Thursday, October 2, 2008

Winning Formula

Dearest Goddesses,

We all have winning formulas, ways in which we interact with the world that puts us out ahead, but doesn't really leave us feeling fulfilled or taken care of. I always thought that my winning formula was being accommodating - I would make sure everyone else was taken care of and not consider my own needs. And while that very may well be it, I've been confronted by another winning formula lately that I actually got clear about in my last post which was ultimately about facing my vulnerability, specifically relating to my body.

I have always been strong and being strong, or rather being stronger (than everyone) is the winning formula I have been facing since that last post. My body is made for strength - 6 feet tall, NYU record holder in shot put and discus (I decided to use that instead of putting my weight ;)) I've never been a small girl. And because I'm not a small woman, I believe I have used my strength to set me apart. And this strength has become my armor. If I am not perceived as strong (and this goes beyond the physical) I feel like a failure. Somewhere along the line, I decided that vulnerability = weakness. And since who I have defined myself to be is strong, there is no room for vulnerability - or rather, I have not made room for vulnerability.

My mantra didn't work and I ended up getting sick. It didn't last very long at all, but as I was driving to work yesterday morning, feeling rotten, I realized that there is a place for being sick. A time to regroup and force yourself to take care of yourself. Just because my mantra didn't stick, doesn't mean that my mind is weak, it just means that in order for my body to stay strong, it needed to fight off whatever I got which caused the symptoms that I had. And it really was only for a day - others were sick for a lot longer, so I can still work my winning formula at being stronger! I suppose everything is all about perspective anyway...

What is your winning formula? How is it keeping you at a distance from the people in your life?

Love to you,
Patty

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vitally Healthy

I am vitally healthy, I am vitally healthy, I am vitally healthy.

Or at least that's what I'm trying to convince my mind so that it doesn't listen to my body or my stuffed up nasal passages. I haven't had a cold in about 2 years. I've had days of the sniffles and I've been under the weather and sad and I broke my wrist and I even think I've thrown up, but I haven't had that throw down kick you in the arse, can't get out of bed, residual snot for two weeks kind of cold. When I feel the sniffles coming on, I get my mantra out to work it

I am vitally healthy, I am vitally healthy, I am vitally healthy.

But the combination of air conditioning and germy co-workers has given me a sore throat and the sniffles and while I will not come right out and say that I am sick - because that's like an invitation or self-fulfilling prophecy and I truly believe in the power of the mind to determine the state of your health - I'm not quite connecting to the power of my mantra. And as I curve my arm at the keyboard, I understand what the shift is...I'm vulnerable. A little over a month ago I broke my arm. After 35 years of never breaking a bone, my arm broke. After 35 years of falling down stairs, of slipping on wet pavement, of running into doors (I think you get the idea, I'm more clutz than grace)...I broke something. At a different time, I know that the fall that I had wouldn't have resulted in a broken wrist. Some bruises, a big scrape perhaps, but not a broken wrist. There was something in that day - my state of mind, my circumstance, whatever - that allowed the break to happen.

Like any vacation, when you take time off from living your best life (connected, centered, powerful) you come back to lots of work in your inbox. In order to make my mantra work, I need to chip away at the onion layers that have accumulated since I've been on "vacation". And understand that while I've been broken and while I still feel a bit vulnerable, I do have control over my thoughts, beliefs and actions and Yes, darnit, even whether or not I succumb to the sniffing, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, please just kill me cold.

Here's to health. Vital Health.

Love to you,
Patty

Friday, September 26, 2008

Removing the Casts

Dearest Ladies,

I'm sorry for my "emergence" and then disappearance. I have been a bit technologically deficient these past few weeks and haven't had a lot of internet free time.

John and I survived Hurricane Ike with barely any inconvenience, thankfully. There are a lot of people who weren't as lucky and our hearts go out to them...

So I've been thinking a lot about casts lately. I had a mini nervous breakdown the other day when I was desparate to get it off and none of the clinics in the area were able to take it off and I just couldn't bring myself to pay an orthopedic $500 to get it taken off and tell me that everything looks great. Without going into detail, I took matters into my own hands and all is well.

When I first got the cast put on, I was so timid. I didn't want to exert myself too much, it was still so sore and tender. Of course that lasted about 2 days before I was packing up everything in the house to prepare for our move. Little by little, I used the arm more and while it was awkward and annoying, there wasn't too much that I couldn't do. So when I got the cast taken off this week, it was a little scary to see this long limp arm that I hadn't seen in a month in front of me. I was weak and sensitive and felt like at any minute, my wrist would re-break. I felt vulnerable, exposed - I immediately put a brace on it to protect it.

I couldn't help feeling like this was a metaphor for life. We run around all self-expressed until one day we break something (like our heart for instance...) It takes time for the wound to heal, we put a cast on it to protect it, make sure that it starts to heal. After awhile, we become less and less aware that the cast is there - but still, there are some things that you can't do like you used to. You might feel constrained in the cast - I'm ready to get out there again!! Ando so you take away this constricting cast and suddenly this raw, unused part of yourself is exposed and you feel completely vulnerable and immediately want to cover it back up and put the cast back on so that you don't get hurt again.

We need to remember that while it takes time to heal fully - healing will not take place without a little physical therapy. If you go back to your cast, you will always be weak and shrivelled with only a facade to protect you. But if you take off the cast and then use a brace for a few days and then allow yourself to move freely more and more often, you will be amazed at the body's (and the spirit's) ability to heal itself and get stronger.

So, here's to breaking free of your cast. It's okay to take it slow, it's okay to take it in steps, but it's so important to get those muscles working as soon as possible.

Much love,
Patty

Friday, September 12, 2008

Emerging...

Dearest Goddesses,

I am emerging after a most challenging few weeks. Nothing like transition and change to throw you off your center.

One of my last posts was pondering the end of the life of my precious dog Wilma. Thank you all for your kind words of support and love. I have some follow up posts that I want to share, but will leave today for an update and a pondering of the idea of change and transition. I spent a last lovely week with Wilma after that post and let her go on the 23rd of August. It was a terribly hard day and the hardest decision and I couldn't help but feel in some way that I had failed her. I went to bed that night and asked her to visit me in my dreams and let me know she was okay and that I had made the right decision. And while I don't remember any dreams specifically, I woke up completely at peace and when I think about her, I don't think about the "loss" of her, but of her contribution to my life. I don't shed any more tears, but simply smile at her memory. There is nothing better than a dog to teach you the valuable lessons of unconditional love. I miss her.

The day after we let Wilma go, I walked out of a restaurant into a rainy Costa Rican afternoon wearing flip flops and fell down hard breaking a bone in my wrist of my right hand. Needless to say, writing and typing have been quite a challenge, but it is all getting better. I have dreams every night about the cast being off and my arm being all shriveled and gross!!

And that was just the beginning of our transition! After spending 3 years in Costa Rica, we thought it might be time to try something new. We were lucky to have met some guardian angels who have provided exciting opportunities in Houston, TX. While we are still committed to seeing our Costa Rican projects develop, I was desperate for a change and to be back in the states. Besides, none of you were visiting me anyway...Tomorrow marks our week anniversary in Houston and this guy named Ike is planning this enormous welcoming party for us. Ike, it really wasn't necessary!!

It's actually quite scary and of course the non-stop news coverage doesn't help the feeling of anxiety. Currently I am hunkered down in Southwest Louisiana at the hotel that John is doing some marketing for. We are completely booked with the electrical company, so hopefully if the electricity goes off, we'll be the first back online!

So while with this update I can say, "see, there were a lot of reasons why I've been out of touch" the truth is, the idea of "not knowing" terrifies me, and I could't bring myself to write a single word. I find this terror interesting. I know that if my life were written out completely, with no potential for surprises I would be miserable. But when I turn the page in the book of my life and there is a situation that is out of my control, I freak. My goal is to stay centered - not just as a task master and a list checker but as a spiritual being. Connected not only to my discomfort and my terror, but also to the beauty and to ultimately trust that if you just trust and surrender to the universe you will be taken care of in the long run. (Not that it will look the way you want necessarily, but you are taken care of...) AND I am reminded of this quote:

'When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step into the darkness, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen...There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.'

Love to you,

Patty

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Goodbyes are never easy. I remember at the holidays when all my cousins would come home to Woodstock and the tears that would flow, flow, flow when they left. It's the same thing every time I get on a plane to leave my family.

The goodbyes are harder still when they are permanent - our dear friend Nick Deane passed away this past Sunday. For those of you who were at my wedding - Nick is of Nick's where many a drink was drunk! He certainly was one of our favorite people and he will be missed.

I'm also facing the inevitable goodbye of one of my best friends - Wilma. She's 13 years old and has been a part of my life for almost 12 and she can't really take part in our walks anymore, she has trouble making it up the stairs and I've noticed a new tiredness in her eyes.

I'm okay with the cycle of life and understand that death and rebirth are a part of that cycle. I know that it is time to say goodbye - but I've never been the deciding factor before in life and death. (Well, I was responsible for Bubba the fish's death in college, but somehow the toilet flush seems a bit different) She's my family, you know? She's never left my side. Determining the end of life has been a horrific struggle for me.

I will save the eulogy for when she's gone for I will need to celebrate her life and who she was for me. Now it's time to celebrate the time she has left and make her feel beyond loved.

Death...a part of life, but never easy. The goodbyes are important I've found - whether it is a physical death or a metaphoric one. And I find that it is never too late. Is there a good-bye you need to say to let something go?

Many blessings,
Patty

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pity Party Hangover

Dearest Goddesses,

Well, I am a bit hungover for the week long pity party that I had for myself. It was quite the blowout!

I suppose at times like those, it’s best to reach out to people, let them in, ask for help. I just know that if I open my mouth, I might start to whine and I would rather not subject anyone to that. So, you’re welcome ;) But although I wasn’t prepared to put myself out there and feel like a fraud, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to share with you.

Today, I thought I’d share an insight that I got from my tried and true – Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman. It really was perfect for me, and maybe it will ring true for you as well.

Are you willing to believe in ideas of abundance, of validating the inner world, and of learning to grow through joy?

Starting with your own past, think of a time in which something happened you did not understand. Now, as you look back as an adult, as an older, more mature self, you can understand precisely why you drew that incident to you and what you learned from it. You can see as you look back with the larger picture in mind that when you did not get what you thought you wanted, thee was a reason for not having it. Perhaps not having it changed your life path. Maybe having it would have held you back in some way, or maybe it was something you wanted from a smaller, less evolved part of you. As you look back with your memories, reviewing past relationships and career paths (even those you are still in but letting go of), see how they served you. What you have now would not be possible without those experiences. You cannot leave something until you love it. The more you hate something the more bound you are to it, and the more you love it the freer you are. So as you love your past, you are free from it.

When you can think of your childhood and your parents and know that they were perfect for the path you are on, you are then free of the effects of your past. You can believe that you chose your parents, relationships, and careers so that you could be where you are now. As you change your negative memories into positive understanding, you can go even faster into your new future.

You can release the past by loving it.

Every time you think of a bad memory that makes you feel sorry for yourself, or bad about how you acted, or makes you see yourself as a victim, or makes you hold a negative picture of yourself, Stop! See what good you created from that experience. It may be that you learned so much from it you never again brought that kind of behaviour back into your life. It may be that because of that situation, you changed your path. It may have brought you an important connection or helped develop new qualities and personality traits. You may have served and helped many people in that job. Your parents may have developed your strength, or your inner will, by creating obstacles for you. People who want to develop muscles, for instance, may use weights to push against. Your parents may have acted as a “weight” for you to push against to develop your inner strength. Everything in your past happened for your good. If you could believe that the universe is friendly, that it is always helping you to create your highest good, you could live a life of more peace and security.

Look at your present time existence. If you wish to see the larger picture you can sit and imagine that you are going into the future. If you are facing a new challenge, one for which you have not yet acquired the necessary skills, imagine yourself going into the future and uniting with your future self, drawing to you the knowledge that future self holds. It may not come into your conscious awareness until the moment you need it, but the energy and knowledge your future, for from that perspective it would be much simpler to know what to do today. You could even imagine you are that future self and talk to your self of today from that future perspective. You could make things up, telling yourself why you are going through what you are experiencing and affirming to your present self the rightness of everything that is happening. Your future self is real and separated from you only by time. It can talk to you and help you know what to do right now, how to get where you want to go even more quickly.


This rang quite true for me and what I’m going through and made it clear that “hating” my present isn’t going to change it – it simply binds me to it even stronger. And it just isn’t any fun.

I will send this week’s goddess tomorrow –as this has been a lot of typing. Think about her though: Minerva: Beliefs.

Love to you,
Patty

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Mighty Atom

Dearest Goddesses,


So, John is reading this really great book called A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson and he’s been sharing some snippets which are just mind boggling. For me, science has never been easy – but I feel like the bits that John has shared with me has taught me more than all my science classes and has certainly lit a fire under John to want to study Physics!


Below is an excerpt from the book in the chapter called The Mighty Atom:

The basic working arrangement of atoms is the molecule (from the Latin for “little mass”). A molecule is simply two or more atoms working together in a more or less stable arrangement: add two atoms of hydrogen to one of oxygen and you have a molecule of water. Chemists tend to think in terms of molecules rather than elements in much the way that writers tend to think in terms of words and not letters, so it is molecules they count, and these are numerous to say the least. At sea level, at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, one cubic centimetre of air (that is, a space about the size of a sugar cube) will contain 45 billion billion molecules. And they are in every single cubic centimetre you see around you. Think how many cubic centimetres there are in the world outside your window – how many sugar cubes it would take to fill that view. Then think how many it would take to build a universe. Atoms, in short, are very abundant.


They are also fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. (The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become thoroughly redistributed; however much you may wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley.)

So what does this mean? Well I took two major points away from these two amazing paragraphs:

  1. The same atoms that made up some of the greatest people in our history are a part of me. That I’ve travelled through stars and tree leaves and volcano lava – all that is within me – within us! So when I feel like I’m not good enough, all I need to do is think about the greatness that is within me – of the historical greatness. And when you think that DaVinci had more talent in the fingernail of his right thumb than you do? Well – maybe, just maybe you actually are made up of the atoms that made up DaVinci’s thumbnail!! Ha!
  2. That the atoms that are a part of me are a part of the same atoms that make up the guy across the street, the bum that sleeps on the side of my house, of my best friend, of the co-worker that drives me crazy, of Barack Obama, of George Bush! A part of what makes me up – also lives inside of everyone. We’re related, we’re one. What differentiates friend from enemy; family from foe is simply our experience, our stories.


I happened upon a site from an old student of mine and it was of a step dance performance from Bard College - really fun to watch - and I usually never take the time to read any comments - but for some reason I did last night and was just appalled. There was only comments about how fat the girls were and the racial makeup of the group. I just think if we all took the time to celebrate successes rather than finding ways to create distance - it might just be easier to be the great human beings we already are.


Phew! Very cool stuff. If you have a chance to check out the movie What The Bleep Do We Know, it puts a lot of the concepts of Quantum Physics into an edible form.

Don’t be afraid of the deep end!

Love to you,
Patty

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hide & Seek

Dearest Goddesses,

I feel like I've been forcing these posts lately - like I don't really have anything to say. I know that it is mostly a function of my hiding - from life, from love, from being creative. I just figured I'd tell on myself. The truth is, hiding is no fun unless it's part of a game and people are actively looking to find you. I like to play hide and seek - only I don't really tell anyone that I'm playing and then get sad when nobody seeks me! Ah, if only everyone could read my mind. In order to really be sought, you've got to be out there, not hiding.

This reminds me of something I read recently - where if you have the belief that people that you smile at on the street smile back - you will subconsciously only choose to smile at the people who will smile back at you. If you have the belief that nobody smiles on the street - you will choose to smile at people who don't smile back. If I'm hiding and believe that nobody will seek me - no matter how "out there" I am, I find that nobody actively seeks me and when I get over myself and am open to receive - then I find that I am pleasantly surprised. It doesn't always work - and I think that has more to do with my openness and my expectations. But hiding only makes me feel more lonely.

Well, I am willing to get out of my turtle shell and receive. I suppose telling on ourselves is the first step. If you've been hiding, like me, how can you tell on yourself? Where might you need to ask to be sought?

Love to you,
Patty

Changing Woman: Cycles

The following is excerpted exactly from The Goddess Oracle, copyright 1997, by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and the illustrations are by Hrana Janto.

______________________________________________________________________________________


I am what comes round again and again

what can never die

I renew myself in the seasons

in the cycle of time

the great round

I bleed yet do not die

I keep my blood within and become wise

I dance the spiral

and keep changing



Mythology:


Changing Woman, or Estsanatlehi (self-renewing one) – as she is called by the Navajo and Apache – can change her age merely by walking into the horizon. White Shell Woman and Turquoise Woman are among her many names, which correspond to the changing colors of her dress as the seasons change. The Navajo say that she was found by Coyote, after being born of Darkness and Dawn on Spruce Mountain, with a blanket of clouds and rainbows, secured in her cradleboard by lightning and sunbeams. Her gifts to the people are the Blessingway ceremonies, the seasons and food.


Meaning of the Card:


Changing Woman comes spinning into your life to tell you the way to wholeness for you lies in learning to honor your cycles. Menstrual cycles are an important aspect of being female. We bleed but do not die, and therefore can bring forth life. As we continue to dance our cycles, we reach the time of menopause when we leave our childbearing years behind and hold our wise blood within. We can then be a resource for our loved ones and community by becoming hags, which means “women of wisdom.”


Do you celebrate your menstruation and view it as a time for you to go within? As a time to let go, let die, so the new can come? Or have you bought into the patriarchal view that it is a curse, something unclean, something to be hidden away? Does menopause automatically fill you with fear of becoming old and ugly, no longer valuable and worthy in a culture that adores youth? Do you feel invalidated in a society that urges women to hide their bleeding times, regulate their hormones by taking pills and postpone menopause through ERT (estrogen replacement therapy)?


Honoring your cycles also means honoring your own unique process, your own unique path in life. You may be in the midst of a particular life cycle that you need to surrender to and honor. Changing Woman says that wholeness is nurtured when we reclaim the power of our cycles by paying attention to them and celebrating them. By celebrating our cycles, we celebrate ourselves as women.


Ritual Suggestion: Celebrating Your Cycles


Find a time and a place where and when you will not be disturbed. Sit, stand, or lie comfortably and identify the cycle you are in. You may choose to find or make a symbol of your present cycle. Cast a circle by calling in (speaking to the elements and asking them to be present) or by becoming the elements (see Vila, Shape Shifting) If you are using a symbol, place that symbol in the center of your circle. Walk around the outside of your circle and fill the inside of the circle with respect and honoring. You could fill it by putting on your favorite dance music and dancing around the circle, thinking or chanting, “I love my cycles, I love being a woman”. You could drum or play a musical instrument. You can do anything that celebrates you and your cycles. Be sure to notice if any feelings come up and allow yourself to express them.


Continue until you feel the energy in the circle is strong, then step in and breathe it deep into your cells. Lie, sit or stand in the circle, whatever is comfortable for you. Let the celebratory energy you have built up nourish you to the very core of your body/mind/spirit. Feel its healing power reweave the torn wounded places inside. F eel yourself as a woman, proud to be a woman, proud to bleed, proud to hold your wise blood within, proud to be in the midst of whatever cycle you are in. When you feel full, give thanks to Changing Woman, to yourself, to your womanhood. Step out of the circle. Release what you have called in. Welcome Back!




Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hunger Pangs

Dearest Goddesses,

I've always been a snacker and I really never discriminated (discrimination is not nice, you know!!). Salt, sweet... I went for it all. And the more that was in front of me, the more that I ate, regardless of hunger.

Well, I shared how I was off the caffeine and sugar and breads - well I've been doing the Adkins diet and really doing well. It just became clear to me one day that I was not a "once in awhile" indulger. If it was in the house - perhaps I could make it to a once every few hours indulger - but really, if it was in the house, it had a voice and it knew how to SCREAM my name!

So I gave it all up, cold turkey. After that initial physical withdrawal slump, I've had so much more energy, my nails have grown stronger, I'm losing weight and I'm not hungry. I find that I eat when I'm hungry, I drink when I'm thirsty and I'm eating healthy proteins and veggies and will begin to take on some grains in the next week or so. Physically I feel great.

I read Anthony Keidis's book Scar Tissue - he is the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Really great book. He's suffered with serious addiction most of his life and at one point he talked about being "dry drunk" where he was dry - he wasn't drinking or doing drugs, but he wasn't actively dealing with his addictions and it was kind of like walking a balance beam all the time. I can't help but feel that way around food! I'm not hungry, I'm not craving anything specific - but I MISS the snacking. I miss the munching, crunching sweetness of snacking!

I was in the grocery store the other day - and the grocery stores down here, while they really offer a lot of the things that you can find in the states - there is simply not the selection. So there are no Atkins bars to choose from, etc. or the low carb snack foods - which, I think is a blessing (otherwise, I'm sure I'd convince myself that I could eat just one!) But I walked up and down the aisles longingly - not really craving anything - but knowing I was craving something! And can probably assert that that something has very little to do with food. And for now - the complete limitation is helping me recognize this desire simply to feed.

Well tonight, we happened to look through the Atkins book and found a recipe for ice cream! MY FAVORITE!!! So we made it and while it is still not completely frozen, John and I talked about entering the danger zone. Can we limit ourselves to the 1/2 cup serving? I suppose this is our big test...

What are you hungry for?

Love to you,
Patty

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tether Ball

Dearest Goddesses,

I was watching my dogs on their walk today struggling against the tether of their leashes. I had to yell at Ginny twice because she saw something in the road and wanted to chase after it. Poor girl - all she wants to do is play and run and chase and bite and discover...I couldn't help but feel intimately related to my dogs in that moment. Only instead of a real collar and leash not letting me run here and there and keeping me on a particular path - I've got my pretend leash on of my own design - and I almost think it's more confining than the real thing would be.

I once did this teleseminar by Jack Canfield discussing the power of your environments. They had looked at the phenomenon of people who leave personal development training all lit up only to go back into their lives and the "high" that they had felt walking out of the room slowly disappeared into just another great idea. Landmark Education teaches something similar - about transforming your communities - as the different communities in your life represents different environments. Feng Shui asserts that your physical environment represents different areas of your life and your body - more about your environment.

Rather than one tether of my own design keeping me at a certain reach - I feel like I've got about a dozen tethers of different shapes, sizes and lengths and depending on my relationship with a certain environment/community/feng shui gua dictates my range of motion. And as much as 11/12 of my environments are running smoothly - if I've neglected or avoided one area, that short tether will begin to affect the rest of my world.

In one of Sanaya Roman's books, I'm not sure which, she talked about identifying the essence of what it is that you want. If you want a new house - what does that new house represent for you? Security, freedom, power, expansion... Get in tune with the essence and start bringing that essence into your life now. You may find that the house comes easier - or you may find that you are perfectly comfortably where you are - you just needed to be open to the essence.

I think of the walk with my dogs today and this feeling of being tethered by my environments and I think of what I want to create and I know the essence is freedom. It's time to invite freedom in and I bet my environments transform in an instant.

Love to you,
Patty

Monday, July 21, 2008

Focus Don't Fret

Dearest Goddesses,

I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of Eric Maisel's offer for free creativity coaching for his coaches in training and I'm working with Theresa over the past few weeks. Well the past few weeks I've felt like I've been having a quarter life crisis or something. Perhaps it's the location of the planets, or my 35th birthday, or my current environment or circumstances. This is not an "I want to be 21 again" at all - but more what have I done with the time I've had and what do I want to do moving forward. I shared my frustration with Theresa and she had this great response that I wanted to share with you.

"On those "big-bad-big-question" days, as I call 'em, I gotta just sit down, be still, and ask myself...what will it be TODAY? Focusing instead of fretting seems to help me best through those days. "

Focus don't fret. Choose something. It doesn't have to be the "right" something, it doesn't have to be what gets you on Oprah or is your million dollar idea, just focus, don't fret.

Focus has always been hard for me. Like making a choice on a diner menu - there is so much out there, so much to choose from, so much I'm interested in - how could I possibly focus on only ONE thing? And I suppose what I've been having the most trouble with is defining what it is I can offer people - what is my calling and instead of focusing on one thing - I fret and fret and instead notice where I am lacking in each area of my life, where I'm not qualified, where I don't have support, etc.

So this week, I focus on me - who I am for people, what I am on this earth to contribute - I welcome your feedback (who I am for you - how you see me in the world) And I welcome you on this same inquiry with me. Let us enjoy the warm fires of Brigid inspiring us this week (make sure you check her out!)

Remember - focus don't fret.

Love to you,
Patty

Brigid: Inspiration

The following is excerpted exactly from The Goddess Oracle, copyright 1997, by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and the illustrations are by Hrana Janto.
_____________________________________________________________________

Let me come to you

Through the mists

Through the fire

Through the plants

Through the deep flowing wells

With ideas

Visions

Words

Music beyond the tips of your ears

Let me move you

Enliven you

Stimulate you

Till your perspective shifts

And your mind/body/spirit explodes

And you are left standing

In the wake of what has been revealed…

And life feels very sweet


Mythology


Brigid (pronounced bridg’id), which means “bright”, is a Celtic triple Goddess of fire the fire of inspiration, smithcraft, poetry, healing and divination. Her inspiration was vital to the bards (poets) who called upon her freely. Legend says that Brigid was born with a flame reaching out from the top of her head, connecting her with the universe. The new (Christian) and the old (pagan) Brigid were merged into St. Brigid in A.D. 450. St. Brigid, daughter of a druid, was a goldsmith and a healer. Nineteen priestesses/nuns guard her sacred fire in Kildare, Ireland. On the twentieth of each month, it is said she appears and tends it herself.


Meaning of the Card


Brigid comes to ignite you with inspiration. Are you feeling a lack of direction? Motivation? Energy? Has your path gone out of focus, your life become unclear? Are you yearning for something but can’t quite put your finger on it? Its is time to nurture wholeness by taking in the sparkle and crackle of inspiration. Brigid says that a life without the fire of inspiration is dull indeed. She further counsels that by allowing inspiration to nurture your life you become sharper, clearer and more energetic.


Ritual Suggestion: Journey to Brigid


Find a time and place when and where you will not e disturbed. Sit or lie comfortably with your spine straight and close your eyes. When you feel ready, take a deep breath and release it with a sigh, letting o of all you need to let go of. Take another deep breath and let it go with a hiss. Take a third deep breath and , as you release it, picture or sense a cave, a cave you have visited before or one that exists only in your mind. Now take another deep breath and, as you release it, stand before the cave. Run your fingers along the wall of the cave. Smell the cave. Enter it.


Inside, the cave is well lit and warm, and you find yourself going down, down, down, deeper and deeper and deeper. It is a pleasant and comfortable feeling to go down, down, down, deeper and deeper and deeper. T here is a light at the end of the cave. You are at the threshold, the place where the cave ends and the Otherworld begins. Step out now into the Otherworld. Notice the dazzling sunlight, the freshness in the air, the vivid colors.

Brigid is waiting for you beside an ancient stone well. You walk over to her across the soft, spongy, emerald grass. She tells you she is happy to see you ad glad that you have arrived. You tell her you seek inspiration. Brigid asks you for a gift and you give it to her gladly. Then she rings you in a circle of fire and lights a fire in your own crown chakra (top of your head). You feel a tingling and stimulating of that point. You feel your energy opening and expanding. Your power to visualize clears and grows stronger. You feel inspired!!


It is time for you to say good-bye. You thank Brigid. She tells you all you need to do to activate inspiration is to visualize that flame at the top of your head. You enter the cave. Now you are coming up, up, up, through the warm comfort of the cave, feeling relaxed, energized, refreshed. Up, up, up, till you reach the entrance of the cave. Move outside of the cave, take a deep breath, and as you slowly exhale you are back in your body. Take another deep breath and when you exhale, if ready, open your eyes. Welcome back!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Marriage Reflections






Dearest Goddesses,


Yesterday was our 4th wedding anniversary. For those of you who celebrated with us in Montauk thank you again! I definitely wished I was back there yesterday!


So today I thought about all the things that I’ve learned after 4 years of marriage and thought I’d share them with you:


  1. It’s so much more fun to laugh at ourselves and each other than stay mad over something stupid.
  2. Both of us participate in every fight we may have, therefore both are responsible. Asking where can I be responsible is more productive than focusing on what a jerk he might be.
  3. It’s totally okay to go to bed angry. Sleeping on it usually gives some perspective and the spontaneous cuddles throughout the night reminds you of all the warmth.
  4. Communication – no matter how messy – is 100% better than silence.
  5. Sometimes you don’t have to open your mouth and comment.
  6. It’s not up to me to “change” him, but it is definitely up to me to see him in his greatness, even when he’s not being great, or I’m not being great.
  7. What seems like the “end of the relationship argument” can quickly turn into love if I let it.
  8. Every mess can be cleaned up.
  9. It’s up to me to make sure I’m living my best life, it’s not up to him.
  10. It’s up to me to communicate my needs, wants, desires, etc. It’s not up to him to anticipate them or to read my mind.
  11. It’s better just to remind him about anniversaries and birthdays – whether he remembers does not determine it’s importance to him or how much he loves you.
  12. Communicate expectations so they don’t create upset.
  13. It’s a lot of fun to go through life with someone you can laugh with.
  14. Through adversity you can realize that you married your true love which makes the good times all the more sweet.


Love to you all.


Patty


Monday, July 14, 2008

Survival of the Fittest

Dearest Goddesses,

I’m so grateful for this week’s goddess – Eostre/Growth. I am ready!!! I am coming out of this period of stagnation and lethargy and I am so ready to make things happen.

I’ve read that it takes 3 days to get over food addictions and I woke up for my fourth day without sugar, bread or caffeine bright eyed! Not quite bushy tailed yet since I’m having trouble figuring out what I want to focus my energy on. I like to use the term “channel your energy” – especially with John and I really need to be open to some clarity in finding my direction (and not just follow the whim of the day).

I thought I’d share an observation with you this morning and hope for your feedback. I’ve been living in a beautiful house in a fairly undesirable area of San Jose. I’m really working on attracting a nice house with a beautiful backyard where my dogs can come and go freely. Now, I need to take them out for walks several times a day. And because of my country gal (who won’t go to the bathroom on anything but grass) and I’ve sort of got slim pickins in the grass department. So anyway – my old dog Wilma is about 13 years old and in tough shape. She is slow and hobbles – but loves going out for the walks. The other two want to get “there” as fast as they can (sounds like me!) and so Wilma trails behind us, sometimes at quite a distance. Well over the 5 months we’ve lived here, people are constantly slapping Wilma and a little girl actually poured soda on her head! I mean, this is a poor old dog!

So this morning, John and I were walking and sure enough a homeless man slapped Wilma on the butt. John immediately got in his face (she’s our girl!) and as John walked away, the man didn’t look after him with a sense of shame or upset but like he couldn’t believe John had the audacity to call him out over a “dog”. I was angry, I said – why, why would they put their hands on her? And he said something interesting – well, it’s survival of the fittest. People see something weak and they have to go after it. I suppose that could be why people LOVE watching the news which is filled with doom and gloom, I suppose that’s why they LOVE the gossip magazines – if we can see failure in someone else – somehow it makes us feel better? And yet, there’s the flipside – people who go out of their way to protect the weak and while there are the jerks who put their hands on Wilma or pour soda on her head, there are also the people I’ve noticed who see an old dog walking and say – pobresita, esta gorda (fat) and chat me up about the poor, old, fat dog.

In the book A Complaint Free World, William Bowen tells this story about how he lives on a curve and people tend to drive too fast and one day a man in a pickup hit his dog and just kept on driving. He was so angry at this man that he immediately got in his car and followed him, convinced that when he saw him he would kill the man. He followed him all the way to his house and William pulled into the driveway, got out of the car and said “you hit my dog!” And the man replied, “yeah, so – what are you going to do about it?” He was so floored by this man’s reaction, his lack of remorse and he rethought the idea of getting into a fist fight and headed back to his house to bring his dog to the vet and be with his family. He struggled and struggled for days with the reaction of this man and finally realized that this man must be in so much pain not to be able to feel remorse for a dead dog. Suddenly, he was filled with compassion for this man and wished him well.

Food for thought…

Love,
Patty

Eostre - Growth

The following is excerpted exactly from The Goddess Oracle, copyright 1997, by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and the illustrations are by Hrana Janto.

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I am the movement toward becoming

expanding

enhancing

the impulse deep within all being

to develop

evolve

press onward

to fulfil

all that is possible

Mythology:

The Germanic Goddess of fertility, agriculture and spring, Eostre (pronounced yo’ster) or Eastre, was celebrated with the ritual lighting of dawn fires as a protection for the crops. She symbolizes springtime, new growth and rebirth. Once, when the Goddess was late in coming, a little girl found a bird close to death from the cold and turned to Eostre for help. A rainbow bridge appeared and Esotre came, clothed in her red robe of warm, vibrant sunlight which melted the snows. Spring arrived. Because the little bird was wounded beyond repair, Eostre changed it into snow hare who then brought rainbow eggs. As a sign of spring, Eostre instructed the little girl to watch for the snow hare to come to the woods.

Meaning of the Card:

Eostre comes into your life with her springtime message of personal growth. It is time to open to things in your life that facilitate growth, development, evolution. Is there a class or workshop you’ve been wondering if you should take? Do it now! Is there something new that you want to include in your life? Let it in now! Have you just gone through a period of stagnation and lethargy where nothing seemed to be happening? Let it go! Now is the time for growth. Eostre says that wholeness is nurtured when you embrace experiences, risks, and occasions that cause you to stretch. The stretching promotes your growth.

Ritual Suggestion: Growth

Find a time and a place when and where you will not be disturbed. Sit or lie comfortably with your spine straight and close your eyes. Take in a deep breath to the count of six, hold for sex, and exhale for six. Do this three times. Let a feeling of relaxation and well-being spread through your body. Now choose a plant. It can be a plant you know well or one you imagine, a cultivated plant of a wild one. You are the seed of this plant, and you have just been placed in the ground by human hands, animal feet or the breath of the wind. You have been asleep, held in a state of suspended animation until conditions were right for you to begin your cycle of growth. Now it is time for you to wake up and grow. You tingle and vibrate as you begin to expand. Your movement and expansion cause you to break gently out of your hull. You can now begin taking in what you need for your growth.

You drink in moisture for the earth and draw in all that nourishes you. You only take in what you really need and you know what you need. First you develop roots. Those roots travel downward into the earth, both to anchor you an to search for what you need to continue your growth. Now you begin to expand upward, responding to the light and warmth of the sun and you send up your first green leaves. More warmth and light from the sun pulls you up and out. More water and nutrients from the earth, and you grow and create more leaves and deeper roots. As the conditions around d you continue t nurture you, you and your environment continue the weaving dance of taking in and expanding out, breathing in and breathing out, as you continue to unfold and become exactly who you are.

Stay with that feeling, sense, or image of breathing in – taking in what you need – and breathing out – expanding and growing – for as long as is appropriate for you. Now take a deep breath and release it slowly coming back into your human body. When you feel ready, open your eyes. Welcome back!



Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Afternoon of My Discontent

Dearest Goddesses,

I feel sort of like I'm running through mud these past few days - not sure where I'm going, but just know that I want to get out! But it's not like it's been in the past, where it's been all about struggle and feeling down - I've got this itch that I can't scratch, this feeling of discontent. I heard that whenever Tony Robbins feels that itch, that discontent, he gets excited because he knows that change is coming and with change comes breakthrough. I'm trying to change my lenses and be excited for the journey, excited for the transformation, instead of focusing on the discomfort of not knowing.

The discomfort caused me to get my paints out - which was a good thing. I went in to lay down because my body felt sluggish, but my mind was all over the place. I had this intense vision of being in my grandparent's backyard - looking onto the porch, swinging on the hammock, feeling the breeze on my face. I felt like I wanted to recreate that vision - to be on that hammock, to feel that breeze, to be carefree. I put paintbrush to paper, I drew a line and immediately got cranky because I knew that what was in my head would not be accurately represented on the paper. So I titled the work "The afternoon of my discontent" and it turned out pretty interesting. I suppose if you just let the paintbrush go it will create what needs to be created and our thoughts and visions of how it should look are just roadblocks that get in the way. For if it is already perfect in my head to begin with - what's the use of trying to create it all over again? I'll always have the memory.

So here's to the discomfort - may it always be like the Emperor Moth whose discomfort and struggle brings forth beautiful wings. I will await change excitedly...(or try to at least!)

I would like to dedicate today in honor of my parents who are celebrating 37 years of marriage today!

Love and blessings,
Patty

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sailing

Dearest Goddesses,

I was just sitting staring at a blank screen thinking of what I wanted tos ay when I picked up a journal I keep the quotes I like and opened it randomly to see what might jump out at me to get my thoughts jumping.

“I am no longer afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my own ship.”

- Louisa May Alcott

This is definitely something I am relating to these days and trying to take action around it, instead of playing the tired victim or martyr role. This morning was a perfect example. I like my relaxed morning routine. John and I wake up, go walk the dogs, make cappuccinos, make breakfast and start the day. This morning we woke up late and he had a conference call that he needed to prepare for. I immediately went into crank mode (“why didn’t you prepare last night, wah, wah, wah…”) and then I shifted. I decided that I’d have all of the things that I wanted this morning despite the lack of John time (it’s hard to get his attention when the computer is in front of him!). So – I walked the dogs, found a new health store that just opened up around the corner from us, made coffee, made pancakes (they weren’t as good as Johns, but…) and by the time breakfast was on the table, John was done with his call and suggesting that we get out of the house at lunch today to go to the park to have a picnic lunch and review some goals.

While this is a very simple example of sailing my own ship – it’s the little moments that can sometimes be the most significant. And since one of my main challenges is waiting (for others to…do it for me, do it with me, give me permission, give me approval, tell me how great I am, take care of me) the little steps are important. The more I wait, the more the rest of the world is sailing my ship.

Take one step today toward sailing your own ship and tell me what came out of it!!

Love to you,
Patty

P.S. I have started an online version of WE: Women Empowered Through Creativity and Reflection and I am just loving it. If any of you are interested in participating, please let me know and I will send you all of the logistical information.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vila: Shape-Shifting

The following is excerpted exactly from The Goddess Oracle, copyright 1997, by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and the illustrations are by Hrana Janto.

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I dance from form to form

I shift from shape to shape

ever changing

ever expanding

ever becoming

I am flexibility

for by changing my form

I freely flow with all that comes my way

I am consciousness

for by shifting my shape

I gain an expanded awareness of what it is to BE

I waltz a whirlwind

tango a tree

salsa a swan

or just plain fox-trot

My dance is an affinity with All

for I am able to become All in order to know All

Becoming All dissolves form

Knowing All creates Oneness

The illusion is that you have a separate shape


Mythology


Vila (pronounced vee’lah) is the eastern European name for the Goddess energy moving through the earth as nature. Vily (plural) are very protective of their terrain and use their arrows of death on those who trespass. They are consummate shape-shifters, able to change into animals such as snakes, swans, falcons, and horses. They love to play and dance. If contacted in the forest on a moonlit night, they might grant health, wealth, abundant crops or they might, if shown disrespect, dance the offender to death.


Meaning of the Card


Vila has come dancing into your life in her many forms to teach you to nourish wholeness by learning to shape-shift. Have you been too long in one form? Are you feeling stiff and stagnant, losing flexibility in your way of thinking and being? Or perhaps you feel that the human is the most important being in creation – that the rocks, trees, animals, earth, et cetera, are lesser forms. It is time to expand your awareness, to enhance your flexibility by getting the perspective of other forms. Vila says the way to wholeness lies in experiencing the whole of creation.


Ritual Suggestion: Shape-Shifting the Elements


Select a time and a place when and where you will not be disturbed. Stand, sit or lie comfortably with your back straight and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and release it slowly, letting everything go with it. Take ea deep breath into your womb, through your vagina. Feel the air fill your womb and then exit through your vagina. Keep breathing into your womb.


Stand facing the east and visualize, feel, sense the element air in whatever form you choose: a warm summer breeze, a windy March day. When you have a clear sense of the air, breathe it into your womb until your womb becomes the air. Let the air spread through your whole body, so that your body dissolves and you are the air. Allow yourself to experience oneness with the air until you are ready to move on. Then let the airy sensation recede into your womb and finally leave your body completely.


Facing south, get a strong sense, visual image, or feeling of fire. Is it a bonfire or a flickering candle? A forest fire or hearth fire? Focus on your image, then take it into your womb so that your womb becomes the fire. Let the fire gradually spread through your body so that you dissolve into the fire. Stay with the experience of being fire until it is time for you to return. Let the fire recede until it is only in your womb, then et the fire go completely.


Face the west and the element water. Sense, see or feel a running stream, a calm clear pond, the immensity and power of the ocean, or a glass of water and focus on it. Then breathe it into your womb so that your womb becomes the water. Let it spread to the rest of your body so that your body dissolves and you become the water. Enjoy the experience of being water until you feel it is time to return. Gradually let the water recede until it is only in your womb, then release the water completely.


Face the north and the element earth. Choose the image, sense, or feeling of earth that is appropriate for you – the mountains, jungle, forest, desert – and focus on it. Breathe it into your womb until your womb becomes one with the earth. Let the earth spread throughout your body until your body dissolves and you are the earth. Stay with that experience until you are ready to return. Gradually let the earth recede from your body until the earth is only in your womb, then release the earth completely. Take a deep breath and open your eyes. Welcome back to your human form.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

Dearest Goddesses,


I never realized the sheer genius of the title of Terry McMillan’s book Waiting to Exhale until recently when I actually had the feeling like it had been weeks since I had really exhaled. I’ve had the feeling of holding my breath in anticipation for months now. I went to my tried and true guide Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman and I flipped it open to a chapter on clarity.

When we are faced with change or feelings of uncertainty we tend to lose our perspective on the big picture and only focus on the immediate situation. When we keep our perspective, when we look at our life as one long story instead of a series of disjointed chapters, suddenly the “crisis” that we are facing in chapter 157 becomes the baseline for the tremendous epiphany in chapter 163. (I suppose if my life were like a James Patterson book, I’d already be on chapter 1063 at least…)

But seriously – think about a time in your life when you faced a tremendous challenge – one of those “end of the world” bits. Although you still may look back on that as a difficult time in your life or still think it was unfair, etc. the truth is you survived. It wasn’t the end of the world – and chances are, if we truly look back on the situation, it turned out for the best or provided a needed learning experience or simply proved the old adage that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

I’ll share a bit of an excerpt from Living With Joy with you now:

“Achieving clarity involves seeing the larger picture, a longer time frame, a bigger perspective. The larger your view, the clearer you can be…If you are willing to look at yourself as a whole, you can begin t find different levels of clarity around the present moment. It does not mean you need to know the form or where you are going. It means that the larger the picture you hold of who you are, the clearer you can be. If you were to go into the future and look back at today, you could gain a new perspective of who you are, for clarity is brought about by the changing of perspective. Most of you have certain ways you think, certain habits and patterns. Every time you break free and find a new way of thinking, you increase clarity. Clarity is not something that you reach and have from then on. It is an ongoing refinement of your picture.”

I read a quote today on a friend’s facebook page and really connected to it and so I think I will leave it with you today:

'When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step into the darkness, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen...There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.'

- Patrick Overton

Love to you,

Patty