Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lice Lessons

I caught lice. Really. Just when I thought I knew how to be centered and calm in the face of chaotic circumstances, creepy crawly cooties took over my noggin. FOR TWO WEEKS.

I would LOVE to tell you that I handled this well, that my beautifully wise inner voice said, "This too will pass. Things could be so much worse. At least your family is healthy and you have a roof over your head and an amazing life...blah blah.." Well, that inner voice may have been speaking, but it was drowned out by my wailing, cursing, sobbing, and ruing the day I ever felt called to work with children.

Seriously folks, I let this circumstance throw me for a MAJOR LOOP. I am glad I am still married, as I insisted on keeping my husband awake as I spent 1.5 hours at night combing out my hair with baking soda and conditioner. (usually around 10:30pm) My cleaning of the apartment, especially clothes and bedding took on an obsessive compulsive like quality, and for those of you who know me, this is NOT NORMAL! I am now VIP of the Cho's Laundry Mat. My combing was so intense and enthusiastic that I definitely lost half my hair and in the darkest of hours, I had quarantined myself to the apartment maniacally watching You Tube videos about lice, louse, nits, and eggs. Trust me, there are A LOT of these videos. I am as surprised as you.

Viktor Frankyl, Holocaust survivor, renowned author, and INCREDIBLE man stated,
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Sigh. Didn't QUITE take his advice in this situation. Not even close, actually. Yet, next time, I deal with more "life lessons", I would like to think that I will do a better job at staying hopeful, calm, and steady. I know that this is part of the reason I caught lice in the first place. To teach me more about letting go, surrendering, and knowing that "this too will pass." And to help me remember that in the face of seemingly "major" life challenges, I have the strength of spirit to remain grounded, loving, and WHOLE. To choose my own way, a positive path towards healing and renewal.

Ah, more life lessons for Cora.

Or shall I say LICE lessons.:)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Blame Game

Ten minutes ago I was walking home on this beautiful fall day in NYC in a rather common state of utter bliss and appreciation for the fact that I, Cora Poage, live in friggin Manhattan!!! I was practically skipping because I had just experienced a fabulous work out, was drinking a beet/carrot/apple/ and ginger juice, and had been reading the most awesome book ever, The Way of Being by Carl Rogers. I was on Cloud Nine.

When I reached my door, a gentleman was sitting on the stairs, directly in my path. As I walked closer, I noticed that there was plenty of room for me to get by. No problem. So I sidestepped around this "roadblock", and shifted my two self-help books, large juice, wallet, cell phone, and two Lara Bars into my right hand so I could scramble for my keys with my left...and I dropped them...(Imagine

Cora's first thought: "Why is this guy sitting here?? If he wasn't sitting here I wouldn't have dropped my keys and had to bend down and pick them up, risking losing EVERYTHING I was carrying. The nerve of him!"

Cora's Next Thought: "OMG! How easy it is for us to blame someone else! Here I am trying to carry more objects than a Hertz Moving Van, and I blame it on this poor bloke sitting on one stair, who even scooted of my way. (sorta)"

I like taking responsibility for things I perceive as good. For example, today, I take full responsibility for remembering to feed the kittens, returning client calls and emails, writing my Morning Pages, and remembering self-care through an awesome work-out. I even did homework for University of Santa Monica.

However, taking responsibility for the more "negative" parts of life are a bit harder. Let me try it.

I take responsibility for dropping my keys because I was trying to carry WAY to many objects at one time. I didn't have a bag with me because I chose not to grab one when I was running out of the apartment. Hmmmm....I already feel better.

Now, I shift into radical self-forgiveness...

I forgive myself for CHOOSING to rush out and for trying to carry to much at once. I also forgive myself for blaming stair sitting John Doe who was just trying to listen to a little music.

I feel much better. Taking responsibility for where I am in life feels scary AND really good.

What I know for sure, is that the minute I started blaming someone else for my life circumstance, I felt really heavy and kinda crummy. I forgot how much I appreciate and adore my life, and started shifting into a negative place so quickly. When I practiced the acts of "taking responsibility" and "self-forgiveness" my energy pumped right back up and I felt like me again. It is a CHOICE of blame or responsibility!

No one wins the Blame Game....But I can choose not to participate!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

"You must not watch the clock or the calendar. You must watch your heart, know the truth, and be patient with your unfolding process."-Iyanla Vanznt

Each New Year's, I gravitate towards a similar Resolution: "This year, I will not be late...ever again." I can already here the laughter from my friends and family as they read this. I know, I know, last time we met up, I was at least ten minutes late...I get it.

So I am here to claim, to own, the fact that sometimes authenticity ISN'T pretty, and friends, my AUTHENTIC SELF does not give a CRAP about time. There I said it. Judge me as you will. I would rather float around on intuition and feelings instead of "time frames" and an annoying Blackberry clock. (I gave up watches YEARS ago when I kept wearing them in the shower)

However, as long as I live on this planet, am employed by someone else, have dates with friends, planes to catch, etc...I am aware that I need to have some grasp on the concept of time.

This weekend, I learned a MAJOR lesson in this area of my life. Picture me in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, on Wilshire Boulevard alone. Something truly endearing about me, (not sure my husband would agree) is that I FULLY believe I CAN do it all. Consequently, I had woken up after a full night's sleep (7-8 hours), spent some awesome friend time with Em, stopped at Starbucks for my morning Soy Doppio Machiatto, Bank of America for my daily cash allowance from the ATM, AND finished a 30 minute elliptical workout at the gym. Whew!

My Grad School class at University of Santa Monica began at 10am. It was 9:35am. I had NO IDEA how I was getting to school. Damn my "wandering spirit" ways...where was my Type A personality when I needed it??

My blackberry gave me directions to a bus stop. Local bus, unfortunately, and not the one I needed. My heart started beating faster. Taxi? This wasn't New York City. Hitchhiking? Too many horror movies about that very topic. I called a couple Cali friends in tears, but to no avail.

Running through my head were the words, "I'm going to be late. I'm going to be late." I saw my grandmother's face, "The only roadblock to your ultimate sucess in life Cora, is your "issue" with puncutality." Stress, anxiety, fear, my ego, they were all having a PARTY inside of this body of mine.

Suddenly, I nearly fell over with Divine Inspiration (the Angelic kind). I kid you not. In an instant, I switched gears energetically, and I began to repeat the words, "I am going to be on time. I am going to be on time." Thank you City of Angels...

Just then, I noticed a woman walking down the street in my direction (Angel #1). I asked her what bus and bus stop I needed. She pointed me in the right direction. In my heels, skinny, jeans, and HUGE bag that is only necessary for a woman who TRULY believes she can do it all, I went sprinting down the street. Two blocks and four bleeding toes later, I made it to the bus stop, JUST as the bus was pulling away. But the driver (Angel #2), stopped the bus and let me hurtle myself onto it. Deep breath, deep breath...I was going to make it.

At 9:50, I was dropped off 10-15 minutes from my school on foot. Oh man, this was cutting it close. I picked up speed, my feet screaming at me with every step. Just then I heard a honk. I stopped, turned, wondering if I have to give some creepy UCLA guys a dirty look, when I saw Anita (Angel #3), one of my fellow students at USM! "Hop in", she says. "I can drop you off right in front!"

Friends, I did make it on time. I even had a moment to run to the bathroom before class to put bandaids on my feet and comb my disheveled excuse for hair.

Was it chance? Oh no, no it was not. Somehow, someway, my Soul wasn't going to let me be late this time. I chose to focus on being on time, instead of being late, and the Universe sent me Angel after Angel to manifest this Blessing.

So yes, I tend to be on the late side of most events and engagements, but I am beginning to realize the power of Postive thoughts, trust, and faith in the process of the Universe. Oh, and of course in the presence of Angels, yet this I have always known to be true.

Forget watches and clocks, I am on Angel time.:)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Cat Wings and Babicat's Soul

When I was a child, one of my favorite books was called Cat Wings. I don't remember much about it, but I do know that the main characters were felines who were born with wings. The main characters always felt "different" and put up with much teasing. However, their mother tried to remind them that they were beautiful, wonderful, just the way they were meant to be. This book has been on my mind quite often, these past few days.

On Thursday, Ben and I made the decision to put Babicat, our 15 year old shelter cat, to sleep. We were caught off guard with her Cancer diagnosis. We had witnessed her physical deteriation in the last week or so, but told ourselves it was the flu.

I would like to say that I was brave and strong for her in the Veterinarian's Office, that I held her as they gave gave her the lethal dose of whatever it is they give her. Instead, I was useless, and bawling, and trying so hard to escape from my own pain.

I DID have one hand on her beautiful body and one hand holding onto Ben's when she passed. Babicat was the brave one. She laid down on the examination table and looked up at me with this peaceful acceptance. Babicat purred all the way to the end...

With reflection, I do live in a place of utter gratitude for the time in my life that included Babicat. She was an amazing feline who truly connected with humans on a soul level. She ran to the door whenever one of us walked into the apartment, eager to give and receive love. (or Purina)

Babicat also taught me a lesson that probably saved my life. She taught me, the perpetual people-pleaser/doer/performer how to RELAX. I learned that it was perfectly fine to spend hours staring out the window, batting at pigeons. (The neighbors thought it slightly strange) To rest when needed, eat when hungry, and when LOVE appeared, to absolutely melt into it.

She showed me how to breathe in rhythm with my heart. Babicat told me, through her own behavior, that I AM ENOUGH. (even without the rushing, doing, achieving) Babicat helped give me a kind of peace I knew existed, but had not yet embraced.

And what else could I do when my darling Babicat needed my support more than ever? What else could I do to show gratitude to my friend, my teacher than give her the Peace that she needed. To give her body permission to let go.

Her Soul permission to fly?

So Cat Wings, the book, is on my mind right now. In my heart, whenever I remember Babicat, she definitely has wings, two beautiful, white, angelic wings. She paws at the pigeons, purrs when she loves, and tells me every day that I am enough.