Chaucer's Nephew
Traveling in the 21st Century

December 8, 2017

Hello Berlin, Germany; Washington, D.C.; Bari, Italy; Tokyo, Japan, and so many other points on our lovely planet.

When I was a grade school student, we were each given a pen pal. Mine was in Dallas, Texas, and I wrote him back a letter telling him I was his pen pal. He never wrote back.

I asked my mom about it, and told her I was going to write him another letter. I did, and showed it to her. She read it slowly, sometimes saying the words outloud. She asked me if I really wanted to send such an angry letter to someone I was trying to reach out to.

Decades later, that same technique is serving me very well.

Recently I had a run-in with a member of a Religious Order. He was arrogant from the start, belittled the efforts of others, made a crude remark about a volunteer, and was just really unpleasant. Seizing an opportunity, I spoke with him privately and voiced my concerns about his presentation and messaging.

He looked me square in the eye and told me to 'Piss off''.

Message received.

Since then I've written a couple of scathing letters to him, the first one nearly burst into flame as I composed it on my computer. Both letters have been destroyed, and my anger toward this man has lessened. He presents an opportunity for me to grow, to deal with someone who is less than I would hope he would be, just as a person, let alone as a Religious. Funny timing, no, what with the Holidays looming, one of which is central to his belief.

Practice makes perfect.

Today is Rohatsu, as it is called in Japan. The day that Buddha became enlightened, and became a buddha. Perfect day to start, again, with love.

Love on!

 

December 4, 2017

There was a full moon last night, called a Super moon due to its proximity to the Earth causing it to appear larger.

It did. I hope you saw it, it's still with us albeit waning. Do take a look.

In the distance, coming up from behind the hills of the East Bay, the glow of the moon was bright silver. As it crested the hills and sprang into view, the whiteness of it shown so beautifully brightly, the moon beams touching all with light. I stood transfixed for a while, just breathing in the chilling night air and the calm around me.

Just then I remembered a story told to me by our next door neighbor when I was 12 years old. A story of the Maid in the Moon, and how she waits for the Sun to set before revealing herself in all her glory. In that instant I saw her white blouse with the small touches of embroidery that she always wore, clothes she said that helped her remember her birth country of Guatemala and its beauty. I said a little prayer.

Here's hoping we are all illuminated by this lovely moon!

Love on!

 

November 30, 2017

Here it is, the end of November, already. The last month, #10 to the Romans, beckons.

All over town, there are holiday decorations. Some of the churches have made displays as well. Xmas & Christmas, co-existing.

Getting along seems to be in very short supply lately.

As the days grow shorter and dusk falls so early, most folks go home in the dark. The family living next door leave for school shortly after dawn, and the kids are really groggy and whiny most days now. Their parents probably are as well. Where did all the daylight go?

Blame the wobble of the Earth, that swing from side to side that gives us our seasons. Yay wobble. I probably will join you at some point, what with all the rush rushing by me as I go about. Yesterday at a supermarket the cashier spoke so quickly I had to ask him to repeat himself. The unkind look in his eye didn't help, but it did inform. More wobble. 

Teetering onward, I passed a flower stand and stopped to admire the tulips. A young woman, looking at her phone, didn't see me and crashed into my back quite hard. Luckily my height meant that she, short, came up a few inches above my waist. This difference kept me from falling into the flower stand. As we faced each other she said 'Shit' and ran on. Indeed, I thought, letting all of the energy that I was feeling move through and beyond me.

The swirl of leaves followed me home, so many leaves being blown about by the winds. Our tree on the street has lost all of its leaves and stands bare in the chilly wind as it comes over the hill, having come from Siberia or Alaska or maybe Japan. All the streams of air and water moving across the Pacific Ocean, all of these different creeks of air merging into this vast river that has a twin in the southern hemisphere. The winds of the world, getting along.

Would that we can all join in that spirit in the days and nights to come. Peaceful, loving, kind and gentle. First with self, then with others.

Getting along.

Love on!

 

November 25, 2017

Hello! How are you? How've you been? Well and swell, I hope!

The zoom of the holidays has been yapping at my heels for the past couple of weeks. Too busy, every day.

From get up to lay down, each and every day has been jam packed (lovely image) with way too many things to do in a day, in addition to my work schedule, which has grown busier these past few months.

Sarcasm has never been something I'm comfortable with so I almost never use it. This lack has led me to not hear sarcasm in the words of others at all times. Recently this led to a funny situation.

There I was, working with a woman who sought help with communication. The sarcasm coming out of her was thick and constant, with almost a sneer in her voice at times. Studies have shown that folks like her are very angry, and from where I sat I could see the negativity roiling out of her. I brought up the subject of anger and asked her about hers. She grew very quiet and disavowed any anger, and as I asked questions she became more and more upset until she exploded in a torrent of angry words and dissolved into tears.

A good beginning.

Holding onto the negativity that we feel just makes us negative. This energy needs to be transformed.

The next day the woman called me and told me that the displacement she had done made her feel 'a thousand times better.' She had gone home and shredded all of the junk paper that had been sitting around her house for years, old bills, newspapers, advertisements, all sorts of junk. As she got rid of it, she said she was cursing and complaining, about people, about things, about anything negative. At the end of her story we both had a great laugh as she expressed her amazement of this change in her. Yes!

Displacement works.

As the Holly Daze approach and a New Year approaches, here's to getting rid of the negative in all of our lives.

Love, and live on!

 

November 11, 2017

18F / 7C

That's cold. That's what Chicagoland woke up to this morning. Overnight record low temperatures blew in from the northwest and the water in the air chilled and fell as snow. Waking up in a blanketed world. I remember living there for a year, that was some winter that year. Frozen cars, frozen locks, frozen planes. 

This morning, waking up in 58F San Francisco, the images on TV of the weather worldwide is interesting. There is such variety on this planet, such diversity.

When I was a child I remember going with my mom to a paint store. They had a rack of little pieces of paper in every color of paint they had. I had never seen anything like it and told my mom how wonderful it was. When we got home to the ranch we lived at, she took one of her perfume bottles and held the stopper in the window of her bedroom. The wall behind it was suddenly dazzling, all the colors of the rainbow painting it vividly.

Growing up in the desert, the sparseness of vegetation was normal to me. Cactus, sagebrush, alfalfa, and saltpine trees. Going to Hawai'i with my dad when I was 13 blew my mind. Never had I seen such a variety of plants, the lushness of the textures and the amazing variety of leaf shapes.

Nature keeps displaying diversity to me, and sometimes I see it in the moving tableau of my life.

Vive la difference, as the French say.

Love on!

 

November 10, 2017

Rain! Yay!

It's been teasing us, it has, the rain, showing up while most of us are sleeping, washing the roofs and trees and streets clean, leaving wetness behind in the morning. Or the drizzle that we've had a time or two, just enough to darken pavement but not enough to become rain.

Until now, this very minute, when it is really and finally raining.

The cats sit in their respective bedrooms looking out windows and doors at the changing outside for awhile, and then do the very best a cat can do when confronted with rain: sleep.

Lucky cats.

Not me, I've got a calendar full of people and things and as much as I too would like to release my inner cat, I cannot.

And the rain is still falling, work is calling, and I'm off!

Big Friday hugs all around, enjoy your day!

Love on!

 

November 6, 2017

Halloween, always a big holiday here in San Francisco, was its usual city wide affair, folks started dressing in costume on Friday night, and here and there one could see sailors and Bo-peeps and all sorts of funny and sometimes scary display. The frivolities continued through the weekend, and Tuesday saw a parade of folks walking to work dressed, some quite elaborately. One of my favorites were the twin girls, about 25 or so, both dressed as French maids, but one of them a zombie. The way they interacted with passersby was delightful. Always a good time Halloween is. Boo!

Out walking the other day, I passed a neighbor who stopped me to chat. Since learning that I have an interest in Egypt, both she and her husband have become a clipping service for me, and every time I see one or both of them they have stuff for me. Much of it I have already seen, and it is recycled as soon as I'm home, but the rest I look at, and thank them again in my head for being kind.

It's so easy to be kind, sometimes, and yet it is all too easy to get caught up in the daily to and fro and pass by an opportunity to do something kind, if only for ourselves.

The other day, while out and about, I came across a pair of slippers on sale for $10. I stopped and looked at them, the dark grey color very nice, and the synthetic plush lining was really cool. In my head I thought 'I already have a pair of slippers.' and so I set them down and started to turn away. 'You should buy them.' this woman said to me, walking away. I laughed at the idea. No, no, I thought, I have a pair now, and they're fine. As I started to walk away, this voice in my head said 'OK', and I turned back, picked up my size, and bought them. 

Such a small act. So inexpensive. In all of my life I have never owned two usable pairs of slippers. This fact stunned me. I still does, every time I look at my extravagant collection of slippers.

Small steps forward, with love.

Love on!

 

October 29, 2017

Hello Conway, Arkansas. Sadly, I've never been to your part of the world, but looking at it just now thanks to Google Earth, I can see what beautiful country you have around you, the Arkansas river look wonderful. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

It's Halloween! Yay! My inner child gets to come out and play, and this year there are several events taking place, starting last night and continuing through Tuesday night, the 31st. Oh boy!

For me, it's not about the candy or the treats, it's about costume and makeup and laughing and maybe even a little scary.

Such an old holiday, which traces back centuries before the Anno Domini, to a time when the short days and chilling temperatures brought to life the spectre of death and ruin. Halloween was originally a festival when we could laugh at death and make merry. My how it has changed over the years.

Now it's princesses and super folk and all manner of display.

And fun! 

That's what I'll be on the lookout for in the next few days, opportunities to laugh and make merry and share the good of life, living, and most importantly, loving.

Love on!

 

October 24, 2017

My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. She hated his controlling mother (who hated her as white trash) and he hated that he was stuck between the two. Mom and I went to live with her mom in Big Pine, California. We were poor. 

Those times are still alive in me. I remember the feeling of wanting and dismissing it just as quickly. Time and time again, if I found myself really wanting something I knew that it was never, ever going to happen. I remember.

In memory is where it lives, and not in my life today. It took me decades to figure out money.

'The sorted topic of coin' is a line from the movie Death Becomes Her, one that always brings a smile to my face, now.

This hasn't always been the case. Since childhood, money became the controlling factor in my life. Poverty drove this message home countless times a day. Commercials on television were seared into my mind. I was one of the have nots. As I grew older, life changed and mom died and dad became home for a couple more years and then I went out on my own. Being used to being poor made life bearable. 

Decades later, due to a car crash that changed my life, I was forced to examine my relationship with money. 

It was schizophrenic. I both loved and hated money.

The core of my problem, this was, and I needed to reconcile this imbalance if I were to have peace and stability in my life.

Through a great deal of reading, conversation, listening and thinking/feeling, I had a breakthrough.

Money was only good, always. Money represents human effort and labor, nothing more. It is not self worth. It is not self love.

My dichotomy of thinking that all things were good and bad had trapped me in a way of thinking that was self destructive. As long as I equated money and me, I would forever lose.

Further, that money is a positive thing in the world for what it represents. Work. Contribution. Self effort.

Money can be badly used. This was the model that I grew up with. I remember my mom and dad fighting about the $50 he gave her each month for 'child support'. Money was bad. Or at least it is if that's what you believe. And I believed. 

Living a life of desperation and lack. No, thank you. Money is an object and I have as much money as is good for me. As I learn to trust life and surrender my pain to change, my life has as much as I am content with.

Love on.

 

October 19, 2017

Hello Clifton, New Jersey! What an amazing part of the world you are, rural and urban, mixed. And what a State! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

This morning started for me with the sound of Lady Grey swiping her paws on the glass door leading to the yard. 5:15AM, and I'm groggy and awake and after giving thanks, I get out of bed. Water closet to kitchen, coffee and newspapers are collected. 

Dear Felicity, who yesterday lost the rest of her left ear and part of her nose to sarcoma, sits quietly, waiting for a plate of food. She's been fussing with her bandaged forearm and her paw looks swollen. Lady Grey eats with haste.

Newspapers and coffee...

What a world!

Thank you coffee and the human chain that brought it to me.

OK, now to pick up the house (what an idiom) and do some dishes and a load of laundry, and take out the recycling.

Time for breakfast, some hot oatmeal...

and as I start to eat it I think of the tiny oat, growing on a plant in the dirt somewhere, becoming larger and fuller, and then one day harvested and processed and packaged and now, after a hot bath, restored to fullness and being of ultimate service in nourishing me.

Ah, the humble oat.

Here's hoping I can do the same. The utility of usefulness. A common bond for us all.

Love on!

 

October 16, 2017

The wildfires in Wine Country in California continue, 40 people dead, 100's missing, 7500 homes and businesses lost, and the fires are slowly being fought down and contained and extinguished. Tragic.

A freak hurricane has swept onshore in Ireland, causing widespread damage and fatalities. Sad.

Life is uncertain, and it seems as if these days that is the daily message.

That's where love comes in. Take the time to love, to love yourself, and to love others. Do good deeds, say kind words, be supportive and helpful. Bring positive energy to your life and to the lives of those you interact with. Little things do mean a lot, sometimes.

One of the little things I do is to wish my Facebook friends 'Happy Birthday' on their day, even though in some cases I have never met (in person) some of these folks and know them only through social media. So what, they're friends of a fashion and I can be cheery. What makes me smile is when I get some sweet and funny reply, like from a woman in Egypt who shares an interest in ancient Egypt. Her reply was in Arabic which Facebook tried to translate, and made a mess of but made me laugh. 'Kind words, nice, far away.'

We're all of us in this life together. 

We can lift each other up, and bring our smile and our heart to share.

Love on!

 

October 10, 2017

Felicity has, yet again, reminded me that she is the boss of her. No vet visit for her yesterday. Damn!

The past couple of days have been challenging. Felicity. Fires in Wine Country, and the smell of smoke and ashes falling in our yard, so saddening. So tragic. And then there's politics...

...so I've been doing what I can to make my life better, my home better, my family and friends better, and my world better.

Something about lighting a candle in a dark space, an old Chinese saying 'It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.'

Goodness knows there's enough darkness around. Almost seems like it's everywhere. The important thing is to recognize it and act as you choose.

Just the other afternoon, after a working Saturday, I went for a walk. As a walked along, I could feel my enthusiasm for life and living rise in me, and felt lighter and happier. That's when a stranger spoke to me, asking a question about direction. After giving him an answer he looked at me and said 'You're going straight to hell.'. Surprised, I stepped back and then walked on. For the next 5 or so minutes I blasted him in my head, thinking up all of these withering replies I could have said, giving him my anger, at least in thought. Some displacement, as it were. I felt my lightness return.

Such a funny thing, life, and how each of us are allowed to live it as we choose. 

A woman I know just packed up her life after selling most of her possessions and is moving to Arequipa Peru. She's been there many times, discovering her ancestry, and has now decided to take a new direction in her life and live a small dream of opening a school for young children. 

A man I know woke up one day, went into his work at Google and quit. Went and got himself a job in the fishing industry in Washington and loves his new life.

We all get to choose. Hopefully we will choose the best for ourselves, with love.

Love on!

 

October 7, 2017

Hello Finland! Looks like you live somewhere near Kuopio, in the green that is that part of a beautiful country I've visited several times. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

How's October so far? 

In these parts it's been warmer than usual and so sunny. Feels like home. The weather page of the SF Chronicle newspaper is big and in color, with data about places globally. It always makes me smile when I see that the highest temperature is usually Death Valley and that the lowest is somewhere near Lake Tahoe, a drive of about 6 hours. Such contrast California holds.

Right now San Francisco is holding Fleet Week, a time when Navy ships of all sizes grace our waters, and planes of all sort fly through our skies. Most of it is quite nice and interesting to observe, and more than 100,000 people come to the City this week for all the displays. The only part of all of this hoopla that sits poorly with some folks are the fighter jets that zoom through the air, singly and in groups. The roar of these planes makes everything shake in their wake. Some dogs and cats are upset, like our dear Felicity, who slinks under furniture when she hears the roar outside.

This Monday will see me sedating her, once again, for a visit to the Vet. Her ear, the one that had the sarcoma removed, has been looking weird lately and after photos were sent to Dr. Morris he advised she be brought in.

Wish me luck. Last time didn't go well, I'm still regaining the use of my right index finger. 

Sometimes, we must do what we must do. Carry through, as it were. 

Here's to the weekend and the joy of life. Get out there and live!

Just remember to breathe and lighten the burden, with love.

Love on!

 

September 30, 2017

Yep, that's a wrap, as they say in various types of production. It's over.

September, that is.

Here come Oct. & Nov. & Dec...8, 9, 10. 

For half of the globe, winter approaches. For half of the globe, summer is coming.

All because of a wobble of our planet caused by rotation and a very heavy core. Not to neglect the slight bulge at the middle.

Kinda sounds like me, now that I think about it. Maybe all of us?

Whatever. For my part I am glad to see the advance of time and the changing seasons. I'm looking forward to seeing more fall around, more brightly colored leaves in trees and swirling around in the wind from the west.

Each day is a gift. Be present, with love.

 

September 28, 2017

Hello Houston! I sure hope y'all are drying out and returning to normal. Your beautiful Rothko Chapel sure rocks my socks, so powerful. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Yesterday was World Tourism Day! Travel rounds off our rough edges. Travel is good for the mind, heart, body and soul.

In the news yesterday came a  momentous announcement: base gene editing has been successfully accomplished.

What that means in plain English is that we have now been able to take embryos and edit their DNA to cure a disease.

Imagine what that means. That we have, with the aid of science, discovered that it is possible to eradicate potentially all diseases that plague the human body. The end of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Parkinsons, MS, CF and maybe all diseases.

Maybe we can give Methuselah a run for his money and live more than 969 years. 

All that time and all those choices. Heaven knows we may not get everything that we want in life, but we do get what we get and do our best when we make the best of it. Imagine living a long time with loving intent. That's a goal worth living for.

Love on!

 

September 26, 2017

Hello Montreal Canada! Such a beautiful and historic city, and such lovely timing. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

I've just returned from a whirlwind trip and am less than 12 hours off of a plane. Gads, jet lag. At least this time I got a heads-up from my intuition and am taking time to return from a nine hour time difference. 

But that's the only difference this trip showed me, that we are all the same, no matter where you go. Some good, some bad. All alive, to some degree, and portraying ourselves as we choose.

The reason for my trip was the once every three years of the Boeckh  Family. These are the descendants of my Great Grandmother Annabelle, born in Nordlingen  Germany in 1869. One of them contacted me in 2007, after I had done DNA testing with www.familytreedna.com and invited me to the next years gathering, in Nordlingen, of all places. Of course I went. Walking into that room, there were about 100 folks looking at me as I opened the door. A man with a microphone looked at me and starting gesturing toward me and speaking German, a language then completely foreign to me. Then he said my name and I waved. 

Some folks chuckled. Ah, yes, my time to choose. React or respond. I took a breath and waved again, smiling as big as I could.

Since then, I've gotten to know a little bit about most of those that I have met. Some folks are just about overwhelming in their love for me, while others insult me in public. Luckily there is only one man who has done this. For my part, I am always civil toward him. He is who is he for whatever reason he chooses. Not my circus, not my monkey. No disrespect in that comment, it's an old Polish saying and this man is far from anyone's monkey. He's actually quite charming and smart. As are some many of these folks.

At this gathering there was a man from Montreal whose family connection had not been verified by any written records, and I've offered to see what my genealogical research can provide. If not, then DNA testing. Charming chap, we have similar backgrounds in many ways. So, Allo Montreal!

Someone asked my why I came to the gathering, and in my awful German I said 'We are family.' She smiled and leaned forward to kiss both my cheeks. I began to tear up, and laughed.

Love and laughter. Two of the most uniting elements of life that you and I share.

Love on.

 

September 15, 2017

Anger.

All around me, so many angry people. Voices shouting obscenities. Too many voices...

I had been invited to a professional gathering, some of us who work in support of people. The invitation had come through a business oriented website, and after reading about the woman organizing the event and the events purpose (meet and greet) I decided to go.

What a learning curve that hour was. 

So me meet in a coffee shop not too far from me that I couldn't walk there. As I entered I recognized the organizer and a couple of folks I knew. Hellos and how ya beens all around, and the vibe is warm and calm. A man enters and comes over to our group, intros and sat and chat and a couple more come in and join us. Nice group, no negative language or disjointed body language. The seven of us are chatting when a man and woman enter, talking loudly and excitedly and they see us and come over. After a couple of verbal exchanges between them it is clear to most of us that this couple are having an angry disagreement. The organizer starts to address the issue when the woman begins to shout at her, making strong gestures with both arms and hands. Suddenly many voices join in and the tone becomes angry and the mood very tense. There is no dialogue taking place, just angry people talking at each other. This goes on for a couple of minutes, and it is time for me to vote with my feet.

I stand and walk out.

The walk home is just the right time to reflect on what happened. 

By the time I got home there was a message from the organizer, apologizing for the meeting. We talk about it for a while, and end the call well. 

Will I go to the next meeting? Absolutely. I always give people another chance. Sadly the organizer had been one of the angriest voices and had upped the ante with her profane language. I had been honest with her about my impressions and she had accepted responsibility for her actions.

The funny thing is, the couple who came in fighting are a couple of 'big wig's in the Bay area, famous for being examples of evolved and enlightened souls. 

People can be our best teachers. We can learn so much from observation and reflection. Strive for your best you, with love.

Live and learn, and love on.

 

September 8, 2017

Ah, the irony...

all my prattle about technology and this morning I wake up to learn that my Equifax records have been compromised.

Well, at least I'm not alone, there are more than 146 million accounts involved in this hacking.

The way things cyber work is that once a weakness is discovered, a solution is discovered to repair the weakness. Trial and error.

Just like life, which is always made better with love.

Technology is not a cure all, but it is part of our evolutionary advancement. Fits and starts, as it were. It takes time, and from what science says we have more than enough time. The important issue is to make use of time, so that one can be use full, and useful.

Take a breath, straighten your shoulders and soul, and love on!

 

September 7, 2017

The maple trees in town are starting to leave, leaf by leaf. The scatter of maple leaves in the streets, on the sidewalks, here, there, everywhere. Falling leaves beckon Autumn, and Fall is afoot and under foot as well.

Children are back to school, and the conga line of cars at our local school is snaking down the street in the morning, and most drivers avoid the street during the week. This makes those on bicycles happy. 

Lately, commercial rental bicycles stands are popping up all over town, for about $30 per day one can bicycle all over town and return the bike to one of dozens of rental stands, all on a map at each location. What's been amazing has been to see how successful this venture is. One of these days I will give it a try. Best to shop for a helmet beforehand. 

Lately I've been working with a company that wants to use technology to enhance customer sales. Part of this project has been learning how pervasive technology is, and a plethora of other data. Did you know that Spanish is the third most used language on the internet? How about the survey that revealed that teenagers look at their phones more than 100 times per day? Now companies are looking for ways to exploit our use/abuse of technology. I've heard some awful stories, and thankfully none of the ventures made it.

Now a small grey striped cat, named Lady Grey, is demanding of my attention and is on my keyboard. Time to attend and love.

Love on!

 

September 1, 2017

Happy Seventh Month! A new season is on the horizon, no pun intended. The wobble of the Earth continues.

Isn't it interesting, if not more, how the past can continue to make itself present in the now?

The past plays a part in everyone's life every day. Who we are today is a result of the past that we have lived, the emotions, the pain, all of it. People, trying to help, will say things like 'Get over it' or 'Move on' or some such. Would that it were that easy, but just like life, it is not.

The pain of the past can cause us to live a life that does not satisfy. Some folks give up and just go along, and the love and lifeforce drains from them slowly, like a balloon deflating, the energy and zest for living being eclipsed by something far less joyful.

We all choose, countless times per day, and our choices are reflected in the life that we live.

So, here's my perspective: the past is an artifact of what occurred, and any negativity that resides in me is to be displaced through physical action. As I energetically release any negativity I am creating space for better and maybe even best. Making use of the past so that it helps me to live the life that I choose, based on me today, not me yesterday. 

The past can be useful in so many ways.

Here we are in the 21st century using terms from Roman times, such as September being the seventh month in their 10 month calendar. Old and still useful. Something all of us can be, with love.

Love on!

 

August 28, 2017

Hello Holland! Ah, the wonderful and very colorful memories I have of your beautiful country, especially the bulb fields on the west coast. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

A couple of days ago, some time after my last entry, I committed a faux pas. I addressed half of a gay couple by their partners name. The offense was immediate and I was lectured about how insulting it is to not be properly addressed. He went on for a couple of minutes there on the street between our respective houses. I didn't interrupt him and when he had stopped speaking, I started to speak, saying 'Please accept my apology' when he raised his hand as if to slap me and I stepped back and stopped talking. He glared at me and turned and walked away.

Good to know. 

It was so odd, the feeling that if I had stood my ground, my neighbor would have struck me. I've been sitting with it ever since.

The right thing always happens. Even in this weird instance. 

Clearly my neighbor has anger issues. Having had this encounter with him I will now be civil but distant, and will no longer engage him should I see him. I wish him well, and I wish me wellest.

When I was a teenager there was a woman who lived across the street from my Dad and I, and if you walked on her property she would run out of her house and grab a garden hose and turn it on and aim your way. She was a bit odd. I never walked on her property but instead would step into the street when I walked past her house. One day she came out and talked to me. She invited me to walk on her property when I needed to, and she was very friendly and kind. She said that my respect of her property had led to her invitation. 

People. They teach us. We learn what we choose with and from them. Surround yourself with good and loving folks and your life will be the best you can make it. Good, better, best, with love.

Love on.

 

August 26, 2017

Recently I was attacked on social media. I had made a comment about the lack of civil discourse that occurs on social media, and the next thing I know, some guy starts posting comments on my page about me, using very ugly words in very ugly ways. It took a bit of work to remove his comments and block him, but it was worth it. Haters are going to hate. Do what you can and keep moving forward.

As angry as I can get, I work at safely displacing my anger so that it does not get the better of me. The other day I found myself angry about a situation, one that I can do nothing about, and since I had the time free, I started moving. My maternal Grandmother had told me that when she got angry she 'got to cleaning' and made use of the energy of her anger. 

My house keeps getting cleaner and cleaner these days.

Making something good out of something bad. 

If only it were that easy on a larger scale.

Love on!

 

August 22, 2017

True to my word, I've been moving.

Wasn't that quite the eclipse in North America, all the way from Oregon to South Carolina? Amazing to see. Thankfully for me, Karl the Fog, as we call the fog here in San Francisco (he's on Twitter), was kind enough to give me partial screening, so that I could clearly see the moon as it shadowed the Earth. The way the sky darkened, just for a minute or so, and then the sun came back and Karl was driven back to sea. Finally, something that almost all Americans were interested in and supported. It was a nice albeit brief, change.

Politics and religion, two subjects that each of us are entitled to think, feel, and believe as we choose.

Lately it seems as if the world is going a bit mad, what with all the hate and violence and ugly language. Sadly, we are seeing more of it because these issues sell more media and therefore are better vehicles for advertising. 

My Dad was in that business, and what I learned from watching him, meeting the people he worked with, and how ethics had a price tag were eye opening for a 14 year old boy. Quickly I learned of lying for profit, cynicism, BS artists, spinners, you name them. Those that would promote a lie for money.

They're still with us.

Choose wisely. All the time. Learn about what is in your favorite shampoo, find out about who said what really, discern.

Recently I was put in an awkward position when I learned that a client company was about to promote a falsehood. When I was told 'the news' I acted surprised, and then referenced a colleagues comment a couple of days earlier about the opposite being the truth. Thankfully the falsehood was abandoned. 

This morning, as I worked to clean my yard, the birds came to visit a feeder and I withdrew and watched for a while. There were no fights, no tussles, just a dozen or so birds feeding. All appearing in agreement. Me too!

Find common ground and work together. We're all in this together.

Here's hoping this finds you and your well and swell, and happy as all get out!

Love on!

 

August 15, 2017

The morning light was soft and dim, the house quiet, all souls sleeping. As quietly as I could I got out of bed and pulled on a robe. Stepping into my slippers I moved toward the door leading to the deck and slipped outside.

The air was cool and calm, the faint glow of sunrise far to the east, minutes to dawn. As I sat on the steps leading into the garden I heard the cry of a small child somewhere near, and then the bark of a small dog somewhere farther. Then silence. 

With each breath I invited calm, peace, and love to infuse my body and soul.

Later, I noticed that dawn was almost here, and then it was, the first shaft of sunlight lighting the maple tree, making it glow.

Time to get moving, and I did.

Good morning!

Love on!

 

August 11, 2017

Living history.

That's what's happening right now.

Each and every day brings new and sometimes shocking information. Good. Bad. Surprising. The works.

Even though I've lived decades, I am still surprised and angered and depressed by events around me and in the world.

Through it all, I remember that it is my choice to do what I can to make my immediate world better, and then to reach out and help others.

Each day is a gift, the gift of time. We each get to choose how we spend it.

All of this brings me to this morning. After picking up and having coffee and a read of the newspapers, I went out for a walk. The fog was spilling over the crest of 17th Street, the wisps of grey falling down over the houses and trees, so many shades of grey. As I walked along I noticed the clang of the street car as it turned a corner, the roar of a car engine as it flew past me on the street, the folks walking dogs. A nice morning.

Walking around Dolores Park, I saw a person I've seen other mornings, an older chap. As he approached me on the sidewalk, he greeted me, wishing me a good morning. I did the same. 

Suddenly the sun broke through the fog and illuminated the part of the park we were in. We both laughed and walked on.

Do what you can to make your world better. The world will thank you for it.

With love.

 

August 8, 2017

Happy International Cat Day!

Have you ever wondered, out of all the animals on our world, why cats are the only creature that naturally stays close to humans?

Food and food source says science. Love and affection says emotion. 

As there are now 2 formerly feral cats living with us, every day is cat day. Good and bad, mostly good and great, actually.

This past weekend I went to a public event here in the City (Thank you Herb Caen) and had a chance to interact with strangers, and what a time was had by yours truly. The occasion was food and drink, tickets had to be bought and nice clothing was encouraged. There must have been a couple thousand people there, it was made more enjoyable with entertainment provided by costumed performers strolling about. I drifted among the crowd...

overhearing bits of conversations, some funny, some sad, some curious. After a couple of hours I began to notice that the mood had grown more festive, there was lots more laughter.

Just what I needed. To laugh. To smile. To guffaw. And more.

As I returned home I saw a woman whom I had seen earlier that day. She saw me and waved, and we both smiled as we went on our paths. A smile lingered on my face.

There may not be many reasons to smile and laugh some days, but don't let that stop you. 

Our love lives in our laughter. Share yours and live better.

Love on!

 

July 30, 2017

We are all still looking out the back windows to see if Bootsy is there...

and the routines of 2 people and 2 cats are altered, the subtle change noted in the pain of remembering the joy of other times, when he would dance back and forth waiting for a plate of wet cat food to be brought to him, how he would dance away if one came too close...

Thanks to our interconnected world wide web, I've learned from neighbors who I didn't know previously about their interactions with this cat. He had many names and was fed at at least 4 different houses. He slept where he wanted and avoided people unless they fed him. He was not friendly, just present. Folks had seen him around for more than a decade.

So many stories, and some photos, and shared tears and laughter. A city block mourns...

...and life slowly goes on, and the love we felt endures.

Someone once asked me if I would like to live a couple of hundred years. I asked if I would not be the only one to live so long, and was told no, only me.

No, thanks, a long life alone, watching everyone and everything go away and change...oh heck no.

Life, at least for yours truly, is best shared, and thankfully I have many people with whom I enjoy sharing my life. The people in my life are points of connection for me, they are part of the landscape that I live in, and I am ever glad that they are there. No man is an island.

And why, oh why, would one cosset themselves away when today in San Francisco the weather is going to be glorious!

Out and about, wherever we are. Let's go live, and love, and laugh. Share your life and live better.

Love on!

 

July 25, 2017

Sadness has come to us, our neighborhood unaltered male cat, a tuxedo fellow, so dapper he, has been found dead in a neighbors yard. He had been seen this past week and alerts about his condition had been posted on a local website. When I saw him he was tired and slept on our deck in the sun for a while, then ate some food, had some water, and left. He looked skinny and very old. RIP Bootsy / Joey! 

True love never dies.

and then I sat with his death, performing my personal death ritual for him, his presence in my life, our times not always good but real, and most of all lovingly.

The images I received, in my meditation: the joy of birth, the struggle of youth, the comfort of old age, hard and fast and back to joy.

I came back to being in my body, with my feelings and my thoughts, and so much more, and I could feel the rightness of events.

Lordy, to paraphrase Mr. Comey, I am tested.

Do I love? 

How much?

Surrender...

yeah, I know, just a cat, just some animal that I fed from time to time. Yeah, right, and diminish... and I will and can not.

Love matters. Love is the best of me. Love on.

Thanks Boots, you remind me that we each live as we choose, we are only victims to ourselves.

Love on.

 

July 22, 2017

Hello Saint Paul, Minnesota! How's life in one of the Twin Cities? I've had such good times there, and the river! What a sight. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Well, the stitches are out and I'm down to a much smaller bandage, but am not to bend my finger until it hurts. Hooray, my index digit is almost back to normal, and I can use it to type on my keyboard. Hip hip! 

Hopefully by the time the Boeckh Family Reunion happens in late September I will have full use of my right hand. Fingers crossed. This will be my fourth visit with my German relatives, there's about 125 of them, and getting to see them every 3 years has been an adventure every time. These trips have taken me to the ancestral family town, Nordlingen, a pretty town encircled by a round wall erected in 1330AD, and to Lahr in the Rhine valley, and to Fussen up in the German Alps. This next get together will be in Heidelburg, a town I first went to in 1967 when I was looking at going to college in Europe. Learning to speak German has been and still is a challenge, but I keep at it. It's my way of honoring my Great Great Grandmother Annabelle, who came to America with her family in 1882 to New York City. 

Lately I took another DNA test, this time from 23&Me. Getting the results this week has been so interesting. This time it involves around genetic predisposition to certain physical illnesses and problems. So much to learn, so very detailed. From the looks of it, there are no major problems ahead for me. Here's hoping they're correct.

Time for me to go for my daily walk. Next week I plan on going back to my gym and doing what I can without injuring my finger.

Hoping your weekend is all that you want it to be, and more, with love!

 

July 18, 2017

My weekly routine has been thrown out the window, what with my finger being on the mend.

Being left handed, I didn't think losing the use of my right index finger for awhile would be such a problem.

It's such a problem. I had no idea how much I use my right hand, daily, for so much. Have you ever tried to hold a razor in your lesser hand and shave? I have. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Such a learning curve.

So there went my routine, and suddenly I am at sixes and sevens trying to make alternate arrangements. Walking, that's it. I'll walk more than usual and replace my gym time with walking time. Let's go.

And I went. And went. All over the place, just about every other day, just to keep in shape.

There have been so many wonderful moments, like the time I came around a corner and there was a young boy running to his mom's arms, she kneeling to receive him, his laughter so high pitched and melodic. Or the elderly woman admiring the new tattoo of her young friend, the girl to proud of her new ink. Or the couple walking arm in arm along the park path, both of them in their golden years yet their faces mirroring so much love and affection.

So, even though I cannot resume my usual activities, I've found a suitable replacement.

Later this week I will return to the doctor and learn if I'll be stitched up much longer. The right thing will happen.

It always does, with love.

Here's hoping your week is filled with all the right things, with love.

Love on!

 

July 15, 2017

Hello Amsterdam! How I love your city and country. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Finally, the splint has been taken off. Two days after I wrote the below I had to return to a clinic and get a tetanus shot due to complications. Wow, sore arm for 3 days, and no pain meds for me as they want to know if anything is going amiss. Now the splint has been removed, the wound is healing well, and I can use both hands, sort of. Slow but steady.

Felicity is healing nicely, as well. After a day of being wary of me, she came around. Maybe it was because she was being fed pain medications or just the bond she and I have formed, but she's back to bumping into my legs and letting me stroke part of her back.

Happy now that a major 'family' concern has been dealt with, I can turn my attention to things that I've been putting aside these past few days.

Working in the yard, the sun dappling the ground, a robin flies past with something in its beak. It lands on a nearby branch, and dangling from its beak is a strand of noodle. Resourceful wildlife in these parts. Finishing the yard work, I sit in a chair on the deck and enjoy my efforts. Just then a flock of small birds, a couple of different types, flies into the lemon tree before some of them venture to the bird feeders hanging about. It's so peaceful...

and I dozed, for a few minutes at least. I woke up when my right hand slid to my side and the throbbing in my index finger woke me up. Not the most pleasant of alarm clocks, but very effective.

There was more that I wanted to accomplish, but that's for another day. We can only do what we can do.

And with that I got on with the rest of my day, and as it wound down I noticed that my finger felt much better. Maybe it was just time taking care of things that I wanted to do that helped. Taking care of myself, as well.

Wellness lives in each and everyone of us, with love.

Love on!

 

July 10, 2017

Today was the day, and last night, as I was falling asleep I tried to imagine how this morning would go.

Felicity had an appointment with the veterinary staff and was scheduled for surgery to remove a sarcoma from her ear.

Last week, a mobile vet had come to the house and checked her out, as much as he could since she cowered behind her bed in a corner. He gave me some sedative pills with instructions to learn what dosage was needed to make her manageable. After a couple of days, days apart, 15 mg. looked to be the proper amount.

This morning I got up at 4AM and fed her the sedative in some canned tuna. She ate it all and curled up to sleep.

At 7AM I checked on her, she was woozy but came over to bump against my legs as I sat in a chair. 30 minutes before we leave, so I get her cat carrier box, line it with a soft towel and go into the room she lives in. She's bumping against my leg and just as I reach down to pick her up this loud voice in my head says 'Start and carry through'.

As I begin to put my hands under her she becomes enraged and all 4 paws are slashing at my arms, her mouth finds my right index finger and she tears it open at the joint, blood flies and I am forcing her into the box. She's snarling and screaming. hissing and thrashing about as I close the box above her.

Fast bandages on my finger and both arms and hands, and off we go.

She's quiet all the way until we go in an examination room. There she emits a soft growl a couple of times. Our vet comes in and confirms what needs to happen and the costs and whatnot. When he sees my finger he had his staff prepare a baggy with an antibiotic rinse and I soak my finger. Go to an emergency room right now, and off I go yet again.

A couple of injections and stitches later, along with money, I am sent home with my finger in a splint. Sweet girl opened a flap of skin down to my bone.

This has been so hard to type because of this immobile digit, and it is beginning to hurt more.

Felicity lost part of her left ear and came home quietly. When the box was opened she sat up, looked around and jumped out. She's back to her sweet head butting self, no hard feelings on either of our parts. Just tenderness that will heal with time and love.

Start and carry through, I did, with love.

Love on!

 

July 6, 2017

Time has been zooming by of late, each day starts and is quickly filled with things to do and places to be and people to see. These past couple of weeks have been filled with stuff everyday, so much so that I have not had time to be here. Very glad to have this time now.

This time, on this fog free morning, found me feeding two indoor semi feral cats and one outdoor very feral cat. Three plates of cat food, fresh water all around, and top up the dry food bowls. Later cat boxes will complete cat care, except for the touching and petting that 2 of the 3 will seek out.

Right after that it was out the door for a nice half hour long walk, something I've been missing these past few days. New shops have opened nearby, and one that was struggling has closed. Work on a nearby house has moved along briskly, and now the exterior shell is all that remains. Someone painted their house shades of purple and it's quite a sight. And so many people out and about.

Coming home, the morning sun had risen high enough to illuminate the flowering jacaranda trees here and there, the lovely purple flowers brightly lit by the early light.

What a nice welcome home, two cats that are affectionate before turning to more catly interests. A house to pick up, beds to make, dishes to wash and put away. The hum drummery of life.

How I love it.

Sitting here now, in my office at my computer, the world is at my fingertips. What an amazing world we live in, these days.

Here's hoping your days are filled with good and light and laughter and love.

Love on!

 

June 26, 2017

Hello Seattle! How's that wonderful city of yours? So much to see and do, and I look forward to my next visit. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

What a colorful and color filled weekend was had in San Francisco just yesterday. It was the annual Gay Pride Festival, and more than one million people were in the city for the weekend. The place was packed with locals and visitors from the world over. There were marching bands and floats and contingents supporting this and that. Very unpolitical, and very celebratory. Love is love.

Last week I was engaged by a new client, a man of means and influence. He wants to learn how to be happy.

All of his life, more than 60 years now, he has lived his life to the outward exclaim of family and friends, to business associates and members of the public. Inside he has felt hollow and empty and a fraud.

When he looks in the mirror, which he does daily to shave his face, he says he sees a tired, grumpy, old and useless man. Sometimes he cuts himself, always he says by accident.

The acid in him is rotting its container.

This is where I come in.

I know what he's feeling, I felt that way about myself for decades. There were no times when I felt good or attractive or useful, and my self esteem was in the basement buried under events and judgement, mine and others.

Not a day goes by that I do not have to take care of myself. The world is full of all manner of beings and events, and some of them would kill me if they could. My self esteem is based on self love, on the love of my authenticity, my pure connection to love and to being.

We all have this struggle, daily. Learning to love ourselves is hard work, and the results last a lifetime and maybe more.

Live and love on.

 

June 23, 2017

Modern medicine has come to the rescue for dear Felicity. A vet appointment is in her near future.

Small steps, slow and steady...

gads, there are times I just have to take myself outside, and go burn it off. I've been walking a lot these past few days. Miles every day. I had forgotten how terrible frustration feels, in the head, heart and especially body. Walking has helped to displace the negative energy and freed me from the stress of frustration.

Seems I picked a good week to walk around, as San Francisco is filled with folks from all over the world. Just walking in my neighborhood I overheard French, Italian, Russian, something that sounded like Swedish, and veddy British as well. The weather has been on the edge of hot with afternoon breezes and the town is jumping.

We have become a city dotted with outdoor seating, here and there little sitting areas have been made on many streets, places to sit and relax. Add to this a profusion of outdoor dining places that have opened in the past few months. They're everywhere, and I just have to look as far as a corner of my block where a new Asian fusion eating place has just opened, and wow is it delicious. We're moving into a much more edible SF.

This weekend is the last of June, almost, and the summer beckons.

As do my sneakers...

Love on!

 

June 19, 2017

Summer showed up in San Francisco this past weekend. The surrounding areas were over 100F. It was hot.

Everybody took out their warm weather clothes, and moved at a slower pace. Out walking one morning I passed two women discussing the merits of being hydrated. The same day I watched as a guy crossed the street so as to avoid being in the direct sun. For my part, I resorted to an age old technique: closing my window blinds that face the sun. It helped a bit.

Every once in a while, I get reminded that my superior intelligence does not always prevail. Like the past few days.

Felicity, the older of our two feral cats, has an ear edge that will not stop bleeding, and I've tried so many tactics, all to no avail.

She's a funny girl, lived in our backyard for 4 years until the rains drove her inside. She still insists on going outside, daily. She lets me stroke her back but no other touch. So wary, even after two years of living semi domesticated.

Today I had a great chat with a guy who provided me with a solution. He's coming over on Wednesday and we're going to try natural drugs to calm her. Maybe it will help. He says that he's helped many folks over the years as an Herbalist. Finger's crossed.

All day long she has been giving me a forlorn look, she knows something is up. She's right. It's for her betterment, even though that makes no difference to her.

Next steps, slow and steady. With love.

Love on! 

 

June 12, 2017

There are 4 window blinds in my bedroom, two larger two smaller. 3 of them work perfectly. One does not.

It's the small things in life that teach us, sometimes, and this small blind is one of my teachers. It's compatriots all glide smoothly at the touch of my hand, but it does not sometimes, and does not roll up like the others.

When I first discovered this, I was frustrated. Attempts to fix it just made me more frustrated. I was just on the verge of sending it all back when I stepped back from the problem and did nothing.

Then I began to work with my problem blind. I held it in many ways, trying this way and that way to get the roller mechanism to work properly. It took a few days, and some days there was one blind in my window, blocking out the light. But I began to get the feel of it.

Patience, this blind was teaching me. Go slower than you do with the others, be more aware of the roller moving with your hand upward, and stop and go back if you feel a change. Take your time. Be patient.

Yes, there have been mornings when after a couple of tries I'm done and leave it alone, until later. Some days start smoothly, some don't. Sound familiar? The lynchpin to all of this is patience. The more patient I am, the smoother the glide of the blind.

As a metaphor for life, patience is always a good thing to have.

The other day I watched a man get angry and upset about having to wait for his coffee and he yelled and stomped around and finally stormed out, shouting all the way. He kept yelling he didn't 'have time for this'. I beg to differ, he had the time, he just used it differently than the rest of us waiting in line.

How patient time is with all of us. What a gift.

Love on!

 

June 9, 2017

Hello Dublin Ireland! Thanks for dropping in. Hope this June is green in St. Stephen's, all the best to you and yours!

Golly, the telly has been just the thing to look at these past few days, the faces and the language and the questions. History being made, my inner wisdom says, and I sit amazed to see these times go by.

Nature has always been my refuge, the place that I turn to when I need calm and perspective.

There is a deeper wisdom in me, and in all of us, if we learn to listen.

Get beyond your judgement, your fault finding, your pettiness, dig deeper, find your love. It's this love that breaks your heart, it yearns to breathe free, to fill itself with new life and promise, if only you will let it. If only, with love.

My mornings start with my thankfulness that I'm still flesh and bone, soul and more, and alive to share my love. Even if I wake up unrested, unslept, cranky, whatever...I'm back, and I get to choose. Up or down or all around?

This is where my love comes in.

Breath by breath, I'm OK, ok, and breathe,,, yeah, I live and forgive, me first and then onward, upward, starward.

Watching history before my eyes reminds me that I, too, am an actor on the stage of life, and that I have a part to play.

With love, loving on.

 

June 3, 2017

Sorry to have been silent for the past while, there has been so much going on.

On top of all the changes in my world and the world in general, technology decided to give me a run for my money, all so true that, and suddenly I was plunged into the world of desktop computer problems. Day after day, phone call after phone call, and the upshot of all of it was that I needed to buy a new computer. And of course I would need a new monitor as the cables don't adapt...

In the midst of all of it I got a call from my Great Nephew informing me of the passing of his Grandmother, my former Sister-in-Law. She and I had reconnected a couple of years ago via Ancestry.com and had had wonderful conversations about the old times and the new. She was as funny and loving as I remembered her being half a century ago. Her passing came peacefully.

To bookend her passing came the arrival of my new cousin Sammy, and his parents Marla and Tony are over the moon and sleepless. Two wonderful people have become parents. Love and life keep keeping on.

Joni Mitchell wrote about life 'between the forceps and the stone', and those words echoed in my thoughts these past several days. How good and bad and confusing life is and can be. We each have one to live.

Now comes the weekend and a house full of chores to be done and a work day to get through. Helping people continues to be my highest calling, and is something that I truly enjoy.

Recently a new client told me that I don't 'sugarcoat' issues, and I laughed and told her that the honest truth is always best. The focus must be on honesty, and of course feelings will get hurt, understandably. Years ago I saw a woman at the urging of a friend, and spent almost an hour being told wonderful lies and phony stories, a waste of time and money. At the end, I got to pose for a photo with this woman as she directed, something to add to her 'scrap book' she said. I knew that my face and name would wind up in her sales material and sent her a letter forbidding this use. Later I heard she thought I was a terrible person. This made me smile. It still does.

Be terribly in love with life, and love you as best you can, look after yourself and your interests. Be as generous with your love of yourself as you can be, and the results will make your life better and better. Then the power of love is yours to be shared.

Here's to today, to tomorrow, to life and love and you and all of us.

Love on!

 

May 23, 2017

Hello Beaverton, Oregon! What a lovely part of our world you are, surrounded by trees and water. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

Where does the time go?

Some days just zip past and before I know it, it is the end of the day. Again.

That's what it's been like for me the past few days, zoom and done, zoom and done.

Not that I mind, just so you know, but the elastic nature of time is once again, yet again?, making me rethink stuff.

When I was young, the days seemed to stretch on forever, and as I grew older I noticed a compression of my sense of time. One summer felt like it lasted forever, I got such a bad sunburn on my back at the local Public Swimming Pool that I freckled. Still have them, although they're faint today. And summers have changed, as well.

As has my relationship with time. Now I know that if I am putting something off, time around that issue will drag on, whereas if I look forward to something, that time will vanish quickly. Funny time, trying to help me sort the things in my life and the world.

One of my neighbors lives in her pyjamas until she has to go out, and some weeks that's maybe once. I saw her one morning, at the local corner store. She was wearing a flannel nightgown under a winter coat with flip-flops on her feet. In an instant I knew how she felt. 'Who gives a damn?'.

I still do. I care about the passage of time, about what happens in our world and in my life. I want to see the new things that come into being, I want to share in the tragedy that occurs to some of us, I want to give my heart and mind and body to doing good and making the world better. While I've got time.

Here's to us, timelessly, with love.

 

May 20, 2017

Alternative facts.

Post truth.

Changed narrative.

Golly, for a while there, I had begun to think and hope that I understood a bit of the English language. Linguists say that it is the second hardest language to learn, after Dine, or Navajo. But anyway, there I was in a meeting, and new data kept being interjected, and I made note of them, and then later went to learn what I could about the data, only to discover that none of it was true. I contacted the two sources and was told these were alternative facts.

oh...ok...got it...

lies from liars.

Mark Twain wrote that it was easier to remember just one version of events and lying was too much effort. I believed him then and now.

A few days later one of the sources at the meeting called me, and told me that she was just doing her job and that she had no skin in the game and didn't care what happened and it was just for money. I thanked her for calling, but did not engage.

I learned. There are still people among us who will lie, plain and simple. They may even lie about lying.

The next day the second source called me, and he told me that he was spinning the truth to help the company. Oh, okay, thanks. Bye.

When I was younger I would engage with these kinds of folks, and try to help them see the errors in their ways. Now, it's based on how much I love me. I don't have to live with liars and con artists and the like, I can vote with my feet and walk away.

Yesterday a neighbor stopped me and tried to get me interested in some health supplement/vitamin and I just smiled and said 'No thanks, not for me. Have a good day.' and walked on.

With love.

 

May 17, 2017

Aloha!

Yep, I was on the road again, to Honolulu and my goddaughter Maleka and the exuberance of youth and change.

My first trip to Hawai'i was when I was 13 years old. From my earliest memories I had always lived someplace that it snowed. One day I came across a National Geographic magazine and flipped through the photographs. There, for the first time, I saw the Islands. Wow.

It was hard to imagine someplace like the one I saw before me, and I started to learn about the Hawaiian Islands.

When my Dad told me a few years later he was taking me there I was almost beside myself. That trip and its memories make me smile still.

When Maleka's Mom Nahara told me that the University of Hawai'i Manoa was probably going to be college I was delighted. As a young person there is no more enriching life than that which involves a change in culture, and there's a big difference between California and Hawai'i.

Four slogging long years later, graduation and ceremonies and family and friends and so much energy a small city could be powered by it. There were minutes of being in the crush of thousands of people streaming into a stadium, and it was electric. The smiles everywhere, the beautiful and sometimes fragrant leis all around, so rich in culture. Much of the old days were on display, and the invocation chant in the Hawaiian language by a small group was very touching.

A real whirlwind, those 3 nights in Waikiki. Being back to someplace deep in my heart, the first thing I did after dropping my bag was to walk out onto Kalakaua Boulevard, the main drag. Wide sidewalks, shops and restaurants and a zillion people. Being half way between the USA and Japan has made for an even greater mélange of cultures, reflected in the saimen sold at McDonalds there.

So much has changed over the years, and yet the landscape remains. The soft lapping of the waves on the warm sand, the shades of red and gold and purple in the skies dawn and dusk, the flowers everywhere, so tropical and lush, the colors riotous.

Thank you, Maleka and Nahara and Rahim for giving me another reason to love the Islands. Mahalo! Thank you, all that is, for allowing me to be part of this.

Love on!

 

May 8, 2017

Hola!

Hello!

How are you? How've you been? Well and swell, I hope!

Vacation is the reason for my absence from these pages, even though there was Wi-Fi and the internet everywhere I turned. Years ago I had to search to find some place that had a computer so that I could connect to the electronic part of my life. Now it's everywhere, and probably going to start showing up even more.

Travelling, I have been. To Barcelona, Spain for some time, and then a rental car and Zaragoza, then on to Donostia/San Sebastian and one of the most beautiful beaches in our world, and finally Bilbao and art!

This trip was about culture via cuisine. The Basque Country. Rugged granite slabs of earth hundreds of feet thick turned on its side to expose the different layers from an old ocean bed. Some of these hills have stripes of grape vine plants that undulate across the landscape. And a language like no other on Earth, so interesting.

Being out of touch with these pages was an odd thing, as there were so many times that I though 'I must share this' and yet in reflection I see now that it would be much better if I exhort you to travel, even just a little bit. Travel opens ones eyes to a larger horizon, and a world of learning.

The surface of my trip can be seen on Facebook, it's all there, so many photos. A wonderful trip.

And everywhere I went, there were people looking at their cell phones. Everywhere. Global connectedness, which I see as a wondrous thing. Imagine. All of us, everywhere, capable of sharing ideas and dreams and fears and our lives. Freedom.

Walking late at night in Barcelona, a town that eats dinner at 10PM, we came across a small plaza with just two businesses, both restaurant/bars. Passing one of them, a waiter appeared with a menu card and we waved him off, having just eaten yet another spectacular meal elsewhere. Smiles on all our faces, and the cool night air swirled some leaves on the ground. Peaceful. Happy.

The simple pleasures in life.

Wishing you and yours the best in life, with love.

Love on!

 

April 20, 2017

Little things can make such a big difference.

Especially when it comes from the heart.

Lately, I've been going to meetings of some of my neighbors that are trying to address the issue of homelessness.

Sometimes, when we approach something as a problem, it just stays a problem. That's what had been happening regarding the homeless in our area. They were seen as drug addicts and thieves and bad people. Some of my neighbors were very unkind.

After a few meetings, when it became clear that only a couple of people were being very negative about the issue, I decided that it was time for me to speak up, and I did.

Recounting several of my interactions with our local homeless, I noted the need for compassion and kindness. In my walks I encounter many homeless, most of them average folks down on their luck. There have been times when I have helped as I can, and the thanks that I've received have been heartfelt and so kind

Others spoke as well, and suddenly they became us.

The perspective changed, and the problem as perceived became people to help.

Things won't change because we do not like them. Things will change when we act.

Love on!

 

April 15, 2017

Just before I go out for my walk this morning I wanted to just give one small piece of advice: displace.

All this week I've been seeing clients who have been holding in their true feelings so often that a couple of them are on the edge of getting ill. This is not a good thing. Self sacrifice saves no one.

Get the icky out of you! Displace the negative and regain the positive.

Write angry letters and tear them up. Smash burned out light bulbs. Pound sand.

Do whatever is safe to displace the anger and frustration and hurt and whatever else you're stuffing inside.

As we transform this repressed energy into expression, we remove it from our bodies. Home is where our heart is, literally.

It doesn't have to be big and spectacular, just small acts sometimes are enough to get some of the bad out.

Here's wishing and hoping your days and nights are good ones, filled with peace and love.

All the best, with love!

 

April 10, 2017

Hello Chicago, hello Montreal, hello Los Angeles! All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

When I first heard about the Internet way back in the early 1980's, it was used mainly by academics and scientists. Then the World Wide Web was invented, and away it and we went.

Today there are tribesmen in Africa with smart phones. Cell phone coverage is a growing problem in many parts of the world, even the US. Everybody is on-line.

The first time I saw a computer it was a two story building. Now I can have one on my wrist.

Yet for all of this new fangled technology, we the people are the same, we still do what we do and think what we think and act how we act. Now we just do it while staring at our cellphones.

The other morning, on my walk, I was run into by a man looking at his phone. He didn't see me and stepped right into my path causing us to collide. It didn't even register for him, he just kept walking on, like Narcissus looking at his reflection.

Working as I do with technology companies, I get to see some of the wonderful things that are coming our way, the wonderful use of technology to make our lives easier and hopefully better. The new offerings that can automate our houses are really cool, a bit like 'Star Trek', as you enter the room you call out 'Lights' and lamps turn on. 'Music' brings sound from speakers in the room. And on and on. Sadly calling out 'Food' doesn't bring a robot out with chow, at least not yet, but probably soon.

Imagine the future, remember the past and live in the now.

Love on!

 

April 7, 2017

Happy World Health Day! Happy USA Beer Day!

How's that for contrast?

As much as there is bad news daily, there is more good news. This is a fact.

When I worked in the newspaper industry, I quickly learned something about selling newspapers: bad news sells better.

So many people kept telling me this at the newspaper I worked for, and as I got to go to other cities and meet others folks in the trade I was shocked to find that this was commonly accepted thinking, and had been for centuries. Just to prove this, I did some research and found it to be true.

Misery loves company.

Picking up a newspaper with some happy headline when one is not happy and maybe even frustrated and angry seldom happens.

There have been countless studies and experiments globally on this subject, and they all point to the same conclusion. Bad sells.

Usually, if one is looking to find good news in a newspaper, one should look below the fold, the crease in the newsprint that manufacturing causes. There won't be much in most papers.

And yet the supply of good news outstrips the quantity of bad news. The contrast lies in marketing.

Here's hoping we all get the good news we want. It's out there, waiting for us to discover it and recover ourselves.

All the best, with love.

 

April 4, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom! 101! Love you always!

When she died, at 49, I was a crazed teenager, and had no idea that homelessness and drug addiction and self sabotage were coming shortly. And would stay for years, until karma rescued me.

We change when we are ready, and not one second earlier.

For me, life wasn't getting better and I knew it, and there was the smallest of knots at the end of my rope. I held as tight as I could. I had to shed most of my relationships, and to move to a new place.

Whatever it took, I loved me enough to make it happen. Family and false friends laughed at me, but I didn't care. I had to change.

I had to love and love on.

In recovering myself I learned who I truly and authentically am, and delight to this day in the journey of my life, ups and downs, twists and turns and onward.

Thanks, Mom, for all the memories of your encouragement and love and most of all patience. True love never dies.

Love on!

 

March 30, 2017

Well, it's almost gone, this month that comes with instructions. March is marching on, into April...

Have you ever noticed that some days just disappear right in front of your eyes, and that time seems to have sped up?

Or the times when it seems as if the clock is broken and time is slowing down?

Medical scientists report that time is a matter of perception, and that chemistry is to blame for our sense of the passage of time.

Someday, some one will synthesize the chemistry and it will be sold, first by prescription and then over the counter.

Maybe...

In the mean time, when times drags for me I make use of the playland between my ears, and make use of my mind. This normally results in some sort of physical activity. If I get busy, the time seems to melt away.

As I child, I remember my mom's mom busily cleaning her kitchen one evening after supper. She was scrubbing this and that, and then on to some other task, all the while moving.

'I'm waiting for my program to start' she would often say, indicating that there was a television or radio program that she was going to watch maybe but surely listen to.

The other day time was moving slowly, I thought, and so I got to cleaning. It was funny how fast the time disappeared.

Marching on, with love!

 

March 28, 2017

Religious people that lack conviction have always been around me. This has been true from my earliest childhood, and is true still.

What's the point of having a fireplace if you're not going to use it?

As a child growing up in a lower middle class family in southern California, many times rural, I was exposed to religion. Interesting stuff, and as I grew older I began to study religions, all of them. What I found was a singularity of belief, that there is good and bad in the world and that, for the most part in most religions, we choose.

Which is why those who tout religion but fail to practice it are such a conundrum to me. What's the point ?

Ultimately I am glad that these folks have found religion. Can you imagine what they'd be like without some boundaries?

Love on!

 

March 24, 2017

Ah, a cautionary example of karma has appeared before me, yet again.

Some folks think/feel/believe that they can 'get away with it', and do or say something wrong and cause harm. Life has lessons.

Years ago a man came to see me, to ask about his life in general and specifics. We met a few times, and it became clear that he was sorting himself through a relationship, trying to figure out how he felt. He eventually decided not to continue the relationship and ended it, not without some ugliness on the other persons part.

He went on with his life, met and married and has had a really nice life. Then he saw his ex on TV, wanted for murder. Later that same day he called me and we chatted for a few minutes. He wanted to know if he was responsible for what had happened, and I told him his only responsibility was for himself, alone.

People we love may make terrible choices. Our loving them won't make any difference in the choice of another. People will choose what they think/feel/believe is right for them, always. Our choices inform us about the world we live in and present us with information so that we can change, if we choose, and make other, perhaps better, choices.

Love you first, make your life better. Then share, and help others if you choose. Love lives in living a loving life.

Love on!

 

March 20, 2017

Happy Equinox! Spring for some, Fall for others. As we zoom through space, creating time, chasing the sun, living. Love on!

This may seem silly, but I woke up before the equinox here in San Francisco at 3:28AM. Some sources I checked said it was a minute later but I didn't want to take the chance and miss it. Spring is very special to me, not just because I was born then but also because of all the beauty that nature displays at this time of year.

One year I went to Holland just to see gardens and bulb fields.

One year I went to Istanbul and discovered their Tulip Festival.

And so many other years when I've driven out to see the wild flowers that bloom all over California, some just for a day, but wow! what a day.

There are so many places that sell flowers in my neighborhood, even the little local corner store has begun to carry bouquets.

There are still blossoms on trees just about everywhere I look.

On my short walk this morning I waited to cross a street and noticed the couple next to me, both wearing flowers. He had a lapel flower, a small yellow tulip, and she had a lovely garland of flowers in her hair. They were probably in their late 20's, and were on their way to work by the sounds of their conversation.

This year is the 50th Anniversary of 'The Summer of Love' here in San Francisco. T-shirts are already on sale in the Haight district of the City.

Seeing this young couple this morning was a lovely reminder of the joys that life holds. Not every day is going to be as nice as this one, perhaps, but some are, and I treasure them.

Happy Day. Happy love!

 

March 16, 2017

Hello Delaware and London and Cairo! Wonderful places, all. Thanks for looking in, all the best to you and yours.

A while back I loaned someone I know a scarf when they asked for it.

Yesterday it was returned, in an envelope with no note, very damaged. Surprised, I sent an e message asking what happened. 'Dog' was the reply, nothing more.

And I learned more about this person.

What happened to my scarf could be interpreted as how much this someone cares for me. This would be incorrect.

The truth is what happened to my scarf indicates how much this someone cares for themselves.

It's so easy to mistake someone's behavior as an indication of their sentiment toward us. Many of us make this error, and untold pain and hurt ensue, as well as confusion and a host of other feelings.

How people are is who they are.

Trust them, they're showing you the truth. It may not be what one would hope for, but take it as it is.

For my part, I won't be loaning anything more to this someone. I have learned by their example.

Love on!

 

March 12, 2017

'You can observe a lot just by watching.'~ Yogi Berra

We are all born with intuition, and as life and time go by some of us develop our intuition.

The other day a skeptic came to see me. He told me while arranging our appointment that he was curious and was willing to spend the money and time to see if he is correct. Psychics are bull***t, he said.

My morning meditaton had shown me a young man, hardened by experience and failure. Behind him loomed his father, clutching him by the wallet, his mother uninterested.

Upon opening my door to him, I told him of my vision and watched his shoulders tense up, his wane smile evaporate. He walked into my office and sat on the sofa, squarely in the center. Both feet on floor, and he hasn't said a word since he said hello.

We sit in silence.

Sensing, I handed him a stone. He took it, looked at it, and then at me.

In that instant I felt the cynicism in him lessen.

He started talking and was still talking as he left. We talked about his parents and the situation that is his life. We talked about his problems and things that he could do to make his life better.

About half way through our session, he looked at me and said he was sorry he had been so dismissive of intuition, and those of us who make a service of it. We shook hands then.

We'll see each other again soon, and on a regular basis for however long.

At the end of our time I told him how good it felt to feel him opening his heart without so much fear. Fear is learned.

Did I mention I love my job, and the folks I work with?

I most absolutely, positively, and thouroughly do!

Love on!

 

March 7, 2017

The saga of the two cat household has begun. With hissing, growling, running, fwapping and rolling on the floor fighting.

Domestic tranquillity, not.

And then there's the rain and wind and construction work on both sides of the house. So much hammering and jack hammers and saws and whatnot. So much sound, especially in the back. No peace outside. This weekend a four story scaffold broke loose and leaned scarily over our deck and yard, luckily I heard a strange sound as I was filling a bird feeder and looked up to watch the scaffold swing away from the building. Nothing like a little panic to get one moving, eh?

Newspapers and TV news are set to minimum intake, most of the news being awful and worse.

Times like these find me wanting calm, peace, relaxation, and relief.

So this morning I went for a walk. Rain isn't forecast and the sky was a big bowl of blue in most directions and why the heck not, I thought. And out I went.

7AM PST is busy here in San Francisco.

The sidewalks have many users, the road ways are filled with skateboarders and bikes and cars and busses. Everywhere I looked there was motion and commotion. Life being lived.

Walking along, I came upon one of the parklets that SF has built, usually near coffee shops and restaurants. They're a couple of parking spaces long, and most have seating and a bike rack. Going inside to buy some cocoa, I notice a woman who I worked with decades ago. She works in the shop, and was smiling and humming as she went about her duties. I got my cocoa and went outside to sit in the rising sun, even though it was 48F. Sun always warms me.

As I sat there, looking at my phone, the day began in earnest in me. My sense of inner balance was returning, along with my usual cheery disposition.

It's always such a pleasure returning to a better state of mind and heart, don't you think?

As I started to leave the woman in the shop came out and greeted me. We stumbled past names and times and got to current events. She left the technology field a couple of years ago and opened her coffee shop, something she had always wanted to do. It is long hours and hard work, and she's never been happier. This truth showed on her face, and especially in her smile. As we started to part she grabbed my hand and told me how uplifting I had been for her when we had worked together, and thanked me. We hugged and laughed, tears in both our eyes.

'If you're going through hell, keep going'. Wise words from Winston Churchill.

Keep on living and loving.

Love on!

 

March 4, 2017

One of my favorite days in the year. It comes with instructions:

March forth!

Now, I ask you, how many days in the year tell you what to do?

Today has a message for all of us. Get out there!

One of my clients is an elderly man who lives nearby. Our work together involves our going for a walk around his block, sometimes farther. We walk and talk, and he says it's brought him back to life. After just a few weeks, he has now joined a group that meets to play cards and board games. After his wife died he stopped going anywhere other than his necessities. This went on for a few years, until one of his neighbors began to interact with him. He was surprised at how shy and awkward he felt. Looking around on the internet, he found my website. After a few months he called me and we had a nice chat. A few weeks later I went to his house for our first meeting. From the moment he opened his door, I knew what we needed to do. We went for a walk.

Life is out there, waiting for all of us.

Love is out there, waiting for all of us.

The longer we wait, and don't act, the farther life drifts from us. We have to interact with life to have a better life.

March forth!

Love on!

 

February 26, 2017

'It is easy to go down into hell, night and day, the gates of death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace ones steps back to the upper air - there's the rub, the task.' ~ Virgil

In life, hell is pain and depression.

Waking up in pain and/or depression is so unspeakably awful. From the first moment of consciousness an intrusion is made into life, and never leaves. Hell.

I've been in both of those hells, together and apart. In my body I found release.

When I was recovering from my nearly fatal car crash, pain was my constant friend. No matter where I went, there it was. After months of enduring it, I decided that I would make my pain my friend, and would stop hating it and start working with it. My epithets became words of encouragement. When my body sent waves of pain through me, I would breath and think loving thoughts.

The doctors were right in one major aspect: I would never have another day in life when there would not be pain.

Over the years, since the crash, I have learned to work with my twin companions, depression and pain. Movement is where I always start. Just getting out of bed some mornings is a major accomplishment, but so far, so good. Depression comes to visit, and I love it out of my mind.

Retracing my steps back to the upper air. Quite the rub.

My self esteem saves me, my ability to love myself enough to change and become better as a person gives me a goal and a purpose.

Love on.

 

February 23, 2017

What a crazy wet winter we are having in California.

After years of drought, we have gotten enough rain Statewide to remove drought from most of the State. Reservoirs are overflowing, roads are being washed away, mudslides everywhere, and so much urban flooding. The series of storms that have blown over us have churned up the seabed, and our beaches are littered with trees and so much junk.

Yet again, we have been gifted by all this water: another stray cat has come to live with us.

I had seen her in the back yard one morning, a two toned grey tabby, maybe a year or so old, kinda skinny. It was raining and she darted under a chair for a bit. Setting out a plate of catfood and calling to her, she ran up the deck stairs and tucked right in. I stroked her head and she made a funny sound, so I left her alone.

Social media had no mention of a lost cat, and when I posted something about her there were no replys. I guess she was dumped.

This routine went on for almost a month, until I left for Berlin. Then she started showing up at the door early mornings and at twilight, and food was set out for her. She cleaned her plate everytime.

Coming home, there she was that first morning back, and I got her food and watched her. When she finished eating, she came over to me and sniffed my fingers and then ran her head under my palm. Affectionate little dear. The routine continued.

Untll the other morning, when it was pouring rain. I saw her huddled under a deck table, soaked to the skin she was. As the rain abated I set out a plate of food, which she gobbled up. At that moment I was seized by something and picked her up. She instantly relaxed in my arms and I set her down inside the house. She ran under the bed.

Rain cat #1, Felicity or Ethel (name undecided) wasn't too pleased about having another roommate. She's still not used to us, so a cat was not welcome, at first. There was hissing and fwapping and chasing for a couple of days, but that action is quieting down. Rain cat #2, Lady Grey or Grey girl, is curious and goes everywhere she can, and loves sleeping on the bed at night. During the day she wanders and naps here and there, all under the gaze of Rain cat #1. Pecking order rules.

Thanks, El Nino, for adding to the household. We love loving around here, and thank you for guiding this little lost soul our way.

Love rules! Love on!

 

February 18, 2017

Hello Namibia! I've seen photos of your beautiful country for years, and have relatives that have visited you and have told me of how wonderful you are. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

Pink and white flowering plum, cherry, apple and more. Flowering trees on the streets of San Francisco.

When I was a child I would stay with my grandmother Edith. She lived in Bishop, California at the time in a house that was surrounded by apple trees. In the Spring the orchard was a mass of beautiful white and pink flowering trees. She and I would walk under the blossoms and delight in the beauty all around us. The feelings of joy and love resonate to this day with the memories.

The world is in turmoil and change is all around. It is easy to get swept up into the negative and fearful and have those feelings cloud our vision and our perspective.

That's why I am so thankful for the blooming trees.

Beauty, love, good, joy. That's what I feel when I see the scatter of color as I make my way around the city.

Along with the blossoms has come a great deal of rain, and California is doing its best to cope with too much water after years of too little. Things are a mess. And we keep moving forward, in spite of what ever would slow our roll. Progress.

Even though the times they are a changin', we can still hold on steadfast to the love that lives in us.

Love will make life better, all ways and always.

Love on!

 

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! Love! Love you! Love others! Love!

Recently I had a session with a man who has been told that his death is not too far away. He and I hadn't spoken in more than 20 years, but he called the phone number he had for me and heard my voice message. He said he had to call back a couple of times before he could leave a message, but he did and we arranged a time to meet.

That morning, in my daily meditation, I saw his face. Time and illness had taken their toll, and I knew that he was in distress. When he rang my doorbell a voice in my head whispered 'love', and with this thought in my head I opened my door.

So many tears, such rage, such sadness. It was a tough time he and I shared.

What can I do? he asked, and I told him the best thing he could do was to share his finest emotions with as many people as he could, and to keep doing that as long as he could.

What about the anger? he asked, and I gave him some spent lightbulbs and broken pens and told him to reek havoc on them and to get as much of the awful and ugly out as he can.

Funny thing about most people is they stuff so many positive and good emotions inside, and let the nasty ones out.

Ass backwards, if you ask me. Share the love, and get rid of your anger without hurting others.

Here's wishing all of us the benefit of love. I love you, and I hope you love you too!

Love on!

 

February 10, 2017

Family:

Very close DNA connections. And outward.

My childhood was a shuttling of going from this place to that place, from my mom's house to my dad's house, several times a year. Along the way, various people were introduced to me, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents. All these people I saw, but didn't know.

As I grew older, I interacted with family members and was given a sense of how some individuals viewed me. Not so good with some, better with others.

We all choose, and I chose to be close to those family members who were kind to me.

DNA testing gave me connections to my genetic ancestry and provided me with a view of my being here that I never would have imagined. Suddenly I had names and contact points for people all over the planet that were proved blood kin. Amazing.

Meeting my English cousin Richard was such a great day and still lights my face with a smile when I recall it.

Walking into a huge room in Bavaria with more than 150 blood relatives I had no idea of. The memory still gives me goose-pimples.

Getting a  sense of those that I share genetic connection with has also provided an unexpected consequence. From meeting hundreds of people with whom I share DNA, I have come to value the stirling feelings that come when I am with someone who really likes me. After all this time, I have come to actually feel the connection that exists between people. It has helped me to realize that some of the people that I am deeply connected to do not share any DNA with me. Yet they are family.

Oh, love. You keep showing up in my life, in my time here, and reminding me what truly matters.

Love on!

 

February 8, 2017

Hello Montana! Hello Delaware! Hello Germany! Hello England! Hello California! Hello to everyone!

Golly, so many visitors, Thank you all for the gift of your time. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading

Cats and dogs. It's been raining cats and dogs, which means a good bit. Cats will brave a little bit of rain, while dogs seem more comfortable running about in rain. The folks I've talked to fall into those two camps, those that stay inside and those that venture out in the falling hydrogen. Ah, H2O! California is coming out of its drought. Thank heavens.

The cats and dogs theme has been on display since my return from Berlin. And not just the rain variety.

The contrast between these two species came to me another way yesterday. I realized another perspective, no plug intended, and that was the difference between 'can' and 'don't'.

There are so many times when we imagine that we can do this or that, and then we don't, and deride ourselves, adding to the warehouse of negative self esteem.

A woman told me how she had meant to return her friends telephone call but didn't, and now was grief stricken with the sudden death of this friend. Full of self hate and anger, she is doing her best to move forward.

A man telling me that he has been discovered by his employer of many negative actions and needs a solution, asking how he can get out of this situation. Honesty. Truth. Help. These are some of the words I give him, and hope that he acts well.

In life, some of the 'can' variety of moments may appear. Look inside yourself, to your love, and ask if you can. True love never lies.

If you can, be all means do. Those moments don't come along all that often, and sometimes it seems as if the 'don't' end of things predominates.

When we act from a sense of self love, we do better. Using our own self esteem as a compass will reflect in the world around us. This is how each of us is loved by life, in that we are shown the reality of life around us.

Start with love, let it rain cats and dogs in our soul. Nurture with light. Nuture with time.

Love on.

 

February 6, 2017

Hallo! Hello!

How are you? I've thought about you everyday, so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind. How are you, I hope you're well and moving forward, with love.

Solitude. Time alone, or almost. Stranger in a strange land, at least for a week.

This past week gave me so many gifts, so many moments of reflection and grace.

The flight from San Francisco was delayed by an hour due to the mass gathering of people, mostly young, who had come to the airport to demonstrate against a recent governmental action. This meant that I had to rush to catch my onward flight to Berlin, which I did with some time to spare. Then a quick flight and a taxi and a hotel I stayed at 8 years ago during my first visit to the city. After unpacking I took myselft out for a walk and took in the sights of the neighborhood. A small bite to eat and bed.

That night, I had such a dream.

This figure appeared in a mist, I wasn't sure if it was a man or a woman or how old, as sometimes it looked like an old man and at other moments appeared as a young girl. Quite a sight.

I suspect that there was a long conversation, as I can now recall moments of this dream, but no long segments.

Waking up the next morning, looking at a travel guide, my eyes come across a listing for a place called Gemaldegalerie and indicates it about 2 miles away. Perfect destination, I wanted to see art work. I was out the door in time to join many commuters as they went about their lives. Such a bustle and hustle there was, and as I walked it began to snow, lightly. This was a moment I had come hoping to have, and I stopped right there on the sidewalk and let the snow fall on me. The calm, the peace, the joy that suffused my body went right to my core. I felt. Deeply and surprisingly. I hadn't expected such feelings, and surrendered to them. Keep breathing, I thought.

Later that day it came to me that I was to be reflective on this trip, not just lost in the swirl that architecture, art, food, drink, people and sights can take one.

That's not to say that those things didn't happen, they most assuredly did. All of it, and more. Check out my Facebook page.

However, the reflective of what happened I have saved for here, for you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for your time. It is the greatest gift you share with me.

Time. A gift of now and forever.

This past week, there I was, in the Gemaldegalerie, a museum housing more than 1500 works of art from 1300-1800 or so, quite a place. As I wandered about, trying to take it all in, I had to take a moment and sit down, so I did. Maybe it was the jet lag, or the art saturation or the currywurst, but a dozed for a second, and right in that second I had a memory spring to life.

I was recalling when I was homeless and still in High School, and was walking on the beach near to where I slept at night, under someones house. I was bending to pick up a shell when I heard a womans voice say 'That's pretty.'. Looking up I saw an older woman smiling at me. It was just a moment.

Just seconds earlier, I had approached a painting of Saint Sebastian by Rubens just as the same sound of voice said 'Sehr schon' which means 'how pretty' near me. Turning, I saw a wisp of greyish brown hair move away as the older woman continued her visit.

I needed to sit down, did, and I closed my eyes. At least two of them. Breathing really helped, as did letting the maelstrom of emotion move through me in deep and profound ways. Feelings replete with timelessness.

My eyes flew open with the memory and I was no longer on that Malibu beach but in Berlin, sitting on a bench. Wow, time travel.

What had so struck me was the genuine feeling of her smile as she looked at me in the moment, the kindness, the compassion, the feeling. It left me speechless as I contemplated that tiny moment a life time ago and the moment I was living.

There are moments when we don't realize how singular they are. Every moment is that moment, with love.

The old man in me, and that 17 year old boy came back from my trip with a deepened appreciation for life, and for love, and for time.

And for you, and these moments we share.

Love on!

 

January 29, 2017

I love it when travel days start as this day did. I got to sleep in, well, for me that means past 5AM. What a luxury!

This morning was spent putting my self together for a week away, making the house ready for my departure and subsequent return, cleaning this and that, and packing, this time for cold weather and rain.

A week in Berlin, Germany practicing my German. And seeing museums. And eating. And drinking. And walking.

Sounds like a perfect week to me.

For those of you who folow me on Facebook, I will be posting daily about my exploits and adventures.

If I can, I'll try to blog.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and those you love.

Love on the road, and on!

 

January 27, 2017

Last October, about mid month, my intuition started zetzing me, poking me, dropping hints. Every few days or so there would be some moment when 'travel' was highlighted, and the not so subtle but seeminly ever present suggestion from my intuition was delivered.

So I gave it some thought, looked into travel in November but nothing worked, time or money or destination wise. Oh well. Then early December and still nothing worked. Then maybe January and it almost worked except for the money.

One morning I awoke and knew that I had to look into going to Berlin Germany at the end of January. I did. Amazing!

British Airways had a $100 dollar airfare roundtrip to Berlin. Taxes and fees raised the ticket price to a little over $500. Usually the fare is up around $1100 to about $1700. I'd found a bargain. Booked and bought.

Then hotels and that search. Having been to Berlin six years ago I knew where I wanted to stay, and amazingly the hotel had a room with breakfast for $500. Really? Booked.

This trip, this week away, by myself, for myself, is my gift to me.

Working with people is a joy that I cherish, having these amazing conversations and doing the work I do with the people who are doing their work. Such a great job.

And now it's time for me to take a break and go recharge my batteries, coping with a language I am trying to learn. I speak like an intelligent child, or so I think, and the practice will help. As will the beauty of Berlin and the fantastic museums there. And the food! And the sights!

So much to do, I'd best get to moving. All the best to you and yours. With much love.

Love on!

 

January 23, 2017

Hello Michigan! Hello Idaho! All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

The other night there was a small water leak in the house, nothing serious, just a drain that had gotten a bit clogged with swept in debris, once removed, all better.

I'd been awakened by a clap of thunder, and as I sat up in bed there was a bright flash outside and seconds later another boom.

Then the rain started, light at first. I know because I got out of bed to look out the glass door. As I returned to bed the rain began to increase, and suddenly there was a drumming outside as heavy rain fell. My mind instantly thought about two outside drains, and I rushed to the one outside the sliding glass door in the kitchen. Rain was coming down the two downspouts at a furious pace, so much water but the drain was clean and the water tumbled in. Off to the next drain I went.

As my bare foot hit the water on the tile I knew I was too late, now all I could do would be to fix whatever problem there was and mop up all the water on the floor. I got pretty soaked in the process.

Later on, in new night clothes, as I got up the last of the water, I thought about some of the changes I would like to effect in my life.

Like maybe painting a room that bugs me, or fixing up a wonky chair in the living room, or maybe...

...whatever I like. Just to make me happy.

I know I won't go 'hog wild' as they say. Just a little piggy, in some small, harmless way. Oft times I've heard it said that the best way to help yourself is to help some one else, and I do practice this adage. But there's a help coming my way from me.

I'm giving myself permission for more happiness, partly to offset the darkness around us all, but also to affirm my basic right to joy.

Join me, won't you?

With love, love on!

 

January 18, 2017

My goodness, America is sure going through some changes. Good ones, bad ones, weird ones.

Walking up to the Post Office yesterday, I passed a neighbor who was engaged in a spirited conversation about the recent Presidential Election and as I walked on the language got salty and I kept moving.

What's done is done. We cannot change the past. Live today and give it your best. That's my advice, and I'm taking it.

There is so much that I can do in my life to make it and the lives of others better. For me, these efforts will accomplish my goal, which is to make a positive impact where I can, when I can.

The winds of change are blowing, hold onto love.

Live lovingly!

 

January 15, 2017

Hello Germany! Hello Australia! Hello USA! Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours, and Happy New Year!

How are you doing?

We're half way into the first month of this year, and for some it's been smooth, others have had it rocky.

How we live our lives is up to us, each of us. We choose.

For my part, these past several days have found me house bound due to all the crazy, heavy rains. So much rain, flooding at intersections and on highways, rivers cresting their banks and flowing into homes, cars nearly swept away in run off water. These are just some of the stories I've heard this past week. So much water, just about everywhere.

In Jungian analysis water represents change.

So I've been using this thinking to work on and in our house. There is always something that needs being done. This house was built around 1885 or so, no one knows because the records were destroyed in the fire of 1906. What I have discovered is that it was built as a show house by a builder named Fernando Nelson, and served as the example for many of the homes built later in the neighborhood. There are probably 40 houses in the area built by Nelson & Co before he went on to develop the West Portal part of San Francisco.

As I worked, I thought about the men that built this place, and as I worked I thought of the people who will live here after I'm gone. We all share this small plot of land throughout time and space. A point of connection.

This same thinking is true for the planet as a whole, and is helping to teach us to be better residents, one by one.

Change for the better, with love.

Love on!

 

January 7, 2017

Well, I sure got my hat handed to me the other day.

A neighbor asked a while back if I'd be interested in coming to neighborhood meetings she is part of, and I said yes.

Got an e-mail about a meeting, went only to be told it had been postponed to a date I could not make.

Get an e-mail noticing a meeting that I couldn't  attend.

Then nothing for a couple of weeks. One day I see my neighbor and ask her about meetings. She tells me that I have missed too many and have been dropped. I ask who dropped me and she says it was her. I say that I had no idea that there was any performance expectation in the group and that I thought her action unfair. She looks me in the eye and say 'oh well', turning on her heel.

Such a wave, a veritable maelstrom of emotions swept over me, shock, anger, confusion, sadness, wonder, and then clarity followed by joy and laughter. At this point she turned back toward me and said something I couldn't and really didn't want to hear and I laughed again, feeling the freedom that comes when I take care of myself.

The wrong person always says 'no'. Be glad for it, in the final analysis. They're doing you a favor. Accept it.

Love on!

 

January 3, 2017

Hello Michigan! From what I have seen, Winter has come to visit. Having spent a great deal of time all around the state, I have witnessed how fiercely this season can grip. Stay warm, and thanks for reading. All the best to you and yours!

Well, here we are, most of us, starting this new year. Off we go, into the _________________ yonder.

What's been on my mind the past couple of days is this thing called a 'learning curve', the time that one takes to acquire new information, routine, you name it. Some of us take a long, gentle and slow curve, some of us are sharp angles, we all have differing capacities.

How we perceive, approach, and work with our individual capacity is our choice.

As a child, I was aware that I knew stuff that others did not. It was almost a continual, daily surprise to witness or learn of the limitation someone had placed on themselves. Some times it was sad, some times it felt 'right' in my body, a feeling that would and does continue to grow in me. What I saw I came to call 'Natural Selection', along the lines of evolution. For my part, I wanted to take in as much information I could about people and the world about me.

Along the way, I came to understand that we all have a capacity to love. Our capacity as individuals is determined by our self love. If we can learn to love ourselves better, we are then able to share this love that we have discovered. We cannot give that which we do not possess and perceive. To think otherwise is co-dependence, and that's not so good, for anybody.

There's a great big beautiful, wonderful and awesome new year ahead. That is my perception.

It, as all years have, will have a learning curve. This is both personal and global.

Down on my little level of all of this around us, my plan is to start with love, add patience, more love, much self improvement, healthy eating, drinking, and exercise. Add copious opportunities to love, and stir, not too hard. Remember, as you stir the spoon life will make you lick it.

Love on!

 

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! It's gone global. We are all in this new and as yet unknown new year. Huzzah! Cheers! Congratulations!

So many people have not made it with us into this year, and they are in my thoughts and prayers. Love never dies.

Here I sit, or I should type we as I have been writing this blog with someone at my side for years now. She, or maybe he, has been there solidly for the past many months, since the web was damaged by a falling pencil.

When it, if I may be gender neutral, first showed up, it was just a dark spot at the base of a wall behind my computer. A few days later I noticed what appeared to by a web. A few weeks later I noticed a larger web, and at the base of it this little dark spot, maybe a quarter of an inch wide. Over the years its web has become this lovely cone shaped affair, and the little dark spot has grown into a half inch wide spider with very sleek legs.

We've been getting along all these years because of something that happened in my childhood.

My Mom and I lived near her Mom in Big Pine, California when I was a kid. Very rugged, very beautiful, very in the heart of nature. One day when Gramma and I were walking we saw a big spider, and it scared me and I asked her to kill it. She refused, and I got real upset. She talked me down by explaining that everything in nature has a right to be there, and there if we can learn to get along with all of nature then we will be happier.

Back at her house, she took me into her kitchen, to a corner of it, and pointed out a small spider web with its occupant. Live and let live, she said.

And we are, all of us in this house, happy to be starting this new year, and have hopes and dreams alive in us. From all of us much love and light and goodness to you and yours.

Happy New Year!

 

December 30, 2016

Happy Gadsden Purchase!

On this date in 1853 Mexico sold part of the west of the North American continent to the USA. History. So much to learn, but if we learn from history we don't repeat mistakes so easily. At least that's the hope. Time will tell, it always does.

Watch and learn, my internal voice tells me, all the time. By observation comes information.

Nature has found its way to our yard. Cats, squirrels, mice, zillions of birds, 3 young raccoons, a huge hawk, crows and a dark purple salamander.

Life in our 25 foot by 100 foot kingdom. Not that much room, and yet, there you have it. All of this life, showing up now, such a delight. The rustle of small birds cowering in a bush, waiting for larger birds to leave. Through it all the two mourning doves feed or hang in the maple tree, devoid of leaves now, exposing them. The sharp eyes hawk sees them and comes in, but the doves take refuge under a camillia heavy with buds. Big bird, looking at me with some curiousity. After a while he flys away. The yard returns to normal, and a new cat appears. Ah life!

Living in California has been a delight. Having lived elsewhere, I have come to appreciate it, even with all its flaws. No place is perfect. Life is not about perfection but progress.

Happy Last Friday of the year. Enjoy your day.

With love.

 

December 29, 2016

Golly, what an end of what a year, and there are still 3 days to go...

...and we're still here. Blessed be.

With that in mind, my days on the wane in 2016 will find me with friends and family, enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Like life itself.

The beauty that is in our world, the good, the love, the laughter, and all points south, as well. Life is made up of that quixotic mixture of good and bad, and it is our task to sort out which is which and above all, learn.

2016 has taught me so very much, besides the importance of being alive. It has shown me repeatedly that light does vanquish dark, that love is stronger than hate, and that the right thing always happens. It is this simple act of faith that sustains me.

When I believed otherwise my life was a mess. No money, erratic friends, so much drama, and such gloom and doom always present. No wonder I sought refuge in drugs and drink and lots of other behaviors. None of which helped, and in point of fact just made what was already an unhappy life all the more miserable.

My thoughts were taking me someplace bad, and I knew it.

The only person that could and would rescue me was me. 'Alone, again, nauturally' sang Gilbert O'Sullivan years ago, and I heard this refrain time and again as I made better choices for myself. Slowly, with much trepidation, I began to take better care of my thinking. The negative pratter that filled my head was reduced, and a trust began to form in me, of me.

Now, from time to time, when I catch my face in a mirror, I say 'I love you', most times outloud. I continue to build this relationship everyday, with patience, encouragement, and love. The best way for me to learn love is to give it to myself, so that I truly can begin to understand it. As I love me more, I can love more.

Love on!

 

December 23, 2016

ah, the holly daze...

on so many faces now, folks rushing from hither to yon and back again, so many pedestrians, so many bicycles, so many cars, not enought busses or trolley cars or trains.

And then, of course, there's the weather, awful as it is, no matter where you are.

And stuff to do, endless streams of things and tasks and chores and more en masse.

(take a breath (says a small voice in my head) and relax, do it again, close your eyes, and relax, breathe)

The world is not perfect, people are not perfect. It's okay. My only job is to tend to me and mines, regardless of the scurry and hurry and worry around me, or the weather, or the what not.

One step at a time, one breath at a time, one heart beat at a time.

When I slow my perception down to the heart beat pace I can clearly feel the majesty of life inside me, automating me, allowing me. Such a gift, it brings a smile to my face, and in it I find the where with all to keep going.

With love and gratitude.

Always and all ways.

Live and love on!

 

December 18, 2016

1-415-255-7428

In the morning, as I walk around our house, I'll notice my phone flashing. Calls are waiting to be heard.

I listen to each of them. Some days there are no calls, but most days there are. Some of them are displacement calls.

Every once in a while the call will start with a full throated scream. Someone just really letting it all out. All the pain, the hurt, the anger, the confusion, the hate, the awful. Displacement. Transforming that awful energy into something else. Getting rid of the negative.

This morning there were many calls, and I smiled and said a prayer for each of them, knowing that their displacement is a step forward.

'Dump it all here' this one caller said, and I smiled even more. Yes, please, help yourself, freely and fully.

In return I promise love and a prayer.

Being the holidays here in San Francisco, I've been out and about, taking in the sights and the hub-bub, bub.So many folks walking along, head down, furtive glances, some with frowns or looks of worry. I remember feeling like that, all the time. Stuffed to the gills with all of my malcontent and sometimes brimming over. My life was a mess. That's when I started looking into what was occuring to me.

What I discovered was that I was good with all of my emotions except for the dark and darker ones. All of that energy, memories that replayed themselves endlessly in my mind, awake and asleep. I had to find a way to get rid of this energy. That's where displacement came along.

I was walking along a beach, mulling over all the awfulness of my life, roiling inside with a dark wave of emotion. Suddenly it brimmed over and I wanted to scream outloud. I did.

My ears rang, and I was suddenly aware of the complete absence of sound. I could feel eyes on me and walked on.

Displacement changed and improved my life. It can do the same for yours.

Call me, 1-415-255-7428, leave a message, or many.

Love on!

 

December 14, 2016

Hello Cuenca, Spain! Such an amazing country, such wonderful people, such history, and the foods and wines...superb! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

For the past several days I've had this prickling feeling and kept making note of it. As time went by, it turned into a sense that someone was going to lie to me about something important. Okay, good to know. Each time I felt this sense I accepted it as something I needed to be aware of. Time will tell, I told myself.

This past weekend my next door neighbor mentioned that he was going to repair his stairs on the back of his building and might need to fix the fence between us. The chill that went through me was awesome. I knew that this was the something I had been feeling.

Monday morning, about 8AM, a few guys showed up in his backyard with tools and stuff. A little while later I heard the buzz of an electric saw at work. About mid-day I went to see what was happening, and was gobsmacked to see that the stairs were being carved up and thrown away, all 4 floors. Wow!

My intuition had told me that something was up, and here it was. I slept on it.

Tuesday morning I went online and found out that my neighbor had lied to the City about the scope of the job. After meditating about it, I sent him a text message informing him of what I knew and asking him to be honest with me. Shortly thereafter he called and left a voice message about how we needed to talk and whatnot.

A couple of hours later, he knocked on my door. Inviting him in, we looked at the plans that he had drawn up. He told me how he wanted to widen the stairs for the ease of the tenants and just needed a 'skoosh' more room. We discussed how his plans would block out my view and create a bit of a tunnel of daylight for my house. He said he'd work on it.

His 'skoosh' turns out to be two feet beyond the original staircase. Thank you intuition!

He and I will go forward to a resolution, and for my part I have learned from the exchange.

I have learned to trust my love and my intuition. Yet again!

Love and live on!

 

December 12, 2016

Social media sure has had an impact on the planet.

'It must be true, I read it on the internet.' 'I looked into it by following links.' 'Everyone is talking about it, it's trending.'

Fake news, real news, soft news, spin news.

On social media I watch folks react to stuff and how cranked up some of them get, ready to march and protest and raise hell.

The other day I had a nice online chat with a woman in Ghana. We traded stories about the people we knew and how the young seem to have an endless capacity for nonsense. She told me that in her village she is the 8th oldest woman, and is part of a council that decides what needs to be done for the community. I told her about my neighborhood group and how we are meeting this week to discuss landscaping at the public library. She said she would introduce the idea of having a library.

Change, slow and steady and always with us.

Doing what we can, as individuals, is what freedom is all about. Doing good makes freedom sweeter.

Love on!

 

December 7, 2016

At the end of my work day yesterday, around 7PM or so, I sat down and cried.

Just for a couple of minutes, I let go and let all the pain and hurt that was welling up inside of me out. Tears ran down my cheeks, as I sat on my bed, the house quiet, no one around. Just me and my pain.

There are countless terrible events happening daily on our planet, the onslaught of bad news is endless. Relentless. Hence my tears.

It felt good to cry, to let out the pain, the anguish, the despair.

Splashing water on my face, I went about with my evening, and after a while found myself laughing at something the cat did.

Let go, Let G-d, Let good.

There will be times in life when our emotions overflow and overwhelm. Don't be afraid of your feelings, they add a richness to life that is the essence of life itself. Good and bad. Most of us know what to do with the good, but the bad? Not so much. We shove our feelings deep into the recesses of our mind and move forward. But we haven't let it go, despite our wanting to.

Emotion is energy, which is life.  Holding back our laughter makes us dull and forlorn. Holding back our tears makes us cynical and bitter.

This morning, as I looked into the yard, along came a squirrel. I'd fed her yesterday and she was back, looking for breakfast. As I opened the door to set out some nuts she jumped onto the deck startling me. Then she sat up on her back legs and looked at me and I let out a laugh.

Thank goodness for squirrels.

Love on!

 

December 5, 2016

Year end approaches. So many things I want to get done or started or make progress on.

The hurrier I go the behinder I get.

Recently I got involved in what I thought was going to be a small chore and it turned into so much more. It was kind of like a magicians handkerchief, the more I got stuck in, the more there was to do.  After a couple of hours I realized that the job before me was more than I had time for and I moved on with my day.

Having added another task to my endless list of things to do, I smiled about how life requires effort.

Recently I have been working with a new client, a person in their early 20's. From my clients perspective, life is just too much work and takes too much time away from what is important, like sleeping late and thinking about getting a job or maybe going to school or something, and out and about with friends having a good time.

Adulting is not easy, but being a perpetual child is such a waste of a life brimming with potential.

When I grew up, there were not many choices. No one else would pay my bills or feed me or provide me with shelter. My last year of High School was pretty grim, being homeless and looking for handouts, but I made it through. Getting a job at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant gave me an income and money for rent so I could finish High School somewhat easily.

Over time it became easier to do whatever work was required of me, at a job or in college. Paying my dues, that's what I thought.

All these years later and I'm still paying my dues, doing whatever is required of me and finding time for the things that I want to do. It is learning to live with this balance that has provided me with so much of my life. Giving to get makes sense to me now. We have to prime the pump, so to speak, in order to receive anything in return.

Give and get. Love and be loved.

Got it! Love on!

 

November 30, 2016

Hello South Africa! Happy Spring to you and yours. Your country is on my 'Want to visit' list, so hopefully one of these days! All the best, and thanks for reading.

Hope.

That's what has been spinning and swirling and sustaining me lately.

After the US Presidential election I was quite spun, hadn't foreseen the shift in Electoral College votes, and have had to sit with the news since then.

The right thing always happens. Even this. I trust in truth and time.

How do I get there? Hope.

For my part, it is all too easy to look away at the news that disgusts me, the racist, the homophobic, the xenophobic. And I do. But I do not let these things go unnoticed. Nor do I sit on my hands with my mouth shut. Yestersdays blog entry is an example.

Even though some of the folks on the planet hate me on sight, I will go on and be my authentic self. Not because of them, because of me. This is my life, this singular time, and I will not let despair and hopelessness and baser emotions rule my world.

Hope. My candle in the wind.

Love on!

 

November 29, 2016

Happy Giving Tuesday!

I hadn't heard about it until the other day, when a charity I support sent me an e-mail informing me about it. Sounds like a good idea to me, perhaps those that can afford to be generous will be. It's a choice.

Such choices we have right now. Do we stick our heads in the sand and try to ignore the new USA administration, or do we pay close attention and make our voices heard? Or do we support the good that it brings? Or not? It's a choice.

What doesn't change is our individual responsibilty to be who we are.

For my part, the changes swirling around our planet only serve to make me more resolute about being who I am. Yesterday, while I was out and about, a young woman crashed into me as she was fixated by her phone. She made an ugly comment about me and walked away. To her back I said outloud 'Take care' and as I turned to continue on a woman said to me 'Nice man.' I thanked her and we parted. Golly, I thought, hadn't seen that coming, what a nice thing for her to say.

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.' ~ Oscar Wilde

Love on!

 

November 25, 2016

Black Friday! The day when it looks as if the world of retail is on sale, the world over.

For some sellers, it started a few days ago, putting stuff on sale to attract buyers.

It worked! At least on me it did. I found something on sale that I had been thinking about buying, but the price was a bit high for me. Even though it was on sale I resisted. Until 2 days ago. That's when I got an email telling me that the thing I wanted was on sale by 40% and a link to go check it out. Click bait, they call that, and I clicked.

One of the things I love about Winter is the cold and the snow. Not that I ever want to live year round with it, but it sure is fun to visit for a few days. Another thing I love is travel, and this sale on British Airways let me have those two things in one package for a wonderful low price. What's not to like?

Ah, Black Friday, you've played your siren song and I've danced.

So out I went this morning, the real Black Friday, taking a trolley car downtown to Powell Street and the crowds on the sidewalks, so many people, so many shopping bags. The Holidays Holly Days Holly Daze are upon us.

Just think, one month until Christmas...

I suspect consumer spending will exceed last year, and that the stores will be mobbed in the days ahead. Some folks I know wait all year to go shopping, and for them this is the best time of year. Out and about and having fun.

Chances are very good that I will be among them, out and about, taking in the sounds and colors and the swirl of year end. When I look around hopefully I will see smiles and hear laughter, two of the greatest gifts we can share.

Love on!

 

November 21, 2016

What fun I've had the past couple of days hearing from folks where it is really cold!

When I wrote my comment about being cold at 48F, the first response I got was from a man in far northern Canada who wrote saying that 48F was his day time high, with temperatures dropping at night to around 0F. !

Thanks for all the weather reports from the world over.

Most of all, thanks for reading, and for spending a few minutes taking time for yourself.

The reason I started this blog in 2008 was to spread a little sunshine around, and from what my wonderful web host Citymax provides by way of statistics tells me that folks like coming here.

Thank you!

I couldn't do it without you, and would not bother if not for you. Oh, I know, it sounds codependant, but it is really not.

It's about sharing the caring that I have with this world of ours, the environment, the people, the places, the whole megillah.

I love you!

Love on!

 

November 18, 2016

Golly, it was so cold this morning, 48F here in San Francisco, California. Winter is coming, and so is some rain this weekend. Yay!

One of the great joys in my life is learning, and I am always reading two books, several magazines and journals, and think of the internet as the answer machine, sometimes.

I went to public school in California because it was free for my parents.

College costs blew my mind and made me get jobs and live with roommates in less than nice housing, but I kept on.

In the 1980's I got involved working with companies and educational institutions looking into distant learning, sometimes called CBT (computer based training). It was very interesting to learn of the pros and cons, and the world of learning began to open up.

Today, thanks to the internet, we have countless opportunities to learn, some of it for free.

For the past few months I've been taking courses in England, from a couple of different colleges. The commute is a breeze, I just plonk my bottom down at my computer and sign in to www.FutureLearn.com and away I go.

There was an interesting course on communication I completed, and another on medieval Royal eating habits, and right now I'm just finishing one about an ancient port near Rome called Portus. All interesting stuff, for me.

Education changed my life. If not for schools and exposure to a vastly larger world, I might have lived my life as a farmer in the desert.

Learn on, love on!

 

November 15, 2016

Hello Atlanta, or should I write 'Hotlanta'? What a dynamic city you are, gracious and fast paced, and ever growing, so it appears. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The US of A continues its election cycle gyrations, the winners triumphant, the losers in turmoil. It is always thus.

What doesn't change is who we are, how we are, how we act, speak, think and love.

There is so much fear swirling around the country and the world, what will happen next?

Reality TV is coming to the White House.

27% of America elected the new guy.

If you like what's happening, make your voice heard. If not, likewise.

This is how democracy really works, with each of us. It may be enshrined in marble all over the place, but in point of fact it comes down to each of us and how we behave and speak.

For my part, I've taken to writing letters and sending emails expressing my hopes and fears for the coming Administration. Dozens so far, and more to do, but this is my right as a citizen.

There are so many places where the citizens have no voice, no democracy.

America is not one of them. We're loud and brash and opinionated as all get out. If we don't like something, we'll say something. The marches that are occuring all over the country are just one sign of the turmoil facing us in the days ahead. Hang on tight to your heart and head, listen, breathe, think, breathe, feel, breathe, act, and keep breathing.

Love you, love yours, love on!

 

November 13, 2016

Nowness versus knowingness.

The delta that time creates.

We are all intuitive. It's like a muscle of the body: the more you work it the stronger it gets.

When we surrender to the forces of time and space, to all that is, we have an opportunity to become more. Clearly one is not in control of what happens in life. Surrender to karma, to balance, to the correct beingness.

Every morning I wake up in a body that hurts and aches and requires so much attention, at my peril. My power ends at my skin. Of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions do I learn and reveal my self.

Sheesh, if that weren't enough...

We, each of us, where we are right this and every moment, are a representation of our capacity to love.

Fill up! Live up!

Love on.

 

November 12, 2016

The right thing always happens.

Even if you don't like the results. There are things that occur in life that can throw us about, like this past Tuesday.

Regardless of what happens, do not abandon your principles and self, no matter what. Stay soft, reject bitterness, hold on to the love that beats in your heart.

So many of the folks worldwide are riding an emotional roller coaster, wondering what this American election means.

What it ultimately means is that you are still you.

There will be a new resident in the White House this coming January, this is something we all knew would happen. Most of us thought it was going to be the other candidate, but this appears not to be true.

Stay true to your love. Continue to be your loving self, and maybe even more so.

A lie will be believed when the truth is expected. The truth will be rejected when a lie is expected.

The days ahead will be unlike any we have seen before. Already the winning candidate is beginning to modify his statements about some of the issues.

Getting elected is easy when you say what people want to hear. Governing is a totally different matter.

For my part, I wish the new US administration all the best, as I do for the American people and all peoples the world over.

Staying true to our highest good ensures that the right thing will continue to happen, with love.

Love on.

 

November 9, 2016

I have awakened in 1980. America is running backwards. The loser is the winner. I didn't see this coming.

The limit to my intuition is my inclusion, and here I am, yet again. I've been here before, those times when things went the other way and I had to cope and punt and make do and carry on. This is just another of those times, and the engine of evolution is chugging along. That's what I have to do, as do all of us.

'Life is not a chair of bolies' my Dad said one day, and somedays he is still correct.

What will not change is my love.

Love on.

 

November 8, 2016

Election Day in the USA.

Finally. Heaven knows I've been waiting for this day to come. Never have I witnessed an election cycle like this one for the past year and a half. Amazing! Unseen before! Such rancor!

What was spectacular to watch was the media and how they made sure that this years Presidential election cycle was the stuff of cliff hangers and dropped microphones.

What was so sad to see was the turmoil in my clients as the waves of less than journalism swept the country and the ship of State began to list awfully.

Clients the world over expressed concern for the choices that Americans were making.

Take a breath, I'd say, and don't let the darkness find a home in you.

Then one day, there I was on Twitter, reading some of the stuff posted there, and I saw it. A wonderful phrase that resonated deeply in me and became my mantra for all these grueling months: Love trumps hate.

Even though the media has done it's very best to stir up the electorate like never before America will reject fear and hate and Donald Trump. We haven't seen the last of him or heard the last of his spin, but as he would say, he's a loser.

Love on!

 

November 3, 2016

What a bunch of holidays here in San Francisco!

Samhain, Halloween, All Saints, All Souls, Dia de Los Muertos, all of them chock-a-block and people in costumes and there were candles at shrines and churches and so much fun. Trick or treaters at the door, big and little.

For me, the best part was going to a local school and seeing all the kids in costumes, such fun, so much creativity, and the kids were loving it. There was a big box of stuff for those who needed to borrow a costume made on the spot, and adult helpers to help. My ears rang with the laughter for quite a while.

As the days grow shorter I find myself preparing for the winter weather to come, the rain and the cold and the limited sunlight. Making sure that I'm ready will hopefully lessen any impact unforeseen that may come along. It's not whether, it's weather!

Another part of my winter preparation is to avail myself to things that make me laugh. Laughter is cheap medicine, I've heard, and know this to be true. Laughter lightens the heart and soul.

Bring on the Holidays, I think, Thanksgiving and all the rest, each and every one. There's an ice rink that just opened in Union Square and maybe this is the year that I'll give that a try, it's been decades since my last trial. Learning to land well is the secret to my ice skating technique.

Maybe that applies to a lot of my approach to life: land well.

Love on!

 

October 28, 2016

Discontent. Anger. Disappointment. Hate.

When people ask me, and they do, how I stay positive in light of all the negativity in the world I tell them it is because I displace the bad.

I do not dwell on negative people or events or ideas. I refuse to let more of the dark in our world have more of me than it has already had, and I continue to reclaim myself from the negativity of my past.

Which is why I almost laughed outloud the other day when a woman sitting next to me on the trolley car burbled something about the current Presidential cycle and statements made by one of the candidates. Right in that moment I could feel the negativity in her, and heard it in her verbal tone and language. I turned to her and said 'Be well' and moved to another part of the car.

No thanks lady, I thought, keep it to yourself. Taking another seat I notice that she is glaring at me, and then starts talking out loud. She's far enough away that I cannot hear her, but I can tell that she is becoming agitated. Mind you, she's nicely dressed, from her appearance I suspect she is on her way to work. Poor dear, I think, and look away.

At the next trolley stop she is suddenly standing in front of me and says in a loud voice 'I hate you' at me and storms away. Wow is all I think.

A few moments later a young woman gets my attention. She asks me if I know that woman, to which I say no. She tells me that the woman is a partner at one of the big law firms in San Francisco. Wow is all I think.

Negativity is all around. Try to keep all parts of you away from it as it offers nothing good for any of us.

Love you, love those close to you, love those at a distance and always love on.

 

October 22, 2016

Hello Miami Florida! Thanks for reading, hope this finds you and yours hale and well, and enjoying your lovely city, such architecture, food and vibrancy. All the best!

The more you use a faculty of your being, the more adept you become.

This is true when we work to build up our muscles as our bodies reflect this effort over time.

The same is true with being intuitive. The more we learn to use this faculty, the more we have a larger sense of our reality.

Yesterday I saw a private client that I had seen a few weeks earlier. She had come to me to discuss the pros and cons of a business deal. During that session it dawned on me that this was not a good thing for her to do. She did it anyway. Now more than $40K has disappeared, along with the two guys she was dealing with. Yesterday we met to determine what, if anything, could be done. At one point she said that right after she signed the wire transfer she felt a shiver, a chill, that ran down her body from head to toe.

Some folks say that intuition is more a matter of coincidence and whatnot, but they're wrong. We are all intuitive.

The biggest issue in developing ones psychic sense is to surrender to the information, to surrender to being in any way responsible for anything more than your own thoughts, deeds, and feelings. To let go and to trust.

Some of the information I've received over the years has been awful, some has been fabulous, and all of it has been helpful, not just to me but to those that I work with. These are the folks that constantly remind me of the evolving forward progress that we all could make. For my part, I am so glad to be useful.

Utility not futility, with love and light and laughter and life.

Love on!

 

October 18, 2016

Life is full of amazing moments.

For some time now I've been working with a man who is working with grief since his father died. We've talked about the pain of physical loss, the longing, the sadness, the anger, just about every bit of death has been discussed.

Including life after death.

He was raised Catholic and has always had a hard time believing in heaven, he said the whole 'raised from the dead' thing and harps and angels just rang hollow for him.

From my experience I know that death is much more than most folks know. The body dies, the soul lives. And goes onward.

He listened and asked questions, but I could tell he was just not sure about what I said.

Until lately, when something happened to him that left him changed forever.

He had gone out early one day, running errands and whatnot, and finally ate food after noon. Still busy, a bite here and there, and to bed. The next day was a full one as well, and he met up with a friend to go to a street festival. The only thing he ate or drank consisted of a Polish dog hog. Out in the hot sun, walking around he was. Then it was time to catch a train back to his car, and as he stood at the train stop he began to fall, and he saw this dazzling bright white light and blackness around it. Looking at the light he felt uplifted and almost on the verge of laughing. That's when he heard his name being called by his friend, and he looked away from the light. Then the voice got louder and he could hear his friend telling him to stand up in an angry tone of voice. He turned back toward the light and again felt a deep peacefulness envelop him. Then he heard his friend's voice cussing at him, saying his name over and over, and then he began to see his friends face and it came into sharper focus and then he was aware of being on the ground and his friend telling him to stand up, which he did.

Back at his friends house he drank water and ate something, and began to feel better.

Yet the experience clung to him, and he knew what had almost happened. He couldn't wait to tell me about it.

His sadness has been replaced with a profound faith in life after death, and any fear of dying that he had has been wiped away.

Life is so much more than most of us know. Learn more, live more, love more.

Love on! And on!

 

October 17, 2016

Hello Idaho, Germany, San Mateo and all points!

Yesterday I sat down at my computer and wrote a short blog entry about the joy of rain returning to San Francisco after seven months. It was all about how difficult it is to cope with the first rains, how slick the highways become, the mess and danger of wet leaves on the pavement, that sort of stuff. I hit 'Save' and that was that...nothing got saved, some glitch prevented it.

So I wrote it all again, and guess what happened?

Now, a fresh new day and I'm giving it another try.

Life is like that. Try, and try again. Do not give up.

Persistance pays.

When I think back to the wave of frustration that swept over me yesterday when my first posting failed, and how much larger the second wave of failure felt. So frustrated and angry. Aaarrrrgggge! Kinda like that. The perfect time to step back, take a breath, take 5 or 10 or however long, and relax.

And here I am today, yet again, hoping that this posting will stick to the internet wall, as it were.

Hope lives in love, we just have to remember to get in touch with the love so that we can go forward.

Love on!

 

October 11, 2016

Have you ever been somewhere that is giving away free samples of food? It can get crazy!

That's what happened to me yesterday when I went shopping for a new computer printer. I'd gone around to a couple of stores, just your usual retailer with stereos and TV's and whatnot, and decided I'd go to Costco (www.costco.com) and check things out there. Little did I know that it was going to turn into, but ignorance can be blissful, as long as it lasts.

The parking lot was busier than most Mondays, and then I remembered that it was Columbus Day, a holiday for some. Around these parts we call it Indigenous Peoples Day, but the net effect is the same, lots of people out and about.

Walking up the stairs to the entrance I notice that there are almost no shopping carts. Oh oh, bad sign. I snag one and start toward the door. The crush of folks leaving makes it hard to get to the entrance door, but I manage. The place is packed. There are folks streaming in all directions, some of them with these large flat rolling beds for large buys. Oh, look, TV's are on sale, there are great big ones for so little money, oh look, warm sweaters for less than $10, oh look...

Finding the computer aisle I am shocked to find a great printer for more than half off list price. Wow! What a great deal. Since I'm here I might as well pick up a couple of other things I need, I tell myself, as I steer my cart toward the back of the store. That's when it started: the food lines.

Now don't get me wrong, this wasn't my first time at a Costco, why I've been to them in various States and I like to think I'm familiar with them. But for some reason, it seemed as if at just about every aisle there are one or 2 food sample stands, and most of them were busy. It was fun to see the crowd of people surge for some items, and that's when I began to notice what a sea of folks were at Costco along with me.

Beating a hasty retreat toward the front of the store, I found a short line and got in it. It wasn't the shortest line, but it has been my experience that whenever I choose the shortest line it moves slower than all the rest. No jinx for me, thank you.

What made me smile was the progression of the year I made on my journey to the cashiers, how it started with samples of Fall foods and goods to Halloween and Thanksgiving and finally Christmas and New Years. All the merchandise clumped by the holiday it represents, such a festive and colorful display. I almost bought a pumpkin...

Love on!

 

October 7, 2016

Happy World Smile Day!

Most days it's easy for me to find a smile on my face. Most days.

Not always, however. Not the other day.

I woke up feeling the cold, heavy blanket of depression trying to settle on my shoulders. It felt awful, and the more I felt into it the worse I began to feel.

Making a mad dash for my clothes, out I went for a walk. I walked along and just looked around and felt my mood begin to lift, slowly, so I kept on walking. When I felt much better I turned toward home.

On my walk I uncovered what had been at the base of my depression, it was the rejection by someone who I had hoped to get to know. My feelings were hurt, and I had just moved on without taking stock of myself.

Even though I know that the wrong person will always say 'No' that does not change my feeling of wanting better and more.

So on I go. I will continue to reach out to people as I find myself doing, and know that the right people always say 'Yes', always!

Here's to World Smile Day, I'm sharing mine, how about you?

Love on!

 

October 5, 2016

Just got back from a quick trip to Phoenix Arizona, seeing family and doing family research. It was wonderful to be there, the city has grown so much, so many housing developments stretching out into the desert. And the rocks that pop up here and there, towering red stones rising above everything, even the tallest buildings. Wow!

Travel continues to evolve, and more and more folks are flying. While I waited in line to board my flight from SFO there was a small boy with his mom in front of me, and it became clear that this was his first plane ride. He was so excited and couldn't wait to get on the plane. Overhearing this, the agent at boarding asked the 3 folks in front of him in line if the boy and his mom could board first, which all agreed to.

It was so fun to watch him walk into the jetway, his gaze swinging everywhere, taking in every surface. His mom was laughing.

As I boarded I heard his voice and there he was, in the cockpit with the pilots. Later, as he walked past me, his smile was infectious and everyone smiled back at him. Suddenly the crushing boredom that flying can be lifted for me, and I cheered.

There are new experiences everyday, and not all of them will make us smile. Do your best, that's my advice. Smile if you can. And keep moving forward.

'What will be, will be' as the song and saying goes, and it remains true. Our task is to live with what happens.

Love on!

 

October 1, 2016

Happy October! Eighth month in the Roman calendar, 8 of 12, three fourths the way into the year, we are here.

Time, as I have heard countless times, is elastic. It stretches and contracts as it is correct. For some reason, and I suspect it has more to do with time than space, I have come to remark on the paucity of notice some give to time. Just the other day, someone I know said that he was still in July, what with the weather being so warm and all, and I laughed, knowing how elastic and flexible time can be.

Some times, when I sit comfortably and quietly, I am back somewhere in time, when I was 16-17 or so, life was good and calm and sweet and I was at peace. Memory. Feeling in body.

Time has become my friend, even when it is running way too fast for me, when I am scrambling and rushing and out of breath and more and more, even then, I stop and breathe. Just for me. I'm worth it.

October is here, pumpkins and orange and turkeys and all the more. Flow with it, go with it, let time be your friend. Each moment, each minute presents another chance to change and grow and love and live, really and truly right deep down in your bones feel it...love.

We are always our best with love. Here's to our new month, and such history in these days to come. Come live love, love on.

 

September 27, 2016

Happy World Tourism Day!

1.2 billion people traveled internationally last year. Wow!

Not surprisingly, I was one of them, as I have been traveling outside the USA since I was 12 years old. Every year, if I can, I travel someplace away, a different culture, foods, customs, sights and most of all- people. These trips have given me an insight into our species, and from what I've seen, we are mostly similar in intent and motivation. It's the how of going about our business that is so interesting. Seeing the world close up forever changed my perspective of life, and the importance of love.

Going forward, we will continue to see an expansion of the travel sector of the global economy, and it's attendant services, like the food sector and lodgings.

'The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.' ~ St. Augustine

'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.' ~ Mark Twain

I especially like the Twain quote, he is a distant cousin, and reading of his travels helped propel me on mine.

Growing up in southern California, I had plenty of opportunities to travel to Mexico, and learned so much about the people and culture, so rich and varied, much like the USA in its regionalism. I walked over the border at Tijuana so many times I've lost count. So easy, and once across off I would go shopping and looking around and eating, especially eating. Such great food, so many places.

Today in most of our cities you will find outposts of foreign cultures dotting the landscape. They are portals into another place, some of them reflecting in decor their national or regional identities.

Restaurants.

So go international today if you can, and share our world.

Love on.

 

September 26, 2016

Hello Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada! Wow, from the photos I can see on Google Earth you live in a beautiful part of the world, the colors blue, green and white being so visible. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

The other day I saw one of the most striking photographs I have seen in a long, long while.

It was just what I needed to see, since I had been on social media, part of a forum of folks posting on history, and there it was. This crude, ugly political statement about the US election. My stomach turned, I shut down my computer and went for a long walk.

People will be as they are. Trust what you see, hear, witness. Be true to yourself, and remember to love. That was the fruit of my walk.

Returning home, after a while I went back online, not without some trepidation, just a bit of hesitancy in my movements. And there it was, this great photograph, one I could never have imagined.

Politics can stir up the most intense emotions in us, and some of us take it and the discourse to vulgar ends. That is unfortunate.

This year, for what I am sure is a host of reasons, the political language has gotten really rough, the statements harsh, the truth slippery and sometimes absent. Never have I seen anything like it in this country. It can be very depressing. My intuition tells me that I am witnessing and part of the engine of evolution as it operates here on earth. The swings of social behavior, the release of good and bad energies, and the opportunity to learn from what occurs.

So there was my sweet morsel of good and decent and don't despair: a photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush, both of them smiling.

Take that, America! We are stronger together, with love.

Love on!

 

September 22, 2016

Happy Autumn! Happy Spring!

'Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower.' ~ Albert Camus

Already, in our yard, the maple tree's newest leaves have begun to turn bright yellow and fall, curling to a pale tan on the ground. The wind is whipping the fog away in swirling masses of breakaway clouds and shreds of vapor. Pale dawn light illuminates all, the chill of the air cooling skin as I walk along the street. Here and there trees have begun to respond to the termperature as it begins to drop in anticipation of Winter.

Yellow and orange and just a hint of red, here and there.

The changing of the season. Welcome Autumn!

Love on!

 

September 18, 2016

Hello! Happy Sunday! Happy Everyday!

Whew! What a week this has been, so busy, every day, some nights, and finally today, a day of almost rest for me.

Have you noticed that somedays time just seems to evaporate, and at other times drag on? Funny, that.

One of the most interesting things that happened around me was the release of the new Apple mobile telephone. The tech crowd dutifully lined up, starting late Wednesday night, for the release on Friday morning. It was amazing and a little funny to see folks camped out on the sidewalk at Union Square. I spoke to a couple of them after they got their new phones, so excited they were. They were sitting having a coffee as I walked by, and I thought I knew one of them. As I walked past the one I kinda knew saw me and waved, so I stopped to say hello and wound up talking for a few minutes. Imagine, two 70+ year oldsters, jabbering about tech.

Funny though it was, I think that they are both onto something: the new keeps us interested.

The other morning I was talking with a young neighbor, about 6 years old she is. Her mom and I were talking about stuff and her mom said something about when she first saw a computer and her daughter looked at her and laughed. 'What did you have instead?' the little girl asked, and her mom replied 'Walkmans' and the daughter's face looked puzzled. Ah, youth! So much has transpired before you arrived.

The new keeps happening. So should we, with as much love as we can muster. It will make the future more inviting, love will.

Happy Day! Choose with love, and it will be better.

Love on.

 

September 12, 2016

The seventh month of the old Roman calendar is rolling along, here we are almost mid-way to the month. Ten more days until the autumnal equinox as we swing to Winter/Summer. Such a funny little wobble we do through space/time.

My walk early this morning was revealing. So many changes. Neighbors digging garages under their houses, others doing work of some sort. A sleeping man in a doorway. A woman walking a beautiful poodle, both she and the dog elegant in the foggy morning light. It is about the light for me on mornings like this one, and why the change of climate where ever I am interests me. Weather makes a big impression on me.

As a child I lived with the extremes of desert heat in the summer and snow in the winter.

As a teenager I lived with soggy Los Angeles and mild winters.

Today I live in the fog, some days.

Like this morning, the grey skies softening the colors, the sound of movement somehow sharper to the ear.

My walk revealed a city waking up, very urban in places, lots of big trucks and busses and so many cars. Along with an old Milan, Italy street car, painted bright orange as they are, clanging down the street.

Back home now, a full day of work awaits me. Business work and house work and life work. That should keep me going until 8PM or so. A full day. My choice this is. I could slack off and do less, business work less, messier house, messier life. I could, I have. The only problem with doing that is the net results are less than wonderful. So I'll bend my back and knees, and do what I please. If I can make me feel better about the life that I am living, I am on the correct path. Less than self love is less life.

Love on.

 

September 7, 2016

Hello, hello, how are you, how've you been? Living and loving, I hope. That's what I've been doing, or trying to do. Goodness knows, it can be a struggle and sometimes a pain in the parts...

and then there's the wild life, and I don't mean in the jungles, unless those are concrete jungles. From my experiences and what those around me have been saying, the emotional climate of the world seems to have kicked it up a notch or three. People are more short tempered, impatient, rude and from personal experience I cite hostile.

Never have I had someone pull back his arms and growl at me as he ignored the line and pushed ahead of me. How weird...

but I let it wash over me like a fine mist and kept my distance on the subway car. That's my advice these days: avoid conflict.

There is such a swirl of emotion surrounding us all, and it is all too easy to get caught up in that swirl. I know, it happens to me. The other day I overheard a conversation waiting in line, two men discussing a woman they know. The language was filthy, the words disgusting, their smiles mocking. Such low lifes, I thought. These two 20 something males reminded me that it's a big jungle and I am best served by choosing the course of action that is best for me. I kept my mouth shut and looked away from them. The woman at the cash register had overheard them as well and in a loud voice told them to stop using  ugly words. They shut up, paid for their purchase and left. As I walked forward a big smile appeared on her face as she said 'Hello there' to me. My role model for the rest of the day, she was.

Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe...and repeat. Let the good flow in, the bad flow out. We are human beings becoming.

Love on!

 

September 1, 2016

An update of my posting of August 27:

First client does nothing, her boss discovers problem, takes responsibility and fixes problem.

Second client visits son, discovers he's not enrolled in school breaking their financial agreement. Son in school now.

Third client catches woman friend in a lie, asks her to explain, and is told more lies. Distance now between them.

Trust your guts, I'm always telling people this. How to distinguish between your fears and intuition? Breathe. Fear fades, intuition becomes more solid feeling.

Remember to take time for yourself, to think kindly of yourself, to love yourself. When we practice self esteem we grow as individuals.

Love on!

 

August 30, 2016

I hated to do it, I kept sending them messages to knock it off, but that didn't work. Then I tried reasoning with them and that made it worse. Finally I sent them each a message telling them that we would no longer be Facebook friends if they continued to post the things that they did. Nothing changed on either end, and the guy actual sent me a physically threatening message.

I unfriended them both.

I hated to do it, but I could not stomach the vile, awful lies that each of them were spreading. And the comments from the people that agreed with them was mindbogling. Such hatred, such threats. It had to stop.

Never have a battle of wits with someone unarmed. That's always been my motto, but both of these folks are far from unarmed, one of them is a Ph.D in microbiology and award winning, but still, the beliefs they expoused were so awful, so mean spirited, so hateful.

That's what did it, when the hate just became more than I wanted to bear. Even though I could have just blocked myself from ever seeing anything they've posted, that for me was less than honest, if I block you then why are we friends?

Cyber connections are just like the ones we have in real life. Connections.

Being connected and exposed to the hateful spewing of someone doesn't improve any thing for any one. That's why I did it.

There may always be someone in the crowd who hates me for heaven knows why. My job is to take care of me.

21st Century problems, as old as mankind.

Love on.

 

August 27, 2016

Thank Heaven for my intuition! It's like a muscle, the more you use it and work with it and learn about it, the more you come to trust it. That keeps it flowing to and in you. What an ability that gives so much.

Returning from my last trip, I took one day off before returning to work as that was what I had intuited. Mainly I slept and tried to reconcile a 9 hour long time shift.

First client wants to write a message to her boss. No, I tell her, better do nothing and avoid a big problem.

Second client wants to stop giving money to his lazy son. No, I tell him, but go visit, unannounced and see for himself.

Third client being spun by a deceitful woman she knows. Continue to listen to her, I said, but do not act until a week from today.

Frankly, none of it makes sense to me, and there is where intuition lies. These are not my personal life, I have no connection with any of these people or situations, and that distance gives me insight. This ability has been with me since childhood, around 4 years old as I recall.

The school year had started in Big Pine, California, and the kids I knew on the street, a boy and 2 girls, all went off to school one day. I saw them from the porch as the big yellow car stopped and opened a door and my friends went inside. The next day I went to school with them. The bus driver wasn't sure about me, but the kids I knew said I was old enough, so I went to Kindergarden. That was what the sign on the door said, where the bus driver took me to.

Stepping into the room my head was agog at all the books and toys and things. The nice woman, Miss something or other, came over to me and I knew instantly that I would not be staying but had been given a tantalizing glimpse into my future. Went my Mom came I ran to the door and she laughed and so did I, and then the room laughed. I knew, to the marrow of my bones, that  my life to come would be unlike any one else in that room.

That's how it's turned out so far. I don't feel any less human, sometimes maybe more so. My compassion is right at the surface of my skin. I used to try to ignore it, but that never worked out, so instead I have learned to let it be, and to trust it, along with my intuition. I suspect they are related in some manner.

My work has continued to be a blessing, both to me and the folks I see. I feel so honored to be part of their lives, and trust and love the path forward.

Love on.

 

August 24, 2016

I took my own advice and went out and saw hay, and had a great time in Poland, Warsaw and Krakow to be exact. Amazing places.

This year for my vacation, holiday as some say, I looked into one of my library books and discovered Poland on a list recommended by astrology. A little research and away I went.

I'm not Polish, didn't know that much of its history, but was curious. Much reading later, off I went.

A week later I returned with more appreciation for the struggle that we as a species go through. We can be the best, we can be the worst. The range of human behavior swings from pillar to post and back again. We choose, each and every one of us, and what we must remember is the value of love, and forgiveness, and life. In whatever form it comes.

Time away, and alone, gave me such an appreciation for the diversity of life, how people choose to be and act and look.

And just how small our planet is. In just hours we can travel so far from what we are used to that what we encounter is foreign and exotic and overwhelming.

The choices we have today. Amazing.

On this trip I came to sense the connection that we all have on this spinning globe, the shared humanity. The need for compassion.

Just by chance and good fortune did I visit during a two week long Chopin festival, with pianos in so many places, like the one being played when I was leaving the airplane area. Or the one set up in the main market square in Krakow, and the talented young man who played with such skill. It was heavenly, beauty with a sound track.

Here's to more, with love.

 

August 12, 2016

Went out to the backyard this morning, to sit and meditate. So calm, so peaceful.

Bringing my thoughts into focus a while later, I open my eyes. The shafts of sunlight in the yard illuminate the hydranga bush and the leaves are shades of green, the light almost golden. It's the start of a lovely summer day. After a while longer it is time to get to chores and work, and up I get. It's then that I see it: the harbinger of autumn. A leaf cluster of wisteria is bright yellow, and stands out sharply against all of its green companions.

As I go forward with my morning, the thoughts about this coming season swirl in my head. So many of the previous year's memories flood my mind, and I am transported to other times and places, people, moments of life.

A friend of mine says that most efforts fail because they lack planning. He's right, usually, but sometimes spontaneity is what's needed.

Thinking of the Fall that's coming made me think of cinnamon and apples and the foods of years ago past. Then my mind jumps to an old cookbook my Dad's last wife bought me 40+ years ago, and I take it from the shelf in the kitchen and peruse its pages. So many traditional autumnal foods, and ways to make them.

To be sure, I plan on making the best of the summer while we still have it here in the Northern Hemisphere, but there is another season to look forward to.

But first: summer. All the flowers and weather changes, which in San Francisco means foggy mornings some days, and cool city temps surrounded by hot suburbs.

Make hay while the sun shines!

Love on!

 

August 9, 2016

Hello Boise, Idaho! How are those beautiful mountains, that huge sky? It's been years since my last visit, but those memories still bring a smile to my face. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading!

This past week has been such a mad rush, yet then it usually is before I take a vacation, and that's just around the corner, so to speak, or type, as the case is.

My apologies to those who have contacted me and asked for an entry every day or so, it's just not possible at this time. I would love to have the freedom to write to my hearts content, there are a couple of books that I would finish.

So little time, so much to do.

The other day a chore I had been putting off came to my attention, demanding instant response on my part. Ugh, I felt and said as the feeling swept over me. Then I took a deep breath, and then many more, rolled up my sleeves (really) and got stuck in, as the English say. And wow, was I stuck for a few hours, the effort revealing the need for more effort, and on it and time went. Before I knew it hours had passed, and the chore was almost done. A couple more hours and it was completed. Results!

All of the other tasks that needed my hands were left to be done, but the satisfaction I felt in getting this one chore cleaned up was a sheer delight. Laughing at myself for letting it get to be such a huge amount of work, I realized that maybe that was what it was all about in the first place, that I needed these feelings of satisfaction and got what I sought.

God and good move in mysterious ways.

Here's to more good for all of us, in whatever ways we can achieve it. With as much love as we can muster.

Love on!

 

August 1, 2016

Happy Lammas Day! Half way between equinoxes, time marches on!

Yesterday was wonderful here in San Francisco, perfect weather, perfect temperature, and I had free time! Huzzah!

After picking up the house (what an image) and sorting out some stuff, I took myself out for a nice walk. There were lots of us out and about, as I walked down Market Street my mood began to soar.

Forget about all the political madness, let loose all the chaos and destruction, just be in the moment, breath by breath.

It worked.

By the time I got to It's Tops Coffee Shop (www.itstopscoffeeshop.com) I was ready for a break, so in I went. This place is an piece of the 1950's, the decor, the food, and sometimes the clientele.

Sitting at the counter, I notice a woman enter, look around, and then take a seat at the other end of the counter. She's dressed in stained, ripped clothing, her hair disheveled, her shoes duct taped. She orders coffee, and then sits looking at the menu. When asked if she wanted something more she politely says no, but keeps looking at the menu.

As I pay my bill I ask the waitress to take $15 and give the woman whatever she wants. She smiles and tells me that this woman comes in a couple of times a month, lives in a room nearby, and is known to local merchants. Neighborhood SF, yay!

After I leave I watch through the window as the waitress tells her to order breakfast. The tears on her cheeks are all the satisfaction I could ever want.

One good deed, one person helped.

As I walk along I pass newspaper racks with ugly words from a person seeking the Presidency of the USA. Wow, so ugly, these words.

It takes a village, it does not take a village idiot.

Love on!

 

July 28, 2016

Is it Friday yet?

What a week this is, so much going on. Every almost second brings some new news, good, bad, awful, better, and mixed.

Waking up shortly after 5AM, I roll onto my back and silently say 'Thank you'. Another day begins.

The birds that live in the backyard are quiet, dawn's early light is about an hour away. Opening the door, the cool, still air greets me as I move outside. Looking up I see a few stars in the cloudless sky. A fog free dawn, oh yay.

I sit on the edge of the deck and let the quietude envelop me. All is calm. Serenity.

Maybe I dozed a bit, but suddenly I hear a thump and turn my head to see a familiar cat. He looks at me and sits. We sit and enjoy the lightening sky together.

After a while he moves on, walking into the camellia bushes and disappearing from my view.

Knowing what a hectic, busy day awaits me gets me to moving and to coffee and newspapers I go.

Yet the peacefulness of the morning stays with me, reminding me that there is calm in the world.

With love.

Love on.

 

July 23, 2016

The importance of technique. That's what this past week has been all about. Not just the what, but the how.

This past week found me working with a corporate client, tagging along on sales calls with two of their employees. The woman sure knew her products, but the way she dressed (too casual), stood (she slouched) and spoke (F bombs!) ruined her sales presentation. The guy didn't know his products, but he was attentive, smiling and engaged, good posture and responsive. 

Then there was the employee who used the negative tactic, telling his customers that they needed his products otherwise they would lose to their competitors, that his products were the only ones that were any good. Not a successful technique, at all.

Finally I led a corporate exercise for about 40 people. We practiced walking, posture, facial configuration, tone and speed of voice, and lots more. One of the best exercises was when they had to pass an object from one to the next, each time getting the persons attention nicely, then making and maintaining eye contact, and then explaining what they wanted to do. So many folks made great improvements as the object went around and around.

Technique.

If someone is selling you something and they are red in the face, yelling, denigrating the competition, and not telling you factually why their product is better, and telling you that they are the only one that can help you, take a deep breath and step back. The technique this someone is employing is called a 'con', short for confidence.

Style never is better than substance. Fear is never better than reason.

Love on!

 

July 16, 2016

This was a morning when I just didn't want to wake up, just wanting to sleep...

...the news is just so awful. Everywhere.

Yet I did get up, get moving, coffee, newspapers but just glances, and then out the door.

Exercise. 30 minutes worth. Just to get my blood pumping.

As I walk along, I start noticing how the rising sun is illuminating the landscape, the light painting shades of gold everywhere. The beauty of the morning shakes off the dread that had started to cling to me as I glanced at the papers. I can feel my spirit rising in me as the sun rises in the sky.

Back home, cleaning up, making the bed, starting a load of laundry, you know, all those humdrum things we all do.

Some days are going to be full of bad news. Keep moving. That's my advice.

There may not be much that I can do to cure the ills of our world, but I can make that small little part that is mine better.

Starting with me, and my attitude toward life.

Love on. And on!

 

July 13, 2016

Just moments ago I received a text message informing me that my dear client had died. Rest in Peace! Rest in Love!

It's just coming up to dawn in Paris, where she lived and loved and laughed and all the rest. She and I had agreed that Bastille Day was worthy of celebrating.

And now I will celebrate her! Love on!

She had been born in a time when people ate their household pets rather than starve. She buried children, some of them hers. She was as tough as shoe leather and as tender as gossamer wings.

Jour de fete, Bastille!

There comes a time in some of our lives when the body and all that it entails is just too damn much.

Time to let go, let G-d, let good...

It's just dark now, here in San Francisco, so many miles and flight hours from Paris.

As the light fades, I will go into our garden with a white candle and love.

Each of us is that candle, and the match that lights it. It is with love that we banish darkness.

Love and live, on!

 

July 10, 2016

Hello Weatherford Oklahoma! Years ago I drove past and remember how cool and calm that morning was, having awoken before dawn in Amarillo. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

What a busy, buzzy week it's been, everywhere I look.

So much turmoil, strife. I seek comfort in taking care of those around me, and things get better.

The other day I over heard a conversation between two women. They were complaining about a woman they knew, and were making rude comments and laughing. Then a woman was with them, and it was the woman they had just been laughing about. Suddenly it was all smiles and 'how nice to see you' and politeness. Then the woman left. The looks the two woman exchanged as they sat there, clearly stunned, was laughable.

That was funny to observe, as are so many incidents I've seen lately. Like the man who was talking on his cell phone at a urinal, and then drop his phone in the urinal. No, I don't know what he did, I turned away. Poor chap.

Recently, I have been working with a woman and her almost adult daughter. They have been having difficulties. We've had hours of conversation and exchange. They have both received homework instructions from me, and it's progressing. This past week they were to wear the clothes of the other, if only around the house. It was so good for them to have that exchange, to see each other as individuals. Both of them have told me how much laughter they've shared, along with many, many hugs.

Day by day, moment by moment, we progress in time. Any other progress we make is based on our efforts.

It does get better, but we have to work at it. We have to roll up our sleeves, bend our backs, hold our tongues, but it gets better. With copious doses of love, plain and simple. As we love ourselves, our lives get better. As more of us love ourselves, our world gets better.

Love on!

 

July 3, 2016

Hello Ashburn, Virginia! Looks like it's a cloudy day there. Many is the times I remember flying in or out of Dulles. Such a change of seasons you folks enjoy. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

Lately my patience has been called upon, and tested. It hasn't been fun, or great.

Take the other afternoon. I had gone into a drugstore to buy some stuff, and was in line waiting to pay. Just as I approached the counter a young woman jumped in front of me. We reached the counter together and I turned to her and said 'I'm sorry, I believe I am next.' She looked at me and the stuff I had set on the counter and then pushed it to the ground. 'Go away.' was all she said. As I picked up my stuff a clerk came to help me and I paid and left. Grumbling in my head...

and then a guy comes up to me, clearly intoxicated on something, and starts following me, all the while talking nonsense in a loud voice. I ignore him and keep walking, and so does he for about 50 feet. Grumbling....

Closing my front door, I set my stuff down and grab some blank paper. First I write a scathing letter to the young woman at the drug store, pouring out my anger and resentment and turmoiling emotions. Then a letter to the high guy, ranting about his lack of self care and his choices. Venting. Getting all of the negative emotions out of me, and I went on to write a total of 3 letters before the fire in me had diminished.

There's quite a world out there, and some days it can be pretty awful. Don't stuff the negative, and don't repress the positive.

Repression results in depression.

The more we allow the negative out of us, the better.

Here's wishing each and every one of us the best life has to offer. And gobs of patience.

Love on!

 

June 30, 2016

Hello! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

Well, here we are, at the end of June, and the end of the first half of 2016.

Time certainly does fly, and as we get older it seems as if time speeds up. This can be problematic at times.

Yesterday, I got side tracked in a chore that I was doing, and before I knew it time had disappeared and I had to rush mightily to not be too late going forward. Poof! Just like that, gone, those minutes were.

Looking over the past six months, there are some things I still want to accomplish and have not as yet. These things will be moved to the front of my task list starting tomorrow. Tempus fugit. Time flys.

And what a gift time is, truly. We don't make it, it happens to and for us. Isn't that great?

This weekend marks the start of summer for most Americans, and there will be celebrations and food and fireworks and all manner of things happening across this country. Party on, Uncle Sam!

Here's hoping that all of us enjoy this time in our lives.

Love on!

 

June 26, 2016

Happy Summer! Happy Winter! Equinox has come and the season's change.

Recently I saw a computer animation of the Earth's movement through space, it was so cool! The sun was this huge shining ball and all the planets were smaller and chasing the sun through space, each planet rotating at it's speed along with moons. Amazing!

It gave me a small perspective on this week's happenings, all the turmoil and whatnot.

So much to and fro, so many emotions being stirred up, mainly by various media outlets and politicians.

It's all too much for me, and I limit my exposure to media, and avoid some of it altogether. I don't need or want the strife.

When I was a child, we had a neighbor who loved to go around the neighborhood and tell every one who would listen all about her woes and travails. My mom would invite her in for a cup of coffee and they'd sit in the kitchen, the visitor complaining and my mom listening.

Finally I asked my mom one day why she invited the woman in, and she said that she wanted to be a sympathetic ear, and that when she heard of this woman's troubles, she felt slightly better about her own life, which was approaching its unseen sudden end.

As I grew older, I came to realize that no matter how much I complained about things, nothing changed.

Time for change in tactic.

So I started to make changes in my life, in my behaviors, in my thinking, and especially in my self esteem.

Learning to give myself authentic, unconditional love was and still is some of the most difficult and fulfilling moments in my life. 'To err is human' is undoubtedly true, but what then?

Love, forgiveness, kindness, and perseverance keep me going.

Despite all the hullabaloo and turmoil and whatnot, love lives on.

Here's wishing you and yours all the love in the world!

Love on!

 

June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day! Happy Juneteenth!

This morning, dragging myself from my bed, it dawns on me that I am in a not so wonderful mood. Hmmm, wonder what's up with that, I think, and so I go for a 30 minute walk. Just threw on some clothes and out the door. Walking along, sorting, reflecting and then it surfaces: my feelings about my interaction with a woman a couple of days ago.

We were at a social function, both of us milling about, talking with others. I noticed her looking at me, and I could sense the curiousity about me that she had. The man with her moved them closer toward me, and I knew they were listening in to my conversation with the nice woman I was talking with. At one point I answered a question and felt a zing go through my body.

Turning toward the young couple, her eyes met mine and she looked away, but not before I saw the look of contempt on her face. He and I said a couple of words and they moved on. But the zing remained. I shook it off and kept moving, and forgot about it.

At least my head did. My heart and body did not.

People can teach us so much about who they are. Sometimes we might believe that how we are treated is a sign of our value. This is a very large mistake.

Whatever it was about me that she didn't like, oh well. We all choose.

For my part, I've got enough to deal with on a daily basis to try to make judgements on others. We all choose.

Having identified the source of my dis-ease, I displace it.

And I am back, back to feeling the love that lives in me, and ready to reach out again and again, even if those I reach toward pull away.

Love on!

 

June 16, 2016

Yesterday was my Aunt Leota's 100 birthday! Imagine that, a century of living. To celebrate the day I flew down to Los Angeles to join in the party held in her honor.

This is someone I have known my whole life. My earliest memories are of the house she and my Uncle Ed lived in in Big Pine, California, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So many wonderful memories of those days are with me today, which is why I wanted to be with her yesterday. Love in action.

There were many of her friends there, along with many family members, and it was a great party. As I had to leave to fly back home I went to her first to say my goodbyes, and we sat there and looked at each other, the love and kindness beaming from her eyes at me. I asked her what her secret to living was, and she said 'oh I don't know, maybe love, I guess.'

She is so very correct.

That's what she's given me all these years, love.

Never a harsh word or any rebuke, just love.

Just for those few moments all the years fell away, and I was a little toe headed boy in her backyard there in Big Pine, looking at the sweet, loving face of my dear Aunt.

We don't see each other much these days, but the love lives strong and fast, and always.

Love on.

 

June 14, 2016

The awfulness continues, this time in Florida. Sickening what hate can do. And uplifting, what love can do.

What has brought tears of joy to my eyes was witnessing the power of thousands of people doing something, giving money, giving blood, giving love and time.

The other night I took part in a rally here in San Francisco, a rally for the victims in Florida. As we marched to City Hall I thought about all of the parents, relatives, lovers and friends of those who were slaughtered this past Sunday morning. Senseless tragedy.

Life is going to throw curve balls, that's for damn sure. Catch'em or duck, what cha gonna do?

Sunday morning, after hearing the news, I walked to the bay, tears in my eyes.

I'm such a tiny part of the Universe, I thought, there's nothing I can do that will make a difference. What's the point if people can purchase guns that are capable of killing dozens of people in an instance? Even though California passed a bill years ago trying to make the reloading of some assault weapons slower, the gun manufacturers designed a way around it. The pursuit of money appears to triumph all.

Or does it?

We live, we love, and we choose.

Love on!

 

June 5, 2016

Hello Maryville, Tennessee! Looking at your part of the world on Google Earth is so cool, the banding of the crust of our planet, and the photos that I've seen are bucolic. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

These days...wow, bad news, everywhere. The newspaper headlines are provoking, the television even more so. What a crazy time.

Really, it's enough to just make one feel depressed and awful.

That's when it's really the time to choose. Are we going into the dark or are we going away from it? We have the freedom of choice.

The importance of this was made so clearly evident right in front of my eyes just the other day.

Even though my parents each had multiple marriages and a few kids, it turns out that the only direct blood ancestor of mine is a two year and counting little boy named Jesse. I met him for the first time and was smitten. What a cute kid, and what an intelligent look his face has, and look how he communicates with his eyes, and on and on.

Yep, I fell hard.

It's amazing to see the world through the eyes of youth. It is all too easy to feel ones age et. al. and the next thing you know you're starting to feel not so hot and cooling rapidly. Children are the elixir of youth.

Just the brief time I got to be with Jesse is imprinted in memory. In spite of the amazing invective and awful, dark thoughts coming from some people who have grabbed the attention of the media, there is hope for the future. I saw it in his eyes.

He was looking into a world that I will not live to see, one that will be better than the one he and I share today. Progress is slow, love must be steadfast and alive.

Love on!

 

June 1, 2016

Happy June!

Waking up this morning, I could hear the birds at the bird feeders I hung in our back yard. The chirps and trills told me that it was going to be a nice day, and it has been, thus far. Sitting on the deck, listening to the avian chorus that flutters by, I was delighted when a pair of robins came to eat, and didn't move for the longest time.

Peaceful.

The perfect start to a day, any day.

Yesterday, my morning had started in a similar fashion, but as the day progressed I began to encounter folks with negative attitudes and outlooks. The topper came when an employee of a corporate client told me during our telephone meeting that he didn't consider anyone older than 40 to be an important statistic for his company. Ah, 22 years old and so much room to grow. He's never met me and is in for a surprise when he does.

I remember years ago the slogan 'don't trust anybody over 30'. At least the bar gets moved around.

It's always a bit surprising for me thesedays when I encounter negative young people, and I always wonder what series of events tainted them so.

Then I remember my childhood and recall how negative I used to be, and how my negativity turned to self harm.

We all choose, all the time. Our choices will reflect our self esteem.

That's where self love and forgiveness come into the picture. We cannot change the past, we can learn from it, and change.

Love on!

 

May 25, 2016

Hello New Haven, Indiana! Closest I've been to your fair city was when I did some consulting work for a transportation company in Fort Wayne. It was Spring and the weather was perfect for that week, and I really enjoyed my time there. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Sometimes there is nothing better than seeing your town through the eyes of a visitor.

Or two, which is what we had for a couple of nights, lovely young people, a cousin and her husband.

San Francisco is an easy to show off kind of town. There's lots to see and do, and the architecture is interesting, as are the sights. For the day we spent  together I took them into downtown and we walked around, looking at this and that, domes and cupolas and stained glass ceilings, and towering sliding glass doors that open onto Union Square at the new Apple store. They were having a fine time.

Then we strolled into Chinatown.

Approximately one-third of SF is Asian, and the architecture, sights, sounds and smells of the largest Chinese population outside of China filled our senses. As we walked along, Marla mentioned how she loved Chinese dumplings, and right then and there I knew I had to take them to a dim sum restaurant nearby. After a few minutes we walked in. It's a big place filled with round tables that sit 10 people, and the room was packed with happy diners. No waiters, no menus, just food carts being wheeled around, the servers calling out their selection in Chinese. You see something you like, you stop server and a bamboo basket is set on the table, the lid whisked away. The smiles on their faces said it all.

Later we walked into North Beach and then through the financial district and a short train ride back to our house.

Visitors! What a delight! Getting to be a tour guide was just the break from my routine that I needed. I suspect it was good for Tony and Marla as well.

Seeing the everyday with such wonderful family visitors gave me a greater appreciation for the amazing connections and planet we share, and this lovely San Francisco.

Love on!

 

May 19, 2016

Hello Boonville, Missouri! How's life going along the banks of the Missouri river? Hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for reading. All the best!

Lately I've taken to taking a walk almost everyday. Just to get some exercise and relax. Some days I've walked in the neighborhood, others days I've gone a distance away and walked from there. It doesn't really matter to me, it's all interesting.

Maybe one of these days I will take one of the bus lines I have never been on and see where that takes me.

I've seen amazing sights. Like the woman who was washing her very large rabbit in a tub on the sidewalk as I passed, she smiling and talking to the happy bunny in what sounded like Chinese. Or the fellow putting tile on the outside of his house, tile he and his wife bought years ago on vacation. Some of the architecture in this town is really beautiful, and the best way to appreciate it is to walk past.

Shank's mare, they call it. What a way to get around.

I've toyed with the idea of getting a bicycle, but the stories I hear from folks paints a dim picture of bike ownership, not a long relationship at all, sometimes.

Hoverboards seem to have come and gone, although I have seen one or two riders on sidewalks about town. The Segway certainly didn't catch on, there's only one guy I know of in San Francisco who uses one to commute.

Where's the next big whoop-de-doo invention for personal transportation? Isn't someone working on this? There must be...

at least I hope so.

Getting out and about shakes the cobwebs off, and lightens and brightens the spirit.

Here's hoping you and yours have a great day!

Love on!

 

May 13, 2016

Hello Mumbai! What a vibrant, lively and lovely city you are, and Chowpatty beach brings a smile to my face just now. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Friday the 13th! Superstitious? 13 is viewed by some as an 'unlucky' number, and by others as a 'lucky' number. Ah, people!

The other day at a corporate clients office I listened as some folks were talking. The conversation ranged from where to eat to where to vacation to which movie theater to attend. There was a great deal of information bandied about yet each topic resulted in a specific summarizing statement on the matter. The conversation was dominated by 3 women and they went back and forth to the disinterest of the 4 men with them. Then the women left the room.

Almost a breath later one of the men said something to the effect of 'what a bunch of wasted time' and then they sat and discussed sports and the same type of conversation took place: bandied topics, one result.

All the while I reflected on the differences between men and women, and the only true difference I have ever observed is skin and biological function.

We are all the same in so many ways. We are more similar than different.

It's so easy to forget this and suddenly everyone is defined by some subjective set of points and any cohesion is reduced. It only gets worse from this point.

Later that day I came home to a lovely note from a woman I didn't know until her letter. She wrote to tell me of her life and the impact my book has had on her, and how her life is better today because she no longer participates in the drama that swirls around her.

I love being an e-book! Worldwide! What an amazing time to be alive.

Here's wishing you and yours the best of days and nights.

Love on!

 

May 11, 2016

Hello! How are you? Well, I hope! Here's wishing you and yours the Best!

Woke up this morning and decided that a nice walk was in order, and so after coffee and newspapers and feeding the cat, out the door I went.

Drizzle and a brightening sky, the breeze cool against my cheek as I walk along the street. Not many people out and about and those that are appear to be on their way to work. The hum of traffic fills the air, along with the clang of the old streetcar as it rumbles past. The sun has risen into the sky and is blocked by the low clouds that crept in last evening and blanketed the bay area. I imagine being on an airplane as it breaks through the clouds into the blazing sunshine beaming down on the world. Nice memories...

and then a screech of brakes and my feet are back on terra firma.

Walking on I notice the under construction building going up on Market Street, the scaffolding swarming with workers as they bring the new into being. This land has seen so many changes over the years, from a vacant lot in a photo from 1882 to a low wooden building and then a larger wooden building. Next came a gasoline station that lasted the longest, until it was wiped away and the land became a Christmas tree lot each December for more than a decade. Last year the lot was fenced off and it was clear there would be no more Christmas trees sold there. Now a six flight buildng dominates the corner, and sometime this summer the unveiling will take place. Change in action.

It's like that everywhere, I've come to notice. The new keeps popping out, all over the place.

One of my friends decrys the changes that he notices, and he is always quick to complain how 'nothing stays the same.' You do, I tell him, with a smile, and he laughs.

Let go or be dragged. Nothing in permanent except change.

Living has taught me to cherish that which I love and to accept that change is constant. Learning to make the most of what is in the moment has served to make each moment all the more special, to know that the moment I am experiencing will never come again. How blessed am I to be in the moment, with love.

Back home now, cat sitting in kitchen, purring and grooming. As I type these words a trolley car lumbers down the street outside my door, clanging and squealing as the brakes are applied.

Breathing in contentment, I thank all that is.

Love on.

 

May 5, 2016

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico!

Many people think this is a made up holiday and has nothing to do with the Mexican revolution and they are wrong.

The facts of the matter, and this is where history comes in, are that if it weren't for the Mexican Army the United States would look vastly different today, as I daresay, would the world.

During the US Civil war the leaders of the Confederacy called on factions of the French government to send help. The Mexican Army defeated these French troops in the battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. The French troops were on their way west to attack the Union Army in the far western territory and hopefully lead to a Southern victory.

Imagine if that had happened. What a totally different world this would be.

There are so many things that happen in life, some of them seemingly insignificant and others monumental. The dizzying speed at which the new comes at us can be overwhelming.

This is where self love comes in. If we look for truth and good we will find it. If we look for less we will find it. We choose.

One of the ways I take care of myself is to look into things that interest me. There's a whole world of knowledge waiting at my fingertips. The more I know, the more able I am.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! For my part I give thanks to the Latino/Hispanic genetics that are part of me, and to all that grow through change, with love.

Love on!

 

May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!

One of the most enjoyable parts of travel for me is hearing about what the locals think of America and all the kit and kaboodle.

It's a bit like looking at yourself in a different light and seeing things you hadn't seen before.

'Does this make me look...?' kinda stuff.

As is the contrast, the looking into local issues and reading the newspapers. Or engaging with the locals, my own personal favorite thing. It sure gave me a great deal to think about, both for them and for me.

As I was transitting London's Heathrow Airport I saw the world on the move, and it was amazing. The clothes, the luggage, the people, it was so interesting. Reading the departure and arrival boards gave me a distinct appreciation for the short flight that was ahead for me to Dublin.

The next week gave me a deep appreciation for the resilience of the Irish spirit.

The land of Ireland is, for the most part, green and verdant, although the rockiness of the soil is a difficulty. Maybe that's what the locals saw, how greenery had to take a hard hold on and make the best of it. Oh, and do something useful, too.

Love on!

 

April 29, 2016

The last Friday in April: Arbor Day. Celebrate trees and tend to nature.

It can be so helpful having a calendar, and sometimes not.

I've been away on vacation/retreat and highly recommend all of us take some time to find ourselves and have a great time.

Heaven, and a good chunk of Ireland know this is true for me. Wow, what a lovely country filled with mostly lovely people, and the one's that are less than lovely give themselves away, which appears to be worldwide in nature.

At least to me. That was something I noticed this time, that my bullshit detector in my body was in fine fit and finish. There were times that I looked into the eye's of some people and could hear their thoughts spoken in my head with their voice. It was striking the first time it happened, in the cab from the Dublin airport. The driver, Kam, looked into my eyes and I heard him say 'they're tired' in his voice which I had not yet heard. When he opened his mouth and spoke my jaw just about dropped.

It happened a couple of days later at the Hertz Car Rental office on Haddington Road. The fellow behind the counter reminded me of a man I know and like. And what could have been a ordinary transaction turned into a delightful converation about Ireland and food and how different the world is from when we were children. That, and an upgrade to an automatic transmission and a nicer car model for free. As we shook hands I looked into his eyes and heard 'nice chaps' in his brough.

'Thank you' I almost said.

Thus it continued, and a couple of folks looked me in the eye and steered clear of me, like the dodgy woman in Dublin's Temple Bar area, filled with pubs overflowing with folks and many of them needing assistance to walk late at night, and some during the day. One look at me and she crossed the alley. I sensed her less than noble thoughts about finding her next target, poor fellow he.

Reports say that after the Bavarians the Irish drink more than all of rest of the countries. I've been to Oktoberfest, having witnessed how crazy drunk people got, amazingly so. Hundreds of them. Temple Bar was not so crazy and really quite beautiful, all the old bricks still working and new buildings few.

Cork was amazing, marsh land reclaimed from the sea, the wild Atlantic. McGillycuddy's Reeks on the way to Killarney were amazing looking, the ground brown and barren next to the almost tropical vegetation all around. Galway was perfect, the seafood the best, and the locals welcoming and helpful.

Maybe that I am a bit prejudiced being an eighth Irish...but Ireland was lovely and special.

Time away gave me a chance to reflect on how much we are all in this together. Even if some of us don't think or act so.

Life loves me, and I love life.

Love on!

 

April 13, 2016

The mornng started as most do for her, before dawn's early light. She stirs from her sleeping spot and moves silently around, she eyes clear and sharp, the air still, the rest of the house asleep.

Later, others wake up and she wanders into the kitchen looking for food and finds it. She sits alone and away from the others, glancing briefly at them from time to time, but more focused on the plate in front of her.

She sits now near the door, perhaps contemplating whether to go outside or not, or perhaps just content in the moment.

Life wasn't all this easy just a few months earlier. Then she had been homeless and had been forced to sleep outside. The noises of the night had scared her and she moved from place to place, always with one eye open.

Then she found shelter under some thick plants that screened her from open view and afforded her the opportunity to run away in many directions if she had to. Some one living nearby saw her one early morning, curled up on a dry patch of ground. A day or so later she awoke to find that this some one had left her food.

It took years for her to learn to trust this some one, and to leave the outside for an inside, one that she still feels the need to flee at times, and does. She knows she's welcome at any time, and that there will be food and shelter and caring.

Thanks to this some one who is thankful for the opportunity to share life and love.

Love on.

 

April 10, 2016

Well, I made it another year around the Sun, and boy are my arms tired...ba dum bum!

Seriously, though, it has given me another opportunity to see how different I am from so many people that I know, especially some of the one's that I call family.

In this modern age, what with all the new fangled ways to communicate, I reached out via the internet to family, and got some acknowledgement from some folks and nothing from others. How cool, thought I, now I can be in touch with these folks I share DNA with and we can have better relationships together.

Or not, as it has turned out in many cases. These are the people that I thank for helping me to realize how different I am from them. It is their choice to be who they want to be, and not bringing me into a closer relationship is their choice.

As a child I always wanted to have lots of family members around, but this never happened. When the opportunities to meet family arose, I would jump and make myself available. Sadly this happened less and less. Nonetheless I continue to reach out to my kith and kin, and share with them the life I'm living and celebrate their joys and comfort their sorrows.

Yay for me! My belief is that the right thing happens, and that I am best served by being true and loving, regardless of others.

Yay for them! They get the life they choose.

The right thing always happens. Our job is to figure it out, sometimes, and to marvel at life at all times.

Sarcasm? Not a drop.

More of a realization that life is going to unfold as it sees fit, and that the best thing that I can do is love, look, listen and learn.

Most of all, love and learn!

Love on!

 

April 4, 2016

Happy Square Root Day 4-4-2016!

The next one comes in 2025, so make the most of this one!

Speaking, metaphorically, about being busy, wow have I been busy!

There was the end of March and so many plants to get in the ground so that the color display in the gardens of our home continues. Then there was a brief visit by two of our nieces and that was so much fun and run, going here and there and eating seemingly all the time. Crab season opened while they were here so of course we had to go to Fisherman's Wharf and eat crab. Oh so good!

March marched away and April moved in, and the pace quickened. What is it about the sunshine that makes people just want to be out in it? I saw a video clip of lemurs basking in the sunshine and how they stretch out their arms for maximum exposure. Must try that next time...

but right now I am just too busy to laze in the sun, what with Spring springing all about. The weather has been the roller coaster that my intuition told me it was going to be, and this week will see 80F temperatures around the Bay area, followed by rain this weekend. Probably going to be my last chance to wash the outside of the house with a hose, washing away the street grime. This is something I do every year, and I expect someone passing by to make some comment, it always happens. Like the year the neighbor woman said she was afraid if she washed her house she'd have to paint it. She had to anyway, and did that year. Now she's out washing her house every year as well. Did I start something?

Well, there is that...

but never mind, just keep moving, that's what I tell myself. Positive self talk, self encouragement so to speak, is one of the major benefits I give myself. Waiting for others to give me this will only result in me waiting far too long, so I step in and up and give myself the encouragement I need to get on with whatever it is. And it's a growing list, to be sure.

Here's hoping your day and week and ever are all that you want and all that you need. Carry love in your heart and lighten the load.

Love on!

 

March 25, 2016

Hello Cork Ireland! I've plans to visit your fair city in the not too distant future, and look forward to walking the cobble stone streets and meeting your people. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

The past few days have been a whirlwind for me, there has been so much change afoot. Afoot, my heritage is speaking. Anyways, such a bub and hubbub has been going on: promotions, demotions, revelations, excuses, acknowledgements, lies, shames, worries and fears. Lots of fears.

Some of us are living unhappy lives, quietly, unspokenly, and most of all sadly.

These are the folks that most deserve our love and understanding. I remember as a kid hearing the expression about not knowing someone until one had 'walked in their shoes.' I get that, I've walked in lots of different shoes.

The other day I was talking with a man, and I mentioned that I had been homeless. He looked at me dumbstruck. Later I asked him how it felt to hear my words and he said that he couldn't believe that 'someone like' me had be homeless. 'It's a big world.'I said and smiled.

I've come to believe that life is about progress and growth, and that change is constant. How I look at life will be reflected in my attitude and that will result in progress and change. The choice is always mine.

To that end I burn off the negative emotions that arise daily by displacement, sometimes several times in a day. Whatever it takes, I will release the bad and embrace the glad. It's not that everything goes the way I want it to, that wouldn't be reality. What does happen is that I make effort to not be influenced by the awfulness that life contains. I edit what I listen to, look at, read, and expose myself to. Some of the stuff in media is poison. Don't drink it in.

Never have I seen a rainbow in the gutter. Only by looking up.

Love on!

 

March 21, 2016

Happy Spring! Happy Autumn!

With all the rain that we've been having these past few days, I decided yesterday morning that I would go on a walk before the rains came.

Nice idea, and I did get a couple of miles done before there was a sudden downpour. Umbrella unfurled, walk continues to a street car and a dry ride home.

While out and about, I did get to see so many blooming trees, and at one corner I was swept up in a shower of fallen blossoms being carried down the street by a frisky and brisk wind.

Spring!

The beauty of yesterday's walk was still with me when I went out later in the day to the market. The sky was a swirling twirling mass of shapes in greys, being tossed about by invisible winds that occasionally squeezed a smattering of rain drops downward.

Spring!

Who knows how much more rain is headed our way. The weather folks say that we have 5 more weeks of El Nino and that there may be more showers and downpours. Sounds great to me! The snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is quite substantial right now, and maybe there will be a few more inches added.

Spring!

Here's hoping your day is full of the bursting joy that this season brings. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Love on!

 

March 16, 2016

What an adventure I had! Never had anything happen like it, it was singular and unique, not pleasant and the right thing happened.

At least it was unique for me, even though I suspect it was 'old hat' for the other guy.

So, here's the set-up: I've been hired to help this guy change what some called 'douche bag' words and behaviors into a less awful display, so that this guy can be more successful.

I tried and did my best. He put an end to our work. He certainly got a contrast and perhaps a bit of patina from our work, but as much as I encouraged and coached, he ultimately refused to accept his responsibilities and instead turned to blaming others.

In the 50+ years that I have been earning money, I have learned that my time has value. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it tap dance.

Time to move on.

For my part, I wish this youngish man well. He has so much to offer, and so much to learn.

His rude and insulting words and behaviors I will ascribe to his fragile and immature ego. Admitting one's faults is not easy, and the sooner one learns to accept responsibility the better and easier life becomes. In my life there were many times when I tried to deflect my part in some failed venture, and it never did me any good. I am hopeful he will grow with time, as I did.

Finding our footing in life is a precarious thing, and knowing that there are resources that one can avail ones self to is a comfort.

Love on.

 

March 14, 2016

Are you ready for it? It's gonna be here tomorrow, and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

The Ides of March.

Luckily none of us are Julius Caesar, although lately on television I've seen someone who sounds like he'd like to be...

A client wrote to me recently and asked 'What is happening in America? Are you guys nuts?'. She was, of course, referring to the political comments made by some of the guys running for President.

Lately, there has been physical fist swinging violence at political rallies.

All of this carries me back to 1968 and how the Left was violent and the Right stood firm.

My how times have changed.

Alarming as the media would like to make it, and there's nothing like a worked up crowd to get the crazy rolling, and the next thing you know there is more to be alarmed about. Look away if it bothers you. But don't ignore it. None of us should. As ugly as this political year is shaping up to be, I remember that media is not always information. Sometimes media creates information, or spins it. Viewership is an almighty tool used by media to charge more money.

Tha't why I give it short shrift in my life. I don't want to be manipulated, not by media and not by anybody. Tell me, don't sell me.

The Ides of March, the tides of life.

Love on!

 

March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

If you are reading this, you can thank a woman! Or two, or more, actually.

Yesterday I was in the back yard cleaning up from the mess that the strong winds and rain had made. We're having 3 more storms by the coming weekend and I figured I had better get ahead of the mess to come. Just as I was nearly finished a small pinkish white cherry blossom floated down near my right foot. Looking up I saw that our cherry tree had burst into bloom and was beginning to disappear in it's springtime cloak.

In a moment I was transported back to my Grandma Edith's home in Bishop, California, and the spring that she and I walked among the cherry trees in her yard. There were about two dozen trees, and they were glorious. The fragrance, the buzz of the bees, the dappled sunshine illuminating the carpet of fallen blossoms.

Time travel. At least in my head.

Returning to the here and now, I thought about her family and the long line of Cunningham's that had arisen in Scotland and moved onto Ireland before coming to America in 1689. What lives they must have lived. How lucky am I to be the recipient of all that love and effort.

Love on!

 

March 5, 2016

Spent part of a day with a 7 year old child recently. Old wisdom in new container.

'There's never anything new.' she said, and I smiled. 'What about today? This is a new day, isn't it?' I asked. She smiled and agreed.

From my vantage point, everyday is filled to the brim with the new. Each and every day brings something new, often countless new and sometimes improved things.

Toyota has a new wooden car.

New age blimps are being floated, pardon the pun.

Medicine is making great leaps in curing diseases, like pancreatic cancer.

There's always something new. Sometimes the tidal wave of newness can start to overwhelm and we seek less of the new. I have a client who, by her own description, is computer phobic. Yet this same woman recently bought herself an IPad and has taken classes at the Apple store and made a host of changes. Why the change?

Because there was something the new could give her that she wanted.

She could talk with her son and see her new Granddaughter on her IPad. That's all it took.

Recently a mechanical pencil that I have had for more than 30 years broke, unrepairably. It was worn and discolored and a part or two were missing, but it had been with me for a long time. I remember the day I bought it and the woman who handed it to me. Oh well, I thought, time to embrace the new. And out I went shopping. Let it be noted that there have been many changes to the mechanical pencil in the intervening years. Oh my! Such great changes.

Here's to the new, and me and you.

Love living on!

 

March 1, 2016

Happy St. David's Day! My Welsh roots are showing a bit today, and I woke up thinking of the fun I had in Wales years ago, and the lovely people I met on that journey. At the time I didn't know of my ancestry nor the fact that my DNA could be traced to Machen, Wales. The things we learn along the way...

...which is a nice lead-in to what has been popping into my head with a steady drumbeat: the right thing always happens.

This past 2 weeks has brought a steady flow of this message, day in and day out. The wrong person says no. The wrong job says no. The wrong option says no. Instead of being bummed out and depressed with the turn of events, I saw it for what it was. Sure, I can walk right up to a door and knock, but that portends nothing in response. Rather than getting all anxious and worried and what not, I surrender and 'go with the flow', as it were. The right thing will happen.

What has been and continues to be important is what actions I take. Giving it my best, as it were.

The other day I had lunch with someone I know. I was surprised how all he wanted to talk about was him, and only to ask quesions of me in regards to him. The only part of me that was engaged was when he asked me how I was. After that, it was all about him, only him. For me this was easy, it was a bit like having a session with a client, and I fell into my work-think routine. As we parted he suddenly, with gravity, said 'Thank you for being such a good friend and hearing me out.'

The right thing happened. That's what I saw. He had needed my ears and counsel, and I had been that good friend he needed without even suspecting it. Oh my...

Let go and let good. My take away from that lunch.

Last night, in a dream state, my dear Grandma Edith showed up as a counter woman at a See's Candy store, and as she offered me a free sample she said 'Live and give.'

Got it, Gram.

Love living on!

 

February 28, 2016

Hello Wayne, Pennsylvania! Hello Dublin, Ireland! Hello Hong Kong, China!

Such a lovely planet we have, and some of us are taking steps to make it better. Recycling has become a large focus of late, and more and more folks are noticing that more can be done.

Slow but steady...

We are such a funny species, when one thinks about it. Science says that we have been human for about 1.2 million years.

Slow but steady...

The other night I sat in front of my television and listened to a political debate. The devisiveness on display was awful, and the language used was the most crude I have ever heard in a Presidential debate.

Comfortingly, I reminded myself that what was on display was the engine of evolution. A small step backward and a larger step foreward, in time. Sometimes what looks to be the most awful thing that could happen is actually change in process. The future that emerges in life is partly shaped by the events of the past and also by the new people that keep being born.

The other day I was talking with a young boy of 10 years, and he was surprised to learn how long some of the objects that make up his world had been around. The new keeps coming.

Which is why I am not dismayed by the current state of American politics. The new triumphs, always. The hate mongering, fearful future that some people say is coming is a manipulative device, and does not serve the common good.

Slow but steady, with love.

Love on!

 

February 23, 2016

How about that Full Moon! What a sight it was as it rose yesterday, and as night crept in the moon took on a golden hue.

The other day I got into a conversation about responsibility and how one can navigate the demands of others. The woman I was speaking with is a professor at a well know institution, and lately she has been feeling pressured to do more. Encouraging her to discuss her feelings with her boss, she right then and there called him and they had a short chat and as she hung up her cell phone looked at me and said 'It was as easy as that.'

Sometimes it can be, when we try to fix our problems, but not always. None the less, do what you can to make your life better. It doesn't have to come to blows and shouted words, but the chances of that happening are increased if we stiffle our voice.

Recently I led a class at a small company I work with. Everyone had to write down the things that angered them on a piece of paper. Then everyone grabbed a thick foam pillow and held it to their face and shouted or screamed into it. Some people went on quite a while, and one guy couldn't stop crying. Then we went for a walk to a park near their building and sat and talked about what had just happened.

Displacement.

Getting the stuck, endlessly repeating negativity out of us, even if just for a moment, is so very healing.

It is so much better, and easier, too, if we just let out some of the awful in us, just for a moment. Then we have the room for more of the goodness that is in life to touch us, to heal us, to lift our spirit.

Love on!

 

February 16, 2016

We made it! Huzzah!

Valentine's Day is receding and today marks the last 6 weeks of winter. It's all supposed to be better weather going forward in time. Only thing is, my intuition is telling me otherwise. Rain is still to come for these parts, and winter may make a big show before melting away. We'll see.

Living in a big city as I do, I encounter all sorts of things that sometimes make me shake my head and keep walking. Like yesterday. There I was, on Market Street, as it was a holiday (Presidents Day) the streets were heaving with folks. There were cars galore, and the sidewalks were reminders of crowd scenes in movies. The sun was shining, about 75F, just lovely. Just walking along...

suddenly a woman's voice shouts out 'C'mon baby' and she runs into the median and starts taking off her clothes. The crowd is transfixed. She strips naked and turns slowly around in circles, arms raised above her head. Then she gets dressed and melts into the crowd that has suddenly started moving again.

Yeah, it was one of those days.

I suppose things like that may happen in the country, out there in the great plains of America. But who knows?

Later I stopped for an iced coffee and overheard a conversation between a man and woman from North Dakota. They were talking about the cost of rent and how crazy expensive it must be to live in San Francisco. At that second an easy to recognize film actor walked past her, and she sat up and stared, her husband turning to look as well. 'Well, that proves it' she said. Not sure what proof she got from a man who lives in the neighborhood we were in, an actor of some stature, and a nice guy, too. They left smiling. So did the actor.

Love on!

 

February 10, 2016

Whew! That was exhausting, and fun! Superbowl 50 rolled through the Bay Area. The game was played about half way between San Francisco and San Jose, and there were more than one million visitors. It has been compared to having 2 New Year's Eve celebrations, back to back. The resources of the City were stretched a bit thin, but we made it. Interviewed passengers at all 3 airports said that this was the best Superbowl they had even been to, and some have been coming for all 50 years. Yay Bay peeps! Well done!

In other news, the era of scientific breakthroughs is not over. How broad is the actual invisible wavelength of vision? New tests reveal that there is a world that we do not see, that is omnipresent and as yet unexplained.

There is so much to learn about this world of ours, and ourselves in it.

The Chinese New Year started on the 8th, the year of the Red Fire Monkey. A good year to do new things, to tinker, and to act.

If that's not enough, here comes Valentine's Day. Sweet and treats and flowers, I always buy myself something each year, partly as a continuation of something I started 40+ years ago when I had no one special in my life and felt alone, and unhappy. Giving myself something, even if just a walk in beauty, was and is an act of self love, self esteem. Life is progress, not perfection. Live, love, learn.

Now, what else is there to celebrate this month? Let's all go out there and find something, or some one!

Love on!

 

February 5, 2016

Hello Atlanta Georgia! How's life in wonderful Hot'lanta, such a nice town, so much to see and do, and don't forget to have a Coke! All the best to you and yours, and Thanx for reading.

Rain, cold, wind, snow.

Flooded streets, falling trees, slick roads, black ice.

Let's have a Superbowl! Let's have a million or so folks come to the Bay area, let's shut down roads and erect barriers and really make it crazy for everyone.

Last evening I ventured down to the Embarcadero to see what all the hubbub was about. Swarms of folks lining up to go through metal detectors before proceedng. Music and mayhem and swirling masses of people going here, there and where?  Police everywhere, snipers on roof tops, so much security. And so many people, it seems as if every country has sent a delegation.

Standing in line, the fellow in front of us turns and asks a question. He's from Xian, China, and is having the time of his life. His buddy, who doesn't speak a word of English, keeps smiling and nodding and looking around. The man from outside of Sydney, Australia is snapping a photo of a scantily dressed faux cheer leader and says 'What a bloody good rip' as he wanders away. The young couple from South Carolina sit and watch the parade of folks go by, some dressed in funny clothes, many in team colors. Festivity fills the air.

Coming home on the underground, I overhear a woman complaining about all the little black ants that have been invading her house. The woman she's speaking with heartily agrees, and then a man nearby chimes in and the talk turns to remedies and whatnot.

One of the side effects of this El Nino wet winter has been these ants. They are seeking higher ground.

Another seeking drier ground is the calico cat that has been living in our backyard for nearly 3 years. This weather finally got the best of her and she stood at a back door during a downpour last month, wet and bedraggled and howling her head off. Once inside, she hid under a chair and dried off. I went and got some canned food and fed her. She let me stroke her back before batting at my hand. A truce was declared.

Since then Felicity, as Joe named her, has become a member of the household. She has a bed and a cat box, wet and dry foods, a water bowl and two attentive humans, one (me) who is allowed to touch her. She is wary and scared of loud noises and sudden movements, but always returns after being out in the yard and other yards nearby.

The El Nino gata. A calico companion. Welcome! All this and a Superbowl, too!

Love on!

 

February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day! Neither the woodchuck in New Jersey or Pennsylvania saw their respective shadows, so winter is going to be shorter...as least for groundhogs, maybe...

In January of this year, San Francisco received more rainfall than in the prior 5 years in total. The deluge has come.

The other day a crack appeared on a house that had recently been purchased for more than two million dollars. The city inspectors looked into it and ordered the house pulled down to protect the houses below it.

Trees have been falling over, especially as the ground is becoming soaked and the winds have been very strong, sometimes topping 60 miles per hour.

El Nino.

Some say that it is weakening, others say it is not.

Either way, it has been rainy, very. Today and tomorrow, storms.

Then maybe a break for Superbowl Sunday.

Then more rain is forecast.

For my part, on the days when I can, a lovely cup of hot tea and a good book suffice.

I am not even going to look for my shadow!

Love on!

 

January 28, 2016

San Francisco is under siege! Superbowl 50 approaches! Traffic nightmares, crazy prices, global tourists, and more!

That's one of the up and down sides about being such a destination city. Everybody wants to do something here. Even though the Superbowl is taking place 50 miles to the south, SF is still pulling folks in. The other choice is San Jose and, well, it's a nice city but doesn't compare to SF in countless ways. Which is why there are now lines at most good places to eat here in the City (Thank you Herb Caen) and the bars and clubs are hopping.

Tourism! We are all tourists at some point in our lives. I've learned that by being a good host I become a better tourist.

For a big birthday up ahead, I've been thinking about giving myself a round-the-world trip, and actually fly around the world and stop along the way, there and there, so to speak. Even though I have flown more than 2 million air miles in my life, I have never traveled that small part of the world between Bangkok Thailand and Chennai India. From the looks of it, it doesn't appear to be far, and maybe there is some interesting place between those cities to visit. Oh boy, more chances to be a tourist.

However, in the here and nowness of this time, I get to play host to a worldwide tourism visitation, and am looking forward to it.

I used to pass them all the time, someone, maybe two or more, standing still, looking around, maybe at a map.

Now I slow my stroll and ask in a friendly voice if I can help. 90% of the time the answer is yes.

So here's the game I'm going to watch: Can that number go higher? Let's give it go!

Love on!

 

January 23, 2016

Happy Wolf Moon! That's if you can see it where you are! I don't know if many wolves will be out howling back east...

Looking at the images on my computer of a frozen East coast, the streets filled with snow, no cars to be seen. White out driving conditions. More than 5,000 flights cancelled. Tens of thousands of homes without power.

Snowzilla someone called it.

So stay safe and warm and take care of yourselves, regardless of where on this lovely planet you happen to be.

For my part, I am going to go celebrate a friends '0' birthday. The rain has stopped until sometime next week, the weather folks say, and the break will be most appreciated by me, as then I can clean up my back yard and make sure the wildlife that visits, the birds and raccoons and squirrels and so many cats, have dry places to sleep and seeds to eat.

Ah, Winter! You're here at last!

 

January 20, 2016

San Francisco has received 110% of the average rainfall for this time of year.

Did I mention it has been very rainy of late? It has, and then some.

None of the creeks or rivers in the area are in danger of flooding right now, but the computer models predict some very rain filled storms are to come in the weeks ahead.

The other night it rained so much that the storm drains near our house could not hold more water which sent the runoff down the street to the lowest point nearby, an intersection that never filled with water, thank SF City maintenance workers and bosses. The city powers have been kept informed and have thus far managed to avoid any flooding.

Somewhat surprisingly, most of the rain thus far has fallen in northern California, and those in the southland are waiting for the storms to sweep their way.

So I've been hauling out my raingear and came across a jacket I remember buying years ago. It was practical and rainproof, with slash pockets on the outside and 4 pockets on the inside. It was perfect, especially for travel. Or so I thought, until one very, very wet trip to London, England.

It was 'tipping' rain when I arrived, and the forecast was for periods of rain but mainly drizzle. So wrong.

I was doing research and was going here and there, but all of my travel was always a bit of a walk from the Tube stop I was using, and I got a chance to try out my coat. The hood untucked and fitted well, the longer cut of the coat kept more of my trousers dry, perfect, I thought.

And then it happened. I got caught in  downpour and the outer pockets both filled with water due to their angle on the coat. Being made of the shell fabric meant they held water very well. It was crazy making. I spent the rest of the trip trying to keep my coat pockets dry.

Returning home, I was reluctant to toss the coat away, so I stuck it in a closet where it has lived all these years.

Finding it yesterday while looking for something else, I took hold of it and brought it into the light, brushing off the dust. Still a good looking garment, still in fashion, well made and putting it on I remember how well it felt.

Round Two looms for coat and I. Let's give it another try, shall we, says a voice in my head. Put nothing of consequence in the outer pockets, says another. Duly noted. I sense that my flexibility in this matter will avail me of some gain, if only the inclusion of this coat into my everyday wardrobe. I've never been one to treat clothing like disposable skin, and if an article really pleases me, chances are it will be around for a long time. Like the Calvin Klein jeans I bought in Boston, MA in 1983. Still fit, still look great. So, here's hoping coat fares well.

Sometimes it's just right for a second chance, no?

Love on!

 

January 14, 2016

Happy Thursday!

huh? what?

I know, it's just another day in the world, this one a Thursday, and what's so special about that?

Well, from my perspective, waking up this morning is something that comes with anticipation and just a bit of expectation.

There's a life to be lived, and each of us has been assigned that task. How cool is that? Each of us gets to choose, to a great degree, how we are going to feel and think and act. Wow oh wow, what fun that can be, or not, depending on what we choose.

Yesterday brought a new client to my door. She had been referred by a friend of hers, a client of mine for many years. She had called out of curiousity and we had a nice conversation, at the end of which she made an appointment.

As I do everyday, I meditated a while before the start of my workday. I saw an unfamiliar face and heard the words 'my down-in-the-mouth little chipmunk'.

She sure was! 'What's the point of all this suffering?' she asked at one point, as she had been recounting the tale of woe and loss she believed her whole life had been. We talked about perspective and how our choices can influence our lives. She told me about her grandmother, who had been such a positive and loving presence in her life, and how she now felt alone and hopeless.

We taked at length about her life, and I offered up some ideas for problems she is facing. Her mood lightened at the session progressed, and toward the end she said she felt so much better for coming and how an object she had noticed on a shelf in my office had reminded her of her grandmother, the dream-catcher, she said. I asked her how she felt about those memories and she smiled broadly and replied 'Hopeful'.

Excellent, I said, nothing to be down in the mouth about. Her jaw dropped. Much was said.

The life we live is the love we give. Each and every day is worth living, and love always worth giving.

Live and love on!

 

January 9, 2016

The street was slick with the drizzle that had been falling before dawn. A car rolled past, the sound of it's passing louder than the electric motor powering it. Somewhere a crow cawed, and cawed again.

Morning walks like this are a wonderful part of some of my days, and this one had started well and was going along just fine. The sky was growing lighter, the drizzle ceased, and blue skies peeked out here and there among the clouds.

As I rounded a corner I saw someone ahead of me lose their balance and fall on the sidewalk about 40 feet in front of me. People walked past, not stopping. Walking up, I noticed that it was an older man, possibly homeless from the look of his clothes. A man helps him stand as I take an arm to help. He's OK and brushes off our help, and walks away.

The man who had gotten to him first looks at me and we both recognize each other. This is a man I used to sell travel to years ago when I first moved to San Francisco and got involved in the travel industry. Time has been kind to him, and we grab a cup of coffee and talk about old times back in the mid 1980's.

Parting, we exchange emails and phone numbers and hug.

There are people that will pass through our lives with barely a ripple. Others can makes waves, and more others may be steadying and solid. Let it all wash over you, and choose those that are genuine and true.

Everyday can hold a surprise, and sometimes delight. Try to greet it with as much clarity and charity as you can muster.

Walking back home I thought about what he had told me about his life these past 30 years and how he had fared. The one constant, he said, had been his resolute determination to have a better life, regardless of what happened. He has surely achieved his goal as he is the owner of a very successful business and involved in community outreach through many organizations and charities. He said that he had learned that he needed to be his best friend and rely on himself first.

Good advice, I told him, and it's what I practice as well. Loving me makes living better.

What a wonderful gift today gave me, a reconnection to someone good.

Love on!

 

January 4, 2016

Mercury Retrograde 5:06AM PST January 5, 2016

Careful!

There I was, going up a sidewalk I knew like the back of my hand, and then my foot caught on something and down I went, hard on my left knee and wrist. A bit breathless, a moment, and then up, and taking stock. Ouch says hand and knee, go on says head, oh crap says heart.

We are that three ply weave, actually four: head, heart, body, spirit. The Four Directions.

So here I sit, unable to freely move my left hand and knee, taking in all that those two joints mean to me, both physically and knowingly.

Let go and go on, this says to me. Left is past, wrist is 15 years or so, knee is 17 or so, so let's take it from as if we were 16 again.

Easy on the inside, not so on the outside. That is today's message. Breathe and relax. Start again.

It will not always go as we would wish it, we are here to learn and go. This process can be extremely or less painful. Hang in. Love.

So, between now and the 25th of this month, take your time. And breathe, And relax, and again...

Take life with love.

Love on!

 

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

Back to work for me, and glad to be of help to others am I.

One of my cousins told me recently how she admires the work I do helping people. Thanking her, I said how blessed I feel that I have been able to help myself through so many trials and tribulations, and that this effort has helped me to understand life better.

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars'~ Oscar Wilde

When I first read those words I gave a small start: he was giving me a way out.

All my life I had heard from so many people how broken we are as mortal humans, how damaged and beyond repair unless...and then some hook into whatever thinking was being expoused. So I gave it a go, and soon found out that those that would 'save my soul' would do so at my cost and sometimes peril. It took a while but I got the hang of it. And voted with my feet and moved away from them.

Life is going to kick the stuffing out of us, one way or another, of this I am certain. In all my life I have never met anyone who has not been mauled by life at some point, sometimes without recovery.

The mistake that most of us make is to internalize the awfulness of the world and some of the people in it, and begin to think that we are responsible for how others view and treat us. That is very destructive thinking and damages self esteem. This has consequences.

When I began to do self loving, healthy things for myself, I felt better. Like the morning when I got up early and went for a jog, for the first time. Coming home I was on cloud nine. Just the fact that I could do something good for me, as a choice, was liberation.

Learning to love ourselves is a lifelong work. Each and every day will bring something new, unexpected, for us. We choose, right then.

It is my most profound wish that we all learn to love ourselves enough to make the best of our lives. In doing this we are then able to help those around us, and make our world a better place.

Thank you, gentle reader, for your time and effort, not just in reading these words but in being you. May all your choices reflect the love that lives in you, and in each of us.

Happy New Year, with my love.

Love on! 

 

December 31, 2015

Thanks to the modern age, I started my New Year's celebration in Auckland, New Zealand before moving via television to Sydney, Australia and their wonderful firework display. What a way to start my day!

This blog is a gift to me, and I am so very thankful that it came my way. Knowing that I have this infinitesimally small part of the world to share what I hope is my best and seldom the rest of life and living and loving and being, most of all being, is a gift beyond measure.

There are days in life when my 'get up and go' has either gone on or failed to arrive. These days I am thankful for.

There are days in life when it feels like I am living a dream, the other-worldliness of the moment surreal and yet not. Thankful me.

My work has demonstrated time and time, lifetime and lifetime again, how important self esteem is. It has helped me to see the shared struggle that we all have, each day, in countless ways. So many folks have communicated with me over the year, offering up their conundrum of the moment and my suggestion of a different perspective.

This year I saw so many wonderful and terrible moments, and they all taught me the value of love.

The only small part of life that I have is mine. It's not much, but it's mine and it's honest. I am responsible for my body, emotions, thinking and action. My power starts and ends at my skin. I am content.

Thank you, gentle reader, for your time and whatever else came from your time here. Know that you are in my heart and prayers.

Live the love that lives in you.

Love on!

And on!

 

December 30, 2015

Hello Jambi, Indonesia! Thanks to many folks on the internet I was able to find photographs of your part of the world, there in Sumatra, and the beauty of the architecture of some of the buildings is stunning. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and for some it can't come quick enough. For some of us, well, we may find ourselves writing 2015 for a while as we adjust, such as we do.

So, here's to us! We made it this far, and the future awaits.

What will the coming year bring, to our planet, to us? Stay tuned!

One of my clients is this lovely man, 96 years young he'll tell you, and he's correct. He is young, in mind, heart and spirit. He loves to learn about new things everyday, and spends some time surfing the web, looking at this and that. He credits this roaming with getting him to travel to Greenland, as he was awed by the beauty he saw on the internet. He says his natural curiosity has kept him going all his years, and I suspect he'll roll into the new year just fine, probably watching something on his new Ipad.

He's a role model of sorts for me. So many times I've watched as people unplug from the circuit of life and age. Each of us chooses.

That's the great thing about life, the freedoms that we have, and the power of choice where it exists.

Looking at the jungle surrounding Jambi made me think about what life must be like there, hot and humid much of the year, and a long way from big cities and pulsing sidewalks. And yet very tranquil and pretty, with all the modern trappings of life anywhere on Earth. There are so many people in so many places.

Thanks to technology so much of the world can be seen from the comfort of your where ever. Such a world!

It's a sure bet that technology is going to continue to change the world around us in countless ways. Just the other day I watched a demonstration of a new high tech stethoscope and was amazed at the precision and clear superiority of its manufacture. It will make such an improvement in the health of so many.

Here's to tomorrow, and next year, and each and every one of us!

Love on!

 

December 21, 2015

Winter! or Summer, depending where one is on this globe. Solstice. Mid year or year end, something to celebrate!

Out and about, the skies have given San Francisco lashings of rain, not cold rain but a bit chilled, like many of the people it's falling on. The town is awash with parties and revelers on every block. This appears to be the year of the funny head covering and tacky sweater, from what I have passed on the streets.

Macy's windows are a crowd delight, with puppies and kittens up for adoption, and a steady stream of happy people and animals make it one of the happiest corners in town. The subway construction has made a bit of a disruption, but the throngs of people are not daunted and shoulder and march on.

A new 'Star Wars' movie has just opened, and folks dressed in costumes somewhat like the movie are adding to the colorfulness of the season, the flash of light sabers seen here and there, especially at night. It does add a 'je ne sais quoi' (today's WTF) to the City, and make it even more festive.

Such a funny little republic this town is, so full of the exotic and unusual and downright outrageous, like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of folks who dress is outlandish costumes and make-up and raise money for charities. What a colorful group they are, and the good work they do benefits many. There was a moment, the other day, when a Salvation Army bell ringer was talking with one of the Sisters, a woman I know. They were both smiling and laughing, and hugged as they parted. Sigh...

That's what I am carrying into this time, the unity of usness.

As the Pope said, 'Who am I to judge?'

Old Man Winter marks the shortest daylight of the year, the longest night. Today I will be moving about, dressed in my tacky Xmas sweater, getting a laugh or two. My smile will be present and ready to erupt, and the laughter will be cued up as well. Tonight will find me near my fireplace, enjoying the smell of a pine tree festooned with baubles and a book or two. Meness. Taking care of me at the end of the day. In doing this, I give myself a foundation on which to express myself, selflessly. Once I take care of me, I'm ready to help those around me, each and every day. Regardless of who they are or where they're from or what religion or color or anything.

Usness, in action.

Love on!

 

December 17, 2015

Oh, so busy, so busy, so busy...very bizzy and buzzy and the rush of year end is a swirling maelstrom into which most if not all of us are whirled and world around and about. And in some cases, beyond.

Lately I've seen several cases of the latter. Folks who just lose it at some point and act out. This is a stressful time of year.

In this part of the whirled, the temperatures have been plunging at night, into the 30's F in some places. They say it's good for the grapes. That may well be, I have come to find that moderate use of grapes has been good for me, many times. As I've learned, there's a nasty kick in the wrath of the grape, when one over does. Moderation is the key word.

So when I go 'free range' and take myself out into the swirl, I take my patience, my time, and my effort, so that I can swim along with all of the others that are out there with me.

For some reason, maybe it's the coldness, but I've seen more men in shorts than is usual for this time of year. They may have on bulky jackets and thick socks sometimes to the knee, but then there are those shorts. At this time of year? What's with that?

El Nino continues to boil the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the change in the atmosphere draws the wetter and colder winds from the Artic Circle farther south, and it has been and will continue this weekend to rain. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east the snow has been piling up in lovely carpeting, one night 19 inches fell in part of the mountains. This snow pack is vital to the ecological health of California and neighboring States. Let it snow!

Here's hoping that we can all make the best of these days ahead, with love.

Love on!

 

December 14, 2015

Hello Holland! I have seen some of the most beautiful sights in your lovely country. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Why are men shirtless and women topless?

The funny way words are used sometimes, sometimes makes me laugh out loud.

Such an amalgam of languages American English is, you can hear time and places speaking to you in every sentence. For a student of languages, as I am, I marvel at the words that I hear, and how differences among us are commonly spoken.

Take the word woman, for example. Man is an understood word, and wo is just an old Celtic word for half. So when you're counting people, each man represents 1 and each woman half. That's the food supply the group needs. Laboring men require more food.

But then, who's counting? Leaders, I hope.

Walking the other day, I passed two women on the sidewalk, and over heard this bit of conversation: 'She said he said that they said...' and my mind boggled. What a convoluted chain of communication, and one can be sure that it is a faulty chain at best. No leader there.

Another favorite word: seems/seams. When someone says to me 'such and such seems...' I hear the word seams, as I suspect that our intuition hides behind the word seems, expressed as language that is partly hidden, like much of intuition is.

As we have evolved as a species, we have learned how to adapt to the environment around us, and today we humans are the chief architect and builder of our global container, Earth. How we go forward is an indication of how we will continue to adapt as a species, and become even better at being.

It's all there, in print. The words that have been used to express the intent of the leaders of our world to improve the environment have been published. Now all we have to do is make those words mean something.

We're all in this together! But then together is just to get her. Earth.

Love on!

 

December 9, 2015

What a fun day I had yesterday. I got to work with a new corporate client. The head of the company is 22 years old. She is very bright.

What I enjoyed was watching those who came to the meeting, how a couple of them thought she was a staffer and brushed past her. It wasn't until the meeting started that some realized who she was. The woman next to me leaned over and rolled her eyes.

Afterwards the head and I met, and we discussed the reactions of all the attendees. She was unfazed by what she saw and said that countless times she has been overlooked, and that it doesn't bother her much.

I asked her to tell me the things she observed that made her angry or unhappy, and she did. I wrote them down, and then asked her to write them down. Her writing was more elaborate than what she had said, more detailed, more reactive energy. I then asked her to go to the chair where the person had sat and to read her writing about how she felt. The anger and sadness boiled forth, and as she went from chair to chair she became more in control, less fractured by other's behavior, and when she finished she laughed outloud.

Displacement.

It works.

Holding onto negative feelings does not help. By learning how to displace, in a safe manner, our negativity, we free ourselves from the baser emotions that plague most of us.

On my way home, waiting for a bus, I saw two men get into a shoving match, all over the last newspaper in a machine. It was sad.

The end of the year can manifest a lot of tensions that we all feel, from the past as well as the present. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to displace the bad, and cherish the glad.

Love on!

 

December 3, 2015

Up 2 hours before dawn, awakened by nothing that I know of, feeling rested. Turn on the coffee machine, go get newspapers. Coffee and papers. So much trouble in the world. 'Good news never sells.' to quote a former boss of mine at the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

Splash face with water, brush teeth, throw on some warm clothes, comb hair and out the door with the new Adele album in my ears. The coldness of the pre-dawn air stings my cheeks and makes me glad I grabbed gloves on the way out. Should have grabbed something for my head as I feel the chill embrace me.

38 minutes later I am back home, going up the steps to my door, invigorated and warm, almost perspiring. The impressions from my walk are very fresh and swirl through my brain: the little woman with the big dog, the dog clearly in charge. The man in a wheelchair who waved and smiled, and me back to him. The woman having a fight on the phone with her lover, anger then tears then silence. The children holding hands with their dad singing as they walked along. The beauty of the sun rise, the sky painted gold and dark blue at first, and then brushes of pink streaking across, their color serving to bring dawn into daylight.

A good morning, started.

Love on!

 

November 29, 2015

The tail end of November is wagging, and December, the tenth month in the Roman calendar of old, looms...

and the festivities of the year end are everywhere we look. What a world of choices we have, and many of them don't cost a cent.

The pealing laughter of a child fills the brisk, dry air as the sounds of the traffic swirl about, the whole of it pulsing with life.

This and more sounds are out there in the world, and this is a great time to get out and about. The shops are full and it doesn't cost anything to look. The colors and sounds of the holidays are here. Make the best of it, that's my advice.

For years I hid away from everyone at Christmas. I was not able to be out and would only go to work and then home, and I felt so awful, inside and out. So much turmoil, so much anger, so much fear. My world was small and dark.

Then I discovered displacement, totally by accident. I had been moving and was thinking about my awful father and how he laughed in my face when I asked him for money. I was so enraged and in that moment I dropped the table lamp, my only one. #%&@! and more awful thoughts erupted in my head and from my throat and then, seconds later, I was empty, not angry, just spent, depleted. And then...Oh so tired.  

When I woke up a while later, it felt as if some awful weight had been lifted. I have never acted like I had when I dropped the lamp, and yet I felt better for getting all of the rage out of me.

Today, almost every day, I do some act of displacement. It keeps me in good working order.

Which is what I need to be, especially today. I'm going shopping for a Holiday sweater, one that will make me and others laugh. Laughter lightens the heart, and brightens our lives.

Love on!

 

November 24, 2015

I had what I call a 'Mel Brooks Moment' yesterday...

the set up: expecting one result.

the gag: getting something completely different.

In the morning I had busied myself with all the chores I had to do, and unexpected things happened and I noticed the time getting later and later and I didn't want to be any later and so I grabbed this and that and flew out my door.

Getting to my destination I suddenly realize that stuff that I need is sitting on my kitchen counter...

cue laughter and applause.

Because that is what I did, right then and there. I laughted and clapped my hands and the guy helping me says 'Good attitude', making this moment worth every second it will take to retrace my travels and get my stuff together and return.

A small lesson to learn, one that reminds me to check before leaving to make sure that I have what I need. Easier to learn with love.

Love on!

 

November 21, 2015

Hello Goa, India! How I loved swimming along your beautiful palm tree covered beaches, and the market and the food and especially the people! All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Something funny happened the other day that I just want to share:

About 3 years ago this man came to see me. He had been referred by a woman he was dating who was and is a client. He called, we chatted, we made an appointment and met at the agreed time and place.

To make a 50 minute story short, he was a shady fellow and was involved in an illegal financial transaction that he hinted about. My intuition gave me the missing parts of his story which I filled in for him. 'How do you know that?' he asked when I'd finished. I told him about my objective and subjective experiences with intuition. I suggested that he make some changes and that perhaps he might get himself out of the legal noose he was placing on himself.

Turns out, he didn't

He got caught, as did the others involved. He accepted a plea deal from the authorities and spilled his guts, as it were, divulging all he knew. He avoided jail time.

I saw him the other day. He called for an appointment the day he signed the legal documents putting his shady past behind him. He is a changed man, a better man, and a man who has (I hope) learned a great deal about life.

The funny thing he told me was how he kept hearing my voice in his head, saying 'Everyone is psychic.' He said he came to believe it. Time and time again, he said, he would get a premonition or a sense of something and avoid whatever trouble was ahead. He said he had come to realize that there is a good voice in him that directs him to betterment and the life he can live.

As he prepared to leave, he quickly hugged me, and then stepped back and I noticed a tear in his eye.

Love on!

 

November 18, 2015

Such troubled days lately, locally and globally.

Turning on the television to a news program brings distressing words and images, same with the newspaper. Less media for me.

No, I'm not sticking my head in the sand and pretending that there isn't carnage happening, it's more that I do not want to traumatize myself repeatedly with horror.

Instead I do something that is beneficial, like picking up trash on the street (wearing gloves of course) or helping people when I can, holding a door maybe. For my little part of this world, I can only do that which is possible. By doing useful acts for others I lift my spirit, and maybe anothers.

Although it doesn't always work out well. Like the other day when I held a door for a woman and she spat at my feet.

Oh well, I thought, as she walked away. Her actions have nothing to do with me, and I wished her well. Silently and from a distance.

There are unhappy, angry people just about everywhere, and although we cannot avoid them, we do not need to join them in some ugly emotional place. It can be far too easy to take on a negative emotional charge, especially when it is directed at you. Hate will only divide us.

Love on!

 

November 13, 2015

Did you see it? It's hidden right above this, an event that won't happen again for 1000 years!

11-13-15

Not every day has a number sequence as perfect as today, but every day is still unique. It's just that some days, like today, come along to remind us of the specialness of each day.

They're 'one-off's', each day is, just one like it, not to be exactly repeated for ever. Very special.

And yet some days they just don't feel that way, instead it's just another day to get through, with all the stuff and nonsense that any day can contain. Ho hum, here we go again...

or not.

For me, each day is another opportunity to improve on me and my world. To take physical, emotional and intellectual care of myself and those around me. To make my space as I like it. To be who I choose to be.

I'll tell ya, some day's are just exhausting and I fall into my bed early in the evening, too tired to do anything else but sleep. Not everyday is like that, but when they come along I rolll with it and still do my best as I can. Being tired can be a good thing and a good think. Recalling all that I've done in that exhausting day lulls me to sleep.

So here I am before dawns early light, having made my bed, washed my face, brushed my hair and teeth and pulled on some clothes. Now out the door for a good walk and on with the day.

I hope your day suits you to a T!

Love on!

 

November 10, 2015

Hello Ile de France, what a great part of the country you are, such sights, such delights. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

My intuition sure has been getting a work out lately, it must be that time of year, or maybe the new moon or whatev, as the kids say.

Lately, I have encountered folks who have shaded the truth in speaking with me, and it's a bit like a buzz in my head when it has happened. The last time was this morning in a meeting with a corporate client. The fellow giving a report made a couple of comments that rang false to me, and I checked out the facts. Turns out he was incorrect in his comments and later told me he had no idea how that happened. I heard a buzz that time too.

Good to know, that's what I say. Even if I do not like sensing that this chap is a shade dishonest, there have been comments from others about the veracity of his work.

Why folks choose to lie is always subjective, and usually poorly founded in reasoning and emotion.

Everyone gets to choose. That is one of the best things about life.

Yesterday I spoke with my just turned 91 year old Aunt Lois, a dear woman she. We talked about family and people we knew who have passed over and a multitude of things. Her mind, sharp as ever, and her loving heart as open as all get out, as she would say. Such a wonderful example of how to be a good person, and blessed in so many ways. As I shared with her some of the research I have done on her ancestry she was full of questions and laughed when I told her we were descended from a butcher in Tuckahoe, New York who's father was probably born in Scotland.

Not grand stock, she said, and I concurred and we both laughed. 'The plain truth is always best' she said, and my intuition purred like a cat.

Love on!

 

November 3, 2015

Someone asked me the other day how I appear so calm. Did I meditate? What about my diet? How do I manage?

My answer was that I love life. Just waking up is a reason to smile. And I refuse to allow emotional drama to run my life.

As a child, I was surrounded by emotional turmoil: my parents, their parents, family members. It seemed as if most of the adults I was around were having a hard time in life, what with addictions to various material substances (money, alcohol, religion, food) and matters of faith.

Faith is such a thing. Do we trust? Do we have a sense that will be alright?

Each of us gets to answer this question countless times in a lifetime.

Every day is new, and we greet that day as we choose. That to me is the essence of power. learning to manage me in all the ways that life presents.

One of the joys I employ is to take time each day to just be. Not moving, just looking. If I can manage it, I try to be in some place where the view is nice.

All around me in life there is chaos, wars, struggle, evil. The media sources are broadcasting awfulness 24 hours a day, and if you're looking for bad news, they've got it for you. So less media for me.

'My power ends at my skin.' That's a motto I refer to often. As much as I would love to help people I meet, not everyone seeks my help.

Most powerfully, I have learned to love myself, warts and all. I am not perfect and may never be, and that's just fine with me. The important thing is that I bring my best self to each day, and to do my best in each moment. And no judgement, for self or others. Just support and compassion.

Love on!

 

October 30, 2015

What fun today is going to be!

There will be people dressed up in costumes just about everywhere I will go.

Just this morning, looking out onto the street, I saw a zombie and a cowgirl and a fellow wrapped in a bloody looking sheet. And there was a princess, such a beautiful dress and sparkly headdress, and a glittery beard as well.

Aw, San Francisco.

This is a town that likes to have a good time. Maybe it's the geography, what with the hills and bay and ocean, or maybe it's the air that blows in from Alaska and Asia and even Hawai'i. And Halloween is made for this town. A chance to dress in funny clothes and make a spectacle of yourself-perfect for some, not for all.

Up at the local hardware store, Cliffs, there are aisles devoted to this holiday. There are zombie garden gnomes, witchey clothes and spiders and rats and skeletal dogs and cats. And fake blood in large bottles. Everything one needs to make this ghoulish holiday fun and scary.

Laughing in the face of death. Now that is a reason to celebrate. We all know how life ends, why not poke a little fun at the fact and make the most of life?

Must go now and work on my costume. Hair paint and black light makeup sticks and more...

and more to follow...

Love on!

 

October 27, 2015

The streets of San Francisco are taking on the colors of Fall. On every street there seems to be at least one tree that is yellow or orange or even red. The maple tree in our yard is dappled about with shades of pale yellow and lots of seed pods just waiting to helicopter down and around.

Tempus...time, if not flying, certainly is moving right along. The hard part for me is sometimes playing catch up.

This week end brings Halloween, and in our neighborhood that means tens of thousands of people, many dressed in costumes of varying degrees of artistry. This past Sunday was 'Zombie Day' and a few hundred folks gathered in Justin Herman Plaza to the delight of all those with cameras. Some of the zombies were really scary and awful looking. It was fun. I suspect that this week end will be a lot of fun as well. How many Donald Trumps will there be? How many Hillarys? Goblins and devils and oh so much more.

Which reminds me: I need to get a costume together myself.

Here's hoping inspiration strikes me!

Love on!

 

October 20, 2015

Hello Red Deer, Alberta, Canada! The wide open plains of the country surround you, and the Rockies to the west must be spectacular looking. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Life sure can be amazing. This past week brought a man to my office who made me scratch my head. He was a bitter chap, probably had been most of his life. His parents didn't like him and the feeling was mutual. He left for college and never saw them again. He had come to see me as he had just learned that his mother had left him a great deal of money and he was schismed by guilt. How could someone who he had ignored for more than 30 years leave him money? Did she do it to make him feel guilty? If so, then he was enraged! If not, then he was dumb struck with an emotional overload.

Why people do what they do can make you scratch your head.

In this chaps case I suspect that he will discover why his mother did what she did after all those years apart. He has a house full of the possessions of both of his parents to sort out. Not to mention that he now owns this little house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a house he has yet to visit. So much to unravel, has he.

We all do, I believe. There is so much of life to discover and understand.

One of the things I have learned along the way is that attitude is altitude. If you're looking someplace that's where you're going. Look up, look down, or look out. The choice is always ours to make.

Speaking for myself, I try to look up and out. There's a great big wonderfilled world all around me. Why, just this morning I took an African safari thanks to Google Earth. It was wonderful to see the herd, correctly called a bloat or a crash, of hippos. What a lovely way to start my morning.

Here's looking up, with love.

Love on!

 

October 13, 2015

What a morning I had! I got to go and listen to people brainstorm. They were all talking about how to best serve the technology and then how to tailor it to serve humans. Amazing conversation about how people might view certain aspects of the product and how the product might define the purchasers.

Perception. One of my favorite subjects.

So I sat and listened and learned about the people in the room and got to watch human dynamics at work. The smartest person spoke the most, the most diffident not at all. And yet the ideas kept coming. Even the shy guy spoke to a collegue who shared the guy's ideas. It was wonderful.

And so rare.

Countless times, I sat in meetings where the top ranking person runs the show and one is best served by not speaking unless spoken to. Those were always awful meetings, and accomplished little. The times where there was an open exchange of ideas and suggestions and questions welcome from everyone- the best.

Hopefully this morning's client will bring a useful and well made device to the marketplace. We need as many of those as we can get.

And then I hurried home, out of the heat. San Francisco is sizzling today, the sun a relentless ball of fire. The forecast is for weather like this for the next day or so, and then cooler. They're still talking about what an El Nino weather pattern is emerging, and how above average rain is coming to the state of California, more to the south than here in the north part of the state. C'mon rain!

Here's hoping your day and night are good and you are well.

Love on!

 

October 9, 2015

Waking in the dark of the morning, the house quiet. There's no one on the street as I retrieve the newspapers, and for a while the only sounds are the dripping of the coffee pot and the rustling of the newspaper pages in my hands.

Next comes going out onto the deck in the rising gloom. Sun rise is half an hour or more away.

The air is cool at 58F, and the smallest seam of dawn can be seen in the eastern sky as a line of soft gold and dark blue swirls.

Quiet prevails. Such peace. I give thanks and close my eyes.

Suddenly, there's the loud sound of something jumping/falling behind the cherry tree. My eyes open and scan. My innate senses tell me that there is an animal in the corner of the yard, maybe a cat but I doubt this as my mind conjures the image of a raccoon.

After a few minutes he emerges to the edge of the lower deck and looks up at me. Then he sits and grooms his fur and doesn't give me a second thought. He's about 40 pounds of rippling grey and black and white fur, his nimble black hands smoothing and picking and so human-like. Then, to my amazement, he stands on his hind legs and stretches his fore legs into the air. Then he yawns.

In that moment I am struck by the evolutionary link that he and I share. My mammilian ancestors came out of the trees and look how far we have come, good and bad and for the better overall. Perhaps this fellow's progeny will sit somewhat like I'm doing and watch another species greet the rising sun.

When I lived in Lahore, Pakistan I met a man who practiced the Jain religion. He was ever mindful of his surroundings and was careful not to injure or kill any living creature. Vegetables and grains were his diet, and he was so full of life. He told me that each of us has a path in life that we are to determine as we go along, and that we must have a foundation in order to exist in life, that each of us has a central core of belief that we do best by adhering to. All life evolves, he said, countless lifetimes until nirvana.

Sitting still in my nirvana-ish moment, the raccoon climbs into another yard, and turns to look at me for a moment. Did he raise his hand, did that really happen? I could swear he gave me a wave before turning his back and disappearing from my view.

We are all in this together.

Love on.

 

October 6, 2015

Things have been busy and hectic of late and have gotten the better of my blogging time. Hello! How are you? Well, I hope. There were a couple of times I almost had a chance to sit down and write, but something came up and away the time went.

There have been so many events and celebrations taking place here in San Francisco the past couple of weeks, tea tastings, food festivals, Oktoberfest, Hardly Strickly music and so much more. Yet the party continues this week as it's Fleet Week.

San Francisco has been a US Navy town since forever, and one week a year the Navy puts on quite a show, there are ships to tour and a stunning display by jet fighter pilots as they swoop and roar over head.

Last evening I had taken a glass of wine and sat on our deck overlooking the yard. The air was warm, the air still, the light glowing where it touched. So peaceful...and then the unmistakable sound of a jet plane, a very fast one, grew louder and louder and then zoomed over the house in a deafening roar.

My wine turned to plonk, tasteless and boring. I went inside and closed all the doors and windows until the sound stopped.

There will be practice flights this week and a big show on Saturday and Sunday, lots of sound.

When there were cats in the house they hated the noise, and hid away from it. I used to envy them. Then I bought headphones that cover my ears and the racket of Fleet Week was muted.

Another week begins and life is just asking to be lived. Let's join it, shall we, and make the best of what comes our way.

Thank you for reading along, and for being you. You are loved.

Love on!

 

September 26, 2015

It is Equinox Day here in San Francisco! The sun rises at 7AM and sets at 7PM! Balance!

Just what I could use right about now. This has been a week of feeling the pace of life all around me start to speed up. Everything and everyone felt like they were moving quicker, a slight increase in relative speed.

Not for our yard cat, however. This was a week to venture onto the deck and stretch out in the afternoon sun for a while, and then some cool ground in the garden later. Felicity (that's the name Joe gave her years ago) is a largish calico girl, with a loud voice and a slinky manner. She loves to watch the birds that swarm the feeders in the yard, and does not allow herself to be touched by humans. Not even the one who sets her food bowl out each morning before dawn...such a thankless job I have, but glad to look after her, I am.

Would that I could lounge with her, reading a book, these lovely days.

However, life asks differently of me, and I respond, as best I can.

Long ago I gave up the self imposed expectation that I would do everything perfectly. It was driving me crazy, so I quit it.

Instead I gave myself permission to do the best I could in the moment and focused on the job at hand. It took a while to get used to, the idea of not beating myself up for a less than perfect job, but over time it got better. I found myself giving my best effort and focus and came to discover that my best was good enough. At least in most cases.

Not living under the cloud of judging expectation was like living on a sunny day. Even on the rainiest of days...those days when the tears in my eyes forced themselves out and onto my cheeks. When a sob would catch in my throat over the things that happen in life, and I would give myself permission to be overtaken by the pain in my body and the pain in my soul.

I let me love me.

Like any relationship, it has had it's ups and downs, but mostly up.

Giving myself permission to be who I choose to be has freed me from the gnawing guilt that hung on my shoulders and crushed my spirit. Now, I do the best I can and keep moving. No more beating myself up for not being perfect. Just love and encouragement.

We can only live life as it is given to us, moment by moment, day by day.

Starting each day cognizant of the love that lives in us will make each day better.

Love on!

 

September 20, 2015

Hello Malta! What an amazing set of islands you are, such culture, such history, and the beauty that is yours still brings a smile to me. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Happy Last Weekend of Summer/Winter (north and south)!

This is that weekend, and ahead of us comes an equinox, into Fall up north of the equator, into Spring down south.

All of this thanks to the wobble that lives deep inside our planet. Science theorizes that at the core of our Earth is an irregular blob of molten iron, and that the rotation makes it bulge in the center while slightly flattening the earth, and that these factors account for our wobble making our seasons. Sounds good to me. I never did believe that the earth was carried on the back of a giant turtle...

which brings me around to the subject of belief. Such a question it is.

How do we come to believe in the first place? Is it the information we are given, swallowed whole and intact? Do we dare question what we are told to believe? Does it matter if we believe?

The other morning a woman standing near me on a street corner waiting for the traffic light to change looked at me and said 'I believe I was a princess once.' and then skipped across the street when the light changed.

Good for her, I thought, as I watched her skip. Believe what you like is how I live. Believe anything you choose to. It's free.

Walking on, I came to a plaza and stopped to buy a glass of iced tea. Sitting on a ledge, a man came up to me and handed me a brochure. He then started letting me all about his beliefs and I smiled and walked away.

Thanks and no thanks.

Each of us owns the territory of our bodies, and we also own what we allow in our thoughts.

Love on!

 

September 16, 2015

Waking up an hour before dawn, the smell of coffee rouses me from my warm bed on this chilly morning. How nice to feel the briskness in the air as I grab the newspapers from the front porch. As I open the door a faint odor of something burning fills my nostrils and I say a prayer for all of those affected.

The other day I spoke with a man, and we reviewed the facts of his life.

He recounted the bad times and the painful memories with such detail, such energy. As he spoke he became more and more agitated, and then he grabbed a piece of paper that I had placed before him and torn it into so many pieces, all the while raging.

Then he slumped back and didn't move for a bit, and then rubbed the tears from his eyes.

'So that's what you're talking about?' he asked me, and I nodded in the affirmative.

Terrible, awful things are going to happen in life, and some of these things will leave the stinger of anger/hurt. Get it out of you.

Displacement has saved me countless times from being the lesser me, and has given me a safe and healthy way to remove the negativity that life sometimes presents.

For me, the worst thing I could do in this life would be to retain the awfulness that some people have inflicted on me. Learning to free myself from the judgement of others, from repressing my feelings, and to live as fully as I can has been the greatest of accomplishments in my life.

Here's to living the best life, with love.

 

September 11, 2015

Hello Brussels, Belgium! I've had so many great times in and around you, and the floral tapestry is always thrilling every year. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Yesterday I spoke with a client about the hurt that family can inflict, and how devastating this pain can be.

How can it be that there are people who come from the same nest, the same small cluster, the same roots and yet they avoid, forget, and shun? How are they so different from me?

Be glad for that difference. It is love in you that is hurt. You have great love. Not everybody does.

That's what my family has taught me. I have great love, more love than many of them. Good for me, and here's hoping for them.

As much as I would want to be heartily embraced by my kith and kin, the facts of the matter speak plainly in the opposite. For years I told myself that they were just so busy in their lives, and then I came to find out that nothing could have been more untrue. It turns out that I had been an object of discussion and that there were issues about me that made them uncomfortable, and that these differences led to my exclusion.

Hallelujah!

The right thing always happens.

Their exclusion of me speaks so much of who they truly are, and of what is important to them. This helps me to understand them better, and also to protect myself from being wounded should the occasion arise. I have never enjoyed being where I am not wanted, and sometimes my big heart can blind my eyes to a harsher reality that exists in the world.

Live and learn, and be glad that we can see through loving eyes.

Love on!

 

September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day, in the US and Canada!

Today, for some folks, is the last day of summer, and that after today we have moved into autumn.

Not for me! I'm going to be holding onto summer until the equinox later this month. I suspect that I am not alone in wanting to hold onto summer a bit longer, the weather is nice, the days are still long, life moves at a nice pace.

However, it appears that the local retailers are chomping at the bit for fall to come, and are starting to line their shelves with all of the colors of the coming season, reds and oranges and yellows and browns.

I'm still enjoying all the colors of summer, with lots of blues and greens in the palate. Just a few more weeks, please?

Yet, as I think about it, some of my favorite foods come into season in autumn, and the table is wonderfully laden with so many yummy things to eat.

Ah, the march of time.

Each day is a gift, with love!

So I'm out the door to enjoy the dregs of this season and to revel in the sunshine. Here's wishing you and yours all the best!

With love!

 

September 2, 2015

Lately I've been noticing the subtle approach of autumn here and there as I move around San Francisco. Yesterday I noticed that a few of the leaves on the wisteria in the yard have started to turn yellow, a sure sign of lower night time temperatures and longer nights.

Time flys.

On my walk this morning I watched as a family of raccoons ambled along the sidewalk on their way somewhere. Two adults and 2 kids on their way home after a night of prowling and eating, I thought as they went up a tree and over a fence into someones yard not too far from our house. Gee, they're neighbors, I thought as I walked on.

At a corner sat a homeless man that lives in this part of town. He is looked after by many of my neighbors, and this morning gave me a big smile and wave which I returned.

As the sun rose in the chilly morning air I heard the playful yapping of dogs in a nearby park and slowed to watch the action, three dogs running through the grass, their humans watching from a distance. Joyful running and barking, and a shiver ran down my back. What sheer delight in just being, I thought as I watched them play.

Sometimes it's the little things in life that make me smile, involuntarily.

Like running dogs, or waving homeless, or urban wildlife. Reasons to smile, and delight in sharing this world with them all.

Time flys.

Love on.

 

August 31, 2015

It was a quiet Sunday morning, just after 7AM. I went outside with my tea and sat in the stillness. In the bushes I could hear the rustle of the little birds that sleep there. The world was peaceful as the sky brightened, the wisps of clouds evaporating in the warming air.

The sound of a sliding door opening, and seconds later the wail of a child, and then a man and a woman shouting and next a dog barking. Quite a racket. It goes on for a minute or so, and then I hear a man's voice shouting 'shut up' and the sliding door closes.

All the while I sat, a listener, hearing all of this commotion.

There's a Polish saying I learned years ago, in English: Not my monkeys, not my circus.

That was how I felt about it all. Children scream, it happens. Parents shout, it happens. People get upset and shout, it happens.

For my part, I didn't stir, I felt no need to leave where I was, and trusted that the child and parents would calm down in time. If this hadn't have happened, I would have gone inside. I've learned that we share the outofdoors and there's no point in trying to make people behave as one might want. Take care of yourself and it will work out for the best.

That was the thought in my head as I went out for a walk, and it was a glorious morning. Blue skies, warmish air, not many people out and about. And away I went down Market Street.

Standing on a corner, waiting for the traffic light to change, I notice a woman standing near me, she is swaying a bit, and then she starts to fall. Rushing to catch her I collide with a woman also trying to help her, and we help her stand. A man offers a water bottle and we cluster, 5 of us, around her. After a minute she's better and thanks us, saying she should have eaten something before leaving her house.

Sometimes it is my circus and those are my monkeys.

With love.

Love on!

 

August 25, 2015

Good Morning!

Have you ever noticed how your morning routine changes? How we add and subtract actions and carry on anyway? Such is life.

Part of my morning routine is to check my email, no, I don't do it first thing every day, but I do get to it. This morning I just did.

Wow, what a rant I got to read! Amazing! So excellent, raw and honest and cuttingly crafted, an impressive thing to behold. I was delighted that the writer was capable of expending so much time and effort, not to mention focus and intent, on writing to me. If it weren't for my policy of not over-sharing, I would share it with you.

The language was scatalogical, graphic, vulgar, and graphic, and it was all directed at me.

Reading it, at times I laughed out loud. The vitreol was so poisoning and malintended, and down-right ugly.

Knowing that I could provoke such feelings from someone made me feel good. I am so glad that my writings have helped this individual to release some of the awfulness that resides in them. This is what my work is all about.

Mind you, this is someone I have never met, nor spoken with, and I highly doubt a copy of my book resides in their dwelling. From what I could discern the source of their upset is this blog. How wonderful it is to know that it has helped someone to get out some of the ickyness they've been holding onto.

We must free up the energy held in anger and awfulness if we are to become better people.

Love on!

 

August 24, 2015

Hello Varberg, Sweden! I don't remember if the train stopped but I do remember the dark waters of December from years ago on the nearby bay. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Such a fraught week this has been for me, as my computer died. It appears that the cause was mechanical, but the loss is deeply felt nonetheless.

We'd been together for years, you see, and I had come to rely on its steady, reassuring presence in my life, and then one morning, nothing. No video input, just a black screen. I knew the worst has come. It was gone.

You might think that I'm being sentimental about a non sentient thing, and that's true. But the loss is still felt. Then came the necessary task of replacement shopping. How could I, I wondered, knowing that this relationship will only end in loss, start another? But that's the way of life: one door closes, another opens. At least that's my philosophy. We must reconcile ourselves to the current state of affaires if we are to progress in life.

This morning while watching television I heard a learned man say that Americans in general are optimistic and goal oriented. This was in relation to the stock market plunging over 1000 points, and the resultant panic that some perceive. He said that at the end of the day, most people will come to terms with whatever happens, and wake tomorrow and go on with living.

As I listened to him speak, I remembered an acquaintance from college days, and what a Gloomy Gus he was, always complaining and so pessimistic and negative. Years later I heard he had become an attorney specializing in divorces. Now that I think of him, I supose that his outlook on life is good for his business.

Every day the sun rises. Will I rise to greet it? And if I do, what will be my feelings about that?

We all get to answer these questions every day that we rise. Lucky us, that so much of our fate resides in us. Hopefully it resides and abides with love.

Love on!

 

August 17, 2015

Shaken out of bed at 6:49AM by a 4.0 earthquake across the bay from San Francisco!

What a way to start the day! At first I thought that a pet had jumped on the bed and then I remembered that we don't have a pet.

That's when it dawned on me, no pun, that it must have been an earthquake and it must have been nearby. Turning on the radio and the news starts flowing in, how big it was, where it was centered, and damages that callers tell about as the stream of voices turns into babble and my attention drifts away.

Off with the radio and on with the morning. There are birds and squirrels to feed, and a cat or two as well. Yesterday's 90F was quite a shocker and the house is now cool in the early morning, so windows are closed and blinds drawn in hopes of keeping the house cooler today, as it will still be hot, somewhere in the high 80's F. 

The house is quieter now, with our niece and nephew having left, she for her new home near Chicago and he off to college. I bet they would have enjoyed the earthquake, that is if they didn't sleep through it. But they left this past weekend. Oh well...

Returning from my early morning walk, I pass a neighbor and we chat about this mornings tumbler. No big deal, she says, laughingly. Her husband slept through it and didn't budge. I tell her that this proves that he had become a true Son of the Golden State and we part laughing.

Earthquakes, hot temperatures, what's next?

Love on!

 

August 12, 2015

Teenagers.

Such an interesting part of being on ol' Mama Earth, teenagers are. 13 to 19 years, so formative.

I am harboring two teenagers, my niece and nephew Madelyn and Zach. They are terrific kids, especially considering all that life has thrown at them, first a Grandpa is lost, and that's a lot to process, and then their Mom, and the world is upside down, and then is this ghastly trifeca to growing up comes the loss of Dad, all of this slashing and churning burning tearfullyness exploding in 8 months...

Life can kick you hard. What you do in response to it is up to you.

It's been rocky as various family memebers rushed in to provide somewhat of a safety net, and God love them they've done a great job of demonstrating the sometimes tough love that families do.

These kids are terrificly resilient, and from my conversations with them I have come to see how they are sustained by their enduring love, love for their parents lost to this life, love for their relatives (even through shouting matches), and love for each other.

Death has forged a bond of love that nothing will ever break.

So, that's what I'm doing, being humbled in the face of great, great love.

I feel so thankful for all that love can provide in life, and so glad to witness it's continuing expansion as these teenagers become what I suspect will be trememdous adults.

Love. It teaches, it pains, it humbles, and it fulfills. Talk about your everyday magic?

Love on!

 

August 9, 2015

Intuition is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes.

That's the secret to my success, and even though there may be times you don't want to know about, knowing about them is the right and proper thing. Life is not always about ego, although from the looks of some of the entitled folks I see and meet appear otherwise.

So there I was, standing in line behind this man at a grocery store. The clerk is ringing up a woman's purchases and she is opening her wallet. I catch her eye and look at the guy in front of me, and she looks up and he's reaching for her wallet.

She turns away saying 'No ' loudly and he rushes past her and runs for the door, as we all watch.

Then she's thanking me for alerting her to the guy and how when she looked up into his face he was scowling and red and she knew he was going to grab her money, she just knew it.

That's what can happen countless times each day for us, if we just trust our guts. It can take a while to learn to discern between your intuition and something you ate, but as you do you will begin to work this facet of our evolution. One of the wonderful things about being alive is that each day brings us countless opportunities to be our better selves, which we can do as we learn to trust and love ourselves.

Here's hoping this coming week is a good one for you, and that you remember to breathe and focus, and love as much as you can.

Love on!

 

August 7, 2015

This was one of those mornings when I just could not get started.

I sat on the edge of my bed for the longest time, just looking out the window and watching the progression of light as the sun rose in the sky miles away in the east.

There were no big thoughts or emotional turmoils rolling in me, just a lassitude to movement.

Honestly, it was delightful.

A small and simple pleasure, to be sure, but none the less delightful.

Love can be said in countless ways, and the best way to experience love is to love yourself enough to be happy, even if just for an instant.

Love on!

 

August 4, 2015

Live and learn!

Yesterday I pointed out an inconsistancy to someone, trying to help them to reconcile their words on a subject. This is someone in the public eye. Instead of reviewing my point he publicly mashed two words together and made up the word 'quasy'. Clever isn't it, queer and crazy used in a sentence: You are quasy. To describe me...

Wow! 

Big man, big deal, big mouth, small humility.

My comments were to him alone. My intent was to help him so that he didn't look homophobic.

I guess I acheived clarity of a kind. I now clearly know who he is and what he's about, and that's a good thing.

On top of this, some other person jumped in and messaged me and called me more names. That was when I deleted my message to the man. 

Just trying to help you, sir, because you don't want to let your true and honest feelings about homosexuals to be publicly revealed, which is why you spend so much time and money trying to appear to be a better man than you are at heart.

Good luck with that.

For my part, I am humbled by his actions, and feel glad knowing that I will not help him in the future, my choice not his.

Love on!

 

August 1, 2015

Halfway between equinoxes, today is. Spring is way back there in time, and Autumn is halfway here. Time flies.

Sometimes I do, fly that is. This weekend and coming week will see me flying about this house, cleaning it and getting it ready to receive two very special visitors, our nephew Zack and niece Madelyn.  Having them visit will be a highlight of this summer, I hope, as I plan on being the most excellent host and tour guide. 

The last time we travelled with them was the trip we took to Europe in 2008, when their mom Kathy was filling up her bucket list that breast cancer had bestowed on her. We had a great couple of weeks going from London to Rome, and I was impressed how well mannered both kids were. Since then, with the passing of both their parents last year, we watched how both of them are coming to terms with life as it is now. Growing up the hard and fast way. 

That happened to me, when my mom died and I went to live with my dad, a man I didn't know in a town I didn't know. So much change, hard and fast.

What I needed back then was love and support and dialogue. None of these came to me. Hard and fast, and hurt.

When my uncle called and asked me to come visit him and his wife for a weekend I was delighted.

Right after my dad dropped me off at their house, my uncle put me to work, and it came to me that the only reason I was wanted was for my labor. I worked that day, and the next as well. I never stayed with them again.

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of my mom's death. Three quarters of my life has been without her. My love still lives.

That's what will be helping me to work this week in preparation, that love.

Sometimes I have to clutch it very tightly and hold onto it for dear life. Othertimes it is all around me and the world is a wonderful, loving place. 

Yet all the while, my love lives in me. Life can kick the crap out of us, I know all too well. It is all too easy to absorb the pain and hurt that hard times can inflict, and to be beaten down in spirit, broken and hopeless. That's when our love can save us, and can propel us towards better people and better times, and ultimately better lives.

The power of love. 

 

July 28, 2015

Hello Forestville, California! What a beautiful part of this State you are, and in such a fine state, so treed and greened! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

Guile. Isn't that just the silkiest word, how it moves the tongue as the air moves around it, starting with a strong movement and sound and then changing into something softer, and ending on a sweet note and facial expression.

This morning brought me a taste of guile, as someone lied into me ear. Oh, such a prickly feeling it caused in me, and I was both amazed that this fellow thought that he could obscure the truth and shift responsibility. Such guile, such stealthy craft. My job was to be honest with him, and I was, as kindly as I could be, and he flared up and got angry and yelled and ranted. After a while we engaged in conversation again and I stated the facts of his performance as I knew them, and he began to practice more guile, trying to make light of his errors and mis-statements. Politely I told him I did not agree. He started yelling again.

Some folks use anger to bully their way, and it doesn't work on me. Years ago I had a client jump to his feet and threaten me. I looked him in the eye, opened my office door, and stood my ground. He sat down and calmed down, and it was a good session.

When he ran out of steam and invective, I asked him how I could help him. He laughed and said 'Can you make me like me?'

No, I replied, but I can help you in this endeavor, and we had a much more constructive chat.

Some folks set the bar too high for themselves. They set themselves up for disappointment and failure. I used to do this, and learned what a miserable oaf I can be when I fail, painful lessons to be sure, but what I needed to inflict on myself to come to a better understanding. That's what we do here, in our lives, is to create and participate in situations where we can learn. Adversity can bring out the worst in people, and it can also bring out the very best. Life is for learning.

Learning and living, with love on!

 

July 27, 2015

Hello Monday!

Another week looms, and there is so much to do...it makes me tired just to think about it. I roll over and sleep a few more minutes, and then stir and breathe, say out loud Thank You and get to moving. Another day dawns.

Oh, well, that and $2.25 will get me a seat on a streetcar, and off I went, down Market Street.

As we jostled along, the old Peter Witt car from Milan rattling, its shiny wood seats slippery, bumping along, a woman began to hum. At first I didn't pick up what tune it was, and then a note stream floated by my ears, and the song was 'Amazing Grace'. Another woman joined the first one, and then a couple of tourists joined in as well. I got off just as a man began to sing the words, sorry to leave this wonderful moment.

There I was, with this ear worm in my head, how sweet the sound. That, and a smile that seemed to have a life of it's own.

Small moments of glory and wonder, all around us, every one of us, whether we know it or not.

Life is a miracle, and each moment will never come again. They talk about snow flakes being unique, but mathematicians will point out that there is a finite number of shapes that can be attained. Unlike life, which is forever new, each moment cascading into other moments, all of them creating the river of time that contains all that is.

Amazing grace, indeed!

Love on!

 

July 24, 2015

I woke up to exclusion this morning. There was an event that was mentioned to me months ago, of course I'll be invited I was told, and this morning on social media photos of the celebration are posted. 

Ouch.

Surprise, hurt, anger, and release through displacement.

And now wiser. The right thing always happens and my not being invited was the right thing for me. Oh sure, my ego was in there banging away in reaction, this is to be expected. Living with ego is a grace in life.

As is trusting, and that is what this event calls me to, to be aware of my surroundings and those in it. 

I've learned in all these years of sucking air on the face of Mother Earth that I do not always get what I want. Tough oats, as a friend and client says. Suck it up, be bigger than your hurt, and go forward.

This is so much easier for me to do, now that I've shredded a bunch of newspaper and cussed some folks out quite bluely. Getting it off my chest and out of my body. Doing displacement, safely, and releasing the anger and hurt, tears on my cheeks as I rip away, making confetti for a party for myself that I'll throw when I'm done venting, I tell myself.

Over the years I have noticed that I do not fit everywhere, that there are some places where I am not comfortable and at ease, and I suspect that this gathering is one of those places. My not being there was best for me. That's what matters, here, this truth.

Knowing this, I can move forward and learn from this, and give this crowd that which they seek from me.

It works for me, too. Thanks to my ability to love, first and foremost myself, and then others.

Live and learn, with love.

 

July 22, 2015

Finally, some time to sit here and write my blog! Bizzy busy days and warm for San Francisco nights.

These past few days and nights have been an object lesson for me, in the subject of etiquette, also known as common courtesy.

Yikes!

No, really, oh my gosh, what happened, especially to the young people? 

Countless times I watched a man and a woman approach a door, the man in front of the woman. Upon reaching the door, he opens it and walks through, leaving the woman to grab the door. Terrible manners, chaps.

There were countless moments when the social graces were no where to be found. A bit disheartening, it was.

Americans are wont to queue, and most crowd around the door or whatever and surge forward en masse, shoulder to shoulder. This past week saw so many instances of folks shoving themselves to the front, without a care for others around them. One man used his messenger bag to block others, one woman used a shopping bag like a buttress. Oh, the humanity...

People take precedence over technology. Yet countless times I observed people looking at their device while talking with someone, but never looking at them. People of all ages, not just kids. 

Looking online, I found many books on etiquette, and a couple of bookstores later I've found some that mention how to have electronica and still be mannered. 

Years ago a woman asked me to officiate at her wedding, and as we spoke it became clear she had no idea of good social graces. I gifted her with a book on etiquette, which I'm sure was never opened. Her wedding was strange and weird, and many guests were offended by her behavior and especially her language. She revealed herself to be someone of bad manners and arrogance. It was sad to see. To this day I wish her well, and hope that book found a better home.

Our parents teach us manners, simply by their behavior. We learn from the world around us, and become who we are.

The best part of all of this is that we get to choose. If we choose based on positive self esteem the results will prove themselves. Choosing from love is always the better choice.

Love on!

 

July 15, 2015

Happy New Moon!

Hello, Klang, Malaysia! One of these days, for several days, I will visit and enjoy the beauty of your country and the smiles of your peoples. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

The other day lonliness swept over me and took me away from myself for quite a while. It was awful.

This feeling of emptiness pervaded me as I sat in my chair, staring at the computer screen. I don't recall what prompted it, but the next thing I knew I felt terrible, this gnawing in my stomach, a burning sensation in my throat, my legs feeling like tree trunks. It held me for quite a long time, minutes ticking by and this lonliness swallowing me.

When it felt like it was not going to keep feeling worse, I began to awaken, as if from a trance, and focused on my breathing, calm and steady and even. Then I stood and walked upstairs and got my stuff and went for a walk.

Sometimes our feelings, our memories of experiences and of our life can suddenly appear, unpleasantly. Step into those feelings and plumb their and your depths, and come to discover that you can and will be in control of your life and in touch with your love.

Looking back on my experience, I recognize my longing for family connections and how few there are in my life at times. Being able to connect these feelings to times in my life when I was forgotten by most of my family for decades, and how this taught me to trust myself, and to know that it is I who is charge of me, not my past, but my love: self love.

Accepting myself as a work in process and sometimes progress encourages me onward.

Love on!

 

July 8, 2015

Happy coming New Moon! 

When I was young there was a neighbor who told me that the full moon was a sign to women and a new moon was a sign to men.

As I grew older and began to learn about the world and some of the people in it, I would celebrate each new moon, sometimes just by noting it, at other times with rituals and whatnot.

A cynic I know says that the new moon reflects the emptiness of men. Her cynical husband stays quiet. 

This new moon in Aries is, for me, a reminder that my power ends at my skin. I have the freedom of my thoughts and feelings and sometimes that is enough. Like now.

Everyday I encounter a situation that could be made easier with a word or two, or a smile, or even just a simple acknowledgement.

There are times and places when I can do or say something that will make the moment easier. And there are times when I am best served by keeping my mouth shut.

Like this morning, when I went to a supermarket to buy birdseed. There was a woman trying to force stuff into the trunk of her car, and she kept pushing and pushing as I parked nearby. As I exited my car I heard the sound of something breaking, and turned to see her pulling stuff from her car, until she came upon a glass lamp base that had shattered. The look on her face was scary.

Walking into the store, there's a man who is taking a cart from the line and pushing it away, and then another, and I grab one and he yells at me that I have the cart that he wants, even though there are 5 carts around him. I choose another cart and he starts to protest and I and the cart move on.

Next up was the woman who drove through the intersection and her stop sign. She barely missed a woman in the street as well as another car, as she drove along with headphones on.

I must admit the last one found me in my garage later, sitting in my car with the windows up, shouting and yelling at the careless driver and venting and getting that negative energy out of my body.

Whew! And it's still early and just mid week! 

Breathe, relax, love, intend, focus and effort. That's my gift of the soon to be with us new moon.

Love on!

 

July 6, 2015

Happy Aphelion! Farthest from the sun we are today, and yet who can tell? Maybe in January with perihelion we will be able to notice...or not, but anyways Happy day!

This past weekend, watching the firework shows on TV, no cold and fog for me, was perfect. All the color and delight and none of the downsides.

Waking up the next morning to the cry of the California Scrub Jay (blue and grey) was a good start. The sky was lightening and I knew that there would be a calico cat on the stairs soon, looking for her morning bowl of food. She's been living in our backyard now for over two years and shows no desire to move inside, despite numerous inducements. Then some chopped pecans for the squirrels and birds, and then I can feed me, too. The day is started.

When I lived in Lahore, Pakistan, our work week began on a Sunday, and it took a bit of work to adopt a Sunday through Thursday work week, but as the months rolled by it got easier. Shifting back to a Monday through Friday was a bit of a stretch, and that was when I decided that I needed to be more flexible in my approach to each day. Thinking like this has surely helped me, as now I can take a day in the week off and enjoy it and work on a Sunday and not think it a chore.

And goodness and heaven know, we all have chores. Life is comprised of tasks we have to do just to function, and so many more tasks as we seek more in and from life.

So, here's to our chores and our choices, and our innate goodness!

Love on!

 

June 29, 2015

Like many children, I was interested in what my parents did, and so I would watch them and ask questions. I learned a great deal. One of my earliest lessons from my Dad was the power of communication, especially print media, since that was what he worked in. He used to say that if one kept telling the same thing, true or not, it would be believed by some of the listeners.

These past few days have been very instructive for me as I learned about how some people think. On a social media website I read a discussion of health care in America and was amazed to see that some people believe that if one cannot afford health care then one deserves to die, and that each of us should only take care of ourselves.

Adding my voice to the frey, I asked how society would function if none of us contributed to the infrastructure, like roads and such.

We are all in this together, and it reminds me how much love is needed in this world, when I read hateful words. There are some places that love hasn't reached yet, and that's exactly why I will continue to wish hateful people well. They won't change without exposure to a better way of living and being.

Lead by example. Act the way you wish the world to be, and shine your light

It is all too easy to reflect back the angry and hateful that we are exposd to, 

Yesterday, as I was out and about, a man yelled a slur at me and made an obscene gesture. I laughed and thanked him.

He might be down in the mud with his thinking and feeling, but that is no good reason to join him. Sticks and stones...

There are so many people right now trying to whip up controversy in our world, all the while lying about the truth.

Hold firm to your love and let the light of reason and truth guide you.

Love on.

 

June 28, 2015

Hello, hello! Here's hoping you've been well these past few days, and that the love that lives in you brings joy and goodness.

This has been quite a week in the US of A, what with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, being ruled as legal by the Supreme Court. That caused quite a stir, but nothing compared to the Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage. 

There are politicians all over this country trying to delay if not subvert the course of justice. 

What is important to remember is that we are all equal, each and every one of us. 

Love on! 

 

June 21, 2015

As I write this the last few minutes of Spring are fading into time, and Summer is nigh at 9:38AM in San Francisco.

Welcome, Summer!

Please bring me a mix of fog in the morning and sunny bright blue skies in the afternoon. Thank you!

The weather here is a funny thing, they talk about micro-climates and how it can be 2 degrees Fahrenheit cooler a few minutes walk away. There is something about living surrounded by water that thrills me, all of the sea life and boating are ever changing and so restful to watch.

Here's hoping that your day starts with love, from me to you.

Love on!

 

June 16, 2015

The other day I took myself to the ocean and watched the whales swim by. It was amazing. They weren't very far offshore, and from time to time I saw a fin or a flipper or a great big dark back rise from the churning waters, and I felt so exhilarated, so alive.

Thank goodness and all that is for nature, so restorative.

It was just what I needed after the days I had been having. So many people make problems for themselves, and choose not to change for the better. Ego is most often the reason. Some examples from this past week:

1. She has begun to believe that her husband is unfaithful, and is now thinking of having an affaire of her own.

2, He is convinced that his boss is transgender and is starting to spread this falsehood at work, ever since she told him that he needed to be more diligent in his work performance.

3. Despite having been convicted of many crimes, some violating the public's trust, she thinks she can be elected to office.

Trying to talk sense to folks is very challenging at times, and there are days when I close my door after a client and say a prayer for them. We all get to choose, and our choices teach us. I firmly believe that if we learn to authentically love ourselves, good and bad, we will make the best choice for ourselves. None of us is perfect, and some of us don't even bother to better ourselves. Choice.

We all get to choose. And our choices teach us.

For my part, I am working on learning to live my authentic life and do my best to help those I can. My power ends at my skin, and lives in my love.

Here's to the best choice, love!

 

June 11, 2015

Mercury direct! Huzzah! Communication and travel will get smoother, and less hectic starting today, so astrologers say.

My intuition continues to grow, and something really weird and interesting happened lately.

Not long ago, I attended a wedding of a friend. There was a table for his family, his Dad, 2 sisters with husbands and kids, and one of the kids girlfriend. What a nasty bit she turned out to be. My intuition made me notice her when I entered the room, and the look of disgust was evident on her face, I hastily looked away and then back to see her roll her eyes. The weird thing was I could hear every word she said, even though I was about 5 feet away. Such vulgar language. As I moved away from her I stopped hearing her voice.

The interesting thing was that she is a very bigoted young person, a real, hard, right winger. Deviates like me should be put in towns and not let out, she said at one point in the evening, along with her saying that the children of mixed race couples should be sterilized.. She was really something. I began to intuit how she had become this person, how poverty and racism are mixed up together in her experience and thinking, and her anger, such anger. 

As I left the party, I said goodbye to her, even though she had avoided meeting me. I looked her in the eye and said 'I wish you well.'

For a second her face softened, and the light in her eye was less steely. 

How somebody feels about me has nothing to do with me, it's all about them and their perceptions. The real, authentic me, although present, is not included until there is an exchange between us. 

Love lives in us all. Love on.

 

June 6, 2015

Hello Laval, Quebec, Canada! I'll bet Spring is coming to you and it's colorful and beautiful. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

No matter where you go, there you are.

The other morning, needing a vista of ocean, I took rapid transit down to end of the line, near the zoo. It was a foggy morning, the fog about 200 feet above my head. As I was walking along the beach sidewalk I passed an old man, smoking something and muttering 'I just should' over and over. Next came two teenagers, also smoking, but fragrantly marijuana, and giggling. Next came a fellow with his pit bull, both of them wearing spike leather collars around their necks, followed by a woman in a floor length dress made of layers of very light and fine cloth carrying a black and orange cat.

After that it got rather pedestrian, just average looking folks doing average stuff. As I walked south the people thinned out until it was just me, no footprints ahead of mine. I stopped and looked around me, at the cliff of sand to my right, warming in the early light. The crashing waves to my right beat a steady rhythm of life. The wind was calm.

Standing there, I closed my eyes and just let my breathing slow. All around and inside of me, rhythm. Pulsing life. Thanks be!

With my eyes still closed, I thought of all of the people who had lived and died and thanked them for being. Next I thought of all of us and thanked us for being, and for our contribution to this pulsing life.

On the train back under the hill to my little non Hobbit like house, there was a small group of 5 older teens, and they were talking about someone much older than themselves and how 'behind the times' that person is, and bonding over the fact that they are not part of that other 'behind' group.

Smiling, I reflected on the invincibility of youth, of its brashness and pluck. You go, kids, and keep growing. Life is amazing.

Each day is a gift. Be present.

Love on!

 

June 3, 2015

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of something largish on my bedroom deck. Looking out a window, I see a medium sized raccoon looking behind pots, and then up at me. We looked at each other for a moment, then I grabbed my IPhone to take photos and he jumped up to the lily pot and drank some water and washed his face. He was very calm, slow moving, and when I opened the door he looked at me and then went on washing his hands. Closing the door, I watched him amble around a bit on the deck, and then walk slowly down the stairs into the garden and over the fence. Ah, nature.

Later in the day I went into a store to buy something and the woman behind the counter would not meet my gaze. OK...then when I approach with my intended purchase, she still doesn't look me in the eye, and I turn and replace the item and walk out of the store. A young girl who had been watching this situation came up to me outside, and told me that her Auntie doesn't like some people and apologized for her behavior. I thanked her and made a mental note not to patronize that store again.

I don't like conflict, and try to avoid those who practice it. 

Earlier in my life, I might have gotten really angry and yelled at the woman, but not today. I do not need to battle those folks. Instead of working myself up into some awful lather and tizzy, I vote with my feet and money and time, and do not give them to folks who would seek to impose their 'less than equal' viewpoint on others. 

Returning home, a neighbor stopped me and complained about the homeless folks using the Public Health facilities nearby, and I let her run her mouth, barely listening. Always civil, I wished her well as we parted.

Everybody chooses, all the time, and when I choose for me, I choose patience, compassion, and love. 

Love for me, first of all, that I conduct my life with as much integrity and love as is possible. Then I share.

A new day dawns, and with it my hopes for a good and loving day.

Love on.

 

May 28, 2015

Hello Mumbai! What an amazing glimpse into mankind is your city, the extremes of life multiplied and on view, and the great food and people! All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

What a week it has been for me, traveling to Oxford, England for the marriage of two friends. It was great, there and back, and especially in-between. So much to see and do, and I hit the ground running and tried to keep up, no small feat, that.

Amongst all the thising and thating, I got a glimpse into growing old, as opposed to older. It was all around me. The oldest folks were not using computers 'and the like' one lady told me. And she was a lady, of a certain age, and to be respected. I watched her turn away as one young woman dropped 'the f--- bomb, and with the second one excuse herself and walk away. Such dignity had she. She later told me that she didn't want to 'stay on top of' computers and electronic devices, that for her all she needed was her beloved 'tellie and the wireless' and her life was saturated with all the electronica she needed. A happy, well living old woman, someone who helped me to differentiate between old, like she, and older, like myself.

My Apple Watch betrays me. It speaks of right this minute, and drew countless glances when I used it. Like having an extension of my Apple Iphone on my wrist, all of the world right there. Helpful to me, having a device that told me when messages came, like the advanced flight time for my flight to Seattle last week, connecting to London. And a map,right there, so my phone can stay in my pocket. The future is coming, my friends, and part of my growing older is to stay in touch with but not on top of useful technology.

On this trip, which included time on London, was a chance to see how the capital of Great Britian fares, and it fares well. Throngs of tourists, with a smattering of locals. 14,000 people live in London, as opposed to Greater London, which has more than seven million.Sitting in the Blackfriars pub next to the new tube station of the same name, I contrasted the 1905 Arts and Crafts pub with the metal and glass station, and revelled in it. Old and new, together again.

A take away message for me. Such good advice, take in the useful and good new, cherish the useful and good old.

Life on. Love on.

 

May 21, 2015

Hello, Martin, Slovakia! Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours! I went to Google Earth and looked at photographs posted about your town and the surrounding area. How beautiful are those hills cradling Martin? Very! Cheers!

Such a great big world we have, and no matter where you go, there you are.

Lately I've been researching the tourism numbers for various places on the Earth, and have been amazed to see how incredibly mobile we have become. Imagine more than 20 million people descending yearly on Venice, Italy. Wow! For a city that has a resident population of about 270,000, visitors far outnumber locals. And the streets of Venice reflect this, with restaurants every few steps and so many retail places, not to mention hotels.

The other day I went downtown here in San Francisco, and had the opportunity to see hoards of tourists up close and personal. So many people from someplace else looking at this place and moving, always moving. Many were trailing luggage as they made their way through the throng at the Powell Street cable car turnaround. It was a lovely sunny day and there was quite a line for the cable cars as they came and filled up with riders, most of them smiling with a face or two of apprehension here and there.

After a business meeting, I went back into the crowds thinking about the advancement of technology and how it can help so many people in so many ways, and how daunting technology can be to some folks. Just then I observed a man and woman peering into a smart phone, looking at a map and trying to figure out where they were. The woman looked up and then pointed to the display and off they went at quite a clip. Both of these folks were silver haired. Learning is a life time possibility.

This fact resides on my wrist as I write this, in the form of an Apple Watch. Talk about learning curves...but I know that the effort to learn this new device is my investment in the future, and in me. Embracing the future means embracing change.

Here's to today, a new day, part of the future becoming the present  before it becomes the past. 

Love on! 

 

May 17, 2015

Hello, San Mateo, CA! Our neighbor to the south, where the temperatures are warmer and there's so much to do. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

This past week flew by for me, with each day full of appointments and meetings and this and that and more and more. Whew, glad I made it through. There were moments when it felt like I may have been reaching my tipping point, that delicate moment when things can get away from one, but I kept my focus and kept breathing evenly and kept going.

Love 

Intention 

Focus

Effort

Life as I have learned to live it.

Moment by moment, day by day, that's how it is given to us. Each of us gets to choose how we live it.

Here's hoping that life loves you as much as you love life.

Love on!

 

May 11, 2015

Life is so big, it can overwhelm. When it does, act accordingly, get it out of you, emotionally displace it, let it wash over and through.

This morning I awoke and noticed I had telephone messages. In listening to them I heard the heart and gut wrenching sounds of a woman who is recovering herself and her authentic feelings. The messages were both painful and wonderful, as she poured out her brokenness and prior hurts and disappointments, the anger and deep sadness that comes from expectation and anticipation and disappointment. It felt so good to hear her last message, she now fully back to being and becoming an amazing, authentic soul. 

Life can kick the crap outta us, plain and simple. Roll with it, don't stuff the ugly, awful emotions that arise. Displace them. Cry. Scream. Riip up paper. Do something physical that connects to the emotions roiling within. You will feel so much better, after.

To witness someone doing their work of recovery is very humbling. It encourages me to do more.

Thank you, S, for this wonderful gift. You.

Love on!

 

May 9, 2015

There we were, about 20 of us, on this public bus. We are heading north on Van Ness Avenue on a Friday evening. Nearby is a boy aged about 8 years and his mom. He's moving from seat to seat, his mom saying to him that he needs to stay seated. He ignores her as we lurch along. Suddenly the bus stops and the boy is flung to the floor, where he sits and stands crying. His mom says to him 'I told you' , and with that he stops crying, stands, and takes a seat.

As I walked in the store, a security guard stood in front of a young woman and told her she needed to come with him as she had taken something from the store. Her mom rushed back in the store and started yelling at the guard and grabbing her daughter's arm trying to pull her out of the store. The guard is joined by three employees and mom and daughter are escorted, all the while the mom yelling death threats and cursing.

A well dressed businessman, suit, tie, pocket square, yelling into his cellphone, saying how he was not 'gonna take the fall' and very visibly angry, and then he's talking and then he smiles and puts the phone in his suit coat and walks away.

Somedays I just look around me and see slices of life as others lead theirs, and I learn.

People teach me so much about the human condition, as life has been called. There are countless ways to live life, and each of us gets to choose. Although our choices might be limited at times, there is still a choice. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in life is to be responsive and not reactive.

'Flying off the handle' was something I did the first 35 years of my life, and it produced some awful results.

Then a near death experience during a car crash happened.

After that I had three years to heal and learn to walk again, and how to sit and live with my altered body. It also afforded me the opportunity to make changes in my life, changes that were not based on fear and co-dependence. I ended an intimate relationship and moved away, got a job doing something useful and good, and gave my life a big re-think.

Enough with the bullsquat artists and their followers, I said, and distanced my self from those people.

Life teaches us, relentlessly, and we do ourselves a kindness when we pay attention and learn.

For me that meant changing how I engage with the world. I learned a very simple trick: breathe.

It's really that simple. If something unexpected happens, take a breath, keep breathing normally, and take in what is happening. Most of the time, we get so caught up in our emotional reactive feelings that our body goes out of order as we don't take in the necessary amount of oxygen. Just breathe.

When the young man fell, I took a deep breath and assessed his physical condition and noted that he was OK. When the guard stopped the young woman I took a deep breath and stood witness in the crowd. When the guy yelled I took a deep breath and noted him with caution but kept moving. 

Responsive not reactive, that's my choice. It's made all the difference in the world.

Love on!

 

May 2, 2015

It's still dark out, sunrise is about an hour away. The dark night sky, lightened by a half moon, is quiet and calm, no wind. Spilling some bird seed onto the table, I return inside to a chair and my coffee and wait. Within seconds the leaves of the wisteria vine shake and tremble here and there, and the gentle cooing sound of a mourning dove fills the air. Suddenly a small bird alights and begins to feed. It's a little chickadee, and soon she is joined by others, a wren or two, a towhee, and then a small squardon of mourning doves comes in and all the little birds scatter.

Having these few minutes of calm is how I like to start my day, when I can. Not every day starts this calmly, and it's these mornings that get me through the rough patches that come along.

Like the other morning. That was a weird start to the day. I looked out onto the street in front of our house and noticed someone walking down the street wrapped in blankets carrying a large black plastic bag that was big and round. As I watched, this person sat down in our driveway and began to root through the bag. Removing the cloth on his face, revealing his matted beard and hair, this youngish man begins to throw the contents of his bag around, and soon cars parked nearby are festooned with pieces of clothing and other things. 

People walking up the street step through the mess and the man doesn't notice. He's too busy drawing on the sidewalk with some chalk he has. After a bit he stands up and stretches, and then takes all of his clothing off revealing his skinny white body that looks youthful and unblemished. He then dresses and starts picking up his scattered belongings. I step outside and walk down our stairs just as he is finishing. He looks at me as I hold out a couple of nutrition bars, and nods his head as he takes them.

Turning on his bare heels, he walks up the street, dragging his bag wrapped in a layer of blankets and scarves.

Later that day I needed to go out and run some errands, and when I returned home I found a small piece of paper on the steps. Unfolding it, I read the words: Thank you

Going inside, I place his note in my office and wish him well.

Love on.

 

April 27, 2015

Hello Akaa, Finland! Years ago I passed through your lovely town on my way north one October, in a snow storm. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The past few days have been enlightening, to say the least.

A woman I've been working with finally told me that she had been molested by a family member as a child. She had kept this secret for decades, and it was tearing her apart. The burden of holding in this anger and hurt has damaged her, but not beyond recovery. Good for her, and good on her. So many incidents now make sense, in the light of day. The puzzle is coming into focus.

My ancestry has taken quite a turn. The man who I thought was my 3X Grandfather turns out to be a stranger. Yikes, and the evidence is piling up fast, what with so many records and DNA testing. My head is spinning, and yet I am glad.

There's a puzzle here for me to solve, and the challenge is quite something. Who knows where this little sojourn will take me, from the looks of it Pennsylvania and Scotland, to name a couple of places.

My Uncle Ed said to me once, 'You know what you know until you learn more.'

He couldn't have been more correct.

Love on!

 

April 21, 2015

Hello Aquitaine, France! What a lovely part of our world you are, and so full of history, great wine, and amazing food! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

And Hello to you, gentle reader, sorry to have been absent but I was felled by a head cold and 'down for the count', as they say in boxing. Bed rest, lots of liquids, and sleep, lots and lots of sleep. Woke up this morning after a dream with Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the 'I Love Lucy' television program) where she was helping me find reception at some hotel...a bit weird. As I stepped from my bed a flash of grey/brown caught my eye. A sign that I am needed.

So up and moving I got, and went and prepared some food for the squirrels. Then the papers and coffee, and then my office messages. Such a surprise was waiting for me. The boss mentioned in my previous post had read my blog, and he called and apologized for his unprofessional comment and asked me to call him, so I did. We had a nice chat about my concerns in working with the company, and he said he was open to change. We set up a meeting for later this week.

Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing was certain but 'death and taxes'. He forgot to mention change.

Not all change is for the best, heaven knows, but none the less, change is an element vital to life. It is all too easy to get stuck in a negative routine and become effected by it. That's when it's time for change.

Change is the source of my optimism, as I know that the bad will come to an end and that I best cherish the good.

There is good in every day, and some days it helps to focus on what is good in our lives. Not every moment is going to be perfect, but some moments will be, and it's for those moments that we live. Life is fleeting, and there is not one good reason not to live life with love in our hearts. Oh, I know, life can kick us in the rubber parts, as it were, but it behooves us to keep going, to keep working toward the better and the best. Life deserves our love.

Here's hoping that your day is a good one, and that the love that lives in you is shared.

Love on!

 

April 14, 2015

What a whirlwind this past week has been for me, what with the lovely weather and some extra free time and my birthday, hectic, fun, and most of all, a chance or three to do something different.

One of the best moments was when I got to sit in the backyard and read, undisturbed, for more than an hour. Heavenly!

Just to have unstructured time on my hands, what a delight! So much of every day is filled with appointments, both personal and professional, and an endless list of things to do. So I decided to treat myself and brewed a nice cup of tea and went and sat and read, surrounded by the flowers in the garden and the stray white cat that lives there. She was quite friendly, and although she never comes close enough to be touched, she sat near me in a pool of sunlight and dozed while I read. Tranquill, peaceful, and oh so relaxing, for both she and I.

As this week started the pace of life re-emerged, and I found myself missing the free time I had enjoyed, and in that moment realized that instead of missing that time I could rejoice that I had some free time. The glass half full, as it were.

There are two sides to every coin, and an edge. Sometimes I find myself on the edge, not deciding which side of an issue to be on.

Maybe that's where the concept of 'edgy' came from, that 'not this nor that' position that we can choose, if we please. I'm not very good at not choosing, and most often will choose the optimistic viewpoint.

Recently, a company approached me about doing some consulting with them. The boss of the concern told me that she brought in people like me to 'entertain and divert the troops', and that she did it not for the employees benefit but to mollify them.

Guess where I won't be working?

Deceit, lies, and bullpucky are everywhere these days. Keep your heart, eyes and ears open, and chances are these evils will pass you by. Or at the very least, you'll see them. That's where each of us gets to choose. 

Choose from love, and live your best life.

Love on!

 

April 8, 2015

Thank you!

I love you!

Be well!

That's what I woke up with in my head early this morning, before 3AM. I'd been having this dream that seamlessly wove today and yesterday and days to come into this party that I was being escorted through, from room to room, greeting people I knew once upon a time, some I know today, and others that knew me but I had no idea who they were. I remember my natural, authentic shyness enveloping me and unable to speak, but I could smile and did, and after a while I could speak but only a word or two, all the while being moved along by people on both sides and behind me. It was weird and yet really wonderful, all at once.

It was strange to see my 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Trails, she hadn't changed and still had that flinty eyed look on top of a big yellow smile, and the smell of cigarettes reminded me of my Mom, who had been her childhood friend in Visalia, California. And odder still was the man who drove into me all those years ago and changed my life forever. He kept shaking my hand and saying 'You look good.' and I moved along.

I cannot change the past. What's done is done.

That was part of the message of my dream, that the events that have happened to me have brought me to this moment, to this now.

I get to choose how I will go forward.

All my life has been about being torn from one place and bunch of people only to be put in a new and strange place and new people,  and trying not to let the past influence and maybe even ruin the now and surely screw up the future, to boot.

Thank heavens I discovered displacement!

Roll with it or it will roll over you- my motto won by decades of being kicked in the head, heart, body and soul.

All during my childhood, all I wanted was family, people that I was related to that were happy to have me around. It didn't happen. Instead of living with this chip on my shoulder I went out into the world and made friends as I could, and created relationships that go back to my childhood. Live and learn. And along the way, I found more family, the world over, some of it blood related but some of it based on that interchange of think/feel that I cultivate in my life 

Today I have family the world over, and some not too far away, in so many ways.

Thank you!

I love you!

Be well!

 

April 6, 2015

Lately, in my free time, what little I have these busy days, I've been going on long walks in new directions. 

It's been interesting, to say the least.

The diversity of the human population on this planet is truly amazing, people come in every shade of hair and skin you can imagine, and in San Francisco some of the hair colors are really wild. Like the girl the other day with the leopard spots...but I digress.

These walks have been made all the more interesting because of the weather, and the lack of rain. For us this has producted 60+ F days with lots of sunshine, and all of nature is drinking it in. Flowers everywhere, even in the windows of Macy's department store on Union Square. And yesterday being Easter, hat wearing men and women were out wearing their finery, and some of those hats were astounding, like the one that featured a nest with bunnies and lots of colored eggs.

My favorites were the ones I saw near the A.M.E. Church on Steiner, those were some amazing hats, and those ladies always do it up colorful and with such flair. This year even some of the fellows got into it and sported nice hats and tie and kerchief combos.

All over the place, people and plants celebrating the return of longer days. 

Here's hoping your days are bright and beautiful as well.

Love on!

 

April 1, 2015

Happy April Fools! If we must be fools, let us be fools of love...

and on that note, my quest of more than 20 years came to an end this weekend. It was amazing, so wonderful that it brought tears to my eyes. After all those years searching, I learned of the burial site of my Grandfather and his mom, my Great Grandmother (on my Dad's side) in Altadena, California. What a shock to see a photo of their resting place in a columbarium, a place where ashes and more of the dead are found.

There they were, in the same small niche, Annabelle and William L, he having died five years after his mom. Wow!

My cousin Terry was there with me, as we are both interested in our family history, and she and I spent a great afternoon together. 

The more that I have learned about my forebearers, the more I have come to recognize and appreciate my will and well power. My family history is full of lives jumbled by poverty, substance abuse, religious schism, and so much more. All of it unvarnished, raw and sometimes painful, but I firmly believe that I would rather know the truth, whatever it is.

Which is why, upon returning from this all too brief trip, I was glad to hear a message from another cousin telling me not to attend a memorial she is staging for her dad. Wow, that turmoil and conflict lives in such proximity to me. Good to know, I told myself, as I replayed her message, and I truly wish her well.

Will power and well power.

Love on!

 

March 27, 2015

Hello Swansea, Wales, UK! Such a lovely part of the world are you, my cousin Jess attended college there and made many connections, and being part Welsh we love Wales! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

Yesterday was hard, a long day starting at 7AM and ending just after 6PM when I had to stop working.

I needed to be alone and surrounded, so I went for a walk.

Going along, I see a woman and her dog walking along when suddenly the dog stops and she does too. This scenario is repeated a few more times, as I watch humans learning how to have a relationship with another being.

Just the tonic I needed, to have visual proof that we do learn, that humans are capable of caring about more than just themselves.

And then I saw him, this pseudo hipster in his way too tight jeans that were hanging off his butt, shouting into his cell phone something about something, walking with his little dog. The dog stops to pee and he just keeps walking and drags the dog along. As I watch a woman walks over to him and starts yelling at him and using her cell phone to take video of his behavior. There's quite a commotion, others join, he is apologizing and then a police officer on a bicycle joins the crowd. 

Then I recognize a woman going into the crowd, a client of mine. This is her boyfriend, and this is her dog. She looks at him, picks up the dog, and walks away.

Coming home, I'm on my computer answering some family email when I hear a thump on the deck outside. Then another thump. I turn and look out the window and there is the familiar squirrel we've seen for the past couple of years, and he sees me and sits up on his back legs, paws tucked on his chest. 

Yes, I'm trained, I think, as I go upstairs and chop some pecans up for him, and then place them on a plate for his enjoyment.

Live and learn. And don't forget to love.

 

March 25, 2015

Anticipating expectations

Expecting anticipation

Earlier this week, I found myself being tossed between these two conditions, that immeasurable gulf of hoping and wanting. It was awful, with thoughts racing through my head, trying to keep up with the churning sea of emotions inside of me. I began to find myself frozen in motion, lost in the thought versus feeling arena, in combat with my self.

What would happen was a subject of speculation, and the more I thought about it, I realized that the only thing that I could do in the situation was to be honest with myself, aware of my thoughts and feelings, and quiet.

Thank goodness for the quiet part of things. There were times I wanted to blurt out words that would only inhibit the reality that was unfolding in front of me. Breathing really helped, and kept me centered and non reactive. I sat and listened.

When I did respond, it was with measured and calculated language, the tonal pitch calm and even, eyes engaged.

Nobody in the room suspected a thing.

Inside of me was a raging sea of emotions, all of these feelings ripping through me, my throat tight, my mouth dry, my stomach in knots. All I could do was breathe and maintain control over my outward display.

And what happened was the best thing for all concerned. 

There are times in our lives when we just need to let whatever is going to happen, happen. This was one of those for me.

In the end, none of my expectations were satisfied, and my anticipations were far over the mark of the actual result. Am I disappointed? No, as there was no appointment, in the first place. 

My power ends at my skin, and people will do what they choose to do, despite any pleadings one may make. 

We all choose, and for me the best choice here was to choose me and my integrity, and wish everyone well.

Life teaches, and we are all students. Learn from life by being you, because learning about who we are makes this world a much better place for everyone, especially ourselves. 

Live and love on!

 

March 23, 2015

Spring appears to be launching all over town, the trees in bloom on the streets and in the parks. Beacons of beauty.

Yesterday I took myself out into the world and came home in awe of the bigness of life.

Due to a software problem, the time that I had set aside yesterday to be on the computer suddenly became free. 3 hours and then some, and what to do.

Being a Sunday and a sunnyish day, out the door I went, and then up the street to the plaza and then a veer to the right and down Market Street I go. It's before noon and many people are out and about, walking, running, biking, skateboarding, and hopping. Yes hopping. I passed a group of young people dressed as rabbits, some in complete costumes, others just with rabbit ears and a tiny bit of face makeup. Ah, San Francisco...

Around 5th Street and Market the sidewalks began to get crowded. That's when I slowed and stopped in a pool of sunlight and took in my surroundings. Tall buildings, lots of cars and trolly cars and so many people, and many of them tourists. Perfect! 

I listened to the ambient sound around me and relaxed, breathing calmly. not focusing on anything in particular. After a few moments I looked up and looked around, until my eyes saw someone. In that instant I listened closely, trying to discern if there was any information about this person available to me. And amazingly, sometimes there was. Like the woman who walked by, face impassive, and the voice in my head said 'She will be very happy soon'. And the guy with the scowl who the voice said had just been ripped ott by someone. So many lives. So many choices.

Life reminds me that I have choices, sometimes really big ones and sometimes itty bitty tiny ones. 

After a couple of hours of walking it's time for me to return home and get on with the day. Finding the Muni underground entrance I proceed down the steps into a bit of a crowd near the base of the stairs. There's a man on the ground, and people are trying to help him but he's pulling away from them and scooting along the floor. Most folks move on and I follow them when all of a sudden the fallen man is next to me and then at my feet and then he's throwing up onto my shoe as I move away. He's drunk, clearly, reekig of beer and now vomit, and as I clean my shoe with kleenex and watch, a policeman appears and then another, and the poor drunk man is righted, the area cleaned up, and life goes on.

I go on, onto the train home and then a short walk in fading sunshine, and as I clean my soiled shoe I reflect on the amazing variety of lives I got to witness today, from the best to the worst. All of it reminding me that we all have the power to choose, and that our choices shape our lives. We are so powerful, and given such amazing choice. 

Choose from love, it makes for a better life, it really does.

 

March 19, 2015

Did you know that we humans only see less than 10% of the electromagnetic spectrum. The part we see is called 'visible lght.'

Since I was a little child, around 4 years old or so, I have had countless instances when I noted something move with my eye but there was nothing there. By the time I was a teenager I got up the courage to ask my doctor and he told me it was probably just 'eye motes', tiny little bits of stuff that become those squiggles and whatnot all of us see.

It didn't feel like that to me. That's when I began to learn that there is so much more to this world than we know, and that we do not see everything clearly all the time.

Around 10 I saw my first ghost, an Great Uncle in law of mine named Otto. I saw him many times when I visited my Great Aunt Maude. It was weird but OK.

The other afternoon a man came to see me and brought along a couple of ghosts with him. It was odd, hearing him speak and kistening to his ghosts, usually just one at a time. He'd say something and then the ghost would, but not each time he spoke, only when he lied. It was very interesting. He went away with all of his questions answered, as well as some tips on how to improve his career and life, and I got a sense of the love that lives on long after death.

Yes, our bodies die, but we live on. Matter is just one part of the atomic spectrum, and our souls exist in another spectrum, one more encompassing. 

One of his ghosts was his grandmother, another was a brother. The feeling of love for him was strong in both of them. 

Most of us bury the body of the dead and move on with our lives, not considering anything more than the physical world. And yet each of us has an experience, sometimes more, of the presence of someone who has passed away.

I've always loved that phrase, passed away. It's not past away, but it really is, as that person or animal does not exist anymore on a physical sense.

Physicists say that there are multiple dimensions of space-time, perhaps 10, maybe 11. One thing they do all seem to agree with is the idea that all time exists simultaneously, the Big Bang and the Big End all at once, somewhere in time-space. Quite the idea.

For me, as I have opened my mind to greater possibilites than just what I see, I have learned about my sixth sense, my intuition. It is a faculty we all have, and like any faculty, the more it is used the stronger it becomes. Afer half a century of working with it, I can now see that our abilities will expand in the future, and that despite all the setbacks, we as a species are moving in the right direction. Just give us more time, we've only been human-ish for 2 million years or so. It gets better.

Especially with communication and love. 

Love on!

 

March 18, 2015

Hello New York! Here's hoping some warmer days stick around and help the Apple shine! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along!

So, the other day, as I'm walking down my street, which does have an up and a down to it, I notice two women on my steep steps. As I get closer I watch as the older woman sprawls out on my steps while the younger woman laughs. In an instant I how who they are and what the woman is reenacting.

As I get closer they both stand and I say hello and the older woman, the mom, introduces herself and her daughter, and tells me that she herself had been born on these very steps. This started a long conversation, during which they came into the house and mom was amazed at all the changes and how it was when she lived here with her father before she moved out. The family had been in the house since the late 1950's, and I have previously met the former wife of the owner I bought it from, two of their daughters and their son. 

After they left, I went into my bedroom which is where her father died. I spoke to Mr. K, as I call him, and told him all about his daughter and grand daughter's visit, and how happy they are in life and that he did well while alive.

From the stories I've heard, he was an emotionally troubled soul who drove away his wife, one daughter and son. Like many of us, he was at a loss as to what to do with his anger and frustration and dark emotions and tried to drown them in a bottle, as it were, with alcohol. This just made things worse until the split.

I wonder what counseling could have done for them, as a family and individuals. 

This is why it made me so happy to receive the daughter and her daughter, to help her recover the good that was built into the house in 1888, by Fernando Nelson's company. A house built as a 'show house', so that folks would buy lots he owned and a house from him, starting at $2,000. This house has had many owners and occupants, and the past lives in it's timbers. I'm glad I have been given the opportunity to help restore and modernize it so that its future owners will enjoy it as well.

Keep love and alive and live love. Alive a love.

 

March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day, 3.141592653...and on and on!

Around here, everybody is waiting until 9:26:53AM and then Hooray! Only happens once a century, and you are here! Huzzah!

This week I taught a class on displacement. It was amazing.

The first time we met as a group, I talked about anger and hurt and how distructive these energies are to us. After a while everybody was talking about stuff that happened to them that still troubled them and it was good, there was emotional support and sharing. At the end I asked them to come back in 2 days having displaced by energetic action some stored anger and/or hurt.

The stories I heard at our next meeting were great. One of them, a man who was stone faced most of our first meeting, came in the room and looked like a different person altogether. It was amazing. He told a story of being raised by his grandparents and how he hated his parents for it, and never let on. After our class, he went home and wrote them both raging letters, pouring out his heart. He had brought the letters, and said he felt transformed just putting the words on paper. I asked him if he could read one of them to us, and he did. As he read, he cried and raged, and we all cried along with him. Then we all hugged him, and each other.

It was really cool.

There is magic inside each of us, waiting to spring forth, to make our world and our lives better.

Love.

So, that was the highlight of my week, a quickening one here in San Francisco, the cherry trees all over town blooming, and tender green buds here and there. Spring is approaching. Days are longer and sunrise is late enough for most people to see. Some of them have been really beautiful, golds and reds and pinks, the sky alive.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein, born this day in 1879. Pi, and pie, and a very smart guy! Reasons to celebrate!

Love on!

 

March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day! Celebrate the women in your life!

And it is a Sunday, first recognized on March 7, 321 as a day to celebrate the Sun. Human history is interesting.

This past week saw the discovery of part of a jaw bone from a humanoid that lived 2.8 million years ago. Scientists speculate that this was the time in human evolution when we began to live more on land and less in the trees, when we began to walk upright and continued our evolution.

Nearly three million years, and some of us still don't pick up after ourselves...

Enjoy the day! Hooray for women!

 

March 5, 2015

The whole megillah! That's what today is about for some of the folks in this world, the Feast of Esther. From those days we get the phrase in contemporary American English: the whole megillah.

What a flexible and funny language, American English is. 

It's the second most difficult language, number one being Dine, Navajo as some call it. And it's such an amalgam of differing languages from the world over have been rolled into American English and become part of our linguistic culture.

Golly! Another one of those funny words spoken in America, golly and gosh and geewillikers is too.

Happy continuing march toward Spring!

Love on!

 

March 3, 2015

Marching right along, we are, and glad of this we are, as well.

Exercise. Food. Water. Sleep. My 4 basics, and I am back, after vacation, with doing all of them in moderation. Getting my arms around these simple parts of like has allowed me to address the other parts of my life, like work and family and friends and fun, not always in that order. 

Routine.

How comforting it is, to have a rhythm to my life, one that nourishes and supports me. And it only took decades to get it there.

Most of my life was spent being late and out of kilter and 'behind the 8 ball', although sometimes it really felt like the 8 ball had run over me repeatedly...and it drove me crazy, so much so that I decided that I needed to get myself together and start being more on time, and lo and behold my life began to improve.Golly, results...that was all the proof I needed.

Now and then, there are 'curve ball's'  in my use of time, and I've learned to roll with them and make the best of things. Life is just easier that way, for the most part, and time has proven to be a flexible element in life.

And here we are, starting the third month of this year of life moving along, each of us at our own pace. Pace and space and love in place, that's my goal for the short term, and maybe a bit longer, too.

How about you?

 

February 27, 2015 

Hello Cordova, Tennessee! You're near a destination of mine, Memphis, such a city, I hear. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

A funny thing happened while I was traveling last week. All the trip I became aware of people bumping and sometimes crashing into me, it was very odd. There didn't need to be a crush of folks, it happened randomly but often: the girl who suddenly without looking jumped in front of me so that I had to grab her to keep her from falling down and then swung her fist at me, the woman with the big purse who swung it into my groin and then looked peevishly at me, the guy who elbowed me in Covent Gardens. There were so many. And everytime, regardless, I was civil and said nothing, and kept moving.

Until the last day, when a guy just put his body between me and another guy and I couldn't move my feet but leaned back and said to the guy 'Shove yourself out, why don't you?' as he and I and others tried to exit the airport transit car. He instantly apologized and was so kind and then came back again and apologized again, it was such a surprise. A nice, decent chap, a kind man, a man sorry for his actions. 

There don't seem to be many of them around these days, but here he was, and then he was gone.

But not the memory in me of his care and concern that his actions hadn't hurt or harmed me. His caring. That memory lingers.

A reminder from the universe that there is good in the world, in people, even in the smallest of ways. Life can look bleak and filled with selfish and un-self loving people and there is still good in the world.

Where ever he is, I wish him well. He and all of his brothers in spirit, those men that 'man up' and accept responsibility for who they are and what they do. Cheers to them! 

As for the rest of the lot, there is little if any point in rebuking them, save your breath but make use of your love and be patiently kind and teach them, let them know of better ways of being, lovingly. Be kind.

Love on!

 

February 24, 2015

Hello, 'allo, it's so great to be alive and here and oh my goodness (and badness, we gotta live with what is and ain't none of us perfect other than as we are becoming) what a whirl wind I've been through, literally, and thank you to whatever and all that is for the magic that unfolds in and around me each day.

Fear is our enemy. It can terrorize us. Awful, awful things come from giving all your power to your fear. Madness lies that way.

That was the big 'take away' message for me this trip, as I have never, ever, in four, count'em 4 million miles of air travel ever been through what one of my 3 flights was. The plane shook, bounced hard, so hard I could hear the cargo containers below our feet hit all over, and people screaming and gasping and the sound of praying, and one of them was most assuredly me. It was awful.

And wonderful. Two amazing pilots got us through that 3 hour gut wrenching ride, safely, and they're my new hero men. 

They looked drained when I saw them as I left the plane at Heathrow Terminal 3. These two guys, mid 40's, and just doing their job I heard one of them say. 

My fear was wrapped around me like a vise, and I refused to give in. At the worst of moments, I would say 'Let the right thing happen.'

and kept breathing and praying and surrendering to the magnificence of life here, on this planet, on this plane, and trust and believe.

I was a mess that first day in London, England, and slept most of it until a lovely tapas dinner near our apartment. I say our but it's really their's, our friends D&P, near Paddington Station. And then the wonder of London took hold, and we walked and looked and listened and ate and ate and ate and walked a whole lot more and then slept...

That was Days 2 through 6. It was wonderful. For an old town, it sure keeps new, and there were construction cranes just about everywhere. So many new buildings and subway stations and more to see and do. Great town.

The afternoon before our departure we went for a walk in St. James's Park in the heart of London, our favorite. The birds were out in number and force, the geese honking and running, the swans, especially the black ones so proud and preening. And squirrels everywhere and so tame and calm and I guess maybe even friendly for squirrels...

Spring was just starting to poke out here and there, tender tiny green buds waiting for more sun to emerge.

This trip really helped me reset my buttons, as it were, and to cherish each and every moment of each and every day. 'Any day above ground is better than obverse' I heard someone say long ago, and I so very much know how true that is.

Love life, love you, love on! 

 

February 12, 2015

Hello Sacramento, HQ for California! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

Here and there, on the streets of San Francisco, cheery cherry trees are starting to bloom. Yesterday I took a walk for a couple of miles and passed so many blooming trees, the scatter of their flower petals decorating the ground.

Walking along, I noticed a young girl and boy playing at one of the trees, trying to catch the blossom petals before they touched the sidewalk, both children laughing and having a great time.

In each of us lives a child, the child that we were all those years ago. Some people call this one's 'inner child'.

My child rose to the surface as I passed by them, and I thanked them. The girl asked me why, and I told her that she and her friend reminded me that there are simple, good and pure pleasures in the world, like chasing cherry blossoms. They each handed me one, and I thanked them and felt tears puddle in my eyes.

There is so much good in our world, and sometimes it is all too easy to overlook it or not see it at all.

My inner child and I continued our walk, lighter in step and heart.

Love on!

 

February 7, 2015

Hello from a stormy, windy and wet San Francisco! Big hugs to you and yours!

The other day someone asked me about intuition, and I told him that we are all intuitive, and that our intuition is like a muscle such that the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. He told me I was nuts.

Happy Nut me, I thought, as he walked away, my intuition telling me that he was going to be changing his mind as time moves past him, and events change in front of his eyes.

As I contemplate the river of time that swirls past us, I think about all of the people who were born, lived, and died, and how each of them contributed to the experience and evolution of the human species. Science says we've been 'homo sapiens', i.e. 'wise man' for about 200,000 years, just a drop in the bucket of a solar system that is billions of years old, and has billions of years to go. Yes, we do make mistakes and start wars and do awful things, we humans, but we also love and create art and learn about the physical world around us, much to our credit.

I imagine a time when intuition will be part of schooling, and we will encourage our children to develop their individual intuition for their and our betterment. 

Since childhood, I have come to trust my intuition, and to listen to it like an old friend. Sometimes the message is harsh and rough, sometimes soft and gentle, but it always springs from an authentic desire to love and learn. 

Life has so very much to offer, especially with love.

Love on!

February 3, 2015

Happy Setsubun, the day before Spring in Japan, more to celebrate! Huzzah! Now is when the evil spirits are driven from the home by throwing roasted soybeans out one's door and saying 'demons out, luck in' and slamming the door. I've got my beans already!

Such a world of rituals and beliefs we have, as each culture and group has it's own way of looking at the world and seeing what they see. 

I remember looking at a newspaper when I was a child and asking my sister Melodie what 'horoscope' meant and she told me what she knew. Later I asked my Mom and she told me more, about how she looked at her's from time to time. When I was a teenager I learned about astrology and horoscopes and their histories. When one sees the Milky Way in the night sky as I did as a kid, the stars dazzle. How early humans must have been awestruck, as so many of us are to this day.

Recently, I sat down and looked at the planets and their astral placement relations, and I noticed that the planet Saturn is in Sagittarius in the sky, and will be until December 17, 2017. Imagine my surprise when a locally published astrologer named Minerva mentioned this in her weekly column...it must be important. Or maybe it's just coincidence (wink, wink).

Here's a recap of what each sign is advised:

Aries: Travel, learning, teaching, publishing.

Taurus: Think before merging or joining any thing.

Gemini: Relationships bear watching.

Cancer: Time to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Leo: You have to work for what you want.

Virgo: Change and compromise

Libra: Communicate, often and clearly.

Scorpio: Focus on the better uses of money.

Sagittarius: What you learn and earn is yours, always.

Capricorn: Resolve past issues.

Aquarius: Get out there and meet new people.

Pisces: Make long term plans.

Whew, that's quite a list, and I suspect if I did all of those things in my life that it would certainly improve. For me, though, I'm going to focus on my sign, Aries, and do all of those things between now and the end of 2017. Who knows what can occur?

Happy tail end of Winter, brighter days ahead!

Love on!

 

February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day! Six more weeks of winter, Phil the marmot in Pennsylvania showed by not seeing his shadow this morning, funny little creature he. Maybe rain here in San Francisco, finger's crossed, wood knocked and touched...

The town is abuzz with Chinese New Year celebrations and shopping and live orange trees for sale all over, even in our Costco. Approximately 300,000+ persons in SF are Asian, and these cultures are so very rich in history and cuisine. Tomorrow's Full Moon marks the start of this month long party, with fireworks and feasts and red envelopes filled with money or something. Did I mention the food? So many taste treats available only at this time of year will be pulling me to our Chinatown along Grant Avenue, and off into the alley ways here and there, and hopefully there will be lots of street vendors, my favorites. Nothing beats home made.

This afternoon will find me out walking from our house to the Ferry Building, good exercise this, and then maybe just a slight detour into Chinatown and lots of moon shaped food stuffs, some like little bags of brightly colored treasure and tastes from another land and all the good tidings that I'll be wishing on all of us, each and every one, unconditionally. 

Gung Hay Fat Choi! Happy New Year! 

 

January 28, 2015

Hello, Bronx New York! Such a vibrant, living city are you! So much to see, such history, such life! Thanks for reading and all the best to you and yours!

The time of 'Bread and Circuses' is starting, and will be with us here in America until maybe the 2nd week of November 2016. I think Juvenal got it right about the Roman's of his time, and I suspect it is somewhat true today with everybody, globally.

Presidential Election time. A couple of gazillionaires have already said they're gonna spend nearly a billion dollars to get their message out: Vote Republican. This will be the most expensive election in history, anywhere in the world, ever. Yikes!

All the hoopla, all the headlines, all the hype and tripe and plenty of gripe...

Having had the good fortune to be born is the US of A, it didn't take me too long to figure out that there is a burden in being a citizen. Each of us, willingly or no, is judged as being an example of America, good or bad.

My first encounter with otherness came at eleven years old when my Dad took me to Loreto, Mexico. There was a group of kids that hung out at the lodge we were staying in, and I heard them refer to me as 'Milky' and 'the blond boy', as I understood some Spanish. One of them came up to me one morning and passed by saying to me 'Good morning, you white boy' and I said to him in Spanish 'Good morning my name is Billy' and he stopped in his tracks and in rapid language exchange learned that I grew up around many Mexicans and had many Hispanic friends in my little barrio in Highland Park, California. After that, I met all the kids and had lots of fun with them, and when I left they told me that they hoped all Americans would be as much fun as I was.

Then I learned all about the 'Ugly American' image in my worldwide travels, and have had countless conversations with so many folks, giving them more insight into the complexity of being an American. We all march to the drummer we hear.

Isn't that one of the great things about this country, freedom? For me it is.

Enjoy the bread, watch as much of the circus as you can stand, and be you.

Liberty and love on!

 

January 25, 2015

Only 11 months until Christmas...

and it's 70F in San Francisco (what Winter?) and everybody is out and about, taking in all the lovely sunshine and enjoying the breeze that drifts here and there. The other day, I overheard a tourist say to his wife 'I could live here.' and his wife shooting him a look that was partly hopeful and excited. Welcome to them, if they do, there are so many people moving here these days, there are so many 'start-ups' and lots of venture capital being splashed around. And just about everybody has some sort of hand held device and now things are starting to be worn like wrist watches that communicate with the hand held...hello Dick Tracy...

Fois gras, fattened goose liver, is back on the menu thanks to a California Judge who ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. What folks choose to eat has always been both interesting and repelling for me at times, not a big fan of 'organ meat' am I. Lately there are new food markets opening on Market Street, in the Twitter building. Quite something, prepared foods of all kinds and lots of raw food and the mundane things we go to the market for. It was fun to hear the discussion about how to prepare various foods between two 20+ somethings, workers nearby I suspected. Food, glorious food!

We are almost half way through Winter, the cruelest season, some have called it. Come on, groundhog day, February 2, a sign of how much Winter to come.

And tonight is Burn's Night, in honor of the Scottish poet Robbie Burns, who gave us 'Auld Lang Syne' that gets sung every New Year. Haggis and whiskey is on the normal menu, oats and organ meat boiled in a sheeps stomach...more whiskey, please?!

Here's to living the love that lives inside us!

Love on!

 

January 19, 2015

Hello Mumbai, India! How's life on Chowpaddy Beach, and the food?! Such an amazing city are you, starting at the airport and going from there. The thousands of years of history that you contain is truly astounding! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Sometimes I get to talk with folks that give me the opportunity to speak frankly and honestly. That's what happened this week. A woman came to see me, a nice lady with a good heart, and she wanted to ask a few questions. I gave her honest answers that she said 'surprised her.' I replied that I could only provide her with what I knew, that my job is to help folks sort out their stuff and free themselves from the burdens of illusions and lies.

A couple of days later she called and left a message, telling me that she had taken our conversation and used it as a backdrop to engage others in, and had found out that our conversation had been accurate and true.

For years a man has been advising her on her money, and has been taking a little extra from time to time, unbeknownst to her.

For years her son has been using drugs, first marijuana, then methamphetimine, and now heroin. He broke down and told her his terrible truths, and they had a great cry together, and are now facing into his emotional issues, together.

A long time ago I attended a funeral for the father of a classmate who had died suddenly. I watched as a woman walked up to his widow and spoke to her. The color drained from the widow's face and a look of shock appeared. As the woman walked away, the widow fell to her knees, and began sobbing, as folks near her bent to help her. Then she began screaming 'You son of a bitch' at the coffin of her husband and she had to be restrained. It was terrible to see the effects of years of lies, suddenly shattered by his mistress of many years in her confrontation with his widow.

An old saying 'Truth will out.' is still true. Knowing the truth empowers us, and gives us our best choice.

Here's to the truth. Live it in love.

 

January 18, 2015

Whew, that sure took a lot longer than I thought, getting my computer repaired. Even then I had to accept a compromise and lose some of the files that I had but they were just too corrupted to keep.

Wish I could do that with the computer in my head. 

Instead I had best displace through direct action any negativity I feel, toward myself, toward others. How can I get better if I keep holding onto all the negativity I feel about some of what occurred in my life? Getting rid of my negativity, my self hate and doubt, as much of the rot that swims in my head as I can, has made me and keeps me from not living the life that fulfills me and suffuses my soul with love and light.

Did I mention that the frustration of not having a computer was resulting in daily dish smashing? So satisfying, and relieving, too.

In a couple of weeks it will be mid Winter, a time when the world pauses and takes a look around and inside. For me, the next couple of weeks will find me working on doing what I can to be my best me.

Come mid Winter, I hope to have both love and compassion well and alive in me. Winter always seems to bring out some of the worst in people, I've noticed over the years. Maybe It's the cold, the short day light, fewer leafy greens, whatever...

There is so much to be thankful for, and that's where my attention is going, as well. Life is results.

As a kid, being shuffled from house to house, parent to parent, there was so much turmoil, so much shouting, so much anger. I watched as the broken love between my parents poisoned the memories and gave me a choice. To be like them or like myself.

Best me, than thee. 

I hope you go  and be your best you, and that the love that lives in you is reflected by the smile on your face, the lightness of your steps, and the joy in your soul.

Live and love on!

 

January 13, 2015

Time to take those Christmas trees down!

Here and there around San Francisco, and I suspect many towns worldwide, there are drying cut trees, some still festooned with decorations and tinsel and whathaveyou. All that mulch, waiting to happen.

Isn't this year off to a start? All around all of us, change is swirling and whirling and sometimes hurling. Keep up or stand aside. Both are better than taking it on the chin.

Case in point: a conversation

She: Your computer will be ready by Friday.

Me: Today is Friday. Can I pick it up now?

She: Whatever.

So off I go to the store that has my computer, and the woman I spoke to is there. I give her my name and she goes away. Ten minutes later she comes back and tells me that my computer is not ready. I ask her if it's back where she went and she says 'yes'. I then point to my computer, sitting on the floor behind a chair and tell her that it is my computer. She walks away. After a couple of minutes I go and find a manager and tell him what's happening. He looks into it and brings the woman back with him to talk with me. He looks at her and she says 'I'm sorry.' 

Such an awkward moment it was, and she was more angry than sorry. He told me that my computer will be ready as soon as possible and I thank him and walk away, elsewhere in the store. I watch as she goes over to another employee and starts talking. Moving toward her, I can overhear what she is saying and she's talking profanely and negatively about her boss and me and her job and is really getting worked up when I step to where she can see me and look her in the eye. She stops and runs away behind a door. 

Poor woman, so broken, and at such a young age. She's in her early 20's and already heading in the wrong direction. That's just where she needs to be, I trust, as that path can lead her to a better path.

We all make mistakes, we all learn, we all try or not.

The choice is always ours.

In the meanwhile, I'm still waiting on my computer and have hope. 

All the BS and lies and garbage that is part of our world is just that, a part, but not the whole of it. Along the way of life we will encounter the icky and awful, and it's there for a reason: to give us a choice.

Good or bad, icky or excellent.

Choose from a loving place, and your choice will always be best.

Love on!

 

January 7, 2015

Hello Windhoek, Namibia! Wow, my cousin Erdmuthe talks about how beautiful you and your country are, and how the sights are like no place else. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours.

Well, here we are, end of the first week of the new year. 

Self esteem is the fulcrum in life, that which determines up or down, or a dizzyng shudder. This week has been both for me.

What with all the drama that life has on a daily basis, this week saw an offer to work for a company that wants change for good. In our talks, I look to determine what is the intention of the speaker, and saw the shudder. Getting people to work as a team is a real pain in the ass challenge. This is where self esteem can help the individual to find it within themselves their part and how best to contribute. Smart companies listen. 

Being psychic is different than being aware, as awareness rests on cognition, and intuition rests on trust.

Trusting as I do, this week saw me seeing into a clients mind and seeing the object of her focus, and telling her about it and she got all excited and thrilled in the connection. It's always such a cradle that catches us in the best of life.

Waking up to  terrible news from Paris and the newspapers are full of mostly negative reports. Life can look like that in the short view, and for those to subscribe to it, I wish them that which they seek. The engine of change is a complex one, with measures of good and bad in the mix. This is how life works.

What's important is what we think combined with what we feel in heart and body, woven together with intention. And self esteem.

Here's to a new and good year of authenic self love for all of us. 

Love on.

 

January 4, 2015

Hello Clayton, Victoria, Australia! Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours, and Happy New Year to all!

Well, here we are, on the start of a new year, another year of who knows what is gonna happen?! 

Tonight will see the rise of the first full moon, called the Wolf Moon here in the States. Whatever it's called, it's always beautiful.

I've been thinking about what to make of this year ahead for me, and I think this will be a year in which I communicate more and better, and engage with people in dialogue and difference, and learn. Above all, learn.

There's so much I don't know about the world, and time and time again life makes it clear to me that the only way I am going to learn about this world of ours is when I put myself out in it. Since the start of this year, I have been more engaged with folks, looking them in the eye longer and more frequently, not being the shy guy I am at heart, and so far, it's been OK.

Yesterday, I actually had a conversation of about 4 minutes with the clerk in a local store, a woman who has served me for about 2 years now. What a nice woman, and who knew that she would be an antrropoligist? Wonderful to know. 

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Stop the insanity. Listen to your body, then your heart and head and weave it together and get on with living a better, happier life.

Life is not a dress rehersal, and the time that it takes is the time that it takes, and we get to choose who and how we are in this stream of time that flows toward and past us. 

Last year saw the passing of so many wonderful, loving people that I have had the pleasure of knowing. Reflecting on them has helped me galvanize me, lighting a bit of a fire under me bum, as it were, and serving to get me going.

You'll never know if you don't try. That's gonna be one of my new aphorisms for this new year, and let's see what happens, shall we? Adopting a new aphorism is one way of changing life up, and life always feels better when it's new and interesting.

Interested? Join right in!

Happy new you, Happy New Year!

Love on!

 

December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! As I write this, celebrations are taking place the world over, fireworks and music and joy at making it this far! Yay!

There's something about snow in the winter that takes me back to my childhood in Big Pine and Mojave, how cold the air became and I could feel it through the walls of the house, huddling close to the wood fire wearing 3 layers of clothes, trying to stay warm. These past few days saw me in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa,and the farther north I went the more snow I saw. By the time Iowa came flying past, the ground was a blanket of white. So peaceful and beautiful, unblimished or sullied. Perfection in nature.

I believe that the right thing always occurs, the wrong person always says 'No' and count my blessings.

Granted, that's means that I have to submit to a world I do not control, heck, there are times I'm struggling to control myself, like we all are. But it's a struggle that I engage in with love, not anger. Love builds, anger does not. Anger weakens us and gives our negative self esteem expression and creates neural networks that are not in our better interest. 'Nattering Nebobs of Negativity' I call that chorus in my head when they get to talking trash and exhorting me to do my less. Hating them will never stop them, they are quieted with love and support from my faith and trust, and self love.

Faith is what I saw this past week, at the Mass of Resurrection for Shane, my brother-in-law, at Good Shepherd Church in Shawnee, Kansas. Such an outpouring of compassion. Such hard times. Such love.

Man proposes, G-d disposes. Perfection in nature. Living, changing and growing through love.

Here's to all of us, wishes of faith, compassion and love leading us into the New Year.

Happy New Year with love on!

 

December 24, 2014

Hello Sparta, Wisconsin! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours! What a lovely way to start my morning, via Google Earth and Panaramio and a photo by Josh Meyer of downtown Sparta. I could almost feel the hard, cold concrete bench near the river spanned by that wooden bridge. So beautiful.

That's one of the big things I love about being alive today, the world is almost at my fingers, through photos and video and people's writings. What a world! Lucky us!

Starting my last work day of the year makes me reflect on all of the people I worked with this year, and to wish each and every one of them my heartfelt thanks for their efforts in making their lives better. Through our efforts we improve ourselves and those around us. Keep the love that lives in you alive.

And you, gentle reader, there where you are, the world over from what I can learn. Thank you for reading along. Over these years I have seen photos and read messages from you, and I always appreciate the effort, and keep each one.Thanks for writing!

This is a hard Christmas this year due to the shocking death of Kathy's husband, Shane. As a family we are all moving to help, support and most of all love their 2 teenage children. His passing is 4 month's after Kathy's. We are devastated and shattered by this turn of events, and many of us are praying powerfully to G-d to try to understand this mystery.

May peace by all of ours. Love you, love those around you, and live your best life.

Love on.

 

December 21, 2014

The shortest night of the year with the longest day of the year, the swing of our planet. 

Just a few degrees, really, is all that differentiates the seasons, and just that little bit makes a world of difference.

Many of us are sad to see this time of year and are in pain. My advice is grieve, let the sobs that you suppress be expressed and their energy released, do not hold this energy in you another minute, let it out and feel it leave you.

and keep breathing, and feeling and thinking and loving. That last part is especially needed this time of year.

Change is hard, and can harden us if we let it. We can fall victim in this world and never give it a second thought. And so we choose. Each of us. All the time. Almost endlessly through our lives, right up to the very end. That's when karma occurs.

Karma means results, the perception versus the reality. Subjective vs. objective. 

Early in my childhood I heard 'The truth will set you free.'  a corruption of John 8:32 in the Bible.

Later I heard the codicle 'but it may make you miserable.'. True, that, sometimes. 

Just a few degrees difference can make all the difference in the world.

In letting out our pain, we have the capacity to love more, and to let the love that we feel change us and our world, for the better, and maybe, even the best.

Love on!

 

December 16, 2014

We're on the downhill slope to the New Year! Huzzah! 

This time of year always has it's share of stresses: people, traffic, food, darkness, depression, anger, I could go on and on.

For years I wondered why life can be so hard, and over time I saw why. Each of us chooses what we do with what happens to us.

As you may have noticed, most cultures on the world have many rules about what to do and how to act. From what I've seen in my travels, I have never encountered one that had an effective way with dealing with anger.

That's where emotional displacement saved me. Instead of taking out my anger on myself or others, I learned to channel it into safe methods that gave me the calm that I so sought.

At first it was walking along a beach in Santa Monica CA and thinking about all the things that were pissing me off and suddendly reaching down and picking up a stone and throwing it into the ocean as hard as I could. I threw a lot of stones after that. Then I tried writing angry letters, venting on paper the negativity that flooded my brain, and then reading them the next day and ripping them into shreds. Displacement became a part of each day, and still is.

I didn't want to be trapped by my past, by the anger and violence in most of the people I knew, especially my parents. And especially myself. I knew that if anybody was going to make my life better, it was me. That's where I started, and that's where I start every day.

This morning I sat and looked out my window at the raw wooden fence in our yard, and watched as the steam began to rise from the wet wood as the early light of dawn fell upon it. In time the steam was a torrent, and other wooden objects were steaming as well. Getting rid of what it does not need, the wood warms and refreshes its structure.

Displacement, beautifully done. Nature nutures and teaches us. 

Love on!

 

December 12, 2014

12 12, that's gotta be somewhat auspicious, shouldn't it? Although tomorrow, 12 13 14, really looks and feels auspicious.

As this year draws to a close I reflect on the time passed this year, and see progress, some of it small steps, but here and there a stride forward. Evolution is an inexact progression, but it is progress. Why, think of it: only 2 million years ago our forefathers and foremothers were dropping out of trees and walking more upright. We've come a long way, baby!

Keep going!

That's what I'm thinking. There's a new year out ahead of us, and we all get to choose what we say and do. A perfect receipe for change. 

I know a woman who redecorates some part of her house every couple of years, she says she likes refreshing her surroundings and bringing the new into her life. Another person I know replaces much of his wardrobe each year, and always shops after Christmas and looks great all year. He says it makes getting dressed more interesting.

Tomorrow, auspiciously numbered day that it will be, will see me out and about, taking in all the sights of the Holidays, and enjoying a San Francisco that's enjoying the rain, dressed in fairy lights and bright colors. (San Francisco, not me.) The commercialism of the season is a fact of life, and constitutes a ritual that many enjoy, the giving of gifts and the joys of sharing. Did I mention the food? Platters and trays and more and more food, some of it available only at this time of year. 

So much of our world is broken, so many of us are shattered. I hope to serve as a beacon, to show that although life may deal you some unkind turns, do not give up on yourself. No matter what life throws your way, find the love in your heart to rise, and this strength will pull you forward.

Love on!

 

December 10, 2014

Hello Estonia! How's the weather there on the Baltic Sea? From what I see via the internet, it looks like rain and temps in the mid 30's. Stay warm and dry, thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

There is a noble fir tree in my living room.

It stands there, unadorned, perfuming the air with it's scent, old and resiny and primal.

As the days grow shorter, temps around here are dropping, and there is a huge rain storm on the way here. Yesterday I got to thinking about what all that rain can do and went around charging up household electronic devices, and making sure there is plenty of food and such, and then cleaned all the gutters outside the house and went up into the attic to make sure all is water tight and dry.

Winds and thunder and lots and lots of rain, they say, coming our way.

Folks are still recovering from the flooding they had during the last big rainstorm last week, and the storm drains on the streets are being cleaned by neighbors in anticipation of 6 or 8 inches of rain that some computer models say this storm contains.

Water, water, everywhere, and I hope much of it gets soaked up into the ground and spills into reservoirs and turns into snow.

News reports have said lately that this years drought in California is the worst that has happened in 1,200 years.

Here's hoping Mother Nature doesn't try to balance that out quickly!

Here's also hoping that love lives in you and all around you, too!

Love on!

 

December 6, 2014

Ever try to do a good deed and have it blow up in your face?

And then words get exchanged as the intensity of the conversation escalates to the 'oh, yeah?' stage and away we go.

To err is human, to forgive is against compay policy. Smolder, grudge, grudge, rumble.

And breathe, and again, and again. Let fresh air flow into you, lessening the stings of hurt and anger. And keep breathing.

The other day I did something nice for someone, so I thought at the time, and I could not have been more wrong, as this someone says. Words were exchanged and the language was charged and the charge was thrown back and forth a few times, like a medicine ball flung hard. 

To stop myself I walked away.

Oh, well, I tried. That's my consolation. As far as the someone in this transaction, I wish them well. 

What was interesting for me to hear was how I am seen, how my behavior is judged. That was interesting, indeed. What I perceive as confidence was seen as arrogance. Interesting, and now I can calibrate myself vis-a-vis this individual, and know that their perception of me is tainted by their lack of confidence.

People hold up a mirror to us, but it's one that includes both viewers.

In trying to do a favor I had not found exactly the perfect item and this difference wasn't found until days later upon first use. My fault.

As it got spun, my error became arrogance and my communication skills were judged poor. It could have gone on from there but I said 'I cannot continue this.' and walked away. Seething, to be sure, but under self control, and not being controlled by my emotions.

Breathe and relax, remember to come from a loving place inside yourself, and displace any negativity you may feel safely, and proceed.

There are times in life when it needs something to help it move along, into the future. 

I choose love.

 

December 3, 2014

About that blessed rain...

when I was a child living in the Arroyo Seco of Los Angeles, there was an old woman who lived in a house near ours. She was a bruja, as they said in the neighborhood, she was a witch. She had advice and admonishions for everybody, myself included. She called me 'El Blanco' because my hair and skin were so very light. One day a pipe burst in our next door neighbor Cecelia's kitchen, and the witch, who was named Elodia, told her that water meant the removal of the old and the need for the new. Since then, I've seen water in a different aspect, and welcome it.

Even when it floods on the first floor of my house, as it did this morning.

I woke up to the sound of a shower running next to my bed, and looked out into the gloom of night at 3:34AM to see sheets of rain against the doors. Going downstairs, I discover the wood floor covered with water gushing from the east side, and run and grab every towel and blanket I have and start mopping up gallons of water, and then discover that an outside drain is blocked and the water outside is about to come into the room...and out I go with a wet/dry vacumn and clear the drain.

Hello change! I could shake my fist and rail against you, and that is me venting, however I must accept that change is constant and prepare of it. In the meantime my wooden floor has been hand washed and dried and looks great, and the rug will dry out.

Making lemonade out of lemons.

Time and time again I have been confronted with some aspect of change I do not like. Good for me, having an opinion, and better for me to work with the change, whatever it is.

My power to control the world ends at my skin. My power to accept change starts with my love.

I love life, I do, and I didn't always feel like that. There were many times that I felt crushed and defeated, powerless and worthless. Being immobilized by my depression ate up quite a chunk of time, and showed me that the only person who could help me was me. I could get all the great counseling from great people, but if I didn't change I was stuck.

That's where love came in. I've seen love do so many wonderful and good things in life, and knew that I had to love myself if I was going to change, and change for the better. Taking control of my thoughts was difficult and still is, but I wrestled with them and reduced the amount of self loathing I practiced. Things began to change, life began to get better.

And that's where I am today, this morning, after 4 hours of cleaning, on my hands and knees, and working with change.

Step by step, breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat, 

love on.

 

December 2, 2014

Rain! Rain! oh what a blessing, rain!

It started late last night here, a burst of drops on the deck visible in the bedroom light. The wood, darkened by the wet, is soon awash as the rain pelts down. I rise from bed to look out into our backyard, and notice that none of my neighbors have any outdoor lighting on, and the night is dark and rainy, 'dark and stormy' comes to mind and I think about the mystery books I want to write and return to bed, to fall asleep to the sound of nourishing rain, thinking of the snow that is falling on the Sierras.

Just back now from a walk in this mornings rain, after having mopped up the mess I made coming in the door earlier, the patter of raindrops is lessening from the sounds I hear outside. There's something comforting about rain, to a point.

I was working on Bora-bora in Tahiti years ago, and the rains came for a day and a half and everything on the island came to a standstill. It was like walking under thousands of garden hoses, I remember thinking at the time, and how mad my boss was because I would be arriving after a Big Deal! business meeting. On the hotel's video system that night they played the movie 'Rain' and I worked in the lobby so I could glance at the TV from time to time. Too much rain, much flooding and destruction to the land and buildings. Even the airport took a whallop.

There's flooding here and there in the Bay Area being reported, and traffic problems are a fact of life, especially on rainy days. It's a wonder there are so few problems. This storm is bringing winds with it, and there will be gusts near 40MPH reports say.

Imagining this storm blowing East, and the Rocky Mountains being dusted with snow, and points eastward benefitting from this gift off of the Pacific Ocean. Gee, I wonder if they'll be enough to visit the East Coast and maybe ride the jet stream up and over to Iceland, Ireland, and Great Britian.

Something for us all to share, weather. Or not, that whether is our choice.

Here's hoping you enjoy your day!

 

December 1, 2014

Happy December! The tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence dece. The end of this year approaches, as does so much more. 

Have you noticed that emotions run high this time of year? It makes me wonder just how screwed up some households really were behind the public display. So much drama. Too much, sometimes.

I came from one of those screwed up households, shuttling, along with various step siblings and attendant parents, from mom's house to dads, where ever in southern California they lived. There was always so much drama, people getting overwrought emotionally and acting out, sometimes in the most awful of ways. I remember my mom and her mom, my grandmother, trading tugs and slaps a couple of times during the holidays in my childhood,

That's one of the reasons I go on a Drama Diet in December (I love the alliteration) and reduce the amount I get around and also the drama that can bubble to the surface, like gasps of foul air, from my memories.

Just because I have to live with my memories does not mean I have to inflict them on anybody else. That's where I get to choose.

As a child, I had few choices, and today it sometimes feels like I have countless. Growing older does not always bring maturity, as I see time and time again. Being triggered by my past is my work in this life, and has helped me to grow in so many ways. Trying to make sense of life takes love and understanding. I have come to believe that the right thing always happens, no matter what it is. To believe otherwise is to permit chaos into one's life. There are events that will happen that we will not like, and sometimes get real worked up about. What we do with this energy says who we are and how much we love.

Happy December! Let's learn how to love ourselves with forgiveness and compassion, and we can all move forward.

Love on! 

 

November 30, 2014

Last day of the month, a Sunday, and it's raining on and off here in San Francisco.

Shoppers are filling the stores, folks are filling the streets, and dogs delight in the sun breaks we are getting between storms. 

This morning, on a walk in the drizzle, I passed a woman be dragged along be her large black dog, She kept saying to him 'Hang on, not so fast,' as he pulled her along behind him. We smiled at each other and she said 'He's so happy for the break out of doors.' and I said 'So am I' and we laughed.

Laughter heals, and I plan on availing myself to it most freely in the days to come.

And to getting out when the weather isn't too terrible, which I kinda hope it is, with lashing of rain and snow on the mountains. C'mon, Winter, blow into town and bring a good end to this year. We need the rain here in California, and the mountains always look their best covered with snow. 

Here's hoping that December brings us all good.

Love on!

 

November 26, 2014

Sad days here in the US of A, the undercurrent of anger and frustration bursting across the country, so sad, so tragic.

We live in an imperfect world filled with all sorts of wrongs and evils. We must not let these things pervade us and turn us.

As we fall, we must rise.

Love on!

 

November 22, 2014

Hello Oakland, CA! Hope you are enjoying the rain that has finally come to the Bay Area, thanks for reading along and all the best to you and yours!

Yesterday I learned that it was 'World Hello Day' and to participate all one had to do was speak a greeting to a stranger.

I'd found out about it from a client who works for CBS Broadcasting via an email message. Looking into it I learned that the point of the day was to acknowledge those we pass or interact with. 

I love a challenge, it is in my nature, I guess. As a shy person, the thought of saying anything to a stranger passing by struck me with dread, and I have learned that some of my best lessons come about when I have this ego reaction. Because it is a reaction, and not what I feel and think when given a moment to let it wash over me.

Out I went.

The first person was a man I see often, he lives somewhere near me. As I got close enough to speak, I caught his gaze and said 'Hello' and took a breath. He nodded and we passed each other. Well, that wasn't so hard, I thought, and saw a young woman up ahead coming toward me on the sidewalk. This should be easy, I thought, and as we got close enough I said 'Good morning' and she said 'Buzz off' and I picked up my pace...

As the day went on, I found it easy to greet the 10 people that WorldHelloDay.org  suggested, and all but 2 were pleasant. A couple were downright friendly and warm, one with a hand shake, the other with a hug. 

Returning home, I smiled and sent good thoughts and prayers to the young woman in the morning and the crazy guy later in the day, as well as all those I greeted, many more than 10.

My shyness is intact, and a little less wary, and that's a good thing. To become takes effort, to grow takes change.

Love on!

 

November 19, 2014

Hello Ogden, Utah! Thanks for looking in, all the best to you and yours!

Happy International Men's Day!

Something that all men and women can celebrate, the intention that the positive aspects of being male are celebrated.

Years ago I volunteered to help at a school near to where I lived with their after school program. My work day ended at 2PM and there were kids in the school until 6PM Monday through Friday. I interviewed with the couple that had organized the program and was accepted. 

Some of the boys in the group used their physical size to intimidate the group, and I brought a quick halt to that practice. The tool I used to do this was compassion, to be actively caring and responsive to the welfare of each individual. This brought the group bully to me one afternoon, crying silently, due to turmoil in his family. This young boy and I have remained in each other's lives since then, and he has gone on to be a teacher and mentor to children in South Central Los Angeles.

There are so many bad examples of how to be a man running around our planet. We need to recognize and support the positive aspects of being male, and raise our current generation of boys with balance and understanding. 

The other day I saw on the internet a video of a man verbally intimidating around man, and then striking him. Another man nearby steps in and stops the violent man by restraining him while others looked after the injured man. What I found amazing was that this incident happened in the boarding area of a major airport in the United States, and that there was a guy with enough arrogance and base emotion to think that he had the right to intimidate another human being, in public, no less. Wow, was he wrong. He's in jail right now, and will be until next year, and is receiving counseling about his anger and behavior. 

Today is the day to recognize and praise the good men in life. 

Love on!

 

November 15, 2014

The family secrets are starting to emerge in my ancestry, how my Great Grandfather was a disappointment to his elder siblings and perhaps parents as well, how he became a meat butcher and not the legal mind his father and older brother had achieved. In 1912 the family turned as one against him and severed any connection after the deaths of both his parents. He was a bad boy and married a German girl and took off out West where she had family and settled in Los Angeles, on Bunker Hill...

a place I worked near and visited for nearly 5 years until things changed and I went to work elsewhere.

Now I get it, maybe, why taking the 'Angels Flight' funicular up the hill and walking around always grounded me and gave me a connection that helped me get through my job at the L A Times that always felt like an extension of High School on a good day.

It turnes out I have a 3rd maybe 4th cousin down the peninsula from here, and more folks are checking in via Ancestry.com. What with all the commotion and stuff I've decided to try and really track my Mom's ancestry, the one that has the Hispanic genes...oh what will come from that, I wonder? 

In learning about my ancestors I get a small but useful glance into their lives and times. It must have really hurt to have your 5 siblings turn their collective back on him, my Great Grandfather Theodore. A name of diminished expectations, and sadly the name of my younger brother whose life has been forever damaged due to drug use and a sense of a lesser self.

Time to call him and come from love, and build a wider connection between us, the only two that remain of this family tree.

Love on!

 

November 12, 2014

Returning from my trip brought me home to mail, both electronic and material. So many questions to be answered. My job.

One piece stuck out, a snail mail letter from a guy back East wanting to know how he could live a better life. He went on to detail very many issues that he has to deal with each day, the aches and pains of his body, the heaviness in his head, the dull ache in his head, and that was before getting out of bed where he usually is to go and deal with the rest of his problems. And on and on.

None of us, not a one that I have met so far, has a perfect life. No one.

So let go of the idea/hope that you're life will become perfect. Instead, focus on what works, on what and who is good.

The rest....it'll be there, all that negativity and hurt and anger and what-have-you. If it comes up, displace it safely and move on.

I spoke with my just turned 90 year old Aunt the other day on the occasion, and she sounded chipper and happy, and in the course of our brief conversation mentioned that she was 'slowing down' but that the 'good Lord lets me (sic) see another day' and that made her content and happy. Wise counsel from a woman whose life has not been a bed of roses many times, and despite the thorns in life she still saw the flowers. 

Not every moment is going to feel good, that's life. What we do with that experience is what matters.

Waiting for my flight home last Friday, I sat near a couple of guys. Their conversation filled the air and as I took in what they were saying, it struck me that they were both being very negative, going from topic to topic, their comments negative and sour.

I got up and voted with my feet, and moved away. 

Over time, I've learned not to give the negative thoughts that pop into my head much time and not to dwell on them. That just makes the negative in me more resilient and habitual. Stinking thinking, as I've heard said.

There's a great big world out there that I cannot control. My power ends at my skin.

The only thing I can control is me, or at least try to, and it takes work and effort and constant attention, and lots of love, as well.

Hating doesn't make anything or anyone better. Especially if the target of ones hate is ones self.

Live and forgive, and let love live more fully in ourselves. Doesn't that sound and feel better? 

Love on.

 

November 9, 2014

Hello, again! I've been away, but I made some notes to share with you, here they are:

11/2 Sunday morning starts at 3:30AM this morning, having gained an hour with the semi-annual clock adjustment just a short while ago. And off I go to SFO and American Airlines to JFK. Excited to be flying in one of the airlines new Airbus 321 jets, and I'm upgraded to Biz class, yay.

11/3 Too tired after relaxing flight and not so relaxing subway ride to Manhattan and a short walk to my hotel on Park Avenue South. Then to a favorite restaurant (leshalles.net) for a great meal and to my small room and single bed. Up and out early, waking up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MetMuseum.org) through Central Park and then back to my hotel near 29th Street, a nice long walk and a great way to take in the new buildings and feel the pulse of what some call The Capital of The World. It's like no place I know.

11/4 Friend Kathryn comes up from Washington DC for a couple of days and we walk and talk and eat all over town, such fun.

11/5 What a day! A few months ago, through Ancestry.com, I discovered the grave site of my 4th Great Grandfather in Newark, NJ, and have been in touch with the caretaker Scott at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Train to New Jersey, cab to cemetery and Scott greets me and takes a heavy record book from a metal cabinet and opens it up to the page with my ancestors on it, recording name, birthday and place, death date and place, and notes. Oh my gosh, names I don't know, addresses and even a telephone number from 6 years ago. We walk out into the 36 acre place, so many marble monuments, markers, cenotaphs, and headstones. We walk to the family plot, and there is an obelisk inscribed with names and dates, my GG Gramp and his wife Harriet and all their kids and some of their descendants. I am staggered. The next couple of hours are spent photographing and walking and sitting and thinking and musing. It was great, what a high! Dinner that night with Kathryn, my excitement bubbling like mad, in Greeley Square, nice. Then walking to Penn Station and her train ride home and me off to sleep, so late.

11/6 Memories of prior days in Manhattan fill me as I subway and walk about, a tour of the United Nations late morning (fantastic!!) and a great lunch at the Oyster Bar restaurant in Grand Central Station and more walking and the High Line Park (so beautiful with all the fall colored leaves and grasses) and food here and there until I'm at Battery Park at the tip of the island, gazing at the Statue of Liberty, silently thanking all of my ancestors who came to this country, all those threads of humanity that wove together and helped make me...

11/7 Manhattan woke up in a bad mood, the new Mayor has decreed that no car shall travel faster on the streets of New York City more than 25 miles per hour...the subways are packed and so many problems so cab to JFK and my nice flat turning seat and some great wine and snooze and home to 70F and a loving welcome.

So there you have it, my synopsis for one of the most transformative weeks in my life. Finding my families plot shook me delightfully. Visiting where these folks lived was amazing, even though most of the buildings have been replaced over the years, but as I stood there on their burial ground I felt a home coming, a welcoming that brought tears to my eyes and cheeks. Silly some might say, but for me having a sense of connection to the past makes my life more meaningful. In the scheme of things I'm nobody special, and yet I don't despair, I feel more alive and so very glad for the lives of those who went before me and made my life possilbe. I love and thank them all.

Love truly on!

 

October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Yay San Francisco Giants!

Other than that, not much is new around me scatter, although there is talk of rain today (Hooray!) and a big parade honoring the Giants at noon on Market Street with more than one million people expected to line the route. That's quite a number for a town of 750,000 residents...

Two reasons to party, and I plan on attending both. And in between these events there will be children out 'Trick or Treat' ing, so I better have some treats on hand. In the past few years the neighborhood has changed and many more families have moved in, and there are so many children now, so I better up my game and get some treats on hand.

The maple tree in our yard continues to shed leaves in quantity, yet this morning the air temperature was around 63F and not windy so I got out the broom and swept the decking and the paths, knowing all too well that the leaves will continue to fall until the tree is bare, probably by Thanksgiving time.

Time and change are everywhere.

The other morning I greeted a neighbor, and recalled that when we first met she was in grade school, and now she's in college. She laughed and made note that for her it has taken so long to get where she is. As I walked away I reflected how my thought is quite different, how I perceive that this time passed quickly. Time is very subjective. Funny, that.

Science says that time is local and is different depending on where you are in the physical world. 

From where I sit, here at my computer at my work desk, time is ticking on, the grey clouds obscure the sun as the sky grows lighter. Rain starts to splatter on the skylights over the staircase out my office window, and the day begins.

Happy Day, Happy Friday.

All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Love on! 

 

October 24, 2014

We've been having an 'Indian Summer' here in San Francisco, the skies have been blue with clouds here and there and the air temperature has been near or above 70F, warm, and the streets are alive with people everywhere.

Today will find me talking with clients, some in my home office, others via telephone and Skype, oh, the dizzying world of technology.

The other afternoon I was out walking and walked pass a bunch of folks sitting at a restaurant table outside, and all of them had some sort of device in their hands, and a couple of them were also talking with each other. Moments later I passed a young girl talking on her cell phone as she said "I better go, my Mom's gonna call". 

I've noticed in the world of entertainment that there is a rise in the interest regarding vampire and zombie movies. Afther giving it some thought, I think I understand why.

There are zombies among us, all of them lost looking at their cell phone. You can see them everywhere, and there have been countless times when a zombie collides with something or someone. 

And on social media sites there are vampires, people that suck some part of another into their consciousness and spin it back. Like the girl I met who takes photos of people she likes and presents them as her friends on Facebook, or the young man who 'borrowed' from a guy he knew that mans scholastic record to present as his own.

Social media is a reflection of the individual user, and my goodness there are lots of different angles.

As time marches forward, there will be so much technology that will come our way. It won't change who we are or what we feel, but it will allow us more opportunities to reflect ourselves and grow in that emerging, changing light. We are human beings, after all, not human beens or human gonna bes, and we all grow as we choose.

That's where love comes in. Learning to love our real, authentic self takes time and effort, and the benefits are immense. To know ones self is to live fully, completely, so very much alive, so very humble. Life is majestic, and made more so with love. We don't make the sun rise, time is a gift to us, and we can become a gift to our self, with love. 

Vampires, zombies and a world of love. Not bad for a Friday, eh?

Love on!

 

October 20, 2014

Hello Paris, France! One of my favorite, and clearly based on the number of tourists that visit, a world favorite town. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours. Merci!

Some folks confuse self esteem with being selfish. There is such huge difference.

The other afternoon, out with a friend, and every topic either started with her or got changed to talk about her. The third person at the table finally said to her 'You're being selfish' and meant it, but the other woman said nothing. Then she stopped talking for the rest of the time. Not a fun lunch.

Sometimes we become selfish and don't recognize it. To err is human. Sometimes we don't understand why we are being selfish. This is where good, honest friends and self reflection come in. 

After our lunch both women called me to talk about what had happened, and I presented a view that no one was at fault but that we as friends must be able to have frank, honest conversations, and that communication can do so very much to promote understanding. I suggested that they go out together and hash it all out, as it were, and clear the air.

There is always room for improvement, I believe, and that also includes me. Over time I have become better at many things, due to intention, focus and effort, and I hope to continue on this path. Key to this trajectory is self love, a true, grounded, accepting and forgiving love of self, body, mind, heart, and spirit. Life is not about perfection so much as it is about progress.

I have yet to hear what these two women will do and I wish them well. Being a friend is difficult at times, but always worth the effort.

Love on!

 

October 15, 2015

Waking up about an hour before dawn, I go outside on the deck with coffee in hand.

The stars are still out, the moon bright and a little less than half full, there's just enough light to see. The sounds of cars nearby disturbs the calm, and then there is the fainest glimmer of light in the east.

Minutes later, the glimmer increases, and the clouds that had been hidden by the dark now come into view, and slowly more light reveals more of them. Somewhere a baby cries and then is silent.

The light show continues, as the sky begins to lighten, the clouds now white and pale grey, the sky a faint blue.

I leave before sunrise and return to the house and the rest of my morning.

These few minutes, so precious to me, are both restorative and calmative, and I treasure them. As they are not an everyday occurence, when I do get to enjoy them I give myself over completely to those moments.

Here's hoping you enjoy the day, big hugs!

Love on!

 

October 10, 2014

Last night in a dream a dead man came to see me. 

He was someone I knew in life, and we had been friends for a period of time. Things took a turn for the worse when he borrowed a jacket as it was raining and he didn't have one with him. When I asked for the jacket back a few days later, he said he'd return it soon and after asking him a couple more times to return it, I gave up. Later, asked to help him move, I found my jacket at the back of a closet, covered with animal feces. Later he tried to con me into a shady business deal and our contact ceased.

In my dream he looked much older but much the same facial expression when I saw him last, over coffee, when I told him I needed to take a break in our relationship. He was sitting on a bench in a parkland, and I walked over and sat at the other end of the bench. He turned to look at me and I saw his face soften and he then looked sad. 

'I'm sorry' he said and then the scene changed and became a river with me sitting on the bank delighting in the colors and light.

Today, when I woke up, I remembered my dream. Later in the morning I googled him and discovered that he had died about a month ago in a car accident. He had lost control of his car on a highway overpass and had hit the wall at a high rate of speed and his car had flown off the overpass and landed upside down in a river. He had alcohol and cocaine in his system. He was 65 years old.

Rest peacefully, Mark, and thank you.

 

October 8, 2014

I woke up at 3:15AM this morning, without an alarm I might add, and went outside on the deck to look at the moon. It was red.

This coloration was caused by an eclipse with the Earth passing before the moon. It lasted for about 2 hours and I really wanted to see it this year, even though there will be another 'Blood Moon' next April.

So much of what happens here on Earth is a once in a lifetime experience, and even though there will be other full moons and many eclipses, I wanted to be awake, albeit briefly, to give thanks for all that is, has been, and will be.

Each day and night can bring joy and delight, we get to choose. That's the best thing about life, that each of us is free to determine how we are, what we say, what we think, and what we do. Such choices, such power we have.

Now, back to bed and another dawn to look forward to. 

Happy Wednesday!

Love on!

 

October 4, 2014

I have new neighbors. They run up and down their front interior stairs all the time, as there are 4 of them and two of them are babies that have nannies, each, so there are 6 sets of shoes making noise. Lots of it.

So the other day I mention to the mom that they don't need to slam their front door so very hard and she says nothing and walks away. Oh, oh...bad feeling hangs in the air.

The next day someone came down the stairs jumping and a framed print on my living room wall crashes to the ground, glass flying.

I run outside and there are the mom and a nannie with child and the nannie is jumping down their street steps. I call to the mom and tell her what has just happened and she never looks at me and gets in her car and drives away.

After breaking a couple of plates and a light bulb, all the while verbalizing my anger and frustration, I feel better. 

I sit and write a note to my new neighbors about what it's like to live cheek-to-jowl here in San Francisco, where the houses are built sometimes right next to each other, and how most of them lack wall insulation and are just old wood nailed together. About how their slamming front door is strongly felt in my living room, how the lack of carpet on their stairs means that there is no noise dampening of the sounds, and lastly how their jumping nannie caused an explosion of glass in my living room. Could we talk about this and my telephone number. After sleeping and reading it the next morning, I slip it in their mailslot.

That afternoon, as I check my mail, I notice that my note has been returned. The tape that held it closed has been broken. Nothing more.

I take it and go into my office and put it on my alter/altar. I listen to Mozart. I breathe and relax.

My compassion returns, and I imagine how crazy her life must be, two small kids, a husband who is at work all the time and comes home after dark in the summer, and all the stress that she must feel. Going to a stack of cards I have, I select one that shows two trees next to each other, and write inside the card 'I hope we can be good neighbors', seal it and walk next door and slip it in their mailslot.

Yesterday, not once did my living room shake as someone slammed their front door. 

Finger's crossed, maybe we can become good neighbors, or at least civil to each other. I know that in time they will move on as their flat is too small for four people and they're young enough and both work. Hopefully during their time here on 17th Street we can peacefully co-exist. 

Love on!

 

October 3, 2014

It's hot here in San Francisco, and the natives are restless...

or so it looked this morning, as I took a walk from my house down to the bay. So many people on the sidewalks, some on their way to work, some to school, some nowhere. All the cars, busses, trollies, and so many folks on bicycles, and even a skateboarder or two, not to mention the girl on skates, transit in motion.

And then, out of the blue, a woman I met in a class I taught years ago, and she wants to chat and we do, and the conversation starts to take a turn when she starts complaining about her boss and her work and her family and then she's ranting...

Later, she had to go, work called and stopped her rant, and I'm walking away with less spring in my step.

A block or two later I notice that my mood has shifted, and realize that some of the negativity that was expelled in that womans rant has clung to me energetically. I stop and close my eyes, and take a deep breath, and think about the sun rising at dawn which I had seen earlier in the day, and I take a couple more deep breaths. The veneer of dis-quiet and unease has dropped away, and I resume my walk, as the sun continues to rise in the blue cloudless sky.

It's not always that easy to shake off the negative that one finds in this world, but don't let that stop you. Regain your better nature and be your better you. 

By the end of my walk, as the sun rose into a warming sky, my good mood had returned and was fully in place when I boarded the trolly for the ride up Market Street. I wish the woman I met earlier a better day and life, as I reflect on my walk, and know that we all have challenges to face, mountains to climb, and tigers to wrestle. so to speak.

Doing it with self-esteem and love makes all the difference in the world.

Love on!

 

September 28, 2014

Sunday morning, as dawn begins to light the sky, the sunlight shafts of gold and pink illuminate the maple tree and then splashes onward. Birds begin to rustle about, their small brown feathered bodies flitting here and there. It's just after 7 in the morning.

Taking my coffee cup out onto the deck, I notice that hills to the west are shrouded in fog, wisps curling towards me as I watch. The air is so still and yet above us the wind moves, and the birds and I move as well.

Having these few minutes, to sit here and write these words, is a gift I give myself. As I've gotten older I've learned that my morning routine has changed over time and now note that I really enjoy the calm and quiet of my Sunday mornings.

Such a small thing, really, these few minutes. Soon enough I'll be up and moving, cleaning, repairing, washing, doing. Being, actually, and hopefully a good human as well.

Having this base on which to start my day and my week makes my life so much easier. 

Hooray for Sunday mornings, and anything that makes our lives better.

Here's my hope that today is a good one for you and yours, and is enjoyable and good for all.

Love on!

 

September 25, 2014

Good morning, San Mateo! You're up early this morning. Isn't the rain delicious? After this terrible drought that's been with us for months and months, and now,of course, the wildfires, the gift of rain. Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours, no matter how many legs they have!

This last trip I took, I did something I had not done in decades: I took both long haul (9 hours and longer) flight crews each a box of chocolates. Not haughty-taughty ones, mind you, just some See's Candies, 1 pound, assorted. The first crew, on British Airways, gave me one of the best flights I've had in a long time: they moved me to an aisle seat at the bulkhead in coach class and let me sleep. What a wonderful thing to give me. No body woke me, they left me alone. I slept for almost 8 hours. I've never done that on a flight in my life. I woke up and received all the thanks for the gift and got off the plane refreshed, relaxed, calm and most of all, well rested. Thank you BA#284

I did the same on Iberia from Madrid to Chicago and got a nice glass of red wine from business class, excellent wine I must add.Small acts of kindness, I know, and possibly seen as shamelessly self-promoting, but doing it felt good. In my lifetime I've flown more than three million miles (!!!) and I can't tell you how nice crew make for nicer flights, and the opposite is even more true. I hadn't flown on either airline in quite a while, and 'what the heck?' I thought, give it a go.

That is my motto for this Autumn, 'Give It A Go', if it feels and thinks right, try it out, See what happens. Take a chance.

Being intuitive sometimes is hard. There are some things I learn about that I'd rather not, on a personal level, know.

One of those happened about a month ago. I was sitting at me desk and suddenly, unconsciously as Dr. Freud would say, found my gaze looking at a cartoon given to me in 1980 about the hard life of being a Consultant. At the time I was doing that for the first time, selling myself and not being dependant on a specific employer. I was terrified.

Earlier that year I had gone to a lecture at USC, the University of Southern California, preppy central back in the day. I was working at the Los Angeles Times, working to automate and modernize their processes for newspaper customer service. One of the guys I worked with was a consultant named Rich, and he took a shine to this hardworking younger fellow and was friendly, to the point of telling me about his business arrangement with the Times: he was a consultant. I was impressed.

At USC I listened to a guy named Allen Appleby Kaufmann talk about communication and negotiation. He was so smart, so poised, and friendly. After class (I was working on my MBA) I thanked him and we chatted. Shortly thereafter, not being brave enough to be a consultant, I sold myself to a Bank and became an Assistant Treasurer, a job I hated. Allen and I were in touch, I got his speaking schedule, and went to a couple more. At the last one he told me he had a job for me and I jumped at the chance, being the Director of Finance for a high tech company in Van Nuys, CA.

Later, Allen left the company and became a consultant. Months later he asked me to join him, and I did. Economic free-fall is how it felt at first, no regular paycheck, and lots of marketing meetings and phone calls that led no where. But it got better, thanks to Allen, as he showed me how to step onto the limb of life, using your feelings and thinking, and succeed.

So there I was, sitting at my desk looking at the cartoon Allen had given me 34 years ago, and I knew he was dead.

I called and got a recording that I had reached a number not in service. How Allen would/is laughing about that.

Sitting with what I knew to be true, I reflected on all the memories of Allen, and one popped out. It was on a flight to Honolulu in 1984 on Western Airlines, he in first class and me in coach, and how Allen brought the crew a box of chocolates, and I found myself upgraded to first class next to Allen, so we could work on our presentation to Sheraton Hotels Pacific and its president, Bob.

Ergo my small act of kindness, really an homage to a lovely albeit all-too-human being.

When I returned this past Monday from my trip there was a call for Allen's daughter Allison and we talked for a long time, and it was good. 

Love never dies. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, AAK, for reminding me of this all too important fact.

 

September 23, 2014

Hello! Happy Equinox, Spring or Fall, depending on where you are in the world.

As for me, I slept in my bed last night after not sleeping on my journey from Munich to Madrid to Chicago to San Francisco, and Wow was I tired and glad to crawl, almost literally, into my bed. Sleep restores and nourishes the body and soul.

What a whirlwind trip that was! So much to see and do, and I tried to do as much as I could. The family reunion was great, and it was so wonderful to see my relatives and to catch up on their news. So many changes in 3 years, deaths and divorces and marriages and births. Real life. Real people.

At one point a young woman came up to me and we started talking in a mixture of German, English and French. She had been looking at the family tree charts that had been put up at our Welcome Dinner at a nearby restaurant, and wanted to know if I knew that they had my year of birth incorrectly stated. We walked over to the chart that represents my family tree, named AB, and she pointed out that surely someone had the wrong year listed for me. I looked and saw that the data was correct, and told her so. Just then another family member came up and joined our conversation.

"How do you manage to look so young?' she asked, and before I could reply our relative said that it must be living in California.

Works for me, I thought, and laughed. 

Looking around at the folks gathered there, overlooking the Hopfensee, I felt my heart fill with love and light, and knew that if there is a secret to my looking younger it resides in my outlook on life.

Life is not easy, awful events will occur, there will be difficult times. How we deal with these times is determined by our attitude to the bad times. I cannot change what happens around me, but I am in charge of how I feel and deal with what occurs inside of me, and holding on to anger, pain, grief, and sadness will only etch those feelings into my soul, and be reflected on my face and body.

At this reunion I learned that a dear relative had lost both her husband and a daughter to illness, and these deaths welled up in me later and resulted in tears. And so I had a good cry, letting the pain and grief wash over me, in honor of these two people who had been quite welcoming to me at the first reunion I attended in 2008.

Roll with it or it will roll over you, that's my outlook on life. And NEVER underestimate the power of love.

Taking my leave from the group after breakfast Sunday morning, I went around the room and shook many hands and shared many hugs, and at one point laughed and said that the goodbyes are as sweet as the welcomes, which made folks laugh.

That's the memory that survives, the smiling faces, the sound of laughter, the feeling of love.

For me, it was love on the road, and walking up the jetway last night I felt more like roadkill than anything else. But that feeling has been vanquished by sleeping in my bed and the wonder and joy of the times we shared together.

Love on! 

 

September 15, 2014

Well, this is a different kind of travel day for me, one that started with me waking up at my usual time (5ish AM) and getting going with all of the things I have to do today before heading to the airport for an afternoon flight.

Unfortunately, this trip will end with me waking up at 4AM Munich Germany time and catching a 5AM bus for the airport and 3 flights before I walk through my door around 8PM the same day...

Ah, the joys of travel!

Ever since I did my DNA testing back in 2004 I have been finding family the world over, and it's all been very interesting. The Boeckh Family Reunion happens this weekend up in the German Alps in Fussen, also spelled Fuessen, and I will be there. This is my third reunion with these folks, and now that I understand and can speak a bit of German I have a much better time, and hope too this year as well.

Discovering my heritage certainly has changed my perception of who I am. I grew up being told I was English and Scots and later came to believe that I was Finnish as well. DNA tesing revealed that I am English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, German and Mexican.

Wow, all of this hidden in my genes.

When my German relatives contacted me back in 2006 I was amazed, and still am. No one ever mentioned that my Great great Grandmother came from Bavaria, or that her family had lived in the same town for 400 years. The things I have learned have been amazing and delightful and surprising, and hopefully there will be more to learn with this Reunion.

Off I go, via London, to Munich and then Fussen, and then Munich again for an early evening at Oktoberfest with friends, and then home via Madrid and Chicago. Ah, the joys of connections...

Here's a big hug from me to you and yours, and my wishes for all things wonderful for us all. I love you.

Love on the road!

 

September 11, 2014

America changed on this day, 13 years ago, and is still changing. Love never dies, even in the face of overwhelming sadness.

Love on!

 

September 7, 2014

Good morning, Danville, CA. I think it might be a bit cooler in your neck of our woods, enjoy the day! All the best to you and yours, and thanks v v much for reading along!

What a week! So much goes on in a week, and this past week was a bit exceptional.

I've been helping people all my life. If asked for an opinion I'll usually have one. I've learned that there are good and bad in the world and in people, that our hopes for living a life as 'white as snow' sometimes results in driven slush, and that life and the process of living can and usually do kick the stuffing out of us.

So my week started with one of the delights of my job: hearing from a guy I worked with decades ago. Back then he was a mess, rudderless, helpless, and loveless. Over the time that we talked, he changed. He found his self esteem, and started working on taking better care of himself. When he reconnected with his family, they were all amazed and delighted in his changes, and welcomed him with open arms. To see him this week, to see the man he has become, such a good human being, what joy for me.

I don't always get to see this occur in life. Many times the people I see are just on their way down into the abyss that they are making of their life. Change is hard, and learning to see one's self clearly takes love, patience, and most of all forgiveness.

 Life can be hard. Be harder, with love.

At the core of each one of us is love. It may be obscured by what we've done and said, but it's always there, abiding. Staying in touch with this feeling is absolutely necessary if we are to make positive change in our life. Dwelling on the negative only results in more negativity. Doing what we know to be good for us starts us on a path that can change our life and the lives of those we love. 

Each and every day contains countless opportunities, and there will always be change in the world. Learning to live with, accept, and even love change takes effort, each and every time change occurs. The future depends on change.

That's where we come in, so to speak. Each of us has choices to make, many of them, all the time. We get to choose that which reflects us as we want to be seen, by ourselves and others. Choosing from and with authentic self love and esteem will always result in the best choice possible. Try it and see! I do, and my life is so much better than it used to be, believe me.

Here's a toast to all of us with my morning tea: 

Love on!

 

September 1, 2014

Hello Howrah, West Bengal, India! Thank you very much for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

Summer is starting to wind down around here, the flamingo maple tree leaves in the yard are starting to turn shades of yellow and fall, their scattering in the breeze a reminder of days to come.

It's been a hard summer this year, with the deaths of my father-in law Walt as well as my sister -in-law Kathy. Twice the family has come together, to honor and commemorate these wonderful people who have gone on ahead. Walt was 84, Kathy 45.

Their passings have done much to bring into focus the fragility of life, the fleetingness of it, and how important the memories we leave in our wake. Sobering, but not somber, not by a long shot.

There are days to come, days of who knows what, and I plan on being as present as I can.

I've always been assertive, maybe it's being an Aries sunsign, and have learned to balance my natural energy with the world around me. There are so many places in the world and experiences that I want to have.

Life is an adventure, and I invite the new into my life. Life contines to teach me, to encourage me, to reveal me. As I learn about me in this world, I learn about this world and of the wonders it contains. 

And now comes September, so named as it used to be the seventh month in the Roman calendar. A new month starts, and here's hoping that it starts well for all of us.

Love on!

 

August 27, 2014

Hello, Londrina, Parana, Brazil! Quite a biggish town you are, in a country I hope someday to visit. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Up before dawn, the only lights I see are the one's on the electronic devices in the house and the few stars in the sky.

After meditating, which for me was to sit in a comfortable chair and gaze out into the early morning sky, I saw a metaphor. Life is like this, there is darkness around and we must contend with it, and there will be light and we are best served by it.

In my line of work, people, I meet all sorts. You would be amazed, and very saddened, to know of some of the folks that share this planet with you. They are selfish, ego-maniacial, and under-handed, and some are just plain evil. Thank goodness, or G-d or G-ddess or Universe or what you choose, they are few in number. 

There was one sitting next to me this past Sunday as I flew, upgraded (Thank you American Airlines) from Chicago to San Francisco. He was a designer, he said, and regaled me with how he cheated his clients out of money, about his 2 girlfriends that were friends with his wife, how he never gave a sucker an even break...

what a sad, unfortunate creature.

As he spoke, emboldened by the free booze in first class, he didn't for a second have any concern as to how he hurt people, how much emotional damage he was causing.

I've heard it said that evil blinds itself until a moment of clarity, after all is lost. I sensed that this would be this chap's fate, that the karma he was creating, quite gleefully, would bite him at some time, and never let go. His sense of superiority and entitlement make him a sitting duck for retribution.

No one gets away with it. We have to live with ourselves.

How some of us choose to live serves as examples to us all. We all teach by being.

Love on. 

 

August 25, 2014

The gift of another's life is amazing.

That's what I got with Kathy, the gift of loving friendship.

In 2001 she told us, her family, that she had breast cancer and her plan for dealing with it.

That was Kathy to a 'T', always with a plan no matter the circumstance, and sometimes many plans.

And that is what cancer reflected to her: the need to have a plan.

As a devout Roman Catholic, she looked to her religious community for answers; her birth family, as well as her family: mid 30's husband, very young son and her one year old daughter. This became her foundation. 

Six years passed, and the cancer returned, having mestastacized and spreading. She called us all together and told us she was living with cancer. Everyone encircled her and her family and held them tight in love, faith, and prayer.

Kathy made plans, one of which is in the start of this blog, back in the Spring of 2008, their trip to Europe. There were vacations the world over, as she ticked off her 'bucket list' and lived her life. The cancer was always in the foreground, but that didn't stop Kathy, she kept right on living each day as fully as she could. 

This past summer, at her Dad's funeral, she appeared looking the same smiling woman, but appeared weak. The robust Kathy was declining. 

A few weeks ago she had a serious incident which resulted in hospitalization. Kathy said at the time 'This is it.' Subsequent testing revealed that to be the case, and the next couple of weeks she lapsed in and out of consciousness and communication. She, being a cardiac transplant nurse, knew it was the end and expressed her love as much as she could. 

On Saturday last, in Shawnee Kansas, there was a memorial to Kathy at Good Shepard Church. What an outpouring of love and grief I witnessed and participated in. Kathy, to me, was more sister than sister-in-law. How I will miss her physical presence...

Death makes a heartache that never heals, and time makes memories no one can steal.

Life ends in death, love on, and leave a legacy that will live beyond us, one of strength and love. 

 

August 18, 2014

When I started this blog, it was with the idea of sharing with others my life, and the love that lives within me.

These past several days have kicked me to the curb, or kerb as the British spell it. 

Fire and ice, that's what has been exploding inside of me, roiling, raging, sobbing, numbness, laughter, love, sadness...lots and lots of sadness.

People underestimate cynicism all the time, and it leaves us all poorer and more confused.

I got caught up in the news media a while back, something about ebola and the next thing I knew, I was reading copious amounts of media, I was watching TV news, my Twitter feed began to add more media outlets. I became immersed in news.

NEWS! NEWS! Look here! Look there! NEWS!

And I began to recognize what was happening, how the media manipulates us and tells us and sells us. I was watching a report from Missouri on some cable channel and I watched as the reporter chose language that was designed to provoke a woman near him that he kept looking at, and then thrust his microphone in her face and she exploded in anger and pain and the more he spoke the angrier she became, until a man near her put his hands on her shoulders and held on as she began to calm down.

Awful, and all for ratings. Later I see a snippet of this on the same channel, touting how great the networks coverage is. Ack!

And then there's the reason I retreated into media. My sister-in-law Kathy is dying.

There are no words just now, I hope you understand.

Thanks for reading along, I love you.

Love on!

 

August 15, 2014

Hello! It's been so very busy for me these past several days, so much turmoil and change in the world, and those are issues I help folks with, thus my absence.

There will be happenings in life that are upsetting, confusing, angering. Whatever the emotion, let it roll through you and don't try to hold any negativity in, get it out of you, displace it.

It's always amazed me how society tells us how to behave, and tells us to surpress anger and its handmaidens hurt and bitterness. Such bad advice.

Let go of your hurt, your pain, your grief. Feel it and let it leave you.

It's been said that death makes a heartache that never heals, and that love makes memories no one can steal.

Love on!

 

August 8, 2014

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

Yesterday was a perfect case in point. A man, a friend of a client, came to see me. Walking into my office he looked around and sat in a chair. We started talking. At one point he asked me what all the baskets full of stones was about. I told him that people have attributed properties to stones since our beginnings, and that today we are still discovering properties about stones.

He told me that 'crystal magic' is bullshit.

There's nothing to it, they're just stones made up of chemical compounds and have no greater significence, he said. The whole world is just a construct of chemicals, he said, and there's no magic at all.

In my head I thought, a la Harry Potter 'oh another Muggle', another person who doesn't believe in magic.

As we talked I noticed his watch, and knew in that instant that it was a gift from his long departed father and that it was extremely important to him. I asked him about his watch and its meaning to him, and I saw understanding wash over his face. 

'Oh my gosh, I never thought about it like that.'

We talked further and at the end he heartily shook my hand and said he looked forward to our next appointment. I do to.

Love on!

 

August 6, 2014

Hello Union City, California! It's raining at your end of San Francisco Bay right about now, and I hope you and yours are hale and hearty! Thanks for reading!

Wow, these past few days have been a roller coaster emotionally.

Word came of a terrible occurance with a family member, followed by wonderful news about another family member.

First up, then down. 

As soon as I heard the bad news I burst into tears, hot, wet painful tears that coursed down my cheeks for quite a while.

I have learned to accept my emotions as they are, sometimes rough and awful, and to give them expression. In this case this happened while I was out in the world, and the news came in the form of a text message on my cell phone. My tears were instantaneous, despite being around people. As I walked on I wiped my tears and kept moving, the sadness and grief rising and falling inside of me. Eventually my tears subsided, but I didn't feel all that much better.

Arriving home I discover wonderful mail from a cousin that brings joy to my heart and laughter to my lips. I read the news over and over, basking in the goodness of it, letting it lift my spirit.

Quite the workout that day was, and the news still is. We must accept life on its terms, good and bad. Most of us don't have a problem dealing with good news, we lap it up and revel in it, delighting it the sensations that it produces, enjoying the good feelings that come with it. 

Dealing with bad news takes effort. We have to let it wash over us, sometimes repeatedly, taking the information in and processing it in our heart and mind, letting it sink in. This is something most of us have a hard time with. In my Dads house  the emotional tone was one of 'stiff upper lip' and 'never let them see you weak' and other, bracing thoughts. I was miserable trying to be that kind of guy, and failed time and time again, much to the criticism of my Dad. 

Finding my own way with my feelings is still happening to me, and I have learned not to surpress them but to moderate them if the situation demands that I do. At a meeting recently a woman passed me a note with the best news concerning a project she and I were working on. I barely cracked a smile, knowing that the man speaking would soon be thankfully reassigned and not be able to thwart our project. 

Living life takes guts, and heart, and mind, and spirit. And boundless love.

Let's live our best life. Love on!

 

August 3, 2014

Ah, Sunday morning, one of my favorite days of the week. Partly because it is not a work day for me, partly because so many people aren't working and are out livinging life, sharing their smiles, and partly because I can sleep late, which for me means past 6AM.

Since I have free time today I have been exploring technology, learning about new stuff and looking at so many new things. It's funny to think that as time marches forward so many of the things that were part of science faction have become fact, like portable phones and wireless communication commonplace. When was the last time you saw a pay phone in the USA? They are quickly disappearing, it seems to me.

Which is why I try to learn about the new, as our world keeps spinning and there's always something new under the sun.

Granted, much of what's new isn't of interest to everyone, but there are some things that do pique ones interest. 

The other day I was reading about devices that will soon be marketed that will tell the user health information, like pulse, body temperature, posture, as well as work as a display and communication device. Very interesting stuff, very futuristic. Not for everyone but it will be available to everyone.

On my walk this morning I came upon a fellow playing with his new flying drone in Dolores Park. It was interesting to see the video that was taken by his IPhone when he landed the drone, the view of San Francisco was quite nice from 50 feet above the grass. A small crowd gathered and most folks were positive, except for one man who said it was the beginning of the end of the world...without further comment he went and sat on the grass and shortly was smoking grass, as some call marijuana. 

Walking on there were several young girls taking photos of each other, laughing and having a great time. That's what I really love about some of the new, how it delights people and maybe even makes life better. Not that the world is in short supply of 'selfies'.

For me, today has been about learning about www.soundcloud.com and all that it can do for me. Look for me there!

Here's wishing you a wonder filled day, with love! 

 

July 31, 2014

Hello Neuville sur Saone! Amazing part of France, you are. Driving along the Saone river a while back, the trees so green and the grape fields just starting to turn yellow, such great memories...All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Well, here we are, the end of July. Time flies, don't we know it. 'Time doth flit, oh shit.' wrote Dorothy Parker. She was right.

Lately, I've been flying through a lot of loose ends, things that were partly finished or stuff that needed to be completed. When the clutter around me begins to annoy me I know that I must make the time to sort it out, and that's what I am doing today and hopefully will resolve the last bit of clutter that remains.

Years ago I lived in a very small room. It had a narrow bed, a 3 draw metal cabinet, a chair and an electric burner, that was all. The bathroom was down a short hall. When I moved in I asked if I could paint and decorate the room and was given carte blanche to do as I pleased. It became my snug harbor in a foreign land, and I decorated it such that visitors were always amazed how I made use of such a small space. 

Looking back on those times helps me to keep the clutter to a minimum these days. This is especially true with my clothing. If something is stained or damaged and cannot be repaired out it goes. I used to keep clothing that was damaged for sentimental reasons and that led to a box of stuff that eventually was damaged by a water leak and then tossed out. That taught me to preserve stuff I liked and to eliminate the things I no longer wore. 

Which makes room for the new.

The days will keep coming, as will the nights. Time stretches out before us, limitless from our perspective. There will be plenty of opportunities for the new in the days ahead. All we have to do is make room for them in our lives. 

Off I go to sort my kit and kaboodle out today, making room for the future. 

Love on!

 

July 28, 2014

Someone once said to me that she thought it must be great to be very intuitive and to have a sense of what's coming.

Yesterday in the early morning I walked up to a nearby plaza and had a seat in the early morning light. I listened to the people around me, taking in bits and pieces of their conversations. One voice kept intruding in volume and I started paying attention to what this guy was saying. He was very negative about everything, any subject, everything was bad and getting worse and life was, wait for it, 'going to hell in a hand-basket'. 

Poor chap, poor in spirit. Talking out his brokenness, his frustration, his anger. I hope that his efforts lifted his spirit and soothed his soul.

He was just the reminder that I needed at this trying time on our broken, spinning world.

The newspapers, TV, radio, just about all informational media are shouting out the terrible, the awful, the wrong. The struggle of our evolution as a species in all of its depravity and illness are on display graphically. It's enough to make one...

What we think is what we are and where we are going.

Breathe, let go of any anxiety and fear, breathe, and restore your grounded loving calm. Let go and let good fill you.

We don't need to be all that intuitive to know that we humans can be both good and bad, it's always been that way. By allowing ourselves to be convinced by any external source of any conviction, we stop being authentic and begin to lose ourselves.

It's up to each of us to love our selves enough to live our best life, and to share our love with others.

Love on!

 

July 26, 2014

Hello Ghent, Belgium! I have had wonderful times in your fair city, and some great beer and food! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

The coolest thing happened yesterday.

A friend of mine and I were talking a few months ago about my DNA search for family and how Ancestry.com had been so very helpful in this regard. The upshot of our conversation was my starting a family tree on Ancestry for him. His Mom had been married a few times and his last name was the name of his Mom's husband after they married.

So I start digging, looking at records and getting help and then it happened: I found a family tree that had much of the same data.

Except it had a lot more, and I wrote a note to the owner, who promptly answered wondering who I was and how was there any connection. I explained the situation in writing and got a reply the same day, inviting me to look at her family tree on Ancestry.

Wow, it was a match, and I instantly let my friend know. He went online and looked into things and sent her a message and they connected and it turns out they are step siblings, there are several more of them, and kids and more kids and my friends family ties have just increased by about 15 people.

When he and I spoke yesterday he was full of new information about the man who is his biological father as well as several other folks and he kept saying over and over 'isn't it amazing?' and I agreed every time.

He's lived more than 70 years not knowing about his birth family and their histories, and now a wonderful adventure begins for him, with visits to these new relatives and photos and stories and more.

Additionally, yesterday a client wrote me telling me about her quest to find her family, something we have talked about for a while. She was writing from Spain, where she had just met a 4th cousin she found through DNA testing, and sent along a photo. They look like sisters. 

These are just two of the many stories I know of, of people finding out about their ancestry and forebearers, and how this information adds to the rich fabric of our lives. For my part, I have found family the world over, and am looking forward to a family reunion this coming September in the German Alps. Ja wohl, I sure am. 

The world is so very full of wonder. Here's to the magic of life!

 

July 25, 2014

Hello Brooklyn, New York! I've had such great times in Brooklyn, such great meals, such friendly people. Thanks for reading along and all the best to you and yours!

I saw the coolest thing the other day while on a walk, a city bus that had been converted to hold showers and toilets for the homeless. What a great idea, and I gladly gave them some money and words of encouragement. Please check out www.lavamae.org. 

Homelessness sucks, I know, I've been there.

When you're on the streets, sanitation can be a problem. Finding food and a place to sleep may be easier, but a place to bathe?

Sometimes it's substance abuse that results in homelessness, sometimes it's mental wellness, and sometimes it's situational. When our self esteem plummets, and it does when one is homeless, there's no telling how far the bottom is. What's important is that there is a social safety net to help those folks with resources, counseling, and direct help.  

My situational homelessness was helped by kind folks who fed me and gave me places to sleep until I could get a job and get back in High School. To this day I can only wonder how terribly my life could have turned out if not for the kindness of strangers.

Love on!

 

July 21, 2014

What a strange morning walk I just had. I went out my door around 6:15 or so and out into a light drizzle.

That kept happening, and as I walked on I noticed the water beading up on my jacket. The streets were darked by the moisture, and there were big puddles on cars parked on the streets. The air was still without a breeze, and traffic was not as heavy as it sometimes is. Walking onto Market Street I headed toward the bay, the hum of traffic filling the air. There are several new and tall buildings now, lots of new places to live, with more retail space being made available. San Francisco is growing.

People say it's expensive here, but few know that it's less expensive than Hawai'i, the most costly place to live in the USA, I saw a study this morning that said it was more expensive in San Jose, CA and Santa Cruz, CA than San Francisco...

and for my money, I'll take SF and it's sights and places. This morning, as the sun rose in a cloudy grey sky, the light mist swirling in the air on the bay, the sound of sea gulls crying, the smell of the ocean and the shifting light, all of it infusing me with joy and wonder, I gave thanks. Thanks to all that is, to all those alive with me in that moment, to all of those who have gone before me, to all that will be. 

As I turned away from the railing, I heard a man say 'I am not lying to you' and turned to see the face of the woman he was talking to, and it was a woman I've known for decades, a woman who I knew to be dishonest and two-faced when we first met. She saw me and said to me 'Is he telling the truth?' I looked at them both and walked away, saying nothing.

How odd that moment, my recognizing her and she me, the silky lying tone of his voice, her anger unleashed in her tone as she addressed me. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

Like attracts like, that's what I took away from this encounter. My intuition tells me that she's getting in her relationship with that man the energy she puts out in the world. I wish them both well.

My power ends at my skin and starts in my heart. 

Love on!

 

July 19, 2014

What a strange and difficult week this has been on our world.

Good and evil side by side, the duality of life on display and parade. Some of the best of our species, and some of the worst.

It's dealing with the worst that's the harder to do, to continue on in one's path and not give up. This week, and in the weeks to come, there will be awful things that will happen. This is as true today as when our species first walked upright nearly 2 million years ago.

How we comport ourselves in the face of the awful is for each of us to do.

This week, while reading a newspaper, I had a huge reaction to something I read, and I threw the paper on the floor and walked away. Just that small act of displacement helped me to regain my composure and continue reading the paper. Having reactions is part of being human, it's what we do with them that makes all the difference in the world, and in our lives.

In our lives we will encounter bad, which is our opportunity to be our best. 

Love on!

 

July 16, 2014

Hello Mexico City! Que tal? One of my favorite cities in the world, you are, so diverse, so ancient, so beautiful and so tasty! Thanks for reading and all the best to you and yours!

Such a whirlwind of happenings lately, people going here and there, good news, bad news, snooze news. And this morning I awoke to rain! Thank goodness it happened today and not yesterday, which was St. Swithuns Day when legend has it if it rains on that day it will rain for 40 more. Although we could use the rain what with the drought and all.

Recently a man came to see me about his dreams. He had been having dreams in which he saw family and friends that had 'passed over' and he wanted to know if what he thought about them was correct, and it was and is.

Dreams are a portal for us to learn and grow, and show us that time is much more complicated than just the one dimension that our bodies inhabit. When we dream we can enter into other dimensions and see amazing things, like the past and people we've known, as well as the future and people we will know.

The night my Mom died, her ex-husband my Dad had a dream about her, as did I. In the morning I awoke knowing she was dead, as did he, but he left before we could speak. When he came home an hour later he told me my Mom had died, as he'd called her current husband. I told him I knew she was gone and that she was sad and happy, as she had appeared to me in my dream. My Dad broke down and sobbed very hard.

Today, dreams are important to me in that they give me a glimpse into time and space. What about your dreams?

Here's to dreams and dreamers, and a better world for all of us, one without the spectre of oblivion.

Love on! 

 

July 10, 2014

I had such an odd dream last night. I was in a building, a simple home, overlooking an ocean. There were rose bushes between me and the ocean, but never any roses. I remember looking at the plants and seeing that there were dozens of full buds just about to open and as I turned away in the twilight I saw people in the shadows and as I returned to the house I looked out through the windows and saw them snipping the buds and leaving. I was troubled until I went walking and saw that all of my neighbors had vases of roses in their windows, and many of them greeted me as I walked past.

Upon waking, I reflected on this dream and my interpretation of it. 

For me, the roses are good that I am surrounded by, and the folks that take them do so as they are lacking good.

Works for me. I am thrilled that I can share my good with others, even those who take it without acknowledgement. Good makes better, I've always believed.

Life is confusing at times, so take heart, and keep going forward to your goal. 

Love yourself enough to live a life you will be proud of when you leave it behind. 

Love on.

 

July 9, 2014

Hello Albania, thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours!

Lately there have been so many birds in our yard, so many varieties that I got out my Sibley Guide to Birds given to me by my client Tina Tucker when she passed on and started looking at pictures and birds. I spent about half an hour sitting quietly on the deck just taking it all in. Wrens and juncos and hummingbirds and so many more. Very peaceful it was.

Then I had to go downtown and guess what? I saw cranes, no, not the birds, the metal things used to build buildings, and they seem to be in just about every part of town. That's what I saw as I took the old trolley F line to Fishermans Wharf here in San Francisco. Cranes here and there, and even more work under the ground as a new subway line is constructed. Time marches forward, and the best I can do is try to keep pace.

Lately, thanks to my work, I have been talking with many 20+ year old folks, asking them about what they think is important and how they feel about their future. The thing that stood out in all the conversations was the lack of cynicism, for the most part.

This led to a conversation with one of my mentors, a man in his 80's. He's a teacher and learner, he says, and his opinion was that life can deliver difficult moments and that these are what can lead to cynicism, that the damage inflicted becomes reflected.

Since then, I've been giving this quite a think.

What I've come to realize is how cynicism is a choice, like so much of life. Each of us gets to choose how we live. 

I've never had much truck with cynicism or sarcasm, for that matter. Oh sure, I can play at it and cop an attitude, but in my heart of hearts that's not who I am, nor ever wish to be. That's my choice.

As is taking time to enjoy the beauty around me, even on some city street in the chill foggy mornings we're having lately. Life is all around and it always helps to keep love around as well.

Love on!

 

July 3, 2014

Happy Heiva!

Years ago my job required me to commute between Los Angeles, Honolulu and Papeete, Tahiti. Sounds cushy but it was hard work and long hours. In July my Tahitian contacts told me about Heiva, a celebration of life that occurs every July throughout Polynesia with lots of dancing and drumming and music and food.

What's not to like? I ventured downtown in Papeete one afternoon and found the town full of music and people wearing flowers and leaves, many of them dancing, the drumming echoing along the streets. What I remember most are the children, packs of them running here and there, playing and laughing, sometimes watching the dancers and drummers, sometimes just laughing and smiling. 

There was something about my time working in French Polynesia that stayed with me, I remember the incredible calm of walking along the shore at dawn many mornings, the air sweet and still, the sky glowing as the sun advanced toward the dawn horizon. A sense of peace and calm was born there along that shore, and walks with me to this day.

Heiva is roughly translated as 'gathering', and that's great advice just about now. Enjoy!

 

July 2, 2014

Comes an email message to heikkie@aol.com asking about how long I work with people.

Until. That's how long. Everybody chooses, just like real life.

I've been seeing some folks for more than 40 years. It's the choice of the individual. What I do note is how these individuals have changed over time, how each of them has come to terms with their authenticity and the world as it is. Life takes work, as we soon discover. Each of us has a full plate of issues to deal with, to cope with, to suffer. Each of us is comprised of ego and body and some degree of energy.

Another question, this one about what I see as the greatest struggle. Ego, body and energy, those 3. We all struggle with them.

There's a man I know, today he's twisted in a motorized wheel chair. He used to me a running track athelete in his youth, until ALS came along and changed him forever. Amazingly enough, he went from being a somewhat dispirited youth to being an older man with a positive outlook. He says he didn't realize how good he had it until ALS was discovered, and how he had to choose how he was going to go forward. The challenge of life today and his abilities to live a happy life keep him moving forward.

None of us gets out of here without dings in our surfboard. It's what we do about those dings that determines altitude in thinking.

Are our thoughts low and angry, full of hate and bitterness? Are we giving over to our destructive ego and making life worse?

If so, displace this negative energy. Break something, yell, punch a pillow, whatever, but get in touch with your negativity and act it out. You'll feel better, I promise.

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic, and felt so frustrated that I let out a scream sitting stopped. The woman to my left noticed me and I turned to see her laughing and applauding me. Then I watched as she let out her own scream, and we both laughed until traffic resumed. 

We're all in this together. My part is to help people, to be of service. I love my work, and those who allow me the privilege of working with them.

Love on!

 

June 30, 2014

As the world turns...

this weekend found me honoring Nahara Mau, a client for more than 25 years. We met shortly after I started seeing individuals. She had health challenges, she said, but wasn't sure how to deal with her feelings about them. I shared with her how I had been left for dead in my car crash and was then still doing rehabilitation therapy to be able to stand straight and walk without pain. Life is going to give us physical challenges, I said, and we're all going to die eventually. Work with what you've got and remember to love, that was my initial advice.

We met weekly after that, and Nar struggled forward into accepting a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and the world it brought.

Along the way there was a joyous wedding, lots of friends, some amazing travel and then a baby. Life and all it afforded her.

Like a new set of lungs, her new wings, she called them, and they were. They kept her aloft for 14 years.

As life ebbed, her sense of humor and purpose stayed with her, and when it became clear that medicine could do nothing more for her she chose to go home where she died a few hours later, so peacefully no one knew she had gone on. A good death.

Nar and I talked often about death, and how we release our physical bodies only to discover that we're still around, but without the heaviness that comes with being flesh and blood. And that the journey continues as we go forward, with choices and decisions to be made.

Yesterday, as we scattered her ashes in San Francisco Bay, Nar was there, watching us all, her love of life evident in the flutter of rose petals and the splashing chase of a dolphin in our boats wake.

Love never dies. Love on!

 

June 26, 2014

One of my enduring puzzles is my ancestry. In some families stories are handed down generation to generation, and mine is no different, but there are countless gaps. So many questions to be answered...

and yesterday I got an answer to a long standing question, which is: Where is my Great great Grandfather buried?

New Jersey! Near Newark, it turns out as I learned from a nice man who works at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. He sent me a sketch of the family plot for my ancestor, his wife, and most of their children, with the exception of my direct descendant who is buried in San Diego, California. Hooray!

I've been looking for this data for more than a decade, and am so glad to have tracked him down. One of the things that really made the difference was the help of anonymous folks doing ancestry research who made their data available on the internet. It was from a comment about another ancestor that I learned of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery and subsequent digging, terrible pun, revealed my GG Grandfather's burial site. Amazing!

Life is just like this, I think. We have to keep discovering what we can as we go forward, and continue to learn about the world around us. 

To be sure, not everything we are going to learn is going to give us comfort, but much of it will.

I have a friend who, after hearing of my mixed up English / Irish / Scottish / German / Mexican ancestry decided to look into his origins and discovered that his Mom's Mom was born in a town in Italy that he had been to several times, never knowing of the connection. Another woman I know found out her GG Grandfather was of African heritage, which her blue eyes and blond hair do not make evident. Since then she's discovered more than 200 relatives all across the country with roots that reach back to Dakar, Africa.

Personally, I am so very thankful for my ancestry, and for those who help me find the traces of my forebearers. The life that I enjoy today is due to the efforts of so many people, some of them ancestors, some not, and all of them loved by me.

 

June 21, 2014

Happy June Solstice!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter in the Southern. So, depending on where one is on this spinning globe, it is either the longest or shortest day of the year. Maximum tilt before we start the swing back in the other direction. What an amazing planet, just the way it rolls through space.

'That's the way I roll' a young fellow said to me recently, when I remarked on his footwear, a sort of rubberized sock with individual toes, the whole of his foot resembling a claw of some beast, quite striking looking. He was in line before me at a local food market and dropped a piece of paper unknowingly, which as I bent to pick up and return to him gave me notice of his feet.

Personal style. Everyone has one.

A client of mine is a wardrobe consultant for hire, and recently was asked to assist a gentleman. He showed up for their first meeting dressed like a 14 year old boy, he a man in his 60's. Jacket, shirts, pants, new shoes, socks and he was transformed. The first time he wore his new outfit he got several positive comments, and hired her again and again.

Sometimes we need fresh and new eyes to size up the issue and help sort things out.

That's one of the reasons I love my job: I get paid to tell people the truth, as objectively as I can, and always with compassion.

And how I love the people I get to work with, so many wonderful, kind and loving hearts, minds and souls. Good people, most of them, and even the rotters have found their way to my door, at least once. Credit deserved for effort.

On this June Solstice I wish you love and joy, and all the best in life. Let's keep rolling!

Love on!

 

June 16, 2014

Woke up this morning, before dawn as I am want to, grabbed some coffee and sat in the dining room chair looking out onto the deck and back yard. I had already put out some bird seed, slivered almonds and chopped pecans, and as I sat down the first bird appeared, a chickadee, so small and fast. It fluttered onto the table and took a piece of almond in its beak and flew away.

Seconds later more birds, so many varieties, all of them hopping around pecking at the table top. Then came the mourning doves, large greyish tan wings aflutter as they settle in and start eating. The little birds return and the table is covered with birds.

As I sipped my coffee and watched the avian crowd I noticed the maple tree branch near the deck shake and all at once came a squirrel, healthy looking, and clearly quite well fed. I know because Costco provides me with the nuts these critters love at a fair price and a couple of bags a month are sufficient for the 5 or so squirrels than dine here.

At one point the squirrel turned and I noticed that it was one of my favorites, a young male who is quite stealthy and fast. I grabbed some chopped pecan and opened the door to place the nutmeat on the deck. Before I could draw my hand away he was there and seized some food and turned his tail to me, brushing my hand. Such soft fur, so silky. What a treat

Monday is my Sunday, a day off from work, and this one has started very well.

People ask me what it is that I do to relax and the answer is nature. Even if it's just the wildlife in our back yard, it's enough.

Life is full of stress and turmoil and all manner of ickyness to say the least. There is little we can do to avoid some of the awfulness that will come our way, but what we can do is to hold onto our love and appreciation for all that is good in the face of what is not good, breathe, and nurture our integrity. Love and forgiveness help immeasurably.

Love on! 

 

June 9, 2014

The oldest man in the world just died, he was 111 years old. When asked about how he came to live so long, he said he wasn't sure exactly but believed that it had to do with staying current and engaging in life. Rest in peace, Alexander Imich, well done!

Betty White, the American actress, is a facebook favorite of mine. She says 'make the most of your time here', and she's a youthful 92. A couple I know, in their 80's, keep busy and have interesting lives full of people and places. Getting older doesn't mean you have to become old.

Years ago, at a family reunion of my German Boeckh relatives, I met a very old woman, a cousin in her 90's. She wore a dress that looked old fashioned, with her long hair in a style favored in the 1920's. Despite her appearance she was lively, engaging and quite talkative, and heartily welcomed me to the family. I remember her saying 'life is for living' in German, and knowing right there and then that we were more than kin, and shared more than DNA.

Each of us are time machines, in a way. Our memories keep the past with us, the people, the places, moments gone in the stream of time and yet still with us.

Part of my work is to help those in terminal life situations, and time and time again I am awed by the grace and peace that comes with a good death. We all know how life turns out, and it's what we do in life that matters. We get to choose, moment by moment, who we are and how we respond. 

Love on!

 

June 3, 2014

Hello Avare, Sao Paulo, Brazil! One of these days, I promise, I will visit. The photos I've seen, the stories I've heard, very compelling. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

The last of the Spring trees are blooming on the streets of San Francisco, and the streets are missing busses because of a pension dispute...and the sidewalks of the City are chock full of pedestrians. As I neared downtown the masses began to thicken as more and more folks found footage on the bricks. The air was cool which helped the proximity of so many bodies all heading in the opposite direction as each person walked at their pace in the throng.

Someone asked me a question that I want to answer here. It's about death.

Yes, our bodies do die and cease to move. Our spirit moves forward to a place much like it just left, absent any machines, and we meet those who have died before us and can bask in the majesty that is G-d for as long as we like. Most of us choose to return to a physical body and reincarnate. The being that we had previously been goes into a kind of sleep. The being that we're going to be enters the body with the first breath.

I do believe in life everlasting, and that is why each of us is here: to learn, to become.

Granted, life can kick the crap out of you and me and anyone. It's who become because of the kick that determines what happens next. Do we take it on the chin and roll forward, or do we take it out on the next poor soul, or what? We choose, all the time.

Intention is the great decider, I've come to see. What lives in our heart becomes what lives on our face and even more.

Choose love, it makes life all that much better.

Love on!

 

May 31, 2014

Last day of May. 

Everybody has intuition, it's like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes.

Just like love.

Waking up this morning, out I went for a couple of miles of walking, seeing this and that, the changes that come with time. Neighbors have been fixing up their home and it looks great, all freshly painted with lovely colors, very Victorian looking. A few doors down that block new construction is going up, and the design is very modern with lots of metal cladding and glass, quite a contrast to its neighbor. Old and new on the same block. Now that's living.

As we get older, many of us have difficulty in adapting to change. Time and time again I have seen how resistance to change has negative consequences. Not all change is good, some of it is awful, and it's here anyway. Whatcha gonna do? We get to choose.

As I walked on I encountered a woman I've gotten to know a little bit and we stopped to chat about the changes all around us. Yes, she said, not all of the new is good, but some is. She told me that she had written to a neighbor of hers about changes he was making to the front of his house, and how he invited her over to talk and modified his plans because of her input, and how happy he was with the changes she suggested.

Being open to input is so important. 

Dialogue not monologue. Then you have conversation and the possibility of better. Monologue does not engage and listen, and thereby becomes immune to change, or so it thinks until change comes to it.

Learning to listen to others is worth the effort as it demonstrates respect, something we all want.

Walking home I saw a man who lives almost next to me, and he told me how much he hates all the changes happening in the Castro District, the widened sidewalks, the new street crossings, all the change. When I started to say something he just kept talking, complaining on and on. After another minute or so I squeezed a word in edgewise and told him I had to get to work, and he smiled and told me how good it was to talk with me.

With me? I thought as I walked in my door? More like at me. Monologue. I wish him well.

Happy Fin de Mai, here's to keeping our hearts and ears open!

 

May 29, 2014

There are so many loving and kind people in the world. These past few days have been trying and difficult with the passing of my Father-in-Law, and yet each day has contained countless acts of kindness and sympathy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stepping off the small jet plane in Sioux City, Iowa, the air was warm and humid, the hour of night masking the clouds above our heads. The next morning, in Le Mars, Iowa, I woke up hungry. A day of travel and so-so airport and airplane food had left its mark. Off we went in search of food, and our choices were fairly limited at the early hour. We found a cafe and went in, were seated and handed menus. That's when my eyes were opened.

The healthy choices that I take for granted living in San Francisco were nowhere to be found. Pork plays a major role in offerings, along with lots of potatoes and fried foods. I spent the next three days marvelling at the food choices available.

Not many vegetables, and lettuce seems to only appear as the Iceberg variety. Shades of brown are in vogue, as are cream based sauces and dressings. It seemed like every menu had fried cheese balls with ranch dressing. Just try to find a smoothie, I double-dog dare you. As I looked around at the citizens of this part of our planet I was not surprised to see that many of them were overweight. How could they help but not be when a night out on the town might consist of fried something with a side of cream and a soft drink, and then a nice big helping of ice cream made locally?

Here I was in the heartland of America and the food was heart attack inducing. 

Something's not right about that.

One of the farmers I spoke with at the funeral told me that he and his wife grow lots of vegetables and different types of lettuce after their granddaughter complained about the lack of healthy foods. Of course he kinda whispered this to me there in the gymnasium where we had the post burial meal, I'm not sure if it was supper or dinner but it was mid-day and the tables were covered with lots of pasta salads and cream sauced vegetables. And did I mention all the potato dishes?

On the flight from Chicago to San Francisco, upgraded to First Class thanks to American Airlines, the flight attendant brought me an arugula and chicken salad. This was more green on my plate than I had seen in a while. I gobbled it up.

Don't get me wrong, I think that those fried and cream sauced foods are great. Just don't make them the star of every meal, and between meals do something physical, like a walk or something.

The choices we make influence our lives and our health. Choose lovingly for yourself when you can.

Eat well and love on!

 

May 24, 2014

My Father-in-Law Walt's passing opened up an old wound in me that is now healing.

Between them my Mom and Dad had 8 marriages and I had half brothers and a half sister and step brothers and sisters, about a dozen in all. My childhood revolved around going from one parents house and its kids to the other parents house and its kids. I remember breaking down when I was in Kindergarten when my Dad took me home to my Mom and telling them both I just wanted a family that was together.

I never stopped wanting family, and as I grew up and divorces came along, kids I was 'related' to disappeared, as did some of the adults. My sense of family grew smaller and just about disappeared its self.

Then came ancestry files online and DNA testing and I found more family all over the world. Amazing, that.

And in addition, I got family ties with Joe, my husband. And what a great family. There I found the cohesiveness that I had remembered from my childhood, the house full of people talking and eating and playing, and lots of laughter.

In writing about Walts passing I have received countless kind words from all over the world, family and in-Laws and clients and friends. 

That old wound of mine about wanting family re-opened as I thought about all the kids that I was 'related' to all those years ago, and how I miss them and wish them well. My 'lifestyle' is the reason some of them have given as to why they want no contact with me, and that only makes me like my 'lifestyle' more, as my style is love without judgement. People that don't like me are doing me a favor, really, and I need to remember this as well.

Along with the love from those that love me. It reminds me to forgive those who forget me, and wish them well.

Love on!

 

May 22, 2014

Rest in peace, Walt. You did a great job while you were here, working hard, loving music, growing into a loving and kind man.

Walt was/is my Father-in-Law. He obliterated my concept of who and how an Iowa farmer would be.

For years I flew over his part of the state, up in Sioux County in the northwest corner. Looking out the airplane window I could see these vast tracts of farm land as it would change color throughout the year, brown to pale green to darker green to shades of brown and yellow and back to brown. Here and there were scattered buildings. I imagined gruff, no-nonsense people down there, carving the land into rectangles and other shapes, growing corn and soybeans and pig farms and more. They'd be closed minded and very conservative, and someone like me would be laughed or maybe chased out of town.

Then I met the love of my life and guess where home was? Iowa! 

When I finally met Walt and his wife Gerry I was taken aback by the warm, kind welcome I received. I was blown away. As time went by they treated me like part of the family, and I came to love that part of Iowa, its beauty and calm, and most of all Walt and Gerry.

Walt had many loves in his life, his family, his religion, and maybe most of all, music. He made CD's of old American songs sung in a strong, rich baritone that sounds of a life full of experiences. He wasn't the gruff arch conservative I expected, but was a man who read up on subjects of interest, and advocated a 'live and let live' frame of thinking. He once told me he didn't dislike rich people, he just felt sorry for the cheap, mean and stingy ones.

Whatta great guy! He taught me so much that I had never imagined, and became like a dad to me. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of love and countless memories and stories that will be told and retold time and again for years to come.

Love never dies. Love on!

 

May 19, 2014

What a week it's been, and it's just started.

Walking this morning, out for some exercise, I passed a woman screaming into her cell phone 'I just need your money' along with curses and threats. As the Polish say 'Not my monkeys, not my circus'. I walked on. 

Then came the man who decided to lay down in the middle of a busy street, and the cars stopped and honked and drivers got out of their cars and the police came and he got up and started to walk away but was detained. Traffic streamed on.

Welcome to Monday!

Running errands later, going here and there, doing this and that, it's a busy morning for me. There are dozens of email messages and several phone calls, and lots of snail mail that needs attending. Work, work, work. The morning becomes noonday and the hands of the clock on my desk keep spinning.

Taking a break in the early afternoon, I walk out onto the deck in the backyard and listen to the birds in the trees for a while.

Peaceful, calm, relaxed am I after a few minutes and back I go to work.

As the day starts to wind down the birds are out in number, and their songs fill the air.

Nature and its beauty are balms for the soul, and help to restore us to balance and harmony. I think back to that woman screaming and wish her better times, and the fellow in the street gets my hope that he gets treatment. I smile knowing that those who ask for my help will always receive it, and hope the same is true for me when I need it.

We're all in this, together. 

Happy Tuesday and all days to you and yours.

Love on!

 

May 14, 2014

At Ocean Beach this morning, a nice breeze coming in from the Pacific Ocean and points East.  Today it will be hot here in SF, perhaps more than 90F. There are perhaps 5 or 6 days a year when the temperatures get this high. 

Walking along the shore I called to mind a friend who used to love this beach, and invited her spirit to join me, to see the rolling waves, the white of the foam, the scitter and scatter of the shore birds with each sweep of the sand as the water slides along. There were a few folks out, some with dogs, a family here and there. The peaceful rhythm of the waves calming, the sun rising in the eastern sky.

Driving home, I was surprised and all at once reminded how difficult some folks make it. Like the woman who decided to go through the red light and almost strike another car, or the guy on the bicycle who ignored traffic signs and almost caused an accident. 'The hurrier I go the behinder I get.' That was a saying written on a piece of lumber in my Dad's office when I was a kid. 'Slow down, you move to fast' sang Simon & Garfunkel way back when.

So I took my time returning home and passed two car accidents, one involving a bus. No injuries, thank goodness.

Life goes by at a pace, each of us in our own cycle. Somehow life has room for all of us.

Here's hoping you and yours enjoy your pacing and day. 

 

May 10, 2014

Hello Sacramento, California! Visiting you is fun, and there's so much to see and do. HQ CA you are, and so much history! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

I work with companies worldwide in a variety of modalities, and recently had a great class with 6 folks from a local start-up. 

Nice folks they were, youngest 22 oldest 93, and ready for whatever. So we went to Union Square here in San Francisco.

Their instruction was to sit where ever they wanted and to observe people. If there was someone of interest they were to stare at that individual, and note how long before the object of interest looked at them.

People think that being psychic is a gift, but it's not. It is a faculty of beingness that we all possess, instinctually. The more one learns to trust it, the better ones life. This little exercise was to demonstrate that some of us are very intuitive and can feel when we are being looked at instantly, others less so, but most of us eventually. We all have this ability. It's like a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it becomes.

Later we sat and talked about learning to trust our perceptions and how challenging it can be. 

From my perspective, my intuition is part of my evolution as a person in this life. From childhood I've perceived things that others have not, and countless times have been persuaded to change my mind, that what my intuition tells me is wrong. Having made that mistake I learned to trust my intuition even more.

As I was leaving, the 93 year old woman stopped me and told me that see thought I was a hoot. I told her I felt the same about her. She said that there's always something to learn everyday, and loved 'pitching in'. Nice woman.

On the subway homeward the 22 year old came up to me and told me he felt blessed to work with his 'peeps', his co-workers, and that he was a bit skeptical still, but noticed that this one girl he watched looked at him immediately causing him to look away, and then he looked at her again and she instantly turned and looked at him. He thought that was cool.

Love on!

 

May 8, 2014

Change can be hard. Really hard, sometimes.

Grieve. Give yourself over to it. Dive into the deep dark pool of your grief and let it out.

This applies in all cases of change, as we always have a mental picture of how life is supposed to be, and then there's reality.

Change is a fixture of each day, some changes small and almost unnoticeable, others massive.

The other day a man came to see me. He had been told of me by a woman I see twice a week. He has been mourning his wife of 30 years as of this last week. She died 7 years ago and he has not moved on. All of her belongings are where she left them, he has not changed a thing since the morning she died suddenly, of a massive heart attack. He no longer has people over to his home, and things are a mess inside both his home and his head and heart.

As he spoke of her he began to cry, and as he spoke more he began to sob, his body convulsed, his face contorted. He wailed.

When I touched his forearm he cried even louder, and the pit of his deep, dark pain was revealed. I could sense that this catharsis was the release that he had denied himself since her death, and with this pain came the full embrace by him of what had happened to his life, to his wife, and to him. I held his shoulders as he sobbed for some time.

Life is gonna throw curve balls, keep your eyes, head and heart open. Don't lose your self in this life, as is so easy to do.

As we express our pain, our confusion, our overwhelm with what occurs in our lives, we create room in us for more love and good.

Holding in the bad and awful and painful just keeps us stuck. Letting it out helps to 'let it go'.

As he left I told him how happy I was for him in his return to life. He hugged me and for the first time showed me his real smile, a soft, kind smile with none of the bitterness and pain his face had held earlier. Change. 

Love on!

 

May 2, 2014

Happy May! Such a funny name for a month, from the goddess Maia back in history. I always contrast may with can, and this month for me is a month when I can and may for myself. Such a subtle difference in words, can and may.

I can imagine so many things but those that may occur are fewer in number.

Last night, because of the heat, I slept with windows ajar. In the night I heard something jump onto the deck and turned my head to see a big orange tabby cat looking at me through the glass door. We blinked at each other and it went on its way, and I back to sleep.

Waking up, the air has cooled overnight and it's quiet and peaceful. There's a squirrel on the deck, looks as if he pulled a leg muscle. Chopping him some pecans, I turn to the newspapers. That's one of the luxury gifts I give our house, a subscription to The New York Times. Along with the Chronicle and a couple of the local free papers, there's always something to read in the morning.

Later, when it's just me in the house, I go out onto the deck, water glass in hand, and sit on the stair into the garden and just look around and take it all in. The morning light, the hum of distant traffic, a siren somewhere, the chirping of the birds. My morning symphony.

Years ago, my day started with the jangle of two alarm clocks and a mad rush to get out the door. Crazy making and hectic.

One day I saw myself reflected in a window pane, half dressed and less than half focused. I stopped in my track. I had to change.

It took me months to evolve a wake up routine that was supportive and beneficial, and it made all the difference in the world. No more getting to work and realizing I'd forgotten something, or having to go back home while on my way to work to make sure I locked my front door, or having mismatched socks as I did one day. Not fashionable then, and I felt stupid. Having a morning that started well helped me to start well, and made my days better. Just a little bit of self love was all it took.

So, here's May. Can we, will we, may we...mais oui! Here's to living a better life, as we may. With love.

 

April 30, 2014

Hello Limassol, Cyprus! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along! 

Well, it's been interesting around here lately, what with the new moon and solar eclipse and did I mention the heat? 

This morning I opened windows and doors to let in the cool morning air before closing the windows and blinds and doors to keep the cool in. An old trick I learned growing up in Mojave California, a hot desert town.

Up the block new neighbors are moving in. I spoke to them this morning as I came back from my gym workout. A young couple with a 2 year old boy, moving here from Ohio. Excited to be in San Francisco and full of youthful vigor, they are. He mentioned working on Market Street someplace and I suspect it's one of our tech companies, like Twitter or Facebook or somesuch. She's a stay at home mom and they're expecting another child this autumn. Congratulations, I told them, and Welcome to the 'hood!

Change is all around us, and the best thing we can do is roll with it. Or be rolled over by it. We get to choose.

At the gym this morning, on the treadmill machine, a guy I know on the machine next to mine started complaining about San Francisco and how expensive it is and how crowded it's becoming and too many tourists and on and on. Nowhere in his diatribe did he ever say he's leaving the City, however. He was just displacing his negativity, and none of it got in me.

Hooray! Huzzah! 

Unsullied, I leave the gym and encounter my new neighbors, happy and excited and full of positive energy.

Life is a reflection of the duality that is at the core of our existance. Light and dark, up and down, good and bad, happy and sad.

Each of us in our days will skirt between these poles, and the experiences we have will influence our perceptions of our lives.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

We get to choose our own answer, each and every moment we live. Our lives reflect our beliefs.

Here's to hoping your day reflects your best. Love on!

 

April 28, 2014

Can you tell there's a solar eclipse coming? How are your dreams? How are you sleeping?

There is a bridge between our time and space and other times and spaces, and dreams are that bridge.

Years ago, I conducted research into dreaming and that state of consciousness. What I learned has made me look at dreaming in a whole new light.

Many of us say we don't remember our dreams, and our memory conforms to that belief. But what if you change your thinking?

What if one wants to remember their dreams, and gives this thinkinig more thought and effort? Those were the questions.

The results were amazing. Those that worked at remembering their dreams began to do so. Those who had dreams began to recall them with more clarity and insight.

One man spoke of his long dead mother sitting next to him on a bus, and how she turned to him and said that she loved him still and always had, he recounted breaking into tears. Another told me of seeing her father fishing just as he had when he was alive, and how he told her he was fine and happy and loved her and her sister.

Imagination, that's what a collegue said at the time. Until he had a dream that convinced him otherwise.

Science says that the brain has many different levels of activity, and dreaming is currently being examined. 

It's always good when science catches up with reality...

Some say that a solar eclipse acts as a reset button, giving us all a chance to improve upon our lives. What a great idea!

Here's to a resetting of our intention, focus and effort. Start with love, the magic that lives within you.

Love on!

 

April 26, 2014

Hello and Good morning, Oakland CA across the bay, thank you for reading along as you do. All the best to you and yours!

It happened this week, and now that it is Saturday I think/feel that maybe I'm getting over it. Being emotionally hurt, that is. This week someone I care a great deal about blew me off twice. The first time was weird and stilted and the conversation between us suddenly became odd feeling and I felt odd as well. I chalked it up to time and place and whatever.

Then it happened again...ouch...and nothing has been said by either of us.

I took it right on the chin, and felt very hurt by this person. After steeping in that noxious feeling for a while I got angry, and displaced those feelings. Then sadness came, and washed over me like a tired, turbulent sea of waves of feeling down.

Today I feel much better, thank you, and have reminded myself that I'm still gloriously human with lots to learn.

Expectations can lead to disappointment. What is important for me to see in this instance is that my end of the relationship is as I make it. I am sorry the other person did what they did, and there is a reason which probably doesn't have anything to do with me.

The right thing always happens, even when it leads to pain and hurt. We learn from the bad as well as the good. Do we become embittered by the cruelty we see, or numb, or do we hang on tightly to love? I am choosing the latter.

This morning I came across something synchronistic: 'What you think of me has nothing to do with me' written on a scrap of paper in my home office. I laughed when I saw it.

Love on!

 

April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Hello Tracy, California and Bangkok, Thailand! I've been to both, and you're both beautiful. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along!

Thanks to LocalBirds.com I have a new pocket guide to the birds of the SF Bay Area, and I put it to use this very morning.

Wow, there are so many different types of birds around me. The house sparrows came in pairs, and then a small flock, then a white crowned sparrow and a house finch, and then a bunch of song sparrows. It's amazing how quickly half of a pound of bird seed can disappear. Then chestnut backed chickadees and dark eyed juncos came. Such descriptive names some birds have.

Then the yellow, black and white Townsend's warbler came.What a pretty little bird. It was chased away by mourning doves, who fled when the California towhee came. 

What a nice way to start Earth Day, enjoying the earth. As I watched the birds the sun rose and illuminated the leaves in the trees, flashing bright green. The camellia bushes were touched by sunlight, and their flowers, one shades of pink, the other white, looked as if lit from within.

It doesn't take much to be in the moment for me these days, and I credit my ageing and time spent in reflection.

I know that I am blessed, and I do my best to share my good fortune and my positivity. On my walk this morning I encountered a man who lives nearby, and as we walked together he complained about his wife and kids, his lousy job, his aching back. Nodding and making sympathetic sounds as he spoke, when we parted he thanked me for listening and smiled. My reward, his smile.

Happy Earth Day, and every day to you. Life keeps showing up, the more of us that do, the better, and the better our world.

 

April 21, 2014

Spring just keeps on spinging around here. So many trees in bloom, some streets are lined with flowering cherry trees for a whole block, and the sight is uplifting and beautiful.

Out on my morning walk today, I took streets away from the flow of traffic, and was rewarded by seeing how beautiful some of the houses in San Francisco are. There are so many old Victorian houses, and they are beautifully painted and detailed. So great to see them as I walk by, and on.

The air is a bit chilly in the shadow as I wait for the traffic light to change. The big Tech busses that are on our streets these days go this way and that, and there are queues of folks waiting for them. On some streets the number of bicyclists outnumber the drivers of automobiles. I walk on.

The rising sun illuminates the shiny glass on the new highrise building going up on Market Street, bathing the surrounding area in bright light, banishing any shadows. The traffic on the street surges, ebbs and swells. Onward to Haight Street I go.

Making a loop back toward our house I pass Duboce Park, and there are dozens of dogs out with their human. So much fun in the grass they are having, some chasing, some sniffing, and some solitary.

Wisteria is here and there, as are jasmine and bouganvilla, spring springing.

I woke up in a foul mood, depressed by events in the world at large and close to home as well. Now at the end of my walk, I feel better. What I can do to make things better around me I will do with love and respect. My power ends at my skin, and my love starts in my heart. 

Love on!

 

April 15, 2014

Hello Bournemouth, England! Such a lovely part, Dorset, wild and refined. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along!

I had one of those dreams the other night, the kind where you are asleep and know it and also know that you are someplace else and you stand in that threshold for just a moment. In that briefest of moments a lot happens, much conversation and action, all in the blink of an eye and yet unspoolable if you focus on what happened.

So there I was, in this flash of a dream, talking with a woman I know who told me how she is going with all the big changes she's just been through and there are tears and laughs, more of the latter than the former. I point this out and she hugs me and fades...

Some dreams feel so real and substantial. Brain chemistry? Who knows?

What we do know is that many animals dream, not just humans. And all humans dream nightly. 

The evolutionary mechanism that lurks in dreaming eludes us for the time being, but Science is looking further and further into it, and there are countless dream studies being conducted the world over. It turns out we know a great deal about dreaming, and have been able to map the parts of the brain involved in dreaming, and a pattern emerges that is singular in its appearance and therefore function.

Dreaming is good for us, even if we don't remember them.

Years ago, a guru told me the secret to remembering dreams was wanting to. I did, and started working with photographs of my childhood, looking at them before falling asleep. Eventually I had dreams that I remembered of my childhood, of images not captured on film and preserved, but of something more ephemeral yet still there.

Timeless time, that's what I understand dreams to be. A glimpse into a reality we have yet to understand, but we will. Curiousity is a very human trait, and has served our species well for the past two million years, and time keeps going forward.

Oh, the spaces we'll go and the places to see...

Here's to all of your best and brightest dreams coming true! Let love guide us all toward our betterment.

 

April 12, 2014

Wow, the mail it get...

this morning, in my email at heikkie@aol.com came this hate filled rant, long and angry and full of hurtful words.

I feel so glad that I can help the writer get out some of the ugliness that's inside them. Glad to be of service, am I.

Our cultures, such as I have learned of, do not give us good instruction as to what to do with anger and hate. We therefore have some real whack jobs walking around out there and from time to time, that is to say several times daily, these poor folks act out and terrible things happen.

It's not about preventing anger and hate, it is about displacing these feelings safely, harming no one.

Yesterday a woman I know referred to my work as 'bullshit and voodoo'. Later that same day I wrote her the most scathing of letters, in longhand, and then tore it up while standing in sunshine. That is displacement. I felt better, and harbor no negativity.

I hope that the writer of this mornings rant letter feels better for displacing some of their ickyness. Icky is sticky, and if it stays with one over time it reduces joy and the wellness of living.

Love on!

 

April 10, 2014

Hello Shkoder, Shkodar, Albania! One of these days I may get to your historic part of the world, but for now Thanks for reading along and all the best to you and yours!

Today I got to deal with a stubborn, selfish child, a real little monster. Except she's 41 and owns a business. One of the conditions placed on her borrowing money from an investment firm was that a consultant be brought in to assess how well the company performs, and the lucky consultant, not said tongue in cheek, was me.

She uses business staff for personal reasons. The staff hate it and those that have complained have been eased out the door by her. Worse, she's a bully and ridicules people behind their backs.

She and I had a 'heart-to-heart conversation today, and I told her about her bad business practices and the problems that could arise from them. She dismissed my comments and asked me to leave. Instead I used my cell phone to call my employer at the investment firm on the phone speaker and told him what was happening. She was glaring at me the whole while. I said that pehaps I should exit the conversation so that they could speak in private and they both agreed. I left the building.

Ego is something we all have, and it can be our best friend and our worst enemy.

Just as I arrived home my cell phone rang, it was her. She asked if I would return and help her, which I agreed to do starting next week. Maybe it will all work out.

I am, by choice, an optimist. It works better for me that way. My power ends at my skin, and starts in my heart.

Moment by moment, day by day, that's how to go forward. Sometimes it's not easy, but keep going. As Winston Churchill said: "If you're going through hell, keep going." Good advice whether it's hell or not.

Love on!

 

April 6, 2014 (posted on April 7th)

Twenty four hours have passed since she died. 

My heart is grieving and joyous, such a mixture.

Sad because a client and friend of many years has passed over, and glad because she and I prepared for a good death.

There are so many things we can do in this life, and living is at the top of the list for most of us. It certainly was for Nahara. She lived a great life, and it took a lot of effort at times, what with cystic fibrosis and a double lung transplant, in addition to the usual disappointments that occur in all our lives. 

Life ends in death, and early on in our work she and I confronted the spectre of the Grim Reaper time after time. Focus on living and taking care of you, these words became a safety net for her.

Each of us gets time here on Earth, and what we leave behind as memories in others is our legacy. Nahara left love.

When I saw her last, three days before, she and I talked about how hard the struggle of living had become, and she said that she was beginning to think that it was time. We had talked about how death comes as a friend, to help us out of a bad situation for years, and how one can have a good death, peacefully and calmly, barely a ripple on the surface of life.

Well done, Nar! You slipped off your mortal coil so peacefully those with you did not realize it at the time. A gentle release.

I feel her spirit next to me as I write these words, trying not to get water on the keyboard from my eyes. I know and feel her support and love all the time now, and know that my sad/glad duality is shared by so very many people. What a loving legacy she left behind, and so many wonderful memories.

Love never dies.

 

April 1, 2014

Hello Sao Paulo, Brazil. Waiting and wanting to visit! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along!

Happy April Fools Day! Happy Poisson d'Avril!

Merriment celebrated, that's what today is. A day to laugh, and I prepared by selecting some videos and things to read and look at and laugh and laugh. A day to let myself be joyous, with purpose. To laugh, to lessen, to heal.

My morning involved folks in a Skilled Nursing Facility and what a bunch of people, some sad, some numb, some alive, some confused. Each of them got a smile from me, and a 'Hello'. The best I can do is share my best.

Life can be hard and difficult, and we can find ourselves in awful places. 

That's the time to roll up ones gumption and press onward. Give more or give out. Do your best!

April starts with hail and rain and thunder and lightning, where are the flying monkeys? Chin up!

Laughter in the coming days will make the Springtime weathery bluster easier to bear. A light heart laughs well. Let the heaviness of the prior times rest here, and go on and go lighter, with laughter in your heart, if not on your face.

 

March 28, 2014

Do not give up.

That's it, my message for the day, the advice I must share with you. Do not give up, or in, or out, or where ever.

Love you. Have faith in you. Forgive you. Encourage you. Give you your best chance at a better life. You are worth it.

Lately my circles have gotten bigger, and I have been meeting many strangers. Wow, the ways in which people live, it is amazing to watch. For example, this woman who was the head of a group and the desultory way she ran the meeting. Afterwards she was shocked to see herself on videotape as she insulted one team member and rolled her eyes several times. I think the message got through: Be circumspect. How one acts and speaks indicates self.

So many of us give up on us, we let the negativity around us and in us to leak out, and this makes life worse.

Anger, not expressed, seeks revenge. And the target is always self. The roadblocks that we can arrange for ourselves are endless, and there will always be an excuse.

Do not give up. Change. Love you more.

Love on! 

 

March 26, 2014

Hello Alexandria, Minnesota! Stay warm, maybe it will stop snowing soon!  At least there is sunshine today! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along! 

Sitting in my kitchen this morning, coffee and newspaper at hand, and the rain starts. The lovely patter of rain. Excellent, we need all the rain we can get here in California.

A few minutes later the rain sounds increase and now it's really coming down, and the small patio outside is suddenly awash and the water starts rising, the drain doing all it can to take away the water. Then comes the sound of hail on the skylights in the stairway and the splashes as they hit the water on the patio. Slightly smaller than marbles, and almost clear is the hail. There are about 50 of them, quickly melting.

Good morning Mother Nature! What a delightful way to start my day. Here's hoping it's a good one.

Unlike the other day. This chap came to see me, intent on 'getting the goods' as he put it, about his wife. He suspected her of all sorts of things, and as we talked it became a little odd for me, and I asked him right out 'Are you having an affaire?'

One would have thought I'd struck his face, the grimace he made. Then he looked me right in the eye and lied.

Gently I told him that our time would be better spent, as would his money, if he were honest with himself and me. He dismissed my comments and changed the subject. Poor fellow.

One of the hardest facets of my work is knowing that my power ends at my skin and that I cannot help another to change, especially when change would restore them to health and wellness, and maybe even well being. 

Knowing that the old adage 'Truth will out' is true, I know that at some point his truth will be revealed. I hope he's ready for it when it comes to pass. I wish him well.

Each of us chooses how we live our life, and having been the victim of other peoples judgement, I have learned better not to judge. We all choose.

Our choices may be limited at times, but with self acceptance and self esteem we choose the best we can.

Love on!

 

March 20, 2014

Hello Bangkok! One of my favorite memories is hiring a long tail boat and going up and down the river one afternoon on my first visit to Thailand. Such a great city, and a wonderful country and peoples. Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

Spring arrives today in the northern hemisphere, and most folks are chomping at the bit, so to speak, as they're tired of the snows of this passing winter. Here in California we are hoping that the rains continue as our drought remains. Weather or whether or not.

Now that Spring is springing, the wisteria on the deck has suddenly gone from tiny brownish buds to shoots covered with tight purple and white clusters. The bees, who have been swarming the lavender bush on the deck, are now buzzing busily around the wisteria as they pop into bloom. 

I remember the first time I saw a bee hive. It was this oddly shaped mass on a tree branch near our house in Glendale, and when my mom explained that bees lived there and made honey I was agog. I knew honey and thought it was liquid sunshine, but at that age it was difficult to understand how bees made honey. After pestering my mom about this earth shaking need for days, she took me to a store on Glendale Boulevard. Inside this store, which I had not noticed before, was stuff I didn't recognize, like piles of dates and odd looking berries and lots of strange vegetables. And they had honey, jars of it. I learned that there are countless varieties of honey the world over, and got to see a honey comb and a man-made bee hive. Amazing. My first visit to a health food store.

There is quite a bee crowd here in San Francisco, and there are hives on many roof tops. Lately a client learned about  bees while filming them, and was amazed by what he saw. Wonderful little creatures, bees.

Just now I went and checked, and the bees are already up and buzzing the yard. Spring is springing. Life is living. And abuzz!

Makes me feel almost slothful to watch them, but I do. The beauty of nature is so healing and reassuring, and adds so much to our lives.

Here's to Spring! Enjoy! 

 

March 14, 2014

Hello Brazil! So many readers from your great country have been coming by, i must return the compliment and visit. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Funny day, the other day, for me. A client pulled a 'fast one' on me, quite the curve ball.

I wasn't surprised, actually, that it happened, or happened again. I understand.

So, my doorbell rings, as expected, but it's my client and a woman I don't know. They enter and my client says that she's brought along her friend who just has to meet me, and my client has given her friend half of the session time.

OK, I say, and clients friend and I go into my office. I introduce myself by name ans she says nothing.

OK, I think, and ask how I can help her? 'You tell me' she says.

OK, I say, but do not feel. We sit in silence for a couple of minutes. She keeps staring at me, but I say nothing. She laughs.

OK, I feel, and ask her who Mamie is. She looks at me and says 'I don't know', but I sense that Mamie is her grandmother and start asking about Kentucky and Bowling Green and the woman begins to animate, but says nothing. 'What else?' she says.

Gently I tell her that our time would be better spent if she relaxed and calmed down, and assured her that our conversation was completely private. She relaxed, slightly.

Several minutes later, Diane had to relinquish her time with me. We had talked about her grandmother who she called Nana but whose real name was Mamie, her Aunt later confirmed. Diane has become a new client, and I am glad to be of service.

We are all capable of being intuitive, and those of us who work at it achieve varying degrees of success. I think of it like a physical muscle, the more it's worked the stronger it gets. I use mine daily, and not just in my work.

I've come to understand that my evolution this life revolves around the integration of all of me, the head, the heart, the body, the spirit, the ego, the unknown and effort with clear intention. In this life I hope and work to become the best me I can be, as much as I allow and work toward.

Life is a gift and I hope to repay it well.

Love on!

 

March 6, 2014

Hello, Mesa, Arizona! Cloudy and in the 80's today where you are, ah, the Desert Southwest! Thanks for looking in, and all the best to you and yours!

Last night, around midnight, I awakened to the sound of rain, falling lightly but steadily. This morning, waking and rising from bed, I raise the window blind. Even though the sun is more than an hour from rising, the lifting twilight reveals a wet world on the other side of the window. A small bird, a junco, hops about on the deck, seeking birdseed. The world is up and waking.

Later, after coffee and newspapers and a wash, I'm out the door. The sun has risen, but the streets are still dark and slick with rain. Walking along I greet one neighbor and then another, and then another. The rain slick streets are full of folks on bicycles and some cars. The rain slick sidewalks are dotted here and there, and I take note of many, many dogs.

As I walk past Dolores Park I notice the playground is busy already, and the small clutch of moms and dads are all huddled together, talking and watching their children play. Up on the slope a small scottish terrier runs in an animated circle, freed from its leash. The exuberance of the little dog is infectious, and other dogs, big and small, join in the romp to the delight of their humans.

Walking on, uphill, the sky is light blue and cloudless above my head, the sun shining in the cool air. The day moves forward.

There are so many days when I forget about the beauty that lives in the world, as I sit buried in papers and books in my home office.

Today is not one of them. Today I am stretching my already long legs and getting a move on. The rain has washed the streets clean and the smell in the air is one of light and cherry blossoms, if light could be said to have an odor I would suppose that it is fresh and clean, and that's what I enjoyed on my walk this morning.

Years ago, after being cut out of my smashed and crumpled car and rushed to a nearby hospital, one of the first doctors that spoke to me told me I might not be able to walk again. The sound of his words plunged me into a depression that lasted years, as did my physical therapy. There were days when I cried out in pain and frustration and anger. But I never gave up, and still haven't.

To be sure, there are some mornings, like this morning, when my body is stiff and aches. Pushing, ever so encouragingly and lovingly, my self forward helps. It can take a while until the tension and resistance fades, but it does.

Here's wishing you and yours an easy, peaceful day and night, with love.

 

March 3, 2014

Ah, March, the only month of the year that gives instruction in its name...better get a move on is what I hear.

That's what I've been trying to do starting on Saturday, to get into all the things that I need NEED to do. There are so many.

At the end of my workday on Saturday, I took a few minutes to sit and read a book and drank some water. After changing my clothes I proceeded to go to my workdesk, and on the way there was some old stuff that needs recycling. I stopped in my track and prepared the old stuff, right then and there. Walking on, I came across a table cloth that has a deep stain. Not stopping, I picked it up and went off to try to fix it. No luck, maybe I can dye it...

And so it went for the next few hours, I never did make it to my workdesk as there were so many intervening things to do.But I'll get there!

One breath at a time, one step at a time, moment to moment, day to day.

That's how life is given to us, and for me, March is the month when I put more order in my life, and thereby more happiness.

Out shopping the other day, a woman I know from the neighborhood came up to me and we started talking. About the 'hood, about our local City Supervisor, about stuff. As we started to part she touched my arm and told me that I was one of the most cheerful persons she knows. I thanked her and we parted.

As I walked away, my mind flashed back to earlier in the hour when I had been writing a name down until the paper was covered and then ripping it into pieces, all the while saying awful words about the name.

That's why I am happier than many. I don't let the negative fester in me, as that will only make me unwell and worse.

A while back I did a small tour of some English cities to promote my book. I had the audiences write down their angry thoughts and then stand and close their eyes and breathe for a bit, and then rip up their paper as I walked around with a trash bin. One woman in Liverpool took quite some time to write out her anger, and afterwards came up to me and said she had to now buy a ream of paper to displace all the anger she felt. I bought her a ream right then. We hugged and teared up.

All we can do is all we can do. Getting the negative sorted, whether it's cleaning or tearing or whatever, is the best we can do with the worst that we feel.

And what we feel is what we think, and what we think is what we are. 

Out with the negative, the useless, the broken, and in with the good and the useful and the whole.

March on! 

Love on!

 

February 26, 2014

Waking up gently this morning long before sunrise, after coffee and newspapers and before my work-day, I went walking.

Maybe it's just a desire to do something energetic, maybe it's my way of enjoying the seldom seen rain, but it was nice.

There were people out, most of them on their way to work, as I walked down Market Street. The rain seemed to be falling lightly and then a shower of larger, heavier drops, and then nothing at all. Umbrellas as far as my eyes could see.

That's when I noticed it: so many black umbrellas. It looked as if the most popular color was black. Oh, sure, there were standouts in the crowd, like the woman with the paisley pink, green and purple umbrella. Or the guy with the red and white stripes. As I walked along I began to notice that umbrellas come in differing sizes. Most are a couple of feet in diameter, and there are smaller ones. And then there are the ones that look like patio furniture. There was a guy with one on a corner, and 2 women were behind him seeking the shelter his massive umbrella provided them momentarily.

Walking home I passed by a couple of umbrellas that had been discarded. Both had turned partly inside out and broken, and their owners had ditched them on the spot. One was red, and as I watched a man picked it up and bent back the broken rib, and walked away under it. Still useful.

That was the message for me this morning. Still useful.

There are days when I encounter such great negativity and ugliness, when the worst of folks is on proud display. Yesterday was one of those days, when a client of mine told me that she had beat her child so badly that he had to be hospitalized and she was fearing what would happen next. And then in the next moment defending her vicious behavior. Then bursting into tears, sobbing.

I know that my power ends at my skin, but I can still give voice to betterment, and I did. 

Love, as small as it is, is limitlessly powerful. The love that I feel may not change the world into Eden, but it can and does brighten a small corner of the world, and that's enough for me.

Love on.

 

February 21, 2014

Hello, Stellenbosch, South Africa! The wine part of the continent, friends who have visited tell me. All the best to you and yours, cheers, and all the best!

What a small world it's become, this globe of ours. 

I was looking at this map that showed the most concentrated internet usuage in the world, and was amazed to see how the internet reaches not as many of us as I had hoped, especially in South America and Africa.

Did you know that the most connected place in the US of A is Columbus, Ohio?

Amazing stuff to learn every day, and thanks to lots of wizards in electrical engineering we have the internet, and its increasing speeds on the horizon. Along with the merger of TV and the 'net, one of these days not too far.

My Grandmother Edith told me about seeing an automobile for the first time when she was 10 years old, and how amazing it was and she never thought she'd see anything so amazing until radio came along, and then television and a man in space.

At the time she told me this, I was surprised to learn that TV was new and how life had changed since she was a child.

Now, I look around my world and see so many changes that have come for the better, and do look forward to the better things to come.

Like having the world at my fingertips, and the knowledge of the ages waiting for us all.

 

February 15, 2014

Hello! How are you? Did you sleep well?

Yesterday was fun for me. In the West folks call the day Saint or maybe not Valentines Day and gifts are given and sometimes exchanged and love is in the air.

Some wags call it a Hallmark card day, and maybe it is. A story in the Bible mentions a Christian who healed the daughter of his jailer and left her a note signed 'Your Valentine'. What I know is that it was written about by my 18th generational Uncle Geoffrey Chaucer. It was he who, during a phase of courtly love, wrote of it. And it grew from there.

Yesterday, here in San Francisco at the Ferry Building at 6PM the Annual Valentines Day Pillow Fight occured.

Imagine hundreds of people, most of them but not all, single, whacking each other with pillows, in good fun, laughing.

It's been happening for a few years now, and is where two people I know met each other and love blossomed.

Give love to live love.

That's what I believe. During the course of my lifetime, I have learned that love conquers all, if you let it. My half brother and I shared a parent who was a troubled, angry man, and he inflicted great emotional wounds on us both. I have worked to rid myself of the anger and shame and fear that my childhood held, so that now I remember the good more than the bad. My half brother became a drug addict and squandered his Mom's inheritance and now lives in a flop house in San Diego.

It's no secret that life is going to deliver some unpleasant if not terrible events. What we do about the negative energy matters.

Do not hold it in, do not push it down into your psycho-emotional basement.

Get it our of you, weep, cry, sob, whatever you feel safe in doing and express your ugliest feelings. You'll feel better afterward.

The more that we get the awful out of us, the better we are to see the awe inspiring and live it.

Here's wishing you and yours an awe filled day!

Love on!

 

February 12, 2014

Hello, Bend, Oregon! From the looks of it on radar, you folks are getting wet and maybe some snow, too. Keeping it green there, all this rain is. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

A client of mine, a climatologist, showed me via Google Earth where the deep freeze is this time of year. She showed me how to use the weather function to determine the coldest temperatures on the planet and then to track the clouds as they blow eastward.

So this morning, there I was, looking at Vitim, Russia and its 47 below zero night-time low temp. Wow, that's cold. As I looked at all the clouds marching east I noticed that the low temps are spread all over the Siberian Plateau, and it certainly looks to my untrained eye that ol man Winter isn't done with us just yet...

this on a day when the states in the south of the USA are bracing for snow and ice storms, and the eastern seaboard is hoping the weather is not too awful.

Methinks that furry little groundhog Punxsutany Phil was right, 6 more weeks of Winter, indeed.

Stay warm, stay well, and love you first, then share.

Love on!

 

February 10, 2014

What a wet weekend!

Reports of up to 7 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

One report said San Francisco received a normal winter month of rain in 3 days.

Did I mention it was wet? Well, it really was.

There were more people using rapid transit, I noticed, during our rainy weekend. The subway car I took downtown was packed Sunday morning, and the streets were still swarming with folks out and about.

On the ride home on a Market Street trolley, there was a chatter of voices, many talking about the rain and the drizzle and the foggy mists hugging Twin Peaks, SF's highest points. 

It made me smile to think that rain could bring out good moods when this is often not the case.

We are such amusing, funny creatures, us humans. 

This morning, my email had a question I want to share, the question being: When do we get old?

We get old when we think more of our regrets than we do of our dreams.

 

February 7, 2014

Hello, Manama, Bahrain! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along!

Rain has returned to California, bringing with it slick roads, lots of puddles, some flooding and much snow. Hooray!

Yesterday, while coming back from downtown, the streets were slick and black, and the number of bike riders appeared to have reduced. The same could not be said for rapid transit, which was packed with folks trying to get where they were going. Ah, winter rains and crowded trains, part of San Francisco. In spite of the crowdedness I was and am glad for the rain, we need it.

The squirrels in our backyard came scampering along the tree branches yesterday, their fur dampened but their appetites not. Before I knew it, there were four of them, chasing about, eating sunflower seeds and chopped nuts put out for them. They have gotten used to me and don't run too far away when I go out on the deck where they are fed. Funny little creatures they are.

Just sitting and watching them for a few minutes brought delight to my heart and laughter to my voice. 

Sometimes it can be so easy to be happy.

Sometimes not so.

Everyday has its challenges, and we are best served when we square our shoulders and go forward.

That was the advice I gave to a man who wrote me this week, telling me of his addiction to drugs and booze. Some folks claim they have an addictive personality, but I have yet to see any evidence that such a condition medically exists. What is clear is that there are addictive substances in this world and that we all must use will power and self love to live better lives.

Learning to take good care of ones self can be the work of a lifetime, and it is very much worth the effort.

Oh sure, who among us hasn't polished off a container of ice cream or too much of something. I remember laughing when I read that the container of ice cream I had just finished would serve four people...but not all substances are laugh worthy.

Today in New York, Philip Seymour Hoffman will be memorialized. I wonder what he would say to us if we could hear him.

Loving ourselves means being honest with ourselves and doing what we can to change. Our power to change lives in us whether or not we choose to use it. Self esteem and self love help us in this regard.

On this Friday take a moment or 3 to do something good for yourself, Love you, forgive you, help you.

Then share!

Love on!

 

February 3, 2014

So there I was, yesterday, doing this and that and getting ready to check in on television and watch parts of the Superbowl, more for the ads and the sense of participation. Everything was going along splendidly, Groundhog Day was in full swing, reports said there would be six more weeks of winter, a welcome thing hopefully this year in a very dry California, and then a news flash...

Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead of a heroin overdose.

Crash...

Years ago, while living in Santa Monica and finishing High School, I got friendly with a neighbor of mine, a guy in his late 20's who worked at an autobody business. We'd sit and drink beers, watch TV, and then one day he introduced me to heroin. I'd flirted with drugs before, pot and pills but never something as big in my mind as this white powder. He put it in a spoon and held his cigarette lighter beneat, and the white powder started to turn brown and liquify. Then he used a syringe and took up the brown foul smelling liquid, and offered it to me.

Some voice in my head screamed 'NO' over and over and I declined. Not wanting to not fit in, I tasted some of the white powder with my tongue. Awful, terrible tasting.

There are drugs in our world that are killers, and all of them have been identified to us in time.

Heroin kills, plain and simple. There is no safe dose, all doses present the possibility of death.

When I think of the incredible talent Mr. Hoffman possessed, how he could present such differing individuals on screen, I think of all the moments of great acting that we will never witness. Such a loss to all of us. And his 3 children and partner and birth family, left behind to follow his cortege, it is heart-breaking.

 

February 1, 2014

Happy Imbolc! Happy Mid-way to Spring!

One of 4 Gaelic festivals celebrating the start of a new season, there is a mesolithic era tomb on the hill of Tara in Ireland that aligns on this day, illuminating the deep interior that makes the rocks appear to change from brown to gold. Spring, indeed!

For the past two nights the Asian communities have been celebrating New Years as well, with red and gold everywhere, lots of food, and firecrackers and fireworks. 

Tomorrow, in parts of the US and Canada, folks will be rousting woodchucks from their nests to see if there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Sounds logical to me...

We mark the passage of time with rituals and days of meaning, imbuing them as we choose, with actions, foods, colors, rituals, and more. Time marches on.

In talking with physicists I've learned that it is theorized that once a specific moment of time is created, it exists for eternity.

As I've come to consider the implications of this theory, it has helped me to wrestle with my own personal use of time. There were times in the past when I would suffer and ache and hold my pain in, and it damaged me. In my 20's and 30's I involved myself in relationships that were not good for me although they were very instructive.

Time is a gift that each of us gets, and we call it life and living.

Love, that magic feeling that lives in all of us, even the most damaged of us, is a cornerstone of the future.

With love, we can rebuild our selves and our lives, and become happier and healthier. Without love, life loses meaning.

As for me, I will be out celebrating this day just because it and I showed up. That's reason enough for me!

Love on!

 

January 28, 2014

Looking out my bedroom window this morning, an hour or so before dawn, the clouds slowly begin to show themselves, pale grey at first that lightens and brightens and slowly the grey begins to show pink here and there. Dawn is coming

Sitting with my coffee, the room is still, soundless. Breathe and relax, breathe and relax.

Giving myself several mintues of this therapy, my day can begin.

Today I'll be on the go from around 7AM until almost 6PM, and longish day, and giving myself just a few minutes of calm and centeredness are fundamental to grounding myself in a good, loving frame of heart and mind.

As a child, my mom was always saying 'Get up, get up.' and I would, trudging forward into an uncertain day. This became the way my days started, with out much planning. It took me years to figure out that there was more that I could do to help myself, like how I start my morning.

Three and a half walked miles later, showered and dressed, jumping to my meeting with my first client and I feel alive and alove.

It's such a small thing, getting going, and a perfect opportunity for me to practice love.

Just enough.

 

January 24, 2014

Bumped into a man I know yesterday while I was in the Financial District of San Francisco. He asked if I had time to grab a coffee and chat for a few minutes, which we did.

He painted a picture of a man on his way upward, telling me how great his business is going. Then he told me how he was thinking of starting a new business and of his hopes. Sounds great, I told him, and we parted a bit later.

What I didn't tell him was that my built-in bullshit detector was clanging all the while he spoke.

As I walked away I wondered why he would bother to fabricate his stories for me, and had a sense that I would know later.

Today I know why. I got a call from a man who told me that my name had been given by the chap I'd coffeed with as a reference and could I confirm the lies that he's telling, although the caller had no idea they were lies. I told the caller that I had heard the same things from the man in question and could not substantiate the data.

Poor fellow, seizing on the chance of seeing me and hoping to use me for his selfish gain. 

Some folks believe that they can go through life, willy-nilly, and use people like tissues. Lesser ethics result in lesser results.

Aim higher, and do the work one needs to in order to achieve ones goals. Hard work equals best results.

There are no real shortcuts in life. We all have our lives to live, and things to do, and all of life to live. Having our feet on the ground, in every manner possible, is always the best place to start from.

No matter where you go, there you are. Love you, encourage you, and do your best. You'll get the best results possible.

Love on.

 

January 21, 2014

Golly, it's warm around here! Un-season-like, and where's the rain? Up north of us here in SF. 

What climate change? Oh, that one...

We're such a funny species, funny how we learn. Sometimes we do the wrong thing to learn that it is wrong. Then we get to choose.

It's that choosing that is really is the crux of the issue. Short haul or long haul, now or later, me or them, up or down, and we learn.

What we learn is very much determined by our self esteem, and sometimes we confuse our inner emotions for self worth. 

We are better than that, and we would do best to remember the wonder and magic of love.

Love lives in each of us, and makes us part of the magic of life. 

Let love lead us forward, into our best self.

Help love conquor, lead with love and live life best.

Love on!

 

January 19, 2014

Hello, hello! How've you been? Well, I hope, and settling into the new year comfortably.Time moves forward. So should we!

Taking that advice, I moved forward, or actually Eastward the past several days, and flew to Manhattan for some rest and relaxation. Funny place to relax, but for me it was relaxing. I know the city fairly well, there are places that I enjoy returning to, and there are always new places to discover on an island like Manhattan.

So many new buildings, so many people, so much to see and do. And we did and did.

My Second Great Grandfather was born at 114 Mulberry in 1820, and having that connection has helped to make his city more of my own, even though I have been going there since the 1980's quite often. Having time away from home and work was a good break, and certainly helped me to recharge my batteries.

Boy, did it ever!

I had a dream one night, I was down in Lower Manhattan, near City Hall. As I looked around in my dream, the buildings of today faded to mere shadows, and the farms and dirt roads of days gone by emerged to the foreground of my vision. All around me were fields stretching into the distance uptown, and as I watched the farms became houses and the streets became more distinct and wider, and then brick began to replace wood as a building material and the houses blotted out the remaining farms. Onward sped time in my dream, as I watched new buildings age and be demolished and replaced with bigger and taller buildings until they were replaced by even bigger and taller buildings, and then steel buildings started appearing. By then I was floating in the sky a thousand feet or so high. The city looked like a living, breathing thing as it convulsed forward in time, hurtling past my here and now into a future of sky walkways and levels of streets.

I woke up, in my hotel bed, and felt like a time traveler. Amazing!

For years I have enjoyed being a traveler, but my travels had been confined by location. This new added dimension lingers with me to this very moment, the sense of the river of time that we all bob along in, each sunrise a new start, each sunset a moment to pause, each night to reflect.

Each day is a new opportunity, and we surely made use of the time we enjoyed NYC. I think of the city as the capital of the United States, as it seems as if every part of America is somewhere on its streets, trying to take it all in. So much life being lived.

 

January 8, 2014

Looking out onto the street this morning in San Francisco, one could see the dark, glistening surfaces thanks to the drizzle in the low hanging clouds.

As I walked along, on some of the corners there were piles of drying trees, cast aways from the festivities of the holidays. Here in the City a random asking of folks buying trees will say it's for Christmas as well as Festivus and Hannukah and Yule Tide and Year End and on and on. All of the tree buying leads to more than 540 tons of trees on the sidewalks of San Francisco.

That's right, five hundred and forty tons of trees. Talk about seasonal industries...

Thanks to www.recologysf.com most of those trees will be turned into compost and recycled.

Waste not, want not.

And speaking of want, did you ever stop to consider the power of wanting? How wanting actually moves us forward in life and leads to some deeply satisfying moments, moments that live forever?

To make a long conversation short, I support want. To want is to be human, and that's as most of evolution as most of us bipeds get.

Giving ourselves permission to want, to dream, to hope, and most importantly, love, makes evolution come into our daily lives.

So, on my walk this morning I thought about all the people here who wanted a tree in their house this year, and it makes my heart free good to know that those wishes got fulfilled, all 540 tons.

Tons of wishes to you and yours!

Love on!

 

January 6, 2014

For many of us, the work year starts today. This morning, on my way to my gym, I passed many people on their way to work. So many of them were looking into their hand held electronic devices. Maybe that's why the zombie craze, because so many of us look a little 'zombiefied' these days...

San Francisco is, as I might have mentioned, quite the town to draw visitors. Why, just this morning I learned that the chef Jamie Oliver is in town. Having visited his restaurants in England and eaten his wonderful food, I hope that he enjoys himself in our fair foodie City. And Dita von Teese, the performer, is in town as well. She brings a whole new slant to what Gypsy Rose Lee called her bread and butter, burlesque. 

That's quite a combination, two of San Francisco's favorite distractions, food and sex. Whatta town!

Lucky us, too, as the rest of the country is slipping, or should I write being blown into a deep freeze. The temperatures will be the coldest they've been in more than two decades. Yikes! Stay warm, folks, and don't take risks with the weather.

Hopefully, one of these not-too-distant days, this area will start receiving some much needed rain. Finger's crossed, just not too tightly. Flooding can be a danger in these parts.

It looks as if my answering of the question about the merits of money triggered a lot of reaction, most of it positive. And it also seems to have triggered a small flood of questions my way, and as I sort through them I promise to answer the ones that touch us all, and there are a few, and one jumps to mind. What to do about anger?

Displace it. Write down, either in longhand or on a keyboard, all the angry, terrible thoughts that run through your head. Then tear them up. Do it again and again if needs be, but get some if not most of that darkness inside that can depress us if left to sit, out of you. Or yell into a pillow, or throw stones into water, or rip out weeds, whatever action we do while negativity runs through us helps us to get rid of that negative energy.

'Get over it' is bad advice and doesn't really work. You must do something to get the negative out in the open where it becomes harmless to you and others.

Alright, then, here we go, the new year beckons. Live the love that lives in you and live better.

Love on!

 

January 2, 2014

Questions. I get questions, via email and snail mail and Facebook and Twitter and notes passed to me.

Some of them are specific to the asker, while others concern us all.

It's one of these latter that presented itself as a good question to answer, so here goes:

'Is money evil, is it wrong to be rich?'

Money represents something very important, an individuals labor and time. Time is a gift, the giving of labor is a choice. Money developed as a means of equating time and labor for something in return, something the laborer can use. Money is not evil, but it can be used for evil. How it is used says nothing about money, only the user of it.

Over the years I have worked with many people who are hugely rich, money coming out of their ears, so to speak. Very few of them were happy, authentically happy. It's the same with the poor and homeless, very few happy folks in that population.

Being comfortable with money takes effort, as most of us have a schizoid relationship with money, we either love it when we have it or hate it when we don't. How can the energy of pushing and pulling on something bring it toward you? It can't and won't.

I love money as it is someones time and effort, and if it's coming my way then it's even better because it's my time and effort.

'Eat the rich' is a phrase I heard years ago, meaning that the rich are bad people. No, not all of them. Oh, I know, it's easy to point to such rich schmuck with bucks who's ethics and morals are screwed up as an example. But that person only represents themself.

Poor money, always being targeted as a bad thing. Talk about bum raps...

So, here's starting the New Year with new love, new intention, new focus, new effort. This is the time of your life. Live it with love.

 

December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's started already, I was just watching the celebration from Auckland, New Zealand, and now on the television there are images of the fireworks from Sydney on that iconic bridge.

The world is waking up to a new year. 

A client in England is of the firm opinion that the new year starts in Greenwich, England, near London, and then the rest of the world, so she says the Ozzies and Kiwis and everybody to the East of her are celebrating 2013. Funny, that.

We made it, that's what's important. And a new year awaits each and every one of us.

My wish and hope for all of us is that we remember the love that lives in us, and bring it up and out into our lives.

I love you, and wish you a Happy New Year!

 

December 29, 2013

Do you know that old adage, 'It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness.'? These past few days have been reminding me of the wisdom of doing something positive rather than becoming negative in the face of negativity.

Lately, it appears that the grinches of Christmas are out in force, especially in my  genetic family. The lack of acknowledgement from so many of them of my holiday greetings helps to remind me how small the light of love burns in some peoples hearts. It tells me who they are, and in their diminshment I become invisible. Good to know.

The truth will set you free, even if it doesn't feel good.

After my sister Melodie died in 1975, my Dad started telling me how most of our family did not like me. I was different from them in many ways, apparently some of them unforgivable to this day. When my Dad died in 2001, I reached out to his sibling, and the thaw set in. Over the next several years I got to meet many of my new relatives, and I extended my friendliness.

Talk about luke warm, the reception I got in some quarters was rude and mean-spirited. I was glad to know their truth.

Their truth has little if anything to do with me, but instead is about them and their perceptions, not just of me but their whole world.

It's always good to know the truth of people, beneath the vaneer that they project. My prayers go to them, that they come to reflect more of the values that they say they expouse in their version of goodness in their religious practices. God lives through our acts of goodness.

I'll still send greetings and birthday wishes, cards to celebrate the additions to families far removed from me, but not my heart.

Love on!

 

December 27, 2013

Well, here they come, the last days of this year, anno domini 2013, won't get to write that much more. Probably just a few times in the new year instead of 2014, on checks or some such. 

The holiday mood is still on the streets here in San Francisco, most of the stores and businesses have decorations up, so much color and festivity. During my brief foray out yesterday I noticed that there were many folks out, and the street cars were pretty full as well. Maybe no body has to work this week, I thought, and thought that sounds great for some and not so for others. We all choose.

In ancient times, various civilizations viewed the passage of time differently than ours does today, with its 365 day 24 hour clock. Many cultures saw the last five days of their respective year to be a time for celebration and/or reflection.

I always do both.  I celebrate the year that is passing and all that went with it, and I reflect on what those changes mean to me.

Before I can fully embrace a new year I must sort out the old one, and take measure of it and myself. There are things I wish I had done differently, times when I wish I were more cogent and silver tongued, times when my lesser feelings got the better of me. Yep, totally human, foibles and all. Progress toward perfection remains my motto. 

No regrets, however. What ever happened, happened for the right reasons. Even my screw-ups serve to teach me a better way.

The foundation of my beingness remains love. Love for me, love for the world and people around me, even the unlovable parts.

Yes, my self esteem took some hits this year, and you can be sure it hurt each time. Yet each event was an opportunity for me to assess the situation and learn from it. Many times this year I dealt with some pretty unsavory characters, and a few times got the short end of the stick. My charity remains undiminished and intact. 

How people treat me has nothing to do with me, it's about them. I've been in pickles this year when something awful was said by someone being awful in the moment. Terrible, awkward times happen. What matters to me is how I conduct myself in those instances. Each of this moments was an opportunity to grow and learn.

The preceeding 360 days have been the stuff of life, in all of its awful and awesome glory. I suspect that the coming year will have the same duality, the same mix of good and bad. 

My job is clear: to displace the bad and reflect the good. Then the rest of my life, my relationships, my work, my everything will be whatever I choose it to be. My power may end at my skin, but there's a world alive inside of me that's mine alone. 

Love on!

 

December 25, 2013

Merry and Happy Christmas!

Today is another good reason to be glad to be here. No matter where we find ourselves on this day, the power to change is alive within us, with each breath. Give yourself the gift of positive self esteem with forgiveness and compassion. Then share.

Be well, and love on!

 

December 20, 2013

The crack of my opening the doors lock probably woke him up, for shortly after putting out sliced almonds, bird seeds, sunflower seeds and chopped pecans I saw him on a branch almost forty feet up in the Norfolk pine tree. He sat there for a little while, and then the sun beam fell upon him and turned him and the surrounding tree pink hued. Still he didn't stir.

The maple tree is totally bare of leaves at this time, and just a few stragglers cling to the cherry tree, their pale yellow shapes moving in the light breeze. One breaks away and wafts to the sea of sword fern below.

Moving back inside, I close the door. Instantly the young male squirrel runs down the branch of the pine tree to where it meets a branch of maple tree, from whence he bounces along a branch to the lemon tree just a foot below him. Deftly moving, his black eyes scanning his destination, he hurries up into the lemon leaves and then jumps onto the deck near the pecan pieces.

Seconds later, in a camellia bush in my neighbors yard, I notice movement and then a big male squirrel appears, and clambers into the podocarpus tree nearby, and then into the cherry tree, to the maple, and finally the lemon tree. As he lands on the table holding much of the food he sniffs and searches around before looking down to see the young male near the door, eating.

Flingling himself off the table he lands inches from the other, who jumps straight up in the air and then sideways to land several inches away. Sulkingly he climbs up the deck post and onto the table, leaving the larger male to eat the pecans.

Now, with the rising sun, the area is washed with yellow light, making the lemons in the tree stand out sharply against the dark green leaves. Little birds flit in the branches of the trees, abiding their turns. From somewhere up in the air comes a large blue California jay bird, it's blue feathers bright against the grey and black feathers, its black eyes fixed on the table where it lands.

Two more squirrels come from the pine tree, and playfully scamper around a branch and then another, chasing each other in turns. Just then another squirrel runs along my neighbors fence and jumps into the ivy on my back fence before scrambling up into the maple tree.

All of this lasted about 10 minutes before I turned away into the rest of my day. Nurture nature and let nature nurture you. Give and get some today!

 

December 19, 2013

Hello Fresno! One of my favorite valley towns. Such amazing abundance comes from the heart of California. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

As it's the holidays I've been out quite a bit, sightseeing and parties and here and there. One of my favorite things to do is to hear voices around me, to listen in to bits of conversations. You know how it happens, you weren't really trying to listen and then you hear words that grab your attention. I thought I'd share a samplling:

'She's too pretty in a natural way." "He may be gross but he makes big bucks." "She drives me nuts but her family is rich." "Did you see her?" "I hope you take care of yourself and come out of your depression before you get worse." " He's a 4 but thinks he's a 9." "I can't believe she looks so good, and he's charming." "Why would I wear that?" "I can't stand him at times but his money is always good." "Did he mention he's married?" "I hope you get yours!" "No, Ma'am, that is not a service dog and you cannot come on board with it." "Do you know who I am?" "Money can't buy happiness, but everybody seems to be trying to." "Kisses no hisses."

As we all rush head and sometimes foot long into yet another day, let us give thanks for all the good in the world.

Here's a big 'ol hearty hug from me to you, in the hopes that you're surrounded with love and kindness.

Live with love and live better.

Love on!

 

December 17, 2013

Hello Iasi, Romania! The more I learn about my particular genetics, the more I want to visit the places that helped get me to where I am today, and Romania plays a part in this, as DNA testing has shown me. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Growing up in Southern California, I always thought of myself as just another Caucasian kid with English heritage.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

DNA testing showed me this, most graphically, back in 2005. That was the year I hit roadblocks in learning about my ancestry. All I could find out was that my Mom's Dad was born in Arizona in 1895 and my Dad's Grandmothers last name was listed as Bach.

Ancestry.com couldn't give me more data, but then I learned about DNA testing, and decided to give it a try. When the kit arrived I tore it open and read the instructions, and instantly swabbed the inside of my mouth, and a day later did another swab. Sending them off that afternoon, I hoped for interesting results.

As a child I had been told that my heritage was English, Irish, Scottish and maybe Welsh. But no one had greater details, and didn't have any proof of any kind. I knew my Mom's Mom was a Cunningham, and had followed her line back to the 1400's with the help of geneaologists, but the rest was a blank.

Eight weeks after mailing my swabs I got a package in the mail. My heart skipped a beat as I opened it, and I sat on my steps next to my mailbox to read the pages. According to the testing, yes, I was descended from English, Irish and Scots, but there was also German, specifically Bavarian, and Hispanic links in my DNA.

What? Huh?  What a puzzle...

Several months later came a letter from Fussen, Germany, from a man who wrote telling me that he was part of my German relatives, about 150 of them, and about a family reunion in Nordlingen, Germany that he invited me to. Wow!

Then folks with names like Hernandez and Gonzales started writing me, telling me that DNA showed we were somehow related.

More wows. It turns out 25% of me is Mexican and German, and that the Queen of England is my 10th cousin...and so much more.

Just yesterday I got an email from a cousin, linked to me by our shared Galloway connections, who wrote to note our connection and to wish me Holiday greetings. I instantly returned the wishes. And the German side is planning another reunion next year, and recently I learned of new data regarding my family from New York City back in the 1800's that I want to learn more about.

Recently I learned that Romania figures into my ancestry based on spelling and language. Still more wows.

Never did I think that my forebearers would give me such an amazing gift as my DNA, and the puzzles that it contains. And all of the new family members, folks I share history with, where ever they are. And all of the ancestors who lived and struggled and died so that I can write these words...Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the top of my soul.

Love on!

 

December 14, 2013

Today I am going to do something that I normally don't do. I am going to meet a bunch of strangers. I will know 1 person at this gathering this afternoon, and there will be dozens, maybe 100+ people there.

Confession time: I am basically shy.

No, really, I know that I may appear gregarious and devil-may-care, but that's just me working with my innate shyness.

I've been shy since childhood, when I found myself surrounded at times with strangers. People I didn't know would pick me up and touch me, and I did not like it but learned early to sublimate my natural reaction as it got me into trouble. Vividly I recall the time some fustry old woman, smelling of not washed body and too much perfume, picked me up. I let out a scream that brought much unwanted attention, and a rough scolding and then having to hug this vile person...and my shyness exploded.

In Kindergarden at John Muir Elementary School in Glendale, California, I was a shorter than most,  fat little kid with pale hair.

No one else looked like me. I was very shy, and made 1 friend, a girl named Mary. 

As I got older, I began to realize that I didn't always 'fit in' with strangers, and began to associate my self with Walter Mitty, a character of fiction who lives a wonderful life of bravery in his head while being a milquetoast in his real life. The movie was funny but the reality of the differences in my own life weren't so good.

As a kid, I could hide behind my Mom's skirts, sometimes literally, to avoid exposure to strangers. She always encouraged me to come out from behind whatever I was hiding from and shake hands, if I could.

This afternoon, I will shake as many hands as I can. I promise.

Growing through change is better than going through change, and even after decades my shyness is alive and well, and shy still.

Life sometimes calls on us to stand straight, shoulders back, breathing and ready, focused on what's ahead.

That's why my shyness and I are going to this gathering. By continuing to work with my shyness I have been able to vastly enrich my life by meeting people the world over, and making friends with many of them to this day. There are wonderful people in the world and I have enjoyed meeting the one's that I have, and look forward to meeting many more.

Here's to today! And onward...

 

December 12, 2013

Hello, hello, how are you? I hope all has been well and that you and yours are well, too.

The holiday swirl came and got me by the lapels and away it and I went, here and there for the past several days. San Francisco has become a city filled with twinkling lights everywhere, and skating rinks and everywhere the eye looks red and green are there. The colors of the season. And a good a reason as any to get out and be about.

So that's what I've been doing. Last evening my local pub, The Last Call, had its annual Holiday Party and the place was packed to the rafters with lots of the usual faces, and many new ones, all of us having a great time. A woman who I have seen on a couple of prior visits caught my eye and we smiled and nodded at each other. Later I overheard her say that she doesn't like alcohol but does like the friendly folks that frequent the place and has made many new friends there. I can totally relate to that, I've done the same thing.

Frequenting a place can result in acquaintances and friendships over time. One of my neighbors is a daily visitor to the local library and that's become her hang-out. Another is a fixture at a local knitting store, and loves her time there.

When I moved to my neighborhood years ago, I promptly went and looked for a nearby pub that was friendly and relaxed. This was something I had done years ago when I moved to London, and a neighbor told me a needed to find a local, as she called it, to make part of my life there. I did and she was so right. The patrons became a collection of acquaintances and friends, some to this day.

So today is another day when I will be out and about, on the streets of San Francisco, taking in the sights and delights of this time of year, and frequenting places I enjoy, and learning about new places, as well. "Nothing is permanent except change." True that. And anything that I can do to make myself feel better is my goal, today and everyday. Starting with love, it's amazing what we can do.

Love on!

 

December 4, 2013

There are grinches out there, they may not be green and fuzzy, but you can tell by their attitude and energy that they are grinches.

I passed one this morning, on my way to the Post Office (yes, I use snail mail, getting something tactile is sometimes a delight), hurrying along as the temperature is in the low 40's, and near freezing in the Bay Area. Part of the goodness of being surrounded on three sides by water, don't ya know.

As I came to the PO door I saw a man approaching from the other side, and grabbed the door and held it open for him.

As he passed me he said 'F*#k you'...

Grinch alert. Not missing a beat I said to him 'Hope you feel better.' and went inside.

La plus que change que reste la meme. The more things change they stay the same.

There have always been grinches, in fact I myself have been a grinch a time or three. Knowing what got me grinchey was a mix of anger and frustration and turmoil that I kept holding inside, I can imagine the state of my sad fellow citizen and how awful he must feel. 

In the days ahead there are bound to be mass sighting of grinches around the world. Negative energy is a bit like a good old rhinovirus, also known as a cold. It just takes a bit of exposure and the next thing you know, you've got it, too.

The other day I overheard two men talking about a vehicle at the SF Auto Show, a parade of expensive and sometimes exotic sheetmetal. They were having a chin wag about the Fiat 500, one of them saying it was so cramped inside, the other saying the tires were too small and on and on. It's a safe bet to say that they won't be buying one anytime soon.

It's good to get the negative out of us, safely and harmlessly. Paying USD$10 to take verbal pot-shots at things one doesn't like seems like a bargain to me. Hopefully they both returned home to better moods, those two chaps. And personally, I think the Fiat 500 cute.

Work with your inner grinch, let the bad out so the good can float to the surface of your face.

Happy Holidays!

 

December 1, 2013

It's here...

the last month of the year for most of us, and there are festivals and celebrations, music and food galore.

A good friend got me out of my house yesterday after my work day, and we took a walk around the neighborhood. Being a Saturday and sunny and almost 70F(!) (what global warming?) throngs of folks were out and about, and decorations of Winter were everywhere.

Growing up in Southern California the scenes of wintertime weren't evident of the streets of Los Angeles, where we came to live, Highland Park to be specific. Very middle class, lots of houses and some apartments, and never any snow. I remember a woman who lived near us decorating the palm trees in her front yard, the origami like fronds and the swinkling little electric lights. If I wanted a white christmas we went up north into the Owens Valley where it was snowy and cold. No palm trees there, not in Big Pine California. Grandma Edith, my Moms Mom, lived there and she helped make this time of year more memorable. She did it with food and laughter.

So there I was, walking around in short sleeves and there is food everywhere, there are so many places to eat in my little Castro neighborhood and there are more coming, many more. Soon every cuisine in the world will be on offer in San Francisco. On my walk I heard mention in passing of a Nepali restaurant, a Cocktailan bar in the Mission, a new Mexican place nearby and a new snack bar soon to open thanks to Illy (www.illy.com).

Wintertime. The cherry tree in our backyard is raining bright yellow and copper leaves, the squirrels working on their nest in the Norfolk Pine tree, the house wrens and chickadees moving in tighter clusters.

Here comes Winter!

On a different note, I'd like to thank all of you who have been so kind in the passing of our cat Edy. And a huge Thank You to Dr. Morris and his staff at San Francisco Pet Hospital. Edy thought you guys were awesome, too! (www.sfpethospital.com) The outpouring of sympathy is most touching, and I Thank You and love you.

Heart open, chin up, head clear, shoulders back and a smile, that's how I'm walking into December. There's a lot to get through in the days ahead, what with all the Holi Daze, as I call it. And I'd better go stock my larder and get some food in this house and start cooking. Thanks Gramma Edith!

 

November 30, 2013

Hello Danbury, Connecticut! It's been years since my last visit there, so much history and beauty. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading along.

Climbing through these past few days has been tough sledding, at times, lots of tears and lots of great memories and laughs.

A wonderful and wonderfilled legacy, that's what our sweet monkeybutt of a cat Edy has left in her wake. Lots of hearts the world over who have taken to her, and for those who met her, a sweet impression, and did you ever hear a cat talk so much? She'd engage in conversation if you kept talking to her, even as she fell asleep. Sweet journey home, little girl.

And for the first time in a quarter of a century there is not a cat under our roof. Mon Dieu! 

I grew up with cats, my Dad had one when I was a baby that I played with when I went to visit him. That must have been when I was about 3 or so, and from the get-go I liked them. Independant, fierce, loyal, and affectionate. Quite a profile, too. It's always struck me as interesting that cats are the only creature that willingly live with humans closely. Rather kind of them, isn't it?

And dogs, I've had two, both lovely companions and such great pals we were. And the hamsters and the fish and ever a bird, once. 

Years ago, visiting a friend in Moscow, we went for a walk with her dog. Russians love animals, and there were lots of folks out in the snow walking their charges on the swept by babushkas sidewalks. We passed a richly fur covered woman who virtually ignored us as we passed. My friend grabbed my arm and told me that she was the wife of a member of the elite something company and only fed her pet American pet food. Oh the lenghts that some people will go for their pets...

There's a comedian who says that bringing home a pet is bringing home heartache. 

And lots and lots of love.

Love on!

 

November 27, 2013

Hello, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada! One of these days, knock wood for luck, I will get to visit the beauty that is yours. All the best to you and your and thanks for reading along.

Someone once asked me what I do when I feel miserable? How do I cope with my feelings?

I let them out. There is nothing about any 'Stiff Upper Lip' with me. Holding in the pain and the sadness and the awful feelings that can erupt in life is not healthy. It's like eating and not wanting to use a toilet, it doesn't work out that way in life.

Recently I learned of some very sad news, and right there on a street corner I began to cry, the tears streaming down my face in a torrent of despair. I took myself to somewhere I could sit and let my feelings wash over me, scourging my heart. When the pain subsided and I was only brimming with tears I went home, where I had several good cries, and suspect that there are many more tears I will shed about this sad news. 

There will be things in life that overwhelm us and send our emotions crashing to the floor.Don't fight it, give yourself permission to experience the pain and let it flow to you and through you.

Through my tears I have remembered the good memories that were created along the way and know that they are a testament to the love that life brought us to share. My power ends at my skin and there is little that I can do to change the situation. The best thing that I can do is to share my unbridled love and to keep that love alive as long as I can.

Love never dies. Love on!

 

November 25, 2013

Hello Toronto (TO), what a great town, so much to see and do. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading along!

Well, I've been hearing about how San Francisco is changing and today I got a look at it, up close and real.

I walked past a coffee shop, although I'm sure they call themselves a much hipper name than mere coffee shop, and glanced at the menu board on the sidewalk and saw writ in block letters a clear sign of these changing times: Cinnamon Toast $4

Now, don't get me wrong, I  know all about the $1,200 per month rooms that some folks rent here, and I recently read that an apartment near me is available for almost $9,000 a month. Yikes?!

Yep, change is for real, nothing is permanent except change. Roll with it or it will roll over you, that's what I think. So I rolled with it and walked past this high falutin' coffee shop with its $4 toast and didn't feel deprived in the least, in fact I felt four dollars richer.

We can always vote with our money and our feet. Don't buy it if it's overpriced, and don't sit there and suffer bad or badly. Get up! Move!

And that's what I did, I continued my morning walk, enjoying the sunshine and the swirl of bicycles and people in this ol' town, Frisco, as some folks never call it. I call it home.

Here's to you and yours, hopefully snug and warm in your loving homes with love all around! I'm gonna go make myself some cinnamon toast...

 

November 21, 2013

Finally, rain has returned to San Francisco! The weather radar had shown rain approaching, and then there was a faint misting in the air, and then rain drops, and then buckets and sheets and cats and dogs. Streets began to flood, drains began to back up with all the flotsam and jetsam being carried along, and the traffic on the streets was a mess. So many folks were caught unprepared that some places ran out of umbrellas for sale.

Unfortunately the rain was not cold enough to turn to snow in the Sierra mountains to the east, disappointing scores of folks hoping for an early Ski Season. Here comes ol' Man Winter, some say, waxing their boards and skis in anticipation.

This morning I received a message via email along with a photo. It's from a woman I know who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. It showed her back yard, and the only thing in the picture was a thick blanket of snow, everything was white. She wrote that the temperature is -25F. I shivered in imagination of what that would feel like as I put on my slippers...

By way of contrast, a client in Cambodia sent me a snap shot of her and her husband on a beach in Thailand, sunny and bright. Off came the slippers and on went the idea of a sun visor and a cool drink in the shade.

Whether or not, weather. We get what we get, and hopefully make the best of it.

The trees are losing their leaves, most of them, and the skating rink is up and running on Union Square. People are talking about next weeks Thanksgiving Day, and the stores are filled with shoppers. Fall is falling away to reveal the pale shadows cast by Winter.

In the backyard as well as in front, the paperwhite narcissus are bursting into bloom, their snowy white beauty and heavenly fragrance signaling the change in season.

Here's to making the best of the weather we will weather this Winter. Cold days, gentle nights. Made all the better with love. Remember to share yours next chance you get.

Love on!

 

November 18, 2013

Hello, Franklin, North Carolina! Hopefully the onslaught of winter isn't too bad this year. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Sure heard from more than just a few psychiatrists about my last entry, some defensive, some funny, and one quite touching.

She wrote about her sister, and how as she got older her behavior began to change, but no one did anything. After a big altercation with her parents the sister left home and disappeared for 2 years, until she was discovered by Social Services in the town and given medical and mental health help. 'If only I had known how to help her' she wrote, and the pain was palpable.

Life, as I am sure you have noticed, can kick our butt. What you do after that kick is up to you, for the most part.

This is where self love and self esteem become of tantamount importance.

After reading her letter, I called her as she had given me her telephone number. We talked for a while, and she told me that her sister now lives near her in a small group home, and that they see each other often. She told me how she had worked with their Mom and Dad to integrate the family together in light of the changes, and how some days were good, some not so. 'Good for you!' I told her, and encouraged her to use her skills and training in the heart of her family to foster betterment all around.

Through heart, mind and body in unity we live, love and grow best.

All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

 

November 12, 2013

Hello Warsaw, Poland. You are on my 'bucket list' and hopefully one day I'll walk your old streets. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Happy 11-12-13! Numbers can be fun!

The other day, I was at a small gathering of folks, brought together by a mutual to all of us friend. She's a writer and has quite an circle of people in her life. As I mingled I took note of a man with a dour face. He looked depressed. Eventually I found myself near him and we began to speak. introducing ourselves and saying what we do. Turned out, he's a psychiatrist. He made the observation that one woman there needed medication. I asked him if he would include any kind of therapy before hand, and he told me that people only really change when drugs are added to them.

I asked him if he had ever tried any of the drugs he prescribed, and he said he had not. Pity, that, I said. 'You should see what you're missing' I said, and he snorted and walked away.

Later I heard that he thought I was full of 'happy BS sunshine'. He's kind of right, I am full of happy sunshine a lot of the time, but it is not BS, i.e. false. My sunshine comes from my working with my anger, frustration, impatience, sadness, and every other emotion you can think of. That's how I do life.

Years ago the book 'Prozac Nation' alerted that the use of phamaceuticals was altering society in not so good ways. I personally believe that if one is helped with drugs, do them, but check in with those around you and get their input as to how you appear to them, as a point of reference. Subjectivity is best balanced with objectivity.

When I was studying psychology at UCLA I tried a small dose of what was then the Prozac of its time, Thorazine. Knocked me for a loop, it did, and that was just the smallest pill available. Yikes, I thought. How can people get clear in thought and heart if they are numb from the top down? Later I learned about how drugs can help some folks, and came to appreciate their presence in our lives, in moderation.

Here's hoping you have a day of happy sunshine!

Love on!

 

November 7, 2013

Golly, from the git-go I want to thank you for reading along. I love you.

One of the puzzles of my childhood was figuring out who didn't like me and then avoiding them. This went on for decades.

My Fathers Mother, Bonnie, was a bit of a mystery to me. My earliest memories of her were few as my parents divorced when I was three years old. Seeing my Fathers side of my family was rare, but as I got older I began to notice that Bonnie wasn't fond of me, and could be quite critical, a couple of times with consequences and awful memories.

She came to hate me, as she said to me when I was 16, and soon thereafter I ran away from home for the first time. It got real awful as the months passed, until I left for good at 17 years old.

Why was she so negative? What the heck had I done?

38 years later, after much research, I know why she was the way she was. I found out the truth of her life.

She married her first big love, William, whom she met playing tennis. They were quite a cute couple. Along soon after marriage came my Father, William, and then shortly thereafter his sister, Doris. William was a butcher, and had a growing family to support. Then another child, Mabel, is born, but soon terrible times come and Mabel dies, aged 3 years. In their grief, they fight and make-up, and soon another baby, Lois, is born. Comes the Great Depression and William starts drinking alcohol heavily and the marriage falls apart. William leaves, and Bonnie and the kids have terrible times.

Life never got better for Bonnie, not like it did for her son, my Father, who was shrewd and good with money. Bonnie became dependant, money-wise, on her son, and the addition of me to his household with the death of my Mother was more than she could bear. The fights that she and I had led to her being given an apartment by my Father, and greater dependentcy, and by the time she was in her 70's she was a bitter, angry woman. Such a sad end to what started as a vibrant life.

Life can disappoint.

Struggle on. Displace your negativity safely, not on your self or relations. Don't let others get the best of you, your self esteem and self love. Do not give up. You are worth the struggle.

Thank you, Grandma Bonnie, for the life lesson. I love you.

 

November 4, 2013

What a morning it's been, and it's early as I write this.

Up before dawn, and already the birds are stirring, even though it's getting colder. 45F says my IPhone as I walk out, and the snap of the ambient temperature against my face.

Walking along, getting warmer, and there are lots of folks out, most of them on their way to work. I walk away from the center toward a park and am enjoying myself. At one point I decided to walk up a street I don't usually choose, and am walking along when I hear a woman scream, a real back of the throat scream. I run toward the sound, around a corner up ahead, and as I do there's a man ahead of me, coming down his steps. As we round the corner, there in front of us, are a couple of smashed pumpkins on the sidewalk, and a drunken woman looking at us. No one moves.

Just then, from the gutter, a man stands up and starts applauding. He is clearly drunk, and looks much worse than his companion. Just then the resident opens her door, her husband stepping in front of her, and the drunk woman starts talking about 'getting it out of her system' and I walk on.

Ah, displacement. Not always pretty, but it can be very sobering.

Enjoy your day!

 

November 2, 2013

Hello Petaling Jaya, Malaysia! You are on my 'bucket list' of one of the places I must visit. Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

Made it through Halloween thanks to friends and the City of San Francisco, what a great evening and night. So many amazing costumes, such creativity on display. Thank you all!

Yesterday was 'All Saints Day' and the Christian churches were well attended throughout the day into the night. Very prayerful.

Today is 'All Souls Day', also known in Mexico and beyond as 'Day of the Dead'. There will be a slow walk through the Mission District starting at 6PM, always quite a sight. So many folks carrying photographs of their dead, so many folks made up to look skeletal, some beautiful, some frightful, and all of it very moving.

One year I went with a necklace of marigold flowers and my appointment book. That year several of my clients had passed away, and I wanted to remember them. To this day I still do.

Recently I was talking with a man who is dying. He told me how glad he was that his pain and lack of vitality were drawing to an end. He said that I was the only person he knew he could say those words to who would understand, and I told him I did.

One of the facts of this ife is that it ends in death. This is a good thing, eventually.

A woman I know dwells on death, and is fearful of it and avoids people who are very ill and never mentions death as she fears it so. To help her, I have been letting her read chapters of a book I'm working on about death, and the conversations that I have had with countless people the world over about the subject, both before and after. The other day she told me that she is beginning to understand death a bit more, and accepts the fact of it. That's a good start, I told her, but remember that the greatest gift that death gives the living is the singularity of life, itself. How wonderful life is, in other words. Enjoy it while you've got it.

Later today I will light a candle for those who have died, as a sign of love and respect. Love never dies.

 

October 29, 2013

Oh, boy...Halloween! In my neighborhood it is absolutely amazing every year. Thousands of people from all over the world come to the Castro District, most in some kind of costume, and it's quite a show. The sidewalks get so crowded that they close the streets to traffic and then people swarm into the streets and there are television cameras and reporters and so many photographers!

It will be wild, and I will be joining late as I am going to the California Academy of Sciences (www.calacademy.org) for their Thursday night open hours, always interesting and fun. Zombies and ghouls and lots of fun!

Laughter is one of the most healing sounds that exists. There was a study a friend did years ago where it was shown that a mother can differentiate the sound of her childs laughter 90% of the time. Another study I read talked about how the television programming shown in a test facility of old folks that only featured positive imagery and language was a contributing factor in the wellness of those attending.

Have some fun in the coming days, and nights. Laugh, and the world laughs with you, and love is so much closer.

 

October 25, 2013

Two months and a skosh left in this year, tempus flys, and we're moving at more than 2,000 miles per hour in space. Whew!

One of the nice joys of these days has been the late sun rise, later and later each day. Now almost 7:30AM, excellent.

This lets me go out early, before sunrise, and watch one of my favorite shows: Dawn.

Cold it was this morning, as I walked out onto the deck above the backyard. The air was snapping cold, like a slap on the skin bare to the world. No hot tub this morning, I thought, as I caught sight of the soft pink clouds in the distance, and as I watched they changed color and slowly went from shades of pink to a pale gold as the sun rose. Suddenly, there in a part of the sky, a white line appeared, and grew longer and longer as the airplane flew onward, passing to the east of me, somewhere over the Sierra Nevada mountains. By then the sky was ablaze with reds and golds and pinks and silvers and blues and whities in the distance. Such a show. What a way to start today.

It only takes a few moments, sometimes even less, to just be in time. To marvel at the beauty that surrounds us each day. What a gift.

Here's to today, and you, and all that is.

Love on!

 

October 22, 2013

Hello Taipai, Taiwan! You are on my list to visit, seeing as how I have family there and all. The photos I've seen are amazing. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading along!

Brrrr....Fall is really falling around here, especially this morning. There is such thick fog at the Golden Gate Bridge that it disappears. And chilly? Yes, very chilly. Heading for the 40's, and I know, that's not that cold. But it sure feels like it is, since we've been enjoying a late summer lately. Nevertheless, up and out I go for a long brisk walk.

The town's still full of tourists, and the nice young woman from Wales in front of me waiting for the traffic light to change was waxing eloquently about our fair city, telling her friend what a friendly town it is, and how much there is to see and do. But is it always this foggy, she asks, and those of us near her smile.

They say that the fog in 'frisco, pardon my vernacular, creeps in on cats feet. Maybe so, but I pity the poor thing.

Returning home, a small white cat awaits me, all full of chirps and purrs about the family of squirrels that have taken up residency in the Norfolk pine tree in our yard. Except for her, the house is quiet.

After a hot shower and warm clothes my work day begins, and the opportunity to help people presents itself. Away I go...

Here's hoping your day is what you want it to be, and even better!

 

October 18, 2013

Hello Beervelde, Belgium. Such a beautiful part of the world are you, and the beers! Wonderful! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours.

Well, it's been interesting, to say the least. Sorry for the long break in writing, I was trying out a new application to make my posts and it didn't work out so well.

  October 13, 2013

          It looks like the US of A is heading for some weird times, law-wise. There's this group of politicians called the Tea Party and they are  unhappy with the Affordable Care Act and have stoped the US from paying most Government employees, so the country is shut down. Not the best way to run a country. Funny enough, this has been a feature of American politics since before there was an America. There was a small group of men who didn't see anything wrong with the Colonies being unfairly treated and put up with the status quo for many years, until July 4, 1776. So here we go again, only this time the small group of men and women are making their stand not for citizens but against them. The best thing we Americans can do is to inform ourselves and not to listen to someone who may be omitting data to sway opinion, myself included. Being a citizen of anywhere comes with obligations. Here's hoping this mess doesn't last too much longer!

 

October 7, 2013

Hello Half Moon Bay California! Such a beautiful part of this world are you, the hills, the rolling landscape, the beaches, the ocean and all that beautiful blue sky over you lately! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

The weather has been quite nice for several weeks now, sunny and warm here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and yet snowy and windy and unseasonably icky elsewhere. A client of mine back East told me about the day she woke up to blue skys and dressed accordingly, only to exit her workplace at the end of her workday into rainy streets and cold wet wind. Whether or not, there's always weather.

A cousin of mine, Jess, is staying with us right now, and it sure is nice to have her here. She's just returned from an amazing adventure starting in Korea where she taught and then onto India and working in support of the Dalai Lama. Hearing her stories is a delight, and to see the excitement in her young eyes, the glow of her face as she retells her memories: priceless and eternal.

Travel is such a wonder thing to do, and one needn't travel long distances to have the experience. There have been days when I have walked down my front stairs into situations and people that have come all the way to SF to happen. Like the couple the other morning, who stopped me looking for a certain business. They were from South Africa and in the wine business, a brief delightful chat we had. They were having a great time, they said, just as the naked woman with bright red dyed hair everywhere, if you get my drift, rode by on her skate board. The woman saw her first, and stared, her husband and I saw 'Red' next, and he laughed out loud. 'Red' waived. Ah, SF...

Get out and about the next chance you get, and take in the beauty and sometimes absurdity of life here on Earth. It is a lovely planet, made all the better with our love.

Love on!

So that's what I wrote, hoping to share it with you, but it got hung up between platforms and never left me. My apologies. Sometimes things don't work out the way we hope. 'Life is not a chair of bollies.' my Dad said from time to time, and he's right to this day. It is what we as individuals do to set things right that prevails.

Kinda like what happened yesterday in the US. American Government, love it or hate it, reopened. America will continue to pay its bill, for the short term, and the Tea Party failed to stop citizens from taking advantage of medical insurance now available to every one. It strikes me as strange that the richest, most productive country in the world is so poorly governed. That's what elections are designed for. November 2014 is the next nationwide chance for citizens to improve our government. Here's hoping we do!

 

October 3, 2013

Hello, Hyderabad, Paris, London and Roseville CA. Such beautiful places in our world, all the best to you and yours and thanks for reading along.

Fall is felling all over the place, have you noticed? The first big storm of the coming winter is onshore in the Pacific Northwest, dropping lots of rain that will turn to drifts of snow as it moves eastward. A harbinger of winters might.

The other morning I woke up and felt that a long time friend has passed on, and sure enough, he has. There was such a strong presence as I awoke, and I had a flash of memory 30 years old. I knew in that moment he was there with me, on another plane, quite like this one except for the absence of machines of any kind. I could sense his sorrow and love and lit a candle for him.

Death is hard, both on the living and the dead. We living think that the person we knew is gone forever, leaving their shell behind. The dead can run around and scream at us and not be heard or sensed, Both sides mourn what was, and move forward.

Life after death is inevitable. What matters is what we take away from the experience and the time we spent.

My friend Allen leaves behind more than 8 decades of loving and living, with countless lives touched and memories made. There are children and grandchildren and many, many friends on this side, thinking of him and holding his memory dear.

The life that we live becomes the legacy that we leave behind when we slip off this mortal coil. Many folks have told me how they look forward to heaven and the mysteries beyond the veil. But even they are in no hurry to get to the other side, and abide here on Earth. How our thoughts become the world that we live in, that our beliefs and fears help to shape our day to day reality, seemingly so mundane, is all the more true in the face of mortality.

And life goes on.

Love on. It's some of the best effort that we can do.

 

September 27, 2013

What a funny day yesterday was. A man came to see me, saying that he wanted insight into how to solve some of his problems. His biggest problem turns out to be that he is not in control of everything and everyone around him. Rather than approaching our conversation from this angle, I chose to talk about why his power ends at his skin, as is true for all of us.

'Goddamn it, I came here to have you tell me how to manipulate people, not talk about me.'

So instead we talked about intention and direction, chaos and control.

One of the hardest things that each of us must accept are the limitations we all live with. There are so many in life. Of greater importance, at least for me, are the things that I can do. I have never found it useful to whine and complain, other than as acts of displacement.

Each life has challenges, each day has challenges. How we deal with them is up to us, each of us.

There are two sisters that live near me. I've met them walking many times, and have stopped and chatted. One sister is kind and this light shows in her eyes and smile. The other sister is negative and bitter and always grumpy. I heard that the grumpy sister was in hospital for a minor problem, and came home without fanfare. When her sister fell and bruised her knee and shin, folks came by with food and flowers.

This morning I went for a walk with the grumpy sister and we talked about how and why she came to be so negative. She went on and on about a life time of disappointments, of unhappy events, of sadness she harboured. At one point I spied a stick and picked it up. I asked her to take it in her hand and to think of the first unhappy thing that popped into her mind, and when it did she was to break the stick. As I spoke she broke the stick, and then again, and then again.

When she looked up at me she was smiling, the first time I've seen her smile.

'That's what you do?' she asked, and I said yes, as many times as negative thoughts and feelings come into your mind.

She broke the stick 4 more times and then laughed.

Love on!

 

September 24, 2013

Hello Woonona, NSW Australia! Lovely name for a place, and amazing sights in your part of the world. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Conventional wisdom says that the autumnal equinox has happened, based as it is in Greenwich, England. Here in SF it looks as it the split of darkness/lightness will occur shortly, between tomorrow and Thursday, 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark. Equinoxs are local too.

Have I mentioned that I love my work? It's true, I really do. Working with folks, helping them to resolve their issues and move forward in life is so rewarding. Yesterday while out and about, I crossed paths with a man I have not seen since I lived in Chicago many years ago. He recognized me and came over to where I stood waiting for a traffic light to change. We grabbed coffee and chatted for a while. He told me how he had made big changes in his life, and was now fulfilled and happy, married with 4 children. Quite an improvement from the young man I met all those years ago who was falling into drug addiction and filling with anger and rage. Change is real, and lives in each of us.

One of the things I've learned during my time here on Earth is the importance of language. What I think shapes my world. If I think something is impossible for me to do, chances are I will be correct. Self fulfilling, that. This is why I try to avoid using the word 'can't', as it represents an impenetrable wall of action. Along the way I've also learned to listen to the emotional tone with which I address myself in my thinking. This has, in the most profound of ways, helped me to fashion a positive belief in my self and life in general.

As the darkness of the outer world begins to prevail in the amount of sunlight each day has, it's important to bring light into our personal thoughts and spaces, and keep love and hope alive. Do it for you, first, and then share your light and life and love.

Happy Equinox!

 

September 20, 2013

Did you get a look at that full moon? What a beaute it was here in San Francisco. Big and glowing, callted the Harvest Moon here in the States. Right before Fall falls, perfect timing.

As about one-third of this city is Asian, this moon marks the start of the month long festival happening in parts of town. Special foods galore! And Night Markets, something I personally love. There is a thrill walking among the crowds, everyone so it seems, out and about. Lots of wonderful blooming branches and lots of fruits. And music!

The shortening days harbor the grasp of Autumn, colder weather, winds, less sunlight. When I lived in London I discovered that I am not well suited to living under leaden skys, as depression began to stalk and come over me all too frequently. The sky of SF winter works for me.

Life in the northern hemisphere is bring a season of harvest, as evidenced by the plethora of cultures that celebrate the abundance that surrounds us at this time of year. The markets are brimming with beautiful produce, the air has a chill in the early morning, the sun sleeps a little later each day and retires earlier each day as well.

Enjoy these days, as the world turns. Share your abundance with those you love.

Share love!

 

September 14, 2013

Hello Riyadh, Saudi Arabia! Years ago, when I worked in business consulting, there was the possibility that I would be joining an effort in your amazingly diverse country, as I learned then. Part of my job was 'Customer Relations' and this meant that I started to learn Arabic. The spoken language was wonderful but the written, such beauty, eluded me. Thank you so much for reading along. All the best to you and yours!

Inshallah! God Willing!

When I lived in Pakistan, I remember sitting on the airplane at Karachi International Airport waiting to fly to my new home, Lahore. The flight attendant came on the PA system and spoke in many languages, and finally English, and I paid attention. After stuff about the flight she said 'We will land in Lahore, God willing...' and my mind grabbed at the words. God willing? That sounds a little scary, I thought.

As I came to discover, this submission to God is a fundament of many faiths. My Mom used to say 'Don't count your chickens until they hatch.' This became very true for me when we raised chickens in Newberry Springs CA and saw firsthand how things don't always go as expected.

Over the course of my life I have come to believe, and that is the correct verb, that the right thing always happens.

There are so many terrible events, I know, but each and every one of them is a learning experience.

When my Mom died in the summer of my 14th year of life, I spent the next couple of years coming to the conclusion that God hated me and my Mom and that life was a big terrible thing and that there is no point in being a good, honest, and loving person since the game of life was rigged and all of life was about suffering.

The next several years were filled with drama, trauma and self destructive behaviors. It's a wonder I survived, so many of my companions have not.

It took a near fatal car crash to change my thinking. Getting that close to death gave me another perspective.

God willing. Was I?

Now, many years later, I have come to realize that what occurs in life doesn't just 'happen'. There is a reason for everything. Life is about growing, changing, becoming. What that looks like is for each of us to determine as we see fit. We get to choose. Life can do all kinds of things to us and we become who we become, and let's not split hairs about 'conscious vs unconscious', the point is that at some point we all have a moment, sometimes many, when we see ourselves clearly, honestly and truly. Do you love who you see? If not, time to change. If you do, God willing it will be as you choose.

Choose love and live in harmony.

Love on!

 

September 9, 2013

Golly, it's early on a Monday morning and the day has gotten off to a rocky start.

Waking up to the mewing of Edy the cat, the air is calm and a bit chilly. Coffee and newspapers and out the door for a walk. Things are going along wonderfully as I walk up the hill on Noe Street. I've got my IPhone and earbuds in, but nothing is playing at the moment as I walk on the sidewalk. Just them a car comes down the hill and then veers toward me. I run up the hill to avoid being hit. I can see the driver, a young man, wildly gesturing, holding a cellphone. He hits the curb and comes to a stop on the wrong side of the street, jumps from the car and starts yelling at me, saying over and over 'What am I supposed to do?' Suddenly a man comes from the house we're in front of and starts yelling at the driver, and I walk quickly away. At the intersection I look down to see both men yelling at each other, and a small crowd forming. So much for my calm morning.

Walking home, I reflect on the drama that I witnessed. I remember a childhood of being around highly dramatic adults, and all of the angst and trauma and emotional pain that I witnessed and experienced. So much of my life was spent in fear and thrall to turmoil and terrible times. The lesson of those times is with me still.

Just as I walk down my street a neighbor comes down her stairs, her dog in her arms. We exchange greetings and chat for a bit, talking about the changes on the street, the new neighbors with the 3 kids and 2 dogs and live-in nanny, this and that. Just as we're about to part she suddenly reaches out and hugs me, and says some kinds words about me.

Walking up my steps, my heart and head are calm, my spirit buoyed. The impromptu actions of my neighbor have gone straight to my core, and have reminded me that life is full of wonder and love.

Drama and trauma are part of our world, but only part. There's so much more in life to enjoy and savor.

Love on!

 

September 5, 2013

Hello Bursa, Turkey! Such a wonderful and wonder filled country! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

The other day a man came to see me. He had a physical problem and had been referred to a woman who claimed that for $3000 cash and some effort on his part that she would heal him. So he and I sat down with a computer and checked this woman out. What a nasty bunch of stuff we found out about her. He said she seemed to honest, so truthful. I told him to listen to himself, his own language reveals what is true.

Most often, when we say that something or someone 'seems' this or that, what are acknowledging with our use of the word 'seems'  that the appearance of something or someone is not in harmony with the truth.

Seems=seams

All of us, whether we want to admit it and accept it or not, have intuition. It's up to us to use it, to trust it, to make the best use of it.

Things are not always as they seem. Learn to trust your guts, your intuition. It's there for your betterment. I know mine has helped my life beyond words.

Years ago, I met the son of a client. From our initial meeting, I had reservations about this young man, and over time learned that he was involved in a scheme that would defraud investors. I sent him a note asking to meet, and we did. I told him to his face that I sensed what he was up to, which he denied with vigor. I told him I didn't buy it, and that he should rethink his plans. F*@# you, he said, storming away. He was found out within weeks, was arrested, jailed, bailed by his family, and still lied about his actions and intentions. Ulitimately he was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison. It broke his parents hearts, and both of them suffered along with him.

Sadly, both parents told me that they knew from an early age that their son was not on a good path. Now the three of them are working together in therapy to mend all that can be mended.

Love is a powerful and wonderful thing, and represents the very best of us. There is not a life on Earth that is not made better with love. Love yourself, honestly, first. Then those around you. If you don't love you, there is little chance of your love impacting another. Giving someone something you don't possess is just wishful thinking, at best. At worst it's co-dependence.

Trust love, learn to trust you, learn to love you. Life will be all the better for your intentions and efforts.

Love on!

 

August 31, 2013

Hello Wembley, England! Thanks for looking me up. As the 18th generational Nephew of Geoffrey Chaucer, my research into this part of my ancestry has been extensive, and continues. If I can help your enquiry please don't hesitate to contact me directly via email at heikkie@aol.com. All the best to you and yours!

The other day, a couple, soon to be parents, came to talk with me. They were wanting to talk about how they could communicate better between themselves and foster a better environment for their offspring. My advice was to look at each other when speaking, if possible. When we have eye contact during conversation we are sharing more than just words, we're sharing our body language, our expression, our attitude. This morning I got a message from them that they're really making progress and what could have been a bad moment was circumvented by having the conversation face to face.

Communication can be so difficult. Take the time to listen and speak and communication gets better. Listening is more than just the pause before speaking again. 

Emotions can make communication even more difficult. Take the time to displace any negative energy you're feeling to lessen the chance of these feelings hi-jacking you.

If we can remember to start our communications with the love that lives in each of us, the better things, like life, go better.

Love on! 

 

August 25, 2013

Hello Grand Rapids, Michigan! I remember a lovely sunday afternoon walk in your lovely downtown, years ago, the breeze in the trees cooling us all, and such a lovely light. All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading along!

Change...and change again, time after time after time. Just when I start to get used to something, or someone, or someplace...change comes along.

In with the new, out with the old, and keep moving! That's the voice of change.

Waking up this morning, there were messages from folks, about the change that is happening around and in some cases directly to them. What to do, please advise.

Take a deep breath, breathe, and welcome change into your life. There's no point in resisting it. really. Breathe and relax.

Oh, and do the best you can with it, and be your best you. Change makes life more, every day.

And while you're at it, don't forget to share as much love as you can. Love makes change more endurable, and lighter to bear.

Love on!

 

August 20, 2013

What a week it's been...I was being a host to a German born cousin of mine and her husband, a Germanologist named Edward R Haymes ( I'm fulfilling a promise I made to him, that I would mention him by name on my blog) who knows Wagner like a friend. I, however, always think of Bugs Bunny when I think of the composer. Too much exposure to Warner Brothers' cartoons, I guess is why.

'Time flies when you're having fun.' I've heard that for years, and know it to be true. The week just flew by, everyday there was so much to do and everynight as I fell into my bed I'd be thinking about the next day. Luckily for me, San Francisco shows its self off very well to tourists, and is a very easy city to get around in.

Which is how I came this morning to the aid of a family from Bologna, Italy. Nice folks, and their teenage son and daughter were very conversant in modern slang. They were trying to find a business they had heard about, but had some confusion. After a bit of chat I figured out they were looking for the Ferry Building Marketplace and directed them onward. Just as they left, a couple from New Zealand came up to me and asked for directions to a cable car line. And away they went. I looked around and started to walk off when a guy leaning against a building said 'Good man.' I thanked him and walked on.

My morning walk, and me still being a bit of a host. I guess it's just part of my nature, to want to help where and when I can. There have been so many people who have helped me to this very day, and I truly believe that 'what comes around, goes around.'

Here's to a good week for all of us. Here's to the good! 

  

August 13, 2013

Hello Cincinnati, Ohio. Never have had the opportunity to visit your fair town, perhaps one of these days...Here's hoping you are enjoying the summer. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Here in San Francisco there's alot going on, one of the biggest being the America's Cup sailing on the bay, quite something to see these huge catamarans zooming on the water, gliding above it like water striders on a pond. And the Outlands Music festival was quite something, with Paul McCartney and Nine Inch Nails and lots of others, playing and singing to the drinking and noshing crowd. And there were Dragon Boat races this past weekend as well. Beautiful boats, strong crews. So much to see and do!

Fogust. That's what I call August here in SF. The mornings start, sometimes with drizzle, with fog just about everywhere in the City, except on the bay. Not very chilly, maybe 57F or so most mornings, but the fog adds chill to the air, and the dim light completes the gloominess. Fogust in August. Locals joke about the tourists that come here in the summer and are surprized by the cool weather. Across either the Golden Gate or the Bay bridges there's plenty of sunshine, the temps are in the 80's, and it's clearly summer. Not in SF, not in Fogust.

Tomorrow 2 of my relatives of my German family are coming to SF, and I can't wait to show them my fair little burg. I do hope they are bringing warm clothes...although the sweatshirt sellers are betting they didn't.

Here's hoping you enjoy your day! Big hugs and all the best to you and yours!

 

August 8, 2013

Hello Franklin, Georgia! How's life along the Chattachoochee River these days? Closest I've ever been to your fair city is Atlanta, a fine town. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Vladimir Putin, Benghazi, the future...What to make of all of this, someone asked me this morning. My advice is to read, learn, listen, and by all means Do Not Rush To Judgement!

There is so much going on in our lives, and it is so very easy to see a headline in a newspaper or hear a blurb on TV and have a reaction.

Years ago I worked for the Los Angeles Times. In my position, I was able to learn all about how the newspaper was managed. What most impressed me was the mastery of the written word, and how it could be manipulated. Friends and clients in broadcast tell me that it's the same thing in their industry: hook the viewer/reader.

A kind man at the Times, and there were a few, told me that the word 'news' was made up of 'north, east, west, south'. Great story.

There's a flood of information, some of it dubious at best, coming at us 24/7, all the time. Each of us has to serve as our own editor and decide what data we are willing to learn, what manipulation we will allow, and ultimately what we think.

In this world we are best served by taking care of ourselves first, and this applies to how much of the worlds troubles one takes in. I am not advocating sticking ones head in the sand, but of being a friend to ones self and not giving over too much power to media outlets. 

Learn the facts behind the headline. Read more and learn more, but don't let yourself become a marrionette for anyone.

Love you best!

Love on!

 

August 6, 2013

Hello London, England! Such a worldly city, so much to see and do, so much history. Hopefully one of these days I will have a chance to spend more time in you, and not transitting at Heathrow only. All the best to you and yours!

Here in San Francisco we are experiencing our 'usual' summertime weather: foggy in places, light grey skies, slight breeze, and maybe, like this morning, drizzle, the lightest misting at times.

Out walking this morning, I passed a homeless man who wanted to give me a dollar because I smiled at him. Thankfully declining, I walked on in the drizzle past a bunch of school children walking into their school, the air filled with their laughter and shouting. Who knew going to school in the middle of summer could be such fun?

Thinking back, I recall the one summer that I went to school. It was the summer between 10th and 11th grades, and I wanted to get my schooling done quickly so that I could qualify for an early college program my high school offered. It was a terrible decision, as I had chosen (thanks to my counselor Dixie Dent) Biology 1 and Algebra 2, two very challenging subjects for me. It was not a fun summer for me, that year.

Walking on, I pass a flower vendor setting up for the days business, pulling out plastic tubs filled with flowers from his parked van, the colors muted in the foggy light. Just then a shaft of sunlight falls on his stand, and the corner is brightened and the flowers look dazzling.

Life is like that. At times it can appear dull, the colors muted and faded. But when illuminated, its beauty and majesty are clearly seen. For me, love is the illumination that brings color to life.

A woman stops at the flower stand and buys a bunch of dahlias, the flower of San Francisco, telling the vendor how lovely they will look on her desk at work. As I hear her words, I am reminded that my own work day looms and I continue on, to finish my morning walk.

Fog and children and sunshine and flowers. What a great start to the day.

Here's hoping you will take some time to enjoy the life around you, as I did this morning. Let the love and beauty of our world fill and restore our peace and calm, our joy and love.

Love on! 

  

July 31, 2013

Hello Linkoping, Sweden! Such a beautiful part of the country you are in, as I remember when taking the train from Copenhagen to Stockholm. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

This morning, awake before dawn, cup of coffee in hand, I went and sat on my deck overlooking the backyard. No birds call, no sound at all, quiet and peaceful and calm. As the sky lightened the birds began to chirp, one at a time up in the maple tree. Suddenly the mourning doves are flying in, landing down in the garden, looking for birdseed which they'll find. The little birds make a fuss as a tree branch moves and a squirrel appears, running down the limb onto another limb and onto the deck.

As she lands she sees me sitting at the other end of the deck, and proceeds to eat the chopped nuts waiting for her near the door. A few minutes later along comes her mate, a big fluffy male who I've named Buddy. He's quite used to me and has taken food from my hand on many occasions. Today he walks over to me and stands up on his back legs, paws against his chest, with a air of waiting about him. I reach into my pocket and give him some pecan pieces. He sits and quietly eats them all, then goes to explore what else there is to eat.

Science says that squirrels are smarter than cats. I'll never tell our cat Edy about this, she wouldn't believe it anyway. Edy walks out on the deck and sees the two nut munchers on the deck and ignores them, and they her.

A quiet and peaceful start to my day. As dawn breaks around 6:15AM the squirrels are gone, the birds are waiting in the maple tree for Edy and I to leave, which we do.

All of life has a rhythm. This morning I got to share in the quietude with gratitude. Going through my day into my night, I will hold these memories of this day, and a bit of the peace of life.

  

July 28, 2013

Happy Parents' Day! (Signed into U.S. law in 1994)

A day to celebrate all of those who parent. Having a child is a big job, with life long responsibilities and ramifications, and many joys as well. Congratulations!

As one of those who has never had a biological child, from time to time I am asked why I chose not to have offspring. The truth of the matter is that the right woman did not come into my life. If she had, well, who knows? But this didn't happen. The closest I came to being a parent was being a step parent to three children for 5 years. It was challenging and fun. Now I am a God Father (Hello Maleka!) and I thoroughly enjoy it.

Parenting is more than just biology, it is helping and assisting another for whom one feels connection. There are countless times when each of us has to act and respond as a parent. What is at stake is to be a better parent than your parents. Then you as an individual grow, and the situation is improved by your effort.

My Stepdad was hit with his fathers belt as a child, and grew up to use a belt on his two sons. They grew to hate him and did not mourn his passing. By the time he came into my life he still wanted to use that belt on me a time or two, but just the terror of it was enough for me. His children went on to use physical violence against their children. A sad legacy.

My wish for all parents is patience, lots and lots of it, along with unconditional love by the bucket full.

Love on!

 

July 23, 2013

Hello Minneapolis, ah, to be walking around one of those lovely downtown lakes, like Lake of the Isles...All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

And a Big Welcome to the future King of England, as yet un-named by the BBC, which I now call the Baby Boy Channel!

Talk about taking on a big job, he's got one, that's quite a family, those Windsors. Congratulations to all!

  

July 20, 2013

Remembering time gone by am I this morning, thinking back 44 years ago today. A man walked on the moon! Wow!

It had been a long day for me, it had started early in my Santa Monica CA apartment, across from Santa Monica High School, from which I had graduated in June of that year. At this point in my life I felt tremendously stuck. Mired in the muck of a life I was plodding through, trying to pay my bills and figure out how to get ahead...and that was the problem, I had absolutely no idea where ahead was.

Feeling lost, stuck, a little frustrated and even a tad angry, I woke up July 20, 1969 and went to my job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Eight long, hot, sweaty, greasy and flour-y hours later, I was getting ready to leave when a guy came in the store and loudly said 'He's about to walk on the moon', and the whole place went abuzz. Someone turned on a radio and we all heard it live, there on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles that afternoon, the sound of a future opening, new vistas, new hopes.

That night I resolved to go forward, on to college, somehow, and to live a better life than the one I was living.

It meant getting serious about a plan to arrive at my goal, which was to be educated and interested and giving life my all, and hopefully being happy and well.

To be sure, there have been countless mis-steps in my progress, and I work to see these steps as lessons for me to learn. And I'm still learning, there are still mis-steps. What is different now is how I treat myself after the mis-step, as I now give myself permission to grow and to learn, and I encourage myself forward. Life is not about perfection. Life is about progress.

Love on!

  

July 17, 2013

I don't know.

What a joy it is to say this. I don't know. Ah, what a relief...

not to have the expectation to know everything about everything. Just to be...

and to be a human, being. No more, no less.

What a relief, what a burden removed, what freedom bestowed...

the joy of not living up to anothers expectations, but instead being true to ones self, to ones authenticity. So many people will come along in our lives and tell us what it is we should think and feel and be and show, all the while telling us more about them selves than about us. Sometimes the world holds up a mirror that shows us what we need to know.

Not always, though.

Today, on my morning walk, I made note of the number of blank, smiling, sad, angry, and so many more expressions. The neutrals won by quite a margin. There were many smiles, a grin and a laugh, a growl and a singer, but the best was the man who recited e e cummings...what a delighful walk this morning provided.

Every day provides an adventure. The chance to say 'I don't know' and to learn, to become.

 

July 11, 2013

Hello Bac Giang, Vietnam! Hopefully, one of these days I will visit your beautiful country. All the best to you and yours!

So there I was,the other day, just minding my own business, out with a friend walking on a city street. We came to a store that had interesting windows, and decided to go in. Stepping into the room, a woman about 10 feet away turned her head toward me and then looked at me and then away. She then went and helped a customer.

Something felt weird, and I let my friend lead the way through our browsing. At one point I suddenly felt weird and turned to find the shop woman looking at me, and as I moved it became a stare. I was uncomfortable and rejoined my friend. She had found something to purchase and we soon moved toward the counter, behind which stood the shop woman.

She helped my friend and glanced twice at me. Then she looked at me and said 'Well, you've found me.' I smiled and said that I didn't understand what she meant. She looked at me and said she remembered meeting me a while back at a bar on Haight Street. I told her I hadn't been on Haight in over a year. She said I have a twin in San Francisco...

and judging from her reaction to seeing me, their meeting must have been quite charged. If I see him I'll make sure to tell him about this mis-identification. 

This little experience of my sixth sense, that creepy feeling I felt when the shop woman looked at me, is really a gift.

Having a sense, or call it a hit, or a perception is a common human experience. Learning to trust these messages can take a life time.  

What a splendid investment in ones future, learning to trust is.

  

July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day America!

and Hello, Renton, Washington! It's been a while since I last visited that part of our country, but the views of Mt. Rainier sure were thrilling, such lovely vistas. All the best to you and yours, here's hoping you enjoy reading along.

and Congratulations to Egypt! Democracy struggles to raise its head, and this revolution is borne on the backs of citizens.

Such a rush of freedom lately, of lives and times moving forward. So much change, and more to come.

Thanks to www.Ancestry.com I have been able to trace the various family names and histories of my ancestors. There was a wonderful researcher in Dublin that I met a few years back. I had gone to Ireland to look into my Cunningham ancestry, and with her help we learned that James Cunningham, born in 1661 in Leinster, Dublin, had immigrated to the Americas in 1737. As we filled in the blanks on his profile page on Ancestry.com, she told me that researching family histories reminded her of weaving and that each of us is our own individual piece of God's handiwork...

Well, it turns out that my latest immigrant relative was an as yet unknown Hispanic man who contributed, in the Arizona Territory in 1894, October maybe, to the creation of my maternal Grandfather Earl. This part of my family tree is very sketchy, as all of the participants have gone on to their rewards and only rumor survives. Earl was the last immigrant to arrive on what in 1912 would become the State of Arizona, completing the Continental United States at that time.

Independence is something worth celebrating, the struggle to be free of tyranny is age old, and is a truth in all of our lives. It isn't just political, freedom, it is also about civil and legal and religious freedoms, and the freedom to have one's thoughts to ones self. Freedom of mind; of heart; of love, and of belief. Free to be, you and me.

Furthermore, each of us, as individuals, have the greatest gift of all: life.

Here's my wish to you and yours, that your lives are centered in independence and surrounded with love.

Live on! Love on!

 

June 29, 2013

Hello, Hackettstown, New Jersey! Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours.

What a coincidence, that, seeing a new pin on my website analytics map, New Jersey of all places. Never knew I had a connection there until I looked into my ancestry. It was amazing to learn about my Great great Grandfather and his siblings, all of them born in Newark at what was then a big house and is today a big new building.

When I stop and think about all of the lives that had to be lived so that I can experience my life, it makes me glad.

To be sure, if I met some of my ancestors in the flesh I am sure that some of them would shun me as quick as that, and that would be fine with me. I never have much cared to spend time in the company of negative people, and heaven and goodness know that there are negative, bitter, sarcastic, mean spirited folks here on Earth.

Dealing with folks, it is easy to get confused and start to think that how people treat us is a reflection of our worth.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. How people treat one is a reflection of them, not one.

As a child, I remember a boy taunting another boy, calling him unpleasant names. The other boy spun around at one point and shouted 'I know you are, but what am I?' What a clever retort, I thought at the time. How easy it was to deflect the negativity and put it back on its source. How easy, I thought...

and how hard to perfect, I now know. The hurtful words and actions of others toward us can erode our self-esteem, and make us more vulnerable to greater damage. It is a struggle most of us face daily, and it is of the utmost importance that we remember our fighting words:

I know you are, but what am I?

and then by our works and words demonstrate our authenticity, our love, and our thanks for life.

 

June 26, 2013

Knowledge is such a powerful tool. I was reminded of this fact this morning, when I read the dissenting opinion of one of the members of the US Supreme Court on this mornings ruling.

The poor fellow is hide-bound to a belief system that is rooted in prejudice and fear. He is quite expository in his statement,it goes on for 26 pages, but the fact of the matter is that he is on the losing side of this argument.

When I was a child, I remember two of my relatives having a great big discussion about how wrong it was to vote for a Catholic for President. This was when John F. Kennedy got elected. Another time, hearing people talk about the 'darky' problem in South Central LA, and how the police should just to shoot people breaking laws.

Progress is slow at times, and happens person by person, day by day. The choice is always ours. Evolve or Devolve?

As President Obama tweeted this morning, #loveislove.

Love on!

 

June 23, 2013

Hello Mulia, Indonesia! Wow, what an interesting part of the world you are, such an amazing valley, and those mountains! All the best to you and yours!

Last night, thanks to a friend, I went to see a new opera. As operas go, it was so-so, but the singers were great. But what I wanted to share with you were some of the off stage things that happened.

I was standing in the lobby, reading the program, when a woman walks up to me and says 'How are you this evening?' Looking up, there is a 70ish year old woman, well dressed and coiffed, with a woman of about 50, not so well dressed, her daughter from the similar appearances. 'Oh, you must forgive me, I thought you were someone else.' she says and walks away. Funny that, I think and smile as they meld into the crowd in the filling lobby.

Seconds later, a politician that I recognize walks up to me and hands me his card with a smile, saying 'Nice to see you.' Huh?

With this, I join the queue for refreshments, and as I approach the waiter he looks at me and says 'This is on the house, what would you like?'

Now sipping my wine, I'm a little confused by events, but off I go to my seat.

Intermission finds me on the Mezzanine level, in a room with lots of well dressed folk. I spot the woman and her daughter from earlier, and the politician as well. As I pay for my bottled water, a woman I know from my work catches my eye by waving and motions me over. Introductions all around, and a bit of chit chat about the opera and bells are sounding and it's time to return to our seats. 'Come sit in our box.' the woman offers, but I decline. Instead I take the elevator to the top floor, where the stage is so small and distant, but the music is the best. Plenty of vacant seats, I grab one.

The music lifts me up, and the passage is sweet and delicate and achingly lovely.

Then, it's not so lovely. The opera progresses to its close, sweet and light. The applause is not too gushingly loud, there are no calls of bravo or brava for the main singers, and folks start moving toward the exits.

As I leave the building I pass the woman who'd asked me to join her party, she's standing with a woman, who says loud enough for me to hear 'What a nice smile he has.' and I know she means me and I start to blush and walk on.

When I was a little boy, my Mom's Mom Edith said to me many times, 'We're not ready to go out until we have our smile on.'

Those words of advice stuck with me, and I practice them to this day.

From where I sit, life is a miracle. There are countless wonderful events each and every day, and a whole new day to live. What's not to like about that? This is the source of my smile.

How's yours? 

 

June 20, 2013

Hello, Hart County, Kentucky! Amazingly enough, some of my ancestry comes from that very county. Hopefully one of these days I'll get to visit and see the land and people. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along.

Yesterday, my Goddaughter graduated from High School. The last time I went to a graduation ceremony was my own, decades ago from Santa Monica High School.

At this point I could write about how excited the parents were, and the terrible sound system that was bounced from so many speakers that it seemed like a satellite delay, and the sunny cloudless sky that was perfect weather.

However, I'm going to write about the things that stood out to me, as there were so many points of contrast.

If anyone ever tries to tell you that 'things don't change', tell them to keep living and open their eyes.

In her opening remarks, the Principal, an engaging woman, remarked that she had never, in her 15 years at the school, seen such a diverse multi-ethnic, multi-religious graduating class, and how impressed she was with the community that they had established as a group.

Golly, that's something.

And another thing, all the leis. There were leis, those Hawaiian flower necklaces, on just about every graduate, and Maleka, whose name is a clear tip of the hat to her Hawaiian heritage, was bedecked almost to her ears, so many leis had she. As I had walked onto the school grounds, there had been folks selling all manner of things, plastic trumpets, bells, and leis, some of them garish, some flowery and refined. Quite a business was going on. I even saw one young fellow with a lei made from folded US dollar bills, quite a few of them. That was different.

But what stood out for me was the difference in culture that these young people are going into.

When I was the graduate, the US was in a losing war in Southeast Asia. The economy was tanking, prices were going through the roof, and the world kinda sucked. The only thing I was looking forward to was not getting drafted. There were racial tensions exploding on the streets of Los Angeles and other cities in the country, and Nixon was in office...

Today the world is a much better place.

The energy that was radiating yesterday from all those excited young people infused the very air with hope and optimism, and the smiles and tears and laughs could not have been more heartfelt.

Another batch of young'uns was moved forward yesterday while I sat watching on the sideline.

Life does that, it keeps moving forward, and we follow in its wake.

Love on!

 

June 17, 2013

On this date, back in 1579, Francis Drake stepped onto what he called New Albion which we today call California.

The site of his arrival is on Drakes Bay, north of San Francisco. Old maps show a coastline that is clearly little changed were you to walk on the beach now. Many do, it is quite lovely there.

Years ago, in X'ian China, I met a woman who asked me where I was from, and when I said 'California' she excitedly grabbed my hand and in Chinese loudly informed her friends nearby that she had her hands on someone from the land of the Gold Mountain, as California is called in China. Her dream was to move to California one day, and grow orange trees.

Having been born in Los Angeles, I grew up with stories about the history of the state and loved to visit the Southwest Museum as a kid and look at all of the Indian artifacts there, and read of the original people of the lands.

Near the corners of Capp and 15th Streets in San Francisco, archeologists have found evidence of a shell mound, an ancient human dumping ground for shells of oysters and clams, that dates back 6,000 years.

Although Mr. Drake was clearly a 'johnnie come lately' to California, he helped to start the world discovering a state that sometimes is just a state of mind, and sometimes a state of grace, and hopefully a state of equality. Come visit California sometime, you're always welcome!

 

June 15, 2013

At the end of a week back to work, and did I mention that I love the people I work with? What lovely people...

I am so blessed to work and live the life I have. I think/feel/hope I understand, ,, what we give is what we live,

have I got that right? Dharma=karma...that is the message that I get. If we seek to get, we must first give. Give and live,as it were...

This evening I spoke with my Aunt Leota, her husband was my Mom's brother. She is 97 today, and her voice still has the ring of youth when she laughs, and her memory and faculties, save eyesight, are tip-top. She is a very good example of which I write.

What we give is what we live.

Leota, Oklahoma gal that she is, always pitched in and did her part, as a child and a grown woman. She loved and lived and did the best that she could, and hoped for the best and 'dealt with the rest', as she said this evening.

97 years of living. There's an old tale about a woman who lives a long time, and when asked why says 'I still care to' as if that was all that it takes to live so long. Would that it were so easy.

Genetics is surely part of the equation, but we would be remiss were we to forget spirit, would we not?

Love, and live on!

  

June 9, 2013

These past several days have found me in Northwest Iowa, near the city of Lemars or Le Mars, both are used on signs. The land is gently rolling, large patches green from soy bean or corn, others dark brown. Here and there are clumps of trees, tall green stands in competition with the silos for height.

We had gone back, my partner and I, to close up the family farm, in use since the beginning of the last century.

There were about a dozen of us, parents and kids and spouses and grandkids, all of us emptying this small wood frame building of the remains of several life-times. Everything was sorted, some stuff to be kept, some burned, some recycled.

At the end of the second day it was done. The house stood empty.

In the small living room, the green wallpaper has begun to lift from the wall, in places. The house had stood empty for nearly three years, since Mom and Dad moved away, after the urging of their children and their own frailties convinced them. Upstairs, in the boys room, the train motif wallpaper was covered years ago, after both sons grew up and moved out, first to colleges and then into their lives.Now a field of small flowers marches across the walls of the space, the old white bannister wobbly and silent witness.

Now the only sounds will be those of the wind, the rain, the sounds of nature. The sheep nearby, the occasional rabbit or raccoon or field mouse will contribute as they have over the years. In memory will live the sounds of talking and arguing and laughing that filled this house for generations, from the first family, immigrants from Alsace looking for new lives for themselves and their future generations here in the home of Black Soil, tiny Granville.

From an airplane, some people refer to this part of the world as 'fly-over states'. They couldn't be more wrong. It's easy from 40,000 feet to think little if at all for the farmers and their families on the earth below. There are more pigs than people these days, and really, who would want to live there? they ask.

Make no mistake, the heart of America is alive and well, maybe a little achey right now, but beating strong. I know this for a fact, having just been embraced by it in the welcoming smiles and easy laughter.

Love lives on.

 

 June 2, 2013

What a day. I did not plan it, actually I went to sleep thinking about dried grasses gently and softly moving in an almost warm wind.

There was some stir as Joe left for Destination Baking Company (www.destinationbakingcompany.com)  sometime around 5AM.

Waking up to bird song, the differing calls sounding like a fun conversation, many ascending notes.

Turning over to see the light, and then one more turn and the windows swing into view. There's light out there, the sun is about to rise.

A deep breath, and then 9 more.

I pull my legs up and swing them past the edge of the bed where gravity helps me. Momentum increases and I swing my torso upward, steading myself with my arms. Sitting upright, I stop moving and breathe almost a minute. Time to rise and shine.

The house is quiet, Edy the cat somewhere, and water beckons. A nice refreshing sip or three of water, cool, clear water.

Walking outside into the cool morning air, I note that the squirrel I saw yesterday is eating the nuts I left out last evening. His leg looked out of joint, and his gait was uneven, the last time I saw him. Still scrappy, he was, and still friendly, but his left leg was dislocated, poor fellow. I hope he enjoyed the pecans and walnuts and almonds.

The air is calm, the bird song all around. It's wonderful.

And then...

sounds from a house nearby, a voice raised, and then another voice. The sounds of 2 voices shouting, the words indistinct, the energy not.

Then the slam of a door.

Quiet returns.

Unfortunately, I think. But I am hopeful that their conversation, albeit rough, continue. By all means, keep talking. Don't stop. If there is anything we can do in a relationship that is good, it is to communicate. Speak your truth, be honest, be authentic. Love yourself enough to reflect the truth of your inner core. Love you best. The right person will love you because of who you are.

Relationships are work, but worth it.

The calm of the morning continues, the birds growing louder as the sky lightens. And then a shaft of sunlight strikes the hydranga, the greens and pale purple colors bursting into view.

What a lovely morning. This feeling stayed with me until this very moment, the end of my day. Shortly, I'll sit in the gathering darkness as the garden lights wink on, lighting the yard. That will be my sign to move inside and wind my day up. 

Love yourself, and then those around you. Share your love and share your best. You don't need to plan, you just need to be.

 

May 27, 2013

Sometimes it is very easy to get confused.

Here's the picture: I am waiting in line to buy a ticket. There was a woman at the window and she was still there a couple of minutes later, and the line had been moving faster prior to her. I'm last in line. Time ticks by. The man before me complains to the ticket seller about having to wait and goes on and on about how bad the service has become lately before storming off.

I step forward and her brown eyes meet mine. She is tired and frustrated and has put up the 'Closed' sign. After me, she's done.

'Thank you for helping me' I say before asking my seating question. She helps me and our eyes meet for a second and I say 'Good on you for not letting people get the better of you' and she smiles and then shakes her head and laughs. Oh, some of the people she meets she says and her eyes roll and she laughs. 'Some days are better than others.' We both laugh and I thank her and leave.

This incident brought to mind a memory of another ticket window and another experience.

It was a ticket booth at the Kirov Ballet in what was then Leningrad. The woman selling tickets shouted her answers and from what I knew then of the Russian language she was using very harsh words, some of them swear words. I waited my turn, asked my question and she just shook her head and said 'Nyet' spitting the word out and closing her eyes. I was dismissed. I turned to walk away just as a woman came up to me. She wanted my help as she knew nothing in Russian and was afraid to speak to the ticket window woman. I said I'd help, and we approached the window together just as it became free. We walked up and I started to ask a question and the ticket seller exploded and started yelling her head off and suddenly a man came out of a door and walked up to us menacingly. I asked my question of him. He switched to English and I repeated my question. He gave me a funny look and then went to the ticket woman. We could see him talking and she was talking and then he came back and gave me what I'd asked for. After thanking him, I asked if the ticket woman was always so brusk. He laughed and said that the woman was being punished for drinking on the job and that dealing with the public was the most demanding job they had. Hence the ticket window.

While we were talking with him I noticed that the ticket window woman was not yelling anymore, and I saw her smile a couple of times as she did her job. We thanked him, the woman I had helped thanked me and we all parted.

Walking by the Kirov a couple of days later I saw the same woman in the ticket booth. I could see that she was gesturing and could almost hear her angry voice.

I've been confused in the past, and have mis-interpreted anothers actions and words as a summary judgement of me. Leading with my chin, that's what I call those times. How someone treats me has very little to do with me. How someone treats me says a good deal about them, how they feel about their job, themself, their life.

As a film client of mine says, 'Every one of us is living our own movie.' Sometime we might cross the path of another who's in a foul mood. We take the best care of our selves when we maintain our equilibrium, and remain unconfused.

 

May 24, 2013

Hello Thomson, Georgia! All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading along.

Yesterday, at my local library, I crossed paths with a man I haven't seen since moving to San Francisco 30 years ago. He and I had known each other through mutual friends in the music industry way back when. We recognized each other immediately, and our chat led us to cross the street and sit at a small Vietnamese Sandwich shop and talk our heads off, catching up on all the changes.

"Friends are like stars-They are there even if you cannot see them." Anonymous quote, oh so true.

In our conversation, so manys names came up, some of them famous, some of them infamous. Later I was on my computer trying to see if I could connect with some of the folks from my past, and amazingly enough, I could and did. Like the guy I knew at Columbia Records back in 1973. I found his phone number and called it and left a message, having recognized his voice on his message. We'd been buddies then, and had lost touch when I left the music business.

Time can slip right past us, almost like a silent river that carries us along, it knowing its path, us bobbing along where it takes us.

There are so many people who have come into my life, and some of them are friends even though I have not seen them in decades. No matter to me. My feelings are intact and alive within me, where ever these friends may be in this world or the next.

Just now, in the other room, I hear the guy from Columbia Records calling me back, but he hung up before I could get to the phone. His message is warm and welcoming and oh so good to hear. "Call me back, I'm so glad you called." What a nice thing to hear.

It's amazing how technology has made the world so much smaller, how easy it is to locate people nowadays. And the opportunities to make new friends is seemingly limitless, now.

Here's to the past we make now, and the future it brings. Love on!

 

May 22, 2013

Up early this morning, before dawns early light and even the birds. It's dark outside, the streets empty. Then a car goes by. Then another. Life is stirring.

I go back to sleep.

An hour later Edy the cat wakes me with her bleet-like meow. There's light outside and bird song. It's after 6AM and I've a busy day ahead of me so it's best to get a move on.

There are so many charletans in this world, as I was reminded yesterday.

A woman came to see me and told me that she was paying a woman to intervene and keep harm away, except that there was so much harm that she needed to sign her car over to the woman to pay off the evil spirits.

As I explained how she was being manipulated and how her fear was being exploited against her, she became very animated.

She stopped paying the woman and nothing terrible, other than a couple of ugly phone messages from the woman before her number was blocked.

This lesson cost her thousands of dollars. She's rueful that it cost so much and took so long, but is glad that she is in charge of her life again.

We all can give our personal power to someone and regret it. This is how we learn. The question is, do we change?

Or do we submit, and become less than who we could be, a shell of the authenticity that we are? Each of us gets to choose.

Snake oil salesmen, charletans, bullshit artists, the world is full of them.

Trust your guts, your own intuition, and learn from it. The world can be a deceiving place. Learn to trust yourself.

Love can help you here if you let it.

  

May 16, 2013

Well, that didn't take long, and the next thing I know this woman is telling me that Ms. Jolie oughta not be 'dwelling' on her cancer...

Really? Wow, what happened to your heart that you cannot support a stranger in trouble?

I was amazed, at first, by the lack of compassion. Secondly, I thought 'Who are you to judge?'. Thirdly, my compassion silenced me.

Years ago, I was at the Monterey California Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org) , such a wondrous place. I was at a 'Touching Station' or somesuch, and there was a sea urchin. I put my hand near it. These weird wavy deep purple arms, hundreds of them. It started banging, ever so persistantly. It felt so strange, these purple arms and under them, these hard pinkish sharp spear like spine, hard and pointy. So unlike anything I had ever seen before, I was fascinated. The docent came over and we had a great conversation about Echinoderms, as this group is called. Sea urchins and star fish and sand dollars are part of this group. There's a brain in there, she said, and it knows what it wants and doesn't.

This woman I mention, she's like that. She knows what she wants and doesn't. Who am I to judge her? We all get to be who we choose to be. There is no one way in life.

That choice is each of ours to make. For my part, I support any being in struggle with compassion. Life can bring out the worst of us and the best of us and everything in between. What's important is that it is ones truth.

The truth will set you free, it can make you miserable if you let it. Aim higher, point your personal compass upward, and life will turn out fine.

Love on!

  

May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie!

Over the years of my life, I have met many famous people, folks in the public eye. Most of them are regular folks, just like you and I with all the ups and downs of a normal life. Some of them are not such good folks. Few, that I've met, are extraordinary.

I have never met Angelina Jolie, but if I do I will thank her from the bottom of my heart and soul for having the courage to take control of a situation that devastates most people: cancer.

Her mom battled cancer for 10 years before dying from it, and when Ms. Jolie learned that the statistics for her having cancer were high, she decided to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery over three months. That is bravery and wisdom.

Today, in the New York Times, Ms. Jolie writes of her decision and the challenges life presents. She writes that we should not be afraid of lifes challenges, but that we should do what we can about what we face in life.

Brava!

I remember a woman I saw years ago, she had been told she had breast cancer by her Doctor, and came to see me. We talked about her life and her options, and I encouraged her to follow medical advice. She chose not to, and lived another 22 months. Right before she died, she called me and we talked. She told me that her fear had frozen her and that she did nothing until it was too late.

Fear can kill.

Life is going to throw curve balls, things won't always go the way we want them to, terrible things will happen here on Earth, every day. What each of us chooses to do in the face of calamities is up to us, and no one has the right to judge us for our choices.

What I am thankful for are folks, like Ms. Jolie, that make the hard decisions. They are examples to us all.

Live, and love on!

  

May 11, 2013

This week I saw a woman I had not seen in 12 years.

When I last saw her, she was leaving her terrible marriage and moving forward. She had had her eyes opened over the years they were married, and had come to learn of her husbands deceit and lies. It broke her heart but did not crush her spirit.

The intervening time had been transformative for her.

She had been single in a new town, with a new job in a new apartment. It took her a year to figure out what  she needed to make, and made them, buying a small house outside of town. She got promoted, twice.

Then she met someone and she knew she was attracted. She asked him out. He said yes. That was 5 years ago. He's still saying yes, and so has she and that was part of her return to San Francisco, to show him part of her past, as they move forward together in their future.

She told me that there were times when she just wanted to throw her hands in the air and give up. At those times, she said, she heard my voice in her head saying words of encouragement, and she kept going forward.

Life can kick us to the curb, and leave us there. It is up to each of us to save ourselves however best we can, without losing our humanity, dignity, and self esteem.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

My client's life reminds me that there is good in the world, and that justice and good do prevail. It can be hard to see that sometimes in the murky world shown to us by others. But the good in the world is alive and well, and each of us is part of it.

Love on! 

  

May 7, 2013

Wow, are we connected, or what?

The world appears to be at my, and your, fingerftips. All it takes is just a click there and there, keyboard or mouse...

There's this story, about a hundred monkeys. As soon as a hundred monkeys on one island learned something, on another island a monkey learned the same thing, and the next hundred monkeys learned, and so on...

One of my first UCLA classes was about Anthropology, and why you and I aren't dragging our knuckles like our ancestors did.

That was an eye opener.

My Father's Mother, Bonnie Grace, told me that we had been around for about 7, 000 years since the time of creation as told in the Bible. The next thing I did was to read the Bible. The King James 1611 version, and then the Jerusalem Bible and then others, and more and more. Learning will encourage one.

So today, with the nearly 7 billion folks on the planet, and so many of them on-line, we begin a new chapter.

Evolution is a hard thing. I hear this when someone tells me they have a bad marriage, a nasty family, a terrible diagnosis. Life is hard. None of us gets out of here alive.

Being alive is part of the point, and the bigger picture is the totality. What we are/feel/think/fear/love/covet/and on, is.

Each and every moment is a reflection from which we are to learn from.

Learn from love, show love, be love.

That's the best any of us can do.

 

May 5, 2013

Hello Noumea! Lovely tropical place that you are, all the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading!

Spring is springing all around, trees and flowers and shrubs and vines all abloom. Petals spinning in the springtime breezes, the hot days of recently fading with growing clouds in the evening. This morning brought a cloudy sky with a light breeze, and a morning walk was dappled with rain that brought out leopard spots on the pavement. 

Substance abuse is a terrible thing. So much of it springs from a diminished sense of self-esteem.

How we feel about ourselves is played out in how we deal with the issues in our lives.

Maybe it's because of our experience, maybe our fear, lots of differing reasons, but some of us choose not to take loving care of ourselves.

Studies have shown that folks with positive, loving, productive attitudes live good lives.

Self esteem is the fulcrum that determines where on the teeter-totter of life each of us finds ourself.

Be kind to yourself. Encourage that recalcitrant, unwilling part of yourself to keep going forward.

Especially when you feel like life just kicked you in the slats. Take a deep breath, take a moment to draw your energies together, and rise up. You can do this, you are worth it, your life is worth it. The world is full of substances that can weaken our sense of self esteem and rob us of ourselves. Be strong enough to give yourself the best life you can.

Love makes this possible. Starting with you.

 

May 1, 2013

This is not at all how I would start todays entry. I had thought that I would mention Beltane and May Day and the party in Holland yesterday for their old Queen, now a Princess, and their new King, but life had another perspective.

Little joke there, but it's true. I got a whole different perspective yesterday when my half brother left a message on my phone.

We had not talked since 1988, and it was bad times back then for him. He was living with our Dad in the Californian desert, and it was not a great situation but economic circumstances dictated otherwise. They had been fighting, physically, and I went down to try to sort things out. The upshot was that Gregg, my brother, moved out. And then he disappeared. Dad heard from him a few times, but never saw him again. After Dad's death I tried to find him, and although I got close enough to leave messages for him via a twisty communication chain, we did not connect. Until last night.

It took me a moment to process the voice message, a phone number and his name and mine. Then it took me several more moments as I let 25 years of pent-up emotion flow through me. It was something else, altogether again. So big! So good!

We talked for more than 2 hours, and the first thing I told him was that I was glad he called me and that I loved him. He began to cry and I began to cry and we talked and talked.

He spent 18 years homeless, delusional due to drugs and alcohol and anger. For the past 7 years he has been in recovery, freeing himself of drugs and booze and most of all, his anger. These past 3 years he has been living by himself in a small residential hotel in San Diego, near to where he grew up as a child in Encinitas. He's been through a lot.

What was most remarkable was the joy in his voice as we talked. He has come into himself.

Listening to him talk about his struggles and his obstacles, I heard the resolution in his voice. His strength. His self-love.

He said he wanted to talk more and get in better contact before we take the big leap of a physical meeting. I understand this, and will wait for the opportunity to fly to San Diego to meet him.

25 years, he's been in my head and heart every day. He is the closest family member living, and although we only saw each other from time to time as we grew up, being my half brother made him part of my half sibling connection, and the three of them were reference points. Now only he and I survive.

The love I feel for him surges through me, and my thanks for this connection bursts from me.

Love never dies. Love triumphs. Love on!

  

April 30, 2013

Last day of April, thank you very much, Spring/Autumn goes forward. Each day a new day! Whew...that's a relief, ain't it?

Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny! You look great for 75! Here's to you, you wascally wabbit!

Such a day.

The month of my birth always is chock full of interesting people. Today was a perfect wrap up.

Bollywood dancing on the steps of UN Plaza, dozens of folks, all ages, following a woman who teaches as they dance. Loved it.

The music served up some thumpy Indian influenced beats, and the circle of food trucks was a perfect backdrop.

Standing, listening, watching folks move about, I was struck by the varying socio-economic classes around me. There, a business woman in a new suit, hair and makeup perfect, very chic shoes, understated jewelry. And there, a man selling the 'Street Sheet', a newpaper about homelessness sold by the homeless, his shoes coming apart, one of them laced with wire. And there, a young woman with a stroller, the tiny baby snuggled by blankets and lots of plush, cocooned and cared for, the woman smiling.

Each of us has a place where we are in life. There is no better. We all have wants. We all feel hurt. We all go on. Each day.

My life has been a horrible, bloody mess at times. Through it all, I clung to the belief that there is good in life.

I still do. I hope you do, too. It is for the best.

'If you're going through hell, keep going.' ~ Winston Churchill

Our lives are our experience, and our legacy. What we learn along the way plays out in our lives, always.

Doing what we can to make our lives more reflective of what we feel and think is our way of sharing our truth, and our love.

In the morning, we all wake up in May. May I? Yes, please, do, and love on, too!

 

April 23, 2013

Happy World Book Day! Pick one up today. There is a world of knowledge waiting to meet you, inside a book.

Shameless plug, for 'An Other Perspective' by yours truly. Available just about everywhere, it seems, thanks to the web. Wow!

and moving on, I live with a very talkative cat, Edy Lunette. She has been a talker since the day we met, at the SF SPCA kitten house. She was talking to me from the get-go, when I said hello to her. She answered back, which made me laugh. Home she came and I was soon to learn of her ways, as she, unlike any other cat that I have lived with or known, is a real conversationalist.

Like most people, she has a short attention span for 'baby talk' and will try to engage her audience, but failing that, she will turn tail and depart, sometimes with a little vocal raspberry.

Over the years I have come to understand her speech, and am delighted that she has been willing to put up with my dim-wittedness. These days we can have numerous chats throughout the day, she letting me know what is happening outside with the squirrels, birds, butterflies, dogs next door on the staircase, or any thing else that strikes her fancy.

Rex Harrison, Eddie Murphy, and me. That's what it feels like sometimes, when Edy and I communicate. It makes me wonder how long it will take Science, i.e. intellectual evolvement, to decode the communication of all the surviving species. A client of mine works with grey whales, and tells me about their vocalizations and how she and others are beginning to understand their speech patterns. Lately I read on the web about a man who has been studying sparrows here in the US, and is putting together an audio dictionary of his findings. Wow!

So, it appears that all life forms on this Earth are communicating. Listening to each other is the next step. Talk, listen, talk, listen, ad continuum, forever.

All it takes is a bit of love, an interest in the world around us.

The best chats that Edy and I have are the ones when she purrs and purrs and purrs. Science isn't sure why cats purr, but they do know that human beings are effected by it, that it slows our heart rate and lowers (or raises) our blood pressure.

Cats are the only creature that seek the companionship of humans. If only they would tell us why. It's not just about us being a good source of food, us and our left-overs. There's something more. That purr is a part of it.

Love on!

 

April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day! The Earth sustains us, please help to sustain our Earth. It's the only one we have.

 

April 17, 2013

A couple of weeks ago a man called for an appointment. We set one up.

When I opened my door to him, I recognized him immediately. The name he had given me was not the name he had given me more than 20 years before, when we met for the first time. A little bell rang in my head.

Once seated, he spun a yarn about who he was and made up a past. After about 10 minutes of banter I asked him if he felt better now than he did when we first met. He laughed out loud.

After this, we had a great session. He said that he had been ashamed of the man he had been all those years ago, when he was arrogant and mean, angry and confused. Life had come along and kicked him to the curb, he said, and he was a better man for it.

Wow, I told him. Good for you, and good on you, I said to him.

We all do and say things that don't sit well in us with the passage of time. To err is human, so very true. Learning to recognize this part of ourselves gives us the power to choose for our betterment and not to our detriment.

Self forgiveness is part of this puzzle, as is forgiveness from those we wrong.

Pity is judgement in nice clothing. Pity doesn't help in the least.

Love, on the other hand, heals. The more we learn to love ourselves, the better. 

Love on!

 

April 12, 2013

Hello Kyoto, Japan! So many beautiful sights to see there! Each visit I've enjoyed has been delightful. All the best to you and yours!

Thanks to all who contacted me after my last blog posting. The support was and is blessed and most welcome and thanked, and as for the hate mail, well, gosh, folks, thank you too. I mean that. I do not use sarcasm as I recognize it as passive/aggressive communication. My thanks come from an understanding and compassion that I feel for all of us, especially my detractors.

Funny enough, I understand why some folks don't like what I write. There's some of it that is so-so with me, too.

And just to be clear: I do not promote a religion or faith. Who am I to know who G-d is? I struggle, at times, to know what good is. To be the determiner of what or who or how all of this works is only my job for me. Everybody gets to choose what they choose.

At least, that's what I think.

On a different note, here comes the weekend! Yay! The weather here in SF has been warming up, as it does this time of year. There are flowers everywhere, in the ground and in the air, as cherry blossom petals float through the breeze. Ah, Spring!

Here's hoping you have a lovely day, and lovelier days ahead.

Love on!

 

April 7, 2013

In 1986 I came to realize that I was headed in the wrong direction.

I was 35 years old, and was living a very comfortable life in San Francisco, in a beautiful home I was buying, and was surrounded by lots of interesting people. Mondays found me driving to SFO for a flight to Chicago, then to my apartment in Oak Brook and and then to work until Wednesday evening when I flew to Dallas, and to whatever hotel, and work until Friday night when I flew home to San Francisco. My job description was Consultant.

Everything looked great on the surface, but inside I was dying. My trust was dying, my heart was dying, my faith was dying. No matter where I went in the world, at some point I would be confronted by some terrible event, and it began to overwhelmingly appear that evil, greed, and hate were really in charge of my life. In a meeting in Washington, D.C. one day, I got to meet a man who I had come to think was a good and honest leader. In the meeting I attended my eyes were opened and I saw that he was just a very smooth wheeler-dealer type, a power broker. I was crushed.

A chain of events was started by me that led to a near fatal car crash in June of 1986. I spent the next 3 years in rehabilitation, learning how to use my body, such as it was. In this time I also rebuilt my ethics, my sense of fair play, my self esteem and my compassion. I began to listen with my heart and my head. 

Today, I have come to see my car crash as one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I got it. I got that what we do and think and say and act has consequences and that we are never immune from ourselves. Poisonous thoughts only poison the thinker.

If there is any good that I can do in this world, it is with love. 

 

April 3, 2013

Spring keeps showing up around here, visible in the variety of flowers and flowering trees. The other morning, on my walk, I passed a magnificent magnolia, covered in those white-ish blossoms high overheard. Walking in the morning has become something I truly enjoy. The peace, the calm, so wonderful. The exercise helps, too.

The other morning it was foggy and there was a chill in the air. The haze made everything just a little bit different, like the glow of a traffic light, it's color diffused and enlarged by the tiny water droplets in the air. San Francisco has some of the most wonderful fogs, and this was one of those type, so foggy that from the park there was no trace of greater view of the city. Just the slope of Dolores Park downhill and the thickening fog enveloping the building and streets stretching away.

The metaphor of fog always shows up in life, when we are just not clear enough in our thoughts and feelings.

When this happens, the best that we can do is to proceed slowly, just like one should do when driving in a fog. Don't hurry, try not to rush, take some time and let the fog lift. It always does, and always will.

 

April 1, 2013

Happy April's Fools! Joyeux Poisson d'Avril!

Chaucer wrote about this day, back in 1392 in his Canterbury Tales, the idea of making a holy day, later called a holiday, for fools.

When I lived in Paris, as Easter approached, the stores were filled with confections and chocolates, many rabbit or egg shaped, and fish. Fish? I wondered. Asking my learned friends at University I learned of the old French, maybe Normand, tale of a fool staring so long at a moving stream that a fish became curious and swam too close, only to be grabbed by the fool. But the fish was slippery and flew from his hands to the hands of another, and then another, and yet another, so slippery was this fish, until the fish flew back into the water, leaving behind many people looking and feeling foolish.

Life is full of slippery fish. There are some things that we may never possess. Are we fools for trying?

As a child living on a turkey farm in the California desert I dreamed of the world that I saw in the pages of the National Geographic magazine. The world looked to big and full and brimming with so much wonder. I imagined the day when I would be able to see and feel and be in these amazing spaces.

Drug addiction, violence, sex drama, fear, trauma, homelessness, hatred- these challenges came into my life. Would I trade my dreams for them?

No, no, no, no, never! As foolish as I could be, I knew that I was capable of being an even bigger fool. I had to love me better.

If we're not careful and loving here, we can wind up in a horrible mess. Each day we see broken people. It happens.

Loving begins with forgiveness and honest self acceptance. Not judgement and reproach.

Decades of growing through change have reaffirmed my desire to grab hold of those slippery fish that I can, and to keep trying.

Love on!

 

March 28, 2013

Imagine a body of water, a lake, calm and tranquil, the surface mirror-like. Take a deep breath, and then breathe in just a little bit more air before exhaling.

Thank you.

I wrote the above to share a practice that I do many times a day. It has helped me through some of the roughest days in my life, thus far, and is always there if I need it.

Like the other day, when I read an email from a man I do not know. He started his message by using language I won't repeat, and proceeded to belittle me and my efforts. It was quite an experience. Clearly, he had done some googling and knew a great deal about me, even my work on www.ancestry.com and my book An Other Perspective. Quite impressive, his use of the facts of my life to create a 'raison d'etre', a reason for being, who I am.  Quite a nasty attack was his letter.

After reading it, I printed it out, re-read it, folded it in half and placed it in the sun on my deck. Until yesterday, when I picked it up, read it outloud and then tore it up, all the while wishing the writer wellness and peace.

'Don't let them get to you.' I have heard and said, countless times, and it is still very good advice.

Now, back to my inner lake, and it's calmness.

Love on!

 

March 24, 2013

Hello Cairo, Egypt! One of my favorite places in the world. Such history, then and now. All the best to you and yours.

The other day a woman asked me about intuition. Some call it our 'Sixth Sense'.

My understanding is that intuition is a faculty all of us have, and that it is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it is.

As a child I discovered my intuition, and was encouraged to learn more about it by my Mom's Mom, my Grandmother Edith. She told me that maybe it was a gift from God, and was there to help me. How correct she was. As I grew up, I came to listen to my 'inner voice', the one that dispassionately delivered information. Over the years, life has blossomed. So has my intuition.

Learning to become who we are is such an amazing, and difficult journey. As Winston Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Sping in the north, Autumn in the south, the world keeps on turning. The choice is ours: Either go through or grow through change.

Here's my wish that your day is brighter and that your heart is lighter.

Love on!

 

March 19, 2013

Thank You, Naples, Italy, for your wonderful zeppole. Jelly filled fried donuts. So good. A treat on Saint Joseph's Day, today.

Reading www.en.wikipedia.org I learned that Joseph is described as the Step Father to Jesus. Wow, talk about parenting...

and that's what I did recently, observe parenting. Very informative.

On Saturday, there was a little boy and his mom, and she was hurrying and he was falling behind. He said 'hey my legs are shorter, just like me' and his mom laughed and slowed her pace. He kept up after that. There was a mom with two kids, both about 5, and she was sitting on the lawn at Dolores Park, watching them play and reading her phone. And the kids at the playground area, laughing, running, jumping, yelling, all under the watch of parents.

On Sunday, I watched a new dad shelter his newborn from the sun, such tenderness. There were parents, a mom and dad, and their kid in his stroller, and everyone had to get out of their way as they went in their straight line down the sidewalk. And a mom, being pestered by her kid in the market, 'can I have...' trailing off as they walked away.

Parenting is not easy, I know, I once had the pleasure and headache of being a step dad to three kids, and it took all of me working sometimes at my very hardest to pull myself away from anger and frustration.

If there is one thing that all parents would be best doing, it is spending time with your kid. Not money, but time. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. Have honest dialogues, exchange ideas and feelings. Communication is the greatest thing we can do in any relationship, especially with our offspring.

Of which, here come's Spring, by the way. Tomorrow is Spring, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Longer days, warmer nights, and more and varied delights await us all.

Happy Spring!

 

March 13, 2013

Up early this morning, it was still dark outside, and chilly. As the sun rose far in the east, the air in San Francisco cooled and fog began to appear. By this time I was already out my door, on a walk. The coldness kept me moving, and I was glad I wore gloves and a hat. There were so many folks out and about, and at every transit stop a small crowd waited, most folks streaming toward the center of the city, somewhere near Powell Street or maybe Montgomery Street. I headed north into cross town traffic. So many cars, so many of them with only one passenger. The buses were full, most of them, and the fog grew thicker.

All at once, for whatever reason, as I walked on Steiner Street, I looked toward City Hall and saw it clearly, the dome gleaming in the rising sun. Just then, a peacefulness swept over me, and I found myself smiling and surprized.

Walking home on different streets, I passed  a woman begging, and gave her some money. She was thankful and ran into a nearby restaurant to buy some food. My feeling of peacefulness deepened.

I have been homeless. I know what it is like to be hungry and digging in restaurant trash cans for something to eat. Life is hard.

As much as my power to change the world starts and stops at my skin, there are some things I can do to make this place a little bit better, for myself and others. This is the source of my peacefulness.

The choice is always ours. Each and every day has countless opportunities in it, and all we have to do is act.

Come from love, and come alive.

 

March 11, 2013

Reading my mail this morning, and here's a letter from a woman in South Africa telling me that she finds 'people like you' a pain in the ass. "What's wrong with you, don't you know that life is terrible?" she writes.

Life can be terrible, this is true. There is little if anything we can do to prevent the terribleness of life touching us.

I believe, and live, this truth, along with the experience that life is wonderful and magic filled and truly worth living.

Her despair and confusion are completely understandable, as she writes about the murder of her brother and the terrible crime around her, and the grinding oppression of poverty

As bad as it may get around you, do not compromise your ethics for any reason other than betterment.

I wrote recently about my bewilderment at lunch when a woman at the table stole the resaurants silverware. It has come our that the reason she did this was in reaction to a perceived slight she experienced waiting for someone to join her. She felt that an employee was rude to her in tone and action, and sat simmering in anger as we ate our lunch. She decided to have her revenge by stealing from them, and was feeling weird about it when I spoke to her about it. That's why she fled, she instantly felt all the shame and horror of her actions, and had to run away. She mailed the silverware back that afternoon. I know this is true as the owner sent me an e-mail telling me of its return.

For his part, he send her an apology and an invitation to a free lunch. I know this as she called me and cried while she read his letter.

Later this week, I'll be joining her for her free lunch. And rejoice in her good ethic.

Life can teach us so much, so often, and all we have to do is be present.

Life is a gift, be the present!

Love on!

 

March 9, 2013

This morning I learned of the death of a woman I have known most of my life. She was the mother of a friend.

Her son had passed away back in the late 1980's, and she and I had renewed our relationship with her son's death. She had been an early supporter of me, and had told me time and time again that I was smart and good. All around me at the time was the swirl of my mom's death, being uprooted and moved, reduced to a couple of boxes of stuff, and so very confused and angry.

Harriet saw me through it, and into college where we lost touch for a decade or so.

As her only son lay dying, Harriet was a tower of strength, even though she stood 4 feet 8 inches tall. She gave her son the best death that she could arrange for him, and he died peacefully.

After that, she returned to Los Angeles and became a grandmother to her daughter's 3 children, and took care of her husband ("My one and oy gavalt only one", she would say) to his in-the-night-as-he-slept death. Her last few days were filled with the laughter of her grandkids and daughter and son-in-law. The night she died, she had been looking at old photographs of days gone bye, and was found the next morning by a neighbor in her chair, eternally asleep.

With her passing I am once again reminded that love does not die, even if those we love do. Harriet is alive in my life this very moment, suffused with love and light. Death is a frontier we all will cross in time, and love will still be there.

Now to go and find myself a great bagel and schmeer and maybe some lox and red onion, just the way Harriet introduced her favorite nosh to me.

Love never dies. Love on.

 

March 4, 2013

March forth! The only day in the year that gives instruction.

Every morning that I wake up, I give thanks for the gift of life. A new day begins. I am still here. Hooray!

That sets my mood and attitude, and I go forward from there into my day.

Yesterday was a good example. It was a chore day for me, and I had cleaning to do, laundry, food shopping, cat care, and yard work as well. Busy, busy, and feeling a little tired and run-down from my long houred work week. From time to time I would take a break, and sit still for a while, drink some water, read or listen to music. And then commence again.

In the afternoon a telephone call came, telling me of the passing of a woman I know, her journey done. Just then I felt a sense of relief and peace, and wished her well onward. This got me to thinking of all of the change that life holds for all of us, and my thoughts became philosophical and spiritual. And the chores got done.

Each day is a gift. Each of us gets to choose countless choices in a day.

If you listen to your intuition, you will always choose the correct path. Intuition is bolstered by the integration of thinking and feeling and physical beingness. Think of it like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

The more we love our life, the more life we have to love.

Love on!

 

March 2, 2013

So many singular events taking place lately, like an asteroid passing closer to us than anything that we know of prior, or the meteor that few over Russia at 400,000 MPH and blew itself apart, shattering buildings and countless windows. Or the resignation of a Pope? So many unexpected events.

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch, and she had brought along a friend, Miss S, who had unexpectedly appeared. We sat and talked and ate and after a while I noticed that  Miss S was stealing the cutlery from the restaurant.

That was something I had never seen before. Another singularity.

As the third piece, a soup spoon, went into her purse, I leaned over and whispered "What are you doing?", friendly like.

Without a word, she stood up and left the restaurant. My friend looked at me and laughed out loud.

Everyday brings something new, and it is to our betterment that we 'roll with the punches', and make the best of things.

Our power ends at our skin.

Learning to make sense of life is a full time task, as there will be events that completely confuse and leave us diminished. What we do with this diminishment is our choice, and is predicated on our self esteem, our sense of honest self love. The more that we learn to forgive ourselves, we can forgive others; the more we learn to love ourselves, the more we can love others.

 

February 25, 2013

Spring is all around now, the trees, the flowers, even the people.

I love being a tourist. Just about anywhere is interesting.

When I was a child, at one point we lived beneath the glide path at the Military Airport in Mojave, Calfornia. The noise of some of the jet planes as they took off was so loud conversation stopped, and landings weren't any better. It became a game for me, and I played it well, changing the rules every day, and making myself laugh.

If life gives you lemons...do something useful with them. That's what I learned from those deafening planes.

Not every day is perfect, some days can be awful, in fact. What we do with the negative is important.

The other morning a client asked me how I stay so upbeat. I told her that just that very morning I had written a letter to a neighbor who doesn't clean up after his dog, and had written quite a sharp toned missive. I showed it to her, sitting on a shelf in my office, and told her that later that same day I would go for a walk and stop someplace pretty and nice and read my letter outloud, and judge if my anger has diminished. If it has, I get rid of the letter. If not, I write another, more angry toned one.

I tore my angry letter up that afternoon, after work while on my walk.

'Let it go' some folks say. Nice idea, but like most ideas some level of effort is required. One must work at being healthy.

There's a lovely Full Moon out there, just now at sunset. I'm off for a walk to admire the flowers, and love you for reading along.

 

February 22, 2013

Here in San Francisco it is Chinese New Year! A month long celebration, flowers and dragons and fireworks and parades and food and fun and offerings. Cultural immersion if you let it happen.

I have been letting it happen to me, and have been caught up in the swirl that is going on all around town. Just the other day, at the Asian Art Museum, there opened an exhibit featuring those clay warriors from Xi'an, well worth seeing if you get a chance. And for some unknown reason, I keep coming across Food Trucks that feature asian cuisine, so you know I am eating well.

Lately my pockets have held Chinese Fortune Cookies, wrapped in plastic. This morning I got around to opening them, and eating a bit, but for me the prize is the small strip of paper inside. One never knows what will be printed on that paper, words of advice or caution or merriment, lucky numbers maybe, and maybe a little lesson in Mandarin Chinese.

'All you have is today-there is no such thing as yesterday or tomorrow.'

'You will soon witness a miracle.'

'Believe it can be done.'

How's that for a kick in the positive? That's what I was looking for, some sage-ish words to motivate me upward and onward.

My attitude is gratitude, and my love is alive!

Now, let's go find that miracle. Happy Chinese New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Ai! Love on!

 

February 19, 2013

Bloomin' trees! Everywhere in San Francisco, almost. The look of Spring is appearing daily.

The past few days have been sunny, with some puffy white clouds here and there. Perfect days to be out and about, enjoying the beauty around.

Recently I read that as some people age they reduce their time in the world, and that this has been shown to impact their physical health. After reading this I reached out to the oldest members of my family. How wonderful to learn that my nearly 90 year old Aunt is well and still active in the world, sharing her joy and love. What a wonderful role model.

They are out there, these wonderful folks.

When we make our lives more enjoyable, we bring that joy to life. The more joy we live, the greater our ability to manifest our love.

Simple to write, hard to do.

Take good care of yourself, all of you. As the old adage says, 'Health is wealth', and as we age this wisdom looms large.

One of the truths of life is that we cannot give to another that which we do not fully possess. As my Kentucky relatives would say, 'If'in y'ain't gots it yaz cain't give it 'way'.

Love you more and love your life better. Then share!

Love on!

 

February 14, 2013

St. Valentine's Day! Love to all the world! That's what I'm sharing!

Love is such amazing stuff. I have witnessed it do some of the most beautiful of things.

If what happens doesn't turn out right, chances are what was leading the charge, so to speak, was not love.

Love is freely given, without expectation and agenda. If it has strings it is not love.

Earlier today, out walking, I passed a couple just as one of them said 'if you love me you will...' and I laughed.

I grew up with this kind of love, conditional love, not the freely given- no strings attached type of love that is real love.

It took me decades to learn that true love, sometimes called agape, is what I want to give and live with.

Learning to love can take a life time. It is well worth it, I assure you.

People will always disappoint you if you let them. What if you just love them and let that be enough?

Love starts and stops with each of us as we see fit.

Learn to love you, good and bad, and love even more.

Love on!

 

February 9, 2013

brrr....I thought as I got up out of my bed, it's chilly...

and now, an hour and a half later, sitting at my computer, I notice that it is 38F according to the US National Weather Service...

What a way to end the year, the Chinese Year, that is. The end of Black Water Dragon and the start of Black Water Snake. A year of relative calm and peace, but not inattentive or fool-headed. A balanced year, from what I know and read. Let's hope it's a good one.

To honor this New Year, I am taking the briefest of retreats, starting later today. Every once and awhile I need to get away, see different sights, sleep in a strange bed. What a perfect time to do it, the start of another New Year. When I got to thinking about it weeks ago, I thought about where and what-not. Some of that is the fact that it was 50 years ago this year that I first flew on a jet plane, and that was only my second air trip ever. My Dad and I went to Honolulu, and it was magical...

and there it was, my destination.

Hawai'i has been a place of retreat and refuge since that first trip, and is one of the best places for me to recharge.

Happy Black Water Snake! Celebrate the new moon and its potential, the continuing whirl of time and space that we share. It is a lovely planet we live on, and it is filled with beauty and peace and calm. Give you your share of these attributes, and love you best of all. When you take care of you well, you can do it for others with ease and love.

Love on!

 

February 7, 2013

Hello Manila! One of these days I hope to visit your amazing city and see your country and its beautiful sights. All the best to you and yours! And thanks for reading!

Ah, Nature!

This morning I awoke just after 6AM, the sky outside still dark, the world still.

Reading the newspaper while drinking my coffee, I noticed something outside and went to look. There, perched on a neighbors roof was a big blue heron. So majestic, so blue. Then a few mourning doves fluttered into the maple tree in our yard, and then a few little birds, but it was too dark to see which kind. Minutes later there is a commotion on the deck and the doves scatter. This usually announces the arrival of one or more squirrels, and so it is. I get up and go chop some nuts for them to eat and take them out onto the deck, all the while watched by the heron, the little birds, the doves, and the squirrel.

A while later I am out for my walk, and it is a rainy and cool morning here in San Francisco, but there are many folks stirring. Heading toward home I see a woman pushing one of those Winnebago-sized baby carriages, and she is jogging and talking on her cell phone. As we near each other she suddenly pushes the cart directly into my path and I jump to avoid being hit. My first step is solid on the sidewalk but my second step is into a pile of dog poop, and I start to fall but catch myself. She runs on and away.

Ah, Nature. That's what I'm thinking as I scrape what I can off my deeply treaded athletic shoe.

Coming up my steps I remove my soiled shoe and walk up in my wet sock. I start to chuckle, imagining how silly I must look, and just then a neighbor says as she walks past 'Doncha just hate that?' and we both laugh.

Life is best taken as one finds it. Try to find the correctness of the moment and do not forget to laugh. It will make it easier, at least when you step in dog poop. Or whatever...

Laugh and love on!

 

February 2, 2013

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil says we're getting an early Spring! Hooray!

Crazy, isn't it, that some folks believe that some overgrown rodent can foretell the weather? And have you seen the crowd of men in their funny black hats that crowd around this poor creature (although I bet he is well treated) and make such a big deal out of it. There were more than 20,000 people in attendance this morning, there in Pennsylvania with the groundhog, and world-wide television and interneters too. Bloggers galore.

And there's a big deal football game tomorrow, not soccer but American football, with mountains of padding and dollars. It's in New Orleans, and is filling the coffers of the local merchants and the City with scads of dollars, every hotel is booked for miles and miles and tickets cost more than $4,000 USD...

And then there's Chinese New Year, which in San Francisco, home to more than 300,000 folks of Asian ancestry, is a Big Deal! Markets and street vendors and performers galore, and a televised and interneted parade. Our Chinese-American Mayor will be there, along with the other big wigs of SF. I love a parade, especially one that will have some of the best street food in town.

A friend from China tells me that she thinks this is a typical transition from a Dragon Year to a Snake Year. There are always unexpected deaths and upheavals, and lots and lots of changes. Good to know, I guess.

Whatever reason you choose, get out and live a little. Our time here is limited, and the joy available is not.

Love on!

 

January 30, 2013

Hello Macedonia! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

Wow, can you believe it? The month is almost over, already. Times flies!

Yesterday I walked down to the Ferry building and then along the embarcadero. It was a sunny day, not as cold as it has been, and there were lots of folks out and about, some  of them working, some of them playing.

As I got to where the sea lions hang out at pier 39, I was surprised by the crowd of folks there, all of them with cameras taking photos of the beasts. Standing near me was a young family, the four of them engrossed in watching the antics. From their conversation I learned that they had never seen seals before. A woman near them engaged them in conversation and asked if they had visited the zoo in San Francisco, to which the parents said they had not. The woman handed them tickets for the zoo and said 'Enjoy your visit'. How nice was that?

Walking back home, I reflected on the kindness of strangers to strangers.

Suddenly a woman came up to me, map in hand, asking for help. I was glad to direct her to where she wanted to go, and off she went, thanking me.

Golly, that was easy, I thought. Stranger helping stranger.

So little effort, so quick, so easy, so good.

It only took seconds, not even a minute, and I helped someone.

It really is that easy, and I must say that the goodness of the exchange stays with me to this moment.

We are all strangers at times, and helping strangers makes us a little less strange and lifts the spirits of all involved.

Time will fly, and it's what we can do with our time that is really meaningful.

Love on!

 

January 23, 2013

This morning brought an email from a man who wrote that he just doesn't feel 'the good' in life sometimes, and wanted to know what he could do.

None of us feel 'the good' in life all the time.

There are moments when anything good evaporates and all we feel is less than good. The important thing is not to suppress ones feelings, but to channel them in such a way as to make use of the energy and release it safely.

This is where displacement therapy enters the picture. By moving the negative energy and doing something with it, we displace and erase that negative energy. There are countless ways to safely displace negative energy.

The other day I sat on a train downtown and listened to a woman disparage just about everything in her life, in an endless stream of negativity. The man she was talking to kept trying to read his newspaper, and she kept on spewing, so angry was she. As I exited the car I gave her a smile, which she returned, saying 'I'm sorry to be in such a foul mood'. The man next to her gave her a sympathetic look, and offered her some of his newspaper.

Let out your pain, your anger, your hurt. Holding onto these emotions poisons us and does terrible damage over time.

In my lifetime I have written thousands of angry letters and have only sent one of them. All of the others were destroyed. The one I did send was to my Dad, and helped to heal our relationship before he died. It took me more than 400 times to craft a letter to him what wasn't filled with anger and hurt, but I finally got there. Displacement helped me do it.

There is too much beauty and wonder in life to let the negative drag one down. Displace it, free your spirit from darkness and find your ability to love and to live, and move forward.

Love on! 

 

January 19, 2013

Such a day, moving into Aquarius, the balance of the zodiac. More calming, almost motherly energy today, very nice.

Absolutes corrupt. Remember this.

If one thinks there is only one way, one is delused. Life always presents at least two choices. Duality. The basis of life. Imagine, only one note. That would not work. It takes at least two notes to make tonality, another display of the Multiverse all around.

Today a young man with scads of potential came to see me, a nobody to most people, but all of us will learn of him in time, smart fellow him. Battery technology is key to the future, he says, and he's right.

He trusts his intellect but not his heart.

Time and time again, his heart has sent messages that confuse him, not at all like the clear and concise messages he gets in his head. Learning to balance this duality is the work of a lifetime.

Giving yourself permission to do this work is key. You must love you enough to change. You can.

Life does not come with an instructional booklet, just lots of folks talking to us and us repeating what we recall. We choose.

There's a new day, tomorrow, let's all wake up in it. A new day, never been here before.

Fresh sense of self love.

Each breath a new start.

Forward, upward, loveward.

Loving life and being loved.

A new day, each day, if we choose.

Choose you, choose life, choose love.

 

January 15, 2013

Well, it's official: the first two weeks of the New Year have come and gone, we're half way through the first month of 12.

Time flies, and we do with it. When I was a child I watched movies and TV programs about time travel, and wondered what it would be like, and heard all about the idea of time paradoxes being created and history changed and all this speculation. It was interesting stuff.

The other day reminded me that I have a time machine, and my body is it.

There I was, sitting on a bench on one of the F-Line 'Milan' railcars, and a woman sits next to me. It's bumpy and the old car sways and we both watch a young woman with a baby. The young woman looks like she could be 12 years old, so youthful she is. As they leave the woman next to me says outloud to no one in particular 'so young' and a few of us chuckle. She suddenly realizes she's spoken for all of us to hear, and says 'Maybe it's just me I am almost 90' and I turn to look at her and smile. She looks decades younger than 90, and I tell her so. She laughs, and the sound is like that of a young girl.

The secret to living is loving, and that is what I heard in her laughter.

That thought stayed with me as I went to meet a friend younger than I who spent our time together complaining about how old he feels and how boring his life is and how lonely he is, and then more about how crummy life is. When we parted I wished him well.

Inside me there lives a young soul who still wonders at the marvels of life, and finds each day something new. He's been with me all these years, and I make sure that there is love and laughter around him, to help him conquer the darkness that appears from time to time. I see, in my minds eye, his smiling, youthful face, and know that he and I are friends for life. He and I are in this time machine together, this body we share. Taking care of it is key to continuing to time travel. Starting with love and spiraling outward.

Love you and love on!

 

January 9, 2013

Ah, the world we live in today!

Yesterday I received a message from the woman I referred to as my new client in the story below.

Turns out she's been reading my blog for years and when she read my last entry, she knew immediately that this story was about her and the guy she referred to me.

Turns out he was trying to have a more intimate relationship with her a few months after I saw him, and that she declined. He stayed in her circle of friends and over time tried to establish relationships with others she knew. He was not successful, and finally moved to Miami a few months later.

A couple of years later she heard that he was in prison, convicted of several financial misdealings. He spent several months locked up, and was released early. He had a couple of heart attacks while incarcerated, and was now a shadow of his former, robust self. When he contacted her, he was living in the central valley of California, with his aged mother, and he said he was sorry he had not been a better man. She said she could hear the tiredness in his voice, and knew he would be dead soon.

Weeks later she saw via the internet that he had died, broken and defeated at 42 years of age.

Poor fellow, I hope he has found the peace that so clearly eluded him while he was here.

I write today in his honor, as he is reminder to all of us of the importance of self-esteem and self-love. Life is not about perfection, it is about progress. And forgiveness. And love.

'If you don't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody?' - I heard this said on TV last night. Truer words never spoken.

Love you, and love on.

 

January 7, 2013

Lately there have been several requests that I've received asking me to share more of my work life, so here goes:

It was a Friday, and Christmas was the next day. People were frantic, and the weather was iffy, rainy then sunny. My next appointment was a friend of a new client, a man in his 30's, He was going to be late, I intuitively knew, so I wasn't surprised by his lateness but I was drawn to notice his aura, the shimmer that all of us have surrounding each of us. It was smooth, informing me that he was in control. We entered my office and sat down.

He proceeded to reveal himself as a schemer, one of those folks who wants to have the upper hand in any deal he is part of. He was also greedy and dishonest in his dealing with business, friends and especially family. He wanted to use me to deepen a plan he had to create a false impression for my new client and get him to invest in one of his schemes. All of this he told me intuitively while he talked on about his questions, trying to manipulate me by giving me partial and false data. Poor chap, so broken.

At the end of the session I looked at him and said that he needed to take care of his physical body better. He said OK.

There are some who believe that they will 'get away with it', and they are so wrong.

None of us gets out of here alive, and the process of leaving here is reflected in an individuals death. Some of us leave peacefully and calmly, some of us very much not. The ancient Egyptian culture believed that your essence, shown as a feather,  was weighted. Out of balance and back to chaos, in balance and into heaven. Countless religions since have incorporated this same concept. Sounds right to me.

After my session with this youngish man, I went for a walk to remove any trace of his energy from me, and to pray for his enlightenment and realiziation of the balance of harmony that is all around him, that his anger and sarcastic emotions leave him and lighten his heart. He was a lonely person, not sharing the truth with anybody. His heart has much to do, in so many ways. My intuition told me that he had a cardiac issue and I hoped that my advice to take care of his body sank in.

To this day, I have no information on what happened to him, and wish him all the best.

My work days remind me that everyone of us has something that we need to get right about, and that none of us is perfect.

I take great comfort from this, as it serves to help me focus on helping myself and those around me, knowing that the best lies up ahead.

First Monday of a New Year. Here's my wish that starting from this day, more of us work forward.

 

January 5, 2013

Hello Helsinki! How's one of my favorite cities? Cold and snowy, as I see on Google Earth. Stay warm, all the best to you and yours!

Happy Twelfth Night! Usually known as the end of Christmas, this is actually a very, very old night of celebration dating back to the Dark Ages in central Europe, and marked the end of a period that started on Halloween. All during this time people ate sparingly and little, not knowing how bad winter is going to be. By this time, they knew, and would celebrate by feasting if the weather portended a usual winter. A bean was baked in a cake, and the finder was blessed with luck for the coming year. Today folks eat King Cake or a variation the world over.

Winters worst has been thrown at us, and now we keep going forward as each day adds a minute or two of sunshine. Look up, things are getting better, the days longer, and we are, all of us, in this together. Let's get through it as best we can, shall we?

Attitude is altitude, and goodness knows there is enough crummy, disappointing stuff in and about life to completely knock one to the ground. I cannot fix the troubles of the whole world, but I can do something about my little world, small and obscure that it is. Trying to help someone else when your own boat is taking on water is not prudent, so stop it and fix your boat. Then help others.

A woman I know, 93 years old, told me the other day she was glad that she was still alive, as everyday brought something new to her, and technology kept making her life better and better. She just got a tablet computer and it never leaves her hands, as of yet. 'So much to look forward to...' she said as we parted. Now, for me, that's encouraging to hear. I know for a fact that she's buried 3 husbands and 2 children, and among her 6 brothers and sisters she alone survives. She's had money and men and more trouble than most of us get in life, and yet she keeps going. She says it's because God loves her and she wants to share that love.

If you can and get a chance to, share some of your love today, and brighten your world.

Love on!

 

January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello Nuevo Laredo, all the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading along. Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Here we go, again. A new year dawns, literally. And today is perihelion, when we are farthest from our sun. A cold day, indeed.

So, about this new year, got any plans? Everything starts with intention, the bedrock of our thinking/feeling. How clearly can you see what it is that you want, how good is it for you, really, and how does it fit in with the rest of the world? The more sharp and evident your intention serves to guide your thoughts/feelings forward. Next comes focus, as in how aware are you of opportunities to achieve your intention? Focus and alertness come next, followed by effort, the really hard part. This is where it stops being an internal thing and becomes a 'for real in the world' thing. Making your intention and focus manifest. Doing something about it.

Sounds so easy, and it ain't. It's the work of a life time, over and over and over, again.

What I've found that really helps me is to have something, thoughts and feelings and more, that I hold onto, deep inside and never let go of, a deep and abiding conviction, if you will.

Years ago, in my corporate work days, I came in contact with a fellow at a company my group was working with. From the moment I met him, I could feel that there was something about him that made me want to watch my back. I didn't know what it was or why I have this response to him, but I did and trusted it. All throughout our working together I kept finding little errors in his work, and at the end he delivered a report that was completely false and misleading. When I asked him about it he told me that most of the supporting documentation had been distroyed and there was little I could do now. I told him I had kept every record from the start of the program, and asked him to reconsider his report. He refused and a big brouhaha ensued, and by the time it was all resolved he had left the company. To this day, I wish him well.

Part of why I wish him well is that I know that he needs it, that by his actions he shows that he is a broken being, that the magic of love and life and all the best has not been made welcome in his heart and mind. Life can kick the crap out of us, as most of us discover along life's highway. 'Fall down seven times, get up eight'~ old advice still worth heeding.

Each and every day will bring something new to us. How and who will we be, moment to moment? The choice is ours, always.

As much as there is evil in the hearts of some folks, in all of us there is love. The most difficult thing can be to reach past the evil and try to touch the heart of the other, to bring both to a better place.

This is the magic of love.

Be a magician and transform your world, moment by moment. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Love on!

 

December 30, 2012

The last Sunday of the year. Enjoy!

Today is the day when I go back over my calendars and recall all of the things that I didn't like, the people who caused pain, bad people, all of the druck of this soon-to-be past year.

Displacement Day! Hooray!

Today I'll write down all of the pain and anger and baser emotions that were triggered by the crap that happened this year. I'll write until I run out of steam, and then set my writing aside and return to it later, when I'm ready.

My intention is to enter 2013 with as little emotional baggage as possible. It really helps.

For decades I carried around resentments and angers and terrible feelings, and this undisplaced energy ruined my life.

Energy is mass, Einstein proved. Therefore, what we hold inside emotionally infects and effects and affects how we are.

Ergo, Displacement Day. A day to reflect and write out the terrible stuff that happened this year, whatever it was, no matter how slight or petty, anything that returns as an unpleasant memory. All I want to remember and refeel is the good. And there is always good somewhere, in every thing that happens.

Love on!

 

December 27, 2012

As a child growing up in this world, and some days I still have this feeling, I was always looking for the rightness of life.

Early on, it was clear to me that there are two distinct ways of action in life: order and chaos.

Most of my childhood featured chaos as the star, and it was this way for the first 35 years of my life. Then I had a defining moment (severe car crash) and spent the next year figuring out what the heck I was going to do with what remained of my life. There was no changing the past, the only thing I could do was to learn from my past mistakes and resolve to do better.

Since then, I have learned that the rightness of life is that each of us is free to do and be and act and say as we wish. Just remember that there will be consequences, or karma as some call it.

Today for me marks the start of a period of reflection, when I look at my words and deeds in this past year, and make amends and offer encouragement. So much has happened this year, so much bad, so much good. These last 5 days of the year serve as a time for introspection and reflection, and help to focus my efforts toward intention in the new and soon-to-be New Year.

In an Astronomy class in college years ago, the professor said that the world was slowing down and that it is possible that the Earth used to have 360 days, one for each degree of circumference. That thought made me think that as time goes by and the Earth slows its rotation that this 'extra' time is a gift and a mystery. Since my near death experience car crash I now know that each and every day is a gift and a mystery.

If you can, take some time before the end of our calendar year and just be.

Life loves us, and love lives within us. Live love, love life.

 

December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day!

Did you make it through Christmas OK? Such a holiday it is.

When I was a child the holidays were always tough, too many alcohol fueled adults around. It seemed as if people got together and after 'a few' and awhile the ickyness would break out, and there would be harsh words spoken, maybe even bickering, and a couple of times punches were thrown. Fighting, of adults of both genders, physical damage. Yikes! Somewhere along the line of growing up, I heard about some day called Boxing Day and that it was around Christmas. I guessed that fights were common during the holidays.

As a youngish man I moved to London briefly, and learned all sorts of new things. Since England has contributed to part of my heritage (about a third) I was fascinated by all things British. One of them was Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. I asked folks I knew if they could tell me of the history of the day, unofficially recognized in the UK, and heard lots of stories but none of them rang true to me.

Years later, living in Chicago, I was downtown one lovely June day and there was a woman I had known from my days in London. She was quite posh and had the most exquisite manners, and I spoke to her. She remembered me and we talked of her trip and how she was enjoying it. She made the comment 'Now I'll lots to do for Boxing Day' and I asked her what she knew about the day. This is what she told me: The day after Christmas, for people working 'in service' to someone wealthy, was given as a day off from work, and each servant and tradesman was given a box of food or stuff or money. Ah ha, I felt she had given me insight. We're in touch to this day.

Boxing Day, a day to recognize those who work in service to one. Excellent! This is a day to thank those vendors and people who help make my life a little better, like the Muni guy who is always so helpful and friendly, and the woman who sells me my coffee, and the guy who helps me when our house needs repair. And many others.

Life has given me so much more than when I was born. Including another day to celebrate all that life continues to give me.

Give to get, that's how I think the world really works. So many of us try to do it the other way around, and it doesn't work. We can only give what we have already, starting with love and compassion. The reasons behind my Boxing Day!

Love on!

 

 

December 22, 2012

Hello Hiroshima, Japan and Rome, Italy. I've been to both of these wonderful cities, and the power of faith unites them. All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading along.

Yesterday sure was a fun day, what with all of the hullabaloo about the End of the World and the Mayan calendar and all of these fears and worries. A client in France wrote a few months back and asked me if I believed in the 'prophecies' going around. I told her that what I had learned about the Mayan Long Count of 5,125 year cycles and asked her if she thought the world was older than 5,125 years. She said she was thinking it was a few billion years old, and I told her in all likelyhood the planet will be around many, many years to come, with or without humans on it.

So there I was, yesterday, at my gym working out. Being a friendly guy, I am acquainted with several of the men and women at the gym and got into a conversation with a 83 year old woman who had joined the day before. She was working out with a trainer and having a great time, trying and talking and laughing and engaging those around her. A delightful time and healthy, too.

Then off to lunch with a friend at a new place and a great meal and lots of great conversation and engaging folks on either side of our table. So much holiday cheer all around.

Walking home, thankfully without rain, I stopped at a corner waiting for the light to change. Just then a woman walked by and stopped at the flower stand nearby and I watched as she looked at this and that flower bunch. I walked over and handed the stand owner, a man I know, $20 and told him to give her some flowers and walked away. He walked over to her and he spoke and her face lit up and she clapped her hands and starting gathering bunches of flowers. He raised his chin to me and I to him, co-conspirators in holiday cheer, he and I.

Random acts of kindness. I practice them throughout the year, but at this time of year, maybe it's the weather, they resonate even more with me, and I get so much joy from doing them. Helping people, such a small act it can be and so deeply meaningful.

Today is my last scheduled day of work for the year, and from the bottom of my soul I want to thank the hundreds of people I have worked with this year. And thank you, dear Reader, for reading along. Your efforts help to make our world a better place. The flame of love lives in each of us, and the more we do to fan it, the brighter we and our surroundings become. Love is magic.

Love on! 

 

December 20, 2012

Happy Last Day before the Equinox! Tomorrow starts Winter North and Summer South! Enjoy!

Tomorrow is also the last day of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, the end of a 5,125 year cycle and the start of a new one.

Another reason to celebrate.

Yesterday I listened to two women discuss how terrible things are and how terrible the future will be. Quite a depressing conversation they were sharing with all of us within earshot on the train car. As they exited the car, the man sitting next to me muttered 'what bummers' and the woman next to him said out loud 'lighten up'.

For my part, I saw them as reminders that the world is a very big place filled with countless choices, including how to view life.

Granted, terrible events occur several times each day the world over. This is fact.

How each of us chooses to respond to the terrible events is up to us. We choose.

My advice is to choose with love, love for yourself and love for others. Real, authentic love, not the one tinged with ego and control, I'm talking about the genuine thing: Love.

I love you for being, be your best you!

Love on!

 

December 16, 2012

Hello Tasmania, thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours! Happy Summer!

The year is drawing to a close, and every now and again I feel the pace around me, the hurriedness, the momentum, the rush.

So many people trying to do so much, each and every day.

I wonder how many of those folks are taking care of themselves as well as the folks they are taking care of. Some people give to others far more and better than they do for themselves.

There's a woman I know who looks after her mom, and is always making sure that her mom has everything she needs, and that she is in a good frame of mind and happy. When she's not a her job she is at her second job, as she calls it, looking after her mom. The other day her mom called me and asked if I would help her, which I did. I picked mom up, N for short, and we went to her daughters house. I waited in my car as asked, and N went inside. She came out a while later and said it was a mess, that there was no food in the house, that the heating was not working, and on and on with problems that need fixing. From there we went to her daughters job where N waited for her to leave her office for the day, and surprised her.

They had a talk about things, and N said she would be looking after her daughter more in the future, and wanted me to witness this conversation and forward plans. Daughter, S for short, was surprised that her mom was being so proactive, and kept saying 'You don't need to' and N kept saying 'I want to' and there were tears and hugs and lots of loving.

For my part, I was glad that these two women are deepening their relationship, with love and concern and care for the other.

A bit of holiday magic, that's how I see their exchange, and I know there is more magic to be found in our world.

Love on!

 

December 12, 2012

12-12-12

Great number sequence, isn't it?

Woke up this morning to the sound of rain on the deck, and after dozing a bit longer woke again to a lightening sky, few clouds painted rose and pink in a pale blue sky. Waking up and grabbing coffee, I sit in a comfortable chair and watch the dawn advance.

So many changes at this time of year, to places, to things, to people. For some, the advice is hold on, for some, the advice is let go.

There are some moments that seem commonplace and ordinary in life, and yet they are part of the fabric of our lives.

Out walking this morning, I passed so many people with faint smiles on their faces. Some folks were even saying 'good morning', to strangers of all people.

Jumping into my work day, talking with folks, answering messages and emails, and being useful.

There's a Holiday party tonight at my pub that I plan on attending, and then on to a dinner with friends. Such a great time to be out and about, in the cold night air on a hopefully rain-free night, with all the lights on houses and trees and whatnot, and the smell of fir and pine trees on car roofs as they go past. And candle light too.

Magic lives in us, in our ability to love and to forgive, ourselves and others. Make and share your magic! Be the present for the holidays!

 

December 9, 2012

Ice skates! Outdoors! In the sunshine!

After my workday, yesterday, I took myself out and about, and hopped onto an F line "Newark, New Jersey" and rode it to Powell Street. The streets were packed, and so many people were carrying shopping bags, some several at a time. Retail therapy afoot.

Buying myself a pumpkin spiced coffee, I sat and watched life swirl around me. The smattering of differing languages,accents, along with the swirl of colors and styles of clothing moving past me as I look around me. Peace in a moment.

Later, as I walk around and enjoy all of the decorations and displays, the slanting sun is making dark shadows here and there, and dusk is approaching, and the lights are coming on all over, and it is beautiful to see and be in.

On the underground on the way homeward, there's a man singing Christmas carols well, and his hat is filling and his 'Thanks' hearty and hale.

There are times when I have to vote with my feet, and get out and about. Change of place and change of pace. They've been known to change my face. To smile a while, and just be, just me.

Take some time for yourself in these coming end-of-the-year days ahead, and be good to yourself. Love lives within you. Live it.

Love on! 

 

December 7, 2012

Health is wealth, that's what I am thinking and feeling and being thankful for, these days.

Yesterday a man came to see me, he had been referred by a friend of his. She suggested he take his question to me.

His question was: Why am I alone?

We had a good talk about his childhood, his relationships made along his lifetime, and how he had come to never let anybody really know what he was thinking at times, and keeping his feelings hid.

He got it, I watched as he strung the words together: I'm lonely because I am alone. A lone. Just one, just him. No one else.

"Lone Wolf" is a phrase common in English, and a concept that is global. There are lone wolves the world over.

This is a time of year when I reach out to the lone  wolves in my circles, in my family, my friends, my clients, my acquaintances, strangers.

This time of year brings so much memory and so many feelings, and many of these are tinged with pain. Have a  good cry. Help yourself. Love yourself enough to release the pain that you hold inside. This will free up your arms so that they can hold another.

So many of us do a version of 'stiff upper lip', and you can imagine what a crowd of that looks like, all bristle and posturing.

Don't add to their number, do a better thing and let out your pain, let it go from you.

Then go and fill yourself with the beauty of the world around us, the sights and the lights and the wonder made for us.

Off I go, now, to share my smile with the world at large. I am so thankful to have the time.

 

December 2, 2012

Somedays I get to practice what I preach...like starting 2 Saturdays ago.

It had been a very busy week, juggling corporate and individual clients. Every day had held new people and words and lots of idea making. It was Saturday, my work week end. A full day, and my last session was about to start in 4 minutes and suddenly I felt vomiticious, to use a word or maybe make one up. Anyway, I had to and did hurl, as they say. Felt no better after, brushed teeth, gargled and there was the bell. Off I went.

Closing my office, I felt a sharp stabbing in the middle of my stomach. Yikes, and my first thought was 'bad food stuff' and I grabbed a bottle of anti-acid tablets. The night went not so good, sharp pains kept popping up. Bad nights sleep. Woke up to a sharp pain only this one had a diminishment that was new. Called and make doctors appointment for early next morning. Lots of palpations and an X-ray and pill for pain, and home. End Day Two.

Day Three saw me at a clinic visit and a diagnosis. Meds and home, still sharp pains more frequently.

Day Four saw me at a clinic visit and I am grey skinned, blood pressure through the roof since my first visit, sleep deprived and scared. By now that had a whole bunch of data on me and we did more stuff, and then I got called in and this nice doctor explained to me what was wrong with me and started me on more meds and gave me directions as to next steps to take.

Day Eight finds me writing this, and feeling so much better.

What all of this exposed was my fear, my deep dislike of pain, and how pain blanks out all other thought at times. Pain sucks.

It also served as an opportunity to 'walk the walk', to draw upon my knowledge and experience and all that I've got, starting with surrender. I knew that I had to trust what was happening and the folks treating me.

What's wrong with me turned out to be a condition called diverticulitis, and I had a bad case. Statistics show that 90+ per cent of us will have this disease at some point in our life, and there are lots of resources to draw on going forward to help me. The process of ageing has been well documented in so many instances, thankfully, and progress continues in medical technology.


The powers of surrender and faith cannot be underestimated, at least not by me. I'm looking forward to losing count of these days and living and loving and learning, all my life long. 

 To your health!

 

November 29, 2012

Hello Norway! Your land is some of the most beautiful places I have ever been, so rugged and yet gentled by the people. All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading aong.

Wow, here comes the end of the year! Time sure moves along at quite a clip as we age, have you noticed?

Lately I've been out and about in settings I don't normally visit. Golly, there are some awful and awe-full places in our world.

Patience is the practice of peace, that's what I've been learning for the past week. Breathe and relax, I say in my head when I encounter 'turbulence', like the woman who exploded verbally at a parking officer, or the man who nearly knocked me down in passing.

As is my usual practice, I displaced any lingering negativity from these exchanges.

Each of us makes countless choices in a day, and the spirit that we reflect is a reflection of us. Kinda like a mirror. A clean mirror always reflects the best. Being a clean mirror is a wonderful ideal, and being clearer in our lives helps us immeasurably.

As the last month of the year starts on Saturday, I'll be using the occasion to reflect on my clarity and do what I can to reflect the better of me. Life is about progress.

Each day is a gift. Be the present!

Love on!

 

November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday!

The biggest economic engine in the world is roaring along right now, as I write these words. An amazing amount of money is being spent on this day all over the world, and especially in America. Billions and billions of dollars, flowing from the USA to every country on Earth, touching billions of lives worldwide.

The other day I bought a new gym shirt, and noticed that the garment was made in Senegal. After talking with an economist friend and learning about thread made in Turkey and a label from Korea on my shirt, I started looking at stuff more closely, and have discovered a world wide web of connectivity bringing us all what we want and need on a daily basis.

We're all in this together, clearly.

The greatest tool at our disposal, all of us 'evolved human beings' as anthropologist's call us, is communication.

And it's not just about talking, although the importance of speaking cannot be over-estimated. It is also about action.

Each and every time we do something, chances are we are effecting another being somewhere on the planet. That's powerful.

Do I buy this one or the other? The power of choice.

You can hear and see it if you go out today in America, and the world over. Choice happening, millions and millions of times all day long, into the night. People deciding, and putting their money on the line. Ca-ching! ringing in the air, globally.

 

November 21, 2012

People ask me about karma, and why I believe it. Karma means result, and from where I sit, I see results all around.

The papers are full, each and everyday, about terrible things that happen. Seldom do they follow up and say what the outcome was.

Since I can remember, there have been stories about people who do wrong, but few of them are followed up on. With the proliferation of media, this has changed somewhat. Now there are more and more situations that are followed to its conclusion.

Yesterday, I got to see first hand how karma plays out.

Years ago, a woman came to see me, and we had a nice session. I knew that her husband was a shnook and told her so, and also told her that he would see prison for his actions. She laughed and said that would never happen, as he was too rich and powerful and well-connected to ever be incarcerated. 'Time will tell', we agreed.

Imagine my surprise when my doorbell rang yesterday, unexpectedly, and there she stood, face and eyes blank. As I was about to leave I asked her in, and we spoke for a few minutes. Her husband had been arrested that morning by the F.B.I., and she was scared. I advised her to contact her attorney and family, and to make good choices.

Poor woman, thinking somehow that evil and lies and arrogance would be accepted in life. Tolerated, yes, but not without result.

In my life I have known and worked with many folks like her husband, and some of them even worse. Like the man who kept his staff locked in his home, forbidding them to leave. Or the politician who cheated and lied and stole. Or the woman who used people and situations to make herself look good. All of these folks have been visited by karma, the first guy was killed by one of his staff, the politician died in prison, the woman was exposed publically in the press.

We only fool ourselves when we think that we can 'get away with it', and time will and does tell. 'Truth will out', an old expression.

As this year draws to a close, I know that each day will bring something new to light, and that karma will continue.

If we act from authentic love, we do good and live well. That's the kind of karma I want, and I want for you as well.

Love on!

 

November 16, 2012

Hello Berlin! What a wonderful city, so much to see and do, and currywurst! Hopefully I will visit again soon! Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours!

The Holly-Daze are coming, along with Winter and rain and cold and less sunshine...and shorter days and longer nights.

Interesting week I've had so far, as everyday brings me something or someone new, and this was certainly true this week.

Case in point: two people came to see me this week for the first time, separately, and their sessions were like day and night. The man was open and receptive and wanted to know what he could do to improve some issues in his life, and we had a great chat and lots of ideas and feelings and memories swirled around us, and he left, shaking my hand quite friendly and saying he'll be calling. Then there was this woman, referred by a friend of hers, and she was as tight as a tick and would not give me an access on any level, and we sat there for a while and I asked her to open up and she refused. We sat in silence a good while, until I finally told her that her secrets were safe with me. She opened up a tiny bit, but so little. So damaged.

Life can steam-roller us and wound us so deeply that we hold in and back our selves, and hide behind situations and moments and never say or express our true feelings. Wounding, this behavior is.

Holding all of the pain and anger and confusion and blackness inside rots the container. Stop it!

Take a piece of paper and something to write with, and write down your anger and pain and blackness. Get it out of you.

Then get rid of it, you have freed yourself from the darkness and can do this again, and again, and ease your suffering.

The daze of the Holidays are swirling toward us, in a whirlwind of fallen leaves and moments flying past. In the coming shorter days of Winter do all that you can to bring out your inner goodness, your patience, your understanding, and your love. Make the world brighter and watch the love come toward you.

 

November 12, 2012

Waking this morning in a terrible rush, trying to get free...from a dream.

Out onto the deck even though I know it is cold, and the air on my skin and then the breeze snap me awake fully. Standing there in the dawn's not-reaching-me light I notice a single strand of spider silk from a tree branch to the rose bush, still blooming yet.

Wide awake, I go inside and while going about my routine I recall the dream, and the feeling that I was surrounded by folks that did not understand me and thought I was bad and wrong and in need of punishment. In my heart and head I knew without a doubt that they were wrong, and that I needed to make my exit. And so I did, back to this plane.

Why we dream is a debated issue, but that we, as a species, dream, is a fact.

From early childhood my dreams were meaningful, sometimes insightful, usually accurate. Sometimes terribly so.

Being aware of and accepting my sixth sense is a moment to moment thing, and there are times when my intuition tells me things I do not like. It is in these moments that I learn of my ego, and it's relative importance in the real world.

Lately there have been folks that have come to see me to 'check me out', to see if what some folks say about me is true. These are the people that were in my dream this morning, trying to figure out how to manipulate me so that I would listen to them more than I listen to myself, that I would give them my power, the power of choice. As if!

Now I understand why I woke up in such a terrible rush, they are/were terrible, those folks in my dream, and I do not want to engage longer than I must with folks such as those, not just in my dreams but in real life as well.

Examine your dreams, see if there's a message in them, or maybe a visit from someone who's passed on and over, and take what you can from them. Clearly most of us dream, and science says that everything exists for a reason. Find out what your dream life is telling and showing you, maybe there's something good in it for you. You will not know if you do not look...

Be your best you!

 

November 11, 2012

Remembering all of those changed by wars. That we may live in peace.

What a week this was, all over the world. Joy. Upset. News.

We are all in this, together. It is through this fact that progress will be made. We're an amazing species, us humans, and our evolution proves that, although polls say that 46% of Americans believe that it took six days and all the rest, creationism it's called. OK, a perfect example of evolution on the march.

One interesting fact that has surfaced from our recent American elections comes from California, the state that leads the nation in countless ways, not the least of which is voting. Based on results, it is clear that mainstream current Republican thinking is favored by 30% of Californians. Wow, now there's a statistic.

One of the great divides in the political parties is about individual rights, and what is permitted.

As a child growing up in California, I witnessed many times the racism around me, against so many different groups. So sad.

Now I understand why my Mom didn't talk about her Hispanic parentage, as she was never told, and her half Caucasian half Hispanic Father probably didn't know, either. Oh, the shame back then.

Denying rights to people because you don't like their views on abortion or gay rights or corporate reform is wrong, and mean-spirited. And it strikes me as a bit un-American. But I don't want to fight or argue about it, we need to reason together.

Together, that's how we'll go into the future.

Love on!

 

November 8, 2012

Have you noticed all the changes the past few days?

So many changes, so much new.

Change is certain, and certainly constant. 'Nothing is permanent except change.'

Well, now that this issue has been settled, we can address how we will go forward with this truth.

'Let go or be dragged.' 'Hope and work for the better.' 'Attitude is gratitude.' 'Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.'

Those have been the slogans that have been going through my head since Tuesday afternoon, right about when Mercury went retrograde. A couple of hours later I was at San Francisco International Airport (www.flysfo.com) , and it was a mad house of activity. There were people rushing everywhere, and I calmly walked to the automated kiosk and got my boarding passes, and then through the TSA pre-check line (www.tsa.gov), what a wonderful perk. It's like security before 9-11, no need to take off shoes or belt or jacket or take out computer or liquids baggy, what a breeze.

The boarding area was filled with people on their smartphones, looking at news about the Presidential Election results coming in. Then it's time to board for our 8PM departure.

Nice boarding, not rushed and an 'almost full' plane, and off we go into a dark night and smooth air and suddenly the lights of Los Angeles and down and down and touchdown and a quick taxi to our gate. Coming into the terminal and there are folks all yammering about the news, we have a President. Most folks are happy, here and there a sad face.

Rental shuttle to rental car to hotel to sleep. Day done.

The next morning I awaken to a foggy San Fernando Valley. It's been years but I remember mornings like this. Cool, shadowy lighting, the distances obscured and more seen than felt.

Driving to Newhall, to my Uncle Ed's memorial service, a small close friends and family affair, and photos of his lifetime, and sweet words and shed tears in the crowd, and the love is all that hangs in the air, the fog is long gone.

And then a long drive back to Los Angeles International Airport and dropping the car and getting the shuttle, and then Mercury retrograde really kicks in and my flight home is more than two hours late, and I wind up missing my German class and don't sleep well. Day done and me along with it.

Waking this morning, I recall one of the photos that I saw at the memorial, one of my Mom about 6 years old and my Uncle 2 years older. Both in Sunday Whites, as they called their clothes back then in Highland Park, California. Both smiling, holding hands, looking into the camera with shy smiles and innocence. They're together again, now, and the love lives on.

 

November 2, 2012

Hello Tahiti! I have wonderful memories of the natural beauty of your islands, each of them jewels set in a swirling azure sea. All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading along.

Today is the Day of the Dead in San Francisco, a tradition imported from Mexico.

On my walk this morning, I passed a young couple, both with white and black faces painted skull-like, as they went into a coffee shop to the surprise of several patrons and the confused look on a small boy's face.  Later today, at dusk, there will be a small parade through parts of the Mission District, with folks carrying photos of those who have died in the previous year, and lots of candles and flowers, music here and there, all of it respectful and in honor of the dead.

For my part, today I will remember all of those who touched my life who are with me in spirit. Like my dear Uncle Ed, 98 years he lived, and Angela, a client, who saw 35 years, many hard.

The ancient Egyptian culture believed that as long as your name existed you would, too. That as long as we are remembered, we have a link to the living after death.

I believe that love never dies, even if the object of love fades away.

So today I will remember all of those who have lived before me, family, friends, clients, acquaintances, and strangers, and thank them for being, and for whatever contribution they made, as we all have a legacy we leave with the living.

Love lives in each of us, and on and on.

Live on! Love on!

 

October 29, 2012

Halloween has been popping up all over the streets of San Francisco.

It started last Thursday that I saw evidence of it. There was a woman dressed as a witch, the tall pointy hat, long dark cape, even a broom slung over her shoulder. We smiled at each other as we passed on the street. A pretty witch she was.

Then came the zombie guy later in the day, in the afternoon. It had been a sunny warm day and I went for a walk to mark the transition from work to home. Walking ahead of me I noticed what looked to be a torn jacket on someone, and as I drew closer I could make out that both trousers and jacket were ripped and torn, and smudged with dirt. Stopping for the street light I turned and noticed him again, this time seeing the white face with dark triangles below his creeks, his eyes black circles in his head, the dried makeup blood on the side of his head. Very ghoulish.

Halloween.

The big public celebrations took place this past weekend, mainly Saturday night. There were thousands and thousands of people in some sort of costume, more witches, some warlocks, lots of vampires, a couple Obamas and Romneys, and Fairy Princesses and Super heros and hula girls and surfer dudes and on and on.

Out walking that evening, I noticed a piece of fabric fall from someone, and hurried to pick it up and return it. 'Excuse me' I said and the Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz costumed person turned and there was a 250 pound bearded hulk of a man and his slim Morticia Addams costumed wife. Ah, San Francisco...

A celebration of all sorts of things, Halloween is. Debate about Samhain, an old Celtic holiday marking the half-way point between Autumn and Winter and the slaughter of animals and the veneration of ancestors, versus Christian thoughts about All Saint's Day (November 1st, and Day of the Dead November 2nd).

Whichever...

There's a Full Moon tonight, and I hope to see spookies in the moonlight. The moon will rise here in the constellation Aries, sign of forward movement and hopefulness. Excellent harbinger of the mood I will be fostering, a playful spirit out in moon beams.

Of course there's lots to celebrate just now in SF as our baseball team, the Giant's, won the World Series last night. The City is lit up with lots of orange lighting, a team color (along with black). I suspect that a toast to the full moon somewhere out and about will be a perfect start to a full-of-reasons-to-celebrate week. Excellent!

Time for me to fly, which reminds me, I have a new aphorism (saying) I'd like to share with you: FLY=First Love Yourself.

Clever no? Time for me to FLY fly!

Big hugs to you and yours!

 

October 25, 2012

Yesterday was my first day back at work.

The night before, sleeping in my bed, snuggled with Edy the cat, I had a dream about a woman I had never met.

There she was, as a child, fair haired and smiling, while her Daddy went off to war not to return, the absence deeply engraved.

Then again, marrying a man who reminded her of her Daddy, and he too went off not to return, the absence deeper still.

Her daughter was her salvation, and she became the best single parent she could be, and raised a strong and loving child, who studied and got good academic grades and earned an advanced degree, and then married and raised 2 beautiful girls with a devoted husband.

In the dream she pointed to her younger daughter and said 'That's the one you will meet today. Tell her how proud I am of her.'

At our appointed time, her youngest daughter and I met at my front door. She had her Mother's smile and eyes, and her Dad's nose and ears. And her Grandfather's hair, ashen blond.

In our conversation we talked about so much. As our time drew to an end, I told her about my dream and what her Mother had said.

Slowly she took out a photograph of her Mom on her wedding day. Same lovely smile shared by them both. We spoke briefly about how love never dies and she promised that she would put the photo next to her bed for a while.

As difficult as it may be to comprehend, death is one of the most amazing events that occurs in life, right up there with birth, another of the 'great mysteries'. Except that neither is truly unknown, as there had been approximately 100 billion humanbeings thus far, and countless stories about memories before birth, like the Tibetian Lama's, or the slew of books about life after death. All of us have been born, and all of us will die. No mystery there.

For my part, what I have learned is this: If you think that the dead are gone, they are. If you think they are somewhere, somehow around, they are. What we believe shapes our reality, in more ways than most of us realize.

I love my work, and the folks that I work with. Life is such a great big wonder-filled experience. Be sure you don't let yourself miss a minute.

 

October 23, 2012

And so I did!

I went in search of the colors of Autumn and found them, all over the place, so to speak.

There they were, the reds and oranges and yellows and every hue in between. Beautiful. Visible proof of change all around me.

'Every day look at yourself in the mirror of introspection.' Paramahansa Yogananda

That's what I've been doing these past few days, looking it me by looking within and without. Sounds kinda cryptic, I know, but think about it. To see yourself in the mirror of the world. Or, in other words, what of the world sticks to you?

And there is nothing better than travel that I know of to help one rub elbows, as it were, with the world better.

When I went looking for disharmony and stress, there it was, in the form of another human being in the act of being. Some of us get quite worked up about the world we live in and how we think it should be.

If you want to change the world around you, change yourself. That's what I was reminded of, time and time again.

For those of you on Facebook.com, thanks for the messages et. al., and you Twitterer's too.

Love on!

 

October 15, 2012

'Time is flying, never to return'~Virgil

Happy Birthday, Virgil, born this day in 70BC.

What he said way back then is still true today. Time is a seemingly endless stream that carries you and I and all of everything along with it. Scientists say that time is a relative thing and varies from place to place, depending on where you are in the Universe. No matter where I am, it appears that time is a constant and that it is a gift to me because it comes without strings.

Each and every moment of every day and every night is new, brand new as they say in the States. A gift from ?

So we get to do with it what we choose, however and whereever and whenever and so on ever.

Autumn is advancing, the leaves in some trees are taking on yellow and red and orange as the sugar in the leaves ages. Time is flying.

There are roughly 10 more weeks in this year. Yippee!

For my part, I am off to see the colors of Fall. To feel the nip of coldish air against my cheeks, beard covered though they are. For the smell of a wood fire burning. To see the suns slanting rays wash the world with its grace.

Time flys, I must too. Big hugs, and remember, you are loved!

Love on!

 

October 11, 2012

Hello Prague! One of these days I hope to visit your lovely spaces and places! All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading.

When I was going up, I remember being told to avoid unpleasant situations and people. I tried but was unable to. As the years rolled past, like whirling leaves in a shifting wind, I encountered so many negative moments, places and faces and events that were bad, plain and simple. At one point I found myself surrounded with people that were shallow and mean, and I began to wonder why this was happening. A woman I worked with told me that I was among these folks because I was one of them. She told me that I was attracting these folks due to karma in a past life.

This led to years of soul searching, and study, and cogitation, and reflection, and prayer.

The world is filled with people that are not like you. The question before us all is: how will we be, if one of the great delights in life comes from being authentic, honest about ones self and willing and able to change?

It's a choice each of us makes, countless times a day, countless times in a life time.

Early on, I learned that internalizing the awful and negative and hateful in me just made me worse. Over the years, I learned to displace negativity, sometimes daily, so as not to be trapped in its cloying quicksand and lose my authenticity.

Over the years, some ghastly, awful people have been around, and sometimes they sit in front of me. In each and every occasion, I have worked to be true to my self, and not to be influenced and seduced by the evil that some of us practice. I am not perfect, but as I go along I work at growing, of casting off the foulness and wretchedness that life flings at us, sometimes from those closest to us.

I know that there are people who hate me, and I wish them well. I recognise the effect of negative energy held tightly in place, and how it can subvert and pervert our true self. They have my compassion, and my prayers. I was one of them.

LIFE= Love Intention Focus Effort

Four simple things to remember as we weave in and out and about in life, like leaves being tossed about sometimes.

Love on!

 

October 7, 2012

Almost summer weather here in San Francisco, and an event filled weekend, so many places to go and so much to choose from.

I was ready for a fun day, to compensate for a difficult week. I have a funny job. I help people.

This week, I met a man who will be going to Federal prison for choices that he made in the past. Sad story, but from our conversation it was clear that he has come to understand where he went wrong and why he did what he did. On another day I met a woman who had made a choice about her child and came to realize that she had made a mistake in this choice, and is now trying to correct what has happened. The same day brought a woman who had lied to a U.S. Governmental agency about things that her former husband had done, and now she was 'up to her neck' with trouble.

What a week. People can and do make terrible choices, usually when they feel cut off from love and in touch with self loathing.

'If beating made me better, I'd be perfect.' I have said this so many times, over my lifetime, about myself and others.

In working with each of these folks, I put them in touch with their authencity, with their actual self love. Each and every time this happened, there was a moment, sometimes many of them, when they realized what they had done and how far it was from how they now, in the reflection of time, felt about themselves.

'To error is human', old saying this. There is no mention of forgiveness, however.

Forgiveness is key to moving forward.

Judgement is not compassion, and never will be. Loving ourselves enough to change takes courage and surrender, in equal measure, and are so worth the effort.

Here's to a new week, and new and renewed self love. Love yourself enough to be your best you.

Love on!

 

September 28, 2012

946 years ago on this date, William the Conqueror landed in England and changed the world.

Like most of us, he probably thought he was doing something important, like waging war with his enemies. Little did he know how his victory would reshape his times and ours.

'The devil is in the details' is an old saying, and true sometimes. It can be the smallest thing that changes the situation and the outcome.

Each of us has a role to play in life, and each of us determines what we say and do and think and feel. We choose.

One of my neighbors complains all the time, about her husband, her children, her parents, her friends. Everytime I see her she has something negative to say. As one could imagine, I don't spend much time with her, and I do always greet her and share my smile with her. In the past I've suggested displacement exercises to her, but I doubt she's done anything of that kind. Her choice.

In 1066 William had to do what he thought best, and changed history. Each day, each of us chooses, countless times.

Sometimes we have to roll up our sleeves and get 'stuck in', as the English say. 'Just do it', says the Nike company.

Being responsible does take intention, effort and focus, and the results are well worth the time and hassle. It's important to remember that we are worth the time and hassle, as self love is the foundation of our self esteem.

Love on!

 

September 25, 2012

Hello Tasmania! One of these days I hope to visit, the photos I've seen are amazing. All the best to you and yours!

Hello South Africa! Every word of the above, and my best to you!

Three months until Christmas! Time is flying along, as are all of us on this spinning globe of water and rock in the middle of clearly a very large and expanding space!

The other day I had an interesting conversation with a stranger. We were sitting near each other, both of us eating food purchased from one of many food trucks parked around us. Both of us were reading paper books, as opposed to the countless tablets and computers and smartphones all around. We both looked up at about the same time, and glanced at each other. Pages later, looking up again, I heard her exclaim 'wow!' and asked 'wow?' and she said she was reading a book and one of the characters was talking about having lived a previous life. She heard about past lives and all, and just in that moment she had had a 'deja-vu' (I've been here before) moment and a flash of memory that was so clear and intense.

I've heard stories like hers since I was a little child.

Everyone has perceptions that don't make logical sense. Learning to learn from them takes time.

What's important is to keep an open mind, and to enquire and read and ask and look into.

Physicists say that there are 10 or 11 dimensions, that all time is now, that energy and matter are not always bound together, and that nothing disappears.

If all that's true, it follows that the best thing that I can do for myself is to direct my energy toward positive and good results. And work outward from there, in an expanding engagement with life all around me. Family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, all.

Time after time after time.

Whew, it can get exhausting! Make sure that you give yourself beauty and calm and love of being. Loving starts with you, and spirals outward from there.

Love on!

 

September 21, 2012

Today is the International Day of Peace. Imagine a world without war. Some of us cannot, yet. This day is for them.

The last day of Summer is also today. Walking on the streets of San Francisco I see so many trees taking on the colors of the coming season, and yellows and oranges and reds are starting to appear on the leaves overhead some of these streets. The cycle of life continues, ever forward.

Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of the year. As a child, living on a turkey farm, it meant that the thousands of birds we had been raising would soon be leaving us for parts unknown but fates clearly determined. We had a pet turkey, this sweet bird that had been mangled somehow as a chick, and had trouble walking and eating. We kept him and fed him and loved him, and he showed me another side of turkeys, a softer, gentler side.

'There are two sides to everything', an old saying that goes back countless years. Sometimes it's difficult to remember this, and myopia takes over.

There's a woman who works in a store near where I live. She has the most dour and sour look on her face most of the time. She avoids interacting with customers and stays in the back, but not out of sight. For years, when I would see her, I wondered about her other side, her happy and loving side, her smiling face. I made mention of my thinking one day to one of the counter staff, and she laughed and said she'd never seen 'Ol' Sourpuss' with any expression other than the one we could see.

Imagine my surprise one day while crossing San Francisco on a bus. We came to a stop and on walked this grim woman, but her face had been transformed, and she was smiling, really a beautiful smile. Then I saw the little girl with her, probably her grand-daughter, and I watched as the two of them played a game and both of them smiled and laughed. As I got off the bus, the woman recognized me and gave me a smile and introduced her grand-daughter to me, little Cassy she called her. Both waved smilingly at me as the bus continued on its circuit.

When I saw the woman later in the week, she had on her usual grim look. But I knew better.

Some of us don't show our hearts on our faces, some do. We get to choose. We all have hearts.

Happy Autumn in the northern hemisphere, Happy Spring in the southern hemisphere!

 

September 16, 2012

Hello Namibia! My cousins in Germany love your country and one of these days I hope to see you with my eyes. All the best to you and yours!

Just a few more days until Autumn. Such a wonderful word. It brings to my mind the changing of the colors of the leaves on trees, and cooler temperatures and the smell of wood burning in fireplaces and lots and lots of apples.

"Let go or be dragged"

I first heard that phrase years ago, at a time when the world around me was coming apart at the seams, and it all seemed bleak and dark and hopeless. There were things happening that I was powerless to stop even though they directly effected me. I was miserable and about to give up.

That's when someone wrote the above phrase in chalk near my apartment. I took it as a message from the beyond. I stopped fighting the changes that were happening and shut up, squared my shoulders and got on with it.

Things got better. My life began to improve. I moved. I got a new job. I made new friends. I did new things. I wore new clothes.

There are some things in life we are powerless to change. That's life. When we do about these changes is our choice and our life.

Rainy days and Mondays, the song says, and it's true. Sometimes we just have to let the sadness wash over us, to claim us albeit briefly. If we give our selves permission to truly feel our emotions and stop repressing them, we improve our life. Repression leads to depression and that leads no where good. A good cry can lift the darkness. Sometimes we must cry.

Let the love that lives in you find the light of life that surrounds each and every one of us.

Love you. Love on!

 

September 11, 2012

Please Rest In Peace, all of the souls that suffered this day.

The events of this day back in 2001 echo still. The shock, the horror, the fear, the grief. A day to remember, and to forgive.

We cannot change the events of life, we can only survive them. How they change us is, to a great degree, up to us.

A couple of folks I knew died in the World Trade Center that day in 2001. Both of them were kind and loving people, with families and friends and lives they were busy living. Their legacies live on, in their children, families and friends. Love never dies.

For many of us this is a day of mourning and tragedy. Grieving is loving through separation. Let your tears flow.

The world changed on this day in 2001, and all of us live with its shadow. What is important is to love and forgive and live, to carry an individual sense of survival and to feel the power and majesty that is life.

Peace be with you, and will all of us in this world. Let love shine through the pain and darkness.

Live on. Love on.

 

September 4, 2012

Hello Izmir, Turkey! What a wonderful town you are, so much to see and do, and the lovely cafes along the shore where one can eat and drink and enjoy life. All the best to you and yours!

The other morning I received an e-mail that made me stop and think. It was from a woman, clearly very angry and upset, based on her words and language. In short, she told me that I could take all my 'babble' and, well, you can imagine...

Part of me was very glad that this woman had displaced some of her anger, and part of me wanted to reach out to her.

I slept on this decision, as I usually do when faced with a choice of action, if time allows.

Reading her message, over and over again, I began to get a sense of her frustration and anger and hurt, and felt compassion. I contacted her and thanked her for her message and wished her well.

Yeowzah! She responded with some of the nastiest writing I have read in a long time, and she was very blunt and ugly in her choice of words and sentence construction. Yikes!

After sleeping restfully, I awoke and pondered what to do. Leave it alone or contact her again. I flipped a coin, heads: contact, tails:leave alone. Heads it was. OK, then, how to proceed? So I sat down and composed a short letter, thanking her for her further contact and wishing her well, although she wrote that she didn't care what I did, in any way, shape or form. With the press of a button, off went my reply to her.

Minutes later she sent a short message: 'You must be a nice guy to put up with my hatred'---

I wrote back that I hoped I was a nice guy and that I hoped she felt better. Shortly thereafter she left a message on my phone, saying she wanted to come and see me and talk about it all.

Just before writing these words, I telephoned her and we spoke for a few minutes, and will see each other later this month. I hope I can help her with her turmoil.

Sh*t happens, they say. Clearly life can present us with situations and feelings that can overwhelm us. What we do about it is up to us to choose.

I don't live a perfect life, sh*t happens to me, just as it does to everybody. The question is what will I do with it? Will I react to it and show the lesser side of my self, or will I respond with love and compassion and the better side of my self? The choice is always mine, just as it is for each of us in our lives.

Choose from love.

That's what I do, and sometimes, frankly, it's a stretch and a real effort. It is still the right thing to do. I've learned this by choosing the wrong path at times, and living with the consequences. Experience keeps a hard school, it's been said. What is important is to learn from our mistakes and to grow from them.

Growing through change. This is what life is. If we add love to the mix it makes for a sweeter result.

Love on!

 

September 1, 2012

The Flamingo maple tree in our yard has started to have tiny yellowing leaves, as they take on more color, changing from white, they fall and swirl downward, carpeting the brick path beneath the tree. Autumn is approaching.

A National Holiday looms as well, Labor Day, a day to honor labor by not doing same. Clever, that. And a wonderful reason to have a three day weekend, as most Americans work Monday through Friday.

When I lived in Lahore, Pakistan, I had to get used to the practice of Friday and Saturday as the weekend. Took a bit of doing, but there was so much more to see those days, when shops would spring up on a piece of cloth on the ground and trays of food being carried through the streets in the center of the city.

Time away from the normal pressures and demands of our day to day life is a wonderful thing. Make sure you get some. Refresh and recharge your personal battery, as the days ahead will require effort and focus and intention. As life does.

Enjoy these days with love in your heart. Let love guide your steps on the path and you'll find yourself in a better place.

Love on!

 

August 28, 2012

Hello Hamburg! All the best to you and yours!

Glorious weather right now in San Francisco, the fog has disappeared and the mornings start with the trees outside my bedroom filling with birds as they and I await dawn.

And there it (she) is, the first rays of sunlight, illuminating the scene, making all the colors in the light beam more defined, some brighter, some paler. The birds chatter louder.

Edy the cat rises and stretches and moves toward the door leading outside, as is her wont. She has a routine, and this is the start of it. I rise and dress, and open the door for her. This morning the air is warmish, 58F the thermometer reads. Edy goes and sniffs here and there, looking about, and then jumps up and has a drink from the lily pool vase. The birds have gone silent.

The world is at peace, just in this moment of the world.

I go about my routine, getting the newspapers and starting the coffee machine. Edy comes into the kitchen and rubs against my leg, letting me know she's back inside. I get up and go close the open door outside. The birds descend, big ones and medium ones and little ones, browns and tans and blacks and whites and even a yellow or red one now and then.

Years ago, when I was homeless, my mornings started without any sense of calm. My life was a mess, and I was just 17.

Over the years, I have learned to take care of myself, and to use my abilities and skills for the better, and my life's circumstances have vastly improved. The keys to my transformation were self love, self forgiveness, and self acceptance. And lots of intention followed by effort.

Not all of us start our mornings calmly.

One of my neighbors sometimes starts her morning yelling at her kids when her husband isn't yelling at her. I am thankful for the mornings when they keep their doors and windows closed.

How we start our day is, in many ways, up to us to choose. I have found that if I arrange my mornings to really make me happy that I wake up 'on the right side of the bed', so to speak/write, in a good mood in otherwords.

Give yourself the best possible start to your day. Practice self love. It changes life in the best possible way.

Love on!

 

August 25, 2012

Just 4 more months until X-mas! Time flies, even if we just walk!

Foggy SF morning gave way to a foggy SF day into evening, ah well...

didn't let the fog stop me and went for an early morning walk, to get me in the best place I could be, centered and grounded.

Walking down 17th street I pass a man at a bus stop, who asks me for a joint, a marijuana cigarette. Sorry, I say, tugging at my pockets as I walk on, toward Church Street and all of the folks parking their cars for church, snarling placid Church Street. The way toward peace sometimes isn't peaceful, I see. Walking on, I pass two women arguing over who should dirve, one crying, one shouting, no peace here. I walk on. Passing Valencia Street there is an old Mexican woman, grey hair in two thick braids, selling breakfast foods, and I stop for a green chile and egg mini-burrito, so delicious, so fresh. $1. I give her $2 and a big smile and walk on. What a wonderful morning.

After 30 minutes my alarm goes off, and I start toward home. The sky has lightened into a bright grey and the traffic, both on street and sidewalk, has increased. Most folks I've passed have been lost in their own thoughts, some with head-phones on, some not but still somewhere else, and all going somewhere. Like me. I am returning home so that I can continue my day, a work day, and what ever happens after.

Life takes place while you're not looking, distracted elsewhere.

Intention is a rudder in life, and determines where and how we continue. So many of us forget to have a clear plan, thereby letting the 'winds of fate' chart our course.

Let love help guide your path, and you will wind up in a wonderful and wonderfilled place.

Using this same logic, I am now going out for my evening walk, as the sun sets. Let go and let good and G-d guide me, I think.

Happy Saturday! Love on!
 

 

August 21, 2012

My Uncle Ed died the other day, aged 98, about one week after his birthday. He just stopped eating and became unresponsive, and his heart slowed way down, and then stopped. I hope he had a good death, he was a good man, my Mother's brother.

I credit him with helping me to become more self reliant.

After the death of my Mom when I was 14 years old, he reached out to me and let me know that I was not alone. I never forgot that message. Over the years we were in touch, and as time went by we saw each other more, until he began to decline and did not quite know who I was. I didn't visit him after that, partly to preserve my memories of him in better days.

Toward the end of his life I arranged for his daughter Sandy to get a couple of DNA swabs from him, so that his genetic ancestry could be traced. He said that his Mom had told him he was descended from Welsh folk. The DNA proved this to be true, and using Ancestry.com I was able to follow the path that led to his Mom, from Pennsylvania, and her parents, both from Wales, his Grandfather from Newport, Wales. Amazing what can be discovered these days. His DNA also confirmed that his Dad, my Grandfather, was half Hispanic. Ah, que bueno. It's comforting to know where I came from, how the struggle of lives being lived led to me having my life and living lovingly.

Love never dies. I know that to be true.

So the other night, before going to bed, I invited my Uncle to visit me, and as I got into bed I had the distinct feeling of someone in the room, near me. And then this shivery feeling swept the right side of my body, starting near the bottom of my rib-cage and spreading up and down from there. It was amazing, and I knew who it was. I said out loud 'I love you, Uncle' and felt warm and calm and such peace.

Love never dies.

The power of death is overwhelming, and the absence of the departed is sharply felt. It is important not to believe in the separation that death appears to present to us. People and things do die, that is the proper nature of life. Not letting love die is the proper response to death.

Love never dies. Let it live in you.

 

August 18, 2012

Have you even been let down by a friend? What does one do when hurt by a friend?

Ignoring it works for a while, but doesn't last. Turning the other cheek can lead to very sore cheeks. Forgetting about it is illusionary. Rising above it usually brings one back down to the ground.

Recently a person I know and consider to be a friend reneged on an agreement we have, but didn't tell me. I found out about their decision in the course of time, and then I mulled the situation over.

At this point in time, I must point out that in my youth, which I consider to be anything under 35 years of age, I was impulsive and sometimes not all that well grounded and clear about my intents. Believe me, I paid for my rashness and lack of deliberation so many times, over and over, and eventually I began to change. I stopped jumping when something happened and took time to formulate a viable solution that would solve the issue/problem.

After a few days, I wrote an e-mail message letting 'the cat out of the bag', as it were, and asked what we should do next.

Not a word back, nothing.

My disappointment has been rising, I thought they were better than this. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was right.

This morning I did some displacement exercises around this isssue, and got to the bottom of my problem: I confused how this person is treating me as a valid value judgement about me. Ah, hello, Ego. I thought you might be around here, somewhere, confusing me with what some one else does. Glad that's cleared up.

My friend will do whatever they choose as regards our agreement. For my part, I will learn what I can from what happens.

Our power ends at our skin, and that is a good thing. Managing what's under our skin is enough work for a lifetime.

Love on!

 

August 13, 2012

Hello Dhaka, Bangladesh! All the best to you and yours! Thanks for reading along!

Watching the closing of the London Olympics I was so touched by the entry of the people who played in the games, more than just competitors but friends as well, so many smiles, such hope.

Working together, we are powerful. Working alone, we are powerful.

The other day a man I know said that each breath he took in was a chance to grow, and that after nearly 70 years of living he had finally come to understand the power of loving.

He had spent his adult life working, striving to earn more, to keep up with his internal sense of what he was supposed to do. He says he did a good job, but neglected the most important job of all, and that over time his wife and children drifted away even though they were under the same roof. It was almost too late, he says, before he realized what was happening. He came home from a business trip and announced that he wanted a Family Vacation. They all hurriedly decided on somewhere and he put together a wonderful trip, and spent time with each of his family members and had heart-to-heart talks, lots of tears, some anger, and so much healing, so much love.

Brave fellow, this man. He is having to change after decades of not changing, Love is worth it, as is all that love brings.

Who knows how wonderful your life can become?

Love on!

 

August 7, 2012

Lots of news swirling around, Olympic medals and parachuting Queens; Marilyn Monroe (imagine her 86); Mars and it's new resident Curiosity, and Mercury almost direct.

There's something new under the Sun, each and every day.

The weather here has been wonderful and the mix of sun and fog portends good days to come.

Hopefully, finger's crossed, knock and/or touch wood.

The whirl and swirl can overwhelm us from time to time, and it is most important that we get our bearings on the level, and proceed from there. Yesterday I woke up in a funky mood, not sure why but there I was and there this mood was with me. Feeling a bit like Oscar Wilde and the wallpaper in his last room ("One or the other of us has to go'), I decided to press on with my day and just get on with it. It took a while, a couple of hours, but my mood lifted and my spirit improved and after a bit I felt like myself again.

As I was preparing for bed I noticed what it was that had set my mood so darkly, a nastry scratch in a favorite piece of furniture. Ah ha, I thought, now I remember what it was. And with that I was up and off and doing what I could to make this mark disappear, and it did with effort.

Life lis like that, it gets better with effort.

As the new of life swirls around us, it's important to find our bearings and remember the glory that is love. With love all things are possible. Without love, there is so much less.

Love on!

 

August 5, 2012

Hello Odisha! All my best to you and yours! This morning I noticed that my readership in your part of the world, a world away from me here in San Francisco, California. increased significantly and Thank you for reading along.

Happy International Beer Day!

Did you know that beer is one of the oldest manufactured beverages that humans have made, and archeo-anthropologists believe that it helped form early human societies?

Let's hear it for beer!

There is a web site, www.internationalbeerday.com that explains more, but the short of it is a reason to get together with folks and have a good time. Reason enough for me.

In truth, I am not a big beer drinker, but I have come to appreciate some of the offerings available on our world for some wonderful drinks, and pairing food with beer is an art form. Recently there has been an increase in the places one can go and have a hand-crafted and brewed beer, and just recently an interesting place opened nearby. Sounds like I will be taking a walk, later today, when the drizzle has stopped and the sky is blue and grey.

Yep, it's one of those mornings, when the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge has been misted and mussed and obscured from view, and the streets are slightly wet, trees outlined by their canopies stenciled on the sidewalks and streets. Calms the pollen down, which is a good thing. Chilly mornings like this are a feature of the micro-climates that make up this fair city. The City, as some locals call it, after a writer named Herb Caen who wrote glowingly, usually, about San Francisco.

Recently, in Munich, I tried some fruit flavored beers, the most interesting was a banana and cherry combo I tried in a guys garage that was selling beers to the public. He had all sorts of fruit beers, and also mead, a honey wine from antiquity. In conversation he said that there were more than 1800 brewers in Munich and it's environs. That's a lot of beer, ja?

Happy International Beer Day! Celebrate whatever you like, however you like it. Enjoy!

 

August 1, 2012

Hello London, many times over! So many wonderful things going on right there, right now. You've certainly got the world's attention! All the best to you and yours, and enjoy the excitement in the air (and make the best of the crazy traffic).

Happy Lunacy! That's right, today's the day! August 1, any year one likes. It is an ancient holiday, originally called Lughnasadh (Loo-na (short a) sa (long a). A time to celebrate the dead and all they have done for us, and a time for cleaning and games and feasting. Sounds good to me.

Not an athelete myself, I don't pay much attention to sports, but for the past few days I've been catching up on the winners at the Olympic Games in London, and have been delighted to see the intensity with which some of them succeed. The concentration, so apparent on their face, their body completely surrendered to the moment, the fixed gaze of the eyes. And then the smiles that beam out at you like a kleig light, so blindingly brilliant and flashing before our smiling faces.

Yesterday I celebrated my Mom's death anniversary, one of so many, and told her all about what I have learned about our family, her parents and their ancestors. I took out photos I have of her and talked out loud to them, as if they were the embodiment of what was once her body, and rattled on for quite a while. I was surprised how relaxed I felt towards the end, and as I gathered up my photos I felt something brush my right upper arm, ever so briefly, and I knew. Hi, Mom, I love you too. Always will...

Love never dies, people and things and stuff dies, but the love we feel burns bright within us, alive and so sharp and tender.

Making friends with death still takes times, and when I see the hand of death sweeping toward someone or something I am amazed by the forces that exist independent of us, stuff that many call G-d. Yes, I know, I omitted the O, I do this out of respect for a force that is all powerful, and has created the bookends that we call a life.

Today I'm gonna be a bit Lune-a-tic, there's a full moon in the sky, 1st one of this special month, and I'm gonna use it to bring the new into my life. Cleaning, feasting and games! There are things I've never done that I need to do, and today will be a great day to embark on the new, and give it my best, faced perhaps screwed up in concentration, and see what happens.

Happy Lunacy! Love on!

 

July 28, 2012

Hello Addis Ababa! You are on my travel list. For years I have dreamed of traveling to the cradle of mankind, ever since I learned anthropology in college, and finger's crossed I'll get there. All the best to you and yours!

A friend writing from the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics wrote that it was barmy.

Isn't that the perfect word?

Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls! Although today it might be easier on a computer.

I turned in to watch it on TV, and was delighted with what I saw. It was a take on all things English, and included history and imagery and was confusing to many. Even some of the English folks watching it live in the stadium, as I learned later from a client who was there. That's entertainment for you.

What I enjoyed most of all was when the torch was passed from the older generation to the younger generation, who then lit 204 petals representing one for each country participating in this years games.

204 nations, coming together in friendly competition, striving for the best.

That's why I turned in, to get a feel for that intention, that decision, that resolution: Forward together.

Propped up in me bed as it came to a close, I felt assured that our world is spinning in the right direction, despite countless indications to the contrary. What passes before our eyes informs us, and we sometimes can be deluged by the awful and terrible and just plain disgusting. It is important to balance the load, so to speak, and give our eyes something beautiful, inspiring, heart felt and good to witness.

 

July 24, 2012

Hello Lima! You are an amazing city, and Peru is spectacular. The train between Puno and Cuzco is not for the faint of heart, as is much of alta Peru; there is so much to see in your lovely country. All the best to you and yours!

Just about back in sync, my body clock and the real clock...jet lag...is such a drag.

Boeing Aircraft reports that their new 787 will reduce the effects of jet lag, and I do hope that this proves to be true.

Speaking of truth, I mused through the newspapers that had stacked up here in the scatter of this house when I am away, and was shocked to see that there were actual lies printed. What was shocking was to learn that in some cases the original report came from a clearly bogus source, but the lies in the report were told on as fact.

Cynicism, the telling of sensational lies for ulterior reasons, is having a big hand in media these days. Schade in German, sad in English.

My thinking is that this is a great time to practice ones intuition, and to sort out what's true from what's false.

Intuition is a sense that sharpens as we use it, and learn to rely on it, and the more we do the better it gets.

From a personal point of view, I am a bit disheartened at the condition of The Fifth Estate, as media is sometimes called.

Some of the lies that are being spread are for financial gain, some for political gain, and some of it just for bad.

Life is sometimes like a walk through a beautiful, flower strewn pasture. We must pay attention to what we're stepping into.

 

July 23, 2012

My circadian clock is off-kilter.

Body clock rock...

Yesterday started at 4AM local time. Ugh! Up and showered et. al. and packed and off for a 5:10AM Lufthansa Airport Bus and a 7:20AM flight to London and then on to Chicago and finally to San Francisco, arriving at 5PM local time. Oy!

In my body 5PM was 2AM and wow was I tired. Came home, ate some food and crashed. Slept until 5AM this morning. Woke up feeling rested and refreshed. From previous experience I know that this feeling will diminish and I'll be napping later today, probably.

Travel these days lacks any of the graciousness that was associated with it back in the halycon days of the post WWII days, when one dressed as if going someplace important, with care and attention to appearance.

Those days are over. Almost.

Checking in for the flight to London was a young couple dressed so well, both of them clearly had paid attention to their clothes and overall appearance. As we queued to board they were in front of me and I heard her saying how excited she was to be going to London for the Olympic Games to which he replied that this was going to be a wonderful honeymoon.

Ah, sweet love.

Clearly they had caught the attention of the ground staff as they were quietly upgraded. Good for them!

Travel, for me, is exciting and the adventure of the new is compelling and interesting. Even if the guy next to me looks like he just stepped out of bed and is in what looks like sleepwear with flip-flops on his feet.

Going out and seeing the world around us also leads to a greater appreciation of the joys of home.

Home Sweet Home!

 

July 20,2012

Carried away to and with Munich, what a city. Having family and friends here helps, but the locals are so helpful if not always friendly.

Yesterday, in the English Garden (created by an American) I sat in a beergarden (they're everywhere) and talked with some locals while enjoying a litre of beer. Had a great time, maybe the beer helped my German a bit as I felt like I was communicating well. Leaving the park I stopped to watch some surfers on the river Isar when a man bumped into me. He let go of a string of invective, most of which I didn't understand, but his tone was very clear. Turned out he had over imbibed at the Garden, his wife said by way of apology. I felt right at home and laughed it off.

Roll with it or it will roll over you, that's my attitude about most things.

So I rolled on into a sunny afternoon and a wonderful stroll through this town founded by monks. Many beautiful churches here, so much to see and do.

And all the while I am practicing my German, or trying to. Sometimes the person I'm talking with wants to practice their English. 

Travel anywhere and no matter where you go, there you are. Try to keep a smile on your mutze (face) and make the best of it. Come to think of it, this applies not just to travel but to all of life.

Enjoy your day, where ever you are, and remember to share your love!

 

July 16, 2012

Hello Goa! I have the best memories of playing in the pounding surf there, and collecting these striped shells along the shore. Wonderful and filled recollections of bright tropical sun and a gentle sea breeze, and a sauce so hot that I broke into a sweat and ate more, prompting another guest to remark and ask for a glass of milk...such good memories. All the best to you and yours!

It's another early morning and here I am, packed and ready to go to San Francisco International and fly away.

The other day a woman I know asked me how I coped with the stress in my life, and I told her I voted with my feet.

Your feet can do wonderful things for you, and one of the best is to allow them a vote on the issue at hand. There are times when we are not decided, or haven't decided yet, or are in a quandry. That's a great time to take a breath and pause, and to feel/think your way forward. There are times when you instinctively know what to do and how to do it. Breathe and go forward. Then there are those times when the best thing you can do is walk away, at least for a while. Take a moment or more, but let your feet take you where your mind/heart want to go. Clarity comes to us in all places at any time. We just have to be ready for it.

That's why I am letting my feet and a few planes carry me away for a short while. A change of scenery will be a good thing.

My feet will be walking around Munich, Germany, while I practice my still learning German and hopefully see a distant cousin or 3, and a friend or 2. Discovering through DNA testing that my Great Grandmother was Bavarian sure has changed my world, and expanded it tremendously. Finding out 'where my people come from' has been and continues to be an adventure, most times great and other times a bit 'meh', but still good to know.

Life is what we make it.

Granted, the idea of being cooped up in a plane is far from thrilling, but the journey is only part of the adventure.

Up, up and away. Have a great day.

Love on!

 

July 11. 2012

Rushed off me feet I am...woke  up to such a flurry of phone calls and then e-mails and e-messages and FB stuff...

Social media...Heaven help me!

Thank you to all who have contacted me. I love you as you are. Be your best you! Love on!

So many of us get it, that time and tide and all that is are more than just the stuff of life: they are expressions of intent. There is nothing more powerful than intention. Period. Trust me on this, I've been studying and checking and figuring this muck out; intention is in first place, followed by focus and then effort.

Death has been around, touching this person and another, some I know and some not, some so dear and some, well, frankly, glad to see go, so that they may grow, both in spirit and in soul. Some of us are waaaay too bitter. Not good, that.

There are countless times when we can slip and betray ourselves, just a word or two, just a move or one...

It seems endless, this struggle with ego, this tussle too and frow, and each and every day another wrestle and tussle, all to underscore our choice at the end of our day, and at the end of our life.

This afternoon, out as I was, I crossed the path of a youngish man, early 40's he is, He was starting his afternoon with a smile on his face, and told me how he had a funny dream about his dead Dad hugging him, something that never happened when he was alive. All because, he was sure, that he looked for a long tme at a photo of his Dad, and invited him into his dreams.

Death is an illusion.

Love never dies.

All time exists forever.

Where we are is where we begin.

Long ago, I learned to forgive myself, to accept that I am flawed and f*cked up. Not perfect,  but not done either.

Where I am is where I begin.

All my life I have always wanted to be loved and to feel good about myself. It took me decades, really decades, you know like 10+ years...to realize that what I believe and accept become the template for what my life will be. Self esteem decides.

Forgiving myself for having emotions has been part of this journey. We all are blessed with ego.

Finding balance, between my head, heart, body and authentic self, is the work of a lifetime.In giving ourself the gift of time we honor the spirit that dwells within us. All of time is at our command. Funny that it is so easy to forget this, and to spin...

Take a nice deep breath, eyes closed, mind detached. Just breathe.

Do it again.

And again.

With each breath, breathe in love and light.

With each exhale, breathe out fear and distrust.

Become your best you. Now is the time and you have the choice. Choose you and choose love.

I love you. Your turn.

 

July 10, 2012

There's been a flurry of activity around here lately, holidays and parties and barbeques and whatnot. Each day has been filled with more than a days worth of things to do, and keeping pace with the flow is a challenge.

In the midst of all of this whirlwind comes a telephone call from someone I know. Her life is heading in a terrible direction.

There are times in our lives when we encounter difficulties that are bigger and harder than we can face. That is the perfect time to reach out and get some help.

Asking for help does not make one weak, it makes one stronger.

Being in a position where one needs help makes one human, nothing more or less.

Needing help is part of being part of a bigger being. We are all in this life together.

I took the time to help this woman, and am glad for the opportunity. Life is a circle game, what goes around comes around. My being able to help her in her time of need is a joy I share gladly. She told me this morning that she is in a much better head and heart space, and is feeling more competant and confident about her next steps.

Life can knock you to your knees. Rise up!

Life is uncertain. Love is certain. Love yourself and keep moving forward.

None of us get out of this life alive, someone once said. True enough. What matters is how much love we put into being here, in the here and now, and into the moments that we share.

Love on!

 

July 3, 2012

How people behave is their karma, how you respond is yours.

Such a simple equation, and to this moment it still amazes me.

Yesterday I was going through my day-off chores around the house, cleaning and fixing and tending to, just the usual upkeep that order requires. In the afternoon I went to check my mail and saw an envelope in the basket. As I reached for it I noticed that there was no stamp and that the only writing on it was 'tall guy with ponytail'. That would be me. Opening it up, I took out a small piece of notebook paper. The writing was rough, in pen, part cursive and a little shaky. It said: "Thank you for always having a nice smile on your face. May God bless you."

Wow- I was gobsmacked. Thank you, whoever you are. I love you.

That smile on my face is hard won, it comes there naturally through great effort. Life has not always been easy and kind, and goodness knows I have received my share of kicks to the ribs et. al. and my spirit remains unbowed. Life can deliver up hell on Earth, and it is always a question of how to proceed.

Will the drama and destructiveness we encounter stain us and make us bitter in time?

Each of us chooses our answer to that question, time and time again. Life will ask that question countless times. For that reason I think of life as like a stone tumbling machine. Some stones turn out smooth and beautiful, other stones turn out rough and gritty.

I work at keeping my smoothness by displacing any anger I feel. All of my other emotions are fine and dandy, but not anger. Left to fester and rot, anger grows and grows and eventually consumes it's source.

This new little note is now part of my 'Goody Pile', a collection of things that make me smile. There are wonderful and wonderfilled moments to live for, and sharing the love in your heart brings them to you.

Love on!

 

July 1, 2012

Hello Lima, Peru. Hope your Winter has started well. Wonderful town you are, my times there are wonderfilled memories. All the best to you and yours!

Waking up, shortly after 5 AM, to the sounds of birds, I take a breath and whisper 'Thank you' in my still and catless bedroom. The second half of the year starts today.

Yesterday, after my work day, I took a walk around the neighborhood. Being a sunny day, warmish and not too windy, it's a lovely day. I pass a cafe and decide to get something to drink and sit near the sliding window in front. As I take my seat words from an adjoining table reach my ears, and I hear soothing tones and glance over to see a couple in their very Golden Years holding hands.

Ahhhhhh.....

Love is all around. What a lovely reminder.

That's what I will starting today with, that memory, those lovely folks, the feeling of peace they shared, with themselves and all of us who chanced to glance.

Love on!

 

June 26, 2012

The couple I mentioned on June 13th are working together again, and are communicating better, with greater honesty.

Sometimes it is difficult to face the truth and admit what a hole our self esteem is in, and we always feel better when we do, as we realize that the bottom is a ways off and we still have a chance. The truth is, we always have a chance. And we have choice as well. Being our own worst enemy is a terrible thing to do, and is the hell that we create for ourselves.

The importance of communication in relationships is supreme.

As a child, I used to observe how fights would start between folks around me, other kids in school, my various siblings, and especially adults. I remember my Mom reacting to something my Step-Dad said and starting a fight, right then and there. It was like watching something catch fire, small at first but hot and intense, and then spreading quickly. My Mom storming into the kitchen, my Step-Dad upstairs. Communication break-down.

I learned a great deal from watching folks around me, but none of it helped me to avoid my own mistakes along the way. There are countless things I wish I had said, and countless that I wish I had not.

Life is a process, and we as individuals grow as we go along in life. Self reflection has helped me immeasurably to learn from my mistakes, and honest communication helps me to be clear in my intent and motivation. Life is about being better, not being best.

 

June 25, 2012

Half way to Christmas...time flies...

The whirlwind of the weekend is waning, the time slips away. And new time takes its place, the here and now...

Out and about today, I ran into someone who I met when I first moved to San Francisco in 1983, nearly 30 years ago. He was a neighbor of mine, a few years older, born and raised in the City, and proud of it. He was hailing a taxi near downtown and I was walking home, and we caught each other's eyes at the same time, and we both smiled and waved and moved toward each other. A hug and then chatter and laughter and the years melt away. All the memories of moving to San Francisco and the craziness of that year, the endlessly rotating crew of flight attendants on my Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights that year, here and there, hotels and far from home cooked meals, the lonliness and emptiness, the fun and the excitement, so much change.

He's doing well, retired and happy, his wife busy with grandchildren, he with his interests. Life goes on.

Time does fly, each day brings a new sunset, not to be repeated.

Each and every day is unique, and that fact alone galvanizes me when I think of it. Oh my gosh, I think, a new day for me to live.

Living is such a pleasure with love.

Without love, I cannot imagine.

Half way to anywhere, what started our journey is part and parcel of what happens next. Life requires focus and effort if one is to succeed. My old friend has succeeded, and is living proof of the payoff that good intention and effort bring. Cheers to him.

Cheers to all of us that go forward, moment by moment, heart beat by heart beat. Love lives in us, always.

The more we love, the more we live.

Love and live on!

 

June 22, 2012

Wow, what a week! So much bullshit and self pity, and so many people blaming others...wow...Thank God it's Friday!

As I was going through this week, I kept thinking: we all have a choice. Why do so many folks give themselves less?

On this Friday evening, before I go out into the waning light, this comes to mind: We are what we believe.

Earlier this week, my second client of the day, and so negative and downcast. As I tried to start to talk about choices I was cut-off and told 'you're so stupid' and I smiled, knowing how displacement can help, and nodded.

The person who says you are usually is. Why wrestle with projection? There's no point in it. Surrender and let it wash over you.

Our power ends at our skin, and as much as we love and hope and wish the best and better for others we must trust in what happens.

When we make others responsible for how we feel, we damage them and us. It is a choce.

Shortly I will be joining a bunch of folks out for a night to have a good time, and I will keep that spirit alive. As this week drains away and the sadness and heaviness leave me, my spirit lifts and feels refreshed, a new moment to live and love.

Happy Weekend! Do enjoy the hours ahead, and remember to love.

It's the best we can do!

Love on!
 

 

June 15, 2012

Hello Delhi, India! Amazing city you are, and everytime I've visited some new wonder has appeared in my life. Thank you, hope to visit you again, just not now as it's too hot (100F as a nighttime temperature?-yikes!) and rainy for me. All the best to you and yours!

Happy Ides of June, just 2 more weeks to mid-year. The question I ask myself at that time is the same one Ed Koch asked years ago- 'How am I doing?' It's my opportunity to see how my efforts toward my goals are going. Just between you and me, not too bad so far, but there are things that I want to get done before the year is over.

Having goals, realistic ones, have helped me to achieve things in my life that make me happy.

When I was a child I made goals for myself that proved to be impossible to achieve, like becoming a flying car pilot. Oh well...

Learning to make realistic goals helped me to build self esteem.

The other evening I spoke with a man who has achieved a great deal thus far in his life, and he's still working on projects. He told me that he learned many times by making mistakes, and how he had worked out this issue through therapy. What he was curious about was his intuition, a faculty he struggles with, the wrestling between his logic and his emotions. Many times in his life he had not trusted his intuition, and has had to live with the consequences, however still working to improve things.

I shared with him my technique for centering: Stand relaxed, feet comfortably apart, and place your hand a couple of inches below your navel. Breathe and relax, and you'll feel your intuition. Learn to trust it, it is a wonderful sense, this sixth one.

Growing through change, such a wonderful thing to do.

 

June 13, 2012

Hello Cape Town! Thanks for reading, hoping to visit your beautiful city one day! All the best to you and yours!

My mail boxes, physical and electronic, have a constant flow of data, and I apologize in advance for the lateness of my replies to all. The other morning, at www.heikkie@aol.com came a most interesting letter, from a client putting themself first before their marriage, and passing the reason off to an untruth. Most interestingly, the letter was clearly written for the spouse but addressed to me only. Somewhat collusive but a clever way to manipulate the situation. Acts like this speak of fear and avoidance.

Marriage is a contract, and when one person hijacks the relationship and avoids change, well, it's not good. Sometimes the harder thing to do is face one's foibles and errors, and to realize that change only comes through effort and soul searching. Seeing myself in hindsight has allowed me to evaluate and decide how I want to go forward. It does not happen without effort and intention.

Self esteem is at the bottom of what's happening in this marriage, and I hope that this issue is addressed. In discovering myself, I was forced to confront my issue of self esteem, and to come to realize that there was a duality taking place: some people like you, some do not. The fulcrum to this teeter-totter is self esteem, what you believe about yourself becomes your subjective truth.

My haters and baiters, as I think of them, have time and again under-scored the importance of my maintaining my ethics, of sorting right from wrong, of making mistakes along the way and stopping to examine what occurred. Life sometimes dissolves into High School, and it's all about who is where in the social fabric. I prefer to be a looser thread, not bound by what people expect of me. 'To thine own self be true' wrote Shakespeare, and I believe it's true.

I wish this couple well, they are both nice individuals with good and loving hearts. Change is hard and is made easier in the face of love. Life is intention and focus and effort.

 

June 11, 2012

Very warm night, so warm I slept on the first floor with the back door open, the night air cooling until I felt too cool and closed it, but kept my eyes open, and there they were, birds  of the night, dark and fast, and then gone.

As I returned to sleep, my mind began to wander, as it does before sleep, when the name of an ancestor popped into mind. I rolled over, intent on sleep, and Bang! the name again, clearer and louder. I get up and go to my computer. There, I find his name and his story, at least the bare-bones of it. He died almost 70 years before I was born, and we never met. And yet he is kin, and I search for records for quite a while, until overtaken by sleep.

Dreaming of him and his times, I awaken to a hazy morning, warmish, and move to open the door. Just then I feel this thickness in the air, a sense of someone, a warmness, family...

Sometimes we are called to trust more than what our eyes see.

Rise to the occasion, and be your best you!

If you do not try, you will never know!

Love yourself enough to break free of your past, and live!

Love on!

 

June 10, 2012

What a great way to start my morning, watching two squirrels race across fences and up and down trees, playing and having a good time, while I sat and drank my coffee and read the Sunday newspapers. Simple pleasures.

Life is full of simple pleasures, like the sound of a child's laughter, or the exurberance of a dog running, or a smile one sees.

It is so easy to get caught up in the drama and trauma of life swirling around us. Some of us have lived with those feelings for so long that we recreate them everywhere we go, as if living in those conditions is normal and correct. While walking this morning I came to a red street light, and while waiting overheard the conversation of a couple near me. She was saying "Are you nuts?" and he was trying to talk but she kept repeating her question, over and over. He looked at me with this desperate look, as if to say "What do I do?" "Be patient." I mouthed to him, and he smiled.

When people feel threatened, they want to control things around them. This is normal behavior. Being patient and considerate of their feelings will help them to integrate into a normal social demeanor, keep working with them and hope they change.

Change is so important in this world of ours, and is a natural part of our living landscape. Change can be scary and frightening, but without change there is no progress, no future.

By embracing change we embrace life, and all the good that the future holds for us. Trust in love and live life fully.

 

June 8, 2012

What does one do when one knows that one is being lied to? This happened to me recently. Here's what I did:

As the lie was being said I could feel my intuition kicking in, and something didn't feel right inside me. The look on my face changed and I said "That does not feel truthful". Instantly he started protesting and the look on his face became frantic, and then he said "You're right". We then discussed the whys and wherefors of his feeling that he needed to lie, and examined the thinking that went into his decision to lie. This conversation helped us both.

The same day, in the afternoon, I got a letter from a woman I have never met or spoken with. Her letter was full of ugly words and terrible falsehoods, and as I read it I turned on my computer as I wanted to send her an email, since she gave me her address. Within minutes my telephone rang and it was her. We had a long conversation, and during our talk it became clear that she had never read anything I have written, attended any class I have taught, or any lecture I have given, or any panel I have been a part of. She had found me through www.google.com and instantly decided that I was a terrible man and needed to be rebuked, which led her to finding my address and her letter to me. While talking with me she started saying ugly things about her father, and as she talked on it became clear that she was very hurt and angry at him. I suggested that she visit his grave and tell him how she feels. She laughed at the idea, and later apologized and said I was a nice man. I wished her well.

Today in my electronic mailbox comes a letter from her, telling me how she did go to her dad's grave and started thinking and feeling about what she would say when she was overcome with grief and loss and lonliness. As she stood and cried she said she felt someone touch her shoulder, and suddenly remembered her dad doing that when she was in a bad mood as a child. She cried even harder, her letter says. And she felt uplifted as she left his grave, and feels better in her heart about her dad.

Love never dies, even when it gets trampled and abused.  

To love in this world can take a tremendous effort. Love is its own reward.

Love on!

 

June 2, 2012

The most unexpected thing happened the other day. I have been sitting with it, thinking about it, turning it over in my head since.

Despite the half dozen (or more) marriages my parents had, and the kids and the step kids, half brothers and sister, and extra parents and all the rest, I grew up feeling not attached to my family. We seldom saw my Mom's brother and his family, or my Dad's sisters and their families, and relatives didn't come around that much. When Mom died and I went to live with my bachelor Dad, the last thing he needed was a 14 year old boy, and I was alone again. My half sister Melodie tried to be closer but my Dad didn't make that easy for her or I as he resented her interference in his life...alone again.

As I got older, family was not something I sought. Lack of interest on my part, and maybe their's too.

Toward the end of my Dad's life I started to look into our ancestry, and discovered so many things, like my Bavarian Great Grandmother and my Mexican Great Grandfather, just to name a couple. Over the years, more and more family has come my way, and all of it has been interesting, some of it good, some decidedly bad, and all of it real. Family, for better or worse.

With DNA testing through www.familytreeDNA.com I found so many more relatives. Thanks to our modern world I connected with one of them through www.facebook.com and am I ever glad I did. On June 1st he and I met for the first time. As soon as I saw him I saw the similiar coloring, the eye ridge, the ears, our sameness in features. Talking with him revealed the name of our connection in our history, going back quite a ways, starting in 1750 or so and continuing for 100 years. Funny how families marry into the same families...

My cousin, somewhat removed, lives in southeast England near Bath. He's smart and funny and loves soccer. I like him, nice guy.

Wow, family, finally, after decades of feeling alone and lonely and isolated, what a gift and a blessing.

Love on!

 

May 31, 2012

Well, that's it, half way through this year, we are, shortly, in a months time. How time flys!

In talking with hundreds of people thus far this year, there has emerged a concensus of opinion that I would like to share:

Life is too short, and it is too easy to get bogged down in negative things.

That sums it up, what I've heard thus far this year from folks I've talked with.

As far as life being too short, my advice is to remember that each and every moment is a gift to us and is best treated as such. The negative in life is seemingly a constant, and is part of the expression of the dual nature of life, the good comes along with the bad. Focusing and working in support of the good is the best use of our gift of time, and an expression of love.

One of the things I will be doing in the next couple of days is going through my papers and making sure my accounts are in order, and then I will tackle cleaning up some of the needless things that clutter my space, and moving them onward. I always function better when my space feels right to me. And then some fresh flowers and fruit to add to the swirl of the second half of the year.

Time marches ( and aprils, mays and you get the idea) on, and lucky us get to go along with it.

Enjoy!

 

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day here in the US of A, a day to remember those who fought to bring you where you are today. All of us have been touched, directly or indirectly, by the struggle for freedom, for independence. Some of us struggle right this very second. Fight on!

Since I'm a bit of a ancestry freak, I looked into how many of the folks before me, on both my Mom's and Dad's sides, lived through wars. Not surprisingly, roughly 25% of my direct lines had. All of those men and women endured the hardships of war, many dying on battlefields here and in Europe. Generation after generation, the struggle for liberty and self determination incipiant in democracy has shone like a beacon, calling throughout time and place ` keep coming, come forward, a voice says, and we do.

Fight on, and become the best you that you can be. It isn't about giving anything up, it's more about embracing the honest truth of who we are and how we act and changing to become better, more loving, more compassionate, more balanced. And happier, too.

Part of my looking into my ancestry revealed a surprising fact, and that is why some of you sharp eyed folks might have noticed the change already...

I am not Chaucer's Grandson, as he had none, I am the 18th Generational Nephew of Chaucer, a product of his brother Thomas.

Gasp!

As all of my www.ancestry.com family trees are available to the world at large, the research of a young woman in England led to this clarification in my connection to the great man himself. Terry Gillian, of Monty Python fame, wrote a book about Chaucer that I've just read and what an interesting read it was. Such a lively language is English. Great news for me, even though it was not expected. There's something new, everyday...

Everyday something new waits to meet you. Open your heart and head and arms and embrace the new, and all of you.

Let nothing remain save love, Love on.

 

May 26, 2012

Some times strange and seemingly bad things happen, the unexpected, the unforeseen.

That's what happened after I wrote my entry for yesterday. I posted it and this morning read a diatribe from a man who vented and cursed and 'get (sic) in off my chest!). Glad to help him, am I. Little did I know that I would provoke (unleash, cause, manifest...) such a letter, such vitriol, such anger, such resentment. How wonderful!

I am all for getting it off one's chest, as it were, and to know that my little posting could help this fellow to displace some of his negativity and anger and hurt, well, it's wonderful. In writing my 5/25 post I was affirming the importance of self love and esteem, not the 'full of self and it' that some folks mistake for the genuine article, real self love. Life has taught me time and time again that how I relate to myself is an indicator as to how well I will relate with the rest of the world and the people on it. The more that I express negative and deprecating thoughts and feelings about myself, the lower my self love and esteem, and the worse my life for the effort.

Who among us hasn't wrestled with ones feelings at some point, or felt kicked to the curb and just awful, sad and scared and very lonely? This life that we live will present us with challenges, to be sure. How we deal with these challenges is a sign of our self love and esteem, and the more love we have for ourself the better things will turn out. I have yet to meet anyone with a perfect blemishless life, and if you're out there, give me a call, please.

Walking through life with bitterness, sadness, anger - any negative emotion, is only half of the job. Freeing ones self from this abyss is the work one is to work at, and self love and esteem tip the balance in ones favor.

Life is about progress, not perfection.

Love on!

 

May 25, 2012

Seven months to Christmas...really? Wow, time flys, no?

Have you ever noticed how light appears during a day?

Early, it is soft and not direct, lightening the sky, slowly at daybreak, and then more and more, brighter grows the sky.

It's lovely to watch, and even better to be a part of.

Live each day, savor it, and love someone. Starting with yourself. 

Enjoy!

 

May 19, 2012

Up before dawn, a cup of coffee and Edy and I are out on the deck, listening to bird calls and songs, the sky lightening, all calm.

Death is an old friend of mine now, I have seen his shadow sweep before me, disappearing this and that, this one and that one. This apparent vanishing left me spun for years and years, as I got to understand the good of death. Today I know that death is a friend to all of us, as it is an indicator of change. Some of us still believe that death obliterates, I did at one time, and do not see that death changes the physical world, the world of matter that we see all around us. Death does not change any other realm, and the realm of spirit lives on. Our spirit, our soul, is alive forever. Our bodies die, we do not.

No one disappears, they just change.

With this train of thinking in my mind, I sat on my deck with photos of my dear departed sister, Melodie. Gone since 1975, when she was 32 years old. Her smiling face looks back at me, her eyes alive and glinting, her hair just so. The love swells in me and I feel the moment of separation again, the depth of love echoing within me. I hear her laugh in my ears.

Just then there is this sweet bird song close by, several moments of lilting and lifting sound. I hear Melodie laugh again.

Love never dies. It is good to keep this vital connection alive with the dead, as it makes death disappear.

Love on. 

  

May 15, 2012

Home again, home again! And glad for it.

As much as I love to travel, the best part of travel is coming home, to family and friends and all of the familiar.

My weekend in Oxford was fantastic, seeing the Egyptian rooms at the Ashmolean museum, wandering the streets and soaking in the sunshine. Perfectly glorious, and so relaxing. Visited Upton House, built by the founder of Shell Oil. Quite a lovely country estate, beautiful gardens, amazing art, and such wonderful volunteers to answer questions and give one a sense of how life was for the family. Very relaxing.

All of which came to a halt at 5AM local time when my alarm rang and off I went to shower and pack and catch a bus to Heathrow Airport, which was heaving with people, as the English say when things get crowded. Upgraded to business class (Thank you American Airlines) I was able to sleep for 6 hours on the way to Los Angeles and a lay-over and then a short flight to San Francisco.

Travel does not always bring out the best in people and several times I noticed or heard flashes of anger and temper, and each and every time I took a deep breath and just kept going. Travel can be stressful, I know from experience, but giving into bad situations usually only makes them worse. That's why I try to keep a positive frame of mind and try not to rush.

The best flights are always uneventful, and my two were no exception, but the second one seemed a bit wearing, a full plane and little room. At least the crew was upbeat and cheerful. That always helps.

As I write this there's a small white cat curled up next to me, waiting for me to finish so that she can jump in my lap and return to her good life in progress. What a bundle of joy Edy is.

Jet lag always seems worse heading west and I can feel it starting to creep over me. Best to give and snooze.

Love back home, intact, and stronger than ever.

Love on!

 

May 11, 2012

Hello from London!

Arrived early Tuesday morning and thankfully did not have a long wait at Her Majestys Customs. Heathrow Express train to Paddington station and the Bakerloo line to Lambeth and my temporary dwelling in The Perspective Building. An other perspective on life, so to speak. The sky was blue and sunny and the outofdoors called to me and after a short nap out I went.

This is a big year of celebration for England and the town has been scrubbed and painted and looks wonderful. I spent the day just wandering around enjoying the sights. Scads of tourists everywhere, cameras at the ready. For some reason I was stopped several times and asked by visitors directions to here and there. Having lived here years ago I could help. 

No rain to speak of, thankfully. Rain is to London as sand is to Hawai'i, so my umbrella was always at hand. I didn't need it until the next day when I was off to the wedding of two of my friends. Rain on ones wedding day is said to be good luck, and the ceremony and celebration afterwards certainly were wonderful. A lovely way to start a marriage.

The next day found me squeezing in a bit of sightseeing and a bit of work, a great day, just a bit of rain. Returning back in the late afternoon and the skies opened and the soaking rain came. London as I remember it!

Off to the Tate Modern art museum to celebrate the birthday of Salvador Dali on this date more than 100 years ago, such interesting art he made. Not being a big fan of modern art, the Tate is a bit out of my sphere, but interesting nonetheless.

Leaving shortly for Oxford and a weekend in the country, 2 full days with friends. Busy busy, just what I am up for.

Have a good weekend! More to follow.

 

May 7, 2012

The alarm went off at 4AM and so did the cat. Followed shortly thereafter by yours truly...

Up and at'em, as they used to say back in the day. And my day starts with packing and showering and preparing for a rainy week in London. Up and at'em, Yank!

Quite a year for England, the Olympics and Her Majesty's 60th year on the throne. Going now will help me to avoid the crowds, huge crowds, coming.

My horoscope adivses patience and 'bon-hommie', roughly translated as good will. Perfect advice before a long day into night and back into morning at Heathrow Airport and a fast paced week.

Having a smile in my heart if not on my face always helps. Here's to today, where ever it takes us. Enjoy the journey, that's my advice, make it a good day and it will make you happy.

Now to get out the door and let the adventure continue.

More from the road (thank you technology!)

Love on the road!

 

May 5, 2012

Folks often tell me how hard it is to change, and I always agree. Change is hard.

Despite that, change is also inevitable, it will happen just as surely as the sun and moon rise.

Knowing this fact of life, we have a choice: to embrace or reject change.

Most of us do a bit of both, depending on the subject of change, our moods and feelings, the time, the place, whatever. Change comes and we get to choose, from a long list of choices, how things go.

Learning to accept change takes a lifetime, and each and every day gives us countless opportunities to continue to become who we are.

As a teen-ager I learned some terrible truths about change, truths like pain and death and hurt and suffering. There was no way I could escape my torment, and my only choice was to deal with what was swirling around inside and outside of me. The flower that bloomed in all of this garbage was the fact that change is not mine to control, that my power begins and ends at my skin, and that I had to take better care of me if I were to survive.

Living with change, seeing it for what it is, and continuing to love. That was and is my goal.

Tonight the moon that shines will be 30% brighter and 14% larger in appearance as it will be 15,300 miles closer to Earth. A reminder from the heavens that change is truly all around us.

Tonight, when I see the full moon, I will stop and say a prayer and make a wish that we all grow through change, and well.

Love on!

 

May 3, 2012

Hello Athens and Greece! Birthplace of democracy! Such beauty, such friendly people, such history! Hoping to visit again. All the best to you and yours!

Golly, did I generate some mail with yesterdays posting, and one of them stuck out. It was from a woman in New England who wrote saying she was glad she didn't have any idea who her distant relatives were and could not imagine why she would want to know of them.

She included a return address so I wrote her back and offered to make a small family tree for her just to see what data was available. She agreed and gave me her parents full names and birth and death dates and places. I started a tree for her on the computer and left it for about an hour. When I came back I was delighted to see a sea of blinking green leaves all over her tree. I sent her a message and she called me right away. As we talked on the telephone I clicked and connected to many people in her tree, and by the time I was finished there were more than 100 names in her tree of family members she did not know about, 2 of them elected officials in her area, both 2nd cousins. She was amazed and delighted.

Having a sense of ones historical lineage contributes to ones over-all sense of who one is and where ones trail to today came from. It is a big planet and holds so many delights.

Have a wonder filled day! 

 

May 2, 2012

Hello Granada, Spain. Such an amazing city, so much to see and do, so many beautiful vistas, the snow on the mountains...All the best to you and yours!

There I was, yesterday, delighting in the joy of May 1st. So many celebrations and events worldwide, some peaceful, some not.

Later in the day, as I check my e-mails, I notice one from Ancestry.com and click on it and learn that there is new data to look at regarding one of my distant relatives. Later on, I go to www.ancestry.com and check it out, and lo and behold it is about my 5th Grandfather John Harper and notes that a record has been found linking him to the region named Kent in England. Very cool, I think, and start looking at other members in my family tree. All at once I notice a green blinking leaf on a member of my family and click on it and it takes me to a birth record from 1796 in Wales...wow oh wow. The next thing I know I am at www.earth.google.com and looking at the fields surrounding this little village and going doing the streets using the Street View function and it is so beautiful and interesting.

More places to explore in the years ahead, to learn of my ancestral connections here on Earth, the wheres and places that my ancestors lived in, the history, the stories. It is a treasure hunt that I really enjoy.

Behind each of us are thousands of people who lived lives that resulted in our being alive today.

Looking into these folks in my family tree has been quite illuminating, in so many ways. I have discovered whole branches of my family tree that I never knew existed, and have met people in countries the world over who share a genetic connection, however distant, with me and are family. Like the guy in Iceland who agreed to meet me and was shocked that I was as tall and as light skinned as he, his people having been in Iceland since 1100 AD, or the guy on an airplane who turned out to be a distant relative. Small world, and so very wonderful it is.

There is something new every day, if we just look. Loving living makes it so much easier.

 

April 27, 2012

What an amazing dream I had last night. In this dream it was raining and I was standing under a shelter, waiting. A street car, one of the F line cars here in San Francisco, pulls up and I notice it is the red Los Angeles car. For some reason I don't board and stay standing where I am. As the car leaves I see my cousin Ethel in the car, smiling and waving at me.

Co-incidence? Maybe.

Today started much kinder than yesterday, and I am thankful for this.

All life ends in death, of that one can be certain. It is what we do in life that matters. Ethel left me with an appreciation for doing family research, as she had been doing it when the internet and access to records was time consuming and labor-intensive. When she and I first connected, maybe 5 years ago, we discovered our mutual interest in ancestry and shared all the data we had. She pointed me towards 'Hollywood Forever' cemetery and the graves of many family members and told me so many stories about the past. She smiled and laughed and so did I.

I will remember her kindness for me, her 1st cousin 1 time removed.

Love on!

 

April 26, 2012

Today really was not good for me...

Bad news from waking up. My neck, stiff and rigid, hard to move.

Rising to standing my knees protest, "NONONO' and I rise...not too gracefully and not too straight.

Walking is awkward, my gait uneven, my steps rough and staggered.

Not a good start.

Newspapers not encouraging, to say the least. Amazing that bad news still sells.

Phone message full of confusion and upset, and just a bit of irony.

Electronic messages, a bit of everything and nothing too bad, and some quite good.

and then news, at the end of the day, of my cousin Ethel, of her passing. At the age of 94. God rest her soul. A lovely woman.

Rest in peace, dear Ethel. You did a great job living here, and I love you for all time.

 

April 23, 2012

Happy World Book Day! What wonderful things are books. Pick one up today!

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare! The gift of language that you have given up all illuminates our minds reading your words.

Happy St. George's Day to all in England and the British Commonwealth!

Did I miss anything? Probably, life is about progress leading to perfection, and I sense I've a ways to go...

and Happy belated Earth Day, yesterday. Did you do something for Mother Earth? I did. I walked from my front door all the way to the San Francisco Bay and back, all along the way picking up and disposing properly of trash that I encountered. At one point I came upon a fellow in a bright day-glow yellow vest with a tool of some kind in his hand and he said he wished more people picked up trash and I agreed and we both laughed. He said he was doing community service for evading paying for his ride on MUNI, I told him I was doing my part for Earth Day. We shook hands and parted.

There sure is alot of trash on the streets of San Francisco, by the way...

At one point this young woman asked me what I was doing. I heard an accent in her words and explained about Earth Day. She was from South Africa and had forgotten all about it. Just then a bus rolled by with an ad about Earth Day and we both laughed.

I had no idea that one of the benefits of doing what I was doing was that along the way I would get to laugh. Great reward.

Laughing all the way to the Bay and back again. Great exercise, great laughter, great morning. Who'd a thunk it?

Let's all celebrate today as best we can, and love on!

 

April 20, 2012

Hello Iraq! All the best to you and yours, and thanks very much for reading along.

Have you ever taken the opportunity to do a good deed for a stranger? I did yesterday. Not for the first time, it was.

So there I was, minding my own business and waiting for the streetcar to carry me down Market Street to an appointment. Standing at the car stop near the 17th Street Plaza was a small crowd of us, maybe 10 folks. As the streetcar pulled up the line formed, folks with canes among the group, and suddenly there is this sound like a plastic toy being squeezed and this woman with a cane starts to fall and a man and I catch her before she hit the ground. She's a bit dazed but OK and slightly annoyed and she clambers into the streetcar and then we all do and we are off.

Bouncing along Market Street, listening to my music, and then a man is handing me a business card. My stop is coming up and then he's gone and there's a gathering at the exit door and I join them, sticking the card in my pocket.

After my meeting I am walking along some street when I reach into my pocket and remember the card as my fingers touch it. I take it out and read 'Thank you for being a good guy' on the back side and as I turn it over there is the name of a well known restaurant, quite fancy I hear and a man's name. Golly!

There are countless opportunities is each day to do something for someone. Take one, try one, do one. Give and live, that's my new motto. And I am looking forward to where it will take me.

Have a great day!

 

April 17, 2012

Up very early this morning, just after 4AM. Woke up and felt rested and ready to get on with my day. This small cat that shares our home was ready to go too, and outside she wanted, and paced at the outside door in my bedroom until I got up and opened the door. At which point she was happy just to stand there, with the door open, listening and sniffing. I think she always wanted to live someplace with a doorman, and I am he. So we both stand there, listening and sniffing, dawn is two and a half hours away and the darkness of night has disappeared the backyard.

After a few minutes she's had enough and goes to sleep under the bed. I go off to shower and dress for the day, and while I prepare myself coffee is made automatically and the newspaper arrives on the stairs. Dressed and shaved and combed and presentable, now to a cup of morning wake up juice.

When I lived in England I drank tea, and still do from time to time, but I must be honest and say that nothing starts my day like a cup of coffee. Dark and fragrant, the taste and smell wake up my senses.

And so begins yet another day in the life.

Today will be full of phone calls and emails and letters and cards and people sitting with me. I enjoy my work and am very glad I have it, and the wonderful people and not so wonderful people that cross my threshold. Every day brings something and someone new to me, and I am glad for it.

'Nothing is permanent save change' - I saw this spray-painted years ago, I think in Chicago on the side of an abandoned building. Some wag had put a comma before 'save' and it made me laugh at the time, and the memory still does.

The book that I have been writing, about death, has shown me that one thing is permanent, and that is the memory of love. Since my blogging of the other day, many folks have contacted me about the struggles in their lives with death. One man asked me how I viewed death, and I told him that death for me is an old friend. He visited people and animals I knew and loved before I even knew what death was. My hope is to meet with death when I am worn out and my body is shot, and I am ready for the next chapter.

The page before me today is blank, and I must write on! Have a wonder-filled day! Enjoy!

 

April 14, 2012

Life ends in death.

Sad, and true nonetheless.

The fact that death awaits us all has differing effects on differing people.

Some ignore it, some don't think about it, some embrace it, some look forward to it, some fear it, so many stances.

A while back a dear client contacted me and I knew instantly that she was dying. We talked about what had been going on and whatnot, and finally I said 'Ready for death?' She laughed and thanked me for addressing 'the elephant in the room'.

How we have lived is often reflected in how we die, and this woman has always been neat as a pin, so to speak. She wants her death to be neat, and has been arranging it. She is calm, sad at times, and resolute to approach death with dignity and assurance of something beyond the grave, a new life.

What we leave behind is our legacy. How we are remembered by those who knew us, who knew of us, who had heard of us. And those whose hearts we have touched. Loving is such a simple thing, and yet for many of us it is something we feel more comfortable giving to others rather than believing of ourselves. A small and significent error.

'Love is all around' was part of the theme song of some sit-com years ago. I remember hearing those words at the time and not feeling that my life had much love in it at all. There are times in life when we are hard pressed, under pressure, unsure of what to do. This is when self love can make or break the path forward and through. Or not.

My dear dying client has given all of her life to her family, her husband and children, and now is forced to give great love and attention to herself, for her peace of mind. Her self love is now being put to the test, and she is having to choose some choices she would prefer not to make.

Learning to love is an adventure, a challenge, a reward.

Love on!

 

April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th! Cue the creepy music, flicker the lights, superstitious day!

The number 13 has been viewed as a bad thing for hundreds of years. Some hotels do not have a 13th floor, the elevator goes from 12 to 14. Some airlines do not have a 13th row. A woman I worked with never worked on any Friday the 13th, ever, and another woman I know stays home every Friday the 13th, not leaving her home on that day.

This superstition arises, as does much, from historical events. There were 13 people at 'The Last Supper', and from that 13 became associated with bad and evil.

Customs. The world is full of them. Some are fun, some are not.

As a left handed person, I have encountered times and places where my left hand is never to be used, just left at my side or in my lap. Not the easiest thing to remember and do, but I did it and got through it. This was when I was living in Pakistan, in Lahore in the Punjab region, a wonderful, beautiful city in a wonderful part of the world. The only other time I had to surrender to not using my left hand was a brief stint in Military School, which was cut short by me.

Superstitions have there place in our world, and each of us has our own system for making it through life. It's important to construct a system that is supportive and encouraging, to best assist one in making life better.

Happy Friday! Enjoy the day!

 

April 10, 2012

The right thing always happens.

When I first encountered this thinking, I was confused. But what about what one wants, I asked, and heard that the individual is part of a greater collective, a larger sense than just of self. Oh, I thought...

and still think, some days, some moments. There are times when one just does not get what one wants, and the pain is bitter and hard. When it seems as if there is nothing in the world save cascading sheets of burning pain racking one unto death.

In the battle of my ego and the world at large, I conceeded in 1986, June 18 to be exact.

That was the day when a car crash nearly, all too nearly, killed me.

I credit that experience in helping me to re-calibrate the trajectory of my life.

Good witch or Bad witch, wasn't that the question in the Wizard of Oz?

Up until then I had been a decidedly Bad witch and had used my abilities to satisfy myself with no concern for others. Suddenly, coming to consciousness as sparks fly from the rescue crew cutting my body out of the ruin of my car, I am floating in my body, attached to it but aware of a separation between my body and not my body. Strange, I think.

As they reached me and got hands on me, finding a weak pulse, I was shocked to feel the pulse of some mysterious force from the person touching me and my body. My body felt thicker.

There were other hands, other people, and I felt compassion for the very first time in my life. It changed me, hopefully forever.

 

April 7, 2012

Hola! Hello!

Que bueno pais es Espana...woops, back to English!

What a great country Spain is, so beautiful as I look out the airplane window in the dawn's early light. Down below I see a landscape of hills and valleys, lots of trees and not as much development as one might expect. As we drift down over Madrid I see an enormous city spread out below, miles and miles of miles and miles. And then we touch down, feather smooth.

Barajas airport is futuristic looking, modern, good signage and off we go to find the metro. Fast modern metro, a couple of line changes and we're at the Callao stop and rolling our bags to our hotel, The Palacio San Martin.

And a gracious welcome, fast check-in and into a sunny atrium seating area and through to the elevator and up into our room. Soft bed, nice room, sleepy...

Over the next few days we explored Madrid, the art, the streets, the crowds, the food, the sights, the art, the food, the beauty.

Loving it! Really loving it!

Then one morning, after waking and heading down for a early 8AM breakfast, sitting enjoying my coffee with steaming milk, I get an email from Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com) that blows me mind.

According to the DNA sample I gave them a couple of months ago, my genetic trail leads to southern Europe, Spain to be exact.

Kinda explains why I feel so at home. And why Spanish has always been in my language database since childhood. And my dark haired dark eyed Mother, Eleanor.

Another puzzle to solve, to find out who my real Great Grandfather is. Clearly he was of Hispanic origin, and hooked up with my Great Grandmother Sarah sometime in 1894. The trail starts in Phoenix, Arizona.

What a great birthday gift to get from the Universe. More questions hopefully leading to more answers.

But back to Spain. We loved it, the weather was perfect, the Spanish people we encountered helpful and some of them downright friendly. These are hard time for the country, the economic conditions are not good. More than 50% of people 25 years old and younger are out of work. While in Madrid there was a general strike that drew 800,000 people virtually stopping the city for a day. But even strikers have to eat and drink and the bars and restaurants stayed open and were thronged with folks enjoying delightful food.

The only way I know to make a holiday to someplace like Spain work, where one can eat cheaply and well, and as often as one likes, is to walk ones butt off. And we did.

Another solar return dawns for me tomorrow, and I will be up early to thank my parents for the gift of life. And to thank all that is for giving me the ability to love, to live, to laugh, to learn.

Love life and love on!

 

March 25, 2012

Up and awake at 3:30AM...guess what that means?

Yep, it is a travel day! Hooray!

Granted, getting up at this hour of the morning is quite a push, what with the rain and the chill in the air. Today will start in San Francisco and tomorrow will start in Madrid, Spain.

My birthday is coming up and I wanted to celebrate this one with something different, so I am off to Andalucia, southern Spain for a few days. I was first there when I was 16 years old, on a summer holiday with several other High School students, and I remember being blown away with the beauty, natural and man-made, that I experienced there. While looking at photos a few months ago I was transported back in time and mind to those wonderful times and places, and knew right then and there that a return visit was in order.

Travel for my birthday, what a wonderful gift.

Spain, what a wonderful place.

So here I am, packed and almost ready to step out my door and fly away on a rainy Sunday morning. Edy the cat is giving me that look that says 'Hurry Home' and my bags are waiting at the door for the taxi to arrive.

For those of you on Facebook www.facebook.com you can follow along as I post stuff about these travels ahead. I will check in along the way here and share my adventures with you, dear reader.

Up, up and away!

Big hugs and lots of love! Love on the road to Spain!

Love on!

 

March 20. 2012

Happy Spring! (Northern Hemisphere) Happy Autumn! (Southern Hemisphere)

Time marches on, relentlessly. The hard part is keeping up with it.

At the start of each week I make a list of the things that I need to take care of. Some weeks the list is short and sweet and easy to dispense with. Other weeks it is a long list of items, some of them daunting and unpleasant, that I will have to get through.

The important word is 'will'.

As I have grown I have learned that my will, my resolve, is a very flexible thing, and sometimes disappers altogether. Other times my will feels like a rod in my spine, unbending and unyielding and resolute.

Learning to live with this variance takes effort, at times, especially when I cannot find it in myself to do something. When I sit with myself and puzzle out why I am feeling the way I am, I always discover an element in the equation that I had not seen before. Giving myself permission to uncover my true and authentic thoughts and feelings about an issue is one of the ways in which I express and pracitce self love. If I take care of me, then I will be able to take care of others.

It may not seem like it, but our planet is spining at 2,000 miles per hour. It is always moving, even if we are not.

And moving is what I need to be about at this time in my day. Happy Day!

Love on! 

 

March 14, 2012

Hello Shaanxi, China! Amazing country, China. So much to see, so much history, so much beauty. All the best to you and yours!

Pie Day. 3.14, get it? At 9:26:53 today, to be exact. Pie Day, a wonderful excuse, if one needs one, to eat some pie.

This is also New Year day in the Sikh community, Happy New Year, again.

Tomorrow is the Ides of March, a day that Julius Caesar met his end.

Saturday is St. Patrick's Day, a day to celebrate all things Irish.

Saturday is also one of my favorite days in the year, when there will be exactly 12 hours of sunshine in San Francisco. The sun will rise at 7:18AM and set at 7:18PM, thus making the day when the Earth's wobble is just right, 12 hours darkness, 12 hours light.

The days will start growing longer starting on Sunday around these parts, and Spring and Summer will be galloping into view, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

All manner of reasons to celebrate, and I am sure that there are more on the way.

There are some days when it's hard to get out of bed, and all I really want to do is stay in bed and retreat from the world. Do you ever have days like that?

This morning started out like that, with Edy the cat crying to be let outside shortly after 5AM. My fur covered alarm clock, she is. Getting up, going and opening the door to the outside, and she stands there, unmoving. It has been raining and the deck is wet and there are drops coming down. She looks up at me with a look that says 'Fix this' and I gently close the door. She stands where she is for a few seconds longer, and then goes over to her bed and curls into a sleeping pose. As much as I want to imitate her I cannot and start my day.

The rain starts coming down, harder and harder, and the sound of the wind is heard rushing through the trees. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb' has been said of the month of March. Right now it's a very wet lion, indeed. Weather reports say that there will be about seven feet of snow in the Sierra mountains in about a week, more than doubling what snow there has been thus far this Winter. Lots of wonderful reasons to go and play in the cold white stuff. Skiing, skating, snowboarding, such fun to be had.

But not for me, not right now. Must study German, go to the gym, see my clients, go to class. A busy day.

And maybe, just maybe, a small slice of pie...

Enjoy the day!

 

March 8, 2012

Hello Switzerland! Such a beautiful country, amazing mountains and valleys, lakes dotted across the landscape. Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours!

Lovely country, Switzerland. I was last there on my way to a family reunion, having learned that I had many relatives from there. The people are friendly and the food is a wonderful melange of flavors and methods.

When I think of it, we have been given an amazing setting here on Earth. Such beauty surrounds us, each of us, daily. One of my favorite photographic sites on the internet is the National Geographic Society (www.nationalgeographic.com), truly delightful images from the world over, and very uplifting to the spirit.

Just the other morning I was chatting with my Facebook (www.facebook.com) friend who lives in Tamale, Ghana. While we chatted online I looked at some of the photos that are on the web that show her country, and I was able to see so many beautiful photos, such lovely scenes from life being lived that folks have chosen to share. A world of imagery. A world of life.

Yesterday a woman asked me how I stay so 'upbeat', and I told her that I displace my negativity at least once a day. 'Like a vitamin' she said, and I nodded, and said yes. We talked about how one can become immersed in the copious amount of icky nasty awful dreck terrible thoughts and feelings and images that each of us is exposed to in a day. For me, if I don't get that energy out of my body, I will wake up feeling slightly worse than the morning before. With each passing day, without displacement, I will add to my physical, intellectual, and emotional burdens. Day by day, more and more repression, more and more depression, more and more degression.

Yuck!

That's why I will get any negativity out of me before I go to sleep. I do not want the detrius of my day hanging on me like unshead skin, slowing me down and holding me back.

It's a choice I make daily. I don't want anything between my love of life and those I share life with.

Like you, for instance. Thanks for reading along, I love you just for being you. Love on.

 

March 3, 2012

3/3/12= 3-3-3

Numbers, all around  us. Have you ever stopped and thought about all the numbers that are associated with you?

The other day I was filling in information about myself on a form and was surprised by all of the numbers that 'belong' to me. Literally hundreds. Address numbers and telephone numbers and auto license plate numbers and credit card numbers and passport numbers and on and on.

Recently I heard that Social Security numbers are assigned at birth. Must check this out. Amazing if true.

A woman I know can recite all of the addresses and telephone numbers that she has had in her life, and in her 80+ years there have been many of each. 'Just a knack' she says, modestly.

Recently at a symposium of physicists there was a presentation of a paper about syncronicity. The conclusion reached by the team that wrote the paper was that the perfection of the Universe can be determined by examining the physical ephemera one discovers.

Which is why I was looking at all the numbers associated with me, trying to discern if there is a pattern, and there is. It turns out that number one figures in most of my number sequences, starting with the date of my birth, my credit cards I use the most, even an important phone number I use. What a coincidence...or not.

Out of all of this I came to recognize one salient fact: Each of us is more than a number. We are manifestations of life itself, each of us unique and singular in time and space. We all share this present reality and contribute our part, our piece of beingness, if you will, and every number is needed to complete this ensemble. We are not numbers, and we count.

 

February 29, 2012

Hello Lesotho! Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours!

Leap Day in a Leap Year, that's what today is. Every four years we add an extra day to the month of February, just to stay in balance with the physical plane. Ain't that a concept, man having to adjust to nature...

The other day I received a letter, snail mail variety, from a woman in Oklahoma. She wrote asking for advice in dealing with a difficult family member, a cousin who is very outspoken about her beliefs. I advised her to refrain from engaging to change the womans opinions and instead to say nothing and to excuse herself and leave if she became uncomfortable with what her cousin was saying. There is little point in having a battle of wits with an unarmed person, and dialogue requires speakers and listeners, I wrote her.

Earlier today I got an email from her, telling me of the success she is now having with her cousin, and how they are getting along better. A good thing, that.

Time here on this lovely spinning ball is limited to all living things, even trees that live for thousands of years. Some life only exists for mere seconds, and some for decades and decades. Regardless of the passage of time, one of the best things that we can do for ourselves and those around us is to practice love, truth, and joy, to share those attributes with those around us.

That's what I will be doing today, sharing the best of me in this life. Call it a leap of faith on my part, in response to all that is dark and negative in this world of ours. A great way to live this Leap Day, and everyday.

Love on!

 

February 22, 2012

Happy Tsagaan Sar - Happy Mongolian New Year!

All the world over, across many differing cultures, languages, locations, beliefs and lifestyles, the want of the new unites us all.

A woman I know as born with spinal and leg troubles and has never walked a day on this planet. All of her life she has had to forego doing things and going places because of her physical limitations. I met her one day when I was out and about, walking and looking about me, and she rolled into view. The first thing I noticed about her was the look of serenity on her face. The light in her dark eyes, the slight upturn to her lips, but most of all this glow about her. Distracted by a woman near me, and then she was next to me and our eyes met and we both said 'Hello' at the same time. We started to chat, and sounded like old friends discussing mutualities and common interests. Getting to know her over time has revealed to me someone who seeks the new in each day, rather than focusing on all that evades her. She brings to each day a little bit of the light that lives in her.

From her I have learned to step into each day with a lightness in my tread, without expectation or condition or demand. Lovingly.

My power ends at my skin and starts in my soul.

Today my soul celebrates the new, the 'about to be', the 'almost' and the 'what if''. Happy New Year, again!

 

February 18, 2012

For the past few days I have had a relative staying with me, and I am so glad for it.

As some of you may know, I come from a broken home, and a terribly (word used correctly) disfunctional family.

My parents, between them, had upwards of half a dozen marriages with the usual spattering of children 'to cement the marriage' along the way. All of my older siblings are dead now, but I did know both of them very well, and love them to this day. The rest of my relatives were not close to my Mom and Dad, and as such we seldom interacted with them.

All of this changed when my Dad was dying more than a decade ago. Suddenly I was in contact with my two Aunts, women who had had very difficult relations with him since early years. I had been raised believing that these woman, and later their husbands and children, hated me. There were so many reasons to hate me, I was told, since I was a child of a drunk (my dead Mom), I was willful, I was not religious, I was weird, on and on and on. Thusly to hear from my Aunts was quite a shock. After Dad passed on I heard from my Aunts again, one warm and friendly, the other a bit cooler and distant.

Today I am connected to all of my 1st cousins except one, and enjoy good, loving relations with them and their families.

Amazing.

I grew up mostly as 'an only child', although there were half and step brothers and sisters, some of them close to this day. Having a lot of family members around was a rare event in my childhood, and when I did interact with them it was brief.

Today I have a family tree that thrills me. I have cousins all over the world, some as distant as 10 times removed from me, like the Queen of England and Booker T. Washington, and others like my recent house guest just twice removed. Family. Nice people, they are, all of them. Although I am sad that we were not closer before, I am greatly pleased and delighted that we are close and in contact today.

With one glaring exception, my younger brother Gregg.

He and I last had contact in the late 1990's, when there were problems between him and our mutual Dad. I intervened and got Gregg into drug counselling, but that didn't last and he disappeared.

Shortly I will be making great effort to find him, and hopefully will do so. I have learned that he is homeless and still using methamphetamine, and hope to find him and talk with him. He's in this 50's now and maybe, just maybe he and I can be better brothers in the days to come.

Here's hoping love prevails. Love on.

 

Februay 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

A day honoring love in all its forms, in all of its manners of expression. A day to celebrate and share love.

I love you!

That's me sharing my love with you, thank you for reading these words. You are loved.

Love on! 

 

February 6, 2012

Hello South Korea! Thanks for checking in here. All the best to you and yours!

Imagine having the same job for sixty years. Day after day, week after week, year after year. For 60 of them. Quite a feat.

A feat to be feted, this one is, and will be around the world during the rest of this year. And especially in England, as today marks the day sixty years ago that Elizabeth Windsor ascended to the throne.

Sixty years of the same job, even if it is being Queen, is a long time, and from the looks of Her Majesty, sprightly as she is, it appears that she will continue to rule for years to come. Her mom lived a long life, over 101 years, so chances are good she'll be with us for a while longer. 

Of course she will keep working although I've heard from friends in England that her travels this year will be more domestic than international and that other members of her family will take on the international trips this year. Good for her, put some of those children of hers to work in what she calls 'the business'. Age has its priviledge, no?

One of the endearing things that I like about the woman is her choice in handbags, always color coordinated to whatever outfit she is wearing, but they are always on the large side of size and I wonder what she carries in there. Car keys, garage door openers, a gin and tonic perhaps?

Here's to you, Queen Elizabeth II, for a job well done.

 

February 2, 2012

Imbolc yesterday...

Groundhog Day today!

Harbingers of the death of Winter and the emergence of Spring! Life continues! Newness abounds!

Only 46 or so more days until the signs of Spring are so abundant that even the calendar makers recognize it and the Vernal equinox is visible in the heavens.

The coming days are full of more holidays from the cultures of the world celebrating the arrival of Spring in the northern hemisphere and Autumn in the southern. Change, relentless change, is afoot.

When I was younger I had a friend named Alan. He was a funny guy and hated change. Anytime anything happened, good or bad, Alan said it was bad. He lived in the same house until he moved out at 33 years old into an apartment next door. He lived there until he was 52, and then moved back into his original home. He says they'll take him out feet first.

Fighting change has taken a toll on him and he looks 20 years older than he is. He still fights change, tooth and nail.

Fighting change is a fruitless battle. Embracing change, although it can be difficult, is the best way to proceed that I know of.

Change is all around, and is a reminder from nature that the new brings opportunities and options and the future to us.

Maybe I needed a groundhog to tell me that today, maybe we all did. We certainly have our choice as to which of the little critters we will believe in and endorse and use as an auger.

Happy Thursday! Happy Anyday!

 

January 29, 2012

Such a strange winter we're having here. Is that true where you are?

Usually there would be more rain falling, but not this year. All the storms are north of here, and goodness knows it is rainy in Oregon and Washington states. Lucky them...

For the past couple of days a friend from High School days and her husband have been staying with us. They're delightful people and our time together was fun. Last night, having said our Good Byes as they traveled onward, I sat and took out the reprint I have of my 10th Grade Yearbook. Then I dug out some photos from that time, and remembered as the memories swept over and around me. 16 years old.

Looking back on those times from todays vantage point provides a lovely reminder of what carries me forward: I work for better.

This hasn't always been true, not all the time, and those times also remind me of a truism: Attitude is altitude.

Not permitting my darkness, my hurt and shame and rage and anger, to carry me too far off center has been a lot of work, and along the way helped me to understand the importance of displacement in my daily life.

Waking this morning, as I put things away from last night, I thought of those years ago and all the years in between.

Time is a gift, no strings attached. How wonderful is that!

Love on! 

 

January 26, 2012

Hello Sharm El Sheikh! One of these days I will enjoy your desert vistas and swim in your incredible waters, I hope. All the best to you and yours!

So there I was, last night, walking into the local middle school through the playground/parking lot, going to the second class of German 2A+B. Through the double entry doors, turn to the left, third door on the left side, room 117. Looking in before I enter there are three young women, about 20 years old, talking among themselves. They glance up as I slide through the door and head for an empty chair, their eyes following me to my seat in the back of the classroom. In the next few minutes all of the chairs fill up with many faces I saw last week, some of them folks I know from prior classes. Last week there were 19 people, on this night there are only 12 of us.

Silke, a classmate from three earlier classes together, announces that our teacher is ill. There's some buzz about this fact and then our substitute teacher comes into the classroom, a woman I remember from my first class two years ago, a pleasant young German born women with a ready smile. She introduces herself and informs us about our teacher being ill. As we start to discuss the work we had done the previous week, a man entered the room and told us that our class was in danger of being cancelled due to lack of registered students, only 12 people are enrolled. He asks for a show of hands as to who is signed up for this class and only 6 of us raise our hands. He says that if we want to continue this class there must be 15 enrolled students or the class will be removed from the roster. Gulp!

The budget cuts that are rolling and roiling California continue. Educational opportunites are being de-funded at an alarming rate.

Lately there has been talk in the media about millionaires paying more of their share in taxes and treating investment income the same as earned income. Class warfare say some. Only equal say some.

The debate continues and is evident in American politics nightly on television. Grab the popcorn and settle in, my fellow Americans, and listen and learn what you can about the state of these States. Our future hangs in the balance.

 

January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

As in Western astrology, the Chinese assigned animals as symbols, and this year it is the dragon, a very special animal indeed.

Dragons are seen as powerful and magical and are regarded as highly favorable. This particular year is a Black Water Dragon year, and according to friends only comes around once in 60 years making this a very specail year for all of us.

When I first moved to San Francisco one of the facets of the City that struck me was the large Asian community. One of my neighbors was this older woman, and she always greeted me when I walked past her while she was tending to the front of her house and all the potted plants she had. We became friendly and she told me about great places to visit in San Francisco, and many of them were in the Chinatown district. Thanks to Grannie Wu I learned about this town from a different perspective.

Today approximately one-third of San Francisco is of Asian persuasion, and it makes this 'burb colorful and interesting, especially at this time of year. There will be street festivals and special foods and gifts of red envelopes and a wonderful parade.

The diversity that is San Francisco reminds me that we are like the crayons in a box, lots of different colors jumbled together. Being who one is doesn't prevent one from admiring who one isn't. It is through our choice of acceptance that we spread harmony, or not. The choice is always ours.

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

 

January 16, 2012

Hello Faroe Islands! I wish I could be more specific as to where, such a wonderful looking place as I see on Panaramio on Google Earth. All the best to you and yours!

It is Martin Luther King Day in America. Racial differences are global in nature and the more that we as individuals do to embrace the differences, the better. It is through our diversity that we discover our unity.

Enjoy the day!

 

January 13, 2012

Hello Sumatra! One of these days I hope to visit, all the best to you and yours!

It is the first 'Friday the Thirteenth' of this new year. A day when superstitious folks watch their P's & Q's, so to speak, er, write.

The idea that thirteen is unlucky comes to us through an incident nearly two thousand years ago, called The Last Supper. There were 13 people at that meal, and it didn't go well from there. 13 became associated with evil and disaster and terrible things.

There are 3 'Fridays the Thirteenth' this year, plenty of opportunity to flex ones fearlessness.

When I was little there was a long list of things to avoid, like stepping on cracks and walking under ladders and black cats crossing ones path. I remember the first time my Dad knocked over a salt shaker and then threw some of the salt over his shoulder. I asked him about it and he said he'd done it for Good Luck. Back home with my Mom I picked up the salt shaker and spilled some into my hand and tossed it over my shoulder. Mom asked me what I was doing and I told her it was a way to have Good Luck. She laughed and so did I.

Learning to live with our human foibles takes time, effort and lashings of love, lots and lots of love. Knock/touch wood,as they say. Another superstition, that. It calls on the spirits of the wood to safeguard us.

Superstition has wonderful allies in faith and trust and hopefulness.

Happy Friday!

 

January 9, 2012

Hello Western Greece! Such a beautiful part of our world. Thank you for your warm, welcoming hearts!

Sorry to have been out of touch for the past week. I jumped into my first work day and by the end of the day had the sniffles, a runny nose and moist eyes. My intuition had told me to accept that I had some influenza virus and prepare for a siege. I had already stocked up on zinc and rosemary and oranges and cranberries and lots of chicken soup. Bam, it took me out that night.

I woke up the next morning and felt my head first thing. It seemed to have gained 20 pounds and been stuffed with wet wool. I was ill.

Cancelled work, sorry to those effected, and slept. Waking would find me eating and taking my medicines. And back to sleep. And repeat.

48 hours later I am on the rise. When I was young my Grandmother Edith told me to add a blanket or two when one has a 'flu, so I was quite warm when I slept. I believe it helped as well. Down to one blanket tonight, just to be sure.

Part of being ill for me that adds to my ickyness is not being able to work, to talk with and see my clients. I am glad that the one day away from work, so early in the year, limited my time away. I love what I do and am so very glad that I have the work I do.

Thanks to you for taking your time to read these words. All of good and G-d's blessings on you and yours. I love you.

 

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Yesterday was perfect. The light of dawn was spectacular, really a hum-dinger, golds and reds and pinks and yellows and greys and blues for contrast. Chilly, too, which is part of the start of mornings here in San Francisco, California.

Only one thing was missing. I tried to ignore it but it would not leave my mind, and was hovering there all day and into the night. Oh, bother, as Winnie the Pooh would say.

When I was a child, living in Eagle Rock, a suburb of Los Angeles, a bunch of us kids went to the Rose Parade with a couple of parents watching over us. It made such an impression on me, sleeping out on the lawn of a house near the parade route, and being allowed to see the floats as they assembled a block away. What beauty, what fun. And waking up early the next morning and watching the floats and bands and horses, and all of the Hollywood celebrities we got to see. For someone who had just been living on a turkey farm in the middle of nowhere California (Newberry Springs) it was amazing.

And it is never held on a Sunday. Scares the horses, they said back in 1893 and decided no sunday parades, ever.

This morning will find me parked in front of my television the closest I can be to the Rose Parade. Finally, New Year starts for me.

However and whereever you are, the New Year is starting and is just taking baby steps. Step lively, as my friend Stephanie Edwards would say, and keep pace.

Happy New Year! Again and again and again!

 

December 31, 2011

I woke up this morning, very early, so that I could watch the New Year's celebration from Auckland, New Zealand, and then Sydney, Australia. It's the last day of 2011 as 2012 speeds my way.

Outdoors, before dawn, I watched the sky change from wisps of grey against a greyish background as streaks of pink and gold began to tinge the cloudy wisps above me. All was still and calm, no sounds other than that made by small birds moving through leaves, waking up.

Back inside our quiet and snug home, I sat and reflected on this year that is drawing to a close, and thought of all the people I knew of who had passed away, of all the people born this year, of all of the troubles and struggles I've heard about. It has been a big year for many of us, for some a very trying and challenging year.

'LIfe is not a bowl of cherries' my Dad said to me, shortly after the death of my Mom. But by then I already knew that. It took me years to figure out that he had left a word out of his pronouncement, the word 'just'. Life is not just a bowl of cherries, now that made and makes sense to me.

I know that my power ends at my skin, and I know that my power to love and to pray and to work for truth and authenticity starts in my skin. To this end I have learned to practice forgiveness to those who wrong and harm me. Life has a way of filling one up, so to speak, and sometimes life can be awful, really terrible. A man I met on my travels this year said that the secret of life for him was to forgive and not to forget. Another man told me it was the power of G-d that breathed new life into him after the death of his wife and child in a house fire. A woman I met told me that she believed that faith and love are her strongest abilities in this life. This year brought my way many wonderful examples of how to live a good life. To be sure, as my Irish relatives say, there were other examples of how not to live life that I got to see. We all choose, all the time.

Here's to a New Year full of bright promise, sweet love, good times, lots of laughter and honest joy.

I love you.

 

December 28, 2011

Here comes year end! The last of 2011 and the first of 2012.

In Numberology 2012 adds up to 5, which is the number that indicates pioneering and innovative energies. New beginnings abound. New opportunities beckon. Adventure awaits.

Sounds like something to look forward to.

These past few days have seen me wrapping up my appointments for the year, on Christmas Eve no less. How fitting. Especially when my wish for everyone at this time of year and throughout the year is to feel the love that surrounds each of us.

Jung wrote and spoke about the Collective Consciousness, and what I've come to understand of his thinking is that we are all nodes in a vast fabric of being, and that all of our thinking directs the individual and to a degree all of us. All sentient life is part of this collective, so this includes every animal and plant on the Earth. Quite a collective, no?

I struggled to remember these lofty thoughts yesterday when I went downtown to poke around in the shops. There were people everywhere, some of them completely clueless and unconscious. Like the woman who turned and her handbag knocked over several ceramic coffee cups behind her, the clamor and din making all of us in the shop turn toward the noise, only to watch her run from the store. Or the guy who was so caught up in his cell phone conversation that he stepped in front of a car and was only slightly injured as the driver slammed on his brakes so that the guy turned to see the car and slipped and fell, not touched by the car. And especially when the crazy guy in rags and black plastic bags ran through the crowd chased by one of SF's finest man in blue, a smiling policeman despite his current task. The magic of the holidays...

We are all in this together, and the more patience and compassion we share, now and as time goes by, along with extra servings of love and kindness will help tremendously. Live lovingly, and live well.

 

December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Summer Solstice!

The Earth rocks, literally. Because of this we have seasons, and seasons lead to reasons.

Winter is a wonderful reason to be out and about, and I have been, here and there, joining in the throngs of folks going hinter and thither and yon. Especially yon. Or yawn...

As one of Santa's elves I've been out helping where and when I can, opening doors for others, letting others go ahead of me, being an extra hand. At this time of year we could all use an extra something.

Along with the smiles I see there are also frowns here and there, and where and when I can I help out. A little extra.

And here's a little extra love from me to you, in honor of the day and all that is and can be.

Relish today, ketchup tomorrow! Happy Holly Daze!

 

December 17, 2011

The Holidays! The Holly Daze!

San Francisco is blazing and buzzing and full of holiday cheer.

This past week has been a flurry of activity- out and about and enjoying the sights and sounds of this season. And Winter is just around the corner, so to speak. I've noticed in the local newspaper that the rising and setting times for the sun have been the same for a couple of days so I guess we are moving towards solstice, the shortest of days and the longest of nights.

And that's just in the Northern Hemisphere. Down south it is almost the peak of Summer! What a planet we are traveling on! Spinning through space rotating at more than 2,000 miles per hour! Wow!

Looking around at the folks on the various skating rinks around town, people on the streets rushing about, the cable cars and trolley cars and buses and the urban trains, in elevators and on escalators and stairs, a world in motion.

As my work year draws to a close, appropriately on Christmas Eve, I give thanks to each and every one of you. This is something I posted on Facebook under Growing Through Change, and I want to share it here with you:

You are the cheese to my macaroni You are the horizon to my sky You are the bacon to my eggs You are the laces to my shoes You are the jelly to my peanut butter You are the smile to my face You are the gravy to my mashed potatoes You are the bubbles in my bath You are the milk to my cookie You are the ink to my pen You are the ketchup to my french fries You are the water to my ocean You are the icing on my cupcake You are

I love you, and thank you for reading these words and for being you.

 

December 10, 2011

Hello Lahore Pakistan! How is the beautiful Shalimar Gardens? The Red Fort? The Zoo? Even though I only lived in your town for a few months it made a deep impression on me. All the best to you and yours!

What a week! And the pace is still advancing, must be the Holly Daze...

This past Tuesday found me waking up early and rushing off to San Francisco International for an early flight to Dallas, 100 minutes on the ground, and then back home. Ah, life!

As I took my aisle seat, long legs have I, the couple behind me glanced at me. He, about 60, she, about 30.

For the duration of the flight, about 4 hours, I could hear snatches of their conversation and it was ugly. 'Look at me when I talk to you'--'Pay attention'--'Now what?'--it was ugly between them, and at one point he stormed off to the lavatory and then walked to the back of the airplane. I noticed she was crying in his absence. I gave her my card.

Abusive relationships are terrible.

Years ago a man I worked with, a Mental Health doctor, told me of one of his clients and how she kept telling him she was afraid of her husband and how he told her she was exaggerating. I advised him to help her relocate. Later I read how she had been attacked by her husband and was now in a coma, and then learned that my client, the doctor, had done nothing to help her.

Yesterday Valerie, the woman on the Dallas flight, called me. We had a nice long talk about her and Ralph and how abusive he is. I gave her some advice about how to deal with him and his aggressiveness, advised she seek long term counsel, and wished her well.

My power ends at my skin, but it starts at my core, and it is fueled by love. 

There may not be a Santa Claus, but surely that won't stop me from being one of his elves and doing what I can to spread love and peace and joy. Love on!

 

December 5, 2011

San Francisco is out and about, the bars and restaurants and parks and museums and stores are filled with folks. Maybe it's the weather, in the 60's F and sunny, maybe it's the time of year, maybe who knows, but whatever it is, the City, as journalist Herb Caen (an SF icon) called it, is up and running tickety-boo, thank you.

The other day I went downtown, to Union Square. The Christmas Tree of the City was in place, next to the seasonal skating rink, near the Menorah waiting to be lit. Red certainly is the color of the season, as well as orange and rust. As I sat in the sun watching the crowds walk hither and thither most faces had smiles, and the laughter rang in the air, filling me with a peacefulness and calm.

Christmas time.

When I was a child living on a turkey farm near Barstow, California, Santa was at the Sears store. Even in that time of crushing poverty, when we got by on so very little, there was still Christmas time. We couldn't afford a tree so my Mom took a big branch from one of the salt pines and made it into a quasi-Christmas tree. It was beautiful, covered with old ornaments and a string of popcorn she and I made one evening. And I got to eat the popcorn too, later.

Christmas time.

These days, for me, this time is all about the love that I feel each and every day. Gifts and food and parties are wonderful, to be sure, but for me the joy that I see on peoples faces are my gift.

Enjoy the season, for whatever reason. Year end approaches, and a new year looms. Practice love and weave magic.

 

December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day.

At sunset today I will light a candle in honor of all of those individuals who have died of AIDS.

The first person I knew with the disease was my best friend in High School, Mike Gold. He was also the first to die.

The next many years have seen so many more of my friends claimed by this modern day plague.

Today there is no cure for AIDS. There is no cure and there is education. Learn what you need so that you are safe from this terrible virus.

Today, and everyday, take care of yourself, and those around you. Love wisely, and love on!

And live!

 

November 30, 2011

End of November, almost the end of the year. Times flies, doesn't it?

Being a big fan of numbers and such, and a 1 (add up the month,day,+ full year to a single digit= your number) I am so looking forward to one month before 2012 (=5 which is the number for pioneers etc.) and the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. I think there will one everyday of the last month of 2011 (4=struggle + balance), a year that has been quite a year, indeed.

The political upheavels world-wide have been quite spectacular, and the stage is being set for yet another year of USA politics leading to an election in November 2012 that will have quite an impact on the world.

Roll with the punches. That's my advice. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Attitude is altitude. Courage. Love on.

That's my advice. Not just for the waning days of this year but for all the years to come. Day by day, that's how life is given to us, and that is how we have to live it. For some of us, this last month may bring challenges that may strain and stress us. Take it easy, remember to breathe and stay grounded. The teeter-totter of life, the struggle between rational and irrational, is the engine that powers us forward. If your fuel is love, you will run on and on and on. And run well.

 

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

This morning started rainy before dawns early light, and chilly as well. In honor of the holiday I decided to skip my morning walk and instead snuggled in my warm bed with a small white cat, she asleep on my arm and I dozing on and off. Thoughts of turkey and cranberries danced in my dreams, along with visions of pillowy soft rolls and spicey pumpkin pie.

So many things to be thankful for, and chief among them is you, dear reader.

Thank you for taking the time to check in here, and I sincerely hope that your time here has been good.

This has been a year of challenge for so many of us, in so many ways. Life is going to deliver the unexpected from time to time, and it is our ability to work with whatever situation we find ourselves in that speaks of the spirit within each of us. Life takes guts.

Sometimes on a daily basis, and always with love.

Please accept my best wishes and thoughts of love today, and love on! All the best to you and yours!

 

November 16, 2011

Foggy this morning. How very San Francisco.

As I was on my morning walk I noticed the trees that are changing color as winter approaches. Reds and oranges and yellows, and even some dark purple leaves on the sidewalks and in the streets, gathering around car tires and clustering at corners, waiting for the next breeze to scatter them farther.

People are kinda like leaves. They change, they scatter.

The other day a neighbor told me how she was looking forward to Thanksgiving as her children would be coming to visit. Of her three kids the one who lives closest is in Chicago. The others are in Dubai and Bangalore. Scattered leaves, all so very far away from their home tree, but with home trees where they are now, wives and husbands and children, miles from San Francisco and yet connected to it because of Grandma.

This morning, on my walk, as the sun rose in the chilly sky I thought of all the people who move to find their life and dreams. And I thought about those who stay where they are and like it that way. Each to his own, as the old saying goes.

Recently I learned that a client of many years has gone to live in the south of France for a year, perhaps longer. She is a widow now, and having no childen to tie her down she decided to visit Provence and found a wonderful little house and bought it within days. She said that at her age, 78, most folks probably would not undertake such a change, but that she had always loved that part of the world and decided that she might as well give it a try, at least she'll have something to talk about, she said.

Good lesson to learn, that. Keep moving forward, live life fully and heartily, and leave a legacy of love.

 

November 8, 2011

Brrrr! It's cold here this morning. This is what I thought when I left my warm bed to a sleepy cat and started my day. Splash of warm water on face, wash hands, coffee, newspapers, clothes and out the door for a brisk brisk walk. Cold face but all else is wrapped up and the walk is lovely. 45 minutes is a good day, longer ever better. Today is about 40 as it's cold and I don't want to get too sweaty.

This is how I like to start my day, with exercise.

Each and every day has some component to it that involves movement, stretching, or some activity.

This is part of my regimen I call 'Healthy Loving'.

Years ago, after a terrific automobile crash I was in, I was sedentary for 3 years as I recovered and went through Physical Therapy. During that time I learned that the only part of my body that didn't hurt was my appetite, and I gained almost 75 pounds. This did not help my recovery. The bigger I got the angrier I got. There was clearly a connection with my anger and my expression of it. The angrier I got the more I ate. And wow did I eat. Five Big Macs in one day just because I wanted to. I was doing bad things to my body and felt powerless to stop.

One day, I had had enough. My world was collapsing around me, I was barely able to pay rent and buy the food I ate, all of it prepared by someone other than me, and I was just about to be released from Physical Therapy and I suddenly felt a terrible twinge in my lower back. It really pissed me off something terrible.

The next thing I knew I was in my garage, taking stuff out of boxes and making a big pile of stuff to get rid of. I had to move and get rid of stuff. As I sorted the piles I came across a shirt I had bought years before, on a day when my life felt wonderful and physically fit and just about perfect. The shirt had a big bleach stain on the back and looking at it released this deep seated roiling anger from deep inside me. I ripped the shirt to shreads in seconds. And then I broke down in tears.

Today my regimen involves exercise of not just my physical body but my emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies as well.

Each day presents us with countless opportunities. Choose the ones that reflect love and life will go well. I promise.

 

November 5, 2011

Winter has been making its impression early this year, what with freak snowstorms on the upper East Coast and rains here in California followed by summer weather and then more rain. The other day another report was issued from an august body of scientists attesting to the veracity of global warming. Other reports forecast a wet and snowy winter this year. Weather, whether.

Another sign of winters approach is the activity of the squirrels in our backyard. There are three of them now, and one of them, a young male, has become quite friendly, so much so that he walked into the house the other day until he saw me, and then froze, as squirrels do, and then dashed out the door. I took him some peanuts and was about to set them on the railing, and he jumped up brushing my hand and then looked up at me and then back at the peanuts and then at me again, then he sat up on his back legs while I set the nuts down. He then calmly walked over to them and started eating. I guess he likes me, I know he likes peanuts.

Around town the leaves on some trees are changing color and then falling, and that's another sign that winter is upon us. Walking to school the other evening I was struck by all the leaves along the way, how beautiful their colors and how varied these colors were: reds and yellows and purples and streaked and blotched and even some greenish ones, maple and ginko leaves along the street, mixing colors and brightening the sidewalk.

The natural beauty of winter is peeking out, soon to take center stage.

Waking up tomorrow, having turned our clocks back one hour, will bring an early sunset shortly after 5PM. More winter boding.

Happy Fall, Happy Fell, Happy Feel. Happy Winterish.

 

November 2, 2011

Today is the Day of the Dead, a day to honor and remember all of those who have proceeded us in death.

'Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow'. These were the last words of Steven Jobs, as told by his sister at his eulogy recently.

Death is a frontier from which few have returned, and those few say that there is another dimension beyond this one. Physicists say the same thing, that there are possibly several, the exact number not determined, of dimensions swirling around us, sharing the same space perhaps, and perhaps the same time. Science hasn't figured this junction out just yet.

Science has done some amazing things, like slow light down to under 30 miles per hour, and discovered particles that appear to travel faster than light. Strange stuff.

Maybe one of these coming days science will unlock some of the mysteries that surround us.

Later today, at dusk, I will light a candle for those people whose life touched mine that have died in the past year. Each person will be honored with a candle. There will be quite a bright light shed, along with tears. Tears for the pain and the hurt that each death contained, and the loss for the greiving, and tears of rememberance.

  

October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Seventh Billion Baby!

Researchers have been saying for days now that the 7,000,000,000th person should be born on this date, most likely in India, although some say China so who knows? Happy Birthday anyway.

The world you have been born on is a lovely place for the most part with a few nasty areas and issues, but nothing you won't be able to deal with. The most important thing to remember is to love, to love yourself first and to make every effort to improve yourself. Education is key to self improvement, always keep an open heart and mind and always, all ways trust your guts. Your intuition will improve as you trust it more and more, it is your birthright and a source of great strength. Love and live and give your best. Life is about giving and then receiving, not the other way around as some would lead you to believe.

Happy Birthday 7B! Welcome!

 

October 25, 2011

Hello Hyderabad! All the best to you and yours!

Have you ever found yourself in a bad mood?

I did, the other day, quite unexpectedly, and quite quickly as well. The day had gone well and then I picked up my mail. There was an envelope from the East Coast that caught my eye. I opened it right then and there and read of the devastating events that had occurred in a clients life. Terrible thing after terrible thing had happened, and now my dear client as in a coma and not expected to survive. Horrible and terrible. My mood instantly darkened and I felt physically terrible.

The next thing I knew there was this black cloud over my head, so I imagined, and I was in the dumps, emotionally. Having had this feeling more than just a few times, I knew the best way to resolve it: Give into it. And I did. I bawled like a baby for quite a while.

Later, as dusk fell, I said a prayer for my dear client. As I have learned, 'Man proposes, God disposes', so I put my faith in all that is good and right.

It was surprising how quickly the descent had been into my dark mood. Also surprising was how quickly it released me.

This morning, I awoke to a message that my dear client has awoken from his coma and that his vital signs are all positive and the drugs fighting his infections are working. Thanks be.

Emotions are like waves on a open sea, alive and moving with their own forces and purposes. Trying to fight a wave while in the ocean is pointless and may capsize the fighter. Better to move with the power of the wave and float as best one can.

Float and love on!

 

October 21, 2011

Time has been flying by lately, and I suspect that this is true for many of us right about now.

Autumn has been a time of activity for eons, and this one feels very much like it will be busy and hectic and full of full days.

Every day brings something new, something unexpected, something expected, something sad, something glad.

Life can fill one up, and then some.

'Keep the best, lose the rest'---someone said those very words to me when I was a teenager, and they have stayed with me all these years as good advice. Life can give up a kick right in the ribs, so to speak, and what we do with that energy is our choice. For many of us, we do not perceive any choice and become a victim of life's hard knocks. Some of us fight back and life usually ends in a draw, as we can never control life, ours or anothers.

For my part, when I get kicked to the curb by something or someone, I am careful to displace the harmful negativity that courses through me. Rage is a destructive force and must be dealt with. Anger, left unchecked, can lead to terrible things.

Being angry takes a great deal of energy to contain, and wears me out. I would much rather express my anger in non-harming ways. Just the other day I discovered some terrible news, and was shocked and angered. Later that day I drove to Ocean Beach and went for a walk, and as I walked I thought about the news I had learned, and I could feel the anger and dismay rise inside me. Each and every time I felt this way I picked up something on the sand near me and threw it as hard as I could away from me towards open space. My arm was tired when I left the beach, and my heart was lighter too.

One day at a time, that is how life is given to us. Here's to making each and every day a better one.

Love on!

 

October 5, 2011

Just heard that Steve Jobs has died, rushing to TV and tablet to learn the news, so sad.

Apple first came to my attention back in the mid 70's when there was talk about a computer on every desk, and I as a fledgling economic analyst looked into the company. Flash forward to lots of up buzz from meself and lots of investment and a 1983 meeting with the Steve's, and on from there.

Until today.

Rest in peace and contentment, Steve, you done good, you know.

 

October 4, 2011

Well, I finally went and did it, and here's hoping it works out well.

Years ago, when I was in intensive therapy, the doctor's that I worked with decided that I would be best served by taking pills. They were so wrong. So I took their pills and became a shell of myself. For a long time. Just long enough.

One day I crossed paths with someone I had been friends with in High School. She said I seemed too serious and not at all like the guy she remembered. She was right.

I started tampering with my meds and reduced them by half. Insomnia and trouble waking up for a while, but nothing bad.

Then I started acting out some of my anger by working with a woman who had been one of my doctors, and she helped me to understand the connection between our feelings and our bodies, but not before I developed an ulcer. But I was getting clear. Somatic integration was one of the keys.

Today I am pleased as punch to announce that I have created a space where displacement, i.e. acting it out, can be done.

There is something wonderfully integrating about connecting the anger/frustration/hate/fear/crap that one feels at the worst of times and releasing it, powerfully, willingly, and wholely.

When I told my  house contractor what I wanted to do, Stanley looked at me with a puzzled expression. Then I mimed what I wanted to do, and a big smile spread over his face. He laughed and laughed, and he got it. That was the energy that helped to make this Displacement Clinic a reality.

Here's how it works:

Through self examination you determine what your emotional block is. This is then written out. Objects for displacement are selected and purchased. Displacement is performed. Clean-up.

Simple, and so effective. For years I had looked for opportunities to 'get it out of me' and would find them from time to time, but it was always hit or miss. More was required. And now it's here! Come see!

 

September 29, 2011

What an amazing adventure this has been and one of the best trips I have taken in my lifetime! Wow wow wow. And how!

The Boeckh Family Reunion was an true delight. As we pulled into the parking lot at the Hotel Schwanen (www.hotelschwanen.de) there was cousin Dieter and a warm welcome and then walking around the wonderful little Black Forest town of Lahr (www.lahr.de) and there was another cousin and another and the four of us were so excited to join the party shortly after 7PM on Friday night. Imagine walking into a big room and there are 70+ people who are related to you that you have never met. That was what Terry and Mary both got that evening. Those two women had such big open American smiles the entire weekend. Such a wonderful welcome was extended to us from our cousins in Germany. All of this because of my Great Grandmother Babette. Thank you deeply, Grandmother.

At the meeting after dinner on Friday night, the presentation was made of the 2011 Family Reunion book, and there, in the back, was the entire family branch that we are on, the AB line. There are so many changes to this part of our Boeckh tree that the decision was made to include it in the book, the only branch thus represented.

The last night's dinner was held at the Weber Winery overlooking the Rhine river valley, much laughter and fun. Most of the speakers addressed the crowd in German, but by then we were surrounded by translators in our family and we all felt very included. A wonderful evening. There are photos on my Photos page.

The next day, Sunday, was an early breakfast among some cousins and then a 3 hour drive to the town of my ancestors for 400 years, Noerdlingen. As we walked around, for me it felt familiar as I had been there 3 years earlier and remembered much of the town. Quite a town it is, with walls surrounding it dating from the 1300's, and so many old houses from those times as well. Very beautiful town it is, and then off to Munich and Oktoberfest! Yeow.

Picture a State Fair and side show booths with games of chance and lots and lots of different food stalls and great big tents, brightly decorated and filled to overflowing with crowds of happy people and did I mention the liter mugs of beer everywhere in those tents and that most folks are dressed in clothes that would have fit in perfectly on the set of 'The Sound of Music'? What a scene it was. And that was at 10AM in the morning on Monday. Some of our German cousins had warned us from staying 'too late at the party' that Oktoberfest is, so we went early and checked it out, and it was great fun, although a liter of beer at 12PM is not something I plan on doing again any time soon...

Later that day we walked around the center of Munich taking in the sights. Great town, Munich, very interesting and old and modern and alive, they say it is the most northern of Italian towns because of the light-heartedness of the people and the yellows and tans and reds that many buildings are painted. Oh, and the food. Lots and lots of pasta based dishes on the menu, which we found ourselves surrounded by and we all gave in and ate heartily, often. And even sooner. Lots of walking helped.

All too soon it was Wednesday and time to leave. Getting up at 4AM was a bit of a shock, as was a 7AM flight to London and then another flight, this one to Chicago and then on to San Francisco and home and a place to sleep that wasn't moving...yay!

Now home, this early Thursday morning, and I am appreciating the amazing journey that has allowed me to be here with you this second, these moments in time that we are sharing. Life is a great blessing, each and every second.

oh, I know, that is easy to forget and get caught up in the trauma and drama life will present to us, and it does, each and every second as well. Give life your best and live your best life.

Aufweidersehen!

 

September 23, 2011

Ah, the joys of travel, or not...

as thunderstorms in Chicago delayed our departure from SFO such that the connecting flight to Paris would be long gone by the time we got there. Thanks to the great staff at American Airlines (aa.com) we were put on a later flight to London and upgraded to First class....wow, was that comfortable and roomy and great food and drink as well. Quick convention and into Paris 8 hours behind schedule. My two cousins, Terry and Mary were at their hotel and had spent the day shopping and getting reacquainted after 30+ years. The rest of this week has been sightseeing and eating and laughing and talking about years gone by, great and funny and sad times.

Today we're off to Strasbourg and a rented car and our family reunion in Lahr, Germany, and about 70+ family members neither Terry or Mary have met. And a weekend of connecting.

Paris has been, as always, a delight, and the adventure continues!

 

September 17, 2011

My work day is coming to a close and so is my work week. I am always so very thankful to and of my clients, each and every one of them, and I delight in working with them all.

Change is a difficult thing to experience. Life can be chock full of challenging times. That's when love can make the difference.

For the past year I have been going to a two year college learning the German language, The first semester was a rough one for me and I came close to giving up, but my teacher, Ursula, told me that I was making progress and to hang in there, and I did. I passed that class and signed up for another, and got an 'A' in that one. So here I am now, my third semester, and it has been going along swimmingly, glory be.

Why am I taking German, you ask? I have a simple answer, and it's about love.

I never knew my Father's parents, and heard over the years this and that story, and then started to hear stories about his Grandmother, German by birth. DNA testing in 2005 led me to a link in modern day Bavaria and a bunch of people with my Great Grandmother's last name. Going to a family reunion in 2008 shocked and delighted me, being welcomed with open arms and all. Family, wow, real live Germans and we're related. And they like me, they really like me! Wow.

Tomorrow I leave for Germany and my German relatives. Three years ago I spoke no German, now I can converse fairly well, at least in simple phrases and situations. The love that I felt at that reunion, and the contact since, has served as the encouragement to tackle German and all it's toughness. I am so looking forward to greeting my relatives in their native language, and forging another link in our chain of connection.

It's all about the love, plain and simple, and so satisfying. Auf wiedersehen, see you soon!

 

September 12, 2011

'Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon'- from an old song.

That's what that great big moon you will see tonight, whereever you are on Earth, clouds willing. One of the largest appearing moons that we get in a year, big and golden and glowing and so radiant. A great moon to make a wish under.

I woke up waaay too early this morning as I have a client in distress. She has a big job to do and feels completely unappreciated by those around her. Sound familiar? It sure does to me.

Years ago I found myself working for a guy who never had one nice word to say to me about anything, and yet was hyper critical about any error in my work. The situation started to become very difficult for me as I began to doubt my performance and started making more errors which I felt even worse about and doubted myself more and made even more mistakes and was on the edge of having this guy terminate me. Yikes!

That night I went home and had a good, long talk with myself. In the end, I took back my power and believed in myself again. The next day at work I did not make one mistake. Nor the next day, nor the next. Nor the next for many nexts.

When it came time for my performance review he told me I was doing an excellent job and would get a pay raise. He never said another word in praise of me, not that I'm aware. What I came to see was that I wanted a manager who would both praise and correct my performance, and I transferred to another department with a better manager.

This morning I advised my client to take back her power, to remember her past achievements and the efforts that she has expended successfully, and to reclaim her confidence. She just texted me moments ago to tell me that her presentation this morning drew praise from everyone present, and that she has been given her hoped-for assignment. Results!

Believe in yourself, love yourself, forgive yourself. Without you, you are nothing. Literally.

Each and every day brings another opportunity to live the life that loves you back.

Love on!

 

September 6, 2011

Labor Day came and went, and the first albeit short work week for some in September is moving right along.

After a coolish and coldish summer it seems as if the real summer weather is finally coming to San Francisco. Early this morning I went for a long walk and was delighted to discover that it was 48F, nice and chilly and the perfect temperature for a brisk walk. As much as I would love to go to my gym today, I have other, more pressing things that I must attend to, hence my walk.

Out the door before 7AM and heading East, I pass others walking towards their destination and sometimes nods or smiles are exchanged. Sometimes nothing. Every person is different. Like the lady who gave me a small dahlia along with a cheery 'Good Morning', or the fellow who tipped his baseball cap at me. All of us just doing what we're doing.

There are some days when I don't want to go on a walk, all I want to do is lie in bed and cry. And so I do.

Being human, having a physical body, having feelings and thoughts and all the rest of it can be overwhelming. That's where tears enter the picture. Life's lubrication, that's what tears are, a way to express the pain and upset swallowing us in the moment.

'Life is not a bowl of cherries' my Dad once said to me. He was right, it's more like mixed fruit, some rotten, some delicious.

Not everyday may be a good day, some may be absolutely terrible. Hang in there for the good days. And cry about the bad ones.

Day by day, breath by breath, moment by moment: this is how our lives unfold. The important thing to remember is the power of love, the purity of its essence a beacon of light never consumed by darkness. 

 

August 31, 2011

Time marches on, but not just in March, everyday, everynight, on and on and on.

The waning days of Summer have brought foggy mornings to San Francisco, and driving up to Christmas Tree Point on Twin Peaks gave me a view unlike any other, the soft, fluffy meringue of white mist falling into the bay, wisping out at it reached Alcatraz, that hard little rock of an island and today a tourist attraction. For a second I imagined being in the 'Recreation Yard', a hard rectangle of concrete facing East, surrounded by unscalable walls. There is a wonderful view from that terrible place, of the Golden Gate Bridge perfectly framed by the Marin Headlands and Fort Point. Imagine being able to see what you are missing.

People ask me all the time about 'what if' moments. I believe that the right thing always happens.

I know, kinda harsh, what with deaths and calamities and pain and suffering. How can those things possibly be right?

Change is a challenging and difficult process, and yet it is something that each of us confronts upon awakening.

As a child I hated change, and it seemed like I moved almost every year to a new school and new surroundings. By the time I was in my middle double digits it was clear to me that change was going to happen almost every day and that I would be best served if I learned to enjoy things as they are as fully as I can, good and bad.

Good, as we all know, is good and we like it and want more of it.

Bad, on the other hand, is not good and we do not like it and suffer of it.

My power ends at my skin, I am fond of saying, and therefore I cannot control all things.

Just me, and what I do with the morass of feelings that will sweep over me as I live each day and experience what happens.

In with the good, out with the bad.

To this end I am almost ready to take the wraps off of my new displacement space. Very exciting this is. More to come.

Displacement therapy works. I am living proof. All of the suffering that I have experienced has been the source of countless hours spent getting out the negative, the hateful, the ugly energies out of my body. Dis-ease becomes Ill-ness over time.   

Do enjoy the days and nights ahead, and revel in the love around you and give it right back. Love on.

 

August 26, 2011

So here's a question that's been rattling around in my head for a while that I've wanted to write about:

How old is your oldest friend?

How old is your youngest friend?

The answers to those questions tells a great deal about how big ones life is, about how much exposure to new concepts and products one receives, how discussive the conversations are, oh, so much.

The other day I was visiting a friend, he's 49 now, and has been 'stuck in a rut' he says, for years, and I asked him those questions, to which he replied that his oldest friend was about 65 and his youngest about 40. Too narrow a range, I told him. Add so elderly folks to your circle, I told him, and make friends with a child you are in contact with (with the parents approval, of course) and expand your circle of life (Thank you Disney) and improve your life. That was my advice to him, and to all.

Getting older may not be something we look forward to, but we all know that he may happen. If you talk with people older than yourself, you can learn about how life changes as we age and the information may help you to prepare for your 'Golden Years'.

It's the same with children, getting to know them as individuals and watching and listening to them as they age. I treasure the relationships I have with the young, as I see the future in our children, a world full of children.

Broaden your circle and broaden your mind and heart. Circle of life = quality of life.

 

August 21, 2011

Yesterday in the late afternoon-early evening I went to a party. There were many people there, some I knew and many I didn't. When I'd first received the invitation I had a funny shiver run through me and I made note of it. Glad I did, as it prepared me for what was to unfold as the evening went on.

As much as I am shy by nature, I make a bit of an effort in social settings. This party was no exception. I spoke with folks I knew and always introduced myself to folks I didn't know. At one point I walked over to one of the buffet tables and as I did so this fellow pushed me aside with his shoulder and then turned and glared at me. I said 'Excuse me' and he kept grabbing food and then turned to me and said a four letter euphanism for sexual intercourse and the word 'you'.

It seemed as if time slowed to a crawl, and I became aware that this exchange was being witnessed and overheard by many people around me. I looked into his eyes and saw an emptiness and self loathing, and knew what I wanted to do.

'Have we met? My name is Heikkie.'

He shoved past me as I moved to avoid closer contact. A moment later a woman I didn't know came up to me and said 'What a jerk' and I laughed and we introduced ourselves and the party continued. I had a good time.

There are moments in life when something ugly comes our way. The choice is ours: up or down.

Will we rise above the occasion and be a better person for the experience, or will we descend and let the ugly win?

We choose, all the time.

I have no idea what was upsetting to that man at the party, and I wish him well. It is clear he is not a balanced being. Life can do that to us, unbalance us. In a way, we are somewhat like boats at sea, moved about by the waves. Without enough ballast we can capsize.

Love is the ballast I cling to, despite everything else in the world that is not part of love.

Love on.

 

August 15, 2011

True story: There we were, Joe and I, walking about 200 feet from our front door, surrounded as we walk down the stairs, by fuchias and moneywort and lobelia and more, and down the street, and an SUV pulled over at the very edge of the corner of 17th and Sanchez and 2 kids and a mom and a dad and 2 cops cars and then more and we kept walking...

and now home, after sushi and saki and a nice walk home and the internet says that what I saw was a major drug bust of a major dealer and his wife and kids and just the start of a long story.

I am still a bit surprised, he looked so normal and the wife and kids too. So sad...

nothing will ever take the place of authentic self esteem, nothing.

Learning to understand ones self is an interesting road, I have yet to meet a boring individual. We all have such choices.

Sometimes it is about what we allow, sometimes it is about what we intend, sometimes it is about what we fear, we always choose.

Someone once asked me about God's love, and I responded that this is something we all seek and few obtain.

Love is a challenge, self forgiveness is strange, and living fulfilled is unknown. Keep walking forward, love and trust.

Love and trust. So easy to write, so hard to live. But live and love on. Love never dies.

 

August 10, 2011

It's Summer here in San Francisco and as is usual, there are tourists everywhere, on foot, on subways, on light-rail, and in cars.

The latter one was almost accidental, so to speak, in my life yesterday. He had no idea where he was, this guy driving the rented Chevy that went through a stop sign, through an intersection and narrowly missed a couple in the cross walk. Talk about good karma, carma, whatever...

Later this same day, as I was walking along, a woman came out of a doorway, her focus on her cellphone and ran right into me. She glared and walked away. OK thinks I. Third time is the charm, I remember my Mom saying.

Sure enough, before I can reach the relative safety of my home, there is a third 'Mercury retrograde' incident. We are currently in a time when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards due to it's orbital speed and relation to other planets. Astrologers say that this is a time when travel and communication, the providences of the god Mercury, go awry. This will all be better when Mercury goes direct and appears to be spinning forward among the stars on August 26, but until then, keep your eyes open.

That's what mine were as I walked down the street to our house and suddenly this car pulls into a driveway just a couple of feet in front of me and slams on his brake but not before hitting the brick staircase, doing more damage to the car than the stairs. Something made me look at the driver before he jerked his steering wheel and headed for the driveway. He and I locked eyes for the slightest of moments and I could feel something weird and creepy and slowed my pace. If I hadn't...

Is it Mercury retrograde, or just folks lost in their own little worlds? Whichever it is, it has my attention.

Be safe out and about, and trust your instincts.

 

August 8, 2011

Did you ever wake up in a bad mood?

I did yesterday, I opened my eyes and felt like I was on an elevator going down and down and I felt this kranky, irritable moodiness sweep over me, plunging me into a bad mood and a deep funk, a genuine listlessness. It was like all the good in my life was gone and all that was left was this terrible feeling of futility and hopelessness.

This malaise, this negativity, stayed with me for almost an hour, and in that time I did almost nothing. Looking at a clock I saw that time was moving right along, well aware that I wasn't. Something had to change.

I got up and went to my computer, turned it on, and then started writing out what I was feeling, all the jumble that was flying around inside my head, a stream of words filling the screen in front of me. Disjointed thoughts, all mashed up together, not making any sense whatsoever. My fingers dashed against keys as I let flow the terrible blackness that was deep inside me. I wrote terrible words and ugly ideas, my thoughts blacker than black, the anger and pain and hurt and fear all flowing out of my fingers and onto the screen.

After some time I suddenly ran out of steam, as it were. There was no more energy left to type and I went and laid down.

I felt drained and tired, and thought I'd be napping and prepared for this, only to find myself supine, flat on my back and not the least bit tired but rather invigorated and in such a better mood, not at all dark and ugly but bright and beautiful and glad to be alive.

Roll with the punches, that's my advice. Get the icky out of you so the love can shine from within you. It's worth it.

 

Aug 5, 2011

Happy International Beer Day!

Wow, what a beverage, beer is. There have been traces of it found in graves dating back 80,000 years...quite many life times, no?

And what a good time to celebrate, what with the US of A not going broke, even though many folks took advantage of this to take a bit of profit (wink, wink) and everything chugs along nicely, eh what?

Years ago, in Egypt, a man came up to me in Luxor, in a temple , and indicated that he wanted me to follow him. I grabbed Joe and away we went, over here and through a doorway supported brick and into another space and another door and a wall...and a drawing of making beer, in 2,500 B.C., what a treat to see.

That night, on our ship down the Nile, we reflected on what we had seen that day, the endlessness of human respite, the longing to be at peace.

Today I planted lavender in my yard, in hopes of peace and calm, especially in these times of what's happening,

Hang in there, don't give up, and remember the power of love. Reach out and make a difference in anothers life, you'll see the best after that, to be sure. If you find it hard to love you, love someone you love more. Reflect their love, and live. Love on, always and all ways.

 

July 30, 2011

The hazy, lazy days of Summer are in full tilt now, as one can tell by the early morning fog that embraces San Francisco and seeps into the bay, creeping in on cat's toes, it's said, making for misty images and diffusing the sunlight.

For the past few weeks I have been working on providing a space to my clients for displacement exercises, and it is almost ready. My beloved contractor Stanley and his gang of guys have transformed what was an OK but not great area into a clean, fresh space, new wall board and trim and lots of other touches.

Now comes the last bit, which will be to cover one wall in sheet metal, making it darn near impervious to damage, like the damage that can be inflicted by a hurled dinner plate, or something else that will break when thrown.

This is gonna be so cool, I hope, when it's ready.

Folks that live near me are aware of the sound of smashing that has come from time to time in my garage, and more than a few have stopped me to ask what I'm doing, and a few have even given a throw a go, so to speak, and tried a displacement exercise.

One lady, a couple of years ago, had heard about me and stopped by one day when I was out front, working on the plants there. She and I talked for a while about displacement, about getting the negative feelings out of ones body, and she wanted to give it a go. I had her write out in longhand what she was angry about, which got her worked up. She then picked out a plate from a bunch that I had, choosing the one that she disliked the most. Then she read out loud what she had written and when she was done, as the last word left her lips, she hurled the plate at the floor of my garage, involuntarily letting out a small scream as she did it.

Tears streamed down her cheeks for a moment or so, and then she turned to me and gave me a big hug and said that she had never done anything like that in her entire life, and how much lighter and happier she felt.

Since then she's been working out her negativity on a regular basis, and the last time I saw her she looked years younger, and pounds lighter as well. Displacement works for her.

Give it a try, if you've a mind to. Be careful as you can hurt yourself if you get too carried away. Be sober and focused and safe.

The more we get rid of our bad feelings the more we can let our love shine.

 

July 25, 2011

How many months until Christmas....?

time marches on, even in July, and into August, so august and sofort, nichts war?

Remember "Casual Friday"? Everybody got to dress a bit more casually, like taking off your suit jacket and maybe loosening your tie?

Time marches on, and on, and oh you get the idea...

so there I was, this very morning, this lovely, cool and shiny from the East, brilliant blue skies all the way to how far and beyond...

I had been summoned to a meeting, to be held TBD (to be determined) at TBD ( remember?) Great, I'll just wait at my phone, land line, Iphone, carrier pidgeon...whatever...

and then, this morning, at 5:14AM local time, a message from the director of this meeting to be on-line, however, at 11AM. Excellent, and there's a note to me. He's going to be at a restaurant here in San Francisco (who knew he was in this hemisphere?) and would I join him?

You betcha.

I show up a few minutes before our appointed time, and there he is, getting out of a Cadillac Escalade, white and shiny and really tall. He's in a pair of jeans and a suit coat and wide awake from the look of his eyes. He turns his head and sees me, in my trousers and suit coat and tie, and comes over and takes my hand and says 'Nice tie" and smiles and in we go, to a lovely room and a big table and no ties on anyone else...

It's just a bit of silk, nothing special, really, and actually years old, but clean and still bright-ish and colorful.

Around the table is the most motley of crews I have ever seen, the guy next to me actually reeks, are you kididing me? When did he last bathe?

The girl with the sandals needs to pull her top up and stop picking at her toes...the guy in the board shorts needs to shift his lefts so I can't see his 'eggs', and Welcome to Today's Casual Friday! This was my last Friday.

Times change, clothes change, embrace change. Be better in the light of the new day, and contented at night. Live and love on.

Just don't dress to embarrass yourself, OK? OK!

 

July 20, 2011

There has been a great deal of news about the growing obesity problem occuring in our world, in contrast to the starvation that is happening in other parts of the world.

Maybe if we sent some of that money instead of buying more food we don't need...

so here I was, the other day, in Sacramento, California, the State's Capitol. Lots to see and do, and I was there as I wanted to visit the California State Fair. Livestock and fried foods, and lots and lots to see.

Was there, ever.

Pulling into the parking lot I notice that there are panels over the area. Once parked I discover that the panels are solar collectors. High tech in the car park, what next, I wonder? Once inside the gates, $12USD later, there's a monorail that goes all over the setting, and it is a setting: there are groves of trees and lakes and streams and off to the right is the amusement midway, ahead are exhibits, and to the left food vendors. Guess which way I headed...

Walking along, so many differing cuisines on offer, some of them actually healthy. Golly, that's a good sign. Stopping for a shaved ice cup, cherry flavor please, I notice a petting area filled with kids and animals. Lambs, piglets, tiny deer, and a llama. And little goats and so many chickens, what fun.

In the 5 hours that I was there I saw just about everything there was to see. It reminded me of Oktoberfest without the beer tents in many ways, what with the livestock and amusement rides and games.

The best part of it for me were all the smiles that I saw around me, the smiling kids and parents, a family group laughing, couples of all ages together, smiling.

Memories were made that day for countless people thanks to love.

Love on.

 

July 15, 2011

Here's hoping your Bastille Day was a celebration in liberty!

Being that it was a holiday that I participate in, I took a couple of hours yesterday and went out and about. The day had started foggy and cold, in the low 50's F. and now the sun was burning off the fog and I was out the door. Driving towards the bay there were so many French flags fluttering here and there, a surprise to see and delight for the eye.

Passing under the Bay Bridge I was struck by what a monumental piece of construction it is. Wow!

Finding a parking place just as I turned onto the Embarcadero was a snap. There were many people out walking, couples and packs and families and singles too, all going hither and thither, it being a beautiful day and all. After a while I sat on a bench and listened to the babble of voices around me, and I began to notice folks around me, their posture, their facial expression, their gait.

It was fascinating, and I began to hear snatches of conversation. A woman in Spanish saying "I don't care what she thinks, she's a mean person" and a French woman saying "Americans are so fat" and a grey haired couple, he with a cane, and as they pass he is talking about oral sex. The woman has a far away look. A family from the American South, all with deep accents, started a game of tag and ran and laughed, making those around them laugh at their antics.

There I sat, enjoying my liberty.

Sweet gift of struggle, the freedom to do as I choose.

 

July 12, 2011

on July 10, 2011...So, there is was, it being a foggy morning and all that, cold and kinda damp, the deck outside the doors dark with moisture.

Perfect time to laze in bed, don't ya think?

And so I did. It was a lazy Sunday, but something felt weird. I meditated on it but only felt surprise and joy...

Make the beds, clear the floors, feed the cat, start laundry...typical Sunday.

Later, around 4PM or so, a friend shows up and asks me for a walk. Now, I know, she's been having a spot of trouble lately with a brother so let's walk and talk it out, shall we?

And we do. And it's good.

Our walk leads us to my pub, the Last Call. And in we go...

but it feels strange, and something is afoot, something has happened.

so I start chatting with the closest face, a man I do not know, and I ask him what occurred?

He says that a regular, a man named Rico, had died.

I know Rico. He always had a smile on his face. He was a lovely man.

So all around the bar I go, talking with this one and that one, all about Rico and who he was to the speaker and who he was to the person listening and to someone who knew him for years and years and those who had just met him.

Legacy. That's what I heard.

A good man, a kind man, a funny man, a man who neglected his pain, a man who loved and laughed and lived.

We left, a while thereafter, my friend off to a party and me, well, off home and all.

And to Rico, and to remembering all the times that he and I shared here, on Earth.

Time is a gift that we receive. Given with no strings. A lifetime to live.

Thanks, Rico, for your quick and gentle smile, your wine choices, your friendship, your time.

What a gift you gave us all.

 

July 8, 2011

Out and about early these days as happens from time to time. Yesterday I took a break from work for two hours and rode the F line trolleys around. It was a beautiful, sunny and cool in the shadows kind of day, the car filled up as I boarded at the Castro stop, voices speaking German, French, Tagalog and something I didn't hear enough of to identify. Bouncing along Market Street the car stops and continues to add passengers, until we get closer to Civic Center where some folks leave, and then Powell Street and all the shopping and many off and many on. This is how it goes all the way to the Anchorage Building, where the car stops and the driver exits. There's a young couple on the car and they're speaking Japanese and looking confused and I motion with my hand for them to come and we exit the car and the driver points to his watch and leaves and I say 'Choto mate' which means 'just a moment' and the couple laughs and we wait, trying to talk across the language barrier we have, my terribly limited Japanese and their much better English. Then Dave, our driver, appears and we all board and off we go, picking up more and more people along the way back down the Embarcadero and up Market Street. At Montgomery Street the couple leave, bowing to me as I bow in return, and she waves and they're off up the street. Just then the woman next to me, thick Irish accent in my ears, asks me if I know how to get to a certain store, one named Flax and I tell her yes, I'll let you know when to get off the car and then she's introducing me to her husband and sister and her husband and they're so excited to be in San Francisco. At Gough Street they exit and wave and more people get on the car as we continue up Market Street, the excited burble of voice swirling around me.

Me, too, now that I think about it.

 

July 2, 2011

Happy Mid Year! How'd it go for you? Well, I hope.

News Bulletin: Not Grandson, Nephew!

Whew, I think/feel/huh? having just received an e-mail from a researcher into these things who's written me to tell me that I am maybe not the Grandson of Chaucer as it's proving quite hard to get this all sorted genetically thingame but Nephew of his brother ??? and Bob's your Uncle...as the English say.

So there you have it, breaking news. Frankly, aren't we all related? Adam and Eve, remember, not any ones else. Although it does get a bit dodgy from there...

What are you doing the rest of the year?

I have the production of a radio program to start. Feel a bit daunted, quite frankly. Radio, wireless, clueless, that's me. It's a wonderful opportunity, I know I know, but it all sounds a bit too much just this now, just when writing my new book about death was morphing quite well and interestingly, and the timing is/could be better and Thanks a lot!

No doddle, this.

Everyday seems to and sometimes does bring something new into being and or maybe into focus. Breathe and relax, let go, let G-d.

and again...

and again...

as many times as it takes, find your core, your center, your love, and breathe into it, trust it, encourage it, be and become it

and again...

and again...

One afternoon I was walking on the Great Wall of China, the sun was slanting in the West and it was getting a bit windy. I stopped to look at the stones that made up the walkway ahead of me and started counting them, more and more and more. Around seven thousand or so Ye, the Chinese Consulate attache assigned to my group called my name and I lost count.

All those stones, all those lives. Each and every one important and meaningful, someone who was birthed and raised and loved and fed and cleaned and encouraged and so much more.

A grain of sand, a galaxy expanding, a human life.

Love on and live a legacy.

 

July 1, 2011

Happy July!

Tomorrow at 12pm your local time it is mid year.

Half way through this new year of 2011 tipping the edge towards 2012 and beyond.

Make the most of it! Make the most of you! Make the most of love!

Of which, Thank You to all of you who've written me an e-mail at heikkie@aol.com giving me your birth date and place, your personal answer's are coming your way shortly.

When I returned home earlier this week after being away for 10 days I discovered a stack of mail awaiting me. Working my way through it the next morning I found a letter from my Aunt Lois that contained photographs of my Grandfather as a young soldier in WWI garb, looking a bit cocky in his uniform and all, with his 3 buddies, and another of him as an older fella in a snazzy suit with a straw boater hat. And a photo of my Dad about two years old, with this angelic look on his face. Quite sweet, but looking into his eyes I see uncertainty and relate.

Someone the other day said to me 'You're so sure of yourself' to which I replied 'At times and only when it feels right inside me'.

Trust your guts. Your intuition is right in that place, waiting to help you toward a life of fulfillment.

What have you got to lose?

Let go and let love.

 

June 30, 2011

Astrology first came into my life through my sister Melodie. She had a book about it and did my chart and then told me what was in the book. It was interesting and later I learned various forms of astrology in my interest about the way in which we humans try to explain the physical world. Interesting stuff, astrology.

A few years ago I came across work done by several researchers that tied astrology to the physical planet, and had recommendations as to where each astrological sign belonged and lots of other data. My astrology indicated that I should travel to Birmingham and Leicester England, and I have now been to both of those place. Interesting.

Coming up out of the train station I was given a choice of doors and chose the wrong one. The one that would have taken me directly to my hotel was behind me. Irony, that. Instead I went toward the one in front of me, and then recalling the map that I had seen online at www.earth.google.com I walked on. And on. Across streets, then up a hill. Surely the street I'm looking for is just up ahead, I thought. Just a bit further.

20 minutes later I stop. I'm sweaty, it's starting to drizzle. I'm tired. I turn around and spread out before me is a vista of Birmingham, England's second largest city, kinda like Chicago here in the States. It looks big. And there, in the distance I see my hotel, down near the bottom of the hill I'm standing on. There's a cafe across the street and I venture over, enter and take a seat near a window where I can admire the view. "Cuppa?" I'm asked and I say yes, thank you and a cup of coffee appears with a menu. The wrong door took me to the right place, at just the right time.

Refreshed I walked back down the hill to my hotel, the Ibis (www.ibis.com) , located in Birmingham's Chinatown section. After San Francisco, any places Chinatown pales in comparison but the architecture is nice and the folks are nice. Welcome to Brum, as the locals call their city.

Birmingham and Leicester were both great cities, I had a great time in both. Melodie would be proud of me, I believe, for keeping the thread of curiousity alive and following it to sometimes the wrong door.

As a gift to you, my reader, I offer to provide you with interesting cities for you to explore. Just send me an e-mail to: heikkie@aol.com along with your birthdate (month, day, year) and place of birth.

Travel and love on!

 

June 29, 2011

As much as I love to travel and explore this great, big wonderful world of ours, the best trip is the one home.

It isn't just about the place, or the people, I've come to realize, it's where I feel best in the world.

Home.

This is not to say that I did not have an excellent time away, I did. I must confess that I love England, maybe most of all for what it evokes in me and less about the reality of life there. This trip to the north of England showed me things I'd never seen.

Like a document attesting the birth of a man on May 10, 1775 in St. Helen's, near Liverpool. There it was on the spool of micro-fiche that the nice woman handed me, and then on the screen in front of me, and then with the press of a button on a piece of paper sitting in front of me now.

The stories were true, that oral history passed on to me about where my Dad's people came from, our ancestors. Some part of me felt a deep chord of resonance as I saw this document, hidden inside somewhere inside of me, some string was strummed. A deep connection that I feel in this very moment as I write these words.

Walking around Liverpool I found myself being drawn to certain streets and then along them to some spot or other, like the area around the main train station, or the Anglican Cathedral, or the banks of the Mersey. At one point I was walking around and found myself across from an old looking pub, and went in and chatted up the barman. He told me that it was an old Coaching House and had been there since around 1726 or so. After a nice chat and warm welcome and being handed a pint of beer I wandered out the back into an open area, found a seat, sat down, took a sip of beer and looked up. That's when it hit me. I remember this place.

It came over me in a heart beat, the shape of the rooflines framing a cloudy sky, the keening of seagulls and the smell of the air. I had been here before or was in touch with the memories of someone who had been. Either way it was transformative for me.

I had found home.

Inside of me I feel some knot loosen, and I understood that my entire life had been about feeling just what I was feeling in that instant, that sense that I have come in contact with one of the missing parts of myself, some piece that helps me to feel more complete. In the Thomas Rigby pub in Liverpool, England of all places.

After this I could not finish my beer and instead found myself feeling so contented and at peace. I wandered on and walked now with a sense of placidness that I am still learning to recognize and accept.

Flash back memories are real, I've known this for years, but this was very different. It was as if some connection was made between the world of that time and the world I am in today. All of this has left me feeling quite blessed. And thankful. Very thankful.

Moving on, I went to Birmingham for a book reading which was such fun. The English are known for their reserve, and I sure put it to the test when I did my little bit. It took a bit of work to get the folks in the room to loosen and lighten up but they did, and then they went along with my requests and did as I asked, and it was great.

This is what I said: Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say Help me.

Oh my goodness, such reactions. Laughter, tears, pensive looks, smiles, frowns. What a range of faces I saw. Then I asked folks to share what happened for them and heard one woman say she heard her long dead Mum's voice say 'Always', something she would not and did not when she was alive, quite the opposite, she said. A man said his dead wife's scent came to his nostrils and opened his heart, he said smilingly. Another man said he thought it was all 'bunk' but found himself recalling his Dad's face smiling at him and felt strangely moved.

Did I mention that I love my job? And all the people that I work with? I do and will and thank them all.

To see this blank lot of faces melt into a sea of smiles was the best pay-off I could have received that evening.

Home is where the heart is. Having an open heart makes home feel even better.

 

June 21, 2011

Liverpool!

When I was a kid growing up my Dad said that our family came from here.

Today I will be going to the Records Office to see what I can learn.

The opportunity to see and do and learn something new is all around me today. Very much looking forward to learning what I can about what I can, and enjoying the city of Liverpool.

Ferry 'cross the Mersey, anyone? Me, for one!

 

June 19, 2011

4AM, way too early to be up and about but I am and will be for a while.

Today is the beginning of my annual birthday trip, and as usual I am doing what I love: travel.

This morning will start at San Francisco International Airport (www.flysfo.com) to JFK in New York and then on to Manchester, England and then to Liverpool. A week in England, visiting cities I have never been to before, something I love to do. I will do genealogy research, sightseeing, exploration, and have what I hope is a wonderful time.

All good reasons to get up before the birds and the newspaper carriers and most folks. The early bird catches the worm, it is said. All I want to do is catch my first flight and then the next one and then the third one and arrive safely in the UK. A long travel day awaits me, luckily my request for upgrades came through so hopefully I will stretch out, something not easy to do when you're 6 foot 2 inches tall, especially on an airplane.

Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there, lucky men that you are. I'm off to try to find where my male lineage comes from, starting on the banks of the Mersey. A puzzle I hope to solve with the help of researchers in Liverpool.

Love on!

 

June 17, 2011

June 18, 1986

It was about half after 6PM, I was on my way home from my new job in San Francisco, after years of being on the road. As I came down the hill on the highway, I could see that the traffic was narrowing from 2 lanes to one, the one on the left, so I signaled and moved into lane #1. A weird tickle ran down my spine and I checked that my seat belt was secure as I slowed due to traffic. There were too many cars to keep the pace of traffic flowing, which had been moving at about 60MPH. Slowing to keep a distance of about 20 feet from the car in front of me I slowly came to a stop. I glanced in my rear view mirror and noticed a white van and it wasn't slowing and I looked ahead and the car in front of me had its brake lights on. I inch forward and glance in the mirror again and he's about 50 feet from my car and not slowing, the driver is talking with the young girl on his right, a blond girl who looks forward and her mouth becomes a rictus of pain/fear/surprise/ and the back window of my car explodes and the rear 12 feet of my car are crushed to 5 feet as I slip down and the back of my head is hit with glass fragments and I become unconscious.

Three years later, after much rehabilitation but no surgery I am a free man.

Amazing things can happen in the literal blink of an eye. Amazing things.

For me this event was like hitting the 'reset' button. I got right with G-d. I got right with myself.

Being honest about how and who and whatever can be hard sometimes. I remember a client, as she sat up from her hospital bed and told me she wasn't going to die and then burst into tears. Honesty can be painful.

Prior to my 'accident', for which I am grateful every day, I was not the man I am today. I was foul.

Mammon, $, moola, and its side-kick POWER rocked my world, and I hung out with world shaker's and mover's, not Hollywood trash and wanna-be's from some NGO. For Sale should have been printed on my fore-head. I used my gift of knowing about the future as a vending item, the more they wanted the higher the cost. Shameless I was. And way way way out of balance. Until 6-18-86. That's when balance, i.e. karma, kissed my cheek, all four of them.

Someone once asked me why I was so sure about myself and I said that I honestly knew me, good and bad.

Keep an eye on the bad, be the best that you can be, and keep the other eye on the good and aim in that direction.

Thank you, all that is, I love life and life loves me!

 

June 14, 2011

Happy US Flag Day! One star for every State, 13 stripes for the original Colonies. Home of the Free, Land of the Brave.

Living in this country has been a burden on me at times. I remember the time I was in my work office and the door flew open and it was one of the guys that I worked with, saying he wanted to show his family what an American looked like. This was in Lahore, Pakistan. Then there was the time some guy came up on me on a light rail vehicle in Istanbul and started calling me a 'Crusader', that was weird and uncomfortable. American conjures up many differing images the world over. The best thing I can do is be a better person and hope that I and my country are fairly judged. No place is perfect, as all places contain both good and bad.  Work for the good and clean up the bad, that's my advice. Be the best you can be and fly your flag proudly.

And on advice, I took some from some folks I know and have been experiencing a new trend in eating: Food Trucks.

Oh, I know, I said it myself years ago, when I was working in the San Fernando Valley. At noon each day two food trucks came into a parking lot surrounded by office buildings and were swarmed by dozens seeking lunch. Roach coaches we called them. People made fun of them as they were seen as a lower class artifact, not good enough for some.

Now it appears as if the Great and the Good of San Francisco have found out for themselves how good this concept is. Just yesterday at City Hall I saw one of the leading couples of our fair town standing in line at the Senor Sisig truck. There were dozens of folks, all of them looking at the menu boards on the trucks, then most in a line and then in a bunch and then off to sit or stand and eat, some alone, others in groups.

Just this morning I got an e-mailed invitation to join al fresco dining in Regent Park in London. Over 120 booths and 10 of the best restaurants in London, popping up. No wonder then that this is being called a Pop Up event, and they seem to be popping up everywhere.

Spontaneous, inventive, creative. Words to take to heart and hand and enjoy. And fun! Summer is just around the corner, next Tuesday, and tomorrow's full moon is called the Strawberry Moon as it ushers in warmer days and sweet tastes. What a great time to get out of doors and see what's new. Or old and new again...one thing is for certain: If we stay locked up and away from others then life becomes only about the old. Growing older is something we all want to do, growing old- not so much.

Enjoy!

 

June 6, 2011

Yesterday was a very mixed day for me, unlike any I have had in a long time.

Woke up to news that it was the 30th anniversary of the first reports about what became known as the AIDS crisis, still with us today. My best friend from High School, Michael, was the first person I knew who died of AIDS, and he was followed by his boy friend Victor, my helper, and later by a mutual friend of all of us, Mike Nevelow. And countless others. We've come a long way in the fight against this disease, but it claims 54,000 people each day worldwide. A modern tragedy.

Later in the day I went for a walk and ran into a group of tourists in front of Mission Dolores, not too far from our house. They were a group of seven, 5 adults and 2 kids. One of the mom's stopped me and asked a question about direction, and I heard French in her accented English and replied in French and she gave a start and turned to the group and announced that I spoke fluent French. Ooo la la, ce n'est pas vrai (it's not true) I protested but that had little effect, as suddenly I was being peppered with questions from several folks all at once. They swept me up and off we went, around the corner and up the street, all the while me answering questions about San Francisco and what it is like to live here. We parted at Market Street, they heading west towards Castro street and me towards the bay, my destination.

Two couples, each with a child, and a friend, all from Normandy in France, someplace I have spent a couple of weeks in and know a little bit about. My gift of giving them a little bit about San Francisco was my way of paying it forward, so to speak. Of acting in a charitable manner toward strangers knowing that I am a stranger in many parts of this world.

We're all a little strange, some days, some places, some moments. A common bond is how I see it, this strangeness. Another one of the amazing connections that life gives all of us, each and every day. Live and love on! Even if it is strange...

 

June 1, 2011

Happy International Children's Day!

Years ago, in need of work while I went to college, I took a job at a pre-school. We had kids as young as 3 years old. In another part of the school there were staff that took care of children seemingly just after birth, some of them were so small and swaddled. Working with a room full of 4 year olds was a challenging way to start my day, at 7AM. When I would leave at 1PM the woman who replaced me used to comment about how I always looked so happy and upbeat. Being around kids can have that effect on me.

This morning, on my walk, I passed a few kids on their way to school, and overheard a conversation about the importance of saying 'please' and 'thank you' that was occuring between a boy of about 7 and his older sister, about 10 years old. He was listening intently and nodding his head as she extolled the virtues one can derive from being polite with adults. 'Besides, this way they'll leave you alone' was her summary. A clear and forceful argument if ever there was one.

Children are our future.  

 

May 28, 2011

Here in the US of A, this is Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of Summer!

Barbeques, Burgers, Backyards

Family, Fun, Food

For many of us, Monday will be a holiday away from work, making this a 3 day weekend. More time off.

This strikes me as rather amusing, as I was just reading about studies that have been conducted by several research firms that show that Americans take little time off from work, compared to Europeans. These studies show that the Germans and the French make the fullest of their time off from work, and take the most vacation days. In one of the studies, there was commentary from participants praising the '5 days a week, 50 weeks a year' work schedule. Another comment: 'If I take time off at home I just sit around'.

What one does with ones time is up for choice. Our choices reflect something about us.

For me, this will be a great weekend to start Summer. I will work in our yard, trimming and cleaning, then clean up the hot-tub and make sure it's ready for use. Lately there has been a very large raccoon who has been coming to our yard nightly, and I will need to clean up after him(?)her(?) as our lily bowl seems to be a favorite drinking spot.

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy yourself. All the best to you and yours!

 

May 22, 2011

Ahoy, still here, are we? Ah, that's a relief, isn't it? Funny stuff yesterday, bars all over town advertizing 'Pre-Rapture Specials!'...

So, here we are, each of us in our little boat on a vast sea. On sunny days with calm waters we are afloat and fine. On those dark, stormy nights, we are what we need to be so that we can experience, understand, and grow from each moment. Life is about becoming, not staying the same throughout time.

Today is National Maritime Day. Today I wil think and give thanks to all of the sailor's who helped me to be where I am. Someone recently wrote that most of us alive today have markers in our DNA that dates back about 80,000 years. That would equal about 1300 lifetimes. I wonder how many of them were sailors, finding their way in uncertain seas?

Here on the calm waters of San Francisco Bay there are kayakers, boaters, swimmers and beach walkers and runners. As the sun rose into a nearly cloudless sky from behind the Berkeley hills the first rays of sun light blazed onto the glass windows around me, redoubling the suns effort. The day was on. And is.

Happy Sailing!

 

May 20, 2011

Tomorrow, according to a Mr. Camping, a preacher, is the end of the world. This is the second time this man has predicted the end of the world. When asked after his first prediction failed to materialize what had happened, he said he needed to study more. Now he's back and tomorrow is the big day. I wonder what he will say Sunday morning?

"Put your money where your mouth is" is a curious expression in English, and it means to back up your words with works, with effort. Each time we spent time or effort or energy or money or thought or feeling we are making an investment. It is so very easy to make bad investments along the way.

A man I know has spent the past 3 years of his life trying to build up another business venture, and he has made being a success more important than being a good person. I heard from his ex-wife this week that he has found out that one of his major contributors has ripped him off and sold his idea to a competing company. "Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas".

Each of us makes countless choices each and every day. What do your choices say about you?

One of my reader's, a young man in Egypt, wrote yesterday about how change is slowly coming to his country, and how happy he and his wife and children are, how encouraged they are that their lives will improve. To show his happiness, he has now started to help his neighbors for free as he is a trained electrician. Already, he says, his street is brighter at night and his neighbors now have safer homes.

I hope that on Sunday coming that Mr. Camping will get up and go do something useful. If the world is not going to end the least he can do is make the world a better place. Maybe talk about love and promote wellness, or something like that. I know I will be, this coming Sunday and every blessed day thereafter.

 

May 17, 2011

Have you ever heard someone you admire say something ridiculous?

That's what happened to me over the weekend. Someone whom I admire, a very clever man named Stephen Hawking, a professor at Cambridge University in England, said the most amazing thing: He thinks humans are computers. Couldn't be more wrong, he.

He was quoted in the Guardian newspaper (www.guardian.co.uk) as saying that there is no Heaven for computers and that when they stop working they cease to be, and that this is what happens to us when we die, that we just disappear and that's it.

Maybe it's because he is such a smart guy that he forgets that there is an element that differentiates us from machinery. Cognition.

I am sure he is correct in that when machines quit, they quit. That's it for them. Do they know it? We don't know.

Dr. Hawking claims to know, and that's what theorists do, they theorise.

That's makes us all theorists when it comes to what comes after death. I take scant comfort from the idea that something as magnificent as the human soul would become meaningless and worthless and disappear. Physicists say that nothing is ever truly destroyed, that it is just transformed in time. The soul would be subject to this same phenomenon, I would think. But I guess that Dr. Hawking does not.

I think he is in for a great big surprise one of these days.

 

May 14, 2011

Hello Taiwan! All the best to you and yours! I have never been there, but family members have and they like you alot!

What a week this has been- I spent it immersed in the study of the German language. Immersed, right up to and past the top of my head at times, and every day, at least for an hour twice a day, reading and speaking German, walking around the house, talking out loud in German and reading out loud as well. Why, one might ask? Because this past week was my semester final at City College. Truly, I wanted to do well.

And I did! I got an 'A' on my oral final! My first 'A' ever in German.

I came home that night and floated around until midnight, thinking about reading more German while I wait for the Fall semester to begin in August.

The next morning I awoke to an e-mail from one of my cousins in Fussen, Germany telling me about the plans for the Boeckh Familiefest this Fall and how excited he was to learn that there will be more Americans at this years reunion. It's true, as my cousins Mary and Terri have decided to come along with us on this trip. So I have been composing a response to my German cousin Jurgen, in German. Sehr hard!

Even though it may be hard, I am surprised at how, after all the years I have not been a student, how my study skills developed all those years ago still benefit me. Learning to concentrate and comprehend have changed my life in countless ways, and still are.

Education is such a powerful device, and can do so very much to improve individuals and society in turn. And yet here, in the bastion of capitalism, we continue to price quality education out of most people's reach. There is a crisis brewing in our country about education, along with health and security and banking and real estate and a host of issues. Change is all around us. Navigating through these turbulent times requires concentration and comprehension. These skills, combined with intention and effort, will bring about the best results one can achieve. Ich glaube, I believe.

Give life your best and get back the best of life. Love on!

 

May 6, 2011

Hello Kochi! Thanks for looking in. All the best to you and yours. Such a wonderfilled place you are.

As I write this, it is 7PM there, 86F, some clouds in the sky, the clouds moving north-east. I really enjoy looking at the Earth as I can see it on my computer, there are so many images available.

Lately I've been looking at images that people the world over have put up on a service called Panaramio that I found in the Google Earth program. Some amazing photos that people have shared. Such a wonderful way for some of us to share that which we have with the world. Sharing is caring. Caring is loving. Loving is best.

Here in San Francisco, for the past several days, we have been having winds, lots and lots of winds. Last night was quite windy, and the wind woke me up as it blew through the 100 foot tall Norfolk Pine tree near the back yard. Really loud and fast it was, and this morning the wind continues, not as strong but still brisk.

Time for a morning walk for me, before I jump into a work day. Whether or not, weather or not, here's hoping you enjoy your day!

 

May 1, 2011

Happy May Day! Happy International Workers Day! Happy Labor Day! Happy Beltane!

Up before dawn, watching the sky lighten through the windows of my bedroom. Later, I stepped out onto the deck, coffee in hand, and watched and listened as the world woke up around me. Peaceful, calm, the sky growing brighter and brighter until the first rays of sunlight spilled into the yard. Birds fluttering, stopping at the feeders put out for them, and then the scampering, chattering arrival of two squirrels, running along tree branches on their way to a breakfast of sunflower seeds and peanuts awaiting them just a few feet from where I sit, writing this.

People ask me all the time why I am so mellow, so peaceful and happy. I learned it from mornings like this.

When I grew up, all around me was chaos, alcoholism, verbal and physical violence and fear. These things poisoned my life for years, until I undertook the active work of displacement. Getting those ugly feelings out of me, out of my body and mind, and releasing them freed me from a terrible life, one that I lived everyday for decades, until I began to change.

Change that empowers the good in one's soul is the best of all.

This past Friday, more than two billion people watched the Royal wedding in London of William and Catherine. Imagine that, all those folks tuning in to watch the marriage of two individuals from differing families and circumstances. Such an ordinary event, this marriage stuff, happens every day, countless times. And yet there, those of us that were watching or listening learned, was the celebration of love that a wedding represents, with all the smiles and joyful faces basking the in reflected glow of love surrounding the lucky couple. Proof of the power of love.

 

April 27, 2011

Spring is clearly here in San Francisco.

There are blooming trees everywhere, and the streets and sidewalks are a-swirl with their blossoms. Scattered puddles remain of the storms that blew through the area this past weekend, but the sun is in a mostly cloud-less sky and the days are warming. The daylight hours are getting longer as well, and it looks to be wonderful weather as the calendar advances.

Lately I have been sending out to my cousins copies of our family tree according to our German relatives. It has been very interesting to discover a part of our family that none of us ever suspected existed. This September there will be a family reunion near the Black Forest, and there will be more Americans there this time, as a couple of my cousins have indicated an interest in meeting our German relatives.

Ten years ago I could not have imagined that I would find out that my ancestry contained forebearers from Germany.

Each day offers the opportunity to learn new things. Curiosity about life makes life more interesting.

Lately I have been reading about what happens to humans are we age, and one of the most revealing data points about vitality is the coorelation it has with learning about the new. The data suggests that as we age we can begin to limit the information we take in, and that this limitation will result in subtle withdrawals from life over time.

Another reason to stay 'plugged in'. Growing older is part of life, but growing old is a choice.

Thanks to some of the young thinking old people in Germany there is this family tree that crosses time and land and ocean, and their efforts have uncovered branches of this tree in soil first walked upon by long dead ancestors.

Danke, mein familie.

 

April 21, 2011

It was peeking sun in dappled spots through misty shades of grey clouds as I stood waiting for the train among the tourists and locals. Those that were alone had what I call their 'Game Face'