One Amazing Act of Kindness

Guardian Angel

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…

Mailbox Bird 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.

The Goods Returned!

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!

Lark in 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!!

joy joy joy

 Do you want a Texas postcard? Send me your address to larkabouts@gmail.com

Take me to your Leader, but make sure he’s not Nuts!

spiritual awakening, larkabouts, grief, creativity, wellness, meagburnt,

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.

Silence

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.

Sunrise Yoga

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:

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 🙂

Mayor Woodstock

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…

meagburnt sept 13

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 

Woodstock, I never knew you, but I like you

kid

I have been back in Woodstock, Illinois only a short time now, but I will say this; the town has made some welcomed advances that really seem to perk up the town and yank it out of the past.  It can only cling to the fact that the movie Groundhog Day was filmed here for so long, and I’m glad to see that new businesses have sprung up, with more good ones to come (and not one big-name-chain store, that I’m aware of, thankfully).

Starting first with the Woodstock Square; I now go here often, whereas in the past, I would only go for Starbucks — and that was a rarity because I have never been a fully-committed Mermaid drinker.  But now there’s the Woodstock Yoga Lounge and it’s lovely warm-tone-walled studio overlooking the square-shaped park and I adore the teachers; they do a nice job of keeping the classes fresh, because we all know that yoga can get boring quickly.

Yoga Lounge Woodstock

I am enjoying taking a combination of the beginning and Level III classes to mix it up; it’s a great way to start the day.  Looks like there will be some classes taking place outside at Emricson Park later this summer, which I look forward to as well.  Worth mentioning as well; a few of the women have been more than welcoming to me, because sometimes when I breathe and bend and stretch, I cry for no reason.  This does not make me a freak, or so I am told.

yoga meag

And for those moments when I feel hunger pangs, I have a few delicious options right on the Square as well; Expressly Leslie; a Middle Eastern vegan restaurant that first started in Caputo’s in Lake in the Hills and then reached out the Woodstock Farmer’s Market a few years ago. It was clear the demand was high for her delicious falafels and other Middle Eastern delights.  I asked my mom several times if she would like to try a falafel with the hot sauce…. “No.”  My mom bored me to tears with her habits.  I digress.

These days Leslie is is not only a very popular lunch and dinner destination in Woodstock, she also has live music on Friday nights AND it’s a BYO.  A WHAT? Woodstock has a WHAT?  Yes, it’s a BYO establishment in Woodstock, Illinois, and if and when the weather ever lightens up so that we may enjoy evenings on the sidewalk cafe,we can now bring a bottle of something special to enjoy that music on the sidewalk cafe.

Last week it was the Kishwaukee Ramblers (good music made by nice people) and I found myself tapping my toes to their folksie tunes. It seems fitting for the ambiance.  Yes that’s a harpsichord!

ramblers

My other go-to eating haunt on the Square is Taqueria La Placita.  Many of the scenes in Groundhog Day take place in the Tip Top Cafe, which is now this taco joynt, but over the years it seems whatever restaurant moved into that spot, it never survived more than a year or two.  It’s one of those locations that always has high turn over; we have all seen this; some locations just have bad chutzpah.

tiptop

However, La Placita is CRUSHING IT.  They are quickly becoming my all time local favorite, even though they are so many Mexican joynts in the area now — loco!  But it’s probably because the food is really awesome, I mean really riquisimos, they even have nopales, gorditas, huaraches, carnitas every day, breakfast all day and honestly the best aqua de jamiaca I have tasted, outside of my own (it’s not overloaded with sugar, you can literally taste the jamiaca!).  I ate a whole bowl of their salsa just this afternoon — it’s that good.  Oh yes there were a few chips involved as well.

tacos

So life in Woodstock is good, eh? When I lived here before, I honestly hated the place so when I knew I was headed back here, I made a vow to myself that I would find the good in Woodstock and make peace where I could.  This task has been made that much easier for me because of the new additions to the town — and I am committed to exploring new places out here as well.  Each weekend I have checked out a new park — I had no idea there was a glacier park in the county, as well as countless wetlands and waterlands to explore (today I was in Bates Fen Nature Preserve, as well as Highlands Park — both very beautiful — and waterlogged.).  It really is not the worst place in the world; my soul is being fed well here.  My commute to work is a killer, but my smartphone project ended this past Friday, so we’ll see what happens from here.

wetlands

I have also been meditating with the Buddhist Monks over at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and it is slowly revealing layers of the onion to me.  The first time I went here was right after I signed my mom into hospice, which is just up the street and I needed some silence.  The temple obliged.  I have no idea how long I will stay with them, but so far they have been so lovely and helpful because they honestly don’t give a damn about dying. Which is not to say that’s all we discuss; it’s more about not getting too over whelmed by anything and living a good, proper and honest life.  And not forgetting to breathe ….

Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple

Bhante Sujatha even suggested I unfollow people on Facebook and Twitter and outlined his reasons why. All solid reason; I agreed and hit that almighty unfollow button. Remember, we don’t have as much time as we think.

I am making peace with Woodstock and it is taking good care of me.  For this, I am gleefully grateful 😀