Won’t you be my neighbor…and lessons learned from Mr. Rogers

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A friend and fellow blogger exposed her feelings on starting school and being a parent…check her out Spirit of Intention After reading her blog, she stirred such emotion from within me. It reminded me of my own parenting. My frustrations of what was expected of me via society. I am a…idealist, I guess. At least that is what I have been called. That and a bleeding heart liberal, and believe me I am not going to get all political here, that is totally not my thing. My thing is believing in each other, in my children. Believing that as a society if we could just talk, listen and hear what we are saying to each other solutions could be found. If you choose to label that a bleeding heart liberal, that your prerogative.

My heart and soul are often so distraught and confused at the complexity of this concept. I think…why is it so hard, to listen to each other? Granted I will stand strong for what I believe in, however I am not opposed to compromise. I believe none of us are aware of all the answers, that is what we have each other for. We are here to learn from each other. And…for the most part, I think many of us, many societies,do this. But we also all too often let fear (in the disguise as insecurities, judgement) cloud our ability to accept one another.

I chuckle to myself when I hear myself try and talk about my views…my inner brain says ok…here we go with the hippie talk. My heart and spirit rebut by pointing out the fear in that simple statement alone. I have not been able to shed my own coat of self judgement. I remind myself that there is no need for labels. The thing is, we are taught our boundaries at an early age. We were taught the fear our parents carried, we were taught the injustices that our families went through. All these are real however; they are not necessarily ours.

As a product of the late sixties I grew up with the emergence of women’s lib, strength and independence. TV had also really just become mainstream. Because of this many were able to be exposed to a variety of lifestyles and people each and every day,without ever having to leave our homes.

There were many characters to connect to, for me…one of the biggest mentors in my life was a good friend, a strong, reliable kind friend, his name was Mr. Rogers. To this day I appreciate this man, who stressed to me the importance of being a good neighbor. To accept and learn from the differences we all bring to each other as well as to a community. My work, my family, my core beliefs are based on those very special lessons I learned each afternoon with this gentle soul. He encouraged me to question things. He made me feel special. Through him I believed in magic. He encouraged me to use my imagination. Mr. McPhealy taught me efficiency and the importance of getting a job done. His kind voice and welcomed smile allowed me the ability to see the world through his amazing perspective.

Mr. Rogers taught me the gift of fairness, patience and kindness. I will always hold a smile in my heart for this kind man. All that being said, what I knew, the man I trusted and grew to love was a TV personality. He wasn’t real. He wasn’t my friend. He did not know me. But, for some reason, none of that matters. The impact he had on me opened me up to see the good in people. I trusted him. He was there for me each day. He was a grown up, that got down to my level, without talking down to me. He slowed me down. I anxiously waited for him, and the world he would open up for me, while he switched into his sneakers and put on his sweater. I looked forward to learning how something was made, and taking the train to the land of make believe.

I know I am not the only soul that has been blessed to have their heart and mind opened up by this man. One man who helped shape many lives.

What we need to do is carry on the legacy and remember one person is all it takes to start change.
Maybe we should all go back to that time when we were open minded, accepting, and eager to learn. I know I was much more accepting of not only others, but of myself. It’s what Mr. Rogers taught me, To accept my neighbors for who they are and all their differences. While doing this I learned at an early age that it was ok to be me, just the way I was. I think it’s time I got that feeling back, what do you think?

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My warrior Angel

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This weekend was a race called The Warrior Dash. It’s the second year that I have done it. For those of you that don’t know what it is check out this link Warrior Dash It is a 5k race at above 7,000 feet sea level (at least the Colorado one is) with obstacles along the way such as; wall climbing, hurdles, jumping over fire, mud pits, etc… Last year after completing it in camouflage TuTu’s my friend and I decided we were going to lose weight…get in shape…and not only do it again, but kick butt while doing it.

A year went by and here it was race time. I was a tad heavier…if not the same weight I was last year…and slightly more out of shape. It was slightly depressing.
We had such high hopes. And I could not help but feel like I failed. The weeks before the race I stressed and stressed about being able to complete it.
I kept telling myself…don’t worry, you can always walk.

It was finally time for our heat…I grounded myself while everyone else was jumping around yelling getting all pumped up to start. I sat there pulling energy from earth and spirit to help me make it through this race. I even invoked Reiki to surround myself with good energy.

Sounds all wonderful and magical doesn’t it? Well, the race started, and the course was slightly different from last year and I thought, I can do this. I have the power of spirit with me. Yay!!!!

And then the first real incline came and as I was gasping for breath fearing for my life…my hands started to tingle. I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I realized this was not going to be that easy. I made the first few obstacles but soon started to feel my legs weaken. I waved my friend ahead…told her I needed to walk a bit. Reluctantly she went on. The last thing I wanted to do was to hold her back.

Now this is where I found my faith in myself start to slip. I thought I would have been able to last much farther than 3/4 of a mile before I felt like throwing in the towel and dying. Nope… This is where I was. I new the first thing I needed to do was get my breathing under control. I started walking and doing some deep yoga breaths…in thru my nose…out through my mouth. To try and convince my body that everything was all right (per the words of a past yoga instructor). It wasn’t working…I kept trying….then, I realized that the breathing wasn’t working because my mind was certain I was going to pass out. I knew I needed to gain some control.
After what felt like hours I got my breath under control. My walking pace was quick. I felt back in control so I thought, run, bad idea! I ran and my mind started to reel. My hands started to tingle again and my shoulders started to ache. I started to think of all the reasons why I should not be doing this. All the health issues I am currently dealing with. The lack of training, the altitude, my age. You name it, it became an excuse.
I spent most of the race walking alone. Head down…focused on the ground. Not because i was ashamed and embarrassed, ok thats not the ONLY reason, it was mainly because the terrain was so unsure. people were twisting ankles on rocks and sliding down hill in the sand, or mud or wet grass.

While I was alone, in somewhat of a oxygen deprived stupor, I realized that I was despising my attitude. Here is what I roughly said to myself. “Jackie, really? Everything you have just listed are nothing but excuses. Excuses are things you despise. They are mere reasons not to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Nothing but Teflon of sorts on to let the failure slide off of you.

Suck it up and start taking responsibility for your actions. Hold yourself accountable. You’re not in shape…don’t blame your health on that. Fix it. Take the steps needed to do what you need to do to fix what is wrong. Don’t let your issues or illness define who you are. They are not a crutch. You can finish this. You don’t need to beat a time. You can walk it. Do your best. Don’t give up. You are bigger and better than this race.”

I was feeling pretty good after my pep talk. Mind you, I was saying all this out loud. I am sure many thought I was completely insane, but I did not care. I was there at that point in time for me. That is one of the hardest things physically I have had to do, and I completed it. That is big.

Now, the story doesn’t end there full of sunshine and roses. Of overcoming obstacles, blah…blah…blah.
It got harder. I got angry. I said F you mountain. I stopped at this one obstacle and thought, I am done. I am skipping this one. As I started to go around the obstacle, this voice yelled out of no where “your only cheating yourself, don’t give up now”. I thought she was talking right to me…like I got caught. Then in a split second I thought I was crazy for even thinking that and proceeded to attempt to skip the obstical. Again this voice said, “don’t quit, your better than that” I turned, my eyes blurred with sweat I couldn’t see who was talking, people were everywhere. Then I heard her again “yes, I am talking to you”. I completed the obstacle. The rest of them. Because of this voice, this women. Once up the mountain we were getting ready to start the decline, and I hear her again. I can now see her. She is not younger nor older than me. She doesn’t seem like wonder woman just normal, and full of kindness. She says to me. “you need to remember to not let the mountain win”. I told her I had just yelled at my self the very things she told me just minutes before I was ready to give up. She said “that’s the funny thing about life, you need to keep telling yourself, over and over and over. You need a mantra”. She said you just say “F you mountain, you won’t beat me. I’ll beat you. Say it over and over”. I did just that and I beat that mountain that day. Perseverance won. I remembered my inner strength.

In the process, I saw the weakness in myself. I saw where I need to not hide. Where I need to stand up and take control. Where I have let myself use excuses for not accomplishing my physical goals. I have let my ownership slide. We control our destiny, our life, our here and now, as well as our future. Take the reins. Don’t let the little things throw you off course.

As for next year, I will be ready for that mountain. I have something to prove, to myself. Its called follow through and accountability.

This race and all the obstacles really do match the courses of our life. Things always come up that we are not ready for. Things always will knock the wind out of us. There will always be that terrible feeling of failure in the face of larger than life issues. How we deal with them in a simple race sometimes mirrors how we will deal in real life. I believe it doesn’t matter how you finish, just as long as you do. That alone is something to be proud of.

One last thing about this mystery woman. I do not know her, or her name. But I know she was there for me. She did not have to say anything to me, but she did, she reached out and touched my spirit. She reminded me not to give up. She was my warrior angel and I will forever be grateful for her.

Have a wonderful week everyone!!!

Motorcycle Meditation~to Sturgis

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Home sweet home after what I like to call a three day motorcycle meditation trip! My husband and I took our Road King Classic on it’s first trip out to Sturgis. It was…. An interesting trip. From where we live it is about 356 miles one way. We braved it on the bike. Took us about 8 hours on the way out and about 9 1/2 on the way home (we took a detour to check out Devils Tower in WY).

We ventured the beginning of the trip with excitement and adventure. We decided to stop every hour or so to rest our bottoms. Our rest stops were planned as coffee / caves along the way. It was quaint and cute and we were having fun. We arrived in one piece,a little stiff and sore but overall we were pretty impressed with ourselves!

Now…on this ride, being a passenger, my only job was to stay on the bike and not mess up the synchronicity of the ride. Sounds easy…well it’s harder than it sounds. First off being a passenger means giving up control of the ride and putting full trust in your driver. It also means that you need to stay awake!!

I would like to say I managed all of these with no problem, however that was not the case.
Basically I spent 6 hours in silence, with my thoughts. During these hours of solitude, I tried to contemplate different areas of my life. What procured though was odd, even frustrating at times. The more I would think on something and focus on it (whatever I was thinking at the time) the more my thoughts would go blank. During these blank time spans I would fall asleep. Or that is what it would feel like…sleep.

During these moments I would become completely unaware. It would be like an altered state of consciousness actually. During this reverie of such I would hear voices. It was a bit frustrating. I would strain my ears and try and figure out what they were saying. I would wonder, are they talking to me, or are they just talking? No matter how hard I tried I was not able to make out what was being said. And then, out of the blue I would hear someone yell my name. Instantly my eyes would fly open and I would once again be aware of being on the back of the bike.

I would wake with a jolt. And the first thing my eyes would see would be a deer in the meadow on the side of the road. I would focus on staying awake and again my thoughts would wander.

I would look around, and see a hawk and that’s when I knew I was being watched over. They would either be soaring in the sky above me or on a fence post…watching me pass.

I would then again cycle through the process of thinking about a topic, or grounding myself and running my energy. In all these bursts of altered states of consciousness, they would end with me frustrated.

I would feel like I was either watching some event unfold, or listening to someone else’s conversation all of which were in a foreign language. Always only hearing bits and pieces of the conversation. It was as if i was tuning into some kind of radio or tv station. Never really connecting fully. Looking back I don’t know how important the conversations really were. I think that what was really important was learning that when i let everything else go, I can hear, I just need to listen. I also reminded myself that you cannot force things to happen. It’s a process. A beautiful one at that.

As for Sturgis…my connection was not there really. I expected to be shocked and in awe of what I would see. I think I am starting to see people more for their potential then what face they wear in a crowd. Things seemed normal.crowded…but normal.

On our way home we detoured to Devils Tower. Now this place was magical. I have my research cut out for me this week (in my spare time). The energy there was very magnetic, intense, yet very beautiful. I got really frustrated entering the park so I started a bit rattled. I took an amazing amount of pictures there, that I am looking forward to using in upcoming posts. Immediately when we got there upon getting off the bike, I realized my phone was locked up. It was not working. Some how it was locked in camera mode but frozen. I freaked out…upset that I would miss all the beautiful photo ops, I started to cry. I stopped myself and thought whose emotions are these. I felt slightly overwhelmed with sadness…a feeling of loss. It then switched to a feeling of reverence.

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We hiked to the base of the tower. The ground is sacred, and I look forward to learning more of it’s history.

All in all I feel like my first trip to Sturgis
was one of internal growth which did nothing but increase my appreciation of both my wonderful husband as well this land we live upon. It overall was a beautiful journey.

The Fu Dog

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It was one of those days. Man…glad it is over. I was feeling rather disappointed in myself at one point today.

You see…I talk about grounding and being positive and yet today I just couldn’t get myself all the way there.

I was full of frustration which led to anger. We all strive to be the best we can be…I sound like a military ad. But really. My goal is peace and understanding. I want to be encouraging to others and help them to open their heart…their soul and see themselves. See their true potential. But sometimes it is just…really hard.

Today was one of those days. I think that my message to myself today however, is not about being disappointed in myself. Knowing that sometimes it is necessary and right to voice your feelings. It’s about learning to know when to stand up for what you believe.

When any of us decide to live life through spirit and our best intention, we need to remember that is not only OK to protect ourselves, but necessary.

This sometimes requires us to use our voice. Standing up for ourselves is not wrong. Standing up for what you believe is not wrong. Doing those things from a vengeful or with the intent to hurt someone, that… is wrong.

So often we confuse standing up and having a voice or being slightly confrontational as all bad. It is not. It is with purpose. We are worth fighting for, as is our beliefs and our well being. Don’t let the misguided thoughts of what you may have been taught growing up lead you to treating yourself as less than you deserve to be treated.

We are so vey often taught to take care of others first. To think of others before we think of ourselves. That we naturally start to put ourselves second. We should be first. By taking care of us…ourselves, only then can we truly begin to help take care of others. The key is remembering to speak through the heart.

Let your heart chakra act as a filter. This is different then speaking from the heart. From, conjures up way to much emotion. Through the heart is the key. Let your heart chakra help filter your expression to one of love and compassion….for yourself as well as others.

To top off my message today,on my home this evening I looked up at the sky. At first it looked like a normal sunset. I then however was drawn to a cloud formation. When I first looked at it I saw what looked like an aggressive barking Fu dog. Coming out from the throat area, were many bright rays of light.

To me it represented me…today. An angry barking…protective Fu dog full of intensity. Intent of protecting. With a strong focus on communication.

P.S.
Fu Dog (foo dog) is a Chinese guardian lion….hmmm… Seems fitting for the month doesn’t it. We just have to remember we are worth guarding.

Namaste~

Personal time capsule

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I was digging around today. I found a box with notes and mementos that I have saved since I was in junior high. Ok…we are talking about as far back as the 70’s! Yes, I realize for many of you reading this…that makes me…OLD! It was long before cell phones…texting…IM-ing twitter…Facebook…and sexting!! Ha!

I found notes! It’s crazy how much time we spent writing these and passing them back and forth. These notes…were snippits in time. And for some reason they were important enough to earn them a place in this box. My own personal time capsule.

I feel as though I was given a chance to get a glimpse of who I was, and really who I wanted to be. I found pictures, and cards even plays that I had written as well as some poems.

I think I am being asked to look within. To take a walk down memory lane and remember who i had been. I believe my message for the week is to remember the girl I was, remember who I wanted to be. Meditate on that person, check in. It was good to know that I have always been a romantic, an idealist. I have always been someone that believed in the heart. I knew things, I felt things, the anguish has always been there . I was reminded today that I have always been slightly tormented. It has always been a part of who I am. I am a hopeless romantic going through life being led by my heart.

This week I suggest that you try and remember that inner child. Seek them out. Try to remember what they were all about. They may carry a piece of you, you have forgotten. A piece that now needs to be brought out.

Remember to laugh. Remember to think lightly and live brightly. Remember to give yourself the benefit of a doubt and most importantly be playful and carry your power through your heart.

Before I say goodbye..here is a little poem I would like to share:

Written in the early 80s by a much younger me..
It is nice to know that I will always be the forever romantic. I hope you enjoy.

We search and search
For the one perfect one
Although we are still
very young.

We hold an image
Of one so great.
We feel as though we do nothing but wait.

The wait goes on so long
For nothing seems to compare
To the man in our dream who seems to await us there.

Lonely you feel
Afraid of never finding the one of your dreams
We become desperate
and go to all means.

We look so hard
So deep
We tend to pass, the one
We should meet.

Take heed
To the words I must give
Stop looking so hard
And you will find
Him.

Have a playful week.

Namaste~

Power begins on the inside

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So is it coincidental that on the last night of July a Lion makes a showing in my dream? At first I thought it was really odd but it actually ended up making perfect sense.

In my dream I was standing in my garage looking out at my driveway. People were around, my kids and their friends. Many that I did not know. But we suddenly notice a large male lion walking towards our driveway. Common sense prompted us to close the garage door. Once we did we all stood and peered out the windows on the door (in reality my garage doors do not have windows). I recall being calm, methodical actually, as I watched this lion walk up and over my husbands truck. He just stopped and looked at me. We just looked at each other. I seemed a little bored, I was done watching him. I turned and realized the back door of my garage was open. I walked over to shut it and decided to step outside and look around. Once on my patio I looked up towards the sky, the sun was starting to set upon the mountains, but what else caught my eye was a giraffe. He stood there nibbling on my Aspen trees.
Even this didn’t seem odd to me. But in recalling this dream what does feel strange and slightly eery is that the whole dream was silent.

I was really confused and excited when I woke up. I don’t usually dream of animals, let alone a lion and giraffe. I was very cowries as to what message I was being prompted to decipher. Resisting the urge to jump up and log into my favorite symbol site “What’s your sign” what’s your sign I sat and thought about what these animals mean to me.
The lion, is regal and full of strength and power with a sprinkling of intimidation and admiration. With the lion their presence is sometimes all that is needed to reclaim their power. They often times instill fear in others with their presence alone.

The giraffe speaks to me of communication. Having the ability to see what is on the horizon. They look at things from a higher perspective. They are appear methodical, gentle and quiet.

Both these fit with what I feel in my life right now. After I processed the dream, I realized that my message was about reclaiming my power, yet remembering to do it in a calm gentle manor. That I need not open my mouth to roar but understand that wherever I chose to give myself away it was time to claim it back. I need to look at the problems and issues from a higher perspective to see the direction that I am going. Kneed to trust in the process and know I am headed in the right direction. UCA not rush the process, I need to take the time to digest what I am absorbing…intaking…learning. Only then will the we speak our true voice.

There was no fear in the dream for the same reason there was no sound…this is an internal process. The work is internal. Once completed the external will benefit. But to succeed in what I am working on or what I am struggling with I must first go with in and evaluate where I gave myself and in turn…my power away.

To further validate my message I received my monthly email from The Power Path to read that the month of August is about Power. The Power Path

One thing I was reminded in my dream about power is that power does not have to be forced, or aggressive, what benefits us now is a silent power. One that you obtain from within. It is not about forcing your message on others or ramming your beliefs down someone’s throat. It is about believing I. Your self and holding your space, think of the beautiful lion.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. And as always…remember to keep your eyes and your mind open for your personal signs.

Namaste~

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