A Little Happy Over and Over Equals a Good Day

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The sun on my driveway makes me happy, and so does the one bumble bee coming and going from my Creeping Rosemary plant. Today, I got out the View-Masters for Elliot, and it made me happy when he sat in my lap to check one out. It’s rare that he’s stationary, and I enjoyed watching his little finger slide the lever down frame after frame.

This writing is completely boring. It’s not meant to thrill, because I think that’s the problem. I would love a day of thrills, of exciting news over the phone, of emails that propose new ventures and projects. That’s not where I am though. I am a woman who sits on the driveway, in her dress pants, and helps her son try reel after reel. It’s not big, bold, and newsworthy, but it is my life. I’m tired of looking around and thinking things would be so much better if –.

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Our standards for “good” have gotten a little out of wack. Well, I don’t know about you. When I had my child, I wanted to go back to work. I put effort into writing, and I kept waiting to be found. It’ll be great when somebody sees me. It’ll be great when I can show people what I am really about. I’m getting lost again. Let’s head back to the driveway.

There are valuable lessons to be learned on this concrete slab. There are beetles to identify. There is the proper amount  of time to suck a popsicle before it falls off the stick. Don’t put the garden hose in mama’s exhaust pipe. Do let the neighbor’s puppy give you a little lick. All in all, it’s not loud. It ain’t the sweet breath of recognition from Oprah. It’s my beautiful boy not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.

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Eighth Dimension and The Girl in the Park Follow-Up

The day after I had the vision of being in the 8th dimension, in a class taught by the Dalai Lama no less, I had to acknowledge the crackle in the day’s energy. According to the Foundation for Global Humanity, those in the 8th dimension came up with the “blueprint” for Karma. In other words, that is a level of spirit where the teaching element of cause and effect is not necessary.

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What an idea? There is a level of existence where we’re all enlightened enough to treat each other well. There is place that challenges and where one is free to shed Karma like skin after a sunburn. I found it funny that upon receiving that vision my son decided to join with me and Boy George. You haven’t lived until you see a New Age mom, taking her Presbyterian baptized  son to his Methodist school as he sings Karma Chameleon. Incidentally, somebody made a penis and scrotum in the cement walk on the way into the school, and it’s a trinity that brings joy to my life every single school day.

That afternoon the angst-filled girl I wrote about the other day arrived at the park. She was hoping he would show up again: the forbidden boyfriend. She was one of those sparking fireworks that skids left and right only to make me nervous by going under a car. This young woman, instead, slid onto a bench at the picnic table where I was sitting. Okay, I thought, how do I make the best use of our proximity. How can I help, if at all? Then I saw it, boom! The girl that sat down at my picnic table, the day after I had the vision of the Dalai Lama, was wearing a Yin Yang necklace.

Tip #1: Anytime you want to start a conversion with a lady, complimenting her necklace is rock-solid.

“I like your necklace,” I said.

The girl told me that she and her boyfriend had the same necklace. She had heard that married people, or something like that, typically wear it. My empathy for this girl was fountaining out of the top of my head. Shit, okay, here we go, I thought.

I began by suggesting that it meant balance, and that balance wasn’t from an outside relationship but from within. If I was exploding with empathy, she was oozing grief.

“Even though he says he isn’t, I feel like he’s going to cheat on me,” she confided.

That’s when I truly saw myself at 15, the longing, the discomfort coming from feeling different, the yearning and fear that I’d never get enough to make it go away. I also knew in that moment that she was an empath in the psychic sense. This was the budding of a rose who didn’t understand why the sprinklers came on at random.

“Do you feel overwhelmed by the emotions of people around you,” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “I feel that way all the time.”

“You feel everything,” I said, “don’t you?”

She told me she did, took a deep breath, and wiped a rogue tear away.

The conversation went on, and I spoke to her in terms of we instead of you, because she needed to understand that this was a garden of insight that needed tending rather than a weight on her chest. She needed to see that she is part of an us. The world’s empathetic souls are some of the most creative, compassionate, and inspiring. She was just cleaning out the boxes in her basement.

“I have nightmares,” she said. “I dream that a family member close to me is going to die. I catch him as he falls.”

I told her a story that a wise man told me. It essentially says that when we let our demons catch us, we find out they are helpful and trying to warn us.

“Your dreams are just telling you there is fear in your life to try and work through,” I said. “Next time, let him fall.”

She laughed. “Just let him fall?”

I explained that pretty soon, the emotion behind it would be defused. She’d even be yelling at this dude to get the heck up. The world changed. Her world changed as our talk continued, and so did mine. We all want to feel useful, used by a purpose greater than our grocery list. On that day in the park, I felt that.

Self-Talk: The Mean Girl Inside

I am not a super competitive woman, but I find that I compare myself to other women a lot. It isn’t that I need to be better than everyone. I just want to know what you are doing that is working for you. I like you. We’re alike in many ways, but it feels like you are more accomplished. It feels like you are getting stuff done better than me, and I want to know why?
IMG_0491For many years, I have assumed that you have more discipline than me. It’s why you go to the gym more often. It’s why your house is cleaner, and why you have more money. This is my self talk on a light day.

My best friend, a woman I’ve known since we were both 14, is very different than me. She has a graduate degree in business. She has a very good job that pays well, and she has a happy marriage with two healthy kids. I admire her accomplishments so much. What in the world could a woman like that include in negative self talk? What was a woman doing so much right telling herself was wrong?

  1. She never gets everything done. This makes her unhappy.
  2. She wishes that she had enough time and money to give 100% to her family, work, home, and friends, and charity. She doesn’t. This makes her unhappy.
  3. She wishes she could enjoy watching her two children enjoy a movie. She can’t, because she’s worried about what should be getting done during that time. This makes her unhappy.

But wait, she’s getting stuff done better than me. Her mind is tearing it down though. Her thoughts are running the show, and  they are providing the entertainment for an ego that chews self-worth like a garbage disposal. But she’s got a Master’s degree, and I’m just a writer with a B effing A degree?! Her laundry smells better. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Her internal dialogue is needling away, just like mine. Where are we while this is happening?

We’re not in there. We cannot experience joy, otherwise known as peace, when we are absent. Imagine your body on the couch. Your family is gathered around for movie night. There is popcorn, a sleeping bag unzipped on the floor, the smell of butter in the air. The kids have wet hair from their baths, and you have a lap full of their bare feet. You aren’t really mom though. Your body is there,  an empty tennis ball can. You are the tennis ball. It’s up rolling around the laundry on the bed. Next it rolls down to the kitchen and the dinner dishes. Next it rolls to the bills on the ledge. Next it rolls out to the car that needs to be cleaned out. Next it rolls to the husband that hasn’t truly had your inner goddess in who knows how long. You roll under the furniture and see the dust, the forgotten areas, failures. By the time you’re back in the can, you’ve missed out and fed your ego a seven course meal.

Your self talk is now a tennis ball machine firing other people’s voices at you, those of your family, friends, coworkers. All you wanted to do was watch your kids watch Cinderella. Now you understand that you’ve been rolling all over the place. It’s time to work on staying present. Stay where you are and experience it to its fullest.

Stay tuned for the next lesson:  You aren’t even the ball.

A Teenage Girl In The Park

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I was at the park yesterday and got a jarring look at the angst of a teenage girl. It was shocking because she was unabashedly talking about longing for her boyfriend in front of two adults unrelated to her. There had been a grounding and consequently a week without a call from her boyfriend. She was angry that he had his friend call her and got on the phone to speak to her. She was angry that he respected her wishes when she told him not to do that anymore. It would get her in trouble. She was angry because there was a parental mandate that she couldn’t kiss him anymore. With wild pacing and hand gestures, anger turned to confusion as she explained she might be reunited with this boy for her 72 hours of good behavior. Nothing made sense. And to top it off she’d brought her big dog to the park, on a frigid day with only a light jacket, and this boy was supposed to be walking his dog. He was nowhere in sight.

One of the adults, a man, laughed and unmaliciously poked a little fun. He whispered “drama queen” under his breath, but I could see that her pain was real. I suspected that seeing this boy relieved that. He tweaked her emotions in a way which she couldn’t do for herself. He gave her self-worth.

She had lost it somewhere among her three other siblings. Her longing separated her from her family members. She was a weak link and didn’t like that about herself. There were other reasons not to like herself, but this boy didn’t see them. If he’d just bring his dog to the park on this very cold day, she’d be able to show us.

I wanted to fix it all, but I couldn’t.

“Where is he,” she whined.

“Hey,” I said trying to help, “you have years ahead of you where men disappoint you. No sense letting it all happen right now. Pace yourself. Don’t want to peak in your teens.”

She smiled and I fought the urge to grab her by the shoulders and put my forehead against hers. If there was a map in my memory that would help her avoid the pot holes, I wanted her to absorb it telepathically. I wanted to stop the train, but I looked up and she was gone. The boy had shown up and the sun was in the sky again.