Altars, My Dream, Sacred Art for the Times of Transition…it’s in the Zeitgeist

When the candles are lit, the altar becomes the center; it becomes a sacred place, a strikingly colorful, meaningful locus of power and source of light. It opens doors, it transforms ordinary space. An altar has a numinous, powerful presence. An altar to a dead person brings reconciliation, healing, consolation, comfort, it gives ritual expression to grief as it heals. It brings out the stories, the memories, the history, the continuity of life and the family. It unites”.

-Taos Artist, Anita Rodriguez

MYSTICAL VIRGIN GUADALUPEA few nights ago I had a dream about a beautiful, magical, mystical store. I was walking on a sort of runway below it, looking up at this store and it seemed to be shimmering. I could see so many beautiful things in the window, just the kind of things I like and I wanted to get in but the store seemed to be closed. And then it opened and people were going in and I was in the store too.

The dream was a relief because I’ve had so many creepy and unpleasant dreams lately.

Anyway, I assumed the dream had something to do with POOH’S STORE which I haven’t been doing much with and then yesterday I went to visit my friend, the amazing, ultra super creative, Taos artist, Anita Rodriguez

Anita-RodriguezRSteinbach

ANITA RODRIGUEZ

Anita’s home is her studio and sitting there talking to her, I was surrounded by magical paintings, altars and costumes…..

anita-water carriers

Water Carriers   Anita Rodriguez

In a way the experience was sort of an extension of my dream about the beautiful store.

I had taken with me some altars/retablos that Jody Armijo [the Brown Piglet] had recently created for POOH’S STORE, so Anita could tell me how to price them.poohs store.lace etc

After I had described to her my vision for  POOH’S STORE  as “Sacred & Visionary Art for the Times of Transition and Transcendence”, she told me that this same vision is in the zeitgeist [the general beliefs, ideas, and spirit of a time and place] of many artists at this time. In fact she said, she would be having a show called Devotion and Transcendence at The Taos Inn in June. Amazing synchronicity….always makes me feel I’m on the right path!

               POOH’S STORE

At this time, there are five of us represented in POOH’S STOREnewourstory_8_tile and all of us have created our art out of life experiences which have often challenged us and sometimes taken us into dark and painful places. We have used our art as a way to transform and transcend these places and so, we hope to offer much needed peace, inspiration and courage in these times of transition.

                                   Jody Armijo

“I want to give back and to thank the Creator for my art that takes me to the secret place of LIFE”

-artist and craftsman,Jody Armijo

jody gate:la paz:prison

MYSTICAL VIRGIN GUADALUPE

handkerchief pen:ink:closer #6Jody’s art comes out of time spent in prison earlier in his life and from his Hispanic heritage. As Anita was looking at his altars, she was telling me that his art, his iconography is in his DNA…it dates back centuries.

Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Taos Pueblo Artist & Author

“Art has and still continues to brighten away those dark moments that sometimes enter my life.”

-Jonathan Warm Day Coming

Jonathan

11x17vertbear_flag copy

Jonathan’s art has evolved out of growing up on Taos Pueblo. His mother, who was a well known artist, died at an early age and Jonathan began drinking. He tells the story of how he tried several times without success, to get into a Detox program and then one day as he puts it  “I just shut the door to my house and started painting.” His addiction to alcohol disappeared as he began to paint.

Cody Little Hawk Swimmer, Cherokee artist

“Thanks to the Creator for the vision and inspiration for this journey. A world without prayer has no center to it. Prayer is the bridge between the visible and invisible world.”

-Cherokee artist and musician, Cody Little Hawk Swimmercody:flute

cody:pouch:close 2

Cody grew up on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina. He has experienced many, many losses in his life and has used his art and his music [flute] to transform himself and others around him. When he played his flute at an event we had in Taos a few years ago, three people, including a young child, told him they saw angels around him as he played.

ANDY PICKARD

“Story telling through film”ANDY THE EDITOR

Andy has a degree in Radio/Television/Film from The University of Texas-Austin and was the director and senior managing editor of the History Channels production Nostradamus 2012

Native American, Grammy Award Winner, Tom Bee has called Andy one of the very best editors he has ever known.


 CINDY PICKARDme stage:taos

“I have always loved art and have incorporated it into my work with the dying. When I began making films with my son, I wanted to tell the stories of the people we cared for and worked with, so a larger audience could be inspired by their wisdom. Our documentary films have reached hundreds of people throughout the US and Canada and are used by hospitals, nursing schools, hospices, universities and libraries.”

*I will be putting more of our films in the store but in the meantime, all of them are listed and described in OUR FILMSI will also be adding a lot more art pieces to the store

*If you are interested in reading about what led me to this work, go to  ABOUT

So this is how I have visualized  POOH’S STORE just like in my dream, a store with magical  mystical things which can help in bringing peace, comfort, inspiration and transcendence in these very difficult times on Earth.

The bill collector/it’s a Beautiful Day and The Dirty Life

 ” He had a theory that you had to start out by giving stuff away–preferably big stuff, worth, he figured, about a thousand dollars. At first, he said, people are discomfited by such a big gift. They try to make it up to you by giving you something in return. And then you give them something else and they give you something else and pretty soon nobody is keeping score. There is simply a flow of things from the place of excess to the place of need. It’s personal, and it’s satisfying and everyone feels good about it. This guy is nuts I thought. But what if he’s right?”

From THE DIRTY LIFE by KristIn Kimball

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the mountains of northeastern New Mexico but it didn’t really start out that way.

A couple weeks ago, I had no choice but to sign up with a credit debt relief company. I researched the best companies, found one and made a call. After I signed up and agreed to a specified payment every month [ which will leave me with almost nothing], I was given a new number to give to the bill collectors and told by the ‘debt specialist’ that they would stop calling.

Which isn’t true at all it turns out…they call constantly and I have to keep my phone off the hook except when I need to make a phone call.

Yesterday I happened to answer the phone and it was one of them.

I explained the situation, as I have so many times.  That after 26 years,  Rites of Passage,the non profit which I founded in 1988 to take care of terminally ill people as well as provide education on death and dying had lost all its funding over a year ago, that I had tried to keep everything going since then but that now I had no income except social security.

“How much is that?” the bill collector woman said. I told her it was $1450 a month. “How much are you paying the debt relief company? “she asked. $900 a month I told her. “Well she said, We don’t work with those debt relief companies so you’ll have to work out a payment plan with us or otherwise we’ll get an attorney.”

“OK” I said “Try to put yourself in my place. Try to imagine starting an organization to help dying people and their families,  putting your whole heart and soul into it for 28 years and then overnight, your salary is taken away, you lose everything, all your savings trying to keep things going and then you’re left after the payment to the debt relief company with $550 a month which after paying for home and car insurance and the phone/internet, you’re left with maybe $200. Do you think YOU could make a payment with that amount of money, do you think YOU could even buy food?” I asked her.

“Well” she said in her cold, robotic voice, “We’re going to keep calling you until you make a payment and if you don’t, we’ll get an attorney.”

I hung up  on her and left.

los hueros rdIt was an especially beautiful day as I drove to Las Vegas [NM]. I was going to the Newmexicann medical marijuana dispensary…..New-MexiCann-Natural-Medicine 2 ….to buy a birthday present for a friend — they have a lot of unique gifts–beanies, beautifully beaded containers for lighters, pottery plus t-shirts etcno drug war t

These Newmexicann dispensaries always seem to me like little beacons of light. I’ve only been to the ones in Taos and Las Vegas NM but even though they may be in a strip center or next to a dark and deserted alley, they seem light and happy inside, with geraniums and aloe vera plants in the windows and great music playing.The people who work there seem happy too as if they really enjoy their jobs. I bought the gift I needed and drove on.

I drove on to a rather poor grocery store to get some cheese for the bean and cheese burritos we kind of live on here until our garden starts producing. There was a small, elderly, Hispanic man in front of me with his little cart of groceries. He noticed me  and turned around. ” It’s a beautiful day isn’t it? Just like summer.” “Yes it is.”  I said and I noticed that he called the checkout woman ‘My Dear’ “Thank you My Dear” and “Have a nice day My Dear.” How kind and thoughtful and what a change from the cold, inhumanity of the bill collector.

I came home, feeling so much better and grateful too, to live in a place of  such warmth caring and happiness…..so far from the city life.

THE DIRTY LIFE

“We went back to the farm that night fed and warm in all ways, carrying pieces of cake wrapped up in napkins. I was entirely unused to that sort of common kindness. I didn’t think communities like this we’re supposed to exist anymore, in a country isolated by technology, mobility and work. This was a place where neighbors took care of each other, where well being was a group project..”

From THE DIRTY LIFE by Kristen Kimball

 

dirty lifeA few weeks ago, my sister-in -law  posted something about a book she liked a lot on Facebook. The book was The Dirty Life and I saw that it was about organic farming. I don’t read much at all anymore but since we’re trying to do organic farming here on a very, very small scale,chard 2 I ordered the book [for 1 cent from Amazon..a positive revelation from having no money]

The Dirty Life is about a journalist from New York who goes to interview a rather eccentric but wonderful organic farmer. Over time, she falls in love with him, they get married and start their own farm together.

So I started reading this book at the end of the day which began with the phone call from the bill collector and I immediately felt such a connection to the story, to their way of doing things ; I got several practical ideas from the story but I was most especially inspired by the idea/philosophy put forth in this quote:

” He had a theory that you had to start out by giving stuff away–preferably big stuff, worth he figured, about a thousand dollars. At first, he said, people are discomfited by such a big gift. They try to make it up to you by giving you something in return. And then you give them something else and they give you something else and pretty soon nobody is keeping score. There is simply a flow of things from the place of excess to the place of need. It’s personal, and it’s satisfying and everyone feels good about it.”

From THE DIRTY LIFE by KristIn Kimball

I had tried to start a pay it forward movement a while ago but as yet it hasn’t been very successful and it has seemed to me that it really isn’t a pay it forward type of world. But this book inspired to keep on trying, to keep trying in every way.

This morning, Jody [also known as the Brown Piglet] told me he was going to help his friend Mike do some work at Mike’s girlfriend’s house. The day before Mike had helped Jody take a very large amount of trash to the dump for which Jody wanted to pay him. But Mike had said no. I help you and you help me he said..no money exchanged and actually this way of doing things has been the way of life out here for hundreds of years.ruth panoramic wagon

And so it is in this little mountain community in Northeastern New Mexico and it’s a beautiful day……

church los hueros

 

 

 

MARIJUANA: the Healing,the Music, the Truth

“Over the course of the next several months, Randy’s condition improved so dramatically that his doctors expressed feelings ranging from wild excitement to stunned disbelief. “Keep doing whatever you’re doing,” they would counsel.

However, when Randy and Molly would inform them of the methods they had adopted in treating Randy’s condition, the doctors did not seem interested in hearing it.

“In Pennsylvania, the doctors won’t acknowledge it,” Molly explains. “They skim over it every time.” -from Does Cannabis Treat Cancer?

 

I’m writing about marijuana again because yesterday a friend of the Brown Piglet gave him a tie dyed marijuana t-shirtapril snow:jody:t-shirt.jpgand I liked it – it reminded me of the 60s..marijuana t:snow….a time so very, very different from this one. Back then I didn’t feel any of the fear or unease I feel nearly all the time now. I don’t remember ever wondering if humans would be able to survive on this Earth….I just remember the smell of incense which I always associate with peace and I remember a feeling of belonging, of Woodstock and the psychedelic clubs and the music..especially the MUSIC…it was a GOOD time.

At the same time, the Brown Piglet got his t-shirt, he had just planted his first plants in our greenhouse.jody's mota plant beginningHe has his medical cannabis card and license to grow a limited number of plants for himself as he has been diagnosed with PTSD.

And then also I had gotten an email from Green Flower Media about a man who was cured of Stage 4 cancer using cannabis.   * there are many cases of healing using cannabis..again, easy to research   Watch and Read:  Does Cannabis Cure Cancer

So I thought about these things: About how just in the last couple weeks, I have been behind 4 drunk drivers or seemingly drunk, weaving all over the road. And I thought about how alcohol is so wholly promoted and advertised, no matter the huge number of deaths caused by drunk drivers and the violent behavior so often connected to alcohol.

BOB MARLEY HERB...

I thought how the government is heavily invested in bringing in the dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine [this is very easy to research and I have already written about this in MAPLE SYRUP FOR THE BRAIN ]
while, at the same time, arresting and jailing people for marijuana is a BIG, LUCRATIVE BUSINESS here in the US.  [again,so easy to research]

“America’s four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties, but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most destructive part of that war. The toll can be measured in dollars — billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive enforcement of pointless laws. It can be measured in years — whether wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And it can be measured in lives — those damaged if not destroyed by the shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses….”

-Jesse Wegman The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests/The New York Times

But  I decided rather than write anymore I would post some music, some songs about marijuana for the lighter touch which we all need in this world….speaking for myself, I’m so tired of ‘the news’, the violence, the hatred, the insanity and except for maybe one, the politicians. So here’s some music for humor, happiness, a light in the darkness..all that music brings:

PS I don’t smoke marijuana…I just can’t stand injustice, the lies and the propaganda

CAB CALLOWAY/REEFER MAN [1932]

LOUIS ARMSTRONG/MUGGLES [1928]

 

Willie Nelson – Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (Snoop Dogg, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson)



 

 

 

 

 

 

A day in the life/back to the land/beginning the garden

 

“I tell you in very truth, Man is the Son of the Earthly Mother…I tell you truly you are one with the Earth Mother; she is in you and you are in her. Of her you were born, in her do you live and to her you shall return again.

Keep therefore her laws, for none can live long, neither be happy but he who honors the Earthly Mother and does her laws.”

-Essene Gospel of Peace

   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The Earth will bring people from all walks of life together”

Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Taos Pueblo Artist

Yesterday I posted some photos of my greenhouse on Facebook. I don’t post much  anymore because it seems, at least to me, that Facebook is mostly about selfies, vacations, children and grandchildren etc…therefore I didn’t think anyone would be interested….but I was completely surprised by the number of people who responded to these photos…..pond indoor.jpgdill 2.jpgbig orange flowers:tomatos

The day before I had given a presentation at a women’s residential treatment center, “working with women to transition from correctional facilities back into the community.”

SDC_House_For_Women-e1443721286888

Sangre de Cristo House Pena Blanca, New Mexico

I gave the presentation with my friend Atocha who is a healer/an herbalist. Atocha gave a short talk to the women, mentioning that she had been a corrections officer and also married to a man who spent several years in prison but it was her work as a healer that the women seemed to respond to and she told me later that a couple of the women  had come to her to ask if she would do a cleansing for them. Again, I was surprised–these women have spent time in prison and most have been heavily addicted to meth, heroin etc.  An herbal cleansing seemed so far from their reality, from anything they would be interested in or so I thought.

FINDHORN AND OUR GARDEN BEGINNING…

“Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation.”
― Eileen Caddy

Last night I dreamed I was on the Titanic–the ship was beginning to sink and sounding the distress signal. I could hear people screaming loudly as the lifeboats were brought down and I remember wondering if I would survive. I don’t know if I did survive because I woke up but I know I had the dream because yesterday I came to the very frightening realization that after next month, I will no longer be able to afford to buy groceries…maybe some rice and a bag of beans..no more.   *This is not a joke or an exaggeration though some people treat it as such probably because they cannot conceive of that happening to them. Neither could I but now it has happened to me.

One of most favorite books is The Magic of Findhorn, written in 1975 by Paul Hawken. It’s the magical but absolutely true story of an upper middle class British couple, Peter and Eileen Caddy who having very suddenly lost their jobs, were forced to live in the one thing they owned, a 30 foot caravan/trailer. They lived with their 3 young boys and a friend in the only place available to them, a trailer park next to a garbage dump in northeastern Scotland.clunyThey had been managers of a large 4 star hotel called Cluny Hill and when they had taken guests to dinner, they had often laughed about the people living in the trailer park saying “Can you imagine living cheek by jowl in a dump like that?” And then they found themselves living in ‘a dump like that’. They lived there in their caravan for several years and because they were unable to get jobs, they started a small garden for a little bit of food: radishes, lettuce etc.caddy trailer That garden became world famous and grew into the Findhorn Community. “The eco-village at Findhorn is a tangible demonstration of the links between the spiritual, social and economic aspects of life and is a synthesis of the very best of current thinking on human habitats.”Findhorn-Foundation-and-Community

findhorn garden path

I read The Magic of Findhorn when it first came out and I think of it whenever I’m in a survival mode and in need of courage which has happened many times throughout my life.

magic of findhorn

So I decided that since I cannot BUY food anymore that we [me and the Brown Piglet], taking inspiration from the Findhorn garden, would grow our own fabulous garden.   We started yesterday…

garden progress.jpg

jody:garden 1rst day

It’s still early spring here in the mountains of northern New Mexico [it’s supposed to snow tonight]tulip emerginglilac buds

fish pond april 16

but it’s the time to prepare the garden GARDEN:2ND DAY ROCKS.jpgand we should be able to plant the vegetables May 15th. We have a very large pile of cow manure…cow manure.jpg left over from our beloved milk cow, Tilly who died a few months ago.garden mounds.jpgI will take photos and post them as the garden evolves. In the meantime, there’s chard chard 2.jpgand lettuce lettuce potted.jpgin the greenhouse and lots of tomatoes soon to ripen.

And I will look for hope and inspiration and COURAGE as I wonder what in the world am I supposed to do????

The Caddys followed Eileen’s daily guidance no matter what- there was never any reason given for why they lost their jobs overnight but they came to understand that it was time for them to take the next step and this could not happen where they were and without a dramatic life change.

I’m posting THE FINDHORN video below…it’s very beautiful and inspiring

 

and The Current Economy/Eckhart Tolle   also relevant!

 

Sangre de Cristo House/Addictions/Thoughts

“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Yesterday, with my friend Atocha Maestas Torres, I did a presentation at Sangre de Cristo House, a residential treatment center  “working with women to transition from correctional facilities back into the community.”

Sangre de Cristo House is a remodeled convent SDC_House_For_Women-e1443721286888

sdc home_bottom_2in the little villagehome pena blanca           of Pena Blanca, NM.

The presentations that I do usually include showing one of our documentaries, talking just a little and then doing a memorial making project. I bring all sorts of colored pencils, markers, paper, glitter, stickers etc and I play peaceful and calming music like this song from Cody Little Hawk Swimmer.

and then anyone who wants to [usually everyone] kids:lourdes:memorialsmakes some sort of memorial to a parent or grandparent or other relative who has died. Sometimes for a child or a spouse..sometimes a pet.DANNY BOY MEMORIALbaby f memorialwords we speak memorialFile_01 memorial-daddy

Yesterday was somewhat of a different experience for me however, because though I understand alcohol addiction [I have experienced it personally] and I know something about prison and jail from living with a man who spent several years in prison..and also from the research I’ve done for our documentary on the prison system, I don’t really understand drug addiction.

The women at Sangre de Cristo are young-between 18 and 25 years old and many, maybe all are substance abusers–meth, heroin, cocaine.

So I showed them our documentary, Angels Watch Over Me on a young couple and their baby…living with AIDS.jim, gerri, jason I showed it not so much for the AIDS message but for the message it brings forth about courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, about the resilience of the human spirit.

The women were able to relate and pay attention for a while and then I saw that some became very restless.

Atocha talked a little about her work.atocha She is a traditional healer, an herbalista in the northern New Mexico tradition and, as it is in this part on New Mexico where people do many different things, she was once a corrections officer for 6 years and was married at one time, to a man who spent several years in prison.  So there were many ways that the women could relate to her but they seemed most interested in her work as a healer.

I decided then, that when we go back next month, we will do the memorial making project because art can take you away from your thoughts and into your heart and soul…and Atocha can talk more about her work as an herbalista..back to nature, to what is really healing.

In the meantime though, I started thinking about my alcohol addiction which became extreme when I was in my early 20s. I started thinking about why it happened, about how and why I got over it and about the common bond with all addictions. What is it?  If I can understand  that then I can understand addiction–not the effects of a particular drug but the reason for/why.

Climbing Out of the Hole

I got married when I was 20, I was following my parents’ hopes and dreams, not mine [I didn’t have any] and I married a medical student. me:weddingI knew it was wrong from the beginning but I felt there was nothing out there for me: I had no talents, no purpose in life, I had quit college and had no degree.  And my brother had very recently killed himself. Getting married seemed a way of escaping the pain. I didn’t understand then that that you can never escape the pain, that you have to confront it and deal with or it will appear over and over in one form or another.

Things were never really OK in the marriage except when I was pregnant with my son because I thought I had a purpose [to bring a healthy baby into the world] and I didn’t feel lonely then. But after Andy was born and Larry, my husband, was working late at the hospital, I started drinking..out of loneliness, despair and hopelessness.File_01 hippie family copy

When I was 27 and Andy was 5, we were living in Houston and Larry was a surgery resident at Hermann Hospital. He was almost always at the hospital and if he did come home, his pager would go off and he would have to go back to the hospital.

I fell more and more into hopelessness and my drinking went out of control. I drank all day long and into the night. I don’t remember a lot about those days other than they were crazy, I was crazy, doing crazy things and  I was sinking fast.

I had signed up for an Occupational Therapy Assistant program to ‘get a life’ and found out very quickly that I hated it though I finished the course and got my certificate  *Thank you to the Creator because that became the first thing to put me on my path…it later enabled me to work for Hospice…me:ot:hospice art

But during that year of OT school, I drank my way through the days and weeks, usually feeling horribly sick when I went to class and when I did some training at TIRR/Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research.

And then there came a day when I knew I could not go on; I had to get help. I probably wouldn’t have bothered  but I loved my son so much, he was the only thing that made my life worth living and he had no one else, no one else who would take care of him.little andy:bear

So I made an appointment with a psychologist in Houston, a man who had been a Catholic priest, a man who had no warmth, no compassion. The first thing he told me was that he would not see me unless I ‘worked on’ my marriage.  I couldn’t do that-the marriage wasn’t the problem. I was. I remember too that I used to wear a ring then that had been my mother’s engagement ring. She had died when I was nine and it was the only thing I had of hers. This man asked in a very cold voice if I was married to my father and that was the end. I saw that there would be no understanding, no help there and I gave up. [ I later sent a letter of complaint about this person to whatever organization oversees psychologists …even thinking about him now makes me angry].

But at the 11th Hour, a few minutes before midnight, a miracle happened when my stepsister got me an appointment with John Bradshaw who has been referred to as  “America’s leading personal growth expert.”JOHN BRADSHAW And things changed immediately because I knew that John understood and that with him, I would find the help I needed.

One of the first things John said to me was “I want you to go to AA.”  I said I didn’t want to go and he said “Just go for 6 weeks and if you don’t like it, you’ll be right in time for the holidays and you can start drinking again.” I appreciated the humor and I agreed to go. I went for maybe a year but I didn’t like the meetings..they seemed somehow superficial and I didn’t like being a captive audience forced to listen to the same old stories over and over. I told  John that the only time I felt ‘a desire to drink’ was after one of the meetings. “Then don’t go” he said..”They aren’t right for you.”

I didn’t go and I didn’t drink and I got a divorce during that time.My life was changing dramatically as I got involved with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and her powerful, life changing workshops. File_booksign ekr worksI could finally face the pain, face and come to terms with my mother’s death, my brothers death and all the other losses; I was climbing out of the dark hole I had been living in for so long.

I was in India…..Rajneesh_Ashram_Gate when after 5 years of not drinking, I had a beer. I had a beer because I was afraid that I would never get out of that country alive and what would a beer matter.. but it wasn’t the same. My life was good in so many ways, I was  beginning to move toward my life’s work with death and dying and I had no need to cover up any pain or emptiness with alcohol. I could drink, I could enjoy it as a ritual;  there was no reason or desire to get drunk.

Today, 30 plus years later, I drink wine in the evenings..it’s a ritual..I sit in front of the fire, I  watch a DVD of  Eckhart Tolle or some inspiring movie. I have no desire to escape or cover up anything but rather I work hard at understanding, accepting whatever I’m faced with.

So why did I go beyond my alcohol addiction? Because I faced the pain, because I no longer felt empty, because I found meaning and purpose. I’m not saying it’s easy..it can be a long and slow journey, sometimes with one step forward and 2 steps back… but this is the end of all addictions. At least that’s how I see it.

Yesterday after the presentation, I had a 2 and a half hour drive home. I live far out in the country surrounded by my animals and nature redman lookingand I haven’t had to drive on the Interstate for a long time. I was shocked and scared as I was forced to drive 80mph or get run over. Everyone was in a huge hurry and it seemed, would just as soon take the chance of killing themselves or others to get where they were going… FAST.

No wonder  I thought that there’s so much drug and alcohol addiction, dysfunction, despair…so many people have lost touch with who they are and why they’re here and I thought of the women at the Sangre de Cristo House reaching out to Atocha, the herbalist, the healer..reaching beyond the drugs and the pain for something real.

I posted this film clip of John Bradshaw because though I don’t live so much by his teachings anymore, I will be forever grateful to him–he saved my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever thought you might be an ALIEN?/ I have lately

 

 

E-T-The-Extra-Terrestrial-et-the-extra-terrestrial-928615_800_600Michael: Did you explain school to him?

Elliot: How do you explain school to higher intelligence?

Elliot: He needs to go home; he’s calling his people. And I don’t know where they are, but he needs to go home.

from ET The Extra Terrestrial

A few weeks ago, my son and grandson drove over from Texas to visit me and my grandson, Philip, whom I call RB, slept in my little guestroom/office…

rb almost 16

PHILIP PICKARD  almost 16

In my office, I have a poster titled YOU ARE HERE  which I’ve kept for a long time because sometimes it helps me put my life in perspective…-you-are-here-galaxy-space-science-poster-printAnd also In this room, is a small, green, blowup alien called Bob. RB liked Bob and so I sent him the 5 foot version for an early birthday present.

In return he sent me photos: he had driven the alien around the neighborhood and then put him on his mountain bike..

alien rb bike copyIt was a very inexpensive present and a small thing which made me smile- the alien brought laughter and happiness.

I really don’t know much about aliens other than I loved ET, but I remember well when a First Nations Elder said me “Our people are not from here.”

aliens with spirals

Alien Petroglyph

And that’s how I feel..more and more..increasingly more and more…NOT FROM HERE because:

I don’t understand the ever increasing hatred/racism; people who kill their children, putting them in ovens, throwing them off buildings, bridges; people who throw trash out on the road. I don’t understand why everyone has to have a gun, even to the point that a law has been passed that students at the University of Texas can carry guns on campus and I don’t get ‘Christians’ who go to church every Sunday and fill the rest of their days with hate, ugliness, racism [several politicians come to mind]. I don’t understand Facebook at all though I sometimes use it and I REALLY don’t understand not wanting to at least make some effort… to make the world a better place….people need help, animals need help, the Earth needs help…..

ekr-et

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross often wore a t-shirt which said “Just Visiting this Planet” and she was very fond of ET

So feeling like an alien [maybe some others who read this can relate],  I looked up the traits of aliens and what I found were the traits of ‘Starseeds’: [these are just a few]

They have an intense sense of loneliness.

They feel like they don’t belong in their earth family.

They have a fascination with the stars and feel as though their home is out there, but they can’t remember where.

They begin to question the ways of earth at an early age.  Many are the black sheep of their family.

They are drawn to metaphysics seeking answers to why they feel so alone and why they don’t seem to fit in on earth

Many have an adversarial relationship with the parent of the opposite sex..

They may find the behavior and motives of our society puzzling and illogical, and are also pretty adept at understanding hidden motives even at an early age. Finally, they also may be reluctant to become involved in the institutions of society, such as political, economic, health care, and so on.

[There’s a lot written about Starseeds if you google it]

PAYING IT FORWARD AND EXTENDING COMPLIMENTS

Over the past month, I’ve tried on this blog, to start a PAY IT FORWARD movement, a sort of chain of giving. Initially it would begin with me/RITES OF PASSAGE but it would enable me/us to contribute to and help others [which I love to do]..and as I saw it, the others would go on to help more and more people…just like in the movie, Pay it Forward.

I see it as my way of bringing some help, happiness, inspiration and hope to more people and my contribution to making the world a better place. I always first visualize whatever I create, see it, believe it, then create it and it almost always works but with Pay it Forward, very few people seemed to even notice. [Many, many thanks to those who have. I’m not forgetting you!]

I’m mentioning one woman who wrote to me yesterday and made a contribution to pay it forward.

Her name is Lisa Richey and she has an organization called Cheap Therapy. She  wrote a piece on her website wondering how her life might change is she extended a compliment to every single person with whom she came in contact and I’m posting it below because like paying it forward, it’s a way of really making a difference in the lives of others.

And I am  also posting 2 clips from ET The Extra-Terrestrial because I love ET! Somehow it all fits together…

The April Soulbooster word is COMPLIMENT.

I wonder how my life would change if I extended a compliment to every single person with whom I came into contact?  I wonder what would happen if we ALL did that?

What if:

we complimented the person in front of and behind us in line about their clothing, smile, child, etc?

we complimented the grocery cashier about her smile that goes all the way up to her eyes?

we complimented our mechanic about his expertise and integrity.

we complimented our waiter for his attention to detail and attention?

we complimented our spouse/beloved for still taking our breath away?

we complimented the garbage collection people for how very well they do a job that not many want to do?

we complimented That Co-worker (you know the one) for always providing another way to see things?

we complimented our spiritual leader/teacher not just for the Sunday/Saturday/whenever sermon/lesson, but for how they helps us seek to be closer to our Creator every day?

we complimented children for their compassion and wisdom rather than just their beauty and achievement?

You get my point.  So I’ll stop listing here, but I won’t stop wondering.

-Lisa Richey