Sometimes we get so used to the serious nature of our lives that we forget to lighten up and just relax our attitude. I do this as much as the next person and according to some in my life I do it WAY too often! It isn’t as if only one person is telling me this. This is something I have heard many times, repeatedly, it’s just that I really don’t even know all the steps to make it different.

I have an awareness and I firmly believe that AWARENESS is the first key. I make a daily effort to meditate and that seems to really keep me in a calm state of mind, MOST OF THE TIME…life is not a perfect science, events and stress intervene for all of us. Meditation has done wonders for me, it allows me a sense of real peace, where I can feel a physical difference in the energy of my body. I used to be pretty high strung years ago and meditation mellowed that very well. So there is hope that I can find other ways to lighten up my serious nature….

The really funny part is that I used to be very light hearted, spontaneous and carefree… say until around age 33. Some time around then life hit me with some real challenges, the end of a deeply significant relationship, my mother getting cancer in 1997 and from there my life seemed to take on a direction of it’s own, filled with pain and loss and deep, unending grief. Just about the time I felt I was turning the corner on my grief over my mother and really living again (six yrs time) my dad was diagnosed with non hogkins lymphoma and died 12 days later.

Those events and the circumstance and responsibilities I was forced to assume after my dad’s death changed me deeply. So finding that fun loving, carefree side of myself comes generally only with travel adventures or escapes where I feel I can be my most relaxed. Learning to integrate it in daily life is more challenging for me these days…. at least according to those around me. I try to keep an awareness and also a reality check that those around me don’t always understand what I have faced or the effect it had on me, so I as I learn to lighten up a day at a time I keep my own council, knowing I know who I am and why I’m this way.

I’m learning to make changes a step at a time, from a place with a healed heart. That alone is a blessing and one not to be undervalued. My life wasn’t always good, in fact at some points the pain was so bad and the grief so numbing that death felt like the easier option. To reach this point, of joy and healing and blessings is incredible. It happened with small, slow steps, so gradually at times that I couldn’t even see some of the healing taking place. Only realizing it as my heart began to lift and my spirit began to heal and feel alive again. It is amazing and beautiful to have reached this point. I am deeply grateful to be at this point where I am now capable of helping others.

As such I try to keep a grateful attitude for the people and activities in my life while learning a step at a time to lighten up and see the world in a more spontaneous fashion. It’s a process…one day at a time… just like life. Blessings and love to each of you!

linnmarrhappysunflower.jpgLife is filled with moments of great joy and moments when we need the quiet loving support of those who know us best. Today is one of those days when I needed the loving and warm support of my family and spirit brought it to me in a small but clear way. Since last night I’ve been feeling longing for my parents, for their warmth, their clear knowing of me and who I am and what I’m about. So much doesn’t even need words with the people who have known you your whole life, or a good share of your life. I lack that most of the time in my life. Most of the people I’ve known my entire life either live in another place far from me or have passed on into spirit so at times I long for the comfort of the ones that know me best and love me despite my many flaws.

As I was doing things around the house this morning, thinking of my parents and missing them I pulled a container from the cabinet and on top of it was a coaster; The coaster was embossed with Jane and this saying,

From the Hebrew “God is gracious,” She is gentle and loving, kind and caring; always there when you need her. a friend you can turn to.

Jane is the name of my mother who has passed into spirit. So on this day when I needed her so much she showed me yet again, in a clear way that she is always watching over me, always loving me, guiding me from the other side. I love you mom and I’m grateful for your love and support from spirit. I have much to learn and I know you are helping me and smiling down on me. I miss you.

Photo Credit: Flickr Linn Marr

Today as I sit here contemplating my life, I seriously feel like hopping a plane to a far away island and never looking back. I am so sick of the bullshit. I have far too many responsiblities, too many open ended situations with almost no answers for any of them. On top of this I’ve had the flu for a week, and am still dealing with the remaining cough and feelings of exhaustion. The week prior to that I was racing around preparing for my grandma’s 81rst birthday. Happy Birthday Grandma! 81 is pretty amazing! The two weeks before that found me waiting for test results to see if I had cancer. I do not. I am beyond grateful.

Today I’ve had enough of the bullshit. I am tired of being responsible for so many situations. I’m equally tired of waiting for the ellusive answers I need on more fronts than I care to think about. There are questions, so many questions, more concerns, and some very real wall scaling challenges in my life. Today I feel like packing it in, heading for the airport and saying that’s it. I’m done; I want off this freaking carnival ride.

Sometimes our lives become way laid by responsibilities and the challenges we face. For the last few days I have been dealing with personal challenges of my own. Which I will discuss further on a future date. For today I just want to say that this week has been a real reminder to me to always focus my life on what I love.

Fortunately for me I’ve found ways to do that. These days I focus my energies on my book, getting my new website up and ready to go, writing on this blog and learning how to live a simplier life near the beach again.

It isn’t easy and lately it has been damn hard and scary. But if I can take anything from this week that feels good it is the fact that I am doing what I love and I love the life I am creating for myself. I believe in what I’m doing, what I’m creating and that gives me so much joy and pleasure.

So for those of you out there, trying to figure out how to create the life you love, amid a job that stifles you, or a relationship that challenges you beyond what you ever dreamed, take heart. Take small steps; small steps lead down the same path of success I am walking, and small steps mean you are less likely to fall on your ass and make stupid mistakes. How do I know this? The voice of experience I can assure you…laughter.

There are times to take big leaps. I know I have made them. Accepting a job, sight unseen on the island of Guam. It was the BEST decision I ever made and I spent three amazing years there. Ditto for giving up a great job on Guam and heading for Hawaii. That one was dicey for a bit. I worked two jobs for a while until I found a full time job in my career field of the time…education. It did work, but it was rough for the first four months or so. That is why I say; take some small steps and get your balance and then when you feel really confident, leap into it.

It has always paid off for me. Doing what I love has brought me jobs where I found adventure, new friends, new cultures to explore and eye opening experiences that forever changed me. So this week while I face my own challenges I’m reminded that I’m leading the life I love. I take joy from what I do and what I believe in and besides family and relationships what could be better than that?

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My dad Merl

May those of you in grief find peace in your heart in this new year. May the love of those who have passed touch you and allow you to know they are with you, watching over you and continuing to surround you with love from spirit. Many times I’ve felt the presence of my parents and I know their love is always with me guiding me and helping me when I need it most. May you have a blessed New Year!

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My mom, Jane Christmas of 1996

With the rush and emotion of Christmas approaching even I, who have been down the road of healing grief for many years have some emotional and painful moments. A couple days ago as I was contemplating my day and the many tasks ahead of me I felt a wave of missing my parents rush over me. My parents have both passed over into spirit and even now many years into healing I have days that still feel deeply overwhelming without those I love most near me.

In that moment of missing them, I turned to my old standby of opening a book to any random page and seeing the message that spirit will bring me. On this day, in this moment the message was clearly my mother showing her presence and her support in my life. It was a beautiful and inspiring moment that I wanted to share so others may feel comforted as well.

The book I chose to open was called When God Winks This is a book of instances where people have found, just as I that someone was watching over them, supporting them or helping them in their moments of need and that it was much more than a simple coincidence, that it is god’s way of watching over our lives.

The page that I opened up was about Barbara Streisand and her experiences of making the movie Yentyl, which she made in honor of her father who had died. As I read the piece about her experience of feeling her father’s knowing of her making this movie I suddenly began to have my own moment of knowing.

Vividly I was reminded how much my mother adored Barbara Streisand and that she used to have a large movie poster of the movie Yentyl hanging above her office desk at home. The poster was of Barbara Striesand in character from the movie. I had received the movie poster while living in California many years ago and had given it to my mom knowing how much she loved Barbara Streisand. In that moment of reading about Barbara Striesand and Yentyl I realized without a single doubt that my mom was showing her prescence so that I would understand clearly that her love is surrounding me and supporting me still from heaven.

I think each of us who grieves can relate to the desire of wishing for just one more day with a special person we love, who has passed on. This is the topic of the movie, For One More Day, created from the book by the same name. The movie will be shown on Sunday Dec 9th. This book was written by Mitch Albom who also wrote The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie. For One More Day