Category Archives: Inspiration

The End is Coming!

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It’s been awhile since I wrote a post for Cavedweller. I’ve been huddled in my comfy cave writing, musing, settling in. I’m in a new cave now and loving it. [A quick note: Whoever said it doesn’t rain in Southern California is wrong! It rains. And rains. And rains, but boy do we need it!]

So, I decided to stick my head out to take the measure of this past year and all I can say is, “Yikes!”

The end is coming!

Well, it’s true! The end is coming: the end of the week, the end of December, the end of 2016, the end of a cycle of weird and strange happenings that, I believe, have left a lot of people a little jumpy and on edge. (If Facebook is any indication, 2016 has been one hell of a roller coaster ride for people all over the world.) Between Brexit in the UK and the elections here in the US, the political world feels more than a little topsy-turvy. I believe that regardless of which side of the aisle–or the pond–you’re on, this has been a political year like no other. But we’re not here to talk politics, are we? Nope. We’re here to talk about the end!

Saying Goodbye…

I offer a thank you and a prayer for the many wonderful, talented people we lost this year. My son lost a young cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend in a tragic car accident in Georgia; my daughter-in-law lost her mother in Alabama; I lost friends in my old hometown, unseen for years but never forgotten. And we lost people who felt like friends and loved ones, people who touched our lives with wit, music, and humor: Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Morley Safer, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds. I’m sure there are other losses, some very personal, whom we will remember forever. Life touches life as soul touches soul and we are blessed in that connection.

So, what does “the end” really mean?

As the year draws to a close, I’ve experienced my own sense of unease, of flux and fluctuation, of old issues coming back to haunt me. A friend pointed out that besides Mercury being in retrograde (okay…), 2016 is a year of closure. So I investigated.

According to the Astrology Club,

2016 is a 9 Universal Year (if you take the year and reduce it down to a single digit as such: 2+0+1+6=9). NINE is a finishing number, and represents the end of a cycle. It also is the number of the humanitarian. That means 2016 is a year of completion, rest and forgiveness. Phew! Everything in numerology goes in a 9 year cycle, so we’ve come full circle since the last 9 year, 2004. The Number 9 is about endings. But with endings come new beginnings. 2016 is a very karmic year. It is a time that we will receive the karma from the good or the bad we have done. You get a chance to end something this year once and for all. Something in your life will come to an end. Now this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Endings can be good.

I think this means that all of those feelings (and dreams) we’ve been having about past loves, past lives, past successes and mistakes are simply offering us closure.

And now for the good news:

From a numerological standpoint, 2017, when you add them up: 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10 and that is distilled down to: 1 + 0 = 1

So, in 2017 we’re in a 1 year!

 ONE is a number of beginning. 2017 bids us all to start something brand new, something that expresses our uniqueness, that uses our leadership abilities, that opens us to new perspectives. 2017 as a One year is a time to think and act independently. It’s also a year to put our leadership abilities and unique talents to use in the greater world, to practice cooperating without losing individuality.

The number 1 is the maestro, the director of activities and events. 1 is a number about beginnings and new initiatives of all kinds. At best, 1 symbolizes leadership and can get a lot done. At worst, number 1 energy of itself can be aggressive, cruel and even violent due to its pointed, narrow focus and approach. Understanding these basic vibration can help to manifest the positive attributes and recognize and overcome the negative.

So, maybe we’ll all get a chance to begin again. (Although we all know that “one is the loneliest number…”)

The coming year will be one of change and challenge. Personally, I still haven’t decided whether I’ll just barricade my cave entrance with rocks and come out again in four years or plant myself on the front porch with my journal and a camera and watch the changes sweep in. Right now, up feels like down and down feels like up and I’m not sure where this crazy world is taking me. Then again, maybe that’s because it’s raining in SoCal, it’s the last Friday of December 2016, and the winds of change are upon us. But that’s a good thing!

I wish you the best in the New Year. May the spirit of love, light, peace, and happiness hold you in its arms.

Sat Nam

Namaste

 

 

Standing in the Light

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At a crossroad, walking into the light.

You don’t have to agree with someone else’s life style.

You don’t have to agree with their politics.

You don’t have to agree with their personal beliefs.

You don’t have to agree with the way they raise their children.

Or groom their pets.

Or drive.

Or park their car.

You don’t have to agree with anything someone else does.

And you don’t have to like it–whatever it is.

You do have to let them be.

You do have to allow them to live as they choose.

You do have to respect everyone’s right to live/love/worship as they see fit.

All you need to do is step aside and focus on their humanity.

Focus on your heart.

Focus on who you are as an expansive being of light and let everything else go.

We are all standing in the same light whether we like it or not. And depending on where we stand, the light shines upon us in varying hues and shades of color. While we perceive the light that surrounds us with different senses of perspective and perception, the light stays the same. We cannot change the light.

We can argue that gold is better than white or blue is better than pink. However, the source of light is the same. The waves of light that give us life are exactly the same throughout the universe. The light will never change.

We are in this life together.

We are in this light forever.

We are One.

Moving Forward

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The cycle has ended, that seven years of waiting, watching, and wondering, and I am free once again to move forward.

In my own mind’s eye, I see my progress as up and away rather than a steady forward motion, a releasing of my feet from the confines of the earth’s gravity to float just above the scrim of the earth. This time there will be no dragging of my veils along the mountain tops, no artificial and tenuous connection to keep me grounded. I am no longer in acceptance mode, taking whatever is blithely given, accepting what little is offered. I am taking my sickle out of hiding; I am reaping whatever remains of those spindly seeds planted long ago. I am ripping up the ground that has encased my feet in sucking quicksand. I am launching my soul into a new life of desire and plenty. I seek abundance and joy. I seek pleasure and company. I seek happiness and comfort. The mewling worm of simple platitudes is dead. The gypsy butterfly of glory is born. My life unfolds along mysterious ley lines as the future stretches out before me, an unfurling map of adventure. My home is a distant twinkling flame beckoning me, a tiny space of light and warmth and comfort.

In my heart, I know that I AM…

…moving forward.

Stepping Off the Path–and Getting Lost in the Weeds

 

From Pinterest: Mystic path. Sendero místico.  by Zú Sánchez. on Flickr

From Pinterest: Mystic path. Sendero místico. by Zú Sánchez. on Flickr

 

For the past four years, I’ve worked diligently to establish my sense of myself as a writer. Following my own plan and routine, I’ve spent pretty much every waking moment writing or thinking or talking or dreaming about writing. I’ve given myself short breaks, a day or two here and there, but for the most part even during those hours and days of respite, the stories continued to flow through my mind, the voices muted to a whisper but always in the background, patiently waiting.

For the last few months, I feel as though I’ve stepped off my life’s path and have been stumbling around in the weeds that grow beside it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve come to realize that the more I ramble about, the more I learn to identify and admire the weeds, the more comfortable I feel meandering away from my path and that is a scary thought.

I had great expectations for the New Year. I decided that 2014 was going to be positive, “The Year of I Want To,” twelve months of doing exactly and only those things that I want to do rather than doing the things I feel like I have to do. Into my routine, I’d insinuate a disciplined hour of journaling every morning (rather than scribbling down my thoughts about the day in a few hurried minutes at night right before bed); I’d burn incense and meditate each and every morning without fail; I’d stretch back into my yoga practice; I’d still get up early but I’d set a more realistic schedule for myself, beginning my work day later (9-ish) and end it earlier (6-ish) so that I could bring walks and fun and balance back into my life. (In retrospect, I’m convinced that the sound I heard outside my window as I sat at my desk and planned my year was not the wind at all but was, in fact, the Universe laughing hysterically.)

January rolled around and my life took a sharp turn. My routines were interrupted, my days were spent focused on everything but writing, everything that had to be done or needed to be done rather than what I wanted to do. I convinced myself that once the work was done, once the house was painted, the garage was emptied and organized, the shed was cleaned out, the yard was fertilized and weeded and pruned, the car was replaced, our money issues were resolved, and my life was turned on its head, I’d get back to writing, that I’d get my plan back in action and the writing would commence in earnest. (Or I’d just abandon all hope and get a real job.)

In my mind, I see this detour as a strange little road trip. I see myself bumping along my path, eyes forward, scanning the horizon for dips and turns, hills and valleys. I swerve to miss a pothole now and then but for the most part I am right on track, aiming for the sweet spot right in the center where the going is easy. Then, out of the blue, a storm kicks up and my little patch of paved road turns to dirt and mud. Lightning strikes up ahead and I find my path is blocked by downed trees and blown debris. But hey, there’s a rest stop right there so I pull off my path and take a breather. Before I know it, the rain’s gone, the sun’s shining, and it’s time to get back on the road. But while I’ve been sitting in the parking lot waiting for the storm to pass, eating Cheetos and watching the road wash away, nagging little thoughts have crept into my mind and they’re not just about the long and winding road ahead but about the vehicle I’m in. When was the last time I changed the oil? When was the last time I bought new tires? Checked the blinkers or the brake lights? When was the last time I looked down at the gas gauge or the odometer reading? And–oh, look! Is that a dandelion? I love dandelions! There’s another one over there! No, that’s a daisy. I love daisies! (Sigh.)

The weeds have grown tall around me. (They’re green and have the sweetest little white and yellow flowers.) I should get a blanket and sit down right here and read for a while, I think. Reading is a good thing, an old passion that makes me happy. But it feels like there’s something I’m missing, something I should be doing. I’ve stepped off my path and gotten lost in the weeds but I can hear a rumble off in the distance. Maybe it’s my path calling me back. Or maybe it’s the Universe laughing hysterically.

When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Jingles, Tingles, and Shingles: It’s That Time of Year Again

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It’s a dark and dreary night. The sky is black with rain clouds and the wind is whipping the branches outside my window into a frenzy of tap, tap, tapping. But that can’t be right! It’s 7:27 in the morning, ten days before Christmas and all should be shiny and bright! If I look out my window to the right, I can see the neighbors-across-the-street’s tree blinking through their front bay window. If I look to the left, I can see a blow-up Santa surrounded by colorful lights being batted around by the wind. So, all is shiny and bright through the storm. Well, shiny, anyway, and slick with rain.

Christmas in Florida is just not the same as Christmas in Maryland or Ohio or New Mexico. There’s no snow (I miss snow!) or sparkling ice or icicles (I miss icicles!). The temperature dipped down into the low seventies this past week (brrr) but besides the pine cone wreath on the front door and the neighbors’ lights reflecting off the rain puddles in the street, nothing feels Christmasy this year.

I’m tempted to buy a can or two of snow and frost the windows just for fun. Or paint my front door bright red. Or dress my dogs in ugly Santa sweaters or hats with jingle bells. (That might work for Sophie but the other two would put up a fight, I’m sure. They’re pretty sensitive when it comes to their dignity.) 

Shopping doesn’t put me in the Christmas mood either. The stores are crowded and the pickings are slim when it comes to buying woolly sweaters and socks, gloves, and mittens, and sheep skin coats and hats. Most stores simply don’t carry them, which is sensible I suppose since the big sellers seem to be Hawaiian shirts with Santa under palm trees on them and red and green beach umbrellas. This is a tourist town, I keep reminding myself, filled with people desperate to get away from the wintery things I miss.  Maybe next year is my mantra now. Maybe next year I will roll in snow and freeze my butt off. Maybe next year I’ll return to one of my old haunts and get snowed in. Maybe next year!

This year, I will listen for the jingle of sleigh bells on the radio; I will wait for the tingles that come with watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the hundredth time; I will be thankful for the correct diagnosis of shingles, take my medications, and think of my red itchy patches of skin as organic holiday decorations; and I will think of Tiny Tim and his message of hope:

God bless us, every one!

 

 

 

Black Friday (and Shopping on Thanksgiving Day!): What’s the Point?

No Shopping

I’ve never understood the need for Black Friday in our culture. Then again, I’ve never understood decorating a Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. Sure, maybe it’s the best time to recruit willing hands, family hands to get all the holiday decorating done, but this mish-mashing of holidays just seems overwhelming to me.

Then throw Black Friday into the mix. Yikes! I can honestly say that I have never, ever shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then again, I‘ve never used shopping as a sport, as a way to relax, or as a pumper-upper of my own self-esteem. I shop only when I absolutely have to and then it’s with a list, a plan, and an internal stop-watch that I hear ticking in my head as I cruise the aisles. Get in and get out! That’s the way I shop.

I’m all for saving money. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am frugal (or more likely cheap!). I don’t mind spending money on my loved ones, but I refuse to overspend on designer label jeans or shoes. (I don’t care if they’re the only jeans my five year old granddaughter will wear, I’m not paying $90–even if they are on sale!) But designating one whole day–and now at least three days if you start counting Wednesday night and Thanksgiving Day–to shop is utterly ridiculous. We have turned our holidays into celebrations of consumer gluttony and our children into maniacal materialists. Frankly, I don’t like it one little bit and I refuse to participate.

I realize that I’m in the minority and that as long as there are people out there who will spend their time and money running and pushing and shoving to shop, retailers will invent new ways to spark the greed. I also realize that I can blithely say this as my living does not depend on retail customers who have an abundance of stores to choose from. I would like to reclaim at least one holiday, however, have one day on which we do nothing besides give thanks for what we already have.

So, I’ll say it today: Thank you to all of my loyal readers and followers for your kind support and comments. Thank you to every internet developer, programmer, and techie who makes it possible for me to write my blog, send email, and connect with the world outside my cave. Thank you to my friends who know that I love and care about them even while I’m working. And thank you to my family who supports me in everything I do and everything I write, no matter how strange it may seem. I am blessed to have a comfy cave, old broken-in comfortable clothes and shoes, plenty of healthy food, good, clean water, and enough love to last me ten lifetimes. I am blessed and I don’t need to go shopping to prove it.

Charley Brown Thanksgiving

Peace, Love and Fluffiness

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My mother was anorexic most of her life. I’m not sure when it started, but in the years before she passed away, she’d look in the mirror and instead of seeing a beautiful woman who had aged with grace, she’d see a fat little girl staring back. I thought anorexia was a plague of teen-aged girls but at 74, my mother was their queen. She was also diabetic which gave her an excuse to count her food: she could eat nine green grapes and eleven French fries at McDonald’s, her favorite, six of this and seven of that. My mother was also a counter–of things and people and ideas. She counted as she walked and talked and talked and talked.

My mother had an affinity for people and sheep. One year around Christmas time, she made stuffed lambs for all of her friends, 27 in all, I believe. She sewed and sewed the sweetest little woolly animals until she was sick of making them. She’d had arthritis, both ostheo and rheumatoid, since her late twenties so her hands were crippled, bent, and swollen. I cannot imagine the pain she suffered to make those little lambs, but I know that she was happy making them right up to the end when the pain in her bones became excruciating and she couldn’t feel her fingers. She never made another one but she poured love (and blood from her pricked fingers) into the ones she made.

My mother’s home was always full of warm and cozy things, sweet things, tiny little things, dolls and clowns and sheep. She had a magnet on her refrigerator, a reminder of her imagined plumpness. It was in the shape of a very woolly sheep and said, “Ewe’s not fat, ewe’s fluffy.”  And she was. My mother was fluffy, like a warm blanket or footy-pajamas right out of the dryer on a cold winter’s night.

So today, while my mother’s on my mind and I’m taking a writing break, I wish you peace, love and fluffiness.

I’m into week two of National Novel Writing Month: 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m about half way there and I’m being diligent. Good luck to all of my fellow NaNoWriMos! If you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time! Now, get back to work!

I’ll be back to normal soon, I hope. In about two shakes of a lamb’s tail.