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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toy Stupor Illness of Christmas

Growing up in a large family, with parents both from large families you would think my memories would be vague and cloudy trying to recall them...
Actually somehow they are separate yet together and each character gives texture to my watercolor of memories that swirl and give me goose bumps every so often.
Christmas of course was golden, always happy and never once did anything “bad” happen on this day. It was like time and troubles marched along and sidestepped this event in my life and it remains a safe haven when ever I need to chuckle. My mind’s retreat from unstoppable worries and changes I have no control over. Christmas. And it was always a Turner mother’s side...well they had somehow made up their minds that we were one too many gifts to share the event with. But my father’s side...well they just could not stay away...maybe it was because there were so many of us, maybe it was because they knew my mother actually had 9 children living at 228 Vernon Avenue...and she was married to one of them!

Like every family we had our traditions. We had tree trimming and decorating...cookie baking and gift-wrapping and Christmas music playing on my father’s Hi-Fi.  We also had an added event that was so unique that I’m not sure I can accurately describe it.
The moment that came after we tore open our gifts and became like toy-stupored zombies who suddenly had no appetites and lost our sense of hearing as parents tried to call us for photos or help in the kitchen. This was usually when IT happened. Just as you're counting up your booty and finally tearing your eyes away from your own toys to see what your siblings are shaking in your face...the car horn would blare.
They’re here! We all squealed...they’re here!
They, being my father’s sister Ruth, our Nana along with Uncle Harry my dad’s best friend, and husband to his favorite sister Blanche. An onslaught of gifts had just arrived being announced by my Uncle Harry, the one that got his arm “shot off in battle” as my father would always remind us, leaning on the horn with a smile that was priceless.
Now... not many people have a back porch that is really called something else. This wonderful slab of concrete, the one I was always jumping off and adding to my collection of scrapes bumps and bruises, transformed each Christmas into what my father and his family referred to as ...

Yes, yes I know and unusual name for a back porch but that is what it was named after all. It all came about because of the mountains of gifts that were off-loaded from Uncle Harry’s car. The one he drove with his knees on the steering wheel, a pure delight to all of us as we thought he was steering it magically.
So many packages were crammed in, that I don’t know where they sat. Nana was brimming with goodies, sweets, candies and cookies! Aunt Blanche was hugging my parents and saying over and over again...What did they break... anything broken yet?” A standing joke in our family as one year her oldest daughter Gail came stomping in the front door and stepped right into my brother’s new drum!
Aunt Ruth, well she sort of hung back clutching her purse, after all we were noisy and excited and we might get her dirty...
She also brought gifts though; she just had a different way of presenting them. They always came with some long explanation. “Now children this gift is very special, now take very good care of it”
...and it was bubble bath.
Usually an Avon product of some sort...always something to do with cleaning us up and making us smell better...
And so we sat on the floor in a circle anxiously waiting, as they would pull out gift after gift calling each child’s name. Now, it took us a few years to catch on, but it became a sort of silent nod between us that we would wait until we received our gifts...this was due to the fact that each girl always got EXACTLY the same thing only perhaps in a different color. Always, always some article of clothing, and we were thrilled. New clothes in our house were very rare and we looked forward to this special pouring out from my father’s family. Nana would give us the same thing every year… a new robe and slippers. She must have had visions of all of us kids freezing in that cold damp house with the buckets scattered about catching the rain from our leaky roof. “Thank you Nana” was the chorus we sang.
“Do you like them?
...would be her reply...Really? You really like what I picked out for you?”
“Yes, Nana it’s perfect”... and it was.
She never bought anything but silky satiny fabric, no flannel always very feminine and lovely. Every item had little bits of lace and ribbon here and there. And as we sat and enjoyed this special moment a loud boisterous roaring of laughter was usually coming from the Loading Dock.
The place where my father and Uncle Harry were bringing in their each other.
Now Uncle Harry was a teacher, and every year he and the rest of the students had their school photos taken. One year he wrapped a box of a gazillion school photos of himself for my dad. Another year he went and collected and saved, I still cannot believe he did this, all of his tiny poodle’s droppings and wrapped them in foil and placed them in a candy box! The big standing joke in our extended family was the amount of items consumed, 4 gallons of milk a week, 6 loaves of bread and so on. The most talked about item that got the most laughs was the amount of toilet paper our family used. And so to the howling laughter of our relatives, my father unwrapped what appeared to be long tubular rolled box, which had a carpet label on the outside and found a case of toilet paper! Yes, the loading dock was ever famous and for years this event was a steady tradition.

Somehow it just felt right. Toys everywhere, laughter loud and hearty and our parents opening one gift. Yes, one gift. Santa never seemed to bring anything for them. We children of course made them pencil cup holders covered in painted macaroni, which we made in school, but no, there wasn’t anything I ever saw them unwrap in those early days of my childhood. I remember it well as I thought Santa must think that they misbehaved. I of course got loads and so this theory worked out well in my mind. One gift given by Blanche and Harry made them laugh all year long. They shared this humor with friends and neighbors and they would laugh harder at the retelling of it.
Perhaps that was the best gift. Listening to them laugh. Free from the usual frowns and briskness of the business of raising children and meeting our needs. That was priceless. That special day watching them just melt into laughter and hug Uncle Harry and Aunt Blanche, while Nana was at the sink bustling around dishes...and Aunt Ruth was perched on a chair, sort of sitting, but not looking like she was completely touching the wood. Maybe she was afraid of kid germs, maybe some child left a half eaten cookie on it....knowing us anything is possible! But there she sat with her bone china tea cup clucking her tongue at the men in the kitchen as their voices and laughter rose among the choruses of Thank you Nanas.”

The loading dock is gone now. But the mountains of memories remain. And if you close your eyes and sit very quietly and listen hard enough you can still hear the laughter, smell the cookies and see Uncle Harry and Aunt Blanche unloading that car. Nana with her hands loaded with sweets and Aunt Ruth, purse clutched in her best clothes saying Merry Christmas...did you break anything yet?

As I write this the heavenly scent of pine surrounds me and I can just hear the giggles of my sisters and brothers...memories so sweet as if they are a cloak that is brought and wrapped around me. Meditation often gives me images, sounds and smells that reawaken my deepest memories unlocking their love. It is with this love energy that I write. I am currently writing a book on meditation and hope to make it available very soon. Drop me a line if you would like to be notified when it is available.

To learn how to begin this wonderful simple 15 minute daily meditation please read How to Begin

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Whispering Heirloom

So did I tell you my mom – who passed in 2010 – has made contact with me? Wow, she came during a meditation. Let's just say I was a bit freaked yet very thrilled. It has left me with a better understanding of the immeasurable possibilities of my daily 15 minutes of silence.
When I began the process of Sæ-sii meditation, I have to admit, I never thought it would reveal such wonders. I thought I would just be a calmer person with less stress. Boy was I in for a surprise.

I'm currently in the process of taking my mother's embroidered tablecloth, the one I used to actually have a table for, and turning it into a bed cover.  She has created beautiful works of art with embroidery and for years they have sat in a cedar chest. That was until she visited me and I learned she watches over me...literally she tells me in detail about all she sees now. I can't help but show her my appreciation and love...because that is what this connection is LOVE ENERGY.

Thinking on this makes me appreciate when I was a beginning student. I listened and recorded the instructions but never really understood the reasons of the opening prayer. Now years later I have experienced first-hand the results of forgetting to ask for protection. The negative entities encountered were my wake up call as they filled me with the creeps. To read about this experience see Meditation Police. You learn pretty quickly you need protection when opening yourself up to the spirit world.

I always begin my meditation in prayer. I approach this time in reverence and respect to spirit. I usually set my intention and ask to blend with my conscious and to be at one with my spirit. What happens after this can render me speechless and often my journals seem fractured as I cannot find the words to describe the experience. Let me give you an example.

My 93 year old Aunt Blanche crossed over this past August. We were very close and I was fortunate to be able to visit and say "see you later," before she passed. She was my dad's sister and a good friend to my mother.
Here is a journal entry shortly after she passed.

Monday, August 20, 2012: This is a strange night. I place amethyst under my pillow. I am restless and unable to sleep  and so I begin a meditation.
Meditation: Images begin appearing and I realize I am seeing visions very, very clear. They are black and white photos of my mom in her youth. She is beautiful- wearing hats and long skirts- I then see many images of a familiar blonde woman and I think it’s me dressed in vintage clothes but then I realize it's Aunt Blanche and I smile to myself. The images become animated and they are posing in skirts, dresses, seamed stockings, 1940's styled shoes. They throw their heads back in laughter and I feel my heart race as I am caught up in their excitement. I feel myself grinning and holding my breath as I don't want to lose the images.They come fast and fly in and fly off the screen—as I am watching the images I am aware that someone is getting into bed behind me. I am lying facing away from my bedroom door and the spirit climbs into bed beside me and I feel the weight shift- it is female. I know my spouse is in bed asleep and I am not afraid-it feels like a blanket more than a body as it comes from behind and holds me- It then rocks me a little I know instantly that it is going to speak to me- I am watching mom’s photos and I hear a whisper very loud "LORRAINE" - I say aloud "MOM?"
The spirit shakes its head in acknowledgement and gives me one more quick hug and rocks me with a tight embrace and then vanishes and the imagery disappears as well. I say a blessing of thanks and then move closer to my spouse just to touch him and feel the difference of spirit and physical. I am NOT afraid. I stay where I am thinking about this.  Was this mom? I know it was female and I quickly think back to the tiny rocking hug- it felt like mom's hug! That's exactly how she would finish a hug...a little rock at the end...this was her signature:) I then remember how I felt when she whispered my name- it wasn’t a voice it was more like rushing wind saying my name—as it was happening I remember telling myself spirit sometime cannot speak clearly for many reasons- my development may not be ready to hear- their ability to speak to a vibration lower than theirs – but I remember not being afraid and knowing it was coming. I then said a prayer to my highest guides and helpers and made my intentions very clear. As my protectors and guides I was making it known to the universe that I did not want TOUCHING to be a part of my medium skills unless it was my parents and loved ones- no one has permission to get in my bed and hold me and hug me unless they have my permission.

Meditation can often be in total blank silence. It may come with brilliant lights and it can come with thoughts or even words spoken. No matter what this is a personal journey and no two are alike.
As I teach meditation I always try to remind students that there are NO BLUE RIBBONS, you are not in a race, you are not less or better than anyone. Each of us has spiritual gifts and meditation can help you discover them. Not everyone will be visited by loved ones but then again you may discover something quite marvelous about your OWN gifts.

Why not begin daily meditation today? You may find treasures that you've kept hidden. Approach it with respect and love and record every detail. This process will help you to see, hear and feel the mysteries of meditation. I know my mother is enjoying watching my journey and I can't help wonder if her nudging me to sew this coverlet is her way of being just a little bit closer.

To learn how you can meditate please read my book Sæ-sii Meditation: How to Find Your Bliss in 15 Minutes a Day

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Flip-Flops and Frozen Margaritas

It's December and all around me I feel a change in the air. What is it that seems to lie just beneath the surface? Holiday music fills every nook and cranny of every building I enter, be it a trip to pick up asparagus or make a deposit at the bank. It can either make you feel all tingly inside or set your teeth on edge. This is a matter for you, but like it or not the season of merriment is upon us.

When you live in the land of palm trees and pelicans its hard to conjure up images of fresh fallen snow and glistening icicles. Although I no longer own a TV, I am aware that every station begins the onslaught of special holiday shows depicting garland laced windows, brightly lit trees and children building snowmen. Apparently their version of the holiday is only celebrated in cold northern climates and for many years this is exactly how I witnessed it. I was a Jersey girl and I knew the meaning of the season. It meant wearing extra sweaters, sloshing through snow that often fell into my boots and hitching my scarf up a little tighter over my frozen nose as I sledded with my friends.

That was then this is now. It's December alright and the sailboats look whiter against the teal waters of the Clearwater Bay in sunny Florida. The only scraping of our windshields come from the occasional droppings of the sea birds. But many around me are excited as the holiday festivities approach. Santa's sleigh being led by flying pink flamingos adorn some of the rooftops while mechanical penguins wearing Hawaiian shirts wave to passers by. When I first moved to Florida I found all of this appalling and now... well, I guess I have mellowed as I see that even people wearing flip-flops find joy in the simplest of things. Children still hang stockings and parents still kiss under the mistletoe. Yep, it's December again and the sunsets are more radiant then ever.

Meditation can help you find your own radiance for more information how you can connect with this self-loving energy please read Meditation Mojo