Apple Seeds

I’ll never forget that time that I had a daughter, a sister soul, who needed my love more than anything in the world. Nothing could heal her, but the calm accepting grace of a fearless heart. She fought me like I was the Tiger she had always dreamed of becoming. And when it was over my soul broke into a million pieces on the floor of her father’s last bottle of whiskey, broken- as much in reality as in spirit.

His bones were my home, and they always knew how to find me. I lived on the dying breaths of that love until the sunrises turned to fall, until the last leaves fell, until the snow blanketed the ground so high that I couldn’t believe it. I survived on the last ounces of love and friendship left that I could hold in my heart, to hold me together-

until that last day. The months and months of waiting for a kinder more sober version of his soul to resurface. The long hours in the ER, watching my dying father. The last tears of his soul, plummeting me into and out of a giant void of death.

That last day, the day I knew he’d never return quite the same- I was standing with St. Francis, praying like a witch has never prayed before. Walking the halls of the hospital, over and over again- my sister hanging on to life, her doctors hanging on to a technological glitch in the universe, my mother hanging on to the chair half asleep, and me, hanging on to the last cup of coffee for miles- in this labrynth of a hospital.

I thought about her a million times, my daughter who was never my daughter. My sister spirit, and her heart so shattered already- who would be able to ever truly be there for her? The whiskey never let her father away for long. The drugs never let her mom rest, or find peace. Somewhere she would be, I knew many years from now- wondering- if that lesson she learned was really worth it? But then again I was her teacher, and I found myself wondering the same thing.

Kids are great they say, kids are amazing and horrible and inspiring, and terrible, and you’ll never be the same.

They were so incredibly wrong! She was just ready to be herself, and didn’t know it. The kid in her was already long gone- dying in the hands of the fists that raised her. Desperate for comfort from the arms of a woman who didn’t know how to love anymore. She would never be a child, only ever- a human half hurting half healing like the best always are. True in spirit, but cascading with grief in her eyes everyday of her life. Mourning the shadows of a darkness she couldn’t heal within herself, or her mom, or her dad, or her brother. She just needed a calm and pure heart, and hers was breaking.

He loved me so much more than I ever imagined I could be, loved. Truly. And I’ll never forget his words that last day- total silence as a bag of candy hearts socked me in the face. His defiance, though beautiful at times, was stinging- and his silence echoed.

My soul broke that day, that I had to watch her sweep away his child off to live with the grandparents again. The day that she knew was coming. She fell into his bottle with him, and there they made a home- or so I imagine somedays.

My heart once, itself, imploded in the thought in the belief, in the truth of her words. In the desperateness of thier struggle striking at me, for power and control. In her jealousy, I saw her- clear as day. In her beauty, I saw little but the mother who never was really there to care the way a mother should.

And so we had all decided to love her anyway, and when I left I knew it was the right thing- to say to myself, in my own tears- I will not regret the love I gave those who truly needed it, who had atleast some gratitude, but I will not live in thier darkness with them anymore. I will love her anyway. Even if she broke my heart a million times over, even if her father’s whiskey broke my soul. The heart break of loving a child who will never quite love you back the same as you love them, endlessly- is the hardest heart break of all I learned. To love someone who may only value it when you are gone, old, decaying.

She is not my own, she never will be. But she will always be loved fearlessly. For it takes a heart of steel to love those who need it the most. But they are the ones, ironically, who will always need you anyway.

To think, this all started with an apple- an offer- a decision, made between two people- one to help the other, and both to never be the same. All for one girl, to have a healthy happy home- someone she could linger with. A safe place, to call her own- and two strong caring adults to support her growth in good times and in bad.

Not surprisingly-The apple, didn’t care so much about being tossed out, rotted to it’s core. The apple wasn’t worried about the outcome, we were the ones too intent on it. Full of expectation, and void of logic.

Love always is.

Goodbye apple, I haven’t said it yet- but I thank you for the lesson. Keep her good. She’ll need it when I’m a thousand miles away, and can’t bail her out again. ūüôā ūüė¶ ‚̧

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Healing the Chalice (photo blog)

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Shifting of the tides- the well over flows. This is the new faucet after 50 years of changes- not quite the old pipe sticking out of the ground that it once was. Still beautiful.

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Amazingly¬†clear waters from the adjacent water table. ūüôā

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A magical journey to healing the waters- is marked by the beauty of the sun reflecting. No changes were made to these photos- at all- and I took them on my phone. Pretty awesome reflections today, quite literally dazzling!

 

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This I imagine is where all the water undines probably are hiding, it is thier¬†magical portal to the artesian well- not far below these stones. ūüôā Again, without any edits made to the photo-I just got lucky today!

 

 

Hungry

For plants and warm mornings…

for spirit and friendship…

For coffee in bed…

for mushrooms just because but maybe don’t eat those…

For waffles, usually home made…the poor way is much cooler…

and for love….

And chocolate always. ‚̧ ūüėČ


Drowning in Love

“She has the key to save him and change their situation. Regardless of how they got in this predicament, she STILL holds the key. Now she could give him the key and “set him free” but she doesn’t trust him. She thinks if he could get away by any means he would and leave her . . . . to die! But he wants to save her regardless of their situation. He will stretch himself far and thin in order to save her to have her to hold her. However he’s powerless to change anything his circumstance only but allows so much and unfortunately it will never be enough. Not enough to make her trust him and not enough to reach her. He’d break his own chains if he could but he simply can’t. And even though she’s the one dying, she has the most power. She could save them both but she would die before she trust him. And he’ll eventually die without the key.” -RJ

 

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The Stevie Nicks Concert

 

I have worked: Nickelback and Hoobastank, Elton John, Les Miserables, Annie, Peter Pan, and more all backstage. I have performed in Joseph with Troika Broadway Tours, and sang in Carnegie Hall. But this?

This takes the cake, here is the video from my first front row tickets to a concert ever!

Thank you universe for this tremendous gift. ‚̧

 

 

This song will be in my heart forever. <3

And yes, I am up there, third row, on the left side. Singing upper soprano for some god awful reason that year. Standing by my sister spirit, A, who had just had a half a lung removed for systs. which we thought were cancer at one point. This was such a big show for me, but I always come back to that song.

We sang this some time in the 90’s for a very rich donor’s funeral, and I never forgot important that moment was- to know that our music was so needed in the world. We were each pulled out of school early in the morning, for a mystery performance. None of us knew, the person had kept our organization going from the start. ¬†That day was such blur! But this song, It brought everyone to tears, I was only barely 12 years old. Singing this again at 34 was a huge moment!

I almost lost my best friend that season.. But through music.. we prevailed, and through music we are always connected. Always.

 

Why music will always be in the core of who I am. ‚̧

One Word Photo Challenge: Home

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My Theater Home: A trip to see Stevie Nicks in a venue downtown where I had only ever worked backstage. I had never had front row tickets to anything in my life, because every show I’ve ever worked was from behind the curtain, literally. This was the moment she tripped out remembering the strength it took to recover from the drugs, and all the years that came after.

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My everyday home: This amazing Harlequin Great Date- before she got too big for my little single woman bed. ‚̧

 

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‚̧ Home for Christmas was my long lost brother, who helped me in the silliness of doing something we had not done together since we were kids. But they turned out great!

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‚̧ Home: Chocolate, chocolate cupcakes. These are the new norm for our new sense of home now. After all these years of men and heartbreak, I have come to love sharing these with my mom, sister, and niece. What woman doesn’t love chocolate! With my fathers both passed, it is just us women now- and this is becoming our favorite recipe.

 

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My vacation home: people who make me laugh! The kind of friends you never forget, and every time I see this guy I kind of get the warm fuzzies. He’s just not normally in a bikini. lol. He and his woman have definitely changed my belief in monogamy for good.

 

My coffee retreat home:

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And this last photo, is Erica before she passed, may her soul find peace. The third shift waitress at my second home, which now destroyed is gone forever. But may her soul rest with that place of hope, and in the knowing that she is still loved in spite of her choices.

 

And, what I think is really home most days?

 

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Meditation, it’s just Buisness!

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For many people, business and spirituality are like oil and water. Of course, you’ve heard the age-old saying ‘you’ll be fine as long as you don’t bring up religion or politics’. Still, you’ve got to admit- the new agers have cornered the market on ‘monetizing spirituality’- and though some may disagree, there is a lot we can learn from them. They are selling out webinars, conferences, and one on one meetings left and right- and how are they doing it? Meditation!

You have to admit, falling back on all of our own ‘internal scripts’ usually means remembering all those great quotes by Dale Carnegie, or scrounging up a happy meme to re-ignite a tired sales team on a dull day. The truth is that we all know- this will never be ‘enough’ to fix the problem at it’s core. Our teams, though talented and diverse, consistently are struggling to balance the ebb and flow of being completely overwhelmed, and then sometimes totally ‘dead’- bored, and happily unmotivated. The truth is that often we actually need to step back as coaches, managers, recruiters, and salespeople- and just give ourselves permission for ‘one moment’ in a day to do two important things:

  1. Just Be: aka, pause, meditate, reflect, be yourself.
  2. Suspend Judgement: aka, give others space to be exactly who they are in this moment.

In the space of business, meditation actually fills an important role. It creates space a space of non-judgement, and it brings the mind to peace. Where normally we are preparing by hyper-focusing on the goal, meditation urges us to take a walk on ¬†the¬†wild side- do something different for a change, take a new route, change things up, and then come to the table ready to negotiate with fresh energy. As beneficial¬†as meditation can be in some important areas of education and career development, it is often ignored as a multicultural tool. Meditation ironically is a ‘multi-platform’ channel of it’s own- which overlaps with every religious belief in the world. Whether you are dealing with a renegade Christian¬†sales person who tries to convert every customer both to their brand and their products, or a ‘soft closer’ who is afraid to try something new- meditation is a new strategy that brings everyone onto the same playing field.

Here are a few strategies for implementing and developing ‘best practices’ for meditation in your workforce:

  1. Enforce your breaks. The first step is really, creating a space for meditation in a daily business environment. Wether you are managing a team of high anxiety sales people, or a team of students preparing for finals- your strategies will work a lot faster, by choosing to do something managers rarely do: enforce 5 to 15-minute breaks regularly. This gives your team a chance to change their¬†routine a bit, and may even engender their¬†trust in you as their ‘fearless leader’. If you are running solo, ask someone to help you be accountable for your break time- and keep it legitimately within your state’s standards.
  2. Create the Space. Meditation appears to most people to be one of the most complicated acts of choice in the world, but it is not. In this case, all you need is a quiet space. On your first break, look for a physical space that meets your basic standards. This does not need to be the new throne for an incoming guru- it can be the quiet corner of a warehouse, the bathroom nobody ever uses, or even your car at lunchtime. Avoid spaces that are unpredictably noisy, or breakrooms.
  3. Actually, Do It.¬†This will likely sound like the last thing you’d expect to hear. You need to actually go and do this, because the number one struggle most beginners have with meditation is following through. Wether you have to start over a million times from the beginning, or you have to literally stretch your legs repeatedly- there is no judgment in this moment. Keep doing it. Write down what you struggle with the most, and then use this as a framework for building tomorrow’s strategies. What you struggle with in meditation the most- will be most likely what you are dealing with at your core.

Remember: This is a private practice, and you do not need to share this information with anybody- but you may choose to talk it over with your spouse, your work buddy, or even an HR Coordinator in order to ‘refine’ your skills in meditation over time.

4. Closing with Grace: Find or use what best works for you in closing. If what you need is to say ‘Namaste’- then to yourself say this with the understanding of what it actually means. However, realize also that you are not training in the Buddhist monk Olympics- you are not being graded, and ‘Namaste’ is not needed or required. If you wish you can say the equivalent by using something similar such as:

“I honor myself as I honor the world.”

“I give gratitude for this day.”

“The love in me honors the love in the world.”

“I wish peace, love, and joy to the world.”

or you can get creative and keep it simple:

“May the Odds be Ever in My Favor.”

As you begin to develop your own strategies, you will most likely want to use a small journal or a notepad on your phone to record your own reflections. You may want to remind yourself the next day to try a different format, or to go to the bathroom beforehand. These, however, do not need to be complex notes on the fundamentals of universal healing poverty. These notes need to be more specific, short, and well thought out.

Believe it or not, just doing a simple meditation may be one of the hardest and yet most rewarding things you ever do for yourself!

In conclusion, whether you are managing a team, directing students, training managers, or even just serving some great food to some great people- meditation is something that you can work on by yourself every day in any environment, at any time, and anyway you like. You can choose a meditation as simple as ‘clearing your mind and breathing’, or you can choose something as complicated as reciting the Buddhist prayer for world peace 100 times. However, in all things- do what works for you. Do what helps you to be the most comfortable and at peace.

Set a timer, and come back to the world recharged, refreshed, and 100% in the now.

By: Empowered Feeback (reblogged)

Empowered Feedback- sales, recruiting, and coaching