A Continuum of What Is…. 2011 into 2012

As the calendar year comes to a close, I am not looking at it as an end or a beginning, but as a continuum of what is. I have no resolutions to make, just reflections observed on a moment by moment basis. All I have is right now. Right now… I will live out loud, love with a fierce passion that radiates to all, be humble and compassionate and comfort those who need an extra hug or kind word. I will be me in the most authentic way the moment brings. Right now… I will take care of my mind, body and soul with the same love, compassion, and care I do others. I want to thank each and everyone of you for being a part of my life and my journey each and every moment we are on this planet together.  Love, Light and Peace to all this New Year’s Eve.

N.

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Escaping The Illusion Of Time

Yesterday while reading a social network post, I came across the sentiment “time is an illusion.” Coming up on a six month mark of being on mostly raw foods and a year mark of a cancer diagnosis, I had to pull off the side of the road today to write the thoughts that came whirling through my head randomly this morning. I also concluded that I would have to agree that “time is an illusion.” I don’t believe this because Einstein and Plato thought so, although I believe that Plato argued that it was life that was the illusion, but splitting hairs, really what is the difference? Why am I counting the time? Does it really matter?

Let me explain my thoughts on this a little further. We are taught to gauge everything by calendars, and clocks, days, months, years, seconds, minutes and hours. There is rarely a moment that goes by that we aren’t looking to see what time or what day it is. We are always anticipating the next thing or thinking about something in the past, whether it be a holiday, an anniversary, an appointment, a class, who walked the dog last, what we had for dinner yesterday, well you get the picture. It is very rarely that we are in the moment existing and breathing now, that is because that moment is fleeting and gone just like that. Everything we have experienced in the past and things we experience now and our thoughts of the future are carried forward in time. If this is so, what really constitutes time?

As an example: this moment, now, that I am typing is gone forever, it can never be captured again. You can read about it in your space of time, I can read it too, but is it really time or just the illusion of it. We can’t capture time relatively speaking. We can capture moments in time with words and pictures, thoughts and videos.

In conclusion we can’t escape the illusion of time. Our past is only a collection of memories and most of the time the memories we draw from are not terribly reliable. Our future consists of thoughts and projections of a present moment which can’t be experienced until the present. When we delve into our thoughts on the future the accuracy diminishes even more than the past. The illusion of what will be is that an illusion. Now we are left with the present that changes as fast as every keystroke in this document and every word you are reading now. The last word is the past, which one is the present? How many more words will be in the future? Are you still with me?

Time as we know it on our calendars and clocks must have been invented to calculate the ever-changing now and how fast it changes, but can it really be calculated accurately? Do we just believe this because we are told so? It is an interesting thought to ponder. You can study Einstein, Plato and other physicists on their theories of time and space. You will probably end up a little more confused about it. You may understand it a bit more too, but that is part of the illusion, which no matter how hard we try, we cannot escape.

I guess though without illusion of time there might be some chaos and a little less order.

Kind of ironic this is written the eve before a celebrated holiday… how timely!

Peace and Love to ALL!

Remember to be thankful for the illusion of time!

N

 

The Soul Connection Unveiled

My moony, soul sister Laura Oct. 2011

Time and distance won't make a difference when souls are connected.

I had a great conversation with a friend today about “soul mates.” This friend was introduced to me over the summer through another mutual friend and although we grew up in the same town we attended different high schools and didn’t really know each other back then. Since becoming friends, the friendship has become a mutual growth of trust, respect, love and certainly a soul connection.

It is my belief that we are here to have many soul connections and not just ONE “soul mate,” throughout our lifetime on this planet. When you open your mind and heart and become your authentic self and you drop the veils of obstinance, you allow another person a deep, karmic relationship that flourishes and feeds the soul. Allowing this light and energy in your life is an amazing thing.

The plurality of these connections doesn’t detract from any one of the relationships. Each one forms for its own purpose, whether it be to enlighten either person, kindred spirits on a similar journey, or a deep connection of love. The possibilities and reasons are endless.

In today’s society we tend to get bound up by “life” as others dictate what  it should be. We put walls up around us to protect our hearts and souls. In religion we are taught to trust God, but there are many who struggle with living by these convictions. I see and hear a lot of people talk about it, post about it, but when it comes down to it, they are still hanging on to the control in their lives. They still have their “walls” up and it blocks them from the good things that the promise they believe in has for them. This is not a judgement on my part, just an observation. Sometimes I just want to shout out LET GO!

When you can really let go, project love, live honestly, faults and all, and be humble and compassionate, the many gifts you receive in return will be overwhelming abundant.

As I told my friend this afternoon, I have many soul connections. I am grateful for each one of them. I love each one with my entire being. I feel so fortunate to come to this place in life where the veil is lifted and life is really what it is!

Love and Peace to all of you! Each and every one of you are a special gift in my life that I have the utmost respect and appreciation for!

Natalie

I Hear You, Because I Listened

Lately I have practiced a lot of listening. Listening to others when they speak, listening to the sounds of nature, listening to my own internal voice…. just being still and listening. There is so much knowledge to gain when you are still and listen. We get so busy in life, with all of our stuff, we sometimes forget to connect to the rest of the world. One way to connect is by stopping, becoming still and taking time to listen. Listening is also the highest form of respect you can give another person.

I have made it a point to really listen to what people are saying in conversations. Sometimes I think we just get used to giving certain answers when conversing. Yes, uh huh, oh really, etc. seem to just come out when we aren’t fully listening to someone who is speaking to us. I am not sure if I do it because I am not interested  or I am just distracted, but when I find myself straying from the conversation, I have made an effort to pull myself back into the fold and listen with intent.

Nature is all around me, and I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place. I have at times taken for granted the beauty that is around me. The beach and ocean is my favorite place to just go and relax, meditate, and write. I have made it a point to get there every day I can for almost four months now. The sounds you hear at the beach when you listen, can be interpreted as many things. People’s voices can bring joy and excitement at the spotting of a shark or birds feeding on bait fish. The sounds of the birds flying over or sitting just offshore can alert to bait fish in the immediate area, or if the seagulls are swarming, someone may have food out. The waves moving into the shore are my favorite though. The ocean is mighty and immense. The waves can go from sloshing to crashing. I am always awestruck by it all.

Take time today to stop and listen. Each moment we are given is for us to live and learn, to share and love. Give the biggest gift of love and respect, listen to others with interest and awareness. Listen to your own thoughts and reactions. When you listen with awareness it is easier to discern and let go. If you shut out the “noise” around you, you close yourself off from life, love and possibly your next revolution.

 

 

Sharing Gratitude

Being grateful is an amazing thing to share with others, it can be infectious and rewarding. Today it made me smile a couple of times. I went to lunch with three of my favorite inherited siblings, Mitch, Beverly, and Judy. Please if you read this keep them and their mother in your prayers. She will be coming home from the hospital, but will be under the care of hospice. Ok on with my story. I had planned on coming home to “rest” some more, I have kept a cold at bay for several days now, but drove through the parking lot and decided to go into Hobby Lobby. I needed to find an ornament for an ornament exchange next month and of course I always have to check the beading/jewelry making section out too! While I was in the ornament section I noticed this woman picking ornaments and hanging them on one of the artificial trees. She tried to engage a couple of people passing by in conversation about the ornaments, at that moment I really didn’t think anything of it. As I pick my ornament and am leaving the aisle, she says to me “I have a hanging light I am trying to decorate. What do you think about these ornaments?” The lightbulb went off and visions of my mother whose children all live far away came rushing into my head. I smiled at the woman and started helping her arrange the ornaments on the tree as if they were hanging on the light. I think we spent the next 15 minutes finding just the right ornaments for her to take home. Honestly, I don’t think it was about the ornaments at all. I think she wanted some conversation and company. She was happy and left to make her purchases. When you can stop and see what is going on around you and take your time to make someone else’s day a little brighter you are sharing the gratitude. At that moment my heart was filled with gratitude and love. I was grateful I was in that place at that time to give of myself. There are no coincidences.

I have a lot of gratitude these days. I consciously try to smile and say hello to anyone I cross paths with, no matter where I am. It lifts my mood, keeps my attitude in check and never fails to give something back to me. I may not know exactly what then, but the message always shines through and has perfect timing.

My second encounter of gratitude sharing occurred at the beach. I remember saying to Beverly “it is so nice out, I am going to have a hard time not going to the beach today.”  Well, I couldn’t resist and did go to the beach. I walked about three miles total. On my walk down the beach, on a secluded part of the beach, I saw a couple who had buried their legs in the sand. They were having a ball laughing and playing. I was about at the end of where I usually walk and passed them, only to walk about 50 more feet and turn around. Something told me I needed to take their picture for them. I turned around and took my headphones out and asked them if they had a camera and wanted a picture. It is then I found out they were newlyweds and “yes, absolutely we want a picture.” I then went up to where their things were and brought the bag with the camera down to them. I took 6 pictures, making them kiss for one of them. They were very grateful that I had walked by.

It is amazing to me that when you live in the moment and pay attention to the things around you the joy you can share and spread. Living with intention, compassion and gratitude gives life a whole new flavor. I like to call it the flavor of LOVE! I challenge everyone who reads this to share your gratitude and LOVE with all of those you meet. Life is too short for anything else. You are only given this very moment!

The Lessons of 9-11-2001

Tribute in Light, 9/11/03

Image by Brendan Loy via Flickr

As I reflect on the past ten years and what I personally took away from that sad, fateful, awful day, is that people are intrinsically good. When tragedy happens and happen it did, people tend to step up and pull together for the greater good out of kindness, survival and love.

The morning of September 11, 2001 was much like any other morning for me. I drove all three kids to Stuart Middle School, the only year all of them were there together. At the time I was a Volunteer Coordinator and spent a lot of time at the that.”>school that morning was no different. School started around 9am back then, so we were probably there by 8:30am and I was in the front office when the first plane crashed into WTC1 North there was shock all around. I am not sure if it was after WTC2 South Tower was hit that the school district went on alert and had to decide if the kids would stay in school or not. It all happened pretty fast and everyone was scrambling.

Then the Pentagon was hit and Flight 93 went down. It was definitely a scary day in America.

As a parent of three kids in the same school, where I happened to be when it happened, watching how the school handled it, I made the decision to leave my kids at school. The district excused kids whose parents wanted to pick them up, but I thought the more normal of a day my kids could have would serve them better than coming home and watching it all on TV right away. I also had the perk of going to each of my children’s classrooms to make sure they were OK with staying.

The evening of September 11, 2001 was eerie – there was absolutely no air traffic in the sky until Sept 13, 2001. Being in the aircraft industry, and always near an airport, noticing planes flying overhead all of the time, the feeling was unsettling at best.

I remember thinking, this changes everything we have ever known about being free and protected at the same time. What an understatement that thought turned out to be.

The next few weeks, and months I couldn’t peel myself away from watching and listening and trying to figure out how this could happen here in the USA. We have the best defense systems, how could they have failed us that day. I am not one to speculate and come up with theories from media reports, or even what I am being spoon fed. I personally like to do my own research, take all sides of an issue into account and form my own opinion of what I believe.

With the events of 9-11 I read just about everything I could, I watched hours of footage and listened to even more hours of interviews, and sounds from that day. I am not really sure what I believe at this point, but I will say, something isn’t right with the story that has been portrayed. Logically things just don’t add up. I am not a 9-11 truther, I am just someone who thinks the whole story has not been told and will probably never be told. I haven’t dwelled on this and I won’t ever dwell on it. It isn’t in my control and it won’t change anything. I just revisit it around this time of year since that day. The tears flowed, feelings of anger and sorrow also crept in, but in the end love took over my feelings. I decided that a loving state of mind was where I could do the most good.

In April of 2003 the day after our troops went in and toppled Saddam Hussein’s statue, my two boys were on flights going opposite directions. My 8th grader was going to England to play soccer for 10 or so days, and my Sophomore in high school was heading to Washington State for a choral competition for the same time.”>timewith a planned trip to Canada. One left at 6am, the other at 6pm. The week preceding the trips I remember thinking, “am I crazy for sending both of my kids out of the country at this time,” then we went into Bagdad April 9, 2003 and my kids were leaving the next day. I decided then that if I didn’t let them go (they were with many adults that I personally knew and some were close friends), I would regret not letting them have an experience of a lifetime if nothing happened. My next decision was, if something did happen, could I live with myself? Well as you can probably all ready figure out, I am about living each moment to the fullest. They went, they both had a great time and learned a lot through their experiences

My first flight after 9-11 was also in 2003. It was with dear friends to the Bahamas. I went because my girlfriend was still deathly afraid to fly. I wasn’t afraid, but I can tell you it was a weird feeling being in a plane again after 9-11. I was definitely more aware of my surroundings and paid more attention to people I probably would have never given a second glance. I guess it made me a little suspicious, but I think people who are survivors and survive events have to have more of an awareness about them. I never gave it a second thought before. Flying back then, to the Bahamas, you still didn’t need a passport, you only needed an ID and birth certificate. Boy how times have changed now.

From then until now, I have flown several times. I am not really bothered by the security. I don’t like the idea of being radiated when I go through a scanner, but if I am going to fly it is a price I have to pay for that choice. Flying by the way, is a choice. If you don’t like what you have to go through to fly, then don’t fly.

I think the biggest lesson that still resonates with me is, I won’t stop living my life to the best of my ability as a kind, loving, compassionate person, and I won’t stop trying to do the best I can, to be better each moment I am here. No matter what obstacles are placed in front of me, I will always look for a way to make my space better than I found it, make the people I come in contact with feel loved and appreciated, and not dwell on things I have no control over.

We never know how long our time here will be, and as 9-11 taught us, it can be gone in an instant. Tell the people you love, I love you every time you see them, hold them close, and try to always be kind. When parting ways, if just for the day, or in some cases longer,  understand that it could be the last time you see them. Live for now, love forever, and be everything you wish to be. There is no room for past regrets and lost moments when you live your life in the present.

Carpe Diem

Love and peace

Natalie

Superfluous Mad Silliness

Sometimes life catches us off guard and decides we are going to get all caught up in some moment of nonsense. It is at these times we need to step back and really take inventory of what it is we are doing. Thoughts are just that, thoughts. Most of the time our thoughts won’t change much that is going on in life, or the world, we have them, they are fluid and our reaction to them, is what it is, at that particular moment. Life is a funny thing, mad at best, at times. There is so much we want to control with what happens around us, but so much we are in so little control of. Being is not an easy state to be in, it takes  a constant state of awareness. Most of the time we are so unaware of our own actions because they become so automatic. It is only when we take the time to be conscious in every moment that we become aware of our own deficiencies and can work on improving living here, now, in this moment in time, being all that we are meant to be.

A Rawthentic Look At The Past Three Months

I am not exactly sure when I started being totally raw, but I know around the first of June the process started. I think it took about two weeks to wean off of the dairy and another three weeks after that to completely quit coffee…. I would have to go back and look at my posts, and I really don’t care. The point is, I haven’t had meat, dairy or coffee for a while now and I feel fantastic!

Every day I am more inspired and amazed by the people I come in contact with who are on the same journey or are adding more fresh foods to their diets or they are diving right in. I have to admit, this change wasn’t that hard for me, because I was pretty much a vegetarian to begin with. The first two weeks of weaning off of things were the biggest challenge I suppose, but as I got to each “next day” a natural flow of eating mostly raw things happened.  I did have a McDonald’s hamburger the third week coming home from the shop. I was hungry and hadn’t brought enough food. It made me sick for three hours after I got home. I even had a fever.  I don’t really have any cravings for “that food” any more. It is inconsequential.

The biggest surprise for me is my body’s transformation. I seriously had not gone to the beach in a few years, because I didn’t even want to put on a one piece swimsuit. I wouldn’t wear shorts, skirts, or dresses it is pretty pathetic actually. Those who know me, know I wasn’t “fat”, but they also know that over the past eight years I had put on a few pounds. Yes, I still wore a size 6 and carried the weight, but it was there. Before raw I was 163 lbs. I weighed less than that nine months pregnant with both of my boys! Today the scale hit 142. Pretty amazing because I wasn’t looking to lose any weight when I started this. I was all in it for health, to get nourishment to my body, all of my cells and to keep dis-ease away!!!! The weight loss has been the bonus! It has also made me feel younger and healthier and I have an abundance of energy! I love it!

Eating raw has also given me a new-found freedom. I don’t really stress over too much anymore. There is so little we are in control of and the things we think we want to have control of we probably should just be letting go of. Other than going through  a small of emotional detox, my mind is clearer  and sharper and my emotions have been pretty even keeled. Yes, every once in a while I will be walking the beach and I will have tears streaming down my face. I always stop and breathe and just let whatever is happening happen. I don’t try to analyze it, I just go with it.

The beach, as my friend Laura put it, has been my Mecca. Every day that I can get out there and get that dose of sun (vitamin D), sand, salt water, and ocean air, I do! I relax out there, I meditate there, I exercise, I converse with strangers, and when I am out there I write. Some days I have a lot to write, others I just write about what I see and what the day is like. I feel so much love at the beach. Nature is an awesome thing most of us take for granted in our busy lives. I am so glad I have rediscovered nature and all of its wonders.

I have to say the past three months have been some of the most life transforming I have had in a long time. They have been invigorating, enlightening and humbling. There are many things I think contributed to this, but after going through a cancer diagnosis, it was time to take charge of my health and get things right in my body, mind and soul. Some people may think this is radical and that I have gone bonkers. The proof is in the results, I will take my way of eating over the fast food, hormone injected, GMO world I once lived in, any day…. that way of eating may not seem radical, but to someone who has already had cancer, I see it as dangerous to my health.

On that note, we all have to decide what works for us, whether it be diet, belief system, career choice or anything else important or not. Having said that, we should also be accepting, loving and kind towards each other. At some point there has to be a sense of tolerance from people on all sides of issues. People have become so rigid in their views, opinions and beliefs, and this closes the door to love, peace and harmony. I would rather live peacefully, than bicker and argue all of the time.  Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I can’t love you, because I will. Will you do the same for me?

Peace and Love

Natalie

Raw Authenticity

Have you ever observed yourself so caught up in what other people think and how you perceive they will judge you that you tend to embellish your credentials, or your current status in this moment? Do you ever wonder why you feel the need to hide who you really are? When aggrandizing things, do you ever feel a twinge of guilt about not being truthful to the person you are communicating with? I think we all can relate to this notion of wanting to be a person the person we are relating to will like.

Living authentically requires us to take a deep look at our own motivations and behaviors. I think it is natural to want to impress your present company, your colleagues, your family, and any new prospective interests, but the most impressive thing to me is when someone can bare their soul and live in the truth of their life.

Are you not living authentically out of fear or could it be insecurity. I am sure all of our motivations are different, but similar in the outcome of what we are projecting to the universe. When we begin to live in the truth and light of our authentic being great things come about for us and all of those around us. Things become effortless and light. When we no longer hide from ourselves, let alone, everyone else, we make big strides in who we are supposed to be. Authentic, living, loving, whole….

Junk Drawer

The past few days I have been purging the kitchen cabinets and drawers, keeping only the things that are being used or that I love. I am taking my time doing this, and carefully placing everything back into a “place” of its own.

The exercise has been one of healing and letting go. There is only one thing that is in the same place as it was, and that is for now. The silverware stayed in the same drawer, other than that, everything else has a new home. My kitchen is a happy place again. I don’t have things falling out of the cabinets, I can find everything I need. Life is good!

During this process I freed up two drawers that were used as “junk” drawers, you know, the catch-all place for things you aren’t quite sure what to do with at the time, or you just don’t want to deal with it “right now.” Well for me it is all about being in the present moment. I don’t have time for a “junk” drawer anymore, let alone two. I did find however, that while going through the “stuff” in the junk drawers, there really wasn’t a whole lot to keep. What was salvageable were things that really had another home. The other stuff was just that stuff!

Here are a few items that were in my junk drawer: rubber bands, drill bits, screws, batteries, stickers, menus, post-it notes, the thingy-ma-bob that frees up the garbage disposal when it gets jammed, and a deck of cards with cards missing.

My point is, clearing out the junk and making room for things that we love, living with intention and not being passive in our actions, will help us all lead a simpler happy life.

Clear out the junk, free your time, free your mind! You, will thank YOU!

Namaste

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