Tulip-A-Palooza!

It’s that time of year folks! Tulip time. In the county where I live, we have a tulip festival that runs the entire month of April. That said, the blooms happen according to Mother Nature’s schedule. This year, spring came a good 3 weeks early to our area. And the blooms were about 2+ weeks early. As I write this, the festival is coming to a close, although the blooms finished their triumphant displays over a week ago. Enjoy!

Just a quick note: click on any photo and it will open the entire photo. You will also be able to click on left or right arrows to scroll through all of the photos in that gallery. There is an “X” at the top, left to close the gallery.

Here is a local display garden, where they plant about 300,000 bulbs every year. In the fall, all the bulbs are dug up and new ones are planted for next spring. They do a wonderful job.

Here are individual types of blooms highlighted.

Finally, here are photos of fields of tulips.

Which are your favorite photos?

As a reminder, all photos are copyrighted to me. For permission to use one, contact me at mariner2mother@wavecable.com.

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Skeletons In The Closet

So many families have them.

Skeletons in the closet.

Secrets kept in shame.

Societal violations that are deemed

too fraught with peril to speak about.

Shrouded in fear.

Fear that people will find out

about

the big

secret.

And ostracize us all.

The big shame.

But over decades, values and mores shift.

What was once so very shameful

might not be so bad, decades later.

But then again,

it might.

Time to cast off the coat that I didn’t choose to wear.

Time to peel it off, as it no longer fits.

I didn’t even put it on me, although I wore it.

After all, I was just a young girl.

A budding blossom.

My petals were stripped.

And it wasn’t my fault.

I didn’t do anything wrong.

He did.

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Holding Space and Resurgence of the Feminine

A few years back, when this Spirituality thing was quite new to me, there was a whole new lingo to learn. One of the phrases that I heard a lot, but didn’t have words for, was “holding space.”

Little by little, I began to grasp this concept. At first I understood it to be like being there for someone, being there for a friend who needed a place to vent. Being that friend you could tell your trouble to, who wouldn’t go gossiping those same things around town.

Then, as I learned more and grew more, I understood “holding space” to mean that I was a safe place for someone to do whatever they needed to do in that moment in time; whether it was laugh, cry, grieve, or process whatever emotion they needed to, just then. It’s like there is a bubble around the two of us that is a safety net and a loving shield in one.

IMG_2594_sm

Now I feel that when I hold space for someone or for a group of people, I am energetically creating a literal space around them that holds the energy of non judgment, holds the energy of allowing, and is a safe place for people to express what they need to express to fulfill their soul’s highest wishes, and do this while infusing the energy of the highest vibration, of love, into that space.

When we feel safe and that we are allowed to express our emotions, years old blocks can dissolve in a moment. The energy of the feminine does this beautifully: creates safety and allows processing of all emotions. It can feel soft and flowing, yet very strong.

However, in our current society, we have been taught that expressing our emotions out loud, especially in public, is not ok. The masculine energies that have dominated for the past hundreds of years, the ones that have allowed fear of emotional expression to run rampant, are shifting.

One of the big deals about 2012 is the end of the era of masculine energy domination, and the resurgence of feminine energy, seeking to restore balance.

For me as a woman and a mother, it’s easier than perhaps for many men, to play the role of holding space for someone who needs to let out a lot of painful tears, because we are the ones who do this in our society with great regularity. We are a shoulder to lean on when a friend needs and ear to bend. We soothe and calm upset children and spouses. It’s accepted and even expected.

Our older men especially, were raised that a real man doesn’t cry. A real man doesn’t show his feelings. A real man keeps his cards close to the vest. But the tide is changing, and we now know that stifling our emotions, stuffing, denying, repressing, and blocking them, leads to disease and dysfunction in our physical bodies and our lives- think heart disease, cancer, addiction and anger issues.

So, the next time your child, your spouse, your friend, your co-worker, is having a tough time, instead of telling them to buck up, to suck it up, or get over it, put your judgments in your back pocket for a little while and just be there for them. You don’t need to solve their problems for them or even comment. Just be there. Especially with kids, you’ll be surprised how quickly they can move through the moment and on to a more peaceful state.

And make sure you have your person or peeps who can do the same for you.

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I See You: A Letter to My Son

To my beloved Son:

I see you when you shove your sneakers on without untying the laces because tying shoes is still a challenge and takes too long.

I see you change your clothes several times a day because one pair of pants or a shirt becomes too hot or uncomfortable after a while.

I see you skip brushing your teeth because the bristles against your gums is unbearable.

I see you when you do brush your teeth, after much nagging from me, and you don’t use toothpaste because it’s intolerable.

I see you when you ask me every morning just before school drop-off if your face is clean of food because you don’t feel it when you have butter or crumbs around your mouth.

I see you try to eat new foods, but still can’t swallow them, or their smell is so offensive you can’t even give them a taste.

I see you when you jumble up time because your brain doesn’t process time very well.

I see you when you become self-conscious running around with your buddies, noticing how they seem to glide across the grass like a gazelle, and you don’t.

I see you when I take you for a hair cut and you have to go outside a soon as your cut is done because of the smell of perm chemicals in the air is overwhelming.

I see you when I hug you and you turn your head because the smell of my morning breath is intolerable for you.

I see you when you won’t let me brush your hair because it hurts too much.

I see you when you have trouble facing new situations and new people, until you get comfortable with them.

I see you when it’s Sunday night, and the thought of having to go to school in the morning stresses you out.

I see you Monday mornings when you open your eyes, only to crumble into tears when you remember it’s a school day Monday.

I see you when anxiety morphs into sheer terror panic, feeling like you’re going to die.

I see you when you have to curl up into a ball in your safe soft place in your closet when your brain is freaking out.

I see you not wanting to go to school because everything they stress during school: reading, writing and math, are big challenges for you.

I see you feeling stupid because school has taught you that if you don’t get good grades and catch on to what they’re teaching, the way they teach, you must be stupid.

I see you try to please people around you, like me and your Dad, and your teacher at school because your heart is pure gold.

I see you trying to just make it through the school day with your teachers interpreting your behavior as apathetic, and all you want to do is crawl into a bunch of blankets.

I see you when you’re so tired and worn out that your ability to talk starts to give out.

I see you cry when the world has overwhelmed you because it expects more from you than you can give.

I see you wanting to be accepted and loved just as you are.

I see the true you because I know a secret that the rest of the world doesn’t know. You came into the world with amazing gifts that might not be fully realized for a while. I see how amazingly fast your brain works at times. And you definitely have the potential to change the world. You came into the world with a Christened consciousness that won’t let you lie, cheat or steal. You have a heart bigger than anyone, and it’s my job as your mother to see that it doesn’t get trampled, until you’re old enough to do that job for yourself.

I’ve seen how far you’ve come, and as difficult as things get, I know you’re going to fly.

This post was inspired by an article I read today: I Stand Quietly: A Letter to My Daughter and to Everybody, written by a mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum.

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Disembarking From The Crazy Train

Where to begin? The past few weeks have been a series of ups and downs. Way down and way up. I read about how this year of 2015 is a year of change, of transformation, and the rollercoaster ride has begun!

Energies in the world become turbulent periodically, like when the sun shoots out a big solar flare, or when the moon’s effect on earth’s gravity is highest during the full and new moons. During these times people tend to become irritable or riled up – just ask anyone who works in an ER. Energies deep in people start to become shaken, and some rise to the top ready to be let go, like when you put water into a pan of rice and agitate it so the starch rises to the top to be poured off.

These energies come out as anger, frustration, and fear. How do I know energy is wonky? Other than looking at a calendar to see the phase of the moon, or checking in with certain Lightworkers out there who are always on top of the sun’s activity, my biggest indicators are how I’m feeling and how my Little Man is doing.

The past few weeks have been a struggle. Little Man’s anxiety has been running high. And my body decided to freak out on me in response to all of Little Man’s anxiety. Turns out I’m at an age where it is imperative to support my hormonal system in one way or another; and I haven’t been doing a good job with it. Things got too far out of balance, sending me spiraling. It was not fun. Fortunately, I had support on hand in the form of some capsules, and I finally took the full recommended dose (which I hadn’t been doing).

The lesson of balance was brought full force into my face. It’s about balance.

From Google ImagesWhat I’m learning as I travel the path of a spiritually awakened person, is that being conscious of the fact that we are all Christened beings, who came from the energy we know as unconditional love, does not mean our lives will be all skittles and roses. In fact, when people are actively doing the work to free themselves of their fear-based personality (which is a challenge in this fear-based world we live in), they might find that areas of their lives, that aren’t really working for them, fall apart.

People’s marriages implode. The can’t tolerate their job anymore and leave, or they get fired. And friendships go by the wayside. As I’ve changed and come into myself more, I see that the crap inside me that used to pop up and stir the pot, make me afraid, frustrated, pissed off, or whatever, is so very much less and less. I’ve had a few friendships go away. And when I am knocked over, I tend to spring back up much more easily and quickly.

Last week I participated in a workshop created by Drunvalo Melchizedek, called Awakening the Illuminated Heart. We spent 4 days healing, letting go of things that have been holding us back and weighing us down, so we could remember who we truly are at our core. We are spirit; an aspect or splinter of the One Divine, whence we came. We wear these human costumes (or as my dear friend calls them – meat suits) so we can experience life through them:  through our eyes, our ears, our ability to taste, smell, and our sense of touch. We come into these amazing vehicles called bodies, and experience pain, anger, doubt, fear, happiness, joy, bliss, and love. We also create with and through our bodies. We chose this as a way of expanding our consciousness. After all, God isn’t in a body and can’t experience life the way we do.

During the workshop, after we spent two days experiencing healing and releasing, we spent the next two days reconnecting to the point in our bodies where the world of polarity, this world of opposites, doesn’t exist: within a tiny space inside our heart. This is the point of unity: where we truly are one with everything and everyone.

It is within this space that we connect directly to the Divine Source, God. As we were guided through an exercise that brought us specifically into this space, we were reminded to be childlike, full of wonder, and joy. In fact, I believe it was because I saw myself as a young girl playing and having fun, that this particular exercise worked so well for me. As I slid down a very long and winding slide into this place, shouting “wee!” all the way down, I finally arrived, with a plop onto a bed of pillows. God was right there welcoming me, saying that he’d been waiting for me and was so happy that I’d finally made it.

In a flash, I was shown a slideshow of pictures that stretched all around me, and stretched quite tall, like an IMAX theater. There were all sorts of pictures of landscapes that were amazingly beautiful, pictures of people from all over the globe, and I received the knowing that we are all one, all connected, and are integrally part of our Mother Earth and Father Sky. More information flooded my brain so fast that I can only remember flashes of it, but the expressions “as above, so below” and “as within, so without” made total sense.

In my conversation with God, I realized that I hear him in my mind all the time. He comes through for me with great regularity. And for years, I’d blown him off, not knowing it was The Divine connecting with me, giving me information.  It was an amazingly emotional experience, with tears rolling down my cheeks. Realizing the completely unconditional love and acceptance, and the connection that has always been there (I’ve never been alone or abandoned), was overwhelming. Trying to express in mere words, this intense experience, doesn’t even begin to do it justice. (Think about the difference between explaining what an orgasm is, and the actual experience). Nevertheless, it was beyond amazing and something I’ll never forget.

The goal of spirituality is to remember our intimate connect with the source of life, to remember our God selves. To remember that this life is temporary. And that we choose to come here to experience, without judging experiences as good or bad. It is our human selves who created this world of polarity we now live in, where we feel the need to label everything in opposites. Think about it: how often do we categorize things into our lives and then stick polarity labels on them like good and bad, like and dislike, black and white, up and down, in and out. The thing with these labels is that they disregard the never-ending flow that life really is, the continuum and the ever-present change. They create artificial end points that stop us. Polarity doesn’t allow for expansion and opening in our thoughts, and thus in our world. After all, our thoughts (conscious and subconscious) create our world: the physical items around us, and the experiences that are drawn to us.

So when we are able to remember to see the world through the eyes of unity instead of through polarity, especially after the initial upheaval, things tend to flow more smoothly. Bumps in the road become small and easier to step over. Upset passes more quickly. And what comes to us becomes more and more desirable.

One of the biggest challenges that comes from moving forward in my work is the integration part. Integrating the new me with my “life” and family. Being able to maintain the ground I’ve gained with surroundings that haven’t yet shifted. This is the place where some people experience what appears to be backlash or their lives falling apart. What’s really happening is that their new selves don’t fit into their old lives. Sometimes families, friendships, jobs, and homes are flexible enough that things shift and adjust to a new normal. Sometimes not. Finding the balance in maintaining ground gained and giving my family time and space to shift to meet me, is what I’m working on. So far, so good.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Child Wants to Stay Home from School

mariner2mother:

A few weeks ago, Little Man and I had a particularly difficult morning. I wrote about it here: Push Me Pull You. While I was struggling to deal with the situation, I decided to ask The Council for their wisdom. Bob and Cynthia have a blog that is full of people’s questions and the advice that Cynthia brings through from The Council to help these people reach a higher level of understanding. The Council came through for me on this one in a very big way.

Originally posted on Ask The Council:

This post is inspired by a question from Susan who asks if it’s more loving to let her son stay home from school when he doesn’t feel well or to force him to try to walk through his anxiety and go to school. Her son is a 12 year old sixth grader who she describes as very energetically sensitive, dyslexic, has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and sensory issues. Her son missed school on Friday and 15 minutes before going to school on Monday he developed a stomach ache. Susan is looking for guidance that will help her in situations like this. She’s concerned about his anxiety ruling him, but she also wants him to make it to the other side of his fears.

The Counsel says much of her son’s stress is related to remembering his past lives when he was abandoned, had no family, and couldn’t speak out. When he’s ready they suggest…

View original 375 more words

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Revisiting a Memorable Post: Reiki Attunement

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today, I will show kindness to every living thing.

These are the Reiki principles as I learned them almost exactly 4 years ago. I took a day long class to learn about Reiki healing and to become attuned to it, after learning that a fellow blogger used Reiki to help her son sleep. At the time, my son had a lot of issues with sleep, and I was both desperate and very intrigued.

Inspired by another fellow blogger, Sara of The Practical Mystic, and her First Post Challenge, I decided to revisit one of my posts that brought back a memorable time in my life. For me, this event kicked off my spiritually “waking up.” As I wrote this post, I no idea what was to come: the changes and the magic.

Attunement As A Reiki Healer                               March 6, 2011

This past weekend, I received attunements to be a Reiki healer of the First Degree. For many of you, Reiki is a word you may have heard of, but don’t really know what it is. Well, in a nutshell, Reiki is energy that is the source of all life. It is the life force that is called many names, including Mana, Prana, Chi, and in Japan, Ki. A Reiki healer can channel the life force energy and “give Reiki” to another person.

As we are all made of energy, and energy is all around us, I believe that we are all connected, and everyone has the potential to be a healer of this nature. The attunements I received were initiations given by a Reiki Master. In receiving them, my body’s energy channels were opened and cleared of obstructions, so that I am now connected to the source of all universal Ki.

In becoming a Reiki healing practitioner, I learned how to lay my hand on, or just above, a person, and to channel Ki through me to them. Our bodies instinctively know how to heal themselves: think of when you are sick and get better, or have a cut and it heals itself. But, sometimes, for whatever reason, your body may need help, may need more of the life force energy, to heal. And this healing may have to do with physical, emotional, or spiritual dis-eases. This is where a Reiki practitioner can help.

As I laid my hands on fellow classmates, learning the hand positions on the body, my hands became very warm, and at times, even hot. This was the energy being transferred between us. They commented on feeling the heat, as well. The wonderful thing about our bodies is, because they know how to heal themselves, when this Ki comes in, the body uses it where it is most needed. For some, it may be physical healing, and for others, it may be emotional healing.

During the class, when we received our attunements, we each experienced them in a different way. Some people became very emotional, while others felt a little jolt pass down through their bodies. After I received my final attunements, I became very emotional, and the words, “Thank you God,” kept resonating over and over in my head. It’s very interesting to see how differently it affected each person.

More and more, Reiki is finding it’s way into the world of traditional medicine. Our teacher has been able to be with people receiving hospice, to help them finish unfinished business before they died. And transplant organs that receive Reiki, have a significantly lower rejection rate than those that don’t.

From now on, these abilities that were opened in me yesterday, are forever with me. I will leave you with the Reiki Principles as I was taught them.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today, I will show kindness to every living thing.

************************************************************

I invite you to share the link to one of your most memorable posts in the comments below.

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Push Me Pull You

I’m tip toeing through a minefield of Lego’s. One wrong move and it’s pain. Things were going great, until…

Ouch! I can’t. My stomach hurts. My head is all fuzzy and I can’t think straight.

Step 2. I prod, coax, ask. No pressure.

No. I can’t do it. It hurts. I can’t think.
Can I have some Reiki?

Ok Little Bunny. Relax. I’ll help you unwind this big knot in your tummy. Would you like a decongestant? No.

Better?

A little.

Do you think you can just try to go to school?

No.

Just try. Even if it’s for a little while. All you have to do is just sit there.

I can’t do it.

Yes you can – spoken with the most compassion I can muster.

I can’t think straight. I’m afraid. She’ll make me work. I can’t do it.

Sure you can…
Frustration wells up and then I push. You need to at least try going. Just for the first hour. You must go. Get your clothes back on! Put your shoes on!! Get going!!!

Tears. Anguish. Pain. I can’t do it. His feet are in cement.

Now!!!! Get. Your. Clothes. On!!!! Get in the car!!

Fear and pain eclipse his brain and torrents of tears come. I feel his torture. I can’t do this.

That which I resist persists, and in proportion to my resistance.

What am I doing? If I keep pushing, am I traumatizing him? Am I screwing him up (like my mother did to me)? If I give in am I letting him get away with something? Am I crippling him, allowing his anxiety to rule his brain? What will his teacher think, missing yet another day of school? What does she think of me, of him?

Fuck it. Fuck what anyone thinks. Today, the heart rules. I give.

Ok. You’ll just have to deal with it all tomorrow. I give up. It’s just not worth it.

And how was your Monday morning?

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Hickory Ice

Looking through old files today, I found a few things I wrote years back when I was really struggling. Now I see that I was dealing with undiagnosed depression. This was written when Little Man was 17 months old; before he wore any labels of diagnoses.

May 10, 2004

On autopilot
Running… moving
Keep moving…don’t stop
If you stop, it will all fall down and crumble in a heap.

Like the adrenaline the day Little Man was born
Or was it the morphine?
Don’t think…just do…go

If I stop to try to make sense of it all
I won’t be able to get up and get going again
I’ll be mired in the mud.

Can’t think about the stress, the pressure
Can’t truly process it right now
Have to just get through…and deal with it later
Much later.

Hickory ice. If you stop, you fall in.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
You are the cow… pump, nurse, pump, bottle, pump
Try to get him to stop crying…go to sleep…please.
Every time I get up, the pain is so intense.

It feels like tearing inside
The incision is ripping inside
My heart is tearing

But I have to keep getting up…again and again.
He needs me
I need me

Over time things heal
The incision still hurts, but it’s better
My heart is better
But there will always be scars.

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Shoot This! Connecting To Nature

My favorite way to connect to nature is with camera in hand. When I’m out and about, I’ll see something that speaks to me, that lights me up inside, and when it happens I have to capture that moment to share it with the world. Hoping to share that indescribable wow.

I first became enamored with taking pictures forty years ago, when I was ten and received a Polaroid Zip camera. These days, my cameras of choice are a Canon Powershot SX 280 HS that lives in my purse, for every day point and shoot moments, and my big gun, a Canon 70D.

Today was a perfect day to get out and shoot. I had no plans that couldn’t wait (laundry and cleaning), and the weather decided to change from buckets of rain and flooding to a beautifully clear and sunny day.  The first photo-op that caught my eye happened as I drove my son to school. To have to pass it by was a bit of torture, but I was home in a flash, and grabbed my camera.

Running out the door, I caught the backstays of the morning sun shining through our woods. There is something about crepuscular rays that always speaks to my heart.

Suns Rays

When Little Man saw this photo, he said, “It looks like God.” Love that.

After playing around with the fog and sun, I put on a camouflage jacket and my boots to head across the waterlogged field next door. Walking through the field I followed deer trails and side-stepped small rodent holes.

At the edge of the field is a row of young trees that serves as a buffer to a small river that is home to spawning salmon. This time of year, we have many bald eagles around, hunting for fish in the river and small animals in the field. Standing above the young trees are a handful old trees that make for excellent look-out perches for the eagles and other birds of prey.

neighboring field

There were a few eagles in the largest tree (one whose spirit is very old and majestic). I took a photo, walked closer, took another photo, and walked closer, waiting to see how close I could get before I spooked the eagles.

eagle in tree

I manage to get fairly close to this one before it flew off.

eagle in flight

eagle in flight 2

After the eagle left, I stood by the river, waiting for more to come by. It was a gloriously sunny day, and frankly, I was just grateful to be outside in sunshine. As I was standing there, filled with gratitude, I saw something floating down the river. Expecting to see a branch come around the bend, what I got instead was a great surprise.

ducks

A pair of merganser ducks!

merganser

A little while later, I could see that the eagles had moved to trees up the river, far enough from me that I wasn’t going to pursue them. Content with having been outside for almost 2 hours, and having a handful of potentially decent photos, I started making my way back across the field.

neighbors barn

A neighbor’s barn was looking particularly inviting. As I looked the other way, toward our place, the fog was hanging around in the shade.

view back up field

Most of the puddles from the recent rain were just that, puddles. But I came across one that was still partly frozen.

frozen puddle

As I walked up the driveway, our majestic bigleaf maple tree caught my attention. It’s mostly covered with moss, and ferns love to grow from the moss. When it has leaves, they grow over a foot across: hence the name bigleaf maple.

big leaf maple tree

The ferns especially favor the north side of the tree.

ferns on maple

A final walk down the yard to check out the large puddles left behind by the past several days’ rains yielded more inspiration.

tree reflection

Thus concluded my communing with nature… until Little Man came home, and we went out to the field together.

Posted in Photography, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments