THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE

In the state of Maine. one of my favorite places on this earth, I AM AWAKE. Yes very awake for the first time in a VERY long time – Acknowledging each and every day for what a tremendous gift it is to be alive!!! It’s hard not to appreciate life to the fullest in a state who’s slogan is “THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE.” Because it truly is from top to bottom and from West to way up Down East. 🙂

Late last night when traveling North on Rt 1 back to the Popham Beach area which has always been one of my favorite haunts in the state where Down East is North and vice versa ;-), I got pulled over by the Bath police. It didn’t surprise me because all day long I felt troubled about many things and my mind was elsewhere. For some reason, I had been in deep contemplation of my personal relationships and my lack of grace over the years in letting people go out of my life. This has of late been in my face rather “hugely.” I’ve have lost some wonderful people over the years because of my ego, my very convicted personality, and yes, my strong opinions that have often turned into judgments of others, of their political views, their self and planetary awareness, and of course, religious views. More on that later… While the officer just issued me a warning for missing the stop sign, (I realized immediately that I had missed it and pulled right on over when I saw him) it occurred to me as I was struggling with falling asleep last night that I really did need to STOP in a BIG way!!! In my experience, there is a reason the Universe puts something so excruciatingly large in one’s face. And for me, even though I missed the sign, I definitely saw the bigger picture last night. It wasn’t until this morning that more was revealed to me. I awoke at 4:45 groggy after maybe 3 solid hours of sleep at best and went to hopefully catch some shots of the sunrise. It is a morning ritual while on the road. It is part of my work that some people think actually really isn’t work. [That is another blog entirely.] At summer solstice, one must rise at 3:45 in Maine to see the sky start to lighten before the earth turns to reveal the sun on the horizon. After a few photographs, I returned to the van because the mosquitos were eating me alive. I put lavender essential oil on my bites and then laid back down with Mona and slept until 8:45. That piece of deep rest was much needed. I woke refreshed and decided not to go far, but to go get a nice parking spot at the Popham Beach State Park for the day. Many locals don’t want to pay the fee, but I felt it was well worth the $8 to have a day where we could pop the top, clean and organize for the long haul coming up to Nova Scotia. And clean I did… on many levels.

Writing is indeed a cleansing of sorts for me. Today the words have just flowed off the fingertips. With the upcoming eclipse, I also decided that it was necessary to cleanse all my rocks, healing stones, crystals, neck pieces and myself as well. After all cleaning was said and done in the van and with my healing tools, I took myself, a few choice stones and crystals and did the ritualistic dunk in 64 degree Atlantic ocean water. Man, it was really cold, but it woke me up even further and I returned to Mona in the van (she doesn’t like the water) to heat up a cup of coffee dripped from earlier and meditate on what I was going to do in regards to letting of what no longer serves my highest good in this POWERFUL astrological time of tomorrow’s eclipse. The significance of tomorrow’s this “darkening” is multifaceted, but Spiritually, it is a time when the darkness of our soul is revealed clearly in essence to let it go and move further into the LIGHT. That is a sweetened condensed version of many philosophers and astrologers. READ THIS PIECE.

Since becoming sober and discovering all sorts of new parts of myself each day, the part that the Universe has made me über aware of recently is my personal relationships and how I am treated and of course, how I treat others. The Golden Rule comes to mind here. My mom was big about that one. “Do unto others as you wish to have done to you.” You reap what you sow… Karma… etc… So last night the BIG mirror popped up… And instead of going to sleep and shrugging the events of the day off, I made a few mental notes and ruminated on what I really wanted to change about myself and my life.

#1 Start to be an example of what I believe by action, not just words. I have been told that I am generally a good conversationalist, easy to talk to/with. When I travel, I meet all kinds of new people and often have long conversations. I do love to find out about people… about where they are from, what they do, believe about life, think about these intense changing times we are currently living in etc. Talk has always been a very large part of my personality and I am good at it. So my first commitment is to DO more, to BE more, to consciously walk my talk each and every day, to be present in a loving way for both my sweet doggy, my friends I encounter, new encounters AND for myself. One of the fortunes I have saved from a Chinese meal says: “Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.” Seems that anyone can talk a good talk. So, I will move forward challenging myself to walk my schtick as well. What is my SCHTICK exactly? As my soul brother Ricci Barnes says, “Peace and Love, Sue. Peace and Love… So, I am definitely going to make a concerted effort in each and every moment to walk it better. I sure am!

 

#2 Exit Facebook for a while, if not for good. I have many reasons for this decision, but the main one is that I feel Facebook doesn’t make me a better person. There is much I have learned being on it and I am SO grateful to have reconnected with so many wonderful folks. Since joining at it’s early launch stages in 2007, I have used Facebook for most of what everyone else does while occasionally battling over sensitive topics such as religion and politics. I have lost friends. I’ve unfriended and been unfriended. I’ve blocked and been blocked. I have raised my own blood pressure. A recent post taken personally by a long term friend, ignited a conflict that ended at 45 year friendship. Overall, I can look at the experience as neutral because I have gained some really great new friends. So it is a see-saw type deal. Before I take the initial haitus, I want to just express that the biggest reason for making this decision is to chip away at my ego self. My desire to live in my heart is overpowering right now and I don’t always stay in my heart on Facebook. So, a break of at least 30 continuous days is necessary I feel. If for nothing else, to break a habit that I feel is overall not very healthy. This may sound like a judgment, but I feel overall we have become a VERY self-absorbed society. Also, our attention spans have been reduced to basically 2-3 seconds and I have heard it likened to the amount of time it takes to read a Facebook post or a quick text. What an absurd concept. I don’t go anywhere any longer where people are not addicted to their devices. I see far less of it up here in Maine but it is still prevalent especially among younger folks. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty specifics of what peevs me most about social media, but I will say that we have lost the art of going somewhere without our phones or needing to check email or Facebook or whatever every 15 minutes… So, what do I hope to achieve from a break? A deeper connection with myself and others I encounter in the 3D realm. I will remain on Instagram because it is part of what I am, a visual artist and I would like to encounter more folks who are like-minded and like visually skilled. So, to those reading this blog who are my friends on Facebook, if you want to stay connected to me, either follow me on *Instagram or send me an *email please so I have your address. *info below

#3 Let go of my judgments and soften the expression of my opinions. As I had written in my last brief blog, my life has involved many journeys, both internal and on multiple forms of transportation on a few different continents. Therefore, I feel that my experiences with many different cultures and peoples, have given me a breath of experience from which I have drawn my opinions, not hypotheses, but ACTUAL IN THE MOMENT EXPERIENCES. Still, who am I to even suggest to another what is the right or wrong way to do something or what to believe? No one… I can only share my experiences and let go. I feel like this is the place to make a formal apology to those I have judged or hurt through my words and actions in the past. I am fairly aware of who and how I have hurt and wish to make an end to it asap. My ego is going on a long vacation, if only for baby steps day by day. Large changes are not usually made overnight.

If I have managed to hold your attention this long, please know that I do enjoy talking on the phone. I enjoy emails. I enjoy brief texting. I mostly, I enjoy the lost art of letter writing and sending cards. Since I am on the road for possibly months to come, email and texting would be the best way to get a hold of me should you wish to do so. Please know that if you do wish still to know where I am or what is happening, I’ll be blogging here from time to time when I feel moved to do so. My email address is sueculig@gmail.com and my Instagram is @lifeisajourneynotaguidedtour. No, I won’t be joining Twitter. I don’t think what I have to do or say is all that important to need to Tweet or Facebook any longer. I really want more good old face to face human uninterrupted contact.

I wish you all a good journey, new experiences, new enlightenment after the complete darkness in daylight we shall experience tomorrow. Please think about going inside to see what you can do to make the world a better place. Recycle, reuse, use natural cleaning products on your home, cars, and person, conserve water, conserve electricity, compost, use solar power, and most importantly, do something nice for a stranger every now and then. It’s a great feeling! Lets work together to make the planet a place where peace and love will prevail for centuries and hopefully millenniums to come. Namasté ~ Sue and Mona

 

Posted in Faith, GOLDEN RULE, politics, RECOVERY, Religion, social media addiction, solar eclipse of 8/21, Spiritual awakenings

THE HOSPITAL PLANET

In Camden, Maine – August 12, 2017. This is actually the first opportunity I have taken to really reflect on my life since leaving SC with Mona on July 16th. It’s been a journey with a wild array of emotions and travel – connecting with new and old friend along the way, and having some experiences that have forced me to close the door on a few folks who I once called friends and family. That is always tough… AND I wake up every day grateful for my clarity, my sobriety and the person I see emerging inside after many years of suppression, denial, and living in fear. Each day, I learn to like and love that person inside of me more and more. To me, that is the first essential step in recovery/healing… to really start to value one’s own existence, not with a sense of arrogance, but in a manner of self worth/esteem where one can see one’s own value and how we can be of service to our fellow planetary inhabitants, 2 and 4 legged, as well as our beloved planet.

Over the years, I have often been perceived as cocky, self-righteous, opinionated, judgmental etc… No one really could have known how extremely low my own self-esteem was when accusing me of one or all. Yes, I do have strong opinions AND I know that my opinions are usually formulated by my own personal experiences with the situations within’ which I express myself. My life has not been hypothetical, rather quite the opposite. My extensive journeys over the years have brought me often to places of great challenge and learning. In the end, every single one, matter not how painful or blissful, has brought me to a greater awareness of how this thing we call life, a soul having a human skin experience, does indeed work.

For here and now, I will say that I immensely grateful to be WHO I am today, to be seeing the world through new eyes, yes the old photographically trained ones, but through a new and immense sense of gratitude for simply being alive and breathing each day and to also not be afraid to let go of people and places that do not serve my highest good any longer. Of course, it is painful on some level to let go of both friends of longevity and even my own blood family members, but it is a necessity to not interact with those who can possibly fan the ashes of my torched demons that kept me imprisoned in a dark inner cell for many years of my life.

Truly this journey of awakening (not only for those in “recovery” but for each and every single one of us) is absolutely about living one second/minute/hour/day at a time. The more we can live in the moment, the more we can appreciate the immense gift of being alive as humans on this beautiful planet in this lifetime.

Namasté fellow inhabitants!
#enjoytheride #lifeisajourneynotaguidedtour #TheHospitalPlanet

Posted in Depression, Drug Abuse, RECOVERY

THE INSANITY OF NOW… YOUR SECRETS ARE YOUR SICKNESS

Writing for me is usually spontaneous and inspired by events and/or dreams. It’s as if I wake up one morning and the inspiration is more of a demand. Writing is also very cathartic. For this very reason, I have kept journals most of my adult life. Last time I took to the keyboard to blog was after the Orlando shootings. Granted there have been infinite topics since last year’s entry that should have commanded my derrier to sit in the chair and tap the keys. Maybe I have been speechless? hmmmm… Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows this is highly unlikely because I tend to have a burning necessity to proclaim my truth, to “Speak my mind because it hurts too much to bite my tongue!” Ironically, I am sitting here listening to Chris Cornell’s “Higher Truth” as my fingertips are busy busy. Shall I begin with musings of Chris’ life and death first? Or should it be religion? Or should it be politics? Or should it be awareness? It may all just merge together… round and round she goes… addressing topics people would much rather have their head in the sand about.

CHRIS CORNELL… AND OTHER INSPIRATIONS

There is nothing in my playlist that resembles true “grunge.” There is some Eddie Vedder from the movie “Into the Wild.” That soundtrack was mesmerizing. Eddie’s voice is hypnotic. And I won’t go into depth about what that movie meant to me. Some people think I am crazy for seeing it up to 12 times. Others have accused me of wanting to live like Chris McCandless did. Nah, truthfully, I like my creature comforts way too much! I know many lines from that epic film by heart and scenes for sure. Yes, I know when Chris starts paraphrasing Thoreau, when Rainey jabs at Chris about being an “industrious little fucker” and about the obsession, his desperate NEED to experience being in the middle of the WILD. This is where McCandless and I see eye to eye. There is NOTHING like being in the wilderness without humans to soil the serenity and rawness of it all. The scene in particular that invokes DEEP emotion each time I see it is when Chris is asked by Mr Franz (Hal Holbrook) to be his son as he is finally leaving Southern California to embark on the BIG journey North. A little aside here… back in October of 2011, I ran into Hal Holbrook at Trader Joe’s in Richmond, VA. He was not really trying to be inconspicuous, but it was difficult to recognize him as he was in his “Lincoln” character at the time. As fate would have it, I ended up directly behind him in line. As with other celebrities I have met out in public, I have never been afraid to talk with them as if they are one of us, because most of them really are unless their ego is humongous! I started the interaction with Hal by tapping him gently on the shoulder and telling him that he looked a lot like someone famous from the movies and then I winked 😉  He smiled back and reached out his hand to shake mine. I then proceeded to tell him how taken aback I had been by his role in “Into the Wild.” As the genuine and humble being that I have always assumed he was, he said, “I was completely honored to have been involved with such amazing actors and a genius director in Sean Penn.” I agreed with his assessment of Penn as a director, although when I had met Sean in San Francisco many years earlier, he struck me as a bit of a prick. He’s got a reputation to uphold.

Back to Chris, depression and addiction… There were a few songs of Chris’ that I loved and “Higher Truth” was one of my favs. I also am fond of “Seasons” and “Like A Stone.” Other than those three songs, I hadn’t known much about Chris or his life, career and/or tendencies towards severe depression. I DID know he was sober, but I didn’t know he was taking Ativan. After all, most folks who claim to be “sober” do not take dangerous and highly addictive drugs like Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Vallium, Serax) which were developed initially to be used to assist immediately with crippling anxiety attacks, not to be taken in high doses on a daily basis.  Those drugs can also be an easy “gateway” back to alcohol. Using both in combination can be lethal. And trying to withdraw suddenly from either can also be lethal. You might ask how I know this?

CO-OCCURRING… MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION

After my mom passed away in April of 2015, I fell into a DEEP depression. I wasn’t working at all and could NOT work. (Many did not understand this and judged me and still do. And right here is my middle finger for them!) This particular period of depression AND anxiety was severe and was definitely not the first time in my life I felt this way. One of the only things I was doing was regularly attending 12 step meetings in my hometown, which most times made me want to drive directly to the store to buy a six pack afterwards. Months went by and I finally succumbed to the constant urge to drink. Depression does that. Isolation does that. Hiding your feelings does that. Your sick mind gives you this great idea that you can escape how horrible you are feeling. Sure, that’s true for a few hours, until you wake up the next morning feeling like suicidal hammered dog shit. I can’t remember when I REALLY lost my sobriety again in 2015, (I’d been at it since March of 2010) but I suspect it was around mid September of ’15. I just remember going to California to pick up Moby the VW van and drinking rather socially there and on the drive back to NY as well. I feel like the relapse could be another blog entirely, but what I will just segue here by saying is that severe depression is not just a “bad attitude,” “negative thinking,” or something that one just get’s over by “pulling ones self up by the bootstraps.” Clinical depression and mental illness are VERY serious diseases that are crippling and debilitating at times. My very close friends who have saved me from intentionally overdosing or jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, know this about me and the disease I have struggled with for many years; having remembered my first major depressive episode around 7 years old. Nonetheless, eventually we will find out exactly what happened with Chris Cornell. For now, I can testify from my own personal use AND abuse of Ativan, (sometimes up to 6 mgs per day) that it is NOT a drug to be messed with. Withdrawal is excruciating at times and often people develop suicidal thoughts or hallucinations and/or both. During my attempted withdrawal while having been in the supervision of someone who knew very little about withdrawal from benzos, it was suggested when my drugs ran out that I should “tough it out” and “buck up and get through it” if I truly wanted to get off of them fast and forever. If that person only knew what it felt like in my skin and in my brain, they never would have said that. I knew abrupt withdrawal was definitely not the way to get off of them, but I certainly wasn’t thinking clearly and attempted to appease the person who’s company I was in. After three days, going from 3 mg down to nothing, I “toughed it out” alright… right to the ER after 3 nights of insomnia, hallucinations, hot and cold sweats, trembling uncontrollably and feeling extremely suicidal. I couldn’t sleep, eat, drive, or see straight. I sobbed hysterically for hours and used an entire box of Kleenex. Everything I EVER felt negatively about myself, my life, my intimate relationships, was playing right in front of my face on an enormous screen in high definition technicolor with surround sound and looping to boot. I also was in danger of a stroke, seizure, heart attack or all 3. Immediately upon arrival, the ER doc gave me a 2mg injection, and supervised me until I was stable enough to leave. They sent me away with an emergency Rx to get “the devil drug” back in my system until I could find help to properly detox from it. My next step which needed to be accomplished rapidly, was to find an outpatient program and a substance abuse/mental health counselor as well as an MD who would help me withdraw, regularly urine test me, and NOT up my dosage each time I asked like my old doctor did. Needless to say, she is not my MD any longer. Someone was definitely watching over me, (mom) because everything I needed for treatment fell right into place in a mere matter of days. During the withdrawal process, it is suggested that one tapers down VERY slowly because the side effects are brutal. Each time I lowered my dose, I felt the agitation, the irritation, the physical side effects of profuse sweating and palpitating heart etc. Breathing deeply works for a spell. Exercise works ok too. Magnesium L-Threonate and 5HTP at bedtime in HIGH doses works a bit for the insomnia which ensues. Each time I lowered my dose, usually by .25 mg a script, I went through “little pergatory” for a spell before feeling somewhat “normal” or stabilized. My Ativan was initially prescribed much like I assume Cornell’s was, to assist in the withdrawal from alcohol and the anxiety and depression that went along with it. The problem is that the drug is HIGHLY addictive and I should never have been taking more than .5 mg and ONLY when I experienced intense anxiety. During that horrific attempted “cold turkey” withdrawal, I could have wound up like Cornell, but I had the help of incredible professionals and a great support system that has very little to do with traditional recovery or the 12 steps to help me get back on track. The 12 steps have saved lots of lives, but the question is… Aren’t they a bit outdated? Same meetings, same literature, same format, same people, same stories looping over and over again… Needless to say, I’m happy to be pursuing a new career in the recovery field and am pleased to see how it is evolving from archaic ideas that once convinced folks that they were powerless and had to surrender to “God” to help kick their addictions, to a new form of EMPOWERING people to NOT be powerless over anything. Sorry to all you AA-ers, but it never worked for me and now I understand exactly why. Maybe it never worked for Chris Cornell either. My hope is that we are moving into a new age of holistic recovery where safe/recovery houses (that charge 1400 per month to share a small room) and traditional rehabs (that are similar to jails, attempting to brainwash both mentally and physically sick souls into wellness in 30 days) are going to be a thing of the past. Could it be possible that we are moving into a new age where mental illness AND addiction are no longer going to be stigmatized or considered illegitimate health issues? They are probably two of the most serious diseases that get shelved time and again because they have to do with our brain’s function. As a woman friend said in a meeting I attended last week, “If I was sitting here telling a room full of strangers that I was recovering from breast cancer, I would get all kinds of sympathy and love. But here I am saying that I have mental health issues and addiction problems and I am potentially open to being publicly scorned!” Point here??? Recovery IS recovery whether it’s from cancer OR mental health issues and/OR addiction. Depression and addiction are both epidemics of insane proportions in our society and country and they are still being largely ignored… THIS MUST CHANGE QUICKLY IF WE ARE TO SAVE LIVES!

onto more of “THE INSANITY OF NOW”

I don’t know what was going on astrologically in the last 48 hours, but some really whacko shit happened yesterday for sure. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a TRUTH seeker in ALL aspects of my life. Religion or “faith” is often a touchy subject, but politics is NOT, nor should it ever be something “private” for one’s decision to vote, and candidate of choice, effect every single one of us as well as the entire world! I believe many who voted for the garbage currently in office are embarrassed to admit any longer that they did. Those who are still defending 45 are either in denial, delusional and/or #foxnewswashed. More on that particular insanity later… On the topic of religion (some call it faith) my deviation from Catholicism and/or Christianity began about 40 years ago during my evening studies to prepare to make my confirmation after I left Catholic grade school. I told my mother that if she sent me to Catholic high school that she would never see me again, that I would run away and NEVER come back. Recollecting as far back to my first communion, I can remember thinking… “Why am I eating this round thing pretending that it is part of someone’s body?” My parents and peers knew I was a smart child, but my rebellion began when I was asked to confirm my belief in THE messiah. Nope, not me… Don’t ask me exactly why, but I just knew in my gut and my heart that I would rather be skipping my religious education classes and toking a spliff with Larry R behind St Bernadettes. My mother didn’t speak to me for 4 months when I pulled out of confirmation. It was the beginning of an earnest Spiritual quest that continues to be an educational journey each and every day. (If you really want to know about my Spiritual beliefs and about “experiencing God” you’ll have to wait for my blog about being in “church” with the Native Americans in a sundown to sunrise teepee peyote ceremony in Oregon in the summer of 1999. It changed my life FOREVER! If I ever doubted there was a spiritual world beyond this one, I absolutely no longer do.) Basically, for the sake of ending this blog and sticking to the point I am trying to make, I believe in the ENERGY of the Universe that responds to our thoughts and actions to create our reality. I believe in karma. I’m not big on the word prayer, but I do believe in positive thought and sending LIGHT to others when they are in need. Call it prayer if you want to, but prayer connotes religion and I simply don’t do an organized one of those. My belief is that the sooner we start taxing churches, the sooner we will be able to provide health care for everybody, which I believe in today’s modern society should be a right, not a privilege.

Here’s the thing with “faith” – believe anything you want in regards to religion/faith, but #1, just be a good person, damnit. Obey the golden rule and please don’t ever tell me that what I believe is bullshit and I will return the favor. I’ve learned to keep my staunch opinions a bit to myself on this ONE topic! 😉  Last but not least, PLEASE don’t ever try to convince me that something you believe is what I should be believing! As I mentioned to a dear, very long time friend last night, we might all have different ways to get to the LIGHT. We might call the LIGHT different things. But in the end, the LIGHT is LOVE and IMO, GOD IS LOVE. Therefore, my religion is LOVE. My religion is KINDNESS. My religion is TRUTH. And just for the record, the flow chart of determining religions posted on my Facebook yesterday was meant for a chuckle. My most sincere apologies if anyone was offended by it.

TRYING TO COVER UP THE TRUTH ISN’T WORKING ANY LONGER

Last night I had a very heated and reactionary debate with someone who I love a lot that told me to “get a life” when I started talking about the 1% and the corruption in our Republic. (BTW folks, we are NOT a Democracy, we are a REPUBLIC that is SUPPOSED to be run in a democratic fashion.) At least that is how our forefathers intended it to be. Anyway, when the topic of 911 came up and it being an inside job, I was accused of being “crazy.” So be it… bat shit crazy for the TRUTH is what I am! Those buildings were ALL detonated on 911 and there are over 2000 engineers world wide who have testified to this, especially building #7! [Google it if you have the nerve to maybe have your mind altered and blown! Here’s a quick video for starters… 911 Truth Video Can Not Be Debunked.] Say whatever you want about my sanity, but I base my views on FACTS and what I feel in my GUT to be TRUE. If you choose to, it’s your prerogative to stay in the dark, listen to the mass media and to our government telling lie after lie… IN MY OPINION, it’s totally your loss to live behind the veil. If ignorance is bliss, then so be it for the one who refuses to ask questions where questions SHOULD be asked. I’d rather know the ugly TRUTH and get pissed off than hide my head in the sand! The war after 911 made a lot of the 1% a hell of a lot more wealthy. Crazy? I don’t think so. Human life over $/oil? Nope, remember that Michael Jackson song, “They Don’t Really Care About Us?” Bingo! that is our government. As the dearly departed George Carlin once said, “QUESTION EVERYTHING!”

Ok, nearing an ending on this one. Reflecting on the last two days, maybe my internal unrest and exterior conflict on this was triggered by watching the miniseries “The People v OJ Simpson – An American Crime Story.” If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, it is gripping and truth telling and spine chilling. Anyone who has known me since childhood knows that I was a huge “Juice” fan when he played for Buffalo. In 1975, my brother-in-law took a beautiful portrait of OJ in the locker room with a nappy head after just removing his helmet. He enlarged it and took it back the next home game for OJ to personally autograph it for me. It was matted and framed and gifted to me on my 11th birthday. It read “to Susie, all my best, OJ Simpson #32.” I still have it packed away somewhere, although I really don’t know why because the knowledge that he got away with BRUTAL murder makes me want to vomit to this day. To have watched my childhood idol and his attorneys lie their asses off and pull a race card to get him off, while somehow being able to sleep at night, reminds me much of what is currently going on in our “government” except on a MUCH larger and horribly corrupt scale. The American people will continue to be victims of the murder of our civil liberties until #WETHEPEOPLE get out there and take this government down. I’m not just talking about impeachment, I am talking about a total 2 party abolishment and a government that WORKS FOR THE PEOPLE, not just the 1%.

OK, off my soapbox now… To answer the looming question, I am still sober and intend to live out the remainder of my life as such and hopefully help others come back from the abyss of mental health issues and addiction. They do go hand in hand 95% of the time. Feel free to leave ANY comments or opinions if you wish. Rest assured “The Insanity of 45” is coming soon 🙂  Namasté


Posted in 1%, 45, Depression, Depression, Drug Abuse, Election 2016, Faith, INSANITY OF NOW..., Occupy District of Criminals, Occupy Wall St, Religion Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ACHTUNG!!! : LIGHTING UP STUFF WITH RAINBOWS IS JUST NOT GOING TO CUT IT THIS TIME :-(

It was THE ABSOLUTE BOMB when Prince died and everything turned PURPLE! It was SIMPLY MARVELOUS when SCOTUS passed gay marriage and the RAINBOWS came out everywhere! Yes, in times of celebration and mourning… we tend to bring out the colors. http://www.thegailygrind.com/2016/06/13/pulse-massacre-vigils/ Thank you Castro district of San Francisco and all the communities world-wide who gathered, and keep gathering for the fallen.

We tend as a nation to have a relatively short attention span and it worries me that this mass slaying will eventually get filed alphabetically with all the rest. Even before the use of technology was as utilized as furiously as it currently is, tEiffel 6:13he world stayed in relative mourning for a good month or so after 9/11. Where we should be tonight and every night until there is major reform is marching in the streets everywhere

DEMANDING CHANGE!

#1 with gun laws, to abolish them entirely and make it illegal for anyone to bear assault weapons.

#2 in mental health treatment and practices, making it more accessible to EVERYONE who needs it.

#3 in the way some religions and various people that follow them see gays as “different” or “queer” as they were once deemed. We gotta start somewhere folks and we have to end the stigmas and violence.

 
I’ve shed so many tears in the last days and don’t know what to think about the future of this country… I’m grateful and blessed that I have a vehicle I can live in. I’m grateful and blessed that I have a renewed passport on it’s way. I’m grateful and blessed to have seen and photographically captured this country in so much of it’s glory that should I decide to leave it, I can safely say I will miss little if nothing about living in the USA. Nope, it’s just not getting any easier or fun to live in this extremely #corrupt and #violent nation. Granted, there are good people everywhere, but I feel a more heart-centered culture with less corruption politically is where I probably would best integrate.
 
Not speaking so much to the Orlando shooting as to other tragedies, let’s just say there are reasons these sick and tortured souls target the innocent and do it on US soil. Overall, we are a widely viewed as a pompous and arrogant nation. It’s our government that at it’s core is corrupt, AND it’s our down RIGHT RIDICULOUS gun “laws” that make is simple for the sick to gain access to licenses and assault weapons that can kill 50 people in minute flat. Imperatively, it is the lack of ample, affordable treatment for the mentally ill. The stigma against mental illness is far from smashed. As much as homosexuality is far more accepted than even just 5 years ago, existent are still the very deranged who feel that being gay is a weakness or a mental disorder. Let’s just say that we’ve got very large issues that a new president in November might try to promise to fix, but guaranteed will probably not be able to. Hell, we got Trump who is praising himself for…. Nope cease fire here… The fact that this F*CK is even allowed to run for POTUS is just absurd.
 
We all have different hearts and emotions, but a few that we all commonly feel are love, anger and despair. I don’t know about other people who I see on Facebook, etc., kind of just going on with their lives these last few days, and you probably say, “What else is there to do? We have to be optScreen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.33.22 PMimistic and carry on.” Well, deep in me, something has forever changed and I can’t go back to whatever I was living before June 12th’s massacre. My eyes are more wide open and my heart is truly pained. I can’t really think of much more to say except that I fear for the hardened hearts, those who just keep on doing and are not really being effected by this recent tragedy. Where is our compassion? The Dalai Lama keeps saying how we HAVE TO open our hearts, that Western society is in great danger because of our closed hearts. And no, I don’t just mean open the heart to the few who we trust in our little circle. We must crack that sucker and open to the greater good of humanity, not just what serves us individually. It’s time… We simply must let the LIGHT in and circulate it among ourselves no matter what race, creed, sexual orientation. We are all HUMAN BEINGS… ONE LOVE, ONE HEART.
 

RIP victims of Orlando shootings and may their loved ones and all us extremely sensitive souls who suffer right alongside, find some semblance of peace inside.

 

Posted in ORLANDO SHOOTINGS

I SPEAK MY MIND BECAUSE IT HURTS TOO MUCH TO BITE MY TONGUE.

April 21, 2016… The day that will forever be etched in my memory as the day that beloved Prince passed into the big purple light in the sky while I back road tripped through beautiful and wild West Virginia. It was a devastating day for certain for Prince fans, myself being one. His death wasn’t mentioned on the April 21, 2016 CBS This Morning page alongside the headlines of “Any way out?” in reference to Mr Trump being able to still gracefully exit the election process or “90 Years Strong” which referenced Britain’s oldest monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, hitting the landmark birthday. No, Prince had not yet gone to his Purple Light at that hour, at least the Princeslightmedia was not yet alerted of his passing. The news hit around noon on TMZ first and was confirmed by many other sources by 12:30 Minneapolis time. As many others, I immediately switched my iPod to the Prince song collection and listened and repeated. Also, Minneapolis public radio live streamed a great tribute to him that I listened to well into the night. With modern technology, we were all able to spread the word within’ minutes of our “Dearly Beloved’s” death and also to listen to commentary about and music from the Purple Rain man. Posts flooded in on Facebook. My buddy and awesome fellow photographer, Josh Withers, posted a video he shot of a guitar solo he recorded at a Prince show in 2011. Memories flooded in from my college days at Pratt Institute in the 80’s. My roomies and friends from those days will all attest; in 1984 and ’85 “Purple Rain” blasted all throughout our dorm rooms and apartments. Purple Rain was the first Prince album recorded with and officially credited to his backing group The Revolution. Originally released June 24, 1984, 2 tracks, “When Does Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” held #1 positions on the Billboard charts for weeks in the US, UK and Australia. My fondest memory of Prince was attending his concert 2 nights in a row in 1985 in NYC, the Purple Rain tour. The first night was so mind blowing that we went and tried to scalp tickets for night #2 and ended up getting 18th row floor seats right before the show started. We paid dearly for them, but they were worth every last purple cent! RIP Purple Rainman ;-(  Much like your colleague David Bowie, your style and music pushed many limits and will live on as innovative, shocking and sexy 😉

As I was driving into the night looking for a safe spot to pull over and sleep, I reflected on what a sad day it was to have lost this great Pop/Rock icon, but I was grateful there was a break in the Election 2016 hoopla/circus that is spinning. Some days I just want to crawl in a hole and pretend that this upcoming election is not real. The drama of it all hasScreen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.51.35 PM really got some people’s panties all in a knot. For instance, I received a warning a few days ago to be “defriended” by a #feeltheBern fan who believes that Bernie supporters should not be “bashing” other candidates, but still be supporting the Democratic forerunner, Clinton. The meme this person was referring to is posted here. CNN states that “Bernie Sanders’ campaign on Tuesday April 19th, called reports of voting irregularities in New York state “a disgrace” as local officials rushed to condemn the city Board of Elections for stripping more than 125,000 Democratic voters from the rolls.” These are facts. The same scenario existed in the AZ primary. Not sure what is going on with that?… Both AZ and NY, the main states in question, are supposedly “undergoing investigation”, whatever that means. Nonetheless, “bashing” is defined as “verbal abuse, as of a group, a person or a nation.” I simply posted something that people would hopefully see as factual, defined as…something known to exist or to have happened.”

My personal preference… I will not hide that I support Bernie, not so much because I feel he will make a great President, but because he is the lesser of all the evils and I do believe he mostly speaks from his heart. From what he speaks, he also clearly has in mind the betterment of the poverty stricken and lost middle class in the richest country in the world. Nor will I hide that I feel with great certainty that Clinton will say anything to get elected. Here’s a video of Clinton – 13 straight minutes of her “changing her mind” or basically, lying. Let’s face it, all politicians lie and granted a lot of that clip goes back many years. Yes, people can change their minds and speak different words, but what is really in her heart? Nope, no heart there… She’s all business. I personally will NOT vote for her, especially just because she’s a woman and it’s time for a female to be POTUS. (Hell, we had a black man, it’s time for a woman now!)  😉  No, the only way I will vote for Clinton is if it comes down to her and Trump as opponents. If Bernie decides to run on an Independent ticket, we’re really screwed because the would be Democratic vote will split between him and Clinton and then… Trump will have a nice, easy ticket to be the POTUS! The fact alone that Trump is even running makes the U.S. a complete embarrassment to the rest of the world, let alone most of the conscious people I know in this country. The bottom line about Trump is that he is very clearly a bigot AND a racist. This is not an opinion, it is FACT. And, Hillary’s seat at the democratic nomination table was long ago handsomely purchased. Poor Bernie doesn’t have a chance. I say, “Screw Blue no matter who.” My friend Katie Bushnell and I were talking one day last week and we were discussing the fact that anyone who has any iota of consciousness and intuition knows just by looking at a face who is basically good or evil. So, vote with your instincts and facts, folks. November is rapidly approaching, but there is still time to research the facts.

There aScreen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.51.53 PMre probably many folks who will agree that Election 2016 is quite laughable most times. Our choices are not the best. However, I haven’t “defriended” or blocked anyone on my Facebook for their political views, even a few friends that are staunch Trump supporters. They are nice people. That’s why they are my friends. I just simply question their sanity! In short, there is no reason to dislike or “defriend” anyone because of their political views, but if folks are going to let the emotions of this show get the better of them, it will turn into a much bigger and uglier circus than it already is. Opinions are like, well you know… We all have one. Let’s try to respectfully express ours and respect others’ as well. And yes, I am definitely going to make an earnest effort to refrain from “bashing” anyone, candidates or their supporters. However, I’m probably not going to sit quietly through all this. I’m going to look at facts and stay away from emotions and criticisms. I will try to be polite and respectful and abide by what my good friend Ricci Barnes always says, Peace and Love, Sue, Peace and Love 🙂

Posted in Death of Prince, Election 2016 Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

LIFE IS A JOURNEY, not a guided tour :)

The Journey to Self

I believe that there comes a time in life for nearly every human soul walking this planet when they arrive at the BIG question… “WHY AM I HERE?” According to my spiritual belief system, which is VAST beyond description, I will say that I believe it to be true that there are few souls who enter this lifetime and just KNOW their journey, they don’t need to ask. Those souls come into this lifetime CLEAR and just move in the world in their SPIRIT DRIVEN PURPOSE. An aside here… The term “God” is used very rarely in my lingo for I believe the concept of this God dude was created BY man FOR man, because human beings simply cannot understand with their mind the vastness of CREATION, the UNIVERSE and plural of the latter. Einstein confirmed this! So, in my writings, I refer to God as the DIVINE, SPIRIT, the UNIVERSE. For me, DIVINE encompasses all as the concept of God as man has created it is VERY limited. Nonetheless, I offer my readers the “out” to refer to this IMMENSENESS as God. To each his own, live and let live, right? I didn’t always feel this way, to be able to not have to DEFEND my concept of the DIVINE, attempting in my debates to get others to get my “drift” gained through direct personal experience. In my daily attitude and actions, I strive to choose LOVE and TOLERANCE in the most colossal sense of both words. And to my readers, I say call it whatever you wish, as long as you FEEL that IT is working in your life and there to guide you at all crossroads, the ones that we trudge in both LOVE and FEAR, it’s all GOoD!

Back to my original point for beginning this blog… The reason WHY we are here? From my own person, I give you this account to believe or not… I have been asking this question on a conscious level since I was one and half years old. You might ask how a 18 month old baby asks this question because communication is completely limited at that stage of life? Well, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our consciousness is VAST and that we can ASK without using words at all. In a hypnotherapy session many years ago, I regressed to a place in my first home with my parents. The vision was very clear. I had a bad cold and was standing up holding onto the bars of my crib, eyes watering, nose dripping in a prison of sorts, a powerful vision if you can grasp it… My parents were arguing. And although it wasn’t posed as a question necessarily, what came through was this… “Why are you doing this with/to each other? This is not why we’re here!” So, at this tender age of 18 months, the light was turned on in my conscious being about the TRUTH, that we are only here to LOVE, to share the BLISS of the UNIVERSE with one another, to live in JOY and to share it with one another, all creatures and our beautiful planet.  Just ending this excerpt with the fact that we all have access to a KNOWING on a deeper level of our being that our mind cannot often translate to us. It’s all about the journey we take to come to this place of KNOWING AND FEELING DIVINITY within ourselves. My personal journey is what my first book is all about, the twists and turns of life that brought me back to the TRUTH of who I really AM. And at 48 years old, with an entire life ahead of me, I feel blessed beyond words to have “gotten” this on such deep levels of my being. This LOVE envelops my SOUL on a daily basis, allows me to share myself and that LOVE freely with all my brothers and sisters, all creatures great and small in the world in a WHOLE and beautiful way. Are there still not times of pain and learning? ABSOLUTELY! But if I go in with my eyes open, try to not let myself get enveloped by the emotions of the circumstances and simply ask to be shown the right direction to be led, the path is CLEARLY REVEALED. And that PATH is illuminated by the people I share my journey with on a daily basis, from precious loved ones to the stranger, the blind man in the waiting room at the doctor’s office that SEES me even though he lost his sight at age one. This blog is partially driven from an experience on 8/22/12 with Myron, my new blind brotha, a man who sees more than most people who have the immense gift of sight with their eyes. The lack of INsight... in my book, I elaborate yet don’t dwell on the darkness, the sludge, the roads of immense pain with glimpses of joy intertwined that I traveled to arrive at this place in life. It was by no means a simple journey as I know in my heart and soul that PAIN IS THE TOUCHSTONE OF ALL SPIRITUAL GROWTH. The book’s title is to be revealed soon. Ahead of it’s publishing, I can assure that you will be amply entertained because I am alive by the Grace of the God/Him <LOL! alongside a cosmic sense of humor! 😉

Leading to my conclusion of this blog… Overall, I have come to realize that life is driven by a POWER of LOVE far greater than ourselves. Once we accept this as the UNIVERSAL TRUTH for ourselves and ALLOW this power to guide us, we can truly surrender and move forward with the knowledge and carry the message to others. This POWER of LOVE shines in all our actions and attitudes of our daily life. I feel we are ALL on this planet to RECOVER, to restore our Holistic beings back to the TRUTH of who we REALLY are, and to live in the BLISS of life on a daily basis, to BREATHE in all the beauty our planet and it’s inhabitants have to offer. And that is IMMENSE! How much we choose to recover, is directly correlated to how much of this BLISS we can experience in our human form, how much light we can breathe into our cells. I humbly ask of you should you be moved by this entry, to please step back and ask the Great Spirits that BE just what you are here for and for the path to be laid out clearly. If you ask in all earnestness and with complete integrity and the WILLINGNESS to look at some “not-so-nice” aspects of yourself, the TRUTH will not be withheld from you. AWARENESS, humility as individuals and collectively, patience, grace and compassion are required for the times we are currently living in as they are seemingly VERY tumultuous. We see FEAR based craziness all around us, wars, increase in crime and addictions, a complete division of our view of government which, IMHO, is completely riddled with corruption (and for those who are awake to the TRUTH that large corporations and $$ are running the show) we see that this “system” hasn’t worked FOR the PEOPLE for a very long time and it is definitely time it changes in a BIG way. We are seeing natural disasters of magnitude we as a human race have not seen on our planet, ever. WE, as a collective consciousness are destroying our beautiful planet with our raping of the environment and our clear disregard for the immense RESPECT our mother earth demands of us. SHE is THE ONE who sustains our VERY existence and we (as a collective consciousness) are simply not giving the gal what she needs and SHE IS REBELLING in a BIG WAY! What I know in the depths of my being to be true is this… as a mass consciousness WE are being called to ask ourselves WHO we truly are and how we wish to continue. Are we going to choose FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real, quite evident through CONTROL and POWER with that silly green stuff $$ that basically holds no value any longer) and keep perpetuating the madness? Or are we going to move forward operating from a place of LOVE, the DIVINE that we all have a choice to call into our being on a daily basis? It’s our choice folks. And from an energetic standpoint, the vibrations of love and fear are just that, vibrations… AND if we are willing to call in that vibration of LOVE, our minds change, our actions change, and we literally transform the cells of our being on a level beyond comprehension to the human mind and even science at times. WE are the answer, each and every one of us individually first and foremost. WE will determine our future by taking responsibility for anchoring LOVE or FEAR in to our being, how humanity and our planet will transform. 2012 is not the end of the world as we know it, unless we know it in FEAR. IF we choose LOVE, it will be the dawning of a new world that can transform the human experience to one of LOVE and BLISS and the earth and it’s inhabitants WILL find PEACE and live in harmony. Here and now, I call you to the duty to live in LOVE and to heal ourselves and this stellar rock we roll on.   Namasté dear readers, Namasté 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST… J.R.R. Tolkien

“Not all who wander…” has been in draft version for the past 2 plus months. It’s taken a long time to compose as I’ve been wandering 😉 I will preface this segment by stating that this is my blog and I offer my opinions and observations here. Your opinions matter to me and I welcome your comments.

As I stated in my first blog entry, the wanderlust bug bit me at a very young age. Life took upon a whole new meaning once I stepped foot off of U.S. soil and saw how other cultures and people exist. At that point, life for me became about new experiences, new encounters with people and places. Ironically, the bug coincided with my initial fascination with photography. I’ve not wandered without a camera since 1985.

Wandering into the blog world. When I first embarked on this WordPress thingy, it was last October and I was charged up about documenting the Occupy movement. Although I agree with most who argue that the US is still the greatest country to live in, I do believe that our government needs a serious overhaul. I became an observer of Occupy from the outside in Buffalo, a small but powerful movement, which like all the others, has since been disbanded by the authorities. Seems “Occupy” is still alive in the virtual realm, yet the physical presence of actual protests is being squashed at the inception of any non-permit issued collection of bodies in a public place. The United Police States of America? I must admit I lost my mojo for being physically present for Occupy after being in NYC @ the original OWS, at Zucotti Park. They tore down the encampment while I was there and I was actually glad because there were so many homeless and drug addicted who had wandered in. It was not a pretty place to be. While some people think that the movement majority was/is comprised greatly of the downtrodden, the unemployed, people with a lack of motivation who want some sort of handout, I can assure you that a large percentage of folks I encountered first hand were highly intelligent, professional people who have been calling for a revolution for a very long time. I am still aligned with what I feel the original purpose of Occupy was… very basically, to bring worldwide awareness to the FACT that our government is run by large corporations and that greed is completely destroying a once prosperous nation. There are many other facets that the 99% are debating and fighting for, such as ending senseless wars and instituting affordable health plans for every American. One of my personal favorites is reminding Congressman and Senators that they were HIRED to work FOR the people. I’m all down with Warren Buffet’s proposed congressional reform act. If you haven’t read it, please do.

Wandering away from Occupy… After spending time in NYC @ Occupy, it was clear to me that the media coverage  was not giving Occupy it’s due process and it never would. For many reasons, mainly a united, solid and focused leadership, I felt it to be futile, mirroring my sentiments about our country’s economic recovery. Unsure of what my future held, I ventured down the road into the unknown in my trusty “Westie” wondering what would be next for me? What would I do, where would I go now? Yes, I felt afraid. It’s been said by many great spiritual masters that all of our emotions are derived from either fear or love. One question that I had planned to try and find concrete answer via the people of Occupy was… why is this country in such upheaval? Are people protesting because they are angry, which boils down to fear? Are they afraid for generations to come? for their own personal “security?” 

[an aside here… I remember being part of the anti-war movement in San Francisco, marching in the streets against invasion of Iraq.  IMHO, there is no better city to protest in than San Francisco! What an incredible feeling to march down Market St with thousands of people who think the same about the devastation war results in for ALL involved except the very rich who profit from it. Yes, war is HUGE business! The general fear that existed around the protests post 9/11 was that our government would spend trillions of dollars and millions of innocent civilian lives would be lost. All, in this particular case, not to actually protect the citizens of this country, but? ____ You can fill in the blank but I’m sure there’s a BIG $ in the answer somewhere if you’re hip to the tricks. OK, so it turns out that there were no WMD’s. Anyone who has done research aside from what the media portrayed, knows that 9/11 was a horrible scenario concocted to launch the American people into FEAR. Yes, GW and his cronies did an excellent job of making the vast majority of Americans terrified about the “evil doers” striking again. LOL! another blog entirely… What protest all comes down to is the idealistic wish for an enlightened global consciousness, one that prioritizes human lives before greed and wealth. Not in our  capitalist “culture.” Money = power = security…… really??? ]

So the big question for my readers is… HOW DO YOU DEFINE SECURITY? Does it include one or all of the following? The full time job with benefits (a fast fading part of the American dream) the secure? retirement plan, 2.5 kids, a nice house, nice car(s), all insurances intact and paid, the perfect partnership/union, and maybe that superb 2 week vacation where you blow a huge wad of doe, only to return to work the other 50 weeks to repeat it the following year? Do you work to keep yourself and your family safe and secure within these constructs that society has created for us to follow? The aforementioned are all things that we are conditioned to believe make us secure and happy, mostly through the TV and advertising. As a culture based on consumerism, we constantly lust after new stuff. Advertising makes us believe we will be happy if we just have that new this or that… What is it that defines your security? What would happen if whatever it is, disappeared?

mile marker 0, Key West, FL

the end of the road!

WHERE MY TRAVELS LED… Thinking that I needed to establish some “security”, to find a job/job (because that’s just what “normal” people do ;-),  I figured I would take an old friend up on an offer to help him flip his house in Richmond, VA and try to find some work there. In late November of 2011, after just 3 days there, my instincts spoke loud and clear that Richmond was definitely not the place for me. After traveling all that way planning to settle down, I was confused. My mind was starting to operate from a fear place. I couldn’t quiet it long enough to see down the road from where I was. I lost my TRUST that an unseen force, my INSTINCTS, (some call this God) were guiding me. Yes, I refer to God as my TRUE instincts and vice versa. Some say it’s not humble to say that one IS God, that believing in such a way is egotistic, blasphemous, sacrilegious… Myself, I am very humbled to be a part of Creation as a whole, of this beautiful planet and it’s creatures. We are all connected to everyone and everything energetically. When we lose touch with this connection, the ego can come in and mess things up in a heartbeat if we let it. It’s sometimes hard to decipher what is ego and what is pure instinctual guidance. But I find if I get really, really quiet, the next step is revealed. Going deeper… We are born instinctual beings, just like animals, but with intellect and the ability to reason and communicate with language. Basically, the way I see it is IF there is an almighty being called God, he/she/it gifted me (and you too) with instincts to follow to connect to HIM, HER, IT, THEY, THE DIVINE, whatever you wish to term it. We fall away from instinctual behavior when the constructs of society are shown to us, starting at a very early age. We are not fearful by nature, we learn fear and fear is what keeps us in our mind vs. being instinctual. And when we begin to clear out all the riff raff that our mind tells us we should be doing and get really quiet with ourselves, our instincts speak to and lead us. The key is that we have to slow down enough and learn to listen to them. We have to deeply relax. <another blog entirely> So onward… From Richmond, I set out again with even fewer possessions in my trusty van and wound up in Florida, a state I really had no desire to visit, let alone live in! After house sitting for a friend near West Palm Beach for a couple of months, and having a showing and sale of my work, I figured I would drive down and check out the Keys. I had heard good things about them, but didn’t really know what to expect. I arrived in Key West on January 31st, thinking I just would stay a day or two and then move on. But where was “on”? This was the end of the road.

Reggie and Joe

Joe and his cockatiel, Reggie

On that day, I met Joe at Ft. Zachary Taylor, a beautiful and peaceful Florida State Park that is famous for it’s sunsets. Joe has a Westie, 4 years newer than mine in superb condition. He also has Reggie, his moody little cockatiel 🙂 Reg is obviously part of Joe’s family. People who have never traveled in these vehicles, sadly, just aren’t tuned into the unspoken connection we have.  There is a freedom like no other that the vehicle offers. Our vans are part of our “family.” When I met Joe, he said that if I stayed a few days in KW, I probably wouldn’t leave. I hadn’t planned to stay longer than another night… Well, two months later, minus a couple brief excursions to the mainland, I got in my sweet Westie and bid my “hasta luego” to a place that truly taught me that happiness is a state of BEING, not mind. That little segment of time in Key West also offered me a sense of freedom I had only ever had small glimpses of before. In a place where I often lived on under $10 a day and never lacked for anything, I became the wealthiest woman in the world. I found my dream job too! It’s pretty simple and it pays well. The description goes something like this… live simply, follow your instincts, live by the Golden rule, be grateful for EVERYONE and EVERYTHING you have, stay relaxed, and carry the message of freedom and happiness in daily life. It’s become clear to me how little I need to live well. As a matter of fact, the old saying “less is more” truly applies in my case. Basically, I want to thank the Universe, aka my Instincts /God for setting the stage for me to stay long enough in Key West for the magic to happen inside. You were spot on, Sugrue! 🙂

Westfalia heaven

Westies lined up @ Ft Zach

Wandering back to the topic of “security”… From my own personal experience, having had very nice places to live in the SF Bay Area, 2 cars, good jobs that brought in often more than enough $$, long-term, meaningful relationships, I can clearly see now that my true happiness, which some feel is derived from this “security” was never arrived at from anything material. Yes, there were moments of bliss in all aspects of my material life, but it all disappeared, slowly… by conscious choice and not.  Currently, I have very little of what society generally defines as security. My sweet old van, Westie, with 263K miles, has often been my “home.” Why did I put home in quotations? My own personal experience is that I have been forced to find my true home inside. Home for me has become not about the constructs or all the stuff within them that we surround ourselves with. Rather, my home is a feeling of deep contentment, that comes with the ability to fully relax in my own skin. Quite honestly, there are still times I question my current lifestyle, my ego comes in and tells me that I’m less than, and I start comparing myself to others who have all the schtuff that most people think makes them happy. Because I have always been a Truth seeker and ask for it to be revealed to me, I feel I was forced to let go most of what I thought my life was so that I could find true happiness and peace. There is a beauty like no other of truly living in the moment. My “home” expands within each mile I travel, with each photograph I take, with each new person I encounter on a daily basis. And I thank the Universe for all the wonderful people that have crossed my path, the souls that I have shared happiness and anguish with. For without the sour, we can never know the sweet. And Christoper McCandless said it best from “Into the Wild”… “Happiness is only real when shared!” 🙂

The journey of life is not a guided tour, it is an adventure. And although I would love to share more about the wanderings of Key West, I’m going to save it for another blog. I’m honored that a few of you will take time to read this. If I reach one person, I have been successful. (Please see my first blog entry for the definition of Success I subscribe to.) My closing words to the weary on this journey come from the book “Eat Pray Love.” I was deeply moved by the book and have since given many copies to friends on a Truth seeking journey.”

Liz Gilbert – “In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

The Key West blog is coming soon. To the people I met and the incredible negative ionic, geographic situation of the place, I am forever grateful. What a colorful bouquet of flowers it all was. A large missing piece of the Truth was revealed to me. And I can conclude with one sentence… Fear is but an illusion and when we walk into the unknown and face it, the gifts that arrive are often wildly magnificent!

Namasté good people 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello WordPress world!

Launching into the unknown – once again…

For 25 years, I have been at this love of photography. It’s been the longest relationship of my life and the love just keeps on growing.

To keep up with changing times, I guess I gotta blog, do some video and whatever else it takes to stay current with the race.  Let me tell you a little bit about why I am here…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been a deep thinker and creative. I played musical instruments, I painted, I LOVED to dream and to create. After struggling with the decision between law and art for a college degree, I obviously chose art. While studying at Pratt Institute where my major was Advertising Design, I took a photography elective and was enamored. In the summer of 1985, I left U.S. soil for the first time and went to Israel for a summer photography program. My eyes were opened in a way that I never expected. Hence, came a great love and appreciation for cultural diversity and documenting what I experienced when I traveled. Wanderlust became my middle name 😉 And that dream of becoming a famous Art Director and making gobs of doe? It got left behind in the Dead Sea.

I live quite a non-conventional life. For me, it’s become about freedom to roam, to experience, to document. My needs are few and my wants even fewer. I share Christopher McCandless’ belief that the core of mans’ spirit is developed from new experiences. Travel has become a bit of an addiction, but it sure is a good one! It’s amazing how little one can live on, how little we actually need in life! One thing I have been certain of well before I became that wanderlust woman is that our soul is enriched not by how much we can accumulate and how seemingly comfortable we make ourselves by WHAT we surround ourselves with. My feeling is that our sole/soul purpose in life is to learn to learn to relax, and to love unconditionally both our amazing planet and one another. That is the message I wish to convey through my work.

I hope that the images you see on my site as well as ones inserted into this blog, enrich your soul. If they do, I have been successful 🙂

 

SUCCESS
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

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