Category Archives: spirit

Spiritual Re-set!

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I don’t know about you, but I have to make a conscious effort to incorporate things into my life which actually sustain feelings of peace and well-being. I naturally gravitate towards those little “quick-fixes”, the empty calories for the soul…like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I am not saying these don’t serve a purpose, or that they are bad…I’m just saying, for people like me, who love acknowledgement, who like that feeling of approval…this can be very tempting, even dangerously so. Now, I am not saying dangerous like it would KILL me or anything. I am just saying- there are other, much more important things I could be doing with my free time.

Not everyone is like me, I know this. I realize I walk a much finer line than some, what with my issues with addiction that cause a multitude of other problems (most of which concern how I am mentally, and how I behave in the world). Maybe everyone doesn’t need to make sure they are centered and spiritually sound before leaving the house every day. Maybe some people don’t have to work very hard to feel satisfied with themselves. But I do. So, knowing this, you would think it would be easier for me to tend to those needs in a fairly dedicated fashion, right? Wrong.

I still struggle with it. I get up in the morning, and the very first thing I do is grab my phone and see what is up on Facebook, Instagram, check my text messages, maybe my email. I grab my coffee and sit outside, scrolling like a crazy person to see who gives a shit about my latest contribution of videos, pictures, quotes and other bullshit. When I get to the end of it, I don’t feel any better…if anything, I feel sort of deflated and empty. It’s like a roller coaster ride- super exhilarating while it’s happening, but over with quick, leaving you looking for the next line to get in.

I have not made time in four days now for prayer and meditation. I may have prayed, but not in my usual manner. I tried a new meditation yesterday, but I was too lazy to turn the TV off, so, yeah…that is not an effort, not really. I can give you so many excuses, really good ones, too, ones that you would have no problem buying. But the truth is, I made time, lots of it, every day, for social media. Why in the world am I not making time for the things that keep me sane? That let me occupy a happy space in this world?

I think, to battle this over-stimulation that can be so alluring to both addicts and “Normies” both, it is wise to do a fast every once in a while. It’s sort of like resetting your metabolism, right? Creating a routine that only includes the “whole-grain” activities that nourish you. It’s like clean eating for your spirit. I think that is what I need to do, maybe for the rest of this week. A way to do this that makes it really simple is just to remove the apps from your phone. It’s hard at first, but it gets easier fast.

For now, I think it is time I attend to myself in the best possible ways…my prayer, my meditation. I have also been easing up too much on my novel writing (why I have been here much less, by the way) over the past several days. Time for a reset!

Have a wonderful day!

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The Life You Choose.

This may be the best quote ever.
This may be the best quote ever.

Do you ever have moments of clarity, where the truth about things is so clear to you that it is startling? Or, maybe, the thing that is revealed to you, simple as it is, is not at all the truth you were hoping for? I think it is pretty human, and therefore, normal, to want a certain thing, or things, to be true, to hope for certain outcomes…and it may even be normal to grapple a while with reality before the pain of that struggle becomes hampering, and we can relax enough, usually out of exhaustion, for the true nature of things to be revealed to us.

I don’t know. Every once in a while, I have these reality checks that come floating down from…somewhere, and they invariably tell me some glaring truth that I missed, while I was busy complicating things with my own over-thinking. The latest one was probably the worst so far. “You know,” my head whispered to me, “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one is going to make you, no one is going to fix you, and no one else can save you. If you don’t do it, no one is going to do it for you.” I mean, yeah, obviously, but I don’t think I was thinking that way. I think I was still trying to ride the wave of “Well, I don’t do drugs anymore.” Which I don’t want to downplay- not poisoning myself on a daily basis is, and always will be, a big deal. But it isn’t everything. There are other things that must be tended to.

The fact that I haven’t been tending to those things becomes evident when I start to slip into despair and depression, like I have written about recently. I don’t want to get dressed, I don’t want to get cleaned up, I don’t want to clean my house (well, I never want to do that) or open my mail, or go outside. I know that doing all of these things will make me feel better, but I don’t want to do them. I want to drop out of life. Not die, I am not suicidal, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t want to participate in the parade anymore. Because I am burrowed down into my little “safe” spot, miserable as it is, and it seems like an awful lot of effort to get going, to get up there on the level with you other humans, and stretch my legs, start to feel better again.

So, the other day, I was standing in my kitchen, and that is when I thought that thought- that “Yeah, go ahead and stay in your little hole, but life is going on all around you, and you are missing it. Stay here, but no one is going to drag you out into the light. You have to do it. You have to be responsible for you, and your happiness, and the fact that you are missing out.” It was like my subconscious was giving me a stern talking to. I was not very receptive. I went and lay on my bed in protest, in my pajamas, at four in the afternoon, and drooled into my pillow while watching some horrible reality show on MTV.

But the conversation (that took place only in my head) wouldn’t stop playing over in my head. I knew it was the truth, and at the bottom of that truth was that I was hurting no one more than myself, by refusing to get on the ride. I was missing out. That is what life IS- the motion, the action, the discomfort, sometimes. It brings with it laughter, and joy, and happiness. You can’t just pick and choose which experiences you will have and which you will skip over- that is not really living. By leaving my sweats on for days, and refusing to get outside or do anything, I was refusing ALL of it. Not just the hard, boring, uncomfortable, scary stuff, but the great part, the best parts, too. And it was up to me.

So, I went on a few rather grudging walks. The light started to inch it’s way closer. I took a bubble bath and put on clean clothes. A little closer. I took out the garbage and answered the phone when it rang. I felt better. Then, the day before yesterday, I really WANTED to take my dogs for a walk after work. I couldn’t wait. The minute I was off work, I was out the door, and we walked and walked, and halfway into our walk along the beach, I realized I was doing it- I was taking care of myself, and I felt better.

Yesterday, the need for a nap was, like, gone. I just didn’t need one. Just like I didn’t need a pill, or a therapist (although I do have one, don’t get me wrong) or a cheer squad to get me through it. I had the answer, right in my own head, or heart, or soul- wherever the truth about ourselves comes from- it was in me, all the time. I just needed to be willing to listen. I wish I didn’t need to be in such a sorry state before I can hear my own inner voice, and I guess that is something I will work on. Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. Now, back to writing the novel. Have a wonderful Friday!

Weird Dreams With a Moral…have you had them?

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I don’t often go into all my weird New-Age-y, kind of off beat, belief system, and I don’t know that I will go too far into it right now. Let’s just say I believe in lots of things that do not show up in the bible, and leave it at that. However, I am going to talk about dreams here. That is one thing that we can all agree we have in common, right? We all dream about stuff. Even people who claim they don’t usually dream (of course they do, they just don’t remember them) do occasionally have dreams they remember.

Lots of times, I have dreams that are, by anyone’s definition, a little…weird. Like, I generally have at least one or two very spiritual dreams about people who are close to me and die, right after they die. After my grandfather, whom I cherished, died, I dreamed that rather than him, my grandma had died first, and he was sitting at his kitchen table, lost, broken, and alone. I knew this was a message for me, from- him? God, maybe? My subconscious? It was a message from somewhere that things had to be the way they were. That, even though my papa had seemed like the strong one in life, living without my grandmother would have broken him. That things always happen as they are supposed to. That would have been odd enough, in and of itself. But years and years later, I was talking to my mom, and found out that she had had nearly the same exact dream after his death. Now, either one of us is lying (MOM), or there is something bigger at work here. I’ll let you decide which explanation works best for you, but I know what  I believe. We are not alone. There is more, WAY more, happening that we can’t see, and this is a comfort to me that I can get nowhere else. My “weird” dreams inspire my faith in a way that going to church just never could.

I dreamed about my paternal grandmother two nights in a row, in the days directly after her death. We had not been speaking when she died. In the first dream, she was very confused, and wasn’t sure where she was, or how she’d gotten there. She was with a friend of hers that used to live across the street from her in Fresno, Sally, and I honestly don’t know if she is actually alive still or not. In my dream, she was not. She was the guardian for my grandmother, helping her adjust a little before she went to heaven. It was another weird dream, where I could see the walls of Heaven from a back window of these “holding areas” that looked a lot like San Francisco row houses. Also, the houses grew from the roots of a giant tree, and the actual tree WAS Heaven, so…whatever that means. The next night, I dreamed I was at a train station with my grandmother, and she was getting ready to leave. But before she did, she wanted to tell me a thing or two. One of the things was that she understood why I had been so angry with her, and that she was sorry. Another was, that we were just alike. “Don’t be like me,” She told me, hugging me tightly. “You are surrounded by SO MUCH love. Don’t WASTE it.” That dream will stay with me forever.

Last night, I had another weird ass dream. I dreamed I was hanging out with my cousin Carie, and, though I don’t remember the details exactly, somehow or another, she died. It fell on me to have to tell her husband. There was much more to the dream than that, but I woke up with the meaning of the dream echoing in my head- you have all these people who just want to be part of your life, who just want to love you. Do not take that for granted. One of these days you might wish like hell you had been different.

Do you ever have dreams with a loud and clear moral? I mean, I can’t be alone in this, right? I am never alone in any of the other strange shit that goes on in my life. Oh, and by the way- these are just a very, very small sample of the meaningful but strange dreams I have had. I dreamed of my friend Sara the day after she died, and she told me she loved me, as we walked arm in arm through a beautiful forest. We walked to the edge of a lake, where her wife, Krissy, was swimming sadly way out in the middle and she said “Isn’t she beautiful?”, and everything about that dream reminded me of Sara at her best- calm, serene, and she was so peaceful.  I dreamed of my friend Jake, only months after he died, and he told me he was so happy where he was, and that this was exactly how everything had to be, and he was okay with it. He radiated joy. Everything I ever loved about him shone out of him, and none of the things I had disliked were there.

So, what do you think about all that? And, as a side note, I just got off the phone with the very cousin I dreamed about last night, and guess what? She just got out of the hospital, having had a septic blood infection from her sinuses. Coincidence? I think not!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

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So, the seasons are changing, the nights are getting colder, perhaps fires are being lit in your living room (or if you are super lucky, your bedroom) hearths. Your front step may show evidence of the fast approaching Halloween, little pumpkins waiting to be carved into smiles and grimaces. I even have a scarecrow this year! What better time, then, to bring up a subject that almost everyone loves to chime in on- GHOSTS! If you don’t have a story of your own, you definitely have heard plenty over the years, right?

My question to you is, do you believe in ghosts? Like, REALLY believe in them? My sincere hope is that everyone reading this will share their stories in the comments below, or on my Facebook page, because, on top of the fact that I LOVE to tell my own personal ghost story, I SO love hearing other people’s personal encounters with the paranormal. Now, I am going to tell you mine, and it is 100% true! If you don’t believe me, you can totally ask my mother, as she was there and lived through it, too. Some of her memories will be different than mine- this all started when I was eight years old- but I can promise you that it was an experience neither of us will ever forget.
So, when I was 8, my mother was pregnant with my brother, and we moved into a bigger house, a pretty nondescript, standard, home at 530 W. Dayton, in Fresno. It was a hideous mustard color, at least when we got there, but it had a huge backyard. Anyway, within our first few days there, the first thing happened, and it is the one that I am the most confident of all of. I was laying on my twin bed in my little room, and my mom and grandma had just walked out a few moments before. I was reading (of course), when suddenly, the top drawer of my dresser, right next to the bed, just slid open, all the way. Quickly, as if someone had yanked it, hard. I remember being SO terrified that I couldn’t scream- I opened my mouth to yell for my mom, and nothing came out. By the time I could make a sound, I felt quite wild and deranged. The women came running back in, and I told them what had happened, but I could tell they didn’t believe me.
Pretty soon, though, my mom and my step dad, and eventually, even my little brother, were quite aware that we were not living in that house alone. There was tons of regular poltergeist activity, ranging from footsteps in the hall, to glasses and dishes rattling in the cupboard, to entire boxes of cereal flying across the room. No Shit. The rocking chair would rock with no one in it, and no breeze to explain it, things would disappear and then show up in impossible places.
If that had been all of it, I think it would have been bearable. But it seemed to escalate, and the atmosphere in that house became truly unbearable. I don’t know how to explain it to you- if you have ever lived in a house with an unhappy spirit, you will know exactly what I mean…I was eleven, and I couldn’t be alone in that house. I would walk home from school, unlock the front door, and try to sit on the couch to watch TV. Most of the time, the feeling in that place was so oppressive, so terrifying, that I would wind up sitting on the front step until my parents got home. I couldn’t even be in there. You were never alone, and whatever lived there, unseen, did not want me there.
My mother was up late one night, and she heard my brother walking ( he was a toddler, then) down the hall towards her room. She was reading, and she didn’t look up until the footsteps stopped at the foot of her bed, and a strange voice said “Mama!”. Then, her head snapped up, and no one was there. My brother was asleep in his bed. Eventually, he refused to go into his room at night, screaming in terror, and pointing into the corners, hysterical. I will let my mom finish that story, though, because I don’t really remember it well.
We later learned, from our amazing neighbors, Jack and Hazel, who had lived there since the beginning of time, that a small child had died of Leukemia or something in our very house. So that explains the little footsteps we heard often, and the voice in my mom’s room. But I have always felt like there was something much older and more negative in that place than any lost little child’s soul could ever be. I will probably never know the whole story, since we moved many years ago…but I have always wondered if the people who lived there after us had any similar experiences.
I have had other things happen in my life, but that one was definitely the longest…and for sure, the scariest. So, How about you? Do you believe in Ghosts? And if so, why? Tell me your story! I am so excited, I can’t wait!
Happy Almost Halloween!

Why I can never hang out for hours in an airport, ever again.

This will be short and to the point, as I am barely able to gather up the energy needed to write this right now. Also, this will be a little weird, probably.

Ever hear of an “empath”? Of course you have, you don’t live under a rock. Some people might think it’s all hocus-pocus weird new agey shit, but I think it’s just a normal trait. An animal instinct, if you will, that we all possess to a certain degree. I am PLAGUED with this particular thing, and you want to know what? I didn’t even know it was a thing- like I didn’t know there was a name for it, let alone that it was considered a psychic ability, until the past several years. I thought it was just normal to be able to tell how other people felt all the time. Apparently, this is not the case. Still, I would like to argue the fact that women, particularly, are rather good at picking up on peoples feelings in general, and when we know someone, it goes without saying that we notice when something is off. However, and you can say what you want about it, I have a bit of a hypersensitivity in this way. I’m not kidding.

You know how I know this for a fact now? Because I hung out in an airport, full of stressed out, upset, drunk, frustrated, sad, anxious people yesterday…and today, I feel like I have a hangover. I was bitch slapped in the sixth sense. I am good for nothing today. I decided that I really need to learn more about this, because I don’t ever want to feel the way I do right no, ever again. Just totally drained.

Okay, you probably think I am a nut job now. I don’t care. I’m going to bed.