Friday, September 25, 2015

A New Life Begins and a Life Ends

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Yesterday was an interesting day filled with so many emotions. As I pondered the day, looking out at the moonlight and hearing the rustling of the leaves on the trees, I wondered about the human experience here on this planet.

I was taking a break from studying and writing in the morning and a dear friend called me. I saw her name come up on my phone and a smile broke out on my face. I answered immediately, so glad to hear her voice.
However, the news she was to deliver made my heart so very sad. A friend and co-worker we had worked with a few years ago took her own life and would be buried today.  I was speechless. How could this have happened? She was so vibrant and alive and fun. And she had three children she loved so much.

After we hung up, I pulled up our friends facebook page. I wanted to see her beautiful face. I wanted to know why. Was I hoping that some magical answer would hop off the computer screen? I don't know. Maybe I was. These things are always so hard to comprehend. How can it get THAT bad, I wondered. I sat for a few minutes to reflect on her life and the moments we had shared together.

The sun was shining and the weather was warm. I moved on with my day and drove to my training session at the gym. I talked with our deceased friend while driving, hoping she would respond. Nothing. Just my own thoughts and sad heart is all I could hear and feel.

I finished my workout and rushed to the food cooperative to pick up a going away care package for a young girl who has been my assistant since the spring of this year. She would be leaving to move to California, her flight departing at 3pm.

Traffic was crazy and I was eager to get home and wrap my package with a decorative bag and bow. However, construction and traffic was not going to allow that to happen. And as I drove watching the clock tick away, my frustration grew , I wanted my going away gift to be perfectly presented and I wanted to ensure I was not in my gym clothes as I said goodbye!

The clock continued to tick away and I took a couple deep breaths and said to myself - "what is the most important thing here?"  "That I see her and be with her as she takes her first step on her new journey." I knew she didn't care about the clothes I wore, she cared that I was there and supporting her.

I drove straight to her home and gave her all the little goodies I had purchased for her, some yummy bread and alternative therapy staples I knew she would need.

She was thrilled. Her father and I drove her to the airport and helped her get her boarding pass and her bags checked. It was time to say goodbye and to send her off. It was sad. She and I have grown very close to one another and she has taught me a great deal. I thought -"wow, this is what a parent feels like when they send their kid to college or see them fly off on their own to a new adventure." You need to let them soar but you need to let them know that you will be there!  The smile on her face told me that this was the right thing.

I drove back to my house and made myself a salad with all its "fixins." A ritual that my assistant and I have shared almost daily for the last six months. I thought of her and the silence in the house was not welcome. I would give anything to have her sitting there at the kitchen table talking to me, poking fun at my weird ways and sharing her day with me.

So instead, I picked up my phone and sent her a text: "Love you!" .. I was just in time, right before she would board the plane. Shortly thereafter my text message buzzed and there she was, returning my love. And my heart knew that all was ok and she and I would still be connected. And god forbid if anything were to happen to her, she knew that I love her.

I went on with my day and one of my dear friends came to help me sort out some technical stuff that I need to understand to move forward with my business. She is a true friend who stands by you no matter what life presents to us.

We worked on the computer for a bit and my friend from this morning sent a text to say she was on her way over , she had just been to the funeral home.

The doorbell rang and my face lit up at the site of this dear friend who I haven't seen in almost a year. Her face sad but happy to see me at the same time.  We sat down at the kitchen table and she shared the details of what happened to our mutual co-worker and friend.

Shocked, stunned, perplexed, sad, bewildered were all the emotions that came to the surface. I closed my eyes and tried to access our friend in the spiritual part of our universe. Again - nothing. I am sure she is with her boys trying to help them through.  Lots of love, light and healing my sweet, fun friend. I hope to connect with you in my dreams and thoughts soon.

My friend and I caught up at my kitchen table. We laughed and laughed and our hearts cried for our friend. After a time, she said her goodbyes and I went to my computer to collect my thoughts. I listened to the trees and the quietness of the night.

How can one day be filled with so many emotions? How can one person be happy and eager to start a new journey in their life, when one person perceives their life to be so dark, that they take their life? I don't know the answers to those questions, other than  "to live is to be human."  And I am filled with gratitude and love knowing these two people have been in my life.   I found this quote from Sandra Bullock, it's perfect!

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Blessings and Loving Light,


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Secret Garden within All of Us

One of my spiritual mentors died recently. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was not only someone I looked up to because his books have taught me so much, but his life was an example of what he wrote and spoke about.

In his recent book, I Can See Clearly Now, he talks about his fascination with the book The Secret Garden, written by Francis Hodgson Burnett when he was a young boy in school.

I was surprised to learn this as I listened to the audio book, days after he died. You see this has always been one of my favorite books too! I have even gone back on occasion in my adult life to re-read it or watch the video.  As a young girl I was always somewhat of a homebody. I loved the warmth my childhood home provided me and I was always reading, studying and baking! What a surprise - those are still my favorite things to do in life!

Dr. Dyer talks about his teacher reading parts of the book each day in the classroom and how he really looked forward to it. He then goes on to explain some of the symbolism that the book portrays. I was fascinated by his explanation and still ponder it today. However, as I read more of Dr. Dyers books each morning since his death, I see the symbolism become clear.

For those of you not familiar with the Secret Garden, a little girl, by the name of Mary Lennox was orphaned at 10 by her parents who died in a cholera epidemic in India  and sent to live with her uncle in England. She is sad, hurt, dower, feeling unwanted and is very negative and aggressive. While living there she discovers a beautiful place that she can escape to with her new found,sickly friend - Colin. It is a private walled garden hidden from the large manor in which they were living. It is a magical place only to be found with a key that her uncle had put away due to his wife dying in that very same place when she fell from a tree.

Dr. Dyer explains that we all can have a "secret garden" within us or in the physical realm where we can go to create whatever it is we wish for our lives. We only need use our imagination. It is a space that no one is allowed without our permission.

It is in this private space that we can realize our dreams and disregard the noise of the physical world that surrounds us. This place offers us peace when life seems too challenging. It offers us a place to clear out the clutter and listen to our inner guidance. Our own secret refuge.

In his book, As a Man Thinketh, James Allen says, “The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought.”   He too must of know what Dr. Dyer learned as a young boy.

Certainly this sheds a different perspective on the childhood book that has been close to my heart for all these years.  I wonder, did I know this too? Could I just not put it into words like Dr. Dyer has done so well? I'm not sure.

What I do know after reading many books that speak to this same inner world, I finally understand it. I guess it took Dr. Dyer's passing and our mutual love for this book for me to gain a more clear understanding. 

Interesting, how this came about in my reading of his book, I Can See Clearly Now.

I encourage all of you to go within and create Your Own Secret Garden! You will be surprised at what unfolds in the external world of your life!

Blessings and Love,

Monday, September 14, 2015

Saturday Night at Grace House

It's 12:45 am on a Saturday evening as I walk in the door of my home from a wonderful evening with friends. The house is quiet  but for the sound of the television. I gingerly walk through the dining room and into the living room.  One table lamp warmly lights the sunroom and the reflection of the TV shines on the serene faces of my sleeping guests on the couch.  Being out in the rain and cold weather had them yearning for warmth as they are snuggled beneath the plaid comforter. The temperature  in the house has dropped quite a bit so I thought perhaps they could use another blanket. And just as I lowered the blanket onto him, he awoke. His sleepy smile greeted me while his girlfriend still remained in her blissful state of slumber.

We chatted for awhile reminiscing about our night's out when our chat was cut short by two black cats creating any kind of mischief they could to demand that a midnight snack be served!

The water was heating on the stove as I began to scoop the homemade cat food into a small glass dish. This daily ritual acted out without thought, I reflected on how full my heart was knowing my guests have made themselves right at home.  As I am lost in the warmth of this feeling, I glance over to see a pizza box and some beer cans on the counter and I smile. The kitchen is a bit messy but I don't care.

I bring myself back to preparing my cats food,  my thoughts wander to my other guests that text me about two hours ago.  Their grandson suddenly had to go to the Emergency Room. I walk out of the kitchen and into the hallway adjoining their bedroom. I glance in the direction of their room and see darkness with the door wide open.  A clear sign they haven't been home.

I quickly shoot a text off to them to express my concern as they walk into the side door to the house.

Tired with worried expressions on their faces, they share the events of the last few hours.

The guests on the couch stretch their arms and legs and announce they are going to bed. Saturday Night Live and Nicki Minaj are turned off as the house begins its quiet decent into slumber.

I continue my kitchen conversation about an eleven month old's first visit to the ER as the cats munch on their midnight snack. Emotionally weary from the days events, my guests bid me a "goodnight."

I take a quick tour through the house turning off the lights except for a guiding light over the kitchen sink. The cats and head off to the second floor. They know the routine as they jump up onto the bed waiting for me finish washing my face and brushing my teeth.

I open the bedroom window to let the cool breeze float in and I climb under the covers between my two furry companions.

I lay there listening to the sound of a peaceful and contented silence. Everyone is home, warm, safe and comfortable.

And I am happy.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Amazing Grace, a Tribute to my Father and to Wayne Dyer, my Spiritual Father/ Mentor

On this beautiful, cool summer morning as I listen to yet another Wayne Dyer You Tube video, I contemplate the wonders of my life at this very moment.

Wayne Dyer has been my "spiritual Father/mentor" for many years of my life and he recently passed away. Upon learning of his passing, I set out to listen to his audio books, watch his movies, listen to his You Tube segments.

This mornings segment was "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life." The last few minutes of the segment, he talks about a man who was a slave trader and was caught in a storm on the sea while transporting human cargo. He thought he was going to die. With those thoughts in his mind, the man set out to write. And he wrote: "I was once lost and now I am found, it was grace that taught my heart to feel, it was grace that brought me home." He reconnected to his Source says Wayne Dyer. " We can make that trip returning to our Source at any time in our lives. This particular man shifted his life and dedicated his life to abolish slavery. In a moment its possible to shift our lives! "
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And as I heard Wayne Dyer speak those words of that young man who wrote that song, I was reminded of that beautiful song that my father and I used to sing together in church. I searched You Tube for that song and found a beautiful celtic version of the song ... and I am singing to my hearts content in my office as I write this!  Here is the link to the song.. please play it, its so beautiful!

My mind is taking me back to that little baptist church on a Sunday morning as my Dad and I held the hymnal together, belting out that song, together. My Dad had a wonderful voice and in fact used to sing in the choir.

There are so many amazing graces in my life at this very moment .. because you see, I just spoke to my Dad shortly before I turned on the You Tube video. It's such a gift to have my Dad back in my life and my family's  life after a long hiatus.. Truly a gift of grace.

Yesterday, I had someone ask me how my home got to be named "Grace House".  Well, the woman who first owned my home was named Grace and this home is my gift to the world as I have opened my home to family and friends for years, but more recently, over the past three years, the global community walks through my doors as I host them on Airbnb.

So, you see these gifts are many ... and I "know" , "I know" that this grace is all around my life.

And this post is dedicated to my Father, Richard Barker.. and my Spiritual Father/mentor, Wayne Dyer.

I love you both so much , thank you for being in my life and guiding me every step of the way!

Grace to all of You, My Readers,