The Robin

Every day this week I’ve walked my dog over to an area where, sure enough, sits a robin totally oblivious to the other life forces approaching it.  It seems preoccupied with the message it has brought to the sleepy complex where I live.  But, as always, my dog guns for it (pulling me behind almost in mid-air), and the robin just flits across the patch of the snow-spotted brownish green.  It doesn’t even fly off, as I might have thought it would.

Spring is coming, folks. How was your winter? Mine was healthy.  Yep, that’s all I’m going to say about it.  I’ve been physically healthy as I possibly could be.  Arduous emotionally.  Ups and downs.  But healthy, because that is what has really been important.  My former colleague, Janice Rivard, a very good person, just passed away from cancer.  She was 59, about to turn 60 in August.  I am 59, about to turn 60 in two weeks.

In two weeks I will wake up and greet the morning with a “Thank you, God!”, as I always do.  Some family members will either call or text in the morning to wish me a Happy 60th Birthday.  60.  I’m entering my sixth decade. I realized today that I had not given much thought to what I want to accomplish for the rest of my life.  No one ever tells us that we should do that at 60, but we really should.  Maybe you’re retiring soon; maybe your nest is frightfully empty; and maybe you have suddenly observed that the world has changed–and I mean drastically. It was easier to plan when you were 18, but now, assuming you stay healthy and work hard at that, there are other goals to accomplish.  This is not a time when you “rest”, as it once might have been.  We can still change the world.  We can carry our mission in life on our own terms now.  That’s the good news.

Maybe that’s what the robin is trying to tell us…

Namaste:  the divinity in me honors the divinity in you.

Josie

 

“We Make Plans and God Laughs”

I was supposed to be living in Charleston, South Carolina right now.  After a year of being home, I received a job offer to work.  I had the new apartment almost lined up when the “new employer” rescinded his offer.  This was due to an erroneous “negative reference” from my former employer.  I had to re-read the email several times for the message to sink in.

Everything stopped.  The sunshine stopped.  The warm air stopped.  The walks by the Battery in Charleston stopped.  My new membership in the photography club social meetup stopped.  The community art classes stopped.  I had already built up a whole new life in my mind.  It was gone. Normally, most people, in time, make some logic out of this sad occurrence.  “It wasn’t meant to be.”  “Something better will come along.” “You can find another job in Charleston.”

I felt injured. Something assaulted my core–some malevolent force intended to create the destruction of something so wonderfully good. I turned to my Creator.  Why, God?  He/She must be tired of that question, I thought.  How many of us get in the way of our destinies and then ask why? Is that what happened? Had I willfully manifested this whole new adventure, this new chapter in my life, and not sought the Divine’s approval? Was this just not part of The Plan for moi?

Plans.  That’s what we spend a large part of our lives making.  Plans for this.  Plans for that. Always plans for the better.  Some entities make plans to create chaos for other people. (By the way, the former employer will account for what they’ve done. That is my plan–to stand up for myself).  Some make alternate plans.  Contingency plans.  Business plans.  Wedding planners.  Event planning.

But in the end, many plans fall by the wayside.  When I was younger and freer, there would have been no plans.  I would have just moved to Charleston and found the job, anyway.  No plans. That is living!

We make plans and God laughs.

Namaste:  the divine in me honors the divine in you.

Josie

What’s Up?

What can I say? I sometimes communicate without words. I haven’t been able to articulate the internal via this blog. Lately I’ve been taking a great deal of photos, and I’m feeling very comfortable with the camera.  It’s not like this is new for me, but since I am working on building a whole new life for myself, every experience, every moment of creativity, frees me to be who I am.

So a few words about seeing Pope Francis on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine:  my initial reaction was one of great joy!  Yep, I was happy.  I was happy.  I was happy because I admire his “gumption” (ooh, yeah, now that’s an old word). He doesn’t care.  He’s in charge now, and he’s going to say exactly what he thinks.  Yes, he heads an institution that has committed all the sins that it has preached against, but he’s stepping out and letting the world know that, hey, “I’m the Pope but I can’t judge gay folks.  I don’t like the income gap and middle-class folks disappearing.  I think the business world, the 1%, is full of shit, and screw you if you don’t agree.  Don’t judge me.  I’m telling it like it is, because I can.”

I am Catholic.  I once left the church because I couldn’t distinguish pure, religious doctrine from dogma.  But since learning Unity principles, I understand.  I really do, and my spirit is happy. 

I love it.  I love people who don’t care and too bad.  I’m going to call them the “I-don’t-care-what you-think-warriors” (IDCWYTW)  They blast hypocrisy in people’s faces. I also like people who don’t do just one thing.  There’s something wonderful about juggling 2 or 3 careers.  One might pay the bills, but it’s the other 2 that give you love. I’m all for the love, so maybe, in this personal venture to rebuild my life, I’m finally getting the message. The more I limit myself, the less “I am” myself.

You don’t have to be a Renaissance person, but don’t think that only one side of you should be in the spotlight.  I believe, that in “camera” terms, there’s room for “double exposure”.

Namaste:  the divine within me honors the divine within you.

Josie

Giving and Receiving

Nowadays, you can’t even walk down a street and pass a group of young people for fear of being “knocked out”.  Shootings in public places are on the rise, children are still being victimized and our country just can’t seem to avoid participating in wars.

What I fear is that many of us are becoming desensitized to the evil that is plaguing our planet.  We can’t let that happen.  What we must do is thrust good upon the evil.  One of my heroes today and always is Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for her humanitarian efforts.  She’s not fighting back with hate; my God, how difficult can that be, you ask?

Let us not think that she is too young to set the example for all of us.  Age is inconsequential here.  True, I often ponder on what violent steps I might take if someone were to attack any of my family members.  My 82-year-old mother, who lives in Staten Island, New York City, goes out and about almost every day.  She loves her freedom to board a bus anywhere.  But I worry about her–especially with this “knocking out” fad.  My 86-year-old father tells her to stay home; he calls her cell phone if she’s out too long. She leaves very early in the morning (about 6:30 am) to engage in Jehovah Witness preaching, and she doesn’t get home until after noon.  For years this was her practice at the Staten Island Ferry, but now they are no longer allowed to preach in the terminal.  And so now she is outside the terminal standing in the midst of passengers who are running from the buses to catch the ferry on time.  What if some of those passengers hurt her?  How would I react? Would I seek vengeance?

To strike back at evil, I choose to give, as my friends do.  When you give of yourself, along with others, you blanket the world with positivity.  It’s not a matter of expecting anything in return; although, it’s in the knowing that you’ve done something right that you ultimately experience a spiritual connection to something that is oh-so-perfect. It is my belief and contention that there are a lot more people who do good in the world than those who’ve attempted to destroy it and humanity.  We just need to remember that.

One of my favorite activities is mentoring an “at-risk” high school junior for “I Could Be” organization.  He is far from “at-risk”.  At 15 he is respectful, intelligent and ambitious.  My role is to support his journey in reaching his career goals.  It has become so much more than that for me.  I pray for nothing but beautiful things to happen to him in his life.  Well what do you know:  I’m the one receiving…

Namaste: the divinity in me honors the divinity in you…

Blessings,

Josie

The Normal Normal

Things are back to a normal normal. What does that mean, exactly? For me, it means my heart is no longer broken, and that I’m in that space where I’ve exhaled and I’m surrounded by the Light of Possibility. The memory of him has faded, as did the pain. Now I’m resting by the countryside and watching the sunrise and the sunset. It’s a great place to be, that “not hurting” place.

I am also back to the normal normal because I feel well. I had to evoke my inner superhero and confront my doctor about the medications I was taking. I felt, and still do, that I had been misdiagnosed for years. At worst, it’s a dual diagnosis, but I knew (and he finally agreed) that something was not being addressed. And so, with a new med to replace the old one, my focus is back and my concentration is just fine! This week, I was able to proceed with my new goals, both personal and professional. More to come on that.

Now back to the world. A typhoon has engulfed our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. I am saddened by the photos I’ve seen; I can only do what mostly others have done: donate what I can. But I can also pray…pray for a miraculously quick recovery. Does it seem like it’s not enough? Yes, to me it does, and so I pray and ask how else I can help.

Wouldn’t it be great if the normal normal meant that the planet would return to the paradise it was meant to be? Call me an idealist, a dreamer or just plain crazy, but when I meditate I see the world transforming into this pretty, huge ball of pulsating joy. Yeah, I know, right now you’re saying, “Are you kidding?”. I think that if you knew of my childhood and the ensuing years, you would be amazed at how hopeful I still am.

Which brings me to my point…hope, it’s hope, that will save us. Listen in on any conversation and you’ll inevitably hear the word “hope”: “I hope he calls me.” “I hope I win some money.” “I hope to get that job.” “I hope we have enough to eat today”. “I hope he doesn’t touch me today.” The fact that hope is still alive in this global community of ours is a major miracle. Is that what we are here to learn?

I hope so…

Namaste: the divinity in me honors the divinity in you.

Blessings,
Josie

The Truth (The First Part of Many)

This is a short blog, as I am struggling this week with Adult ADD-related symptoms (Attention Deficit Disorder). 

The truth is, I have finally accepted the truth about this. In fact, it will probably take me hours to write this blog entry. Still, I persist and work around it, as I always have. Somehow I managed undergrad at Wesleyan University and a master’s degree at the University of Phoenix, along with two professional careers.  No one has known, until it opened up to my son today, the very private sadness I’ve experienced surrounding my symptoms. 

The truth, the truth…what else am I feeling? Well. I am very disappointed in my friends lately. i will elaborate next week. 

The sun still shines…

Namaste: the divinity in me honors the divinity in you. 

Blessings,

Josie