Sunday, May 31, 2015

Life is like fairytales: Filled with insurmountable obstacles, heart breaking tragedies, and mind numbing monotony. I know this because currently I’m writing a fairytale called Awaiting the Fairy Godmother. But I have questions.

Have you ever wondered why fairytales don’t talk much about the time before the pivotal moment? What’s happening to Cinderella everyday, for-who-knows-how-long, before the arrival of the Fairy Godmother? And what goes on inside Sleeping Beauty before the arrival of her handsome Prince? How long does she live in limbo in this enchanted sleep?

If life is like a fairytale, is it true that some of us never wake up? Do we live life within the Sleeping Beauty motif forever asleep? Surely you know someone who is sleeping their life away. Or maybe the Prince has not arrived yet. It’s confusing!

Why haven’t we asked the hard questions like, how many years did Cinderella grieve her parent’s deaths before the arrival of the Fairy Godmother? How many years did she work her fingers to the bone cleaning for people who were never going to appreciate her efforts and always asked more of her than was reasonable or even possible?

What does Sleeping Beauty dream about in her enchanted castle? Is she dreaming of a Prince who will break the spell of her enchantment? Do her dreams create some kind of magnetic resonance that draws to her the one Prince in the world who can break the spell holding her? Or can any Prince break the spell?

You might not think this stuff is important but if you believe fairytales are templates for living a life of wonder and happiness these questions have value. And who doesn’t believe in fairytales? Be honest! We are all awaiting our happy ending.

So what is Cinderella learning while she is the personal slave of three obnoxious and wicked women? Do you have any obnoxious and wicked women holding you captive at home, school or work? I’m sure many of us are held captive in any variety of ways.

In The Way of the Fairy Godmother the book I recently published describing what exactly the Fairy Godmother taught Cinderella to get her to the ball and her first date with the Prince, I suggest an answer. Here is what I think is the purpose of awaiting the pivotal moment. There is a lot of behind the scenes preparation going on. Primarily Cinderella is living a virtuous life. Amidst the cruelty of her stepmother she strives to do her best in the situation.

What I didn’t realize until I wrote The Way of the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is also living a higher calling. What is important about a higher calling? A Higher Calling is a transcendent factor thrown into the mix. In the midst of hardship Cinderella strives to create beauty while she cleans and serves her stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella’s transcendent factor, her Higher Calling, is creating beauty.

It turns out a Higher Calling is a tricky subject and even trickier phenomenon. For example, I am one of those mothers who gave too much. It turns out “over-giving” is not the same thing as Higher Calling. Ironically if you asked my adult child if he was spoiled by an “over-giving” mother he would take issue with the label and might even accuse me of not giving enough. But since this my blog and not his we’ll go with my assessment of the situation.

Surely some of you have confused “over-giving” with being a good mom. It turns out giving too much and Higher Calling are different creatures. I confused the two.

Does this mean I’m not going to have my fairytale moment?

Can you see how these are slippery issues? Does it sound familiar to any of you? Who do you clean for that doesn’t even notice the shiny counter or the folded laundry? All along I thought I was living out a higher calling when in actuality I was “over-giving.”

So what exactly is the purpose of a Higher Calling? I have a couple of guesses. Maybe a Higher Calling keeps us motivated through the hard times. Maybe it transforms and purifies us. It prepares us for the wonderful outcome coming our way as soon as we meet our Fairy Godmother, overcome the new insurmountable obstacles of preparing to take ourselves public at the ball to be worthy and deserving of the Prince.

As I said at the beginning, Life is like a fairytale filled with insurmountable obstacles, heart break, unremitting labor and Positive Possibilities.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

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I am one of those people: A catalyst.

What does it mean to be a catalyst? How does it work? You might take me to a lunch and introduce me to friends. After the introductions I will say something/anything. It will strike at the heart of their life.

I’ve never laid eyes on the person. I know nothing about them. I don’t know their secrets. I don’t know the pains of their past. I know nothing about their struggles in the present. And I’ve just used the key word that unlocks their past, sums up their struggle and opens the door on all the stuff they’ve been hiding from themselves.

Where did that word come from? How did I know the key to their unfinished business? Am I psychic? Am I a modern day gypsy fortune teller? Wait! Should I be getting paid for this curse? Uh, I mean gift.

No. There is a big difference between me and the gypsy. They know they hold the key and it’s going to cause problems. Maybe this is why in the movies the gypsy always insists on being paid up front?

I come away from the encounters feeling at best confused, but more often feeing ashamed, insensitive, wondering, “What just happened?”

Is there a trick to becoming like the gypsy? Is there a trick to resolving a curse?

Where are the tools I can find to outsmart a curse? A long time ago someone told me we cannot solve a problem on the level where it is conceived. This means I have to find a solution vibrating at a higher frequency than my gift and curse.

I’ll go walking in the forest to look for clues. No! I’m not talking about a metaphoric forest. I’ll walk in the forest two blocks from my house. Looking out my window today is powerfully windy. The tips of tall pines sway. The aspens lining our back porch bend. But in the forest at ground level it’s quiet. Feelings are spilling through me and I set a fast pace.

Remember I’m looking for clues. First I find a beautiful gold and black volcanic rock about the weight of a city telephone book. A belly rock I’ll lay across my midriff at night pulling me into harmony with the land, the forest, Mother Earth. I think it’s possible to find a cure for all curses in the greatest mama of all, Mother Earth. So I set the rock standing on its side to remind me to pick it up on my way out of the forest.

Next I find in the middle of the path a stick. As clues go it cannot get more obvious than lying in the middle of the path. When I pick it up I can see before its incarnation as a stick was a tree root about one inch wide. One side is black from being embedded in the dirt. The other side sun exposed is gold and weathered silver.

When you come across clues it’s best to take them literally. I found a stick that represents the root of my problem. (Yes, it’s true. Clues speak in puns.) Part of the stick was mired in black dirt. The other part of the stick silver and gold represents value and wealth. (Yes, more puns. The stick also represents how our gifts are curses and our curses are gifts.)

I can take the colors another step further and put them on the Medicine Wheel. Black and gold are the colors of death and birth. I picked the stick up, symbolic of the root of my problem and the need for a death and re-birth.

Tonight I’ll decorate the stick. I’ll write prayers. I’ll cover the prayers with drawings maybe flowers. I’ll tie my prayers to the stick. In ceremony I’ll plant my prayer stick in the ground and ask the wind and the rain, the sun and the moon, the stars to carry my prayers.

Will this offer the transcendence I require? Is beauty always the answer?

For more see The Way of The Fairy Godmother.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I was soaking in the bathtub wondering what I could write about this week in my blog. Not too much has happened but hard work. The most comical moment was funny to me but not funny to my husband. It had to do with our nearly three year old, eighty-five pound, brilliant white, golden doodle, Aidan encountering another creature’s excretory substance.

On the day in question all I know is Aidan came bounding in front of me. His long ringlets of poodle hair filled and matted with a brownish-smelly (hmm…) substance. Did I mention Aidan’s hair is white? Wait, both ears, and behind and under his ear, along the sides of his chest, down his front legs all smeared in poop. How could this possibly happen in this configuration?

Now you might wonder why it was my husband’s job to bath Aidan when I usually clean him.

Flashback: Two nights after we married, lounging with Bill, I jumped out of bed and said “Do you remember the labordoodle puppies? I’m going to get that one who crosses his paws when he sits, the one who walks with his tail curled up behind him.”

Wait,” Bill stammered. “What about Scott’s allergies?” But I was already flying and floating, down the hall, into the office sitting at the computer and purchasing Aidan.

I returned with the glow of achievement. “Done,” I announced.

Will Scott ever forgive you getting a dog?”

He will,” I assured Bill suffused with memories of our family dog Blackie. Here is what my husband could take away from that situation. When I am at my most adamant, I am dead wrong. Repeatedly.

Aidan arrived filled with energy, too much intelligence, good spirits and a willingness to please. The first night, walking the neighborhood with Aidan, I smiled my most dazzling smile up at Bill in thanks. Looking toward his face, my ankle gave way and I fell. Anyone can fall, spraining an ankle, right?

This was the first in a long series of falls related to neurological weakness and neuromuscular pain. Four months later I had my third and massive back surgery. Even with a lego erector set in my back I continue to fall.

But prior to the surgery I found a trainer for Aidan. I had the idea Aidan could become a disability dog for me. Bill watched from a distance. When the dog trainer came he drifted upstairs into the office. Aidan followed, leaving me alone with our trainer to be trained, I guess.

Long story short: Bill continues to wrestle Aidan, overpowering him into obedience. When Aidan then walks with me, the habitual pulling he does with Bill; is greatly reduced but it only takes a tweak and I can’t walk for three weeks. Yes, to all who doubt, we as people can really become this fragile...And more. I am actually lucky.

This has lead to a great many fights. It might start with me lamenting I can’t walk Aidan on a leash. Bill bursts out “are we back to that discussion again? It (dog training) happened a long time ago.”

It happened a long time ago to you! But I can’t walk my dog on a leash today!” I say this with never-ending indignation.

I have come to realize this is an essential fight between men and women. For the men it’s in the past. For women, it (whatever it is,) continues to happen today.

Bringing me to why I didn’t have to wash the poo out of Aidan’s long curly hair. Bill said at the outset of this walk, in deference to the earlier fight, “I’ll keep Aidan between us. You just enjoy the walk.”

Bill is referring to another strange quirk: On our walks, I correct Aidan because he listens better to me and wants to please me more. The irony! I can’t use the leash but I’m in charge of his behavior. (And yes we do run into the people outraged we are not walking our dog on the leash.)

On this day, Bill did not keep Aidan between us. As a result Aidan was covered in the feces; the mass which must have been excreted from the most enormous creature in the forest. What would the author of The Secret say? I cringe at the thought of the standards of spirituality stood next to the grunt work of our life.

What would the Fairy Godmother say?

#$%! happens?


Monday, May 4, 2015

Who is the Fairy Godmother? The Fairy Godmother is the original ‘game-changer.’ She is a transcendent, quintessential radical; wearing a dress made from the silk of Fairy Dust spun together into living, oscillating threads of light.

Creating beauty and positive outcomes in the midst of turmoil is at the heart of the Fairy Godmother’s teachings. She instructs Cinderella “notice what gives you joy. Joy is a sure sign we are engaging our strengths.”

The Fairy Godmother says, “Embedded within our Deepest Desires are the seeds of our happiness.” In the Fairy Godmother’s presence Cinderella sheds her depression. She joins the frequency of the Fairy Godmother and hope begins to burn brightly within her.

When we are in the presence of someone like the Fairy Godmother, who knows their strengths, knows their skills and engages these resources to manifest Positive Possibilities: hope awakens within us. We no longer vibrate at the frequency of our problems. Instead we vibrate at the frequency of hope.

Positive psychology tells us happiness is the synergistic combination of positive emotion, the engagement of personal strengths - enjoyed solely for increasing self-mastery - and in service to a purpose greater than ourselves. Think "The Secret".

Fairy tales are filled with insurmountable tasks and enormous burdens. And so is life….For more of the Fairy Godmother’s wisdom read The Way of the Fairy Godmother @amazonkindle

Also available @amazonkindle Redemption’s Warrior Coming soon: Letters from the Land of Mid-Life Dating

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sedona Arizona April 2015
Today I sent the second draft of The Way of the Fairy Godmother back to the formatter. The first version published had errors. (Does this mean I shouldn’t use my husband as my copy editor in the future? My second version may have errors as well, but not as many!)

It’s a mystery but The Way of the Fairy Godmother has not let go of me yet. I have new insights, expansions of ideas already in play, more of the Fairy Godmother’s poetry, facts that have never occurred to me before. Here is an example of a truth that came to me today about Cinderella.

The Fairy Godmother is drawn to Cinderella’s passion for extending love, for creating beauty. Undeterred by criticisms raining down upon her Cinderella brings a loving presence into every moment and each chore.

While she works she interacts with her Deepest Desires to love well. She remembers her mother and father and their family flourishing in her childhood home. This shields her from negativity in her environment. Is it possible Cinderella works, not to benefit her wicked stepfamily, but to honor her parents and the life they shared?

Could her stepmother and stepsisters be irrelevant to Cinderella by the time of the Fairy Godmother’s appearance? Their unremitting squawks of anger roll off Cinderella as she puts her attention on the task in front of her. Even the most onerous of circumstances Cinderella continually affirms life grounded in her ability to love and create beauty. This is Positive Psychology at its best.

Is it true? You decide.

For more read The Way of The Fairy Godmother