I Wanted Clusters!


I am not sure why men can’t listen to what you say to them. I mean, I make eye contact, I move my mouth really slowly just in case my hubby is actually deaf and has somehow managed to get through life reading lips and it is discovered one day and everyone goes “wow that is an amazing story” and they make one of those mini movies they send around to your email with music and fluffy kitties and people pretend they have something in their eye while they type in the names of 343 of their closest friends to send it on to so that they don’t die a horrible death, lose all their money or have a loved one die in a car crash.  You don’t want to pass on having something incredible happen in exactly 34.3 minutes.  I also worry about whether someone makes his life story into a movie … “Alan Keller” and he comes off looking like a complete saint and because every movie, no matter how short, needs a villian .. . They identify me.  So I speak very slowly ….

I said, “Get the cereal that has the granola clusters … NOT the flakes.   See they are almost exactly the same box and almost the same cereal but they are not.  One has flakes.  One doesn’t.   Say NO to flakes.  Do you understand? “  and I showed him a picture of both cereals from a flyer AND the empty box of the actual cereal that I wanted.  “Do you have it, or do you want to take some notes or something?”

He waved me away with his hand and said something about having better things to do and did I think he was stupid.  I used to answer that question but then he told me it was a rhetorical question and there was no need to answer.  I answer anyway … in my head.  In my head he never talks back.  It is easier that way … for everyone.

He left for the grocery store.

I know,  what the hell was I thinking??? But every once in awhile, usually after either a couple glasses of wine, great sex, or a shot of morphine, I get really euphoric and think anything is possible.  Oh,  and  I love everyone.  I can’t really share what actually happened to cause this particular moment because I signed court documents promising to stop discussing our sex life in these blogs.

I know, I Know … you already can see what happened.

He sooo came home with flakes.

Yup .. and I am like .. “WTF? What are these?”

He is like .. “Cereal,“ ’cause he is quick like that.

And I am like, ” But I told you clusters, NOT flakes?”

‘”No you didn’t.”

‘”Yes I did?”

” No you didn’t.”

” Yes I did.”

And then, he  takes the box out of my hands and says, “Let me see,” and he actually squints his eyes and reads the ingredients like the big picture on the front of the box with the flakes falling into the bowl are confusing him or something. So he hands me back the box and says “I can’t see the difference.”

“Umm …well you see this?”  I was pointing to the picture on the box he bought, “THIS is a flake.  Note the flat, flakey shape? And this thing on the box  I wanted,  that is all round and big and NOT flat or flakey like? THIS is a cluster.”

He shrugged.  Like a “who cares” shrug … and I am like “you did NOT just shrug at me.”

And he is like, “Well I don’t see what the big deal is.”

And I go, “None!! No big deal at all! And I am sure you will enjoy eating these for breakfast and then going back to the store and getting me my clusters.” And I pulled out the bread mixing bowl and dumped the whole box in it, poured milk over it and got him some honey.  “Open,”  and I placed a heavy laden spoon full of flakes in his mouth.

So he comes to me later and asks if he can ask a question and I say, “no.”

He asked anyway because men just keep talking even when the evidence indicates they should make another choice.   He was fearless.  No sense of the dark doom stalking him in our kitchen.  I suppose to be fair, I  wasn’t facing him when I said it so legally, in a court of law, he could make a case for he didn’t hear me.  Unfortunately my rules seldom concern themselves with boring details like legalities.

“What do you have against flakes?” he asked, treading over the dead bodies of fearless angels . . . most of them men.

“They taste like something grandpa used to feed the cows.”

” Well how am I supposed to know that, I have never tasted cow food.”

“Yes you have.”

” Nope never.”

I picked up his uneaten bowl of cereal and pointed to the flakes and the little dingy grey pellets fighting to stay afloat in a sea of milk, “Cow food! BTW you have to finish that before you can go to golf.”

He thought about it for a moment, “You ate the cow food at the farm?”

“NO this smells like the cow food did?”

“How do you eat a smell?”

I gave him the look and he shrugged again and said I was being ridiculous. I don’t think he appreciated my mooing at him as he walked away.

See, this is why I like the idea of using hand puppets when trying to explain things to men.  Not only can you simplify communication and illustrate your point, you have the added bonus of having your middle fingers of both hands extended at all times.  I think expecting them to understand words is just too big a stretch.


For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race. C. Joybell C.


“When somebody provokes your anger, the only reason you get angry is because you’re holding on to how you think something is supposed to be. You’re denying how it is. Then you see it’s the expectations of your own mind that are creating your own hell. When you get frustrated because something isn’t the way you thought it would be, examine the way you thought, not just the thing that frustrates you. You’ll see that a lot of your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.”  Ram Dass


Sometimes You Just Have to Pee in The Sink.

out of order

The other day I was working on an art piece and I needed a screwdriver.  My husband had recently moved everything out of the attached garage to the large garage/shed in preparation for our painting the floor this weekend so all the tools were under lock and key.  The key was the issue, it was somewhere safe . . . on his key chain, with him, on the golf course.  I couldn’t put off what I was doing until he got home so I found a nail file that worked.  Later I needed to hammer a nail in.  I had plenty of options to use in place of the hammer;  I used the heavy handle of an older knife.  I was intent on what I was doing, and I made use of whatever was around me to get the job done, even though what I used was not normally used for that purpose.  Success!

It pretty well sums up my approach to life.  I tend to make my own arrangements.  I work with what I have to get the job done.  I don ‘t think I have ever had an “incomplete” or that anyone has ever had to talk to me about deadlines.  I always get my work done and, I tend to thoroughly enjoy myself while I do it.  Even with the most mundane task, I have learned  to make it into something else entirely.

I can remember being a  kid and having to shell peas endlessly one summer and I transported my mind out of that and became the princess that had to save her people and thwart the wicked witch by out shelling all competitors.  I had a whole fantasy with characters and conversations that played out while the afternoons whiled themselves away.  At times the story took over and I lost myself in my own imagination and at times I was trying to beat a certain number of peas shelled in a minute.  I adapted that practice as I grew up.  Fantasy stories fueled by my imagination gave way  to personal challenges that had nothing to do with the task at hand, but had everything to do with pushing me.

We tell ourselves the stories that either make what we are doing unbearable or, doable.  Shelling peas was mind numbing and I would have been overwhelmed with the amount of peas that had to be done and the number of summer afternoons sacrificed doing something I hated.  I changed what the task was by changing how I thought of it and making it into something I could use that did serve me.  Finding a way to make things relevant to my life was my job.  I never had to settle with just being bored … unless that was my choice and it never has been.  I try to use what I am given in life, even when the tools suck.

We reach the point in our lives where we start to have time to examine where we are.  We have the family, we have some stability, we have routine . . . and we start to wonder what else there is and if our bright flame has already burned down to embers.

What, in life, is ever going to be as magical as our sport hero status, our homecoming queen win, emancipation, our wild and crazy nights out with friends where the soul purpose was to completely have fun without any constraints, landing a great job, our falling in love, getting married, getting our first new car, our house, our kids ?

Why do we feel so bittersweet about everything that we have done and completed?  Why do we look at what has been and consider what is ahead of us and lean towards depression?

It is a point we all reach somewhere in our time line.   We have journeyed a long way from our childhood and usually we find ourselves with one foot in our parents plan of life and maybe only a toe in our own dreams of what life was going to be like.  Worse, we sometimes see ourselves drowning in the very life we swore we would never choose.  How we got there seems irrelevant to the bigger concern, how do we escape?

We know we don’t have the luxury of just scrapping everything and starting over because we have responsibilities.  It can make us bitter.  I can make us want to give up completely.  We do that because we feel powerless and because we look at it as something that was done to us.  Sometimes it becomes easier to blame the world and the people around us than to step up to the plate and realize we made the choices that brought us here.  We may have done it by simply not paying enough attention, or we may have consistently made choices that were the easy way or the wrong way,  but it is all on us.   Taking personal responsibility for ourselves is the only way to take our power back.  The good news is that once you accept you got yourself here, you must also begin to understand that you can use that same power to change things.   We don’t have to carry on with an unhappy life as if we have no choice.  We still have choices.

The second reason we feel defeated is because the distance between what we want or need and where we are can seem impossible.  How do we get from here to there when we feel so trapped?

You can’t just grab the wheel of a boat and jerk it sharply in the direction you want to be going.  You have to slowly correct it by making a gentle and sweeping arc that turns you towards your intended destination.  It is the same in life.  You begin.  You get in touch with who you are and what you want, even if it is just the feeling.  Then you make the corrections slowly, working with the boat, against the wind and seas and all else that factors into your move, as you make a wide sweeping turn.  Once in the process, the obstacles morph from stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

You can do that with your life.

You can look around you and start focussing on what you have and how those things can serve you instead of only worrying about what you do not have.  You can stop those things that no longer feed your soul.  You can rid yourself of constant contact with people who do not support and enhance your life.  You can learn new skills, you can live this day with the heart of the person you want to be, changing habits and acts that no longer serve you.   You can connect with those people and experiences that you now realize mean something.

The TV character, McGyver was respected because whatever he got himself into he could improvise and get himself out of the situation.  He didn’t understand the word “can’t.”  He didn’t worry about the perfect solution.   He knew himself and he knew his own abilities.   Knowing yourself affords you that same confidence.  It gives you options, and the most exciting point of all of it is, these are options that are about you.  These are options that bring you tremendous peace, or joy.  You can live with even failure and tragedy when you can own them.  If you know there was nothing more you could do, that you did your best, that you did not intend something … and you love yourself . . . you can get through it.

You  get to a place where you are so sure of who you are that the circumstances of your life are just tools you have to work with.  If the screwdriver is not available, you make use of the nail file.

“Sometimes you just  have to pee in the sink.”  Charles Bukowski


‘The degree of love we manifest determines the degree of spaciousness and freedom we can bring to life’s events.

Imagine taking a small glass of water and putting into it a teaspoon of salt. Because of the small size of the container, the teaspoon of salt is going to have a big impact upon the water. However, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake, and put into it that same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the vessel receiving it. Even when the salt remains the same, the spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything.

We spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or protection – we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way. Ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. Our true work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt, even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to receive it.’  Sharon Salzberg


TFFT: Compassion is Powerful, Find Out Why.

Compassion hurts

It is hard to be tender hearted.  Despite the best efforts of my grandparents who raised me, my teachers, all the cruelty of the world and the mean heartedness of some people, I have survived.  I stopped fighting it as a young woman when I finally realized that despite the pain, it was also my greatest gift, affording me sight and understanding that not everyone else had.

But compassion is not just a gift, it is a necessity for our lives, and especially for the future of our children.

The ability to feel compassion means you have a connection to the world around you.  It is what causes us to stop from bullying someone when we have been bullied.  We can remember how painful it was for us so we can understand the hurt our actions will cause someone else.  It is what allows us to respond with a hug and kind words when we see that someone is depressed.  It is what can even spur us into action to do away with injustices.



But there is an even greater power in compassion.  Not only do we know understand that the emotions we hold in our bodies have a direct impact on our DNA and the life affirming or life denying chemistry that is released in our bodies, we know that compassion has the most  powerful impact of all the positive emotions.  (See Emotions Can Change Your DNA.)

Dr. David Hawkins in his book Power vs. Force created a Map of Consciousness of the effect of emotions on the energy level, which can be measured through applied Kinesiology.  He shows how the presence of just one person who resonates at the higher levels of compassion and empathy are capable of positively impacting the energy of the masses.  You can test out and try many of the things he talks about in your own life.  It is a fascinating book, well worth a read.

We all have had experience with how the energy of a positive or caring person can alter a room for the better and how someone who is depressed and negative can seem to suck the life right out of people.  I have experimented myself by noting the change in my office staff with a change in the emotion I hold in myself.  I have learned the power of learning to catch the negative emotions as they happen and channeling myself through simple exercises and practices to a more positive place.


Inner Peace


It has brought me such joy to realize I can enjoy what is natural for me instead of being an emotional football that is at the mercy of how others treat me.  It has given me a sense of purpose and a firm resolve to honour what my heart asks of me.  As I work to improve my ability to overcome my many failings and shortcomings I am moved that in doing so I can make a difference in the world around me and in the lives of those people I love.

Looking at the world and others with compassion has helped me feel more connected, more forgiving, more willing to do what may seem difficult and beyond my reach.  I know that all that is needed for all of us to find peace and joy is simply for us to love one another, support one another as each of us find our own ways and determine what our journeys are about and how we will journey them.  Defeat is what happens when you focus on the impossible.  Success is what happens when you find one thing that you can do right now and do it.