As a Feng Shui Consultant I believe in the deep connection we have to the environments in which we live. Our spirits live in these bodies, and our bodies live in these spaces. Let's take care of ourselves from the inside out, and from the outside in.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Harsh realities

Well, if Mercury didn't just SLAM out of retrograde yesterday. What a day. It began beautifully in nature--watching my kids run through the woods and splash in the creek...then we crashed in to a new reality upon discovering our car had been broken in to in the parking lot. I was craving a connection with my true environment, to be out and present in nature. As we climbed the trail I talked with my kids about the animals that call this place home. We imagined a time when there was no road cutting through this place and no trail worn yet.

Then the harsh reality that the world is not all as gentle as that. Shattered glass everywhere. Suspisions and accusations flying around. The workmen who were lingering in the parking lot? Entitled teenagers?  Desperate downtroddens who saw no other alternative? Little eyes looking up to me to see how I reacted, so they could know how to feel.

I ensured they had shoes on their feet and made a safe place for them to sit when the rain started to fall. We talked about the kindness of the strangers who first noticed the break-in and called for help, then stayed to share what they found. And the police officers who were light-hearted and generous as they swept the shards of glass from the seats and the floor mats.

There were four attempts to withdraw cash from my credit cards. I can't explain that to my children, except to tell then that no everyone is as fortunate as we are. Then I received a message last night from a woman who was "dumpster diving" and found my purse. The image in my head of this woman rummaging through garbage to find anything of value and her taking the step to call me to return what is mine. How do we make sense of these things? My day ended sobbing in my husband's arms. The world is not always gentle. But if we focus on it's ugliness or fear it's harshness, then what happens to us? We become cynical and untrusting. That is not what I want to teach my kids.

There was a time when this planet was so much simpler--purer. That's what I want my children to hold in their hearts for as long as they can. That's what I want to hold in my heart.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Character is Our Legacy

I am a seeker. I am on a quest to become a better person each day and to be of service during my time here. In recent weeks I have been struggling with what it is that I contribute. In reality, I've been struggling with this for years. Socrates said "an unexamined life is not worth living" and I do feel my experiences are richer and my life feels more meaningful since I've been living with more intention. Still, when I pause to look at my world I wonder if I am deserving of such abundance. I have a beautiful family and we're all healthy, I have a lovely home, I have resources to do the things I love, I have support from so many angles, and I have an open mind with which to explore. I'd like to think that my good fortune is some sort of karmic justice, but I am far from flawless. What am I to learn from the challenges and hardships I'm faced with? How do I find the positive and spread that to those I touch?

I lost a friend over the weekend. A woman I will remember as being a vibrant force with a voracious laugh, bounding energy, and an authentic, loving heart. I don't know much about her career or other accomplishments other than people were attracted to her and she had troves of friends. Her impact during her limited 40-years here was undeniable. If for no other reason than she was a true and loyal friend. And that counts! That counts MORE than anything else I would argue.

I don't ask why as my faith gives me the peace of knowing there is a greater plan. As non-violent as I am, however, if cancer were an animate object that could be obliterated wholly and completely, I would go ballistic on it's ass. But what is the great plan for me? Am I living up to whatever expectations my higher power has for me? Maybe there are no expectations--maybe it's up to me to determine what my highest potential is and to go for it, and be content.

This weekend also brought me two very proud moments that made me feel good about the work I do, as staying positive and being open are often hard work. They may seem simple and small in the grand scheme of the work that has to be done on this planet, but I took them as little messages that I'm on the right path. First, after selling a concert ticket to a 20-something on craigslist I got a phone call from him. He expressed his gratitude for sharing what I had with him, knowing I had taken a loss in the sale. He was inspired by my husband and my excitement for him to enjoy this event and wanted to assure me that selling this to him was a good deed--that the opportunity was well-timed and much appreciated. This kid's efforts to make me see my smallest acts as being impactful on others was such a gift to me.

Secondly, a neighborhood kid who has a reputation as being troubled and a bully knocked on our door. He said his parents were arguing again so he walked down to our house in the rain. He played with the kids for a while then we all played a board game. When I found out about the loss of my friend he asked why I was sad. I explained what happened and he softened and came to give me a hug. This little boy who has hardships of his own came to comfort me. To have a home that feels safe for other people and to share that kind of compassion in this space I've created was another gift for me to realize.

I think feeling unworthy of this beautiful life is one of my flaws to correct. We are ALL worthy--worthy of the very best that we can create in our imagination. None of us are perfect, and sometimes bad things happen to really good people. Our intentions are what change the vibration surrounding us and even when those inevitable challenges or the suffering enters our reality, it's how we respond that builds our character. And our character is our legacy. The choices I make now will be the basis for what my loved ones are talking about when my time comes. I'm choosing to operate from a place of gratitude and love. With that I hope to be guided to wherever I can make a positive impact, no matter how small.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is It All Blue Skies?

I've got a child with quirks, Asperger's we're calling it right now. Among other challenges, he has an inability to see the big picture. What that means for a 9 year old doing school work, relating to other kids, dealing with siblings and parents, interacting with the world at large--I can't really know. Can you imagine not being able to see the big picture? What would life be like if you couldn't see the sun through the clouds? Walking my kids to the bus stop this morning I felt the energy in my body swirling, my muscles tense, my breath shallow just from the routine of getting three kids up, fed, dressed, and prepared for school. Hugs and kisses and the bus pulled away...and I could hear birds. The air was cool on my arms. I started walking and I noticed the sky. It seemed large, vast even. Looking up I noticed my breath reach my belly. I audibly exhaled. Life is good! I wasn't connected to that just moments ago, but I have the ability to pull myself out of the moment and see that big, beautiful picture.

I think there are a lot of people, people without Asperger's or any other disorder, that cannot take the macro view of life on this plane. Life's stresses and hardships overcome them and they get stuck--stuck in the moment of struggle. And one moment bleeds in to the next, in a seemingly endless fight to just get through. I would propose that this actually IS a disorder (well, probably called depression in many cases). A condition most certainly worth remedying.

Money is tight, we're sick, our to-do list is daunting, the toilet is overflowing, the car breaks down, we're late--life is overwhelming.

Put your feet on the Earth. There is life happening beneath that soil. Every tree, every flowering bush, every blade of grass is pulsing with life-force energy. The squirrel is scrambling from one side of the street to the other. I wonder what for? It's so easy to think that our problems are so big, that everything revolves around us. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the details and the minutia.

What is the big picture?

I look around and feel that I am a part of a massive interwoven network of life. My deadlines and responsibilities are important, but they're not why I'm here. I was put here to make a difference, we all were. Whether it's for one person or for the world. The big picture is, IT'S ALL OKAY.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Growing up near the coast in Massachusetts, there is something that draws me to the water. When I need to feel grounded and centered I head to the Chattahoochee River, just a few miles from my home in suburban Atlanta. My intention each time I’m at the river, whether it’s in my kayak, on my bike, or running along its shores, is to notice something new each time I go. Springtime offers such great opportunity for this as everything is coming to life after the rest of winter. This week’s bike ride on the paths along the river did not disappoint. There were just enough new blooming trees and plants to dabble the fresh green landscape with color. The woods were just beginning to fill in and the glisten of puddles and pools showed evidence of recent spring showers. Geese were perched on the sidewalk, forcing me to sway between them and several new puppies were getting their training lessons on leashes as I passed. I like to stop along my route and climb out on the rocks to really feel connected to the river. I let my heart rate slow as I let my senses take over—the sound of water rushing over rocks, the fresh earthy scent, cooling my hands by submerging them as I follow a single leaf as it travels in the current. There were so many more people out enjoying this natural treasure as I basked in my solitary moment on the Chattahoochee. Later I noticed two men who had passed me on their bikes enjoying a moment on the same rock on which they had seen me. Maybe I inspired them to slow down for just a little bit and take in all the river has to offer. More likely the river itself was the inspiration.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dinner time activity for tonight: New Moon

Today the New Pisces Moon is upon us, and all my lovely Pisces friends are on my mind. But all of us can use this period in the lunar cycle to our benefit. The New Moon arrives at 5:35 pm EST -- around dinner time. So I thought I would gather my family around the table this evening and talk about some of the themes that come along with this New Moon. I encourage you to do the same! Don't make it too complicated, just have a conversation, considering the following topics:

~ What are you guiding principles? Your true values?
- ask, then LISTEN. Each family member may have different ideas.
- is the way you are living, individually and collectively, a reflection of these values?
- write down these motivating and centering words and tape them to the bathroom mirror so when each person wakes tomorrow they will see what themes should be top of mind as they go through their day. When our choices are aligned with our core values and principles we are truly living an authentic and fulfilling life.

This is a time when seemingly rigid and unresolvable issues soften and dissolve. I love the word "dissolve" that has been recurring in my research because it doesn't require great work. This is not a time to struggle and chip away at longstanding obstacles. Look at them, and with a forgiving and loving heart dissolve them. Disengage from the attachment we have to these obstacles, and with clear boundaries let them go. Once we do this the unity that is let in will lift us up so we can see more clearly that our time here is finite and forgiveness will set us free!

This is a time for goodness, healing, and power. New creation needs a clear path to manifest so free yourself from what holds you back or slows you down. Don't stress over it, don't analyze it. Just set yourself free so you can fly~

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!

Monday, February 20, 2012

An abstract glimpse of my contemplation of ROLES.

I'm eating chocolates, sipping on chardonnay, glancing out the window above my kitchen sink as I rinse and load.

It's Friday night, what used to be family movie night. But tonight I have three kids on three different screens...and earphones. The main TV is off, the music is on and being enjoyed by my husband and I, and the three kids are peaceful in front of their electronics. Eating dinner at the breakfast bar--straight off the grill, on to the cutting board, and in to my mouth.

The oldest finishes her movie--about cyber bullying. I explain to her that we are the first generation of parents to deal with this cyber stuff. We share stories. Topic jumps to pills. Whitney Houston. On to asphyxiation - what does suicide truly mean?


ROLES. Fuck roles. I'm washing the dishes. I'm clearing up this week's paperwork. I'm drinking more chardonnay.

Where's the money coming from? Who cares?
You ran the dishwasher on rinse-only last night. Who cares?

It's Friday night and I spent precious time with my littlest, brushing her hair, getting her clothes off and jammies on. She asked me to brush her teeth for her as we stood in a steamy bathroom to help loosen her nasal and chest congestion. Wondered how the hamster in the room felt about it. Recalled the "nebulizer years" when we took baby Baby in here to breathe better. And learning later that dry heat is really better. Sometimes.

This is a long road--sometimes fast, sometimes so painfully slow. But my ROLE is Mom. Whether I'm earning a paycheck, doing yoga, letting my husband to the laundry, or hiring a nanny. His ROLE is Dad. Whether he's following behind finishing what I don't, selling the crap out of magazine ads, listening to me rant and rave about "the latest research," the neighbor's drama, my own self-inadequacies. Talking to his son about masturbation this weekend.

Yes. ROLES. They exist. How do you define them?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Battle Scars & Beauty

I saw a beautiful showing of art today about the relationship between mother and child, interpreted through the mother's self-reflective point of view. Without getting too much in to it, besides to say that if you live in Atlanta you should absolutely go see it, as all great art does, I'll say that it got me thinking. It got me thinking about a lot of things, in a different way than I'd thought about things in a while. It was one of those experiences where 10 minutes after leaving the exhibit, while driving on the highway on my way home, I started weeping. Weeping at the realization that -- I'm not alone.

All those deep dark feelings and yearnings I have, I'm not the only one. The land I live in so many hours of my life, part fairy tale/part reality tv show, is not in isolation. You know what it got me thinking about? Risk. I have been a Mama for just shy of 11 years. I have 3 children all in elementary school for 7 hours a day. I'm dreaming again--like realistic, I could really do this type dreams. Like, "I want to accomplish this", "I want to create this for real" type of dreams. When the kids were smaller, maybe 2, 3-1/2, and 5, I was dreaming of Caribbean beach towns. I was dreaming of freedom and liberation. Those dreams got me through the day. Now my aspirations include things like starting a business, buying real estate, changing what my daily routine has looked like for the past decade -- risky stuff!

But what is more risky than motherhood? One minute you're responsible for yourself, and maybe a dog. The next minute, you pee on a stick and you're responsible for this being growing inside you. Whatever you do to yourself, you do to this person. You are it's shelter, it's nourishment, it's protection. You body does not belong to you alone anymore--you have a 10 month tenant.

I remember being in Mexico a couple of months before my first child was born. I was rocking my little maternity bikini, feeling good about my body. I pointed out a spot on my stomach that I thought was a bruise, until my husband so graciously advised me that it was a stretch mark. Oh boy. This tenant was damaging the place and I had no security deposit for repairs! Well, I proceeded to watch my belly grow to, what, 20 times it's size? Not just that once, but three times over the course of three years. And my boobs--my poor boobs. Engorged, raw, deflated...they worked hard during their cumulative 20 months of nursing, and they have now checked in for a life of permanent relaxation.

I now have 3 precious children that are my responsibility. It's my job to keep them healthy and safe. Their security lies in my hands. Holding your newborn baby for the first time quickly alerts you to the reality that this person is depending on you completely. Yikes! THAT is scary! Forget buying a rental property--that's nothing compared to what I signed up for by bringing these 3 people in to the world.

So I walk around and notice all the Moms out there. We're so brave! We're living our life out in this body with sagging skin, scars, and extra weight, doing kegels so we don't pee ourselves. We sacrifice our bodies, our memories, our free time, our careers, our vibrancy, and our sporty cars. Maybe not all of us, or maybe not all at once. But becoming a mother is risky business and the weak need not apply. Even if you start out unsure, the ferociousness emerges.

I'd like to think that our pride in this role gives us a new kind of sex appeal. A strength and vitality that draws people to us. I do glance down the tempting path of "getting the physical stuff fixed," but then I see an art exhibit or a pregnant mama, or I look at myself with a little more love and acceptance and tell myself that these are my battle scars. Beauty comes from within so make sure you're glossy and glittery from the inside first. And maybe that will be enough.