Mindfulness, Mine

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness t...

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness techniques can help alleviate anxiety , stress , and depression (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I heard that heavy snow is in the forecast for the entire week and upcoming weekend. Guess what? I don’t even care! I am not even upset about it or cranky.

This would usually put me in a tailspin or a slight depression but I’m not feeling it. What? It’s true, I’m not grumpy at all.

In fact, all I can picture in my head is green grass and red, perky tulips. Who am I?  What on earth has happened to me?

Everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that every single winter from start to finish, and that’s usually May, I complain compulsively about the freezing temperatures and how my body and soul aches every single minute. Granted, having Fibromyalgia, does not help matters at all but still, I hate, HATE cold weather.

Yet, today in the movie theater, seeing Labor Day, watching a record of 7 previews,  I’m smiling. Right before I started eating my naked popcorn and drinking Diet Coke, an image appeared to me. I swear. I saw red tulips and green, green grass (no, not that kind.) I have not taken any hallucinogenic or any other kind of drugs and I am as surprised as you are. This lovely image popped into my head and I felt happy and calm.

A view inside some tulips, showing the stamens...

A view inside some tulips, showing the stamens and stigmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hear the new buzz word is “Mindfulness.” I have tried to be mindful of where my head and emotional self are long before this became popular. I’m happy that it is a new “thing.” I need all the help and support I can get. I have tried not to worry in advance and not look back either.

Maybe the beautiful sight of the red tulips and the green grass is my go-to symbol for my new mindfulness? At least it’s showing I am trying which is better than not. You can’t stop trying to grow, to learn and to teach yourself different things.

I am going to try to hold on to this calmness as long as I can and even when I start getting cranky ( is it inevitable? ) I hope at least I will remember the photos in my head. Or, perhaps one of you will remind me that I did have that lovely image for real.

I really am being mindful of that.

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All That Is Good: Roland Comtois

Angel Cloud - HDR

Angel Cloud – HDR (Photo credit: Free HDR Photos – http://www.freestock.ca)

I don’t idolize “celebrities” or “actors” like some people do, I need to know a person inside and out before I hand over my heart. However, there is one man who I absolutely adore and I have met him personally several times. His name is Roland Comtois, he is a Medium, receiving messages from the other side (those who have passed away) and giving them to those who have lost a loved one. I DON’T work for Roland nor do I sell his books or get a percentage of anything he sells. I just want you to know that I believe in him so much and that he is such an amazingly GOOD PERSON that I wanted to share his name with you.

He rarely does private meetings anymore but he so kind and gentle with a voice that sounds like angels playing their harps, like laughter in the heavens, like what pure honesty would sound like. I have never doubted him for a minute, except the first time I ever went to a gathering at Helen’s house (Starvisions) and he picked up on that and said out loud that I was there “checking him out.” So true.

Roland Comtois. He is a medium, with a heart and a spirit so open that I imagine dozens of white doves fly from his heart and pass his messages from those who have passed to those who are living. I was lucky enough to get two of those purple papers and Roland knew my name even though there were no name tags nor was he told in advance who was coming. He stood over me, with his soft, gentle eyes and addressed me, gave me a message from my father who had passed, and I burst into tears with joy and peace and love. I am the lucky recipient of two Purple Papers and I was the conduit for another woman in the audience.

His message is sweet and simple, we don’t NEED a medium to get messages from our loved ones, which I have always known. I do get messages on my own and have for years. But, for those that don’t, keep your heart open, ask for messages from your angels, from God, from the person you miss, directly, and be open to any sign that may come. Be patient and open and most of all, believe in yourself. The sign will may not be blatant like a photo or a picture, mine come in initials and numbers or music and birds. My first message, the most important one, came in the form of a luggage tag. Yes, it’s true.

Be aware of your surroundings and be open to love. I consider it an absolute privilege and honor to have met Roland in person. Thank you, world.

Special thanks to http://www.freestock.ca

Plinky Prompt: Which Author Would You Want To Write Your Biography?

Anna Quindlen addressing the Barnard Class of ...

Anna Quindlen addressing the Barnard Class of ’74; she is the head of the Board of Trustees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose? See all answers
  • Real Life
  • There is something about the way Anna Quindlen writes that I’ve always admired. She is straight forward, doesn’t exaggerate, yet manages to let you feel the emotions without going overboard. She doesn’t need to knock over the honey jar or melt the butter into the syrup. Get it? She captures real life as it is, not as people want it to be. For that reason, I’d be honored if Anna Quindlen wrote my biography. Or even if she just wanted to have coffee….

The Last Book That Bit/Stung Me?

Plinky Prompt: What’s the last book that bit and stung you?

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Photo credit: theunquietlibrary)

  • Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you, and why? See all answers
  • The books that bite and sting
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. As depressing as you think this book MIGHT be, given the two main characters,  are young and have cancer, it isn’t. It’s a magical book, realistic, emotional but not filled with pity or depression. I feel like a better person having read this book and plan on reading it again. Don’t be discouraged by the premise, PLEASE, they tell you on the first page. It’s a realistic look of young adults in the most amazing way. I promise.

The Sweet Scent Of A Perfect Peach

Helianthus annuus (Sunflower). Taken at garden...

Image via Wikipedia

In my imagination I think we would be friends if only we lived closer together. I would give her, and only her, the true secret ingredient to my super moist banana chip/raisin bread. Her mouth would smile widely and crumbs would spill happily from her mouth as she ate it with delight; her big doe eyes would nod in agreement. I can’t compete with her cooking of course, she was born baking and cooking but there is no competition between friends. We laugh together at my lack of cooking skills and she constantly admonishes me and tells me she will force me to learn. Knowing her, I have a feeling, she will make me follow through.

On the side of her house I imagine her large garden where she picks her own deep, red  tomatoes from the vine and takes a big bite of one warmed by the sun. She has sunflowers, big tall, brown, vibrant orange and yellow, about fifty of them, near the rows of green peas and lettuce and carrots hiding in the moist soil. Next to them, sweet butter corn  grows tall and stretches to the sun like a morning yoga pose. Wildflowers grow nearby, purple, yellow, pink, white and the blue of a delicate robin’s egg. There are so many vibrant and intense colors in her garden, it’s like staring at a painting by Matisse.

I’ve never had the actual opportunity to meet an idol, someone I’ve cherished since I was a teenager, but I came close, by association, a few weeks ago. I spoke with her warm and friendly assistant and it was such a pleasure. Melissa, her assistant, told me something I will always remember. “She liked your writing and wants you in HER group.”  That lifted my spirits for days. While I could not go to the current workshop she was holding I hope one day to meet her and attend a different workshop.

I read her first book about one hundred times; a book that still sits on my living room shelf now,  forty years later. I share my house with my husband, a son who is soon off to college for the first time, a daughter who will now be a senior in high school and a nine-year old adopted shelter dog named Callie who is sleeping on top of my feet. That first book has been carted from my parents’ apartment to college to every city I have lived in.  We grew up together, she and I, for a forty-year time period, she just didn’t know me.

There’s no doubt in my mind, from her first magazine article in the New York Times that she would grow up to be an amazingly talented, gifted writer. True to herself and her family and friends. She grew as a writer and as a person, I wonder if people expected her to stay nineteen and if that was hard for her? We all change and grow, make mistakes, learn; stagnant is boring.

I think she would be warm and funny, intense about her work and friendly, she probably just baked apple muffins with a crumb topping and served it with sun tea. There’s a colorful tiled table that holds chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies that she whipped up in a spare hour;  sharp, white cheddar cheese and crispy pita chips would be nearby. Family and friends are always invited to her kitchen; there are always people and animals nearby.

I imagine sitting on a large white patio, rocking slowly on our rocking chairs and exchanging whispered secrets and watching the red sunset fall slowly into the water to form three lines of color, orange, dark green, ultimately black. I remember when my family and I used to go to Cape Cod, when our kids were much younger, at every sunset we would sit on the sand, other people around us, and we would wait for the sun to set. When it did, everyone clapped. That is my idea of heaven, living near the ocean, watching the sunset with strangers sharing stories, listening to Reggae music provided for free. Sitting still in front of nature as if we were in a theater waiting for the curtain to rise.

At night, in my imagination, we would creep down the stairs and meet in the kitchen unplanned. We would burst into giggles when we found out we were there for the very same thing.  I always snack after I am supposed to be asleep and I eyed a bowl of ripe peaches on a small, round table that she had recently repainted in pink-rose paint. That first bite of that juicy peach would make me happy, so happy I  can’t even describe it. This peach, this wonderful gift from nature was just perfect. It was ripe, juicy, sweet and had a silken texture. The juice rolled down my chin and I groaned with every bite of happiness. It was the sweet scent of a perfect peach with my new friend, laughing into the dark night.

Dedicated to Joyce Maynard and Melissa

My Most Recent Compliment

the phantom tollbooth, by norton juster, illus...

Image by sparrowsfall via Flickr

A Gift For You, A Gift For Me

 

The Phantom Tollbooth

I’ve always wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not talking about the usual suspects like my children or my husband. I’ve always thought about people who have influenced me, people who hold a special place in my own heart. Just recently I met a friend through the Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain site on Facebook. The ladies in this “special” club have bonded in a way that no-one can possibly imagine. Perhaps we should call it “The Sisterhood of Pain.” I noticed that one of the young women had a quote from the “Phantom Tollboth” on her page, a book I know well. It turns out that this young lady was obsessed with the book; she loved it dearly and it was very special to her and her daughter. I just happen to know the author of the book, Norton Juster, very well. He’s a family friend, he was at our wedding, we see him, from time to time, when we visit my in-law’s. I asked my father-in-law to buy the book for Lyn and have Norton Juster autograph it for her. I didn’t tell Lyn, I lied and told her I wanted her address to send her a card. A couple of weeks later the autographed book and my card arrived in her mailbox. It turned out that it arrived when she was having a particularly difficult day. She was THRILLED and she was so thankful for the gift. She also said that I was a really nice person, that I  was special and had made a difference in her life, that I held a special place in her heart. I was happy I could give her a gift, happier that she gave me a gift too.

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