beloved

43. CAUSE WE’RE ITALIAN

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

A few days before Steve’s Gran died, she was expressing her gratitude: “I’m so fortunate to have my family taking care of me.” My mother-in-law responded, “Of course, Mom, it’s what families do.” Gran smiled, “It’s because we’re Italian.”

My mother-in-law gently explained that they are not Italian. (In fact very Anglo-Saxon. The family name is Jones!) Now I’m from an Italian American family and Gran spent an awful lot of time with us…I do believe Italian rubbed off on her. How could it not? We spent most of the time in the kitchen cooking. The rest of the time in the garden enjoying a cup of coffee. Gran loved her coffee. While she was here, I never drank so much in my life! “Come, Debbie, have a cup of coffee with me.” She would ask late in the afternoon. “Oh, and maybe we can have those cookies we made the other day. Just a couple. We don’t want to spoil our dinner.” How could I refuse? It was precious time spent with an amazing woman…my only grandma.

Italians pass the time playing cards. Gran never played cards before, but she learned fast. Her youngest daughter was surprised, “Mother doesn’t play cards!” Gran was brought up in the Reformed Church of the Latter Day Saints…no card playing allowed, no dancing, no drinking, no swearing. Well, in our house Gran played Gin-Rummy, enjoyed “just a sip” of Steve’s homemade wine and no, not a virgin margarita, but a real one “you know I love the salted rim!” and once we were having a frank discussion after dinner about the consequences of proposition 8 and Gran got upset, “It’s no one’s damn business who people love!” Oh yes, and she and I would dance. Foregoing the walker, I would hold her tightly in my arms and we’d sway to the music.

When Kyra would come home, we would all be in the kitchen making something delicious. My Mom would join us—she runs my practice which is right here on our property so I could be home for the kids and then for Gran—four generations making fig jam, stuffing zucchinis, preparing yet another meal. Mom would squeeze Gran and give her a kiss. “It’s not a kitchen without a grandma in it!” Just as Gran took me in as her granddaughter, she treated my mother as a daughter.

Gran had enough love for all of us and more. Years ago, she “adopted” a young black man who reveres her. And her Hispanic caretaker came to the hospital in February, laid her head next to Gran’s and wept. She stayed hours petting and fussing over Gran.

Gran worked in the Farmers Market for thirty something years making friends with Jewish, Asian, Hispanic and Blacks. She did not see race or color or religion or sexual preference. Gran only saw people. And she was always delighted to meet them, all of them…and perhaps share a cup of coffee?

Steve and I were reminiscing. I know you tend to elevate the dead, forgetting their worldly transgressions and focusing on the good. But no need to embellish Gran. Like Steve said, “She was always genuinely glad to be see me, accepted me completely and my presence brought her joy.” Gran treated all of us like this…in her presence our truth shone…because she really “saw” us…she looked past the shadows and embraced the light in each of us…

Steve believes karma is incurred over your lifetime. He’s spent his consciously banking good karma. Gran didn’t know much about karma…but her bank was full. I believe karma can be imprinted. My research shows it begins in the womb…remember the Red Cord…yet I have been branded by Gran. She has imprinted me to the roots of my soul.

When the family made plans for the funeral, I called my mother-in-law and told her “Mom said the Italian side of the family is cooking! Oh, and we don’t do petit fours.” She laughed and told her sister. I could hear Auntie in the background. “Thank goodness, I love tomato, mozzarella and basil.”
I’ve entitled the menu—Gran’s Day—the day we gathered to celebrate her life: Bruschetta, melon and prosciutto, marinated grilled veggies, olives, of course lots of bread to dip in Mom’s sauce…she’s doing most of the cooking. I’m the baker in the family… Gran loved my holiday cookies and they go so very well with a cup of coffee.

Mom comes up behind me and gives me a hug and a kiss on the back of my neck, “Someday you’ll do this for me.”

There are no tears as we connect in the kitchen—Gran joins us—to reminisce and to prepare delicious food, lots of it… It’s what family does…because we’re Italian.

40. A HERETIC IN THE VATICAN

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

And then I dreamt I was Mary Magdalen. And ten days later we were in Rome. Oh, not because the archdiocese found out about my visions…because it was our 20th anniversary trip to Italy.

Our first European trip was right after 911…but that’s another story. Maybe later.

We began in Rome and on the second day visited the Vatican. Imagine this. Me — educated in scientific theorem, left brained, mathematical, logical, yet trusting my intuition implicitly with a lifetime of prophetic dreams — ascending the winding staircase leading to the Sistine Chapel. The energy of the art overwhelms me. Emotion drips from the frescoes. I can hardly breathe. A guard takes notice and gently guides me to an open window. I take gasping breaths of fresh air. “Not everyone is so sensitive.” He nods towards the herd of people peering at the art like they are visiting the zoo. Apparently not.

Torn between visions of the past and the present hustle and bustle of this iconic museum, I realize viscerally how the sacred feminine was lost. I knew, yet didn’t have gnosis, of this loss until I walked the ancient streets with my husband in form and Yeshua in spirit. Behind a covey of nuns, I say silently. “They believe they’re married to you.” And I hear, Not Yeshua the man, but the mythical Christ.

Before entering St Peter’s square, I hesitate. Yeshua’s presence is so palpable even Steve perceives it. “Come on, you two! I bought the tickets and we are going in!”

It costs a little to view history, the religious relics. It cost a lot to be reminded of a past not completely told. And to have Her side of history flooding my memory.

Grateful to openly discuss my visions with Steve, yet feeling a little schizophrenic with the aliveness of this other reality. The voices, the images, the feelings, I am in between the worlds – Yeshua, angels, facets of god brought more vividly to life in the ancient city.

September 27, 2003

In the wee morning hours I am awakened from a dream in which I, as Deborah, am laying my hands on Mary Magdalen who is laying her hands on me blessing one another as goddesses unto eternity. Then all energies merge into one essence. I lay face down on the bed flattened out by the sheer power of the dream with Yeshua comforting me, whispering, I am she, I am the goddess. I know the secret of manifestation, I know joy. I am joy as is the hummingbird. I taste all of the nectar in life.

Then as I turn onto my back, my hands clasped in prayer, I am guided by the angel Gabriel, who I recognize as the one who escorted me as Mary into my womb to share the forgotten secrets of womanhood. Then Archangel Michael speaks from my right, reminded me that I also have been escorted from darkness by Archangel Lucifer (known as Uriel in Hebrew or God’s light) who smiles at me from my left and delivers me back to myself, back to the One. Then I feel Angel Raphael as the muse behind me fueling my spirit, challenging me to reveal myself to the world. Yeshua speaks, then I hear for the first time the Father above me, the Mother on my left, Yeshua at my right hand as I am his left.

The Father speaks- I am beloved, he has never forsaken me, I will remember all but for now I am to live in the eternal now blending past and present into a glorious future. I can see the glory of my relationship with Steve, as my beloved husband, and Kyra with her joyful goddess energy as a reflection of my own, and Jarys coming into the world manifesting a blend of masculine and feminine energies as an experiment to know himself as god. All my worries are lifted. I am asked to open my heart and to open my arms and invite in abundance. I am reassured that I will be and have been protected and held in the bosom of the One, for I am the joy and he/she/it/the beloved is well pleased.

I breathe in Yeshua, the son, the lover, my friend, and the Mother and the Father. I am whole and I am holy. I am asked to release from my heart all that I believe have forsaken me, then bless them with peace, love, joy and comfort, re-invite them back as whole and accept the abundance and forgiveness for myself and for all. I am freed from all bonds. Even my bulimia is revealed unto me as the false judgment of self not deserving love or abundance. Since the 16th it has been over. I am free and this trip is to be enjoyed with Steve in the eternal Now.

Time is not a line but a spiral circling back and forth weaving in and out of the now. My Italian experience removed layers of history, revealing to me my own truth. I knew for the first time myself as an embodiment of the goddess. Growing up with the patriarchal judgment I saw mirrored in the world, I used the son energies of reasoning and academia to survive – as I spent most of my early life being the scientist, exploring the masculine aspect of self. At 42 I found myself being born again as a sacred feminine embodiment of emotion, my power lies in the creative energies as I manifest beauty and love in my life. Finally, I was free to be the divine daughter filled with passion, emotion and love, infused in relationship to all that is, with people, plants, animals, angels, souls past and present. A bridge to reunite the mind, body, spirit with Love.

September 29, 2003

More comes in clearly during the emotional experience of exploring the museums. The renaissance and medieval buildings are enough to inspire a passionate awakening. The art pulls at my heart strings. The depictions of Christ as a mythical being rather than a man. I just feel that they got it wrong! Yet who am I to enlighten them.

While in Italy, I dreamt of attending a conference where I share with a huge audience how to become consciously connected by highlighting exactly what happened to me. I realized that I would someday share my revelation with the world, yet the novel came first and changed my writing style increasing my inter-dimensional connections creating such an awakening that I would no longer write academically but intimately.

October 7, 2003

My life will be written from my perspective now as well as my life as Mary. Which is fact and which is fiction? They are both my realities.

30. THE GRANDMOTHERS COUNCIL

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

After Divine Mother was healed, Divine Daughter was Unveiled through the writing of LoveDance®. I made peace with the Divine Mother energies, received the Divine Mother within myself, learned to mother me and birthed myself as the Divine Daughter. I then published my first book in November 2007 and began 2008 ready to begin book two of the LoveDance® trilogy and was stymied…

It began with the Grandmother’s Council. Just after LoveDance® was released, a jolly lady showed up in my office wanting to buy a book. Delighted I signed it for her. She gazed at the cover and said, “The grandmothers would love to know more about the divine daughter energy.”

“The grandmothers?”

“Yes, the Grandmother’s Council of Ojai. Would you come and speak to our group?”

Of course! They met the second Sunday of every month so when my schedule freed up from marketing my book, I went to the Grandmothers Council to share the Divine Daughter with them. They received me joyously and then preceded to offer empowerments. I watched and was transported back to Mary’s time once again. These gracious older women surrounded those who came to them in a veil of love, placed healing hands upon them and blessed them. Tears poured from my eyes as I watched the ancient rites delivered with such love
in these modern times.

Then the head grandmother turned to me and asked, “Don’t you want an empowerment?”

I thought I was there to present…not to receive…yet…I nodded, “Yes, please.” And stood within their loving embrace as the grandmothers veiled me so I might just receive, placed tender hands upon me and began to sing.

“Oh, how we love you. Oh, how we love you…”

And the ancestors came in…all the matriarchal lineage in a beam of light. The spirits guided me through the great grandmother saying they are very proud of me and the work I am doing, that they are always here for me, pushing, nudging whispering encouragement. Now is not the time to stand still. Now is the time to be in the world.
It was profound. And the grandmothers have been with me in spirit and in body ever since.

28. FAMILY TIES

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Learning to be my truth within my family of origin has taken a very long time. It is our soul work to witness our lessons in the mirror of those we love. And families are magnifying lenses…

Dec 23rd, 2003

Off to Utah for the family holidays. Anxious premonitions of my beloved Santa cup breaking. After 20 years of keeping them safe for my sisters, I tried to pack them carefully, but one tumbled out of the car, so I traded my unscathed cup for the fractured one. This trip is about breaking attachments, perhaps to things, but yet deeper, to what I believed my sisters to be. As I am coming to know myself as joyous passion I shall recognize who they are as love. So many sister dreams lately. Since childhood, I have flown in my dreams stringing them along like Peter Pan, barely able to get them off the ground. Lately in my dreams, I do not hold their hands, but try to teach them to fly on their own, but they resist. I feel tired, saddened. Will my sisters throw me out like Yeshua was thrown out of Nazareth? Strangers can be more accepting than those closest when you change too rapidly.

Dec 26th, 2003 A snowstorm traps us in the house, playing games, memories abound. On Christmas Eve, I experienced the power of the loving-kindness prayer. The family gathered around my sister’s large kitchen island arguing about the Cody Bank’s rape charge. When the manner in which the victim dressed was blamed, I felt the urge to jump into the fray, yet stopped and silently asked that my fear be lifted and I be filled with light and love, then asked the same for each and every one of them. When I got to Kyra, she looked up and mouthed, “What are you doing?”

“Blessing us,” I silently replied. The tension melted. The brothers-in-law about to engage in fist a cuffs, laughed at another’s joke and all was well. This morning my youngest sister hugged me fiercely claiming she thinks about me every day. Lately I can say the same. I wish I could see beyond the possessive love in this family, the competitiveness, the criticism, the ego…especially mine—my ego is much too overwhelming. My muse is on holiday, but lots of purple around me, my aura brilliant whenever I close my eyes. Torn between gluttony and deprivation, defenseless in the face of my family without bulimia to protect me. Trapped in a house of mirrors. One: reflecting unforgiving close-mindedness, one: emotional, temperamental, quick to strike, yet a core of love, one: distant, shallow immersion, non-committal, one: lost in a world of self, one: poor self-esteem, critical of all, not knowing when to hold her tongue, my brothers-in-law, my nieces and nephews clueless bystanders, my husband supportive, policing my behavior. This journal my only escape…

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25. EVERLASTING BIRTH PANGS

Late in spring, Steve and I were at Lowes buying veggies for the garden. He left me with a cart full of plants to go get something in the warehouse…a dangerous thing cause I LOVE flowers. Some dahlias called so I knelt to find the one that wanted to come home with me when I was approached by a tiny, slightly bent, very wrinkled, delightfully enthusiastic ancient Native American woman.

“Come, come. You must see these flowers.” She beckoned pushing a walker cart. I was enchanted by her energy and followed her. “These are the flowers for you.”

She showed me some bright yellow and pink annuals. “Touch them,” she insisted. The flowers were dry, perfectly preserved. I was amazed. “Strawflowers!” She exclaimed. “They’re for you.” I yearned to give her a big hug, but she was so tiny and fragile, I just caressed her shoulder as I thanked her. How could I not buy one?

So I planted a bright yellow strawflower in front and forgot about it…until last Memorial Day. I was on my way to finish my sculpture…and had an uneasy feeling all weekend. Driving over to Grandmother Kathy’s house filled with a familiar feeling of anticipation peppered by trepidation, I was transported back to 1984 driving to UCLA to pick up my first born from the NICU, excited but a little scared. My whole life would change when I brought him home. And now my life was changing again.

I cried the moment Kathy hugged me. “What’s wrong?” About to bring home another life changing creation, I knew that I would never be the same again.

My sculpture came out of the kiln relatively unscathed (a slight crack in the horse’s neck and her left knee…we all have birthmarks and scars, don’t we?) The retouch staining went well, but alas Kathy did not have the right glue to attach the crystal amethyst wings to the ceramic back of the woman so off we went to Lowes.

And Kathy led me right over to a lovely display of strawflowers. “Do you know what these are?” I nodded, as a matter of fact I did, and shared the story of the ancient flower woman with her. She was very excited and after getting the glue and another strawflower plant for each of us, we headed back to her house to attach the wings.

As we waited for the glue to dry, Kathy brought out an essential oil…Helichrysum…she said was from strawflower…yet I knew in holding the tiny vial…that wasn’t quite right…I envisioned a rougher plant… I was hesitant to smell it…She wondered why and I explained that certain odors are powerful memory inducers for me…finally I did…

…and I was in the tomb anointing Yeshua’s hands and feet. Then I went further back to just before the Seder…opening the alabaster jar, Judas reacted to the scent of the helichrysum…not the spikenard, frankincense or myrrh, but the helichrysum because…it was used to heal wounds, to revive…to resurrect…and now he had to do what was asked of him…he didn’t believe and the others, well, they didn’t know what was going on…Then I saw myself well before that last Passover collecting tiny dried yellow flowers from a rough lavender looking plant and simmering them in olive oil until the essence was extracted….Tears poured down my cheeks as I remembered…

Kathy was amazed…she called the essence “everlasting” Afterwards I looked it up online (I love my smart phone!) and found the plant from which the oil is derived….it looked like what I envisioned and the Latin name is “Immortelle”…

I found research on helichrysum for use in gingivitis. I decided to try it on my gums…Steve’s reaction to the smell was strong…he said it made him feel “very upset… please don’t use it again, please” My Mom found it healing, so much so just smelling it relieved a headache… Kathy had the same reaction as Mom…

Now once again I’m astride two worlds…as Jarys would say…the past and the present. Or if there is no time…I’m floating in my river of consciousness between the banks of what was and what will be.

Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon

23. PRECIOUS

I’ve always felt precious. My mother called me her precious daughter until the day she died. My father treats me as if I am a precious gift. My grandparents beheld me with preciousness in their gaze. My aunt and uncle speak of their brief time with me as precious. And I have always felt life is precious. That my relationship with Steve is precious. That my children are precious gifts to me.

So how can preciousness and unworthiness live in one being? Because we live in a dualistic world. We are both self and other. We are both light and dark. We are both divine and human. We are in duality. In duality, we develop our sense of self, our egos. Our ego serves to differentiate us from others. Only when we drop the veil of ego can we be one with all that is. Yet being human, we need differentiation to appreciate connection.

My parents perceived my divine light. And I knew myself as precious until I developed my ego. Then under the veil of ego, I felt separation from all that is and began to feel unworthy. I could no longer perceive my own divine light.

While cleaning a stained-glass lamp, it came to me. The inner light was dull due to the dust of time. Yet polishing the outside of the glass did little to increase the brightness of the light. I had to polish the inside of the glass. Only then did the light shine with its true brilliance.

Same with us. We work so hard polishing our outer selves. Perfecting our appearances, our bodies, our faces, our clothes, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the people we hang out with, the money in the bank, the roles we play…lots of time polishing our outsides… Never quite good enough always striving for more. Thinner, younger, prettier, stronger, richer, more successful.

Yet until we dive deep within to rediscover our preciousness do we spend time polishing our inner selves. Removing the dust accumulated over the years…the childhood traumas we reflexively relive, the generational thinking we carry as karmic imprints, the old paradigm beliefs we are afraid to give up…until we polish our inner selves does our divine light shine brightly enough for us to see it reflected in the world. In the faces of our family and friends, in our works, in our connection with the earth, in all of our lives.

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Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon

21. HELIUM BALLOON

While this is my story, it’s also ours. We’ve been together since we were kids. Steve’s a main character in my story. If it wasn’t for him, I may not have reconnected to my truth so early in my life. His love became the foundation of my awakening. He grounds me into this reality so that my dreams might manifest.

When our daughter was only five, she described us as a helium balloon.

“You’re the balloon, Mommy.”

“Then what’s Daddy, Kyra?”

“He’s the string!” She rolled her eyes. “Without him, you would fly off to outer space.”

After tucking her in with a kiss and a story, I related our conversation to her father.

He laughed. “She’s right. I am the string to your balloon. You need me to keep you on earth. And I need you to get me off the ground.”

It’s sometimes eerie how well we fit together.

When my youngest sister was pregnant with her last child, one of my twin sisters and I gave her baby shower. It was a couple’s shower so Steve came along. Exhausted from working a night shift and getting so little sleep before the afternoon shower, he had a headache and went inside to lie down.

I had a great game for the dozen couples to play. It involved diapering a “baby” the old-fashioned way with cloth diapers and pins. The trick was that each couple had to do it together using only one hand. Needless to say, there was a lot of laughter, poorly diapered dolls, and when my pregnant sister and her husband took their turn, a lot of blood and cursing. No one could do it under two minutes.
My other sister had an idea. “Let’s see you and Steve do it.” I protested. The game was for the guests. “Please,” she begged. “I’ll get Steve!” And she hurried into the house.

We had never played this silly shower game before but Steve could not resist my sister’s pleas. So we linked arms. He was the right hand and I was the left. And silently in perfect unison as if we were one body, we diapered the “baby”. My sister held it up, “I knew it! Less than 30 seconds and perfectly diapered. And look, no blood!”

It was so natural to be in perfect harmony with my beloved even for a silly shower game. Like I said, my story is his too

Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon