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Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions

Okay Blog readers: Help me keep these New Year’s Resolutions.
1. I resolve to write twice a week. There’s a new coffee shop near my house–Dunns Brothers Coffee, right behind Costco. It’s clean and light and the coffee and scones are awesome. I resolve that on days I can’t stay home and write–too “antsey,” I will take my laptop and plug into their calming energy. I will write blogs, newsletters for weight management, and finish some plays I started. I will also use this “me” time for submissions of old ones (in two days a week?).
2. I resolve to learn how to use facebook and twitter as marketing tools. This is really a tall order as I don’t find either social medium exciting or even very interesting. So I need a new way into these two, very effective for most people, tools.

I want you out there to encourage me. Send me a line now and then asking for information. Ask me to blog. I have so many false starts here on my dashboard. I do want to finish them off and start new ones.

Thank you and Happy 2011.

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Karma Transplant

This is the time of the year to rejoice in our blessings. This is the time of the year to rejoice. Here is the story of just one of my many blessings:

Dottie tells me how lucky I am to have Bobby in my life now. She’s right. Bobby and I both feel lucky to have reconnected with one another. And it’s nice to be considered one of the lucky ones. It’s quite a change.

For the longest time, I was the one among my friends who was always down, worried about finances, a turbulent marriage, rejections from editors, rejections from jobs I was seeking—with desperation in fact–in order to get out of the turbulent marriage and settle my financial issues. Problems – Problems — Problems, with a capital P and that rhymes with Me and that stands for Misery. So many years of misery.

Things have turned around in my life; these last 10 years or so have been the best I have ever known. I did find a great job, moved to a new city, leaving my marriage, and after several years, reunited with the true love of my life, after a 40 year hiatus, moved again to be able to start a new life together, and eventually a new career. My writing changed from serious and scholarly, biography and autobiography, even fiction – a long novel—to some new genres of writing, including playwriting—most recently one with my friend Dottie, a friend I’ve known since kindergarten.

Life is good, not problem free, but with problems my husband and I solve together with as little stress as possible.

New karma! I have new karma.

Karma? Can karma be new? Well, yes and no. Formally, karma is considered an inescapable principle in which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to the actions and ethical choices one made in prior incarnations. (Of course that is an oversimplified definition and ignores the subtle differences cultures impose on the concept.)

Nevertheless, the way I chose to use the word allows me to see karma as a life long string of events that seemed to keep me in a negative but longing-for-better, striving-for-better, position. And about 10 or 12 years ago, I’d had enough. One day while having coffee at a local Borders, I told my friend Larry Campbell, a medical doctor, that I was going to have a Karma Transplant. Of course he laughed, but seriously advised me this was impossible—given that one’s karmic path is sealed before one is born, and that most people think we have to live it out in this life and wait for the next.

Desperate, I forged ahead.

I had to find a way to give my life a chance because truly (not joking here) I felt if I had to go on living in a black hole, I had no reason to keep living. I couldn’t stop living because I knew I’d never put that kind of burden on my two children, even though they were adults by then. Children are always children and parents, parents. We must behave in ways that give the next generation good models, good patterns. So I had to find a way to make my life work. Karma was the only answer.

How does one get a karma transplant? Well, at least for me, it meant not starting with a doctor, clergy, or any outside help. It meant going deep inside myself and extracting the poison, exfoliating the rough edges of my life, climbing out of the black muck that held me down.

For me, that meant wailing, ranting, screaming out against the elements in the universe that I felt sought to destroy me. At home alone, I sat at the dining room table and simply screamed at the top of my lungs: “Leave me alone. Go find someone else to torment. I’ve had enough. I refuse to acknowledge defeat on any level. I will prevail against these negative forces” and so on. I cried out for a karma transplant, knowing that whatever kind of entities were listening, would understand exactly what I meant.

Since that life-transforming day, I have learned that spiritual advisors call that “voicing intent.” I like having a word to describe the process, but the process is the same: a cry for change. A demand for a new normal.

It took several sessions of such “irrational” behavior (or maybe super-rational behavior is a better term), but at some point, the dark cloud lifted, and I was able to climb out of the black hole that had suffocated me for too many years. In life, I started getting some yeses—from publishers, from job applications, from other quests I’d hoped would bring me some modicum of freedom. YESES. I almost didn’t know what they were—loud and clear yeses are hard to hear when the ear is trained to hear nos.

Many wonderful things happened to me that gave me a sense of accomplishment, autonomy, and security. I was at peace with myself long before I contacted Bobby and changed my life once again. When I decided to make the changes necessary for us to spend our lives together, I no longer felt needy or desperate. I felt in charge.

So yes, Dottie, I am lucky; these years do belong to Bobby and me. They belong to us, to our love and the light in our eyes. Bobby likes to say: “It’s our time.” And it is.

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