While in San Miguel de Allende, I picked up some gorgeous Guatamalan textile braids that are perfect for cross-over twirling, which extends the stagnant chi energy out and away from my body. Twirling is great fun and will really lift your spirits, I highly recommend it!
The things you discover when larking about …
I had the best of intentions when I started this challenge; to share a part of myself every day for the month of June, and I do share a bit of myself each day on Instagram. However, I had to hit the brakes on my writing, because there was such a huge shift in my world, energetic and physical, I thought my head was going to explode. It did not and I continued to do a mountain on energy work and my inspiration have never been so charged to press ahead. I am consumed with it, this desire to push through my limits, to continue writing, to push the limits on almost every boundary in my life, all in an effort to do the things that ring true in my heart.
I’ve been afraid of being thought of as being weird by everyone “outside of my head”. No more. On this date of June 27, 2014, I no longer care if you think I’m weird, because I no longer think I’m weird, because my mom apologized to me for thinking I was weird before she died and I’m finally finally FINALLY starting to get it!
My mom’s deathbed apology was beyond a game changer for me — and I can’t stand that phrase “gamechanger” — but her confession yanked the earth out from under me, forced me to crawl on my hands and knees, shake my fist at hell and scream at the heavens; it striped me of all my earthly belongings; the things I so desperately thought I needed to look “normal” enough for this world… and I was not even happy in that world as it was all blowing up on me, but I had no clue what else to do. Much like the Titanic’s band, I hung on, singing my familiar songs of woes and going down with the ship. Gloriously defeated and striped of everything.
Except I was not striped of spirit. My spirit lifted me up off the depths of despair and dusted me off. What else would Spirit do?
When my mom was in her final hours, something happened in that room in the middle of a dreary Northern-Illinois-February-Day. There were sun rays on my mom’s face and I looked high and low to try to figure out where they were coming from, because the sun was no where in sight on this day, this week, nor this month. I sat down, looked at my mom, cocked my head to the side and gazed at her. She became a girl again. Her wrinkles evaporated, her puffiness slipped away. She was a young girl. And that young girl looked exactly like me. I sat there for a long time, looking at my mom, with her new young face and the sun rays twinkling on her cheeks. It was me, well, me before my reckless years and hopelessness.
There was hope in my mom’s face and her body was almost dead. But not her Spirit. Or was it my Spirit? It doesn’t matter.
My whole life I have been fascinated by spirits, by the afterlife, by seeing stories in my head that I was not sure of… and I kept all of this to myself most of my life because… well because my mom thought I was weird. She told me she was afraid of me and that I lived too loud for her. I asked too many questions. I was weird.
I used to struggle at the thought of people thinking I was weird, and that makes for a life lived on the fringes. But I honestly don’t care anymore if you think I’m weird. I’ve lost everything in the world yet here I live on this gorgeous little slice of a ranch in the middle of Texas, surrounded by all sorts of animals that talk to me on a daily basis, all thanks to a very generous ex-husband, who only has the best intentions for me and wants to see me happy.
I have everything I need plus a stack of books and a mountain of inspiration to learn more, because I’m finally embracing the fact that I am not weird, that I have a very strong intuition and I can help others with my intuition — I proved it to myself this past week and have been crying tears of gratitude all week. My whole life, I’ve been fascinated by this subject and never believed the reason I was drawn to it was because I have it too. I no longer doubt.
My first step was to acknowledge this. And now for the good part!
Stay tuned, xoxo
I missed a day of posting… I’ll be honest, I simply ran out of things to talk about and I have also started a new project with a company that has taken up a good chunk of my time. That said, today of the eve of the Summer Solstice and I was finally able to prepare an altar!
I have not had an altar since last summer solstice; I have been on the road and living out of a suitcase for the past six months until I landed here, and since my feet are now firmly planted on the earth, I created a new altar — and I simply adore adore ADORE this one, because so many more things have come into focus for me.
In this altar, I have offered plants, herbs and oils of rose petals, lavender, frankincense , oak bark, cedar, cinquefoil, peppermint and eucalyptus to the Mother Goddess, in addition to plenty of personal artifacts; buddhas, ganeshs, angels and faeries — even a Sherlock Holmes from my time in London, plus photos, jewelry, stones, crystals, a prosperity bowl, candles, little dishes and so one. An altar is literally nothing more than a private place of personal inspiration, memories, momentums — anything that moves you — placed on a whatever small piece of furniture you have available and located in a place that you can call your own. This is probably my biggest one yet and I love it!
Don’t forget add a little snack as a friendly offer to your spirits! I have added a small piece of chocolate to my altar; and if there happens to be an emergency and I must eat said chocolate, I keep more on hand and am always happy to share.
Summer Solstice is at 5:51am CST on June 21, 2014 and my candles are a glow; I stood in the river this evening and acknowledged my intentions to the North, South, East and West as the sun was setting. I am prepared to welcome the new and usher the unwanted!
Happy Summer Solstice :))
Motherless Day 2014
Every evening at sunset, I have the extreme fortune to jump into a man-made swimming hole in the middle of a Texas Hill Country ranch and it is completely invigorating and effervescent. The water is cold, the tadpoles are lively, and the scenery is a-buzz, even sometimes with horses or cows.
I am doing this plunge every day for the month of May to help me get settled in my new house and community. I am really enjoying the land and opportunities to rub elbows with nature. Lawdy the bugs are big and will only get bigger as the summer heats up, so I hold a respectful appreciation of all the creatures whose path I cross. My recent interlude with a scorpion in the kitchen sink reminded me of where I am and who rules the roost in Texas. Not me.
This weekend is Mother’s Day. Wow that year flew by quickly, as they all tend to do as I get older. Even with all the year’s logistical changes, the lessons of my mom’s death are still at the forefront of my thoughts and play a part in almost every action I take, every decision I make.
One year ago, I was FREEZING as I stood on a super-windy pier, tossing my mom’s ashes into the icy waters of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The ashes flew all up and around me but eventually found their way back into the water and I watched with tears in my eyes as the smokey ashes swirled away into the water. It was the biting wind that caused my tears on this occasion and honestly, I gave no thought to Juls’ ashes once they were where she had requested; in Wisconsin.
There were conversations that she would have preferred Green Bay, because she was a diehard Packer Fan. I shot that down because I wanted to keep her close to me. I was adamant that I had to keep an eye on her and make sure she was okay; although I had declined to pick up her ashes from the funeral home until this Mother’s Day. I was certain I did not want her in the house with me — but that I needed to keep an eye on her. Strange, perhaps.
My mom and I always loved Lake Geneva, but never for any shared memories, we each had our own reasons. Now that Juls was in the lake, I started visiting on a regular basis to chat with her. I honestly felt better when I would first see the lake because it felt like she was happy, finally. My mom was not a happy woman, especially later in life, but now I believe she was free. It made me smile to think she was swimming around Wisconsin, in the beautiful clear lake, eating pretzels and drinking beer with all the other Packer fans.
When I was 13, I saw the movie JAWS and I wished I hadn’t, who’s with me on that? Once an avid swimmer, I suddenly was terrified of ALL water and honestly avoided every opportunity to swim in anything other than a chlorinated pool for the rest of my days. I don’t like fish and I don’t like seaweed. I don’t swim in Lake Geneva or any other lake, river or ocean for that matter.
Funny thing happened as I started to visit Juls’ in Lake Geneva, soon I found myself climbing into the water. And swimming. With fish. Naked (when I could get away with it!). And often. I would hike around the walking path on the days I could get up to Lake Geneva and jump in where I could. Preferably at sunset.
I took a paddle-board lesson… LOVED IT, then joined a paddle-board club (“tribe”), where we went on weekend outings. I started kayaking and enjoyed this too because I could bring Henry with me. I LOVED being in the water and still do today — even in Texas, where the bugs and fish are BIG and angry!
Me, the one who was horribly uncomfortable in the water now finds comfort in the water.
I recently read “Motherless Daughters” for the first time and although it tends to mostly speak to women who lost their mothers when they were younger, nonetheless I clearly understand it to say that when a woman loses her mother, no matter what age, her life is profoundly and forever changed.
For me, this has meant re-examining EVERYTHING. I did not set out to do this, but in the year and months since mom died, I have become extremely aware of my own mortality and interested in understanding where I came from and how I became the person I am today. There is also an unstoppable force to be a better person.
I like being nice, who knew?
Not only did my mom die in front of me as we held on tight to each other for the first time in our lives, but she apologized. I may have said this before and I will say it for the rest of my life; my mom’s deathbed apology has altered me forever and because of it, I have worked endlessly to change old, tired beliefs that have never served me — nor my treatment of you.
Juls said she was wrong about me. That she wished she had been nicer to me. Was sorry that she didn’t get to know me better.
When she was saying these things, I said, “CUT IT OUT MOM! It’s not like you are dying or something!” I didn’t know what-what. But that’s okay.
My mom’s apology melted a steel cage from around my heart and this has been an indescribable feeling, and one of the most freeing feelings in my life. See “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” for a better description.
I spent my adult life reading self help books, attending workshops, seeing shamans, psychologists, you name it… always digging to discover what was wrong with me and on and on and on…. and never discovering the answers; that anxiousness and restlessness stayed, churning away at me. I kept hearing it was Daddy Issues and sure there were some of those, but nothing will compare to the freedom pill my mom gave me when she acknowledged some of the choices she made in her life — and for this, she was regretful and was sorry.
My life: changed forever.
The year has not been without heartache nor challenges; I am still recovering from the sting of losing a number of jobs, all my stuff and I lost all my stuff, did I mention this? But at this point, this has become my Badge of Honor. I am finding my way. I found my ex-husband in Mexico and have made amends for the mistakes I made when I was his wife. We are living together in Texas now, peacefully for the most part, and with a much better understanding and appreciation of each other. He has a very big life and it has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know Reed and his world once again; this time with eyes that love and not hate.
Today I jump in the water with the bugs, frogs and bats at every sunset. I walk the fields with my camera and take pictures of cows, flowers, naughty horses and sunsets. I cook healthy meals that sometime include bacon and BBQ and am enjoying learning about native plants and birds. Oh the birds! I never noticed the birds last time I lived in Texas — and now they sing to me everywhere.
This Mother’s Day I am grateful to have a mom who gave me the greatest gift of all; the gift of a new life, a new beginning, a chance to make things right. I am a happy kid again.
Thank you Mom. Go Packers! xoxoxo
One Amazing Act of Kindness
I used to scoff at people who claimed they were blessed and/or were grateful. I had a hard time being grateful a few years back…. not so much anymore; I’ve had more than a few brushes with magic and now feel grateful everyday — even on bad days. It’s not perfect, but I stay committed to looking for it.
When I packed up my life a few weeks ago in Illinois to move to Texas, I had five days to do so because I was starting a new job in seven days and had no time to spare. Needless to say, I blasted through quite a bit while sorting things out and tried my best to keep on top of everything, but recently I discovered I overlooked something fairly huge.
More like gargantuan:
My checkbook, my mother’s checkbook, her savings account book, my bank statements with credit card info, a stack of new meagburnt biz cards and a *signed* blank check for made out for $900.00. Oh and a cow notepad.
Apparently I missed the opportunity to include my social security card to this stack of goods.
I received a call with a Michigan area code and of course did not answer it, because who answers an unrecognized number? I then listened to the message from a woman named Becky who recently purchased a red suitcase from the Sparrow’s Nest thrift shop in Woodstock and I almost ran off the Texas Highway, because she had all of the above items that I had left in a donated suitcase. ALL OF THEM.
She was a lovely, lovely woman and asked if she could mail these things to me; of course, of course you can mail these things to me, I would be forever grateful if you would mail these things to me.
I received a large envelope in my new Texas mailbox on Good Friday, along with an Easter card from my Aunt Nancy, who feels incomplete in life if she is unable to send me a card. Life is right again; I have a mailbox!
However, I still need to clean out the bird’s nest…
Inside the big envelope was all of my sacred financial information, as well as a handwritten note. Becky tells me she purchased the suitcase for her son & daughter-in-law, who had just moved to London. Becky and her husband were soon to depart for a visit and had filled the suitcase with 41-pounds of chocolate chips, organic peanut butter, cheez-its, walnuts, Mexican ingredients; all the things the kids were sure to miss from America — she literally told me my suitcase is now very happy in the UK, having delivered all the goodies to the kids! And thanked me for donating the little red suitcase! Becky thanked me in a wonderful twist of karmic goodness.
I read the letter as I walked up my driveway and I was in udder shock by the time I got to my door. Does this type of kindness even exist in our world today? Yes, apparently so! The proof was in my hands and in this wonderful envelope I received on Good Friday. I’ve thought momentarily of everything that could have gone terribly wrong, but instead I say THANK YOU.
I sent Becky a text when I composed myself and thanked her for the safe return of my things and for her generous spirit, wonderful integrity and cheery letter. I promised to send her a hand-written note within the next few days — but first I needed to gather the supplies necessary to send an actual hand-written letter.
I wrote that letter-slash-card to Becky and again thanked her for her kindness. I even sent her some photos of my adventures in Texas — and of course London too! My suitcase is having a marvelous time in London! I had a marvelous time in London! I love London!
Now that I have started to gather the materials needed to send hand written notes, I think I will make a habit of this. It was an awesome gift to receive and felt really good — affirming and solid — to send a letter in return to a perfect stranger who saved me from possible financial ruin.
Thank you Universe! I did cartwheels in your honor this Easter Weekend!!
Do you want a Texas postcard? Send me your address to email@example.com
Springtime Return to America
Up until a few weeks ago, I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I thoroughly enjoyed the brutal Chicago winter, as this winter was truly one to miss — and it appears to not yet be over in the Mighty-Midwest. I had an exceptionally playful winter and will be forever grateful for the ability to spend my time doing yoga and taking dance classes, studying and practicing qi gong, completely art workshops, cooking glorious meals in a dark cavernous Mexican kitchen, swimming in the natural hot, healing waters and spending time getting to know old friends and an ex-husband.
It was glorious and great healings occurred after the butt-kicking year or so I had endured. However, the pressure of leaving my mom’s home unattended for the hard-hitting winter was ever-looming, and I knew I needed to get back to Illinois to wrap up her affairs for good. I knew in my heart that my time in Illinois had come to an end; time to pack up one final time and move on. I had decided to return to San Miguel de Allende to pursue my interests in the healing arts, organic foods, other worldly pursuits while working with some business owners on their marketing efforts. It’s challenging to find work in Mexico, but I was ready for a new page in the books and to get back to work.
—————–> Not so fast.
Although I knew my time in Chicago was up, I remain very grateful for my time in ‘Tucky after my mom’s death and multiple job losses. (Tucky = Woodtucky) I needed a quiet place; a place where I could completely unravel and then put myself back together again. I lived in my mom’s empty condo. No stuff except some of my stuff, which I never unpacked. I didn’t even have a refrigerator nor stove for the first six weeks; it was like camping every day. But I was able to spend time in and around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, talking to my mom, walking around the lake, kayaking and paddleboarding; exactly what I needed. I made peace with the waters and I was starting to make peace with myself. Grief continues to change me in so many ways — the tears continue to fall but I’ve continued to face my fears and tackle them. I am far less afraid of things out in the world today!
The unraveling of grief also made me aware that I needed to stop punishing myself for losing so many jobs. This was no small task and it’s probably not over. I do however, finally understand that it is my badge of honor to have lost these jobs in such a rapid succession, so I could move closer to more important things in my life. I am not supposed to work for people I do not believe in, selling things I do not care about. How lucky I am to have lost these jobs. It has made me a better person.
I have been told by more than a few that I am a nicer person, and do you know what?? I feel like I am nicer person. I feel softer, easier, slower and my laugh has improved. I love it! Oh sure I can still cut like a knife with my tongue, but I’d really rather not because I don’t think it’s cute anymore. I genuinely enjoy connecting with people, sans sarcasm.
I am totally grateful for the lessons of loss during the past year.
When Reed & I landed in Texas, we were both THRILLLLLLLLLED to be back in America. We ate shitty Tex-Mex tacos and loved it; for a few minutes. It only took a few hours for the “American gumption” to seep back into my veins and I was essentially high as a kite from it, and feeling the pressure to get back in the game. That get up & GETTER DONE attitude; I was hungry! Everywhere I looked, I felt as though I was being asked about my work; where do you work, what do you do, what’s your background, do you have a job? — because after all, this is AMERICA and we work fifty weeks of the year to buy cool stuff dangitall!
We moved into Reed’s family ranch, “Charro Ranch” in Driftwood, Texas, and soon I re-discovered the beauty of a Central Texas ranch. I’ll be honest though; when we lived here after we were first married in 2005, I did not like the place at all and could not wait to get back to the city. A decade later, I simply adore the place and enjoy every day that I am here. The baby cows are multiplying, and I’m having such fun meeting them (from a far) and talking to all the animals.
Within the first week, I had secured a job at a local olive oil orchard and I was really thrilled to get back to work. But first I had to go to Chicago to close up mom’s place, which I did in about five days. I was at my mom’s place on St. Patrick’s Day; which I hadn’t really thought about until that morning, that morning of Paddy Day, that has long been a strange day in notsomuch that we celebrated the day, rather it’s was more a day to make fun of our Irishness and everyone gets drunk.
That morning I sat on the floor of my mom’s empty condo and began closing up the final boxes for shipping, then fired up my music. When Van Morrison’s Jackie Wilson Said came on, I totally lost it. I could not stop the tears; it was a calvacade. My uncles Tim and Tom loved Van the Man and it was one of the few songs that they would move to; we all would dance to it. I blame Tim for kicking off this family death spiral party; I was angry he had left me with all these neanderthal relatives who couldn’t talk about anything beyond sports, weather, goons, traffic and the good ol’days; Tim was the only one in the family who really got me and I will always miss him terribly. They all went tumbling down after him because he was the glue of the family that was trapped in the old school ways of the West Side Irish. God Bless Them All!
It was a stupendous cry as I packed up the remains of my life and two days later I hopped on a plane to Austin to start my new American life. I have way too much spunk in me to live in Mexico; I still want to make magic happen and work and do good. Central Texas it is!
Next I move into my house and get re-acquainted with the creatures of Central Texas…. bugs too!
Getting my paint on in San Miguel de Allende
Let’s face it, there are a lot of painting and other art classes available in San Miguel, and up until January of 2014, I had never taken any of them. Most are catered to visitors, and when you live in a city, you tend to overlook things targeted to tourists. However, I met Cristi of CristiFer Art Studios in December at the Instituto Allende‘s art fair, and her painting style really spoke to me. Cristi is an artist from Romania and her partner Fernando is an artist from Mexico City. They create paintings together (can you imagine?) and their use of colors & styles really delighted me. I signed up for their “One Painting in One Day” class, which happened to be on January 1, 2014. What a perfect way to usher in the new year.
One of Cristi’s painting in their home/studio in Colonia Independencia she shares with partner Fernando:
I arrived at CristiFer’s studio about 1pm and met the 5 other people who were there for the class; a couple from San Antonio and a mother & her two daughters from Portland. We were split into two groups and we each had our own table and painting supplies.
We first did some warm-ups, like shaking out our hands. I started jumping up & down in true qi gong style, because I knew I had to wake up the chi in order to get over the apprehension of putting paint to the paper. I would have loved to do more physical exercises, but that’s me and what I need to be doing. Cristi led us through some exercises which helped us break down the fear — and not only did it break down the fear, it got us laughing. “Grab your pencil in your non-dominant hand, cover that hand with a piece of paper and draw these objects from your memory” sorta of a thing. Loved it!
Cristi then led us through her teaching steps to paint a picture; a San Miguel street scene. This was a perfect way to whet my chops and feel the love for painting again — something I had not done in about 15 years. The day was fun, lively and very educational; both Cristi and Fernando were helpful with suggestions on what to do next, without ever grabbing control of our paintings. I enjoyed the day tremendously and was hungry for more!
At some point during the day, Cristi said to me, “if you had just three drawing classes, it would change your life.” I thought about this for a day and said BINGO. I took those three drawing classes with Cristi and they DID change my life. I lost my fear of drawing poorly and just started drawing. It’s amazing how just a few hours of instruction really helped me to get over the fear of making a mistake. Who cares if it’s not perfectly correct and out of perspective. WHO CARES???
And by stepping through that fear, my drawings and paintings were starting to come to life. And that made me happy =)
Soon after this New Year’s Day art class, I started Julia Cameron‘s 12-week spiritually based program, The Artist’s Way. Through reading exercises, daily journal writing, group discussions and weekly artist dates, I am starting to melt. And I mean that in a good way. I have art projects going all over the house and say to Reed, “it’s like kindergarten here every day!”
All Aboard the WOO-WOO Train!
Being your true self is the coolest decision you’ll ever make. — my yoga teacher, Leslie.
That’s it! I have officially acknowledged myself as a WOO-WOO. I have the sweat and guts and tears to prove it and I couldn’t be more delighted about it! This is my reality and I have decided to finally embrace it.
I uploaded my first vlog about my past few months and I look forward to adding this medium to the mix, because sometimes words should be spoken. I recently attended a night of storytelling by three seasoned storytellers and it really moved me. Good ol’fashion spoken stories, like the days before we all stared at tiny electronic screens. No really, something in my heart jumped, I loved it. I’m knocking around the idea of trying this artform live on stage — a lost art that appears to be making a comeback and I welcome it. From wiki:
“Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.”
I also watched a beautifully made documentary, “Mythic Journeys” that looks at the role of mythology and mysticism in modern society and storytelling — very informative and pretty too!
Twenty years ago I embarked on a spiritual quest that took me from Chicago to San Francisco to Europe and back; I learned so many incredible lessons about growing up, relationships, personal responsibility, shamanism, religion, spirituality, the 12 Steps, Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms, Feldenkrais, Law of Attraction, ETC., so now I am adding on this foundation I started a few decades ago. I admitantly walked away from all of it for about a decade. I was frustrated and felt like nothing was working. This past decade had it’s own lessons and the journey carries on. How lucky am I that I have this opportunity? Thankyou Universe! xo
I participated in a “Trust Your Vibes” workshop with Sonia Choquette this past weekend and also saw Sonia in London a few months ago. She is brilliant and her courses require brutal honesty, something I have now become prepared to face. This is not easy. I saw Sonia 20 years ago before I moved to San Francisco and I recall only ONE THING she said to me, “I would suggest eating more spicy foods because you are smothering yourself with all your self-imposed rules and your soul wants to live.” Lord that was true, I was the biggest food nazi around and I’m happy to say that even though the search for healthy foods is a wee challenging, I do allow myself some comfort foods because I no longer think it’s cool to punish myself.
There’s no lying about this; this is no weekend-warrior-self-help-workshop-stuff that allows me to compartmentalize my internal calling for knowledge and compassion, and then allow me to slip back into the comfortably numb mentality, come Monday morning. No Siree Bub, this is all or nothing and as much as it’s kicking my ass, I have officially surrendered to the process, have great trust in the plan and am super-excited about the adventure that lies ahead.
I’ve lost it all and I’m not dead or nor without hope. I still have a sparkle in my eye ;D
I also respect all the folks who are doing the weekend workshops and whatnot to improve their personal well-being, because I believe my years of participating in those made me ready for the commitment to greater health possible today. Baby steps. I applaud them and take them.
In this weekend workshop, I broke through some huuuuge barriers and let my intuition (read: psychic) flag fly high — I loved it and have been told that now that I’m proudly waving it, there’s no going back. It was brilliant and I saw and learned things I will never forget. I will write about these experiences some day, as soon as I swallow them all.
The other day I received a “thanks-but-no” letter about a job I believed I was P-E-R-F-E-C-T for, and also heard absolute crickets on another job I was really hoping to hear a good word on. After a good cry and stomp-about over a slap of rejection, I stood up and said, “FUCK IT, LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN MEAG.”
I am off to San Miguel de Allende tomorrow to climb the Mexican mountainside, breathe the high altitude air, swim in the healing hot spring waters and cook a turkey dinner with my ex-husband, whom I still adore and am very excited to see.
ANDALE! Happy Thanksgiving, peace to all. Don’t forget…… I see you!! xoxo
Gifts of mom’s death; gratitude
Since my mom’s death, I’ve come to know gratitude. And LOVE. On an entirely new level. By way of crawling through the murkiness of pain and sorrow. But there has also been some true moments of happiness.
Am I happy my mom died? No of course not. I’m still completely surprised that I occasionally burst out in tears when a thought about my mom pops in my head. Or I see something. Or smell something. No one is more surprised by this than me – I honestly thought I was prepared for my mom’s death because she seemed to be sitting around waiting for Mr. Reaper to knock on her door and take her away. I don’t knock myself for having these outbursts; I’m studied enough to know that grief knows no bounds and we are all wrapped up in grief at some level and no need to resist it, otherwise it festers and rears it’s head in other ways. So I don’t mind the tears. They do surprise me, however.
I’m okay with surprises.
My mom’s death was such a wake-up call and continues to flood my thoughts and dreams with new ideas. Eight months before my mom duked out her last duke, I was being pulled by forces to change my life, yet I completely resisted at the time. I even felt damned by what I thought was “happening to me”. A year later, it’s starting to make sense as I continue to make more changes, because now I’m on a mission and feel compelled to acknowledge that which royally pissed me off a year ago.
I honestly believe I was being yanked by a higher power – angels to be exact – to become a better person; a better version of Meagan, because on so many levels, I was drowning and had given up. I remember saying to myself, “I give up. No really, I’m done.” That’s pretty clear, eh?
I had no passion and a seriously low low low energetic vibration; I cared very little about what was going on around me – AND I was harboring a truckload of shame for having been fired from some jobs. Holy-moley, who was I if I didn’t have a job I could brag about? Even if I didn’t have a date, at least I had a job. I was losing things to be excited about and could feel the sparkle oozing out of my being – and I have always been a sparkly person, so this was heart-breaking for me. No job, no relationship since my divorce, no money, no home of my own…. Who am I and seriously, what happened?
The entire 2012 year feels like it was in a state of suspension, and looking back, I now understand bit more. I was being prompted to empty out my life and look ahead. Look above. Look behind. Look up.
I fought this. I was angry. Not anymore. I like the view.
In January 2013, my mom needed me. She had not wanted me around for years. But now she had no choice – my twin uncles had recently died (ouch) and my two brothers were in Phoenix. She had no choice but me. I went immediately.
It’s been eight months since she died and I can honestly say this has been the most gut-wrenching time of my life, with mom’s death being the frosting on my cake of gloom, but it has also rocked my soul to the core and I am forever grateful for this HUUUGE wake up call.
I have mentioned it before (and will not in the future), but I had this habit of getting fired from jobs, in addition to quitting a few. I went my whole life without getting fired (well there was that one office job that I was fired from after the Christmas party, but that’s a story for another day) and then in a matter of about two years, I was fired three times. I also quit two other jobs. That’s a boatload of jobs in a very short time, Ladies and Gentlemen!
It was a revolving door of drama and heartache, and I had no idea how to stop the rollercoaster because I was so desperate and ashamed about being fired. I jumped into action immediately and was able to get a new job wham-bam, but I was not bothering to ask if I was right for the job or if I even wanted to work for this company or with it’s people. I had no time to think about these things, so the universe sorted this out for me. QUICKLY.
“Hello, you’re hired!”
“Hey, you’re fired, there’s the door!”
When I was fired seven weeks ago, I completely slammed on the brakes and decided to take a much needed time out. I struggle with this because there’s a part of me that feels guilty for not working, but there is a much larger part of me that is completely committed to getting stronger, smarter, healthier and in touch with what I really should be doing.
I am completely grateful I have a spot of time to do my soul searching and a quiet, calm place out in the country.
So many bittersweet gifts since my mom’s death.
I have been marching around my entire life thinking I understood certain things about life and how things had to get done. I had accepted this mostly, and was quietly and numbly going about life and losing a bit more steam each year.
And then….. and then my mom apologized for being mean to me before she died. Wished she had been nicer to me. Said she was wrong about me. Was so, so, so happy I made spaghetti at her place instead of eating out.
Funny what sticks out.
With this apology, I was knocked flat on my back for a good number of days and to this present day, I am still decoding this newfound vision and my strong, peppy heartbeat that beats vibrantly in my now strong rib cage.
My mom gave me the gift of love and I had no idea I had been living without it. I am enjoying having an invigorated pulse at this stage in life. I understand now with much greater compassion that my mom lived a loveless life herself and it breaks my heart when I think of it, but she made amends where she could and I am forever grateful.
She was smart. Unburden yourself before you go.
Now I have an opportunity to live with vim, vigor, zest, laughter, curiosity, wonder and passion! All the things that felt natural to me as a kid (let’s be honest, this feels natural to every kid) and I’m totally embracing it again, like it’s my birthday! (jaja)
This is the reason I have stepped off the fast-moving train of life to re-examine everything. I have become softer, more thoughtful, slower and happier. My laugh has improved. No really, make me laugh and you will see! I prefer being outside in nature and eating lots of healthy greens. I read and write poetry. I read a ton of books. I adore silence. I watch zero tv and avoid all gossip sites. I still read Twitter! Can’t live in outer space ALL THE TIME. I am taking several classes right now that are helping me feel better. I am s-l-o-w-l-y finding new social circles. I quit drinking and smoking – something the angels were giving me SUCH a hard time about. I couldn’t do these things anymore without feeling like hell on earth, so I happily gave them up. I thought it would be hard. It wasn’t.
The next job I take will be a job that has meaning to me. Or I will create something myself — this is in the works. I still don’t have all the answers but these things are true:
I am happier now than I have ever been in my adult life. I am at peace. I enjoy little things. I am not afraid of the holidays. Nor the water, or being out in nature. I am not worried about being fired again. I will not go hungry. I am awesome! I really want to help others. I am super-super-super excited about the autumn and winter of my life because it has been and will continue to be magical.
Have I mentioned the faeries that have appeared in my life? Yes. The faeries. The angels too! They call me Snow White when I go out in the woods; the birds, the trees, the clouds – they are all talking to me and I love it!
Take me to your Leader, but make sure he’s not Nuts!
Here’s the thing: tell someone you believe in UFOs and that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s out there, it’s controversial, it’s vague, it’s elusive, it’s relative, it has hard evidential proof, it has changed some people’s lives forever, it’s got a slew of groupies…. and it’s perfectly acceptable to most if this is what your floats your boat and what you want to devote your personal time to.
But mention you’re having a “spiritual awakening” and people may give you the side-eye and back away slowly. Because that’s crazy — or I’m crazy because I am starting to see and feel some results (wow that’s a lousy word to use in the context of spiritual awakening!) of all the personal work I have been doing. The meditation. The yoga. The breathing. The walking. The reading. The energy experiments. The changing of my diet. The re-routing of my normal thinking patterns (Lordy this is HAAAAARD). And the silence. Ohhh the loads of silence I have come to adore and require now, just as I require air to breath.
Why is it that an actual spiritual awakening is somewhat mistrusted? I’ve seen eyebrows go up and felt the proverbial, “ah boy, we lost her.” sentiment because I’ve mentioned, in my joyous exaltation, that my beginner’s mind is starting to see and feel some magical new ways of thinking — and I could NOT be more thrilled about this. These ways of existing in the world have always been available to me, just as they are to you, but I am discovering for the first time because I am practicing new principles. And I became ready. But it’s not perfect nor pain-free! Ahh but it IS perfect for right now.
This reaction… well it’s ironic if you ask me, because many people strive for a more spiritual way of being; in their personal relationships, in their careers, in their every level of life — because it’s cool, and I completley agree. Twitter is rampant with quotes and retweets of our spiritual leaders and beyond — because it IS COOL to talk about being spiritual. It’s not cool to be religious; but spiritual is awesome — because religious is crazy, right? And don’t even think about getting crazy about being spiritual, because that’s just nuts!!
Although when it arrives — if it arrives, it may perhaps change the way you tweet, change the way you participate in the world, rock the very core of your foundation, make you burst out in tears for no other reason except that the love thumping in your veins can’t be contained; it may force you to spontaneously hug people and trees, walk around on your hands at the beach and then blow your head up right off your shoulders.
This is what I have been experiencing lately. And I like it. Except the bit about my head blowing up. That has not happened. Yet.
I spent my late twenties and early thirties searching for a spiritual awakening and never found it, much to my chagrin. I worked with shamans, I became a diligent student of religious science, I participated in drumming circles, had soul retrievals, spent countless hours on a therapist’s couch — because I was convinced that something was wrong with me and that a spiritual awakening would be my way out of it.
But it has occurred to me: I don’t want to read the biography of a person who has not lived a full life; where they’ve not crawled through their own personal never-ending hell and survived, not celebrated to excess and beyond when success was achieved — and survived; and everything in between. Perhaps no one is allowed to have a spiritual awakening until life has been lived in all corners of darkness and light. I don’t think I’m anywhere near my end, nor sampled all corners, but I have done my fair sharing of crawling and celebrating. Perhaps not in that order.
I sat with my mom when she died and was with my two twin uncles when they died — separately — as well; all within the past recent years. I saw things happen to them as they were “transitioning”. I had emotional conversations with each of them that seared my core; my mom knocked me out of the park with her parting words for a couple of weeks. I saw “someone” come get them, “be” with each of them and even shine a light on my mom’s face when there was no light. I absolutely HAD to change the way I participated in my world because of these experiences. It was very different for each of them — I can only sum it up by saying their spirit was delivered by whom it should have been delivered. errrr something like that!
My Three Holy Ghosts:
I have also been fired from three jobs in the past year as well — I even quit one job, so these past few years have completely made my head spin round and round and round. And cry and cry. Although I shed no tears for this last job — I was on my way, so the feeling was mutual.
I’m currently living in Woodstock, Illinois (although I watch the sunset in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin when I can) and I have honestly made peace with this town that I once despised, and even thanked Mayor Brian Sager for a job well done last week. I met him at Woodstock’s festival nod to Broadway; he and his administration have really opened up theater options in Woodstock, as well as welcoming more new businesses in town. The day was much like a day right out of the pages of “Waiting for Guffman.” and I was tickled! I no longer have angst for this little town and have honestly enjoyed my time here. The aforementioned silence can be found in this town, as well as in the surrounding area towns I once hated while growing up, but ahhhh no longer 🙂
I was hoping to leave Woodstock now that I have made peace with it, but with the recent lose of yet another job, I find I must stay put a while longer. Apparently I have not yet learned what I have come here to learn in my little hometown neck of the nape, and OY please don’t make it last forever! Because I hear the call of the West.
I recently stumbled upon this video and it stopped me cold in my tracks because….. well because I have experienced ALL of these things in the past few weeks — and I’ll be honest, it’s a bit scary at times. Somedays I have no idea who I am and where I’m headed, but I have faith. I have faith!
… so ask me if I have any idea who I am right now.
And I will say I AM MEAGAN BURNS!! My eyes are open and I love it! These experiences with death have showed me a beautiful side of life, even if I can’t stop getting fired! I have never felt more sane in my life…
I feel tremendous gratitude for all the people that have helped me through these past few months and I keep meeting more and more of these kindred souls; I am excited to learn more through them and with them. Below is a list of a few of the books that have also helped me through some of these issues, but don’t forget about being silly and laughing! Because really, why else keep plugging along if you can’t laugh about it? xoxo
Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet
Marianne Williamson: A Return to Love
Marianne Williamson: The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles
Cheryle Strayed: WILD
Doreen Virtue’s Angel Therapy
Denise Linn: Soul Coaching
Gerry Gavin: Messages from Margaret
Sabrina Reber: How to Raise Your Vibration
Caroline Shearer: Raise Your Vibration: Tips and Tools for a High-Frequency Life
Dr. Christiane Northup: Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters
Dr. Steven D. Farmer: Animal Spirit Guides (I AM A TIGER RAWWWWWRRRRR)
Pam Grout: E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments
The Bounce Back!
I have never ever been afraid to be out in the world, that was until my mother passed away. I felt trapped and scared and believe me, that was death to me. I had a dream that powerful blue waters spoke to me and so I went to them. I went to the blue green waters and purple green mountains of Lake Tahoe and became alive again!
I challenged my heart to give out on me. I begged it to stop dead in it’s tracks because it appeared to have been taunting me. I climbed that mountain and my heart did not stop!
Thank you World.