May 12, 2009

Everywhere You Go, There You Are

Filed under: My Thoughts — jodi @ 5:36 pm

romanced.jpg   Every day, I search for ways to help people understand how magnificent they truly are.  As I do this, I continuously strengthen my own identity as The Creator….reminding myself that the life outside me begins within and is then projected outwardly.  My world is my creation.  How important it is, then, to remember my own perfection.

One by one, I call forth the sleeping children.  How wondrous it is to watch realization unfold as transformation reveals the profound look of a newly-awakened soul staring right back at me.  It is breathtakingly beautiful to recognize the one Being who is looking back at you is you.  That which IS, becomes…All That Is.

It is a difficult concept to digest, for a while; however, once known, it cannot be undone.  Everywhere you look, you see yourself.  Everywhere you look, you see perfection.  Your soul celebrates the knowing of who and what everything really is, and you call it “good.”

The best example I can provide is to ask you to recall a time in your life when you were deeply in love with someone else.  Remember that feeling?  You felt like the sun rose every day to offer you more moments with one another.  It seemed like time stood still when you were together.  You longed to be so very close to one another, and when you were together, you had to constantly touch the other, just to make sure this was real.  It didn’t matter what was happening outside the 6 feet area where your energy fields merged…nothing existed but the other.  When you were apart, you yearned and ached deep in areas you didn’t know existed prior to that time.  You could think of nothing else…and the sparkle in your eyes outshone every star in the sky.  Again and again, you felt compelled to say, “I love you,” as you lost yourself in the warmth of the other person’s body…soul.  You couldn’t stop laughing and smiling when together, and you couldn’t stop crying when you were apart.  Do you remember this feeling?

That…that was a moment in time when you caught a glimpse of heaven.  You saw your perfect self in another and that yearning for its return is nothing more than the call to awaken to remembering that you are All That Is.  Look at yourself with that kind of love, dear ones, because it has always been your own love which is missing.  You cannot find completion in others…you must come into the experience as a whole being.  If you cannot love yourself with that kind of intensity, how will you ever find it in another who is nothing more than your own creation?  If you are blessed, at this moment, with a wondrous loving relationship, look into the other person’s eyes, and know the love you are feeling for “them” is really love you are giving yourself.  That is why it feels so amazing!  If you have no significant other, right now, then look at your own reflection until you start to understand all eyes looking back are your own.

If only one lesson were to be taught to us all upon birth, it would serve us well to learn that nothing is separate.  If we spoke, acted, lived, breathed and shared from that perspective, we would understand how gentle each caress of another’s heart must be.  When another fell to the ground in suffering, I would have to wipe away those tears and extend a helping hand.  For if I didn’t, the pain would become my own suffering.

As I recognize the connectedness of All That Is, I see the enormity of my Being.  I AM All That Is.  There is nothing else.  It follows then, all those I believed apart from myself are not really separate from me at all.  Our Source is the same One.

  We are all merely One…Being…Love.

I AM…Jodi

May 11, 2009

Mother’s Day Memories

Filed under: My Thoughts — jodi @ 6:53 pm

mothers-day.jpg   Mother’s Day is always an interesting one.  For some people, it is an absolute nightmare.  For others, it is a day of great joy and celebration. 

I believe because the woman is the vessel that carries the baby to term, she has a unique connection to her children.  Of course, I cannot know how it feels to be a father…I can only speak from the perspective of the mother.  I’ve given birth to three children.  I adopted one child.  And I lost one baby in a miscarriage.  How each of these experiences has colored my life is a book in itself, and the best I can do is to share how much all of them have meant to me.

When I was only 19-years-old, one year into a new marriage, I found out I was pregnant with my first child.  I was scared.  I felt my parents wouldn’t approve of me dropping out of college to have a baby when I was barely more than a child myself.  I remember that I didn’t even go to the doctor to find out if I was pregnant until I was well into my third month.  I dropped out of school, after I couldn’t deal with morning sickness and trying to maintain a pretty shaky marriage and work.  I had two maternity outfits…made by a family friend of a friend.  I lived on cheap, greasy canned tuna and macaroni and cheese.  For the first time in my life, I finally weighed in numbers with 3 digits…and I was 5 feet 6 inches tall.  Looking back at pictures of myself during that year, I see how sad I was.  I remember crying all the time….so much so, I worried if it would affect the baby.  I worked long hours as a waitress and the check girl at the country club.  In October, I went through 22 hours of labor and a drug known as “twilight sleep,” which has since been banned.  It was not a pleasant or easy birth.  Without going into details, just let me say that when nurses would come in to check on the stitches, they would make horrible contortions with their faces.  I’ll never forget my brother’s first words when he saw me.  “You look like you died!”  I was in the hospital for nearly a week, recovering, but I had the most beautiful baby in the hospital.  She was perfect…almost angelic.  Nurses would go on and on about how gorgeous she was.

No one ever tells you how profound it is to hold a newborn baby for the first time.  There are few words to describe the enormous feeling of love that chokes you up and takes your breath away as you stare into those big eyes…as you feel that tiny hand grasp your finger.  It’s hard to believe such perfection could come from such pain, but in that instant, you forget the pain.  The world stands still and the wiggling bundle in the tightly wrapped blanket makes a tiny squeaking sound that rattles you to the core of your soul.  Tears well in your eyes as you search the room for the answer to that question, “Why didn’t anyone tell me I would feel this way?”  Because no one can.  You have to experience it to know a love that divine.

When my precious daughter was just past 2, I decided I wanted to have another child.  At that point, I was starting to realize the marriage was not going to last, and I thought it would be good to have both my children from the same father, at the very least.  In spite of his constant objections, I went forth, this time, intentionally trying to get pregnant.  I was really happy, this time, and was thrilled when I got those first “I know I’m pregnant” symptoms.  I rushed to the calendar and calculated that this baby would be due around the same time as my mother’s birthday.  I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, but thought I should give it one more week before saying anything.  Just days before I was to announce my news to the family, I was outside, playing with Peyton (my daughter).  We lived in a mobile home and she was running on the graveled road while I pretended to chase her.  Suddenly, she stopped right in her tracks, without warning.  In an effort to keep from knocking her down, I dove over her and landed hard on my stomach.  That night, I lost the baby.  I was devastated.  I felt it was my fault…I should have known better.  I was so, so sad.

Three months later, I was pregnant again.  I was more careful this time, but almost lost this child, as well, after riding in a motor boat one day.  The lake water was very rough, and the constant crashing into waves was jolting everyone in the boat.  I had spotting, afterwards, but fortunately it finally stopped before it went too far.  I cried and cried, begging God to let me keep this child, even though the morning sickness with this one was all but unbearable.  God heard.  In April of that year, I woke up with those familiar cramps.  We had to drive 50 miles to the hospital, and my water broke about halfway there.  I had done everything right this time.  I took the Lamaze classes and planned on using no anesthesia.  Unfortunately, after a quick checkup, the OB learned the baby was breech.  After debating back and forth for a while, it was finally decided that a C-section was the best solution.  As my precious son was delivered, we learned the cord was wrapped around his neck.  He was quite blue and not breathing.  I was oblivious, being heavily sedated, but my doctor was deeply concerned, because she was to perform a tubal ligation after delivering him.  She hesitated, and just as she made the cut, he finally cried.  She let out a huge sigh.  I didn’t get to see my little boy for the first day after his birth.  He was kept in ICU, and I was recuperating from the surgery.  When they finally placed Ryder in my arms, I was overwhelmed with love, yet again.  How blessed I was to have such perfect children. 

Many years and another marriage later, I set about planning for a third child.  My new husband had not had children with his first wife, and I so wanted him to have that experience…even though my tubes had been tied for over 6 years.  I did the research, found a wonderful surgeon, and had my tubes reconnected.  Only two months later, I was pregnant again.  This pregnancy went very well, but since I’d been through so much already, the OB felt I should opt for a C-section again.  So, we looked at that calender, and the only date she had available for the surgery was October 31…Halloween!  I laughed and agreed, and after no labor pains for the first time, I had a remarkable delivery, with my husband right at my side.  Just before he was delivered (I already knew I was having another son), a nurse asked me what I thought he would look like.  I told her, “I think he’ll weigh 7 1/2 pounds, be 20 inches long and  just watch, he’ll probably be a redhead!”  LOL…I was right on all three accounts!  Problems again, however!  This child was jaundiced, and they had to keep him under lights for the first few days of his life.  They brought him to me for nursing, but I had so wanted to be like the other mothers who got to keep the baby in the room with them.  Once again, I cried as they took him out of my arms.  A few days later, however, I got to take my very bronzed son, Gatlyn, home to meet his older siblings.  Yes…it was love at first sight, yet again.

Dayna was born in 1995, and I was in the room as she, too, came by C-section.  I gasped to see that she looked exactly like her mother…my older daughter, Peyton.  On the drive to the hospital the day Dayna was born, I heard the song “Earth Angel” playing on the radio.  I knew that meant all would be fine, and that soon became her nickname when she was around me.  Although I was the grandmother, I felt a deep connection and bond to Dayna.  I had a unique experience, this time, however.  I got to watch my own daughter’s eyes glow as she held that tiny bundle for the first time.  Peyton and Mike (Dayna’s father) both cried as they saw how perfect she was.  I understood.  This was a touchy situation, and I stayed with Peyton and Dayna for three weeks, settling them into a new apartment…without the father.  Three and half years later, my daughter chose to do one of the most remarkable acts of unselfish love I’ve ever witnessed.  She placed her little girl in our care, and agreed that the best thing for Dayna was to let her live with us.  By the time Dayna was four, the adoption was final.  Peyton has always played a huge role in Dayna’s life…and yes, she sometimes regrets making that decision…but we all agree that Dayna’s best interests are number one.  Dayna turned 14 on Saturday…the day before Mother’s Day…and I realized how blessed all of us are to have each other.  I understand Peyton’s regrets and concerns about whether or not she did the right thing, but I also see “our” beautiful little girl growing up to be an amazing young lady. 

So…I’ve had many Mother’s Days in my lifetime.  Some remarkably wonderful.  Some incredibly sad.  In the end, though, I can’t say I would change a thing.  I know the blessings each one of these amazing children have brought into my experience.  Yes, there are the bad times, also, but being a mother helps one tend to forget all the pain in the moment that adult child somehow remembers….forgives….and loves. 

I will never know if my children realize how deeply I’ve loved each of them.  I adored them at birth, and I still do.  I look at them with eyes that understand their pain, but they cannot know that no pain is more painful than a mother watching her child hurt.  When a mother says “this will hurt me more than it does you,” there is nothing but truth there.  We die inside when they hurt…more than as if it were ourselves.  I’ve cried tears of joy so overwhelming during the moments others recognized the magnificence of who they are, and I’ve cried tears of sorrow so gut-wrenching during those times when I felt they were mistreated.  I have smiled at them when they needed to know I was there for them, and I have cried a thousand silent tears that they never saw.  I’ve tortured myself when I said what I shouldn’t have, and I’ve sometimes withheld things that I wished I had said.  I’ve always wanted to be everything they wanted me to be, but I’ve always felt less than what they expected.  How many times do mothers say, “if only I had….?”  It often seems, we will never get it exactly right.  We try anyway.

For all the mothers who read these words, I honor and appreciate you for the many sacrifices and services gone unseen.  For all the fathers who read these words, I encourage you to never forget how important this day is to the women in the world.  We give much and receive little….and though we seldom ask for anything, we love it when you “just know.”  To all the children who read these words, please understand that your mother loves you more than life itself…regardless of how she showed you that love.  She did the best she could, and you can never know what unseen pain she might have been hiding so she could offer you that much-needed smile….whether it be hers, or someone else’s.  If she wasn’t everything you dreamed a mother should be…just know we seldom are.  But if you can take the time to look a little deeper, you will see the things she did were always offered to help you have a better life than she did.  No woman gives birth and is untouched by that unspeakable awe that soon follows.  We might not get everything right…but we do the best we can.

To my amazing, generous and beautiful mother….I offer the only words that can even come close to thanking you for all you’ve done for your children.  I love you!

To my children…my hope is  you will forget the moments I couldn’t be all that you wished I could, while remembering those precious moments we shared laughter, hugs, fun and love. Unfortunately, by the time we get the wisdom to realize those things we could have done so much better, you are well out on your own.  We are sometimes offered a second chance, however…when you place our darling grandchildren in our arms…as you finally recognize that feeling we wanted you to experience.   It is then you know…everything ever done had to come first from that unspeakable resonance felt in the heart as the baby lets out the first cry. 

I want you to always know this…I have loved you every step of the way.  With me, you can’t get things wrong.  I have no ability to see anything less than your best, and it is toward that knowing I have pulled sometimes too hard. I have been blessed to be your mother, and I will be eternally grateful for having each of you in my life.  You will always be a part of me…even when it appears I’m gone.  A mother and child have an invisible cord that forever binds them, heart to heart.  I’ve said “I love you” thousands of times, but I have never once said those words without deeply meaning them.  Without you, dear ones, life would be incomplete.  In you, I always saw my best contributions to this world.

I AM…Jodi/Mom/Grammy

May 4, 2009

The Problem of Opportunity

Filed under: My Thoughts — jodi @ 9:55 pm

computer-problems.jpg   I spent over 4 hours, yesterday, working to perfect my ezine.  Just as I was adding the final picture, the entire thing shut down!  I searched everywhere, but I couldn’t find any trace of it.  And no, in case you are wondering (just as I would be), I hadn’t saved it…even though I’m always telling my daughter to be sure to save what she’s working on, every few minutes.  I know, I know.  Practice what you preach.  Sigh. Has this ever happened to you? It is such an awful feeling to lose all that hard work.  In fact, the first words out of my mouth were, “That is SO not fair!”

Interestingly enough, however, there was an incredible gift in the loss.  I took a few moments to step back and look at what happened, and rather than just be upset about it, I decided to practice what I preach.  Since I knew the first words out of my mouth were about “fairness,” I understood there was something in my past having to do with fairness which I had not addressed.  If I had no issues of unfairness in my life, I would not have called it that.  But…I did.

The first memory that came up was when I was just a tiny toddler–the only memory I have of living in Kansas (where I was born).  I was standing on the couch, holding onto the back cushion, looking out a large plate glass window.  My two older sisters were outside, frolicking in pastel snowsuits, having lots of fun playing in the snow.  I wanted to join them, but it wasn’t happening.  “That’s not fair!”  It seemed like I was being punished, but I wasn’t doing anything wrong.  Kaboom!  Core issue!!!

I took a few moments and brought up the feelings of being sad about being punished for something I felt I didn’t do.  I focused on feeling unjustly mistreated, and discovered it was a HUGE factor in my early life.  Wow!  How could I have missed this one?  Well, at any rate, I spent a few moments tapping on it, and soon felt the sorrow lift.  I then tapped in a few rounds of “life is fair.”

Now….I know this is going to be hard to believe…but just as I finished, I looked down, and my ezine had “magically” reappeared.  Crazy!  Yes, I thought so myself…and knew everyone else would think the same if I shared this experience.  I laughed and decided to do so anyway. 

The thing is this.  I had a core issue that needed to be resolved, but hadn’t been addressed.  As I recognized and reclaimed injustice as mine, I was able to move past thinking life “out there” is unfair.  You see, I had learned that belief as a child, and had accepted it as true ever since.  Now that I released the belief inside myself, it doesn’t have to show up in my outer experience. 

Once we understand that the things we don’t like in our lives are just our “stuff” to work on, life becomes rather interesting.  Yes, it is not always easy to remember that, and as my beloved friend John was telling me, especially when we are caught up in tense situations that bring up powerful feelings of anger and injustice.  And yet, the irony is…that is the BEST time to get still and look at the situation differently, because if something just happened that triggered a strong emotion, you just located one of the “zzzzzzt” disruptions that Gary Craig talks about!   What if I had just gotten upset, thrown my computer across the room and swore that I was never again going to write?  If I had chosen that route, I would have missed out on an incredible opportunity to resolve an issue in my life.  Instead, I calmed down and asked myself what happened and why.  In other words…I took responsibility for the computer’s bad behavior!  Why?  Because it is just me!

This afternoon, my husband walked in and said, “Well, I just experienced a first!”  I asked what happened and he said he used EFT on a machine…actually tapping on it.  “Did it work?”  I asked.  “Yes, it did!” he answered…but as all good skeptics would, he followed with, “but I don’t know whether it would have started or not anyway.”  I smiled.

Don’t worry, dear friends.  I will not grow weary of saying these things.  Not until we all “get it.”  My joy in life is witnessing the faces of those who awaken to the beauty of knowing who they really are and what is really going on around them.  It’s magical to see the sparkle of hope in an eye that only moments before was dripping in sorrow.  I’m so blessed.  So very blessed.

Do you know how much you are loved?  Let me remind you, precious angel.  More than all the stars in the sky.  Life is not out to get you.  It waits to give to you.  All you have to do is ask.

I AM…Jodi