Friday, December 25, 2009

Winter - A Season of New Beginning

That title sounds a bit off, doesn't it? A season of new beginning? But in the spirit of the Wheel, winter is a new beginning? This brings us to the thought that death must occur before life. And that, in itself, seems backward to us. But it is not.

We must have death before life. In the Wheel, we see that all things are cyclical. That wonderful Cycle of Life. In Celtic belief, all things work in cycle. Seasons. Diety. Life.

So this time of year is the "death" time in that cycle. The landscape is covered in snow. Trees have lost their leaves. Cold covers us. It gets darker sooner at night. And we feel it in our bones. We feel it in our spirit.

As we mark time during this season, we begin to long for the awakening of Spring. And the cycle begins again.

How does this teach us? We learn that everything has a season. Everything has a cycle of life. What we face every day does not mean it will be that way forever. When trials come, we know in our center being that it will end and new life will begin. We will see the Spring and the cold will end. This season teaches us to remain hopeful.

So, as you face difficulties, remember the Wheel. Remember that all things have a season, a cycle of life, that will move forward in its time. There is a plan. We are the plan. We are the creators of the plan. And we move in time to the seasons and cycles of life.

Be thankful this day for the Cycle of Life, the Wheel of the Spirit, who leads us forward to new and greener pastures. A new beginning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. It used to be, as I remember it, a very important day. But over the years, it has been relegated to minor parades and small cemetery ceremonies. I think that ought not be so. For to whom do we owe this country? Veterans.

I grew up with a veteran. My father was a vet of WWII and Korea. He was a submariner. He loved his country. We went to the parades on Veterans Day every year. I even remember marching in some of them with various civic groups. But the one thing that stands out in my mind, even after all of these years, is my father standing for every single American flag that passed by. Every one. He didn't stay seated. He didn't turn around and pretend it wasn't there. He stood and saluted.

When we would sit together as a family at these parades, my parents in their lawn chairs and me on the curb, I would notice a wistfulness in his eyes. His countenance changed when those flags marched by. As a child, I didn't understand. As an adult, I may not fully understand but I see. I see that same look in the eyes of The Greatest Generation.

On one forum recently, a poster stated that to be a hero was to do the courageous thing, think it nothing but their job, and be silent in honor of those who gave all. I'm thinking that might be true. You see, my father never spoke of his military service. Only once did I get a glimpse of that world when a PBS documentary came on about submariners. He spoke very little. We visited the USS Drum here in Alabama and went through the sub. Still, very little words were spoken. It was a humbling experience, nonetheless. My dad was silent.

Later, after he passed away, I started looking into his service. I remembered the name of a sub he was on. I found their reunion group. A few of the old sailors were still alive and remembered my father. One even had a drawing he did of my dad all those years ago. He had kept it and never knew why. Well, now we know. He was kind enough to send it to me. I found that he was a Plank Holder on that sub, one of the Mighty Mine Dodgers. They fought in the precarious, mine-filled waters off the coast of Japan. I am amazed at the strength my father had at such a young age.

But, when I consider that strength and remember the man who saluted every American flag he passed, I'm not surprised. He carried himself with honor and integrity his whole life. He was a walking picture of the quintessential American veteran: full of respect for his country and his countrymen.

And in honoring my father, I must say a word about my partner. She served almost 15 years in uniform. Fifteen months of that service was active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Like other soldiers, sailors and Marines I've known, she carries that honor and integrity as a banner. She speaks of the fallen as the heroes. She simply did her job. But to me, she will always be a hero for her service. And it is this love of God and Country that drew me to her. She, like my father, loves America and that for which it stands.

And last, we must remember not only those who gave their lives, but those who have not returned home. How many of our beloved military personnel are still not repatriated? And what has our nation done to return them home? Yes, every now and again you hear of remains that are found and returned. But it is rare. And we hardly ever hear of them. I would hope that we would honor our commitment to them and work to ensure all of our soldiers are returned to the country for which they died.

My father's brother was killed in VietNam. My dad served in WWII and Korea. My partner's father served in VietNam and was career military. My partner served in OIF. Like other families, there is a long and wonderous military tradition that should be respected, honored and celebrated.

Let me close with this story: After my father passed away, I felt such a gut need to connect with him. I planned a vacation to Washington DC. I wanted to walk among the monuments to previous wars and soldiers. I wanted to experience this America for which my father would have offered himself to die. I wanted to see the VietNam Wall and find my uncle's name. I needed to walk Arlington National Cemetery and see my uncle's gravesite. I needed to pay my respects to all who gave so much so that I could live in the greatest country on the planet.

It was a most memorable visit. I went to all the places I wanted to see. I took etchings of my uncle Bobby's name on the wall and sent them to my father's two remaining brothers, one of whom served in the Navy during WWII. I bowed my head at the grave of my uncle. And all of these were life changing for me.

But the greatest touch of all came at the Tomb of the Unknowns. I couldn't help but think of the families whose loved ones were entombed there. For decades, these families have lived not knowing the fate of their loved ones. And, yet, they were here, celebrated and honored every hour of every day...rain, snow, sleet or shine. I stood in the heat and watched the changing of the guard. The preciseness of their movements, every step in honor of the fallen. I was moved by every click of the heels on their shoes. Every salute was so perfectly performed and timed. And it wasn't just the precise nature of it all. It was why the precise nature. Every movement, every salute, every step was there to honor a fallen comrade known only to God.

I can't say if people noticed the sweat pouring down my forehead. But I can tell you there were tears streaming down my cheeks. They were tears of gratitude for a country and for the men and women who have made it possible with their sacrifices. And today, you'll probably see a tear now and again as I remember why this holiday is so significant.

Please, take a moment this day to thank Goddess for men and women of strength, courage and honor who selflessly serve our great nation. And then thank a soldier for their service. Chances are they'll be self-effacing and point to those who gave all. But, please remind them that they are heroes, too.

November 11, 2009 message:

I post this every year. Every year I feel more grateful to all who offer themselves in service. This year, thank a military family for giving of their loved ones so that we may live in the greatest nation in the world. And let us push our politicians to restore our freedoms which have been taken away through the Patriot Act and other acts of our previous despot president. It is imperative that we continue to fight for our freedoms. Every country that has fallen, has fallen from within. Let us not be the next example of that.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dreams Won't Pay the Bills

Blessings, Gentle Readers...

You will notice the title of this writing: "Dreams Won't Pay the Bills." How many of us have heard this in our lifetime? I would bet many of us. I certainly have.

As a kid, I was a dreamer. I dreamed of being a great athlete. I dreamed of being a musician. I dreamed of sprites and spirits. I had dreams. And I can remember hearing that dreaded phrase over and over again.

It was sensible to go to college, get a degree, learn a skill. My father wanted me to be a nurse so I would always have a career. As he said, people are always sick and dying. It just wasn't for me. Something in me wanted to teach, to reach, to share. I yearned for Spirit.

For me, life was a spiritual thing. Life had so many facets that connected with Spirit. And as a teenager, I investigated that part of me in the simple way I knew how. I visited churches and synagogues. I spoke with clergy. And yet, the constraints of liturgy always pushed me away. In my mind there had to be a better way. And no matter how I tried to find that way, the sound reverberated in my head: Dreams don't pay the bills.

So, I went to school. I worked every day at my retail jobs. Why? Because dreams don't pay the bills. And I continued to be dissatisfied with life.

But a wonderful thing would happen when I would break away from the bill-paying job. Just a simple walk in the woods would bring such peace! It was as if the trees had a voice. The moss would speak to me. The plants waving in the breeze had wisdom to offer. By the water, I would hear the waves speak and the sand tell its story. I started to understand why my ancestors listened to the land.

There is a depth of Spirit in the land. So many trees are centuries old. The rocks have seen so much. And they speak to us. They speak to our dreams. And in communing with them, I began to realize my own dreams. I want to speak to animals. I want to know them and understand them. I want to help people find that place, the energy that exists between us and our companion animals. Every day now that I go to work, and I talk to folks about their dogs and cats, I have an opportunity to share with them Spirit.

We all, human and animal-kind, share Spirit - share energy. It is the energy of our Mother; the energy She exerted in creating us all. It is the residual energy in the things around us. It is the energy inside ourselves. It truly is man and beast together as one.

Be thankful this day that our dreams, when offered through Spirit, not only pay the bills but bring us closer to Goddess and closer to our own co-creative selves. That is simply amazing, don't you agree?

Find your dream; the one that speaks to your heart...and pays the bills.

Blessed Be!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Blessings Gentle Readers...

I awoke this morning to the realization that autumn is upon us. Then I laughed thinking about how hot it continues to be and how much rain we've received! When I think of autumn, I think of crisp leaves underfoot, cool evenings, misty mornings and the lovely smell of Fall.

But when one considers the change of seasons and the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, somehow the internal senses take over and one can feel and smell easily what is missing in the physical. I close my eyes and I can see the wandering paths in my native Massachusetts. I can feel the maple leaves and enjoy the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges of the leaves. I breathe in and smell the moist air thick with the mossy smell of Fall. What joy it brings!

As a Celtic Pagan, I celebrate this time of year. It is a time of finding balance, celebrating the abundance of our Earth Mother, and the lives of those who have passed ahead of us.

Why balance? Because without balance our lives become futile expressions of angst and negativity. We struggle with the every day and fail to move forward. Balance brings us the joy of this life and the faith that the circle of life continues for us all.

Why our Mother's abundance? Because without Her provision, we perish. She provides us with our basics of food, shelter and clothing. But She also provides us with family, friends, and fellowship. The harvest is great and not necessarily material. Our Mother shows us the way of Spirit and that, in itself, is great abundance.

And why of the passing of the dead? Because during this time, the veil between the two worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. It is an opportunity for us to commune with our ancestors, asking for guidance. Our Elders who pass before peer over the veil and offer us great wisdom. Now is the time to receive it.

So, for me, this is a time of great celebration. I receive balance in the balance of night and day. I receive abundance from Mother Earth, the great Goddess. And I receive wisdom from the Elders who have passed before me.

Dear friends, open your minds and hearts to receive all that Spirit has for you. And open yourself to give back to Goddess for all She has provided.

Blessed Be!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Greetings, Gentle Readers...

I have to share with you a wonderful experience I had today. It was an average Monday. After work we needed to do a Wal-Mart run to get a few odds and ends. Now it's been very rainy for quite some time. (My grass is now more like a pasture.) While driving home, we saw the most amazing rainbow. It had every color imaginable and all the colors ran into each other! Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Purple. Beautiful, bright colors. And we never ran out of it! It was right in front of us for miles.

As I watched it (and tried to pay attention to my driving), it made me think about all the different "colors" of our world.

We are black, white, yellow and red...and every blend of each. We are spiritual, Christian, Muslim, pagan...and every blend of each. We are gay, straight, bisexual, intersexed and transexual...and every blend of each. We are conservative, liberal, republican, democrat and independent...and every blend of each.

Do you see where I'm going here? That rainbow was every color and they blended as they met. All in one. One in all. And so are our lives. We are a wonderful blend, created by Goddess and watched over by our Mother to be a rainbow. We are to blend, not be opposed. We are to join our hands and hearts, not fight with sword and shield. We are to love each other for our differences and celebrate our similarity.

We were put on this earth to be a shining example of our Mother! So as you go through this week, just take a look at what is around you. See things, people, with an eye like a rainbow and celebrate. Let's not let the separate colors drown out the blends. It is all One. We are all One.

Blessed Be!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh the Joys of Puppies!

Hi all...

We had the most wonderful trip this week. We traveled to the Huntsville area to take a peek at some adorable puppies.

For those who don't know, my partner Patti is an Iraq War vet and uses a service animal when in public situations. Well, our cardigan corgi mix Tank is getting a bit older and his wonky little legs won't go the distance anymore. So...we have been keeping in touch with a great breeder whose female has a litter of six-week old pups. And, thanks to Tank's leg issues, we are in need of another cardi to train for her service animal.

Oh boy! What an awesome bunch of puppies! Cute as can be. Fun and playful. Each has his/her own little personality. So many to choose from. It was almost overwhelming. Patti was in her element as she sprawled out on the floor surrounded by puppies.

After spending a couple of hours with the breeder, she suggested a darling little girl named Harmony. After watching Patti and Harmony, I agree! The two of them just took to each other. Now Patti is so excited she about can't stand herself. She made a little name tag today. She was also bound and determined to get a leash and collar. But we have a new leash/collar set to be put up next month and it will have some neat new stuff on it. Hopefully, I've talked her into waiting to get her leash and collar!

Next thing you know, I'll be up to my eyeballs in puppy beds, puppy food, puppy infinitum! I love it! I love it mostly because Patti is so happy and excited. So, bask in the cuteness that is Harmony!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walking on...

My dear gentle readers...

As I've written this blog, I've tried to be honest and open in bringing you thoughts on life in my small corner of the world. Some days are triumphs. Some days are failures. And most are somewhere in between.

Don't misunderstand, I strive for the successes. I'm not one to be content with mediocrity. And to me, the in between places are just that: mediocrity.

So, when it comes to my health and related issues, I work toward being well, whole and well-functioning. However, of late I have been struggling mightily.

Those of you who follow along will know that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (and various and sundry other stuff) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. To those who have not experienced this, it's akin to being in pain 24/7 and fatigued beyond belief. And better yet, the muscle weakness is overwhelming. All of it makes keeping my work schedule and household chores beyond difficult. And I've missed a LOT of work and put off chores til it's getting seriously behind. what? My spiritual self says I have control of all of this through tapping into that Universal Mind I worship as Goddess/Mother Earth. There is strength in Creation that can bring healing to the body. What I need do is meditate on health and walk in that Truth.

And all that sounds great...til it runs headlong into physical reality.

So, lately I'm living in dichotomy: my spiritual knowledge and faith versus my physical reality. And, frankly, I'm getting a headache from it all. Just today, because of the physical reality, Patti and I talked about a walker (you know those fancy ones with seats) and a scooter. I physically can't walk distances. I physically can't keep up with the demands at work. Oh yes, spiritually my insides cry out for health and healing. But on the outside, there's the physical reality. And I feel that if I utilize that equipment, I'm giving in. And without them, safety is a crucial issue.

That's where I am now. Inbetwixt and Inbetween. I'm working on integrating the two separate parts of this. Suggestions are welcome. I just want to be a good person, a good minister, an example of the faith-filled life.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Blessed Be!

Monday, June 01, 2009

The World Has Gone Crazy

This started out as a long rant. I've erased it all and I'm going to try to write with heart instead of indignation. I hope I accomplish it because my point will be much better received if I dial back the passion a bit. I hope you'll continue to read...

I'm sure you've seen the news footage of the assassination of Dr. Tiller, the late-term abortion provider, while he attended church in Kansas. Regardless of one's feelings on abortion, to gun down a man because you disagree with him is simply wrong. And here's where I think things went terribly badly:

This mentality started years ago. Christian churches used inflammatory rhetoric to rile up the masses concerning Roe v. Wade. There was talk of picketing clinics first. And that happened and it was a peaceful demonstration for awhile. The talk from the pulpits became more intense. The more conservative followers then took to following groups like Operation Rescue, using pictures of dead babies and harrassing clinic goers. Then, that wasn't enough anymore. Now Christian preachers railed from the pulpits that doctors and clinic workers should pay dearly for their involvement. Next came the clinic bombings. After that came restraining orders and laws to keep protestors on the easements to try to keep patients and workers safe. And finally, the ramped up words from the pulpits lead to murdering, in cold blood, abortion providers and their staff.

You can watch the progression of the aggression. And regardless of your personal feelings on abortion, harrassing, bombing and killing are not Christ-like responses to a perceived injustice. I can't buy in to the "eye for an eye" mentality that finds it acceptable to gun down another human being. I cannot reconcile it with what I know of Christianity...TRUE Christianity.

Jesus may have turned over the tables in the temple, but he surely didn't walk through and murder the money-changers! Why do the current day Christians feel that their behavior is approved by God? Telling me it's justified because of the deaths of the unborn is horse-pucky. Wrong does not justify wrong.

The Christian churches all wonder why their numbers dwindle? Here it is in a nutshell: Those who truly try to live a Christ-filled life want no part of the mass hysteria that has become Christianity today. Many are turning away to other faiths. I'm one of those folks. The uber-fundamentalists scare the bejeebers out of me. Who is next on their list????? They've gone after the abortion providers. They've gone after gays and lesbians, denying them basic civil rights. They've tried to gain control of the government and turn it into a theocracy. Does any of this sound Christ-like to you? If it does, you need to check your faith.

Folks, it's time we took back control of our leaders, pulpits and churches. The extremists have to be put back in their place and not allowed to take Christianity for a ride. I challenge you to stand up for right. When someone says Dr. Tiller deserved to be murdered, challenge them! Let them know that hatred and bigotry are not Christian characteristics. LOVE is supposed to be the base of Christian faith. Love.

Over the past few years I can't say I've seen much love from the Christian church.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is my annual Memorial Day post. I've added some additional comments at the end.

Memorial Day 2009

In memory of those who served selflessly and gave all.

In memory of and to honor our female soldiers. They supposedly don't serve in combat roles. But our Defense Department lies. Many mothers, sisters and daughters have fallen in Iraq. Many who have returned home, are suffering not only the physical and mental scars of war, but are treated as wimps and whiners by their own V.A.

To honor soldiers who have faced the ugliness of war, cried for their lost comrades, and come home to horrible treatment at Walter Reed when they should receive the very best America has to offer. May we rise up in protest and give them the health care they need and deserve!

And to my brave soldier, my partner, my life. Her time in Iraq cost her much. But she wore the uniform with pride and served in spite of terrible conditions and a lying President. She will always be my hero.

Today, as you meet people through your journey, thank a soldier. Thank them for their selfless service. Thank them for being brave. Thank them for our freedom. Because without their willingness to sacrifice, there would be no America.

Comments for 2009:

We've been at this over five years now. We've lost almost 5000 young (and older) men and women, not to mention the over 40,000 who came back injured. The sad thing is that the government didn't include everyone in those figures. They're fudged to keep us unaware of the actual cost of this war. Now, I won't get started on my feelings about the war. If you've read my posts at all, you know full well how I feel. And, besides, if I do start who knows when the tirade will end!

Suffice it to say, there is a cost...a great cost...for the wars we are now in. When I walk the halls of the VA with Patti, there are dark eyes staring out from under "I LOVE AMERICA" hats. They are hollow. Men and women making their way through halls that so many others have walked before them. They are physically injured: limbs missing, burns, brain injuries. But there are those who are the unseen and unheralded: those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Soldiers who return with PTSD are just as disabled, if not in many cases more so, than their physically injured comrades. Yet, you can't see it. And it certainly doesn't get a Purple Heart (even though I think it should). The cost to the American soldier suffering with PTSD is myriad: lost jobs, lost marriages, isolation, fear, nightmares and flashbacks. Something as simple as a book falling off a shelf can cause a soldier to jump, grab for a weapon and dive under the nearest object.

Marriages are affected as the soldier cannot communicate and no one understands except the one who shared their experience. Emotionally shut down, all relationships are torn apart at the seams. Some spouses who try to share a bed with their soldier find themselves bruised and battered in the morning after being unintentionally struck by their soldier fighting in their sleep.

Take all of this and add the element of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The gay or lesbian soldier is truly, truly alone. They cannot talk of any issues that come up at home for fear of outing themselves and losing their careers. They cannot join in the banter of other soldiers, for fear of being found out. There is no possibility of having a frank conversation during those occasional calls home. All the lines are monitored. Add injury, combat stress, and PTSD to that equation and you have a powder keg of possibilities.

What I'm trying to get across is that there is more to be learned from these wars. We cannot come to this holiday year after year and say a quick, "Thanks" and move on. It's just not enough for what our soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and coasties have done for us. It's not enough for the huge sacrifies they make day in and day out.

So, please just take a moment to honor those who have fallen. And then go the one step further of thanking the veterans you know. They'll probably say they were just doing their job and point to those who have fallen. But in their hearts, they will feel the respect of one person who truly appreciates their love of country and sacrifices made.

It is only because of these brave men and women that we are able to live in this country today.

God Bless America
God Bless the Whole World

So may it ever be.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Anam Cara

As many of you know, I read several books at a time. It can be annoying to those who know me because the conversation is always changing. But, for me, they all seem to align with each other in some way.

So, I'm still doing The Four Agreements. And I'll be blogging on #2 shortly. However, I plowed into the book, "Anam Cara" for the last few weeks. And what a few weeks it's been!

Anam Cara is Gaelic for soul friend. I think if we all think about it, we can easily name someone who is a soul friend for us. You know the one: they know you inside and out without a word being spoken. They protect you with their prayers, rituals, and encouragement. You can be truly yourself with them because they never judge or accuse.

For me, that soul friend is my precious partner. Have I ever told you how we met?

I went through a very damaging break up and I had been running crazy for a couple of years. I didn't know what I wanted. I struggled for a place just to live. I bounced around between jobs and people. It was a horrible existence. Finally, after two years of being insane, I stopped. I just stopped. I said in my heart, "Well, Goddess, whatever you want bring to me because I'm stopping and I'm tired of running to find it." You know the moment. That one place in time where you find clarity.

I was online with a particular website that had a "personals" section. I did it for a laugh. I wasn't serious. But I did post a piece. It said, "If you're serious, are gainfully employed, professional, personable, email me. I don't want any games, hassles, or crap. I've had enough." Tell me that wasn't to the point! I guess my feelings of having enough of the last couple of years of my life came through. (Ya think?)

Well, wouldn't you know! This wonderful woman emailed me with the simple line, "There's still a few of us good ones out there." I was sarcastic with my reply, "Oh yeah, are you one of them?" Turns out she certainly was one of them. We emailed and talked for several months. It was as if I'd known her in another life! Then we started talking on the phone for the proverbial hours at a time. There was someone with whom I totally connected! I couldn't believe it!

She was patriotic. She was spiritual. She served her country in the military. She adored animals. She liked old cars. Geez louise...pick one, we were interested in so many of the same things!

We decided to meet during Cruisin' the Coast. Wow! We looked at all the old cars. We talked about our dreams. I was amazed, but still a bit distant. I was afraid of the old hurts. But there she was...the woman of my dreams. And I couldn't get her out of my head.

We continued to date and just about ten months from the time we first emailed, I moved in. Trust me; for a lesbian that's a LONG time! And only a couple of weeks later, she got her alert she was going overseas. The Iraq War had started and she was called up. I was terrified and she was, too. What would that mean for us? It was a long year. She was at war. I was at home glued to the TV and the foreign media. She went through hell and I did, too.

Most couples, many of our straight aquaintances, broke up or their relationships were very damaged by deployment. Even though we had issues to work through, we came out of the experience stronger, more in tune with each other, and thankful for each day we have together.

It's now six years down the road. We've faced a lot in life. She remains my Anam Cara, soul friend. We are totally in synch with each other. We each complete each other. And somehow, I truly think we've known each other in the Spirit World prior to this life. We connect on such a deep, spiritual level.

As we go through our incarnations, I do believe we meet souls along the way that become a part of ours. We become interconnected in a way that can only be described as a deep soul, spiritual connection. It is that type of intertwining that is the soul friend.

I really suggest you read this book. The author takes you all the way through life explaining the Celtic way of the soul. It is interesting and relevent. You'll find yourself drawn to understanding the way of the Anam Cara. It's well worth the time.

And who knows? You may come to deeply appreciate your Anam Cara through the process!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The 4 Agreements

I have been reading The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a study of four agreements (or spiritual laws) that are to make life a more pleasant and real place to be. To be honest, it was a hard read for me at first. I know I've re-read it several times. Finally, I gave in and purchased one of those "idiots" books on Toltec wisdom. It made a great difference in my understanding. I'm just not good with abstracts!

So, since that's where my path is leading lately, I wanted to share it with you.

Agreement #1 is: Be impeccable with your word.

That's a toughie for me. You see, what Don Miguel talks about is how we are domesticated from birth to see the world a certain way. We take on the beliefs of our authority figures. We are affected by their opinions.

For example, if you are a happy little kid and you're just running around the house playing, and your parent gets home and has had a bad day. They might say, "Stop running and jumping. That's stupid. You look horrible! Go clean up and stop being loud." As a kid, you don't really have recourse against that. And since that is a parent saying it, you take it to heart. Later, you may find yourself pushing away your happy feelings and the joy that you had. Your parent said it was awful so you must try to please them.

In essence, what was said really had nothing to do with you. It had everything to do with your parent and what was going on with them. But you took it to heart and it colored the rest of your life.

We don't realize the power of words. Words can bless. Words can curse. God (or Goddess) spoke the world into existence, therefore there is power in words. We take the words of others and file them away and live by them.

What about all the chatter in your mind at any given time? The Toltec call that "mitote" (ME-TOE-TAY). It's all the words that have been passed along to you. All the things that have been said and have affected your life. It's also your words to yourself. And it's the Spirit's words. All of them in a giant jumble in our heads. And we take all of this and try to make sense of it by living our lives to please others.

Now, you may say you don't live for others. But, I believe if you really think about it, you'll see it's true. I didn't think I did, but I live for approval every day. I try to appease my partner, boss, customers. The list is exhausting.

What the Toltec teach is to see beyond all of that, learn to control it, and live your life for you, a genuine being. We must push away all of the mitote, the chatter, and find our true selves.

You know how you pray for patience and things always get worse????? Well, this morning I made a commitment to try my best to be aware today of the mitote and to see how it affects me.

Oh boy...

First, I got to work and there was NO break or lunch relief. The store manager had scheduled one of the trainers who just hates to run a register and will, if at all possible, schedule private lessons so she doesn't have to do it. And that leaves me without any help on the front. Great. Strike one.

Then, I got the customer from hell. She was crazy. She was yelling at employees. Threw her invoice on the counter. Screaming the whole time. I stayed calm (amazingly) and tried to offer to get a manager. She just wanted someone to beat up on and I was the designated punching bag. I went to give her the change and she literally came over the counter at me, grabbed my hand popping two knuckles. I finally spoke up. I probably shouldn't have, but it pushed my buttons. And I spent all afternoon trying to figure out how to have her arrested for assault. Strike two.

Then, if all that wasn't enough, another lady came up and had her kid with her. The kid had dropped whatever sweater they were buying and she sent him to get another. In the meantime, my line is getting longer. A couple of minutes passed and she left the line to get him. So...I voided her sale and went on to the next person. She went ballistic. She screamed at the manager. She called me names. The person in line spoke up and told her she left the line. It was insane. Strike three.

Needless to say, I left work early. My boss joked he was going to take my box cutter away. They didn't take any of it seriously, but it put a crimp in my day to be sure. And what it did was take my joy. It put all these nasty words in my mind. It was multiplied by the Judge in my mind. You know the Judge. It sits in there and twists all the words and actions and makes you nuts over something. And then my Inner Child got feelings hurt and angry. Now that makes me a walking, talking mess. So much for controlling the inner talk and being genuine and walking in love, huh?

I say all that to say...The Toltec would say to ignore and live in love and treat with love those who try to bring us down. Live in genuine love, don't take anything personally, and let it roll off your back.

Remember the praying for patience????

Part of me thinks I should quit this quest now before it gets REAL bad! lol And part of me knows that a refiner's fire generally doesn't feel good. So, obviously I have way more to learn to put this path to practice. Way more.

So, I've decided that I won't have her arrested because that would be giving in to the anger and not showing love. (But I wanted to show her a good right cross!) And I have a feeling this is not going to be an easy path. It's going to take commitment and a lot of work.

I must learn to be impeccable with my word; not judgmental, angry, gossipy, badgering. But learn to be loving, caring, true self.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated!