back asleep, I was afraid at first I would settle back into the dream. I smiled as I laid there because I realized not only did I not feel anger in that moment I had not gotten angry in the dream.

I guess the reason I am sharing this with you is that I realize now how holding on to anger affects your overall happiness in life. When you have those feelings toward someone else you never truly let go of them or the pain. Letting go allows you to have space for good things to reside. If you are holding on to any anger or resentment figure out how to let it go, I promise it will set you free and allow so many new and wonderful things to happen.

Today is a new day and I feel great! I am ready to make this day count and I hope that you will do the same! Sending love as always….pass it on!

Marching on as I embrace age…

March mark’s the beginning of spring, daylight savings time and my birthday. Most of my adult life I was never very excited about birthdays because I did not like the attention that they brought. When I hit 40 and kept hearing all my friends complain about the aging process, I decided I would embrace my age by celebrating so for a few years I really made the event public, had some big parties at the thinking diva treehouse and made the celebration last for weeks. The past few years I continue to embrace the changes that come with aging but I have again gone into a bit of hiding when it comes to celebrating.

Recently as I was spending my quiet Sunday reflecting and awaiting my Super Soul Sunday time on OWN I suddenly felt extremely lonely. I realized that although I have a lot of wonderful friends I don’t have one that I would feel comfortable calling in a moment of need. Most of those who I once felt close to have become intertwined in serious relationships. Although they are still very close friends I would not feel the same sharing with them, that close connection no longer feels so relevant and I would feel I was a bother. As time marches on so do the relationships we build, it is a beautiful thing because I believe the timing of those people being in our lives as they come and go is exactly as it has been planned by that of a higher power. When I look back I had the right people in my life at the right time. Still at times like on that Sunday I question my inner strength. Being so much of an introvert I often feel distanced from others, facebook is a bit of a void yet when faced with the reality like on that Sunday I realized how alone I feel at times. It took me a moment to realize I was really not alone, I remember feeling the frustration and almost panic of not having anyone to talk to in my moment then I realized my best friend, the one I felt I was actually connecting with in THAT moment, that internal connection, that internal voice…was what I believe to be God. I love when those moments occur, I cherish what ever that is, I assume a moment of “SPIRIT”.

I think the biggest thing I hate about aging other than loosing my vanity is watching my parents get older and knowing they will someday no longer be here. It is something that brings me to tears with just the thought and often I have to push it in the back of mind knowing it is always there. As we grow older we experience more loss, we see our friends and partners deal with the loss of their parents and we know that as a part of life, death can not be avoided. Although it hurts we somehow overcome the result of the pain and keep the memories of what once was dear to our hearts in our memories. Someday we will all be memories..then eventually we will no longer be as time will continue to march on and generations pass. This Tuesday, tomorrow I will find out if my Dad has cancer. I am nervous, scared and sad. I am hopeful but don’t want to see any of my family suffer. It is a new place for me and a place I don’t care to be although I have no choice, what ever the outcome I want to be there for him. I had not planed to share that with anyone, but at the same time I started this page to share regardless of the topic. I have felt really emotional since he told me of the biopsy. I lost a whole week with the flu last week and it made me realize how extremely important good health is to our quality of life. Having felt that all last week I am grateful for feeling better but anxious for the result of what lies ahead for my dad. I know so many friends and family members who have already had to deal with these things so I know as life marches on the right people will once again come into my life as I need them. I trust that in my life and I honor how life works so perfectly through all of the ups and downs.

So, as I embrace another birthday I am that much more grateful for each time I get a phone call from mom, from dad, from my sister and from my nephew because I love them all so much. I feel so blessed that they are all still here and want to cherish every moment I have. I wish sometimes I could just stop time to embrace their presence in my life but knowing that can’t happen I have to be grateful at all times for what I have now. I am also grateful for everything I have out side of my family, for all of the people in my life and that includes all of you. Thank you for listening, for wanting to believe there is more and for giving more love. Lets pass on all that we can that is positive so that we can leave something good behind even if it feels so small. Have a wonderful week, sending love….

Do you want to live an extraordinary life?

I have amped up my soul searching efforts lately, perhaps it is because I am older, maybe I am at a crossroads with life vs. happiness. What ever the case I am realizing that there are a lot of unhappy, angry and unhealthy people out there and that saddens me. Are you one of them? What would you say if I asked you this question; “Do you want to live an extraordinary life?” I present that question to myself often and as I grow I find that it is continuously changing.

When I first thought deeply about this question it centered around money because I felt with more money I could be much happier, and live more extraordinarily. In our culture most of us tend to center everything in our lives around money. When in our teens we want money to buy candy or toys and then a car and gas money. When we graduate from high school we need money to go to college because a college education assures we will be more successful which will offer us a higher source of income. When we get out of college we need more money to provide our lives with new opportunities in travel, in buying a home, in buying a new car or perhaps in having a family. It we grow up poor we may not have any of these beliefs it may just be the ability to survive. If we grow up rich, money may have no measure but we might be lacking in other areas due to circumstances money may have created.

While it is true that money allows so much more to happen in our lives I believe being rich does not assure we will live an extraordinary life, in fact it has potential to destroy our chances. The reason our focus shouldn’t be on the money is that ” money” is a material thing not an emotion. Material things create temporary emotion not continuous emotion. How many times have you gone out, splurged on something and a day, week or month later moved on to wanting something else? Having that “thing”  creates excitement at first but the emotion of “having” it gradually fades once you’ve achieved the goal. It is not achieving the goals we create that offer us continuous happiness it is an awareness of positive emotion and the energy in that moment of experience. The emotion of happiness is what allows us to live extraordinarily and it is always centered around the emotion of feeling good. In that moment it creates an internal energy that is high.

Scientific evidence proves that our thoughts are the most powerful energy in creating our actions and shaping our lives. Many kids that are born into poor or troubled families become poor or troubled adults not because of money but because of their choices. They believe internally that it is their destiny because that is what they are taught, their thoughts reflect that and it comes to be. Negative energy is the result of negative thoughts and negative emotions. Negative energy can result in negative choices. That being said there are many positive and empowering stories of people born poor or from troubled families who have changed their course in life through their thinking, Dr. Wayne Dyer is a great example, Louise Hay is another!

It is my belief through my own experiences that what I choose to think guides me into fruition. I want to be happy and in order to “be” that I need to allow my choices to guide me to experiences that create the emotion of happiness? Life experiences do not always support the ability to be in a constant emotion of happiness but I have a choice to allow myself to shift the negative experiences quickly from acceptance to rediscovery. The power of our thoughts is the most powerful life source that exist with in each of us. It is not always easy but it is possible if we push ourselves to stay in a positive state of mind no matter what transpires.

The past few weeks I have worked hard to be in a mindful place, by questioning my thoughts, my emotions and by experiencing these things with a constant awareness. I have paid close attention to my feelings when around others both socially in person and online. While in that space I have started to see  more clearly those people I need to spend less time interacting with versus those I should spend more time with based on the internal feelings I am left with after parting ways. The result is solely negative or positive and I choose positive because I don’t like how my body feels when in the presence of a negative influence. Those negative people are not bad people they have just chosen a mindset either consciously or non consciously based on their own thinking as to what their reality is. I choose to create my own positive mindset no matter how hard or how many people tell me different or try to argue my belief (or believe I am a flake, they are entitled to their opinion). The more I allow positive people around me the better I feel because of the energy they exude. The opposite result will apply if I choose to be around negative people, I know because I spent the first 35+ years of my life in that negative space. While in that place I was sad, depressed, unhealthy, angry, judgmental and most likely not all that fun to be around.

So do you want to live an extraordinary life? Are you willing to let go of negativity in order to become more positive? Start with baby steps, start by being aware of what negative words you or others are using. Start by being aware of how negative experiences and thoughts feel internally. Allow yourself to compare those with positive feelings. Eliminant words like I can’t and I don’t have and speak as if you are and you do. Start realizing the internal feeling you have in every moment you are breathing. If you are sad think about what that feels like and what is causing that feeling. When you are happy, what does that feel like, why? When you are angry, what does that feel like, why? Why are you judging others in a way that makes them wrong? Are you feeling guilty about something, why, what does that feel like? If you allow yourself to sit back and not only feel those emotions but understand why they are occurring and what your body feel like in those moments I believe you can create a new path to happiness. Your happiness lives within you, not out side of you. Your happiness is based on the power of those internal experiences and emotions. You have the choice to choose change through your thinking! It is not always easy and never constant but the more aware you are the easier it gets to stay positive, the faster you can choose to make it happen and the happier you will become.

If you want an extraordinary life you have to start with thinking extroidinary thoughts and that starts by thinking positive. It requires that you, with out a doubt BELIEVE anything is possible. In turn the energy you carry as well as emit will become positive and powerful. You will see positive things happen in your life with out reason, you will meet people who make you feel good and whom inspire you. You will smile more, give more and love deeper. Negative things that others think, say or do will no longer matter because you are developing strength and confidence within.

Thank you for reading and as always I am sending love…pass it on!

Making sense of negativity and creating positive change…

For two days now I have awoken with feelings of sadness, my heart aches for all those children and teachers who died friday in such a senseless manner. Like so many people I believe we are all trying to understand in disbelief why these kinds of things happen. In a world that reflects war, poverty, illness and abuse how do these horrific things keep happening in a country designed around opportunity and freedom?

I studied journalism in college and wanted to be a photo journalist for my first 2 years until I realized that most of what I would be doing was reporting sad stories. Later I received a BS in Art Education but was saddened inside the public school system with the despair within the family life of so many of my students, the heartbreak was too heavy for me. Not wanting to be constantly reminded of the negative part of our culture I opted to be a commercial photographer. I fight constantly to avoid watching the news, I am drawn to knowing what is happening in our world but have realized in my studies of metaphysics and spiritual awareness that too much exposure leads to negative energy and judgement. With all the media coverage on the event in Connecticut we can’t seem to avoid anger and we search for blame that comes with tragedy, it’s all over tv, facebook and twitter. Gun laws will be challenged, people will be criticized and religion will be judged because after all how could GOD allow such a thing to happen. How do we take such negativity and create positive change?

What I say from here forward will be honest yet opinionated. It is only my presumption which I am entitled to as you are to yours. It is not intended to challenge or hurt any one. It is my voice only and comes from my beliefs, experiences and my hope for some sort of understanding of what life is teaching me, I share for the sole purpose of possibly bringing positive awareness though negative experiences.

I believe we are living in a time of mass separation. We are being challenged not by God but by what we as humans have created. We are allowing money, judgement, fear and anger to lead us, to overtake our ability to think clearly. Individually we are not taking accountability for our actions and we are being influenced by tv shows, media and technology not by our own internal soul. We are becoming numb because of overstimulation and operating outside of ourselves not internally where our true humanity lies. We are desensitizing our youth because of what we are allowing them to experience during their developmental and cognitive years. I believe mental illness is a result of this not because people are weak or going crazy but because their minds are being conditioned from all that is available from the outside world way to young not to mention everyone is being medicated.

It is time to set some boundaries and make some changes, if you haven’t read the book “Boundaries” by Cloud/Townsend I recommend you start there, especially as a parent!!! I am not a parent so many will say I am not entitled to an opinion on parenting, I respect that opinion. I have however studied some areas of phycology and sociology and I have always been intrigued by human nature and the power of our minds. I believe through my own personal work that our personalities develop from the experiences we have from birth until around 6-8 years old. We put meaning, both negative and positive to events that happen in those years and generate life time thinking patterns, fears and beliefs based on how we process all of those events. Our parents beliefs also influence how we process things during that time of cognitive development. If we as adults are operating from a sense of numbness based on all the external stimulation (tv,media, religion) then our children are also operating from numbness during the development stage so wouldn’t it make sense that they begin to believe these negative stimuli if they are not told to believe otherwise. Their minds at that age are like a sponge and they are influenced by everything around them. How do we expect young people to process all of these things positively in those early years of cognitive development if we ourselves are operating from a numb state. How vital is it for us to get a handle on our thinking, our judgements and our anger. Our young people are a product of what is available to them and they will grow up to be that which influences them in those younger years. Now, more than ever we as humans need to get a handle on things and realize if it looks negative or sounds negative it is and that creates negative thinking, negative events and negative energy. If a persons enjoyment is watching people being gunned down, infidelity and anger driven drama on tv or if that exist in the home on a regular basis I can assume there is a lot of emotional unhappiness because of the negativity that person is operating from within. Not because they are bad people but because negativity attracts negativity.

Personally I want to live my life feeling happy, everyday, as much as I possibly can because I want to feel good. So I ask you as an individual what is the one thing that makes you feel good no matter what? I preach this so much I am sure most people out there think I’m a hopeless romantic hippie but we all know down deep inside LOVE is the only true emotion that when felt can bring an overall happiness that resonates in not only our minds but in our hearts. I believe it is the most powerful emotion available to us but with judgment, dishonesty and anger, love can not exist, it can not resonate because there in no negativity in the feeling of love. It’s free, it is available and it heals. It will be what gets those families in CT through their losses, it is what gets us through tough times and it is in my opinion the only way we can ever get a handle on what is happening in our world. Love what you do, love who you are and love who your with, three simple things that you have power over. When we live from happiness we create that around us because others see that and want it too. I realize that these things can’t change all of our worldly problems but change happens slowly in life. If we all stop looking at everyone else and start with ourselves working on clearing our minds and operating from a clear loving mindset I believe miracles will happen.

All I want is for you, if you have read this far to consider doing this…

-watch tv less and sit in silence more to see what thoughts appear in your mind

-think about what you can do within your self to make you and only you feel better, to be a better person or be happier with your life

-be grateful for the wonderful things you have and stop wishing you had more

-do something nice for someone else just for the sake of being nice

-treat yourself good because you deserve it

-stop hanging out with negative people, if you are that negative person realize you are, forgive yourself, make positive changes to change that part of you and discover how awesome that feels

-communicate with others openly and honestly about how things make you feel, with out judgment and with delicacy, not making them wrong but merely letting them know if something is hurtful to you

lastly and most importantly tell the ones you love that you love them, say it out loud and be sure they hear you because we never know when it might be our last time with those loved ones. Never, ever take that for granted!

Sending love…pass it on!