Small Things With Great Love


My 24-year-old baby son stayed with us last night, and I found myself naturally doing all sorts of things that filled my heart and made me smile. We spent a lot of time talking about many things, some important, some not so much, we shared pizza for supper, and I smiled as he and his dad talked of important manly matters (lol). I played with my grand puppy Elli and I went to bed happy in the knowledge that I’d see him at his grandparent’s house the next day when I followed them out to the property where they were going to hunt together.

The next morning they were already gone, and I was in the small laundry room doing his laundry~smiling as I folded laundry for him and my soon to be dotter in law, and I realized something very important. So much so that I stopped for a moment to latch onto the thought before it got away from me. I had spent the past day doing chores that I normally would resent a little, maybe mutter under my breath (okay, or louder than that) and tell myself that someone else should be pulling some weight, by God, I’m not a servant am I? But because it was for my baby boi it was a pleasure to me, a joy even, because I was doing it out of a great love.

So what would it look like if everything I did, no matter how small, was out of great love?  What if I turned my house work into heart work? What if I was present for every tiny thing I did, for myself and everyone else, so that I could CHOOSE to do each thing from a heart of great love? Yes, yes, I know there are  quotes about this since the beginning of time, but you know as well as I do that we can learn a million things, but if we don’t absorb, practice, and apply them then the learning is wasted.

The point is, I felt this lesson. I see clearly that I must slow down enough to do this great love in action, I must quit flinging myself through my “duties” in a mindless, tedious thought pattern. Not only will the work I do in love bless MY heart and life, it will bless the recipients of my efforts.

Not so long ago, I was eating lunch I’d purchased from the deli of my favorite health food/organic coop Bloomingfoods, and as I read the ingredients in my tempeh rooster salad I was dumbfounded by the last ingredient listed. Love. I swear that’s what it said! And I thought to myself “Self, you should eat this everyday, because someone back there cared to send love with this lunch!”. Pretty amazing huh? My favorite scent to wear, GIVE scent also states it’s made with love (and yes I believe her) and I am totally loyal to that product also (plus it smells amazing lol).

My mission, and I choose to accept it, is to slow down just enough to experience my moments no matter what I’m doing in them, and do each thing with great love. Now maybe I won’t ever be able to do it with the exact love of this momma for her only begotten son, but I will give it all I’ve got Captain!! And I am willing to bet that everyone in my world will notice the difference! Any takers?

Happy Thanksgiving!!  ❤

My Life is Like a Country Song


When life seems to really suck, in a really super turbo vacuum way, I really always know I’m a lucky girl. I know it will all work out somehow; I have an awesome husband and son, and family and friends near and far. I have my health(as far as I know lol) and a cute place to live even though it’s rented, and by God two of the best dogs a girl could ask for. I really am walking in tall cotton compared to what I’m seeing on the news! I’ve got a good job with people I like, and plans for a brighter future going on.

This is the 2nd official day of my vacation, and I’m hanging at the house because my ancient jeep has a slow leak from a tiny crack in the manifold, and it needs electrical work if I’d prefer to have low beam lights at night. I came home Saturday with groceries and my fridge had died, and the two front burners on my stove only work on high due to faulty switches we had to order. With the deepest of gratitude that we had an old decrepit fridge out in the garage to hold all the beer I’m getting ready to drink in my sorrows, I raised the garage door to make grocery transfer easier and then it wouldn’t shut. IT WOULDN’T SHUT. Yes, I laughed and laughed, slapped my knee a couple of times and went over and fiddled with things I know absolutely nothing about and finally it came down. Lol. Oh my gosh what a hoot!

Normally, when I start to get upset about circumstances, I snap myself out of it by exaggerating everything so much that it’s ridiculous, and then I have to laugh, and all is better. Since I have not even begun to exaggerate yet, I will instead write an appropriate country song that I’m sure someone will buy the rights to, and I’ll be set for life.

But I digress…

I may not be the King Of The Road

in my poor old Jeep cracking up at the seams

chugging bravely down the road;

The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.

I always laugh it off when life gets

way too out of hand

But I’ve Enjoyed As Much Of This

As I Can Stand.

So what if I’m Busted, Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

I’d find A Hole To Hide In

But I’ve fallen on Hard Times.

There’s a Tear In My Beer,

Hard Times Come Again No More.

Another Day In Paradise

Is what I’m looking for.

They tell me It’s The Hard Knock Life

on down the Broken Road,

But my Old Violin is whining

Circuit Overload.

So sing me, if you can, another

Whiskey Lullaby,

Cause I’m Not Going To Let It

Bother Me Tonight.

~Shelly~

P.S. If anyone needs my special cry baby country song writing skills, just message me =)

Who are We?


Who do we want to say we are~yet who do we seem to be?

We say we’re so compassionate~then we ridicule endlessly.

It’s “good” to be kind to animals we slaughter and so abuse,

Loving thy neighbor is all the rage as long as we pick and chose.

Live and let live is how we live, unless we do not agree,

And then we force it down their throats if they are too blind to see.

Turning the other cheek is great~as long as it’s not our own

We’re willing to stand for what is right, unless we must stand alone.

I would like to propose a thought that just has occurred to me

What if we really were the truth of who we profess to be?

Couldn’t we lay our masks aside, and put down our words of rage,

Looking each other in the eyes, and be willing to engage?

What if we opened hearts and minds; were willing to get to know

the flaws in another heart, and then be willing to let ours show?

Could we then better work to make a truly evolving life;

One where compassion and empathy would overcome every strife?

Does anyone have the answer yet~of who do you want to be?

I want to be everything I can, so let it begin with me.

 

~Shelly~

Seeking Truth


We are  the Truth that we all seek

hidden behind the lives we share;

the struggles we have are each complete

life lessons to bring our truths to bear.

We are the Life that we all seek

disguised beneath the tedious toil;

the clocks we punch, the time we keep

and yet we dance on sacred soil.

We’re the Compassion we all seek

soft beneath the callous heart;

everything we deem as weak

is the injured place to start.

We’re the Forgiveness we all seek

woven through our judging minds;

knowing we are incomplete

in isolation, and acts unkind.

We are the Magic we all seek

distracted by our “worthy” goals;

knowing with each painful breath

we suffocate our very souls.

We are the Light that we all seek

dark with efforts made in vain;

caught by knowing only we

have the power to ease  our pain.

We are the Love that we all seek

growing gently in our hearts;

may all the powers that ever be

help us heal our broken parts.

We’re the Eternity  we seek

immortals from before our birth;

 Light of all Life, let light shine free

to show each soul it’s priceless worth.

~Shelly~

The Curse


This is a day that is reminiscent of unpleasant days gone by…days when I had no choice but to begin each one of them with a heartfelt prayer for grace, and blessings, and perhaps a miracle or two.  Days when, no matter what my effort or plea, my world continued to implode in a slow and somehow graceful dance of doom until I was left only with the question, “why is my life not being filmed as a tragic comedy for those not actually involved with it?”.

Once upon a time, there was an exiled princess, beautiful beyond all measure (this is my story, leave it alone). She had been banished to an atrocious River House with the curse upon her that no matter what she did to make things beautiful in her world, it would be for naught. The original structure of this house was a thousand years old and had been added on to so many times that no one really knew how many fuse boxes it contained (and some of you don’t even know what those are, do you??). The rafters for the ceilings were from native timber that time had twisted into unrecognizable shapes, the windows were of the very first glass ever made, and the furnace was a monstrosity from hell.

The beautiful princess and the mighty huntsman she married had a magical child, a son, who they loved with all their hearts, and it was difficult to keep him safe in the River House of Doom with a high-speed road ,  six inches from the house on one side, and a raging river as a back yard. But keep him safe they did, and for the next 20 odd years, the beautiful princess fought the River House of Doom with all her might.

She put a new roof on it, replaced every window, re-sanded every floor, replaced the furnace, tiled and painted the bathroom, put up new ceilings, built new walls, and tore a few down, painted the exterior at least three times and then sided it when all else failed. Throughout these times they survived many floods from the wrath of nature, cleaning up and continuing on…

Until the final GREAT AND MIGHTY FLOOD; the one that desecrated the entire village…and although the River House of Doom was not swept away with the others, the enormous power of the flood destroyed the foundation beneath with all of the heating and plumbing that had been so carefully replaced. And thus she was defeated. In deep shame, and financial ruin she departed with her huntsman to the furthest edge of the kingdom to heal, and make their plans to overcome the evil curse and thrive. (the little prince had fortunately left before the GREAT AND MIGHTY FLOOD to fight epic battles for his people)

Slowly, they healed, they learned, they grew. They became stronger from the battles they fought in days long past. They began to dream of a better day where they drove cars from the current millennium, and owned a home on a quiet property where Bambi and Thumper roamed and flowers grew in profusion. The beginning of the beginning was in sight.

Then the day dawned when her chariot (or the horse) became to tired to go on, it needed an oil change, and a cracked manifold repaired and the electrical system redone, and when she came home to ponder this financial fiasco she found that her refrigerator no longer worked and the burners on her stove only functioned at half capacity!

At this point, dear Reader, we must entertain the possibility that the curse of the River House of Doom is still upon the beautiful princess. What must she and the mighty huntsman do to break this evil curse?  Should she send him forth on his trusty Harley to search the kingdom for answers? Her hair, although fashionable, is not long enough to use as an escape route. Sleeping until a handsome prince comes is not an option. (huntsmen get very touchy about things like that) So what’s a girl to do??

Someday we will know what her answers were. For now we must just accept that shit happens, you have to suck it up and roll with it, learn your lessons from it and make better decisions based on your past experiences. At least that’s what I get from this fairy tale.

Oh!! I forgot to tell you the part of the story where, after they escaped from the flood, the River House of Doom caught on fire and burned to the ground. And when the princess was notified of what was happening she went to see for herself. And as she saw the fire jumping high into the night sky…she danced =).

 

The End?

Wars and Rumors of Wars


Hate and discontent seem to abound recently. Countries fighting other countries, all divided among themselves, democrats vs republicans, state vs federal vs city, rich vs poor, and families imploding within the home; loved ones turning on each other. Are you asking yourselves “what the hell?”, if you are, you’re right, it is hell~and we made it ourselves.

I go into the laundry room to process a load and the knob on the washer just comes right off in my hands. Since I know I didn’t do anything to it (and my hubby is the only other person living here) who could be the cause of this?? So I ask what in the world happened to the washer and he doesn’t know! It’s a freaking mystery. So I begin to ask questions in a very nice voice, but I have already determined several things in a split second.

1. He broke it

2. He just doesn’t want to admit it.

3. He is trying to put me on the offensive so I’ll drop my inquiry.

As we continue on with this sad excuse of a conversation this morning, he becomes louder and more angry (I mean, I am pretty much calling him a liar or a dufus right?) and I finally just stop and say blah blah blah I’m sure it’s my fault, sorry, blah blah blah. At that moment I mean none of this. I’m just wanting to go be pissed because my washer is broke and he won’t admit to breaking it. For God’s sake.

So, I’m standing in the laundry room (doing some Zen breathing) and I kind of step aside and look at myself. What. The. Hell? I do prayers and meditation, practice yoga, study spiritual writings, do constant self-observation to uncover the awesome person under the world’s bullshit…and not only am I pissed, but I’ve offended someone I love BECAUSE OF A BROKEN WASHER KNOB!!  Seriously?? And I am baffled as to why there is so much hate and discontent in the world, and wonder why the world can’t get along and live and let live in the light of everyday joys?

We will only achieve world peace when we become peace in our own hearts and lives. If there is not peace in our hearts as individuals, there will not be peace in our homes. Without peace in our homes there is no hope for our cities, states, countries, or world as a whole. We can pass laws for “hate crimes” but if we carry it in our hearts the laws mean nothing. The hypocrisy is astounding and it begins in our own hearts and homes.

There is nothing in our brains that physically forces us to have a fit when we’re  angry. We choose that. We are taught that reaction. And we can choose differently if we want to.  So I’m going to start practicing a different way. Maybe just be mad and figure out why I am, and what that means, and what I should do to change that circumstance. Maybe I’ll come to the conclusion (again) that I’m irritated about my own behaviour and want to poke at someone else for it. Maybe I’ll even realize a few truths here and there that the guy I love is more important than the washer knob, and that even if he did break it(and who knows which one of us did) him going to work in a good mood instead of re-enacting a scene from the exorcist is what I should help him achieve.

So let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me…Seriously. This is where it starts~go!

As The Eagle Flies (for my brother Tom)


If you have to leave us

only go awhile

Don’t deny our hearts

the brightness of your smile

Or stories bringing tears

of laughter to our eyes…

Come home quickly

as the eagle flies.

If you have to linger there

take care of you…

Hold us in your heart

to keep your spirit true.

Replay all our memories

within your mind

When you feel humanity

is hard to find.

If you have to go

then take us there with you.

Share this road we travel

from your point of view

Be the hero shining

in your son’s big eyes

And come home quickly

as the eagle flies.

If you cannot stay

then may God’s mighty hand

Keep you strong

when you are too tired to stand.

And know with all your heart

that even as I cry

I’m proud to know

you make the eagle fly.

Shelly

o9/11/o1

Butterfly


Little caterpillar moving slowly in the breeze

Being inconspicuous and hiding in the trees…

You’re a wonder of this world just as you are-it’s true,

But you cannot remain the same, there’s so much more in you.

Blending in, to not be seen, and silent; never heard.

Always dreaming in your heart of flying like a bird.

So apologetically, you take up little space.

Timidly, you step aside, and never hold your place.

Somewhere deep inside, you know there’s something you must do…

But every time you would begin-you lose your follow through.

Finally, so weary; with no energy for fear

You hold on fast to twigs of hope, and dreams of flight so dear.

You wrap yourself up tight in every lesson you have learned,

And close your eyes to rest in this reprieve you’ve somehow earned.

Change begins so deep it can’t be seen by naked eye;

Watered by your tears with love as gentle as a sigh…

Step by tiny step you take the journey deep within

Until you reach the light where transformation can begin.

Patience, heart, and strength of will refine you from inside

Until that final moment when your heart bursts open wide.

You see that every moment you have lived has been a clue

To bring you to the miracle that is authentic you.

You leap with joy, and spread new wings that lift you into flight

Perception is so different when you’re living in your light.

Little butterfly, just smile, and let the winds uplift

The precious life the Highest One has given as a gift.

 

~Shelly~

The Fifth Element


I’ve heard it said many times over the past ten years that we become like the 5 people we hang around most. unfortunately this is not just something made up to scare small children and the elderly, this is really true. Keep in mind I will never tell you something is so unless I have personally experienced the “something” as truth (for me anyway). Whenever I hear that, my blood runs cold, my hair stands on end, and I get a lead ball feeling in my gut. Maybe I exaggerate ever so slightly but you catch my drift, yes?

I spend most of my time around negative people, and not just regular run of the mill negative folks, but chronic “I see dead people” doomsday negative people who almost become angry when someone tries to be positive, for cryin out loud!

This, my friends, is where the real horrifying story unfolds…roughly two years ago I realized I HAD BECOME ONE OF THEM!!! WTH??? Somewhere along the line I let myself become the truth of that saying. I had become cynical, bitter, resentful, hopeless and mean-spirited. (okay, I’m not totally cured, I still have my moments) and it broke my heart. I realized I had become the very thing I despised (maybe I should have been more loving, forgiving, and understanding?) and I was at a loss at how to undo the ugly perception of life I was living!

Just like Reader’s Digest “Drama in Real Life”, about two years ago,  I stepped out of a wreck that should have killed me- with a tiny scratch on my nose where my sunglasses had dug in a little when the side of my face hit the glass as my flipping car came to rest on the driver’s side. I stood up and walked out through my broken windshield with the help of a guy very grateful I didn’t hit him head on, and as I lay in the ER with those closest to me surrounding me I saw the truth very clearly. And I wasn’t living it.

That was the beginning of the baby step journey that has brought me this far. Looking the cold hard truth straight in the eyes and realizing I’d created the world I hated. Now, don’t be alarmed, hate isn’t a word I use now to describe that time but it was fitting for my frame of mind then. I’ve learned that to put that much energy into hating something just brings me more of the same-no thank you! I’d rather sit with the bad attitudes long enough to work through them and then move on to a happier place. Hiding, or pretending doesn’t get it. You almost have to hug your ugly parts and say “it’s alright, I understand, it’s rough where we’re standing now but we can go someplace different!”. It may sound weird, but it’s very effective in moving forward instead of being paralyzed by your own perceptions, which causes a hard defensive heart that shuts everyone out (but that is another blog entirely!).

So what do we do? We balance the scales as much as possible while we climb the ladder from the pit of doom up into the sunshine!  We bring in our positive supporters a little closer, we look at our world with clearer, more forgiving eyes and we try to be the fifth person that breaks the cycle for those around us! If someone with a really strong badittude knocks us down a few rungs, well game on baby, we know who we are now right?  So bring it! =)

Peace of Mind vs. Piece of Mind


I have struggled for a little over a week now with the concept vs. reality of a peaceful heart and mind.  I found myself  in front of my refrigerator today staring at a magnet I OBVIOUSLY put there myself; and it tells me quite clearly that peace does NOT mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.

I may not have actually read this magnet before putting it on my fridge door. I may have seen the word peace and desperately grasped it for what it represented in my mind and put it on the door as an announcement of some sort. Maybe I thought to use it as a “keep of the grass” sign. You know, “I intend to be at peace at all times so don’t piss with me okay?”, that kind of thing. Anyway, all has gone so well and I felt that I had achieved a few things that really moved me forward, and then a week ago…life became very irritating. Everything felt hostile; work, home, my own thoughts. My inner dialogue was controlled by my evil twin sister, who loves to blow everything out of proportion, prefers to stomp those first who would stomp on her, and assumes she is the only one who ever does anything and is a victim of circumstance. Blah, blah blah, she can be such a dork. On the good side, she is so ridiculous that her thoughts are a wonderful indicator of where I need work. A LOT of work. So today, in front of the fridge, reading a magnet (obviously for the first time) I see that I have not truly been at peace these past months, I have been hiding behind the concept of it.

The truth is, I really want it. The peace of mind. The peace of heart. The ability to be calm, and loving and hopeful in the face of anything. When somebody is yelling at me, or misrepresenting me, or trying to use or abuse me in some way, or I don’t achieve or get what I want, or life just seems momentarily to suck~ I want to have that balance of love and hope and peace that makes every day worth getting out of bed for.

I want the real thing. The complete loss of peaceful mind that I experienced this past week made me see I didn’t really have it at all! So I took steps to change that today. mindful breathing and prayer and meditation on a daily basis. Wearing the t-shirt doesn’t make it so. I had to go into the mad and disappointment and sit with it awhile. Feel it and hear where it came from. I had to see where I had tricked myself and be honest enough to admit that I had been hiding behind a mask of peace (all the time fighting giving everyone a piece of my mind) when I could have been doing the work needed to actually be peace. I want to be a refuge to myself and others. For real.

I know I’m not the only one searching, struggling and hiding behind…so reach out, I’m here, Namaste ❤