Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

As 2017 is closing I offer a review of this year’s past blogs beginning with the first blog of 2017, Love Resolutions, in it’s entirety,  followed by only subsequent blog titles and their closing What if… question.  

Love Resolutions

As the New Year begins, the anonymously written poem titled “New Year’s Resolutions” came back to me.  The poem reads: 

New Year’s Resolutions

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.
Give the world your best anyway.
The world is full of conflict.
Chose peace of mind anyway.

I keep this poem within my blog under the heading, Comfort Messages, and titled it as a source for Ego Training.   

The beauty of this poem for me lies in knowing love is not dependent on the actions of the other but rather in how I react to others’ actions.  And it implicitly makes forgiveness an integral part of any love resolution. 

The Reverend Charles K. Robison’s describes what Divine forgiveness looks like.  His words can be found in my Comfort Messages Section under my assigned title, Learning Forgiveness.

What if we all saw love resolutions as personal ego training and could emulate Divine forgiveness more often?

What if we could more often reframe spiritual success?

What if we all helped each other remember how to reverence ourselves more often?

What if we, who walk in the skin of privilege, could be overwhelmed with grief for the other more often? 

What if we, with all our flaws, knew the unconditional embrace of love more often?

What if we were grateful more often when our judgments of others are exposed?

What if we could “hello” ourselves into accepting the present moment more often?

What if we each designed our own peace shields as medicine to reconnect us to the land and one another?

What if we all prayed to know our part in repairing the link between Nature and us and ultimately come to realize peace through forgiveness?

What if we were aware more often of the Love that surrounds and exists in you and me and actively pass it on to others? 

What if we all became co-creators by risking loving the world? 

What if we became aware of love’s reciprocal nature more often?

What if we all looked to our struggles for the gifts hidden within more often?

What if we more often had the opportunity to realize a more nourishing real world?

What if we were reminded more often of the power in accepting what is, letting go of past hurts, and knowing our priorities? 

What if the universe could be gentler in telling us what we need to know?  Would we still learn?

What if we could really know what part evil plays in the evolution of love?

What if we more often had the courage to grow up and become whom we really are?

What if our minds, hands, feet and whole body marched in service to others more often? 

What if we each reflected on our use of electronic devices more often? 

What if we could experience the value of loneliness more often?

What if we gifted ourselves with compassion more often?

What if we more often trusted our outrage to eventually lead us to a consciousness of love, forgiveness and healing?

What if we shared more often diversity’s many gifts? 

What if we more often practiced sheer compassion when faced with personal affront?

What if I just accepted all the delays with my writing?  Would they eventually go away? 

What if we all lived closer to nature’s life, death, life cycle?

What if we all felt closer to eternity more often?

What if we all remembered there are many paths to the same Energy, Source, Light and Grace? 

What if we all understood how indebted we are to others for our life’s gains?

What if we all shared our frustrations with our current health care systems?

Happy 2018!  May we resolve to make many of our What ifs happen in 2018!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Health Care

The Mystery within...
I decided I couldn’t let this month of November pass with only one blog post for the entire month.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write more often, but I have been preoccupied, stressed and flustered, in an almost unbelievable process of hoops, circles, harassment and errors from my health care plan that has literally consumed multiple weeks of my time, and way too much of my energy, as I attempt to get legitimate reimbursement for Occupational Therapy following my bump on the head earlier this year.  (See Body/Mind Connection post.)  I have now decided to befriend my past head wound, which led me to need therapy, for it now allows me to highlight and share with higher authorities my seven page documentation of America’s current health care mess as I am experiencing it, and demonstrate the critical need for universal, single payer health care insurance for all.

I have had some experience with universal health care.  Back in the 1970’s, when driving across Canada with my husband and three young children, our daughter became seriously ill.  Early on a Sunday morning, we drove into a Canadian gas station and the attendant asked, “How is your holiday going?”  His kind voice, and genuine concern brought me to tears.  We told him about our daughter’s high fever and that we were from the United States and didn’t know what to do or where to go.  He told us where we could get medical care for her nearby, and not to worry where we were from.  A few blocks away, on that early Sunday morning, our daughter was seen by a pediatrician, prescribed medication, and we were directed to where to go to pick it up. When we asked how much the bill was we were told not worry.  It would be mailed to our U.S. address.  When the bill came it was $5.85.  Everyone we encountered on our trip across Canada was genuinely pleasant and helpful.  Perhaps that is a side effect of a good health care system that promotes happy, healthy people.

Currently, in America, there is a TV commercial showing a frustrated mother on the phone, on hold, with her “health care” insurer, while her children are acting up in the background.  I wish someone could calculate the loss of productive time spent with family, or other genuinely positive endeavors for the good of others, because they are dealing with our current multiple health care systems impose on us all.  I know the statistic for nonproductively would be staggering.

America will only become great when we American’s realize we all share a role as Good Samaritans to those in need.  Quality universal health care for all is a good place to start us on that path to becoming great.

What if we all shared our frustrations with our current health care systems?    

Thursday, November 16, 2017


The Mystery within...
My daughter and I went to see the movie LBJ.  I was twenty years old in 1963, and my daughter not yet conceived, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson became America’s 36th president.  The movie did an excellent job of depicting Johnson’s rough character but smooth political skill in getting Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for which I am forever grateful.  Although I was sympathetic to black American’s struggle for freedom and equality, I will confess in 1963 my immediate life was my primary focus.  In no way did I comprehend back then how indebted I would feel someday to those who spoke, marched, and even lost their lives advocating non-violently for equal rights. 

From 1962 to 1965 I worked for the USDA Forest Service in clerical positions, and then left to become a stay at home mom and had three children.  I returned to the Forest Service in 1975 after my husband’s depression incapacitated him and then became the sole breadwinner after his suicide.  It was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, particularly Title VII, that allowed me to participate in upward mobility training as the Forest Service worked to advance women and minorities to be in compliance with the legislation.  The establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to oversee implementation of the Civil Rights Act also helped protect and advance my career. 

Given the opportunity to work my way up from clerical positions, first to a Human Resource Specialist in 1963, and then a Public Affairs Specialist in 1990, had a direct impact on my children’s and my life.  We were able to afford to stay in our home, have adequate food, clothing, transportation, education, and even take a vacation now and then.  After I retired in 1994 and struggled with my aging parents’ care, my economic independence allowed me to keep some distance from my father’s abuse.  I wrote in my memoir, “I came to appreciate the sense of paralysis anyone economically dependent must experience in an abusive relationship.  My economic independence became more precious to me." 

Watching the movie, LBJ, returned vivid memoires of my personal employment struggles and the help I received from the EEOC.  Political conservatives saw the EEOC as a violation of their belief in fewer government regulations and fewer federal policies.  To them, creating a strong economy, free from government intervention, would produce gains that would benefit the historically disadvantaged.  I know that to be a laughable premise. 

Though not depicted in the movie, Johnson went on to promote his vision of America’s “Great Society” with his “War on Poverty.”  Millions of Americans rose above poverty during his administration.  Many historians rank him favorably because of his domestic policies and the passage of major laws affecting civil rights, gun control, wilderness preservation and Social Security.  I believe America will only become great when we realize we all share a role as Good Samaritans to those in need.

Realizing the brave souls who made my life better because of their civil rights advocacy makes me want to be able to give something back.  I am also painfully aware there are so many more souls who have yet to be treated equally.

What if we all understood how indebted we are to others for our life’s gains?  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


The Mystery within...
I had the very good fortune to attend the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation 2017 Annual Silent Retreat.  For three days I was removed from the everyday stuff of life.  During that time of silence I found myself periodically wanting to speak to others in our group.  The requirement for quiet shined a light on my ego. I smiled in gratitude, kept silent, and was led closer to the source of Grace opening me to reflection. 

Our retreat instructor, Dr. Dale Buegel, M.D. said, when the mind is quiet what matters will come forward and brings with it the potential to join with everything.  He said silence has an energetic effect; and when the dance between right and left energies within us (the ha and tha) come together we can experience absolute silence. His wisdom and instruction with gentle yoga stretches, different breathing techniques, and guided meditations relaxed me into healing.  I came to understand what matters from his statement:  “When we come to leave this body our self-development is all we take with us; and self-development is unique to each person.”

Reflecting on my unique self-development needs led me to want to:

Appreciate how hard life can be for others and myself--the pressures and expectations--so I can live with kindness and compassion for myself and all others.    

Love myself, my life, and all who enter into it.  They come to teach me.

Allow myself fulfillment in the simple acts of living—cooking, baking and sharing nourishment.

Love what gets done and what is left undone for another day or another lifetime. 

Moderate my exposure to outside stimuli (news broadcasts and even some public radio) to incorporate more silence in my daily routine. 

Pause and ask, “Am I on the right path to fulfilling my heart’s desire?”   

Forget the guilt for taking bike rides and long walks.  Do them  more often.

Don’t let negative energy stick.     

Let patience and gentleness be my strength.

Be content with where I am and know that all is good.

My three-day exposure to an Eastern tradition I was not raised in led me to understand there are many paths all leading to the same Energy, Source, Light and Grace. I was also aware of differences in the male and female approach to the Divine.  Integrating the two haunt the edges of my experience and may be the work of another lifetime. 

What if we remembered there are many paths  to the same Energy, Source, Light and Grace more often?