Reflections on a Life

Reflections on a Life

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just for today....

Just for today I will not anger.
Just for today I will not worry.

Those are the first two of 5 principles of Reiki that Tom and I recently learned when we went through our Reiki I training.  The idea of the principles is to repeat them every morning and every evening like a mantra or a prayer and then to practice them throughout the day.

The premise, of course,  is that worrying is a waste of time and energy and that anger doesn't contribute anything good to yourself or to others or the world in general. And, Reiki being what it is, doing either just doesn't really match well.  Thankfully you don't 'lose' your Reiki when you fail miserably at keeping any (or all!) of your prayer (or your promise to yourself).

Because just the other night I had a swift descent into both, simultaneously.

The storyline goes a little like this.  My precious 85-year-old mom and I have made a pact that, since my retirement, we will talk each and every day and have done so pretty consistently for this past year.  But it had been 2 days since we talked and she couldn't get in touch with anyone and proceeded to scare herself sick with worry.

Which made me Angry.

I wasn't Angry at Mom.  I was Angry at me for not calling.  Okay, I was a little miffed at mom for even going to the Worry place.... but I understood why she was so upset.  Because I did the same thing immediately with my son.

I started to Worry.

I realized that I had called and sent him a text earlier in the day and hadn't heard from him, either.  And everyone knows that today's young people live with their phones attached somewhere close to their bodies.  If they don't answer or their phone goes straight to VM, something or someone is dead!  So I went to the same deep, dark place my mom had just been and for which I was still upset and couldn't sleep.

Then I was Angry at myself for Worry-ing.

So why do I/we do it, anyway?  Oh, I wish I knew.  I wish Anger and Worry were as easy to identify and abolish as Jealousy is, at least for me.  I know that when I am feeling Jealous that, basically, whatever relationship I am in is not a very healthy one and I, well, end it.  Pretty much just like that.  Not without warning, but if I feel that green thing descending over me I know I am in t.r.o.u.b.l.e.  And I don't like that feeling at all..... so I choose not to.

But Worry?  Well.  We usually don't worry about things that aren't very important or that we can do something about or about people we don't care for deeply. So it just isn't something that can be 'walked out' on.  It's genetically coded in our emotional DNA.

And Anger, I am learning, is just an indication of fear, which is the premise of Worry, to begin with.  It doesn't contribute anything positive, but it is certainly something from which something (about myself) can be learned.

I haven't solved anything yet, but I am still working on it.  And I am saying my five Principles every morning and evening, with this twist:

Just for today I will not anger. 
Just for today I will not worry. 
I will not get angry about worrying and I won't worry about getting angry.  

Oh, and David is fine.  He dropped his phone in the toilet and it was dead.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ruthie B in love with.....


I don't have a favorite team (except whatever team David is playing on at the time) and I don't know hoot about stats or averages or records.  I just love the game.  I love going to whatever park or diamond it is and watching - really watching - the game.  

And I root for both teams.  This gets me very odd stares sometimes and, when David was playing, reminders of just whose team I was 'on'.... until my friends told the remind-or that 'she roots for everyone'...and I did. 

I love the hot dogs and the beer, even if it isn't (I just typed 'sin't' and thought that funny because typos are just psychological slips, in my viewpoint) on my diet at any moment.

I love baseball rain or shine, blistering or chilly.  I don't mind waiting for the game to start if it has been called off.  I want to stay to the bloody end, even if the score is completely lop-sided.  I just love being there.

I don't know why, really.  Maybe it is the pace that the game is played.  More 'real time' instead of the hectic pace of everything else.  Maybe it is the dreams of the players on the field.... dreams that may just be starting, or years of dreaming being realized.  I love the mythology and the story-telling in general.

Maybe it is remembering 8-year-old Nick in the outfield picking dandelions and hearing all the parents yelling for him to 'look up, Nick!'.   And he looks up just in time for the ball to fall squarely and solidly in his mitt.  Maybe it is the memory of the conquer-the-world smile on his face mixed with the confusion of 'what just happened?!'

Maybe it is the memory of a distant father who sat on the front porch in nice weather or in his chair when it rained listening on the radio to the Cubs or the White Sox play distant games.  Or the memory of watching my brothers and that father play backyard games that I was always too little to join.

Or maybe it is the sound of baseball being played in the park that backed up to our home.... late night games that I would listen to from the safety of my bed...... mixed with the sound of the carousel that still haunts me.  The sounds of summer.

Then again, most likely it is the memory of playing catch with my then-3-year-old son and watching him play catch with his father as he got older (and when his throws became a little too wicked for me to catch without injury).  And watching him in countless games through scorching Missouri summers and glorious falls.  He pitched.  Wonderfully.  Most moms whose sons pitch will admit they die a little when their son is on the mound.  Not me.  When David pitched all was right with my world.

Yes, when I am watching baseball, all is right with my world.

Who wouldn't love that?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Well, hello!

I have been wanting to, been encouraged to, and dreamed about starting a blog.  I am not sure why and for whom, but at least for me.  After 28 years working for someone/something else, I have spent the last year being a '4-year-old'.  Or at least that is what I told people when they asked me what I was going to 'DO?!' now that I wasn't working anymore. (whenever I hear that word, I think of the way Meryl Streep as Julia Child says it... 'DO?!')

Well, I didn't know.... but I did know that I had worked forever, or what seemed like it.

What is that about, anyway?  I started working when I was 12.... as soon as I could get my mom to sign the papers that said it was okay.... at the Dog 'N Suds in my hometown.  Oh my!  Car-hopping, wearing a little changer-thingy and delivering Spanish hot dogs and icy cold mugs of root beer to the customers sitting in the comfort of their cars, hanging the trays on the driver's window.  Making 50 cents and hour.  And tips.  I knew I was made for a life of service and sales when one day I came home after my shift and counted my money.  I averaged over $2.00 and hour!  BIG money and just because I was friendly, knew how to memorize orders and deliver them with a smile.

And I never stopped until I was (blubber-blubber-blubber) years old.  I worked every day after school and all day on Saturday and then  6 days a week in the summer.  And I couldn't wait to get in to and then out again from college so that I could get on with my 'real life'......

Well, why didn't anyone mention that 'real life' lasts a really long time (if we are lucky) and not to rush being a kid and not really having responsibility? And most of us won't go through our 'real life' doing what we really are passionate about.

That's why I chose to be 4-years-old this last year.  That was the last time I was as free as the wind with nothing looming ahead of me (like kindergarten) and nothing to worry about.  And, so I have been.

And it has been heaven.

Now?  Well, now, I guess, it is time to be 5 years old and start planning on what's next.  Which has never, really, been far from my imagining.  So? What do I love?  What am I passionate about?  What is it I want to spend the rest of my life 'DO'-ing?  (remember, give it that Julia Child lilt)

I love - and I mean LOVE - my family.  My husband of 28 years, Tom, and my glorious almost 26-year-old married daughter Lauren (and her yummy husband Erik), and my son, David, who is so amazing I get tongue-tied around him.  (Thank God I am his mom and can kiss him anytime I want (thanks to Sweet Home Alabama for THAT wonderful line) ((and must be thought of with a little southern drawl)) because if I wasn't - if I were my 22-year-old self that just thought he was perfect and wonderful - I would trip and fall flat on my face in front of him!) And my precious mama who is 85 years old and for whom I have every day of my life to be thankful for.

I love my girlfriends.  I always knew that girlfriends were the ones who would love each other through thick and through thin (figuratively and literally).  Men are wonderful and I have loved a few, but women friends are the glue that holds our hearts together.  They are there always and I am lucky to have many in my life.  I.  Love.  Them.  And I think they know it.

And I love my home and my garden and to cook for all these amazing people who keep encouraging me and telling me lies about how wonderful it all is.  Truth is, I am happy when I am cooking, and/or cooking when I am happy.... either way, NO ONE goes hungry around here and I am pretty much happy all the time.

But not always, or I wouldn't have been looking so completely forward to being 4 years old again.

But all that I mentioned I was already doing.  What to do to make the most/best use of the rest of my time here?  That is what I have been wondering about.

And I had a dream, which at first pretty much turned my world on end.  I could go into great detail, but won't.  Tom says that if anyone else had my dreams they would go crazy!  They are like reading books written for the Twilight Zone!  The long story short of this dream is that I was told by a shaman (beautiful with long, flowing black hair doesn't hurt the imagery at all) that I was 'made to love women'.  In the dream I knew I was given a precious gift in answer to my questions about 'what am I to DO?' (Remember.  Julia.)  But I had a family and was happily (now) married.  Was I being directed to change my life I was 'made to love women'!!!  In the dream I even hung around for the shaman to come out again and asked for clarification.  He said 'You love men, but you were made to love women.'

Okay.  So what is a married, heterosexual woman supposed to do with that?

So, I did what I do, which is to journal and come to an understanding with these amazing dreams.... then go straight to the woman who has helped me glue my fragmented soul back together over this past 4 or so years.  I call Diane a Spiritual Intuitive sometimes, my Spiritual Teacher others....but whatever the title, she has worked miracles with my head and my heart and I will be thankful forever to have her in my life.  I told her my dream and what I had agonized over and the conclusion to which I had come and she said..... 'oh, Ruth, I wish you had called me immediately.'

This dream-message wasn't about my sexuality (I am happily married to Tom, as I said).  This was the answer to the prayer I have been saying for years and what I have been working towards all my life: to live an authentic life, speak my truth with courage, wisdom and love and to make a difference in the world.

I know that giving birth to 2 of the most amazing children anyone could ask for had already made a huge difference in the world, but what to do through the rest of my life, and with everything I have learned since then?  My work was in training and leadership development and coaching.  I knew that wasn't an accident.  I loved that work and found it fascinating and fulfilling and wanted to take it beyond the corporate structure. It was my girlfriends who encouraged me to start writing and to work with women in workshops or personal coaching.


I was made to love women - heart, mind and soul.  And to draw them together and - with them - learn to love ourselves - and this world - into a place of sanity, authenticity...... love.

And so, it begins.