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Psychic Reading

Psychics: Does anyone believe in them?

I do and I don’t.  I believe in the idea of them, but I also believe in the idea of fast-talkers and overly confident swindlers.

However, I met a self-proclaimed medical psychic many years ago.  She is a friend of my sister’s, and she didn’t strike me as anyone looking to make a buck on my gullibility.  So four years ago, I called her for advice on my arthritis and my love interest at the time.  What she said rang so true that I called her again a few days ago for more much-needed advice.  Turns out, this was the best decision I could have made.  The universe nudged me to make the call, I’m sure of it.

My two most pressing issues of the moment are,
1.)  Will I ever have a baby?
2.)  Will my book ever be published?

I decided to ask about the baby first, but she didn’t seem to want to talk about that quite yet.  She asked, “What do you do for a living?”

For those skeptics out there who think, Well, if she’s psychic, shouldn’t she already knooooow what you do for a living? the answer is, not really.  My understanding of how she works is that she directs the conversation so that she can pick up on “whispers” or knowings.  You are as much a part of the reading as she is.

Anyway, I mentioned that I am writing a book and that my husband works from home, so we’re both very stress-free.  My thought was that she is trying to assess how stressed I am, which I have heard, always interferes with getting pregnant.

“You’re book is going to be very successful!” she says, out of the blue.
My heart stops.  Suddenly, I perk up, realizing that the book to me is so much more important than the baby topic at this particular moment.  So I go with it, eager to hear more about my book.

“What do you mean, ‘successful’?” I ask, both giddy and frightened to hear the answer.  The book is just too important to me right now to hear anything less than amazing news.

So here’s what she said.  Please understand, I told her nothing of the book, and so all of this comes from her alone:

“It's very interesting, Pattie.  You HAVE to make this book a priority in your life.  Your book will create a new heading under adult fiction.  It's going to be about the ‘Self’ under fiction.  You’re book is opening up a greater in-depth awareness to humanity.  You ARE a writer.  You’re going to have to find a way to publish with a publisher.  Do not self-publish.  No matter what publisher you choose, you’re going to get published.  Your book is about Awareness.  Be extremely consciousness about what you’re opening up, Pattie.  You’re not opening up self-help––it is about Self Awareness.  Our struggles on earth have to do with loss of identity.  Your book is going to open up people's self-AWARENESS!  We're hungry for it in America and the world.  We're disconnected from God and spirituality.  What we have left is superficiality.  Self-awareness is crucial.  Your book is really, really important.  Make sure you speak in the first person.”

Well!  For those of you who know that I’m writing a book, I had never expected this to come from someone who had no idea what my book was about.  It had never dawned on me that my book was anything more than a beach read, although my intention was for something much more than that.  It was, indeed, started in the hopes that it will help people feel allowed to be and accept themselves, no matter what.

So I ask you!  Do you believe in psychics?  I have to say, I want to believe more than anything that what she said was and will be true.  I have been thinking about my psychic reading with her for the past few days, and what rang true to me was this: There has been something pushing me to write this particular book for months now––a nagging internal voice that gives me the words to write my story down on the page.  I don’t know why.  Most days I end up hating what I write, wanting to give up and never look at it again.  But those days pass and I go back to where I left off and continue on, still not loving what I wrote, but not hating it as much.  The process has sometimes been brutal.  The self-doubt the creeps in will cripple almost every writer, but I have to believe (I want to believe) that there is more to my determination in finishing it than I even know.

Is this the universe speaking to me?  Is this my destiny?  It feels like it is!  We’ll see what the future holds for my book, and in the meantime, I will continue listening to the whispers of my internal voices, pushing me to write everyday, no matter how difficult it is.  I suppose that’s what having a destiny feels like––it’s a path I was always meant to be on.  It’s riding a wave instead of swimming against it.  The universe nudges us in the right directions, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and until we can quiet our minds and listen to the truth of our souls, it may take some of us longer than planned to arrive.  For me, if you have followed my blog, I have been waiting my whole life for this moment in my life, when my path is clear.  No more questions, no more second-guessing.  I am following my gut on this one.  I will write finish my book and get it published.

It’s not the psychic that makes me a believer, it’s a belief in myself this time.


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Falling From The Bike

Just over two weeks ago, I was riding my bike down Barry headed toward Broadway, and my front wheel hooked into a pothole, sending me over the handlebars.  My face slammed into the cement, and I must have slid a few inches because later I found gravel embedded into my shoulder and arm.  Like all accidents, time slowed, and I remember the feeling of my nose smooshed against the ground, thinking to myself, “Oh wonderful, I’m about to need a nose job.”  But my nose, as it turns out, wasn’t the victim.  It was my front left tooth, knocked back a few millimeters.

As I lay on the street, still somehow connected to my bike by just my feet, a slew of onlookers ran to my aid.  One of them happened to be a dentist, and she took my face in her hands, assuring me that I looked just fine.

“My tooth,” I remember saying.  “My beautiful tooth.  Tell me it’s still there!”
“It is,” she said.  “It’s there.  Just a little bumped out of place.”

I ran my tongue back and forth the back of my teeth, frantically trying to account for every one of them.  They all seemed there, but my head started to get fuzzy.  The front left one had been knocked so far back that I couldn’t bite down without hitting the bottom teeth.  I started to black out.  That’s when the ambulance came.

“I’m fine,” I assured them, still slumped on the ground like a lazy cat.  “I’m just freaking out a little.”
“Just lay on the gurney,” one of the men said.  He must have been in his 20's.  When did these guys get younger than me?  “Take a minute.”
They lifted me by my shoulders onto the bed.
“Tell me the truth," I said, darting back and to each of the four men in the ambulance.  "Has my smile been ruined?  Is my lipstick smeared?  I was having the best looking day today!  This sucks.”
“Isn’t that always the case?” one of the other men said, writing down some notes.  “Just when you feel good, something like this happens?”

I nodded my head, agreeing with him.  I was so looking forward to showing off my new lipstick to the twin.  I wanted to philosophize more with the man, but more so, I wanted to get to the dentist.

The twin arrived, and soon after, my husband arrived, panting, sweating.  “I ran,” he explained.

I swooned.  He ran for me.  After 8 years of being together, he still runs for me.

I decided I felt better––that I wouldn’t faint––and we three should take a cab to the dentist instead of taking the ambulance to the hospital.  I left the ambulance men to attend to another person in need.

The dentist began to assess my condition after taking a few x-rays,  and while he’s telling me that my tooth’s nerve has most likely been severed, his eyes darted toward my husband, who cowered in the corner as he listened to the dentist tell me to think of my tooth as being decapitated.

“What are you doing?” I asked my husband, irritated that he was distracting the dentist.

Suddenly, my husband leaned back in the chair, his face and lips drained of blood, and he slumped down in the chair, his head hitting the wall behind him.

“Oh no, he’s fainted,” I said.  I had remembered him telling me once that doctors and dentists offices always made him woozy, but I had never witnessed him actually faint.  Just a few seconds later, his eyes opened.

“I think I might faint,” he said.
“It already happened,” I said.

The nurses came in quickly, shoving me out of the chair and placing my husband in it, putting cold compresses on his forehead.  “I’m sorry, Pattie!” he said as I was moved into the room adjacent to his.

The dentist finished giving me the gruesome details of what I should expect from my tooth, giving me little hope that it had survived the fall.  “It will likely darken,” he said.  “And you should have it pushed back into place.”

He sent the twin, my husband and I to the orthodontist once Marcel had regained his color.  I snuck a glance at my reflection in the mirror on the way out and saw the blood coagulate over my thick lip.  My tooth hardly looked different, but in my mouth it was like someone had taken a hammer to it.

Once at the orthodontist, the doctor examined me and suggested that he manually pull the tooth back into place.  Otherwise, it would interfere with my eating and speaking.

My entire body began convulsing at the thought.  “Won’t it fall out?” I asked.  The idea of the tooth being pushed back and forth in one day sent me into a panic.

“No,” he said.  “It may be a little loose, but we’ll put a wire on the front four to make sure it stays in place.”

After an hour of crying and shaking, I decided to let the doctor do his thing.  He numbed me up, and a few minutes later, his fingers pulled and pulled and the tooth finally popped back into place.  The twin nearly fainted when I jumped from the sensation.

And now, over two weeks later, I am still experiencing the after-effects of the accident.  It turns out that the one tooth was not the only casualty.  The one next to it suffered as well.  Yesterday, I had root canal on it since, as the doctor put it, “the tooth was slowly suffocating to death.”  Well, I couldn’t stand the misery and put it out of pain for good.  At least the other tooth experienced a swift death.

Next week, the knocked tooth, which, as the dentist had predicted, has lost a bit of its color, will get its root canal as well.

I stayed in bed today longer than usual, feeling grateful for my small apartment and warm wooden floors.  It’s safe in here, where nothing bad can get to me.  I write this from my balcony, where I can be outside, but up high enough to be out of harm’s way.  For now, I want to cocoon myself with my husband and my book.  There is something gratifying about healing as you begin to remember how good things were before the accident and how close you are to being there again.  Each day, I am healed more and more, and perhaps it is life telling me to slow down again.  Or maybe it was just bad luck.  Either way, I have quieted down and turned into a temporary hermit with my husband, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be than here, on my balcony, writing.



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Falling in Rio

I just came back from a five-week stay in Rio de Janeiro (pronounced “Hee-Oo dee Jan-A-ho” if you want to sound genuinely Brazilian).  My husband and I were mugged (don’t worry––he only got $10 off of us), I tripped and fell not once, but twice, right onto my very sore and swollen knees (from the arthritis), and then Marcel took a spill even worse than mine, leaving him with a nearly black thumb and scraped up elbows.  But it was all part of it!  Brazil is like that (for me anyway).  It tosses you around and tests your limits and you come home wondering how on earth you ever lived without it.  The United States feels like a sanitized soap bubble in comparison.

Rio is raw and poor, and the streets are covered in art and graffiti.  There are muggers and children––music and prostitutes––dirt and slums.  Bottled water is a must because the water isn’t safe to drink, but there are vendors who sell real fruit smoothies on nearly every street corner––as ubiquitous as a Starbucks is here.  The heat cooks you from the outside in.  The beautiful beaches are nearly drowned out by the six lane highway that you’re forced to cross to get to them, and then you get hounded by beach sellers screaming that they have acai and bikinis for purchase.  The ocean's waves can spin you around and snap your legs straight and scrape you against the sand and then spit you out, only to drag you in again.  I was caught running out of the water before another wave could suck me back in.  I was the whitest girl on the beach––the ghost of Rio de Janeiro––standing with my feet in the water for 20 minutes before gaining the courage to swim past the small tidal waves out to where they first begin to swell.  Timing was everything.
         
The two falls that I had traumatized me.  I have tried explaining this to people who don’t have the same knees as I do but they just stare at me––waiting for the traumatic part.  Let me explain: No one with “normal” knees would be phased by my trips-and-falls.  But my knees are different.  They’ve been through some stuff.  They are filled with fluid and swollen and inflamed.  They suffer in pain every day.  Poor knees.
         
The first trip-and-fall was in Copacabana.  The sidewalks are put together with small mosaic-like tiles, and sometimes there are little potholes that form.  As careful as I was, my foot caught in one of them and I fell straight down like an imploded building .  My foot went under my butt and then crumpled to the ground.  I let out an enormous scream.  A group of 20 or so people gathered around me.  My husband and a stranger carried me to the side of the street, thank goodness because the ground began to burn my skin from the sun.  I tried catching my breath.  I was sure that my days of walking were over.  I worried about my knee––like it was a baby that I accidentally sat on.
         
I went to the hospital, took an x-ray, and then left, crossing my fingers that my knee would heal.  I held onto my husband’s arm wherever we went.
         
The second trip-and-fall happened less than a week later in a beautiful cobble-stoned street of Paraty.  I let go of my husband’s arm for a mere minute, walking gingerly to the door to our hotel room while he went to reception to get our key, and down I went, this time falling on both knees.  Again I crumpled to the ground, only this time I didn’t let out a sound.  It was nighttime and the town was quiet.  No one was around.  All I could do was wait for Marcel under the stars.  I was in shock.  I had done it again; I had sat on the baby.  This time––surely––I’d never be able to walk again.  I couldn’t lift myself off the ground.  It was like I had been stunned.  Paralyzed.  Then I hear my husband’s voice and his footsteps running toward me, and that’s when I began to wail into the ground.  I watched my tears soak the cobble stone.  I drenched it in my tears.  He lifted me up and walked me quickly to the hotel room where my knee began to fill with fluid before our eyes.  The knee grew so large and tight that we thought it might explode.  Marcel suggested that he carry me to the toilet before we went to bed so that I wouldn't have to go later.

“I will set you down on the seat, and when you’re finished I will pick you up and bring you to bed.”
“From the toilet?” I asked, horrified.  I have admittedly just gotten used to the idea that he even knows I use the bathroom.
“Of course,” he said.
“No, thank you,” I said.  “Absolutely not.”
         
Thankfully I am experienced enough in fluid-filled knees to know how to sit down and stand up on one leg. 
         
The knee did not explode.  After a few days it healed.

It all seemed part of my experience in Brazil.  In America we have these things called cement sidewalks.  They are, for the most part, flat and devoid of potholes.  Boring.

So what does all of this mean?  What is the big deal about my falling in Brazil?

Well, it’s not the falls that means so much as the grandness of life that the falls made me see again.  I am just a tiny person in a great big world on a small planet within an infinite universe, tripping and falling from a crack in the ground.  Perspectives shift.  Rio shook me wide awake and I am reminded to explore again and keep my eyes open.  When we run on automatic we miss the life around us.  We accept our daily grinds as all being "part of it."  We accept each day without asking ourselves how we got there in the first place and if this is even the best choice for us.  Rio (Brazil) had its way of slowing me down and making me observe. And then the griminess of Rio disappeared, and all that was left was a beautiful city covered in paint and dirt and outlined by an ocean that connects us all to one another.  

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The Question of Existence and Purpose

A client of mine who is writing several articles on the subject, posed some interesting questions to me to include in his survey.  I figured that this sums up my spiritual beliefs (in case anyone's interested).  So here they are:


1.) Why do you believe you exist? What do you feel your purpose is? What has lead you to those beliefs?


I believe that we exist (as humans) to simply experience life in physical form.  We are here to learn and evolve in a way that we normally wouldn't in the other realm, so to speak.  I believe we have souls and that our souls are evolving in a way that only human experiences can allow it.  I believe that when we return to our non-physical selves, we experience love, non-judgment, acceptance, understanding and an all-knowingness.  I also believe that we are all one with existence.

I believe that my purpose in this lifetime is to become a teacher of sorts.  My book that I am in the midst of editing, I believe, is a segue into that mission.  I don't know how or why I believe this.  I suppose that I have a gut feeling that this is what I'm meant to do.  I have learned over the years that I must listen to my intuition and let that guide me more than I have allowed it to in the past.  I was always one to strive to understand my true purpose, and I never truly felt that I had found it.  Well, 33 years later, I have finally figured it out.  I just needed to listen to the universe more than I had.

My beliefs developed in my 20's but took form in my 30’s.  To be honest, quantum physics is what began opening my mind to what or who God is, why we're here, and how we can best live our lives (I watched the movie What the Bleep do We Know).  Then I experienced health issues because I developed rheumatoid arthritis.  I became conscious of the foods I ate and my mental state-of-mind, which I believe played a part in the disease's development (I don't believe that I needed to develop it physically, but I also believe that by having it, I have evolved more as a human being).  The change in my eating habits (I became vegan and gluten-free, and kind of became a super diligent about it) prompted my older sister to recommend I read the book, “Dying to be Me,” by Anita Moorjani.  This sparked my complete interest in near-death-experiences, and I read tons and tons of books and accounts on the subject.  It all seemed to correlate with a deep-seeded belief system that I never really recognized until I read these accounts.  It was like I was woken up to our true purpose here on Earth.

2.) Do you believe your potential is unlimited? Why do you believe that? or why don't you believe that?

I do believe my potential is unlimited.  Everything created on Earth was created by someone/ something else.  When we grow up, we are indoctrinated into various belief systems and negativities, and this in turn sets boundaries that we believe as young ones that we have to follow.  I have to remind myself everyday that I am a limitless being (aside from certain physical limitations).  But even the physical limitations can be overcome.  I often think, if everyone on Earth believed human beings could regrow limbs, would that in turn give every human being the ability to regrow lost limbs? I know this seems extreme, but why do we set so many limitations on ourselves when there's no need for that (other than keeping us safe as young kids).  I see the power of thought/ mind at work everyday of my existence, and I see how fear-based people are, including me!  If we could overcome this and live our lives from a loving perspective, perhaps we could conquer disease and destroy those made-up limitations instead of following the voice inside of our heads saying that things are impossible or that it's "just the way things are."  It's not!  Steve Jobs is a great example of someone who never let anyone get in the way of his vision.  He was amazing at making his team do the "impossible" by making them believe it was possible.  All he did was believe it!  He had some negative attributes, but I was incredibly impressed by him.  And look at how much the technology industry has changed because of him.  And just from his vision, others built upon that and will continue building upon it.  It just shows how connected we all are and how limitless we all are.  It also shows us that we are capable of manifesting our own reality.

The reason I believe this is because of my rheumatoid arthritis.  I have done a lot of self-reflection, asking myself why I got this disease.  I have come to the conclusion that it is really of my own doing.  I'm not berating myself; I'm just understanding the power of the human mind versus the unlimited mind (the soul).  Illness so often makes people slow down and look at their lives more closely.  It certainly did for me.


3.) If you had eternity to work out something you were passionate about, what would it be?

Really, the thing that I am most passionate about is showing people how to get past their own limitations (it's the teacher in me).  It pains me to see so many human beings play the victim and believe that life is out to get them.  I watch commercial after commercial talking about disease, and I want to smash the screen.  We are becoming indoctrinated to believe that we're all going to get sick and that certain kinds of people can't surpass certain limitations.  If we stop believing our own voices, this world would be a better place.  It is the human mind that puts an emotion to an event (it's "good" or "bad").  Isn't it funny how two people can look at something and see it in entirely different ways?  That tells you that we humans, based on our own judgments, experiences and belief systems put a value on things.  Objectively, though, an event is merely an event, and we can choose to suffer through life by being miserable all the time, or we can be happy and look at the positive side of things (sometimes it's very difficult to do, I'll admit).  Also, if we could learn to love and accept each other, it would also make us a better place.  Part of my belief system is that we are all one being (God) having different human experiences.  When we “die” (cease existing in a physical form), I believe that we become aware that we are one being, so all of this fighting that we do with one another becomes completely meaningless.  However, it's all part of our experiences here.  The reason why we do not remember that we are all connected is for a reason: It's the difference between knowing and experiencing different lives from different perspectives.


4.) If money wasn't an issue, what would you choose to do with your skills and talents for a lifetime?

I would be doing exactly what I'm doing.  Every choice I have made, whether I look at it negatively or positively, was my choice.  I have only myself to blame (or thank) for my life.  I choose to look at my life in a very positive way.  I am content in where I am and where I seem to be going.  I want to live in the present moment more and not regret anything in the past or worry about the future.  Part of my belief system is that we chose our parents and the people who have come into our lives for the purpose of learning something specific in our lifetimes.  I like this viewpoint because it takes away the blame that I used to have.  I used to blame people for things that I have likely chosen for myself for a reason.  It actually gives me some solace to look at my life and think, "Why did I choose these parents, these siblings, this husband?"  It allows me to take more responsibility for myself and my life.

5.) Do you believe that our passions are innate or do you believe they are developed? Why do you believe what you believe?

I do believe that our passions are innate.  Based on my belief system, I suppose that we all chose our lives to help us pursue our passions to the best of our abilities, even if it seems like we have to overcome a lot of hurdles to get there.  Perhaps those hurdles were to help us understand our passions (like my rheumatoid arthritis).  Perhaps we had parents that brought those passions out of us, even if we felt like we were always fighting against them at one time.  Perhaps our friends or spouses initiated that passion.  Either way, going back to what I said earlier, I believe that we have each set up our lives to experience certain things in human form, and our unique passions are part of that.

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Trader by Day, Writer by Night

I am procrastinating on my book and instead am now fully immersed and distracted in the stock market.  I have decided to jump head first into the maze of stocks and learn what I'm doing as I go.  A small part of me believes it is all a gamble anyways, and I've got as much of a chance to earn trillions as the next girl (or guy).  So I've plunged in, and while I wait in anticipation for my money to triple, I will open up my very first book on how to invest.

Right now, before I read past the introduction, I intuitively feel that my strategy should be based on gut reactions more than anything (you laugh, but just wait).  I looked at 9 stocks last night and, had I entered the market last year, they would have made me four times as much as I would have put in, depending on timing, of course.  Clearly––clearly!––my instincts are groomed for this stuff.  Learning the lingo and meaning behind what "dividends," "capitalization," and "per-share earnings" are will come soon, but I'm not concerned with that right now.  I'm banking on the fact that my wide-eyed optimism and spot-on "knowing" will serve me well until . . . well, until it doesn't.

My heart has been racing wildly since last night after I made the decision to put some money into certain stocks.  My husband, who makes a living as an investor, understands my excitement.  It brought me back to his first day at home, officially retired from the hotel industry and finally doing what he loves––investing.  He sat in front of his monitor from 7am to 10pm without eating a single morsel of food the whole day, too excited to be hungry.  I get it now.  I couldn’t sleep the entire night, going over in my head which stocks to invest in, how long to keep them and how rich each one will make me.  These companies have somehow attached themselves to me, and I will stick by them.  I have put my faith in them, and I expect them to understand this and respond accordingly, by going up, up, up.  Otherwise, it would be the ultimate betrayal.

My husband slept soundly next to me, clearly calmed down after years of these adrenaline rushes.  He’s much less emotional than I am.  Even in 2008, when the stock market crumbled during our honeymoon in Greece, I barely saw him flinch.  We continued sight seeing and exploring new cuisines.  He could actually eat and enjoy sunsets with me!  We took walks and held hands.  I hardly understood what was happening in the U.S. at the time, but I knew it was bad.  Yet he held himself together and dealt with it.  His computer would be turned on for a couple of hours at night as he relentlessly gauged what could be done, but during the day, he was my loving husband.  He was a steadfast superman who wouldn’t let the market get the best of him.

As I take on this daunting new endeavor, I hope to stay the course and conquer what no one yet seems to have truly conquered with my fool-proof strategy.  I hope to not dissolve at any losses I may have and to not become a crazed gambler the moment I make significant gains. 

It is fun, though.  It is that.  

The Tasting

This year––almost the entire year of 2013––has been rough on my family, but the clouds parted a bit today, and it just so happened that the twin had a cake tasting scheduled earlier this afternoon for her wedding in October.  We took the opportunity to set the tough times aside and enjoy the experience of popping morsels of velvety cakes into our mouths and being presented with a bountiful array of sugary options.  The twin's engagement has veered off-track by a few unforeseen changes within the family that has left us feeling sometimes helpless and sad, so as the wedding day nears we latch onto the wedding planning to distract us and help us see the light once more.  And what better way to do this than eating cake?

My husband and I eagerly agreed to accompany the twin and her fiancé to the bakery, being more than willing to sacrifice an hour of our day to partake in the experience and offer up our opinions.  The twin and I remember my own tasting five years ago during the preparation for my wedding, and we were quite looking forward to being wined and dined with cake options again.  We could still taste the fresh fruit that was meticulously paired with different flavors of frosting and cake, and we reminisced with my husband about all that he missed (he had not come to our own tasting, thinking that it wouldn't be any fun for him).

As we drive to the location of the bakery, we skim the outskirts of the city where the buildings sit deteriorating near the highway and the remains of Cabrini-Green continue to rot away.  We round a few side streets and find parking in front of an old brick building with rusted cars parked to the side and deserted parking lots nearby.  We had arrived.

One of the doors with the correct address overhead has the word Cake written on it with some blue paint.  Otherwise, the door is as brown and filthy as the ones next to it.  We ring the doorbell, and a moment later a blond woman greets us and leads us back into a cluttered office space with a closet to the right and a kitchen in the back.

"You can go right in," she says to us.

We look around and fail to understand where to go.  "To the kitchen?" I ask, quickly assessing that there aren't enough seats in the main office to sit.

"No, right in there."  The woman extends her arm toward the closet.

We take a moment to realize that we were to sit in the closet before gathering into the tiny room.  The walls are painted a buttery yellow color with scattered books lying haphazardly on the shelf above us, forgotten and unopened.  There are portraits of underwhelming cake designs framed in penny store frames on the walls, and a small round table in the center of the space.  We sit down, feeling like we're stuck at the kid's table on Thanksgiving.  I feel oversized and stuffed in the small enclosure.  "Is there coffee?" my sister asks, hoping that we might at least be offered our favorite drink in combination with the much-anticipated cake.

"No coffee," the blond says.  "There's water, though."  She sits back down at her desk and busies herself at the computer, paying us no more attention.

"Would you care for some bathwater?" the twin's fiancé jokes, gazing in the corner of the room.  We turn around and there's a small side table behind us with mismatched glasses and a foggy plastic pitcher of water.  I choose a burnt yellow glass that looks like it was left over from the 60's, and I pour myself some water.

"Smell it first," my husband warns as I lift the glass to my lips.  I take a whiff.  It's fine.  For safekeeping, I hold it up to the light to check that the rim is clean.  It is.  I sip.  I'm safe.

A thin woman with dark framed glasses, thin lips and a faded navy blue suit comes into the closet five minutes later and asks the twin and her fiancé about their ideas for cake design.  She's the baker.  My husband and I feign interest, but really, we're just biding our time until we can taste the cake.  Twenty minutes pass.  "Ok," the baker says, jotting down some final notes and a piece of paper, "I'll get the cake."

"Great!" my husband says.

We wait . . . and wait.  Finally, the woman comes back holding a glass plate covered with saran wrap.  She fumbles with the plastic and places the dish in the center of the table.  It looks like a mound of crumbled bakery scraps had been piled onto a plate to be donated and eaten by the downtrodden.  The twin and I sneak a glance at each other.  Clearly, this was not the experience she had anticipated.

"Here they are," the baker says, matching the enthusiasm of the sad looking display before us.  "Four different flavors to try."

She places plates in front of us and smears different kinds of frosting on the sides of them like one would with the inedible fat of meat that had already been halfway chewed and spit out.  We began dipping the cakes in each one, and they crumble and stick to buttercream, almond and hazelnut spreads.  Soon, all of the flavors morphed together.

"Which one is your favorite?" the baker asked.

"The banana?" the twin responds, looking at her fiancé.  "What do you think, honey?"

"I like the banana, but the red velvet is very good as well," he said.

The group turns to me right as I stuff a piece of cake into my mouth that had way too much frosting.  I couldn't help but make a face at the flavor that was, frankly speaking, overwhelming me with sweetness.

"They don't eat sugar," the twin says to the baker, pointing at me and my husband in an attempt to explain away my expression of disgust.

"Oh, you don't?" the baker asks me, flitting her eyes back and forth between me and my husband.  She looked confused.

I struggled to swallow the last bit down with a sip of water and quickly said, "Oh, well, I'm normally vegan and gluten-free––not that sugar is either of those––and my husband here is just a health nut.  For me it's for health reasons.  He's just a nut."  I laugh pathetically at my own joke, and the baker smiles politely.

"You see, he saw a show on the evils of sugar," I continue.  "And ever since then, he stays away from it.  But he eats a lot of sugar, actually."  I begin to get a stomach ache from all the cake.  My diet is so very different now that I am not used to eating this way, and it churns in my gut.

"But this is really good!" I exclaim, pointing to the disheveled cake.  "It's worth the day of cheating on my diet."  The baker seems to both pity and despise me as I try to convince her that I am telling her the truth, and I feel slight cramping.

"OK," she responds, clearly not convinced by my explanation.

She shifts her focus once more on the twin and her fiancé.  "So you like the banana and red velvet?" she said.  "And what would you like to pair it with?"

By this time, all of the flavors have melded together on all of our plates, and it's difficult to differentiate what we were tasting anymore.  "The Nutella and buttercream I think," the twin said, like she was throwing out whatever two flavors she thinks of first.  Her fiancé nods in agreement.

"Is there an option to put some fresh bananas in the cake?" I ask, thirsting for something uncooked and un-sugared.

"It's an extra charge for that," the baker says blankly.

"Oh," I respond, falling silent again.

"Shall we go with that and decide on the design a bit later?" she says, turning again to the twin.

"That sounds great," the twin says.  We are all buckled over a bit at this point as our stomachs respond to the deserts.  I want to get out of the closet and away from my dish of mangled cake, and I can only assume that we all just want to get out of this windowless room and end the experience.

The group of us look at one another and, as if on cue, gather our things and rise from the small table.  The woman leads us back through the disheveled office space to the front door, where we exit out into the sunlight and broken buildings.  We say goodbye as we quickly walk away, hurrying to the car and feeling somewhat grateful that we have to go back to work that day.

"What was that?" I ask the twin and her fiancé.

"Certainly not what I was expecting," the twin says.  "Some of the cake was stale, I think."

"I tasted a dry crust," my husband says, sounding vindicated.

Our few extra moments in the car together are spent rapidly going over the hour we just had in the storage space––the sixty minutes we got to pull ourselves us away from the other anxieties in our lives right now––before parting ways and carrying on with our days.  And we are reminded that nothing can be as expected or planned.  But it was a necessary escape for us, and it brightened our moods.   And in the grand scheme of life, when nothing goes the way we may want, a cake tasting, even in a walk-in closet, is exactly what we needed.

Infinity

I have revamped my office to make the perfect writer's nook.  I am writing this on my new desk as we speak, and I feel like a brand new person.  I never thought a desk could make me feel so . . . infinite.

Now that I have an office space, I am on a quest to find its purpose.  This is a "if you build it, they will come" moment.  I do things backwards.  I built the desk, now I'm waiting for what's next.  In the meantime, I am spending a lot of time in my new "woman cave" to try and figure things out while I listen to Scorpions on high volume.  


Where is it?!?

I have thought that this blog would somehow unlock the inspiration for a book.  In fact, I have started and stopped writing a book several times over the past year, and I have the worst kind of writer's block.  Actually, everything has been blocked.  I have a canvas just waiting to be painted on, and when I concentrate on what I want to paint, nothing comes.  I have meditated on book ideas, but nothing comes.  I took out my sketch pad last week, but I felt frustrated and ill-inspired the moment I drew the first line and nothing came.  Nothing is invoking any sort of creative passion.  Thus the reason my blogs have become so infrequent lately.

I don't feel like myself.  When I was a kid, I locked myself in my room writing ridiculously cheesy poems, sealing them into envelopes and writing on the envelopes the various ages I had to be to open them up and read them.  I don't know where I eventually stored those poems.  They must be somewhere in my old bedroom at my parents' house.  

I started writing in diaries when I was about the age of 4 or 5, just learning how to write.  I remember feeling that pull towards writing - you couldn't get me away from jotting down every minuscule thought I had during a day.  In high school I kept my diary in a green notebook because I was so overwhelmed and overflowing with thoughts that I couldn't NOT write it all down.  Sometimes I had so much to say (it was all so dramatic in high school) that I had to type even more stuff out on the computer, print it out and stick in in the proper chronological order in my green notebook so that no detail would ever be missed or misunderstood.  

At times it was exhausting just trying to get it all out.  There were so many details, so much to say!  I was writing everything down just in case one day I forgot everything and wanted to read what my life used to be like.  It was driven from the fear of forgetting.  If later in life I suffered from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, at least I could pick up my diaries and read through my memories.  I was looking out for myself.  I'm so thoughtful.

Anyway, I wonder how I might get the inspiration to express myself back.  I am in a bit of a holding period right now.  No job, no baby, no drama.  The fear of forgetting has vanished long ago, but that wasn't the only driving-force behind my creativity.  I had something to say - it was right on the tip of my tongue - but I never found it!  The book hasn't been written, the painting hasn't been painted, the drawing hasn't been drawn.  It's still inside of me - this thing that I needed express to whomever might want to hear it.  My New Year's resolution is to do everything in my power to find it and figure out a way to get it out already!  

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Just in Case

I have some time before I have to leave for the airport.  I am picking up my husband coming in from Germany.  It's raining in Chicago.  The sky is dark and gloomy, just the way I like it.  So I am cozied up on my bed writing this in case tomorrow, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, begins a new world.

What better way to (potentially) end this blog than with a few thoughts about my life and my purpose here.  I do not believe that there will be mass destruction, as some see it.  I believe that if there is a new world, it will be a positive one where people will be more loving towards one another and more self-aware and emotionally intelligent.  There have been some who say the energy here on earth has been increasing steadily over the past few years, and some people will experience a greater sensitivity to it.  Whether or not this is true, I can say with confidence that I have experienced major shifts in my consciousness over the past few years.  

I have been introduced to things throughout my life that seemed to be isolated incidents at the time.  Slowly, and especially this year, these things have all fit together like puzzle pieces just waiting to be put together.  Mostly these things concern ways of thinking and living.  10 years ago was when I first learned about quantum science.  From there, I learned and heard about meditation, nutrition, near death experiences, quantum healing, law of attraction, yoga, acupuncture, lucid dreaming, astral projection, power of thought, spiritual healing, physical healing, and health.  I know that we all get introduced to things throughout our lives, but I feel that it has all lead up to this moment.  Right here and now.  It's like everything came together at once and it all makes sense.  

Everything and everyone is connected.  That is what I have learned and heard time and time again.  We are all one.  All of our thoughts are connected.  We can all influence each other.  There is no separation.  Thoughts are power.  Love is the most powerful.  

I hope that if we do experience a new world, it will be one in which we realize that hurting one another is really hurting ourselves.  To fight and make enemies, pointing fingers and blaming, has been the way of life we have chosen up until now.  Blaming and hating others seems easier than looking within and forgiving ourselves.  Letting go of past grievances and moving forward with love is the best way.  So many people hang on to hate, fear, blame, anger and frustration.  When do we realize that when we hold on to those emotions it only makes us feel bad?  We give our power away time and time again.  

So this is just some of what I have learned in my 32 years on This Earth.  Maybe the next portion of this life will open up entirely new doors and possibilities . . .  

And just in case the world does end tomorrow with all kinds of natural disasters, I would like to say a final goodbye.  It has been great fun!

Happily Living Without . . .

I have these four syringes in my refrigerator filled with Enbrel, the medication I used for the arthritis, and they have been sitting there since August.  I notice them on occasion whenever I open the cheese tray, which is where I store them.  My husband insisted on getting them "just in case".  

I have to admit that in moments of weakness I have considered taking one of the shots.  I have felt the fear and frustration from my family, all worried that I might be permanently disabled with mangled joints.  I have thought about it myself, and the fear grabs hold.  

During these past few months I have changed.  The change I am talking about does not have to do with the arthritis.  It has to do with my mind.  I took a visit to see a healing Guru in Brazil at the very end of October.  On that trip, my mind became clear.  

It dawned on me how driven we are by fear.  We are afraid of being alone in the world.  We are afraid of being attacked, getting sick, being mocked, getting fired, not being loved back, looking older, being judged, being cheated on, failing, dying, etc.  So in response to thes fears we may join a church,  create an army, censor our words, take extra precautions, work harder, put up a wall, have plastic surgery, become paranoid.  On and on it goes.

We do so many things out of fear.  Fear has become the whirring fan in the background; it's always going, but until we focus on it, most of us forget that it's even on.  It's this constant background noise that we ignore until we take a step back and look at the many decisions we make out of fear.  Whether we consciously know it or not, it does effect us every day.

Those days when I think about the four syringes in my refrigerator I realize that the only reason I would take them is because I don't believe in my own ability to heal myself.  Fear grips me and I think, what if I end up in a wheelchair?  

Someone asked me the other day whether I am going to take my medicine again, and the answer for now is "no".  Many are going to see this as being irresponsible and just plain dumb.  But what it would mean if I took my medication is that I don't believe in my own ability to heal myself.  And for me, the only way to heal is to BELIEVE that I can heal.  I may have some good days and some bad days, but what matters to me is that I already believe that I am healed.  Completely and totally.  It's a process, and there is genuinly no doubt in my mind that I am already healed.  Fear is not going to be the driving force in my life any longer.  

I am entirely frustrated with constant messages of fear.  I see the word "cancer" way too often.  I read advertisements for pills to take for every ailment I could imagine!  I have engaged in too many fear-driven political arguments.  I have seen fear used in religion for manipulative means of making people behave a certain way.  I have seen men and women spend thousands of dollars to try and look young again.  I have seen people (me included) not speaking up for what they wanted at their jobs for fear of being judged or fired. For me, this is no way to live.

Imagine taking away the fear! 

I want to work harder not because I'm afraid of getting fired but because I love my job!   I want to love without caring whether I am loved back!  I want to speak up without caring what others may think!  And I want to believe that I have the power to heal myself.

Fear has its purpose.  I know that.  It's a means of survival, and it works.  But I want to have faith in myself again.  I want to live with more abandon.  I want to find out just how powerful I am!  It's time to live without fear.

[Taken in Greece on my honeymoon 2008]