“Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh — Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear — Friend, good night.”
unofficial verse for Taps
Last week, despite my own trepidations and fear of being overwhelmed by my still very present 6 year old grief at the loss of my mother, I went to a funeral. I remembered that the greatest gift that my friends gave to me in my time of need was their presence so I ventured out to support my dear friend whose father, a veteran, was rendered Military Funeral Honors as he was laid to rest. Knowing everything happens for a reason, while I never met this man in person, even the connection in those final moments in remembrance after he left the physical world has left this message for me as I move forward: let your legacy be a life of service, love and joy.
An honor guard detail of two from the Armed Forces in full dress draped the American flag over the casket, the celebrant blessed it and made his final remarks sealing his beautiful life story on this Earth. As the priest spoke, I was watched his daughter, recalling her telling me that he was JOY, his enthusiasm over his short 95 years of life did not go unnoticed and passed on to her and it was obvious as the pain was heart felt, this man was loved and loved. I saw her holding tight to her own mother as the quiet moments that followed unfolded.
The family members stepped aside leaving a path directly to where Serafin waited to receive his final accolade for a life well lived. The honor guard lined up one in front of the other, the detail marched slowly towards the casket as a December breeze passed over us. Stopping with great respect, both carefully folded the American flag corner by corner in a ceremonious gesture as to honor his great contribution to this country. When finished, one of the two knelt in front of my friend’s mother, stating in Spanish that the American flag was presented in gratitude for his service on behalf of the President of the United States and this country. Then, all you heard was the emotive and powerful sound of Taps being played by a bugler. The finality of the moment was marked by the singularly beautiful,mournful and appropriate music of this call, full of rest and peace. White roses were then handed out to the family members to be placed on the end of the casket as the pall bearers lifted him gently into the mausoleum that would be his body’s new home.
However, I felt a freedom there, his spirit flying high all around me and I could not help but think my mother was present too urging me on, to carry the American dream with me and not to waste a single moment of opportunity to be a part of what makes a positive difference in this world. I thought about how I left my own career as a public servant this past summer, something that I held dearly as one of the highest honors and privileges I could have had to serve my country in whatever capacity I could. And I actually mourned for the first time leaving one dream for another, leaving behind my relationships and a career I held so very dear not knowing what would come next.
I hugged my friend, handed her my bracelet inscribed with the words “she knew she could and she did”, told her I loved her, retreated to my car where I was safe to just cry and cry and cry! Release is what I felt, loss is what I felt, and a deep love is what I felt for all of what I have experienced as it is now a part of, forever written on my journey.
I returned to my own home and retreated into my closet, the place where I spent many days not knowing how I would survive without my mom, the woman who always told me how proud she was of me. This time instead of falling on the floor in tears, I looked on my wall over the desk where I wrote my way out of grief. There she was, a framed seal of the Department of the Homeland Security surrounded by signature of all my friends, all the life stories that I impacted and who have impacted me. And I recalled that American flag and Serafin and somehow, my need for approval fell away replaced by the message: let your legacy be one of service, love and joy. So in gratitude, I felt it was to to welcome my new life and experiences to see where they takes me, something that I had not been able to do up until that point. And somehow, there is a hope- a knowing that when Taps is played at the ends of my days, I will rest in peace with no regrets, just like my mom and Serafin and all others who have gone before, knowing that I will have done my best to bring my talents into this world to make a magical difference, letting my candle burn bright, the passion that is my fire urge me on, as I rise to the top of my very own spiral staircase.
So Serafin, know “Day is done, gone the sun, your star gems the sky, gleaming bright…God is near, do not fear — Friend, good night.” Thank you for the peace you have given me this day.
“We do not walk on our legs, but on our Will.” Sufi proverb
What ‘s with all of this anxiety? My goodness, when it gets to the point that I am staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night, I wonder why the heck I did not receive a little (or big) instruction book when I came into this world. One beautifully tailored, perfectly positive book that I could go to when life kicks it up one stressful notch after another. One that I can use when I want it all laid out in front of me, the “How tos!” I think that all my parents got when I arrived on a cold December morning was she is healthy, congratulations and good luck!
Where oh where is that someone, that divine presence that appears magnificently just to tell me what to do next. Just thinking about something like that happening in actuality could freak me out. And besides, truth be told, I am so rebellious that I probably would either argue or cross examine whomever showed up as having some ulterior motive that would eventually harm me. Such is the life of the seasoned prosecutor charged to identify fraud.
And that takes me back to the anxiety. I cannot help but think about all the lessons and the leftover feelings that have still lingered after some big choices were made in a most crazy yet surprising then back to PTSD-driven year. And here I am with my pithy ways ready to release (or am I?) My legs can only take me so far in life, the Will to go further is what I am relying on lately. If this will became a character in my life, it would be the wind on God’s breath whispering to me RE-MEMBER who I am, RE-MEMBER. And from that place, move forward as I just make it all up as I go along.
That coupled with the “What do you want Meg?” And the question is important. Intention is important. Sent here with a mission, on fire with purpose, lighting up so that I can live with intention and clarity. Halt to the seeking so that the discovering brings a sort of peace that will calm my mind. The not knowing how to put it all together haunts. The not knowing if I did this right worries me so. The not knowing if my choices are bringing me the space to truly RE-MEMBER who I am. Life still without instructions and I have gotten this far. I have embraced the fact that I am writing my own story now onto the fabric of this world. And besides, not having a default in the form of an instruction book forces me to go within to tap into the source of the answers, that little voice that becomes my own personal power and bring it forth. And release resistance to allow my beautiful music to play.
The pendulum still swings from “Are you kidding me?” to “enjoy the flexibility and surrender”. All of us just figuring it out, doing our best, and smiling when our guides show up here and there when we need them most (they do show up just not as a burning bush for me) Love is the key that will bring me home. I will continue to walk on faith even when I cannot see what lies before me. That seems to have worked out well for me this far!
“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” Kurt Vonnegut
This has been a year of redefining my path, reorganizing my priorities, reestablishing a better pace. Going from a paradigm of perform, produce, ta da! Never stopping, always yearning, constant striving, it feels so good to take a step back to actually reset the commandments that guide my life and empower a new vision for the next part of this journey.
While I spent many days contemplating what it was like on the other side of the cage, now the freedom from has moved forward to the freedom to and as each sun rises until each sun sets I find myself sitting in this reality more and more enjoying the little things in life, the happy surprises, that remind me what life is all about.
No longer needing to prove myself to somehow capture my worth, the things that I now value have helped me to realize my own brand. With the courage not to conform but to reinforce good habits that bolster the imagination, magic finds me once again effortlessly and in its own universal and divine time. Leaving me here on this beautiful day appreciating the tokens of love when they arrive at my doorstep. Knowing now it is in the small daily connections, the happy gestures of kindness that I stumble on and the understanding of the greater importance these moments present, these are the big things that makes life worth living.
Want more bliss?
“You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14
I attended three beautiful Holiday gatherings this weekend: with one, I was surrounded by my beautiful family by birth and the others, my beautiful family by choice. All very welcome opportunities as I navigate this newfound freedom gently setting boundaries for myself, at the same time trying not to isolate in the process.
While my new world experience building my own business has me alone more than I would like, it has proven to be necessary as I figure out how to get comfortable with my new reality. As I understand better the challenges I face with issues revolving around self esteem, self worth, and holding my head up high, I am getting more and more comfortable with owning the light of the “who” I am. But in the same vein, my new world experience does force me to get better organized now as I tackle the work to be done balanced with continuing to nurture those relationships that are and have been so important to me.
So invitations like the ones set forth above are important opportunities to be present with the love and messages that are coming to me through others rather than on my own. And amongst them, the one that I grabbed on to this past weekend was that you and I are the light of the world for each other. In the darkness, we can be a beacon of hope. In the sadness, we can be the hug of warmth and comfort. In the seriousness, we can offer a place to go and just have fun. With the freedom to move towards a better place in this world, just like the three wise men followed the northern star knowing that something wonderful was about to happen, we can seek the light by recognizing this in others or bring our own to the fore. We can either be or follow the example of this great teacher- be light, be love, be hope, be wonderful so that others may experience it and want to be the same. Joy is what comes with that, a message of holiday bliss, not to mention freedom to love, laughter, lightness and good will for all. We need these kind of loving allies filled with light to sustain us when we need it most and in return, when we are strong, we return the favor right back.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”Reinhold Niebuhr
Sometimes things are just not meant to be. Whether it involves a relationship, a career path, an expectation that you harbored that cannot be salvaged. Once you get to a place where you come to acceptance and let go, believe that something wonderful will and is about to happen. Not everything on the journey to bliss feels good. There are a lot of realizations that come to the fore when we shine the light of truth upon them. Sometimes it is important to be able to come to peace with those things that no longer serve you, you start to trust so that the freedom that you are seeking can come to pass. Perhaps you are too stubborn to let things go, then let this be your prayer. Ask to know what you cannot change, ask for courage to change what you can. If you ask, if the answers are not what you wanted to hear, ask for divinity to bring wisdom so that you know the difference so that serenity can follow. May you then let go, believe and experience this season of peace. Namaste!
My husband always says, “you never know who you will meet until you get off the couch!” It is truly amazing all the life that is going on out in the world. And when the opportunities pop up over the holidays to go and either receive or spread some cheer, you would be remiss if you did not strike while the iron is hot.
There are generally two different types of reactions from two different camps of people to holiday networking invitations: Introverts, who get their energy from having a lot of alone time, may just run and want to take a pass as being in these types of social settings may be too much for them. While extroverts, who get their energy from interacting with people, may overextend themselves saying yes to every invitation that comes their way trying to please everyone and end up exhausted. When you keep the following 5 Joys in mind and balance a little of both camps in the unfolding of the holidays, there is no telling what can be discovered pacing yourself and reflecting back on all that is good.
JOY #1: Good will towards others. When the Holiday lights go up, preparation for the upcoming celebrations have begun. While you busy yourself looking for the perfect gift, you also remember others who may not have. Last night I attended an Alumni Networking Event for my law school that was helping the Marines collect for Toys for Tots. While it really felt good to reunite with former colleagues and students that I have mentored in the past, the additional endorphin kick I got from donating a toy that will benefit a child on Christmas morning did make me feel joyous.
JOY #2: Meeting new people. Outside the comfort zone is where you go when you want to shake things up a little. Getting out of the box that you have created for your niche in life is also the goal. So when you are invited to go to an event hosted by a group that is entirely outside your professional field, whole-heartedly say yes to open up your world to who new you may meet. And when you go with an open mind, extend your hand, introductions made can pave the way to something truly wonderful. I know from experience that joy happens in those unexpected moments.
JOY #3: Get Creative. I have a friend who year after year outdoes herself with her theme Holiday parties. While I often see this as a challenge, after speaking with her and learning how excited she was, this year I saw this as a creative opportunity instead. Then I thought, people of all mindsets feel a little bolder when they dress in costume. The joy they get from seeing how other’s creativity unfolds is another added benefit. That coupled with good food and wine, how can one go wrong. Even the shyest of the bunch can become another if not for just one evening.
JOY #4: Celebrating your accomplishments. When the end of the year comes to a close, there is nothing better than setting aside time with those you love to do a year in review. Perhaps a date night between you and your significant other or even a small group of friends, sitting down to acknowledge what you have moved through to rise to another stage in your life. It is very important to take the time to mark these moments on your journey. With good music, dance or even a candlelit dinner with calm mood music, joy comes from seeing where you have come from so you can set the tone for where you are going.
JOY #5: Making new memories and traditions. Holiday laughter and cheer is what you wait for all year. If you know someone who may not have the opportunities that you do, then reach out to them and extend an invitation to make new memories . Having loved ones who are no longer with us, it becomes more important to make the most of the time with the people that we have in front of us. Sit in the quiet if you must. Reflect upon your inner guidance to discover who, what, where, when you can be of service to another during a time of year that can be a challenge for some. And act upon your internal guidance to bring more love into your world. You can truly be someone else’s angel. This can be the best time of year for that and JOY, new memories and new traditions most definitely will follow.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I am a keeper of my dreams. Yes, you heard that right! When I wake in the morning, there lies a dream journal next to my bed (in reality, I grab whatever I can write on so I don’t lose the message- even my hand if necessary for if you don’t do it immediately it can be lost!)
Last night, while the details of my dream remain fuzzy, I did focus in on a cuckoo clock. For those of you who do not know what that is, a cuckoo clock descends from the Black Forest in 18th century Germany, a place where fairytales like Hansel & Gretl unfold. The pendulum regulated clock strikes the hours with an automated cuckoo bird that comes out of a door in the middle making this sound: coo-coo0, coo-cooo, coo, cooo.
So why did this apparatus take center stage in my dream last night?
As a self proclaimed follower of Jung, I consulted my dream interpretation book to see what light it could shed on this. Apparently, clock imagery suggests a preoccupation with the passage of time or perhaps a fear of aging. Then, I looked to the symbolism of the cuckoo, and in Western culture the cuckoo clock itself represents the innocence of childhood, the enchantment of the “magic” of the happy bird which lives in the clock and visits to announce the hour. It can be seen as a bit mysterious rather than a serious timekeeper.
Then, I had a great conversation that put it all into perspective. Time is relative, it can be seen as always fleeting or a chance to come alive. What we choose to do with it is entirely up to us. When we set a timetable for things to happen, we try to control the unfolding and thereby the magic of our journey. We can set goals, aspirations really, to accomplish much, it can be accompanied by stress or pressure to just get to the destination. However, the cuckoo reminds us to ask ourselves on the half hour and the hour are we enjoying the process, reminding us to bring in “play”. Perhaps rebellious as we can be, when the cuckoo breaks out through the doors of time, we too get the courage to just abandon all the “shoulds” of the day to just let our souls be free. And dance, as we allow the enchantment of the magic of that happy bird encompass our life. There is where I allow my belief in the message of my dreams help me make a powerful shift! This is the empowering message that I take with me as God speaks to me:)
“We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don’t believe in miracles?” Anonymous
Today! That is the only word that came to mind this morning. The mystery of today and what it will bring my way. The magic of my story and how I will impact the stories of others. How amazing is that really!!!
Dreams! To realize them, that is the reason that I am alive here on this big blue beautiful planet. To realize them, that is the reason that I left a career path where I hit a wall in my creative evolution. To realize them, that is the reason that I want to share my works of art with others.
Believe! A power that can move mountains. The ingredient that will transform the ordinary to extraordinary. The verb that will take you from avoidance to freedom. Oh, heavenly guidance, speak to me through my intuitive senses so that this becomes a stronger force from within.
Miracles! I am a student of life, paying attention as I await my teachers today. Reminding myself to slow down as I do not want to miss any of the delicious morsels of knowledge to be gained. Each one, a beautiful butterfly, or even a unicorn, that will not go unnoticed for today offers me the opportunity to grow. That is where the magic lies, that is where the excitement lies, and that is where I shall be if you are looking for me. Be here now, join me, introduce yourself so that we can benefit each other, we just might have the key to unlock the next door of this great mystery!
Want more bliss?
“To infinity and beyond!” Buzz Lightyear from the Pixar film Toy Story
I am currently reading a book by Shakti Gawain called Creative Visualizations. In it, the author outlines 4 steps for effective visualization: set your goal, create a clear idea or picture, focus on it often and give it positive energy. Seems simple enough. Then at the end of your 15 minute meditation on the above, the author ends with the following that will ultimately seal the deal-
“This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned.”
As manifesting is the thing that gives my heart wings, I tried to use the 4 stage process yesterday morning to jumpstart myself while setting intention for my day, month and my year of empowerment. I found though I met with a lot of push back from myself of course. The “Oh here you go again!” “Who are you kidding?” “How are you going to pull this off?” and the like all came up for me as I started to write. And where I normally take off like gangbusters as I get focused and detail my desires, I hit a block after block after block with the negative self talk above leading the way. So I chose to, instead of numbing out which has been my survival mechanism for some time, sit with all of it a bit. And fear, my old friend, there you materialized once again. And since Rumi’s poem The Guest House, has come up over and over for me, I invited it in for tea, one of my favorite things. And here is the conversation that came up:
Meg: Here we are again old friend.
Fear: Please don’t do this, it is so painful to draw attention to us- to be out front for all the world to judge us. Stay in the shadows- it is safe there.
Meg: It may be safe, but our soul needs to grow. We are here on purpose for a purpose. If we don’t explore what that is then we reject this gift of life. We have come so far my friend. We made some pretty big choices this year. We did what we needed to do to get past what holds us back. Look at what we you have accomplished together so far, let the wounds heal, it is time.
Fear: I cannot let you do that, I am too scared of the pain of the past. The words of ridicule, the mean spiritedness coming at us. Exposing our lack of confidence and weakness. What if they say we are an embarrassment or even worse a hypocrite when we know that we are showing up authentic? What if they judge our life?
Meg: And what if they do? “They” have in the past to try to control us, to keep us in our place to make themselves feel better. This is no way to live. We know who we are! No one spoke up for us as a child. We had no where to go. But now it is different! We survived what we thought would kill us, what almost did. We choose now, it is time we believe in the beauty of our life and remind others of the same and start to thrive. It is time to give ourselves the approval that we have sought for too long.
Then all of a sudden, joy entered the room in the form of that 8 year old Meggie dancing, giggling, singing, skipping, playing.When a dark cloud came over us again, fear pushed joy aside and looked up to me, begged me to reassure her, desperate to find safe haven anywhere.
Meg: We will get through this together. I am here. My voice is strong now. We will navigate this journey together. And together we will use all of the tools in our arsenal: love, passion, excited, joy, anger, our truth, faith, perseverance, whatever it takes to shoot us out of the gravitational pull of the past into a glorious present and future in the challenges and the effortlessness.
Fear and Joy sat with me extending out their hands and I grabbed them both. Knowing full well that we will never be alone. We will always be right her for each other. I opened my eyes and repeated:
“This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned.”
Last evening, I tried again to use the creative visualization process while empowering another. This time, it was so different. All my own judgment set aside. With the power of two this time, using her simple mantra “I am capable, worthy and lovable. Something wonderful is about to happen” such a different experience for both of us. I felt a force behind me, pushing me “to infinity and beyond”. And from this place of immeasurable power, I felt the old paradigm separate and leave my energy field because I made a choice to let it go. I was then able to welcome my new paradigm into that magical space and had so much fun with the unfolding of my imagination co-creating my life with another. I found myself giggling, singing, skipping, playing as I reflected over how I rode the highs and lows within a 24 hour period. Time, and the blessings and healing I chose to accept from my angels, experiencing a certain freedom as I detached with love, looking forward knowing full well that I was on the thresh hold of something truly miraculous. Yep, this is what happens in December! I cannot wait to meet you all on the journey!
Want more bliss?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu
Where to begin? It becomes less daunting when I remind myself that I am not starting over, I am just building upon what I have already learned. After resigning in August from my federal career after nearly 20 years, I have had a lot of processing to go through. From “Oh my God I cannot believe that I just did that” to “Thank God I finally have opened up the space to start on a new adventure”, the fluctuation of emotions at times tend to shift on a daily basis. But after going consciously through the motions for the past 3-4 months, I finally feel the pendulum that once was erratic and all over the place move closer to a new center once again. The tumult that comes from fear has slowly come to a halt. Instead of wondering if I will be ok, I truly have come to a place where I believe and know I will be. And with the full super moon over head tonight, my energy is renewed and my focus reinvigorated with the possibilities that await.
It has not come easy I will tell you that. My new mantra “speak your truth even if your voice shakes” has me throwing caution to the wind, saying what is on my mind sans filter, and not allowing others to get away with actions or words that would have previously triggered me to sabotage myself internalizing that thee must be something wrong with me- this newfound voice has proven to be a good thing in most cases, yet as I move forward stronger and stronger, taking a deep breath beforehand and asking myself whether it would be useful to share or not worth my time or energy seems to fit my new approach better. Ahhh, wisdom and hindsight is a beautiful thing really, as I have already seemed to bristle some who have crossed-hairs on my path, decluttering as I go yet feeling the consequences come over me like a giant wave, wanting to better weigh the necessity with the chance to do so being more kind.
But this journey of mine, an empowering one, has begun. There is no looking back. That one step has been taken in a new direction. With the wonder of this magical time of year and the guidance of nature and her super moon, I have made it my goal to go gently on this path, self care, self love and permission to voice out to others my limitation and my tolerations. From caring for myself and others, comes courage to move forward in faith once again. Today, I begin. And tomorrow I take another step again, and the next and the next. While I was afraid to leave my comfort zone, I have not regretted it for one moment for I will keep taking that next step until I have arrived home. 1000, 999, 998, 997, closer and closer I go. I am hopefully optimistic and I pray that God keeps sending me reminders and opportunity to look up so that I will be able to truly experience the beauty that is all around me. This is the year of empowerment, the year of the butterfly. The process of becoming stronger and more confident allows for a manifest destiny of sorts. We got this, as happily the journey begins.
Want help to get started on your own journey?