The Show Must Go On
Just sitting here pondering about life. Concluding that, if nothing else, it’s engaging as we navigate through our individual and collective journeys. I say collective because we’re in this together. Who’s crossing your path today, and why?
Have you ever viewed life as a movie with yourself as both the writer and star? I have.
Of course, there will be significant co-stars. At the same time, God, the universe, creator, or whatever term you refer to as a higher power is trying to direct scenes that include, I don’t know, millions of extras and a storyline that changes daily. Spielberg gave it a hard no.
It all started when I began recognizing a pattern of who I was attracting onto my set. Yes, we’re sticking to the movie theme here. My awareness heightened when someone or something got under my skin. Ugh, what is it? Why are you so f@#$ing annoying?
The answer is simple and complicated. Oh, you thought it would be easy too?
Remember the millions of extras and those co-stars? Well, they play crucial roles in our stories, some more than others, but they’re all critical in their own way. It’s no accident they auditioned.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the disgruntled cashier, a family member, a boss, or someone in between. If they show up, I ask myself whether they’ve been cast as my mirror, a messenger, or a teacher. A memo from the director would be nice; just saying.
The other plot twist to remember is that everyone you encounter is also starring in their own movie. What could possibly go wrong? Without ever being in Hollywood, I think it’s safe to say things can go wry when too many stars are on the stage. Why? Well …
We’re all walking around the studio lot we call this world with unhealed wounds while our particular audiences sling salt at them daily, provoking us to choose between reacting or learning. It’s not a Hallmark movie out there, folks.
So far, I’ve realized that our movies do not include stunt people, which is sometimes unfortunate but necessary if we want that blockbuster; we have to feel the bumps along the way. They don’t call it growing pains for anything.
Another important lesson learned is improvising or using our free will during production makes it very difficult for the director to navigate the script. Ego is always trying to steal the show.
So, until we allow the spotlight to shine on us with certainty, the problematic scenes in our movie will play on a loop until we decide to heal or learn. It’s all about the light.
This perspective has allowed me to view my movie more transparently and ask the director for guidance; this has led me on a path to winning the Best Picture award.
Enjoy the Ride!
Ratty Robe of Worry
Recently, a friend was going through a medical issue and gave what I like to call “the runaround,” having to go from one doctor to the next and shelling out co-pays all along the way. Without thought, I told her Peace of mind is costly.
Later, when the dust settled, she asked me how I came up with that response. This really made me pause since, well, I had no idea. It just came out of my mouth without an ounce of thought. That’s usually where the truth lies.
The truth is I don’t think I’ve ever had Peace of mind, in the true sense. Being born into a household with an older parent, a lot of my childhood was spent worrying about death.
I was 10 years old when I realized my dad was older than my best friend’s grandmom, and in that instant, my carefree childhood began worrying about the future. Fear is so much cheaper than Peace.
If you were wondering, my dad died when I was THIRTY-ONE.
This pattern of worry or fear of the future has been with me for a long time. It didn’t get buried with my dad; it followed me into each phase of my journey. I’ve mastered this behavior.
Now, here I sit at the point in my life where my kids are productive members of society and my parents are ironically resting in Peace. This is supposed to be “my” time. So, why the hell am I sitting in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop? It’s like being in a foreign land without a translator.
Apparently, I’m not comfortable in a state of settled awareness. I don’t even know how to react to being present. I prefer the ratty robe of worry. Currently, I’m training myself to keep that robe in the closet and unify myself with the now. Did I hear good luck with that, Lisa?
There are days, even weeks, when the struggle is real. Why? Well, life. I’m not made of stone, and I have a T.V.
I know for sure that unlearning is a hell of a lot more complicated than learning. Trying to untangle decades of trauma, behaviors, and thought processes will take some time and effort. I’ve been doing the work, as they say, for a year. Yes, I’ve made some significant strides, but the world as we currently know it has me grabbing that ratty robe more often than I’d like. There are no back-to-school sales for unlearning.
Now, if only I had an eraser. Enjoy the Ride!
Girl, We Tried
As I was stumbling through some papers this morning, not one but two fortune cookie fortunes fell to the floor. Considering the last time I had Chinese Food was New Year’s Eve, I was taken back for a moment. Where the hell did they come from?
Once I read them, I knew they hung around for a reason, and by the looks of them, they have been doing their best to get my attention, and it hasn’t been easy. I had to laugh, imagining them jumping off tables shouting, “over here, look, I’m right here!” As Mrs. Magoo walked on without notice, until today. The universe knows best.
“Present your best ideas today to an eager and welcoming audience.”
“Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential.”
Please can we get a round of applause for the author and the delicious cookie?
Well, folks, I certainly hope you’re eager, welcoming, and ready for some questions because you are about to get hit with the idea that has been pressing on me for a few months now. Ready or not, here it comes.
We seem to be living in a country where fear, division, and conflict are sitting center stage. The big nugget of knowledge that we were born from conflict seems to get forgotten. You reap what you sow.
Common sense at the most basic level has left the building. Somewhere along the line, we allowed the detrimental us vs. them mentality to migrate into our own homes, areas of employment, and houses of worship. Enough already.
How long are we willing to keep this big bag of crazy alive by feeding it every damn day? At this point, it’s morbidly obese.
I think it’s time we start asking ourselves some serious questions. I’ll get the ball rolling since I was chosen via a coffee-stained fortune cookie fortune that fell to the floor to do so. Sometimes the universe does not take no for an answer.
I’ll share my questions with my own eager and welcoming audience. Hey, I can’t help anyone else if I’m unwilling to do the work myself – right?
- Are my fears causing this reaction?
- Are my opinions coming from a place of compassion?
- Are my thoughts, words and actions in allignment?
Fear, as we all know, comes from the outside. Isn’t it time we elevate our consciousness above this negative narrative and look for the good? I know my alarm has sounded.
There truly is good roaming around waiting to be shared and cultivated into our society. I think I just heard my disheveled fortune say, “Girl, we tried.”
In the end, we are human. We make mistakes. It’s not easy to recognize and change our behaviors, but I believe we should look to put in some effort at this moment in time. Remember, my fortunes look like two hot messes from their efforts to be heard.
Do the work, and Enjoy the Ride!
Shit Show — Season 2 The Unveiling
As Season 2 of that shit show we call 2020 continues, I must say it’s been interesting. What are we on now Episode 9? All I know is I’ve spent a good portion of it crying at EVERYTHING—my emotions on steroids. Not the happy go lucky ones, the “you look like Alice Cooper” kind. I’ve already lost a pair of contacts to a riptide on my face.
A dear friend reminded me that tears are an excellent way to hydrate. I also believe this to be true. My skin is glistening, and my eyes no longer require fake tears in a bottle. I’m one sad song aways from bottling my own and selling them on Etsy. Tears are Us.
Ok, so back in Episode 1, I was on the brink of losing it. Not only was I grieving the loss of my mother, I had the realization that I was also grieving the loss of the way many things had been for years. I was mostly missing that upbeat call at midnight, wishing me a Happy New Year as I lay sleeping on the couch missing the ball drop. Kind of a bummer for the season opener.
Episodes 2 & 3 were much better. I spent the morning trying to figure out what I could do with this newfound freedom. As I left the house for a fun-filled day with my love interest, I was excited about the possibilities. We walked around a small town in New Jersey that I swear was the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie, and I saw my first sign that anything is possible. It was a plaque with my full name, middle initial, and all, followed by PhD. Not that I have any intention of getting a PhD., but it made me think, ‘you got this world by the balls, now go get it.” All the answers are there if you keep your eyes open.
Oh, Episode 4 was a real doozy! It was my first day back to work after 252727262782 days off, and there was NO INTERNET! I work for a physician, and our entire system is internet-based. The phone was ringing off the hook, patients were coming in with new insurance information, and this one issue was about to paralyze our day. I thought, “No, absolutely not, not today 2021 you 2020 wanna be, NO!” There is always a Plan B waiting in the shadows; no matter what the situation, look and you will find.
Ugh, by noon, the earth was back on its axis, and our internet was restored just in time for the start of Episode 5, which was almost too perfect. These days I’m skeptical of smooth sailing. I’ll assume that’s a little PTSD from 2020. I got into my car, and as always, made sure my phone was on Bluetooth. Why? Because every day for the last, FOREVER days, I called my mom on the way home from work. Another contact fell victim to this cry festival.
Episode 6 began with waking up after a dream that was so vivid and intense it left me lying in bed wondering, “Was that a dream?” I spent the rest of my morning analyzing that bag of crazy before heading to work. As if that wasn’t enough, real-life crazy started with news alerts on my phone about the new Civil War talking place in D.C. Hearing and seeing this footage was alarming, but I was not surprised, to be honest. Was I expecting it so early into Season 2? No, but here we are riding the crazy train. That entire episode shined a big fat light on subjects that can no longer be ignored, denied, or defended.
As I opened my eyes on Episode 7, I thought, “What’s next?” Ugh, while watching the morning news, it became clear that shit was getting very real here in the good ole U. S. of A. Watching the hypocrites surface and take flight was a real highlight. I’m not positive, but I do believe I may have broken a record for consecutive obscenities screamed at an object a/k/a a T.V. Oh, and I was laid off, but I’m happy.
Wow, that is all I can say for Episode 8. The list of flip-flopping hypocrites was growing at record speed. At the same time, our Commander in Lies continues to search for a 12-year-old with more than one social media account he can use, and we are now up to 5 senseless deaths following whatever the hell that was that took place in Episode 6. On the bright side, I had a male and female cardinal show up in the tree outside my window. They spent over an hour watching my every move. I’m just going to call them mom & dad and leave it at that.
Episode 9 opened up with ANOTHER vivid dream that was absolutely exhausting. I really believe this is the universes way of saying “Girl, we tried to tell you while you were awake, but you kept ignoring us.” We all know what this means – change is a coming. Something tells me those cardinals are working hard.
As I look at my personal life and the world around us, the veil is being lifted from reality. On a personal level, I recognize things about myself and those around me who may or may not remain in my circle with a clear lens. The evil and injustices evident to many for far too long are finally getting recognized with greater clarity and an undeniable audience. A change is gonna come.
In the meantime, my griefcase is packed, my eyes are open, and as always, I’ll fasten my seatbelt for the rest of Season 2 and try to Enjoy the Ride!
Through all of the recent darkness, I’ve been trying my best to look for the silver linings and believe it or not, they’re around. Currently, the most prominent one seems to be around my hairline.
Here are just a few things keeping my sanity intact these days.
Neighborhoods all around are finding ways to lift spirits, a clear sign that humanity is alive and well on the ground. It would be nice if she took a trip to DC, but that’s for another day.
My sister lives in a small town in NJ, and she is surrounded by creative minds. While on her daily “I need to get some damn air” walk, she came across a bundle of love all along the way. Is this what it’s like to live next door to Mr. Rogers? I think it’s close.
My neighborhood has been participating in a social media challenge to find rainbows displayed in windows or on doors. It’s a local scavenger hunt of sorts. I’m not sure if there is an age limit to participate, but I’m killing it over here with 32 rainbows! The other competitors aren’t old enough to cross the street, but that’s not my problem.
Since my family is sheltering in different places, PA, NJ & CA, my daughter started a Family Quarantine Facebook page to keep us connected. So far, this has been a great way to share encouraging quotes, photos of my great-niece Hope (yes, that is her name), and of course, memes. Laughter and baby photos make everything tolerable.
The silver lining for Peanut and Landon has been having their human roommates home 24/7. Peanut follows me EVERYWHERE. He is under my feet, on my lap, or up my ass ALL DAY LONG. At this point, he’ll need therapy when I go back to work. Landon refuses to follow the social distancing requirements, Peanut just wants him to stop being “that guy.”
Throughout this experience, I’ve been noticing two things every day. The number 444 and a cardinal. Coincidence? I think not. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s hit in the face with signs from the universe? Um, Google it.
Well, just as I suspected and Google confirmed, these two things are messages. I was already aware of the many meanings behind a cardinal sighting, so I welcomed my visitor with a cheery, “Good morning, Jer!” I’m assuming it’s my brother-in-law Jerry who passed away in October. If not, his name is now Jerry.
As for the 444, this is what I found.
If you see the number 444 repeatedly, it is often your angel giving you a sign that they are with you. The sign is reminding you to feel confident and supported in this knowledge.
While we’re all on pause, take time to notice the good, feed your soul, and as always … Enjoy the ride!
World Peace Is In The Kitchen
Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation with members from my Quaker Meeting, and it was an enjoyable experience. This country could use one of these on a daily basis.
The theme for the walk this year was “Recognizing the One in All of Us.” This is appropriate for many reasons, in and out of religions.
Although this is something that has been going on for 15 years, it was my first, but certainly not my last. There is just something fulfilling about being surrounded by a group of like-minded folks that energizes me in a way I cannot put into words.
We started our journey at the Arch Street Meeting House in old city Philadelphia. The Meeting room was filled with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, secular humanists, and others who share the values of peace and justice. We sat in silence, as we do in Quaker tradition before heading to the streets.
Our first stop was the Society Hill Synagogue where we were greeted by members lining the entrance. Musicians were playing inside that filled the room with joy. The Rabbi welcomed all of us with prayer and a dash of humor. We then enjoyed a musical prayer performed by the Philadelphia Sikh Society youth group. A reading by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurite, Husna Hashim, that rose the room to their feet in applause, and a Recitation from the Qu’ran by Muhammed Shehata from the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, which thankfully was translated for all of us to interpret. Notice the Rabbi & the Muslim embracing in the background. Who would have known ….
All throughout the walk, we were encouraged to use this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone outside of our comfort zone and LEARN. Questions like “does your turban come pre-wrapped or do you do it yourself?” were not off limits.
Just in case you were wondering they are not pre-wrapped and there are YouTube videos for guidance. According to his smile, I would say he was relieved at the lightness of my question.
Once we left the Synagogue, we made our way back to the street and headed out for a 60-minute walk to Al Aqsa Mosque. We were greeted by the sounds of music compliments of a woman DJ wearing a hijab and Beats by Dre headphones. Something you don’t see every day.
The parameter of the facility was lined with the World Peace ballons in the above photo. It was indeed a site to witness. The air was consumed by the fragrance of dinner being made by the members of the Mosque, and dessert prepared by the Sikh community for all of us to share. All I can say is …. YUM!
As we were all settling in I took a moment to look around, I mean really look around at the oneness surrounding me.
I watched the men carrying out trays of food, and the women were not only directing where everything needed to go, but they were also getting annoyed if the men did not do it accordingly. Every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The children were running around excited to have company in their “home.”Look what I can do! Look at me! Watch this! Free entertainment.
I realized that the ONE woman in our lives who insists you try her dish over the everyday meals made by the other women even though your plate is already overflowing exists in EVERY culture. You know who you are ladies.
This was when I understood that the core ingredient to solving World Peace is FOOD. We really need to stop overthinking, start cooking and
Enjoy the Ride!
Let ‘er Roll!
via Daily Prompt: Conveyor
con·vey·or: a person or thing that transports or communicates something. “a conveyor of information.”
When I first read this prompt, Lucy and Ethel came to mind as I remembered the most famous conveyor belt of my lifetime, which has been providing laughter to so many for decades. You’re welcome.
Life was so much simpler in the days when the only things coming at us like a train were chocolates. Sigh
We now live in a time where information conveyed is too easily received, not because it’s factual, but because it matches our belief. This information overload is preventing us from L I S T E N I N G to anything outside of our own opinions. A wall has been built folks, and it’s not in Mexico.
Now that the double-edged sword technology has entered our lives; it’s not just the bombardment of information conveyed at full throttle; it’s the follow-up investigations to dissect the truths that are equally overwhelming for me. Exhausting is an understatement.
Sadly, not everyone conducts investigations because it’s more accessible to watch “Breaking News” or accept information spewed out of the mouths our politicians as factual. Easy peasy.
Just remember, Memes have become sources of News in some circles of this country. Let that sink in for a moment.
We also endure the information our “friends” on social media are conveying to the world on a minute to minute basis. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat an endless stream of blah, blah, blah. I’ve never been happier not to be a teenager.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to share moments that have substance, the photo of a lost pet, an encouraging quote or funny meme, but to continuously convey your every move to the world is more of a cry for help. Look at me look at me … umm … NO!
Just like Lucy said “Ethel, I think we’re fighting a losing game.” as she shoved chocolates in her mouth, under her hat, and on the floor.
It’s time to dig deep people. The time has come to silence the overload, regain our common sense and be better stewards of the information we are conveying to the world. One closed tab at a time.
How’s this for information overload?
Be kind. Be mindful. Be considerate. Be aware. Be honest. Be friendly. Be compassionate. Be grateful. Be inspirational. Be yourself. Be happy. Be strong and as always, Enjoy the Ride!
Have you seen Grace?
She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.
You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?
So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.
In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.
That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.
Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature.
Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.
Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt
This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?
Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl.
So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!
As you know from my previous post I recently experienced the art of Floating. What is it you ask? Well, it can be described as the best freaking thing since sliced bread by me.
In the beginning, it took me awhile to get comfortable. Naked and alone in pitch black room takes a minute to absorb.
I closed the door but left the low light and music on at first. The water was body temperature warm and soothing. Eventually, I did turn the lights and music off as I slipped into the quiet, peaceful zen. It didn’t take long before I was able to completely let go. Free at last.
The coolest part for me was having no concept of time whatsoever, and not caring about it at all. It feels so good.
Float Spas are popping up in my area, but from what I understand floating is nothing new, however, the experience has certainly changed. Once you add the word Spa it becomes sexy.
Apparently, floating also went by the name Isolation Tank, and are you ready … Sensory Deprivation Tank, as far back as 1954. This sounds scientific, not sexy so there were no appointments needed.
Today isolation tanks are located in beautiful rooms with inviting names like “Oasis” or “Grotto” that are chock full of amenities like fluffy towels, robes, scented soap, and shampoo. Anything to divert you away from the fact that you will soon be naked as a jaybird.
My room was spectacular with its private shower, candles, and a hint of lavender. This is how you get your zen on. The room my husband experienced is best described as a Pink Floyd lap of luxury fusion. Trippy with a dash of zen.
The idea behind the floatation therapy is to provide you with a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. It takes you away from the endless sensory experiences that seem to consume us these days. It should be mandatory for teenagers and college students.
Just imagine if you could go into your head and give it a good Spring cleaning, leaving not a single dust bunny to clutter your thoughts, allowing you to focus on whatever you please. It basically brings out the best in your brain. My mind left fresh s a daisy.
As for the physical benefits, whew there is something to be said about feeling like a noodle. My muscles take a beating at the gym at least 4 times a week, so they were very grateful for this treat.
The magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water brings your muscles back to life. It relieves tension and makes your skin incredible. I left looking like a smooth glow-worm.
All in all, it was peaceful, relaxing, invigorating, enlightening all rolled up into one amazing 90 minutes. This was a first for me and my husband, and we would both do it again, and again, and again. As they say, whatever makes your boat float, or in this case, booty.
Enjoy the Ride!
Just Look For It
It’s funny how during all of the darkness over the past month, we have been able to see some light. A glimmer here a glimmer there help the heart heal.
We are both very big believers in noticing the signs that are sent our way, and we were not blind to them even during the darkest of times. Hope comes in all shapes and sizes, the key is recognizing it.
The day after the nightmare began, I went with my daughter to see my husband at the hospital. While walking through the lobby we were greeted by a very friendly face. Sister Kate. The world is so small.
I know Sister Kate from my job, and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. Our relationship is she is a patient and I’m in shock that this nice, warm, funny person is a Catholic nun. Where the hell were YOU when I was in school is ALWAYS my thought when I see her.
Sister Kate immediately knew from my haggard look that something was wrong. This was the first time I uttered the words “My husband tried to take his life” and the flood-gates opened. Her warm kind hug is just what I needed before heading to face my reality. Never underestimate the power of fate.
We walked into the room to find my husband under 24hr guard by none other than an Italian grandmother from South Philly. There isn’t a pill on the planet that can compare to the healing powers of this woman.
The room was stark, nothing but a bed. My husband was stripped of anything that could possibly hurt him, and yet this woman made that room feel like home. I was waiting for her to pull a portable oven out of her purse.
Lena was just what this doctor ordered…. a mothers’ love. Never underestimate the power of an Italian woman who gets joy from taking care of a man.
During this visit is when we learned that my husband had ZERO memory of the past 12 hours. If only the rest of us had that pleasure.
The following day my son came with me. This time the guard on duty was Lorraine, a very feisty black woman. She was definitely sent for me.
This day was very heavy as we sat patiently waiting for information on the next hospital setting. The silence was deafening. Except for Lorraine’s gum cracking which was no doubt echoing throughout the halls.
My son was saved by a friend who called insisting on taking him out to lunch. Perfect timing!
As we sat in awkward silence listening to that poor piece of gum being assaulted in Lorraine’s mouth, we heard the words “who are you all voting for?” Of all the questions on the planet to ask, this was the one she chose to ask the man on suicide watch.
This is when the unexpected public service announcement was made. Lorraine would be voting for Trump. Why do you ask? Well, because she was tired of her neighbors collecting free money for their 5 children that she named Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro & Cinco. Fast forward to 11/9 … yep, this is one reason why.
On that Sunday I went to see my husband at the next facility. No one could have prepared me for this step of the journey. I’m not sure who decided that people with depression should be dehumanized to feel better, but they need to be fired.
I left this visit defeated, broken and wondering where is that place Dr. Drew sends his patients and do they take Blue Cross? The lack of life in this place could make even the happiest of people second guessing the existence of rainbows. WTF!
When I returned home I was flat. There was just nothing left to feel. I was done. With a weak smile for the sake of the kids of course.
As my son was about to head back to school, he decided to raid my change jar to feed the parking meter in town. He took out a huge pile of coins searching for quarters.
Next thing I hear is “mom, didn’t you loose a ring?” I had lost my wedding band on Thanksgiving 2015.
I have torn this house apart more than once searching for it. Trust me when I tell you I put the FBI to shame with my search efforts.
Sure enough, there was my ring, on the floor, with a dime stuck in the center. My eyes could just about register what they were seeing. The dam broke, and 4 days of emotion exploded into the room.
If ever there was going to be a sign that everything was going to be ok, this friends, was it.
Still dodging potholes while Enjoying the Ride!
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