Thursday, May 31, 2007

Choose Love

Can one person make a difference?
Yes.
By treating people with love you’ll change your own corner of the world. Others are changing their own corners of it, too. Added together it has a significant impact.
These changes go into the energy that surrounds the planet. Individually, they are small ripples. But these ripples meet and expand. That increases the original energy and it touches more people. These people are encouraged to make their own changes. That sends even more ripples in motion to touch and change the energy grid around the planet. Eventually, we get back what we’ve put out, greatly enhanced.
Start treating everyone with caring and compassion and you’ll soon see the difference in your life. But how do you start?
Kindness, caring, and compassion are love’s companions. They can be expressed in simple and painless ways. Even a smile for a harried cashier shows that you are thinking of others.
Here’s an example of kindness and what it can do. In the mid-1990s I was in Virginia Beach studying hypnosis. As I waited in the hotel lobby for the shuttle bus to take me to class, I saw a delivery truck driver walk toward the door. She was carrying a big, awkward package and had to get through a set of outer and inner doors to get inside. It looked difficult so I got up and held the doors open for her.
Unfortunately, she had gone to the wrong address and had to take the big package back to her truck. My bus hadn’t arrived yet so I got up and held the doors for her again.
“Well, thank you,” she brightened. “If I see you having trouble some time I am going to stop and help you.”
It was a simple gesture. All I did was open some doors, but she seemed surprised that I had done it. A simple act of kindness should be commonplace, not unusual.
“Love warriors, this is so simple. Treat one another well. That is being a love warrior. Feel the change in your world, that is, your corner of it, when you offer kindness,” said one of my guides. “These are simple things, everyday things, things no one thinks to do because they are so busy.”

The simplest way for each of us to have an impact on the world is offer kindness, consideration and compassion to everyone and everything.
We can do it. We can make it part of our routine. We can all learn it.
If we start out small, holding a door open, or smiling and saying thank you, it’ll be imprinted on our personalities. We’ll do it naturally. And we’ll each make a difference.Even the smallest work, perhaps just giving someone a hug makes a difference. Maybe this person felt alone or was upset and your hug gave him or her the incentive and energy to feel better. Perhaps to you the hug was insignificant, just something you knew the person needed and you could provide. But it may just have started the wheels spinning to change the world.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Favorite Mountain



The flat-topped mountain to the right is Chief Mountain in southern Alberta. I’m not sure, but I think it actually straddles the Canada-US border.

Police Outpost Provincial Park sits at its foot. I went there the first time in the mid-1980s and fell in love with this spot and this sight. The area has such beautiful energy.

About a dozen years later Mike and I went camping there and decided this was spot where we’d marry. We did in September 1998.

I hadn't been back in a while so I made sure on my recent road trip to go by and have a look.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Warrior Kindness

Yesterday I wrote the kind, helpful “daily angels” style of love warrior and how we could all learn to be like this.

I believe this and I think the pattern is already inside us. We need to encourage it. We need to start choosing kindness in our daily lives. Doing so will awaken patterns of caring and kindness and we will automatically choose the loving way.

Despite being a force, love warriors don’t engage in combat in the conventional sense. It’s not about killing and maiming. It’s about growth.

The only fight is the one inside each of us. Do we move ahead or remain at our present spiritual level? Do we pass this level where war and money wins over loving and caring?

“But it is combat,” my guides have assured me.
“The weapon is love. Marshall all your love together. This is peaceful warfare.”

Monday, May 28, 2007

Daily Angels

Giving love, receiving love, and being kind and considerate to others shouldn’t be difficult but it is.
Or so we tell ourselves anyway.
In part it’s because we’ve built a world that runs too fast and eats up too much time. We use too much energy trying to save our energy. We work too hard trying to relax. Instead of being rejuvenated, we’re exhausted, ill-tempered, and unfulfilled.

Our constant communication with email and cell phones has left us more isolated than ever. We stay in contact without touching anyone. We’re so busy working toward bigger, better and more that we don’t honor and respect what we’ve got. We don't honor and respect ourselves and we don't honor the world around us.

That’s where love warriors come in. They’re everywhere. They’re the alternative healers, organic food growers, war protesters, accountants, soccer moms, lawyers, and construction workers to name a few, and they’re the true psychics who take away our fears and our outright dismissal of what we can’t see or touch.

Are you a love warrior? For many it’s a knowing. You have the feeling that you have to do something, but don’t understand it yet. You don’t know what it is; you just know you’re here to help. Follow that feeling.

Some might waken to it after they’ve done something that sets other, bigger events in motion. All cogs in the wheel must turn for the gears to function properly.
Some don’t wake up at all. They’re still doing their part and their purpose is probably the most important of all. They are here to treat everyone with love. By doing it they show the way for the rest of us.

Warrior in this case means someone willing to stand up and counteract all the negativity of the world with the greatest force in the Universe: love.
They come in two types. Some are here to take an active role while others go quietly about their lives making their world a little better.

The second type refers to people who are always kind and loving. It’s part of their pre-birth agreement. They live their lives from a basis of love rather than fear, and they respect the Earth and all her creatures.My guides called them “daily angels,” and many are here with us. They go about their business helping as they can and treating others well.
We can all learn how to do it.
With a bit of practice we can all be this way.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Enjoy The Journey


We're in such a hurry to get where we think we need to be we forget to stop and enjoy the journey.
On my way to Lewiston I stopped every 20-30 minutes to enjoy the sights and listen to the meadowlarks. I still arrived well before registration and I was relaxed and calm.
I tried to get a photo of a meadowlark, but they were too smart for me.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Cup Of Kindness

I’ve just enjoyed a cup of some of the best coffee in the world and the story of how I got hold of it made it even better.
The coffee is Gevalia ®. It’s Swedish. It’s deep, dark, and delicious and the version I’ve got is a limited edition made from Popayan beans, apparently rarer than other Colombian varieties.

It was on offer during the silent auction at the ARE ® retreat and I wanted it. I hadn’t seen this brand around in 17 years so I decided that would be the item I’d bid on.
It had a bid already. I put mine underneath it and went away. Every few hours I’d check, but no one else had bid.

I could see in my mind me taking this coffee back home across the border.
About a half hour before the auction closed I checked again. Still no other takers.
When I came back to settle up I found the original bidder had come by and outbid me.

Such things happen.

“I guess it’s more important for you to have it than me, umm, I mean, it was meant for you to have it,” I stumbled to her as she collected it from the table.

That evening as I was falling asleep I could still see me taking it across the border and I had the strangest feeling she was going to give it to me.
Wishful thinking? Maybe. So I dismissed it and went to sleep.

The next morning on my way to the conference room the woman who’d outbid me, Ellen Wicklund, D.O., stopped me in the hall and said, “You know that coffee you wanted that I got? I’m going to give it to you.”
“I was going to give it to my son, but I want to give it to you because you’re such a sweetheart.”

I don't know what I did to qualify as “a sweetheart.” It might just be that she, being kind and thoughtful herself, sees these qualities in others.
It ultimately doesn't matter what actions led to this gift. The only thing that matters is how we treat people .
Kindness counts.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bright Spot

Erythronium grandiflorum

The setting sun struck these glacier lilies and made the forest floor come alive. They were growing in a burn area in northern Montana.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Five Minutes A Day

Barbara Lane, Ph. D



Can you be grateful for five minutes a day?
You need to do it so the angels can do their work.

We learned this from Barbara Lane, Ph.D., at the ARE ® retreat I was at earlier this month.
We should be able to manage this. How difficult can it be?

It’s easy to be ungrateful for five minutes; we’re usually just getting warmed up after five minutes. Ingratitude comes pretty easily.
Why not gratitude? Why aren’t we grateful?
Well, we’ve got it easy in Canada compared to many other countries. So we take all this ease for granted. When something is easy and available we don’t give it much thought. We’re spoiled.

Here’s an example. The water main in the street that runs in front of my house was old. So old that it broke every winter about the end of January. You could set your calendar by it.
Cursing the break was easy. We couldn’t get running water for several hours and on one occasion the taps were dry for two days.
In fairness the Town turned the water on for about an hour around 6 p.m. on the first day.
Ungrateful? Sure. No water for two days.

Now, let’s turn this over and tickle its tummy. What do we find?

We have potable water sent to the house. No drawing from a well and then lugging it back home.
Someone else went out in the cold and the snow, dug up the street, found the problem, and fixed it. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t even have to leave my house.
It happened several times until the water main was replaced two years ago. Another reason to be grateful although grumbling about tax increases leaps to the tongue quicker than a thank you.

Five minutes a day of grumbling is easy. Five minutes a day of gratitude takes work.

It shouldn’t.
We’ve got so much here and we complain that it’s not good enough.
Instead of whining, why not make a list of what you’ve got and say thanks for it?
I do this as part of my morning prayer cycle. Even if I just mention a few things, I am genuinely grateful every day.

A partial list:

1. Roof over my head.
2. Husband who loves me.
3. Beautiful day. Irrespective of the weather, all days are beautiful.
4. I thank the God/Goddess/ Universe all that is for all I have been given and all I have received.
5. Anything else that comes to mind while I’m standing outside.

I don’t know that this adds up to five minutes. I don’t think it does yet.

But I’m trying. I am grateful and it should be easy to spin that out a bit longer.
What are you grateful for? Have you thought about it?

Have you looked at what you have and listed it out? Or are you so concerned with getting more stuff that you don’t take stock of what you’ve already received?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Best Feature, Worst Feature

My worst fault is also my best feature.
I’m blunt. Downright tactless. I don’t care. Oh, I’ve tried to be sensitive to the feelings of others, but I can’t seem to get it right.

Thing is, I prefer to have my bad news told to me outright. I have an honest belief that everyone should feel this way.
It annoys me to have anything broken to me gently. I think that’s difficult for those who have to tell me bad news because they’re probably still processing it themselves.

Fine, I get that. I really do.

What annoys me is they already know it, and, no matter how gently they try to bring it across, it doesn’t change anything. Bad is bad. I say get it out and let’s deal with it.

It’s always irked me. I was born this way. The depth and degree it bothered me became apparent in the early 1980s when a cousin was diagnosed with liver cancer and my parents and sister heard about it first.

My dad said something about sad news about the cousin.
“Okay, what?” I asked.
“It’s not good.”
“Okay, what is it?
“It’s not good. It’s not good”
“Yes. We’ve established that. What is it?”
My sister piped up. “He’s got two months.”

This conversation seemed interminable. It was no more than 30 seconds, if that. It seemed like five minutes.
Instead of being guided into a mind-frame to accept the news, I wanted to scream: “Will you just tell me already!”
I contained myself and they were finally able to tell me.

Yes, it was difficult for them and no one likes to be the bearer of bad news. But please, if you ever have to tell me anything, just blurt it out.

That’s what I do. I did it when the editor of the newspaper I’d worked for dropped dead back in March.
I had to tell some former co-workers about it. One heard it by phone, another by email. What possible purpose does it serve to tie up their time when they’re going to learn about it anyway?

My tactlessness and blunt words have occasionally gotten me into trouble. More than two decades ago I reviewed a local amateur theatre group’s production and it was bad. Some audience members walked out at the first scene change.

They really did an awful job and I said so in print. My co-workers backed me on this and I received some support from the community.
I was also stopped on the street on occasion and roundly told off including being called various slang terms for body parts that I don’t own.

That’s okay. Comes with the job. Live by the word, die by the word.

I suppose this puts me somewhere between refreshingly honest and insensitive, mannerless lout. But I am that I am and I’m unlikely to change.

Opinions? Anyone else out there like this?
If you must hear bad news, how do you want it?

Did Cows Once Rule?


Another Montana photo today.

The cows looked quite placid grazing in the hot midday sun.

Bucolic as it was, it reminded me of Gary Larson's The Far Side (R) cartoon with the saurus-esque cows ruling the Earth, but modernized.

And the flat -topped mountain on the right looks like it should have a smoke coming out of it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Hear Dinosaurs




Between Great Falls and Lewiston the land is open and rimmed by mountain ranges.
At certain times like when I stopped to admire this eastward scene, I could swear I heard a brontosaurus stomping.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lewiston Labyrinth

I really enjoyed my walk through the Lewiston labyrinth on Saturday during the retreat's lunch break.
It's so relaxing to walk through the flowers and to read the inscriptions on the stones inlaid along the pathways.
The bench in the center is perfect for meditating.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wrong Turn, Adequate Pic




I really enjoyed my visit to the States and didn’t want to leave. Little did I realize how little I wanted to leave until I tried to go home on Sunday.

First I went to the labyrinth in the town park for a while, then I stopped and got a sandwich which I ate in the park at the west end of town.
It has a magnificent view of the mountains and rolling countryside and a Horned Lark bopped around a few feet away looking for its lunch.
Then I headed up the highway to Great Falls.
I pulled into Eddie’s Corner about 17 miles up the road. I hadn’t had anywhere near enough road trip food and I wanted to try Coke Zero™.(NB this has all kinds of ingredients, none of which belong in any product that got its start as a glorious concoction of Coca leaf and Kola nut extracts.)

I also found some wonderful potato chips, Bermuda Sweet Onion. Sorry I can’t recall the brand, though. I was just settling back in the car with two fellow retreaters went by and turned at the intersection.
Now, logically, as they were from Calgary, going the way they went would seem like the right thing to do.
Ha.
I’m not sure of the direction but they made a left turn while I went straight. I cannot say why I did this. I recall seeing a sign for some Fort or other and I supposed I thought they were off for some sightseeing.

Where do I get these ideas?

The important point was Eddie’s Corner was behind me and on the proper side of the road. I had a feeling something wasn’t right, but I ignored it.

The scenery was wonderful though not familiar and neither were the road signs. There was enough cloud cover to keep me from being sure where the sun was although I had a feeling it was ahead of me instead of behind.

So I drove. Munching and guzzling and enjoying the Montana speed limit.
It was wonderful. I even saw the above Sandhill Crane in a field. We have them up here but we usually see them in the evenings, not the afternoon.

It took a turn for the eerie when I drove through a wind farm. I came through some windmills on the way down but this seemed to go on forever. Wind energy is wonderful but windmills cast an otherworldly feel at the best of times. Driving through the middle of a never-ending wind farm on a cloudy day with no other traffic for miles was just plain creepy.

I bought some chocolate bars in a charming older-style store in Judith Gap and went on my merry way. Then I got a town whose name I don’t think I ever noted and saw a road sign pointing to Billings.

I only panicked a little. I knew I’d messed up. It was simple matter of looking at my map. I couldn’t seem to find anything on the map to match were I was. I couldn’t even find Billings.

So I asked at the service station. I’ve got to say Montana has some of the nicest, most helpful people I’ve ever found.
The woman behind the counter pointed to where a semi was parked and said to take the road that ran behind it, and that I about 130 miles from Great Falls.

Lewiston, where I started from, is 109 miles from Great Falls.

A few miles up road found me behind a vehicle about the size of a water truck. I was glad for someone to follow. After few minutes I realized the truck had an Alberta licence plate. Okay. He’s probably heading home. I’ll follow him.
It was calming to have something familiar to look at, especially going through that wind farm.
When we got back to the right highway I considered ever-so-briefly stopping at Eddie’s Corner again, just so I could drive back out and go in the right direction. I kept on going.

The truck I’d followed got too far ahead and put some vehicles between us. Clearly his job was finished. I knew I’d be okay and sent a thank you out to the Universe for sending me a guide.

I enjoyed my little side trip. It added about an hour to my journey, but I got to see rolling hills, wide, sweeping farmland, found some wonderful towns, and after I got back on the right road I drove through a pounding hailstorm for a few minutes.
Most refreshing.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Curiosity Spurs Me On

Would you let a stranger...

...touch your spurs?





I had the coolest experience in Montana.


Last Sunday morning I was out in the hotel parking lot putting something in my car when a rumbling noise caught my attention. I turned to see a kindly looking, nicely dressed man in his sixties pulling a suitcase.
He was wearing cowboy boots, which one could reasonably expect in Montana. The boots had spurs. I was fascinated.


I’ve heard the arguments that spurs are cruel and inhumane. I’ve heard they don’t hurt the horse. But I’ve never been close enough to a set of spurs to draw my own conclusions.


“Excuse me sir,” I said bravely. “Can I ask you about your spurs?”


He stopped, smiled, and let me ask.
He said they just kind of tickled a horse.


Then, gathering more gumption than I realized I possessed, I asked this kindly stranger if I could touch his spurs.

Now that’s got to be weird. Some middle-aged woman stops you in parking lot and asks you that?

But this man was a gentleman through and through.

I knelt down and ran my fingers along the blunt edge of the spokes. Interesting. It felt like the top edge of a hunting knife as opposed to its sharp cutting edge.

When I stood back up to thank him and ask yet another question this retired university professor from Texas realized the best way to answer.
He turned around, put his hand on my shoulder and ran the spur down my calf. It was a biting tickle sensation.


I’m not sure how many people would be this accommodating, but it was broad daylight in a public place. I’m sure that helped. And it was a sincere question. I really wanted to know about spurs and there was nothing else to it.


I’m so grateful that I was reporter for almost 20 years. I learned that most people are helpful, kind, and accommodating. It taught me to approach people properly and because of that I can ask the dangdest things. More often than not it works out well for me.


Thanks to Debora Alder for taking this photo of me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Failing Is Good

Ever fail at something? I mean really, really badly?
Wasn’t it great?
Seriously, after all the dust settled, and you picked up the pieces and got on with your life, (and maybe worked though a few other clich├ęs) didn’t you feel pretty good?

Everyone fears failure. We don’t want to be a loser or a screw-up. We want to be good at what we do, not a laughingstock.
Look around your life. You likely know someone who won’t try anything because s/he might not be good at it.
I had a friend like that years ago. Talked a good game but wouldn’t do much because she was terrified she wouldn’t be perfect at it. She couldn’t get it through her head that no one was perfect at anything, but that’s not my point.

Figuring you have to be good at something, anything, first time out is absurd. Practice makes perfect although no one is perfect. We’re human. Everybody’s practicing.
So here’s some free advice. Get out and be lousy at something. Really stink the place out. Be the worst you can be.

What have you always a wanted to do? With me it was play guitar.
I come from a musical family on dad’s side. I got my talent from my mom’s side. I own a very good guitar and some simple songbooks. In fact some are so simple the name of the note is written within its symbol. I’m pleased to say that’s more than I require. But not much more.
My fingers remember the notes in the first position although I have to stop and think about low E, F, and G.
I’m not tone deaf though I do have a very high tolerance for missteps. I can play that lovely guitar when it’s out of tune and it doesn’t bother me. However, it has gotten so bad that even I could tell it needed adjusting.

It’s a gross overstatement to say that I failed. I learned to read music and to play simple melodies. I can even do a passable rendition of the opening of Marty Robbins’ El Paso because I taught myself to read simple tablature.
However, it’s an even grosser overstatement to say I’ve succeeded. I cannot tell a note just by listening. I do not remember how songs go; I have to have the music in front of me.
My husband can play violin by ear and guitar too, to an extent. He will say things to me like go higher, meaning, I suppose, to go higher on the scale. I cannot reason out how to do that.

I’ve tried. I have failed. It’s great.

Now, get out there and fail at something today so you can enjoy it later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Through A Burn


I found this lovely peak during a trip through a burn area in northern Montana.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Away

I'll be offline for a few days.

This weekend is the ARE ® retreat in Montana with Dr. Barbara Lane.
I wrote about it in this post.
It features several regression sessions including one to the interlife. It’ll be amazing.

I’m driving down starting tomorrow--it’s at least 10 hours--and turning this into a five-day road trip.

That’ll be amazing, too.

Just me and my car and my thoughts. And road trip food.
Lots of road trip food.

In the meantime Miss Prozac has been busy at our team blog, Prozac Palace.

See you Tuesdayish.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Humanely Quick Rejection

I sent off more queries the other day and a proposal to boot. The waiting is difficult, if exciting.
When we submit our work or a query we have the excitement of anticipating a positive response.
Requests to see a full manuscript are a thrill. How can they not be?
We pour our hearts, or souls, our research into the manuscript.
We hope that someone agrees the public will pay good money to read it.
Our thoughts are worth something.

Getting paid to write.
People paying to read what we’ve written.
That’s the dream.

Sure we might say money doesn’t matter because we’ve got something to say.
It matters.
What’s the point of writing if no one ever reads it?

Personal satisfaction counts for a lot. It feels good to write. Completing a manuscript gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
But we want money for it. I certainly do.
I want to see my name on the cover and the spine if a book stocked on a shelf. I want to go into a bookstore and point and say, “That’s me.”
“I wrote that.”

Meanwhile I have the anticipation of waiting to hear from a publisher. Maybe there'll be the thrill of reading the letter requesting a full manuscript.
Rejections are a part of the writing life. I know there'll be the disappointment of reading a "not right for our list" canned rejection.
It's a cue to keep at it, rewrite the manuscript, or file it under learning experiences and write another next book.

And that’s why I’m so grateful for publishers who accept email queries.
Two of the half-dozen I sent to last week took e-queries.
And bless ‘em for their thoughtfulness, they didn’t leave me on tenterhooks. One rejected me within the hour. The other in about three.
It's quick. It's humane. It's two less to hope about.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Play-giarist Caught

It's a good day.

Plagiarism is said to be rare, but it does happen. It’s a lousy and lazy thing to do. It’s theft and it’s criminal.
Having someone else pass off your hard work as his or her own is a writer’s nightmare. Fortunately, it’s usually a groundless one.

But it did happen to an Edmonton-based playwright David Belke. He suspected something and checked it thoroughly.
Today’s Edmonton Journal has a front-page story about it.

Jack L. Herman of Kent, Ohio got caught.

Here’s more on it in the Edmonton Journal’s Sunday Reader section.

Ya gotta love what this guy did for an honest living.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Of Course I Can

Affirmations, mantras, incantations, spells, call ‘em what you will; they work.
Distilled down to their simplest form they’re a strong positive statement expressed repeatedly. When you say something over and over it gets imprinted. It becomes real. It is real.

Simple is best because it’s easy to remember and easy to use.
If you’ve got several areas to work on you might find yourself skipping about excitedly trying to change everything at once.

I know. I’ve done it.

It scatters the energy too much at a time when it ought to be focused. You’ll get some changes, but the attempt is half-hearted. That makes it easy to declare affirmations as useless.

“They’re too hard,” you might say. “I’m not going to bother. And they don’t work anyway.”

This clears the way for you to stop trying so you can get back at all that important grumbling you’ve been doing.

Do you realize your grumbling carries the same amount of energy and does the same thing as the affirmations? You’re inculcating problems when you could use the same focus and energy to rid yourself of them.
That’s your choice, of course. Do what you want.

Do you want to change? Do you want to stop wasting energy feeding your problems? Are you looking for a place to start?
Here’s a simple declaration to get you going. I recently started using this because I’ve been scattering my energy instead of focusing it.
I wanted something on the ground level to build on and I decided this declaration was the best foundation:

“Of course I can.”

Use it or discard it as you see fit.

Want more affirmations? LaUna Huffines has some good ones at Path of Light.

And you can always make your own.

Think you can't?

Of course you can.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Booting The Past From The Present

Does your past catch up with you? Well, actually, it’s never left your side.
Significant emotional and physical events from life, whether it’s 30 years ago or 300, stick with us.

Energy from people and events pool in our enduring subconscious minds and help to form us into who we are today. If we want to successfully change who we are, then we often need to go back and find the event.

Past-Life Regression can get this done.

At this point I usually get snickers snorts, guffaws, and other assorted bits of derision. That’s fine. It’s where that person is; it’s got nothing to do with me.
But I get significant amount of genuine, if quiet, interest, too, and that’s wonderful.

Helping a client get to and get through a previous lifetime is instantly gratifying. I get to watch pain being shed and happiness taking over. I’ve seen understanding and realizations light up faces and I know this light comes from inside.
The help that revisiting past lives brings is visible, tangible, and immediate.
I’ve seen privileged to see lives change immediately, literally right before my eyes. Pain and insecurity fall away and are replaced by the strength and beauty that was there all along. They stand tall after booting their past from their present.

Am I bragging? No. Not really.

Clients do all the work themselves. They heal themselves. They change their own lives. All I do guide them through it.
I’m grateful for the trust they place in me and the chance to help.