Monday, July 28, 2008

Her Name is Wonderful

I finally got to see the peacock strut his stuff. Sadie and I just returned from our afternoon walk (third poop - hers) in the neighborhood. One block down from the Trees of Heaven is a house with a peacock in the side garden. When he makes his very unique peacock raucous cry, it can be heard for blocks. I am glad I don't live next door, but from a few blocks away, it makes me smile. Well, today, as we were strolling by, I heard him. We decided (yes, I am merely the walker - Sadie decides where we are going) to cross the street to see if we could see the bird. There he was, standing majestically by a beautiful cluster of trees, the ones that all come up from one root and exude a strength and presence. The captivating creature looked at us. We looked at him, with appropriate deference, of course. Then, he raised his right foot and held it, like a flamingo, puffed his chest out while putting his head back, and let out his slightly insane sounding cry. Too cool for words. How magical it is to come across a peacock on a walk in the neighborhood. And, to top off my lesson (yes, if one is open to it, every walking meditation can bring with it an amazing gift of self knowledge, if you let it), the old woman who lives there, has a son. His name is Abel (the good one!). But, wait. There's more. The path that leads up to the side of the garden where the peacock has rule of, has an artistically adorned wrought iron gate in front of it. On the top are the words JESUS, and below are the words, His Name is Wonderful. Below that is a depiction of the world and little people crawling around the whole circumference. Whoever welded that piece of art is a gifted craftsman. It was a beautiful reminder that heaven is truly on Mother Earth, if you let her embrace you. As emissaries of unconditional love from the Source, dogs are good reminders, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sadie's Turn

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
-- Milan Kundera

Thank you, girl. Yes, I know, it's dinner time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Trees of Heaven

"There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly...survives without sun, water, and seemingly earth."
—A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Introduction

Ask for answers, and the Source is only too happy to oblige. Ask, and ye shall receive. On our daily morning walk, Sadie and I like to go down the street in our neighborhood that has an abundance of unique and stately trees. As there are such distinct seasons in Oregon, I love seeing the different states of the trees, and Sadie loves to sniff the messages left on them from other dogs. I also like to feel the energy from their roots underneath me as I walk by. There are two trees in particular to which I am drawn. They stand about ten feet apart and look like two outstretched arms, rising up from the Earth. I am always reminded to breathe deeply as I walk by them, and to smile widely. They say your body emits happy energy when you smile, even if you are not feeling like smiling right then. Fortunately, that mere act triggers a process that sends that good energy racing through your body, and you end up in a better state of mind. So, today, as we walked by the pair of trees, the owner was sitting on his porch. I said hello and told him how much we love his trees. He thanked me, and said some people even stop their cars to marvel at them. I asked him if he knew what kind they were. He said they were called "Trees of Heaven", and that they grow so fast, and their roots are so deep that they require more maintenance than other trees. I guess if you want to live in Heaven on Earth daily maintenance is called for. I was almost speechless (a rare event) hearing their name, and said I had to rush home to get my camera. I smiled the whole way home! I came back and took some pictures. They don't quite capture the magnificence, but will hopefully make you smile anyway. If you click on the picture, you can see them more fully in their glory!

Being a nerd, I went online to see what I could find out about the trees. I was floored to read that Betty Smith based her book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on these marvelous trees. I cried when I read that, and even as I write this, as my Mom was from Brooklyn, and that is one of my favorite books as a child. From this day forward, as I walk by there, I will know those tender, and protective arms that reach up from the Earth are those of Miriam, my mother. She used to always tell me to smile more. I guess some things never change!

I was divinely and happily led to follow the clues that were in front of me. The clues led me back to the source, mother love, in the semblance of two trees with their loving arms open to embrace all who walk by.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Purloined Letter

I was at the gym this morning, and while on the elliptical, I looked over and saw a woman working out on a nearby machine. She had her back to me. On her shirt was the saying, "Pain is weakness leaving the body". I smiled, of course, as we are always being given "shout out" messages around us from the Source.

With regard to that message, as a healer, I work with people to help them release their pain. I gently remind them that their body's pain is trying to give them a message. Usually where your pain is, is also where your greatest strengths lie. For example, people who want to sing, may get sore throats more than usual, or someone who is afraid to tell something he or she thinks is shameful, may experience acid reflux, or someone holding onto a secret may suffer from irritable bowels. It's just one of those laws of energy - if you allow your body to be your guide, that which doesn't kill you will ultimately make you stronger. A weakness is often an indicator of fear, and behind the fear "hot spot" is previously untapped strength. Your body is your best friend and advocate, and will always remind you of your capability, gently at first, then in a more extreme fashion, if not acknowledged. You will be surprised at how much power can be found if you trust your body, and allow the pain to surface and be replaced by the strength within. Too often we turn to drugs to numb and block the pain. That merely masks the symptoms and doesn't address the source. Again, always trust the source. It will never lie. The source is genuine truth. To embrace your genuine self, you need only embrace your source. And be patient with the process!

But, I digress from today's aptly named blog, The Purloined Letter. The reference is a tribute to the master storyteller, Edgar Allan Poe. This classic short story is a mystery about a letter stolen by a blackmailer. The twist is that the letter is difficult to find because it is actually placed on a wall, thus hidden in plain sight. The other favorite of mine is Roald Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter". A long suffering wife kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb. When the detective comes over to talk to her, she invites him to dinner and feeds him the leg of lamb. While eating it, he muses out loud that he is sure the evidence is right under his nose. Both stories remind me that our answers are always in front of us. The Source (or you may prefer Universe, or God, the Mother, or Higher Power) always gives us our answers. Oftentimes the answers are delivered in a humorous way. Sometimes we resist the answers and get mad, and stop breathing as deeply as our bodies need. At some point, when we tire of being our own worst enemy, the resistance, which takes significantly more effort, melts away and we accept the truth. Pain is replaced by joy, and we breathe deeply again. We are able to laugh at ourselves and forgive ourselves for harboring such ill will toward self, and/or others. Laughter is a powerful gift we are given as we travel our path of self discovery. Look around you. Ask for some answers. Don't be afraid of what you might receive, as it will always be wrapped in love, and will ultimately make you laugh deeply and lead to releasing long held pain. Be open to the answers by staying present in your body and in the moment. The truth will always set you free. So, be here now. Love your body. It is your temple. Speaking of temples, I have to post this picture of me with my bodyguard. He isn't actually my bodyguard, but a Sikh warrior who I had to have my picture with while visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Ironically, one of my spirit guides is the spitting image of this peaceful warrior! Funny how that works!

Monday, July 14, 2008

We are all offshoots of the Mother Tree

Yep, more Herr Guido. He is back now in Berlin, but during our energy healing sessions, as a request, I asked Guido to take a picture for me of a tree. He had just arrived from Berlin, having never been to the States and was about to leave for a week as a sightseer in New York, and Chicago. It was his assignment. And, I am happy to report (never doubting his talent), he returned triumphantly from his quest. He brought back a photograph of a rather unusual tree. It is a tulip tree. I had never heard of this kind of tree. Guido took the photo at the Vanderbilt estate in upstate New York. (Remember his gorgeous photo of Niagara Falls mentioned in my blog a few weeks back.) He also took a close-up of one of the tulip blossoms on a branch. It made me see how we are all offshoots of trees, our mothers. They gave us life, much as a branch lives off of a tree, and is a creation, a literal "offshoot" of its mother. I asked Guido what was his mother's name. He said her name was "Ingeborg". I told him it was only fitting to name the portrait after his mother. We all have a strong connection to a particular tree. Some of us may be more in touch with which tree has the deepest connection and thus the deepest healing. Fortunately, as part of the big plan, everyone has the capability if they truly go within and listen to the voice that is the sweetest inside. Trusting that voice, too, sometimes takes a little longer for some, but everyone can tap into it and drink from the limitless source. That action is one of the laws of energy and healing. Ask for succor, and there succor will be.

If you would like a rewarding experience, take a walking meditation in your neighborhood to ponder what tree your mother is. I know that may sound corny, and some people may feel too uncomfortable about something so "airy fairy"-ish, but you will have to try it yourself in order to experience the magic. You will be surprised about some of the answers you will certainly receive which will help you on your journey toward the transformation into your genuine self. The genuine self is the one that breathes in and breathes out unconditional love. Just like a tree does. If you are really brave, you can hug a tree and hold it until it hugs back. It can't hurt! So, here is the lovely Ingeborg Tulip Tree, and her proud creation, the Guido Tulip. Enjoy the love!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tanks be to God

My honey's Aunt Margo always says "Tanks be to God", with a thick Middle Eastern accent. Besides being an absolute doll, she is one of the greatest cooks I have encountered. Her brother Joseph brought her over from Lebanon many years ago, and put her straight to work in their family restaurant. She makes incredibly delicious stuffed grape leaves and yummy kibbeh (which goes swimmingly with tart yogurt or lebne). Her hummus makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I will have to say, however, her tabbouleh isn't the best (that would be my honey's), but everything she makes is infused with the most glorious love in every bite. She never married, but instead took care of everyone else in her family. Talk about a mensch. Every time we would come over for lunch, on our way out, she would hand us some extra grape leaves and those little pizzas with the sumac spice on it...I am going to totally misspell the name, but I think it's lakme bajean...and, she made tons of it for us. The grape leaves melt in your mouth. We could eat a pound in a sitting. I kid Margo all the time about her not going to mass on Sunday with her older sister, Jaenette. She just smiles and says, "For what I should go to the church?! God is everywhere I am." I always tease her by making her tell me she loves me as much as her favorite niece, my honey. She says "of course", with shaking arms raised in emphasis, and a big grin on her face...and, I know she means it...and,yowza...I feel it...and, through her cooking, taste it.

Margo is the one on the right, with the mischievous look on her face. That is the look of someone who knows the answer. She knows it is about unconditional love - 24/7. Yep, tanks be to God...and...the Goddess...especially the goddess.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sistahs are doing it for themselves

"Sisters are different flowers from the same garden." ~Anonymous

Venus Williams beat her sister in tennis this morning to win the finals at Wimbledon. Her sister beat her the previous two times they met in tennis finals. Later, they will play together as doubles partners. From what I have read, and from interviews I have seen, they have a relationship that is built on a lot of love and respect. And, both cheer each other on, and demand that each other brings her "champion" play to the table. I think that is really cool. So, today's entry is about sisters. Yet, again, I have another one of Herr Guido's perfect photos to convey my words in an image. Last week, at a gathering to celebrate Guido's work, he took photos of guests. When I met these two wonderful sisters, and saw their photo being taken, I said I had to have a copy for my blog. And, right as rain, I knew there would be something special captured through his masterful eye. It makes me smile, and I hope it makes readers smile, when they look at the joy and happiness of these two sisters. It is so sweet to see how they both chose similar jewelry, full of strong pieces of stones, and wear the pieces well. Again, it does not take a psychic to see that these women are very generous with their love to one and all, and especially for one another. I am usually good about names, but I don't recall theirs. What I do remember is that the older sister is visiting from California, where she works with disabled children. Her younger sister and I talked (more like happy shrieking!) about both feeling extremely fortunate to have experienced Dharamsala, and having received a wonderful blessing from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. We both marveled and gratefully acknowledged how we continue to feel the joy and blessing from His Holiness!

Go Venus! Go Serena! Go sisters everywhere! And, a happy birthday shout out to my sister, Wendy (July 1st)!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Rose's Legacy

I picked a rose from our garden last week. It was in full bloom, and had a little bud attached to it that hadn't quite bloomed. The fragrance was lovely. A few days after blooming so gloriously, I came downstairs and noticed all the petals had fallen. At first I thought our cat, Max, got up on the table and batted them off the flower. But, they seemed slightly curled, and they were probably just ready to drop on their own. However, what was once the little bud, was now a beautiful rose in full bloom. It made me think of yesterday's blog, and the legacy of our mothers, and the mothers before them. This beautiful rose had a wonderful life. Then it decided one day to drop its petals, toward compost, and then, of course to an eventual rebirth. As magic is afoot, happily for the world, she left behind room enough for her beautiful daughter to bloom and breathe fully. Yet, this bloom is attached to the other one, and thus still breathes in oxygen and nourishment from the original shared source. The source is infinite and abundant. I am still learning the ins and outs of my new digital camera, so this is my best angle for capturing an image of what I was trying to put to a story in words. Words can be as pretty as a rose in full bloom, but only if conveyed in their genuine truth. Otherwise, I prefer the beauty and simplicity of a rose to speak its volumes.