Self Respect is…..

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SPIRIT
Enlivened
Lovingly
Fearlessly
Remembering
Eternal
Sacred
Purpose
Essential to
Claiming your
True Divinity
Not sure exactly, in tangibility, what that means, but I have been faced lately with some pretty good examples of what it looks like to NOT have respect for self, or others, and I don’t like what that looks like. Obviously I have seen myself in a mirror, and I’m grateful for the glimpse, and I want to make a difference in how I show up.
I can see perhaps that if one doesn’t have respect for one’s self, it’s hard to feel respect for another.  I have long thought that I had more respect for others than I have for myself, but I’m wondering if that is not possible…unless it is.  I can’t tell yet.
I’m again wrestling with this and as usual, thinking out loud with a few of my beloveds.
In thinking about that, I notice that it IS easier for me to respect others than it is for me to respect myself.  I can put myself more easily in anothers’ shoes, have more compassion for others, show up for others, be to others what they sometimes can’t be for themselves.
I can clean your house much more willingly and easily than I can clean my own.  What IS that?  I don’t think it’s unique to me.
I’ve always believed that we were there as mirrors for one another.  That when I can’t believe in myself, I can believe in YOU….and maybe counting on that being true in reverse.
When I REALLY look into my own eyes, looking in a mirror, I am always brought to tears by the love and goodness that I see there — by the desire to be good — by the truth of my generosity and depth of commitment to being a force for good in the world — by my commitment to and love for not only my family — though that is deep and abiding — but also to anyone whose life I encounter with any depth of connection.
In our MATERIAL world, I have been accused of being generous to a fault, of being co-dependent, wanting more for others than they want for themselves, of giving myself away to the detriment of myself — of wanting to be loved so much that I do just that — of trying to prove my worth by giving myself away, thereby not having self respect…
turning my desire to give and be good into something not good.
In the MATERIAL world, where fear reigns that there’s only so much to go around, that one must preserve one’s own strength, take care of one’s own need, that self is more important than Self, that may be true.  In the MATERIAL world, these things matter.
I remember reading, several decades ago, the story by Chaim Potok, The Chosen.  I will never forget the description there of a man who worked himself “gray with fatigue” as described by his concerned son, and who replied to his son’s concern something like, “My entire lifespan is merely a blink of God’s eye.  I am happy to wear myself out for this worthy cause that I so believe in.”
He took no fear for his own well-being, but worked furiously for what he believed in.  I believe in loving people.  I believe in sharing all I have to make a difference, no matter how small — and in so doing, I often lose sight of my own laundry stacking high, or stacks of paperwork vying for my attention.  My eyes literally glaze over when I have to face those things.  It is here that I notice that I don’t have enough self-respect to pick up after myself, or tackle the papers taunting me from my piling systems.  That’s where the matter meets the grist…
Things that do not MATTER in a spiritual realm simply do matter in this MATERIAL world, and I have a hard time plugging in to that.  It seems that I hang out in spiritual reality, and can’t often bring myself to give a rip about what should matter to me.
I am reminded of descriptions of the authors of The Power of Now and Power vs Force — of what it’s like to be “enlightened” — of how difficult it is for them to care about daily things.  That they would be content to sit drooling on a park bench in a diaper…not able to attach importance to earthly things.  I thought then that I didn’t want to be enlightened, it if meant being so helpless in the material world — and yet, that’s how it seems here to me now.
I have a hard time caring at all what I eat – or if I eat – until my hunger kicks in and makes me find the first thing available.  Now, if there’s someone else to cook for, I’m all over it.
I could care less what I wear; it’s a DRAG to have to figure it out everyday
Taking supplements or meds, or drinking water (or whether or not it’s pure enough) is hard for me to remember or care about
Brushing my teeth is hard for me to do – not automatic like it seems to be for others
Exercising is not an option in this state of mind
Fun?  what’s that?  I know I love it once I’m there, but getting to the ocean, or playing my ukulele or painting or writing new books just seems too hard to get to.
Sounds like depression, doesn’t it?  But it doesn’t feel that way.  Those things just don’t feel important to me.
What I’m thinking, after reading this, is the divine dichotome – While what’s true in SPIRIT is always true,   if one chooses to play in MATTER, one needs to choose IN.
THAT is the crux, isn’t it?
I am beginning to see why it’s important to have beliefs.  If you don’t believe in anything, you don’t care.  That is, I don’t believe in  any religious dogma.  I only believe in good.  I believe it’s ALL good, nobody dies, and there’s nothing to fear.
So I’m not afraid of Monsanto
I’m not afraid of poisonous water
I’m not afraid of McDonald’s
I’m not afraid of dying and going to hell
I’m MORE afraid of hanging out here longer than I have to
Because I can’t wait to get to heaven
AND I’m noticing that by WAITING, by not taking time to play
I’m putting off heaven….
I live in Paradise, for God’s Sake!
I am surrounded by love.  I love people and they love me.  They don’t care what I’m wearing,
I am busy.  I do spend my time playing in things that do matter to me.  I love what I do on a daily basis.
So what else is there?
It’s true that when I suck it up and pick it up, I do feel better in my space.  I ENJOY order and beauty.  So eventually, I pick it all up and put it all away.
I do keep my ukulele near my computer so when I get bored here, I can click onto YouTube and strum a few chords to some funky old tune.  I do enjoy that.
I stay young by hanging out with a select number of little ones.  Children who keep me humble and honest.  Children who remind me to respond, not react.  Children who snuggle in under my wings and love being with me, because I love being with them.  Whether those are angel wings or wings of a dumb cluck doesn’t seem to make much difference to them. And they should know.
finished butterfly2
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It’s ALL Good, Nobody Dies, and if You Die, You Go to Heaven!

Visiting children 2014 007I returned from my first voyage to visit as many of my children as would have me. Three our of four isn’t bad, although factoring in spouses, I might have lost one.

I learned SO MUCH on this trip, and more, since.
 
In raising my children, I often pointed out to them that “I have my own life to live” when their activities coincided with my own.  Sometimes, they had to find their own rides, etc.
 
One of the boys once wrote an essay about that; I still have it, I think.  In it, he said that while he hated to hear me say that, he liked it too, because it gave him permission and response-ability to live HIS own life as well.
 
I visited my children this time without an invitation.    I simply decided to go, and asked them when would be convenient.  I won’t do that again.  Next time, I’ll wait for an invitation.  I say that because I realize that while they may have been my children, they are adults now.  I am only a doorway through which they came into this this form of existence, and they have gone through. Now, we each have to knock to go through that doorway again into one anothers’ lives.
 
Of course, as GRAND children come into the picture, I hope and pray that they will choose to visit me, and that I can have a chance to share all that I have learned since I was a parent.  I would really hope that continues.  It feels good to know a few things now that I didn’t know then, and have a chance to do it differently this time.
 
I hope all, children and grands alike, know, and I’ll tell them, that my door is always open to them, but I’ll have to clear a path for when they come.  I cannot assume they have time, desire, energy, whatever, to welcome me anytime I feel like going.
 
Which actually, is fine with me, because I really don’t like traveling.  Eight airplanes and two long bus rides, while joyfully uneventful, wasn’t my favorite part.
As much as I love my sons and their children, which I really, really do, I cannot be sure that if we were not family, we would choose each other as friends. Maybe, but likely not.
 
One of the biggest things I am obviously still learning, is that my ability to respond to help my grown children make any life choices is limited to when they ask.  You would think that would be obvious, wouldn’t you?  I guess it “should” be, but I’m not about “shoulding on myself” here. I’m just remembering, again, something I thought I already knew.
 
Since returning, having gotten very attached to my Kindle Fire, and unlimited reading, I have been reading book after book about the afterlife, and people seeking out advice from their loved ones on the other side.
 
My friends will roll their eyes.  I put such stock in what I read, and I’ll freely admit that my whole life, I have felt that Spirit has guided me through leading me to books that have messages in them that I need to learn.  It’s my library card to the greater wisdom than I have between my own ears, or at least that I can access readily.
 
In these stories, one after the other, my belief that “it’s all good” is reinforced over and over.  The bottom line is, it’s all learning, it’s all good, and nobody dies.  AND, the last judgment will be when the last damn fool judges himself or any another.
 
So as my sons choose wives, and as they together choose whatever they choose, it’s fully and completely their right, privilege, response-ability, whatever, to live their lives in their own way, time, and outcome.
 
Which somewhat inconveniently frees me to live my own life, and stop worrying about them.  Now I have to unpack my bags (way too long overdue) and renew my driver’s license (ordering ridiculous amounts of proof that I am me) and find new tires for my car, and get to the ocean, and dance my hula, and learn my chants, and write my books, and paint my pictures, and water my plants and clean my room, and read my books, and work on my quilts, and teach at Sew Fun, and do my web design work, and write in my journal,  and live a joyous life with people who love me and choose me now.  I was overjoyed to find, upon my return, that I was sorely missed, and there are lots and lots of folks who do.  
One last note is that as I traveled from home to home, from New York to Texas to Arizona, I was gratified to find all the quilts I’ve made over the years for my boys, gracing their homes, and being used and loved every day.  It inspired me to keep quilting, and keep sharing the unique form of love that only embraces, never assumes, and can only be welcomed.  Here’s a picture or two of my latest creation for Reed.  He really liked it, but truth is, he liked the little rolling suitcase better!  It’s all good!
Visiting children 2014 065
Visiting children 2014 087
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Onward and downward – Lightening up!

light body2I’ve been working my way into new ways of living, always doing my best, always learning, and always hopeful that I can do it this time.  Actually, I’ve mostly resisted and avoided making any commitments to change my body size and shape, for deadly fear of failure – again.

This time, I always say, it will be different.  AND, THIS TIME, it feels that way.  Different.  Having worked my way into a few habits that sustain me better, I was finally able to commit to a real “live-it” program that I hope to sustain for the rest of my days in this body.  I’m noticing, that at 62, 63 soon, 73 sooner than I can imagine, I won’t have the energy to push this mush around if I don’t let go of some of it.

A fellow quilter in my quilting group did this last year, and has released 80 pounds in a year.  She looks fabulous!  She feels fabulous!  She wears a size “Small” in Aloha Wear.  That stuff runs small, so that’s amazing!  She’s going to a wedding for one of her sons soon, and will show up in her new image, with them unaware of what she has done this year.  Won’t THAT be fun?

Slow by slow, I have been working my way into new habits.

How could you lose?

How could you lose?

pure_de_canister

Click here for more info

One that has helped IMMENSELY is a daily dose (night and morning) of a heaping teaspoon each of diatomaceous earth and tumeric in a large glass of water, chugged till it’s gone.  I have now taken to adding a heaping teaspoon of Vitamin C with Cal/Mag and from time to time, a teaspoon of Himalayan salt sole as well.  DE is 95% silica, which works wonders for joints and muscle pain, as well as eliminating candida and any other unwanted guests from the gastronomy section of the temple.  The Hawaiians extol the virtues of “olena”, and take it daily.  I have come to follow suit.  I have already used up my first canister of DE, and am going to buy another today.

I am blessed to have a weekly visit with my beloved Alvita Soleil, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and she keeps me balanced with not only acupuncture, but the vitamins and minerals, or whatever supplements she determines I need.  Bless her!  She’s the one who got me on the Vitamin D, and Vitamin C, Cal/Mag which I do believe helps as well.

And finally, with these practices well established, I set down my goals on a spreadsheet.  I used my tried and trusted formula for projecting my goal into this time next year, when I am determined to be shape-shifted to 135 pounds!  I keep the spreadsheet on the top corner of my computer, where I spend most of my time, and every time I eat, I post it on the sheet. I determined to start at 1800 calories, and so far, I have found that 1800 calories of healthy food is hard to consume in one day.  Now, add a slice of banana bread from Starbucks, and all bets are off, but as long as I am mindful, counting whatever I eat, nothing is off limits.

I did learn one thing new in this round of projections.  In the past, I have always multiplied the current weight by 15 to determine how many calories it takes to maintain that unwanted figure.  I learned that if you are sedentary, the number should be 13 and if more than moderately active, 18.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me expound on the formula.  It the ONE thing I have found that works for me, because I can put down in black and white, and have a scientific assurance that what I’m doing is working, and will work, even though I may hit plateaus, etc.

Multiply current weight by (13, 15, or 18) to find the number of calories it has taken to maintain that size.  

Subtract the number of calories you are willing to eat instead from that number.  This will give you the number of calories you are releasing in a day. (1800 is a good start, in imho).  Later, when I get closer to goal weight, I can go down to 1500 and later, in the very end, to 1200 for a few weeks, to finish up the goal.  Eventually, I will multiply my goal weight by my activity number to determine the number of calories needed to eat to maintain my goal.  In my case, 135 x 13 = 1755!  I can do that!  I’m not kidding myself that I will ever be more active, but you never know; my friend who released 80 pounds says she just FEELS like being more active, and now she is.  So, who knows?  135 x 15 =2025!  That leaves room for an occasional slice of banana bread from Starbucks.

Multiply that number by 7 (for a week’s worth)

and divide that number by 3500 (the number of calories in one pound) to determine the number of pounds you can project to lose in a week.  A good healthy range is 2 pounds per week.

I also took every imaginable measurement and recorded them all down in a column, which I also update every Wednesday.  I’m already seeing progress.

Having the projected chart with dates from now to one year from now is very helpful to me.  I can watch the progress.  AND, having written down everything I eat, I have proof in black and white that I’ve done my part – my body can do the rest.  If I skip a day, I simply pick up again – making a note as to why I skipped writing down my food.  Even if I totally cheat, everyday is a new day, and I can always choose again.

None of this takes into account any exercise, although once I feel more energetic, I will indeed include that in the plan.  Any benefits of that will be extra!  One thing I am excited about, and which my quilting friend discovered, is a gym at the hospital, which allows anyone to come and use for a very small monthly fee.  It’s clean and there’s someone there to show you how to use the machines, and jocks don’t seem know about it; it’s mostly old ladies like me, so it feels like a perfect fit for me to use when I’m ready.

To my knowledge, few people actually read my blogs, so I feel safe writing this here, but another thing I have done is not to talk about this too much.  Especially to people who want to tell me what to do, or give me their opinions as to how I should do it different, and then want to take credit or say “I told you so” when I have success.  (In the past) that derails me every time, so I know better now than to allow it.  AND, I’m not letting it derail me, either.

As I said, I’ve been working up to this for quite a while, and one thing that helped me in the journey was reading this book

Think Slim Be SlimWhich brings me to perhaps the most important aspect of my new program.  I am using all my tools to help me.  If anyone knows about this stuff, and has the tools to make it happen, that would be me.  I am not giving myself any more excuses for not using what I know.  YEARS ago, Carol Dawn gave me this book.   God knows there are enough of them on the market, but this is one that works for me.  Written by a UC Santa Barbara professor, as a class manual,  it’s a 21-day program to re-program your mind around size and shape.  Together with right/hand left/hand journaling and my favorite, most effective I’ve ever encountered self-help roto-rooter, Tapas Accupressure Technique, I am feeling confident that I can really do this this time.

As I said, I’ve been working up to this for quite a while, and one thing that helped me in the continuing Skinnyjourney was reading this book on my Kindle.  It’s the true story (the author’s, written as fiction about the teenage girl in the story) of a girl who lost weight by having surgery.  More and more people, even many teenagers, are taking this drastic and dangerous path, and I remember the whole time I was reading it, I was struck by how ultimately what she did was eat less and exercise, but only after she had a life-threatening reason to do so (as though being overweight isn’t life-threatening enough).  I am determined that I can do this without any drastic means, and that with the tools I have, my excuses are all drying up and blowing away.  In fact, the other day, as Alvita worked on me in a cranio-sacral type move, with her hands cupping my head, I had a lovely vision of her holding big old rocks in her hand, and under her hand, they turned into sand, and blew away!

Interestingly, as I do the work, I find that other blocks I have battled, like cleaning my room, and paying my bills, and keeping my “piling systems” in check are all connected to this chronic inability to take better care of myself and make more healthy choices.  They are all being swept away as I continue to journal and do TAT.

I may or may not keep you posted, as I don’t want this to be another pressure, but I’m confident that as I make this drastic change in my life, it will show up again.  Finally, finally, finally, I can hope to be able to move more freely through my world, and not be carrying around the past, glommed onto my body parts like flounders to a rock.  Gently, lovingly, with great gratitude, I am releasing those parts of me who have so long protected and insulated and shielded me from the world I perceived, back to the world I now enjoy.  Life is grand!  9 is the number of completion.  63=9  and 135=9.  It’s time!

 

 

 

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Crocodile Clouds, and Green Eggs & Potatoes

crocodile cloud I live a joyful life.  Check out this photo I got of a crocodile horizon.  It was better before I finally got pulled over and grabbed my camera.  He even has a gleaming eye…cool, eh?

 green eggs and potatoes 017 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 018 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 019 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 020This morning I tried another experiment with green eggs.  I’ve been blending my eggs with lots of spinach, and pouring them over my already sauteed onions and potatoes, and letting them steam till firm.  Not bad, really.  I topped them off with this amazing garlic/cilantro balsamic I found, which is more creamy balsamic than vinegar.  ooooohhhhh, myyyyy goooodness….delicious.

My friend Calley O’Neill taught me the concept.  She adds milk or almond milk to her eggs, but I just add straight eggs (2) and blend it with spinach.  Maybe a few drops of water to rinse out the blender and get all the mix in.

Although they were delicious, next time, I will not saute my potatoes and onions so long before adding the eggs, because they take some time to steam firm.  Really good for me!  That was a whole heaping hand-full of spinach.  Wonder how Dr. Seuss got HIS green eggs?

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Ta~DA! – Lily’s quilt is in the mail!

finished-butterfly3I live a joyful life!  Today I wrapped a half-quart mason jar of coconut oil spiced  with peppermint oil (mosquito repellant) in several layers of plastic, and tucked it into the middle of Lily’s new quilt, and popped it in the mail to North Dakota, where the kids are for their summer graduate program.

I’m sure I’ve told the story of Lily asking for a quilt of her very own, and my immediate response –I joyfully shopped for the fabric and finished it in about 3 weeks!  Isn’t that what Grandma’s do?  That’s what this one does, so far.

I was really happy to find this fabric that is Hawaiian flowers, but not the “typical” ones.   Pretty, crisp, bright flowers and sky blue in between.
finished-ginger

 

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Sew-Fun’s machine embroidered butterflies were a joyful addition – one in each blue pinwheel – 6 in all.  The pattern is called a “disappearing 9-patch”, and was easy once I mastered the placement of the squares.  Spacial intelligence is not my strong point, so it was a bit of a challenge.

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I was especially happy with my simple quilting machine-stitched long X’s through the diamond shapes, and surrounded each of the sky-blue pinwheels to frame the butterflies.  Turned out marvelous!  Looks nice on the soft pink corduroy background, as well.

And now I’m on to design one for Reed.  That one will be a family affair as I enlist the kids and Calley to help me design a play space for him to direct wings and wheels (and maybe some boats?)  between New York, Hawaii, Oregon and California!  I’ll keep you posted.

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I DID it! My first free-design quilt for my darling Claire.

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My beloved daughter (okay, daughter-in-law), Claire, asked me a while ago, in response to my query, for a quilt with “koi and peonies”.  Now THAT was a design challenge!  But you see, I have a secret weapon.  I happen to be friends with Calley O’Neill, who is a stunning artist, and amazing designer.  Don’t believe me, check out her websites at Calley O’Neill and The Rama Exhibition.  

Anyway, she helped me design the oval pond, with peonies in the corners, as though they were growing poolside.  She had some other design features which I found too difficult to pull off, but the basic design is hers.  

I found some gorgeous peonies on oriental print fabric, which I cut out, one by one, and “doodled” onto the beautiful fabric I found for a background, one by one.  That took a few weeks.  I sewed them with shiny gold thread, which matched the gold of the print.  Very free motion on the sewing machine.  I loved it!Image

I designed the koi (again, with Calley’s help) by piecing together bright colors of fabric and appliqueing them to the water-colored batik I found.  The fins of the fish are also “doodled, but on through the layers, as well as the water lilies.

Quilting was another design challenge which I just held my breath and DID….I chalked some arcs around the fish, and sewed them down, as well as tying each of the noses of the koi with embroidery-thread whiskers, and working my way around the flowers on the edges with more “doodling.   I also stitched the ditches of the poolside border.

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There were a couple of “boo-boos” that occurred while working, some small cuts in the fabric, which I embroidered shut with additional “wildlife”.

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I was equally happy with the back, which was fashioned from soft, baby blue pinstripe flannel, which I hope Claire will joyfully cuddle with while she lounges on the couch watching TV and eating bonbons!Image

 

Stay tuned for Lily’s quilt.  She ASKED me for it!  A quilt of her very own…pink with flowers!  I’m ON it!

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Just so you know…just in case!

ImageI love you guys and gaias!  I love my life!  I love every moment.  Most important thing I can say. This morning, I’m going ziplining!  I’m going to jump off a cliff over a rain forest attached to a sturdy clothesline!  Yes, i will wear my video camera.  So, if this is my last will and testament, let me just say I’ve lived a good life!

My friend Dianne is celebrating twice today; 25 years sober, and 65 years on the planet.  She invited us all to go celebrate with her for lunch and a dive off a cliff.  I’m scared and excited and happy that I have the courage to go.  My only regret is that my children and grandchildren are not here to play with me.  So I’m taking pictures and will post them somewhere, assuming of course that I return in one piece.  If not, I’ll spare you the details.

Remember!  NOBODY DIES…and if they do, they learn to fly.  I’m flying high today.  Love and joy to all.  Here’s a link to a video.

 

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