Meghan, My Meghan

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Happy Birthday to my favorite woman on the planet.

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When she was in 5th grade, Meghan participated in “Puttin’ on the Hits”, a lip-sync contest. Her performance was “Part of Your World” from Little Mermaid – with a trunk of treasures and a mermaid costume. Since it was being run by the kids, the stage hands were a bit behind and hurriedly set her stage – to her frustration. The audience could see her wildly gesturing to them from offstage (in her sparkly mermaid costume) as she sent the kids back on stage to move the trunk. Meghan then calmly came out, settled herself into a relaxed, floating, mermaid position next to the trunk and did a beautiful enactment of Ariel wishing to be part of our world.

After the performance, my mother leaned over and whispered to me, “That child will always find center stage.”

You’re right, Mom, she always has.  I am grateful that she lives locally and we can still be a part of each other’s world – and I am grateful and honored to be her Mom.

 

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Happy Birthday, Meg!

From my heart to yours, Diane

So what about THIS moment?

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This week I have “gone quiet”.  What I say it means is that, for a few days, I stop writing my “Thought for the Day”, stop posting cat photos, sharing cool videos and, most importantly, stay quiet. Focus on the inner me and take a break from the world outside. Sometimes it works. This time, not so much.

This time I’ve been on vacation with my husband, so there is that. Certainly not a bad thing, but not optimum to being quiet. I have been successful in avoiding Facebook, but then I thought, “Let’s try Twitter and Instagram and see what kind of attention they get.” Yeah, not much attention except from me. Simply time wasted and the “quiet”was very noisy. Who am I kidding…

I have spent some time this week doing things that quiet my soul: reading, painting (the bathroom, not a canvas), meditating, antiquing and blog writing.  In doing so I realized just how much I love doing these things but I feel like I am always trying fit them into my oh-so-busy-and-oh-so-important lifestyle. If I get up at 5:30 and spend 15 minutes doing yoga followed by 45 minutes meditating, another 30 minutes on the treadmill reading, and then an hour writing, well, that put’s me at about 8:00. Plenty of time to shower, eat and get to work by 9:00.  With my crazy work schedule, all bets are off from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. most days so the painting of the bathroom and the antiquing will have to wait. But…how much time (let’s be real here) have I also spent scrolling. That one I’m too embarrassed to answer but, suffice it to say, my yoga/meditation/reading/writing time is probably cut in half.

By the end of the day, I have run through moments never even noticing them.

So I stop and meditate. Right now.  Enjoy this while I’m gone (it’s what I will be absorbing for the next hour)

In the stillness of this moment I am at peace.

Knowing that in this moment I am renewed, I find that my breath is gentler, my fingers slower on the keyboard and my thoughts open-ended.  Reading back this post I am amazed (why do I continue to be so amazed?) what this hour has created. There is a sense of tranquility that I forget (or choose to ignore?) as I go about my day. Recognizing this gift, I am grateful. I know now that this time of meditation, of quiet, of peace, tranquility, is all I need. Everything else will follow as it needs to (not because I believe it should). This hour is endless and it is in this moment of pure bliss (I really can think of no other word for it) that I begin again. The illusion of quiet becomes the reality that resides in my soul.

From my heart to yours, Diane

 

 

A Single Cell

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I have had several discussions of late about the word ‘God’.  Interestingly enough, but not really surprising, is how it strikes a irritating chord in some people.  Many people struggle with the reality of God.  If it’s not tangible, it’s not real.  Hearing voices in my head simply means I’m crazy and has nothing to do with “God speaking to me”.  God is just a story made up to control people.  It’s just a myth, an aery-fairie way of looking at life.  If God exists, where is he when I need him most!?

We often scoff at what we cannot physically see or feel.  Remember reading that the earth was once thought of as flat?  I’m sure it made sense.  All you need to do is look toward the horizon – it doesn’t ‘look’ very round.  More often than not, there is more than the eye can see or the mind can understand.  More often than not, we can only comprehend that which our five senses can tell us.

That feeling of deju vu.  The shadow that passes at the edge of your peripheral vision. The coincidences.  The changes in your body and your demeanor when you “take a deep breath”.  The pet that can sense what you cannot.  The list is endless.  Rarely do we connect any of this to God. Doing so means that we are not in control.

Guess what? We’re not.

God is not a someone or a something. God is the energy of everything: The millions of years that is takes to form a pebble. The changing colors of the sky. The human act of creation that leads to the first heartbeat of a child. The fluttering of an eyelash. The ant that carries ten times his weight for miles and miles. The thought that believed that information could travel the planet through space – in an instant. The complex, magnificent human body! All scientifically explainable, but where did the science originate?

You are but a single cell in the body of the Universe. It is committed to continue creating whether you call it God or not.

Something to think about as your heart continues to beat.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

 

 

 

 

 

I Live in the 6th District

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Last evening, while anxiously and constantly checking on election results, my dear husband said to me “Just let it go. It will be what it will be.” A reminder to practice what I preach. This morning, that lesson is even louder in my head – but there’s so much more to it.

For the past two years, I, as many of you, have watched our beloved country turn upside down. The quiet rage of millions came up against the complacency of millions more and, as a result, Trump was elected. The shock of that victory was felt by both sides: some felt vindicated and others felt deeply confused. In the ensuing months, I would venture to guess that no one is completely pleased with the results so far.

And then there is District 6. Did it feel a bit like the Hunger Games to anyone but me? (Per Wiki, District 6 was known as one of the more rebellious districts. Ha!) I am proud to be living here and grateful for the people who stepped outside their comfort zones to affect change. What transpired here over the past few months clearly shows that more and more people are looking for the good in humanity. Jon Ossoff may not have won this election. What he did accomplish in a very short period of time will have, I hope, a much deeper, long term impact for all of us, regardless of political party. People are tired and frustrated by our so-called democracy. The Presidential campaign proved that without a shadow of doubt.

The 6th District election has proven that there are many people who will no longer sit back and watch from the sidelines. If there are many here in this small section of this country, there are millions more ready to help affect positive change. John Ossoff proved that you can do this. The lack of victory yesterday does not translate to failure. No, in fact, it’s just the beginning of what is possible.

To the people, especially the women, who opened the door to what is possible, thank you for standing strong. To Jon Ossoff, thank you for a bi-partisan approach and a positive outlook for our country. To Karen Handel, please represent us well.

Yes, let it go. It will be what it will be because good work was done and the stage has been set. Now it’s time to turn our strength towards Washington. There is much work to be done.

And just one more quote from Mrs. Roosevelt:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Yes, there is much work to be done so, please, never underestimate the difference you can make.

From my heart to yours, Diane

Whew!

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Finally. What a relief. With a deadline looming very near, I finally put the finishing touches on my latest article for Conscious Living Journal.  It’s a subject I’m passionate about – forgiveness.  Yet I couldn’t get the words to come. Three times I wrote that article. With much rewording and rearranging, none of it was what I wanted it to be. The one draft I sent to my husband for opinion and proofing left him confused. He said it sounded like a bunch of different articles pushed into one. Like I stopped and started several times. Well, yeah, that’s kinda what happened.

Panic time approaching.

As writers we write about what we know, what we care about, what we are experiencing or learning. There are experiences, however, that have gone through our inner thought process so many times, that getting clear about, not only the experience, but our feelings about that experience, leaves us a little speechless (or wordless, if you will).

This is exactly what happened to me when I sat down to write about forgiveness. Like I said, I’m passionate about it, but I couldn’t make sense of that passion.  After my husband’s response I put it down for a bit. That deadline is still looming but a forced article is not a true article. I’d rather send my regrets than submit something half-assed.

So, I did what I do best. I let it go and asked God for guidance. I opened one of my favorite little books, The Voice of the Master, and read this:

You do not even stop to listen for my direction. And yet you complain and say – “Why all this struggle, why is it all confusion and unrest”? 

Why, indeed.

Take a breath, Diane. Breathe in, breathe out.  With the breath given to me by the Spirit that created me, I began to write. The words flowed easily as if my fingers had a voice of their own.

Yes, I think I finally got it right this time. Just in time.

Imagine that.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

41 and Counting….

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A new story. Actually several stories that speak to a man that knows me very well. This week we celebrated 41 years married. He knows how to aggravate the hell out of me and how to use that to his advantage. In other words, “How do I make her think I don’t care, that she is making a mountain out of a molehill, or that I may have almost forgotten a birthday or an anniversary?”

1. Happy Anniversary: I come home from work and we are supposed to be going out to dinner However, it’s his day off and he is lounging on the sofa watching TV. Doesn’t look like he’s planning on going anywhere…. I start huffin’ and puffin’ asking are we going or not or are we just going to do nothing because if you want to do nothing that’s just fine with me but I hope you have something planned for dinner because, in case you forgot it is our friggin’ anniversary and I sure as hell… (most of this in my head and not out loud. I’m not that stupid.) Dan, from the sofa, says, “I just need a shirt ironed and then I’ll be ready to go.” A shirt ironed, really? You’ve been home ALL day and you want ME to iron YOU a shirt. I swear to (as I slam open the closet door)… Sitting on the closet shelf are a dozen red roses….

2. Happy Birthday: In the practical years of our marriage (meaning with kids) birthdays leaned more toward what would make my busy life easier versus what frivolous, just for fun thing do I want. This particular year I wanted a Dustbuster. Yes, I am very serious. A Dustbuster, at the time, was the best little battery operated vacuum thing on the planet. Great for those little spills of Cheerios or clipped doll hair. Please don’t buy me flowers. They just die anyway. So what did he buy me? Flowers. Sigh. Thank you, honey, they are beautiful, honey. So sweet of you to remember, honey (teeth now gritting). Dan: I’m glad you like them! Hey, would you mind getting me a beer?” Really? He seriously, seriously, seriously, knows what pushes my buttons. It’s my birthday, and, obviously, he pays no attention to me because if he did he would know that I really wanted that (when I’m unhappy I whine a lot in case you didn’t notice)…sitting on the shelf of the refrigerator was a Dustbuster.

I should have known better…

3. Happy Birthday: Some of you know this one. My 58th birthday. A few days before then I got together at a friend’s house for a girls night. We were going to cook and laugh and just hang out. I got there a bit early and one by one the others began to arrive. I got a text from Dan. He was working an event at the church and had split his pants. He couldn’t leave because there was too much going on and he couldn’t sneak out the door to go home. Would I mind running home and bringing him a pair of pants. I don’t know why this didn’t sound crazy to me. I mean it did, but it was Dan and life has never been dull. So I made my apologies, said I would be back as soon as I could, went home, got the pants and brought them to the church. I’m calling him to meet me outside so I can hurry up and get back to my friends – no answer. So I have to go in and bring him the friggin’ pants. I walk in and it’s awfully quiet if there is a party supposed to be going on. And then I see a sign that I can’t quite read yet. Then I see one of the women that I just saw a few minutes ago. Then I see Dan and he walks me around a partition…SURPRISE! Yes… a surprise party – with all the women I was going to spend the evening with and their partners plus a bunch of other wonderful souls. Oh and the sign…it said Happy 60th Birthday! 60th??Um, Dan? 58! 58 – NOT 60! Yes, he knew, but 58 wouldn’t be funny. A 60th surprise birthday party for your 58th birthday? Now that’s funny – at least to Dan…

Happy Anniversary, Dan. Thank you for making it always surprising. ❤️💕

From my heart to yours, Diane

 

Daddy’s Little Girl

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When I was about 11, I decided it was time for a grown up haircut. I culled magazines and found the perfect short, sassy style.  I gave it to my mother and asked her to please take me to her salon. I was too old for banana curls and ponytails. I wanted to be mature.

 

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As I sat in the chair of the salon watching my long hair fall to the floor, I had second thoughts. I wanted her to stop. I wanted my hair back. She was making me ugly. I started to cry. As grown up as I tried to be, I couldn’t stop the tears. No matter what the kind women in the salon said, I was now just plain ugly.

Driving home, my mother tried everything. It’s just hair. It will grow back. It makes your blue eyes bluer. Your hair is not in your face anymore. The tears kept coming. As we got closer to home, I began to think that my Dad was going to be so mad at me. He loved my long hair. He used to take pictures of me with my curls and the corsages he would create for me. Not even flowers could make this hair pretty!

When we got home, I slowly dragged myself into the house and went to face my Dad. He was standing on the deck with my Mom and they both turned to look at me.  My Dad was always a man of few words. He looked me in the eye and said, “Stay right there. Let me get my camera.”

Throughout the afternoon, he picked me flowers, took pictures of the new me (his words), and slowly I began to smile.

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Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.  I miss you every day.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

Total Grace

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Standing on the precipice of vulnerability with one foot over the cliff’s edge, holding your breath, ready to fall into a well of the unknown, do you take the step? Or do you pull back, step back, and allow the world to continue to see the mask you wear.

What are you protecting? How long can you walk in silence before the discomfort of the mask causes you to weep.

Walk back to that precipice, take a breath, take off your mask, open your arms. Allow yourself to take that step and fall. You will be surprised to find that, once you open your heart, the fall begins to feel more like floating.

As you gently float, glance around you. Many have been waiting for this moment. This one moment when you say, “Here I am, Lord. This is who I am.”

And then you fly.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

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Night Watch

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Morning brings clarity. In the quiet hours of the night, gentle words enter the soul, bringing a deeper understanding of the work I must do.

I am grateful, lately, for dear, sweet friends that have reminded me of this. When I wake in the hours just before dawn, I now welcome this time as the gift that it is. I am also grateful for these words I read this morning – yet another reminder that everything is unfolding in perfect order.

As I settle back down to rest, I do so gently now. The toss and turn of frustration has left and been replaced with the feeling of being gently rocked back to sleep. Lessons have been given to me in the quiet hours before dawn. Lessons that I know will guide me through the days ahead. No longer feeling vulnerable, I have the peaceful strength to live this life a bit differently.

Be at peace. In the middle of a dark and quiet night, sink deep into the arms of the Divine and listen to the whispers of love.

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From my heart to yours,  Diane

 

Yes, this is Faith

 

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We hang on. Well past the point of saying “This is just not good for me” we continue to hang on. Relationships, jobs, health situations, homes, spending habits. We are so afraid of change that we will tie ourselves to the proverbial post trying to prevent the inevitable. The fear of the unknown can be so great that we prevent ourselves from ever moving forward. Then we wonder why life sucks.

Why, indeed.

There is a moment when you know that there is something better, some better way of living this life. There are actually many moments like this, many opportunities to begin to do it differently. All is takes is a moment of bravery to say “I want that”.  The miracle begins at this point – the point of willingness. The point of being willing to take the chance without knowing what the next step looks like.

When you begin to put your faith into something greater than the physical world around you, you are saying to yourself and to the Universe that you believe you are stronger than your circumstances. You begin to trust in a power greater than you. That power will begin to carry you forward and open doors that you knew were there, but were too frightened to open.  Fear begins to taper off and you begin to feel differently. Yes, this is faith. An amazing energy surrounding all of us, just waiting for our hearts to open to the power of opportunity.

Remember that this starts with recognizing the moment you know there is, truly, something better waiting for you. Bring yourself into prayer at these moments. Ask to be guided, to be given the strength to step forward. This is the work you are supposed to do. Nothing more. Simply ask for guidance and know that, by asking, you are activating the energy of opportunity bringing it closer to your heart. Ideas will begin to form and you begin to feel a little excitement within. And so it begins.

Be willing to take the step that frightens you the most. Be willing to take the step and your steps will be guided. With a prayer and a promise a new way of living is waiting for you.

 From my heart to yours,  Diane
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