Words I Try to Live By

November 19, 2007

2038942458_c9eee23d6b.jpg“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own; without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with the wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to silver of the the full of the moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the Fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder

Till You Wise Up

November 5, 2007

SunriseWhen I met my boy he was five years old. His seventh birthday is in a couple of days. He is the light in my heart. I walked into the classroom on my first day of being his one on one paraeducator. He has autism. He had been labeled with severe behavioral issues. When I was introduced to him, I looked at him and his eyes met mine with the biggest brightest smile and I was hooked. My life would never be the same again. The job did not go very well as the teacher and other two aides were not well trained in behavior managment and I had to be the one who blew the whisltle. I began working at home with him and his mom. At the time, I began working with him he had no language, was not potty trained and did have severe temper tantrums that kept him from being able to show how very bright he was, in an academic environment. After working with him a short time, he was speaking seven word sentences, was potty trained and his temper tantrums all but ceased. He no longer ran into the street into oncoming traffic. He never, ever ran from me. His relationship with his mom blossomed into a loving, kind, and nurturing beautiful thing. This thing that he and I had was born out of mutual love, honesty, respect and admiration. We no longer “work” together. We do however have a friendship now. My husband and adult daughter think of him as part of our loving family. His mom’s strength of character and love for him and us allows us to be his second family. She is a truly phenomenal woman. She has overcome just about every obstacle this world has to throw at a person. Her generosity of heart and spirit is admirable and much appreciated. I have much to learn from her and her son. I am looking forward to seeing both of them at his birthday party. I wonder if he knows how he has enriched my life. I bet he does.

Letting Go

October 30, 2007

Life’s lessons have taught me that one of the most important things to remember during the darkest hour is letting go. It is by far the hardest thing, for me, to do. Think of taking a handful of sand and squeezing it between your fingers. The grains disappear faster the harder you grasp the sand. If you gently hold the sand in your hand you can carry that handful for as long as you like. Think of the sand as one of your goals. Take for instance a job, a relationship, a financial situation, a sick animal you want to recover, anything at all that you want with all of your heart and soul. The more you struggle against all of the odds, the harder and more difficult the obstacles become to overcome, to obtain that goal. For me, once I realize the tried and true principle of “letting go” then everything becomes clear, and, dare I say, less stressful. The goal that I have been putting all of my energies towards comes wafting down as if on gossamar wings towards me, effortlessy. So I always think of the fist full of sand, that can be just a hand full of cool grains. These cool grains of sand can just rest upon my hand effortlessly, I can examine each grain and be thankful for each part making the whole. I can take my time and ponder the entire beach then move on to the ocean. Feel the cool breezes sweep across my face. Let the negative ions in the air do their magic upon my once desperate mood. I can even take off my shoes that were once tied too tightly and dip my toes into the cool water and appreciate the beauty and sensual excitement of the awesomeness of the ocean. I can always always remember the principle of letting go. Life always goes smoother for me when I do that.

A New Day

October 24, 2007

I just found out that my sister and her husband got home safely, from their trip to Oregon. They live near one of the fire areas. Fortunately, their home and their kitties were spared from the tragic outcomes that so many people in Southern California have found themselves. For that I am very grateful. Although, I cannot wrap my brain around why anyone would intentionally set a fire. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I have worked for years in an acute psychiatric hospital, I have worked with dually diagnosed clients and I still cannot conceive of people who would do such an awful thing. I suppose the criminially insane have always alluded my understanding. Where I live, it is safe. Our fare city has always been tucked away safely from mother’s nature’s wrath. We sit here in our protective space and watch feeling helpless and watch in shock and horror as the fires wreak havoc on the rest of Southern California. We do our part of course, when we can, donating what we can in food, clothing, energy and shelter for those less fortunate. But every year when these things happen, it just reminds me of how small and insignificant our seemingly insurmountable problems are, such as; bills, arguments, the woman at the bank who looked at me strangely… It is all just a little overwhelming at times to put into perspective. I just count my blessings and put myself in the category of one of the lucky ones.

Windblown and Whining

October 23, 2007

Not a great day today. Seems most of Southern California is burning up. All of my sisters are affected somewhat. One of them is still out of town and we do not know the status of her home yet. I got dismissed from one of my respite care positions last night. Just as well… I believe I will be moving on to bigger and much better things with the local college very soon. My dream job. These respite care jobs were just interim part time things just to keep me busy and distracted until I got what I really wanted, anyway. But still it is never fun to be terminiated, especially for the reason I was. I did a great job, I was my usual magnificent self. The children were well taken care of, I even cleaned up the house. I got along great with the parents. It was a one time thing, that was supposed to be a regular weekly job. But i got duped. The original job was supposed to be caring for a very young child with a very common developmental disability. My job was just to play with him, keep him occupied while his parents went out on a date night, and thus the respite. He had siblings. I found this out at the last minute. I was compensated for the care of these siblings with a meagher $5/hr!!!! As it turns, out one of the siblings had a rather intense and disturbing developmental disability. This of which was never disclosed to me. The entire situation was rather shady. So, the boy I was supposed to be caring for and keeping occupied with games and playing was a joy to spend time with. On the other hand, the other child was anything but. This child required constant attention and behavioral techniques just to keep this child from hurting the brother of whom was hated, that was told to me. I was never made aware that this is the child I was really going to be watching and caring for. I was dismissed because the parents found out that I was a smoker. They could not reconsile the fact that I am a good person and a smoker to this child. Unfortunately, some children lack the foundation to differentiate the gray in between information. It is very unfortunate for this family because I of course will move on and let go of my whining but I wonder if parents will learn to teach their children moral standards are for everyone. Don’t throw stones in glass houses!! Ok I am done whining, for now.

Invitation To An Interview

October 23, 2007

I just got home from taking my daughter to her college class this morning. The entire county is on fire watch. The air is smoky and hard to breathe. When I look out the window, everything appears to be in a sepia color. The 50 to 80 mph wind gusts are bending the trees sideways. It was a bit hard to keep the car in one lane while driving. But I managed, because I have lived in Southern California most of my life. And driving in Santa Ana wind conditions is not unfamiliar to me. When I got home, and upon checking my email, I found an invitation to an interview for the position, at the local college, that I have been waiting to hear about for three months!!! This is a good day!!! Other than the fires of course. But the weather people tell us that the fierce winds should die down by tomorrow morning. That will help out the fire fighters enourmously. It has been a very difficult five months financially, and this job will be a major boost for me and my family. It is also my dream job and I cannot tell you how happy I am. As long as I get the opportunity to interview, I will most assurdedly be offered the position. I am a very good interviewer. Well, that is it for now. This is my very first blog, and I will stop here for today. Thanks for reading.

Hello world!

October 17, 2007

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