Permanent Paw Prints across my soul, or Saying goodbye to best friends

Most days the four legged, furry, paw print leaving friends I’ve had throughout the years will cross my mind – and I will smile, fondly, sometimes bittersweet for they are no longer with me.

I’ve grown up with critters of all sorts around me, I believe that they, and the nature I often found myself wandering in (usually with them or because of their presence), were the saving graces that lifted me out of my dark nights.

We currently have two furry angels honoring us with their lively company (and a third outdoor friend that has decided to adopt us), we recently had to say farewell to a third feline friend. And though I think of him every day, some days the missing him crawls in deeper, the longing for golden glances, soft paws and gentle mews is like an infinite crevace.

I will share someday, soon perhaps, the story of his life with us – it was beautiful, and too short. But today is for saying goodbye, and for the how of it’s coming to us.

We had decided, earlier this year, to move back to our home state of California, to sunshine and green grass – less gray skies and muddy ground. Where I hoped the rays of the sun and the fresh air, sans mold 9 months out of the year, would help my cats as well as myself.

aug 2011 040

In early March I had a dream, in which my cat (Mute, the name he was given by others, though he was NEVER Mute) came to me. In this dream he fell asleep on my chest as a I lay on the couch, with the clear message he would never leave my heart and would always be with me. I assumed this was a sweet reminder that while I traveled I need not worry of him, for he would be there.

He had a lump in one of his lymph nodes that had grown a bit, but he was showing no other signs of illness and the two blood tests we did showed only minor elevations – suggesting probable infection but not much else – we were told to just observe and see. When I flew to CA in mid-March to look for a place, Mute began to limp, something he’d never done before.

My husband got him in to the vet immediately, where they discovered he had lung cancer, that had progressed through over 80% of his lungs. The vet, and the specialists, were shocked and amazed he wasn’t showing any other signs of being so sick.

Here I was 900 miles away, trying to find us a place that I hoped would offer healing, unsure of what to do at this point. Keep looking? Stay where we are? Look closer to our old home? Chemo? Surgery? More natural remedies? What… can we do.

I knew now the dream of just a few weeks before was a gift, and a warning. He was letting me know he would always be with me, in my heart, even if not in physical being/presence. Though many of the cats, and dogs, in my life have journeyed with me spiritually, Mute was especially unique and tuned in to my energy in a way no other critter had ever been.

After weeks of watching him, discussions between us, God, the vets, friends & family… it was clear that Chemo** would only prolong his death, and his little body would be even sicker from it, we would gain only months and those months would not be healthy ones for him. We made the appointment for the vet to come out to our house and help us say goodbye there – one of the hardest choices to make.

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I agonized the entire time over this, if perhaps we should take him to CA and see how the healing energies here would help, or if we should stay and give him more time at home, or of course if Chemo was in fact the solution (though the cancer was too far progressed to be cured I thought perhaps that and prayer and energy healing would be … enough).

For days before the vets arrival we took him outside, sans harness & leash as we’d gone out with for years before (he had become a “privileged” indoor kitty with many outdoor walks and adventures), he wouldn’t go more than 20 feets past the house – not typical for him at all. And the sun? Graced us with four wonderful days of sunshine like we hadn’t seen in almost a year…

The day of the vet visit, we spent more time outside. When he wen’t back in to rest (he was sleeping so much more than before) I tried to ply him with his favorite treats, catnip, salmon bits and bonita flakes. He wouldn’t touch any of it. And after I tried the third time he turned and looked at me, in a way that only he could do, and I knew… he was ready to go.

Even if I wasn’t ready to let him go.

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He was barely 8 years old (give or take a year) and we had thought he’d be with us another 8-10+ years, that he would outlive the “senior” cat in our house and be an older brother to the youngest, most recent rescue addition.

His departure was quiet, and peaceful, aside from my tears and sobs after he was gone.

In the months following I would have many dreams after a day of deep sorrow over missing his presence, in which he/his higher self/guide would visit me briefly and let me know I needed to let him go – that holding on to him in this way was holding his soul back from the .. whatever he was doing after he’d moved on. That he would come back in his time, not mine.

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I wished to dream of him, to have him in my life somehow, but I understood. And I would let the tears flow, and then focus on the good, healthy, joyous, light energy of his life, and our lives now before going to sleep – so as to leave his soul to rest. (literally)

He has come back the past couple of months in my dreams, as a visitor and companion, even last week my husband said he had a dream with this beloved cat – he is with us now and then, hanging out with all of us, two legged and four paws.

It is so hard to let go of the illusion of this physical manifestation, that even though I have experienced the energy/souls/spirits of many others (animal and human in particular) throughout my life, I so dearly miss their presence in my waking hours.

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I miss their kind words, the smells in their kitchens, their smiles, their soft fur, gentle purrs, sweet chirps, tender kisses and just their general… presence on this planet. I know that I will see them again, if not in waking hours, or in my dreams, then in the next phase of our friendship – whenever that may be, wherever that may be.

But I still miss them, every day, in little and big ways. And saying goodbye changes, but does not get easier.
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Mute gave to me the example of loving others, even after they’ve hurt you, abused you, abandoned you. That one could still love and be loved. His presence and life, showed me a light in the darkness, and I will be forever honored by his decision to be with us – to make us his family as he did.

Though I still imagine him out in our new, wonderful yard, and sometimes I swear I see him out of the corner of my eye…    I hope, and I pray, I can share that with others as he shared his life, and love, with me.

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**Please know, we had been giving him many natural/herbal supplements for some time before this, due to his ongoing issues with other health concerns (many infections and such from his early life as an almost solely outdoor cat) – Chemo was not the only possible healing route for us – simply one of the only ones the vets could offer beyond what we’d already been doing.

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Oubliette – New Word for The Day!

All right, so the word itself is not new. But outside of computer games (or dungeon lovers), not many people have an awareness of this word.

However when I recently rediscovered this word in a wonderful novel I was reading, and it’s meaning, I realized how much this word embodies so much more than some computer game dungeon, or medival french/european torture method.

An oubliette is a dungeon with only one entrance/exit that is in the ceiling. Often the person being left in the Oubliette was lowered by a rope which was then lifted out of reach, some perhaps had a ladder but at the top was a door with no chance of unlocking it.

Oubliette is from the French word Oublier – to forget. So the Oubliette was designed as a place of forgetting, or a place for those that one wanted to forget.

Many of the the Oubliettes were designed with standing room only, no sitting, no walking around – the only thing to do was stand and wait. Keeping in mind that you were placed here, to be forgotten.

This word, Oubliette, is so like my feelings and frame of mind for so long. I believe that depression is a wicked Oubliette.

Who needs a medival dungeon when you have your own dark, place to be forgotten inside?

And how often do we feel as though we are stuck? Forgotten? Locked away in the darkness with no seeming way out? Even if we have the room to move slightly, we can feel as though it’s useless, to what end should we move when we have nowhere to go?

There have been so many times in my life that I felt as though there were no true options, that I was at rock bottom – with no ladder, no rope, just the barest hint of light from some crack in the dark, cold walls.

Eventually though I learned that the light was the way out, that like so many others who have gone before and will come after, focusing on the light is the holiest, healthiest, sanest choice one can make. That it doesn’t matter if that light is literal – the brightest star in the darkest night sky, or if it’s a memory, a scrap of light almost left behind.

That even if one never gets out of the Oubliette, if one never remembers what is forgotten – if I never remember the years I’ve placed in my own Oubliette, that to focus on the darkness serves no purpose. That if you do not make the choice to focus on the light, however dim it may seem, you will forever be stuck in the Oubliette.

If you stare in to the darkness, then when the trapdoor is opened and the rope or ladder lowered, you won’t see it because it is in the light, it is of the light, and all one sees is…  darkness and forgetting. We can even be blinded, and afraid of the light when it arrives in any abundance – we are too comfortable with the dark, we know it too well.

We can become so enamored with the Demon of Depression that we become the forgotten of our own specially designed Oubliette.

In reading more, and growing more, I’ve learned how focusing on anything other than the light is what has left me there, in the dark. We are energy, our thoughts are energy, everything around us is energy – what we put our attention to grows. And for so long I focused on the darkness – thankfully I have learned to appreciate the light, even if it means closing my eyes and seeing only the light within.

It can be the purr of my cat, the laugh of a child, the warmth of bread out of the oven, the sound of rain, the feel of a soft blanket or a warm shower, the words on a page or in an email from a friend, a good meal, the green grass, the birds in the trees, or even the hope of some good dreams when I go to sleep – whatever brings me back to joy, love, light – that is where the energy, attention, intention, must flow for me to ever find my way out of the Oubliette within.

I believe the rope is always there for us, the door up above is unlocked, and we have just enough room to move up and out – it just takes a little shift in energy, in belief, that we deserve the light, that we can live in the light, that we are worthy, that we are only forgotten by ourselves.

Words we’re afraid of – Todays word: Psychic

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There are some words I’ve noticed that bring up reactions in others, in ways I wouldn’t always think possible.

Even words like Love, Hope, Dreams, Spirituality, can bring up emotions that at first glance are quite fearful, afraid, hurt and unpleasant. Our feelings can go in quite the opposite direction – we fear Love, we feel there is no Hope, our Dreams seem useless and Spirituality is akin to ditziness or obsession.

Recently I was dancing around the word Psychic, as I have for much of my life. This may not seem like a word such as Love or Hope, but it is a simple word that has a very distinct reaction for many people. And as I was pondering this last week I came across another writer who felt the same way, a reference to not liking “psychics” or those that profess themselves to be Psychic.

It wasn’t because of the person themselves, but the word, Psychic.

psy·chic
ˈsīkik/
adjective: psychic
  1. 1.
    relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, esp. involving telepathy or clairvoyance.
    “psychic powers”
    synonyms: supernatural, paranormal, otherworldly, supernormal, preternatural, metaphysical, extrasensory, magic, magical, mystical, mystic, occult More

    “psychic powers”
    clairvoyant, telepathic, having second sight, having a sixth sense
    “I’m not psychic”
    • (of a person) appearing or considered to have powers of telepathy or clairvoyance.
      “I could sense it—I must be psychic”
  2. 2.
    of or relating to the soul or mind.
    “he dulled his psychic pain with gin”
    synonyms: emotional, spiritual, inner; More

    antonyms: physical
noun
noun: psychic; plural noun: psychics
  1. 1.
    a person considered or claiming to have psychic powers; a medium.
    synonyms: clairvoyant, fortune teller, crystal-gazer;

I’ve grown up with a very eclectic background, Psychics were friends and family members.  Though at times this didn’t mesh with my own observations, or .. psychic vibrations. In fact I watched most of those that named themselves Psychic be ridiculed by those they loved, and often respond to their own fears in such a way that I shied away from the subject entirely.

One of my long time favorite sites is: http://www.mysecretpsychiclife.com/sample-page . Yet, right there in the page name, it says secret. And if you read any of the other folks posts on her site you’ll see she isn’t alone, many people are “secret” about their Psychic nature.

I’ve realized over the years it isn’t the person we have an issue with, usually. It’s the word, Psychic. Change it to “She’s a Medium, or a Channel” and the response, though perhaps still iffy, is less agressively negative.

And I’ve come to believe that it is the idea, often blown up by movies and books, that what we hold secret within ourselves might be fully witnessed by another human being. This Psychic might be able to see our deepest, darkest longings, desires, fears, cravings, and know us as we are.

This terrifies most people, for whatever reason(s) we believe we are inherantly broken inside and are scared of what happens when the rest of the world finds out. We put on makeup, clothes, get our nails done, hair done, eat a certain way, gain weight, lose weight, workout, tone up – all to present an image to others, that we’re ok, that everything is fine, I blend in, right?

But a Psychic, might be able to pick up on who really hides behind the masks. And then what? Well, that’s different for each person.

My mother prefers the word Empath, to Psychic, or so I’ve noticed in our conversations. And many of the women (especially) in my family have been.. well, Psychic – or Medium, or Channel, or.. Empaths. Few of them have talked about it openly and this has led to a real pain in the family and in the women.

I grew up hearing stories, with a sense of ghost stories around a campfire, these are the spooooky tales of the family. They weren’t embraced, or even really investigated. My great-grandmother would use playing cards as tarot cards (it’s how it was often hidden along the centuries) and give dead on accurate readings, she was even a member of a very well known spiritual practice, yet this was hardly talked about, if ever, until after she died.

Unfortunately as a child I didn’t know how to separate my own thoughts and feelings from those of others, I didn’t understand that what was popping in to my head wasn’t always mine to lay claim to. This is a very confusing world, but add in other peoples thoughts and feelings and it’s downright suffocating.

I was terrified that everyone else was psychic and must know what was going on in my head – this must be why they treated me the way they did, looked at me the way they did, thought the things they did, or hurt me the way they did. They must know what’s inside and punish me for it. (Isn’t everyone psychic?)

What I often ran from was the label I received as a child of Psychic, many friends and family told me, my mother, the rest of the family, that I was psychic, and powerful. I didn’t feel powerful, and I certainly didn’t want to feel more of what was going on around me – I spent most of my life blocking everything else out.

I believe most people have Psychic senses, but through their own pain and fears (much learned through childhood and other peoples pain and fear) they have blocked this other sense of knowing, of feeling, out. Sometimes it seems easier to believe we are all alone, in whatever is going on.

We are not alone, just sometimes, lonely.

It’s only been this year that I’ve really, actively, acknowledged and worked on clarifying what is my energy and what is anothers – and sometimes this isn’t even energy from someone/some being living.

Yet I don’t know that in waking hours, person to person, I would regularly use the word, Psychic. My therapist/healer/waking guide prefers the term Medium or channel. My Mother, Empath.

For me?

I’m a Psychic, a Medium, a Channel, an Empath and a Conduit. I don’t claim any super abilities such as the man that claimed he could stop a train with his powers, and I won’t judge you as we pass for your thoughts or feelings, I won’t try to force you to believe in me, or yourself, however… I will allow myself to be as I have always been, just without the mask more often than not.

Which will entail a lot of learning and growth – my biggest issue recently has been how to communicate in waking hours messages I get in my dreams, and from others in my dreams. How do you approach someone with such a subject?

“Hi, you don’t know me but I dreamed your name and information you have for me, can we talk?”

“Hi, I know we haven’t talked in years but your recently deceased father just came to me in a dream and said he has a message for you.”

“Hi, we’ve hardly talked since we were kids, but I dreamed of a terrible accident, how, and when. With all the details and news stories attached. Don’t go here on this date, or drive in this car…”

Obviously, I have to work on communication a bit.

And stop being afraid of the words.

My One Word – What’s yours?

wor·thy
adjective: worthy; comparative adjective: worthier; superlative adjective: worthiest
  1. 1.
    deserving effort, attention, or respect.
    “generous donations to worthy causes”

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Recently I was reading a wonderful book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Call. In it she talks about how she believes that we all come in to this world with One Word as our .. challenge word if you will. The One Word that defines the lessons you are here to learn this life, the Word you must embody, not just to yourself but to others. That in living this One Word we will come to live fully, wholy, alive.

For some it’s resting, or trust, whisper, nourish, dance, laugh, there are so many words possible.

“Living your word opens the door your fear has closed.”

My first thought was that my word would be Love. This seemed so obvious, this is one aspect I feel so strongly within it overflows in all I do and I’ve had such a tough time accepting it, even when it’s right in front of me (or within me). But then, bah!, she directs the reader away from “big” words such as Love.

I was a bit irked I will admit, “What do you mean I can’t use that word? It’s how I feel, isn’t it worthy? Aren’t I worthy of using this word?”. When it hit me, fairly clearly.

My word is Worthy.

It isn’t that Love has been in short supply or non-existant, it’s that I haven’t felt Worthy of it.

I didn’t feel Worthy of speaking growing up, or writing. I hardly felt Worthy of jobs I had, money coming in, gifts being given, kind words said to me. Worthy of a loving relationship? No. Worthy of a job that is both well paying and healthy? Nope. Worthy of financial abundance? Oh no, definitely not. Worthy of achieving any sort of personal success? No.

It’s there, and I believe everyone ELSE is Worthy beyond measure. Of every great, wonderful thing they can imagine, fathom, dream up, create, long for… every single other being on this planet is Worthy.

Yet, somehow, I am not. Or so I have felt for over 30 years. And why? I can’t tell you one moment where I ever did, or even thought of doing, something so horrendously catastrophic that I might be unWorthy of anything. And to that point I believe that even those that have done horrible things are Worthy beings (they are still spiritual beings in these human bodies).

But me? Not really.

I can see the earliest years of my life where I felt unworthy, where the actions of others left me feeling as though the only, ONLY reason they would let such things happen to me is that I wasn’t Worthy. The years I lived a life in which these feelings were only reinforced, reaffirmed.

The little voice inside still wonders about it all. If I’d been Worthy my father wouldn’t have left, I would have been Worthy of his love and attention. If I’d been Worthy my mother wouldn’t have married my step-father. If I’d been Worthy he wouldn’t have hurt me. If I’d been Worthy my family would have saved me from the pain they saw me in, from the terrible home life. If only I’d been Worthy… somewhere along the way someone else would have recognized this and saved me. If I’d been Worthy, God would have never given me such a life – I must be a terrible person to have called this in to being, my Karma must be shit and I must have been a horrible person in a past life.

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 Then of course I stop myself, and I examine this depressing structure I’ve built in my head. Do I believe this of anyone else? No. I don’t for one brief moment believe they are unWorthy, ever. And if I don’t believe it of others, perhaps this means I’m Worthy too.

So… now that I know this One Word, I can look at it, ponder it, mull it over and bring it to the forefront of all that I do – to learn, and grow in to the sense, the belief, the Knowing, that I too am Worthy.

I am Worthy of Love, Happiness, Success, Joy, Spirtual Knowledge, Sleep, Dreams, Hope, Abundance, Laughter, Beauty, Food.

I

Am

Worthy.

And so are you.

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127

Serendipity

What is your name
The one your mother called you before you were born
That no one else knew about
Who were you supposed to be
A lover or a friend
How did you find me
I was not seeking
For a love that would destroy me
When you left you broke my universe
Will you let me come back
Would you hurt me again so I’ll feel alive once more
Nostalgia haunts me
Now that you’re gone
I have written your name on my spine
That’s all they’ll see when they grab my throat
He knows
It won’t stop him
Please lead me back to you
Before he hurts me differently
You won’t be around when he inflicts real bruises
When every punch leaves purple or black
Will you save me again
Pretend to care even a little
A kiss with a fist is still better than none

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Why some writers never become authors

The thought of sharing your stories with the world gives you this indescribable thrill and you image that’s what flying feels like. And because for so many of us, it is a gift from God and writing is like walking in purpose. And who doesn’t want to walk in purpose?

Distractions.. Or how I find myself vacuuming at 8:30am

The last few days, especially, I’ve found myself once again doing just about anything other than sitting down and writing. Even writing my dreams down, although this is partly their vague nature the last few mornings, has felt a bit forced.

Talking with others I’ve discovered there are perhaps some planetary reasons why, and that I’m not alone in this sudden backpedaling sensation of creativity.

Which is good..

However last night as I looked around our small house I realized that I haven’t just been neglecting the writing, but the opportunities for word creation as well. You see, I often sort through my thoughts and sift through the avalanche of words in my brain while cleaning.

I think this is why I often put off cleaning. And I find myself catching up on reading, eating, tv shows, movies, cooking, taking the cats in to the yard, walking.. well, ok, not so much the walking.

But since I’m buried in books, I can’t pick up any more at the library (actually I have reached my check out limit apparently, who knew you could do this?!), I’ve eaten, movies in the morning are not my forte, the cats don’t want to go out just yet (it’s too cold), and I’ve caught up on Grimm, Dracula and most of Haven… (and going for a walk is less likely than writing because while I walk I think of writing..)

So, this morning I decided that if I was going to allow any distractions to get in the way of my actual writing, it would be cleaning.

Which is how I discovered my cats not feeling too spiffy and the vacuum needs a new belt.

Now I don’t think I have ever, EVER, intended, much less achieved, pulling the vacuum out before say… Noon. Not to mention actually plugging it in, turning it on. Not even when I went on a cleaning binge in 2004 after the docs put me on Prednisone and I was so energetic for a day I couldn’t sit still (this energy didn’t last and I think that drug is … destructive, to put it mildly), my home has never, never… been so clean.

I was feeling quite happy to be prepared to actually vacuum, for starters. So imagine my surprise, and frustration, when I realized my vacuum is doing all of nothing. Well, ok, so it was sort of sucking up dust. But upon opening it up I found the belt had snapped and that was it for my morning vacuum plans.

So off I went to sweep and clean the dishes, or at least some of them. I desperately miss having a dishwasher! It feels somehow much more satisfying to say you’ve “done the dishes” when you can just load them up, add in some soap and turn the machine on, and then? Walk away!!

But I digress.

The reality is that my delay in writing isn’t because I have nothing to say (as you can see I can find something to say on just about anything!!), or that I don’t know how to say it – I’ve nearly stopped worrying about the how, I believe the delay is the undercurrent of depression and fear.

Writing means I have to face it, eventually. Because no matter how I ramble on about vacuums, or tv shows, or my cats upset stomach, I will find myself done with that, and I will have uncovered what all of that is hiding.

Writing uncovers the river of emotion I’m floating on recently. For better or worse, in joy and sorrow. Writing means that eventually I come to find myself – and all these distractions aren’t about keeping me from writing, but about keeping me from knowing who I am and understanding all that I am capable of, and all of the stories I have to tell.

&*$k.

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