Finding My Way Home

I Need Someone To Set This To Music

Finding My Way Home

Every day, it’s something.

Life just pushes you along.

Moments pass so quickly,

like the words of your favorite song.

All along I wonder:

Is this where I’m supposed to be?

Every day brought me closer

to this person I call “me”.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step move forward

until you find your home.

 

Each path is so different.

You’re hoping it’s the one.

Yet each time there’s something

that says “No, you’re still not done.

Keep moving forward.

I know it’s hard on you

But hold on, you’ll get there.

Then, you’ll know just what to do.”

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step keep moving

until you find your home.

 

Well all at once it happens.

There’s a vision I can see.

Everything I cherish

is right in front of me.

I can see flowers blooming.

Birds are singing their sweet song.

Someone out there listened

and put me right where I belong.

And when this moment happens,

all the doors seem to open wide.

“This is your home,” it’s calling.

Go ahead. Step inside.”

“Oh the journey’s not quite over.

There’s still lots for you to do

But trust me, this is the moment

that’s been waiting here for you.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                  All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

Words – That Make Up A Life

There’s a book in me, waiting to be written; one book. Probably, everyone has one book. I’m thinking that maybe we all have an obligation to write it down. We, each, have a right to say our words, record our thoughts, share our life with the world. Everyone, everywhere has a story. I’m going to tell mine. I need to tell mine. Something inside me, all around me is telling me to say these words. 

It’s time. 

Stop making excuses. Get the words down. What’s stopping you? Fear? Haven’t we talked about this? Don’t you know that fear just holds you back? Just write! Write like there really is no tomorrow. Tell your kids all the words you want to share, just in case. Tell your friends what they meant to you. Tell your ex-husbands (living and passed) that they played such an important role in your life. Tell your parents, even though they are long gone, that you forgive them, that you understand now. Tell the world your words. One book.  Just one book.  But you need to write it.  It won’t write itself!

Ok, so here we go again. It seems like I’ve tried to start so many times. Once, I even got so far into it that I did a little research on how to publish. That was the last time, actually, but every time something happens that makes me close the file; save it…but stop.

Words. They are just words.  And I tell myself that my words are not so special. My words are no more important than another person’s words so why do I think that my words should be printed and bound for others to see? Why do I believe someone would  actually read it? Why?

I’m going to tell you why.

Guided Memories

Over the past several years, I feel that my reflections have seemed guided. I have written about my life experiences and then, through the act of writing, I have gained new insights, seen my thoughts play out a different way. Heard a voice…come from somewhere; inside my head. 

And with the help of that voice, anger turned to understanding. Frustration became moments to remind myself to just breathe and go with the flow. And joy…joy has become delicious…savored because all too soon, as I have learned with anger and frustration; it, too, passes.

I have learned that I can not expect life to go the way I plan. In fact, that is the one thing I can count on. If I don’t expect things to happen, than I am not so disappointed in some results, or afraid of what might happen.  Instead, I am far more excited about the unexpected gifts.

It’s been the act of writing that has become my meditation, my muse. Words flow into my thoughts as I write. Sometimes, these thoughts seem to be coming from someone other than me. How else can I explain what happened when my anger towards the relationship I had with my mother turned into an “aha” moment of understanding and compassion? How else can I explain the fact that I found life lessons inside every hurtful memory of two failed marriages? And how else can I explain how painful it was to have my daughter and her family move so far away but, somehow, through writing and long meditative walks in a woods, I found the strength to become her strength again.

Writing. Every day. Three pages. Hand written.  That’s what it is now, but in the beginning, it was simply tapping away on a computer; writing what flowed from my brain onto the page. And then, pausing every once in awhile to look out the window or stroll through the woods to see the beauty of life and to breathe.

So, my plan, now, is to share my thoughts, my life, my words with others. I know that they’re just my words. I know that everyone has their own words. But maybe, just maybe, if I write mine, others will see their words as well. And maybe, just maybe, others will be able to take a break from their anger or frustration, anxiety, or sadness, to stroll to a window, or take a walk in the woods to see the beauty in their life, too. 

This time, I will start at the woods and work my way backwards. This time, I will start at that window. And I will share the words that filled my head, the words that guided me, step by step, to today.  I’m going to try, day by day, to share this view of life.  There’s something in me right now that believes that now is the time.

So, hang on.  More is on the way! 

 

“Let Go. Let God”

These words pop into my head every single time I find myself in one of those places where I feel as though there is nothing more I can do.

I am a strong person.  I try to take care of myself.  But sometimes…

It’s Not Up To Me

Sometimes, there are no clear answers, no clear path.  It’s at this moment when I take my hands off the steering wheel.   You know the song “Jesus Take The Wheel“.  Well that’s where I’m at right now. And, I know that I could have done this earlier.  I don’t need to try to control everything so much.  Things will turn out the way they are supposed to turn out.

No Dammit!

I don’t believe that God intended for us to just lay back, throughout life, just waiting for divine intervention.  We have a job to do.  We have choices to make.  This life is crafted by our choices. And so I have a choice right now but here’s the deal…my moves over the next few days are controlled by another.  They’ve been controlled by another for a few weeks now…because I made a choice!  Isn’t that interesting?  How many times do we give our freedom to someone else to hold and then lament our lack of freedom, throwing our arms up in the air saying “There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s out of my control.”

NO DAMMIT! I always have a choice!

But Right Now, I Can’t Breathe

Right now, right at this moment, my stomach hurts.  I have no words to form into a cohesive choice. Right now, I just need to close my eyes and let it go.

I need your help on this one God.  I need your help. Show me the way.  Give me the words to say. Help me make this choice.

And Before You Know It…

I will find myself on the other side.  I will have survived!  I didn’t die!  I’ll be reflecting back at it all and thinking…everything turned out just the way it was supposed to.

God, you’re good at this.  Thank you!

Fate? Is That What This Is?

Opening Doors

It’s happening again!  I was presented with a door.  That’s how I like to think of big life decisions.  My opportunity.  My choice.

Do I open the door?  Do I step through? Or do I stay on this side of the door?  Safe. Safe from fear of the unknown. What do I do? I think of how many times I may have been presented with a door and I didn’t open it.  Fear is a powerful thing.

I think of the times when I did attempt to open the door and something would happen that stopped me from stepping through.  I had thought the time was right  but something told me “No, not this one.  Not this time.” So, I backed away.

Then there are those times when I felt pulled through the door…let’s say ‘guided’ through.  That seems less harsh.

So Here It Is Again

I’m going along with my life, feeling relatively content yet not quite.  I keep poking at the edges of home ownership.  Twice, I have come close.  Twice, I backed away committing to myself to just let it go.  I’m not young anymore.  I’ve owned homes.  There are advantages to renting.  I haven’t mowed a lawn or shoveled snow for the last five years. Owning a home comes with commitment and obligations, so I was resting back into contentment with my comfortable rental space.

And then it happened.

My daughter and her family moved to a larger home to make room for their growing family.  I help pack them up, unpack them, clean out cabinets.  All of that.  I would say almost immediately I was drawn to the view from their kitchen window.  It was the most beautiful back yard.  It reminded me of a small English garden.  It wouldn’t be long and I would meet the neighbor.  She was somewhat embarrassed with how the yard looked.  She hadn’t spent as much time on it as she’d liked.  Her husband had been ill. As much as I could, I praised her for how it didn’t matter.  It was such a peaceful, beautiful space.

How did it happen that I found out that she was actually moving out?  Her husband had passed away and her children worried about her living there on her own.  How did I hear about that?  It turns out that there is another neighbor who cares for little kids the same age as one of my grandchildren.  This person reached out, almost daily, saying “Bring your grand daughter.  Bring her to play.”  And so I did.  As it would happen, she was very close to her neighbor.  She was saddened by the knowledge that her friend was moving.  I was as compassionate as I could be but also felt bad for my own daughter.  This neighbor was going to be fun to know – a lovely grandma type for my grandchildren to grow up next to.

How did it happen that my interest in this house became known to the owner?  Apparently, my son-in-law mentioned something.  All of a sudden, the owner is asking me if I was the lady who was interested in buying the house.  This took me by surprise.  I loved the garden like backyard.  By looking at the house, though, I assumed that 1) it would be too big for one person, 2) it would surely cost more than I could ever afford.  I was clearly surprised by her question and minimized its validity. Still, I would look across from my daughter’s kitchen window and dream of what it would be like if I were the grandma person next door.  I could see it.  I could see them playing on the patio.  I could see myself teaching them how to plant flowers and water the gardens.  I longed for  a dream like that to actually be possible.  It made me sad because I assumed that I would never see that dream become reality.

When I finally did dip a toe in the water to actually say that I might be interested, I was told that, as I had assumed, the house was going to be priced out of my reach.  I resigned myself to simply being happy that I still lived close enough to care for my grandchildren three days a week and there are so many advantages to renting.

But then I get a phone call.  It’s the daughter of this lovely lady.  She said, “I heard about your interest in buying my mom’s house.  We like your story.  We’d be willing to drop the price.”  Would I be interested in the house if it came at this reduced price?

The Door Had Been Opened A Crack

My first reaction was, of course, excitement…followed quickly by fear!  Slam the door shut! Quick!

I didn’t though.  I took a deep breath and figured that there were many opportunities to close this door.  I didn’t need to rush it.  I mean, after all, I would probably not qualify for a loan or an inspection would probably find that there were costly repairs that would need to be done.  I assumed that, given time, I would learn that this was still out of reach, but then…

This Scrolled Up On Facebook

Sunday Blessing:

May you lean into the change and cycle you are currently going through or being called towards.  May you find the courage to trust yourself and shout YES to the burn of transformation.  May you let go of all the no longer essential parts of yourself, and ignore the fading, fear-filled voices.  Because this is where you cross the river.  This is where you stop being the scared person you once were.  This is where you shoot out of the cracks you’ve fallen into. This is where the waiting ends and a new voice is birthed.  A voice you recognize as your own, the new you.  And there’s no going back, because no one’s gonna save you, except you.  May you lean in.  May you lean in.

________

Tanya Markul, Thug Unicorn

And this may have been the sign that I needed.  So I decided it was ok to ‘lean in’. And I picked up the phone and started making phone calls:  a mortgage company – “Would I qualify? What would an inspection cost?  How much would it cost to hire a lawyer to write up an offer to purchase?”

And so it began.

Potential Roadblock #1 – Maybe I won’t qualify for a loan

I sent all the necessary documents to prove my income and assets.  I had no downpayment. Still, they said I would qualify for a loan.  Pre-approval letter attached to the email response.

Potential Roadblock #2 – Inspection may turn up additional problems

I learned that  writing a offer to purchase typically is done first and then the inspection but the lawyer was a cost that I didn’t want to incur if there were expensive problems with the house.  I wanted to know before I wrote the offer.  The inspection was expensive but not as expensive as paying a lawyer so let’s do that first.

The inspection took over four hours.  I was next door taking care of my grand daughter.  He came, luckily, during her nap so we could really talk.  My first question, “Are there any red flags?”  He, of course, didn’t want to go there first but insisted on going step by step through everything he looked at and what he thought and then, in the end, he said, “basically there are no red flags.”

So now, I know that I qualify for the loan.  There are no issues with the house. So what next?

Potential Roadblock #3 – Will an offer be accepted?

So what offer would I make?  Would I offer them the price they want?  How do I know if that’s reasonable?  My daughter suggested that I ask the realtor that helped them buy their house.  My concern was that I didn’t want to go through a realtor.  My daughter insisted that she would simply give me advise, no obligation.  And that is just what she did.  In the end, she actually indicated that she would list it for the amount that the owners suggested they wanted so that was a good sign but wait a minute…if the house was listed for that amount with a realtor, then there would be fees paid for that assistance so then I had a bargaining chip.

In the end, after talking it through with a mortgage person, I was able to understand the overall costs of a home purchase: closing costs, prepays, and downpayment.  Oh my goodness, this is where I needed to take a deep breath.  Remember, I don’t have a downpayment.

Well, the mortgage company came up with an option that required only 3% down.  I could afford that. Then, after working the numbers over and over again, I figured out what what kind of offer I could make that I could afford.

And they accepted it!

No More Roadblocks!

And so this door is wide open and, step by step, I stepped through that door. I am buying a house!  This house with the beautiful English garden, this house that looked too big for one person, this house that would probably be too expensive, this house that I could see myself in before I ever stepped in the door.

And all I can think is…this must be fate!

 

 

 

 

Call On The Butterfly When It’s Time To Change

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It’s Time For A Change

Time to once again find the courage to break free of a self-imposed cocoon. I need you right now, Butterfly.  Remind me:

Lighten up.  Stop taking everything so seriously. It’s time to make a change. In spite of the challenges, you’ll get through this transition…as always, remember, “this too shall pass”.  (Farmer, S.D., 2006)

Ok, ok. I can do this.

Every Single Time, I Freak Out!

I’ve lived long enough to have experienced change before.  Many times, actually.  Yet, every single time, my brain goes into “freak out” mode.  Still, still, I never ever let that fear stop me from making that change!  NEVER!

Sometimes, it slowed me down, though, I have to admit.  Fear is such a powerful force.  And, slowing down is actually not a bad response.  So I will say that fear can be a healthy thing, for a time.  But, fear should never be used as a REASON to stop you from changing.

So, over my life time, I have learned how to breathe through fear and embrace change.

Praying Through It All

You know, when I was a little kid, I was taught to say specific prayers.  Raised Catholic, I endured rosary after rosary and it was called “praying”.  I didn’t get it.  I wasn’t praying! I was simply barking out memorized lines of a chant.  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee…”  Over and over again, we would repeat these lines because we needed to ask God for forgiveness for our sins.

It wasn’t until I was older that I actually found the courage to tell my mother that I wanted to just talk to God, not say so many Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s.  She did not approve!  Still, it was then that I truly learned how to pray.  But for years, I didn’t pray because I thought praying was all about asking for something, begging for something and I didn’t think it was right to think that I deserved anything better than anyone else.  It was years later that I found that I could actually pray to God in thankfulness.  And I did, and I do most every night.

But then there are those times where I am going through a change and my brain is freaking out and I find myself begging for a sign that everything will be ok.  It was during one of these “freak out” sessions that I learned of Animal Spirit Guides by Steven D. Farmer.  It was at this moment that I felt, for the first time, that I could feel and see guidance from the spirit world.  And, for maybe the first time in my life, I felt that I didn’t have to push through a change on my own anymore.

Now, I talk to God but I also talk to family members who have passed before me.  I ask them for help freely.  And then I pay attention to the signs.  Most of the best signs I see in nature with the guidance of the Animal Spirit Guide and a set of cards.  Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guide by Steven Farmer is the deck of cards that I use on a regular basis.  And when I’m going through a change, I will get messages that may say things that include “go for it” to “slow down” or “step back to see the big picture”.

And Sure Enough, I Get Through It

Yes I do, with the help of my guides, I move through change with strength and conviction but also with thoughtful  reflection.  Fear does not define me.  Fear slows me down.  Fear tells me to proceed with caution but I don’t let fear stop me.  It’s when I feel fear that I reach out to God and all the spirits of my loved ones and say “I need help with this one. Please, tell me what to do.”  And then I listen.

Listen

Pay attention.  Messages are all around us.  Today, I needed the message of the Butterfly.  I am headed into another change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is A Story About A Robin…But You Have To Wait For It!

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Personal Photo

No, I’m not going to mention this robin right now.  Wait for it.

First, I need to share this:

Yesterday was one of those days; an incredible day that ended with me feeling as though I had real purpose.

It started simply enough with me taking my brother to a doctor’s appointment.  It wasn’t any simple appointment though.  He was to be scheduled for quadruple bypass surgery.  The doctor’s office is in an area unfamiliar to my brother so I offered to meet him halfway and drive him in.  The first road was blocked with a bridge out.  He instantly panicked but luckily I knew a different route.  He was thankful, at that moment, for me. The appointment had a twist.  We thought we were to schedule surgery, instead he needs to return to meet, first, with another cardiologist.  They have to make his heart strong enough for surgery.  My brother has a bit of a short fuse, so luckily I was there to keep everything calm.  Then, as we tried to set up a schedule for this additional doctor, I felt that the directions had been listed wrong.  I was right!  He needed a “heart failure” cardiologist not just a regular cardiologist.  It was because I had taken notes during our meeting with the surgeon that I was able to catch this and get it checked out and corrected before we made an unnecessary trip in to the wrong doctor.  My brother was safely delivered back to our halfway meeting point and he was calm.  My duty was done and he was very thankful.  I was pleased.

Second Story:

Then, my sister called.  She’s been living through several tough years.  She hates her job, also has heart issues, and just recently went through breast cancer surgery.  Through all of this, she has had a dream of running her own business; a shop of up-cycled treasures.  Last summer, we worked together to try it out by setting up displays at flea markets.  That worked well enough but made her tired and disappointed.  Still, the spring warmth and sunshine has her longing to try again.  With her energy level low, I’d offered to drive to her home every Saturday (75 minutes away) to help get things ready.  Then she hears that someone has a booth at an antique mall and would like to split the cost with her.  I jumped at the chance to encourage this.  “I’ll split the cost with you”, I say. Still it took two weeks before she contacted her friend and followed through with signing a 6 month lease for her half.  I was there again this Saturday to price some items and take them over this last Saturday.  She begins placement of her treasures and I could see that she was in her happy place.  She has an eye for design.  She started immediately rearranging the items already there, placing them in ways that compliment their value and then started placing hers.  In a little over an hour, we were done and she was pleased.  But it was yesterday when she called that there was actual joy in her voice.  She had returned to her booth to place a few more items.   The owner made a special point of telling her how nice the booth looked.  She told her more than once.  My sister mentioned it to me five times during our conversation.  She then shared a story about this job that she hates.  She’s been moved back to the deli area; the area that she had said was way too hard on her.  Today she was super busy. Why?  Because people are glad she’s back!  She was overjoyed!  Her hate for the job replaced with a new sense of value. I ended this conversation feeling as though I maybe had a bit of role in moving her towards her dream.  She was happier than I have heard her in years.  And I smiled.

Third Story And This Is Where The Robin Comes In:

I was sitting down, ready to eat and the phone rings yet again.  I see who’s calling and my instinct was to ignore it and go on  with my dinner.  Instead, I answered.  “Jane, you’re my bird lady.  You have to help me.  There is this robin that has been flying into my window all day long.  What is wrong with this bird?”  I tell her what I know about this kind of bird behavior but truthfully she really just wants to tell me how frustrating it all was and how she’s tried everything to make it just stop.  Then she changes topic a bit and tells me how upset she’s been lately with her life and how she even prayed to God to send someone to help her.  At that point, I said that maybe the robin was trying to get a message to her and while she continued to share her despair, I looked up the spirit message of the robin and then stopped her and said, “This is the message from the robin.”

If Robin has flown into your life;
Robin signifies stimulation of new growth and renewal in many areas of life. He teaches that any changes can be made with joy, laughter and a song in your heart. This bird shows you how to ride the winds of passion within your heart and become independent and self reliant through this change. The energy of this bird will teach you how to move forward with grace, tenacity, perseverance and assertion. Are you letting go of personal dramas? Ones that no longer serve your higher purpose? Are you exercising compassion and patience in mental, spiritual and emotional areas? This creature will teach how to incorporate new beginnings with faith and trust in the process. It is time to believe in yourself and use the inspiration that is given. Listen carefully. It is time sing your own song for a new period in your life.

When I finished, I waited for a response and instead heard silence.  I was worried that I had gone too far.  Perhaps she wasn’t interested in the possibility of animals sending messages to her.  But instead, she said, “You have no idea how amazing it is to hear that right now and let me tell you why.” She went on to share how so many things have been out of order in her life for the past months, how she had just told her husband that she needed to do something to change it, to bring back the joy in her life, to find her way back to taking care of herself, how she needed to back away from trying to be everything to everyone else.  And then she spoke of how much she missed our time together at the gym we had belonged to and I agreed.  We had been healthy and strong and we had both been away from that for too long.  We made a plan to meet tomorrow to get some exercise.  And then she said, “Well, I asked God to send someone to help me and I never thought it would be a bird!” And she laughed.  I smiled and then said, “Maybe God sent me.”

I went to bed last night with a happy heart.

 

Slow Down. Wait For Me!

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Wait for me you guys!

 

Why be in such a hurry?

Let’s enjoy today.

 

 

Remember when days seemed to go so slow?

When waiting for something seemed like an endless chore?  “I can hardly wait until…I turn sixteen so I can drive.. graduate from high school… turn 21 so I can legally drink… graduate from college… get married… have a baby… buy my first house.” And then something happens. All of a sudden, the “I can’t wait until” becomes  “I don’t want to turn 30…40…50…60!  Slow down! Hold on!  Everything is going too fast!”

And then, something inside your head says, “Just breathe.”

You stop for a moment and do just that and it’s like the first time that you actually heard birds singing or saw that tiny flower poking through the ground.  It’s the first time that you stood still and actually felt the warmth of the sun and saw the rays beaming through the branches of a tree. And hearing a baby cry sounds more like a miracle instead of a noise.

Slow down

It’s at this point that you realize that each day is a gift and you have a choice.  You can rush through the day and fall exhausted into bed each night feeling as though you will never ever get everything done and time is passing you by.  Or, you can find it in yourself to slow down and look at everything as a gift.  Today is a gift.  My home, the people who surround me, my health, the food in my cupboards, and that sunshine are all gifts.

Enjoy the moment

Once you allow yourself this moment, you realize that nothing is more important…not yesterday…not tomorrow.  This moment is a gift.  Enjoy it.