Kickin' All The Way Back To The 4th Grade

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand." ---Unknown

I adore my friends. I offer up love and gratitude to those that challenge me to be better than I am in This Moment and those that love me unconditionally in Any Moment. I need both. It's a gift to understand myself better through them Right Now. Which is all we ever really have...so I'm trying to keep things delicious while not making life bitter for others. It happens and I'm sorry.

I'm really blessed to have, in my life, so many humans being and becoming. It's in the contrast of those personalities that I find myself gaining clarity in what it means to be a friend. I was given the chance to sorta start from scratch. And I LOVED it. I spent more than a full day with a girlfriend I had not seen or really written to since the 4th Grade. Think: Jimmy Carter, Rocky and, apparently, the class that saw Apple graduate the computer into the world of sales by a seriously sexy Steve Jobs. That was a good year. Yes. We dwell in an expanding Universe. I've my iPhone to prove it. And Steve has his bifocals.

Anyway, we decided to have a lunch date. Though my memory is rusty of anything close, I liken this to a blind date or some third-party hookup where you're not sure you're going to like the guy so best to keep it simple and under 45 minutes. Well, 45 minutes turned into 15 hours. Noon to 3 a.m. to be exact. There wasn't a dull moment. There were a few tears as we both have lived intense moments within our timelines but there was much more laughter which is a staple in my "Turning Back the Clock" regiment which reminds me I did throw in my 20 Minute Power Nap which is another staple in the regiment. Being the same age, my friend also indulged. Quickly rested, we went back to laughing our asses off...a good way to tone those glutes, btw.

Though we had a ton of differences, our focus was always on what we shared in common. Delightfully, and as all good co-creation should be, we contemplated how the renewed awareness of each other would enhance our own being and becoming. I think that is friendship at its finest. Support is a remarkable force when it's backed with a sincere desire for your success. Success being anything from waking up each morning happy to having your wildest dreams met. Yeah, we got into some seriously deep philosophy but really, in all honesty, we just kept giving our glutes a massive work-out! Ha.


Embracing Hope

I took my daughters to the sea so that they could see it. As I stood in the sand and watched them frolic, I had no sense of regret for any decision I had ever made in my life. Could I even be standing here? I thought. With each wave came a recognition that all was so very well. All but the tiniest of my fears washing away with the tide. It is that tiny vibration/belief that holds me in resistance to a full embracing of myself. At one point, it had been huge. In time, it will be so far removed from me that perhaps only the sea at night standing in its salty air will faintly remind me of it.

I want to raise empowered women who love themselves. I want to guide them in defining themselves rather than the world doing it. I thought on that frequently during our trip. When I give great thought to something, the Universe is always kind enough to reflect it back to me. So, I was not surprised when I boarded the plane home that I found myself sitting next to a very young mother.

It was open seating and my daughters had found seats together leaving me to fend for myself. I looked around and knew the alpha-male was out of the question and the fellow that looked like a potential snorer wasn't very alluring, either. You can sit by me. I look down to see a very pretty Mexican girl (which I partly am). She's holding a baby no more than three months old. As I sit, she asks me if I have children and I laugh saying I have many. She tells me I must have started very young and, of course, I immediately adore her. I tell her I was 21 and that I have a daughter that is 21. She tells me that I'm her mother's age and that she is 17. She doesn't seem 17 so I know she has a story. I know that what she holds in her arms is the most important thing to her -- Unconditional Love. And before she even begins her story, I know that she has never really known it until this beautiful creature came into her world.

I won't share her entire story here except to say she and I were meant to sit together that day. We could relate. I could cast her into the future while she told of concerns and fears that I had in the past which, in turn, allowed me to offer up appreciation over and over again for my Now. By the end of our flight, we had both given each other a wonderful sense of hope.

With all my heart I believe, besides your love, the greatest gift you can give to another is a belief in their success. It's a wonderful gift to give to yourself, too, as I've recently discovered.



The evil geniuses of the advertising industry are hard at work in their labs dreaming up seductive new mojo to artificially stimulate your consumer lusts. Meanwhile, the media's relentless campaign to get you to believe in debilitating fantasies and divert you from doing what's really good for you has reached a fever pitch. And here's the triple whammy: Even more than usual, some of your relatives and cohorts are angling to convince you that what pleases them is what pleases you. So is there any hope that you will be able to hone in on what truly excites you? (It's especially important that you do so right now.) The answer, in my opinion, is a qualified yes -- IF you're willing to conduct intensive research into the idiosyncratic secrets of what makes you happy; and IF you're not scared to discover who you are when you're turned on all the way. -- Rob


Now for Al


I Love Miracles

I began thinking of moments that bring forward the evidence of positive thinking when those around are not quite on the same page with me. Since I'm making a couple of trips out to L.A. this month, I think I'll share the story of my last trip to the City of Angels...via The Mile High City.

As a reminder (or if you're just tuning in), I am rural. Well, not me. No, I like to think of myself as quietly cosmopolitan -- a closeted glam-ma'am. No, I mean where I live. So rural, in fact, that the nearest international airport to me is around two hours away. Same is true of a Starbucks, a Target or a really good book store. But since there is good coffee here and online shopping, I'm coping.

Anyway, I methodically plan to get to the first leg of my trip without missing my flight. It is an early flight out which will take me to Denver before I mosey on over to Los Angeles. I try to book so that my layovers are around an hour. This booking is no different but when I get to the initial flight, I realized that it is seriously delayed. This is a first for me. I can't help watching the time pass on my phone.

I finally ask the steward about my connection in Denver to L.A. and he basically says, Uh, you're gonna miss it. He mentions that the next flight to connect will show up about an hour and half later. I look at the guy next to me and say, I'm making my flight. He says if he were a betting man, he'd bet I wouldn't. Fine. But what wasn't fine is my friend has changed her entire schedule to pick me up and I have timed it so that we could miss heavy traffic.

So, the plane finally takes off and lands in Denver. I've got 12 minutes to make my connection and I have to go from one end of this airport to the other. The crew has stowed my carry-on along with several others. Everyone retrieves theirs but they can't find mine. I ask them to look again. They do. It's there. I'm down to 7 minutes. As I'm running off the plane, the crew is literally cheering me on.

I hop the train and head down the concourse. Of course, it has to make all its regular stops and, of course, mine is the last one. By the time I get to the area I need, I'm down to no time, a set of escalators and about a quarter of a mile of tile to run to get to my gate. I sprint and, as an aside, think we should establish a national holiday for whomever came up with wheels on luggage -- seriously.

Out of breath, I get to the gate and doors are locked. There is a female attendant on the phone who is purposefully avoiding eye contact with me. The plane has not yet left. I state the obvious. She is very short with me and says she cannot open the doors once they are locked. I can sense her defensiveness. I don't sense anything, I see it. It's her whole demeanor. She thinks she's met me before. I'm the high strung person who's about to meltdown or the forcefully over-bearing person that will demand their rights.

She hangs up the phone. She's ready for me. I wonder what on Earth I can say to this person to get her to open the doors. I haven't said anything but she reminds me again that I cannot get on the plane. A thought floats across my brain: Imagine how nice it's going to be sitting in D7. So, I take a brief second to feel that. Then I ask her, Do you believe in miracles? She's taken aback. I tell her I do and that I would love for her to be a part of one of mine. Again, she tells me she cannot open the doors. I ask her, If you could be part of a miracle would you? She doesn't know what to say to me. I think she thinks I'm crazy. But I'm not worried about what she thinks of me. I am following my vision. Would you? She exhales deeply. She picks up the phone. The pilot answers. She hesitates before telling him that a passenger is waiting at the gate. I've told her that, sir. She turns away from me to speak more privately. She exhales again and I dare say from relief because she turns to me and nods. WHOOP! I'm ON and on my way to L.A. just as planned!

I give her hug and thank her but she's literally hustling my body and my bag through the doors. Right before she closes them, though, she says the most beautiful thing to me, I do believe in miracles. Now run!


Tea For Two

On another blog was a reposting of a love letter from Craigslist that a lover had written to their deceased partner. You could feel the hole where their heart had been. It made me think of my best friend and my grandmother both crossing from human imperfection into spiritual flawlessness. Death to some but, to me, is now seen as a frail shroud hanging between breaths. It had been death to me too, though somewhere along the way, I began to get a sense that they were present. Even if it's all made up, just another dose of my wild imagination, I've taught myself to breathe them towards me through the nuances of my senses.

I found myself alone in L.A. a couple of months ago. I was in the Palisades and decided to grab breakfast at a nice little place down past the Self-Realization Fellowship. And I did not take lightly the significance of that structure on this morning walk. Earlier in the week, I had been handed several books at the airport of the same vein. A very familiar practice where I come from except the books would have been the King James version of the Bible with the NIV slipping through once in awhile. I gave a rather large donation knowing I would reap something in return. Some will say that I shouldn't consider or expect anything in return but the Universe doesn't work that way. It's a cosmic laboratory of balance. And what I might get in return was some, well, self-realization.

Anyway, I find this nice little cafe. It's full except for a four top. The waiter asks me if I'm good with sitting at a table with three empty chairs. I am. Because it's busy, I am getting in some good reading time. I wrap my mind around the words of a local magazine that is enticing me to stay longer while sipping a little green tea. As I'm waiting to order, I hear laughter and it pleases me because it's familiar. Though not perfectly on pitch, it has the same resonance of my best friend. So, I invite the sound to sit with me.

A little bit later, a short Hispanic woman walks in. Though not perfectly sculpted, she has the likeness of my grandmother and I invite the image to sit with me. I delight in not being alone. I glance at the empty chair and wonder briefly who could possibly show up. I turn the page of the magazine and there is a blurb on the screenwriting expo that had happened the month before. It's a writing conference for screen and wanna-be screenwriters. I've attended on a few occasions. At one, I met my writing mentor who died unexpectedly from a heart attack this past August. He was, to me, the equivalent of my 6th grade English teacher who pulled me out of class all day and made me sit in the library to write a short story for a local publication's deadline. She did not not want my work included. He was like that, too. He just believed in you. You as in everyone but you as in the genetically encoded me. So, of course, he joined us. He likes that I'm in L.A. and thinks I should stay. It's everything not to laugh aloud and to not order three extra teas. This wasn't much different from when I was a child having tea parties but I'm careful not to reveal myself.

Sitting here at my writing desk, I think of my life when the losses where gaping holes in me. I think about the pain, the suffering, the disconnection. I think about what I am letting go of now that makes me feel as though I'm the actual frail shroud hanging in limbo between a massive transformation. But I have such a strong sense that I'm surrounded. I want that for this lover I read of today. I want them to come to a place where they don't feel so alone. My hope is they sit in a cafe somewhere that has no seating except for a two top and while drinking a little tea catches some faint nuance of a sound or a scent so familiar they must ask it to join them. And in joining them, it is everything for them not to order an extra cup of tea.