Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Juggling Time


"This is your life. Right now."
 

--Tyrone Giordano as Graham Martin in A Lot Like Love

You have no idea just how much time kids take until you have one. As a pregnant woman I had this idea that my life would go on pretty much as it had before, except I would have this cute little person to share my days with (oh, and I'd have to change the occasional diaper of course). O.M.G. Not exactly.

Every day since the birth of my first son I have felt like someone trying to juggle time - talk about impossible! - trying to squeeze MY life in in between diaper changes and dolling out fish crackers.  

As I walked home from dropping them off on the last day of school last week that old feeling of "no more time" hit me and my stomach sank. How would I get anything done this summer? Writing? Cleaning? Exercising? Grocery shopping?

But I stopped myself, brought myself back to the moment and remembered this quote. 

I find it helpful to repeat it to myself the same way our junior high school Latin teacher Mr Lynch made us repeat sentences to help us learn about grammar, by placing emphasis on a different word each time you say it: 

THIS is my life 

This IS my life. 

This is MY life.  

This is my LIFE. 

Every moment is my life. Even the moments I am sharing with someone else when I might prefer to be alone. (Maybe especially those moments....) 

Yes, alone time is going to be hard to come by this summer. I am going to have to write, clean, exercise, and even grocery shop (the horror!) with my children. But in each of these moments there are lessons to be learned and life to be lived and joy to be had. 

Before I know it, it will be fall and they will be going off to school again. And then to college and then to THEIR lives. 

And I will miss lazy summer mornings snuggling on the couch reading a good book with my boys. I will miss playing two square on the sidewalk and pitching balls in the backyard. I will even miss taking them to the grocery store (though maybe not quite as much). 

And I will regret the moments that I had with them when I was wishing I was somewhere else, doing something else. 

It reminds me of a story from Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore:

"A man came to me depressed and completely dissatisfied with his job. He had been working in a manufacturing shop for ten years, and all that time he planned his escape. He was going to go to school and enter a profession that he liked. But while he planned and kept his mind continually on his escape, his work in the shop suffered. Years went by and he was always dissatisfied, hating his job and wishing for the promised land of his ambitions. 'Have you ever thought,' I asked him one day, 'of being where you are, of entering fully this job that you're putting your time and energy into?' 'It's not worth it,' he said. 'It's beneath me. A robot could do it better.' 'But you do it every day,' I observed. 'And you do it badly, and you feel bad about yourself for doing it badly.' 'You're saying,' he said incredulously, 'that I should go to the stupid job as if my heart were in it?' 'You're in it, aren't you?' He came back in a week to say that something had changed in him as he began to take his 'stupid' job more seriously. It seemed that by entering his fate and emotions he might begin to taste his life...."

Every moment we are on this planet is an opportunity to taste our lives and every moment we spend wishing things were somehow different is an opportunity missed. 

Every attempt at juggling time, misses the point completely.

Monday, June 27, 2011

LISTEN to Hear


“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  

--Albert Einstein

I just came across this great article in a local neighborhood blog: 6 Tips to Increase Your Intuition. (I found it through my newest friend on Facebook, so thanks newest friend!) I am not sure what pleases me more, this little gem of an article or the fact that I found it in a local neighborhood blog - the idea of tuning in to your intuition is going mainstream people! Can I tell you how much I LOVE this?

#2 - ACT on the intuitive hits you get - is my personal favorite and the one I have the most trouble with. This happens to me ALL THE TIME - I get an intuitive hit about something seemingly small and insignificant so I ignore it and then end up paying the price. 

I believe that The Universe notices when we start to open up to and develop our intuition and gives us these seemingly small and insignificant hits to test our willingness to trust in its wisdom. If we do not listen, we are telling The Universe that we are not ready for this information.

Because I want to be ready to receive messages of greater import, I am working hard to hear, heed and honor the messages I am receiving now. This includes things as small as remembering to take a book with me when I go to the DMV to large things like getting the nudge to stop and listen to my kids instead of banging away on the computer while they are telling me things about their lives. 

It is an invitation from The Universe to greater presence, awareness and love. And, yes Universe! I'm listening....Keep it coming!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth


"Illusions and delusions can wear the mask of true inspiration, so thread your way among them to the truth and don't fall for the first fantasy that comes to mind. Possibilities may evaporate as quickly as they appear, and that is for the best -- better to let them go than seize on what will not support you." 

--From my horoscope May 2010 

Tuesday after school let out for the summer I took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge for a "school's out!" celebration. If you are a regular reader you know that we discovered earlier this year that we are NOT a Disney family, but I wasn't sure what kind of family we were until now. 

Our experience at Great Wolf Lodge could not have been more different than our Disney debacle. We arrived at Great Wolf just before 6:00 pm. There was no line at the check out desk and we were helped right away.

"Welcome back! I can see you've stayed with us before," the lovely young woman behind the desk said. "To thank you for coming back, we'd like to offer you a complementary room upgrade for your stay with us today." 

"Well, okay, thanks," I replied.

"And because you have been such good customers, you will also receive gold VIP wristbands in addition to your regular wrist bands."

"Gee, thanks," I said again, a bit taken aback that this was going so well. 

We checked into our room and headed for the waterpark. Because it was right around dinner time it wasn't crowded at all and we could do whatever we wanted without much of a wait. 

As per usual, the kids headed straight for the wave pool. My husband and I found lounge chairs front and center and held hands as we watched the kids run around, splashing and laughing in the waves. Now THIS is the life, I thought to myself. 

After awhile our younger son came to get us, "Mom! Dad! Come in!" So we did. And that's when I had the following exchange:

My younger son: "I'm pumped!"

Me: "What do you mean?"

My younger son: "You know, my energy's out!"

Great Wolf Lodge is our kind of place. My younger son smiles bigger and more than usual, my older son doesn't stop moving, and I just feel content. My husband is still a bit skeptical that any manufactured place can be that great, but luckily, he loves making all of us happy so he is willing to come along. 

Because the thing is, I know that Great Wolf Lodge is no less an illusion than Disneyland, but it's an illusion that works for us. Maybe it's the water. 

We have always been a water family. My husband loves to swim in open water; I was on the swim team in high school. When my older son was a baby, one of the few times he wasn't crying was when he was in the water. My younger son can often outlast me for "longest and hottest shower." We just love the water and there is plenty of it to be had at GWL.

One of the things I love about it is that every attraction is a metaphor for life. 

In the wave pool things are sometimes calm, but then all of a sudden, without warning, you are bashed around and battered by the waves, bumping into other people, adrift in a sea of humanity. Kind of like life. 

At the water fort you can be minding your own business, standing in line for the slide or playing in a fountain, when suddenly a 1000 gallon bucket dumps water all over on you. Kind of like life. 

Each of the 5 water slides has different twists and turns, some are fast, some slower, but even when you've been on them a hundred times, each twist and turn is something of a surprise. Kind of like life. 

The rest of our visit went pretty much the way it started. By the time we were finished in the waterpark, everyone else was done with dinner and we were seated and served right away. After dinner we snuggled up in our plush and comfy King-sized bed and watched a great movie (Rango) The kids hit the jackpot in the arcade the next day. 

I never did figure out the benefit of having the gold VIP wristband, but I just liked knowing it was there in case we needed it.

Vacations, like the Great Wolf Lodge, are a metaphor for life: it's all an illusion to some degree, you just have to find the illusion that works for you. And THAT really can be "the happiest place on earth."


video


[NB. I recently started a new blog with my sister called Dear Soul Sisters. Check it out and send us YOUR questions and quandries about life and spirituality.]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

False Gods


"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." 

--Exodus 20:3 (KJV)

It is rare that a quote from the Bible shows up on my fridge, especially one from the Old Testament, but I had a realization this weekend that gives this quote a whole new meaning for me.

My husband and I have an inside joke that the best time in my life was right before I met him. This is in no way a slight on him, my love for him or the gratitude I feel at having him in my life, and yet, in a way, it's absolutely true.

While I have always known that I consider the three months prior to meeting my husband "the happiest time in my life," I had never really asked myself why until this weekend. 

My husband and I were talking about happiness and I mentioned, once again, that this had been the happiest time in my life. "I wonder why?" he asked. And for the first time I really thought about it.

Suddenly it came to me: false gods. 

Da-ding! In an instant I understood this commandment like never before. This wasn't the angry call of a tyrant God demanding all of our loyalty and attention, this was the loving suggestion of a Mother/Father God wanting the best for us.

The time in my life when I was the happiest was the time in which I was making no ONE thing in my life into THE thing in my life. 

I was working a little, playing a little and just generally staying on an even keel. (I honestly don't remember what my relationship with spirituality was at that time in my life.....was I going to church? Sometimes? Once in awhile? Was I even thinking directly about God? I'm not sure...)

Since then I have made many things into false gods: my boyfriend, my fiance', my husband, my house, my children, my running, my television shows, my spirituality, my writing, MY, MY, MY. (When identifying a false god let MY be your guide....)

For a few brief months in my mid-twenties I actually managed to live in the present, but ever since I have been pursuing happiness through the worship of false gods. 

Anytime I think any one thing is going to be the key to happiness, I put too much focus, too much energy, too much HOPE into it. Once I have done that, I can pretty much guarantee that happiness will elude me. Because a "thing" (even in the form of a person you love) can never bring lasting happiness. 

Since having this revelation, I have been struck by the fact that this is not just a tenant of the Christianity I was raised with, but of other "brands" of spirituality as well.

Zen Master Linji put it this way, "If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him." If you think you have found the answer, keep searching, you still have a ways to go.  

The other day at yoga, in the midst of a beast of a pose, our teacher gave us this manta, "My happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct of what I do..." Happiness does not come from WHAT we do, but from HOW we do it. With love, with kindness, with passion, and with compassion, for ourselves and for others. 

Muslim poet and Sufi mystic Rumi said: 

"Out beyond the field of right-doing and wrong-doing
There is a field
I will meet you there." 

I would put it this way:

Out beyond the field of answers (ie. false gods)
There is a field of no answers
I will meet you there.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love and Work


"Work is love made visible." 

--Kahlil Gibran 

I have loved the poetry of Kahlil Gibran since I was a young adult. His book, The Prophet was one of the first spiritual books I ever owned. My dad turned me onto him and even before I had kids his poem, "On Children,"always brought me to tears.

This quote is fitting today because I have been called in to work on my day off.

I do not have to go, but I find myself wanting to. I want to show my co-workers - the ones who will be there under pressure and short-staffed, the one who called in sick, the ones who are out on vacation - that I love them, that I support them, that I am there for them.

This quote came from a greeting card I was preparing this morning to give to some of our parent volunteers at our end of the year puppet show later today. Some of these parents have showed up once a week to check homework, prepare packets, and assist the teachers for two years.  

Do they do it because they love making photo copies or checking in homework? I doubt it. 

They do it because they love their children and they are showing that love by showing up every week to help their child's teacher have more time to spend in the classroom with students, teaching. 

They do it for love. 

I do this for love too. Because I love these quotes and I want to share them with you. 

So often we think of work as WORK, ugh! But work can be love made visible and thinking of work this way not only transforms the work, it transforms us. 

How can you show love through your work today? Go out and do it!

[NB. Starting tomorrow I am launching a new blog project with my sister. Check it out at: www.dearsoulsisters.com!]

Friday, June 17, 2011

Deep Water

"Here is the deep water."

--poem by an unknown second grader

Every Friday at our school one of the classes reads a poem over the loudspeaker to the whole school. For a few brief moments before beginning the day, every child in the school pauses, listens and considers the world through poetry. We call it "Poetry Aloud."

Today was a special day. The last Friday of the school year (and thus, the last "Poetry Aloud" of the school year...). And our current Principal's last Friday at our school.

To mark this occaision, he read the poem for the day. It was a poem he first read as a student teacher.

Before beginning to read he warned us that it was going to be short, but I think most of us were stunned at just how short. After he finished he added, "That's it."

But then he went on to talk about endings. And beginnings. About how much he has loved being at our school, but that like a child learning to swim he must head out for ever deeper water. About how each of our children will be doing the same next year when they come back to a different grade, a different class, a different teacher.

It was a quiet, profound moment and made me remember, once again, the French word, "approfondement."

I hear this poem as a call to be in the present moment, fully, deeply. HERE is the deep water.

How do you hear it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Open My Heart


"Love is not a matter of getting connected. It is a matter of seeing that we already ARE connected within an intricate web of relationships that extends throughout all life. It is a realization of 'no boundary' -- that we are all made of the same stuff, riding through time on the same spaceship, faced with the same problems in the world, the same hopes and fears. It is a connection at the core, that makes irrelevant skin color, age, sex, looks or money." 

--Anodea Judith from Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System 

I am reading about the 4th Chakra this week - the Heart Chakra - trying to learn how to open my heart. 

This has been a life-long process for me. Ever since I was a child I have felt like there is something "wrong" with my heart. I had a heart murmur at birth, but it supposedly went away after a few weeks and has not been an issue since. 

As a child I would watch Guiding Light with my mom. There was a character on the show (also a child) who had a heart problem and was in danger of dying at any moment from a heart attack. I convinced myself that I had the same condition and I was always putting my hand on my heart to make sure it was still beating. 

As a teenager, I felt like I had a hole in my heart. I had the feeling of WANTING boys - wanting them to like me, wanting them to want me - but I never really felt like I loved anyone. The one time I had a chance at true love in high school I pushed that boy away out of the sheer terror of it. It is a regret I carry with me to this day.

As I got older this "heart trouble" manifested itself in physical exercise. I have always been afraid to run too fast, to push too hard. I always keep myself just below - or sometimes far below - what I can really do or accomplish just so my heart won't burst. 

If I do run too fast or push too hard physically my mind starts to shut down and I ache and feel terror until I stop. I have never pushed beyond that place of sheer terror to see what lies on the other side, but I have a feeling that someday I am going to have to in order to get to where I want to go. 

A few years ago I had a dream about a past life that I believe explains a lot about my "heart problems" in this lifetime. 

In the dream I saw myself as a young mother - thin, petite and blonde (the very opposite of what I am in this lifetime) - in a hotel room in Las Vegas being murdered by my much older lover and the father of my child. He stabbed me in the back of the heart and neck, cutting off the love and communication centers, separating me from my son. 

When I think about this dream I feel a tingling in the back of my neck and the center of my back.

A few years ago I did an exercise to discover my soul's mission for this lifetime and this is what I got: "Open My Heart." I think I know why. I think I have started the process. Now I just have to see it through. 

As I do yoga and meditation and breath work and chakra work I am starting to feel something in my heart - an aching, an opening - and it is scary, but I am trying to breathe through it and let love in.

Today, just after I read the passage I quoted, I opened up my email and there was a message from The Universe in the form of my Daily Om from Rumi: 

In the sea of love, I melt like salt
Faith, Doubt - they both dissolve.
A star is opening in my heart

A star is opening in my heart. Yes, I think it is.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Stop and Breathe


"I am willing to stop and breathe whenever I am out of peace." 

--Maureen Moss 

Last week I listened to a replay of a talk Maureen Moss gave on Healing with the Masters and it was the perfect thing to end that particular week because it was just what I needed to hear. 

Here are some of the highlights from her talk:

  • The changes we are experiencing in our world right now are a shift from "normal" to "natural."
  • Any ascension is based on one thing - and one thing only - consciousness.
  • Don't be double-minded. Be stable in your love for yourself, in your desire to be free.
  • Ask yourself: What can I do to love myself MORE? (And not equate it with getting a pedicure, a manicure, or a massage....) Not be a victim. Not need to be right. Not need to prove a point.
  • What if we decided to slow so far down that we couldn't even see beyond the present moment?
  • What if the things that happened in our life were just things that happened and weren't who we are?
  • When something goes wrong, ask yourself: "What do I need to know about this?" instead of playing the victim or asking "Why me?"
  • We have to go inside of ourselves to get our answers. Someone else giving us our answers for $40 an hour is done. Learn to connect with your guides yourself. Have you met your guides? Sit down and spend some time with Spirit.
  • From this day forward your only identity is I AM. Anything that ever follows I am (a mother, a wife, even your name) is a lie. I AM is your only identity.
  • Ask yourself this question every day: What can I do to love myself more today? Answer that question. Write it down and make sure that before the day is over it gets done. Truly loving yourself is the only way to get to the point where you can love your neighbor as yourself.
As I listened, I got the following message from The Universe:

IT IS ALL ABOUT STAYING IN THE MOMENT. THIS MOMENT IS ALL THERE IS. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THIS MOMENT.

From the first book I read on spirituality (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment) to this talk it has all been about that. It is about releasing guilt and anger and fear and worry and embracing fully what is and who is and how it is IN THIS MOMENT. If we can do that, the rest will take care of itself. 

In moments like these I believe it is possible and I am fired up to make it happen! Won't you join me?

Whenever you are feeling a loss of peace STOP and BREATHE. FEEL the Love of God coming into you, moving through you, becoming a part of you.

[If you are interested in hearing Maureen Moss' talk, go here. Not sure how long the link will be valid so check it out sooner rather than later if you are interested. And THANKS to my sister for passing this along.]

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


"Make small changes, see where they take you, repeat." 

--Carolyn Hax 

This week I realized that I need to make some changes in my life. That I have fallen away from my path in small ways that are adding up to big problems.

Here's what I know for sure:

I do better when I go to sleep before 10:00 at night.

I do better when I do not consume alcohol.

I do better when I am exercising consistently, especially running.

Here's what I have been doing lately:

Staying up late, watching episodes of Life.

Consuming alcohol because it is offered, available, expected, even though it makes me feel sick and depressed.

Doing yoga, but not running or doing anything to get my heart really pumping.

Here's how I know:

As soon as I come home from work, school, running errands, all I want to do is plop down on the couch and cue up an episode. I would rather do that than talk to my husband, engage with my kids, or take care of business around the house. It is an overwhelming feeling of "just" NEEDING a hit of Charlie.

After I consume alcohol, even just one glass, the next day I feel sad, depressed, and angry. I hate my life and feel like things will never get better. If I have more than one glass I feel physically ill, nauseated, sweaty, weak. Why would I do this to myself? Just to have a good time? Can't I have a good time without making myself sick?

My clothes are getting tight, my arms are getting flabby and when I sit down I have a bit of a "muffin top" these days. Also, I can feel the flab on my body and it just doesn't feel good to me.

So here are the changes I am making:

Starting today I am taking a month off from watching TV. Never mind that I am almost done with season two of Life. I need a break from TV!

Taking a year off from consuming alcohol. I did this before, from January 26, 2009 to January 25, 2010, and it was amazing. I felt so healthy, so clear, so present. I learned to have a great time while not drinking and found that I often enjoyed being the only sober person in the room. But as soon as the year was over I went back to my old habits, drinking even though I didn't feel like it, drinking too much (for me this is anything more than one) when I do drink, feeling like complete crap the next day and regretting it.

Getting a fitness plan together that includes cardio and strength training and sticking to it. I want to be a lean, mean health machine by the end of this year. I want to feel good in my body and not weak, flabby and out of breath. I want to feel STRONG and HEALTHY.

One more thing: Meditation. I have stopped "making time" for meditation and I miss it. I miss sitting still and doing nothing but breathing for 20, 40, 60 minutes. And my mind misses it too. I can sense it starting to wind up and spin out of control. I find it harder to let the thoughts go when I do meditate and when I am not meditating they are coming at me a mile a minute and I can't just let....them....go....
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thoughts Become Things


"I have a responsibility to keep my thoughts and my focus on love. I have the power to deflect fearful thoughts, thus deflecting fear itself. I can consciously choose where I will allow my thoughts to drift. Sitting in fear is as much a choice as experiencing liberation and joy." 

--Kimberlee Gorgo 

I read these words on Monday when I "should" have been writing (you may have noticed there was no blog post for that day), but was instead "sitting in fear" and allowing my mind to run amok and control my life. It was one of "those" days.

And it was my own fault. 

I have not been sticking to the path as of late. I have been staying up late, watching a lot of television (ie. Life and Eli Stone) and drinking more alcohol than is good for me. Come back on Friday for more about this, but for now take in these words of wisdom and make them your own: 

"I have a responsibility to keep my thoughts and my focus on love.

I have the power to deflect fearful thoughts, thus deflecting fear itself. 

I can consciously choose where I will allow my thoughts to drift. 

Sitting in fear is as much a choice as experiencing liberation and joy."






Friday, June 3, 2011

LIFE


"Revenge is a poison meant for others that we end up swallowing ourselves." 

--From a Zen tape Charlie Crews  listens to on Life, Season 1, Episode 2 

"It is not what we carry with us, but what we let go that defines us." 

--Charlie Crews from Life, Season 2, Episode 9

Recently I have been re-watching Life, a television series that had a two-season run a few years ago. Available to stream on Hulu for free, Life is a show about a cop who is framed and sent to prison for a murder he didn't commit. 

In prison he discovers Zen, which helps him survive. After twelve years he is exonerated thanks to DNA technology and, armed with a promotion and a large financial settlement, he returns to policing, but with a decidedly Zen twist. Not your typical police procedural, the show is quirky, witty, funny and wise. 

It's a show about how to live your spirituality in a world that doesn't quite get it. In other words, it's about LIFE.  

[I am about two-thirds of the way through the series so will post more gems as they come up, but these are my favorites so far. Enjoy!]

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Three Women


"You can do much...if in a situation calling for help, you think of it this way: I am only here to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He... will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal."   

--A Course in Miracles

Recently I had interactions with three women which healed me, inspired me and helped me on my spiritual journey. Here are their stories:

(All names have been changed to protect the individual's privacy...) 

MERRY: A couple of weeks ago I made a mistake at work. I deposited a check into the wrong member's account. Doh! 

In my defense, this member's name was just one tiny letter different from another member's name and this one letter made the spelling of her name a bit unconventional. Nonetheless, it was a mistake. 

The member, who I'll call Merry, called our Member Service Center to let us know about the mistake and they called me to make the correction. Turns out the very same thing had happened to this member two weeks earlier, also at our branch. Double doh!

I made the correction and picked up the phone to call the member. 

As I did I reflected on how this might go.....I know that these kinds of mistakes (mistakes with our money, our livelihood) can hit people hard and bring up a lot of fear. Having it happen twice in two weeks is bound to make a person scared. So I was prepared. 

I was prepared for frustration. I was prepared for anger. I was even prepared for yelling. What I wasn't prepared for was Merry.

"Oh don't worry honey, it happens all the time!" she laughed. "Even my doctor can't get it straight." (Insert "surgery gone wrong" joke here.) 

We chatted for a few more moments, I apologized again and we hung up. 

In the end it was no big deal, but this conversation has stuck with me. It is a reminder to me that I always have a choice. I can choose to REACT from a place of fear or to RESPOND from a place of love. Merry chose love and I am ever grateful. 

JOY: About a year ago Joy came into the branch to use her new bank account. She had just moved to Seattle and was about to start her residency at a local hospital. From the first moment she came in she was a favorite. She just had a bubbly, friendly energy about her that endeared her to all of us immediately. 

About a month later Joy came in again. It was really slow so she was talking to all of us who were in that day as she made her deposit. 

We asked her how things were going and she told us that she had quit her residency. It turned out that she hated being a doctor and she didn't want to spend the rest of her life doing something she hated, despite the fact that she had trained for years to do this very thing. 

It was a pivotal moment in her life and she shared it with all of us working that day - openly, honestly and, yes, joyfully. She was truly happy and free as she told us about quitting a job she had worked a third of her life to get. 

Over the next ten months or so we saw Joy every couple of weeks.

She was looking for work. She sold her car. She moved in with a friend. She sold her furniture. 

Through it all I never once heard her express doubt or regret about the decision she had made. She never went back on herself with "shoulds" or "if onlys." She stayed the course. Waiting. Hoping. Searching. 

Last weekend Joy came into the branch for the last time. She was in a hurry. The rental car was in the garage. She was just going to drop some checks in the ATM and then be on her way. But that didn't feel right. So she came in. 

She came in to tell us that she was moving out of state to take her dream job with a company that does talks and retreats with some of the biggest spiritual luminaries of our time.

As she told us about her new job she was full of JOY and I was so happy for her. But also for myself. For all of us. Because she is living proof that if you follow your bliss, follow your guidance - even if the road you take to get there might seem crazy to the outside world - you will end up where you were meant to be all along.

RUBY: Last night I drove my son to Toys R Us to get some Pokemon cards. Pokemon is very big in his world right now and he just really NEEDED some new cards last night. So at 8:30 pm we jumped in the car and headed out. 

As pulled out of the parking lot, I got the feeling that someone needed my help. I had no idea who or what was needed, I just had a feeling. 

I turned onto the street adjacent to the mall and there I saw a man yelling at a woman on the street. She crossed over and he followed her, yelling. She crossed over again and he followed her, yelling at her some more. She headed toward a nearby bus stop, but when she got there he started toward her, yelling. 

I wasn't in a good position to turn around - at a busy four-way stop with a green light - so I zoomed through the light, turned around and waited at the now red light to be able to get back to the bus stop. 

Watching as I waited I saw her once again trying to cross the street to get away from him. Looking both ways I ran the red light and pulled up next to her, rolling down my window and asking, "Do you need a ride?" 

She gave me a quick once over, saw my son in the backseat and jumped in. As we sped away he yelled profanities after us. 

We exchanged the basics: Where are you going? What's your name? 

Then moved onto the obvious: She knew him. It was a mess.   

Then to what we had in common: We both had 9 year-old sons. We both had kids into Pokemon. We both kind of liked to play ourselves. 

After that we rode in silence for awhile as I drove her to her mom's house. 

I don't know how to explain it, but I just feel so grateful that I was able to be there for her in that moment. I feel like she was there for me as much as I was there for her.

As we drove to her mother's together, I could really feel the oneness of all mankind. Even as we talked about him I didn't feel judgmental or angry. I could feel his pain and fear as clearly as I could feel hers. 

It was like I could see deeper into a part of the human experience - what we do to each other in the heat of the moment, in the midst of pain and sorrow and fear. 

It was life and I was glad to be a part of it.