People being people


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Could be anywhere on the planet. There is no context for you to decide whether you ‘like’ these people or not. They walk upright, head over the shoulders, feet on the ground, just people.

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People smiling and friendly. Living life where they are. What makes us so afraid of “others”? We all want to eat, we all want love, we all want to be ok…

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Workers in the kitchen of any restaurant anywhere. Just people being people, people working hard for their currency. What is it about the way we believe, or love that makes us believe that they are others and we are people? Why is the idea we are all people so hard for people to swallow?

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I think in the end while there is a portion of the world’s people dead set on owning, and controlling everything, there are still many people just trying to have the best life possible. As I travel I see that to be true. Praise God!

On the road again!


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I am traveling for the next 2 weeks. I am taking my book and CD to Europe and I get to teach in Prague. I am in a state of gratitude as I see life at work. Right now I am sitting in my hotel room in Paris gazing out my window. I am looking at history while reviewing mine.

Mine has been a long game. I am not even sure I saw the half time show or which one of my stories would have been considered a half way through the bull shit story. But as a think on it my life has finally taken that turn away from the horror and on to the road of awesome. Don’t be fooled it took a lot of work.

Each of us has stories that propel us through life. It’s how it goes because face it, none of us would sign on for a difficult life even though we know there is no growth without pain. I would venture to guess that many of us would get in the “that is enough of this growing bullshit” line if we could find it. But life is about growth and the intelligent person figures it out as soon as possible. Let’s take my insomnia for instance.

I have had insomnia since I can remember, it runs in my family. It is the “you people think to much” part of the family dynamic…hmmm, anyway I can remember going to bed when the kids were small and wanting to blow the world apart because I couldn’t get to sleep.The slightest thing would wake me up and boy oh boy it better not have been you. I would lie there fuming, I had to get up the next morning, I had kids, a job, school. I would lament the loss of my sleep, over and over. Napping was not an option. There was no time for naps, it was just fatigue all the time. Now as I write this it seems it didn’t kill me, this horrifying how am I going to live without sleep thing. Apparently it was a pain in my ass but not life threatening, sorry kids! Fast forward 35 years and funny thing about being on a 24 hour clock is that it makes international travel a breeze. I’m up all the time.

God has blessed us with the ability to gain wisdom through every experience, even the seemingly ridiculous. We have to know and remember that we are always going through phases and they will pass as the next phase comes into play. Our children grow up and move on. We won’t be dragging their asses out of bed for long though it may seem like forever. Things will change. We will (hopefully)change. Things in our life will change(guaranteed) as well; jobs, partners and we may never have to be any where at any time ever again. One day the life you were living will be gone and the one dreamed of will be yours. Unless you were dreaming a nightmare and then well, your life will be a nightmare. Keep your eye on the ball. The best reason to do spiritual work.

Time is an interesting mistress that most people refuse to tend to properly. If you get the long game; raising children, higher education, aiding someone through illness or learning, or just being trapped in a difficult situation, you will understand that some things in life take time to acquire and/or fix. Learning Divine Spiritual Wisdom, the Laws of Nature, understanding what is affecting us goes a long way in helping us to master life not to mention get out of hard situations. We don’t get to have knowledge because we want it, it must be acquired just like experience. But once we have it is ours!!!

Be less hard on yourself, you have no idea what is coming around the corner. You also have no idea that what you are learning to handle and negotiate through your now daunting horrifying experiences is what will change the outcome of your long game. I have wanted to travel and teach since I knew it was a thing. I love to travel and I love to teach people how to see and deal with their lives differently. But during the years when my insomnia was kicking my ass I couldn’t see past the glaring clock in my room. It was simply a training ground for later not a torture set up to piss me off, again sorry kids, and maybe an ex-husband or 2. Hahahahahaha!IMG_1697

It’s true if you let it be true, time can heal all wounds!

The retreat is over, now back to life.


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Spiritual yoga retreats are a blessing to attend. It’s a way to replenish the well nourishing our souls as we gather together in community. Being Los Cabos was a great treat as the beauty of the rising sun was a spiritual lesson onto its self. Each day we meditated as the sun came up yet each day the sunrise was different. No two mornings were the same yet the outcome was the bright light of the sun in the sky giving us our daytime. Each day we were there the structure was the same yet each day carried with it differences of consciousness and growth.

It is always amazing how people come together in community and we were their to support each other through the trainings. The days were long and packed with information, Divine Spiritual Wisdom, and before long we were doing our practice classes each supporting the other, it was amazing. I’ve been a long time teacher but others had never taught and how glorious to watch the growth, and the smiles of a job well done.

Some of us ended our training by attending a spiritual retreat with our teacher and we received an outpouring of teachings of the Divine Spiritual Wisdom so powerful that lives can be changed. We each see how when the wisdom is put to work it changes human lives we learn so we can share. So many of us are ready to move into higher realms of consciousness and as we rise we turn and lend our hand to the person behind us not yet ready to go, but certainly willing to grow.

We need to refresh ourselves. We need to be in community of like-minded people so we may be strengthened in our process of growth. It can be hard to do this work alone yet the work must be done on our own. How wonderful to have people around you who understand. But now we are done. Our wells have been filled, our eyes nourished by many sunrises, and hearts by all that we witnessed. And yes there was much humanness to be had. No spiritual retreat is finished until the lessons become real in our lives.

It’s great to be on retreat. It’s great to be in community. Now the real work begins as we integrate what happened. We must apply the teachings to our lives and the let the adjustments to our thinking take hold. When you cannot go out on retreat, set it up within your day. Spend time by yourself in meditation, without the noise of the world. Give yourself a break from your devises and social media to really feel yourself. Find a teacher, a class or a group you can be apart of something so that you may grow.

The entire point of growth is sharing what you learn, what you feel and how glorious it is when the spiritual light enters your heart. In the end we are all teachers of one type or another and we need all the teachers to teach humanity to move from the darkness. Uplift everyone, send light to our world and you will be a soldier of light. Frankly, right now we need all the light bearers we can get.

Reach out when you need to so someone can reach out to you when they are ready. We all need a little help every now and again. Put your wisdom to work for your self and for our world.

Walking under trees


filepicker-AXRWjWTF0ErRcHCehQgg_treesI am in LA while work is being done on my house in Duluth. It is an understatement to say it has been hot. The kind of heat that makes everything hard and getting outside is a far away dream a very hot far away dream. It’s funny after all those years growing up in Florida and dealing with the heat, I thought I liked the heat. Now as opposed to ass biting cold I do enjoy being hot rather than cold but being too hot is a miserable and dangerous situation if you can’t get away from it.

But, I like to walk and I love to be outside. Here where you would think it an easy thing to do can’t understand the nature of heat in the city. When we have heat in Duluth it is the kind of hot you may hate but it’s equally the kind of hot that doesn’t exist as soon as you move out of the direct sun and say move under a tree. Immediately there is a break from the insane heat and your body relaxes. It is one of my favorite things, that moment when the breeze moves the heat out of way, even if just for a second. Here the heat seems to chase you.

Yesterday again ass kicking hot I went to find a cafe to hide in and was going to see a movie, both good indoor activities. So I don’t know what possessed me but I changed my mind mid route to the movies and for some insane reason kept walking. I was just too early I guess and headed instead to a my favorite bookstore. It’s the only one I know like the ones in Paris, a book store for readers, books for the art of reading not just for entertainment. You know what I mean if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was not a smart move as it was already mid-day and busting ass hot.

Driven by the heat I instinctively became aware of every street along the way that had shade trees and would walk that direction. The rest of the way there and back I walked on street after street under the shade of the most magnificent trees . Some were so big as to bridge the road making an umbrella that stretched for blocks. Before I knew it I was there hot but not dead.

The walk back after the wonderful hours sent perusing the shelves was made all the less horrible as I remembered my trail of shaded streets. I quickly stopped in a cafe for an iced chai for the walk back as the heat outside the shop was overwhelming. I had to walk a few steps in the heat to cross the intersection and I hurried towards the shaded streets.

Outside I was surrounded by the noise of the traffic and as I turned the corner I was all alone on a quiet street surrounded by trees. It was like stepping into a fantasy world. I felt the wind and I become aware of the breeze making the leaves sing a tune and suddenly another gust and the air was alive with birds. For a moment it was as if I wasn’t in LA at all but a street I knew not where. But I was somewhere on the planet lost in a magical moment surrounded by trees.

I just don’t get other travelers

I just don’t get other travelers

It has been raining today so it has been a slow moving day in Paris. I took the train to the Champs-Elysees area to watch a movie. So did hundreds of others, of course. There are shops there as well, high end shops, you know, the usual suspects for the display of riches, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Tiffany’s, blah blah blah, all of them. A great way for a girl to feel underdressed even just for a movie.

I choose to sit in a cafe to avoid rain after my movie, oh no here they come, the rich. Silence, bow your head, do not look them in the eye…I of course can’t keep my mouth shut and speaking with my server and the manager we remark about the rudeness of these humans, they will take a chair from table without asking, they will move in front of you like they don’t see you. They are seemingly unaware of the rest of us, us mere mortals.

Then they opened their mouths.

I just don’t get it. I don’t get the notion that a human that is serving you your food or drink needs to be treated like they are dust under your table. I don’t get where the server, male or female, is there just for you needs, and needs to be flagged down with a whistle or a ‘hey’. Really, did you just walk out of a cave? Were you born yesterday? Are you really so ignorant that you don’t know that’s a human you’re talking to? Oh let me guess its raining and your pissed. Wait, is it because you have money?

Not today, today in my neck of the woods, or restaurant, we learned some manners and that the man was a server, not a servant, as if the woman had not heard of such thing.

Now this is a cafe, not the Ritz, we are all allowed in cafes, not so much the Ritz. It’s the great equalizer in France, cafes, because everybody’s money works in a cafe. What was irritating was watching when the women walked in dripping jewels and the men accompanying her through the door, they were greeted, they ignored that, they were asked if they wanted to be seated, they ignored that. They frankly, did and sat where ever the hell they wanted, as if none of us mattered including the actual place they were being seated. How interesting to be “so” in your own space, I mean mine, they were right there next to me.

So note to self and all other foreign travelers, yes they were foreigners to this land, quit being such a pompous ass when visiting another country. Always remember that the server you are treating like shit will be holding your food at some point, also the person you are treating like shit is a mother father sister brother of someone, not a plastic doll put on the earth for your amusement. And most of all remember there by the Grace of God go I and you. Past that can’t we all just get along and drink some good wine together.

traveling alone and dealing with fear


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There can be no doubt we are by nature fearful creatures. I figure it comes from being chased as prey, a deep-seated memory that frankly does us good for survival, and hurts us when spreading one wings to become a more well-rounded person. A person can be so filled with fear that traveling or doing is not a good idea, thank you I’ll be staying at home. We are not as safe as we think we are, nor are we as unsafe, maybe we should relax our grip on fear. Not to mention that after being on the planet for so long fear is not as much of a tool as intelligence for staying alive anyway. Reminds me of horror movies where they will inevitably run towards the horror rather than away. Why do they always go and check out the basement? Plus running away screaming is not a good look on anyone, esp men, just saying.

Cut to me walking across Paris when I spy with my eye the very same ferris wheel I had seen the last time I was here at Christmas, the pic above. It is huge, my words, and you sit in a covered car, seats facing each other for a slow up and around to enjoy the view of Paris. I tried to stay in line last time and chickened out as every excuse came to mind; I am in a foreign country what happens if it falls apart and starts wheeling its way to China? What happens if I am up there and it stops? With this cold I would freeze to death. What happens if I pass out and slip through the crack to my death? followed by the line is just too long. Whew, didn’t have to do that. Lost in a fog of memories and fear I was actually walking right towards it.

As luck would have it, cursing myself under my breath, and why did I walk this way? I walked right up to it and got on. No time to think and if I had it would occur to me that a ferris wheel never just loads and goes it has to slowly be loaded as each car fills and slowly unloaded, and you become stranded at the top, waiting for each car to empty. There you are swinging, being blown by the wind while you wait, God my stomach hurts just writing this. I nearly screamed when my brain woke up and told me all the horror I could expect.

Not to embarrass myself in a foreign country, I had a death grip on my seat, why gritting my teeth. Voice in my head, I am sitting in car alone, no one to balance my car, I feel the wind, ok, gently swaying, screams are forming, death grip continues and eyes closed. The ferris wheel went up and around, nice and easy, be calm it was so quiet, and then I looked out.., snapped a fricking picture…

 

 

 

 

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picture for proof as none of my kids would believe I did this and rode it by myself, fu*king hell yah. It was scary. I was scared every minute, and I was excited. I know the more I can make myself do these fearful things I will pull myself up and out of this horror that has been my last few years. There is no fear like real fear, it’s a motivator, and people made up fear, well it can kiss my lovely ass.

Following said ferris wheel adventure, I kicked the hell out of the subway again, went for a walk without a map, got lost but now I am found. Off for a massage, so I can continue making Paris my bitch, ok that’s was harsh, but you get the drill.

Traveling alone and learning to speak up


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After getting to my hotel following my very long flight, the very french woman behind the desk proceeded to tell me that I had made my reservation for the night before I arrived, meaning I missed a night, and because there was no refunds, it was just to bad. I had made an honest mistake due to time differences that would be my costly mistake. As if waving a “sucks for you” banner in my jet lagged face. Then of course she proceeds to look for a room and I said, “seems my room was ready yesterday”, right? Bull shit they rented that room and put me somewhere else, not in the kind of room that I made a reservation for. I was way too tired to deal with her.

I  saw my view which to the left as the picture shows, awesome, just to the right was a horribly modern ugly building. I decided that since the way everything had been handled by the desk was less than awesome I would just speak to the manager about it the next day. Why carry anger and resentment when I could a least tell him how I felt about the way I was treated and could also ask about my room.

That same woman was at the desk the next morning and I just couldn’t deal with her. She had been rude about the whole thing. What was I suppose to do, talk to her again. I thought I was going to have to make myself just be ok with it, I am in Paris, it is fine. Right!

Not so much…

She wasn’t at the desk the next morning,

do it Leanne speak up for yourself………

Those women behind the desk did not want me to talk to the manager until I kept saying I am a paying guest I am allowed to speak to the manager. I want to speak to the manager. I had to wait all day. Later on I sat and waited and this young man approaches me and I say, “oh still lower level management, really, this hotel is going to blow me off”. He sat down.

I explained to him how I felt about his hotel. How I would write to their parent company and leave a review, your hotel front desk staff is unfriendly. I told him I understood my mistake about the reservation but did the girl have to wave it in my face? Was it not possible that the hotel could have done something for my costly mistake?

And about my room? I told him about the deceptive web site description. How I was spending nearly 2 weeks in his hotel and that ugly building was a drag to look at every day. What happened to my Paris apartment like room. I just wanted to say my piece and felt better. I told him it was hard enough to travel alone and then have to be treated like my money wasn’t valuable to his hotel. I of course told him that he wouldn’t want his mother treated like I was, simply dismissed by a hotel, taking lots of my money.

He leaves me with my wine and I feel better like a weight was lifted. I didn’t get upset, just said what I wanted, knowing full well it was my mistake and hey I was still in Paris.

He returns with a smile and a follow me. He takes me up to the highest floor to show me a suite that is just like a Paris apartment, exactly what the web site had said about my room… he was right, it was, modern, updated and beautiful.

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and then there was the balcony, i mean a balcony with a view. And in that second what I had lost in money because of my mistake was more than made up for in a room upgrade, a room that was twice the size of my first, and twice the cost.

A woman traveling alone at a certain age does things to make herself feel safe. I carefully choose my hotel and if I am staying awhile I carefully choose my room. When something like this happens especially with fatigue, it is easy just to take it. Be disappointed and say nothing. Try not to take up any space and do not raise your voice. The truth is when you speak from the heart and use words of neutrality there is no need to get defensive so the manager didn’t have to defend his hotels position on policy. Upgrading my room was easier than refunding my money and I got a much better deal.

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Breakfast the next morning, and my trip becomes extra awesome. Way to speak up Leanne!!!!

Traveling alone


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Summer has avoided Duluth this year and looking for any reason to travel, seeking summer seemed good enough. Of course for me Paris is always the answer so I checked the weather and sure enough they were having summer in Paris.

Here I am again. City for lovers, my ass. City of beautiful people, hands down!

It’s funny I am always so excited to go, I love to travel, yet when I hit the ground and the reality of how alone I can feel with jet lag out the ass, my reclusive button gets hit and it can be hard to leave my room. But, since this is not my first time here I gave myself a stern talking to and headed out the door. Geez, Leanne.

I figured that the best way to deal with this travelers fear was to head to the Eiffel Tower, totally a tourist destination. There I could get lost in the crowd. I was thinking of going to the top and thank God it was temporarily closed, I mean really how much fear does one person need to deal with, so instead, I sat on a bench and just watched the endless parade of people.

Awww humans. I have been told over and over again that I think too much. I am very aware of myself. As I sat and watched the people go by I realized that most humans are walking around asleep. They are not paying any attention to anything around them. I am not sure I get it. Most are looking down at their devices. So many vacant expressions like they are walking around but not in their bodies. There they are in one of the most awesome places in the world and its long faces, screaming kids and how much longer do we have to be here.

It didn’t take long for perspective to show up. I saw so much when I looked in their faces that it pulled me right out of my revelry. There was every manner of human in those crowds; parents, kids, players, crooks, beautiful humans, lots of awkward humans and humans who have no understanding of a mirror, homeless excluded. What I saw was everyone looking for some kind of connection. Everyone is looking for love and to be needed, wanted, seen. Its written on everyone’s face. Why should it bother me if it’s on mine?

I become one of the crowd and filled with the knowing that there are as many lonely people walking in the city as there are couples and families I stood up and began my walk back. A peace came over me and it just didn’t matter anymore that I was still alone and had no one to share all this awesomeness with. I just became so filled with gratefulness that I was there.

I headed for the subway to return to my hotel and a woman stopped me for directions, in French. In one second I went from being a lonely tourist to a resident of France, Paris France no less, how cool is that?

Lonely, my ass!

 

The power of resistance


images-1One of my earlier spiritual beliefs was whenever I met resistance on the path it was a sign that I was going the wrong way. I felt it was essentially a stop sign by the creator to alert me to wrong doings, wrong actions, wrong direction. Sometimes it felt like the resistance I was experiencing, was a way to slow me down so I could assess how the ‘what’ I was doing, was actually playing out on the stage of reality. Resistance was a tool of reflection, a reaction to the cause of my actions. No matter what kind of resistance I felt  I would always look out into the world to see where it was coming from, then I felt like I could address it.

Once I made the determination that my path was my path, resistance became something else.  Rather than looking at resistance as something to react against, I began to look at it as a spiritual lesson. Resistance then became a, “do you really mean it?” kind of thing. A new understanding of resistance as being a marker to how dedicated one is on the path rather than a marker that something was wrong.

At first it was hard for me to see the difference between accessing resistance as a sign of how things were going to the thought of resistance being a marker to how dedicated one is to their truth. For me most of the time resistance was a wall I slammed into and had to find a way around but really it was a wall I needed to walk through. When I say I desire a spiritual path and then am pushed right off my path by any level of resistance well, that hardly seems to be the definition of following a spiritual path. It makes me think of Job from the bible, he met some resistance on his path and held it together. The resistance he felt didn’t weaken his resolve. I sure couldn’t let it weaken mine.

I am getting ready to travel which causes lots of stress and my oldest son who is bi-polar can have a hard time when I am away. The resistance of the last 2 days almost had me cancelling my plans. The resistance has been so bad, instead of looking like resistance, it looked like the end of the world. There were missed appointments, car accidents, dogs running away, cells phones failing, checkbook failure, every where I looked things were falling apart, or trying really hard to. I even let it get to the point of almost cancelling my trip.

And then I stood up. Like a wave you move with, rather than against, I began to see the resistance as pot holes in the road, a pain in the ass but hardly a reason not to drive. I look down at the writing on my arm, Be still and know that I am God and take a deep breath. There is going to be resistance on the path, it is the way it is. Humans have fear and resistance is just a thing we have to deal with until we know better. Running from it, or being afraid of it does not fix it, you just have to let go and let life flow. Then you become like a boulder in the water something the wave moves around not pushes around. You become an unstoppable force.

Like they say resistance is futile.

 

 

 

 

Spiritual refills from a big body of water


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I needed a break so I headed up the North shore of Minnesota for a 3 day retreat. I found a place with cabins on the lake and not much else, meaning the people here want the quiet of the lake not the noise of a resort. I can be silent here without it being a political statement of some kind. I needed the quiet and some time without interruption by people animals and thought. I needed to refill my spiritual well.

I love being near the water. I was raised in Florida so I have always had a great affinity for big bodies of water. Here I have mighty Lake Superior. Yesterday the lake was calm and the surface was flat. You could see across the surface and watch the mild ripples move back and forth as the water hit the edge or a partially submerged boulder. Today the water is different. There is fog rolling in and the water is agitated. Reminds me of myself, lately.

I think on the ocean and all the drops of water that make the ocean what it is. The surface just a mere reflection of the depths and secrets kept underneath. Each drop of water can be like I have been, a separated little drop In a vast ocean of drops, completely unaware of all the other drops and really unaware of the field of drops they are swimming in. Or the drops can feel each other and know they are not alone.

The ocean doesn’t care if the water drop is unaware of the other drops, it contains the drop anyway. The ocean is like God it loves each drop regardless. I am a drop in the ocean and I forgot I was surrounded by so many other drops held in a field of drops. Some of the drops try to help remind me of where I am by jostling the water around me. Some of the drops try to remind me by getting really close to me and speaking really loudly. Today I was above the drops, watching them and listening to them tell me even above them I was still a part of them, they could still feel me.

I am a drop in the ocean and I am full. Now I can go back and be the ocean I am, having been reminded of the ocean we are all swimming in.