I would like to be able to come to you and say that I treat myself amazingly well. However, I try to be more honest with you then I am with anyone else, including myself. I am awesome at saying I am going to do something, but I break promises with myself all the time. Like tonight I said I was going to take some time to be a shlump and I did not. I did not walk as much as I should have today. I ate fairly healthy today which is a good thing, but probably mostly because I have been intentional about keeping the junk food out of the house. I did get enough sleep and I have paid myself compliments, but I am not taking as good care of my body as I need to. I am working on treating myself as well as I treat others. As Iyanla Vanzant reminded me recently, at present I am allowing others to be thieves in my life and they do not even know that I am allowing them to do that. Well maybe they will if they read this. LOL
I am trying to think of myself as a little girl and remembering to nurture myself the way I would nurture my child. So there are some things I am really good at. I am good at telling myself that I love myself and how amazing I am. I am good at remembering that I am never alone and I am surrounded by your love, your strength and the supporters you have bought into my life to bring me through the times when I feel like I am struggling. Read More
When I was in seminary, I took a course on advocacy and organizing. One of the questions we were asked to think about was what we felt was the most pressing social issue in contemporary society. Then and now, it is hard for me to pick just one, as there are so many issues that seem important for different reasons. I could talk about the global exploitation of people in developing countries or the trafficking of women as sexual slaves and prostitutes or violence against women or poverty or hate crimes or systemic injustice. My list of issues has grown over the last over the last 10 years. Trying to pick one over the other makes me feel as if I am saying one issue is more pressing than the other, as if I am trying to prioritize them. This is hard for me to do because I think they are all important for different reasons and to different groups of people. At the root of all these issues is a common thread which contributed to their existence. Ultimately, I have come to realize that the most pressing social issue in contemporary society is our inhumanity for and towards each other. Read More
Last week I wrote a letter to my Mom thanking her for being one of my spiritual and moral mentors. She and my Bubby are the first two, which came to my mind. As I have thought about all the spiritual and moral mentors in my life I have come to realize that while some of them were people I knew, others were people I have never met. Some of my teachers have been people who served as examples of how I did not want to be because I saw the harm they inflicted on others. Yet I need to give thanks to them as well, although I will not mention them by name as the lessons they taught me were decades ago and I would not want them to be judged, by this one incident.
This reminds me that Sister Helen Prejean, one of those women I have never met, taught me a valuable lesson. Read More
Last night I was watching a video Zoe had found about gratitude and happiness. In the video, people wrote letters to someone they were grateful for in their lives. Then they were asked to call that person and read them the letter if they could. This morning I woke up thinking about my mom. I am so grateful for all she taught me during her time here on earth. One of the things she taught me about was how to be compassionate towards others. Mom, I hope that you can read these words as I put them out into the Universe, that place where we are of one (uni) verse. That place where we are one with each other. I love you. If you were here and I had to read this to you, I would probably go through about three boxes of tissues. Read More
I just wanted to take a moment to give thanks for the awesome time I had with all the people who came to have their spirit drawings done by J:D Arrichi at our space. It was a blessing to have met new people and enabled them to experience the peace and healing, which we offer in our space. Sometimes a place can sound good on paper, but until you experience the space, you do not know if it is a space, you need to return to in your journey.
There were so many amazingly powerful memories yesterday, which served as clear reminders of the subtle way that Spirit works. For example, I thought it was funny how one of the women was looking for a new dentist did not know that the co-pastor at her church was a dentist. After helping her to connect the dots, she realized she knew who she needed to go see. Prayer answered. Thank you for using me one more time. Read More
Wednesday was the 3rd of what will now be four lessons for Reiki 1. So after a celebratory birthday lunch for my teacher (I made “fried” chicken, collard greens, “mac” and cheese, and biscuits), we began our lesson. After blessing and sanctifying the space, she said close your eyes and using your left hand (not my dominant hand), hover your hand over this deck of Zen cards and pick three. The three that I picked were Compassion, Wisdom, and Community. We laughed and she said yes those are you; read the backs if you would like. Read More
Recently, a fellow blogger, Ariffa, nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award. It was not like it was one of those big deal awards. It was one of those ways of getting to know other bloggers and to allow other bloggers to get to know you. It was a simple process. You had to list fifteen bloggers that you follow with links to their websites (that was the easier part for me). Then you had to list seven things about you that were interesting. This is where I found myself being stuck. I realized as I stared at this blank screen that I did not think I, or my life, was interesting. The two things I wrote down were not things that I found interesting or thought other people would find interesting, but maybe different or unique. That was that I had six parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) and that I used to say I was part Vulcan as my left ear has a slight point to it. Neither of which seems to fit the definition of interesting, or so I thought. According to the dictionary interesting means, “arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.” The only thing I could think of is that sometimes I am able to arouse the curiosity and interest of my students through the material I share with them in the classroom. Read More
So I am sitting here today thinking about the pain that is being experienced by faculty, staff and students on our campus as a result of the murder of one of our female students. I cannot even begin to imagine what her parents and family members are feeling at this time. I have thought about the staff member from the school who had to call and inform them. I have thought about the young man who is responsible for her murder. I have thought about his family and what they must be feeling at this point. Then I think about the violence that is so prevalent in our world and I find myself asking the same question I have been asking for decades now. Where is the love? Read More
For the past few days, well maybe longer, I have been thinking about the whole notion of respect. I found myself remembering the chorus from the old Aretha Franklin song RESPECT. However, when I read the lyrics to her song, I realized that while respect might have meant one thing to her, at least from the lyrics, it meant something completely different to me. As her song says, find out what it means to me.
For me, respect is an expression of love. It is about love for myself and love for others. Read More
I never thought I would be excited to have someone tell me I was unprofessional, but yesterday was one of those days. I was talking on the phone to one of my online students who was having technical problems. Once we got through the immediate problem, she shared with me how much she loves this class and said that in part it was because I was unprofessional. So in all honesty, I had to stop for a moment because I was trying to think about what I could have said or done that might have been viewed as unprofessional. For a moment, the parasite of fear began to poke its head out at me, but I caught it in time, rained love on it and myself, and did what I always tell others to do – seek clarification.
Being unprofessional to her meant I was real, authentic, and approachable. Read More
Generally, I love being alone. I value the time I have by myself. The peace. The quiet. I love it. As much as I love my wife, I love having my personal time with me. I love being able to curl up with a book or my laptop or my journal and just write or read or dream or envision or just be. There is a peace and a calm that comes when I am alone. While I love teaching and working with people, my time with me is restorative and rejuvenating. It is the single best gift I can give myself.
However, there are times when being alone does scare me. Those times come when it is not about me choosing to be alone. My guess is that some of this comes from a time I do not even remember well. But it used to bother me when nobody wanted to be around me because they didn’t like me. Read More
Where did the insecurities come from, not sure I know, not sure they just appeared over night, more like this gradual accumulation of internalized messages. It is kind of like that analogy I made once about a coffee cup. When we are born, we are like this brand new coffee cup, but the longer we have it the more we notice the stains and the little tiny cracks and chips and imperfections that gather over time. It is not that the cup went from one condition over night to another, it just happened and then when we begin to see or more appropriately own our stuff then we can begin to do something about it, or at least choose to do something about it.
I think for the longest time, I ate my feelings. I ate my words. I was scared to speak what I was feeling because of a fear of abandonment. Read More
Hmm, ©©©©© ok, it took me a minute to think about what I wanted to say. Not sure I remember anybody in my family ever talking about these things. Not to say they didn’t, but I don’t remember. What I remember most from my parents was this message about love and commitment. That being in a relationship meant that you worked things through, you talked things through. This was a lesson they learned from almost divorcing and then working themselves back together. They learned how to respect each other in a way they had not been able to do before. Of course, part of that had to do with my dad’s drinking and being an alcoholic. Once he sobered up and stopped drinking, they built a completely new relationship and taught me a great deal about unconditional love. It was during my mom’s illness that my dad taught me the most powerful lesson about love. He said that even though my mom did not remember who he was, he remembered who she was and he still loved her. Read More
I guess there are all kinds of ways of dialoguing with people. for me, one way is through poetry. I have so many memories of times when I have felt supported and of times when I have supported others. The first person that came to my mind was Mikey. I have no idea where you are right now, but I have never forgotten you. It was 1970 something and my high school sweetheart gave me this ring as an expression of her love and commitment to me. She tragically died in 1975, at the age of 19. More than a decade later, I had very few things in my life that reminded me of our relationship, but I had this ring. It wasn’t anything fancy. It was this cheap little ring with an open heart, but I wore it all the time. That was until this one particular day in 1980 something. I can’t remember the exact year or dates, but what I do remember is this young five-year-old boy. His name was Mikey. What I remember about Mikey was his first day at the summer day camp. It was his first time to be separated from his mom. He was terrified and scared and nothing seemed to keep him from crying Read More
so I went to bed last night thinking about anger, knowing that this was the word for today – the emotion for today – the flavor of the day – my friends would and have told me that I do not do anger well. there are so many times that I have felt like I have exploded and yelled at someone and then when I go to apologize for how I voiced my anger, they look at me like what are you talking about? When did you yell at us? Really – did you think you were angry. I guess it is how I voice my anger that has made all the difference. But the thing about anger that frustrates me is that at times, not so much anymore, but there are times I feel like I should apologize for getting angry and that makes me angry. Read More
Here I am at towards the end of this first week and loving that I am taking the time in the midst of grading papers to take care of me. as I sat down to read Janelle’s reflection on grace, I found myself giggling like this little school girl because she talked about sitting at a church that I had once visited, MCC San Francisco, and the pastor there was in charge of education for the denomination when I was considering being ordained through MCC. What a small world this truly is. It is moments like this, when I become aware of how interconnected we truly are. How, even when we do not know it or realize it, the Creator has this way of bringing us all together at just the right time. And some folk do not think the Creator has a sense of humor.
Ok, so I was giggling until I got to the choices and I realized I do not have a book of poetry Read More