Tuesday, December 24

A Heart without Words

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
                                                            ― Mahatma Gandhi

A Dearheart shared this quote with me, and for multiple reasons I find it terrific. 

I mentioned recently about following my heart, and feeling sure my heart will guide me where I’m supposed to go with life. Sometimes that means just stopping and feeling, not expecting my heart to be full of words.

One of the things I’ve accepted is that not everything I feel has words. Often I don’t understand what I’m feeling because I don’t have words for it. The words help me know what’s going on in my head, but when I don’t have those words, and I’m forced to feel, I have to sit back and allow the feelings to exist and be felt. It’s half comforting and half frustrating for someone who likes understanding and relies on words.

But in doing that… having a heart without words, you put yourself in a place to be listening. And if your intention is prayer, try allowing your heart to experience no words.

It’s like sitting with a friend and watching a sunset. You could sit there and talk, you could be looking at each other, finding words for thoughts, and thoughts for feelings, but you could also sit with that friend in silence and not think, watch the sky, witness the beauty right in front of you since it’s only going to last for a few minutes.

Take in the color, cloud, and light. If we do this, we give ourselves the opportunity to stop and feel. This is what I mean by a heart without words, this kind of beauty touches your heart, makes you feel things, and being ok with the fact there are not words for it is a great space to allow.

I still often find I feel things I don’t understand. Sometimes it’s in the desire to cry over a situation without knowing why I want to cry. Ya, I see some small reasons, but the desire for crying is far bigger than the understanding that brings the desire. I’m trying to allow more of the feelings of my heart to be felt without knowing the words right away. Sometimes in letting myself feel, I get to the words eventually. Which is really what I want… to understand myself better, and get clarity even if it has to come at the end, instead of the beginning.

Sunday, December 15

Energy Givers

It's humorous to find I'm turning into a hippie. I did not know I would grow up to become a "Make Love, Not War" advocate. But what's also interesting is how I see those two words now. They both mean so much more than I assumed when I was young. (I find myself hoping you know exactly what that means.)

This is where I sound even more like a hippie.

The Energy of Love is so much more powerful than the average person is aware of. In fact, the average person doesn't realize how much life revolves around "energies". If you are familiar with "the four control drama's" you are aware of the the need people have for energy. (number 6 if you click on the link)

I have been thinking a lot about energy lately, trying to notice when people are givers or takers. And even when people do neither. 

It turns out I'm someone people like to take energy from. Not many people give energy to me. I'm aware of this because the two feel so different. It's literally like there is a battery inside me that people hook up to and run down, or hook up to and charge. I'm not saying this is out of my control, because I am a giver of energy and do it pretty consciously... so if someone gets used to me giving it, I shouldn't be surprised if eventually they start taking it irrespective of my choice.

What's a little shocking is when they come right out and tell me they aren't getting it, but want it. No, it doesn't happen too often that people are that blunt, because they usually use one of the four control dramas to get it instead of saying "I need more". Well, and sometimes they do both.

With that said, I'm wanting to actually concentrate on the Givers. The Rare Ones. The few-and-far-between individuals that cross my path and make a difference on my battery for the better. I have written before about people who easily affect me for the better: (The Dearhearts) and this is akin to that.

These Givers have the ability to read me. They see things in my mood or body language others don't, which is interesting to me. They are more aware. They also seem to easily praise or appreciate me when I'm not doing anything for praise or appreciation, or even seemingly noteworthy. This is one of the ways they give. Not because I love having praise; on the contrary, I'm not fond of praise, but the type of praise Givers give, is one that says "I see your genuineness, and I want you to know I see it." This type of praise usually comes from very casual words, not excited big expressions of fondness.

Another thing I've noticed is the physical energy from the hands of the Givers. No, I don't know if all the givers have an energy I can physically feel from their hands, but of the few who have touched me, they have clearly -touched me.

There is this young girl I work with. She's very young, and SUCH a Giver. I pray she doesn't grow out of her giving, because she is so good at it. Extremely genuine. She is the type of person, that when she walks past you, she will scratch your back for a second or two. A couple people at work do this, but they aren't givers, so I don't feel the energetic tingles of their giving. This young girl has different beliefs on religion than me, she's 20 years younger, she doesn't have the same goals as me, and outside of work, we aren't "friends", so it is easy to say this young girl is not "special" to me per se; to make me feel her physical energy, but clearly -she is special in that she's a BIG Giver!!

I haven't spoken to her about this, although she saw that she clearly affects me a couple days ago when she related a recent experience of many emotions and thoughts happening in her head at once. I was so easily able to feel what she was saying, I couldn't contain my tears and had to walk off for a tissue. It was her energy and beauty I felt, not her frustration. 

Some of the things about her giving ability: She does it without knowing. She gives even in the relating of a story. She doesn't seem to have qualifiers for her affection and giving of energy. I'm not asking, she's not trying, she just gives. I wish the world were full of more people like her. It feels too small and short to say "more givers" but that's all it is, having the ability; and Giving.

Thursday, December 12

Gossip & BS are the same.

(I'm totally convinced December is the shortest month of the year. Fully. Completely & Utterly. It's already 12-12, and I swear it was only two weeks ago since it was 11-11.)

I realized something today. I could/should have realized it long ago, but I think we are so brainwashed to some things not mattering, or being 'the norm' we don't notice, so we can't realize.

I was in the grocery store, walking up to the check out, and I glance to my left at all the magazines and Gossip rags they have there. I read some of the headlines, compared them to the celebrity expressions they accompanied, and I found myself saying: there are actually people _____ enough to find that interesting and worth spending money on.  I'm not trying to pass judgement, I'm just saying it finally occurred to me what Gossip is.

The images on these magazines were all upset faces and headlines that fit the expressions. Nothing good, nothing happy, nothing uplifting or cheery, just complaining, fighting, whining, negativity and upset. Nothing we put on our Christmas lists, nothing we say we want to grow up to have, nothing we enjoy, and yet, clearly people must be buying these magazines, because they keep printing them.

What occurred to me about gossip, is that it's got 3 faces to it. It can be true or false or a half true, doesn't matter, they are still the same. The idea of gossip is repeating the bad. Bad circumstance, bad choice, bad anything. The "truth" isn't even important with gossip. The repeating someone's BS is the real goal, not getting your facts right.

If someone has bad things happening in their life, choosing to repeat the bad is choosing to gossip because of the nature of what you are saying. So when the story IS true, repeating it is still your opportunity to swim in someone else's BS. That is all these magazines are doing.

No wonder I have no interest in gossip.

Tuesday, December 3

Feelings vs. Thoughts

Why thoughts always win, but feelings are the champions.

I’m going to try and find words to explain this “thing” that happens, maybe we all do it, and I think it would be great if we could master not doing it.

Ever have a feeling to do something, you don’t do it, you talk yourself out of doing it, and then later realize: I should have done that! This happens to me often.

One example: I was in Romania, leaving my apartment in Calarasi, locking my door, and I suddenly had a feeling to take my toothbrush with me. I was headed to Bucharest for the day, taking the train, I wouldn’t need my toothbrush, and my thoughts talked me out of heeding the feeling, So I did.

Guess what? I ended up stuck in Bucharest that night, and found myself wishing so bad I had my toothbrush. (clean teeth is important to me) No, not having a toothbrush wasn't the end of the world, and it wasn't some lightning bold advice that I was kicking myself over later. It just simply would have been great to be able to clean my teeth.

My feelings somehow knew I would want my toothbrush, and yet I let my thoughts that don’t know everything talk me out of listening to my feelings; regrettably.

This same thing happened today on a smaller scale. I was using the earphones for my cell phone on my tablet, and as I was about to leave the house I had a feeling to unplug my earphones and take them with me. My thoughts said: I will no way need my earphones at work, don’t bother taking them. So I ignored the feeling and listened to the thought.

Well, I didn’t need my earphones while I was working, but I did end up needing them AFTER work, and I didn’t have them! 

Often I have a feeling and I let my thoughts talk me out of it.

I’m a pretty sensible person, so I always let my sensibleness mean more than my feelings, and without fail I am learning that my feelings are SMARTER. I should listen to THEM!

And ya, today it was only headphones, and usually it's something small, but in learning to listen to the feelings and not let my thoughts take over, I will likely one day be so very glad I mastered quieting the thoughts and heeding the feelings.

The reason I write this is because I believe we allow our thoughts to dictate -when we should be allowing our feelings to be in charge…

Feelings and thoughts are so similar it’s learning to distinguish between the two that’s tricky. So my guide is: feelings tend to come first, like a present just being handed to me. Thoughts tend to try and convince me to see it differently, like that present is really a bomb, and I shouldn't open it because A. I don’t want to be blown up. And B. You never know what could be in a bomb.
Both good points really. Sensible stuff. Possibly worth listening to. So the feeling; being the present doesn't defend itself. It just exists as a present. The other is literally full of thoughts and reasons.

This is currently my only distinguishable tool. If you have a better way, please share!

Saturday, November 30

What we *Believe*

I have a thing for sunsets, as my closest friends know, and I have some favorite places to photograph them. One of these places is in the town south of here at the Krishna temple.

This temple is up on a hill, and you can walk around the top balcony, looking at the view in every direction. This is where I’ve captured some of my most favorite sunset pictures.

Last week I went with my dear friend to this Krishna temple. As we entered, we took our shoes off (as customary) and we headed upstairs. Looking at one another and smiling as we realized the music we were hearing was live singing.

”hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna, hare hare, hare rama, hare rama, rama rama, hare hare”.

I immediately thought there was a room full of people, and the floor accordion we saw on our last visit was being played. Ascending the stairs, I was shocked to see only 3 men. They sat on the floor in the corner on pillows atop a rug. We sat down on a short bench a way from them, and enjoyed their lovely voices.

My friend then told me that when he was part of an organized religion, he would feel an element of guilt at attending any event organized by another religion. He said that he felt as though his being there meant he was worshiping “their god” not “his god”.

This shocked me a bit. I had never considered one could feel that worship of “god” could be done to more than one god, simply based on where one was. Especially since I had always assumed (when I was tucked up into religion) there must only really be one god. We are all just fighting over who we believe “he” is.

Then, I wondered… (complicated thought here) Is it possible to convince people to worship a god that is not a real god? A god that is not worthy of being worshiped? An entity that is not a god? If that entity is not a god, does the belief of the worshiper override who the god actually being worshiped is? And I am trying to distinguish between what is being worshiped and the entity the worshiper believes they are worshiping. Again, does the belief override the situation?

So, if my friend had decided who his god was, and that was the god he worshipped, did it matter he was in a place worshiping a different god? OR, did the worship change with the collective? You’re in a Krishna temple, you will now be worshiping Krishna/Rama?

IF… if… the worshiping is not within the control of the believer (you and me), we don’t actually get to decide who we “worship”. None of us. Yes if…. But IF this were true, an organized religion could create what they want, decide who the followers are going to be worshiping, and as long as the believers are sold on what they are toldwhoever that “god” is, will be the one being worshiped. Which is also to say, receiving the energy of all those believers.

I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this is already insisting that we worship -who we believe we worship. Not who the collective is gathered together to believe in.

Which is to say belief dictates your worship, and who your energy is going to.

I am saying I don’t know… I’ve posed two ideas here. One is uncomfortable, the other is comfortable.

This is where I say, what we believe is decided! You will believe what feels most comfortable to you, and you will be cemented in it because of comfort. And where your comfort lies in your organized religion (if you have one) has everything to do with what you have been told to believe. Essentially who your god is, has been dictated by someone else. You didn’t create your religion, your religion is older than you. So, really, you ARE worshiping whatever entity you have been told to worship, and you believe in “your god”, -who could be anything/anyone when all is said and done.


Wednesday, November 27

My Piece of Peace

What I’m thinking about on this eve of the day of giving thanks isn’t “gratitude” and “grateful for”. I’ve reached a space where those words are so trite they have lost their meaning for me. 

This holiday is based on fairy-tale dinners with Native Americans, when what really happened as “white men” came to these lands was slaughter and steal. No I’m not going to harp on about the lies we are told, or the awfulness of the truth… I’m going to be ever the optimist and say on this holiday in particular I am going to hope for and dream of more peace. For everyone.

Most people in the US will be with family members tomorrow. For some that means arguments, but for many that means laughs. I speak to the laughers when I say I wish this day of getting together is one that you can not only cherish as a memory, but cherish as it happens. I hope you are able to look around the room and say… “Ya, this… it isn’t perfect, but this is life, and this is my piece of peace.”

I hope you are able to set down the busy-ness of life, taste the food, appreciate the time everyone has put into not only the food, but the gathering together for it. I wish you joy, I wish you clarity, I wish you presence, and most of all I wish you peace.

Wednesday, November 20

If you want something Different…

…you have to do something different.

You’d think people would finally stop saying “Why did god let this happen?” “Why didn’t god stop that?” “If there were a god, he would ____” and it’s as though people have been told constantly that god intervenes. So when he doesn’t, people seem so hurt and shocked, and god even takes the blame when people choose to be assholes and idiots, creating awfulness, death, and destruction. People are doing that; not god!

I think I was a child the first time I was shocked that someone expected god to intervene, and turned blame onto god instead of the humans causing the “awful thing”. Is the god excuse a way to not have to get upset at the humans?

I believe in a god (as I’ve said before) even if I don’t know how to define that god, or what name best to call “it”. (I’ve been saying “he” for tradition and understanding sake, but I want to be open minded to god not having gender.)What I don’t believe in; is a god that takes away the ability of every person to choose how kind or how big an asshole they want to be in life.

So when anyone goes to the “god excuse” for where their life is, and the direction it’s going, I’m compelled to ask, "What are YOU doing that should bring you some change?" Because no matter how hard you are praying for change, if you do nothing to change a situation yourself, and all you do is ask for god to change it, don’t be surprised when he doesn’t intervene…. because he never intervenes! That seems evident in all the years of complaints people have been whining about it.

At what point will people remember he didn’t jump in and save the day last time or the day before, or the week before. Nor did he stop anyone from making choices.

If you want something different, you have to DO something different.

Tuesday, November 19

Coffee Baby

I'm not a good poet, but sometimes a thought strikes me, and it comes out in poem form. I hope you enjoy this one.

Coffee Baby    

You’re like a perfect cup of coffee
Not too bitter, not too sweet
I crave your beauty in my mouth
You’re like a savory treat

I hold you in my hands
You warm me completely up
It’s like you’re a magic potion
Just sitting in my cup

I’m crazy about your taste
I want you in my nose
Smelling all delicious
Your scent sticking to my clothes

I want to share the morning sunshine
While enjoying you at dawn
As the first part of my day
Drinking you all gone

I’ll always top you up
Enjoying you forever
And making sure you know
I’ll never leave, never.

Monday, November 11

I don't know, I just try

I think it’s possible the only thing I know is that I don’t know.
I have to admit, since I am a spiritual person and not a religious person, I am open to anything being possible, and I’m just sticking with being full of goodness, kindness, and love. I feel inside me this is important, so I’m running with it.

I also decided my reality is only mine. This life I’m living is only lived by me. I’m single, without responsibility of another, and so I have to answer to myself, and be the best me I can be.

I’ve figured out that making choices in life that keep me liking me, keep me happy, and keep me feeling I’m doing what I should be doing according to the universe. The knowledge I have is only the knowledge of my heart. I know I need to care about others. I know loving everyone (or trying) is important. This is not what I’m being told, what I’m being preached, or what I am sitting behind a desk learning from a book.

I have come to many “I don’t know” conclusions that do lean towards certain possibilities, and I am happy to share them with those who ask, or just need some new perspective.

This life isn’t easy, but it’s what I’ve got, and I will do my best according to ME.

I’m convinced when I die I’m not going to hear these words: “Natalie I wish you had not done so much thinking for yourself. You should have just followed everyone else.”

I have a feeling I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. And maybe that is my reality; not to be lived the same by another. We need to find our own truths, our own rights and wrongs, and we need to be genuine to who we are. Which is to say maybe it is for another to be mean and evil… I don’t know, I just know it’s not the life I’m meant to live.

Maybe some are meant to struggle through life with a specific religion, instead of personal spirituality. That might be possible too.

I’m just glad I finally figured out who I am, and what I need to be doing, and that is not concentrating on a collective belief, but believing in the goodness of me.

Sunday, November 3

The Travelers and The Untraveled

This really strange thing happens to you when you step outside the familiar world that you walk in daily, and step into the unfamiliar. You suddenly allow changes and differences into your reality that you don’t normally have need for, or experience of.

Going to another country is like opening super-stellar portals in your brain and linking to humanity through gravitational pull and magnetic illumination. Which is to say it’s really hard to describe how amazing it is, and how much you learn through doing it. -It’s life changing.

Where I live there are many people who have not traveled around this world, have not met different people on different turf, they don’t know what it feels and smells like to be in France, Turkey, Mexico, Wales, or anywhere.

These people are missing out on levels of life that they can’t even imagine. We can watch movies, we can hear music, but without actually traveling around and experiencing people and culture, you will remain untravelled, and therefore partially empty with parts of your mind staying closed.

Thing is, this giant land mass of country I live in doesn’t change from state to state the way the smaller area of Europe changes from country to country, so traveling around the US, really is NOT the same.

I had a unique experience recently. I stumbled upon a couple of lovely women on the internet doing a little tour of the US. Stephanie and Jillian (“Bonobonobonobo”) are in the process of visiting 8 cities in 7 weeks, as they move from home to home doing concert/conversations with a theme of “our love is what we make of it”. Their idea is they want to expand their perspective by directly listening to people speak on the subjects they are writing songs about. The concept is super clever, and sounds a thoroughly fun and an enlightening way to grow, learn, & live. I invited them to come to my house this last week since they were in the area, so I got to “take part” in a concert/conversation. (Which by the way was TOTALLY COOL.)

One of the things that struck me was that these two lovely souls are some of the “Travelers” not part of the “Untraveled”. An open-mindedness comes with those wanting to experience others, which is the path I took. This open-mindedness is something I’m so keen to experience, I now recognize it very easily in people, and so I am drawn to the fellow Travelers of the world.

Another thing I’ve noticed about the Travelers is the lack of preaching “truth” or “right-ness”, they tend not to be so insistent on having a religion, or walking a set path, holding fast to any “rods”. They don’t worry about doing as they are told, but more concerned with learning as they live loving. A mouthful, but very accurate: I also want to learn as I live loving… I’m not going to care about holding onto any rod either, there are many lessons to be learned in the fields either side of the path where the rod is located. And many beautiful people also exploring these fields. These are the Travelers, and I am among them.

Saturday, October 26

Are you Excited? No.

Is it crazy that at this point in my life I can still be learning about me? I’m about to turn 41, and one could argue I should know myself by now.

I’m glad I have friends that like learning about themselves, and engage with me in conversations about our failings, our learning, and our growing. Lately we are discussing my inability to allow myself to get excited. I’ve become so very good over the years at putting a door between me and excitement, and often it is only when the thing I want to be excited about is finally RIGHT in front of me that I allow myself to accept it is going to happen, and I open that door to feel it.

I’ve grown very proficient over the years at stifling myself, and one of the biggest ways I stifle, is in exuberance. I don't let myself be big or call attention. I am in introvert who enjoys being social at times, but I really love my aloneness. That aloneness is safe, it’s free, and I can feel anything I want without anyone to see or be in my feeling space. I’ve wondered if my lack of excitement has to do with my introvertedness, and I think there is only a slight connection. If I’m truly honest with myself, I can see how over the years I squished, quashed, stomped down, and set fire to excitement, doing my best to kill it.

I think here is where I have no choice but to admit the WHY. I don’t want to be overly personal (which this is verging on the edge of), but I had countless occasions over the last couple decades to learn how painful it is to continually be disappointed by things not happening the way they were supposed to, or I was told they would. I reached a point where I must have finally said to myself, don’t hope it will happen, don’t expect it to happen, and CERTAINLY don’t get excited about anything happening.

I think I learned that NOT getting excited means that when you don’t get what you wanted or hoped for, you are LESS upset. I even learned not to hope. Yes, I think it’s healthy on many levels to not have expectations in life, but I think there must be some balance I haven’t yet found between the joy of hope and excitement, and being ok when things don’t turn out.

I’ve had some occasions to feel this *unacceptable feeling* recently, and the convoluted mess of Natalie trying NOT to burst with excitement can at times be -ridiculous!

I recently had to step into a public restroom to try and calm myself down because I wanted to feel excitement over something one could consider quite small. I stepped into the handicapped stall, closed the door, and tried to physically release what was happening.
I shook my hands, opened my eyes wide, and smiled my face off. Kind of doing what normal people do in public when they throw their hands up and squeal. (I can’t allow myself to squeal. What is the deal with that?)

Actually, I DO know what the deal is. I’ve let painful experiences teach me: “Don’t get excited. Never get excited. Avoid excitement.” This “lesson” has gone in so well, that I almost don’t know how to deal with the arrival of it, and then also dealing with the ending of the thing that made me excited.  

Is it possible that in normally not letting myself feel excitement, when I do, and then the thing I’m excited about ends, I find myself on a low far lower than I would if I could just allow myself to feel excited more often?  (man, that's confusing)

I hate that low!

I think what I want is to allow excitement into my life to be felt regularly, but I fight it. I am creating this uncomfortable place where I wish I could allow excitement, but I struggle to bend. It’s like I’m that parent who won’t allow their kids to play outside after 9pm in the summer, and I’m also the kid sitting on the couch at the window at 9:05 watching his friends continuing to playing ball in the street.  I’ve made the rule, and I force myself to suffer with it; longing for the end of the rule.

It boils down to my being uncertain of which is LESS painful. I haven’t figured it out. All I know is that thus far in life, excitement is painful more often than it’s pleasurable, and changing that will take experiencing the opposite. -That would be nice.

A friend of mine said, “I love feeling excited, I’d much rather get to feel it and risk being disappointed, than to not feel it.”

That sounds nice, I’d like to get there.

Monday, October 21

“…we birth our future”

Today I saw Cloud Atlas. Apparently many people didn’t like it. I was left feeling that I just needed to see it maybe two more times or read the book since so much was happening. I will admit to liking it tho!

I watched it with someone I “get” and who “gets me”, which made it for me on another level I think, because we were able to comment and understand in unison.

There was a part in the film that stood out. I had to write it down because it was so resonating for me.

Somni-451 says, “To be is to be perceived. And so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other. The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, that go on and are pushing themselves throughout all time. Our lives are not our own, from womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

I know this is a little deep, but I totally feel these words. Who you are has everything to do with the people you interact with and those “in” your life. If you only had miserable people in your life, you would be a totally different person from someone who only has happy people in their life. Every spoken word by you and others, if given any one dominant feel, would completely shape you and mold you into a specific person. In most cases without your control. You would be a “product of your environment.” Actually, we still are, we just don’t tend to have one dominant element in life influencing us.

So, I totally believe that our lives are the “consequences of our words and deeds” and that “by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future”. And by future I don’t necessarily mean next week or next month. I mean our future in years, and decades. The person we will be -having the benefit of dying of old age. And maybe, who that person is at that point can directly influence the quality of door you encounter when you die. I’m referring to her later quote: “I believe death is only a door, when it closes, another opens. If I care to imagine heaven. I would imagine a door opening. And behind it, I would find him there, waiting for me.”

This photo is one I took today. The clouds today were full of beauty in a very blue sky, and so although the pic doesn't ever-so match the mood of the post, the cloud theme of today is accurate, and the pic and post do tie it up for me.

Sunday, October 13

It’s just a clock…

…and yes, I’m overly sentimental.

My grandfathers grandfather clock is now sitting in my house. Fitting right? Not only was it my grandfathers, but he built it.

As my mother and aunt have been going thorough my grandpa’s things, I’ve been rather fascinated to see how like him I am, and things he found cool, I do too. I now have a large number of his books on my shelves, with subject matter right up my alley. (I need to find time to do more reading than I struggled to find before.)

My grandfather built his house, built their first tv, and worked on and in radio for many years of his life. This clock is one of two he made and it is the less fancy looking of the two. It’s now in the entry of my home.

Once it landed in my entry, I started fiddling with the workings to try and make it tell time. It started lightly chiming… and then it hit me. This was the sound of being at grandpa’s house. So very strange for it to be the sound I hear while standing in my house. And how oddly comforting!

I’m sitting here analyzing the dynamic we had with my grandpa. He was German, came to the US as an 8 year old with his family, and all my life, visiting him only really took place in the living room of his home. It wasn’t until this last year as he was sick and dying that I saw his bedroom, and only a couple years ago that I saw his office. Being at his house was not a visit of play, nor was I raised to be rambunctious at someone else’s house anyway. Both of my parents ensured we had more than good manners at all times. I can see that upbringing has everything to do with who I am today, and I’m sure that having a serious German grandfather influenced me too. His wife, my grandma, died before I was born.

So this clock…

There’s a little gold plaque on the inside of the door engraved with: Handcrafted by, his name, and 1976. I’m sentimental with physical things, but for some reason, I feel even more sentimental over this clock because of the plaque and the fact it has ‘sound’ memories for me. I’m writing about it simply because of what it did to me when it started chiming. My house was suddenly different. His interesting books sitting closed don’t bring much more than a musty smell to my home yet, but this clock… it chimes and I am taken back in time, with his voice in my ears as clear as if he stood here.

Not the grandpa who was loosing his memory over the last 5 years either… The talkative grandpa who had much to say. The last couple years before he died in March were pretty silent ones from him.

I felt grateful to have the beauty of the clock given to me, I feel grateful anew to have the sound of it and him in my home.

Tuesday, October 8

Endless Tomorrows, only 1 NOW.

Lots of discussion about worry happening in life at the moment. There are so many things to be bothered by, upset with, worry over, and fear. Many of these things are Big Shit.  It’s not like we are worrying totally unnecessarily over them. We have good reason. We are thinking ahead. We are trying to “deal”. We don’t have control.

But I've realized something… it seems these things are not going to change through my worry. I don’t have a “plan” to make them go away. It seems the majority of what I worry about I have no control over, and no power to change.

I sat with a beautiful soul at breakfast a couple days ago, and we discussed this. “What are you going to do about it?” I asked concerning a situation. “Do you have a plan?” The answer was no. So it’s not just me… we all worry about things that the worry is not going to change. We have so many thoughts for tomorrow, and what it MIGHT bring, we give our time and energy to tomorrow instead of dealing with the “I’m just fine” right now.

No, everything isn't always “just fine” in this moment, but when you step back, you can usually see that the worry over tomorrow is much bigger than the lack of needing to worry right now. The thing about this is; there are endless Tomorrows. You can think of countless things that live in the future or could happen in the future, but if you set all those tomorrows down over on the other side of the room, and you look at what is in your lap right now, I bet you could sigh in relief. Putting those tomorrows on the other side of the room does not mean you have somehow forgotten them (ha, if only) but what it does do is force you to only deal with what is in your lap right now.

Why do I want to bring endless thoughts and worries of tomorrow and put them in my lap when I can’t do anything with them if they are in my lap. I’m realizing I don’t want to do this.

I am not burying my head in the sand by consciously looking at right now and what I can control now. By doing that I am choosing to be healthy. I’m choosing to help my well being, and I’m allowing myself to be OK right now. NOT full of worry and fear, because where does that actually get me?

When those awful things of tomorrow turn into what I’m dealing with right now, well then I will deal with them. But I just can’t see benefit in feeling things right now that are ONLY living in one of those Tomorrows.

Monday, September 30

Face it, You’re Unique!

Something occurred to me recently…
I don’t know anyone in this world that knows all the exact same people as me.
The only people who have the same genes (my two sisters) are the most like me, and even still they know totally different people from me.

This means the two most likely candidates  for thinking the way I do, feeling the way I do, and learning the way I do, are STILL different from me.

This sounds stupid and obvious I realize, but…
If each of us are influenced by the people we meet, the teachers we have, and the lives we lead, it is statistically impossible for anyone on this planet to be just like you.

There are countless factors in who you are; current job, past job, co-workers old and new, childhood friends, current friends, college classes, volunteering, family members, countries visited, lovers lost.

Then sometimes we do this comparison thing. We say to ourselves when watching others, “If that were me, I would ________”. Or we speak to friends and we say “You should _______”. Almost forgetting we are all influenced by totally different people, experiences, family, and more.

It seems easy to judge someone, we have our own lives and experiences to go by, and so a conclusion is easily drawn FOR them. Totally forgetting, they are NOT you. YOU are not them.

We should remember when we are quick to see a person and have an opinion, they have lived a different life from you, one you couldn't guess, and one you couldn't know with all their many factors. We don’t know what their today has been like, or what their struggles of yesterday were.

We are influenced endlessly, by endless sources, I challenge you to pay attention and judge less, acknowledging you DON’T know what people live through to influence who they become. And be secure in your differences too! You ARE unique, You ARE different

... it's a great thing!

Saturday, September 28

Ho Jo Mojo

Last night I sat with a friend of mine in a local fast food Mexican restaurant chatting over French fries covered in guacamole, fresh refried beans, and pico de gallo. (a favorite dish I’m pretty sure they only make when I come in asking for it.)

It was late, we probably shouldn't have been eating, but I find that food with a friend in a booth is the yummiest food around. (So few foods taste their best when eaten alone.)

This friend and I have known one another for about 24 years, so when we get together, it’s not uncommon for us to be laughing one minute, crying the next, and all the while ‘putting the world to right’… which would be far more accurate to say, ‘putting ourselves to right’. This friend and I share the desire for growth and both know that the most growing happens by facing the painful aspects of ourselves in life.

In this vein, we had just finished the laughing and crying when she suddenly got all excited, and said…. “You need to hear this song! I know you know it, but it’s so old, we've forgotten all about it, and it’s SUCH an awesome song. Listen to the lyrics!”
She got on her phone, pulled it up, and set the phone face down on a stack of napkins so the speaker faced upward from the center of the table. Howard Jones started playing.

No one is to blame.
“You can look at the menu but you just can't eat
You can feel the cushions but you can't have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool but you can't have a swim
You can feel the punishment but you can't commit the sin

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can build a mansion but you just can't live in it
You're the fastest runner but you're not allowed to win
Some break the rules and live to count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can't reach it
It's the last piece of the puzzle but you just can't make it fit
Doctor says you're cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her and she wants you”

She then turned to me and said, “I’m always looking for someone to blame for my pain, as if that would make it somehow better, or less, or ok. And you know what? No one is to blame! My pain is my pain, and blaming anyone doesn't get me anywhere that helps.”

She and I have been discussing a book I lent her called “A New Earth”, and since the ideas in this book have been in her attention lately, she has been noticing many aspects of our ego’s are all about blame and reasons, instead of acceptance and “I don’t mind”.

We both agree “I don’t mind” is very difficult, but we also both agree that finding that space would be so much easier to live in.

After my filling meal with her, I came home and ended up on the phone with another lovely friend. When I brought up Ho Jo, we got in a discussion about how his lyrics were all very open minded and we began googling numerous Ho Jo songs.

I feel tempted to say Howard Jones was ahead of his time, but I really only have my perspective to say that… He was ahead of MY time, and all these years later, with the song lyrics long since memorized, I’m actually listening to the words, and realizing, his songs need to be listened to again.

New Song
"I’ve been waiting for so long
To come here now and sing this song
Don’t be fooled by what you see
Don’t be fooled by what you hear

This is a song to all of my friends
They take the challenge to their heart
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears

Don’t crack up, bend your, brain see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

Don’t crack up, bend your, brain see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

I don’t wanna be hip and cool
I don’t wanna play by the rules
Not under the thumb of the cynical few
Or laden down by the doom crew

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

I've been waiting for so long
To come here now and sing this song
Don’t be fooled by what you see
Don’t be fooled by what you hear

This is a song to all of my friends
They take the challenge to their heart
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains"

Wednesday, September 18


This is a great word, (outside) it is used for so many things that benefit me and bring me happiness.
Here I sit outside; there is a breeze, birds are chirping, sun is shining on the side of my face, and the few hairs blowing in front of my eyes are like constant reminders I am alive and I get to enjoy the beauty of life.

This is a time of year when the discomfort of summer heat has subsided, and the appearance of rain has me wanting to snatch those moments of perfect temperature and enjoy them while they are here. Winter comes too fast, and I get cold easily, so this is like those precious moments in a sunset when the colors are their brightest, but last for only about a minute. You have to be present and watch it for the few moments it’s there… appreciating the real beauty, even if it is fleeting. (Sometimes even taking pictures of that fleeting beauty stops me from getting to enjoy it ‘for real’.)
Which is why being outside with the breeze and birdsong is so great, I can’t capture it, I can ONLY enjoy it.

The shadow of the tree near me keeps moving in the breeze, and as the sun changes position in the sky, it requires me to keep changing where I’m at if I want to maintain this perfect sunshine and temp.

Many of us have experienced what we call doing something “Outside the box”. By taking your mind out of the still air ‘inside’ and into the breeze, you open up an opportunity to see something new, feel something new, and hear something new. The people who never want anything new are not the people I write my blog for, so I’m going to go ahead and assume you enjoy new, and thinking outside the box has been a fun experience for you too. If I’ve lived numerous lives, the life I’m living this time is one of perspective. Having an open mind, going “outside” and considering that there is endless land to explore, endless terrain; (green, lush, desolate, dry), and I need never box myself in. (religious/political beliefs could easily go here as examples)

I am also experiencing ‘outside’ in a different mental sense. Lately I have been noticing that I have been an observer of my own life. Living inside and outside of me at the same time. Which possibly makes no sense, but it’s what I’m feeling, and in experiencing that, I feel a little fascinated by this kind of learning. If nothing else I’m analyzing, and even just doing that helps me learn.

There is no turning back. I’m going to remain outside as often as possible. I need my hair to blow across my face continually telling me I’m alive, I need to consider possibilities that don’t exist ‘inside’. And I want to observe while living.

Monday, September 16

Obsessing, Dwelling & Worrying

“I need to stop obsessing”
“Why do I keep dwelling on this?”
Are you like me and you’ve asked yourself these questions?

Most often what we obsess/dwell/worry over are things we don’t like and can’t change.
There must be some part of us that hopes all the uncomfortable mental time we put towards it will make a difference in some way.

And yet, it doesn’t. 

What ends up making a difference for me, is realizing that I need to STOP the obsessing/dwelling/worrying, and see it differently. When I finally get sick of being uncomfortable, and I change my thoughts, it’s then I’m able to “fix” the situation.

Eckhart Tolle suggests we say to ourselves: “I don’t mind” when we encounter an uncomfortable situation/thought. I personally struggle with NOT minding, and find it just a tiny bit easier to say to myself “I don’t know”, because for some reason allowing myself to consider maybe knowing in the future is a little bit like not minding. It’s like letting myself temporarily not mind, when not minding at all isn’t what I want to do.

If we can be conscious in the tried and tested knowledge that the obsessing/dwelling/worrying doesn’t bring us greatness/happiness/joy; can we stop doing it? Or even just stop doing it sooner?

I would like to suggest we can.

I’m also going to go a bit hippy-fide here, and bring up being present. If I’m able to stop myself and be present, saying:
“Hey, Natalie… What are you doing worrying about something you couldn’t possibly change by feeling worry?”
Or, “Hey, Natalie… Are you wasting effort dwelling on something you have no control over?”
Then I’m able to be present with an honest answer.

The thing is, I can’t answer these questions with anything that sounds sensible, because I know full well that no uncomfortable feelings will fix anything.
If I choose to see things uncomfortably, if I swim in that… I really had better not complain about what I’m choosing.

I am however, the type of person who wants to be complaining about anything that doesn’t feel great.
I’m going to choose to be present, I’m going to choose to not obsess/dwell/worry, and I’m going to accept “I don’t know” -more often.

Tuesday, September 10

Being Understanding when I don’t Understand.

The concept of understanding, or more accurately NOT understanding something does not by default mean there is a ‘lack’ that should be fixed. To NOT understand is perfectly acceptable, and in numerous instances is best kept that way.

There are many things in this world that I will never understand, will not try to understand, and know it’s most healthy for me to not understand. (Like much of the awfulness in the world.)

Being understanding on the other hand is something I aim to be. I do not have to understand something to BE understanding.

I believe we all have a life to live that is partially our doing, and partially done to us. We have to deal with the cards we’ve been given, and we have to choose how we move forward.

That being the case, I believe each person deals with life differently and has every right to make their own choices. (We need to be true to ourselves.)

So… If someone I know is making choices that I personally would NOT make for my life, I don’t have to understand their choices, or agree with their choices. If they are dealing with something I cannot relate to, I did not experience myself, and I will not experience myself, I can be understanding for them if they need my friendship.

I aim to be understanding in many instances, I don’t aim to understand many things.
(And I plan to keep it that way.)

Wednesday, September 4

Casting Pearls

I think we all need to acknowledge our pearls. Those things we hold dear to our heart, the ideas we have that don’t gel with mainstream thinking, and the things that others might call you “weird” over.

I’ve had a few friends that I’ve found very easy to communicate with, and through conversation, they have referred to themselves as “weird”. Weird?

Why should individuality, that isn’t even so unique make people see themselves as weird?
Society is why. So much of what we are taught in school, what we see in the movies, in commercials, get told in church; all keep us feeling that individuality and thinking for yourself -is unacceptable. It sets you apart form others. It makes you “weird”.

Total Crap, Bull Honkey, Rubbish, Lies!

For some people, they listen to this put down, their self esteem lessens because of it, and they feel they don’t belong or fit in, that they are “different” because of not being just like everybody else.

When you encounter people like this, you should literally or metaphorically say “shhhhhhh, I’m not going to hear you.” Don't let it in.

I want to shout from the rooftops: Different and Weird mean you are Beautiful. You have a mind many of us want to know, want to enjoy, and don’t allow yourself to hear negative comments and labels.

Instead realize you have Pearls! Your uniqueness-es are your pearls, don’t cast them to be seen by just anyone, because there are Swine out there… Keep them close, choose carefully, and know that people who want you to be just like them are NOT the people you should be listening to.

People who accept we are all different, that we all get to live our own lives, they are the ones to associate with.

If anyone tries to push you, whether it be with their views, or with their put-downs, walk away, don’t show your pearls, and silence their words in your mind with “shhhhh”.

Be YOU… love you… enjoy you, and don’t need anyone to agree with you.
You’re beautiful, and so are your pearls.

Friday, August 30

Precious Hope

I've been noticing more and more lately how fragile Hope is.
My own experiences in loosing her for many years, and having her shot down numerous times since finding her again, have me finally realizing she’s little and precious and I actually need to make her a bullet proof vest.

Then when she comes back to life, I have some way of protecting her. The crazy thing about her needing a bullet proof vest is not that everything is shooting bullets at her. It’s that she is so fragile and precious that it takes far less than a bullet. A situation is all it takes… maybe even a conversation. These non-bullet things shooting her down have made me realize she’s so fragile she needs that vest.

One of the ways I make that vest -is stopping myself in the thoughts without Hope and I remind myself I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Keeping Hope alive has everything to do with how I choose to see the situations, thoughts, comments, and consciously keeping Hope standing on two feet.

I’m a person who loves laughing, so I like to say in my non-Hope moments –“I will probably be laughing tomorrow”. And 95% of the time that is precisely what I’m doing. (I’m reminded of the “it gets better” movement; because that’s exactly it.) Tomorrow is going to be different. That’s only hard to accept because we can’t see into the future.

Hope does keep getting back up when she’s shot; however slowly. She was down for a long time, but I found her, helped her get up… and I watched her get shot and fall many times since. It’s only now I’m realizing I’m gunna-haveta build that vest.

I love to personify…
This song is a great example of hope, and it too uses personification. Genius song; I say.


Come in close now, it's time to tell a story
Long ago and so many years before we
Ever were, ever dreamed we even could be
There was her and her very first heartbeat

All alone in the corner of the night sky
Spiral bones of a supernova starlight
Fell in love with another burning bright
She dreamed of a way to ignite

She said,
Come on, come on
Break me to pieces, I
I think you're just like heaven
Come on, come on
Let's see what a fire feels like
I bet it's just like heaven"
(Just like heaven)

Such a shame
Nowhere near, even the near miss
Lightyears away
From the hope of being sun-kissed
Anchored home in her interstellar sea
But, poor lonely Cassiopeia

So she sighs and she burns with desperation
Learns to cry over love of constellations
Then the spark from a star shooting too close
They both smiled
What a day to explode

She said,
Come on, come on
Break me to pieces, I
I think you're just like heaven
Come on, come on
Let's see what a fire feels like
I bet it's just like heaven"
(Just like heaven)

Long ago in a sky built before us
A supernova grew up to be stardust

Friday, August 23

Not ALL of us are Human

I wish I knew what to say. I wish I had eloquence in sorrow, but sometimes I’m stuck for words. Especially when it involves upset over someone I love.
Today a friend of mine shared a picture of his face… in the hospital… after being beaten up. I called him immediately; horrified.

Before I continue I insist on saying this was in England. The English love fighting, bullying, bitchiness, and being mean. I can say that because I lived there for so many years, and anyone trying to argue there isn't truth in that is clearly deluding themselves.

My friend is English, but he is a Dearheart. Recently diagnosed with high functioning Autism, and interestingly; he is hyper-caring. That is very uncommon with Autism, and also uncommon for the English.

He was on foot, walking some distance, making a couple stops and noticed he was being followed by an old girlfriend (4+ yrs ago) and a man. They followed him for about 45 minutes, Even getting on his train. He pretended to not notice them, and then in somewhat of an alley, they pounced. He was punched in the face at least 6 times by the guy. When he was on the ground, the old girlfriend kicked his ribs and pulled his hair. Not surprisingly this is also a girl that had a restraining order put against her after they split because she was dangerous. A passer-by called the police, and he was taken to the hospital. Luckily nothing is broken but skin.

Clearly she is as dangerous as ever, and felt the need to harm a Dearheart. -She is in so much trouble with karma…

My friend is also named Nat. He sees the beauty in dragonflies, flowers, clouds and cats. 
Ladybugs, sticks, petals, and moths.
He is a Beautiful Human who does not deserve to be attacked.

Seeing his face bruised, swollen, and bloody is upsetting for so many reasons. Talking to him, he does not sound mad, revengeful, or even upset. He is confused. Why should someone who used to be in his life feel the need to physically hurt him?
How could another man who doesn't know him, punch him in the face?

This is NOT ok. It’s unacceptable, and I write out of powerlessness to help him or remove the confusion and pain.

Nat is kind, peaceful, and loving. His beauty is one of the reasons I started this blog. He inspires me. The majority of the photos I use to illustrate a thought -I get from Nat.

Nat is encouraging, thoughtful, he cares about people, and has hope for the world. He’s a top quality human. The kind we all hope to cross paths with in life. How someone crossed his path and physically hurt him instead of appreciating him I will never understand. It breaks my heart and makes me lose faith in people. It even convinces me not all of us are human.

It’s uncommon to read something like this from me, but I do it because of the beautiful face I saw all swollen and bloody. I write because of injustice and my desire to make something so cruel into something not so awful.

Would you put Nat in your thoughts? Send him a mental hug. Help him feel the love of humankind he believes exists somewhere. The love he wants everyone to feel through his genuineness and friendship. The love he finds so easy to give, and so non-existent around him.

(these pics too... all from Nat)

Wednesday, August 21

Walking. (also skipping with brief stints of running)

There’s this path I love to walk on. A farmer paved a wide circular route through his fields that runs up and down slight hills, past rows of trees, and around the fields where he keeps a few cows. (yes, I mentioned this path recently in ‘The Dearhearts’)
It was a Dearheart that showed me this path, and since I walked it with him the first time, I have been walking it alone often.

This evening it started to cloud over and rain. It got a little dark for how early it was, and the wind started blowing. It’s August, and here where I live, this is still very much summer. I heard many people complain today about the heat saying they looked forward to summer ending and fall beginning. Frankly I will always be sad to see summer leave. I love the heat, the sun, the long days, and of course the sunsets so late in the day.

I headed down to ‘the farmers path’ for a walk in the warm windy air just in time to enjoy a lengthy sunset if the clouds were willing to part a bit and let some light through.

I bought a new cd about six weeks ago and I haven’t listened to it for almost a fortnight. Time to walk with “The Blessed Unrest”  by my favorite Artist.

“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these day you can let the light in…”

Sha-zam! What the heck happens when you start walking with music in your ears, fresh air in your lungs, and  the beauty of nature and sky all around you? Magic, that’s what.

“You said, remember that life is not meant to be wasted, we can always be chasing the sun. So fill up your lungs and just run. We’ll always be chasing the sun.”

I was not the only person on the path. Ahead of me were two friends jogging. Passing me in the opposite direction was a little girl (about 8) on her bike wearing a riding helmet, her mother trying to walk quickly behind her, and the father walking slowly with two more little ones even further behind.

“There’s a history through her, sent to us as a gift from the future. To show us the proof, More than that it’s to dare us to move. And open our eyes, and to learn from the sky”

Eventually another jogger passed me as I walked resisting the desire to let my hands dance to the music playing loudly on the white buds in my ears.

“I miss the days when my mind would just rest quiet. My imagination hadn’t turned on me yet.”
“This is my darkest hour. A long road has led me out here. But I only need turn around to face the light and decide flight or fight.”

The sunset was almost non-existent as I started walking. Just a few sunbeams popping through the clouds trying to stretch downwards.
Walking alone always takes me to thoughts of a particular person.

“I’ll gather up the avenues and leave them on your doorstep. And I’ll tiptoe away, so you won’t have to say, you heard me leave.”

The wind continued, and I took the clips out of my hair to let it fall and blow in the wind. Drops of rain started falling, but so thinly it was nothing to even take note of, or allow to affect my walk. I tucked my hair into my shirt to blow around a little less, but it seemed to not want to be excused from the party.

“You may find yourself in the dead of night. Lost somewhere out there in that great big beautiful sky. You are all just perfect little satellites. Spinning round and round this broken earthly life. This is so you’ll know the sound of someone who loves you from the ground. Tonight you’re not alone at all. This is me sending out my satellite call.”

There’s a small pond in the middle near the west edge of the path. As the sunset colors change, so does the reflection on water. (A pic also in ‘The Dearhearts’) This is one of the great things about this path… there are numerous spots where stopping and taking pictures proves to be perfect.

“All alone in the corner of the night sky, spiral bones of a super nova starlight, fell in love with another burning so bright, she dreamed of a way to ignite.”

On both the east and west sides of the path there are curly willow trees so full and bushy they almost look like globe willows. On the west side there is a sign: "To the person that cut these trees, please never come back."

Romantic would be a great way to describe this path, but I can’t help wondering if it’s romantic on a level you can’t ever convey to anyone else. They would have to feel it themselves, or miss out.

“Kiss me goodnight like a good friend might. And I’ll do the same but won’t mean it. Cause love is a cage, and these words on a page, can carry the pain but they don’t free it. In another life I wouldn’t need to, console myself as I resign to release you.”

Each time the path dipped, I skipped and let my hands float around with each song, sure I was a little hidden and could get away with it. The sunset continued changing.

“Let the bough break let it come down crashing. Let the sun fade out to a dark sky. Can’t say I’d even notice it was absent. Cause I could live by the light in your eyes. I’ll unfold before you, what I’ve strung together. The very first words of a life long love letter.”

As it got darker, I passed less people on the path. The little girl on the bike and her parents were gone. The Joggers disappeared, and it seemed I might be one of the very few left out walking in the beauty.

“No way to make the pain play fair, it doesn’t disappear just because you say it isn’t there. So when they ask why’d she go, you can say cause life in Eden, life in Eden changed.”

Rain fell so sporadically the path was still two shades of gray in the dim light. I mouthed the words to the music and finally allowed my hands to do their own thing walking in the freedom of darkness. Rain fell into my mouth, wind danced through my hair, and I began to skip-walk.

The dark sunset changed again. It was nearly gone anyway, but suddenly a diffused pink cloud appeared. It was a glowing light in the middle of the sunset, kind of like an intruder who didn’t want to play the sun-setting game.

“It’s like I’m standing on the edge with just a telephone wire, trying to get to you first to say the world’s on fire. Holding my breath until I know you’re alright, because the water will only rise. When will you realize?”

You can buy The Blessed Unrest Here

“…the horizon is all we have.”