Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shifts, Changes and Moving On by Saralee Sky

In the words of the great Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

In that spirit, and with some trepidation and heaviness of heart, I have decided to close Babynut/Womb To Grow down by the end of March, 2010. I have enjoyed so much making this small gesture to the Universe. It has been a huge focal point for me and a way for me to reach out to mothers and babies and offer love, support, information and healthy products. I have no idea what I will do next. I guess I will just have to see what is waiting for me.

Taking this leap of faith and shutting down Babynut reminds me of the first time I discovered I was pregnant in 1975. I did not plan this pregnancy. I was unprepared for it and completely surprised. But some inner place of knowing spoke inside of me and said, “You can do this.” And so I did. My son Joseph Ananda is 34 now and expecting his own first child in August. I let go of the life I had planned and walked into the life that was waiting for me.

In 1987 I attended my 20th high school reunion. It was the first – and the last – reunion I had ever attended. While there I renewed my friendship with my old high school beau, Nunzio. He was a chiropractor and living in West Virginia. He invited me to come and see what he was creating in a little town called Summersville. I did eventually visit Summersville, where I was totally miserable for the entire visit. Again that inner voice said, “You can do this.” In April of 1988, my family and I moved to Summersville from Sebastopol, California(!), and I became a therapist for abused and neglected children. I let go of the life I had planned and walked into the life that was waiting for me.

In April of 2003, my second grandchild, Jordan Gabriel, was born. I had been working full-time as the director of a Camp Fire USA Council, and also helping to take care of Jordan’s older sister, Crystal. Jordan’s birth called out to me as an opportunity to stay at home with him for a few months. I resigned from Camp Fire with the idea of spending the summer at home and looking for a job in September. During the months from April to November, Womb To Grow/Babynut was born. I let go of the life I planned and walked into the life that was waiting for me.

And so here I am again; letting go, wondering where it will lead. I have loved (almost) every minute of my time as Babynut’s owner/manager. I hope that I have been able to provide healthy products, help and inspiration to my customers and readers. I wish us all love and shalom and we walk into the life that is waiting for us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Feminine Power of Yin

As I get ready to celebrate Babynut's 6th birthday, I feel called to celebrate not only Babynut, but all women and their magical ability to create and nurture life and to give birth. This is the Power of Yin; of nurturing and holding life. It is the power of Shakti, the Feminine Principle.
Here is what Sharon McErlane*, author of Our Love is Our Power has to say about the primal energy of Woman:
Women embody "not the yang-based power that is nearly worshipped in our world, but real power. Woman as the container, the wheel, the Mother ship, She who HOLDS. These ideas are foreign in our culture, foreign in our world. For thousands of years woman has been treated as the 'second sex' the 'also ran' of the human family, told to 'stand behind' men and know her place. Woman as shakti, the Feminine Principle, the elemental power of the universe, is not something our culture understands."
To all of the women who read this article, I say, embrace in your power. Visualize yourself as the vessel that you are. Sit in meditation and imagine yourself holding all that you love - your children, your spouse, your family, your friends. Now expand your vessel, your holding, to include the place where you live, all the animals and plants and people in your town, even the people or animals you don't like. Just hold them.
As you get comfortable with this exercise, you can expand your holding to include more and more of the Earth and all that dwell in and upon it. There is no limit to your holding. You are one with the Great Mother.
When a woman holds and contains, she is coming from the foundation of her power, the Power of Yin. Yin is the complementary universal force to Yang, which goes out into the world and is active and strong. But Yang cannot exist without Yin, and for much too long, women have been unaware of their power.
If a woman tries to imitate the Yang way men are powerful in the world, she will be a shadow of her real self. To be powerful, to be the mother that you are, you must learn how to hold, to be a vessel of love and strength and light.
I created Babynut as a way to hold all babies in the womb or newly born, all women pregnant, giving birth or caring for newborns. I believe that the time a child is in the womb and the first few years after birth is the most important time in that child's life. How babies are held in the womb and then birthed and held as they grow strong enough to walk on their own will determine how safe they feel in the world, how much they feel loved and nurtured, and in turn are able to love and nurture themselves and others.
Now is the time for women to own their power. I feel blessed to be living in a time when I can help to heal and rebalance the Earth with the Power of Yin. I am now a grandmother and am in the Autumn of my life. Before it is my time to go, I hope to grow strong with the Power of Yin, with holding.
"When the wisdom of the Grandmothers is heard, the world will heal." Native American Prophecy

*To learn more about Sharon McErlane and the wisdom of the Grandmothers, click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dragon's Breath by Saralee Sky

I received a gift from my friend Cherryne for my birthday in March. It was a little copper dragon holding a crystal heart. I thought this was a lovely and interesting choice and at first did not know what to do with it. I set it on my altar table which is filled with pictures and other spiritual objects like crystals and feathers and semi-precious stones. Still the little dragon called out to me.
I picked it up and discovered that it had little loops on the back. So I put it on a silver chain and started wearing the dragon around my neck. A few months later I received an email from my friend, Cathy. She told me that in her meditation she saw me sitting on a rock with my hair blowing in the wind. And she heard the words "dragon's breath". She asked me if I knew what that meant. I told her about the little dragon I wore on a chain, but I really didn't know what the words "dragon's breath" meant.
A few days later Cathy sent me another email. She spoke with a Reiki Master about dragon's breath and learned that Dragons Breath was one of the Archetypal Reiki Cards created by Dorothy May. Dragon's Breath = Spritual Initiation.
"The dragon is a powerful symbol that represents life force and great potency. This is the time to step into your power. Dragons also guard treasure. The treasure that your dragon guards may be your precious Higher Self.
"In ancient times it was thought that, hidden in a cave guarded by a dragon, lay a horde of gold and jewels. This symbolism commonly represents the spiritual wisdom buried in the unconscious. The winged dragon is a powerful symbol of transcendence and can mean ascension to spiritual and mystical heights. The dragon's breath is like the fire of purification....
"Think of the dragon as a powerful ally that can help you to build up and contain your power. Use the dragon as a spirit guide and its breath will strengthen your ki. Try saying this: 'With the dragon's breath I blow power into my soul.'"
I started thinking more and more about the dragon and dragon's breath. I realized it was no coincidence that two friends - one in California and one in Michigan - thought of the dragon in regards to me. I have written a bajan (sacred chant) about dragon's breath. Here are the words:
Dragon's breath blow into my soul. (2 times)
Dragon's fire purify me. (2 times)
Spirit Guide show me my power. (2 times)
I sing it over and over. I play it on a dulcimer and would like to add a strong drum beat to it. It calls out for drums!
Here is a guided meditation that Cathy also sent to me:
You are in a misty, foggy place with lots of stone around. It is an ancient place. You feel the power of this place and know you are here for an important reason. You are here to do the work of the dragon.
You see a large, old tree with hanging branches. In its shade is a carved stone bench. You sit on the bench and look all around you. A single golden flower calls to you. You stare at it and in its center you see emerging a beautiful gold and green dragon. Fire comes out of the dragon's nostrils, but it is not a fire that consumes. It is the fire of purification. You ask the dragon if it is here to help you. It tell you mind to mind that, yes, it is here to help you as long as you need its fire power and energy.
The dragon indicates that you are to climb upon its back and hold on to the spikes on its neck. You comply, though you are afraid. You discover that the spikes do not hurt, for they are covered in soft leather. As the dragon flies through the air and up and over the earth, you enjoy the power and freedom the ride gives you. You are being infused with the power of the dragon. As you breathe, your exhalations resemble fiery dragon's breath, for the two of you have become one.
You know that you have stepped into your own spiritual power, with the help of the dragon and the dragon's breath.
I am grateful to my friends Cherryne and Cathy for helping me to connect with the dragon, with the dragon's breath and with my own spiritual power. I am still learning the lessons the dragon has to teach. I offer it to you now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tend and Befriend - NOT Fight or Flight by Saralee Sky

A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research—most of it on men—upside down.

"Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible," explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study's authors. "It's an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers."

Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just "fight or flight."

"In fact," says Dr. Klein, "it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the 'fight or flight' response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead." When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect.

"This calming response does not occur in men," says Dr. Klein, "because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they're under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen seems to enhance it."

This information makes so much sense to me! I have on occasion been ready to do battle to defend or protect my children, but my more consistent reaction to a stressful situation is to step back from it if it is dangerous, or calmly try to resolve the issue - talk it out. When I am unable to deal with the situation directly, I will pay attention to other people - my children or grandchildren, baking cookies or caring for them in some other way. I will also start cleaning and attending to minute details to try and manage the overwhelming feelings the stress is causing. I always figured something was WRONG with me when actually I am simply responding the way women are wired to respond.

The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men was made in a classic 'AHA' moment shared by two women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. "There was this joke that when the women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee, and bonded," says Dr. Klein. "When the men were stressed, they holed up somewhere on their own."

Going to friends for succor and support is a very healthy way to deal with any sort of stressful situation. It helps us move the stress through our physical and emotional bodies and begin the healing process. Our women friends can give us the emotional support that the men in our lives may be unable to provide.

So go ahead and call that friend of yours you've been meaning to call. Meet for tea and have a nice, satisfying chat.

*The informatino in this blog came from an article by Gale Berkowitz.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bandaged Places by Saralee Sky

A friend was talking about the events that had occured over the course of her life. "Each situation took away a piece of me, and left me feeling less sure of myself, less whole."

I pondered her statement for a long time and then I asked her, "Is it possible that the parts of you that were taken away were parts that you no longer needed?" We often view events or crises as diminishing our sense of self, our ability to feel strong and whole, but perhaps it is just the opposite. Perhaps when our ego is bruised or our self-esteem is diminished, we are actually making room for a whole new understanding of who we are to shine through.

Rumi says, "Keep looking at the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.

I look over my life and I can see plenty of bandaged places. I used to feel like there was a hole where my heart should be. A big gaping wound that no amount of bandages could cover. I had to put an imagined steel belt around my heart to keep it from feeling too much pain, from coming to terms with the gaping hole. But that hole was precisely the spot where the light seeped through. When I eventually let go of the steel band and let the pain pour out, even more light poured in. I felt more whole, more centered in my self, more full of light.

Our scars are also our greatest potential for growth and enlightenment. Without them we would become complacent and spiritually lazy. Every trauma we go through is a potential bandaged place and a potential place for the light to shine through. Instead of looking at an event with sadness or pain, try looking at it as a window through which the light of your own spirit can shine and help you to heal. Take off the bandage slowly. There will be pain, but there will also be light.

As parents we worry that a truamtic event may scar our children for life. Death of a loved one. Divorce. Moving to a new city. Being the victim of a bully. We see their wounds and scars as our fault. If we were better parents, our children wouldn't have to go through this pain and suffering.

We ARE responsible for a lot of what our children must experience. We make the major decisions that affect their lives for good or ill. I am not absolving you of your responsibility as a parent. Rather I am challeging you to look at a difficult event as a potential for your growth as well as the growth of your children. Help them to express their feelings and also help them to feel the light shining through their discomfort. If children can learn that growth and light come from every difficult event in their lives, they will welcome the events as they come and open up to the light, rather than avoiding any conflict or wallowing in sadness, self-pity or resentment. And the bandaged places will heal without a scar at all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Thoughts on Turning 60

I turned 60 on March 24th. My older sister insisted that we mark the occasion with a mini family reunion. She flew in to Seattle from Detroit and my niece (her daughter) hosted a birthday party for me, complete with a decades theme. There were party favors and foods from the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and 2000's. We had Necco Wafers and Pez, we had ratatouie and carrot cake, and we had poems. My niece asked everyone who came to write a poem for me - and they did! Seeing myself through the eyes of my sister, my husband, my two sons, my great-nieces and daughters-in-law was truly memorable and very moving.

My sister also gave me a wonderful gift: letters written to my cousin Harry when he was in basic training in 1952. These letters were mostly from my mother and father, and were simply telling Harry about their activities day to day, my father's work and volunteer work, me and my sister. Unremarkable, right? Except that my mother died 6 months after writing these letters. She was already sick. She referred to her "rheumatism" saying her hands were making it hard to write. Only she didn't have rheumatism. She had Scleroderma, but didn't know it yet. The diagnosis would not be given until 3 months after these letters were written.

I have very few actual memories of my mother. She died when I was three and a half. These letters give her back to me. She was a loving mother to me and my sister, a loving wife to my father and a loving aunt to my cousin. She told cousin Harry about the funny things I did, when I was sick, when my sister needed new clothes for school, an opera she attended with my father. She became a real person through these letters, not just a tragic figure who died so young and left me alone.

I am so grateful for these letters. I have read them again and again. I was loved and cared for by my mother, and even though she left so long ago, I carry her in my heart always.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some Thoughts on Turning 60 by Saralee Sky

In exactly two weeks - on March 24th - I will turn 60. This is a milestone, a testament to the fact that I have lived on this planet in this incarnation for 60 years. What can be said of my life, my time on Earth?

I am aware of feeling deeply, of always feeling everything intensely, every hurt, every praise, every event in my life. I am also aware of not having a very good memory. Minutes, days, weeks, years have been lived and forgotten. Where are those events? Those heartbeats? Those experiences?

When I say I do not have a good memory it is true only in part. I DO have a very good memory for unique moments in my life - special teaching moments when someone or something intervenes and shakes me to my core. One such moment: I am 3 and sitting in my high chair at my Aunt Goldie's house. The phone rings and she answers it. She listens, then throws her head back and screams. No one tells me anything but I KNOW my mother is dead.

I am 6 or 7 and I am sitting on my father's lap. "I'm hungry," I say. "I'm Jewish," he replies.

I am away at summer camp for the first time. I am 8. I am told to come to the camp office and then told my father is on the phone. We are not allowed to receive calls except in emergencies so I am scared. I pick up the phone and my father's voice explodes over the wire, "What did you do to you (step)mother?!?"

I am 8 or 9 and I am sitting at the kitchen table across from my father. My stepmother sits between us. We are having lunch. "Give me a match," my father says to me. I reach behind me to a cubby in the wall where the matches are kept. I drop the book of matches on the floor. I reach down to pick them up when I feel/hear my father's hand slam down on the table. "When I say give me a match, I mean give me a match!" he explodes with anger.

I am sitting on my Aunt Goldie's porch waiting for dinner. I am with my Aunt Betty. I am 9 or 10. "I'm starving," I say. "You'll never know what it is to be truly hungry," my Aunt Betty replies.

I am 17. I just got home from a basketball game (or similar event). I hang up my coat in the closet in the family room. My Uncle Joe is there and he says, "GoodNIGHT, Saralee." "Goodnight," I reply as if by rote. "Do you realize that for the last three years I have always said goodnight to you first?" he asks.

These are moments etched in the stone of my memory. While some of them may seem inconsequential in the sum total of a life, they are actually extremely important. Let's take them one by one. In the first case, no one told me that my mother had died, but I knew the moment my aunt screamed what had happened. My mother was in the hospital. She had a fatal disease and she had just died. I felt the connection sever as I sat in my high chair, and I had no words to describe what I felt. I learned from that moment on to listen to the voice inside me.

Next one: I am sitting on my father's lap. I know he's making a joke by retorting "I'm Jewish" to my "I'm hungry", but I also know that he is making an important statement about his identity, the way he sees himself in the world. I begin to think about my own identity from that moment on.

Next one - summer camp. My father goes on to say that I have to apologize to my stepmother for "hurting her feelings". From this event I learn that to remain close to my father and win his approval, I have to please my stepmother. I stop listening to my inner voice and start listening to her. It will be many years before I can get my stepmother out of my head and start tuning in to my own inner voice again. From this I also learn that adults sometimes expect children to be more mature than they are.

Next one - the give me a match one. This was very scary and is etched in my memory because of the huge amount of rage my father displayed at a seemingly minor event - my dropping his matches. While I kept the table between us and my stepmother pleaded with him to calm down, I realized with great clarity that he was not mad about the matches per se. He had a very slow fuse and this was simply the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. He must have felt disregarded and disrespected by me for a long time. From this event I learned not to take my father and his building anger lightly.

Next - me and my Aunt Betty. I am an American child of the 1950's. I do not know want or hunger. But my mother's family, along with her sisters, Goldie and Betty, experienced something that they call The Hunger in Russia in the early 1900's. They were forced out of their Jewish shtettle and into Kiev when The Hunger occured. They all nearly starved. This same Aunt Betty would steal raw grain by the handful from the wealthier Jewish family she worked for. She would put it in her skirt pockets and bring the grain home to her family. She told me all this while we sat on the porch waiting for dinner. I cannot say the words 'I'm starving' anymore. I do not have the right.

Last one, my Uncle Joe saying good night to me first. He waited and waited for me to say it to him first. I of course got used to him saying it first and simply didn't realize I was taking him - and his goodnights - for granted. I was a self-centered teenager. I learned to peek out from underneath all the self-centeredness and see others as they see me. I learned to pay attention to the people in my energy field.

As I continued to live and grow and learn, there were more AHA moments such as the ones I have described. They have each taught me something valuable and precious. I am on the descent of my life. I have passed the half-way point long ago, perhaps even the three-quarter point. I do not know how many more teaching moments I have left. Whatever is in store for me, I am grateful for all that I have been given, and all that I have learned.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Swearing In Ceremonies Take Two by Saralee Sky

Recently Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of these United States of America. In fact, he was sworn in twice, because the Chief Justice mixed up the words during the inauguration ceremony. It got me to thinking about promises we all make and oaths we take in our lives. How can we make them more than mere words?

We all make promises, to ourselves and to others. And perhaps the most formal “oath” we take is part of our marriage ceremony. We vow to love, honor, respect, etc. I am sure we all mean the words as we say them on that special day, but do we keep the vows alive over time? Not all promises are able to be kept. Not all vows hold over time. But surely it is good to try and live up to the lofty ideals contained in oaths. They have worthy goals: “Do no harm.” “Until death do us part.” “Defend the Constitution of the United States.”

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace. (Diane Ackerman)

The above quote from Diane Ackerman came to me from www.gratefullness.org as part of their email program, Word for the Day. Many of their quotes give me pause, but none more so than this one. I am struck by the power of the words, and the intention of the oath. I do not know why Ms Ackerman created this oath, what ceremony she was participating in if any. But what if – each and every morning – we all had to swear to live our lives a certain way? If we did, then what better oath than the one Ms Ackerman has created?

I have decided to take this oath every day, each morning as I start my day. I offer it to you and to President Obama. It is not as formal or specific as the President’s oath, but it says so very much more to me. It uses words like: guardian, messenger, healer, architect. When I see myself as a guardian, as a messenger, as a healer, or as an architect, I feel powerful, able to make a change for better in the world. More important it uses the word humbly. This word reminds me not to take myself too seriously, even though I may be a guardian, messenger, etc.

I am touched by this oath, this attempt to align oneself with nature, wonder and peace, and to move away from hatred. I read Ms Ackerman’s words and I want to live up to them, be worthy of them, have them engraved upon my soul. What better eulogy could I have than to have it said of me: “she hated no one or no thing, she loved and protected the sea, the earth, and all who dwell therein, she healed the sick and the sick-at-heart, she filled herself and those around her with wonder, and she worked tirelessly for peace”?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ode to Angel

My dearest friend and cat, Angel, died Tuesday, January 27, 2009. She wanted to go out on Saturday night, January 24th. She did not come back in when I called her. I decided to let her stay out, since the weather was clear and she had ready shelter on or under our porch. She never returned on Sunday or Monday.

My neighbor found her Monday afternoon in his driveway. He thought she was hit by a car because she was walking so 'funny'. She is missing her rear right leg, so she walks sort of sideways, with her tail pointing right as ballast. He called animal control and they took her to the animal shelter. He did not realize she was mine. Monday evening he rang our bell and asked if our cat was missing, then told us what he had done. I called the shelter but the message said they do not take messages or give out information on missing animals on the phone. They said to come in between the hours of 10 and 5.

Tuesday morning – right before I got there at 10:05 - the Vet euthanized her because she was vomiting blood and had a tumor. She would have been 19 years old in March.

Jer and I started out at 9:30 Tuesday morning. We made one stop along the way to drop off a letter for Mother Baby Center at a donut shop (where my son works). As we pulled in to the curb, a customer kept mouthing something to me. Turns out he was saying we had a flat tire! I cannot remember the last time I had a flat tire! My son helped Jer put on the spare. Still we were on our way to the shelter by 9:55. We got there a few minutes after 10 and Angel was already gone!

An aid told me that Angel could not get warm when she came into the shelter on Monday afternoon, so the aid took her home with her and slept with her Monday night. When she brought her in to the shelter Tuesday morning it was clear that Angel did not feel well. I guess they had determined she had some sort of tumor on Monday. When she started vomiting blood the Vet made the decision to euthanize her there and then. If they had known I was coming, would they have waited?

I am grateful to the aid who provided Angel with comfort when I could not do so. Everyone at the shelter was so kind, saying, "I am sorry for your loss." My poor sweet beautiful Angel kitty.

I keep replaying her last days and the fact that I wasn’t with her at the end. A friend said perhaps Angel was trying to spare me the last days of her life. I wanted to be there for her and with her at the end, just like I was always there for her during her life. We had a funeral for her. Me, Jer, and the grandkids, Crystal (8) and Jordan (5). Crystal drew a beautiful picture of Angel with her 3 legs, smiling with hearts all around her. It is framed and on the mantle in our living room. I made a grave marker out of a large flat stone with a piece of driftwood on top. The wood is painted with Angel's name and Ripley's name (our dog who is buried next to Angel) and an Om sign and some hearts.

Angel was a semi-wild cat who chose me 18 years ago. She lived with 30+ other cats around a house that backed onto the same alley as my work place. A mean dog had mangled her back right leg when she was a little kitten. The other cats kept her warm until the owner discovered her under the house and took her to the Vet, who removed her leg. After that she was almost completely wild, letting no human near her.

Our office manager noticed all the cats in our neighborhood and started putting out food for them. Angel was one of the cats who would come to eat on our back porch. One day she looked pregnant, and then soon she looked thinner. Our college intern follwed her when she left our porch and discovered her kittens. We found homes for them and asked the owner if we could have the cat spayed. She said no and told us the cat's name was Angel. We had been calling her Tripod!

The next time she got pregnant, she decided to have her kittens behind my computer desk. We made a box for her and the kittens. This time we asked for donations when we gave the kittens away and used the money to have Angel spayed. We didn't ask permission. Angel took to sleeping on my desk under the desk lamp. If I tried to pet her she swatted or bit me. I adored her.

When I left that job I left Angel there, because I didn't think she would want to leave that neighborhood to move in with me, my family and my 2 dogs and one cat. But three weeks later the health department said Angel had to go, so she got to come home with me anyway. She adjusted quickly to life in our family. She was a successful hunter and a loving companion, as long as she dictated the amount of petting. Slowly but surely, she became more and more tame.

She has been with me ever since. She has moved from the house by the lake to Mark's house to the little red house to the house on Cherrywood with Jer and all his three dogs and now the big green Victorian on McKenzie. She slept at the foot of my bed. She asked for scratches on her neck where her missing leg could have reached. She liked to sit in one place and swat our blind Pomeranian, Fancy, as she circled around and around. Each time Fancy came near Angel she would get a swat. It was one of Angel's favorite games. Fancy begged to differ!

Angel was a beautiful tabby cat with brown and black markings, a white chin, and lovely tufts of fur in her ears. When I had a session with a pet intuitive a while ago, Angel made sure to tell Barbara about her white chin and ear tufts.

Angel has been my constant companion, my best friend. And now she has gone, I know not where. Hopefully, she has exchanged her 3 earthly legs for true angel's wings. I love and miss her so. Via con Dios, Angel!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Swearing In Ceremonies

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace. (Diane Ackerman)

Recently Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th Predisent of these United States of America. In fact, he was sworn in twice, because the Chief Justice mixed up the words during the inauguration ceremony. It got me to thinking about promises we all make and oaths we take in our lives. How can we make them more than mere words?

Tha above quote from Diane Ackerman came to me from Gratefulness.org as part of their email program, Word for the Day. Many of their quotes give me pause, but none more so than this one.

I have decided to take this oath every day, each morning as I start my day. I offer it to you and to President Obama. It is not as formal or specific, like swearing to "defend the Constitution of the United States". But it says so very much more to me.

It uses words like: guardian, messenger, healer, architect. Most important it uses the word humbly. I am touched by this attempt to align oneself with nature, wonder and peace, and to move away from hatred. I read the words and I want to live up to them, be worthy of them, have them engraved upon my soul.

Perhaps by sharing them here they will begin to spread. And others will take them up as their oath, their words to live by.