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Friday, June 22, 2012

Difficult day....challenging decision...

Okay, sometimes life just pushes too much...

Did you ever wish you could, for just like 15 minutes, be five years old again?  And curl up in someones arms that is stronger and smarter and more in control than you are?  And feel safe and warm and confident that everything is fine and is going to be fine?  That is what I want today.

Sometimes unexpected decision making needs, in situations that are far more complex than they look from the outside, make me feel that way.  That is how I feel today.  I just wish I even had one other person who understood all the aspects of this particular situation--as there are just too many to try to explain, and could just be here.  A little hand holding from someone that gets it would be akin to feeling like a 5 year old safe in a loving snuggle.  But alas...I am alone in this, and need to hope and pray that I make the decision that is best for me and my children, and not worry about what others believe about what I should decide.  My life, my whole purpose, right now is to do what is going to best help these two children grow into their fullest potential in ALL areas of their personal development--physically, academically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, etc..., which is a very different goal than anyone else involved in this situation...

Anyone have magic wand to make me 5 years old, and give me a snuggle for a bit and then return me to my adult self?

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 Today's gratitude list helps me to remember that there are so many things to be grateful for in this life.  We can take so much for granted that we miss the amazing blessings which are right in front of us all the time.

I was realizing this morning that my life feels like it is running on a road parallel to where it is supposed to be, and I can see that smooth, easier to travel road at glimpses through the tree and across the median, but I seem to be on a this bumpy, not well maintained road that has a lot more curves and potholes.  The view is not as clear from this road as the trees on the sides are a bit over grown and the road sometimes narrows because things are encroaching.  I know that there is  away over to the brighter, clearer road, and I am traveling in the right direction for what I need for my spirit.  Part of what has kept me on the road that near to but not quite true to myself is that I allow the worries and stresses of the day to get in the way of doing the things that I need to do to realize my full potential. 

Some examples include: Allowing my habit of eating in response to stress to get in the way of having a healthier weight and body composition; allowing myself to stress about things I can not change, which interrupts my sleep patterns making it harder to concentrate; allowing my worries about people, places, bills, income, the car, the schools, the kids, the dog, the house, etc... take over a significant portion of my mind and heart, not giving room for the spiritual and physical exercises which would promote a more relaxed and healthy state of being, and clear my mind in a way that allows for expansion of positive energies in my life.

Discipline--it boils down to discipline--practicing the life I want even when I do not feel like it.  I played sports for most of my high school years--soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and tennis in the spring.  There were days I did not want to practice, but to play the game you have to practice, so you have to be disciplined.  The be a member of the team you have to show up and be present with everyone else.  I had no problem doing that back then (even though I sucked at sports, I still loved to play and loved to cheer my teammates on).  As a kid I played an instrument (the trombone to be exact), and when I first started out, it sounded like a dying moose.  But I got better and had fun, and was in the band and the jazz band in high school--and it was discipline and practice that brought about a better player.  In college I used to exercise 5 days a week, because it made me feel better and was actually fun, so I know how to make the time to do so. I used to do a mediation/prayer time every day--great alone time connecting with The Divine, my Source, my Creator, My God--and sometimes I did not want to take the time to do it, but I made sure that I stayed committed to doing so for long periods of time, and my spirit flourished and was able to bless others regularly. While at ECHO, I loved that I found a dojo and started some martial arts training, my body never felt better, stronger, or more flexible, or my spirit more balanced, than it did during that period of my life.  It took discipline, commitment, and practice--and even though I sometimes ditched my dojo to go out for $1 margaritas with Carol on a few Monday evenings--for the most part I was disciplined and loved my training and my dojo.

So, in reflection, I know that I feel better--body, mind, and spirit--when I push my body to new levels on a regular, consistent basis.  I know that I feel better--body, mind, and spirit--when I am disciplined about my time connecting with the Powerful Consciousness that created and sustains all things.  I know that I feel better--body, mind, and spirit--when I create--either drawing, singing, building, or writing, for it gives my mind a chance to practice and play, and when I am doing it consistently, my life flows better.

So today, and everyday, I make the commitment to push my body to do more, to take time to connect with the Great Dragon (another name I call God), and to create something new...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Well, I have been enjoying doing my gratitude lists, they definitely make for a more wonderful start to the day, as when you start your day looking at things you are thankful for, the day just feel lighter.  So I did Day 6 of my gratitude list, which can be found on my website (click here).

Yesterday was Josiah's last day of school, well until summer school starts on July 2nd, if we can even get him in.  We have his meeting on Thursday to try to figure out summer and next year's placement.  I have read a 16 page report of the neuropsychologist, which reflects much of what I had been thinking, with some things that I was not sure I wanted to hear.  She was very thorough and very gracious and kind, and she really liked Josiah, which always makes a person a good doctor for him in my book.  So we will be taking that report into account as we make decisions and hope that we make ones that will be good for him, nurturing his challenges, and supporting his need for support in self-regulation and academic success.

Well, Josiah is now up and throwing a football too me, making it hard to type.  And my little charges will be here soon, so I will have my hands full in a few moments.  Time to get breakfast together.  Oh, and getting six hours of sleep felt SO GOOOD!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Well, I was going to post a longer post, with a number of topics that had been rolling around in my head as I was cleaning the kitchen this evening.  But now that I sit down and look at the time, being nearly midnight, and as I have not gotten to bed before 2 am in a couple of weeks, I had promised myself that tonight I would be under the covers by midnight. 

So, in the interest of actually transforming my life, which is the topic of my blog (I sometimes forget that), i am going to give my body, mind, and spirit a gift--and go to bed at  a time when I can actually have more than 6 hours before the alarm goes off in the morning.  What a luxurious thought--six whole hours of sleep; I will not say uninterrupted sleep as I do have two kids who sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, but six hours of sleep, even with a small interruption, sounds heavenly.

So poodles, I am off to bed...May all who read this blog be blessed with a slumber that is filled with dreams of peace, joy, and fulfillment, and may you wake in the morning with a renewed sense of who YOU are and your place in the world...


(well that is actually a greeting that roughly translates to "I see you"from a more complete connection, not so much a sign off, but I discovered it today, and I like the sentiment and the larger story behind it--to learn more, check here).

Blessings Abound

Well, I had a wonderful set of connections yesterday.  To begin with my dear friend Liz called from California and we had a wonderful conversation.  I love connecting with friends.

Then I had looked up an old friend who I mentioned in my last post, Karen, and actually found her on facebook, so we have now been able to reconnect after nearly 2 decades.  Which is just an amazing, amazing gift.

And I chatted with my best friend for quite a while last night, which is always a blessing, and one that I experience a few times a week (though lately life has been busy on both ends so Kay and i have not been able to connect as often). 

I also got to bed before 2am last night, which is great, and my goal is to get to bed before midnight tonight--which would feel like heaven...

I really, really enjoyed doing my gratitude list this morning,a s it was filled with people--which are truly the greatest blessings in my life.  Today, take the time to connect with a few of the amazing people in your life--both old friends and new ones.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Spirit Level...VERY long post

Have you ever encountered another person, be it online or in person, regardless of how the connection initialized, and found yourself fascinated and drawn by that person? 

Sometimes you cannot even put your finger on what it is that has drawn you to that person, but there it is---this intrigue, this fascination, this.......overpowering desire to know and be known by that person. 

I have this experience every few years, where I will meet someone who just grabs my soul's attention, and I cannot walk away from them, even if the possibility of getting to know them seems like it would be impossible to make a connection. 

The first time I remember feeling this intense spirit level need for a particular connection was when I was about 11 years old.  The result ended up being a long nearly 15 year pen pal with my camp counselor Karen, who was an amazing woman who taught me so much, and whose life I got to watch unfold as she went to college, got married, formed a family, had tragedies and joys--her life was a great example to me, teaching me through a very difficult adolescence and early adulthood.  I did eventually lose touch with her, but she is never far from my heart, and crosses my mind often.  She was a gift to me, and she thanked me for being part of her life as well, though I have no idea what I brought to her.

The second time I had this draw to a person was a couple years later when I was around 13 (during the beginning of that difficult adolescence that I mentioned--which by the way was all internal, for the most part I was an easy teenager on the outside, but I had many internal struggles that I rarely shared) to a girl, Jen, a few years older than me, and she really helped me during my middle school years as a mentor and helping me connect to the right avenues to find support.  I do not know what I gave her, if anything, but I know the guidance she gave me.

The next time I felt this extreme fascination for another person, it was in my freshman year of college, and she was a fellow freshman, and we connected through mutual friends.  She is my Lizzer.  Our friendship grew over a few months, she was not an instant friend, but we had an instant connection, and I remember her telling me once that she thought I was an angel sent to help her through a very difficult time.  But she was my angel who helped me through many difficult times.  She and I became as close as two friends can be for a time, sharing so much of our lives.  We have been through a variety of spiritual explorations, seen each other through various relationships, celebrated each other’s journey to parenthood, and even though she lives on the other end of the country and we have not actually seen each other in six years (she has never met Josiah is person (though she has met Gonzo) and I have never met her little Owen in person), she is still one of the nearest and dearest people to my spirit--a true soul mate in the purest sense of having souls that are connected beyond time and space.   She is still an inner circle, heart level friend, who blesses my life every time I even think about her.  For the past 20 years, she has been one of the greatest gifts I have had enter my life.  I am looking forward to seeing her this summer sometime, with a couple of other friends whose friendships have withstood the test of time over the past 20 years since we all met in college.

The intense intrigue that I felt a couple of years later towards an amazing young lady in my Discovery class, I knew it meant that person would play a significant role in my life.  Even though we had many differences and I, at first, could not see a point of connection, I KNEW that ShawnE was a spirit level connection, because I felt it the first time I met her.  She has taught me so much over the years, and brought so many blessings into my life, my heart, and my mind that I cannot imagine a life without her smile and her presence. But I knew that first day that she was going to be significant.  18 years later, she is still a beautiful and amazing heart level friend, who is on my mind more often than you can imagine.  And every time we connect--be it through Facebook, email, written letters, phone, or the rare in person times, my heart and spirit are blessed beyond measure and explanation from this person who shares my heart, even though we live very different lives and have very different perspectives on so many things.

About a year later, I met this quiet, seemingly shy, very interesting woman at her house as I helped her move--she was the girlfriend of my best friend Kay’s colleague,  whom Kay had volunteered us to help them move.  There was a strength of spirit and wonder that surrounded Nykie, and though I felt (and really was) so completely out of my element, out of my comfort zone, that first day that I met the "Ford and Nykie" crowd, I knew there was something amazing about that quiet woman.  She is woman of amazing strength and stamina, an overcomer, a person who inspires me with her ability to roll with the punches of life, and come out as herself.  I miss her nearly every day; she is a blessing to my heart and to my life.  So many things I experienced through knowing her, and her forgiveness, her level of acceptance, and the just amazing spirit she carries--even when she cannot see it in herself.  She is a heart level friend, an inner circle spirit blessing being.  It has been 17 years since we first met, and nearly 9 years since I have given her a hug and seen her face to face.  I need to make a trip to Indiana, soon...

By the time I met Liz A, I knew what that intense feeling meant--within moments of walking into my ichthyology class a few years later, I just knew that THERE was a person who would grow into a heart level friend.  I had learned to trust that knowledge, that gift from God in a person.  I think I even went to Kay’s house (my best friend since our freshman year--who, by the way, did not give me that intense initial reaction, but has been a heart level friend for so long, so it is not exclusive to the amazing friendships I have, it is just that EVERY time I have felt it, there has been a significant contribution that that person made to my life and hopefully that I have made to theirs--it is a different connection than the typical one that has grown over time--it is like that connection already exists), and I said to her that I had met someone who was going to become an amazing friend.  And that Liz did--that dynamic, intense, motivated, fun, fun, fun, real, genuine, amazing human being became one of my dearest friends.  And what a life she has lived, what tragedies she has overcome, what adventures she has created, and what an inspiration she has been to me. For 14 years, she has had an special place as a heart level friend, and I WILL find a way to see her this year--even if I cannot attend her marriage, I will find a way to give her my blessings with a hug (as she has an amazing hug).

The next time I got that sense was about 3 years later when I was living in Ithaca, and we were meeting our new associate pastor.  Jacquie walked into the room, and my spirit did a backflip.  It was the most intense reaction I have EVER had to seeing another person.  I almost had to leave the room because my initial reaction was to run over to her and give her a hug and tell her I had missed her--a person whom I had never met in this lifetime.  Jacquie is hands down the most incredible spirit I have ever had the gift of meeting.  She is so many different things to me--she is my mentor, my friend, my teacher, a physical manifestation of God's love, an amazing human being, and a beloved gift to my heart.  She taught me the most valuable lesson that I have ever learned--that Shame Lies.  It may not mean much to others, but that lesson, the unconditional love that she taught with those two simple words freed me from so much that held me back from being myself, from embracing the gifts that I have been given.  I miss Jacquie every moment, and yet I always feel connected to her too.  It has been nearly 12 years since my spirit recognized her, and it has been 3 years since I have seen her face to face,  but she IS a large part of my heart.  And I hope that I can bless her in even a fraction of the ways she has blessed me.

A little over two years later I met Carol at ECHO 9 years ago, and even though I met so many amazing people at ECHO, people who are near and dear to my heart, she was the one that I had that initial, intense fascination with.  The sense that said "this person is significant for you".  Carol's laugh--her wonderful, amazing, incredible laugh--is one I can still hear echoing in my head, as it is a laugh that bring joy, pure joy.  Carol taught me to accept myself and accept what others can share, without trying to add more or take anything away.  There are many other things that carol brought into my life that is harder to define, but she brought me joy and acceptance--two gifts everybody always can use more of.  I have not seen Carol in a number of years, but she remains a very special person in my heart, and a friend who will always have a place in my life and my spirit.

A few years after that, I met a man named Joseph at a church meeting.  He was sitting across the room from me with a number of other people at this introductory meeting, and I just kept being drawn to him.  There was something about him that drew the focus of my spirit and my attention.  I chatted with this shy, quiet, gentle person afterwards, and just felt an instant connection—no THAT instant connection, one that I was now familiar with.  This was during the whole adoption saga and the Josiah medical intensive care emergencies insane life oh my God what the hell period of time (Yes I intentionally did not use punctuation, as that is how life felt at the time--no pauses, no commas, no period, no breaks).  The next few times I met this person, it was as he was in the M to F transgender process.  And I always felt this strong, strong pull towards Josie (which is who she is now).  Every time I encountered her at church or in the community, I knew that there was a connection I needed to make.  I loved Josie's hugs, Josie's gentle, kind, and loving presence.  I wanted so much to develop our friendship, and we had talked a number of times about connecting and getting together, but with the urgent chaos of my life at that time, I did not make the time to truly make that connection.  During the 2 years that I knew Josie with brief conversations, short connections, and the times we talked about connecting outside of church, I felt that it had to happen, there was something that was necessary to be shared--though we never got the chance to open that gateway, whatever it was--a lesson, a gift, a blessing, who knows...And it feels like such a significant loss, a hole in my spirit where something more was supposed to be.  A gift that I did not give and a blessing I did not receive.  I have completely lost touch with Josie.  I have a deep desire to connect with Josie again.  I have not seen her for about 4 years, as the time leading up to our move back to the Adirondacks was fraught with hell (to put it bluntly).  I have no idea how to even contact Josie, but I would love to connect, because there was, no…no, there IS something there.  When I think of Josie that strong draw, that significant pull is still there even after all these years.  It is something that is unfinished that makes my heart ache.  There is a blessing trapped in limbo...

It has been a few years since I have had that intense awareness, intrigue, fascination--whatever I call it--no word makes sense or fits this feeling well.  But anyway, with the insanity...hell... disconnection... fear... whatever these past few years have been consumed with has left me without connecting with new people.   So believe my surprise when this year I have had the experience of that feeling TWICE.  Never before have I had two people enter my life in such close succession that give me that sense of knowing there is something significant there.  

In February, I met this amazing, incredible, beautiful woman who lives on the other side of the world.  In so many ways we are worlds apart--figuratively and literally.  We connected online having a very incredible discussion about philosophy and labels and self-understanding.  It was the first time I have ever felt that feeling of--Oh my gosh, this person is a significant person to my spirit in some way--with a person I have never met face to face.  Abigail is such an incredible and amazing young woman, who has blessed my life, blessed my heart, and reminded me that can feel, that I can laugh, that I deserve to be happy.  And I have passed on the blessings that Jacquie taught me about the fact that shame lies, which was a gift that Abi needed.  Over the past few months, Abi is a significant, amazing person, who quickly has become so close to my heart.  I have enjoyed emailing, chatting, and skyping with her.  I am so blessed to know that she and her husband will be parents for the first time in a few months.  I am so blessed to know that she is finding more and more of herself, and her life.  I am so blessed to have met this incredible person, and she woke me up--which is a significant blessed gift that I did not know I needed.  I hope that she and I can have a long, incredible friendship.

Then about a month ago, I came across this fascinating person on the internet named Beth.  And when I first discovered her, I just let myself be fascinated for a few days--there are many fascinating people out there, but I rarely feel the need to say anything to them.  But this person got stuck in my head, with that same intriguing, intense, sense of need to connect.  So I sent her an email.  And we have exchanged a few emails, some with more "meat" than others.  We even met for coffee/soup last week briefly, which was great.  She is as fascinating and intriguing in real life as she is online.  And I still have the sense that there is something of significance that I need to connect with her on or about.  I fear that she may be thinking that I am kind of insane.  Honestly how crazy does it sound to have an random stranger tell you that they think they have a spiritual message or blessing to deliver to you but are not yet sure what that message or blessing is....  It is one of those spirit level connections that is looming but has not yet been fulfilled.  Knowing the sense I have surrounding Josie and the fact that she and I never really connected, and the sense of loss or incompleteness that still looms, I do not want repeat that error by walking away from this person, but more than that, there is something that I just cannot put my finger on that draws my attention, my focus, my spirit to her--and the only time I have ever had this sense, this feeling has resulted in the significant and amazing connections with the wonderful, beautiful, incredible people that I have written about in this post.  

So I have been thinking, and meditating, and praying, and listening to the amazing speakers in Healing with the Masters and the Self-Worth Summit, and have been exploring myself and my sense of self-worth (which seems to be less than it should be lately), and I have come to the conclusion that I am asking the wrong questions of myself and of the Spirit.  I need to stop wondering what on earth I can offer--what DO I have to offer, as I feel like I do not have much.  Perhaps I should ask the questions What do YOU need?  Maybe rather than coming from me, the answer needs to come from the other maybe I just need to ask the right question...  Perhaps the question should be "How is your spirit?" or "What does your spirit love?"  Those are both great questions--not mine, taken from Sonia Choquette, one of the Healing with the Masters presenters...

So my friends, my heart gifts, my beauties—What does your heart need? How is your spirit?  What brings you joy?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Great quote

"Having the courage to feel is having the courage to live."

--Panache Desai
Inspirational Visionary and Contemporary Spiritual Master

I heard him say it on the which has a number of amazing recordings from amazing speakers for a limited time as they are replaying selected sections from the series that just ended.  Check it out---it is free and amazing!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shifting from grumpiness to gladness I am not sure why, but I seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and have been incredibly grumpy this morning.  My beloved children seemed to respond to my grumpiness by trying their darnedest to see how much grumpier they could make me.   So, it was a good example of the Law of Attraction, the more i looked at my grumpiness and all the things  in my life and in myself that I feel grumpy about, the more things seemed to come up that increased my grumpy mood.

So finally, I woke up to the fact that I was not going to improve my day unless I shifted my focused and find a way--ANY WAY--to feel better.  So I have been shifting my focus to more positive focuses--sending emails to some of the people who have been sitting on my heart, just to let them know that they are being thought about and that they are cared about in this world; trying to provide a yummy lunch for the kids with stuff that makes them happy (so lunch was pepperoni, cheese sticks, goldfish crackers, and sliced apples); and reading through a variety of information on increasing the gratitude in my life, which helped prepare me to do a gratitude list--which is the most powerful way to shift from a negative attitude to a positive one.  So I did my Day 3 gratitude list (click here).

While I am still in the shift from grumpiness to gladness, my mood, attitude, and focus is much improved from what I was experiencing and creating a few hours ago.  A good reminder to shift my focus in order to shift my day.  Now if I can just do that in the financial arena and count those blessings instead of looking at the challenges, then maybe I can shift into abundance...

My blessings for all of you who are reading--May you get teh desire to count your blessings and let it make you FEEL BETTER.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Remembering Cheryl Beckett

I was looking through old photos tonight and I came across one that I love of myself and a bunch of my colleagues & friends from ECHO from 2003.  We were all going to a nice dinner or something (I forget now), so we are all dressed up--which is fun as we were all working in hands on sustainable agriculture and spent most of our time working in the dirt, so getting dressed up was a rarity.  This is the picture (don't I look healthy and good (in the back all the way to the right is me--my hair was long then)).  

Next to me in the back row is my old friend and former housemate at ECHO--Cheryl Beckett.  As much joy as this picture brings, it also brings pain.  Cheryl went on to work with children and women refugees who were displaced by the fighting in Afghanistan.  For a number of years she worked in some very dangerous places, giving her heart and her care to the women and children who needed it so much.  In 2010 while working in the hill country of Afghanistan, Cheryl and her team of aide workers were gunned down by the Taliban.  All were killed.  I did not know any of the other members of her team, but if they were anything like Cheryl...well, the world lost some amazing people that day.  I am sure the world loses amazing people everyday, but that day, I knew one of the greatest people to have blessed the earth in my lifetime.

For some reason one story about Cheryl that comes to mind was a morning when we were getting ready to head to the main part of the farm complex, and I was in my bathroom at one end of the house, and I hear this piercing scream from the other end of the house, so I run over to Cheryl's room and she is wrapped in her towel having jumped out of the shower, and is laughing very hard at herself.  A frog had gotten in (which was very, very common--frogs and lizards were always finding ways into the house) but she had not noticed a large frog which was up near the shower head, and it had startled her enough to create a scene (she was not normally scared of frogs or anything at all, it was just the unexpected presence that shocked her).  I took the frog out for her, and she finished her shower, but for some reason, that moment, the laughter in her voice after having a scare, the amazing person that she was--just  that smile, that joy--That was Cheryl.  There are so many other, more flattering sotries I could tella bout her, but for some reason when I think of that morning, I can hear her laugh and just remember her joy and her strength. 

I think of that story perhaps because the other night Josiah crawled into my bed complaining of frogs in his room.  I though he must have been dreaming, but low and behold the next morning, there was a frog hopping around in his room!  So those frogs made me think of Cheryl and her frog.  And then tonight when I came across this picture, I just have been reflecting on Cheryl, and on so many other amazing people that have walked on this journey of life with me--some for longer than others. 

Cheryl was the kindest, most genuine, and truly giving person that I know.  She was fun, she was serious, she was forgiving, she could see the silver lining even when she was saddened or angered by someone or something--and was a laughter through the tears person.  I remember so many things about Cheryl, She always knew when someone needed a hug or  listening ear, and was already willing to give either or both.  She was dedicated to her work, always up and ready to go out the door.  She was dedicated to her faith, and did not just talk about love, forgiveness, giving of yourself, but lived it...nay, embodied it.  She was down to earth, kind--so, so kind, and real, genuine, honest about who she was.  I have seen her happy and sad, forgiving and angry, upset and gracious.  I missed Cheryl before her early death as our lives grew apart when I left ECHO and later adopted the kids and she headed off to other parts of the world, but she was always close to my heart.  I would have loved to see her one more time, one last time, to thank her for all that she taught me about being Love and Light in the world. 

So here I am still awake at 2:30am (I have having a bout of insomnia lately anyway), and what am I doing?  I am reflecting on Cheryl Beckett--her strength, her courage, her love, her laughter, her heart, her spirit, her incredible hugs, and her amazing smile.  My life has greater meaning because for a time, I worked, walked, and lived with one of the strongest and most blessed gifts that God put on this earth.  I was blessed by in peace my friend, and I look forward to seeing you again someday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Falling behind....and link to day 2 gratitude list

Well, I have not been doing my food tracking or my gratitude lists as I had committed to doing daily.  There are many reasons for this, but they all sound like hollow excuses, so I am not going to list them. 

It has been a busy week in some ways, and a non-productive week in others.  I find myself not using good time management, nor having the energy to do the things I need to and want to do.  So I am falling behind in many things.  Between car trouble, computer and cell phone issues, and general feeling of poor self-worth (I REALLY need to start listening to the Self-Worth summit that I have linked at the top of this page!  I always helps), I am just taking it moment by moment today.

I wrote a blog post yesterday, which I took down (something that I said I would never do). Sometimes we all write when we are over the top and then wake up the next day and ask ourselves if it was actually wise to say that.  I wish it were that easy with email--to be able to call back an email that had been sent the night before would be such a gift to fools like me who sometimes write when they are too tired or overwhelmed to use good judgement.  Even Facebook has a "remove comments" button, as they get that sometimes we all can be idiots and say idiotic things.  Oh well, such is life and the way of expressing with out filtering first.    At least blogging has a way to remove posts that should never have been shared in the first place.  So only those who had the unlucky  issue of checking the blog late at night or early in the morning had to read the stuff that I should not have posted.

Anyway, to try to shift my energy from negative to positive (or at least towards a more positive focus) I did keep my commitment to blog my gratitude list today, which can be found by clicking here.

Well, I am off to try to clean out my car and try to limp it back down to an appointment that I can not cancel a fourth time.  So send me your positive energy, your prayers of an uneventful drive down and back to the appointment with the kids, and send a new car  ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

28 Days of Gratitude

Gratitude, and the expression and deep feeling of gratitude, is one of the most transformative powers in the universe.  As my life feels "stuck" in so many areas right now, it has come to my attention that I have not been spending enough time expressing and feeling gratitude, and too much time allowing worries and fears take over.  SO I am committing right now, today, that right NOW and for the next 28 days I will count my blessings.  For 28 days I will list ten things each day that I am thankful for, and WHY I am thankful for those things.

However they will be on my Gratitude blog, so each day I will post the link to that day's gratitude list on this blog (rather than re-blog it all over the place).  So today's gratitude list can be found by clicking  here on my gratitude blog.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Very cool series

I was finishing up the Healing with the Master's Volume 9 inspirational webinar series, and I happened up a link to another series that started in Early May, but goes through most of the summer, so there are still many speakers to go.  It is free to sign up and get on the calls.  Even if you can not be on the live call, they record them and have them available for you to listen to for 48 hours after each speakers call.  I never seem to be able to be on the live calls, but I greatly enjoy listening to and learning from them as I have time later in the evening.  It is usually 2 calls a week, so just 2 hours a week of power and profound spiritual, mental, and emotional guidance and teachings for self empowerment and growth from some of the best in their fields.

I have placed a banner at the top of my blog that links to the site.  You just sign up and they will send you email reminders of upcoming calls.  NO pressure, no cost, no obligation to listen to all of the calls--Just an offering of amazing teachings, philosophies and techniques to help you grow.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Wow--what a week!

Okay, so I am really tired today--it has been one long week....

So there was an insurance glitch and so A did NOT go into rehab on Monday and was at my dinner table Monday night (and Tuesday and Wednesday night...)  But thankfully the insurance glitch got straightened out and A left for rehab yesterday and has started the journey towards a new or renewed life.  I will have to figure out when I can clean out A's apartment and arrange to move all of A's furniture into storage (in my garage)

The carpet is down in the daycare area of the house as of Wednesday--YAY!!!  it has been professional cleaned and has dried, thus ready for the room to be set up as of today. I have been getting the base boards together and need to cut a few to fit, so hopefully tonight I will have the big room's baseboards done after work.  And today will be the last day of babysitting outside of my home, as this weekend I should be able to get the daycare area all set up and ready to roll, so the two kids I currently babysit can come here and play.  AND I will hopefully be able to be ready for upcoming inspections in the day care licensing process, which will allow me to more than 2 children in addition to my own. You can watch up to two children at any given time in NYS without a license, but need a license to watch more--the license I am applying for will allow me to watch up to 6 kids in addition to my own.  If demand is great, I will hire on a co-worker and apply for group family licensing, which allows up to 12 children with two adults.  For now I will start with the smaller one, as that is what I have been working on, and I will have a licensed alternate provider and a couple of approved substitutes who will be able to take over if I am running around to appointments with my kids.

Yesterday was a crazy day as Josiah had his Neuropsychological evaluation, which was an hour and a half away, and took 6 hours (9:30am-3:30pm).  He spent most of that time working with the psychologist solo, while I had my own forms and paperwork to fill out in the waiting room. He did very well and worked very cooperatively with her.  She really was a wonderful person, and made both Josiah and I feel very at ease and comfortable.  A genuine, kind human being--so she was very easy to like and Josiah took a liking to her right away.  That made things much much easier.  So I am hoping that the information that she was able to get yesterday combined with the information I had provider earlier, and the information from the school, as well as her observations from the day she came to observe him at school, will help be enough for her to determine what is going on with him and how best to help him with the behavioral and emotional issues that have been developing and worsening over the past year.  I am putting a great deal of hope into Dr. McCabe's lovely hands.

Coming up next week--Josiah sees his pulmonary doctor, Gonzo sees his allergist (on different day, both of whom are nearly 2 hours away--the joys of specialist), and at Josiah's school it is heritage week, so many various activities including a trip to the museum, which I need to figure out a Way to attend or else he can not go.  Actually, he really just needs a family member to go with him, so maybe I can ask my father or my nephew Jess--Can you believe it, my little Jessi is 18 years old!! and heading off to college in the Fall!!  WOW time flies--and I feel old, I was an adult (19) when Jessi was born and now he is an adult--just amazing to me some days.

I will post later about how the eating life style change is going--lets just say for now that changing habits is a challenging thing, and it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, so it has to be conscious effort during those 21 days to embrace the new lifestyle habit, after that it gets easier.  Eventually it becomes second nature an you don't even have to think about it.  I need to get more sleep on a regular basis, I think that would go a LONG way to helping me maintain the focus and will to change habits a bit more successfully--I have not given up, just have had a couple of days where old habits have superseded fledgling new habits, but that is for another post later....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

thoughts and day 2 recap

So, I guess I could call this day 2 of this particular journey of the rest of my life, even though, as I made the point yesterday, EVERY day is the first day of the rest of our lives. Within the context of this renewed focus on moving forward in healthy ways, I will call this day 2.

Well, I am actually finishing this post on Day 3. 

The hardest part about changing eating habits--or any habits for that matter--is the fact that habits are unconscious, we often are on automatic pilot, and so we make choices without realizing that we are.  When I got in the car yesterday, there were a couple of skillets left in a little dish that Josiah had snacked on, and without thinking I just popped them in my mouth.  When trying to change my eating lifestyle, to reduce my intake of processed food and refined sugars, it was definitely NOT on the menu.  What has surprised me most is how often I have caught myself doing the same thing over the past few days--
-pouring a bowl of Apple Jacks for Jos and almost sampling a spoonful
-setting out snack of goldfish crackers and almost popping a few in my mouth
-getting a cup of juice for Gonz and taking a few sips
-searching around the kitchen for a healthy snack and almost grabbing a couple of saltines from the counter as I was searching

All of these little unconscious eating habits that are not even part of what I would have looked at in the scheme of "what did I eat today" because they were not on my radar, they were just a taste here and a taste there while I did other things.  I am sure, given the current awareness of it, that it added many calories and sugars to my day. 

As I focus again on transforming my life through habit change, I am becoming more aware that my default, habitual thought patterns have gravitated towards more negative veins than positive.  So, it is time for an attitude shift as well as a nutrition shift...

Well, now for a recap of day 2:
My DAILY goals:
-Eat 2000 calories a day or less
--Day 2 total 1721 calories

-Drink at least 100oz of water every day
--Day 2 total 104oz water

-Eat 120 grams of carbohydrate or less per day (as per diabetes educator rec), at least 1/4 of which are from fresh veggies
--Day 2 total 129 grams carbohydrate

-Eat 35 grams of fiber or more a day
--Day 2 total 27 grams fiber

-Eat 120 grams of protein or more per day (at least 25% from vegetable protein)
-- Day 2 total 79 grams protein, 24% from plant sources

-Eat 80 grams of fat or more per day (at least 10g from saturated medium chain veg fat (yes saturated, yes from plants))
  --Day 2 total 103 grams fat, 45 of which were saturated--all from animal base sat fat

-Eat at least 3 grams of Spirulina per day (max 20 grams)
--Day 2 total zero grams

-Eat at least 7 servings of vegetables(2 servings of Leafy Greens) per day
--Day 2 total 6 servings of veggies, of which 2 leafy greens

-Reduce refined sugar intake to less than 30 grams/day (incl. table sugar, candy, and sugars IN foods)
--Day 2 still trying to figure out how much was in the processed foods I ate.

-Eliminate wheat and wheat based ingredients
--Day 2 --no wheat that I am aware of

-Walk at least 1.5 mile per day at least 5 days per week
--Day 2 did not walk

-Meditate and/or pray for 20 or more minutes a day (can be broken down into 5 min segments)
--Day 2 meditated on William Linville's Awaken to your True Purpose through Healing with Masters, a one hour audio program

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 1 recap

So yesterday I did a somewhat sloppy start to keeping near the general guidelines I had set out for myself in my preparation post (the more in depth rational for which can be found in through a variety of previous posts, too many to link to).

My DAILY goals:
-Eat 2000 calories a day or less
--Day 1 total 1990 calories

-Drink at least 100oz of water every day
--Day 1 total 76oz water

-Eat 120 grams of carbohydrate or less per day (as per diabetes educator rec), at least 1/4 of which are from fresh veggies
--Day 1 total 131 grams carbohydrate

-Eat 35 grams of fiber or more a day
--Day 1 total 24 grams fiber

-Eat 120 grams of protein or more per day (at least 25% from vegetable protein)
-- Day 1 total 131 grams protein, 16% from plant sources

-Eat 80 grams of fat or more per day (at least 10g from saturated medium chain veg fat (yes saturated, yes from plants))
  --Day 1 total 109 grams fat, 45 of which were saturated--all from animal base sat fat

-Eat at least 3 grams of Spirulina per day (max 20 grams)
--Day 1 total zero grams

-Eat at least 7 servings of vegetables(2 servings of Leafy Greens) per day
--Day 1 total 8 servings of veggies, no leafy greens

-Reduce refined sugar intake to less than 30 grams/day (incl. table sugar, candy, and sugars IN foods)
--Day 1 still trying to figure out how much was in the processed foods I ate.

-Eliminate wheat and wheat based ingredients
--Day 1 the only wheat base was on the onion rings breading

-Walk at least 1.5 mile per day at least 5 days per week
--Day 1 did not walk

-Meditate and/or pray for 20 or more minutes a day (can be broken down into 5 min segments)
--Day 1 meditated using Mary Hall's Accessing Your Divine Message through Healing with Masters, a one hour audio program

Monday, June 4, 2012

Okay...the first day of the rest of my life

I know, EVERYDAY is the first day of the rest of our lives, but it is still good to remind ourselves of it from time to time.  You can always reset to a "first day of the rest of your life".  OH...I have added a page to this blog  that I will use exclusively for food tracking, in case anyone wants to follow my eating habits in the event that this new endeavor to change my eating lifestyle proves to be wildly successful--click on the "Food Tracking" tab near the top of the page).

I am feeling freer today than I have in a long time...that is due to a number of things:

1) --A is entering rehab today for 28 days, and then on to a halfway house program for six months, and hopefully will find the help and strength to live a sober and responsible and HAPPIER lifestyle.  It also gives me a reprieve for the week as A can not have phone privileges for a week, so it will be a week without having to actually deal with A--which is a relief.  I still have to deal with A's apartment which needs to be packed up and put into storage and then cleaned, and A's car and bill payments, and all of that--(honestly you wouldn't know that I left A over 2 years ago, as I am still always picking up the pieces that A leaves behind).  I know it sounds awful that I find great relief in knowing that I have a solid seven days without contact from A, and I am VERY happy FOR A at this step in a right direction, as A needs to be able to see the competent, capable, amazing person that she can be, AND I need my space, space to be who I am, space to live a life free from unnecessary stress (there is enough stress that is just inherent in living my life as it is).  I know there have been times A's sister has asked me if I will ever get back together with A, and the answer is no, even if A gets sober, and stable, and goes on to have a wonderful life, my time as A's spouse will not return.  Too much water has gone under that bridge--enough of a torrent that the bridge has completely washed out and I will not rebuild that bridge.  I will be A's friend, and do what I can to help A to grow and mature, and for the kids to be able to have both of their parents in their lives, and hopefully A will be able to stand alone one day and see the first day of the rest of life.  For me, A being in rehab gives me the chance to finally breathe and awake again to the rest of my life.

2) --The carpet is being laid down in the other half of my house today, which means that sometime this week (after it dries as it will be cleaned after being laid down, being used carpet), I will be able to start setting up the main day care area, and my dining room, and I will be ready to start setting up a make shift pantry (as we have not built one yet, but I needed to wait until O could move things before I could really even try to set up a makeshift pantry, as I do not want to unpack and repack and unpack again multiple times, twice is enough...So the prospect of being able to bring the house to a point of "complete' (even if there are still ongoing projects to make it exactly what I want), brings me much joy and peace. 

3) --I have managed to get all the kids doctors appointment scheduled with various specialist, some which I had missed and needed to rescheduled.  So I will be catching up on specialist appointments and making sure that the kids health and medical needs are all being met.

4) --Knowing that I am starting on a new round of improving my health and my life in a focused and concentrated way gives me a renewed sense of peace, joy, and openness to the many blessings that I have in my life, some of which I have not focused enough on in recent months.

5) --I am making the choice, day by day, moment by moment, to choose to feel better--to think better feeling thoughts, to focus on better feeling things, and to choose happiness over despair, joy over sorrow, and hope over fear.  It is a conscious choice to see the good in life and not focus solely on the bad--yes the bad has to be managed and dealt with, but it does not have to be the focus on my life, my mind, or my heart.  So today, I am remembering to focus on that which is good, that for which I am grateful, and to just roll with what life brings.  i am where I am for a number of reasons, and from here, and only from here, can I start a new chapter in my life.  Which reminds me, I think it is time to get out Pema Chodron's book Start Where You Are: A guide to Compassionate Living and reread that, as it is a very good book with wonderful guidance on moving forward to become who I really AM.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Starting Monday

Okay...As things with the house wind down to a steady pace of projects, unpacking, and setting up (instead of the frenzied, insane, all consuming pace that it has been over the past couple of months), I have turned back to looking at the other areas of my life that need to move forward in their transformation.

So I have stocked my fridge and cupboard with correct food, and have been working on preparing mentally and physically for the shift I need to make in continuing to work on my health.  I have lost another few pounds over the past couple of months even though I have not had much focus on good eating habits.  I think the physical labor of the house helped a great deal. going back to prepping for a new start of the weigh loss and physical health focus starting  Monday.  So I have been doing reading and research for inspiration (I already am solid on the life style choices I need to make, I just stretch time by finding more inspiration to make the changes I need to make.) 

So I have been reading the emails from Blobmosis through his 28 day 10% total body weight loss, enjoyed reading the weight loss journal of musicpisces

I have also been re watching some favorite documentaries:

--Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
--Food, Inc.
--Forks Over Knives
--Fat Head

I am revitalizing the list of basic guidelines that I posted on here on 8/9/2011: 

With a couple of revisions--I am going to go zero wheat (not gluten free necessarily). I have just been trying to observe my body's reactions to certain foods, and I have had this problem on and off for a while, where I will suddenly be exhausted and have to lie down for like 15 minutes.  So I have been trying to be aware of what precedes these times--is it only after I have had a short night of sleep?  Is it a certain food, or a certain activity?  I have noticed that it is usually about 15-30 minutes after I eat a meal that is heavy on wheat--Like a bowl of shredded wheat for breakfast, or a plate of whole whet pasta for dinner.  So I want to try a month of wheat free eating and see if I have any more issues with the sudden, short lived exhaustion times. 

As planned, and what I have been slowly transitioning to in general is a drastic reduction in processed foods.  I am hoping to get more of the dyed foods away from the kids as time goes on--like the sweet cereals and such which are so brightly colored with artificial dyes.  I am cutting processed foods, like ready to eat cereal, out of my diet.  I am hoping to eventually move that over tot he kids eating habits too.

So these are my goals (rules) to live by for a healthier, better life (assumes 4 meals/day B, L, D, S=28m/w):
-Eat 2000 calories a day or less
-Drink at least 100oz of water every day
-Eat 120 grams of carbohydrate or less per day (as per diabetes educator rec), at least 1/4 of which are from fresh veggies
-Eat 35 grams of fiber or more a day
-Eat 120 grams of protein or more per day (at least 1/4 from vegetable protein)
-Eat 80 grams of fat or more per day (at least 10g from saturated medium chain veg fat (yes saturated, yes from plants))
-Eat at least 3 grams of Spirulina per day (max 20 grams)
-Eat at least 2 servings of Leafy Greens per day (can be in a smoothie)
-Eat Legumes at least 5 meals a week
-Eat Fish at least 3 meals a week
-Eat Oatmeal at least 5 meals a week
-Eat Eggs at least 3 meals a week
-Reduce refined sugar intake to less than 30 grams/day (incl. table sugar, candy, and sugars IN foods)
-Reduce ALL commercially processed foods to no more than 2 meals a week (incl. RTE cereal, box food, sausage and other processed meats, etc...)
-Walk at least 1.5 mile per day at least 5 days per week
-Add in Strength or tension training for muscles 3 times a week
-Meditate and/or pray for 20 or more minutes a day (can be broken down into 5 min segments)
-6 "Free Pass" days a year where anything, any food, any calories, anything goes...