Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Don't be dismayed by goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again after  moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

I thought of an old friend recently.  I was in an airport terminal on my way home from half a world away when they popped into my head.  I remember them the way they were the last time I saw them...years ago...smiling.  They were beautiful, I remembered, surprised that I hadn't thought of it or them in so long...and how I missed them.. I don't think they'd fit into my life now, but reflecting on them made me realize how muchhave changed and I wonder, not whether, but how they have changed as well. I parted ways with them because they made some decisions I couldn't agree with-couldn't see my friend making- and didn't want to see the result of that decision making. How could someone so charismatic make such choices? If they could make those kinds of choices, I felt, what chance did I have? I won't say their decisions were bad- that isn't my judgement to make, but certainly they were different from what I would have made.  My choices were safer- and now, years later, and thousands of miles apart, who can say which choices were better. They were in my life for a reason- an object lesson as it were. I made my choices and they made theirs and now my friend (still) lives a life that is completely a mystery to me- as is (still)  my own. I wanted  to imagine  as I traveled home that their life is better than I can imagine and that they are happy. And as  I traveled through the terminal, a physical embodiment of the paths we travel- our choices and decisions, the brief home of strangers whose paths cross intermittently, but not randomly-this place which made me think of them; as I travel I think of how glad I am that our paths crossed when they did as I follow my own decision and heart and fly away home. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And so this is Christmas.....

And so this is Christmas

And what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun… John Lennon

Christmas is definitely a time of year when we reflect. On our shortcomings, our happiness (and how fragile it can be), our regrets. And because we are human, on our indomitable, resurgent hope that things will be better in the new year. Despite the voice of experience, we still truly believe in Christmas, in miracles, and in love. The definition of insanity is trying the same things over and over, while expecting different results. This year let’s not forget to give thanks for insanity. Thank God for hope, which beats the hell out of experience every time, and is the best part of being human.

Sure, people will be crazy at this time of year- the winter solstice just past, a full moon which always brings out the loonies (lunies?), people who will murder you for the latest Power Ranger toy. (No? What is the big thing this year? Hey, I’ve been out of the country, for cryin’ out loud!)

But it also brings out the child in all of us-a kindness that we don’t show at any other time of year- when we are gentle with children, the elderly and ourselves. And while, you may think you are too old to dream of sugarplums, (at my age just dreaming about them adds five pounds), it is still not inconceivable to dream about a white Christmas, or to believe that following a star can lead to redemption.

And what have you done this year? (Getting back to reflections.) I changed my perspective, my locale, and my modus operandi. I moved halfway across the world in hopes of becoming someone different and learned that the people who loved me most, liked me just the way I was…and so did I. I learned to see and make opportunities out of obstacles. I learned to speak another language, and remembered that the most important one, love- needs no translation. I accomplished old dreams, and am now dreaming new ones. I have made new friendships, and learned that the old ones will stretch to wherever I roam. I have (re)learned that I am what I was made to be, what I am (still) being made to be-not perfect, but striving, not wise but learning-one piece of God made manifest. And when joined by lovers, friends and family, made stronger through love. (Great presents Santa! I love ‘em! Now, next year could I get all that and a new truck? Please?)

I hope this year that you have found a piece (peace) of wisdom in my writing. I hope that you have felt my voice speaking to you as you struggled- as we both did. I hope that you have found here a friend that you will come back to again and again. I know I did.

I know when I write that I write not just for myself, but for all who need to hear one voice out of the babble say-“I know what you feel. I feel it too”. For everyone who needs a little empathy, a little irreverence- a little… ( I hesitate to say clarity- it makes me sound so… snooty), maybe just to hear your own thoughts reflected in someone else’s voice. I know that I don’t send my words into empty space- that somewhere, in someone’s heart, they are received. Thank you for sharing my journey so far and, if you’re up for it, continuing on with me. The new year is coming. I’ll see you there.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Behind the Magic 8 Ball or DIY: Choose your own adventure!

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.

Yes, no maybe so,
Yes, no, maybe so. (House on Mango Street- Sandra Cisneros)

Indecision is the bane of a rational mind. Logically, we all know how the world should progress. Our way- or the highway.  If everyone did exactly what I told them the world would be a better place- kittens and puffy clouds would abound, war would be abolished, flowers would bloom…..etc.  But the truth is, even if I had such power, I wouldn’t really know what to do with it. I don’t really know what to do with the phenomenal power I already have over my own life. Hence, my indecision-which inevitably leads to stagnation.  They say indecision is, in and of itself a decision. A decision to neither move forward or back, but to stay stuck in fear and ambivalence. They say even a bad decision is better than no decision at all. I don’t know who “they” are, but I hate them- stuck up know-it-alls! But “they” are right. It’s better to move than not on the highway of life. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little too much like potential road-kill. 

Did you ever read those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books when you were a kid?- you know, the kind that every few pages gave you a choice- face the monster, or run away. Go down the hidden tunnel  or run away.  Face the pirates or….(you know).  Not many options. Life isn’t really like a book. The ending isn’t one we can peek at at the end of the book, and the choices really aren’t life or death.  Not actual death- more like “living” death- stultification. Then again, for some of us close to the edge… Actually, for every one of us who truly understands that this life is all we have….hmm, maybe life really is kind of like those CYOA books after all-times a million.  But you can only run away for so long before decisions are forced on you – and when decisions are forced on you, often, so is regret.

Making meaningful choices takes logic, analysis, and whimsy. Yes, whimsy. Because if we cannot imagine how things can be better, than we have no choice but to accept things the way they are.  Whimsy and risk are just as important to decisions as logic- because they take into effect what cannot be seen- but only felt and intuited. Taking the “road less traveled” is not a promise of better things, only things that are different.  But Frost is definitely right, in that, sometimes, “that [makes] all the difference.” 

Take a look into your future- gaze into a crystal ball, gaze at your naval (ewww!) , do whatever it takes- but make a choice today.  Feel the power in deciding your own future-for good or bad, it’s yours to make.  Take a step towards a dream, take a step out of a bad relationship-with others or with yourself. Take a step toward love, and a step out of fear.  Be a man (or woman!), not a mouse- captain of your own ship, your own fate and sail beyond the sunset (Heinlein). Choose your own adventure, write your own chapter, and make a happy ending that’s all your own. *

Today’s mantra:
Universe I will trust you, knowing that you are contained within me, to fulfill my wishes, to help me live my best life and to be my highest self. I know that my greatest power is my ability to love and that my compassion draws others to me so that I may be loved in return. So today, I choose to trust that you will send me what and who I need-that they are already here and I have only to receive them. For this, I give thanks.

*Failing all that- you can of, of course, always retreat back to the Magic 8 Ball- give it a try below!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So, Live Your Life or DIY:Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change
courage to change the one I can change,
and the wisdom to know it’s me.
– Author unknown

What is serenity?
Serenity is...coming home to a warm house.
Serenity is...knowing where your children are.
Serenity is...a warm bath, a cup of cocoa, and a good book.

Ummm, no. I don’t think so. That might be happiness. It might even be smugness. But it’s not serenity. Serenity is inner peace- a calm in our personal storm, that cannot be shaken by outside things. That warm house- how serene are you when you come home to a cold one? Knowing where your children are? In these days, that’s a matter of faith. They might be in school….and they might not. A warm bath, a cup of cocoa, and a good book? Sounds good. But if either of those fall in the tub, tell me you won’t scream bloody murder!
Lately I have been in need of some serenity. A solid knowing of where and who I am, and where I’m going in life. It is not a bad thing to be thrown off guard- to be forced to question and adjust, because serenity is not the same as contentment- being okay (note- not necessarily happy) with where you are. Serenity can be had only inside you, and it moves with you and through you to accomplish great things. Contentment happens in your “happy” little rut. For years I was “content” to work in a job that had ceased to inspire me, to live a quiet life, achieving little, but not hurting anything either. I was “content”, in other words, to live the life of the common house plant. Not even the common house cat- whom, even the fattest and laziest of which, is at least, beautiful, graceful and deadly (beware mousies!) I was content to be unnoticed, because it meant I didn’t have to be responsible for my own greatness. If the world didn’t notice me- maybe I didn’t deserve to be noticed- then I wouldn’t have to work so hard. I wouldn’t have to accomplish anything. I could be emotionally lazy. I didn’t have to be great at anything- and risk failure, defeat or humiliation. I didn’t have to risk people not liking me, people being jealous of me, and my accomplishments. In case you missed it, by the way- the irony here is that I assumed that I could do something great- something worthy which people might not like me for doing. So I believed without thinking about it that I could be amazing- I just gave it up…..for comfort. I actively worked to not stand out-to be ignored and derided. And it worked. How brilliant is that!? And how brilliantly must we all shine naturally, when so many of us have to work so hard to seem ordinary?

I am convinced that it is a cosmic joke- the ultimate expression of irony, that we work so hard to be part of the crowd, while looking up to the most bland of us- celebrities, movie stars, models- and all the while, we say, innocently, sincerely, “I wish I could be like them.” I swear the Devil laughs his ass off every time someone says that- the more wistfully, the better. It’s like every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings- in reverse. Every time someone says that, our little personal demons grow bigger-like a malignant cancer-they feed off our heart’s blood and grow stronger. Well, I believe in the power of positive prayer and “my strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”(Alfred, Lord Tennyson). [Okay, so maybe my heart is  still a little murky, so maybe my strength is only as the strength know.. one and a half. But still, you gotta start somewhere.]
I will put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and I will wrap myself in serenity- in the knowledge that in this place and time I was made to shine. I will not shirk my duty, or lower my standard(s) to abase myself in the dirt, because I was not made for low things, but being created by the Most High, my standing and stature are likewise elevated- not to be better than any man, but to be the equal of all.
(Whew!- self esteem talks really get me going!) knowing who you are and accepting it with good grace. I know that I am impatient, judgmental, sharp tongued and needling. And that’s with myself, let alone others. I also know, when I give myself leave to compliment myself, that I am patient, with children and friends, funny, and comforting- to the people I believe deserve it. Which, until recently, has been everyone other than myself.

“Know thyself”, (author unknown) and “to thine own self be true,”-(Shakespeare, Hamlet). Your higher self, that is, your better self. And let that knowledge be your “Guiding Light”, your immovable, fixed point “As the [rest of] the “World Turns” (okay no more soap opera mentions. I promise.)

I know that I was made to do great things- and like a child I have avoided doing them, to gain the acceptance of “friends” and “society”. But the only acceptance I have ever needed is my own. And I refuse to let my little demon feast in my heart and give me nothing but insecurity, and doubt in return. In one swell foop*, my demon has been evicted. I will no longer question whether I have a right to be great- I don’t. I have a duty. The only question from now on is how will I go about accomplishing my greatness and the greater good. Don’t pretend to be less than you are. For every child who truly believed that a costume could make them a superhero- let there be an adult who knows that inside they are one- invisible cape and all. Be your own hero- someone who stands up to not only speeding bullets, but the stinging envy and slights of other men- because you refuse to be less than you are- magnificent. Stand serenely, in the eye of the hurricane ( which is sure to come when you stop apologizing for being who you are.) Stand proudly, smile serenely, hold your ground...and live your life.

Live Your Life-Rihanna

within our darkness there is not one place for beauty...
The whole place is for beauty. -Rene Char

*Yes, I know it's one fell swoop- I just liked the way it sounds, dammit! When someone doesn't like your joke, it's best to just walk away. No explanations, no apologies!( well, except for this one time!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Gates of Horn and Ivory

I dreamed a dream in times gone by…… Les Miserables

Ever had the falling dream? Or the naked dream? (you know the one I mean- when you walk into class and everyone stares and you suddenly realize they’re all naked and you’re not and you start screaming, because really, some people ought not to be naked…ever? Oh. I guess I’m the only who has that one. Okay, then. Ahem)
Well, lately I have been having a lot of dreams. Dreams of my future, dreams of my past. Dreams that were never made real. (I know that sounds weird when you read it- but you know what I mean.) And dreams that will, maybe, never come true. To be fair some of my dreams were really fantasies, which are completely different. Fantasies are made up completely, having nothing to do with the real world and your real issues. They’re the ones where you dream about harem boys (or girls- your choice) or rolling in huge piles of money (again with said harem.) But dreams really can reflect what is going on in your heart right this minute. The problem is interpretation. It’s all in the (closed) eyes of the beholder.
While certain dreams generally have the same meaning for all of us- the naked dream for example, generally means a fear of being vulnerable- some dreams are so twisty (twisted?) that no outside source can unravel their meaning. You have to tread the path of dreams yourself. And dreams, as we all know, can very quickly turn in to nightmares without warning. I have had dreams of terror, and woken lunging from my bed. I have dreams from my childhood that have never quite abated, no matter that I know there is no bogeyman under the bed- now I know they are in the streets. I have dreamed of love and longing, and having woken up in the morning, with tears in my eyes, couldn’t remember what they were about- only that they broke my heart. So many dreams are like snowflakes- the very first of the season- so delicate they melt away.
And then there are Dreams- with a capital D. The dreams I have of starting a business, having a child, finding a love. The ones that are even scarier than little “d” dreams- because they could be real, if only I will strive for them. If only. A dream deferred, as Langston said- can so easily explode, leaving sharp fragments which cut us as reminders of what we could have, should have done, but didn't.
Only I can tell which dreams will come true for me- which have true messages for me to hear and which are merely deception. Self or otherwise. It is said that the gate of horn is the gate through which true dreaming comes- while the gate of ivory is the portal to phantasms. Only I know which one I will walk through- which dreams I will fight for, and which I will lay aside. The importance of dreams has always been that our subconscious can open thoughts to us then, that we don’t allow in otherwise- keeping them out of the “real” world, until we lay unconscious and defenseless against ourselves. We rest our brains in pleasant sleep, and wrestle demons in nightmares, and none of it hurts us….mostly. Medical science says that when we don’t sleep, we do irreparable harm to our bodies, minds and psyche, becoming paranoid and sometimes, insane. We study lucid dreaming to learn how to manipulate the images in our head- to actively participate in our dreams, in ways that we can’t in real life, but often wish to or need to. To sleep too much is often a sign of depression, that you wish to be away from the world and its pressure- the pressure of living, performing, or miming being alive. “To sleep perchance to dream,” -but hopefully, not forever as in Hamlet’s case (Shakespeare, Hamlet Act II, sc i).
I don’t wish to waste my time in sleep. I need to be awake making my dreams come true. I need to be planning the next step on my journey. I need to be moving, and striving to make my dreams real- because dreams are only a starting point. They last through the night, but fade away. The day is for living, for making the fantastical concrete-for defeating my monsters, and conquering my mountains.(All together now- “Cliiiiimb every mountaaaain! Foooord every seaaaaa!- oh, not a Julie Andrews fan, huh? “The Sound of Music”)

In the push and pull between reality and dream lies the human condition- the ability to dream and the skill to change reality. So spend your nights in pleasant rest, and dream. But when day comes, don't [just] follow your dreams. Chase them like they’re running from you. (JB)

Anais Nin:
The dream was always running ahead of me.
To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it,
that was the miracle

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Love You Because I Know No Other Way....

I have been stumbling awkwardly to find my purpose in this life for quite some time. And if one more person says “All you need is love”, they will die. Because they’re right- but nobody likes a know-it-all.
 “All you need is love.”
Our purpose here is clear. And so, too, our path to achieve our purpose-as clear as mud. If love is the end all, be all, how can you measure if you have achieved your goal? Love is all encompassing- and that means that it includes the types of love that would make even the most liberal of us a tad…uncomfortable. And if it can include all of that- and you still can’t find love- what does that mean? I wish I knew the answer to all things-life, the universe and everything.*

(Ed. Note-the answer is… 42. Thanks Douglas Adams!)

But if I know nothing else, I know this-the question is often its own answer. If you are trying to love and be loving- then you are on the right path. That doesn’t mean that everything we call love is love. And some things you do lovingly have negative effects. And some things people call loving are just plain inappropriate. But who am I to judge? I don’t have memorized the paths of the human heart. And I can’t read your heart’s intentions. But we all know love when we see it. And we know how good it feels when we’re in it- in love that is. (And not the sappy cupid kind either!) Being truly in love and truly loving others-getting in touch with the “big vibration”, being a part of it all- whatever “it” turns out to be. Call it home- because Home is that place where all things begin (began) and love has no end. Call it love, God, call it what you will- we all just want to go home again.

In the end, I know that in order to go “home” I will need a partner, someone to rely on, to trust, who will defend me and whom I will defend- because these are the ultimate lessons of love and I won’t be ready to go back until I have learned them all.

To trust-knowing that not everyone can be trusted.

To rely on someone else- when you would rather do for yourself, even when you know that you are not the most reliable yourself.

To defend- yourself and those you care about. And to widen your definition of who you care about.

I know that in the end I will find the answers I’m looking for- in this lifetime or another. I have decided that I am tired of playing the martyr- of taking on burdens that are not my own-instead of the one that is-the burden of learning to love. I know that I am not alone and I will not be alone forever, because my partners and friends are out there. To them I write this brief letter of introduction, knowing that when we meet (if we have not already)  we will already truly know and love one another and that in them I will achieve my purpose- I will find my home.

Dear loved one,

You may not remember me. But I have always known you were out there. I have lived my life in the hopes of meeting you –re-meeting you. Because this is not the first time we have known and loved one another. Before all things began, we were one. I have journeyed to find you, because you are my other half. I have been awkward no matter where I go, because I was missing you and your presence. I have struggled to keep the faith and find my purpose, believing that I was failing in some greater destiny without realizing that my only destiny was to find you. There will never be anything greater than the connecting of our souls once again. My purpose is surely to find you. To love you. To journey with you. And I don’t know where we’ll go. Only that it matters that I go there with you, at my side- at my back and in my heart. I have loved you and love you still- in this life and every other. And in every turn of the wheel to come, I will continue to love you. Because you are a part of me. Until me meet again, and for the first time, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Regrets, I've Had A Few

Regrets are one of those things, which like sand fleas in your swim trunks, can keep you up at night, scratching. And sometimes, you draw blood. I don’t just mean having regrets about deeds undone, but those that you have done too. How many times have you berated yourself for not being brave enough to say what was on your mind? And how many times have you chastised yourself for ruining a good thing? And what if you ruin something through no intention of your own (I won’t say no fault- we all have those, and they interfere in our lives in inconceivable ways) but what if you just….weren’t enough, didn’t know enough, didn’t say enough? Obliviousness can lead to regret…and hell, just as surely as good intentions.

There are few things that are really worth regretting, but it is always the little things that stick around the longest. I regret never telling that boy in high school how much I liked him. I regret having ruined someone’s New Year (don’t ask, I won’t tell), I regret spending so much of my life with no purpose- or not journeying to find that purpose before now. I regret not telling someone that I loved them…and then proving it. I regret never being overtly grateful to those who loved me, (not much for PDA, me, but it takes so little…). I regret being to self involved and not self involved enough- and each, always, at the wrong time.

I have tried over the years to take the words “I wish” out of my vocabulary. To say I wish is to take on an awesome responsibility…and at the same time to put on a awesome display of insecurity. Imagine that saying “I wish” worked. That every time you had a regret you could say “I wish I had never done that” or “I wish I had” and it would come true. The power, the power! But really, if it did work like that, (and it never does- or at least, it never has for me. You seen any magic lamps lately?) you would have to give up an inordinate amount of control over your own decisions to let some power, higher or otherwise, like whiteout, make over your life. Our regrets are ours as surely as any of our accomplishments, and often more poignant. They are the reason you wake up from dreams with an uncontrollable feeling of grief….or purpose. They are our motivation, like cow-switches, that flick us and torment us until we do better. Until we say never again. Or next time, for sure…and mean it. (and I’m sorry for the cow simile. Next time, I’ll do better. For sure.)

Regrets are things that can overshadow our lives or force us to shine. I don’t want to regret anymore that any part of my life was unlived, that any of my dreams were unfulfilled, that any person in my life was unloved (including me). Fight off your regrets with actions. Take a stand (or a seat. It’s all good) and draw a line in the sand. Let your regrets fuel you. Let them fill you up, like a battery in a flashlight. Then turn on your light….and shine.

Watch Judith Owen - Shine on 
P.S. Skip the first two minutes to get to a great song!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Amazing Grace or DIY: Beginner's Guide To Gracious Living

Have you ever read something that just made you cry? I do all the time (big sentimental sap that I am!), but my favorite has always been the novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull. (Richard Bach)
Ever heard of it? It's a great story about one lone seagull who wants to learn to fly- not to eat, or fight, but just for the joy of flying. Throughout the book, each time he strives to better himself, his fellow gulls peck at him and tear him down, but he manages to overcome their ignorance and rise- quite literally, to new levels. He leaves his family behind and moves to higher and higher levels of existence, eventually learning that what he was really learning was not how to fly, but how to love. Once he learns to love- he no longer has a need to fly. Love can take you anywhere and anytime-once you can love, you can be or do anything. 
You are free.

All my life I have wanted to be graceful, to be able to move liquidly, rhythmically, beautifully. I figured my looks  and brains weren't anything to write home about, so I'd better learn to do something beautifully if I were ever going to make my life worthwhile. I have thrown myself into my job- working doggedly, ignoring stress and unhappiness, and the ultimate realization that while I was good at what I did- I didn't love it- and it certainly wouldn't love me when I got old. I threw myself into hobbies- learning gymnastics, yoga, meditation, dance, karate, painting, piano  tai chi, the waltz (yes, you heard me- the waltz. Be glad it wasn't the tango! "shudder"), all in an effort to be graceful. I used to be a tomboy- then I learned to paint my nails just so, to wobble in heels, to curl my hair- in vain attempts to offset what I thought were my less desirable features- inside and out. If I have one good trait, it's that I try to be honest with myself-(not too much, because that can get your feelings hurt), but if I do wrong- I know it and I acknowledge it. And it finally occurred to me that I have been living my life wrongly- a hurtful truth, because who wants to think they've wasted that much time? (Don't ask me how old I am- if you know, forget it- if you don't, good.) But while I have been trying to live gracefully, I have not been living graciously or lovingly.
This is not to say I haven't loved- I dearly love the people in my life-perhaps too much (No offense, fam, but I could write a book- call it
"Women Who Love Too Much While Not Loving Themselves Enough Because They Got Issues" -hmmm.  Too long, you think?)
 But while I know about loving, I know how to love, I know how to give love; I know nothing about accepting it for myself. Expecting people to be loving to you isn't graceful- graceful is giving up the last chocolate when you really want it. Graceful is looking beautiful for people who will never appreciate it or you. Graceful is working till you're sick as a dog- and setting the standard so that people will expect it from you from then on. Graceful is working without complaining because you don't want to trouble others- so, (muy intellig`ente) you trouble yourself. Expecting people to be loving- is selfish. It puts a burden on them to be more than they are- and, ooh, you know how people hate high expectations for themselves!

Being gracious is altogether different. Being gracious is living life without self imposed burdens, without shackling our natural exuberance, and humors- living our lives fully, without denigrating others, but realizing that our lives are ours to live.  Being gracious is not only that, but knowing  and telling (and you know some people need telling) the world that  we can live just fine without the disparaging commentary of others, and promptly proceeding to do so. If you have ever seen a person being happy- unselfconsciously, without peering around for judgment; if you have ever been that person, you know how good it feels...and how rarely it occurs.  Being gracious means being selfish-doing or not doing good and loving things because they make us feel good-not because they're expected of us. It also means being or not being  good (by your own, definition- not the beliefs of others!)  whenever you feel it is right.
I have never been gracious to myself- I have never expected others to love me, because like L'Oreal says, "I'm worth it."  My "job" has been to love others, to give of myself and hope it all pans out. In all my life I have never been free to accept love- or to not care if others don't love me.

When Jonathan Livingstone Seagull returns to his flock with all the knowledge he has gained, they turn their backs on him- all except for one seagull who says, "I want to fly-but I can't. I have a broken wing." What makes me cry whenever I read it is how true it feels, when Jonathan answers him,
 "You are free to fly, this moment, just as you are."
A simple line (albeit plagiarized- I mean paraphrased-yeaahh. "shifty look") 
and in the next moment the seagull with the broken wing  flies.
 I know it's just a story  (Ed . Note: bite your tongue! There is no such thing as "just a story!"), but it makes me cry everytime. 

I am not a seagull.
 I'm just a girl who can't dance, or sing, or write gracefully,
but who desperately wants to live graciously, to be loving  and loved.
I am the girl with the broken wing who wants to do more than just fly.
I want to be free.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Behold, thou art fair, my love; or DIY:Song of Myself

I know not how to praise you, oh my love.
like lightning, like tears, your love,the passing of time-
all are unknowable.
Your embrace preserves me in amber, in honey,-
in you I drown thickly in sweetness.
You cause me to lie in the moon's gaze,
to behold you, a wondrous star-
eternal as only mortal things are.
Lips,full, that speak no words,contain a thousand touches-
seek me out and brush by me again.
Incarnadine thy mouth and the wisdom thereof-
bless me, with the petals of your breath
that I may draw you in,
and breath you out-
intangibly embraced,
sweetness manifest.
Give me your hand, dearest, truest friend,
and ask all of me in return-
no sweeter bargain wrought than this of ours
that time for us should pass like blooming flowers which joy in their youth,yet aged, provide sweet fruit.
Our love is alike to every other in the world,
no more distinct than any that has been or is yet to be,
esteemed only in that tis a pact 'twixt you and me.
Your hand in mine, a dreamer's rest,
my heart in yours, and pressed between our lips,
our name is shared-
it is myself.

(First line-Gossamer Axe- Gael Baudino)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God

Recently, (like in the last few days) I've been reading some philosophy and doing some heavy thinking- which hurt, so I stopped. But then I went back and took a second crack at it, and what I came up with is this- the next time some pissant gets in your face about a minor issue and asks "Who made you God?"- tell them the truth- You did. In every self help book- Bible, Koran and Torah included- it pretty clearly states that we are more than the sum of our parts- that we have the innate ability to be creators and destroyers. Where does that power come from? From within us- every science, and religion tells us that we are more than we can comprehend. Science continues to astound us with wonder at the complexity of the human mind and body and we are transfixed at the sight of holy men and women who manifest miracles- everyday we are confounded and reminded of our ignorance and our uncommon knowledge. It takes chutzpah to live your life like you are a god- like you are God (with a capital G, please note) and most of us don't have the Thatchers (look it up, people!). To be God- to be manifest as God, would require that we admit that we really our responsible for our own lives- that we are made to be greater than we are, that we are afraid of our own greatness, and that in many ways it is so much more comfortable to be small, powerless and at the whims of the world. It is the ultimate feeling of security to know that "Big Brother" is watching over us-If I have problems, it's not my fault-it's God's. Even as we pray the Lord is my strength and my salvation, we give away our awesome power in exchange for eternal childhood. But God never intended for us to remain children. It's why we were tempted by the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge-why we tempted ourselves and why we left the garden and entered the world. We can be more than conquerors- but most of us don't wish to- we don't want to conquer our pettiness, our jealousies and our anger. We don't want to forgive others, because we don't feel we are deserving of forgiveness- and like selfish children, we withhold from others and ourselves that which we desperately need to be free. I had to learn long ago to forgive myself for things that had often kept me up late at night- and I still haven't come to the end of the list. And if you think me arrogant for forgiving myself-well, I don't have to forgive you, if it makes you feel any better. I was created in God's image-my own image, for a purposeful end. It may take my lifetime for me to journey and find what that purpose is- but it is there. My existence is not coincidental- to quote Nikki Giovanni (Egotrippin') "I turned myself into myself and was Jesus"-even better,I was and am, me- a whole being, a powerful entity-not a child, but a part of the universe "no less than the trees and stars" (Max Ehrman- The Desiderata) and no less deserving or capable of great things. Within me lies both my own heaven and hell- I shape myself and change myself every second of every day and surely there is no greater power than this- to change reality and consciousness at my whim. Today I choose to believe that God is within me and all power is mine- that the kingdom of God is here on earth wherever I walk- that eternity is mine to dwell in, in peace forevermore. And who out there will gainsay me? Go find your own inner deity. Walk out of hell and into your power. "For know ye not that ye are gods?" (Apologies to Dan Brown-The Lost Symbol)

Peace, Love, God

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Immortal

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying.

Woody Allen (1935 - ) 
Try this: write your own obituary.  What would it say?  Is it a three word salutation, i.e.: RIP or a soliloquy extolling your virtues?
Here lies Blackgirl.
She was awesome!

Here lies Blackgirl
   Award winning author, publisher,
mother of two, faithful wife,
motorcycle enthusiast,
Sensei and philosopher.
She changed the world! 

Will you really be remembered and by whom? 

     Everyone wants to be immortal.  I,personally, plan to live forever-barring unforeseen accidents (and foreseen ones too, of course.) Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. But as Robert Heinlein wrote (  To Sail Beyond The Sunset-awesome book and one of my favorite authors) "Yes, maybe it's just one colossal big joke, with no point to it. But I can tell you this...  whatever the answers are, here's one monkey that's going to keep on climbing, and looking around him to see what he can see, as long as the tree holds out."

     Realistically, (but who wants to be realistic, really?  ahem,)  Realistically,  immortality lies in creating a presence, a memory of ourselves that lives on past death- in making an impression that influences people`s lives- in leaving behind a legacy- whether tangible- through children, wealth or charity or intangible- merely, (I say merely, though it`s anything but) the warm rememberances of family and friends.   Immortality has been the goal of humanity for generations because we cannot definitively answer the question "What happens when we die?" Therefore like any intelligent being we seek to avoid altogether that ultimate mystery - either by "living it up"- boozing, wenching, motorcycle abuse ( my favorite!)

(Ed. note-we here at Blackgirl industries do not in any way endorse motorcyle abuse. Our motto is and always will be - Just Say No!)

 or we end up avoiding life itself all together-living a life of "quiet desperation."  Avoiding anything that might upset the delicate balance that keeps the organism that is you, ticking-strong drink, strong language, strong women- a recipe for disaster  and a early grave? Mayhap. The truth is -immortality is unachievable- but living forever is not- if you consider that forever, as far as you know, is as long as you, personally live.  So somehow, we need to inject life into our life.  To make (I know, people) "every moment count."- to stretch the minutes into hours in a good way-not like when you`re at the office and can`t wait to get home.  Make as many minutes joyful- full of joy- as you can. This does not mean you will always be happy! It does mean that you will be joy-full-capable of feeling the fullness of life and you must be mind-full- using the full capacity of  your mind to fully engage in your life- in feeling and being alive-whether that means feeling grief or liberation.  Forever is a misnomer-eternity is only nomenclature- a name for the experience of being alive.  A hummingbird`s heart beats at 1200 beats per minute-their life depends on the tiniest of organs continually throbbing- on continually feeding -on literally "stopping to smell the roses." You  are not a hummingbird (unless you are, in which case, my apologies), but you are human- an organism singularly gifted at -designed even to experience, enjoy and  remember life.  Your body is designed to survive, your mind is designed to comprehend (a lot more than we generally allow it to.) Your spirit wants to experience life... so let it. Be alive, Be aware, Be joyful.  

"You are immortal, beloved.  You cannot die.."(Heinlein- Time Enough For Love) -
   unless you haven`t truly lived  ...(me)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Sorta Fairytale

When you first learn about love, you learn about it from fairytales. Tales where the princess is rescued by the handsome prince who has traveled through exotic lands and wandered through time to find her, where their first kiss is magical, their love for each other eternal and blissful. Happiness abounds and they live (say it with me, folks) “Happily Ever After”. You believe in these tales because they are so pure, so beautiful, so fantastic. You will spend the rest of your life trying to figure out why real life doesn’t measure up: why your prince or princess (let’s not be sexist here) isn’t waiting for you, searching for you, doesn’t love you, loves something more than you (drugs, alcohol, themselves), isn’t capable of love, is too immature to love. Look at everyone you’ve ever loved- who you secretly held out hope would be “The One” and tell me you haven’t wondered “How the hell did all of these frogs get here?!” To take a page from an old saying, “Lie down with frogs, get up with warts.” None of us are Snow White- we are not princesses laid low by magical spells, we are not lowly maids who will be raised high by princes. We are all frogs. We are all marked by the scars life has given us and the truth is fairy tales aren’t real- but you already knew that. The truth is love can be instantaneous, but even love at first sight has to live past the second (sighting, that is). The truth is love heals all wounds- which is only fair, since it causes half of them anyway. The truth is love can conquer mountains, but most of us would really prefer the garden path. The truth is…the truth. Love is not a human invention, but certainly we have added some unnecessary complications. We tell ourselves bedtime stories that assure us that in the end we will not be alone, when the truth is we are alone all the time with each other. Love is a not a cure all for the affliction of the human condition. That’s endemic. It is, however, a balm, a heart’s ease, that softens the edges of life, just enough that we can try to achieve…- whatever it is we’re meant to achieve here. Let’s try this for once. Just for once, let’s try telling a true story- an oxymoron, I know. A story where love conquers all by conquering nothing-where it’s not a sword, but a shield. Where princesses don’t wait for princes to wake them up, but get off their asses and hack their way through life’s thorns on their own. Where women don’t have to wear glass slippers (they’re fragile, and cold and besides, who wants their calluses exposed to the world?) Where princes don’t have to kill to be loved or fight to be valued. Let’s try a story where people find that life has no guaranteed happily ever after- and they live life anyway. Where there is no magic but that of the human heart and its ability to expand as needed, to be strong, and malleable and scarred- to be wounded again and again and keep beating. Let’s try a story where we don’t know the ending, where every hero and heroine makes their own choices- and start out on their own paths to epic journeys. Tell me a story where kissed frogs stay frogs; but are loved, warts and all.

*click the title link for some appropriate mood music!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Love's Labour Lost (Not) or DIY:Checking out of Heartbreak Hotel!

They say a surefire way to get over one heartbreak is to engage in the next one. As in find the next guy or gal, the next experience, the next high- anything that numbs the feeling of heartbreak you’re currently experiencing. You know, that salt rubbed in an open wound in your chest feeling? Yeah, that one. How many of us have engaged in the Hokey Pokey with someone just to feel better about ourselves, and ended up feeling worse? (Raise your hands please. Yes, you too.) How many of us have done it more than once? (Just an informal poll, if you please-if you’ve done it more than twice, I weep for you and hope you get help. Seriously.*) Sometimes, it takes awhile for us to learn. (How did we get to be the dominant species anyway? Oh yeah, that whole thumbs thing.) Anyway, when you find yourself singing sad songs and roaming the streets looking for Heartbreak Hotel and mooning over what coulda, shoulda, woulda been ( but wasn’t- face reality, people, it really wasn’t), take a detour instead and spend some time outside yourself-( no matter how hard that may be, because Lord knows, you’re fascinating,) and take a long hard look at why you are where you are. This is a hard endeavor. It takes a lot to look at ones deepest, inner self and feel neither revulsion or pride. Neither of those emotions is particularly helpful in being a good human being, and yet millions of us continue to wallow in them. The best way to look at yourself, is the way we should look at everyone, with ultimate compassion and love. It’s a hard trick to master- most of us are so used to looking for validation outside ourselves, and we do so in unhealthy ways- through money, power, celebrity or infamy. None of us are happy being who we are, alone, so we cling together, and when we cling together, we do so in a muddle of unhappiness and wonder why we can’t escape. Seriously, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want to take over the world- your inner world, that is, you have to, like Apple computers “think different” (ly-sorry, bad grammar gets to me.) For every wrinkle in your brain trained to think misery makes you a good human being, you need to think a positive thought a hundred times before your brain will un-entrench itself and move onto a new path. For every time you castigate yourself for making one bad decision after another in love, you need to praise yourself for having the courage to love in the first place, and the intelligence to learn from that experience. For every wound carved on your heart, give yourself one gold sticker until your wall is covered in them. Wear a tattoo that reads “Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.” Be a bad ass Wounded Love Warrior. Just don’t curl up and die. Never, never, never say die.

*BTW, you're welcome to join my therapy group. I'll be the one wearing a sticker that says "Hello, My name is Dee and I'm a Love Addict."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Practical Magic or DIY: Love Potion #9

" When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, when the battle 's lost and won "

Macbeth - William Shakespeare

(Act I, Scene I)

     Suffice to say, lately I’ve been feeling a little, well, witchy. (Ha,ha- I know, when am I not? Ok, get it out of your system. You done now? Thank you.) Anyway, I don’t mean witchy in that sense. I mean..witchy, magicky, earthy. My life is pretty normal, somewhat dry to tell the truth. But occasionally, there comes an instance when I can feel the presence of magic in my life, be it the sight of a beautiful ocean, a gorgeous full moon, or the feel of wind in my hair during a storm. Life is magical and energetic. And we could all use more of that. But it takes being open and willing to receive- to be sensitive means being open to being hurt as well as being open to ecstasy. In Greece, women who opened themselves to ecstasy were sometimes called Maenads-followers of the god Bacchus, who ate and drank themselves into a frenzy, (and sometimes tore their lovers to pieces.) They were rightfully feared...and also envied. Men who went into a frenzy in battle were called berserkers-violent warriors filled with bloodlust who were held in fear and awe. Prophets and oracles too, like the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, lived their lives hoping for the ecstasy of communication with their gods. Over the ages, people have tried and tried again to find a way to sustain the ecstasy of being outside themselves, (The seventies and peyote- I’m just sayin’),trying magic, drugs, alcohol, and sex to get out of their own skins; to escape the pain of being alive. Perhaps they didn’t understand, we have never understood, that being alive is magic- and therefore is pain and pleasure all wrapped up in one. Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. (I know, stop laughing. You’re so cynical!) Magic is the ability to see and feel things- not beyond the ordinary- but to perceive the ordinary exactly as it is- as wondrous. Humans are made to take in information-through sight, and touch, emotion, and logic. We are conduits for life, and therefore for magic. We don’t have to be outside ourselves. We don’t have to be separate. We don’t have to be alone. We can just be. Now, how hard can that be? (Yeah, I know.)
Okay, so here are some instructions for how to invite more magic into your own life.

Ritual #1

1. Slow down-you’re missing it. What is it? Whatever is happening right now- even if it’s boring, this moment in your life will never come again. Think about that for a moment and..

2. Breathe-deeply, slowly, tenderly. Feel alive. Hold your breath for a moment. Doesn’t it feel good when you breathe again? Memorize that feeling...and

3. Move-however you want- just move-walk, dance, tap your toes, move your pinkies. Ain’t it grand that you have them? Pay more attention to your body. It protects you from a lot more than you know. Take care of it. And, last but not least...

4. Sense-in everyway you can, use the sense(s) God gave you- think, see, hear, feel, taste as much as you can. Make it a daily ritual. Have you ever looked at your hand- I mean, really looked at your hand? (Bad pot joke? Sorry! ;>) Exercise your brain, taste new foods, see beautiful sights. Condition your body to be open to new sensations, then enjoy the rush.

Still don’t feel open to the universe? Then there’s always the backup plan.

Love Potion #9


Gather the following ingredients into an ice cold cauldron (er, shaker) and mix well. Serve on the rocks. Give some to the love of your life (yourself, silly!)-then have a second. Give the rest to anyone else you think needs a little love. Best when imbibed under a full moon with friends.


1 oz Absolut vodka

1 oz Amaretto almond liquor

1 oz Peach schnapps

1 oz Orange juice

1 oz Cranberry juice

Shake well-serve on the rocks

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life or DIY: Top 20 Playlist of My Life and Times

My whole life has been one slow rolling film clip, it seems to me. Until now, it's been a dreamscape, slowly rolling along, no real action. I kept thinking, can we get some rising action here, a little bit of drama, a climax, something?! It wasn't until I joined the over-thirty club that I realized this is it- this is life- nobody will make your life more exciting for you. Nobody else can star in my show but me. So how to get myself pumped up enough to be my own action super-heroine? I decided I needed a soundtrack. Music, for me, can be very evocative- pulling me back to a specific place and time, pulling forth memories that I thought I had long forgotten. But it’s also good for inspiration- something to get me moving, heart pumping, hips grooving-a little salsa, anyone? So I need something. Something to get the adrenaline pumping; something with lots of drums, good bass, a raw edged voice; something to make me feel alive. I need crazy sexy rock and roll, smooth RandB for the love scenes sure to follow (please?), a little bit of acoustic for when I'm feeling mellow, and some gritty hip hop for when I feel the need for some flavor. I am remaking the story of my life- a sequel that for once, will be better than the original. And like many a Hollywood blockbuster, the soundtrack will be the best part. I will be a “Shining Star”, and “Walk Like An Epytian” and do it without shame. This is my show- and I am happy to be a "#1 Stunna" in my "Celebrity Skin".Be the star of your own show-choose a theme song just for you. Rock hard and often. Peace.

Top Twenty Countdown-what are you in the mood for?

            Mood       Song                                         Group                      Year

Raucus       Celebrity Skin                            Hole                        1998

Pissed          Bodies                                     Drowning Pool         2001

Excited          Speedballin’                           Outkast                 2001

Hopeful         Dream Big                                Jazmin Sullivan        2009

   Sad            Everybody Hurts                        REm                     1993

             Emo             6 Underground                       Sneaker Pimps          1996

             Cool             The Life                              Mystic                          2004

Mellow           Edge Hill                             Groove Armada              2001

          Reflective         One                                   U2                               1991

In Love           Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop    Landon Pigg            2008

         Thoughtful      Wild Horses                      The Sundays                       1992

Aggressive         Hate It or Love It             The Game                            2005

          Sexy                You Should Be Here          Raphael Saddiq                   1999

         Fun                   Party Like A Rockstar         ShopBoyz                         2007 
                                  (You know I had to!)

         Sweet                Pretty Wings                      Maxwell                              2009

         Edgy                Clint Eastwood                 Gorillaz                                 2001

          Chillin'                Left Handed                     Lali Puna                              2004

         Powerful               Extraordinary                  Liz Phair                                 2004

         Hip                     Bullet and Target            Citizen Cope                            2004

This listing is by no means official- care to submit a track? Post additions here

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I’m Your Venus, I’m Your Fire, Your Desire or DIY: Find Your Inner Goddess

Worship me. Praise me.  Adore me.  Over the centuries, religion has risen and fallen, schisms have erupted and martyrs have been..well, martyred. All of this over which god should be worshipped, and how, and when. In the end it all boils down to- my god is better than your god. But what about the goddesses? History is swarming with powerful goddesses, who were worshipped for their life giving properties, their motherly natures, and their fecundity- (that means pregosity [the ability to procreate abundantly] to you).  These gentle mothers of the earth have been all but forgotten- and for good reason. They never existed. The archetype of gentle earth mother is a fiction that was created by generations of leaders who wanted the quell the natural fiery power of womanhood. ( O.k., now that all the men have run out of the room, let's get down to brass tacks.)  History is told by the victors, they say- or the interpreters, or the liars. Let's be real- accurate, that is.  History is a story- unfortunately, a story where too often the contributions of women have been excluded.  It's not enough that women don't know their own strength, we have systematically been told through the media that we never had any.  But in every woman lies the strength of Isis, Astarte, Nut, The Morrigan, and others. Don't know who they are. Hold up, wait a minit.* Isis, was the Egpytian goddess of magic, medicine and yes, motherhood. Her power was second only to Ra, the sun god- this was a woman who put back together the pieces of her murdered husband's body, and then used it to bring forth new life. Watch out now!  Astarte- called Queen of the Stars, Queen of the  Universe, whose consort, the king ruled faithfully by her side.(And don't kill the messenger, but according to some sources, she was even known as consort of Yahweha and ruled equally at his side, until he complained. Ain't that just like a man?)
Nut- the embodiment of the sky- no submissive earth mother here- In Egyptian texts, Nut ruled the sky, while her husband Geb- god of the earth lay beneath her. She was also represented as a  sky cow (watch the jokes- who let those guys back in?!) whose eyes represented the moon and sun, and whose udders gave forth the Milkyway- in effect she was the birth motehr of the universe who provided sustenance for all. Then there's the Morrigan- the Irish goddess of death and fertility;two things women know often go together. Her incarnation was the raven and she was often seen on the battlefield, leading the charge. When she sought  the hero Cuchalain as her lover, he rejected her (jerk)  because he didn't recognize her feminine power- in his last battle she failed to protect him and he died with a raven sitting on his shoulder. (Y'all betta recognize- a woman scorned and all that. ) And these are just a few of the archetypes of womanhood- mother, daughter, wisewoman, crone, and lover. (btw- the rest of the goddesses didn't play either- they were all warrior goddeses and can be seen in various incarnations kicking ancient ass. Check out India's Kali- that woman didn't play.) So what happened to the goddesses? Not a thing. They're all still there. Now, I'm not advocating idol worship (Surgeon General's Warning- independent thinking, and questioning of the Judeo-Christian ideology is not recommended for pregnant women, smokers, habitual drinkers, and all you other heathens out there), but maybe we can take a page from  herstory and worship ourselves, just a little. Remember that Banarama song ?  <singing lustily> "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, your desire!" (ok, so I'm not the goddess of music). Be a Venus, be a Morrigan, be an Isis, a Yemaya, a Kali, an Astarte, - a lover, a warrior, a mother, a dancer, a destroyer, a creator. Be invincible. Just do you.

Take The Goddess Quiz- Which Goddess Is Your Counterpoint!-my first Facebook App!

*yes, I know minite is spelled minute- it's called dialect, people!

P.S. Wanna see some real goddesses- take a look at Miwa Yanagi's Windswept Women series- click the title link above- great visceral art. May we all be this old and powerful someday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

In case you haven’t noticed, fall is here. The signs are obvious in the early darkening day, the howling winds, and if you’re lucky, the beautiful turning colors of the fall leaves. The autumn equinox, the point when day and night are equal, has passed and the year is turning towards the dark-side and so am I. I find myself wanting to stay inside, warm, cozy and dozy, while outside the raging winds blow. I am, it must be admitted , a bit of a powder puff when it comes to winter. This time of year, during which many celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day and Dia De los Muertos ( the Day of the Dead), can be considered the long, dark, tea time of the soul. It’s a time for gazing in a mirror and reflecting on our selves as the year runs down to zero.  Historically, winter was seen as a time of dread- a time of starvation, and bitter cold, a time of testing because only the strong survived to feel the warmth of another spring. But it could also be considered a time of rest, when fields lay fallow and the earth slept in renewal. It was the time when ancestors returned to earth to communicate with loved ones and magic was seen as commonplace, because it is always easier to believe in magic in the dark. This year I too want to be renewed. I want to slough off my blankets, and ease off my couch (goodbye, couch- sniff) and bravely ( okay, in my case, tentatively) open the door to winter. Unlike our ancient ancestors, we don’t have to hide in caves (unless you want to) and bear the wrath of frozen winter.  (okay, I know that sounded all high 'falutin).We have electric blankets, and cocoa and warm, cozy nights by the fire.   (Mmm, cocoa.) Now, while I won’t intimate that anyone who enjoys cocoa is a weakling- (who doesn’t enjoy a cuppa or two?) I will say, that maybe it’s time we braved winter and the dark and remembered that the world revolves from light to dark for a reason. In the coming darkness, maybe we should all take the time to remember that our days upon the earth, like the light, like the spring, are short and not guaranteed. Maybe we should accept the darkness as a background for our fears, and recognize that the demons we used to hear in the night are ourselves and work to exorcise them in the new year. Maybe we should look into our own darkness and find one spark to nurture through the coming winter- spiritual or otherwise. Maybe we should believe in magic- if only of the human kind. Darkness can bring people together.  Darkness is the background for the stars.Candles shine brightest in the dark. This is the time for renewal, to challenge, and nurture and transform  ourselves, like caterpillars in coocoons, in hopes that come the spring we will be someone better  than we were before. This winter, be a light in the darkness for someone- yourself and others.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Destiny, My A**

I admit it- I check my horoscope. Not everyday. It's not like I'm an addict or something. I mean I check it every other week or so...or when something important is coming up...or when I need romantic advice. But I'm not an addict. I'm not like those people who can't make a move without checking their sign to see if there are good "vibrations". It's just that every once in a while, I need....guidance. Now, I know I should look for guidance within myself, from God, from family and friends. But the truth is, when I have a problem sometimes I don't want to find the "right" answer. I want the answer that suits what I've already decided to do or think. And horoscopes, generally, are just vague enough to justify whatever that is. So, I get my fix- in the morning paper, online, on Facebook for cryin' out loud and if it gives me a little confidence boost, well what's the harm? But recently, I've decided that if I'm going to trust someone else's vague premonitions regarding my life, maybe I should just learn to trust my own. My own "sensitivity", my woman's intuition- (and any male readers- watch the snarky comments!), my own antennae give me a lot more information than I really process. Which is the reason I feel stressed, or tired or angry long after the event which caused those feelings. Instead of taking in all of that emotional "data", I (and you, if you're with me in this) ignore it, or push it aside, or deny it and then wonder why a situation blows up in my face later on. The truth is , a lot of the time, we know the right answer to a conundrum (condumdum? ha!) but we don't want to admit it, because we want to avoid conflict. Conflict raises stress levels, conflict makes your work environment tense, and it makes us,  no matter who started the conflict, feel inexplicably guilty. And we don't like that. We want peace, but at what cost? The cost of our sanity? The cost of our health? The cost of truth based relationships? In the end it's not worth it to deny what we know and what we feel. To make life easy for others is a worthwhile goal, but not at the expense of our right to say how we feel.  Not if it means denying ourselves out of existence to make life more comfortable for others. Afterall, comfort and stagnation are two sides of the same coin. And being comfortable in a prison doesn:t make it any less a prison.  So here are my premonitions for the future- yours and mine. Choose the one you like- they're all equally apt and if you can't decide on any- then follow your heart. It always knows the right path.

Predictions for the Month of October 2009

Aries March 21st- April 19th
You will find that old resentments no longer have power over you. Let go of bad feelings and strengthen your resolve to be more positive in the future.  Good things will be attracted to your positive vibes.

Taurus April 20th - May 20th
Stop trying to be in control. Showing your softer side will enable people to trust you more and leave you feeling more secure in their feelings for you. Trust that the universe has your best interests at heart and go with the flow.

Gemini May 21st- June 20th
You are constantly feeling pulled in two directions. You can also be somewhat two faced- trying to please everyone at once.  Focus on pleasing yourself-specifally, being able to know what you truly want- instad of what you think you should want or what others want for you. You will find that knowing who you are allows you to put your best
                    face forward.

Cancer June 21st-July 22nd
Find ways to enjoy life. Let the knowledge that life is short motivate you, not scare you.  Make a life plan and get to work checking off your list. Be the star of your own drama- not just a secondary character.

Leo  July 23-August 22
Be truly lion hearted and 'fess up to your feelings-about someone, about  your job,  about your life.  Giving someone (including yourself) the gift of truth is the ultimate act of love and requires a truly brave heart. Don't be afraid to hype yourself up- to yourself and others. Recognize your own worth and roar (or crow) about it.

Virgo  August 23-September 22
You are not as virtuous as you would like others to think you are. Fortunately, you're also not as bad as you secretly think you are. You are just another fragile human being- enjoy the feeling.  Responsibility for your life rests in your own hands and heart. And no one in your life can, should or wants to judge you. Feel free to live without judgment-                  of yourself or others.

Libra  September 23rd- October 22nd
You like to act like you're unconcerned, but the truth is you care deeply about many issues. Let others know how you feel. They have no idea what a deep thinker you are and the knowledge will only deepen their respect for you.  Trust that people want to know who you are and what you care about. Be willing to dig deep and share.

Scorpio  October 23rd- November 21st
You  keep people at a distance, but they still want to get close to you.  Let them in- even if it's scary. Trust your insight to recognize and keep bad influences away, but don't miss out on a great opportunity by keeping yourself locked away.

Sagittarius November 22nd- December 21st
You have a love of new ideas and experiences, but don't forget how good it feels to come back home- literally and spiritually. Do a self check every now and again- and see how your old beliefs are fitting into your life. If they still fit, travel on. If they don't quite, like old jeans, take a moment- chuck out the trash and re-evaluate               
                   before starting a  new adventure. Every journey has a starting place- don't forget

Capricorn  December 22nd- January 19th
You want to be an overachiever- but often get lost in why you want to achieve. Is it for self esteem, or insecurity about your place in the world?  Be industrious in every part of your life-including making yourself happy. The job of life is to learn, live and be happy.  Work hard to be at the top of your class.

Aquarius  January 20th- February 18th
You adapt to almost any situation, sometimes losing your sense of self in the process. Don't let the lines blur- remind yourself often of what makes you special and unique. Then add your own special twist to any new situation that arises.

Pisces  February 19th- March 20th
Don't just float through life- leave a few ripples, or if you have the energy, a wake! Do something that will really showcase your talents- and remind yourself that you are a powerhouse of creativity.


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