Monday, April 22, 2019
Friday, February 24, 2017
I've been practicing every day, but not nearly as long as I'd like to. With school being in full swing, having work and family life, it's quite easy to stumble off the path. When I cannot meditate as long as I like, I make sure that I practice the presence of God more. I make sure that I am practicing using affirmations more regularly. I take a little time out to think of and pray for those that are in need or for the loved ones of those who have died.
So while my meditation practice isn't currently as lengthy as I want it to be I still make time for cultivating my relationship with God and praying for others. I also remember that all of life is spiritual life. Spiritual life is not relegated to a day or time or place, it is everyday existence.
What are some things that you do to maintain balance, peace and focus in your spiritual life?
Thursday, February 23, 2017
I think that the Democratic Party lost due to a myriad of reasons. Hubris being one of them. The Democrats ran the most establishment candidate possible at a time when the country was clamoring for something far different than what we have ever had. The country was sick and tired of repeats and blasts from the past. We certainly didn't want another legacy candidate, that's what Hillary Clinton represented. People were wanting real change. That's why populist candidates saw the biggest rallies and had throngs of supporters.
Hillary Clinton racked up a lot of pledged delegates against Bernie Sanders' insurgent campaign, the problem is that the Dems refused to take the blinders off. Hillary Clinton won states that would NEVER go for a democrat. Their biggest mistake was to not look at Michigan as an outlier. She had my home state by a 40 point lead that she began with but Bernie won it anyway. People like to say that she won more votes, while not taking into account all of the states that have caucuses instead of ballot voting.
Part of what won Trump the presidency was the sheer ignorance and lack of understanding of the Democratic party and the racist, sexist, xenophobic past of America coming back to haunt itself. It really never went anywhere, it was just hidden. By my estimation Trump won with 50% died in wool Republicans, 25% Independents/Democrats, and 25% Basket of deplorable. The truth of the matter is that there are people in this country who voted for Trump who actually believe that slavery should never have ended. While it is untenable for most Americans that others believe something as despicable as this, it's true. There are those that voted for Obama but still voted for Trump because they wanted to see someone who was looking out for them. He talked a good game, but unfortunately those people believed in all the talk instead of looking at the life he's lived for decades. Nothing in his background says that he supports the little guy. In fact it says the opposite. But in this day and age of reality shows and everyone wanting to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous this was to be expected.
How do we move forward though?
Make your suggestion in the comments section. I think working together after this ill fated election could make a more positive impact than we could have ever imagined.
Monday, September 26, 2016
I was recently there support a love one through one of the most challenging decisions of her life. She had a very difficult choice to make. She had to decide if she was ready to become a mother. The answer to that question for her was a resounding NO. At 22 years old she had the understanding about herself and her present circumstances to know that brining another life into this world would present a hardship that neither she or the child were ready for.
My task was what to do and how to help. My family is full of women. Strong women. We all innately knew that she was not ready for that responsiblity so we all dealt with it in our own ways. I’m aunty action, so I jumped in my car and drove to Indiana to pick her up. Indiana is a state with restrictive abortion laws. I knew that the governor had signed a bill that forced women to pay for burial costs of a fetus if they had an abortion or miscarriage, so we drove back home to Michigan (I later found out that a federal judge haulted that law but there are other restricts so we just kept it moving). We came together as a family to support her through this emotional journey that many women before her had taken. I had no idea what to expect. I’ve never had an abortion. I’ve only been to an aborition clinic to have a preganancy test many years ago and for an annual exam. I had no idea what this would be like for her, her mother or myself.
As a loved one there to support someone, I could only imagine the frustration she felt, she shared it with me but again I can only somewhat know since this experience was hers alone. First of all there was a 24 hour waiting period. This means that if you are from out of state, then you must take extra time off work because you have to visit the clinic to sign a consent the day before having the procedure. They send you home with a stack of papers to read through. I’m no medical profession but I have taken anatomy classes and some of the realisitic images that they gave of the fetus at the different stages of gestation were to be honest not accurate. Some of the pictures were too advanced for the stages of gestation. Especially early on. When I was pregnant (many years ago) I used to get weekly emails of what the fetus looked like each week and it was a while until that alien phase passed to almost human, that was not refelcted in the state mandated paperwork that she was given. It honestly felt like a guilt trip with inaccuarte information to sway women into keeping a child that they may not be ready for for a multitude of reasons.
The day of the clinic visit, you’re expected to wait between 6 and 8 hours to complete the process and procedure. The strange thing is that the paperwork they give you to take home says that the abortion itself takes 15-20 minutes. So why the all day wait? I’m still not sure. In all honesty it feels like a deterrent. There are literally about 8 to 10 trips back and forth before you see the doctor. They call the patient back to sign papers and then back to the waiting room. You’re required to have counseling then they sit you back in the waiting room. You go get your vitals taken. Then back to the waiting room. You go watch a video, the back to the waiting room. You go have an ultrasound then back to the waiting room. In her case she had to have a second ultrasoudn then back to the waiting room. Then a confirmation of something and back to the waiting room. Then a different vital check and back to the waiting room. It’s like torture really. Each time you go back you think it’s the time to finally lie on the table and begin the procedure (which in and of itself makes one who has never been through this terrified). Each time, there’s a build up like this day, this process, this stress, the pain, the morning sickness, the potential life long connection to this emotionally abusive person is almost over, and then it’s yanked away yet again. I wondered if this is state mandated or if the clinic themselves come up with this onerous process.
I brought her home from the hospital after she was born. She was a premature baby so she had to spend 2 months in the hospital in an incubator hooked up to machines to be healthy enough to live in the world on her own. I thought a lot about that during this process. Who knew 22+ years ago that we would be here. Her mom, her and I again, waiting to take her home.
She was tearful. But she was resolute that this was the best decision for her. I wonder how many other women leave clinics because of the tedious process that plays on their emotions. I have to be honest. By the 8th trip I was frustrated, I went to the window and asked what was taking so long and why did the apointment begin at 9:20am only for us to all still be sitting there at 1:30pm. I was told that a lot of people decided to come in that day. And that there was only one doctor. But from the postings on the wall I could tell that this process was the every day normal process. I don’t know how women do it. It’s not easy as a bystander. I felt a bit of anxiety and often found myself getting out of my seat and walking the hallways. In the end she knew what she had to do, and so did we. As a loved one I just wanted to love and nurture and listen to her. That’s what I felt like I was able to do. My heart goes out to all women who are making The Choice. I am grateful that abortion is still safe and legal and relatively affordable. My concerns is that the emotional toll of the day with the process is more frustrating than it needs to be and as laws become more restrictive there will be more patients in need than medical health professionals there to help them. There is no training in medical school for abortion, doctors and nurses have to learn by training at clinics. This means that abortion care providers are few and far between and the cost can be prohibative to many women especially if you factor in the many women who don’t have access to a clinic and have to travel far, good luck if they have a job and or children. In Michigan 95% of abortion providers are located in the southeastern part of the state. That means that women who live in the state have to travel anywhere from 4 to 10 hours one way to get abortion services. This is what happens when we elect people to office who think that it is their right to curb ours based on thier ideology or religion. We are lucky at this point that doctors and women are not faced with criminal charges, though they keep trying to push for it. Abortion is something that makes women happy to do. Not one women was in that clinic yucking it up, but it is sometimes necessary. Us having the ability to determine when we are ready to take on the ultimate responsibilty of bringing life into the world is vital. Statistics show that many of us end up doing it on our own at some point so shouldn’t we alone have the right to determine if and when that time comes? I think so. No. I know so.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Thank you for those of you who have checked out my blog over the years. I'm coming back, hopefully what I post will be thought provoking and challenge you as life continues to challenge me to grow, expand, love, hurt, suffer, feel joy, feel frustrated experience a bit of bliss and do it all over again.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Ahkiba and I got a new puppy almost three weeks ago. Our hearts were broken when we got home from work and school today to find Gizmo barely moving and very sick. Please visit the GoFundMe page to see how you may be able to help Gizmo. Every little bit counts. Even $1 toward funding his surgery would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for helping our family!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
When she came back home for the new school year, I started noticing (even more) the constant reminders I had to give her about picking up after herself. And not just your normal messy kid stuff. But, I would tell her to take her plate, fork and cup to the kitchen and usually one or sometimes two items would make it to the kitchen, but never all three. Don't let me add, "and take your shoes and book bag to your room too!" at the same time, I'd be lucky if anything made it to its rightful place.
Something was amiss. I couldn't put my finger on it for quite some time. But after many conversations with my girlfriend who had spent countless hours observing the same things that I had seen, she finally said (out of concern and exasperation along with me), you should get her tested. This was no easy matter. We'd spent I'm sure what amounted to hours discussing what the problems were and possible solutions. She helped me get her very organized from top to bottom. Even after that, no change. I began making lists of everything she needed to do, and then instructed her to make her own lists, of what she had to do daily. My thought process was that this would create a sense of ownership and responsibility if it was her duty to be aware of and check her list every day.
It was a source of frustration and aggrivation because I felt like I was doing everything I could possibly think of to help Ahkiba get and remain on track but nothing ever really worked. In the midst of it all I learned that it takes time. I could stand to exercise a bit more patience (it is not my strong suite). But most importantly I had to change my strategy of approaching all that was going on. In the midst of it all. After talking with her Doctor, she sent us to a therapist and after evaluations by the therapist and teachers, it was determined that Ahkiba has ADHD with inattention. Having a diagnosis finally I began to read up on it. I didn't want to overwhelm myself and try to make what her symptoms appeared to be to me fit any particular disorder. I will admit that having a diagnosis was relieving but at the same time it is a journey to acceptance on so many levels.
Mentally I've been repeating "I have a special needs child". What image do you conjure up when you see those words? My child isn't like average children at age 12 she needs a lot more guidance and one on one direction. At times she can be extremely clingy uncomfortably so at times. And she has the body of a developed young woman so it doesn't help that her brain function and her appearance don't exactly match. What I have learned is this, "do not compare your child to yourself at their age, don't compare your child to other children at their age. Your child is unique and you have to accept and work with them as they are where ever they are in this life journey." That is where I had to begin.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
My heart is raw. it is aching. I was in a movie theater in Michigan when a mad man in Colorado decided to go on a rampage. Those people were doing what thousands of people do on Friday nights, go to a movie opening. That could have been anyone of us. And what will happen to staunch the blood letting? Nothing! He'll get lumped in with all the other mass murderers. We'll forget about him and the lives he has taken and those that he's forever changed.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Recently however, I've had a few guided meditations and the most recent one was one of the best meditation experiences I've had in quite some time. What made it great for me is that it was simple. We focused on the energy centers in the spine and concentrated solely on them. We went up and down the spine while mentally chanting Om. We practiced the meditation techniques together. One of the key parts was to practice together. It's easy to want to "go off on your own" and practice techniques at your own time and pace and not with the group. But there is something to be said for practicing in time with the group. I felt more calm and still. There was an ease of practice with being guided in meditation this time. And I truly believe in the idea of collective consciousness, a group working together toward the same goal is very powerful. That is why Christ said, " For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." * I know that for beginners, group meditation is very helpful because meditation can sometimes feel like an extremely difficult and thankless task (even if you're not a beginner). It's hard to calm the mind and the body may have jitters. But there is something to this meditation thing if we give it a chance.
I hope that as you practice this meditation you enjoy it and feel the bliss!
Here is the guided spinal meditation as given by Paramahansa Yogananda (author of "Autobiography of a Yogi").
"Concentrate at the point between the eyebrows, and go up the spine mentally chanting 'Aum' at each of the centers: coccyx (root), sacral, lumbar (navel), dorsal (heart), cervical (throat), medulla, Christ center (third eye). Now mentally go down the spine chanting 'Aum' at each of these centers. Go deeper and deeper in concentration, up and down the spine, mentally feeling the centers and mentally chanting 'Aum'. As you do this, you see that your consciousness is no longer locked in the external awareness of the body, but becomes centered in higher spiritual perceptions in the spine. Relax in God. Don't be tied to the consciousness of the body. Let your mind go deeper and deeper in the thought of God."
--Paramahansa Yogananda "December 24, 1936 all-day Christmas Meditation", Self-Realization Magazine, Winter 2002, p7