Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Intentions

I don't make New Year's resolutions. What for? They're never kept. We mean well though, we want to start again, we stare down at the three hundred and sixty five days spread out before us, and we're either optimistic about the new year, or we're scared. I was scared. Always. The unknown caused my heart to skip a beat, it made me want to pull the covers over my head on New Year's day and fervently pray that I would be spared the trials and tribulations that seemed to find me. There was a large X cut into my front lawn, had to be. Trouble was beating a path to my doorway.....or so it seemed.

I set myself up perfectly, you see. The very thing I ran from, found me. Every time. "Surrender Dorothy"! I had the nagging thought that I just needed to give up the fight. And I can truly say that over this last year I finally surrendered, and what a relief! What an absolute relief. The best diet in the world is to rid yourself of baggage, all the old fears, old worries, old ways of thinking, being, doing. Be gone!

Okay, easier said then done, but I am woman who knows this very well. It's not easy, this relinquishing of your old self. Every New Year's eve I would vow to begin again. Take better care of myself, sleep more, worry less, start a new life. Ah, that was the kicker, dearies....to begin again. Scary. My old life had gotten too small for this woman. I had shrunk so small that I could barely hear my own voice screaming to be free. Well, all it it took was my husband to walk out on me the day after Valentines Day....bless his heart! And I mean that without the slightest bit of sarcasm. Bless him for causing the very thing I knew was inevitable, to finally happen! When we're not doing for ourselves what needs to be done, something will happen to get your attention. It's the Universe shining that very bright and loving light on your life. It says look at this.....look at this.....LOOK AT THIS, DAMN IT! Okay, I got it. Once hit up side the head, I got it. Thank you very much.

Feeling like you need to kick start your life this new year? Save the new gym membership fee, put off the appointment with a plastic surgeon, quit with the big, grandiose vows to do better this time around. Just quietly affirm that you intend to be well. Repeat after me...."I intend to have a better life then I've experienced". "I intend to take good are of myself", (this involves loving yourself babe, so that leads to.....), "I intend to LOVE myself, first". "I intend to let the garbage of my life go". And please don't recycle it into some new creature, just cut it loose! "I intend to start each day with gratitude in my heart for each and every thing that has come my way", because.....it got me here. And this is where you start, my friends. Start where you are. Here. Now. Move forward with the intention to have all that your heart desires. And then act like it's already here!

Make this your best year ever. You have it within your power to create a very real and lasting change in your life. You have it within your power to begin again. I am with you in this, I am still in the process of creating all that my own heart desires. It's a fun ride when you start seeing good things pour into your life. Free up the old, stagnant energy, and usher in the new....then just watch what happens!

So, here's to New Year's Intentions!

Until next time....blessings......many, many blessings upon your precious heart! See you in the new year.....

Cindy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day...may it be blessed

Let the following words express my love for you all.....and may this day bring you a measure of quiet joy and humble expectation.

"I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, that while I cannot give, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instance. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy! Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty . . . that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it, that is all! . . . And so I greet you, with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away".

"Letter to a Friend" by Fra Giovanni, 1513

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Season of Anticipation

How has this holiday season been for you so far? Blue? Anxious? Tumultuous? Been there. Now, take a breath and quiet your heart, if only for a moment. All shall be well. I have used that quote from Julian of Norwich for many years. I can't count how many times I've uttered those words in the dark of night, and especially when I didn't believe it. I've held onto those words as if my very life depended on it. Whatever your circumstances are right now, I wish you solace and a refuge from your personal storm. Let me say this to you....it will pass. Things change, things get better, people can have a change of heart, even the most ugly among us can turn around. I can't begin to know the personal stories out there happening right this minute. Tales of woe, heartbreaking sadness and despair. But I have a good idea, we can all imagine, we all have hearts, and we're the same at the core. I know you hurt.

If you are not religious and this very Christian holiday upon us has no meaning for you, then look at the lengthening days now spread out before us. The shortest day followed by the longest night has come and gone. Your days are going to lengthen and the light is going to return. Winter is my favorite time of year. I love the bleakness of it, I love the stark trees, and the cold. The lessons of this season are not lost on me. I look for meaning in everything, and bleakness, with all it's gloom, will yield to warmth, and light, and newness of life. You can count of this. May you feel this truth somewhere inside you. May the Winter of your discontent lead you to a new life. Wrap around you the very things that comfort you, as much as you are able. Begin to anticipate that things will change. Begin to entertain the thought that within you lies the seeds of a new life. Nurture them, tend them, and wait. For now, just keep them warm and safe within your heart....in that very tender heart of yours.

If this holiday season holds no joy for you, then I want you to know, whoever you are, that I will hold you close when I pray. If I could wrap a blanket of comfort around you, I would. If I could bring you a cup of tea and hold your hand, I would. I would also look you straight in the eye and tell you that all shall be well and this too, shall pass. And it will, my dear. In the same measure that you want positive change in your life, the Universe will respond to you.

A contented Christmas is wished for all. A season of hope and quiet joy is my special meditation for you. Dearest heart, in the midst of your pain lies the capacity for immense joy. Pain can hollow you out as sure as a woodworker's knife carves out hardened wood to make something beautiful. It's making you ready for something incredible. Be a receptacle. Stay open, ask, anticipate an answer, for it will come....and you will be filled.

Until next time.....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Power Of Intention

I intend to have a great life, how about you? If truth be known, I am having a great life....but it was hard won. It took bravery and resolve to not let the events of the last fourteen years sour me to the point of no return. I also intend to have abundance and "enough" to accommodate my lifestyle....an admittedly simple lifestyle...the way I like it, but I intend to live it to the max. I intend to live with creativity, spontaneity, joy, fabulousness, beauty and grace, which I happen to believe are a given for every human being alive at this moment. They are highly achievable and your Divine birthright, in my humble opinion. We have no time for regret, angst, post-traumatic stress or bitterness. This work of letting go, while so worth it, isn't always pretty though, it can be downright exhausting and circular....we let go of this, we acquire that, we let go again, we let God in, then we doubt and recoil and hoard all our negativity around us like a blanket....because it's all so familiar. The art of Intention becomes easy when we cut loose the ties that bind us to our old way of thinking and being. There is great joy in waving goodbye to the past. Great joy. The past got you to where you are today, so honor it, hold dear those things that nurtured you, but let the rest go.

The business of Intention is simple. I am a firm believer that the thoughts we think today are the basis for what we experience tomorrow and beyond. I remember my mom used to tell me to "tend your garden", and by that she meant to watch my thoughts, to weed out the weeds, so to speak. Sometimes it takes vigilance to keep negativity at bay. AA talks about a "fake it till you make it" attitude, and while there is value in that, I would rather "live as if" I have all that I desire now. This doesn't mean to live beyond your means, but instead to make room in your heart and mind for all that's coming into your life. And it is coming my friend, so be expectant. Give the Universe an inch and it will take you all the way. Invite this type of expectancy into your life, if only for a moment consider that we are vastly more then we know ourselves to be, we are known, loved, and cared for. We have all that we need right here, right now. Look around you....life is pouring forth more then we already accept. To ask or plead for something reinforces the belief that we are lacking, and to believe that you are lacking then creates the very scenario that will prove you're right. The Universe is accommodating in this regard. It gives us what we focus on. Trust me on this. I make it a habit to express gratitude for what is coming my way, before it's here, before I can see it. I simply trust it will show up just when I need it. And you know what? It usually does. If I ask for something, I ask for the obstacles I may have created to be made plain to me, so I can choose differently. I also ask for help in getting out of my own way. We trip ourselves up daily.....just sayin', so make clear the path for good things to come.

One of my favorite movies is "Under The Tuscan Sun". It brings home the point that you need to live as if you already have your heart's desire. If you want a new home, love the one you're in, make it your castle, tell it how grateful you are it provides you with refuge and shelter. Want new friends in your life? Then be a friend, but be a friend to yourself first. Love? Simply love yourself with a kindness and an acceptance of everything you are. Daily we are given opportunities to love one another. You don't even have to let anyone know you are loving them. A silent blessing bestowed on those around you, no matter who they are, will bounce back to you. Need more money? Give freely of your time and resources, no matter how meager, no matter how small, we can offer up something to someone, somewhere. It's not simplistic to live this way, it's not foolish or Pollyanna-ish. It's profound. It's why we are here....to give and to serve and to live with joy. And please know, I'm not perfect in accomplishing all these things on a daily basis, but I do know that when I do my best, when I give up my worries, when I give up my need to know what's around the corner....my life just flows.

I wish you peace like a river, unobstructed, swiftly flowing, moving you ever forward towards all that you desire. It's coming, are you ready to accept it?

Until next time....peace upon your heart.

Cindy

Monday, December 13, 2010

Contentment

I love the word contentment, it signifies a deep peace, an easy grace, a comfortable state of being. Happiness is fickle. Contentment lasts through the long haul. Happiness is fleeting. Contentment is stable. And I imagine the one thing you want right now is stability, it's what I needed when the shit hit the fan and the rug was yanked out from under me. My wounded self wouldn't believe I could ever be happy again. Happy. What a word! People pay a lot for happiness. We seek it.....no, we doggedly pursue it, and when we grasp it for a fleeting moment in our hot little hand, we squeeze the very life out of it. Then it flees, bolting on its merry way, laughing back at us as we stand there in its wake....broken, desperate, sad....all because we wanted to be "happy". Happy was a dwarf in a Disney cartoon, and that's where it belongs in my book. "I'm so happy"! Yeah, but I'll bet you anything it's was some external thing that happened to trigger your response. You got a new job, a new car, you won the lottery, you have a new lover, you bought a killer dress....a red one, slit up the side, sleek and daring....and you got it for a fraction of it's original cost because you are one smart, savvy shopper. Then what? The job begins to suck, your boss becomes an ass, you wreck the car....or it gets a dent in it's shiny new paint, the money gets spent....or every relative you never knew you had shows up with their hand out. The lover loves you...then leaves you. The dress, after you wore it and knocked 'em dead with your gloriously toned body beneath, suddenly is a little tight and in your mind you see yourself as fat. Oh God, then what? Happiness is the temperamental, changeable twin sister of Contentment. She's the Hussy in the fish nets, Contentment is the beauty in the flannel pajamas. One torments, the other nurtures. Which do we really want? You know what it is, we all hunger for it. A deep, easy sigh of relief is what we want. We want Wellness, Balance, Stability. For me, these equal the kind of Contentment nothing on the outside can provide.

Contentment lies in the sweetest of places. She hangs behind after the party is over and hopes you notice her looking at the the moon and stars. She awaits your deep breath, the one that says, "This is what it's all about". It's not the people, or the stuff of our lives that gives us the contentment we seek. It's the feeling that you are enough, as you are, that you will not allow your joy to be robbed by those you never should have entrusted your tender heart to. It comes from loving yourself first.

Contentment my friends, is the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, and all-wise being that resides inside you. Court her, it's what she wants. A little attention to the quiet sister and she will take your hand down the road to lasting joy. Here's how:

For starters, try living on less, downsize if need be. A divorce is very good at causing you to downsize, in fact, I believe it's a necessity to cut out the things we no longer need, and to review and repeat periodically. Cut the stranglehold you have on other people. Let them be who they are. Do you find that tough? Not surprising, since letting others be who they are without trying to change them puts the spotlight back on you, yeah, that uncomfortable light that forces you to focus on yourself for once. What a joy to embrace a certain self-centeredness though! It's the kind of focus that asks, "What makes your heart sing"? What has brought you a deep feeling of joy before in your life? What are the things that make you feel good? Find out what they are. In this season of "too much" and overwhelming to-do lists, stop for an afternoon and give yourself the gift of remembering what it is you truly love. Bet you it's something that doesn't cost a cent! Then go ahead and give it to yourself. It's time babe, to rediscover what you have neglected.

Your quiet center awaits your loving touch. Pause, ask, listen....then give yourself that special something that will make you smile inside. Be careful though, you just might start to feel a contentment that will overtake your need for the trivial. You just might find you are falling in love with yourself.....maybe for the first time. Just a little attention will put kindness to yourself back in your life. Contentment will surely follow....but then she'll lead you home. Your heart's home.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In honor of Elizabeth Edwards.....is Love ever truly lost?

Where does love go when a marriage ends? It disintegrates little-by-little I would venture, especially if it was a long slow death....like mine, like many, until it takes it's last breath and utters one last whimper, or one big SLAM of the door. I can still hear the reverberation from that day, all I have to do is close my eyes...but it's fading now. Something as real and as permanent as Love (with a capital L) doesn't really go away....I am content to think it just changes form. The investment in a marriage that goes south can leave you feeling like you wasted years of your life just to end up out of love, out of luck, broken, angry, and hating the ever lovin' ground your ex walks on. I struggled with this for many months, the unending questions, the guilty feeling that I had somehow squandered my life away......the anger at my child's father.

Let the anger go....please, and I'll tell you why:

If there are children involved, you need to love the father of your children more then the husband you've come to dislike (hate?). I was lucky, I didn't live with a philanderer. My ex never cheated on me once, I never doubted that...I would have been able to feel it if he had. But what went down was enough for me to curse every hair on his head. The tangent I let loose one day upon him was alarming....to him, to me....and to my little girl who heard me. My heart broke into a million pieces that day, not for my own reasons, but for that little face that saw me screaming at her daddy. I'll never forget it the longest day I live. Never.

Elizabeth Edwards died today. A more graceful and eloquent woman would be difficult to find. In an interview with her a while back, after her husband's terrible, terrible infidelity, she quietly stated that while she may not be able to love her husband anymore, she could still love him as her children's father. What Grace it took to say that. What a powerful truth it is too. Love changed form for Elizabeth Edwards, but it was still Love....again, with a capital L. That kind of love knows no human estrangement. It withstands anything, because it is Love....and that is Divine by nature. I learned a lesson from this lady that day, and her quiet strength brought me up short. Goddesses do that, you know. They stop you dead in your tracks.

Your marriage may be over, but the love that was once shared is still there, in a different form. If there were no children, then know this....your spouse loved you once, and they still love you. Deep in their conflicted heart, they still have love. Letting go of a marriage may be the right thing to do......but don't fret over having "wasted" your life just to end up divorced. Let love evolve now, let it shape shift, let it be what it needs to be. Don't own it, don't limit it, and don't curse it. And for everyone who may want to tell me to shut up about love, because after all, I don't know your personal story, I don't know what terrible thing it was they did to you....I would say this: letting love go so it can find it's own way will bless you beyond belief. It will free you up so you may embrace a new love, an evolved love. It's an endless cycle, but love knows what it needs and it doesn't leave us no matter what we may think. Let it fly.

Rest in peace dear Elizabeth, I would have liked to have had tea with you.

And yes reader, you and I are loved......and that is with a capital L.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Good Divorce

I've gotten dubious looks when I've said I had a "good divorce"....and yes, ultimately, it has been good on so many levels. My friend the other day who I'd not spoken to for a while gingerly asked me how I was doing. My response kind of shocked her. "What do you mean you had a good divorce? Side note: and she won't mind my saying this, her divorce was from hell. Three years and $30,000.00 down the tube just for her to come out with a permanent crease between her eyes and a broken spirit. As we talked I told her all the bad parts over that last nine months that I had experienced, but the point was not to dwell, it was to say that without the bad you cannot know the good. Without the dark you cannot know light. Trite, I know, but it's the simple truth. I chose to make my divorce good, and since the alternative was hell on earth, I just didn't have that kind of stamina or endurance...nor the will, to come out looking older and angerier for the rest of my life. I fully accepted the demise of my marriage, and then I let it go. I told her that perhaps divorce could be a catylist for the change that would ultimately lead her to a better life. She and I continue in an ongoing conversation about this now, and I'm glad she is gaining some new insight. So much bad karma was burnt over the last nine months in my life. I mean stale, stagnant, rancid stuff. I was in a dark rut that was going to completely destroy me if something had not happened to kick me upside the head. For me divorce was the perfect answer, and at risk of sounding rather flippant or cavalier, I would say it can be for you too.

I subscribe to the belief that the people who have been in our lives were there for a reason. There are no random acts. Yeah, some are dumb mistakes we make when we're vulnerable, some are downright painful, ugly, simply exasperating or just plain poisonous, but it all works out so beautifully. The people we encounter are our teachers. "When the student is ready the Teacher will appear". We either learn through pain or through wisdom, but by God, we learn. Have you ever ended a relationship all the clearer about what it is you don't want?....then it was for your higher good, that relationship was to show you what you don't need, the players in that scene were there to push you to the next level. The lessons are all there. It's up to us whether we want to see the point to it all or just bitch and moan about how our life seems to be a magnet for bad luck/relationships. My other belief is the very thing we feel is tragic or devastating can be the very thing that saved us from a real tragedy. Things just some how work out, we may not see it for a few years, but when we can look back with a clearer eye and a new perspective we can see it all came out for the best. Nothing can teach you better then that which has cut you to the core or split you wide open. If this has happened to you then you are being readied for a major shift, a change that has the potential to bless you. There is a rhyme and reason to our lives....and it's all good.

Stay open to the possibility that maybe this upheaval you are in the midst of can lead you to your best self. Shun the bitterness that can easily swallow you up. Each day the question could be, "What can I learn from this today"? Then listen....and learn.

Until next time...blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Self worth

What are you worth today? Do you value the magnificent person that bears your name and a striking resemblance to someone you used to recogonize in the mirror? You are more then you know....we all are. Now I don't often quote the Bible, but there's that verse about "Seeing through a glass, darkly".......that's at least until we come to know ourselves as the Beloved knows us. What happens along the way that makes us forget about our greatness? As a child did your parents enforce in you the fact that you were magical? Did you believe in things you couldn't see? Imaginary friends? fairies? Was your imagination allowed to run free? Many of us didn't have this kind of conscientious parenting because our parents were not raised that way, and bless them, they did the best they could with who they were and what they knew at the time. For many of us growing up was about making do, not expecting too much, keeping our place , and not allowing us the right to lay claim to what is rightfully ours. Worth. Value. Radiance. It's not what we accomplish, or what we earn, or who we know. We are human beings, not human doings. But our culture dictates that we always need to be on the move, someone is always watching, judging, critiquing....snickering. I don't need that kind of pressure, and neither do you.

Sweethearts, there may be years worth of stuff to unload before you can come to accept your glory....I know, believe me. So what can you let go of today? What if it's just the nagging thought that you are not enough? That you're somehow inferior? Let's begin right now to just entertain the possibility that you can live your life with complete acceptance of your native worth, and claim it. The storms of life will seem less of a challenge if we can face them with the assurance, the self knowing, that we are not alone, that we are loved, that we are capable. I'm all about riding out a storm, laughing in it's face, saying, "Is this all you got"? Maybe it's my rebel spirit....maybe I don't even know what I'm talking about here....but I'd rather look fabulous and feel confident in the face adversity then to just lay down in the fetal position and suck my thumb.

Sharpen your knife, prep yourself for some cosmic surgery....cut away that which doesn't serve. It won't hurt, I promise.

Until next time...blessings upon your heart

Cindy