Julia: July 2005 Archives
Today was roofing day—and dog day. I cannot recall how much I’ve said about the roofing project, if anything, but it all started with the basement flooding incidents I shared in June. No—the roof didn’t leak, but with the gutters and downspouts being practically useless and causing water to seep into the basement window wells and flood the basement, I had some gutter guys give us estimates on replacing them. One guy’s company also does roofs, and when he was here, he climbed up to look at ours, and said, “You have massive hail damage and your insurance will pay for a new roof,” so we were sold. Sure enough, our insurance company concurred that we needed a new roof, and cut us a check for one, minus the deductible. So, long story short, as of this evening, we have a great new roof, but no gutters yet, as they got torn off today and will be replaced Monday. So as not to have to endure all the noise and chaos while the project was underway, Rick and I took the dogs and escaped to the mountains—what a gorgeous summer day! We stopped in Indian Hills, Buena Vista, Breckenridge, and Georgetown, driving south on 285 through South Park (of the animated feature fame), with some of the most incredible scenery on the planet. I always feel like I've landed on the moon when driving through South Park—it's worth a trip to Colorado just to see it. When we drove through Fairplay on the way from Buena Vista to Breckenridge, we got to see "Burro Days" in full swing, but we didn't stop—perhaps you'll understand one of the reasons why not as this entry unfolds...
While there are no really enlightening thoughts to impart about today's adventure, here is perhaps the most important lesson I learned, and I will share it with you: Just in case you are ever tempted to be too busy/lazy/unconscious to socialize your dogs, to rarely take them out in public, and hardly ever expose them to new places, I can tell you, you may be sorry! I sure am. I used to be the girl with the canine sidekicks that went everywhere with her—SO well-socialized—but since moving to Denver, getting married, and having a house with a fenced yard, I have taken my dogs out and about with me almost not at all—at least nowhere near as much as I used to back in North Carolina as a single gal. Our Roly, the elder dachshund (6 years old), has always been a dream dog as far as trips go. Could be because he came from Dachshund Rescue and was shuffled around from home to home and lived at the vets’ for awhile and got to ride around with the rescue lady because she felt sorry for him being cooped up all the time. Anyway, he is a really calm car rider and basically easy going. The biggest problem we ever had with him on a trip was when we drove to Arizona, and there was no grass after we left our house in Denver till we got to the golf course at Rick’s dad’s house outside Phoenix, a 17-hour drive away. Everything was landscaped in pea gravel (which, you'd think, due to its name would be conducive to pee-ing, but not so). Without grass, he refused to let go and…go! Other than that, and being a little bit too eager to get out of the car when we arrive somewhere—okay, so you have to catch him in midair as he leaps—he’s a great traveler.
Lilah, however, is a different story. She is totally neurotic, and seems to have entrained Roly to some degree with her neurotic behavior. One must wonder why his strengths and desirable qualities don’t rub off on her, instead. Let me just say that it was a long day with Lilah in the car (and out of the car, too)! When we first got her in 2002, I took her out and about early on and she did great, but I got lax as work on the book intensified, and have kept them home with only an occasional foray out, therefore, she is unused to being out in the world, and seems to have forgotten any familiarity she once had with car rides and trips to the park, etc. Now, when we take her places, she starts crying the moment she gets in the car and stops only for brief blessed interludes, which makes for a lot of crying on an 8.5-hour trip! She did pretty well with settling down when she was worn out from taking a walk—I don’t think Rick fully understood why I kept wanting to stop and walk the dogs, until it dawned on him that the only time Lilah would stop whining was when she had burned off some nervous energy with exercise!
The other thing I want to share is that Young Living’s Peace and Calming essential oil blend is a great anti-anxiety therapy and frequency lifter. I had brought it with us in hopes that it would calm Lilah, but it turned out to be great for calming us humans. It got knocked over somehow—a divine accident in my view—and quite a bit of it spilled in the cup holder of the console in the front, and the paper towel I soaked it up with acted as a diffuser and it filled the van with its fragrance all day. (Fortunately, it has a lovely, non-intrusive aroma.) While it didn’t seem to have that much effect on Lilah (though, who knows how crazy she might have been without it?), I noticed that even with all the potential stress and physical gymnastics I had to do with wrangling the dogs (reaching over seats to clip their seatbelts to their harnesses, unclipping them with them trying to lunge to get out, untangling leashes, etc., etc.) and with Lilah’s whining, I never really got ruffled or anxious! Amazing to me! Both Rick and I were quite placid and centered all day, and managed the “dachshund circus” calmly and efficiently for the most part, something that didn’t seem a likelihood at all when the day got underway! (Peace and Calming is great stuff for the dentist’s office, too, by the way.)
Anyway, we made it, I’m still peaceful and calm, and happy to have a new roof. I think I’ll take the dogs out for an adventure Monday when they install the new gutters and downspouts!
I have been surprised at how much my appreciation—which was already immense—for Rick, and our home together, has expanded and deepened since returning from my trip. As my personal rhythm continues to re-synchronize with the household and garden, and I shake off the “stuff” from my recent trip, I find myself eager to have an extended period with no disruption to work on projects and write, write, write. But, alas, the replacement of the roof and gutters, etc. are scheduled to start Saturday, with the roofing being completed on Saturday. That is, however, an improvement over the original schedule. It was to have taken a couple of days starting Monday, and I was supposed to take the dogs and go to my sister-in-law’s and her husband’s house in Vail to retreat from the noise and chaos.
As I was setting that up a few weeks back, I kept getting the message that it wouldn’t be necessary, but since I could figure out no reason to believe that I wouldn’t need a retreat, I went ahead and arranged it. (Notice that my omniscient inner guidance said “not necessary” but my limited mind decided that since it wasn’t able to decipher a reason, I had better make arrangements!) I must say, I was delighted to find out today that if they did the job Saturday, they could have a large enough crew to finish in one day, which means that if Rick and I just take the dogs and escape to the mountains for the day, I won’t have to move out and stay gone overnight and be away from Rick again so soon after my trip. I’ll be able to spend the day with him adventuring, and then sleep in my own bed for the nights during the rest of the project instead of vacating. Apparently, the gutter replacement is not so hard to endure in the house as the re-roofing would be—at least that’s what the guy in charge assures me.
I had another vivid experience of ignoring my inner guidance and then receiving the missing piece that my ego-mind needed to understand why I had “heard” what I did. Tonight I made dinner for the girls—all four were supposed to come, but due to some frantic, last-minute shopping, #2 didn’t come but #4’s friend came with her, making the “body count” the same. #3 and I harvested basil tonight and made another big batch of pesto, and then I fixed brown-rice pasta spirals with pesto, ala the cavatappi dish the girls like from Noodles & Company. I had some cut-up cooked chicken breast to add to the pasta, but I had the intuition to not add it. It was on the cutting board, though, and in my way, so, seeing no particular reason why not to, I went ahead threw the chicken into the pot--and then sensed that I was not to stir it in! Hmmm…When #4 showed up with her friend, whom we had never met and knew nothing about, it turned out that she is a vegetarian! Fortunately, though I had overridden the message not to put the chicken in, I was able to successfully pull her serving off the bottom since I had obeyed the message not to stir the chicken. It was gratifying to see why I had gotten the message I did. It is, however, important to practice obedience without needing to ever know why. Sometimes I do better than others with that! Thankfully, these latest examples have been low-stakes situations, but that is not always the case, such as the time I ignored my inner guidance and led to my dog being run over. But that is a sad story for another day. Suffice to say that our ego-minds are not all that eager to trust intuition, but with persistence, they can be trained!
I get the feeling that the reason these situations/experiences are so vivid in my mind now, is because the tolerances are getting tighter and the room to make mistakes with impunity is shrinking—at least in the universe I’m currently inhabiting. I’ve been giving major revived thought to the idea of being the creator of my own experience and the necessity of taking more and more responsibility for my thoughts and manifestations thereof, and of being impeccable with them. I have some cleaning up to do on that score! How about you?
Boy, oh boy. I am back. Back from my trip—and back from the edge! As you may have been able to see, based on the last blog entry that expressed my fears and dreads about what was then the upcoming trip, I was riding for a fall. Interestingly, the things that I was so worried about turned out not to be problems for the most part, but other things sure did. I really cannot go into detail about all that transpired, but I will share with you what I learned from the week in the family cottage on Lake Michigan.
First off, as mentioned above, starting into something with “fear and dread” is always asking to be at a lower frequency. Duh. I know better, but I felt sort of trapped and unable to see higher (and no, victimhood doesn’t exactly support being at higher frequencies, either!). I will be on the lookout for such signs in the future and do whatever it takes not to foment them. Also, something important that I knew but that I now understand more clearly than before, is that being tired contributes to lower frequency. And I was wiped out by the time I got there. I had not been sleeping well the week before I left, and the travel itself was exhausting and stressful. To illustrate this, let me tell you that the trip up there involved delayed takeoff from Denver, late arrival in Minneapolis, a rough landing that featured a bounce so jolting, everyone on the plane cried out, a full-out run through the airport to get to my plane just as they were closing the door (but at least I made it!), and, blessedly, a safe, but taxing, 2-hour drive from the Grand Rapids airport to the cottage in Friday evening traffic. When I got there, it was brutally hot and humid, and the cottage is not air-conditioned. Also, if you recall, the house was jam-packed.
Mom’s memorial service the next morning was nice and the reception afterward was lovely, but I was so burned out and so in need of emotional release, I was almost catatonic, and when a cousin’s wife asked me what I’d been doing for the last almost 30 years since she had seen me last, I pretty much stared at her blankly! I was glad to be able to escape the crowd and get back to the cottage where I could curl up on the daybed and stare out at the lake, just as I said in my last entry that I would. I did have a great time with all my cousins, though, and there were 25 or so of us that had a cookout at the cottage that Saturday night. It was really fun to get reacquainted with everybody—many I hadn’t seen since childhood.
By Sunday night, they had all gone and I was finally free to feel my feelings about being at the cottage for the first time without Mom. I did do some of that, but instead of being able to really deeply feel it and release it, I felt strangely out of touch—almost like I was wrapped in cotton or something. Almost the whole week was like that. I never even really felt the magic of the lake seeping in—something that usually happens after my first day or so. As the week went on, there were some intense relationship dramas playing out, and I believe I went into survival mode, and that the lack of integration with my surroundings and my inability to feel my grief about being in the place that is so very "Mom," was a function of protecting myself from feeling the painful stuff that was being engendered. I see now that when I immerse myself in family, especially when I’m tired and emotionally congested, I tend to lose who I am and revert back to who I was—a person I do not like very much. I’m not sure what the answer to this is. Obviously, I’d like to be able to learn to maintain my equilibrium and my adult identity in any situation, but it is tempting to simply avoid conditions where I tend to become the little kid/incompetent daughter/baby sister once again. I love my family, though, so I’d better figure out something other than total avoidance! Meantime, I am so relieved to be back at home where things are peaceful, and where, though hot, hot, hot outside, it is air-conditioned. And where my loving husband is helping me remember the truth of Who I Am and raise my frequency once again.
¨ Rest is vital for maintaining higher frequency.
¨ Assuming things are going to go wrong pretty much guarantees they will—and not necessarily in the way you predict.
¨ Immersing yourself in old, dysfunctional familial patterns is not likely conducive to maintaining higher frequency, so prepare psychologically in advance and refuse to be drawn into the old games—or avoid such situations altogether.
¨ Having someone you can call who will remind you that you are a sane, competent, capable adult who is treasured for your Self is vital to surviving family time.
¨ There’s no place like Home!
I’m packing and preparing today for a trip home—well, to the home that has been the one constant in my life since even before I was born—my family’s cottage on Lake Michigan, which has been an anchor for my soul for as long as I can remember. I will be heading there tomorrow to arrive around 10:00 p.m. or so. Saturday morning, we are having another memorial service for my mom so the people who loved her there can participate (and there are many). She and my dad grew up spending summers at the resort where the cottage is (both their families had a cottage there) and is where they met. Since my dad retired and the cottage, which has been in my dad’s family since the 1930s, became theirs, they spent every summer, all summer there. They have many lifelong friends there that will be joining us in this last goodbye. After the service, there will be a reception at the country club, and we’re hoping it will be a celebration.
I have such mixed feelings about going to the cottage. I am eager to go on the one hand, because I know that being on the lake in such a dear, familiar place, on the water that I love so much, will be healing. On the other, I know it will a challenge for many reasons. Of course, there’s the emotional aspect of being at the cottage without Mom—something I’ve never experienced. And being there will be ever so much more poignant than being at what is now Dad’s place in North Carolina, since I never was there while she lived there—she died just a few months after they moved in, and the last time I was there before she was so sick and died, was just before they moved in. As far as the situation in the cottage goes, there will be a houseful for a couple of days, since it will be jam-packed with relatives who will be there for the service. The spoiled, only-child part of me (well, I wasn’t an ONLY child, but with both my sisters so much older and gone from my daily life by the time I was in 3rd grade, I learned to live like one!) is worried about the logistics of sharing the bathroom with lots of folks, etc., etc., etc., and about having the emotional space to feel my feelings—and, I know there will be some powerful emotions stirred up from the whole situation. My sister, whom I talked to today, who is already there and staying with my other sister, who owns a cottage there as well, says that Dad is tightly wrapped right now and is easily set off. He and I have a challenging relationship anyway. We’re very alike and get into squabbles and butt heads quite easily. I hope that I can remained centered, even though I, too, will be under stress and likely exhausted, what with the travel, getting in so late, and having to get up early (don’t like early, and especially when I’m tired!) for Mom’s memorial service, etc.! I won’t name all the potential stressors—there are a lot more—but suffice to say that the part of me (ego) that worries and feels the need to control, is all stirred up. Now that I have written this out, I will do my best to release it all and focus on aligning with the Divine Design so that it will be a beautiful time despite my issues! If you could possibly send some vibes of harmony my way and picture me happy, I’m sure that would help!
Changing the subject, we had a great group—and from as far away as Australia —on hand for my teleseminar Tuesday night. It was titled “Got a Problem? Raise Your Frequency!” And just so I’d have the concepts fresh in my mind, I was hit with a big old problem that very morning! A doozy, too. I won’t reveal the details, but let me tell you, it knocked me for a loop. But I applied the formula for rising up out of the trouble zone, and by golly, it worked! And it gave me a wonderful teaching tool to share with the people in the seminar, and I got positive feedback about it. It was a little strange to teach without being able to see people’s faces to get a feel for how I was being received. I usually gauge my delivery and adjust it by looking at faces to see if there is bewilderment, or such, so I can clarify or slow down (the biggie for me), but I couldn’t do that on the phone. The up side to it was that no one could see that my hair was wet, I had no makeup on and no bra! I loved that part. Anyway, there were requests for more such seminars, so I will be doing more. Barbara Rose has volunteered to set some up and promote them for me since I am a member of her Institute of Higher Self Communication . She’s an amazing and generous person. I am lucky to have her as a friend!
So goodbye till next week. I will have my computer with me so I can do some writing, but probably won’t post again since there’s only dialup at the cottage and it’s just a hassle for other reasons. Have a great week and I’ll be back after the 22nd! Oh, yeah—and please picture me serene and joyful, relaxing on the daybed, looking out at beautiful Lake Michigan!
I had a realization today as I was psychologically preparing to go to Costco on a Sunday afternoon. If you’ve ever been to Costco on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll know exactly why I needed to prepare. If not, substitute Sam’s Club. Or if not Sam’s Club, imagine Kmart or Walmart on steroids. At any rate, what I realized is that such places tend to bring the reptilian aspect out in their patrons, and all the Love and Light affirmations in the world don’t seem to be able to keep the serpent out of your face—not just the serpent selves of others, but the serpent inside you. Okay—not you, me. I can only speak for myself.
While Costco shopping has never been a picnic for me on any day of the week, there’s a pack mentality in operation on the weekends that isn’t quite so pronounced on weekdays, when the bulk of the shoppers are flying solo, or are moms with babies in tow. But on Sundays especially, it seems that whole extended families are there shopping together, wandering the rows, blocking the path, paying no attention to the need for flow in the aisles, and stopping dead in front of your cart, requiring you to be alert enough to stop on a dime so as not to run them down, something that is a challenge for me, as Costco tends to cause me to glaze over a bit. Being in an altered state while driving a big shopping cart is not wise, but it happens. Adding to the already-challenging dynamics is that having the wife, kids, nieces, nephews and grandpa with them seems to bring out the territorial hunter in the men—and it seems to bring out the territorial aspect of the women, too! There seems to be lots of testosterone at play in both genders in such a situation, and if you’re not prepared, you can leave there feeling pretty battered—if not from being bashed by someone’s cart, by the harsh vibes that seem to be bouncing off the towering stacks of boxes. I really don’t quite understand the allure of gang shopping—going to Costco with a group would not even make my top 1000 fun things to do on a Sunday. Truthfully, going to Costco alone doesn’t either, but I needed to stock up for making pesto as I needed to pinch my basil today, as did my neighbor, who shared his harvest with me.
Lest I digress into a completely low-frequency b*tch session and simply magnify the coarse energy situation at Costco, let me stop with my descriptions and tell you what I started writing this to tell you. As I made the circuit of the store, picking up my Parmigiano Reggiano, pine nuts, olive oil, etc., I was continually monitoring the conversation in my head, and it was stunning how easily I was pulled into ego in that situation. Even though I had entered the store with the commitment to staying at a higher frequency, remembering my oneness with all, and radiating Love unconditionally, every time someone cut in front of me with their cart or otherwise threatened my safety—or, to be honest, just did something I thought was not too bright, old Ego would jump in and go to town. It would silently (thank goodness) make derogatory comments, and when I’d call Ego on the reactive behavior, it would settle down a bit, but as soon as someone did something I thought was lame, it would be set off again. While I was successful at radiating Love unconditionally (my goal) for about 2% of the time, I could hardly say I succeeded in raising the frequency at Costco or even in maintaining my own!
And then I realized WHY I never have an especially harmonious time at Costco. I realized why it was so hard to keep the serpent within from being activated. MY reptilian brain was responding to the composite energy of all those other reptilian brains in operation! It was in its element and wanted to tangle with the other reptilians! While this perhaps does not seem like a news flash, it was a significant realization for me. I realized that, in much the same way as you'd keep an alcoholic out of a bar if you had the opportunity, we need to minimize the times that we opt to immerse ourselves in situations where our reptilian brains are likely to feel at home, among their own kind. Again—this may hardly seem a major revelation here, but it might be important to consider. Along with training our egos not to react, we need to do what we can not to be in those kinds of situations where the reptilian brain holds such sway. If we’re doing our best to raise our frequency, spending much time in a place like that is probably not going to help. Opting out of the duality matrix is probably not going to be facilitated by shopping at a big box store on a Sunday! Of course, doing so certainly reminds you of why you'd like to rise up above the realm of competition, greed, and ego stuff. I will set as my goal being able to go anywhere and have my inner serpent behave itself. I know it’s possible. At least I’m pretty sure it is, a bit further along in the process.
Remind me to tell you my story about the monks at WalMart sometime…
Did you even remember that I was telling the story of finding my soulmate? I sure got sidetracked--the last installment was May 2! Sorry about that! To review, you can plug "Finding My Soulmate" into the search box and it will bring up the links to the previous five installments. Anyhoo...
When last we left off, I had recognized that continuing the rapidly developing, not-just-platonic relationship with Rick was wrong, wrong, wrong in light of the fact that he was already very involved with a woman, and I had committed to myself not to be involved (again) with an unavailable man. Overcoming--at least temporarily--the powerful narcotic of love and desire, I had finally snapped out of it to the point that I realized I needed to stop what seemed to be a runaway train of deep emotion and powerful romantic feelings, and somehow either transform our relationship into a purely platonic friendship, or break off all contact. I also, lovingly but firmly, laid down the law about not being fully honest with his girlfriend. We could not continue to disregard the potential for hurt to her. Like a splash of icy water in the face, taking a stand had broken the spell for me.
Wow! I felt so much better! Though I did not know how this was going to work, standing firm for integrity felt powerfully right, and I had faith that I would somehow find a way to break free. The persistent mild nausea I had been experiencing for weeks cleared up instantly as I stopped trying to con myself! That sickly feeling I had been tolerating and pushing down in my consciousness--the all-too-familiar, bad feeling from being in love with someone that was not available, just evaporated. You know, selling out yourself is never, ever going to set right. You may get used to the way it feels, and you may be able to convince yourself at some level that it's okay, but truly, you can never really feel but so good when you are lying to yourself. And the truth is, if you don't have complete integrity with YOU, there's not a chance of having a healthy relationship with someone else. Rick and I had talked a lot about integrity, and while it seemed that it was vitally important to both of us, what it came down to for me was that if you don't have integrity in one area, you just don't have integrity overall. Part of what I had said to him in the "cold splash of water" was that he'd need to tell the girlfriend about our relationship, or we could not even be friends.
So I went to bed that night feeling better than I had in weeks, knowing I'd done the right thing, and that I would be rewarded by God for the sacrifice (see the last installment for that reference). And, sure enough, first thing the next morning I got my gift! Here (slightly edited to leave out parts that won't make sense to you) is the first email exchange of that day:
(Julia) I think we shifted something. I feel different! I feel better in a strange way--even if it is nothing but the honesty of coming to terms with what was really happening, it freed something up. I hope you feel better, too.
(Rick) I don't feel better, but I do feel more focused on who I am and where I'm headed... What is hardest for me (here I go again, into the "NO!! DON'T SAY THAT!" place) is the clear realization that I would rather be with you...You are doing your best to help us get to a more stable, more buddy-based place to be, and I'm swallowing my tongue because I don't want to spoil the plan. Don't worry, I will do everything I can to be your buddy. I needed, this morning as I read your note, to say this, though. You are everything I never knew I always wanted.
From here, things snowballed, and as Rick and I got more and more honest with ourselves and each other, taking a stand for openness and integrity on all levels, it became clear that we were willing to do whatever it took to be with each other. I will share some of what that entailed in the next installment, which I hope will not take as long for me to get to as this one did!
soulmate saga, part six
Now—I’m not claiming that one serious look at our finances is all it takes to cure me of my fears and make me a money master. BUT, it’s a start. I told you I was going to read Maria Nemeth’s The Energy of Money, and I have been. So has Rick. It’s a super book, and each time I open it and read a few pages, I have an “Aha!” moment. The one I had the other day was in response to her assertion that when you have financial issues, you are probably not applying your life’s guiding principles to your finances. She challenges you to state your non-negotiable “rules for life”—and then see if you are upholding them in the area of money. And I realized that I was not! I really was not! What are my guiding principles? My absolute, bottom-line rules for living? They are:
Be open—hide nothing.
Be honest—even when it’s painful.
Live with integrity—promote wholeness and harmony.
When it came to my financial life, I was doing just the opposite—with myself. I was doing my best not to come face to face with the realities, trying to keep money matters a secret from myself (remember my crippling belief system that it is safer not to know about money), and avoiding every opportunity to bring matters into harmony and heal them. Whereas I insist on complete integrity in all other areas of my life, sure enough, I had failed to apply my guiding principles to that most important part of life. But today, I was willing to look—REALLY look—not just see the paper with the figures on it, but look at what they represented. And, amazingly, it felt empowering instead of disempowering! Just like every fear, it is much more powerful when it's stuffed in the closet. Bringing it into the light of day helped me know that, basically, it is just another part of life that requires focus. Oh, yeah—we did an invocation before we started our "meeting," and it set the right tone and felt empowering.
What Maria teaches is that learning how to deal with money is a matter of learning how to manage energy. I figure if I could be that far off base with my handling of the energy of money—basically NOT handling that energy—there must be a lot more energy that I am mishandling, or failing to handle, that I’m just not aware of. She promises that by improving your energy management skills in one area, they will improve in all areas spontaneously. So…I’m excited to see what unfolds as I begin to have more integrity with my financial life. I’ve already seen a few glimmers today!
Rick and I have set up a kind of a game with a great reward to help me pay closer attention to spending. I won’t outline the specifics of it, but I believe it’s going to be a fun way to help me make wiser choices so that we can make progress faster toward debt retirement. I can hardly believe I’m actually excited over the prospect over being more responsible and accountable about spending. By the way, Rick is being so helpful and wonderful about all this. I’m sure it’s a big relief to him, too, for me to be willing to get real about money!
So today was not just the 4th of July—it really was a celebration of freedom—freedom from the tyranny of my fears about money and the beginning of a new relationship with energy! Hoorah! Happy Independence Day!
I have just come in from the garden to write this. It’s a beautiful—but hot—day out there, and I was seized with the desire to deadhead many plants, pot up some begonias, and prune back some thugs like the catmint that is so beautiful, but smothering the lilies, a rose, and a weigela. There are just some garden entities that get out of control without some serious pruning or dividing. As I was hauling the trimmings away, I looked back and saw that there was a rose on the ground that had escaped the pile. I had deadheaded it because it was tattered and brownish, along with some other roses that had opened all the way and were spent. As I picked it up with nothing to compare it to close at hand, and got a whiff of its exquisite perfume, I started “teasing” it with my fingers to get it to open up a little more. I pulled its guard petals off, and saw that once its beaten up exterior was removed, it was actually quite beautiful. Whereas when I deadheaded it, I had been comparing it to the more perfect blossoms on that plant, once I started seeking its beauty and appreciating it for itself, it became truly lovely. So it did not go to the compost heap, but is on my kitchen windowsill where I can enjoy it’s color and fragrance at close range. It just made me think how often we discard—either actually, or figuratively—that which is valuable but which does not conform to some idea we have of what something is “supposed” to be. (And yes, I realize that gardening brings out the preacher-poet in me!)
The other thing on my mind as I worked outside was the encouragement I have received lately from several different people who were speaking to me from their hearts, offering me their thoughts as to what they see as valuable and special that I offer to the world. How very much I have appreciated these loving expressions! I keep a file called my "Atta Girl" file on the computer to put these in so that when I'm feeling less-than-wonderful and valuable, I can go to the file and remember that there are those who believe I AM valuable and wonderful! One of the people who have encouraged me lately is Candy Paull, who even wrote a wonderful book called The Art of Encouragement. She was at INATS with my buddy, Donna, and we had a chance to visit quite a lot that day when I was there. She truly has made an art out of encouraging people, and, while I don’t believe her motives in doing so are selfish, being encouraged does tend to make one want to return the favor! (You go, Candy! You are awesome!) But I believe the true value in encouraging others is that doing so raises the frequency of both the encourager and “encouragee.” You may remember the blog entry where I was in a fairly lofty state and spontaneously saw my dogs’ auras for the first time (if not, it’s at the end of January 21st’s entry) and was appreciating Lilah’s aura, when I said, “Oh, thank you, God!” for the joy and appreciation of seeing it. At that instant, her aura more than doubled in size. I suspect mine did as well, because I felt even more wonderful at that instant. That incident reinforced for me that appreciation for such a blessing raises frequency. I believe that when we are paying attention and appreciating another being, it is a potent frequency-raising activity. Perhaps that’s why it feels so good to not only be on the receiving end of appreciation and encouragement but to be giving it.
That may be why I loved communing with the almost-discarded rose, and why I’m getting as much pleasure from it as a rose with more obvious beauty—it’s not the rose itself that makes me feel good (although the fragrance is as magical as any "perfect" rose's)—it’s the act of appreciation!