Paying it Forward Pays Off

love coffee I just was at Whole Foods buying a salad. The young woman in front of me discovered she didn’t have cash to pay for lunch. “Go on,” I heard my late daughter whisper in my ear. “Do the right thing, Mom.” She would have to run to her car, the young woman said to the cashier, and then would have no time to actually EAT her lunch. So I paid for it. It was the best $5 I’ve spent in a long time when her eyes lit up and she said, “You’ve just restored my faith in humanity!”

POSTSCRIPT: An hour later I found myself buying a coffee … from this very same young woman! “No problem,” she homepage said when I pulled out my wallet to pay. “I’ve got it.” So I accepted with grace. Lesson in being a good human learned!

Getting Back to Peace

Girl and reflectionSometimes religions talk about ‘the peace that passes all understanding.” Serenity is another word for it. Or maybe chill.

To me this feels like a deep relaxation in my heart, a letting go, a longing for nothing. My jaw finally relaxes. My shoulders let go a little. I can breathe a little more deeply.

And when I do, the tension lifts. Life unfolds before me as the miracle it actually is. I watch honeybees with abandon as they feed on their flowers. Sunlight filters through leaves. The air is still and quiet.

Life is beautiful.

But it only happens when I allow my mind to calm down, let go, and stop striving for five minutes. I can stop worrying. I accept that everything will get done … even if I stop and breathe. And I remember to ask for help.

Help always, always arrives … right on time.

What do you need to let go of today?

Pausing in Gratitude

Next week I will be relaunching my business with my Festival of Joy … but before I do, I have some people to thank. I am blessed with a circle of incredible support — and I love you all! Andrea J. Lee Linda Claire Puig Jon Leland Sonya Derian Joanne McCall Joanne Gregory Nicky Pattinson Sandy Zeldes Jeffrey Van Dyk Sage Lavine Elizabeth Marshall Christiane Holbrook Linda Welch  Julia D. Stege Kim Osmer Lissa Boles Edward Mills Darcee Lewis Sellers Denise Wakeman Michael Coop Cooper Maya Mathias Kristin Morrison Jane Douglas Thy Minh Pham Dave Holt Lisa Sasevich Tad Hargrave … and so many more

Why I Drank Wine Every Night

absinth drinker.FBIf you are like me, this is how your evenings have often gone:

Drag self into kitchen after a long day of work. Open fridge and stare hopefully. Something in here has to make me feel better.

Eyes come to rest on an open bottle of Pinot Grigio. Pour the remains into glass. It’s kind of skimpy. Start cooking. Drink the glass. Return to fridge, still hopeful.

Should I open another bottle? Husband will drink a glass. Maybe I’ll have two? So I do.

This was my relationship with alcohol night after night for most of my adult life. I’d completely forgotten I was altering my brain chemistry every single night. Nor did I notice I was starting to act like Mom, whose rampaging, alcoholic path scarred my own.

Mind you, I didn’t always drink. There were pregnancies. Antibiotics. I gave up wine for Lent once when I was going to church. That lasted a week.

Then came the day when I decided to leave my marriage – which one would think would REALLY cause me to drink. But a funny thing happened instead.

I just … lost interest.

Almost immediately I stopped drinking pretty much altogether. And it was strangely easy.

For me the nightly glass of Pinot Grigio was really about getting lost in a feeling – a shot of happiness that I craved. As one of my friends put it, “I like feeling relaxed … that’s why I do it.”

So why, at the height of mortal pain would I choose to stop drinking? I suppose it is the mud-in-your-soul feeling that follows that initial buzz. For me, I was left with a sense of not being clean. Of being worn down by life.

Instead of feeling lost, I wanted to feel found – born again. Relit by my own self-discovery. So I just couldn’t keep numbing my system, and shutting down all those neuro-sensers that were doing their damnedest to reinvent.

Now, four years later, I have made my way to a lasting happiness that’s pretty much alcohol-free. I am blessed to live in the wine country of Northern California, so when I find myself in a beautiful restaurant with great wine … I might have a glass. Or not. That happens about two or three times a month.

What I notice is that I don’t need wine any more to feel the joy in life. It’s just there, ever humming. And now I’m awake enough – and my life aligned enough – that I have nothing to run from. I no longer need the escape my nightly glass provided.

Instead, I’m discovering this new emotionally neutral place. And it’s there for all of us when we choose to tune in. It’s a drama-free zone in which we bask in our own subtle energy, and let our heart carve our path.

Life here is calm. Placid even. All that exists is the doing of the work you have been given to do, and the so-called peace that passes all understanding.

This is the gift of an ‘empty’ life. It affords you nothing less than true freedom to be exactly who you were designed to be on your very short trip around the sun.

Simply put, it is bliss.

Opening Up to Abundance by Saying ‘No’

Armful of roses.smallAll of my life it’s been a challenge to believe I can really, truly have what I want.

Often I have labored under the illusion that other people get to live their heart’s desire but I somehow can’t.

But today I let go of a connection that wasn’t quite a right fit. It felt scary — the screaming ghosts of scarcity rattled through my head. (‘You will never be loved if you keep this up!’ … ‘Hey, missy, you’re getting older — what do you think you’re doing?’)

But now I stand in the pure afterlight and I feel … good! Tender, yes. But now I can open up to even better possibilities. And so at age 55 I am finally learning to receive … and to honor myself.

Unfolding to who we really are is the point of life, is it not? So happily I go.

 

Announcing my Festival of Joy!

One week from today my Festival of Joy begins … with the republication of my book How Much Joy Can You Stand?.

It will be free for the first 48 hours as my thank you to you for all of your love and support since my daughter died 18 months ago!

To make sure you receive full info please sign up here.

Pure unabridged Joy.FB