Monthly Archives: April 2015

Yes, I Do

Recently, I wrote a blog about my morning routine. In case you didn’t happen to read that one, I wrote about getting connected to the Ultimate Creative Source, a ritual I call getting plugged in. The more I do it the more I realize how important it is to every little thing I do. 

Think about this for a second,…

If you had full access to infinite wisdom, and you do, wouldn’t you want to be connected to that wisdom when you spoke to your children? when you’re discussing your relationship with your mate? when you’re making decisions about your life, discussing your business, visiting with your parents? Wouldn’t you want to be connected ALL the time? Wouldn’t that make everything in life so much better?

Well, I think so and that’s why I give myself gentle reminders when I find myself feeling less than connected. I talk to myself in a gentle voice, like I’m a small child just learning a new thing, “There, there, it’s ok. You just slipped out of connection. Try it again. You’ll be alright”.

When I am connected to my Ultimate Creative Source, I feel happy, free, light and simply magical. Do you believe in magic?  

Thank GOD for Puberty

A reoccurring subject in my life recently, has been parenting adult children. The fact that my son, Garrison, is 24 years old completely blows my mind. He worked with me in my office for a couple of years starting when he was 19. We had lots of wonderful conversations during those times. It was some of the best times for me as a mom and quite certainly some of the most challenging times for me as a manager. 

 I am often asked how he is doing during my work day, because so many people remember him working there with me and I am grateful for the opportunity to talk about him. I do miss him and our daily talks.

Our talks are much less frequent, but have maintained their depth and sincerity. 

I never mistake his busyness for lack of care or concern for me. I know I am in his heart and in his thoughts. He is busy going to school and living his life. He does check in with me occasionally and it takes effort to reach each other because our schedules are so different. We usually exchange a few texts or voice mails before we actually get to chat. 

I was talking with someone recently who is just entering this realm of parenting an older child, her daughter is 19. We talked about how challenging it is to let go and allow our babies to have their space to be their own people and make their own life decisions.

It’s a delicate tight rope walk because we have taken care of everything from bathing them, cleaning their butts, feeding them, tucking them into bed at night and providing their sense of security to gradually letting go of these cherished rituals.

All I have to say is it’s a good thing they go through that stubborn adolescence phase when you want to choke them, otherwise it would be way too difficult to encourage them to move on with their lives.

Can you imagine how difficult it would be if they stayed as cute and cuddly as when they are little?

Puberty was a very well thought out phase of life. It’s so difficult to live through, as a parent and especially as an adolescent. I never, in a million years, thought I’d ever say this, but Thank God for puberty!!!

I love you Garrison. You’re a fine adult and mommy is proud. Yes, even though you’re all grown up, as you know, you’ll always be my baby. 



Maintain a consistent message to your children, regardless of where their path takes them to discover themselves and they will find you have been there for them all along, loving them, supporting them (not always financially, but always emotionally) and encouraging them to be their own person.

Cliché? Indeed, but True

I’ve noticed in my life experiences there’s an ebb and flow to life. Some times in life when we get caught up in the minutia, we find ourselves paying more attention to the “need to get this done” details of life and less attention to the real life heart beating details. 

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly understand the importance of needing to get things done, but when there’s an imbalance the simple joys of life seem to slip off the radar. It’s so very important to be able to express yourself when you’re feeling the imbalance. Regardless of your relationship status, single, married, partnered, divorced, dating or what ever, you have to be able to work through challenges. 

I have been very focused on maintaining my blog, which is very important to me. Keri has been very focused on training/exercising our, now 6 month old puppy, which is very important to her. Actually, both of these activities are very important to both of us. 

Keri understands how much this blog means to me and is very supportive and encouraging. I know how important proper training and exercise is to the development of our sweet little Marbles. Gosh, what a tremendous love he is in our lives. One could sort of see how the value we place on these things in our lives could begin to divide our time with each other.

Recently, Keri took on the chore of grocery shopping as a solo project. We both thought, “Hey better use of our time” right? I stay home and write and she’s goes to the store. We thought it was a great idea, it seemed to be working. 

One morning this weekend Keri asked me if I wanted to go grocery shopping with her,… I thought about it for a second and accepted her invitation. I, honestly, don’t remember the last time I went to the grocery store with her. Silly as it may sound, I noticed while we were there I had been missing spending this time with her. 

We fell right back into our usual routine. I pushed the cart and followed Keri around as she went down our list. She placed her hand on my back as we were leaving the produce section and I turned to give her a smile and said, “I like your arm on me” She replied, “It’s the little things that mean so much”. We smiled at each other and I said, “Doesn’t it seem kinda silly that I’ve missed this?” True to form with her quick wit she replied, “No. That’s not silly. I’m fun to be around.”     

The Girl that Waves

I was reflecting on a blog I wrote last week about waving from the car as a child and then admitted I still do this as an adult. It occurred to me, as I was reading that I overlooked a little piece of that story and I thought to myself, it’s not too late. So here I am again, sitting with my iPad, sharing some of myself with you. Who am I kidding? We all know I’d find myself sitting here again regardless, right? 

Anyway, when I was in high school I drove a black ’76 Monte Carlo. It was a very cool car and pretty big too. It was a two door, but was very long and the doors were heavy. The interior was a light peanut butter color. I don’t know if my mom knew it or not, but the car she provided her little 16 year old girl came equipped with a V8 engine. I am not claiming to know jack about cars or even what it really means to have a V8, but what I do know is I loved to drive that car. It had power and could get up and GO!!!  

Since I started writing about it, I decided to do a little research and apparently it’s a well loved car by those who’ve owned them or had the privilege of driving one. I really had no idea it was such a hot car. Of course I thought it was hot, but I was a 16 year old girl, what did I know about cars? Not to imply that all girls don’t know about cars, I just wasn’t one of them. 

That car was my ticket. My ticket to freedom. It was the beginning of a big feeling of power to make a decision and act on it right this second. If I wannted to go somewhere, BOOM, jump in the car. I learned a great deal about life in that car. It’s like Stan Lee wrote in Spider Man, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

I was lucky to have tested the power of that car and survive, a couple times. Shhhh. Don’t tell my mom. Again, who am I kidding? I know she reads my blog. Hi Mommy. You can’t ground me now for things you never learned about until now. There’s a statue of limitations that protects me. 🙂 

Anyway, how does any of this relate to me waving to strangers? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m not sure how it happened, but towards the end of my senior year the steering wheel some how got a short in it or something. Every time I turned the wheel to make a left turn the short would cause the horn to honk. I didn’t know what to do, so I just decided to start waving. Every time I turned the wheel far enough left for the horn to go off, I would just wave at whoever was driving by and happened to noticed my horn.

It seems like I tried to get it fixed, but I don’t really remember the details. What I do remember is that it continued long enough that one time when I was at the mall with my friends, I was approached by a stranger who thought they knew me. When they walked up to me trying to figure out how they knew me, I noticed a light go off in their eyes, “Oh yeah!!! You’re the girl who waves” 

Yup! That’s me. I’m the girl that waves. Once I explained what was going on with my car, we all had a pretty good laugh. I’m a roll the punches kinda gal, always making the best of whatever it is I am dealt.             

Smile and Wave

I can remember when I was a little kid, riding around town in the car with my mom. I would smile and wave to people as they passed by in their cars. I, also, remember the disappointment I felt when they didn’t wave back and I would turn to my mom and give her a tiny little pout, followed by a confused proclamation, “They didn’t wave back”.

My mom always told me, “They must not have seen you. How else could you explain someone not waving to my beautiful baby girl”. I remember feeling somewhat comforted by the fact that it could be possible they might not have not seen me. Did it stop me from smiling and waving? Not a chance. 

I still smile and wave from my car as I am driving. I see people wave back with a confused look on their face, like, Do I know you? BUT what I see first is a smile and a wave back. When they realize they don’t really know me they get a little confused, but this is the way I see it, it’s better to have acknowledged another human being with kindness and bring a smile to their face, even  if only for a moment, rather than pass them by and miss the opportunity to brighten their day.     

     

We Live, Happily, Together

One of my best friends shared a link on FB this last week and I liked it so much I thought I’d share it here in my blog.

Apozitude is about living with a positive attitude and a big part of that is learning, expanding awareness and acceptance. So, making an effort to understand people who are different than ourselves can move us all forward in an attempt to treat each other with compassion and respect.

I’ll share the link here, How to Understand Introverted People, besides the reasons I’ve already mentioned, I think it’s also important to share the reason it means so much to me.

When my friend shared this link, we launched into a thread of comments, like most friends do and in one of those comments, my friend said she thought of me when she was reading the link because I am one of the most extroverted people she knows. I wasn’t at all surprised to read this comment, in fact I responded that I was probably one of the most extroverted people that many people knew.

The other piece to this important point is that my wife is an introverted person. Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that neither personality type is viewed as a negative. These are just facts based on our personal preferences. However, when these personal preferences are not understood, the differences in how we deal with life can create challenges and misunderstandings.  

I’m very grateful my friend shared this link on FB because not only does it raise awareness for how to understand introverted people, it also allows permission for both personality types to simply be the way they are and provides guidance on how to manage the differences.Thank you Mary. 

Yes, I’m an extrovert and Keri is an introvert. We have come along way in our relationship. We have put a great deal of effort into understanding each others needs and we’ve come to terms with the fact that some of our individual needs are met in doing things separately. We are very lucky to have each other and we both know it.    

It’s Island Time, Hang Loose

Our last visit down to Poipu beach this last trip to Kauai, I think we were really starting to get the island feel and look about us. We were sitting at a picnic bench. I was sitting on top with my feet on the bench that Keri was sitting on. We were watching the beach birds hop around, the waves rolling, hypnotically, in and out and all the early risers hitting the sand and waves. 

A group of 3 women walked up to the picnic table about 15 feet away. They appeared to be looking for someone. I wondered the way they kept looking at us, if they had reserved the picnic table we were sitting on.  

One of the women approached us, “Are you our snorkel instructors? We are supposed to meet here at 8am”. We all kinda chuckled as the woman was realizing that we were not instructors and Keri asked for the time. The woman said, “It’s 8o’clock”. Keri politely replied, “Well they’re kinda fast and loose with the time around here. Ya’ know, island time?”

The woman clarified this was her daughter and granddaughter’s first time on the island and they were excited about their activities. We completely understand. We reassured them if they were instructed to meet at Poipu Beach that they were in the right place. The woman acknowledged and as she was walking back towards her daughter and granddaughter she said, “Ya, hang loose” accompanied with the appropriate hand gesture. She seemed to be soothe a bit and we returned to our wave hypnosis. 

See you later Poipu Beach. We will be back! 

Connection

The drive up to the Monastery was amazing. The Monastery was amazing. You definitely have a feeling of awe in the presence of something majestic.

The really cool thing about Hinduism is that their idea of majestic is not limited to their Monastery or their temple. It is  a Hindu belief that, “God Siva is everywhere. There is no place where Siva is not. He is in you. He is in the temple. He is in the trees. He is in the sky, in the clouds, in the planets. he is in the galaxies, too. He is the universe. his cosmic dance of creation, preservation and dissolution is happening this very moment in every atom of the universe.” Taken from a booklet provided at the monastery. This seems very in line with my beliefs of my Ultimate Creative Source.     

While at the Monastery, we visited their library and visitor center. The volunteer in the visitor center asked me, “How did you hear about the Monastery?” I told her the truth, “we were in a bar at happy hour and someone noticed my Ganesha tattoo,…” as I revealed my tat the woman seemingly bowed in reverence to the image of Ganesha on my right shin and smiled as she welcomed us to their center.

She guided us to this and that and spoke briefly about the grounds. She welcomed us to join the worship that was taking place and was very pleasant. She was respectful of our space and allowed us our own time to be curious. 

I find the rituals very soothing. I love the meditation and focus upon simple. I’m not so sure why I’m so drawn to these cultures and religions so rich with ritual, although, I’m aware there are other religions rich with ritual that I’m not so fancy upon. 

I guess it has a great deal to do with the absence of evil and eternal damnation taught in Hinduism and other similar religions vs the more commonly known religions of the US. When the volunteer spoke about the worship and meditation, I expressed my enthusiasm in a very (in my opinion) lame manner by saying, “Cool” and she responded, “Magical”.

I clarified quickly that I didn’t mean to minimize their worship and cool as a cucumber she replied, “I didn’t take it that way at all” I am in constant awe of connectedness. So grateful for my experiences.

I’d like to clarify that the knowledge I have regarding Hinduism is but the tip of a iceberg, but the knowing I have about the connection I felt while I was there is undeniable. Thank you Linda and Bartholomew for making a connection with me. Thank you Siva. Thank you Ultimate Creative Source.         

      

Keoki’s Paradise

This last week when we were in Kauai, Keri and I found a little place we liked to go for happy hour, Keoki’s Paradise. The atmosphere was casual. All the outer edges of the establishment were open allowing a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape and a light breeze to flow through. 

As one might expect, there were lots of palm trees, big colorful flowers, bamboo and plants with huge leaves. I’m not kidding even a little bit. The leaves on some of these plants were bigger than my head. I know, I know. Roll on with the jokes about the size of my head. 

Anyway, one day while we were sitting at the bar enjoying the view and our tropical beverages, I noticed in my survey of my surroundings, an older man and woman sitting at a table near by. I say older because they both had white hair and they were, well,… older than me. 

I was busy chatting with Keri, sipping my pineapple Mojito (YUM) and turning on my bar stool to get the full 360 degree view of the place. I hadn’t really considered this before, but now I realize in my turning to see everyone and everything around me, I also provided the opportunity for others to get a full view of me. The reason I realized this was because the woman of the older couple mentioned my Ganesha tattoo on my right shin. 

“I couldn’t help but notice you have Ganesha tattooed on your leg. Have you been up to the Hindu Monastery?” It was kinda loud in there, so I got up from my bar stool and sat at their table. These two were very passionate about the monastery and were trying to tell me as many details as they could. They were adorable. We connected almost instantly. They highly recommended us making the trip, if our time on the island allowed for it.

The woman told me she tells her children all the time, “Everything happens for a reason”. I told her I had the same belief and asked them for their names. The woman replied, “My name is Linda”. I turned to her companion and he replied, “I’m Bartholomew, you don’t find many of them around anymore”. I said, “Well, my name is Angel and I thank you kindly for your recommendation. We’ll, certainly, check it out.” and returned to my perch and my beverage. 

Once seated, Bartholomew approached me, handed me a coin in a sealed plastic wrapper with a tag stapled to it and said, “Since you believe everything happens for a reason I wanted to share with you that I carry this Angel coin with me at all times. It protects me and keeps me from harm. The police in NYC carry these Angel coins”. I thought it was really cool that he had a coin in his wallet with my name on it. 

I thanked him for sharing with me, gave him his coin back and handed them one of my Apozitude cards. I told them how much I enjoyed connecting with them and I was very much looking forward to visiting the Hindu Monastery. I hugged them both as they were leaving. It was amazing. Who knew the paradise we would find at Keoki’s? 

More about the Hindu Monastery, later. 

How Do You Identify?

I’m really excited about a shift I’ve been noticing in society recently. My excitement is related to feelings of hope because I’m seeing expansion and acceptance.  

Growing up gay in Oklahoma during the 70’s and 80’s was challenging and confusing for me. I understand growing up at any time with differences of any kind can be challenging. I also understand, everybody is weird to somebody because none of us are exactly the same. Growing up and trying to figure out where we begin and our parents end is a challenge for everyone. 

I have given and continue to give what I feel is the very best I am able to give my son. Looking back, are there things I would change? Sure. I’m certainly not perfect and I’ve grown quite a bit over the years, but I still stand firm on my belief that I’ve always done the best I could. 

I’ve always wanted him to know my love is unconditional. I wanted him to have a strong sense of himself. I taught him first and foremost, yes, even before he is my son, he’s his own person. There would lots of things in our lives that we would disagree on, but one thing would never waiver and that is my love for him. I was able to provide this for him because this is what I learned growing up. My mom’s love for me has never wavered.   

We’re lucky. Some people are shunned from their families and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to manage the challenges of life when your own family casts you aside. It breaks my heart and that is exactly why I am so excited for the expansion and acceptance I’m seeing in the world around me. 

In a society where children are discouraged from a freedom of expression as simple as changing the color of their hair, because “You’re just fine the way God made you”, can you imagine feeling you were born the wrong gender? I felt this way for years. I thought everything would be so much easier if I was a boy, but then I realized, I was just fine the way “God” made me, a lesbian. This is just my story though.

There are lots of people who disagree with the gender assignment they were given, but if anyone is foolish enough to think that a being greater than myself would cast a person aside simply because they have a different opinion than their creator regarding gender assignment is, well,… foolish. 

I don’t understand the complexities of feeling I was born the wrong gender any more than a straight person understands the complexities of being born gay, but what I do understand is the feeling of being excluded or looked upon as strange. I have felt the eyes of others in the past trying to make sense of what they were seeing. I have been looked straight in the eyes and was alerted by a woman in the restroom I was walking in to, “This is the women’s”. 

I was offended. I grabbed my boobs right in front of her, stated, “I know! I’m a woman” and kept on walking. I understand, now, that wasn’t intended to be a personal attack, but I think it’s a good example of perception and misunderstanding. 

My wife snapped these pictures in a church in downtown Portland, Oregon to share with me because she knew I would be excited to see signs of expansion and acceptance. She was right! Thank you Keri.



This is exactly why I am so excited to see signs popping up confirming that change is happening. Society is broadening it’s spectrum. I’m happy to live in a time that’s growing more accepting and compassionate. There’s plenty of room and plenty of love for everyone to live they way we all were intended to live, Happy. I identify as happy.