Monday, February 25, 2008

What's The Worst That Could Happen?

My mother used to ask me this quetion when I would be fretful with worry over something. When I was seven, this seemed to be a constant condition for me. We had moved many times by the time I was newly seven. We moved again, sometime after the school year had already started. I had grown fond of Mrs. Bennett, my second grade teacher at La Marina. I had survived the wetting-my-pants-at-school-on-a-rainy-day incident, the fire on the field at school where nobody did what we learned during fire drills. I even went unscathed by the incident of seeing one of my older sisters in the hall with a big dollop of bird poop on her shoulder. And, just like that, all that I had been through seemed like a day at the Fair compared to the way I felt at Pacific School on my first day, mid year. I was thrust into a classroom with kids I didn't know, forced to sit in the front, at a table instead of at a desk with the other kids, and told to copy the spelling words on the chart, by my new teacher, Mrs. Yez. Ohhhh, my stomach instinctually curls up into a nervous ball at the thought of that fateful day. Mrs Yez was cold, hard, very old and from my adult perspective, way way past the prime age of retirement. The woman was actually a hazard to the children she was hired to teach, and care for during their very formative years. I have come to see the age of seven as the magic age. The age when we become ourselves. We are all pretty much the same person we were at seven, with more experience more self control and perhaps a more worldly view of things. I was sensitive, quiet, introspective, secretly very funny, tall for my age, had a spark of confidence that would later ignite into the fire that now burns brightly within me. Oh, but I digress. Back to second grade. The first thing I did on that day was copy the wrong spelling words.

My memeory has edited much of this year from my grasp. I can tell you that I spent a lot of time in the school nurse's office with a tummy ache (yeah- my third chakra- gut feeling was telling me to do what ever I needed to do to keep away from Mrs. Yez!), I stayed home a lot with "illness". I even remember meeting with the school principal on a couple of occasions to discuss any "problems" I was having. Pretty simply, the only problem I had was that sticky black energy in front of the classroom that was trying her best to extinguish any light she saw. That year, I read lots of picture books with one foot crossed over my bent knee, lying on the nurse's table/bed. It was fine when I took care of myself. When I was forced to bear witness to Mrs. Yez's contained cruelty, I saw how she treated the boy who fell back in his chair (yes he was tipping it- he was, a boy, though- not doing anything abnormal or unexpected for such a gender) who had a smear of blood on his hand as it passed through his hair at the impact sight, I ached inside with grief. She would not even permit him to go to the nurses office. I had probably used up all the nurses passes by then. I am so sorry Peter.

The best thing that happened in second grade is that I met my first best friend, Lara. Lara had long, shining, wavy, thick hair and brown eyes. She was sweet and practical and my gut feeling told me she was a true friend. From my perspective at thirty nine, I can confirm that my insticts at seven were correct. Lara remains one of my closest friends and one of the most important people in my life.

Lara and I talk almost every day. We both contract with the same cellphone company and although I could attribute all of our conversations as simply convenient and fee-free, I have to believe there is a more profound connection here. Yesterday, I was talking to Lara about one of the concepts that has recently come to me in my new vibrational state of bliss. The idea is this: As long as you have your conciousness, you are free. You are free to exist in joy or pain, you are free to vibrate in love of be eaten alive by fear and sorrow. You are free from the bondage of everyone else's will but your own. Even if you are wrongfully imprisioned in Guantanomo Bay in a concrete isolation chamber with no light, you are free. Even if you are imprisioned in a body that has heen paralized from the nose down, you are free. Even if you have killed five hundred thousand innocent people because you were ordered to do so by your commanding officer, you are free. You have your conciousness, you have free will, you are free. Imagine a world filled with people who grasp this concept. There would be an easement of pain, there would be a lifting of sufferring, there would be an erasure of remorse, of self sabotage, of guilt, of revenge, of a need to attack before being attacked, a need to victimize before becoming a victim. There would be no victims. There would be no inflictors of pain. there would be only choice and free individuals who chose to put their weapons down, forgive themselves for atrocities/mistakes they have made, make amends to those they have harmed. There would be forgivenss, and motion in a forward direction.

Imagine the medical community being open to being wrong, being open to new ways, being open to learning from those they had shamed and compartmentalized as quacks, "alternative healers" and downright "dangerous". Imagine this concept in every situation where there is strife, struggle and pain. Imagine the difference it would make if you could never be a victim. If the threat of "rape" were no longer the worst thing that could happen to you. If death were not the worst thing that could happen to you. If loss, or a broken heart, or being wrong were not the worst things that could happen to you. Wrap your mind around it while I tell you a little story.

I met a woman at a hen party a couple of weeks ago. This was one of those tupperware-type parties where women get together in a home, food and wine are served, and something is offered for sale. In this case, it was my favorite line of clothing. The designer of this line is so attuned to the needs and wants of women today, especially me, that I will kneel down and place my forhead on her foot in thanks if ever I have the chance to meet her- which will probably totally freak her out, by the way, but I guess freaking people out is part of my destiny, after all. Back to the story.

A few of us were asked to model the spring line. We each had four or five outfits to strut around in so that other women could see how great the clothes looked on regular, normal people. One of my co-models was this five foot something (hard for me to judge a height this short, as I am six feet tall) beautiful babe with long, flowing blonde hair, perfect boy body and cute boobs. She looked particularly adorable in the khaki capris with the burgandy tissue T and platform espadrilles. She was a vision, and I told her so.

Later, this new BFF, Jill, and I were sipping wine and gobbling gourmet pizza, talking trash and I asked her, "what are your plans for Valentine's Day?" She said that she wanted to do something really hot for her husband of eighteen years. I started to offer up suggestions.

-"Get rid of the kids" - There were three- "Check!", she said.

- "Turn off all electric things, except perhaps music, and light the house with candles." - "oooh good! Keep going!", she said.

-"When he comes home, answer the door in sexy lingeree, or a slinky robe". This is where the conversation got interesting.

"I think I'll wear nothing but tassles on my nipples." she said, "these boobs are for him!"

"Oh, are they new?", I inquired.

"Yes." Jill said calmly, " I had breast cancer, these are new. I got them in December."

Then Jill went on to tell me her breast cancer story. She said, she got the diagnosis in September. That her old breasts were so flat, and saggy that the mammograophy technitian didn't even have to spread them out to have a good scan of them. "My kids sucked the life out of them. They nursed me to death!". Good, I thought, They served their purpose.

"When I found out I had breast cancer, I had a Bye Bye Boobies Party. We served margaritas and had m&ms made that said 'ta ta ta-tas' and 'bye bye boobies'. I got rip roaring drunk with my friends and sent my breasts off with flair!". "I fell in love with my husband during my cancer", Jill added, " We have been married eighteen years and he took two months off from work to do my job for me while I was recovering. One month in September and another full month in December. He did all the cooking, shopping, picking up and dropping off of the three kids, all that I do, he took over, showing me how much he respected me in my job as wife and mother." I was weeping a little by now. " Can I touch them?" I asked, of her perky new breasts. Because we were true friends, and Jill is that kind of person, she allowed me to feel her up. They were perfect. Not too big, not too hard. Perfect, and they matched her personality beautifully.

I gushed to Jill how I loved the way she saw the whole cancer experience. It seemed to me that she could have wallowed in woe and self pity, dying a little inside, shrivelling up as a woman, but had done the opposite instead. What a gift to herself, her husband, her family, friends and to me, who asked her if I could write her story into my book. You know she said "yes", because you are reading this. I told her I would call her story Zues and Juno Get a New Pair of Boobs, and so here you are. A real life example of joy in what could have been considered a tragedy.

There is a lot of pain these days. It is hard to make sense of it. It seems like people are dropping like flies, dying from cancer, suicide, homicide, school shootings. Even for an enlightened soul, it gets a bit confusing. What I can say is this: Death is not the worst thing that can happen. It is a transition. It can be a transformative transition, but either way, the energy of the soul remains intact with or without the body. If your loved one has passed, think of it as a free bus pass for that person/pet. They can now be with you at a moment's notice. They fly free all the time. They hear you and feel you, and though many souls get lost and need help passing into the light that reassures them with it's love-energy, there are ways to help them and they are very much still with us, sans body. So, let go of the thought that even this seeming finality is so horrible. It is not. And, by proxy, neither is any terminal or chronic illness. It is all just an opportunity to experience some aspect of life in human form. Make a party of it. Do it your way! Take a cue from Jill and make melons out of the lemons you were served. There are no rules or restrictions when you realize that if you have your concsiousness, you are free.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tending Your Own Garden

Tending your own garden is one of those very important, yet secret things we learn to do, first as infants, for if it be unnatural, why are our fingertips so perfectly paired with our gardens? Just the right length, just the right size, and the soil feels good to stir... . As children, we are shamed, 'If you are going to touch your garden, please do it in the privacy of your own room' (preferably under the covers in the middle of the night so we won't have to know about it). Unless you were shamed or frightened into never exploring your own, native soil, you know that with proper tending, almost any tending, flowers can and will bloom. We learn this, one way or another, in our teen or adult years (Thank God!). As soil, rich, black, fragrant soil, even when a gardener sets in, digging with his spade, will never bear a bloom of any kind unless A. We have learned how to bring forth blooms from our own soil first, or B. we have a gardener with an experienced green thumb who is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

If the inexperienced gardener with a spade or a hoe, or even rake sets into our soil before we have learned the nuances required to bring forth the magic of germination, it can taint us to the beauty of gardening for a very very long time. We may even come to the conclusion that gardening in general is some nasty business that has no place in a girl's life. That her soil is dirty, she likes her nails clean and may even go so far as to have her plot of soil paved over with concrete. Sad. So girls, here's where I am going to enlighten you. Get your notepads ready, brew up the tea and light the candles, because we are going to talk gardening!!!!!

This is what I've learned, and would like to share with you about soil, germination and ultimately the beautiful blooms that can and will come forth for any healthy female with the desire to experience the pride of regularly bringing forth a beautiful flower, (or two or three).

The most important advice I can impart to you today is that you weed from your garden any shame, embarassment, self loathing or fear associated with the act of tilling your own soil. Gardening in your own plot is actually one of the healthiest, most sacred rituals you can do, and unfortunately, in our society, sacred acts are sometimes labled as shameful. Not true. Throw those weeds away and never think of them again. Good.

Of course, the best gardening is done alone, just you and your soil and your mind and heart, open, fingers enjoying the feel of the warm soil, wet with dew, you hum along, lost in the pleasure of connection, literally taken away to another place, another time, on vacation. A vacation for your heart and your body. Any time of day is a good time for gardening. Any time and place when you can clear your mind, create a sacred space for you and your soil to bring forth a colorful bloom, in celebration of life. The resulting you will have a glow in her cheeks and take in the rest of the day with ease, even welcoming your gardener in later, your soil already stirred and loosesened, ready for the spade.

Using your hands is fine, just make sure you begin your digging with clean fingers so as not to infect your soil with any unwanted germs. Many women use fertilizer or bell jars ( a bell jar is like a mini, glass, bell-shaped green house you place over the soil where your bulb is buried to provide warmth and moisture in cold weather) to help stimulate and or force their bulbs. I have never tried a bell jar, but am fully supportive of any tools neccessary to achieve the most beautiful bloom. If you are shy about purchasing a bell jar, there are web sites and stores geared toward female gardeners now that won't make you feel dirty or sinister to enter. A site I know of called The Art of Pleasure for Gardeners, is run by women for women. They say 'an orchid a day keeps the wrinkles away'- and I have come to see this as sage advice. Stimulating the blossoming of an orchid increases blood flow to every part of your body and creates hormones to be released that stimulate joy and health, counteracting all the negative stress hormones your body gets flooded with on a daily basis.

Along the lines of air and aerating your soil, part of letting go of the shame of taking time during your busy day to garden, is exposing your soil to fresh air and sunshine. Unless you are trying to grow mushrooms, your flowers need air and sun to bloom. Get out from under the covers. Think of some new ways to till your soil discreetly, but in honor of the life-giving properties your soil will bring forth. Like I said before, the shame has got to go. Your gardener, if he is a trusted partner, will fully support you in this, if you choose, at any time, to discuss the subject of gardening with him. Might I suggest having this conversation over a bottle of wine, prior to enetering an empty house or hotel room? Most gardeners love to talk about soil and wish to start digging just as soon as possible after a conversation such as this has taken place. They can hardly keep their rakes or their spades to themselves once you begin to discuss the nuances of soil aeration.

Soil should be honored with regular tilling, sowing, care and maintence. It should be revered in it's ability to bring forth the beauty of flowers, bouquets and bushels of exquisite, fragrant, richly colored blooms. It should be nurtured and tenderly cared for in it's life-giving, promotion of new seeds, and the gardeners of tomorrow. Never again, will this tender, beautiful plot of soil be left untended. And as for those girls who have had their plots covered over with concrete; break out your jackhammers! Even dormant soil can be unleashed in it's ability to bring forth life.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Family Discount

You know all those excercizes in The Secret, and umpteen other self-help sources that advise you to ASK for what you want and need, that only THEN can the universe provide? So many souls won't even ask. They shut the door on themselves, actually rarely even opening it in the first place, before they risk having the door slammed on their needy, wanting hearts. What a waste. Thankfully, I have become rather good at the asking, and then letting go of the result that may or may not manifest itself. My track record is sound. This technique works. You need proof? No problem.

I recieved my first Wish Box when I was a teenager in the 1980's. I remember that it was a gift and that it was wooden and simple and somewhat mystically pained with copper swirls or triangles or something. The wish box came with simple instructions. Place your written wishes in the box. I remember writing my "wishes", you know, all those things that would lighten the burden of worry from my heart, on tiny strips of paper. I usually wrote the requests as polite inqueries to God, that I may please have.... oh let's say as an example..., a means to go to college, always followed by a sincere Thank You just for taking the time to consider the request. Two years later, from this inquery, I somehow, in a weird twist of fate and events unfolding, found myself in line to take the picture for my student I.D. at California State University, Long Beach. My sister Stacy, who played volleyball on a full scholarship, had brought me home an application and henpecked me until I mailed it, and my transcripts in. I should have seen the foreshadowing of future events...., but I'm getting off track.

The wish box recieved new wishes varying in magnitude of levels of probablity that they would happen, sometimes desparately begging,...."PLEASE let Andrew marry ME!!" And somehow I never gave up on the box, even when some of the really really important events, like Andrew marrying me, just refused to take place. Oh, but then, I have patience. I never took the long wait as a NO answer. I just figured the wish was fulfilled somewhere in the future. Me and Andrew, simple gold bands in a courthouse, with no beautiful dress and no bride's maids - I didn't need all that- Oh, just to be Mrs. Pott. I chuckle now, from this vantage point, at this sweet girl who refuses to give up on things that obviously aren't for her. Ahhh, youth.

When the wishes were fulfilled, like graduating from college, the strip of paper would be thrown away to make room for new wishes. Sometimes I would clean out old wishes, not wanting them any more. Either way, I was always relieved of the burdon of worry that my life would unfold in ways I could not forsee. Like a present.

As an intermediate level wish-maker, I think I used an urn or a piece of pottery, even my journal with the pages left in the binding as wish box, and successfully got:

A real job with a salary, as opposed to a paycheck.

A cool apartment in Santa Barbara with a shoebox-sized ocean view when you looked from the level of the kitchen counter with your cheek pressed up against the glass,




A Husband/Family,

A Baby,

A House, we could afford,- actually the house we wanted but were told we absolutely could not buy because it wasn't nor would it ever be for sale,

My Dream Car,

My Destiny/Soul's Purpose, made so clear that there could be NO question as to the concreteness of the fact that that's what it was,

My Soul Mate, (who happens to be the man I married nearly ten years ago!).

Here's what the wish box/Universe has denied me:

My career in Pharmaceutical Sales,

My career as a therapeutic gemstone jewelry practitioner,

My career as creator of uplifting spiritual enlightment-inducing cards,

My thin, firm body,

My perpetually flat stomach, (actually, I may have spoken too soon on these two items- something odd is happening to my body, even though I have been eating dessert after or for every meal)

My freedom in the form of bringing in my own income/ AKA, my "financial" independence.

as a side note, I have defied the universe on this one, because I have still acted as if the money was mine, making all the hard choices, like "should I spend $133 dollars on something so frivolous as a fully reversable emerald and purple, full length cape, just because I really want it, even though I run out of money each month before the next paycheck comes in from the Boss for managing the household's expenses?" Yep. I bought it. And you know where that got me.

I'm telling you, I have gotten flat out balsy in the requests I've been making to the universe these days. In the past two months I have ordered a pay-off of all outstanding mortages (around $550,000 dollars), A pay off of my car, (anither $24 thou), updating some things in the house including but not limited to: new bathroom, new living room furniture, new bamboo flooring throughout the living room area, a new fence in the back yard, a new water heater, solar panels and I think that was all that was formally requested in the new year.

Now here's where the real fun begins. I called up Stacy, my sister, and left a message on the family answering machine saying, and I quote, "Hi, this is Shelley and I'd like to place an order from the Universe for equipment to film the feature length, major release documentary I am going to make. I would also like to order a computer large enough to edit this masterpiece with the highest quality. In addition, the time and finances required to make this endever come to fruition. And PUT A RUSH ON IT, Universe, this project needs to start yesterday." When the Universe Rep. called me back, I had her read me my order, just to make sure she got it right. She assurred me with confidence that it was on it's way. I have to say, it is so nice dealing with people you can trust. It just alleviates the need to worry about things like did she get the size and quantity right? Does she know that I need resources of all types to make this happen, not just the money- I need a support staff, like an agent and an editor, and a secretary and someone to carry my film equipment through airport terminals so that I may leave my hands free for holding on to those of my children and husband.?

Oh, this Rep is good. She really gets the nuances of the unspoken request. She just takes the liberty of inflating your order to include the things you didn't know you needed. I am so pleased with her service that I have sent a business reply card to the Universe, thanking them for sending Stacy to me as my Rep (and my big sister). I am sure a raise is in store for her. I think she's already ordered it. Oh, and she is so good, I didn't even need to pull that old, overly used card, requesting the "Family Discount".

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Is She For Real

This is the title of my book, my fictitious book. Yes, I am a fictional character. It's easier to swallow this stuff if you think of me in this way. I got an idea of how intense I am, just in my existance today, when U., my pet name for Universe, or The Universe, depending on how you see it, threw me some doozies.

I set out like any other person. I got up at five, watched STAR WARS Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, on the couch with the little DVD player my kids use on long trips to pass the time. I drank my coffee, allowed my son, Aidan to join me around five thirty, watching together the poetic progression of Anakin Skywalker, the chosen one, the one pre-destined to restore order to The Galaxy, evolve into Darth Vader, apprentice to the misinformed leader of the Sith, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/soon to be cloaked and hooded Emporer with some serious wrinkle problems. While watching this I kept thinking how brilliant the body of work is as a whole. It serves as a metaphoric model of our own society and human history and future, in such a beautifully stylish way. I have always identified with the Force as "God", or that energy most of us now refer to as "The Universe" (remember U.?). My childhood (and adulthood, for that matter) was ruled by this concept I recognized as truth. There is an energy that binds all things. This energy can be harnessed for strength, for information, for a clear view that sight cound never provide. The force is about feelings . "check your feelings, Luke". Third chakra, baby! It's all about feelings. Gut feelings never lie, because it's The Force guiding you.

So, getting back to my day..., I was LOVING this movie. I had only seen it once, in the theater, when it came out a few years ago. I really enjoyed it then, but thought the acting was weak, the special effects too numerous and the story too complicated to follow. Just shows where I was in my evolution because TODAY, at five AM all I could keep saying to myself is, 'This is mastery. This is genius. This is PERFECT. This is speaking to my heart truths upon truths. This is George Lucas's gift to the human race. THIS may be how the human race, how all those younglings LEARN the ways of The Force soon enough that they survive and thrive in this vibrational transition.' Whew! And Aidan, who is only four and a half, pretty close to five years old, followed this film and agreed with me on every point I shared with him, right down to the totally cool T-Bird-esk ship Obi Wan takes to track down General Grievous on a planet in the Outer Rim. He said, "cool ship" while I silently thought "cool ship".

After that, we had breakfast, or Aidan had breakfast and Kieran woke up and had breakfast. We played baloon volleyball over the coffee table with two air- filled red baloons. I put on the Charlie's aAngels sound track and we danced to such classics as, Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel and I Like Big Butts, one of my personal favorites. I gave Tom, my husband, what I thought was great news, that I was going to look at camera equipment today, so that I could start filming my documentary, you know, the one the psychic told me last week that I was going to make? The one that will change the World? I told him I'd be visiting Sammys Camera in Santa Barbara with my mom to investigate equipment for rent (or purchase, I secretly thought). I told him this while he was on the toilet pooping. I don't usually talk to Tom while he's pooping. This should have been a red flag for me.

I took a shower, got dressed in a pair of Tom's jeans because my jeans are too big now (fat is phat!, Remember?) I wanted to wear the red, paisly silk strapless bustier over a T-shirt with the jeans, but caution got the best of me. Did I really want to call that much attention to myself today? I settled for a navy and white print wrap dress over the jeans and a very long sand colored cashmere scarf, wrapped around my body and artfully tied at my hip, like a Jedi Knight. I thought I looked cute. I picked up Mom from the house, after she fed me a calorie-rich breakfast and we spilled milk from chalices into the planter (I had been advised to do this in honor of some pagan holiday, representing the center point between the winter and spring solstices by my sister Stacy and good friend, Kym). We headed out into the beautiful, 11 AM sun and made our way across town to Sammy's.

Sammy's Camera was an experience. The aisles were filled with equipment real photographers, cinematographers and film-makers use. We perused these aisles. I saw a display of National Geographic brand khaki canvas equipment bags. I told Mom, "we're gonna need something like that for Africa". She didn't flinch. In fact, she was being surprizingly supportive. This wasn't like her. She was usually trying to contain me, like a genie in a bottle. What was this? Was she more enlightened than I'd thought? I should have noted this as another "red flag", but being the gullible sort, I went straight down to work.

I approached the counter and began to express my needs to the first sales person who made eye contact. "Ohhh, stop right there", she said when I started listing the equipment needs I had for making a feature-length documnetary... "I know who you need to talk to, Sonny. I'll get him". A few minutes later a very cute, very confident five foot something gentleman came to my aid from behind the camera counter. "I need a digital camera", I said, "one that has the capability to shoot a documentary in natural ligting conditions, and will produce a film quality fit for "The Big Screen". "Hi-Def or regular def?", Sonny asked. "oh, definately Hi Def", I replied, after pondering the question for a total of two seconds. "Well... we are TOTALLY out of HI-Def cameras right now." I paused for two seconds, "then regular def it is. I need a camera TODAY! I need to start shooting my documentary." I replied with confidence. Secretly, I was praising this woman that I have become, in her wrap dress with the Star Wars-esk sheik Jedi scarf accoutremont. I was good and I looked good too. I listed off and we discussed the other things I would need, a tri-pod, a case for the camera, a larger battery pack, two boxes of tapes, a cable to transfer the film to a computer which I do not at this time posess, a "take one, aaaaaaannnnnnd, (CLAP) Action!" thing to help with editing (Sonny wasn't even by phased by the fact that I didn't posess the vocabulary for film-making. What a Professional!). The final thing I added to the pile was lens cleaning tissues. Sonny helped me out by giving me a micro-fiber lens cloth instead. Mom and I stood there and we made bets on what the total would be. At first, I threw out, "ten thousand", just to show her that I wasn't scared. "Nooooo", she said, "I think it's less, something like two thousand." "Not possible", I replied. "It will be four thousand, eight hundred sixtythree and thirty five cents" I said with the confidence of one who KNOWS. "I bet it's five thousand, five hundred seventy three dollars and fifteen cents. and if I'm right, you buy lunch and if you're right, I'll buy lunch.", Mom said. And that is how we stood, in joyful glee, while Sonny added up and charged five thousand, five hundred seventy three dollars and fifteen cents to my American Express OPEN card with the business name Terra Celeste on the front. Mom was right, I said I'd buy lunch.

Our errands then took us to the better of the two local "woo-woo" stores, Paradise Found. Mom had a list of things she needed to buy and I wanted to pick up some spray sage in a bottle for cleansing energy in a room without the smoke and a few raw crystals to grid the house of my dear friend Lisa, who has been blessed with a cancer experience. Mom went straight to work, bypassing the fuzzy pink and blue Jesus and Mary statues without a word of jest (a better woman than I- I had to make fun of these treasures!). She selected a lovely transparent lavender plastic Tara figure for my niece, Ari, and I proceded to choose a nice selection of dual-terminated quartz crystals, an eqyptian cat/eye candle to ward off evil spirits form my altar, two bottles of spray sage and a couple of celestite shards. I was done with my shopping, except for the affordable $14 dream catcher I noticed hanging with the less affordable $57. dreamcatchers , Medicine Wheels and Spirit Wheels, while Mom shopped for singing bowls. She bought the dream catcher for Aidan, my son, who informed me nearly a year ago that he "needed a dream catcher near his bed to catch the bad dreams". Yeah, he's one of those kids. While Mom continued to shop, I sat down in an alcove reserved for those who care to embibe in the prescribed music of the moment. I sat, with my palms turned upward, resting on my knees and closed my eyes to meditate and connect for a few moments. I got the urge to attempt to enrgy-heal a cut I had received this morning from a large quartz formation my Mom gave me for Christmas. The cut was deep, but clean and on the pad of my wedding ring finger. I sat, with right hand suspended over left, creating, and at the same time experiencing, the penetrating energy emerging for the palm of one hand and terminating in the finger of the other. I thought, while I was doing this, that I could go later to the hospital and use this technique on my friend Lisa, to help heal her perpetually collapsing lung. I had a moment of fear/arrogance that I could acually mend my own tissue, thereby proving that I posessed the capability to speed the regeneration of new cells and potentialy add this technique to my resume. I thought, 'I am the perfect experimental subject'. While I '"healed" myself, the pain I had experienced jut moments prior, melted away.

Mom finished buying her trinkets and we joyfully meandered two doors down to the Arts and Letters Cafe. I told Mom I had something to tell her/show her, but not until after we ordered. We both chose the soup and Mom augmented ber pumpkin bisque with the grilled artichoke, and I could hardly contain my excitement (another red flag) in my story of the crystal, the cut and the catharsis. I prepared to rip off the bandaid. The healed finger would be the ultimate proof that I had a gift. That I was special. That I was destined to be popualr amonght the sick and dying. I removed the bandaid.....the cut was no longer apparent. The pad on the finger had some dried blood, and if you looked closely, you could make out a small line where the flesh had healed. There was no other redness, swelling, separation, lesion, abrasion or indication of trauma. That was it. I was a full fledged healer. I began imagining the business cards I would have to order when I noticed that there was blood on my left palm. That couldn't be from my miracle finger, I thought, incredulously. I was a healer. The finger was healed. But, the flag was yet again, red, and I had to admit to myself and to Mom, that I was not actually completely healed.

We left the Arts and Letters Cafe and headed to State Street where I knew there existed an antique shop specializing in Asian furniture. When we reached the corner of State and Anapamu, we both asked our gudes to direct us- we both agreed that left was the way to go. The shop was right there, half way down the block just past the construction scaffolding masking the future fascade of yet another Santa Barbara storefront remodel. Mom said she wanted an antique asian stool or short table to set afront her fireplace hearth as an altar for her and my step dad's home. We had a good time perusing the furniture, stopping to admire the three simple milking stools dating from the early 1900's. Mom spotted a little square tea table with a tiny drawer that she liked. It was $175., somewhere in between the $40 and $200 she said she wanted to spend on this item. Instead of buying it right away, we looked at the whole store, admiring antique rugs, tables, stools, buddah heads, asian altars, and pottery. The two owners turned out to be quite interesting and rather charming, as mom purchased be tea table from one and I inquired about the price of an egyptian statue of a cat from the other. Fun!

We took our wares and decied to return to her house for a nap. While in transit, Tom, my husband called. I felt compelled, because I can't keep a secret, and don't ever ask me to lie because I am not capable of it, to tell him of my video camera, tripod and scene-editing board purchase. This was right before he inquired about the fully reversable purple and emerald green full length velvet cloak that had just arrived in the mail. Great. I had hoped to intercept that. I knew when I ordered it, that it alone could create a bit of a stir, but coupled with my behavior and channelling from the last seven days, I know I was in trouble. "I don't know who you are anymore" he said. Fuck. "You are spening like a mad woman. You are sounding crazy. I think our paths are diverging.... ". I, up until that very moment, thought we were growing closer together. He had even expressed an inteest in taking yoga classes with me just yesterday. How could he have been so easily thrusted into a state of doubt of my sanity? I tried to not make ultimatums. I tried to be comapssionate. "I can imagine how you must feel", I said, pretending to be a sympathetic friend, "this may seem rather crazy from your vantage point". I then gathered my strength, courage and wit and began to formulate a concrete argument as to the sanity of each and every one of my recent actions. I even had a truthful explanation for the purchase of the cloak which had nothing to do with pagan rituals performed under a full moon with other cloaked individuals. "I was depressed", I said, "at Christmastime". I had had thyroiditis and all I wanted was something fun. Not the boots Mom wanted to give me but he cloak that my sister Stacy suggested she give me, knowing that this kind of gift was just the kind of thing that sparked my passion. Mom had vehemently refused to buy me such a thing claiming that I would probably wear it. This act of again, trying to keep me contained in an appropriate bottle was just enough to make me order the cloak for myself out of spite coupled with desire. Cloaks are blankets with hoods. I like blankets. My favorite colors have always been purple and green. What's the big deal anyway. The cloak doesn't come with a membership card to the United Federation of Witches, or anything of that sort, so why all the hoopla from Mom and Tom? What's the BFD? What are you all so afraid of????

Ahhhhhh, and now we get to why I need to make my documentary. A documentary on the natural shift of normal every-day people like you and me, from a state of sometimes literal but mostly figurative bondage in the form of worry, misery, resentment, greed, envy, selfishness, sloth, carelessness, regret, shame, hate and the big one that sets all the other balls in motion, FEAR through a transitionary metomorphosis and then out the other side free from the bondage and absolutely revelling in the joy.

I spent a good thirty minutes, and more energy than I had, carefully explaining in a rational and concretely supportive way, all that has been happening to me, and why I had to spend five thousand dollars on equipment to make a real honest to goodness movie. I realize he can't even fathom that someone would be balsy/foolish/arrogant/stupid enough to attempt to do what I am claiming I WILL DO (without even a tinge of hesitation, doubt or trepidation). I love the man, so I try again to make an argument that he will understand. I say that he spends how much (about $20,000 per year, he says) to send our oldest daughter to college? I say that with this money you are investing in something that may or may not pay off in the end. No one who enters college is guaranteed a high paying job upon graduation. As parents, we have faith that the investment is a worthwhile one, albeit "risky" in the sense that the gains may not be seen for many years to come, if at all.

My argument then took us back down along my track record. In the four years since I was laid off from my solid career in pharmaceutical sales, I have focused my efforts on rearing our children, and have worked tirelessly in persuit of honest business successes. I have established two on-line stores to sell my self-created lines of therapeutic gemstone jewely. I have created and published packs of inspirational cards, I have made over a dozen small films for our family and loved ones, carefully creating, editing, incorporating music and text where I was able, to hone my film-making/editing skills. I have written over 85 essays on a blog, that I find to be a solid body of work. I have done all of this and taken care of all of our four children, braiding hair, baking scones, reading aloud, helping with homework, driving on field trips, working in the classroom, serving on the PTA, participating in any and every way that is offered up to me. Saying "no" to almost nothing and with a smile on my face in in my heart most of the time. I make this argument and I get Tom to say that he's still worried about me but that he does love me and always will. Phew. Disaster averted. For now.

I float like an deflaed weather balloon into Mom's house to rest. After I log about 20 minutes of deep breathing- I can not sleep, Mom comes out. I am so excited because the name of the documentary has come to me. I explain the significance of YOU as another way of saying U. (for Universe. for God- which you are). She isn't elated. She is more concerned with the temperature of the coffee she hands me. "Is it warm enough?", she asks.

As we sit down on the couch she takes that authoratative tone, stating, "I think you may be bi-polar. You seem manic". Oh geeez. Not this again. Not today. Not by another one of my allys. Why is this so hard.

I listen to her express her concern. I smile, sensitively, she worries about her children, their weight, thair hair color and cut, their manicure status, and weather or not they are wearning eye cream and sunscreen. I get really close, place my hand on her knee and say, "this must be very hard for you. Not that I am suggesting that I belong in the same ranks with such a man, but imagine the Dhali Lama, imagine Ghandi, imagine anyone who's courage to speak and act in a different way, must affect those closest to them." I look her in the eye and ask her to look at me. I say, "From the time you first carried me in your womb, you know I was special. You have always known that My destiny was to do great things. I'm an old soul, remeber? You were the first one who told me that. When I was four. You know this is exactly what I am meant to do and I will gladly accept any helpful advice you may wish to provide to me as I persuit this inevitable goal",

Mom, suggests, "Ease up, don't tell everybody so much. Don't be so intesnse, it's scary (for me," I know she is thinking). "You don't have to give yourself away just because you can. " And from her words I see/know that I need to stop talking to my people about all of this and start writing. So, here it is. I dare you to ask, "Is she for real?". Read on and make up your own mind.

This is risky business, this job I have taken on. I know it. Good thing I am strong. Very very strong and detirmined to DO what I know I must do. It takes a fuck-shit load of courage to lead the masses form what they know that is "bad" to what they don't know that is "good". My beloveds, where we are going is good, so very very good. All I ask is that you trust me.