fear

53. SHIFTS IN CONSCIOUSNESS

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

These are the eight shifts of consciousness humans make to enlightenment. I heard them listed as such in a recorded channeling… (that’s the first shift…is it real?)…yet always knew this order for I have been living it. Yet it’s nice to see it outlined. The order is not absolute…the process is more like fading or dying…a slow shift of color…bleeding into one another as the phases of the shifts blend…the first two are in order…the rest seem to me to get stronger, more prevalent, more absolute in your life over time… I think this is a nice way to organize My Story. I wonder if it will fit neatly into eight sections…probably not, for as soon as I try to organize my existence, I begin to flow into chaos…always creating… Well, here they are…The 8 Shifts of Consciousness:

1. Curiosity—You ask what’s real? This is the beginning. You’re awakening! Yeah!

I think I skipped this stage since it’s always seemed real to me. I really didn’t realize that what was real for me didn’t seem real to others until I was a teenager. Then I began to play the human game and that included disconnecting myself through my eating disorder. Then I fell in love. And love reconnected me to my truth. It was all real to me.

2. Belief—You know it’s real and you want to know more. You search for answers. You seek gurus. You read books. You go to seminars. You still have a human approach of limited 3D perception and conditioned judgment. And you wonder if anyone else feels the same. When you receive proof, you want others to share in your enlightenment. You may be a little evangelistic.

This was my guru stage. My family thought I was joining cults…so different had I become. I began to find their energy difficult to be with…yet my new friends came and went in my life, attracted to my light as I was attracted to theirs, but you don’t shine very bright in a room full of light, so you seek dark places to illuminate. Through karma and drama, they slipped out of my life and I learned to be the light in any situation.

3. Light & Dark—You make sense of light and dark, understanding over time that both exist in you. And in each one of us. And eventually you get to experience how darkness is just the absence of light and you begin to understand that fear is the absence of love. Then you begin to love yourself. Fill yourself with light and your fear, your darkness becomes illuminated.

I really got this finally…after dreaming I was Mary Magdalen. Then I made sense of fear and darkness. Really before I could not see the darkness in others, only the light. I knew my darkness and judged it harshly. Shining my light brightly outside of self, so that my shadow loomed bigger and bigger behind me. Shatan, get behind me!

4. Karma—You get off the karmic wheel! Yeah! You eliminate karmic imprints and no longer live under predestined energy. Now your future is yours to create.

I worked on this a long time…well before I knew what karma meant. I was born feeling a sense of predestination…of having a mission to complete, but also very much aware that I was creating my reality…a strange paradox and difficult to do before 1987. In 1987, I made a great shift…I learned much later that was the time of the Harmonic Convergence…it seems as I am always on time for all the major shifts in consciousness, feeling the energy and dancing with the flow without a need to know. My need to make sense of all this came later…when I met the gurus and they had names for what I had always felt. It’s as if I never really went to sleep but stayed conscious all my life, knowing that my time would come. And it has. The karmic imprint retreat was the last of entanglements. These stages overlap. It took a long time, nearly to ascension to clear the last karmic imprint.

5. Illumination—You send light to the rest of the planet. This takes practice not to send your bias and judgment along with your light. You focus the light of peace into a war raged zone…yet it is not your light, but divine light…and those warring parties may need to wake up and become a bit more conscious before they can live in peace. So you send light…divine light from your heart-soul to theirs and they will receive the illumination necessary to make their own shifts. Here is where you begin to change matter, to affect the elements, to consciously create your reality.

Being a healer helped me learn this concept of not biasing my light. In the beginning, of course I felt frustrated when my patients would not follow my enlightened recommendations for their health and wellbeing, but I learned that I was not healing them but that they were coming for illumination, to receive my healing light of potential and then they would use that light or not…it was their choice. I always felt uncomfortable praying for others, sending group energy to others imbibed with our wishes for them. How did we know what’s best for them at the soul level? So I send light and love. I’ve been signing all my correspondence with this intimacy for many years. I send you light and love…you may do with it what you will…it is not for me to put conditions on my love or my light…

6. Synchronicity—You begin to recognize synchronicity. You realize that these amazing events that lead to your shift in consciousness are not coincidence but synchronistic. You begin to live in an interdimensional way…not that you are not already interdimensional…there are aspects of you in all the dimensions…past, present, and future…but you know it now and realize that you are one of many human chess pieces on the grand board of life on earth and that you are controlling the game…your god-self, your higher self, in synchronicity with their god-selves, their higher selves.

I’ve always loved synchronicity. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t recognize the synchronicity in my life. I knew everything that happened was not against me but for me…I have always received the gifts of life, transmuting what seems like poisons to others into illumination for myself and my loved ones. Receiving the synchronistic events like presents…I am grateful for each and every one. The sooner I learned to express my gratitude and receive the fullness of the gift of synchronicity, the faster I moved along my path of enlightenment.

7. Self-Healing—You can heal yourself! Whether you understand the “technology” of upregulating your DNA or not, you know that you can heal yourself through intention…and you do.

Again, I used my will to affect my life, including healing myself…yet didn’t understand what I was doing until I had an accident on my horse in 2002. About the same time I let go of all my gurus…meaning I no longer looked to them to heal me (healers either do not allow anyone else to help them, or they are always looking outside of self for healing). I was gifted by an opportunity to heal myself. I knew at a mental, intellectual, scientific level how to up-regulate my DNA…yet had not the “gnosis”—the experience of healing myself at the genetic level. And with all my knowledge, my healing came down to being my body’s best cheerleader and I healed myself miraculously and quickly.

Now it seems that there is not a “one-time” healing for all time, but you will get opportunities to practice and refine your skills. You don’t need a major dis-ease like cancer to do this…I have been warding off contagious dis-ease with a little mantra. I place my hands in a V at my root chakra and say “This is not my bug!” It always works. Just that little conscious instruction to my immune system. As for aging, I have placed all my intentions into my Genesis Gold® and believe it is giving me everything I need to manifest health and wellbeing for my second 50 years on earth…or perhaps longer, I’ll decide then ☺ Because I have intended healing at the genetic level into my creation, Genesis Gold® helps others who also believe in the possibility that they can turn on healing genes. They don’t need to know how for it to work. My mother asked if I had casted a magic shield around her…for she saw so many women her age and they’re old! I told her that she had allowed Genesis Gold® to affect not just her physicality but her attitude. In truth, she’s always had this power… I am spending a lot of time on this subject because it is what I try to help my patients tap into—their divine ability to heal themselves.

So why do those who profess enlightenment continue to challenge themselves with poor health? This is a good question and one that continued to plague me with my judgment of others for such a long time. I know now that we each experience our divinity in our own unique ways, that my way is not their way and vice versa. There is no ONE way! And that includes self-healing. This is a hard lesson…most healers are great at healing others but not themselves. And the enlightened ones I met with such physical challenges made me wonder how enlightened they really were…but now I see that self-healing is a late stage on the path…self-healing leads to ascension…for then you are an embodiment of full genetic potential, all 12 layers!
8. Ascension—You finally arrived! Congratulations. But wait. You haven’t gone anywhere. You’re still right here on earth. How can that be? Doesn’t Ascension mean you ascend to heaven? Well, heaven is here on earth. If you are ascended, you know that there is only here…and interdimensional aspects of this moment you might play in anytime you wish. The past and future and here and there are yours! You are not the same person you used to be.

I always knew I would not be the same after 50 and I am not. My friend saw the difference in me. I feel different. I feel as if my life is renewed. There is a great peace dancing in the flow of life. Seems strange at first…very different than my old way of being. Not that I’ve cast off all my humanity…No way! I still have passionate emotion. And I know fear…and darkness…and I see it in others, finally…yet I am living consciously, choosing love over fear, being the light that I am and knowing that all who come to me are attracted to the light and that is my true mission to reflect their own divine light back to them. And what’s being asked of me at the divine level of consciousness is that I be a Master. I seem to be affecting others just by showing up…it’s been going on for a long time…yet now I go with the flow and am gracious with my humanity when I am struggling a bit in the river of consciousness. I knew a Master once. He exuded light and love to all. They ended up worshipping Him. Yet I knew another side of Him…a very human side…the one who struggled with what he believed to be his mission…yet that is another story…

No one’s perfect, not even Him…which is really great for the rest of us…that this body is the vehicle for our enlightenment and that our lives and especially our relationships are the path of our enlightenment. And that is why I am telling My Story.

41. FIGHTING OVER GOD

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

At my Mormon sister’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago, my aunt (a Buddhist married to a protestant minister) asked how the church responded to my book. She had read LoveDance® and loved it.

“Oh, we’re not part of the church anymore. Gosh, not for the past 22 years!”

“Well, that makes sense. I wondered where you got your material.”

“I dreamt it and later researched what I wrote.” I shared with her that a few months after I wrote a particularly disturbing part regarding the Essenes in Qumran (it disturbed me because I knew what the Dead Sea scholars thought they found and what I “saw” and wrote was very different), my rabbi friend called me up to tell me archeologist had just discovered evidence of what I wrote.

Apparently, when one of us remembers the past it opens the doorway for the truth to be discovered. It’s like how inventors are often working on the same inventions at the same time. Archeologists are always surprised to find modern technology in ancient ruins. I believe it’s because we think we’re the only ones. The only ones who know the truth.

Which is why so many religions believe that their way is the only way to get to heaven. And why there are so many jokes about who you’ll find in heaven. And why there are so many wars.
When we were in the Vatican, Steve said “Wars are seeded in religious conflict”. Including, I think, the Church of the Golden Coins. Because most wars bring the victors much wealth. Except the last one…

9/11 was the beginning of the end for many of us. The moment the towers were hit, I felt it. Although I didn’t know until my mother called a few minutes later what had happened. I couldn’t tell her what I felt. Nor anyone for a very long time. But I felt…great relief.

Like finally the birth waters had burst. The pressure was on. Time to push. It felt like the birth of the New Earth was finally eminent and that was such a great relief. Everyone was frantic of course. We hooked up our cable just to be a part of the tragedy. For days, we watched with the rest of the world. Finally, my daughter said enough. “Let’s turn it off, Mommy. We aren’t helping them by watching. Maybe we should send white light?” I heartily agreed.

Something happened to us on September 11th 2001. I wrote this poem the day after…

The Commencement

After all the tragedy, how will we react
Will we sit in fear, anticipating
Or will we allow the opening of our hearts
Letting this event move us beyond

Dear ones just on the other side of the veil
Watching us, wondering if their sacrifice be in vain
Will we face the challenge with love
Or will we lash out in fear

We have reached the fork in the road
Which path will humanity choose
As the leader of the free world
They are looking to us to choose wisely

No longer the time of Solomon,
Although biblical tales true for then
Yet an eye for an eye, a warrior’s cry
Be not the best choice for our souls’ sake

We are our own enemy
Not good against evil
But a gracious opportunity
To find a way to heal

Dark and light are both of the One
Let go of judgment, let go of fear
Live in love and enjoy this life
Live in fear and repeat the cycle

React as the male warrior
And we take a step back
React with feminine compassion
And we move into the next dimension

It’s time to change, it’s time to love
Release the United States and be a United World
Una faza, una raza, one face, one race
For we are each a facet of the One

Even those who appear to be dark players
On the stage of life, we cannot all be heroes
Some of us offered to play the villains
So the rest could learn about love

Thank the players, wish them well,
Our karmic cycles to end
If we release fear, once and for all
Never again will we have to play dark parts

911 was an emergency call
A call to arms, not weapons
But a linking of arms, a holding of hands
Uniting us in a circle of love

Joined together as one being,
No one richer, no one poorer
Children living with conscious adults
Free from fear, surrounded by love

It’s time to make our choice
Choose to evolve the collective human soul
To be in a higher dimension of awareness
Embrace the commencement of the age of compassion

Perhaps I was ten years before my time. That is not unusual for me. But I do see a shift in our reality. I see hope. I see change. I see that we have evolved. This last war (and I pray it is our last!) brought us transformation. And that’s better than gold.

When only one of us realizes our light, we illuminate our world. That is my hope. That by shining my light into your world, you find your own divine light. It matters not what you call your god…for all is of the One…and it is all Divine.

34. FEAR TRANSFORMED INTO JOY

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

So now fresh from my reconnection with my higher self, I set my intentions to see the face of my fears. The time was ripe. And the universe presented the fruits of my labors.

In late August 2008, I got an urgent call. My mother-in-law was being taken by ambulance from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara. And she wanted me. Before she allowed the doctors to do anything, she wanted me there. I am her medical agent, the one responsible for following her end of life wishes, yet she was fully cognizant, just scared.

So I drove the 45 miles to the hospital knowing this was it. I would be facing one of my fears. As a nurse practitioner, I had been called upon by the family many times over the years for medical advice. It was assumed by my elders that I would be the one to take care of them. And frankly, after decades of providing care for others I did not want to end my life as a caretaker. Plus being a caretaker is hard physically, mentally and emotionally. I have counseled many suffering from depression, insomnia, anxiety, and utter exhaustion from long spans of care-taking.

I knew that it was time to take in Steve’s grandmother while his mother recuperated. And then we would take her. And I knew my husband would agree to whatever I decided and would do everything he could to help. And I also knew it would be me doing all the work.

So I stepped into the ER and stepped into my fear. The family gratefully released all to me. My mother-in-law only signed the emergency surgery release after I counseled with her. It was clear that Steve’s grandmother was not happy being handed over to his aunt and uncle. So once his mother was taken to the operating room, we offered to take Gran. There was little resistance.

Gran came home with us. She was delight, but not safe with her rickety cane on our hard wood floors. So we got her a four wheel drive walker and at 89 years old Gran became mobile again. My mother-in-law had been living with her for the past six years and slowly Gran lost her ability to be productive…or so we thought. To me she was more than willing, so I put her to work. Gran was delighted to help and we found her much more capable than her daughters had reported.

She helped fold clothes while watching Ellen every afternoon and in the evening helped me with dinner. When Steve finally brought his mother home from the hospital, she was surprised to see Gran cutting veggies. “She can’t use a knife! She’s on Coumadin!”

I smiled. “She’s been very careful and if she cuts herself, luckily I can stitch her up.”

Shortly after she arrived, Gran said, “Since my stroke, I can’t smell very well. So you’ll have to tell me if I need a bath.” A day or two later, I sniffed her and announced it was time. She balked a bit nervous to have me help her in and out of the bath. But I had the perfect set up. Our guest bath had a tiny soaking tub with a seat inside an enclosed shower. So I warmed up the bath, and helped her in. Then she sat down, “Uh, oh!”

“What?”

“You aren’t going to be able to get me up.” The seat was too low and her arthritic knees were higher than her hips.

“It’s ok, Gran. I’m a nurse. I know how to lift you.”

She shook her head, “You’re too little.”

“I’m strong, Gran, and Steve’s here if we need help…”

“Oh, no. I don’t want Stevie to help.” Great!

Ten minutes later, all parts of Gran were sparkling clean and I was soaked. After a failed attempt to lift her from the edge of the tub. I stripped off my sodden nightgown and climbed in with her. She laughed telling me that’s how her other daughter did it. I placed one knee between hers, squatted down, “one, two, three” and lifted Gran to her feet. She held me tight as I helped her over the edge of the tub and she didn’t let me go.

“It’s so nice to hold you like this,” she whispered. It was nice. “But there’s only three breasts between us!” She had had a mastectomy thirteen years before. I almost dropped her laughing!

That was Gran always finding delight in everything. I know it’s not easy accepting help especially if your role in life is to be of service. I hope I am a gracious patient and not a burden on my loved ones. But the stress of illness and the demeaning role of incapacitation can make the best of us turn sour. Yet Gran was a delight.

My mother-in-law was another story. I have yet to meet a medical professional who is a good let alone gracious patient and my mother-in-law is a retired nurse. She also had become one of those resentful caretakers that I didn’t want to emulate. So although my care-taking load more than doubled when Steve brought her home from the hospital, I was determined not to lose myself and took time every day for me.

Shortly after they arrived I got a call from Steve’s cousin. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. When it rains it does pour. So I spent time counseling her, helping her to see the spiritual message of the dis-ease. I find that breast cancer patients are very good at taking care of others, but quite poor at self-care. Their body speaks to them through the dis-ease. “Time to nurse me please.” I think she got it. And so did I.

I was so busy during this time, that I did not record it. There is nearly a month missing in my journals yet it is burnt into my memory. And it happened again the very next year. And the second time, I took care of them both for months instead of weeks. Yet in spite of the incredible stress, I am left with such pleasant memories.

Every afternoon, after Ellen, Gran asked if I was free to have coffee with her. I was still seeing patients three days a week in my office which is on our property. My mother ran my practice and was in charge of keeping an eye on Gran while I was in with a patient. Gran would push her walker out onto the patio overlooking the herb garden and chat with the patients as they admired the flowers. And when the last one left, I would sit and have a cup of coffee with her.

And I learned how to sit and enjoy being. Gran loved the garden, the flowers, the hummingbirds that would visit us, the butterflies, even the jays that shooed the songbirds from the feeders and especially the antics of the squirrels as they scolded the cat and the crows. Gran took delight in being alive. And I took delight in being with her.

My fear of care-taking transformed into joyous service. I had written about joyous service in LoveDance® but for the first time, I got to experience it. The family thought I was a saint. My husband cannot thank me enough. Yet it was I who am ever grateful for the opportunity to serve in love and joy.

32. STRUGGLING TO LET GO

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

At the same time, I reconnected to my Higher Self, I had completed a struggle to get my book rights back from the publisher. Although I was so grateful to have my book published, I expected much more than they delivered. Like printing enough copies so Amazon would not run out before the holidays. My contract included the “opportunity” to purchase a short run of a thousand books at wholesale to sell directly at my presentations. And after I purchased my books, their support ended. Another soul lesson unfolded…

Q: My sorrow at dismissing my publishing partner to go out on my own magnifies everyone I’ve left behind.
A: Do not lie paralyzed by grief. Rise up from the mire of your doubt.

Q: What do I doubt?
A: Yourself. Your greatness. Your abilities as a co-creator. Your divinity.

Q: No, I know I am Divine…
A: You have little “gnosis”. Because you push away your Divinity, keep it at bay—for you fear being rejected.

Q: It feels as if I’m already being rejected
A: Divinity shines through you! I AM Here. Just Ask and You shall Receive…

Q: So what is my next step?
A: This fear has to be released fully. What you have been vomiting up, what creates anxiety, what separates you from that which you love. It must be fully released.

Let go of all that does not serve you, that doesn’t bring you joy.

Q: I wish to release my fear but how?
A: In quiet moments, be still and open your chakras—Red to Violet—a prism of white light will encompass you. Into this portal let your fear pass.

Q: I feel hesitant
A: You have held on for so long

Q: Will it be fully gone?
A: Yes, but molecular memory will take longer to forgive

Q: Forgive, not forget?
A: Gratitude for your humanity, forgive yourself for choosing fear over love.

So I asked to see my fear. And every one of my fears manifested. I faced, I embraced, and had the time of my life. I had gnosis through Joyous Service. And abundance began to pour in…while the rest of the nation lived in recession, I lived in transformation. The abundance came as enough money to fill our needs, as opportunities to grow, as family to know better, all interwoven.

I manifest as I type. What I write becomes…

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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27. IMPATIENCE

Last minute doesn’t work for me. I am most like the goddess when all my bowls are spinning gracefully in the air. For me, last minute feels as if I’m a clown juggling too many balls knowing they’ll soon come tumbling down upon me.

I pack a week ahead. Just be sure I have everything and everything fits. I like to plan ahead for events, ready when the day comes. One of my dearest friends is a Last Minute Lizzie. Every Easter, she would invite us over and twenty more family and friends to celebrate. We would arrive early to help, and find that they were in the midst of a remodeling project (she liked to take advantage of the gathering to get her husband to fix up the house) and she would still need to shop! So off I would go with her while Steve stayed to help him and frantically we would get it together…rarely before the guests arrived…

My sisters like to fly by the seat of their pants too, waiting to shop when we arrive a day or two before the holiday. That can drive me crazy! I need to plan and be ready. After our parents divorced, my home became the gathering place for my three sisters, their spouses and all their children. It was stressful since there was so much to do before they arrived. I wanted to be able to spend time with them, but was usually so wound up by the preparations and wanting everything to be perfect that their visits became more and more of a burden.

No matter how well I was doing at controlling my eating disorder, the stress of the holidays would bring Bulimic Deb out of her cage. I yearned for quiet holidays. The more stressed I got, the more I would find myself counseling patients with the same Superwoman Syndrome. I would tell them—just say No!—yet could not take my own advice. Finally, after ten years of this holiday madness, I told one of my sisters I couldn’t do it anymore. It was their turn to play Mom.

Yet it wasn’t where we met that made me so anxious. It was being in their energy. I could tolerate my friend’s frenetic energy, but not my sisters. We were too close and would fall into the roles we always played from the drama of our childhood. The more I found peace in my own life, the more frenetic their energy felt. I couldn’t seem to stay centered when I was in their midst.

Every gathering there would be blow up. I was always looking for their souls and they were hiding behind our roles.

Nov 28th, 2004 Finally a breakthrough with my sisters! Always I have dreaded our family gatherings. Early in my adult life, I fretted over the work related to the holidays, then feelings of unworthiness as I worried about the outcome. Was everything good enough? Was I? Lately dealing with deep seated emotion that threatens to boil over, I have not shared my life with my sisters fearing that we could not find common grounds to safely communicate. Still there are gaps but we are closer after this weekend’s tumultuous confrontation, all four of us crying in the bathroom. We needed a red tent and had to create our own chamam experience. Our passion brought on spooky weather. Bitter rain, harsh winds targeted the house. Our husbands took the kids to the mall where the weather was nicer. My sisters claimed that I did not share all with them and I replied that I feared to reveal to them the true fullness of my emotion—my power can be overwhelming. They pushed, then got blown away, then came back for more. My sisters are hardier than I thought. I do feel loved by them but do not believe I appreciate them fully. My sisters are aspects of the divine. They say I feel superior, but I see their unhappiness, their fear, their unwillingness, it seems, to progress. Yet I realize that just because I have leapt so far away from what was our mutual starting point does not mean that they have not also moved. Steve has kept pace, and in their own way, so have they.

As a point being I am supported by their effort, faith, and love. Without them would I be where I am in this moment? I am buoyed up by their being, my own being reflected in the stillness of theirs, in the wake of their progress, exponential reflections of our conscious evolution. Why must we name our faults and weaknesses to equalize the interaction? Yet I do it when I counsel with patients, admitting my humanness, and we grow together.

Over the years I’ve learned to flow more easily when things don’t always fall into place. Now I graciously step into my friend’s house and just lend a hand. And she too has learned to get it together earlier and enjoy her guests.

For my 50th birthday, my sisters treated me to a weekend away. I prefer being in nature so we took a boat trip out to Anacapa Island. No drama just pleasant memories of picnicking on the bluff in the midst of nesting seagulls. My sisters still want to know where I am coming from…I have changed so much. On a beach walk, one expressed concern that she thought I felt our family was dysfunctional. I smiled…three of us had eating disorders, all of us grew up with disordered body images, our mother still struggled with self-esteem and our father lived like a hermit… “I guess every family is somewhat dysfunctional,” I replied.

Then the conversation became confrontational and for the first time in six months, I felt that need to purge. I placed my hand on my stomach and watched as my sister expanded into warrior pose, then I was cast back into our childhood dining room feeling the fear bubbling up as she argued vehemently with our father—always fighting another’s battle—and ending up in trouble herself. And I came back to the present and spoke my truth.

“Thank you for embodying the warrior in our family. But I am not the enemy. I am your sister and I love you.” And since then, there has been peace.

It took me 50 years to flow even with my family. How strange it feels to not care about the outcome, but to be fully in the moment with them. I can get used to this. ☺

Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon

24. IN THE BATH

As I told my friend, I did not remember my childhood drama until after I gave birth to my first child. Jarys was born ten weeks premature, so we had to wait nearly six weeks before taking him home. Until then he stayed in the NICU at UCLA while Steve worked and I pumped. Day and night around the clock, I pumped my breasts to store the precious milk for our infant. It was all I could do. They wouldn’t let us hold him for very long so I spent more time bonding with my pump than my infant. But it was hardly a chore. In spite of the hand pump—I was never offered an electric model to bring home and my experience with the hospital pump was overwhelming—I got very good at using that odd plastic device.

Imagining his tiny face gazing up at me, the smell of the golden down of his head, the clasp of his fingers around my pinky and looking past the tubes riddling his miniscule frame and the antiseptic glow of the hospital, I would feel let down—that incredible fullness released in rhythm with a baby’s hunger. My breasts did not differentiate between infants. They let down at the cry of a hungry baby in church, at the grocery store, even on television. My milk seemed to flow for them all. As if through the flow I could somehow connect to my own baby so far away. The sensation of letdown would fill my heart. It’s the closest I would get to feeling love. Our bonding was broken by the traumatic delivery and long separation. Only through my imagination could I experience connection.

So every few hours, I pumped and feeling a great sense of accomplishment, I would pack up the frozen milk and drive the 90 miles from Goleta to Los Angeles. The nurses teased that I had enough to feed the entire NICU.

My mother lived closer to UCLA so often I would stay with her. Nana was still alive, although dying of metastatic lung cancer. And my youngest sister chose to live with Mom in the tiny condo rather than Dad in our big beautiful home. So it was crowded when I arrived each week after holding vigil besides Jarys’ incubator.

One night I awoke from a nightmare. I startled my Mom who was lying on the floor besides the couch. “What is it?” She asked, concerned. I described the dream in vivid detail…

I am four years old carrying the baby and herding the two-year-old twins into the bathroom. After setting the baby in the tub, I lock the door behind us, both doors, the one from the hall and the one leading to our parent’s room. Mommy is upset. Daddy is gone. He’s always gone. I sing to them and when the baby settles down and the twins begin to play, I call Nana. In my head, I call to her. And soon the phone rings and Mommy answers. It’s Nana…I wake up…

Mom confirmed that would happen often. She would be overwhelmed by the care of the four of us and worried about what Dad was doing. What he had been doing at the end of twenty-four-year marriage, not being faithful. They were in the process of getting a divorce when Jarys was born. They didn’t tell me right away waiting until I was far enough along in my pregnancy so that I wouldn’t miscarry due to the stress. But still it was stressful. We were less than a year married, both starting our careers, expecting a baby and trying to buy a home. Then Nana got sick and my parents announced their divorce, we take in my youngest sister for the summer, as the whole family whirls about in a tornado of change, and I go into labor prematurely. The stress won.

Remembering my past in its fullness not just the fairytale ideal that I had brought into my young adulthood changed me. I knew I didn’t want to be like my mother. She felt disempowered by her dependency on my father. I knew I didn’t want to be like my grandmother. She lived in a co-dependent relationship with my grandfather who was a recovered alcoholic. I had no other mother figures to model. I had to become a new kind of mom.

My parents’ divorce freed my mother. She began speaking her truth. Loudly in a very Italian way, but it was her truth as she knew it. One thing she taught me very early on was how to be in the moment. Jarys was about a year old, cruising around the furniture. I was behind him wiping up his handprints from the glass coffee table when my mother slapped my hand.

“Don’t be like me.” I looked up surprised. Like my grandmother, my mother was fanatical about cleanliness. I barely remember Nana without a rag in her hand wiping up something and Mom was just like her.

“He’ll only be little once. Enjoy it. The dirt doesn’t matter.” That was the first time I remember maternal advice coming from my mother. I took her words to heart. And I became a more relaxed, in the moment mom, trying not to worry about appearances like how clean my house was, and spent time with my precious child.

When Jarys was twelve I began a deeper level of soul work. I began to clear the dust from the inside of my light shade. I began to write poetry to help heal myself.

I called the collection: Dealing with Feelings through Verse. And through poetry I revisited the bath…

IN THE BATH

the baby is crying
the twins are spying
under the door of the bath
the water is running
she bravely is humming
to drown out her poor mother’s wrath

a mere child of four
walked in the bath door
dragging her siblings behind her
a woman emerged,
with so much to hide
childhood lost in a blur

three decades have passed
yet the pain ever lasts
will ever a child she be
or worse even yet
her own children bet
in her, her dear mother they see

she fights with the rage
turning now to the page
to pour out her heart’s pain and tears
first kissing her dear ones
then calling up dear mum
to find blessings over all these years

Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon