26 April 2012

Make it Right

This is my new next door neighbor who has greeted me the last two mornings and started my day with beauty. Flowers of all varieties and colors abound here but she caught my eye and made me grateful for such loveliness.

Perhaps I've been more aware of her because of a wonderful thing that occurred two days ago. My beach bag had been stolen out of my car on the way home from the beach on Sunday when I got out of the car at an overlook to take photos. It held my cell phone, running watch and temporary driver's license along with a small amount of money. I was discouraged, angry and my heart felt heavy. But, on Tuesday I received a call from the local police to come to the station for my bag. They said a mother came into the station and said "I'm returning this." Not "I found this" but "I'm returning this."

I can only imagine the rest of the story and the heartache involved for her but I thank her and bless her and acknowledge how dramatically she changed my experience. My heart felt lighter. I actually skipped to my cottage when I got back. I'm grateful for her compassionate action.

23 April 2012

Healing Landscapes

"Tribal people have known this for millennia, sensitive as they are to the healing properties of landscapes- those that teach us our limits. Contemplating the sacred balance of wild terrain of the seas is recognized as therapeutic, restoring the inner geography of the soul."
(The Solace of Fierce Landscape: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality by Belden Lane)

I caught the best part of the day yesterday at the local beach, Half Moon Bay. It's secluded and gorgeous. The water is warm enough to just walk right in, bob around and talk with my friend, Annee, to my heart's content. It was a restorative way to relax after my first full week of work.

Crossroads also recognizes the healing terrain of the sea as therapeutic. This is the view of the bay today  from one of the porches. Just walking onto the campus is soothing.

The sea has always been a healing landscape for me. What about for you?

19 April 2012

Update From Antigua

The sun is shining still as it has all day but gray storm clouds fill the sky to the West and block the sun now and again as rain readies to fall. It didn't take long to jump back in the saddle at Crossroads and feel at home, especially with the warm welcome from the staff.

The view from my room:

Saturday at Long Bay Beach with good friends. This is my friend Annee Delaware's photo:

We lounged here, swam, walked the beach and talked the day away:

And admired the local crafts:

I scurry around researching the latest on pertinent topics for our clients and current best clinical practices. But I calm myself with the knowledge that what's most important comes from the heart rather than the head. Have to say I love this work.

10 April 2012

Embrace What Is


For us, as people sitting here meditating, as people wanting to live a good, full, unrestricted, adventurous, real kind of life, there is concrete instruction that we can follow, which is the one we have been following all along in meditation: see what is. Acknowledge it without judging it as right or wrong. See it clearly without judgment and let it go. Come back to the present moment.

From now until the moment of your death, you could do this. As a way of becoming more compassionate, as way of becoming less dogmatic, prejudiced, determined to have your own way, absolutely sure that you’re right and the other person is wrong, as a way to develop a sense of humor, to lighten it up, open it up, you could do this.

Pema Chodron

I've been setting this as my goal each day lately in an effort to stay in my now as a retired woman, and look what happened. I've been asked to come back to Crossroads in Antigua to work for six weeks. Crossroads is Eric Clapton's drug and alcohol residential treatment facility where I worked for 2 1/2 years and consulted for short stints in the last couple of years. Check out the hotlink above to see more about beautiful Crossroads and their world class treatment program.

I leave early tomorrow and feel so glad for the opportunity to do the work I believe in with the clients I've devoted my professional carrier to. If that isn't enough, I'll be with my dear friend since 1987, Annee, who will be working there as well. Indeed, she was the one who introduced me to Crossorads. Bless her!

Another chance to become more compassionate, less prejudiced and dogmatic, To lighten up , to open up and to help others do the same. As one who wants to live a full, unrestricted, adventurous, real kind life, I'm grateful and amazed. I'll keep in touch.

09 April 2012

A Listening Pleasure: Pearl Fishers Duet

Today, Easter Monday, is a holiday in our little corner of the world. A day to be with family and friends and go hiking or walking in nature. It has turned cold (49 F) so I'm listening to music, including this gorgeous duet, with a hot cup of tea.

My friends and former next door neighbors, Margaret and Malcolm, professional opera singers both, consider this song to be the most beautiful duet for the human voice. I offer it for your listening pleasure.

It's "Au fond du temple saint" from the opera The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet. Jussi Bjorling (on the right) is a famous tenor from Sweden and Robert Merrill (on the left) is a baritone from Brooklyn and an international star of the Metropolitan Opera of New York for 32 years. They were personal friends as well as professional singers with glorious collaborations. Crank up the volume and be swept away.

07 April 2012

Happy Easter With Tibetan Prayer Flags

Say this sincere prayer as you hang prayer flags on your own wall or garden trees: 

I hang these prayer flags for the benefit of all sentient beings to experience healing, peace and the power of compassion. Feel the breeze of clean wind that holds this prayer I pray for you and for all! 

May it be so.

Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Celebrate life!

05 April 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to The Blog

Actually, I'm not entirely sure what did happen. Life happened, for sure, in all the ways that life has to absorb me. I have a particular habit of delving into the important thing of the moment and diving into it sometimes at the expense of other important things. I do it, I read and research about it, I talk about it, I want to hear from others about it. It's a laser focus that can get too narrow before I feel the mastery I like and resurface. Then I look around and see that more time has passed than I realized (loss of a sense of time is part of my narrow focus), I get genuinely amazed and I reconnect with what else is still important. Very important but now part of a bigger world for me.

I've been wrestling with whether or not to share this since I wish it were something more momentous or worthy somehow, even tragic, that has involved me, but instead I've been involved in the world of gaming. Specifically a game my grandson introduced me to called Dragonvale on the iPad. I was only able to blog sporadically anyway in dial up land where my daughter's family lives and where I spent two months. I had time available to live their life and to play. I'd been looking for a way to connect with my grandson in his great love for gaming but couldn't really understand his fascination with the ones I'd seen up until this game.

Dragonvale has it all- clearing Islands, building habitats, breeding dragons, including special or seasonal dragons, planting food to grow the dragons, landscaping and decorating the Islands, making decisions and planning for who, how and where to maximize finances to be able to best develop this world. I got obsessed, shut down other things, and thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful process of world building. It's graphically beautiful, highly imaginative and just plain fun. I talk to my grandson multiple times a week about our strategies and results, I email my niece who's also involved, even my daughter works with her son making dragon decisions and cheers us on.

Island 1:

Island 2:

Island 3:

Island 4:

But I look at my last post's date and can't quite believe this much time has passed. I've reached mastery in Dragonvale, I want to get back to writing. It's been too long and there's lots more to share. Gaming vs writing- oh god, does that make me shallow? Is it unseemly at my age? Oh well, there it is.

Are any other closet gamers out there?  How are you connecting with your grands?